Edgar Lee Hewett and the Political Process

Foreword to the 2005 Electronic Version

Ray Thompson presents a detailed, fascinating view into the final stages of gestation of the legal foundation for public archeology and historic preservation in the United States. The Antiquities Act, passed and signed by President Theodore Roosevelt in June of 1906, began as a legislative initiative in 1900. About the same time, Edgar Lee Hewett began his involvement with political leaders and professional organizations to influence the preservation of archeological sites in the Southwest. Thompson shows how Hewett's familiarity with local concerns about federal land management in the Southwest, as well as his growing scholarly status and involvement in professional organizations, enabled him to serve as midwife in the final push to enact the Antiquities Act.

We are indebted to the author and the University of Arizona Press for permission to provide this electronic version of the article. It first appeared in a Special Issue on the Antiquities Act in the Summer, 2000 issue of the Journal of the Southwest 42(2):271–318.