CHARLES PICKERING BOWDITCH
AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGY has lost one of its greatest
patrons in the death of Charles P. Bowditch, which occurred
on June I, 1921. He was born in Boston, September 30,
1842, the son of Jonathan Ingersoll Bowditch and Lucy O. Nichols
and the grandson of Nathaniel Bowditch. He received the A.B.
degree from Harvard College in 1863 and the A.M. degree three
years later. He married Cornelia L. Rockwell on June 7, 1866.
She and four children survive him. He served in the Civil War as
2d Lieutenant, 1st Lieutenant, and Captain of the 55th Massa-
chusetts Volunteer Infantry and as Captain of the 5th Massachu-
setts Volunteer Cavalry.
Mr. Bowditch was a man of broad interests as his membership
in various learned societies shows. He was elected a member of
the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1892 and was its
Treasurer from 1905 to 1915 and President from 1917 to 1919.
He was also a member of the Boston Society of Natural History,
the American Antiquarian Society, and the American Geographical
Society. His anthropological interests appear in his membership
in the following societies: American Anthropological Association,
American Association for the Advancement of Science, Archaeo-
logical Institute of America, International Congress of Americanists,
and the Societe des Americanistes de Paris. His historical-genea-
logical interests are shown in his membership in the Massachusetts
Historical Society, the Bostonian Society, the Colonial Society of
Massachusetts, and the New England Historical-Genealogical
Society. He was the author of the Pickering Genealogy.
For many years he took a keen delight in the Bacon-Shakespeare
controversary and was the author of Bacon's Connection with the
First Folio of Shakespeare.
As a man of affairs in Boston, Mr. Bowditch was an officer in
many corporations and numerous benevolent enterprises. His
354 AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGIST [N. s., 23, 1921
list of charities was a long one. He was the author of the History
of the Trustees of the Charity of Edward Hopkins.
After a pleasure trip to southern Mexico and Yucatan, in 1888,
Mr. Bowditch's main interest, outside that of his business as trustee,
became centered in Maya antiquities. This enthusiasm for a
region up to that time neglected and practically unknown resulted
in establishing an entirely new field in American Anthropology.
Mr. Bowditch's connection with the Peabody Museum of
Harvard University was a long and a close one. From 1888, when
the records show he presented his first gift to the Museum, up to
the time of his death, he was its greatest benefactor. In 1894 he
was elected a trustee of the Museum and he served on the Faculty
of this institution continuously from that time onward, rarely
missing a meeting and always taking a most active part in the
deliberations of that body.
In 1891 the Museum sent its first expedition to Central America.
With the exception of only a few years this expedition has been an
annual occurrence up to the present time. Mr. Bowditch planned
and provided for these trips with little outside aid. The early
work of Gordon, Saville, and Owens in Copan and the Uloa Valley,
the discoveries of Maler on the Usumacinta River and Peten,
the long continued investigations of Thompson in Yucatan and
especially in the Cenote of Chichen Itza, the expeditions of Tozzer,
Merwin, and Hay in British Honduras and northern Guatemala, of
Lothrop in Honduras, the second expedition of Morley in Yucatan,
and the work of Spinden in southern Yucatan are the most im-
portant activities in this line. A very large number of hitherto
unknown ruined sites were disclosed and a numerous addition to
the wealth of hieroglyphic inscriptions resulted.
There is hardly a man now working in the Central American
field today who was not directly beholden at some time in his career
to Mr. Bowditch for encouragement and aid.
His interest in sending out expedition after expedition has re-
sulted in a large accession to the collections of the Museum. Among
the most important of these are: the large number of original stone
carvings from Copan as the result of a concession from Honduras
CHARLES PICKERING BO WD ITCH 355
in 1891 and continuing for ten years, molds and casts of the principal
stelae and altars from Copan and Quirigua, lintels and stelae from
Yaxchilan and Piedras Negras, and many of the sculptured stones
from Chichen Itza, collections of pottery and other objects from
the Uloa Valley and Copan, from Holmul, and from many of the
ruins of Yucatan. Second to none is the unparalleled collection
from the Sacred Cenote of Chichen Itza. This work was planned
and financed almost entirely by Mr. Bowditch. The magnitude
of these collections can be seen from the fact that they now fill at
least three-fourths of two large hajls given over to Mexico and
Mr. Bowditch's one aim was the advance of knowledge of the
Maya field and he always laid stress on this rather than on the ac-
quisition of specimens. He gave generously for the publications
of the results of the various expeditions to Central America. To
him the Museum owes in greater part the publication of the six:
folio volumes of its Memoirs and the following Papers: v. i, nos. I,
3, and 7; v. 2; v. 4, nos. 1,2, and 3; v. 6, no. 2; v. 7; and v. 9, all
of which contain material pertaining to the Maya field.
As the grandson of Nathaniel Bowditch his mind ran to mathe-
matics and his special interest in Central America was the study
of the hieroglyphic inscriptions. His pioneer work in this field was
second only to that of Goodman and Forstemann. His acute mind
established many facts hitherto unknown concerning the Maya
hieroglyphic writing. His unbiased opinion, strengthened by
most painstaking study, was brought to bear on the many un-
settled problems of the hieroglyphic system. The results of his
investigations are summed up in his writings, a list of which is
given at the end of this paper. Special mention should be made of
his book, The Numeration, Calendar Systems, and Astronomical-
Knowledge of the Mayas. This work was a landmark in the study
of the Central American writing and served to focus attention om
this subject as no other book had done. His mental agility in?
working out the dates of the inscriptions and his feats of rapid
calculation, often done without the aid of pencil and paper, were
always received with wonder and admiration by his friends and
356 AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGIST [x. s., 23, 1921
colleagues in this study. His writings were almost exclusively
technical in nature and served as guides to the specialist on the
way to a complete elucidation of the hieroglyphic writing.
Mr. Bowditch did not read German well and he secured the
translation of practically the entire works of Seler, Forstemann,
Schellhas, and other German writers in this field. Several of these
translations have been published (P. M. Papers, v. 4, nos. I and 2,
and Bulletin 28 of the Bureau of American Ethnology). The
other translations have been deposited in the library of the Peabody
Museum. His translation from the Spanish of the Relation of
Landa and that of Avendano represent another line which his
acute mind took in furthering the advance of knowledge of the
Central American field.
Another activity of Mr. Bowditch in Maya studies was the
collection of works and documents covering this area. He built
up gradually one of the best working libraries on this subject, and
afterwards gave it to the Museum. He had the Nuttall Codex
copied and published, the Laud Codex in the British Museum
copied, and, at the time of his death, he was having prepared a
copy of the Sahagun manuscript in Florence with its many colored
illustrations. Mr. William Gates kindly allowed Mr. Bowditch to
purchase duplicate sets of the photographic reproductions of over
fifty thousand pages of manuscripts and rare books on Central
America and Mexico. This comprises practically everything in
manuscript form now extant on the languages of Central America
and much of the material on Mexican linguistics. These reproduc-
tions have been bound and given to the Museum. Mr. Bowditch
himself reproduced the various manuscripts which he had given to
the Museum as well as several which are in other collections.
No field of activity was overlooked. He became the sponsor of
several Fellowships. The first Fellowship in American Archaeology
of the Archaeological Institute of America as well as the Central
American Fellowship of the Peabody Museum were given by him.
He was in great part responsible for the establishment of the Divis-
ion of Anthropology in Harvard University and an Instructorship
in Central American Archaeology was first established by him.
CHARLES PICKERING BOW DITCH 357
Instruction in this subject has been carried on by Harvard since
As one of the Founders of the American Anthropological Asso-
ciation, Mr. Bowditch was a generous supporter of the cause of
Anthropology in America. His ready response could always be
depended upon for overcoming deficits and for advice. There is
perhaps no other instance in American Anthropology where an
effort in one field of interest has been so long continued, so intense,
and so productive of results. His monument is the Central Ameri-
can collections in the Peabody Museum, its Maya publications,
and its remarkable collection of books and manuscripts on Middle
America. This monument will continue to increase in size as his
generous interest in the Museum will be reflected in future activities
in the Maya field.
Mr. Bowditch was a man of very strong personality. He tried
to carry out the letter of the law and expected others to do so.
Forceful but modest, always with opinions but willing to reason,
wrathful before underhandedness but just to -all, Mr. Bowditch
will be remembered by his colleagues as one of the greatest friends
of the science and one who tried to uphold its highest traditions.
1900 The Lords of the Night and the Tonalamatl of the Codex Borbonicus,
in American Anthropologist, (n.s.) v. 2, pp. 145-154.
Review of John Campbell's "Decipherment of the Hieroglyphic Inscrip-
tions of Central America," in American Anthropologist, (n.s.) v. 2, pp.
1901 Memoranda on the Maya Calendars used in the Books of Chilam Balam, in
American Anthropologist, (n.s.) v. 3, pp. 129-138.
The Age of the Maya Ruins, in American Anthropologist, (n.s.) v. 3, pp.
A Method which may have been used by the Mayas in calculating Time,
Cambridge, 8, pamph. II pp.
Was the beginning Day of the Maya Month numbered Zero (or twenty)
or one?, Cambridge, 8, pamph. 8 pp.
Notes on the Report of Teobert Maler in Memoirs of the Peabody Museum,
Vol. n, No. i ; Cambridge, 8, pamph. 30 pp.
35 8 AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGIST [N. s. f 23, 1921
1903 A suggestive Maya Inscription, Cambridge, 8, pamph. 16 pp.
Notes on the Report of Teobert Maler in Memoirs of the Peabody Museum,
Vol. II, No. 2, Cambridge, 8, pamph. 29 pp.
1906 The Temples of the Cross, of the Foliated Cross and of the Sun at Palenque,
Cambridge, 8, pamph. II pp., 3 tables.
Mayan Nomenclature, Cambridge, 8, pamph. II pp.
1908 Collation of Berendt's Lengua Maya. Miscelanea, v. 2, in Berendt
Linguistic Collection, No. 43. (Photographic reproduction by
Collation of Berendt's Chilam Balam, in Berendt Linguistic Collection,
No. 49. (Photographic reproduction by William Gates.)
1909 The Dates and Numbers of Pages 24 and 26 to 50 of the Dresden Codex,
in Putnam Anniversary Volume, New York, pp. 268-298.
1910 The Numeration, Calendar Systems and Astronomical Knowledge of the
Mayas, Cambridge, 8, xvii, 340 pp., xix pis.
Discussion of pages 3id~32d, 62, and 64 of the Dresden Codex, 4, MS. 37 ff.
4 Ahau 8 cumhu. What position does this date hold in the Maya reckoning of
time?, 4, MS. 4 ff., tables.
Cardinal point symbols, colors, etc., 4, MS. 25 ff.
Dr. Seler's 59-day period, 4, MS. 8 ff.
List of Maya words in Landa and elsewhere with translation, 4, MS. 17 ff.
Landa's Relacion de las cosas de Yucatan. Translation from the French edition
of Brasseur de Bourbourg and corrected from the Spanish edition of Rada y
Delgado, 4, MS. i6off.
Avendano's Relacion de las dos entradas que hize a Peten Itza. Translation into
English. (Published in large part in Means's History of the Spanish Con-
quest of Yucatan and of the Itzas, in Papers of the Peabody Museum, v. 7,
Villagutierre's Historia de la Conquista de la Provincia de el Itza, 1701. Transla-
tion of Books n, in, v, vm, ix.
Lizana's Historia de Yucatan, 1633. Translation of Chaps. 1-6.
Alonzo Cano's Manche and Peten. MS, 1696. Translation. (Published in
large part in Means's History of the Spanish Conquest of Yucatan and of the
Itzas, in Papers of the Peabody Museum, v. 7, Cambridge, 1917.)
1904 Mexican and Central American Antiquities, Calendar Systems, and
History. Twenty-four papers by Seler, Forstemann, Schellhas,
Sapper, and Dieseldorff, in Bulletin 28, Bureau of American Ethnology,
Washington, 8, 682 pp., XLIX pis.
CHARLES PICKERING BOWDITCH 359
Representation of Deities of the Maya Manuscripts by Paul Schellhas,
in Papers of the Peabody Museum, Vol. 4, No. I, Cambridge.
1906 Commentary on the Maya Manuscript in the Royal Public Library of
Dresden by Ernst Forstemann, in Papers of the Peabody Museum, Vol.
4, No. 2, Cambridge.
Diccionario Pocomchi-Castellano y Castellano-Pocomchi de San Cristobal
Cahcoh. MS. in Berendt Linguistic Collection, No. 61.
Doctrina en Lengua Quiche. MS. owned by Marshall H. Saville.
Maldonado de Matos. Arte de la Lengua Szinca, 1770. MS. in Peabody Museum.
Alonso Martinez. Manuel breve y compendioso para enpesar a aprender Lengua
Zapoteca. MS. in John Carter Brown Library.
A Mexican Catechism in Testerian Hieroglyphs. MS. in Peabody Museum.
Platicas de la historia sagrada en Lengua Cacchii. XVII century MS. in Berendt
Linguistic Collection, No. 79.
Quaderno de Idioma Zapoteco de Valle. MS. in John Carter Brown Library.
Sermones en la Lengua Kekchi de Cajabon. MS. in Peabody Museum.
Vocabulario de Lengua Kiche. 1787 copy. MS. in Peabody Museum.
Xiu Chronicles or Libro de Probanzas, 1608-1817. MS. in Peabody Museum.
ALFRED M. TOZZER.
METHODS AND PRINCIPLES
A Laboratory Manual of Anthropometry. HARRIS H. WILDER. P.
Blakiston's Son & Co.: Philadelphia, 1920. 193 pp., 43 ills.
This book of two hundred pages, opens with the sentence:
It has long been a reproach to American science that now, for many years, the
branch of Physical Anthropology has been so little cultivated, and this the more
because of our early prestige in this very field and because of our unrivalled oppor-
tunities. ... It was with a view to directing a broader American attention to
this vitally important branch of Anthropology that the author . . . drew up,
based largely upon the prescription of 1906, a set of rules for the guidance of the
laboratory student . . .
The intention of publishing a book on anthropometry in America is to
be lauded, even though rules for measuring have been published re-
peatedly in American journals (see: Wilder, in Science, LIII, p. 20).
Wilder's manual will, no doubt, help to stimulate anthropometric work
and will be especially of assistance in college courses on anthropology.
The student receives from it guidance as to what and how to measure
both the outer body and the skeletal parts of man, becomes acquainted
with the chief anthropometric instruments, and learns what absolute
measurements can to advantage be combined to form indices. The
technical instructions are in parts enlivened by examples of the results
of measurements taken on different races.
From a critical point of view, however, a perusal of the manual
leaves an impression of a certain unevenness and partiality in the arrange-
ment and selection as well as the illustration of the text. The subject
matter is divided into osteometry, comprising 114 pages, and somatom-
etry, to which only 16 pages are devoted, a disproportion which seems
hardly justifiable. The scanty bibliography (in footnotes), which is
intended as an introduction to the literature on anthropometry, omits in
many instances very important publications while giving certain special-
ized papers of no general interest. In the part on "biometric" methods,
which might more correctly be called "statistical" methods, one fails
to find any mention of the correlation coefficient, which is as important
as the coefficient of variation. Also the formulae for the various probable
errors should have been included in this discussion. The lengthy
chapter on craniometry would gain in value by a short enumeration of