Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 51.djvu/413

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401
SKETCH OF HORATIO HALE.

SKETCH OF HORATIO HALE.

GREAT advances have been made by ethnologists of the present generation in the study of the languages of the American aborigines and in the investigation of primitive linguistics. The pioneer in these researches, one whose efforts have been among the most fruitful, the one who perhaps has so far gone deepest into the investigation, was Horatio Hale, who died at Clinton, Ontario, December 29, 1896. "By his death," says his fellow-student in this subject. Dr. Franz Boas, in The Critic, "ethnology has lost a man who contributed more to our knowledge of the human races than perhaps any other single student." The sketch that follows was carefully prepared nearly two years before Mr. Hale's death. Although a few changes of form might have been proper to adapt it to the present date, we prefer to publish it as it was left, only inserting a few words respecting Mr. Hale's distinguished mother.

Hale, Horatio, M. A., ethnologist and lawyer, was born on May 3, 1817, at Newport, N. H. His father, David Hale, was a leading lawyer of that town, and his mother, Sarah Josepha, after her husband's death in 1822, became well known in American literature as a highly esteemed author and editor. [Her nursery poem, Mary had a Little Lamb, has endeared her to children's hearts, and other fugitive productions of hers have become widely familiar. She was for one year less than a half century editor of the Ladies' Magazine, Boston, and, after its merger in that periodical, of Godey's Ladies' Book, Philadelphia, which had an immense circulation for its day and was a living force in shaping the tastes and aims of American women. She was one of the earliest advocates of the advancement and higher education of women, and was the virtual founder of the engagement of women in foreign missionary service and of the Woman's Union Missionary Society for heathen lands. Through her urgency the women of New England contributed fifty thousand dollars toward the completion of the Bunker Hill Monument; and mainly through her urgency and correspondence with Governors of States and Presidents of the United States Thanksgiving Day was made a national festival.] Their son showed an early inclination for the study of languages, and particularly of the Oriental and aboriginal American tongues. At the age of sixteen he entered Harvard College. In the following year, when a party of Indians from Maine came to Massachusetts and encamped for a time on the college grounds, he took the opportunity of collecting a vocabulary of their dialect. This, with some accompanying remarks, was printed in 1831 in a small pamphlet, which was