Henry Rowe Schoolcraft

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Henry Rowe Schoolcraft

Birthplace: Watervilet, Albany, New York
Death: Died in Washington, D.C.
Place of Burial: Congressional Cemetery Washington District of Columbia
Immediate Family:

Son of Lawrence Schoolcraft and Anne Barbara Schoolcraft
Husband of Mary Schoolcraft and Jane Schoolcraft
Father of Stillborn daughter Schoolcraft; Jane Susan Ann Schoolcraft; William Henry Schoolcraft and John Johnston Schoolcraft

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About Henry Rowe Schoolcraft


Henry was an American geographer, geologist, and ethnologist, noted for his early studies of Native American cultures, as well as for his 1832 expedition to the source of the Mississippi River. Schoolcraft was born in Guilderland, Albany County, New York, the son of Lawrence Schoolcraft and Anne Barbara (Rowe) Schoolcraft. Schoolcraft met his first wife soon after being assigned in 1822 to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, as its first US Indian agent. Two years before, the government had built Fort Brady and wanted to establish an official presence to forestall any renewed British threat following the War of 1812. The government tried to ensure against British agitation of the Ojibwe.

Schoolcraft married Jane Johnston, eldest daughter of John Johnston, a prominent Scots-Irish fur trader, and his wife Ozhaguscodaywayquay (Susan Johnston), daughter of a leading Ojibwe chief, Waubojeeg. The Johnstons had eight children, and their cultured, wealthy family was well known. Jane was also known as O-bah-bahm-wawa-ge-zhe-go-qua (or Obabaamwewe-giizhigokwe in modern spelling) (The Woman of the Sound [Which the Stars Make] Rushing Through the Sky). Her knowledge of the Ojibwe language and legends, which she shared with Schoolcraft, formed in part the source material for Longfellow's epic poem, The Song of Hiawatha.

Jane and Henry had four children together:

William Henry (b. June 1824—d. March 1827) died of croup at nearly three. Jane Schoolcraft wrote poems expressing her grief about his loss.

Stillborn daughter (November 1825).

Jane Susan Ann (October 14, 1827—November 25, 1892, Richmond, VA) called Janee.

John Johnston (October 2, 1829—April 24, 1864), served in the Civil War but was wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg and disabled. He died at age 45 in Elmira, NY.

Jane Johnston Schoolcraft suffered from frequent illnesses. She died in 1842 while visiting a sister in Canada, and was buried at St. John's Anglican Church, Ancaster, Ontario. On January 12, 1847, after moving to Washington, DC, the widower Schoolcraft married again at age 53, to Mary Howard, a southern slaveholder from an elite planter family of the Beaufort district of South Carolina. Her support of slavery and opposition to mixed-race unions created strains in her relationship with the Schoolcraft stepchildren. They became alienated from her and their father.

After Henry Schoolcraft became paralyzed in 1848, Mary devoted much of her attention to caring for him and helping him complete his massive study of the American Indian. Schoolcraft founded and contributed to the first United States journal on public education, The Journal of Education. He also published The Souvenir of the Lakes, the first literary magazine in Michigan

After their deaths, Schoolcraft and his wife Mary were each buried in the Congressional Cemetery in Washington, DC.

Henry is mentioned in the book "The Tie-Hackers of Pulaski & Phelps Cos., MO", pg. 31.


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Henry Rowe Schoolcraft's Timeline

March 28, 1793
Watervilet, Albany, New York
October 12, 1823
Age 30
Sault Ste. Marie, Chippewa, Michigan
June 27, 1824
Age 31
Sault Ste. Marie, Chippewa, Michigan
November 1825
Age 32
October 14, 1827
Age 34
Sault Ste. Marie, Chippewa, Michigan
October 2, 1829
Age 36
Sault Ste. Marie, Chippewa, Michigan
December 10, 1864
Age 71
Washington, D.C.
Congressional Cemetery Washington District of Columbia