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In 1922 the tooth shown here was found in Pliocine deposits in western Nebraska. Dr. Henry Fairfeild Osborn of Columbia University, head of the American Museum of Natural History, determined that this tooth had characteristics of chimpanzee, Pithecanthropus (Java man), and man. From this he concluded that this was a missing link. In England Sir Grafton Elliot Smith, F.R.S., Professor of Anatomy of Manchester, fully supported Osborn (Bowden 1977, 46).
At the time a politician from Nebraska, William Jennings Bryan, was campaigning in the courts against man being descended from the apes. Osborn stated;
...the Earth spoke to Byran from his own state of Nebraska. The Hesperopithecus tooth is like the still, small voice. Its sound is by no means easy to hear... This little tooth speaks volumes of truth, in that it affords evidence of man's descent from apes. (Bowden 1977, 46)