TUSCARORA JOHN NAPOLEON BRINTON HEWITT BORN—LINGUIST & ETHNOGRAPHER
Born on the Tuscarora Reserve, New York State, Hewitt’s mother was of Tuscarora & Oneida descent; his father was a white orphan adopted by a Tuscarora family. Starting school at age 11, he left due to health. Back at the reserve, he was a farmer, newspaper reporter, and teacher. In 1880, John aided ethnologist Erminnie A. Smith who was studying Iroquois languages and collecting myths & tales. When Smith died in 1886, the Bureau of Ethnology hired Hewitt to continue her work and complete a Tuscarora-English dictionary. Hewitt established a relationship between Cherokee and Iroquois languages & wrote several entries to the Bureau’s Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. His publications include: Iroquois Cosmology & Seneca Fiction, Legends, and Myths. Hewitt served as Anthropological Society of Washington treasurer (1912-26) & president (1932-34) and represented the Smithsonian Institute on the U.S. Board of Geographic Names (1918-37). He died on October 14, 1937.
Source: “Hewitt, J.N.B. (John Napoleon Brinton),” Warrior Society, 9/24/2005. Retrieved 9/10/2020, https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/tuscaroranationeyog/hewitt-j-n-b-john-napoleon-brinton-t992.html Photo: Author unknown, 1915. Public Domain. Source: Quarterly Journal of the Society of American Indians, Volume 3, Number 2, April-June, 1915.