in this field. Professors Henry and Agassiz were especially urgent in the matter, and Morgan decided to return to his old studies, but rather as an amateur and in such a manner as not to interfere with his profession.
In 1858 he was at Marquette, where he found an encampment of Ojibwa Indians, and, going into a tent, sat down with an Indian, and gradually in conversation drew from him an account of the Ojibwa system of kinship, the list of gentes, and the gentile organization of the tribe, and found them essentially the same as the Iroquois.
To him this was a great surprise, for up to this time he had supposed that the Iroquois Confederacy had a system peculiar to itself and was an anomaly among governments. But here he found society and government organized upon the same plan, and yet the linguistic terms were totally different. He had thus discovered the essential characteristic of tribal government in two distinct stocks of our North American Indians, and it occurred to him that the system might extend further, so he determined to pursue his investigations among other Indians.
On his return to Rochester he took up "Riggs's Dakota Grammar and Dictionary," then lately published by the Smithsonian Institution, and found in the kinship terms as therein defined evidences of the same kinship system. He then more carefully examined the English and Roman systems, especially as they are set forth by Blackstone and in the Pandects of Justinian. Finally, he prepared schedules of inquiry to be circulated among missionaries, teachers, traders, and other persons familiar with Indian life.
At this stage Professor Henry became deeply interested in the investigations and published the schedules for Mr. Morgan, which were widely distributed in America and throughout the world by the Smithsonian Institution and by the active coöperation of General Cass, who was then Secretary of State.
During the earlier years Mr. Morgan was greatly disappointed with the returns from the circulation of these schedules. The subject was new and strange, and the persons to whom they were sent were slow in comprehending the nature and value of the researches suggested; and so he determined to pursue his investigations in person, and for this purpose in 1859 he made an expedition through Kansas and Nebraska. In 1860 he went over the same ground, revising his former work, increasing his observations, and extended his journey far up the Missouri River. In 1861 he made a trip to the Hudson Bay Territory and Lake Winnipeg, and in 1862 to Fort Benton and the Rocky Mountains.
In his travels he everywhere sought the Indian tribes, and through the aid of interpreters—white men and Indians—filled out his own schedules and extended his studies into the social life and government of the Indians and other collateral branches of anthropology.