A History of
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COPYRIGHT 1904 BY
ELROY MCKENDREE AVERY
MAPS, ILLUSTRATIONS, COMPOSITION,
PLATES, AND PRESSWORK BY
THE MATTHEWS-NORTHRUP WORKS,
BUFFALO, NEW YORK
*.*.. ..* . .
* S S S*
S **. *** ';
': ** *.**.* ,
I DEDICATE THESE VOLUMES
TO MY FRIEND
CHARLES WILLIAM BURROWS
WHO, TWENTY YEARS AGO, ASKED ME TO
JOIN HIM IN A WORK TO WHICH HE EVI-
DENTLY HAD BEEN CALLED MORE BY A
SOLDIER'S DESIRE TO SERVE HIS COUNTRY
THAN BY A PUBLISHER'S LONGING FOR
PECUNIARY GAIN. FROM THAT DAY TO
THIS, AN UNSELFISH PURPOSE HAS GUIDED
HIS UNFALTERING STEPS AND MADE EACH
SURMOUNTED OBSTACLE A BETTER POINT
OF VIEW FOR A HIGHER IDEAL. THIS IS
WHY THIS HISTORY APPEARS IN A GARB
RICHER THAN THAT OF ANY THAT HAVE
GONE BEFORE IT. I SHOULD BE HAPPY
IF I COULD THINK THAT MY WORK HAS
BEEN DONE AS WELL AS HIS.
ELROY M. AVERY
CLEVELAND, AUGUST, 1904
P R E F A C E
THIS volume is the beginning of an attempt to
tell the story of the men and measures that
have made the United States what it is.
An orchard bearing several trees
And fruits of several taste.
In this work, I have tried to meet the wants of men
and women of general culture rather than those of pro-
fessional historical students. Whatever may have been
thought a generation ago, it is now admitted that such
a design is entirely legitimate. For instance, Professor
Marshall S. Brown says that "the work of familiarizing July, 190o
the general reader with the history of his own country
and of inciting him to further study of that history is as
useful and necessary as that of investigation for the
benefit of a limited number of specialists." This general
reader lacks leisure and, in some cases, inclination to
dig among the original sources of historical knowledge,
but he knows that he has rights to be respected and
needs to be met.
My purpose, thus frankly avowed, explains why I
have made no effort to provide "a mere collection of
data for contingent reference, no more intended to be
read than a table of logarithms," and why I have
avoided frequent citations of authorities in the form of
foot-notes. The general reader finds such notes dis-
tracting and, therefore, prefers that they be omitted.
If now and then he finds that his appetite grows by that
on which it feeds, he will find suggestions for supple-
mentary reading in the bibliographical appendix to this
and to each of the succeeding volumes.
Moreover, I have tried to narrow the gulf between
special and popular thinking, to avoid either running
into "a cold intellectualism that seems to be heading
straight for the poverty and decay that must always
follow the separation of the brain from the heart," or
feeding "a popular taste that is daily accommodating
itself to an esthetic and intellectual pabulum that would
have seemed to our forefathers, at best, a sad waste of
The researches and discussions of the last quarter-
century have thrown a new light on many parts of our
early history. I venture to hope that some of this
illumination may be reflected from these pages. To
secure accuracy, I have not spared honest, earnest effort
which in many cases sent me to the original sources.
But I have tried not to attempt the impossible. An
eminent historian says that no longer does any one try
to write a complete history of America from the sources,
and that each man now assumes that he may begin on
the foundations laid by somebody else.
I hereby acknowledge my deep obligation to many
helping friends. Common fairness demands that special
mention should be made of the assistance given by Otis
T. Mason in the preparation of the second chapter, by
James Mooney in the preparation of the twenty-second
chapter, by George Frederick Wright in the revision of
the first chapter, and by Frederick W. Hodge, Adolph
F. A. Bandelier, Frank H. Hodder, and George P.
Winship in the revision of various parts of the work,
especially those relating to the Spanish explorations, and
by my wife from beginning to end.
ELROY M. AVERY
Cleveland, September, 1904
AS mentioned by Doctor Avery in his preface, foot-
notes have been almost entirely omitted from this
history because the consensus of opinion is that
the general reader finds the continuity of his thought
seriously interrupted by their presence. The readability
of the history is thereby diminished. If the nation is
ever to have a literary monument containing a record of
its birth, growth, and maturity, and of the causes and
events which have led thereto, one to which it can point
with pride, and which will serve by its existence to
strengthen and perpetuate the great work begun and
achieved by illustrious forefathers, it must be one that
will be generally read.
But of even greater importance than readability must
ever stand trustworthiness. To secure this, we have
adopted many precautions for the elimination of the com-
mon errors-which are more numerous than the general
reader can well imagine. We do not for a moment sup-
pose that we have attained perfection, but we hope that
our work will be recognized as a conscientious struggle
for betterment. We offer it as a comprehensive, accurate,
well-balanced, and readable history of the nation from the
earliest times to the present day, with the belief that it
will fill a place heretofore vacant.
To the many specialists who have read the manuscript
critically, one for one purpose, another with a different
object, we are indebted for valuable suggestions. That
the deep fund of critical, historical knowledge possessed
by Mr. Victor Hugo Paltsits of the Lenox Library has
xii Publisher's Statement
been so freely at our disposal, it would ill become us to
forget. Many, many others to whom our projects were
explained and our hopes and fears outlined, have so
heartily and sympathetically lent cooperation that we
regret our inability to name them separately.
Doctor Avery has made mention of the great assistance
rendered by his wife, Mrs. Catherine H. T. Avery, the
able editor of the American Monthly Magazine, the official
organ of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
She is entitled to grateful recognition in this place, also.
In its mechanical details, we have striven to make the
book more useful than it could otherwise be by making
it beautiful. In his chapter on the difference between
the true and false grotesque, Ruskin tells us that "true
art is decorated utility." To those who have painfully
studied out the deductions to be made from maps in one
color only, the utility of the extra printings that we have
given will appeal forcibly. Their artistic value is self-
A word regarding our style-book prepared for the guidance of composi-
tors, proof-readers, etc. It has been made selective, and, in general
terms, without going to extremes, tends towards simplicity. The under-
use rather than the over-abuse of punctuation marks is an example.
And now, as our craft glides from the ways on which
its keel was laid twenty years ago, we humbly dedicate it
To THE UNITED STATES AND ITS PEOPLE
Sail on, 0 UNION, strong and great!
Our hearts, our hopes, our prayers, our tears,
Our faith triumphant o'er our fears,
Are all with thee,- are all with thee!
C O N T E N T S
Introductory: Lists of Maps and Illustrations; Chronology.
I. The First Americans I
II. The Neolithic Americans 22
III. Maze and Myth 63
IV. The Northmen (about 100ooo A.D.) 74
V. Early Geographical Knowledge 97
VI. Prince Henry the Navigator (1394-1460) io8
VII. Columbus and His Great Idea (1446-92) 112-
VIII. Columbus's First Voyage (1492) 134
IX. Diplomacy and Preparation (1493) 152
X. Columbus's Second Voyage (1493-96) 162 .
XI. Da Gama (1498) and Cabot (1497) 179
XII. Columbus's Third Voyage (1498-1500) 191.
XIII. Voyages of the Cortereals (1500-02) 208
XIV. Columbus's Fourth Voyage (1502-04) 213
XV. Vespucius and "America" (1451-1507) 226-
XVI. Balboa (1513) and Magellan (1519-21) 241
XVII. Cortes (1519), Ponce de Leon (1513), and -
Las Casas (I502-47) 252
XVIII. East Coast Exploration: Ayllon, Verra-
zano, and Gomez, (1521-26) 272
XIX. Spanish Explorations: Narvaez, De Vaca,
De Soto, and Coronado, (1527-42) 280
XX. Pioneers of New France: Cartier, Ribault,
Laudonniere, and De Gourgues,(i 534-68) 303-
XXI. Westward Ho! Hawkins, Drake, Caven-
dish, Gilbert, and Ralegh (1565-1600) 322
XXII. The Indians of North America 338
Statistics Regarding Indians, etc. . 359
Bibliographical Appendix 369
NOTE.-A general index will be found in the latter part of the twelfth volume.
Christopher Columbus Frontispiece
From the painting in the Marine Museum at Madrid. Over eighty por-
traits of Columbus are known, none painted either from life or even during
the lifetime of the discoverer. This one was probably painted during the
nineteenth century upon order from the ministry of marine. Doubtless, the
old engraving known as the Capriolo served the artist to some extent as
model. He has, however, made a noble representation, and even though
it is a work of constructive imagination it is still the most generally satisfac-
tory portrait of Columbus in existence. On De la Cosa's ox-hide map,
facing page o28, will be found another portrait of the great discoverer.
From the letter written by Columbus on February 6, 1502, from Granada
to the Spanish sovereigns. The original is in the national archives at
Madrid. This letter shows him to have been a consummate seaman, a
masterly and scientific sailor, and an able pilot. More than sixty distinct
pieces of Columbus's handwriting are in existence, and though he was an
Italian by birth, they are all in Spanish. Thirty-three of these MSS.
bear a signature. Fifteen bear his name and both of his peculiar mono-
grams as reproduced in the present instance. A smaller number are signed
with his marine title of admiral, el Almirante, and the large monogram.
To this large seven-letter monogram, Columbus attached great impor-
tance, and provided that his heirs should forever employ its peculiar form.
No certain explanation of the letters is known. A religious interpretation
is, however, universal. The smaller monogram is probably produced by
intertwining the 9 and 8 of Jesus. It always appears in the lower left-
The Ouiatchouan Falls, Lake Saint John 2
M ap of North America 3
Glacier and Iceberg 5
Glacial Stria 6
Rock W aste at the Foot of a Glacier 6
M ap of the United States 7
Indicating the greatest extension of the continental ice-sheet. Prepared
for this work by Professor George Frederick Wright.
Sectional View of the Trough of the Ohio River 9
Map Showing the River Terraces of the Upper
Ohio Valley 9
The glaciated area is untinted, while the terraces are shown by dots.
Map of the United States .
Indicating the recession of the ice-front nearly to the Mohawk valley.
Prepared for this work by Professor George Frederick Wright.
Bird's-eye View of the Niagara Gorge 12
Section across Table Mountain, California 13
The Calaveras Skull 14
Now in Cambridge, Massachusetts, thinly coated with wax for preservation.
The Nampa Image 14
The Lansing (Kansas) Skull and Thigh-bone 15
Reduced from original which was I8 Y inches long.
A Trenton (New Jersey) Paleolith .
Map Showing the River Terraces of the Delaware
The glaciated area is untinted: the terraces are shown by dots.
The Newcomerstown (Ohio) Paleolith 17
Side and edge view, reduced to one-quarter of natural size.
Obsidian Spear-head from Lake Lahontan .18
Reduced one-half. From the United Sates Geological Survey, under
Major J. W. Powell (Washington, 1885).
Lake-dwellings Restored 19
The picture is constructed from data furnished by recent researches in this
field of archeology.
Arrow-head from Puzzle Lake, Florida .24
Actual height, two and one-eighth inches. Reproduced from paper by
Clarence B. Moore in the American Naturalist for January, 1894.
Mound on Little Island, South Carolina 25
From Clarence B. Moore's Certain Aboriginal Mounds of the Coast of
South Carolina (1898).
Round-house of Lava-blocks 26
Map of the Pueblo Region 27
After the map accompanying Cosmos Mindeleff's Aboriginal Remains in
Verde Valley, Arizona, in the thirteenth Annual Report of the United
States Bureau of American Ethnology ; with corrections and additions from
latest data supplied by Frederick Webb Hodge, editor of the American
From a photograph.
Open-front Cavate Lodges 29
A Communal Pueblo, Zuni 29
Section Showing the Evolution of the Flat Roof
and Terrace 30
Plan of Walpi, a Hopi Pueblo in Arizona 31
From the eighth Annual Report of the United States Bureau of American
View of Walpi, Arizona 32
From the same.
Stone Grave, Jackson County, Illinois 34
From the twelfth Annual Report of the United States Bureau of American
A Sepulchral Urn 34
From frontispiece to Clarence B. Moore's Certain Aboriginal Mounds of
the Georgia Coast (1897).
A Mound (reproduced from De Bry) 35
A reduced facsimile from his Collectiones Peregrinationum in Indiam Orien-
talem et Occidentalem, published at Frankfort, 1590-1634. Probably a
representation of a burial-mound incomplete within the historic period.
The Great Cahokia Mound, East Saint Louis,
View from the east. From an original photograph made in 19oo.
The Serpent Mound, Adams County, Ohio 37
After W. H. Holmes's drawing, made on the spot in 1888, and published
in the twelfth Annual Report of the United States Bureau of American
Section of an Ossuary Mound, Crawford County,
From the fifth Annual Report of the United States Bureau of American
Section of a Burial Mound, near Davenport, Iowa 38
From the same. The diagram on the right shows the relative positions of
Vertical and Horizontal Sections of a Burial Mound,
East Dubuque, Illinois 38
From the same.
View and Section of the Grave Creek Mound, near
Wheeling, West Virginia 40
From Squier and Davis's Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley
(Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 1848).
The Nelson Mound, Caldwell County, North
Carolina, after Excavation 41
From the fifth Annual Report of the United States Bureau of American
Prehistoric Vase from Florida 43
Original is eight inches high. Reproduced from Clarence B. Moore's
Certain Aboriginal Remains of the Northwest Florida Coast, part 2,
Map of Fort Ancient, Warren County, Ohio 45
Map of the Ancient Works at Newark, Ohio 47
Map Showing Some of the Ancient Works of the
Scioto Valley, Ohio 48
Chipped Celt, from a Mound in the Kanawha
Grooved Ax, from Brown County, Ohio 54
The Etowah Bust 54
Reduced one-half from the cut given by Cyrus Thomas in the twelfth
Annual Report of the United States Bureau of American Ethnology.
Bottle, from a Tumulus at Saint George, Utah 55
Reduced to one-sixth natural size.
Vase, from Davenport, Iowa .
Reduced to one-ninth natural size.
Mug, from Tusayan, Arizona .55
Reduced to one-fifth natural size.
Bowl, from Tusayan, Arizona .55
Reduced to one-sixth natural size.
Charred Fabric, from a Mound in Ohio 56
An example of diagonal weaving.
Moccasin, from a Cave in Kentucky .57
Fabric-marked Vase, from a Mound in North
The Sea of Darkness 68
From an original drawing by Harry Fenn.
Title-page of the Zeni Annals .69
The Zeni Map 70
Reduced facsimile; the original measures 15 Y x I2 inches.
Norse Ship Unearthed at Sandefjord 74
Norse Ship Restored 75
The discovery at Sandefjord, some very imperfect representations carved on
rocks and runic stones, and a design on the Bayeux tapestry, have formed
the basis for the restoration.
Map of the North Atlantic Ocean 77
A Saga Manuscript 79
From Reeves's Finding of Wineland the Good.
Map of Bjarni's Course, after Harrisse .
Ruins of the Church at Katortok. 81
Landing of the Northmen 82
After a drawing by J. Steeple Davis.
Norse Boat Used as a Habitation 83
Map of Cape Cod "Restored" 84
Eskimo Skin-boat 87
Norse Ruins in Greenland 9
Rafn's Map of Vinland 92
The Dighton Rock .93
A New Mexico Inscription Rock. 94
The Newport Tower 94
The Chesterton Mill 95
Statue of Leif Ericson 95
Unveiled at Boston, October 29, 1887.
Homer's World 97
Ptolemy's World 98
These two maps have been constructed from the extant writings of the
authors, with other data furnished by contemporaneous sources. They
illustrate the notions concerning the earth and its surface generally enter-
tained at those periods. The latter map shows also the position assigned
to Sera by Marinus, to illustrate the difference of opinion between these two
authorities concerning the earth's size.
Andreas Benincasa's Map of 1476 104
Reduced, with slight modifications, from the facsimile given in the atlas to
Lelewel's Giographie du Moyen Age (Brussels, 1850).
The Atlantic Ocean 8. 8
Marco Polo 108
After the original portrait, at Rome.
Prince Henry the Navigator 109
After a portrait in a contemporary manuscript chronicle, now in the national
library at Paris probably the only authentic one.
Map Illustrating Early Portuguese Discoveries 10
Ship of the Fifteenth Century 13
An Attempt to Reconstruct the Alleged Toscanelli
Also showing the coast of Asia as it appears on the planisphere of 1457
and on Behaim's globe of 1492. Adapted from Professor Gustava
Uzielli's compilation in his La Vita e i Tempi di Paolo dal Pozzo
Toscanelli, published at Rome, in 1894, by the Reale Commissione
Map of the World by Henricus Martellus Germanus,
about 1492 19
From the original manuscript in the British Museum. This is a so-called
Portuguese map of the world of about 1492. From the inscription east of
the Cape of Good Hope, and from its evident priority to the discoveries
made by Columbus and Da Gama its probable date is conjectured. An
adapted facsimile of the original is in the Kohl collection in the department
of state at Washington. On this account this map is prepared from photo-
graphs taken direct from the original copy in the British Museum.
It has been conjectured that Martellus was a German miniature-painter
working at Rome during the latter part of the fifteenth century.
This map is erroneously described by many.
Behaim's Globe of 1492 20, 121
Adapted from the facsimile given in Ghillany's Geschichte des Seefahrers
Ritter Martin Behaim (Nuremberg, 1853).
The Convent of La Rabida 124
The Franciscan convent of Santa Maria de Rabida stands on a hill near the
town of Palos. It had fallen into decay, but was restored in 1855.
M ap of Spain and Portugal 125
Columbus's Fleet 132
Map of the Spanish Coast between Huelva and Cadiz 135
Map of Columbus's Course, First Voyage 137
Columbus Sighting the Light 138
From an original drawing by Will H. Drake.
The Landing of Columbus 140
From the painting by Albert Bierstadt, in the rotunda of the capitol at
Map Showing Columbus's Course after his Landfall
(with map of W atling Island in corner) 14I
The true landfall of Columbus has been the subject of much investigation,
and will always be a matter of great interest. The site was on one of the
Bahamas, and evidently on an island of moderate size, though not one of
the smallest. Each of some half a dozen different islands of the Bahamas
has had the claim made in its behalf that it is the true site of the landfall.
Alexander von Humboldt accorded the honor to Cat Island, and so did
Captain G. V. Fox, U. S. N., assigned it to Atwood Cay (Samana). His
paper, the most elaborate treatment of the subject yet made, forms part of
the government report, yet it is now regarded as practically established that
Watling Island is the true Guanahani, the San Salvador of Columbus.
The methods used in determining this, we indicate below :
First. The physical description given by Las Casas in the abridgment of
Columbus's journal (the original is lost) is found to apply more perfectly to
Watling than to any other island.
Second. After leaving the island and sailing by a devious but quite fully
recorded course, Cuba was struck at a harbor whose location is definitely
established by description. With a chart of the Bahamas and a knowledge
of the currents, the backward route of Columbus may, by the aid of the
journal, be laid out, many points being fixed with precision and others with
the highest degree of probability. This method also indicates (in fact, in
the judgment of most recent expert investigators it requires) the acceptance
of Watling Island as the correct site of the landfall.
Third. Follow by the aid of the journal the course sailed from the Cana-
ries to the Bahamas. This, while less certain, readily admits of the selec-
tion of Watling as the correct site of the landfall, although the method
is unsatisfactory when used by itself. The ocean currents, the varia-
tions of the compass, the rude method of measuring time by an hour-glass,
the lack of a log-line record (this last not having been invented until a later
period), render any deductions made by this method alone extremely uncer-
tain. At best, it can simply furnish corroborative evidence of the correct-
ness of deductions made in other ways. This it does sufficiently well.
Columbus described the island as flat, with a large lake in the middle and
with very green trees, and described islands seen on the course thence
to Cuba in such terms as to leave no doubt in the minds of those who have
most carefully and fully investigated the subject that Watling Island is the
site of the landfall.
Other islands that have had advocates for their claims in this connection are
Grand Turk Island, area about seven square miles; Atwood Cay, area
eight square miles Mariguana, area ninety-six square miles; Acklin
Island, area over one hundred square miles i and Cat Island, area one hundred
and sixty square miles. The area of Watling is about sixty square miles.
Referring to the common superstition that Friday is an unlucky day, it is
interesting to note the place it occupies in the story of the discovery of
the New World. Columbus sailed from Palos on Friday, August 3,
1492. He discovered land on Friday, October I2, 1492. He departed
from Espanola (Haiti) to return to Spain on Friday, January 4, 1493, and
arrived at Palos, after the most memorable voyage in the world's history, on
Friday, March 15, 1493.
M ap of the W est Indies 143
Columbus Commemorative Medal, Spain, 1492-
This follows the Maura medal in its second design. The first design of the
obverse, a figure kneeling before Columbus, was purposely altered. Ponce
de Leon's Columbus Gallery gives half-tones in all states. It may be found
in the New York Public Library (Lenox Building).
First Page of Columbus's Printed Letter to
A reduced facsimile from the unique Spanish folio; the original is in the
New York Public Library (Lenox Building).
The Arms of Columbus .
Alexander VI 153
From the Lenox copy of J. C. Heywood's Documenta Selecta e Tabulario
Secret Vaticano qur Romanorum Pontificum erga America Populos Curam
ac Studia tum ante tum paullo post Insulas a Christophoro Columbo Repertas
Testantur Phototypia Descripta, of which only twenty-five copies were
printed at Rome, in 1893, for distribution to leading libraries. The in-
scription there given states : Pinxit Bernardinus Pinturicchius in A'dibus
Borgianis Palatii Vaticani anno 1494.
First Page of the Bull of Demarcation of May 4,
Reduced from a facsimile given in the work mentioned above.
Map Showing the Line of Demarcation 160
Map of Columbus's Courses, First and Second
Third Page of the Printed Scillacio 165
Full-size facsimile from the copy in the New York Public Library (Lenox
Map of Haiti in Columbus's Time 166
The courses of the voyages of Columbus about the island have been inserted.
Map of Columbus's Voyage in the West Indies,
Vasco da Gama .. 179
After the original portrait, in the possession of the Count de Lavradio.
The Hunt-Lenox Copper Globe (Western Hemi-
After the original in the possession of the New York Public Library (Lenox
Building). It is said to be the earliest post-Columbian globe extant.
Statue of John Cabot and his Son Sebastian 182
Modeled by John Cassidy, of Manchester, England, and exhibited in
Part of Sebastian Cabot's Map of 1544 184
The entire map is a mappemonde. The original is in the national library at
Paris ; we adapt this from a full-size photo-copy thereof in the New York
Public Library (Lenox Building). The inscription in the upper left-hand
comer has been transposed from a quarter of the map not given here.
Harrisse's Map of John Cabot's First Voyage 185
Cabot Centennial Postage-stamp, Newfoundland,
John Cabot 187
Sebastian Cabot 187
These two portraits follow the Cassidy statuary, mentioned above.
Cabot Memorial Tower, Bristol, England 189
The tower, designed by W. S. Gough, is 105 feet high, and occupies
Brandon Hill, "the finest inter-urban hill in England." The comer-stone
was laid June 24, 1897.
Map of Columbus's Courses, Third and Fourth
Map of the Gulf of Paria Region, Columbus's
Third Voyage 193
Columbus at the Island of Margarita 195
A reduced facsimile from Herrera's Historia General de los Hechos de los
Castellanos (Madrid, 1601).
Columbus in Chains 201
From Marechal's painting.
Juan de la Cosa's Ox-hide Map of 500o facing 208
We reproduce, reduced in size, the western half of this map containing
the West Indies. The original now belonging to the Spanish government
is in the Naval Museum at Madrid, but it was first discovered by Alexan-
der von Humboldt in 1832 at Paris in the library of a friend, Baron
Charles Athanase Walckenaer, himself an eminent scientist and geographer.
It is the oldest known map of the New World. In 1853, it passed into
the museum at Madrid from a Paris auction-room.
Juan de la Cosa was one of the most skilful navigators of his time. He
made many voyages to the New World, and was -finally killed there by
Indians in 1509 on one of his cruises with Ojeda. That he was with
Columbus on the voyage of discovery, as part owner and master of the
Santa Maria," the flag-ship, is the opinion of most investigators, including
Harrisse and others. Some, however, think that this was a different La
Cosa, and that Juan did not accompany Columbus until the next voyage
in 1493. Several of his charts have been preserved, but this is by far the
This reproduction is based upon a photograph taken for this work from
the original at Madrid, and upon a colored lithographic copy of the map
published at the same place, in 1892, by Messrs. Canovas, Vallejo, and
Traynor. The lithograph in question is believed to be the only col-
ored reproduction previously made, and is very faulty. For instance, on the
lithograph many of the islands are shown white, while the black of the
photograph shows that in the original they were colored red. The litho-
graph represents Haiti (Espanola) as a group of islands, while the photo-
graph shows a well-defined coast-line.
Especial attention is called to the system of straight lines radiating from
sixteen centers placed at equal distances from each other, and on the cir-
cumference of a circle at the center of which is the mariner's compass in
the middle of the map.
The uncolored portions of the reproduction indicate holes (made by insects
or otherwise) in the original map.
The map clearly shows the insularity of Cuba. The outlines of the island
give an approximation to accuracy that is remarkable, for the map was
made eight years before Ocampo's circumnavigation. Much has been
made of these facts in connection with the claim for the authenticity of
Vespucius's alleged first voyage" in 1497.
Part of the Cantino M ap of 1502 210
Greatly reduced from the facsimile given in Harrisse's The Discovery of
North America (Paris and London, 1892) ; the original is in the Biblio-
teca Estense, Modena, Italy. The map embodies the results of explora-
tions made in 150s, while a slip of parchment attached to the map shows
corrections due to Vespucius's explorations of 502o. In that wise was the
date of the map determined.
Map of the Central American Coast, Columbus's
Fourth Voyage 215
Statue of Columbus at Santo Domingo 222
Autograph of Vespucius .. 226
Title-page of the "Four Voyages" of Vespucius 227
Reproduced from the New York Public Library (Lenox Building) copy of
the facsimile issued by Quaritch in 1893.
Map of the Alleged First Voyage of Vespucius 228
Americus Vespucius 233
From an old engraving.
Saint Die in the Sixteenth Century 235
After an original drawing of the time.
Note on the Waldseemueller Maps mentioned on page 236
Early in the present century, cartographers and Americanists were startled
by the preliminary announcement of the discovery of two long-lost maps
by Martin Waldseemueller, who, in a little tract printed several times in the
year 1507, and entitled Cosmographiie Introductio, had suggested the nam-
ing of America after Vespucius. In that tract, the author referred to his
map of 1507, but although diligent search was made during many years,
the map was not found.
In 19ox, while searching for data to use in his work on the discoveries of
the Northmen in America, Prof. Joseph Fischer, S.J., of Feldkirch,
Austria, found a large composite volume of maps in the library of Prince
Waldburg-Wolfegg at the castle of Wolfegg in Wurtemberg. This atlas,
curiously enough, was originally the property of the famous sixteenth-cen-
tury cosmographer, Johann Schoener. Two of its maps proved to be
Waldseemueller's undated world-map of 1507, the first to contain the name
"America," and an extraordinary Carta Marina with the date 1516, also
by him. Each of these two large woodcut maps contains twelve sheets,
and each section measures 45.5 by 62 centimeters. They are the only
The first definite statement about the discovery was written by Prof. Fr.
R. v. Wieser for Petermanns Mitteilungen, December, 190o. Several
articles appeared in 1902, and, in 1903, the maps were published in photo-
lithographic facsimile, in full size, and accompanied by a folio volume of
critical apparatus, edited jointly by Fischer and Wieser.
Schoener's Globe of 1520 (Western Hemisphere) 237
Adapted from the facsimile given in Ghillany's Geschichte des &efahrers
Ritter Martin Behaim (Nuremberg, 1853).
Mercator's Globe of 1541 (American Portion,
Four Gores) 239
The original is in the royal library, Belgium ; we follow SphAre Terrestre et
Sphire Cileste de Gerard Mercator (Brussels, 1875).
Map of New Andalusia and Castilia del Oro 243
Vasco Nunez de Balboa 244
After an engraving in Herrera.
Ferdinand M agellan 247
From the same.
The So-called Schoener Gore Map 248, 249
A reduced facsimile of the only known original, in the New York Public
Library (Lenox Building). It has been asserted and denied that this is
Schoener's long-lost map of 1513. However that may be, it is probably
the earliest known map showing by a line the track of the first circumnavi-
gation of the globe, and as such is highly interesting.
The "Victoria" .. 251
A reduced facsimile of a picture in Henry Stevens's Johann &hSner.
Cannon of the Sixteenth Century. 255
Map of the Country between the Gulf Coast and
the Valley of M exico 256
After a painting in the collection of his descendant, the Conde de Miravalle.
Plan of Tenochtitlan at the Time of the Conquest
of Mexico by Cortes 258
Also showing a chart of the Gulf of Mexico. A reduced facsimile of a
large folded plate in the Latin version of Cortes's second letter (Nurem-
berg, 1524) i from the copy in the New York Public Library (Lenox
Map of the Valley of Mexico in 519 259
Hernando Cortes 260
From an old engraving.
Title-page of Cortes's Second Letter (Carta de
First edition (Seville, 1522). A reduced facsimile from the fine copy in
the New York Public Library (Lenox Building). It is the earliest extant
account in print of Cortes, and is very rare.
Bartolome de las Casas 266
From an old engraving.
Map of the Land of War 268
Shows the scene of Las Casas's activities in Central America
New York in 1524 and in 1904 277
From an original drawing by Harry Fenn.
Giovanni da Verrazano 278
From an old engraving.
The Carta M arina of 1548 281
Adapted from the Ptolemy (Italian edition) of that year.
Autograph of Narvaez 282
The Earliest Known Engraving of the Buffalo Ap-
pearing in a Printed Book 284
Reduced facsimile from Gomara's Historia General de las Indias (1554).
However, as early as 1542, Rotz drew pictures of this animal on his maps.
While Thevet's has previously been accepted as the earliest known engrav-
ing of the buffalo, his work appeared four years later than Gomara's, namely,
at Antwerp in 1558.
We follow the copy of Gomara in the possession of the New York Public
Library (Lenox Building).
Hernando de Soto 285
From an old engraving.
Title-page of the "Gentleman of Elvas" Relation 286
Reduced facsimile of the original edition (Evora, 1557), one of the rarest
books in the whole field of Americana. We follow one of the few extant
copies in the possession of the New York Public Library (Lenox Building),
which is made doubly interesting on account of its being from the famous
Colbert library. The original is quite small, its size being z% by 44
Map of De Soto's Route 287
Prepared for this work by James Mooney, of the United States Bureau of
American Ethnology ; it is the result of study of the original Spanish and
Portuguese narratives in the light of personal knowledge of the geography
and Indian nomenclature of the region.
A Palisaded Indian Village 291
A reduced facsimile of De Bry's plate, Oppidum Pomeooc.
Map of Coronado's Route 296
This map was prepared in accordance with information furnished by Fred-
erick Webb Hodge, editor of the American Anthropologist, Smithsonian
Institution, Washington, D. C., Frank Heywood Hodder, professor of
history at the state university, Lawrence, Kansas, and George Parker
Winship, librarian of the John Carter Brown library at Providence, Rhode
Island, and author of the article on the Coronado expedition contained in
the fourteenth Annual Report of the United States Bureau of American
Long-continued and minute research on the part of each of these investiga-
tors, and an intimate personal acquaintance with the geography of the
section, render their judgment on this subject of great value. We are fur-
ther indebted to them for assistance in the revision of all the chapters
relating to the early Spanish explorations within the present domain of the
On the Terraces at Zuni 297
Autograph of Coronatio 298
Two Views of the Pueblo of Acoma 99
The rock fortress of Acoma copied from photographs supplied by Frederick
Webb Hodge, editor of the American Anthropologist, Smithsonian
This village was very strong for defense. It was on a rock having steep
sides so high that it was a good musket shot to its summit. The only
entrance was by a stairway that began at the top of a slope around the base
of the rock. The stairway was broad for about two hundred steps; then
there was a stretch of about one hundred narrower steps. Beyond the stair-
way, one had to go three times the height of a man by means of holes in
the rock, using both hands and feet. Above this dangerous approach was
a wall of large and small stones that could be rolled down upon invaders
without exposure of the dwellers of the pueblo. Upon this summit there
were room for storing a large amount of corn and other supplies, cisterns for
collecting water and snow, and land for tillage.
Map of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence 304
Cartier at Gasp 305
After a drawing by Jules Turcas.
Old View of Hochelaga (Montreal) 307
A reduced facsimile from the third volume of Ramusio's Raccolta (Venice,
Jacques Cartier 308
From an old engraving.
The Landing of Ribault 312
A reduced facsimile from De Bry.
Ribault's Pillar 35
From the same.
Map of the Huguenot Settlements 316
Fort Caroline 318
A reduced facsimile from De Bry.
Pedro Menendez de Aviles 319
From an old engraving.
Queen Elizabeth 322
From the ermine portrait, by Zucchero, now in Hatfield House, England.
Sir John Hawkins 323
After an engraving in Holland's Heroologia Anglica (Arnheim, 1620).
Sir Francis Drake 324
From a painting owned by T. F. Eliott Drake, Nutwell Court, near Exe-
Thomas Cavendish 327
After an engraving in Holland's Heroologia Anglica.
Sir Humphrey Gilbert 328
From an old engraving.
Sir Walter Ralegh 329
From the painting by Zucchero.
Map of Ralegh's Explorations 331
An Indian Village 332
A reduced facsimile of De Bry's plate, Oppidum Secota.
Philip II. of Spain 334
From Titian's painting, in the Corsini Gallery, at Rome.
Autograph of Ralegh 335
Outline of the Fort at Roanoke 335
Arapaho Indians 339
From a photograph.
A Papago House 343
An Iroquois Long-house 344
A Wampum Belt 348
An Indian Chief 350
From a photograph.
Hopi Dancers 351
From a photograph.
A Blackfoot W arrior 352
From a photograph.
Map of the United States, showing the Indian Res-
After the one given in the Report of the United States Commissioner of
Indian Affairs, I899, corrected by James Mooney. Only government
(national) reservations are shown; several state reservations in the East are
not indicated. Some statistics regarding Indians, population, reservations,
education, treaties, costs of wars, costs of maintenance, etc., appear as an
appendix to this volume.
Map of the United States facing 356
Showing the distribution of Indian linguistic stocks at the time of coloniza-
tion and settlement. Prepared for this work by James Mooney.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF EVENTS RECORDED
IN THIS VOLUME
1ooo (circa). Northmen under Leif Ericson settle "Vinland," probably at some point
on the New England coast.
1492. Columbus discovers a New World.
1493-94. Columbus, on his second voyage discovers Porto Rico and Jamaica.
1497. Cabot, John, discovers the mainland of America.
1497-98. Da Gama passes the Cape of Good Hope and reaches India.
1498. Cabot, John and Sebastian, extend discoveries from Labrador to Cape Cod.
SColumbus, on his third voyage, discovers South America.
Pinzon and Solis explore the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic coast from
Florida to Chesapeake Bay.
1500. Cabral discovers Brazil.
1501. Americus Vespucius explores the coast of South America.
1500-02. The Cortereals explore the North American coast as far as Greenland.
1502. Columbus sails on his fourth voyage.
1506. Columbus dies at Valladolid.
1507. Name America is first applied to the New World.
1513. Ponce de Leon discovers Florida. Balboa discovers the Pacific Ocean.
1519. Pineda's Exploration.
I519-21. Cortes conquers Mexico.
1519-22. Magellan passes around South America into the Pacific. He discovers
the Philippines, and is killed by the natives. One of his five ships, the
"Victoria," reaches Seville in September, 1522, thus completing the
first circumnavigation of the globe.
1524. Verrazano and Gomez explore the coast of New England.
1528. Narvaez coasts from Florida to Texas.
1530. Hawkins, William, becomes the founder of the English slave-trade. He
was followed by his son, the noted admiral Sir John Hawkins.
1533. Pizarro conquers Peru and obtains an enormous booty.
1534-36. Cabeza de Vaca crosses the continent.
1534-41. Cartier explores the Saint Lawrence for France and attempts colonization.
1539. Fray Marcos explores New Mexico, seeking the seven cities of Cibola.
1539-41. De Soto's expedition ; the discovery of the Mississippi.
1541-42. Coronado's expedition.
1562-64. French (Huguenots) in South Carolina.
1565. Saint Augustine is founded by the Spanish. The oldest European settle-
ment in the United States.
1577-80. Drake explores the California coast and circumnavigates the earth.
1577-78. Gilbert's, Sir Humphrey, first expedition.
1583. Gilbert's, Sir Humphrey, second expedition and death.
I584. Ralegh sends to America an exploring expedition under Amidas and Barlowe.
1585. Ralegh's second expedition. A colony settles on Roanoke Island, but
after a year of hardship is taken back to England by Drake.
1587. Ralegh sends colonists to Roanoke. Birth of Virginia Dare, the first
English child born on the soil of the United States.
1588. Defeat of the Spanish Armada. By this event, so disastrous to Spain's
ascendancy, the sea-power of England is established. From this
date, English colonizing expeditions become increasingly frequent.
A FEW BITS OF EUROPEAN CHRONOLOGY
FOR THE SIXT ENTH CENTURY
1492-1503 Alexander VI
1503 (21 days) Pius III
1523-1534 Clement VII
1534-1549 Paul III
1550-1555 Julius III
15 5 5 (22 days) Marcellus II
1555-1559 Paul IV
1559-1565 Pius IV
1566-1572 Pius V
1572-1585 Gregory XIII
1585-1590 Sixtus V
1590 (12 days) Urban VII
1590-1591 Gregory XIV
1591 (2 months) Innocent IX
1592-1605 Clement VIII
1438-1481 Alfonso V
I481-1495 John II
("'the Cardinal ")
(king of Spain)
1598-1621 Philip III
(king of Spain)
-r . (Henry or Navarre)
1479-1504 Ferdinand and Isa-
bella England: House of Tudor
(king of Aragon and regent of Castile) 1485-1509 Henry VII
1516-1556 Carlos I I509-1547 Henry VIII
(Emperor Charles V) 1547- 1553 Edward VI
1556-1598 Philip II 1553-1558 Mary
1598-1621 Philip III 1558-1603 Elizabeth
A History of the United States
and its People
PERIOD OF DISCOVERY
j/ade nof the Pen
C H A P T E R I
T H E F I R S T A M E R I C A N S
IT is well known that, in 1492, Christopher Columbus
sailed from Spain and discovered a new world in
which he found a barbarian race. It is not gener-
ally understood that, prior to this, the western hemi-
sphere had been visited by Europeans. Yet it has been
claimed that the first families of this continent died out
thousands of years before the traditions of the red man
were begun, and it is difficult to doubt that more than
one wanderer from the Old World rested on the soil of
the New before Columbus was born.
America has a history that is prehistoric. Concerning The Two
its primitive people, problem rises after problem. Of Problems
these problems, two tower above the others-age and
origin. Were the first Americans autochthons or immi-
grants ? If immigrants, whence came they and when ?
Where did they live and how? Was there ever, in any
portion of the continent, a superior and mysterious race
that vanished before the occupancy of the land by the
red men whom Columbus found?
Some of these problems are being solved; some per- The Two
haps never will be solved. Not long ago, men seemed Methods
not to know how to study them. They walked over
ancient remains, and guessed and wondered as they wan-
dered. What little was known about the shell-heap
people, the mound-builders, the cliff-dwellers, and the
pueblo tribes served only as a starting-point for archao-
logical speculation; scientific research was unborn. Now,
2 The First Americans
men do not stand upon tumuli and dream; they excavate
and know. The two methods are typical of yesterday
A New For many years students have been gathering data and
Science arranging facts. Much has been learned and some safe
generalizations have been made; further facts and fuller
information are needed for the complete solution sought.
The proper study of this remote past lies in the realm
of prehistoric archaeology, a recent science with impor-
tant lessons at some of which it will be well to glance.
Drainage The region of the great lakes and
Systems i.. the country thence northward to the
Arctic Ocean is a region of small
S lakes also. Waterfalls abound, and
many streams are mere alternations
of rapids and pools. The tendency
of a stream below its pool is to cut
its channel deeper and thus to drain
ithe pool, while the tendency of the
S.'.. stream above is to fill it with mud
and sand. In the course of time,
under the operation of these causes,
the pool will disappear. Similarly,
'the tendency of waterfall and rapids
is to deepen the channel by the
power of erosion; and, in time,
The Ouiatchouan Falls they will do so until the slope
of the stream is gentle and its current slow. Hence
the conclusions that a stream the course of which is inter-
rupted by lakes is either a young stream or that nature
has recently put obstructions in its path, and that a
stream with cascades and waterfalls and rapids is laboring
at an unfinished task. South of the Ohio River such
lakes and cataracts are rare; in British America and the
northern United States they are very numerous. In the
south, the drainage system is mature; in the north, it is
young and immature. Let us seek an explanation of
4 The First Americans
Man and The geologist observes successive strata and infers
Geology that they were successively formed, the lowest in the
series being the oldest. Thus read, rocks and gravel-
beds become historical records. If a fossil shell or a
human implement is found in a previously undisturbed
formation, we are forced to the conclusion that it is a
relic of something that existed before that rock or bed
was formed. The earlier and longer geologic eras give
no trace of human life. Not even a suggestion of the
existence of man prior to the tertiary and quaternary
periods of the cenozoic era has been found, and the reality
of tertiary man is looked upon as extremely problem-
atical. On the other hand, the records of the glacial and
the later epochs of the quaternary period seem to show
that, at that time, "The First American" was at home.
Earth-wrinkles The three quaternary epochs were marked by move-
ments of the earth's crust (grossly comparable to the
progressive wrinkling of a picked orange), and by con-
comitant or consequent changesof climate. The first
of these, the glacial epoch, was characterized by an
upward movement of the earth-crust in high latitudes
until that part of the continent was lifted several thou-
sand feet above its present height. The testimony that
supports such statements is abundant, and the discus-
sions that relate to the causes that produced such
elevations are interesting, but they hardly pertain to a
work like this. An upheaval of the land about Hudson
Bay has been in progress for at least two hundred years.
New islands have appeared, many channels that were
lately navigable and all the old harbors are now too shal-
low for ships, and some of the former beaches have been
lifted sixty or seventy feet above the water. If this
movement should continue at the present rate for a few
centuries, dry land or salt marsh will take the place of
what is now a shallow bay. Such an elevation of high
plateaus that received snowfall throughout the year, the
extension of the land, and the consequent cutting off of
the warm oceanic currents from their flow into the arctic
regions, are among the probable causes of an epoch of
The First Americans 5
unusual cold. Whatever the cause, huge ice-sheets
brooded over most of the northland, and an arctic deso-
lation reigned without a rival over half the continent.
To understand how this could be, we must remember Glacial Motion
that, under pressure, ice is plastic and moves like a semi-
liquid. When piled high in a glacier, it acts much as
pitch would act under similar circumstances. Snow is
easily compacted into ice,
and, in regions where the
annual snowfall cannot melt
away, ice would accumulate
without limit were it not for
its semi-fluid character which
enables it to flow to lower
levels and toward warmer
climates. Observations upon
modern Greenland glaciers
indicate a movement of from
thirty to fifty feet per day,
and portions of the Muir
glacier of Alaska are known t
to be moving from sixty to
seventy feet per day. Thus,
the ice-mass of the glacial Glacier and Iceberg
period was analogous to a river, the current being sup-
plied by the snowfall in far northern regions. At the
edges of the continent the ice-river discharged into the
oceans, huge masses breaking off and floating away as
icebergs. The much greater discharge was upon the
land, the ice-sheet melting at its southern margin.
This immense mass of ice, thousands of feet in thickness Titanic Labors
and pressing downward with enormous force, moved
slowly southward, plowing out river-valleys, excavating
lake-basins, sweeping away vast forests, tearing off the
tops and sides of ledges, mixing the debris with its own
mass, grinding all together to form boulder-clay and sand
and pebbles, and, by the abrasion of rocks at its lower sur-
face, planing and grooving the strata which it laid bare
and over which it moved. The Green Mountains, stand-
The First Americans
ing from three to five thousand feet in height, "made
scarcely more of a ripple in the moving mass than a
..-..- -- --i. sunken log would make in
c a shallow river." Even
Mount Washington was
wholly submerged, or, at
the best, lifted its hoary
head not more than four
or five hundred feet above
the surface of the glacier.
The Mohawk valley was
Glacial Stri filled nearly to the height
The Drift of the Catskills. The gravel, sand, clay, and boulders,
Deposit picked up or torn off by the ice, were carried with it to its
southern margin and there left as the ice melted. If that
margin had been fixed, these materials would have built a
single high wall; but as, owing to variations of tem-
perature and s e aso n s, that
margin was continually
advancing or receding, the e
burdens thus mechanically -b
borne were laid down over
a large area and constitute --
what is known as the drift as i
deposit. The stones thus
moved vary in size from
small pebbles to masses Rock Waste at the Foot of a Glacier
weighing thousands of tons.
The distance to which they were carried generally varies
from ten to forty miles, although some are known to
Prehistoric have been carried several hundred miles. Thus, the
Transportation famous Forefathers' Rock was borne from its early
home near Boston thousands of years ago and laid on
the Plymouth coast to serve as a stepping-stone in 1620;
the huge jasper conglomerate now on the campus of
Michigan University came from Lake Huron's northern
shore, and a similar conglomerate, nearly three feet in
diameter, has been found among the hills of Kentucky,
more than six hundred miles south of its native bed.
8 The First Americans
At the beginning of this epoch there were no great
lakes, no Niagara, and few if any waterfalls. The rivers
had cut their channels down so low that they drained to
the bottom any lakes that may have once existed. As
the great ice-sheet advanced from the Laurentian high-
lands, it blocked the passage of the northward flowing
"Wright's streams and turned their waters southward. The great
Dam" glacial ice-dam across the Ohio near Cincinnati must have
raised the water of the river five hundred and fifty feet,
and produced a long, narrow, slack-water pond that has
received the name of Lake Ohio. The waters of this
lake probably covered a valley a thousand miles in length,
and submerged the site of Pittsburg three hundred feet.
When, with the amelioration of the climate, "Wright's
dam at last gave way, and the waters that had been
piled high over twenty thousand square miles of territory
dashed down the long ice-rapids, wearing and melting
their channel and destroying the foundations of the dam
itself, what a spectacle where Cincinnati is, and what dire
disaster for the human dwellers in the valley through
which rolled the furious torrent!
Ice-age After the long reign of ice came a depression of parts
Epochs of the earth's crust, and a mitigation of the rigors of the
long and terrible winter. At Montreal the depression
was more than five hundred feet. The Saint Lawrence
became an arm of the sea, and Lake Champlain a deep
bay with its whales and seals and sea-shells. With this
moderation of the climate came a melting of the ice and
a retreat of the ice-front. The liquefying glacier made
a flood vast beyond conception; the lower Mississippi
had an average breadth of fifty miles. Thus the ice age
is divisible into two epochs-the first epoch (glacial)
being marked by a high elevation of extended areas and
the development of vast ice-sheets; the second epoch
(Champlain) being characterized by the subsidence of these
areas, the melting of the ice, and the deposition of glacial
Glacial Drift and modified drift. It is estimated that not less than
four million square miles of territory in North America
are covered with an average depth of fifty feet of glacial
The First Americans 9
debris. The drainage of the glaciated region was so
changed that "the country resembles, on a large scale,
a checked and worm-eaten _
plank which a carpenter has
filled with putty." The -
streams flowing southward E- A -,e
from the glaciated area had
to carry away the annual The Trough of the Ohio River
fall of rain and snow and the melting accumulations of
thousands of years. In many" parts of the United States
the annual rise of these streams brings dreaded disasters;
what imagination can paint the magnitude of the spring
freshets at the end of the glacial epoch?
The terraces that border such streams bear enduring Glacial
witness to the torrents and are, in fact, the high-water Torrents
mark of the floods of that period. The material of which
they were made was brought from the north by the
gorged and gravel-laden glacial streams. The figure
above represents a section
S'S of the trough of the Ohio
;, River a few miles below
a 'Steubenville, and clearly in-
P, dicates the relative youth of
the gravel terraces along the
banks of the stream. The
E" 1a ancient rock-gorge lies a
hundred feet beneath the
.-~ -- I r present bottom of the river.
ii-" ... There is no disagreement as Glacial
-- to the glacial origin of the Gravels
"-' r gravel deposits in this old
S,_ __gorge.'" uch terraces border
Map Showing the River Terraces of the every stream that came from
Upper Ohio Valley the ice-front. At the glacial
(The glaciated area is untinted, and the sp
terraces are shown by dots) boundary, the terraces spread
out into the terminal moraines that were deposited
directly by the ice. Throughout its course, the Allegheny
was gorged with this glacial gravel, and the terraces
abound. On the other hand, the Monongahela had no
The First Americans
glacial torrents, has no glacial gravel, and the terraces are
conspicuous by their absence. Such terraces are not
found along the streams that have their sources south of
the glacial boundary.
Lake Iroquois For a time, during the final retreat of the glacier, the
ice-front lay between the Adirondacks and the upland
divide that separates the basin of the great lakes from the
basin of the Mississippi. As the water from the melting
glacier could not escape by way of the closed Saint
Lawrence, it gathered as a lake between the upland
divide and the ice-front. The site of Niagara was
beneath the ice or the waters of the lake that bordered
the ice; there was no river there. When the glacier
withdrew far enough for these accumulated waters to
flow out by way of the Mohawk valley, the lake-level
fell about three hundred feet, or to the level of the out-
let at Rome, New York. Lake Iroquois was largely
drained and was cut in twain; the contracted sections are
Birth of now known as Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. Then Niagara
Niagara was born and began the work of cutting its famous gorge.
The waters of Lake Michigan no longer flowed down the
Illinois River, or those of Lake Erie into the Wabash.
The delicate equipoise of levels in the region of the great
lakes is worthy of remark. A cut not more than ten
feet deep makes possible the flow of water from Lake
Michigan into the Illinois River. The Chicago drainage
canal follows the well-marked route of the ancient outlet.
A rise of the land in the vicinity of Buffalo, or a fall of
the land in the vicinity of Chicago, or both, that would
change the relative levels only forty feet, would turn the
waters of four of the inland seas that lie on the south-
ward slope of the Laurentian highlands from the Saint
Lawrence to the Mississippi.
Other Glacial In like manner, the great ice-barrier had checked the
Lakes flow of waters through Hudson Bay into the North
Atlantic and poured them through the Mississippi into
the Gulf of Mexico. What we call Nebraska was, at
one time, a great fresh-water lake into which were
poured the waters of the Missouri, the Platte, and the
SI-- -I I
\ \' I
I N. I
MAP OF THE UNITED STATES
(Indicating the recession of the ice-front nearly to the Mohawk Valley)
12 The First Americans
Republican rivers. When the ice-front was melted back
a little way, Lake Nebraska was drained southward.
When it had withdrawn much further northward, Mani-
toba and British Columbia were no longer drained
through the Minnesota and the Mississippi; Lake Agas-
siz, the largest and the latest of the bodies of water held
in position by the ice of the glacial period, was drained
northward, leaving Lake Winnipeg to represent it. For
like reasons, the level of the Great Salt Lake (Lake
Bonneville) fell nine hundred feet, and its area was
proportionally contracted. The modern Pyramid and
North Carson lakes are the shrunken representatives of
the earlier Lake Lahontan. Everywhere, glacial rivers
dwindled to mere reminiscences of their former glory.
The ice age still lingers in Greenland and in the Alaskan
region of Mount Saint Elias. For reasons to be set forth
further on, the study of the ice age passes from the field
of geology into that of history.
Geologic Eras While the eras of geologic chronology bewilder by
their immensity, their relative lengths have been esti-
mated. It is generally agreed that the mesozoic is at
irdsee iew of the Niara Gorge
Bird's-eye View of the Niagara Gorge
least three times as long
as the cenozoic, and that
the paleozoic is at least
four times as long as the
mesozoic, thus making
cenozoic time less than
one-sixteenth of the whole.
In our present study we
are chiefly interested in
the post-tertiary fragment
of that one-sixteenth.
Although the human his-
tory units of years and
centuries are so exceed-
ingly brief that the two orders of time are hardly com-
mensurate, the attempt has been made, over and over
again, to link the two chronologies.'
The gorge between Niagara Falls and Lake Ontario
The First Americans 13
has been cut out by the river since the glacial epoch. Age of
From the observed rate of the recession of the falls, the Niagara
time required for the river to cut its gorge has been com-
puted. Ten thousand years has been for some time
generally accepted as the approximate period represented
by the work of erosion from Lewiston back to the falls.
Similar measurements of the gorge and falls of Saint An-
thony, computations based upon the rate of wave-cutting Date of the
along the sides of Lake Michigan, the rate of filling of Ice Age
kettle-holes, and other processes, yield concurrent results,
and seem to justify the assertion that the ice-sheets
disappeared from the Laurentian highlands about ten
thousand years ago.
In the earliest archean age (azoic), only dead matter The First
existed on the earth. Then life appeared : first, the American
unconscious life of the plant; then, the conscious and
intelligent life of the animal. After almost countless
ages, man appeared. Upon matter, life had been
imposed; now, mind was to crown the structure, stand-
ing upon matter and life and dominating both. "And
the evening and the morning were the sixth day." At
what stage in this scheme of development did man first
appear in the world that Columbus found, and what sort
of a being was he ?
Between 1850 and I860, when the gold-fever was at Relics under
its height in California, interesting reports were current Table Moun-
in the mining camps. Although they related to the
finding of human remains in the gold-bearing gravels of
the Sierras, they attracted little attention from the scien-
tific world. In the '""..
next decade, scientific
interest was aroused
by reports of the Section across Table Mountain
finding of stone pes- (R represents the old river-bed, which was doubtless
bordered by a ridge on either side, as
ties and mortars, rude indicated by the dotted lines)
articles of ornament, and a human jaw-bone in the
gravel deposits beneath the flow of lava locally known as
Table Mountain. This lava issued from the mountain-
i4 The First Americans
range, and flowed down the valley of the Stanislaus
River for a distance of fifty or sixty miles, burying
everything in the valley beneath it, and compelling the
river to seek another channel. The thickness of the lava
averages about a hundred feet. So long a time has
elapsed since the eruption that the softer strata on either
side of the ancient valley have been worn away, leaving
the lava above the general level. The age of the gravels
of the old river-bed, underneath
the lava, is uncertain.
Calaveras The interest thus aroused was
Skull, 1866 intensified by the finding of an
entire human skull, known as the
Calaveras skull, under this lava
deposit, and in gravel about a
hundred and thirty feet below
the surface. When this skull
was zealously put forward as evi-
The Calaveras Skull dence of the existence of man in
a somewhat advanced stage of progress during the
pliocene epoch of the tertiary period,
Great contest followed, and much learned dust!
Persistent attempts have been made to discredit the testi-
mony of the skull as a veritable relic of prehistoric man.
The battle has been long and fierce, but some eminent
ethnologists still strenuously claim that no true
archeological finds have been obtained from
under the lava deposits. Interest in the Cala-
veras skull was freshened by the discovery at
Nampa, Idaho, of a small but finely wrought
Nampa Image, clay image, at the depth of about three hundred
88s9 and twenty feet. .Eminent archeologists affirm
that the image bears conclusive evidence of
considerable antiquity and offers important
testimony to the existence of a well-advanced The Nampa
human culture in western America at an early Image
day. In February, 1902, a human skeleton was found in
previously undisturbed stratified loess of the Missouri
The First Americans 15
River valley, near Lansing, Kansas, and about eighteen Lansing
miles northwest of Kansas City. The skull was found Skeleton,
entire and nearly --'. ..
all of the skeleton
was represented by
disjointed bones 7 -'.
some of which
were broken or
The discovery was
quickly heralded as The Lansing Skull and Thigh-bone
confirmation of the previously known evidences of
man's presence in America at the glacial period.
Upham and Winchell and other well-known arche-
ologists assign to the Lansing skeleton an antiquity
of more than ten thousand years, Professor Wright is
confident that it was buried before the close of the
Iowan epoch of the glacial period, while Professor Cham-
berlin concedes to the relic nothing more than an
antiquity very respectable but much short of the close of
the glacial invasion.
Not very long ago, it was held that no truly scientific Doctor
proof of man's great antiquity in America exists; but Abbott's
such proof was supplied in 1875 by Doctor Charles C.
Abbott's discovery of paleolithic imple-
ments in the gravel terrace at Trenton,
New Jersey. These implements are rude
stone objects, shaped by chipping so as
to produce cutting edges, and are usually
pointed at one end. They seem to have The Trenton
been chiefly weapons used in hunting. Gravels
SWhen it is remembered that some of
them bear thirty or forty planes of cleav-
age, equally weathered, it is difficult to
A Trenton Paleolith doubt that they are results of intelligent,
intentional action. From other remains
discovered in the Trenton gravels with these relics of
early man, or in close proximity to them, we infer that
the North Americans of the glacial epoch must have
16 The First Americans
been familiar with the mastodon, walrus, Greenland rein-
deer, caribou, bison, moose, and musk-ox. Perhaps man
and animals had been forced southward by the encroach-
Direct Traces These implements could not have been in the gravel
of Glacial where they were found unless they were left there by the
forces that laid the gravel-beds, and the Trenton gravels
Were deposited by the torrent
That came from the melting
Glacier. Besides these paleo-
-'-. '' lithic implements, the Trenton
gravels have yielded one human
'' cranium and parts of others.
S- In November, 1899, Mr.
Sr Ernest Volk, exploring the val-
:,. ley of the Delaware for traces
"- of glacial man, found a fragment
.- 1 of a human thigh-bone in un-
Sidisturbed stratified glacial grav-
els. While distinguished
ethnologists still deny that there
exists, any evidence of a pre-
glacial American, the general
Map Showing the River Terraces opinion among archaeologists is
of the Delaware Valley that the primeval American
antedates the close of the glacial epoch. In 1888, paleo-
lithic implements were found in a red-gravel deposit near
The laymont Claymont, Delaware. This Claymont gravel is a glacial
Gravels deposit and is regarded as some thousands of years older
than that at Trenton. It thus appears that man was in
the Delaware valley at a period far earlier than that indi-
cated by the discoveries at Trenton.
Antiquity of An antiquity vastly greater than the actual age of the
the First Claymont gravels has been assigned to man in America.
"Of necessity, he must have been in existence long before
the final events occurred, in order to have left his
implements buried in the beds of debris which they
occasioned." Moreover, "the close of the glacial
period" is a very indefinite expression. "The glacial
The First Americans 17
period was a long time in closing." In his History
of the Niagara River, Mr. Gilbert tells us that, from
first to last, man has been the witness of its toil.
The human comrade of the river's youth "told us
little of himself. We only know that on a gravelly
beach of Lake Iroquois, now the Ridge Road, he rudely
gathered stones to make a hearth and build a fire; and
the next storm-breakers, forcing back the beach, buried
and thus preserved, to gratify yet whet our curiosity,
hearth, ashes, and charred sticks. In these Darwinian
days, we cannot deem primeval that man possessed of the
Promethean art of fire, and so his presence on the scene
adds zest to the pursuit of the Niagara problem. What-
ever the antiquity of the great cataract may be found to be,
the antiquity of man is greater." Encouraged thus and
otherwise, Doctor Abbott joyfully proclaims: "There
was a time when, to all appearances, American archae-
ology would have to be squeezed into the cramped
quarters of ten thousand years; but we are pretty sure
of twenty or even thirty thousand now, in which to
spread out in proper sequence and without confusion the
long train of human activities that have taken place."
In 1883, Professor Wright expressed his belief that Ohio
glacial man was upon the banks of the Ohio as well as Paleolths
in New Jersey. This belief proved to be well founded,
for, in 1885, came the report that paleolithic implements
had been found in the valley of the
Little Miami. In 1889, a paleolith
about four inches long was found at
Newcomerstown in the undisturbed
gravel of the glacial terrace that
borders the valley of the Tuscarawas
River. Newcomerstown is about The Newcomerstown
thirty-five miles south of the glacial Paleolith
boundary in Ohio, and the head-waters of the river
and of several of its branches are within the glaciated
area. In I892, a chipped chert implement was dis-
covered in the undisturbed glacial gravel of the high-
level terrace of the Ohio River, about seven miles below
18 The First Americans
Steubenville. These finds, and others in Minnesota and
elsewhere, are looked upon as witnesses to the truth of
the statement that "the primitive chipper of flinty rock
stands out in the geologic history of the Mississippi and
Ohio valleys, not as a dim shadow but as a substantial
Disputed Implements of varying finish have been found in the
Finds lacustrine deposits of several of the western states and
territories. A fine example of these is the
obsidian spear-head found in 1882 in the
lacustral clays of the basin of the ancient Lake
Lahontan, twenty-five feet below the top of
the section. It is said to have been "associ-
a ated in such a manner with the bones of an
elephant or mastodon as to leave no doubt of
their having been buried at approximately the
same time." By some authorities these imple-
ments are held to be convincing evidence of
the existence of man in those regions, while
others declare that "no such discovery can be
The Obsidian considered of consequence as bearing upon
Spear-head the question of paleolithic man." Not until
the evidence submitted becomes strong enough to pro-
duce substantial unanimity among archaeologists, can
they be of great value to the historian. Fortunately,
such unanimity has been secured in regard to the exist-
ence of paleolithic man in the valleys of the Delaware
and the Ohio prior to the formation of the terraces.
The Stone The history of human civilization has long been
Age divided into three ages named from the materials of
the weapons and tools pertaining to them, viz.: the
stone, the bronze, and the iron ages. In turn, the
stone age has been divided into the paleolithic (old
stone) and the neolithic (newer stone) periods. In the
former, only chipped stone instruments were used; in
the latter, polished stone implements also were used.
The classification is traditional, and so convenient that it
is often used in spite of its lack of scientific accuracy.
The First Americans 19
In Swiss and other European peat-beds and lakes European
are found evidences of a more advanced stone-age cul- .ake-dwell-
ture than any yet considered. Patient investigators
have translated - -------- :. ;
these hiero- - '- -
glyphics of .-----
dead ages, and
made us famil-
houses built on piles driven in the shallow bays of nearly
all the lakes in Switzerland. One of these towns,
Robenhausen, stood on a platform built on a hundred
thousand piles. Like all the other Swiss lake-towns, it
was connected with the land by a long bridge, also built
on piles. Such was their security against wild beasts
and wilder men-a device older far than castles and
walled towns. The only way of judging of the age of Their Great
these lake-dwellings is by estimating the time required Antiquity
for the formation of the peat-beds in which the ruins are
found. Reckoned thus, many of these lately exhumed
villages must have been old a thousand years before the
foundations of Pompeii were laid. Some of the relics
of the builders of these European towns show the
advance of communities to a state far above that of
savagery. What about our early Americans?
Our paleolithic predecessor was low in the scale of Advance in
civilization, but he was perfectly human. If the "miss- Culture
ing link" is wanted, it must be sought for elsewhere.
Moreover, there seems to be abundant and unmistak-
able evidence of his transition to a higher culture-status.
In deposits made by slowly moving muddy water, fol- The Evidence
lowed by interrupted periods of exposure to the atmos-
phere, is found another class of objects, superior in form
and finish to the paleoliths and equally inferior to the
familiar types of Indian manufacture. The discovery in
20 The First Americans
the Delaware River marshes of what seems to be the site
of river-dwellings, suggestive of the Swiss lake-dwellings
and perhaps comparable to them, has also been held up
as confirmation of the theory of a progression of the
paleolithic American to the neolithic condition. Further
confirmation of such development is found in the remains
of a rock-shelter discovered near the head-waters of Naa-
man's Creek, a small tributary of the Delaware. The
several layers of this shelter show a marked and regular
progression from paleoliths in the lower to pottery in
The the upper strata. These and other facts point toward
Conclusion the conclusion that, in the valley of the Delaware, man
developed from the paleolithic to the neolithic stage of
culture. After that, what? .Some have 'pointed to the
Eskimos as the descendants of this primitive race, while
others seem very sure that "the paleolithic man of the
river gravels of the Trenton and his argillite-using
posterity" are completely extinct.
The Earlier As to the culture of primeval man on the Pacific
Start of the Coast, it is to be remembered that the mortars and pestles
West found under Table Mountain are distinctly neolithic,
that the Calaveras skull "is capacious enough to have
held the brain of a philosopher," and that the Nampa
image shows a high degree of skill on the part of him
who shaped it. The known facts have led some to the
conclusion that the western coast of the continent was
occupied by man earlier than the eastern, and that there
"he had passed beyond the paleolithic stage before his
works were buried in the gravels under the beds of lava;
while at a later period on the Atlantic coast he was still in
the paleolithic stage."
Racial Con- The theory that the Eskimo now represents this most
tinuity ancient of America's known races has been urged by more
than one able writer, Doctor Abbott among the rest.
But Doctor Abbott has changed his earlier opinion and
now suggests an ethnic continuity by recalling the primi-
tive hunter armed with but a sharpened stone, and the
later race, a "more skillful folk who with spear and knife
captured whatsoever creature their needs demanded-
The First Americans 2 I
the earlier and later chippers of argillite. These pass;
and the Indian with his jasper, quartz, copper, and
polished stone looms up, as the others fade away." This
substitution of continuity for chasm conforms to the
undoubted tendency of recent ethnology.
S Some archeologists" still refuse to admit the suf- Objections to
ficiency of the credentials of our paleolithic predecessor the Theory
on the .ground that the objects found in the glacial
gravels are intrusive or that the deposits in which they
were found were violently disturbed in distinctly post-
glacial time. But the careful exhaustive examination of
the Trenton gravels as a whole, and especially the
investigations of Mr. Volk, carried on for a decade under
the direction of the American Museum of Natural
History in New York, seem to demonstrate that the
many objects collected from many localities in the valley
of the Delaware were constituent parts of the original
deposits. At all events, the historian can hardly consent
to ignore the evidence submitted or to relegate the
glacial American to the uncertainty of primeval chaos.
More than this, we must bear in mind that it has not
been proved that our paleolithic man was the first human
being who existed in the territory that we now call the
United States. Nor can we yet do more than conjecture
when and whence he or his predecessor (if he had a
NOTE.- The bibliographical appendix at the end of this volume contains references
that will be helpful to the reader who desires further information concerning the matters
discussed in this and the succeeding chapters.
C H A P T E R I I
THE NEOLITHIC AMERICANS
THE occupancy of the territory of the United
States by man prior to the coming of Colum-
bus to America has been divided into three
periods. The first of these, called the paleolithic, on
account of the rudeness of the relics found in the
quaternary gravels, has already been discussed. The
second period, called the neolithic, is also prehistoric.
The relics of neolithic industry are very abundant and
widely distributed, and chiefly through them the arche-
ologist seeks to read the story of the culture of their
authors. The third period, sometimes called the ethno-
graphic, lies partly within and partly without historical
times. It began with our first knowledge of the red man,
and is now fading from the screen like a dissolving view
that has been held up for study full four hundred years.
As might naturally be expected, the paleolithic shades so
insensibly into the neolithic, and that into the ethno-
graphic, that sharp dividing lines cannot be traced. In
fact, some of the most eminent archeologists insist that
the distinction implied in the terms paleolithicc" and
neolithicc" is not strictly applicable to the continent of
America. With this contention the historian has nothing
to do; he may use the convenient terms without yielding
an adherence to one side or the other of the controversy.
Prehistoric Over the entire area of the United States are found
Monuments ancient remains, the number, magnitude, and character
of which are of great interest to all students of primitive
The Neolithic Americans 23
culture. In grandeur and refinement they fall below
the monuments of middle America and many of the
ruins of the eastern continent; still they have their
special story of a people emerging from savagery into
barbarism. It should be remembered that different
parts of the United States were discovered by Europeans
at different times, new areas being successively occu-
pied, and new tribes coming, one after another, into the
acquaintance of the historian. Little is known of what
the central Indians were doing when Ponce de Leon 1512
first set foot on Florida. Mound-building may have
been in active operation while Jacques Cartier was 1535
exploring the Saint Lawrence, and southwestern tribes
were living in now ruined pueblos while Hernando de
Soto was marching toward the Mississippi. Important 1540
Indian movements have taken place in the United States
since the settlement of the country, and many of the
California tribes were unknown until after 1850.
The archaeologist of today sometimes has to doubt Necessary
whether the remains upon which he comes are of Cautions
European or of Indian origin. Moreover, these pre-
historic peoples must be studied, less with reference to
the boundaries of our present states, than to culture-areas
the boundaries of which were fixed by nature in the
geography and geology of the country. One may draw
on a sheet of glass a map of the United States of the
present day, and on other sheets a map for the colonial
period, one for the epoch of settlement, one for the
Indian occupation at the time of the Columbian dis-
covery, and another for the neolithic period; but if one
insists upon the superposition of the plates and a single
view of the whole, one will find that, while some of the lines
coincide with others above and below, more of them will
cross and interfere and yield little better than confusion.
For years, the government of the United States has, The Evidence
through its Bureau of American Ethnology, been gather-
ing, arranging, and studying material bearing upon the
subject matter of this chapter. The annual reports of this
bureau are veritable treasure-houses-the chief source of
24 The Neolithic Americans
supply for every historian of "The Neolithic Americans."
Among the witnesses whose testimony is now available
for an intelligent idea of the neolithic American and
the life he led are the remains of his refuse-heaps
and habitations, mounds and earthworks, quarries and
workshops, "relics," pictographs, etc. Of course, no
attempt can here be made to give a complete account of the
evidence in the case, but some of the witnesses may be put
upon the stand and permitted to tell parts of their story.
Shell-heaps (a) Along the Atlantic, the Pacific, and the Gulf coasts
of the United States, upon the shores of every inlet
where brackish water extends, and upon the banks of the
Mississippi as far as northern Wisconsin, the Ohio as
far as Pittsburg, the Saint Johns, and other inland waters,
are found shell-deposits left by man. Very few of them
were heaped up by design, but the evidence of their
artificial origin is conclusive. They generally occur on a
sloping shore, and some of them excite astonishment by
their great extent. It is probable that, at the proper
season, the neighboring tribes encamped upon the heaps
of previous years, leveling the tops a little and covering
up all that their predecessors had left. Here they dwelt
and feasted, the occupants of each hut throwing the
shells, bones, and other debris of their meals around the
shelter on every side. The number and size of the
shell-heaps indicate either that the shores of the United
States and the banks of its rivers once supported a vast
population, or that the pilgrimages of the aborigines to
these food-centers were continued
S through many centuries. The latter
/ view is supported by the discovery that
c H the shells in the upper layers differ in size
o,. from those in the lower layers, indicat-
jing that the animals underwent modi-
fication after the heaps were begun and
Arrow-head from Puzzle before they were finished. The shell-
Lake, Florida heaps of Florida have been carefully
studied by Clarence B. Moore who found distinctly neo-
lithic stone implements in the lower strata and fragments
The Neolithic Americans 25
of pottery in strata near the surface. Some of his conclu-
sions are that the shell-heaps are by no means contem-
porary, that some were abandoned long before others
were begun, and that the beginning of the oldest far
antedates the coming of the white man. The evidence
seems to show that in the shell-heap period, the abo-
rigines of Florida acquired the art of making pottery.
In 1898, Mr. Moore found a remarkable domiciliary An Unique
mound on the southeast end of Little Island, Beaufort Specimen
County, South Carolina. The mound was about four-
Mound on Little Island, South Carolina
teen feet high with an elliptical base the north and south
diameter of which measured one hundred and fifty feet
and the east and west diameter about one hundred feet.
On the mound were pine-trees, some of them large, and
live-oaks of moderate size. Excavation exposed the clay
walls of a quadrilateral enclosure nearly thirty-five by
forty feet. The walls were a little more than four feet
high, and were supported by upright posts that projected
26 The Neolithic Americans
several inches above the top of the wall. The peculiar
entrance, anteroom, and projecting partitions, the central
fireplace, etc., are represented in the accompanying
picture. This remarkable enclosure was filled and
covered with shell deposits and strata of clayey sand that
showed successive periods of occupancy.
Bone-heaps As the shell-heaps are found in the greatest numbers
where edible mollusks are most abundant, so bone-heaps are
common in Dakota and other states where countless buf-
faloes once furnished food for the hunting tribes. These
bone-heaps are the debris of the repasts of long ago, and
represent the accumulated refuse of dwellings that have dis-
appeared. In other places and in like manner, the refuse
of the kitchen thrown about the doorway by untidy house-
wives forms mines of relics precious to the archeologist.
House Life (b) Wherever remains of ancient habitations are
found in the United States they agree with the founda-
tions of dwellings subsequently occupied by Indians.
This may be an argument in favor of the theory of
continuity of stock, or it may point toward the adaptive-
ness of the human race. By careful comparison of the
remains of ancient dwellings with the abodes of Indians
living here in historic times, the archaeologist and the
ethnologist have obtained what is probably a correct idea
of the house life of the primitive people. Thus, we
have a few bits of evidence concerning the habitations
of the mound-builders, and more definite information
concerning the ancient dwellings in the pueblo country
of the southwest part of the United States. The
remains of pueblo
"-- architecture are
-- square miles of
'- / the arid plateau
Region, from the
Round-house of Lava Blocks Pecos drainage on
the east to that of the Colorado on the west, and from
central Utah southward well into Mexico. The best
... .* .** .
S. *, 2'.. .
... *:'.' .
i "** .. .... ...
MAP OF THE PUEBLO REGION
The Neolithic Americans
examples are found in New Mexico and Arizona, in the
northern states of Mexico, and along the canyons that
open into the San Juan River.
cliff-dwelings It is supposed that the ancestral pueblo peoples dwelt
at first in brush shelters, and later in lodges of lava-stones
piled up dry and then plastered. For better protection,
these clans of horticulturists and agriculturists resorted
to cliff or canyon houses. These cliff-dwellings are now
in ruins. Along the branches of the Colorado and
other streams, the steep sides of the canyons expose
different strata- sandstones, limestones, and shales.
Gradually the softer rocks were worn away, leaving
shelves below and jutting cliffs above. In these pockets
the ancient people made their communal homes, by
building walls upon or near the outer edges of the
The Neolithic Americans 29
shelves, and dividing the space behind the walls with
partitions of stone and adobe (sun-dried clay). Some of
these shelves are hundreds of feet above the streams
and can be reached only by ladders or by steps cut in
the rocks. They are the most picturesque of all the
ruins in the United States and have excited the admira-
tion alike of the tourist and the archaeologist.
In close association with the cliff-dwellings are the cave cave-
or cavate dwellings -much like swallow nests opening dwellings
faces of the
of the slow -
the e e- Open-front Cavate Lodges
ments, dug, with his pick of hard volcanic rock, a tiny
entrance, at the further end of which he hollowed out a
home. The cave-dwelling is, therefore, an artificial cliff-
pueblo, cut in the rock, for the security of those who lived
1 traces of
y. tU .. the cave-
leys make amends. Thousands have been found in close
connection with old pueblos and cliff-structures.
From these cliff-hamlets were developed the great Pueblos
From these cliff-hamlets were developed the great Pueblos
30 The Neolithic Americans
terraced villages of the confederated clans. A pueblo is a
communal village, the dwellings of which are built solidly
together. Some of them are made of stone, and others
of adobe, while the walls of some of the older examples
were grouted. A few of them are four or five stories
high, with timber supports and divisions for the upper
parts. Entrance to these pueblos was commonly made
by means of ladders, outside doors on the ground level
formerly being rare.
Aboriginal The structure of the pueblos, like that of the great
Social System cedar houses of the Pacific Coast and the long-houses
of the Iroquois, was determined by the clanship sys-
tem of the aborigines, who had not yet reached the
patriarchal form of government. Each tribe was divided
into clans. A clan consisted of an ancestress and all
of her descendants reckoned in the female line. These
had a common totem or tutelary god that dwelt in some
animate or inanimate object. When a man married, he
went to live with his wife's people; all of the children
belonged especially to the mother, were named for
her, and took her totem. This clanship system and its
totemism determined pueblo architecture, regulating the
size of buildings, the number of rooms, and the assign-
ment of apartments. As the clan grew in numbers, it
enlarged its section of the town; when another clan was
added, the building was extended. A few pueblo ruins
indicate that they were built on definite preliminary plans;
but generally a pueblo grew just as a modern village
grows, and for the same practical reasons.
Adaptation to Most of the pueblos were built on level plains, some
Environment upon the slopes or points of mesas or table-lands where
the ground was irregular, and some
S" against declivities, reaching back on
shelving ledges, so that, if the
----. lower stones were to disap-
., pear, a cliff-dwelling would
remain. Evidently, the
Evolution of the Flat Roof and Terrace transition from one to the
other was gradual. In common with all men, the builders
PLAN OF WALPI, A HOPI PUEBLO IN ARIZONA
I 1 _
32 The Neolithic Americans
of these habitations had to face the great problem of exist-
ence; here, as everywhere, environment gave character
to the dwellings of the people. Some of them were
built in easily defensible positions. In other cases, the
proximity of fertile lands and the necessary water-supply
determined the site. Naturally, there was a wide range
in general plan and architectural effect. For instance, in
the pueblo class, we find the Walpi pueblo differing
greatly from the typical form illustrated on page 29.
In this case, the peculiar conformation of the site pro-
duced an unusual irregularity of arrangement.
-- s *B-
d .' ". - ,* **, -- .e -< ..'t- .-
View of Walpi, Arizona
Pueblo Inhabited pueblos to the number of seventeen now
Builders exist on the banks of the Rio Grande and its tributaries
in New Mexico. West of these, on a solitary mesa, is
Acoma, the dizzy trail of which was noted by the early
Spanish explorers. Still further west is Zuni, standing
on the site of one of the "Seven Cities of Cibola." In
northeastern Arizona are the seven Moki (Hopi) towns
-ancient Tusayan. The occupants of the several
pueblos belong to four linguistic stocks. Those of the
Rio Grande have two absolutely separate languages, each
different from that of the Zunis, while the people of six
The Neolithic Americans 33
of the seven Moki towns speak another language, the
Shoshonean. They also have different clans, arts, and
customs. Of the tribes that now roam over these mesas
and through these valleys are Apaches and Navahos of
Athapascan stock, Utes of Shoshonean stock, and Mo-
haves and Havasupais of Yuman stock; like differ-
ences have probably existed in this arid basin from time
immemorial. Although this region was not occupied
until recently by settlers from "the states," it was for
many years under Spanish dominion and observation.
Since the beginning of Spanish contact in 1539, many
pueblos have fallen into ruin and new ones have been
built. We have, therefore, three epochs of pueblo
architecture-the present, the Spanish, and the ancient.
(c) The last chapter of many a record is an epitome; Prehistoric
graves and cemeteries abound in instruction. Compari- Graves
son of ancient burials with the mortuary customs of
historic tribes is an excellent guide to lead us backward
to an understanding of the long-ago. The remains
of the ancient dead are seldom isolated. In general,
the bones of clans or tribes were laid side by side,
or in some one of many curious ways assembled in a
common burial-place. Four of these burial-places, differ-
ing widely in their characteristics, may be taken as types.
One, at Madisonville, Ohio, occupies the western The First
extremity of a plateau overlooking the Little Miami Type
River. This whole area has been carefully dug over to
a depth of six feet; the earth thus disturbed was
passed through a sieve. Hundreds of skeletons were
found surrounded with pottery, beads, and implements
of clay, stone, horn, bone, and copper-the objects
that were most esteemed in life and that would be
most needed in the spirit-world. In many cases, these
objects are of well-known use among modern Indians,
while others are enigmas to the archaeologist. No evi-
dences of association with Europeans were found, and the
forest-trees growing over the cemetery were of great age.
In other cases, the bones of the dead are found in The Second
box-shaped graves built of rough stone slabs. Such Type
The Neolithic Americans
"stone graves" have been found in northern Georgia,
Tennessee, along the Cumberland River in Kentucky,
and a few elsewhere. In some cases, thousands of
these cysts were set close together in one cemetery, and
a hundred or more in different layers in a single burial-
mound. One grave may contain from one to twenty
skeletons. The finding of the
bones of children in little boxes
only a few inches long has given
rise to the notion of an ancient
race of American pigmies.
The Third Ancient cemeteries of a third
Type great type are found in south-
western California, and on the
Santa Barbara Islands opposite.
On these islands, the subsoil is
extremely hard, and the dead
sn were, therefore, buried in the
refuse-heaps of shells, bones,
rocks, and flint chips, the only
easily available material that the
winds could not blow away-
an excellent example of the in-
Stone Grave fluence of environment upon
human customs and activities. In these graves were
found mortars of stone, beautiful cooking-vessels of soap-
stone, pipes, sculptures, musical
instruments, textile fabrics, paint,
fish-hooks, beads of shell, chipped ---
weapons, and tools of rare delicacy.
In some graves were found glass
bottles, brass buttons and kettles, 7J
and other objects of European origin,
clearly showing that these particular
graves were not prehistoric.
The Fourth Numerous examples of urn-burials
Type have been found by Mr. Moore in A Sepulchral Urn
Georgia, Alabama, and in northwest Florida, while Gen-
eral Thruston, in his Antiquities of Tennessee, tells of the
The Neolithic Americans 35
skeleton of a child buried in a quadrangular receptacle of
earthenware. In no section of the country was the urn-
burial exclusively used; inclosed remains were often
found side by side with remains that were uninclosed.
These urn-burials were of various forms, sometimes dif-
fering according to locality. In one section, lone skulls,
or single skulls with a few fragments of bone, were cov-
ered with inverted bowls. In some cases, fragments of
calcined human bones were placed on the sand and cov-
ered with inverted urns. In other cases, the urns were
filled with bits of calcined bones, some of the urns being
covered with inverted vessels while some were left uncov-
ered. In still other cases, single skeletons were carefully
taken apart and packed in urns with or without covers.
Plural burials of this type have been occasionally found.
In one instance, the bones of five infants were packed
away in a single urn. In an unique case cited by Mr.
.... 2 ------ -' ~i~ -- .
A Mound (Reproduced from De Bry)
Moore, the upper half of the skeleton of a woman was
carefully stowed away with relics in an oblong, earthen
receptacle, beneath which was the rest of the skeleton.
(d) To ascertain or to understand the historical value
36 The Neolithic Americans
Prehistoric of the ancient mounds found in various parts of the
Mounds United States, one must give careful consideration to
the materials of which they are composed, their external
form, internal structure, grouping, geographical distribu-
tion, and contained relics-all in connection with the
domestic life and mortuary customs of historical Indian
tribes, and the changes in environment so far as they
can be ascertained. In most cases, the builders of the
mounds used such materials as were at hand. Among
the mountains, piles of stone were found; on the prairies,
the rich surface-soil was used. Most of the mounds are
of simple construction; but strata of clay, sand, or boul-
ders that must have been carried considerable distances
and with great labor, often alternate with layers of burned
clay and surface-soil in mounds of elaborate construction.
Mound Form The external form of the mound depended, doubtless,
somewhat on its function and internal structure, but
The Great Cahokia Mound
there are certain diversities according to which they may
be arranged fairly well into geographical districts. A
common form is the rounded heap or tumulus, examples
of which vary from a few to hundreds of feet in diameter,
and from two to sixty or more feet in height. Others
were laid out in predetermined geometrical shapes,
such as truncated pyramids and cones, with terraced
flanks, graded ways, and connecting banks. The
grandest of these in the United States is the Great
Cahokia mound at East Saint Louis, Illinois. Standing
in a group of sixty mounds of unusual size, it covers an
area of about ten acres, and rises to a height of about a
Effigy Mounds Scattered over the southern half of Wisconsin, and in
the neighboring portions of Iowa and Illinois, are many
The Neolithic Americans 37
effigy mounds." For the most part they are heaps of
surface-soil and subsoil, in the shape of animals common
in their respective localities. They are not known to
contain human bones or relics. Their motive is enig-
matical, and probably lies in their external form and
grouping. The example of this class that has excited
the most discussion is the Serpent mound on Brush
Creek in Adams County, Ohio. It is a bank of earth
following a gracefully curved line several hundred
like a snake
: In front of
.. the open
S_ .- The inter-
The Serpent Mound nal structure
of most of the mounds seems to have been determined Mound
by some central object, the thing for which the mound Structure
itself existed. This may be a skeleton, a group of skele-
tons, or a mass of baked clay, called an altar. Tumuli
of external similarity exhibit great internal diversity.
Some were so systematically built that a cross-section
suggests a half-peach or plum with an outer skin of grass
or turf, a layer of soil, a hard shell of stone or burned
clay, and a central cyst or altar with human or other
relics. Of the almost interminable variety of structure,
only a few can be noted here.
The accompanying figure rep- .- -. ou
resents a vertical section of an ". mls
ossuary mound in Crawford A-..::'- -A-A
County, Wisconsin, opened in
1882. Below the original sur-- -
face of the ground was a pit Section of an Ossuary Mound
r f d a i f i (The line AA represents the original
three feet deep and six feet in surface of the ground)
38 The Neolithic Americans
diameter. The bottom of this pit was covered with an
inch of fine chocolate-colored dust. Then came a cavity
a foot high in the center, over which the sand-filling was
arched. Above the sand and on the level of the surface-
soil was a little mound in which were found the bones of
fifteen or twenty persons, in a heap without order or
arrangement. Mingled with the bones were charcoal
and ashes. The bones were charred, and some were
glazed with melted sand. Above this mound (marked 2
in the figure) were a layer of clay or mortar mixed with
sand and burned to a brick-red color, and another layer
two feet thick and composed of calcined human bones,
mingled with charcoal, ashes, and a reddish-brown mortar-
like substance burned as hard as pavement brick. Above
this was the external layer of soil and sand about a foot thick.
Burial-mounds A burial-mound on the bank
fff of the M ississippi River near
Davenport, Iowa, shows a like
Section of a Burial-mound stratified structure. Beneath
successive layers of earth and stone was a nucleus in
which were found skulls (and fragments of bones) lying
in a semicircle and each surround-
ed by a circle of small stones.
From the position of
the skulls and bones,
Sit was evident
that these bodies
had been buried in a sitting
posture. Accompanying the
-. skeletons were two copper
-I E -- axes, two small hemispheres
-- t | of copper and one of silver,
fL-.ti i lD a bear's tooth, and an arrow-
lii 1 head. There was no evi-
Vertical and Horizontal Sections of a dence of the use of fire in the
Burial-mound burial ceremonies. All of
the mounds of the group to which this belongs are conical
and of comparatively small size, varying from three to
eight feet in height.
The Neolithic Americans 39
The marked feature of a group of mounds on the The East
bluff that overhangs East Dubuque, Illinois, is one oDbune
sixty-five feet in diameter, ten feet high, and remark-
ably symmetrical. At a depth of six feet, a rectangular
vault or crypt was found, with sandstone walls three
feet high. Cross-walls cut off a narrow chamber at each
end, leaving a main central chamber seven feet square.
In this chamber were found the skeletons of five chil-
dren and six adults. Apparently, they had been buried
at one time, arranged in a circle, and sitting against the
walls. In the center was a drinking-cup made from a
shell, and numerous fragments of pottery. The cover-
ing of the crypt was of oak logs. Over the whole was
spread layer after layer of mortar containing lime, each
succeeding layer harder and thicker than that which pre-
ceded it, a foot or so of ordinary soil completing the
mound. The timber-covered vault and other resem-
blances between the mounds of this group and others
found in Ohio "seem to indicate relationship, contact,
or intercourse between the people who were the authors
of these different structures."
This is not the only case where shell-cups have The "Royal"
been found in ancient mounds, and calls to mind the Le Goblet
Moyne figure copied from De Bry (page 35). About
three hundred years ago, Le Moyne remarked: "Some-
times the deceased king of this province is buried
with great solemnity, and his great cup from which he
was accustomed to drink is placed on a tumulus with
many arrows set about it." Dr. Thomas thinks it
"quite probable that Le Moyne figures the mound at
the time it reached the point where the shell-cup was to
be deposited, when, in all likelihood, certain ceremonies
were to be observed and a pause in the work occurred."
The celebrated Grave Creek mound in West Virginia The Grave
is in the form of a cone, about seventy feet high and Creek Mound
nearly three hundred feet in diameter at the base. A
shaft sunk from the apex to the base disclosed two
wooden vaults. The upper vault was about half-way
down the shaft and contained a single skeleton, decorated
40 The Neolithic Americans
with a profusion of shell-beads, copper bracelets, and
plates of mica. The other vault was rectangular, twelve
by eight feet, seven feet high, and partly in an excavation
made in the natural ground. Along each side and across
the ends were upright timbers that supported other
timbers that served as a cover for the vault. In this
vault were two human skeletons, one of which had no
ornaments, while the other was surrounded by hundreds
of shell-beads. Around this vault ten other skeletons
were found, and at a distance of twelve or fifteen feet,
several masses of charcoal or burned bones.
The cherokee Dr. Thomas says
Ancestry that "one impor-
tant result of the -.-
explorations in this -- --
northern section s-
of the United
States is the con- View and Section of the Grave Creek Mound
States is the con-
viction that there was, during the mound-building age,
a powerful tribe or association of closely allied tribes
occupying the valley of the Ohio, whose chief seats
were in the Kanawha, Scioto, and Little Miami val-
leys," that all the works of these localities are relatively
contemporaneous, and that the Cherokees are the
modern representatives of the Tallegwi, and that most
of the typical works of Ohio and West Virginia owe
their origin to this people."
In the Appalachian district (consisting chiefly of
The Neolithic Americans 41
southwestern Virginia, western North Carolina, eastern The
Tennessee, and the southeastern part of Kentucky) is a Appalachian
class of burial-mounds that differ in several importantounds
respects from any that we have yet mentioned. One of
these, called the Nelson mound, near the Yadkin River
in Caldwell County, North Carolina, was an almost true
circle, thirty-eight feet in diameter and not more than
eighteen inches in height. Excavation showed that a
circular pit had been dug three feet deep, and that the
dead had been deposited and then covered with earth.
Walled graves or vaults and an altar-shaped structure
The Nelson Mound, after Excavation
were built of water-worn boulders and clay. A cir-
cular hole three feet deep and three feet in diameter
had been dug at the center of the large pit. In this
smaller pit, a skeleton had been placed upright on his
feet and surrounded by a stone wall that was narrowed
toward the top and covered with a single stone of
moderate size. On the top of the head of the skeleton
were found several plates of silver mica. The bones of
the skeleton were held in position by the earth with
which the vault was filled as the latter was built up.
42 The Neolithic Americans
Each of nine similar and smaller vaults contained a
skeleton in a sitting posture. Implements of polished
stone were found in some of these graves. Four unin-
closed skeletons in squatting postures were found with
their faces turned away from the one in the central crypt.
One of these was of unusual size. Two uninclosed
skeletons lay at full length, and with them were found
pieces of soapstone pipes and other relics. The altar-
shaped mass of water-worn boulders gave no indications
of fire on it or around it, but many of the stones of the
vaults and the earth immediately around them bore
unmistakable evidences of fire. Small pieces of pottery
and charcoal were scattered through the earth that filled
the pit, the bottom and sides of which were so distinctly
marked that they could be traced without difficulty.
Mound The location and grouping of the mounds offer wide
Grouping diversities. Single mounds are found on the banks of
streams, on their terraces, and on high eminences, in
forests and in open fields; but those that kindle the
liveliest interest are found in groups, with or without
inclosing embankments, and especially in the central
region of the United States. In some of these groups,
each mound has an evident relation to some other
mound; in other cases, the mounds seem to be sub-
sidiary to earth-walls; and in still others, the individual
mounds form parts of a general system. The bluff
mounds, associated for long distances along the rivers,
may have served as signal-stations for giving notice
of approaching danger or of the movements of game.
The pyramidal mounds generally occur in groups as
though they were parts of a social system, serving as
residences for neighboring clans, or as places for the
ceremonials of a complicated service. Some of these
relations will appear more clearly further on.
Geographical The geographical distribution of the mounds is very
Distribution uneven, their abundance here and their rarity there being
apparently determined by the density and the fixedness
of the ancient population, by the climate, by the char-
acter of the soil, and by tribal or national idiosyncrasies.
The Neolithic Americans 43
The most noteworthy of these remains lie south of the
forty-fifth parallel, and between the eightieth and the
ninety-fifth meridians. Excepting those of Florida,
nearly all of the mounds lie in the drainage systems of
the great lakes and of the Gulf of Mexico.
"Relics" are the objects found in the mounds, as MoundRelics
distinguished from the structural parts of the mounds.
They include charred food, pottery, chipped and polished
stone implements, pipes, plummets, discoidal and cere-
monial stones, rude sculptures, personal ornaments,
animal tissue, textile material, etc. Some of these relics
are very interesting; e.g., the vase found
by Clarence B. Moore, one of the most '
successful archaeological explorers within i '
the area of the United States. On one
side of the vessel, which is of excellent
red ware and about eight inches in height, ",
is a raised human figure standing with back -
turned to the observer and grasping the -.
rim of the vessel with both hands. The
other side shows the head and face look- Vase from Florida
ing across the rectangular aperture. A brief considera-
tion of the technical aspects of mound relics will be found
in a later part of this chapter. The laying out of
archaeological districts was governed largely by the classi-
fication of such relics.
The indications thus given suggest that the languages significance of
and industries of the mound-builders of the United the Diversity
States were as diversified as were those of the Indians
first found in the same areas. Whether these relics, by
their diversity of form and quality of workmanship,
entitle the mound-builders to a higher rank in skill and
civilization than that of the historical Indians, is a ques-
tion that has given rise to bitter controversy. The satis-
factory study of the problem has been much embarrassed
by the difficulty of separating the relics of the earlier of the
Indians from the relics of the later of the mound-builders
who preceded them, by the changes in art and industry
brought about by the early contact of the American
44 The Neolithic Americans
Indians with Europeans, and by the lamentable want of
exactness and impartiality shown by many who have
written on the subject.
Earthworks (e) The term "earthwork" applies to all artificial
embankments of the surface-soil, of stones and earth
combined, or of burned clay. These works inclose
areas varying from one to many acres, and are variously
classified: according to the materials of which they were
made-as earthworks, stone forts, stone walls, etc.;
according to their forms-as circles, octagons, parallel
banks, trench-banks, geometric works, contour works,
etc.; and according to their supposed functions-as
fortifications, village inclosures, cemeteries, and ceremo-
nial inclosures. Each of these classes exhibits a wide
range of elaboration. The most elaborate consist of
walls and trenches combined in almost every conceivable
way. The remains of ancient stockades are common in
all parts of the United States, but the works of more
elaborate design are most numerous and imposing in the
northern and southern central states, in New York, Ar-
kansas, and southeastern Missouri. These works of elab-
orate design are of two kinds: "defensive works," built
on bluffs or on tongues of elevated land, flanked by
ravines; and "sacred inclosures," built on level plains
and conforming more or less closely to common geomet-
rical figures or to combinations thereof.
Fort Ancient Of these defensive earthworks, the strongest and the
most important is that known as Fort Ancient. This
crowning effort of the pre-Columbian military engineers
is in Warren County, Ohio. It lies upon the edge of a
broad plateau, two hundred and ninety-one feet above
the low-water level of the Little Miami River which
flows along the base of its western slope. An area of
about a hundred and twenty-six acres is inclosed by
walls nearly four miles long. The embankments consist
chiefly of earth, reinforced here and there by stone, and
resemble somewhat the heavy grading of a railway-bed.
The position is one of great natural strength, a
tongue of land being flanked by two ravines that enter
The Neolithic Americans 45
the river, one above the fort and the other below it. On Prehistoric
the western side, next the river, the descent is precipitous. Miitryng
The embankment was carried along the very edge of the
hill, reaching outward to pass around the spurs and then
leading inward to avoid the gullies. The wall varies
from four to thirty-three feet in height and has an average
thickness of forty or fifty feet. At all the more easily
accessible points, the defenses show increased strength.
Toward the east the plateau is slightly rolling, and on
that side the embankment is very massive, exceeding
twenty feet in height. At this point, the moat or ditch
is external to the wall; elsewhere, it is within.
At the time of the occupancy of the fort by the people Thenand Now
who built it, the walls probably averaged twenty feet
in height and were
strong palisades. I '.. .
Today, one may i.....
stand upon the i
wall at almost any ..
point and look j .: ",
downward for two
or three hundred
feet, over ground so
steep that it could ,...
be traversed from
below only with ex- / *
treme difficulty. '
Supplies of stones .- ..%:-,1 .-
of sizes suitable for
throwing are found
the walls where they
might be used with
good effect upon an "
enemy coming up Map of Fort Ancient
the steep sides of the ravines. In the southern part of
this inclosure (called the Old Fort) is a village site, part
of which was used as a cemetery. This site is still plainly
The Neolithic Americans
marked by pottery fragments, animal bones, flint chips,
etc. In the cemetery were found more than two hundred
skeletons incased in graves neatly made of limestone slabs.
A Prehistoric On many of the hillsides, especially around the Old
Battle-field Fort, and a hundred and fifty to two hundred feet
from the walls above, are artificial terraces from fifteen
to thirty feet wide. They have the appearance of roads
so long abandoned that underbrush and great trees have
grown upon them. These terraces are marked by stone-
heaps, graves, ash-heaps, and camp sites; their use has
long been a matter of conjecture. Noteworthy diver-
sities of burial, pottery, etc., and cranial differences
indicate that the people whose remains are found on
these terraces were not of the same tribe as were those
who dwelt within the walls. There is much to imply
that the assailants met with a disastrous defeat at the
hands of the builders and defenders of Fort Ancient.
"When we consider that the Miami valley contains a
great many village sites, mounds, and small inclosures,
and that Fort Ancient is the only really strong position
of them all, we can readily believe that the aborigines,
for a radius of thirty or forty miles, would flock to this
rendezvous and use it as a common fortification."
Age of Fort As to the age of Fort Ancient there is little evidence
Ancient other than that two forests have grown upon its embank-
ments. How much its age exceeds four hundred years
no one knows. Many more than two successive forests
"may have sprung into life, fallen, decayed, and passed
away since the last" of the builders of this ancient
Gibraltar vanished from the valley of the Miami. Time
has dealt gently with the ancient stronghold and the
walls are still in fairly good condition. The property
now belongs to the state and some provision is made
for its care. Important defensive earthworks are also
found in southeast Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana,
Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Wisconsin, and various
Ceremonial The so-called sacred or ceremonial inclosures occur
Inclosures in great numbers and with great variety of size and
The Neolithic Americans 47
complexity. The most simple form is that of a ring, as
nearly round as the crude appliances of the builders
enabled. The more complex forms consist of combina-
tions of rings, quadrangles, polygons, graded ways,
parallel banks, ditches, pyramids, mounds, etc. The
most important of these are found near the southward
flowing streams of Ohio.
Perhaps the most extensive is the group known as the The Newark
Newark works, which occupies an area nearly two miles Works
octun ,'---',, ^ ; '. f.
Fal rou n .
1 **g< 1/ 3
Scal of Feet. ck
0 1000oo 2000 /
Map of the Ancidet Works at Newark, Ohio
square on a slightly elevated plain at the junction of the
South and the Raccoon forks of the Licking River,
about a mile west of Newark, Ohio. The large inclosure
at the southern extremity of the group receives its name
from the fact that it embraces the fair-grounds of the
Licking County agricultural society. Uninjured by the
plow, and with its primeval trees still standing, it is one
of the best preserved of the ancient monuments of the
country. It is nearly a true circle. The wall varies in
width from thirty-five to fifty-five feet, and in height from
five to fourteen feet. At the entrance to the circle, the
wall curves outward, leaving a passage eighty feet wide.
The ditch on the interior of the wall varies in width from
twenty-eight to forty-one feet, and in depth from eight
48 The Neolithic Americans
to thirteen feet. The smaller circular inclosure at the
western extremity of the group approaches even more
nearly to a geometric form, and has a diameter of about
I ..-.^.. \ "q I
Map Showing Some of the Ancient Works of the Scioto Valley, Ohio
a thousand and fifty feet. The average height of the
walls is between four and five feet. At a point opposite
the entrance is a crown-work. As this mound is higher
than the embankment, it has been called the Observatory.
Parallel walls run from the Observatory Circle to the
The Neolithic Americans 49
Octagon, which shows a close approach to geometric
regularity. At each angle is a gateway covered by a
truncated pyramidal mound within the inclosure. Ex-
tending between the walls of the northern parallel for a
quarter of a mile is an embankment broad enough for
fifty persons to walk abreast. South of this another
parallel leads from the Octagon to the Square on the east
side of the works. The walls of these parallels do not
exceed four feet in height. The nearly perfect Square
connects by a broken line of parallels with the Fair-
ground Circle. The parallel shown at the extreme right
of the map forms a "graded way." The map shows
other features that must be passed over in this description
with the single suggestion that the small circles may have
been the sites of circular buildings.
The remarkable extent and frequency of these ancient in the scioto
works may be inferred from the accompanying map of valley
a section of twelve miles of the valley of the Scioto
River in Ohio. It is certain that these inclosures
were not designed as defensive works, and probable that
they were not used exclusively for formal worship. If
so disposed, one may easily see in them the fair-grounds,
the plazas, and the athletic parks of an aboriginal
people, and, with the aid of the "scientific imagination,"
reproduce the ball games, tribal initiations, festivals of the
seasons, religious rites, and all the pomp and parade
of an ancient community.
(f) The surface of the soil and the beds of shallow Prehistoric
streams supplied the primitive stone-worker with what Q"arries
he needed for his coarsest work; he simply helped
himself without the aid of quarrying-tools. But surface
and stream fragments were not the best material for
many of his purposes; rocks in situ and in boulder-beds
are more tractable than surface finds or brook pebbles.
Hence the pre-Columbian Indians made excavations
many feet in depth until they reached the choicest beds
that their peculiar mechanical instincts enabled them to
recognize. When such a bed was found it was worked
until it was exhausted. These quarries cover areas vary-
50 The Neolithic Americans
ing from a few acres to several square miles in extent.
In one place in Arkansas more than a hundred thousand
cubic yards of stone were removed and worked over.
Means and The appliances for quarry work were very primitive.
Methods The ancient quarrymen made use of fire and water;
stone in natural and artificial forms served for mauls and
hammers; hardwood, antler, bone, and shell furnished
picks and chisels, wedges, hoes, crowbars, etc. To secure
the greatest quantity of the best material in the most
compact form and in the shortest time, the modern ship-
wright hews timbers in the forest and leaves the chips
behind to save the freight; the pre-Columbian mechanic
solved a similar problem in a similar way, and thus
reduced the burdens of the women who bore the half-
shaped pieces from the quarry to the workshop nearer
home. The abundance of relics in different stages of
manufacture found upon those workhouse sites have
enabled the archeologist to reproduce most of the indus-
trial processes of this ancient industry.
Quarry Steatite was quarried in Rhode Island and Connecti-
Products cut, slate, granite, porphyry, greenstone, and quartz
in Vermont and the Champlain valley, jasper in Penn-
sylvania, and serpentine (a much coveted material for
pipes) in the Alleghanies. There is a belief that wells
were sunk and petroleum collected. Mica mines were
worked in the mountains of western North Carolina,
and soapstone was worked in northern Alabama. At
Flint Ridge, Licking County, Ohio, is a ledge of pink
and bluish agate to which, from time immemorial, the
aborigines resorted for the material for their weapons
and cutlery. The excavations and the refuse-heaps at
this place cover many square miles, and hammer-stones
and broken blades abound. The honestone (novaculite)
quarries of Arkansas offer the most extensive ancient
diggings yet found in the United States.
Salt and Copper The saline waters of Illinois were evaporated to form
salt, and the copper mines of Michigan were worked
long before the coming of the white man. In one
case, a mass of nearly pure copper weighing more than
The Neolithic Americans 5 i
six tons had been raised several feet along the bottom
of the pit by means of wedges and hammers, and,
when found, was resting upon a cob-work of round logs
six to eight inches in diameter. The arboreal and other
evidences carry back the time when these copper mines
were worked at least to a period corresponding to
Europe's medieval era. The metal-producing Ameri-
cans of that day were prospectors or surface explorers;
they did not work underground.
One of the most celebrated sources of material for Art and
aboriginal art is the vast deposit of indurated red clay commerce
(catlinite) at Coteau des Prairies in southwestern Min-
nesota. This ledge was worked in prehistoric times,
and the ancient pits may be traced in a narrow belt for
nearly a mile across the prairie, following the outcrop of
the mineral. To the present time, the Siouan tribes
make annual pilgrimages to this shrine of the ceremonial
pipe, where the men block out the stone and the women
tend the camp-fires-a survival of ancient practice for
modern observation. In many of the mounds, especially
those of Ohio, obsidian, pipestone, mica, and copper
have been found hundreds of miles from their native
sources. It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that these
substances were quarried with great care, bartered from
tribe to tribe, and finally deposited with the dead.
(g) Examples of the artificial storage of water by Hydrotechny
the prehistoric Americans are rare in the eastern parts
of the United States. The mound-builders excavated
ponds and led thither water from springs, and ancient
canals are found in Florida, Louisiana, and Arkansas.
In the southwestern states and territories the aborigines
built dams, dug ditches, stored water, and used it for
irrigation. The arable tract of the Salado River, a
tributary of the Gila, comprises nearly half a million
acres, and the watering of fully half of it was controlled
by canals. The outlines of a hundred and fifty miles of
ancient irrigating ditches may be readily traced, and some
of them meander fourteen miles from their source. In
recent years, as pointed out by Mr. Hodge, the con-
52 The Neolithic Americans
querors of the pueblo people have learned to imitate this
wise policy of making the water-supply of vast areas
independent of the climate.
Corn-hills and (h) Evidences of prehistoric agriculture are found in
Garden-beds widely separated parts of the country. In several parts
of New York, large corn-hills remained until a recent
period. They were much larger than those used by the
whites; each small mound contained several hills and
was used for many years successively. So-called garden-
beds are found in southwest Michigan and other states.
They consist of ridges of earth, often parallel, and with
paths between them, and are distinguished from the corn-
fields further east chiefly by their symmetrical arrange-
ment and regularity of outline. In one example, at
Kalamazoo, the rows were laid out in the form of a wheel
with twenty-four spokes. The ridges vary from five to
sixteen feet in width, from twelve to a hundred feet in
length, and from six to eighteen inches in height. They
have yielded no relics, and the question of their origin is
still a subject for study or conjecture. The arboreal
evidence indicates that they antedate the early French
exploration of that region. Somewhat similar traces
occur in the ancient pueblo region of the southwest, and
modern agricultural Indians (the Pimas) declare the
inclosures to be ancient gardens.
Trails and (i) The ancient carriers of the United States had no
Transportation beast of burden other than the dog, and made little or
no use of wheeled vehicles. The commerce of the
continent was borne upon the backs of men and women,
and trails or paths worn in the earth and rock by weary
feet were the precursors of the modern road and railway.
These trails formed a mighty network spread over the
continent and many of them became the pathways of the
pioneer and the highways of a later civilization. Long
voyages were made by lake and river and even by canal.
An aboriginal Marco Polo might have paddled south-
ward from our most northern boundary through the
great lakes, leaving the inland seas at the point where
Cleveland stands, going up the river to its most southern
The Neolithic Americans 53
point, bearing his canoe on his back eight miles across
the famous "Cuyahoga portage" to the most northern
point of the Tuscarawas River, and thence floating easily
down the waters of the Muskingum, the Ohio, and the
Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico. Before the coming
of the European this portage formed the boundary
between the Iroquois and the western tribes, and part of
it is a traveled highway to this day. Among other well-
known portages were those now known as the Chicago,
the Fox-Wisconsin, the Saint Joseph, and the Chautau-
qua. Associated with these routes of ancient commerce
are the rock-inscriptions, blazed trees, staked plains,
stone-heaps, and other devices for keeping the aboriginal
traveler in the path he ought to follow.
(j) The still existing tools and products of ancient Industrial
aboriginal industries in the United States constitute a Toos and
large part of the records from which we may study the
arts and culture of those who used or made them. As
we look upon these ancient relics, whether they were
implements, utensils, weapons, or ornaments, we should
remember that, in most cases, they are mere fragments
of the originals, the missing parts of which have been
removed by use or decay. The complete "restoration"
is often made possible by patient comparison with similar
tools or products of modern Indians. These relics of the
mounds may be divided into two classes-
those the uses and methods of manufacture
of which are known, and those the function
or the making of which the modern savage
does not understand. The former class helps
us to a knowledge of the culture-status
of the maker or user; the latter class has
flooded archeology with conjecture. If
every relic belonged to the first class, there
would be no doubt of the racial identity of
the mound-builders with the modern Indians.
The principal relics found in the United Chipped Celt Chipped Stone
States are of stone. The industrial stones are silicious Products
or granular, and the objects made from them are accord-
The Neolithic Americans
ingly classified as chipped stones, or as pecked or
ground stones. The chipping of stone produced arrow-
points, spear-heads, knives and saws, as well as other
implements for the early American furriers and fisher-
men, basket-makers, farmers, surgeons, and warriors.
These chipped implements, many of which closely
resemble the paleolithic implements, although they are
of better finish, were made of the flinty rock of the
neighborhood in which they are found. Each tribe
seems to have had its own knack of doing its work, and
some of the products were so delicate and beautiful that
they well might have been, and perhaps were, exalted
above the drudgeries of industry into the region of art
Pecked Stone The art of battering, abrading, cutting, and polishing
Products stone had a large application in all parts of the country,
9 and seems to have run through an interest-
ing gamut of processes. Innumerable stone
hammers, celts, axes, mortars and pestles,
cups and pots, plummets, disks, and pipes
were thus made. Each class of these objects
has a geographical distribution depending
upon the sources of the materials and upon
the course of ancient commerce. Among
these neolithic objects are certain enigmas,
forms that the American Indians have never
been seen to use or to manufacture. Some
of them required much skill and labor
to work into their present forms, and
are chiefly interesting to us for that
reason. Judging from the number of
pipes found in mounds and graves, the
ancient inhabitants of the Mississippi
valley must have been sturdy smokers.
The bust shown in the accompanying
figure was carved from a coarse marble
and found in one of the mounds of the The Etowah Bust
Etowah group in Georgia.
Ceramics Specimens of ancient pottery are found in a limited
The Neolithic Americans
part of western Alaska, along the northern tier of states
from Minnesota eastward, and down the Atlantic coast.
The mounds of the middle Mississippi valley have
been prolific of a plain but excellent ware, the gulf
states yield still another type, but the most delicate
and beautiful examples of prehistoric ceramic art yet
recovered have come from the village sites of Arizona
and New Mexico. Still further southwest, about the
lower Gila drainage, elegant forms of plain red pottery
The vessel was built up by coiling a cylindrical roll of Pottery
properly prepared clay, by molding the clay over or in Processes
some hard object or in network, by ham-
mering the wet malleable clay with a paddle,
or by free-hand modeling. After
the preliminary process, the ves-
sel was sometimes improved by
polishing off the tracings of the
coil and the marks of fingers
and tools, by the addition of a Bottle and Vase
wash of various colors, by pressing strings, textiles, nets,
tools, or stamps into the soft surface, by painting the
surface in geometrical, pictorial, or symbolic designs, by
attaching handles and other useful or
ornamental parts, or by decorating in
relief or intaglio. The burning was
done in open fires. In this
process the vessels assumed
a color depending upon the
SBw constituents of the clay.
MugNo vitreous glazing was
attempted and none produced except by accident. The
art flourished in its greatest purity and exaltation
before the Spanish conquest of New Mexico. As a
rule, the social system of the tribes was modified, and
the arts that pertained especially to women, as did
basketry and pottery, were degraded by the coming of
the conquerors or they were entirely abandoned.
Speaking in the modern sense, the prehistoric Indians Metallurgy
56 The Neolithic Americans
of the United States were not metallurgists. Their iron
objects are merely bits of iron ore, treated as stone of
like texture. They seem to have had no knowledge of
working metal except by pounding or grinding it cold.
No one has found any ancient metallurgic workshop or
any remains that indicate the former existence of one. But
when they found a metal like copper, capable of being
wrought and fashioned without smelting or molding, its
use was perfectly compatible with the simple arts of the
stone period. The chemical analyses of many copper
relics found by Mr. Moore in the aboriginal mounds of
Georgia and Florida strongly corroborate the opinion,
generally held by American archeologists, that this copper
is of American provenience and was worked by hammer-
ing with primitive tools. There was in Europe no
supply of native (i.e., unsmelted) copper sufficient for
commercial purposes, and the material of these relics is
much purer than any of the copper produced from
European ores by the rude processes of the sixteenth
and seventeenth centuries. The finest specimens of artistic
copper-working have been found in the Etowah mounds
of Georgia, in the Turner and the Hopewell groups of
mounds in Ohio, and to a limited extent in Florida.
Some of these objects carry suggestions of the gaudy
Aztec warrior attire, and the band-
ages on the arms and legs seem to
give hints of the early wooden
sculptures of the Bahamas and the
Greater Antilles; but one who has
seen a Seminole chief in full dress
need not go so far afield for the
motive for these copper plates.
Some silver and a little gold
have been found in the Ohio
Textile The textile fabrics of the ancient
Industry Charred Fabric tribes of the United States have
been preserved by charring, by contact with copper relics
the salts of which arrest decay, by the preservative salts
The Neolithic Americans 57
of burial-caves, by impressions left upon pottery, and by
the arid climate of the Southwest. The charred speci-
mens recovered from the mounds of the valleys of the
Ohio and the Mississippi are made of two-ply cord or
twisted filaments, in plain or diagonal patterns, in close
or open work, and have a marked resemblance to the
styles of Indian weaving found along the borders of the
great lakes, and along the north Pacific Coast as far as the
Examples of prehistoric cloth that had been wrapped cloth,
around copper implements or beads or other objects have Moccasins,
been found in all the and Matting
central and southern
states from Georgia to
Iowa, and are common
objects in museums.
Reports of the discov-s
ery of textile fabrics in Moccasin
caverns and shelters began to find their way into print at an
early date in the history of the country, and the supply of
such material available for study is extensive. The accom-
panying figure represents a neatly plaited moccasin found
in a cave in Kentucky. One of the most interesting
specimens of this class of fabrics is a fragment of ancient
split-cane matting, obtained from Petite Anse Island, off
the southern coast of Louisiana. It was found near the
surface of the salt-bed, fourteen feet below the surface of
the soil, and two feet below the fossil remains of an ele-
phant, thus suggesting the existence of man on the island
prior to the deposit of the fossil in the soil. The material
consists of the outer bark of the common southern cane,
and has been preserved for so long a period both by
its silicious character and the strongly saline condition
of the soil.
In all ages and countries, textiles have furnished Decorative
motives for the decoration of pottery. The desired Art
results were secured by simply pressing .cords into the
soft clay in geometric patterns, by pressing a net or piece
of cloth upon the soft surface, or perhaps by making up
58 The Neolithic Americans
the vessel in a cloth or network. When the vessel was
burned, the most delicate marks were fixed. There is
*not a state within the Mississippi and
Atlantic drainage basins that does not
furnish some example of the preservation
of native fabric impressions on earthen-
ware. The largest and most varied col-
lections of these ancient fabrics have been
found in the cliff-dwellings of the South-
Fabric-marked Vase .
west, and in the ruins of ancient pueblos,
where the arid climate has aided in their preservation.
The cliff and cavate lodges on the Rio San Juan,
where Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico
join, disclose all the varieties of textiles known to the
modern Indians, and more. As to material, there is
no difference between the basketry and textiles of the
American Indians of the present time and those of
the most ancient people that dwelt on the same area.
If the ancient artisans possessed implements for weaving
and plaiting, no traces of those implements have come
down to us. All twisting of filaments seems to have been
done by hand; none of these prehistoric fabrics is fine
enough to indicate the use of the spindle.
Pictographs (k) In every state of the Union are found figures of
men and beasts, and marks that seem to be hieroglyphic,
carved by ancient Americans on cliffs and boulders and
on stones specially prepared. In the publications of the
Bureau of American Ethnology, Col. Garrick Mallery
has shown how to read many of these old etchings in the
light of pictography and sign language as practised by
modern Indians who have no other form of written
Burials (1) Care for the dead has preserved for the living the
best records of the past. It is not uncommon for an
ethnologist, judging from the shape of bones before him,
to affirm confidently that the man or woman in question
was an Indian or differed from an Indian of today; or,
judging from the special way in which the bones are
placed in the sepulcher, that the dead belonged to this
The Neolithic Americans 59
tribe or to that; or, judging from the state of preservation
of the bones, that they are, or are not, of great antiquity, and
so on. In a great collection of crania, the expert may come
to recognize certain types; but great caution should be
used in drawing large conclusions from such data. The
earth packed over the dead often modifies the form of the
bones; in many cases it is not easy to decide whether the
burial was original or intrusive; many tribes intentionally
deformed the skulls of infants ; the cradle-board modified
the length and shape of the cranium; and different soils
cause human skeletons to decay with unequal rapidity.
Reviewing all the testimony of the neolithic remains Interpretation
and relics in the United States, to what conclusions may Testimony
we safely come regarding their antiquity and origin ?
The true method of interpretation is to place these
witnesses side by side with similar forms in daily use
among historic or still existing Indians. If the
ancient forms agree with the modern, we shall be very
likely to conclude that the two peoples were on equally
elevated planes of culture. The stone, shell, and copper
relics are only the enduring remnants of former weapons,
tools, and products of industry, from which other parts
have been taken by decay. With the knowledge that
careful study of still lingering tribes has put at our com-
mand, we may generally restore these decayed parts, and
thus bring back what the centuries have filched away.
This is a well-established method of archaeological study.
Suppose that an Indian tribe now living or described An Illustrative
in authentic history had settled not far from the Ohio Method
River, built earth-circles and rectilinear figures, fortified
terraces, buried their dead in mounds and with care, as
the mound-builders of the Ohio district did; it would be
a fair presumption that this tribe was descended from the
builders of the ancient tumuli, or had been taught by
them. If there are now living, or have lived in historic
times, tribes with arts so nearly like those of the mound-
builders that they convince us of relationship or contact,
we may go to these tribes or to the records of them for
6o The Neolithic Americans
such assistance as they can give in the reconstruction of
the daily life of this somewhat mysterious people. Un-
fortunately, civilization works such radical changes in
aboriginal life that the force of such a lesson is somewhat
weakened. If the builders of the Ohio mounds had been
actively at work in 1492, they who explored the Missis-
sippi valley a hundred years later might have been too late
to come into contact with arts that were wholly abo-
Rival Theories There are two widely held and antagonistic opinions
concerning the builders of these mounds. One school
of archeologists insists that the mound-builders were far
more cultured than any known North American Indians,
that their earthworks were more complicated and better
finished, that their arts of fashioning and polishing stone
and of -fabricating pottery, their agriculture and their
architecture, were more advanced, and that their social
and religious systems were of a higher order than were
those of their successors. This theory leads up to the
concept of an extinct civilization and a vanished race.
The more modern school confidently insists that there
is nothing found in the mode of construction of these
mounds nor in the vestiges of art they contain to indicate
that their builders had reached a higher culture-status
than that attained by some of the Indian tribes found
occupying the country at the time of the arrival of the
Ethnologic At no time in the history of any of the older nations of
continuity the world has the whole population been removed to give
place to another altogether different. Continuity is the
law of history, and it is difficult to believe that that law
has been violated here. It is hardly conceivable that a
race should come upon the stage, act its part, and go
away to give place to another company of players with
whom the first had naught to do. There were fifty dis-
tinct stock languages spoken at one time within the limits
of the United States by Indians of the historic period,
and the peoples using them differed from one another in
forms of government, mythology, and arts. Some of the
The Neolithic Americans 6
stocks, as the Algonquian, the Iroquoian, the Athapas-
can, the Muskhogean, the Siouan, and the Shoshonean
were spread over vast territories, while others, if they
ever were numerous or widely diffused, had shrunk to
mere handfuls before they were discovered by the historian.
In every case, when their houses, furniture, tools, and
weapons are placed side by side with those left by the
people of long-ago, they correspond in a remarkable
manner, and enable the student to reproduce the leading
features of ancient American life without any other aid.
Whether the American aborigines were autochthonous, Whence ?
created on the western hemisphere, or whether they
came from Asia across Bering Strait and the Aleutian
chain, or whether they came from Polynesia to South
America and migrated northward, or whether they came
from Europe by way of Iceland, Greenland, and land
bridges that are now submerged-it is not possible to
trace, now and with certainty, the paths along which
they were drawn or driven. It certainly took a long time When?
to develop on the western hemisphere at least two hun-
dred languages differing among themselves more widely
than do those of Europe, so distinct that the words in
each seem totally independent of those in any of the
others. Furthermore, some of the older remains are cov-
ered with forest-trees more than six hundred years old, that
have grown up since their sites were deserted by seden-
tary inhabitants. The different qualities of work in the
remains and relics of the mound-builders certainly point
to periods of political splendor and decay, or to violent
conquests. In the eastern half of the United States,
the climax, the Augustan age of the neolithic American,
was reached by the mound-builders of the Ohio valley.
The decadence of art had set in when the white men first
visited that region. It is possible that the acquisition
of iron and steel tools stimulated a brief renaissance,
and that in the relics of this period we have the most
elaborate specimens of the mound-builders'labor and skill.
Like arts were flourishing to recent time in the southern
states, and, to a certain extent, were practised elsewhere.
62 The Neolithic Americans
The There still remains a lamentable break between the
Conclusion prehistoric and the historic eras in the New World.
Not many years ago, a distinguished antiquary and
historian exclaimed: "We must give it up, that speech-
less past; . lost is lost, gone is gone forever."
But modern scholarship is more hopeful; the veil is
slowly lifting. Problems that a few years ago were
thought to be insoluble "have been satisfactorily solved
and have now become foundation-stones in the archaeo-
logical structure." The evidence so far secured leads to
the conclusion that the monuments of Mexico and Cen-
tral America, as well as those of the mound-builders and
the cliff-dwellers, are chiefly attributable to the ancestors
of the people found in those regions by modern European
discoverers and explorers. The discovery of articles of
European manufacture in some of the mounds, under
conditions that preclude any connection with intrusive
burials, indicates that the custom of building mounds
had not ceased at the time of the discovery of America
as clearly as does the discovery of man-made implements
in the glacial gravels that the credentials of the glacial
American cannot be rejected.
C H A P T E R I I I
M A Z E A N D M Y T H
O N our hurried way into the firm paths of Post-Colum-
demonstrable history we pass into a field bianClaims of
thickly strewn with bewildering fact and fancy. bian Discovery
After Columbus had glorified Spain and Cabot had
magnified England in ways of which we soon shall tell, it
was to be expected that other nations would seek to
gratify their pride by pointing out their own priority of
honor. Thus Basque and Norman, Welsh and Irish,
sun-tinted Italian and snow-bleached Scandinavian appear
in the forum with Arabian and Chinese and attorneys for
almost every race of eastern Asia, each claiming his
share in the gift of a new world to the Old. The offered
evidence is of varying worth. Little of it is of a char-
acter to carry conviction, and all of it has been disputed.
Naturally enough, the claimants offer a multitude of
inherent possibilities, some of which are made pictur-
esque by accompanying probabilities. Moreover, there is
something fascinating in fairy tales of travel that struck
the imagination of our ancestors, and "a charm in any
evidence which goes to show that Pliny and Polo and
the author of Sindbad's voyages were not liars." Duty
and pleasure thus detain us in this court of claims, ante-
chamber of our labyrinth.
Among these spectral images of discovery, we may Phenician
first note a tradition that a Mediterranean people, passing Discovery
the pillars of Hercules (i.e., sailing through the Strait
of Gibraltar), were driven westward by a storm and heard
Maze and Myth
of no more. For some reason not recorded "it is
thought that they reached the American coast." There
are now in the museum of Rio de Janeiro certain brass
tablets discovered in the northern part of Brazil and
covered with Phenician inscriptions, doubtless forgeries,
that tell of the discovery of America five centuries
before Christ. It is also given as veritable history
Grecian "that a farmer near Montevideo, South America,
Discovery discovered in one of his fields, in 1827, a flat stone
which bore strange and unknown characters; beneath
this stone was a vault made of masonry in which were
deposited two ancient swords, a helmet, and a shield."
The inscription on the stone was translated as follows:
During the dominion of Alexander, the son of
Philip, King of Macedon, in the sixty-
third Olympiad, Ptolemais.
"On the handle of one of the swords was a portrait,
supposed to represent Alexander. The helmet had on it
fine sculptured work, representing Achilles dragging the
corpse of Hector around the walls of Troy. This
would seem to point to an early Grecian discovery of
America." But there is room for doubt.
Chinese In 1761, it was announced to the European world
Discovery, that America had been discovered by the Chinese in the
499 A. D. fifth century. The Chinese annals record that a Buddhist
priest visited Fusang, a country far to the east. This
priest found that the people there had already adopted
the religion of Buddha, borne to them by five beggar
monks twenty-nine years before. He told wonderful
stories of the Fusang-tree, and recorded the fact that the
oxen had horns of ten bushels capacity, and that they
were used for holding household goods. This mendicant
monk, or some other writer whose story was recorded in
the same section of the Chinese book of antiquities, told
of a country to the east of Fusang where all the people
were women, where maternity was engendered by bathing
in a certain river, and the children were nourished from
a tuft of hair upon the shoulder. It has been held that
Fusang was California or Mexico. The Chinese route
Maze and Myth 65
was actually laid down on the maps-a very common
demonstration of such propositions.
But the nascent West need not pale its glory before Irish
that of the dead or dying Orient. There is a distinct Discovery
class of Irish tales to the effect that highly civilized Irish-
men came to America before Columbus or even the
Northmen of whom we soon shall speak. They date from
before the dawn of certain history. Part of this story
relates that an Icelander, Are Marson, was shipwrecked
on the coast of America in 983 or, according to another
statement, in 928. This land was "White Men's
Land," or Great Ireland." It extended from New
York to Florida, and was inhabited by a Christian
people who baptized Are Marson and made him their
chief. Unfortunately, the legend records the distance
from Ireland to "White Men's Land" as only six days'
sail toward the west.
The second chapter is more romantic. One Bjarni The Froda
Asbrandson, famous as an Icelandic Falstaff and a Romance
daring viking, was forced into an agreement to go
abroad and not to see his Thurid for a year. And so
the viking went from home and neither man nor vessel
was ever seen again in Iceland. Thirty years later, one
Gudleif and his companions were driven westward by a
storm and thrown upon an unknown coast. All were
taken prisoners, bound, and carried inland. As the
captives were surrounded by the natives, "it rather
seemed to them that they spoke Irish." They were
led before a white-haired chieftain who addressed them
in their own tongue, and made particular inquiry con-
cerning Thurid, her brother, and her son. As they
were about to leave, the chieftain said: "If the fates
permit you to come to your own country, then shall
you take this sword to the yeoman Kjartan of Froda,
but this ring to Thurid his mother. Say he sends them
who loved the lady of Froda better than her brother,
the priest of Helgafell." Then did Gudleif know that
his protector was- Bjarni Asbrandson. He did as he
was bid, and gave the ring to Thurid and the sword to
Maze and Myth
Kjartan, the son of the chieftain of Hvitramannaland,
or "White Men's Land." The renegade chieftain had
let the captives go that his memory might once more be
garlanded by the Thurid of his dreams.
Irish- As a specimen of enthusiasm running riot, we make
Colonition mere mention of the claim that Iceland was first peopled
of Iceland not from Europe but from Virginia and Carolina by
Irishmen who had earlier migrated to America. Pro-
fessor Tyndall remarks "that, when feeling escapes from
behind the intellect, where it is a useful urging force,
and places itself in front of the intellect, it is likely to
produce glamour and all manner of delusions." More
than this. We are assured that Saint Patrick preached the
gospel in the "Isles of America;" but as he lived in
the fifth century the occurrence of the word "America"
in the story "casts a decidedly apocryphal hue over the
otherwise gauzy fabric." There seems to be no end to
the procession of enthusiasts who see overmuch in their
studies of pre-Columbian discoveries.
Welsh Ignoring for the moment the claims of Norse discov-
Discovery ery, which would come next in chronological order, but
which rest upon a better bottom, we cross Saint George's
Channel from Ireland to Wales, the home of another
Come listen to a tale of times of old,
Come, for ye know me. I am he who sang
The Maid of Arc, and I am he who framed
Of Thalaba the wild and wondrous song.
Come listen to my lay; and ye shall hear
How Madoc from the shores of Britain spread
The adventurous sail, explored the ocean-paths,
And quelled barbarian power, and overthrew
The bloody altars of idolatry.
Thus Southey introduces his Madoc, a learned and inter-
esting poem that induced an American to denounce
the poet for having "meditated a most serious injury
against the reputation of the New World by attributing
its discovery and colonization to a little vagabond Welsh
The Madoc Owen Gwynnedd, the prince of North Wales and the
Legend father of seventeen sons and two daughters, died in 1169.
Maze and Myth 67
His oldest son, Iorwerth Drwyndwn (i.e., Edward with
the broken nose), declined the scepter "because of the
maime upon his face," and so the rule fell to his half-
brother, Howel, "a base son begotten of an Irish woman."
The next son, David, refused obedience to his bastard
brother and appealed to arms. The still younger brother,
Madoc, commander-in-chief of the navy, fled from the
civil strife and put to sea.
Madoc I am, the son of Owen Gwynnedd,
With stature large and comely grace adorned.
No lands at home, nor store of wealth me please
My mind was whole to search the ocean seas.
About 1170, he sailed westward with his fleet and discov-
ered a new land that was so pleasing that he left there
most of his men and ships and returned to Wales for
more. He soon went back with one of his brothers and
many others, enough to fill ten ships. There is no
account of the return of any of these to Wales. It
appears, however, that communication with the mother
country was maintained, for we are informed that they
followed the manners of the land they came to and used
the language they found there." Some have thought
that their new home was in Canada, and others that they
landed in Florida or passed up the Mississippi River.
One of the most persistent of the early myths in regard
to the American Indians was that of the existence of a
tribe of Welsh Indians, the descendants of this colony
founded by Prince Madoc.
Next comes the story of possible American discovery Arabian
by Arabian sailors in the twelfth century. At that time, Discovery
the Arabians were the world's most daring sailors and the
leading custodians of scientific knowledge. The story
goes that eight of these Arabs built a boat, provisioned it
for a voyage of several months, and fearlessly sailed from
Lisbon directly out into the Sea of Darkness. This The Sailors'
dreaded watery waste with its fabled monsters was a vast Superstition
and boundless ocean on which ships dare not venture out
of sight of land, for, even if they knew the direction of
the winds, they would not know whither those winds