THE systematic exploration of the ancient remains of Wisconsin, of which the present memoir by Mr. Lapham is the result, was undertaken and accomplished by him on behalf of the American Antiquarian Society, from whose funds the necessary expenses were provided. Beyond these expenses Mr. Lapham desired and received no other compensation than the scientific enjoyment which the prosecution of the work itself afforded him.
It happened that, while these explorations were in progress, contributions from other persons relating to the earthworks of the same region were proffered to the Smithsonian Institution, whose publications in that department of American research already embraced the known antiquities of most other sections of the United States. On that account it seemed desirable that the two institutions should co-operate, and that the materials collected should be presented to the world through the same channel, and in the same style of illustration.
The suggestion was therefore made by the Smithsonian Institution to the Antiquarian Society, that, when Mr. Laphams notes and drawings had been revised and sanctioned by the latter, the care and cost of printing the report should be assumed by the Institution. The proposition was readily acceded to, as better subserving the interests of science, since it would enable the Society to employ its funds in other researches.
In conformity with this understanding, the memoir, after having been carefully examined by a Committee of the Antiquarian Society, was submitted to the Smithsonian Institution, and accepted for publication.
Owing to the great expense attendant upon the issue of a work containing so many illustrations, the publication has been somewhat delayed. This has, however, allowed a number of important additions and corrections to be made giving to the work still greater value as an accurate and faithful record of the interesting earthworks of Wisconsin, which are so soon to be obliterated by the march of improvement.
Smithsonian Institution, June 1, 1855.
|Lapham, Increase Allen, 1811-1875. The antiquities of Wisconsin. Washington : Smithsonian Institution, 1855. p. iii.