Ephraim George Squier
Squier's contact with Latin America came initially through several diplomatic posts which he held, and led to his becoming a recognized authority and author, especially on Central American affairs as well as its archaeology and ethnology. In 1849 he was appointed U.S. Chargé d'affaires in Guatemala for one year. Later while in Nicaragua, he sent the Smithsonian Institution five large "stone idols" and a number of other items, suggesting they be used to form the core of a "national archaeological museum." In 1852 he published Nicaragua: its People, Scenery, Monuments, and the Proposed Interoceanic Canal. In neighboring Honduras, he served as Secretary of the (eventually unsuccessful) Honduras Interoceanic Railway Company in the mid-1850s and as Consul-General of Honduras in New York in 1868. His experiences there resulted in the 1879 publication Honduras; Descriptive, Historical, and Statistical. Among his other works was The States of Central America published in 1858 and heralded as one of the first successful attempts to present Central American geography, people and resources. From 1863 to 1865 he was the U.S. Commissioner to Peru. There Squier explored and mapped the pre-Columbian Chimú capital of Chan-Chan. His investigations in that country were published in 1877 in the popular volume Peru: Incidents of Travel and Exploration in the Land of the Incas. Squier's published travels and discoveries throughout Latin America remain today as significant contributions to the historical literature of the region and the foundation for continued scholarship in the field.
- Nicaragua; its people, scenery, monuments, resources, condition, and proposed canal..., by Ephraim George Squire, 1821-1888, Smithsonian Libraries
- Digitized works by George Ephraim Squier, Biodiversity Heritage Library