Grinnell George Bird (1849-1938)
George Bird Grinnell was an American anthropologist, historian, naturalist, and writer. Grinnell was born in Brooklyn, New York, and graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in 1870 and a Ph.D. in 1880. Originally specializing in zoology, he became a prominent early conservationist and student of Native American life. Grinnell has been recognized for his influence on public opinion and legislation which ultimately led to the preservation of the American buffalo.
1 Exploration and conservation
2 Ethnology of the Plains Cultures
3 Partial list of works
Exploration and conservation
Grinnell had extensive contact with the terrain, animals and Native Americans of the northern plains, starting with his participation in the last great hunt of the Pawnee in 1872. He spent many years pursuing the natural history of the region. As a graduate student, he accompanied Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custerís 1874 Black Hills expedition as a naturalist but declined a similar appointment to the ill-fated 1876 Little Big Horn expedition. (Punke, p. 109) In 1875, Colonel William Ludlow, who had also been on Custer's gold exploration effort, approached him to serve as naturalist and mineralogist on an expedition to Montana and the newly established Yellowstone Park. The expedition reports included an attachment by Grinnell, documenting the poaching of buffalo, deer, elk and antelope for hides. "It is estimated that during the winter of 1874-1875, not less than 3,000 Buffalo and mule deer suffer even more severely than the elk, and the antelope nearly as much." (Punke, pp. 102) His experience in Yellowstone led to the publication of the first of many magazine articles dealing with conservation, the protection of the buffalo, and the American west.
Grinnell was prominent in movements focusing on preservation of wildlife and conservation in the American west. For many years, he wrote and published articles and personally lobbied for congressional support for the endangered American buffalo. In 1887, Grinnell was a founding member, with Theodore Roosevelt, of the Boone and Crockett Club, dedicated to the restoration of America's wildlands. Other founding members included General William Tecumseh Sherman and Gifford Pinchot. Grinnell and Roosevelt published the Club's first book in 1895. Grinnell also organized the first Audubon Society and was an organizer of the New York Zoological Society.
With the passage of the 1894 National Park Protective Act, the remaining 200 wild buffalo in Yellowstone National Park received a measure of protection, but it was nearly too late for the species. Poaching continued to reduce the animal's population, reaching its lowest number of 23 in 1902. (Punke, pp. 218-219) However, Grinnell's actions led to ongoing efforts by the Department of Interior to find additional animals in the wild and in managed herds to supplement the Yellowstone herd. This ultimately led to a genetically pure viable herd, and the survival of the species.
Grinnell was editor of "Forest and Stream Magazine" from 1876 to 1911 and contributed many articles and essays to magazines and professional publications, including:
"In Buffalo Days", a long essay, published in "American Big-Game Hunting", edited by Theodore Roosevelt and George Bird Grinnell, New York, 1893.
"The Bison," a long essay, published in "Musk-Ox, Bison, Sheep and Goat", edited by Caspar Whitney, George Bird Grinnell, and Owen Wister, New York, 1904.
Ethnology of the Plains Cultures
Grinnellís books and publications reflect his life-long study of the northern American plains and the Plains tribes. Along with J. A. Allen and William T. Hornaday, Grinnell was a historian of the buffalo and their relationship with Plains tribal culture. In "When Buffalo Ran" (1920), he focuses specifically on hunting and working buffalo from a buffalo horse.
Grinnellís best-known works are on the Cheyenne, including "The Fighting Cheyennes", published in 1915, and a two-volume work on "The Cheyenne Indians" (1923). In 1928, he presented the story of Frank Joshua North and Luther North in "Two Great Scouts and their Pawnee Battalion." Other works on the Plains culture area focusing on the Pawnee and Blackfeet people include "Pawnee Hero Stories" (1889), and "The Story of the Indian" (1895).
Partial list of works
When Buffalo Ran (1920, 2008) ISBN 978-1443768450
The Cheyenne Indians: Their History and Lifeways, Edited and Illustrated, (World Wisdom, 2008)
Native American Ways: Four Paths to Enlightenment, (A & D Publishing, 2007)
Hunting In Many Lands: The Book Of The Boone And Crockett Club, (Kessinger Publishing, 2007)
The Fighting Cheyennes, (Kessinger Publishing, 2007) ISBN 978-0548134009
Blackfeet Indian Stories, (BiblioBazaar, 2007) ISBN 978-1434607300
The Cheyenne Indians V1: Their History And Ways Of Life, (Kessinger Publishing, 2007)
American Big Game in Its Haunts, (Dodo Press, 2007) ISBN 978-1406547412
Blackfoot Lodge Tales, (BiblioBazaar, 2006)
My Life As An Indian: The Story Of A Red Woman And A White Man In The Lodges Of The Blackfeet, (Kessinger Publishing, 2005) ISBN 978-1417955275
Two Great Scouts and Their Pawnee Battalion, (University of Nebraska Press, 1996)
Alaska 1899: Essays from the Harriman Expedition, (University of Washington Press, 1995)
American Duck Shooting (Classics of American Sport), (Stackpole Books, 1991)
The Whistling skeleton: American Indian tales of the supernatural, (Four Winds Press, 1982)
The Cheyenne Indians, Vol. 1: History and Society, (Bison Books, 1972)
The Cheyenne Indians, Vol. 2: War, Ceremonies, and Religion, (Bison Books, 1972) The passing of the Great West, (Winchester Press], 1972) ISBN 978-0876910658
By Cheyenne Campfires, (University of Nebraska Press, 1971)
The Last of the Buffalo (American Environmental Studies), (Ayer Co Pub, 1970) Pawnee Hero Stories and Folk-Tales, (University of Nebraska Press, 1961)
Hunting on Three Continents, by George Bird Grinnell, Kermit Roosevelt, W. Redmond Cross, and Prentiss N. Gray (editors). New York: The Derrydale Press (1933) -- The seventh book of the Boone and Crockett Club, this wide-ranging collection includes accounts of Expeditions toward the North Pole and to the south of the Equator, articles relating to wild animals, and other pieces that speak the perils of hunting game to the brink of extinction. Among the most noteworthy contributions are "The Vanished Game of Yesterday" by Madison Grant, "An Epic of the Polar Air Lanes" by Lincoln Ellsworth, "Aeluropus Melanoleucus" by Kermit Roosevelt, "Taps for the Great Selous" by Frederick R. Burnham, "Volcano Sheep" by G.D. Pope, "Three Days on the Stikine River" by Emory W. Clark, and "Giant Sable Antelope" by Charles P. Curtis.
The Boy Scout's Book of True Adventure, Fourteen Honorary Scouts, with Foreword by Theodore Roosevelt and Biographical Notes By James E. West. Published by G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York (1931) -- Essays include: "A Tobacco Trade" by George Bird Grinnell, "Scouting Against the Apache" by Frederick R. Burnham, "How I Learned to Fly" by Orville Wright, "Adventurous Hunting" by Kermit Roosevelt, "An Arctic Mirage" by Donald B. MacMillan, "The First Crossing of the Polar Sea" by Lincoln Ellsworth, "In the Arctic" by Lincoln Ellsworth, "The Black Ghosts of the Tana River" by James L. Clark, "My Flight Over the Atlantic" by Richard E. Byrd, "In the Jungles of Cochin-China" by Theodore Roosevelt, "Shipwreck" by Robert A. Bartlett, "Written in the Air" by Charles A. Lindbergh, "Tiger! Tiger!" by Merian C. Cooper, "Bandits" by Clifford H. Pope, and "Adventure" by Stewart Edward White. All 13 photo plates of the honorary Scouts are present; both Roosevelts in the same photo.