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Erminnie A. Smith, née Erminnie Adele Platt (1836–1886) was a geologist and an anthropologist at the Smithsonian Institution's Bureau of American Ethnology.[1] She has been called the "first woman field enthnographer"[2] and she was elected the first female member of the New York Academy of Sciences on November 5, 1877.[3]

Erminnie A. Smith
NationalityUnited States
Alma materTroy Seminary
Known forFounder of the Aesthetic Society of Jersey City
Spouse(s)Simeon H. Smith
Scientific career

Erminnie Smith published works on the Iroquois people, she was active in collecting their legends and employed John Napoleon Brinton Hewitt to assist in this work.[4]



Erminnie Adele Platt was born in 1836, graduating in 1853 from the Troy Seminary in Troy, New York. She married Simeon H. Smith. The Aesthetic Society of Jersey City was founded by her in 1876.[5]

She died in May 1886.[6]


  • Myths of the Iroquois, 1883.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Clark A Elliott (1979). Biographical Dictionary of American Science: The Seventeenth Through the Nineteenth Centuries. Westport and London.: Greenwood Press. p. 238. ISBN 978-0-313-20419-7.
  2. ^ Kirstin Olsen (1994). Chronology of Women's History. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 153. ISBN 978-0-313-28803-6.
  3. ^ Fairchild, Herman Le Roy (1887). A History of the New York Academy of Sciences, Formerly the Lyceum of Natural History. New York Academy of Sciences. p. 133. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
  4. ^ Johansen, Bruce Elliott; Mann, Barbara Alice (2000). "John Napoleon Brinton Hewitt". Encyclopedia of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois Confederacy). Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 159. ISBN 978-0-313-30880-2. Retrieved 11 January 2011.
  5. ^ Karnoutsos, Carmela (2007). "Erminnie Adelle Platt Smith, 1836-1886 Founder of the Aesthetic Society of Jersey City". New Jersey City University. Retrieved 11 January 2011.
  6. ^ Tooker, Elisabeth; Graymont, Barbara (2007). "J. N. B. Hewitt". In Regna Darnell; Frederic Wright Gleach (ed.). Histories of Anthropology Annual. U of Nebraska Press. pp. 74–6. ISBN 0-8032-6664-2.