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John Van Ness Yates
History of New York...

NYC: A. T. Goodrich, 1824-26

  • Vol. I Title

  • Text excerpt (pp. 09-102)
  • Notes (pp. 326ff)

  • Transcriber's Comments

  • Sketches of Ancient History  (1827)  |  M. M. Noah and the NY Masons  |  Palenque ruins

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    H I S T O R Y

    OF THE



    Aboriginal and Colonial Annals.






    VOL. I . . . PART 1.



    [ 9 ]

    H I S T O R Y



    P A R T  I.

    § I.

    AMERICA became distinguished as the New World, at that auspicious period in the annals of modern Europe, which succeeded the knowledge of paper, printing, and the compass. The dark ages had vanished. Ere the dawn of this event in those countries which now hold in Europe the balance of power, and maintain the dominion of letters; literature and science had displayed, in those vast regions which submitted to the yoke of Islamism, a brilliant light, from the ninth to the fiurteenth century. The diversified character of this splendid era, and its remote influence upon the revival of European learning and the discovery of America, do not fall within the scope of our design, or we might show, that under the auspices of Haroun al Raschid, celebrated for his protection of letters, and of Al Mamoun, * the true father of Arabic literature, who esteemed the literary relics of his conquered countries, as the most precious tribute that could be brought to the foot of his throne, and whose court appeared more like a learned academy, than the center of government, Bagdad became the capital of letters, as well as of the caliphs, and the sciences pervaded the very extremities of their wide-spread empire. We might

    * As to Arabian literature, see Historical View of Literature of the South of Europe, by J. C. L. Sismondi de Sismondi, translated by Thomas Roscoe, Esq., Lond. 1823 and 4. Vol. 1, ch. 2.

    10                                First Discoverers.                                [Part I.

    show, that paper, originally from China, the want of which kept Europe in ignorance, from the seventh to the tenth century, was manufactured in Arabia, in the beginning of the eighth; that the compass, the invention of which has been given to the Italians and the French (1) in the thirteenth or the beginning of the fourteenth century, was known to the Arabians in the eleventh. (2)

    Spain, a provincial part of the Arabian dominion, was especially the seat of Arabian learning. Cordova, Grenada, Seville, and all the cities of the Peninsula, rivalled each other in the magnificence of their schools, academies, colleges, and libraries. The town of Stativa (now San Philippo) was renowned from the twelfth century, for its beautiful manufactures of paper. In the fourteenth, the invention passed to Trevisa and Padua. The knowledge of the compass was also early introduced into Spain. Indeed, the geographer of Nubia, who wrote in the twelfth century, speaks of it as an instrument universally employed. (3)

    Although the sun of science rose in the East, and first illumined Spain through the cloud that enshadowed Europe; although that power, preceeded by Portgual, took the lead in the discoveries of the fifteenth century; yet for Italy, whose cities had been pre-eminent in maratime enterprise, from the period of the crusades, (4) was reserved the glorious distinction of appearing most efficient in the revival of that peculiar learning, and the birth of that personal enterprise, which were to meliorate the condition of surrounding kingdoms, and became the pioneer to an unexampled exploration into this continent.

    In the beginning of the fourteenth ventury, Dante, by an effort of his mighty genius, erected the first monument to the revival of European literature. Petratch * followed, and their writings imparted to their age the first impulse to the

    (1), (2), (3), &c. refer to Notes at the end of the volume.

    * As to Italian literature, see Roscoe's Sismondi, vol. II. Dobson's Life of Petrarch.

    § 1.]                                 First Discoverers.                                 11.

    resuscitation of the classics. In the middle of the succeeding century, the rule of the Eastern empire by the Turks * caused the expulsion from its capital of Greeks, eminent for learning and accomplishments. Italy, their asylum, now became the seat of science, as well as of the Muses. Emancipated from the terrors of reckless power; possessing, in the newly discovered art of printing, † an unexampled facility for the dissemination of knowledge; receiving a patronage in the munificence of the Medici, ‡ unsurpassed for liberality, except during the golden era of Arabic literature; the votaries of science now presented Italy, in the sublime light of a country where the genius of the world had revisited the tombs of her favorite children, to impart to mankind, by the inspiration of her pilgrimage, the benefits of their long-forgotten labours. Europe consequently beheld a new race of men, vigorous in philosophy; enthusiastic in the cultivation of the fine arts; comprehensive in national policy; inventive, daring, and excursive in enterprise. But her most splendid and powerful kingdoms were compelled to seek in Italy that adventurous genius, which could direct their energies into those unexplored paths, which led to national opulence and grandeur. Italy, therefore, enjoyed the proud satisfaction of ranking among her sons, and of surrendering to the service of Spain, Christopher Colon (or Columbus) and Vespucci Amerigo; to England, the Cabots; and to France Verrazano. Christopher Columbus was a Genoese; Vespucius Americus and John de Verrazano were Florentines; and John and Sabastian Cabota, Venetians.

    The discoveries of these celebrated men were made within a period of thirty-two years. The first voyage of Columbus was in 1492; Americus and the Cabots, in 1497; and Verrazano, in 1524. In 1502, the discovery also of Florida by a Spaniard, became the foundation of the claim of Spain to Virginia;

    * See Hume's England, vol. III. p. 423.

    † In 1440.

    ‡ See Roscoe's Lorenzo de Medici.


    12.            Origin of the Aborigines and ancient Ruins.            [Part 1.

    though the prior bull of Pope Alexander VII. (in 1493) dividing the new world between Portugal and Spain, formed the basis of the claims of the latter to North America. Resulting from these discoveries, particularly from those of the southern portion of this Continent by Columbus, and almost simultaneously of the northern by the Cabots, four questions have been agitated by the learned world, with more or less warmth, extravagance, and pertinacity, as national interest, national vanity, or literary pride predominated:

    First, By what means was America originally peopled?

    Secondly, Was America known to Europe before Columbus?

    Thirdly, Who first explored the North American coasts, and discovered those and the harbours of New-York?

    Fourthly, What principle of international law should interchangeably govern the powers of Europe in their partition of this continent, and regulate them in in respect to the rights of its original proprietors or native occupants?

    Conclusive answers to the first three are desiderata. The last was settled partially from necessity, by the majority of the partitioning powers. Adopting these questions, more for the purpose of a general division of the present part of the history, than of minute discussion, we shall, in the course of their examination, embrace topics not strictly applicable to the general inquiry. The second and third questions will in some measure fall within the first. The first and second will be examined principally to illustrate the inquiry, whence originated the artificial remains of antiquity and the aborigines of this State. The third and fourth will embrace a retrospection of these early voyages to the harbours and coasts of this State, the policy that prompted them, and the principles of European policy which evolved a disputed claim to the first discovery of this State, a conflicting title to its territory, and local colonial disputes respecting its boundary and jurisdictional limits.


    § 2.]             Various Hypotheses. -- Antiquities of New-York.             13.

    § 2.

    FIRST. By what means was America originally populated?

    The controversy from the discussion of this question, which for nearly three centuries has elicited the talents of writers in almost every tongue and nation, is too diffuse to admit, in its present application more than a condensed sketch of the various hypotheses of the learned. The question involves a problem, the solution of which (if solvable) must become the result of a more profound philosophy than has yet been displayed upon it. And still, analysis might be tasked for a Linaean classification of the multifarious theories which have confounded the subject. Some authors have deduced the ancestors of the Americans from Europe, and fancied that they had discovered them among the Grecians, the Romans, the Spaniards, the Irish. the Welsh, the Courlanders, or the Russians. Others have traced them to Asia, alternately to the lsraelites, Canaanites, Assyrians, Phoenicians, Persians, Tartars, East Indians, Chinese, Japanese; each of which nations has had its advocates among philosophers and historians. A third species of writers look to Africa as the original cradle of the American race, and make them the descendants of the Egyptians, Carthaginians, or Numidians; while a fourth believe the Americans to have been descendants of all the nations in the world. (5)

    Before we enter into any investigation of these theories, a delineation of the antiquities of this state, and sketches of the traditions of its aboriginal people, might become an interesting preliminary in the development of the main question. With regard to the former, we shall confine ourselves to that class of our antiquities which comprise the monumental remains of a people who once were, but are not.

    In Pompey, Onondaga county, are vestiges of a town, the area of which includes more than five hundred acres. It was protected by three circular or elliptical forts. eight miles distant

    14.            Origin of the Aborigines and ancient Ruins.            [Part 1.

    from each other. They formed a triangle that enclosed the town. From certain indications, this town seems to have been stormed and taken on the line of the north side. * In Camillus, in the same county, are the remains of two forts, one covering about three acres, on a very high hill. It had one eastern gate, and a communication at the west, towards a spring about ten rods from the fort. Its shape was elliptical. The ditch was deep, and the eastern wall ten feet high. The other fort is almost half a mile distant, on lower ground, constructed like the other, and about half as large. Shells of testaceous animals, numerous fragments of pottery, pieces of brick, and other signs of an ancient settlement, were found by the first European settlers. †

    The remnant of the ancient Indian defence on the east bank of Seneca river, six miles south of Cross and Salt lakes, and forty miles south of the fort of Oswego, was discovered as early as 1791, and described in the New-York Magazine of 1792, together with a delineation of ill-shapen figures, supposed to have been hieroglyphical, and engraved as with a chisel, on a flat stone, five feet in length, three and a half feet in breadth, and six inches thick; evidently a sepulchral monument. The principal fortification was described to be two hundred and twenty yards in length, and fifty-five yards in breadth. The bank and corresponding ditch were remarkably entire; as were two apertures, opposite each other in the middle of the parallelogram, one opening to the water, and the other facing the forest. About half a mile south of the greater work, was a large half-moon, supposed to have been an outwork, but attended with this singularity, that the extremities of the crescent were from the larger fort. The bank, and ditch, both of this and the first fortress, were covered with trees that exhibited extremity of age.

    * See Memoir on the Antiquities of the western parts of New-York. By De Witt Clinton, President of the Literary and Philosophical Society of New-York. 1817.
    † See Memoir. &c. ib.

    § 2.]                           Antiquities of New-York.                           15.

    The flat stone before mentioned was found over a small elevation in the great fort. Upon removing it, one of the visiting party dug up with his cane a piece of earthen vessel, which, from the convexity of the fragment, he supposed might contain two gallons: it was well burned, of a red colour, and had its upper edge indented, as with the finger, in its impressionable state.

    These remains were considered as unequaled, perhaps even by the celebrated vestiges at Muskingum. *

    Eastward these fortifications have been traced eighteen miles east of Manlius Square, and in Oxford, Chenango county, on the east bank of Chenango, are the remains of another fort, remarkable for its great antiquity; northward, as far as Sandy Creek, about fourteen miles from Sacket's Harbour, near which one covers fifty acres, and contains numerous fragments of pottery. Westward, they are discovered in great number. There is a large one in the town of Onondaga, one in Scipio, two near Auburn, three near Canandaigua, and several between Seneca and Cayaga lakes.

    In Ridgeway, Genesee county, several ancient fortifications and burial places have been discovered. †

    The late Reverend Samuel Kirkland, ‡ during his missionary tour in 1788 to the Senecas' country, visited and described several of these remains west of the Genesee river. The first, from his description, be found about two miles west of Allen's residence, which was on an extensive flat, at a deserted Indian village near the junction of a creek (probably Allen's creek) with the Genesee, eight miles north of the old Indian village of Kanawageas, and five north of the magic spring, so denominated

    * New-York Magazine. or Literary Repository, vol. IV. p. 23. See a view of those of Muskingum in ib. vol. II. p. 555.
    † See Memoir, &c. by De Witt Clinton.
    ‡ Whose manuscripts are loaned to us through the favour of his son, President Kirkland, of Harvard University. They comprise much historical incident in relation to the Six Nations: the late Rev. Mr. Kirkland having for more than thirty years performed missionary tours to the Oneidas and others of the Iroquois Confederacy, in behalf of the Society of Scotland, and Corporation of Harvard University.


    16.            Origin of the Aborigines and ancient Ruins.            [Part 1.

    by the Indians. * That ancient Indian fort enclosed about six acres, and had six gates. The ditch appeared to be eight feet wide, and in some places six feet deep, and drawn in a circular form on three sides. The fourth side was defended by nature with a high bank, at the foot of which is a fine stream of water. The bank had probably been secured by a stockade, as there appeared to have been a deep covered way in the middle of it down to the water. Some of the trees on the bank and in the ditch appeared to Mr. Kirkland to have been of the age of two hundred years. About half a mile south of this, and upon a greater eminence, he traced the ruins of another old fortified town, of less dimensions than the other, but with a deeper ditch, and in a situation more lofty and defensible. Having examined these fortifications, Mr. Kirkland returned to Kanawageas, and thence renewed his tour westward until he encamped for the night at a place called Joaika, (i. e. Racoon,) on the river Tanawande, about twenty-six miles from Kanawageas. Six miles from this place of encampment, he rode to the open fields, and arrived at a place called by the Senecas, Tegataineaaghwe, which imports a double-fortified town, or a town with a fort at each end. Here he walked about half a mile with one of the Seneca chiefs, to view one of the vestiges of this double-fortified town. They were the remains of two forts. The first which he visited, as above, contained about four acres of ground. The other to which he proceeded, distant from this about two miles, and situated at the other extremity of the ancient town, enclosed twice that quantity of ground. The ditch around the former, which he particularly examined, was about five or six feet deep. A small stream of water, and a high banks, circumscribed

    * Its water is said to petrify almost every thing that obstructed its current. A pagan tradition prevailed, of an evil spirit having resided here in former times, bellowing with a horrid noise, and ejecting balls of liquid fire. The spring emptied into the Genesee, and its fountain was about three miles north of Kanawageas. Rev. Mr. K.'s MS. As to Allen's residence, see Seaver's Narrative of the Life of a Female Captive, &c. printed at Canandaigua, 1824, by J. D. Bemis & Co. ch 8. Allen's creek, formerly "Gin-is-a-ga."

    § 2.]                           Antiquities of New-York.                           17.

    nearly one-third of the enclosed ground. There were the traces of six gates or avenues round the ditch, and near the centre a way was dug to the water. The ground on the opposite side of the water was in some places nearly as high as that on which the fort was built, which might render this covered way to the water necessary. A considerable number of large thrifty oaks had grown up within the enclosed ground, both in and upon the ditch; some of them appeared to be at least two hundred years old, or more. The ground is of a hard gravelly kind, intermixed with loam, and more plentifully at the brow of the hill. In some places at the bottom of the ditch, Mr. Kirkland ran his cane a foot or more into the ground, from which circumstance he concluded that the ditch was much deeper in its original state than it then appeared to him. Near the northern fortification, which was situated on high ground, he found the remains of a funeral pile, where the slain were buried in a great battle, which will be spoken of hereafter. The earth was raised about six feet above the common surface, and betwixt twenty and thirty feet diameter. The bones appeared on the whole surface of the raised earth, and stuck out in many places on the sides. Pursuing his course towards Buffalo creek, (his ultimate destination,) Mr. Kirkland discovered the vestiges of another ancient fortified town. He does not in his manuscript delineate them; but from the course he described, they might be easily ascertained. "Upon these heights, near the ancient fortified town, the roads part; we left the path leading to Niagara on our right, and went a course nearly south-west for Buffalo creek. After leaving these heights, which afforded an extensive prospect, we travelled over a fine tract of land for about six or seven miles; then came to a barren while oak shrub plain, and one very remarkable spot of near two hundred acres, and passed a steep hill on our right in some places near fifty feet perpendicular, at the bottom of which is a small lake, affording another instance of pagan superstition. The old Indians affirm, that formerly a demon in the form of a dragon resided in this lake, and had frequently been seen to disgorge balls of liquid fire: and that to appease


    18.            Origin of the Aborigines and ancient Ruins.            [Part 1.

    his wrath, many a sacrifice of tobacco had been made at that lake by the fathers. The barren spot above mentioned is covered with small white stone, that appears like lime and clay; in some spots, for a considerable distance, there is no appearance of earth. Notwithstanding its extreme poverty, there are many trees of moderate size. At the extremity of this barren plain, we came again to the Tanawande river, and forded it about two miles above the Indian town called by that name. This village contains fourteen houses, or huts. Their chief is called Gashagaate, nicknamed the Black Chief. On the south side of the Tanawande creek, at a small distance, are to be seen the vestiges of another ancient fortified town." Mr. Kirkland further remarks, that there are vestiges of ancient fortified towns in various parts throughout the extensive territory of the Six Nations, and by Indian report in various other parts; particularly one on a branch of the Delaware river, which from the size and age of some of the trees that have grown upon the banks and in the ditches, appears to have existed nearly one thousand years. *

    On the south side of Lake Erie, are a series of old fortifications, from Cattaragus creek to the Pennsylvania line, a distance of fifty miles. Some are from two to four miles apart, others half a mile only. Some contain five acres. The walls or breastworks are of earth, and are generally on ground where there are appearances of creeks having once flowed into the lake, or where there was a bay. Hence it is inferred that these works were on the former margin of Lake Erie, whence it has retreated from two to five miles northward. Further south, there is said to be another chain parallel with the first, about equidistant from the lake. Here the country exhibits two table grounds, formed by the recession of the lake. The one nearest the lake is lower, and is secondary. The primary alluvial ground was formed by the first retreat of the water, and then it is supposed the most southern line of fortifications was erected. In process of time, the lake receded further to the north, leaving the other section of table land, on which the

    * Mr. Kirkland's MS.

    § 2.]                           Antiquities of New-York.                           19.

    other tier of works was made. The soil on each is different, the inferior being adapted for grass, the superior for grain; and the timber varies in a correspondent manner. On the south of Lake Ontario, are two alluvial formations, of which the most recent is north of the ridge road. No forts have been discovered on it, although many have been observed south of the mountain ridge. The non-existence of forts on the secondary or primary alluvial formations of Lake Ontario, is a strong circumstance, from which the remote antiquity of those on the highlands to the south may be deduced; because, if they had been erected after the first or last retreat of the lake, they would undoubtedly have been made on them as most convenient, and best adapted for all military, civil, and domestic purposes. *

    These remains of art may be viewed as connecting links of a great chain, which extends beyond the confines of our state, and becomes more magnificent and curious as we recede from the northern lakes, pass through Ohio into the great vale of the Mississippi, thence to the Gulf of Mexico, through Texas into New Mexico and South America. In this vast range of more than three thousand miles, these monuments of ancient skill gradually become more remarkable for their number, magnitude, and interesting variety, until we are lost in admiration and astonishment, to find, as Baron Humboldt informs us, † in a world which we call new, ancient institutions, religious ideas, and forms of edifices, similar to those of Asia, which there seem to go back to the dawn of civilization.

    Over the great secondary region of the Ohio, are the ruins of what once were forts, cemeteries, temples, altars, camps, towns, villages, race-grounds and other places of amusement, habitations of chieftains, videttes, watch-towers, and monuments.

    * See Memoir, &c. by De Witt Clinton.

    † Des. of the Monuments in Amer. in Intro. See Abbe Clavigero's Hist. of Mexico; also, Description of the ruins of an ancient City in South America and a critical research into the Hist. of Amer. -- by Doct. Cabrera. Lond. 1822.

    20.            Origin of the Aborigines and ancient Ruins.            [Part 1.

    It is, says Mr. Atwater, * nothing but one vast cemetery of the beings of the beings of past ages. Man and his works, the mammoth, tropical animals, the cassia tree and other tropical plants, are here reposing together in the same formation. By what catastrophe they were overwhelmed and buried in the same strata, it would be impossible to say, unless it was by that of the general deluge.

    In the valley of the Mississippi, the monuments of buried nations are unsurpassed in magnitude and melancholy grandeur by any in North America. Here cities have been traced. similar to those of ancient Mexico, once containing hundreds of thousands of souls. Here are to be seen thousands of tumuli, some a hundred feet high, others many hundred feet in circumference, the places of their sepulchre, their worship, and perhaps of their defence. † Similar mounds arc scattered throughout the continent, from the shores of the Pacific into the interior of our state, as far as Black river, and from the lakes to South America. ‡

    There is one class of antiquities which present themselves on digging from thirty to fifty feet below the surface of the ground. (7) They occur in the form of firebrands split wood, ashes, coals, and occasionally tools and utensils, buried to these depths by the alluvion. They have been observed (as

    * See Atwater's Antiquities of the West in vol. 1. Archaeologia Americana, p. 121. and Pref. p. 5.

    † The dying Scythian when asked by his victorious pursuer, where he would pitch battle? replied, upon the burial places of his ancestors. These were the common ancestors also of the authors of the above works, according to one of the hypotheses hereafter mentioned.

    ‡ For particular accounts of these antiquities. see vol. I. Archae. Amer. or Transactions of the Amer. Antiquarian Soc. Worcester. l820. Humboldt's Monuments, Clavigero's Mexico, &c. Bullock's Mexico, Lond. 1824. p. 296. 326. Mexican Pyramids. See 7 v. N. Am. Rev. (new series) 14. Brackenridge's Views of Louisiana. Drake's Picture of Cincinnati. Jefferson's Notes on Virg. Bishop Madison, in vol. Vl. Transac. of Amer Philo. Soc. Dr. M'Culloh's Researches on Amer. Balt. 1817. Henry's Travels. Description of the Ruins of an ancient City in South America Mounds in Indiana, vol. VI. North Am. Rev. l37.

    § 2.]                           Antiquities of New-York.                           21.

    Dr. Mitchell says he was informed) in Rhode Island, New Jersey, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, and elsewhere. When facts of this description, so curious for the inquisitive geologist and historian, shall have been collected and methodized, light may possibly be shed upon the remote Pelasgians, and upon the traditionary Atlantides. (8)

    Philosophers and antiquaries concur in opinion, that these remains of art evince the remote existence of nations far more civilized than the indigenes of the present race; than, at least, of any known tribes of North America.

    The antiquities of this state are, in the opinion of Mr. Clinton, (9) demonstrative evidence of the existence of a vast population settled in towns, defended by forts, cultivating agriculture, and more advanced in civilization than the nations which have inhabited the same countries since the European discovery.

    It is in reference to the stupendous and curious works of art, and not to mere mounds, that this coincidence in opinion appears. Mounds may indicate a race different indeed from the present, without evidencing any extraordinary advancement in improvement. Serving as sepulchres and altars, whereupon the officiating priests could be seen by the surrounding worshippers, they might be traced from Wales, across the Russian empire, to our continent, and from the shores of the Pacific to the eastern end of lake Ontario. (10) They present, says Dr. Clarke after describing those of Russia, * "the simplest and sublimest monuments which any generation could raise over the bodies of their progenitors, calculated for almost endless duration, and speaking a language more impressive than the most studied epitaph upon Parian marble. When beheld in a distant evening's horizon, skirted by the rays of the setting sun, and touching, as it were, the clouds which hang over them, imagination pictures the spirits of heroes of remoter periods descending to irradiate the warrior's grave. These are the sepulchres of the ancient world, common to almost

    * Clarke's Travels in Russia, Tartary, and Turkey.

    22.            Origin of the Aborigines and ancient Ruins.            [Part 1.

    every habitable country. If there exists any thing of former times, which may afford monuments of antedeluvian manners, it is this mode of burial. They seem to mark the progress of population in the first ages after the dispersion, rising wherever the posterity of Noah came. Whether under the form of a mound in Scandinavia and Russia, a barrow in England, a cairn in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, or those heaps which the modern Greeks and Turks call tepe, or in the more artificial shape of a pyramid in Egypt, they had universally the same origin."

    § 3.

    The inquiries now arise: -- Who erected these works? Whence originated these wonderful people? Were they the primitive ancestors of the indigenes of our state? What is the story of their first migration and settlements; their progress from rudeness to comparative refinement; their retrogression into barbarism? What terrible disasters precipitated their ruin, exterminated their national existence, and blotted out their name, perhaps for ever? In reply -- while there are a few remnants of tradition to guide inquiry, and volumes of conjecturers to bewilder, not one authentic record remains of even the name of any of these populous and powerful nations.

    In the revolutions of other people, in the downfall of other empires, relics are found, spots visited, architectural ruins traced, which history, or poetry, or mythological fable has identified with the fame and fate of the nation, or of some hero, statesman, philosopher, poet, orator, or artist, who was its ornament, and who reflected glory upon the age in which he flourished.

    The classic remains of Greece and Italy, the venerable relics of Carthagenian and Egyptian antiquity, the spot where Ilium towered, and the ground over which were strewed the remains of Asia Minor, are associated with the reminiscences painfully pleasing, but memorably instructive and impressive.

    § 3.]                      Authors of the Antiquities -- Traditions.                      23.

    "The places where Demosthenes and Cicero spoke, where Homer and Virgil sang, and where Plato and Aristotle taught," are now indeed the momentos only of the perishable nature of human glory. But even these are beheld with a melancholy satisfaction, because they are identified as the hallowed spots which genius and science had thus consecrated. "A market for cattle is erected on the site of the ancient Roman forum; the semi-barbarous girls of Albania, instead of the Muses and Graces,, surround the once sacred fountain of Castalia; and banditti prowl among the laurel groves and deified heights of Parnassus." * History and the Muse associate, however, with these degrading truths the most delightful recollections. The pain of the contrast becomes relieved by an effort of the imagination; and sympathy subdues the feelings to an intense but salutary train of reflections.

    But who can trace amid the ruins of the temples, and groves, and fortifications, and once flourishing seats of the aborigines, the rise, progress, and decline of a single nation, tribe, or once celebrated individual, as distinguishable from the common mass of millions, who have been swallowed into the abyss of successive ages? Where are their sages, their heroes, their politicians, their orators, their poets, their artists, their historians? All, all are covered by a pall, and invested with a sleep, more impenetrable and profound than the total darkness and deep slumber of the middle ages!

    Whatever has survived in the shape of tradition, deserves to be recorded.

    If, in the course of our history it will appear, that throughout the eventful revolutions of this state, during the Dutch, English, and independent administrations of its affairs, principles of justice pervaded the treaties that extinguished the title of the former native proprietors to the soil we occupy, still we owe to their memory a debt of gratitude, and to their few and degraded descendants an act of justice, which should

    * See Dis. before the N. Y. Alpha of the Phi Beta Kappa, by De Witt Clinton, L.L.D., [and the authorities] there cited.

    24.            Origin of the Aborigines and ancient Ruins.            [Part 1.

    prompt as to krrp alive the traditions and just celebrity of the former, before our own intercourse introduced the causes that have led us to feel too much contempt for the latter.

    A concise history, therefore, of the celebrated Iroquois confederacy, and of the Lenni Lenape (or Delawares,) so far as they owned, flourished, or declined, within the ancient territorial boundaries of the state, will hereafter embrace an interesting epocha. Their traditions, respecting their ancestral origin and the monumental remains of antique art, form the second portion of the preliminary matter to the main question.

    § 4.

    The nations of the old continents have their fabulous genealogical traditions, analogous to which are those of our aboriginal descendants. All barbarous or semi-savage nations whose origin was obscure in fact, or has been rendered so by lapse of time, have ever manifested this fabulous inclination. It is the refuge of national pride, or it may be founded in those constituents of human nature which delight to revel in mystery, which we are curious to pry into the secrets of existence, to discover, if possible, an intimate relationship between what is visible and invisible, and to enjoy at least, as an equivalent for disappointed curiosity, the conscious pride of superior penetration over vulgar perception. In giving to genealogical fiction the impress of a celestial or heroic antiquity, state policy has sometimes consulted national vanity, mystical priesthood has often wrought upon blind superstition, and ignorance has combined with both to render credulity invulnerable.

    The Chinese extended their chronology of princes to the great Fo-hi, centuries before the flood. (11) Like the Trojan Aeneas, he was made the son of a goddess. While walking on the bank of a river, she was encircled by a rainbow, and after twelve years she gave borth to that head of the Chinese race. But Confucius acknowledges that for want of evidence,

    § 4.]                                        Traditions.                                         25.

    he could give no certain account of his nation beyond three thousand years. This carries their history near the birth of Noah. He has used a round number, which is not quite correct; for Noah was born 1500 years before the age of Confucius, and there are reasons for believing that about one hundred and fifty years after the flood, he removed from Persia to China, of which he became the first patriarch or emperor. (12) All pretensions to anterior antiquity originate in national vanity. The Egyptians also pretended to a divine race of princes, who were succeeded by a race of mortals. Herodotus was informed by their priests, that from the ages of Menes, the first of mortal kings, to Sethos, who died about 2480 years ago, there had been a regular succession of princes, who reigned in all about eleven thousand three hundred and six years; during this long dynasty the sun twice rose in the west and set in the east! Yet those priests could not tell when or by whom their pyramids were built, nor give any credible account of Sesostris, one of the greatest of their kings! The Hindoos outstrip all nations in this race of antiquity. They pretend that their sacred book, containing the institutes of civil and religious duties, was received from the Supreme Being himself, by a subordinate divine being, about one thousand nine hundred and sixty millions of years ago! From another divine being of the same rank, there descended two races of kings, called children of the sun and children of the moon, who reigned in different parts of India about three millions of years. An ancient historian, whose ancestors were Goths who had been driven from their country by the Huns when they passed from Asia into Europe, speaking of the Huns, says, -- that a certain Gothic king, removing from Scandinavia into Sarmatia in Asia, discovered that among his subjects were many witches. He banished them into a wilderness at a considerable distance. Evil spirits that inhabited the desert fell in love with those witches, by whom they had children; and these were the ancestors of the Huns. (13)

    26.            Origin of the Aborigines and ancient Ruins.            [Part 1.

    Some nations pride themselves in being Autochthoni. The Grecians boasted that they sprang from the earth. The Indians of the nine Mandan villages, whom Lewis and Clark visited, * deduce their origen from a subterraneous lake, through which, they believe, the good only will return and rejoin their subterranean ancestors. Their progenitors, they say, saw the light of this world through the aperatures of a grape-vine, whose roots reached to their nether abode. The boldest, climbing up the vine, were struck with the beauty of this upper world, plucked some grapes and descended. The whole nation then resolved to exchange their dreary habitations for a brighter. Accordingly, about half of them had ascended, when a corpulent woman, who was clamvering up the vine, broke it by her weight, and thus shut out the light and the way from the rest of the nation. Those who had gained the earth, settled where the Mandan villages are located. Instances of similar absurdity might be multiplied. † The whole human family, and every living thing, according to some Indian traditions, sprang like vegetables out of the earth, many hundred snows ago. (14) In this opinion, (which is as old as Epicurus and Lucretius, that men sprang like seedless plants, being engendered by moisture and heat,) the Frencg advocates of one of the hypotheses hereafter mentioned as to the origin of the aborigines, might find encouragement. Even Lord Monboddo, in his attempt to identify his progenitors with monkeys, might have received the sanction of some of the western Indians. ‡

    The national pride which animated the Grecians, affected to despise any genealogy except that which made their heroes the offspring of the gods, or their first parents the children of the earth. A similar pride burned in the bosom of the celebrated warrior, great natural statesman and orator,

    * See Lewis and Clark's Travels, p. 138, 9.

    † See Lewis and Clark's Travels, and Hunter's Narrative. Heckewelder's ditto.

    ‡ See Hunter's Narrative of Manners and Customs of the Western Tribes, p. 314.


    § 4.]                                        Traditions.                                         27.

    Tecumseh, on an occasion which afforded an admirable instance of the sublimity which sometimes distinguished his eloquence. At the council of 1811, held with the Indians, at Vincennes, by General Harrison, the chiefs of some tribes attended, to complain of a purchase of lands which had been made from the Kickapoos. The harshness of language used by Tecumseh, in the course of the conference, caused it to be broken up in confusion. In the progress of the long talks which took place, Tecumseh, having finished one of his speeches, looked around, but seeing every one seated, while no seat was prepared for him, a momentary frown passed over his countenance. Instantly General Harrison ordered that a chair should be given him. Some person presented one, and, bowing, said: "Warrior, your father, General Harrison, offers you a seat." Tecumseh's dark eye flashed. "My father! (he exclaimed indignantly, extending his arm towards the heavens) the Great Spirit is my father, and the earth is my mother; she feeds and clothes me, and I recline upon her bosom." (15)

    We have thus introduced (with a digression by way of relief to the tedium of detail,) these foreign traditions, with a view to couple certain similar fables prevailing among the indigenes of our State, and from their extravagance and inconsistency, we may infer that all traditions pretending to unveil the secrets of remote ages, are the illusions of fable, founded perhaps partially upon facts, which, in the progress of time have been perverted by national pride, misinterpreted by ignorance, and exaggerated by superstition.

    The Indians who inhabited and owned this State, entertained traditions somewhat similar to those of the Chinese, Hindoos, Egyptians, and the other nations. They deduced the appearance of the submerged earth and creation of animals, from the operations of a descended goddess, beautiful in heaven, whither she returned after the accomplishment of her embassy. But like the Huns, their primeval ancestors were the offspring of an unnatural intermixture; and their descendants possess at this day a Gothic belief in witches. The

    28.            Origin of the Aborigines and ancient Ruins.            [Part 1.

    tradition is related by Vander Donck,* one of the earliest of our Dutch historians, and corroborated by Charlevoix, † one of the earliest French writers who touched upon the subject of our aboriginal history.

    It sometimes happens, says Dr. Vander Donck, that when we are engaged in earnest conversation with the oldest and best informed of the Indians, they ask our opinion of the first cause and origin of man; and when we relate to them, in broken language, and in the best manner we can, the creation of Adam, they cannot or will not understand or comprehend that it has any relation to their nation, or the negroes, on account of the great difference of colour; and according to their opinion, the world was not created in the manner related in the first and second chapters of Genesis. They say: -- "Before the world existed, and before mountains, men, and animals were created, God was with the woman: when or whence they came, we know not. All was water, or at least water covered all things. No eye could have discovered aught else, had there been an eye to see. The before-mentioned beautiful woman, or goddess, (as they say) on a certain time gently descended from heaven until she came to the water. She was pregnant, and had the appearance as if she would bring forth more than one. She did not sink deep into the water, but immediately where she settled down, some land appeared, upon which she rested and continued sitting. The land grew by degrees, and increased around her, so that in time land was discovered about where she sat, like that which would appear when the water falls and recedes from a bar upon which there had been three or four feet water, and upon which a person had sat till the water receded, and he remained sitting upon dry land. So round about this descended goddess the land became longer and broader, and

    * Beschryvinge van Nieuw Nederlant, &c. bescreven door Adriaen vander Donck. Beyder Rechten Doctoor, die teghenwoordigh noch in Nieuw Nederlant is. 'T Aemsteldam, 1655.

    † Histoire et description generale de la Nouvelle France, &c.


    § 4.]                                        Traditions.                                         29.

    its extent was soon beyond the sight of the eye. Then grass and herbs began to appear; also fruitful and unfruitful trees, and in a short time all things proceeded and grew as they now are. Whether that world, an account of which you have given us, and from which you originally came, was brought forth at the same time, we cannot say. But when this was thus finished, the exalted personage fell in labour, and was delivered of three kinds of fruits, to wit: the first was like a deer in every respect as it now appears; the second had the appearance of a bear; the third was in all things similar to a wolf. The woman nursed these fruits until they obtained their full growth; after which she remained a long time upon earth, cohabiting with these animals severally, brought forth various others several times, always more than one at a birth, and from these sprang all the men and animals of the various kinds and species to be seen at this day. In time, as well from natural instinct as suitableness, each associated with its own kind and species, and so continued to do. When all things were properly disposed and placed In a condition to subsist and continue of themselves, this universal mother having accomplished her designs, joyfully ascended into heaven, where she will henceforth continue and dwell, delighting and rejoicing in preserving that love which the Supreme Lord bears her, which she endeavours to retain, and in which she obtains perfect joy and satisfaction: wherefore God also loves her supremely, and esteems her above all things. In the meantime, men, and all the animals here below, by mutual cohabitation produced many different species, which increased and multiplied exceedingly, as well as all other things that were created, and as they now appear. Hence it is, that all men, of whatever description, at the present day, partake of the nature and properties of one of those first created animals: for they are either timorous and innocent like the deer; revengeful, cruel, and in combat erect, nimble, and strong-fisted, * like the bear; or blood-thirsty, subtle

    * 'Wraeckgierigh, wreed, oprerht en voor de miyst.' Vander Donck. See Bingley's Animal Biography. Vol. I. Art. Com. Bear.

    30.            Origin of the Aborigines and ancient Ruins.            [Part 1.

    and deceitful like the wolf. That the resemblance is not more apparent than it is, is to be ascribed to the cunning of men who know how to dissemble. This (they say) is all that we have heard of our forefathers, and what we esteem to be true: but bad they known the art of writing as ye do, possibly they would have left us more particular and further information: that art they were unacquainted with."

    The Mandan villagers, mentioned by Lewis and Clarke, may have derived their tradition from that which prevailed among the Delawares and Iroquois as late as the middle of the last century; or the latter may have had it from the former. This tradition bears some allusion to that which Vander Donck related nearly a century anterior.

    In 1743 the Rev. Mr. Pyrlaeus (a resident among the Six Nations, "a man of great truth," says Mr. Heckewelder, *) took down from the mouth of a respectable Mohawk chief, named Sganarady, this account of their original existence: -- They had dwelt in the earth where no sun shone. Though they followed hunting, they ate mice, which they caught with their hands. Ganawagahha (one of them) having accidentally found a hole to get out of the earth, he went out, and walking about he found a deer, which he took back; and in consequence of the meat tasting very good, and the favourable description he gave of the country above, their mother concluded it best for them all to go out; accordingly they did so, except the ground-hog, who would remain.

    Mr. Heckewelder asks, if the ground-hog might not have been the name of one of their tribes, who was made the subject of this fable. † Reverting to the Mandan account, it is possible that portion of the subterranean people, who were shut out from the upper world in consequence of the corpulency of the old woman, (who might have been the mother here alluded to,) was the ground-hog and tribe of the illustrious Iroquois!

    * Hist. and Lit. Trans. Phila.

    † I vol. Phila. Hist, and Lit. Trans, p, 244.


    § 4.]                                        Traditions.                                         31.

    This piece of Indian mythology prevailed also among the Delawares; and however ridiculous these stories are, the belief of the Indians in them (says Mr. Heckewelder) cannot be shaken. * They consider the earth as their universal mother. They believe that they were created within its bosom, where for a long time they had their abode before they came to live on its surface. They say the great and good Spirit had prepared all things for their reception, but like an infant in the womb of its natural mother, their first stage of existence was wisely ordained to be within the earth. This might appear to bear an analogy between the Mosaic account of the general and individual creation. The Minsi or Wolf tribe, of the Delawares, have the tradition, that in the beginning they dwelt in the earth under a lake, and one of them discovering the hole, (leading through this upper crust) they left their dark abode, for a place where they could enjoy the light of heaven, and have deer (game) in abundance.(16)

    These natives view all beings, endowed with the power of volition and self-motion, in a manner as one great society, of which they are head ; but between whom and themselves there may have been, in the beginning, a relationship; hence, formerly, the rattlesnake was called their grandfather. †

    The names of their tribes are those of animals. The Tortoise or Turtle tribe, among the Lenape, claims a superiority and ascendency over the others, because their relation, the great Tortoise, a fabled monster, the Atlas of their mythology, bears, according to their traditions, this great lsland ‡ on his

    * Heckewelder, I vol. Phila. Hist, and Lit. Trans, p. 244.

    † Ib. ch. 34.

    ‡ That is, the American continent, which they believe to be surrounded (as it probably is) by water. Red Jacket, in his speeches, calls it an island. In one of his speeches, in reply to that of General Washington welcoming the Six Nations at Philadelphia in 1792 -- "We, your brothers," (addressing Colonel Timothy Pickering, then United States commissioner, who con-ducted treaties with these nations,) "of the Five Nations, believe that the great Spirit let this island drop down from above. We also believe in his superintendency over this whole island." -- MS. See the Hindoo mythology.


    32.            Origin of the Aborigines and ancient Ruins.            [Part 1.

    back, and is also esteemed as superior because he is amphibious. This idea of relationship with the animal creation prevails also among the western Osages. (17)

    § 5.

    Having thus noticed these fabulous traditions of the first creation of man and foundation of nations, we will introduce some of a more recent reference, possessing a degree of authenticity entitling them to more consideration than the former. These relate to the immediate ancestors of our Indians, whence they came, who were the inhabitants of the state previous to their arrival, and who probably constructed the works of art which we have described. *

    The Lenni Lenape, according to the traditions handed down to therg by their ancestors, resided many hundred years ago in a very distant country in the western part of the American continent. They determined on migrating to the eastward, and accordingly set out in a body. After a long journey, and many nights' encampment, (that is, halts of one year at a place,) they arrived on the Namaesi Sipu, (Mississippi,) † where they fell in with the Mengwe (the Iroquois or Five Nations)

    * The first tradition we derive from the Rer. John Heckevrelder, who resided more than forty years among those Indians. Their history he has given with undoubted fidelity of relation on his own part, and with a just claim to authenticity, except so far as the relatere (the Delawares) in speaking of their political connexions with the Five Natious, might be presumed to have been biassed by an irreconcileable hostility towards the alleged authors of their national misfortunes and degradation -- the Delawares having, by force or artifice, been compelled or induced for a long time to assume the character of women, or, in the Indian phrase, "to put on petticoats," as will appear in the history of our Indians hereafter. -- Hist. Account of the Indian Nations, in Vol. I. Hist, and Lit. Trans. Phila. 1819. (reviewed vol. IX. N. Amer. Rev. p. 155. 179.) Heckewelder's Narrative of his Mission among the Delawares and Mohegan Indians, Phila. 1820. and his MS. communications to Doct. Miller, presented by him to the New-York Historical Society.

    † River of fish: namaes, a fish; sipu, a river.


    § 5.]                                         Traditions.                                         33.

    who had also emigrated from a distant country, and had struck upon this river somewhat higher up. Their object was similar to that of the Delawares; they were proceeding eastward until they should find a country that pleased them. The territory east of the Mississippi was inhabited by a very powerful nation, who had many large towns built on the great rivers flowing through their land. These were the Alligewi, from whose name those of the Alleghany river * and mountains have been derived. This famous people are said to have been remarkably tall and stout; and there is one tradition that giants were among them, people of a much larger size than the tallest of the Lenape. They built regular fortifications and entrenchments, whence they would sally, but they were generally repulsed. Mr. Heckewelder has seen many of these fortifications, two of which are remarkable, viz. -- one near the mouth of the Huron flowing into Lake St. Clair; the other on the Huron east of Sandusky, six or eight miles from Lake Erie.

    The Lenape, on their arrival, requested permission to settle in their country. The Alligewi refused, but gave them leave to pass through and seek a settlement further eastward. -- They had no sooner commenced crossing the Namassi Sipu, than the Alligewi perceiving their vast numbers, furiously attacked them, and threatened them all with destruction if they dared to persist in coming over. Fired at this treachery the Lenape now consulted about giving them a trial of their strength and courage. The Mengwe, who had remained spectators at a distance, now offered to join them, on condition that, after conquering the country, they should be entitled to share it with them. Their proposal was accepted, and the resolution was taken by the two nations to conquer or die. The Lenape and Mengwe now declared war against the Alligewi, and great battles were fought, in which many warriors fell on both sides. The enemy fortified their large towns and erected

    * Viz. the Ohio, as the Iroquois named it; or La Belle Riviere, (the Beautiful river,) by the French: a branch of it retains its ancient name.

    34.            Origin of the Aborigines and ancient Ruins.            [Part 1.

    fortifications, especially on large rivers and near lakes, where they were successively attacked, and sometimes stormed by the allies. An engagement took place, in which hundreds fell, who were afterwards buried in holes or laid together in heaps and covered with earth. No quarter was given; so that the Alligewi, finding their destruction inevitable if they persisted in their obstinacy, abandoned the country to the conquerors, and fled down the Mississippi, whence they never returned. The war had lasted many years and was very destructive. The conquerors now divided the country. The Mengwe made choice of the lands in the vicinity of the great lakes and on their tributary streams, and the Lenape took possession of the country south. For a long period of time, some say many hundred years, the two nations resided peaceably in this country, and increased very rapidly. Some of their most enterprising huntsmen and warriors crossed the mountains, and falling on streams running eastward, followed them down to the great Bay river (Susquehannah,) thence into the Bay itself (the Chesapeake); as they pursued their travels near the Salt-water lake (Atlantic,) they discovered the Great river (Delaware); thence exploring eastward, through the Scheyichbi country (New-Jersey,) they arrived at another great stream (the Hudson river.) Returning to their nation with flattering representations of the country, and assurances that no enemy was to be dreaded, they concluded this to be the country destined for them by the great Spirit. They accordingly began to emigrate thither at first in small bodies, and at last settled on the four great rivers, Delaware, Hudson, Susquehannah, and Potomac, making the Delaware, to which they gave the name of Lenapewihittuck, * the centre of their possessions. The whole of their nation did not reach this country. Some remained beyond the Mississippi, and others on this side. The largest body, supposed to have been one half of the whole.

    * Viz. the river or stream of the Lenape. Hittuck meaning, in the Delaware language, a rapid stream; sipo or sipu is the proper name for a river.


    § 5.]                                         Traditions.                                         35.

    settled on the Atlantic; and the other half was subdivided into two parts as above, one of which, the strongest as they suppose, remained beyond the Mississippi, and retreated into the interior of the country on learning the reception of those who crossed; probably supposing them destroyed. The Delawares, on the Atlantic shores, divided themselves into three tribes, viz. -- the Turtle, Turkey, and Wolf. The Turtle calling themselves Unimis, and the Turkey, Unalachtgo, selected ground nearest the sea, between the coast and the high mountains. As they multiplied, their settlements extended from the Mohicannittuck (river of the Mohicans, viz. the Hudson) beyond the Potomac. Many of their families, scattered throughout the country, erected towns and villages, having each a chief who looked up to the head chiefs, or great council of the nation. The Wolf tribe, called Minsi, (which has been corrupted into Monseys,) who lived in the rear of the two other tribes, were the most warlike of the Lenape, and found a bulwark for their protection, by watching the motions of the Mengwe. The Minsi reached from Minisink, where they had their council seat and fire, quite up to the Hudson on the east, and on the west and south-west far beyond the Susquehannah. Their northern boundaries were supposed originally to have been the heads of the Susquehannah and Delaware; their southern, the Muskanecun hills, so denominated, in Jersey, or those of Lehigh, Coghnewago, &c. in Pennsylvania.

    From these tribes, composing the body of the Delawares, emanated others, who adopted or received various names, taken from natural objects or local peculiarities, and who yet looked up to the parent tribe with affection, and of whom they were proud to be called the grand-children. This was the case with the Mahicanni, or Mohicans, in the east, a people who by intermarriages had become a detached body, mixing two languages together, and forming out of the two a dialect of their own. Choosing to live by themselves, they had crossed the Hudson River, naming it Mahicannituck River, after their assumed name, and spread themselves over all that country

    36.            Origin of the Aborigines and ancient Ruins.            [Part 1.

    which now composes the eastern states. New tribes again sprang from them, which assumed distinct names, still acknowledging the parent stock to be their grandfather. The Delawares at last thought proper to enlarge their council-house for their Mahicanni grand-children, that they might come to their fire, that is to say, be benefited by their advice, in order also to keep alive their family connexions, and maintain a league with each other. In a similar manner, a body of the Lenape, called Nanticokes, together with their offspring, proceeded south as far as Maryland and Virginia. The council-house was extended for their benefit to the Potomac.

    Meanwhile the Mengwe, who had first settled on the great lakes, had always kept a number of canoes in readiness to save themselves, in case the Alligewi should return, and their number also increasing, they had in time proceeded further, and settled below the lakes along the River St. Lawrence, so that they became, on the north side, neighbours of the Lenape tribes. *

    This contiguity, as might be expected, soon originated a mutual jealousy, which induced a train of events that ultimately ruined the Lenape, but paved the way for the victorious progress of the confederacy of the celebrated five nations. A sketch of those events will be given hereafter.

    The Rev. Mr. Beatty, in his mission from New-York in 1766, † to the western Indians, received from a person whom he credited, the following tradition, which he heard from some old men among the Delaware tribe. That of old time their people were divided by a river, and one part tarried behind; that they knew not for certainty how they came first to this continent, but gave this account, vis. that a king of their nation, when they formerly lived far to the west, left his kingdom to his two sons; that one son making war upon the other,

    * Heckewelder. Vol. I. Phila. Hist. & Lit. Tr. ch. I.

    † See his Journal of two months tour with a view of promoting religion, &c. By Ch. Beatty, A. M., Lond. 1768.

    § 5.]                                       Traditions.                                       37.

    the latter thereupon determined to depart, and seek some new habitation; that accordingly he set out, accompanied by a number of people, and after wandering to and fro for the space of forty years, they at length came to the Delaware River, where they settled there three hundred and seventy years ago. The way they kept an account of this was by putting a black bead of wampum every year, since, on a belt which they used for that purpose. The king of the country whence they came, some years ago, when the French possessed Fort Duquesne, (Pittsburgh) sent out some of his people to discover, if possible, that part of their nation which had departed to seek a new country, who, after seeking six years, came to the Pickt town on the Oubache river, met a Delaware Indian, whose language they understood, and by him were conducted to the Delaware towns, where they tarried one year and returned. Their country extended a great way towards the setting sun. Mr. Beatty's informant, who had, it seems, been years among the Indians, also said, that among the Delawares he observed their women to follow exactly the same custom of the Jewish women, as prescribed in the Mosaic law; and that the Delawares observed the feast of first-fruits, or the green corn feast.

    Mr. Williams, * commenting on the above tradition, asked, Does it not refer to the passage of the Israelites over Jordan into the land of Canaan, under the conduct of Joshua?
    The account of their wandering to and fro, may arise from a confused tradition of the travels of the Israelites in the wilderness. Or it may imply, he thinks, the unsettled state of North Wales; the departure of Madoc, and his travels before he finally settled. He adds, that these Jewish customs prevailed among the Carthaginians, Phoenicians, and Tartars. He thinks the Tartars are descendants of the ten tribes; that at remote periods some of them may have been driven on our northern coasts; that even while hunting on the ice, they might have been, in consequence of a sudden thaw, thus carried to the American coasts. †

    * Inquiry into Madoc's expedition, pp. 45. 53.

    † Ib. p. 53


    38.            Origin of the Aborigines and ancient Ruins.            [Part 1.

    The Mengwe (or five nations) have a tradition that they came from the west, but from what part their progenitors emigrated they know not. The late Rev. Samuel Kirkland says (in the manuscript Journal of his missionary tour into this State in 1788) he found by inquiry that a tradition prevailed among the Indians in general, "that all Indians came from the west."

    § 6.

    The old fortifications in our State were erected previous to European intercourse. The appearances of former cultivation, for instance, in Pompey; and the great number of burial places, evince a once skilful and numerous population. Similar appearances would probably remain for ages, if the present white population were entirely swept away. The Indians are ignorant by whom they were made. Respecting the fort in Oxford, they have a tradition that the family of the Antones, which is supposed to belong to the Tuscarora nation, are the seventh generation from the inhabitants of this fort; but of its origin they know nothing. In the Indian Reservation, near Buffalo, are extensive clearings, of which the Senecas can give no account. Whether the people whom the Iroquois assisted to extirpate when they migrated to their present country, or whether inhabitants anterior to them, or whether the Eries, whom they extirpated after the European settlement, or their predecessors, erected these works, are questions which are considered to be involved in impenetrable mystery. *

    The party of gentlemen who discovered, in 1791, certain ancient remains before described, † made every inquiry concerning those singular constructions among the surrounding Onondagoes and other nations, but so far from receiving any

    * Mr. Clinton's Memoir on Western Antiquities, &c.

    † See p. 17.

    § 6.]                        Traditions. -- Authors of the Ruins.                         39.

    information, traditionary or otherwise, they ascertained that the natives had never noticed the ruins.

    The Reverend Mr. Kirtland, in reference to the two first remains of fortified towns, which he found on the Genesee Flats, north of the magic spring and west of the deserted village, * observes (in his manuscript journal) that from the best information he could get from the Indian historians, these forts were made previous to the Senecas being admitted into the confederacy of the Mohawks, Onondagoes, Oneidas and Cayagas, and when the former were at war with the Mississaugus, and other Indians around the great lakes. This (he continues) must have taken place nearly three hundred years ago, if not more, according to many concurring accounts which he obtained from several Indians of different tribes. With regard to the double-fortified town, and the funeral pile, (where the slain were buried after a great battle) which he discovered on the open plain on arriving at the river Tanawande, † he observes, that Indian tradition says these works were raised and this battle was fought betwixt the Senecas and western Indians in the pure Indian style, and with Indian weapons, long before their knowledge and use of fire-arms or their acquaintance with the Europeans. They used in fighting at that time bows and arrows, the spear or javelin pointed with bone, and the war club or death-mall. When the former were expended, they came into close engagement and used the latter. Their warrior's dress or coat of mail for this method of fighting, was a short jacket made of willow sticks or moose wood, laced tight round the body. The head was covered with a cap of the same kind, but commonly woven double, for the better security of that part against a stroke from the death-mall or war-club. In this great battle the Senecas affirm that their ancestors won the victory. Some say their ancestors had told them, there were eight hundred of their enemies slain;

    * See p. 15.

    † See p, 16.


    40.            Origin of the Aborigines and ancient Ruins.            [Part 1.

    others include the killed on both sides in that number. -- Be this as it may, all their historians agree that the battle was fought where this heap of slain are buried, before the arrival of the Europeans, some say three, some four, others five lives or ages, reckoning a life or age one hundred winters, or colds. *

    Compare this tradition with that heretofore related † of the first migration and successful victory of the ancestors of those people over the Alligewi, that extraordinary race who had fortified their towns in the vicinity of the lakes, who suffered the horrors of a sanquinary and protracted invasion, during which great battles were fought, their fortified places stormed, and hundreds fell in an engagement and were laid together in heaps: is it impossible that the Alligewi were the real constructors of these works; that the Senecas (a part of the Mengwe) in alliance with the Lenape, stormed this, as well as other fortified towns; won this, as well as other victories, and succeeded in driving from their country the remnant of the Alligewi, who fled down the Mississippi, whence they never returned?

    The probability in favour of this, as a fair deduction from comparison, is somewhat strengthened by a tradition of the Seneca Indians, which has recently been published, and its authenticity sanctioned by Captain Jones, one of the public agents and interpreters for the Six Nations. ‡ This tradition relates, that before and after that remote period, when the ancestors of the Senecas sprung into existence, the country, especially about the lakes, was thickly inhabited by a race of civil, enterprising, and industrious people, who were totally destroyed, and whose improvements were taken possession of by the Senecas.

    * Rev. S. Kirkland's MS Journal for 1788.

    † See p. 33.

    ‡ See Appendix to a Narrative of the Life of a Female Captive, &c. By James E. Seaver. Printed at Canandaigua by J. D. Bemis & Co. 1824, p. 159, 157.

    § 6.]                        Traditions. -- Authors of the Ruins.                         41.

    As to their origin, and the mode in which their civilized predecessors were destroyed, the tradition will apopear to vary from those above given, but to correspond with others formerly mentioned respecting their origin. They say their nation broke out of the earth from a large mountain (called Gerundewagh) at the head of Canandaigua lake. Thence they derive their name, "Ge-nun-de-wah," (sometimes pronounced Ge-nun-de-wah-gauh, or Great Hill;) and they are denominated "The Great Hill People," which is the true interpretation of the word Seneca. This mountain they still venerate as the place of their birth; it was for a long time a favourite spot, where they met in council to hold long talks; to offer up prayers to the Great Spirit, on account of its being their birth-place, where also by the providential destruction of a monstrous serpent, according to their tradition, their forefathers were delivered from thretened extermination. This serpent had totally destroyed the civilized race of people, of whose improvements the Senecas had taken possession. They also in turn provoked the serpent; and the monster, coiling around the great hill fort, so that his head and tail met at its gate, infected the atmosphere with his breath, and swallowed the inhabitants as they rushed out. A poisoned arrow at length proved fatal to him. He rolled down the hill, sweeping away all the timber in his descent, and amidst his contortions, disgorged the heads of those he had swallowed. These, rolling into the lake below, became in time reduced to a petrified state. Accordingly, stones in the shape of the Indian heads are there to be seen at this day, in great numbers. The Senecas also ascribe to the unknown influence of this monster the prevalent confusion of their language, which in those early days was uniformily the same throughout the whole country. *

    * See Appendix to Seaver's Narrative, &c. p. 52.


    42.            Origin of the Aborigines and ancient Ruins.            [Part 1.

    § 7.

    But their uncertainty as to the time when these fortifications were erected, as they pretend, by their ancestors, and the total absence of such a tradition among the other tribes on the continent, may well justify the suspicion which President Kirkland (18) has expressed, that this story originated in national vanity, for which he says the Senecas are pre-eminently distinguished. He seems to think they were erected by the ancestors of the improved nations of South America, in the progress of their migrations from the north and north-west. In his opinion he is by no means singular. Many support the opinion, that the western states of the Union were the original country of the Mexicans and Toltecas. From a comparison of the bodies and envelopes found in the Copperas cave in Tennessee, * and from other circumstances, the inference has been drawn that the western country was once their seat; that they were a copper-coloured people, who, it has been supposed, owed their knowledge and refinement to certain aboriginal whites. † Three South American nations ascribe their civilization and religion to three white men, who appeared among them. ‡ Abbe Molina § says, there is a tribe of Indians in Baroa, in Chili, whose complexions are a clear white and red. Baron Humboldt || remarks, that in the forest of Guiana, especially near the sources of the river Oronoco, are several tribes of a whitish complexion. An exterminating war appears to have taken place ¶ between the barbarous natives, perhaps

    * see Descrip. in vol. I. Archae. Amer.

    † Dr. M'Culloh's Researches. &c. 214, &c. Ch. Cullen. Esq. in his Transl. of Clavigero's Mexico. Med. Repos. vol. III. Dr. Mease's Nature and Art, vol. XIX. p. 199. Atwater's Antiquities. in vol. I Archae. Amer. Clavigero's Hist. &c.

    ‡ M'Culloh's Researches on Amer. p. 212. 213.

    § Hist. Chili, vol. II. book 1. ch. 1.

    || Political Essays.

    ¶ M'Culloh. 216.

    § 7.]                        Traditions. -- Authors of the Ruins.                         43.

    under some Attila or Genseric, and their more refined and civilized neighbours, ending in nearly the total destruction of the latter, the few survivors of whom fled to happier climes; and to these aboriginal whites perhaps the Mexicans, &c. were indebted for their knowledge and refinement. *

    The traditions of other Indians ascribe the construction of these works to whites. Indians north-west of Ohio and others say, that they had understood from their old men, that it had been a tradition among their several nations, that the western country, and particularly Ohio and Kentucky, had once been inhabited by white people, but they were exterminated. The last battle was fought at the falls of Ohio. The Indians drove the aborigines into a small island, (Sandy Island,) below the rapids, where the whole were cut to pieces. Kentuckee, in Indian, signifies river of blood. Some of the remains of the ancient tribe of the Sacs expressed to a gentleman at St. Louis, their astonishment that any person should live in Kentucky. The country, they said, had been the scene of much blood, and was filled with the manes of the butchered inhabitants who were white people (19)

    Numerous traditions of nations west of the Mississippi, though varying as to the motive or uses that occasioned the construction of their tumuli and fortifications, concur in their great antiquity, and most of them in their having been the work of a people which had altogether ceased to exist, before those hunting grounds came into possession of the ancestors of the present occupants. (20)

    But who were these whites? May it be presumed that the Alleghanians (Alligewi) and Mexicans were the same people by intermixture, and that the former erected these works before the Lenape and Iroquois came and destroyed them. (21) Many of the supposed fortifications were temples, particularly that of Circleville in Ohio, where human sacrifices were one of the rites, and where female victims, as in India.

    * M'Culloh, 216.

    44.            Origin of the Aborigines and ancient Ruins.            [Part 1.

    were immolated with the males. Their similitude with those of Mexico, as described by Humboldt, has also been traced. (22) Bones of victims in heaps, shells used in sacred rites as in India, and idols of baked clay, consisting of three heads, similar to the triad of India, have also been found (23)

    But if the Alleghanians may be thus identified with the Mexicans, who were the whites that instructed the latter? Were the nations of our state descendants in reality of those victorious Tartars, (if they may be so denominated,) who formed their alliance on the banks of the Mississippi, waged the exterminating war against the Alligewi, and succeeded in expelling them, according to the tradition before recited? Were, then, those fugitives who escaped down the Mississippi, and never returned, the white instructors of the Mexicans? And if conjecture might be extended to the supposition that they were, still the inquiry arises, who were these whites, these Alligewi, these instructors of the Mexicans, these authors of our antiquities? Whence came they? Were they from Europe, or from Asia -- were their conquerors from either of those continents? Were the former the first people who had emigrated, or had they succeeded others whom they in their turn had extirpated? The main question therefore recurs, by what means was America originally peopled?

    § 8.

    We shall attempt little more than a classification of authors, and the peculiar theory which each has erected, following in order such as maintain a European ancestry; European or Asiatic; Asiatic only; ante or postdelovian; African; ancient Atlantic; and lastly, such as believe that the aborigines are strictly such.

    The remote voyages of the Scandinavians, which are alleged to have reached the coast of New-York, will be reserved until the examination of the third question. The antiquary of

    § 8.]                                    Welsh Indians                                     45.

    America will probably find, says Dr. Mitchill, * that the Scandinavians emigrated about the tenth century of the Christian era, if not earlier. And they may be considered not merely as having discovered this continent, but to have explored its northern climes to a great extent, and to have peopled them three or four hundred years at least before Columbus was born.

    In a topographical description of the western territory of North America, † including the account ‡ of the discovery and settlement of Kentucky, published 1784, it is asserted that the ancient remains of Kentucky, (which seem to prove that this country was formerly inhabited by a nation further advanced in the arts of life than the Indians) are usually attributed to the Welsh, who are supposed to have formerly inhabited here; but having been expelled by the natives, were forced to take refuge near the sources of the Missouri. This, says the author, is confirmed of late years by the western settlers having received frequent accounts of a nation inhabiting at a great distance up the Missouri, in manners and appearance resembling the other Indians, but speaking Welsh, and retaining some ceremonies of the Christian worship; and at length this is universally believed among them to be a fact. Capt. Abm. Chaplain, of Kentucky, a gentleman whose veracity the author says may be entirely depended upon, assured him, that in the late war, being with his company in garrison at Kaskaskia, some Indians came there, and speaking in the Welsh dialect, were perfectly understood and conversed with by two Welshmen in his company, and that they informed them of the situation of their nation as above mentioned §

    * In Archae. Amer.

    † By George Inday, London, printed 1793.

    ‡ By John Filson. p. 277-8.

    § Mr. Rankin, a clergyman of Kentucky, communicated to a gentleman in England in 1792, the occurance of the existence of such a tribe some hundreds of miles westward of Kentucky; that about 200 miles of the distance was a tract of waste hunting ground, through which it was dangerous to pass, in consequence of the depredations of the wild Indians, See Williams's Further Observations.

    46.            Origin of the Aborigines and ancient Ruins.            [Part 1.

    John Sevier, late governor of Tennessee, * says, that in 1782 he was on a campaign against the Cherokees. Observing on his route traces of very ancient fortifications, he afterwards took occasion, on the exchange of prisoners, to inquire into their origin, of Oconostoto, who for sixty years had been a ruling chief of the Cherokee nation; and particularly as to the origin of the remarkable fortification on the bank of Highwassee river? The venerable chief replied, it was handed down by their forefathers, that these works were made by white people, who had formerly inhabited the country. When the Cherokees lived in the country now South Carolina, wars existed between them, and were only ended when the whites consented to abandon the country. Accordingly, they descended the Tennesee to the Ohio, then to the big river (Mississippi), then up the muddy river (Missouri), to a very great distance. They are now on some of its branches, but are no longer white people; they have become Indians, and look like the other red people of the country. "I then asked him," continues Governor Sevier, "if he had ever heard any of his ancestors say to what nation of people the whites belonged? He answered, 'I have heard my grandfather and other old people say, that they were a people called Welsh; that they had crossed the great water, and landed near the mouth of the Alabama river, and were finally driven to the heads of its waters, and even to Highwassee river, by the Mexican Spaniards.' Oconostoto also observed, that an old woman in his nation had some part of an old book given her by an Indian living high up the Missouri, and thought he was one of the Welsh tribe. "Unfortunately," observes Governor S., "before I had an opportunity of seeing the book, her house and its contents were destroyed by fire. I have conversed with several persons who saw and examined it, but it was so worn and disfigured, that nothing intelligible remained." Many years ago, Governor

    * In a letter, dated October 9, 1810, and published by Major Stoddard, in his Sketches historical and descriptive of Louisiana, Philadelphia, 1812, p. 483.

    § 8.]                                    Welsh Indians                                     47.

    S. was informed by a Frenchman, a great explorer of the country west of the Mississippi, that he had been high up the Missouri, and traded several months with the Welsh tribes, who spoke much of the Welsh dialect; and although their customs were savage and wild, yet many of them, particularly the females, were fair and white. They often told him they had sprung from a white nation of people; that they had yet some small scraps of books remaining among them, but in such tattered and mutilated order, that they were unintelligible. * Captain Stewart gave an account of his capture by the Indians, about the year 1764 † of his redemption by a Spaniard from Mexico; of his expedition with him 700 miles up the Red river, where they came to a nation on the river Post, remarkably white, whose hair was of a reddish colour. (24) A Welshman in company, understanding their language, which differed very little from the Welsh, announced the next morning his determination to remain. Captain Stewart proceeded with him to the chief men of the town, who said their forefathers landed on the east side of the Mississippi, and on the Spaniards possessing Mexico, they fled to that part of the country. In corroboration, they produced rolls of parchment, carefully tied up in otter-skins, on which were large characters, written with blue ink, which to the Welshman, who was ignorant of letters, was unintelligible. They were a bold, hardy, intrepid, warlike people, and their women were beautiful, when compared with other Indians.

    * A similar account was rendered in London, 1792, by two Cherokee chiefs, then there. One of them said the Welsh Indians were the Padoucas. Their books, religiously preserved in skins, were considered by them as mysteries, containing an account of whence they came. (See Williams's Further Observations.) Others who have been among the Welsh Indians, relate, that they say Wales was the place of their ancestry, but they knew not where Wales was. Visiters also have supposed that among their manuscripts or books, was a Welsh Bible, of great antiquity. (See the relations as published by Mr. Beatty, and Willams's Further Observations.)

    † Beatty's Missionary Tour from New-York westward, 1768.

    48.            Origin of the Aborigines and ancient Ruins.            [Part 1.

    The earliest account which we have, appears to be that of the Rev. Morgan Jones, who, having as chaplain accompanied Major General Bennet on an expedition to Port Royal, South Carolina, in 1660, was afterwards taken prisoner with his companions, by the Tuscarora Indians; and being condemned to die, he made an exclamation upon his wretched fate in his native Welsh language. This was instantly understood by a sachem of the Doeg tribe, who interceded and saved them. * Mr. Jones proceeded to their town near Cape Atros, (Hatteras,) conversed familiarly, and preached for months in the same language. When his narrative, dated March 10, 1685-6, was transmitted through Dr. Lloyd of Pennsylvania, to his friend in Great Britain for publication, † Mr. Jones was a resident of New-York.

    To the account of Governor Sevier, Mr. Stoddard super-adds two relations: one in confirmation of Griffith's statement of his discovery of the Welsh tribes ‡ and the other, that about a lake, near the head of the Missouri, was a nation not the least tawny, but rather of a yellowish complexion, who wore

    * In 1675, the Doegs were a small tribe, who lived on the Maryland side of the Potomac. (Vol. I. H. Williamson's North Carolina, p. 222.) Were they of the Tuscarora nation, who afterwards fled from Carolina and became incorporated as the sixth of our confederated Indian nations? See Stoddard, p. 482. Mr. Williams considers the Tuscaroras and the Delawares the same as the Doegs. Query? (See Williams's Inquiry and Further Observations.) Are the Dog-rib Indians, recently described by Mr. Herriot (in Travels, Lond. 1807, p. 300) as possessing striking peculiarities, the original Doegs?

    † See Owen's British Remains. See Gentlemen's Magazine, vol. X. for 1740, cited by Williams.

    ‡ Griffith was a Welshman, taken prisoner by the Shawnees. He accompanied a party of them to the source of the Missouri, and among the Shining Mountains arrived at a village of white Indians, whose language was Welsh. His account was published originally by Judge Toulman (Henry Toulman, one of the Judges of the Mississippi) in 1804; re-published by Dr. Barton, (vol. I. of his Philadelphia Medical and Physical Journal, p. 79, 89. A. D. 1805,) who seems to admit grounds for believing the existence of the Welsh tribes, but doubts the legitimacy of the conclusion, that is, the authenticity of Madoc's voyage to this continent.

    § 8.]                                    Welsh Indians                                     49.

    their beards, great numbers of whom had red hair. Vancouver found a people in the vicinity of the Columbia, whose language differed from that of their neighbours, and whose features resembled the northern Europeans. Lewis and Clark, though they pursued a ditferent branch of the Missouri than the one which is supposed to lead to the Welsh Indians, discovered some straggling Indians near the mouth of the Columbia, similar to those mentioned by Vancouver. (25)

    At what precise spot they are located, if indeed they have any tribal existence, as is doubted by some, * would be difficult to say, as the various accounts of their alleged existence appear somewhat irreconcilable. Writers have located them in different places, from the Red river to the shining mountains. Charlevoix, it is said, found a white people round a lake near the head waters of the Missouri. In the map attached to Du Pratz's Louisiana, † are placed the "White Panis" at the head of a branch of the Arkansas; "Panis Mahas, or White Panis," at the head of the south branch of the Missouri; and between those is marked the country of the Padoucas. ‡

    The Padoucas, the Panis, and the Cansez were formerly intermixed. § Sir John Caldwell, one of the numerous persons who are said to have confirmed, from various sources, the existence of the Welsh Indians, || says they are the Panis, or, as the English pronounce it, the Pawnees, (26) that their country lay about the head of the river Osages, the southern branch of the Mississippi, and extended far westward to a chain of mountains, from the top of one of which the Pacific

    * See Brackenridge, in his Views of Louisiana, in chapter on antiquities.

    † See also Cox's Description of Louisiana, vol. II. p. 252. Bossu's Account of Louisiana, vol. II. p. 182. Carver's Travels, p. 118, 119, 386. Hennepin says, in his Travels, he came to a tribe of white Indians. But he is not generally entitled to credit.

    ‡ So also see Charlevoix's Map in his New France.

    § See William's observations. Charlevoix Vol. 2.

    || William's further observations.

    50.            Origin of the Aborigines and ancient Ruins.            [Part 1.

    Ocean could plainly be seen. The Panis were whiter and more civilized than any other Indian tribes. We learn from the documents accompanying President Jefferson's message to Congress in 1806; * that the Pania Pique (in Arkansas) were formerly known by the name of the White Panias, and are of the same family with the Panias of the River Platte. According to that communication, the Padoucas, a once powerful nation, has apparently disappeared. Inquiry for them had proved of little avail. In 1724 they resided in villages at the head of the Kansas (or Cansez) River, and could at that time bring more than two thousand men into the field. † Oppressed by the Missourians, they removed to the upper part of River Platte, where they had but little intercourse with the whites. The northern branch of that river is still called the Paducas fort. It is conjectured that being still more oppressed, they divided into small wandering bands, which assumed the names of the sub-divisions of the Paducas nation; and are known to us at present under the appellation of Wetepahatoes, Kiawas, Kanehavish, Katteka, Dotame, &c. who still inhabit the country to which the Padoucas are said to have removed.

    This was the people whom one of the Cherokee Chiefs said, in London 1792, were Welsh. Are they the wretched remnant of Welsh, whom the venerable Oconostoto informed Governor Sevier were forced from the eastern to the western regions of the Mississippi; who were afterwards driven to the upper part of the River Platte, dispersed into separate tribes, and like the Jews, incorporated and yet distinct among others? Were some of those wanderers seen by Vancouver near the mouth of Columbia River, and afterwards by Lewis and Clarke?

    Doctor Morse, in the report ‡ of his tour among the western Indians, performed in behalf of the government in 1820, mentions,

    * Communicating discoveries made by Lewis and Clark, Sibley and Dunbar. See Reports of the latter persons.

    † See Du Pratz's Louisana p. 74, and map.

    ‡ Printed New-Haven 1822. p. 145. 252.

    § 8.]                                    Welsh Indians                                     51.

    upon the inrormation of Father Reichard of Detroit, a report that prevailed at Fort Chartres among the old people in 1781, that Mandan Indians had visited that post, and could converse intelligibly with some Welsh soldiers then in the British army. Dr. Morse suggests the information as a hint to any person who may have an opportunity of ascertaining whether there is any affinity between the Mandan and Welsh languages. The Mandans reside on the Missouri, a few miles east of Mandan Fort. Their population is stated to be 1250. *

    We now superadd the following account which we received from General Morgan Lewis. His father, Francis Lewis, (one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence) while on a military expedition, in the French war, was captured, and at Oswego assigned over with more than thirty others by Montcalm, the acting French Commander, to certain Indians, as their share of the prisoners. Among the Indians was a chief whose language resembled the Gaelic (a dialect of the Celtic with which Mr. Lewis, who was a native of Wales, was thoroughly acquainted.) On hearing him converse, Mr. Lewis understood him sufficiently to discover that his language was of that ancient dialect, although modified by usage and lapse of lime. He then addressed the chief in Welsh, and was understood. The chief selected Mr. Lewis from the rest of the prisoners, accompanied and guarded him personally to Montreal, and insisted with the French Commander upon his liberation, on the ground that he was his captive, to be disposed of as he pleased. Mr. Lewis, however, was sent to England in a cartel for the exchange of prisoners; and after his return, frequently mentioned the cause of his escape from the fate of the other prisoners, (who were put to death) and during his life he often repeated the anecdote.

    Thus for more than a century and a half the existence of Welsh tribes within the interior of our country (to the superior skill of whose ancestors, some have attributed the erection

    * Ib. see Lewis and Clark's visit to the MandaJi villages, p. 26. ante.

    52.            Origin of the Aborigines and ancient Ruins.            [Part 1.

    of our ancient fortifications, temples, and works of art has been asserted by various persons at different times and places, under circumstances so seemingly precluding the idea of preconcert, interest, or prejudice, as to render the assertion that Indians have been discovered on this Continent, whose language was understood by Welshmen, better supported than are many historical facts to which the world has yielded implicit credence. Many of the sources of information, as given by writers upon this subject, * remain unnoticed.

    Dr. Williams in his researches, concluded that the Delawares and Tuscaroras, † as well as certain tribes west of the Mississippi, were descendants of the Welsh. But the language and traditions of the former, so far as they are understood, prove that he was mistaken. If he had heard of the Alligewi, he might with some plausibility have conjectured that the Welsh were that extraordinary people, whom the ancestors of the Delawares and Iroquois expelled from the northern country, according to the tradition heretofore given.

    The Padoucas and Panis, who were once numerous and formidable, were of whitish complexion; but if their language was Welsh, the fact might probably have been placed beyond controversy many years ago.

    In conclusion, is it improbable that soon after the Spanish discovery of South America, or in the early visits of the Europeans, (as early as the commencement ofthe sixteenth century into Florida) some straggling Welshmen might have visited Florida or Alabama, and (like many resident traders since) inter-married with the natives? From a solitary instance, a numerous Welsh offspring would be reared in the succession of generations, during three hundred years. The Welshmen who accompanied Captain Stewart sixty years ago, chose to stay with

    * See Inquiry into the truth of a tradition concerning the discovery of America, by Prince Madog. ab. owen Guynedd, about anno 1170. By John Wilhams, LL.D. Lond. 1791 . Further observations, &c. by do. Lond. 1792. Beattey's Jour. Lond. 1768. Stoddard's Louisiana. London Gentlemen's Magazine for 1740, 1791.

    † See note ante, p. 48.

    § 8.]                                    Welsh Indians                                     53.

    the Indians. He may have contributed to preserve the lan-guage among them in modern purity, and thus rendered it intelligible to modern visiters. In some of their accounts, it is stated that the Welsh Indians knew their forefathers were Welsh. One statement relates that their ancestors were from Wales, but they did not know where Wales was. Suppose they were thus ignorant, even this circumstance might not be conclusive in favour of a very ancient settlement. It will be recollected that the Buccaneers of St. Domingo had in thirty years forgotten all traces of Christianity. If, however, we are to sustain a more ancient derivation: if, for instance, we would trace the ancestors of these Welsh Indians to the twelfth century; we must presume that the Welsh language, as spoken within the last century, has remained much like that which was used in Wales five centuries before; and that the difference between a savage and civilized condition, has not within that period contributed to render the dialect in its character and pronunciation so discordant, as to prevent its being mutually understood by modern Welsh and Welsh Indians. To sustain this presumption, we must further presume that the Welsh tongue has strangely escaped a mutability which has attended the English, * and every other living European language within a few hundred years.

    § 9.

    But from the assumed establishment of the fact of the existence of Welsh Indians, a strong probability has been deduced in favour of Madoc's voyage to this continent, and his colonial settlement in the twelfth century. Whether true or fictitious, Prince Madoc's adventures have been the theme of modern (27) as well as ancient song, and the historian, traveller, and antiquary, (28) as well as the bard, have concurred in supporting as authentic, what others (29) have considered

    * See Johnson's Histroy of the English language. Also an English Almanac for the year 1386. in the New-York Historical Library.

    54.            Origin of the Aborigines and ancient Ruins.            [Part 1.

    a fable. We shall not enter into the controversy, but dismiss it with a few observations.

    The basis of all the statements (30) which have appeared, seems to depend upon the authenticity of ancient records or collections made from time to time, and kept in the abbeys of Conway in Carnarvonshire, North Wales, and Strat Flur (or Strata Florida) South Wales. The best copy of these registers was taken, it has been said, by Gutton Owen, a bard in the reign of Edward IV. 1480, and is alluded to by other Welsh bards in their odes. They were the historians of their times. Their odes were written prior to any notion of a western world. Madoc's voyages were little known except by the native Welsh, who were ignorant whither he went. But their tradition having existed for ages before the reign of Elizabeth, could not have been a fiction invented to support the English against the Spanish claims of prior discovery. (31) It is asserted by respectable authority (32) that there are authentic records in the British tongue as to Madoc's expedition, wherever he did go, prior to the discovery of Columbus. Admitting that he left Wales, the supposition that he went to America is at best but posthumous and conjectural. (33) What part of America he came to, must also be purely matter of speculation. Accordingly, many analogies between Welsh and local languages, particularly in names, have been fancied. The address of Montezuma, the mighty emperor of Mexico, to his subjects, (1520) that "our forefathers came from a farre countrey, and their king and captaine who brought them hither returned again to his naturall countrey, saying that he would send such as should rule and govern us, if by chance he himself returned not," etc.; (34) the vestiges of Christianity; the honour paid to the cross in Acuzamil, according to Francis Lopez de Gomera; have all formed intended coincidences to a determinate conclusion in behalf of this adventurer. One writer (35) concludes that Madoc fell in with Virginia or New-England, and there settled. Another, that he landed near where Columbus discovered the country, or on some

    § 9.]                   Prince Madoc -- Indian Freemasonry.                  55.

    part of Florida. (36) The Virginians and Guahutemallians,* from ancient times are said by a third, (37) to have worshipped one Madoc as a hero. The monuments in the country are said to prove that Madoc had been in those parts. Peter Martyr, who appears to have been in the Spanish Court when Columbus returned, is supposed to have afforded decisive evidence that when Columbus landed on the coast, some nations in America honoured the memory of one Madoc, under the names of Matec Zungam and Mat Jugam, that is, Madoc the Cambrian. (38) We have seen that Madoc's colony must have landed, according to the tradition of Oconostoto, at the mouth of the Alabama. Dr. Williams (39) had, previously to the account of that tradition, concluded, from a review of all the evidences before him and a comparison of circumstances, that Madoc landed on some part of New-England or Virginia, and in process of time his colony extended itself southward to Mexico, and their descendants spread over a great part of America; that those foreign ancestors of the Mexican chiefs, of whom the Spanish writers often speak in their accounts of Cortez's adventures, were ancient Britons. (40)

    Those signs of freemasonry which modern travellers have found, are also thought to be of Welsh origin. Travellers describe † certain private societies among the Indians, which apparently resemble our lodges of freemasons. Their rules of government and admission of members are said to be nearly the same. No one can be received as a member of the fraternity except by ballot, and a concurrence of the whole is necessary to a choice. They have different degrees in the order. The ceremonies of initiation, and the mode of passing from one degree to another, would create astonishment in the mind of an enhghtened spectator. Is not this practice of European origin? In the early periods of English history

    * Or Guatemalians. -- See Dr. Cabrera's hypothesis hereafter. According to him, Votan was the first populator in Mexico, and the object of an idolatrous veneration.

    † Says Major Stoddard in Hist. Sketch of Louisiana.

    56.            Origin of the Aborigines and ancient Ruins.            [Part 1.

    the knowledge of freemasonry was mostly confined to the Druids; and Wales was more fruitful of this description of men than any other part of Europe. They were almost the only men of learning in those days: they executed the functions of priests, historians, and legislators. Those in Wales, in particular, animated their countrymen to a noble defence of their liberties, and afibrded so much trouble to the First Edward, that he ordered them to be barbarously massacred. This ferocious tyranny was carried into effect about the year 1282. Few only of the bards survived to weep over the miseries of their country.

    But a similar institution, it is said, prevails among our Iroquois Indians. These have never been suspected to be of Welsh extraction. Still they may have derived the signs from those who were. We receive the information from Governor Clinton, to whom it was communicated by a respectable Indian preacher, who received the signs of the mystery from a Menonie chief. The institution, therefore, must be prevalent among the Menoninies as well as other Indians. In this secret institution among the Indians, the members are very select. Among the Iroquois, the society consists of five Oneidas, two Cayugas, two St. Regis, six Senecas. They are said to have secret signs, and pretend that the institution has existed from eternity. The period of their meetings is unknown; but they assemble once in three years, as deputies under pretence of other business.

    If the Welsh Indians could be identified as descendants of Madoc's colony, or if the Alligewi could be ascertained to have been Welsh, the discovered traces of civilization, Christianity, and the arts, might partly be referred to their instrumentality. But the pre-existence of inhabitants when Madoc is supposed to have arrived, the crowded population (for instance in Ohio 700,000, as Mr. Atwater has conjectured, *) which formerly swarmed over this continent, preclude the

    * Vol. 1. Archae, Amer.

    § 10.]                                     Prince Madoc.                                     57.

    presumption that Madoc's colony (322 years only before Columbus) were the first settlers, or that they and their descendants were the sole constructors of all the mounds, temples, and fortifications that appear to have been erected. They may have contributed to swell the tide of population from the north of Europe: this is the opinion of De Laet, Hornius, and Mitchill, and may have aided in constructing the fortifications and works which bear so strong a resemblance to those of their own country. But limited must be the views that would circumscribe the origin of myriads who have swarmed over this continent, to the narrow confines of Wales,

    § 10.

    It is certain that our ancient forts in New-York resemble the old British and Danish. * Pennant, in his Tour through Wales, describes a strong British post on the summit of a hill in Wales, of a circular form, with a great foss and dike, and a small artificial mound within the precinct. A similar entrenchment he describes in his Tour in Scotland. * Beyond our State, particularly in Ohio, places of former worship, burial, and defence, have also, by comparison with the descriptions and drawings in Pennant's Tour, been assimilated to those of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. † The Danes descended from the Scythians, and made settlements and conquests on the British isles even since the days of Julius Caesar.

    According to Pliny, the name of Scythian was common to all nations living in the north of Asia and Europe. (41) The Scythians, therefore, from whom the Tartars were descended, in all probability first peopled the British isles. The fact that our works are in all respects like those of Britain, and that similar works may be found all the way from this part of

    * Gov. Clinton, in Memoirs on West. Antiq. of N. Y. See Pennant's Tour in Scotland, in Pinkerton's Collections.

    † See Atwater, Vol. I. Archae. Amer.

    58.            Origin of the Aborigines and ancient Ruins.            [Part 1.

    America to Tartary, furnishes some proof that the Tartars were the authors of ours also. (42)

    Edward Brerewood (43) claims the Tartars as the only parent people of the aborigines. John De Laet (44) a Flemish writer, Gregorio Garcia, (45) a Dominican, and father Joseph De Acosta, (46) a Spanish Jesuit, concur in ascribing the American aboriginal population to the north of Asia and of Europe. The first makes the Scythians, Tartars, and Samoiedes, the principal hive; but traces portions of the American family from the northwest of Europe, the islands near the western coasts of Africa, particularly the Canaries, and partly from Wales, under Prince Madoc. The two other authors suppose that these emigrants may have also come from those regions lying south of the straits of Magellan. Grotius (47) and Hornius (48) trace them from Norway, by way of Greenland; but the latter refers also to the Swedes, the Welsh, and others.

    Dr. Mitchill * says, that the suggestion of Mr. Clinton, of the Danish origin of some of the old forts in Onondaga and adjacent, was to him a new window of light. It led him to follow, with the reverend pastor Van Troil, the European emigrants, during the horrible commotions of the ninth and tenth centuries, to Iceland; trace them, with the reverend Mr. Crantz, to Greenland; and at last find the Scandinavians on the banks of the St. Lawrence. Madoc, Prince of Wales, and his Cambrian followers, appeared among these bands of adventurers. And thus the north-eastern lands of North America were visited by the hyperborean tribes from the north-westernmost climates of Europe; and the north-western climes of North America had received inhabitants of the same race from the north-eastern regions of Asia.

    The hypothesis of this learned philosopher is, that America. as well as Asia, had its Tartars in the north and its Malays in the south. He aims to prove, from a comparison of the features, manners, and dress, distinguishable in the North American

    * Vol. I. Archae. Amer. p. 341.

    § 10.]                     Tartars, Scadinavians, Malays, &c.                     59.

    nations of the higher latitudes, with those of the Samoiedes and Tartars of Asia, that they are of the same race; and, from the physiognomy, manufactures, and customs of the North American tribes of the middle and lower latitudes, and of the South Americans, that they are nearly akin to the Malay * race of Austral Asia and Polynesia; and that the north-western chmes of Europe contributed, as the north-eastern regions of Asia had, to the original population of this continent.

    This derivation of the Northern Americans from Asiatic and Norwegian ancestry, and the Southern from that of Southern Asia, is also ably maintained by Doctor Williamson; † and the theory has attracted the concurrence of some modern philosophers in Europe. ‡

    In conformity to this interesting hypothesis, the antiquary is instructed to trace the swarms from the great hive of nations existing to the eastward and westward of the Caspian Sea, in a manner very different from that which some writers of Europe have pursued, as the barbarians descended upon the more warm and productive countries of the south. "He will follow the hordes journeying by land eastward, and he will trace the fearless boatman venturing over sea westward, until the Tartar and the Samoied meet each other at the antipodes. He will find this antipodal region to the south of lakes Ontario and Erie; and thereon pursue the vestiges of their combats, their conflicts, and their untold story, to Onondaga,

    * See Blumenbach's Division of the Human Species, Malays, &c. in Vol. X. (newser.) N. Am. Rev. p. 405, 7. See Dr. Mitchill's Private Museum.

    † Observations on the Climate and Aborigines of America, on Complexion, &c. by Hugh Williamson, LL.D. N. Y. 1811. p. 102, &c. 128, &c. See also his Hist, of North Caro. Vol. I, p. 6, 7, 8, 213, 216. See Abbe Molina, Hist. Chili, Vol. II. B. 1. Ch. 1. See Atwater, in Vol. I. Archae. Amer. See also Humboldt, who supports the southern similarity with Malory. Humboldt is said to have written in German, an essay on the origin of the native tribes of America.

    ‡ Compte De Lacepede, President of the Academy of Arts at Paris. "Histoire naturelle de l'Homme," &c. See Dr. Mitchill's Dissertation, translated at Geneve, and appended by a learned commentary, 1817, Bibliobeque Universelle.

    60.            Origin of the Aborigines and ancient Ruins.            [Part 1.

    the great head-quarters of the victorious Iroquois. The Danes, or Finns, and Welshmen, performing their migrations gradually to the southwest, will appear to have penetrated to the country situate south of lake Ontario, and to have fortified themselves there. The Tartars or Samoieds, travelling, by degrees, from Alaska to the southeast, probably found them there. In their course, these Asian colonists probably exterminated the Malays (40) who had penetrated along the Ohio and its streams, or drove them to the caverns abounding in saltpetre and copperas in Kentucky and Tennessee, where their bodies, * accompanied with the clothes and ornaments of their peculiar manufacture, have been repeatedly disinterred and examined. Having achieved this conquest, the Tartars and their descendants had probably a much more difficult task to perform: this was, to subdue the more ferocious and warlike European colonists, who had already been intrenched and fortified in the country before them. There is evidence enough, that long and bloody wars were waged among the tribes. †

    In these, the Scandinavians and Esquimaux seem to have been overpowered in New-York. The survivors of the defeat and ruin retreated to Labrador, where they have continued secure and protected by barrenness and cold. How memorable a spot has been Onondaga! -- where men of the Malay race from the southwest, and of the Tartar blood from the northwest, and of the Gothic stock from the northeast, have successively contended for supremacy and rule, and which may be considered as having been possessed by each before the French, Dutch, or English, had ever visited or known the country!" (50)

    Father Charlevoix (51) allows that America might have received its first inhabitants from Tartary and Hyrcania; and that more than one nation had a Scythian or Tartarian origin. After enumerating a great number of writers, (52) and examining

    * See account of Indian Mummies, found in the Mammoth Cave of Kentucky, Vol. I. Archae. Amer. and specimens of their peculiar manufacture, &c. in Dr. Mitchill's Collection.

    † See Mr. Clinton's Memoir, Mr. Atwater's Antiquities, and others before cited.

    § 10.]                         European and Asiatic Tartars.                         61.

    particularly Acosta, L'Escarbet, Brerewood, and Grotius, he concludes in his opinion, that the ancient Celtae and Gauls, who sent colonies to the uttermost bounds of Asia and Europe, and whose origin may be undeniably carried back to the sons of Japhet, made their way into America by the Azores; and in reply to the objection, if raised, that the Azores were not inhabited in the fifteenth century, he replies, that the first discoverers of those islands abandoned them to make settlements in others of greater extent and fertility, and on an immense continent, whence they are not far distant. The Esquimaux, and other nations of North America, resemble so much those of the north of Asia and Europe, and so little the other natives of the new world, that it may be presumed they descended from the former.

    That there are genuine descendants from the ancient Scythians, or from their offspring the Tartars, of the north of Asia or Europe, might be placed beyond any reasonable doubt, if similitude in feature, manners, and customs, were to decide the question. One western nation in particular, among whom has been discovered a language of signs supposed to savour of Asiatic origin, * possess all the migratory habits and customs of the roving Tartars. These are the Hietans or Comanches. † Having no fixed residence, they alternately occupy the immense space of country from the Trinity and Braces, crossing the Red river to the heads of Arkansas and Missouri to river Grand; beyond it about Santa Fe, and over the dividing ridge on the waters of the Western Ocean. They have a native language by speech, which no others can understand; but they have a language by signs that all Indians understand. These roving Tartars occasionally display a rapidity

    * Jenk's Antiquarian Address, p. 24. Wm. Dunbar's communication in pt. 1. vol. VI. Transac. of Amer. Philo. Soc. Philadelphia. See Long's Expedition up the Missouri, for particulars of their language of signs.

    † See Reports accompanying the President's Message to Congress, 1806. Communicating the Discoveries of Lewis and Clark, Sibley and Dunbar. This account is in John Sibley's communication to Gen. Dearborn, then Secretary of War.

    62.            Origin of the Aborigines and ancient Ruins.            [Part 1.

    in hostile incursions and retreat, and a romance in achievement, which would do credit to the barbarous gallantry of their Asiatic brethren. (53)

    § 11.

    The question recurs, were the five nations and Delawares; (the native Indians of this state, who, according to their tradition, migrated from the west,) of a Tartar stock, and were the Alligewi, whom they expelled, the north-western Europeans, who had preceded them in their migration to this state? Pennant, (in his Arctic Zoology,) says, that the five nations and others in the interior of America, who are tall of body, robust in make, and of oblong faces, are derived from a variety among the Tartars, viz. from the fine stock of Tschutski, and these again from that fine race of Tartars, the Kabardenski, or inhabitants of Kabarda. Mr. Du Ponceau observes, * that it has been ascertained, that one nation at least, on the eastern continent of Asia, the Sedentary Tschutscki, speak an American language, a dialect of that (viz. the Karalit) which begins in Greenland, crosses the American continent, (on both coasts of which it is found among the people called Esquimaux,) is spoken at Norton Sound, and the mouth of the Anadir, and thence northward along the coast, to the peninsula called Tschutschkoi Noss, or the promontory of the Tschutscki. The inquiry may be more satisfactorily elucidated, when, (in our history of these Indians,) we shall contrast some of their prominent manners and customs with those of their supposed parent stock. From what has been said, there is strong ground for conjecturing, that their ancestors were Tartars originally, from the north of Asia, who by intermitted stages, were for years emigrating to the northern lakes and banks of the Mississippi; and after a long and destructive conflict, succeeded in conquering those

    * See Notes on Eliot's Indian Grammar, vol. IX. Mass. Hist. Coll, 2d Series, p. 233n. 312 -- IV.

    § 10.]                         European and Asiatic Tartars.                         63.

    European emigrants, who had fortified themselves throughout the country, from the Mississippi into New-York. But whether the ancestors of these victors or vanquished were the first people of America, or what country was the original cradle of the American family, are problems of much more difficult solution, than the Asiatic and European identity of these races of aborigines.

    In addition to authors named, who support a European or Asiatic origin, or one from both regions, we might add to the list of those who think that the north-eastern Asia might have been the route of the first people, the names of Robertson, Pennant, Barton, and others. *

    The vicinity of the two continents of Asia and America, says Dr. Robertson, renders it highly probable that the human race first passed that way from Asia. In latitude 66 degrees north, the two coasts are thirteen leagues only asunder; about midway between which are two islands, less than twenty miles distant from either shore. Here the Asiatics could find no difficulty in passing to the opposite coast, which was in sight of their own. They might have crossed on sledges, or on foot in the winter, when the strait is entirely frozen over, according to the accounts of Captain Cook and several of his inferior officers. It is remarkable that in every peculiarity in person and disposition which characterize the Americans, they have some resemblance to the rude tribes scattered over the north-east of Asia, but almost none to the nations settled in the northern extremities of Europe.

    Mr. Pennant observes that the inhabitants of the New World do not consist of the offspring of a single nation: different people at several diflerent periods arrived there, and it is impossible to say that any one is now to be found on the spot of its colonization. It is impossible, with the lights which we have so recently received, to admit that America could receive the bulk of its inhabitants from any other

    * Robertson's Hist. Amer. Pennant's Arc. Zool. Barton's New Views. Sec Quarterly and Edinburgh Reviews.

    64.            Origin of the Aborigines and ancient Ruins.            [Part 1.

    place than Eastern Asia. Mr. Pennant describes striking similarities between the ancient Scythians, or Tartars of Asia, and the American tribes. These and other peculiarities will be noticed in our account of the Iroquois and Delawares, the ancient proprietors of the territory of New-York. Mr. Pennant mentions, for instances, the practice of scalping among the Scythians; their lingering ferocity towards their captives; the Tartarian mode of burial; the practice of pricking their faces and marking the punctures with charcoal, as observed by the Tungusi, the most numerous nation in Siberia; the Asiatic canoes and paddles; and the features and bodily form of tlie Tartar nations, as striking similitudes to those of the American nations. *

    In the reserved dispositions, as well as persons and colour of the North American Indians, a strong resemblance has been observed to those of the Malays of the Oriental Archipelago, that is, the Tartar tribes of Upper Asia; like these they also shave their head, leaving only a lock of hair. The practice of those refined Tartars, the Chinese, of binding the feet in infancy, also prevails among the Indians, but for the purpose only, as is said, of turning the toes inward. "We might adduce," says the Quarterly Review, † "the picture language of the Mexicans, as corresponding with the ancient picture-language of China, and the Quipos of Peru with the knotted and partly coloured cords, which the Chinese history informs us were in use in the early period of the empire; we might compare the high cheek bones, and the elongated eye of the two people, and produce other resemblances as so many corroborating proofs of a common origin."

    In fact, it has been supposed that M. de Humboldt ‡ has demonstrated the identities of the Mexicans and Tartarian nations,

    * Pennant's Arc. Zool.

    † No. LVII. p. 13. See specimens of this picture language in Dr. Mitchill's private museum.

    ‡ Whose essay, in German, on the origin of the native tribes of America is hardly yet known here.

    § 10.]                         European and Asiatic Tartars.                         65.

    by a comparison of the zodiac of those people respectively. "The very learned and sagacious comparison," says Professor Vater, * "which he has made between the divisions of time of the Mexicans, and the tribes of eastern Asia respectively, shows a visible analogy throughout their modes of computing time, which can by no means be ascribed to coincidence, especially where so many other circumstances lead us to assume a connexion between the nations. The Mexicans, Japanese, Thebetians, and various other nations of inner Asia, have undeniably the same system in the division of their great cycle, and in the names which they give to the years of which it is composed. This argument is also confirmed by the still farther discovery, that a great number of the names whereby the Mexicans designate the twenty days of their month, are precisely the signs of the zodiac, as it has been received from time immemorial by the tribes of eastern Asia." †

    Doctor Barton, and other respectable writers who have examined the subject, arrange themselves on the same side of the question. After a brief description of several North American and Asiatic tribes, Dr. Barton subjoins comparative vocabularies of their languages, and from the similarity between some of them; the superior population of the more western regions of North America, which abound with a greater number of mounds, &c. than the eastern parts; and from the general tradition of the aborigines, he concludes that the march of population was originally from Asia to America.

    Accordingly, the first inhabitants passed from Asia across the islands that lie between the extremities of Asia and America, but at different times and from various parts: Tartary, China, Japan, or Kamschatka: the inhabitants of these countries resembling each other in colour, feature, shape, ‡ and in many other particulars.

    * In vol. IV. Mithridates, cited vol. VII. N. Am. Rev. (new series.) p. 15.

    † See ibid.

    ‡ New Travels among the Indians, by William Fisher. Esq. Philadelphia 1812.


    66.            Origin of the Aborigines and ancient Ruins.            [Part 1.

    § 12.

    In what manner the populators of this continent might have passed from Asia, or from Europe, may be conceived as easily as the transit of people after the deluge, to the extremities of those continents, and to that of Africa. *

    Asia and America are supposed to have been united at the north, † and afterwards separated by one of those catastrophes which at times convulse the surface of the globe. Charlevoix thought the two continents still united far to the north. But they are separated, as we formerly observed, by islands at so short a distance, ‡ that the strait when not frozen over, may be passed by canoes with far less hazard than the fearless Esquimaux sometimes dares in venturing upon the mountain waves. §

    So between the north-east of America, and the north-west of Europe, the difficulties, though greater than those above-mentioned, were by no means appalling to northern navigators. They must have been far less so anciently than in modern days, if we credit, with Hakluyt and others, || the former existence of an island (larger than Ireland, but now sunk,) situated between Greenland and Iceland, in the days of Zeno. Even from the British Isles, or Coast of France to

    * As to the migration of the human race after the deluge, see preface to D'Anville's ancient geography.

    † And according to Acosta and Feijoo, as cited by Clavigero, the first emigrants came across at that point. Buffon also thought the two continents united by oriental Tartary.

    ‡ See account of Kamschatka, published by order of the Empress of Russia, Robertson's Amer. Life of Catherine, Empress of Russia.

    § See the modern northern voyages. Indians not only of the north, but of the South Sea Islands, and West-Indies are daring navigators. Theyseem to pursue their course from one place to another, with nearly the same unerring precision, which marks their straight forward way through a vast wilderness, wherein civilized people would become bewildered and lost.

    || See H's Collections. Forester's Northern Voyages.

    § 13.]                         Tartars and other nations.                         67.

    Newfoundland, the passage is not very long or difficult. A passage may with ease be effected from the coast of Africa to Brazil -- Canaries to the Western Islands -- thence to the Antilles. Neither is it very long or difficult from China to Japan -- Japan or the Philippines to the Mariannes -- thence to Mexico.

    America has been peopled as the other parts of the world have been: independently of pre-design -- unforseen accident, tempasts, and shipwreck have certainly contributed to people every habitable part of the world. *

    § 13.

    This is also the opinion of Governor Clinton. "The probability † is, that America was peopled from various quarters of the old world, and that its predominant race is the Scythian or Tartarian. Malte Brun, the great French geographer, in his Precis de la Geographie Universalle, &c., speaks of the vast colonial system of the Carthaginians; of Phoenician navigation, of that of the Arabians and the Malays, to the Moluccas and to America; and it is almost certain, that the squadrons of the Japanese and the Malays traversed the great Southern Ocean, now filled with their colonies. Diodorus Siculus says, that the Phornicians sailed far into the Atlantic Ocean. Herodotus states, that Africa was circumnavigated by vessels despatched by Necho, king of Egypt, under the conduct of Phoenicians. Hanno, according to Pliny, during the most flourishing times of Carthage, sailed round from Gades to the utmost extent of Arabia, and wrote an account of this voyage, called the Periplus. That vessels from the old world, have been driven by tempests on the coast of America, is certain, and that they have gone there at early periods for various purposes, is highly probable. A communication can be had between America and the old world, without any considerable navigation. They are in

    * Gov. C. in MS. view of this question, with which he has favoured us.

    68.            Origin of the Aborigines and ancient Ruins.            [Part 1.

    one place divided by a strait, and where the distance enlarges, access can be easily had by intervening islands. Grotius says, that the Peruvians were a Chinese colony, that the Spaniards found at the entry of the Pacific Ocean, after coming through the straits of Magellan, the wrecks of Chinese vessels. Captain Ahaler, our intelligent consul-general at Algiers, is well assured that a Chinese junk was wrecked on the north-west coast of America; some of the money of that country was found on board. Forster supports that the fair South Sea race came from the Malays, and the blacks from the Moluccas.

    It is mentioned in the General History of the Canaries, that in 1770, a small vessel laden with corn, and bound from Lancerotte to Santa Cruz, in Teneriffe, was driven to sea while none of the crew were on board. The motion of the waters from east to west, carried it to America, where it went on shore at La Guaira, near Caraccas.

    In 1682 and 1684, American savages, of the race of the Esquimaux, were driven out to sea in their leather canoes during a storm, and, left to the guidance of the currents, reached the Orcades. Oliny says, that certain Indians were driven by tempests on the coast of Germany, and presented to Quintus Metallus, by the King of the Suevi. Thirty persons, (according to Lettres edifiantes et curieuses escrites des Missions estrangeres, tom. 15.) of both sexes in two canoes, arrived in the isle of Samal, one of the Philippines who had been driven by storms from an island three hundred leagues distant, and had been at sea seventy days. Captain Cook in his last voyage, found in the island of Walevo, two hubdred leagues distant from the Society Islands, some of the natives who had been driven thither by a storm, in a canoe. Tupaya, an Otabeitan, had, according to Captain Cook, sailed four hundred leagues from home, or about twenty degrees of longitude. Captain Porter states, that the Marquesas frequently sail out in their boats on a venture, without knowing the destination.

    When a mutiny took place on board of the ship Bounty,

    § 13.]                         Transit of the first people.                         69.

    Lieut. Bligh commander, he and eighteen men were put into an open boat on the 28th of April, 1788, and on the 29th of May, arrived at New-Holland, distant nearly four thousand miles. But the Quarterly Review (No. 52,) mentions an occurance still more extraordinary. "A native of Ulea, one of the numerous islets forming the great group of the Carolinas, was, with three companions, driven by a violent storm out of their course, and drifted about in the open sea eight months. Being expert fisherman, they lived on the produce of the sea, and when the rain fell, laid in fresh water. One of them being an expert diver, got water in a cocoa-nut shell from the bottom of the sea where it is not salt."

    These facts show how the different races of men may have been spread over the globe, and indicate that America has derived its population from different sources in different ways, and at different times; by long voyages, and by short excursions, by tempests, by voyages of commerce and discovery, and by the other various causes which govern the conduct, and affect the destiny of man."

    In further coincidence with this opinion of a Scythian or Tartarian origin, and that the several quarters of the globe have contributed to people this continent in various ways, and at different times; we might superad other writers, distinguished for their learning and research. America, according to one of them, * was inhabited before the deluge. † After this event, men and animals penetrated into the country by sea and land, through accident and design. The Scythians from the north were the first founders; the Phoenicians and Carthaginians followed next across the Atlantic; and the Chinese, the Pacific; people of other nations succeeded, or were driven hither by tempests. Some Jews and Christians by like means, might have been brought hither. Another migration of the Phoenicians is supposed by this writer to have taken

    * Georgi Horni de Originibus Americanis, 1652. (Printed at Hague.)

    † The tradition of the deluge is prevelant among some of the Indian nations; remarkably so among the Caddos. See note.

    70.            Origin of the Aborigines and ancient Ruins.            [Part 1.

    place during the three years' voyage, made by the Tyrian fleet, in the service of king Solomon, and on the authority of Josephus; he says that the port of its embarkation lay in the Mediterranean. The fleet, he continues, went in quest of elephants' teeth, &c. to the western coast of Africa, that is Tarshish; then to Ophir * for gold, which is Haiti, or the Island of Hispaniola. He superadds migrations since the Christian era.

    Caleb Atwater, Esq. whose contributions of facts to the collections of the American Antiquarian Society have been curious and valuable, supposes that the first settlers sprang from one common origin, as early as the days of Abraham and Lot; that their improvements were originally rude, such as were common to those early ages; their progress in arts slow, but apparently improving as they advanced from the north to the south. † The works described in those collections are offered as evidence of a race widely different from any now known. ‡  

    The hypothesis of an Israelitish origin, or that the American Indians are descendants of the long-lost tribes of Israel, has been ably assumed by Adair, § supported by Boudinot, ||

    * Dr. Robertson (Hist. Am. B. 1. p. 3. 12mo.) thinks that Tarshish and Ophir were ports in India or Africa.

    † In Archae. Amer. Vol. I. see p. 223, as to the progress in arts, in workmanship of gold, silver, copper bricks, iron, pottersware.

    ‡ See Review in Vol. III. (new series) North American Review. p. 225.

    § History of American Indians. Lond. 1775.

    || Star in the West, or an attempt to discover the long-lost tcn tribes of Israel. Trenton N. J. 1816. This is an improvement upon Adair. as Mr. Boudinot acknowledges. p. 211. See Rob. Ingram's accounts of ten tribes being in Amenca originally published by R. Manassah Ben Israel. Printed Colchester, Eng. 1792. A reverend writer in Vermont has also published a work on this hypothesis, and is said to be engaged in preparing another edition. See also Campbell on Western Antiquities. Port Folio. June 1816. See the custom (given in Lewis and Clark's Travels, Vol. 1. p. 366, 382.) of the Shoshonees uncovering their feet likened to the Mosaic. Asiatic Researches, Vol. II. p. 76, as to Jews discovered in China called, Afghans. See Jenk's Antiquarian Address.

    § 14.]                                       Israelitish.                                       71.

    and denied by Jarvis, * on the assumption that there is no affinity between the Indian and Hebrew tongues.

    One writer has gone so far as to trace the primogenitors of the American Indians to the descendants of the murderer Cain. His essay is ingenious, and contains a full quotation and explanation of scripture references. He insists, however, upon the former union of the Asiatic and American continents. †

    It has been further urged that the progressive movements of the human family were uniformly eastward and northward from the Euphrates. The inhabitants of Asia being the descendants of Shem, did not move to the westward in any numbers. The aborigines, therefore, belonged to a stock of those who moved eastward from the Euphrates, and crossing at Behring Straits, came to our western country from the north-west. Some of the Mexicans declare that their ancestors came from the north-west.

    At the deluge, arts had arrived to great improvement and refinement. A respectable portion of this knowledge was preserved from the wreck, and communicated by the sons of Noah. From the descendants of Shem, the first settlers of Asia, that is, the Israelites, (or what is synonymous, the ten tribes) we derive the commencement of all that knowledge, which served to keep the vast continent of Asia from total barbarism. The Israelites carried captive by Salmaneser, in the time of Hoshea, became, in a great measure, incorporated with the neighbouring nations; and from this source, or in this channel, we deduce many of the customs which prevailed, and continue to prevail in Asia, and which have been frequently recognised among the Tartars, the aborigines of the western country, and the present race of Indians. ‡

    * Discourse in No. 3. N. Y. Hist. Collec. and reviewed in Vol. X1. N. Am. Rev. p. 103.

    † In Vol. I, (old) Am. Mag. p. 196. 246, &c.

    ‡ See Campbell on the Antiquities of the western part of our country. See Port Folio, June 1816. As to the migration of the human race after the deluge, see the translator's praface to D'Anville's Ancient Geography.


    72.            Origin of the Aborigines and ancient Ruins.            [Part 1.

    § 14.

    Mr. Jefferson was of opinion that emigrants might have easily passed from the north-east of Asia, or north-west of Europe into America; but he considered the red Americans more ancient than those of Asia, upon the assumption that radical changes of language among the former have taken place in greater numbers, than they have among the latter. *

    Some philosophers, considering this continent coexistent with that of Asia, are not more willing to yield to the latter any claim to remote antiquity over the former, then they are to Europe a pretension to physical superiority, so arrogantly maintained by Du Pauw and Buffon, but so ably refuted by Mr. Jefferson and the Abbe Clavigero.

    We hereto fore observed that Baron Humboldt (54) was astonished to find in the New World, so called, institutions, religious ideas, and edifaces, flourishing in the fifteenth century, which in Asia indicated the dawn of civilization. Abbe Clavigero (55) thought the first American people descended from different families after the confusion of tongues, and that the language and customs of the Asiatics will in vain be examined for the origin of the people of the New World. It is his belief that there has been an equinoctial union of America and Africa, as well as a former connexion at the north with Asia and Europe.

    § 15.

    Siquenza (whose opinion was adopted by Bishop Huet) supposed that the Mexicans belonged to the posterity of Naphtalim, and that their ancestors left Egypt not long after the confusion of tongues, and travelled towards America. This is a conjecture which Abbe Clavigero considers well supported, but not sufficiently sustained to be pronounced a truth.

    * Notes on Virginia. See Dr. Jarvis's Discourse, note C. in Vol. III, N. Y. Hist. Coll. p. 227-228.

    § 15.]                           Romans -- Africans -- Votan.                           73.

    The ruins of an ancient city near Palenque, in the province of Chiapa, and kingdom of Guatemala, in Spanish America, are described as exhibiting the remains of magnificent edifaces, temples, towers, aqueducts, statues, hieroglyphics, and unknown characters. This city (since called the Palencian city) was first discovered by Captain Antonio Del Rio, in 1787. He says in his report, * that the town appears to have been seven or eight leagues in length, and at least half a league in breadth; that from a Romish similarity in location, in that of a subterranean stone aquaduct, and from certain figures in Stucco, he thought that an intercourse once existed between the original natives and Romans. The Palencian edifices are of very remote antiquity, having been buried for many ages in the impenetrable thickets covering the mountains, and unknown to the historians of the new world.

    Among the few historical works that escaped the flames of the Spanish conquerors, (who destroyed most of the memorials of the natives) was an ancient narrative, which is said to have fallen into the hands of the bishop of Chiapa, who refers to it in his Diocesan Constitution, printed at Rome, 1702. This was the narrative of Votan, which it is conjectured by Doct. Cabrera, of New Guatemala, † may still be extant. A copy (as Doct. C. believes) of the original, in hieroglyphics, (taken soon after the conquest) was communicated to him in a memior from a learned friend.

    From an interpretation of this copy of the hieroglyphic narrative of Votan, he is made to say, that he conducted seven families from Valum Votan to this continent, and assigned lands to them; that he is the third of the Votans; that having determined to travel till he arrived at the root of heaven, in

    * See Description of the Ruins of an Ancient City, &c. from the MS of Don Antonio del Rio, and Teatro Critico Americano, or Critical Investigation, &c. into the history of the Americans, by Doct. Paul Felix Cabrera, Lond. 1822.

    † Ib. Descrip. of Ruins, &c.

    74.            Origin of the Aborigines and ancient Ruins.            [Part 1.

    order to discover his relations, the Culebreas, * and make himself known to them, he made four voyages to Chivim; that he arrived in Spain, and went to Rome; that he saw the great house of God building, &c.

    According to Doctor Cabrera's hypothesis, the figures and deities of the Palacian city, and particularly the hieroglyphics, are Egyptian. A maritime communication existed between the American and African continents, in the very remotest ages of antiquity. The grandfather of Votan was a Hivite, originally of Tripoli, in Syria, (of a nation famous for having produced Cadmus) and was the first populator of the New World. That Votan, his grandson, made four voyages to the old continent, and landed at Tripoli. The earliest inhabitants consequently came from the east to America, proceeded from its eastern part to the northward, and again descended. At any rate, this, according to Dr. Cabrara, is the solution of the grand historical problem, so far as it regards the first peopling of the countries bordering on the Gulf of Mexico, and islands adjacent. He admits, that from various accidents since the introduction of the art of navigation, it is probable that many other families, besides those conducted hither by Votan, may have been conveyed to different parts of America and formed settlements.

    Among the ruins of the Palacian city, were found several figures and idols. Agreeably to the Doctor's interpretation of these figures, Votan is represented thereon as on both continents, with an historical event, the memory of which he was desirous of transmitting to future ages. His voyages to, and return from, the old continent, are also depicted. One of the idols, bearing a mitre or cap, with bull's horns, and found in the temple of the city, is the Osiris, and another, the Isis of the Egyptians. These transmarine deities were known also to the Greeks, Romans, and Phoenicians.

    * How striking are these incidents, compared with those related of Madoc! See p. 54, and note 22. Are the words Valum Votan, Culebras, Chivim, &c. of Welsh etymology?

    § 15.]                                             Votan.                                             75.

    In order to sustain his conclusion, the Doctor is forced to enter upon a train of bold conjecture. The speeches of Montezuma, (who has already been claimed as the descendant of Madoc by his advocates) to Cortes, on his submission to the domination of Charles V, and his address to the chiefs and caciques, are supposed to refer to the arrival and departure of Votan.

    In the range of his conjectures, while attempting to trace the affinity of Votan's grandfather with the ancient Hivites, their migration to Egypt, and the antiquity of Votan's voyage, and those of his grandson, the Doctor enters learnedly into ancient mythology, and lays much stress upon the opinion of the benedictine Calmet, in his commentary on the Old Testament, and upon Hornius, as cited by Calmet.

    Accordingly, on the ingress of the Hebrews into Palestine, and in consequence of the Hebrew wars, the Canaanites, who were expelled by Joshua and the judges, fled into Egypt, persued their course to the remotest regions of Africa, having occupied its coasts gradually, as they were oppressed by the Hebrew wars, (though many of the Hivites abandoned their dwellings before Joshua entered Palestine;) that these colonies existed prior to the Trojan was, (the era of which is 240 years after the death of Joshua) became Greeks returning thence, found that every part of the coast of Africa where they landed, had been already peopled by the Phoenicians; that on this point, Greek and Latin writers agree, according to the testimony of Bochart, in his work entitled Canaan, and of Hornius, on the origin of the people of America, lib. 2, cap. 3, 4, quoted by Calmet. Hence the foundation of the first colony in America, by the grandfather of Votan. Hornius, supported by the authority of Strabo, affirms, as certain, that voyages from Africa and Spain into the Atlantic Ocean, were both frequent and celebrated, adding, from Strabo, that Eudoxius, sailing from the Arabian gulf to Ethiopia and India, found the prow of a ship that had been wrecked, which, from having the head of a horse carved on it, he knew belonged to a Phoenician bark, and some Gaditani merchents declared it

    76.            Origin of the Aborigines and ancient Ruins.            [Part 1.

    to have been a fishing vessel. Laertius relates nearly the same circumstance. Hornius says, that in very remote ages, three voyages were made to America, the first by Atlantes, or descendants of Atlas, who gave his name to the ocean, and the islands, Alantides: this name Plato appears to have learned from the Egyptian priests, the general custodes of antiquity. The secod voyage, mentioned by Hornius, is given on the authority of Diodorus Siculus, lib. 5, cap. 19, where he says, the Phoenicians, having passed the columns of Hercules, and impelled by the violence of the winds, abandoned themselves to its fury; and after experiencing many tempests; were driven upon an island in the Atlantic Ocean, distant many days sail to the westward of the coast of Lybia. This island, upon which were large buildings, had a fertile soil, and navigable rivers. The report of this discovery soon spread among the Carthaginians and Romans, the former being harrased by the wars of the latter, and the people of Mauritania, sent a colony to that island with great secrecy, that, in the event of being overcome by their enemies, they might possess a place of retreat.

    But acccording to Doct. Cabrera, Votan's ancestors must have emigrated prior to this second voyage of the Phoenicians, for the latter found houses, &c. and anterior to the Punic wars.

    The other voyage in the Atlantic, spoken of by Calmet, was anterior to the preceeding, and is that attributed to Hercules, who is the supposed author of the Gaditanian columns, and whom Calleo ranks as contemporary with Moses, and chief of the Canaanites, who left Palestine on the invasion of Joshua. The Hivites founded the kingdom of Tyre. Sallus affirms, that the soldiers of Hercules Tyrius, and their wives, spoke the African language. Diodorus asserts, that one Hercules navigated the whole circuit of the earth, and built the city of Alecta in Septimania. From what Doct. Cabrera considers an irrefragable body of evidence, founded upon the coincidence of the memorials of writers of the old continent,

    § 16.]                                             Votan.                                             77.

    with the tradition, as introduced in Montezuma's two discourses, that the Mexicans came originally from the east; the narrative of Votan; the incidents commemorated by a discovered medal; the report of Captain Del Rio, and the figures of the ultramarine deities, sketched by him in the temple of the Palencian city, the Doctor concludes, that Hercules Tyrius was the progenitor of Votan, Septimania, beyond a doubt, the island of Atlantis, or Hispaniola; the city of Alecta was Valum Votan, the capital of that island whence Votan embarked his first colony to people the continent of America, and whence he departed for the countries on the old hemisphere.

    Votan, the grandson of Hercules, and author of the narrative, was the third of his race, and flourished between three and four hundred years before the Christian era. The Romans and Carthaginians derived their first knowledge of America from Votan himself, on his return to the old continent, and his visit to Rome; and the first Carthaginian colony was sent previous to the first Punic war, and after the information thus communicated.

    This hypothesis is not, it seems, founded upon that of an ancient union of the two continents.

    § 16.

    So formidable, however, have been the interposing difficulties, as viewed by the learned, in arriving at any certainty when and whence came the first people of America, and how and when animals first appeared there, * that many suppose, (for instance, Acosta, Grotius, Buffon, and Abbe Clavigero,) that this continent was once connected with the old continents, and by some great convulsion, the communications have been destroyed. There cannot be any doubt that our planet has

    * See Barton'd Views. Reese's New Cyclop.

    78.            Origin of the Aborigines and ancient Ruins.            [Part 1.

    been subject to great vicissitudes since the deluge. Lands over which ships once sailed, are now the seats of cultivation; lands which were formerly cultivated, are now covered by water. Earthquakes have swallowed some lands, subterraneous fires have thrown up others. Rivers have formed new soil with their mud; the sea has retreated from shores and lengthened the land; or advancing, diminished it, or separated territories which were united, and formed new straits and gulfs. Pliny, Seneca, Diodorus, and Strabo, report a great many instances of such vicissitudes. According to them, Spain and Africa were united, and by a violent irruption of the ocean upon the land between the mountains Abyla and Calpe, that communication was broken, and the Mediterranean sea formed. Sicily had been united to the continent with Naples, and Eubes, (the Vlack sea,) to Boeotia. The people of Ceylon have a tradition that an irruption of the sea separated their island from the peninsula of India; so those of Malabar, with respect to the isles of Malvidia; and by the Malayans with respect to Sumatra. (56) It is certain, says the Count de Buffon, that in Ceylon the earth has lost by the sea thirty or forty leagues, while Tongres, a place in the low countries, has gained thirty leagues of land from the sea. The northern part of Egypt owes its existence to the innundation of the Nile. The earth which this river has brought from the inland countries of Africa, and deposited in its innundations, has formed a soil more than twenty-five cubits of depth. * In like manner, adds the above author, the province of the Yellow river in China, and that of Louisiana, have been formed from the mud of rivers. The peninsula of Yucatan, in America, no doubt was once the bed of the sea. In the channel of the Bahama, indications appear of a former existing union of Cuba with Florida. In the strait which separates America from Asia, are many islands, which probably were the mountains belonging to that tract of land, which we suppose to have been swallowed by earthquakes, a probability

    * Ali Bey maintains (in his travels) that the great African desert was once an ocean.

    § 16.]                                     Union of Continents.                                    79.

    strengthened by the knowledge we have of the multitude of volcanos in the peninsula of Kamschatka. The sinking of that land, and the separation of the two continents, however, is imagined to have been occasioned by those great and extraordinary earthquakes mentioned in the history of the Americans, which formed an era almost as memorable as that of the deluge. (57) Abbe Clavigero is pursuaded that there was an ancient union between the equinoctial countries of America and those of Africa, and a united continuation of the northern countries of America with those of Europe or Asia; the latter affording a passage for beasts of cold climes, the former for quadrupeds and reptiles peculiar to hot climes. He also believes that there was formerly a great tract of land, which united the now most eastern part of Brazil to the most western part of Africa, and that all that space of land may have been sunk by some violent earthquakes, leaving only some traces of it in the isles of Cape de Verd, Fernando de Norona, Ascension, St. Matthew, and others, and the many sand-banks discovered by different navigators, and particularly by De Bauche, who sounded the sea with particular care and exactness. Those islands and sand-banks may probably have been the highest parts of that sunken continent. It is also the belief of the Abbe Clavigero, that the most westerly part of America was formerly united by means of a smaller continent to the most easterly part of Tartary, and perhaps America was united also by Greenland with the northern countries of Europe. Dr. Foster entertained an opinion, which however he afterwards questioned, that Friesland, (larger according to Hakluyt than Ireland) to which the Venetian Zenos in the beginning of the fourteenth century proceeded, and thence advantured at sea for years in the service of Sichmi, the enterprising chief of the island, was situated between Iceland and Greenland, and has since been swallowed by the sea in a great earthquake. Dr. Belknap * coincided in this opinion, and thought the sunken

    * American Biog. V. I. p. 74.

    (pages 80-101 under construction)

    80 Origin of the Aborigines and ancient liuiiis. [Part L land of Buss, was a part of the ancient Fiieslrmd, or some is- land in its neighbourhood. The opinion of Foster was founded on the probability that all the high islands in the middle of the sea are of volcanic origin, as it is evident,* with respect to Iceland and the Faro islands in the north sea : the Azores. Teneriffe, Madeira, the Cape de Verds, St. H* lena, and Ascen- sion, in the Atlantic ; the Society Islands, Otaheite, Easter, the Marquesas, and other islands in the Pacific. Abbe Molina* observes that the Chilians say their ancestors came from the north or the west. That they came from the west he thinks is not so extravagant an opinion as at first view might appear. The discoveries of the English navigators in the South sea, have established, that between America and the south >rn point of Asia, there is a chain of innumerable islands, the pros, ble remains of some vast tract of land, which in that quarter, once united the two continents, and rendered the communication between Asia and the opposite shore of America easy. Whence it is very possible, as Abbe Molina concludes, that wjiile North America has been peopled from the north-v. est, the south has received its inhabitants from the southern parts of Asia; the natives of this part of the new world being of a mild charac- ter, much resembling that of the southern Asiatics, and little tinctured with the ferocity of the Tartars: like the language of the Oriental Indians, theirs is also harmonious, and abounds in vowels.* Mr. Haydenf in his Geological Essays, supposes that strong evidence exists, that a general current prevailed over the whole of this (American) continent, flowing from the north-east to the south-west. According to the geology of a distinguished professor in natural philosophy in this State,J the basins of lakes Erie. * History Chili, Vol. II. C. 1. ch. 1, f 11. 11, Hayden,E6q. Geolog. Essays, reviewed in vol. 3. new series, IS". Am. Rev. p. 150. t Dr. Samuel L. RTitchill, Geoloj. Observ. p. 320, published with Cu- vjei's Theory of Kje Earth. See also Professor Eatoo's late Geological 10.j Former Union of Continents Geology of JVeio-York. 81 Ontario, and other reservoirs of the great inland seas, were once fdled with salt water. The numerous remains of marine ani- mals adjacent to the lakes, the lithophytous and testaceous relics abounding in the western and northern counties of this state, are adduced as proofs of "the recession of the ancient oceanic waters of the primitive globe, that once rolled over this region. The first and principal t)f those ancient barriers or dams, which appeared, according to this theory, on the sub- sidence of the ocean, was that which has been traced from Up- per Canada into New-York, to the head waters of the Hudson, to the north end of lake George, to the little falls on the Mo- hawk, to the eastern sources of the Susquehanna, through New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, until it becomes confounded with the Alleghany ridge ; thence we pur- sue the barrier or mound, until the Cumberland mountain divides the Tennessee river from the Cumberland river, and sliows its abrupt termination at the Ohio, between the spaces where those two rivers unite with the Ohio. From this point a vast gap, or prairie, extends towards the hills that skirt the Illinois river and mountains west of Cape Girardeau in Mis- souri, beyond the Mississippi, furnishing the only remaining vestiges of the ancient barrier.* This grand rampart, in the course of ages, was broken at various places: a breach was formed, for instance at the north eastern extremity of lake Ontario, where the thousand islands and neighbouring scenery bear evidence of the mighty rush of the waters, as they prostrated (by the probable agency of an earthquake) the opposing mound, and lowered Ontario one hun- dred and sixty feet, to the level of its outlet. The country was left bare from the heights of the ridge road, which runs from Queenston and Lewiston heights, to the Genessee river : the Surveys. Mr. Clinton's Introductor3' Discourse before the New-York Literary and Philosophical Society, and note G. Also his address to the Historical Society. * Even the summit of Michillimackinac contains the shells of bivalve mo?- luscas, and must consequently have been covered with ^ 19.] Conclusion. 91 the separation, by the various means which we may imagine have contributed to display animal life in every habitable part of the world. Navigation, in some ages, has been in a higher stage of improvement than in others. The com- mercial enterprise of some nations far transcended that of others. An ancient knowledge of the magnet may have occasioned its adaptation to maritime purposes, in those remote ages of the world, of the events of which we have neither profane nor sacred record. But independently of this conjectural assistance, the spirit of bold and fearless adventure may have occasionally impelled men to trust themselves from land, or men less fearless, may have been driven to sea by storms, and in either case, they may have accidentally arrived on this continent. In this manner, indivi- duals from different parts of the world, and even from the middle latitudes of the old continents, may have been convey- ed to this, and, consequently, have introduced the peculiar traits of their respective national characteristics. Neverthe- less, since the separation, the facilities of intercourse in mod- ern ages, having remained at the north from Asia, far superior to those elsewhere, the predominant race of the aborigines has consequently been Asiatic, of the Tartar and Malay stocks. These may have, in a great measure, supplanted those races that had preceded them previously to the destruction of the former connexions of this continent with the others, and whose monuments of art and civilization are to be traced in our most ancient ruins. But the minor classes of population, having proceeded in modern ages from various other coun- tries, and particularly from the north of Europe, (where the facilities of communication remained next in excellence to those from Asia,) heterogeneous races have met and commingled, fought and incorporated, confounding their individual nation- alities, and thereby introducing the confusion which still pre- vails among the native tribes, in colour, shape, language, manners, customs, traditions, religious ideas, knowledge, and manual skill. General deductions from individual indica- tions have been made, and hence has arisen the various and 02 Origin oj the Aborigines and ancient Ruins. [Paet I contradictory hypotheses upon the peoplinc;: of America. Although the probability is, that the Asiatic stock preponder- ates, yet formidable migrations have no doubt, in different ages, been made from the north of Europe. It will appear under the third division of the present part, that the Scadinavi- ans probably visited the north-eastern coasts of this continent, and for a longtime contended for supremacy with the natives, whom by way of contempt they denominated, Skrselings. What extent of dominion they acquired, how long they re- mained, or what portion of their countrymen intermixed with the natives, and continued among them after the northern voy- agers had ceased to visit die country, are altogether uncertain. It may be, that their superior warlike skill had enabled them to achieve an easy conquest, and to sustain their ascendency un- til the Asian population overwhelmed them. To them, and others, perhaps, from the more central borders of Europe, may be ascribed the erection of those works that bear the im- press of European skill and civilization. Among these, may have been the whites, whom Indian tradition describes as hav- ing occupied the states north-east of the Ohio. But whether the northern Alligewi, that extraordinary peo- ple, whom the Asian Tartars (the ancestors of the natives of this State) met and vanquished, were of the Scandinavian origin Danish, Swedish or Norv/egian, or of any other European descent, is a question which it is impossible to de- termine. It is not improbable that they erected many of the fortifications in the vicinity of our lakes, as well as those east of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, and that many of these works may be referred to the period of the tenth or eleventh century. They may have been European Tartars from the Scandinavian or Norman stock, and advanced in the arts, as far as the authors of similar works in England, Scodand, and Wales. They may have penetrated into the north-eastern part of this country from the north-west of Europe, in the age, and perhaps about the periods, when the prowess and superior mi- litary skill of the Danes and Normans, secured to Canute, and to the Conqueror, the throne of England. They may have .) iO.] Past and Prospective Revolutions. 9;;; been the whites, whom Indian tradition describes as the former residents of the north-eastern country ; who were conquered and expelled ; whose scattered remnants have occasionally been seen and described by travellers ; and who, some have imagined, were of Welsh extraction. But that these were the first people of America, or that America was first peopled in the tenth, eleventh, or twelfth centuries, would be an impro- bable proposition. Philologists, antiquaries, and moral philosophers, may iden- tify portions of the present American family, with their Asiatic, European, or African kindred. But to identify the whole with any particular primitive stock, except the common ancestors of all mankind, we believe would be impossible, though it may continue to be attempted, and not essentially important, if it were possible. After so many ages have elapsed, so many intermixtures taken place, and so little history, even of a tra- ditionary kind is before us, the investigation may still exhibit the depth of research, but can hardly repay its labour. 20. We have not, in our review, entered into the details or ar- guments of writers. Enough, however, has appeared, in the course of this inquiry, to evince a probability that this conti- nent has been shaken by terrible revolutions. Events which have agitated the moral, political, and physical foundations of Asia, Africa, and Europe, have here also been displayed with a frightful fidelity of resemblance and effect. In the antiquities of this continent what a range for investigation is presented ! What a field for speculation ! What wonders for contempla- tion ! They blend the revolutions of, perhaps, an alternate se- ries of dark ages the fate of millions, who have successively swarmed over this hemisphere, and, possibly, the fate of conti- nents once connected with this, but now reposing under the mighty wave of the Atlantic and the Pacific. But while contemplating the past, a phenomenon is passing before us, gradually productive of a living revolution as com- '.H Origin of the Morigines and ancient Ruins. [Part I, plete, and as silent, as those that lie concealed in the dark ages of our aboriginal story. We refer to the rapid and un- obtrusive disappearance of the Indian nations from the face of this continent. We refer to this event, not because it is a sub- ject of regret to behold arts, science, religion, political liber- ty ; all the endearments which concentrate within the magic circle of domestic felicity, under the benign influence of civili- zation ; all the enjoyments and advantages which expand the domestic into the broad circle of social happiness, uniting mil- lions in one great family compact, and elevating and dignifying the character of man as a rational being : not because these are the exchanges for the cheerless wild, and the sterility and dreariness of savage life but we refer to it, as a phenomenon worthy the contemplation of the philosopher and philanthro- pist. Impressive and aflecting as is the illustration of the fact, be- yond the confines of our State, we need not pass our own na- tive Indians, in order to perceive the probable fate that awaits those beyond the Mississippi. There, tribes, discordant and alien to each other, seem to be flockmg and crowding together in tremulous suspense, as if, on the approach of civilized man, they had a presage of some portentous doom a superstitious impression, perhaps, of the approach of their evil Manitto, who comes to sweep them to the tumuli of their fathers. Neither need we travel beyond the regions of Onondaga, the former seat of our native highlanders and mountaineers, the capital of the confederated Iroquois, to read the instability of national potency, and the evanescent tenure of human glory. Yes, within the boundaries of this State, are indications of event- ful revolutions in ages past, exhibiting the melancholy and pro- phetic earnest of those which may in some remote period be reacted, with all the tragical consequences, which, we may- presume, resulted from storming, sacking, and devastating that once populous town, whose ruins have been traced in Pom- See anfe. p. 13. 60. <^ 20.] Fast and Prospective Revolutions. 95 The Lenni Lenape,* and Mengwe,f are dispersed from the ancient seats and sepulchres of their forefathers. The territo- ries of the former, (including those of (heir subdivided tribes or descendants) once extended from the Potomac to the north- east bounds of New-England, along the eastern shores of the Hudson, until they met their rivals, the Iroquois, on the green mountains, beyond the Iroquois Lake (Cbamplain,) at the north-eastern boundaries of Irocoisia.J The middle, western, and northern portions of our State, including that part of Ver- mont, which was a part of New-York until the revolution, was the proper residence of the Iroquois. But less than a century ago, their territorial dominion, (taking in that of their confe- derate, subject, or tributary allies) embraced an empire, which might be compared to that of ancient Rome in the height of her imperial prosperity. Stretching from the junction of the Outawais and St. Lawrence, their line extended through Ca- nada, westward to the north of Lake Huron, southward (inclu- ding Michigan) to the junction of the Illinois and Mississippi, (and, in fact, they claimed, by conquest, nearly to the mouths of this river) thence across Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, to the sources of the Susquehanna and the Hudson. This for- midable and renowned confederacy, who were the favourite allies of our Dutch and English colonial governments, who were the dread of the French in Canada, who carried the ter- ror of their arms from the Gulf of St. Lawrence to that of Mexico, and at whose name, nations quaked, and tribes fled, are now nearly reduced to a thousand warriors.^ Some rem- * Delawares. { Or Mengwa or Minguse, (confederated six nations) as denominated by the Delawares ; hence, Mingoes, by the whites ; Maqua, so called by the Mahiccani ; Iroquois, by the French; and Irokesen, as altered by the Dutch. See hereafter Indian history. J The name of the couatry, proper, of the Iroquois. 9 It will appear hereafter (in the history of those Indians) that one of the Canada nations or tribes of Indians, actually broke up and fled from the mere terror which the Iroquois' name had spread abroad. (See Charlevoix, Nouvelle France, &c.) and Colden (Hist. Five Nations) tells us what pa ^^''c. the name of Mohawk strtick info thr New-Eiiirland Indirvn?. 9lj Origin of the Aborigines and ancient Ruins. [Part I. nants of their nations are in Canada, or with those of the un- fortunate Lenape, and are found here and there in the western country. They have melted away, or have mingled their des- tiny with that which awaits the western Indians. With regard to the latter, the tide of migration, which once set so irresisti- bly from the west, has long been checked by civilization, and is rapidly receding from the shock of its wave, as it rushes upon their confines. By and by they will have passed the Rocky Mountains, and in a few centuries, scarcely a remnant will be seen, unless along the beach of the Pacific, the utmost boundaries to which they can flee, where, as they gaze upon the illimitable expanse, and turn back to the country of their an- cestors, they will mingle, with the resounding surge, the death- song of departed nations. Whence is this revolution ? From what causes is it in com- plete operation ? Is it, that an invisible decree has fixed the date of their existence, and marked the periods of their reces- sion and final extinction r" Or does the tree of civilization, when planted in their territory, become as contaminating as the poison of the fabled Bohon Upas .'' Whatever the cause may be, they are passing away in a manner probably difier- ent from that of the authors of the ruins which we have con- templated, but not less fatally effectual. But while nation after nation has disappeared within a i'ew } ears, and tribe after tribe is imperceptibly vanishing before us ; while their patrimony has become our inheritance, let their descendants become the objects of our commiseration and our care. Let us at least avoid any cruelty or injustice to- wards them ; or, perhaps, the period may come, and its arri- val be prematurely accelerated, (if there is any reality in na- tional virtue and reward, national crime and amenability) when the bones of their ancestors, which lie bleaching beneath our feet, will become to us dragon's teeth and armed men. ! " Policy," says an eloquent French civilian, (61) " may have lis plans and its mysteries, but reason ought to preserve her influence and dignity. Equity is the virtue of empires mo- H'Tntiou is the ^\i?r]om of c:rf'Pt nudon?. as well as of great 20. j Fast and Fi-osjjective Revolution.^. 97 men." While we should continue to recognise, in our public treaties and intercourse, these Indian nations as independent, let principles like those remain the maxims of our policy ; and whether in peace or war, let us practically apply towards them, as'well as civilized nations, that most excellent definition of the law of nations, " Do in peace the greatest possible good ; in war, the least possible evil." While such principles distinguish our national policy, it may be our turn to reign for ages masters of the ascendant, and reap the reward of that equity which is the virtue of empires, until the period fwhich the annals of other nations inform us may follow upon a long course of public prosperity) shall arrive, when, by national degeneracy and criminality, we shall have become ripened for ruin. Then, having passed the pe- riods of our rise, our progress, and our decline, the instru- ments of our punishment may be found among the future bar- barians of the northern hives, (if not of Asia and Europe) per- haps of this continent, in those boundless regions beyond the latitude of our own Caspian and Euxine seas, where hordes scarcely less numerous and formidable than those which pour- ed upon degenerate Rome, will have been gathering for ages, equally fierce and daring ; restless from inclemency of cli- mate, famine, love of change, and war ; disciplined for ra- pine ; roused by the prospect of plunder, and attracted by the polished improvements and submissive effeminacy, which lux- ury and vice will have induced : they may mark their victo- rious and sanguinary descent upon our country with havoc and desolation, prostrate temples and edifices, sacked and ra- vaged cities, wasted kingdoms ; sparing nothing, except such works of art and fortifications of defence, as those which form so interesting a portion of our antiquities, the materials of which would resist not only the incursions of barbarians, but the ravages of time. Then will recommence the dark ages of this continent. During the succeeding reign of barbarism and of ignorance,^ ihe monuments of our civilization will slumber in forgetfuL Vol. J. KJ 98 Origin of the Aborigines and ancient Hums. [Part L ness, until the full circle of revolution will have been comple- ted, and the sun of science shall have arisen to dispel the gloom, and civilization reappeared and resumed her ancient dominion. Then the future antiquary will pass over our State, view the remains of cities, temples, sepulchres, fortifications^ mark the manifest vestiges of an unknown people, far more advanced in arts than the immediate pre-occupants of the soil, and as he approaches those works which will appear to him, from their broken culverts, shattered locks, and decayed banks, to have been artificial rivers, he will pause to contem- plate this wonder. He will explore their extent -, he will per* ceive their design ; and, with intense interest and solicitude, exclaim : What eclipse of reason could have given birth to the wild fancy ofunitingt he great Caspian and Mediterranean seas of North America with the Atlantic Ocean i What pene- trating genius could have perceived its possibility .'' What comprehensive intellect could have embraced the plan, and traced its bearings, and proved its practicability ^ What da- ring spirit could have grappled with the gigantic difficulties which must have arisen in the nature of so bold a scheme^ from an honest belief in its insurmountability and ruinous ex- penditure .' What kindred spirits arose to foster the mighty project ^ What enterprising and opulent people were found to give impulse to so stupendous a work ? In what age did they flourish in what disastrous era were their liberties annihila- ted ? Thus will he view those venerable remains, which will appear to him shrouded in impenetrable mystery, until at length he will perhaps discover, in the enclosure of some prostrate marble column, or amidst the rubbish of some half- buried ruins of ancient edifices, the means of unravelling the mystery, and of holding up to the admiration and emulation of new ages, the illustrious genius of our State and age. Is this the vision of morbid fancy, or is it a prophetic in- scription, which past experience has written upon the fabric of society, to admonish nations of their duty or their destiny f It is an inscription which, in Africa, may be traced on the spot where Marius ruminated over the ruins of Carthage. * 20.] Past and Prospective Revolutiom. 99 and be read in hieroglyphics upon the pyramids of Egypt. It is an inscription which, in Europe, was written in characters of blood by the Goths, Vandals, Franks, Huns, Saxons, through- out the extended empires they subverted; and after their bar- barous dominion of ten ages had passed, it was an inscrip- tion which their civilized successors could decipher on the fallen columns of ancient Roman and Grecian magnificence. It is an inscription which in Asia may be traced to ancient Scythia, followed up in the wasteful ravages of their Tartar descendants, and in the wide-spread desolation of the Ara- bians. In almost every instance it will appear to have been written upon civilization, the arts, the sciences, opulence, and splendour. And no where is it to be discerned at this mo- ment in more legible characters, than in the countries con- quered by the last-mentioned people. From the ninth to the fourteenth century, while Europe was in utter darkness, civilization lighted up the dominions of Arabia. The sciences and arts, enriched by the treasures of Greece, Persia, and Chaldea, and by the literary relics of the subject provinces of Syria, Armenia, and Egypt ; arose to the highest pitch of perfection, under the patronage of her caliphs.* Now superstition and ignorance, moral darkness and political dismay, brood over those extensive dominions. " The rich countries of Fez and Morocco,f illustrious for five centuries, by the number of their academies, their universi- ties, and their libraries, are now only deserts of burning sand, which the human tyrant disputes with the beast of prey. The smiling and fertile shores of Mauritania, where commerce, arts, and agriculture attained their highest prosperity, are now the retreats of corsairs, who spread horror over the seas, and who only relax from their labours in shameful debauche- * See page 9. ante. f Says Sismondi, ia his glowing picture and eloquent description of the past and present literature, and condition of those regions, where Islamism reigned and still reigns. See Vol. I. ch. 2. ib. Roscoe's elegant transln- fion. lUO Origin of the. Aborigines and ancient Ruins. [Pari' I. lies, until tlie plague periodically comes to select its victims from amongst them, and to avenge offended humanity. Egypt has by degrees been swallowed up by the sands, which formerly fertilized it. Syria and Palestine are desolated by the wandering Bedouins, less terrible still than the Pacha who opposes them. Bagdad, formerly the residence of luxury, of power, and of knowledge, is a heap of ruins. In this immense extent of territory, twice or thrice as large as Europe, no- thing is found but ignorance, slavery, terror, and death. The prodigious literary riches of the Arabians no longer exist in any of the countries where the Arabians and the Mussulmans rule. What have been preserved are in the hands of their enemies, in the convents of the monks, or in the royal libra- ries of Europe. And yet these vast countries have not been conquered. It is not the stranger who has despoiled them of their riches, who has annihilated their population, and de- stro3'ed their laws, their manners, and their national spirit. The poison was their own ; it was administered by themselves, and the result has been their own destruction. " AVho may say that Europe itself, whither the empire of let- ters and of science, has been transported, which sheds so bril- liant a light, which forms so correct a judgment of the past, and which compares so well the successive reigns of the litera- ture and manners of antiquity, shall not, in a few ages, be- come as wild and deserted as the hills of Mauritania, the sands of Egypt, and the valleys of Anatolia ?" And who may say that when Europe shall have paid the deep retributive debt, which she owes to the wrongs of Africa and the East Indies, or when, from whatever causes she shall liave transcended the period of her decline, that America, (now in the youth of her existence, yet the home of the exile, the asylum of the oppressed, and perhaps the last intrenchment of liberty,) may not be the country in which the European name is destined to become merged, as that of Rome had been lost in Europe ! (62) Who may say that when our country also shall have passed onward to its full maturity of magnificence rin(\ of crime ; when, perhaps, after the fondest visions of the 20.] Past and Frospective Revoluiions. lUi sages and patriots of old shall have been realised, in the per- fect accomplishment of the political experiment of a govern- ment, founded Hke ours, strengthening as it expands, and adapted to embrace in one vast compact, a population whose territory shall be laved by the two oceans ; when having attain- ed a prosperity too unexampled, and too intoxicating to be enduring, national degeneracy shall have prepared the way ; then the revolutionary wheel, having slowly passed its round of ages, from the Antipodes through desolated Europe, may at last appear in our hemisphere, distant at first, like a por- tending speck, more apparent and appalling as it approaches, until its awful recognition will be seen and felt in the wreck and crush of kingdoms ! Who can say, therefore, that the fatal and monitory inscription which the Scythians, the Tartars, and the Scandinavians, as they successively poured in upon this continent from the north of Asia and of Europe, have written in our own State and country upon the monuments in ruins, ot a people now unknown, may not also be inscribed upon those grand works, upon which the genius and resources of our State have been profusely lavished, which constitute so much of our national pride, and which we fondly but vainly hope will give an imperishable celebrity to our name and national era!


    [ i ]


    ==> References leading to a minute investigation of any topic, are in the body of the work: but in general, those (except manuscript comnmnications, &c.) which merely support the text, and notes not intimately connected with it, are placed at the end. In quoting from authors, condensation and brevity have been aimed at; and their language has therefore been rejected or modified, but preserved when it was best adapted to convey their meaning. In the future progress of this work, recourse will be had to a valuable collection of manuscripts. Besides those in the office of the Secretary of State, and the invaluable mass of original materials preserved through the liberal exertions of the New-York Historical Society, others, some of which were written by certain distinguished individuals deceased, directly upon our Colonial History, will be introduced. The materials for the present part of the History, embracing a period anterior to the existence of our written records, have been principally compiled from a great variety of publications in different languages. In so arduous an undertaking, precaution and vigilance, however scrutinising, could hardly guarantee to research an exemption from errors; and criticism might no doubt detect many: but whatever they are, the author of the present part feels himself bound in justice to say, that they are not imputable to his associate, whose talents, in the intervals of his official duties, have been directed to a period of the history which, under the influence of his genius, will appear far more interesting than these ante-colonial annals.


    (1.) As to the compass see Goguet's Hist, of Inventions. Robertson's Amer. B. I. Rees's Cyclo.

    (2.) Roscoe's Sismondi, Vol. I. ch. 2.

    (3.) Ib.

    (4.) See Rob. Amer. B. I.

    (5.) Clavigero's Hist. of Amer.

    (7.) Hume's Eng. Vol. III. p. 428.

    (7.) See a communication made to the N. Y. Hist. Soc. of a relic of ancient days, dug up in Troy, and discovered far below the surface. In the neighbourhood of Neversink hills, New-Jersey, Maryland, &c. and near the Hudson River, evidences of human beings having existed there in ancient days, have been brought to light by excavations from 10 to 40 feet deep.

    ii.                                                 NOTES                                                

    Dr. Ackerly's Geology of Hudson River, p. 18 to 22, 59, 60, 65, &c. Dr. Mitchill's Geol. of N. Amer.

    (8.) Dr. Mitchill, in his Geol. of N. Amer., published in Cuvier's Theory of the Earth, Vol. I. Archae. Amer.

    (9.) Memoirs on the Antiquities of the western parts of N. Y.

    (10.) See Atwater's Ant. in Vol. I. Archae Amer.

    (11.) See Discourse on the benefits of Civil Hist, by H. Williamson. M.D. LL.D., Vol. II. N. Y. Hist. Coll. p. 23, 28. Rees' Cyclo. art. Antiquity.

    (12.) Ib.

    (13.) Ib.

    (14.) Hunter's Manners and Customs of the eastern tribes, p. 314. But the Creeks and others in their vicinity believed all nations descended from two brothers, one of whom (their ancestor) was red, the other white. Extract of journal of Rev. Mr. Bolzius, one of the ministers of the transport of Saltzburgers, who emigrated to Georgia in 1733-4, under commissary Van Reck, p. 34, 38. The Caddos (or Caddoques, residing 3-5 miles west of the main branch of the Red River,) and half a dozen other smaller nations, who claim the honor of a like descent, believe that when all the world was drowned by a flood, that inundated the whole country, the great spirit placed on an eminence near their lake one family of Caddoques, who alone were saved; from that family all the Indians originated. President's Message communicating to Congress Lewis & Clark's Discoveries 1806, p. 48.

    (15.) Anon. in Nat. Intell. and Comm. from John E. Wool, Inspector Gen. of U. S. Army, N. D.

    (16.) Heckewelder in Vol. I. Phil. Hist. & Lit. Trans, p. 242-3.

    (17.) The Osages universally believed that the founder of their nation was a snail, that the heat of the sun ripened him into a man, who married a young beaver, the daughter of an old one, who had disputed proprietary right to the Osage possessions; that from this union sprung the Wasbasha or Osages, who (until the profits of the fur trade overcame their scruples) had a pious reverence for their ancestors, and exempted the beaver from the chase, because in killing that animal, they killed a brother of the Osage. Lewis & Clarke's Travels, p. 8, 9.

    (18.) J. T. Kirkland, President of Harvard University, in Vol. IV. Mass. Hist. Coll. p. 100.

    (19.) McCulloh in Researches on America, Balt. 1817. Port Folio for June, 1816.

    (20.) Mr. John D. Hunter in "Manners and Customs of several Indian tribes located west of the Mississippi," p. 315. Phila. 1823.

    (21.) See Dr. Mitchill, Vol. I. Archae. Amer. 347.

    (22.) Mr. Atwater in ib. 203.

    (23.) By Mr. Clifford of Kentucky, ib. 347-9.

    (24.) Mr. Stoddard says (in Hist, view of Louisa.) the Ietans or Alitans in that quarter, bear a resemblance. About sixty visited Nachinotches in

                                                    NOTES                                                 iii

    1807. Their women were comparatively handsome, and the hair of many of the men was of a sandy complexion. Their customs and manners indicate a different origin than their neighbours.

    During the present year (1824) an account appeared in the Franklin (Missouri) Intelligencer, republished in the New-York Observer, (June 26) that a nation of Indians called the Nabijos, residing between the Spanish settlements of New-Mexico and the Pacific Ocean, were far advanced in the arts of civilized life. They reside in stone houses, cultivate agriculture, manufacture cotton, woollen, leather, and other artices, in an ingenious manner. The account does not mention from whom the Nabijos descended, or from whom they derived their knowledge and skill. Possibly they may be a remnant of the ancient Mexican people, who may have fled to the place of their present abode when the Spaniards invaded their country.

    (25.) Stoddard's Louisiana. Vancouver's travels.

    (26.) The wolf tribe of certain Indians, now called Pawnee, are said to follow the custom of immolating human victims. A boy, ten years old whom they intended to offer as a sacrifice to the Great Star, was humanely purchased by Mr. Manuel Liea, on his return from the trading posts on the Upper Missouri. They did put to death, by transfixing on a sharp pole, as an offering to the object of their adoration, the child of a Paddo woman, who, being a captive, devoted to that sanguinary and horrible death, escaped on horseback, leaving her new-born offspring behind. Dr. Mitchill in Vol. I, Archae. Amer. p. 348. But see Morse's Report, p. 248.

    (27.) See Southy's Madoc, a poem. 2 vols.

    (29.) Robertson, Lord Lyttleton, & Belknap.

    (28 & 30.) 1. Hist, of Wales by Caradoc of Llancarvan, Glamorganshire, in the British language, translated into English by Humphry Llwyd and published by Dr. David Powel, 1584.

    2. Hakluyt's Coll. of Voyages in 1589, deriving his account of Madog from Gutton Owen. As to his authenticity, see Forster's Northern Voyages, p. 189, note. Belknap, Amer. Biog. Vol. I. p. 408 & 65.

    3. A brief descrip. of the whole world, fifth edit. Lond. printed for John Marriott, 1620.

    4. Sir Thomas Herbert's Travels into Africa and Asia, &c. London, 1638.

    5. Hornibus De Originius Americanis.

    6. Enquiry into the truth of the traditions &c. by John Williams, LL.D. Lond. 1791. Further observations by do. Lond. 1792.

    (31.) See Pinkerton's Coll. of Voyages, Vol. XII. p. 157.

    (32.) Dr. Campbell in his Naval History of Great Britain, Vol. I. p. 257, 2d ed. as cited by Dr. Williams, who also refers to Hist. & Memoirs of the Royal Academy of Paris for 1784. Month. Review, Vol. LXXVIII. p. 616. Warrington's Hist, of Wales. Broughton, Purchas, and Davys revived the story

    iv                                                 NOTES                                                

    (33.) For the narrative of Madoc's Expedition, see authorities cited in the above from note 27 inclusive.

    (34.) Hakluyt Collec.

    (35.) Hornius De Originibus, &c,

    (36.) Herbert.

    (37.) See Williams.

    (38.) Ib.

    (39.) Ib. Enquiry, p. 32, 39.

    (40.) Ib.

    (41.) See Memoirs, &c. by Mr. Clinton. Atwater in Vol. I. Archae. Amer.

    (42 ) See Atwater ib. and H. Williamson's Hist. N. Caro. Vol. I. p. 6, 7, 8, 213, 216.

    (43.) In Enquiry touching the Diversity of Language and Religion, &c. Lond. 1674.

    (44.) Johannis De Laet Antwerpiani Notae ad Dissertationem Hugonis Grotii de Origins gentium Americanarum et observationis, etc.

    (45.) On the Origin of the Americans, published Palentia, 1607, repub-lished Madrid, 1720.

    (46.) Naturall and Morall Historic of the East and West Indies, &c. English transl. Lond. 1604.

    (47.) De Origine gentium Americanarum.

    (48.) See Originibus Americanis, Lib. I. chap. 2.

    (49.) We learn from Charlevoix that the Eries (or Cat Indians) an indigenous nation of the Malay race, formerly inhabited the lands south of Lake Erie. The Iroquois of the Tartar stock (says Dr. Mitchill) exterminated them, and appropriated their country to a hunting ground.

    (50.) Dr. Mitchill.

    (51.) Dissertation sur l'origine des Ameriquains. Journal d'un voyage fait par ordre du Roi dans L' Amerique septentrionale, &c. A Paris 1744. Parle Pere Charlevoix.

    (52.) See his Histoire et description Generale de la Nouvelle France, &c. Tomes 1-4. A Paris, 1744. Tom. III. He was also known as the author of the History of Japan and St. Domingo.

    (53.) It is added in the above report, that it has been related of them by an elderly gentleman of Natchitoches, who some years ago traded with them, that about thirty years previous, (to 1806,) apart of them crossed the river Grand to Chewawa, the residence of the (Spanish) Governor General of what is called the five internal provinces, there lay in ambush for an opportunity, and made prisoner of the Governor's daughter, a young lady, going in her coach to mass, and carried her off. The Governor caused a messenger to go among them, with a proffered ransom of 1000 dollars. But the young lady refused to return with him to her father, and sent the following message; that the Indians had disfigured her face by tattooing it according

                                                    NOTES                                                 v

    to their fancy and ideas of beauty, and a young- man of them had taken her for his wife, by whom she believed herself pregnant; that she had become reconciled to her mode of life, was well treated by her husband, and should under all these circumstances be more unhappy by returning than by remaining where she was. She is still living in the Indian nation with her husband, by whom she has three children.

    ==> (*) Omitted in the text. P. 67. Charlevoix's Journal, &c. Edwards's West Indies, B. 1, c. 2. & appex. Forster's Northern Voyages. Intro. Forster's Observations made during a voyage round the World. Belknap's Amer. Biog. in Preliminary Dissert.

    (54.) Intro, to Descrip. of Monumens in Amer.

    (55.) Hist, of Mexico. Abbe C. was a native of Vera Cruz, thirty years resident of New-Spain, and master of the Mexican language.

    (56.) Ib.

    (57.) Ib.

    (58.) They are the authors of "Le Philosophe Denceur," a miserable little performance, as is observed in a note in Clavigero's Hist of Amer. in Dissertation. Bernard Remain's concise Hist, of East & West Florida, &c. N. Y. 1776. 12mo. Voltaire's OEuvres, tom. XVI. (59.) Analectic Magazine.

    (60.) Mithridates, order Allgemeine Sprachenkunde, &c. or the General Science of Languages, with the Lord's prayer in nearly 500. 4 vols, bound in 6 vols, octavo, Berlin, 1806-1817.

    (61.) M. Portalis, Commissary of France, representing that government, (on the accession of Napoleon to the Consulate) in the Council of Prizes at Paris. Code des Prises, Tome II. cited in Wheaton on Captures.

    (62.) Abbe Raynal and Voltaire, in some of their works predict, that as Rome was swallowed up in Europe, so Europe will be in America....


    Transcriber's Comments

    Yates & Moulton's History of New York

    Appearance of Yates and Moulton's 1824 Book

    According to historical writer Dan Vogel, the appearance of Yates and Moulton's History of New-York was well publicized just prior to the rise of Mormonism, and in the very place which gave birth to Mormonism: "Two prominent members of the state had also been at work on a book exploring Indian origins. John Van Ness Yates, lawyer, secretary of state of New York, and member of the New York Historical Society, and Joseph White Moulton, lawyer and member of the state historical society, had sent out a circular asking for information about the aboriginal and colonial history of New York. The circular appeared in various newspapers around the state including the Wayne Sentinel, which was published near Joseph Smith's home in Palmyra, New York. The newspaper reported back to its readers by announcing the publication of the book, History of the State of New-York, on 20 April 1825: 'The traditions and speculations relative to the aborigines are laid down at large ... The work abounds with historical references, and is evidently a production of great research and industry. It will no doubt be extensively patronised, for no library in the state can be complete without it.'"

    The book spoken of here is the first volume of the two authors' two volume set. It was published near the end of 1824 and was followed by its sister volume a little more than a year later. There can be no doubt that the near neighbors of Joseph Smith, jr. were aware of this interesting new book by the spring of 1825 and copies of the work were being sold at no great distance from Smith's home more than four years before the first mention of his "visions" in the public press. Since some of Smith's neighbors were obviously familiar with the first volume of the Yates and Moulton book as early as 1825, the modern investigator can hold open the possibility that Smith too knew something of its interesting contents by about the same time. Those interesting contents include numerous, supposedly historical items and references especially germane to the story told in the Book of Mormon.

    Ancient White Americans?

    The two historians spend a good deal of their readers' time in trying to make a case for the first inhabitants of the Americas having been white skinned migrants from the Old World. Although they present a number of sub-theories in regard to the exact origin of these ancient white colonists, the writers appear to have been especially impressed by claims supporting a Welsh or eastern Mediterranean genesis for the first Americans. They also appear to favor the notion that this ancient white civilization was practically exterminated by the American Indians -- with only small remnants of the white race and culture lingering on during late pre-Columbian times. On page 42 of their 1824 book, authors Yates and Moulton speak of "three white men" who brought civilizing and religious knowledge to the southern Indians. No doubt the writers meant to convey the information provided by James T. M'Culloh in his interesting 1817 book Researches on America, (i.e. that each of three different South American nations credited their respective religion and civilization to a single ancient white man), but they end up giving the impression that working together three white men (emphasis by Yates and Moulton) performed this amazing task. The parallel here with the Book of Mormon's three white Nephites, who "tarried" on earth after the time of Christ, is a striking one. This particular thematic parallel only occurs when the reader's compares the 1830 Book of Mormon to Yates and Moulton's 1824 text; and not in his direct comparison of the Mormon book with M'Culloh's original text.

    Immediately upon the heels of their mention of the ancient three white men, Yates and Moulton continue to convey information from M'Culloh (cited from History of Chili, but see also M'Culloh p. 51), by saying that "there is a tribe of Indians in Baroa, in Chili, whose complexions are a clear white..." Yates and Moulton use this assertion to bolster their own notion, that the Americas were once inhabited by a civilized white race, now extinct. It is probably no coincidence that the earliest Mormons claimed the coast of Chili to have been the initial landing place and colony of the seagoing Lehites. The Nov. 18, 1830 issue of the Hudson Observer and Telegraph of quotes the earliest LDS missionaries in Ohio as saying that "the Aborigines of America" had Israelite ancestors who "landed on the coast of Chili 600 years before the coming of Christ." The Franklin Pennsylvania Democrat stated at the beginning of 1832, that Lehi "with another family who accompanied him, built themselves a ship and landed on the coast of South America..." (reprinted in the March 7, 1832 issue of the Fredonia Censor. The LDS Historian's Archives in Salt Lake City hold an old manuscript "revelation" (in the handwriting of Elder Frederick G. Williams) in which it is stated that the Lehites "landed on the continent of South America in Chile thirty degrees south Lattitude."

    "Thirty degrees south latitude" passes across the coast of Chili just north of Valparasio, in the modern province of Coquimbo. What relation this area bears to the province of "Baroa," (as quoted by M'Culloh from "Abbe Molina") remains obscure; possibly the two names represent the same general location in Chili.

    Popularization of the 1822 Del Rio Account

    In the late spring of 1822 newspapers in western New York announced the "very extraordinary discovery... of the ruins of an extensive city" in what is now the jungles of sourthern Mexico. See, for example, the news report in the Batavia Republican Advocate for July 5, 1822, in which it is stated that "the originals" of a survey and drawings of this ruined city (the Mayan site near Palenque) had recently been shipped to London, in order to "be presented to the world." Antionio del Rio's old survey of Palenque, along with Dr. Paul Cabrera's commentary upon that subject, were published in London later in 1822.

    Latter Day Saint apologists, such as Henry A. Stebbins, have argued that early Mormons like Joseph Smith, Jr. could never have known about the del Rio account before 1830. Yates and Moulton's references to the contents of this 1822 booklet verify that it was known and available for consultation in New York state as early as 1824. Consider, for example, the possible impact of their words, from page 73, upon the mind of a young Oliver Cowdery or Joseph Smith, jr.: "The ruins of an ancient city near Palenque... in Spanish America, are described as exhibiting the remains of magnificent edifaces, temples, towers, aqueducts, statues, hieroglyphics, and unknown characters...of very remote antiquity...unknown to the historians of the new world." In 1824-25 the first volume of the Yates and Moulton book, with its detailed reference to the Palenque ruins, would have been readily available to readers in the area around the towns of Rochester, Palmyra, and Canandiagua -- and this was at least four years before a single page of the Book of Mormon was ever "translated" by Smith, Cowdery, et al. So much for RLDS Elder Stebbins' confident 1894 assurance: "I find no evidence that any other American writer mentioned Del Rio's work before Mr. [Josiah] Priest [in 1833]."

    Popularization of the Votan Account

    While Yates and Moulton's references to the 1822 Del Rio account of the Palenque ruins were a bit unusual in a book on New York history, the amount of attention they pay to the 1822 booklet's accompanying essay is extraordinary. Dr. Paul Cabrera's comments were written down, in manuscript form, in 1796 and only saw publication as a sort of commentary on Del Rio's description of the Palenque ruins. Cabrera offered some very speculative conclusions on just what the ruined city was and who had lived there, and it was this speculation which arrested the attention of Yates and Moulton.

    The story of the Mayan folk hero Votan was perhaps first brought to the attention of English-speaking readers in 1787 when Charles Cullen translated a book written by Francesco Saverio Clavigero, entitled The History of Mexico. On page 141 of the 1804 reprint of Cullen's translation, Clavigero mentions in passing that perhaps the first inhabitants of the Americas were the ancestors of the Chiapanese -- who lived in the area surrounding the Palenque ruins. The Mexican historian says: "The Chiapanese have been the first peoplers of the New World, if we give credit to their traditions. They say that Votan, the grandson of that respectable old man who built the great ark to save himself and family: from the deluge, and one of those who undertook the building of that lofty edifice which was to reach heaven, went, by express command of the Lord, to people that land."

    Dr. Paul Cabrera adapted the Votan tradition to his own interests, telling a lengthy story accounting for the peopling of Meso America, but practically ignoring Clavigero's text and its notion of the Mayan Votan having been the grandson of the biblical patriarch Noah. In their calling attention to Cabrera's speculations, Yates and Moulton also generally ignore Clavigero's astonishing news. So also did the editors of the Family Magazine when they resurrected Cabrera's account in 1833. It was left to historian Herbert H. Bancroft to finally reprint the Clavigero text regarding Votan, when he published his Native Races of the Pacific States, Vol. IV: Antiquities in 1875. In that volume Bancroft presents a substantial discussion of the old Votan legend, of Clavigero's contribution, Paul Felix Cabrera's account, Captain del Rio's exploration, etc.

    In 1879 John T. Short published his Native Americans of Antiquity, in which he discusses Clavigero, Pablo Felix Cabrera, Captain del Rio, Bancroft's recent work, and the Votan legend. On pp. 144-45 of his 1879 book Short reprints a long paragraph on the Book of Mormon, the Jaredites, etc., followed immediately by his introduction to the Votan legend. Short makes no explicit connection between the Jaredites and Votan, but Mormon Elders Moses Thatcher and B. H. Roberts would later (in 1881 and 1904) point out possible connections between Votan and the mysterious Brother of Jared (whose story is told in the Book of Ether, in the Book of Mormon). Short's rendition of the Votan tradition also become a favorite source for Reorganized LDS apologists, trying to defend their chuch's claims for Book of Mormon historicity. RLDS writers like Ruldolph Etzenhouser followed Clavigero's report, in making his assumption that the mythic Votan was indeed the grandson of Noah and the Brother of Jared. Elder Etzenhouser cited Short's 1879 passages, in which Short agreed with Bancroft in claiming that "The only [colonization] tradition preserved by the Americans is that of the mysterious Votan..." Short accepted Clavigero's account of the ancient transoceanic voyager, Votan, at face value, but admitted "doubtful portions of the tradition" which he thought might be "interpolations." For example, the extended Votan epic has its hero present at both the erection of the Tower of Babel and the building of Solomon's temple. Even if the modern reader considers the latter claim to have been applied to the grandson of the original Votan, he might agree with Short that the two accounts add up to being "ambiguous assertions." RLDS apologists like Elder Etzenhouser chose to overlook such ambiguity, in order to call upon the Votan legend in support of the Book of Mormon story.

    The LDS apologist, Elder Moses Thatcher, was just as enthusiastic about this topic as was Etzenhouser and his RLDS associates. The June and July 1881 issues of LDS periodical The Contributor published the third and fourth installments of Thatcher's "Divine Origin of the Book of Mormon," in which the writer gives "historical evidence" for the purported historicity of that book. Thatcher cites Clavigero, Cabrera, John T. Short, etc., to present a number of evident similarities shared by the ancient legend of Votan and the story of the brother of Jared .

    In the June installment Elder Thatcher says: "The historian Clavigero, as quoted by Prof. Short, on p. 204, says: 'The Chiapanese have been the first peoplers of the New World, if we give credit to their traditions. They say that Votan, the grandson of that respectable old man who built the great ark to save himself and family from the deluge, and one of those who undertook the building of that lofty edifice, which was to reach up to heaven, went by express command of the Lord to people that land. They say also that the first people came from the quarter of the north, and that when they arrived at Soconusco, they separated, some going to inhabit the country of Nicaragua and others remaining at Chiapas.' Prof. Short, on same page, commenting upon this and other writings of Clavigero, says: 'According to this tradition, Votan came from the East, from Valum Chivim, by way of Valum Votan, from across the sea, by divine command, to apportion the land of the new continent to seven families which he brought with him.'"

    Elder Thatcher also says: "Votan, it is stated, was a grandson of Noah, and came by express command of the Lord to the people of this land. The brother of Jared did the same; pleading with the Lord not to confound the language of Jared, or their friends and families. The seven families, being the same, doubtless, whom Votan led, maintained one language, being not confounded. They formed one company and traveled together many years (104), over rivers, mountains and arms of the sea. So did the colony led by Jared's brother, who was in the wilderness many years and built barges to cross many waters. If the records of the Indians, which survived the vandalism of the Roman Catholic clergy, who followed in the wake of the Spanish conquerors, are reliable, and form, when combined with the traditions of the primitive inhabitants of the land, a chain of facts like those produced even thus far in this series of articles, then who can consistently deny the divine origin of the Book of Mormon."

    In his July installment Elder Thatcher adds this: "We will now turn to the Book of Mormon in search of clearer light upon this interesting subject; after which we shall leave the reader to draw his own conclusions as to whether or not Votan and the brother of Jared were identical. We have already seen, as shown in a previous article, that the former led, by divine command, a small colony, whose language was not confounded, from the great Tower to America, and that the brother of Jared, being favored of the Lord, and a man of mighty faith, did likewise. The third chapter, verses 21-25, Book of Ether, contain the following:...

    Now, if the brother of Jared, of whom the Book of Mormon bears this record, and Votan, of whom the Popol Vuh and other historic ancient American writings, as we have seen, speak, are one and the same, then we can readily understand why he should write a book recording his genealogy and deeds, and giving an account of the wonderful things which Jesus, before He appeared in the flesh, had shown him, and why, also, he and his generations after him should guard the same and the treasure (the stones of interpretation) with such sacred care, for a period of perhaps not less than two thousand four hundred years.

    Ether, who wrote his book about 600 B.C., being a great Prophet of God, was familiar with the writings and history of the brother of Jared, and it was doubtless through his record that it became understood that one of the descendants of Votan, and not Votan himself, had written the book; when the facts are, that they each wrote, but one many centuries previous to the other. Moroni having again, about A. D. 420, hidden, by divine command, these books and the treasure in the earth, where they remained until brought forth by the great modern Prophet, Joseph Smith, it is clear that the bishop of Chiapas failed to destroy them..."

    In 1899 LDS Apostle James E. Talmage published his Articles of Faith, and in the 15th chapter (writing on the Book of Mormon) he provides a section on "corroborative evidence furnished by modern discoveries." Talmage there cites John T. Short's quotation from Clavigero -- about Votan being at the Tower of Babel, etc. Talmage directs his readers to Elder Thatcher's 1881 Contributor articles for further details. Apostle Talmage also issued this same "corroborative evidence" in his 1899 tract, "The Book of Mormon." During the course of the twentieth century the LDS leaders appeared content to let the Votan story lie undisturbed. Elder B. H. Roberts said a few words in its behalf in 1904, but after that little was said by Mormons in support of the idea that Votan was the Brother of Jared.

    The thought never seems to have occurred to Mormon apologists that the Brother of Jared might have been patterned after the Votan legend and that both are merely fictional characters. There is little in Paul F. Cabrera's rendition of the Votan tradition that calls to mind the story told in the Book of Ether, but what is said the original Clavigero paragraph matches up with the book's account of the Jaredites rather nicely -- perhaps too nicely to be a coincidence.

    A Reference to Ethan Smith's 1823 Book

    Yates and Moulton, on page 70 of their book, give a brief citation to the Rev. Ethan Smith's first edition of View of the Hebrews. The authors do not give Smith's name in their footnote, but he was obviously the "reverend writer in Vermont" who was then (1824) "engaged in preparing another edition" of a book advocating the Israelite origin of the American Indians. Yates and Moulton's readers could have easily consulted contemporary bookstores or libraries to obtain this interesting new book: View of the Hebrews. Since Yates and Moulton say so little about the "lost tribes" theory for Indian ancestry, any of their readers interested in investigating this topic would have necessarily been led to consult books by writers like Adair, Boudinot, and Smith. However, Yates and Moulton's reference to Ethan Smith's work stills the objection sometimes raised by Mormon apologists -- that the contents of View of the Hebrews were practically unknown to American readers until selections from the text were reprinted by Josiah Priest. Yates and Moulton's History of New-York (with its reference to Ethan Smith's work) was certainly available to Joseph Smith, jr. and his neighbors in western New York, well before 1830.

    (under construction)


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