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LOCKE adverts to the superior civilization of the Mexican Indians and those who occupied the valleys of the Mississippi and Ohio at some early period; and asserts on the authority of Colden, Davies and Clavigiero, that an offshoot of the Mexican Indian stock pushed upward and eastward in the "river country," in consequence of the convulsions which ultimately overbore the Empire of the Toltecs in Mexico. This confirms the Mexican tradition, above mentioned, and helps the reader to an important date, viz: the era of the fall of the Toltecan Kingdom. This event occurred in 1052, being 164 years prior to the founding of the City of Mexico.
MACAULEY, in his remarks upon the character of the Mexican Indians, and their probable advancement to the banks of the Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio rivers, appears to favor the traditions mentioned by Clavigiero, in respect to the Alleghans, which, as the reader will recollect, were, that they originally hunted south and west of the Mississippi river, and some time during the eleventh century removed north, where they resided three hundred years. This author derives much support of his theory respecting the Alleghans, from the location, general range and extent of the works ascribed to them, from the vale of Mexico to the Lakes.
The following extract discloses his impressions of these mounds, and of the builders:
"Tumuli are to be seen at this day in every Province of the Mexican Empire, and westwardly and north-westwardly of that Empire to the Gulf of California, and eastward. On leaving the vale of Mexico they seem, however, to decrease in numbers and magnitude. Here, then, we may reasonably conclude that the nation had attained its acme in civilization and the arts. Here the densest and most numerous population was collected-here the seat of the most opulence. In the ancient States of Egypt, of Babylon, of Persia, of Greece, of Carthage, and of Rome, the most splendid temples, pyramids, amphitheatres, and other public edifices were erected in the Capitols, and other places containing the greatest population and wealth. The same occurs in modern Europe, and in our own country."
"In the valleys of the Mississippi and Ohio, which appear to have been the original seats of the descendants of the Toltecans, Acolhuans, and Mexicans, tumulose structures and works of defence, at times approach those of Mexico in numbers, magnitude and grandeur of design. We allude to those at Kahokia, Paint Creek, Circleville, Licking, Big Grave Creek, and at Marietta. The mode of structure is the same,
if we exclude the stone pyramids. In both regions we find square and round mounds or temples. In both, the defensive works are round, square, and irregular, and in some instances, made of stone."
"From the information we have been able to collect on this highly interesting subject, it appears that these mounds and fortifications extend from the vale of Mexico to Lake Ontario. They are of three kinds, viz: sacrificial, monumental and defensible; and they are found to be circular, square, and irregular in form. They are generally on commanding ground, and near water.
They increase in numbers all the way
to the valley of the Mississippi."
"These fortifications enclosed villages, towns and cities.* There may have been some exceptions. The tumuli were sometimes within and sometimes without the fortifications, and were constructed for temples and cemeteries.† The practice of inhuming bodies in places of worship has prevailed in Europe. Even the
*The tumuli for cemetery purposes belonging to this fortification were doubtless outside the embankment, and upon the eminence where the Female Seminary lately stood. That spot is known to have been an Indian burial ground.
†Modern writers have found that they also enclosed sacrificial mounds or earthen altars for the worship of the Sun. Fort Alleghan evidently enclosed such an altar, as there was an elevated heap of earth near the place selected for the monument to the memory of Logan.
Greeks and Romans, before their conversion to Christianity, had a custom of burying their dead, and of depositing their ashes in urns in their temples. The Pagans also had temples and pagodas. The temple at Babylon resembled those at Teotihuacan and Cholula. It was a high place on which sacrifices were offered, and the doctrines of a mysterious and bloody superstition practiced. The Mexicans sacrificed animals, and sometimes human beings on theirs. So did the Indians. And it is stated on good authority, that the mounds in Illinois resemble those of Teotihuacan in shape, structure and materials, and were erected for the same purpose." (Vol. 2, p. 140.)
SCHOOLCRAFT, in his report to the New York Legislature in 1846, remarks: that "all the republic is concerned in the antiquarian knowledge and true etymology and history of an ancient race, to whom tradition attaches valor and power, and who have consecrated their name in American geography upon the most important range of mountains between the valley of the Mississippi and the Atlantic. But the inquiry comes home to us with a local and redoubled interest, from the fact, that they occupied a large portion of the western area of the State, comprising the valley of the Alleghany river to its utmost source, and extending eastwardly an unde
fined distance. Even so late as 1727, Colden, in his history of the Five Nations, places them under the name of 'Alleghans,' on his map of this river. It is not certain that they did not anciently occupy the country as far east and south as the junction of Allen's creek with the Genesee. A series of old forts, anterior in age to the Iroquois power, extends along the shores of lake Erie, up to the system of water communication which has its outlet into the Alleghany through the Conewongo. There are some striking points of identity between the character of these antique military works, and those of the Ohio valley, and this coincidence is still more complete in the remains of ancient art found in the old Indian cemeteries, barrows and small mounds of western New York, extending even as far east as the ancient Osco, now Auburn.”
"The subject is one worthy of full examination. Who this ancient race were, whence they came, and whither they went, are inquiries fraught with interest. We should not be led astray, or thrown off the track of investigation by the name. All the tribes, ancient and modern, have multiform names. This one of the Alleghans, probably fell upon the ears of the first settlers, but it is far from certain that it was their own term, while it is quite certain that it was not of the vocabulary of the bold northern race, the Iroquois, who im