Major, United States Army
Matthews of Ireland.
Appointed from Iowa, Assistant Surgeon, U. S. Army, 16 November 1868
Major, Surgeon, U. S. Army, 10 July 1889
Retired 26 September 1895
Washington Matthews (1843-1905), U.S. Army
Major and Surgeon, was based in the Southwest for a number of years. Conversant
in Navajo, he was one of the earliest recorders of Navajo culture.
Washington Matthews (1843-1905) was an army surgeon who was stationed in Dakota Territory (1860s-70s), California (1875-1880), New Mexico (1880s and 1890s), and Washington, D. C. (late 1880s).
In Dakota Territory, Matthews started his self-training as an anthropologist by working with the Mandan and Hidatsa. Unfortunately, most of the unpublished material relating to this study was destroyed in a fire.
In California, Matthews carried out limited studies among the Modoc. In New Mexico, he undertook work for which he is perhaps best remembered among the Navaho.
In Washington, stationed at the U. S. Army
Medical Museum, he carried on physical anthropological work, especially
on the specimens from the Hemenway Expedition.
Posted: 2 November 2007
Photo By M. R. Patterson, October 2007