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that such a thing would take place in regard to some future nation, no one, perhaps, would have called him a false prophet, for the American revolution would have been its fulfilment. This philosopher lived about 384 years before Christ.
Seneca lived about the commencement of the vulgar era. He wrote trage dies, and in one of them occurs this passage:
“ Venient annis
Medea, Act 3. v. 375.
This is nearer prophecy, and may be rendered in English thus : -" The time will come when the ocean will loosen the chains of nature, and we shall behold a vast country. A new Typhis shall discover new worlds : Thule shall no longer be considered the last country of the known world.”
Not only these passages from the ancient authors ve been cited and recited by moderns, but many more, though less to the point, to show that, in some way or other, America must have been peopled from some of the eastern continents. Almost every country has claimed the honor of having been its first discoverer, and hence the progenitor of the Indians. But since the recent discoveries in the north, writers upon the subject say but little about getting over inhabitants from Europe, Asia, or Africa, through the difficult way of the Atlantic seas and islands, as it is much easier to pass them over the narrow channels of the north in canoes, or upon the ice. Grotius, C. Mather, Hubbard, and after them Robertson, are glad to meet with so easy a method of solving a question which they consider as having puzzled their predecessors so much.
Of modern theorists upon the peopling of America-St. Gregory-Herrera–T. Morton-Williamson-Wood - Josselyn — Thorovogood — Adair-Ř. Williams-C. Mather -- Hubbard - Robertson - Smith - Voltuire - Mitchill-M'Culloch-Lord Kaim-Swinton-Cabrera.
St. GREGORY, who flourished in the 7th century, in an epistle to St. Clement, said that beyond the ocean there was another world.*
Herrera argues, that the new world could not have been known to the ancients; and that what Seneca has said was not true. For that God had kept it hid from the old world, giving them no certain knowledge of it; and that, in the secrecy and incomprehensibility of his providence, he has been pleased to give it to the Castilian nation. That Seneca's prediction (if so it may be considered) was a false one, because he said that a new world would be discovered in the north, and that it was found in the west. † Herrera wrote about 1598, 1 before which time little knowledge was obtained of North America. This may account for his impeachment of Seneca's prophecy.
Thomas Morton, who came to New England in 1622, published in 1637 an account of its natural history, with much other curious matter. In speaking upon the peopling of America, he thinks it altogether out of the question to
*“S. Gregoire sur l'epistre de S. Clement, dit que passé l'ocean, il y a vn autre mond." (Herrera, I Decade, 2.) . This is the whole passage. + Ibid. 3.
He died 27 March, 1625, at the age of about 66 years. His name was Tordesillas Antonio de Herrera-one of the best Spanish bistorians. His history of the voyages to, and settlement of America is very minute, and very valuable. The original in Spanish is very rare. Acos tu's translation into French) 3 v. 4to., 1660, is also scarce and valuable. It is this we cite.
suppose that it was peopled by the Tartars from the north, because “a people, once settled, must be removed by compulsion, or else tempted thereunto in hopes of better fortunes, upon commendations of the place unto which they should be drawn to remove. And if it may be thought that these people came over the frozen sea, then would it be by compulsion. If so, then by whom, or when? Or what part of this main continent may be thought to border upon the country of the Tartars? It is yet unknown; and it is not like that a people well enough at ease, will, of their own accord, undertake to travel over a sea of ice, considering how many difficulties they shall encounter with. As Ist, whether there be any land at the end of their unknown way, no land being in view; then want of food to sustain life in the mean time upon that sea of ice. Or how shall they do for fuel, to keep them at night from freezing to death? which will not be had in such a place. But it may perhaps be granted, that the natives of this country might originally come of the scattered Trojans; for after that Brutus, who was the fourth from Eneas, left Latium upon the conflict held with the Latins (where although he gave them a great overthrow, to the slaughter of their grand captain and many others of the heroes of Latium, yet he held it more safely to depart unto some other place and people, than, by staying, to run the hazard of an unquiet life or doubtful conquest; which, as history maketh mention, he performed.)
. This people was dispersed, there is no question, but the people that lived with him, by reason of their conversation with the Grecians and Latins, had a mixed language, that participated of both."* This is the main ground of Morton, but he says much more upon the subject; as that the similarity of the languages of the Indians to the Greek and Roman is very great. From the examples he gives, we presume he knew as little about the Indian languages as Dr. Mather, Adarr, and Boudinot, who thought them almost to coincide with the Hebrew. Though Morton thinks it very improbable that the Tartars came over by the north from Asia, because they could not see land beyond the ice, yet he finds no difficulty in getting them across the wide Atlantic, although he allows them no compass. That the Indians have a Latin origin he thinks evident, because he fancied he heard among their words Pasco-pan, and hence thinks, w' hout doubt, their ancestors were acquainted with the god Pan.t
Dr. Williamsont says, “ It can hardly be questioned that the Indians of South America are descended from a class of the Hindoos, in the southern parts of Asia." That they could not have come from the north, because the South American Indians are unlike those of the north. This seems to clash with the more rational views of Father Venegas.ỹ He writes as follows: “Of all the parts of America hitherto discovered, the Californians lie nearest to Asia. We are acquainted with the mode of writing in all the eastern nations. We can distinguish between the characters of the Japanese, the Chinese, the Chinese Tartars, the Mogul Tartars, and other nations extending as far as the Bay of Kamschathka; and learned dissertations on them, by Mr. Boyer, are to be found in the acts of the imperial academy of sciences at Petersburg. What discovery would it be to meet with any of these characters, or others like them, among the American Indians nearest to Asia! But as to the Californians, if ever they were possessed of any invention to perpetuate their memoirs, they have entirely lost it; and all that is now found among them, amounts to no more than some obscure oral traditions, probably more and more adulterated by a long succession of time. They have not so much as retained any knowledge of the particular country froin which they emigrated.” Tõis is the account of one who lived many years among the Indians of California.
Mr. William Wood,ll who left New England in 1633, 1 after a short stay, says, “Of their language, which is only peculiar to themselves, not inclining to any of the refined tongues: Some have thought they might be of the dispersed New Canaan, book i, pages 17 and 18.
The author of a work entitled New England's Prospect, published in London, 1631, iu . It is a very rare, and, in some respects, a curious and valuable work. f Prospect, 51.
ON THE ORIGIN OF THE INDIANS.
Jews, because some of their words be near unto the Hebrew; but by the sam rule, they may conclude them to be some of the gleanings of all nations, because they have words which sound after the Greek, Latin, French, and other
Mr. John Josselyn, who resided some time in New England, from the year 1638, says, "The Mohawks are about 500: their speech a dialect of the Tartars (as also is the Turkish tongue).”+ In another work, he says, “N. England is by some affirmed to be an island, bounded on the north with the River of Canada (so called from Monsieur Cane), on the south with the River Monhegan or Hudson's River, so called because he was the first that discovered it. Some will have America to be an island, which out of question must needs be, if there be a north-east passage found out into the South Sea. It contains 1,152,400,000 acres. The discovery of the north-west passage (which lies within the River of Canada) was undertaken with the help of some Protestant Frenchmen, which left Canada, and retired to Boston about the year 1669. The north-east people of America, that is, N. England, &c., are judged to be Tartars, called Samoades, being alike in complexion, shape, habit and manners.” We have given here a larger extract than the immediate subject required, because we would let the reader enjoy his curiosity, as well as we ours, in seeing how people understood things in that day. Barlow, looking but a small distance beyond those times, with great elegance says,
“ In those blank periods, where no man can trace
Columbiad, ix, 137, &c. Revererd Thomas Thorowgood published a small quarto, in 1652,9 to prove that the fnaians were the Jews, who had been “ lost in the world for the space of near 20 years.” But whoever has read Adair or Boudinot, has, beside a good deal that is irrational, read all that in Thorowgood can be termed rational.
Reverend Roger Williams was, at one time, as appears from Thorougood's work,|| of the same opinion. Being written to for his opinion of the origin of the natives, “he kindly answers to those letters from Salem in N. Eng. 20th of the 10th month, more than 10 yeers since, in hæc verba.” That they did not come into America from the north-east, as some had imagined, he thought evident for these reasons: 1. their ancestors affirm they came from the southwest, and return thence when they die : 2. because they " separate their women in a little wigwam by themselves in their feminine seasons:" and 3. “ beside their god Kuttand to the S. West, they hold that Nanawitnawils (a goa over head) made the heavens and the earth; and some tast of affinity with the Hebrew I have found.”
Dector Cotton Mather is an author of such singular qualities, that we almost hesitate to name him, lest we be thought without seriousness in so weighty a matter. But we will assure the reader, that he is an author with whom we would in no wis part; and if sometimes we appear pot serious in our introduction of him, what is of more importance, we believe him really to be so And we are persuaded that we should not be pardoned did we not allow hing to speak upon the matter before us.
# Ibid. 112. ed. 1784.
New England Rariiieo 4, 8, printed London, 1672.
He says, “ It should not pass without remark, that three most memorable things which have borne a very great aspect upon human affairs, did, near the same time, namely, at the conclusion of the fifteenth, and the beginning of the sixteenth, century, arise unto the world: the first was the Resurrection of Literature; the second was the opening of America; the third was the Reformation of Religion.". Thus far we have an instructive view of the sub ject, calculated to lead to the conclusion that, in the dark ages, when literature was neglected and forgotten, discoveries might have been also, and hence the knowledge of America lost for a time. The rearler must now summon his gravity. " But,” this author continues, " as probably the Devil, seducing the first inhabitants of America into it, therein aimed at the having of them and their posterity out of the sound of the silver trumpets of the gospel, then to be heard through the Roman empire.* If the Devil' had any expectation, that, by the peopling of America, he should utterly deprive any Europeans of the two benefits, literature and religion, which dawned upon the miserable world, (one just before, the other just after,) the first famed navigation hither, 'tis to be hoped he will be disappointed of that expectation."The learned doctor, having forgotten what he had written in his first book, or wishing to inculcate his doctrine more firmly, nearly repeats a passage which he had at first given, in a distant part of his work ;ť but, there being considerable addition, we recite it: “ The natives of the country now possessed by the Newenglanders, had been forlorn and wretched heathen ever since their first herding here; and though we know not when or how these Indians first became inbabitants of this mighty continent, yet we may guess that probably the Devil decoyed those miserable salvages hither, in hopes that the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ would never come here to destroy or disturb his absolute empire over them. But our Eliot was in such ill terms with the Devil, as to alarm him with sounding the silver trumpets of heaven in his territories, and make some noble and zealous attempts towards outing him of ancient possessions here. There were, I think, 20 several nations (if I may call them so) of Indians upon that spot of ground which fell under the influence of our Three United Colonies ; and our Eliot was willing to rescue as many of them as he could from that old usurping landlord of America, who is, by the wrath of God, the prince of this world." In several places he is decided in the opinion that Indians ure Scythians, and is confirmed in the opinion, on meeting with this passage of Julius Cæsar : “ Dificilius Invenire quam interficere," which he thus renders, " It is harder to find them than to foil them.” At least, this is a happy application of the passage. Cæsar was speaking of the Scythians, and our historian applies the passage in speaking of the sudden attacks of the Indians, and their agility in hiding theinselves from pursuit.Ş Doctor Mather wrote at the close of the seventeenth century, and his famous book, Magnalia Christi Americana, was published in 1702.
Adair, who resided 40 years (he says) among the southern Indians, previous to 1775, published a huge quarto upon their origin, history, &c. He tortures every custom and usage into a like one of the Jews, and almost every word in their language into a Hebrew one of the same meaning.
Doctor Boudinot, in his book called “The Star in the West,” has followed up the theory of Adair, with such certainty, as he thinks, as that the “ Jong lost ten tribes of Israel " are clearly identified in the American Indians. Sucli
This, we apprehend, is not entirely original with our author, but borders upon plagiarism. Ward, the celebrated author of the “ Simple Cobler of Agyawam,' says of the Irish, “ These Irish (anciently called anthropophagi, maneaters) have a tradition ainong them. thai when the Devil showed our Saviour all the kingdoms of the earth, and their glory, that he would not show him Ireland, but reserved it for himself. It is, probably, true; for he hath kept it ever since for his own peculiar: the old fox foresaw it would eclipse the glory of all !be rest : he thought it wisdom to keep the land for a Boggards for his unclean spirits employed in this hemisphere, and the people to do bis son and heir (the Pope) that service for which Leicis the XI kepi bis Barbor 'Oliver, which makes them so bloodthirsty."--Simple Cobler, 86, 87. Why so much gall is poured out upon the poor Irish, we cannot satisfactorily account. The circumsiance of his writing in the time of Cromwell will explain a part, if not ihe whole of the enigma. He was the first minister of Ipswich, Massachusetts, but was born and died m England. Magnalia Christ. Amer. b. i.
Ibid. b. ïï.
♡ See Magnalia, b. vi
theories have gained many supporters. It is of much higher antiquity than Adair, and was treated as such visionary speculations should be by authors as far back as the historian Hubbard, who wrote about 1680, and has this among other passages: “If any observation be made of their manners and dispositions, it's easier to say from what nations they did not, than from whom they did, derive their original. Doubtless their conjecture who fancy them to be descended from the ten tribes of the Israelites, carried captive by Salamaneser and Esarhaddon, hath the least show of reason of any other, there being no footsteps to be observed of their propinquity to them more than to any other of the tribes of the earth, either as to their language or manners."* This author was one of the best historians of his times; and, generally, he writes with as much discernment upon other matters as upon this.
That because the natives of one country and those of another, and each unknown to the other, have some customs and practices in common, it has been urged by some, and not a few, that they must have had a common origin ; but this, in our apprehension, does not necessarily follow. Who will pretend that different people, when placed under similar circumstances, will not have similar wants, and hence siinilar actions ? that like wants will not prompt like exertions? and like causes produce not like effects? This mode of reasoning we think sufficient to show, that, although the Indians may have some customs in common with the Scythians, the Tartars, Chinese, Hindoos, Welsh, and indeed every other nation, still, the former, for any reason we can see to the contrary, have as good right to claim to themselves priority of origin as either or all of the latter.
Doctor Robertson should have proved that people of color produce others of no color, and the contrary, before he said, “We know with infallible certainty, that all the human race spring from the same source," + meaning Adam. He founds this broad assertion upon the false notion that, to admit any other would be an inroad upon the verity of the holy Scriptures. Now, in our view of the subject, we leave them equally inviolate in assuming a very different ground;f namely, that all habitable parts of the world may have been peopled at the same time, and by different races of men. That it is so peopled, we know : that it was so peopled as far back as we have any account, we see no reason to disbelieve. Hence, when it was not so is as futile to inquire, as it would be impossible to conceive of the annihilation of space. When a new country was discovered, much inquiry was made to ascertain from whence came the inhabitants found upon it-not even asking whence came the other animals. The answer to us is plain. Man, the other animals, trees and plants of every kind, were placed there by the supreme directing hand, which carries on every operation of nature by fixed and undeviating laws. This, it must be plain to every reader, is, at least, as reconcilable to the Bible history as the theory of Robertson, which is that of Grotius, and all those who have followed them.
When it has been given in, at least by all who have thought upon the subject, that climate does not change the complexion of the human race, to hold up the idea still that all must have sprung from the same source, (Adam,) only reminds us of our grandmothers, who to this day laugh at us when we tell them that the earth is a globe. Who, we ask, will argue that the negro changes his color by living among us, or by changing his latitude? Who have ever become negroes by living in their country, or among them? Has the Indian ever changed his complexion by living in London? Do those change which adopt our manners and customs, and are surrounded by us ? Until these questions can be answered in the affirmative, we discard altogether that unitarian system of peopling the world. We would indeed prefer Ovid's method :
“Ponere duritiem coepere, suumque rigorem;
Metamor. lib i. fab. xi. * Hist. New England, 27.
| Hist. America, book iv. # Why talk of a theory's clashing with holy writ, and say nothing of the certainty of the sciences of geography, astronomy, geology, &c. ?