« FöregåendeFortsätt »
eclipse, plainly testified that the planet upon which we live was round. The travels of Marco Paulo by land to the East Indies (about 1269), related that those lands stretched far towards the east. About two centuries after this, it occurred to Columbus, upon perusing those travels; but more especially from having obtained intelligence from the final conquest of the Canary islands in 1483; and information while resident in England (which circumstances will be investigated hereafter), that by a voyage towards the west—thus travelling, as it were, around the globe—he should meet the extremities of those lands; and as the discovery of a sea-passage to the East Indies was the great object of navigation in the fifteenth century, Columbus made the bold attempt (founded upon previous knowledge of migration), and discovered the island of St. Salvador and those adjacent, and thinking that he had reached the eastern extremity of the Indies according to his theory, he then named those isles the West Indies, because they were discovered by sailing west. The discovery of the Continent followed during his third voyage, and believing all the land to be of the Indies, the inhabitants of the isles and of the mainland were, as a natural consequence, called by Columbus under one general appellation, viz., Indians. Subsequent geographical discoveries have proved the great error of the Genoese; but the name of Indian was given at that time, and it has been continued although at variance with the truth; and it has had a material effect in checking inquiry concerning the Aborigines, who having been called Indians, the name seemed at once to specify their origin: but, it would have been equally as just, if he had determined to sail for Britain, and an unforeseen gale having cast him upon the island of Sardinia, and then from believing that he had reached the intended object of his voyage, he should have called the latter inhabitants British. We, therefore, discard the name of Indian as applied to the natives of the Western continent (it will beretained in the Tragedy of “Tecumseh" for local purposes), and write of them as the Aborigines, until, as we advance in this History, they can be identified by a national name, founded upon facts and conclusions.
Hebrew Analogies with the Tribes of the North–Contrasted with the Natives of Mexican America—Circumcision—Scalping—Its great Antiquity—THE CRUCIFIxion not known to the Natives of the North—Their Traditional Knowledge of the Deluge–Their Practice of the Laws of Moses—The conclusive Proofs of the two Races—The Formation of a new Epochian Table for the History of Ancient America — The announcement of the Historical Theory, and the First Epoch.
THE Hebrew analogies now claim investigation; and as Woman is first in the affections and in memory, she claims by right upon this, as upon all occasions, the natural precedence.
The Northern mother, after childbirth, is secluded for a given number of days, varying according to the sea of the new-born infant. By the law of MoSEs, the mother's purification was to last 40 days for a male, and 80 days for a female child. All other seclusions are as strict as when the wife becomes a mother. When a wife becomes a widow, and is childless, her husband's brother marries her, these were essential laws of the Hebrew, and especially the latter, that a name should not be lost in Israel.
As a mother she considers it a religious duty, that the child should receive its nourishment from the breast that gave it life: and such is the feeling in the performance of this maternal duty, that she often nurses her offspring until it attains three or four years of age. From this fact an important problem is solved, viz., the apparent tardiness in the ratio increase of the Aborigines of the North:-for it is the rule in Nature's female code (and should there be an exception, it only proves the rule), that while that affection continues from the fond practice of the mother, no other shall arise to destroy that which already exists: but, as that ceases and the first-born is put away, Nature jealous of her supremacy, again bestows upon the mother a second joy, and so continues in her undeviating course. There is, also, a direct physical analogy between the Northern mothers and those of ancient Israel; if there were not, the negative might be brought against this theory: we therefore take advantage of the affirmative. The only cause of Pharaoh's political action against the Hebrews was, that from the rapid ratio in which they multiplied, they would eventually rebel, and with, or without the assistance of any other nation entirely subdue Egypt. The ease of childbirth by the Hebrew mother is distinctly stated in Holy-Writ, in contrast to the dangerous sufferings of the Egyptian parent; from which fact may be gathered the cause of the gradual, but certain increase of the Israelites over the Egyptian population. The same peculiar facility of childbirth is one of the chief characteristics of the Northern female, for in the Rocky Mountains, while journeying in cavalcade, and being taken in travail, the mother will leave her companions alone, and within an hour, will remount her horse, and overtake her associates, with the new-born infant in her arms! The cause why the population of the Aborigines of the North is not in ratio with the ancient Hebrews, has already been alluded to, in reference to the mother's belief and practice of extended maternal duty and fondness. If, as we believe, the great ancestresses of these Northern women were Leah and Rachel—the “tendereyed,” the “beautiful and well-favoured,”—then have their daughters on the Western continent lost no features of the mothers of Israel;-for they might hang their harps upon the willows of their fate, as emblems of Jerusalem's children in captivity, and feel no shame in comparison of sorrow, grace, or beauty! The Northern Aborigines have a traditional knowledge of the Deluge and the Dove of peace, which to them under the name of the “medicine,” or “mystery bird," is sacred from the arrow of the hunter. They have their Ark of Covenant, in which is deposited some mystery, seen only by the priests of the Tribe, it is said to be a shell, and supposed to give out oracular sounds: this is in analogy to the Book of the Laws placed in the Ark of Covenant by MOSES, preceding his death on Mount Nebo, the oracular wisdom of which has guided civilization to this day. The ark is never suf. fered to touch the earth, but is always raised on a stand of wood or stone; it is invariably carried by a