Morton, Samuel George

Morton, Samuel George

(1799–1851) physician, naturalist; born in Philadelphia. Of Irish background, Quaker educated, he took a medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1820 and also studied medicine at Edinburgh. His research interests extended to geology, paleontology, and zoology, and he was one of the early advocates of open-air treatment for consumptives. He built a famous collection of human skulls to aid his research in comparative anthropology. Among his published works is Human Anatomy (1849). His theories on the diverse origins of races were attacked as subversive of Christian belief.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.