It’s March, and we here in the world of Arkansas archeology are deep into Archeology Month. It’s *also* Women’s History Month in the United States, and we’ve got a nice little confluence of these things for you today.
We know that one of the first archeologists to work and publish in southwest Arkansas archeology was Clarence B. Moore, who ascended the Red River in 1911 and published his results, in stunning detail, the following year (Moore 1912). Usually, histories of archeology here jump straight from Moore to the work of M.R. Harrington, who published his work almost a decade later (Harrington 1920).
In our ongoing research on Haley Place (3MI1), in Miller County, we happened upon a short article that was published between Moore and Harrington that we do not talk about much. In 1913, Harper’s Monthly Magazine published “The People of the Flints,” which stemmed from Moore’s fieldwork. It introduced Haley Place and the Foster and Gahagan sites to Harper’s readers, and being a nationally-circulated magazine, it is likely that this article reached more people than did from Moore’s books.
The author of “The People of the Flints” was H. Newell Wardle, from the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. Like many of the period, H. Newell Wardle used a first initial and then a middle name to mask their gender, as the “H” stood for “Harriet.” This was common practice in a time when most scientific fields were dominated by men, and women were not taken seriously as scholars.
So, H. Newell Wardle published one of the first pieces of archeological scholarship on the Caddo region. That’s neat. Also neat is that she was a product of another woman’s contribution to the history of science. Clara Jessup Moore, mother to Clarence B. Moore oversaw the Jessup Fund, a scholarship for young male scholars to work at the Academy and gain museum experience. Clara Moore augmented the fund in 1892 so that it would also fund female scholars. Harriet Newell Wardle was one of the Jessup Scholars. Her education founded her career, which included positions with several prominent Philadelphia museums.
There are certainly parts of the article that the following century’s worth of archeological research doesn’t support. That’s fine. The point is, we should recognize Wardle’s contributions to Arkansas archeology and also remember Clara Moore’s efforts.
1920 Certain Caddo Sites in Arkansas. Museum of the American Indian, New York.
Moore, Clarence B.
1912 Some Aboriginal Sites on Red River. P.C. Stockhauesen, Philadelphia.
Wardle, H. Newell
1913 The People of the Flints. Harper’s Monthly Magazine. January, pp. 291-301.