Just now there is a tidal stream of commercial life which sweeps itself into all the energy and talent of the United States—only here and there is it resisted by men of peculiar temperament and peculiar genius. The state of mind thus induced is so incompatible with that of scientific thought that, when men by success, or through exhaustion, leave commercial enterprise, they are incapable even of conceiving what science is and mistake it—when they try to understand it—for something that will lead to preserved beef, or patent washing fluids.
Theodore Lyman to Alexander Aggasiz, May 4, 1873. Alexander Aggasiz Papers. Quoted in Curtis M. Hinsley, “From Shell-Heaps to Stelae: Early Anthropology at the Peabody Museum,” in Objects and Others: Essays on Museums and Material Culture, ed. George W. Stocking (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1988), pg. 57.