Lewis H. Morgan

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Lewis H. Morgan : biography

November 21, 1818 – December 17, 1881

Influence on Marxism

In 1881, Karl Marx started reading Morgan’s Ancient Society, thus beginning Morgan’s posthumous influence among European thinkers. Frederick Engels also read his work after Morgan’s death. Although Marx never finished his own book based on Morgan’s work, Engels continued his analysis. Morgan’s work on the social structure and material culture strongly influenced Engels’ sociological theory of dialectical materialism (expressed in his work The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State, 1884). Scholars of the Communist bloc considered Morgan as the preeminent anthropologist., online, Marxist Internet Archive Reference Archive, accessed 16 Feb 2009. Note: Source is a copy of Morgan’s text; it says nothing about his influence on Marxist thinkers.

List of Morgan’s writings

Lewis Morgan wrote continuously, whether letters, papers to be read, or published articles and books. A list of his major works follows. Some of the letters and papers have been omitted. A complete list, as far as was known, is given by Lloyd in the 1922 revised edition (posthumous) of The League …. Specifically omitted are 14 "Letters on the Iroquois" read before the New Confederacy, 1844–1846, and published in The American Review in 1847 under another pen name, Skenandoah; 31 papers read before The Club, 1854–1880; and various book reviews published in The Nation.

Date Work Publication
1841 "Essay on the History and Genius of the Grecian Race" Unpublished
1841 "Essay on Geology" Unpublished
1842 "Aristomenes the Messenian" The Knickerbocker, January, 1843, pen name Aquarius
1843 "Thoughts on Niagara" The Knickerbocker, September, 1843, pen name Aquarius
1843 "Mind or instinct, an inquiry concerning the manifestation of mind by the lower orders of animals" The Knickerbocker, November–December, 1843, pen name Aquarius
1844 "Vision of Kar-is-ta-gi-a, a sachem of Cayuga" The Knickerbocker, September, 1844, pen name Aquarius
1846 "An Essay on the Constitutional Government of the Six Nations of Indians" Unpublished, except read to the New York Historical Society.
1851 The League of the Ho-de-no-sau-nee or Iroquois Published by Sage and Brothers, Rochester.
1851 Published in the Third Annual Report of the Regents of the University of the Condition of the State Cabinet of Natural History and the Historical and Antiquarian Collection Annexed Thereto.
1852 Read to the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics’ Association and published by D.M. Dewey.
1856 "The Laws of Descent of the Iroquois" Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Volume XI. Read before the society.
1859 "The Indian Method of Bestowing and Changing Names" Published in Proceedings of American Association for the Advancement of Science, Volume XIII.
1868 Published by J.B. Lippincott and Company, Philadelphia.
1868 Proceedings American Academy of Arts & Sciences, February, Volume VII.
1868 "The Stone and Bone Implements of the Arickarees" In the 21st Annual Report on the State Cabinet, Albany.
1871 Systems of Consanguinity and Affinity of the Human Family Published by the Smithsonian Institute.
1872 "Australian Kinship" Proceedings American Academy of Arts and Sciences, March, Volume VIII.
1876 "Montezuma’s Dinner" North American Review, April.
1876 "Houses of the Mound Builders" North American Review, July
1877 Published by Henry Holt and Company, New York.
1880 Published in the 12th Annual Report, Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Cambridge, MA.
1880 "Objects of an Expedition to New Mexico and Central America" Paper given to the Archaeological Institute of America, Boston, in March.
1880 Published in the 1st Annual Report of the Archaeological Institute of America.
1881 In Contributions to North American Ethnology, Volume IV, published by the United States Geological Survey.