Ancient America in Notes on American Archaeology
John Denison Baldwin (1809-1883) was an American politician, Congregationalist minister, newspaper editor, and popular anthropological writer. ... Show synopsis John Denison Baldwin (1809-1883) was an American politician, Congregationalist minister, newspaper editor, and popular anthropological writer. Baldwin briefly studied law, but graduated with a degree in theology from Yale Divinity School in 1834. He was a member of the Connecticut State House of Representatives and later a member of the U. S. House of Representatives from Massachusetts. Baldwin was active in the Free Soil and anti-slavery movements. He edited anti-slavery journals the Republican and the Commonwealth and from 1859 became the owner and editor of the Worcester Spy. In 1865 he was elected a corporate member of the American Oriental Society. Baldwin's anthropological writing posited the origins of human civilization as arising among an Arabian or Northeast African people, the Cushites, in pre-historic times. In Ancient America: In Notes on American Archaeology (1871) he also speculated on the origins of the "Mound Builder" people then believed to have constructed the famous mounds around the Mississippi and Ohio River valleys, suggesting that they had been an aboriginal people who had migrated northwards from Central America or Mexico.