Hale, Horatio (DNB01)

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HALE, HORATIO (1817–1896), anthropologist, born on 3 May 1817, at Newport, New Hampshire, in the United States, was the son of David Hale, a prominent lawyer of Newport, and of Sarah Josepha, his wife. After the death of her husband, Mrs. Hale turned her attention to literature. Entering Harvard College in 1833, Hale showed a marked faculty for languages. His first essay in original work appeared the next year, and attracted the attention of the college authorities. It consists of an Algoukin vocabulary, which he gathered from a band of Indians who had camped on the college grounds. Three years later, when the United States exploring expedition to little-known portions of the globe was organised under Captain Wilkes, Hale was recommended, while yet an undergraduate, for the post of ethnologist and philologist, and obtained the appointment. From 1838 to 1842 he was employed in the work of the expedition, visiting South America, Australasia, Polynesia, and North-western America, then known as Oregon. From this point he returned overland. The result of his labours was published at Philadelphia in 1846 in a large quarto volume.

Having taken his degree of M. A., Hale made a short tour of Europe, and, on his return, studied law. He was admitted to the Chicago bar in 1855. The year after he removed to Canada, and settled at Clinton, Ontario, where his wife's family had a substantial property, the management of which they desired him to undertake. He continued to reside in Clinton till his death, devoting much attention to the development of the Ontario school system. He was influential in introducing co-education of the sexes in high schools and collegiate institutes, in increasing the grants to these institutions, in establishing the normal school system, and in improving the methods of examination.

The vicinity of the Canadian reserves on the banks of the Thames and Grand River gave Hale ample opportunity for further investigation into American-Indian questions. He discovered, and in 1883 published, under the title, 'The Iroquois Book of Rites,' two Indian manuscripts, dating between 1714 and 1735, which is the only literary American-Indian work extant. His judicious introductions, careful translation and editing add much to the value of the work.

In 1884, at its Montreal meeting, he reorganised the section of anthropology as an independent department of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. He had already done a like service for the American Association. At the request of the British committee, he undertook the supervision of the anthropological section's work in the Canadian North-west and British Columbia. The reports, which are very elaborate, appeared in the published 'Proceedings' from 1885 to 1897. Continuing a member of the committee, he was asked to accept the position of vice-president at the association's meeting in Toronto (1896), but declined on the ground of ill-health.

Hale's writings which deal with the more general questions of anthropology are scattered through the 'Proceedings' of the British and American Associations for the Advancement of Science, the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain, Royal Society of Canada, Canadian Institute, Toronto; and through periodical publications like the 'Andover Review,' 'Popular Science Monthly,' 'Journal of American Folk Lore,' 'Science,' and the 'Critic.'

Among other learned bodies Hale was an honorary fellow of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain, to which he contributed his latest papers. He died on 29 Dec. 1896 at Clinton, Ontario.

In 1854, at Jersey city in the state of New Jersey, he married Margaret, daughter of William Pugh, formerly justice of the peace for the township of Goderich in the county of Huron, Canada West.

[Rose's Encycl. of Can. Biogr., 1886, p. 374; Allibone's Dict. of Engl. and Amer. Lit. 1859, Suppl. 1890; Appleton's Annual Encycl., 1896, p. 566; Wilkes's Synopsis U.S. Exped. pp. 47, 55; Can. Institute, 7th Archæological Rep., 1894, p. 117; Trans. Roy. Soc. of Can., 1894, sect. ii. p. 45; Pop. Sci. Monthly, li. 401; Jour. of Amer. Folk Lore, x. 60; Can. Mag. viii. 449; Science (N.Y.), v. 216; Critic (N.Y.), xxx. 40; Athenæum, 1897, i. 152; Toronto Globe, 31 Dec. 1896.]

T. B. B.