Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe (17931864), a United States explorer and ethnologist. He was noted for his studies of American Indians. During a 19-year period, he was a federal Indian agent and a superintendent of Indian Affairs. He had jurisdiction over tribes, mainly Algonquian, along the southern shore of Lake Superior and in the Sault Ste. Marie-Mackinac area of Michigan. He published several works describing Indian culture.Henry Schoolcraft found the source of the Mississippi River in Minnesota.
Schoolcraft was born in Albany County, New York, and attended Union and Middle-bury colleges. He began geological explorations in Missouri and Arkansas, 181718, and was with the Lewis Cass expedition to the Lake Superior region in 1820. He began his ethnological studies after his appointment to the Indian Affairs post in 1822. While on an expedition in northern Minnesota about 1832, he discovered Lake Itasca, which he identified as the source of the Mississippi River. Schoolcraft negotiated several land treaties with the Chippewa Indians.
Schoolcraft's major study on Indian culture was Historical and Statistical Information Respecting the History, Condition, and Prospects of the Indian Tribes of the United States, published in six volumes between 1851 and 1857. Other works include Algic Researches (1839), concerning Indian mental characteristics, and Oneota (184445), an Indian history.