Funds for Ethnology and Mound Survey

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United States Congress appropriates $25,000 for continuing ethnological research among the North American Indians, under the direction of the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, $5,000 of which is specifically designated for archaeological investigations relating to mound-builders and prehistoric mounds. Major John Wesley Powell remains in charge of the prosecution of ethnological researches for the Smithsonian. In 1882, the Mound Survey will be set up within the Bureau of Ethnology. The general excavation of mounds is placed in the charge of Professor Cyrus Thomas, with several assistants, through whose exertions large collections will be made, chiefly in the Mississippi Valley.


  • Powell, John Wesley 1834-1902
  • Thomas, Cyrus 1825-1910
  • Smithsonian Institution Bureau of American Ethnology
  • United States Congress


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • Guide to Smithsonian Archives. Archives and Special Collections of the Smithsonian Institution, Number 4. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1983, p. 88.
  • Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution for the year 1882. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1884, p. 44.
  • Rhees, William Jones. The Smithsonian Institution: Documents Relative to Its Origin and History: 1835-1899, Vol. 1, 1835-1887. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1901, p. 865.

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


March 3, 1881


  • Anthropology
  • Ethnology
  • Expenditures, Public
  • Prehistoric peoples


  • Mississippi
  • North America

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