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Charles Conrad Abbott


Charles Conrad Abbott

For other people named Charles Abbott, see Charles Abbott (disambiguation).

Charles Conrad Abbott (June 4, 1843 – July 27, 1919) was an American archaeologist and naturalist.


He was born at Trenton, New Jersey, and studied medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.[1] During the American Civil War, he served as a surgeon in the Union Army. He received his M.D. degree from UPenn in 1865.

In 1876, he announced the discovery, later confirmed by other archaeologists, of traces of human presence in the Delaware River Valley dating from the first or “Kansan” ice age, and inferentially from the pre-glacial period when humans are believed to have entered upon the North American continent. From 1876 to 1889, he was assistant curator of the Peabody Museum in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to which he presented a collection of 20,000 archaeological specimens; he freely gave also to other archaeological collections.

He was a corresponding member of the Boston Society of Natural History, a member of the American Philosophical Society of Philadelphia, and a fellow of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of the North in Copenhagen. In 1919 he died at the age of 76 years in Bristol, Pennsylvania, where he had moved after the burning of his New Jersey home a few years before.


His book Primitive Industry: Illustrations of the Hand-work in Stone, Bone, and Clay of the Native Races of the Northern Atlantic Seaboard of America (Salem, 1881) detailed the evidences of the presence of pre-glacial man in the Delaware Valley, and is a valuable contribution to American archaeology. He was well known as a frequent contributor to the American Naturalist, Science, Nature, Science News, and Popular Science Monthly. He also published many books on outdoor observation, such as A Naturalist's Rambles about Home (1884).


  • The Stone Age in New Jersey (1875)
  • Upland and Meadow (1886)
  • Waste Land Wanderings (1887)
  • Outings at Odd Times (1890)
  • Recent Archaeological Explorations in the Valley of the Delaware (1892)
  • The Birds About Us (1894)
  • Travels in a Tree-Top (1894)
  • Clear Skies and Cloudy (1899)
  • In Nature's Realm (1900)
  • Rambles of an Idler (1906)
  • Archæologia Nova Cæsarea (1907–09)
  • Ten Years' Diggings in Lenape Land (1901–11)

See also



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