Thomas, Cyrus,1825–1910, American anthropologist and entomologist, b. Kingsport, Tenn. He was a lawyer, then a minister (1865–69) of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. He was associated with the U.S. Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories from 1869 to 1873. As state entomologist of Illinois (1874–76) and a member of the U.S. Entomological Commission (1876–77), he helped bring under control the insect plague that was retarding the agriculture of the border states. In 1882 he left natural science for social science, becoming archaeologist to the newly established U.S. Bureau of Ethnology, where he served until his death. Besides numerous articles on entomology and archaeology, he wrote Introduction to the Study of North American Archaeology (1898) and The Indians of North America in Historic Times (1903).
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Thomas, Cyrus(1825–1910) entomologist, ethnologist; born in Kingsport, Tenn. He was a lawyer and minister turned scientist. As state entomologist he wrote a report on Illinois insects (1877–82). Appointed archaeology chief of the Bureau of American Ethnology (1882), he directed a major survey of Indian mounds and pioneered Maya studies.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.