German American History


FRANZ BOAS, born in Westphalia, made extensive investigations among the Esquimaux of Baffin Land. He was also the originator and director of the so-called "Jesup Expeditions," sent out by the American Museum of Natural History. Their main purpose was the establishment of the connections between the aborigines of Northeastern Asia and Northwestern America.

Of Boas' pupils the German American ALFRED L. KROEBER became known very favorably by his work on the Indians of California. WILLIAM S. HOFFMANN, a Pennsylvania German, made himself known as author of highly interesting monographs about the Menomonee Indians and the Esquimaux.

Important works about different Indian languages have been written by the Moravian missionaries DAVID ZEISBERGER and JOHANN HECKEWELDER, and by ALBERT S. GATSCHET.

As scientific director of several expeditions, sent by the University of Pennsylvania to Asia Minor and Babylonia, HERMANN VOLPATH HILPRECHT has become widely known. Of the excellent works of FRANZ LIEBER mention has been made in another chapter.

A man of equal eminence was HERMANN EDUARD VON HOLST, profess­or of American history in the University of Chicago. His principal work is "The Constitutional and Political History of the United States," which appeared first in the German language under the title "Verfassung und Demokratie der Vereinigten Staa­ten von Amerika."

Splendid works on politics, science and political economy have been produced also by KARL GUSTAV RUMELIN, FRIEDRICH LIST, JOHANN TELLKAMPF, E.R.SELIGMAN, FRANK WILLIAM TAUSSIG and PAUL REINSCH. Of the German philologists ALEXANDER J. SCHEM produced in 1869 - 1874 a German-American Conversations Lexikon of eleven volumes.

ALBERT A. MICHELSON, professor of physics at the University of Chicago, well known for brilliant research work in light, won the rare distinction of being awarded the Nobel Prize of $40,000.

German scientists have by example and exhortation introduced into the scientific research work of America perseverance, seri­ousness and thoroughness, qualities which for true science mean infinitely much. "German thoroughness," so said Professor Ira Remsen, President of Johns Hopkins University, "is an expression often used. To the scholar it means everything. Whatever other virtues science may have, they count little without thoroughness. If I were asked, what America owes to Germany most, I would answer without hesitation: the virtue of thoroughness.”

answer without hesitation: the virtue of thoroughness."

Eminent Scientists achievements - Part III - presented by


Philadelphia Chapter (Published DSB 6/2001)