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Hunter (George W.) Papers

Identifier: H-Mss-0427

  • Staff Only

Scope and Contents

This collection contains questionnaires, correspondence, and reports regarding school health education curricula. Reports cover health education at the high school, junior college, and college level.


  • Creation: 1919-1939 and undated


Language of Materials

Languages represented in the collection: English.


Collection open for research.

Publication Rights

All requests for permission to reproduce or to publish must be submitted in writing to Special Collections.

Biographical / Historical

George W. Hunter (circa 1874 - 1948) was born in Mamaroneck, New York and earned his doctorate in from New York University. He was a biology teacher, professor, and textbook author. In the course of his career, Hunter wrote or co-wrote twenty biology textbooks.

Most notably, in 1914 Hunter published "A Civic Biology: Presented in Problems," the textbook that was the center of the notorious Scopes "Monkey" Trial. As part of an ACLU strategy, John Thomas Scopes was put on trial in 1925 for using the text in violation of Tennessee's Butler Act, which forbade the teaching of evolution in any state-funded school. In his book, Hunter expressed acceptance of evolution, but also of eugenics and scientific racism. The text was the state-approved biology text before the Butler act, but after the trial, apparently due to the criticism leveled at it during the proceedings, an updated version of "Civic Biology" was issued in 1927 with the five pages on evolution removed.

After teaching at Knox College and Carleton College, in 1926 Hunter joined Pomona College as a biology teacher, giving one class per semester. He also lectured at Claremont Graduate University, and lived in Claremont until his death in 1948.


Blackstock, Joe (5 October 2009). "Book at center of Scopes 'Monkey' Trial written by future Claremont professor.” Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. Archived from the original on 9 October 2009. (Accessed 20 February 2018).

Wikipedia contributors, "Civic Biology," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (accessed February 21, 2018).

Wikipedia contributors, "George William Hunter," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (accessed February 21, 2018).


1.75 Linear Feet (3 letter document boxes, 1 slim document box)


This collection contains materials from the papers of George W. Hunter, a biology professor and textbook author active in the early part of the twentieth century. Items include questionnaires, correspondence, and reports regarding school health education curricula. Hunter held many teaching positions, and is probably best known for writing "Civic Biology: Presented in Problems," the 1914 biology textbook which figured into the infamous Scopes "Monkey" trial of 1925 due to its inclusion of teachings on evolution. Later in life, Hunter taught classes at Pomona College and lectured at Claremont Graduate University.

Organization and Arrangement

This collection is arranged at the file level.

Physical Location

Please consult repository.


No additions to the collection are anticipated.

Processing Information

Original order maintained. Items were rehoused in archival folders and boxes. Metal fasteners were removed and replaced with plastic.

George W. Hunter Papers
Finding aid prepared by Sara Chetney, MA
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the 01 - Special Collections & Archives, The Claremont Colleges Library Repository

800 North Dartmouth Ave
Claremont CA 91711 United States