« AnteriorContinuar »
of many of their stupendous Works, now in ruins.
CONJECTURES CONCERNING WHAT MAY HAVE
BECOME OF THEM.
FROM TRAVELS, AUTHENTIC SOURCES, AND THE RESEARCHES
BY JOSIAH PRIEST.
Third Edition Revised.
PRINTED BY HOFFMAN AND WHITE,
No. 71, State-Street
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW-YORK, To wit :
BE IT REMEMBERED, that on the twenty-first day of March, Anno Domini, 1833, JOSIAH PRIEST, of the said district, hath deposited in this office a book, the title of which is in the words following, to wit: “ American Antiquities, and Discoveries in the West : Being an exhibition of the evidence that an ancient Po
pulation of partially civilized Nations, differing entirely from those of the present Indians, peopled America, many centuries before its discovery by Columbus. And Inquiries into their Origin, with a copious description of many of their stupendous works, now in ruins. With Conjectures concerning what may have become of them. Compiled from travels, authentic sources, and the Researches of Antiquarian Societies. By JOSIAH PRIEST.” The right whereof he claims as author and proprietor-In conformity with an Act of Congress, entitled An Act to amend the several Acts respecting Copy Rights.
RUTGER B. MILLER, Clerk U. S. D. C. N. D. N. Y.
The volume now laid before the public, is submitted with the pleasing hope that it will not be unacceptable, although the subject of the Antiquities of America is every where surrounded with its mysteries ; on which account, we have been compelled to wander widely in the field of conjecture, from which it is not impossible but we may have gathered and presented some original and novel opinions.
We have felt that we are bound by the nature of the subject, to treat wholly on those matters which relate to ages preceding the discovery of America by Columbus ; as we apprehend no subject connected with the history of the continent since, can be entitled to the appellation of ANTIQUITIES of America.
If we may be permitted to judge from the liberal subscription this work has met with, notwithstanding the universal prejudice against subscribing for books, we should draw the conclusion, that this curious subject, has not its only admirers within the pales of Antiquarian Societies.
If it is pleasing as well as useful to know the history of one's country, if to feel a rising interest as its beginnings are unfolded ; its sufferings, its wars, its struggles, and its victories, delineated ; why not also, when the story of its antiquities, though of a graver and more majestic nature, are attempted to be rehearsed.
The traits of the antiquities of the old world are every where shown by the fragments of dilapidated cities, pyramids of stone, and walls of wondrous length ; but here are the wrecks of empire, whose beginnings it would seem, are older than
any of these, which are the mounds and works of the west, towering aloft as if their builders were preparing against another flood.
We have undertaken to elicit arguments, from what we suppose evidence, that the first inhabitants who peopled America, came on by land, at certain places, where it is supposed once to have been united with Asia, Europe, and Africa, but has been torn asunder by the force of earthquakes, and the irruptions of the waters, so that what animals had not passed over before this great physical rupture, were for ever excluded ; but not so with men, as they could resort to the use of boats.