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their minds were so fast riveted to Idolatry, even of the vilest kind, that it must be believed many would retain those practices, and some would break out again in their new habitation and shew the indications of the disease deeply fixed in their race. There was not one King over the Israelites, after their separation from the house of David, who ruled the people according to the law of Moses: although therefore they had not altogether forsaken that law, yet they were well prepared to treat its injunctions lightly.

That their language should soon change and different dialects of it be formed, is no more than has occurred in all parts of the world upon the division of families. The three great heads of our race, the sons of Noah, separating from the place of their birth, in a Northern, an Eastern, and a Western direction, became the roots from which many nations sprang; and froin them the numberless languages of the world have arisen. Many tongues are spoken by the inhabitants of Africa, many by the people of the East, and Sir William Jones, speaking of Tartars, says, that their languages, like those of America, are in perpetual fluctuation, and that more than fifty dialects are spoken between Moscow and China by the many hundred tribes and their several branches. Yet he has no doubt that they sprang from one common source. And it will further be shewn, that although the Indians have great and striking varieties in their language, yet all of them bear strong marks of being derived from one root. Of the first family he also observes, in his discourse on the origin of the Hindoos, Arabs and Tartars-Hence it follows, that the only family after the flood established itself in the part

now Persia, that as the family multiplied they were divided into three distinct branches, each retaining little at first, and losing the whole by degrees of their common primary language, but agreeing severally on new expressions for new ideas."

Manners soon degenerate amongst wandering tribes, living without principle, laws, education or civil government, especially where absolute want of the necessaries of life is sometimes taking place, and the necessity of doing without, causes the names and the uses to perish together. The Indian languages, not having been reduced to any certainty by letters, must have been exposed to great changes and to misconceptions. Our organs of speech do not act with an absolute certainty, and from a defect or a redundancy in any one of them, an object may obtain a new name or an idea may be conveyed by a different combination of sounds. The varied events of savage, as well as of social life, will have given rise to as varied a manner of speaking, and the mere caprice or authority of an individual will in many places have originated both words and phrases unknown to any

others. It will be seen in the perusal of the following pages that when the American Indians spoke of those places and persons that were selected for important national purposes and for those of religion, they invariably used a term expressive of high regard : their priests and old warriors were beloved men, their great square in which they met to celebrate public festivals was the beloved place, the hut or tent which contained the holy things was the beloved house. We cannot but feel pleasure at this thought: for although the usages of social life would occasion such terms to appear affected on our lips, in a simple and unassuming state of society like theirs, the terms convey a devotedness of mind to men experienced in life and proved to be faithful, and to all that relates to the Divine Being. I cannot but regard this simple circumstance as a beautiful trait of character, in those who have been vilified in a thousand forms and shewn in the most detestable points of light.

CHAPTER I.

ON THE ORIGIN OF MANKIND.

PLAN óf the WORK.

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ID we not know the rapacious disposition of mercantile men when they leave their home in order to enlarge their fortune and raise their families to wealth, it might be thought a most extraordinary thing, that the settlers on the western continent should have passed through a long succession of years without giving themselves any concern about the origin of the people among whom they had settled and whose land they had seized upon; that a race altogether different from any already found in any part of the world should be within their knowledge and under their eye, and yet no enquiry be made from what

, stock they had descended, and in what branch they were allied to the inhabitants of the old Continent.

The opinion generally prevailing among us is, that the whole human race is descended from one pair, This opinion is derived from what we regard as divine authority; but lest any of my readers should question that authority, and conceive that the early part of the history of the world

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was gathered by Moses or some other learned Israelite from traditions which had been handed down from generation to generation, and therefore do not bear a divine stamp; it shall be added, that this opinion is corroborated and strengthened, by the observations which have been made by philosophical observers on the different nations of the earth, by the light shades of difference which are perceptible in the gradations from the purest fair to the darkest black complexion, and the evident and palpable effects of climate, food, manners, customs, habit and education, the influence of superstition which has produced its effects on the body as well as on the mind of man, and a variety of political and moral regulations. If the mind be the standard of the man; it is not less true, that peculiar notions taken

up
and acted

have had a sensible influence on the features of the countenance, the motions of the body, the shade of complexion and other traits of the human character. So that although there are great diversities in the general appearance of mankind, and we inay divide them into classes, each possessing peculiarities different from the others; yet are there none of these peculiarities, whether of form or feature, or colour, but may readily be accounted for by the influence of climate, food, &c. and this is yet more confirmed by the utter impossibility of drawing the line which shall separate one race from another, and decide that this is descended from the tawny race and that from the fair : because the difference is so small, while the similarity is so striking, that more easy would it be to divide the approximating colours of the rainbow. There are great dissimilarities observable in

upon,

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