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contents,—-weapons made of metal, stamped coin, precious rings, &c. &c., all of which indicate a certain knowledge of the Arts. But in these Indian mounds there has not even been found a brick, or anything else that might prove the existence of people, capable of building any habitation superior to a wigwam.
But when once the true antiquarian spirit seizes the mind, a host of visions rise up and obscure reason. The following quotation will serve as an instance of this.
"Our authors mention that Dr. Drake, the highly respected naturalist of Cincinnati, had exhibited to them in his cabinet, two large marine shells, that had been dug out of ancient Indian tumuli in Ohio, one of which appears to be a Cassis Cornutus. All the authorities, except Linnaeus, regard the cassis cornutus as an Asiatic shell; and Bruguiere, say our authors, has maintained that Linnaeus was mistaken in referring it to America. The circumstance, that a shell of Asiatic origin has been found in an Indian tumulus in Ohio, would seem to establish an intercourse at least between the Indians of North America and those of Asia. Our authors justly adduce this discovery as a confirmation of the theory of the Asiatic origin of our native tribes; a theory which since the researches of M. de Humboldt has been very extensively adopted." *
* North American Review for April, 1823; article, Major Long's Expedition.
Now there can be no doubt, but that the Indian who possessed this Asiatic shell, (which, however, is said to be American by no less a personage than Linnaeus), must have been a great Conchologist, and it is a pity that no other specimens from his cabinet have been discovered. The bones of the Hyaena and other Asiatic animals, found in the cave at Kirkdale in Yorkshire, prove no doubt that our savage English ancestors had "an intercourse at least" with Asia. For my own part I think the animals whose bones are found in the cave, must have belonged to a travelling menagerie, brought over by the Asiatics for the amusement of the Picts. I am astonished indeed that this idea has never struck Mr. Buckland, especially as it does not involve the consideration of that inconvenient miracle the Deluge of Noah.
Two learned Americans, whose names I forbear to mention, have contended that the American Indians are descended from the ten lost tribes of the Jews. They have given divers learned reasons in support of this theory, which, together with all that has been written about it, ought of a truth to be classed with the "unutterable ponderings of Wouter Van Twiller the Doubter," first Dutch governor of New York.* The dissertation of our old friend the Antiquary on A. D. L. L. is a bagatelle compared to the lucubrations of these gentlemen.
* Vide Knickerbocker's New York.
A nation may lose the knowledge of some of the fine arts, and of those contributing only to luxury; such as painting, the making glass or china, &c.— An Emigrant people cannot be supposed to carry with them all the improvements and refinements of their fathers; but the knowledge of the more simple arts, such as those of working the metals, making bricks, &c, they could certainly never forget. This alone is sufficient to convince me, that the ancestors of the American Indians did not come from Asia. But the Mosaic account of the early ages of the earth has been made the basis of all reasoning concerning the people of America, and consequently I am astonished any one should attempt explaining, what must therefore necessarily be miraculous.
Some have pretended that the ancestors of the Americans came across Behring's Strait, which lies very nearly within the Arctic circle. I would advise those who can talk so easily of such a journey to read the account of Captain Francklin's. But the captain's journey must have been nothing compared to that of the primaeval emigrants; for he was provided with every thing that could alleviate hardship, and he set out from a very high latitude where there were already inhabitants. Indeed if he had not returned to these inhabited spots he would have been starved to death. Perhaps then the pretended emigrants to America never existed; or if they did, I am surprised that on seeing such a miserable country they did not turn back; unless indeed their spirit of enterprise was greater than that of men in these degenerate days.
But why should we reason about Miracles? We know that the whole of animated Nature was destroyed at the Deluge, with the exception of those men, beasts, &c. preserved in the Ark. Therefore all animated nature must have been destroyed in America; and I presume few will maintain, that the emigrants who peopled that country, brought with them the progenitors of all the Couguars, Jaguars, Tapirs, Llamas, Rattlesnakes, &c., that at present abound in that quarter of the globe, but are found no where else. Yet otherwise how did the said couguars, jaguars, &&, first get to America? They could hardly have swum across Behring's Strait. It is miraculous therefore how men first peopled the Western Hemisphere; it is miraculous how that continent was stocked with animals, tropical birds, and reptiles; and it is miraculous how the different tribes and nations should diner so totally in language and appearance. But let no one be astonished; for there are circumstances connected with the peopling the Old World nearly as miraculous. Climate will alter the complexion of the adult, but not change the colour of the rete mucosum. The negroes in Canada never become white, nor do the English in Africa ever have a black skin, woolly hair, thick lips, and flat noses. Adam was a red