- Also known as
Ephraim George Squier
primary name: Squier, Ephraim George
- individual; archaeologist; journalist/critic; American (USA); Male
- Life dates
- American archaeologist and newspaper editor. Born 17 June 1821 in Bethlehem, New York, the son of a minister. Early youth worked on a farm, studied engineering and became interested in American antiquities; 1837 recession made engineering unfeasible, so pursued literature and journalism. 1841-1842 edited and wrote for the New York State Mechanic at Albany; 1843-1848 first editor of the Hartford Daily Journal, instrumental in organising the Whig Party of Conneticut, edited the Scioto Gazette at Chillicothe, Ohio and became clerk of the Ohio House of Representatives. 1848 graduated from Princeton College.
Collaborated with physician Edwin H. Davis on landmark publication ‘Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley’ published in 1848, a study of the prehistoric Mound Builders of North America; first publication of the Smithsonian Institution and first volume of the Contributions to Knowledge series. Squier and Davis' work is noted for their systematic approach to analysing and documenting the 200 mounds and 100 earthwork enclosures they surveyed, including the Serpent Mound in Peebles, Ohio, discovered in 1846, and the Mound City Group in Chillicothe, Ohio; their collection of ancient Mound objects is at the British Museum.
1848-1849 appointed special U.S. chargé d'affaires to the Republics of Central America, negotiating treaties with Nicaragua, Honduras, San Salvador, including an agreement, never ratified, permitting U.S. construction of an interoceanic canal across Nicaragua. Travelled widely and explored antiquities around Granada and the islands in Lake Nicaragua; 1850 shipped five stone monuments found on the island of Zapatero to the Smithsonian, suggesting they be used to form the core of a "national archaeological museum."
1853 served as Secretary of the Honduras Interoceanic Railway Company, and also further studied the region’s archaeology. 1856 received the medal of the French Geographical Society. 1858 married Miriam Florence Folline. His work ‘The States of Central America,’ published in 1858, is heralded as one of the first successful attempts to present Central American geography, people and resources.
c.1860 became editor-in-chief for Frank Leslie’s publishing house, supervising the publication of the first two volumes of ‘Frank Leslie’s Pictorial History of the American Civil War.’ 1863 appointed U. S. commissioner to Peru; surveyed and photographed archaeological sites including the pre-Columbian Chimú capital of Chan-Chan; gave a series of 12 lectures on "The Inca Empire" for the Lowell Institute for their 1866-67 season. 1868 appointed Consul-General of Honduras at New York. 1871 elected first president of the Anthropological Institute of New York.
Divorced in 1873. 1874 serious health problems prevented further original research, although he was able to direct the final preparation and revision of his work on Peru for publication. Died 17 April, 1888 in Brooklyn, New York.
- Squier, E.G. and Davis, E.H. 1848. Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley: comprising the results of extensive original surveys and explorations. Smithsonian contributions to knowledge; vol. 1. Washington: Smithsonian Institution.
Squier, E.G. 1849. Aboriginal Monuments of the State of New-York: comprising the results of original surveys and explorations, with an illustrative appendix. Smithsonian contributions to knowledge; vol. 2. Washington: Smithsonian Institution.
Squier, E.G. 1851. The Serpent Symbol, and the Worship of the Reciprocal Principles of Nature in America. American archaeological researches, no.1. New York: George P. Putnam.
Squier, E.G. 1852. Nicaragua: its People, Scenery, Monuments, and the Proposed Interoceanic Canal. New York: D. Appleton & Co.
Squier, E.G. 1855. Notes on Central America: particularly the states of Honduras and San Salvador: their geography, topography, climate, population, resources, productions, etc., etc., and the proposed Honduras inter-oceanic railway. New York: Harper & Brothers.
Squier, E.G. 1858. The states of Central America; their geography, topography, climate, population, resources, productions, commerce, political organization, aborigines, etc., etc., comprising chapters on Honduras, San Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Belize, the Bay Islands, the Mosquito Shore, and the Honduras inter-oceanic railway. New York: Harper & Brothers.
Squier, E.G. 1861. Tropical fibres: their production and economic extraction. New York: Scribner.
Squier, E.G. 1877. Peru; incidents of travel and exploration in the land of the Incas. New York, Harper & Brothers.