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from the eand those of certained Dutchman,
rica has been wholly peopled by the Carthaginians and Israelites, from the extraordinary coincidence between their civil and religious customs, and those of certain tribes found on that coast.
George de Hornn, a learned Dutchman, believes that the first founders of the Indian colonies (as he calls them) were Scythians ; that the Phoenicians and Carthaginians afterwards got footing in America, across the Atlantic Ocean, and the Chinese, by way of the Pacific; and that other nations might, from time to time, have landed there by one or other of these ways; or might, possibly, have been thrown on the coast by tempests; since, through the whole of that continent, both in its Northern and Southern parts, we meet with undoubted marks of a mixture of the Northern nations with those of the Southern.
But the number of those who have written on this subject, is, indeed, too numerous to be mentioned, though it were only by name. The treatise, however, of Mr. Adair, contains facts of no uninteresting or useless nature. He says that the Indian nations assure us that they crossed the Mississippi, before they made their present northern settlements, and hence he conceives himself warranted in the conclusion, that the American Aborigines were not lineally descended from the Tartars, or ancient Scythians. Mr. Adair's reasons for supposing that the Americans derive their origin from the Jews, are, first, because they are divided into tribes, and have chiefs over them, as the Israelites had : -secondly, because, as by a strict, permanent, divine law, the Hebrew nation were ordered to worship at Jerusalem, Jehovah, the true living God; so do the Indians, styling him Yohewah:thirdly, because agreeably to the theocracy or divine government of Israel, the Indians think the Deity to be the immediate head of their state :--fourthly, because as the Jews believe in the ministration of angels, the Indians also believe that the higher regions are inhabited by good spirits :-fifthly, because the Indian language and dialects appear to have the very idiom and genius of the Hebrew :sixthly, because they count their time after the manner of the Hebrews :-seventhly, because, in conformity with the manner of the Hebrews, they have their prophets, high priests, and other religious orders :-eighthly, because their festivals, fasts, and religious rites have a great resemblance to those of the Hebrews :-ninthly, be
cause the Indians, before they go to war, have many preparatory ceremonies of purification and fasting, like those recorded of the Israelites ;--and, lastly, because the same taste for ornaments, and of the same kind, is prevalent among the Indians as the Hebrews."
Now, without encroaching upon the indulgence of my readers by an elaborate collation of the above, and numerous other assertions that might be quoted, proving (if they do prove any thing) that it was not from any particular island or country that America first received its inhabitants ; but that, inasmuch as, by the similarity of their manners and customs with the greater part of the population of the Old World, they must have been of the same general, equi-distant origin, I shall endeavour to adduce from reason, nature, and holy writ, how this important fact, in direct harmony with the lights of all preceding commentators, however va
• It is complained of by a commentator on Mr. Adair's work, that one undeniable mark of Jewish origin is still wanting to substantiate their descent: this deficiency of testimony will be found to be supplied under the article Yuchatun, of my “Dictionary of America and the West-Indies;" where it will be seen that the Native Indians of that province, though in other respects gross idolaters, strictly conformed to the practice of circumcision. This practice, however, was instituted in the time of Abram, who was born nearly 200 years after Peleg; and it is therefore thought, if such custom must have descended from the Jews, that it might be accounted for by the avulsion of the hemispheres (which will presently be more fully explained) having been, in the first instance, only partial, or from the South, so that the connexion towards the North was still existing at that time. All the other manners and customs might have been coeval with the days of Peleg. Though contrary to the nature of the plan proposed to myself in discussing this subject, I cannot refrain, en passant, to notice two or three other customs prevalent amongst the Indians; the one amongst the Northern, and the other the Southern.-The greatest punishment amongst the Indians of N. America is depriving any one of his hair, which is also a feature forining the great pride of the Africans :-it may be seen under the article Quuregue, of my Dictionary, that the crime against nature was visited by the ruling power with the same punishment as that inflicted by divine jus. tice; and that the first negro slaves were discovered in that part, the Spaniards not being able to ascertain from whence they came. Again, the peaceoffering may be traced in a solemnization of a peace by the Chilians, who, though avowedly the most civilized of any of the Native American Indians, may so far have lost sight of its original ordination, as to have substituted. in some measure, for human, that which was originally ordained as divine.
Tying and abrupt the shades of their several opinions amongst themselves, is to be proved. The groundwork of my opinion rests upon the basis of the discordant materials they have heaped together ; and my reasons for believing with them that the natives of America are descended from, and had, upon their discovery in the fifteenth century, the manners and customs of almost all the ancient inhabitants of the Old World, is, because the avulsion of the Western Hemisphere did not occur till some years after the Deluge, and consequently not till after the peopling of it had widely, and perhaps uniformly taken place.
In reviewing the testimonies of those authors who have treated upon the habits of the native Americans, I find that, after adducing such facts as their ingenuity or researches might discover, the best of their conclusions are founded upon conjecture: I find that, comparing the assertions of one with those of another, and both with a third, and that being all dissimilar, no fair grounds of credit could be ascribed to one more than to another, but that all may be right, and all may be wrong ; but as the latter cannot be in every respect admitted amongst men whose industry and talent have been of no ordinary nature, and as their historical attestations must not, upon the whole, be rejected, however discordant their assertions-it seems to me that there is but one way of eliciting the truth; and that, as it would be contrary to the laws of reason not to admit some period of time for the first peopling of America, a principle must be looked for, which may at once suggest when that event took place, and reconcile and substantiate, for the most part, the assertions of those authors to whom it is impossible to give an im. plicit credit, or from whom unreservedly to withhold our assent. Now, as a retrospect of all their statements would be tedious and unprofitable, the consideration of one case must lead to the judgment of them all-“Ex pede Herculem.”
Thus the coincidence of language ascribed by Edwards to the Charibes and the Orientalists,' is a fact as striking and import
- With respect to the Oriental languages, it is to be observed, that the.Samaritan and old Phænician, the Syriac, Chaldee, and Hebrew, are all dialects of the same root, differing but little from each other, except in the letters.
Nothing ought to be more ridiculous to the firm believers in the Scriptures,
ant, as the cpinion on which he grounds the transfer of an African population to those islands, is flimsy and unsatisfactory; but the proposition I have advanced, whilst it does not reject the opinion, is, at once confirming, and confirmed, in the fact. It does not deny the possibility of vessels “ driven by sudden gusts, or carried by adverse currents within the verge of the trade wind;" and “ happening to lose their masts,” being thence obliged “ necessarily to run before the wind, towards Brasil or the West Indies.” On the contrary, it admits that such forţuitous voyages might (though not with any great probability) have been made, as well from the African coast as from those of Europe and Asia ; but no absolute period of such an event being even pretended to be pointed out, from the time of the deluge till within centuries after the Christian æra, and considering it, as I do, an awful impeachment of the Eternal Wisdom to suppose that so large and fair a proportion of the inanimate creation should, in opposition to his original intention and divine word, be suffered to lie waste and useless for any long, indefinite period, or repeopled by an improbable chances
than the expense and trouble historians have put themselves to in furnishing testimonies of the origin of idol-worship, as practised in various nations after the flood, and endeavouring to prove when and how the Pagans first took their lessons of that science from the Israelites. Every part of the American Continent shows, that the idolatry of the American heathens was, originally, exactly the same as that of the Israelites, and of other idolaters in other parts of the world, and this in direct proof of the scriptural affirmation that the whole race of mankind having met in the plains of Shinar, and there by their idolairy and pride having called down the vengeance of Heaven, were, in punishment, dispersed to every quarter of the earth, with such a confusion of languages, as to prevent, in future, any similar coalition. The idol. atry, then, of the American Indians, however fancifully diversified, has a common origin with, and is not descended from that of the Israelites, or any other nation whatever. Neither are their languages to be confounded with those of any other parts of the earth, unless in proving the coincidence, we in the same ratio disprove the Scriptures :—and the fact is, that after all the most sanguine attempts, no coincidence can be found in America, excepting that of the Africans and the Indian Charibes, above alluded to, and which I hope, in the following pages, satisfactorily to account for.
i And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth. Gen. cap. 9. v. 1.
I have fondly embraced the principle alluded to, and one so consonant to reason : that America was peopled after the deluge, at the same time as were (communibus aliis) other parts of the earth equidistant from the spot whereon the ark is acknowledged to have grounded.
It were a point by no means unentertaining or uninstructive in the science of cosmography, to consider whether the world was formed at the creation in two hemispheres, after its present fashion, or whether these, together with a greater part of the islands, were the effects of the deluge. In matters of speculation, the mind seems to be no less rationally than agreeably employed, provided she be not at variance with scriptural fact. In this case, she appears to be carried, without difficulty, through mysteries imperviable to the philosopher, and, reposing herself upon a pinnacle of truth, to heed not the chopping wind of erroneous doctrine, the racking blast of calumny, and the overwhelming torrent of human pride. Without any pretensions to philosophical acquirements, other than such as are common to mankind, the evidences of sense and of general observation, I shall, nevertheless, proceed to show how, in a philosophical point of view, the above proposition may be further supported. : With respect to the original formation of the terraqueous globe, the inspired writer is so clear in his definition, as to admit of no scruple or appeal against the fact. The earth, therefore, agreeably with the original perfection of all created things, was one, perfect and entire: that it was so on the subsiding of the waters: of the deluge, and how the subsequent change was physically effected, is the immediate point of my enquiry.
Of all the minerals with which the earth abounds, the pyrites is the most common, since, although more properly being composed of sulphur and iron, it not unfrequently contains copper, silver, and, perhaps, gold. The word pyrites, it is hardly necesa, sary to explain, means fiery, and expresses the property it has of becoming ignited, by being struck upon steel, or spontaneously, when laid upon heaps, or moistened by water :: of the former
"And God said, let the waters under the heaven be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear, and it was so. Gen. cap. 1. v. 9.