Daniel Garrison Brinton (May 13, 1837-July 31, 1899), was an American archaeologist and ethnologist.
He was born in Thornbury, Pennsylvania. After graduating from Yale University in 1858, Brinton studied at Jefferson Medical College for two years and spent the next travelling in Europe. He continued his studies at Paris and Heidelberg. From 1862 to 1865, during the American Civil War, he was a surgeon in the Union army, acting during 1864-1865 as surgeon-in-charge of the U.S. Army general hospital at Quincy, Illinois.
After the war, Brinton practiced medicine in West Chester, Pennsylvania for several years; was the editor of a weekly periodical, the Medical and Surgical Reporter, in Philadelphia from 1874 to 1887; became professor of ethnology and archaeology in the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia in 1884; and was professor of American linguistics and archaeology in the University of Pennsylvania from 1886 until his death.
He was a member of numerous learned societies in the United States and in Europe and was president at different times of the Numismatic and Antiquarian Society of Philadelphia, of the American Folk-Lore Society and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
From 1868 to 1899, Brinton wrote many books, and a large number of pamphlets, brochures, addresses and magazine articles. His works include:
- The Myths of the New World (1868), an attempt to analyse and correlate, scientifically, the mythology of the American Indians
- The Religious Sentiment: its Sources and Aim: A Contribution to the Science and Philosophy of Religion (1876)
- American Hero Myths (1882)
- The Lenâpé and their Legends: With the Complete Text and Symbols of the Walam Olum (1885)
- Essays of an Americanist (1890)
- Races and Peoples: lectures on the science of ethnography (1890);
- The American Race (1891)
- The Pursuit of Happiness (1893)
- Religions of Primitive People (1897)
In addition, he edited and published a Library of American Aboriginal Literature (8 vols. 1882-1890), a valuable contribution to the science of anthropology in America. Of the eight volumes; six were edited by Brinton himself, one by Horatio Hale and one by Albert Samuel Gatschet. His 1885 work is notable for its role in the Walam Olum controversy.
This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.
- Works by Daniel Garrison Brinton at Project Gutenberg