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CONTENTS OF THE VOLUME.
On the Passage from one Continent to the other......... 123
On the Arts and the Science of the Indians............... 135
THE subject that is treated of in these pages engaged the attention of the Inhabitants of the United States but too late, to obtain that clear investigation which is necessary for a full understanding of any subject. References to it and statements of facts which afford us an early light, are found in some of the public prints, and in Letters and Travels previous to the year 1816, when a volume was published at Trenton, New Jersey, by the Rev. Dr. Elias Boudinot, which bears for its title, A Star in the West, or a humble attempt to discover the long lost Ten Tribes of Israel. He gives the following account of himself and of his work,
This subject has occupied the attention of the writer, at times, for more than forty years. He was led to the consideration of it, in the first instance, by a conversation with a very worthy and reverend clergyman of his acquaintance, who, having an independent fortune, undertook a journey, in company with a brother clergyman, who was desirous of attending him, into the wilderness between the Alleghany and Mississippi rivers, some time in or about the years 1765 or 6, before the white people
had settled beyond the Laurel Mountain. His desire was to meet with native Indians, who had never seen a white man, that he might satisfy his curiosity by knowing from the best source, what traditions the Indians yet preserved relative to their own history and origin. This, these gentlemen accomplished with great danger, risque and fatigue. On their return one of them related to the writer the information they had obtained, what they saw and what they heard.'
This raised in the writer's mind such an idea of some former connection between these aborigines of our land and the Jewish nation, as greatly to increase a desire for further information on so interesting and curious a subject.'
Soon after, reading (quite accidentally) the 13th chapter of the 2nd apochryphal book of Esdras, supposed to have been written about the year 100 of the Christian era, his ardour to know more of, and to seek further into the circumstances of these lost tribes, was in no wise diminished. He has not ceased since to improve every opportunity afforded him, by personal interviews with Indians, reading the best histories relating to them, and carefully examining our public agents resident among them, as to facts reported in the several histories, without letting them know his object; so as not only to gratify his curiosity, by obtaining all the knowledge relating to them in his power, but also to guard against inisrepresentation as to any account he might thereafter be tempted to give of them. His design at present is, if by the blessing of Almighty God his life, now far advanced, should be spared a little longer, to give some brief sketches of what he has learned in this important inquiry, lest the facts he has