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mouth, Chillicothe, Circleville, Ohio; St. Louis, Missouri, and Frankfort, Kentucky, were favorite seats of the Mound-Builders. This leads one of the most intelligent investigators to remark that “the centres of population are now where they were when the mysterious race of Mound-Builders existed.” There is, however, this difference: the remains indicate that their most populous and advanced communities were at the South. Figure 10 shows a fortified hill in Butler County, Ohio. Among those who have examined and described remains of the Mound-Builders, Messrs. Squier and Davis rank first in importance, because they have done most to give a particular and comprehensive account of them. Their great work, published by the Smithsonian Institution, must be regarded as the highest authority, and those who desire to study the whole subject more in detail will find that work indispensable.


Careful study of what is shown in the many reports on these ancient remains seems plainly to authorize the conclusion that the Mound-Builders entered the country at the South, and began their settlements near the Gulf. Here they must have been very numerous, while their works at every point on the limit of their distribution, north, east, and west, indicate a much less numerous border population. Remains of their works have been traced through a great extent of country. They are found in West Virginia, and are spread through Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa to Nebraska. Lewis and Clarke

reported seeing them on the Missouri River, a thousand miles above its junction with the Mississippi; but this report has not been satisfactorily verified. They have been observed on the Kansas, Platte, and other remote Western rivers, it is said. They are found all over the intermediate and the more southern country, being most numerous in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Texas. This ancient race seems to have occupied nearly the whole basin of the Mississippi and its tributaries, with the fertile plains along the Gulf, and their settlements were continued across the Rio Grande into Mexico; but toward their eastern, northern, and western limit the population was evidently smaller, and their occupation of the territory less complete than in the Valley of the Ohio, and from that point down to the Gulf. No other united people previous to our time can be supposed to have occupied so large an extent of territory in this part of North America. It has heretofore been stated that remains of this people exist in Western New York, but a more intelligent and careful examination shows that the works in Western New York are not remains of the Mound-Builders. This is now the opinion of Mr. Squier, formed on personal investigation since the great work of Squier and Davis was published.


It is usual to rank the civilized life of the MoundBuilders much below that of the ancient people of Mexico and Central America. This may be correct, for the remains as they now exist appear to justify it. But if all the ancient stone-work in Central America, with its finely-carved inscriptions and wonderful decorations, had disappeared in the ages before Europeans visited this continent, the difference might not appear to be so great; for then the Central American remains, consisting only of earth-works, truncated pyramids, pyramidal foundations, and their connected works made of earth, would have a closer resemblance to works of the Mound-Builders, to those especially found on the lower Mississippi. On the other hand, if we now had in the Ohio and Mississippi Valleys remains of the more important edifices anciently constructed there, the Mound-Builders might be placed considerably higher in the scale of civilization than it has been customary to allow.

It can be seen, without long study of their works as we know them, that the Mound-Builders had a certain degree of civilization which raised them far above the condition of savages. To make such works possible under any circumstances, there must be settled life, with its accumulations and intelligently organized industry. Fixed habits of useful work, directed by intelligence, are what barbarous tribes lack most of all. A profound change in this respect is indispensable to the beginning of civilization in such tribes.

No savage tribe found here by Europeans could have undertaken such constructions as those of the MoundBuilders. The wild Indians found in North America lived rudely in tribes. They had only such organization as was required by their nomadic habits, and their methods of hunting and fighting. These barbarous Indians gave no sign of being capable of the systematic application to useful industry which promotes intelligence, elevates the condition of life, accumulates wealth, and undertakes great works. This condition of industry, of which the worn and decayed works of the Mound-Builders are unmistakable monuments, means civilization.

Albert Gallatin, who gave considerable attention to their remains, thought their works indicated not only “a dense agricultural population,” but also a state of society essentially different from that of the Iroquois and Algonquin Indians. He was sure that the people who established such settlements and built such works must have been “eminently agricultural.” No trace of their ordinary dwellings is left. These must have been constructed of perishable materials, which went to dust long before great forests had again covered most of the regions through which they were scattered. Doubtless their dwellings and other edifices were made of wood, and they must have been numerous. It is abundantly evident that there were large towns at such places as Newark, Circleville, and Marietta, in Ohio. Figures 11 and 12 give views of works on Paint Creek, Ohio.

Their agricultural products may have been similar to many of those found in Mexico; and it is not improb

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able that the barbarous Indians, who afterward occupied the country, learned from them the cultivation of maize. Their unity as a people, which is every where so manifest, must have been expressed in political organization, else it could not have been maintained.

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