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Title: Narrative and Critical History of America, Vol. I (of 8) - Aboriginal America
Author: Various
Language: English
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Aboriginal America


Edited by


Librarian of Harvard University
Corresponding Secretary Massachusetts Historical Society


Boston and New York
Houghton, Mifflin and Company
The Riverside Press, Cambridge

Copyright, 1889,
by Houghton, Mifflin and Company.
All rights reserved.

The Riverside Press, Cambridge, Mass., U. S. A.
Electrotyped and Printed by H. O. Houghton & Company.






_Forty years ago, you and I, having made preparation together, entered
college on the same day. We later found different spheres in the world;
and you came back to Cambridge in due time to assume your high office.
Twelve years ago, sought by you, I likewise came, to discharge a duty
under you._

_You took me away from many cares, and transferred me to the more
congenial service of the University. The change has conduced to the
progress of those studies in which I hardly remember to have had a lack
of interest._

_So I owe much to you; and it is not, I trust, surprising that I desire
to connect, in this work, your name with that of your_

_Obliged friend_,



                      CONTENTS AND ILLUSTRATIONS.

  [_The cut on the title represents a mask, which forms the centre of
  the Mexican Calendar Stone, as engraved in D. Wilson’s Prehistoric
  Man, i. 333, from a cast now in the Collection of the Society of
  Antiquaries of Scotland._]



          ILLUSTRATIONS: Portrait of Professor Ebeling, iii; of
          James Carson Brevoort, x; of Charles Deane, xi.

      OF THE EARLY VOYAGES THERETO. _The Editor_                     xix

  ILLUSTRATIONS: Title of the _Newe Unbekanthe Landte_, xxi; of
      Peter Martyr’s _De Nuper sub D. Carolo repertis insulis_
      (1521), xxii; Portrait of Grynæus, xxiv; of Sebastian
      Münster, xxvi, xxvii; of Monardes, xxix; of De Bry, xxx;
      of Feyerabend, xxxi.


      Tillinghast_                                                     1

  ILLUSTRATIONS: Maps by Macrobius, 10, 11, 12; Carli’s _Traces of
      Atlantis_, 17; Sanson’s _Atlantis Insula_, 18; Bory de St.
      Vincent’s _Carte Conjecturale de l’Atlantide_, 19; Contour
      Chart of the Bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, 20; The
      Rectangular Earth, 30.

  CRITICAL ESSAY                                                      33

  NOTES                                                               38

      A. The Form of the Earth, 38; B. Homer’s Geography, 39; C.
          Supposed References to America, 40; D. Atlantis, 41; E.
          Fabulous Islands of the Atlantic in the Middle Ages, 46;
          F. Toscanelli’s Atlantic Ocean, 51. G. (_By the Editor._)
          Early Maps of the Atlantic Ocean, 53.

  ILLUSTRATIONS: Map of the Fifteenth Century, 53; Map of Fr.
      Pizigani (A.D. 1367), and of Andreas Bianco (1436), 54;
      Catalan Map (1375), 55; Map of Andreas Benincasa (1476), 56;
      Laon Globe, 56; Maps of Bordone (1547), 57, 58; Map made at
      the End of the Fifteenth Century, 57; Ortelius’s Atlantic
      Ocean (1587), 58.


  PRE-COLUMBIAN EXPLORATIONS. _Justin Winsor_                         59

  ILLUSTRATIONS: Norse Ship, 62; Plan of a Viking Ship 63, and her
      Rowlock, 63; Norse Boat used as a Habitation, 64; Norman Ship
      from the Bayeux Tapestry, 64; Scandinavian Flags, 64;
      Scandinavian Weapons, 65; Runes, 66, 67; Fac-simile of the
      Title of the Zeno Narrative, 70; Its Section on Frisland, 71;
      Ship of the Fifteenth Century, 73; The Sea of Darkness, 74.

  CRITICAL NOTES                                                      76

      A. Early Connection of Asiatic Peoples with the Western Coast
          of America, 76; B. Ireland the Great, or White Man’s
          Land, 82; C. The Norse in Iceland, 83; D. Greenland and
          its Ruins, 85; E. The Vinland Voyages, 87; F. The Lost
          Greenland Colonies, 107; G. Madoc and the Welsh, 109; H.
          The Zeni and their Map, 111; I. Alleged Jewish Migration,
          115; J. Possible Early African Migrations, 116.

  ILLUSTRATIONS: Behring’s Sea and Adjacent Waters, 77; Buache’s
      Map of the North Pacific and Fusang, 79; Ruins of the Church
      at Kakortok, 86; Fac-simile of a Saga Manuscript and
      Autograph of C. C. Rafn, 87; Ruin at Kakortok, 88; Map of
      Julianehaab, 89; Portrait of Rafn, 90; Title-page of
      _Historia Vinlandiæ Antiguæ per Thormodum Torfæum_, 91;
      Rafn’s Map of Norse America, 95; Rafn’s Map of Vinland (New
      England), 100; View of Dighton Rock, 101; Copies of its
      Inscription, 103; Henrik Rink, 106; Fac-simile of the
      Title-page of Hans Egede’s _Det gamle Gronlands nye
      Perlustration_, 108; A British Ship of the Time of Edward I,
      110; Richard H. Major, 112; Baron Nordenskjöld, 113.

  THE CARTOGRAPHY OF GREENLAND. _The Editor_                         117

  ILLUSTRATIONS: The Maps of Claudius Clavus (1427), 118, 119; of
      Fra Mauro (1459), 120; Tabula Regionum Septentrionalium
      (1467), 121; Map of Donis (1482), 122; of Henricus Martellus
      (1489-90), 122; of Olaus Magnus (1539), 123; (1555), 124;
      (1567), 125; of Bordone (1547), 126; The Zeno Map, 127; as
      altered in the Ptolemy of 1561, 128; The  Map of Phillipus
      Gallæus (1585), 129; of Sigurd Stephanus (1570), 130; The
      Greenland of Paul Egede, 131; of Isaac de la Peyrère (1647),


  MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA. _Justin Winsor_                        133

  ILLUSTRATIONS: Clavigero’s Plan of Mexico, 143; his Map of
      Anahuac, 144; Environs du Lac de Méxique, 145; Brasseur de
      Bourbourg’s Map of Central America, 151.

  CRITICAL ESSAY                                                     153

  ILLUSTRATIONS: Manuscript of Bernal Diaz, 154; Sahagún, 156;
      Clavigero, 159; Lorenzo Boturini, 160; Frontispiece of his
      _Idea_, with his Portrait, 161; Icazbalceta, 163; Daniel G.
      Brinton, 165; Brasseur de Bourbourg, 170.

  NOTES                                                              173

      I. The Authorities on the so-called Civilization of Ancient
          Mexico and Adjacent Lands, and the Interpretation of such
          Authorities, 173; II. Bibliographical Notes upon the
          Ruins and Archæological Remains of Mexico and Central
          America, 176; III. Bibliographical Notes on the
          Picture-Writing of the Nahuas and Mayas, 197.

  ILLUSTRATIONS: The Pyramid of Cholula, 177; The Great Mound of
      Cholula, 178; Mexican Calendar Stone, 179; Court of the
      Mexico Museum, 181; Old Mexican Bridge near Tezcuco, 182; The
      Indio Triste, 183; General Plan of Mitla, 184; Sacrificial
      Stone, 185; Waldeck, 186; Désiré Charnay, 187; Charnay’s Map
      of Yucatan, 188; Ruined Temple at Uxmal, 189; Ring and Head
      from Chichen-Itza, 190; Viollet-le-Duc’s Restoration of a
      Palenqué Building, 192; Sculptures from the Temple of the
      Cross at Palenqué, 193; Plan of Copan, 194; Yucatan Types of
      Heads, 195; Plan of Quirigua, 196; Fac-simile of Landa’s
      Manuscript, 198; A Sculptured Column, 199; Palenqué
      Hieroglyphics, 201; Léon de Rosny, 202; The Dresden Codex,
      204; Codex Cortesianus, 206; Codex Perezianus, 207, 208.


  THE INCA CIVILIZATION IN PERU. _Clements R. Markham_               209

  ILLUSTRATIONS: Brasseur de Bourbourg’s Map of Northwestern South
      America, 210; Early Spanish Map of Peru, 211; Llamas, 213;
      Architectural Details at Tiahuanaca, 214; Bas-Reliefs, 215;
      Doorway and other Parts, 216; Image, 217; Broken Doorway,
      218; Tiahuanaca Restored, 219; Ruins of Sacsahuaman, 220;
      Inca Manco Ccapac, 228; Inca Yupanqui, 228; Cuzco, 229;
      Warriors of the Inca Period, 230; Plan of the Temple of the
      Sun, 234; Zodiac of Gold, 235; Quipus, 243; Inca Skull, 244;
      Ruins at Chucuito, 245; Lake Titicaca, 246, 247; Map of the
      Lake, 248; Primeval Tomb, Acora, 249; Ruins at Quellenata,
      249; Ruins at Escoma, 250; Sillustani, 250; Ruins of an
      Incarial Village, 251; Map of the Inca Road, 254; Peruvian
      Metal-Workers, 256; Peruvian Pottery, 256, 257; Unfinished
      Peruvian Cloth, 258.

  CRITICAL ESSAY                                                     259

  ILLUSTRATIONS: House in Cuzco in which Garcilasso was born, 265;
      Portraits of the Incas in the Title-page of Herrera, 267;
      William Robertson, 269; Clements R. Markham, 272; Márcos
      Jiménez de la Espada, 274.

  NOTES                                                              275

      I. Ancient People of the Peruvian Coast, 275; II. The
          Quichua Language and Literature, 278.

  ILLUSTRATIONS: Mummy from Ancon, 276; Mummy from a Huaca at
      Pisco, 277; Tapestry from the Graves of Ancon, 278; Idol from
      Timaná, 281.


      ENGLISH. _George E. Ellis_                                     283

  CRITICAL ESSAY. _George E. Ellis and the Editor_                   316



  ILLUSTRATIONS: Palæolithic Implement from the Trenton Gravels,
      331; The Trenton Gravel Bluff, 335; Section of Bluff near
      Trenton, 338; Obsidian Spear Point from the Lahontan Lake,

      MAN IN AMERICA. _Justin Winsor_                                369

  ILLUSTRATIONS: Benjamin Smith Barton, 371; Louis Agassiz, 373;
      Samuel Foster Haven, 374; Sir Daniel Wilson, 375; Professor
      Edward B. Tylor, 376; Hochelagan and Cro-magnon Skulls, 377;
      Theodor Waitz, 378; Sir John Lubbock, 379; Sir John William
      Dawson, 380; Map of Aboriginal Migrations, 381; Calaveras
      Skull, 385; Ancient Footprint from Nicaragua, 386;
      Cro-magnon, Enghis, Neanderthal, and Hochelagan Skulls, 389;
      Oscar Peschel, 391; Jeffries Wyman, 392; Map of Cape Cod,
      showing Shell Heaps, 393; Maps of the Pueblo Region, 394,
      397; Col. Charles Whittlesey, 399; Increase A. Lapham, 400;
      Plan of the Great Serpent Mound, 401; Cincinnati Tablet, 404;
      Old View of the Mounds on the Muskingum (Marietta), 405; Map
      of the Scioto Valley, showing Sites of Mounds, 406; Works at
      Newark, Ohio, 407; Major J. W. Powell, 411.


  _Justin Winsor._

  I. Bibliography of Aboriginal America                              413

  II. The Comprehensive Treatises on American Antiquities            415

  III. Bibliographical Notes on the Industries and Trade of the
           American Aborigines                                       416

  IV. Bibliographical Notes on American Linguistics                  421

  V. Bibliographical Notes on the Myths and Religions of America     429

  VI. Archæological Museums and Periodicals                          437

  ILLUSTRATIONS: Mexican Clay Mask, 419; Quetzalcoatl, 432; The
      Mexican Temple, 433; The Temple of Mexico, 434; Teoyaomiqui,
      435; Ancient Teocalli, Oaxaca, Mexico, 436.

  INDEX                                                              445


_By the Editor._


HARRISSE, in the Introduction of his _Bibliotheca Americana
Vetustissima_, enumerates and characterizes many of the bibliographies
of Americana, beginning with the chapter, “De Scriptoribus rerum
Americanarum,” in the _Bibliotheca Classica_ of Draudius, in 1622.[1]
De Laet, in his _Nieuwe Wereldt_ (1625), gives a list of about
thirty-seven authorities, which he increased somewhat in later
editions.[2] The earliest American catalogue of any moment, however,
came from a native Peruvian, Léon y Pinelo, who is usually cited by the
latter name only. He had prepared an extensive list; but he published
at Madrid, in 1629, a selection of titles only, under the designation
of _Epitome de la biblioteca oriental i occidental_,[3] which included
manuscripts as well as books. He had exceptional advantages as
chronicler of the Indies.

In 1671, in Montanus’s _Nieuwe weereld_, and in Ogilby’s _America_,
about 167 authorities are enumerated.

Sabin[4] refers to Cornelius van Beughem’s _Bibliographia Historica_,
1685, published at Amsterdam, as having the titles of books on America.

The earliest exclusively American catalogue is the _Bibliothecæ
Americanæ Primordia_ of White Kennett,[5] Bishop of Peterborough,
published in London in 1713. The arrangement of its sixteen hundred
entries is chronological; and it enters under their respective dates
the sections of such collections as Hakluyt and Ramusio.[6] It
particularly pertains to the English colonies, and more especially to
New England, where, in the eighteenth century, three distinctively
valuable American libraries are known to have existed,—that of the
Mather family, which was in large part destroyed during the battle
of Bunker Hill, in 1775; that of Thomas Prince, still in large part
existing in the Boston Public Library; and that of Governor Hutchinson,
scattered by the mob which attacked his house in Boston in 1765.[7]

In 1716 Lenglet du Fresnoy inserted a brief list (sixty titles) in his
_Méthode pour étudier la géographie_. Garcia’s _Origen de los Indias de
el nuevo mundo_, Madrid, 1729, shows a list of about seventeen hundred

In 1737-1738 Barcia enlarged Pinelo’s work, translating all his titles
into Spanish, and added numerous other entries which Rich[9] says were
“clumsily thrown together.”

Charlevoix prefixed to his _Nouvelle France_, in 1744, a list with
useful comments, which the English reader can readily approach in
Dr. Shea’s translation. A price-list which has been preserved of the
sale in Paris in 1764, _Catalogue des livres des ci-devant soi-disans
Jésuites du Collége de Clermont_, indicates the lack of competition at
that time for those choicer Americana, now so costly.[10] The _Regio
patronatu Indiarum_ of Frassus (1775) gives about 1505 authorities.
There is a chronological catalogue of books issued in the American
colonies previous to 1775, prepared by S. F. Haven, Jr., and appended
to the edition of Thomas’s _History of Printing_, published by the
American Antiquarian Society. Though by no means perfect, it is a
convenient key to most publications illustrative of American history
during the colonial period of the English possessions, and printed in
America. Dr. Robertson’s _America_ (1777) shows only 250 works, and it
indicates how far short he was of the present advantages in the study
of this subject. Clavigero surpassed all his predecessors in the lists
accompanying his _Storia del Messico_, published in 1780,—but the
special bibliography of Mexico is examined elsewhere. Equally special,
and confined to the English colonies, is the documentary register
which Jefferson inserted in his _Notes on Virginia_; but it serves to
show how scanty the records were a hundred years ago compared with the
calendars of such material now. Meuzel, in 1782, had published enough
of his _Bibliotheca Historica_ to cover the American field, though he
never completed the work as planned.

In 1789 an anonymous _Bibliotheca Americana_ of nearly sixteen hundred
entries was published in London. It is not of much value. Harrisse
and others attribute it to Reid; but by some the author’s name is
differently given as Homer, Dalrymple, and Long.[11]

An enumeration of the documentary sources (about 152 entries) used by
Muñoz in his _Historia del nuevo mundo_ (1793) is given in Fustér’s
_Biblioteca Valenciana_ (ii. 202-234) published at Valencia in

There is in the Library of Congress (Force Collection) a copy of an
_Indice de la Coleccion de manuscritos pertinecientes a la historia de
las Indias_, by Fraggia, Abella, and others, dated at Madrid, 1799.[13]

In the Sparks collection at Cornell are two other manuscript
bibliographies worthy of notice. One is a _Biblioteca Americana_, by
Antonio de Alcedo, dated in 1807. Sparks says his copy was made in 1843
from an original which Obadiah Rich had found in Madrid.[14]

Harrisse says that another copy is in the Carter-Brown Library; and
he asserts that, excepting some additions of modern American authors,
it is not much improved over Barcia’s edition of Pinelo. H. H.
Bancroft[15] mentions having a third copy, which had formerly belonged
to Prescott.

The other manuscript at Cornell is a _Bibliotheca Americana_, prepared
in twelve volumes by Arthur Homer, who had intended, but never
accomplished, the publication of it. Sparks found it in Sir Thomas
Phillipps’s library at Middlehill, and caused the copy of it to be
made, which is now at Ithaca.[16]

In 1808 Boucher de la Richarderie published at Paris his _Bibliothèque
universelle des voyages_,[17] which has in the fifth part a critical
list of all voyages to American waters. Harrisse disagrees with Peignot
in his favorable estimate of Richarderie, and traces to him the errors
of Faribault and later bibliographers.

The _Bibliotheca Hispano-Americana_ of Dr. José Mariano Beristain de
Souza was published in Mexico in 1816-1821, in three volumes. Quaritch,
pricing it at £96 in 1880, calls it the rarest and most valuable of
all American bibliographical works. It is a notice of writers who were
born, educated, or flourished in Spanish America, and naturally covers
much of interest to the historical student. The author did not live to
complete it, and his nephew finished it.

In 1818 Colonel Israel Thorndike, of Boston, bought for $6,500 the
American library of Professor Ebeling, of Germany, estimated to contain
over thirty-two hundred volumes, besides an extraordinary collection
of ten thousand maps.[18] The library was given by the purchaser to
Harvard College, and its possession at once put the library of that
institution at the head of all libraries in the United States for the
illustration of American history. No catalogue of it was ever printed,
except as a part of the General Catalogue of the College Library issued
in 1830-1834, in five volumes.

Another useful collection of Americana added to the same library was
that formed by David B. Warden, for forty years United States Consul at
Paris, who printed a catalogue of its twelve hundred volumes at Paris,
in 1820, called _Bibliotheca Americo-Septentrionalis_. The collection
in 1823 found a purchaser at $5,000, in Mr. Samuel A. Eliot, who gave
it to the College.[19]

[Illustration: EBELING.[20]]

The Harvard library, however, as well as several of the best
collections of Americana in the United States, owes more, perhaps, to
Obadiah Rich than to any other. This gentleman, a native of Boston,
was born in 1783. He went as consul of the United States to Valencia
in 1815, and there began his study of early Spanish-American history,
and undertook the gathering of a remarkable collection of books,[21]
which he threw open generously, with his own kindly assistance, to
every investigator who visited Spain for purposes of study. Here he
won the respect of Alexander H. Everett, then American minister to
the court of Spain. He captivated Irving by his helpful nature, who
says of him: “Rich was one of the most indefatigable, intelligent, and
successful bibliographers in Europe. His house at Madrid was a literary
wilderness, abounding with curious works and rare editions. ... He was
withal a man of great truthfulness and simplicity of character, of an
amiable and obliging disposition and strict integrity.” Similar was the
estimation in which he was held by Ticknor, Prescott, George Bancroft,
and many others, as Allibone has recorded.[22] In 1828 he removed
to London, where he established himself as a bookseller. From this
period, as Harrisse[23] fitly says, it was under his influence, acting
upon the lovers of books among his compatriots, that the passion for
forming collections of books exclusively American grew up.[24] In those
days the cost of books now esteemed rare was trifling compared with
the prices demanded at present. Rich had a prescience in his calling,
and the beginnings of the great libraries of Colonel Aspinwall, Peter
Force, James Lenox, and John Carter Brown were made under his fostering
eye; which was just as kindly vigilant for Grenville, who was then
forming out of the income of his sinecure office the great collection
which he gave to the British nation in recompense for his support.[25]
In London, watching the book-markets and making his catalogue, Rich
continued to live for the rest of his life (he died in February, 1850),
except for a period when he was the United States consul at Port
Mahon in the Balearic Islands. His bibliographies are still valuable,
his annotations in them are trustworthy, and their records are the
starting-points of the growth of prices. His issues and reissues of
them are somewhat complicated by supplements and combinations, but
collectors and bibliographers place them on their shelves in the
following order:

1. _A Catalogue of books relating principally to America, arranged
under the years in which they were printed_ (1500-1700), London, 1832.
This included four hundred and eighty-six numbers, those designated
by a star without price being understood to be in Colonel Aspinwall’s
collection. Two small supplements were added to this.

2. _Bibliotheca Americana Nova, printed since 1700 (to 1800)_, London,
1835. Two hundred and fifty copies were printed. A supplement appeared
in 1841, and this became again a part of his.

3. _Bibliotheca Americana Nova_, vol. i. (1701-1800); vol. ii.
(1801-1844), which was printed (250 copies) in London in 1846.[26]

It was in 1833 that Colonel Thomas Aspinwall, of Boston, who was for
thirty-eight years the American consul at London, printed at Paris
a catalogue of his collection of Americana, where seven hundred and
seventy-one lots included, beside much that was ordinarily useful, a
great number of the rarest of books on American history. Harrisse has
called Colonel Aspinwall, not without justice, “a bibliophile of great
tact and activity.” All but the rarest part of his collection was
subsequently burned in 1863, when it had passed into the hands of Mr.
Samuel L. M. Barlow,[27] of New York.

M. Ternaux-Compans, who had collected—as Mr. Brevoort thinks[28]—the
most extensive library of books on America ever brought together,
printed his _Bibliothèque Américaine_[29] in 1837 at Paris. It
embraced 1,154 works, arranged chronologically, and all of them of a
date before 1700. The titles were abridged, and accompanied by French
translations. His annotations were scant; and other students besides
Rich have regretted that so learned a man had not more benefited his
fellow-students by ampler notes.[30]

Also in 1837 appeared the _Catalogue d’ouvrages sur l’histoire de
l’Amérique_, of G. B. Faribault, which was published at Quebec, and was
more specially devoted to books on New France.[31]

With the works of Rich and Ternaux the bibliography of Americana
may be considered to have acquired a distinct recognition; and the
succeeding survey of this field may be more conveniently made if we
group the contributors by some broad discriminations of the motives
influencing them, though such distinctions sometimes become confluent.

First, as regards what may be termed professional bibliography. One of
the earliest workers in the new spirit was a Dresden jurist, Hermann E.
Ludewig, who came to the United States in 1844, and prepared an account
of the _Literature of American local history_, which was published in
1846. This was followed by a supplement, pertaining wholly to New York
State, which appeared in _The Literary World_, February 19, 1848. He
had previously published in the _Serapeum_ at Leipsic (1845, pp. 209)
accounts of American libraries and bibliography, which were the first
contributions to this subject.[32] Some years later, in 1858, there
was published in London a monograph on _The Literature of the American
Aboriginal Linguistics_,[33] which had been undertaken by Mr. Ludewig
but had not been carried through the press, when he died, Dec. 12,

We owe to a Franco-American citizen the most important bibliography
which we have respecting the first half century of American history;
for the _Bibliotheca Americana Vetustissima_ only comes down to 1551
in its chronological arrangement. Mr. Brevoort[35] very properly
characterizes it as “a work which lightens the labors of such as have
to investigate early American history.”[36]

It was under the hospitable roof of Mr. Barlow’s library in New York
that, “having gloated for years over second-hand compilations,”
Harrisse says that he found himself “for the first time within reach
of the fountain-heads of history.” Here he gathered the materials for
his _Notes on Columbus_, which were, as he says, like “pencil marks
varnished over.” These first appeared less perfectly than later, in
the _New York Commercial Advertiser_, under the title of “Columbus
in a Nut-shell.” Mr. Harrisse had also prepared (four copies only
printed) for Mr. Barlow in 1864 the _Bibliotheca Barlowiana_, which is
a descriptive catalogue of the rarest books in the Barlow-Aspinwall
Collection, touching especially the books on Virginian and New England
history between 1602 and 1680.

Mr. Barlow now (1864) sumptuously printed the _Notes on Columbus_
in a volume (ninety-nine copies) for private distribution. For some
reason not apparent, there were expressions in this admirable treatise
which offended some; as when, for instance (p. vii), he spoke of being
debarred the privileges of a much-vaunted public library, referring
to the Astor Library. Similar inadvertences again brought him hostile
criticism, when two years later (1866) he printed with considerable
typographical luxury his _Bibliotheca Americana Vetustissima_, which
was published in New York. It embraces something over three hundred
entries.[37] The work is not without errors; and Mr. Henry Stevens,
who claims that he was wrongly accused in the book, gave it a bad
name in the _London Athenæum_ of Oct. 6, 1866, where an unfortunate
slip, in making “Ander Schiffahrt”[38] a personage, is unmercifully
ridiculed. A committee of the Société de Géographie in Paris, of which
M. Ernest Desjardins was spokesman, came to the rescue, and printed a
_Rapport sur les deux ouvrages de bibliographie Américaine de M. Henri
Harrisse_, Paris, 1867. In this document the claim is unguardedly
made that Harrisse’s book was the earliest piece of solid erudition
which America had produced,—a phrase qualified later as applying to
works of American bibliography only. It was pointed out that while
for the period of 1492-1551 Rich had given twenty titles, and Ternaux
fifty-eight, Harrisse had enumerated three hundred and eight.[39]

Harrisse prepared, while shut up in Paris during the siege of 1870,
his _Notes sur la Nouvelle France_, a valuable bibliographical essay
referred to elsewhere.[40] He later put in shape the material which he
had gathered for a supplemental volume to his _Bibliotheca Americana
Vetustissima_, which he called _Additions_,[41] and published it in
Paris in 1872. In his introduction to this latter volume he shows how
thoroughly he has searched the libraries of Europe for new evidences of
interest in America during the first half century after its discovery.
He notes the depredations upon the older libraries which have been
made in recent years, since the prices for rare Americana have ruled
so high. He finds[42] that the Biblioteca Colombina at Seville, as
compared with a catalogue of it made by Ferdinand Columbus himself, has
suffered immense losses. “It is curious to notice,” he finally says,
“how few of the original books relating to the early history of the New
World can be found in the public libraries of Europe. There is not a
literary institution, however rich and ancient, which in this respect
could compare with three or four private libraries in America. The
Marciana at Venice is probably the richest. The Trivulgiana at Milan
can boast of several great rarities.”

For the third contributor to the recent bibliography of Americana, we
must still turn to an adopted citizen, Joseph Sabin, an Englishman by
birth. Various publishing enterprises of interest to the historical
student are associated with Mr. Sabin’s name. He published a quarto
series of reprints of early American tracts, eleven in number, and an
octavo series, seven in number.[43] He published for several years,
beginning in 1869, the _American Bibliopolist_, a record of new books,
with literary miscellanies, largely upon Americana. In 1867 he began
the publication (five hundred copies) of the most extensive American
bibliography yet made, _A Dictionary of books relating to America, from
its discovery to the present time_. The author’s death, in 1881,[44]
left the work somewhat more than half done, and it has been continued
since his death by his sons.[45]

In the _Notas Para una bibliografia de obras anonimas i seudonimas_
of Diego Barros Arana, published at Santiago de Chile in 1882, five
hundred and seven books on America (1493-1876), without authors, are
traced to their writers.

       *       *       *       *       *

As a second class of contributors to the bibliographical records of
America, we must reckon the students who have gathered libraries for
use in pursuing their historical studies. Foremost among such, and
entitled to be esteemed a pioneer in the modern spirit of research, is
Alexander von Humboldt. He published his _Examen critique de l’histoire
de la géographie du nouveau continent_,[46] in five volumes, between
1836 and 1839.[47] “It is,” says Brevoort,[48] “a guide which all
must consult. With a master hand the author combines and collates all
attainable materials, and draws light from sources which _he_ first
brings to bear in his exhaustive investigations.” Harrisse calls it
“the greatest monument ever erected to the early history of this

Humboldt’s library was bought by Henry Stevens, who printed in 1863,
in London, a catalogue of it, showing 11,164 entries; but this was not
published till 1870. It included a set of the _Examen critique_, with
corrections, and the notes for a new sixth volume.[49] Harrisse, who
it is believed contemplated at one time a new edition of this book,
alleges that through the remissness of the purchaser of the library
the world has lost sight of these precious memorials of Humboldt’s
unperfected labors. Stevens, in the _London Athenæum_, October, 1866,
rebuts the charge.[50]

Of the collection of books and manuscripts formed by Col. Peter Force
we have no separate record, apart from their making a portion of the
general catalogue of the Library of Congress, the Government having
bought the collection in 1867.[51]

The library which Jared Sparks formed during the progress of his
historical labors was sold about 1872 to Cornell University, and is now
at Ithaca. Mr. Sparks left behind him “imperfect but not unfaithful
lists of his books,” which, after some supervision by Dr. Cogswell and
others, were put in shape for the press by Mr. Charles A. Cutter of
the Boston Athenæum, and were printed, in 1871, as _Catalogue of the
Library of Jared Sparks_. In the appendix was a list of the historical
manuscripts, originals and copies, which are now on deposit in Harvard
College Library.[52]

In 1849 Mr. H. R. Schoolcraft[53] printed, at the expense of the United
States Government, a _Bibliographical Catalogue of books, etc., in
the Indian tongues of the United States_,—a list later reprinted with
additions in his _Indian Tribes_ (in 1851), vol. iv.[54]

In 1861 Mr. Ephraim George Squier published at New York a monograph
on authors who had written in the languages of Central America,
enumerating one hundred and ten, with a list of the books and
manuscripts on the history, the aborigines, and the antiquities of
Central America, borrowed from other sources in part. At the sale of
Mr. Squier’s library in 1876, the catalogue[55] of which was made by
Mr. Sabin, the entire collection of his manuscripts fell, as mentioned
elsewhere,[56] into the hands of Mr. Hubert Howe Bancroft of San

Probably the largest collection of books and manuscripts[57] which
any American has formed for use in writing is that which belongs to
Mr. Bancroft. He is the organizer of an extensive series of books on
the antiquities and history of the Pacific coast. To accomplish an
examination of the aboriginal and civilized history of so large a
field[58] as thoroughly as he has unquestionably made it, within a
lifetime, was a bold undertaking, to be carried out in a centre of
material rather than of literary enterprise. The task involved the
gathering of a library of printed books, at a distance from the purely
intellectual activity of the country, and where no other collection of
moment existed to supplement it. It required the seeking and making
of manuscripts, from the labor of which one might well shrink. It was
fortunate that during the gathering of this collection some notable
collections—like those of Maximilian,[59] Ramirez, and Squier, not to
name others—were opportunely brought to the hammer, a chance by which
Mr. Bancroft naturally profited.

Mr. Bancroft had been trained in the business habits of the book
trade, in which he had established himself in San Francisco as early
as 1856.[60] He was at this time twenty-four years old, having been
born of New England stock in Ohio in 1832, and having had already four
years residence—since 1852—in San Francisco as the agent of an eastern
bookseller. It was not till 1869 that he set seriously to work on his
history, and organized a staff of assistants.[61] They indexed his
library, which was now large (12,000 volumes) and was kept on an upper
floor of his business quarters, and they classified the references
in paper bags.[62] His first idea was to make an encyclopædia of
the antiquities and history of the Pacific Coast; and it is on the
whole unfortunate that he abandoned the scheme, for his methods were
admirably adapted to that end, but of questionable application to a
sustained plan of historical treatment. It is the encyclopedic quality
of his work, as the user eliminates what he wishes, which makes and
will continue to make the books that pass under his name of the first
importance to historical students.

In 1875 the first five volumes of the series, denominated by
themselves _The Native Races of the Pacific States_, made their
appearance. It was clear that a new force had been brought to bear upon
historical research,—the force of organized labor from many hands;
and this implied competent administrative direction and ungrudged
expenditure of money. The work showed the faults of such a method, in
a want of uniform discrimination, and in that promiscuous avidity of
search, which marks rather an eagerness to amass than a judgment to
select, and give literary perspective. The book, however, was accepted
as extremely useful and promising to the future inquirer. Despite
a certain callowness of manner, the _Native Races_ was extremely
creditable, with comparatively little of the patronizing and flippant
air which its flattering reception has since begotten in its author or
his staff. An unfamiliarity with the amenities of literary life seems
unexpectedly to have been more apparent also in his later work.

In April, 1876, Mr. Lewis H. Morgan printed in the _North American
Review_, under the title of “Montezuma’s Dinner,” a paper in which he
controverted the views expressed in the _Native Races_ regarding the
kind of aboriginal civilization belonging to the Mexican and Central
American table-lands. A writer of Mr. Morgan’s reputation commanded
respect in all but Mr. Bancroft, who has been unwise enough to charge
him with seeking “to gain notoriety by attacking” his (Mr. B.’s) views
or supposed views. He dares also to characterize so well-known an
authority as “a person going about from one reviewer to another begging
condemnation for my _Native Races_.” It was this ungracious tone which
produced a divided reception for his new venture. This, after an
interval of seven years, began to make its appearance in vol. vi. of
the “Works,” or vol. i. of the _History of Central America_, appearing
in the autumn of 1882.

The changed tone of the new series, its rhetoric, ambitious in parts,
but mixed with passages which are often forceful and exact, suggestive
of an ill-assorted conjoint production; the interlarding of classic
allusions by some retained reviser who served this purpose for one
volume at least; a certain cheap reasoning and ranting philosophy,
which gives place at times to conceptions of grasp; flippancy
and egotism, which induce a patronizing air under the guise of a
constrained adulation of others; a want of knowledge on points where
the system of indexing employed by his staff had been deficient,—these
traits served to separate the criticism of students from the ordinary
laudation of such as were dazed by the magnitude of the scheme.

Two reviews challenging his merits on these grounds[63] induced
Mr. Bancroft to reply in a tract[64] called _The Early American
Chroniclers_. The manner of this rejoinder is more offensive than
that of the volumes which it defends; and with bitter language he
charges the reviewers with being “men of Morgan,” working in concert to
prejudice his success.

But the controversy of which record is here made is unworthy of the
principal party to it. His important work needs no such adventitious
support; and the occasion for it might have been avoided by ordinary
prudence. The extent of the library upon which the work[65] is based,
and the full citation of the authorities followed in his notes, and the
more general enumeration of them in his preliminary lists, make the
work pre-eminent for its bibliographical extent, however insufficient,
and at times careless, is the bibliographical record.[66]

The library formed by the late Henry C. Murphy of Brooklyn to assist
him in his projected history of maritime discovery in America, of which
only the chapter on Verrazano[67] has been printed, was the creation
of diligent search for many years, part of which was spent in Holland
as minister of the United States. The earliest record of it is a
_Catalogue of an American library chronologically arranged_, which was
privately printed in a few copies, about 1850, and showed five hundred
and eighty-nine entries between the years 1480 and 1800.[68]


There has been no catalogue printed of the library of Mr. James Carson
Brevoort, so well known as a historical student and bibliographer, to
whom Mr. Sabin dedicated the first volume of his _Dictionary_. Some of
the choicer portions of his collection are understood to have become a
part of the Astor Library, of which Mr. Brevoort was for a few years
the superintendent, as well as a trustee.[69]

The useful and choice collection of Mr. Charles Deane, of Cambridge,
Mass., to which, as the reader will discover, the Editor has often had
recourse, has never been catalogued. Mr. Deane has made excellent use
of it, as his tracts and papers abundantly show.[70]

       *       *       *       *       *

A distinct class of helpers in the field of American bibliography
has been those gatherers of libraries who are included under the
somewhat indefinite term of collectors,—owners of books, but who
make no considerable dependence upon them for studies which lead to
publication. From such, however, in some instances, bibliography has
notably gained,—as in the careful knowledge which Mr. James Lenox
sometimes dispensed to scholars either in privately printed issues or
in the pages of periodicals.

[Illustration: CHARLES DEANE.]

Harrisse in 1866 pointed to five Americana libraries in the United
States as surpassing all of their kind in Europe,—the Carter-Brown,
Barlow, Force, Murphy, and Lenox collections. Of the Barlow, Force (now
in the Library of Congress), and Murphy collections mention has already
been made.

The Lenox Library is no longer private, having been given to a board
of trustees by Mr. Lenox previous to his death,[71] and handsomely
housed, by whom it is held for a restricted public use, when fully
catalogued and arranged. Its character, as containing only rare or
unusual books, will necessarily withdraw it from the use of all but
scholars engaged in recondite studies. It is very rich in other
directions than American history; but in this department the partial
access which Harrisse had to it while in Mr. Lenox’s house led him to
infer that it would hold the first rank. The wealth of its alcoves,
with their twenty-eight thousand volumes, is becoming known gradually
in a series of bibliographical monographs, printed as contributions
to its catalogue, of which six have thus far appeared, some of them
clearly and mainly the work of Mr. Lenox himself.

Of these only three have illustrated American history in any
degree,—those devoted to the voyages of Hulsius and Thévenot, and to
the Jesuit Relations (Canada).[72]

The only rival of the Lenox is the library of the late John Carter
Brown, of Providence, gathered largely under the supervision of
John Russell Bartlett; and since Mr. Brown’s death it has been more
particularly under the same oversight.[73] It differs from the Lenox
Library in that it is exclusively American, or nearly so,[74] and
still more in that we have access to a thorough catalogue of its
resources, made by Mr. Bartlett himself, and sumptuously printed.[75]
It was originally issued as _Bibliotheca Americana: A Catalogue of
books relating to North and South America in the Library of John
Carter Brown of Providence, with notes by John Russell Bartlett_, in
three volumes,—vol. i., 1493-1600, in 1865 (302 entries); vol. ii.,
1601-1700, in 1866 (1,160 entries); vol. iii., 1701-1800, in two parts,
in 1870-1871 (4,173 entries).

In 1875 vol. i. was reprinted with fuller titles, covering the
years 1482[76]-1601, with 600 entries, doubling the extent of that
portion.[77] Numerous facsimiles of titles and maps add much to its
value. A second and similarly extended edition of vol. ii. (1600-1700)
was printed in 1882, showing 1,642 entries. The _Carter-Brown
Catalogue_, as it is ordinarily cited, is the most extensive printed
list of all Americana previous to 1800, more especially anterior to
1700, which now exists.[78]

Of the other important American catalogues, the first place is to be
assigned to that of the collection formed at Hartford by Mr. George
Brinley, the sale of which since his death[79] has been undertaken
under the direction of Dr. J. Hammond Trumbull,[80] who has prepared
the catalogue, and who claims—not without warrant—that it embraces
“a greater number of volumes remarkable for their rarity, value, and
interest to special collectors and to book-lovers in general, than were
ever before brought together in an American sale-room.”[81]

The library of William Menzies, of New York, was sold in 1875,
from a catalogue made by Joseph Sabin.[82] The library of Edward
A. Crowninshield, of Boston, was catalogued in Boston in 1859, but
withdrawn from public sale, and sold to Henry Stevens, who took a
portion of it to London. It was not large,—the catalogue shows less
than 1,200 titles,—and was not exclusively American; but it was rich in
some of the rarest of such books, particularly in regard to the English

The sale of John Allan’s collection in New York, in 1864, was a
noteworthy one. Americana, however, were but a portion of the
collection.[84] An English-American flavor of far less fineness, but
represented in a catalogue showing a very large collection of books and
pamphlets,[85] was sold in New York in May, 1870, as the property of
Mr. E. P. Boon.

Mr. Thomas W. Field issued in 1873 _An Essay towards an Indian
Bibliography, being a Catalogue of books relating to the American
Indians_, in his own library, with a few others which he did
not possess, distinguished by an asterisk. Mr. Field added many
bibliographical and historical notes, and gave synopses, so that
the catalogue is generally useful to the student of Americana, as
he did not confine his survey to works dealing exclusively with the
aborigines. The library upon which this bibliography was based was
sold at public auction in New York, in two parts, in May, 1875 (3,324
titles), according to a catalogue which is a distinct publication from
the _Essay_.[86]

The collection of Mr. Almon W. Griswold was dispersed by printed
catalogues in 1876 and 1880, the former containing the American
portion, rich in many of the rarer books.

Of the various private collections elsewhere than in the United
States, more or less rich in Americana, mention may be made of the
_Bibliotheca Mejicana_[87] of Augustin Fischer, London, 1869; of the
Spanish-American libraries of Gregorio Beéche, whose catalogue was
printed at Valparaiso in 1879; and that of Benjamin Vicuña Mackenna,
printed at the same place in 1861.[88]

In Leipsic, the catalogue of Serge Sobolewski (1873)[89] was
particularly helpful in the bibliography of Ptolemy, and in the voyages
of De Bry and others. Some of the rarest of Americana were sold in
the Sunderland sale[90] in London in 1881-1883; and remarkably rich
collections were those of Pinart and Bourbourg,[91] sold in Paris in
1883, and that of Dr. J. Court,[92] the first part of which was sold in
Paris in May, 1884. The second part had little of interest.

       *       *       *       *       *

Still another distinctive kind of bibliographies is found in the
catalogues of the better class of dealers; and among the best of such
is to be placed the various lists printed by Henry Stevens, a native of
Vermont, who has spent most of his manhood in London. In the dedication
to John Carter Brown of his _Schedule of Nuggets_ (1870), he gives
some account of his early bibliographical quests.[93] Two years after
graduating at Yale, he says, he had passed “at Cambridge, reading
passively with legal Story, and actively with historical Sparks, all
the while sifting and digesting the treasures of the Harvard Library.
For five years previously he had scouted through several States during
his vacations, prospecting in out-of-the-way places for historical
nuggets, mousing through town libraries and country garrets in search
of anything old that was historically new for Peter Force and his
American Archives.... From Vermont to Delaware many an antiquated
churn, sequestered hen-coop, and dilapidated flour-barrel had yielded
to him rich harvests of old papers, musty books, and golden pamphlets.
Finally, in 1845, an irrefragable desire impelled him to visit the
Old World, its libraries and book-stalls. Mr. Brown’s enlightened
liberality in those primitive years of his bibliographical pupilage
contributed largely towards the boiling of his kettle.... In acquiring
_con amore_ these American Historiadores Primitivos, he ... travelled
far and near. In this labor of love, this journey of life, his tracks
often become your tracks, his labors your works, his _libri_ your
_liberi_,” he adds, in addressing Mr. Brown.

In 1848 Mr. Stevens proposed the publication, through the Smithsonian
Institution, of a general _Bibliographia Americana_, illustrating the
sources of early American history;[94] but the project failed, and
one or more attempts later made to begin the work also stopped short
of a beginning. While working as a literary agent of the Smithsonian
Institution and other libraries, in these years, and beginning that
systematic selection of American books, for the British Museum and
Bodleian, which has made these libraries so nearly, if not quite, the
equal of any collection of Americana in the United States, he also
made the transcriptions and indexes of the documents in the State
Paper Office which respectively concern the States of New Jersey,
Rhode Island, Maryland, and Virginia. These labors are now preserved
in the archives of those States.[95] Perhaps the earliest of his sale
catalogues was that of a pseudo “Count Mondidier,” embracing Americana,
which were sold in London in December, 1851.[96] His _English Library_
in 1853 was without any distinctive American flavor; but in 1854 he
began, but suspended after two numbers, the _American Bibliographer_
(100 copies).[97] In 1856 he prepared a _Catalogue of American Books
and Maps in the British Museum_ (20,000 titles), which, however,
was never regularly published, but copies bear date 1859, 1862, and
1866.[98] In 1858—though most copies are dated 1862[99]—appeared his
_Historical Nuggets; Bibliotheca Americana, or a descriptive Account
of my Collection of rare books relating to America_. The two little
volumes show about three thousand titles, and Harrisse says they
are printed “with remarkable accuracy.” There was begun in 1885, in
connection with his son Mr. Henry Newton Stevens, a continuation
of these _Nuggets_. In 1861 a sale catalogue of his _Bibliotheca
Americana_ (2,415 lots), issued by Puttick and Simpson, and in part
an abridgment of the _Nuggets_ with similarly careful collations, was
accepted by Maisonneuve as the model of his _Bibliothèque Américaine_
later to be mentioned.[100]

In 1869-1870 Mr. Stevens visited America, and printed at New Haven
his _Historical and Geographical Notes on the earliest discoveries in
America_, 1453-1530, with photo-lithographic facsimiles of some of
the earliest maps. It is a valuable essay, much referred to, in which
the author endeavored to indicate the entanglement of the Asiatic and
American coast lines in the early cartography.[101]

In 1870 he sold at Boston a collection of five thousand volumes,
catalogued as _Bibliotheca Historica_[102] (2,545 entries), being
mostly Americana, from the library of the elder Henry Stevens of
Vermont. It has a characteristic introduction, with an array of
readable notes.[103] His catalogues have often such annotations,
inserted on a principle which he explains in the introduction to
this one: “In the course of many years of bibliographical study and
research, having picked up various isolated grains of knowledge
respecting the early history, geography, and bibliography of this
western hemisphere, the writer has thought it well to pigeon-hole the
facts in notes long and short.”

In October, 1870, he printed at London a _Schedule of Two Thousand
American Historical Nuggets taken from the Stevens Diggings in
September, 1870, and set down in Chronological Order of Printing from
1490 to 1800 [1776], described and recommended as a Supplement to my
printed Bibliotheca Americana_. It included 1,350 titles.

In 1872 he sold another collection, largely Americana, according
to a catalogue entitled _Bibliotheca Geographica & Historica; or,
a Catalogue of [3,109 lots], illustrative of historical geography
and geographical history. Collected, used, and described, with an
Introductory Essay on Catalogues, and how to make them upon the Stevens
system of photo-bibliography_. The title calls it a first part; but
no second part ever appeared. Ten copies were issued, with about four
hundred photographic copies of titles inserted. Some copies are found
without the essay.[104]

The next year (1873) he issued a privately printed list of two thousand
titles of American “Continuations,” as they are called by librarians,
or serial publications in progress as taken at the British Museum,
quaintly terming the list _American books with tails to ’em_.[105]

Finally, in 1881, he printed Part I. of _Stevens’s Historical
Collections_, a sale catalogue showing 1,625 titles of books, chiefly
Americana, and including his Franklin Collection of manuscripts, which
he later privately sold to the United States Government, an agent of
the Boston Public Library yielding to the nation.[106]

One of the earliest to establish an antiquarian bookshop in the United
States was the late Samuel G. Drake, who opened one in Boston in
1830.[107] His special field was that of the North American Indians;
and the history and antiquities of the aborigines, together with the
history of the English Colonies, give a character to his numerous
catalogues.[108] Mr. Drake died in 1875, from a cold taken at a sale of
the library of Daniel Webster; and his final collections of books were
scattered in two sales in the following year.[109]

William Gowans, of New York, was another of the early dealers in
Americana.[110] The catalogues of Bartlett and Welford have already
been mentioned. In 1854, while Garrigue and Christern were acting
as agents of Mr. Lenox, they printed _Livres Curieux_, a list of
desiderata sought for by Mr. Lenox, pertaining to such rarities as the
letters of Columbus, Cartier, parts of De Bry and Hulsius, and the
Jesuit Relations. This list was circulated widely through Europe, but
not twenty out of the 216 titles were ever offered.[111]

About 1856, Charles B. Norton, of New York, began to issue American
catalogues; and in 1857 he established _Norton’s Literary Letter_,
intended to foster interest in the collection of Americana.[112] A
little later, Joel Munsell, of Albany, began to issue catalogues;[113]
and J. W. Randolph, of Richmond, Virginia, more particularly
illustrated the history of the southern parts of the United
States.[114] The most important Americana lists at present issued by
American dealers are those of Robert Clarke & Co., of Cincinnati, which
are admirable specimens of such lists.[115]

In England, the catalogues of Henry Stevens and E. G. Allen have
been already mentioned. The leading English dealer at present in the
choicer books of Americana, as of all other subjects—and it is not too
much to say, the leading one of the world—is Mr. Bernard Quaritch,
a Prussian by birth, who was born in 1819, and after some service
in the book-trade in his native country came to London in 1842, and
entered the service of Henry G. Bohn, under whose instruction, and as
a fellow-employé of Lowndes the bibliographer, he laid the foundations
of a remarkable bibliographical acquaintance. A short service in
Paris brought him the friendship of Brunet. Again (1845) he returned
to Mr. Bohn’s shop; but in April, 1847, he began business in London
for himself. He issued his catalogues at once on a small scale; but
they took their well-known distinctive form in 1848, which they have
retained, except during the interval December, 1854,-May, 1864, when,
to secure favorable consideration in the post-office rates, the
serial was called _The Museum_. It has been his habit, at intervals,
to collect his occasional catalogues into volumes, and provide them
with an index. The first of these (7,000 entries) was issued in 1860.
Others have been issued in 1864, 1868, 1870, 1874, 1877 (this with
the preceding constituting one work, showing nearly 45,000 entries
or 200,000 volumes), and 1880 (describing 28,009 books).[116] In the
preface to this last catalogue he says: “The prices of useful and
learned books are in all cases moderate; the prices of palæographical
and bibliographical curiosities are no doubt in most cases high, that
indeed being a natural result of the great rivalry between English,
French, and American collectors.... A fine copy of any edition of a
book is, and ought to be, more than twice as costly as any other.”[117]
While the Quaritch catalogues have been general, they have included a
large share of the rarest Americana, whose titles have been illustrated
with bibliographical notes characterized by intimate acquaintance with
the secrets of the more curious lore.

The catalogues of John Russell Smith (1849, 1853, 1865, 1867), and of
his successor Alfred Russell Smith (1871, 1874), are useful aids in
this department.[118] The _Bibliotheca Hispano-Americana_ of Trübner,
printed in 1870, offered about thirteen hundred items.[119] Occasional
reference can be usefully made to the lists of George Bumstead, Ellis
and White, John Camden Hotten, all of London, and to those of William
George of Bristol. The latest extensive Americana catalogue is _A
catalogue of rare and curious books, all of which relate more or less
to America_, on sale by F. S. Ellis, London, 1884. It shows three
hundred and forty-two titles, including many of the rarer books, which
are held at prices startling even to one accustomed to the rapid rise
in the cost of books of this description. Many of them were sold by
auction in 1885.

In France, since Ternaux, the most important contribution has come from
the house of Maisonneuve et Cie., by whom the _Bibliotheca Americana_
of Charles Leclerc has been successively issued to represent their
extraordinary stock. The first edition was printed in 1867 (1,647
entries), the second in 1878[120] (2,638 entries, with an admirable
index), besides a first supplement in 1881 (nos. 2,639-3,029).
Mr. Quaritch characterizes it as edited “with admirable skill and

Less important but useful lists, issued in France, have been those of
Hector Bossange, Edwin Tross,[121] and the current _Americana_ series
of Dufossé, which was begun in 1876.[122]

In Holland, most admirable work has been done by Frederik Muller, of
Amsterdam, and by Mr. Asher, Mr. Tiele, and Mr. Otto Harrassowitz under
his patronage, of which ample accounts are given in another place.[123]
Muller’s catalogues were begun in 1850, but did not reach distinctive
merit till 1872.[124] Martin Nijhoff, at the Hague, has also issued
some American catalogues.

In 1858 Muller sold one of his collections of Americana to Brockhaus,
of Leipsic, and the _Bibliothèque Américaine_ issued by that publisher
in 1861, as representing this collection, was compiled by one of the
editors of the _Serapeum_, Paul Trömel, whom Harrisse characterizes as
an “expert bibliographer and trustworthy scholar.” The list shows 435
entries by a chronological arrangement (1507-1700). Brockhaus again, in
1866, issued another American list, showing books since 1508, arranged
topically (nos. 7,261-8,611). Mr. Otto Harrassowitz, of Leipsic, a
pupil of Muller, of Amsterdam, has also entered the field as a purveyor
of choice Americana. T. O. Weigel, of Leipsic, issued a catalogue,
largely American, in 1877.

       *       *       *       *       *

So well known are the general bibliographies of Watt, Lowndes, Brunet,
Graesse, and others, that it is not necessary to point out their
distinctive merits.[125] Students in this field are familiar with the
catalogues of the chief American libraries. The library of Harvard
College has not issued a catalogue since 1834, though it now prints
bulletins of its current accessions. An admirable catalogue of the
Boston Athenæum brings the record of that collection down to 1871.
The numerous catalogues of the Boston Public Library are of much use,
especially the distinct volume given to the Prince Collection. The
Massachusetts Historical Society’s library has a catalogue printed
in 1859-60. There has been no catalogue of the American Antiquarian
Society since 1837, and the New England Historic Genealogical Society
has never printed any; nor has the Congregational Library. The State
Library at Boston issued a catalogue in 1880. These libraries, with
the Carter-Brown Library at Providence, which is courteously opened to
students properly introduced, probably make Boston within easy distance
of a larger proportion of the books illustrating American history, than
can be reached with equal convenience from any other literary centre.
A book on the private libraries of Boston was compiled by Luther
Farnham in 1855; but many of the private collections then existing have
since been scattered.[126] General Horatio Rogers has made a similar
record of those in Providence. After the Carter-Brown Collection, the
most valuable of these private libraries in New England is probably
that of Mr. Charles Deane in Cambridge, of which mention has already
been made. The collection of the Rev. Henry M. Dexter, D.D., of New
Bedford, is probably unexampled in this country for the history of the
Congregational movement, which so largely affected the early history of
the English Colonies.[127]

Two other centres in the United States are of the first importance in
this respect. In Washington, with the Library of Congress (of which
a general consolidated catalogue is now printing), embracing as it
does the collection formed by Col. Peter Force, and supplementing
the archives of the Government, an investigator of American history
is situated extremely favorably.[128] In New York the Astor and
Lenox libraries, with those of the New York Historical Society and
American Geographical Society, give the student great opportunities.
The catalogue of the Astor Library was printed in 1857-66, and that
of the Historical Society in 1859. No general catalogue of the Lenox
Library has yet been printed. An account of the private libraries of
New York was published by Dr. Wynne in 1860. The libraries of the
chief importance at the present time, in respect to American history,
are those of Mr. S. L. M. Barlow in New York, and of Mr. James Carson
Brevoort in Brooklyn. Mr. Charles H. Kalbfleisch of New York has a
small collection, but it embraces some of the rarest books. The New
York State Library at Albany is the chief of the libraries of its
class, and its principal characteristic pertains to American history.

The other chief American cities are of much less importance as centres
for historical research. The Philadelphia Library and the collection of
the Historical Society of Pennsylvania are hardly of distinctive value,
except in regard to the history of that State. In Baltimore the library
of the Peabody Institute, of which the first volume of an excellent
catalogue has been printed, and that of the Maryland Historical Society
are scarcely sufficient for exhaustive research. The private library
of Mr. H. H. Bancroft constitutes the only important resource of the
Pacific States;[129] and the most important collection in Canada is
that represented by the catalogue of the Library of Parliament, which
was printed in 1858.

This enumeration is intended only to indicate the chief places for
ease of general investigation in American history. Other localities are
rich in local helps, and accounts of such will be found elsewhere in
the present History.[130]


_By the Editor._


OF the earliest collection of voyages of which we have any mention we
possess only a defective copy, which is in the Biblioteca Marciana,
and is called _Libretto de tutta la navigazione del Rè di Spagna delle
isole e terreni nuovamente scoperti stampato per Vercellese_. It was
published at Venice in 1504,[131] and is said to contain the first
three voyages of Columbus. This account, together with the narrative of
Cabral’s voyage printed at Rome and Milan, and an original—at present
unknown—of Vespucius’ third voyage, were embodied, with other matter,
in the _Paesi novamente retrovati et novo mondo da Alberico Vesputio
Florentino intitulato_, published at Vicentia in 1507,[132] and again
possibly at Vicentia in 1508,—though the evidence is wanting to support
the statement,—but certainly at Milan in that year (1508).[133] There
were later editions in 1512,[134] 1517,[135] 1519[136] (published at
Milan), and 1521.[137] There are also German,[138] Low German,[139]
Latin,[140] and French[141] translations.

While this Zorzi-Montalboddo compilation was flourishing, an Italian
scholar, domiciled in Spain, was recording, largely at first hand, the
varied reports of the voyages which were then opening a new existence
to the world. This was Peter Martyr, of whom Harrisse[142] cites an
early and quaint sketch from Hernando Alonso de Herrera’s _Disputatio
adversus Aristotelez_ (1517).[143] The general historians have always
made due acknowledgment of his service to them.[144]

Harrisse could find no evidence of Martyr’s First Decade having
been printed at Seville as early as 1500, as is sometimes stated;
but it has been held that a translation of it,—though no copy is now
known,—made by Angelo Trigviano into Italian was the _Libretto de tutta
la navigazione del Rè di Spagna_, already mentioned.[145] The earliest
unquestioned edition was that of 1511, which was printed at Seville
with the title _Legatio Babylonica_; it contained nine books and a part
of the tenth book of the First Decade.[146] In 1516 a new edition,
without map, was printed at Alcalá in Roman letter. The part of the
tenth book of the First Decade in the 1511 edition is here annexed to
the ninth, and a new tenth book is added, besides two other decades,
making three in all.[147]

There exists what has been called a German version (_Die Schiffung
mitt dem lanndt der Gulden Insel_) of the First Decade, in which the
supposed author is called Johan von Angliara; and its date is 1520,
or thereabout; but Mr. Deane, who has the book, says that it is not
Martyr’s.[148] Some _Poemata_, which had originally been included
in the publication of the First Decade, were separately printed in


At Basle in 1521 appeared his _De nuper sub D. Carolo repertis
insulis_, the title of which is annexed in fac-simile. Harrisse[150]
has called it an extract from the Fourth Decade; and a similar
statement is made in the _Carter-Brown Catalogue_ (vol. i. no. 67). But
Stevens and other authorities define it as a substitute for the lost
First Letter of Cortes, touching the expedition of Grijalva and the
invasion of Mexico; and it supplements, rather than overlaps, Martyr’s
other narratives.[151] Mr. Deane contends that if the Fourth Decade had
then been written, this might well be considered an abridgment of it.

The first complete edition (_De orbe novo_) of all the eight decades
was published in 1530 at Complutum; and with it is usually found the
map (“Tipus orbis universalis”) of Apianus, which originally appeared
in Camer’s _Solinus_ in 1520. In this new issue the map has its date
changed to 1530.[152]

In 1532, at Paris, appeared an abridgment in French of the first three
decades, together with an abstract of Martyr’s _De insulis_ (Basle,
1521), followed by abridgments of the printed second and third letters
of Cortes,—the whole bearing the title, _Extraict ov Recveil des Isles
nouuellemēt trouuees en la grand mer Oceane en temps du roy Despaigne
Fernād & Elizabeth sa femme, faict premierement en latin par Pierre
Martyr de Millan, & depuis translate en languaige francoys_.[153]

[Illustration: DE NVPER

SVB D. CAROLO REPERtis Insulis, simulqæ incolarum moribus, R. Petri
Martyris, Enchiridion, Dominæ Margaritæ, Diui Max. Cæs. filiæ dicatum.


In 1533, at Basle, in folio, we find the first three decades and the
tract of 1521 (_De insulis_) united in _De rebus oceanicis et orbe

At Venice, in 1534, the _Summario de la generale historia de l’Indie
occidentali_ was a joint issue of Martyr and Oviedo, under the editing
of Ramusio.[155] An edition of Martyr, published at Paris in 1536,
sometimes mentioned,[156] does not apparently exist;[157] but an
edition of 1537 is noted by Sabin.[158] In 1555 Richard Eden’s _Decades
of the Newe Worlde, or West India_, appeared in black-letter at London.
It is made up in large part from Martyr,[159] and was the basis of
Richard Willes’ edition of Eden in 1577, which included the first four
decades, and an abridgment of the last four, with additions from Oviedo
and others,—all under the new name, _The History of Trauayle_.[160]

There was an edition again at Cologne in 1574,—the one which Robertson
used.[161] Three decades and the _De insulis_ are also included in a
composite folio published at Basle in 1582, containing also Benzoni
and Levinus, all in German.[162] The entire eight decades, in Latin,
which had not been printed together since the Basle edition of 1530,
were published in Paris in 1587 under the editing of Richard Hakluyt,
with the title: _De orbe novo Petri Martyris Anglerii Mediolanensis,
protonotarij, et Caroli quinti senatoris Decades octo, diligenti
temporum obseruatione, et vtilissimis annotationibus illustratæ, suôque
nitori restitutæ, labore et industria Richardi Haklvyti Oxoniensis
Angli. Additus est in vsum lectoris accuratus totius operis index_.
Parisiis, apud Gvillelmvm Avvray, 1587. With its “F. G.” map, it is
exceedingly rare.[163]

[Illustration: GRYNÆUS.

Fac-simile of cut in Reusner’s _Icones_ (Strasburg, 1590), p. 107.]

As illustrating in some sort his more labored work, the _Opus
epistolarum Petri Martyris_ was first printed at Complutum in
1530.[164] The letters were again published at Amsterdam, in 1670,[165]
in an edition which had the care of Ch. Patin, to which was appended
other letters by Fernando del Pulgar.[166]

The most extensive of the early collections was the _Novus orbis_,
which was issued in separate editions at Basle and Paris in 1532.
Simon Grynæus, a learned professor at Basle, signed the preface; and
it usually passes under his name. Grynæus was born in Swabia, was
a friend of Luther, visited England in 1531, and died in Basle, in
1541. The compilation, however, is the work of a canon of Strasburg,
John Huttich (born about 1480; died, 1544), but the labor of revision
fell on Grynæus.[167] It has the first three voyages of Columbus, and
those of Pinzon and Vespucius; the rest of the book is taken up with
the travels of Marco Polo and his successors to the East.[168] It
next appeared in a German translation at Strasburg in 1534, which was
made by Michal Herr, _Die New Welt_. It has no map, gives more from
Martyr than the other edition, and substitutes a preface by Herr for
that of Grynæus.[169] The original Latin was reproduced at Basle again
in 1537, with 1536 in the colophon.[170] In 1555 another edition was
printed at Basle, enlarged upon the 1537 edition by the insertion of
the second and third of the Cortes letters and some accounts of efforts
in converting the Indians.[171] Those portions relating to America
exclusively were reprinted in the Latin at Rotterdam in 1616.[172]

Sebastian Münster, who was born in 1489, was forty-three years old
when his map of the world—which is preserved in the Paris (1532)
edition of the _Novus orbis_—appeared. This is the first time that
Münster significantly comes before us as a describer of the geography
of the New World. Again in 1540 and 1542 he was associated with the
editions of Ptolemy issued at Basle in those years.[173] It is,
however, upon his _Cosmographia_, among his forty books, that Münster’s
fame chiefly rests. The earliest editions are extremely rare, and seem
not to be clearly defined by the bibliographers. It appears to have
been originally issued in German, probably in 1544 at Basle,[174]
under the mixed title: _Cosmographia. Beschreibūg aller lender Durch
Sebastianum Munsterum. Getruckt zü Basel durch Henrichum Petri, Anno
MDxliiij._[175] He says that he had been engaged upon it for eighteen
years, keeping Strabo before him as a model. To the section devoted to
Asia he adds a few pages “Von den neüwen inseln” (folios dcxxxv-dcxlij).

[Illustration: MÜNSTER.

Fac-simile of the cut in the _Ptolemy_ of 1552.]

This account was scant; and though it was a little enlarged in the
second edition in 1545,[176] it remained of small extent through
subsequent editions, and was confined to ten pages in that of 1614.
The last of the German editions appeared in 1628.[177] The earliest
undoubted Latin text[178] appeared at Basle in 1550, with the same
series of new views, etc., by Manuel Deutsch, which were given in the
German edition of that date.[179] With nothing but a change of title
apparently, there were reissues of this edition in 1551, 1552, and
1554,[180] and again in 1559.[181] The edition of 1572 has the same
map, “Novæ insulæ,” used in the 1554 editions; but new names are added,
and new plates of Cusco and Cuba are also furnished.[182]

[Illustration: MÜNSTER.

Fac-simile of a cut in Reusner’s _Icones_ (Strasburg, 1590), p. 171.]

The earliest French edition, according to Brunet,[183] appeared in
1552; and other editions followed in that language.[184] Eden gave the
fifth book an English dress in 1553, which was again issued in 1572 and
1574.[185] A Bohemian edition, made by Jan z Puchowa, _Kozmograffia
Czieská_, was issued in 1554.[186] The first Italian edition was
printed at Basle in 1558, using the engraved plates of the other
Basle issues; and finally, in 1575, an Italian edition, according to
Brunet,[187] appeared at Colonia.

[Illustration: MONARDES.]

The best-known collection of voyages of the sixteenth century is that
of Ramusio, whose third volume—compiled probably in 1553, and printed
in 1556—is given exclusively to American voyages.[188] It contains,
however, little regarding Columbus not given by Peter Martyr and
Oviedo, except the letter to Fracastoro.[189] In Ramusio the narratives
of these early voyages first got a careful and considerate editor, who
at this time was ripe in knowledge and experience, for he was well
beyond sixty,[190] and he had given his maturer years to historical
and geographical study. He had at one time maintained a school for
topographical studies in his own house. Oviedo tells us of the
assistance Ramusio was to him in his work. Locke has praised his labors
without stint.[191]

Monardes, one of the distinguished Spanish physicians of this time, was
busy seeking for the simples and curatives of the New World plants,
as the adventurers to New Spain brought them back. The original issue
of his work was the _Dos Libros_, published at Seville in 1565,
treating “of all things brought from our West Indies which are used in
medicine, and of the Bezaar Stone, and the herb Escuerçonera.” This
book is become rare, and is priced as high as 200 francs and £9.[192]
The “segunda parte” is sometimes found separately with the date 1571;
but in 1574 a third part was printed with the other two,—making the
complete work, _Historia medicinal de nuestras Indias_,—and these were
again issued in 1580.[193] An Italian version, by Annibale Briganti,
appeared at Venice in 1575 and 1589,[194] and a French, with Du Jardin,
in 1602.[195] There were three English editions printed under the title
of _Joyfull Newes out of the newe founde world, wherein is declared the
rare and singular virtues of diverse and sundry Herbes, Trees, Oyles,
Plantes, and Stones, by Doctor Monardus of Sevill, Englished by John
Frampton_, which first appeared in 1577, and was reprinted in 1580,
with additions from Monardes’ other tracts, and again in 1596.[196]

The Spanish historians of affairs in Mexico, Peru, and Florida are
grouped in the _Hispanicarum rerum scriptores_, published at Frankfort
in 1579-1581, in three volumes.[197] Of Richard Hakluyt and his several
collections,—the _Divers Voyages_ of 1582, the _Principall Navigations_
of 1589, and his enlarged edition, of which the third volume (1600)
relates to America,—there is an account in Vol. III. of the present

[Illustration: PORTRAIT OF DE BRY.

This follows a print given in fac-simile in the _Carter-Brown
Catalogue_, i. 316.]

The great undertaking of De Bry was also begun towards the close
of the same century. De Bry was an engraver at Frankfort, and his
professional labors had made him acquainted with works of travel. The
influence of Hakluyt and a visit to the English editor stimulated him
to undertake a task similar to that of the English compiler.

[Illustration: FEYERABEND.

Sigmund Feyerabend was a prominent bookseller of his day in Frankfort,
and was born about 1527 or 1528. He was an engraver himself, and was
associated with De Bry in the publications of his _Voyages_.]

He resolved to include both the Old and New World; and he finally
produced his volumes simultaneously in Latin and German. As he gave
a larger size to the American parts than to the others, the commonly
used title, referring to this difference, was soon established as
_Grands et petits voyages_.[199] Theodore De Bry himself died in March,
1598; but the work was carried forward by his widow, by his sons John
Theodore and John Israel, and by his sons-in-law Matthew Merian and
William Fitzer. The task was not finished till 1634, when twenty-five
parts had been printed in the Latin, of which thirteen pertain to
America; but the German has one more part in the American series.
His first part—which was Hariot’s _Virginia_—was printed not only in
Latin and German, but also in the original English[200] and in French;
but there seeming to be no adequate demand in these languages, the
subsequent issues were confined to Latin and German. There was a gap in
the dates of publication between 1600 (when the ninth part is called
“postrema pars”) and 1619-1620, when the tenth and eleventh parts
appeared at Oppenheim, and a twelfth at Frankfort in 1624. A thirteenth
and fourteenth part appeared in German in 1628 and 1630; and these,
translated together into Latin, completed the Latin series in 1634.

Without attempting any bibliographical description,[201] the succession
and editions of the American parts will be briefly enumerated:—

=I.= _Hariot’s Virginia._ In Latin, English, German, and French, in
1590; four or more impressions of the Latin the same year. Other
editions of the German in 1600 and 1620.

=II=. _Le Moyne’s Florida._ In Latin, 1591 and 1609; in German, 1591,

=III.= _Von Staden’s Brazil._ In Latin, 1592, 1605, 1630; in German,
1593 (twice).

=IV.= _Benzoni’s New World._ In Latin, 1594 (twice), 1644; in German,
1594, 1613.

=V.= _Continuation of Benzoni._ In Latin, 1595 (twice); in German, two
editions without date, probably 1595 and 1613.

=VI.= _Continuation of Benzoni (Peru)._ In Latin, 1596, 1597, 1617; in
German, 1597, 1619.

=VII.= _Schmidel’s Brazil._ In Latin, 1599, 1625; in German, 1597,
1600, 1617.

=VIII.= _Drake, Candish, and Ralegh._ In Latin, 1599 (twice), 1625; in
German, 1599, 1624.

=IX.= _Acosta_, etc. In Latin, 1602, 1633; in German, probably 1601;
“additamentum,” 1602; and again entire after 1620.

=X.= _Vespucius, Hamor, and John Smith._ In Latin, 1619 (twice); in
German, 1618.

=XI.= _Schouten and Spilbergen._ In Latin, 1619,—appendix, 1620; in
German, 1619,—appendix, 1620.

=XII.= _Herrera._ In Latin, 1624; in German, 1623.

=XIII.= _Miscellaneous_,—_Cabot_, etc. In Latin, 1634; in German, the
first seven sections in 1627 (sometimes 1628); and sections 8-15 in

_Elenchus: Historia Americæ sive Novus orbis_, 1634 (three issues).
This is a table of the Contents to the edition which Merian was selling
in 1634 under a collective title.

The foregoing enumeration makes no recognition of the almost
innumerable varieties caused by combination, which sometimes pass for
new editions. Some of the editions of the same date are usually called
“counterfeits;” and there are doubts, even, if some of those here named
really deserve recognition as distinct editions.[202]

While there is distinctive merit in De Bry’s collection, which caused
it to have a due effect in its day on the progress of geographical
knowledge,[203] it must be confessed that a certain meretricious
reputation has become attached to the work as the test of a collector’s
assiduity, and of his supply of money, quite disproportioned to
the relative use of the collection in these days to a student.
This artificial appreciation has no doubt been largely due to the
engravings, which form so attractive a feature in the series, and
which, while they in many cases are the honest rendering of genuine
sketches, are certainly in not a few the merest fancy of some

There are several publications of the De Brys sometimes found grouped
with the _Voyages_ as a part, though not properly so, of the series.
Such are Las Casas’ _Narratio regionum Indicarum_; the voyages of the
“Silberne Welt,” by Arthus von Dantzig, and of Olivier van Noort;[205]
the _Rerum et urbis Amstelodamensium historia_ of Pontanus, with its
Dutch voyages to the north; and the _Navigations aux Indes par les

Another of De Bry’s editors, Gasper Ens, published in 1680 his
_West-unnd-Ost Indischer Lustgart_, which is a summary of the sources
of American history.[207]

There are various abridgments of De Bry. The earliest is Ziegler’s
_America_, Frankfort, 1614,[208] which is made up from the first nine
parts of the German _Grands Voyages_. The _Historia antipodum, oder
Newe Welt_ (1631), is the first twelve parts condensed by Johann Ludwig
Gottfried, otherwise known as Johann Phillippe Abelin, who was, in
Merian’s day, a co-laborer on the _Voyages_. He uses a large number of
the plates from the larger work.[209] The chief rival collection of De
Bry is that of Hulsius, which is described elsewhere.[210]

Collections now became numerous. Conrad Löw’s _Meer oder Seehanen Buch_
was published at Cologne in 1598.[211] The Dutch Collection of Voyages,
issued by Cornelius Claesz, appeared in uniform style between 1598 and
1603, but it never had a collective title. It gives the voyages of
Cavendish and Drake.[212]

It was well into the next century (1613) when Purchas began his
publications, of which there is an account elsewhere.[213] Hieronymus
Megiser’s _Septentrio novantiquus_ was published at Leipsic in 1613.
In a single volume it gave the Zeni and later accounts of the North,
besides narratives pertaining to New France and Virginia.[214] The
_Journalen van de Reysen op Oostindie_ of Michael Colijn, published
at Amsterdam in 1619, is called by Muller[215] the first series of
voyages published in Dutch with a collective title. It includes,
notwithstanding the title, Cavendish, Drake, and Raleigh. Another Dutch
folio, Herckmans’ _Der Zeevaert lof_, etc. (Amsterdam, 1634), does not
include any American voyages.[216] The celebrated Dutch collection,
edited by Isaac Commelin, at Amsterdam, and known as the _Begin en
Voortgangh van de Oost-Indische Compagnie_, would seem originally to
have included, among its voyages to the East and North,[217] those of
Raleigh and Cavendish; but they were later omitted.[218]

The collection of Thevenot was issued in 1663; but this has been
described elsewhere.[219] The collection usually cited as Dapper’s was
printed at Amsterdam, 1669-1729, in folio (thirteen volumes). It has no
collective title, but among the volumes are two touching America,—the
_Beschrijvinge_ of Montanus,[220] and Nienhof’s _Brasiliaansche Zee-en
Lantreize_.[221] A small collection, _Recueil de divers voyages faits
en Africa et en l’Amérique_,[222] was published in Paris by Billaine
in 1674. It includes Blome’s Jamaica, Laborde on the Caribs, etc. Some
of the later American voyages were also printed in the second edition
of a Swedish _Reesa-book_, printed at Wysingzborg in 1674, 1675.[223]
The Italian collection, _Il genio vagante_, was printed at Parma in
1691-1693, in four volumes.

_An Account of Several Voyages_ (London, 1694) gives Narborough’s to
Magellan’s Straits, and Marten’s to Greenland.

The important English _Collection of Voyages and Travels_ which passes
under the name of its publisher, Churchill, took its earliest form
in 1704, appearing in four volumes; but was afterwards increased by
two additional volumes in 1733, and by two more in 1744,—these last,
sometimes called the _Oxford Voyages_, being made up from material in
the library of the Earl of Oxford. It was reissued complete in 1752. It
has an introductory discourse by Caleb Locke; and this, and some other
of its contents, constitutes the _Histoire de la navigation_, Paris,

John Harris, an English divine, had compiled a _Collection of Voyages_
in 1702 which was a rival of Churchill’s, differing from it in being
an historical summary of all voyages, instead of a collection of some.
Harris wrote the Introduction; but it is questionable how much else he
had to do with it.[225] It was revised and reissued in 1744-1748 by Dr.
John Campbell, and in this form it is often regarded as a supplement
to Churchill.[226] It was reprinted in two volumes, folio, with
continuations to date, in 1764.[227]

The well-known Dutch collection (_Voyagien_) of Vander Aa was printed
at Leyden in 1706, 1707. It gives voyages to all parts of the world
made between 1246 and 1693. He borrows from Herrera, Acosta, Purchas,
De Bry, and all available sources, and illuminates the whole with
about five hundred maps and plates. In its original form it made
twenty-eight, sometimes thirty, volumes of small size, in black-letter,
and eight volumes in folio, both editions being issued at the same time
and from the same type. In this larger form the voyages are arranged
by nations; and it was the unsold copies of this edition which, with
a new general title, constitutes the edition of 1727. In the smaller
form the arrangement is chronological. In the folio edition the voyages
to Spanish America previous to 1540 constitute volumes three and four;
while the English voyages, to 1696, are in volumes five and six.[228]

In 1707 Du Perier’s _Histoire universelle des voyages_ had not so
wide a scope as its title indicated, being confined to the early
Spanish voyages to America;[229] the proposed subsequent volumes
not having been printed. An English translation, under Du Perier’s
name, was issued in London in 1708;[230] but when reissued in 1711,
with a different title, it credited the authorship to the Abbé
Bellegarde.[231] In 1711, also, Captain John Stevens published in
London his _New Collection of Voyages_; but Lawson’s Carolina and
Cieza’s Peru were the only American sections.[232] In 1715 the French
collection known as Bernard’s _Recueil de voiages au Nord_, was begun
at Amsterdam. A pretty wide interpretation is given to the restricted
designation of the title, and voyages to California, Louisiana, the
Upper Mississippi (Hennepin), Virginia, and Georgia are included.[233]
Daniel Coxe, in 1741, united in one volume _A Collection of Voyages_,
three of which he had already printed separately, including Captain
James’s to the Northwest. A single volume of a collection called _The
American Traveller_ appeared in London in 1743.[234]

The collection known as _Astley’s Voyages_ was published in London in
four volumes in 1745-1747; the editor was John Green, whose name is
sometimes attached to the work. It gives the travels of Marco Polo,
but has nothing of the early voyages to America,[235]—these being
intended for later volumes, were never printed. These four volumes were
translated, with some errors and omissions, into French, and constitute
the first nine volumes of the Abbé Prevost’s _Histoire générale des
voyages_, begun in Paris in 1746, and completed, in twenty quarto
volumes, in 1789.[236] An octavo edition was printed (1749-1770) in
seventy-five volumes.[237] It was again reprinted at the Hague in
twenty-five volumes quarto (1747-1780), with considerable revision,
following the original English, and with Green’s assistance; besides
showing some additions. The Dutch editor was P. de Hondt, who also
issued an edition in Dutch in twenty-one volumes quarto,—including,
however, only the first seventeen volumes of his French edition, thus
omitting those chiefly concerning America.[238] A small collection
of little moment, _A New Universal Collection of Voyages_, appeared
in London in 1755.[239] De Brosses’ Histoire des navigations aux
terres australes depuis 1501 (Paris, 1756), two volumes quarto, covers
Vespucius, Magellan, Drake, and Cavendish.[240]

Several English collections appeared in the next few years; among which
are _The World Displayed_ (London, 1759-1761), twenty vols. 16mo,—of
which seven volumes are on American voyages, compiled from the larger
collections,[241]—and _A Curious Collection of Travels_ (London, 1761)
is in eight volumes, three of which are devoted to America.[242]

The Abbé de la Porte’s _Voyageur François_, in forty-two volumes,
1765-1795 (there are other dates), may be mentioned to warn the
student of its historical warp with a fictitious woof.[243] John
Barrows’ _Collection of Voyages_ (London, 1765), in three small
volumes, was translated into French by Targe under the title of _Abrégé
chronologique_. John Callender’s _Voyages to the Terra australis_
(London, 1766-1788), three volumes, translated for the first time a
number of the narratives in De Bry, Hulsius, and Thevenot. It gives
the voyages of Vespucius, Magellan, Drake, Galle, Cavendish, Hawkins,
and others.[244] Dodsley’s _Compendium of Voyages_ was published
in the same year (1766) in seven volumes.[245] The _New Collection
of Voyages_, generally referred to as Knox’s, from the publisher’s
name, appeared in seven volumes in 1767, the first three volumes
covering American explorations.[246] In 1770 Edward Cavendish Drake’s
_New Universal Collection of Voyages_ was published at London. The
narratives are concise, and of a very popular character.[247] David
Henry, a magazinist of the day, published in 1773-1774 _An Historical
Account of all the Voyages Round the World by English Navigators_,
beginning with Drake and Cavendish.[248]

La Harpe issued in Paris, 1780-1801, in thirty-two volumes,—Comeyras
editing the last eleven,—his _Abrégé de l’histoire générale des
voyages_, which proved a more readable and popular book than Prévost’s
collection. There have been later editions and continuations.[249]

Johann Reinhold Forster made a positive contribution to this field
of compilation when he printed his _Geschichte der Entdeckungen und
Schifffahrten im Norden_ at Frankfort in 1785.[250] He goes back to
the earliest explorations, and considers the credibility of the Zeno
narrative. He starts with Gomez for the Spanish section. A French
collection by Berenger, _Voyages faits autour du monde_ (Paris,
1788-1789), is very scant on Magellan, Drake, and Cavendish. A
collection was published in London (1789) by Richardson on the voyages
of the Portuguese and Spaniards during the fifteenth and sixteenth
centuries. Mavor’s _Voyages, Travels, and Discoveries_ (London,
1796-1802), twenty-five volumes, is a condensed treatment, which passed
to other editions in 1810 and 1813-1815.

A standard compilation appeared in John Pinkerton’s _General Collection
of Voyages_ (London, 1808-1814), in seventeen volumes,[251] with over
two hundred maps and plates, repeating the essential English narratives
of earlier collections, and translating those from foreign languages
afresh, preserving largely the language of the explorers. Pinkerton, as
an editor, was learned, but somewhat pedantic and over-confident; and
a certain agglutinizing habit indicates a process of amassment rather
than of selection and assimilation. Volumes xii., xiii., and xiv. are
given to America; but the operations of the Spaniards on the main, and
particularly on the Pacific coast of North America, are rather scantily

In 1808 was begun, under the supervision of Malte-Brun and others, the
well-known _Annales des voyages_, which was continued to 1815, making
twenty-five volumes. A new series, _Nouvelles annales des voyages_, was
begun in 1819. The whole work is an important gathering of original
sources and learned comment, and is in considerable part devoted to
America. A French _Collection abrégée des voyages_, by Bancarel,
appeared in Paris in 1808-1809, in twelve volumes.

_The Collection of the best Voyages and Travels_, compiled by Robert
Kerr, and published in Edinburgh in 1811-1824, in eighteen octavo
volumes, is a useful one, though the scheme was not wholly carried
out. It includes an historical essay on the progress of navigation
and discovery by W. Stevenson. It also includes among others the
Northmen and Zeni voyages, the travels of Marco Polo and Galvano, the
African discoveries of the Portuguese. The voyages of Columbus and his
successors begin in vol. iii.; and the narratives of these voyages are
continued through vol. vi., though those of Drake, Cavendish, Hawkins,
Davis, Magellan, and others come later in the series.

The _Histoire générale des voyages_, undertaken by C. A. Walkenaer in
1826, was stopped in 1831, after twenty-one octavos had been printed,
without exhausting the African portion.

The early Dutch voyages are commemorated in Bennet and Wijk’s
_Nederlandsche Ontdekkingen in America_, etc., which was issued at
Utrecht in 1827,[253] and in their _Nederlandsche Zeereizen_, printed
at Dordrecht in 1828-1830, in five volumes octavo. It contains
Linschoten, Hudson, etc.

Albert Montémont’s _Bibliothèque universelle des voyages_ was published
in Paris, 1833-1836, in forty-six volumes.

G. A. Wimmer’s _Die Enthüllung des Erdkreises_ (Vienna, 1834), five
volumes octavo, is a general summary, which gives in the last two
volumes the voyages to America and to the South Seas.[254]

In 1837 Henri Ternaux-Compans began the publication of his _Voyages,
relations, et mémoires originaux pour servir à l’histoire de la
découverte de l’Amérique_, of which an account is given on another page
(see p. vi).

The collection of F. C. Marmocchi, _Raccolta di viaggi dalla scoperta
del Nuevo Continente_, was published at Prato in 1840-1843, in five
volumes; it includes the Navarrete collection on Columbus, Xeres on
Pizarro, and other of the Spanish narratives.[255] The last volume of a
collection in twelve volumes published in Paris, _Nouvelle bibliothèque
des voyages_, is also given to America.

The Hakluyt Society in London began its valuable series of publications
in 1847, and has admirably kept up its work to the present time,
having issued its volumes generally under satisfactory editing. Its
publications are not sold outside of its membership, except at second

Under the editing of José Ferrer de Couto and José March y Labores,
and with the royal patronage, a _Historia de la marina real Española_
was published in Madrid, in two volumes, 1849 and 1854. It relates the
early voyages.[257] Édouard Charton’s _Voyageurs anciens et modernes_
was published in four volumes in Paris, 1855-1857; and it passed
subsequently to a new edition.[258]

A summarized account of the Portuguese and Spanish discoveries, from
Prince Henry to Pizarro, was published in German by Theodor Vogel, and
also in English in 1877.

A _Nouvelle histoire des voyages_, by Richard Cortambert, is the
latest and most popular presentation of the subject, opening with the
explorations of Columbus and his successors; and Édouard Cat’s _Les
grandes découvertes maritimes du treizième au seizième siècle_ (Paris,
1882) is another popular book.






_Assistant Librarian of Harvard University._

AS Columbus, in August, 1498, ran into the mouth of the Orinoco,
he little thought that before him lay, silent but irrefutable, the
proof of the futility of his long-cherished hopes. His gratification
at the completeness of his success, in that God had permitted the
accomplishment of all his predictions, to the confusion of those who
had opposed and derided him, never left him; even in the fever which
overtook him on the last voyage his strong faith cried to him, “Why
dost thou falter in thy trust in God? He gave thee India!” In this
belief he died. The conviction that Hayti was Cipangu, that Cuba was
Cathay, did not long outlive its author; the discovery of the Pacific
soon made it clear that a new world and another sea lay between the
landfall of Columbus and the goal of his endeavors.

The truth, when revealed and accepted, was a surprise more profound
to the learned than even the error it displaced. The possibility of
a short passage westward to Cathay was important to merchants and
adventurers, startling to courtiers and ecclesiastics, but to men of
classical learning it was only a corroboration of the teaching of the
ancients. That a barrier to such passage should be detected in the very
spot where the outskirts of Asia had been imagined, was unexpected
and unwelcome. The treasures of Mexico and Peru could not satisfy
the demand for the products of the East; Cortes gave himself, in his
later years, to the search for a strait which might yet make good the
anticipations of the earlier discoverers. The new interpretation, if
economically disappointing, had yet an interest of its own. Whence came
the human population of the unveiled continent? How had its existence
escaped the wisdom of Greece and Rome? Had it done so? Clearly, since
the whole human race had been renewed through Noah, the red men of
America must have descended from the patriarch; in some way, at some
time, the New World had been discovered and populated from the Old.
Had knowledge of this event lapsed from the minds of men before their
memories were committed to writing, or did reminiscences exist in
ancient literatures, overlooked, or misunderstood by modern ignorance?
Scholars were not wanting, nor has their line since wholly failed, who
freely devoted their ingenuity to the solution of these questions, but
with a success so diverse in its results, that the inquiry is still
pertinent, especially since the pursuit, even though on the main point
it end in reservation of judgment, enables us to understand from what
source and by what channels the inspiration came which held Columbus so
steadily to his westward course.

Although the elder civilizations of Assyria and Egypt boasted a
cultivation of astronomy long anterior to the heroic age of Greece,
their cosmographical ideas appear to have been rude and undeveloped,
so that whatever the Greeks borrowed thence was of small importance
compared with what they themselves ascertained. While it may be doubted
if decisive testimony can be extorted from the earliest Grecian
literature, represented chiefly by the Homeric and Hesiodic poems, it
is probable that the people among whom that literature grew up had not
gone, in their conception of the universe, beyond simple acceptance
of the direct evidence of their senses. The earth they looked upon
as a plane, stretching away from the Ægean Sea, the focus of their
knowledge, and ever less distinctly known, until it ended in an horizon
of pure ignorance, girdled by the deep-flowing current of the river
Oceanus. Beyond Oceanus even fancy began to fail: there was the realm
of dust and darkness, the home of the powerless spirits of the dead;
there, too, the hemisphere of heaven joined its brother hemisphere of
Tartarus.[259] This conception of the earth was not confined to Homeric
times, but remained the common belief throughout the course of Grecian
history, underlying and outlasting many of the speculations of the

That growing intellectual activity which was signalized by a notable
development of trade and colonization in the eighth century, in the
seventh awoke to consciousness in a series of attempts to formulate
the conditions of existence. The philosophy of nature thus originated,
wherein the testimony of nature in her own behalf was little sought
or understood, began with the assumption of a flat earth, variously
shaped, and as variously supported. To whom belongs the honor of first
propounding the theory of the spherical form of the earth cannot be
known. It was taught by the Italian Pythagoreans of the sixth century,
and was probably one of the doctrines of Pythagoras himself, as it was,
a little later, of Parmenides, the founder of the Eleatics.[260]

In neither case can there be a claim for scientific discovery. The
earth was a sphere because the sphere was the most perfect form; it was
at the centre of the universe because that was the place of honor; it
was motionless because motion was less dignified than rest.

Plato, who was familiar with the doctrines of the Pythagoreans, adopted
their view of the form of the earth, and did much to popularize it
among his countrymen.[261] To the generation that succeeded him, the
sphericity of the earth was a fact as capable of logical demonstration
as a geometrical theorem. Aristotle, in his treatise “On the Heaven,”
after detailing the views of those philosophers who regarded the
earth as flat, drum-shaped, or cylindrical, gives a formal summary
of the grounds which necessitate the assumption of its sphericity,
specifying the tendency of all things to seek the centre, the unvarying
circularity of the earth’s shadow at eclipses of the moon, and the
proportionate change in the altitude of stars resulting from changes
in the observer’s latitude. Aristotle made the doctrine orthodox; his
successors, Eratosthenes, Hipparchus, and Ptolemy, constituted it an
inalienable possession of the race. Greece transmitted it to Rome, Rome
impressed it upon barbaric Europe; taught by Pliny, Hyginus, Manilius,
expressed in the works of Cicero, Virgil, Ovid, it passed into the
school-books of the Middle Ages, whence, reinforced by Arabian lore, it
has come down to us.[262]

That the belief ever became in antiquity or in the Middle Ages widely
spread among the people is improbable; it did not indeed escape
opposition among the educated; writers even of the Augustan age
sometimes appear in doubt.[263]

The sphericity of the earth once comprehended, there follow certain
corollaries which the Greeks were not slow to perceive. Plato, indeed,
who likened the earth to a ball covered with party-colored strips
of leather, gives no estimate of its size, although the description
of the world in the _Phaedo_ seems to imply immense magnitude;[264]
but Aristotle states that mathematicians of his day estimated the
circumference at 400,000 stadia,[265] and Archimedes puts the common
reckoning at somewhat less than 300,000 stadia.[266] How these figures
were obtained we are not informed. The first measurement of the earth
which rests on a known method was that made about the middle of the
third century B.C., by Eratosthenes, the librarian at Alexandria, who,
by comparing the estimated linear distance between Syene, under the
tropic, and Alexandria with their angular distance, as deduced from
observations on the shadow of the gnomon at Alexandria, concluded that
the circumference of the earth was 250,000 or 252,000 stadia.[267] This
result, owing to an uncertainty as to the exact length of the stade
used in the computation, cannot be interpreted with confidence, but
if we assume that it was in truth about twelve per cent. too large,
we shall probably not be far out of the way.[268] Hipparchus, in many
matters the opponent of Eratosthenes, adopted his conclusion on this
point, and was followed by Strabo,[269] by Pliny, who regarded the
attempt as somewhat over-bold, but so cleverly argued that it could not
be disregarded,[270] and by many others.

Fortunately, as it resulted, this overestimate was not allowed to stand
uncontested. Posidonius of Rhodes (B.C. 135-51), by an independent
calculation based upon the difference in altitude of Canopus at Rhodes
and at Alexandria, reached a result which is reported by Cleomedes
as 240,000, and by Strabo as 180,000 stadia.[271] The final judgment
of Posidonius apparently approved the smaller number; it hit, at all
events, the fancy of the time, and was adopted by Marinus of Tyre and
by Ptolemy,[272] whose authority imposed it upon the Middle Ages.
Accepting it as an independent estimate, it follows that Posidonius
allowed but 500 stadia to a degree, instead of 700, thus representing
the earth as about 28 per cent. smaller than did Eratosthenes.[273]

To the earliest writers the known lands constituted the earth; they
were girdled, indeed, by the river Oceanus, but that was a narrow
stream whose further bank lay in fable-land.[274] The promulgation
of the theory of the sphericity of the earth and the approximate
determination of its size drew attention afresh to the problem of
the distribution of land and water upon its surface, and materially
modified the earlier conception. The increase of geographical knowledge
along lines of trade, conquest, and colonization had greatly extended
the bounds of the known world since Homer’s day, but it was still
evident that by far the larger portion of the earth, taking the
smallest estimate of its size, was still undiscovered,—a fair field for
speculation and fantasy.[275]

We can trace two schools of thought in respect to the configuration
of this unknown region, both represented in the primitive conception
of the earth, and both conditioned by a more fundamental postulate. It
was a near thought, if the earth was a sphere, to transfer to it the
systems of circles which had already been applied to the heavens. The
suggestion is attributed to Thales, to Pythagoras, and to Parmenides;
and it is certain that the earth was very early conceived as divided
by the polar and solstitial circles into five zones, whereof two only,
the temperate in either sphere, so the Greeks believed, were capable
of supporting life; of the others, the polar were uninhabitable from
intense cold, as was the torrid from its parching heat. This theory,
which excluded from knowledge the whole southern hemisphere and a large
portion of the northern, was approved by Aristotle and the Homeric
school of geographers, and by the minor physicists. As knowledge grew,
its truth was doubted. Polybius wrote a monograph, maintaining that the
middle portion of the torrid zone had a temperate climate, and his view
was adopted by Posidonius and Geminus, if not by Eratosthenes. Marinus
and Ptolemy, who knew that commerce was carried on along the east coast
of Africa far below the equator, cannot have fallen into the ancient
error, but the error long persisted; it was always in favor with the
compilers, and thus perhaps obtained that currency in Rome which
enabled it to exert a restrictive and pernicious check upon maritime
endeavor deep into the Middle Ages.[276]

Upon the question of the distribution of land and water, unanimity
no longer prevailed. By some it was maintained that there was one
ocean, confluent over the whole globe, so that the body of known
lands, that so-called continent, was in truth an island, and whatever
other inhabitable regions might exist were in like manner surrounded
and so separated by vast expanses of untraversed waves. Such was the
view, scarcely more than a survival of the ocean-river of the poets
deprived of its further bank by the assumption of the sphericity of
the earth, held by Aristotle,[277] Crates of Mallus, Strabo, Pliny,
and many others. If this be called the oceanic theory, we may speak of
its opposite as the continental: according to this view, the existing
land so far exceeded the water in extent that it formed in truth the
continent, holding the seas quite separate within its hollows. The
origin of the theory is obscure, even though we recall that Homer’s
ocean was itself contained. It was strikingly presented by Plato in the
_Phaedo_, and is implied in the Atlantis myth; it may be recalled, too,
that Herodotus, often depicted as a monster of credulity, had broken
the bondage of the ocean-river, because he could not satisfy himself of
the existence of the ocean in the east or north; and while reluctantly
admitting that Africa was surrounded by water, considered Gaul to
extend indefinitely westward.[278] Hipparchus revived the doctrine,
teaching that Africa divided the Indian Ocean from the Atlantic in the
south, so that these seas lay in separate basins. The existence of an
equatorial branch of the ocean, a favorite dogma of the other school,
was also denied by Polybius, Posidonius, and Geminus.[279]

The reports of traders and explorers led Marinus to a like conclusion;
both he and Ptolemy, misinterpreting their information, believed
that the eastern coast of Asia ran south instead of north, and they
united it with the eastern trend of Africa, supposing at the same time
that the two continents met also in the west.[280] The continental
theory, despite its famous disciples, made no headway at Rome, and was
consequently hardly known to the Middle Ages before its falsity was
proved by the circumnavigation of Africa.[281]

That portion of Europe, Asia, and Africa known to the ancients, whether
regarded as an island, or as separated from the rest of the world by
climatic conditions merely, or by ignorance, formed a distinct concept
and was known by a particular name, _ἡ οἰκουμένη_. Originally supposed
to be circular, it was later thought to be oblong and as having a
length more than double its width. Those who believed in its insularity
likened its shape to a sling, or to an outspread chlamys or military
cloak, and assumed that it lay wholly within the northern hemisphere.
In absolute figures, the length of the known world was placed by
Eratosthenes at 77,800 stadia, and by Strabo at 70,000. The latter
figure remained the common estimate until Marinus of Tyre, in the
second century a.d., receiving direct information from the silk-traders
of a caravan route to China, substituted the portentous exaggeration of
90,000 stadia on the parallel of Rhodes, or 225°. Ptolemy, who followed
Marinus in many things, shrank from the naïveté whereby the Tyrian had
interpreted a seven months’ caravan journey to represent seven months’
travelling in a direct line at the rate of twenty miles a day, and cut
down his figures to 180°, or 72,000 stadia.[282] It appears, therefore,
that Strabo considered the known world as occupying not much over one
third of the circuit of the temperate zone, while Marinus, who adopted
180,000 stadia as the measure of the earth, claimed a knowledge of
two thirds of that zone, and supposed that land extended indefinitely
eastward beyond the limit of knowledge.

What did the ancients picture to themselves of this unknown portion of
the globe? The more imaginative found there a home for ancient myth and
modern fable; the geographers, severely practical, excluded it from the
scope of their survey; philosophers and physicists could easily supply
from theory what they did not know as fact. Pythagoras, it is said, had
taught that the whole surface of the earth was inhabited. Aristotle
demonstrated that the southern hemisphere must have its temperate zone,
where winds similar to our own prevailed; his successors elaborated the
hint into a systematized nomenclature, whereby the inhabitants of the
earth were divided into four classes, according to their location upon
the surface of the earth with relation to one another.[283]

This system was furthest developed by the oceanic school. The rival of
Eratosthenes, Crates of Mallus (who achieved fame by the construction
of a large globe), assumed the existence of a southern continent,
separated from the known world by the equatorial ocean; it is possible
that he introduced the idea of providing a distinct residence for
each class of earth-dwellers, by postulating four island continents,
one in each quarter of the globe. Eratosthenes probably thought that
there were inhabitable regions in the southern hemisphere, and Strabo
added that there might be two, or even more, habitable earths in the
northern temperate zone, especially near the parallel of Rhodes.[284]
Crates introduced his views at Rome, and the oceanic theory remained
a favorite with the Roman physicists. It was avowed by Pliny, who
championed the existence of antipodes against the vulgar disbelief.
In the fine episode in the last book of Cicero’s _Republic_, the
younger Scipio relates a dream, wherein the elder hero of his name,
Scipio Africanus, conveying him to the lofty heights of the Milky Way,
emphasized the futility of fame by showing him upon the earth the
regions to which his name could never penetrate: “Thou seest in what
few places the earth is inhabited, and those how scant; great deserts
lie between them, and they who dwell upon the earth are not only so
scattered that naught can spread from one community to another, but so
that some live off in an oblique direction from you, some off toward
the side, and some even dwell directly opposite to you.”[285] Mela
confines himself to a mention of the _Antichthones_, who live in the
temperate zone in the south, and are cut off from us by the intervening
torrid zone.[286]

[Illustration: MACROBIUS

From _Macrobii Ambrosii Aurelii Theodosii in Somnium Scipionis, Lib.
II._ (Lugduni, 1560).]

Indeed, the southern continent, the other world, as it was
called,[287] made a more distinct impression than the possible other
continents in the northern hemisphere. Hipparchus thought that
Trapobene might be a part of this southern world, and the idea that
the Nile had its source there was widespread: some supposing that it
flowed beneath the equatorial ocean; others believing, with Ptolemy,
that Africa was connected with the southern continent. The latter
doctrine was shattered by the discovery of the Cape of Good Hope; but
the continent was revived when Tierra del Fuego, Australia, and New
Zealand were discovered, and attained gigantic size on the maps of the
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries only within the last two centuries
has it shrunk to the present limits of the antarctic ice.

[Illustration: MACROBIUS

From _Avr. Theodosii Macrobii Opera_ (Lipsiæ, 1774).]

The oceanic theory, and the doctrine of the Four Worlds, as it has been
termed,[288]_ terra quadrifiga_, was set forth in the greatest detail
in a commentary on the Dream of Scipio, written by Macrobius, probably
in the fifth century a.d. In the concussion and repulsion of the ocean
streams he found a sufficient cause for the phenomena of the tides.[289]

Such were the theories of the men of science, purely speculative,
originating in logic, not discovery, and they give no hint of actual
knowledge regarding those distant regions with which they deal.
From them we turn to examine the literature of the imagination, for
geography, by right the handmaid of history, is easily perverted to the
service of myth.

[Illustration: MACROBIUS

After Santarem’s _Atlas_, as a “mappemonde tirée d’un manuscrit de
Macrobe du Xème siècle.”]

The expanding horizon of the Greeks was always hedged with fable: in
the north was the realm of the happy Hyperboreans, beyond the blasts
of Boreas; in the east, the wonderland of India; in the south, Panchæa
and the blameless Ethiopians; nor did the west lack lingering places
for romance. Here was the floating isle of Æolus, brazen-walled; here
the mysterious Ogygia, navel of the sea;[290] and on the earth’s
extremest verge were the Elysian Fields, the home of heroes exempt from
death, “where life is easiest to man. No snow is there, nor yet great
storm nor any rain, but always ocean sendeth forth the breeze of the
shrill west to blow cool on men.”[291] Across the ocean river, where
was the setting of the sun, all was changed. There was the home of the
Cimmerians, who dwelt in darkness; there the grove of Persephone and
the dreary house of the dead.[292]

In the Hesiodic poems the Elysian Fields are transformed into islands,
the home of the fourth race, the heroes, after death:—

  “Them on earth’s utmost verge the god assign’d
  A life, a seat, distinct from human kind:
  Beside the deepening whirlpools of the main,
  In those blest isles where Saturn holds his reign,
  Apart from heaven’s immortals calm they share
  A rest unsullied by the clouds of care:
  And yearly thrice with sweet luxuriance crown’d
  Springs the ripe harvest from the teeming ground.”[293]

“Those who have had the courage to remain stedfast thrice in each life,
and to keep their souls altogether from wrong,” sang Pindar, “pursue
the road of Zeus to the castle of Cronos, where o’er the isles of
the blest ocean breezes blow, and flowers gleam with gold, some from
the land on glistering trees, while others the water feeds; and with
bracelets of these they entwine their hands and make crowns for their

The Islands of the Blest, _μακάρων νῆσοι_, do not vanish henceforward
from the world’s literature, but continue to haunt the Atlantic through
the Roman period and deep into the Middle Ages. In the west, too, were
localized other and wilder myths; here were the scenes of the Perseus
fable, the island of the weird and communistic sisters, the Graeae,
and the Gorgonides, the homes of Medusa and her sister Gorgons, the
birthplace of the dread Chimaera.[295] The importance of the far west
in the myths connected with Hercules is well known. In the traditionary
twelve labors the Greek hero is confused with his prototype the Tyrian
Melkarth, and those labors which deal with the west were doubtless
borrowed from the cult which the Greeks had found established at Gades
when trade first led them thither. In the tenth labor it is the western
isle Erytheia, which Hercules visits in the golden cup wherein Helios
was wont to make his nocturnal ocean voyage, and from which he returns
with the oxen of the giant Geryon. Even more famous was the search for
the apples of the Hesperides, which constituted the eleventh labor.
This golden fruit, the wedding gift produced by Gaa for Hera, the
prudent goddess, doubtful of the security of Olympus, gave in charge
to the Hesperian maids, whose island garden lay at earth’s furthest
bounds, near where the mysterious Atlas, their father or their uncle,
wise in the secrets of the sea, watched over the pillars which propped
the sky, or himself bore the burden of the heavenly vault. The poets
delighted to depict these isles with their shrill-singing nymphs, in
the same glowing words which they applied to the Isles of the Blessed.
“Oh that I, like a bird, might fly from care over the Adriatic waves!”
cries the chorus in the Crowned Hippolytus,

“Or to the famed Hesperian plains, Whose rich trees bloom with gold, To
join the grief-attuned strains My winged progress hold: Beyond whose
shores no passage gave The ruler of the purple wave;

  “But Atlas stands, his stately height
  The awfull boundary of the skies:
  There fountains of Ambrosia rise,
  Wat’ring the seat of Jove: her stores
  Luxuriant there the rich soil pours
  All, which the sense of gods delights.”[296]

When these names first became attached to some of the Atlantic islands
is uncertain. Diodorus Siculus does not apply either term to the island
discovered by the Carthaginians, and described by him in phrases
applicable to both. The two islands described by sailors to Sertorius
about 80 B.C. were depicted in colors which reminded Plutarch of the
Isles of the Blessed, and it is certain that toward the close of the
republic the name _Insulae Fortunatae_ was given to certain of the
Atlantic islands, including the Canaries. In the time of Juba, king of
Numidia, we seem to distinguish at least three groups, the _Insulae
Fortunatae_, the _Purpurariae_, and the _Hesperides_, but beyond
the fact that the first name still designated some of the Canaries
identification is uncertain; some have thought that different groups
among the Canaries were known by separate names, while others hold that
one or both of the Madeira and Cape de Verde groups were known.[297]
The Canaries were soon lost out of knowledge again, but the Happy
or Fortunate Islands continued to be an enticing mirage throughout
the Middle Ages, and play a part in many legends, as in that of St.
Brandan, and in many poems.[298]

Beside these ancient, widespread, popular myths, embodying the
universal longing for a happier life, we find a group of stories of
more recent date, of known authorship and well-marked literary origin,
which treat of western islands and a western continent. The group
comprises, it is hardly necessary to say, the tale of Atlantis, related
by Plato; the fable of the land of the Meropes, by Theopompus; and the
description of the Saturnian continent attributed to Plutarch.

The story of Atlantis, by its own interest and the skill of its
author, has made by far the deepest impression. Plato, having given
in the _Republic_ a picture of the ideal political organization, the
state, sketched in the _Timaeus_ the history of creation, and the
origin and development of mankind; in the _Critias_ he apparently
intended to exhibit the action of two types of political bodies
involved in a life-and-death contest. The latter dialogue was
unfinished, but its purport had been sketched in the opening of the
_Timaeus_. Critias there relates “a strange tale, but certainly true,
as Solon declared,” which had come down in his family from his ancestor
Dropidas, a near relative of Solon. When Solon was in Egypt he fell
into talk with an aged priest of Saïs, who said to him: “Solon, Solon,
you Greeks are all children,—there is not an old man in Greece. You
have no old traditions, and know of but one deluge, whereas there have
been many destructions of mankind, both by flood and fire; Egypt alone
has escaped them, and in Egypt alone is ancient history recorded;
you are ignorant of your own past.” For long before Deucalion, nine
thousand years ago, there was an Athens founded, like Saïs, by Athena;
a city rich in power and wisdom, famed for mighty deeds, the greatest
of which was this. At that time there lay opposite the columns of
Hercules, in the Atlantic, which was then navigable, an island larger
than Libya and Asia together, from which sailors could pass to other
islands, and so to the continent. The sea in front of the straits is
indeed but a small harbor; that which lay beyond the island, however,
is worthy of the name, and the land which surrounds that greater sea
may be truly called the continent. In this island of Atlantis had grown
up a mighty power, whose kings were descended from Poseidon, and had
extended their sway over many islands and over a portion of the great
continent; even Libya up to the gates of Egypt, and Europe as far as
Tyrrhenia, submitted to their sway. Ever harder they pressed upon the
other nations of the known world, seeking the subjugation of the whole.
“Then, O Solon, did the strength of your republic become clear to all
men, by reason of her courage and force. Foremost in the arts of war,
she met the invader at the head of Greece; abandoned by her allies,
she triumphed alone over the western foe, delivering from the yoke all
the nations within the columns. But afterwards came a day and night of
great floods and earthquakes; the earth engulfed all the Athenians who
were capable of bearing arms, and Atlantis disappeared, swallowed by
the waves: hence it is that this sea is no longer navigable, from the
vast mud-shoals formed by the vanished island.” This tale so impressed
Solon that he meditated an epic on the subject, but on his return,
stress of public business prevented his design. In the _Critias_ the
empire and chief city of Atlantis is described with wealth of detail,
and the descent of the royal family from Atlas, son of Poseidon, and
a nymph of the island, is set forth. In the midst of a council upon
Olympus, where Zeus, in true epic style, was revealing to the gods his
designs concerning the approaching war, the dialogue breaks off.

[Illustration: TRACES OF ATLANTIS.

Section of a map given in _Briefe über Amerika aus dem Italienischen
des Hn. Grafen Carlo Carli übersetzt, Dritter Theil_ (Gera, 1785),
where it is called an “Auszug aus denen Karten welche der Pariser
Akademie der Wissenschaften (1737, 1752) von dem Herrn von Buache
übergeben worden sind.”]

[Illustration: ATLANTIS INSULA

The annexed cut is an extract from Sanson’s map of America, showing
views respecting the new world as constituting the Island of Atlantis.
It is called: _Atlantis insula à Nicolao Sanson, antiquitati restituta;
nunc demum majori forma delineata, et in decem regna juxta decem
Neptuni filios distributa. Præterea insulæ, nostræq. continentis
regiones quibus imperavere Atlantici reges; aut quas armis tentavere,
ex conatibus geographicis Gulielmi Sanson, Nicolai filii_ (Amstelodami
apud Petrum Mortier). Uricoechea in the _Mapoteca Colombiana_ puts this
map under 1600, and speaks of a second edition in 1688, which must be
an error. Nicholas Sanson was born in 1600, his son William died in
1703. Beside the undated Amsterdam print quoted above, Harvard College
Library possesses a copy in which the words _Novus orbis potius Altera
continent sive_ are prefixed to the title, while the date MDCLXVIIII
is inserted after _filii_. This copy was published by Le S. Robert at
Paris in 1741.]


From a map in Bory de St. Vincent’s _Essais sur les isles Fortunées_,
Paris [1803]. A map in Anastasius Kircher’s _Mundus Subterraneus_
(Amsterdam, 1678), i. 82, shows Atlantis as a large island midway
between the pillars of Hercules and America.]


Sketched from the colored map of the United States Hydrographic
office, as given in Alexander Agassiz’s _Three Cruises of the Blake_
(Cambridge, 1888), vol. i. The outline of the continents is shown by an
unbroken line. The 500 fathom shore line is a broken one (—— —— —— ——).
The 2,000 fathom shore line is made by a dash and dot (——.——.——.——).
The large areas in mid-ocean enclosed by this line, have this or lesser
depths. Of the small areas marked by this line, the depth of 2,000
fathoms or less is within these areas in all cases except as respects
the small areas on the latitude of Newfoundland, where the larger areas
of 2,000 fathoms’ depth border on the small areas of greater depth.
Depths varying from 1,500 to 1,000 fathoms are shown by horizontal
lines; from 1,000 to 500 by perpendicular lines; and the crossed lines
show the shallowest spots in mid-ocean of 500 fathoms or less. The
areas of greatest depth (over 3,500 fathoms) are marked with crosses.]

Such is the tale of Atlantis. Read in Plato, the nature and meaning of
the narrative seem clear, but the commentators, ancient and modern,
have made wild work. The voyage of Odysseus has grown marvellously in
extent since he abandoned the sea; Io has found the pens of the learned
more potent goads than Hera’s gadfly; but the travels of Atlantis have
been even more extraordinary. No region has been so remote, no land
so opposed by location, extent, or history to the words of Plato, but
that some acute investigator has found in it the origin of the lost
island. It has been identified with Africa, with Spitzbergen, with
Palestine. The learned Latreille convinced himself that Persia best
fulfilled the conditions of the problem; the more than learned Rudbeck
ardently supported the claims of Sweden through three folios. In such
a search America could not be overlooked. Gomara, Guillaume de Postel,
Wytfliet, are among those who have believed that this continent was
Atlantis; Sanson in 1669, and Vaugondy in 1762, ventured to issue a
map, upon which the division of that island among the sons of Neptune
was applied to America, and the outskirts of the lost continent were
extended even to New Zealand. Such work, of course, needs no serious
consideration. Plato is our authority, and Plato declares that Atlantis
lay not far west from Spain, and that it disappeared some 8,000 years
before his day. An inquiry into the truth or meaning of the record as
it stands is quite justifiable, and has been several times undertaken,
with divergent results. Some, notably Paul Gaffarel[299] and Ignatius
Donnelly,[300] are convinced that Plato merely adapted to his purposes
a story which Solon had actually brought from Egypt, and which was in
all essentials true. Corroboration of the existence of such an island
in the Atlantic is found, according to these writers, in the physical
conformation of the Atlantic basin, and in marked resemblances between
the flora, fauna, civilization, and language of the old and new worlds,
which demand for their explanation the prehistoric existence of just
such a bridge as Atlantis would have supplied. The Atlantic islands are
the loftiest peaks and plateaus of the submerged island. In the widely
spread deluge myths Mr. Donnelly finds strong confirmation of the final
cataclysm; he places in Atlantis that primitive culture which M. Bailly
sought in the highlands of Asia, and President Warren refers to the
north pole. Space fails for a proper examination of the matter, but
these ingenious arguments remain somewhat top-heavy when all is said.
The argument from ethnological resemblances is of all arguments the
weakest in the hands of advocates. It is of value only when wielded by
men of judicial temperament, who can weigh difference against likeness,
and allow for the narrow range of nature’s moulds. The existence of
the ocean plateaus revealed by the soundings of the “Dolphin” and the
“Challenger” proves nothing as to their having been once raised above
the waves; the most of the Atlantic islands are sharply cut off from
them. Even granting the prehistoric migration of plants and animals
between America and Europe, as we grant it between America and Asia, it
does not follow that it took place across the mid-ocean, and it would
still be a long step from the botanic “bridge” and elevated “ridge” to
the island empire of Plato. In short, the conservative view advocated
by Longinus, that the story was designed by Plato as a literary
ornament and a philosophic illustration, is no less probable to-day
than when it was suggested in the schools of Alexandria. Atlantis is
a literary myth, belonging with _Utopia_, the _New Atlantis_, and the
_Orbis alter et idem_ of Bishop Hall.

       *       *       *       *       *

Of the same type is a narrative which has come down indirectly, among
the flotsam and jetsam of classic literature: it is a fragment from a
lost work by Theopompus of Chios, a historian of the fourth century
B.C., found in the _Varia Historia_ of Aelian, a compiler of the third
century A.D.[301] The story is told by the satyr Silenus to Midas,
king of Phrygia, and is, as few commentators have refrained from
remarking, worthy the ears of its auditor.[302] “Selenus tolde Midas of
certaine Islands, named Europa, Asia, and Libia, which the Ocean Sea
circumscribeth and compasseth round about. And that without this worlde
there is a continent or percell of dry lande, which in greatnesse (as
hee reported) was infinite and unmeasurable, that it nourished and
maintained, by the benifite of the greene medowes and pasture plots,
sundrye bigge and mighty beastes; that the men which inhabite the same
climats, exceede the stature of us twise, and yet the length of there
life is not equale to ours.” Many other wonders he related of the two
cities, Machimus, the warlike, and Euseues, the city of peace, and how
the inhabitants of the former once made an attack upon Europe, and came
first upon the Hyperboreans; but learning that they were esteemed the
most holy of the dwellers in that island, they “had them in contempte,
detesting and abhorring them as naughty people, of preposterous
properties, and damnable behauiour, and for that cause interrupted
their progresse, supposing it an enterprise of little worthinesse or
rather none at al, to trauaile into such a countrey.” The concluding
passage relating to the strange country inhabited by the Meropes, from
whose name later writers have called the continent Meropian, bears only
indirectly upon the subject, as characterizing the whole narrative.[303]

Without admitting the harsh judgment of Aelian, who brands Theopompus
as a “coyner of lyes and a forger of fond fables,” it is clear that
we are dealing here with literature, not with history, and that the
identification of the land of the Meropes, or, as Strabo calls it,
Meropis, with Atlantis or with America is arbitrary and valueless.[304]

The same remark applies to the account of the great Saturnian continent
that closes the curious and interesting dialogue “On the Face appearing
in the Orb of the Moon,” attributed to Plutarch, and printed with his

“‘An isle, Ogygia, lies in Ocean’s arms,’” says the narrator, “about
five days’ sail west from Britain; and before it are three others, of
equal distance from one another, and also from that, bearing northwest,
where the sun sets in summer. In one of these the barbarians feign
that Saturn is detained in prison by Zeus.” The adjacent sea is termed
the Saturnian, and the continent by which the great sea is circularly
environed is distant from Ogygia about five thousand stadia, but from
the other islands not so far. A bay of this continent, in the latitude
of the Caspian Sea, is inhabited by Greeks. These, who had been
visited by Heracles, and revived by his followers, esteemed themselves
inhabitants of the firm land, calling all others islanders, as dwelling
in land encompassed by the sea. Every thirty years these people send
forth certain of their number, who minister to the imprisoned Saturn
for thirty years. One of the men thus sent forth, at the end of his
service, paid a visit to the great island, as they called Europe. From
him the narrator learned many things about the state of men after
death, which he unfolds at length, the conclusion being that the souls
of men ultimately arrive at the moon, wherein lie the Elysian Fields of
Homer. “And you, O Lamprias,” he adds, “may take my relation in such
part as you please.” After which hint there is, I think, but little
doubt as to the way in which it should be taken by us.[305]

That Plato, Theopompus, and Plutarch, covering a range of nearly five
centuries, should each have made use of the conception of a continent
beyond the Atlantic, is noteworthy; but it is more naturally accounted
for by supposing that all three had in mind the continental hypothesis
of land distribution, than by assuming for them an acquaintance with
the great western island, America. From this point of view, the result
of our search into the geographical knowledge and mythical tales of the
ancients is purely negative. We find, indeed, well-developed theories
of physical geography, one of which accords remarkably well with the
truth; but we also find that these theories rest solely on logical
deductions from the mathematical doctrine of the sphere, and on an
aesthetic satisfaction with symmetry and analogy. This conclusion could
be invalidated were it shown that exploration had already revealed
the secrets of the west, and we must now consider this branch of the

The history of maritime discovery begins among the Phœnicians. The
civilization of Egypt, as self-centred as that of China, accepted
only the commerce that was brought to its gates; but the men of Sidon
and Tyre, with their keen devotion to material interests, their
almost modern ingenuity, had early appropriated the carrying trade
of the east and the west. As they looked adventurously seaward from
their narrow domain, the dim outline of Cyprus beckoned them down a
long lane of island stations to the rich shores of Spain. Even their
religion betrayed their bent: El and Cronos, their oldest deities,
were wanderers, and vanished in the west; on their traces Melkarth led
a motley swarm of colonists to the Atlantic. These legends, filtering
through Cyprus, Crete, or Rhodes, or borne by rash adventurers from
distant Gades, appeared anew in Grecian mythology, the deeds of
Melkarth mingling with the labors of Hercules. We do not know when the
Phœnicians first reached the Atlantic, nor what were the limits of
their ocean voyages. Gades, the present Cadiz, just outside the Straits
of Gibraltar, was founded a few years before 1100 B.C., but not, it is
probable, without previous knowledge of the commercial importance of
the location. There were numerous other settlements along the adjacent
coast, and the gold, silver, and tin of these distant regions grew
familiar in the markets of Egypt, Mesopotamia, and India. The trade
with Tartessus, the El Dorado of antiquity, gave the Phœnician merchant
vessels a name among the Jews, as well in the tenth century, when
Solomon shared the adventures of Hiram, as in the sixth, when Ezekiel
depicted the glories of Tyrian commerce. The Phœnician seamanship was
wide-famed; their vessels were unmatched in speed,[306] and their
furniture and discipline excited the outspoken admiration of Xenophon.
Beside the large Tarshish ships, they possessed light merchant vessels
and ships of war, provided with both sails and oars, and these,
somewhat akin to steamships in their independence of wind, were well
adapted for exploration. Thus urged and thus provided, it is improbable
that the Phœnicians shunned the great ocean. The evidence is still
strong in favor of their direct trade with Britain for tin, despite
what has been urged as to tin mines in Spain and the prehistoric
existence of the trade by land across Gaul.[307]

       *       *       *       *       *

Whether the Tyrians discovered any of the Atlantic islands is unknown;
the adventures and discoveries attributed to Hercules, who in this
aspect is but Melkarth in Grecian raiment, points toward an early
knowledge of western islands, but these myths alone are not conclusive
proof. Diodorus Siculus attributes to the Phœnicians the discovery, by
accident, of a large island, with navigable rivers and a delightful
climate, many days’ sail westward from Africa. In the compilation _De
Mirabilibus Auscultationibus_, printed with the works of Aristotle,
the discovery is attributed to Carthaginians. Both versions descend
from one original, now lost, and it is impossible to give a date to the
event, or to identify the locality.[308] Those who find America in the
island of Diodorus make improbabilities supply the lack of evidence.
Stories seldom lose in the telling, and while it is not impossible that
a Phœnician ship might have reached America, and even made her way
back, it is not likely that the voyage would have been tamely described
as of many _days’_ duration.

When Carthage succeeded Tyre as mistress of the Mediterranean commerce,
interest in the West revived. In the middle of the fifth century B.C.,
two expeditions of importance were dispatched into these waters. A
large fleet under Hanno sailed to colonize, or re-colonize, the western
coast of Africa, and succeeded in reaching the latitude of Sierra
Leone. Himilko, voyaging in the opposite direction, spent several
months in exploring the ocean and tracing the western shores of Europe.
He appears to have run into the Sargasso Sea, but beyond this little is
known of his adventures.[309]

Ultimately the Carthaginians discovered and colonized the Canary
Islands, and perhaps the Madeira and Cape Verde groups; the evidence
of ethnology, the presence of Semitic inscriptions, and the occurrence
in the descriptions of Pliny, Mela, and Ptolemy of some of the modern
names of the separate islands, establishes this beyond a doubt for
the Canaries.[310] There is no evidence that the Phœnicians or
Carthaginians penetrated much beyond the coast islands, or that they
reached any part of America, or even the Azores.

The achievements of the Greeks and Romans were still more limited. A
certain Colaeus visited Gades towards the middle of the seventh century
B.C., and was, according to Herodotus, the first Greek who passed
outside of the columns of Hercules. His example could not have been
widely followed, for we find Pindar and his successors referring to the
Pillars as the limit of navigation. In 600 B.C., Massilia was founded,
and soon became a rival of Carthage in the western Mediterranean. In
the fourth century we have evidence of an attempt to search out the
secrets of the ocean after the manner of Hanno and Himilko. In that
century, Pytheas made his famous voyage to the lands of tin and amber,
discovering the still mysterious Thule; while at the same time his
countryman Euthymenes sailed southward to the Senegal. With these
exceptions we hear of no Grecian or Roman explorations in the Atlantic,
and meet with no indication that they were aware of any other lands
beyond the sea than the Fortunate Isles or the Hesperides of the early

About 80 B.C., Sertorius, being for a time driven from Spain by the
forces of Sulla, fell in, when on an expedition to Baetica, with
certain sailors who had just returned from the “Atlantic islands,”
which they described as two in number, distant 10,000 stadia from
Africa, and enjoying a wonderful climate. The account in Plutarch is
quite consistent with a previous knowledge of the islands, even on
the part of Sertorius. Be this as it may, the glowing praises of the
eye-witnesses so impressed him that only the unwillingness of his
followers prevented his taking refuge there. Within the next few years,
the Canaries, at least, became well known as the _Fortunatae Insulae_;
but when Horace, in the dark days of civil war, urged his countrymen
to seek a new home across the waves, it was apparently the islands
of Sertorius that he had in mind, regarding them as unknown to other

As we trace the increasing volume and extent of commerce from the days
of Tyre and Carthage and Alexandria to its fullest development under
the empire, and remember that as the drafts of luxury-loving Rome upon
the products of the east, even of China and farther India, increased,
the true knowledge of the form of the earth, and the underestimate
of the breadth of the western ocean, became more widely known, the
question inevitably suggests itself, Why did not the enterprise which
had long since utilized the monsoons of the Indian Ocean for direct
passage to and from India essay the passage of the Atlantic? The
inquiry gains force as we recall that the possibility of such a route
to India had been long ago asserted. Aristotle suggested, if he did not
express it; Eratosthenes stated plainly that were it not for the extent
of the Atlantic it would be possible to sail from Spain to India along
the same parallel;[313] and Strabo could object nothing but the chance
of there being another island-continent or two in the way,—an objection
unknown to Columbus. Seneca, the philosopher, iterating insistence upon
the smallness of the earth and the pettiness of its affairs compared
with the higher interests of the soul, exclaims: “The earth, which you
so anxiously divide by fire and sword into kingdoms, is a point, a
mere point, in the universe.... How far is it from the utmost shores
of Spain to those of India? But very few days’ sail with a favoring

Holding these views of the possibility of the voyage, it is improbable
that the size of their ships and the lack of the compass could have
long prevented the ancients from putting them in practice had their
interest so demanded.[315] Their interest in the matter was, however,
purely speculative, since, under the unity and power of the Roman
empire, which succeeded to and absorbed the commercial supremacy of the
Phœnicians, international competition in trade did not exist, nor were
the routes of trade subject to effective hostile interruption. The two
causes, therefore, which worked powerfully to induce the voyages of Da
Gama and Columbus, after the rise of individual states had given scope
to national jealousy and pride, and after the fall of Constantinople
had placed the last natural gateway of the eastern trade in the hands
of Arab infidels, were non-existent under the older civilization. It
is certain, too, that the ancients had a vivid horror of the western
ocean. In the Odyssey, the western Mediterranean even is full of peril.
With knowledge of the ocean, the Greeks received tales of “Gorgons
and Chimeras dire,” and the very poets who sing the beauties of the
Elysian or Hesperian isles dwell on the danger of the surrounding sea.
Beyond Gades, declared Pindar, no man, however brave, could pass;
only a god might voyage those waters. The same idea recurs in the
reports of travellers and the writings of men of science, but here it
is the storms, or more often the lack of wind, the viscid water or
vast shoals, that check and appall the mariner. Aristotle thought that
beyond the columns the sea was shallow and becalmed. Plato utilized
the common idea of the mudbanks and shoal water of the Atlantic in
accounting for the disappearance of Atlantis. Scylax reported the ocean
not navigable beyond Cerne in the south, and Pytheas heard that beyond
Thule sea and air became confounded. Even Tacitus believed that there
was a peculiar resistance in the waters of the northern ocean.[316]

Whether the Greeks owed this dread to the Phœnicians, and whether
the latter shared the feeling, or simulated and encouraged it for the
purpose of concealing their profitable adventures beyond the Straits,
is doubtful. In two cases, at least, it is possible to trace statements
of this nature to Punic sources, and antiquity agreed in giving the
Phœnicians credit for discouraging rivalry by every art.[317]

To an age averse to investigation for its own sake, ignorant of
scientific curiosity, and unimpelled by economic pressure, tales like
these might seem decisive against an attempt to sail westward to India.
Rome could thoroughly appreciate the imaginative mingling of science
and legend which vivified the famous prophecy of the poet Seneca:

  Venient annis saecula seris
  Quibus Oceanus vincula rerum
  Laxet, et ingens patebit tellus
  Tethysque novos deteget orbes
  Nec sit terris ultima Thule.[318]

But even were it overlooked that the prophecy suited better the
revelation of an unknown continent, such as the theory of Crates and
Cicero placed between Europe and Asia, than the discovery of the
eastern coast of India, mariners and merchants might be pardoned if
they set the deterrent opinions collected by the elder Seneca above the
livelier fancies of his son.[319]

The scanty records of navigation and discovery in the western waters
confirm the conclusions drawn from the visions of the poets and the
theories of the philosophers. No evidence from the classic writers
justifies the assumption that the ancients communicated with America.
If they guessed at the possibility of such a continent, it was only as
we to-day imagine an antarctic continent or an open polar sea. Evidence
from ethnological comparisons is of course admissible, but those who
are best fitted to handle such evidence best know its dangers; hitherto
its use has brought little but discredit to the cause in which it was

       *       *       *       *       *

The geographical doctrines which antiquity bequeathed to the
Middle Ages were briefly these: that the earth was a sphere with a
circumference of 252,000 or 180,000 stadia; that only the temperate
zones were inhabitable, and the northern alone known to be inhabited;
that of the southern, owing to the impassable heats of the torrid zone,
it could not be discovered whether it were inhabited, or whether,
indeed, land existed there; and that of the northern, it was unknown
whether the intervention of another continent, or only the shoals and
unknown horrors of the ocean, prevented a westward passage from Europe
to Asia. The legatee preserved, but did not improve his inheritance.
It has been supposed that the early Middle Ages, under the influence
of barbarism and Christianity, ignored the sphericity of the earth,
deliberately returning to the assumption of a plane surface, either
wheel-shaped or rectangular. That knowledge dwindled after the fall
of the empire, that the early church included the learning as well
as the religion of the pagans in its ban, is undeniable; but on this
point truth prevailed. It was preserved by many school-books, in many
popular compilations from classic authors, and was accepted by many
ecclesiastics. St. Augustine did not deny the sphericity of the earth.
It was assumed by Isidor of Seville, and taught by Bede.[320] The
schoolmen buttressed the doctrine by the authority of Aristotle and the
living science which the Arabs built upon the Almagest. Gerbert, Albert
the Great, Roger Bacon, Dante, were as familiar with the idea of the
earth-globe as were Hipparchus and Ptolemy. The knowledge of it came to
Columbus not as an inspiration or an invention, but by long, unbroken
descent from its unknown Grecian, or pre-Grecian, discoverer.


Sketched in the _Bollettino della Società geografica italiana_ (Roma,
1882), p. 540, from the original in the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana
in Florence. The representation of this sketch of the earth by Cosmas
Indicopleustes more commonly met with is from the engraving in the
edition of Cosmas in Montfaucon’s _Collectio nova patrum_, Paris, 1706.
The article by Marinelli which contains the sketch given here has also
appeared separately in a German translation (_Die Erdkunde bei den
Kirchenvätern_, Leipzig, 1884). The continental land beyond the ocean
should be noticed.]

As to the distribution of land and water, the oceanic theory of
Crates, as expounded by Macrobius, prevailed in the west, although the
existence of antipodes fell a victim to the union, in the ecclesiastic
mind, of the heathen theory of an impassable torrid zone with the
Christian teaching of the descent of all men from Adam.[321] The
discoveries made by the ancients in the ocean, of the Canaries and
other islands known to them, were speedily forgotten, while their
geographic myths were superseded by a ranker growth. The Saturnian
continent, Meropis, Atlantis, the Fortunate Isles, the Hesperides, were
relegated to the dusty realm of classical learning; but the Atlantic
was not barren of their like. Mediæval maps swarmed with fabulous
islands, and wild stories of adventurous voyages divided the attention
with tales of love and war. Antillia was the largest, and perhaps the
most famous, of these islands; it was situated in longitude 330° east,
and near the latitude of Lisbon, so that Toscanelli regarded it as much
facilitating the plan of Columbus. Well known, too, was Braçir, or
Brazil, having its proper position west and north of Ireland, but often
met with elsewhere; both this island and Antillia afterward gave names
to portions of the new continent.[322]

Antillia, otherwise called the Island of Seven Cities, was discovered
and settled by an archbishop and six bishops of Spain, who fled into
the ocean after the victory of the Moors, in 714, over Roderick; it is
even reported to have been rediscovered in 1447.[323] Mayda, Danmar,
Man Satanaxio, Isla Verde, and others of these islands, of which but
little is known beside the names, appear for the first time upon the
maps of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, but their origin is
quite unknown. It might be thought that they were derived from confused
traditions of their classical predecessors, with which they have been
identified, but modern folk-lore has shown that such fancies spring
up spontaneously in every community. To dream of a distant spot where
joy is untroubled and rest unbroken by grief or toil is a natural and
inalienable bent of the human mind. Those happy islands which abound in
the romances of the heathen Celts, Mag Mell, Field of Delight, Flath
Inis, Isle of the Heroes, the Avallon of the Arthur cycle, were but a
more exuberant forth-putting of the same soil that produced the Elysian
Fields of Homer or the terrestrial paradise of the Hebrews. The later
growth is not born of the seed of the earlier, though somewhat affected
by alien grafts, as in the case of the famous island of St. Brandan,
where there is a curious commingling of Celtic, Greek, and Christian
traditions. It is dangerous, indeed, to speak of earlier or later in
reference to such myths; one group was written before the others, but
it is quite possible that the earthly paradise of the Celt is as old as
those of the Mediterranean peoples. The idea of a phantom or vanishing
island, too, is very old,—as old, doubtless, as the fact of fog-banks
and mirage,—and it is well exemplified in those mysterious visions
which enticed the sailors of Bristol to many a fruitless quest before
the discovery of America, and for centuries tantalized the inhabitants
of the Canaries with hope of discovery. The Atlantic islands were
not all isles of the blessed; there were many Isles of Demons, such
as Ramusio places north of Newfoundland, a name of evil report which
afterward attached itself with more reason to Sable Island and even to
the Bermudas:

“Kept, as suppos’d by Hel’s infernal dogs; Our fleet found there most
honest courteous hogs.”[324]

Not until the revival of classical learning did the continental system
of Ptolemy reach the west; the way, however, had been prepared for it.
The measurement of a degree, executed under the Calif Mamun, seemed
to the Europeans to confirm the smallest estimate of the size of the
earth, which Ptolemy also had adopted,[325] while the travels of Marco
Polo, revealing the great island of Japan, exaggerated the popular idea
of the extent of the known world, until the 225° of Marinus seemed
more probable than the 180° of Ptolemy. If, however, time brought this
shrinkage in the breadth of the Atlantic, the temptation to navigators
was opposed by the belief in the dangers of the ocean, which shared
the persistent life of the dogma of the impassable torrid zone, and
was strongly reinforced by Arab lore. Their geographers never tire
of dilating on the calms and storms, mudbanks and fogs, and unknown
dangers of the “Sea of Darkness.” Nevertheless, as the turmoil of
mediæval life made gentler spirits sigh for peace in distant homes,
while the wild energy of others found the very dangers of the sea
delightful, there was opened a double source of adventures, both real
and imaginary. Those pillars cut with inscriptions forbidding further
advance westward, which we owe to Moorish fancy, confounding Hercules
and Atlas and Alexander, were transformed into a knightly hero pointing
oceanwards, or became guide-posts to the earthly paradise.

If there be a legendary flavor in the flight of the seven bishops, we
must set down the wanderings of the Magrurin[326] among the African
islands, the futile but bold attempts of the Visconti to circumnavigate
Africa, as real, though without the least footing in a list of
claimants for the discovery of America. The voyages of St. Brandan
and St. Malo, again, are distinctly fabulous, and but other forms of
the ancient myth of the soul-voyages; and the same may be said of the
strange tale of Maelduin.[327] But what of those other Irish voyages
to Irland-it-mikla and Huitramannaland, of the voyage of Madoc, of the
explorations of the Zeni? While these tales merit close investigation,
it is certain that whatever liftings of the veil there may have
been—that there were any is extremely doubtful—were unheralded at the
time and soon forgotten.[328]

It was reserved for the demands of commerce to reveal the secrets of
the west. But when the veil was finally removed it was easy for men to
see that it had never been quite opaque. The learned turned naturally
to their new-found classics, and were not slow to find the passages
which seemed prophetic of America. Seneca, Virgil, Horace, Aristotle,
and Theopompus, were soon pressed into the service, and the story of
Atlantis obtained at once a new importance. I have tried to show in
this chapter that these patrons of a revived learning put upon these
statements an interpretation which they will not bear.

The summing up of the whole matter cannot be better given than in
the words applied by a careful Grecian historian to another question
in ancient geography: “In some future time perhaps our pains may
lead us to a knowledge of those countries. But all that has hitherto
been written or reported of them must be considered as mere fable
and invention, and not the fruit of any real search, or genuine


THE views of the ancient Mediterranean peoples upon geography are
preserved almost solely in the ancient classics. The poems attributed
to Homer and Hesiod, the so-called Orphic hymns, the odes of Pindar,
even the dramatic works of Æschylus and his successors, are sources for
the earlier time. The writings of the earlier philosophers are lost,
and their ideas are to be found in later writers, and in compilations
like the Biographies of Diogenes Laertius (3d cent. A.D.), the _De
placitis philosophorum_ attributed to Plutarch, and the like. Among
the works of Plato the _Phaedo_ and _Timaeus_ and the last book of the
_Republic_ bear on the form and arrangement of the earth; the Timaeus
and _Critias_ contain the fable of Atlantis. The first scientific
treatises preserved are the _De Caelo_ and _Meteorologica_ of
Aristotle.[330] It is needless to speak in detail of the geographical
writers, accounts of whom will be found in any history of Greek and
Roman literature. The minor pieces, such as the _Periplus_ of Hanno,
of Scylax of Caryanda, of Dionysius Periegetes, the Geography of
Agatharcides, and others, have been several times collected;[331] and
so have the minor historians, which may be consulted for Theopompus,
Hecataeus, and the mythologists.[332] The geographical works of
Pytheas (B.C. 350?), of Eratosthenes (B.C. 276-126), of Polybius (B.C.
204-122), of Hipparchus (flor. circ. B.C. 125), of Posidonius (1st
cent. B.C.), are preserved only in quotations made by later writers;
they have, however, been collected and edited in convenient form.[333]
The most important source of our knowledge of Greek geography and
Greek geographers is of course the great _Geography_ of Strabo, which
a happy fortune preserved to us. The long introduction upon the nature
of geography and the size of the earth and the dimensions of the known
world is of especial interest, both for his own views and for those he
criticises.[334] Strabo lived about B.C. 60 to A.D. 24.

The works of Marinus of Tyre having perished, the next important
geographical work in Greek is the world-renowned _Geography_ of
Ptolemaeus, who wrote in the second half of the second century A.D.
Despite the peculiar merits and history of this work, it is not so
important for our purpose as the work of Strabo, though it exercised
infinitely more influence on the Middle Ages and on early modern

The astronomical writers are also of importance. Eudoxus of Cnidus,
said to have first adduced the change in the altitude of stars
accompanying a change of latitude as proof of the sphericity of
the earth, wrote works now known only in the poems of Aratus, who
flourished in the latter half of the third century B.C.[336] Geminus
(circ. B.C. 50),[337] and Cleomedes,[338] whose work is famous for
having preserved the method by which Eratosthenes measured the
circumference of the earth, were authors of brief popular compilations
of astronomical science. Of vast importance in the history of
learning was the astronomical work of Ptolemy, _ἡ μεγάλη σύνταξις τῆς
ἀστρονομίας_, which was so honored by the Arabs that it is best known
to us as the _Almagest_, from _Tabric al Magisthri_, the title of
the Arabic translation which was made in 827. It has been edited and
translated by Halma (Paris, 1813, 1816).

Much is to be learned from the _Scholia_ attached in early times to the
works of Hesiod, Homer, Pindar, the _Argonautica_ of Apollonius Rhodius
(B.C. 276-193?), and to the works of Aristotle, Plato, etc. In some
cases these are printed with the works commented upon; in other cases,
the _Scholia_ have been printed separately. The commentary of Proclus
(A.D. 412-485) upon the _Timaeus_ of Plato is of great importance in
the Atlantis myth.[339]

Much interest attaches to the dialogue entitled _On the face appearing
in the orb of the moon_, which appears among the _Moralia_ of Plutarch.
Really a contribution to the question of life after death, this work
also throws light upon geographical and astronomical knowledge of its

Among the Romans we find much the same succession of sources. The
poets, Virgil, Horace, Ovid, Tibullus, Lucretius, Lucan, Seneca, touch
on geographical or astronomical points and reflect the opinion of their

The first six books of the great encyclopaedia compiled by Pliny
the elder (A.D. 23-79)[341] contain an account of the universe and
the earth, which is of the greatest value, and was long exploited by
compilers of later times, among the earliest and best of whom was
Solinus.[342] Equally famous with Solinus was the author of a work of
more independent character, Pomponius Mela, who lived in the first
century A.D. His geography, commonly known as _De situ orbis_ from
the mediæval title, though the proper name is _De chorographia_, is
a work of importance and merit. In the Middle Ages it had wonderful
popularity.[343] Cicero, who contemplated writing a history of
geography, touches upon the arrangement of the earth’s surface several
times in his works, as in the _Tusculan Disputations_, and notably in
the sixth book of the _Republic_, in the episode known as the “Dream
of Scipio.” The importance of this piece is enhanced by the commentary
upon it written by Macrobius in the fifth century A.D.[344] A peculiar
interest attaches to the poems of Avienus, of the fourth century A.D.,
in that they give much information about the character attributed to
the Atlantic Ocean.[345] The astronomical poems of Manilius[346] and
Hyginus were favorites in early Middle Ages. The astrological character
of the work of Manilius made it popular, but it conveyed also the
true doctrine of the form of the earth. The curious work of Marcianus
Capella gave a résumé of science in the first half of the fifth century
A.D., and had a like popularity as a school-book and house-book which
also helped maintain the truth.[347]

Such in the main are the ancient writers upon which we must chiefly
rely in considering the present question. In the interpretation of
these sources much has been done by the leading modern writers on
the condition of science in ancient times; like Bunbury, Ukert,
Forbiger, St. Martin, and Peschel on geography;[348] like Zeller on
philosophy, not to name many others;[349] and like Lewis and Martin
on astronomy;[350] but there is no occasion to go to much length in
the enumeration of this class of books. The reader is referred to the
examination of the literature of special points of the geographical
studies of the ancients to the notes following this Essay.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mediæval cosmology and geography await a thorough student; they are
imbedded in the wastes of theological discussions of the Fathers, or
hidden in manuscript cosmographies in libraries of Europe. It should
be noted that confusion has arisen from the use of the word _rotundus_
to express both the sphericity of the earth and the circularity of the
known lands, and from the use of _terra_, or _orbis terrae_, to denote
the inhabited lands, as well as the globe. It has been pointed out by
Ruge (_Gesch. d. Zeitalters der Entdeckungen_, p. 97) that the later
Middle Age adopted the circular form of the _oekoumene_ in consequence
of a peculiar theory as to the relation of the land and water masses
of the earth, which were conceived as two intercepting spheres. The
_oekoumene_ might easily be spoken of as a round disk without implying
that the whole earth was plane.[351] That the struggle of the Christian
faith, at first for existence and then for the proper harvesting of the
fruits of victory, induced its earlier defenders to wage war against
the learning as well as the religion of the pagans; that Christians
were inclined to think time taken from the contemplation of the true
faith worse than wasted when given to investigations into natural
phenomena, which might better be accepted for what they professed to
be; and that they often found in Scripture a welcome support for the
evidence of the senses,—cannot be denied. It was inevitable that St.
Chrysostom, Lactantius, Orosius and Origines rejected or declined
to teach the sphericity of the earth. The curious systems of Cosmas
and Aethicus, marked by a return to the crudest conceptions of the
universe, found some favor in Europe. But the truth was not forgotten.
The astronomical poems of Aratus, Hyginus, and Manilius were still
read. Solinus and other plunderers of Pliny were popular, and kept
alive the ancient knowledge. The sphericity of the earth was not denied
by St. Augustine; it was maintained by Martianus Capella, and assumed
by Isidor of Seville. Bede[352] taught the whole system of ancient
geography; and but little later, Virgilius, bishop of Saltzburg, was
threatened with papal displeasure, not for teaching the sphericity
of the earth, but for upholding the existence of antipodes.[353]
The canons of Ptolemy were cited in the eleventh century by Hermann
Contractus in his _De utilitatibus astrolabii_, and in the twelfth by
Hugues de Saint Victor in his _Eruditio didascalica_. Strabo was not
known before Pope Nicholas V., who ordered the first translation. Not
many to-day can illustrate the truth more clearly than the author of
_L’Image du Monde_, an anonymous poem of the thirteenth century. If two
men, he says, were to start at the same time from a given point and go,
the one east, the other west,—

  Si que andui egaumont alassent
  Il convendroit qu’il s’encontrassent
  Dessus le leu dont il se mûrent.[354]

In general, the mathematical and astronomical treatises were earlier
known to the West than the purely metaphysical works: this was the case
in the eleventh and twelfth centuries; in the thirteenth the schoolmen
were familiar with the whole body of Aristotle’s works. Thus the
influence of Aristotle on natural science was early important, either
through Arabian commentators or paraphrasers, or through translations
made from the Arabic, or directly from the Greek.[355]

Jourdain affirms that it was the influence of Aristotle and his
interpreters that kept alive in the Middle Ages the doctrine that India
and Spain were not far apart. He also maintains that the doctrine of
the sphericity of the earth was familiar throughout the Middle Age,
and, if anything, more of a favorite than the other view.

The field of the later ecclesiastical and scholastic writers, who kept
up the contentions over the form of the earth and kindred subjects,
is too large to be here minutely surveyed. Such of them as were well
known to the geographical students of the centuries next preceding
Columbus have been briefly indicated in another place;[356] and if
not completely, yet with helpful outlining, the whole subject of the
mediæval cosmology has been studied by not a few of the geographical
and cartographical students of later days.[357] So far as these studies
pertain to the theory of a Lost Atlantis and the fabulous islands of
the Atlantic Ocean, they will be particularly illustrated in the notes
which follow this Essay.

[Illustration: Wm. H. Tillinghast]


=A.= THE FORM OF THE EARTH.—It is not easy to demonstrate that the
earliest Greeks believed the earth to be a flat disk, although that is
the accepted and probably correct view of their belief. It is possible
to examine but a small part of the earliest literature, and what we
have is of uncertain date and dubious origin; its intent is religious
or romantic, not scientific; its form is poetic. It is difficult to
interpret it accurately, since the prevalent ideas of nature must be
deduced from imagery, qualifying words and phrases, and seldom from
direct description. The interpreter, doubtful as to the proportion in
which he finds mingled fancy and honest faith, is in constant danger
of overreaching himself by excess of ingenuity. In dealing with such
a literature one is peculiarly liable to abuse the always dangerous
argument by which want of knowledge is inferred from lack of mention.
Other difficulties beset the use of later philosophic material, much
of which is preserved only in extracts made by antagonists or by
compilers, so that we are forced to confront a lack of context and
possible misunderstanding or misquotation. The frequent use of the
word _στρογγύλος_, which has the same ambiguity as our word “round”
in common parlance, often leads to uncertainty. A more fruitful cause
of trouble is inherent in the Greek manner of thinking of the world.
It is often difficult to know whether a writer means the planet, or
whether he means the agglomeration of known lands which later writers
called _ἡ οἰκουμένη_. It is not impossible that when writers refer to
the earth as encircled by the river Oceanus, they mean, not the globe,
but the known lands, the eastern continent, as we say, what the Romans
sometimes called _orbis terrae or orbis terrarum_, a term which may
mean the “circle of the lands,” not the “orb of the earth.” At a later
time it was a well-known belief that the earth-globe and water-globe
were excentrics, so that a segment of the former projected beyond the
surface of the latter in one part, and constituted the known world.[358]

I cannot attach much importance to the line of argument with which
modern writers since Voss have tried to prove that the Homeric poems
represent the earth flat. That Poseidon, from the mountains of the
Solymi, sees Odesseus on the sea to the west of Greece (_Od._ v. 282);
that Helios could see his cattle in Thrinakia both as he went toward
the heavens and as he turned toward the earth again (_Od._ xii. 380);
that at sunset “all the ways are darkened;” that the sun and the
stars set in and rose from the ocean,—these and similar proofs seem
to me to have as little weight as attaches to the expressions “ends
of the earth,” or to the flowing of Oceanus around the earth. There
are, however, other and better reasons for assuming that the earth in
earliest thought was flat. Such is the most natural assumption from the
evidence of sight, and there is certainly nothing in the older writings
inconsistent with such an idea. We know, moreover, that in the time of
Socrates it was yet a matter of debate as to whether the earth was flat
or spherical, as it was in the time of Plutarch.[359] We are distinctly
told by Aristotle that various forms were attributed to earth by
early philosophers, and the implication is that the spherical theory,
whose truth he proceeds to demonstrate, was a new thought.[360] It is
very unlikely, except to those who sincerely accept the theory of a
primitive race of unequalled wisdom, that the sphericity of the earth,
having been known to Homer, should have been cast aside by the Ionic
philosophers and the Epicureans, and forgotten by educated people five
or six centuries later, as it must have been before the midnight voyage
of Helios in his golden cup, and before similar attempts to account
for the return of the sun could have become current. Ignorance of the
true shape of the earth is also indicated by the common view that the
sun appeared much larger at rising to the people of India than to the
Grecians, and at setting presented the same phenomenon in Spain.[361]
As we have seen, the description of Tartarus in the Theogony of Hesiod,
which Fick thinks an interpolation of much later date, likens the earth
to a lid.

The question has always been an open one. Crates of Mallos, Strabo, and
other Homer-worshippers of antiquity, could not deny to the poet any
knowledge current in their day, but their reasons for assuming that he
knew the earth to be a globe are not strong. In recent years President
Warren has maintained that Homer’s earth was a sphere with Oceanus
flowing around the equator, that the pillars of Atlas meant the axis of
the earth, and that Ogygia was at the north pole.[362] Homer, however,
thought that Oceanus flowed around the known lands, not that it merely
grazed their southern border: it is met with in the east where the sun
rises, in the west (_Od._ iv. 567), and in the north (_Od._ v. 275).

That “Homer and all the ancient poets conceived the earth to be
a plane” was distinctly asserted by Geminus in the first century
B.C.,[363] and has been in general steadfastly maintained by moderns
like Voss,[364] Völcker,[365] Buchholtz,[366] Gladstone,[367]
Martin,[368] Schaefer,[369] and Gruppe.[370] It is therefore
intrinsically probable, commonly accepted, and not contradicted by what
is known of the literature of the time itself.[371]

=B.= HOMER’S GEOGRAPHY.—There is an extensive literature on the
geographic attainments of Homer, but it is for the most part rather sad
reading. The later Greeks had a local identification for every place
mentioned in the _Odyssey_; but conservative scholars at present are
chary of such, while agreed in confining the scene of the wanderings
to the western Mediterranean. Gladstone, in _Homer and the Homeric
Age_, has argued with ingenuity for the transfer of the scene from
the West to the East, and has constructed on this basis one of the
most extraordinary maps of “the ancient world” known. K. E. von Baer
(_Wo ist der Schauplatz d. Fahrten d. Odysseus zu finden? 1875_),
agreeing with Gladstone, “identifies” the Lastrygonian harbor with
Balaklava, and discovers the very poplar grove of Persephone. It is
a favorite scheme with others to place the wanderings outside the
columns of Hercules, among the Atlantic isles,[372] and to include
a circumnavigation of Africa. The better opinion seems to me that
which leaves the wanderings in the western Mediterranean, which
was considered to extend much farther north than it actually does.
The maps which represent the voyage within the actual coast lines
of the sea, and indicate the vessel passing through the Straits to
the ocean, are misleading. There is not enough given in the poem to
resolve the problem. The courses are vague, the distances uncertain or
conventional,—often neither are given; and the matter is complicated
by the introduction of a _floating_ island, and the mysterious voyages
from the land of the Phaeacians. It is a pleasant device adopted by
Buchholtz and others to assume that where the course is not given, the
wind last mentioned must be considered to still hold, and surely no one
will grudge the commentators this amelioration of their lot.

=C.= SUPPOSED REFERENCES TO AMERICA.—It is well known that Columbus’s
hopes were in part based on passages in classical authors.[373]
Glareanus, quoting Virgil in 1527, after Columbus’s discovery had made
the question of the ancient knowledge prominent, has been considered
the earliest to open the discussion;[374] and after this we find it a
common topic in the early general writers on America, like Las Casas
(_Historia General_), Ramusio (introd. vol. iii.), and Acosta (book i.
ch. 11, etc.)

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries it was not an uncommon
subject of academic and learned discussion.[375] It was a part of the
survey made by many of the writers who discussed the origin of the
American tribes, like Garcia,[376] Lafitau,[377] Samuel Mather,[378]
Robertson,[379] not to name others.

It was not till Humboldt compassed the subject in his _Examen Critique
de l’histoire de la géographie du nouveau continent_ (Paris, 1836),
that the field was fully scanned with a critical spirit, acceptable to
the modern mind. He gives two of the five volumes which comprise the
work to this part of his subject, and very little has been added by
later research, while his conclusions still remain, on the whole, those
of the most careful of succeeding writers. The French original is not
equipped with guides to its contents, such as a student needs; but this
is partly supplied by the index in the German translation.[380] The
impediments which the student encounters in the _Examen Critique_ are
a good deal removed in a book which is on the whole the easiest guide
to the sources of the subject,—Paul Gaffarel’s _Etude sur les rapports
de l’Amérique et de l’ancien continent avant Christophe Colomb_ (Paris,

The literature of the supposed old-world communication with America
shows other phases of this question of ancient knowledge, and may be
divided, apart from the Greek embraced in the previous survey, into
those of the Egyptians, Phœnicians, Tyrians, Carthaginians, and Romans.

The Egyptian theory has been mainly worked out in the present century.
Paul Felix Cabrera’s _Teatro critico Americano_, printed with Rio’s
_Palenqué_ (Lond., 1822), formulates the proofs. An essay by A.
Lenoir, comparing the Central American monuments with those of Egypt,
is appended to Dupaix’s _Antiquités Méxicaines_ (1805). Delafield’s
_Inquiry into the Origin of the Antiquities of America_ (Cincinnati,
1839), traces it to the Cushites of Egypt, and cites Garcia y Cubas,
_Ensayo de an Estudio Comparativo entre las Pirámides Egipcias y
Méxicanas_. Brasseur de Bourbourg discussed the question, _S’il existe
des sources de l’histoire primitive du Méxique dans les monuments
égyptiens de l’histoire primitive de l’ancien monde dans les monuments
américains?_ in his ed. of Landa’s _Relations des Choses de Yucatan_
(Paris, 1864). Buckle (_Hist. of Civilization_, i. ch. 2) believes the
Mexican civilization to have been strictly analogous to that of India
and Egypt. Tylor (_Early Hist. of Mankind_, 98) compares the Egyptian
hieroglyphics with those of the Aztecs. John T. C. Heaviside, _Amer.
Antiquities, or the New World the Old, and the Old World the New_
(London, 1868), maintains the reverse theory of the Egyptians being
migrated Americans. F. de Varnhagen works out his belief in _L’origine
touranienne des américains tupis-caribes et des anciens égyptiens
montrée principalement par la philologie comparée; et notice d’une
émigration en Amérique effectuée à travers l’Atlantique plusieurs
siècles avant notre ère_ (Vienne 1876).[382]

Aristotle’s mention of an island discovered by the Phœnicians was
thought by Gomara and Oviedo to refer to America. The elder leading
writers on the origin of the Indians, like Garcia, Horn, De Laet, and
at a later day Lafitau, discuss the Phœnician theory; as does Voss
in his annotations on Pomponius Mela (1658), and Count de Gebelin
in his _Monde primitif_ (Paris, 1781). In the present century the
question has been touched by Cabrera in Rio’s _Palenqué_ (1822). R. A.
Wilson, in his _New Conquest of Mexico_, assigns (ch. v.) the ruins
of Middle America to the Phœnicians. Morlot, in the _Actes de la
Société Jurassienne d’Emulation_ (1863), printed his “La découverte de
l’Amérique par les Phènicièns.” Gaffarel sums up the evidences in a
paper in the _Compte Rendu, Cong. des Amér._ (Nancy), i. 93.[383]

The Tyrian theory has been mainly sustained by a foolish book, by a
foolish man, _An Original History of Anc. America_ (London, 1843), by
Geo. Jones, later known as the Count Johannes (cf. Bancroft’s _Native
Races_, v. 73).

The Carthaginian discovery rests mainly on the statements of Diodorus

Baron Zach in his _Correspondenz_ undertakes to say that Roman voyages
to America were common in the days of Seneca, and a good deal of wild
speculation has been indulged in.[385]

=D.= ATLANTIS.—The story of Atlantis rests solely upon the authority
of Plato, who sketched it in the _Timaeus_, and began an elaborated
version in the _Critias_ (if that fragment be by him), which old
writers often cite as the _Atlanticus_. This is frequently forgotten
by those who try to establish the truth of the story, who often write
as if all statements in print were equally available as “authorities,”
and quote as corroborations of the tale all mentions of it made by
classical writers, regardless of the fact that all are later than
Plato, and can no more than Ignatius Donnelly corroborate him. In
fact, the ancients knew no better than we what to make of the story,
and diverse opinions prevailed then as now. Many of these opinions
are collected by Proclus in the first book of his commentary on
the _Timaeus_,[386] and all shades of opinion are represented from
those who, like Crantor, accepted the story as simply historical, to
those who regarded it as a mere fable. Still others, with Proclus
himself, accepted it as a record of actual events, while accounting
for its introduction in Plato by a variety of subtile metaphysical
interpretations. Proclus reports that Crantor, the first commentator
upon Plato (_circa_ B.C. 300), asserted that the Egyptian priests said
that the story was written on pillars which were still preserved,[387]
and he likewise quotes from the _Ethiopic History_ of Marcellus, a
writer of whom nothing else is known, a statement that according to
certain historians there were seven islands in the external sea sacred
to Proserpine; and also three others of great size, one sacred to
Pluto, one to Ammon, and another, the middle one, a thousand stadia
in size, sacred to Neptune. The inhabitants of it preserved the
remembrance, from their ancestors, of the Atlantic island which existed
there, and was truly prodigiously great, which for many periods had
dominion over all the islands in the Atlantic sea, and was itself
sacred to Neptune.[388] Testimony like this is of little value in such
a case. What comes to us at third hand is more apt to need support
than give it; yet these two passages are the strongest evidence of
knowledge of Atlantis outside of Plato that is preserved. We do indeed
find mention of it elsewhere and earlier. Thus Strabo[389] says that
Posidonius (B.C. 135-51) suggested that, as the land was known to
have changed in elevation, Atlantis might not be a fiction, but that
such an island-continent might actually have existed and disappeared.
Pliny[390] also mentions Atlantis in treating of changes in the
earth’s surface, though he qualifies his quotation with “si Platoni
credimus.”[391] A mention of the story in a similar connection is made
by Ammianus Marcellinus.[392]

In the Scholia to Plato’s _Republic_ it is said that at the great
Panathenaea there was carried in procession a _peplum_ ornamented with
representations of the contest between the giants and the gods, while
on the _peplum_ carried in the little Panathenaea could be seen the
war of the Athenians against the Atlantides. Even Humboldt accepted
this as an independent testimony in favor of the antiquity of the
story; but Martin has shown that, apart from the total inconsistency
of the report with the expressions of Plato, who places the narration
of this forgotten deed of his countrymen at the celebration of the
festival of the little Panathenaea, the scholiast has only misread
Proclus, who states that the _peplum_ depicted the repulse of the
barbarians, _i. e._ Persians, by the Greeks.[393] To these passages
it is customary to add references to the Meropian continent of
Theopompus,[394] the Saturnian of Plutarch, the islands of Aristotle,
Diodorus and Pausanias,—which is very much as if one should refer to
the _New Atlantis_ of Bacon as evidence for the existence of More’s
_Utopia_.[395] Plutarch in his life of Solon attributes Solon’s having
given up the idea of an epic upon Atlantis to his advanced age rather
than to want of leisure; but there is nothing to show that he had any
evidence beyond Plato that Solon ever thought of such a poem, and Plato
does not say that Solon began the poem, though Plutarch appears to
have so understood him.[396] Thus it seems more probable that all the
references to Atlantis by ancient writers are derived from the story in
Plato than that they are independent and corroborative statements.

With the decline of the Platonic school at Alexandria even the name
of Atlantis readily vanished from literature. It is mentioned by
Tertullian,[397] and found a place in the strange system of Cosmas
Indicopleustes,[398] but throughout the Middle Ages little or nothing
was known of it. That it was not quite forgotten appears from its
mention in the _Image du Monde_, a poem of the thirteenth century,
still in MS., where it is assigned a location in the _Mer Betée_ (=
coagulée).[399] Plato was printed in Latin in 1483, 1484, 1491, and
in Greek in 1513, and in 1534 with the commentary of Proclus on the
Timaeus.[400] The _Timaeus_ was printed separately five times in the
sixteenth century, and also in a French and an Italian translation.[401]

The discovery of America doubtless added to the interest with which
the story was perused, and the old controversy flamed up with new
ardor. It was generally assumed that the account given by Plato was not
his invention. Opinions were, however, divided as to whether he had
given a correct account. Of those who believed that he had erred as
to the locality or as to the destruction of the island, some thought
that America was the true Atlantis, while others, with whose ideas
we have no concern here, placed Atlantis in Africa, Asia, or Europe,
as prejudice led them. Another class of scholars, sensible of the
necessity of adhering to the text of the only extant account, accepted
the whole narrative, and endeavored to find in the geography of the
Atlantic, or as indicated by the resemblances between the flora, fauna,
and civilization of America and of the old world, additional reasons
for believing that such an island had once existed, and had disappeared
after serving as a bridge by which communication between the continents
was for a time carried on. The discussion was prolonged over centuries,
and is not yet concluded. The wilder theories have been eliminated
by time, and the contest may now be said to be between those who
accept Plato’s tale as true and those who regard it as an invention.
The latter view is at present in favor with the most conservative
and careful scholars, but the other will always find advocates.
That Atlantis was America was maintained by Gomara, Guillaume de
Postel, Horn, and others incidentally, and by Birchrod in a special
treatise,[402] which had some influence even upon the geographer
Cellarius. In 1669 the Sansons published a map showing America divided
among the descendants of Neptune as Atlantis was divided, and even as
late as 1762 Vaugondy reproduced it.[403] In his edition of Plato,
Stallbaum expressed his belief that the Egyptians might have had some
knowledge of America.[404] Cluverius thought the story was due to a
knowledge of America.[405]

Very lately Hyde Clark has found in the Atlantis fable evidence
of a knowledge of America: he does not believe in the connecting
island Atlantis, but he holds that Plato misinterpreted some account
of America which had reached him.[406] Except for completeness it
is scarcely worth mentioning that Blackett, whose work can really
be characterized by no other word than absurd, sees America in

Here should be mentioned a work by Berlioux, which puts Euhemerus to
the blush in the manner in which history with much detail is extorted
from mythology.[408] He holds that Atlantis was the northwestern coast
of Africa; that under Ouranos and Atlas, astronomers and kings, it was
the seat of a great empire which had conquered portions of America and
kept a lively commercial intercourse with that country.

Ortelius in several places speaks of the belief that America was the
old Atlantis, and also attributes that belief to Mercator.[409]

That Atlantis might really have existed[410] and disappeared, leaving
the Atlantic islands as remnants, was too evident to escape notice.
Ortelius suggested that the island of Gades might be a fragment of
Atlantis,[411] and the doctrine was early a favorite. Kircher, in his
very curious work on the subterranean world, devotes considerable space
to Atlantis, rejecting its connection with America, while he maintains
its former existence, and holds that the Azores, Canaries, and other
Atlantic islands were formerly parts thereof, and that they showed
traces of volcanic fires in his day.[412]

Las Casas in his history of the Indies devoted an entire chapter to
Atlantis, quoting the arguments of Proclus, in his commentary on
Plato, in favor of the story, though he is himself more doubtful. He
also cites confirmative passages from Philo and St. Anselm, etc. He
considers the question of the Atlantic isles, and cites authorities for
great and sudden changes in the earth’s surface.[413]

The same view was taken by Becman,[414] and Fortia D’Urban. Turnefort
included America in the list of remnants; and De la Borde followed
Sanson in extending Atlantis to the farthest Pacific islands.[415] Bory
de St. Vincent,[416] again, limited Atlantis to the Atlantic, and gave
on a map his ideas of its contour.

D’Avezac maintains this theory in his _Iles africaines de l’Océan
Atlantique_,[417] p. 5-8. Carli devoted a large part of the second
volume of his _Lettere Americane_ to Atlantis, controverting Baily,
who placed Atlantis in Spitzbergen. Carli goes at considerable length
into the topographical and geological arguments in favor of its
existence.[418] The early naturalists, when the doctrine of great and
sudden changes in the earth’s surface was in favor, were inclined
to look with acquiescence on this belief. Even Lyell confessed a
temptation to accept the theory of an Atlantis island in the northern
Atlantic, though he could not see in the Atlantic islands trace of a
mid-Atlantic bridge.[419] About the middle of this century scholars
in several departments of learning, accepting the evidences of
resemblances between the product of the old and new world, were induced
to turn gladly to such a connection as would have been offered by
Atlantis; and the results obtained at about the same time by studies in
the pre-Columbian traditions and civilization of Mexico were brought
forward as supporting the same theory. That the Antilles were remnants
of Atlantis; that the Toltecs were descendants from the panic-stricken
fugitives of the great catastrophe, whose terrors were recorded in
their traditions, as well as in those of the Egyptians, was ardently
urged by Brasseur de Bourbourg.[420]

In 1859 Retzius announced that he found a close resemblance between the
skulls of the Guanches of the Canaries and the Guaranas of Brazil, and
recalled the Atlantis story to explain it.[421] In 1846 Forbes declared
his belief in the former existence of a bridge of islands in the North
Atlantic, and in 1856 Heer attempted to show the necessity of a similar
connection from the testimony of palæontological botany.

In 1860, Unger deliberately advocated the Atlantis hypothesis to
explain the likeness between the fossil flora of Europe and the living
flora of America, enumerating over fifty similar species; and Kuntze
found in the case of the tropical seedless banana, occurring at once in
America before 1492 and in Africa, a strong evidence of the truth of
the theory.[422]

A condensed review of the scientific side of the question is given
by A. Boué in his article _Ueber die Rolle der Veränderungen des
unorganischen Festen im grossen Massstabe in der Natur_.[423]

The deep-sea soundings taken in the Atlantic under the auspices of
the governments of the United States, England, and Germany resulted
in discoveries which gave a new impetus to the Atlantis theory.
It was shown that, starting from the Arctic plateau, a ridge runs
down the middle of the Atlantic, broadening toward the Azores, and
contracting again as it trends toward the northeast coast of South
America. The depth over the ridge is less than 1,000 fathoms, while
the valleys on either side average 3,000; it is known after the U. S.
vessel which took the soundings as the Dolphin ridge. A similar though
more uniformly narrow ridge was found by the “Challenger” expedition
(1873-76), extending from somewhat north of Ascension Island directly
south between South America and Africa. It is known as the Challenger
ridge. There is, beside, evidence for the existence of a ridge across
the tropical Atlantic, connecting the Dolphin and Challenger ridges.
Madeira, the Canaries, and the Cape Verde Islands are cut off from
these ridges by a deep valley, but are connected by shoals with the
continent. Upon the publication of the Challenger chart (_Special
Report_, vii. 1876), those who favored the theory of communication
between the continents were not slow to appropriate its disclosures in
their interests (_Nature_, Dec. 21, 1876, xv. 158). In March, 1877, W.
Stephen Mitchell delivered a lecture at South Kensington, wherein he
placed in juxtaposition the theory of Unger and the revelations of the
deep-sea soundings, when he announced, however, that he did not mean
to assert that these ridges had ever formed a connecting link above
water between the continents.[424] Others were less cautious,[425] but
in general this interpretation did not commend itself as strongly to
conservative men of science as it might have done a few years before,
because such men were gradually coming to doubt the fact of changes of
great moment in the earth’s surface, even those of great duration.

In 1869, M. Paul Gaffarel published his first treatise on
Atlantis,[426] advocating the truth of the story, and in 1880 he made
it the subject of deeper research, utilizing the facts which ocean
exploration had placed at command.[427] This is the best work which has
appeared upon this side of the question, and can only be set against
the earlier work by Martin.[428] The same theory has been supported
by D. P. de Novo y Colson, who went so far as to predict the ultimate
recovery of some Atlantean manuscripts from submarine grottoes of some
of the Atlantic islands,—a hope which surpasses Mr. Donnelly.[429]

Winchell found the theory too useful in his scheme of ethnology to be
rejected,[430] but it was reserved for Ignatius Donnelly to undertake
the arrangement of the deductions of modern science and the data of
old traditions into a set argument for the truth of Plato’s story. His
book,[431] in many ways a rather clever statement of the argument, so
evidently presented only the evidence in favor of his view, and that
with so little critical estimate of authorities and weight of evidence,
that it attracted only uncomplimentary notice from the scientific
press.[432] It was, however, the first long presentation of the case
in English, and as such made an impression on many laymen. In 1882
was also published the second volume of the _Challenger Narrative_,
containing a report by M. Renard on the geologic character of the
mid-Atlantic island known as St. Paul’s rocks. The other Atlantic
islands are confessedly of volcanic origin, and this, which laymen
interpreted in favor of the Atlantis theory, militated with men of
science against the view that they were remnants of a sunken continent.
St. Paul’s, however, was, as noted by Darwin, of doubtful character,
and Renard came to the conclusion that it was composed of crystalline
schists, and had therefore probably been once overlaid by masses since
removed.[433] This conclusion, which tended in favor of Atlantis, was
controverted by A. Geikie[434] and by M. E. Wadsworth,[435] (the latter
having personally inspected specimens,) on the ground that the rocks
were volcanic in origin, and that, had they been schists, the inference
of denudation would not follow. Dr. Guest declared that ethnologists
have fully as good cause as the botanists to regard Atlantis as a
fact.[436] A. J. Weise in treating of the Discoveries of America
adopted the Atlantis fable unhesitatingly, and supposes that America
was known to the Egyptians through that channel.[437]

That the whole story was invented by Plato as a literary ornament
or allegorical argument, or that he thus utilized a story which he
had really received from Egypt, but which was none the less a myth,
was maintained even among the early Platonists, and was the view of
Longinus. Even after the discovery of America many writers recognized
the fabulous touch in it, as Acosta,[438] who thought, “being well
considered, they are rediculous things, resembling rather to _Ovid’s_
tales then a Historie of Philosophie worthy of accompt,” and “cannot be
held for true but among children and old folkes”—an opinion adopted by
the judicious Cellarius.[439]

Among more recent writers, D’Anville, Bartoli,[440] Gosselin,[441]
Ukert,[442] approved this view.

Humboldt threw the weight of his great influence in favor of the
mythical interpretation, though he found the germ of the story in
the older geographic myth of the destruction of Lyctonia in the
Mediterranean (Orph. _Argonaut._, 1274, etc.);[443] while Martin, in
his work on the _Timaeus_, with great learning and good sense, reduced
the story to its elements, concluding that such an island had never
existed, the tale was not invented by Plato, but had really descended
to him from Solon, who had heard it in Egypt.

Prof. Jowett regards the entire narrative as “due to the imagination of
Plato, who could easily invent ‘Egyptians or anything else,’ and who
has used the name of Solon ... and the tradition of the Egyptian priest
to give verisimilitude to his story;”[444] and Bunbury is of the same
opinion, regarding the story as “a mere fiction,” and “no more intended
to be taken seriously ... than the tale of Er the Pamphylian.”[445] Mr.
Archer-Hind, the editor of the only separate edition of the _Timaeus_
which has appeared in England, thinks it impossible to determine
“whether Plato has invented the story from beginning to end, or whether
it really more or less represents some Egyptian legend brought home by
Solon,” which seems to be a fitting conclusion to the whole matter.

The literature of the subject is widely scattered, but a good deal has
been done bibliographically in some works which have been reserved
for special mention here. The earliest is the _Dissertation sur
l’Atlantide_, by Th. Henri Martin,[446] wherein, beside a carefully
reasoned examination of the story itself and similar geographic myths,
the opposing views of previous writers are set forth in the second
section, _Histoire des Systèmes sur l’Atlantide_, pp. 258-280. Gaffarel
has in like manner given a résumé of the literature, which comes down
later than that of Martin, in the two excellent treatises which he has
devoted to the subject; he is convinced of the existence of such an
island, but his work is marked by such care, orderliness, and fulness
of citations that it is of the greatest value.[447] The references
in these treatises are made with intelligence, and are, in general,
accurate and useful. That this is not the case with the work of Mr.
Donnelly deprives the volume of much of the value which it might have

islands belong quite as much to the domain of folk-lore as to that of
geography. The legends about them form a part of the great mass of
superstitions connected with the sea. What has been written about these
island myths is for the most part scattered in innumerable collections
of folk-tales and in out-of-the-way sources, and it does not lie within
the scope of the present sketch to track in these directions all that
has been said. It will not be out of place, however, to refer to a
few recent works where much information and many references can be
found. One of the fullest collections, though not over-well sorted,
is by Lieut. F. S. Bassett,[449] consisting of brief notes made in
the course of wide reading, well provided with references, which are,
however, often so abbreviated as to inflict much trouble on those who
would consult them,—an all too common fault. Of interest is a chapter
on _Les îles_, in a similar work by M. Paul Sebillot.[450] An island
home has often been assigned to the soul after death, and many legends,
some mediæval, some of great antiquity, deal with such islands, or with
voyages to them. Some account of these will be found in Bassett, and
particularly in an article by E. Beauvois in the _Revue de l’histoire
de Religion_,[451] where further references are to be found. Wm.
F. Warren has also collected many references to the literature of
this subject in the course of his endeavor to show that Paradise was
at the North Pole.[452] The long articles on _Eden_ and _Paradise_
in McClintock and Strong’s _Biblical Encyclopedia_ should also be

In what way the fabulous islands of the Atlantic originated is not
known, nor has the subject been exhaustively investigated. The islands
of classical times, in part actual discoveries, in part born of
confused reports of actual discoveries, and in part probably purely
mythical, were very generally forgotten as ancient civilization
declined.[453] The other islands which succeeded them were in part
reminiscences of the islands known to the ancients or invented by
them, and in part products of a popular mythology, as old perhaps as
that of the Greeks, but until now unknown to letters. The writers who
have dealt with these islands have treated them generally from the
purely geographic point of view. The islands are known principally
from maps, beginning with the fourteenth century, and are not often
met with in descriptive works. Formaleoni, in his attempt to show
that the Venetians had discovered the West Indies prior to Columbus,
made studies of the older maps which naturally led him to devote
considerable attention to these islands.[454]

They are also considered by Zurla.[455] The first general account of
them was given by Humboldt in the _Examen Critique_,[456] and to what
he did little if anything has since been added. D’Avezac[457] treated
the subject, giving a brief sketch of the islands known to the Arab
geographers,—a curious matter which deserves more attention.

Still more recently Paul Gaffarel has treated the matter briefly, but
carefully.[458] A study of old maps by H. Wuttke, in the _Jahresbericht
des Vereins für Erdkunde zu Dresden_,[459] gives considerable attention
to the islands; and Theobald Fischer, in his commentary on the
collection of maps reproduced by Ongania, has briefly touched on the
subject,[460] as has Cornelio Desimoni in various papers in the _Atti
della Società Ligure di Storia patria_, xiv., and other years, in the
_Atti dell’ Acad. dei Nuova Lincei_, in the _Gionale ligustico_, etc.
R. H. Major’s _Henry the Navigator_ should also be consulted.[461]

       *       *       *       *       *

Strictly speaking, the term mythical islands ought to include, if not
Frisland and Drogeo, at least the land of Bus, the island of Bimini
with its fountain of life, an echo of one of the oldest of folk-tales,
the island of Saxenburg, and the other non-existent islands, shoals,
and rocks, with which the imagination of sailors and cartographers have
connected the Atlantic even into the present century. In fact, the
name is by common consent restricted to certain islands which occur
constantly on old charts: the Island of St. Brandan, Antillia or Isle
of the Seven Cities, Satanaxio, Danmar, Brazil, Mayda, and Isla Verte.
It is interesting to note that the Arab geographers had their fabulous
islands, too, though so little is known of them that it is at present
impossible to say what relation they bear to those mentioned. They say
that Ptolemy assigned 25,000 islands to the Atlantic, but they name
and describe seventeen only, among which we may mention the Eternal
Islands (Canaries? Azores?),[462] El-Ghanam (Madeira?), Island of the
Two Sorcerers (Lancerote?), etc.[463]

There has been some difference of opinion as to which of the Atlantic
islands answer to the ancient conception of the Fortunate Islands. It
is probable that the idea is at the bottom of several of these, but it
may be doubted whether the island of St. Brandan is not entirely due to
the christianizing of this ancient fable.

We proceed now to examine the accounts of some of these islands.

ST. BRANDAN.—St. Brandan, or Brendan, who died May 16, 577, was Abbot
of Cluainfert, in Ireland, according to the legend, where he was
visited by a friend, Barontus, who told him that far in the ocean lay
an island which was the land promised to the saints. St. Brandan set
sail for this island in company with 75 monks, and spent seven years
upon the ocean, in two voyages (according to the Irish text in the
MS. _book of Lismore_, which is probably the most archaic form of the
legend), discovering this island and many others equally marvellous,
including one which turned out to be the back of a huge fish, upon
which they celebrated Easter. This story cannot be traced beyond the
eleventh century, its oldest form being a Latin prose version in a
MS. of that century. It is known also in French, English, and German
translations, both prose and verse, and was evidently a great favorite
in the Middle Ages. Intimately connected with the St. Brandan legend
is that of St. Malo, or Maclovius, Bishop of Aleth, in Armorica, a
disciple of St. Brandan, who accompanied his superior, and whose
eulogists, jealous of the fame of the Irish saint, provided for the
younger a voyage on his own account, with marvels transcending those
found by Brandan. His church-day is November 17th. The story of St.
Brandan is given by Humboldt and D’Avezac,[464] and by Gaffarel.[465]
Further accounts will be found in the _Acta Sanctorum_ of the
Bollandists,[466] and in the introductions and notes to the numerous
editions of the voyages, among which reference only need be made to the
original Latin edited by M. Jubinal,[467] and to the English version
edited by Thomas Wright for the Percy Society.[468] A Latin text of the
fourteenth century is now to be found in the _Acta Sanctorum Hiberniae
ex codice Salmanticensi nunc premium integre edita opera C. de Smedt
et J. de Backer_ (Edinb. etc., 1888), 4to, pp. 111-154. As is well
known, Philoponus gives an account of the voyages of St. Brandan with a
curious map, in which he places the island N. W. of Spain and N. E. of
the Canaries, or _Insulae Fortunatae_.[469] The island of St. Brandan
was at first apparently imagined in the north, but it afterward took a
more southerly location. Honoré d’Autun identifies it with a certain
island called Perdita, once discovered and then lost in the Atlantic;
we have here, perhaps, some reminiscence of the name “Aprositos,” which
Ptolemy bestows on one of the _Fortunatae Insulae_.[470] In some of
the earlier maps there is an inlet on the west coast of Ireland called
_Lacus Fortunatus_, which is packed with islands which are called
_Insulae Fortunatae_ or _Beatae_, and sometimes given as 300 or 368
in number.[471] But the Pizigani map of 1367 puts the _Isole dicte
Fortunate S. Brandany_ in the place of Madeira; and Behaim’s globe, in
1492, sets it down in the latitude of Cape de Verde,—a legend against
it assigning the discovery to St. Brandan in 565.

It is this island which was long supposed to be seen as a mountainous
land southeast of the Canaries. After the discovery of the Azores
expeditions were fitted out to search for it, and were continued until
1721, which are described by Viera, and have been since retold by all
writers on the subject.[472] The island was again reported as seen in

ANTILLIA, OR ISLE OF SEVEN CITIES.—The largest of these islands, the
one most persistent in its form and location, is Antillia, which is
depicted as a large rectangular island, extending from north to south,
lying in the mid-Atlantic about lat. 35° N. This island first appears
on the map of 1424, preserved at Weimar, and is found on the principal
maps of the rest of the century, notably in the Bianco of 1436.[473] On
some maps of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries appears a smaller
island under the name of Sette Citade, or Sete Ciudades, which is
properly another name for Antillia, as Toscanelli says in his famous
letter, wherein he recommended Antillia as likely to be useful as a
way-station on the India voyage. We owe to Behaim the preservation on
his globe of 1492 of the legend of this island. It was discovered and
settled, according to him, by refugees from Spain in 714, after the
defeat of King Roderick by the Moors. The settlers were accompanied by
an archbishop and six bishops, each of whom built him a town. There
is a story that the island was rediscovered by a Portuguese sailor in

In apparent connection with _Antillia_ are the smaller islands _Danmar_
or _Tanmar_, _Reillo_ or _Royllo_, and _Satanaxio_. The latter alone
is of special interest. Formaleoni found near Antillia, on the map of
Bianco of 1436, an island with a name which he read as “Y.^d laman
Satanaxio,”—a name which much perplexed him, until he found, in an
old Italian romance, a legend that in a certain part of India a great
hand arose every day from the sea and carried off the inhabitants into
the ocean. Adapting this tale to the west, he translated the name
“Island of the hand of Satan,”[475] in which interpretation Humboldt
acquiesced. D’Avezac, however, was inclined to think that there were
two islands, one called Delamar, a name which elsewhere appears as
Danmar or Tanmar, and Satanaxio, or, as it appears on a map by Beccario
at Parma, _Satanagio_,[476] and suggests that the word is a corrupt
form for S. Atanaxio or S. Atanagio, i. e. St. Athanasius, with which
Gaffarel is inclined to agree.[477]

Formaleoni saw in _Antillia_ a foreknowledge of the Antilles, and
Hassel believed that North and South America were respectively
represented by Satanaxio and Antillia, with a strait between, just as
the American continent was indeed represented after the discovery. It
is certainly curious that Beccario designates the group of Antillia,
Satanagio, and Danmar, as _Isle de novo reperte_, the name afterwards
applied to the discoveries of Columbus; but it is not now believed that
the fifteenth-century islands were aught but geographical fancies. To
transfer their names to the real discoveries was of course easy and

BRAZIL.—Among the islands which prefigured the Azores on
fourteenth-century maps appears _I. de Brazi_ on the Medicean portulano
of 1351, and it is apparently Terceira or San Miguel.[479] On the
Pizigani map of 1367 appear three islands with this name, _Insula de
Bracir_ or _Bracie_, two not far from the Azores, and one off the south
or southeast end of Ireland. On the Catalan map of 1375 is an _Insula
de Brazil_ in the southern part of the so-called Azores group, and an
_Insula de Brazil_ (?) applied to a group of small islands enclosed
in a heavy black ring west of Ireland. The same reduplication occurs
in the Solerio of 1385, in a map of 1426 preserved at Regensburg,
in Bianco’s map of 1436, and in that of 1448: here _de Braxil_ is
the easternmost of the Azores group (i. e. _y de Colombi, de Zorzi_,
etc.), while the large round island—more like a large ink-blot than
anything else—west of Ireland is _y de Brazil d. binar_.[480] In a map
in St. Mark’s Library, Venice, dated about 1450, Brazil appears in
four places. Fra Mauro puts it west of Ireland,[481] and it so appears
in Ptolemy of 1519, and Ramusio in 1556; but Mercator and Ortelius
inscribe it northwest of the Azores.

Humboldt has shown[482] that brazil-wood, being imported into Europe
from the East Indies long before the discovery of America, gave its
name to the country in the west where it was found in abundance, and
he infers that the designation of the Atlantic island was derived from
the same source. The duplication of the name, however, seems to point
to a confusion of different traditions, and in the Brazil off Ireland
we doubtless have an attempt to establish the mythical island of _Hy
Brazil_, or _O’Brasile_, which plays a part as a vanishing island in
Irish legends, although it cannot be traced to its origin. In the epic
literature of Ireland relating to events of the sixth and subsequent
centuries, and which was probably written down in the twelfth, there
are various stories of ocean voyages, some involuntary, some voluntary,
and several, like the voyage of the sons of Ua Corra about 540, of St.
Brandan about 560, and of Mailduin in the eighth century, taking place
in the Atlantic, and resulting in the discovery of numerous fabulous
islands.[483] The name of Brazil does not appear in these early
records, but it seems to belong to the same class of legends.[484]
It is first mentioned, as far as I know, by William Betoner, called
William of Worcester, who calls the island _Brasyle_ and _Brasylle_,
and says that July 15, 1480, his brother-in-law, John Jay, began a
voyage from Bristol in search of the island, returning Sept. 18 without
having found it.[485] This evidently belongs to the series of voyages
made by Bristol men in search of this island, which is mentioned
by Pedro d’Ayala, the Spanish ambassador to England, in his famous
letter of July 25, 1498, where he says that such voyages in search of
_Brazylle_ and the _seven cities_ had been made for seven years past,
“according to the fancies of the Genoese,” meaning Sebastian Cabot.[486]

It would seem that the search for Brazil was of older date than Cabot’s
arrival. He probably gave an additional impetus to the custom, adding
to the stories of the fairy isles the legends of the _Sette Citade_ or
_Antillia_. Hardiman,[487] quoting from a MS. history of Ireland, in
the library of the Royal Irish Academy, written about 1636, mentions
an “iland, which lyeth far att sea, on the west of Connaught, and some
times is perceived by the inhabitants of the _Oules_ and _Iris_ ... and
from Saint Helen Head. Like wise several seamen have discovered it, ...
one of whom, named Captain Rich, who lives about Dublin, of late years
had a view of the land, and was so neere that he discovered a harbour
... but could never make to land” because of “a mist which fell upon
him.... Allsoe in many old mappes ... you still find it by the name of
_O’Brasile_ under the longitude of 03°, 00´, and the latitude of 50°
20´.”[488] In 1675 a pretended account of a visit to this island was
published in London, which is reprinted by Hardiman.[489]

An account of the island as seen from Arran given in O’Flaherty’s
_Sketch of the Island of Arran_,[490] is quoted by H. Halliday
Sterling, _Irish Minstrelsy_, p. 307 (London, 1887). Mr. Marshall, in a
note in _Notes and Queries_, Sept. 22, 1883 (6th s., viii. 224), quotes
Guest, _Origines Celticae_ (London, 1883), i. 126, and R. O’Flaherty,
_Ogygia, sive rerum Hibernicarum chronologiae_ (London, 1685; also
in English translation, Dublin, 1793), as speaking of O’Brazile. The
latter work I have not seen. Mr. Marshall also quotes a familiar
allusion to it by Jeremy Taylor (_Dissuasive from Popery_, 1667). This
note was replied to in the same periodical, Dec. 15, 1883, by Mr.
Kerslake, “N.” and W. Fraser. Fraser’s interest had been attracted by
the entry of the island—much smaller than usual—on a map of the French
Geographer Royal, Le Sieur Tassin, 1634-1652, and he read a paper
before the Geological Society of Ireland, Jan. 20, 1870, suggesting
that Brazil might be the present _Porcupine Bank_, once above water.
On the same map _Rockall_ is laid down as two islands, where but a
solitary rock is now known.[491] Brasil appears on the maps of the last
two centuries, with _Mayda_ and _Isle Verte_, and even on the great
Atlas by Jefferys, 1776, is inserted, although called “imaginary island
of O’Brasil.” It grows constantly smaller, but within the second half
of this century has appeared on the royal Admiralty charts as _Brazil

It would be too tedious to enumerate the numerous other imaginary
islands of the Atlantic to which clouds, fogs, and white caps have
from time to time given rise. They are marked on all charts of the
last century in profusion; mention, however, may be made of the “land
of _Bus_” or _Busse_, which Frobisher’s expedition coasted along in
1576, and which has been hunted for with the lead even as late as 1821,
though in vain.

=F.= TOSCANELLI’S ATLANTIC OCEAN.—It has been shown elsewhere (Vol.
II. pp. 30, 31, 38, 90, 101, 103) that Columbus in the main accepted
the view of the width of the Atlantic, on the farther side of which
Asia was supposed to be, which Toscanelli had calculated; and it has
not been quite certain what actual measurement should be given to this
width, but recent discoveries tend to make easier a judgment in the

When Humboldt wrote the _Examen Critique_, Toscanelli’s letter to
Columbus, of unknown date,[493] enclosing a copy of the one he sent
to Martinez in 1474, was known only in the Italian form in Ulloa’s
translation of the _Historie del S. D. Fernando Colombo_ (Venice,
1571), and in the Spanish translation of Ulloa’s version by Barcia
in the _Historiades primitivos de las Indias occidentales_ (Madrid,
1749), i. 5 bis, which was reprinted by Navarrete, _Coleccion de los
viages y descubrimientos_, etc., ii. p. 1. In the letter to Martinez,
in this form, it is said that there are in the map which accompanied it
twenty-six _spaces_ between Lisbon and _Quisai_, each space containing
250 miles according to the Ulloa version, but according to the
re-translation of Barcia 150 miles. This, with several other changes
made by Barcia, were followed by Navarrete and accepted as correct
by Humboldt, who severely censures Ximenes for adopting the Italian
rendering in his _Gnomone fiorent_. But the Latin copy of the letter in
Columbus’s handwriting, discovered by Harrisse and made public (with
fac-simile) in his _D. Fernando Colon_ (Seville, 1871),[494] sustained
the correctness of Ulloa’s version, giving 250 miliaria to the space.
This authoritative rendering also showed that while the translator
had in general followed the text, he had twice inserted a translation
of miles into degrees, and once certainly, incorrectly, making in
one place 100 miles = 35 leagues, and in another, 2,500 miles = 225
leagues. Probably this discrepancy led to the omissions made by Barcia;
he was wrong, however, in changing the number 250, supposing the 150
not to be a typographical error, and in omitting the phrase, “which
space (from Lisbon to Quinsai) is about the third part of the sphere.”
The Latin text showed, too, that this whole passage about distances was
not in the Martinez letter at all, but formed the end of the letter
to Columbus, since in the Latin it follows the date of the Martinez
letter, into which it has been interpolated by a later hand. Finally
the publication of Las Casas’s _Historia de las Indias_ (Madrid, 1875)
gave us another Spanish version, which differs from Barcia’s in closely
agreeing with the Ulloa version, and which gives the length of a space
at 250 miles.

There were then 26 × 250 = 6500 miles between Lisbon and Quinsai, and
this was about one third of the circumference of the earth in this
latitude, but it is not clear whether Roman or Italian miles were meant.

If the MS. in the Biblioteca Nazionale at Florence [_Cod.
Magliabechiano Classe_ xi. _num._ 121], described by G. Uzielli in the
_Bollettino della Società Geografica Italiana_, x. 1 (1873), 13-28
(“Ricerche intorno a Paolo dal Pozzo Toscanelli, ii. Della grandezza
della terra secondo Paolo Toscanelli”), actually represents the work
of Toscanelli, it is of great value in settling this point. The MS.
is inscribed “Discorso di M^o Paolo Puteo Toscanelli sopra la cometa
del 1456.” In it were found two papers: 1. A plain projection in
rectangular form apparently for use in sketching a map. It is divided
into spaces, each subdivided into five degrees, and numbers 36 spaces
in length. It is believed by Sig. Uzielli that this is the form used in
the map sent to Martinez. If this be so, the 26 spaces between Lisbon
and Quinsai = 130°. 2. A list of the latitude and longitude of various
localities, at the end of which is inscribed this table:

  Gradus continet .68 miliaria minus 3ª unius.
  Miliarum tria millia bracchia.
  Bracchium duos palmas.
  Palmus. 12. uncias. 7. filos.

The Florentine mile of 3,000 braccia da terra contains, according to
Sig. Uzielli, 1653.6^m. (as against 1481^m. to the Roman mile). Hence
Toscanelli estimated a degree of the meridian at 111,927^m, or only
552^m. more than the mean adopted by Bessel and Bayer. Since, according
to the letter, one space = 250 miles, and by the map one space = 5°,
we have 50 miles to a degree, which would point to an estimate for a
latitude of about 42°, allowing 67 2-3 miles to an equatorial degree.
Lisbon was entered in the table of Alphonso at 41° N. (true lat. 38°
41’ N.) By this reckoning Quinsai would fall 124° west of Lisbon or
10° west of San Francisco. It does not appear that the Florence MS.
can be traced directly to Toscanelli, but the probability is certainly
strong that we have here some of the astronomer’s working papers, and
that Ximenes did not deserve the rebuke administered by Humboldt for
allowing 250 miles to a space, and assuming that a space contained
five degrees. Certainly Humboldt’s use of 150 miles is unjustifiable,
and his calculation of 52° as the angular distance between Lisbon and
Quinsai, according to Toscanelli, is very much too small, whatever
standard we take for the mile. If we follow Uzielli, the result
obtained by Ruge (_Geschichte des Zeitalters der Entdeckungen_, p.
230), 104°, is also too small.[495]

[Illustration: GAFFAREL’S MAP.

From a map by Gaffarel, “L’Océan Atlantique et les restes de
l’Atlantide,” in the _Revue de Géographie_, vi. p. 400, accompanying a
paper by Gaffarel in the numbers for April-July, 1880, and showing such
rocks and islets as have from time to time been reported as seen, or
thought to have been seen, and which Gaffarel views as vestiges of the
lost continent.]

cartographical history of the Atlantic Ocean is, even down to our own
day, an odd mixture of uncertain fact and positive fable. The island of
Bresil or Brazil was only left off the British Admiralty charts within
twenty years (see Vol. II. p. 36), and editions of the most popular
atlases, like Colton’s, within twenty-five years have shown Jacquet
Island, the Three Chimneys, Maida, and others lying in the mid-sea.
It may possibly be a fair question if some of the reports of islands
and rocks made within recent times may not have had a foundation in
temporary uprisings from the bed of the sea.[496] We must in this
country depend for the study of this subject on the great collections
of facsimiles of early maps made by Santarem, Kunstmann, Jomard, and on
the Sammlung which is now in progress at Venice, under the editing of
Theobald Fischer, and published by Ongania.[497]

We may place the beginning of the Atlantic cartography[498] in the map
of Marino Sanuto in 1306, who was first of the nautical map-makers of
that century to lay down the Canaries;[499] but Sanuto was by no means
sure of their existence, if we may judge from his omission of them in
his later maps.[500]


A conventional map of the older period, which is given in Santarem’s
_Atlas_ as a “Mappemonde qui se trouve au revers d’une Médaille du
Commencement du XVe Siècle.”]


NOTE.—The above maps are reduced a little from the engraving in
_Allgemeine Geographische Ephemeriden_ (Weimar, 1807), vol. xxiv. p.
248. The smaller is an extract from that of Fr. Pizigani (1367), and
the larger that of Andreas Bianco (1436). There is another fac-simile
of the latter in F. M. Erizzo’s _Le Scoperte Artiche_ (Venice, 1855).]

[Illustration: CATALAN MAP, 1375.

After a sketch in St. Martin’s _Atlas_, pl. vii.]

There are two maps of Hygden (A.D. 1350), but the abundance of
islands which they present can hardly be said to show more than a
theory.[501] There is more likelihood of well considered work in the
Portolano Laurenziano-Gaddiano (A.D. 1351), preserved in the Biblioteca
Mediceo-Laurenziana at Florence, of which Ongania, of Venice, published
a fac-simile in 1881.[502] There are two maps of Francisco Pizigani,
which seem to give the Canaries, Madeira, and the Azores better than
any earlier one. One of these maps (1367) is in the national library
at Parma, and the other (1373) is in the Ambrosian library at Milan
(_Studi biog. e bibliog._, vol. ii. pp. viii, 57, 58). The 1367 map
is given by Jomard and Santarem. The most famous of all these early
maps is the Catalan Mappemonde of 1375, preserved in the great library
at Paris. It gives the Canaries and other islands further north, but
does not reach to the Azores.[503] These last islands are included,
however, in another Catalan planisphere of not far from the same era,
which is preserved in the national library at Florence, and has been
reproduced by Ongania (1881).[504] The student will need to compare
other maps of the fourteenth century, which can be found mentioned in
the _Studi_, etc., with references in the _Kohl Maps_, sect. 1. The
phototypic series of Ongania is the most important contribution to
this study, though the yellow tints of the original too often render
the details obscurely.[505] So for the next century there are the same
guides; but a number of conspicuous charts may well be mentioned. Chief
among them are those of Andrea Bianco contained in the Atlas (1436),
in the Biblioteca Marciana at Venice, published by Ongania (1871), who
also published (1881) the Carta Nautica of Bianco, in the Biblioteca
Ambrosiana in Milan.[506]

[Illustration: ANDREAS BENINCASA, 1476.

After a sketch in St. Martin’s _Atlas_, pl. vii.]

The 1436 map has been reproduced in colors in Pietro Amat de San
Filippo’s _Planisferio disegnato del 1436_ (_Bollettino Soc.
Geografia_, 1879, p. 560); and a sketch of the Atlantic part is given
in the _Allgem. Geog. Ephemeriden_, xxiv. no. 248.[507]

During the next twenty years or more, the varying knowledge of the
Atlantic is shown in a number of maps, a few of which may be named:—The
Catalan map “de Gabriell de Valsequa, faite à Mallorcha en 1439,”
which shows the Azores, and which Vespucius is said to have owned
(Santarem, pl. 54). The planisphere “in lingua latina dell’ anno 1447,”
in the national library at Florence (Ongania, 1881). The world maps of
Giovanni Leardo (Johannes Leardus), 1448 and 1452, the former of which
is given in Santarem (pl. 25,—also _Hist. Cartog._ iii. 398), and the
latter reproduced by Ongania, 1880. One is in the Ambrosian library,
and the other in the Museo Civico at Vicenza (cf. _Studi_, etc., ii.
72, 73). In the Biblioteca Vittorio Emanuele at Rome there is the
sea-chart of Bartolomaeus de Pareto of 1455, on which we find laid down
the Fortunate Islands, St. Brandan’s, Antillia, and Royllo.[508] The
World of Fra Mauro[509] has been referred to elsewhere in the present

[Illustration: LAON GLOBE.

From a “projection Synoptique Cordiforme” in the _Bull. de la Soc. de
Géog._, 4e série, xx. (1860), in connection with a paper by D’Avezac
(p. 398). Cf. Oscar Peschel in _Ausland_ May 12, 1861; also in his
_Abhandlungen_, i. 226.]

We come now to the conditions of the Atlantic cartography immediately
preceding the voyage of Columbus. The most prominent specimens of this
period are the various marine charts of Grogioso and Andreas Benincasa
from 1461 to 1490. Some of these are given by Santarem, Lelewel, and
St. Martin; but the best enumeration of them is given in the _Studi
biog. e bibliog. della Soc. Geog. Ital._ ii. 66, 77-84, 92, 99, 100.
Of Toscanelli’s map of 1474, which influenced Columbus, we have no
sketch, though some attempts have been made to reconstruct it from
descriptions. (Cf. Vol. II. p. 103; Harrisse’s _Christophe Colomb._,
i. 127, 129.) Brief mention may also be made of the Laon globe of 1486
(dated 1493), of which D’Avezac gives a projection in the _Bulletin
de la Soc. de Géog._ xx. 417; of the Majorcan (Catalan) Carta nautica
of about 1487 (cf. _Studi_, etc., ii. no. 397; _Bull. Soc. Géog._, i.
295); of the chart in the Egerton MSS., Brit. Mus., made by Christofalo
Soligo about the same time, and which has no dearth of islands (cf.
_Studi_, etc., i. 89); of those of Nicola Fiorin, Canepa, and Giacomo
Bertran (_Studi_, etc., ii. 82, 86, and no. 398). The globe of Behaim
(1492) gives the very latest of these ante-Columbian views (see Vol.
II. 105).

[Illustration: _A Fac-simile from_ BORDONE, 1547.]

[Illustration: END OF FIFTEENTH CENTURY. (Santarem’s _Atlas_.)]

It took, after this, a long time for the Atlantic to be cleared, even
partially, of these intrusive islands, and to bring the proper ones
into accurate relations. How the old ideas survived may be traced in
the maps of Ruysch, 1508 (Vol. II. 115); Coppo, 1528, with its riot of
islands (II. 127); Mercator, 1541 (II. 177); Bordone, 1547; Zaltière,
1566 (II. 451); Porcacchi, 1572 (II. 453); Ortelius, 1575, 1587,—not to
continue the series further.



NOTE.—The left of the annexed cuts is from Bordone’s _Isolario_, 1547;
the right one is an extract from the “World” of Ortelius, 1587.




IN the previous chapter, in attempting to trace the possible connection
of the new world with the old in the dimmest past, it was hard, if
not hopeless, to find among the entangled myths a path that we could
follow with any confidence into the field of demonstrable history.
It is still a doubt how far we exchange myths for assured records,
when we enter upon the problems of pre-Columbian explorations, which
it is the object of the present chapter to discuss. We are to deal
with supposable colonizations, from which the indigenous population
of America, as the Spaniards found it, was sprung, wholly or in part;
and we are to follow the venturesome habits of navigators, who sought
experience and commerce in a strange country, and only incidentally
left possible traces of their blood in the peoples they surprised. If
Spain, Italy, and England gained consequence by the discoveries of
Columbus and Cabot, there were other national prides to be gratified
by the priority which the Basques, the Normans, the Welsh, the Irish,
and the Scandinavians, to say nothing of Asiatic peoples, claimed as
their share in the gift of a new world to the old. The records which
these peoples present as evidences of their right to be considered the
forerunners of the Spanish and English expeditions have in every case
been questioned by those who are destitute of the sympathetic credence
of a common kinship. The claims which Columbus and Cabot fastened upon
Spain and England, to the disadvantage of Italy, who gave to those
rival countries their maritime leaders, were only too readily rejected
by Italy herself, when the opportunity was given to her of paling such
borrowed glories before the trust which she placed in the stories of
the Zeni brothers.

       *       *       *       *       *

There is not a race of eastern Asia—Siberian, Tartar, Chinese,
Japanese, Malay, with the Polynesians—which has not been claimed
as discoverers, intending or accidental, of American shores, or as
progenitors, more or less perfect or remote, of American peoples; and
there is no good reason why any one of them may not have done all that
is claimed. The historical evidence, however, is not such as is based
on documentary proofs of indisputable character, and the recitals
advanced are often far from precise enough to be convincing in details,
if their general authenticity is allowed. Nevertheless, it is much
more than barely probable that the ice of Behring Straits or the line
of the Aleutian Islands was the pathway of successive immigrations,
on occasions perhaps far apart, or may be near together; and there is
hardly a stronger demonstration of such a connection between the two
continents than the physical resemblances of the peoples now living
on opposite sides of the Pacific Ocean in these upper latitudes, with
the similarity of the flora which environs them on either shore.[510]
It is quite as conceivable that the great northern current, setting
east athwart the Pacific, should from time to time have carried along
disabled vessels, and stranded them on the shores of California and
farther north, leading to the infusion of Asiatic blood among whatever
there may have been antecedent or autochthonous in the coast peoples.
It is certainly in this way possible that the Chinese or Japanese may
have helped populate the western slopes of the American continent.
There is no improbability even in the Malays of southeastern Asia
extending step by step to the Polynesian islands, and among them and
beyond them, till the shores of a new world finally received the
impress of their footsteps and of their ethnic characteristics. We may
very likely recognize not proofs, but indications, along the shores of
South America, that its original people constituted such a stock, or
were increased by it.

       *       *       *       *       *

As respects the possible early connections of America on the side of
Europe, there is an equally extensive array of claims, and they have
been set forth, first and last, with more persistency than effect.[511]

Leaving the old world by the northern passage, Iceland lies at the
threshold of America. It is nearer to Greenland than to Norway, and
Greenland is but one of the large islands into which the arctic
currents divide the North American continent. Thither, to Iceland, if
we identify the localities in Geoffrey of Monmouth, King Arthur sailed
as early as the beginning of the sixth century, and overcame whatever
inhabitants he may have found there. Here too an occasional wandering
pirate or adventurous Dane had glimpsed the coast.[512] Thither, among
others, came the Irish, and in the ninth century we find Irish monks
and a small colony of their countrymen in possession.[513] Thither the
Gulf Stream carries the southern driftwood, suggesting sunnier lands
to whatever race had been allured or driven to its shelter.[514] Here
Columbus, when, as he tells us,[515] he visited the island in 1477,
found no ice. So that, if we may place reliance on the appreciable
change of climate by the precession of the equinoxes, a thousand years
ago and more, when the Norwegians crossed from Scandinavia and found
these Christian Irish there,[516] the island was not the forbidding
spot that it seems with the lapse of centuries to be becoming.

[Illustration: NORSE SHIP.

This cut is copied from one in Nordenskiöld’s _Voyage of the Vega_
(London, 1881), vol. i. p. 50, where it is given as representing the
vessel found at Sandefjord in 1880. It is drawn from the restoration
given in _The Viking ship discovered at Gokstad in Norway (Langskibet
fra Gokstad ved Sandefjord) described by N. Nicholaysen_ (Christiania,
1882). The original vessel owed its preservation to being used as
a receptacle for the body of a Viking chief, when he was buried
under a mound. When exhumed, its form, with the sepulchral chamber
midships, could be made out, excepting that the prow and stern in their
extremities had to be restored. In the ship and about it were found,
beside some of the bones of a man, various appurtenances of the vessel,
and the remains of horses buried with him. They are all described in
the book above cited, from which the other cuts herewith given of the
plan of the vessel and one of its rowlocks are taken. The _Popular
Science Monthly_, May, 1881, borrowing from _La Nature_, gives a view
of the ship as when found _in situ_. There are other accounts in _The
Antiquary_, Aug., 1880; Dec., 1881; 1882, p. 87; _Scribner’s Magazine_,
Nov., 1887, by John S. White; _Potter’s American Monthly_, Mar., 1882.
Cf. the illustrated paper, “Les navires des peuples du nord,” by Otto
Jorell, in _Congrès Internat. des Sciences géographiques_ (Paris, 1875;
pub. 1878), i. 318.]

Of an earlier discovery in 1872 there is an account in _The ancient
vessel found in the parish of Tune, Norway_ (Christiania, 1872). This
is a translation by Mr. Gerhard Gadé of a Report in the Proceedings of
the Society for preserving Norwegian Antiquities. (Cf. _Mass. Hist.
Soc. Proc._, xiii. p. 10.) This vessel was also buried under a mound,
and she was 43½ feet long and four feet deep.

There is in the Nicholaysen volume a detailed account of the naval
architecture of the Viking period, and other references may be made
to Otto Jorell’s _Les navires des peuples du Nord_, in the _Congrès
internat. des sciences géog., compte rendu, 1875_ (1878, i. 318);
_Mémoires de la Soc. royal des Antiquaires du Nord_ (1887, p. 280);
Preble, in _United Service_ (May, 1883, p. 463), and in his _Amer.
Flag_, p. 159; De Costa’s _Pre-Columbian Discovery of America_, p.
xxxvii; Fox’s _Landfall of Columbus_, p. 3; _Pop. Science Monthly_,
xix. 80; _Van Nostrand’s Eclectic Engineering Mag._, xxiii. 320; _Good
Words_, xxii. 759; Higginson’s _Larger History U. S._ for cuts; and J.
J. A. Worsaae’s _Prehistory of the North_ (Eng. transl., London,1886)
for the burial in ships.

There is a paper on the daring of the Norsemen as navigators by G.
Brynjalfson (_Compte Rendu, Congrès des Américanistes_, Copenhagen, p.
140), entitled “Jusqu’où les anciens Scandinaves ont-ils pénétré vers
le pôle arctique dans leurs expéditions à la mer glaciale?”

It was in A.D. 875 that Ingolf, a jarl[517] of Norway, came to
Iceland with Norse settlers. They built their habitation at first where
a pleasant headland seemed attractive, the present Ingolfshofdi, and
later founded Reikjavik, where the signs had directed them; for certain
carved posts, which they had thrown overboard as they approached
the island, were found to have drifted to that spot. The Christian
Irish preferred to leave their asylum rather than consort with the
new-comers, and so the island was left to be occupied by successive
immigrations of the Norse, which their king could not prevent. In
the end, and within half a century, a hardy little republic—as for
a while it was—of near seventy thousand inhabitants was established
almost under the arctic circle. The very next year (A.D. 876) after
Ingolf had come to Iceland, a sea-rover, Gunnbiorn, driven in his ship
westerly, sighted a strange land, and the report that he made was not
forgotten.[518] Fifty years later, more or less, for we must treat the
dates of the Icelandic sagas with some reservation, we learn that a
wind-tossed vessel was thrown upon a coast far away, which was called
Ireland the Great. Then again we read of a young Norwegian, Eric the
Red, not apparently averse to a brawl, who killed his man in Norway
and fled to Iceland, where he kept his dubious character; and again
outraging the laws, he was sent into temporary banishment,—this time
in a ship which he fitted out for discovery; and so he sailed away
in the direction of Gunnbiorn’s land, and found it. He whiled away
three years on its coast, and as soon as he was allowed ventured back
with the tidings, while, to propitiate intending settlers, he said
he had been to Greenland, and so the land got a sunny name. The next
year, which seems to have been A.D. 985, he started on his return with
thirty-five ships, but only fourteen of them reached the land. Wherever
there was a habitable fiord, a settlement grew up, and the stream of
immigrants was for a while constant and considerable. Just at the end
of the century (A.D. 999), Leif, a son of Eric, sailed back to Norway,
and found the country in the early fervor of a new religion; for King
Olaf Tryggvesson had embraced Christianity and was imposing it on his
people. Leif accepted the new faith, and a priest was assigned to him
to take back to Greenland; and thus Christianity was introduced into
arctic America. So they began to build churches[519] in Greenland, the
considerable ruins of one of which stand to this day.[520] The winning
of Iceland to the Church was accomplished at the same time.

[Illustration: PLAN OF VIKING SHIP.]

There were two centres of settlement on the Greenland coast, not where
they were long suspected to be, on the coast opposite Iceland, nor as
supposed after the explorations of Baffin’s Bay, on both the east and
west side of the country; but the settlers seem to have reached and
doubled Cape Farewell, and so formed what was called their eastern
settlement (Eystribygd), near the cape, while farther to the north they
formed their western colony (Westribygd).[521] Their relative positions
are still involved in doubt.


In the next year after the second voyage of Eric the Red, one of the
ships which were sailing from Iceland to the new settlement, was driven
far off her course, according to the sagas, and Bjarni Herjulfson, who
commanded the vessel, reported that he had come upon a land, away to
the southwest, where the coast country was level; and he added that
when he turned north it took him nine days to reach Greenland.[522]
Fourteen years later than this voyage of Bjarni, which is said to have
been in A.D. 986,—that is, in the year 1000 or thereabouts,—Leif, the
same who had brought the Christian priest to Greenland, taking with him
thirty-five companions, sailed from Greenland in quest of the land seen
by Bjarni, which Leif first found, where a barren shore stretched back
to ice-covered mountains, and because of the stones there he called the
region Hellu land. Proceeding farther south, he found a sandy shore,
with a level forest-country back of it, and because of the woods it was
named Markland. Two days later they came upon other land, and tasting
the dew upon the grass they found it sweet. Farther south and westerly
they went, and going up a river came into an expanse of water, where
on the shores they built huts to lodge in for the winter, and sent
out exploring parties. In one of these, Tyrker, a native of a part of
Europe where grapes grew, found vines hung with their fruit, which
induced Leif to call the country Vinland.


From Viollet-le-Duc’s _Habitation humaine_ (Paris, 1875).]


From Worsaae’s _Danes and Norwegians in England_, etc. “With the
exception of very imperfect representation carved on rocks and runic
stones [see Higginson’s _Larger History_, p. 27], there are no images
left in the countries of Scandinavia of ships of the olden times; but
the tapestry at Bayeux, in Normandy, is a contemporary evidence of the
appearance of the Normanic ships.”]


This group from Worsaae’s _Danes and Norwegians in England, etc._, p.
64, shows the transition from the raven to the cross.]

Attempts have been made to identify these various regions by the
inexact accounts of the direction of their sailing, by the very general
descriptions of the country, by the number of days occupied in going
from one point to another, with the uncertainty if the ship sailed
at night, and by the length of the shortest day in Vinland,—the last
a statement that might help us, if it could be interpreted with a
reasonable concurrence of opinion, and if it were not confused with
other inexplicable statements. The next year Leif’s brother, Thorvald,
went to Vinland with a single ship, and passed three winters there,
making explorations meanwhile, south and north. Thorfinn Karlsefne,
arriving in Greenland in A.D. 1006, married a courageous widow named
Gudrid, who induced him to sail with his ships to Vinland and make
there a permanent settlement, taking with him livestock and other
necessaries for colonization. Their first winter in the place was a
severe one; but Gudrid gave birth to a son, Snorre, from whom it is
claimed Thorwaldsen, the Danish sculptor, was descended. The next
season they removed to the spot where Leif had wintered, and called the
bay Hóp. Having spent a third winter in the country, Karlsefne, with a
part of the colony, returned to Greenland.

[Illustration: FROM OLAUS MAGNUS.

Fac-simile of Norse weapons from the _Historia_ of Olaus Magnus (b.
1490; d. 1568), Rome, 1555, p. 222.]

The saga then goes on to say that trading voyages to the settlement
which had been formed by Karlsefne now became frequent, and that the
chief lading of the return voyages was timber, which was much needed in
Greenland. A bishop of Greenland, Eric Upsi, is also said to have gone
to Vinland in A.D. 1121. In 1347 the last ship of which we have any
record in these sagas went to Vinland after timber. After this all is

There are in all these narratives many details beyond this outline,
and those who have sought to identify localities have made the most
they could of the mention of a rock here or a bluff there, of an
island where they killed a bear, of others where they found eggs, of
a headland where they buried a leader who had been killed, of a cape
shaped like a keel, of broadfaced natives who offered furs for red
cloths, of beaches where they hauled up their ships, and of tides that
were strong; but the more these details are scanned in the different
sagas the more they confuse the investigator, and the more successive
relators try to enlighten us the more our doubts are strengthened, till
we end with the conviction that all attempts at consistent unravelment
leave nothing but a vague sense of something somewhere done.

[Illustration: FULL-SIZE FAC-SIMILE OF THE TABLET, _engraved by Prof.
Magnus Petersen, with the Runes as he sees them_.



RUNES, A.D. 1000.

This cut is of some of the oldest runes known, giving two lines in
Danish and the rest in Latin, as the transliteration shows. It is
copied from _The oldest yet found Document in Danish, by Prof Dr.
George Stephens_ (Copenhagen, 1888,—from the _Mémoires des Antiquaires
du Nord_, 1887). The author says that the leaden tablet on which the
runes were cut was found in Odense, Fyn, Denmark, in 1883, and he
places the date of it about the year A.D. 1000.

George Stephens’s _Handbook of the old Northern Runic Monuments of
Scandinavia and England_ is a condensation, preserving all the cuts,
and making some additions to his larger folio work in 3 vols., _The
old-northern Runic monuments of Scandinavia and England, now first
collected and deciphered_ (London, etc., 1866-68). It does not contain
either Icelandic or Greenland runes. He says that by the time of the
colonization of Iceland “the old northern runes as a system had died
out on the Scandinavian main, and were followed by the later runic
alphabet. But even this modern Icelandic of the tenth century has not
come down to us. If it had, it would be very different from what is
now vulgarly so called, which is the greatly altered Icelandic of the
thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.... The oldest written Icelandic
known to us is said to date from about the year 1200.... The whole
modern doctrine of one uniform Icelandic language all over the immense
north in the first one thousand winters after Christ is an impossible
absurdity.... It is very seldom that any of the Scandinavian runic
stones bear a date.... No Christian runic gravestone is older than the
fourteenth century.”

On runes in general, see Mallet, Bohn’s ed., pp. 227, 248, following
the cut of the Kingektorsoak stone, in Rafn’s _Antiq. Americanæ_;
Wilson’s _Prehist. Man_, ii. 88; Wollheim’s _Nat. Lit. der
Scandinavier_ (Berlin, 1875), vol. i. pp. 2-15; Legis-Glueckselig’s
_Die Runen and ihre Denkmäler_ (Leipzig, 1829); De Costa’s _Pre-Columb.
Disc._, pp. xxx; _Revue polit. et lit._, Jan. 10, 1880.

It is held that runes are an outgrowth of the Latin alphabet. (L. F. A.
Wimmer’s _Runeskriftens Oprindelse og Udvikling i norden_, Copenhagen,

Everywhere else where the Northmen went they left proofs of their
occupation on the soil, but nowhere in America, except on an island
on the east shore of Baffin’s Bay,[523] has any authentic runic
inscription been found outside of Greenland. Not a single indisputable
grave has been discovered to attest their alleged centuries of fitful
occupation. The consistent and natural proof of any occupation of
America south of Davis Straits is therefore lacking; and there is
not sufficient particularity in the descriptions[524] to remove the
suspicion that the story-telling of the fireside has overlaid the
reports of the explorer. Our historic sense is accordingly left to
consider, as respects the most general interpretation, what weight
of confidence should be yielded to the sagas, pre-Columbian as they
doubtless are. But beyond this is perhaps, what is after all the
most satisfactory way of solving the problem, a dependence on the
geographical and ethnical probabilities of the case. The Norsemen
have passed into credible history as the most hardy and venturesome
of races. That they colonized Iceland and Greenland is indisputable.
That their eager and daring nature should have deserted them at this
point is hardly conceivable. Skirting the Greenland shores and inuring
themselves to the hardships and excitements of northern voyaging,
there was not a long stretch of open sea before they could strike the
Labrador coast. It was a voyage for which their ships, with courageous
crews, were not unfitted. Nothing is more likely than that some ship
of theirs may have been blown westerly and unwillingly in the first
instance, just as Greenland was in like manner first made known to the
Icelanders. The coast once found, to follow it to the south would have
been their most consistent action.

[Illustration: FROM OLAUS MAGNUS.

Fac-simile of a cut to the chapter “De Alphabeto Gothorum” in the
_Historia de Gentibus Septentrionalibus_ (Romæ, M.D.LV.).]

We may consider, then, that the weight of probability[525] is in favor
of a Northman descent upon the coast of the American mainland at some
point, or at several, somewhere to the south of Greenland; but the
evidence is hardly that which attaches to well-established historical

The archæological traces, which are lacking farther south, are
abundant in Greenland, and confirm in the most positive way the Norse
occupation. The ruins of churches and baptisteries give a color of
truth to the ecclesiastical annals which have come down to us, and
which indicate that after having been for more than a century under the
Bishop of Iceland, a succession of bishops of its own was established
there early in the twelfth century. The names of seventeen prelates
are given by Torfæus, though it is not quite certain that the bishops
invariably visited their see. The last known to have filled the office
went thither in the early years of the fifteenth century. The last
trace of him is in the celebration of a marriage at Gardar in 1409.

The Greenland colonists were equipped with all the necessities of a
permanent life. They had horses, sheep, and oxen, and beef is said to
have been a regular article of export to Norway. They had buildings
of stone, of which the remains still exist. They doubtless brought
timber from the south, and we have in runic records evidence of
their explorations far to the north. They maintained as late as the
thirteenth century a regular commercial intercourse with the mother
country,[526] but this trade fell into disuse when a royal mandate
constituted such ventures a monopoly of the throne; and probably
nothing so much conduced to the decadence and final extinction of
the colonies as this usurped and exclusive trade, which cut off all
personal or conjoined intercourse.

The direct cause of the final extinction of the Greenland colonies is
involved in obscurity, though a variety of causes, easily presumable,
would have been sufficient, when we take into consideration the
moribund condition into which they naturally fell after commercial
restriction had put a stop to free intercourse with the home government.

The Eskimos are said to have appeared in Greenland about the middle
of the fourteenth century, and to have manifested hostility to such a
degree that about 1342 the imperilled western colony was abandoned. The
eastern colony survived perhaps seventy years longer, or possibly to a
still later period. We know they had a new bishop in 1387, but before
the end of that century the voyages to their relief were conducted only
after long intervals.

Before communication was wholly cut off, the attacks of the Skrælings,
and possibly famine and the black death, had carried the struggling
colonists to the verge of destruction. Bergen, in Norway, upon which
they depended for succor, had at one time been almost depopulated by
the same virulent disease, and again had been ravaged by a Hanseatic
fleet. Thus such intercourse as the royal monopoly permitted had
become precarious, and the marauding of freebooters, then prevalent in
northern waters, still further served to impede the communications,
till at last they wholly ceased, during the early years of the
fifteenth century.

It has sometimes been maintained that the closing in of ice-packs was
the final stroke which extinguished the last hopes of the expiring
colonists.[527] This view, however, meets with little favor among the
more enlightened students of climatic changes, like Humboldt.[528]

There has been published what purports to be a bull of Pope Nicholas
V,[529] directing the Bishop of Iceland to learn what he could of the
condition of the Greenland colonies, and in this document it is stated
that part of the colonists had been destroyed by barbarians thirty
years before,—the bull bearing date in 1448. There is no record that
any expedition followed upon this urging, and there is some question
as to the authenticity of the document.[530] In the _Relation_ of La
Peyrère there is a story of some sailors visiting Greenland so late as
1484; but it is open to question.

       *       *       *       *       *

Early in the sixteenth century fitful efforts to learn the fate of
the colonies began, and these were continued, without result, well
into the seventeenth century; but nothing explicable was ascertained
till, in 1721, Hans Egede, a Norwegian priest, prevailed upon the
Danish government to send him on a mission to the Eskimos. He went,
accompanied by wife and children; and the colony of Godthaab, and
the later history of the missions, and the revival of trade with
Europe, attest the constancy of his purpose and the fruits of his
earnestness. In a year he began to report upon certain remains which
indicated the former occupation of the country by people who built
such buildings as was the habit in Europe. He and his son Paul Egede,
and their successors in the missions, gathered for us, first among
modern searchers, the threads of the history of this former people;
and, as time went on, the researches of Graah, Nordenskjöld, and
other explorers, and the studious habits of Major, Rink, and the rest
among the investigators, have enabled us to read the old sagas of the
colonization of Greenland with renewed interest and with the light of
corroborating evidence.[531]



Viaggio in Persia di M. Caterino Zeno il K. & delle guerre fatte nell’
Imperio Persiano, dal tempo di Vssuncassano in quà.


ET DELLO SCOPRIMENTO dell’ Isole Frislanda, Eslanda, Engrouelanda,
Estotilanda, & Icaria, fatto sotto il Polo Artico, da due fratelli
zeni, M. Nicolòil, K. e M. Antonio.


CON VN DISEGNO PARTICOLARE DI tutte le dette parte di Tramontana da lor




Per Francesco Marcolini. M D LVIII. ]

       *       *       *       *       *

We are told that it was one result of these Northman voyages that the
fame of them spread to other countries, and became known among the
Welsh, at a time when, upon the death of Owen Gwynedd, who ruled in
the northern parts of that country, the people were embroiled in civil
strife. That chieftain’s son, Prince Madoc, a man bred to the sea, was
discontented with the unstable state of society, and resolved to lead a
colony to these western lands, where they could live more in peace.


DELLO SCOPRÍMENTO DEL l’Isole Frislanda, Eslanda, Engṙoueland
Estosilanda, & Icaria, fatto per due fratelli Zeni M. Nicolò il
Cavaliere, & M. Antonio Libro Vno, col disegno di dètte Isole.

Ne’mille, & dugento anni del la nostra salute se molto famoso in
Venetia M. Marin zeno chi mato per la sua gran virtù, et de strezza
d’inge gno podestà in alcune Republi. d’Italia, ne’governi dellequali
si portò Sempre cosi bène, che era amato, & grandemènte riverito il suo
nome da quelli anzo, che non l’havevano mai per presenza conosciuto;
etra l’altre sue belle opere particolarmente si narra.

NOTE.—The cuts above are facsimiles of the title and of the first
page of the section on Frisland, etc., from the Harvard College copy.
The book is rare. The Beckford copy brought £50; the Hamilton, £38;
the Tross catalogue (1882) price one at 150 francs; the Tweitmeyer,
Leipzig, 1888, at 250 marks; Quaritch (1885), at £25. Cf. Court
Catalogue, no. 378; Leclerc, no. 3002; Dufossé, no. 4965; Carter-Brown,
i. 226; Murphy, nos. 2798-99. The map is often in fac-simile, as in the
Harvard College copy.]

Accordingly, in A.D. 1170, going seaward on a preliminary exploration
by the south of Ireland, he steered west, and established a pioneer
colony in a fertile land. Leaving here 120 persons, he returned to
Wales, and fitted out a larger expedition of ten ships, with which he
again sailed, and passed out of view forever. The evidence in support
of this story is that it is mentioned in early annals, and that
sundry persons have discovered traces of the Welsh tongue among the
lighter-colored American Indians, to say nothing of manifold legends
among the Indians of an original people, white in color, coming from
afar towards the northeast,—proofs not sufficient to attract the
confidence of those who look for historical tests, though, as Humboldt
contends,[532] there may be no impossibility in the story.

       *       *       *       *       *

There seems to be a general agreement that a crew of Arabs, somewhere
about the eleventh or twelfth century, explored the Atlantic westward,
with the adventurous purpose of finding its further limits, and that
they reached land, which may have been the Canaries, or possibly the
Azores, though the theory that they succeeded in reaching America is
not without advocates. The main source of the belief is the historical
treatise of the Arab geographer Edrisi, whose work was composed about
the middle of the twelfth century.[533]


From the _Isolario_ (Venice, 1547).]

In the latter part of the fourteenth century,[534] as the story goes,
two brothers of Venice, Nicolo and Antonio Zeno, being on a voyage
in the North Atlantic were wrecked there, and lived for some years
at Frislanda, and visited Engroneland. During this northern sojourn
they encountered a sailor, who, after twenty-six years of absence, had
returned, and reported that the ship in which he was had been driven
west in a gale to an island, where he found civilized people, who
possessed books in Latin and could not speak Norse, and whose country
was called Estotiland; while a region on the mainland, farther south,
to which he had also gone, was called Drogeo, and that here he had
encountered cannibals. Still farther south was a great country with
towns and temples. This information, picked up by these exiled Zeni,
was finally conveyed to another brother in Venice, accompanied by a map
of these distant regions. These documents long remained in the family
palace in Venice, and were finally neglected and became obscured, until
at last a descendant of the family compiled from them, as best he
could, a book, which was printed in Venice in 1558 as _Dei Commentarii
del Viaggio_, which was accompanied by a map drawn with difficulty from
the half obliterated original which had been sent from Frislanda.[535]
The original documents were never produced, and the publication took
place opportunely to satisfy current curiosity, continually incited
by the Spanish discoveries. It was also calculated to appeal to the
national pride of Italy, which had seen Spain gain the glory of her own
sons, Columbus and Vespucius, if it could be established that these
distant regions, of which the Zeni brothers so early reported tidings,
were really the great new world.[536] The cartography of the sixteenth
century shows that the narrative and its accompanying map made an
impression on the public mind, but from that day to this it has been
apparent that there can be no concurrence of opinion as to what island
the Frislanda of the Zeni was, if it existed at all except in some
disordered or audacious mind; and, as a matter of course, the distant
regions of Estotiland and Drogeo have been equally the subject of
belief and derision. No one can be said wholly to have taken the story
out of the category of the uncertain.

[Illustration: THE SEA OF DARKNESS. (From Olaus Magnus.)]

The presence of the Basques on the coasts of North America long
before the voyage of Columbus is often asserted,[537] and there is
no improbability in a daring race of seamen, in search of whales,
finding a way to the American waters. There are some indications
in the early cartography which can perhaps be easily explained
on this hypothesis;[538] there are said to be unusual linguistic
correspondences in the American tongues with those of this strange
people.[539] There are the reports of the earliest navigators, who have
left indisputable records that earlier visitors from Europe had been
before them, and Cabot may have found some reminders of such;[540] and
it is even asserted that it was a Basque mariner, who had been on the
Newfoundland banks, and gave to Columbus some premonitions of the New

Certain claims of the Dutch have also been advanced;[542] and one for
an early discovery of Newfoundland, in 1463-64, by John Vas Costa
Cortereal was set forth by Barrow in his _Chronological Hist. of
Voyages into the Arctic Regions_ (London, 1818); but he stands almost
alone in his belief.[543] Biddle in his _Cabot_ has shown its great

In the years while Columbus was nourishing his purpose of a western
voyage, there were two adventurous navigators, as alleged, who were
breasting the dangers of the Sea of Darkness both to the north and
to the south. It cannot be said that either the Pole Skolno, in his
skirting the Labrador coasts in 1476,[544] or the Norman Cousin, who
is thought to have traversed a part of the South American coast in
1488-89,[545] have passed with their exploits into the accepted truths
of history; but there was nothing improbable in what was said of them,
and they flourish as counter-rumors always survive when attendant upon
some great revelation like that of Columbus.


AMERICA.— The question of the origin of the Americans, whether an
autochthonous one or associated with the continents beyond either
ocean, is more properly discussed in another place of the present
volume. We can only indicate here in brief such of the phases of the
question as suppose an Asiatic connection, and the particular lines of

The ethnic unity of the American races, as urged by Morton and others,
hardly meets the requirements of the problem in the opinion of most
later students, like Sir Daniel Wilson, for instance; and yet, if A.
H. Keane represents, as he claims, the latest ethnological beliefs,
the connection with Asia, of the kind that forms ethnic traces, must
have been before the history of the present Asiatic races, since the
correspondence of customs, etc. is not sufficient for more recent
affiliation.[546] It should be remembered also, that if this is true,
and if there is the strong physical resemblance between Asiatics and
the indigenous tribes of the northwest coast which early travellers and
physiologists have dwelt on, we have in such a correspondence strong
evidence of the persistency of types.[547]

The Asiatic theory was long a favorite one. So popular a book as
Lafitau’s _Mœurs des Sauvages_ (Paris, 1724) advocated it. J. B.
Scherer’s _Recherches historiques et géographiques sur le nouveau
monde_ (Paris, 1777) was on the same side. One of the earliest in this
country, Benj. Smith Barton, to give expression to American scholarship
in this field held like opinions in his _New Views of the Origin of
the Tribes of America_ (Philad., 1797).[548] Twenty years later (1816)
one of the most active of the American men of letters advocated the
same views,—Samuel L. Mitchell in the _Archæologia Americana_ (i. 325,
338, 346). The weightiest authority of his time, Alex. von Humboldt,
formulated his belief in several of his books: _Vues des Cordillères;
Ansichten der Natur; Cosmos_.[549]


NOTE.—Sketch map from the _U. S. Geodetic Survey_, 1880, App. xvi; also
in _Journal Amer. Geog. Soc._, xv. p. 114. Cf. Bancroft’s _Nat. Races_,
i. 35.]

Of the northern routes, that by Behring’s Straits is the most
apparent, and Lyell says that when half-way over Dover Straits, which
have not far from the same dimensions, he saw both the English and
French shores at the same time, he was easily convinced that the
passage by Behring’s Straits solved many of the difficulties of the
American problem.[550]

The problem as to the passage by the Aleutian Islands is converted into
the question whether primitive people could have successfully crossed
an interval from Asia of 130 miles to reach the island Miedna, 126
more to Behring’s Island, and then 235 to Attu, the westernmost of the
Aleutian Islands, or nearly 500 miles in all, and to have crossed in
such numbers as to affect the peopling of the new continent. There are
some, like Winchell, who see no difficulty in the case.[551] There are
no authenticated relics, it is believed, to prove the Tartar occupancy
of the northwest of America.[552] That there have been occasional
estrays upon the coasts of British Columbia, Oregon, and California, by
the drifting thither of Chinese and Japanese junks, is certainly to be
believed; but the argument against their crews peopling the country is
usually based upon the probable absence of women in them,—an argument
that certainly does not invalidate the belief in an infusion of Asiatic
blood in a previous race.[553]

The easterly passage which has elicited most interest is one alleged
to have been made by some Buddhist priests to a country called Fusang,
and in proof of it there is cited the narrative of one Hœi-Shin, who
is reported to have returned to China in A.D. 499. Beside much in the
story that is ridiculous and impossible, there are certain features
which have led some commentators to believe that the coast of Mexico
was intended, and that the Mexican maguey plant was the tree fusang,
after which the country is said to have been called. The story was
first brought to the attention of Europeans in 1761, when De Guignes
published his paper on the subject in the 28th volume (pp. 505-26) of
the Academy of Inscriptions.[554] It seems to have attracted little
attention till J. H. von Klaproth, in 1831, discredited the American
theory in his “Recherches sur le pays de Fousang,” published in the
_Nouvelles Annales des Voyages_ (2d ser., vol. xxi.), accompanied by a
chart. In 1834 there appeared at Paris a French translation, _Annales
des Empereurs du Japon_ (_Nipon o dai itsi rau_), to which (vol. iv.)
Klaproth appended an “Aperçu de l’histoire mythologique du Japon,” in
which he returned to the subject, and convinced Humboldt at least,[555]
that the country visited was Japan, and not Mexico, though he could but
see striking analogies, as he thought, in the Mexican myths and customs
to those of the Chinese.[556]

In 1841, Karl Friedrich Neumann, in the _Zeitschrift für allgemeine
Erdkunde_ (new series, vol. xvi.), published a paper on “Ost Asien und
West Amerika nach Chinesischen Quellen aus dem fünften, sechsten und
siebenten Jahrhundert,” in which he gave a version of the Hœi-shin
(Hœi-schin, Hui-shën) narrative, which Chas. G. Leland, considering
it a more perfect form of the original than that given by De Guignes,
translated into English in _The Knickerbocker Mag._ (1850), xxxvi. 301,
as “California and Mexico in the fifth century.”[557]


NOTE.—The map of Buache, 1752, showing De Guignes’ route of the
Chinese emigration to Fusang. Reduced from the copy in the _Congrès
internationale des Américanistes, Compte Rendu, Nancy, 1875_.]

The next to discuss the question, and in an affirmative spirit,
was Charles Hippolyte de Paravey, in the _Annales de Philosophie
Chrétienne_ (Feb., 1844), whose paper was published separately as
_L’Amérique sous le nom de pays de Fou-Sang, est elle citée dès le
5^e siècle de notre ère, dans les grandes annales de la Chine_, etc.
_Discussion ou dissertation abrégée, où l’affirmative est prouvée_
(Paris, 1844); and in 1847 he published _Nouvelles preuves que le pays
du Fousang est l’Amérique_.[558]

The controversy as between De Guignes and Klaproth was shared, in 1862,
by Gustave d’Eichthal, taking the Frenchman’s side, in the _Revue
Archéologique_ (vol. ii.), and finally in his _Etudes sur les origines
Bouddhiques de la civilisation Américaine_ (Paris, 1865).[559]

In 1870, E. Bretschneider, in his “Fusang, or who discovered America?”
in the _Chinese Recorder and Missionary Journal_ (Foochow, Oct.,
1870), contended that the whole story was the fabrication of a lying

In 1875 there was new activity in discussing the question. Two French
writers of considerable repute in such studies attracted attention: the
one, Lucien Adam, in the Congrès des Américanistes at Nancy (_Compte
Rendu_, i. 145); and the other, Léon de Rosny, entered the discussions
at the same session (_Ibid._ i. p. 131).[561]

The most conspicuous study for the English reader was Charles Godfrey
Leland’s _Fusang, or The discovery of America by Chinese Buddhist
priests in the fifth century_ (London, 1875).[562]

The Marquis d’Hervey de Saint Denis published in the _Actes de la Soc.
d’Ethnographie_ (1869), vol. vi., and later in the _Comptes Rendus_
of the French Academy of Inscriptions, a _Mémoire sur le pays connu
des anciens Chinois sous le nom de Fousang, et sur quelques documents
inédits pour servir à l’identifier_, which was afterwards published
separately in Paris, 1876, in which he assented to the American
theory. The student of the subject need hardly go, however, beyond E.
P. Vining’s _An inglorious Columbus: or, Evidence that Hwui Shăn and
a party of Buddhist monks from Afghanistan discovered America in the
fifth century_ A.D. (New York, 1885), since the compiler has made it a
repository of all the essential contributions to the question from De
Guignes down. He gives the geographical reasons for believing Fusang to
be Mexico (ch. 20), comparing the original description of Fusang with
the early accounts of aboriginal Mexico, and rehearsing the traditions,
as is claimed, of the Buddhists still found by the Spaniards pervading
the memories of the natives, and at last (ch. 37) summarizing all the
grounds of his belief.[563]

       *       *       *       *       *

The consideration of the Polynesian route as a possible avenue
for peopling America involves the relations of the Malays to the
inhabitants of the Oceanic Islands and the capacity of early man to
traverse long distances by water.[564]

E. B. Tylor has pointed out the Asiatic relations of the Polynesians
in the _Journal of the Anthropological Inst._, xi. 401. Pickering,
in the ethnological chart accompanying the reports of the Wilkes
Expedition, makes the original people of Chili and Peru to be Malay,
and he connects the Californians with the Polynesians.[565]

The earliest elaboration of this theory was in John Dunmore Lang’s
_View of the origin and migrations of the Polynesian nations,
demonstrating their ancient discovery and progressive settlement of the
continent of America_ (London, 1834; 2d ed., Sydney, 1877). /Francis
A. Allen has advanced similar views at the meetings of the Congrès des
Américanistes at Luxembourg and at Copenhagen.[566]

The Mongol theory of the occupation of Peru, which John Ranking so
enthusiastically pressed in his _Historical researches on the conquest
of Peru, Mexico, Bogota, Natchez, and Talomeco, in the thirteenth
century, by the Mongols, accompanied with elephants; and the local
agreement of history and tradition, with the remains of elephants and
mastodontes found in the new world_ [etc.] (London, 1827), implies
that in the thirteenth century the Mongol emperor Kublai Khan sent a
fleet against Japan, which, being scattered in a storm, finally in part
reached the coasts of Peru, where the son of Kublai Khan became the
first Inca.[567] The book hardly takes rank as a sensible contribution
to ethnology, and Prescott says of it that it embodies “many curious
details of Oriental history and manners in support of a whimsical

=B.= IRELAND THE GREAT, OR WHITE MAN’S LAND.—The claims of the Irish
to have preceded the Norse in Iceland, and to have discovered America,
rest on an Icelandic saga, which represents that in the tenth century
Are Marson, driven off his course by a gale, found a land which became
known as Huitramannaland, or white man’s land, or otherwise as Irland
it Mikla.[569] This region was supposed by the colonists of Vinland
to lie farther south, which Rafn[570] interprets as being along the
Carolina coast,[571] and others have put it elsewhere, as Beauvois in
Canada above the Great Lakes; and still others see no more in it than
the pressing of some storm-driven vessel to the Azores[572] or some
other Atlantic island. The story is also coupled, from another source,
with the romance of Bjarni Asbrandson, who sailed away from Iceland
and from a woman he loved, because the husband and relatives of the
woman made it desirable that he should. Thirty years later, the crew of
another ship, wrecked on a distant coast,[573] found that the people
who took them prisoners spoke Irish,[574] and that their chieftain
was this same renegade, who let them go apparently for the purpose of
conveying some token by which he would be remembered to the Thurid
of his dreams. Of course all theorists who have to deal with these
supposed early discoveries by Europeans connect, each with his own pet
scheme, the prevailing legendary belief among the American Indians that
white men at an early period made their appearance on the coasts all
the way from Central America to Labrador.[575] Whether these strange
comers be St. Patrick,[576] St. Brandan even, or some other Hibernian
hero, with his followers, is easily to be adduced, if the disposing
mind is inclined.

There have been of late years two considerable attempts to establish
the historical verity of some of these alleged Irish visits.[577]

=C.= THE NORSE IN ICELAND.—The chief original source for the Norse
settlement of Iceland is the famous _Landnamabók_,[578] which is a
record by various writers, at different times, of the partitioning and
ownership of lands during the earliest years of occupation.[579] This
and other contemporary manuscripts, including the _Heimskringla_ of
Snorre Sturleson and the great body of Icelandic sagas, either at first
hand or as filtered through the leading writers on Icelandic history,
constitute the material out of which is made up the history of Iceland,
in the days when it was sending its adventurous spirits to Greenland
and probably to the American main.[580]

Respecting the body of the sagas, Laing (_Heimskringla_, i. 23) says:
“It does not appear that any saga manuscript now existing has been
written before the fourteenth century, however old the saga itself may
be. It is known that in the twelfth century, Are Frode, Sæmund and
others began to take the sagas out of the traditionary state and fix
them in writing; but none of the original skins appear to have come
down to our time, but only some of the numerous copies of them.” Laing
(p. 24) also instances numerous sagas known to have existed, but they
are not now recognized;[581] and he gives us (p. 30) the substance of
what is known respecting the writers and transcribers of this early
saga literature. It is held that by the beginning of the thirteenth
century the sagas of the discoveries and settlements had all been put
in writing, and thus the history, as it exists, of mediæval Iceland is,
as Burton says (_Ultima Thule_, i. 237), more complete than that of any
European country.[582]

Among the secondary writers, using either at first or second hand the
early MS. sources, the following may be mentioned:—

One of the earliest brought to the attention of the English public
was _A Compendious Hist. of the Goths, Swedes and Vandals, and other
northern powers_ (London, 1650 and 1658), translated in an abridged
form from the Latin of Olaus Magnus, which had been for more than a
hundred years the leading comprehensive authority on the northern
nations. The _Svearikes Historia_ (Stockholm, 1746-62) of Olof von
Dalin and the similar work of Sven Lagerbring (1769-1788), covering
the early history of the north, are of interest for the comparative
study of the north, rather than as elucidating the history of Iceland
in particular.[583] More direct aid will be got from Mallet’s _Northern
Antiquities_ (London edition, 1847) and from Wheaton’s _Northmen_. More
special is the _Histoire de l’Island_ of Xavier Marmier; and the German
historian F. C. Dahlman also touches Iceland with particular attention
in his _Geschichte von Dänemark bis zur Reformation, mit Inbegriff von
Norwegen und Island_ (Hamburg, 1840-43).

A history of more importance than any other yet published, and of the
widest scope, was that of Sweden by E. J. Geijer (continued by F. F.
Carlson), which for the early period (down to 1654) is accessible in
English in a translation by J. H. Turner (London, 1845).[584]

Prominent among the later school of northern historians, all touching
the Icelandic annals more or less, have been Peter Andreas Munch in his
_Det Norske Folks Historie_ (Christiania, 1852-63);[585] N. M. Petersen
in his _Danmarks Historie i Hedenold_ (Copenhagen, 1854-55); K. Keyser
in his _Norges Historie_ (Christiania, 1866-67); J. E. Sars in his
_Udsigt over den Norske Historie_ (Christiania, 1873-77); but all are
surpassed by Konrad Maurer’s _Island von seiner ersten Entdeckung
bis zum Untergange des Freistaates_,—A.D. 800-1262 (Munich, 1874),
published as commemorating the thousandth anniversary of the settlement
of Iceland, and it has the repute of being the best book on early
Icelandic history.[586]

The change from Paganism to Christianity necessarily enters into all
the histories covering the tenth and eleventh centuries; but it has
special treatment in C. Merivale’s _Conversion of the Northern Nations_
(Boyle lectures,—London, 1866).[587]

There is a considerable body of the later literature upon Iceland,
retrospective in character, and affording the results of study more or
less patient as to the life in the early Norse days in Iceland.[588]

G.W. Dasent’s introduction to his _Story of Burnt Njal_ (Edinburgh,
1861)[589] and his _Norsemen in Iceland_ (Oxford Essays, 1858) give
what Max Müller (_Chips from a German Workshop_, ii. 191) calls “a
vigorous and lively sketch of primitive northern life;” and are well
supplemented by Sabine Baring-Gould’s _Iceland, its scenes and sagas_
(London, 1863 and later), and Richard F. Burton’s _Ultima Thule, with
an historical introduction_ (London, 1875).[590]

=D.= GREENLAND AND ITS RUINS.—The sagas still serve us for the
colonization of Greenland, and of particular use is that of Eric the
Red.[591] The earliest to use these sources in the historic spirit
was Torfæus in his _Historia Gronlandiæ Antiquæ_ (1715).[592] The
natural successor of Torfæus and the book upon which later writers
mostly depend is David Crantz’s _Historie von Grönland, enthaltend die
Beschreibung des Landes und der Einwohner, insbesonders die Geschichten
der dortigen Mission. Nebst Fortsetzung_ (Barby, 1765-70, 3 vols.). An
English translation appeared in London in 1767, and again, though in an
abridged form with some changes, in 1820.[593]


After a cut in Nordenskjöld’s _Den Andra Dicksonska Expeditionen till
Grönland_, p. 369, following one in _Efter Meddelelser om Grönland_.]

Crantz says of his own historic aims, referring to Torfæus and to the
accounts given by the Eskimos of the east coast, that he has tried
to investigate “where the savage inhabitants came from, and how the
ancient Norwegian inhabitants came to be so totally extirpated,” while
at the same time he looks upon the history of the Moravian missions as
his chiefest theme.

       *       *       *       *       *

The principal source for the identification of the ruins of Greenland
is the work compiled by Rafn and Finn Magnusen, _Grönlands Historiske
Mindesmærker_,[594] with original texts and Danish versions. Useful
summaries and observations will be found in the paper by K. Steenstrup
on “Old Scandinavian ruins in South Greenland” in the _Compte Rendu,
Congrès des Américanistes_ (Copenhagen, 1883, p. 108), and in one
on “Les Voyages des Danois au Greenland” in the same (p. 196).
Steenstrup’s paper is accompanied by photographs and cuts, and a map
marking the site of the ruins. The latest account of them is by Lieut.
Holm in the _Meddelelser om Grönland_ (Copenhagen, 1883), vol. vi.
Other views and plans showing the arrangement of their dwellings and
the curious circular ruins,[595] which seems to have usually been
near their churches, are shown in the Baron Nordenskjöld’s _Den andra
dicksonska expeditionen till Grönland, dess inre isöken och dess
ostkust, utförd år 1883_ (Stockholm, 1885), the result of the ripest
study and closest contact.

We need also to scan the narratives of Hans Egede and Graah. Parry
found in 1824, on an island on the Baltic coast, a runic stone,
commemorating the occupancy of the spot in 1135 (_Antiquitates
Americanæ_; Mallet’s _Northern Antiquities_, 248); and in 1830 and 1831
other runes were found on old gravestones (Rink’s _Danish Greenland_,
app. v.; Laing’s _Heimskringla_, i. 151). These last are in the Museum
at Copenhagen. Most of these imperishable relics have been found in the
district of Julianeshaab.[596]

=E.= THE VINLAND VOYAGES.—What Leif and Karlsefne knew they
experienced, and what the sagas tell us they underwent, must have just
the difference between a crisp narrative of personal adventure and the
oft-repeated and embellished story of a fireside narrator, since the
traditions of the Norse voyages were not put in the shape of records
till about two centuries had elapsed, and we have no earlier manuscript
of such a record than one made nearly two hundred years later still. It
is indeed claimed that the transmission by tradition in those days was
a different matter in respect to constancy and exactness from what it
has been known to be in later times; but the assumption lacks proof and
militates against well-known and inevitable processes of the human mind.

[Illustration: SAGA MANUSCRIPT.

This is a portion of one of the plates in the _Antiquitates Americanæ_,
given by Rafn to Charles Sumner, with a key in manuscript by Rafn
himself. His signature is from a copy of his _Mémoire_ given by him to
Edward Everett, and now in Harvard College library.]

In regard to the credibility of the sagas, the northern writers
recognize the change which came over the oral traditionary chronicles
when the romancing spirit was introduced from the more southern
countries, at a time while the copies of the sagas which we now have
were making, after having been for so long a time orally handed
down; but they are not so successful in making plain what influence
this imported spirit had on particular sagas, which we are asked to
receive as historical records. They seem sometimes to forget that it
is not necessary to have culture, heroes, and impossible occurrences
to constitute a myth. A blending of history and myth prompts Horn
to say “that some of the sagas were doubtless originally based on
facts, but the telling and re-telling have changed them into pure
myths.” The unsympathetic stranger sees this in stories that the
patriotic Scandinavians are over-anxious to make appear as genuine
chronicles.[597] It is certainly unfortunate that the period of
recording the older sagas coincides mainly with the age of this
southern romancing influence.[598] It is a somewhat anomalous condition
when long-transmitted oral stories are assigned to history, and certain
other written ones of the age of the recorded sagas are relegated to
myth. If we would believe some of the northern writers, what appears
to be difference in kind of embellishment was in reality the sign that
separated history from fable.[599] Of the interpreters of this olden
lore, Torfæus has been long looked upon as a characteristic exemplar,
and Horn[600] says of his works that they are “perceptibly lacking
in criticism. Torfæus was upon the whole incapable of distinguishing
between myth and history.”[601]

[Illustration: RUIN AT KATORTOK.

After a cut in Nordenskjöld’s _Exped. till Grönland_, p. 371, following
the _Meddel. om Grönland_, vi. 98.]

Erasmus Rask, in writing to Wheaton in

1831,[602] enumerates eight of the early manuscripts which mention
Vinland and the voyages; but Rafn, in 1837, counted eighteen such
manuscripts.[603] We know little or nothing about the recorders or date
of any of these copies, excepting the _Heimskringla_,[604] nor how long
they had existed orally. Some of them were doubtless put into writing
soon after the time when such recording was introduced, and this date
is sometimes put as early as A.D. 1120, and sometimes as late as the
middle or even end of that century. Meanwhile, Adam of Bremen, in the
latter part of the eleventh century (A.D. 1073), prepared his _Historia
Ecclesiastica_, an account of the spread of Christianity in the north,
in which he says he was told by the Danish king that his subjects
had found a country to the west, called Winland.[605] A reference is
also supposed to be made in the _Historia Ecclesiastica_ of Ordericus
Vitalis, written about the middle (say A.D. 1140) of the twelfth
century. But it was not until somewhere between A.D. 1385 and 1400 that
the oldest Icelandic manuscript which exists, touching the voyages,
was compiled,—the so-called _Codex Flatoyensis_,[606] though how much
earlier copies of it were made is not known. It is in this manuscript
that we find the saga of Olaf Tryggvesson,[607] wherein the voyages
of Leif Ericson are described, and it is only by a comparison of
circumstances detailed here and in other sagas that the year A.D. 1000
has been approximately determined as the date.[608] In this same codex
we find the saga of Eric the Red, one of the chief narratives depended
upon by the advocates of the Norse discovery, and in Rask’s judgment
it “appears to be somewhat fabulous, written long after the event, and
taken from tradition.”[609]


_Environs of_ Julianehaab THE ÖSTER BYGD _or_ Eastern Settlement

Reference: _Norse ruins or traces of them_

NOTE.—The above is a reproduction of a corner map in the map of _Danish
Greenland_ given in Rink’s book of that name. The sea in the southwest
corner of the cut is not shaded; but shading is given to the interior
ice field on the northern and northeastern part of the map. Rink gives
a similar map of the Westerbygd.]

The other principal saga is that of Thorfinn Karlsefne, which with
some differences and with the same lack of authenticity, goes over the
ground covered by that of Eric the Red.[610]

[Illustration: RAFN.]

Of all the early manuscripts, the well-known _Heimskringla_ of Snorro
Sturleson (b. 1178; d. 1241), purporting to be a history of the Norse
kings down to A.D. 1177, is the most entitled to be received as an
historical record, and all that it says is in these words: “Leif also
found Vinland the Good.”[611]

Saxo Grammaticus (d. about 1208) in his _Historia Danica_ begins with
myths, and evidently follows the sagas, but does not refer to them
except in his preface.[612]


HISTORIA VINLANDIÆ ANTIQVÆ. seu Partis Americæ Septentrionalis, ubi
Nominis ratio recensetur, situs terræ ex dierumbrumalium spatio
expenditur, soli fertilitas & incolarum barbaries, peregrinorum
temporarius incolatus & gesta, vicinarum terrarum nomina & facies ex
Antiqvitibus Islandicis in lucem producta exponuntur per THORMODUM
TORFÆUM Rerum Norvegicarum Historiographum Regium.

HAVNIÆ, Ex Typographéo Regiæ Majest, & Universit, 1705. Impensis
Authoris. ]

For about five hundred years after this the stories attracted little or
no attention.[613] We have seen that Peringskiöld produced these sagas
in 1697. Montanus in his _Nieuwe en onbekende Weereld_ (Amsterdam,
1671), and Campanius, in 1702, in his _Kort Beskrifning om Provincien
Nya Swerige uti America_ (Stockholm),[614] gave some details. The
account which did most, however, to revive an interest in the subject
was that of Torfæus in his _Historia Vinlandiæ Antiquæ_ (Copenhagen,
1705), but he was quite content to place the scene of his narrative
in America, without attempting to identify localities.[615] The
voyages were, a few years later, the subject of a dissertation at
the University of Upsala in Sweden.[616] J. P. Cassell, of Bremen,
discusses the Adam of Bremen story in another Latin essay, still

About 1750, Pieter Kalm, a Swede, brought the matter to the attention
of Dr. Franklin, as the latter remembered twenty-five years later, when
he wrote to Samuel Mather that “the circumstances gave the account a
great appearance of authenticity.”[618] In 1755, Paul Henri Mallet
(1730-1807), in his _Histoire de Dannemarc_, determines the localities
to be Labrador and Newfoundland.[619]

In 1769, Gerhard Schöning, in his _Norges Riges Historie_, established
the scene in America. Robertson, in 1777, briefly mentions the
voyages in his _Hist. of America_ (note xvii.), and, referring to
the accounts given by Peringskiöld, calls them rude and confused,
and says that it is impossible to identify the landfalls, though he
thinks Newfoundland may have been the scene of Vinland. This is also
the belief of J. R. Forster in his _Geschichte der Entdeckungen im
Norden_ (Frankfurt, 1784).[620] M. C. Sprengel, in his _Geschichte
der Europäer in Nordamerika_ (Leipzig, 1782), thinks they went as
far south as Carolina. Pontoppidan’s _History of Norway_ was mainly
followed by Dr. Jeremy Belknap in his _American Biography_ (Boston,
1794), who recognizes “circumstances to confirm and none to disprove
the relations.” In 1793, Muñoz, in his _Historia del Nuevo Mundo_, put
Vinland in Greenland. In 1796 there was a brief account in Fritsch’s
_Disputatio historico-geographica in qua quæritur utrum veteres
Americam noverint necne_. H. Stenström published at Lund, in 1801, a
short dissertation, _De America Norvegis ante tempora Columbi adita_.
Boucher de la Richarderie, in his _Bibliothèque Universelle des
Voyages_ (Paris, 1808), gives a short account, and cites some of the
authorities. Some of the earlier American histories of this century,
like Williamson’s _North Carolina_, took advantage of the recitals
of Torfæus and Mallet. Ebenezer Henderson’s _Residence in Iceland_
(1814-15)[621] presented the evidence anew. Barrow, in his _Voyages
to the Arctic Regions_ (London, 1818), places Vinland in Labrador or
Newfoundland; but J. W. Moulton, in his _History of the State of New
York_ (N. Y., 1824), brings that State within the region supposed to
have been visited.

A writer more likely to cause a determinate opinion in the public
mind came in Washington Irving, who in his _Columbus_ (London, 1828)
dismissed the accounts as untrustworthy; though later, under the
influence of Wheaton and Rafn, he was inclined to consider them of
possible importance; and finally in his condensed edition he thinks
the facts “established to the conviction of most minds.”[622] Hugh
Murray, in his _Discoveries and Travels in North America_ (London,
1829), regards the sagas as an authority; but he doubts the assigning
of Vinland to America. In 1830, W. D. Cooley, in his _History of
Maritime and Inland Discovery_,[623] thought it impossible to shake the
authenticity of the sagas.

While Henry Wheaton was the minister of the United States at
Copenhagen, and having access to the collections of that city, he
prepared his _History of the Northmen_, which was published in London
and Philadelphia in 1831.[624] The high character of the man gave
unusual force to his opinions, and his epitome of the sagas in his
second chapter contributed much to increase the interest in the
Northmen story. He was the first who much impressed the New England
antiquaries with the view that Vinland should be looked for in New
England; and a French version by Paul Guillot, issued in Paris in 1844,
is stated to have been “revue et augmentée par l’auteur, avec cartes,
inscriptions, et alphabet runique.”[625] The opinions of Wheaton,
however, had no effect upon the leading historian of the United States,
nor have any subsequent developments caused any change in the opinion
of Bancroft, first advanced in 1834, in the opening volume of his
_United States_, where he dismissed the sagas as “mythological in
form and obscure in meaning; ancient yet not contemporary.” He adds
that “the intrepid mariners who colonized Greenland could easily have
extended their voyage to Labrador; but no clear historical evidence
establishes the natural probability that they accomplished the
passage.”[626] All this is omitted by Bancroft in his last revised
edition; but a paragraph in his original third volume (1840), to the
intent that, though “Scandinavians may have reached the shores of
Labrador, the soil of the United States has not one vestige of their
presence,” is allowed to remain,[627] and is true now as when first

The chief apostle of the Norseman belief, however, is Carl Christian
Rafn, whose work was accomplished under the auspices of the Royal
Society of Northern Antiquaries at Copenhagen.[628]

Rafn was born in 1795, and died at Copenhagen in 1864.[629] At the
University, as well as later as an officer of its library, he had bent
his attention to the early Norse manuscripts and literature,[630]
so that in 1825 he was the natural founder of the Royal Society of
Northern Antiquaries; and much of the value of its long series of
publications is due to his active and unflagging interest.[631] The
summit of his American interest, however, was reached in the great
folio _Antiquitates Americanæ_,[632] in which he for the first time
put the mass of original Norse documents before the student, and with
a larger accumulation of proofs than had ever been adduced before, he
commented on the narratives and came to conclusions respecting traces
of their occupancy to which few will adhere to-day.

The effect of Rafn’s volume, however, was marked, and we see it in the
numerous presentations of the subject which followed; and every writer
since has been greatly indebted to him.

Alexander von Humboldt in his _Examen Critique_ (Paris, 1837) gave a
synopsis of the sagas, and believed the scene of the discoveries to
be between Newfoundland and New York; and in his _Cosmos_ (1844) he
reiterated his views, holding to “the undoubted first discovery by the
Northmen as far south as 41° 30’.”[633]

[Illustration: NORSE AMERICA.

Opposite is a section of Rafn’s map in the _Antiquitates Americanæ_,
giving his identification of the Norse localities. This and the other
map by Rafn is reproduced in his _Cabinet d’Antiquités Américaines_
(Copenhagen, 1858). The map in the atlas of St. Martin’s _Hist. de la
Géographie_ does not track them below Newfoundland. The map in J. T.
Smith’s _Northmen in New England_ (Boston, 1839) shows eleven voyages
to America from Scandinavia, A.D. 861-1285. Cf. map in Wilhelmi’s
_Island_, etc. (Heidelberg, 1842).]

Two books which for a while were the popular treatises on the subject
were the immediate outcome of Rafn’s book. The first of these was _The
Northmen in New England_, giving the stories in the form of a dialogue,
by Joshua Toulmin Smith (Boston, 1839), which in a second edition
(London, 1842) was called _The Discovery of America by the Northmen in
the Tenth Century_.

The other book was largely an English version of parts of Rafn’s book,
translating the chief sagas, and reproducing the maps: Nathaniel Ludlow
Beamish’s _Discovery of America by the Northmen in the Tenth Century_
(London, 1841).[634] Two German books owed almost as much to Rafn,
those of K. Wilhelmi[635] and K. H. Hermes.[636] Prescott, at this time
publishing the third volume of his _Mexico_ (1843), accords to Rafn
the credit of taking the matter out of the category of doubt, but he
hesitates to accept the Dane’s identifications of localities; but R. H.
Major, in considering the question in the introduction to his _Select
letters of Columbus_ (1847), finds little hesitation in accepting the
views of Rafn, and thinks “no room is left for disputing the main fact
of discovery.”

When Hildreth, in 1849, published his _United States_, he ranged
himself, with his distrusts, by the side of Bancroft but J. Elliot
Cabot, in making a capital summary of the evidence in the _Mass.
Quarterly Review_ (vol. ii.), accords with the believers, but places
the locality visited about Labrador and Newfoundland. Haven in his
_Archæology of the United States_ (Washington, 1856) regards the
discovery as well attested, and that the region was most likely that
of Narragansett Bay. C. W. Elliott in his _New England History_ (N.
Y., 1857) holds the story to be “in some degree mythical.” Palfrey
in his _Hist. of New England_ (Boston, 1858) goes no farther than to
consider the Norse voyage as in “nowise unlikely,” and Oscar F. Peschel
in his _Geschichte des Zeitalters der Entdeckungen_ (Stuttgart, 1858)
is on the affirmative side. Paul K. Sinding goes over the story with
assent in his _History of Scandinavia_,—a book not much changed in his
_Scandinavian Races_ (N. Y., 1878).[637] Eugène Beauvois did little
more than translate from Rafn in his _Découvertes des Scandinaves en
Amérique,—fragments de Sagas Islandaises traduits pour la première fois
en français_ (Paris, 1859)—an extract from the _Revue Orientale et
Américaine_ (vol. ii.).[638]

Professor Daniel Wilson, of Toronto, has discussed the subject at
different times, and with these conclusions: “With all reasonable
doubts as to the accuracy of details, there is the strongest
probability in favor of the authenticity of the American Vinland....
The data are the mere vague allusions of a traveller’s tale, and it is
indeed the most unsatisfactory feature of the sagas that the later the
voyages the more confused and inconsistent their narratives become in
every point of detail.”[639]

Dr. B. F. De Costa’s first book on the subject was his _Pre-Columbian
Discovery of America by the Northmen, illustrated by Translations from
the Icelandic Sagas, edited with notes and a general introduction_
(Albany, 1868). It is a convenient gathering of the essential parts
of the sagas; but the introduction rather opposes than disproves
some of the “feeble paragraphs, pointed with a sneer,” which he
charges upon leading opponents of the faith. Professor J. L. Diman,
in the _North American Review_ (July, 1869), made De Costa’s book
the occasion of an essay setting forth the grounds of a disbelief
in the historical value of the sagas. De Costa replied in _Notes on
a Review_, etc. (Charlestown, 1869). In the same year, Dr. Kohl,
following the identifications of Rafn, rehearsed the narratives in his
_Discovery of Maine_ (Portland, 1869), and tracked Karlsefne through
the gulf of Maine. De Costa took issue with him on this latter point
in his Northmen in Maine (Albany, 1870).[640] In the introduction
to his _Sailing Directions of Henry Hudson_, De Costa argues that
these mariners’ guides are the same used by the Northmen, and in his
_Columbus and the Geographers of the North_ (Hartford, 1872,—cf. _Amer.
Church Review_, xxiv. 418) he recapitulates the sagas once more with
reference to the knowledge which he supposes Columbus to have had of
them. Paul Gaffarel, in his _Etudes sur les rapports de l’Amérique
et de l’ancien Continent avant Colomb_ (Paris, 1869), entered more
particularly into the evidence of the commerce of Vinland and its
relations to Europe.

Gabriel Gravier, another French author, was rather too credulous in
his _Découverte de l’Amérique par les normands au X^e Siècle_ (Paris,
1874), when he assumed with as much confidence as Rafn ever did
everything that the most ardent advocate had sought to prove.[641]

There were two American writers soon to follow, hardly less
intemperate. These were Aaron Goodrich, in _A History of the Character
and Achievements of the so-called Christopher Columbus_ (N. Y., 1874),
who took the full complement of Rafn’s belief with no hesitancy;
and Rasmus B. Anderson in his _America not discovered by Columbus_
(Chicago, 1874; improved, 1877; again with Watson’s bibliography,
1883),[642] in which even the Skeleton in Armor is made to play a part.
Excluding such vagaries, the book is not without use as displaying the
excessive views entertained in some quarters on the subject. The author
is, we believe, a Scandinavian, and shows the tendency of his race to a
facility rather than felicity in accepting evidence on this subject.

The narratives were first detailed among our leading general histories
when the _Popular History of the United States_ of Bryant and Gay
appeared in 1876. The claims were presented decidedly, and in the main
in the directions indicated by Rafn; but the wildest pretensions of
that antiquary were considerately dismissed.

During the last score years the subject has been often made prominent
by travellers like Kneeland[643] and Hayes,[644] who have recapitulated
the evidence; by lecturers like Charles Kingsley;[645] by monographists
like Moosmüller;[646] by the minor historians like Higginson,[647] who
has none of the fervor of the inspired identifiers of localities, and
Weise,[648] who is inclined to believe the sea-rovers did not even pass
Davis’s Straits; and by contributors to the successive sessions of the
Congrès des Américanistes[649] and to other learned societies.[650]

The question was brought to a practical issue in Massachusetts by a
proposition raised—at first in Wisconsin—by the well-known musician Ole
Bull, to erect in Boston a statue to Leif Ericson.[651] The project,
though ultimately carried out, was long delayed, and was discouraged
by members of the Massachusetts Historical Society on the ground that
no satisfactory evidence existed to show that any spot in New England
had been reached by the Northmen.[652] The sense of the society was
finally expressed in the report of their committee, Henry W. Haynes
and Abner C. Goodell, Jr., in language which seems to be the result of
the best historical criticism; for it is not a question of the fact of
discovery, but to decide how far we can place reliance on the details
of the sagas. There is likely to remain a difference of opinion on
this point. The committee say: “There is the same sort of reason for
believing in the existence of Leif Ericson that there is for believing
in the existence of Agamemnon,—they are both traditions accepted by
later writers; but there is no more reason for regarding as true the
details related about his discoveries than there is for accepting as
historic truth the narratives contained in the Homeric poems. It is
antecedently probable that the Northmen discovered America in the
early part of the eleventh century; and this discovery is confirmed
by the same sort of historical tradition, not strong enough to be
called evidence, upon which our belief in many of the accepted facts of
history rests.”[653]

In running down the history of the literature of the subject, the
present aim has been simply to pick out such contributions as have
been in some way significant, and reference must be made to the
bibliographies for a more perfect record.[654]

Irrespective of the natural probability of the Northmen visits to
the American main, other evidence has been often adduced to support
the sagas. This proof has been linguistic, ethnological, physical,
geographical, and monumental.

Nothing could be slenderer than the alleged correspondences of
languages, and we can see in Horsford’s _Discovery of America by
Northmen_ to what a fanciful extent a confident enthusiasm can carry

The ethnological traces are only less shadowy. Hugo Grotius[656]
contended that the people of Central America were of Scandinavian
descent. Brasseur found remnants of Norse civilization in the same
region.[657] Viollet le Duc[658] discovers great resemblances in the
northern religious ceremonials to those described in the _Popul Vuh_. A
general resemblance did not escape the notice of Humboldt. Gravier[659]
is certain that the Aztec civilization is Norse.[660] Chas. Godfrey
Leland claims that the old Norse spirit pervades the myths and legends
of the Algonkins, and that it is impossible not to admit that there
must have been at one time “extensive intercourse between the Northmen
and the Algonkins;” and in proof he points out resemblances between
the Eddas and the Algonkin mythology.[661] It is even stated that the
Micmacs have a tradition of a people called Chenooks, who in ships
visited their coast in the tenth century.

The physical and geographical evidences are held to exist in the
correspondences of the coast line to the descriptions of the sagas,
including the phenomena of the tides[662] and the length of the summer
day.[663] Laing and others, who make no question of the main fact,
readily recognize the too great generality and contradictions of the
descriptions to be relied upon.[664]

George Bancroft, in showing his distrust, has said that the advocates
of identification can no farther agree than to place Vinland anywhere
from Greenland to Africa.[665]


A MAP OF VINLAND from accounts contained in Old Northern M.S.S. by

NOTE.—The above map is a fac-simile of one of C. C. Rafn’s maps. Cf.
the maps in Smith, Beamish, Gravier, Slafter, Preble’s _Amer. Flag_,
etc. ]

The earliest to go so far as to establish to a certainty[666]
the sites of the sagas was Rafn, who placed them on the coast of
Massachusetts and Rhode Island, wherein nearly all those have followed
him who have thought it worth while to be thus particular as to
headland and bay.

[Illustration: DIGHTON ROCK.[667]]

In applying the saga names they have, however, by no means agreed,
for Krossanes is with some Point Alderton, at the entrance of Boston
Harbor, and with others the Gurnet Head; the island where honey dew
was found is Nantucket with Rafn, and with De Costa an insular region,
Nauset, now under water near the elbow of Cape Cod;[668] the Vinland
of Rafn is in Narragansett Bay, that of Dr. A. C. Hamlin is at Merry
Meeting Bay on the coast of Maine,[669] and that of Horsford is
north of Cape Cod,[670]—not to mention other disagreements of other

We get something more tangible, if not more decisive, when we come
to the monumental evidences. DeWitt Clinton and Samuel L. Mitchell
found little difficulty at one time in making many people believe
that the earthworks of Onondaga were Scandinavian. A pretended runic
inscription on a stone said to have been found in the Grave Creek mound
was sedulously ascribed to the Northmen.[671] What some have called a
runic inscription exists on a rock near Yarmouth in Nova Scotia, which
is interpreted “Hako’s son addressed the men,” and is supposed to
commemorate the expedition of Thorfinn in A.D. 1007.[672] A rock on the
little islet of Menana, close to Monhegan, on the coast of Maine, and
usually referred to as the Monhegan Rock, bears certain weather marks,
and there have been those to call them runes.[673] A similar claim is
made for a rock in the Merrimac Valley.[674] Rafn describes such rocks
as situated in Tiverton and Portsmouth Grove, R. I., but the markings
were Indian, and when Dr. S. A. Green visited the region in 1868 some
of them had disappeared.[675]


NOTE.—The opposite plate is reduced from one in the _Antiq.
Americanæ_. They show the difficulty, even before later weathering, of
different persons in discerning the same things on the rock, and in
discriminating between fissures and incisions. Col. Garrick Mallery
(_4th Rept. Bureau of Ethnology_, p. 250) asserts that the inscription
has been “so manipulated that it is difficult now to determine the
original details.” The drawings represented are enumerated in the text.
Later ones are numerous. Rafn also gives that of Dr. Baylies and Mr.
Gooding in 1790, and that made for the Rhode Island Hist. Society in
1830. The last has perhaps been more commonly copied than the others.
Photographs of late years are common; but almost invariably the
photographer has chalked what he deems to be the design,—in this they
do not agree, of course,—in order to make his picture clearer. I think
Schoolcraft in making his daguerreotype was the first to do this. The
most careful drawing made of late years is that by Professor Seager of
the Naval Academy, under the direction of Commodore Blake; and there is
in the Cabinet of the American Antiquarian Society a MS. essay on the
rock, written at Blake’s request by Chaplain Chas. R. Hale of the U. S.
Navy. Haven disputes Blake’s statement that a change in the river’s bed
more nearly submerges the rock at high tide than was formerly the case.
Cf. _Am. Antiq. Soc._ Proc., Oct., 1864, p. 41, where a history of the
rock is given; and in Wilson’s _Prehistoric Man_, ii. 93.]

The most famous of all these alleged memorials[676] is the Dighton
Rock, lying in the tide on the side of Taunton River, in the town
of Berkeley, in Massachusetts.[677] Dr. De Costa thinks it possible
that the central portion may be runic. This part is what has been
interpreted to mean that Thorfinn with 151 men took possession of the
country, and it is said to be this portion of the inscription which
modern Indians discard when giving their interpretations.[678] That it
is the work of the Indian of historic times seems now to be the opinion
common to the best trained archæologists.[679]

Rafn was also the first to proclaim the stone tower now standing
at Newport, R. I., as a work of the Northmen; but the recent
antiquaries without any exception worth considering, believe that the
investigations have shown that it was erected by Governor Arnold of
Rhode Island as a windmill, sometime between 1670 and 1680; and Palfrey
in his _New England_ is thought to have put this view beyond doubt in
showing the close correspondence in design of the tower to a mill at
Chesterton, in England.[680]

Certain hearthstones which were discovered over twenty-five years
ago under a peat bed on Cape Cod were held at the time to be a
Norse relic.[681] In 1831 there was exhumed in Fall River, Mass.,
a skeleton, which had with it what seemed to be an ornamental belt
made of metal tubes, formed by rolling fragments of flat brass and an
oblong plate of the same metal,—not of bronze, as is usually said,—with
some arrow-heads, cut evidently from the same material. The other
concomitants of the burial indicated an Indian of the days since the
English contact. The skeleton attracted notice in this country by being
connected with the Norsemen in Longfellow’s ballad, _The Skeleton in
Armor_, and Dr. Webb sent such an account of it to the Royal Society of
Northern Antiquaries that it was looked upon as another and distinct
proof of the identification of Vinland. Later antiquaries have
dismissed all beliefs of that nature.[682]

There is not a single item of all the evidence thus advanced from
time to time which can be said to connect by archæological traces the
presence of the Northmen on the soil of North America south of Davis’
Straits. Arguments of this kind have been abandoned except by a few
enthusiastic advocates.

       *       *       *       *       *

That the Northmen voyaging to Vinland encountered natives, and that
they were called Skraelings, may be taken as a sufficiently broad
statement in the sagas to be classed with those concomitants of the
voyages which it is reasonable to accept. Sir William Dawson (_Fossil
Men_, 49) finds it easy to believe that these natives were our red
Indians; and Gallatin saw no reason to dissociate the Eskimos with
other American tribes.[683] That they were Eskimos seems to be the more
commonly accepted view.[684]

That the climate of the Atlantic coast of the United States and the
British provinces was such as was favorable to the present Arctic
dwellers is held to be shown by such evidences as tusks of the walrus
found in phosphate beds in South Carolina. Rude implements found in
the interglacial Jersey drift have been held by C. C. Abbott to have
been associated with a people of the Eskimo stock, and some have noted
that palæolithic implements found in Pennsylvania closely resemble the
work of the modern Eskimos (_Amer. Antiquarian_, i. 10).[685] Dall
remarks upon implements of Innuit origin being found four hundred
miles south of the present range of the Eskimos of the northwest coast
(_Contributions to Amer. Ethnology_, i. p. 98). Charlevoix says that
Eskimos were occasionally seen in Newfoundland in the beginning of the
last century; and ethnologists recognize to-day the same stock in the
Eskimos of Labrador and Greenland.

[Illustration: HINRIK RINK.

After a likeness given by Nordenskjöld in his _Exped. till Grönland_,
p. 121.]

The best authority on the Eskimos is generally held to be Hinrich
Rink, and he contends that they formerly occupied the interior of
the continent, and have been pressed north and across Behring’s
Straits.[686] W. H. Dall holds similar views.[687] C. R. Markham,
who dates their first appearance in Greenland in 1349, contends, on
the other hand, that they came from the west (Siberia) along the
polar regions (Wrangell Land), and drove out the Norse settlers in
Greenland.[688] The most active of the later students of the Eskimos
is Dr. Franz Boas, now of New York, who has discussed their tribal

=F.= THE LOST GREENLAND COLONIES.—After intercourse with the colonies
in Greenland ceased, and definite tradition in Iceland had died out,
and when the question of the re-discovery should arise, it was natural
that attention should first be turned to that coast of Greenland which
lay opposite Iceland as the likelier sites of the lost colonies, and
in this way we find all the settlements placed in the maps of the
sixteenth century. The Archbishop Erik Walkendorf, of Lund, in the
early part of that century had failed to persuade the Danish government
to send an expedition. King Frederick II was induced, however, to
send one in 1568; but it accomplished nothing; and again in 1579 he
put another in command of an Englishman, Jacob Allday, but the ice
prevented his landing. A Danish navigator was more successful in 1581;
but the coast opposite Iceland yielded as yet no traces of the Norse
settlers. Frobisher’s discovery of the west coast seems to have failed
of recognition among the Danes; but they with the rest of Europe did
not escape noting the importance of the explorations of John Davis in
1585-86, through the straits which bear his name. It now became the
belief that the west settlement must be beyond Cape Farewell. In 1605,
Christian IV of Denmark sent a new expedition under Godske Lindenow;
but there was a Scotchman in command of one of the three ships, and
Jacob Hall, who had probably served under Davis, went as the fleet
pilot. He guided the vessels through Davis’s Straits. But it was rather
the purpose of Lindenow to find a northwest passage than to discover a
lost colony; and such was mainly the object which impelled him again in
1606, and inspired Karsten Rikardsen in 1607. Now and for some years to
come we have the records of voyages made by the whalers to this region,
and we read their narratives in Purchas and in such collections of
voyages as those of Harris and Churchill.[690] They yield us, however,
little or no help in the problem we are discussing. In 1670 and 1671
Christian V sent expeditions with the express purpose of discovering
the lost colonies; but Otto Axelsen, who commanded, never returned from
his second voyage, and we have no account of his first.

The mission of the priest Hans Egede gave the first real glimmer
of light.[691] He was the earliest to describe the ruins and relics
observable on the west coast, but he continued to regard the east
settlements as belonging to the east coast, and so placed them on the
map. Anderson (Hamburg, 1746) went so far as to place on his map the
cathedral of Gardar in a fixed location on the east coast, and his map
was variously copied in the following years.

In 1786 an expedition left Copenhagen to explore the east coast for
traces of the colonies, but the ice prevented the approach to the
coast, and after attempts in that year and in 1787 the effort was
abandoned. Heinrich Peter von Eggers, in his _Om Grönlands österbygds
sande Beliggenhed_ (1792), and _Ueber die wahre Lage des alten
Ostgrönlands_ (Kiel, 1794), a German translation, first advanced the
opinion that the eastern colony as well as the western must have
been on the west coast, and his views were generally accepted; but
Wormskjöld in the _Skandinavisk Litteraturselskab’s Skrifter_, vol. x.
(Copenhagen, 1814), still adhered to the earlier opinions, and Saabye
still believed it possible to reach the east coast.

[Illustration: REDUCED FAC-SIMILE.

[Harvard College Library copy.]]

Some years later (1828-31) W. A. Graah made, by order of the king
of Denmark, a thorough examination of the east coast, and in his
_Undersögelses Reise til Ostkysten af Grönland_ (Copenhagen, 1832)[692]
he was generally thought to establish the great improbability of any
traces of a colony ever existing on that coast. Of late years Graah’s
conclusions have been questioned, for there have been some sites of
buildings discovered on the east side.[693] The Reverend J. Brodbeck,
a missionary, described some in _The Moravian Quarterly_, July and
Aug., 1882. Nordenskjöld has held that when the east coast is explored
from 65° to 69°, there is a chance of discovering the site of an east

R. H. Major, in a paper (_Journal Roy. Geog. Soc._, 1873, p. 184) on
the site of the lost colony, questioned Graah’s conclusions, and gave
a sketch map, in which he placed its site near Cape Farewell; and he
based his geographical data largely upon the chorography of Greenland
and the sailing directions of Ivan Bardsen, who was probably an
Icelander living in Greenland some time in the fifteenth century.[695]

=G.= MADOC AND THE WELSH.—Respecting the legends of Madoc, there are
reports, which Humboldt (_Cosmos_, Bohn, ii. 610) failed to verify, of
Welsh bards rehearsing the story before 1492,[696] and of statements
in the early Welsh annals. The original printed source is in Humfrey
Lloyd’s _History of Cambria, now called Wales, written in the British
language_ [by Caradoc] _about 200 years past_ (London, 1584).[697]
The book contained corrections and additions by David Powell, and
it was in these that the passages of importance were found, and the
supposition was that the land visited lay near the Gulf of Mexico.
Richard Hakluyt, in his _Principall Navigations_, took the story from
Powell, and connected the discovery with Mexico in his edition of 1589,
and with the West Indies in that of 1600 (iii. p. 1),—and there was not
an entire absence of the suspicion that it was worth while to establish
some sort of a British claim to antedate the Spanish one established
through Columbus.[698]

The linguistic evidences were not brought into prominence till after
one Morgan Jones had fallen among the Tuscaroras[699] in 1660, and
found, as he asserted, that they could understand his Welsh. He wrote
a statement of his experience in 1685-6, which was not printed till

During the eighteenth century we find Campanius in his _Nye Swerige_
(1702) repeating the story; Torfæus (_Hist. Vinlandiæ_, 1705) not
rejecting it; Carte (_England_, 1747) thinking it probable; while
Campbell (_Admirals_, 1742), Lyttleton (_Henry the Second_, 1767), and
Robertson (_America_, 1777) thought there was no ground, at least, for
connecting the story with America.

It was reported that in 1764 a man, Griffeth, was taken by the Shawnees
to a tribe of Indians who spoke Welsh.[701] In 1768, Charles Beatty
published his _Journal of a two months’ Tour in America_ (London), in
which he repeated information of Indians speaking Welsh in Pennsylvania
and beyond the Mississippi, and of the finding of a Welsh Bible among

In 1772-73, David Jones wandered among the tribes west of the Ohio,
and in 1774, at Burlington, published his _Journal of two visits_, in
which he enumerates the correspondence of words which he found in their
tongues with his native Welsh.[702]

Without noting other casual mentions, some of which will be found
in Paul Barron Watson’s bibliography (in Anderson’s _America not
discovered by Columbus_, p. 142), it is enough to say that towards
the end of the century the papers of John Williams[703] and George
Burder[704] gave more special examination to the subject than had been
applied before.

[Illustration: A BRITISH SHIP.

After a cut in _The Mirror of Literature_, etc. (London, 1823), vol. i.
p. 177, showing a vessel then recently exhumed in Kent, and supposed to
be of the time of Edward I, or the thirteenth century. The vessel was
sixty-four feet long.]

The renewed interest in the matter seems to have prompted Southey to
the writing of his poem _Madoc_, though he refrained from publishing it
for some years. If one may judge from his introductory note, Southey
held to the historical basis of the narrative. Meanwhile, reports were
published of this and the other tribes being found speaking Welsh.[705]
In 1816, Henry Kerr printed at Elizabethtown, New Jersey, his _Travels
through the Western interior of the United States, 1808-16, with some
account of a tribe whose customs are similar to those of the ancient
Welsh_. In 1824, Yates and Moulton (_State of New York_) went over the
ground rather fully, but without conviction. Hugh Murray (_Travels
in North America_, London, 1829) believes the Welsh went to Spain.
In 1834, the different sides of the case were discussed by Farcy and
Warden in Dupaix’s _Antiquités Méxicaines_. Some years later the
publication of George Catlin[706] probably gave more conviction than
had been before felt,[707] arising from his statements of positive
linguistic correspondences in the language of the so-called White[708]
Mandans[709] on the Missouri River, the similarity of their boats to
the old Welsh coracles, and other parallelisms of custom. He believed
that Madoc landed at Florida, or perhaps passed up the Mississippi
River. His conclusions were a reinforcement of those reached by
Williams.[710] The opinion reached by Major in his edition of
_Columbus’ Letters_ (London, 1847) that the Welsh discovery was quite
possible, while it was by no means probable, is with little doubt the
view most generally accepted to-day; while the most that can be made
out of the claim is presented with the latest survey in B. F. Bowen’s
_America discovered by the Welsh in 1170_ A.D. (Philad., 1876). He
gathers up, as helping his proposition, such widely scattered evidences
as the Lake Superior copper mines and the Newport tower, both of which
he appropriates; and while following the discoverers from New England
south and west, he does not hesitate to point out the resemblance of
the Ohio Valley mounds[711] to those depicted in Pennant’s _Tour of
Wales_; and he even is at no loss for proofs among the relics of the

=H.= THE ZENI AND THEIR MAP.—Something has been said elsewhere (Vol.
III. p. 100) of the influence of the Zeni narrative and its map, in
confusing Frobisher in his voyages. The map was reproduced in the
Ptolemy of 1561, with an account of the adventures of the brothers, but
it was so far altered as to dissever Greenland from Norway, of which
the Zeni map had made it but an extension.[713]

The story got further currency in Ramusio (1574, vol. ii.), Ortelius
(1575), Hakluyt (1600, vol. iii.), Megiser’s _Septentrio Novantiquus_
(1613), Purchas (1625), Pontanus’ _Rerum Danicarum_ (1631), Luke
Fox’s _North-West Fox_ (1633), and in De Laet’s Notæ (1644), who,
as well as Hornius, _De Originibus Americanis_ (1644), thinks the
story suspicious. It was repeated by Montanus in 1671, and by Capel,
_Vorstellungen des Norden_, in 1676. Some of the features of the map
had likewise become pretty constant in the attendant cartographical
records. But from the close of the seventeenth century for about a
hundred years, the story was for the most part ignored, and it was not
till 1784 that the interest in it was revived by the publications of
Forster[714] and Buache,[715] who each expressed their belief in the

A more important inquiry in behalf of the narrative took place at
Venice in 1808, when Cardinal Zurla republished the map in an essay,
and marked out the track of the Zeni on a modern chart.[716]

In 1810, Malte-Brun accorded his belief in the verity of the narrative,
and was inclined to believe that the Latin books found in Estotiland
were carried there by colonists from Greenland.[717] A reactionary view
was taken by Biddle in his _Sebastian Cabot_, in 1831, who believed
the publication of 1558 a fraud; but the most effective denial of its
authenticity came a few years later in sundry essays by Zahrtmann.[718]

[Illustration: RICHARD H. MAJOR.

[After a photograph kindly furnished by himself at the editor’s

The story got a strong advocate, after nearly forty years of
comparative rest, when R. H. Major, of the map department of the
British Museum, gave it an English dress and annexed a commentary, all
of which was published by the Hakluyt Society in 1873. In this critic’s
view, the good parts of the map are of the fourteenth century, gathered
on the spot, while the false parts arose from the misapprehensions of
the young Zeno, who put together the book of 1558.[719] The method of
this later Zeno was in the same year (1873) held by Professor Konrad
Maurer to be hardly removed from a fraudulent compilation of other
existing material. There has been a marked display of learning, of late
years, in some of the discussions.


[From a recent photograph. There is another engraved likeness in the
second volume of his _Vega_.]]

Cornelio Desimoni, the archivist of Genoa, has printed two elaborate
papers.[720] The Danish archivist Frederik Krarup published (1878) a
sceptical paper in the _Geografisk Tidsskrift_ (ii. 145).[721] The most
exhaustive examination, however, has come from a practical navigator,
the Baron A. E. Nordenskjöld, who in working up the results of his own
Arctic explorations was easily led into the intricacies of the Zeno
controversy. The results which he reaches are that the Zeni narratives
are substantially true; that there was no published material in 1558
which could have furnished so nearly an accurate account of the actual
condition of those northern waters; that the map which Zahrtmann saw in
the University library at Copenhagen, and which he represented to be an
original from which the young Zeno of 1558 made his pretended original,
was in reality nothing but the Donis map in the Ptolemy of 1482, while
the Zeno map is much more like the map of the north made by Claudius
Clavis in 1427, which was discovered by Nordenskjöld in a codex of
Ptolemy at Nancy.[722]

       *       *       *       *       *

Since Nordenskjöld advanced his views there have been two
other examinations: the one by Professor Japetus Steenstrup of
Copenhagen,[723] and the other by the secretary of the Danish
Geographical Society, Professor Ed. Erslef, who offered some new
illustrations in his _Nye Oplysninger om Broedrene Zenis Rejser_
(Copenhagen, 1885).[724]

Among those who accept the narratives there is no general agreement
in identifying the principal geographical points of the Zeno map. The
main dispute is upon Frislanda, the island where the Zeni were wrecked.
That it was Iceland has been maintained by Admiral Irminger,[725] and
Steenstrup (who finds, however, the text not to agree with the map),
while the map accompanying the _Studi biografici e bibliografici sulla
storia della geografia in Italia_ (Rome, 1882) traces the route of the
Zeni from Iceland to Greenland, under 70° of latitude.

On the other hand, Major has contended for the Faröe islands, arguing
that while the engraved Zeno map shows a single large island, it
might have been an archipelago in the original, with outlines run
together by the obscurities of its dilapidation, and that the Faröes by
their preserved names and by their position correspond best with the
Frislanda of the Zeni.[726] Major’s views have been adopted by most
later writers, perhaps, and a similar identification had earlier been
made by Lelewel,[727] Kohl,[728] and others.

The identification of Estotiland involves the question if the returned
fisherman of the narrative ever reached America. It is not uncommon
for even believers in the story to deny that Estotiland and Drogeo
were America. That they were parts of the New World was, however, the
apparent belief of Mercator and of many of the cartographers following
the publication of 1558, and of such speculators as Hugo Grotius, but
there was little common consent in their exact position.[729]

=I.= ALLEGED JEWISH MIGRATION.—The identification of the native
Americans with the stock of the lost tribes of Israel very soon
became a favorite theory with the early Spanish priests settled in
America. Las Casas and Duran adopted it, while Torquemada and Acosta
rejected it. André Thevet, of mendacious memory, did not help the
theory by espousing it. It was approved in J. F. Lumnius’s _De extremo
Dei Judicio et Indorum vocatione, libri iii._ (Venice and Antwerp,
1569);[730] and a century later the belief attracted new attention
in the _Origen de los Americanos de Manasseh Ben Israel_, published
at Amsterdam in 1650.[731] It was in the same year (1650) that the
question received the first public discussion in English in Thomas
Thorowgood’s _Jewes in America, or, Probabilities that the Americans
are of that Race. With the removall of some contrary reasonings, and
earnest desires for effectuall endeavours to make them Christian_
(London, 1650).[732] Thorowgood was answered by Sir Hamon L’Estrange
in _Americans no Iewes, or Improbabilities that the Americans are of
that race_ (London, 1652). The views of Thorowgood found sympathy
with the Apostle Eliot of Massachusetts; and when Thorowgood replied
to L’Estrange he joined with it an essay by Eliot, and the joint work
was entitled _Iewes in America, or probabilities that those Indians
are Judaical, made more probable by some additionals to the former
conjectures: an accurate discourse is premised of Mr. John Eliot (who
preached the gospel to the natives in their own language) touching
their origination, and his Vindication of the planters_ (London,
1660). What seems to have been a sort of supplement, covering,
however, in part, the same ground, appeared as _Vindiciæ Judæcorum,
or a true account of the Jews, being more accurately illustrated than
heretofore_, which includes what is called “The learned conjectures of
Rev. Mr. John Eliot” (32 pp.). Some of the leading New England divines,
like Mayhew and Mather,[733] espoused the cause with similar faith.
Roger Williams also was of the same opinion. William Penn is said to
have held like views. The belief may be said to have been general,
and had not died out in New England when Samuel Sewall, in 1697,
published his _Phænomena quædam Apocalyptica ad aspectum Novi Orbis

After the middle of the last century we begin to find new signs of
the belief. Charles Beatty, in his _Journal of a two months’ tour
with a view of promoting religion among the frontier inhabitants of
Pennsylvania_ (Lond., 1768), finds traces of the lost tribes among the
Delawares, and repeats a story of the Indians long ago selling the
same sacred book to the whites with which the missionaries in the end
aimed to make them acquainted. Gerard de Brahm and Richard Peters,
both familiar with the Southern Indians, found grounds for accepting
the belief. The most elaborate statement drawn from this region is
that of James Adair, who for forty years had been a trader among the
Southern Indians.[735] Jonathan Edwards in 1788 pointed out in the
Hebrew some analogies to the native speech.[736] Charles Crawford in
1799 undertook the proof.[737] In 1816 Elias Boudinot, a man eminent
in his day, contributed further arguments.[738] Ethan Smith based his
advocacy largely on the linguistic elements.[739] A few years later
an Englishman, Israel Worsley, worked over the material gathered by
Boudinot and Smith, and added something.[740] A prominent American
Jew, M. M. Noah, published in 1837 an address on the subject which
hardly added to the weight of testimony.[741] J. B. Finlay, a mulatto
missionary among the Wyandots, was satisfied with the Hebrew traces
which he observed in that tribe.[742] Geo. Catlin, working also among
the Western Indians, while he could not go to the length of believing
in the lost tribes, was struck with the many analogies which he
saw.[743] The most elaborate of all expositions of the belief was made
by Lord Kingsborough in his _Mexican Antiquities_ (1830-48).[744] Since
this book there has been no pressing of the question with any claims to

adventure or by helpless drifting, with or without the Canaries as a
halting-place. The primitive people of the Canaries, the Guanches, are
studied in Sabin Berthelot’s _Antiquités Canariennes_ (Paris, 1879)
and A. F. de Fontpertuis’ _L’archipel des Canaries, et ses populations
primitives_, also in the _Revue de Géographie_, June, 1882, not to
mention earlier histories of the Canary Islands (see Vol. II. p. 36).
Retzius of Stockholm traces resemblances in the skulls of the Guanches
and the Caribs (_Smithsonian Rept._, 1859, p. 266). Le Plongeon finds
the sandals of the statue Chac-mool, discovered by him in Yucatan, to
resemble those of the Guanches (Salisbury’s _Le Plongeon in Yucatan_,

The African and even Egyptian origin of the Caribs has had some
special advocates.[746] Peter Martyr, and Grotius following him,
contended for the people of Yucatan being Ethiopian Christians. Stories
of blackamoors being found by the early Spaniards are not without
corroboration.[747] The correspondence of the African and South
American flora has been brought into requisition as confirmatory.[748]

       *       *       *       *       *


The oldest map yet discovered to show any part of Greenland, and
consequently of America,[749] is one found by Baron Nordenskjöld
attached to a Ptolemy Codex in the Stadtbibliothek at Nancy. He
presented a colored fac-simile of it in 1883 at the Copenhagen Congrès
des Américanistes, in his little brochure _Trois Cartes_. It was also
used in illustration of his paper on the Zeni Voyages, published
both in Swedish and German. It will be seen by the fac-simile given
herewith, and marked with the author’s name, Claudius Clavus, that
“Gronlandia Provincia” is an extension of a great arctic region, so
as to lie over against the Scandinavian peninsula of Europe, with
“Islandia,” or Iceland, midway between the two lands. Up to the time
of this discovery by Nordenskjöld, the map generally recognized as the
oldest to show Greenland is a Genovese portolano, preserved in the
Pitti Palace at Florence, about which there is some doubt as to its
date, which is said to be 1417 by Santarem (_Hist. de la Cartog._,
iii., p. xix), but Lelewel (_Epilogue_, p. 167) is held to be trustier
in giving it as 1447.[750] It shows how little influence the Norse
stories of their Greenland colonization exerted at this time on the
cartography of the north, that few of the map-makers deemed it worth
while to break the usual terminal circle of the world by including
anything west or beyond Iceland. It was, further, not easy to convince
them that Greenland, when they gave it, lay in the direction which
the Sagas indicated. The map of Fra Mauro, for instance, in 1459 cuts
off a part of Iceland by its incorrigible terminal circle, as will
be seen in a bit of it given herewith, the reader remembering as he
looks at it that the bottom of the segment is to the north.[751] We
again owe to Nordenskjöld the discovery of another map of the north,
_Tabula Regionum Septentrionalium_, which he found in a Codex of
Ptolemy in Warsaw a few years since, and which he places about 1467.
The accompanying partial sketch is reproduced from a fac-simile
kindly furnished by the discoverer. The peninsula of “Gronlandia,”
with its indicated glaciers, is placed with tolerable accuracy as the
western extremity of an arctic region, which to the north of Europe
is separated from the Scandinavian peninsula by a channel from the
“Mare Gotticum” (Baltic Sea), which sweeps above Norway into the
“Mare Congelatum.” The confused notions arising from an attempt by
the compiler of the map to harmonize different drafts is shown by
his drawing a second Greenland (“Engronelant”) to his “Norbegia,” or
Norway, and placing just under it the “Thile”[752] of the ancients,
which he makes a different island from “Islandia,” placed in proper
relations to his larger Greenland.

[Illustration: CLAUDIUS CLAVUS, 1427.]

A few years later, or perhaps about the same time, and before 1471,
the earliest engraved map which shows Greenland is that of Nicolas
Donis, in the Ulm edition of Ptolemy in 1482. It will be seen from the
little sketch which is annexed that the same doubling of Greenland is
adhered to.[753] With the usual perversion put upon the Norse stories,
Iceland is made to lie due west of Greenland, though not shown in the
present sketch.

At a date not much later, say 1486, it is supposed the Laon globe,
dated in 1493, was actually made, or at least it is shown that in some
parts the knowledge was rather of the earlier date, and here we have
“Grolandia,” a small island off the Norway coast.[754]

[Illustration: CLAUDIUS CLAVUS, 1427.]

We have in 1489-90 a type of configuration, which later became
prevalent. It is taken from an _Insularium illustratum Henrici Martelli
Germani_, a manuscript preserved in the British Museum, and shows, as
seen by the annexed extract, a long narrow peninsula, running southwest
from the northern verge of Europe. A sketch of the whole map is given

This seems to have been the prevailing notion of what and where
Greenland was at the time of Columbus’ voyage, and it could have
carried no significance to his mind that the explorations of the Norse
had found the Asiatic main, which he started to discover. How far this
notion was departed from by Behaim in his globe of 1492 depends upon
the interpretation to be given to a group of islands, northwest of
Iceland and northeast of Asia, upon the larger of which he writes among
its mountains, “Hi man weise Volker.”[756]

As this sketch of the cartographical development goes on, it will be
seen how slow the map-makers were to perceive the real significance
of the Norse discoveries, and how reluctant they were to connect them
with the discoveries that followed in the train of Columbus, though
occasionally there is one who is possessed with a sort of prevision.
The Cantino map of 1502[757] does not settle the question, for a point
lying northeast of the Portuguese discoveries in the Newfoundland
region only seems to be the southern extremity of Greenland. What was
apparently a working Portuguese chart of 1503 grasps pretty clearly the
relations of Greenland to Labrador.[758]

[Illustration: FRA MAURO, 1459.]

Lelewel (pl. 43), in a map made to show the Portuguese views at
this time,[759] which he represents by combining and reconciling the
Ptolemy maps of 1511 and 1513, still places the “Gronland” peninsula
in the northwest of Europe, and if his deductions are correct, the
Portuguese had as yet reached no clear conception that the Labrador
coasts upon which they fished bore any close propinquity to those
which the Norse had colonized. Ruysch, in 1508, made a bold stroke by
putting “Gruenlant” down as a peninsula of Northeastern Asia, thus
trying to reconcile the discoveries of Columbus with the northern
sagas.[760] This view was far from acceptable. Sylvanus, in the Ptolemy
of 1511, made “Engroneland” a small protuberance on the north shore
of Scandinavia, and east of Iceland, evidently choosing between the
two theories instead of accepting both, as was common, in ignorance of
their complemental relations.[761] Waldseemüller, in the Ptolemy of
1513, in his “Orbis typus universalis,” reverted to and adopted the
delineation of Henricus Martellus in 1490.[762]


[Illustration: DONIS, 1482.]

In 1520, Apian, in the map in Camer’s _Solinus_, took the view of
Sylvanus, while still another representation was given by Laurentius
Frisius in 1522, in an edition of Ptolemy,[763] in which “Gronland”
becomes a large island on the Norway coast, in one map called “Orbis
typus Universalis,” while in another map, “Tabula nova Norbegiæ et
Gottiæ,” the “Engronelant” peninsula is a broad region, stretching
from Northwestern Europe.[764]

[Illustration: HENRICUS MARTELLUS, 1489-90.]

This Ptolemy was again issued in 1525, repeating these two methods of
showing Greenland already given, and adding a third,[765] that of the
long narrow European peninsula, already familiar in earlier maps—the
variety of choice indicating the prevalent cartographical indecision on
the point.

[Illustration: OLAUS MAGNUS, 1539.

NOTE.—This fac-simile accompanies a paper appearing in the
_Videnskabsselskabs Forhandinger_ (1886, no. 15) _and separately as
Die ächte karte des Olaus Magnus vom jahre 1539, nach dem exemplar der
Münchener Staatsbibliothek_ (Christiania, 1886). In this Dr. Brenner
traces the history of the great map of Archbishop Olaus Magnus,
pointing out how Nordenskjöld is in error in supposing the map of
1567, which that scholar gives, was but a reproduction of the original
edition of 1539, which was not known to modern students till Brenner
found it in the library at Munich, in March, 1886, and which proves to
be twelve times larger than that of 1567. Brenner adds the long Latin
address, “Olaus Gothus benigno lectori salutem,” with annotations. The
map is entitled “Carta Marina et descriptio septentrionalium errarum ac
mirabilium rerum in eis contentarum diligentissime elaborata, Anno Dni,
1539.” Brenner institutes a close comparison between it and the Zeno

Kohl, in his collection of maps,[766] copies from what he calls the
Atlas of Frisius, 1525, still another map which apparently shows the
southern extremity of Greenland, with “Terra Laboratoris,” an island
just west of it, and southwest of that a bit of coast marked “Terra
Nova Conterati,” which may pass for Newfoundland and the discoveries of

[Illustration: OLAUS MAGNUS, 1555.

This map, here reproduced on a somewhat smaller scale, is called:
_Regnorum Aquilonarum descriptio, hujus Operis subiectum_.]

Thorne, the Englishman, in the map which he sent from Seville in
1527,[767] seems to conform to the view which made Greenland a European
peninsula, which may also have been the opinion of Orontius Finæus in
1531.[768] A novel feature attaches to an Atlas, of about this date,
preserved at Turin, in which an elongated Greenland is made to stretch
northerly.[769] In 1532 we have the map in Ziegler’s _Schondia_, which
more nearly resembles the earliest map of all, that of Claudius Clavus,
than any other.[770] The 1538 cordiform map of Mercator makes it a
peninsula of an arctic region connected with Scandinavia.[771] This
map is known to me only through a fac-simile of the copy given in the
_Geografia_ of Lafreri, published at Rome about 1560, with which I am
favored by Nordenskjöld in advance of its publication in his _Atlas_.

[Illustration: FROM OLAUS MAGNUS’ HISTORIA, 1567.]

The great _Historia_ of Olaus Magnus, as for a long time the leading
authority on the northern geography, as well as on the Scandinavian
chronicles, gives us some distinct rendering of this northern
geographical problem. It was only recently that his earliest map of
1539 has been brought to light, and a section of it is here reproduced
from a much reduced fac-simile kindly sent to the editor by Dr. Oscar
Brenner of the university at Munich.[A] Nordenskjöld, in giving a full
fac-simile of the Olaus Magnus map of 1567,[772] of which a fragment
is herewith also given in fac-simile, says that it embodies the views
of the northern geographers in separating Greenland from Europe,
which was in opposition to those of the geographers of the south of
Europe, who united Greenland to Scandinavia. Sebastian Münster in his
1540 edition of Ptolemy introduced a new confusion. He preserved the
European elongated peninsula, but called it “Islandia,” while to what
stands for Iceland is given the old classical name of Thyle.[773] This
confusion is repeated in his map of 1545,[774] where he makes the coast
of “Islandia” continuous with Baccalaos. This continuity of coast line
seemed now to become a common heritage of some of the map-makers,[775]
though in the Ulpius globe of 1542 “Groestlandia,” so far as it is
shown, stands separate from either continent,[776] but is connected
with Europe according to the early theory in the _Isolario_ of Bordone
in 1547.

[Illustration: BORDONE’S SCANDINAVIA, 1547.

Reproduced from the fac-simile given in Nordenskjöld’s _Studien_
(Leipzig, 1885).]

We have run down the main feature of the northern cartography, up
to the time of the publication of the Zeno map in 1558. The chief
argument for its authenticity is that there had been nothing drawn and
published up to that time which could have conduced, without other aid,
to so accurate an outline of Greenland as it gives. In an age when
drafts of maps freely circulated over Europe, from cartographer to
cartographer, in manuscript, it does not seem necessary that the search
for prototypes or prototypic features should be confined to those which
had been engraved.

[Illustration: ZENO MAP. (_Reduced_.)

The original measures 12 × 15½ inches. Fac-similes of the original size
or reduced, or other reproductions, will be found in Nordenskjöld’s
_Trois Cartes_, and in his _Studien_; Malte Brun’s _Annales des
Voyages_; Lelewel’s _Moyen Age_ (ii. 169); _Carter-Brown Catalogue_
(i. 211); Kohl’s _Discovery of Maine_, 97; Ruge’s _Geschichte des
Zeitalters der Entdeckungen_, p. 27; Bancroft’s _Central America_,
i. 81; Gay’s _Pop. Hist. U. S_., i. 84; Howley’s _Ecclesiast. Hist.
Newfoundland_, p. 45; Erizzo’s _Le Scoperte Artiche_ (Venice,
1855),—not to name others.]

With these allowances the map does not seem to be very exceptional
in any feature. It is connected with northwestern Europe in just the
manner appertaining to several of the earlier maps. Its shape is no
great improvement on the map of 1467, found at Warsaw. There was
then no such constancy in the placing of mid-sea islands in maps, to
interdict the random location of other islands at the cartographer’s
will, without disturbing what at that day would have been deemed
geographical probabilities, and there was all the necessary warranty
in existing maps for the most wilfully depicted archipelago. The early
Portuguese charts, not to name others, gave sufficient warrant for land
where Estotiland and Drogeo appear.

[Illustration: THE PTOLEMY ALTERATION (1561, etc.) OF THE ZENO MAP.]

Mention has already been made of the changes in this map, which the
editors of the Ptolemy of 1561 made in severing Greenland from Europe,
when they reëngraved it.[777] The same edition contained a map of
“Schonlandia,” in which it seems to be doubtful if the land which
stands for Greenland does, or does not, connect with the Scandinavian
main.[778] That Greenland was an island seems now to have become the
prevalent opinion, and it was enforced by the maps of Mercator (1569
and 1587), Ortelius (1570, 1575), and Gallæus (1585), which placed
it lying mainly east and west between the Scandinavian north and the
Labrador coast, which it was now the fashion to call Estotiland. In its
shape it closely resembled the Zeni outline. Another feature of these
maps was the placing of another but smaller island west of “Groenlant,”
which was called “Grocland,” and which seems to be simply a
reduplication of the larger island by some geographical confusion,[779]
which once started was easily seized upon to help fill out the arctic


From _Theatri orbis Terrarum Enchiridion, per Phillipum Gallæum, et per
Hugonem Favolium_ (Antwerp, 1585).]

It was just at this time (1570) that the oldest maps which display the
geographical notions of the saga men were drawn, though not brought to
light for many years. We note two such of this time, and one of a date
near forty years later. One marked “Jonas, Gudmundi filius, delineavit,
1570,” is given as are the two others by Torfæus in his _Gronlandia
Antiqua_. They all seem to recognize a passage to the Arctic seas
between Norway and Greenland, the northern parts of which last are
called “Risaland,” or “Riseland,” and Jonas places “Oster Bygd” and
“Wester Bygd” on the opposite sides of a squarish peninsula. Beyond
what must be Davis’ Straits is “America,” and further south “Terra
Florida” and “Albania.”

If this description is compared with the key of Stephanius’ map,
next to be mentioned, while we remember that both represent the views
prevailing in the north in 1570, it is hard to resist the conclusion
that Vinland was north even of Davis’ Straits, or at least held to be
so at that time.

The second map, that of Stephanius, is reproduced herewith, dating back
to the same period (1570); but the third, by Gudbrandus Torlacius, was
made in 1606, and is sketched in Kohl’s _Discovery of Maine_ (p. 109).
It gives better shape to “Gronlandia” than in either of the others.

[Illustration: SIGURD STEPHANIUS, 1570.

Reproduced from the _Saga Time_ of J. Fulford Vicary (London, 1887),
after the map as given in the publication of the geographical society
at Copenhagen, 1885-86, and it is supposed to have been drafted upon
the narrative of the sagas. Key:

“_A._ This is where the English have come and has a name for
barrenness, either from sun or cold.

_B._ This is near where Vineland lies, which from its abundance of
useful things, or from the land’s fruitfulness, is called Good. Our
countrymen (Icelanders) have thought that to the south it ends with the
wild sea and that a sound or fjord separates it from America.

_C._ This land is called Rüseland or land of the giants, as they have
horns and are called Skrickfinna (Fins that frighten).

_D._ This is more to the east, and the people are called Klofinna (Fins
with claws) on account of their large nails.

_E._ This is Jotunheimer, or the home of the misshapen giants.

_F._ Here is thought to be a fjord, or sound, leading to Russia.

_G._ A rocky land often referred to in histories.

_H._ What island that is I do not know, unless it be the island that a
Venetian found, and the Germans call Friesland.”

It will be observed under the _B_ of the Key, the Norse of 1570 did not
identify the Vinland of 1000 with the America of later discoveries.

This map is much the same, but differs somewhat in detail, from the one
called of Stephanius, as produced in Kohl’s _Discovery of Maine_, p.
107, professedly after a copy given in Torfæus’ _Gronlandia Antiqua_
(1706). Torfæus quotes Theodorus Torlacius, the Icelandic historian,
as saying that Stephanius appears to have drawn his map from ancient
Icelandic records. The other maps given by Torfæus are: by Bishop
Gudbrand Thorlakssen (1606); by Jonas Gudmund (1640); by Theodor
Thorlakssen (1666), and by Torfæus himself. Cf. other copies of the map
of Stephanius in Malte-Brun’s _Annales des Voyages, Weise’s Discoveries
of America_, p. 22; _Geog. Tidskrift_, viii. 123, and in Horsford’s
_Disc. of America by Northmen_, p. 37.]

It is not necessary to follow the course of the Greenland cartography
farther with any minuteness. As the sixteenth century ended we have
leading maps by Hakluyt in 1587 and 1599 (see Vol. III. 42), and De
Bry in 1596 (Vol. IV. 99), and Wytfliet in 1597, all of which give
Davis’s Straits with more or less precision. Barentz’s map of 1598
became the exemplar of the circumpolar chart in Pontanus’ _Rerum et
Urbis Amstelodamensium Historia_ of 1611.[781] The chart of Luke Fox,
in 1635, marked progress[782] better than that of La Peyrère (1647),
though his map was better known.[783] Even as late as 1727, Hermann
Moll could not identify his “Greenland” with “Groenland.” In 1741,
we have the map of Hans Egede in his “Grönland,” repeated in late
editions, and the old delineation of the east coast after Torfæus was
still retained in the 1788 map of Paul Egede.

[Illustration: KORT _over_ GRÖNLAND _Den östre Süde efter Torfæus
Den vestre Süde aflagt og forbedret i Sammenligning med de senere
Efterretninger af Paul Egede_

NOTE.—The annexed map is a reduced fac-simile of the map in the
_Efterretninger om Grönland uddragne af en Journal holden fra 1771
til 1788_, by Paul Egede (Copenhagen, 1789). Paul Egede, son of Hans,
was born in 1708, and remained in Greenland till 1740. He was made
Bishop of Greenland in 1770, and died in 1789. The above book gives
a portrait. There is another fac-simile of the map in Nordenskjöld’s
_Exped. till Grönland_, p. 234.]

In the map of 1653, made by De la Martinière, who was of the Danish
expedition to the north, Greenland was made to connect with Northern
Asia by way of the North pole.[784] Nordenskjöld calls him the
Münchhausen of the northeast voyagers; and by his own passage in the
“Vega,” along the northern verge of Europe, from one ocean to the
other, the Swedish navigator has of recent years proved for the first
time that Greenland has no such connection. It yet remains to be proved
that there is no connection to the north with at least the group of
islands that are the arctic outlyers of the American continent.

[Illustration: GREENLAND.

Extracted from the “Carte de Grœnland” in Isaac de la Peyrère’s
_Relation du Groenland_ (Paris, 1647). Cf. Winsor’s _Kohl Maps_, no.




THE traditions of the migrations of the Chichimecs, Colhuas, and
Nahuas,” says Max Müller,[785] “are no better than the Greek traditions
about Pelasgians, Æolians, and Ionians, and it would be a mere waste of
time to construct out of such elements a systematic history, only to be
destroyed again, sooner or later, by some Niebuhr, Grote, or Lewis.”

“It is yet too early,” says Bandelier,[786] “to establish a definite
chronology, running farther back from the Conquest than two
centuries,[787] and even within that period but very few dates have
been satisfactorily fixed.”

Such are the conditions of the story which it is the purpose of this
chapter to tell.

We have, to begin with, as in other history, the recognition of
a race of giants, convenient to hang legends on, and accounted on
all hands to have been occupants of the country in the dimmest
past, so that there is nothing back of them. Who they were, whence
they came, and what stands for their descendants after we get down
to what in this pre-Spanish history we rather presumptuously call
historic ground, is far from clear. If we had the easy faith of the
native historian Ixtlilxochitl, we should believe that these gigantic
Quinames, or Quinametin, were for the most part swallowed up in a great
convulsion of nature, and it was those who escaped which the Olmecs
and Tlascalans encountered in entering the country.[788] If all this
means anything, which may well be doubted, it is as likely as not
that these giants were the followers of a demi-god, Votan,[789] who
came from over-sea to America,[790] found it peopled, established a
government in Xibalba,—if such a place ever existed,—with the germs
of Maya if not of other civilizations, whence, by migrations during
succeeding times, the Votanites spread north and occupied the Mexican
plateau, where they became degenerate, doubtless, if they deserved
the extinction which we are told was in store for them. But they
had an alleged chronicler for their early days, the writer of the
Book of Votan, written either by the hero himself or by one of his
descendants,—eight or nine generations in the range of authorship
making little difference apparently. That this narrative was known to
Francisco Nuñez de la Vega[791] would seem to imply that somebody at
that time had turned it into readable script out of the unreadable
hieroglyphics, while the disguises of the Spanish tongue, perhaps, as
Bancroft[792] suggests, may have saved it from the iconoclastic zeal of
the priests. When, later, Ramon de Ordoñez had the document,—perhaps
the identical manuscript,—it consisted of a few folios of quarto
paper, and was written in Roman script in the Tzendal tongue, and was
inspected by Cabrera, who tells us something of its purport in his
_Teatro critico Americano_, while Ramon himself was at the same time
using it in his _Historia del Cielo y de la Tierra_. It was from a
later copy of this last essay, the first copy being unknown, that the
Abbé Brasseur de Bourbourg got his knowledge of what Ramon had derived
from the Votan narrative, and which Brasseur has given us in several
of his books.[793] That there was a primitive empire—Votanic, if you
please—seems to some minds confirmed by other evidences than the story
of Votan; and out of this empire—to adopt a European nomenclature—have
come, as such believers say, after its downfall somewhere near the
Christian era, and by divergence, the great stocks of people called
Maya, Quiché, and Nahua, inhabiting later, and respectively, Yucatan,
Guatemala, and Mexico. This is the view, if we accept the theory which
Bancroft has prominently advocated, that the migrations of the Nahuas
were from the south northward,[794] and that this was the period of the
divergence, eighteen centuries ago or more, of the great civilizing
stocks of Mexico and of Central America.[795] We fail to find so early
a contact of these two races, if, on the other hand, we accept the
old theory that the migrations which established the Toltec and Aztec
powers were from the north southward,[796] through three several lines,
as is sometimes held, one on each side of the Rocky Mountains, with a
third following the coast. In this way such advocates trace the course
of the Olmecs, who encountered the giants, and later of the Toltecs.

That the Votanic peoples or some other ancient tribes were then a
distinct source of civilization, and that Palenqué may even be Xibalba,
or the Nachan, which Votan founded, is a belief that some archæologists
find the evidence of in certain radical differences in the Maya tongues
and in the Maya ruins.[797]

In the Quiché traditions, as preserved in the _Popul Vuh_, and in
the _Annals of the Cakchiquels_, we likewise go back into mistiness
and into the inevitable myths which give the modern comparative
mythologists so much comfort and enlightenment; but Bancroft[798] and
the rest get from all this nebulousness, as was gotten from the Maya
traditions, that there was a great power at Xibalba,[799]—if in Central
America anywhere that place may have been,—which was overcome[800]
when from Tulan[801] went out migrating chiefs, who founded the
Quiché-Cakchiquel peoples of Guatemala, while others, the Yaqui,—very
likely only traders,—went to Mexico, and still others went to Yucatan,
thus accounting for the subsequent great centres of aboriginal power—if
we accept this view.

As respects the traditions of the more northern races, there is the
same choice of belief and alternative demonstration. The Olmecs, the
earliest Nahua corners, are sometimes spoken of as sailing from Florida
and landing on the coast at what is now Pánuco, whence they travelled
to Guatemala,[802] and finally settled in Tamoanchan, and offered their
sacrifices farther north at Teotihuacan.[803] This is very likely the
Votan legend suited to the more northern region, and if so, it serves
to show, unless we discard the whole theory, how the Votanic people had
scattered. The other principal source of our suppositions—for we can
hardly call it knowledge—of these times is the _Codex Chimalpòpoca_,
of which there is elsewhere an account,[804] and from it we can derive
much the same impressions, if we are disposed to sustain a preconceived

The periods and succession of the races whose annals make up the
history of what we now call Mexico, prior to the coming of the
Spaniards, are confused and debatable. Whether under the name of
Chichimecs we are to understand a distinct people, or a varied and
conglomerate mass of people, which, in a generic way, we might call
barbarians, is a question open to discussion.[805] There is no lack
of names[806] to be applied to the tribes and bands which, according
to all accounts, occupied the Mexican territory previous to the sixth
century. Some of them were very likely Nahua forerunners[807] of the
subsequent great influx of that race, like the Olmecs and Xicalancas,
and may have been the people, “from the direction of Florida,” of
whom mention has been made. Others, as some say, were eddies of those
populous waves which, coming by the north from Asia, overflowed the
Rocky Mountains, and became the builders of mounds and the later
peoples of the Mississippi Valley,[808] passed down the trend of the
Rocky Mountains, and built cliff-houses and pueblos, or streamed into
the table-land of Mexico. This is all conjecture, perhaps delusion,
but may be as good a supposition as any, if we agree to the northern
theory, as Nadaillac[809] does, but not so tenable, if, with the
contrary Bancroft,[810] we hold rather that they came from the south.
We can turn from one to the other of these theorists and agree with
both, as they cite their evidences. On the whole, a double compliance
is better than dogmatism. It is one thing to lose one’s way in this
labyrinth of belief, and another to lose one’s head.

It was the Olmecs who found the Quinames, or giants, near Puebla and
Cholula, and in the end overcame them. The Olmecs built, according
to one story, the great pyramid of Cholula,[811] and it was they who
received the great Quetzalcoatl from across the sea, a white-bearded
man, as the legends went, who was benign enough, in the stories told
of him, to make the later Spaniards think, when they heard them, that
he was no other than the Christian St. Thomas on his missions. When
the Spaniards finally induced the inheritors of the Olmecs’ power to
worship Quetzalcoatl as a beneficent god, his temple soon topped the
mound at Cholula.[812] We have seen that the great Nahua occupation
of the Mexican plateau, at a period somewhere from the fourth to
the seventh century,[813] was preceded by some scattered tribal
organizations of the same stock, which had at an early date mingled
with the primitive peoples of this region. We have seen that there is
a diversity of opinion as to the country from which they came, whether
from the north or south. A consideration of this question involves the
whole question of the migration of races in these pre-Columbian days,
since it is the coming and going of peoples that form the basis of all
its history.

In the study of these migrations, we find no more unanimity of
interpretation than in other questions of these early times.[814]
The Nahua peoples (Toltecs, Aztecs, Mexicans, or what you will),
according to the prevalent views of the early Spanish writers, came
by successive influxes from the north or northwest, and from a remote
place called Tollan, Tula, Tlapallan, Huehue-Tlapallan, as respects the
Toltec group,[815] and called Aztlan as respects the Aztec or Mexican.
When, by settlement after settlement, each migratory people pushed
farther south, they finally reached Central Mexico. This sequence of
immigration seems to be agreed upon, but as to where their cradle
was and as to what direction their line of progress took, there is
a diversity of opinion as widely separated as the north is from the
south. The northern position and the southern direction is all but
universally accepted among the early Spanish writers[816] and their
followers,[817] while it is claimed by others that the traditions as
preserved point to the south as the starting-point. Cabrera took this
view. Brasseur sought to reconcile conflicting tradition and Spanish
statement by carrying the line of migration from the south with a
northerly sweep, so that in the end Anahuac would be entered from the
north, with which theory Bancroft[818] is inclined to agree. Aztlan, as
well as Huehue-Tlapallan, by those who support the northern theory, has
been placed anywhere from the California peninsula[819] within a radius
that sweeps through Wisconsin and strikes the Atlantic at Florida.[820]

The advocates of the southern starting-point of these migrations have
been comparatively few and of recent prominence; chief among them are
Squier and Bancroft.[821]

       *       *       *       *       *

With the appearance of a people, which, for want of a better
designation, are usually termed Toltecs, on the Mexican table-land in
the sixth century or thereabouts,[822] we begin the early history of
Mexico, so far as we can make any deductions from the semi-mythical
records and traditions which the Spaniards or the later aborigines
have preserved for us. This story of the Nahua occupation of Anáhuac
is one of strife and shifting vassalage, with rivalries and uprisings
of neighboring and kindred tribes, going on for centuries. While the
more advanced portion of the Nahuas in Anáhuac were making progress
in the arts, that division of the same stock which was living beyond
such influence, and without the bounds of Anáhuac, were looked upon
rather as barbarians than as brothers, and acquired the name which had
become a general one for such rougher natures, Chichimec. It is this
Chichimec people under some name or other who are always starting up
and overturning something. At one time they unite with the Colhuas and
found Colhuacan, and nearly subjugate the lake region. Then the Toltec
tarriers at Huehue-Tlapallan come boldly to the neighborhood of the
Chichimecs and found Tollan; and thus they turn a wandering community
into what, for want of a better name, is called a monarchy. They
strengthened its government by an alliance with the Chichimecs,[823]
and placed their seat of power at Colhuacan.

Then we read of a power springing up at Tezcuco, and of various
other events, which happened or did not happen, according as you
believe this or the other chronicle. The run of many of the stories
of course produces the inevitable and beautiful daughter, and the
bold princess, who control many an event. Then there is a league
of Colhuacan, Otompan, and Tollan. Suddenly appears the great king
Quetzalcoatl,—though it may be we confound him with the divinity of
that name; and with him, to perplex matters, comes his sworn enemy
Huemac. Quetzalcoatl’s devoted labors to make his people give up human
sacrifice arrayed the priesthood against him, until at last he fell
before the intrigues that made Huemac succeed in Tollan, and that drove
his luckless rival to Cholula, where he reigned anew. Huemac followed
him and drove him farther; but in doing so he gave his enemies in
Tollan a chance to put another on the throne.

Then came a season of peace and development, when Tollan grew splendid.
Colhuacan flourished in political power, and Teotihuacan[824] and
Cholula were the religious shrines of the people. But at last the end
was near.

The closing century of the Toltec power was a frightful one for
broil, pestilence, and famine among the people, amours and revenge
in the great chieftain’s household, revolt among the vassals; with
sorcery rampant and the gods angry; with volcanoes belching, summers
like a furnace, and winters like the pole; with the dreaded omen of
a rabbit, horned like a deer, confronting the ruler, while rebel
forces threatened the capital. There was also civil strife within the
gates, phallic worship and debauchery,—all preceding an inundation of
Chichimecan hordes. Thus the power that had flourished for several
hundred years fell,—seemingly in the latter half of the eleventh
century.[825] The remnant that was left of the desolated people went
hither and thither, till the fragments were absorbed in the conquerors,
or migrated to distant regions south.[826]

Whether the term Toltec signified a nation, or only denoted a dynasty,
is a question for the archæologists to determine. The general opinion
heretofore has been that they were a distinct race, of the Nahua stock,
however, and that they came from the north. The story which has been
thus far told of their history is the narrative of Ixtlilxochitl, and
is repeated by Veytia, Clavigero, Prescott, Brasseur de Bourbourg,
Orozco y Berra, Nadaillac, and the later compilers. Sahagún seems to
have been the first to make a distinct use of the name Toltec, and
Charency in his paper on _Xibalba_ finds evidence that the Toltecs
constituted two different migrations, the one of a race that was
straight-headed, which came from the northwest, and the other of a
flat-headed people, which came from Florida.

Brinton, on the contrary, finds no warrant either for this dual
migration, or indeed for considering the Toltecs to be other than a
section of the same race, that we know later as Aztecs or Mexicans.
This sweeping denial of their ethnical independence had been
forestalled by Gallatin;[827] but no one before Brinton had made it a
distinct issue, though some writers before and since have verged on his
views.[828] Others, like Charnay, have answered Brinton’s arguments,
and defended the older views.[829] Bandelier’s views connect them with
the Maya rather than with the Nahua stock,[830] if, as he thinks may
be the case, they were the people who landed at Pánuco and settled at
Tamoanchan, the Votanites, as they are sometimes called. He traces back
to Herrera and Torquemada the identification for the first time of the
Toltecs with these people.[831] Bandelier’s conclusions, however, are
that “all we can gather about them with safety is, that they were a
sedentary Indian stock, which at some remote period settled in Central
Mexico,” and that “nothing certain is known of their language.”[832]

The desolation of Anáhuac as the Toltecs fell invited a foreign
occupation, and a remote people called Chichimecs[833]—not to
be confounded with the primitive barbarians which are often so
called—poured down upon the country. Just how long after the Toltec
downfall this happened, is in dispute;[834] but within a few years
evidently, perhaps within not many months, came the rush of millions,
if we may believe the big stories of the migration. They surged by the
ruined capital of the Toltecs, came to the lake, founded Xoloc and
Tenayocan, and encountered, as they spread over the country, what were
left of the Toltecs, who secured peace by becoming vassals. Not quite
so humble were the Colhuas of Colhuacan,—not to be confounded with the
Acolhuas,—who were the most powerful section of the Toltecs yet left,
and the Chichimecs set about crushing them, and succeeded in making
them also vassals.[835] The Chichimec monarchs, if that term does not
misrepresent them, soon formed alliances with the Tepanecs, the Otomis,
and the Acolhuas, who had been prominent in the overthrow of the
Toltecs, and all the invaders profited by the higher organizations and
arts which these tribes had preserved and now imparted. The Chichimecs
also sought to increase the stability of their power by marriages with
the noble Toltecs still remaining. But all was not peace. There were
rebellions from time to time to be put down; and a new people, whose
future they did not then apprehend, had come in among them and settled
at Chapultepec. These were the Aztecs, or Mexicans, a part of the great
Nahua immigration, but as a tribe they had dallied behind the others on
the way, but were now come, and the last to come.[836]

Tezcuco soon grew into prominence as a vassal power,[837] and upon
the capital city many embellishments were bestowed, so that the great
lord of the Chichimecs preferred it to his own Tenayocan, which
gave opportunity for rebellious plots to be formed in his proper
capital; and here at Tezcuco the next succeeding ruler preferred to
reign, and here he became isolated by the uprising of rebellious
nobles. The ensuing war was not simply of side against side, but
counter-revolutions led to a confusion of tumults, and petty chieftains
set themselves up against others here and there. The result was that
Quinantzin, who had lost the general headship of the country, recovered
it, and finally consolidated his power to a degree surpassing all his

[Illustration: CLAVIGERO’S MEXICO.[838] (Ed. of 1780, vol. iii.)]

[Illustration: CLAVIGERO’S MAP. (Ed. of 1580, vol. i.)

Clavigero speaks of his map “per servire all storia antica del
Messico.” A map of the Aztec dominion just before the Conquest is given
in Ranking (London, 1827). See note in Vol. II. p. 358.]

Meanwhile the Aztecs at Chapultepec, growing arrogant, provoked
their neighbors, and were repressed by those who were more powerful.
But they abided their time. They were good fighters, and the Colhua
ruler courted them to assist him in his maraudings, and thus they were
becoming accustomed to warfare and to conquest, and were giving favors
to be repaid. This intercourse, whether of association or rivalry, of
the Colhuas and Mexicans (Aztecs), was continued through succeeding
periods, with a confusion of dates and events which it is hard to make
clear. There was mutual distrust and confidence alternately, and it
all ended in the Aztecs settling on an island in the lake, where later
they founded Tenochtitlan, or Mexico.[839] Here they developed those
bloody rites of sacrifice which had already disgusted their allies and

[Illustration: THE LAKE OF MEXICO.

A map which did service in different forms in various books about
Mexico and its aboriginal localities in the early part of the
eighteenth century. It is here taken from the _Voyages de Francois
Coreal_ (Amsterdam, 1722).]

Meanwhile the powers at Colhuacan and Azcapuzalco flourished and
repressed uprisings, and out of all the strife Tezozomoc came into
prominence with his Tepanecs, and amid it all the Aztecs, siding here
and there, gained territory. With all this occurring in different parts
of his dominions, the Chichimec potentate grew stronger and stronger,
and while by his countenance the old Toltec influences more and more
predominated. And so it was a flourishing government, with little to
mar its prospects but the ambition of Tezozomoc, the Tepanec chieftain,
and the rising power of the Aztecs, who had now become divided into
Mexicans and Tlatelulcas. The famous ruler of the Chichimecs, Techotl,
died in A.D. 1357, and the young Ixtlilxochitl took his power with
all its emblems. The people of Tenochtitlan, or their rulers, were
adepts in practising those arts of diplomacy by which an ambitious
nation places itself beside its superiors to secure a sort of reflected
consequence. Thus they pursued matrimonial alliances and other acts of
prudence. Both Tenochtitlan and its neighbor Tlatelulco grew apace,
while skilled artisans and commercial industries helped to raise them
in importance.

The young Ixtlilxochitl at Tezcuco was not so fortunate, and it
soon looked as if the Tepanec prince, Tezozomoc, was only waiting an
opportunity to rebel. It was also pretty clear that he would have the
aid of Mexico and Tlatelulco, and that he would succeed in securing the
sympathy of many wavering vassals or allies. The plans of the Tepanec
chieftain at last ripened, and he invaded the Tezcucan territory in
1415. In the war which followed, Ixtlilxochitl reversed the tide and
invaded the Tepanec territory, besieging and capturing its capital,
Azcapuzalco.[840] The conqueror lost by his clemency what he had gained
by arms, and it was not long before he was in turn shut up in his own
capital. He did not succeed in defending it, and was at last killed.
So Tezozomoc reached his vantage of ambition, and was now in his old
age the lord paramount of the country. He tried to harmonize the varied
elements of his people; but the Mexicans had not fared in the general
successes as they had hoped for, and were only openly content. The
death of Tezozomoc prepared the way for one of his sons, Maxtla, to
seize the command, and the vassal lords soon found that the spirit
which had murdered a brother had aims that threatened wider desolation.
The Mexicans were the particular object of Maxtla’s oppressive spirit,
and by the choice of Itzcoatl for their ruler, who had been for many
years the Mexican war-chief, that people defied the lord of all, and
in this they were joined by the Tlatelulcas under Quauhtlatohuatzin,
and by lesser allies. Under this combination of his enemies Maxtla’s
capital fell, the usurper was sacrificed, and the honors of the victory
were shared by Itzcoatl, Nezahualcoyotl (the Acolhuan prince whose
imperial rights Maxtla had usurped), and Montezuma, the first of the
name,—all who had in their several capacities led the army of three
or four hundred thousand allies, if we may believe the figures, to
their successes, which occurred apparently somewhere between 1425 and
1430. The political result was a tripartite confederacy in Anáhuac,
consisting of Acolhua, Mexico, and Tlacopan. In the division of spoils,
the latter was to have one fifth, and the others two fifths each, the
Acolhuan prince presiding in their councils as senior.[841]

The next hundred years is a record of the increasing power of
this confederacy, with a constant tendency to give Mexico a larger
influence.[842] The two capitals, Tenochtitlan and Tezcuco, looking at
each other across the lake, were uninterruptedly growing in splendor,
or in what the historians call by that word,[843] with all the adjuncts
of public works,—causeways, canals, aqueducts, temples, palaces and
gardens, and other evidences of wealth, which perhaps these modern
terms only approximately represent. Tezcuco was taken possession of by
Nezahualcoyotl as his ancient inheritance, and his confederate Itzcoatl
placed the crown on his head. Together they made war north and south.
Xochimilco, on the lake next south of Mexico, yielded; and the people
of Chalco, which was on the most southern of the string of lakes,
revolted and were suppressed more than once, as opportunities offered.
The confederates crossed the ridge that formed the southern bound of
the Mexican valley and sacked Quauhnahuac. The Mexican ruler had in
all this gained a certain ascendency in the valley coalition, when he
died in 1440, and his nephew, Montezuma the soldier, and first of the
name,[844] succeeded him. This prince soon had on his hands another war
with Chalco, and with the aid of his confederates he finally humbled
its presumptuous people. So, with or without pretence, the wars and
conquests went on, if for no other reasons, to obtain prisoners for
sacrifice.[845] They were diversified at times, particularly in 1449,
by contests with the powers of nature, when the rising waters of the
lake threatened to drown their cities, and when, one evil being cured,
others in the shape of famine and plague succeeded.

Sometimes in the wars the confederates over-calculated their own
prowess, as when Atonaltzin of Tilantongo sent them reeling back, only,
however, to make better preparations and to succeed at last. In another
war to the southeast they captured, as the accounts say, over six
thousand victims for the stone of sacrifice.

The first Montezuma died in 1469, and the choice for succession fell
on his grandson, the commander of the Mexican army, Axayacatl, who at
once followed the usual custom of raiding the country to the south
to get the thousands of prisoners whose sacrifice should grace his
coronation. Nezahualcoyotl, the other principal allied chieftain,
survived his associate but two years, dying in 1472, leaving among
his hundred children but one legitimate son, Nezahualpilli, a minor,
who succeeded. This gave the new Mexican ruler the opportunity to
increase his power. He made Tlatelulco tributary, and a Mexican
governor took the place there of an independent sovereign. He annexed
the Matlaltzinca provinces on the west. So Axayacatl, dying in 1481,
bequeathed an enlarged kingdom to his brother and successor, Tizoc,
who has not left so warlike a record. According to some authorities,
however, he is to be credited with the completion of the great Mexican
temple of Huitzilopochtli. This did not save him from assassination,
and his brother Ahuitzotl in 1486 succeeded, and to him fell the lot
of dedicating that great temple. He conducted fresh wars vigorously
enough to be able within a year, if we may believe the native records,
to secure sixty or seventy thousand captives for the sacrificial
stone, so essential a part of all such dedicatory exercises. It would
be tedious to enumerate all the succeeding conquests, though varied
by some defeats, like that which they experienced in the Tehuantepec
region. Some differences grew up, too, between the Mexican chieftain
and Nezahualpilli, notwithstanding or because of the virtues of the
latter, among which doubtless, according to the prevailing standard, we
must count his taking at once three Mexican princesses for wives, and
his keeping a harem of over two thousand women, if we may believe his
descendant, the historian Ixtlilxochitl. His justice as an arbitrary
monarch is mentioned as exemplary, and his putting to death a guilty
son is recounted as proof of it.

Ahuitzotl had not as many virtues, or perhaps he had not a descendant
to record them so effectively; but when he died in 1503, what there was
heroic in his nature was commemorated in his likeness sculptured with
others of his line on the cliff of Chapultepec.[846] To him succeeded
that Montezuma, son of Axayacatl, with whom later this ancient history
vanishes. When he came to power, the Aztec name was never significant
of more lordly power, though the confederates had already had some
reminders that conquest near home was easier than conquest far away.
The policy of the last Aztec ruler was far from popular, and while
he propitiated the higher ranks, he estranged the people. The hopes
of the disaffected within and without Anáhuac were now centred in
the Tlascalans, whose territory lay easterly towards the Gulf of
Mexico, and who had thus far not felt the burden of Aztec oppression.
Notwithstanding that their natural allies, the Cholulans, turned
against the Tlascalans, the Aztec armies never succeeded in humbling
them, as they did the Mistecs and the occupants of the region towards
the Pacific. Eclipses, earthquakes, and famine soon succeeded one
another, and the forebodings grew numerous. Hardly anything happened
but the omens of disaster[847] were seen in it, and superstition
began to do its work of enervation, while a breach between Montezuma
and the Tezcucan chief was a bad augury. In this condition of things
the Mexican king tried to buoy his hopes by further conquests; but
widespread as these invasions were, Michoacan to the west, and Tlascala
to the east, always kept their independence. The Zapotecs in Oajaca
had at one time succumbed, but this was before the days of the last

His rival across the lake at Tezcuco was more oppressed with the tales
of the soothsayers than Montezuma was, and seems to have become inert
before what he thought an impending doom some time before he died, or,
as his people believed, before he had been translated to the ancient
Amaquemecan, the cradle of his race. This was in 1515. His son Cacama
was chosen to succeed; but a younger brother, Ixtlilxochitl, believed
that the choice was instigated by Montezuma for ulterior gain, and so
began a revolt in the outlying provinces, in which he received the aid
of Tlascala. The appearance of the Spaniards on the coasts of Yucatan
and Tabasco, of which exaggerated reports reached the Mexican capital,
paralyzed Montezuma, so that the northern revolt succeeded, and Cacama
and Ixtlilxochitl came to an understanding, which left the Mexicans
without much exterior support. Montezuma was in this crippled condition
when his lookouts on the coast sent him word that the dreaded Spaniards
had appeared, and he could recognize their wonderful power in the
pictured records which the messenger bore to him.[848] This portent
was the visit in 1518 of Juan de Grijalva to the spot where Vera Cruz
now stands; and after the Spaniard sailed away, there were months of
anxiety before word again reached the capital, in 1519, of another
arrival of the white-winged vessels, and this was the coming of Cortés,
who was not long in discovering that the path of his conquest was made
clear by the current belief that he was the returned Quetzalcoatl,[849]
and by his quick perception of the opportunity which presented itself
of combining and leading the enemies of Montezuma.[850]

       *       *       *       *       *

Among what are usually reckoned the civilized nations of middle
America, there are two considerable centres of a dim history that have
little relation with the story which has been thus far followed. One
of these is that of the people of what we now call Guatemala, and the
other that of Yucatan. The political society which existed in Guatemala
had nothing of the known duration assigned to the more northern people,
at least not in essential data; but we know of it simply as a very
meagre and perplexing chronology running for the most part back two
or three centuries only. Whether the beginnings of what we suppose we
know of these people have anything to do with any Toltec migration
southward is what archæologists dispute about, and the philologists
seem to have the best of the argument in the proof that the tongue of
these southern peoples is more like Maya than Nahua. It is claimed that
the architectural remains of Guatemala indicate a departure from the
Maya stock and some alliance with a foreign stock; and that this alien
influence was Nahuan seems probable enough when we consider certain
similarities in myth and tradition of the Nahuas and the Quichés. But
we have not much even of tradition and myth of the early days, except
what we my read in the _Popul Vuh_, where we may make out of it what
we can, or even what we please,[851] with some mysterious connection
with Votan and Xibalba. Among the mythical traditions of this mythical
period, there are the inevitable migration stories, beginning with
the Quichés and ending with the coming of the Cakchiquels, but no one
knows to a surety when. The new-comers found Maya-speaking people, and
called them mem or memes (stutterers), because they spoke the Maya so
differently from themselves.

It was in the twelfth or thirteenth century that we get the first
traces of any historical kind of the Quichés and of their rivals the
Cakchiquels. Of their early rulers we have the customary diversities
and inconsistencies in what purports to be their story, and it is
difficult to say whether this or the other or some other tribe
revolted, conquered, or were beaten, as we read the annals of this
constant warfare. We meet something tangible, however, when we learn
that Montezuma sent a messenger, who informed the Quichés of the
presence of the Spaniards in his capital, which set them astir to be
prepared in their turn.


It is in the beginning of the sixteenth century that we encounter the
rivalries of three prominent peoples in this Guatemala country, and
these were the Quichés, the Cakchiquels, and the Zutigils; and of these
the Quichés, with their main seat at Utatlan, were the most powerful,
though not so much so but the Cakchiquels could get the best of them at
times in the wager of war; as they did also finally when the Spaniard
Alvarado appeared, with whom the Cakchiquels entered into an alliance
that brought the Quichés into sore straits.

       *       *       *       *       *

A more important nationality attracts us in the Mayas of Yucatan.
There can be nothing but vague surmise as to what were the primitive
inhabitants of this region; but it seems to be tolerably clear that
a certain homogeneousness pervaded the people, speaking one tongue,
which the Spaniards found in possession. Whether these had come from
the northern regions, and were migrated Toltecs, as some believe, is
open to discussion.[852] It has often been contended that they were
originally of the Nahua and Toltec blood; but later writers, like
Bancroft,[853] have denied it. Brinton discards the Toltec element

What by a license one may call history begins back with the
semi-mythical Zamná, to whom all good things are ascribed—the
introduction of the Maya institutions and of the Maya
hieroglyphics.[854] Whether Zamná had any connection, shadowy or real,
with the great Votanic demi-god, and with the establishment of the
Xibalban empire, if it may be so called, is a thing to be asserted or
denied, as one inclines to separate or unite the traditions of Yucatan
with those of the Tzendal, Quiché, and Toltec. Ramon de Ordonez, in a
spirit of vagary, tells us that Mayapan, the great city of the early
Mayas, was but one of the group of centres, with Palenqué, Tulan, and
Copan for the rest, as is believed, which made up the Votanic empire.
Perhaps it was. If we accept Brinton’s view, it certainly was not. Then
Torquemada and Landa tell us that Cukulcan, a great captain and a god,
was but another Quetzalcoatl, or Gucumatz. Perhaps he was. Possibly
also he was the bringer of Nahua influence to Mayapan, away back in a
period corresponding to the early centuries of the Christian era. It
is easy to say, in all this confusion, this is proved and that is not.
The historian, accustomed to deal with palpable evidence, feels much
inclined to leave all views in abeyance.

The Cocomes of Yucatan history were Cukulcan’s descendants or
followers, and had a prosperous history, as we are told; and there came
to live among them the Totul Xius, by some considered a Maya people,
who like the Quichés had been subjected to Nahua influences, and who
implanted in the monuments and institutions of Yucatan those traces of
Nahua character which the archæologists discover.[855] The Totul Xius
are placed in Uxmal in the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth centuries,
where they flourished along with the Cocomes, and it is to them that
it is claimed many of the ruins which now interest us in Yucatan can
be traced, though some of them perhaps go back to Zamná and to the
Xibalban period, or at least it would be hard to prove otherwise.

When at last the Cocome chieftains began to oppress their subjects, the
Totul Xius gave them shelter, and finally assisted them in a revolt,
which succeeded and made Uxmal the supreme city, and Mayapan became a
ruin, or at least was much neglected. The dynasty of the Totul Xius
then flourished, but was in its turn overthrown, and a period of
factions and revolutions followed, during which Mayapan was wholly
obliterated, and the Totul Xius settled in Mani, where the Spaniards
found them when they invaded Yucatan to make an easy conquest of a
divided people.[856]


FROM the conquerors of New Spain we fail to get any systematic
portrayal of the character and history of the subjugated people;
but nevertheless we are not without some help in such studies from
the letters of Cortes,[857] the accounts of the so-called anonymous
conqueror,[858] and from what Stephens[859] calls “the hurried and
imperfect observations of an unlettered soldier,” Bernal Diaz.[860]

[Illustration: MS. OF BERNAL DIAZ.

Fac-simile of the beginning of Capitulo LXXIV. of his _Historia
Verdadera_, following a plate in the fourth volume of J. M. de
Heredia’s French translation (Paris, 1877).]

We cannot neglect for this ancient period the more general writers
on New Spain, some of whom lived near enough to the Conquest to
reflect current opinions upon the aboriginal life as it existed in
the years next succeeding the fall of Mexico. Such are Peter Martyr,
Grynæus, Münster, and Ramusio. More in the nature of chronicles is
the _Historia General_ of Oviedo (1535, etc.).[861] The _Historia
General_ of Gomara became generally known soon after the middle of the
sixteenth century.[862] The _Rapport_, written about 1560, by Alonzo
de Zurita, throws light on the Aztec laws and institutions.[863]
Benzoni about this time traversed the country, observing the Indian
customs.[864] We find other descriptions of the aboriginal customs by
the missionary Didacus Valades, in his _Rhetorica Christiana_, of which
the fourth part relates to Mexico.[865] Brasseur says that Valades
was well informed and appreciative of the people which he so kindly
depicted.[866] By the beginning of the seventeenth century we find in
Herrera’s _Historia_ the most comprehensive of the historical surveys,
in which he summarizes the earlier writers, if not always exactly.[867]
Bandelier (_Peabody Mus. Repts._, ii. 387) says of the ancient history
of Mexico that “it appears as if the twelfth century was the limit
of definite tradition. What lies beyond it is vague and uncertain,
remnants of tradition being intermingled with legends and mythological
fancies.” He cites some of the leading writers as mainly starting in
their stories respectively as follows: Brasseur, B. C. 955; Clavigero,
A.D. 596; Veytia, A.D. 697; Ixtlilxochitl, A.D. 503. Bandelier views
all these dates as too mythical for historical investigations, and
finds no earlier fixed date than the founding of Tenochtitlan (Mexico)
in A.D. 1325. “What lies beyond the twelfth century can occasionally
be rendered of value for ethnological purposes, but it admits of no
definite historical use.” Bancroft (v. 360) speaks of the sources
of disagreement in the final century of the native annals, from
the constant tendency of such writers as Ixtlilxochitl, Tezozomoc,
Chimalpain, and Camargo, to laud their own people and defame their

       *       *       *       *       *

In the latter part of the sixteenth century the viceroy of Mexico, Don
Martin Enriquez, set on foot some measures to gather the relics and
traditions of the native Mexicans. Under this incentive it fell to
Juan de Tobar, a Jesuit, and to Diego Duran, a Dominican, to be early
associated with the resuscitation of the ancient history of the country.

To Father Tobar (or Tovar) we owe what is known as the _Codex Ramirez_,
which in the edition of the _Crónica Mexicana_[868] by Hernando de
Alvarado Tezozomoc, issued in Mexico (1878), with annotations by Orozco
y Berra, is called a _Relacion del origen de los Indios que habitan
esta nueva España segun sus historias_ (José M. Vigil, editor). It
is an important source of our knowledge of the ancient history of
Mexico, as authoritatively interpreted by the Aztec priests, from their
picture-writings, at the bidding of Ramirez de Fuenleal, Bishop of
Cuenca. This ecclesiastic carried the document with him to Spain, where
in Madrid it is still preserved. It was used by Herrera. Chavero and
Brinton recognize its representative value.[869]

To Father Duran we are indebted for an equally ardent advocacy of the
rights of the natives in his _Historia de las Indias de Nueva-España
y islas de Tierra-Firme_ (1579-81), which was edited in part (1867),
as stated elsewhere[870] by José F. Ramirez, and after an interval
completed (1880) by Prof. Gumesindo Mendoza, of the Museo Nacional,—the
perfected work making two volumes of text and an atlas of plates. Both
from Tobar and from Duran some of the contemporary writers gathered
largely their material.[871]

[Illustration: SAHAGUN.

After a lithograph in Cumplido’s Mexican edition of Prescott’s

We come to a different kind of record when we deal with the Roman
script of the early phonetic rendering of the native tongues. It has
been pointed out that we have perhaps the earliest of such renderings
in a single sentence in a publication made at Antwerp in 1534, where
a Franciscan, Pedro de Gante,[872] under date of June 21, 1529, tells
the story of his arriving in America in 1523, and his spending the
interval in Mexico and Tezcuco, acquiring a knowledge of the natives
and enough of their language to close his epistle with a sentence of it
as a sample.[873] But no chance effort of this kind was enough. It took
systematic endeavors on the part of the priests to settle grammatical
principles and determine phonetic values, and the measure of their
success was seen in the speedy way in which the interpretation of the
old idiograms was forgotten. Mr. Brevoort has pointed out how much the
progress of what may be called native literature, which is to-day so
helpful to us in filling the picture of their ancient life, is due to
the labors in this process of linguistic transfer of Motolinfa,[874]
Alonzo de Molina,[875] Andrés de Olmos,[876] and, above all, of the
ablest student of the ancient tongues in his day, as Mendieta calls
Father Sahagún,[877] who, dying in 1590 at ninety, had spent a good
part of a long life so that we of this generation might profit by his

Coming later into the field than Duran, Acosta, and Sahagún, and
profiting from the labors of his predecessors, we find in the
_Monarchia Indiana_ of Torquemada[879] the most comprehensive treatment
of the ancient history given to us by any of the early Spanish writers.
The book, however, is a provoking one, from the want of plan, its
chronological confusion, and the general lack of a critical spirit[880]
pervading it.

It is usually held that the earliest amassment of native records for
historical purposes, after the Conquest, was that made by Ixtlilxochitl
of the archives of his Tezcucan line, which he used in his writings in
a way that has not satisfied some later investigators. Charnay says
that in his own studies he follows Veytia by preference; but Prescott
finds beneath the high colors of the pictures of Ixtlilxochitl not a
little to be commended. Bandelier,[881] on the other hand, expresses
a distrust when he says of Ixtlilxochitl that “he is always a very
suspicious authority, not because he is more confused than any other
Indian writer, but because he wrote for an interested object, and
with a view of sustaining tribal claims in the eyes of the Spanish

Among the manuscripts which seem to have belonged to Ixtlilxochitl
was the one known in our day under the designation given to it by
Brasseur de Bourbourg, _Codex Chimalpopoca_,[883] in honor of Faustino
Chimalpopoca, a learned professor of Aztec, who assisted Brasseur in
translating it. The anonymous author had set to himself the task of
converting into the written native tongue a rendering of the ancient
hieroglyphics, constituting, as Brasseur says, a complete and regular
history of Mexico and Colhuacan. He describes it in his _Lettres à M.
le duc de Valmy_ (_lettre seconde_)—the first part (in Mexican) being a
history of the Chichimecas; the second (in Spanish), by another hand,
elucidating the antiquities—as the most rare and most precious of all
the manuscripts which escaped destruction, elucidating what was obscure
in Gomara and Torquemada.

Brasseur based upon this MS. his account of the Toltec period in
his _Nations Civilisées du Mexique_ (i. p. lxxviii), treating as an
historical document what in later years, amid his vagaries, he assumed
to be but the record of geological changes.[884] A similar use was
made by him of another MS., sometimes called a Memorial de Colhuacan,
and which he named the _Codex Gondra_ after the director of the Museo
Nacional in Mexico.[885]

Brasseur says, in the _Annales de Philosophie Chrétienne_, that the
_Chimalpopoca MS._ is dated in 1558, but in his _Hist. Nat. Civ._, i.
p. lxxix, he says that it was written in 1563 and 1579, by a writer
of Quauhtitlan, and not by Ixtlilxochitl, as was thought by Pichardo,
who with Gama possessed copies later owned by Aubin. The copy used
by Brasseur was, as he says, made from the MS. in the Boturini
collection,[886] where it was called _Historia de los Reynos de
Colhuacan y México_,[887] and it is supposed to be the original, now
preserved in the Museo Nacional de México. It is not all legible, and
that institution has published only the better preserved and earlier
parts of it, though Aubin’s copies are said to contain the full text.
This edition, which is called _Anales de Cuauhtitlan_, is accompanied
by two Spanish versions, the early one made for Brasseur, and a new one
executed by Mendoza and Solis, and it is begun in the _Anales del Museo
Nacional_ for 1879 (vol. i.).[888]

The next after Ixtlilxochitl to become conspicuous as a collector,
was Sigüenza y Gongora (b. 1645), and it was while he was the chief
keeper of such records[889] that the Italian traveller Giovanni
Francesco Gemelli Carreri examined them, and made some record of
them.[890] A more important student inspected the collection, which
was later gathered in the College of San Pedro and San Pablo, and
this was Clavigero,[891] who manifested a particular interest in the
picture-writing of the Mexicans,[892] and has given us a useful account
of the antecedent historians.[893]

[Illustration: CLAVIGERO.

After a lithograph in Cumplido’s Mexican edition of Prescott’s
_Mexico_, vol. iii.]

The best known efforts at collecting material for the ante-Spanish
history of Mexico were made by Boturini,[894] who had come over to
New Spain in 1736, on some agency for a descendant of Montezuma, the
Countess de Santibañez. Here he became interested in the antiquities
of the country, and spent eight years roving about the country
picking up manuscripts and pictures, and seeking in vain for some one
to explain their hieroglyphics. Some action on his part incurring
the displeasure of the public authorities, he was arrested, his
collection[895] taken from him, and he was sent to Spain. On the
voyage an English cruiser captured the vessel in which he was, and
he thus lost whatever he chanced to have with him.[896] What he left
behind remained in the possession of the government, and became the
spoil of damp, revolutionists, and curiosity-seekers. Once again in
Spain, Boturini sought redress of the Council of the Indies, and was
sustained by it in his petition; but neither he nor his heirs succeeded
in recovering his collection. He also prepared a book setting forth
how he proposed, by the aid of these old manuscripts and pictures,
to resuscitate the forgotten history of the Mexicans. The book[897]
is a jumble of notions; but appended to it was what gives it its
chief value, a “Catálogo del Museo histórico Indiano,” which tells us
what the collection was. While it was thus denied to its collector,
Mariano Veytia,[898] who had sympathized with Boturini in Madrid, had
possession, for a while at least, of a part of it, and made use of
it in his _Historia Antigua de Méjico_, but it is denied, as usually
stated, that the authorities upon his death (1778) prevented the
publication of his book. The student was deprived of Veytia’s results
till his MS. was ably edited, with notes and an appendix, by C. F.
Ortega (Mexico, 1836).[899] Another, who was connected at a later
day with the Boturini collection, and who was a more accurate writer
than Veytia, was Antonio de Leon y Gama, born in Mexico in 1735. His
_Descripcion histórica y Cronológica de las Dos Piedras_ (Mexico,
1832)[900] was occasioned by the finding, in 1790, of the great
Mexican Calendar Stone and other sculptures in the Square of Mexico.
This work brought to bear Gama’s great learning to the interpretation
of these relics, and to an exposition of the astronomy and mythology
of the ancient Mexicans, in a way that secured the commendation of

[Illustration: LORENZO BOTURINI.

After a lithograph in Cumplido’s Mexican edition of Prescott’s
_Mexico_. There is an etched portrait in the _Archives de la Soc.
Américaine de France, nouvelle série_, i., which is accompanied by an
essay on this “Père de l’Américanisme,” and “les sources aux quelles il
a puisé son précis d’histoire Américaine,” by Léon Cahun.]

During these years of uncertainty respecting the Boturini collection,
a certain hold upon it seems to have been shared successively by
Pichardo and Sanchez, by which in the end some part came to the Museo
Nacional, in Mexico.[902] It was also the subject of lawsuits, which
finally resulted in the dispersion of what was left by public auction,
at a time when Humboldt was passing through Mexico, and some of its
treasures were secured by him and placed in the Berlin Museum. Others
passed hither and thither (a few to Kingsborough), but not in a way
to obscure their paths, so that when, in 1830, Aubin was sent to
Mexico by the French government, he was able to secure a considerable
portion of them, as the result of searches during the next ten years.
It was with the purpose, some years later, of assisting in the
elucidation and publication of Aubin’s collection that the Société
Américaine de France was established. The collection of historical
records, as Aubin held it, was described, in 1881, by himself,[903]
when he divided his Mexican picture-writings into two classes,—those
which had belonged to Boturini, and those which had not.[904] Aubin
at the same time described his collection of the Spanish MSS. of
Ixtlilxochitl,[905] while he congratulated himself that he had secured
the old picture-writings upon which that native writer depended in the
early part of his _Historia Chichimeca_. These Spanish MSS. bear the
signature and annotations of Veytia.


We have another description of the Aubin collection by Brasseur de

If we allow the first place among native writers, using the Spanish
tongue, to Ixtlilxochitl, we find several others of considerable
service: Diego Muñoz Camargo, a Tlaxcallan Mestizo, wrote (1585) a
_Historia de Tlaxcallan_.[907] Tezozomoc’s _Crónica Mexicana_ is
probably best known through Ternaux’s version,[908] and there is an
Italian abridgment in F. C. Marmocchi’s _Raccolta di Viaggi_ (vol.
x.). The catalogue of Boturini discloses a MS. by a Cacique of
Quiahuiztlan, Juan Ventura Zapata y Mendoza, which brings the _Crónica
de la muy noble y real Ciudad de Tlaxcallan_ from the earliest times
down to 1689; but it is not now known. Torquemada and others cite
two native Tezcucan writers,—Juan Bautista Pomar, whose _Relacion de
las Antigüedades de los Indios_[909] treats of the manners of his
ancestors, and Antonio Pimentel, whose _Relaciones_ are well known. The
MS. _Crónica Mexicana_ of Anton Muñon Chimalpain (b. 1579), tracing
the annals from the eleventh century, is or was among the Aubin
MSS.[910] There was collected before 1536, under the orders of Bishop
Zumárraga, a number of aboriginal tales and traditions, which under the
title of _Historia de los Mexicanos por sus Pinturas_ was printed by
Icazbalceta, who owns the MS., in the _Anales del Museo Nacional_ (ii.
no. 2).[911]

[Illustration: ICAZBALCETA.

[After a photograph kindly furnished by himself at the editor’s

As regards Yucatan, Brasseur[912] speaks of the scantiness of the
historical material, and Brinton[913] does not know a single case where
a Maya author has written in the Spanish tongue, as the Aztecs did,
under Spanish influence. We owe more to Dr. Daniel Garrison Brinton
than to any one else for the elucidation of the native records, and he
had had the advantage of the collection of Yucatan MSS. formed by Dr.
C. H. Berendt,[914] which, after that gentleman’s death, passed into
Brinton’s hands.


After the destruction of the ancient records by Landa, considerable
efforts were made throughout Yucatan, in a sort of reactionary spirit,
to recall the lingering recollections of what these manuscripts
contained. The grouping of such recovered material became known as
Chilan Balam.[915] It is from local collections of this kind that
Brinton selected the narratives which he has published as _The Maya
Chronicles_, being the first volume of his _Library of Aboriginal
American Literature_. The original texts[916] are accompanied by an
English translation. One of the books, the Chilan Balam of Mani,
had been earlier printed by Stephens, in his _Yucatan_.[917] The
only early Spanish chronicle is Bishop Landa’s _Relation des choses
de Yucatan_,[918] which follows not an original, but a copy of the
bishop’s text, written, as Brasseur thinks, thirty years after Landa’s
death, or about 1610, and which Brasseur first brought to the world’s
attention when he published his edition, with both Spanish and French
texts, at Paris, in 1864. The MS. seems to have been incomplete, and
was perhaps inaccurately copied at the time. At this date (1864)
Brasseur had become an enthusiast for his theory of the personification
of the forces of nature in the old recitals, and there was some
distrust how far his zeal had affected his text; and moreover he
had not published the entire text, but had omitted about one sixth.
Brasseur’s method of editing became apparent when, in 1884, at Madrid,
Juan de Dios de la Rada y Delgado published literally the whole Spanish
text, as an appendix to the Spanish translation of Rosny’s essay on the
hieratic writing. The Spanish editor pointed out some but not all the
differences between his text and Brasseur’s,—a scrutiny which Brinton
has perfected in his _Critical Remarks on the Editions of Landa’s
Writings_ (Philad., 1887).[919] Landa gives extracts from a work by
Bernardo Lizana, relating to Yucatan, of which it is difficult to get
other information.[920] The earliest published historical narrative was
Cogolludo’s _Historia de Yucathan_ (Madrid, 1688).[921] Stephens, in
his study of the subject, speaks of it as “voluminous, confused, and
ill-digested,” and says “it might almost be called a history of the
Franciscan friars, to which order Cogolludo belonged.”[922]

       *       *       *       *       *

The native sources of the aboriginal history of Guatemala, and
of what is sometimes called the Quiché-Cakchiquel Empire, are
not abundant,[923] but the most important are the _Popul Vuh_, a
traditional book of the Quichés, and the _Memorial de Tecpan-Atitlan_.

The _Popul Vuh_ was discovered in the library of the university at
Guatemala, probably not far from 1700,[924] by Francisco Ximenez, a
missionary in a mountain village of the country. Ximenez did not find
the original Quiché book, but a copy of it, made after it was lost,
and later than the Conquest, which we may infer was reproduced from
memory to replace the lost text, and in this way it may have received
some admixture of Christian thought.[925] It was this sort of a text
that Ximenez turned into Spanish; and this version, with the copy of
the Quiché, which Ximenez also made, is what has come down to us.
Karl Scherzer, a German traveller[926] in the country, found Ximenez’
work, which had seemingly passed into the university library on the
suppression of the monasteries, and which, as he supposes, had not been
printed because of some disagreeable things in it about the Spanish
treatment of the natives. Scherzer edited the MS., which was published
as _Las Historias del Origen de los Indios de Esta Provincia de
Guatemala_[927] (Vienna, 1857).

Brasseur, who had seen the Ximenez MSS. in 1855, considered the Spanish
version untrustworthy, and so with the aid of some natives he gave it
a French rendering, and republished it a few years later as _Popol
Vuh_. _Le Livre sacré et les Mythes de l’antiquité américaine, avec
les livres héroïques et historiques des Quichés. Ouvrage original
des indigènes de Guatémala, texte Quiché et trad. française en
regard, accompagnée de notes philologiques et d’un commentaire sur la
mythologie et les migrations des peuples anciens de l’Amérique, etc.,
composé sur des documents originaux et inédits_ (Paris, 1861).

Brasseur’s introduction bears the special title: _Dissertation sur les
mythes de l’antiquité Américaine sur la probabilité des Communications
existant anciennement d’un Continent à l’autre, et sur les migrations
des peuples indigènes de l’Amérique_,—in which he took occasion to
elucidate his theory of cataclysms and Atlantis. He speaks of his
annotations as the results of his observations among the Quichés and
of his prolonged studies. He calls the _Popul Vuh_ rather a national
than a sacred book,[928] and thinks it the original in some part of
the “Livre divin des Toltèques,” the Teo-Amoxtli.[929] Brinton avers
that neither Ximenez nor Brasseur has adequately translated the Quiché
text,[930] and sees no reason to think that the matter has been in any
way influenced by the Spanish contact, emanating indeed long before
that event; and he has based some studies upon it.[931] In this opinion
Bandelier is at variance, at least as regards the first portion, for
he believes it to have been _written_ after the Conquest and under
Christian influences.[932] Brasseur in some of his other writings has
further discussed the matter.[933]

The _Memorial of Tecpan-Atitlan_, to use Brasseur’s title, is an
incomplete MS.,[934] found in 1844 by Juan Gavarrete in rearranging
the MSS. of the convent of San Francisco, of Guatemala, and it was
by Gavarrete that a Spanish version of Brasseur’s rendering was
printed in 1873 in the _Boletin de la Sociedad económica de Guatemala_
(nos. 29-43). This translation by Brasseur, made in 1856, was never
printed by him, but, passing into Pinart’s hands with Brasseur’s
collections,[935] it was entrusted by that collector to Dr. Brinton,
who selected the parts of interest (46 out of 96 pp.), and included it
as vol. vi. in his _Library of Aboriginal American Literature_, under
the title of _The annals of the Cakchiquels_. _The original text, with
a translation, notes, and introduction_ (Philadelphia, 1885).

Brinton disagrees with Brasseur in placing the date of its beginning
towards the opening of the eleventh century, and puts it rather at
about A.D. 1380. Brasseur says he received the original from Gavarrete,
and it would seem to have been a copy made between 1620 and 1650,
though it bears internal evidence of having been written by one who was
of adult age at the time of the Conquest.

Brinton’s introduction discusses the ethnological position of the
Cakchiquels, who he thinks had been separated from the Mayas for a long

The next in importance of the Guatemalan books is the work of
Francisco Antonio de Fuentes y Guzman, _Historia de Guatemala, ó
Recordación florida escrita el siglo xvii., que publica por primera vez
con notas é ilustraciones F. Zaragoza_ (Madrid, 1882-83), being vols. 1
and 2 of the _Biblioteca de los americanistas_. The original MS., dated
1690, is in the archives of the city of Guatemala. Owing to a tendency
of the author to laud the natives, modern historians have looked with
some suspicion on his authority, and have pointed out inconsistencies
and suspected errors.[936] Of a later writer, Ramon de Ordoñez
(died about 1840), we have only the rough draught of a _Historia
de la creation del Cielo y de la tierra, conforme al sistema de la
gentilidad Americana_, which is of importance for traditions.[937] This
manuscript, preserved in the Museo Nacional in Mexico, is all that now
exists, representing the perfected work. Brasseur (_Bib. Mex.-Guat._,
113) had a copy of this draught (made in 1848-49). The original fair
copy was sent to Madrid for the press, and it is suspected that the
Council for the Indies suppressed it in 1805. Ramon cites a manuscript
_Hist. de la Prov. de San Vicente de Chiappas y Goathemala_, which is
perhaps the same as the _Crónica de la Prov. de Chiapas y Guatemala_,
of which the seventh book is in the Museo Nacional (_Am. Antiq. Soc.
Proc._, n. s., i. 97; Brasseur, _Bib. Mex.-Guat._, 157).

The work of Antonio de Remesal is sometimes cited as _Historia general
de las Indias occidentales, y particular de la gobernacion de Chiapas y
Guatemala_, and sometimes as _Historia de la Provincia de San Vicente
de Chyapa y Guatemala_ (Madrid, 1619, 1620).[938]

       *       *       *       *       *

Bandelier (_Amer. Antiq. Soc. Proc._, i. 95) has indicated the
leading sources of the history of Chiapas, so closely associated
with Guatemala. To round the study of the aboriginal period of this
Pacific region, we may find something in Alvarado’s letters on the
Conquest;[939] in Las Casas for the interior parts, and in Alonso de
Zurita’s _Relacion_, 1560,[940] as respects the Quiché tribes, which
is the source of much in Herrera.[941] For Oajaca (Oaxaca, Guaxaca)
the special source is Francisco de Burgoa’s _Geográfica descripcion de
la parte septentrional del Polo Artico de la América_, etc. (México,
1674), in two quarto volumes,—or at least it is generally so regarded.
Bandelier, who traces the works on Oajaca (_Amer. Antiq. Soc. Proc._,
n. s., i. 115), says there is a book of a modern writer, Juan B.
Carriedo, which follows Burgoa largely. Brasseur (_Bib. Mex.-Guat._,
p. 33) speaks of Burgoa as the only source which remains of the native
history of Oajaca. He says it is a very rare book, even in Mexico. He
largely depends upon its full details in some parts of his _Nations
Civilisées_ (iii. livre 9). Alonso de la Rea’s _Crónica de Mechoacan_
(Mexico, 1648) and Basalenque’s _Crónica de San Augustin de Mechoacan_
(Mexico, 1673) are books which Brinton complains he could find in no
library in the United States.

We trace the aboriginal condition of Nicaragua in Peter Martyr, Oviedo,
Torquemada, and Ixtlilxochitl.[942]

       *       *       *       *       *

The earliest general account of all these ancient peoples which we
have in English is in the _History of America_, by William Robertson,
who describes the condition of Mexico at the time of the Conquest,
and epitomizes the early Spanish accounts of the natives. Prescott
and Helps followed in his steps, with new facilities. Albert Gallatin
brought the powers of a vigorous intellect to bear, though but
cursorily, upon the subject, in his “Notes on the semi-civilized
nations of Mexico, Yucatan, and Central America,” in the _Amer.
Ethnological Society’s Transactions_ (N. Y., 1845, vol. i.), and
he was about the first to recognize the dangerous pitfalls of the
pseudo-historical narratives of these peoples. The _Native Races_[943]
of H. H. Bancroft was the first very general sifting and massing in
English of the great confusion of material upon their condition,
myths, languages, antiquities, and history.[944] The archæological
remains are treated by Stephens for Yucatan and Central America, by
Dr. Le Plongeon[945] for Yucatan, by Ephraim G. Squier for Nicaragua
and Central America in general,[946] by Adolphe F. A. Bandelier in his
communications to the Peabody Museum and to the Archæological Institute
of America,[947] and by Professor Daniel G. Brinton in his editing of
ancient records[948] and in his mythological and linguistic studies,
referred to elsewhere. To these may be added, as completing the English
references, various records of personal observations.[949]


Follows an etching published in the _Annuaire de la Société Américaine
de France_, 1875. He died at Nice, Jan. 8, 1874, aged 59 years.]

During the American Civil War, when there were hopes of some
permanence for French influence in Mexico, the French government
made some organized efforts to further the study of the antiquities
of the country, and the results were published in the _Archives
de la Commission Scientifique du Méxique_ (Paris, 1864-69, in 3
vols.).[950] The Abbé Brasseur de Bourbourg, who took a conspicuous
part in this labor, has probably done more than any other Frenchman
to bring into order the studies upon these ancient races, and in some
directions he is our ultimate source. Unfortunately his character as
an archæological expounder did not improve as he went on, and he grew
to be the expositor of some wild notions that have proved acceptable
to few. He tells us that he first had his attention turned to American
archæology by the report, which had a short run in European circles,
of the discovery of a Macedonian helmet and weapons in Brazil in
1832, and by a review of Rio’s report on Palenqué, which he read in
the _Journal des Savants_. Upon coming to America, fresh from his
studies in Rome, he was made professor of history in the seminary at
Quebec in 1845-46, writing at that time a _Histoire du Canada_, of
little value. Later, in Boston, he perfected his English and read
Prescott. Then we find him at Rome poring over the _Codex Vaticanus_,
and studying the _Codex Borgianus_ in the library of the Propaganda.
In 1848 he returned to the United States, and, embarking at New
Orleans for Mexico, he found himself on shipboard in the company of
the new French minister, whom he accompanied, on landing, to the city
of Mexico, being made almoner to the legation. This official station
gave him some advantage in beginning his researches, in which Rafael
Isidro Gondra, the director of the Museo, with the curators of the
vice-regal archives, and José Maria Andrade, the librarian of the
university, assisted him. Later he gave himself to the study of the
Nahua tongue, under the guidance of Faustino Chimalpopoca Galicia, a
descendant of a brother of Montezuma, then a professor in the college
of San Gregorio. In 1851 he was ready to print at Mexico, in French and
Spanish, his _Lettres pour servir d’introduction à l’histoire primitive
des anciennes nations civilisées du Méxique_, addressed (October, 1850)
to the Duc de Valmy, in which he sketched the progress of his studies
up to that time. He speaks of it as “le premier fruit de mes travaux
d’archéologie et d’histoire méxicaines.”[951] It was this brochure
which introduced him to the attention of Squier and Aubin, and from
the latter, during his residence in Paris (1851-54), he received great
assistance. Pressed in his circumstances, he was obliged at this time
to eke out his living by popular writing, which helped also to enable
him to publish his successive works.[952] To complete his Central
American studies, he went again to America in 1854, and in Washington
he saw for the first time the texts of Las Casas and Duran, in the
collection of Peter Force, who had got copies from Madrid. He has
given us[953] an account of his successful search for old manuscripts
in Central America. Finally, as the result of all these studies, he
published his most important work,—_Histoire des nations civilisées
du Méxique et de l’Amérique centrale durant les siècles antérieurs
à C. Colomb, écrite sur des docs. origin. et entièrement inédits,
puisés aux anciennes archives des indigènes_ (Paris, 1857-58).[954]
This was the first orderly and extensive effort to combine out of all
available material, native and Spanish, a divisionary and consecutive
history of ante-Columbian times in these regions, to which he added
from the native sources a new account of the conquest by the Spaniards.
His purpose to separate the historic from the mythical may incite
criticism, but his views are the result of more labor and more
knowledge than any one before him had brought to the subject.[955]
In his later publications there is less reason to be satisfied with
his results, and Brinton[956] even thinks that “he had a weakness to
throw designedly considerable obscurity about his authorities and the
sources of his knowledge.” His fellow-students almost invariably yield
praise to his successful research and to his great learning, surpassing
perhaps that of any of them, but they are one and all chary of adopting
his later theories.[957] These were expressed at length in his _Quatre
lettres sur le Mexique_. _Exposition du système hiéroglyphique
mexicain. La fin de l’âge de pierre. Époque glaciaire temporaire.
Commencement de l’âge de bronze. Origines de la civilisation et des
religions de l’antiquité. D’après le Teo-Amoxtli_ [etc.] (Paris,
1868), wherein he accounted as mere symbolism what he had earlier
elucidated as historical records, and connected the recital of the
_Codex Chimalpopoca_ with the story of Atlantis, making that lost
land the original seat of all old-world and new-world civilization,
and finding in that sacred history of Colhuacan and Mexico the secret
evidence of a mighty cataclysm that sunk the continent from Honduras
(subsequently with Yucatan elevated) to perhaps the Canaries.[958] Two
years later, in his elucidation of the _MS. Troano_ (1869-70), this
same theory governed all his study. Brasseur was quite aware of the
loss of estimation which followed upon his erratic change of opinion,
as the introduction to his _Bibl. Mex.-Guatémalienne_ shows. No other
French writer, however, has so associated his name with the history of
these early peoples.[959]

In Mexico itself the earliest general narrative was not cast in the
usual historical form, but in the guise of a dialogue, held night
after night, between a Spaniard and an Indian, the ancient history
of the country was recounted. The author, Joseph Joaquin Granados y
Galvez, published it in 1778, as _Tardes Américanas: gobierno gentil
y católico: breve y particular noticia de toda la historia Indiana:
sucesos, casos notables, y cosas ignoradas, desde la entrada de la
Gran nacion Tulteca á esta tierra de Anahuac, hasta los presentes

The most comprehensive grouping of historical material is in
the _Diccionario Universal de historia y de Geografía_ (Mexico,
1853-56),[961] of which Manuel Orozco y Berra was one of the chief
collaborators. This last author has in two other works added very much
to our knowledge of the racial and ancient history of the indigenous
peoples. These are his _Geografía de las lenguas y Carta Etnográfica
de México_ (Mexico, 1864),[962] and his _Historia antigua y de la
Conquista de México_ (Mexico, 1880, in four volumes).[963] Perhaps the
most important of all the Mexican publications is Manuel Larrainzar’s
_Estudios sobre la historia de América, sus ruinas y antigüedades,
comparadas con lo más notable del otro Continente_ (Mexico, 1875-1878,
in five volumes).

In German the most important of recent books is Hermann Strebel’s
_Alt-Mexico_ (Hamburg, 1885); but Waitz’s _Amerikaner_ (1864, vol. ii.)
has a section on the Mexicans. Adolph Bastian’s “Zur Geschichte des
Alten Mexico” is contained in the second volume of his _Culturländer
des Alten America_ (Berlin, 1878), in which he considers the subject of
Quetzalcoatl, the religious ceremonial, administrative and social life,
as well as the different stocks of the native tribes.



THE ancient so-called civilization which the Spaniards found in Mexico
and Central America is the subject of much controversy: in the first
place as regards its origin, whether indigenous, or allied to and
derived from the civilizations of the Old World; and in the second
place as regards its character, whether it was something more than
a kind of grotesque barbarism, or of a nature that makes even the
Spanish culture, which supplanted it, inferior in some respects by
comparison.[964] The first of these problems, as regards its origin, is
considered in another place. As respects the second, or its character,
it is proposed here to follow the history of opinions.

In a book published at Seville in 1519, Martin Fernandez d’Enciso’s
_Suma de geographia que trata de todas las partidas y provincias
del mundo: en especial de las Indias_,[965] the European reader
is supposed to have received the earliest hints of the degree of
civilization—if it be so termed—of which the succeeding Spanish writers
made so much. A brief sentence was thus the shadowy beginning of the
stories of grandeur and magnificence[966] which we find later in
Cortes, Bernal Diaz, Las Casas, Torquemada, Sahagún, Ramusio, Gomara,
Oviedo, Zurita, Tezozomoc, and Ixtlilxochitl, and which is repeated
often with accumulating effect in Acosta, Herrera, Lorenzana, Solis,
Clavigero, and their successors.[967] Bandelier[968] points out how
Robertson, in his views of Mexican civilization as in “the infancy of
civil life,”[969] really opened the view for the first time of the
exaggerated and uncritical estimates of the older writers, which Morgan
has carried in our day to the highest pitch, and, as it would seem,
without sufficient recognition of some of the contrary evidence.

It has usually been held that the creation among the Mexicans
about thirty years after the founding of Mexico of a chief-of-men
(Tlacatecuhtli) instituted a feudal monarchy. Bandelier,[970] speaking
of the application of feudal terms by the old writers to Mexican
institutions, says: “What in their first process of thinking was
merely a comparative, became very soon a positive terminology for the
purpose of describing institutions to which this foreign terminology
never was adapted.” He instances that the so-called “king” of these
early writers was a translation of the native term, which in fact
only meant “one of those who spoke;” that is, a prominent member of
the council.[971] Bandelier traces the beginning of the feudal ideas
as a graft upon the native systems, in the oldest document issued by
Europeans on Mexican soil, when Cortes (May 20, 1519) conferred land
on his allies, the chiefs of Axapusco and Tepeyahualco, and for the
first time made their offices hereditary. It is Bandelier’s opinion
that “the grantees had no conception of the true import of what they
accepted; neither did Cortes conceive the nature of their ideas.” This
was followed after the Spanish occupation of Mexico by the institution
of “repartimientos,” through which the natives became serfs of the soil
to the conquerors.[972]

The story about this unknown splendor of a strange civilization
fascinated the world nearly half a century ago in the kindly recital
of Prescott;[973] but it was observed that he quoted too often the
somewhat illusory and exaggerated statements of Ixtlilxochitl, and
was not a little attracted by the gorgeous pictures of Waldeck and
Dupaix. With such a charming depicter, the barbaric gorgeousness of
this ancient empire, as it became the fashion to call it, gathered
a new interest, which has never waned, and Morgan[974] is probably
correct in affirming that it “has called into existence a larger number
of works than were ever before written upon any people of the same
number and of the same importance.”[975] Even those who, like Tylor,
had gone to Mexico sceptics, had been forced to the conclusion that
Prescott’s pictures were substantially correct, and setting aside what
he felt to be the monstrous exaggerations of Solis, Gomara, and the
rest, he could not find the history much less trustworthy than European
history of the same period.[976] It has been told in another place[977]
how the derogatory view, as opposed to the views of Prescott, were
expressed by R. A. Wilson in his _New Conquest of Mexico_, in assuming
that all the conquerors said was baseless fabrication, the European
Montezuma becoming a petty Indian chief, and the great city of Mexico
a collection of hovels in an everglade,—the ruins of the country being
accounted for by supposing them the relics of an ancient Phœnician
civilization, which had been stamped out by the inroads of barbarians,
whose equally barbarious descendants the Spaniards were in turn to
overcome. It cannot be said that such iconoclastic opinions obtained
any marked acceptance; but it was apparent that the notion of the
exaggeration of the Spanish accounts was becoming sensibly fixed in the
world’s opinion. We see this reaction in a far less excessive way in
Daniel Wilson’s _Prehistoric Man_ (i. 325, etc.), and he was struck,
among other things, with the utter obliteration of the architectural
traces of the conquered race in the city of Mexico itself.[978] When,
in 1875, Hubert H. Bancroft published the second volume of his _Native
Races_, he confessed “that much concerning the Aztec civilization had
been greatly exaggerated by the old Spanish writers, and for obvious
reasons;” but he contended that the stories of their magnificence
must in the main be accepted, because of the unanimity of witnesses,
notwithstanding their copying from one another, and because of the
evidence of the ruins.[979] He strikes his key-note in his chapter
on the “Government of the Nahua Nations,” in speaking of it as
“monarchical and nearly absolute;”[980] but it was perhaps in his
chapter on the “Palaces and Households of the Nahua Kings,” where he
fortifies his statement by numerous references, that he carried his
descriptions to the extent that allied his opinions to those who most
unhesitatingly accepted the old stories.[981]

The most serious arraignment of these long-accepted views was by Lewis
H. Morgan, who speaks of them as having “caught the imagination and
overcome the critical judgment of Prescott, ravaged the sprightly brain
of Brasseur de Bourbourg, and carried up in a whirlwind our author at
the Golden Gate.”[982]

Morgan’s studies had been primarily among the Iroquois, and by
analogy he had applied his reasoning to the aboriginal conditions
of Mexico and Central America, thus degrading their so-called
civilization to the level of the Indian tribal organization, as it was
understood in the North.[983] Morgan’s confidence in its deductions
was perfect, and he was not very gracious in alluding to the views
of his opponents. He looked upon “the fabric of Aztec romance as the
most deadly encumbrance upon American ethnology.”[984] The Spanish
chroniclers, as he contended, “inaugurated American aboriginal history
upon a misconception of Indian life, which has remained substantially
unquestioned till recently.”[985] He charges upon ignorance of the
structure and principles of Indian society, the perversion of all
the writers,[986] from Cortes to Bancroft, who, as he says, unable
to comprehend its peculiarities, invoked the imagination to supply
whatever was necessary to fill out the picture.[987] The actual
condition to which the Indians of Spanish America had reached was,
according to his schedule, the upper status of barbarism, between
which and the beginning of civilization he reckoned an entire ethnical
period. “In the art of government they had not been able to rise above
gentile institutions and establish political society. This fact,”
Morgan continues, “demonstrates the impossibility of privileged classes
and of potentates, under their institutions, with power to enforce the
labor of the people for the erection of palaces for their use, and
explains the absence of such structures.”[988]

This is the essence of the variance of the two schools of
interpretation of the Aztec and Maya life. The reader of Bancroft will
find, on the other hand, due recognition of an imperial system, with
its monarch and nobles and classes of slaves, and innumerable palaces,
of which we see to-day the ruins. The studies of Bandelier are appealed
to by Morgan as substantiating his view.[989] Mrs. Zelia Nuttall
(_Proc. Am. Assoc. Adv. Sci._, Aug., 1886) claims to be able to show
that the true interpretation of the Borgian and other codices points in
part at least to details of a communal life.

The special issues which for a test Morgan takes with Bancroft are in
regard to the character of the house in which Montezuma lived, and
of the dinner which is represented by Bernal Diaz and the rest as
the daily banquet of an imperial potentate. Morgan’s criticism is in
his _Houses and House Life of the American Aborigines_ (Washington,
1881).[990] The basis of this book had been intended for a fifth Part
of his _Ancient Society_, but was not used in that publication. He
printed the material, however, in papers on “Montezuma’s Dinner” (_No.
Am. Rev._, Ap. 1876), “Houses of the Moundbuilders” (_Ibid._, July,
1876), and “Study of the Houses and House Life of the Indian Tribes”
(_Archæol. Inst. of Amer. Publ._). These papers amalgamated now make
the work called _Houses and House Life_.[991]

Morgan argues that a communal mode of living accords with the usages
of aboriginal hospitality, as well as with their tenure of lands,[992]
and with the large buildings, which others call palaces, and he calls
joint tenement houses. He instances, as evidence of the size of such
houses, that at Cholula four hundred Spaniards and one thousand allied
Indians found lodging in such a house; and he points to Stephens’s
description of similar communal establishments which he found in our
day near Uxmal.[993] He holds that the inference of communal living
from such data as these is sufficient to warrant a belief in it,
although none of the early Spanish writers mention such communism as
existing; while they actually describe a communal feast in what is
known as Montezuma’s dinner;[994] and while the plans of the large
buildings now seen in ruins are exactly in accord with the demands of
separate families united in joint occupancy. In such groups, he holds,
there is usually one building devoted to the purpose of a Tecpan, or
official house of the tribe.[995] Under the pressure to labor, which
the Spaniards inflicted on their occupants, these communal dwellers
were driven, to escape such servitude, into the forest, and thus their
houses fell into decay. Morgan’s views attracted the adhesion of not
a few archæologists, like Bandelier and Dawson; but in Bancroft, as
contravening the spirit of his _Native Races_, they begat feelings
that substituted disdain for convincing arguments.[996] The less
passionate controversialists point out, with more effect, how hazardous
it is, in coming to conclusions on the quality of the Nahua, Maya,
or Quiché conditions of life, to ignore such evidences as those of
the hieroglyphics, the calendars, the architecture and carvings, the
literature and the industries, as evincing quite another kind, rather
than degree, of progress, from that of the northern Indians.[997]


Elsewhere in this work some account is given of the comprehensive
treatment of American antiquities. It is the purpose of this note to
characterize such other descriptions as have been specially confined
to the antiquities of Mexico, Central America, and adjacent parts;
together with noting occasionally those more comprehensive works which
have sections on these regions. The earliest and most distinguished of
all such treatises are the writings of Alexander von Humboldt,[998] to
whom may be ascribed the paternity of what the French define as the
Science of Americanism, which, however, took more definite shape and
invited discipleship when the Société Américaine de France was formed,
and Aubin in his _Mémoire sur la peinture didactique et l’écriture
figurative des Anciens Méxicains_ furnished a standard of scholarship.
How new this science was may be deduced from the fact that Robertson,
the most distinguished authority on early American history, who wrote
in English, in the last part of the preceding century, had ventured to
say that in all New Spain there was not “a single monument or vestige
of any building more ancient than the Conquest.” After Humboldt,
the most famous of what may be called the pioneers of this art were
Kingsborough, Dupaix, and Waldeck, whose publications are sufficiently
described elsewhere. The most startling developments came from the
expeditions of Stephens and Catherwood, the former mingling both in his
_Central America_ and _Yucatan_ the charms of a personal narrative with
his archæological studies, while the draughtsman, beside furnishing
the sketches for Stephens’s book, embodied his drawings on a larger
scale in the publication which passes under his own name.[999] The
explorations of Charnay are those which have excited the most interest
of late years, though equally significant results have been produced by
such special explorers as Squier in Nicaragua, Le Plongeon in Yucatan,
and Bandelier in Mexico.

The labors of the French archæologist, which began in 1858, resulted
in the work _Cités et ruines Américaines: Mitla, Palenqué, Izamal,
Chichen-Itza, Uxmal, recueillies et photographiées par Désiré
Charnay, avec un Texte par M. Viollet le Duc_. (Paris, 1863.) Charnay
contributed to this joint publication, beside the photographs, a paper
called “Le Méxique, 1858-61,—souvenirs et impressions de Voyage.” The
Architect Viollet le Duc gives us in the same book an essay by an
active, well-equipped, and ingenious mind, but his speculations about
the origin of this Southern civilization and its remains are rather
curious than convincing.[1000]


After a drawing in Cumplido’s Spanish translation of Prescott’s
_Mexico_, vol. iii. (Mexico, 1846.)]

The public began to learn better what Charnay’s full and hearty
confidence in his own sweeping assertions was, when he again entered
the field in a series of papers on the ruins of Central America
which he contributed (1879-81) to the _North American Review_ (vols.
cxxxi.-cxxxiii.), and which for the most part reached the public
newly dressed in some of the papers contributed by L. P. Gratacap to
the American Antiquarian,[1001] and in a paper by F. A. Ober on “The
Ancient Cities of America,” in the _Amer. Geog. Soc. Bulletin_, Mar.,
1888. Charnay took moulds of various sculptures found among the ruins,
which were placed in the Trocadero Museum in Paris.[1002] What Charnay
communicated in English to the _No. Amer. Review_ appeared in better
shape in French in the _Tour du Monde_ (1886-87), and in a still
riper condition in his latest work, _Les anciens villes du Nouveau
Monde: voyages d’explorations au Méxique et dans l’Amérique Centrale_.
1857-1882. _Ouvrage contenant 214 gravures et 19 cartes ou plans._
(Paris, 1885.)[1003]


After a sketch in Bandelier’s _Archæological Tour_, p. 233, who also
gives a plan of the mound. The modern Church of Nuestra Señora de los
Remedios is on the summit, where there are no traces of aboriginal
works. A paved road leads to the top. A suburban road skirts its base,
and fields of maguey surround it. The circuit of the base is 3859 feet,
and the mound covers nearly twenty acres. Estimates of its height are
variously given from 165 to 208 feet, according as one or another base
line is chosen. It is built of adobe brick laid in clay, and it has
suffered from erosion, slides, and other effects of time. There are
some traces of steps up the side. Bandelier (pl. xv.) also gives a
fac-simile of an old map of Cholula. The earliest picture which we have
of the mound, evidently thought by the first Spaniards to be a natural
one, is in the arms of Cholula (1540). There are other modern cuts in
Carbajal-Espinosa’s _Mexico_ (i. 195); _Archæologia Americana_ (i. 12);
Brocklehurst’s _Mexico to-day_, 182. The degree of restoration which
draughtsmen allow to themselves, accounts in large measure for the
great diversity of appearance which the mound makes in the different
drawings of it. There is a professed restoration by Mothes in Armin’s
_Heutige Mexico_, 63, 68, 72. The engraving in Humboldt is really a
restoration (_Vues_, etc., pl. vii., or pl. viii. of the folio ed.).
Bandelier gives a slight sketch of a restoration (p. 246, pl. viii.).]

We proceed now to note geographically some of the principal ruins. In
the vicinity of Vera Cruz the pyramid of Papantla is the conspicuous
monument,[1004] but there is little else thereabouts needing particular
mention. Among the ruins of the central plateau of Mexico, the famous
pyramid of Cholula is best known. The time of its construction is a
matter about which archæologists are not agreed, though it is perhaps
to be connected with the earliest period of the Nahua power. Duran,
on the other hand, has told a story of its erection by the giants,
overcome by the Nahuas.[1005] Its purpose is equally debatable, whether
intended for a memorial, a refuge, a defence, or a spot of worship—very
likely the truth may be divided among them all.[1006] It is a similar
problem for divided opinion whether it was built by a great display of
human energy, in accordance with the tradition that the bricks which
composed its surface were passed from hand to hand by a line of men,
extending to the spot where they were made leagues away, or constructed
by a slower process of accretion, spread over successive generations,
which might not have required any marvellous array of workmen.[1007]
The fierce conflict which—as some hold—Cortés had with the natives
around the mound and on its slopes settled its fate; and the demolition
begun thereupon, and continued by the furious desolaters of the Church,
has been aided by the erosions of time and the hand of progress,
till the great monument has become a ragged and corroded hill, which
might to the casual observer stand for the natural base, given by
the Creator, to the modern chapel that now crowns its summit; but if
Bandelier’s view (p. 249) is correct, that none of the conquerors
mention it, then the conflict which is recorded took place, not here,
but on the vanished mound of Quetzalcoatl, which in Bandelier’s opinion
was a different structure from this more famous mound, while other
writers pronounce it the shrine itself of Quetzalcoatl.[1008]


After a cut in _Harper’s Magazine_. An enlarged engraving of the
central head is given on the title-page of the present volume. A
photographic reproduction, as the “Stone of the Sun,” is given in
Bandelier’s _Archæological Tour_, p. 54, where he summarizes the
history of it, with references, including a paper by Alfredo Chavero,
in the _Anales del Museo nacional de México_, and another, with a cut,
by P. J. J. Valentini, in _Amer. Antiq. Soc. Proc._, April, 1878, and
in _The Nation_, Aug. 8 and Sept. 19, 1878. Chavero’s explanation is
translated in Brocklehurst’s _Mexico to-day_, p. 186. The stone is
dated in a year corresponding to A.D. 1479, and it was early described
in Duran’s _Historia de las Indias_, and in Tezozomoc’s _Crónica
mexicana_. Tylor (_Anahuac_, 238) says that of the drawings made before
the days of photography, that in Carlos Nebel’s _Viaje pintoresco y
Arqueológico sobre la República Mejicana_, 1829-1834 (Paris, 1839),
is the best, while the engravings given by Humboldt (pl. xxiii.)
and others are more or less erroneous. Cf. other cuts in Carbajal’s
_México_, i. 528; Bustamante’s _Mañanas de la Alameda_ (Mexico,
1835-36); Short’s _No. Amer. of Antiq._, 408, 451, with references;
Bancroft’s _Native Races_, ii. 520; iv. 506; Stevens’s _Flint Chips_,

Various calendar disks are figured in Clavigero (Casena, 1780); a
colored calendar on agave paper is reproduced in the _Archives de la
Commission Scientifique du Méxique_, iii. 120. (Quaritch held the
original document in Aug., 1888, at £25, which had belonged to M.

For elucidations of the Mexican astronomical and calendar system see
Acosta, vi. cap. 2; Granados y Galvez’s _Tardes Americanas_ (1778);
Humboldt’s essay in connection with pl. xxiii. of his _Atlas_;
Prescott’s _Mexico_, i. 117; Bollaert in _Memoirs read before
the Anthropol. Soc. of London_, i. 210; E. G. Squier’s _Some new
discoveries respecting the dates on the great calendar stone of the
ancient Mexicans, with observations on the Mexican cycle of fifty-two
years_, in the _American Journal of Science and Arts_, 2d ser., March,
1849, pp. 153-157; Abbé J. Pipart’s _Astronomie, Chronologie et rites
des Méxicaines_ in the _Archives de la Soc. Amér. de France_ (n. ser.
i.); Brasseur’s _Nat. Civ._, iii. livre ii.; Bancroft’s _Nat. Races_,
ii. ch. 16; Short, ch. 9, with ref., p. 445; Cyrus Thomas in Powell’s
_Rept. Ethn. Bureau_, iii. 7. Cf. Brinton’s _Abor. Amer. Authors_, p.
38; Brasseur’s “Chronologie historique des Méxicaines” in the _Actes de
la Soc. d’Ethnographie_ (1872), vol. vi.; Wilson’s _Prehistoric Man_,
i. 355, for the Toltecs as the source of astronomical ideas, with which
compare Bancroft, v. 192; the _Bulletin de la Soc. royale Belge de
Géog._, Sept., Oct., 1886; and Bandelier in the _Peabody Mus. Repts._,
ii. 572, for a comparison of calendars.

Wilson in his _Prehistoric Man_ (i. 246) says: “By the unaided results
of native science, the dwellers on the Mexican plateau had effected
an adjustment of civil to solar time so nearly correct that when the
Spaniards landed on their coast, their own reckoning, according to the
unreformed Julian calendar, was really eleven days in error, compared
with that of the barbarian nation whose civilization they so speedily

See what Wilson (_Prehistoric Man_, i. 333) says of the native
veneration for this calendar stone, when it was exhumed. Mrs. Nuttall
(_Proc. Am. Asso. Adv. Sci._, Aug., 1886) claims to be able to show
that this monolith is really a stone which stood in the Mexican
market-place, and was used in regulating the stated market-days.]

We have reference to a Cholula mound in some of the earliest writers.
Bernal Diaz counted the steps on its side.[1009] Motolinía saw it
within ten years of the Conquest, when it was overgrown and much
ruined. Sahagún says it was built for defensive purposes. Rojas, in
his _Relacion de Cholula_, 1581, calls it a fortress, and says the
Spaniards levelled its convex top to plant there a cross, where later,
in 1594, they built a chapel. Torquemada, following Motolinía and the
later Mendieta, says it was never finished, and was decayed in his
time, though he traced the different levels. Its interest as a relic
thus dates almost from the beginnings of the modern history of the
region. Boturini mentions its four terraces. Clavigero, in 1744, rode
up its sides on horseback, impelled by curiosity, and found it hard
work even then to look upon it as other than a natural hill.[1010] The
earliest of the critical accounts of it, however, is Humboldt’s, made
from examinations in 1803, when much more than now of its original
construction was observable, and his account is the one from which most
travellers have drawn,—the result of close scrutiny in his text and of
considerable license in his plate, in which he aimed at something like
a restoration.[1011] The latest critical examination is in Bandelier’s
“Studies about Cholula and its vicinity,” making part iii. of his
_Archæological Tour in Mexico in 1881_.[1012]

What are called the finest ruins in Mexico are those of Xochicalco,
seventy-five miles southwest of the capital, consisting of a mound of
five terraces supported by masonry, with a walled area on the summit.
Of late years a cornfield surrounds what is left of the pyramidal
structure, which was its crowning edifice, and which up to the middle
of the last century had five receding stories, though only one now
appears. It owes its destruction to the needs which the proprietors
of the neighboring sugar-works have had for its stones. The earliest
account of the ruins appeared in the “Descripcion (1791) de los
antiqüedades de Xochicalco” of José Antonio Alzate y Ramirez, in the
_Gacetas de Literatura_ (Mexico, 1790-94, in 3 vols.; reprinted Puebla,
1831, in 4 vols.), accompanied by plates, which were again used in
Pietro Marquez’s _Due Antichi Monumenti de Architettura Messicana_
(Roma, 1804),[1013] with an Italian version of Alzate, from which the
French translation in Dupaix was made. Alzate furnished the basis of
the account in Humboldt’s _Vues_ (i. 129; pl. ix. of folio ed.), and
Waldeck (_Voyage pitt._, 69) regrets that Humboldt adopted so inexact
a description as that of Alzate. From Nebel (_Viage pintoresco_) we
get our best graphic representations, for Tylor (_Anahuac_) says that
Casteñeda’s drawings, accompanying Dupaix, are very incorrect. Bancroft
says that one, at least, of these drawings in Kingsborough bears not
the slightest resemblance to the one given in Dupaix. In 1835 there
were explorations made under orders of the Mexican government, which
were published in the _Revista Mexicana_ (i. 539,—reprinted in the
_Diccionario Universal_, x. 938). Other accounts, more or less helpful,
are given by Latrobe, Mayer,[1014] and in Isador Löwenstern’s _Le
Méxique_ (Paris, 1843).[1015]


NOTE.—The opposite view of the court of the Museum is from Charnay, p.
57. He says: “The Museum cannot be called rich, in so far that there
is nothing remarkable in what the visitor is allowed to see.” The
vases, which had so much deceived Charnay, earlier, as to cause him to
make casts of them for the Paris Museum, he at a later day pronounced
forgeries; and he says that they, with many others which are seen in
public and private museums, were manufactured at Tlatiloco, a Mexican
suburb, between 1820 and 1828. See Holmes on the trade in Mexican
spurious relics in _Science_, 1886.

The reclining statue in the foreground is balanced by one similar to
it at an opposite part of the court-yard. One is the Chac-mool, as Le
Plongeon called it, unearthed by him at Chichen-Itza, and appropriated
by the Mexican government; the other was discovered at Tlaxcala.

The round stone in the centre is the sacrificial stone dug up in the
great square in Mexico, of which an enlarged view is given on another

The museum is described in Bancroft, iv. 554; in Mayer’s _Mexico as it
was_, etc., and his _Mexico, Aztec, etc._; Fossey’s _Mexique_.

On Le Plongeon’s discovery of the Chac-mool see _Amer. Antiq. Soc.
Proc._, Apr., 1877; Oct., 1878, and new series, i. 280; Nadaillac, Eng.
tr., 346; Short, 400; Le Plongeon’s _Sacred Mysteries_, 88, and his
paper in the _Amer. Geog. Soc. Journal_, ix. 142 (1877). Hamy calls
it the Toltec god Tlaloc, the rain-god; and Charnay agrees with him,
giving (pp. 366-7) cuts of his and of the one found at Tlaxcala.]

The ancient Anahuac corresponds mainly to the valley of Mexico
city.[1016] Bancroft (iv. 497) shows in a summary way the extent of
our knowledge of the scant archæological remains within this central

In the city of Mexico not a single relic of the architecture of the
earlier peoples remains,[1018] though a few movable sculptured objects
are preserved.[1019]

       *       *       *       *       *


After a sketch in Tylor’s _Anahuac_, who thinks it the original _Puente
de las Bergantinas_, where Cortes had his brigantines launched. The
span is about 20 feet, and this Tylor thinks “an immense span for such
a construction.” Cf. H. H. Bancroft, _Native Races_, iv. 479, 528.
Bandelier (_Peabody Mus. Reports_, ii. 696) doubts its antiquity.]

Tezcuco, on the other side of the lake from Mexico, affords some
traces of the ante-Conquest architecture, but has revealed no
such interesting movable relics as have been found in the capital
city.[1020] Twenty-five miles north of Mexico are the ruins of
Teotihuacan, which have been abundantly described by early writers and
modern explorers. Bancroft (iv. 530) makes up his summary mainly from
a Mexican official account, Ramon Almaraz’s _Memoria de los trabajos
ejecutados por la comision cientifica de Pachuca_ (Mexico, 1865),
adding what was needed to fill out details from Clavigero, Humboldt,
and the later writers.[1021]

Bancroft (iv. ch. 10), in describing what is known of the remains in
the northern parts of Mexico, gives a summary of what has been written
regarding the most famous of these ruins, Quemada in Zacatecas.[1022]

[Illustration: THE INDIO TRISTE.

After a photograph in Bandelier’s _Archæological Tour_, p. 68. He
thinks it was intended to be a bearer of a torch, and has no symbolical

Bancroft (iv. ch. 7) has given a separate chapter to the antiquities
of Oajaca (Oaxaca) and Guerrero, as the most southern of what he
terms the Nahua people, including and lying westerly of the Isthmus
of Tehuantepec, and he speaks of it as a region but little known
to travellers, except as they pass through a part of it lying on
the commercial route from Acapulco to the capital city of Mexico.
Bancroft’s summary, with his references, must suffice for the inquirer
for all except the principal group of ruins in this region, that of
Mitla (or Lyó-Baa), of which a full recapitulation of authorities
may be made, most of which are also to be referred to for the lesser
ruins, though, as Bancroft points out, the information respecting Monte
Alban and Zachila is far from satisfactory. Of Monte Alban, Dupaix and
Charnay are the most important witnesses, and the latter says that
he considers Monte Alban “one of the most precious remains, and very
surely the most ancient of the American civilizations.”[1023] On Dupaix
alone we must depend for what we know of Zachila.

It is, however, of Mitla (sometime Miquitlan, Mictlan) that more
considerable mention must be made, and its ruins, about thirty miles
southerly from Mexico, have been oftenest visited, as they deserve to
be; and we have to regret that Stephens never took them within the
range of his observations. Their demolition had begun during a century
or two previous to the Spanish Conquest, and was not complete even
then. Nature is gloomy, and even repulsive in its desolation about the
ruins;[1024] but a small village still exists among them. The place is
mentioned by Duran[1025] as inhabited about 1450; Motolinía describes
it as still lived in,[1026] and in 1565-74 it had a gobernador of its
own. Burgoa speaks of it in 1644.[1027]

[Illustration: GENERAL PLAN OF MITLA. After Bandelier’s sketch
(_Archæological Tour_, p. 276). KEY:

  A, the ruins on the highest ground, with a church and curacy built
  into the walls.
  B, C, E, are ruins outside the village.
  D is within the modern village.
  F is beyond the river.]

The earliest of the modern explorers were Luis Martin, a Mexican
architect, and Colonel de la Laguna, who examined the ruins in
1802; and it was from Martin and his drawings that Humboldt drew
the information with which, in 1810, he first engaged the attention
of the general public upon Mitla, in his _Vues des Cordillères_.
Dupaix’s visit was in 1806. The architect Eduard L. Mühlenpfordt,
in his _Versuch einer getreuen Schilderung der Republik Mejico_
(Hannover, 1844, in 2 vols.), says that he made plans and drawings in
1830,[1028] which, passing into the hands of Juan B. Carriedo, were
used by him to illustrate a paper, “Los palacios antiguos de Mitla,”
in the _Ilustracion Mexicana_ (vol. ii.), in which he set forth the
condition of the ruins in 1852. Meanwhile, in 1837, some drawings had
been made, which were twenty years later reproduced in the ninth volume
of the _Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge_, as Brantz Mayer’s
_Observations on Mexican history and archæology, with a special notice
of Zapotec, remains as delineated in Mr. J. G. Sawkins’s drawings of
Mitla, etc._ (Washington, 1857). Bancroft points out (iv. 406) that
the inaccuracies and impossibilities of Sawkins’ drawings are such
as to lead to the conclusion that he pretended to explorations which
he never made, and probably drafted his views from some indefinite
information; and that Mayer was deceived, having no more precise
statements than Humboldt’s by which to test the drawings. Matthieu
Fossey visited the ruins in 1838; but his account in his _Le Méxique_
(Paris, 1857) is found by Bancroft to be mainly a borrowed one. G. F.
von Tempsky’s _Mitla, a narrative of incidents and personal adventure
on a journey in Mexico, Guatemala and Salvador, 1853-1855, edited by
J. S. Bell_ (London, 1858), deceives us by the title into supposing
that considerable attention is given in the book to Mitla, but we
find him spending but a part of a day there in February, 1854 (p.
250). The book is not prized; Bandelier calls it of small scientific
value, and Bancroft says his plates must have been made up from other
sources than his own observations.[1029] Charnay, here, as well as
elsewhere, made for us some important photographs in 1859.[1030] This
kind of illustration received new accessions of value when Emilio
Herbrüger issued a series of thirty-four fine plates as _Album de
Vistas fotográficas de las Antiguas Ruinas de los palacios de Mitla_
(Oaxaca, 1874). In 1864, J. W. von Müller, in his _Reisen in den
Vereinigten Staaten, Canada und Mexico_ (Leipzig, in 3 vols.), included
an account of a visit.[1031] The most careful examination made since
Bancroft summarized existing knowledge is that of Bandelier in his
_Archæological Tour in Mexico in 1881_ (Boston, 1885), published as
no. ii. of the American series of the _Papers of the Archæological
Institute of America_, which is illustrated with heliotypes and sketch
plans of the ruins and architectural details in all their geometrical
symmetry. Bancroft (iv. 392, etc.) could only give a plan of the ruins
based on the sketches of Mühlenpfordt as published by Carriedo, but the
student will find a more careful one[1032] in Bandelier, who also gives
detailed ones of the several buildings (pl. xvii., xviii.)

       *       *       *       *       *


After a photograph in Bandelier’s _Archæological Tour_, p. 67. See on
another page, cut of the court-yard of the Museum, where this stone is
preserved. Cf. Humboldt, pl. xxi.; Bandelier in _Amer. Antiq_., 1878;
Bancroft, iv. 509; Stevens’s _Flint Chips_, 311. There is a discussion
of the stone in Orozco y Berra’s _El Cuauhxicalli de Tizoc_, in the
_Anales del Museo Nacional_, i. no. 1; ii. no. 1. On the sacrificial
stone of San Juan Teotihuacan, see paper by Amos W. Butler in the
_Amer. Antiq_., vii. 148. A cut in Clavigero (ii.) shows how the stone
was used in sacrifices; the engraving has been often copied. In Mrs.
Nuttall’s view this stone simply records the periodical tribute days
(_Am. Ass. Adv. Sci. Proc._, Aug. 1886).]

There is no part of Spanish America richer in architectural remains
than the northern section of Yucatan, and Bancroft (iv. ch. 5) has
occasion to enumerate and to describe with more or less fullness
between fifty and sixty independent groups of ruins.[1033] Stephens
explored forty-four of these abandoned towns, and such was the native
ignorance that of only a few of them could anything be learned
in Merida. And yet that this country was the land of a peculiar
architecture was known to the earliest explorers. Francisco Hernandez
de Cordova in 1517, Juan de Grijalva in 1518, Cortés himself in 1519,
and Francisco de Montejo in 1527 observed the ruins in Cozumel, an
island off the northwest coast of the peninsula, and at other points of
the shore.[1034] It is only, however, within the present century that
we have had any critical notices. Rio heard reports of them merely.
Lorenzo de Zavala saw only Uxmal, as his account given in Dupaix shows.
The earliest detailed descriptions were those of Waldeck in his _Voyage
pittoresque et achéologique dans la province d’Yucatan_ (Paris, 1838,
folio, with steel plates and lithographs), but he also saw little more
than the ruins of Uxmal, in the expedition in which he had received
pecuniary support from Lord Kingsborough.[1035] It is to John L.
Stephens and his accompanying draughtsman, Frederic Catherwood, that
we owe by far the most essential part of our knowledge of the Yucatan
remains. He had begun a survey of Uxmal in 1840, but had made little
progress when the illness of his artist broke up his plans. Accordingly
he gave the world but partial results in his _Incidents of Travel in
Central America_. Not satisfied with his imperfect examination, he
returned to Yucatan in 1841, and in 1843 published at New York the
book which has become the main source of information for all compilers
ever since, his _Incidents of Travel in Yucatan_ (N. Y., 1842; London,
1843; again, N. Y., 1856, 1858). It was in the early days of the
Daguerrean process, and Catherwood took with him a camera, from which
his excellent drawings derive some of their fidelity. They appeared in
his own _Views of Ancient Monuments in Central America_ (N. Y., 1844),
on a larger scale than in Stephens’s smaller pages.

[Illustration: WALDECK.

After an etching published in the _Annuaire de la Soc. Amer. de
France_. Cf. _Amer. Antiq. Soc. Proc._, October, 1875.]

Stephens’s earlier book had had an almost immediate success. The
reviewers were unanimous in commendation, as they might well be.[1036]
It has been asserted that it was in order to avail of this new
interest that a resident of New Orleans, Mr. B. M. Norman, hastened
to Yucatan, while Stephens was there a second time, and during the
winter of 1841-42 made the trip among the ruins, which is recorded in
his _Rambles in Yucatan, or Notes of Travel through the peninsula,
including a Visit to the Remarkable Ruins of Chi-chen, Kabah Zayi, and
Uxmal_ (New York, 1843).[1037]

The Daguerrean camera was also used by the Baron von Friederichsthal
in his studies at Uxmal and Chichen-Itza, and his exploration seems
to have taken place between the two visits of Stephens, as Bancroft
determines from a letter (April 21, 1841) written after the baron had
started on his return voyage to Europe.[1038] In Paris, in October,
1841, under the introduction of Humboldt, Friederichsthal addressed
the Academy, and his paper was printed in the _Nouvelles Annales
des Voyages_ (xcii. 297) as “Les Monuments de l’Yucatan.”[1039] The
camera was not, however, brought to the aid of the student with the
most satisfactory results till Charnay, in 1858, visited Izamal,
Chichen-Itza, and Uxmal. He gave a foretaste of his results in the
_Bulletin de la Soc. de Géog_. (1861, vol. ii. 364), and in 1863
gave not very extended descriptions, relying mostly on his _Atlas_
of photographs in his _Cités et Ruines Américaines_, a part of which
volume consists of the architectural speculations of Viollet le Duc.
Beside the farther studies of Charnay in his _Anciens Villes du Nouveau
Monde_ (Paris, 1885), there have been recent explorations in Yucatan
by Dr. Augustus Le Plongeon and his wife, mainly at Chichen-Itza,
in which for a while he had the aid and countenance of Mr. Stephen
Salisbury, Jr.,[1040] of Worcester, Mass. Le Plongeon’s results are
decidedly novel and helpful, but they were expressed with more license
of explication than satisfied the committee of that society, when his
papers were referred to them for publication, and than has proved
acceptable to other examiners.[1041] Nearly all other descriptions of
the Yucatan ruins have been derived substantially from these chief

[Illustration: DÉSIRÉ CHARNAY.

Reproduced from an engraving in the
London edition, 1887, of the English translation of his _Ancient Cities
of the New World_.]

The principal ruins of Yucatan are those of Uxmal and Chichen-Itza,
and references to the literature of each will suffice. Those at
Uxmal are in some respects distinct in character from the remains of
Honduras and of Chiapas. There are no idols as at Copan. There are no
extensive stucco-work and no tablets as at Palenqué. The general type
is Cyclopean masonry, faced with dressed stones. The Casa de Monjas,
or nunnery (so called), is often considered the most remarkable ruin
in Central America; and no architectural feature of any of them has
been the subject of more inquiry than the protuberant ornaments in the
cornices, which are usually called elephants’ trunks.[1043] It has been
contended that the place was inhabited in the days of Cortes.[1044]

[Illustration: FROM CHARNAY.

Also in the _Bull. Soc. de Géog. de Paris_, 1882 (p. 542). The best
large (36 × 28 in.) topographical and historical map of Yucatan,
showing the site of ruins, is that of Huebbe and Azuar, 1878. The
_Plano de Yucatan_, of Santiago Nigra de San Martin, also showing the
ruins, 1848, is reduced in Stephen Salisbury’s _Mayas_ (Worcester,
1877), or in the _Amer. Antiq. Soc. Proc._, April, 1876, and April,
1877. V. A. Malte-Brun’s map, likewise marking the ruins, is in
Brasseur de Bourbourg’s _Palenqué_ (1866). There are maps in C. G.
Fancourt’s _Hist. Yucatan_ (London, 1854); Dupaix’s _Antiquités
Méxicaines_; Waldeck’s _Voyage dans la Yucatan_ (his MS. map was used
by Malte-Brun). Cf. the map of Yucatan and Chiapas, in Brasseur and
Waldeck’s _Monuments Anciens du Méxique_ (1866). Perhaps the most
convenient map to use in the study of Maya antiquities is that in
Bancroft’s _Nat. Races_, iv. Cf. Crescentio Carrillo’s “Geografía Maya”
in the _Anales del Museo nacional de México_, ii. 435.

The map in Stephens’s _Yucatan_, vol. i., shows his route among the
ruins, but does not pretend to be accurate for regions off his course.

The _Journal of the Royal Geog. Soc._, vol. xi., has a map showing the
ruins in Central America.

The best map to show at a glance the location of the ruins in the
larger field of Spanish America is in Bancroft’s _Nat. Races_, iv.]

The earliest printed account of Uxmal is in Cogolludo’s _Yucathan_
(Madrid, 1688), pp. 176, 193, 197; but it was well into this century
before others were written. Lorenzo de Zavala gave but an outline
account in his _Notice_, printed in Dupaix in 1834. Waldeck (_Voyage
Pitt._ 67, 93) spent eight days there in May, 1835, and Stephens gives
him the credit of being the earliest describer to attract attention.
Stephens’s first visit in 1840 was hasty (_Cent. Amer._, ii. 413), but
on his second visit (1842) he took with him Waldeck’s _Voyage_, and his
description and the drawings of Catherwood were made with the advantage
of having these earlier drawings to compare. Stephens (_Yucatan_,
i. 297) says that their plans and drawings differ materially from
Waldeck’s; but Bancroft, who compares the two, says that Stephens
exaggerated the differences, which are not material, except in a few
plates (Stephens’s _Yucatan_, i. 163; ii. 264—ch. 24, 25). About the
same time Norman and Friederichsthal made their visits. Bancroft
(iv. 150) refers to the lesser narratives of Carillo (1845), and
another, recorded in the _Registro Yucateco_ (i. 273, 361), with Carl
Bartholomæus Heller (April, 1847) in his _Reisen in Mexico_ (Leipzig,
1853). Charnay’s _Ruines_ (p. 362), and his _Anciens Villes_ (ch. 19,
20), record visits in 1858 and later. Brasseur reported upon Uxmal in
1865 in the _Archives de la Com. Scientifique du Méxique_ (ii. 234,
254), and he had already made mention of them in his _Hist. Nations
Civ._, ii. ch. 1.[1045]


After a cut in Ruge’s _Gesch. des Zeitalters der Entdeckungen_, p. 357.]

The ruins of Chichen-Itza make part of the eastern group of the Yucatan
remains. As was not the case with some of the other principal ruins,
the city in its prime has a record in Maya tradition; it was known in
the days of the Conquest, and has not been lost sight of since,[1046]
though its ruins were not visited by explorers till well within the
present century, the first of whom, according to Stephens, was John
Burke, in 1838. Stephens had heard of them and mentioned them to
Friederichsthal, who was there in 1840 (_Nouv. Annales des Voyages_,
xcii. 300-306). Norman was there in February, 1842 (_Rambles_, 104),
and did not seem aware that any one had been there before him; and
Stephens himself, during the next month (_Yucatan_, ii. 282), made
the best record which we have. Charnay made his observations in 1858
(_Ruines_, 339,—cf. _Anciens Villes_, ch. 18), and gives us nine good
photographs. The latest discoverer is Le Plongeon, whose investigations
were signalized by the finding (1876) of the statue of Chackmool, and
by other notable researches (_Am. Antiq. Soc. Proc._, April, 1877;
October, 1878).[1047]

[Illustration: FROM CHICHEN-ITZA.

After a cut in Squier’s _Serpent Symbol_. There are two of these rings
in the walls of one of the buildings twenty or thirty feet from the
ground. They are four feet in diameter. Cf. Stephens’s _Yucatan_, ii.
304; Bancroft, iv. 230.]

[Illustration: FROM CHICHEN-ITZA.

A bas-relief, one of the best preserved at Chichen-Itza, after a sketch
in Charnay and Viollet-le-Duc’s _Cités et Ruines Américaines_ (Paris,
1863), p. 53, of which Viollet-le-Duc says: “Le profil du guerrier se
rapproche sensiblement les types du Nord de l’Europe.”]

It seems hardly to admit of doubt that the cities—if that be their
proper designation—of Yucatan were the work of the Maya people,
whose descendants were found by the Spaniards in possession of the
peninsula, and that in some cases, like those of Uxmal and Toloom,
their sacred edifices did not cease to be used till some time after
the Spaniards had possessed the country. Such were the conclusions of
Stephens,[1048] the sanest mind that has spent its action upon these
remains; and he tells us that a deed of the region where Uxmal is
situated, which passed in 1673, mentions the daily religious rites
which the natives were then celebrating there, and speaks of the
swinging doors and cisterns then in use. The abandonment of one of the
buildings, at least, is brought down to within about two centuries,
and comparisons of Catherwood’s drawings with the descriptions of
more recent explorers, by showing a very marked deterioration within
a comparatively few years, enable us easily to understand how the
piercing roots of a rapidly growing vegetation can make a greater havoc
in a century than will occur in temperate climates. The preservation
of paint on the walls, and of wooden lintels in some places, also
induce a belief that no great time, such as would imply an extinct
race of builders, is necessary to account for the present condition
of the ruins, and we must always remember how the Spaniards used them
as quarries for building their neighboring towns. How long these
habitations and shrines stood in their perfection is a question
about which archæologists have had many and diverse estimates,
ranging from hundreds to thousands of years. There is nothing in the
ruins themselves to settle the question, beyond a study of their
construction. So far as the traditionary history of the Mayas can
determine, some of them may have been built between the third and the
tenth century.[1049]

       *       *       *       *       *

We come now to Chiapas. The age of the ruins of Palenqué[1050] can
only be conjectured, and very indefinitely, though perhaps there
is not much risk in saying that they represent some of the oldest
architectural structures known in the New World, and were very likely
abandoned three or four centuries before the coming of the Spaniards.
Still, any confident statement is unwise. Perhaps there may be some
fitness in Brasseur’s belief that the stucco additions and roofs were
the work of a later people than those who laid the foundations.[1051]
Bancroft (iv. 289) has given the fullest account of the literature
describing these ruins. They seem to have been first found in 1750,
or a few years before. The report reaching Ramon de Ordoñez, then a
boy, was not forgotten by him, and prompted him to send his brother in
1773 to explore them. Among the manuscripts in the Brasseur Collection
(_Bib. Mex.-Guat._, p. 113; Pinart, no. 695) are a _Memoria relativa à
las ruinas... de Palenqué_, and _Notas de Chiapas y Palenqué_, which
are supposed to be the record of this exploration written by Ramon,
as copied from the original in the Museo Nacional, and which, in part
at least, constituted the report which Ramon made in 1784 to the
president of the Audiencia Real. Ramon’s view was that he had hit upon
the land of Ophir, and the country visited by the Phœnicians. This
same president now directed José Antonio Calderon to visit the ruins,
and we have his “Informe” translated in Brasseur’s _Palenqué_ (introd.
p. 5). From February to June of 1785, Antonio Benasconi, the royal
architect of Guatemala, inspected the ruins under similar orders. His
report, as well as the preceding one, with the accompanying drawings,
were dispatched to Spain, where J. B. Muñoz made a summary of them for
the king. I do not find any of them have been printed. The result of
the royal interest in the matter was, that Antonio del Rio was next
commissioned to make a more thorough survey, which he accomplished
(May-June, 1787) with the aid of a band of natives to fell the trees
and fire the rubbish. He broke through the walls in a reckless way,
that added greatly to the devastation of years. Rio’s report, dated
at Palenqué June 24, 1787, was published first in 1855, in the
_Diccionario Univ. de Geog._, viii. 528.[1052] Meanwhile, beside the
copy of the manuscript sent to Spain, other manuscripts were kept in
Guatemala and Mexico; and one of these falling into the hands of a Dr.
M’Quy, was taken to England and translated under the title _Description
of the Ruins of an Ancient City discovered near Palenque in Guatemala,
Spanish America, translated from the Original MS. Report of Capt.
Don A. Del Rio; followed by Teatro Critico Americano, or a Critical
Investigation and Research into the History of the Americans, by Doctor
Felix Cabrera_ (London, 1822).[1053]


From _Histoire de l’Habitation Humaine, par Viollet-le-Duc_ (Paris,
1875). There is a restoration of the Palenqué palace—so called—in
Armin’s _Das heutige Mexico_ (copied in Short, 342, and Bancroft, iv.

The results of the explorations of Dupaix, made early in the present
century by order of Carlos IV. of Spain, long remained unpublished. His
report and the drawings of Castañeda lay uncared for in the Mexican
archives during the period of the Revolution. Latour Allard, of Paris,
obtained copies of some of the drawings, and from these Kingsborough
got copies, which he engraved for his _Mexican Antiquities_, in which
Dupaix’s report was also printed in Spanish and English (vols. iv.,
v., vi.). It is not quite certain whether the originals or copies
were delivered (1828) by the Mexican authorities to Baradère, who
a few years later secured their publication with additional matter
as _Antiquités méxicaines_. _Relation des trois expéditions du
capitaine Dupaix, ordonnées en 1805, 1806 et 1807, pour la recherche
des antiquités du pays, notamment celles de Mitla et de Palenque;
accompagnée des dessins de Castañeda, et d’une carte du pays exploré;
suivie d’un parallèle de ces monuments avec ceux de l’Égypte, de
l’Indostan, et du reste de l’ancien monde par Alexandre Lenoir; d’une
dissertation sur l’origine de l’ancienne population des deux Amériques
par [D. B.] Warden; avec un discours préliminaire par. M. Charles
Farcy, et des notes explicatives, et autres documents par MM. Baradère,
de St. Priest [etc.]._ (Paris 1834, texte et atlas.)[1054] The plates
of this edition are superior to those in Kingsborough and in Rio; and
are indeed improved in the engraving over Castañeda’s drawings. The
book as a whole is one of the most important on Palenqué which we have.
The investigations were made on his third expedition (1807-8). A tablet
taken from the ruins by him is in the Museo Nacional, and a cast of it
is figured in the _Numis. and Antiq. Soc. of Philad. Proc._, Dec. 4,

During the twenty-five years next following Dupaix, we find two
correspondents of the French and English Geographical Societies
supplying their publications with occasional accounts of their
observations among the ruins. One of them, Dr. F. Corroy,[1055] was
then living at Tabasco; the other, Col. Juan Gallindo,[1056] was
resident in the country as an administrative officer.


These slabs, six feet high, were taken from Palenqué, and when Stephens
saw them they were in private hands at San Domingo, near by, but later
they were placed in the church front in the same town, and here Charnay
took impressions of them, from which they were engraved in _The Ancient
Cities_, etc., p. 217, and copied thence in the above cuts. This same
type of head is considered by Rosny the Aztec head of Palenqué (_Doc.
écrits de la Antiq. Amer._, 73), and as belonging to the superior
classes. In order to secure the convex curve of the nose and forehead
an ornament was sometimes added, as shown in a head of the second
tablet at Palenqué, and in the photograph of a bas-relief, preserved
in the Museo Archeologico at Madrid, given by Rosny (vol. 3), and
hypothetically called by him a statue of Cuculkan. This ornament is not
infrequently seen in other images of this region.

Bandelier (_Peabody Mus. Repts._, ii. 126), speaking of the tablet of
the Cross of Palenqué, says: “These tablets and figures show in dress
such a striking analogy of what we know of the military accoutrements
of the Mexicans, that it is a strong approach to identity.”]

Fréderic de Waldeck, the artist who some years before had familiarized
himself with the character of the ruins in the preparation of the
engravings for Rio’s work, was employed in 1832-34. He was now
considerably over sixty years of age, and under the pay of a committee,
which had raised a subscription, in which the Mexican government
shared. He made the most thorough examination of Palenqué which has
yet been made. Waldeck was a skilful artist, and his drawings are
exquisite; but he was not free from a tendency to improve or restore,
where the conditions gave a hint, and so as we have them in the final
publication they have not been accepted as wholly trustworthy. He made
more than 200 drawings, and either the originals or copies—Stephens
says “copies,” the originals being confiscated—were taken to Europe.
Waldeck announced his book in Paris, and the public had already had a
taste of his not very sober views in some communications which he had
sent in Aug. and Nov., 1832, to the Société de Géographie de Paris.
Long years of delay followed, and Waldeck had lived to be over ninety,
when the French government bought his collection[1057] (in 1860), and
made preparations for its publication. Out of the 188 drawings thus
secured, 56 were selected and were admirably engraved, and only that
portion of Waldeck’s text was preserved which was purely descriptive,
and not all of that. Selection was made of Brasseur de Bourbourg,
who at that time had never visited the ruins,[1058] to furnish
some introductory matter. This he prepared in an _Avant-propos_,
recapitulating the progress of such studies; and this was followed
by an _Introduction aux Ruines de Palenqué_, narrating the course of
explorations up to that time; a section also published separately
as _Recherches sur les Ruines de Palenqué et sur les origines de
la civilisation du Méxique_ (Paris, 1886), and finally Waldeck’s
own _Description des Ruines_, followed by the plates, most of which
relate to Palenqué. Thus composed, a large volume was published under
the general title of _Monuments anciens du Méxique_. _Palenqué et
autres ruines de l’ancienne civilisation du Méxique. Collection de
vues [etc.], cartes et plans dessinés d’après nature et relevés par
M. de Waldeck. Texte rédigé par M. Brasseur de Bourbourg._ (Paris,
1864-1866.)[1059] While Waldeck’s results were still unpublished the
ruins of Palenqué were brought most effectively to the attention of the
English reader in the _Travels in Central America_ (vol. ii. ch. 17) of
Stephens, which was illustrated by the drawings of Catherwood,[1060]
since famous. These better cover the field, and are more exact than
those of Dupaix.


From _The Stone Sculptures of Copán and Quiriguá_ (N. Y., 1883) of Meye
and Schmidt.]

Bancroft refers to an anonymous account in the _Registro Yucateco_ (i.
318). One of the most intelligent of the later travellers is Arthur
Morelet, who privately printed his _Voyage dans l’Amérique Central,
Cuba et le Yucatan_, which includes an account of a fortnight’s stay
at Palenqué. His results would be difficult of access except that
Mrs. M. F. Squier, with an introduction by E. G. Squier, published a
translation of that part of it relating to the main land as _Travels
in Central America, including accounts of regions unexplored since the
Conquest_ (N. Y., 1871).[1061]

Désiré Charnay was the first to bring photography to the aid of the
student when he visited Palenqué in 1858, and his plates forming the
folio atlas accompanying his _Cités et Ruines Américaines_ (1863), pp.
72, 411, are, as Bancroft (iv. 293) points out, of interest to enable
us to test the drawings of preceding delineators, and to show how time
had acted on the ruins since the visit of Stephens. His later results
are recorded in his _Les anciennes villes du Nouveau Monde_ (Paris,

[Illustration: YUCATAN TYPES.

Given by Rosny, _Doc. Écrits de la Antiq. Amér._, p. 73, as types
of the short-headed race which preceded the Aztec occupation. They
are from sculptures at Copan. Cf. Stephens’s _Cent. America_, i. 139;
Bancroft, iv. 101.]


From Meye and Schmidt’s _Stone Sculptures of Copán and Quiriguá_ (N.
Y., 1883).]

There have been only two statues found at Palenqué, in connection
with the T emple of the Cross,[1063] but the considerable number of
carved figures discovered at Copan,[1064] as well as the general
impression that these latter ruins are the oldest on the American
continent,[1065] have made in some respects these most celebrated of
the Honduras remains more interesting than those of Chiapas. It is now
generally agreed that the ruins of Copan[1066] do not represent the
town called Copan, assaulted and captured by Hernando de Choves in
1530, though the identity of names has induced some writers to claim
that these ruins were inhabited when the Spaniards came.[1067] The
earliest account of them which we have is that in Palacio’s letter
to Felipe II., written (1576) hardly more than a generation after
the Conquest, and showing that the ruins then were much in the same
condition as later described.[1068] The next account is that of Fuentes
y Guzman’s _Historia de Guatemala_ (1689), now accessible in the Madrid
edition of 1882; but for a long time only known in the citation in
Juarros’ _Guatemala_ (p. 56), and through those who had copied from
Juarros.[1069] His account is brief, speaks of Castilian costumes,
and is otherwise so enigmatical that Brasseur calls it mendacious.
Colonel Galindo, in visiting the ruins in 1836, confounded them with
the Copan of the Conquest.[1070] The ruins also came Under the scrutiny
of Stephens in 1839, and they were described by him, and drawn by
Catherwood, for the first time with any fullness and care, in their
respective works.[1071]

       *       *       *       *       *

Always associated with Copan, and perhaps even older, if the lower
relief of the carvings can bear that interpretation, are the ruins
near the village of Quiriguá, in Guatemala, and known by that name.
Catherwood first brought them into notice;[1072] but the visit of
Karl Scherzer in 1854 produced the most extensive account of them
which we have, in his _Ein Besuch bei den Ruinen von Quiriguá_ (Wien,

       *       *       *       *       *

The principal explorers of Nicaragua have been Ephraim George Squier,
in his _Nicaragua_,[1074] and Frederick Boyle, in his _Ride across
a Continent_ (Lond. 1868),[1075] and their results, as well as the
scattered data of others,[1076] are best epitomized in Bancroft
(iv. ch. 2), who gives other references to second-hand descriptions
(p. 29). Since Bancroft’s survey there have been a few important


IN considering the methods of record and communication used by these
peoples, we must keep in mind the two distinct systems of the Aztecs
and the Mayas;[1078] and further, particularly as regards the former,
we must not forget that some of these writings were made after the
Conquest, and were influenced in some degree by Spanish associations.
Of this last class were land titles and catechisms, for the native
system obtained for some time as a useful method with the conquerors
for recording the transmission of lands and helping the instruction by
the priests.[1079]


After a fac-simile in the _Archives de la Soc. Amér. de France, nouv.
ser._, ii. 34. (Cf. pl. xix. of Rosny’s _Essai sur le déchiffrement_,
etc.) It is a copy, not the original, of Landa’s text, but a nearly
contemporary one (made thirty years after Landa’s death), and the only
one known.]

It is usual in tracing the development of a hieroglyphic system to
advance from a purely figurative one—in which pictures of objects are
used—through a symbolic phase; in which such pictures are interpreted
conventionally instead of realistically. It was to this last stage
that the Aztecs had advanced; but they mingled the two methods, and
apparently varied in the order of reading, whether by lines or columns,
forwards, upwards, or backwards. The difficulty of understanding them
is further increased by the same object holding different meanings
in different connections, and still more by the personal element, or
writer’s style, as we should call it, which was impressed on his choice
of objects and emblems.[1080] This rendered interpretation by no means
easy to the aborigines themselves, and we have statements that when
native documents were referred to them it required sometimes long
consultations to reach a common understanding.[1081] The additional
step by which objects stand for sounds, the Aztecs seem not to have
taken, except in the names of persons and places, in which they
understood the modern child’s art of the rebus, where such symbol
more or less clearly stands for a syllable, and the representation
was usually of conventionalized forms, somewhat like the art of the
European herald. Thus the Aztec system was what Daniel Wilson[1082]
calls “the pictorial suggestion of associated ideas.”[1083] The
phonetic scale, if not comprehended in the Aztec system, made an
essential part of the Maya hieroglyphics, and this was the great
distinctive feature of the latter, as we learn from the early
descriptions,[1084] and from the alphabet which Landa has preserved
for us. It is not only in the codices or books of the Mayas that their
writing is preserved to us, but in the inscriptions of their carved
architectural remains.[1085]


NOTE—This representation of Yucatan hieroglyphics is a reduction of
pl. i. in Léon de Rosny’s _Essai sur le déchiffrement de l’écriture
hiératique de l’Amérique Centrale_, Paris, 1876. Cf. Bancroft, iv. 92;
Short, 405.]

When the Abbé Brasseur de Bourbourg found, in 1863, in the library
of the Royal Academy of History at Madrid, the MS. of Landa’s
_Relacion_, and discovered in it what purported to be a key to the
Maya alphabet, there were hopes that the interpretation of the
Maya books and inscriptions was not far off. Twenty-five years,
however, has not seen the progress that was wished for; and if we
may believe Valentini, the alphabet of Landa is a pure fabrication
of the bishop himself;[1086] and even some of those who account it
genuine, like Le Plongeon, hold that it is inadequate in dealing
with the older Maya inscriptions.[1087] Cyrus Thomas speaks of this
alphabet as simply an attempt of the bishop to pick out of compound
characters their simple elements on the supposition that something
like phonetic representations would be the result.[1088] Landa’s own
description[1089] of the alphabet accompanying his graphic key[1090] is
very unsatisfactory, not to say incomprehensible. Brasseur has tried
to render it in French, and Bancroft in English; but it remains a
difficult problem to interpret it intelligibly.

Brasseur very soon set himself the task of interpreting the Troano
manuscript by the aid of this key, and he soon had the opportunity
of giving his interpretation to the public when the Emperor Napoleon
III. ordered that codex to be printed in the sumptuous manner of the
imperial press.[1091] The efforts of Brasseur met with hardly a sign of
approval. Léon de Rosny criticised him,[1092] and Dr. Brinton found in
his results nothing to commend.[1093]

No one has approached the question of interpreting these Maya writings
with more careful scrutiny than Léon de Rosny, who first attracted
attention with his comparative study, _Les écritures figuratives et
hiéroglyphiques des différens peuples anciens et moderns_ (Paris,
1860; again, 1870, augmentée). From 1869 to 1871 he published at
Paris four parts of _Archives paléographiques de l’Orient et de
l’Amérique, publiées avec des notices historiques et philologiques_,
in which he included several studies of the native writings, and gave
a bibliography (pp. 101-115) of American paleography up to that time.
His _L’interprétation des anciens textes Mayas_ made part of the first
volume of the _Archives de la Soc. Américaine de France_ (new series).
His chief work, making the second volume of the same, is his _Essai
sur le déchiffrement de l’écriture hiératique de l’Amérique Central_
(Paris, 1876), and it is the most thorough examination of the problem
yet made.[1094] The last part (4th) was published in 1878, and a
Spanish translation appeared in 1881.


After a cut in Wilson’s _Prehistoric Man_, ii. p. 63. It is also given
in Bancroft (iv. 355), and others. It is from the Tablet of the Cross.]

Wm. Bollaert, who had paid some attention to the paleography of
America,[1095] was one of the earliest in England to examine Brasseur’s
work on Landa, which he did in a memoir read before the Anthropological
Society,[1096] and later in an “Examination of the Central American
hieroglyphs by the recently discovered Maya alphabet.”[1097]
Brinton[1098] calls his conclusions fanciful, and Le Plongeon claims
that the inscription in Stephens, which Bollaert worked upon, is
inaccurately given, and that Bollaert’s results were nonsense.[1099]
Hyacinthe de Charency’s efforts have hardly been more successful,
though he attempted the use of Landa’s alphabet with something like
scientific care. He examined a small part of the inscription of the
Palenqué tablet of the Cross in his _Essai de déchiffrement d’un
fragment d’inscription palenquéene_.[1100]

Dr. Brinton translated Charency’s results, and, adding Landa’s
alphabet, published his _Ancient phonetic alphabet of Yucatan_ (N. Y.,
1870), a small tract.[1101] His continued studies were manifest in the
introduction on “The graphic system and the ancient records of the
Mayas” to Cyrus Thomas’s _Manuscript Troano_.[1102] In this paper Dr.
Brinton traces the history of the attempts which have thus far been
made in solving this perplexing problem.[1103] The latest application
of the scientific spirit is that of the astronomer E. S. Holden, who
sought to eliminate the probabilities of recurrent signs by the usual
mathematical methods of resolving systems of modern cipher.[1104]

       *       *       *       *       *

There are few examples of the aboriginal ideographic writings left
to us. Their fewness is usually charged to the destruction which was
publicly made of them under the domination of the Church in the years
following the Conquest.[1105] The alleged agents in this demolition
were Bishop Landa, in 1562, at Mani, in Yucatan,[1106] and Bishop
Zumárraga at Tlatelalco, or, as some say, at Tezcuco, in Mexico.[1107]
Peter Martyr[1108] has told us something of the records as he saw
them, and we know also from him, and from their subsequent discovery
in European collections, that some examples of them were early taken
to the Old World. We have further knowledge of them from Las Casas
and from Landa himself.[1109] There have been efforts made of late
years by Icazbalceta and Canon Carrillo to mitigate the severity of
judgment, particularly as respects Zumárraga.[1110] The first, and
indeed the only attempt that has been made to bring together for mutual
illustration all that was known of these manuscripts which escaped
the fire,[1111] was in the great work of the Viscount Kingsborough
(b. 1795, d. 1837). It was while, as Edward King, he was a student
at Oxford that this nobleman’s passion for Mexican antiquities was
first roused by seeing an original Aztec pictograph, described by
Purchas (_Pilgrimes_, vol. iii.), and preserved in the Bodleian. In the
studies to which this led he was assisted by some special scholars,
including Obadiah Rich, who searched for him in Spain in 1830 and
1832, and who after Kingsborough’s death obtained a large part of the
manuscript collections which that nobleman had amassed (_Catalogue of
the Sale_, Dublin, 1842). Many of the Kingsborough manuscripts passed
into the collection of Sir Thomas Phillipps (_Catalogue_, no. 404),
but the correspondence pertaining to Kingsborough’s life-work seems
to have disappeared. Phillipps had been one of the main encouragers
of Kingsborough in his undertaking.[1112] Kingsborough, who had spent
£30,000 on his undertaking, had a business dispute with the merchants
who furnished the printing-paper, and he was by them thrown into jail
as a debtor, and died in confinement.[1113]

[Illustration: LÉON DE ROSNY.

After a photogravure in _Les Documents écrits de l’antiquité
Américaine_ (Paris, 1882). Cf. cut in _Mém. de la Soc. d’Ethnographie_
(1887), xiii. p. 71.]

Kingsborough’s great work, the most sumptuous yet bestowed upon
Mexican archæology, was published between 1830 and 1848, there being
an interval of seventeen years between the seventh and eighth volumes.
The original intention seems to have embraced ten volumes, for the
final section of the ninth volume is signatured as for a tenth.[1114]
The work is called: _Antiquities of Mexico; comprising facsimiles of
Ancient Mexican Paintings and Hieroglyphics, preserved in the Royal
Libraries of Paris, Berlin, and Dresden; in the Imperial Library of
Vienna; in the Vatican Library; in the Borgian Museum at Rome; in
the Library of the Institute of Bologna; and in the Bodleian Library
at Oxford; together with the Monuments of New Spain, by M. Dupaix;
illustrated by many valuable inedited MSS_. With the theory maintained
by Kingsborough throughout the work, that the Jews were the first
colonizers of the country, we have nothing to do here; but as the
earliest and as yet the largest repository of hieroglyphic material,
the book needs to be examined. The compiler states where he found his
MSS., but he gives nothing of their history, though something more
is now known of their descent. Peter Martyr speaks of the number of
Mexican MSS. which had in his day been taken to Spain, and Prescott
remarks it as strange that not a single one given by Kingsborough
was found in that country. There are, however, some to be seen there
now.[1115] Comparisons which have been made of Kingsborough’s plates
show that they are not inexact; but they almost necessarily lack the
validity that the modern photographic processes give to facsimiles.


From Cyrus Thomas’s _Manuscript Troano_.]

Kingsborough’s first volume opens with a fac-simile of what is
usually called the _Codex Mendoza_, preserved in the Bodleian. It is,
however, a contemporary copy on European paper of an original now lost,
which was sent by the Viceroy Mendoza to Charles V. Another copy made
part of the Boturini collection, and from this Lorenzana[1116] engraved
that portion of it which consists of tribute-rolls. The story told
of the fate of the original is, that on its passage to Europe it was
captured by a French cruiser and taken to Paris, where it was bought
by the chaplain of the English embassy, the antiquary Purchas, who
has engraved it.[1117] It was then lost sight of, and if Prescott’s
inference is correct it was not the original, but the Bodleian copy,
which came into Purchas’ hands.[1118]

Beside the tribute-rolls,[1119] which make one part of it, the MS.
covers the civil history of the Mexicans, with a third part on the
discipline and economy of the people, which renders it of so much
importance in an archæological sense.[1120] The second reproduction
in Kingsborough’s first volume is what he calls the _Codex
Telleriano-Remensis_, preserved in the Bibliothèque Nationale at Paris,
and formerly owned by M. Le Tellier.[1121] The rest of this initial
volume is made up of facsimiles of Mexican hieroglyphics and paintings,
from the Boturini and Selden collections, which last is in the Bodleian.

The second Kingsborough volume opens with a reproduction of the _Codex
Vaticanus_ (the explanation[1122] is in volume vi.), which is in the
library of the Vatican, and it is known to have been copied in Mexico
by Pedro de los Rios in 1566. It is partly historical and partly
mythological.[1123] The rest of this volume is made up of facsimiles of
other manuscripts,—one given to the Bodleian by Archbishop Laud, others
at Bologna,[1124] Vienna,[1125] and Berlin.

The third volume reproduces one belonging to the Borgian Museum at
Rome, written on skin, and thought to be a ritual and astrological
almanac. This is accompanied by a commentary by Frabega.[1126]
Kingsborough gives but a single Maya MS., and this is in his third
volume, and stands with him as an Aztec production. This is the
_Dresden Codex_, not very exactly rendered, which is preserved in the
royal library in that city, for which it was bought by Götz,[1127] at
Vienna, in 1739. Prescott (i. 107) seemed to recognize its difference
from the Aztec MSS., without knowing precisely how to class it.[1128]
Brasseur de Bourbourg calls it a religious and astrological ritual. It
is in two sections, and it is not certain that they belong together.
In 1880 it was reproduced at Dresden by polychromatic photography
(Chromo-Lichtdruck), as the process is called, under the editing of
Dr. E. Förstemann, who in an introduction describes it as composed of
thirty-nine oblong sheets folded together like a fan. They are made of
the bark of a tree, and covered with varnish. Thirty-five have drawings
and hieroglyphics on both sides; the other four on one side only. It is
now preserved between glass to prevent handling, and both sides can be
examined. Some progress has been made, it is professed, in deciphering
its meaning, and it is supposed to contain “records of a mythic,
historic, and ritualistic character.”[1129]

Another script in Kingsborough, perhaps a Tezcucan MS., though having
some Maya affinities, is the _Fejérvary Codex_, then preserved in
Hungary, and lately owned by Mayer, of Liverpool.[1130]

Three other Maya manuscripts have been brought to light since
Kingsborough’s day, to say nothing of three others said to be in
private hands, and not described.[1131] Of these, the _Codex Troano_
has been the subject of much study. It is the property of a Madrid
gentleman, Don Juan Tro y Ortolano, and the title given to the
manuscript has been somewhat fantastically formed from his name by the
Abbé Etienne Charles Brasseur de Bourbourg, who was instrumental in its
recognition about 1865 or 1866, and who edited a sumptuous two-volume
folio edition with chromo-lithographic plates.[1132]


From a fac-simile in the _Archives de la Société Américaine de France,
nouv. ser._, ii. 30.]

[Illustration: CODEX PEREZIANUS.

One of the leaves of a MS. No. 2, in the Bibliothèque Nationale,
Paris, following the fac-simile (pl. 124) in Léon de Rosny’s _Archives
paléographiques_ (Paris, 1869).]

While Léon de Rosny was preparing his _Essai sur le déchiffrement
de l’Ecriture hiératique_ (1876), a Maya manuscript was offered to
the Bibliothèque Impériale in Paris and declined, because the price
demanded was too high. Photographic copies of two of its leaves had
been submitted, and one of these is given by Rosny in the _Essai_ (pl.
xi.). The Spanish government finally bought the MS., which, because
it was supposed to have once belonged to Cortes, is now known as the
_Codex Cortesianus_. Rosny afterwards saw it and studied it in the
Museo Archeológico at Madrid, as he makes known in his _Doc. Ecrits
de la Antiq. Amér._, p. 79, where he points out the complementary
character of one of its leaves with another of the MS. Troano, showing
them to belong together, and gives photographs of the two (pl. v. vi.),
as well as of other leaves (pl. 8 and 9). The part of this codex of a
calendar character (Tableau des Bacab) is reproduced from Rosny’s plate
by Cyrus Thomas[1133] in an essay in the _Third Report of the Bureau of
Ethnology_, together with an attempted restoration of the plate, which
is obscure in parts. Finally a small edition (85 copies) of the entire
MS. was published at Paris in 1883.[1134]

The last of the Maya MSS. recently brought to light is sometimes cited
as the _Codex Perezianus_, because the paper in which it was wrapped,
when recognized in 1859 by Rosny,[1135] bore the name “Perez”; and
sometimes designated as Codex Mexicanus, or Manuscrit Yucatèque No. 2,
of the National Library at Paris. It was a few years later published
as _Manuscrit dit Méxicain No. 2 de la Bibliothèque Impériale,
photographié par ordre de S. E. M. Duruy, ministre de l’instruction
publique_ (Paris, 1864, in folio, 50 copies). The original is a
fragment of eleven leaves, and Brasseur[1136] speaks of it as the most
beautiful of all the MSS. in execution, but the one which has suffered
the most from time and usage.[1137]


NOTE.—This Yucatan bas-relief follows a photograph by Rosny (1880),
reproduced in the _Mém. de la Soc. d’Ethnographie_, no. 3 (Paris,




THE civilization of the Incas of Peru is the most important, because it
is the highest, phase in the development of progress among the American
races. It represents the combined efforts, during long periods, of
several peoples who eventually became welded into one nation. The
especial interest attaching to the study of this civilization consists
in the fact that it was self-developed, and that, so far as can be
ascertained, it received no aid and no impulse from foreign contact.

It is necessary, however, to bear in mind that the empire of the Incas,
in its final development, was formed of several nations which had,
during long periods, worked out their destinies apart from each other;
and that one, at least, appears to have been entirely distinct from
the Incas in race and language.[1138] These facts must be carefully
borne in mind in pursuing inquiries relating to the history of Inca
civilization. It is also essential that the nature and value of the
evidence on which conclusions must be based should be understood and
carefully weighed. This evidence is of several kinds. Besides the
testimony of Spanish writers who witnessed the conquest of Peru, or
who lived a generation afterwards, there is the evidence derived from
a study of the characteristics of descendants of the Inca people, of
their languages and literature, and of their architectural and other
remains. These various kinds of evidence must be compared, their
respective values must be considered, and thus alone, in our time, can
the nearest approximation to the truth be reached.


The testimony of writers in the sixteenth century, who had the
advantage of being able to see the workings of Inca institutions, to
examine the outcome of their civilization in all its branches, and
to converse with the Incas themselves respecting the history and the
traditions of their people, is the most important evidence. Much of
this testimony has been preserved, but unfortunately a great deal is
lost. The sack of Cadiz by the Earl of Essex, in 1595, was the occasion
of the loss of Blas Valera’s priceless work.[1139] Other valuable
writings have been left in manuscript, and have been mislaid through
neglect and carelessness. Authors are mentioned, or even quoted, whose
books have disappeared. The contemplation of the fallen Inca empire
excited the curiosity and interest of a great number of intelligent men
among the Spanish conquerors. Many wrote narratives of what they saw
and heard. A few studied the language and traditions of the people with
close attention. And these authors were not confined to the clerical
and legal professions; they included several of the soldier-conquerors


[From the Paris (1774) edition of Zarate. The development of Peruvian
cartography under the Spanish explorations is traced in a note in Vol.
II. p. 509; but the best map for the student is a map of the empire of
the Incas, showing all except the provinces of Quito and Chili, with
the routes of the successive Inca conquerors marked on it, given in the
_Journal of the Roy. Geog. Soc._ (1872), vol. xlii. p. 513, compiled by
Mr. Trelawny Saunders to illustrate Mr. Markham’s paper of the previous
year, on the empire of the Incas. The map was republished by the
Hakluyt Society in 1880. The map of Wiener in his _Pérou et Bolivie_ is
also a good one. Cf. Squier’s map in his _Peru_.—ED.]]

The nature of the country and climate was a potent agent in forming
the character of the people, and in enabling them to make advances in
civilization. In the dense forests of the Amazonian valleys, in the
boundless prairies and savannas, we only meet with wandering tribes
of hunters and fishers. It is on the lofty plateaux of the Andes,
where extensive tracts of land are adapted for tillage, or in the
comparatively temperate valleys of the western coast, that we find
nations advanced in civilization.[1141]

The region comprised in the empire of the Incas during its greatest
extension is bounded on the east by the forest-covered Amazonian
plains, on the west by the Pacific Ocean, and its length along the
line of the Cordilleras was upwards of 1,500 miles, from 2° N. to 20°
S. This vast tract comprises every temperature and every variety of
physical feature. The inhabitants of the plains and valleys of the
Andes enjoyed a temperate and generally bracing climate, and their
energies were called forth by the physical difficulties which had to be
overcome through their skill and hardihood. Such a region was suited
for the gradual development of a vigorous race, capable of reaching
to a high state of culture. The different valleys and plateaux are
separated by lofty mountain chains or by profound gorges, so that the
inhabitants would, in the earliest period of their history, make their
own slow progress in comparative isolation, and would have little
intercommunication. When at last they were brought together as one
people, and thus combined their efforts in forming one system, it is
likely that such a union would have a tendency to be of long duration,
owing to the great difficulties which must have been overcome in its
creation. On the other hand, if, in course of time, disintegration once
began, it might last long, and great efforts would be required to build
up another united empire. The evidence seems to point to the recurrence
of these processes more than once, in the course of ages, and to their
commencement in a very remote antiquity.

One strong piece of evidence pointing to the great length of time
during which the Inca nations had been a settled and partially
civilized race, is to be found in the plants that had been brought
under cultivation, and in the animals that had been domesticated. Maize
is unknown in a wild state,[1142] and many centuries must have elapsed
before the Peruvians could have produced numerous cultivated varieties,
and have brought the plant to such a high state of perfection. The
peculiar edible roots, called _oca_ and _aracacha_, also exist only
as cultivated plants. There is no wild variety of the _chirimoya_,
and the Peruvian species of the cotton plant is known only under
cultivation.[1143] The potato is found wild in Chile, and probably
in Peru, as a very insignificant tuber. But the Peruvians, after
cultivating it for centuries, increased its size and produced a great
number of edible varieties.[1144] Another proof of the great antiquity
of Peruvian civilization is to be found in the llama and alpaca, which
are domesticated animals, with individuals varying in color: the one
a beast of burden yielding coarse wool, and the other bearing a thick
fleece of the softest silken fibres. Their prototypes are the wild
huanaco and vicuña, of uniform color, and untameable. Many centuries
must have elapsed before the wild creatures of the Andean solitudes,
with the habits of chamois, could have been converted into the Peruvian
sheep which cannot exist apart from men.[1145]

[Illustration: LLAMAS.

[One of the cuts which did service in the Antwerp edition of Cieza de
Leon. Cf. Bollaert on the llama, alpaca, huanaco, and vicuña species in
the _Sporting Review_, Feb., 1863; the cuts in Squier, pp. 246, 250;
Dr. Van Tschudi, in the _Zeitschrift für Ethnologie_, 1885.—ED.]]

These considerations point to so vast a period during which the
existing race had dwelt in the Peruvian Andes, that any speculation
respecting its origin would necessarily be futile in the present state
of our knowledge.[1146] The weight of tradition indicates the south as
the quarter whence the people came whose descendants built the edifices
at Tiahuanacu.

The most ancient remains of a primitive people in the Peruvian Andes
consist of rude _cromlechs_, or burial-places, which are met with in
various localities. Don Modesto Basadre has described some by the
roadside, in the descent from Umabamba to Charasani, in Bolivia. These
cromlechs are formed of four great slabs of slate, each slab being
about five feet high, four or five in width, and more than an inch
thick. The four slabs are perfectly shaped and worked so as to fit into
each other at the corners. A fifth slab is placed over them, and over
the whole a pyramid of clay and rough stones is piled. These cromlechs
are the early memorials of a race which was succeeded by the people who
constructed the cyclopean edifices of the Andean plateaux.


A, Lid or cover of some aperture, of stone, with two handles neatly
B, A window of trachyte, of careful workmanship, in one piece.
C, Block of masonry with carving.
D, E, Two views of a corner-piece to some stone conduit, carefully
ornamented with projecting lines.
F, G, H, I, Other pieces of cut masonry lying about. ]

For there is reason to believe that a powerful empire had existed
in Peru centuries before the rise of the Inca dynasty. Cyclopean
ruins, quite foreign to the genius of Inca architecture, point to this
conclusion. The wide area over which they are found is an indication
that the government which caused them to be built ruled over an
extensive empire, while their cyclopean character is a proof that their
projectors had an almost unlimited supply of labor. Religious myths
and dynastic traditions throw some doubtful light on that remote past,
which has left its silent memorials in the huge stones of Tiahuanacu,
Sacsahuaman, and Ollantay, and in the altar of Concacha.


A, Portion of the ornament which runs along the base of the rows of
figures on the monolithic doorway.
B, Prostrate idol lying on its face near the ruins; about 9 feet long.]


A, A winged human figure with the crowned head of a condor, from the
central row on the monolithic doorway.
B, A winged human figure with human head crowned, from the upper row on
the monolithic doorway.

[There are well-executed cuts of these sculptures in Ruge’s _Geschichte
des Zeitalters der Entdeckungen_, pp. 430, 431. Cf. Squier’s _Peru_, p.

The most interesting ruins in Peru are those of the palace or temple
near the village of Tiahuanacu,[1147] on the southern side of Lake
Titicaca. They are 12,930 feet above the level of the sea, and 130
above that of the lake, which is about twelve miles off.


Various curiously carved stones found scattered about the ruins.]


[Cf. view in Squier’s _Peru_, p. 289, with other particulars of the
ruins, p. 276, etc.—ED.]]

They consist of a quadrangular space, entered by the famous monolithic
doorway, and surrounded by large stones standing on end; and of a hill
or mound encircled by remains of a wall, consisting of enormous blocks
of stone. The whole covers an area about 400 yards long by 350 broad.
There is a lesser temple, about a quarter of a mile distant, containing
stones 36 feet long by 7, and 26 by 16, with recesses in them which
have been compared to seats of judgment. The weight of the two great
stones has been estimated at from 140 to 200 tons each, and the
distance of the quarries whence they could have been brought is from 15
to 40 miles.


[This is an enlarged drawing of the bas-relief shown in the picture of
the broken doorway (p. 218). Cf. the cuts in the article on the ruins
of Tiahuanacu in the _Revue d’Architecture des Travaux publics_, vol.
xxiv.; in Ch. Wiener’s _L’Empire des Incas_, pl. iii.; in D’Orbigny’s
Atlas to his _L’Homme Américain_; and in Squier’s _Peru_, p. 291.—ED.]]

The monolithic portal is one block of hard trachytic rock, now deeply
sunk in the ground. Its height above ground is 7 ft. 2 in., width 13
ft. 5 in., thickness 1 ft. 6 in., and the opening is 4 ft. 6 in. by
2 ft. 9 in. The outer side is ornamented by accurately cut niches
and rectangular mouldings. The whole of the inner side, from a line
level with the upper lintel of the doorway to the top, is a mass of
sculpture, which speaks to us, in difficult riddles, alas! of the
customs and art-culture, of the beliefs and traditions, of an ancient
and lost civilization.


[An enlarged drawing of the image over the arch is given in another
cut. This same ruin is well represented in Ruge’s _Gesch. des
Zeitalters der Entdeckungen_; and not so well in Wiener’s _Pérou et
Bolivie_, p. 419. Cf. Squier’s _Peru_, p. 288.—ED.]]

In the centre there is a figure carved in high relief, in an oblong
compartment, 2 ft. 2 in. long by 1 ft. 6 in.[1148] Squier describes
this figure as angularly but boldly cut. The head is surrounded by
rays, each terminating in a circle or the head of an animal. The breast
is adorned with two serpents united by a square band. Another band,
divided into ornamented compartments, passes round the neck, and the
ends are brought down to the girdle, from which hang six human heads.
Human heads also hang from the elbows, and the hands clasp sceptres
which terminate in the heads of condors. The legs are cut off near the
girdle, and below there are a series of frieze-like ornaments, each
ending with a condor’s head. On either side of this central sculpture
there are three tiers of figures, 16 in each tier, or 48 in all, each
in a kneeling posture, and facing towards the large central figure.
Each figure is in a square, the sides of which measure eight inches.
All are winged, and hold sceptres ending in condors’ heads; but while
those in the upper and lower tiers have crowned human heads, those in
the central tier have the heads of condors. There is a profusion of
ornament on all these figures, consisting of heads of birds and fishes.
An ornamental frieze runs along the base of the lowest tier of figures,
consisting of an elaborate pattern of angular lines ending in condors’
heads, with larger human heads surrounded by rays, in the intervals of
the pattern. Cieza de Leon and Alcobasa[1149] mention that, besides
this sculpture over the doorway, there were richly carved statues at
Tiahuanacu, which have since been destroyed, and many cylindrical
pillars with capitals. The head of one statue, with a peculiar
head-dress, which is 3 ft. 6 in. long, still lies by the roadside.


After a drawing given in _The Temple of the Andes_ by Richard Inwards
(London, 1884).]

The masonry of the ruins is admirably worked, according to the
testimony of all visitors. Squier says: “The stone itself is a dark and
exceedingly hard trachyte. It is faced with a precision that no skill
can excel. Its lines are perfectly drawn, and its right angles turned
with an accuracy that the most careful geometer could not surpass. I do
not believe there exists a better piece of stone-cutting, the material
considered, on this or the other continent.”

It is desirable to describe these ruins, and especially the sculpture
over the monolithic doorway, with some minuteness, because, with the
probable exception of the cromlechs, they are the most ancient, and,
without any exception, the most interesting that have been met with in
Peru. There is nothing elsewhere that at all resembles the sculpture on
the monolithic doorway at Tiahuanacu.[1150] The central figure, with
rows of kneeling worshippers on either side, all covered with symbolic
designs, represents, it may be conjectured, either the sovereign and
his vassals, or, more probably, the Deity, with representatives of all
the nations bowing down before him. The sculpture and the most ancient
traditions should throw light upon each other.

Further north there are other examples of prehistoric cyclopean
remains. Such is the great wall, with its “stone of 12 corners,”
in the Calle del Triunfo at Cuzco. Such is the famous fortress of
Cuzco, on the Sacsahuaman Hill. Such, too, are portions of the ruins
at Ollantay-tampu. Still farther north there are cyclopean ruins at
Concacha, at Huiñaque, and at Huaraz.


[After a cut in Ruge’s _Geschichte des Zeitalters der Entdeckungen_.
Markham has elsewhere described these ruins,—_Cieza de Leon_, 259, 324;
2d part, 160; _Royal Commentaries of the Incas_, ii., with a plan,
reproduced in Vol. II. p. 521, and another plan of Cuzco, showing the
position of the fortress in its relations to the city. There are plans
and views in Squier’s _Peru_, ch. 23.—ED.]]

Tiahuanacu is interesting because it is possible that the elaborate
character of its symbolic sculpture may throw glimmerings of light on
remote history; but Sacsahuaman, the fortress overlooking the city of
Cuzco, is, without comparison, the grandest monument of an ancient
civilization in the New World. Like the Pyramids and the Coliseum,
it is imperishable. It consists of a fortified work 600 yards in
length, built of gigantic stones, in three lines, forming walls
supporting terraces and parapets arranged in salient and retiring
angles. This work defends the only assailable side of a position which
is impregnable, owing to the steepness of the ascent in all other
directions. The outer wall averages a height of 26 feet. Then there is
a terrace 16 yards across, whence the second wall rises to 18 feet.
The second terrace is six yards across, and the third wall averages a
height of 12 feet. The total height of the fortification is 56 feet.
The stones are of blue limestone, of enormous size and irregular in
shape, but fitted into each other with rare precision. One of the
stones is 27 feet high by 14, and stones 15 feet high by 12 are common
throughout the work.

At Ollantay-tampu the ruins are of various styles, but the later works
are raised on ancient cyclopean foundations.[1151] There are six
porphyry slabs 12 feet high by 6 or 7; stone beams 15 and 20 feet long;
stairs and recesses hewn out of the solid rock. Here, as at Tiahuanacu,
there were, according to Cieza de Leon,[1152] men and animals carved on
the stones, but they have disappeared. The same style of architecture,
though only in fragments, is met with further north.

East of the river Apurimac, and not far from the town of Abancay, there
are three groups of ancient monuments in a deep valley surrounded by
lofty spurs of the Andes. There is a great cyclopean wall, a series of
seats or thrones of various forms hewn out of the solid stone, and a
huge block carved on five sides, called the _Rumi-huasi_. The northern
face of this monolith is cut into the form of a staircase; on the east
there are two enormous seats separated by thick partitions, and on
the south there is a sort of lookout place, with a seat. Collecting
channels traverse the block, and join trenches or grooves leading to
two deep excavations on the western side. On this western side there
is also a series of steps, apparently for the fall of a cascade of
water connected with the sacrificial rites. Molina gives a curious
account of the water sacrifices of the Incas.[1153] The _Rumi-huasi_
seems to have been the centre of a great sanctuary, and to have been
used as an altar. Its surface is carved with animals amidst a labyrinth
of cavities and partition ridges. Its length is 20 feet by 14 broad,
and 12 feet high. Here we have, no doubt, a sacrificial altar of the
ancient people, on which the blood of animals and libations of _chicha_
flowed in torrents.[1154]

Spanish writers received statements from the Indians that one or other
of these cyclopean ruins was built by some particular Inca. Garcilasso
de la Vega even names the architects of the Cuzco fortress. But it is
clear from the evidence of the most careful investigators, such as
Cieza de Leon, that there was no real knowledge of their origin, and
that memory of the builders was either quite lost, or preserved in
vague, uncertain traditions.

The most ancient myth points to the region of Lake Titicaca as the
scene of the creative operations of a Deity, or miracle-working
Lord.[1155] This Deity is said to have created the sun, moon, and
stars, or to have caused them to rise out of Lake Titicaca. He also
created men of stone at Tiahuanacu, or of clay; making them pass
under the earth, and appear again out of caves, tree-trunks, rocks,
or fountains in the different provinces which were to be peopled by
their descendants. But this seems to be a later attempt to reconcile
the ancient Titicaca myth with the local worship of natural objects
as ancestors or founders of their race, among the numerous subjugated
tribes; as well as to account for the colossal statues of unknown
origin at Tiahuanacu. There are variations of the story, but there is
general concurrence in the main points: that the Deity created the
heavenly bodies and the human race, and that the ancient people, or
their rulers, were called _Pirua_. Tradition also seems to point to
regions south of the lake as the quarter whence the first settlers came
who worked out the earliest civilization.[1156] We may, in accordance
with all the indications that are left to us, connect the great god
_Illa Ticsi_ with the central figure of the Tiahuanacu sculpture,
and the kneeling worshippers with the rulers of all the nations and
tribes which had been subjugated by the _Hatun-runa_,[1157]—the great
men who had Pirua for their king, and who originally came from the
distant south. The Piruas governed a vast empire, erected imperishable
cyclopean edifices, and developed a complicated civilization, which
is dimly indicated to us by the numerous symbolical sculptures on the
monolith. They also, in a long course of years, brought wild plants
under cultivation, and domesticated the animals of the lofty Andean
plateau. But it is remarkable that the shores of Lake Titicaca, which
are almost treeless, and where corn will not ripen, should have been
chosen as the centre of this most ancient civilization. Yet the ruins
of Tiahuanacu conclusively establish the fact that the capital of the
Piruas was on the loftiest site ever selected for the seat of a great

The Amautas, or learned men of the later Inca period, preserved the
names of sovereigns of the Pirua dynasty, commencing with Pirua Manco,
and continuing for sixty-five generations. Lopez conjectures that
there was a change of dynasty after the eighteenth Pirua king, because
hitherto Montesinos, who has recorded the list, had always called each
successor son and heir, but after the eighteenth only heir. Hence he
thinks that a new dynasty of Amautas, or kings of the learned caste,
succeeded the Piruas. The only deeds recorded of this long line of
kings are their success in repelling invasions and their alterations of
the calendar. At length there appears to have been a general disruption
of the empire: Cuzco was nearly deserted, rebel leaders rose up in all
directions, the various tribes became independent, and the chief who
claimed to be the representative of the old dynasties was reduced to a
small territory to the south of Cuzco, in the valley of the Vilcamayu,
and was called “King of Tampu Tocco.” This state of disintegration is
said to have continued for twenty-eight generations, at the end of
which time a new empire began to be consolidated under the Incas, which
inherited the civilization and traditions of the ancient dynasties, and
succeeded to their power and dominion.

It was long believed that the lists of kings of the earlier dynasties
rested solely on the authority of Montesinos, and they consequently
received little credit. But recent research has brought to light
the work of another writer, who studied before Montesinos, and who
incidentally refers to two of the sovereigns in his lists.[1158] This
furnishes independent evidence that the catalogues of early kings had
been preserved orally or by means of _quipus_, and that they were in
existence when the Spaniards conquered Peru; thus giving weight to the
testimony of Montesinos.

The second myth of the Peruvians refers to the origin of the Incas,
who derived their descent from the kings of Tampu Tocco, and had their
original home at Paccari-tampu, in the valley of the Vilcamayu, south
of Cuzco. It is, therefore, an ancestral myth. It is related that
four brothers, with their four sisters, issued forth from apertures
(_Tocco_) in a cave at Paccari-tampu, a name which means “the abode
of dawn.” The brothers were called Ayar Manco, Ayar Cachi, Ayar Uchu,
and Ayar Sauca, names to which the Incas, in the time of Garcilasso
de la Vega, gave a fanciful meaning.[1159] One of the brothers showed
extraordinary prowess in hurling a stone from a sling. The others
became jealous, and, persuading Ayar Auca, the expert slingsman, to
return into the cave, they blocked the entrance with rocks. Ayar
Uchu was converted into a stone idol, on the summit of a hill near
Cuzco, called Huanacauri. Manco then advanced to Cuzco with his
youngest brother, and found that the place was occupied by a chief
named Alcaviza and his people. Here Manco established the seat of his
government, and the Alcaviza tribe appears to have submitted to him,
and to have lived side by side with the Incas for some generations. The
Huanacauri hill was considered the most sacred place in Peru; while
the _Tampu-tocco_, or cave at Paccari-tampu, was, through the piety of
descendants, faced with a masonry wall, having three windows lined with
plates of gold.

There is a third myth which seems to connect the ancient tradition
of Titicaca with the ancestral myth of the Incas. It is said that
long after the creation by the Deity, a great and beneficent being
appeared at Tiahuanacu, who divided the world among four kings: Manco
Ccapac, Colla, Tocay[1160] or Tocapo,[1161] and Pinahua.[1162] The
names Tuapaca, Arnauan,[1163] Tonapa,[1164] and Tarapaca occur in
connection with this being, while some authorities tell us that his
name was unknown. Betanzos says that he went from Titicaca to Cuzco,
where he set up a chief named Alcaviza, and that he advanced through
the country until he disappeared over the sea at Puerto Viejo. It is
also related that the people of Canas attacked him, but were converted
by a miracle, and that they built a great temple, with an image, at
Cacha, in honor of this being, or of his god Illa Ticsi Uira-cocha.
This temple now forms a ruin which in its structure and arrangement is
unique in Peru, and therefore deserves special attention.

The ruins of the temple of Cacha are in the valley of the Vilcamayu,
south of Cuzco. They were described by Garcilasso de la Vega, and
have been visited and carefully examined by Squier. The main temple
was 330 feet long by 87 broad, with wrought-stone walls and a steep
pitched roof. A high wall extended longitudinally through the centre
of the structure, consisting of a wrought-stone foundation, 8 feet
high and 5½ feet thick on the level of the ground, supporting an adobe
superstructure, the whole being 40 feet high. This wall was pierced
by 12 lofty doorways, 14 feet high. But midway there are sockets for
the reception of beams, showing the existence of a second story, as
described by Garcilasso. Between the transverse and outer walls there
were two series of pillars, 12 on each side, built like the transverse
wall, with 8 feet of wrought stone, and completed to a height of 22
feet with adobes. These pillars appear to have supported the second
floor, where, according to Garcilasso, there was a shrine containing
the statue of Uira-cocha. At right angles to the temple, Squier
discovered the remains of a series of supplemental edifices surrounding
courts, and built upon a terrace 260 yards long.

The peculiarities of the temple of Cacha consist in the use of rows
of columns to support a second floor, and in the great height of the
walls. In these respects it is unique, and if similar edifices ever
existed, they appear to have been destroyed previous to the rise of
the Inca empire. The Cacha temple belongs neither to the cyclopean
period of the Piruas nor to the Inca style of architecture. Connected
with the strange myth of the wandering prophet of Viracocha, it stands
by itself, as one of those unsolved problems which await future
investigation. The statue in the shrine on the upper story is described
by Cieza de Leon, who saw it.

Both the Titicaca and the Cacha myths have, in later times, been
connected and more or less amalgamated with the ancestral myth of the
Incas. Thus Garcilasso de la Vega makes Manco Ccapac come direct from
Titicaca; while Molina refers to him as one of the beings created
there, who went down through the earth and came up at Paccari-tampu.
Salcamayhua makes the being Tonapa, of the Cacha myth, arrive at Apu
Tampu, or Paccari-tampu, and leave a sacred sceptre there, called
_tupac yauri_, for Manco Ccapac. These are later interpolations, made
with the object of connecting the family myth of the Incas with more
ancient traditions. The wise men of the Inca system, through the care
of Spanish writers of the time of the conquest, have handed down these
three traditions and the catalogue of kings. The Titicaca myth tells us
of the Deity worshipped by the builders of Tiahuanacu, and the story of
the creation. The Cacha myth has reference to some great reformer of
very ancient times. The Paccari-tampu myth records the origin of the
Inca dynasty. Although they are overlaid with fables and miraculous
occurrences, the main facts touching the original home of Manco Ccapac
and his march to Cuzco are probably historical.

The catalogue of kings given by Montesinos, allowing an average of
twenty years for each, would place the commencement of the Pirua
dynasty in about 470 B.C.; in the days when the Greeks, under Cimon,
were defeating the Persians, and nearly a century after the death of
Sakya Muni in India. This early empire flourished for about 1,200
years, and the disruption took place in 830 A.D., in the days of King
Egbert. The disintegration continued for 500 years, and the rise of the
Incas under Manco was probably coeval with the days of St. Louis and
Henry III of England.[1165] By that time the country had been broken
up into separate tribes for 500 years, and the work of reunion, so
splendidly achieved by the Incas, was most arduous. At the same time,
the ancient civilization of the Piruas was partially inherited by the
various peoples whose ancestors composed their empire; so that the Inca
civilization was a revival rather than a creation.

The various tribes and nations of the Andes, separated from each other
by uninhabited wildernesses and lofty mountain chains, were clearly of
the same origin, speaking dialects of the same language. Since the fall
of the Piruas they had led an independent existence. Some had formed
powerful confederations, others were isolated in their valleys. But it
was only through much hard fighting and by consummate statesmanship
that the one small Inca lineage established, in a period of less than
three centuries, imperial dominion over the rest. It will be well, in
this place, to take a brief survey of the different nations which were
to form the empire of the Incas, and of their territories.

The central Andean region, which was the home of the imperial race
of Incas, extends from the water-parting between the sources of the
Ucayali and the basin of Lake Titicaca to the river Apurimac. It
includes wild mountain fastnesses, wide expanses of upland, grassy
slopes, lofty valleys such as that in which the city of Cuzco is built,
and fertile ravines, with the most lovely scenery. The inhabitants
composed four tribes: that of the Incas in the valley of the Vilcamayu,
of the Quichuas in the secluded ravines of the Apurimac tributaries,
and those of the Canas and Cauchis in the mountains bordering on the
Titicaca basin. These people average a height of 5 ft. 4 in., and are
strongly built. The nose is invariably aquiline, the mouth rather
large; the eyes black or deep brown, bright, and generally deep set,
with long fine lashes. The hair is abundant and long, fine, and of
a deep black-brown. The men have no beards. The skin is very smooth
and soft, and of a light coppery-brown color, the neck thick, and the
shoulders broad, with great depth of chest. The legs are well formed,
feet and hands very small. The Incas have the build and physique of

To the south of this cradle of the Inca race extended the region of
the Collas[1166] and allied tribes, including the whole basin of
Lake Titicaca, which is 12,000 feet above the level of the sea. The
Collas dwelt in stone huts, tended their flocks of llamas, and raised
crops of ocas, quinoas, and potatoes. They were divided into several
tribes, and were engaged in constant feuds, their arms being slings
and _ayllos_, or bolas. The Collas are remarkable for great length of
body compared with the thigh and leg, and they are the only people
whose thighs are shorter than their legs. Their build fits them for
excellence in mountain climbing and pedestrianism, and for the exercise
of extraordinary endurance.[1167] The homes of the Collas were around
the seat of ancient civilization at Tiahuanacu.

A remarkable race, apart from the Incas and Collas, of darker
complexion and more savage habits, dwelt and still dwell among the
vast beds of reeds in the southwestern angle of Lake Titicaca. They
are called Urus, and are probably descendants of an aboriginal people
who occupied the Titicaca basin before the arrival of the Hatun-runas
from the south. The Urus spoke a distinct language, called _Puquina_,
specimens of which have been preserved by Bishop Oré.[1168] The
ancestors of the Urus may have been the cromlech builders, driven
into the fastnesses of the lake when their country was occupied by
the more powerful invaders, who erected the imperishable monuments at
Tiahuanacu. These Urus are now lake-dwellers. Their homes consist of
large canoes, made of the tough reeds which cover the shallow parts of
the lake, and they live on fish, and on quinua and potatoes, which they
obtain by barter.

North of Cuzco there were several allied tribes, resembling the Incas
in physique and language, in a similar stage of civilization, and their
rivals in power. Beyond the Apurimac, and inhabiting the valleys of the
Andes thence to the Mantaro, was the important nation of the Chancas;
and still further north and west, in the valley of the Xauxa, was the
Huanca nation. Agricultural people and shepherds, forming _ayllus_, or
tribes of the Chancas and Huancas, occupied the ravines of the maritime
cordillera, and extended their settlements into several valleys of
the seacoast, between the Rimac and Nasca. These coast people of Inca
race, known as Chinchas, held their own against an entirely different
nation, of distinct origin and language, who occupied the northern
coast valleys from the Rimac to Payta, and also the great valley of
Huarca (the modern Cañete), where they had Chincha enemies both to
the north and south of them. These people were called _Yuncas_ by
their Inca conquerors. Their own name was Chimu, and the language
spoken by them was called _Mochica_. But this question relating to
the early inhabitants of the coast valleys of Peru, their origin and
civilization, is the most difficult in ancient Peruvian history, and
will require separate consideration.[1169]

[Illustration: INCA MANCO CCAPAC.

[After a cut in Marcoy’s _South America_, i. 210 (also in _Tour du
Monde_, 1863, p. 261), purporting to be drawn from a copy of the
taffeta roll containing the pedigree of the Incas, which, in evidence
of their claims, was sent by their descendants to the Spanish king
in 1603. This genealogical record contained the likenesses of the
successive Incas and their wives, and the original is said to have
disappeared. Mr. Markham supposes this roll to have been the original
of the portraits given in Herrera (see cut on p. 267 of the present
volume); but they are not the same, if Marcoy’s cuts are trustworthy.
A set of likenesses appeared in Ulloa’s _Relacion Histórica_ (Madrid,
1748), iv. 604; and these were the originals of the series copied
in the _Gentleman’s Mag._, 1751-1752, and thence are copied those
in Ranking. These do not correspond with those given by Marcoy. See
_post_, Vol. II., for a note on different series of portraits, and in
the same volume, pp. 515, 516, are portraits of Atahualpa. A portrait
of Manco Inca, killed 1546, is given in A. de Beauchamp’s _Histoire de
la Conquête du Pérou_ (Paris, 1808).—ED.]]

North of the Huanca nation, along the basin of the Marañon, there were
tribes which were known to the Incas by their head-dresses. These were
the Conchucus, Huamachucus, and Huacrachucus.[1170] Still further
north, in the region of the equator, was the powerful nation of Quitus.

All these nations of the Peruvian Andes appear to have once formed part
of the mighty prehistoric empire of the Pirhuas, and to have retained
much of the civilization of their ancestors during the subsequent
centuries of separate existence and isolation. This probably accounts
for the ease with which the Incas established their system of religion
and government throughout their new empire, after the conquests were
completed. The subjugated nations spoke dialects of the same language,
and inherited many of the usages and ideas of their conquerors. For
the same reason they were pretty equally matched as foes, and the
Incas secured the mastery only by dint of desperate fighting and great
political sagacity. But finally they did establish their superiority,
and founded a second great empire in Peru.

The history of the rise and progress of Inca power, as recorded by
native historians in their _quipus_, and retailed to us by Spanish
writers, is, on the whole, coherent and intelligible. Many blunders
were inevitable in conveying the information from the mouths of natives
to the Spanish inquirers, who understood the language imperfectly, and
whose objects often were to reach foregone conclusions. But certain
broad historical facts are brought out by a comparison of the different
authorities, the succession of the last ten sovereigns is determined
by a nearly complete consensus of evidence, and we can now relate the
general features of the rise of Inca ascendency in Peru with a certain
amount of confidence.

[Illustration: INCA YUPANQUI.

[After a cut in Marcoy, i. 214.—ED.]]

The Inca people were divided into small _ayllus_, or lineages,
when Manco Ccapac advanced down the valley of the Vilcamayu, from
Paccari-tampu, and forced the _ayllu_ of Alcaviza and the _ayllu_ of
Antasayac to submit to his sway. He formed the nucleus of his power
at Cuzco, the land of these conquered _ayllus_, and from this point
his descendants slowly extended their dominion. The chiefs of the
surrounding _ayllus_, called _Sinchi_ (literally, “strong”), either
submitted willingly to the Incas, or were subjugated. Sinchi Rocca, the
son, and Lloque Yupanqui, the grandson, of Manco, filled up a swamp on
the site of the present cathedral of Cuzco, planned out the city,[1171]
and their reigns were mainly occupied in consolidating the small
kingdom founded by their predecessor. Mayta Ccapac, the fourth Inca,
was also occupied in consolidating his power round Cuzco; but his son,
Ccapac Yupanqui, subdued the Quichuas to the westward, and extended his
sway as far as the pass of Vilcañota, overlooking the Collao, or basin
of Lake Titicaca. Inca Rocca, the next sovereign, made few conquests,
devoting his attention to the foundation of schools, the organization
of festivals and administrative government, and to the construction
of public works. His son, named Yahuar-huaccac, appears to have been
unfortunate. One authority says that he was surprised and killed, and
all agree that his reign was disastrous. For seven generations the
power and the admirable internal polity of the Incarial government
had been gradually organized and consolidated within a limited area.
The succeeding sovereigns were great conquerors, and their empire
was rapidly extended to the vast area which it had reached when the
Spaniards first appeared on the scene.

[Illustration: CUZCO.

[One of the cuts which did service in the Antwerp editions of Cieza de
Leon. There are various views in Squier’s _Peru_, pp. 427-445.—ED.]]

The son of Yahuar-huaccac assumed the name of the Deity, and called
himself Uira-cocha.[1172] Intervening in a war between the two
principal chiefs of the Collas, named Cari and Zapaña, Uira-cocha
defeated them in detail, and annexed the whole basin of Lake Titicaca
to his dominions. He also conquered the lovely valley of Yucay, on the
lower course of the Vilcamayu, whither he retired to end his days. The
eldest son of Uira-cocha, named Urco, was incompetent or unworthy, and
was either obliged to abdicate[1173] in favor of his brother Yupanqui,
the favorite hero of Inca history, or was slain.[1174] It was a moment
when the rising empire needed the services of her ablest sons. She
was about to engage in a death-struggle with a neighbor as powerful
and as civilized as herself. The kingdom of the Chancas, commencing
on the banks of the Apurimac, extended far to the east and north,
including many of the richest valleys of the Andes. Their warlike king,
Uscavilca, had already subdued the Quichuas, who dwelt in the upper
valleys of the Apurimac tributaries to the southward, and was advancing
on Cuzco, when Yupanqui pushed aside the imbecile Urco, and seized
the helm. The fate of the Incas was hanging on a thread. The story is
one of thrilling interest as told in the pages of Betanzos, but all
authorities dwell more or less on this famous Chanca war. The decisive
battle was fought outside the Huaca-puncu, the sacred gate of Cuzco.
The result was long doubtful. Suddenly, as the shades of evening were
closing over the Yahuar-pampa,—“the field of blood,”—a fresh army fell
upon the right flank of the Chanca host, and the Incas won a great
victory. So unexpected was this onslaught that the very stones on the
mountain sides were believed to have been turned into men. It was the
armed array of the insurgent Quichuas who had come by forced marches
to the help of their old masters. The memory of this great struggle
was fresh in men’s minds when the Spaniards arrived, and as the new
conquerors passed over the battlefield, on their way to Cuzco, they saw
the stuffed skins of the vanquished Chancas set up as memorials by the


[After a cut given by Ruge, and showing figures from an old Peruvian

The subjugation of the Chancas, with their allies the Huancas, led to a
vast extension of the Inca empire, which now reached to the shores of
the Pacific; and the last years of Yupanqui were passed in the conquest
of the alien coast nation, ruled over by a sovereign known as the
Chimu. Thus the reign of the Inca Yupanqui marks a great epoch. He beat
down all rivals, and converted the Cuzco kingdom into a vast empire. He
received the name of Pachacutec, or “he who changes the world,” a name
which, according to Montesinos, had on eight previous occasions been
conferred upon sovereigns of the more ancient dynasties.

Tupac Inca Yupanqui, the son and successor of Pachacutec, completed
the subjugation of the coast valleys, extended his conquests beyond
Quito on the north and to Chile as far as the river Maule in the south,
besides penetrating far into the eastern forests.

Huayna Ccapac, the son of Tupac Inca Yupanqui, completed and
consolidated the conquests of his father. He traversed the valleys of
the coast, penetrated to the southern limit of Chile, and fought a
memorable battle on the banks of the “lake of blood” (Yahuar-cocha),
near the northern frontier of Quito. After a long reign,[1175] the last
years of which were passed in Quito, Huayna Ccapac died in November,
1525. His eldest legitimate son, named Huascar, succeeded him at Cuzco.
But Atahualpa, his father’s favorite, was at Quito with the most
experienced generals. Haughty messages passed between the brothers,
which were followed by war. Huascar’s armies were defeated in detail,
and eventually the generals of Atahualpa took the legitimate Inca
prisoner, entered Cuzco, and massacred the family and adherents of
Huascar.[1176] The successful aspirant to the throne was on his way to
Cuzco, in the wake of his generals, when he encountered Pizarro and the
Spanish invaders at Caxamarca. This war of succession would not, it is
probable, have led to any revolutionary change in the general policy of
the empire. Atahualpa would have established his power and continued to
rule, just as his ancestor Pachacutec did, after the dethronement of
his brother Urco.[1177]

The succession of the Incas from Manco Ccapac to Atahualpa was
evidently well known to the Amautas, or learned men of the empire,
and was recorded in their _quipus_ with precision, together with
less certain materials respecting the more ancient dynasties. Many
blunders were committed by the Spanish inquirers in putting down the
historical information received from the Amautas, but on the whole
there is general concurrence among them.[1178] Practically the Spanish
authorities agree, and it is clear that the native annalists possessed
a single record, while the apparent discrepancies are due to blunders
of the Spanish transcribers. The twelve Incas from Manco Ccapac to
Huascar may be received as historical personages whose deeds were had
in memory at the time of the Spanish invasion, and were narrated to
those among the conquerors who sought for information from the Amautas.

  A.D.                             | A.D.
  1240—Manco Ccapac.               | 1360—Yahuar-huaccac.
  1260—Sinchi Rocca.               | 1380—Uira-cocha.
  1280—Lloque Yupanqui.            | 1400—Pachacutec Yupanqui.
  1300—Mayta Ccapac.               | 1440—Tupac Yupanqui.
  1320—Ccapac Yupanqui.            | 1480—Huayna Ccapac.
  1340—Inca Rocca.                 | 1523—Inti Cusi Hualpa, or Huascar.

The religion of the Incas consisted in the worship of the supreme
being of the earlier dynasties, the Illa Ticsi Uira-cocha of the
Pirhuas. This simple faith was overlaid by a vast mass of superstition,
represented by the cult of ancestors and the cult of natural objects.
To this was superadded the belief in the ideals or souls of all
animated things, which ruled and guided them, and to which men
might pray for help. The exact nature of this belief in ideals, as
it presented itself to the people themselves, is not at all clear.
It prevailed among the uneducated. Probably it was the idea to
which dreams give rise,—the idea of a double nature, of a tangible
and a phantom being, the latter mysterious and powerful, and to be
propitiated. The belief in this double being was extended to all
animated nature, for even the crops had their spiritual doubles, which
it was necessary to worship and propitiate.

But the religion of the Incas and of learned men, or Amautas, was a
worship of the Supreme Cause of all things, the ancient God of the
Titicaca myth, combined with veneration for the sun[1179] as the
ancestor of the reigning dynasty, for the other heavenly bodies, and
for the _malqui_, or remains of their forefathers. This feeling of
veneration for the sun, closely connected with the beneficent work of
the venerated object as displayed in the course of the seasons, led to
the growth of an elaborate ritual and to the celebration of periodical

The weight of evidence is decisively in the direction of a belief on
the part of the Incas that a Supreme Being existed, which the sun must
obey, as well as all other parts of the universe. This subordination
of the sun to the Creator of all things was inculcated by successive
Incas. Molina says, “They did not know the sun as their Creator, but
as created by the Creator.” Salcamayhua tells us how the Inca Mayta
Ccapac taught that the sun and moon were made for the service of men,
and that the chief of the Collas, addressing the Inca Uira-cocha,
exclaimed, “Thou, O powerful lord of Cuzco, dost worship the teacher of
the universe, while I, the chief of the Collas, worship the Sun.” The
evidence on the subject of the religion of the Incas, collected by the
Viceroy Toledo, showed that they worshipped the Creator of all things,
though they also venerated the sun; and Montesinos mentions an edict
of the Inca Pachacutec, promulgated with the object of enforcing the
worship of the Supreme God above all other deities. The speech of Tupac
Inca Yupanqui, showing that the sun was not God, but was obeying laws
ordained by God, is recorded by Acosta, Blas Valera, and Balboa, and
was evidently deeply impressed on the minds of their Inca informers.
This Inca compared the sun to a tethered beast, which always makes the
same round; or to a dart, which goes where it is sent, and not where
it wishes. The prayers from the Inca ritual, given by Molina, are
addressed to the god Ticsi Uira-cocha; the Sun, Moon, and Thunder being
occasionally invoked in conjunction with the principal deity.

The worship of this creating God, the Dweller in Space, the Teacher
and Ruler of the Universe, was, then, the religion of the Incas which
had been inherited from their distant ancestry of the cyclopean age.
Around this primitive cult had grown up a supplemental worship of
creatures created by the Deity, such as the heavenly bodies, and of
objects supposed to represent the first ancestors of _ayllus_, or
tribes, as well as of the prototypes of things on whom man’s welfare
depended, such as flocks and animals of the chase, fruit and corn.
It has been asserted that the Deity, the Uira-cocha himself, did not
generally receive worship, and that there was only one temple in
honor of God throughout the empire, at a place called Pachacamac, on
the coast. But this is clearly a mistake. The great temple at Cuzco,
with its gorgeous display of riches, was called the “Ccuri-cancha
Pacha-yachachicpa huasin,” which means “the place of gold, the abode
of the Teacher of the Universe.” An elliptical plate of gold was fixed
on the wall to represent the Deity, flanked on either side by metal
representations of his creatures, the Sun and Moon. The chief festival
in the middle of the year, called Ccapac Raymi, was instituted in
honor of the supreme Creator, and when, from time to time, his worship
began to be neglected by the people, who were apt to run after the
numerous local deities, it was again and again enforced by their more
enlightened rulers. There were Ccuri-canchas for the service of God, at
Vilca and in other centres of vice-regal rule, besides the grand fane
of Cuzco.[1180]

[Illustration: TEMPLE OF THE SUN.

[After a cut in Marcoy, i. p. 234, where it is said to be drawn from
existing remains and printed and manuscript authorities. The modern
structure of the convent of Santo Domingo, built in 1534, is at A,
which contains in its construction some remains of the walls of the
older edifice. B is a cloister. C, an outer court. D, fountains for
purification. E are streets leading to the great square of Cuzco. F,
the garden where golden flowers were once placed; now used as a kitchen
garden. G, the chapel dedicated to the moon. H, chapel dedicated to
Venus and the Milky Way. I, chapel dedicated to thunder and lightning.
J, chapel dedicated to the rainbow. K, council hall of the grand
pontiff and priests of the sun. L, the apartments of the priests and
servants. See the view of the temple from Montanus in Vol. II. p. 555,
and a modern view in Wiener’s. _Pérou et Bolivie_, p. 318. Other plans
and views are in Squier’s _Peru_, pp. 430-445.—ED.]]

Although the first and principal invocations were addressed to the
Creator, prayers were also offered up to the Sun and Moon, to the
Thunder, and to ancestors who were called upon to intercede with the
Deity.[1181] The latter worship formed a very distinctive feature
in the religious observances of nearly all the Incarial tribes. The
_Paccarina_, or forefather of the _ayllu_, or lineage, was often some
natural object converted into a _huaca_, or deity. The _Paccarina_ of
the Inca family was the Sun; with his sister and spouse, the Moon.
A vast hierarchy was set apart to conduct the ceremonies connected
with their worship, and hundreds of virgins, called _Aclla-cuna_,
were secluded and devoted to duties relating to the observances
in the Sun temples. Worship was also offered to the actual bodies
of the ancestors, called _malqui_, which were preserved with the
greatest care, in caves called _machay_. On solemn festivals each
_ayllu_ assembled with its _malqui_. The bodies of the Incas were all
preserved, clothed as when alive, and surrounded by their special
furniture and utensils. Three of these Inca mummies, with two mummies
of queens, were discovered by Polo de Ondegardo, then corregidor of
Cuzco, in 1559, and were sent by him to Lima for interment. Those who
saw them[1182] reported that they were so well preserved that they
appeared to be alive; that they were in a sitting posture; that the
eyes were made of gold, and that they were arrayed in the insignia
of their rank.[1183] The _Paccarina_, or founder of the family, and
the _malquis_, or mummies of ancestors, thus formed the objects of a
distinct belief and religion, based undoubtedly on the conviction that
every human being has a spiritual as well as a corporeal existence;
that the former is immortal, and that it is represented by the
_malqui_. The appearance of the departed in dreams and visions was not
an unreasonable ground for this belief, which certainly was the most
deeply rooted of all the religious ideas of the Peruvian people. The
_paccarina_, or ancestral deities, were innumerable. There was one or
more that received worship in every _tribe_, and was represented by a
rock, or some other natural object. Many were believed to be oracles.
Some, such as _Catequilla_, or _Apu-catequilla_,[1184] the oracle of
the Conchucu tribe, have been brought into undue prominence through
being mentioned by Spanish writers.


[After a drawing by Mr. Markham of the plate itself, made at Lima in
1853. Mr. Markham’s drawing is reproduced in Bollaert’s _Antiquarian
Researches_, p. 146. The disk is 5-3/10 inches in diameter. The signs
in the outer ring are supposed to represent the months.—ED.]]

Religious ceremonials were closely connected with the daily life of
the people, and especially with the course of the seasons and the
succession of months, as they affected the operations of agriculture.
It was important to fix the equinoxes and solstices, and astronomical
knowledge was a part of the priestly office. There were names for
many of the stars; their motions were watched as well as those of the
sun and moon; and though a record of the extent of the astronomical
knowledge of the Incas has not been preserved, it is certain that they
watched the time of the solstices and equinoxes with great care, and
that they distinguished between the lunar and solar years. Pillars were
erected to determine the time of the solstices, eight on the east and
eight on the west side of Cuzco, in double rows, four and four, two low
between two higher ones, twenty feet apart. They were called _Sucanca_,
from _suca_, a ridge or furrow, the alternate light and shade between
the pillars appearing like furrows. A stone column in the centre of a
level platform, called _Inti-huatana_, was used to ascertain the time
of the equinoxes. A line was drawn across the platform from east to
west, and watch was kept to observe when the shadow of the pillar was
on this line from sunrise to sunset, and there was no shadow at noon.
The principal _Inti-huatana_ was in the square before the great temple
at Cuzco; but there are several others in different parts of Peru.
The most perfect of these observatories is at Pissac, in the valley
of Vilcamayu.[1185] There is another at Ollantay-tampu, a fourth near
Abancay, and a fifth at Sillustani in the Collao.

There is reason to believe that the Incas used a zodiac with twelve
signs, corresponding with the months of their solar year. The gold
plates which they wore on their breasts were stamped with features
representing the sun, surrounded by a border of what are probably
either zodiacal signs or signs for the months. Whether the ecliptic, or
_huatana_, was thus divided or not, it is certain that the sun’s motion
was observed with great care, and that the calendar was thus fixed with
some approach to accuracy.[1186] The year, or _Huata_, was divided into
twelve _Quilla_, or moon revolutions, and these were made to correspond
with the solar year by adding five days, which were divided among the
twelve months. A further correction was made every fourth year. Solar
observations were taken and recorded every month.

The year commenced on the 22d of June, with the winter solstice, and
there were four great festivals at the occurrence of the solstices and

The celebrations of the solar year and of the seasons, in their
bearings on agriculture, were identical with the chief religious
observances. The Raymi, or festival of the winter solstice, in the
first month, when the granaries were filled after harvest, was
established in special honor of the Sun. Sacrifices of llamas and
lambs, and of the first-fruits of the earth, were offered up to the
images of the Supreme Being, of the Sun, and of Thunder, which were
placed in the open space in front of the great temple; as well as to
the _huaca_, or stone representing the brother of Manco Ccapac, on the
hill of Huanacauri. There was also a procession of the priests and
people as far as the pass of Vilcañota, leading into the basin of Lake
Titicaca, sacrifices being offered up at various spots on the road.
The sacrifices were accompanied by prayers, and concluded with songs,
called _huayllina_, and dancing. Then followed the ploughing month,
when it is said that the Inca himself opened the season by ploughing a
furrow with a golden plough in the field behind the Colcampata palace,
on the height above Cuzco.

The question here arises whether human sacrifices were offered up,
in the Inca ritual. This has been stated by Molina, Cieza de Leon,
Montesinos, Balboa, Ondegardo, and Acosta, and indignantly denied by
Garcilasso de la Vega. Cieza de Leon admits that there were occasional
human sacrifices, but adds that their numbers and the frequency
of such offerings have been grossly exaggerated by the Spaniards.
If the sacrifices had been offered under the idea of atonement or
expiation, it might well be expected that human sacrifices would be
included. Under such ideas, men offered up what they valued most, just
as Abraham was prepared to sacrifice his son, as Jephthah dedicated
his daughter as a burnt-offering to Jehovah, and as the king of Moab
sacrificed his eldest son to Chemosh.[1188] But, except in the Situa,
when the idea was to efface sins by washing, the sacrifices of the
Incas were offerings of thanksgiving, not of expiation or atonement.
The mistake of the five writers who supposed that the Incas offered
human sacrifices was due to their ignorance of the language.[1189] The
perpetration of human sacrifice was opposed to the religious ideas of
the ancient Peruvians, and formed no part of their ceremonial worship.
Their ritual was almost exclusively devoted to thanksgiving and
rejoicings over the beneficence of their Deity. The notion of expiation
formed no part of their creed, while the destruction involved in such
a system was opposed to their economic and carefully regulated civil

The second great festival, called Situa, was celebrated at the vernal
equinox. This was the commencement of the rainy season, when sickness
prevailed, and the object of the ceremony was to pray to the Creator
to drive diseases and evils from the land. In the centre of the great
square of Cuzco a body of four hundred warriors was assembled, fully
armed for war. One hundred faced towards the Chincha-suyu road, one
hundred faced towards Anti-suyu, one hundred towards Colla-suyu, and
one hundred towards Cunti-suyu,—the four great divisions of the empire.
The Inca and the high-priest, with their attendants, then came from
the temple, and shouted, “Go forth all evils!” On the instant the
warriors ran at great speed towards the four quarters, shouting the
same sentence as they went, until they each came to another party,
which took up the cry, and the last parties reached the banks of great
rivers, the Apurimac or Vilcamayu, where they bathed and washed their
arms. The rivers were supposed to carry the evils away to the ocean.
As the warriors ran through the streets of Cuzco, all the people came
to their doors, shaking their clothes, and shouting, “Let the evils be
gone!” In the evening they all bathed; then they lighted great torches
of straw, called _pancurcu_, and, marching in procession out of the
city, they threw them into the rivers, believing that thus nocturnal
evils were banished. At night, each family partook of a supper
consisting of pudding made of coarsely ground maize, called _sancu_,
which was also smeared over their faces and the lintels of their
doorways, then washed off and thrown into the rivers with the cry, “May
we be free from sickness, and may no maladies enter our houses!” The
_huacas_ and _malquis_ were also bathed at the feast of Situa. In the
following days all the malquis were paraded, and there were sacrifices,
with feasting and dancing. A stone fountain, plated with gold, stood
in the great square of Cuzco, and the Inca, on this and other solemn
festivals, poured _chicha_ into it from a golden vase, which was
conducted by subterranean pipes to the temple.

The third great festival at the summer solstice, called _Huaracu_,
was the occasion on which the youths of the empire were admitted
to a rank equivalent to knighthood, after passing through a severe
ordeal. The Inca and his court were assembled in front of the temple.
Thither the youths were conducted by their relations, with heads
closely shorn, and attired in shirts of fine yellow wool edged with
black, and white mantles fastened round their necks by woollen cords
with red tassels. They made their reverences to the Inca, offered up
prayers, and each presented a llama for sacrifice.[1191] Proceeding
thence to the hill of Huanacauri, where the venerated _huaca_ to Ayar
Uchu was erected, they there received _huaras_, or breeches made of
aloe fibres, from the priest. This completed their manly attire, and
they returned home to prepare for the ordeal. A few days afterwards
they were assembled in the great square, received a spear, called
_yauri_, and _usutas_ or sandals, and were severely whipped to prove
their endurance. The young candidates were then sent forth to pass the
night in a desert about a league from Cuzco. Next day they had to run
a race. At the farther end of the course young girls were stationed,
called _ñusta-calli-sapa_,[1192] with jars of chicha, who cried, “Come
quickly, youths, for we are waiting!” but the course was a long one,
and many fell before they reached the goal. They also had to rival each
other in assaults and feats of arms. Finally their ears were bored, and
they received ear-pieces of gold and other marks of distinction from
the Inca. The last ceremony was that of bathing in the fountain called
Calli-puquio. About eight hundred youths annually passed through this
ordeal, and became adult warriors, at Cuzco, and similar ceremonies
were performed in all the provinces of the empire.

In the month following on the summer solstice, there was a curious
religious ceremony known as the water sacrifice. The cinders and ashes
of all the numerous sacrifices throughout the year were preserved.
Dams were constructed across the rivers which flow through Cuzco, in
order that the water might rush down with great force when they were
taken away. Prayers and sacrifices were offered up, and then a little
after sunset all the ashes were thrown into the rivers and the dams
were removed. Then the burnt-sacrifices were hurried down with the
stream, closely followed by crowds of people on either bank, with
blazing torches, as far as the bridge at Ollantay-tampu. There two bags
of coca were offered up by being hurled into the river, and thence
the sacrifices were allowed to flow onwards to the sea. This curious
ceremony seems to have been intended not only as a thank-offering
to the Deity, but as an acknowledgment of his omnipresence. As the
offerings flowed with the stream, they knew not whither, yet went to
Him, so his pervading spirit was everywhere, alike in parts unknown as
in the visible world of the Incas.

A sacred fire was kept alive throughout the year by the virgins of the
sun, and the ceremony of its annual renewal at the autumnal equinox was
the fourth great festival, called _Mosoc-nina_, or the “new fire.” Fire
was produced by collecting the sun’s rays on a burnished metal mirror,
and the ceremony was the occasion of prayers and sacrifices. The year
ended with the rejoicing of the harvest months, accompanied by songs,
dances, and other festivities.

Besides the periodical festivals, there were also religious observances
which entered into the life of each family. Every household had one or
more _lares_, called _Conopa_, representing maize, fruit, a llama, or
other object on which its welfare depended. The belief in divination
and soothsaying, the practice of fasting followed by confession, and
worship of the family malqui, all gave employment to the priesthood.

The complicated religious ceremonies connected with the periodical
festivals, the daily worship, and the requirements of private
families gave rise to the growth of a very numerous caste of priests
and diviners. The pope of this hierarchy, the chief pontiff, was
called _Uillac Umu_, words meaning “The head which gives counsel,”
he who repeats to the people the utterances of the Deity. He was the
most learned and virtuous of the priestly caste, always a member of
the reigning family, and next in rank to the Inca. The _Villcas_,
equivalent to the bishops of a Christian hierarchy, were the chief
priests in the provinces, and during the greatest extension of the
empire they numbered ten. The ordinary ministers of religion were
divided into sacrificers, worshippers and confessors, diviners, and
recluses.[1193] It was indeed inevitable that, with a complicated
ritual and a gorgeous ceremonial worship, a populous class of priests
and their assistants, of numerous grades and callings, should come into

       *       *       *       *       *

But the intellectual movement and vigor of the Incas were not confined
to the priesthood. The Amautas or learned men, the poets and reciters
of history, the musical and dramatic composers, the Quipu-camayoc, or
recorders and accountants, were not necessarily, nor indeed generally,
of the priestly caste. It is probable that the Amautas, or men of
learning, formed a separate caste devoted to the cultivation of
literature and the extension of the language. Our knowledge of their
progress and of the character of their traditions and poetic culture is
very limited, owing to the destruction of records and the loss of oral
testimony. The language has been preserved, and that will tell us much;
but only a few literary compositions have been saved from the wreck of
the Inca empire. Quichua was the name given to the general language of
the Incas by Friar Domingo de San Tomas, the first Spaniard who studied
it grammatically, possibly owing to his having acquired it from people
belonging to the Quichua tribe. The name continued to be used, and
has been generally adopted.[1195] Garcilasso de la Vega speaks of a
separate court language of the Incas, but the eleven words he gives as
belonging to it are ordinary Quichua words, and I concur with Hervas
and William von Humboldt in the conclusion that this court language
of Garcilasso had no real existence.[1196] It is not mentioned by any
other authority.

[Illustration: THE QUIPUS.

[Following a sketch in Rivero and Tschudi, as reproduced by Helps.
It shows a quipu found in an ancient cemetery near Pachacamac. There
are other cuts in Wiener’s _Pérou et Bolivie_, p. 777; Tylor’s _Early
Hist. Mankind_, 156; Kingsborough’s _Mexico_, vol. iv.; Silvestre’s
_Universal Palæography_; and Léon de Rosny’s _Écritures figuratives_,
Paris, 180. Cf. Acosta, vi. cap. 8, and other early authorities
mentioned in Prescott (Kirk’s ed. i. 125); Markham’s _Cieza_, 291;
D. Wilson’s _Prehistoric Man_, ii. ch. 18; _Fourth Rept. Bureau of
Ethnology_ (Washington), p. 79; Bollaert’s description in _Memoirs
read before the Anthropological Society of London_, i. 188, and iii.
351; A. Bastian’s _Culturländer des alten America_, iii. 73; Brasseur
de Bourbourg’s _MS. Troano_, i. 18; Stevens’s _Flint Chips_, 465; T.
P. Thompson’s “Knot Records of Peru” in _Westminster Review_, xi.
228; but in the separate print called _History of the Quipos, or
Peruvian Knot-records, as given by the early Spanish Historians, with a
Description of a supposed Specimen_, assigned to Al. Strong by Leclerc,
No. 2413. The description in Frezier’s _Voyage to the South Sea_ (1717)
is one of the earliest among Europeans. Leclerc, No. 2412, mentions a
_Letter a apologetica_ (Napoli, 1750), pertaining to the quipus, but
seems uncertain as to its value.—ED.]]

It was the custom for the Yaravecs or Bards to recite the deeds of
former Incas on public occasions, and these rhythmical narratives
were orally preserved and handed down by the learned men. Cieza de
Leon tells us that “by this plan, from the mouths of one generation
the succeeding one was taught, and they could relate what took place
five hundred years ago as if only ten years had passed. This was the
order that was taken to prevent the great events of the empire from
falling into oblivion.” These historical recitations and songs must
have formed the most important part of Inca literature. One specimen
of imaginative poetry has been preserved by Blas Valero, in which
the thunder, followed by rain, is likened to a brother breaking his
sister’s pitcher; just as in the Scandinavian mythology the legend
which is the original source of our nursery rhyme of Jack and Jill
employs the same imagery. Pastoral duties are embodied in some of
the later Quichuan dramatic literature, and numerous love songs and
_yaravies_, or elegies, have been handed down orally, or preserved in
old manuscripts. The dances were numerous and complicated, and the
Incas had many musical instruments.[1197] Dramatic representations,
both of a tragic and comic character, were performed before the
Inca court. The statement of Garcilasso de la Vega to this effect
is supported by the independent evidence of Cieza de Leon and of
Salcamayhua, and is placed beyond a doubt by the sentence of the judge,
Areche, in 1781, who prohibited the celebration of these dramas by the
Indians. Father Iteri also speaks of the “Quichua dramas transmitted to
this day (1790) by an unbroken tradition.” But only one such drama has
been handed down to our own time. It is entitled Ollantay, and records
an historical event of the time of Yupanqui Pachacutec. In its present
form, as regards division into scenes and stage directions, it shows
later Spanish manipulation. The question of its antiquity has been much
discussed; but the final result is that Quichua scholars believe most
of its dialogues and speeches and all the songs to be remnants of the
Inca period.

[Illustration: INCA SKULL.

[After the plate in the _Contrib. to N. Am. Ethnology_, vol. v.
(Powell’s survey, 1882), showing the trephined skull brought from Peru
by Squier, in the Army Med. Museum, Washington. Squier in his _Peru_,
p. 457, gives another cut, with comments of Broca and others in the
appendix. Cf. in the same volume a paper on “Prehistoric Trephining and
Cranial Amulets,” by R. Fletcher, and a paper on “Trephining in the
Neolithic Period,” in the _Journal of the Anthropological Institute_,
Nov., 1887. Cf. on Peruvian skulls Rudolf Virchow, in the third volume
of the _Necropolis of Ancon_; T. J. Hutchinson in the _Journal of the
Anthropological Institute_, iii. 311; iv. 2; Busk and Davis in _Ibid._
iii. 86, 94; Wilson’s _Prehistoric Man_, ii. ch. 20; C. C. Blake, in
_Transactions Ethnolog. Soc._, n. s., ii. There are two collections
of Peruvian skulls in the Peabody Museum at Cambridge, Mass.,—one
presented by Squier, the other secured by the Haasler Expedition. (Cf.
_Reports_ VII. and IX. of the museum.) Wiener (_L’Empire des Incas_,
p. 81) cites a long list of writers on the artificial deforming of the

The system of record by the use of _quipus_, or knots, was primarily
a method of numeration and of keeping accounts. To cords of various
colors smaller lines were attached in the form of fringe, on which
there were knots in an almost infinite variety of combination. The
_Quipu-camayoc_, or accountant, could by this means keep records
under numerous heads, and preserve the accounts of the empire. The
_quipus_ represented a far better system of keeping accounts than the
exchequer tallies which were used in England for the same purpose
as late as the early part of the present century. But the question
of the extent to which historical events could be recorded by this
system of knots is a difficult one. We have the direct assertions
of Montesinos, Salcamayhua, the anonymous Jesuit, Blas Valera, and
others, that not only narratives, but songs, were preserved by means of
the _quipus_. Von Tschudi believed that by dint of the uninterrupted
studies of experts during several generations, the power of expression
became developed more and more, and that eventually the art of the
_Quipu-camayoc_ reached a high state of perfection. It may reasonably
be assumed that with some help from oral commentary, codes of laws,
historical events, and even poems were preserved in the _quipus_.
It was through this substitute for writing that Montesinos and the
anonymous Jesuit received their lists of ancient dynasties, and Blas
Valera distinctly says that the poem he has preserved was taken from
_quipus_. Still it must have been rather a system of mnemonics than of
complete record. Molina tells us that the events in the reigns of all
the Incas, as well as early traditions, were represented by paintings
on boards, in a temple near Cuzco, called _Poquen cancha_.

The diviners used certain incantations to cure the sick, but the
healing art among the Incas was really in the hands of learned men.
Those _Amautas_ who devoted themselves to the study of medicine had, as
Acosta bears testimony, a knowledge of the properties of many plants.
The febrifuge virtues of the precious _quinquina_ were, it is true,
unknown, or only locally known. But the _Amautas_ used plants with
tonic properties for curing fevers; and they were provided with these
and other drugs by an itinerant caste, called Calahuayas or Charisanis,
who went into the forests to procure them. The descendants of these
itinerant doctors still wander over South America, selling drugs.[1198]
The discovery of a skull in a cemetery at Yucay, which exhibits clear
evidence of a case of trepanning before death, proves the marvellous
advances made by the Incas in surgical science.

[Illustration: RUINS AT CHUCUITO.

[After a drawing in Squier’s _Primeval Monuments of Peru_, p. 17,
showing a wall of hewn stones, with an entrance. The enclosed rectangle
is 65 feet on each side,—“a type of an advanced class of megalithic
monuments by no means uncommon in the highlands of Peru.” Cf. Squier’s
_Peru_, p. 354.—ED.]]

The sovereign was the centre of all civilization and all knowledge.
All literary culture, all the religious ceremonial which had grown
up with the extension of the empire, had the Inca for their centre,
as well as all the military operations and all laws connected with
civil administration. Originally but the _Sinchi_, or chief of a small
_ayllu_, the greatness of successive Incas grew with the extension of
their power, until at last they were looked upon almost as deities by
their subjects. The greatest lords entered their presence in a stooping
position and with a small burden on their backs. The imperial family
rapidly increased. Each Inca left behind him numerous younger sons,
whose descendants formed an _ayllu_, so that the later sovereigns
were surrounded by a numerous following of their own kindred, from
among whom able public servants were selected. The sovereign was the
“_Sapallan Inca_,” the sole and sovereign lord, and with good reason he
was called _Huaccha-cuyac_, or friend of the poor.

Enormous wealth was sent to Cuzco as tribute from all parts of the
empire, for the service of the court and of the temples. The special
insignia of the sovereign were the _llautu_, or crimson fringe
round the forehead, the wing feathers (black and white) of the
alcamari, an Andean vulture, on the head, forming together the _suntu
paucar_ or sacred head-dress; the _huaman champi_, or mace, and the
_ccapac-yauri_, or sceptre. His dress consisted of shirts of cotton,
tunics of dyed cotton in patterns, with borders of small gold and
silver plates or feathers, and mantles of fine vicuña wool woven and
dyed. The Incas, as represented in the pictures at Cuzco,[1199] painted
soon after the conquest, wore golden breastplates suspended round their
necks, with the image of the sun stamped upon them;[1200] and the
_Ccoya_, or queen, wore a large golden _topu_, or pin, with figures
engraved on the head, which secured her _lliclla_, or mantle. All
the utensils of the palace were of gold; and so exclusively was that
precious metal used in the service of the court and the temple that
a garden outside the Ccuri-cancha was planted with models of leaves,
fruit, and stalks made of pure gold.[1201]

[Illustration: LAKE TITICACA.

[After a cut in Ruge’s _Gesch. des Zeital. der Entdeckungen_. Squier
explored the lake with Raimond in 1864-65, and bears testimony to the
general accuracy of the survey by J. B. Pentland, British consul in
Bolivia (1827-28 and 1837), published by the British admiralty; but
Squier points out some defects of his survey in his _Remarques sur la
Géog. du Pérou_, p. 14, and in _Journal Amer. Geog. Soc._, iii. There
is another view in Wiener’s _Pérou et Bolivie_, p. 441. Cf. Markham’s
_Cieza de Leon_, 370; Marcoy’s Voyage; Baldwin’s _Ancient America_,
228; and Philippson’s _Gesch. des neu. Zeit._, i. 240. Squier in his
_Peru_ (pp. 308-370) gives various views, plans of the ruins, and a map
of the lake.—ED.]]

Two styles are discernible in Inca architecture. The earliest is
an imitation of the cyclopean works of their ancestors on a smaller
scale. The walls were built with polygonal-shaped stones with rough
surfaces, but the stones were much reduced in size. Rows of doorways
with slanting sides and monolithic lintels adorn the façades; while
recesses for _huacas_, shaped like the doorways, occur in the interior
walls. Part of the palace called the Collcampata, at the foot of the
Cuzco fortress, the buildings which were added to the cyclopean work at
Ollantay tampu, the older portion of the Ccuri-cancha temple at Cuzco,
the palaces at Chinchero and Rimac-tampu, are in this earlier style.
The later style is seen mainly at Cuzco, where the stones are laid in
regular courses. No one has described this superb masonry better than
Squier.[1202] No cement or mortar of any kind was used, the edifices
depending entirely on the accuracy of their stone-fitting for their
stability. The palaces and temples were built round a court-yard,
and a hall of vast dimensions, large enough for ceremonies on an
extensive scale, was included in the plan of most of the edifices.
These halls were 200 paces long by 50 to 60 broad. The dimensions of
the Ccuri-cancha temple were 296 feet by 52, and the southwest end
was apsidal. Serpents are carved in relief on some of the stones and
lintels of the Cuzco palaces. Hence the palace of Huayna Ccapac is
called Amaru-cancha.[1203] At Hatun-colla, near Lake Titicaca, there
are two sandstone pillars, probably of Inca origin, which are very
richly carved. They are covered with figures of serpents, lizards,
and frogs, and with elaborate geometrical patterns. The height of the
walls of the Cuzco edifices was from 35 to 40 feet, and the roofs were
thatched. One specimen of the admirable thatching of the Incas is still
preserved at Azangaro.

[Illustration: LAKE TITICACA.

[One of the cuts which did service in the Antwerp editions of Cieza de

There are many ruins throughout Peru both in the earlier and later
styles; some of them, such as those at Vilcashuaman and Huanuco el
viejo, being of great interest. The Inca palace on the island in Lake
Titicaca is a rectangular two-storied edifice, with numerous rooms
having ceilings formed of flat overlapping stones, laid with great
regularity. With its esplanade, beautiful terraced gardens, baths,
and fountains, this Titicaca palace must have been intended for the
enjoyment of beautiful scenery in comparative seclusion, like the now
destroyed palace at Yucay, in the valley of the Vilcamayu.

An example of the improvement of architecture after Inca subjugation is
shown in the curious burial-places, or _chulpas_, of the Collao, in the
basin of Lake Titicaca. The earliest, as seen at Acora near the lake,
closely resemble the rude cromlechs of Brittany. Next, roughly built
square towers are met with, with vaults inside. Lastly, the _chulpas_
at Sillustani are well-built circular towers, about 40 feet high and
16 feet in diameter at the base, widening as they rise. A cornice
runs round each tower, about three fourths of the distance from the
base to the summit. The stones are admirably cut and fitted in nearly
even courses, like the walls at Cuzco. The interior circular vaults,
which contained the bodies, were arched with overlapping stones, and a
similar dome formed the roof of the towers.


The architectural excellence reached by the Incas, their advances in
the other arts and in literature, and the imperial magnificence of
their court and religious worship, imply the existence of an orderly
and well-regulated administrative system. An examination of their
social polity will not disappoint even high expectations. The Inca,
though despotic in theory, was bound by the complicated code of rules
and customs which had gradually developed itself during the reigns of
his ancestors. In his own extensive family, composed of Auqui[1204]
and Atauchi,[1205] Palla[1206] and Ñusta,[1207] to the number of many
hundreds,[1208] and in the Curacas[1209] and Apu-curacas[1210] of the
conquered tribes, he had a host of able public servants to govern
provinces, enter the priesthood, or command armies.

[Illustration: PRIMEVAL TOMB, ACORA.

[After a sketch in Squier’s _Primeval Monuments of Peru_, Salem, 1870.
He considers it an example of some of the oldest of human monuments,
and is inclined to believe these chulpas, or burial monuments, to have
been built by the ancestors of the Peruvians of the conquest in their
earliest development.—ED.]]


[Reduced from a sketch in Squier’s _Primeval Monuments of Peru_, p. 7.
They are situated in Bolivia, northeast of Lake Titicaca, and the cut
shows a hill-fortress (pucura) and the round, flaring-top burial towers
(chulpas). Cf. cut in Wiener’s _Pérou et Bolivie_, p. 538.—ED.]]

The empire was marked out into four great divisions, corresponding
with the four cardinal points of a compass placed at Cuzco. To the
north was Chinchaysuyu, to the east Anti-suyu, to the west Cunti-suyu,
and to the south Colla-suyu.


[After a cut in Squier’s _Primeval Monuments of Peru_, p. 9,—a square
two-storied burial tower (chulpa) with hill-fortress (pucura) in the
distance, situated east of Lake Titicaca. Cf. Squier’s _Peru_, p.

[Illustration: SILLUSTANI, PERU.

[Sun-circles (Inti-huatana, where the sun is tied up), after a cut in
Squier’s _Primeval Monuments of Peru_, p. 15. The nearer circle is 90
feet; the farther, which has a grooved outlying platform, is 150 feet
in diameter. Cf. plan and views in Squier’s _Peru_, ch. 20.—ED.]]

The whole empire was called Ttahuantin-suyu, or the four united
provinces. Each great province was governed by an Inca viceroy, whose
title was _Ccapac_, or _Tucuyricoc_.[1211] The latter word means “He
who sees all.” Garcilasso describes the office as merely that of an
inspector, whose duty it was to visit the province and report. Under
the viceroy were the native _Curacas_, who governed the _ayllus_, or
lineages. Each _ayllu_ was divided into sections of ten families, under
an officer called _Chunca_ (10) _camayu_. Ten of these came under a
_Pachaca_ (100) _camayu_. Ten _Pachacas_ formed a _Huaranca_ (1,000)
_camayu_, and the _Hunu_ (10,000) _camayu_ ruled over ten _Huarancas_.
The _Chunca_ of ten families was the unit of government, and each
_Chunca_ formed a complete community.[1212]


[Situated on the road from Milo to Huancayo. Reduced from an ink
drawing given by Wiener in his _L’Empire des Incas_, pl. v.—ED.]]

The cultivable land belonged to the people in their _ayllus_, each
_Chunca_ being allotted a sufficient area to support its ten _Purics_
and their dependants.[1213] The produce was divided between the
government (_Inca_), the priesthood (_Huaca_), and the cultivators or
poor (_Huaccha_), but not in equal shares.[1214] In some parts the
three shares were kept apart in cultivation, but as a rule the produce
was divided at harvest time. The flocks of llamas were divided into
_Ccapac-llama_, belonging to the state, and _Huaccha-llama_, owned by
the people. Thus the land belonged to the _ayllu_, or tribe, and each
_puric_, or able-bodied man, had a right to his share of the crop,
provided that he had been present at the sowing. All those who were
absent must have been employed in the service of the Inca or Huaca, and
subsisted on the government or priestly share. Shepherds and mechanics
were also dependent on those shares. Officers called _Runay-pachaca_
annually revised the allotments, made the census, prepared statistics
for the _Quipu-camayoc_, and sent reports to the _Tucuyricoc_. The
_Llacta-camayoc_, or village overseer, announced the turns for
irrigation and the fields to be cultivated when the shares were grown
apart. These daily notices were usually given from a tower or terrace.
There were also judges or examiners, called _Taripasac_,[1215] who
investigated serious offences and settled disputes. Punishments for
crimes were severe, and inexorably inflicted. It was also the duty of
these officers, when a particular _ayllu_ suffered any calamity through
wars or natural causes, to allot contingents from surrounding _ayllus_
to assist the neighbor in distress. There were similar arrangements
when the completion or repair of any public work was urgent. The most
cruel tax on the people consisted in the selection of the _Aclla-cuna_,
or chosen maidens for the service of the Inca, and the church, or
_Huaca_. This was done once a year by an ecclesiastical dignitary
called the _Apu-Panaca_,[1216] or, according to one authority, the
_Hatun-uilca_,[1217] who was deputy of the high-priest. Service under
the Inca in all other capacities was eagerly sought for.

The industry and skill of the Peruvian husbandmen can scarcely
alone account for the perfection to which they brought the science
of agriculture. The administrative system of the Incas must share
the credit. Not a spot of cultivable land was neglected. Towns and
villages were built on rocky ground. Even their dead were buried in
waste places. Dry wastes were irrigated, and terraces were constructed,
sometimes a hundred deep, up the sides of the mountains. The most
beautiful example of this terrace cultivation may still be seen in the
“Andeneria,” or hanging gardens of the valley of Vilcamayu, near Cuzco.
There the terraces, commencing with broad fields at the edge of the
level ground, rise to a height of 1,500 feet, narrowing as they rise,
until the loftiest terraces against the perpendicular mountain side are
not more than two feet wide, just room for three or four rows of maize.
An irrigation canal, starting high up some narrow ravine at the snow
level, is carried along the mountain side and through the terraces,
flowing down from one to another.

Irrigation on a larger scale was employed not only on the desert coast,
but to water the pastures and arable lands in the mountains, where
there is rain for several months in the year. The channels were often
of considerable size and great length. Mr. Squier says that he has
followed them for days together, winding amidst the projections of
hills, here sustained by high masonry walls, there cut into the living
rock, and in some places conducted in tunnels through sharp spurs of an
obstructing mountain. An officer knew the space of time necessary for
irrigating each _tupu_, and each cultivator received a flow of water in
accordance with the requirements of his land. The manuring of crops was
also carefully attended to.[1218]

The result of all this intelligent labor was fully commensurate with
the thought and skill expended. The Incas produced the finest potato
crops the world has ever seen. The white maize of Cuzco has never
been approached in size or in yield. Coca, now so highly prized, is
a product peculiar to Inca agriculture, and its cultivation required
extreme care, especially in the picking and drying processes. Ajï, or
Chile pepper, furnished a new condiment to the Old World. Peruvian
cotton is excelled only by Sea Island and Egyptian in length of fibre,
and for strength and length of fibre combined is without an equal.
Quinua, oca, aracacha, and several fruits are also peculiar to Peruvian

The vast flocks of llamas[1220] and alpacas supplied meat for
the people, dried _charqui_ for soldiers and travellers, and wool
for weaving cloth of every degree of fineness. The alpacas, whose
unrivalled wool is now in such large demand, may almost be said to have
been the creation of the Inca shepherds. They can only be reared by
the bestowal on them of the most constant and devoted care. The wild
_huanacus_ and _vicuñas_ were also sources of food and wool supply.
No man was allowed to kill any wild animal in Peru, but there were
periodical hunts, called _chacu_, in the different provinces, which
were ordered by the Inca. On these occasions a wide area was surrounded
by thousands of people, who gradually closed in towards the centre.
They advanced, shouting and starting the game before them, and closed
in, forming in several ranks until a great bag was secured. The females
were released, with a few of the best and finest males. The rest were
then shorn and also released, a certain proportion being killed for the
sake of their flesh. The _huanacu_ wool was divided among the people
of the district, while the silky fleeces of the _vicuña_ were reserved
for the Inca. The _Quipu-camayoc_ kept a careful record of the number
caught, shorn, and killed.

[Illustration: FROM HELPS.

[Cf. Humboldt’s account in _Views of Nature_, English transl., 393-95,
407-9, 412. Marcoy says the usual descriptions of the ancient roads are
exaggerations (vol. i. 206).—ED.]]

The means of communication in so mountainous a country were an
important department in the administration of the Incas. Excellent
roads for foot passengers radiated from Cuzco to the remotest portions
of the empire. The Inca roads were level and well paved, and continued
for hundreds of leagues. Rocks were broken up and levelled when it
was necessary, ravines were filled, and excavations were made in
mountain sides. Velasco measured the width of the Inca roads, and found
them to be from six to seven yards, sufficiently wide when only foot
passengers used them. Gomara gives them a breadth of twenty-five feet,
and says that they were paved with smooth stones. These measurements
were confirmed by Humboldt as regards the roads in the Andes. The
road along the coast was forty feet wide, according to Zarate. The
Inca himself travelled in a litter, borne by mountaineers from the
districts of Soras and Lucanas. _Corpa-huasi_, or rest-houses, were
erected at intervals, and the government messengers, or _chasquis_, ran
with wonderful celerity from one of these stations to another, where
he delivered his message, or _quipu_, to the next runner. Thus news
was brought to the central government from all parts of The empire
with extraordinary rapidity, and the Inca ate fresh fish at Cuzco
which had been caught in the Pacific, three hundred miles away, on the
previous day. Store-houses, with arms, clothing, and provisions for the
soldiers, were also built at intervals along the roads, so that an army
could be concentrated at any point without previous preparation.

Closely connected with the facilities for communication, which were so
admirably established by the Incas, was the system of moving colonies
from one part of the empire to another. The evils of minute subdivision
were thus avoided, political objects were often secured, and the
comfort of the people was increased by the exchange of products. The
colonists were called _mitimaes_. For example, the people of the
Collao, round Lake Titicaca, lived in a region where corn would not
ripen, and if confined to the products of their native land they must
have subsisted solely on potatoes, quinua, and llama flesh. But the
Incas established colonies from their villages in the coast valleys
of Tacna and Moquegua, and in the forests to the eastward. There was
constant intercourse, and while the mother country supplied _chuñus_ or
preserved potatoes, _charqui_ or dried meat, and wool to the colonists,
there came back in return, corn and fruits and cotton cloth from the
coast, and the beloved coca from the forests.

Military colonies were also established on the frontiers, and the
armies of the Incas, in their marches and extensive travels, promoted
the circulation of knowledge, while this service also gave employment
to the surplus agricultural population. Soldiers were brought from all
parts of the empire, and each tribe or _ayllu_ was distinguished by its
arms, but more especially by its head-dress. The Inca wore the crimson
_llautu_, or fringe; the _Apu_, or general, wore a yellow _llautu_. One
tribe wore a puma’s head; the Cañaris were adorned with the feathers
of macaws, the Huacrachucus with the horns of deer, the Pocras and
Huamanchucus with a falcon’s wing feathers. The arms of the Incas and
Chancas consisted of a copper axe, called _champi_; a lance pointed
with bronze, called _chuqui_; and a pole with a bronze or stone head
in the shape of a six-pointed star, used as a club, called _macana_.
The Collas and Quichuas came with slings and _bolas_, the _Antis_ with
bows and arrows. Defensive armor consisted of a _hualcanca_ or shield,
the _umachucu_ or head-dress, and sometimes a breastplate. The perfect
order prevailing in civil life was part of the same system which
enforced strict discipline in the army; and ultimately the Inca troops
were irresistible against any enemy that could bring an opposing force
into the field. Only when the Incas fought against each other, as in
the last civil war, could the result be long doubtful.


[Reproduction of a cut in Benzoni’s _Historia del Mondo Nuovo_
(1565). Cf. D. Wilson’s _Prehistoric Man_, i. ch. 9, on the Peruvian

[Illustration: PERUVIAN POTTERY.

[The tripod in this group is from Panama, the others are Peruvian. This
cut follows an engraving in Wilson’s _Prehistoric Man_, ii. 41. There
are numerous cuts in Wiener, p. 589, etc. Cf. Stevens’s _Flint Chips_,
p. 271.—ED.]]


[After a cut in Wilson’s _Prehistoric Man_, ii. 45; showing a cup of
the Beckford collection. “There is an individuality in the head, at
once suggestive of portraiture.”—ED.]]

The artificers engaged in the numerous arts and on public works
subsisted on the government share of the produce. The artists who
fashioned the stones of the Sillustani towers or of the Cuzco temple
with scientific accuracy before they were fixed in their places, were
wholly devoted to their art. Food and clothing had to be provided for
them, and for the miners, weavers, and potters. Gold was obtained by
the Incas in immense quantities by washing the sands of the rivers
which flowed through the forest-covered province of Caravaya. Silver
was extracted from the ore by means of blasting-furnaces called
_huayra_; for, although quicksilver was known and used as a coloring
material, its properties for refining silver do not appear to have
been discovered. Copper was abundant in the Collao and in Charcas, and
tin was found in the hills on the east side of Lake Titicaca, which
enabled the Peruvians to use bronze very extensively.[1221] Lead was
also known to them. Skilful workers in metals fashioned the vases and
other utensils for the use of the Inca and of the temples, forged the
arms of the soldiers and the implements of husbandry, and stamped or
chased the ceremonial breastplates, _topus_, girdles, and chains. The
bronze and copper warlike instruments, which were star-shaped and used
as clubs, fixed at the ends of staves, were cast in moulds. One of
these club-heads, now in the Cambridge collection, has six rays, broad
and flat, and terminating in rounded points. Each ray represents a
human head, the face on one surface and the hair and back of the head
on the other. This specimen was undoubtedly cast in a mould. “It is,”
says Professor Putnam, “a good illustration of the knowledge which
the ancient Peruvians had of the methods of working metals and of the
difficult art of casting copper.”[1222]


[After a cut in Wiener, _Pérou et Bolivie_, p. 65.—ED.]]

Spinning, weaving, and dyeing were arts which were sources of
employment to a great number of people, owing to the quantity and
variety of the fabrics for which there was a demand. There were rich
dresses interwoven with gold or made of gold thread; fine woollen
mantles, or tunics, ornamented with borders of small square gold and
silver plates; colored cotton cloths worked in complicated patterns;
and fabrics of aloe fibre and sheeps’ sinews for breeches. Coarser
cloths of llama wool were also made in vast quantities. But the potters
art was perhaps the one which exercised the inventive faculties of the
Peruvian artist to the greatest extent. The silver and gold utensils,
with the exception of a very few cups and vases, have nearly all been
melted down. But specimens of pottery, found buried with the dead in
great profusion, are abundant. They are to be seen in every museum, and
at Berlin and Madrid the collections are very large.[1223] Varied as
are the forms to be found in the pottery of the Incas, and elegant as
are many of the designs, it must be acknowledged that they are inferior
in these respects to the specimens of the plastic art of the Chimu and
other people of the Peruvian coast. The Incas, however, displayed a
considerable play of fancy in their designs. Many of the vases were
moulded into forms to represent animals, fruit, and corn, and were used
as _conopas_, or household gods. Others took the shape of human heads
or feet, or were made double or quadruple, with a single neck branching
from below. Some were for interment with the _malquis_, others for
household use.[1224] Professor Wilson, who carefully examined several
collections of ancient Peruvian pottery, formed a high opinion of their
merit. “Some of the specimens,” he wrote, “are purposely grotesque,
and by no means devoid of true comic fancy; while, in the greater
number, the endless variety of combinations of animate and inanimate
forms, ingeniously rendered subservient to the requirements of utility,
exhibit fertility of thought in the designer, and a lively perceptive
faculty in those for whom he wrought.”[1225]

There is a great deal more to learn respecting this marvellous
Inca civilization. Recent publications have, within the last few
years, thrown fresh and unexpected light upon it. There may be more
information still undiscovered or inedited. As yet we can understand
the wonderful story only imperfectly, and see it by doubtful lights.
Respecting some questions, even of the first importance, we are still
able only to make guesses and weigh probabilities. Yet, though there
is much that is uncertain as regards historical and other points, we
have before us the clear general outlines of a very extraordinary
picture. In no other part of America had civilization attained to such
a height among indigenous races. In no other part of the world has the
administration of a purely socialistic government been attempted. The
Incas not only made the attempt, but succeeded.


THE student of Inca civilization will first seek for information
from those Spanish writers who lived during or immediately after
the Spanish conquest. They were able to converse with natives who
actually flourished before the disruption of the Inca empire, and who
saw the working of the Inca system before the destruction and ruin
had well commenced. He will next turn to those laborious inquirers
and commentators who, although not living so near the time, were
able to collect traditions and other information from natives who
had carefully preserved all that had been handed down by their
fathers.[1226] These two classes include the writers of the sixteenth
and seventeenth centuries. The authors who have occupied themselves
with the Quichua language and the literature of the Incas have produced
works a knowledge of which is essential to an adequate study of the
subject.[1227] Lastly, a consideration of the publications of modern
travellers and scholars, who throw light on the writings of early
chroniclers, or describe the present appearance of ancient remains,
will show the existing position of a survey still far from complete,
and the interest and charm of which invite further investigation and

Foremost in the first class of writers on Peru is Pedro de Cieza de
Leon. A general account of his works will be found elsewhere,[1228]
and the present notice will therefore be confined to an estimate of
the labors of this author, so far as they relate to Inca history and
civilization. Cieza de Leon conceived the desire to write an account
of the strange things that were to be seen in the New World, at an
early period of his service as a soldier. “Neither fatigue,” he tells
us, “nor the ruggedness of the country, nor the mountains and rivers,
nor intolerable hunger and suffering, have ever been sufficient to
obstruct my two duties, namely, writing and following my flag and my
captain without fault.” He finished the First Part of his chronicle
in September, 1550, when he was thirty-two years of age. It is mainly
a geographical description of the country, containing many pieces of
information, such as the account of the Inca roads and bridges, which
are of great value. But it is to the Second Part that we owe much of
our knowledge of Inca civilization. From incidental notices we learn
how diligently young Cieza de Leon studied the history and government
of the Incas, after he had written his picturesque description of the
country in his First Part. He often asked the Indians what they knew of
their condition before the Incas became their lords. He inquired into
the traditions of the people from the chiefs of the villages. In 1550
he went to Cuzco with the express purpose of collecting information,
and conferred diligently with one of the surviving descendants of the
Inca Huayna Ccapac. Cieza de Leon’s plan, for the second part of his
work, was first to review the system of government of the Incas, and
then to narrate the events of the reign of each sovereign. He spared
no pains to obtain the best and most authentic information, and his
sympathy with the conquered people, and generous appreciation of their
many good and noble qualities, give a special charm to his narrative.
He bears striking evidence to the historical faculty possessed by the
learned men at the court of the Incas. After saying that on the death
of a sovereign the chroniclers related the events of his reign to his
successor, he adds: “They could well do this, for there were among
them some men with good memories, sound judgments, and subtle genius,
and full of reasoning power, as we can bear witness who have heard
them even in these our days.” Cieza de Leon is certainly one of the
most important authorities on Inca history and civilization, whether
we consider his peculiar advantages, his diligence and ability, or his
character as a conscientious historian.

Juan José de Betanzos, like Cieza de Leon, was one of the soldiers of
the conquest. He married a daughter of Atahualpa, and became a citizen
at Cuzco, where he devoted his time to the study of Quichua. He was
appointed official interpreter to the Audience and to successive
viceroys, and he wrote a _Doctrina_ and two vocabularies which are
now lost. In 1558 he was appointed by the viceroy Marquis of Cañete,
to treat with the Inca Sayri Tupac,[1229] who had taken refuge in the
fastness of Vilcabamba; and by the Governor Lope Garcia de Castro, to
conduct a similar negotiation with Titu Cusi Yupanqui, the brother
of Sayri Tupac. He was successful in both missions. He wrote his
most valuable work, the _Suma y Narracion de los Incas_, which was
finished in the year 1551, by order of the Viceroy Don Antonio de
Mendoza, but its publication was prevented by the death of the viceroy.
It remained in manuscript, and its existence was first made known
by the Dominican monk Gregorio Garcia in 1607, whose own work will
be referred to presently. Garcia said that the history of Betanzos
relating to the origin, descent, succession, and wars of the Incas was
in his possession, and had been of great use to him. Leon Pinelo and
Antonio also gave brief notices of the manuscript, but it is only twice
cited by Prescott. The great historian probably obtained a copy of a
manuscript in the Escurial, through Obadiah Rich. This manuscript is
bound up with the second part of Cieza de Leon. It is not, however,
the whole work which Garcia appears to have possessed, but only the
first eighteen chapters, and the last incomplete. Such as it is, it was
edited and printed for the _Biblioteca Hispano-Ultramarina_, by Don
Márcos Jiménez de la Espada, in 1880.[1230]

The work of Betanzos differs from that of Cieza de Leon, because
while the latter displays a diligence and discretion in collecting
information which give it great weight as an authority, the former
is imbued with the very spirit of the natives. The narrative of the
preparation of young Yupanqui for the death-struggle with the Chancas
is life-like in its picturesque vigor. Betanzos has portrayed native
feeling and character as no other Spaniard has, or probably could have
done. Married to an Inca princess, and intimately conversant with the
language, this most scholarly of the conquerors is only second to Cieza
de Leon as an authority. The date of his death is unknown.

Betanzos and Cieza de Leon, with Pedro Pizarro, are the writers among
the conquerors whose works have been preserved. But these three
martial scholars by no means stand alone among their comrades as
authors. Several other companions of Pizarro wrote narratives, which
unfortunately have been lost.[1231] It is indeed surprising that the
desire to record some account of the native civilization they had
discovered should have been so prevalent among the conquerors. The fact
scarcely justifies the term “rude soldiery,” which is so often applied
to the discoverers of Peru.

The works of the soldier conquerors are certainly not less valuable
than those of the lawyers and priests who followed on their heels. Yet
these latter treat the subject from somewhat different points of view,
and thus furnish supplemental information. The works of four lawyers
of the era of the conquest have been preserved, and those of another
are lost. Of these, the writings of the Licentiate Polo de Ondegardo
are undoubtedly the most important. This learned jurist accompanied
the president, La Gasca, in his campaign against Gonzalo Pizarro,
having arrived in Peru a few years previously, and he subsequently
occupied the post of corregidor at Cuzco. Serving under the Viceroy
Don Francisco de Toledo, he was constantly consulted by that acute but
narrow-minded statesman. His duties thus led Polo de Ondegardo to make
diligent researches into the laws and administration of the Incas, with
a view to the adoption of all that was applicable to the new régime.
But his knowledge of the language was limited, and it is necessary to
receive many of his statements with caution. His two _Relaciones_,
the first dedicated to the Viceroy Marques de Cañete (1561), and the
second finished in 1570,[1232] are in the form of answers to questions
on financial revenue and other administrative points. They include
information respecting the social customs, religious rites, and laws of
the Incas. These _Relaciones_ are still in manuscript. Another report
by Polo de Ondegardo exists in the National Library at Madrid,[1233]
and has been translated into English for the Hakluyt Society.[1234] In
this treatise the learned corregidor describes the principles on which
the Inca conquests were made, the division and tenures of land, the
system of tribute, the regulations for preserving game and for forest
conservancy, and the administrative details. Here and there he points
out a way in which the legislation of the Incas might be imitated and
utilized by their conquerors.[1235]

Agustin de Zarate, though a lawyer by profession, had been employed for
some years in the financial department of the Spanish government before
he went out to Peru with the Viceroy Blasco Nuñez to examine into the
accounts of the colony. On his return to Spain he was entrusted with
a similar mission in Flanders. His _Provincìa del Peru_ was first
published at Antwerp in 1555.[1236] Unacquainted with the native
languages, and ignorant of the true significance of much that he was
told, Zarate was yet a shrewd observer, and his evidence is valuable as
regards what came under his own immediate observation. He gives one of
the best descriptions of the Inca roads.

The _Relacion_ of Fernando de Santillan is a work which may be classed
with the reports of Polo de Ondegardo, and its author had equal
advantages in collecting information. Going out to Peru as one of
the judges of the Audiencia in 1550,[1237] Santillan was for a short
time at the head of the government, after the death of the Viceroy
Mendoza, and he took the field to suppress the rebellion of Giron. He
afterwards served in Chile and at Quito, where he was commissioned to
establish the court of justice. Returning to Spain, he took orders,
and was appointed Bishop of the La Plata, but died at Lima, on his
way to his distant see, in 1576. The _Relacion_ of Santillan remained
in manuscript, in the library of the Escurial, until it was edited by
Don Márcos Jiménez de la Espada in 1879. This report appears to have
been prepared in obedience to a decree desiring the judges of Lima to
examine aged and learned Indians regarding the administrative system of
the Incas. The report of Santillan is mainly devoted to a discussion of
the laws and customs relating to the collection of tribute. He bears
testimony to the excellence of the Inca government, and to the wretched
condition to which the country had since been reduced by Spanish

The work of the Licentiate Juan de Matienzo, a contemporary of
Ondegardo, entitled _Gobierno de el Peru_, is still in manuscript. Like
Santillan and Ondegardo, Matienzo discusses the ancient institutions
with a view to the organization of the best possible system under
Spanish rule.[1238]

Melchor Bravo de Saravia, another judge of the Royal Audience at Lima,
and a contemporary of Santillan, is said to have written a work on the
antiquities of Peru; but it is either lost or has not yet been placed
within reach of the student. It is referred to by Velasco. Cieza de
Leon mentions, at the end of his Second Part, that his own work had
been perused by the learned judges Hernando de Santillan and Bravo de

While the lawyers turned their attention chiefly to the civil
administration of the conquered people, the priests naturally studied
the religious beliefs and languages of the various tribes, and
collected their historical traditions. The best and most accomplished
of these sacerdotal authors appears to have been Blas Valera, judging
from the fragments of his writings which have escaped destruction. He
was a native of Peru, born at Chachapoyas in 1551, where his father,
Luis Valera,[1239] one of the early conquerors, had settled. Young Blas
was received into the Company of Jesus at Lima when only seventeen
years of age, and, as he was of Inca race on the mother’s side, he
soon became useful at the College in Cuzco from his proficiency in the
native languages. He did missionary work in the surrounding villages,
and acquired a profound knowledge of the history and institutions of
the Incas. Eventually he completed a work on the subject in Latin,
and was sent to Spain by his Jesuit superiors with a view to its
publication. Unfortunately the greater part of his manuscript was burnt
at the sack of Cadiz by the Earl of Essex in 1596, and Blas Valera
himself died shortly afterwards. The fragments that were rescued fell
into the hands of Garcilasso de la Vega, who translated them into
Spanish, and printed them in his _Commentaries_. It is to Blas Valera
that we owe the preservation of two specimens of Inca poetry and an
estimate of Inca chronology. He has also recorded the traditional
sayings of several Inca sovereigns, and among his fragments there are
very interesting chapters on the religion, the laws and ordinances, and
the language of the Incas, and on the vegetable products and medicinal
drugs of Peru. These fragments are evidence that Blas Valera was an
elegant scholar, a keen observer, and thoroughly master of his subject.
They enhance the feeling of regret at the irreparable loss that we have
sustained by the destruction of the rest of his work.

Next to Blas Valera, the most important authority on Inca civilization,
among the Spanish priests who were in Peru during the sixteenth
century, is undoubtedly Christoval de Molina. He was chaplain to the
hospital for natives at Cuzco, and his work was written between 1570
and 1584, the period embraced by the episcopate of Dr. Sebastian de
Artaun, to whom it is dedicated. Molina gives minute and detailed
accounts of the ceremonies performed at all the religious festivals
throughout the year, with the prayers used by the priests on each
occasion. Out of the fourteen prayers preserved by Molina, four are
addressed to the Supreme Being, two to the sun, the rest to these
and other deities combined. His mastery of the Quichua language, his
intimacy with the native chiefs and learned men, and his long residence
at Cuzco give Molina a very high place as an authority on Inca
civilization. His work has remained in manuscript,[1240] but it has
been translated into English and printed for the Hakluyt Society.[1241]

Molina, in his dedicatory address to Bishop Artaun, mentions a
previous narrative which he had submitted, on the origin, history, and
government of the Incas. Fortunately this account was preserved by
Miguel Cavello Balboa, an author who wrote at Quito between 1576 and
1586. Balboa, a soldier who had taken orders late in life, went out
to America in 1566, and settled at Quito, where he devoted himself to
the preparation and writing of a work which he entitled _Miscellanea
Austral_. It is in three parts; but only the third, comprising about
half the work, relates to Peru. Balboa tells us that his authority for
the early Inca traditions and history was the learned Christoval de
Molina, and this gives special value to Balboa’s work. Moreover, Balboa
is the only authority who gives any account of the origin of the coast
people, and he also supplies a detailed narrative of the war between
Huascar and Atahualpa. The portion relating to Peru was translated into
French and published by Ternaux Compans in 1840.[1242]

The Jesuits who arrived in Peru during the latter part of the
sixteenth century were devoted to missionary labors, and gave an
impetus to the study of the native languages and history. Among the
most learned was José de Acosta, who sailed for Peru in 1570. At the
early age of thirty-five, Acosta was chosen to be Provincial of the
Jesuits in Peru, and his duties required him to travel over every part
of the country. His great learning, which is displayed in his various
theological works, qualified him for the task of writing his _Natural
and Moral History of the Indies_, the value of which is increased
by the author’s personal acquaintance with the countries and their
inhabitants. Acosta went home in the Spanish fleet of 1587, and his
first care, on his return to Spain, was to make arrangements for the
publication of his manuscripts. The results of his South American
researches first saw the light at Salamanca, in Latin, in 1588 and
1589. The complete work in Spanish, _Historia Natural y Moral de las
Indias_, was published at Seville in 1590. Its success was never
doubtful.[1243] In his latter years Acosta presided over the Jesuits’
College at Salamanca, where he died in his sixtieth year, on February
15, 1600.[1244] In spite of the learning and diligence of Acosta and of
the great popularity of his work, it cannot be considered one of the
most valuable contributions towards a knowledge of Inca civilization.
The information it contains is often inaccurate, the details are
less complete than in most of the other works written soon after the
conquest,[1245] and a want of knowledge of the language is frequently
made apparent. The best chapters are those devoted to the animal and
vegetable products of Peru; and Feyjoo calls Acosta the Pliny of the
New World.[1246]

The Licentiate Fernando Montesinos, a native of Osuna, was one of the
most diligent of all those who in early times made researches into the
history and traditions of the Incas. Montesinos went out in the fleet
which took the Viceroy Count of Chinchon to Peru, arriving early in
the year 1629. Having landed at Payta, Montesinos travelled southwards
towards the capital until he reached the city of Truxillo. At that
time Dr. Carlos Marcelino Corni was Bishop of Truxillo.[1247] Hearing
of the virtue and learning of Montesinos, Dr. Corni begged that he
might be allowed to stop at Truxillo, and take charge of the Jesuits’
College which the good bishop had established there. Montesinos
remained at Truxillo until the death of Bishop Corni, in October,
1629,[1248] and then proceeded to Potosi, where he gave his attention
to improvements in the methods of extracting silver. He wrote a book
on the subject, which was printed at Lima, and also compiled a code
of ordinances for mines with a view to lessening disputes, which was
officially approved. Returning to the capital, he lived for several
years at Lima as chaplain of one of the smaller churches, and devoted
all his energies to the preparation of a history of Peru. Making Lima
his headquarters, the indefatigable student undertook excursions into
all parts of the country, wherever he heard of learned natives to be
consulted, of historical documents to be copied, or of information to
be found. He travelled over 1,500 leagues, from Quito to Potosi. In
1639 he was employed to write an account of the famous Auto de Fé which
was celebrated at Lima in that year. His two great historical works
are entitled _Memorias Antiguas Historiales del Peru_, and _Anales ó
Memorias Nuevas del Peru_.[1249] From Lima Montesinos proceeded to
Quito as “Visitador General,” with very full powers conferred by the

The work of Montesinos remained in manuscript until it was translated
into French by M. Ternaux Compans in 1840, with the title _Mémoires
Historiques sur l’ancien Pérou_. In 1882 the Spanish text was very
ably edited by Don Márcos Jiménez de la Espada.[1250] Montesinos gives
the history of several dynasties which preceded the rise of the Incas,
enumerating upwards of a hundred sovereigns. He professes to have
acquired a knowledge of the ancient records through the interpretations
of the _quipus_, communicated to him by learned natives. It was long
supposed that the accounts of these earlier sovereigns received no
corroboration from any other authority. This furnished legitimate
grounds for discrediting Montesinos. But a narrative, as old or older
than that of the licentiate, has recently been brought to light, in
which at least two of the ancient sovereigns in the lists of Montesinos
are incidentally referred to. This circumstance alters the aspect
of the question, and places the _Memorias Antiquas del Peru_ in a
higher position as an authority; for it proves that the very ancient
traditions which Montesinos professed to have received from the natives
had previously been communicated to one other independent inquirer at

This independent inquirer is an author whose valuable work has
recently been edited by Don Márcos Jiménez de la Espada.[1251] His
narrative is anonymous, but internal evidence establishes the fact
that he was a Jesuit, and probably one of the first who arrived in
Peru in 1568, although he appears to have written his work many years
afterwards. The anonymous Jesuit supplies information respecting
works on Peruvian civilization which are lost to us. He describes the
temples, the orders of the priesthood, the sacrifices and religious
ceremonies, explaining the origin of the erroneous statement that human
sacrifices were offered up. He also gives the code of criminal law and
the customs which prevailed in civil life, and concludes his work with
a short treatise on the conversion of the Indians.

The efforts of the viceroys and archbishops of Lima during the early
part of the seventeenth century to extirpate idolatry, particularly
in the province of Lima, led to the preparation of reports by the
priests who were entrusted with the duty of extirpation, which
contain much curious information. These were the Fathers Hernando
de Avendaño, Francisco de Avila, Luis de Teruel, and Pablo José de
Arriaga. Avendaño, in addition to his sermons in Quichua, wrote an
account of the idolatries of the Indians,—_Relacion de las Idolatrias
de los Indios_,—which is still in manuscript. Avila was employed in
the province of Huarochiri, and in 1608 he wrote a report on the idols
and superstitions of the people, including some exceedingly curious
religious legends. He appears to have written down the original
evidence from the mouths of the Indians in Quichua, intending to
translate it into Spanish. But he seems to have completed only six
chapters in Spanish; or perhaps the translation is by another hand.
There are still thirty-one chapters in Quichua awaiting the labors
of some learned Peruvian scholar. Rising Quichua students, of whom
there are not a few in Peru, could undertake no more useful work.
This important report of Avila is comprised in a manuscript volume
in the National Library at Madrid, and the six Spanish chapters have
been translated and printed for the Hakluyt Society.[1252] Teruel was
the friend and companion of Avila. He also wrote a treatise on native
idolatries,[1253] and another against idolatry,[1254] in which he
discusses the origin of the coast people. Arriaga wrote a still more
valuable work on the extirpation of idolatry, which was printed at Lima
in 1621, and which relates the religious beliefs and practices of the
people in minute detail.[1255]

Antiquarian treasures of great value are buried in the works of
ecclesiastics, the principal objects of which are the record of the
deeds of one or other of the religious fraternities. The most important
of these is the _Coronica Moralizada del orden de San Augustin en el
Peru; del Padre Antonio de la Calancha_ (1638-1653),[1256] which is
a precious storehouse of details respecting the manners and customs
of the Indians and the topography of the country. Calancha also gives
the most accurate Inca calendar. Of less value is the chronicle of the
Franciscans, by Diego de Cordova y Salinas, published at Madrid in 1643.

A work, the title of which gives even less promise of containing
profitable information, is the history of the miraculous image of a
virgin at Copacabana, by Fray Alonso Ramos Gavilan. Yet it throws
unexpected light on the movements of the _mitimaes_, or Inca colonists;
it gives fresh details respecting the consecrated virgins, the
sacrifices, and the deities worshipped in the Collao, and supplies
another version of the Inca calendar.[1257]

The work on the origin of the Indians of the New World, by Fray
Gregorio Garcia,[1258] who travelled extensively in the Spanish
colonies, is valuable, and to Garcia we owe the first notice of the
priceless narrative of Betanzos. His separate work on the Incas is lost
to us.[1259] Friar Martin de Múrua, a native of Guernica, in Biscay,
was an ecclesiastic of some eminence in Peru. He wrote a general
history of the Incas, which was copied by Dr. Muñoz for his collection,
and Leon Pinelo says that the manuscript was illustrated with colored
drawings of insignia and dresses, and portraits of the Incas.[1260]

The principal writers on Inca civilization in the century immediately
succeeding the conquest, of the three different professions,—soldiers,
lawyers, and priests,—have now been passed in review. Attention must
next be given to the native writers who followed in the wake of Blas
Valera. First among these is the Inca Garcilasso de la Vega, an author
whose name is probably better known to the general reader than that
of any other who has written on the same subject. Among the Spanish
conquerors who arrived in Peru in 1534 was Garcilasso de la Vega, a
cavalier of very noble lineage,[1261] who settled at Cuzco, and was
married to an Inca princess named Chimpa Ocllo, niece of the Inca
Huayna Ccapac. Their son, the future historian, was born at Cuzco in
1539, and his earliest recollections were connected with the stirring
events of the civil war between Gonzalo Pizarro and the president La
Gasca, in 1548. His mother died soon afterwards, probably in 1550,
and his father married again. The boy was much in the society of his
mother’s kindred, and he often heard them talk over the times of the
Incas, and repeat their historical traditions. Nor was his education
neglected; for the good Canon Juan de Cuellar read Latin with the
half-caste sons of the citizens of Cuzco for nearly two years, amidst
all the turmoil of the civil wars. As he grew up, he was employed by
his father to visit his estates, and he travelled over most parts of
Peru. The elder Garcilasso de la Vega died in 1560, and the young
orphan resolved to seek his fortune in the land of his fathers. On his
arrival in Spain he received patronage and kindness from his paternal
relatives, became a captain in the army of Philip II, and when he
retired, late in life, he took up his abode in lodgings at Cordova,
and devoted himself to literary pursuits. His first production was a
translation from the Italian of “The Dialogues of Love,” and in 1591
he completed his narrative of the expedition of Hernando de Soto to


[After a cut in Marcoy, i. 219. Cf. Squier’s _Peru_, p. 449.—ED.]]

As years rolled on, the Inca began to think more and more of the land
of his birth. The memory of his boyish days, of the long evening chats
with his Inca relations, came back to him in his old age. He was as
proud of his maternal descent from the mighty potentates of Peru as
of the old Castilian connection on his father’s side. It would seem
that the appearance of several books on the subject of his native land
finally induced him to undertake a work in which, while recording
its own reminiscences and the information he might collect, he could
also comment on the statements of other authors. Hence the title of
_Commentaries_ which he gave to his work. Besides the fragments of the
writings of Blas Valera, which enrich the pages of Garcilasso, the
Inca quotes from Acosta, from Gomara, from Zarate, and from the First
Part of Cieza de Leon.[1263] He was fortunate in getting possession of
the chapters of Blas Valera rescued from the sack of Cadiz. He also
wrote to all his surviving schoolfellows for assistance, and received
many traditions and detailed replies on other subjects from them. Thus
Alcobasa forwarded an account of the ruins at Tiahuanacu, and another
friend sent him the measurements of the great fortress at Cuzco.

The Inca Garcilasso de la Vega is, without doubt, the first authority
on the civilization of his ancestors; but it is necessary to consider
his qualifications and the exact value of his evidence. He had lived
in Peru until his twentieth year; Quichua was his native language,
and he had constantly heard the traditions of the Incas related and
discussed by his mother’s relations. But when he began to write he had
been separated from these associations for upwards of thirty years.
He received materials from Peru, enabling him to compose a connected
historical narrative, which is not, however, very reliable. The true
value of his work is derived from his own reminiscences, aroused by
reading the books which are the subjects of his Commentary, and from
his correspondence with friends in Peru. His memory was excellent, as
is often proved when he corrects the mistakes of Acosta and others
with diffidence, and is invariably right. He was not credulous, having
regard to the age in which he lived; nor was he inclined to give the
rein to his imagination. More than once we find him rejecting the
fanciful etymologies of the authors whose works he criticises. His
narratives of the battles and conquests of the early Incas often become
tedious, and of this he is himself aware. He therefore intersperses
them with more interesting chapters on the religious ceremonies, the
domestic habits and customs, of the people, and on their advances in
poetry, astronomy, music, medicine, and the arts. He often inserts
an anecdote from the storehouse of his memory, or some personal
reminiscence called forth by the subject on which he happens to be
writing. His statements frequently receive undesigned corroboration
from authors whose works he never saw. Thus his curious account of the
water sacrifices, not mentioned by any other published authority, is
verified by the full description of the same rite in the manuscript
of Molina. On the other hand, the long absence of the Inca from his
native country entailed upon him grave disadvantages. His boyish
recollections, though deeply interesting, could not, from the nature of
the case, provide him with critical knowledge. Hence the mistakes in
his work are serious and of frequent occurrence. Dr. Villar has pointed
out his total misconception of the Supreme Being of the Peruvians, and
of the significance of the word “Uira-cocha.”[1264] But, with all its
shortcomings,[1265] the work of the Inca Garcilasso de la Vega must
ever be the main source of our knowledge, and without his pious labors
the story of the Incas would lose more than half its interest.

The first part of his _Commentarios Reales_, which alone concerns the
present subject, was published at Lisbon in 1607.[1266] The author died
at Cordova at the age of seventy-six, and was buried in the cathedral
in 1616. He lived just long enough to accomplish his most cherished
wish, and to complete the work at which he had steadily and lovingly
labored for so many years.

Another Indian author wrote an account of the antiquities of Peru, at
a time when the grandchildren of those who witnessed the conquest by
the Spaniards were living. Unlike Garcilasso, this author never left
the land of his birth, but he was not of Inca lineage. Don Juan de
Santacruz Pachacuti Yamqui Salcamayhua was a native of the Collao, and
descended from a family of local chiefs. His work is entitled _Relacion
de Antigüedades deste Reyno del Peru_. It long remained in manuscript
in the National Library at Madrid, until it was edited by Don Márcos
Jiménez de la Espada in 1879. It had previously been translated into
English and edited for the Hakluyt Society.[1267] Salcamayhua gives
the traditions of Inca history as they were handed down to the third
generation after the conquest. Intimately acquainted with the language,
and in a position to converse with the oldest recipients of native
lore, he is able to record much that is untold elsewhere, and to
confirm a great deal that is related by former authors. He has also
preserved two prayers in Quichua, attributed to Manco Ccapac, the first
Inca, and some others, which add to the number given by Molina. He also
corroborates the important statement of Molina, that the great gold
plate in the temple at Cuzco was intended to represent the Supreme
Being, and not the sun. Salcamayhua is certainly a valuable addition to
the authorities on Peruvian history.


NOTE.—The title-page of the fifth decade Herrera, showing the
Inca portraits, is given above. Cf. the plate in Stevens’s English
translation of Herrera, vol. iv., London, 1740, 2d edition.—ED.]

While so many soldiers and priests and lawyers did their best to
preserve a knowledge of Inca civilization, the Spanish government
itself was not idle. The kings of Spain and their official advisers
showed an anxiety to prevent the destruction of monuments and to
collect historical and topographical information which is worthy of
all praise. In 1585, orders were given to all the local authorities
in Spanish America to transmit such information, and a circular,
containing a series of interrogatories, was issued for their guidance.
The result of this measure was, that a great number of _Relaciones
descriptivas_ were received in Spain, and stored up in the archives of
the Indies. Herrera had these reports before him when he was writing
his history, but it is certain that he did not make use of half
the material they contain.[1268] Another very curious and valuable
source of information consists of the reports on the origin of Inca
sovereignty, which were prepared by order of the Viceroy Don Francisco
de Toledo, and forwarded to the council of the Indies. They consist
of twenty documents, forming a large volume, and preceded by an
introductory letter. The viceroy’s object was to establish the fact
that the Incas had originally been usurpers, in forcibly acquiring
authority over the different provinces of the empire, and dispossessing
the native chiefs. His inference was, that, as usurpers, they were
rightfully dethroned by the Spaniards. He failed to see that such an
argument was equally fatal to a Spanish claim, based on anything but
the sword. Nevertheless, the traditions collected with this object,
not only from the Incas at Cuzco, but also from the chiefs of several
provinces, are very important and interesting.[1269]

The Viceroy Toledo also sent home four cloths on which the pedigree of
the Incas was represented. The figures of the successive sovereigns
were depicted, with medallions of their wives, and their respective
lineages. The events of each reign were recorded on the borders,
the traditions of Paccari-tampu, and of the creation by Uira-cocha,
occupying the first cloth. It is probable that the Inca portraits
given by Herrera were copied from those on the cloths sent home
by the viceroy. The head-dresses in Herrera are very like that of
the high-priest in the _Relacion_ of the anonymous Jesuit. A map
seems to have accompanied the pedigree, which was drawn under the
superintendence of the distinguished sailor and cosmographer, Don Pedro
Sarmiento de Gamboa.[1270]

Much curious information respecting the laws and customs of the
Incas and the beliefs of the people is to be found in ordinances and
decrees of the Spanish authorities, both civil and ecclesiastical.
These ordinances are contained in the _Ordenanzas del Peru_, of the
Licentiate Tomas de Ballesteros, in the _Politica Indiana_ of Juan de
Solorzano (Madrid, 1649),[1271] in the _Concilium Limense_ of Acosta,
and in the _Constituciones Synodales_ of Dr. Lobo Guerrero, Archbishop
of Lima, printed in that city in 1614, and again in 1754.

The kingdom of Quito received attention from several early writers,
but most of their manuscripts are lost to us. Quito was fortunate,
however, in finding a later historian to devote himself to the work
of chronicling the story of his native land. Juan de Velasco was a
native of Riobamba. He resided for forty years in the kingdom of Quito
as a Jesuit priest, he taught and preached in the native language of
the people, and he diligently studied all the works on the subject
that were accessible to him. He spent six years in travelling over
the country, twenty years in collecting books and manuscripts; and
when the Jesuits were banished he took refuge in Italy, where he wrote
his _Historia del Reino de Quito_. Velasco used several authorities
which are now lost. One of these was the _Conquista de la Provincia
del Quito_, by Fray Marco de Niza, a companion of Pizarro. Another was
the _Historia de las guerras civiles del Inca Atahualpa_, by Jacinto
Collahuaso. He also refers to the _Antigüedades del Peru_ by Bravo
de Saravia. As a native of Quito, Velasco is a strong partisan of
Atahualpa; and he is the only historian who gives an account of the
traditions respecting the early kings of Quito. The work was completed
in 1789, brought from Europe, and printed at Quito in 1844, and M.
Ternaux Compans brought out a French edition in 1840.[1272]

Recent authors have written introductory essays on Peruvian
civilization to precede the story of the Spanish conquest, have
described the ruins in various parts of the country after personal
inspection, or have devoted their labors to editing the early
authorities, or to bringing previously unknown manuscripts to light,
and thus widening and strengthening the foundation on which future
histories may be raised.


[After a print in the _European Mag._ (1802), vol. xli.—ED.]]

Robertson’s excellent view of the story of the Incas in his _History
of America_[1273] was for many years the sole source of information on
the subject for the general English public; but since 1848 it has been
superseded by Prescott’s charming narrative contained in the opening
book of his _Conquest of Peru_.[1274] The knowledge of the present
generation on the subject of the Incas is derived almost entirely from
Prescott, and, so far as it goes, there can be no better authority. But
much has come to light since his time. Prescott’s narrative, occupying
159 pages, is founded on the works of Garcilasso de la Vega, who is
the authority most frequently cited by him, Cieza de Leon, Ondegardo,
and Acosta.[1275] Helps, in the chapter of his _Spanish Conquest_ on
Inca civilization, which covers forty-five pages, only cited two early
authorities not used by Prescott,[1276] and his sketch is much more
superficial than that of his predecessor.[1277]

The publication of the _Antigüedades Peruanas_ by Don Mariano Eduardo
de Rivero (the director of the National Museum at Lima) and Juan Diego
de Tschudi at Vienna, in 1851, marked an important turning-point in the
progress of investigation. One of the authors was himself a Peruvian,
and from that time some of the best educated natives of the country
have given their attention to its early history. The _Antigüedades_
for the first time gives due prominence to an estimate of the language
and literature of the Incas, and to descriptions of ruins throughout
Peru. The work is accompanied by a large atlas of engravings; but it
contains grave inaccuracies, and the map of Pachacamac is a serious
blemish to the work.[1278] The _Antigüedades_ were followed by the
_Annals of Cuzco_,[1279] and in 1860 the _Ancient History of Peru_,
by Don Sebastian Lorente, was published at Lima.[1280] In a series of
essays in the _Revista Peruana_,[1281] Lorente gave the results of many
years of further study of the subject, which appear to have been the
concluding labors of a useful life. When he died, in November, 1884,
Sebastian Lorente had been engaged for upwards of forty years in the
instruction of the Peruvian youth at Lima and in other useful labors.
A curious genealogical work on the Incarial family was published at
Paris in 1850, by Dr. Justo Sahuaraura Inca, a canon of the cathedral
of Cuzco, but it is of no historical value.[1282]

Several scholars, both in Europe and America, have published the
results of their studies relating to the problems of Inca history.
Ernest Desjardins has written on the state of Peru before the
Spanish conquest,[1283] J. G. Müller on the religious beliefs of the
people,[1284] and Waitz on Peruvian anthropology.[1285] The writings
of Dr. Brinton, of Philadelphia, also contain valuable reflections and
useful information respecting the mythology and native literature of
Peru.[1286] Mr. Bollaert had been interested in Peruvian researches
during the greater part of his lifetime (b. 1807; d. 1876), and had
visited several provinces of Peru, especially Tarapaca. He accumulated
many notes. His work, at first sight, appears to be merely a confused
mass of jottings, and certainly there is an absence of method and
arrangement; but closer examination will lead to the discovery of many
facts which are not to be met with elsewhere.[1287]

A critical study of early authorities and a knowledge of the Quichua
language are two essential qualifications for a writer on Inca
civilization. But it is almost equally important that he should have
access to intelligent and accurate descriptions of the remains of
ancient edifices and public works throughout Peru. For this he is
dependent on travellers, and it must be confessed that no descriptions
at all meeting the requirements were in existence before the opening of
the present century. Humboldt was the first traveller in South America
who pursued his antiquarian researches on a scientific basis. His works
are models for all future travellers. It is to Humboldt,[1288] and his
predecessors the Ulloas,[1289] that we owe graphic descriptions of Inca
ruins in the kingdom of Quito and in northern Peru as far as Caxamarca.
French travellers have contributed three works of importance to the
same department of research. M. Alcide D’Orbigny examined and described
the ruins of Tiahuanacu with great care.[1290] M. François de Castelnau
was the leader of a scientific expedition sent out by the French
government, and his work contains descriptions of ruins illustrated by
plates.[1291] The work of M. Wiener is more complete, and is intended
to be exhaustive. He was also employed by the French government on an
archæological and ethnographic mission to Peru, from 1875 to 1877, and
he has performed his task with diligence and ability, while no cost
seems to have been spared in the production of his work.[1292] The
maps and illustrations are numerous and well executed, and M. Wiener
visited nearly every part of Peru where archæological remains are to
be met with. There is only one fault to be found with the praiseworthy
and elaborate works of D’Orbigny and Wiener. The authors are too apt to
adopt theories on insufficient grounds, and to confuse their otherwise
admirable descriptions with imaginative speculations. An example of
this kind has been pointed out by the Peruvian scholar Dr. Villar,
with reference to M. Wiener’s erroneous ideas respecting _Culte de
l’eau ou de la pluie, et le dieu Quonn_.[1293] M. Wiener is the only
modern traveller who has visited and described the interesting ruins of

The present writer has published two books recording his travels in
Peru. In the first he described the fortress of Hervay, the ancient
irrigation channels at Nasca on the Peruvian coast, and the ruins at
and around Cuzco, including Ollantay-tampu.[1294] In the second there
are descriptions of the _chulpas_ at Sillustani in the Collao, and of
the Inca roof over the Sunturhuasi at Azangaro.[1295]

The work of E. G. Squier is, on the whole, the most valuable result
of antiquarian researches in Peru that has ever been presented to the
public.[1296] Mr. Squier had special qualifications for the task. He
had already been engaged on similar work in Nicaragua, and he was well
versed in the history of his subject. He visited nearly all the ruins
of importance in the country, constructed plans, and took numerous
photographs. Avoiding theoretical disquisitions, he gives most accurate
descriptions of the architectural remains, which are invaluable to the
student. His style is agreeable and interesting, while it inspires
confidence in the reader; and his admirable book is in all respects
thoroughly workmanlike.[1297]

[Illustration: CLEMENTS R. MARKHAM.

[After a photograph kindly furnished by himself at the editor’s

Tiahuanacu is minutely described by D’Orbigny, Wiener, and Squier, and
the famous ruins have also been the objects of special attention from
other investigators. Mr. Helsby of Liverpool took careful photographs
of the monolithic doorway in 1857, which were engraved and published,
with a descriptive article by Mr. Bollaert.[1298] Don Modesto Basadre
has also written an account of the ruins, with measurements.[1299]
But the most complete monograph on Tiahuanacu is by Mr. Inwards, who
surveyed the ground, photographed all the ruins, made enlarged drawings
of the sculptures on the monolithic doorway, and even attempted an
ideal restoration of the palace. In the letter-press, Mr. Inwards
quotes from the only authorities who give any account of Tiahuanacu,
and on this particular point his monograph entitles him to be
considered as the highest modern authority.[1300]

Another special investigation of equal interest, and even greater
completeness, is represented by the superb work on the burial-ground
of Ancon, being the results of excavations made on the spot by Wilhelm
Reiss and Alphonso Stübel. The researches of these painstaking and
talented antiquaries have thrown a flood of light on the social habits
and daily life of the civilized people of the Peruvian coast.[1301]

The great work of Don Antonio Raimondi on Peru is still incomplete.
The learned Italian has already devoted thirty-eight years to the
study of the natural history of his adopted country, and the results
of his prolonged scientific labors are now gradually being given to
the public. The plan of this exhaustive monograph is a division into
six parts, devoted to the geography, geology, mineralogy, botany,
zoölogy, and ethnology of Peru. The geographical division will contain
a description of the principal ancient monuments and their ruins,
while the ethnology will include a treatise on the ancient races,
their origin and civilization. But as yet only three volumes have been
published. The first is entitled _Parte Preliminar_, describing the
plan of the work and the extent of the author’s travels throughout
the country. The second and third volumes comprise a history of the
progress of geographical discovery in Peru since the conquest by
Pizarro. The completion of this great work, undertaken under the
auspices of the government of Peru, has been long delayed.[1302]

The labors of explorers are supplemented by the editorial work of
scholars, who bring to light the precious relics of early authorities,
hitherto buried in scarcely accessible old volumes or in manuscript.
First in the ranks of these laborers in the cause of knowledge, as
regards ancient Peruvian history, stands the name of M. Ternaux
Compans. He has furnished to the student carefully edited French
editions of the narrative of Xeres, of the history of Peru by Balboa,
of the _Mémoires Historiques_ of Montesinos, and of the history of
Quito by Velasco.[1303]

The present writer has translated into English and edited the works
of Cieza de Leon, Garcilasso de la Vega, Molina, Salcamayhua, Avila,
Xeres, Andagoya, and one of the reports of Ondegardo, and has edited
the old translation of Acosta.

Dr. M. Gonzalez de la Rosa, an accomplished Peruvian scholar, brought
to light and edited, in 1879, the curious _Historia de Lima_ of Father
Bernabé Cobo. It was published in successive numbers of the _Revista
Peruana_, at Lima.


[After a photograph, kindly furnished by himself, at the editor’s

But in this department students are most indebted to the learned
Spanish editor, Don Márcos Jiménez de la Espada; for he has placed
within our reach the works of important authorities, which were
previously not only inaccessible, but unknown. He has edited the second
part of Cieza de Leon, the anonymous Jesuit, Montesinos, Santillana,
the reports to the Viceroy Toledo, the _Suma y Narracion_ of Betanzos,
and the _War of Quito_, by Cieza de Leon. Moreover, there is every
reason to hope that his career of literary usefulness is by no means

Although so much has been accomplished in the field of Peruvian
research, yet much remains to be done, both by explorers and in
the study. The Quichua chapters of the work of Avila, containing
curious myths and legends, remain untranslated and in manuscript.
A satisfactory text of the Ollantay drama, after collation of all
accessible manuscripts, has not yet been secured. Numerous precious
manuscripts have yet to be unearthed in Spain. Songs of the times of
the Incas exist in Peru, which should be collected and edited. There
are scientific excavations to be undertaken, and secluded districts to
be explored. The Yunca grammar of Carrera requires expert comparative
study, and comparison with the Eten dialect. Remnants of archaic
languages, such as the Puquina of the Urus, must be investigated. When
all this, and much more, has been added to existing means of knowledge,
the labors of pioneers will approach completion. Then the time will
have arrived for the preparation of a history of ancient Peruvian
civilization which will be worthy of the subject.[1304]

[Illustration: [Autograph: Clements R Markham]]

       *       *       *       *       *


=I.= ANCIENT PEOPLE OF THE PERUVIAN COAST.—There was a civilized people
on the coast of Peru, but not occupying the whole coast, which was
distinctly different, both as regards race and language, from the Incas
and their cognate tribes. This coast nation was called _Chimu_, and
their language _Mochica_.[1305]

The numerous valleys on the Peruvian coast, separated by sandy deserts
of varying width, required only careful irrigation to render them
capable of sustaining a large population. The aboriginal inhabitants
were probably a diminutive race of fishermen. Driven southwards
by invaders, they eventually sought refuge in Arica and Tarapaca.
D’Orbigny described their descendants as a gentle, hospitable race
of fishermen, never exceeding five feet in height, with flat noses,
fishing in boats of inflated sealskins, and sleeping in huts of
sealskin on heaps of dried seaweed. They are called Changos. Bollaert
mentions that they buried their dead lengthways. Bodies found in this
unusual posture near Cañete form a slight link connecting the Changos
to the south with the early aboriginal race of the more northern

The _Chimu_ people drove out the aborigines and occupied the valleys of
the coast from Payta nearly to Lima, forming distinct communities, each
under a chief more or less independent. The _Chimu_ himself ruled over
the five valleys of Parmunca, Hualli, Huanapu, Santa, and Chimu, where
the city of Truxillo now stands. The total difference of their language
from Quichua makes it clear that the Chimus did not come from the Andes
or from the Quito country. The only other alternative is that they
arrived from the sea. Balboa, indeed, gives a detailed account of the
statements made by the coast Indians of Lambayeque, at the time of the
conquest. They declared that a great fleet arrived on the coast some
generations earlier, commanded by a chief named Noymlap, who had with
him a green-stone idol, and that he founded a dynasty of chiefs.

The _Chimu_ and his subjects, let their origin be what it may, had
certainly made considerable advances in civilization. The vast palaces
of the Chimu near the seashore, with a surrounding city, and great
mounds or artificial hills, are astonishing even in their decay. The
principal hall of the palace was 100 feet long by 52. The walls are
covered with an intricate and very effective series of arabesques on
stucco, worked in relief. A neighboring hall, with walls stuccoed in
color, is entered by passages and skirted by openings leading to small
rooms seven feet square, which may have been used as dormitories.
A long corridor leads from the back of the arabesque hall to some
recesses where gold and silver vessels have been found. At a short
distance from this palace there is a sepulchral mound where many
relics have been discovered. The bodies were wrapped in cloths woven
in ornamental figures and patterns of different colors. On some of the
cloths plates of silver were sewn, and they were edged with borders
of feathers, the silver plates being occasionally cut in the shapes
of fishes and birds. Among the ruins of the city there are great
rectangular areas enclosed by massive walls, containing buildings,
courts, streets, and reservoirs for water.[1306] The largest is about
a mile south of the palace, and is 550 yards long by 400. The outer
wall is about 30 feet high and 10 feet thick at the base, with sides
inclining towards each other. Some of the interior walls are highly
ornamented in stuccoed patterns; and in one part there is an edifice
containing 45 chambers or cells, which is supposed to have been a
prison. The enclosure also contained a reservoir 450 feet long by 195,
and 60 feet deep.

The dry climate favored the adornment of outer walls by color, and
those of the Chimu palaces were covered with very tasteful sculptured
patterns. Figures of colored birds and animals are said to have been
painted on the walls of temples and palaces. Silver and gold ornaments
and utensils, mantles richly embroidered, robes of feathers, cotton
cloths of fine texture, and vases of an infinite variety of curious
designs, are found in the tombs.

Cieza de Leon gives us a momentary glimpse at the life of the Chimu
chiefs. Each ruler of a valley, he tells us, had a great house with
adobe pillars, and doorways hung with matting, built on extensive
terraces. He adds that the chiefs dressed in cotton shirts and long
mantles, and were fond of drinking-bouts, dancing and singing. The
walls of their houses were painted with bright colored patterns and
figures. Such places, rising out of the groves of fruit-trees, with the
Andes bounding the view in one direction and the ocean in the other,
must have been suitable abodes for joy and feasting. Around them were
the fertile valleys, peopled by industrious cultivators, and carefully
irrigated. Their irrigation works were indeed stupendous. “In the
valley of Nepeña the reservoir is three fourths of a mile long by more
than half a mile broad, and consists of a massive dam of stone 80 feet
thick at the base, carried across a gorge between two rocky hills.
It was supplied by two canals at different elevations; one starting
fourteen miles up the valley, and the other from springs five miles


[After a cut given by Ruge, following a plate in _The Necropolis of
Ancon_. Wiener (p. 44) gives a section of one of the Ancon tombs. See a
cut in Squier’s _Peru_, p. 73.—ED.]]

The custom prevalent among the Chimus of depositing with their dead
all objects of daily use, as well as ornaments and garments worn by
them during life, has enabled us to gain a further insight into the
social history of this interesting people. The researches of Reuss and
Stübel at the necropolis of Ancon, near Lima, have been most important.
Numerous garments, interwoven with work of a decorative character,
cloths of many colors and complicated patterns, implements used in
spinning and sewing, work-baskets of plaited grass, balls of thread,
fingerrings, wooden and clay toys, are found with the mummies. The
spindles are richly carved and painted, and attached to them are terra
cotta cylinders aglow with ornamental colorings which were used as
wheels. Fine earthenware vases of varied patterns, and wooden or clay
dishes, also occur.

Turning to the language of the coast people, we find that no Mochica
dictionary was ever made; but there is a grammar and a short list of
words by Carrera, and the Lord’s prayer in Mochica, by Bishop Oré. The
grammar was composed by a priest who had settled at Truxillo, near
the ruins of the Chimu palace, and who was a great-grandson of one of
the first Spanish conquerors. It was published at Lima in 1644. At
that time the Mochica language was spoken in the valleys of Truxillo,
Chicama, Chocope, Sana, Lambayeque, Chiclayo, Huacabamba, Olmos, and
Motupè. When the _Mercurio Peruano_[1308] was published in 1793, this
language is said to have entirely disappeared. Father Carrera tells us
that the Mochica was so very difficult that he was the only Spaniard
who had ever been able to learn it. The words bear no resemblance
whatever to Quichua. Mochica has three different declensions, Quichua
only one. Mochica has no transitive verbs, and no exclusive and
inclusive plurals, which are among the chief characteristics of
Quichua. The Mochica conjugations are formed in quite a different way
from those in the Quichua language. The Mochica system of numerals
appears to have been very complete. With the language, the people
have now almost if not entirely disappeared. Possibly the people of
Eten, south of Lambayeque, who still speak a peculiar language, may be
descendants of the Chimus.


[After a cut in T. J. Hutchinson’s _Two Years in Peru_ (London, 1873),
vol. i. p. 113. The Peruvian mummies are almost invariably simply
desiccated. Only the royal personages were embalmed (Markham’s _Cieza
de Leon_, 226). Cf. Wilson’s _Prehistoric Man_, ii. 135.—ED.]]

The Chimu dominion extended probably from Tumbez, in the extreme north
of the Peruvian coast, to Ancon, north of Lima. The Chimus also had
a strong colony in the valley of Huarcu, now called Cañete. But the
valleys of the Rimac, of Lurin, Chilca, and Mala, north of Cañete;
and those of Chincha, Yca, and Nasca, south of Cañete; were not Chimu
territory. The names of places in those valleys are all Quichua,
as well as the names of their chiefs, as recorded by Garcilasso de
la Vega and others. The inhabitants were, therefore, of Inca race,
probably colonists from the Huanca nation. Their superstitions as told
by Arriaga, and the curious mythological legends recorded by Avila as
being believed by the people of Huarochiri and the neighboring coast,
all point to an Inca origin. These Inca coast people are said to have
had a famous oracle near the present site of Lima, called “Rimac,” or
“He who speaks.” But more probably it was merely the name given to the
noisy river Rimac, babbling over its stones. It is true that there
was a temple on the coast with an oracle, the fame of which had been
widely spread. The idol called Pachacamac, or “The world-creator,”
was described by the first Spanish visitor, Miguel Estete, as being
made of wood and very dirty. The town was then half in ruins, for the
worship of this local deity was neglected after the conquest by the
Incas. These coast people of Inca race were as industrious as their
Chimu neighbors. In the Nasca valley there is a complete network of
underground watercourses for irrigation. At Yca “they removed the sand
from vast areas, until they reached the requisite moisture, then put in
guano from the islands, and thus formed sunken gardens of extraordinary
richness.”[1309] Similar methods were adopted in the valleys of Pisco
and Chilca.

When the Inca Pachacutec began to annex the coast valleys, he met
with slight opposition only from the people of Inca origin, who soon
submitted to his rule. But the Chimus struggled hard to retain their
independence. Those of the Huarcu (_Cañete_) valley made a desperate
and prolonged resistance. When at length they submitted, the Inca
built a fortress and palace on a rocky eminence overlooking the sea to
overawe them. The ruins now called Hervai are particularly interesting,
because they are the principal and most imposing example of Inca
architecture in which the building material is adobes and not stone.
The conquest of the valleys to the north of Lima and of the grand Chimu
himself was a still more difficult undertaking, necessitating more
than one hard-fought campaign. When it was completed, great numbers of
the best fighting-men among the Chimus were deported to the interior
as _mitimaes_. More than a century had elapsed since this conquest
when the Spaniards arrived, so that there was but slight chance of the
history of the Chimus being even partially preserved. Cieza de Leon and
Balboa alone supply us with notices of any value.[1310] The southern
valleys of the coast, Arequipa, Moquegua, and Tacna, were occupied by
_mitimaes_ or colonists from the Collao. The Incas gave the general
name of _yuncas_, or dwellers in the warm valleys, to all the people of
the coast.

Much mystery surrounds the history and origin of the _Chimu_ people.
That they were wholly separate and unconnected with the other races of
Peru seems almost certain. That they were far advanced in civilization
is clear. Difficulties surround any further prosecution of researches
concerning them. They have themselves disappeared from the face of the
earth. Their language has gone with them. But there are the magnificent
ruins of their palaces and temples. There are numerous tombs and
cemeteries which have never been scientifically examined. There is a
grammar and a small vocabulary of words calling for close comparative
examination. There are crania awaiting similar comparative study. There
is a possibility that further information may be gleaned from inedited
Spanish manuscripts. The subject is a most interesting one, and it is
by no means exhausted.


[After a cut in Ruge’s _Geschichte des Zeitalters der Entdeckungen_, p.
429, following the colored plate in _The Necropolis of Ancon_. Wiener
reproduces in black and white many of the Ancon specimens.—ED.]]

made in the work of elucidating the ancient history of Peru, and in
unravelling the interesting but still unsolved questions relating to
the origin and development of Inca civilization, without a knowledge
of the native language. The subject has accordingly received the close
attention of laborious students from a very early period, and the
present essay would be incomplete without appending an enumeration of
the Quichua grammars and vocabularies, and of works relating to Inca

Fray Domingo de San Tomas, a Dominican monk, was the first author who
composed a grammar and vocabulary of the language of the Incas. He gave
it the name of Quichua, probably because he had studied with members of
that tribe, who were of pure Inca race, and whose territory lies to the
westward of Cuzco. The name has since been generally adopted for the
language of the Peruvian empire.[1311]

Diego de Torres Rubio was born in 1547, in a village near Toledo,
became a Jesuit at the age of nineteen, and went out to Peru in 1577.
He studied the native languages with great diligence, and composed
grammars and vocabularies. His grammar and vocabulary of Quichua first
appeared at Saville in 1603, and passed through four editions.[1312]
A long residence in Chuquisaca enabled him to acquire the Aymara
language, and in 1616 he published a short grammar and vocabulary of
Aymara. In 1627 he also published a grammar of the Guarani language.
Torres Rubio was rector of the college at Potosi for a short time, but
his principal labors were connected with missionary work at Chuquisaca.
He died in that city at the great age of ninety-one, on the 13th of
April, 1638. Juan de Figueredo, whose Chinchaysuyu vocabulary is bound
up with later editions of Torres Rubio, was born at Huancavelica in
1648, of Spanish parents, and after a long and useful missionary life
he died at Lima in 1724.

The most voluminous grammatical work on the language of the Incas
had for its author the Jesuit Diego Gonzales Holguin. This learned
missionary was the scion of a distinguished family in Estremadura,
and was befriended in his youth by his relation, Don Juan de Obando,
President of the Council of the Indies. After graduating at Alcalá
de Henares he became a member of the Society of Jesus in 1568, and
went out to Peru in 1581. He resided for several years in the Jesuit
college at Juli, near the banks of Lake Titicaca, where the fathers had
established a printing-press, and here he studied the Quichua language.
He was entrusted with important missions to Quito and Chili, and was
nominated interpreter by the Viceroy Toledo. His later years were
passed in Paraguay, and when he died at the age of sixty-six, in 1618,
he was rector of the college at Asuncion. His Quichua dictionary was
published at Lima in 1586, and a second edition appeared in 1607,[1313]
the same year in which the grammar first saw the light.[1314] The
Quichua grammar of Holguin is the most complete and elaborate that has
been written, and his dictionary is also the best in every respect.

While Holguin was studiously preparing these valuable works on the
Quichua language in the college at Juli, a colleague was laboring with
equal zeal and assiduity at the dialect spoken by the people of the
Collao, to which the Jesuits gave the name of Aymara. Ludovico Bertonio
was an Italian, a native of the marches of Ancona. Arriving in Peru in
1581, he resided at Juli for many years, studying the Aymara language,
until, attacked by gout, he was sent to Lima, where he died at the age
of seventy-three, in 1625. His Aymara grammar was first published at
Rome in 1603,[1315] but a very much improved second edition,[1316] and
a large dictionary of Aymara,[1317] were products of the Jesuit press
at Juli in 1612. Bertonio also wrote a catechism and a life of Christ
in Aymara, which were printed at Juli.

A vocabulary of Quichua by Fray Juan Martinez was printed at Lima in
1604, and another in 1614. Four Quichua grammars followed during the
seventeenth century. That of Alonso de Huerta was published at Lima in
1616; the grammar of the Franciscan Diego de Olmos appeared in 1633;
Don Juan Roxo Mexia y Ocon, a native of Cuzco, and professor of Quichua
at the University of Lima, published his grammar in 1648; and the
grammar of Estevan Sancho de Melgar saw the light in 1691.[1318] Leon
Pinelo also mentions a Quichua grammar by Juan de Vega. The anonymous
Jesuit refers to a Quichua dictionary by Melchior Fernandez, which is
lost to us.

In 1644 Don Fernando de la Carrera, the Cura of Reque, near Chiclayo,
published his grammar of the Yunca language, at Lima. This is the
language which was once spoken in the valleys of the Peruvian coast
by the civilized people whose ruler was the grand Chimu. Now the
language is extinct, or spoken only by a few Indians in the coast
village of Eten. The work of Carrera is therefore important, as, with
the exception of a specimen of the language preserved by Bishop Oré,
it is the only book in which the student can now obtain any linguistic
knowledge of the lost civilization. The Yunca grammar was reprinted in
numbers in the _Revista de Lima_ of 1880 and following years.[1319]

There was a professorial chair for the study of Quichua in the
University of San Márcos at Lima, and the language was cultivated,
during the two centuries after the conquest, as well by educated
natives as by many Spanish ecclesiastics. The sermons of Dr. Don
Fernando de Avendaño have already been referred to.[1320] Dr.
Lunarejo, of Cuzco, was another famous Quichuan preacher, and the
_Confesionarios_ and catechisms in the language were very numerous.
Bishop Louis Geronimo Oré, of Guamanga, in his ritualistic manual,
gives the Lord’s prayer and commandments, not only in Quichua and
Aymara, but also in the Puquina language spoken by the Urus on Lake
Titicaca, and in the Yunca language of the coast, which he calls

A very curious book was published at Lima in 1602, which, among other
things, treats of the Quichua language and of the derivations of names
of places. The author, Don Diego D’Avalos y Figueroa, appears to have
been a native of La Paz. He was possessed of sprightly wit, was well
read, and a close observer of nature. We gather from his _Miscelanea
Austral_[1322] the names of birds and animals, and of fishes in Lake
Titicaca, as well as the opinions of the author on the cause of the
absence of rain on the Peruvian coast, on the lacustrine system of the
Collao, and on other interesting points of physical geography.[1323]

In modern times the language of the Incas has received attention from
students of Peruvian history. The joint authors, Dr. Von Tschudi and
Don Mariano Eduardo de Rivero, in their work entitled _Antigüedades
Peruanas_, published at Vienna in 1851, devote a chapter to the
Quichua language. Two years afterwards Dr. Von Tschudi published a
Quichua grammar and dictionary, with the text of the Inca drama of
Ollantay, and other specimens of the language.[1324] The present
writer’s contributions towards a grammar and dictionary of Quichua
were published by Trübner in 1864, and a few years previously a more
complete and elaborate work had seen the light at Sucre, the capital of
Bolivia. This was the grammar and dictionary by Father Honorio Mossi,
of Potosi, a large volume containing thorough and excellent work.[1325]
Lastly a Quichua grammar by José Dionisio Anchorena was published at
Lima in 1874.[1326]

The curious publication of Don José Fernandez Nodal in 1874 is not so
much a grammar of the Quichua Language as a heterogeneous collection
of notes on all sorts of subjects, and can scarcely take a place among
serious works. The author was a native of Arequipa, of good family, but
he was carried away by enthusiasm and allowed his imagination to run

The gospel of St. Luke, with Aymara and Spanish in parallel columns,
was translated from the vulgate by Don Vicente Pazos-kanki, a graduate
of the University of Cuzco, and published in London in 1829;[1328] and
more recently a Quichua version of the gospel of St. John, translated
by Mr. Spilsbury, an English missionary, has appeared at Buenos
Ayres.[1329] These publications and others of the same kind have a
tendency to preserve the purity of the language, and are therefore
welcome to the student of Incarial history.

Quichua has been the subject of detailed comparative study by more
than one modern philologist of eminence. The discussion of the Quichua
roots by the learned Dr. Vicente Fidel Lopez is a most valuable
addition to the literature of the subject; while the historical section
of his work is a great aid to a critical consideration of Montesinos
and other early authorities. Whatever may be thought of his theoretical
opinions, and of the considerations by which he maintains them, there
can be no doubt that Dr. Lopez has rendered most important service to
all students of Peruvian history.[1330] The theoretical identification
of Quichuan roots with those of Turanian and Iberian languages, as it
has been elaborated by Mr. Ellis, is also not without its use, quite
apart from the truth or otherwise of any linguistic theory.[1331]

[Illustration: FROM TIMANÁ.

[After a cut in William Bollaert’s _Antiquarian Researches_, etc., p.
41, showing a stone figure from Timana in New Granada, an antiquity of
the Muiscas, found in a dense forest, with no tradition attached.—ED.]]

Editorial labors connected with the publication of the text and of
translations of the Inca drama of Ollantay have recently conduced, in
an eminent degree, to the scholarly study of Quichua, while they have
sensibly contributed to a better knowledge of the subject. Von Tschudi
was the first to publish the text of Ollantay, in the second part of
his _Kechua Sprache_, having given extracts from the drama in the
chapter on the Quichua language in the _Antigüedades Peruanas_. After
a long interval he brought out a revised text with a parallel German
translation,[1332] from his former manuscript, collated with another
bearing the date of La Paz, 1735.

The drama, in the exact form that it existed when represented before
the Incas, is of course lost to us. It was handed down by tradition
until it was arranged for representation, divided into scenes, and
supplied with stage directions in Spanish times. Several manuscripts
were preserved, which differ only slightly from each other; and they
were looked upon as very precious literary treasures by their owners.
The drama was first publicly brought to notice by Don Manuel Palacios,
in the _Museo Erudito_, a periodical published at Cuzco in 1837; but
it was not until 1853 that the text was printed by Von Tschudi. His
manuscript was copied from one preserved in the Dominican monastery at
Cuzco by one of the monks. The transcription was made between 1840 and
1845 for the artist Rugendas, of Munich, who gave it to Von Tschudi.
There was another old manuscript in the possession of Dr. Antonio
Valdez, the priest of Sicuani, who lived in the last century, and was
a friend of the unfortunate Tupac Amaru. Dr. Valdez died in 1816; and
copies of his manuscript were possessed by Dr. Pablo Justiniani, the
aged priest of Laris, a village in the heart of the eastern Andes, and
by Dr. Rosas, the priest of Chinchero. The present writer made a copy
of the Justiniani manuscript at Laris, which he collated with that of
Dr. Rosas. In 1871 he published the text of his copy, with an attempt
at a literal English translation.[1333] In 1868 Dr. Barranca published
a Spanish translation from the text of Von Tschudi, now called the
Dominican text.[1334] The Peruvian poet Constantino Carrasco afterwards
brought out a version of the drama of Ollantay in verse, paraphrased
from the translation of Barranca.[1335] The enthusiastic Peruvian
student, Dr. Nodal, printed a different Quichua text with a Spanish
translation, in parallel columns, in 1874.[1336]

There are other manuscripts, and a text has not yet been derived
from a scholarly collation of the whole of them. There is one in the
possession of Dr. Gonzalez de la Rosa, which belonged to Dr. Justo
Sahuaraura Inca, Archdeacon of Cuzco, and descendant of Paullu, the
younger son of Huayna Ccapac. In 1878 the Quichua scholar and native of
Cuzco, Don Gavino Pacheco Zegarra, published the text of Ollantay at
Paris, from a manuscript found among the books of his great-uncle, Don
Pedro Zegarra. He added a very free translation in French, and numerous
valuable notes. The work of Zegarra is by far the most important
that has appeared on this subject, for the accomplished Peruvian has
the great advantage of knowing Quichua from his earliest childhood.
With this advantage, not possessed by any previous writer, he unites
extensive learning and considerable critical sagacity.[1337]

The reasons for assigning an ancient date to this drama of Ollantay
are conclusive in the judgment of all Quichua scholars. On this point
there is a consensus of opinion. But General Mitre, the ex-President
of the Argentine Republic, published an essay in 1881, to prove that
Ollantay was of Spanish origin and was written in comparatively
modern times.[1338] The present writer replied to his arguments in
the introduction (p. xxix) to the English translation of the second
part of _Cieza de Leon_ (1883), and this reply was translated into
Spanish and published at Buenos Ayres in the same year, by Don Adolfo
F. Olivares, accompanied by a critical note from the pen of Dr. Vicente
Lopez.[1339] The latest publication on the subject of Ollantay consists
of a series of articles in the _Ateneo de Lima_, by Don E. Larrabure y
Unanue, the accomplished author of a history of the conquest of Peru,
not yet published. The general conclusion which has been arrived at
by Quichua scholars, after this thorough sifting of the question, is
that, although the division into scenes and the stage directions are
due to some Spanish hand, and although some few Hispanicisms may have
crept into some of the texts, owing to the carelessness or ignorance
of transcribers, yet that the drama of Ollantay, in all essential
points, is of Inca origin. Several old songs are imbedded in it, and
others have been preserved by Quichua scholars at Cuzco and Ayacucho,
and in the neighborhood of those cities. The editing of these remains
of Inca literature will, at some future time, throw further light
on the history of the past. There are several learned Peruvians who
devote themselves to Incarial studies, besides Señor Zegarra, who now
resides in Spain. Among them may be mentioned Dr. Villar of Cuzco, a
ripe scholar, who has recently published a closely reasoned essay on
the word _Uira-cocha_, Don Luis Carranza, and Don Martin A. Mujica, a
native of Huancavelica.

=III.= THE NEW GRANADA TRIBES.—The incipient civilization of the
Chibchas or Muiscas of New Granada was first made generally known by
Humboldt (_Vues des Cordillères_, octavo ed., ii. 220-67; _Views of
Nature_, Eng. trans., 425). Cf. also, E. Uricoechea’s _Memorias sobre
las Antigüedades néo-granadinas_ (Berlin, 1854); Bollaert; Rivero and
Von Tschudi; Nadaillac, 459; and Joseph Acosta’s _Compendio historico
del Descubrimiento de la Nueva Granada_ (Paris, 1848; with transl. in




_President of the Massachusetts Historical Society._

THE relations into which the first Europeans entered with the
aborigines in North America were very largely influenced, if not
wholly decided, by the relations which they found to exist among the
tribes on their arrival here. Those relations were fiercely hostile.
The new-comers in every instance and in every crisis found their
opportunity and their immunity in the feuds existing among tribes
already in conflict with each other. This state of things, while it
gave the whites enemies, also furnished them with allies. So far as the
whites could learn in their earliest inquiries, internecine strife had
been waging here among the natives from an indefinite past.

Starting, then, from this hostile relation between the native tribes of
the northerly parts of the continent, we may trace the development of
our subject through five periods:—

1. The first period, a very brief one, is marked by the presence
of a single European nationality here, the French, for whom, under
stringency of circumstance that he might be in friendly alliance with
one tribe, Champlain was compelled to espouse its existing feud with
other tribes.

2. The next period opens with the appearance and sharp rivalry here of
a second European nationality, the English, the hereditary foe of the
French, transferring hither their inherited animosities, amid which the
Indians were ground as between two mill-stones.

3. Upon the extinction of French dominion on the continent by the
English, the former red allies of the French, with secret prompting and
help from the dispossessed party, were stirred with fresh animosities
against the victors.

4. Yet again the open hostilities of contending Indian tribes were
largely turned to account, to their own harm, in their respective
alliances with the English colonies or with the mother-country in the
War of Independence.

5. The closing period is that which is still in progress as covering
the relations with them of the United States government. The old
hostilities between those tribes have been steadily of less account in
affecting their later fortunes; and our government has not found it
essential or expedient to aggravate its own severity against its Indian
subjects, or “wards,” by availing itself of the feuds between them.

The same antagonisms which had kept the Indian tribes in hostility
with each other prevented their effective alliance among themselves
against the whites, and also embarrassed the English and French
rivals, who sought to engage them on their respective sides. Many
attempts were made by master chiefs among the savages, from the first
intrusion of the Europeans, to organize combinations, or what we call
“conspiracies,” of formerly contending tribes against the common foe.
The first of them, formidable though limited in its consequences, was
made in Virginia in 1622. Only two of these schemes proved otherwise
than wholly abortive. That of King Philip in New England, in 1675, was
effective enough to show what havoc such a combination might work. That
of Pontiac, in 1763, was vastly more formidable, and was thwarted only
by a resistance which engaged at several widely severed points all the
warlike resources of the English. But the inherent difficulties, both
of combining the Indian tribes among themselves, and of engaging some
of them in alliance on either side with the French and the English
contestants, were vastly increased by the seeds of sharp dissension
sown among them through the rivalries in trade and temptations offered
in the fluctuating prices of peltries. Even the long-standing league of
the Five Nations was ruptured by the resolute English agent Johnson.
He succeeded so far as to secure a promise of neutrality from some of
them, and a promise of friendly help from one of them. There were some
in each of the tribes falling not one whit behind the sharpest of the
whites in skilled sagacity and calculation, who were swift to mark and
to interpret the changes in the balance of fortune, as one or the other
of the parties of their common enemies made a successful stroke for

The facilities for alliance with one or another native tribe against
its enemies made for the Europeans a vast difference in the results
of their warfare with the aborigines. One might venture positively to
assert that the occupancy of this continent by Europeans would have
been indefinitely deferred and delayed had all its native tribes, in
amity with each other, or willing for the occasion to arrest their
feuds, made a bold and united front to resist the first intrusion upon
their common domains. Certainly the full truth of this assertion might
be illustrated as applicable to many incidents and crises in the first
feeble and struggling fortunes of our original colonists in various
exposed and inhospitable places. In many cases absolute starvation was
averted only by the generous hospitality of the Indians. Taking into
view the circumstances under which, from the first, tentative efforts
were made for a permanent occupancy by the whites on our whole coast
from Nova Scotia to Florida, and along the lakes and great western
valleys, we must admit that their fortunes had more of peril than of
promise. While, of course, we must refer their success and security in
large measure to the forbearance, tolerance, and real kindliness of
the natives, yet it was well proved that as soon as the jealousy of
these natives was stirred at any threatened encroachment, only their
own feuds disabled them from any united opposition, and gave to one or
another tribe the alternative of fighting the white intruders or of an
alliance with them against their neighbor enemies. The whole series
of the successive encroachments of Europeans on this continent is a
continuous illustration of the successful turning to their own account
of the strife of Indians against Indians. And when two rival European
nationalities opened their two centuries of warfare for dominion on
this continent, each party at once availed itself of red allies ready
to renew or prolong their own previous hostilities.

The French Huguenots in Florida and the Spaniards who massacred
them had each of them allies among the tribes which were in mutual
hostility. Champlain was grievously perplexed by the pressure, to which
none the less he yielded, that if he would be in amity with the Hurons
he must espouse their deadly enmity with the Iroquois. Even the poor
remnants of the tribe with which the Pilgrims of Plymouth made their
treaty of peace, which lasted for fifty years, were the vanquished and
tributary representatives of a broken people. A sharp war and a more
deadly plague had made that colony a possibility.

And so it comes to pass that, if we attempt to define at any period
during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the conflicts between
the savages and Europeans on this continent, we have to look for the
explanation of any special change in the relations of the Indian tribes
to the varying interests and collisions of the different foreign
nationalities in rivalry here. The hostilities between the French
and the English were chronic and continuous. Frenchman’s Bay, at Mt.
Desert, preserves the memorial of the first collision, when Argall,
from Virginia, broke up the attempted settlement of Saussaye.[1340]
As to the later developments of the antagonism, resulting in the
extinction of French possession here, we are to refer them in about
equal measure to two main causes,—the jealousy of the home governments,
and the keen rivalry of the respective colonists for the lucrative
spoils of the fur trade. The profit of traffic may be regarded as
furnishing the prompting for strife on this side of the water, while
the passion for territorial conquest engaged the intrigues and the
armies of foreign courts in the stakes of wilderness warfare.

In tracing the course of such warfare we must take into our view two
very effective agencies, which introduced important modifications
in the methods and results of that warfare. In its progress these
two agencies became more and more chargeable with very serious
consequences. The first of these is the change induced in the warfare
of the Indians by their possession of, leading steadily to a dependence
upon, the white man’s firearms and supplies. The second is the usage,
which the Indians soon learned to be profitable, of reserving their
white prisoners for ransom, instead of subjecting them to death or

When we read of some of the earliest so-called “deeds” by which the
English colonists obtained from the sachems wide spaces of territory
on the consideration of a few tools, hatchets, kettles, or yards of
cloth, we naturally regard the transaction as simply illustrating the
white man’s rapacity and cunning in tricking the simplicity of the
savage. But we may be sure that in many such cases the Indian secured
what was to him a full equivalent for that with which he parted. For,
as the whites soon learned by experience, the savages supposed that
in such transactions they were not alienating the absolute ownership
of their lands, but only covenanting for the right of joint occupancy
with the English. And then the coveted tools or implements obtained by
them represented a value and a use not measurable by any reach of wild
territory. A metal kettle, a spear, a knife, a hatchet, transformed
the whole life of a savage. A blanket was to him a whole wardrobe.
When he came to be the possessor of firearms and ammunition, having
before regarded himself the equal of the white man, he at once became
his superior. We shall see how the rivalry between the French and
the English for traffic with the Indians, the enterprise of traders
in pushing into the wilderness with pack-horses, the establishment
of trucking houses, the facility with which the natives could obtain
coveted goods from either party, and the occasional failure of
supplies in the contingencies of warfare, were on many occasions the
turning-points in the fights in the wilderness, and in the shifting of
savage partisanship from one side to the other, as the fickle allies
found their own interests at stake.

It was in 1609, when Champlain invaded the Iroquois country, on the
lake that bears his name, that the astounded savages first saw the
flash and marked the deadly effect of his arquebuse. But the shock soon
spent itself. The weapon was found to be a terrestrial one, made and
put to service by a man. The Dutch on the Hudson very soon supplied the
Mohawks with this effective instrument for prosecuting the fur trade.
The French began the general traffic with the Indians near the St.
Lawrence, in metal vessels, knives, hatchets, awls, cotton and woollen
goods, blankets, and that most coveted of all the white man’s stores,
the maddening “fire-water.” But farther north and west for full two
hundred years, from 1670 quite down to our own time, annual cargoes of
these commodities were imported through Hudson Bay by the chartered
company, and had been distributed by its agents among those who paid
for them in peltries, in such abundance that the savages became really
dependent upon them, and gradually conformed their habits to the use of
them. Of course, in their raids upon English outposts, the spoils of
war in the shape of such supplies added rapacity to their ferocity. It
was with a proud flourish that Indian warriors, enriched by the plunder
on the field of Braddock’s disastrous defeat, strutted before the walls
of Fort Duquesne, arrayed in the laced hats, sashes, uniform, and
gorgets of British officers.

When Céloron was sent, in 1749, by the governor of Canada, to take
possession of interior posts along the Alleghanies, he found at
each of the Indian villages, as at Logstown, a chief centre, from a
single to a dozen English traders, well supplied with goods for a
brisk peltry traffic. He required the chiefs, on the threat of the
loss of his favor, to expel them and to forbid their return. But the
Indians insisted that they needed the goods. Some of these traders
were worthless reprobates, mostly Scotch-Irish, from the frontiers of
Pennsylvania. When Christopher Gist was sent, the next year, by the
Ohio Land Company, to follow Céloron and to thwart his schemes, he
complained strongly of these demoralized and demoralizing traders. In
the evidence given before the British House of Commons on the several
occasions when the monopoly and the mode of business of the Hudson
Bay Company were under question, the extent to which the natives had
come to depend upon European supplies was very strongly brought into
notice. It was urged that some of the tribes had actually, by disuse,
lost their skill in their old weapons. It was even affirmed that in
some of the tribes multitudes had died by freezing and starvation,
because their recent supplies had failed them. This dependence of the
natives upon the resources of civilization, observable from the opening
of their intercourse with the whites, has been steadily strengthening
for two hundred years, till now it has become an absolute and heavy
exaction upon our national treasury.

       *       *       *       *       *

The custom which soon came in, to soften the atrocities of Indian
warfare by the holding of white prisoners for ransom, was grafted upon
an earlier usage among the natives of adopting prisoners or captives.
There was a formal ceremonial in such cases, and after its performance
those who would otherwise have been victims were treated with all
kindness. The return of a war-party to its own village was attended
with widely different manifestations according to the fortune which
had befallen it. If it consisted only of a baffled and flying remnant
that had failed in its hazardous enterprise, its coming was announced,
and received by the old men, women, and youths in the village with
howls and lamentations. If, however, it had been successful, as
proved by rich plunder, reeking scalp-locks, and prisoners, some
runners were sent in advance to announce its approach. Then began a
series of orgies, in which the old squaws were the most demonstrative
and hideous. While the scalp-locks were displayed and counted, the
well-guarded prisoners were exultingly escorted by their captors,
the squaws gathering around them with taunts and petty tormentings.
The woful fate which was waiting these prisoners was foreshadowed in
prolonged rehearsals for its final horrors. One by one they were forced
to run the gauntlet from goal to goal, between lines of yelping fiends,
under blows and missiles, stones, sticks, and tomahawks, while efforts
were made to trip them in their course, that they might be pounded in
their helplessness when maddened with pain. Any exhibition of weakness
or dread did but intensify the malignant frenzy of their tormentors.
Those who lived through this ordeal, which was intended to be but a
preliminary in the barbaric entertainment, and to stop short of the
actual extinction of life, were afterwards, by deliberate preparations
made in full view of the prisoners, subjected to all the ingenuities
of rage and cruelty which untamed savage fiendishness could devise.
The hero who bore the trial without flinching, singing his song of
defiance, and in his turn mocking his tormentors because they failed to
break his spirit, was most likely to find mercy in a finishing stroke
dealt by a magnanimous foe.

Anything like an alleviation of these dread revenges of savage warfare
being unallowable, there was open one way of complete relief in the
usage of adoption, just referred to. This, however, was never available
to the prisoner from his own first motion or prompting. He was wholly
passive in the matter. It came solely from the inclination of any
one in the village, a warrior or a squaw who, having recently lost a
relative, or one whose service was necessary, might select a prisoner
from the group as desirable to supply a place that was vacant. There
would seem to have been a large liberty allowed in the exercise of this
privilege, especially for those who were mourning for a relative lost
in the encounter in which the prisoner was taken. Sometimes the merest
caprice might prompt the selection. Scarcely, except in the rare case
of some proud captive who would haughtily scorn to avail himself of a
seeming affinity with the tribe of a hated or abject enemy, would the
offered privilege of adoption be refused. For, in any case, an ultimate
escape from an enforced durance might be looked to. Of course those
who were thus adopted were mostly the young and vigorous. The little
children were not especially favored in the process,—except, as soon to
be noted, the children of the whites. The ceremonial for adoption was
traditional. Beginning generally with somewhat rough and intimidating
treatment, the captive was for a while left in suspense as to his fate.
When at length the intent of the arbiter of his life was made known to
him, the method pursued has been very frequently described to us in
detail by the whites who were the subjects of it.[1341] The candidate
was plunged and thoroughly soused in a stream to rinse out his white
blood; the hair of his head, saving the scalp-lock, was plucked out;
and after some mouthings and incantations, completing the initiation,
all winning blandishments, arts, and appliances were engaged to secure
the confidence of the adopted captive, and to draw from him some
responsive sign of affection. He was arrayed in the choicer articles of
forest finery, and nestled in the family lodge. The father, the squaw,
or the patron, in whatever relation, to whom he henceforward belonged,
spared no effort to engage and comfort him. Watchful eyes, of course,
jealously guarded any restless motions looking towards an escape. The
final aim was to secure a fully nationalized and acclimated new member
of a tribe, ready to share all its fortunes in peace and war.

Naturally there were differences in this whole process and its results,
as they concerned these attempted affiliations between the members of
Indian tribes and in the adoption of white captives.[1342]

In their early conflicts with the whites, the Indians generally
practised an indiscriminate slaughter. There were a few exceptions to
the rule in King Philip’s war.[1343] In the raids of the French, with
their Indian allies, upon the English settlements, prisoners taken on
either side came gradually to have the same status as in civilized
warfare, and to be held for exchange. This, however, would proceed
upon the supposition that both parties had prisoners. But before there
was anything like equality in this matter, the captives were for the
most part such as had been seized from among the whites in inroads
upon their settlements, not in the open field of warfare. A midnight
assault upon some frontier cabins, or upon the lodge of some lonely
settler, left the savages to choose between a complete massacre or upon
a selection of some of their victims for leading away with them to
their own haunts, if not too cumbersome or dangerous for the wilderness
journey. It soon came to be understood among the raiding parties of
Indians in alliance with the French in Canada that white captives had
a ransom value. Contributions were often gathered up in neighborhoods
that had been raided, and in the meeting-houses of New England on
Sundays, for redeeming such captives as were known to be in Canada.
And, curiously enough, Judge Sewall in his journal records appeals for
charity in the same form for the redemption of captives in the hands of
our own savages, and for the ransom of our seamen and traders who were
kept in durance by African corsairs.

In the raids of desolation on either side of the Alleghanies and
along the sources of the Susquehannah and the Ohio, from the outbreak
of the French and Indian war, down to and even after the crushing
of Pontiac’s conspiracy, while more than a thousand cabins of the
borderers were burned and their inmates mostly slaughtered, several
hundred captives were borne off by the Indians and distributed among
their villages. The ultimate fate of these captives always hung in
dread uncertainty. If a panic arose among the lodges in apprehension
of an onset from a war-party of the whites, the captives might be
massacred. But the force of circumstances and the urgency of interested
motives steadily made it an object for their captors to retain their
prisoners unharmed, and even to make captivity tolerable to them.
The alternative of death or life to them generally depended upon
whether they might escape or be released by an avenging party without
compensation, or could be held for redemption through a ransom. The
knowledge that the Indians retained such captives of course became a
very effective motive in inducing their relatives in the settlements
to gather parties of neighbors for following the victims into the
forest depths. Temporary truces also, when made by victorious parties
of the whites, were conditioned upon the surrender of all their
surviving countrymen who were supposed to be in duress. The savages
practised all their artifices and subterfuges in concealing some of
their prisoners, alleging that they had been carried deeper into the
country by new masters, or by positively denying all knowledge of their
whereabouts. But the persistency and threats of those who had learned
how to deal with these red diplomates, with a few resolute strokes
generally brought about their surrender. When Bouquet had secured
possession of Fort Duquesne with his army of 1,500 men, he stoutly
followed up his success beyond the Ohio to the Indian settlements
near the Muskingum, and with his sturdy pluck and strong force he
overawed the representatives of the neighboring tribes which he had
summoned to meet him. He insisted, as the first condition of a truce,
upon the delivery of all the white prisoners secluded among them, not
only without the payment of any ransom, but upon their being brought
in with a protecting escort and with means of sustenance. Of course
there was always ignorance or doubt as to the number of captives in any
particular place, and as to the hands into which any individual known
or supposed to be in durance might have fallen. The word of an Indian
on these points was worthless unless backed by other testimony. A
stimulating of the tongue into unguarded speech by a dram of rum might
in some cases serve the purpose of the rack or the thumb-screw in more
civilized cross-examinations. An uncertainty of course always hung over
the survival or the whereabouts of individuals or members of a family
whose bodies had not been found on the scene of an Indian frontier
raid. Bouquet was accompanied by friends and relatives of supposed
survivors held in captivity as the spoils of some massacre, and these
might be depended upon to circumvent the falsehoods and cunning of
the captors, and to insist upon their giving up their prizes. The
persistency and the plain evidence of resolved purpose manifested by
Bouquet finally compelled from the representatives of the tribes in
council a pledge to surrender all the prisoners in their hands, and
messengers were sent out to gather and bring them in, though with some
plausible excuses for delay, and the grudging return of only a part of
them. But those who were given up became the best witnesses as to the
deception practised by the cunning culprits in holding back others.
Only after repeated exposures of falsehood by those so grudgingly
surrendered, asserting of their own knowledge that there were others
held in durance, whom they might even know by name, was there brought
about a full deliverance, saving that, whether truly or falsely, in
the case of a few individuals demanded the excuse was alleged that
they belonged to some chief or tribe absent at a distance on a hunt,
and so not to be reached by a summons. Bouquet was also absolute in
his demand for all such white captives, young or old, as were alleged
to have been adopted or married among the tribes. His firmly insisting
upon this, and the compliance with it in many cases, led to some scenic
manifestations in the wilderness, of a highly dramatic character, full
of the matter of romance in their revelations of the working of human
nature under novel and strange conditions. Such manifestations often
attended similar scenes in the ransom or forced surrender of whites who
had been in captivity among the Indians. But in this special instance
of Bouquet’s resolute course with the Ohio tribes, numbers, variety,
picturesqueness in those manifestations, gave to the bringing in and
the reception of captives features and incidents which strongly engage
alike the sympathies and antipathies of human nature. Some of those
brought into Bouquet’s camp, who had once at least been whites, came
with full as much reluctance on their part as that which was felt by
those who gave them up. Indeed, several of them could be secured only
by being bound and guarded.

Approximation in all degrees to the manners and habits of Indian
life and to all the qualities of Indian nature had been realized by
Europeans from the first contact of the races on this continent. Of
course the instances were numerous and very decisive in which this
approximation was completed, and resulted in a substitution of all
the ways and habits of savagery for those of civilization. Many of
those who were forced back into Bouquet’s camp clung to their Indian
friends, and repelled all the manifestations of joy and affection of
their own nearest kin by blood. They positively refused to return to
the settlements. They had been won by preference to the fascinations
and license of a life in the wilderness. This preference was by no
means inexplicable, even for some full-grown men and women who had
been reared in the white settlements. Life in scattered cabins on the
frontiers had more points of resemblance than of difference in hard
conditions and privations, when compared with savage life in the woods.
Such society as these scattered cabins afforded was rude and rough, all
experiences were precarious, daily drudgery was severe, the solitary
homes were gloomy, and only exceptional cases of early domestic and
mental training alleviated the stern exigencies of the condition of the
first generation of the settlers. For women and children especially,
the outlook and the routine of life were dismal enough. As for the
men, the more they conformed themselves in many respects to the actual
habits and resources of the Indians in the training of their instincts,
in their garb, their food, their adaptation of themselves to the ways
and resources of nature, the easier was their lot. Many women, likewise
made captives by the savages, in some cases of mature age, and having
looked forward to the usual lot of marriage, found an Indian to be
preferable, or at all events tolerable, as a husband. Children who
preserved but a faint remembrance of home and parents very readily
adopted savage tastes, and testified by their shrieks and struggles
their unwillingness to part from their red friends. Specimens from
each of these classes were the most marked and demonstrative among
the groups brought in to Bouquet from Indian lodges, being in number
more than two hundred. Doubtless, however, the majority of them had
had enough of the experiences of savage life to make a return to the
settlements a welcome release. Such persons thenceforward constituted
a useful class as interpreters, mediators, and messengers between the
contending parties. Their knowledge of Indian character, superstitions,
limitations, weak and strong points, impulsive excitability,
stratagems, and adaptability to circumstance proved on many emergent
occasions of good account. Such of these returned captives as had had
the rudiments of an education, and were trustworthy as narrators, have
made valuable contributions to local history.

Among many such intelligent and trustworthy reporters was Col.
James Smith, captured on the borders of Pennsylvania in 1755, when
eighteen years of age, and kept in captivity five years. Another
was John McCullough, taken at about the same time and from the near
neighborhood, when eight years old. He was retained eight years,
and, being a quick-witted and observing youth, he kept his eyes and
ears open to all that he could learn. From such sources we derive
the most authentic information we possess of that transition period
in the condition and fortunes of many of our aboriginal tribes when
the intrusion of Europeans upon them with their tempting goods and
their rival schemes, which equally tended to dispossess them of their
heritage, introduced among them so many novel complications. Some of
the narratives of the whites, who, under the conditions just referred
to, lived for years and were assimilated with the Indians, present us
occasionally by no means unattractive pictures of the ordinary tenor of
life among them. In the brief intervals of peace, and in some favored
recesses where game abounded and the changing seasons brought round
festivals, plays, and scenes of jollity, there were even fascinations
to delight one of simple tastes, who could enjoy the aspects of nature,
share the easy tramp over mossy trails, content himself with the viands
of the wilderness, employ the long hours of laziness in easy handiwork,
delight in basking beneath the soft hazes of the Indian summer, or
listening to the traditional lore of the winter wigwam. The forests
very soon began to be the shelter and the roving haunts of a crew of
renegades and outlaws from the settlements, who assimilated at all
points with the savages, and often used what remained to them of the
knowledge and arts of civilization for ingenious purposes of mischief.
It has always proved a vastly more easy and rapid process for white men
to fall back into barbarism than for an Indian to conform himself to
civilization. Wild life brought out all reversionary tendencies, and
revived primitive qualities and instincts. It gave those who shared it
a full opportunity to become oblivious of all fastidious tastes and
of all the squeamishness of over-delicacy. The promiscuous contents
of the camp-kettle, with its deposits and incrustations from previous
banquets, were partaken of with a zestful appetite. The circumstances
of warfare in the woods quickened all the faculties of watchfulness,
made even the natural coward brave, imparted endurance, and multiplied
all the ingenuities of resource and stratagem. There is something that
surpasses the merely marvellous in the feats of sturdy and persevering
scouts, escaped captives, remnants of a butchery, messengers sent to
carry intelligence in supreme peril, and lonely wayfarers treading
the haunted forests, or creeping stealthily through ambushed defiles,
penetrating marshes, using the sky and their woodcraft for guidance,
fording or swimming choked or icy streams, climbing high tree-tops
for a wider survey from the closed woods and thickets, subsisting on
roots and berries and moss, and yielding to the exhaustion of nature
only when all perils were passed and the refuge was reached. Alike on
the march of armies and in the siege of some little forest stronghold
surrounded by yelping savages, it was necessary from time to time to
send out a single plucky hero to carry or to obtain intelligence. When
such a messenger was not designated by the commander, and the extremity
of the emergency left the dismal honor to a volunteer, such was never
found to be lacking. It confounds all calculations of the law of
chances to learn how, even in the majority of such dire enterprises as
are on record, fortune favored the brave. Narratives there are which
for ages to come will gather all the exciting elements of tragedy and
romance, and occasionally even of comedy, as, set down in the language
of the woods, without the constraints of art or grammar, they make us
for the moment companions of some imperilled man or woman who borrowed
of the bear, the deer, the fox, or the beaver, their several instincts
and stratagems for outwitting pursuit and clinging to dear life. Rare,
it may be, but still well authenticated, are cases of victims with a
strong tenacity of vitality, who, left as dead, mutilated and scalped,
reasserted themselves when the foe had gone, found their way back to
their homes, and, after such reconstruction as the art of the time
would allow, enjoyed a long life afterwards.

The conditions attending the entrance of European war-parties, with
their necessary supplies, into the depths of the wilderness were of the
most severe and exacting character. They involved equally the outlay of
toil and an exposure to perils requiring the most watchful vigilance.
Well-worn trails made by the natives, and always sufficiently travelled
to keep them open, had long been in use for such purposes as were
needed in primitive conditions. These were very narrow, necessitating
that progress should be made through them singly, in “Indian file.”
At portages or carrying-places, burdens were borne on the back from
one watercourse to another, round a rapid or across an elevation.
Some of these trails are even now traceable in the oldest settled
portions of the country, where the woods have never been wholly
cleared. Part of that which was availed of by the whites two hundred
and fifty years ago between Plymouth and Boston, and others in untilled
portions of the Old Colony, are clearly discernible. The thickets
and undergrowths came close to the borders of these trails, and the
overhanging branches of the trees were found a grievous annoyance when
the earliest traders with pack-horses traversed them. In a large part
of our present national domain and in Canada, it may safely be said
that nineteen twentieths of all movement from place to place was made
by the savages by the watercourses of lake and stream, and the same
was done by the Europeans till they brought into use horses first, and
then carts. These were first put to service by the traders from the
English settlements on the frontiers of Pennsylvania and Virginia. The
pack-horses, heavily laden, trained to their rough service for rocky
and marshy grounds, as well as for the thick and stifling depths of
the forest, and able to subsist on very poor forage, carried goods
most prized by the natives, and generally in inverse ratio to their
real worth. They returned to the settlements from the Indian villages
with a burden of precious furs, the traffickers mutually finding
their account in their respective shares in barter and profit. These
traders with their pack-horses were for a long time the pioneers of the
actual settlers. The methods and results of their traffic, trifling
as they may seem to be, had the two leading consequences of critical
importance: first, they made the Indians acquainted with and dependent
upon the white man’s goods, and then they provoked and embittered
the rival competition between the French and the English for the
considerable profits.

What we now call a military road was first undertaken on a serious
scale in the advance of the disastrous expedition of General
Braddock, in 1755, over the Alleghanies to the forks of the Ohio.
The incumbrances with which he burdened himself might wisely have
been greatly reduced in kind and in amount. But the exigencies of
the service in which he was engaged were but poorly apprehended by
him. As in the case of the even more disastrous campaign of General
Burgoyne, twenty-two years later, (1777) though his route was mainly
by water, the camp was lavishly supplied with appliances of luxury
and sensuality. Braddock’s way for his cattle, carts, and artillery
was slowly and poorly prepared by pioneers in advance, levelling
trees, stiffening marshy places, removing rocks and bushes, and then
leaving huge stumps in the devious track to rack the wagons and
torment the draught animals. It is not without surprise that we read
of the presence of domestic cattle far off in the extreme outposts
of single persevering settlers. But when, on the first extensive
military expeditions for building a fort on the shore of a lake, at
river forks, or to command a portage, we find mention of cannon and
heavy ammunition, we marvel at the perseverance involved in their
transportation. The casks of liquor, of French brandy and of New
England rum, which generally, without stint, formed a part of the
stores of each military enterprise, furnished in themselves a motive
spirit which facilitated their transport. Flour and bread could, with
many risks from stream and weather, be carried in sacks. But pork and
beef in pickle, the mainstay in garrisons which could not venture
out to hunt or fish, required to be packed in wood. After all the
persevering toil engaged in this transportation, the dire necessities
of warfare under these stern conditions often compelled the destruction
of the stores, every article of which had tasked the strained muscles
and sinews of the hard-worked campaigners. When it was found necessary
to evacuate a forest post, the stockade was set on fire, the magazine
was exploded, the cannon spiked, the powder thrown into the water, and
everything that could not be carried off in a hasty retreat was, if
possible, rendered useless as booty. As the French and English military
movements steadily extended over a wider territory and at more numerous
points, with increased forces, the waste and havoc caused by disasters
on either side involved an enormous destruction of the materials of
war. Vessels constructed with incredible labor on the lakes, anvils,
cordage, iron, and artillery having been gathered for their building
and arming by perilous ocean voyages and by transit through inner
waters and portages, and thousands of bateaux for Lakes Champlain and
George, now lie sunken in the depths, most of them destroyed by those
in whose service they were to be employed. The “Griffin,” the first
vessel on Lake Erie, built by La Salle in 1679, disappeared on her
second voyage, and lies beneath the waters still. After Braddock’s
defeat, when the fugitive remnant of his army had reached Dunbar’s
camp, a hundred and fifty wagons were burned, and fifty thousand pounds
of powder were emptied into a creek, after the incredible toil by which
they had been drawn over the mountains and morasses.

There were many occasions and many reasons which prompted the
Europeans to weigh the gain or loss which resulted to them from the
employment of Indian allies, who were always an incalculable element
in any enterprise. They could never be depended upon for constancy or
persistency. A bold stroke, followed, if successful, with butchery,
and a rush to the covert of the woods if a failure, was the sum of
their strategy. They had a quick eye in watching the turning fortunes
and the probable issue of a venture, and they acted accordingly. They
were wholly disinclined for any protracted siege operations. In the
weary months of the investment of Detroit, the only enterprise of
the sort engaged in by large bodies of savages acting in concert, we
find a single exceptional case of their uniform impatience of such
prolonged strategy. And even in that case there were intervals when the
imperilled and starving garrison had breathing-spells for recuperation.
Charges and counter-charges, pleas and criminations of every kind,
plausible, false, or sincere, are found in the journals and reports of
English and French officers, prompted by accusations and vindications
of either party, called out by the atrocities and butcheries wrought
by their savage allies in many of the conflicts of the French and
Indian war. In vain did the commanders of the white forces on either
side promise that their red allies should be restrained from plunder
and barbarity against the defeated party. It was an attempt to bridle
a storm. From the written opinions expressed by various civil and
military officials during all our Indian wars one might gather a list
of judgments, always emphatically worded, as to the qualities of the
red men as allies. Governor Dinwiddie, writing in May 28, 1756, to
General Abercrombie, on his arrival here to hold the chief command
till the coming of Lord Loudon, expresses himself thus: “I think we
have secured the Six Nations to the Northward to our Interest who, I
suppose, will join your Forces. They are a very awkward, dirty sett of
People, yet absolutely necessary to attack the Enemy’s Indians in their
way of fighting and scowering the Woods before an Army. I am perswaded
they will appear a despicable sett of People to his Lordship and you,
but they will expect to be taken particular Notice of, and now and then
some few Presents. I fear General Braddock despised them too much,
which probably was of Disservice to him, and I really think without
some of them any engagement in the Woods would prove fatal, and if
strongly attached to our Interest they are able in their way to do more
than three Times their Number. They are naturally inclined to Drink. It
will be a prudent Stepp to restrain them with Moderation, and by some
of your Subalterns to shew them Respect.”[1344] Baron Dieskau, in 1755,
had abundant reason for expressing himself about his savage auxiliaries
in this fashion: “They drive us crazy from morning to night. One needs
the patience of an angel to get on with these devils, and yet one must
always force himself to seem pleased with them.”[1345]

       *       *       *       *       *

It would seem as if the native tribes, when Europeans first secured a
lodgment, were beguiled by a fancy which in most cases was very rudely
dispelled. This fancy was that the new-comers might abide here without
displacing them. The natives in giving deeds of lands, as has been
said, had apparently no idea that they had made an absolute surrender
of territory. They seem to have imagined that something like a joint
occupancy was possible, each of the parties being at liberty to follow
his own ways and interests without molesting the other. So the Indians
did not move off to a distance, but frequented their old haunts, hoping
to derive advantage from the neighborhood of the white man. King Philip
in 1675 discerned and acutely defined the utter impracticability of any
such joint occupancy. He indicated the root of the impending ruin to
his own race, and he found a justification of the conspiracy which he
instigated in pointing to the white man’s clearings and fences, and to
the impossibility of joining planting with hunting, and domestic cattle
with wild game.

The history of the Hudson Bay Company and that of the enterprises
conducted by the French for more than a century, when set in contrast
with the steady development of colonization by English settlers and by
the people of the United States succeeding to them, brings out in full
force the different relations into which the aborigines have always
been brought by the presence of Europeans among them, either as traders
or possessors of territory. The Hudson Bay Company for exactly two
centuries, from 1670 to 1870, held a charter for the monopoly of trade
with the Indians here over an immense extent of territory, and in the
later portion of that period held an especial grant for exclusive trade
over an even more extended region, further north and west. The company
made only such a very limited occupancy of the country, at small and
widely distant posts, as was necessary for its trucking purposes and
the exchange of European goods for peltries. During that whole period,
allowing for rare casualties, not a single act of hostility occurred
between the traders and the natives. A large number of different
tribes, often at bitter feud with each other, were all kept in amity
with the official residents of the company, and each party probably
found as much satisfaction in the two sides of a bargain as is usual
in such transactions. Deposits of goods were securely gathered in some
post far off in the depths of the wilderness, under the care of two
or three young apprentices of the company, and here bands of Indians
at the proper season came for barter. Previous to the operations of
this company, beginning as early as 1620, large numbers of Frenchmen,
singly or in parties, ventured deep into the wilderness in company with
savage bands, for purposes of adventure or traffic, and very rarely did
any of them meet a mishap or fail to find a welcome. Such adventurers
in fact became in most cases Indians in their manner of life. Nor
did the jealousy of the savages manifest itself in a way not readily
appeased when they found the French priests planting mission stations
and truck-houses. In no case did the French intruders ask, as did the
English colonists, for deeds of territory. It was understood that
they held simply by sufferance, and with a view to mutual advantage
for both parties, with no purpose of overreaching. The relations thus
established between the French and the natives continued down till even
after the extinction of the territorial claims of France. And when,
just before the opening of the great French and Indian hostilities with
the English colonists, the French had manifested their purpose to get a
foothold on the heritage of the savages by pushing a line of strongly
fortified posts along their lakes and rivers, the apprehensions of the
savages were craftily relieved by the plea that these securities were
designed only to prevent the encroachment of the English.

A peaceful traffic with the Indians, like that of the Hudson Bay
Company and the French, had been from the first but a subordinate
object of the English colonists. These last, while for a period they
confined themselves to the seaboard, supplemented their agricultural
enterprise by the fishery and by a very profitable commerce. As soon
as they began to penetrate into the interior they took with them their
families and herds, made fixed habitations, put up their fences and
dammed the streams. Instead of fraternizing with the Indians, they
warned them off as nuisances. We must also take into view the fact
that this steadily advancing settlement of the Indian country directly
provoked and encouraged the resolute though baffled opposition of the
savages. They could match forces with these scattered pioneers, even
if, as was generally the case, a few families united in constructing
a palisadoed and fortified stronghold to which they might gather
for refuge. If a body of courageous men had advanced together well
prepared for common defence, it is certain the warfare would not have
been so desultory as it proved to be. All the wiles of the Indians
in conducting their hostilities gave them a great advantage. They
thought that the whites might be dislodged effectually from further
trespasses if once and again they were visited by sharp penalties for
their rash intrusion. It was plain that they were long in coming to a
full apprehension of the pluck of their invaders, of their recuperative
energies, and of the reserved forces which were behind them. From
the irregular base line of the coast the English advanced into the
interior, not by direct parallel lines, but rather by successive
semicircles of steadily extending radii. The advances from the middle
colonies of Pennsylvania and Virginia marked the farthest reaches in
this curvature. The French, in the mean while, aimed from the start for
occupying the interior.

       *       *       *       *       *

The period which we have here under review is one through which the
savages, for the most part, were but subordinate agents, the principals
being the French and the English. So far as the diplomatic faculties of
the savages enabled them to hold in view the conditions of the strife,
there were doubtless occasions in which they thought they held what
among civilized nations is called the balance of power. Nor would it
have been strange if, at times, their chiefs had imagined that, though
it might be impossible for them again to hold possession of their old
domains free from the intrusion of the white man, they might have power
to decide which of the two nationalities should be favored above the
other. In that case the French doubtless would have been the favored
party. We have, however, to take into view the vast disproportion
between the numbers, if not of the resources, of these two foreign
nationalities, when the struggle between them earnestly began. In 1688
there were about eleven thousand of the French in America, and nearly
twenty times as many English. The French were unified under the control
of their home government. Its resources were at their call: its army
and navy, its arsenals and treasury, its monarch and ministers, might
be supposed to be serviceable and engaged for making its mastery on
this continent secure. The English, however, were only nominally, and
as regards some of the colonies even reluctantly and but truculently,
under the control of their home government. It had been the jealous
policy of the New England colonists, from their first planting, to
isolate themselves from the mother-country, and to make self-dependence
the basis of independence. Their circumstances had thrown them on their
own resources, and made them feel that as their foreign superiors could
know very little of their emergencies, it was not wise or even right
in them to interpose in their affairs. Indeed, it is evident that all
the British colonists felt themselves equal, without advice or help
from abroad, to take care of themselves, if they had to contend only
against the savages. But when the savages had behind them the power of
the French monarch, it was of necessity that the English should receive
a reinforcement from their own countrymen. In the altercations with the
British ministry which followed very soon after the close of the French
and Indian war, a keenly argued question came under debate as to the
claim which the mother-country had upon the gratitude of her colonists
for coming to their rescue when threatened with ruin from their red and
white enemies. And the answer to this question was judged to depend
upon whether, in sending hither her fleets and armies, Britain had
in view an extension of her transatlantic domains or the protection
of her imperilled subjects. At any rate, there were jealousies,
cross-purposes, and an entire lack of harmony between the direct
representatives of English military power and the coöperating measures
of the colonial government. Never, under any stress of circumstances,
was England willing to raise even the most serviceable of the officers
of the provincial forces to the rank of regulars in her own army. The
youthful Washington, whose sagacity and prowess had proved themselves
in field and council where British officers were so humiliated, had
to remain content with the rank of a provincial colonel. Nor did the
provincial legislatures act in concert either with each other, or with
the advice and appeals of their royal governors in raising men, money
or supplies for combined military operations against common enemies.
Each of the colonies thought it sufficient to provide for itself. Each
was even dilatory and backward when its own special peril was urgent.
These embarrassments of the English did very much to compensate the
French for their great inferiority in numerical strength. We are again
to remind ourselves of the fact that the French, alike from their
temperament and their policy, were always vastly more congenial and
influential with the savages.

The French in Canada from the first adopted the policy of alliance
with native tribes. Though their warfare with the English was hardly
intermittent, there were several occasions when it was specially
active. Beginning with the first invasion of the Iroquois territory
by Champlain, in 1609, already mentioned, under the plea of espousing
the side of his friends and allies, the Hurons and Algonquins, other
like enterprises were later pursued. Courcelles, in 1666, made a wild
and unsuccessful inroad upon the Iroquois. Tracy made a more effective
one in the same year. De la Barre in 1684, Denonville in 1687, and
Frontenac in 1693 and 1696, repeated these onsets. The last of these
invasions of what is now Central New York was intended to effect the
complete exhaustion of the Indian confederacy. Its havoc was indeed
well-nigh crushing, but there was a tenacity and a recuperative power
in that confederacy of savages which yielded only to a like desolating
blow inflicted by Sullivan, under orders from Washington, in our
Revolutionary War.

This formidable league of the Five Nations, when first known to
Europeans, claimed to have obtained by conquest the whole country from
the lakes to the Carolinas, and from the Atlantic to the Mississippi.
France, as against other Europeans, though not against the Indians,
claimed the same territory. Great Britain claimed the valley of the
Ohio and its tributaries, first against the French as being merely the
longitudinal extension of the line of seacoast discovered by English
navigators, and then through cessions from and treaties with the Five
Nations. The first of these treaties was that made at Lancaster, Pa.,
in June, 1744. But the Indians afterwards complained that they had been
overreached, and had not intended to cede any territory west of the
Alleghanies. Here, of course, with three parties in contention, there
was basis enough for struggles in which the prize, all considerations
of natural justice being excluded, was to be won only by superior
power. Neither of the rivals and intruders from across the ocean dealt
with the Indians as if even they had any absolute right to territory
from which they claimed to have driven off former possessors. So the
Indian prerogative was recognized by the French and the English as
available only on either side for backing up some rival claim of the
one or the other nation; though when the mother-countries were at peace
in Europe, their subjects here by no means felt bound even to a show
of truce, and they were always most ready to avail themselves of a
declaration of war at home to make their wilderness campaigns. It is
curious to note that in all the negotiations between the Indians and
Europeans, including those of our own government, the only landed right
recognized as belonging to the savages was that of giving up territory.
The prior right of ownership by the tenure of possession was regarded
as invalidated both by the manner in which it had been acquired and by
a lack to make a good use of it.

It was in the closing years of the seventeenth century and in
those opening the eighteenth that the military and the priestly
representatives of France in Canada resolutely advised and undertook
the measures which promised to give them a secure and extended
possession of the whole north of the continent, excepting only the
strip on the Atlantic seaboard then firmly held by the English
colonists. Even this excepted region of territory was by no means,
however, regarded as positively irreclaimable, and military enterprises
were often planned with the aim of a complete extinction of English
possession. The French in their earliest explorations, in penetrating
the country to the west and to the south, had been keenly observant in
marking the strategic points on lake and river for strongholds which
should give them the advantage of single positions and secure a chain
of posts for easy and safe communications. Their leading object was to
gain an ascendency over the native tribes; and as they could not expect
easily and at once to get the mastery over them all, policy dictated
such a skilful turning to account of their feuds among themselves as
would secure strong alliances of interest and friendship with the more
powerful ones. The French did vastly more than the English to encourage
the passions of the savages for war and to train them in military
skill and artifice, leaving them for the most part unchecked in the
indulgence of their ferocity. It is true that the Dutch and the English
had the start in supplying the savages with firearms, under the excuse
that they were needed by the natives for the most effective support of
the rapidly increasing trade in peltries. But the French were not slow
to follow the example, as it presented to them a matter of necessity.
And through the long and bloody struggle between the two European
nationalities with their red allies, it may be safely affirmed that the
frontier warfare of the English colonists was waged against savages
armed as well as led on by the French.

Two objects, generally harmonious and mutually helpful of each other,
inspired the activity of the French in taking possession successively
of posts in the interior of the continent. The first of these was the
establishment of mission stations for the conversion of the savages.
The other object of these wilderness posts was to secure the lucrative
gains of the fur trade from an ever-extending interior. Though, as was
just said, these two objects might generally be harmoniously pursued,
it was not always found easy or possible to keep them in amity, or to
prevent sharp collisions between them. There was a vigorous rivalry
in the fur trade between the members of an associated company, with
a government monopoly for the traffic, and very keenly enterprising
individuals who pursued it, with but little success in concealing their
doings, in defiance of the monopolists. The burden of the official
correspondence between the authorities in Canada and those at the
French court related to the irregularities and abuses of this traffic.
Incident to these was a lively plying of the temptations of that other
traffic which poured into the wilderness floods of French brandy. The
taste of this fiery stimulant once roused in a savage could rarely
afterwards be appeased. The English colonists soon gained an advantage
in this traffic in their manufacture of cheap rum. It is easy to see
how this rivalry between monopolists and individuals in the fur trade,
aided by the stimulant for which the Indian was most craving, would
impair the spiritual labors of the priests at their wild stations.
Nor were there lacking instances in which the priests themselves were
charged with sharing not only the gains of the fur trade, but also
those of the brandy traffic, either in the interests of the monopolists
or of individuals.

The earliest extended operations of the French fur trade with the
Indians were carried on by the northerly route to Lake Huron by
the Ottawa River. The French had little to apprehend from English
interference by this difficult route with its many portages. But it
soon became of vital necessity to the French to take and hold strong
points on the line of the Great Lakes. These were on the narrow streams
which made the junctions between them. So a fort was to be planted at
Niagara, between Ontario and Erie; another at Detroit, between Erie
and Huron; another at Michilimackinac, between Michigan and Huron;
another at the fall of the waters of Superior into Huron; and Fort St.
Joseph, near the head of Lake Michigan, facilitated communication with
the Illinois and the Miami tribes; the Ojibwas, Ottawas, Wyandots, and
Pottawattomies having their settlements around the westernmost of the
lakes, the Sioux being still beyond. South of Lake Erie, in the region
afterwards known as the Northwest Territory, between the Alleghanies,
the Ohio, and the Mississippi, were the Delawares, the Shawanees,
and the Mingoes. It is to be kept in view that this territory,
though formally ceded by France to England in the treaty of 1762-63,
had previously been claimed by the English colonists as rightfully
belonging to their monarch, it being merely the undefined extension of
the seacoast held by virtue of the discovery of the Cabots.

The fifth volume of the _Mémoires_ published by Margry gives us the
original documents, dating 1683-1695, relating to the first project
for opening a chain of posts to hold control of, and to facilitate
communication between, Canada and the west and south of the continent.
The project was soon made to extend its purpose to the Gulf of Mexico.
The incursions of the Iroquois and the attempted invasions of the
English, with a consequent drawing off of trade from the French, had
obliged the Marquis Denonville to abandon some of the posts that had
been established. In spite of the opposition of Champigny, Frontenac
vigorously urged measures for the repossession and strengthening of
these posts. The Jesuits were earnest in pressing the measure upon the
governors of Canada. In pushing on the enterprise, the French had sharp
experience of the intense hostility of the inner tribes who were to be
encountered, and who were to be first conciliated. The French followed
a policy quite unlike that of the English in the method of their
negotiations for the occupancy of land. The colonists of the latter
aimed to secure by treaty and purchase the absolute fee and ownership
of a given region. They intended to hold it generally for cultivation,
and they expected the Indians then claiming it to vacate it. The French
beguiled the Indians by asserting that they had no intention either of
purchasing or forcibly occupying, as if it were their own, any spot
where they established a stronghold, a trucking or a mission station.
They professed to hold only by sufferance, and that, too, simply for
the security and benefit of the natives, in furnishing them with a
better religion than their own and with the white man’s goods. The
Iroquois, finding the hunting and trapping of game for the English so
profitable on their own territory, were bent on extending their field.
They hoped, by penetrating to Michilimackinac, to make themselves the
agents or medium for the trade with the tribes near it, so that they
could control the whole southern traffic. So they had declared war
against the Illinois, the Miamis, the Ottawas, and the Hurons. It was
of vital importance to the French to keep firm hold of Lakes Ontario
and Erie, and to guard their connections. The Iroquois were always the
threatening obstacle. It was affirmed that they had become so debauched
by strong drink that their squaws could not nourish their few children,
and that they had availed themselves of an adoption of those taken
from their enemies. As they obtained their firearms with comparative
cheapness from the English on the Hudson and Mohawk, they used them
with vigor against the inner tribes with their primitive weapons, and
were soon to find them of service against the English on the frontiers
of Virginia. So keenly did the English press their trade as to cause a
wavering of the loyalty of those Indian tribes who had been the first
and the fast friends of the French. Thus it was but natural that the
Iroquois should be acute enough to oppose the building of a French
stronghold at any of the selected posts.

In 1699,[1346] La Mothe Cadillac proposed to assemble their red
allies, then much dispersed, and principally the Ottawas, at Detroit,
and there to construct both a fort and a village. At the bottom of
this purpose, and of the opposition to it, was a contention between
rival parties in the traffic. The favorers and the opponents of the
design made their respective representations to the French court. De
Callières objected to the plan because of the proximity of the hostile
Iroquois, who would prefer to turn all the trade to the English, and
his preference was to reëstablish the old posts. The real issue to be
faced was whether the Indians now, and ultimately, were to be made
subjects of the English or of the French monarch. Cadillac combated
the objections of Callières, and succeeded in effecting his design at
Detroit. The extension of the traffic was constantly bringing into
the field tribes heretofore too remote for free intercourse. In each
such case it depended upon various contingencies to decide whether the
French or the English would find friends or foes in these new parties,
and the alternative would generally rest, temporarily at least, upon
which party was most accessible and most profitable for trade. It would
hardly be worth the while for an historian, unless dealing with the
special theme of the rivalries involved in the fur trade as deciding
with which party of the whites one or another tribe came into amity, to
attempt to trace the conditions and consequences of such diplomacy in
inconstant negotiators.

The English began the series of attempts to bind the Five, afterwards
the Six, Nations into amity or neutrality by treaty in 1674. These
treaties were wearisome in their formalities, generally unsatisfactory
in their terms of assurance, and so subject to caprice and the
changes of fortune as to need confirmation and renewal, as suspicion
or alleged treachery on either side made them practically worthless.
There were two ends to be gained by these treaties of the English with
the confederated tribes. The one was to avert hostilities from the
English and to secure them privileges of transit for trade. The other
object, not always avowed, but implied as a natural consequent of the
first, was to alienate the tribes from the French, and if possible to
keep them in a state of local or general conflict. Each specification
of these treaties was to be emphasized by the exchange of a wampum
belt. Then a largess of presents, always including rum, was the final
ratification. These goods were of considerable cost to the English, but
always seemed a niggard gift to the Indians, as there were so many to
share in them.

The first of this series of treaties was that made in 1674, at Albany,
by Col. Henry Coursey, in behalf of the colonists of Virginia. It was
of little more service than as it initiated the parties into the method
of such proceedings.

In the middle of July, 1684, Lord Howard, governor of Virginia,
summoned a council of the sachems of the Five Nations to Albany. He
was attended by two of his council and by Governor Dongan of New York,
and some of the magistrates of Albany. Howard charged upon the savages
the butcheries and plunderings which they had committed seven years
previous in Virginia and Maryland, “belonging to the great king of
England.” He told the sachems that the English had intended at once to
avenge those outrages, but through the advice of Sir Edmund Andros,
then governor-general of the country, had sent peaceful messengers to
them. The sachems had proved perfidious to the pledges they then gave,
and the governor, after threatening them, demanded from them conditions
of future amity. After their usual fashion of shifting responsibility
and professions of regret and future fidelity, the sachems renewed
their covenants. Under the prompting of Governor Dongan they asked that
the Duke of York’s arms should be placed on the Mohawk castles, as a
protection against their enemies, the French. Doubtless the Indians, in
desiring, or perhaps only assenting to, the affixing of these English
insignia to their strongholds, might have had in view only the effect
of them in warning off the French. They certainly did not realize that
their English guests would ever afterwards, as they did, regard this
concession of the tribes as an avowal of allegiance to the king of
Great Britain, and as adopting for themselves the relation of subjects
of a foreign monarch.

The experience gained by many previous attempts to secure the
fidelity of the tribes, thenceforward known as the Six Nations by the
incorporation into the confederacy of the remnant of the Tuscaroras,
was put to service in three succeeding councils for treaty-making, held
respectively at Philadelphia in 1742, in Lancaster, Pa., in 1744,[1347]
and at Albany in 1746.[1348] Much allowance is doubtless to be made
in the conduct of the earlier treaties for the lack of competent
and faithful interpreters in councils made up of representatives of
several tribes, with different languages and idioms. Interpreters have
by no means always proved trustworthy, even when qualified for their
office.[1349] The difficulty was early experienced of putting into our
simple mother-tongue the real substance of an Indian harangue, which
was embarrassed and expanded by images and flowers of native rhetoric,
wrought from the structure of their symbolic language, but adding
nothing to the terms or import of the address. It was observed that
often an interpreter, anxious only to state the gist of the matter in
hand, would render in a single English sentence an elaborately ornate
speech of an orator that had extended through many minutes in its
utterance. The orator might naturally mistrust whether full justice had
been done to his plea or argument. There is by no means a unanimity
in the opinions or the judgments of those of equal intelligence, who
have reported to us the harangues of Indians in councils, as to the
qualities of their eloquence or rhetoric. The entire lack of terms
for the expression of abstract ideas compelled them to draw their
illustrations from natural objects and relations. Signs and gestures
made up a large part of the significance of a discourse. Doubtless the
cases were frequent in which the representation of a tribe in a council
was made through so few of its members that there might be reasonable
grounds for objection on the part of a majority to the terms of any
covenant or treaty that had been made by a chief or an orator. Of one
very convenient and plausible subterfuge, or honest plea,—whichever in
any given case it might have been,—our native tribes have always been
skilful in availing themselves. The assumption was that the elder, the
graver, wiser representatives of a tribe were those who appeared on its
behalf at a council. When circumstances afterwards led the whites to
complain of a breach of the conditions agreed on, the blame was always
laid by the chiefs on their “young men,” whom they had been unable to

During the long term of intermittent warfare of the French and
English on this continent, with native tribes respectively for their
foes or allies, the conditions of the conflict, as before hinted,
were in general but slightly affected by the alternative of peace or
war as existing at any time between their sovereigns and people in
Europe. Some of the fiercest episodes of the struggle on this soil
took place during the intervals of truce, armistice, and temporary
treaty settlements between the leading powers in the old world. When,
in the treaties closing a series of campaigns, the settlement in the
articles of peace included a restoration of the territory which had
been obtained by either party by conquest, no permanent result was
really secured. These restitutions were always subject to reclamation.
Valuable and strategic points of territory merely changed hands for
the time being; Acadia, for example, being seven times tossed as a
shuttlecock between the parties to the settlement. The trial had to
be renewed and repeated till the decision was of such a sort as to
give promise of finality. The prize contended for here was really the
mastery of the whole continent, though the largeness of the stake was
not appreciated till the closing years of the struggle. Indeed, the
breadth and compass of the field were then unknown quantities. Those
closing years of stratagem and carnage in our forests correspond to
what is known in history as the “Seven Years’ War” in Europe, in which
France, as a contestant, was worsted in the other quarters of the
globe, as in this. Clive broke her power in India, as the generals of
Britain discomfited her here. The French, in 1758, held a profitable
mercantile settlement on five hundred miles of coast in Africa,
between Cape Blanco and the river Gambia. It is one of the curious
contrarieties in the workings of the same avowed principles under
different conditions, that just at the time that the pacific policy of
the Pennsylvania Quakers forbade their offering aid to their countrymen
under the bloody work going on upon their frontiers, an eminent English
Quaker merchant, Thomas Cumming, framed the successful scheme of
conquest over this French settlement in Africa.[1350]

The treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, in 1748, seemed to promise a
breathing-time in the strife between the French and English here.
In fact, however, so far from there being even a smouldering of the
embers on our soil, that date marks the kindling of the conflagration
which, continuing to blaze for fifteen years onward, comprehended
all the decisive campaigns. The earliest of these were ominous and
disheartening to the English, but they closed with the fullness of
triumph. We must trace with conciseness the more prominent acts and
incidents in which the natives, with the French and English, protracted
and closed the strife.

When Europeans entered upon the region now known as Pennsylvania,
though its well-watered and fertile territory and its abounding game
would seem to have well adapted it to the uses of savage life, it does
not appear that it was populously occupied. The Delawares, which had
held it at an earlier period, had, previously to the coming of the
whites, been subjugated by the more warlike tribes of the Five Nations,
or Iroquois. Some of the vanquished had passed to the south or west, to
be merged in other bands of the natives. Such of them as remained in
their old haunts were humiliated by their masters, despised as “women,”
and denied the privileges of warriors. While the Five Nations were thus
potent in the upper portion of Pennsylvania, around the sources of the
Susquehanna, its southern region was held by the Shawanees. The first
purchase near the upper region made by Europeans of the natives was by
a colony of Swedes, under Governor John Printz, in 1643. This colony
was subdued, though allowed to remain on its lands, by the Dutch, in
1655. In 1664, the English took possession of all Pennsylvania, and of
everything that had been held by the Dutch. Penn founded his province
in 1682, by grant from Charles II., and in the next year made his
much-lauded treaty of peace and purchase with the Indians for lands
west and north of his city. The attractions of the province, and the
easy opening of its privileges to others than the Friends, drew to it a
rapid and enterprising immigration. In 1729 there came in, principally
from the north of Ireland, 6,207 settlers. In 1750 there arrived 4,317
Germans and 1,000 English. The population of the province in 1769 was
estimated at 250,000. The Irish settlers were mostly Presbyterians,
the Germans largely Moravians. It soon appeared, especially when the
ravages of the Indians on the frontiers were most exasperating and
disastrous, that there were elements of bitter discord between these
secondary parties in the province and the Friends who represented the
proprietary right. And this suggests a brief reference to the fact
that, as a very effective agent entering into the imbittered conflicts
of the time and scene, we are to take into the account some strong
religious animosities. The entailed passions and hates of the peoples
of the old world, as Catholics and Protestants, and even of sects among
the latter, were transferred here to inflame the rage of combatants in
wilderness warfare.[1351] The zeal and heroic fidelity of the French
priests in making a Christian from a baptized and untamed savage had
realized, under rude yet easy conditions, a degree of success. In and
near the mission stations, groups of the natives had been trained to
gather around the cross, and to engage with more or less response in
the holy rites. Some of them could repeat, after a fashion, the Pater
Noster, the Ave Maria, and the Creed. Some had substituted a crucifix
or a consecrated medal for their old pagan charm, to be worn on the
breast. When about to go forth on the war-path, their priests would
give them shrift and benediction. But, as has been said, it was no
part or purpose of this work of christianizing savages to impair their
qualities as warriors, to dull their knives or tomahawks, to quench
their thirst for blood, or to restrain the fiercest atrocities and
barbarities of the fight or the victory. On the well-known experience
that fresh converts are always the most ardent haters of heresy, these
savage neophytes were initiated into some of the mysteries of the
doctrinal strife between the creed of their priests and the abominated
infidelity and impiety of the English Protestants. Some of the savages
were by no means slow to learn the lesson. Mr. Parkman’s brilliant
and graphic pages afford us abounding illustrations of the part which
priestly instructions and influence had in adding to savage ferocity
the simulation of religious hate for heresy. With whatever degree of
understanding or appreciation of the duty as it quickened the courage
or the ferocity of the savage, there were many scenes and occasions in
which the warrior added the charge of heretic to that of enemy, when he
dealt his blow.[1352]

Almost as violent and exasperating were the animosities engendered
between the disciples of different Protestant fellowships. The Quakers,
backed by proprietary rights, by the prestige of an original peace
policy and friendly negotiations with the Indians, and for the most
part secure and unharmed in the centralized homes of Philadelphia and
its neighborhood, imagined that they might refuse all participation
in the bloody work enacting on their frontiers. The adventurous
settlers on the borders were largely Presbyterians. The course of
non-interference by the Quakers, who controlled the legislature, seemed
to those who were bearing the brunt of savage warfare monstrously
selfish and inhuman. There was a fatuity in this course which had to be
abandoned. When a mob of survivors from the ravaged fields and cabins
of the frontiers, bringing in cartloads of the bones gathered from the
ashes of their burned dwellings, thus enforced their remonstrances
against the peace policy of the legislature, the Quakers were compelled
to yield, and to furnish the supplies of war.[1353] But sectarian
hatred hardly ever reached an intenser glow than that exhibited between
the Pennsylvania Quakers and Presbyterians. Meanwhile, the mild and
kindly missionary efforts of the Moravians, in the same neighborhood,
were cruelly baffled. Their aim was exactly the opposite of that which
guided the Jesuit priests. They sought first to make their converts
human beings, planters of the soil, taught in various handicrafts, and
weaned from the taste of war and blood.

When the frontier war was at its wildest pitch of havoc and fury, the
Moravian settlements, which had reached a stage giving such promise of
success as to satisfy the gentle and earnest spirit of the missionaries
who had planted them, were made to bear the brunt of the rage of
all the parties engaged in the deadly turmoil. The natives timidly
nestling in their settlements were regarded as an emasculated flock of
nurslings, mean and cowardly, lacking equally the manhood of the savage
and the pride and capacity of the civilized man. Worse than this,
their pretended desire to preserve a neutrality and to have no part
in the broil was made the ground of a suspicion, at once acted upon
as if fully warranted, that they were really spies, offering secret
information and even covert help as guides and prompters in the work
of desolation among the scattered cabins of the whites. So a maddened
spirit of distrust, inflamed by false rumors and direct charges of
complicity, brought upon the Moravian settlers the hate and fury of the
leading parties in the conflict.[1354]

It is noteworthy that the most furious havoc of savage warfare should
have been wreaked on the frontiers of Pennsylvania, the one of all the
English colonies in America whose boast was, and is, that there alone
the entrance of civilized men upon the domains of barbarism was marked
and initiated by the Christian policy of peace and righteousness. Penn
and his representatives claimed that they had twice paid the purchase
price of the lands covered by the proprietary charter to the Indian
occupants of them,—once to the Delawares residing upon them, and
again to the Iroquois who held them by conquest. The famous “Walking
Purchase,” whether a fair or a fraudulent transaction, was intended to
follow the original policy of the founder of the province.[1355]

In the inroads made upon the English settlements by Frontenac and
his red allies, New York and New England furnished the victims. The
middle colonies, so far as then undertaken, escaped the fray. Trouble
began for them in 1716, when the French acted upon their resolve to
occupy the valley of the Ohio. The Ohio Land Company was formed in
1748 to advance settlements beyond the Alleghanies, and surveys were
made as far as Louisville. This enterprise roused anew the Indians and
the French. The latter redoubled their zeal in 1753 and onward, south
of Lake Erie and on the branches of the Ohio. The English found that
their delay and dilatoriness in measures for fortifying the frontiers
had given the French an advantage which was to be recovered only with
increased cost and enterprise. In an earlier movement, had the English
engaged their efforts when it was first proposed to them, they might
have lessened, at least, their subsequent discomfiture. Governor
Spotswood, of Virginia, in 1720 had urged on the British government the
erection of a chain of posts beyond the Alleghanies, from the lakes to
the Mississippi. But his urgency had been ineffectual. The governor
reported that there were then “Seven Tributary Tribes” in Virginia,
being seven hundred in number, with two hundred and fifty fighting-men,
all of whom were peaceful. His only trouble was from the Tuscaroras on
the borders of Carolina.[1356]

The erection of Fort Duquesne may be regarded as opening the decisive
struggle between the French and the English in America, which reached
its height in 1755, and centred around the imperfect chain of stockades
and blockhouses on the line of the frontiers then reached by the
English pioneers.

About the middle of the eighteenth century the number of French
subjects in America, including Acadia, Canada, and Louisiana, was
estimated at about eighty thousand. The subjects of England were
estimated at about twelve hundred thousand. But, as before remarked,
this vast disparity of numbers by no means represented an equal
difference in the effectiveness of the two nationalities in the conduct
of military movements. The French were centralized in command. They
had unity of purpose and in action. In most cases they held actual
defensive positions at points which the English had to reach by
difficult approaches; and more than all, till it became evident that
France was to lose the game, the French received much the larger share
of aid from the Indians. Pennsylvania and Virginia were embarrassed in
any attempt for united defensive operations on the frontiers by their
own rival claims to the Ohio Valley. The English, however, welcomed
the first signs of vacillation in the savages. When Céloron, in 1749,
had sent messengers to the Indians beyond the Alleghanies to prepare
for the measures he was about to take to secure a firm foothold there,
he reported that the natives were “devoted entirely to the English.”
This might have seemed true of the Delawares and Shawanees, though
soon afterwards these were found to be in the interest of the French.
In fact, all the tribes, except the Five Nations, may be regarded as
more or less available for French service up to the final extinction of
their power on the continent. Indeed, as we shall see, the mischievous
enmity of the natives against the English was never more vengeful than
when it was goaded on by secret French agency after France had by
treaty yielded her claims on this soil. Nor could even the presumed
neutrality of the Five Nations be relied upon by the English, as there
were reasons for believing that many among them acted as spies and
conveyed intelligence. Till after the year 1754 so effective had been
the activity of the French in planting their strongholds and winning
over the savages that there was not a single English post west of the

At the same critical stage of this European rivalry in military
operations, the greed for the profits of the fur trade was at its
highest pitch. The beavers, as well as the red men, should be regarded
as essential parties to the struggle between the French and the
English. The latter had cut very deep into the trade which had formerly
accrued wholly to the French at Oswego, Toronto, and Niagara.

Up to the year 1720 there had come to be established a mercantile
usage which had proved to be very prejudicial to the English, alike
in their Indian trade and in their influence over the Indians. The
French had been allowed to import goods into New York to be used for
their Indian trade. Of course this proved a very profitable business,
as it facilitated their operations and was constantly extending over
a wider reach their friendly relations with the farther tribes. Trade
with Europe and the West Indies and Canada could be maintained only
by single voyages in a year, through the perilous navigation of the
St. Lawrence. With the English ports on the Atlantic, voyages could
be made twice or thrice a year. A few merchants in New York, having
a monopoly of supplying goods to the French in Canada, with their
principals in England, had found their business very profitable. Goods
of prime value, especially “strouds,” a kind of coarse woollen cloth
highly prized by the Indians, were made in and exported from England
much more cheaply than from France. The mischief of this method of
trade being realized, an act was passed by the Assembly in New York, in
1720, which prohibited the selling of Indian goods to the French under
severe penalties, in order to the encouragement of trade in general,
and to the extension of the influence of the English over the Indians
to counterbalance that of the French. Some merchants in London, just
referred to, petitioned the king against the ratification of this act.
By order in council the king referred the petition to the Lords of
Trade and Plantations. A hearing, with testimonies, followed, in which
those interested in the monopoly made many statements, ignorant or
false, as to the geography of the country, and the method and effects
of the advantage put into the hands of the French. But the remonstrants
failed to prevent the restricting measure. From that time New York
vastly extended its trade and intercourse with the tribes near and
distant, greatly to the injury of the French.[1357]

The first white man’s dwelling in Ohio was that of the Moravian
missionary, Christian Frederic Post.[1358] He was a sagacious and able
man, and had acquired great influence over the Indians, which he used
in conciliatory ways, winning their respect and confidence by the
boldness with which he ventured to trust himself in their villages and
lodges, as if he were under some magical protection. He went on his
first journey to the Ohio in 1758, by request of the government of
Pennsylvania, on a mission to the Delawares, Shawanees, and Mingoes.
These had once been friendly to the English, but having been won over
by the French, the object was to regain their confidence. The tribes
had at this time come to understand, in a thoroughly practical way,
that they were restricted to certain limited conditions so far as they
were parties to the fierce rivalry between the Europeans. The issue was
no longer an open one as to their being able to reclaim their territory
for their own uses by driving off all these pale-faced trespassers.
It was for them merely to choose whether they would henceforward have
the French or the English for neighbors, and, if it must be so, for
masters. Nor were they left with freedom or power to make a deliberate
choice. But Post certainly stretched a point when he told the Indians
that the English did not wish to occupy their lands, but only to drive
off the French.

As Governor Spotswood, in the interest of Virginia, had attempted, in
1716, to break the French line of occupation by promoting settlements
in the west, Governor Keith, of Pennsylvania, followed with a similar
effort in 1719. Both efforts could be only temporarily withstood, and
if baffled at one point were renewed at another. The English always
showed a tenacity in clinging to an advance once made, and were
inclined to change it only for a further advance. Though Fort Duquesne
was blown up when abandoned by the French, with the hope of rendering
it useless to the English, the post was too commanding a one to be
neglected. After it had been taken by General Forbes in November,
1758, and had been strongly reconstructed by General Stanwix, though
it was then two hundred miles distant from the nearest settlement,
the possession of it was to a great extent the deciding fact of the
advancing struggle. Colonel Armstrong had taken the Indian town of
Kittanning in 1756.

The treaty negotiations between English and French diplomates at
a foreign court, in 1763, which covenanted for the surrender of all
territory east of the Mississippi and of all the fortified posts on
lake and river to Great Britain, was but a contract on paper, which
was very long in finding its full ratification among the parties alone
interested in the result here. There were still three of these parties:
the Indians; the French, who were in possession of the strongholds in
the north and west; and the English colonists, supported by what was
left of the British military forces, skeleton regiments and invalided
soldiers, who were to avail themselves of their acquired domain. During
the bloody and direful war which had thus been closed, the Indians had
come to regard themselves as holding the balance of power between the
French and the English. Often did the abler savage warriors express
alike their wonder and their rage that those foreign intruders should
choose these wild regions for the trial of their fighting powers. “Why
do you not settle your fierce quarrels in your own land, or at least
upon the sea, instead of involving us and our forests in your rivalry?”
was the question to the officers and the file of the European forces.
Though the natives soon came to realize that they would be the losers,
whichever of the two foreign parties should prevail, their preferences
were doubtless on the side of the French; and by force of circumstances
easily explicable, after the English power, imperial and provincial,
had obtained the mastery of the territory, the sympathies and aid of
the natives went with the British during the rebellion of the colonies.
But before this result was reached England won its ascendency at a
heavy sacrifice of men and money, in a series of campaigns under many
different generals. The general peace between England, France, and
Spain, secured by the treaty of 1763, and involving the cession of
all American territory east of the Mississippi by France to Britain,
was naturally expected to bring a close to savage warfare against the
colonists. The result was quite the contrary, inasmuch as the sharpest
and most desolating havoc was wrought by that foe after the English
were nominally left alone to meet the encounter. The explanation of
this fact was that the French, though by covenant withdrawn from the
field, were, hardly even with a pretence of secrecy, perpetuating
and even extending their influence over their former wild allies in
embarrassing and thwarting all the schemes of the English for turning
their conquests to account. General Amherst was left in command here
with only enfeebled fragments of regiments and with slender ranks of
provincials. The military duty of the hour was for the conquerors
to take formal possession of all the outposts still held by French
garrisons, announcing to those in command the absolute conditions
of the treaty, and to substitute the English for the French colors,
henceforward to wave over them. This humiliating necessity was in
itself grievous enough, as it forced upon the commanders of posts which
had not then been reached by the war in Canada, a condition against
which no remonstrance would avail. But beyond that, it furnished the
occasion for the most formidable savage conspiracy ever formed on
this continent, looking to the complete extinction of the English
settlements here. The French in those extreme western posts had been
most successful in securing the attachment of the neighboring Indian
tribes, and found strong sympathizers among them in their discomfiture.
At the same time those tribes had the most bitter hostility towards the
English with whom they had come in contact. They complained that the
English treated them with contempt and haughtiness, being niggard of
their presents and sharp in their trade. They regarded each advanced
English settlement on their lands, if only that of a solitary trader,
as the germ of a permanent colony. Under these circumstances, the
French still holding the posts, waiting only the exasperating summons
to yield them up, found the temptation strong and easy of indulgence to
inflame their recent allies, and now their sympathizing friends, among
the tribes, with an imbittered rage against their new masters. Artifice
and deception were availed of to reinforce the passions of savage
breasts. The French sought to relieve the astounded consternation of
their red friends on finding that they were compelled to yield the
field to the subjects of the English monarch, by beguiling them with
the fancy that the concession was but a temporary one, very soon to be
set aside by a new turn in the wheel of fortune. Their French father
had only fallen asleep while his English enemies had been impudently
trespassing upon the lands of his red children. He would soon rouse
himself to avenge the insult, and would reclaim what he had thus
lost. Indeed, on the principle that the size and ornamentings of a
lie involved no additional wrong in the telling it, the Indians were
informed that a French army was even then preparing to ascend the
Mississippi with full force, before which the English would be crushed.

There was then in the tribe of Ottawas, settled near Detroit, a master
spirit, who, as a man and as a chief, was the most sagacious, eloquent,
bold, and every way gifted of his race that has ever risen before the
white man on this continent to contest in the hopeless struggle of
barbarism with civilization. That Pontiac was crafty, unscrupulous,
relentless, finding a revel in havoc and carnage, might disqualify him
for the noblest epithets which the white man bestows on the virtues
of a military hero. But he had the virtues of a savage, all of them,
and in their highest range of nature and of faculty. He was a stern
philosopher and moralist also, of the type engendered by free forest
life, unsophisticated and trained in the school of the wilderness. He
knew well the attractions of civilization. He weighed and compared
them, as they presented themselves before his eyes in full contrast
with savagery, in the European and in the Indian, and in those dubious
specimens of humanity in which the line of distinction was blurred by
the Indianized white man, the “Christian” convert, and the half-breed.
Deliberately and, we may say, intelligently, he preferred for his own
people the state of savagery. Intelligently, because he gave grounds
for his preference, which, from his point of view and experience,
had weight in themselves, and cannot be denied something more than
plausibility even in the judgment of civilized men, for idealists
like Rousseau and the Abbé Raynal have pleaded for them. Pontiac was
older in native sagacity and shrewdness than in years. He had evidence
enough that his race had suffered only harm from intercourse with
the whites. The manners and temptations of civilization had affected
them only by demoralizing influences. All the elements of life in the
white man struck at what was noblest in the nature of the Indian,—his
virility, his self-respect, his proud and sufficing independence,
his content with his former surroundings and range of life. With an
earnest eloquence Pontiac, in the lodges and at the council fires of
his people, whether of his own immediate tribe or of representative
warriors of other tribes, set before them the demonstration that
security and happiness, if not peace, depended for them on their
renouncing all reliance upon the white man’s ways and goods, and
reverting with a stern stoicism to the former conditions of their lot.
He told his responsive listeners that the Great Spirit, in pouring
the wide salt waters between the two races of his children, meant to
divide them and to keep them forever apart, giving to each of them a
country which was their own, where they were free to live after their
own method. The different tinting of their skin indicated a variance
which testified to a rooted divergence of nature. For his red children
the Great Spirit had provided the forest, the meadow, the lake, and
the river, with fish and game for food and clothing. The canoe, the
moccasin, the snow-shoe, the stone axe, the hide or bark covered lodge,
the fields of golden maize, the root crops, the vines and berries,
the waters of the cold crystal spring, made the inventory of their
possessions. They belonged to nature, and were of kin to all its other
creatures, which they put freely to their use, holding everything in
common. The changing moons brought round the seasons for planting
and hunting, for game, festivity, and religious rite. Their old men
preserved the sacred traditions of their race. Their braves wore the
scars and trophies of a noble manhood, and their young men were in
training to be the warriors of their tribes in defence or conquest.

These, argued Pontiac, were the heritage which the Great Spirit had
assigned to his red children. The spoiler had come among them from
across the salt sea, and woe and ruin for the Indian had come with him.
The white man could scorn the children of the forest, but could not be
their friend or helper. Let the Indian be content and proud to remain
an Indian. Let him at once renounce all use of the white man’s goods
and implements and his fire-water, and fall back upon the independence
of nature, fed on the flesh and clothed with the skins secured by bow
and arrow and his skill of woodcraft.

Such was the pleading of the most gifted chieftain and the wisest
patriot, the native product of the American wilderness. There was a
nobleness in him, even a grandeur and prescience of soul, which take a
place now on the list of protests that have poured from human breasts
against the decrees of fate. Pontiac followed up his bold scheme by all
the arts and appliances of forest diplomacy. He formed his cabinet, and
sent out his ambassadors with their credentials in the reddened hatchet
and the war-belt. They visited some of even the remoter tribes, with
appeals conciliatory of all minor feuds and quarrels. Their success
was qualified only by the inveteracy of existing enmities among some
of these tribes. It would be difficult to estimate, even if only
approximately, the number of the savages who were more or less directly
engaged in the conspiracy of Pontiac. A noted French trader, who had
resided many years among the Indians, and who had had an extended
intercourse with the tribes, stayed at Detroit during the siege, having
taken the oath of allegiance to the king of Great Britain. Largely
from his own personal knowledge, he drew up an elaborate list of the
tribes, with the number of warriors in each. The summing up of these is
56,500. In the usual way of allowing one to five of a whole population
for able-bodied men, this would represent the number of the savages as
about 283,000, which slightly exceeds the number of Indians now in our
national domain.[1359]

The lake and river posts which had been yielded up by the French,
on the summons, were occupied by slender and poorly supplied English
garrisons, unwarned of the impending concentration. The scheme
of Pontiac involved two leading acts in the drama: one was the
beleaguerment of all the fortified lake and river garrisons; the other
was an extermination by fire and carnage of all the isolated frontier
settlements at harvest time, so as to cause general starvation. The
plan was that all these assaults, respectively assigned to bodies of
the allies, should be made at the same time, fixed by a phase of the
moon. Scattered through the wilderness were many English traders, in
their cabins and with their packh-orses and goods. These were plundered
and massacred.[1360] The assailed posts were slightly reinforced by
the few surviving settlers and traders who escaped the open field
slaughter. The conspiracy was so far effective as to paralyze with
dismay the occupants of the whole region which it threatened. But
pluck and endurance proved equal to the appalling conflict. Nearly all
the posts, after various alternations of experience, succumbed to the
savage foe. Such was the fate of Venango, Le Bœuf, Presqu’ Isle, La
Bay, St. Joseph, Miamis, Ouachtanon, Sandusky, and Michilimackinac.
Detroit alone held out. The fort at Niagara, being very strong, was
not attacked. The Shawanees and Delawares were active agents in this
conspiracy. The English used all their efforts and appliances to keep
the Six Nations neutral. The French near the Mississippi were active
in plying and helping the tribes within their reach. The last French
flag that came down on our territory was at Fort Chartres on the

       *       *       *       *       *


_By Dr. Ellis and the Editor._

ON some few historical subjects we have volumes so felicitously
constructed as to combine all that is most desirable in original
materials with a judicious digest of them. Of such a character is
Francis Parkman’s _France and England in North America, A Series of
Historical Narratives_. So abundant, authentic, and intelligently
gathered are his citations from and references to the journals,
letters, official reports, and documents, often in the very words of
the actors, that, through the writer’s luminous pages, we are, for all
substantial purposes, made to read and listen to their own narrations.
Indeed, we are even more favored than that. So comprehensive have
been his researches, and so full and many-sided are the materials
which he has digested for us, that we have all the benefit of an
attendance on a trial in a court or a debate in the forum, where by
testimony and cross-examination different witnesses are made to verify
or rectify their separate assertions. The official representatives of
France, military and civil, on this continent, like their superiors
and patrons at home, were by no means all of one mind. They had their
conflicting interests to serve. They made their reports to those to
whom they were responsible or sought to influence, and so colored
them by their selfishness or rivalry. These communications, gathered
from widely scattered repositories, are for the first time brought
together and made to confront each other in Mr. Parkman’s pages.
Allowing for a gap covering the first half of the eighteenth century,
which is yet to be filled, Mr. Parkman’s series of volumes deals with
the whole period of the enterprise of France in the new world to its
cession of all territory east of the Mississippi to Great Britain.
His marvellously faithful and skilful reproduction of the scenic
features of the continent, in its wild state, bears a fit relation
to his elaborate study of its red denizens. His wide and arduous
exploration in the tracks of the first pioneers, and his easy social
relations with the modern representatives of the aboriginal stock, put
him back into the scenes and companionship of those whose schemes and
achievements he was to trace historically. After identifying localities
and lines of exploration here, he followed up in foreign archives the
missives written in these forests, and the official and confidential
communications of the military and civic functionaries of France,
revealing the joint or conflicting schemes and jealousies of intrigue
or selfishness of priests, traders, monopolists, and adventurers. The
panorama that is unrolled and spread before us is full and complete,
lacking nothing of reality in nature or humanity, in color, variety,
or action. The volumes rehearse in a continuous narrative the course
of French enterprise here, the motives, immediate and ultimate, which
were had in view, the progress in realizing them, the obstacles and
resistance encountered, and the tragic failure.[1363]

The references in Parkman show that he depends more upon French than
upon English sources, and indeed he seems to give the chief credit for
his drawing of the early Indian life and character to the _Relations_
of the French and Italian Jesuits,[1364] during their missionary work
in New France.

We must class with these records of the Jesuits, though not
equalling them in value, the volumes of Champlain, Sagard, Creuxius,
Boucher,[1365] and the later Lafitau and Charlevoix. Parkman[1366]
tells us that no other of these early books is so satisfactory as
Lafitau’s _Mœurs des Sauvages_ (1724); and Charlevoix gave similar
testimony regarding his predecessor.[1367] For original material on
the French side we have nothing to surpass in interest the _Mémoires
et documents_, published by Pierre Margry, of which an account has
been given elsewhere,[1368] as well as of the efforts of Parkman and
others in advancing their publication.[1369] There is but little matter
in these volumes relating to the military operations which make the
subject of this chapter, though jealousy and rivalry of the schemes
of the English, and the necessity of efforts to thwart them in their
attempts to gain influence and to open trade with the Indians, are
constantly recognized. In the diplomatic and military movements which
opened on this continent the Seven Years’ War, the English, who had
substantially secured the alliance of the Iroquois, or the Six Nations,
insisted that they had obtained by treaties with them the territory
between the Alleghanies and the Ohio, which the Six Nations on their
part claimed to have gained by conquest and cession of the tribes that
had previously occupied it. But when the English vindicated their
entrance on the territory on the basis of these treaties with the Six
Nations, the Shawanees and the Delawares, having recuperated their
courage and vigor, denied this right by conquest. The French could
not claim a right either by conquest or by cession. Their assumed
occupancy and tenure through mission stations and strongholds were
maintained simply and wholly on grounds of discovery and exploration.
Margry’s volumes furnish the abundant and all-sufficient evidence of
the priority of the French in this enterprise. The official documents
interchanged with the authorities at home are all engaged with advice
and promptings and measures for making good the claim to dominion
founded on discovery. These volumes also are of the highest value
as presenting to us from the first explorers, every way intelligent
and competent as observers and reporters, the scenes and tenants
of the interior of the continent. Here we have the wilderness, its
primeval forests, its sea-like lakes, its threading rivers, shrunken
or swollen, its cataracts and its confluent streams, its marshy
expanses, bluffs, and plains, and its resources, abundant or scant,
for sustaining life of beasts or men, all touched in feature or full
portrayal by the charming skill of those to whom the sight was novel
and bewildering.[1370] These French explorers will henceforth serve for
all time as primary authorities on the features and resources of the
interior of this continent just before it became the prize in contest
between rival European nationalities. That contest undoubtedly had
more to do in deciding the fate of the savage tribes from that time
to our own. There are many reasons for believing that if the French
had been able to hold alone an undisputed dominion in the interior of
the continent, their relations with the Indian tribes, if not wholly
pacific, would have been far more amicable than those which followed
upon the hot rivalry with the English for the possession of their
territories. The French were the wiser, the more tolerant and friendly
of the two, in their intercourse with and treatment of the savages,
with whom they found it so easy to affiliate. Under other circumstances
the Indians might have come to hold the relation of _wards_ to the
French in a sense far more applicable than that in which the term has
been used by the government of the United States.

Of the early English material there is no dearth, but it hardly has
the same stamp of authority. The story of the Moravian and other
missions on the Protestant and English side has less of such invariable
devotedness and success than is recorded in the general summaries of
the Jesuit and Recollet missions, like Shea’s _History of the Catholic
Missions_, 1529-1854 (N. Y., 1855).[1371] The _Indian Nations_ of
Heckewelder,[1372] the service of the United Brethren, and the labors
instituted by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel,[1373]
are records not without significance; but they yield to the superior
efficacy of the French.[1374] Among the English administrative
officers, the lead must doubtless be given to Sir William Johnson,
for his personal influence over the Indian mind, winning their
full confidence by fair and generous treatment of them, by a free
hospitality, by assimilating with their habits even in his array,
and by mastering their language. His deputy, Col. George Croghan, as
interpreter and messenger, was kept busily employed in constant tramps
through the woods, and in fearless errands to parties of vacillating
or hostile tribes, to hold or win them to the English interest. The
principal and the deputy, in this hazardous diplomacy, were specially
qualified for their office by having mastered the gift and qualities of
Indian oratory, by a familiarity with Indian character in its strength
and weakness, and by endeavoring to keep faith with them, and to
imitate the adroit methods of the French rather than the contemptuous
hauteur of most of the English in intercourse with them.[1375]

The reader will naturally go to the biographies of Johnson, Washington,
and the other military leaders of their time, to those of a few
civilians, like Franklin, and to the general histories of the French
and Indian wars and of their separate campaigns, for much light upon
the Indian in war; and these materials have been sufficiently explored
in another volume of the present History.[1376] These more general
accounts are easily supplemented in the narratives of adventures and
sufferings by a large class of persons who fell captive to the Indians,
and lived to tell their tales.[1377]

The earlier travellers, like P. E. Radisson,[1378] Richard
Falconer,[1379] Le Beau,[1380] and Jonathan Carver,[1381] not to name
others; the later ones, like Prinz Maximilian;[1382] the experiences of
various army officers on the frontiers, like Randolph B. Marcy[1383]
and J. B. Fry,[1384]—all such books fill in the picture in some of its

The early life in the Ohio Valley was particularly conducive to
such auxiliary helps in this study, and we owe more of this kind of
illustration to Joseph Doddridge[1385] than to any other. He was a
physician and a missionary of the Protestant Episcopal Church, and in
both his professions a man highly esteemed. He was born in Maryland
in 1769, and in his fourth year removed with his family to the
western border of the line between Pennsylvania and Virginia. With
abundant opportunities in his youth of familiarity with the rudest
experiences of frontier life near hostile Indians, he was a keen
observer, a skilful narrator, and a diligent gatherer-up of historical
and traditional lore from the hardy and well-scarred pioneers. He had
received a good academic and medical education, and was a keen student
of nature as well as of humanity. His pages give us most vivid pictures
of life under the stern and perilous conditions; not, however, without
their fascinations, of forest haunts, of rude and scattered cabins, of
domestic and social relations, of the resources of the heroic whites,
and of the qualities of Indian warfare in the desperate struggle with
the invaders.[1386]

Another early writer in this field was Dr. S. P. Hildreth of Ohio, who
published his _Pioneer History_ (Cincinnati, 1848) while some of the
pioneers of the Northwest were still living, and the papers of some
of them, like Col. George Morgan, could be put to service.[1387] Dr.
Hildreth, in his _Biographical and Historical Memoirs of the early
Pioneer Settlers of Ohio_ (Cincinnati, 1852), included a Memoir of
Isaac Williams, who at the age of eighteen began a course of service
and adventure in the Indian country, which was continued till its
close at the age of eighty-four. When eighteen years of age he was
employed by the government of Pennsylvania, being already a trained
hunter, as a spy and ranger among the Indians. He served in this
capacity in Braddock’s campaign, and was a guard for the first convoy
of provisions, on pack-horses, to Fort Duquesne, after its surrender
to General Forbes in 1758. He was one of the first settlers on the
Muskingum, after the peace made there with the Indians, in 1765, by
Bouquet. His subsequent life was one of daring and heroic adventure on
the frontiers.[1388]

       *       *       *       *       *

Passing to the more general works, the earliest treatment of the North
American Indians, of more than local scope, was the work of James
Adair, first published in 1775, a section of whose map, showing the
position of the Indian tribes within the present United States at that
time, is given elsewhere.[1389] This _History of the American Indians_
was later included by Kingsborough in _Antiquities of Mexico_ (vol.
viii. London, 1848).[1390] At just about the same time (1777), Dr.
Robertson, in his _America_ (book iv.), gave a general survey, which
probably represents the level of the best European knowledge at that

It was not till well into the present century that much effort was made
to summarize the scattered knowledge of explorers like Lewis and Clarke
and of venturesome travellers. In 1819, we find where we might not
expect it about as good an attempt to make a survey of the subject as
was then attainable, in Ezekiel Sanford’s _History of the United States
before the Revolution_,—a book, however, which was pretty roundly
condemned for its general inaccuracy by Nathan Hale in the _North
American Review_. The next year the Rev. Jedediah Morse made _A report
to the secretary of war, on Indian affairs, comprising a narrative of
a tour in 1820, for ascertaining the actual state of the Indian tribes
in our country_ (New Haven, 1822), which is about the beginning of
systematized knowledge, though the subject in its scientific aspects
was too new for well-studied proportions. The _Report_, however,
attracted attention and instigated other students. De Tocqueville, in
1835, took the Indian problem within his range.[1391] Albert Gallatin
printed, the next year, in the second volume of the _Archæologia
Americana_ (Cambridge, 1836), his _Synopsis of the Indian Tribes within
the United States east of the Rocky Mountains_; and though his main
purpose was to explain the linguistic differences, his introduction is
still a valuable summary of the knowledge then existing.

There were at this time two well-directed efforts in progress to catch
the features and life of the Indians as preserving their aboriginal
traits. Between 1838 and 1844 Thomas L. McKenney and James Hall
published at Philadelphia, in three volumes folio, their _History of
the Indian tribes of North America, with biographical sketches of
the principal chiefs. With 120 portrs. from the Indian gallery of
the Department of war, at Washington_;[1392] and in 1841 the public
first got the fruits of George Catlin’s wanderings among the Indians
of the Northwest, in his _Letters and notes on the manners, customs
and condition of the North American Indians, written during eight
years’ travel among the wildest tribes of Indians in North America, in
1832-39_ (N. Y., 1841), in two volumes. The book went through various
editions in this country and in London.[1393] It was but the forerunner
of various other books illustrative of his experience among the tribes;
but it remains the most important.[1394] The sufficient summary of
all that Catlin did to elucidate the Indian character and life will
be found in Thomas Donaldson’s _George Catlin’s Indian Gallery in the
U. S. Nat. Museum, with memoirs and statistics_, being part v. of the
_Smithsonian Report_ for 1885.[1395]

The great work of Schoolcraft has been elsewhere described in the
present volume.[1396]

The agencies for acquiring and disseminating knowledge respecting the
condition, past and present, of the red race have been and are much the
same as those which improve the study of the archæological aspects of
their history: such publications as the _Transactions of the American
Ethnological Society_ (1845-1848); the _Reports_ of the governmental
geological surveys, and those upon trans-continental railway routes;
those upon national boundaries; those of the Smithsonian Institution,
with its larger _Contribution_s, and of late years the _Reports of the
Bureau of Ethnology_; the reports of such institutions as the Peabody
Museum of Archæology; and those of the Indian agents of the Federal
government, of chief importance among which is Miss Alice C. Fletcher’s
_Indian Education and Civilization_, published by the Bureau of
Education (Washington, 1888). To these must be added the great mass of
current periodical literature reached through _Poole’s Index_, and the
action and papers of the government, not always easily discoverable,
through Poore’s _Descriptive Catalogue_.

The maps of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries are, in addition
to the reports of traders, missionaries, and adventurers, the means
which we have of placing the territories of the many Indian tribes
which, since the contact of Europeans, have been found in North
America; but the abiding-places of the tribes have been far from
permanent. Many of these early maps are given in other volumes of the
present History.[1397] Geographers like Hutchins and military men
like Bouquet found it incumbent on them to study this question.[1398]
Benjamin Smith Barton surveyed the field in 1797; but the earliest of
special map seems to have been that compiled by Albert Gallatin, who
endeavored to place the tribes of the Atlantic slope as they were in
1600, and those beyond the Alleghanies as they were in 1800. The map in
the _American Gazetteer_ (London, 1762) gives some information,[1399]
and that of Adair in 1775 is reproduced elsewhere.[1400] In 1833,
Catlin endeavored to give a geographical position to all the tribes
in the United States on a map, given in his great work and reproduced
in the _Smithsonian Report_, part v. (1885). In 1840 compiled maps
were given on a small scale in George Bancroft’s third volume of his
_United States_, and another in Marryat’s _Travels_, vol. ii. The
government has from time to time published maps showing the Indian
occupation of territory, and the present reservations are shown on maps
in Donaldson’s _Public Domain_ and in the _Smithsonian Report_, part v.

The migrations and characteristics of the Eskimos have already been
discussed,[1402] and the journals of the Arctic explorers will yield
light upon their later conditions. We find those of the Hudson Bay
region depicted in all the books relating to the life of the Company’s
factors.[1403] The Beothuks of Newfoundland, which are thought to
have become extinct in 1828,[1404] are described in Hatton and
Harvey’s _Newfoundland_; by T. G. B. Lloyd in the _Journal of the
Anthropological Institute_ (London), 1874, p. 21; 1875, p. 222; by A.
S. Gatschet in the _American Philosophical Society’s Transactions_
(Philad., 1885-86, vols. xxii. xxiii.); and in the _Nineteenth
Century_, Dec., 1888. Leclercq in his _Nouvelle Relation de la
Gaspésie_ (Paris, 1691) gives us an account of the natives on the
western side of the gulf.[1405]

The Micmacs of Nova Scotia are considered in Lescarbot and the later
histories and in the documentary collections of that colony; and as
they played a part in the French wars, the range of that military
history covers some material concerning them.[1406]

For the aborigines of Canada, we easily revert to the older writers,
like Champlain, Sagard, Creuxius, Boucher, Leclercq, Lafitau; the
_Voyage curieux et nouveau parmi les sauvages_ of Le Beau (Amsterdam,
1738); the _Nouvelle France_ of Charlevoix; the _Histoire de l’Amérique
Septentrionale_ (Paris, 1753) of Bacqueville de la Potherie;[1407] and
to the later historians, like Fernald (ch. 7, 8), Garneau (2d book),
and Warburton’s _Conquest of Canada_ (ch. 6, 7, 8). The Abenaki, which
lay between the northeastern settlements of the English and the French,
are specially treated by Bacqueville (vol. iv.), in the _Maine Hist.
Soc. Collection_s, vol. vi., and in Maurault’s _Histoire des Abenakis_

The rich descriptive literature of the early days of New England gives
us much help in understanding the aboriginal life. We begin with John
Smith, and come down through a long series of writers like Governor
Bradford and Edward Winslow for Plymouth; Gorges, Morton, Winthrop,
Higginson, Dudley, Johnson, Wood, Lechford, and Roger Williams for
other parts. These are all characterized in another place.[1409]
The authorities on the early wars with the Pequots and with Philip,
the accounts of Daniel Gookin, who knew them so well,[1410] and
chance visits like those of Rawson and Danforth,[1411] furnish the
concomitants needful to the recital. The story of the labors of
Eliot, Mayhew, and others in urging the conversion of the natives
is based upon another large range of material, in which much that
is merely exhortative does not wholly conceal the material for the
historian.[1412] Here too the chief actors in this work help us in
their records. We have letters of Eliot, and we have the tracts which
he was instrumental in publishing.[1413] There is also a letter of
Increase Mather to Leusden on the Indian missions (1688).[1414] Gookin
tells us of the sufferings of the Christian Indians during the war of
1675,[1415] and he gives also reports of the speeches of the Indian
converts.[1416] The Mayhews of Martha’s Vineyard, Thomas, Matthew, and
Experience, have left us records equally useful.[1417]

The principal student of the literature, mainly religious, produced
in the tongue of the natives, has been Dr. James Hammond Trumbull, of
Hartford, and he has given us the leading accounts of its creation and
influence.[1418] It was this propagandist movement that led Eleazer
Wheelock into establishing (1754) an Indian Charity School at Lebanon,
Connecticut, which finally removed to Hanover, in New Hampshire, and
became (1769) Dartmouth College.[1419]

The New England tribes have produced a considerable local illustrative
literature. The Kennebecs and Penobscots in Maine are noticed in the
histories of that State, and in many of the local monographs.[1420] For
New Hampshire, beside the state histories,[1421] the Pemigewassets are
described in Wm. Little’s _Warren_ (Concord, 1854), and the Pemicooks
in the _N. H. Hist. Collections_, i.; Bouton’s _Concord_, Moore’s
_Concord_, and Potter’s _Manchester_.

The Archives of Massachusetts yield a large amount of material
respecting the relations of the tribes to the government, particularly
at the eastward, while Maine was a part of the colony;[1422] and the
large mass of its local histories, as well as those of the State,[1423]
supply even better than the other New England States material for the

The Indians of Rhode Island are noted by Arnold in his _Rhode Island_
(ch. 3), and some special treatment is given to the Narragansetts
and the Nyantics.[1425] Those of Connecticut have a monographic
record in De Forest’s _Indians of Connecticut_, as well as treatment

Palfrey (_Hist. New England_, i. ch. 1, 2), in his general survey
of the Indians of New England, delineates their character with much
plainness and discrimination, and it is perhaps as true a piece of
characterization as any we have.[1427]

The Iroquois of New York have probably been the subject of a more
sustained historical treatment than any other tribes. We have the
advantage, in studying them, of the observations of the Dutch,[1428]
as well as of the French and English. The French priests give us the
earliest accounts, particularly the relations of Jogues and Milet.[1429]

The story of the French missions in New York is told elsewhere;[1430]
those of the Protestant English yield us less.[1431]

We have another source in the local histories of New York.[1432]
The earliest of the general histories of the Iroquois is that of
Cadwallader Colden, and the best edition is _The history of the five
Indian nations depending on the province of New-York. Reprinted
exactly from Bradford’s New York edition, 1727; with an introduction
and notes by J. G. Shea_ (New York, 1866).[1433] The London reprints
of 1747, and later, unfortunately added to the title _Five Indian
Nations_ [_of Canada_] the words in brackets. This was the very point
denied by the English, who claimed that the French had no territorial
rights south of the lakes. Otherwise his title conveys two significant
facts: first, that the English had come to regard the Five Nations as
their “dependants”; and second, that these Indians actually were a
barrier between them and the French. There was something farcical in
the formula used by Sir Wm. Johnson in a letter to the ministry: “The
combined tribes have taken arms against his Britannic Majesty.” The
Mohawks had been induced to ask that the Duke of York’s arms should be
attached to their castles. This had been assented to, and allowed as a
security against the inroads of the French—a sort of talismanic charm
which might be respected by European usage. But those ducal bearings
did not have their full meaning to the Iroquois as binding their own
allegiance, nor were the Six Nations ever the gainers by being thus
constructively protected.

Colden was born in Scotland in 1688, and died on Long Island in 1776.
He was a physician, botanist, scholar, and literary man, able and
well qualified in each pursuit. The greater part of his long life was
spent in this country. As councillor, lieutenant-governor, and acting
governor, he was in the administration of New York from 1720 till near
his death. He was a most inquisitive and intelligent investigator
and observer of Indian history and character. In dedicating his work
to General Oglethorpe, he claims to have been prompted to it by his
interest in the welfare of the Five Nations. He is frank and positive
in expressing his judgment that they had been degraded and demoralized
by their intercourse with the whites. He says that he wrote the former
part of his history in New York, in 1727, to thwart the manœuvres of
the French in their efforts to monopolize the western fur trade. They
had been allowed to import woollen goods for the Indian traffic through
New York. Governor Burnet advised that a stop be put to this abuse. The
New York legislature furthered his advice, and built a fort at Oswego
for three hundred traders. When the Duke of York was represented here
by Governor Dongan, and “Popish interests” were allowed sway,—there
being at the time a mean pretence of amity between England and
France,—the interests of the former were sacrificed to those of the
latter. This, of course, had a bad influence on the Five Nations, as
leading them to regard the French as masters. The whole of the first
part of Colden’s History deals with the Iroquois as merely the centre
of the rivalry between the French and the English with their respective
savage allies. The English had the advantage at the start, because from
the earliest period when Champlain made a hostile incursion into the
country of the Iroquois, attended by their Huron enemies, the relations
of enmity were decided upon, and afterwards were constantly imbittered
by a series of invasions. The French sought to undo their own influence
of this sort when it became necessary for them to try to win over the
Iroquois to their own interest in the fur traffic. The Confederacy
which existed among the Five, and afterwards the Six, Nations was
roughly tried when there was so sharp a bidding for alliances between
one or another of the tribes by their European tempters. An incidental
and very embarrassing element came in to complicate the relations of
the parties, English, French, and Indians, on the grounds of the claim
advanced by the English to hold the region beyond the Alleghanies
by cession from the Iroquois in a council in 1726. The question was
whether the Iroquois had previous to that time obtained tenable
possession of the Ohio region, by conquest of the former occupants.
It would appear that after that conquest that region was for a time
well-nigh deserted. When it was to some extent reoccupied, the
subsequent hunters and tenants of it denied the sovereignty of the
Iroquois and the rights of the English intruders who relied upon the
old treaty of cession.

The rival French history while Colden was in vogue was the third
volume of Bacqueville de la Potherie’s _Hist. de l’Amérique
Septentrionale_ (Paris, 1753); and another contemporary English
view appeared in Wm. Smith’s _Hist. of the Province of New York_
(1757).[1434] Nothing appeared after this of much moment as a general
account of the Six Nations till Henry R. Schoolcraft made his _Report_
to the New York authorities in 1845, which was published in a more
popular form in his _Notes on the Iroquois, or Contributions to
American history, antiquities, and general ethnology_ (Albany, 1847), a
book not valued overmuch.[1435]

Better work was done by J. V. H. Clark in what is in effect a good
history of the Confederacy, in his _Onondaga_ (Syracuse, 1849).
The series of biographies by W. L. Stone, of Sir William Johnson,
Brant, and Red Jacket, form a continuous history for a century
(1735-1838).[1436] The most carefully studied work of all has been that
of Lewis H. Morgan in his _League of the Iroquois_ (1851), a book of
which Parkman says (_Jesuits_, p. liv) that it commands a place far
in advance of all others, and he adds, “Though often differing widely
from Mr. Morgan’s conclusions, I cannot bear too emphatic testimony
to the value of his researches.”[1437] The latest scholarly treatment
of the Iroquois history is by Horatio Hale in the introduction to
_The Iroquois Book of Rites_ (Philad., 1883), which gives the forms
of commemoration on the death of a chief and upon the choice of a

Moving south, the material grows somewhat scant. There is little
distinctive about the New Jersey tribes.[1439] For the Delawares and
the Lenni Lenape, the main source is the native bark record, which as
Walam-Olum was given by Squier in his _Historical and Mythological
Traditions of the Algonquins_,[1440] as translated by Rafinesque,[1441]
while a new translation is given in D. G. Brinton’s _Lenâpé and their
legends; with the complete text and symbols of the Walam Olum, a new
translation, and an inquiry into its authenticity_ (Philadelphia,
1885), making a volume of his _Library of aboriginal American
literature_; and the book is in effect a series of ethnological studies
on the Indians of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland.[1442]

In addition to some of the early tracts[1443] on Maryland[1444] and
Virginia and the general histories, like those of Beverly, and Stith
for Virginia, and particularly Bozman for Maryland, with Henning’s
_Statutes_, and some of the local histories,[1445] we have little for
these central coast regions.[1446] In Carolina we must revert to such
early books as Lawson and Brickell; to Carroll’s _Hist. Collections of
South Carolina_, and to occasional periodic papers.[1447]

Farther south, we get help from the early Spanish and French,—Herrera,
Barcia, the chroniclers of Florida, Davilla Padilla, Laudonnière, the
memorials of De Soto’s march, the documents in the collections of
Ternaux, Buckingham Smith, and B. F. French, all of which have been
characterized elsewhere.[1448]

The later French documents in Margry and the works of Dumont and Du
Pratz give us additional help.[1449] On the English side we find
something in Coxe’s _Carolana_, in Timberlake, in Lawson,[1450] in the
Wormsloe quartos on Georgia and South Carolina,[1451] and in later
books like Filson’s _Kentucke_, John Haywood’s _Nat. and Aborig. Hist.
Tennessee_ (down to 1768), Benjamin Hawkins’s _Sketch of the Creek
Country_ (1799), and Jeffreys’ _French Dominion in America_. Brinton,
in _The National Legend of the Chata-Mus-ko-kee tribes_ (in the _Hist.
Mag._, Feb., 1870), printed a translation of “What Chekilli the head
chief of the upper and lower Creeks said in a talk held at Savannah
in 1735,” which he derived from a German version preserved in _Herrn
Philipp Georg Friederichs von Reck Diarium von seiner Reise nach
Georgien im Jahr 1735_ (Halle, 1741).[1452] This legend is taken by
Albert S. Gatschet, in his _Migration Legend of the Creek Indians, with
a linguistic, historic, and ethnographic introduction_ (Philad., 1884),
as a centre round which to group the ethnography of the whole gulf
water-shed of the Southern States, wherein he has carefully analyzed
the legend and its language, and in this way there is formed what is
perhaps the best survey we have of the southern Indians.

This we may supplement by Pickett’s _Alabama_. Col. C. C. Jones, Jr.,
has given us a sketch (1868) of Tomo-chi-chi, the chief who welcomed

C. C. Royce has given us glimpses of the relations of the Cherokees and
the whites in the _Fifth Report, Bureau of Ethnology_. A recent book
is G. E. Foster’s _Se-Quo-Yah, the American Cadmus and modern Moses. A
biography of the greatest of redmen, around whose life has been woven
the manners, customs and beliefs of the early Cherokees, with a recital
of their wrongs and progress toward civilization_ (Philadelphia, etc.,
1885.)[1454] Gatschet cites the _Mémoire_ of Milfort, a war chief of
the Creeks.[1455] The Chippewas are commemorated in a paper in Beach’s
_Indian Miscellany_.[1456] The Seminole war produced a literature[1457]
bearing on the Florida tribes. Bernard Romans’ _Florida_ (1775) gave
the comments of an early English observer of the natives of the
southeastern parts of the United States. Dr. Brinton’s _Floridian
Peninsula_ and the paper of Clay Maccauley on the Seminoles in the
_Fifth Rept. Bureau of Ethnology_ help out the study. The Natchez have
been considered as allied with the races of middle America,[1458] and
we may go back to Garcilasso de la Vega and the later Du Pratz for some
of the speculations about them, to be aided by the accounts we get from
the French concerning their campaigns against them.[1459]

The placing of the tribes in the Ohio Valley is embarrassed by
their periodic migrations.[1460] Brinton follows the migrations
of the Shawanees,[1461] and C. C. Royce seeks to identify them in
their wanderings.[1462] O. H. Marshall tracks other tribes along the
Great Lakes.[1463] Hiram W. Beckwith places those in Illinois and
Indiana.[1464] The Wyandots[1465] have been treated, as affording
a type for a short study of tribal society, by Major Powell in
the _Bureau of Ethnology, First Report_.[1466] G. Gale’s _Upper
Mississippi_ (Chicago, 1867) gives us a condensed summary of the tribes
of that region, and Miss Fletcher’s _Report_ will help us for all this
territory. Use can be also made of Caleb Atwater’s _Indians of the
Northwest, or a Tour to Prairie du Chien_ (Columbus, 1850). Dr. John G.
Shea and others have used the _Collections of the Wisconsin Historical
Society_ to make known their studies of the tribes of that State.[1467]
One of the most readable studies of the Indians in the neighborhood of
Lake Superior is John G. Kohl’s _Kitchi-Gami_ (1860). The authorities
on the Black Hawk war throw light on the Sac and Fox tribes.[1468]
Pilling’s _Bibliography of the Siouan Languages_ (1887) affords the
readiest key to the mass of books about the Sioux or Dacotah stocks
from the time of Hennepin and the early adventurers in the Missouri
Valley. The travellers Carver and Catlin are of importance here. Mrs.
Eastman’s _Dacotah, or life and legends of the Sioux_ (1849) is an
excellent book that has not yet lost its value; and the same can be
said of Francis Parkman’s _California and the Oregon Trail_ (N. Y.,
1849), which shows that historian’s earliest experience of the wild
camp life. Miss Alice C. Fletcher is the latest investigator of their
present life.[1469] Of the Crows we have some occasional accounts like
Mrs. Margaret J. Carrington’s _Absaraka_.[1470] On the Modocs we have
J. Miller’s _Life among the Modocs_ (London, 1873). J. O. Dorsey has
given us a paper on the Omaha sociology in the _Third Rept. Bureau
of Ethnology_ (p. 205); and we may add to this some account in the
_Transactions_ (vol. i.) of the Nebraska State Hist. Society, and a
tract by Miss Fletcher on the _Omaha tribe of Indians in Nebraska_
(Washington, 1885). The Pawnees have been described by J. B. Dunbar in
the _Mag. Amer. Hist._ (vols. iv., v., viii., ix.) The Ojibways have
had two native historians,—Geo. Copway’s _Traditional Hist. of the
Ojibway Nation_ (London, 1850), and Peter Jones’ _Hist. of the Ojibway
Indians, with special reference to their conversion to Christianity_
(London, 1861). The _Minnesota Hist. Soc. Collections_ (vol. v.)
contain other historical accounts by Wm. W. Warren and by Edw. D.
Neill,—the latter touching their connection with the fur-traders. Miss
Fletcher’s _Report_ (1888) will supplement all these accounts of the
aborigines of this region.

Our best knowledge of the southwestern Indians, the Apaches, Navajos,
Utes, Comanches, and the rest, comes from such government observers
as Emory in his _Military Reconnaissance_; Marcy’s _Exploration of
the Red River in 1852_; J. H. Simpson in his _Expedition into the
Navajo Country_ (1856); and E. H. Ruffner’s _Reconnoissance in the Ute
Country_ (1874). The fullest references are given in Bancroft’s _Native
Races_,[1471] with a map.

We may still find in Bancroft’s _Native Races_ (i. ch. 2, 3) the best
summarized statement with references on the tribes of the upper Pacific
coast, and follow the development of our knowledge in the narratives
of the early explorers of that coast by water, in the account of Lewis
and Clark and other overland travels, and in such tales of adventures
as the _Journal kept at Nootka Sound by John R. Jewitt_, which has had
various forms.[1472]

The earliest of the better studied accounts of these northwestern
tribes was that of Horatio Hale in the volume (vi.) on ethnography,
of the Wilkes’ _United States Exploring Expedition_ (Philad., 1846),
and the same philologist’s paper in the _Amer. Ethnological Society’s
Transactions_ (vol. ii.). Recent scientific results are found in _The
North-West Coast of America, being Results of Recent Ethnological
Researches, from the Collections of the Royal Museums at Berlin,
published by the Directors of the Ethnological Department, by Herr E.
Krause, and partly by Dr. Grunwedel, translated from the German, the
Historical and Descriptive Text by Dr. Reiss_ (New York, 1886), and
in the first volume of the _Contributions to North Amer. Ethnology_
(Powell’s Survey), in papers by George Gibbs on the tribes of
Washington and Oregon, and by W. H. Dall on those of Alaska.[1473]

For the tribes of California, Bancroft’s first volume is still the
useful general account; but the Federal government have published
several contributions of scientific importance: that of Stephen Powers
in the _Contributions to No. Amer. Ethnology_ (vol. iii., 1877);[1474]
the ethnological volume (vii.) of _Wheeler’s Survey_, edited by
Putnam; and papers in the _Smithsonian Reports_, 1863-64, and in Miss
Fletcher’s _Report_, 1888.[1475]

This survey would not be complete without some indication of the
topical variety in the consideration of the native peoples, but we have
space only to mention the kinds of special treatment, shown in accounts
of their government and society, their intellectual character, and of
some of their customs and amusements.[1476] Their industries, their
linguistics, and their myths have been considered with wider relations
in the appendixes of the present volume.

[Illustration: Signatures]




_Archæological Institute of America._

BY the discovery of America a new continent was brought to light,
inhabited by many distinct tribes, differing in language and in
customs, but strikingly alike in physical appearance. All that can be
learned in regard to their condition, and that of their ancestors,
prior to the coming of Columbus, falls within the domain of the
prehistoric archæology of America. This recent science of Prehistoric
Archæology deals mainly with facts, not surmises. In studying the past
of forgotten races, “hid from the world in the low-delved tomb,” her
chief agent is the spade, not the pen. Her leading principles, the
lamps by which her path is guided, are superposition, association,
and style. Does this new science teach us that the tribes found in
possession of the soil were the descendants of its original occupants,
or does she rather furnish reasons for inferring that these had been
preceded by some extinct race or races? The first question, therefore,
that presents itself to us relates to the antiquity of man upon this
continent; and in respect to this the progress of archæological
investigation has brought about a marked change of opinion. Modern
speculation, based upon recent discoveries, inclines to favor the view
that this continent was inhabited at least as early as in the later
portion of the quaternary or pleistocene period. Whether this primitive
people was autochthonous or not, is a problem that probably will never
be solved; but it is now generally held that this earliest population
was intruded upon by other races, coming either from Asia or from the
Pacific Islands, from whom were descended the various tribes which have
occupied the soil down to the present time.

The writer believes also that the majority of American archæologists
now sees no sufficient reason for supposing that any mysterious,
superior race has ever lived in any portion of our continent. They find
no archæological evidence proving that at the time of its discovery
any tribe had reached a stage of culture that can properly be called
civilization. Even if we accept the exaggerated statements of the
Spanish conquerors, the most intelligent and advanced peoples found
here were only semi-barbarians, in the stage of transition from the
stone to the bronze age, possessing no written language, or what can
properly be styled an alphabet, and not yet having even learned the use
of beasts of burden.

By a large and growing school of archæologists, moreover, it
is maintained that all the various tribes upon this continent,
notwithstanding their different degrees of advancement, were living
under substantially similar institutions; and that even the different
forms of house construction practised by them were only stages in the
development of the same general conceptions. Without attempting to
dogmatize about such difficult problems, the object of this chapter
is to set forth concisely such views as recommend themselves to the
writer’s judgment. He is profoundly conscious of the limitations of his
knowledge, and fully aware that his opinions will be at variance with
those of other competent and learned investigators. _Non nostrum tantas
componere lites._

The controversy in regard to the antiquity of man in the old world
may be regarded as substantially settled. Scarcely any one now denies
that man was in existence there during the close of the quaternary
or pleistocene period; but there is a great difference of opinion as
to the sufficiency of the evidence thus far brought forward to prove
that he had made his appearance in Europe in the previous tertiary
period, or even in the earlier part of the quaternary. What is the
present state of opinion in regard to the correlative question about
the antiquity of man in America? Less than ten years ago the latest
treatise published in this country, in which this subject came under
discussion, met the question with the sweeping reply that “no truly
scientific proof of man’s great antiquity in America exists.”[1477]
But we think if the author of that thorough and “truly scientific”
work were living now his belief would be different. After a careful
consideration of all the former evidence that had been adduced in
proof of man’s early existence upon this continent, none of which
seemed to him conclusive, he goes on to state that “Dr. C. C. Abbott
has unquestionably discovered many palæolithic implements in the
glacial drift in the valley of the Delaware River, near Trenton,
New Jersey.”[1478] Now a single discovery of this character, if it
were unquestionable, or incapable of any other explanation, would
be sufficient to prove that man existed upon this continent in
quaternary times. The establishment, therefore, of the antiquity of
man in America, according to this latest authority, seems to rest
mainly upon the fact of the discovery by Dr. Abbott of palæolithic
implements in the valley of the Delaware. To quote the language of an
eminent European man of science, “This gentleman appears to stand in
a somewhat similar relation to this great question in America as did
Boucher de Perthes in Europe.”[1479] The opinion of the majority of
American geologists upon this point is clearly indicated in a very
recent article by Mr. W. J. McGee, of the U. S. Geological Survey:
“But it is in the aqueo-glacial gravels of the Delaware River, at
Trenton, which were laid down contemporaneously with the terminal
moraine one hundred miles further northward, and which have been so
thoroughly studied by Abbott, that the most conclusive proof of the
existence of glacial man is found.”[1480] It will accordingly be
necessary to give in considerable detail an account of the discovery
of palæolithic implements by Dr. Abbott in the Delaware valley, and of
its confirmation by different investigators, as well as of such other
discoveries in different parts of our country as tend to substantiate
the conclusions that have been drawn from them by archæologists.


Side and edge view, of natural size. From the _Peabody Museum Reports_,
vol. ii. p. 33.]

By the term palæolithic implements we are to understand certain rude
stone objects, of varying size, roughly fashioned into shape by a
process of chipping away fragments from a larger mass so as to produce
cutting edges, with convex sides, massive, and suited to be held at one
end, and usually pointed at the other. These have never afterwards been
subjected to any smoothing or polishing process by rubbing them against
another stone. But it is only when such rude tools have been found
buried in beds of gravel or other deposits, which have been laid down
by great floods towards the close of what is known to geologists as the
quaternary or pleistocene period, that they can be regarded as really
palæolithic.[1481] At that epoch which immediately preceded the present
period, certain rivers flowed with a volume of water much greater than
now, owing to the melting of the thick ice-cap once covering large
portions of the northern hemisphere, which was accompanied by a climate
of great humidity. Vast quantities of gravels were washed down from
the débris of the great terminal moraine of this ice-sheet, and were
accumulated in beds of great thickness, extending in some instances
as high as two hundred feet up the slopes of the river valleys. In
such deposits, side by side with the rude products of human industry
we have thus described, and deposited by the same natural forces, are
found the fossil remains of several species of animals, which have
subsequently either become extinct, like the mammoth and the tichorhine
rhinoceros, or, driven southwards by the encroaching ice, have since
its disappearance migrated to arctic regions, like the musk-sheep and
the reindeer, or to the higher Alpine slopes, like the marmot. Such a
discovery establishes the fact that man must have been living as the
contemporary of these extinct animals, and this is the only proof of
his antiquity that is at present universally accepted.

There has been much discussion among geologists in regard to both the
duration and the conditions of the glacial period, but it is now the
settled opinion that there have been two distinct times of glacial
action, separated by a long interval of warmer climate, as is proved by
the occurrence of intercalated fossiliferous beds; this was followed
by the final retreat of the glacier.[1482] The great terminal moraine
stretching across the United States from Cape Cod to Dakota, and thence
northward to the foot of the Rocky Mountains, marks the limit of the
ice invasion in the second glacial epoch. South of this, extending
in its farthest boundary as low as the 38th degree of latitude, is
a deposit which thins out as we go west and northwest, and which is
called the drift-area. The drift graduates into a peculiar mud deposit,
for which the name of “loess” has been adopted from the geologists of
Europe, by whom it was given to a thick alluvial stratum of fine sand
and loam, of glacial origin. This attenuated drift represents the first
glacial invasion. From Massachusetts as far as northern New Jersey,
and in some other places, the deposits of the two epochs seem to

The interval of time that separated the two glacial periods can be best
imagined by considering the great erosions that have taken place in the
valleys of the Missouri and of the upper Ohio. “Glacial river deposits
of the earlier epoch form the capping of fragmentary terraces that
stand 250 to 300 feet above the present rivers;” while those of the
second epoch stretch down through a trough excavated to that depth by
the river through these earlier deposits and the rock below.[1484]

As to the probable time that has elapsed since the close of the
glacial period, the tendency of recent speculation is to restrict the
vast extent that was at first suggested for it to a period of from
twenty thousand to thirty thousand years. The most conservative view
maintains that it need not have been more than ten thousand years, or
even less.[1485] This lowest estimate, however, can only be regarded as
fixing a minimum point, and an antiquity vastly greater than this must
be assigned to man, as of necessity he must have been in existence long
before the final events occurred in order to have left his implements
buried in the beds of débris which they occasioned.

In April, 1873, Dr. C. C. Abbott, who was already well known as
an investigator of the antiquities of the Indian races, which he
believed had passed from “a palæolithic to a neolithic condition”
while occupying the Atlantic seaboard, published an article on
the “Occurrence of implements in the river-drift at Trenton, New
Jersey.”[1486] In this he described and figured three rude implements,
which he had found buried at a depth as great in one instance as
sixteen feet in the gravels of a bluff overlooking the Delaware
River. He argued that these must be of greater antiquity than relics
found on the surface, from the fact of their occurring _in place_ in
undisturbed deposits; that they could not have reached such a depth
by any natural means; and that they must be of human origin, and not
accidental formations, because as many as three had been discovered
of a like character. His conclusion is that they are “true drift
implements, fashioned and used by a people far antedating the people
who subsequently occupied this same territory.”

After two years of further research he returned to the subject,
publishing in the same journal, in June, 1876, an account of the
discovery of seven similar objects near the same locality. Of these he
said: “My studies of these palæolithic specimens and of their positions
in the gravel-beds and overlying soil have led me to conclude that not
long after the close of the last glacial epoch man appeared in the
valley of the Delaware.”[1487]

Most of these specimens were deposited by Dr. Abbott in the
Peabody Museum of American Archæology and Ethnology at Cambridge,
Massachusetts; and the curator of that institution, Professor Frederick
W. Putnam, in September, 1876, visited the locality in company with Dr.
Abbott. Together they succeeded in finding two examples _in place_.
Having been commissioned to continue his investigations, Dr. Abbott
presented to the trustees, in November of the same year, a detailed
report _On the Discovery of Supposed Palæolithic Implements from the
Glacial Drift in the Valley of the Delaware River, near Trenton, New
Jersey_.[1488] In this, three of the most characteristic specimens were
figured, which had been submitted to Mr. M. E. Wadsworth of Cambridge,
to determine their lithological character. He pronounced them to be
made of argillite, and declared that the chipping upon them could not
be attributed to any natural cause, and that the weathering of their
surfaces indicated their very great antiquity. The question “how and
when these implements came to be in the gravel” is discussed by Dr.
Abbott at some length. He argued that the same forces which spread the
beds of gravel over the wide area now covered carried them also; and
he predicted that they will be met with wherever such gravels occur in
other parts of the State. He specially dwells upon the circumstances
that the implements were found in _undisturbed_ portions of the freshly
exposed surface of the bluff, and not in the mass of talus accumulated
at its base, into which they might have fallen from the surface; and
that they have been found at great depths, “varying from five to over
twenty feet below the overlying soil.” He also insisted upon the marked
difference between their appearance and the materials of which they
are fashioned and the customary relics of the Indians. The conditions
under which the gravel-beds were accumulated are then studied in
connection with a report upon them by Professor N. S. Shaler, which
concludes, from the absence of stratification and of pebbles marked
with glacial scratches, that they were “formed in the sea near the foot
of the retreating ice-sheet, when the sub-glacial rivers were pouring
out the vast quantities of water and waste that clearly were released
during the breaking up of the great ice-time.” This view regards the
deposits as of glacial origin, and as laid down during that period, but
considers that they were subsequently modified in their arrangement by
the action of water. In such gravel-beds there have also been found
rolled fragments of reindeer-horns, and skulls of the walrus, as well
as the relics of man. Dr. Abbott accordingly drew the conclusion that
“man dwelt at the foot of the glacier, or at least wandered over the
open sea, during the accumulation of this mass of gravel;” that he was
contemporary of these arctic animals; and that this early race was
driven southward by the encroaching ice, leaving its rude implements
behind. Thus it will be seen that Dr. Abbott no longer considers man in
this country as belonging to post-glacial, but to interglacial times.

Continuing his investigations, in the following year Dr. Abbott gave
a much more elaborate account of his work and its results, in which
he announced his discovery of some sixty additional specimens.[1489]
To the objection that had been raised, that these supposed implements
might have been produced by the action of frost, he replied that a
single fractured surface might have originated in that way or from an
accidental blow; but when we find upon the same object from twenty
to forty planes of cleavage, all equally weathered (which shows that
the fragments were all detached at or about the same time), it is
impossible not to recognize in this the result of intentional action.
Four such implements are described and figured, of shapes much more
specialized than those previously published, and resembling very
closely objects which European archæologists style stone axes of “the
Chellean type,” whose artificial origin cannot be doubted.


From a photograph kindly furnished by Professor F. W. Putnam, showing
the Delaware and its bluff of gravel, where many of the rude implements
have been found.]

As some geologists were still inclined to insist upon the post-glacial
character of the débris in which the implements were found, Dr. Abbott,
admitting that the great terminal moraine of the northern ice-sheet
does not approach nearer than forty miles to the bluff at Trenton,
nevertheless insists that the character of the deposits there much more
resembles a mass of material accumulated in the sea at the foot of the
glacier than it does beds that have been subjected to the modifying
arrangement of water. He finds an explanation of this condition of
things in a prolongation of the glacier down the valley of the Delaware
as far as Trenton, at a time when the lower portions of the State had
suffered a considerable depression, and before the retreat of the
ice-sheet. But besides the comparatively unmodified material of the
bluff, in which the greater portion of the palæolithic implements has
been found, there also occur limited areas of stratified drift, such
as are to be seen in railway cuttings near Trenton, in which similar
implements are also occasionally found. These, however, present a more
worn appearance than the others. But it will be found that these tracts
of clearly stratified material are so very limited in extent that
they seem to imply some peculiar local condition of the glacier. This
position is illustrated by certain remarkable effects once witnessed
after a very severe rainfall, by which two palæolithic implements were
brought into immediate contact with ordinary Indian relics such as are
common on the surface. This leads to an examination of the question
of the origin of this surface soil, and a discussion of the problem
how true palæolithic implements sometimes occur in it. This soil is
known to be a purely sedimentary deposit, consisting almost exclusively
of sand, or of such finely comminuted gravels as would readily be
transported by rapid currents of water. But imbedded in it and making a
part of it are numerous huge boulders, too heavy to be moved by water.
Dr. Abbott accounted for their presence from their having been dropped
by ice-rafts, while the process of deposition of the soil was going on.
The same sort of agency could not have put in place both the soil and
the boulders contained in it, and the same force which transported the
latter may equally well have brought along such implements as occur in
the beds of clearly stratified origin. The wearing effect upon these of
gravels swept along by post-glacial floods will account for that worn
appearance which sometimes almost disguises their artificial origin.

In conclusion Dr. Abbott attempted to determine what was the early
race which preceded the Indians in the occupation of this continent.
From the peculiar nature and qualities of palæolithic implements he
argues that they are adapted to the needs of a people “living in a
country of vastly different character, and with a different fauna,”
from the densely wooded regions of the Atlantic seaboard, where the
red man found his home. The physical conditions of the glacial times
much more nearly resembled those now prevailing in the extreme north.
Accordingly he finds the descendants of the early race in the Eskimos
of North America, driven northwards after contact with the invading
Indian race. In this he is following the opinion of Professor William
Boyd Dawkins, who considers that people to be of the same blood as the
palæolithic cave-dwellers of southern France, and that of Mr. Dall and
Dr. Rink, who believed that they once occupied this continent as far
south as New Jersey. In confirmation of this view he asserts that the
Eskimos “until recently used stone implements of the rudest patterns.”
But unfortunately for this theory the implements of the Eskimos bear
no greater resemblance to palæolithic implements than do those of any
other people in the later stone age; and subsequent discoveries of
human crania in the Trenton gravels have led Dr. Abbott to question its

These discoveries of Dr. Abbott are not liable to the imputation of
possible errors of observation or record, as would be the case if
they rested upon the testimony of a single person only. As has been
already stated, in September, 1876, Professor Putnam was present at
the finding _in place_ of two palæolithic implements, and in all has
taken five with his own hands from the gravel at various depths.[1491]
Mr. Lucien Carr also visited the locality in company with Professor J.
D. Whitney, in September, 1878, and found several _in place_.[1492]
Since then Professors Shaler, Dawkins, Wright, Lewis, and others,
including the writer, have all succeeded in finding specimens either
in place or in the talus along the face of the bluff, from which they
had washed out from freshly exposed surfaces of the gravel.[1493]
The whole number thus far discovered by Dr. Abbott amounts to
about four hundred specimens.[1494] Meanwhile, the problem of the
conditions under which the Trenton gravels had been accumulated was
made the subject of careful study by other competent geologists,
besides Professor Shaler, to whose opinion reference has already been
made. In October, 1877, the late Thomas Belt, F. G. S., visited the
locality, and shortly afterwards published an account of Dr. Abbott’s
discoveries, illustrated by several geological sections of the gravel.
His conclusion is, “that after the land-ice retired, or whilst it was
retiring, and before the coast was submerged to such a depth as to
permit the flotation of icebergs from the north, the upper pebble-beds
containing the stone implements were formed.”[1495] The geologists of
the New Jersey Survey had already recognized the distinction between
the drift gravels of Trenton and the earlier yellow marine gravels
which cover the lower part of the State. But it was the late Professor
Henry Carvill Lewis, of Philadelphia, who first accurately described
the character and limits of the Trenton gravels.[1496] This he had
carefully mapped before he was informed of Dr. Abbott’s discoveries,
and it has been found (with only one possible very recent exception)
that the implements occur solely in these newer gravels of the glacial

Professor Lewis’s matured conclusions in regard to the geological
character and the age of the Trenton gravel cliff are thus expressed:
“The presence of large boulders in the bluff at Trenton, and the extent
and depth of the gravel at this place, have led to the supposition that
there was here the extremity of a glacial moraine. Yet the absence of
‘till’ and of scratched boulders, the absence of glacial striæ upon the
rocks of the valley, and the stratified character of the gravel, all
point to water action alone as the agent of deposition. The depth of
the gravel and the presence of the bluff at this point are explained by
the peculiar position that Trenton occupies relatively to the river,
... in a position where naturally the largest amount of a river gravel
would be deposited, and where its best exposures would be exhibited....
Any drift material which the flooded river swept down its channel
would here, upon meeting tide-water, be in great part deposited.
Boulders which had been rolled down the inclined floor of the upper
valley would here stop in their course, and all be heaped up with the
coarser gravel in the more slowly flowing water, except such as cakes
of floating ice could carry oceanward.... Having heaped up a mass of
detritus in the old river channel as an obstruction at the mouth of the
gorge, the river, so soon as its volume diminished, would immediately
begin wearing away a new channel for itself down to ocean level. This
would be readily accomplished through the loose material, and would
be stopped only when rock was reached.... It has been thought that to
account for the high bank at Trenton an elevation of the land must have
occurred.... An increase in the volume of the river will explain all
the facts. The accompanying diagram will render this more clear.

[Illustration: Section of bluff two miles south of Trenton, New Jersey.
_a b_, TRENTON GRAVEL; Implements—_a_, fine gray sand (boulder); _b_,
coarse sandy gravel; _c_, red gravel; _d_, yellow gravel (pre-glacial);
_e_, plastic clay (Wealden); _f_, fine yellow sand (Hastings?); _g_,
gneiss; _h_, alluvial mud; _i_, Delaware River.

A From a cut in _Primitive Industry_, p. 535.]

“The Trenton gravel, now confined to the sandy flat borders of the
river, corresponds to the ‘intervale’ of New England rivers, ... and
exhibits a topography peculiar to a true river gravel. Frequently
instead of forming a flat plain it forms higher ground close to the
present river channel than it does near its ancient bank. Moreover,
not only does the ground thus slope downward on retreating from the
river, but the boulders become smaller and less abundant. Both of these
facts are in accordance with the facts of river deposits. In time of
flood the rapidly flowing water in the main channel, bearing detritus,
is checked by the more quiet waters at the side of the river, and is
forced to deposit its gravel and boulders as a kind of bank.... Having
shown that the Trenton gravel is a true river gravel of comparatively
recent age, it remains to point out the relation it bears to the
glacial epoch.... Two hypotheses only can be applied to the Trenton
gravel. It is either _post_-glacial, or it belongs to the very last
portion of the glacial period. The view held by the late Thomas Belt
can no longer be maintained.... He fails to recognize any distinction
between the gravels. As we have seen, the Trenton gravel is truly
post-glacial. It only remains to define more strictly the meaning of
that term. There is evidence to support both of these hypotheses.”[1497]

After discussing them both at considerable length, he concludes as
follows: “A second glacial period in Europe, known as the ‘Reindeer
Period,’ has long been recognized. It appears to have followed that
in which the clays were deposited and the terraces formed, and may
therefore correspond with the period of the Trenton gravel. If there
have been two glacial epochs in this country, the Trenton gravel cannot
be earlier than the close of the later one. If there has been but one,
traces of the glacier must have continued into comparatively recent
times, or long after the period of submergence. The Trenton gravel,
whether made by long-continued floods which followed a first or second
glacial epoch,—whether separated from all true glacial action or the
result of the glacier’s final melting,—is truly a post-glacial deposit,
but still a phenomenon of essentially glacial times,—times more nearly
related to the Great Ice Age than to the present.”

He then goes on to consider the bearings of the age of this gravel
upon the question of the antiquity of man. “When we find that the
Trenton gravel contains implements of human workmanship so placed with
reference to it that it is evident that at or soon after the time of
its deposition man had appeared on its borders, and when the question
of the antiquity of man in America is thus before us, we are tempted
to inquire still further into the age of the deposit under discussion.
It has been clearly shown by several competent archæologists that the
implements that have been found are a constituent part of the gravel,
and not intrusive objects. It was of peculiar interest to find that
it has been only within the limits of the Trenton gravel, precisely
traced out by the writer, that Dr. Abbott, Professor F. W. Putnam, Mr.
Lucien Carr, and others, have discovered these implements _in situ_....
At the localities on the Pennsylvania Railroad, where extensive
exposures of these gravels have been made, the deposit is undoubtedly
undisturbed. No implements could have come into this gravel except at
a time when the river flowed upon it, and when they might have sunk
through the loose and shifting material. All the evidence points to the
conclusion that at the time of the Trenton gravel flood man ... lived
upon the banks of the ancient Delaware, and lost his stone implements
in the shifting sands and gravel of the bed of that stream.... The
actual age of the Trenton gravel, and the consequent date to which the
antiquity of man on the Delaware should be assigned, is a question
which geological data alone are insufficient to solve. The only clew,
and that a most unsatisfactory one, is afforded by calculations based
upon the amount of erosion. This, like all geological considerations,
is relative rather than absolute, yet several calculations have been
made, which, based either upon the rate of erosion of river channels or
the rate of accumulation of sediment, have attempted to fix the date
of the close of the glacial epoch. By assuming that the Trenton gravel
was deposited immediately after the close of this epoch, an account
of such calculations may be of interest. If the Trenton gravel is
_post_-glacial in the widest acceptation of the term, a yet later date
must be assigned to it.”

After going carefully through them all, he concludes: “Thus we find
that if any reliance is to be placed upon such calculations, even if we
assume that the Trenton gravel is of glacial age, it is not necessary
to make it more than ten thousand years old. The time necessary for
the Delaware to cut through the gravel down to the rock is by no
means great. When it is noted that the gravel cliff at Trenton was
made by a side wearing away at a bank, and when it is remembered that
the erosive power of the Delaware River was formerly greater than at
present, it will be conceded that the presence of the cliff at Trenton
will not necessarily infer its high antiquity; nor in the character of
the gravel is there any evidence that the time of its deposition need
have been long. It may be that, as investigations are carried further,
it will result not so much in proving man of very great antiquity as
in showing how much more recent than usually supposed was the final
disappearance of the glacier.”

Professor Lewis’s studies of the great terminal moraine of the
northern ice-sheet were still further prosecuted in conjunction
with Professor George Frederick Wright, of Oberlin, Ohio, whose
labors have been of the highest importance in shedding light upon
the question of the antiquity of man in America.[1498] Together they
traced the southern boundary of the glacial region across the State
of Pennsylvania, and subsequently Professor Wright has continued his
researches through the States of Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky, as far
as the Mississippi River and even beyond. He has found that glacial
floods similar to those of the Delaware valley have deposited similar
beds of drift gravel in the valleys of all the southerly flowing
rivers, and he has called attention to the importance of searching in
them for palæolithic implements. As early as March, 1883, he predicted
that traces of early man would be found in the extensive terraces and
gravel deposits of the southern portion of Ohio.[1499] This prediction
was speedily fulfilled, and upon November 4, 1885, Professor Putnam
reported to the Boston Society of Natural History that Dr. C. L. Metz,
of Madisonville, Ohio, had found in the gravels of the valley of the
Little Miami River, at that place, eight feet below the surface, a rude
implement made of black flint, of about the same size and shape as one
of the same material found by Dr. Abbott in the Trenton gravels. This
was followed by the announcement from Dr. Metz that he had discovered
another specimen (a chipped pebble) in the gravels at Loveland, in
the same valley, at a depth of nearly thirty feet from the surface.
Professor Wright has visited both localities, and given a detailed
description of them, illustrated by a map. He finds that the deposit
at Madisonville clearly belongs to the glacial-terrace epoch, and is
underlain by “till,” while in that at Loveland it is known that the
bones of the mastodon have been discovered. He closes his account
with these words: “In the light of the exposition just given, these
implements will at once be recognized as among the most important
archæological discoveries yet made in America, ranking on a par with
those of Dr. Abbott at Trenton, New Jersey. They show that in Ohio, as
well as on the Atlantic coast, man was an inhabitant before the close
of the glacial period.”[1500] Further confirmation of these predictions
was received at the meeting of the American Association for the
Advancement of Science, at Cleveland, Ohio, in August, 1888, when Mr.
Hilborne T. Cresson reported his discovery of a large flint implement
in the glacial gravels of Jackson County, Indiana, as well as of two
chipped implements made of argillite, which he had found _in place_ at
a depth of several feet in the ancient terrace of the Delaware River,
in Claymont, Newcastle County, Delaware.[1501]

This discovery of Mr. Cresson’s has assumed a great geological
importance, and it is thus reported by him: “Toward midday of July 13,
1887, while lying upon the edge of the railroad cut, sketching the
boulder line, my eye chanced to notice a piece of steel-gray substance,
strongly relieved in the sunlight against the red-colored gravel, just
above where it joined the lower grayish-red portion. It seemed to me
like argillite, and being firmly imbedded in the gravel was decidedly
interesting. Descending the steep bank as rapidly as possible, the
specimen was secured.... Upon examining my specimen I found that it was
unquestionably a chipped implement. There is no doubt about its being
firmly imbedded in the gravel, for the delay I made in extricating it
with my pocket-knife nearly caused me the unpleasant position of being
covered by several tons of gravel.... Having duly reported my find
to Professor Putnam, I began, at his request, a thorough examination
of the locality, and on May 25, 1888, the year following, discovered
another implement four feet below the surface, at a place about one
eighth of a mile from the first discovery.... The geological formation
in which the implement was found seems to be a reddish gravel mixed
with schist.”[1502]

Professor Wright thus comments upon these discoveries and their
geological situation: “The discovery of palæolithic implements, as
described by Mr. Cresson, near Claymont, Del., unfolds a new chapter
in the history of man in America. It was my privilege in November last
to visit the spot with him, and to spend a day examining the various
features of the locality.... The cut in the Baltimore and Ohio railroad
in which this implement was found is about one mile and a half west
of the Delaware River, and about one hundred and fifty feet above it.
The river is here quite broad. Indeed, it has ceased to be a river,
and is already merging into Delaware Bay; the New Jersey shore being
about three miles distant from the Delaware side. The ascent from
the bay at Claymont to the locality under consideration is by three
or four well-marked benches. These probably are not terraces in the
strict sense of the word, but shelves marking different periods of
erosion when the land stood at these several levels, but now thinly
covered with old river deposits. Upon reaching the locality of Mr.
Cresson’s recent discovery, we find a well-marked superficial water
deposit containing pebbles and small boulders up to two or three
feet in diameter, and resting unconformably upon other deposits,
different in character, and in some places directly upon the decomposed
schists which characterize the locality. This is without question
the Philadelphia Red Gravel and Brick Clay of Lewis. The implement
submitted to us was found near the bottom of this upper deposit, and
eight feet below the surface.... As Mr. Cresson was on the ground
when the implement was uncovered, and took it out with his own hands,
there would seem to be no reasonable doubt that it was originally a
part of the deposit; for Mr. Cresson is no novice in these matters,
but has had unusual opportunities, both in this country and in the
old world, to study the localities where similar discoveries have
heretofore been made. The absorbing question concerning the age of this
deposit is therefore forced upon our attention as archæologists....
The determination of the age of these particular deposits at Claymont
involves a discussion of the whole question of the Ice Age in North
America, and especially that of the duality of the glacial epoch. At a
meeting of this society on January 19, 1881, I discussed the age of the
Trenton gravel, in which Dr. Abbott has found so many palæoliths, and
was led also incidentally at the same time to discuss the relative age
of what Professor Lewis called the Philadelphia Red Gravel. I had at
that time recently made repeated trips to Trenton, and with Professor
Lewis had been over considerable portions of the Delaware valley for
the express purpose of determining these questions. The conclusions to
which we—that is, Professor Lewis and myself—came were thus expressed
in the paper above referred to (_Proc. Boston Soc. of Nat. Hist._, vol.
xxi. pp. 137-145), namely, that the Philadelphia Brick Clay and Red
Gravel (which are essentially one formation) marked the period when
the ice had its greatest extension, and when there was a considerable
depression of the land in that vicinity; perhaps, however, less than
a hundred feet in the neighborhood of the moraine, though increasing
towards the northwest. During this period of greatest extension and
depression, the Philadelphia Red Gravel and Brick Clay were deposited
by the ice-laden floods which annually poured down the valley in the
summer seasons. As the ice retreated towards the headwaters of the
valley, the period was marked also by a reëlevation of the land to
about its present height, when the later deposits of gravel at Trenton
took place. Dr. Abbott’s discoveries at Trenton prove the presence of
man on the continent at that stage of the glacial epoch. Mr. Cresson’s
discoveries prove the presence of man at a far earlier stage. How much
earlier, will depend upon our interpretation of the general facts
bearing on the question of the duality of the glacial epoch.

“Mr. McGee, of the United States Geological Survey, has recently
published the results of extensive investigations carried on by him
respecting the superficial deposits of the Atlantic coast. (See _Amer.
Jour. of Science_, vol. xxxv., 1888.) He finds that on all the rivers
south of the Delaware there are deposits corresponding in character
to what Professor Lewis had denominated Philadelphia Red Gravel and
Brick Clay.... From the extent to which this deposit is developed
at Washington, in the District of Columbia, Mr. McGee prefers to
designate it the Columbia formation. But the period is regarded by him
as identical with that of the Philadelphia Red Gravel and Brick Clay,
which Professor Lewis had attributed to the period of maximum glacial
development on the Atlantic coast.

“It is observable that the boulders in this Columbia formation belong,
so far as we know, in every case, to the valleys in which they are now
found.... It is observable also that it is not necessary in any case to
suppose that these deposits were the direct result of glacial ice. Mr.
McGee does not suppose that glaciers extended down these valleys to any
great distance. Indeed, so far as we are aware, there is no evidence of
even local glaciers in the Alleghany Mountains south of Harrisburg. But
it is easy to see that an incidental result of the glacial period was a
great increase of ice and snow in the headwaters of all these streams,
so as to add greatly to the extent of the deposits in which floating
ice is concerned. And this Columbia formation is, as we understand
it, supposed by Mr. McGee to be the result of this incidental effect
of the glacial period in increasing the accumulations of snow and ice
along the headwaters of all the streams that rise in the Alleghanies.
In this we are probably agreed. But Mr. McGee differs from the
interpretation of the facts given by Professor Lewis and myself, in
that he postulates, largely, however, on the basis of facts outside of
this region, two distinct glacial epochs, and attributes the Columbia
formation to the first epoch, which he believes to be from three to
ten times as remote as the period in which the Trenton gravels were
deposited. If, therefore, Dr. Abbott’s implements are, as from the
lowest estimate would seem to be the case, from ten thousand to fifteen
thousand years old, the implements discovered by Mr. Cresson in the
Baltimore and Ohio cut at Claymont, which is certainly in Mr. McGee’s
Columbia formation, would be from thirty thousand to one hundred and
fifty thousand years old.

“But as I review the evidence which has come to my knowledge since
writing the paper in 1881, I do not yet see the necessity of making
so complete a separation between the glacial epochs as Mr. McGee and
others feel compelled to do. But, on the other hand, the unity of
the epoch (with, however, a marked period of amelioration in climate
accompanied by extensive recession of the ice, and followed by a
subsequent re-advance over a portion of the territory) seems more
and more evident. All the facts which Mr. McGee adduces from the
eastern side of the Alleghanies comport, apparently, as readily with
the idea of one glacial period as with that of two.... Until further
examination of the district with these suggestions in view, or until a
more specific statement of facts than we find in Mr. McGee’s papers,
it would therefore seem unnecessary to postulate a distinct glacial
period to account for the Columbia formation.... But no matter which
view prevails, whether that of two distinct glacial epochs, or of one
prolonged epoch with a mild period intervening, the Columbia deposits
at Claymont, in which these discoveries of Mr. Cresson have been made,
long antedate (perhaps by many thousand years) the deposits at Trenton,
N. J., at Loveland and Madison, Ohio, at Little Falls, Minn., ... and
at Medora, Ind.... Those all belong to the later portion of the glacial
period, while these at Claymont belong to the earlier portion of that
period, if they are not to be classed, according to Mr. McGee, as
belonging to an entirely distinct epoch.”[1503]

The objects discovered by both Dr. Metz and Mr. Cresson have been
deposited in the Peabody Museum at Cambridge, and their artificial
character cannot be disputed.

At nearly the same date at which Dr. Abbott published the account of
his discoveries, Col. Charles C. Jones, of Augusta, Georgia, recorded
the finding of “some rudely-chipped, triangular-shaped implements in
Nacoochee valley under circumstances which seemingly assign to them
very remote antiquity. In material, manner of construction, and in
general appearance, so nearly do they resemble some of the rough,
so-called flint hatchets belonging to the drift type, as described by
M. Boucher de Perthes, that they might very readily be mistaken the
one for the other.”[1504] They were met with in the course of mining
operations, in which a cutting had been made through the soil and the
underlying sands, gravels, and boulders down to the bedrock. Resting
upon this, at a depth of some nine feet from the surface, were the
three implements described. But it is plain that this deposit can
scarcely be regarded as a true glacial drift, since the great terminal
moraine lies more than four hundred miles away to the north, and the
region where it occurs does not fall within the drift area. It must
be of local origin, and few geologists would be willing to admit the
existence of local glaciers in the Alleghanies so far to the south
during the glacial period. Consequently these objects do not fall
within our definition of true palæolithic implements.

The same thing may be said in a less degree of the implements
discovered by C. M. Wallace, in 1876, in the gravels and clays of the
valley of the James River.[1505]

A different character attaches to certain objects discovered in 1877
by Professor N. H. Winchell, at Little Falls, Minnesota, in the valley
of the Mississippi River.[1506] These consisted mainly of pieces
of chipped white quartz, perfectly sharp, although occurring in a
water-worn deposit, and they were found to extend over quite a large
area. Their artificial character has been vouched for by Professor
Putnam, and among them were a few rude implements which are well
represented in an accompanying plate. A geological section given in the
report shows that they occur in the terrace some sixty feet above the
bank of the river, and were found to extend about four feet below the
surface. In the words of Professor Winchell: “The interest that centres
in these chips ... involves the question of the age of man and his
work in the Mississippi Valley.... The chipping race ... preceded the
spreading of the material of the plain, and must have been pre-glacial,
since the plain was spread out by that flood stage of the Mississippi
River that existed during the prevalence of the ice-period, or resulted
from the dissolution of the glacial winter.... The wonderful abundance
of these chips indicates an astonishing amount of work done, as if
there had been a great manufactory in the neighborhood, or an enormous
lapse of time for its performance.”

This discovery of Professor Winchell was followed up by researches
prosecuted in 1879 in the vicinity of Little Falls by Miss F. E.
Babbit, of that place.[1507] She discovered a similar stratum of
chipped quartz in the ancient terrace, of a mile or more in width,
about forty rods to the east of the river, and elevated some
twenty-five feet above it. This had been brought to light by the
wearing of a wagon track, leading down a natural drainage channel,
which had cut through the quartz stratum down to a level below it. The
result of her prolonged investigations showed that “the stratum of
quartz chips lay at a level some twelve or fifteen feet lower than the
plane of the terrace top.”[1508] While the quartz chips discovered by
Professor Winchell were contained in the upper surface of the terrace
plain, these were strictly confined to a lower level, and cannot be
synchronous with them. They must be older “by at least the lapse of
time required for the deposition of the twelve or fifteen feet of
modified drift forming the upper part of the terrace plain above the
quartz-bearing stratum.”

This conclusion is abundantly confirmed by Mr. Warren Upham, of
the U. S. Geological Survey, in his study of “The recession of
the ice-sheet in Minnesota in its relation to the gravel deposits
overlying the quartz implements found by Miss Babbit at Little Falls,
Minnesota.”[1509] The great ice-sheet of the latest glacial epoch
at its maximum extension pushed out vast lobes of ice, one of which
crossed western and central Minnesota and extended into Iowa. Different
stages of its retreat are marked by eleven distinct marginal moraines,
and this deposit of modified drift at Little Falls Mr. Upham believes
occurred in the interval between the formation of the eighth and the
ninth. “It is,” he says, “upon the till, or direct deposit of the
ice, and forms a surface over which the ice never re-advanced.” An
examination of the terraces and plains of the Mississippi Valley from
St. Paul to twenty-five miles above Little Falls shows them to be
similar in composition and origin to the terraces of modified drift in
the river valleys of New England. In his judgment, “the rude implements
and fragments of quartz discovered at Little Falls were overspread by
the glacial flood-plain of the Mississippi River, while most of the
northern half of Minnesota was still covered by the ice.... It may
be that the chief cause leading men to occupy this locality so soon
after it was uncovered from the ice was their discovery of the quartz
veins in the slate there, ... affording suitable material for making
sharp-edged stone implements of the best quality. Quartz veins are
absent, or very rare and unsuitable for this, in all the rock outcrops
of the south half of Minnesota, that had become uncovered from the
ice, as well as of the whole Mississippi basin southward, and this was
the first spot accessible whence quartz for implement-making could be

According to this view the upper deposit at Little Falls would appear
to be more recent than those laid down by the immediate wasting of the
great terminal moraine at Trenton and in Ohio; but the occupation of
the spot by man upon the lower terrace may well have been at a much
earlier time.

Many of the objects discovered by Miss Babbitt have been placed in the
Peabody Museum, and as their artificial character has been questioned,
the writer wishes to repeat his opinion, formed upon the study of
numerous specimens that have been submitted to him, but not the same as
those upon which Professor Putnam based his similar conclusions, that
they are undoubtedly of human origin.

Implements of palæolithic form have been discovered in several
other localities, but as none of them have been found _in place_, in
undisturbed gravel-beds, either those which have been derived from
the terminal moraine of the second extension of the great northern
ice-sheet, or those which are included within the drift area, they
cannot be considered as proved to be true palæolithic implements,
although it is highly probable that many of them are such.[1510]

       *       *       *       *       *

We have now to consider the claim to high antiquity of objects which
have been discovered in several places in certain deposits, equally
regarded as of glacial origin, which occur in the central and western
portions of the United States. These are the so-called “lacustrine
deposits,” which are believed to have had their origin from the
former presence of vast lakes, now either extinct or represented by
comparatively small bodies of water. The largest of such lakes occupied
a great depression which once existed between the Rocky Mountains
and the chain of the Sierra Nevada during the quaternary period. The
existing lakes represent the lowest part of two basins, into which
this depression was divided; of these, the western one, represented by
certain smaller lakes, has received the name of Lake Lahontan. This
never had any communication with the sea, and its deposits consequently
register the greater or less amount of rain and snow during the period
of its existence. To the eastern the name of Lake Bonneville has been
given, and it is at present represented by the Great Salt Lake in
Utah. This formerly had an outlet through the valley of the Columbia
River. These lakes are believed to have been produced by the melting of
local glaciers existing during the quaternary times in the above-named
mountains; and similar consequences seem to have followed from the like
presence of ancient glaciers in the Wahsatch and Uintah mountains,
where no lake now exists.

In the ancient deposits of such an immense fresh-water lake, derived
from the melting of glaciers in the last-mentioned mountains, which
once existed in southern Wyoming, Professor Joseph Leidy first
reported, in 1872, the discovery near Fort Bridger of “mingled
implements of the rudest construction, together with a few of the
highest finish.... Some of the specimens are as sharp and fresh in
appearance as if they had been but recently broken from the parent
block. Others are worn and have their sharpness removed, and are so
deeply altered in color as to look exceedingly ancient.”[1511] The
plates accompanying the report show that some of these objects are of
palæolithic form, but as no further information is given in regard to
the conditions under which they were discovered, we cannot pronounce
them to be really palæolithic.

In 1874, Dr. Samuel Aughey made known the existence in Nebraska of
“hundreds of miles of similar lacustrine deposits, almost level or
gently rolling.”[1512] To these the name of “loess” has also been
given, as well as to the mud deposits derived from the northern drift.
Aughey states that these beds are perfectly homogeneous throughout, and
of almost uniform color, ranging in thickness from five to one hundred
and fifty feet. Generally they lie above a true drift formation derived
from glaciers in the Black Hills, and represent “the final retreat of
the glaciers, and that era of depression of the surface of the State
when the greater part of it constituted a great fresh-water lake, into
which the Missouri, the Platte, and the Republican rivers poured their
waters.” The Missouri and its tributaries, flowing for more than one
thousand miles through these deposits, gradually filled up this great
lake with sediment. The rising of the land by degrees converted the
lake-bottom into marshes, through which the rivers began to cut new
channels, and to form the bluffs which now bound them. “The Missouri,
during the closing centuries of the lacustrine age, must have been from
five to thirty miles in breadth, forming a stream which for size and
majesty rivalled the Amazon.” Many remains of mastodons and elephants
are found in this so-called loess, as well as those of the animals now
living in that region, together with the fresh-water and land shells
peculiar to it. In it Aughey has also discovered an arrow-point and a
spear-head, of which he gives well-executed figures. Both are excellent
examples of those well-chipped implements which are regarded as typical
of the Neolithic age or the age of polished stone, and are absolutely
different from the palæolithic implements of which we have hitherto
spoken. They were both found in railroad cuttings on the Iowa side of
the Missouri River, and within three miles of it. The first lay at a
depth of fifteen feet below the top of the deposit. Of the second he
says it was “twenty feet below the top of the loess, and at least six
inches from the edge of the cut, so that it could not have slid into
that place.... Thirteen inches above the point where it was found, and
within three inches of being on a line with it, in undisturbed loess,
there was a lumbar vertebra of an elephant.”[1513]

This intermingling in these deposits of the bones of extinct and
living animals appears to have been brought about by the shifting of
the beds of the vast rivers he has described, which have been flowing
for ages through the slight and easily moved material. It seems to be
analogous to what has taken place in recent times in the valley of the
Mississippi and in its delta. The finding, therefore, of arrow-heads
of recent Indian type, even _in place_ under twenty feet of loess and
below a fossil elephant-bone, cannot be considered as affording any
stronger proof of the antiquity of man than the oft-cited instances of
the discovery of basket-work and pottery underneath similar fossils
at Petite Anse Island in Louisiana, or of pottery and mastodon-bones
on the banks of the Ashley River in South Carolina. No such discovery
can be considered of consequence as bearing upon the question of
palæolithic man.

The late Thomas Belt wrote to Professor Putnam, in 1878, that he had
discovered “a small human skull in an undisturbed loess in a railway
cutting about two miles from Denver (Colorado). All the plains are
covered with a drift deposit of granitic and quartzose pebbles overlaid
by a sandy and calcareous loam closely resembling the diluvial clay
and the loess of Europe. It was in the upper part of the drift series
that I found the skull. Just the tip of it was visible in the cutting
about three and one half feet below the surface.”[1514] Not long after
this Mr. Belt died, and we are without further information in regard
to the locality. It would seem, however, that the loess in which the
skull occurred belongs to the latest in the lacustrine series, and
consequently does not imply any very great antiquity for it.


Found in the Lahontan sediments,—from a cut in Russell’s _Lake
Lahontan_, monograph xi. of Powell’s _U. S. Geological Survey_, p. 247.]

In 1882 Mr. W. J. McGee, of the U. S. Geological Survey, obtained
from the upper lacustral clays of the basin of the ancient Lake
Lahontan, where they are exposed in the walls of Walker River Cañon,
a spear-head, made of obsidian, beautifully chipped, and perfectly
resembling those found on the surface throughout the southwest. “It
was discovered projecting point outwards from a vertical scarp of
lacustral clays twenty-five feet below the top of the section, at a
locality where there were no signs of recent disturbance.”[1515] This
is said to have been “associated in such a manner with the bones of an
elephant or mastodon as to leave no doubt of their having been buried
at approximately the same time.” But we are also told that these lakes
are of very recent date, and that they have “left the very latest
of all the complete geological records to be observed in the Great
Basin.”[1516] The fossil shells obtained from these deposits all belong
to living species; while the mammalian remains, which have been found
in only very limited numbers, and all, with a single exception, in the
upper beds, “are the same as occur elsewhere in tertiary or quaternary
strata.” Mr. McGee says: “If the obsidian implement ... was really _in
situ_ (as all appearances indicated), it must have been dropped in a
shallow and quiet bay of the saline and alkaline Lake Lahontan, and
gradually buried beneath its fine mechanical deposits and chemical

In Mr. Russell’s opinion, this single implement, although supported
by no other finds of a similar character, is sufficient to prove
that “man inhabited this continent during the last great rise of the
former lake.” But if this last great rise occurred in recent times,
the presence of the bones of tertiary mammals in the upper beds shows
that great natural forces must have been in operation at that time
to have washed these out of their original place of deposit. The
principal organic remains found, we are told, are those of living
shells, and the intermingling of these with the bones of tertiary
mammals could scarcely have taken place in “shallow and quiet bays.”
To the writer this discovery seems rather to prove that an Indian
spear-head was in some manner washed down and buried in the clays of
the Walker River Cañon than that man was the contemporary there of
the tertiary or quaternary mammalia. This fairly seems to be a case
where, in the language of Dr. Brinton, “Archæology may at times correct

It is almost paralleled by the discovery made by Mr. P. A. Scott, in
Kansas, of a broken knife or lance-head, measuring in its present
condition two inches and one eighth in length. Sir Daniel Wilson, who
reports it, says: “The spot where the discovery was made is in the
Blue Range of the Rocky Mountains, in an alluvial bottom, and distant
several hundred feet from a small stream called Clear Creek. A shaft
was sunk, passing through four feet of rich, black soil, and below
this through upward of ten feet of gravel, reddish clay, and rounded
quartz. Here the flint was found.... The actual object corresponds more
to the small and slighter productions of the modern Indian tool-maker
than to the rude and massive drift implement.” But this most careful
and conscientious observer goes on to remark, “Under any circumstances
it would be rash to build up comprehensive theories on a solitary case
like this.”[1519]

If the discovery by Mr. McGee of this spear-head be insisted upon
as establishing that man inhabited this continent during the last
great rise of the lake, it would be easier to believe that that event
occurred in recent and not in quaternary times, than to admit that the
distinction between palæolithic and neolithic implements, established
by so many discoveries in this country and in Europe, is thereby
utterly overthrown.

The only alternative left is to believe that neolithic man was the
contemporary of the tertiary mammals. To this conclusion we are asked
to come by Professor Josiah D. Whitney, on account of the discovery
of the remains of man and of his works in the auriferous gravels of
California. The famous “Calaveras skull” is figured upon another
page of this volume, where the circumstances attending its discovery
are briefly referred to.[1520] It is astonishing to see how frail is
the foundation upon which such a surprising superstructure has been
raised, as it is found set forth in detail in the section entitled
_Human remains and works of art of the gravel series_, in the third
chapter of Professor Whitney’s memoir on _The auriferous gravels of
the Sierra Nevada of California_.[1521] All is hearsay testimony, and
entirely uncontrolled by any such careful scrutiny as marks the work
of the British Association in the explorations carried on for fifteen
years at Kent’s Hole, near Torquay. There can be no question that
human bones and human implements have often been discovered in these
gravels, but according to the accounts as given these are mingled in
them in inextricable confusion. What is the character of these objects
of human workmanship? So far are they from being, as Professor Whitney
describes them, “always the same kind of implements, ... namely, the
coarsest and the least finished which one would suppose could be made
and still be implements.” One account speaks of “a spear or lance
head of obsidian, five inches long and one and a half broad, quite
regularly formed.” Others mention “spear and arrow heads made of
obsidian;” or “certain discoidal stones from three to four inches in
diameter, and about an inch and a half thick, concave on both sides,
with perforated centre.” Still another witness speaks of “a large stone
bead, made perhaps of alabaster, about one and a half inches long and
about one and one fourth inches in diameter, with a hole through it
one fourth of an inch in size.” We are also told of a “stone hatchet
of a triangular shape, with a hole through it for a handle, near the
middle. Its size was four inches across the edge, and length about
six inches.” So also oval stones with continuous “grooves cut around
them,” and “grooved oval disks,” are more than once mentioned. We think
these quotations will be sufficient to convince the archæologist that
here is no question of palæolithic implements, but that we have to do
simply with the common Indian objects found on the surface all over
our country. Besides the rude cuts in Bancroft,[1522] I know of only
one example of these California discoveries which has been figured.
This is the “beautiful relic” described by Mr. J. W. Foster, of which
he says: “When we consider its symmetry of form ... and the delicate
drilling of the hole through a material so liable to fracture, we are
free to say it affords an exhibition of the lapidary’s skill superior
to anything yet furnished by the Stone age of either continent.”[1523]
Mr. Foster doubtfully suggests that this object was “used as a plummet
for the purpose of determining the perpendicular to the horizon.” It
has been shown, however, by Mr. W. H. Henshaw, that among the Indians
of Southern California similar objects have long been used by their
medicine-men as “medicine or sorcery stones.”[1524] Whichever may be
held to be the true explanation of its use, either is more likely to be
a characteristic of the Indian race than of primitive man.

But the objects whose presence in the gravels is most repeatedly spoken
of are stone mortars, which Professor Whitney supposes were “used by
the race inhabiting this region in prehistoric times ... for providing
food.” One of these is stated to have been “found standing upright,
and the pestle was in it, in its proper place, apparently just as it
had been left by the owner.” It was taken out of a shaft, according
to the testimony, twelve feet underneath undisturbed strata. This was
certainly a very marvellous thing to have happened if all the objects
found in the gravels are supposed to have been brought there by the
action of floods of water. But it is a very simple matter, if the
supposition of Mr. Southall be correct, who thinks that “these mortars
have been left in these positions by the ancient inhabitants in their
search for _gold_.”[1525] The Spaniards found gold in abundance in
Mexico, and the locality from which it came is believed by Mr. Southall
to be indicated by a discovery made in 1849 by some gold-diggers at
one of the mountain diggings called Murphy’s, in the region in which
Professor Whitney’s discoveries have taken place. In examining a
high barren district of mountain, they were surprised to come upon
the abandoned site of an ancient mine. At the bottom of a shaft two
hundred and ten feet deep a human skeleton was found, with an altar for
worship and other evidences of ancient labor by the aborigines.[1526]
Mr. Southall believes that these mortars were used “for crushing the
cemented gravel of the auriferous beds.” Some corroboration is afforded
for this suggestion by the fact that stone mortars of a like character
are found in the ancient gold mines, worked by the early Egyptian
monarchs, in the Gebel Allakee Mountains near the Red Sea, which were
used in pulverizing the gold-bearing quartz.

As to the authenticity of the “Calaveras skull,”

“Great contest followed and much learned dust.”

The probabilities seem in favor of its being a genuine human fossil,
and the question recurs as to its character and the presumable age
of the deposits from which it came. The latest geologist who has
studied the locality, so far as the writer is aware, says of these
deposits: “Even before visiting California I had suspected these old
river gravels might be contemporaneous with the glacial epoch, and
I still think this possible. This area was not glaciated, and these
old gravels, hundreds of feet in thickness, may very well represent
that great interval of time occupied in other regions by the glacial
periods.”[1527] In discussing this question from the point of view of
the character of the fossil animal remains contained in the gravels,
we must continually bear in mind what Professor E. D. Cope says of
the _Mesozoic and Cænozoic of North America_: “The faunæ of these
periods have not yet been discriminated.... Many questions of the exact
contemporaneity of these different beds are as yet unsettled.”[1528]
Professor Cope has previously pointed out how marked a difference there
is between the quaternary fauna of North America and that of Europe; we
have no Hippopotamus or Rhinoceros Tichorinus, and they no Megatherium,
Megalonyx, and other species. Under the varying conditions of animal
existence thus implied, to assail established ideas upon the sequence
in man’s development, or to maintain that he has had a long career on
the Pacific slope of our continent before he had made his appearance
in Western Europe, seems to the writer to be an attempt to explain
“_ignotum per ignotius_.”

What is really to be understood by the assumption that man existed
in tertiary times? So profound a palæontologist as Professor William
Boyd Dawkins thinks “it is impossible to believe that man should have
been an exception to the law of change. In the Pliocene age we cannot
expect to find traces of man upon the earth. The living placental
mammals had only then begun to appear, and seeing that the higher
animals have invariably appeared in the rocks according to their place
in the zoölogical scale, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, placental
mammals, it is hardly reasonable to suppose that the highest of all
should then have been upon the earth.”[1529] When, therefore, some of
the geologists of our country support Professor Whitney’s claim that
these discoveries of human fossils have actually proved man’s existence
in the Pliocene period, by arguments mainly based upon the effects of
erosion and the immense periods of time which these imply, or favor
his inference from the animal fossils contained in these deposits that
there has been “a total change in the fauna and flora of the region,”
and that “the fauna of the gravel deposits is almost exclusively made
up of extinct species,” we may well insist, with Dawkins, that the
human remains should not be regarded as standing upon a different basis
from those of the horse, since both occur under similar conditions.
Dr. Leidy reports the finding of remains of four different species of
fossil _Equus_. But among them “we may note the skull of a mustang,
identical with that of Mexico and California, which could not have been
buried in the gravels of Sierra County before the time of the Spanish
Conquest, when the living race of horses was introduced.” Professor
Jeffries Wyman says of the Calaveras skull: “Any conclusions based upon
a single skull are liable to prove erroneous, unless we have sufficient
grounds for the belief that such a skull is a representative one of the
race to which it belongs.... We have no sufficient reason for assuming
in the present instance that the skull is a representative one.... The
skull presents no signs of having belonged to an inferior race. In its
breadth it agrees with the other crania from California, except those
of the Diggers, but surpasses them in the other particulars in which
comparisons have been made.”[1530] As, therefore, what appear to be
the skulls of a California Indian and that of a Mexican mustang have
been found to occur in the same deposits, this circumstance, instead
of proving that man was an inhabitant of pliocene America, would seem
to the writer to imply either that these deposits are comparatively
recent, or that the fossil bones found in them are so commingled that
arguments based upon purely palæontological considerations can be
regarded as entitled to very little weight.

But although some American palæontologists are inclined to argue that
these deposits belong to the Pliocene, on account of the character of
the vertebrate fossils found in them, it must not be forgotten that
geologists generally prefer to refer them to the Pleistocene. They
believe that even the superimposition of lava beds upon the gravels
does not establish a very high antiquity for them, and question whether
the time that has elapsed since the outflow of the lava, as measured
by the amount of erosion that has taken place in the gravels, is to
be regarded as much greater than can properly be assigned to the
Pleistocene period elsewhere. Professor Whitney himself admits the
difficulty of distinguishing whether “deposits have been accumulated in
the place where we find them previous to the cessation of the period
of volcanic activity. The gravels which have not been protected by a
capping of basalt, or only thinly or not at all covered by erupted
materials, may in some places have been overlain by recent deposits
in such a way that the line between volcanic and post-volcanic cannot
be distinctly drawn.... It must not unfrequently have happened that
fossils have been washed out of the less coherent detrital beds
belonging to the volcanic series, carried far from their original
resting-place, and deposited in such a position that they seem to
belong to the present epoch.”[1531] In one of the reports of Hayden’s
survey can be seen a plate representing “Modern Lake Deposits capped
with Basalt.”[1532] There is sufficient ground for believing that the
volcanic activity of the regions of the Sierras has continued down to
very recent times, geologically speaking, and that there is no such
great difference of age between the lava-cappings and the other beds
as Professor Whitney supposes. Hayden thinks “the main portion of the
volcanic material of the West has been thrown out at a comparatively
modern date.”[1533] Undoubtedly the amount of erosion that has taken
place in these river gravels implies a great lapse of time, but so
do the other facts of physical geography which have been employed
as chronometers by which to measure the time since the close of the
quaternary period. To carry this erosion back to the tertiary times,
and to assign man his place in the world then on that ground, in face
of the arguments to the contrary drawn from archæology, palæontology,
and geology, in view of the essential weakness of the testimony upon
which the arguments in its favor are based, would seem to be a most
hazardous assumption. It is only equalled by the statement that “the
discoveries made in Europe, which have already obtained general
credence, carry man close to the verge of the tertiary; if not,
indeed, a little the other side of the line.”[1534] In the writer’s
opinion, this is the belief of only a small number of the most extreme
evolutionists in Europe, while the great body of cautious and critical
observers think that it has not been proved, and a few are willing to
hold their judgment in suspense.

Professor Whitney’s conclusions, however, are supported by Mr. Wallace
in the article quoted at the beginning of this chapter, in his
character as an evolutionist of the most advanced school. He says:
“Believing that the whole bearing of the comparative anatomy of man and
of the anthropoid apes, together with the absence of indications of any
essential change in his structure during the quaternary period, lead to
the conclusion that he _must_ have existed, as man, in pliocene times,
and that the intermediate forms connecting him with the higher apes
probably lived during the early pliocene or the miocene period, it is
urged that all such discoveries ... are in themselves probable and such
as we have a right to expect.”[1535] In such a frame of mind it is very
easy for him to wave aside every objection raised by the archæologist
to the character of the evidence brought forward to sustain the alleged
discoveries. To the objection that the objects accompanying the human
remains, for which such a great antiquity is claimed, are too similar
to those of comparatively recent times, he has a ready answer: “The
same may be said of the most ancient bow and spear-heads and those
made by modern Indians. The use of the articles has in both cases
been continuous, and the objects themselves are so necessary and so
comparatively simple that there is no room for any great modification
of form.” The writer can only state here that no archæologist holds
this opinion, and will refer for a detailed statement of his reasons
for the contrary view to an article by him upon _The Bow and Arrow
unknown to Palæolithic Man_.[1536]

It is not easy to believe that so vast a difference in age can be
attributed to the deposits upon the opposite sides of the chain of the
Sierra Nevada, as would follow if we are to hold that the auriferous
gravels belong to the tertiary, while the Lahontan deposits belong to
the quaternary period. Far more reasonable does it seem to suppose
that they both fall within the two divisions into which we have seen
that the pleistocene has been divided. To the writer it appears, from
what study he has made of the evidences alleged of man’s existence
in North America in early times, that proof is wanting that he made
his appearance here earlier than in interglacial times. Dr. Abbott’s
discoveries seem to be worthy of all the importance which has been
assigned to them, and the more so from the fact that they are in accord
with similar discoveries made in the Old World. The evidence adduced
appears to be altogether too fragmentary and strained to warrant the
conclusion that has been drawn that there is no proper correlation
between the geological calendars of the two hemispheres.

Besides the numerous palæolithic implements which the Trenton gravels
have yielded, there have been found in them three human crania, more
or less complete, and portions of others.[1537] Professor Putnam is
inclined to the opinion that these may be veritable remains of the
makers of the palæolithic implements. But it is difficult to conceive
how such fragile objects as human skulls, in this period and at this
locality, could have survived the destructive forces to which they must
have been subjected. We must recollect that the bones of man are very
seldom met with in the river gravels of the Old World, and such crania
as are accepted as belonging to these deposits are dolichocephalic, and
not, like these, brachycephalic.[1538] The circumstances under which
these three have been found are not reported with sufficient detail
to enable us to account satisfactorily for their presence, nor can we
admit that the fact that they “are not of the Delaware Indian type”
affords any adequate criterion for our judgment. It is well established
that “in America we find extreme brachycephaly, as well among the
prehistoric as among the historic peoples from British America to
Patagonia. At the same time, dolichocephaly is found, besides among the
Eskimos, throughout the American Indian tribes from north to south; but
it cannot be considered an American craniologic characteristic.”[1539]
The various forms of skulls, moreover, are found to be so intermingled
that they have been compared to “what might be looked for in a
collection made from the potter’s field of London or New York.”[1540]
The problem is still further complicated by the widespread custom
among the American tribes of altering the natural shape of the skull,
sometimes by flattening it, sometimes by making it as round as
possible.[1541] Taking all these matters into consideration, we are
compelled to regard craniology by itself as an insufficient guide.

We have now passed in review such evidences of man’s early existence in
North America as seem to be sufficiently substantiated by satisfactory
proof, and have intentionally left out of consideration many former
examples, which were accustomed to be cited before the science of
prehistoric archæology had formulated her laws and established her
general conclusions, as well as some more recent ones in which the
evidence seems to be weak.

It only remains for the writer to express his own conclusions on the
question. But first let him draw attention to the state of public
opinion upon this subject as it is well expressed by an English writer:
“The evidence for the existence of palæolithic man in America has been
more fiercely contested even than in Europe, and the problem there
is certainly more complicated. In Europe we can test the age of the
remains not merely by their actual character, but also by the presence
or absence of associated domestic animals. In America this test is
absent, for there were virtually no domestic animals save the dog
known to the pre-European inhabitants. We are therefore remitted to
less direct evidence, namely, the provenance of the remains from beds
of distinctly Pleistocene age, the fabric of the remains, and their
association with animals, we have reason to believe, become extinct at
the termination of that period.”[1542]

As an example of the spirit in which this “fierce contest” is waged in
America, it will be sufficient to quote a few passages from a work by
one of her most eminent men of science. He is speaking of “what seems
to be a village site in Europe, of far greater antiquity than the Swiss
lake-villages, and which may be a veritable ‘Palæolithic’ antediluvian
town. It occurs at Solutré, near Mâcon, in eastern France, and has
given rise to much discussion and controversy, as described by Messrs.
De Ferry and Arcelin.... It destroys utterly the pretension that the
men of the mammoth age were an inferior race, or ruder than their
successors in the later stone age.... Lastly, many of the flint weapons
of Solutré are of the palæolithic type characteristic of the river
gravels, ... while other implements and weapons are as well worked as
those of the later stone age. Thus this singular deposit connects these
two so-called ages, and fuses them into one.”[1543] The only comment
the writer will make upon this statement is to say that he has twice
visited the station at Solutré in company with M. Arcelin; that he has
examined the collection of the late M. De Ferry at his house; and that
he has before him the work which is supposed to be quoted from,[1544]
and he accordingly feels warranted in asserting with confidence that
not one “flint implement of the palæolithic type characteristic of the
river gravels” was ever found at Solutré. A note appended to Sir J. W.
Dawson’s rash statement adds: “Recent discoveries by M. Prunières, in
caves at Beaumes Chaudes, seem to show that the older cave-men were
in contact with more advanced tribes, as arrow-heads of the so-called
neolithic type are found sticking in their bones, or associated with
them. This would form another evidence of the little value to be
attached to the distinction of the two ages of stone.” The writer
has already indicated his conviction that palæolithic man had not
advanced sufficiently to invent the bow and arrow, and he wishes to
add here that “arrow-heads of the so-called neolithic type” continued
to be ordinary weapons employed during the Age of Bronze. He is only
surprised that Dr. Prunières’ discoveries are not quoted to prove that
there is no distinction between the Age of Stone and the Age of Bronze.

Tested by the canons of prehistoric archæology, superposition,
association, and style, in the judgment of the writer the fact of the
existence of palæolithic man upon this continent, and the distinction
between the rude palæolithic implement and the skilfully chipped
obsidian objects which belong to what is called in Europe the Solutré
type (a development of the later period in the early stone age, which
cannot be overlooked in discussing the question of the antiquity of
man), are truths as firmly established as any taught by modern science.
The small minority who refuse to admit the last stated proposition are
laggards in her march, and the few doubters who still question the
genuineness of the palæolithic implements from the Trenton gravels are
not entitled by their knowledge of the processes of manufacturing stone
implements to have much weight attached to their opinions.

Regarding, then, the existence of palæolithic man as established by
the finding of four hundred of his relics in the Delaware valley near
Trenton, we have next to inquire whether there is evidence that in
that region man made any progress towards the neolithic condition.
For an answer to this question we have only to study the immense
collection of objects gathered by Dr. Abbott, and now deposited in
the Peabody Museum at Cambridge. This seems to warrant a conclusion
exactly the opposite to Professor Whitney’s, who states that “so far
as California is concerned ... the implements, tools, and works of
art obtained are throughout in harmony with each other, all being the
simplest and least artistic of which it is possible to conceive;” and
his further statement that the “rude tools required but little more
skill than is indicated by the chipped obsidian implements which are
now, and have been from all time, in use among the aborigines of this

We have already seen that Professor Whitney’s inferences about the
relics of man occurring in the gravels of California are not at all
justified by the facts relating to their discovery as reported by him;
and as he offers no proof of his other assertion that “chipped obsidian
implements have been _for all time_ in use among the aborigines of
this continent,” we will venture to question its accuracy, even should
he argue that his loose statement was intended to apply only to the
aborigines of California. Consequently we are somewhat at a loss
to understand why Dr. Abbott should feel called upon to refute his
conclusions. He does this, however, successfully in his _Primitive
Industry_, which is so largely based upon this great collection as
to answer satisfactorily as a catalogue for it. In his own words,
“the careful and systematic examination of the surface geology of New
Jersey, of itself, it is believed, shows as abundant and unmistakable
evidence of the transition from a true palæolithic to a neolithic
condition as is exhibited in the traces of human handiwork found in
the valley of any European river.”[1546] The arguments upon which
this conclusion is based are drawn from each of the three canons of
prehistoric archæology. A certain class of objects, superior in form
and finish to the rude palæolithic implement, but decidedly inferior
in every respect to the common types of Indian manufacture, with
which collectors of such objects all over our country are perfectly
familiar, is found occurring _principally_ in deposits which occupy a
position intermediate between the drift gravels, from which come the
palæolithic implements, and the cultivable surface-soil, in which the
former implements of the Indians are constantly brought to light by the
ordinary operations of agriculture. In other instances, where these
peculiar objects are found on or near the surface, not only do they not
always occur there in association with the common Indian relics, but
the material of which they are made, argillite, is the same as that out
of which all the four hundred palæolithic implements are fabricated,
with the exception of “two of quartz, one of quartzite, and one made
from a black chert pebble.”[1547] This peculiar material occurs _in
place_ only a few miles north of Trenton, and as the ice-sheet withdrew
it afforded “the first available mineral for effective implements other
than pebbles, and these were largely covered with water, and not so
readily obtained as at present; while the dry land of that day, the
Columbia gravel, contained almost exclusively in this region small
quartzite pebbles an inch or two in length.”[1548] The objects thus
referred to exhibit only a few simple types. There is a rudely chipped
spear-head, about three or four inches in length and from one to two
in breadth, characterized by the same kind of decomposition of the
surface which is seen upon the palæolithic implements. These occur in
large numbers; “as many as a thousand have been found in an area of
fifty acres.... A peculiarity ... is their frequent occurrence ... at
a depth that suggests that they were lost when the face of the country
was different from what it now is.”[1549] An implement is often found
which was probably used as a knife, also very rudely chipped, and
shaped somewhat like a spear-head, but never having a sharp point.
The argillite, of which these are made, “is very hard and susceptible
of being brought to a very sharp edge,” but they are now all much
decomposed upon the surface, and “are frequently brought to light
through land-slides and the uprooting of trees from depths greater than
it is usual to find jasper implements”[1550] of the Indians.

The most common object of all, however, and one that occurs in
very large numbers, is a slender argillite spear-point, about three
inches in length, of nearly uniform size, and having little or no
finish at the base. These are found at various depths up to five
feet, principally in the alluvial mud that has accumulated upon the
meadows skirting the Delaware River, that are liable to be overflowed
occasionally by the tide. From this circumstance, in addition to
their shape, Dr. Abbott has conjectured that they were used as
fish-spears.[1551] “This deposit of mud is of a deep blue-black color,
stiff in consistency, and almost wholly free from pebbles. It is
composed of decomposed vegetable matter and a large percentage of very
fine sand. It varies in depth from four to twenty feet, and rests on
an old gravel of an origin antedating the river gravels that contain
palæolithic implements. This mud is the geological formation next
succeeding the palæolithic implement-bearing gravels.... A careful
survey of this mud deposit, made at several distant points, leads
to the conclusion that its formation dates from the exposure of the
older gravel upon which it rests, through the gradual lessening of
the bulk of the river, until it occupied only its present channel....
The indications are that the present volume and channel of the river
have been essentially as they now are for a very long period; and the
character of the deposit is such that its accumulation, if principally
from decomposition of vegetable matter, must necessarily be very
gradual. Since its accumulation to a depth sufficient to sustain tree
growth, forests have grown, decayed, and been replaced by a growth
of other timber. While so recent in origin that it seems scarcely
to warrant the attention of the geologist, its years of growth are
nevertheless to be numbered by centuries, and the traces of man found
at all depths through it hint of a distant, shadowy past that is
difficult to realize.

“The same objection, it may be, will be urged in this instance as in
others where the comparative antiquity of man is based upon the depth
at which stone implements are found,—that all these traces have been
left upon the present surface of the ground, and subsequently have
gotten, by unexplained means, to the various depths at which they now
occur. It is, indeed, difficult to realize how some of these argillite
spear-points have finally sunk through a compact peaty mass until they
have reached the very base of the deposit. For those who urge that this
sinking process explains the occurrence of implements at great depths,
it remains to demonstrate that the people who made these argillite
fish-spears either made only these, or were careful to take no other
evidences of their handicraft with them when they wandered about these
meadows; for certainly nothing else appears to have shared the fate
of sinking deeply into the mud. In fact, the objection mentioned is
met in this case, as in that of the palæolithic implements, that if
these fish-spears are of the same age and origin as the ordinary Indian
relics of the surface, then all alike should be found at great depths.
This, we know, is not the case. Furthermore, the character of the
deposit is not that of a loose mud or quicksand, but more like that of
peat. It has a close texture, is tough and unyielding to a degree, and
offers decided resistance to the sinking of comparatively light objects
deeply into it. This is, of course, lessened when the deposit is
subject to tidal overflows, and in the immediate vicinity of springs,
which, bubbling through it, have caused a deposit of quicksand. While
here an object sinks instantly out of sight, it is not here that we
must judge of the character of the formation as a whole; and over the
greater portion of its area we find no evidence of objects disappearing
beneath the surface at a more rapid rate than the accumulation of
decomposing vegetable matter would explain. Efforts have been made to
determine the rate of progress of this growth of mould, but they are
not wholly satisfactory; nevertheless the indications are sufficient to
warrant our belief that the rate is so gradual as to invest with great
archæological interest the characteristic traces of man found in these
alluvial deposits.”

Although these argillite spear-points seem _principally_ to occur, as
has been stated, in the alluvial mud along the banks of the Delaware,
yet they are often found upon the surface, and associated with objects
of Indian origin. This circumstance Dr. Abbott attempts to explain by
the following considerations: “One marked result of the deforesting of
the country and its constant cultivation has been to remove in great
part the many inequalities of the surface and to dry up many of the
smaller brooks. The hillocks have been worn down, the valleys filled
up, and this of course has resulted in bringing to the surface, on the
higher ground, the argillite implements which were at considerable
depths, and in burying in the valleys the more recent jasper and quartz
implements of Indian origin that were left upon the soil when lost or
discarded by the red man. In the remnants of forests still remaining,
where no such disturbance of the soil has occurred, the relative depths
at which argillite and jasper respectively occur indicate the greater
age of the former.”[1552]

He recurs to this subject in another place:[1553] “The telling fact
with reference to these argillite spear-points is that they are not,
in the same sense as jasper arrow-heads, surface-found implements.
They occur also, and even more abundantly, beneath the surface-soil.
The celebrated Swedish naturalist, Peter Kalm, travelled throughout
central and southern New Jersey in 1748-50, and in his description of
the country remarks: ‘We find great woods here, but when the trees in
them have stood a hundred and fifty or a hundred and eighty years, they
are either rotting within or losing their crown, or their wood becomes
quite soft, or their roots are no longer able to draw in sufficient
nourishment, or they die from some other cause. Therefore, when storms
blow, which sometimes happens here, the trees are broken off either
just above the roots, or in the middle, or at the summit. Several trees
are likewise torn out with their roots by the power of the winds....
In this manner the old trees die away continually, and are succeeded
by a younger generation. Those which are thrown down lie on the ground
and putrefy, sooner or later, and by that means increase the _black
soil_, into which the leaves are likewise finally changed, which drop
abundantly in autumn, are blown about by the winds for some time, but
are heaped up and lie on both sides of the trees which are fallen
down. It requires several years before a tree is entirely reduced to
dust.’[1554] This quotation has a direct bearing on that which follows.
It is clear that the surface-soil was forming during the occupancy of
the country by the Indians. The entire area of the State was covered
with a dense forest, which century after century was increasing the
_black soil_ to which Kalm refers. If, now, an opportunity occurs to
examine a section of virgin soil and underlying strata, as occasionally
happens on the bluffs facing the river, the limit in depth of this
black soil may be approximately determined. An average derived from
several such sections leads me to infer that the depth is not much
over one foot, and the proportion of vegetable matter increases as
the surface is approached. Of this depth of superficial soil probably
not over one half has been derived from decomposition of vegetable
growths. While no positive data are determinable in this matter beyond
the naked fact that rotting trees increase the bulk of top-soil, one
archæological fact that we do derive is that _flint implements_ known
as Indian relics belong to this superficial or ‘black soil,’ as Kalm
terms it. Abundantly are they found on the surface; more sparingly are
they found near the surface; more sparingly still the deeper we go;
while at the base of this deposit of soil the _argillite_ implements
occur in greatest abundance. Here, then, we have the whole matter in
a nut-shell. The two forms were dissociated until by the deforesting
of the country and subsequent cultivation of the soil, except in a few
instances, they became commingled.”

A further argument in respect to the relation which argillite
implements bear to those made of jasper and quartz is derived from
the relative proportion in which they occur in localities which are
believed to have been occupied first by the users of argillite, and
subsequently by the Indians. “Of a series of twenty thousand objects
gathered in Mercer County, New Jersey, forty-four hundred were of
argillite, and of such rude forms and in such limited varieties as
would be expected of the productions of a less cultured people than
the Indian of the stone age. Of this series of forty-four hundred, two
hundred and thirty-three are well-designed drills or perforators and
scrapers; the others being spear-points, fishing-spears, arrow-heads,
and knife-like implements.”[1555] This is supplemented by negative
evidence drawn from “the character of the sites of arrow-makers’
open-air workshops, or those spots whereon the professional chipper
of flint pursued his calling. In the locality where I have pursued my
studies several such sites have been discovered and carefully examined.
In no one of these workshop sites has there been found any trace of
argillite mingled with the flint-chips that form the characteristic
feature of such spots. On the other hand, no similar sites have been
discovered, to my knowledge, where argillite was used exclusively.
The absence of this mineral cannot be explained on the ground that it
was difficult to procure, for such is not the case. It constitutes,
in fact, a considerable percentage of the pebbles and boulders of the
drift from which the Indians gathered their jasper and quartz pebbles
for working into implements and weapons. If the absence of argillite
from such heaps of selected stones is explained by the assertion that
the Indians had recognized the superiority of jasper, then the belief
that argillite was used prior to jasper receives tacit assent. If,
however, it was the earlier _Indians_ who used argillite, and gradually
discarded it for the various forms of flint, then we ought to find
workshop sites older than the time of _flint_-chipping, and others
where the two minerals are associated. This, as has been stated, has
not been done.”[1556]

Professor Putnam has found a confirmation of these views of Dr. Abbott
in the contents of a great shell-heap at Keyport, in New Jersey,
investigated over thirty years ago by Rev. Samuel Lockwood, and now
placed in the Peabody Museum at Cambridge. “As the shell-heap at
Keyport, once covering a mile or more in length along a narrow strip
bordered upon one side by the ocean and on the other by Raritan Bay, is
entirely obliterated, it is of importance that the materials obtained
from it are now in the museum for comparison with our very extensive
collections from the shell-heaps of New England. The fact that at
certain places on this narrow strip between the bay and the sea the
prevailing implements were of argillite and of great antiquity has a
peculiar significance in connection with those from Trenton, and again
points to an intermediate period between the palæolithic and the late
Indian occupation of New Jersey.”[1557]

To these various arguments the writer wishes to add the statement
that to his personal knowledge argillite spear-points, and especially
those of the fish-spear type, are occasionally found in other parts
of our country besides New Jersey. In his own researches, which have
been principally carried on upon the seacoast of New England, he has
_never_ found an example of them in the shell-heaps proper, which are
universally recognized by archæologists as relics of the Indians. The
few which he has found himself, or has obtained from others, have come
from meadows by the side of rivers or ponds, where they might very well
have been used as fish-spears.

A further confirmation of Dr. Abbott’s opinions in regard to the
descendants of palæolithic man is derived from certain discoveries
made by Mr. Hilborne T. Cresson in the alluvial deposits at Naaman’s
Creek, in Delaware. These were first made known in November, 1887,
by a letter to the editor of the American Antiquarian. “In 1870, a
fisherman living in the village of Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania, gave me
some spear and arrow heads flaked from a dense argillite, as well as
other rude implements of a prehistoric people, which he had found on
some extensive mud flats near the mouth of Naaman’s Creek, a small
tributary of the Delaware. The finder stated that while fishing ... he
had noticed here and there the ends of logs or stakes protruding from
the mud, and that they seemed to him to have been placed in rows....
A visit made a few days afterward to the place ... disclosed the ends
of much-decayed stakes or piles protruding here and there above the
mud.... On my return from France in 1880 I again visited the spot....
While abroad I studied in spare moments many archæological collections,
especially those from the Swiss Lake Dwellings, and visited the
various lake stations of Switzerland. The rude dressings of the ends
of the piles in some places were evidently made with blunt stone
implements, and recalled those I had seen on the ends of the posts in
the Delaware River marshes. Since 1880 I have quietly examined the
remains, excavating what pile ends remained _in situ_ (preserving a
few that did not crumble to pieces), preserving careful notes of the
dredging and excavations (at low tides), carried on principally by
myself, aided at times by interested friends. The results so far seem
to indicate that the ends of the piles imbedded in the mud, judging
from the implements and other débris scattered around them, once
supported shelters of early man that were erected a few feet above the
water,—the upper portion of the piles having disappeared in the long
lapse of time that must have ensued since they were placed there. (The
flats are covered by four and one half feet of water on the flood tide;
on the ebb the marsh is dry, and covered with slimy ooze several feet
in depth, varying in different places.) Three different dwellings have
been located, all that exist in the flats referred to, after a careful
examination within the last four years of nearly every inch of ground
carefully laid off and examined in sections. The implements found in
two of ‘the supposed river dwelling sites’ are very rude in type, and
generally made of dense argillite, not unlike the palæoliths found by
my friend Dr. C. C. Abbott in the Trenton gravels. The character of
the implements from the other or third supposed river dwelling on the
Delaware marshes is better finished objects made of argillite.”[1558]

The greater portion of the objects obtained by Mr. Cresson has been
placed in the Peabody Museum, to which he is at present attached as a
special assistant; but he has also kindly sent to the writer a small
illustrative collection from each site, for his study.

The writer would hesitate to draw the inference from this single
discovery that the custom of living in pile-dwellings ever prevailed
in North America, although there is evidence that such a practice was
not unknown in South America. This is to be found in the account of the
voyage of Alonso de Ojeda along the north coast of that country, in the
year 1499, in which he was accompanied by Vespucius.[1559] I will quote
the language of Washington Irving: “Proceeding along the coast, he
arrived at a vast, deep gulf resembling a tranquil lake, entering which
he beheld on the eastern side a village whose construction struck him
with surprise. It consisted of twenty large houses, shaped like bells,
and built on piles driven into the bottom of the lake, which in this
part was limpid and of but little depth. Each house was provided with
a drawbridge, and with canoes by which the communication was carried
on. From these resemblances to the Italian city, Ojeda gave to the bay
the name of the Gulf of Venice, and it is called at the present day
Venezuela, or Little Venice.”[1560] There is no inherent improbability
that such a custom may have prevailed upon the shores of Delaware Bay,
and for the same reason that has caused it to be followed elsewhere.
“It has been stated that the natives living near Lake Maracaybo, in
South America, erect pile dwellings over the lake, to which they resort
in order to escape from the mosquitoes which infest the shore. Lord
also mentions that the Indians of the Suman prairie, British Columbia,
on the subsidence of the annual floods in May and June, build pile
dwellings over a lake there, to which they retire to escape from the
mosquitoes which at that period infest the prairie in dense clouds, but
will not cross the water.”[1561]

But it would be safer, probably, to consider these discoveries of Mr.
Cresson’s as marking the site of ancient aboriginal fish-weirs, such as
are described by Captain Ribault and other early explorers as made by
the natives.[1562] The writer agrees with Professor Putnam in thinking
that “the fact that at only one station pottery occurs, and, also, that
at this station the stone implements are largely of jasper and quartz,
with few of argillite, while at the two other stations many rude stone
implements are associated with chipped points of argillite, with few of
jasper and other flint-like material, is of great interest.”[1563]

Still further confirmation of the progress of the palæolithic man in
this region is afforded by discoveries made in a rock-shelter near
the headwaters of Naaman’s Creek, as early as 1866, for an account
of which, and the preservation of the objects then found, we are
also indebted to Mr. Cresson: “The remains of the Naaman’s Creek
rock-shelter luckily fell into hands that have preserved them.... To
give a detailed account of _how_ the rock-shelter was discovered would
consume too much time. Let us rather consider briefly the ... contents
of the shelter’s various layers.... Fortunately careful drawings of
the shelter were made during its excavation between the years 1866 and
1867.... A glance shows the outcrop of the rock as it appeared before
the excavations were begun in 1866. The trees show that the ground
was then covered by a thick wood.... From the point that marks the
innermost edge of the outcrop, overhanging the hollow, a perpendicular
line dropped to the ground would measure five and one eighth feet,
the height of the projection of the rock above the ground before the
excavations were commenced.

“Twenty-two feet eight inches from the outcrop, measured from its
inner face, there is still another outcrop.... This marks the opposite
side of the hollow.... It is evident how admirably the place was
adapted to the wants of the early hunters of the Delaware valley,
whether it be as a shelter, or as a place of defence against their
enemies.... Let us look at the layers of earth that filled it, these
being intermingled with rude implements, broken bones, and charcoal,
indicating that man at times had resorted to the spot.

“Layer C [the lowest]. This was composed of schist, resting on the
bedrock of the shelter. A layer of aqueous gravel, of the same type
as that underlying Philadelphia, rested on the decomposed schist. The
greatest depth of the red gravel layer was four feet two and one fourth
inches, measured from the layer of decomposed schist. Least depth of
gravel observed, one foot three inches....

“Layer A [next above]. This was a layer of grayish-white brick clay
mixed with yellow clay, similar to that underlying Philadelphia, on
top of which was a layer mixed with sand.... Stone implements were
discovered in this layer. They were but few in number and very rude,
exclusively of argillite, and palæolithic in type. Greatest depth of
layer, two feet one and one half inches. No implements of bone were

“Layer T [next above]. This was of reddish gravel, intermingled with
decomposed schist, cinders, and broken bones of animals. Fragments of a
human skull were found ... in this layer. A fragment of a human rib was
also preserved. The fragments of the skull are covered here and there
by dendritic incrustations. Rude spears and implements of argillite
were found in this layer. Depth of layer, thirteen to eighteen inches.

“Layer D [next above]. Composed of reddish-yellow clay. Depth, two feet
three inches. No implements.

“Layer M [next above]. In this layer were numerous implements of
argillite and some of bone, intermingled with rude implements of
quartzite and jasper and fragments of rude pottery, with charcoal.
Greatest depth, one foot one and one half inches. Least depth, three

“Layer R [next above]. Yellow clay. Greatest depth, two feet one and
one half inches; least depth, eight inches. No implements.

“Layer W [next above]. This contained chipped implements; those made
of jasper and quartzite predominating over those of argillite. In the
lowest part of this layer were fragments of rude pottery. In the upper
portion of the layer were potsherds decidedly superior in decoration
and technique to those from the lower portion. Geological composition
of this layer, yellow clay loam. Greatest depth, three feet four
inches. Least depth, two and one half inches.

“Layer L [top]. This consists of leaf mould seven inches thick,
converted into swamp muck by decomposing action of water from springs.
No implements.... No remains of extinct animals were found.”[1564]

Professor Putnam thus proceeded to comment upon these discoveries: “We
have a series of objects, taken from the several layers of the shelter,
giving us a chronology of the utmost importance, as each period of
occupation of the shelter was followed by a natural deposition,
separating the different periods of occupation. The stone implements
... are taken from the lowest layer, indicating the earliest period of
occupation of the rock-shelter; and ... they correspond in shape and
rudeness of execution with those taken from the gravel-bed at Trenton;
and like most of the latter they are all of argillite. The specimens
from the second period are of argillite, and while many are chipped
into slender points, they are still of very rude forms; and these in
turn correspond with the argillite points found by Dr. Abbott deep
down in the black soil, or resting upon the gravel, at Trenton. In
the upper layers of the cave we observe ... the gradual introduction
of implements chipped from jasper and quartz, and corresponding in
form with those found upon the surface throughout the valley. And as a
further indication of this later development, it was only in the upper
layers that pottery, bone implements, and ornaments were found; the
three distinct periods of occupation of the Delaware valley are thus
distinctly shown; and this cave-shelter is a perfect exemplification of
the results which Dr. Abbott had obtained from a study of the specimens
which he has collected upon the surface, deep in the black soil, and in
the gravel, at Trenton.”

       *       *       *       *       *

From the accumulative force of these various lines of reasoning, the
writer thinks that there is a strong probability that here, on the
waters of the Delaware, man developed from the palæolithic to the
neolithic stage of culture. But we cannot follow Dr. Abbott in his
further conclusion (if, indeed, he still holds to it) that we are to
seek the descendants of this primitive population in the Eskimos,
driven north after contact with the Indians. We have failed to discover
the slightest evidence to sustain this position. The hereditary enmity
existing between the Eskimos and the Indians may be equally well
explained upon the theory that the former are later comers to this
continent, and are therefore hated by the Indian races as intruders.
The two races are certainly markedly unlike.

In the absence of any evidence tending to show the development of the
argillite-using people into the Indian races, with their perfected
implements and weapons of the age of polished stone, it seems more
reasonable to hold with Professor Dawkins that the earlier and ruder
race perished before or were absorbed by a people furnished with a
better equipment in the struggle for the “survival of the fittest.” The
palæolithic man of the river gravels of Trenton and his argillite-using
posterity the writer believes to be completely extinct.[1565]

It only remains for the writer to express his regret that he has
been prevented from setting forth in detail, at the present time, the
grounds upon which he has come to other conclusions which were briefly
indicated at the beginning of this chapter. He can only repeat here
his belief that the so-called Indians, with their many divisions into
numerous linguistic families, were later comers to our shores than the
primitive population, whose development he has attempted to trace; that
the so-called “moundbuilders” were the ancestors of tribes found in the
occupation of the soil; and that the Pueblos and the Aztecs were only
peoples relatively farther advanced than the others.

The writer further thinks that these are propositions capable, if not
of being demonstrated, at least of being made to appear in a very high
degree probable by means of authorities which will be found amply
referred to in other chapters of this volume.

[Illustration: Signature]



THE literature respecting the origin and early condition of the
American aborigines is very extensive; and, as a rule, especially
in the earlier period, it is not characterized by much reserve in
connecting races by historical analogies.[1566] Few before Dr.
Robertson, in discussing the problem, could say: “I have ventured to
inquire without presuming to decide.”

The question was one that allured many of the earlier Spanish writers
like Herrera and Torquemada. Among the earlier English discussions is
that of Wm. Bourne in his _Booke called the Treasure for Travellers_
(London, 1578), where a section is given to “The Peopling of America.”
The most famous of the early discussions of the various theories
was that of Gregorio Garciá, a missionary for twenty years in South
America, who reviewed the question in his _Origen de los Indios de
el Nuevo Mundo_ (Valencia, 1607).[1567] He goes over the supposed
navigations of the Phœnicians, the identity of Peru with Solomon’s
Ophir, and the chances of African, Roman, and Jewish migrations,—only
to reject them all, and to favor a coming of Tartars and Chinese.
Clavigero thinks his evidences the merest conjectures. E. Brerewood,
in his _Enquiries touching the diversity of languages and religions_
(London, 1632, 1635), claimed a Tartar origin. In New England, where
many were believers in the Jewish analogies, it is somewhat amusing to
find not long after this the quizzical Thomas Morton, with what seems
like mock gravity, finding the aboriginal source in “the scattered
Trojans, after such time as Brutus departed from Latium.”[1568] The
reader, however, is referred to other sections of the present volume
for the literature bearing upon the distinct ethnical connections of
the early American peoples.

The chief literary controversy over the question began in 1642,
when Hugo Grotius published his _De Origine Gentium Americanarum
Dissertatio_ (Paris and Amsterdam, 1642).[1569] He argued that all
North America except Yucatan (which had an Ethiopian stock) was peopled
from the Scandinavian North; that the Peruvians were from China, and
that the Moluccans peopled the regions below Peru. Grotius aroused an
antagonist in Johannes de Laet, whose challenge appeared the next year:
_Joannis de Laet Antwerpiani notae ad dissertationem Hugonis Grotii
de origine gentium Americanarum: et observationes aliquot ad meliorem
indaginem difficillimæ illius quæstionis_ (Amsterdam, 1643).[1570]
He combated his brother Dutchman at all points, and contended that
the Scythian race furnished the predominant population of America.
The Spaniards went to the Canaries, and thence some of their vessels
drifted to Brazil. He is inclined to accept the story of Madoc’s
Welshmen, and think it not unlikely that the people of the Pacific
islands may have floated to the western coast of South America, and
that minor migrations may have come from other lands. He supports his
views by comparisons of the Irish, Gallic, Icelandic, Huron, Iroquois,
and Mexican tongues.

To all this Grotius replied in a second _Dissertatio_, and De Laet
again renewed the attack: _Ioannis de Laet Antwerpiani responsio
ad dissertationem secundam Hvgonis Grotii, de origine gentium
Americanarum. Cum indice ad utrumque libellum_ (Amsterdam, 1644).[1571]

De Laet, not content with his own onset, incited another to take part
in the controversy, and so George Horn (Hornius) published his _De
Originibus Americanis, libri quatuor_ (Hagæ Comitis, _i. e._ The Hague,
1652; again, Hemipoli, _i. e._ Halberstadt, 1669).[1572] His view was
the Scythian one, but he held to later additions from the Phœnicians
and Carthaginians on the Atlantic side, and from the Chinese on the

For the next fifty years there were a number of writers on the
subject, who are barely names to the present generation;[1573]
but towards the middle of the eighteenth century the question was
considered in _The American Traveller_ (London, 1741), and by
Charlevoix in his _Nouvelle France_ (1744). The author of an _Enquiry
into the Origin of the Cherokees_ (Oxford, 1762) makes them the
descendants of Meshek, son of Japhet. In 1767, however, the question
was again brought into the range of a learned and disputatious
discussion, reviving all the arguments of Grotius, De Laet, and Horn,
when E. Bailli d’Engel published his _Essai sur cette question: Quand
et comment l’America a-t-elle été peuplée d’hommes et d’Animaux?_ (5
vols., Amsterdam, 1767, 2d ed., 1768). He argues for an antediluvian
origin.[1574] The controversy which now followed was aroused by C.
De Pauw’s characterization of all American products, man, animals,
vegetation, as degraded and inferior to nature in the old world, in
an essay which passed through various editions, and was attacked and
defended in turn.[1575] An Italian, Count Carli, some years later,
controverted De Pauw, and using every resource of mythology, tradition,
geology, and astronomy, claimed for the Americans a descent from the
Atlantides.[1576] It was not till after reports had come from the Ohio
Valley of the extensive earthworks in that region that the question
of the earlier peoples of America attracted much general attention
throughout America; and the most conspicuous spokesman was President
Stiles of Yale College, in an address which he delivered before the
General Assembly of Connecticut, in 1783, on the future of the new
republic.[1577] In this, while arguing for the unity of the American
tribes and for their affinity with the Tartars, he held to their being
in the main the descendants of the Canaanites expelled by Joshua,
whether finding their way hither by the Asiatic route and establishing
the northern Sachemdoms, or coming in Phœnician ships across the
Atlantic to settle Mexico and Peru.[1578] Lafitau in 1724 (_Mœurs de
Sauvages_) had contended for a Tartar origin. We have examples of the
reasoning of a missionary in the views of the Moravian Loskiel, and of
a learned controversialist in the treatise of Fritsch, in 1794 and 1796


The earliest American with a scientific training to discuss the
question was a professor in the University of Pennsylvania, Benjamin
Smith Barton, a man who acquired one of the best reputations in his
day among Americans for studies in this and other questions of natural
history. His father was an English clergyman settled in America,
and his mother a sister of David Rittenhouse. It was while he was a
student of medicine in Edinburgh that he first approached the subject
of the origin of the Americans, in a little treatise on American
Antiquities, which he never completed.[1580] His _Papers relating
to certain American Antiquities_ (Philad., 1796) consists of those
read to the Amer. Philos. Soc., and printed in their _Transactions_
(vol. iv.). They were published as the earnest of his later work on
American Antiquities. He argues against De Pauw, and contends that the
Americans are descended—at least some of them—from Asiatic peoples
still recognized. The _Papers_ include a letter from Col. Winthrop
Sargent, Sept. 8, 1794, describing certain articles found in a mound
at Cincinnati, and a letter upon them from Barton to Dr. Priestley.
He in the end gave more careful attention to the subject, mainly on
its linguistic side, and went farther than any one had gone before him
in his _New Views of the Origin of the Tribes and Nations of America_
(Philad., 1797; 2d ed., enlarged, 1798).[1581] The book attracted
much notice, and engaged the attention in some degree of European
philologists, and made Barton at that time the most conspicuous student
on these matters in America. Jefferson was at that time gathering
material in similar studies, but his collections were finally burned in
1801. Barton, in dedicating his treatise to Jefferson, recognized the
latter’s advance in the same direction. He believed his own gathering
of original MS. material to be at that time more extensive than any
other student had collected in America. His views had something of the
comprehensiveness of his material, and he could not feel that he could
point to any one special source of the indigenous population.

During the early years of the present century old theories and new were
abundant. The powerful intellect and vast knowledge of Alexander von
Humboldt were applied to the problem as he found it in Middle America.
He announced some views on the primitive peoples in 1806, in the _Neue
Berlinische Monatsschrift_ (vol. xv.); but his ripened opinions found
record in his _Vues de Cordillères et monumens des peuples indigènes de
l’Amérique_ (Paris, 1816), and the Asiatic theory got a conservative
yet definite advocate.

Hugh Williamson[1582] thought he found traces of the Hindoo in the
higher arts of the Mexicans, and marks of the ruder Asiatics in the
more northern American peoples. A conspicuous littérateur of the day,
Samuel L. Mitchell, veered somewhat wildly about in his notions of
a Malay, Tartar, and Scandinavian origin.[1583] Meanwhile something
like organized efforts were making. The American Antiquarian Society
was formed in 1812.[1584] Silliman began his _Journal of Arts and
Sciences_ in 1819, and both society and periodical proved instruments
of wider inquiry. In the first volume published by the Antiquarian
Society, Caleb Atwater, in his treatise on the Western Antiquities,
gave the earliest sustained study of the subject, and believed in a
general rather than in a particular Asiatic source. The man first to
attract attention for his grouping of ascertained results, unaided
by personal explorations, however, was Dr. James H. McCulloh, who
published his _Researches on America_ at Baltimore in 1816. The book
passed to a second edition the next year, but received its final shape
in the _Researches, philosophical and antiquarian, concerning the
aboriginal history of America_ (1829), a book which Prescott[1585]
praised for its accumulated erudition, and Haven[1586] ranked high for
its manifestations of industry and research, calling it encyclopædic in
character. McCulloh examines the native traditions, but can evolve no
satisfactory conclusion from them as to the origin of the Americans.
The public mind, however, was not ripe for scholarly inquiry, and there
was not that in McCulloh’s style to invite attention; and greater
popularity followed upon the fanciful and dogmatic confidence of
John Haywood,[1587] upon the somewhat vivid if unsteady speculations
of C. S. Rafinesque,[1588] and even upon the itinerant Josiah
Priest, who boasted of the circulation of thousands of copies of his
popular books.[1589] John Delafield’s _Inquiry into the Origin of
the Antiquities of America_ (N. Y., 1839) revived the theory, never
quite dormant, of the descent of the Mexicans from the riper peoples
of Hindostan and Egypt; while the more barbarous red men came of the
Mongol stock. The author ran through the whole range of philology,
mythology, and many of the customs of the races, in reaching this
conclusion. A little book by John McIntosh, _Discovery of America and
Origin of the North American Indians_, published in Toronto, 1836, was
reissued in N. Y. in 1843, and with enlargements in 1846, _Origin of
the North American Indians_, continued down to 1859 to be repeatedly
issued, or to have a seeming success by new dates.[1590]

       *       *       *       *       *

When Columbus, approaching the main land of South America, imagined
it a large island, he associated it with that belief so long current
in the Old World, which placed the cradle of the race in the Indian
Ocean,—a belief which in our day has been advocated by Haeckel,
Caspari and Winchell,—and imagined he was on the coasts, skirting an
interior, where lay the Garden of Eden.[1591] No one had then ventured
on the belief that the doctrine of Genesis must be reconciled with
any supposed counter-testimony by holding it to be but the record of
the Jewish race. Columbus was not long in his grave when Theophrastus
Paracelsus, in 1520, and before the belief in the continuity of North
America with Asia was dispelled, and consequently before the question
of how man and animals could have reached the New World was raised,
first broached the heterodox view of the plurality of the human
race. All the early disputants on the question of the origin of the
American man looked either across the Atlantic or the Pacific for the
primitive seed; nor was there any necessary connection between the
arguments for an autochthonous American man and a diversity of race,
when Fabricius, in 1721, published his _Dissertatio Critica_[1592] on
the opinions of those who held that different races had been created.
From that day the old orthodox interpretation of the record in Genesis
found no contestant of mark till the question came up in relation
to the American man, it being held quite sufficient to account for
the inferiority or other distinguishing characteristics of race by
assigning them to the influence of climate and physical causes.[1593]

[Illustration: LOUIS AGASSIZ.

After a photograph, hanging in the Somerset Club, Boston; suggested to
the editor by Mr. Alexander Agassiz as a satisfactory likeness.]

The strongest presentation of the case, in considering the American
man a distinct product of the American soil, with no connection with
the Old World[1594] except in the case of the Eskimos, was made when
S. G. Morton, in 1839, printed his _Crania Americana, or a comparative
view of the skulls of various aboriginal nations of North and South
America_, of which there was a second edition in 1844.[1595] Here
was a new test, and applied, very likely, in ignorance of the fact
that Governor Pownal, in 1766, in Knox’s _New Collection of Voyages_,
had suggested it.[1596] Dr. Morton had gathered a collection of near
a thousand skulls from all parts of the world,[1597] and based his
deductions on these,—a process hardly safe, as many of his successors
have determined.[1598] The views of Morton respecting the autochthonous
origin of the Indian found an able upholder when Louis Agassiz,
taking the broader view of the independent creation of higher and
inferior races,[1599] gave in his adhesion to the original American
man (_Christian Examiner_, July, 1850, vol. xlix. p. 110). These
views got more extensive expression in a publication which appeared
in Philadelphia in 1854, in which some unpublished papers of Morton
are accompanied by a contribution from Agassiz, and all are grouped
together and augmented by material of the editors, Dr. Josiah Clark
Nott[1600] of Mobile, and Mr. George R. Gliddon, long a resident in
Cairo. The _Types of Mankind, or Ethnological Researches_ (Philad.,
1854, 1859, 1871), met with a divided reception; the conservative
theologians called it pretentious and false, and there was some color
for their detraction in some rather jejune expositions of the Hebrew
Scriptures contained in the book. The physiologists thought it brought
new vigor to a question which properly belonged to science.[1601] Other
fresh material, with some discussions, made up a new book by the same
editors, published three years later, _Indigenous Races of the Earth,
or New Chapters of Ethnological Inquiry_ (Philad. and London, 1857; 2d
ed., 1857).[1602]

The theological attacks were not always void of a contempt that ill
befitted the work of refutation. The most important of them were John
Bachman’s _Doctrine of the Unity of the Human Race_ (Charleston, S. C.,
1850), with his _Notice of the Types of Mankind_ (Charleston, 1854-55);
and Thomas Smyth’s _Unity of the Human Race proved by Scripture, Reason
and Science_ (N. Y., 1850).[1603]


After a photograph. A heliotype of a portrait by Custer is in the
_Amer. Antiq. Soc. Proc._, Ap., 1879. Haven’s _Annual Reports_, as
librarian of the Amer. Antiq. Soc., furnish a good chronological
conspectus of the progress of anthropological discovery.]

The scientific attack on Morton and Agassiz, and the views they
represented, was an active one, and embraced such writers as Wilson,
Latham, Pickering, and Quatrefages.[1604] The same collection of skulls
which had furnished Morton with his proofs yielded exactly opposite
evidence to Dr. J. A. Meigs in his _Observations upon the Cranial Forms
of the American Aborigines_ (Philad., 1866).[1605] Two of the most
celebrated of the evolutionists reject the autochthonous view, for
Darwin’s _Descent of Man_ and Haeckel’s _Hist. of Creation_ consider
the American man an emigrant from the old world, in whatever way the
race may have developed.[1606]

[Illustration: SIR DANIEL WILSON, LL. D., F.R.S.E.

From a photograph kindly furnished, on request, by Professor Wilson’s

Of the leading historians of the early American peoples, Prescott,
dealing with the Mexicans, is inclined to agree with Humboldt’s
arguments as to their primitive connection with Asia.[1607] Geo.
Bancroft, in the third volume of his _Hist. of the United States_
(1840), surveying the field, found little in the linguistic affinities,
little in what Humboldt gathered from the Mexican calendars and from
other developments, nothing from the Western mounds, which he was sure
were natural earth-knobs and water-worn passages,[1608] and decides
upon some transmission by the Pacific route from Asia, but so remote
as to make the American tribes practically indigenous, so far as their
character is concerned.

In 1843 another compiler of existing evidence appeared in Alexander W.
Bradford in his _American Antiquities, or Researches into the origin
and history of the Red Race_. His views were new. He connects the
higher organized life of middle America with the corresponding culture
of Southern Asia, the Polynesian islands probably furnishing the avenue
of migrations; while the ruder and more northern peoples of both shores
of the Pacific represent the same stock degraded by northern migrations.

In 1845 the American Ethnological Society began its publications, and
in Albert Gallatin it had a vigorous helper in unravelling some of
these mysteries. A few years later (1853) the United States government
lent its patronage and prestige to the huge conglomerate publication of
Schoolcraft, his _Indian Tribes of the United States_, which leaves the
bewildered reader in a puzzling maze,—the inevitable result of a work
undertaken beyond the ambitious powers of an untrained mind. The work
is not without value if the user of it has more systematic knowledge
than its compiler, to select, discard, and arrange, and if he can weigh
the importance of the separate papers.[1609]

In 1856 Samuel F. Haven, the librarian and guiding spirit of the
American Antiquarian Society, summed up, as it had never been done
before, for comprehensiveness, and with a striking prescience, the
progress and results of studies in this field, in his _Archæology of
the United States_ (_Smithsonian Contributions_, viii., Washington,

[Illustration: EDWARD B. TYLOR.

After a photograph.]

In 1851 Professor Daniel Wilson, in his _Prehistoric Annals of
Scotland_, first brought into use the designation “prehistoric” as
expressing “the whole period disclosed to us by means of archæological
evidence, as distinguished from what is known through written records;
and in this sense the term was speedily adopted by the archæologists
of Europe.”[1610] Eleven years later he published his _Prehistoric
Man: Researches into the origin of civilization in the old and new
world_.[1611] The book unfortunately is not well fortified with
references, but it is the result of long study, partly in the field,
and written with a commendable reserve of judgment. It is in the main
concerned with the western hemisphere, which he assumes with little
hesitation “began its human period subsequent to that of the old world,
and so started later in the race of civilization.” While thus in effect
a study of early man in America, its scope makes it in good degree a
complement to the _Origin of Civilization_ of Lubbock.

The comparative study of ethnological traces, to enable us to depict
the earliest condition of human society, owes a special indebtedness
to Edward B. Tylor, among writers in English. It is nearly twenty-five
years since he first published his _Researches into the Early History
of Mankind and the Development of Civilization_,[1612] the work
almost, if not quite, of a pioneer in this interesting field, and he
has supplied the reader with all the references necessary to test his
examples. Max Müller (_Chips_, ii. 262) has pointed out how he has
vitalized his vast accumulation of facts by coherent classifications
instead of leaving them an oppressive burden by simple aggregation, as
his precursors in Germany, Gustav Klemm[1613] and Adolf Bastian, had
done; and it is remarked that while thus classifying, he has not been
lured into pronounced theory, which future accession of material might
serve to modify or change. He shortly afterwards touched a phase of the
subject which he had not developed in his book in a paper on “Traces of
the Early Mental Condition of Man,”[1614] and illustrated the methods
he was pursuing in another on “The Condition of Prehistoric Races as
inferred from observations of modern tribes.”[1615]

The postulate of which he has been a distinguished expounder, that man
has progressed from barbarism to civilization, was a main deduction
to be drawn from his next sustained work, _Primitive Culture:
researches into the development of mythology, philosophy, religion,
art, and custom_.[1616] The chief points of this further study of
the thought, belief, art, and custom of the primitive man had been
advanced tentatively in various other papers beside those already
mentioned,[1617] and in this new work he further acknowledges his
obligations to Adolf Bastian’s _Mensch in der Geschichte_ and Theodor
Waitz’s _Anthropologie der Naturvölker_.[1618] He still pursued his
plan of collecting wide and minute evidence from the writers on
ethnography and kindred sciences, and from historians, travellers, and
missionaries, as his foot-notes abundantly testify.

[Illustration: THEODOR WAITZ.

After a likeness in Otto Caspari’s _Urgeschichte der Menschheit_, 2d
ed., vol. i. (Leipzig, 1877).]

These studies of Professor Tylor abundantly qualified him to give
a condensed exposition of the science of anthropology, which he had
done so much to place within the range of scientific studies, by a
primary search for facts and laws; and having contributed the article
on that subject to the ninth edition of the _Encyclopædia Britannica_,
he published in 1881 his _Anthropology: an Introduction to the study
of man and civilization_ (London and N. Y., 1881 and 1888). He maps
out the new science, which has now received of late years so many new
students in the scientific method, without references, but with the
authority of a teacher, tracing what man has been and is under the
differences of sex, race, beliefs, habits, and society.[1619] Again,
at the Montreal meeting (August, 1884) of the British Association for
the Advancement of Science, he set down in an address the bounds of the
“American Aspects of Anthropology.”[1620]

[Illustration: SIR JOHN LUBBOCK.

After a photograph.]

Closely following upon Tylor in this field, and gathering his material
with much the same assiduity, and presenting it with similar beliefs,
though with enough individuality to mark a distinction, was another
Englishman, who probably shares with Tylor the leading position in
this department of study. Sir John Lubbock, in his _Prehistoric Times
as illustrated by ancient remains, and the manners and customs of
modern savages_,[1621] gathered the evidence which exists of the
primitive condition of man, embracing some chapters on modern savages
so far as they are ignorant of the use of metals, as the best study
we can follow, to fill out the picture of races only archæologically
known to us. This study of modern savage life, in arts, marriages,
and relationships, morals, religion, and laws, is, as he holds, a
necessary avenue to the knowledge of a condition of the early man,
from which by various influences the race has advanced to what is
called civilization. His result in this comparative study—not indeed
covering all the phases of savage life—he made known in his _Origin
of Civilization and the Primitive Condition of Man_.[1622] While
referring to Tylor’s _Early Hist. of Mankind_ as more nearly like
his own than any existing treatise, but showing, as compared with
his own book, “that no two minds would view the subject in the same
manner,” he instanced previous treatments of certain phases of the
subject, like Müller’s _Geschichte der Amerikanischen Urreligionen_,
J. F. M’Lennan’s _Primitive Marriage_,[1623] and J. J. Bachofen’s _Das
Mutterrecht_ (Stuttgart, 1861); and even Lord Kames’ _History of Man_,
and Montesquieu’s _Esprit des Lois_, notwithstanding the absence in
them of much of the minute knowledge now necessary to the study of the
subject. These data, of course, are largely obtained from travellers
and missionaries, and Lubbock complains of their unsatisfactory extent
and accuracy. “Travellers,” he adds, “find it easier to describe the
houses, boats, food, dress, weapons, and implements of savages than to
understand their thoughts and feelings.”


After a photograph.]

The main controversial point arising out of all this study is the one
already adverted to,—whether man has advanced from savagery to his
present condition, or has preserved, with occasional retrogressions,
his original elevated character; and this causes the other question,
whether the modern savage is the degenerate descendant of the same
civilized first men. “There is no scientific evidence which would
justify us,” says Lubbock (_Prehist. Times_, 417), “in asserting that
this kind of degradation applies to savages in general.”[1624] The
most distinguished advocate of the affirmative of this proposition is
Richard Whately, Archbishop of Dublin, both in his _Political Economy_
and in his lecture on the _Origin of Civilization_ (1855), in which
he undertook to affirm that no nation, unaided by a superior race,
ever succeeded in raising itself out of savagery, and that nations
can become degraded. Lubbock, who, with Tylor, holds the converse of
this proposition, answered Whately in an appendix to his _Origin of
Civilization_, which was originally given as a paper at the Dundee
meeting of the British Association.[1625] The Duke of Argyle, while
not prepared to go to the extent of Whately’s views, attacked, in his
_Primeval Man_, Lubbock’s argument,[1626] and was in turn reviewed
adversely by Lubbock, in a paper read at the Exeter meeting of the
same association (1869), which is also included in the appendix of his
_Origin of Civilization_. Lubbock seems to show, in some instances at
least, that the duke did not possess himself correctly of some of the
views of his opponents.

[Illustration: MIGRATIONS.

A sketch map given in Dawson’s _Fossil Men_, p. 48, showing his view
of the probable lines of migration and distribution of the American
tribes. Morgan (_Ancient Society_) makes what he calls three centres
of subsistence, whence the migration proceeded which overran America.
Cf. Hellwald in _Smithsonian Rept._, 1866, p. 328. The question is
more or less discussed in Latham’s _Man and his migrations_ (London,
1851); Chas. Pickering’s _Men and their geog. distribution_; and Oscar
Peschel’s _Races of Man_ (Eng. transl., London, 1876). On the passage
from the valley of the Columbia to that of the Missouri, see Humboldt’s
_Views of Nature_, 35. Morgan (_No. Am. Rev._, cix.) supposes the
valley of the Columbia River to be the original centre where the
streams diverged, and (_Systems of Consanguinity_, 251) says there
are reasons for believing that the Shoshone migration was the last
which left the Columbia valley, and that it was pending at the epoch
of European colonization. Morgan’s papers in the _No. Am. Rev._, Oct.
1868 and Jan. 1870, are reprinted in Beach’s _Indian Miscellany_, p.
158. On a general belief in a migration from the north, see _Congrès
des Amér_. (1877), ii. 50, 51. L. Simonin, in “L’homme Américain, notes
d’ethnologie et de linguistique sur les indiens des Etats-Unis,” gives
a map of the tribes of North America in the _Bull. de la Soc. de Géog._
Feb. 1870.]

In the researches of Tylor and Lubbock, and of all the others
cited above, the American Indian is the source of many of their
illustrations. Of all writers on this continent, Sir John Wm. Dawson
in his _Fossil Men_, and Southall in his _Recent Origin of Man_, are
probably the most eminent advocates of the views of Whately and Argyle,
however modified, and both have declared it an unfounded assumption
that the primitive man was a savage.[1627] Morgan, in his _Ancient
Society_ (N. Y., 1877), has, on the other hand, sketched the lines of
human progress from savagery through barbarism to civilization.

One of the defenders of the supposed Bible limits best equipped by
reading, if not in the scientific spirit, has been a Virginian, James
C. Southall, who published a large octavo in 1875, _The Recent Origin
of Man as illustrated by geology and the modern science of prehistoric
archæology_ (Philad., 1875). Three years later,—leaving out some
irrelevant matters as touching the antiquity of man, condensing his
collations of detail, sparing the men of science an attack for what in
his earlier volume he called their fickleness, and somewhat veiling
his set purpose of sustaining the Bible record,—he published a more
effective little book, _The Epoch of the Mammoth and the Apparition of
Man upon Earth_ (Philad., 1878). Barring its essentially controversial
character, and waiving judgment on its scientific decisions, it is one
of the best condensed accumulations of data which has been made. His
belief in the literal worth of the Bible narrative is emphatic. He
thinks that man, abruptly and fully civilized, appeared in the East,
and gave rise to the Egyptian and Babylonian civilization, while the
estrays that wandered westward are known to us by their remains, as
the early savage denizens of Europe. To maintain this existence of the
hunter-man of Europe within historic times, he rejects the prevailing
opinions of the geologists and archæologists. He reverses the judgment
that Lyell expresses (_Student’s Elements of Geology_, Am. ed., 162)
of the historical period as not affording any appreciable measure
for calculating the number of centuries necessary to produce so many
extinct animals, to deepen and widen valleys, and to lay so deep
stalagmite floors, and says it does. He contends that the stone age is
not divided into the earlier and later periods with an interval, but
that the mingling of the kinds of flints shows but different phases of
the same period,[1628] and that what others call the palæolithic man
was in reality the quaternary man, with conditions not much different
from now.[1629] The time when the ice retreated from the now temperate
regions he holds to have been about 2000 b.c., and he looks to the
proofs of the action of which traces are left along the North American
great lakes, as observed by Professor Edmund Andrews[1630] of Chicago,
to confirm his judgment of the Glacial age being from 5,300 to 7,500
years ago.[1631] He claims that force has not been sufficiently
recognized as an element in geological action, and that a great lapse
of time was not necessary to effect geological changes (_Ep. of the
M._, 194).[1632] He thinks the present drift of opinion, carrying
back the appearance of man anywhere from 20,000 to 9,000,000 years,
a mere fashion. The gravel of the Somme has been, he holds, a rapid
deposit in valleys already formed and not necessarily old. The peat
beds were a deposit from the flood that followed the glacial period,
and accumulated rapidly (_Ep. of the M._, ch. 10). The extinct animals
found with the tools of man in the caves simply show that such beasts
survived to within historic times, as seems everywhere apparent as
regards the mastodon when found in America. The stalagmites of the
caves are of unequal growth, and it is an assumption to give them
uniformly great age. The finely worked flints found among those called
palæolithic; the skilfully free drawings of the cave-men; the bits of
pottery discovered with the rude flints, and the great similarity of
the implements to those in use to-day among the Eskimos; the finding
of Roman coin in the Danish shell heaps and an English one in those of
America (_Proc. Philad. Acad. Nat. Sci._, 1866, p. 291),—are all parts
of the argument which satisfies him that the archæologists have been
hasty and inconclusive in their deductions. They in turn will dispute
both his facts and conclusions.[1633]

Southall’s arraignment of the opinions generally held may introduce us
to a classification of the data upon which archæologists rely to reach
conclusions upon the antiquity of man, and over some of which there is
certainly no prevailing consensus of opinion. We may find a condensed
summary of beliefs and data respecting the antiquity of man in J. P.
Maclean’s _Manual of the Antiquity of Man_ (Cincinnati, revised ed.,
1877; again, 1880).[1634] The independent view and conservative spirit
are placed respectively in juxtaposition in J. P. Lesley’s _Origin and
Decline of Man_ (ch. 3), and in Dawson’s _Fossil Men_ (ch. 8).[1635]
The opinions of leading English archæologists are found in Lubbock’s
_Prehistoric Times_ (ch. 12), Wallace’s _Tropical Nature_ (ch. 7), and
Huxley’s “Distribution of Races in Relation to the Antiquity of Man,”
in _Internat. Cong. of Prehist. Archæol. Trans._ (1868). Dawkins has
given some recent views in _The Nation_, xxvi. 434, and in _Kansas City
Review_, vii. 344.[1636] Not to refer to special phases, the French
school will be found represented in Nadaillac’s _Les Premiers Hommes_
(ii. ch. 13); in Gabriel de Mortillet’s _La préhistorique antiquité
de l’homme_ (Paris, 1883); Hamy’s _Précis de paléontologie humaine_;
Le Hon’s _L’homme fossile_ (1867); Victor Meunier’s _Les Ancêtres
d’Adam_ (Paris, 1875); Joly’s _L’homme avant métaux_ (Eng. transl.
_Man before Metals_, N. Y., 1883); _Revue des Questions historiques_
(vol. xvi.). The German school is represented in Haeckel’s _Natürliche
Schöpfungsgeschichte_; Waitz’s _Anthropologie_; Carl Vogt’s _Lectures
on Man_ (Eng. transl., Lond., 1864); and L. Büchner’s _Der Mensch und
seine Stellung in der Natur_ (2d ed., Leipzig, 1872; or W. S. Dallas’s
Eng. translation, Lond., 1872). The history of the growth of geological
antagonism to the biblical record as once understood, and the several
methods proposed for reconciling their respective teaching, is traced
concisely in the article on geology in M’Clintock and Strong’s
_Cyclopædia_, with references for further examination. The views there
given are those propounded by Chalmers in 1804, that the geological
record, ignored in the account of Genesis, finds its place in that book
between the first and second verses,[1637] which have no dependence on
one another, and that the biblical account of creation followed in six
literal days. What may be considered the present theological attitude
of churchmen may be noted in _The Speaker’s Commentary_ (N. Y. ed.,
1871, p. 61).

       *       *       *       *       *

The question of the territorial connection of America with Asia under
earlier geological conditions is necessarily considered in some of the
discussions on the transplanting of the American man from the side of

Otto Caspari in his _Urgeschichte der Menschheit_ (Leipzig, 1873), vol.
i., gives a map of Asia and America in the post-tertiary period, as he
understands it, which stretches the Asiatic and African continents over
a large part of the Indian Ocean; and in this region, now beneath the
sea, he places the home of the primeval man, and marks the lines of
migration east, north, and west. This view is accepted by Winchell in
his _Preadamites_ (see his map). Haeckel (_Nat. Schöpfungsgeschichte_,
1868, 1873; Eng. transl. 1876) calls this region “Lemuria” in his map.
Caspari places large continental islands between this region and South
America, which rendered migration to South America easy. The eastern
shore of the present Asia is extended beyond the Japanese islands,
and similar convenient islands render the passage by other lines of
immigration easy to the regions of British Columbia and of Mexico. (Cf.
Short, 507; Baldwin, App.) Howorth, _Mammoth and the Flood_, supposes a
connection at Behring’s Straits. The supposed similarity of the flora
of the two shores of the Pacific has been used to support this theory,
but botanists say that the language of Hooker and Gray has been given a
meaning they did not intend. It is opposed by many eminent geologists.
A. R. Wallace (_Journal Amer. Geog. Soc._, xix.) finds no ground to
believe that any of the oceans contain sunken continents. (Cf. his
_Geographical Distribution of Animals_ and his _Malay Archipelago_.)
James Croll in his _Climate and Cosmology_ (p. 6) says: “There is no
geological evidence to show that at least since Silurian times the
Atlantic and Pacific were ever in their broad features otherwise than
they now are.”[1638] Hyde Clarke has examined the legend of Atlantis in
reference to protohistoric communication with America, in _Royal Hist.
Soc. Trans._, n. s., iii. p. 1.[1639]

       *       *       *       *       *

The arguments for the great antiquity of man[1640] are deduced in the
main from the testimony of the river gravels, the bone caves, the peat
deposits, the shell heaps, and the Lacustrine villages, for the mounds
and other relics of defence, habitation, and worship are very likely
not the records of a great antiquity. The whole field is surveyed with
more fullness than anywhere else, and with a faith in the geological
antiquity of the race, in Sir Charles Lyell’s _Geological Evidences of
the Antiquity of Man_.[1641] With as firm a belief in the integrity of
the biblical record, and in its not being impugned by the discoveries
or inductions of science, we find a survey in Southall’s _Recent Origin
of Man_. These two books constitute the extremes of the methods,
both for and against the conservative interpretation of the Bible.
The independent spirit of the scientist is nowhere more confidently
expressed than by J. P. Lesley (_Man’s Origin and Destiny_, Philad.,
1868, p. 45), who says: “There is no alliance possible between Jewish
theology and modern science.... Geologists have won the right to be
Christians without first becoming Jews.” Southall[1642] interprets
this spirit in this wise: “I do not recollect that the _Antiquity of
Man_ ever recognizes that the book of Genesis is in existence; and yet
every one is perfectly conscious that the author has it in mind, and
is writing at it all the time.”[1643] The entire literature of the
scientific interpretation shows that the canons of criticism are not
yet secure enough to prevent the widest interpretations and inferences.

The intimations which are supposed to exist in the Bible of a race
earlier than Adam have given rise to what is called the theory of
the Preadamites, and there is little noteworthy upon it in European
literature back of Isaac de La Peyrère’s _Praeadamitae_ (Paris and
Amsterdam, 1655), whose views were put into English in _Man before
Adam_ (London, 1656).[1644] The advocates of the theory from that day
to this are enumerated in Alexander Winchell’s _Preadamites_ (Chicago,
1880), and this book is the best known contribution to the subject by
an American author. It is his opinion that the aboriginal American,
with the Mongoloids in general, comes from some descendant of Adam
earlier than Noah, and that the black races come from a stock earlier
than Adam, whom Cain found when he went out of his native country.[1645]

       *       *       *       *       *

The investigations of the great antiquity of man in America fall far
short in extent of those which have been given to his geological
remoteness in Europe; and yet, should we believe with Winchell that the
American man represents the pre-Adamite, while the European man does
not, we might reasonably hope to find in America earlier traces of the
geological man, if, as Agassiz shows, the greater age of the American
continent weighs in the question.[1646]

The explicit proofs, as advanced by different geologists, to give a
great antiquity to the American man, and perhaps in some ways greater
than to the European man,[1647] may now be briefly considered in detail.

Oldest of all may perhaps be placed the gold-drift of California, with
its human remains, and chief among them the Calaveras skull, which is
claimed to be of the Pliocene (tertiary) age; but it must be remembered
that Powell and the government geologists call it quaternary. It
was in February, 1866, that in a mining shaft in Calaveras County,
California, a hundred and thirty feet below the surface, a skull
was found imbedded in gravel, which under the name of the Calaveras
skull has excited much interest. It was not the first time that human
remains had been found in these California gravels, but it was the
first discovery that attracted notice. It was not seen _in situ_ by a
professional geologist, and a few weeks elapsed before Professor Josiah
Dwight Whitney, then state geologist of California, visited the spot,
and satisfied himself that the geological conditions were such as to
make it certain that the skull and the deposition of the gravel were
of the same age. The relic subsequently passed into the possession of
Professor Whitney, and the annexed cut is reproduced from the careful
drawing made of it for the _Memoirs of the Museum of Comp. Zoölogy_
(Harvard University), vol. vi. He had published earlier an account in
the _Revue d’Anthropologie_ (1872), p. 760.[1648] This interesting
relic is now in Cambridge, coated with thin wax for preservation, but
this coating interferes with any satisfactory photograph. The volume of
_Memoirs_ above named is made up of Whitney’s _Auriferous Gravels of
the Sierra Nevada of California_ (1880), and at p. ix he says: “There
will undoubtedly be much hesitancy on the part of anthropologists and
others in accepting the results regarding the Tertiary Age of man, to
which our investigations seem so clearly to point.” He says that those
who reject the evidence of the Calaveras skull because it was not seen
_in situ_ by a scientific observer forget the evidence of the fossil
itself; and he adds that since 1866 the other evidence for tertiary
man has so accumulated that “it would not be materially weakened by
dropping that furnished by the Calaveras skull itself.”

[Illustration: CALAVERAS SKULL. (_Front and side view._)]

What Whitney says of the history and authenticity of the skull will
be found in his paper on “Human remains and works of art of the
gravel series,” in _Ibid._ pp. 258-288. His conclusions are that it
shows the existence of man with an extinct fauna and flora, and under
geographical and physical conditions differing from the present,—in
the Pliocene age certainly. This opinion has obtained the support of
Marsh and Le Conte and other eminent geologists. Schmidt (_Archiv
für Anthropologie_) thinks it signifies a pre-glacial man. Winchell
(_Preadamites_, 428) says it is the best authenticated evidence of
Pliocene man yet adduced. On the contrary, there are some confident
doubters. Dawkins (_No. Am. Rev._, Oct., 1883) thinks that all but a
few American geologists have given up the Pliocene man, and that the
chances of later interments, of accidents, of ancient mines, and the
presence of skulls of mustang ponies (introduced by the Spaniards)
found in the same gravels, throw insuperable doubts. “Neither in the
new world nor the old world,” he says, “is there any trace of Pliocene
man revealed by modern discovery.” Southall and all the Bible advocates
of course deny the bearing of all such evidence. Dawson (_Fossil
Men_, 345) thinks the arguments of Whitney inconclusive. Nadaillac
(_L’Amérique préhistorique_, 40, with a cut, and his _Les Premiers
Hommes_, ii. 435) hesitates to accept the evidence, and enumerates the

       *       *       *       *       *

Footprints have been found in a tufa bed, resting on yellow sand, in
the neighborhood of an extinct volcano, Tizcapa, in Nicaragua. One of
the prints is shown in the annexed cut, after a representation given
by Dr. Brinton in the _Amer. Philosoph. Soc. Proc._ (xxiv. 1887, p.
437). Above this tufa bed were fourteen distinct strata of deposits
before the surface soil was reached. Geologists have placed this yellow
sand, bearing shells, from the post-Pliocene to the Eocene. The seventh
stratum, going downwards, had remains of the mastodon.[1650]

Some ancient basket work discovered at Petit Anse Island, in Louisiana,
has been figured in the _Chicago Acad. of Sciences, Transactions_ (i.
part 2). Cf. E. W. Hilgard, in _Smithsonian Contributions_, no. 248.

       *       *       *       *       *

Foster rather strikingly likens what we know of the history of the
human race to the apex of a pyramid, of which we know neither the
height nor extent of base. Our efforts to trace man back to his
beginning would be like following down the sides of that pyramid till
it reaches a firm base, we know not where. Many geologists believe
in a great ice-sheet which at one time had settled upon the northern
parts of America, and covered it down to a line that extends across
Pennsylvania, Ohio, and westerly in a direction of some variableness.
There are some, like Sir William Dawson,[1651] who reject the evidence
that persuades others. Prof. Whitney (_Climatic Changes_, 387) holds
that it was a local phenomenon confined in America to the northeastern
parts. The advocates look to Dr. James Geikie[1652] as having
correlated the proofs of the proposition as well as any, while writers
like Howorth[1653] trace the resulting phenomena largely to a flood.


How long ago this was, the cautious geologist does not like to
say;[1654] nor is he quite ready to aver what it all means.[1655]
Perhaps, as some theorize, this prevailing ice showed the long winter
brought about by the precession of the equinoxes, as has long been a
favorite belief, with the swing of ten thousand years, more or less,
from one extreme to the other.[1656]

Others believe that we must look back 200,000 years, as James
Croll[1657] and Lubbock do, or 800,000 and more, as Lyell did at first,
and find the cause in the variable eccentricity of the earth’s orbit,
which shall account for all the climatic changes since the dawn of
what is called the glacial epoch, accompanying the deflection of ocean
currents, as Croll supposes, or the variations in the disposition of
sea and land, as Lyell imagines.[1658] This great ice-sheet, however
extensive, began for some reason to retreat, at a period as remote,
according as we accept this or the other estimate, as from ten thousand
to a hundred thousand years.

       *       *       *       *       *

That the objects of stone, shaped and polished, which had been observed
all over the civilized world, were celestial in origin seems to have
been the prevalent opinion,[1659] when Mahudel in 1723 and even when
Buffon in 1778 ventured to assign to them a human origin.[1660]

In the gravels which were deposited by the melting of this more or
less extended ice-sheet, parts of the human frame and the work of
human hands have been found, and mark the anterior limit of man’s
residence on the globe, so far as we can confidently trace it.[1661]
Few geologists have any doubt about the existence of human relics in
these American glacial drifts, however widely they may differ about the
age of them.[1662]


The outer outline is that of the skull found in the cave of Cro-magnon,
in France, belonging, as Dawson says, p. 189, to one of the oldest
human inhabitants of western Europe, as shown in Lartet and Christy’s
_Reliquiae Aquitanicae_. The second outline is that of the Enghis
skull; the dotted outline that of the Neanderthal skull. The shaded
skull is on a smaller scale, but preserving the true outline, and is
one of the Hochelaga Indians (site of Montreal). Cuts of the Enghis
and Neanderthal skulls are given in Lubbock’s _Prehistoric Times_,
pp. 328, 329. Dawkins (_Cave Hunters_, 235) thinks the Enghis skull
of doubtful age. On the Neanderthal skull see Quatrefages and Hamy,
_Crania Ethnica_ (Paris, 1873-75), and Dawkins (p. 240). Huxley gives
it a great antiquity, and says it is the most ape-like one he ever
saw. Quatrefages, _Hommes fossiles_, etc. (1884), says it is not below
some later men. Southall (_Epoch of the Mammoth_, 80) says it has the
average capacity of the negro, and double that of the gorilla, and
doubts its antiquity.]

It was in the _American Naturalist_ (Mar. and Ap., 1872) that Dr.
C. C. Abbott made an early communication respecting the discovery of
rude human implements in the glacial gravels[1663] of the Delaware
valley, and since then the Trenton gravels have been the subject of
much interest. The rudeness of the flints has repeatedly raised doubts
as to their artificial character; but Wilson (_Prehistoric Man_, i.
29) says that it is impossible to find in flints broken for the road,
or in any other accumulation of rocky débris, a single specimen that
looks like the rudest implement of the drift. Experts attest the exact
correspondence of these Trenton tools with those of the European river
drift. Abbott has explained the artificial cleavages of stone in the
_American Antiquarian_ (viii. 43). There are geologists like Shaler
who question the artificial character of the Trenton implements. From
time to time since this early announcement, Dr. Abbott has made public
additional evidence as he has accumulated it, going to show, as he
thinks, that we have in these deposits of the glacial action the signs
of men contemporary with the glacial flow, and earlier than the red
Indian stock of historic times.[1664] He summarizes the matter in his
“Palæolithic implements of a people on the Atlantic coast anterior to
the Indians,” in his _Primitive Industry_ (1882).[1665]

       *       *       *       *       *

Some discoveries of human bones in the loess or loam of the Mississippi
Valley have not been generally accepted. Lyell (_Second Visit_, ii.
197; _Antiq. of Man_, 203) suspends judgment, as does Joseph Leidy in
his _Extinct Mammalia of North America_ (p. 365).

       *       *       *       *       *

The existence of man in western Europe with extinct animals is a
belief that, from the incredulity which accompanied the discovery by
Kemp in London, in 1714, of a stone hatchet lying in contiguity to some
elephant’s teeth,[1666] has long passed into indisputable fact, settled
by the exploration of cave and shell heaps.[1667] In North America,
this conjunction of man’s remains with those of the mastodon is very
widely spread.[1668] The geological evidence is quite sufficient
without resorting to what has been called an Elephant’s head in the
architecture of Palenqué, the so-called Elephant Mound in Wisconsin,
and the dubious if not fraudulent Elephant Pipe of Iowa.[1669] The
positions of the skeletons have led many to believe that the interval
since the mastodon ceased to roam in the Mississippi Valley is not
geologically great. Shaler (_Amer. Naturalist_, iv. 162) places it at
a few thousand years, and there is enough ground for it perhaps to
justify Southall (_Recent Origin, etc._, 551; _Ep. of the Mammoth_, ch.
8) in claiming that these animals have lived into historic times.

       *       *       *       *       *

A human skeleton was found sixteen feet below the surface, near New
Orleans—(which is only nine feet above the Gulf of Mexico), and under
four successive growths of cypress forests. Its antiquity, however,
is questioned.[1670] The belief in human traces in the calcareous
conglomerate of Florida seems to have been based (Haven, p. 87) on a
misconception of Count Pourtalès’ statement (_Amer. Naturalist_, ii.
434), though it has got credence in many of the leading books on this
subject. Col. Whittlesey has reported some not very ancient hearths in
the Ohio Valley (_Am. Ass. Arts and Sciences, Proc., Chicago, 1868,
Meeting_, vol. xvii. 268).

       *       *       *       *       *

The testimony of the caves to the early existence of man has never had
the importance in America that it has had in Europe.

It was in 1822 that Dr. Buckland, in his _Reliquiae diluvianae_ (2d
ed., 1824), first made something like a systematic gathering of the
evidence of animal remains, as shown by cave explorations; but he was
not prepared to believe that man’s remains were as old as the beasts.
He later came to believe in the prehistoric man. In 1833-34, Dr.
Schmerling found in the cave of Enghis, near Liége, a highly developed
skull, and published his _Recherches sur les ossemens fossiles
découverts dans les cavernes de la province de Liége_.[1671]

In 1841, Boucher de Perthes began his discoveries in the valley of
the Somme,[1672] and finally discovered among the animal remains some
flint implements, and formulated his views of the great antiquity of
man in his _Antiquités Celtiques_ (1847), rather for the derision than
for the delectation of his brother geologists. In 1848, the Société
Ethnographique de Paris ceased its sessions; but Boucher de Perthes had
aroused a new feeling, and while his efforts were still in doubt his
disciples[1673] gathered, and amid much ridicule founded the Société
d’Anthropologie de Paris, which has had so numerous a following in
allied associations in Europe and America.

He tells us of the struggles he endured to secure the recognition of
his views in his _De l’homme antédiluvien et de ses œuvres_ (Paris,
1860), and his trials were not over when, in 1863, he found at Moulin
Quignon a human jaw-bone,[1674] which, as he felt, added much strength
to the belief in the man of the glacial gravels.[1675]

       *       *       *       *       *

The existence of man in the somewhat later period of the caves[1676]
was also claiming constant recognition, and the new society was
broad enough to cover all. In 1857, Dr. Fuhlrott had discovered the
Neanderthal skull in a cave near Düsseldorf.

In 1858, the discovery of flint tools in the Brixham cave, in
Devonshire, was more effective in turning the scientific mind to the
proofs than earlier discoveries of much the same character by McEnery
had been. In March, 1872, Emile Rivière investigated the Mentone caves,
and found a large skeleton, unmistakably human, and the oldest yet
found, supposed to be of the palæolithic period. (Cf. _Découverte d’un
Squelette humain de l’Epoque paléolithique_, Paris, 1873.) All this
evidence is best set forth in the collection of his periodical studies
on the mammals of the Pleistocene, which were collected by William Boyd
Dawkins in his _Cave Hunting: researches on the evidence of caves,
respecting the early inhabitants of Europe_ (London, 1874),[1677] a
book which may be considered a sort of complement to Lyell’s _Antiquity
of Man_ and Lubbock’s _Prehistoric Man_; Dawkins (ch. 9, and _Address_,
Salford, 1877, p. 3) and Lubbock (_Scientific Lectures_, 150) unite
in holding the modern Eskimos to be the representative of this cave
folk. No argument is quite sufficient to convince Southall that the
archæologists do not place the denizens of the caves too far back
(_Recent Origin of Man_, ch. 13), and he rejects a belief in the steady
slowness of the formation of stalagmites (_Epoch of the Mammoth_, 90),
upon which Evans, Geikie, Wallace, Lyell, and others rest much of their
belief in the great antiquity of the remains found beneath the cave

The largest development of cave testimony in America has been made
by Dr. Lund,[1679] a Danish naturalist, who examined several hundred
Brazilian caves, finding in them the bones of man in connection with
those of extinct animals.[1680] The remains of a race, held to be
Indians, found in the caves of Coahuila (Mexico) are described by
Cordelia A. Studley in the _Peabody Mus. Reports_, xv. 233. Edward D.
Cope has studied the contents of a bone cave in the island of Anguilla
(West Indies), in the _Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge_, no.
489 (1883). J. D. Whitney describes a cave in Calaveras County, in the
_Smithsonian Rept._ (1887), and Edward Palmer one in Utah (_Peab. Mus.
Rept._, xi. 269). Putnam explored some in Kentucky (_Ibid._ viii.).
Putnam’s first account of his cave work in Kentucky, showing the use
of them as habitations and as receptacles for mummies, is in the
_Proc. Boston Soc. Nat. Hist._, xvii. 319. J. P. Goodnow made similar
explorations in Arizona (_Kansas City Rev_., viii. 647); E. T. Elliott
in Colorado (_Pop. Sci. Mo._, Oct., 1879), and Leidy in the Hartman
cave, in Pennsylvania (_Philad. Acad. Nat. Sci. Proc._, 1880, p. 348).
Cf. also Haldeman in the _Am. Philos. Soc. Trans._ (1880) xv. 351. Col.
Charles Whittlesey has discussed the “Evidences of the antiquity of
man in the United States,” in describing some cave remains of doubtful
age.[1681] W. H. Dall’s _On the remains of later prehistoric man
obtained from caves in the Catherine archipelago, Alaska territory, and
especially from the caves of the Aleutian islands_ (Washington, 1878)
is included in the _Smithsonian contributions to knowledge_, xxii.

       *       *       *       *       *

Throughout the world, naturalists have found on streams and on the
seacoast, heaps of the refuse of the daily life of primitive peoples.
Beneath the loam which has covered them there are found the shells of
edible mollusks and other relics of food, implements, ornaments and
vessels, of stone, clay, and bone. Sometimes it happens that natural
superposed accumulations will mark them off in layers, and distinguish
the usages of successive periods.[1682]

[Illustration: OSCAR PESCHEL.

From the engraving in the 1877 ed. of his _Gesch. des Zeitalters der
Entdeckungen_. His _Abhandlungen zur Erd-und Völker-Kunde_, continuing
his contributions to _Das Ausland_ and other periodicals, and edited
by J. Löwenberg, was published at Leipzig, in 3 vols. in 1877-79, the
preface containing an account of Peschel’s services in this field.]

In the Old World such heaps upon the Danish coast have attracted the
most attention under the name of Kjœkkenmœddinger, or Kitchen-middens,
and their teachings have enlivened the recitals of nearly all the
European archæologists who have sought to picture the condition of
these early races.

It seems to be the general opinion that in the Old World this
shell-heap folk succeeded, if they do not in part constitute the
contemporaries of, the men of the caves.[1683]

[Illustration: JEFFRIES WYMAN.

From a photograph taken in 1868, furnished by his family. The portrait
in the _Peabody Museum Report_, no. viii., represents him somewhat
later in life, with a beard. He died Sept. 4, 1874. There are accounts
of Wyman in the same _Report_, by Asa Gray, who also made an address
on Wyman before the Boston Society of Nat. Hist. (cf. _Pop. Science
Monthly_, Jan., 1875), with commemorations by O. W. Holmes (_Atlantic
Monthly_, Nov., 1874, and _Mass. Hist. Soc. Proc._, xiv. 4), by F. W.
Putnam in the _Proc. Amer. Acad._ with a list of his publications; by
Packard in the _Mem. Nat. Acad._, and B. G. Wilder (_Old and New_,
Nov., 1874).]

These accumulations are known usually in America as shell heaps, and
it is generally characteristic of them that, while they contain pottery
and bone implements, the stone instruments are far less numerous,
and generally occur in the upper layers in those of Florida, but
they are scattered through all the layers in those of New England.
Professor Jeffries Wyman, whose name is in this country particularly
associated with shell-heap investigations, could not find[1684] that
any one had in the scientific spirit called attention to the subject
in America earlier than Caleb Atwater in the _Archæologia Americana_
(vol. i., 1820), who had observed such deposits on the Muskingum River
in Ohio. They had not passed unnoticed, however, by some of the early
explorers. Putnam (_Essex Inst. Bulletin_, xv. 86) notes that J. T.
Ducatel observed those on the Chesapeake in 1834. The earliest more
particular mention of the inland mounds seem to have been made in
Prinz Maximilian’s _Travels in the United States_.[1685] Foster, in
his _Prehistoric Races of the U. S._ (ch. 4,—a special survey of the
American heaps), says that Professor Vanuxem was the first to describe
the sea-side mounds in 1841, in the _Proc. Amer. Asso. Geologists_ (i.

[Illustration: SHELL HEAPS ON CAPE COD.]

There has been as yet little found in America from which to develop
the evidence of early man from any lake or river dwellings, while
so much has been done in Europe.[1687] In some parts of Florida the
Indians are reported to have built houses on piles; and in South
America tree-houses and those on platforms are well known. Mr. Hilborne
T. Cresson has reported (_Peabody Mus. Rept_., xxii. for 1888) the
discovery of pile ends in the Delaware River, and has shown that two of
these river stations are earlier than the third, as is evident from the
rude implements of argillite found in the two when compared with those
discovered in the third, where implements of jasper and quartz and
fragments of pottery were associated with those of argillite.

[Illustration: PUEBLO REGION.

From a map, “Originalkarte der Urwohnsitze der Azteken und Verwandten
Pueblos in New Mexico, zusammengestellt von O. Loew,” in Petermann’s
_Mittheilungen über wichtige neue Erforschungen auf dem Gesammtgebiete
der Geographie_, xxii. (1876), table xii. The small dotted circles
stand for inhabited pueblos; those with a perpendicular line
attached are ruins; and when this perpendicular line is crossed it
is a Mexicanized pueblo. See the map in Powell’s _Second Rept. Bur.
Ethnol._ (1880-81) p. 318, which marks the several classes: inhabited,
abandoned, ruined pueblos, cavate houses, cliff houses, and tower

The earliest discoveries of the cliff houses of the Colorado region
were made by Lieut. J. H. Simpson, and his descriptions appeared in his
_Journal of a Military Reconnoissance_, in 1849.[1688] No considerable
addition was made to our knowledge of the cliff dwellers till in
1874-75, when special parties of the Hayden Geological Survey were
sent to explore them (_Hayden’s Report_, 1876), whence we got accounts
of those of southwestern Colorado by W. H. Holmes, including the
cavate-houses and cliff-dwellers of the San Juan, the Mancos, and the
ruins in the McElmo cañon.[1689] W. H. Jackson gives a revised account
of his 1874 expedition in the _Bulletin_ of the Survey (vol. ii. no.
1), adding thereto an account of his explorations of 1875. Jackson also
gives a chapter on the ruins of the Chaco cañon.[1690]

       *       *       *       *       *

In coming to the class of ruins lying in a few instances just within,
but mostly to the north of, the Mexican line, we encounter the Pueblo
race, whose position in the ethnological chart is not quite certain,
be their connection with the Nahuas and Aztecs,[1691] or with the
moundbuilders,—red Indian if they be,—or with the cliff-dwellers, as
perhaps is the better opinion. Their connection with savage nations
farther north is not wholly determinable, as Morgan allows, on physical
and social grounds, and perhaps not as definitely settled by their
architecture as Cushing seems to think.[1692]

The Spaniard early encountered these ruins,[1693] and perhaps the
best summary of the growth of our knowledge of them by successive
explorations is in Bancroft’s _Nat. Races_, iv. ch. 11.[1694] In the
century after the Spanish conquest, we have one of the best accounts
in the _Memorial_ of Fray Alonso Benavides, published at Madrid in
1630.[1695] The most famous of the ruins of this region, the Casa
Grande of the Gila Valley in Arizona,[1696] is supposed to have been
seen (1540) by Coronado, then in a state of ruin; but we get no clear
description till that given by Padre Mange, who accompanied Padre Kino
to see the ruins in 1697.[1697]

There are few descriptions[1698] of the antiquities of this country
previous to the military examination of it which was made during the
Mexican War. Such is recorded in W. H. Emory’s _Notes of a Military
Reconnoissance from Fort Leavenworth in Missouri to San Diego in
California_,[1699] which gives us some of the earliest representations
of these antiquities, including the ruins of Pecos.[1700] In 1849,
Col. Washington, the governor of New Mexico, organized an expedition
against the Navajos, and Lieut. James H. Simpson gives us the first
detailed account of the Chaco cañon in his _Journal of a Military
Reconnoissance_ (Philad., 1852).[1701] He also covered (p. 90), among
the other ruins of this region, the old and present habitations of the
Zuñi, but these received in some respects more detailed examination
in Capt. L. Sitgreave’s _Report of an Expedition down the Zuñi and
Colorado rivers_ (Washington, 1853),[1702] accompanied by a map and
other illustrations.[1703] New channels of information were opened
when the United States government undertook to make surveys (1853) for
a trans-continental line of railways; and a great deal of material is
embodied in Whipple’s report on the Indian tribes in the _Pacific R. R.
Reports_, vol. iii. The running of the boundary line between the United
States and Mexico also contributed to our knowledge. The commissioner
during 1850-53 was John Russell Bartlett, who, on the failure of the
government promptly to publish his report, printed his _Personal
narrative of explorations and incidents_ (N. Y., 1854), and made in
some parts of it an important contribution to our knowledge of the
antiquities of this region.[1704]

No considerable advance was now made in this study for about a score
of years. Major Powell first published his account of his adventurous
exploration (1869) of the Colorado cañon in _Scribner’s Monthly_ (Jan.,
Feb., Mar.) in 1875, and it was followed by his official _Exploration
of the Colorado River_ (Washington, 1875), making known the existence
of ruins in the cañon’s gloomy depths. The _Reports_ of the U. S.
Geological Survey, including the accounts by W. H. Jackson and W. H.
Holmes, give much valuable and original information; and a good deal of
what has been included in the _Reports of the Chief of Engineers_ (U.
S. Army) for 1875 and 1876 will also be found in the seventh volume,
edited by F. W. Putnam, of _Wheeler’s Survey_,[1705] including the
pueblos of Acoma, Taos, San Juan, and the ruin[1706] on the Animas

The latest examinations of these Pueblo remains, of which we have
published accounts, are those made by A. F. Bandelier for the
Archæological Institute of America. He has given his results in his
“Historical introduction to studies among the sedentary Indians of New
Mexico,” and in his “Report on the ruins of Pecos,” which constitutes
the initial volume of _Papers, American series_, of the Institute
(Boston, 1881).[1707] He believes Pecos to be Cicuye, visited by
Alvarado in 1541,—a huge pile with 585 compartments, finally abandoned
in 1840. In October, 1880, he examined the region west of Santa Fé
(_Second Rept. Archæol. Inst._). His explorations also determined
the eastern limits of the sedentary occupation of New Mexico (_Fifth
Report_). He renewed his studies in 1882 (_First Bull. Archæol. Inst._,
Jan., 1883), and thought the ruins showed successive occupiers, and
divides them into cave dwellings, cliff houses, one-story buildings,
and those of more than one, with each higher one retreating from the
front of the next lower.

[Illustration: THE PUEBLO REGION.

A reduction of the map accompanying Bandelier’s report on his
investigations in New Mexico, in the _Fifth Rept. of the Archæological
Institute of America_ (Cambridge, 1884).]

The most essential sources of information have thus been enumerated,
but there is not a little fugitive and comprehensive treatment of
the subject worth the student’s attention who follows a course of

       *       *       *       *       *

The literature of the moundbuilders, and of the controversies arising
out of the mysterious relics of their life, is commensurate with the
very wide extent of territory covered by their traces.[1709] It was
long before any intelligent notice was taken of the mounds by those who
traversed the wilderness. De Soto, in 1540, could get no traditions
concerning them beyond the assurances that the peoples he encountered
had built them, or some of them. We read of them also in Garcilasso
de la Vega, Biedma and the Knight of Elvas, on the Spanish side; but
on the French at a later day we learn little or nothing from Joutel,
Tonti, and Hennepin, though something from Du Pratz, La Harpe and some
of the missionaries. Kalm,[1710] the Swede, in 1749, was about the
first to make any note of them. Carver found them near Lake Pepin in
1768. In 1772 the missionary David Jones[1711] made observations upon
those in Ohio. Adair did not wholly overlook them in his _American
Indians_ in 1775. Prof. James Dunbar, of Aberdeen, in his _Essays on
the history of mankind in rude and uncultivated ages_ (Lond., 1780),
uses what little Kalm and Carver afforded. Jefferson in his _Notes on
Virginia_ (1782) speaks of them as barrows “all over the country,” and
“obvious repositories of the dead.”[1712] Arthur Lee makes reference
to them in 1784. A map of the Northwest Territory, published by John
Fitch about 1785, places in the territory which is now Wisconsin the
following legend: “This country has once been settled by a people
more expert in the art of war than the present inhabitants. Regular
fortifications, and some of these incredibly large, are frequently
to be found. Also many graves and towers like pyramids of earth.” In
1786 Franklin thought the works at Marietta might have been built
by De Soto; and Noah Webster, in a paper in Roberts’ _Florida_,
assented.[1713] B. S. Barton, in his _Observations in some parts of
Natural History_ (London, 1787), credited the Toltecs with building
them, whom he considered the descendants of the Danes.

As the century draws to a close, we find occasional and rather
bewildered expression of interest in the _Observations on the Ancient
Mounds_ by Major Jonathan Heart;[1714] in the _Missions_ of Loskiel;
in the _New Views_ of Dr. Smith Barton; in the _Carolina_ of William
Bartram; and in the travels of Volney. In 1794 Winthrop Sargent
reported in the _Amer. Philos. Soc. Trans._, iv., on the exploration of
the mounds at Cincinnati. The present century soon elicited a variety
of observations, but there was little of practical exploration. A New
England minister, Thaddeus Mason Harris, passed judgment upon those in
Ohio, when he journeyed thither in 1803.[1715] The commissioner of the
United States to run the Florida boundary, Andrew Ellicott, describes
some near Natchez in his _Journal_ (1803). Bishop Madison communicated
through Professor Barton some opinions about those in Western Virginia,
which appear in the _Transaction_ of the American Philosophical
Society, taking different grounds from Dr. Harris, who had thought them
works of defence. The explorations of Lewis and Clark (1804-6) up the
Missouri, and of Pike (1805-7) up the Mississippi, produced little.
Robin, the French naturalist, in 1805,[1716] Major Stoddard[1717]
and Breckenridge[1718] later, saw some in Louisiana, Missouri, and
Illinois. A leading periodical, _The Portfolio_, contributed something
to the common stock in 1810 and 1814, giving plans of some of the
mounds. Those in Ohio were again the subject of inquiry by F. Cuming in
his _Sketches of a Tour to the Western Country_ (Pittsburg, 1810), and
by Dr. Daniel Drake in his _Picture of Cincinnati and the Miami Valley_
(Cinn., 1815). John Heckewelder, the Moravian missionary, accounted for
the ancient fortifications through the traditions of the Delawares,
who professed once to have inhabited this country, but it has been
suspected that the worthy missionary was imposed upon.[1719] DeWitt
Clinton, in 1811, before the New York Historical Society, and again in
1817, before the Literary and Philosophical Society of New York, had
given some theories in which the Scandinavians figured as builders of
the mounds in that State.

It was thus at a time when there was much speculation and not much
real experimental knowledge respecting these remains that, under the
auspices of the then newly founded American Antiquarian Society,
Mr. Caleb Atwater, of Ohio, was employed to explore and survey a
considerable number of these works. He embodied his results in the
initial volume of the publication of that society, the _Archæologia
Americana_.[1720] After pointing out scattered evidences of the traces
of European peoples, found in coins and other relics throughout the
country, Atwater proceeds to his description of the earthworks, mainly
of Ohio; and beside giving many plans,[1721] he enters into the
question of their origin, and expresses a belief in the Asiatic origin
of their builders, and in their subsequent migration south to lay, as
he thinks, the foundations of the Mexican and Peruvian civilizations.