« السابقةمتابعة »
The Cemetery Erounds.
"Ye say their cone-like cabins,
Have disappear'd, as wither'd leaves,
But their memory liveth on your hills,
Their baptism on your shore,
Your everlasting rivers speak
Their dialect of yore."-[MRS. SIGOURNEY.
THIS Cemetery is located, according to the traditions of the native proprietors, upon the site of one of their principal villages, and includes the remains of an ancient sacrificial mound and fortification, erected by a people wiser yet weaker than themselves, who abandoned them ere they had been fully completed. The village bore the name of Osco, and was the probable
*This is asserted on the authority of Taht-Kaht-ons, (in English Abraham Le Fort) an intelligent Onondaga. It is descriptive of the crossing of the river at Auburn on stepping stones. It was pronounced as though the first letter were double and had nearly the sound of W. In the treaty of cession of the Cayuga territory to the state of New York, concluded Feb. 25, 1789, the name is written "Was-Kough." When the village was obliterated, the whites applied its name to the Lake above and the river flowing through Auburn.
birth place of Logan, who in early youth, and about the year 1730, emigrated with Shikellimus, his father, from the Cayuga country to Pennsylvania, and subsequently to the valley of the Ohio, where his family were slain by Col. Cresap and his party in 1774. As these dissolving structures have attracted much attention, it has been deemed appropriate, now that these grounds are dedicated to the purposes of Christian burial, to insert in the hand book for visitors, such extracts from accredited traditions and reliable books as are supposed to indicate their antiquity, their evacuation by the builders, their subsequent occupation by the Cayugas, and some of the reasons for the prevalent opinion that the Indian village which once crowned this emience was the natal hamlet of the illustrious Logan.
Of the architects and the era of their construction of the mound and fortification, very little more can be gathered from the surviving Cayugas, than that very far back in the past the parent stock of all the Iroquois,* were engaged in protracted but successful wars with red men from the south-west, who had irrupted into that portion of their domain south of the Lakes, and
* "Iroquois” is the French style of the six confederated nations, viz: the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, Senecas, and Tuscaroras. The Indians styled themselves "Mingoes."
constructed along the valley of the Ohio, and as far eastward as the ancient village of Osco, earthen altars for the worship of the Sun, mounds for the sepulture of their dead, and embankments for personal defence; and that whilst they were in the actual possession of these works, and before they had fully completed them, they were forced to acknowledge the rightful sovereignty of the Iroquois over these woodlands and rivers, and to evacuate all their fortified posts east of the Mississippi. In this, all the six nations substantially agree, without being able to furnish any definite or even approximate dates, either of the commencement or termination of the contest.
The traditions of the Mexican nations appear to be the most distinct, and therefore the most intelligible authority we have concerning as well the builders of these structures as the time when they were probably raised into being. These uniformly ascribe the erection of the works to a people denominated "ALLEGHANS," who originally hunted south and west of the Mississippi river, and assert that some time during the eleventh century, and in consequence of the revolutionary movements which preceded the overthrow of the Toltec and the establishment of the Aztec Empire in Mexico, they removed northward and eastward into the valley of the Ohio
and country above, where they subsisted about three hundred years. We know, without recourse to tradition, that their name is inscribed upon the Alleghany range, and upon the waters of an important river in the United States. We are impressed therefore with the coincidence of Mexican traditions with those of the Six Nations, and the concurrence of both with facts developed by Colden, Davies, Clinton, Locke, Macauley, Schoolcraft, Drake, Catlin and Squires, respecting the mound builders, and the antiquity and purpose of their works.
COLDEN, in his history of the Indian nations, published in 1727, mentions a race of people, denominated "Alleghans," who inhabited the country about the Alleghany river and mountains. From the language employed by him in the body of his treatise, and the map appended thereto, it is fairly inferable that he supposed them then in the occupancy of the forests of Western Pennsylvania. In this he was doubtless in error, although entirely correct in asserting that a people bearing that name had been at some time in possession of that part of the country.†
DAVIES, in his notes concerning American Indians, refers to a people occupying the fore
* See M. Clavigiero's History of Mexico, vol. 1, p. 204.
† Colden's History, French Ed., p. 64.
ground in aboriginal history, who extended over the entire Mississippi valley, and the country below, to the borders of Mexican America, and held a higher reputation for knowledge of the arts and sciences than their successors. He asserts on the authority of Father Raymond, that they styled themselves "Allegwi;" that they exercised sovereignty over a vast area of territory; that they had orders of Priesthood among them, and were worshippers of the Sun. This author evidently supposed them to be extinct.*
CLINTON, in his Memoirs of American Antiquities, referred to the Alleghans in fact, although he did not venture to indicate their name. He mentions a people, whom well accredited tradition asserts to have been the predecessors of the Iroquois, in the occupancy of the Ohio valley, and a portion of the States of New York and Pennsylvania, and who were the artificers of the tumuli which abound in this region. He further remarked, on the authority of Pyrlaus, a missionary at Fort Hunter, in 1742, that the original occupants abandoned the country east of the Mississippi, anterior to the confederation of the Six Nations, which is supposed to have been about seventy years before white men came into the country.f
*Davies' Hist., Car. Isds., p. 168.
† Clinton's Discourse, N. Y. Hist. Soc.