« AnteriorContinuar »
Page 31, Note...,
36, Notet, line 5 51, Line 20 96, Note 101, Note 134, Notet
for vi.......... read iv.
3. Narrative Hist. of New Eng
land, ch. 51.
INDIANS OF NORTH AMERICA.
GENERAL OBSERVATIONS ON THE CHARACTER OF
THE NORTH AMERICAN INDIANS - OPINIONS OF
VARIOUS WRITERS ON THIS SUBJECT.
The manners and customs of the Indians of North America have often furnished matter of curious and interesting inquiry. From the period when that portion of the Western hemisphere was first discovered, or rather from that in which the earliest European settlers established themselves upon its shores, the attention of various authors appears to have been drawn towards the delineation of those peculiar qualities which so strongly marked the native tribes by whom that continent was inhabited. Nor was the attention of those writers less directed, perhaps, to the discovery of the probable root from whence the American population had originally sprung. This question, indeed, has given rise to much discussion; and history, both sacred and profane, has been ingeniously referred
to for the purpose of supporting the respective theories of those who have taken an active part in the controversy. The valuable researches, made of late years in North America, regarding the languages spoken by the Indian nations in that quarter of the globe, promise, if followed up, to throw more light upon this subject than is likely to arise from any other species of investigation. But, however much writers of eminence have differed respecting the source from which America may have been peopled, they will be found to have generally agreed with regard to the peculiar customs, disposition, and pursuits, of its aboriginal inhabitants.
It is not proposed to enter into any minute delineation of the habits and manners of the North American Indians. These have been so often and so accurately described, by writers of different countries and various periods, that any description of them now would contain little more than a repetition of details to which there is every where easy access and reference. The principal object of these Notes is to give a concise view of facts drawn mostly from the early authors who resided in North America ; by which it will probably be seen, that in every quarter a very erroneous system was pursued with regard to the Indian population. In addition to the observations upon the early proceedings respecting the Indians -- and upon the results which flowed from them - it is also intended to submit such remarks and suggestions