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was the ancient name of the country now known by the modern name of Tartary. This is important, as will be shewn in the next volume, in tracing the encampments of the Israelites after their escape from captivity; for in the Scythian Tartary they will be found; and consequently the custom may have been derived from their own remote ancestors, who obtained it from the Scythians. The custom with both was (and in the North still is), only for a trophy of the dead, and, therefore the scalp is never taken from a living enemy. Polybius, however, has a Draconian record—viz., that upon the occasion of Gisco the Carthaginian being made prisoner, together with 700 of his soldiers, they were all scalped alive by the rebel mercenaries under Spondius. The ancients, also, wore the long scalp-locks as the flowing hair to their rude helmets and weapons: the natives of the North do the same as records of their personal victories. This subject has been dwelt upon, in order to prove its great antiquity. We may here remark that the mutilation of the dead for the purpose of numbering, was nearly a general practice among all the ancients. The Scythian, it has been shewn, took the scalp and the hair-lock; but the Assyrian and the Egyptian had another method—viz., by the number of ears sent to the king or general. This is glanced at in Ezekiel xxiii. 25; but when imposition was practised by the soldiers of the latter nation (after a general rapine and massacre), by sending home the ears of their female victims in order to increase their reward upon the supposition that they had been taken from men-an original custom of recording the slain warriors, was then introduced (to check the imposition) for proving the ser of the fallen. The latter proof of victory was a condition from David to Saul, for obtaining the daughter of the latter in marriage. [1 Samuel xviii. 25–27.] The Hebrew, therefore, followed the custom from the Egyptian, who practised it previous to David's victory over the Philistines, which was in the year of his marriage, 1063, B. c.; it is, therefore, probable that a knowledge of this Egyptian custom may have been obtained by the Hebrews during their bondage in that country—the Exodus took place 1491, B. C. The remote antiquity of these repulsive customs are, therefore, firmly established. Scalping is one of them, and is, and ever has been, practised in Northern America. While upon the subject of War, and its worst horror— viz., Rapine—it may be here mentioned again, and to the eternal honour of the Northern Aborigines, and as a stern reproof to the wars of civilization (?) that they have never been known to violate a female captive among their own race, upon the principle that it placed shame upon the warrior's glory. This noble manhood has also extended the same mercy to the white female prisoner, as to those of their own colour. Is there not the ancient Hebrew even in this 2 And is not their national abhorrence of interunion with any people but their own traceable in this custom? They, also, upon the same principle, will not marry or cohabit with the pale-face race, or with any not of their own blood. We write of the Aborigines as they were, and of the mass. There may be on the frontiers some solitary exceptions after their acquaintance with the Anglo-Saxon race ; but oftener among the women than the men. This arises not from less virtue than in the opposite sex; but, and with shame be it written, from the seduction, treachery, and desertion by the European. Most truly might a chieftain reply to a missionary who endeavoured to convert a tribe. “Teach us? What? My son has been murdered— my daughter ravished by the white-man l Learn first yourselves to obey the mandates of humanity, and prove that we do not practise them ; then come among us to preach, or teach, and we will receive you with open arms When shall we meet again upon this condition ? On Earth, white man, never !”
The marriage of the Virginian Aboriginal, Pocha’ hontas, was, after her baptism in the Christian faith, and consequently cannot be brought to bear against the preceding remarks. Many other religious customs and ceremonies exist of a minor character, yet strictly in analogy with the race of Abraham ; but enough has been brought forward in this volume to propose these (as we believe) unanswerable questions: “If they are not of the Lost Tribes of Israel, who are they P” “What nation of ancient history can claim and identify those customs and observances as their own, if not the Hebrew 2"
Then in regard to the physique of the race, they possess the essential characteristics of the ancient Hebrew in regard to physiognomy—viz., the broad and elevated forehead, the acquiline nose, the high cheekbone, brilliant red countenance, and teeth pure as ivory; black hair, the dark and heavy eyebrow, the sunken but brilliant eye, like a diamond within a ring of pearl, and both deep-set beneath a brow of ebony. Their figures in youth (from their mother's care), are models for the Apollo ; and should the Statue be lost (and with it all casts and engravings), it could be restored from a living archer; for the attitude of the Sun-God is daily assumed by them from the impulse of Nature, when they wing their arrows at the Pythons of the chase !
The reader must not imagine that our enthusiasm upon the subject has betrayed us into the language of poetic rhapsody ; for we have the authority (apart from our own experience) of Benjamin West, who, when he first arrived at Rome to commence his studies, was regarded as “a Savage from the New World.” In order to surprise him, the statue of Apollo was shewn to him with great ceremony by the Savans, who expected that he would be overwhelmed with wonder. His simple remark was, “Why, it is a model from a Ayoung North American Indian " It was the highest compliment that could have been given to the grace and dignity of the statue.
The colour of the ancient Israelite must not be judged by that of the modern Jew—for various climates, local circumstances, and confined habitations, have given the latter a dark, heavy, Swarthy countenance, and even in middle age they are bent in figure ; but the ancient light-red tint may be but the original of the sunburnt features of the Aborigines, and they, from their forest life, reach at least three score years before old age compels them to see their shadows as they walk |
The words of “the good friend” William Penn, may be given as a peculiar and powerful authority. After his first and celebrated interview with the Northern natives, he wrote to England the following sentences in reference to them : “I found them with like countenances to the Hebrew race, and their children of so lively a resemblance to them,” &c. At this, and no other time did the thought of their being of the Lost Tribes of Israel enter his imagination. The sentences, therefore, are of great importance, from the fact that they were not originally written by him to support any theory in reference to the Aborigines; but merely asserted in his letter from a strong impression of apparent truth, and which fact, to the Founder of Pensylvania, was a subject of astonishment, and there it rested ; for to him, were they Hebrew or Gentile, his kind and philanthropic heart, taught him to view them as a branch of the human family, and that to him was sufficient for forming a bond of amity His memory is cherished by the Aborigines to this day—as “the good friend.” The reader may remember the historical painting by West, of this celebrated interview, it is worthy of the subject represented.