Imágenes de páginas

1. “ As the nation hath its particular symbol, so each tribe, the badge from which it is denominated. The Sachem of each tribe is a necessary party in conveyances and treaties, to which he affixes the mark of his tribe. If we go from nation to nation among them, we shall not find one, who doth not lineally distinguish himself by his respective family. The genealogical names, which they assume, are derived either from the names of those animals whereof the Cherubim are said in revelation to be compounded, or from such creatures as are most similar to them. The Indians, however, bear no religious respect to the animals from whence they derive their name: on the contrary, they kill them when opportunity serves. When we consider that these savages have been above twenty centuries without the use of letters to carry down their traditions, it cannot reasonably be expected that they should still retain the identical names of their primogenial tribes: their main customs, corresponding with those of the Israelites, sufficiently clear the subject. Besides, as hath been hinted, they call some of their tribes by the names of the cherubinical figures that were carried on the four principal standards of Israel.

2. “ By a strict, permanent, divine precept, the Hebrew nation were ordered to worship, at Jerusalem, Jehovah the true and living God, who by the Indians is styled Yohewah; which the 72 interpreters, either from ignorance or superstition, have translated Adonai, the very same as the Greek Kyrios, signifying Sir, Lord, or Muster, which is commonly applied to earthly potentates, without the least signification or relation to that most great and awful name which describes the divine essence.

3. “ Agreeably to the theocracy or divine government of Israel, the Indians think the Deity to be the immediate head of their state. All the nations of Indians are exceedingly intoxicated with religious pride, and have an inexpressible contempt for the white people. They used to call us, in their war orations, the accursed people: but they flatter themselves with the name of the beloved people; because their supposed ancestors, as they affirm, were under the immediate government of the Deity, who was present with them in a very peculiar manner, and directed them by prophets, while the rest of the world were aliens and outlaws to the covenant. When the old Archimagus, or any one of their Magi, is persuading the people at their religious sclemnities to a strict observance of the old beloved or divine speech, he always calls them the beloved or holy people, agreeably to the Hebrew epithet Ammi, (my people, during the theocracy of Israel. It is their opinion of the theocracy, or that God chose them out of all the rest of mankind as his peculiar and beloved people, which alike animates both the white Jew and the red American with that steady hatred against all the world except themselves, and renders them hated or despised by all.

5. “ The Indian language and dialects appear to have the very idiom and genius of the Hebrew. Their words and sentences are

expressive, concise, emphatical, sonorous, and bold; and often, both in letters and signification, are synonymous with the Hebrew language.” Here follows a number of examples.

6. “ They count time after the manner of the Hebrews. They divide the year into spring, summer, autumn, and winter. They number their year from any of those four periods, for they have no name for a year; and they subdivide these, and count the year by lunar months, like the Israelites who counted by moons, as their name sufficiently testifies. The number and regular periods of the Indians' religious feasts is a good historical proof, that they counted time by, and observed, a weekly sabbath, long after their arrival on the Am: rican continent. They began the year at the first appearance of the first new moon of the vernal equinox, according to the ecclesiastical year of Moses. Till the 70 years captivity commenced, the Israelites had only numeral names for the solar and lunar months, except Abib and Ethanim: the former signifies a green ear of corn; and the latter robust or valiant: and by the first name the Indians, as an explicative, term their passover, which the trading people call the green corn dance.He then gives a specimen of the Hebrew manner of counting, in order to prove its similarity to that of the Indians.

7. “ In conformity to, or after the manner of the Jews, the Indian Americans have their prophets, high-priests, and others of a religious order. As the Jews had a sanctum sanctorum, so have all the Indian nations. There they deposite their consecrated vessels;- none of the laity daring to approach that sacred place. The Indian tradition says, that their forefathers were possessed of an extraordinary divine spirit, by which they foretold things future, and controlled the common course of nature: and this they transmitted to their offspring, provided they obeyed the sacred laws annexed to it. Ishtoallo is the name of all their priestly order; and their pontifical office descends by inheritance to the eldest. There are some traces of agreement, though chiefly lost, in their pontifical dress. Before the Indian Archimagus officiates in making the supposed holy fire for the yeariy atonement of sin, the Sagan clothes him with a white ephod, which is a waistcoat without sleeves. In resemblance of the Urim and Thummim, the American Archimagus wears a breastplate made of a white conch-shell with two holes bored in the middle of it, through which he puts the ends of an otter-skin strap, and fastens a buck-horn white button to the outside of each, as if in imitation of the precious stones of the Urim.”

Upon this statement, (says Faber,) I may observe, that Ishtoallo may perhaps be a corruption of Ish-da-Eloan, a man of God; (See 2 Kings iv. 21, 22, 25, 27, 40, et alibi;) and that Sagan is the very name, by which the Hebrews called the deputy of the High-Priest, who supplied his office, and who performed the functions of it, in the absence of the High-Priest, or when any accident had disabled him from officiating in person. (See Calmet's Dict. Vox Sagan.)

8. “ The ceremonies of the Indians in their religious worship are more after the Mosaick institution, than of pagan imitation; which could not be, if the majority of the old nation were of heathenish descent. They are utter strangers to all the gestures practised by the pagans in their religious rites. They have another appellative, which with them is the mysterious essential name of God; the tetragrammaton, or great four-lettered name, which they never name in common speech: of the time, and place, when, and

where, they mention it, they are very particular, and always with ka solemn air. It is well known what sacred regard the Jews had

to the four-lettered divine name, so as scarcely ever to mention it, but once a year, when the High-Priest went into the sanctuary at the expiation of sins. Might not the Indians copy from them this sacred invocation Yo-Hc-Wah? Their method of invoking God in a solemn hymn with that reverential deportment, and spending a

full breath on each of the two first syllables of the awful divine • name, hath a surprising analogy to the Jewish custom, and such tas no other nation or people, even with the advantage of written

records, have retained. It may be worthy of notice, that they never prostrate themselves, nor bow their bodies to each other, by way of salute or homage, though usual with the eastern nations; except when they are making, or renewing peace with strangers, who come in the name of Yah." After speaking of their sacred adjuration by the great and awful name of God, he says: “ When we consider, that the period of the adjurations, according to their idiom, only asks a question, and that the religious waiters say Yah with a profound reverence in a bowing posture of body immediately before they invoke Yo-He-Wah; the one reflects so much light upon the other, as to convince me that the Hebrews both invoked and pronounced the divine tetragrammaton Yo-He-Wah, and adjured their witnesses to give true evidence on certain occasions according to the Indian usage: otherwise, how could they possibly, wa savage state, have a custom so nice and strong pointing to a

anclard of religious caution? It seems exactly to coincide with the conduct of the Hebrew witnesses even now, on the like religlous occasions." According to Mr. Adair, the American Indians naye, like the Hebrews, a sacred ark, in which are kept various y vessels. “It is highly worthy of notice, that they never place

Ik on the ground, nor sit on the bare earth while they are

ying it against the enemy. On hilly ground where stones are 2 prenty, they place it on them; but, in a level land, upon short logs,

ays resting themselves on the like materials. They have also long a faith of the power and holiness of their ark, as ever aelites retained of theirs. The Indian ark is deemed so and dangerous to be touched, either by their own sanctified

rs, or the spoiling enemy, that they dare not touch it upon I while count. It is not to be meddled with by any, except the

and his waiter, under penalty of incurring great evil: nor most inveterate enemy touch it, for the same rcason.

sacred and dangerous to Warriours, or the spo

I chieftain and his

would the most invetera

The leader virtually acts the part of a priest of war pro-tempore, in imitation of the Israelites fighting under the divine military banner. As religion is the touchstone of every nation of people; and as these Indians cannot be supposed to have been deluded out of theirs, separated from the rest of the world for many long forgotten ages, the traces, which may be discerned among them, will heip to corroborate the other arguments concerning their origin." Among their other religious rites, they cut out the sinewy part of the thigh. This custom Mr. Adair supposes to be commemora. tive of the angel wrestling with Jacob. Gen. xxxii. 32.

12. “ Eagles of every kind they esteem unclean food; likewise ravens, crows, bats, buzzards, swallows, and every species of owl. They believe, that swallowing flies, gnats, and the like, always breeds sickness. To this that divine sarcasm alludes, “ swallowing a camil and straining at a gnat.Their purifications for their priests, and for having touched a dead body or other unclean things, are, according to Mr. Adair, quite Levitical. He acknowledges, however, that they have no traces of circumcision; but thinks that they lost this rite in their wanderings, as it ceased during the 40 years in the wilderness.

15. “ The Israelites had cities of refuge for those who killed a person unawares. According to the same particular divine law of mercy, each of these Indian nations has either a house or town of refuge, which is a sure asylum to protect a man-slayer, or the unfortunate captive, if they can once enter into it. In almost every Indian nation there are several peaceable towns, called old beloved, ancient, holy, or white towns. They seem to have been formerly . towns of refuge: for it is not in the memory of their oldest people that ever human blood was shed in them, although they often force persons from thence and put them to death elsewhere. · 16. Before the Indians go to war, they have many preparatory ceremonies of purification and fasting, like what is recorded of the Israelites.

21. 6 The surviving brother, by the Mosaick law, was to raise seed to a deceased brother, who left a widow childless. The Indian custom looks the very same way: yet it is in this, as in their law of blood, the eldest brother can redeem.

23. “ Although other resemblances of the Indian rites and cus. toms to those of the Hebrews might be pointed out, not to seem tedious, I proceed to the last argument of the origin of the Indian Americans, which shall be from their own traditions, from the accounts of our English writers, and from the testimonies which the Spanish writers have given concerning the primitive inhabitants of Peru and Mexico.

“ The Indian tradition says, that their forefathers in very remote ages came from a far distant country, where all the people were of one colour; and that, in process of time, they moved eastward to their present settlements. So that what some of our writers have asserted, is not just, who say the Indians affirm, that there

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were originally three different tribes in those countries.” Here Mr. Adair gives a fabulous story. “ This story sprung from the innovating superstitious ignorance of the popish priests to the south-west of us. Our own Indian tradition is literal and not allegorical; and ought to be received, because persons who have been long separated from the rest of mankind must know their own traditions the best, and could not be deceived in so material and frequently repeated an event. Though they have been disjoined through different interests time immemorial, yet; (the rambling tribes of northern Indians excepted, they aver that they came over the Missisippi from the westward, before they arrived at their present settiements. This we see verified by the western old towns they have left behind them, and by the situation of their old beloved towns or places of refuge, lying about a west course from each different nation. Such places in Judea were chiefly built in the most remote parts of the country; and the Indians deem those only as beloved towns where they first settled. This tradition is corroborated by a current report of the old Chikkasah Indians to our traders, that about 40 years since," (this was written in the year 1775,) “ there came from Mexico some of the old Chikkasah dation in quest of their brethren, as far north as the Aquakpah nation, about 130 miles above the Natchee's old towns on the south side of the Missisippi; but, through French policy, they were either killed or sent back, so as to prevent their opening a brotherly intercourse, as they had proposed. And it is worthy of notice, that the Muskohgeh cave, out of which one of their politicians persuaded them that their ancestors formerly ascended to their present terrestrial abode, lies in the Nanne Hamgeh old town, inhabited by the Missisippi Natchee Indians, which is one of the most western parts of their old inhabited country. The old waste towns of the Chikkasah lie to the west and south-west, from whence they have migrated since the time we first opened a trade with them; on which course they formerly went to war over the Missisippi, because they knew it best, and had disputes with the natives of those parts, when they first came from thence. Wisdom directed them to connive at some injuries on account of their itinerant camp of women and children: for their tradition says, it consisted of 10,000 men, besides women and children, when they came from the west and passed over the Missisippi. The fine breed of running wood horses, which they brought with them, were the present Mexican or Spanish barbs. They also aver, that their ancestors cut off and despoiled the greatest part of a caravan loaded with gold and silver: but the carriage of it proved so troublesome to them, that they threw it into a river, where it could not benefit the enemy.

“ Ancient history is quite silent concerning America, which indicates, that it has been, time immemorial, rent asunder from the African continent, according to Plato's Timeus. The north-east parts of Asia were also undiscovered till of late. Many geogra

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