By Bela Hubbard 1887 .... "Are they here-The dead of other days?-.... Let the mighty mounds That overlook the rivers, or that rise In the dim forest, crowded with old oaks, Answer. A race, that long has passed away, Built them;--a disciplined and populous race Heap'd, with long toil, the earth, while yet the Greek Was hewing the Pentelicus to forms Of symmetry, and rearing on its rock The glittering Parthenon. These ample fields Nourish'd their harvests." Bryant. Part I. General Character and Distribution of the Works Few works of a pre-historic people comparable to those found in Ohio, and elsewhere to the southward, occur in Michigan. Some scattered earthworks are found, of whose origin and uses the tribes of Indians living here at the first advent of the white man had no knowledge. They are of far less extent than those of Ohio, and indicate a people of different customs. Circular earthworks occur here and there, but they are of small size, and referable to a different purpose from the large circle-mounds of the Ohio. There are no truncated mounds, such as those found further south, and supposed to have constituted foundations or terraces for the dwellings of chiefs, or for religious edifices. No long earth-built ways, connecting the larger circles or squares, occur in Michigan. Nor are there any defensive works on so grand a scale as those in the Ohio Valley.


A few earth-mounds occur, some of which may be referred to a defensive purpose. One of these is found--or was found, for the desolating plough has reigned rampant over it for the last thirty years--on the Clinton River, in Macomb County, and is thus described to me by Mr. J. E. Day, of Romeo. It lay between the north branch of Clinton River and a small spring tributary, and was about twenty rods distant from either stream, and on a plateau elevated fifteen feet above. It consisted of a nearly circular embankment four to five feet high, and enclosed about three acres. The diameters were 350 and 400 feet respectively. On the outer side was a wide ditch. There were three openings or gateways, each twenty feet wide, and protected within by a mound so placed as to shut off from without all view of the interior. A small lake within the enclosure supplied water to the garrison. Between this "fort" and the smaller stream were a large number of tumuli, in an irregular cluster, each of which contained a single skeleton. A little below the junction of this stream with the Clinton was a very large tumulus, surrounded by seven smaller ones in a circle. In situation and general character this work bears considerable analogy to the defensive works of Northern Ohio. The embankment may have been crowned with palisades, and the interior mounds may have served for observation, as well as defence, to a village within the circle. A large amount of broken pottery and other relics found in the vicinity seems to indicate a once numerous population. Nothing is known which would indicate a religious purpose, analogous to the so-called "sacred enclosures" of Ohio. In all the north-western portion of this county, extensive fields or gardens, in which the cultivation was in drills or rows, may still be distinctly traced. Near the mouth of this river occurs another similar work, and of apparently a like defensive character. Mr. Henry Little, in one of several papers on the Mounds, published in the Kalamazoo Telegraph in 1874, mentions an ancient work in Gilead, Branch County, which may with some probability be classed as defensive. "It was an earth embankment, one end starting from the waters of a small lake, the other end coming around to the lake at a point considerably distant from the first. It enclosed an excellent spring of water." He also describes an earthwork of this kind, and much more extensive, at Three Rivers, in St. Joseph County. "The Rocky River from the north, and Portage Creek from the north-east, unite their waters with the St. Joseph, but a few rods distant from each other, forming a tract of land in


the shape of the letter V. About a mile north of this junction was an artificial earth embankment, about six feet high, stretching across the plain, from Rocky River to the Portage." This plain is elevated many feet above these streams, and with this triple defence a beleaguered army might here sustain itself with considerable confidence against the warfare of savage foes. This defensive work has a peculiar interest, from its vicinity to those remarkable evidences of ancient labor, skill and taste, denominated the "garden beds," of which a description is given elsewhere. Blois, in his Gazetteer, alludes to "forts of the square or rectangular kind," one of which "is said to be one or two miles below Marshall, one in town of Prairie-Ronde, and several on the Kalamazoo." It is to be regretted that no traces now remain of these structures. On the banks of the St. Joseph River I remember to have seen, in 1837, a circular embankment of unknown origin. It was of small size, and so well defined that I could not pass it unnoticed. My recollection, however, does not enable me to give any very definite description. Mr. Little, in the papers above referred to, mentions an antique work of very unusual form. Describing a tumulus on Climax Prairie, he adds. "South of the mound and in the edge of the timber, on the highest part of a hill or eminence, there was an excavated ring, which formed the whole of a perfect circle, and enclosed one and a half acres. The excavated hollow was about one rod wide at the bottom and between 2 and 3 feet deep. When first discovered, forty years ago, it was overgrown with large forest trees." Circles of this kind are very rare. Some have been found in Ohio, and I remember seeing in Wisconsin an animal form made in intaglio, instead of relief. The ring described by Mr. Little could not have had a military purpose, or pains would not have been taken to remove the earth, which, if thrown up as an embankment, would have assisted such an object. A circular embankment occurs at Springwells, just below Fort Wayne. Of this I shall give a detailed description on a future page. Some of the works above alluded to have a similar character to those small earthworks found in the vicinity of Lake Erie, on its south side, and extending into New York, which have been surveyed and described by Col. Charles Whittlesey. These consist of embankments with outer ditches, and are built across the necks of the uplands between ravines, thus aiding to render a small piece of land easily defended. Their purpose as works of defense cannot be mistaken.


This was found to be wholly composed of the richest portions of the surrounding alluvial soil. It lies in the shadow of the ancient. which is overflowed in high water to the foot of the mounds. Many of these were in use by the Indian tribes inhabiting the country at its discovery and settlement by the whites. I will content myself with alluding to a few only of special interest. 4 . No relics were disclosed. without regular arrangement. They are in a line about 100 feet apart. and varying in height from eight to two feet. This great emergency may have arisen when those barbarous hordes. untrimmed forest. It is probable they were temporary refuges. like those who made the garden beds. hastily erected against some sudden inroad. The largest of these mounds has a diameter of 100 feet. This group occupies the first terrace. or with any plan or system. and some continued to be used for their ancient purposes for a long time afterward. and there were evidences of still older ones which have perished. single and grouped. consisting principally of sugar maples. turned their victorious arms upon the northern race of peaceful cultivators. Possibly they were the last refuge of an agricultural people. and 500 feet from the river. three miles south of Grand Rapids. unconnected with each other. They were still perfect when the writer had the satisfaction of seeing them in 1874. like those series of forts which are found in Ohio and which serve for the protection of a large district. Tumuli or burial mounds. Of other kinds of relics of a past race Michigan has more abundant examples.These are all isolated instances of comparatively small defensive works. differing in this respect from the others. Trees were growing on the mounds of two to three feet diameter. Seven of these tumuli were opened during the year preceding my visit. which were composed of the gravel of the uplands. elsewhere. and a height of 15 feet or more above the general surface. By far the finest group of mounds that has come to my knowledge occurs on the banks of Grand River. All are within an area of two and a half acres. by captain Coffinbury and others. As I propose to describe with some particularity those which occur in the immediate vicinity of Detroit. Around them cluster seventeen smaller tumuli. who occasioned the final destruction or dispersion of the Mound-Builders of Ohio. Close by are two others of nearly equal size. and among them one of the largest. all very regular in shape and conical. are very common in all parts of the peninsula.

strongly put together. In 1837. and all were so decayed that it was impossible to preserve them. Besides the usual variety of stone arrow. and who buried him there a century before the date of the white settlement. except one. He was placed in a sitting posture. the proportions "indicating a stature of seven feet. It was found by the first whites who settled there in 1826. quite smooth and perfect. He was still held in such estimation that thousands of his tribe came annually to pay their tribute of respect at his grave. No attempt had been made at 5 . mingled with comminuted bone." All were in a sitting posture. together with ashes. six were opened. as though dumped from a basket. I saw on the summit of a lofty bluff overlooking the river Kalamazoo. which is pronounced gigantic. several stone pipes and marine shells were also found. In all skeletons were found. were several copper needles.except a copper awl. They were of ordinary size. Patches of ochreous earth were met with. While certain tribes of the red man in historic times are known to have made frequent use for intrusive burial of mounds which they found in the land.and spear-heads. and a copper axe. the grave of the renowned chief. and tradition asserted that it enshrined the remains of a celebrated chief of the Pottawatomies who formerly occupied that part of the country. with its silent surroundings. and near the village. Wacousta. a tumulus of considerable size. The spot occupied by this interesting group of tumuli. These will be alluded to hereafter. lovely in its seclusion and grand with its overshadowing foliage. and faced to different points. and the red earth. generally one only in each. would imply that this mound was appropriated to such bodies only as were cremated. it is the general opinion that the era of their original fabrication belongs to a more remote past. S. eight inches long by four wide. many years ago. a bushel in a place. and one-fourth inch thick. in 1841. until the remnant were moved by the U. We can certainly point to an exception in this State. who combined with the savage life such a sympathetic love of nature. On the beautiful prairie of White Pigeon. Four handsome pots constituted the most interesting discovery. impressed my mind strongly with the poetical character of that race. I saw. and the body surrounded with a crib of logs. With the bones were many relics. Of the smaller mounds. A different mode of entombing their great men was practised by the Indians inhabiting Western Michigan. Government to Kansas. the lowest mound yielding the richest harvest. in the early part of this century. The absence of skeletons in this tumulus. and entirely above ground.

and the discovery of the skeleton serves to confirm his opinion. and more than a mile distant from the group of earth-mounds elsewhere mentioned. and threw its roots over the sides of the pile. and further south." One of these stone-mounds was opened forty years ago. They were entirely alone. 6 . of Rome. Among the mounds of the Mississippi Valley."--a custom which I shall notice presently. The stones were nicely placed. are occasionally found some built of stones. An instance of a similar construction is reported to me by Mr. The stones being removed. and even his tomb tells but an uncertain story of his former being. But these places know him no more. Day. The earth-tumuli in Michigan are nearly always found in some picturesque situation." Piles of stone are mentioned by Mr. nicely piled up to a height of four to five feet. Mr. and had been preserved in shape by a tree which grew on the summit. his people have long ago departed. like a hay-cock. often on some promontory that commanded a lengthened prospect of the Indian's natural highway. Possibly this disposition may have been but temporary. until the time should arrive for a general inhumation or "Feast of the dead. and which was probably his favorite resort while living. after the flesh had decomposed. But. with a view to removal of the bones. to some general resting-place of the nation. on or near the banks of the larger streams. associated with the ancient remains in Macomb County. Day is certain that the stone piles mentioned by him were for a different purpose. his history is lost to tradition. although ancient fields exist near. He says: "In several places in this vicinity were found mounds made of stones. "It was four feet in height and placed in a circular excavation of two feet depth by four feet diameter. and supposed by him to have been gathered by the ancient race for the purpose of clearing the land for cultivation. Schoolcraft as existing on the Island of Mackinac. portions of a human skeleton were exhumed.raising an earth mound. The skeleton was entire and still partially enveloped in its integuments. that the stones were heaped about the body for protection. My own theory is.

The elasticity of these ancient relics. might seem to refer them to a lower type."Perhaps on banks of many a stream. by cranium and other measurements. And down through generations run. well illustrates the desolation which has fallen upon the race. unless the bones of the occupants have perished through time. is truly wonderful. that they closely resembled the historic races. but as he was entirely of gypsum it was quite easy to 7 .-Save this rude mound. Gillman in the mounds at Springwells. According to some accounts. and little regard seems to have been paid to the direction in which the face is turned. And yet the spot no sign disclose. Tribes may have lived from sire to son. measured eleven feet. so far as relates to the aboriginal Wolverines. Original burials seem to have been made at or below the natural surface. So unscientific has been the usual mode of unearthing these tombs. And broke through Nature's wild repose. the skeletons indicate a race of very inferior size. it is impossible to determine from the reports whether the skeletons found belong to original or intrusive burials. twenty years before. that the information they convey to us of the character of the ancient occupants. Amid the diversity of statement as to reported and actual finds." a poem by our distinguished townsman. I think the conclusion may be drawn." These lines from "Ontwa. whose sole monuments are mounds of earth. The tumuli are monuments to the dead as well as graves. Sloping beneath the day's warm beam. When mounds are opened in most cases. although several very prognathous skulls and the "flattest tibia on record. or from cremation. It is almost certain that one or more human skeletons will be found entombed. and the skull of which fitted entirely over the judicial head! The Cardiff Giant was a few inches longer than this. eight and three-quarter inches. Henry Whiting. On one occasion I accompanied an old pioneer and worthy Judge to visit several mounds in Western Michigan. and the bodies are found both in horizontal and sitting postures. to suit the zeal of the narrator. he had dug from one of these mounds a skeleton which. Laying their bones within the mound Where all their gathered sires were found." found by Mr. according to others. is far less definite and certain than could be desired. My guide gravely informed me that. H.--that ever there The hum of men had filled the air. the late Col. they show a race of giants. when laid out upon the turf.

for drinking-cups. Some of these must have come from the Atlantic of the Gulf. The other three differed in this. it is a little singular that so few tools of copper have been found. Finds of this kind in Wisconsin have far exceeded those from our soils. In connection with the copper axe mentioned as among the finds in the mounds at Grand Rapids. but too much decayed for preservation. Some of the pots are at least fully equal to those of the bronze period in Europe. arrow-heads and spear-points. Several copper axes from mounds in Iowa were found wrapped in a similar covering. The Pacific coast shells had evidently served the pupose of vessels. On each side were ornaments of similar design. Possibly a microscopic examination may prove that the Grand Rapids tool was similarly encased. While the Michigan mounds contain the usual complement of stone axes. In pottery our mounds are quiet rich. one had a rim around the neck. from which the vessel. which Dr. after a slight curve inwards. very accurately modelled and deeply impressed. 8 . Among the relics found in the Grand Rapids mounds--and by no means uncommon in other tumuli--are marine shells. The four pots mentioned as disinterred at Grand Rapids were of very regular form. with knives and other implements of chert. Farquharson pronounces to be cloth. and probably system of barter and exchange. the whole effect being quite tasteful. Shells similarly prepared were in use by the Southern Indians in the time of De Soto. that the bowl--round bottomed in all-was divided into four equal bulges. than among the dwellers west of Lake Michigan. in inch wide. the whorls being cut out and holes made for hanging.fabricate any proportions which the gullibility of the public could swallow. Strong to be from the Pacific. on the part of the ancient inhabitants of our peninsula. was some substance having the appearance of cloth. as horns were used by our Saxon ancestors. practised by the unknown peoples. and this would seem to indicate less acquaintance with the copper quarries of Lake Superior. These were made more sharply protuberant by a smooth band. surrounding each. while one is pronounced by Prof. They are interesting as showing the extended intercourse. showing both advance in the art of weaving and some especial reverence or consideration for the metal implement. The surface otherwise was covered with small indentations. A smooth band encircled the neck. and the rim was adorned with cross-lines or hatching. swelled into a bowl of uniform bulge.

with a flaring brim. and on the inside was black throughout. quite distinct from the remainder. and entire. lay a pot or urn. The art of the potter is so ancient and universal. Unfortunately this unique vase. in a determination of the advance in culture of the people by whom they were fabricated. Straight or zigzag lines occur on the coarsest specimens. crumbled to pieces. and presented to the Archæological Museum at Cambridge. in the mounds at Springwells and elsewhere. These vases were purchased by Mr. and an eye and hand capable of giving finish to articles of admirable form. and the character and forms of the utensils made of baked clay are so important. found usually in fragments. It resembled the smaller half end of an egg-shell. than to any other of the ordinary relics. combined with great lightness. symmetry and lightness. Gillman. that more interest attaches to the remains of a perished race which show the state of the ceramic art among them. and about a foot in height. and had a capacity of twelve to fifteen gallons. and of the capacity of one or two gallons. The pots found by Blois in the mound opened by him at Springwells in 1839 were generally too much broken to determine their shapes. Below this the body swelled into a graceful curve. rounded at the base into a gourd form. Springwells. scarcely less perfect than if constructed on a potter's wheel. largely mixed with pounded stone. The fineness of the texture. Two of these were uncommonly fine specimens. The composition and general character are much the same. of which three only were obtained entire. was admirable. It was ornamented with figures of various kinds. They appeared to be in the form of a half egg. with a collar. On the exterior was a thin coating of reddish clay. of two inches breadth. But curved forms and figures are more pleasing to the cultivated eye. below the rim. and imply a degree of æsthetic advancement. By the side of each of the numerous skeletons found in what is known as the Carsten Mound. in good preservation. The neck was about five inches wide. which contained much mica. Mass. they were smooth on the inside but marked on the exterior with various fantastic figures.Among the finds in Macomb County was a dish of an unusual size and form. abruptly contracted toward the mouth. The composition was clay. By some process differing from and less effective 9 . The above describes but a few specimens of the many pots. The specimens from the Michigan mounds show a taste to appreciate. on exposure. and may betoken the first advance from the rudest savage ideas.

and Adair suggests that the black color was owing to the smoke of the pitch pine used in the fires. at least. the manufacture of stone implements. that these pots were an importation from the South. The fact that in the better kinds of pottery found in the Northern mounds exactly the same materials combine. even in modern times. between the widely separated portions of the continent. etc. THE MOUND-BUILDERS IN MICHIGAN Part II. and the inner surfaces are often quite smooth and fine. may therefore warrant the conclusion that they were importations. sea-shells. in the immediate vicinity. They had villages strongly defended by stockades. the Indians of the Southern States. It was hardly possible to dig a cellar or level a hillock without throwing out some memorial of the red races. because the fact of the considerable degree of settled and civilized habits attained by the Indian tribes of that day serves to throw some light upon those pre-historic antiquities whose origin and purposes are involved in so much obscurity. and it conveys an enlarged idea of the extent of the traffic which existed in these ancient times. Pottawatomies and Ottawas. It is possible. for purpose of sale and barter. ancient and modern. Mingled 10 . being noted for the excellence and variety of their pottery. This supposition. When I came to Detroit. Indian Antiquities at Springwells During the early French occupation of Detroit several Indian nations had settlements on the river banks.--colored clays. shows. an imperfect glazing was obtained. though it seems hardly probable. Conspicuous were the Hurons. These incidents of history are recalled. and that such articles were transported all over the country.. and it is known that. Old kilns have been found in Georgia. arrow-points. many evidences were still extent of the old aboriginal occupation. in 1835. The sea-shells tell the same story. was confined to a few skilled persons.than the modern. while it deprives the Northern Mound-Builders of the credit due to such skilful artisans. That country furnished all the material desired. that the Northern peoples had the good taste to appreciate these beautiful and useful articles. They raised corn and many vegetables. and micaceous rocks. and the general resemblance of the ornamentation. in large quantities.

A group of these existed on the river front of the Reeder farm. But more interesting memorials of a traditionary race were then extant. Of several skull thus obtained and in my possession. Thus does the remote past outlive the present. though injured by pilferers of Indian relics. The colors are strong and penetrate the entire bone. and for clay used in the manufacture of brick. within the grounds of the United States reservation. then covered with forest. Allusion has already been made to tumuli at Springwells. Just below the copper works the bank was very bold. while the implements of the civilized race are nearly perished with rust. and my conjecture is. It was then about ten feet in height. but it is not possible that these pigments. fresh and imperishable! To unearth a human skeleton was a common occurrence. laid upon the skin. The old alone is ever new. It did not exceed six feet in height. On this bank were two mounds of conical form. broken pottery. on a line with the forehead. that the stain is a deposit from the oxidation of a copper band. "in one red burial blent. A close examination reveals the presence of a belt of color. and other memorials of the savage--rude as were the artificers--are perfect as in the day when they left the hands that made them. extending around the head. In striking relationship with the emblems of savage warfare it was not uncommon to find.with their half-decayed bones were pipes and other utensils of stone. placed about the temples. Large excavations were in progress for gravel." gun-barrels. with a base diameter of forty feet. It was the custom among some tribes to paint the face of the dead with his war-colors. These encroachments had destroyed one of the tumuli. and the whole have since disappeared. They were thrown out by spade and plough. sword-blades and cannon balls. Several rods below was a smaller tumulus in a field. ornaments of silver and copper. the arrow and tomahawk of the savage. wampum-beads of curious workmanship. one is deserving of particular mention. should have penetrated the bone. from the fact that it is stained through with permanent colors of red and green. and is still in good preservation. But arrow-and spear-head. 11 . for the extent of an acre. mementos of the place-faced warriors who strove on the same battlefields. stone knives and arrow-points. of which one still existed at the time of my first visit. were thickly strewn bones and broken pottery. mingled with shell beads. and elevated about thirty feet above the water. On and around this spot. and sometimes were seen protruding from the soil where the action of the waves had broken into the land. and the figured cross of the missionary.

" Arrow-heads. lying in different parts of the mound." Great numbers of beads. holding some two or three gallons. but which colored red any object to which it was applied. wrought and unwrought. The vessels were of the capacity of one or two gallons." published by John T. Only the long bones and parts of the ribs and crania remained undecayed. three inches thick. in the attitude of a person preparing to drink. The soil. Some had been strung. "No metal was discovered. like that of the surrounding country. The most remarkable feature of this find is the presence of an oxide of iron. which has much interest. pieces of hornstone and quartz. the skull unusually thick. was unknown to that early race. were found. was penetrated. was sand. others lay upon different parts of the body. It suggests a very difficult subject of inquiry. The excavation was commenced on the top. but the oxide or rust of iron was traced in the shape of a vessel. which proved it to have been of iron. "The general contour of the cranium was different from what is commonly noticed in the present Indian races. and the hands supporting an earthen vessel. of the rudest kind. the body a little inclined backwards. then are we in conflict with the apparently well founded opinion that the art of smelting metals. and made of similar shell. and continued a depth of four feet below the base. white marine shell. The mouth large and broad. Each appeared to have been interred in a kneeling or sitting posture. is given an account of the opening of one of these mounds two years. before. It was judged that the stature of none exceeded five feet six inches. The head was invariably turned toward the north. were beside them. with deposits of the usual utensils and implements. but it exhibited a mixture of decomposed animal matter. in 1839. for if these bodies really belonged to the prehistoric race. and six were found enclosed in the mouth. supposed to represent a vessel of that metal. the volume of the brain quite small. the forehead exceedingly low and receding. Immediately below this were found six human skeletons. but some forming very sharp cutting implements. Iron is very 12 . Blois. the face wide and short. About one foot from the base a stratum of charcoal. The first few feet revealed many human skeletons. laid in a promiscuous manner. By the side of one was found the remains of an uncommonly large. in cylindrical form.In a "Gazetteer of the State of Michigan. and with each were several pounds of a friable earth. some of which had evidently undergone calcination. either iron or copper. as every other circumstance would imply. and occasional fragments of bone. resembling Spanish brown.

Sioux. long before human bones deposited at that remote era would have crumbled away. in order that he might lose sight of friends who would have otherwise attracted him to stay too long. Ransom. and sometimes indicated that a warrior was laid in his grave. and were even preserved frozen during the winter. and yet the circumstance seems to him incredible. after covering the body with sand brought from the neighboring bank. he confirms his statement made in 1839. It was done to drive the evil spirit off. Here they held their war and medicine dances." 13 . frequently all night long. regarding the supposed iron vessel. and made night hideous with their discordant yells. beaten with unvarying stroke. General Cass said that bodies were brought here from great distances. Tawas and other tribes congregated at this favorite spot. H. He says he had "broken one side of the top before he noticed anything peculiar.perishable. and the rivers and lakes of the western forests. the friends of the dead man went into the river and waded about in zigzag course for some time. but there was not sufficient strength in it to hold together. Witherell. As a ghost cannot cross water. he adds. The Hon. The story of the use of these mounds by the native tribes to a quite recent date. Wyandots. Pottawatomies. Menominees. Blois written me in 1877. that the spirit might not be able to follow the tracks in the sand. In a letter from Mr. in a paper read in 1858 before the Historical Society of Michigan. the shores of Lake Superior. At different times the Sacs. to receive from the Indian agent at Malden the annuities so liberally furnished them by the British Government. "They scooped out a shallow grave in the centre of the top. Foxes. He then scraped the sand from the hollow interior. in order that they might be interred in these favorite mausolea. "This sand hill was a favorite camping-ground with all the Western tribes in their annual migration from their far off homes on the banks of the Mississippi. Their music was the monotonous sound of the rude drum. F. the soul of the deceased lingered for several days. until the spirit had departed on its long journey. stated. the above plan was resorted to. Winnebagoes. unwilling to quit his earthy belongings. that in his childhood he had seen the children of the wilderness deposit the remains of their departed friends in the bosom of one of these mounds. Chippewas." According to a common superstition. H. for intrusive burial. The object of this custom was. by the recollection of Mr. and probably this artifice was required to compel him to set forth on hi spirit travel. was certainly that of indurated oxide of iron. B. and would probably be wholly consumed by rust. Iowas. who was present. and." The appearance. is very interesting.

as late as the second year of my residence in Springwells. The longest axis is 320 feet. The ditch from which the earth was taken is about eight feet wide. Carstens. They were of milk-white quartz. and consisted of drift gravel. toward the river. the shortest 250 feet. as though this had been a matter of indifference. About half a mile below the group of Springwells tumuli already mentioned. 14 . but no vestige of iron. and about 100 feet distant. but in some places on the inner side. and beside the head of each was an earthen crock. about 7 inches long by 3 wide. J. which was only three or four feet high. Until recently it was not known that any portion of these was artificial. The general level of the land in the vicinity of Detroit is varied. These elevated places were often chosen by the natives for sepulchral purposes. 50 feet wide. and I have seen the river alive with canoes of these various tribes. is a small circular earthwork. It consists of a low embankment. interred in these deep graces before the tumulus. at different epochs. is an opening or gateway. The bodies were found at a depth of six or seven feet from this original surface. At the south end. The latter is about twelve feet wide at base. enclosing about one and a half acres. of the kind alluded to at the beginning of these observations upon the Indian antiquities of Michigan. which were quite perfect.This practice on the part of the British Government was continued down to 1836. of course. In the year 1870. They mark the shores or water-lines of the ancient lake or ocean. and were. were the vases described in a former page. of an oval form.H. over a considerable portion of the town of Springwells. overlaid by yellow sand. They were in the usual contracted posture. Among the relics was a long needle of copper. and the skeletons of fourteen bodies disinterred. to centre of embankment. by ridges of sand and gravel. and a necklace of copper beads. and very finely and evenly serrated. opposite Fort Wayne. one of the ancient tombs was disturbed. In this case the large individual measured seven and a half feet in height! The original surface of the ground was about fifteen feet above the general level. There was the usual report of big bones. in digging away a section from one of these ridges. Two of these. was heaped above. and mostly on the outer side. Among a large number of arrow-points and other articles common to the mounds were several lance-heads of unusual size and beauty. and about two feet in height. on land of Mr. and now in the Archæological Museum at Cambridge.

and attributed to the Iroquois. or been thrown up in some sudden emergency. I shall close these remarks with some account of the great mound near the junction of the river Rouge with the Detroit. it was in the midst of a dense forest and thicket. Yet the regularity of the work marks it as one of studied design. Upon the east this marsh narrows to a neck about 100 feet wide. within the distance of an arrow cast. and antique oaks and rambling grape-vines--its sole occupants-silently told the story of the years that had gone by. which separates the hard-land tact from a ridge of some fifteen feet elevation. Ever since the settlement of the country this mound has been a wellknown and conspicuous feature. three miles below the city. and the irregular character of the ditch hardly accord with the supposition that it was a military work. which crossed the neck of marsh. and cut off from roads and settlements by the morass. Many generations had risen and passed away since the dusky forms of its artificers were consigned to the neighboring tumuli. Yet its true character seems never to have been fully appreciated. in a direct line towards the circular "fort. a few feet apart. at Del Rey. which rises gently from the river to the height of about six feet. There are traces of what appear to have once been two parallel embankments. half a century ago. This tract of firm land is surrounded by a morass. shrouded from any observation but that of an antiquary. requiring the protection of corrals. while the warriors were upon a warpath. about 500 feet long.The accompanying sketch will give a clearer idea of the situation. and the interest which attaches to it may warrant me in occupying some further pages in its description. and as many wide. such as have been found with similar structures in Western New York. we are left to conjecture. To the old French habitants it was also known that it had been used by the Indians as a burial-place. Of the purpose for which this work was constructed. The width of the gateway. No attempt seems to have been made to level the surface within the enclosure. There are no traces of a stockade. 15 . and neither the ancient nor modern races are supposed to have had herds of domesticated animals. It is upon a small area of land. or open wet prairie. When this interesting relic first came to my knowledge. which upon the north and west sides is several hundred feet wide. It might have served as a place of security for the women and children." if such it may be called. as it is overlooked by the higher land on the east. It would hardly seem to have answered that of a fortification. There is nothing to indicate that the enclosure surrounded a village. and the absence of any protective mound within.

and visible for many miles of its course. The tumulus must have been visible from a great distance. and the present extreme height nowhere exceeds thirty feet above the stream. Not only has it been reduced more than half the entire length. circling nearly two sides of the mound. half a mile distant. who has lived in the vicinity for more than sixty years. A portion of the overlying sand may be ascribed to the same source. which evidently belongs to the drift that has left many similar deposits over this region. over all others. The situation is such as would be chosen by the Mound-Builders. It is most picturesque. lay the deep waters of the river Rouge. by wagon load and boat load. and little notice taken of its contents. to the river Detroit. and not less than forty feet high. to where a bend in the Rouge brings that river close to the highway. but I think the fact will be made evident that a considerable part of the original. Much as has been lost by the wanton destruction of this instructive monument. in every direction. It was symmetrical in form. could be retained. Above stretched the straits. 400 feet wide. Little of the original shape now remains. as far as the site of the city. enough is disclosed to show that this huge mound has been the memorial of many interesting and marvellous events. and the mode of their occurrence. until now it is but a miniature of its former self. for a stratum of gravel appears below ten or more feet of sand. there can be little doubt that it was one of these national sepulchres of the Hurons. and the proper season had arrived for the great "Festival of the dead. and the slopes were about as steep as the sand. Mr. To the south and west were seen Grosse Isle and the channel leading past Malden to Lake Erie. for a resting-place and monument to their dead. and even of the present elevation.For nearly half a century. From the immense number of skeletons found within it. Bourdeno. portion after portion has been dug away and removed. while northward the view commands many miles of rolling country. But little examination is needed to show that some part at least of the elevation is natural. and other Algonquin tribes. where were deposited the remains of their dead. of which most of it was composed. but more than half also of its width on the river side. At the base. Beyond stretched a field of natural meadow. says the mound originally extended from its present limits westerly fully 500 feet. that had been carefully kept for the purpose. until the flesh had disappeared. is artificial. The south side bordered close on the river for its whole length." 16 . The mound or hill was then 700 or 800 feet long.

Awaiting for the festal day. "Two fathoms deep the burial pit. the lover. in swift decay. "Departed spirits linger still. Levi Bishop.--to land afar-To land beyond the evening star. And twice two ample fathoms wide." 17 . broken at intervals by the long-measured." When the appointed time has arrived "--the recent dead Are lifted from their temporary bed. To spend them on their destined way. Until this ceremony had taken place the spirits of the dead were supposed to wander restlessly about. constituted a scene unique as it was solemn and awful. all illuminated by the midnight glare of blazing torches and camp-fires. and of young and old.This was attended. side by side. as did the unburied Romans on the borders of the Styx. without the lifeless clay. Come forth their final resting-place to gain.-Their vacant place in cabin fill. gathered from the whole nation. Of both the sexes. A circle that might well admit A thousand bodies. The mouldy bones. The child.-To final home. amid "a weeping. with many ceremonies to which I shall only briefly allude. by our lamented townsman. winging their way to the land of spirits. dreary funeral wail. The festival has been so well described in the 15th Canto of Teuch-sa-Grondie. sachem chieftain bold. simulating voices of disembodied souls. howling concourse" of guests and mourners. that I refer the curious to that poem for its full illustration. amid the general gathering of the tribes." The dismal process of cleansing the bones--the exposure of the remains to the view of mourning friends--the decoration in the richest furs--the display of gifts destined for sacrifice. one of those mysteries of the past that is never to return.-A frightful throng. a melancholy train. The relics--shapeless forms. shrieking.--the promiscuous casting of the remains into one general pit.--the procession--the harangue--the dance--the games--the feast--the solemn song.

In the account given me by Bourdeno he states. It was also. but the fact that many bodies of white soldiers have been interred in the hill is evident. His statement goes further. This ceremony took place once in ten or twelve years. He says that in some parts there seems to have been a "cellar. near the east end. I am not aware that history alludes to this event. fled to and settled below Detroit. With these were many pieces of large pots. also gives similar accounts of the number of skeletons disinterred. instead of being buried whole with the dead.* [Note : * It is matter of history that a portion of this nation. Squire Ludlow. It affords certain evidence that cremation was practised by the MoundBuilders of this region.] That the river Rouge mound was of this character there is much cumulative evidence to prove. a sacred or "altar" mound. heaping above them the funeral mound. mingled indiscriminately.. which was at first 18 . where they were known as Wyandots. mingled with sherds of pottery and other relics. viz. there occurred at this place a massacre of British soldiers by the Indians. Powerful as is the interest which attaches to this hill of the dead from this proof of its character. from the character of the skulls found in a certain part of it. A house was erected on the summit. but all were broken. were thrown upon the burning pile. During old territorial times the mound was made to subserve the living. that in other parts of the mound than those containing the "cellars. which escaped the massacre on Lake Huron. such as pieces of scabbards. as to their immense quantities. and from the attendant relics. for on these occasions the relics. Another phase in the history of this mound is related by Bourdeno. and of course suffered partial destruction. as in ordinary cases. before their fatal dispersion by the Iroquois. Bourdeno has seen hundreds of skeletons removed in the digging down of the hill. it presents other points of interest. Thousands of fragments of human bones still lie bleaching on the sand." which was filled with bones. Mr. an old resident. and before the fatal ambuscade at Bloody Run. that in Pontiac's time. buttons and other portions of military equipment. and that the dead were buried in this mound. where they were accustomed to inter their dead in one common sepulchre. The latter fact is consonant with the theory of cremation. much of which he collected and buried elsewhere. mingled with burned bones. in all probability. which have escaped decay." much charcoal and ashes were found.The Jesuit Relations of 1636 tell us of a place of this kind set apart among the Hurons in Canada.

and a United States cent of 1829. This trench was commenced on the river side. a portion of which seemed to have been undisturbed and was still covered with sod. except an English halfpenny of George III. near the top. and a foot lower down. six feet wide and five deep. The ribs and most of the vertebræ and smaller bones had perished. a few years ago I proceeded. composed of baked clay. as nearly as possible. and was so doubled together and crushed. The skull was so much flattened and decayed as to render it impossible to determine the shape or size. Hubbard. and the skeleton exposed. that the whole occupied a space not more than two feet long by four inches thick. first pointed out by Mr. was very observable. and a perfectly formed greenstone "celt. antique pot-sherds. Still deeper. and at a foot 19 .--glass. in company with Messrs. and Indian trinkets. It has been gone many years. Having determined. It had evidently originally been placed in a sitting posture. It formed a dark. was another mass of cinders." At about the same distance from the skeleton first mentioned. G. It occupied a space two feet by one and a half. Gillman as characteristic of the most ancient human remains in this region. It lay with the head to the east. iron and other articles of modern housekeeping are in close communion with flint implements.--all except a large quantity of bricks and mortar. Desirous of more fully determining the true character of the mound. To the west. This was dug carefully around. but how many feet had been originally heaped over it it was impossible to say.a trading-post for the Indians. and was continued northerly for the distance of ten feet before anything appeared to reward the labor. The relic-hunter finds over the whole surface a curious intermingling of the old and the new. On the south side of the head was a small pot. Close to this were a few unburned portions of a skeleton. the central axis of the original mound. which was also so flattened and decayed that it could be removed only in fragments. and other rubbish. and four inches thick. was a mass apparently composed of burned human remains. This skeleton was only three feet below the surface. and through the highest part now remaining. These were found about four feet below the surface of the digging. Henry Gillman and H. and quite hard and compact. but the larger bones of the arms and legs were sufficiently perfect to be removed. reddish soil. and about two feet from the above and one foot deeper. several inches thick. to a practical investigation. pieces of crockery. We then struck a skull. The flattening of the tibia. and with bits of brass and iron that once belonged to the accoutrements of the British soldier. we proceeded to open a trench near to it..

We now sunk a shaft or well into the sand at the place where the hard. Nothing. Continuing the excavations beneath the sodded portion of the mound. The rimming is plainly visible. In excavating another trench at a lower part of the mound. made by some sharp instrument after death. however. It is entirely improbable that any of the Indian races buried their dead in graves of that extreme depth. and here were found numerous nodules or lumps of a white substance. at three feet from the surface we uncovered numerous skeletons. How much lower still these singular masses continue was left undetermined. may be presumed to be an artificial deposit. as if from heavy blows. and a foot thick. at a depth of two feet. the earth heaped above the first 20 . upon what appeared. Among these masses of compacted cinder were several large nodules of irregular form. which seemed held together by a cement of iron rust. and of a yellowish-red color. That they consisted in part of burned human bones there could be no doubt. and found to constitute a bed not less than twenty feet square. such as are pointed out by Squier in his so-called "Altar Mounds" of Ohio. to have at one period constituted the original surface.remove to the west. and the holes are about half an inch diameter. The lowest of the compacted masses was five feet beneath the present surface. and they establish the fact of cremation beyond question. This. which proved to be disintegrated bone. A few inches below this was disclosed a stratum of black earth. beyond this indicated that these might once have composed vessels of iron. Some of the crania were shattered. it is apparent that interments took place during long intervals of time. or that the earth had accumulated since the deposition. On the disturbed surface was found a spot covered with broken fragments of clay. These continued in considerable numbers through the succeeding three feet. the extent of which was traced at several points." or clay hearth. The skulls and some of the bones were in those of babes. composed of cinders and burned bones. when the digging was discontinued. as though hastily buried. And as these occur immediately below the undoubted Indian remains first mentioned. was another mass of considerably larger extent. They were disposed irregularly. we came. yet the presence of these bones made evident either that interments had taken place at this great depth of more than ten feet. cemented masses were discovered. Two of them exhibited a round hole at the apex. as the matrix is entirely sand. This was continued to the depth of eight feet. for no such custom is known. There was no appearance of the sand having ever been disturbed. from its color and character. It may have formed part of an "altar.

For what purpose were these perforations? A suggestion has been made. What shades would throng around him if each skeleton form of the thousands that lay below could answer to his summons! "From graves forgotten stretch their dusty hands. Another supposition is of a very practical kind. he had ascended the ancient mound. Thus year by year. may this savage hero have come to muse upon the past and its faded glories. desired to make his final rest after the toils and pleasures of life were ended. Here. until the time of the great festival of inhumation. and landing. To his limited comprehension this tumulus of sand was stable as an Egyptian pyramid. mingled together in death in a common mausoleum. when hope had perished. that the holes were for giving more speedy release to the spirit from its earthly tenement. that covered alike their bones and their animosities? 21 . or. creeping stealthily along its sandy shores. with a fresh deposit of sand. bodies being sometimes buried entire and sometimes burned. Where but upon the graves of their ancestors. elsewhere in the State. for it was secured by religious veneration. the great Pontiac resorted--that stern. uncompromising foe of the Anglo-Saxon. the mound grew in height and proportions. Many a time had his canoe paused at this place. as tradition tells. perhaps from many now forgotten nations.being a foundation for a new interment. of parties of his foes. while his eye reamed over the wide expanse of river and marsh and land in search of friendly forms. and to be gathered to his fathers in the place where reposed the bones of generations gone before. when the two races that in life had been so distinct and hostile. The condition of these crania indicates that they are comparatively modern. And hold in mortmain still their old estates. similarly treated. Since the discovery of the two perforated skulls others have come to light." Within even the brief period of the ascendency of the Anglo-Saxon in this region. In this beautiful spot the red man of all those departed eras. it may be. containing the dead of many centuries. and it accords with the known anxieties of the Indian. the remains being covered. like the others. that they were intended as a means of suspending the skull in view of the friends of the deceased. belonging both to the prehistoric past and to our modern era. and cycle by cycle. We must regard this great mound--now being so ruthlessly destroyed--as a vest necropolis. could he so worthily arouse the hearts of the living to resist their oppressors? And here. how much of the past has been forgotten! Who can tell the story of that fierce struggle which took place on this spot.

how changed the scene! The same noble river. But the beings these cheered in the olden time have all perished from the land. the sparkling waters lave its base. practical industry. scattering the dust that once animated human forms. in the progress of an unheeding and remorseless civilization. and will soon have vanished altogether. their history is but a fading dream. in undeviating flood. the winds blow over it from the not distant lake. In the distance rise to view the spires and buildings of a proud and prosperous city. rolls its waters to the lake. and the proud pile which they created to immortalize their memory has nearly disappeared.And now. The protecting forests have been superseded by cultivated farms and village streets. Still. and smoking factories. the warm sunshine rests upon this spot. as of old. 22 . The whoop of the savage and his funeral howl are supplanted by the hum of a untiring. the barge and the steamer. but the canoe of the red man has given place to the winged barks of commerce.




Blois.” Schoolcraft was the first to give to the world any acccurate and systematic account of these “furrows.” We know how uncertain this reliance often is. still resident of our State.” It is the report of Verandrier. that “they certainly indicate a methodical 26 . and. and the very brief period at which it must cease altogether. in 1839.” Another writer of early date. nearly every trace has disappeared. as if they had formerly been plowed and sown. published. or even thirty years ago. from the fact that they have been almost entirely overlooked by archeologists. and not the mounds. which have received the name of “Garden-Beds. in his “Archeology of the United States. For any knowledge beyond the scanty details hitherto recorded we are forced to rely upon the recollections of the “oldest inhabitants. is by Haven.” a detailed description.ANCIENT GARDEN BEDS OF MICHIGAN By Bela Hubbard A class of works of the Mound-Builders exists in Michigan. of unknown age and origin. I find. No mention is made of these remains by Priest or by Baldwin. in effect. in his “Gazetteer of Michigan. and he records the fact that “the garden beds. Foster devotes to them less than a single page of his voluminous work.” Indeed. and that of those which were so numerous and prominent forty. John T. we cannot but recognize the rapidity with which we are losing our hold of this kind of testimony. with several French associates. and only says. many of which are everywhere covered with furrows. with a diagram. he is the only author of note who honors this interesting class of the works of the MoundBuilders with more than the most meagre mention. THE EARLIEST MENTION OF THESE RELICS which. who. He gives figures of two kinds of beds. by far. of one kind of the beds. He found in the western wilderness “large tracts free from wood. explored this region before 1748. the most striking and characteristic antiquarian monuments of this district of country.” An unusual importance attaches to These remains of a lost race. and were it otherwise. form the most prominent. Observations were made by him as early as 1827.

paths none. which I shall attempt to classify. They consist of raised patches of ground. as in the following CLASSIFICATIONS: 1. sufficient uniformity is discoverable to enable me to group the beds and gardens. Wide convex beds. being from five to sixteen feet in width. enable me to define more accurately and fully than has been heretofore done the different kinds of these beds. where they occupied the most fertile of the prairie land and burr-oak plains. with the exception referred to in Wisconsin. and were combined with some peculiar features that belong to no recognized system of horticultural art. as if corn had been planted in drills. and in height six to eighteen inches. principally in the counties of St. in length from twelve to more than one hundred feet. and twenty-five of them have been counted in the space of one hundred feet. Cass and Kalamazoo. in parallel rows. Joseph. Lapham describes a few of this kind of remains which were found upon the western shore of Lake Michigan. According to the universal testimony. order and symmetry which distinguished them from the ordinary operations of agriculture. separated by sunken paths.cultivation which was not practiced by the red man. these beds were laid out and fashioned with a skill. they are confined to our State. They are of especial interest to us. 2. 1. Some investigations. by no means thorough. and were generally arranged in plats or blocks of parallel beds. In the midst of diversity. But I must first define THEIR SITUATION.” Yet these relics constitute a unique feature in the antiquities of our country. in parallel rows. (Width of beds 12 feet. composing independent plats. length 74 to 115 feet. but. from the fact that they were not only the most prominent of our antiquities.) Fig. without paths. separated by paths of same 27 .” Dr. EXTENT AND CHARACTER. The tough sod of the prairie had preserved very sharply all the outlines. They average four feet in width. as “consisting of low parallel ridges. These varied in dimensions. Joseph and Grand Rivers. Wide convex beds. according to the most reliable information obtained. The so-called “Garden Beds” were found in the valleys of the St.

1 foot. 14 to 20 feet. 8 inches. arranged in plats similar to class 4. his language is. 5 to 14 feet. and arranged in plats of two or more at right angles N. 2 feet. height. all separated by narrow paths. separated by narrower paths and arranged in a series of longitudinal plats. (See figures. (Width of beds. arranged in a series of plats longitudinal to each other. Parallel beds. 1~ feet. 2. at varying angles. length. and single beds. to the plats adjacent. 12 to 30 feet.paths. 28 . 6 feet. E.) Fig. 8. 6 feet. 5. paths.length. 12 to 40 feet. 5.width. (Width of bed 12 to 143 feet. (Width of beds. Fig. 4. length. 20 beds in each plat. No.) Figures a. paths. paths same. each plat divided from the next by semicircular heads. As to their extent. “The beds are of various sizes. and W.) Nos. Of these only those numbered 1. 100 feet. consists of five plats. 8. paths. 3. in independent plats. Schoolcraft does not give the exact localities. separated by narrow paths. 2 and 4 have ever before been delineated. Parallel beds. each 100 feet long. 2 feet. (Width of beds. 18 inches. according to the latter. 3. of uniform width and length. 74 to 132 feet. separated by narrow paths. 10 to 12 inches.) Fig.) Fig. (Width of beds 14 feet. consisting of a circular bed. are varieties. Parallel beds. and I am unable to state whether beds of the same class have been noticed by other observers. 4 feet. about 30 feet. 3. 4. but divided by circular heads. arranged in plats or blocks. height. length. 100 feet. height. Wheel-shaped plats.) Fig. 6. length.. while the others areflg~ted as well—i and 2 by Schoolcraft and 4 by Blois. 6 to 20 feet. Long and narrow beds. height..(Width of beds. 7. to my knowledge. with narrow paths. of varying widths and lengths.) Fig. (Width of beds five feet. length. Plats of beds are undoubtedly here referred to. 18 inches. Wide and parallel beds. with beds of uniform shape and size radiating therefrom. paths. 7. 1 to 2 feet. covering generally from 20 to 100 acres. LOCALITIES I present diagrams of each of these classes or kinds of beds on a scale of thirty-two feet to one inch. 3 and 5 are described by Schoolcraft and Blois. length. paths. b and c. 6.)Fig. and S.” Some are reported to embrace even 300 acres.

is from a drawing by James R. Toland’s prairie. at Schoolcraft. Fig. 4). and that of the paths one and a-half to two feet. Gardens of this kind were found by the early settlers. Shatter. but thinks the beds were six feet by twenty-five to forty long. in the form of parallelograms. at this place. On the farm of J. Mr. E. The length of the plats or blocks varies. so far as my own inquiries warrant. The “sets” would average five or six beds each. six feet by twenty five to forty. section 7. alternating with other similar blocks placed at right angles to them. five feet in width and one hundred in length.” The distinctive peculiarity of these beds is what Blois calls the “semi-lunar” head. and elsewhere. of class 6. On the farm of the latter in the town of Comstock. Henry Little says. (See figures a. having a north and south and east and west direction. is from a drawing by Mr. the writer says: “They are found a short distance from Three Rivers. T. M.) The prevailing width of the bed is five or six feet. and the burr-oak trees on them as large as any in the vicinity. separated from them by a path as represented. Laken Brown confirms this account. old settlers. The prairie contains three hundred acres. Mr. at one hundred. Cumings. town of Schoolcraft. that in 1831 they were very numerous on the plains where now stands the village of Kalamazoo. H. of Galesburg. 6-b. eight or ten acres were entirely covered by them. Class 6. Fig. b and c. A. Cobb. were covered with the beds. T. 29 . surrounded by burr-oak plains. and south of the mound. There must have been 15 acres of them on his land. and says they reminded him of old New England gardens. on one side of an oval prairie. of a garden in which the beds are of more than usual diversity in width and length. within the space of a mile. Shafter and Roswell Ransom. Prouty concurs as to the extent covered. and eighteen inches deep. being very regular and even. arranged in alternate blocks. of one hundred acres. represents the form and arrangement which is most common. the burr-oak plains at Kalamazoo. the beds were quite numerous as late as 1860. The garden is judged to be half a mile in length by one-third in breadth. Prairie-Ronde. 6-c. say that three or four acres on the edge of the prairie. Neighbors put the number of acres covered with them in 1830. at the extremity of each bed. Mr. there were not less than ten acres of beds. regularly laid out in beds running north and south. viz: that of a series of parallel beds formed into blocks of two or more.Of the plat figured by Blois (No. the average being about twenty feet. In 1832 the outlines were very distinct. and the beds five feet by twelve or fourteen feet. containing about one hundred acres.

” and further “nearly all the lines of each area. are rectangular and parallel.” This language is too vague to enable me to construct a diagram. with alleys between. Prouty. The number of beds in each block is also greater than usual. 30 . and apparently ample walks leading in different directions. 6. also in the single beds outlying. in parterres and scalloped work. WERE THESE VEGETABLE GARDENS? To answer this question. from expressions used by both Schoolcraft and Blois.” The latter says the beds “appear in various fanciful shapes. which is here not at right angles. Cobb & Prouty. All occurred at Kalamazoo. but at various and irregular angles. that these relics denote some species of cultivation. the centre bed being only six feet in diameter. There is reason for supposing that there may have existed another class of beds. and that they are very different from those left by the field culture of any known tribes of Indians. The diameter of the circular bed and the length of the radiating ones are each twenty-five to thirty feet. or sub-area of beds. Others admit of half circles and variously curved beds. The reputation of the writers will not allow us to consider the descriptions fanciful. through the valley of the Mississippi river. Class 8 is established on the authority of Henry Little and A.The series represented by Class 7.” Some are laid off in rectilineal and curvilineal figures. we must proceed according to the doctrine of probabilities. The figure delineated is from the descriptions and dimensions given by the former. All opinions seem to agree. differing altogether from any I have represented. although those unknown builders were undoubtedly an agricultural people. but it is possible to suppose they were misled by the representations of others. either distinct or combined in a fantastic manner. of Kalamazoo. and in immediate association with the other forms of beds at that place. T. Nor do we find any similar remains in connection with the works of the MoundBuilders. in the arrangement of the blocks or sets of beds. on so extensive a scale. nor have I any confirmation to offer from other sources. 7) were found at Prairie Ronde. They differ from the more ordinary form of No. and are differently grouped and disposed. (fig. which exist. They are platted and described to me by Messrs. represented generally by Class 6. The latter describes two of similar design. The former speaks of “enigmatical plats of variously shaped beds. but of smaller dimensions. and the radiating ones twenty feet. with avenues.

so well and fitly as is possible. laid out in different styles. and many other fruits and roots unknown to us. cucumbers. and with an eye to the picturesque. therefore. 1563. that they had gardens.” published in London. But here an extraordinary fact presents itself. and this was never cultivated by them in rows. sowing the fields with a grain called Mahis. On the other hand. and an eye for symmetry and beauty. which is without precedent among the pre-historic people of this continent north of Mexico? ASSOCIATED AND CONTEMPORANEOUS RELICS These extensive indications of ancient culture necessarily imply a settled and populous community. no 31 . but in hills. Whereof they make their meal.” The nearest approach to anything resembling horticultural operations among Indian tribes. citrons. Joseph valley I learned of numerous places. “They labor and till the ground. within the historic period. often large but always disposed in a very irregular manner. to look for other evidences of the numbers and character .The principal crop of the Indians is maize. Ribault’s “Discovery of Terra Florida. as if each family had not only its separate garden patch. is noticed by Jones. in which were cultivated various plants. gourds. of setting apart separate pieces of ground for each family.of the people who made them. and in their gardens they plant beans. We are led. Their spades and mattocks are made of wood. This author quotes from Capt. but had used it for the display of its own peculiar taste. in addition to a cultivated taste. that for ages had consecrated these old garden lands—agrees in the fact. among some of the southern Indians. who refers to a practice. peas. that almost none of the usual aboriginal relics were found. Historians tell us of the Aztecs. such evidences are almost wanting! The testimony of nearly every one whom I have consulted— men who were among the first of the white race to break up the soil.” In the St. while the curvilinear forms suggest analogies quite as strong to the modern “pleasure garden. as well as for ornament Was there something analogous to this in the Michigan Nation? Did the latter also have botanical gardens? May we accord to this unknown people a considerable advance in science. for medicinal uses. the resemblance of many of the plats to the well-laid out garden beds of our own day is very striking. widely apart. where the labor and skill of our ancient horticulturists were apparent in small gardens. As little do these beds resemble the deserted fields of modern aqr culure.

that these garden beds. Their dwellings and their tools were of wood. We may also suppose a considerably more recent age. in Western Michigan. rather than of the chase. It thus enclosed a large area. This simple record of their character and labors is all. and the soil which has so sacredly preserved the labor of its occupants. a more recent origin. as to the relative antiquity of the garden beds of Wisconsin. and may pass for works of defence. resembling the lesser works of the Mound-Builders so numerous in Ohio. The date of the abandonment of the beds may be approximately 32 . are some ancient embankments. It seems strange. ANTIQUITY OF THE GARDEN BEDS But is this all? May we not form some reasonable conjecture as to the period in which these gardeners lived? A fact mentioned by Dr. suggestive as they are. It consisted only of an earth embankment. and in the town of Prairie Ronde. that they lived in simple and patriarchal style. but have no recognized association with the garden race. and their religious or other significance forgotten. which are probably referable to this people. of laborious habits. None of them seem to have been the bases of buildings. are not uncommon. no implements of stone. Tumuli. a mile apart. They were found overlying the latter. subsisting on the fruits of the earth. But no connection can he traced between these detached earthworks and the garden beds. exist several small circular and rectangular embankments. indeed. That at the first named place was notably extensive. from which he infers.pottery. not even the omnipresent pipe. nor do they give indication of any religious origin or rites. we can ever know. as compared with the animal mounds. Lapham furnishes a species of evidence. about six feet in height extending between two forks of a river. and was worthy of more enduring monuments! We may reasonably conclude. until long after these had been abandoned. since it is not likely that the race could have thus encroached upon the works of another. and have perished. it may be. or burial mounds of the Red man. Upon the St. no spear and arrow heads. Joseph and Colorado rivers. and of asthetic if not scientific tastes. Branch County. There are no traces of dwellings. discloses not even their bones! At Three Rivers. of course. should be the only memorials of a race which has left such an evidence of civilized advancement. and with a sufficient garrison might have withstood the siege of a large army of barbarous warriors. and in Gilead. that they were a people of peaceable disposition. though not numerous.

who emigrated from the St. This carries the period back as far as 1502. against the raids of the warlike tribes living eastward of them. It is probable that the few defensive works. or be left to conjecture. must now remain forever involved in mystery. and it does not seem to me necessary to go further back than the three centuries during which that tree flourished. the more exact and scientific scrutiny which is now being applied to the antiquities of our land. for a period quite long enough to have crumbled into indistinguishable dust every trace of wooden dwellings and implements. At the time of the arrival of the French the country was in possession of Algonquin tribes. if the latter received only simple earth burial. or that they could not have received. I have mentioned. were erected by this settled and peaceful race of gardeners. through the greed of the dominant race. while they yet remained. as places of temporary refuge for the women and children. 33 . or some years prior to the discovery of this country by the French. Lawrence about the middle of the 16th century. scattered or exterminated. Early French explorers do not appear to have been interested in the question. They were ignorant of the authors of these works and were not more advanced in the arts of culture than the other known tribes. Most of the facts I have been able to present are gathered in large part. Much that might then have been cleared up. cut down in 1837. as well as of the bodies of their fabricators. The larger one may have served for the general defence in a time of sudden and great emergency. had 335 cortical layers. It is perhaps useless to regret. and after modern culture had for many years obliterated the old. One of these. from the memories—of course not always exact or reliable—of early settlers. It is probable that on some such occasion they were surprised by their savage and relentless foes. How long these labors were abandoned before this tree commenced its growth may not be susceptible of proof.fixed. and were overwhelmed. mentioned by Schoolcraft. by the age of the trees found growing upon them. that these most interesting and unique relics of a lost people have so completely perished.

34 .

35 .

36 .

37 .

38 .

39 .

40 .

41 .

I never look upon the remains of a people which stand so silently and so solemnly around what people I do not Know—without feeling myself stretching away into the past. I felt that we had been moving among doubts and shadows. that he was the first white man who set a foot or raised a flag on its soil. and at last I found myself becoming a skeptic on the subject of the history of man and his origin. I once thought it heresy to doubt the geographical books and schools of the day. Our fathers had lived and died in the faith of what was written about our history—and why should not I also? As I grew older and my credulity sobered down into facts. or how many millions of them had lived and died. I did not try to know just how they originated. set on foot by the Almighty to hold the country until civilization should take possession and subdue it. but the Indian was the only link in my mind between Columbus and Adam. and like the swinging pendulum. and I am not yet restored to faith on this subject. too far at first and beyond the centre. with my head in a whirl. and strange shafts of light began to flash around and illuminate the world. Beyond him.THE MOUND BUILDERS AND THEIR WORK IN MICHIGAN BY HENRY H. There is a witchery about the subject that inflames the imagination and warps the judgment. the depths of the past were crowded with generations of Indians. 1879 (Extracted from: Michigan Pioneer Colelctions: Vol. Of CONSTANTINE Read February 5th. who had so long roamed over the wild wastes of the western wilderness were regarded as a kind of military force. My belief in the existence of the so-called mound builders of our continent increases from year to year. theories began to dissolve and my opinions swerved the other way. RILEY.3 1879-80) History taught me to believe that Christopher Columbus discovered America. and my brain 42 . and all the tribes and nations of red men. how long they had existed.

These wonderful works of past generations of men extend along the rivers throughout the Southern States. that he seemed to be actuated by the same motives and governed by the same passions that his successors have been in locating their cities. He saw. and they are a most interesting subject of study. in West Virginia. formed of earth and stone. hut the mound builder has left no track in New England. and who just left their monuments behind them when they passed away. and they exhibit a good deal of art. pointing backwards to oblivion . the commercial value of such points as St. The mound builders seem to belong to a race who finished up their work on earth before the real life-work of men and nations began. particularly the Ohio and Mississippi.—not a word—not a sign—no thing to betray their origin—nothing to wring front them the terrible secret of a great people long vanished from the earth. Ohio. and away up in the northwestern part of our continent. with buttresses and gateways. and if possible. Ohio. Iowa. however. The inclosures referred to are protected by heavy embankments. many inclosures are found in the form of animals. Missouri and on the upper lakes. the tail coiled. It may not be out of place for me to stir the dust of the mound builder—to wonder and speculate. The mound builders have built their fortifications and erected their monuments on our principal rivers. It is curious to know. serpents and men. others in mathematical lines. Illinois.exhausting itself among the phantoms of antiquity. clothe their dry bones with flesh and breathe life into the old carcass once more. contains a huge relieve. they are laid out into squares. and their tributaries. seven hundred feet long and five hundred wide. circles. as we have since seen. as many persons have done and are doing. There is a mound at Grave creek. and beasts. ten thousand mounds are found and fifteen hundred ramparts and inclosures. one at Miamisburg. to puzzle us with curious investigations and strange questions never perhaps to be answered. in the shape of a serpent. birds. the mouth wide open in the act of swallowing an egg-like figure. Inside. the great truncated pyramid at Cahokia. seventy-five feet high and a thousand feet at the base. marking the existence and departure of a great people who have left nothing behind them to tell us from whence they came or whither they went. parallelograms into figures of serpents. birds. over their remains. An inclosure in Adams county. he probably 43 . in graceful curves. Louis and Cincinnati. a thousand feet in length. They look down solemnly upon the civilization of to-day. sixtyeight feet high and eight hundred feet at the base. and in Ohio alone. In Wisconsin.

peadants and beads.had trade and speculation in his eye. and gave the key of their history to oblivion and vanished front the earth. or every man for himself. believe and disbelieve. within our knowledge. for the year 1879. Copan and Uxmal. Did the mound builder know how to temper his copper tool as the Egyptian did? Obsidian is a volcanic product used by the Mexicans and Peruvians for arrows and instruments. and raised. tn his report to the Secretary of the Interior. The works of art which these mounds contain perplex and instruct us. upset our theory to-morrow. knives and bracelets. whoever they were. in Mexico. theorize over them. he was the first miner in the Upper Peninsula. and probably transported vast amounts of it. obsidian. but just how or 1 Colonel P. We examine them. “—ED 44 . porphyry amid green stone. His works were not all a mere labor of defense—his occupation not merely that of a soldier. below the Lake of the Woods. The mound builder was an early pioneer in Michigan. and found in a style and finish beyond anything furnished by the modern tribes of Indians on our continent. Agriculture and commerce were evidently important considerations in his calculations. to a branch of the Gibbon. Porphyry is a hard material to work and required a hard tool to cut it. all showing a people not deficient in art and mechanical ingenuity. 1 which indicates a communication and reciprocity between people wide apart—between that mysterious nation.—who built Palenque. There are copper and stone axes. p roving that it is there the tree dtvtde of the waters of the Missouri and the Yellowstone. and finally retreat into darkness again. are found. who erected those wonderful buildings in Central Anierioa ages ago. raised up so many strange monuments. chisels. like the Scioto. toys of bone and mica. Superintendent of the Yellowstone National Park. a distance of some eight miles. Ornaments and implements made of copper. for life and business. how he worked. silver. but he went deep down into the copper ore. elegant patterns of pottery. finely wrought. and has not been found north of the mountains of Cerre Gordo. He appropriated rich valleys. as has been supposed by some writers who have explored the twilight that covers their remains. and also a vast weapon and implement çuarry for the ancient hermit sheep-eaters. IV. whether as a member of a joint stock company on a per centage. solve the mystery today. says: “I this year traced the mountain of obsidian or volcanic glass from where I discovered it last year. now buried in a wilderness. at Beaver Lake. we do not know. and almost fancy we hear a chuckle from the old mound builder at our disappointment and distress. Norris. and dug.

copper chisels. and drains are cut to carry off the water. on Isle Royal. distinguishes no other copper in the world. How and where was the ore removed? Why and for what purpose was so much of it consumed? Where did the provisions come from to support the laborers in their work? There are no bones of mound builders found there— no evidence of commerce—no remains of vessels. When were those pits opened? By whom? Who can tell? Forests have grown up and fallen and mouldered over them. from twenty to sixty feet in depth. there is one deep cut in the rock. They follow the richest veins of ore with great knowledge and skill in the art of mining. has little globules or slivers of silver attached to it. have been found. some of the ore found its way into the mounds on the Mississippi and Ohio. three hundred and four hundred years old. and the chain of evidence by which this is determined is the fact that the copper so found. which. rocky shore. Specimens of Lake Superior copper have been discovered in the mounds. They are connected underground. The copper tools seemed to be hardened by fire. weighing from ten to thirty pounds.where we cannot say. counting so much. The pits are from ten to thirty feet in diameter. some broken from use and some in good condition. The silver found in other ore is throughout the whole. and the whole is a mass of rotten wood. stand around them to-day. or some of it. but as we shall see. 45 . At McCargoe’s Cove there are nearly two miles of pits very closely connected. The working out the ore was no doubt by heating and pouring on water— very slow and tedious. It is difficult to determine their original workmanship owing to corrosion. and cut up into deep gorges and is covered with a growth of timber. with a ragged. and brought out only by fire. The island is about fifty miles long. The ancient mining at Isle Royal. from five to nine in breadth. and are scattered throughout the island. it is said. covered its entire length by timbers that are now decayed. and great trees. quantities of stone hammers and mauls. the amount of labor performed exceeds that done on one of the oldest mines on the south shore. and yet it is said that although two hundred men with their rude way of mining could not accomplish any more work than two skilled miners can at the present day. and only so much time for us in our efforts to fix the age of these mines. near the northern line of Lake Superior has excited amazement. which has been operated with a large force for more than twenty years. knives and arrow-heads have been discovered. but there is evidence going to show that they were originally polished and of good workmanship. and that at one point alone.

perhaps. five or six feet below the surface. the rites and ceremonies over some great chieftain. on the farm of Daniel Fredenburg. comparatively speaking. and in many other portions of the State. for it may still be seen where the same stream has destroyed a portion of his inclosures higher up where they now stand. although the subsequent burial remains of Indians are found nearer the top. 46 . were not Indians. Henry Gilman read an interesting paper before the Detroit Scientific Association en this subject. from which some of the facts about Isle Royal are taken. and almost always there is the evidence of an altar having been erected. not only there. Terraces have been evidently formed below his work since he passed away. the work of men who must have been fed. and were discovered by Mr. were found two hundred skeletons nearly perfect. we may be the very oldest. They are not as gigantic as some of the others herein described. Those at the head of the St. stone pipes in the jaws of several of them. and to some extent clothed. at the head of the St. The banks and streams upon which he built declare this to be true. Skulls are found at the bottom. A few years ago an article appeared in the Toronto Telegraph stating that in the township at Cayuga in the Grand river. showing that mounds were raised over them and that the body was not afterward buried in them. more than in any other way. and many stone axes and 2 Mr. and whose treasure was no doubt exported to the central and southern portions of our continent. the Rouge. the shape and outlines of the head being different and indicating an entirely different race of people. on the Grand river and at the foot of Lake Huron. for although we are called a new country. a string of beads around the neck of each. Mounds have been discovered on the borders of the Detroit river. or houses—and yet vast amounts of copper have been taken out.or wharves. that physiologists have been able to determine that the mound builders. Gilman in 1872. on the Black river. We frequently hear of the discovery of the skeletons of a gigantic race. Their channels have been cut deeper since he laid out his grounds by their sides and erected his cities thereon. who is now forever forgotten. It is through these skulls. upon which the body was laid and consumed by fire. Clair. and we are therefore the more puzzled to know to what race the mound builders belonged. and were once regarded as of Indian origin.2 The mound builder was an early pioneer. but throughout portions of the Upper Peninsula. Clair are said to be very remarkable. whoever they were.

and if we cannot demonstrate our position we can start the reader by strange suggestions and plausible theories. here and there. of any kind. Fires were kindled.skinners scattered around in the dirt. Were these the remains of Indians or some other race? Who and what filled this ghastly pit? Is there any clue to the people who built these mounds? Can we find any track running back into the past. a curious sly old Spanish ecclesiastic. and found in “Baldwin’s Ancient America. who quietly hid a few away at the peril of his soul for the good of mankind. who understood their value. and there were indications that the region had at some time been inhabited. and thus here and there one was preserved in this way and some were not found. There was evidence from the crushed bones that a battle had been fought and these were some of the slain. It is said the ten tribes left Palestine. crossed Behring Straits. in which we are satisfied were to be found records of races of men that will be found nowhere else. and also Lord Kinsborough. promulgated by different persons. But there was found. let me look into some of the theories on the subject. and few of them less than seven. Cortez destroyed them or intended to do so. who built the mounds. but how old we do not know. Some of the thigh bones were six inches longer than any now known. volumes consumed and the world thereby saved from the heresy they contained.’ were the descendants of the lost tribes of Israel. Bishop Zyumarraga especially made one great conflagration of them. Books were then in existence. Decayed houses had been found near this spot before. He found a wilderness around him filled with architecture which has since been to some extent explored. Can we here show any connection between a pre-historic race. dug out the copper on Lake Superior. some of them measuring nine feet. The Aztecs were then in power and had built a city of magnitude and even splendor.” and ‘‘Foster’s Pre-Historic Races. The Spanish monks supported this theory. little was known by him of the wonders of Central America. leading us to any foundation upon which we can stand? Is there any evidence to the point which may be regarded as reliable. When Cortez captured Mexico in 1620. ‘The Mound Builders. and finally established themselves.” 1st. about seven 47 . and who once held dominion in our State? Before answering this question. The farm had been cultivated a century and was originally covered with a growth of pine. They had their laws and their literature. “ The Lost Tribes. But the books not being Catholic. The skeletons were gigantic. or is everything about them forever buried? Perhaps we may grope our way amid mists and shadows to some purpose.

it is supposed. and may have sailed up and down our great rivers when the kings of Egypt were building the pyramids. sailed as far as Central America. and the old books already referred to.’ It is supposed. and there is very much tradition and history to be found among the older nations of the earth to confirm the supposition. It had ships. and Western Islands. ‘the theory does not hold out.’” 3d. but it has always been possible to track them and their works by their language.’ which in some way had been brought to their notice. or a sign or symbol remaining there which points in any way to that nation as its origin. Madeira. One of the most romantic and yet probable theories is the Atlantic’ theory. who spread their sails in the face of the Greek philosophers (who despised commerce). But Baldwin says. ‘The ships of the Malays. Identity of language even fails and antiquarians generally have abandoned that field of study. so much talked about by the people of their day. The Phonecians were bold navigators. that this continent of ours once extended from New Granada to Central America and Mexico in a long peninsula partly across the Atlantic. Wallace says. they were visited by a foreign people who came in ships. There is little to support the claim.’ The remains of a city called Modjo-pahit are very wonderful. and there is not a Phoenician letter or word to be found or a monument in Central America. and its islands were so numerous that the fastest vessel. This empire was described by travelers six hundred years before the first voyage to India by the Cape of Good Hope. it was said. and on beyond these islands was still a large tract of fertile 48 .hundred years before Christ. on this continent. There is just enough mist hanging over it to render it bewitching. and to stimulate the explorer into a wild enthusiasm. and in the existence of which they fully believed. This attributes the civilization of ancient America to theAtlantides or Atlantic race who once occupied the lost Island of Atlantis. and even splendor.’ and to have visited that ‘great Saturnian continent. “ The Malay Theory. planted colonies on the shores of the Mediterranean. and even India. The Atlantic Theory.” 4th. say that centuries before.” 2d. and was a part of what is now known as the Canary. In pre-historic times the Malays were a great people and ruled a great empire. where the ruins still show great architectural beauty. as there is nothing Malayan in either the antiquities or speech of the early Americans. The Phoenician Theory was also very popular. as well as the traditions of the Aztecs. Those maritime rovers. ‘was unable to go round them in two years.’ Its metropolis was in the Island of Java. and were supposed to have explored that ‘extensive ocean. ‘they surpass those of Central America.

he conferred with the priests of Psenophis. Torquemada. that they built mighty works It is stated in Plutarch’s ‘Life of Solon. and it was maintained among the Central Americans when Cortez first overran the country.’ Afterward. Abbe Brasseur de Bourbourg. Sonchis. so that navigation on it ceased on account of the quantity of mud which the ingulfed island left in its place. there came mighty earthquakes and inundations which engulfed that warlike people.” “There is a considerable evidence to be found corroborating this theory. and stand as monuments of the destruction around them. Can we connect the mound builders with any people within the historic period . Heliopolis and Sais. ‘in one day and one fatal night. some escaped in ships. speaks of a great army which came across the Atlantic sea. and are still out of water. Boturini.’ It is supposed that Atlantis was destroyed before Athens became a city. but still not without a considerable evidence.’ Most of the inhabitants were destroyed. speaks of the Island of Atlantis. It is supposed that the whole was sunk by earthquakes. commemorated this terrible destruction. and then that sea became inaccessible. and invaded Europe and Asia.” “And so it is suggested that the survivors of this catastrophe fled inland. tending to establish this strange and startling theory. and learned from them the story of Atlantis. and some fled to the mountains. and therefore it is only as groping amid shadows. that while in Egypt. that they were distinguished in arts and sciences.’ Plato makes a record of it. planted themselves upon the isthmus now known as Central America. Clavigero. and that they are the mound builders whose remains are strewn far and wide up and down our streams and valleys?’ I will now return to the first proposition. One of their festivals.” “This history of Atlantis is also found in the annals of Egypt. To use the language of this tradition: ‘The land was shaken by frightful earthquakes. and that the West Indies and other islands were mountains whose peaks were never submerged. traditionary and otherwise. to furnish us light on the subject. celebrated in the north Izcalli. wild and poetical as it seems. says Plato. 49 . The old Central American books allude to the tradition of a catastrophe of this kind. Atlantis disappeared beneath the sea. We must be confined to the ancient records in Mexico and tradition.’ says ‘their power at one time extended into Lybia and into Europe as far as Tyrrhenum. and was destroyed by a sucession of frightful convulsions. The tradition declares the continent was once extended as stated. that ‘three kings reigned there with great and marvelous power. and the waters of the sea combined with volcanic fires to overwhelm and engulf it.

who succeeded them. The Colhuas reach back to a time beyond computation. after many years came to Mexico and conquered the country of the Colhuas. One having made extracts from another when the language was better understood. who were savages. means old. when Cortez came on with his army.among the Spanish. it may be. The Abbe Brasseur. lasting thirteen years. But who were the Toltecs. It will be remembered that a portion of the country was held by a people called Tlascalans. the Aztecs. the next Aztecs. where they remained several years. what is now beyond the result of the scholar has been thus preserved for our use. may be consulted with profit. It is certain also. among the American explorers. who were hostile to the Aztecs. Torquemada says. where they built a town called Tallanzinco. They emigrated again and reached Mexico. and that owing to insurrection or an invasion they were driven away. They. it is said—Old Tlapalan—to distinguish it from three other places of the same name. Huehue. These ancient records declare that an empire once existed in the northeast. and skilled in working metals and stones. The old records are of great value. and the adobe houses of their forefathers may be found to-day in ruins scattered through the valleys in those regions. as has been stated. which became their seat of government. and he formed an alliance with them and they were 50 . industrious and orderly. that the Aztecs had held possession of Mexico only about three hundred years before the invasion by Cortez. One company settled near the Tampico river. to a period nine hundred and fifty-five years before Christ. and the Toltecs. They came from the northwestern or southwestern portion of our continent. founded by them on their way to and in Mexico. and under one great leader a terrible struggle ensued. Catherwood and Stevens. that an old record describes this people as of fine appearance. and finally. Another record informs us that the emigration of the Toltecs was forced— that they were assailed by the Chichimecs. their predecessors? It is claimed that they were a people identical with the mound builders. when Cortez invaded and captured their capital. the next Nahuas or Toltecs. being no longer able to hold out abandoned their country to escape destruction—that two chiefs led the march until they finally reached a region near the sea named Tlapalan Conco. were found in possession of the country in 1520. and Prescott. and the Toltecs. Squier. and later the city of Tullan. intelligent. known as Huehue Tlapalan. It was conducted by twenty chiefs and they were followed by a large number of people. These records show that the very earliest people in Mexico were called Colhuas. says he has a certain date in their language as old as that.

and there is evidence in these ruins of a higher civilization before the Toltec dominion.of great service to him in his conquest. sacrificial. and the greater their age the more elaborate. the last two from a semi-barbarian land. the older ruins exhibit the greatest skill. These nations have scattered their temples. the form and design seem to be the same. if they were the builders. called Chichimecs. the records say. in their monuments and in the records of a succeeding and different race more highly cultivated. And the same mound may be found to-day in Mexico. They were erected for devotional. came from the east in ships—the Toltecs from the northeastern. The Colhuas. and the Aztecs from the northwestern or southwestern portion of our continent. after listening to the echoes which faintly die away as the explorer of these mounds turns his ear to 51 . conquered the Colhuas in Mexico. their work and records have thus far defied the explorer. skillful and beautiful is the work. The present condition and decay of the ruins show their age. particularly on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. “came from the east in ships. and with the exception of the work of the Aztecs. prior to nine hundred and fifty-five years before Christ. If the art is higher in its construction. The Colhuas. The first from an early civilization. as the ancient records say. which have excited the wonder of travelers and historians? It is time to bring this article to a close. that the Toltecs were the people who left their remains in our northern peninsula and on Isle Royal—who dug out the copper there—who built our mounds. and who were. The mounds built by the Toltecs. monuments. then. according to the Abbe Brasseur. Stevens thinks they belonged to a dismembered part of the Tolcan empire. after such an effort to resurrect the buried remains of the past. adopted their high civilization and built the cities scattered over that country. and they have held their secrets with an assurance and success that is discouraging to the antiquarian and scholar. defensive and monumental purposes. Is it too much to say.” As we have said. then. that is. statuary and inscriptions over Mexico. and who survive mostly in tradition. driven out by a savage people. I regret that after so much speculation around which thick clouds rest. and who in turn. evidently the work of the same people or their descendants. with no history of their own for our instruction. are found from Michigan to Mexico. And yet the picture writing on the Aztec monuments furnishes the scholar with no key to interpret the inscriptions on the temples and monuments of Palenque and Capan. mocked the inquisitive.

catch their significance. after peering into the skulls and handling the implements of this strange people. I have afforded so little information to my reader. Strange that time. can utterly destroy the history of a nation—turn its language into a mysterious collection of characters which may never be read. its monuments into puzzles to perplex antiquarians. omnipotent as it is. THE MOUND-BUILDERS 52 . so that not one reliable link between the present and its past can be found to determine from whence its people came and whither they went.

of the presence in bygone ages of that peculiar race known as the mound-builders. and ally them to the ancient race of men who inhabited Brazil in the remote past. of the Smithsonian Institution. often without their true character being recognized. and even within our present city limits. they have been destroyed. of the result of seine inquiries made at my suggestion in regard to the name Tuetle. a tribe “admitted as a younger member of the confederacy of the Six Nations. These facts were ascertained by me in the course of some investigations which I made several years ago. In this connection it is proper to state that I have lately been informed. to lands assigned them on the Susquehauna by the Six Nations. OF DETROIT Read before the Detroit Scientific Associatien in 1874. and at that time I further learned that the Tuetle Indians had been absorbed by the Six Nations.” and that the Tuteloes “are believed to have migrated from Virginia northward. about the middle of the last century. some of the most remarkable relics and monuments of a people whose cranial affinities and evidently advanced civilization totally separate them from the North American Indian. Henry. and have finally been forever lost. And our own State of Michigan. but very little is known of their early history and 53 . often of the most interesting character. has contributed. Along the Detroit and Rouge rivers those monuments. Indian tradition says that these mounds along our river were built in ancient times by a people of whom they (the Indians) know nothing. but were constructed long before their time. and subsequently by the Wyandottes. is constantly being brought to light. and thus large amounts of valuable relics have fallen into ignorant hands. that the mounds were occupied by the Tuetle Indians. Even those works which remain are fast disappearing before the march of modern improvement.IN MICHIGAN by HENRY GILLMAN. The conclusion arrived at is that the word Tuetle is probably a corruption of Tutelo. through the instrumentality of Prof. and if any survive it is there they must be looked for. but in numerous instances. were at one time not infrequent. and for whom they have no name. in the shape of the well-known mounds. Throughout the region of the Great Lakes abundant evidence. in many directions. from the low monotonous shores of Lake Erie to the rocky cliffs of Lake Superior.

migrations.” An interesting paper on the Tuteloes was read by the Rev. J. Anderson, before the American Philological Association, in July, 1871. Reporting Mr. H. Hale’s discoveries, this assigns the Tuteloes to the Dakotan and not the Iroquois stock, and gives an account of Mr. Hale’s visit to Nikungha, the last snrvivor of the tribe of the Tuteloes, and who has since died at the age of 106 years. The establishment of the identity of the Tuetles with the Tuteloes, and their residence on these mounds and along the Detroit river, is not only an interesting addition to our local history, but is of special value in view of its tending to sustain Mr. Hale’s opinion (opposed to the conclusions of others regarding the Dakotan migration) that “in former times the whole of what is now the central portion of the United States, from the Mississippi nearly to the Atlantic, was occupied by Dakotan tribes, who have been cut up and gradually exterminated by the intrusive and more energetic Algonquins and Iroquois.” The relics exhumed from the mounds consist of stone implements, such as axes, chisels, scrapers, arrow-heads, spear-points and knives, fragments of pottery of a great variety of pattern, including the favorite cord pattern so frequently seen in such connection, from the Northern Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico; and the bones of man, generally much decayed, and exhibiting other indications of antiquity. From the fragments of burned bones and charcoal found, it would appear that in the earlier interments cremation was practised. The tibiae present, in an extreme degree, the peculiar flattening or compression pertaining to platycnemic men. In the fourth annual report of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, attention is called to this, some of the relics which I collected here having been donated to the museum by the Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, to whom I had presented them. The curator, Prof. Wyman, says: “Of the tibiae of forty individuals from the mounds of Kentucky, one-third presented this flattening to the extent that the transverse did not exceed 0.60 of the fore and aft diameter. The most extreme case was from the mound on the River Rouge, in Michigan, in which the transverse was only 0.48. In the most marked case mentioned by Broca, viz: In the old man from the CroMagnon (France), it was, as deduced from his figures, 0.60.” Prof. Wyman draws attention to certain resemblances in this bone to the same bone in the ape, adding: “In some of the tibiae the amount of flattening surpasses that of the gorilla and chimpanzee, in each of which we found the short 0.67 of the long diameter, while in the tibie from Michigan it was only 0.48.” Subsequent to this (in 1870), I discovered in adjacent mounds


several instances in which the compression of the tibiae was developed to even a greater extreme. Two remarkable cases of this peculiarity were afforded by tibiae taken by me from a mound on the Detroit river. In one of these unique specimens the transverse diameter of the shaft is 0.42, and in the other 0.40 of the anteroposterior diameter, exceeding, I believe, any platycnemism which has been observed before or since in any part of the world. In communicating these facts to the American Naturalist, not long afterwards, I claimed that the last mentioned case “may be considered as the flattest tibia on record.” (See American Naturalist, October, 1871). Both of these bones are strongly marked with the saber-like curvature, also a characteristic of the chimpanzee, as are likewise many others of the tibiae from the vicinity. The majority of the tibiae present the flattening, which is an exception to the facts as noted in other sections of the United States, where it is supposed to pertain to “only about one-third of all the individuals observed.” In fact it is an exception to find a tibiae from our mounds along the Detroit destitute of this peculiarity; and where one is found it is generally of later burial and consequently of less ancient origin. A few years ago the greater part of the large circular mound in the vicinity of Fort Wayne was removed and most important results were obtained. Eleven human skeletons were exhumed; a large number of burial vases; stone implements in great variety and of superior workmanship, consisting chiefly of axes, fleshers, spear-points, arrow heads, chisels, drillers and sinkers, pipes; a peculiar implement of unknown use, formed of an antler, with duplicate perforations at its thickest end; and two articles manufactured from copper,—one the remains of a necklace, formed of a number of beads strung on a twostranded cord, a few fragments of which remained sufficiently preserved to satisfy me that it was made from vegetable fiber, probably from the basswood (Tilia Americana, L.); the other article of copper consisted of a needle, or borer, several inches in length, quadrangular at the base, and well-wrought. One of the skulls is remarkable for its diminutive size, though adult, its capacity being only 56 cubic inches, or less than 76 per cent of that of the average Indian ‘cranium, which is given as 84 cubic inches by Morton & Meigs, the minimum observed by them being 69 cubic inches. The measurement by Morton of 155 Peruvian crania gives 75 cubic inches for the average bulk of the brain (no greater than that of the Hottentot or New Hollander), the maximum being 101 cubic inches, while the minimum sinks to 58, the smallest in a series of 641 measured


crania; and yet you will perceive this is exceeded in diminutiveness by this crania from the Detroit river. The average volume of the brain in the Mexican is 79 cubic inches, while in a series of measurements of 24 crania from the Kentucky mounds it is found to be 84. The Teutonic crania gives the average of 92 cubic inches. Thus it is seen that while the great volume of the brain is- indicative of power of some sort, the opposite is not always to be regarded as proof of a degraded condition. In short, quality may here, as in other instances, compensate for deficiency in quantity. So we find the cranium of the Peruvian, who possessed a high degree of civilization and refinement, equaled in capacity by that of the New Hollander or Hottentot, while it is exceeded by that of the degraded, brutal North AMerican Indian to the extent of nine cubic inches. Still the crania of the mound-builders, it must be acknowledged, present characteristics which, in the language of Foster, “indicate a low intellectual organization, little removed from that of the idiot.” And this skull from the Detroit river mound must be placed in the same category. Prof. Wyman, in the sixth annual report of the Peabody Museum, in referring to this skull, goes on to say: “In ordinary skulls the ridges of the temporal muscles on the two sides of the head are separated by a space of from three to four inches, seldom less than two, while in the Detroit mound skull this space measures only three-quarters of an inch; and in this respect it presents the same conditions as the skull of a chimpanzee.” It is interesting to remember that “the flattest tibiae on record,” already referred to, were taken by inc from this mound; and all the tibae had more or less sabre-like curvature associated with the platycnemism. It remains for me in this connection to call attention to the fact that the perforation of the humerus is another remarkable characteristic which I have observed to pertain to those platycnemic men of our region. I refer to the communication of the two fossae situated at the lower end of the humerus. This is of great interest, as this peculiarity is most frequently met with in the Negro race; it has also been observed in the Indian, and, though not always present, is quite general in the apes, while it is very seldom seen in the white -races. One of the most remarkable and extensive series of tumuli which are known to exist in this part of the lake region it was my good fortune to discover in the year 1872. I refer to the mounds situated at the head of the St. Clair river, and at the foot of Lake Huron. They extend in continuous succession for about one mile and one-half northward, as I have satisfactorily determined. Strange to say, those who lived in their immediate vicinity knew nothing of their character. A paper which I wrote on the subject, embodying the principal facts, subsequently formed


or. A road having been cut through the easterly slope of this mound.“ which prediction recent discoveries in Wisconsin and Iowa would seem in a fair way of fulfilling. a wide area at one end being covered with a solid crust of black ashes from eighteen inches to two feet thick. I made the remark. The relics from the burial mounds. having been largely used for burial purposes. from what I have seen that future investigation will extend the area in which this type of bone is predominant to the entire region of the Great Lakes. One of them presented some features distinctive of the “refuse heaps” of our Atlantic coast. alternating with well-wrought beads of copper. and was afterward copied into several of the leading periodicals of the country. mostly cervical vertebrae. pottery. in addition to those usually found. But the most interesting feature of this repository of relics was a grave. Clair. and one sixteen inches in length. In the mound containing the last mentioned ornaments several interments had been made. a tributary of the St. no other instance of the 57 . pots. and the bones of birds stained green as in the first instance. are of similar character. “I cannot but believe. and stone implements. finely perforated at the roots.) two feet in diameter surmounted the summit. stone implements and other relics. the other composed of the teeth of the moose. and the decayed stump of a scarlet oak (Quercus cocinea Wang. a plate of mica five by four inches. the interior of which was described to me as being lined with pottery similar to that of which the vases. the roots spreading above the contents in all directions. which contributed some unusual features. In dwelling on this circumstance. including the American Journal of Science. containing the bones of various animals used for food. that at least our northern mound-buildcrs will be found to have possessed this trait in the degree and to the extent denoted . in other words. Stone lance or spear heads of great length were taken out. two of them being each over a foot long..a part of the sixth annual report of the Peabody Museum of Archeology and Ethnology. On the west bank of the Black river. and two necklaces. The numerous mounds. consisted of an extraordinarily large number of broken stone hammers of the rudest kind. are formed. This was so peculiar a circumstance. and of the north of Europe. if not of the Great West. All the tibiae noticed by me exhibited the compression characterizing platycnemic men. with few exceptions. is a burial mound. in connection with my previous discoveries in the same direction. The general publicity thus given the discoveries precludes the necessity of more than a passing notice here. stained a beautiful green color resembling enamel. the consequent excavation revealed a large number of human bones. etc. one made of small bones. broken pottery.

sufficiently satisfied me as to their ancient origin. but in this instance made with a large cord or small rope. not long after. and marked abundantly with the cord pattern. My chief informant was perfectly uneducated in such matters. different from any other specimens I have seen elsewhere. known to be of such frequent employment. many of them being finely polished. So rough and unfinished was the unornamented side that it had every appearance of having been pressed upon the ground while yet plastic. A remarkable series of those works occurs at Beaver harbor. This certainly appeared to confirm the statement. adhering to it. many of them being of uncommonly skillful workmanship. a favorite material for this implement. From the success attending my brief labors it would appear that the more valued relics of the mound-builders have been here deposited in unusual abundance. and even attributed the peculiar formation lining the sides of the grave to the coagulation and final hardening of blood. They are formed of a great variety of stone. such as diorite. on Beaver island. 58 . to make a special examination. and scattered a multitude of valuable remains. sienite. One of the handsomest stone axes I ever saw was taken out at this place. which. They appeared to be of the same character as the mounds on the Detroit river and those at the foot of Lake Huron. are frequently encountered. in Lake Michigan. After having viewed the evidences I had no longer any great difficulty in receiving the statements previously made. and sand.kind having come to my knowledge. further excavation revealed a considerable quantity of fragments of the pottery above referred to as having been said to have lined the grave. accounting for its presence in such large quantity by presuming a battle to have been fought in the vicinity. Highly wrought stone implements. and unsmoothed. confirmed this impression. shale and chert. The few fragments of human bones. were in the last stages of decay. They were probably largely used for purposes of sepulture. It is made from sienite. Time will not permit inc to speak of a number of other mounds which have come under my observation. while the other side was convex. Though the construction of the road through the mound had destroyed most of the original features. or greenstone. that at first. The side so ornamented was invariably concave. But I availed myself of an opportunity of visiting the locality. I considered the statement highly improbable. A very limited and hurried examination which I made of the group in 1871. and even gravel. and the handicraft displayed in its construction is of the highest order. I found this pottery to be of rather a coarser description than usual. on this occasion were exhumed with the pottery.

In the year 1872 some of the most remarkable of the ancient works yet encountered were brought to light by a party of explorers on Isle Royale. LAKE SUPERIOR. generally pits of from ten to thirty feet in diameter. having. wherever examined being sunk through the few feet of superincumbent drift. into the amygdaloid copper-bearing rock. rocky shore. Some idea of their extent may be arrived at from the statement of a gentleman well known in mining interests. and all the advantages comprehended by our present civilization. are found scattered throughout the island. correspond in a remarkable degree. who is at present engaged in developing the mineral resources of the place. the mistake of supposing it to belong to Canada is frequently made. This may well appear almost incredible when we take into account the disadvantages under which these primitive miners must have labored. more or less dense. They invariably are on the richest veins.. Nearly the entire of the island is covered with a growth of timber. and from twenty to sixty feet in depth. it pertained to Minnesota rather than to Michigan.from the south shore of Lake Superior. and from fifteen to twenty miles from its north shore. A large number of islands and rocky inlets lie off the main island. in some places rising more than 700 feet above the level of Lake Superior. etc. the amount of labor performed by those ancient workmen far exceeds that of one of our oldest copper mines on the south shore of Lake Superior. where it exists. in most parts of the coast line. Canada. to which geographically it would seemingly belong. and the intelligence displayed in the tracing and following of the veins when interrupted. abounding in deep inlets and small harbors or coves. a mine which has now been U constantly worked with a large force for over twenty years.I shall close with a short account of the recent discoveries of ANCIENT MIINING AT ISLE ROYALE. on three sections of land toward the north side of the island. and lies off Ontario. and who calculated that. consisting of the species usually composing our northern forest. Isle Royale is situated about fifty miles. particularly in a northeast and southwest direction—the line of its greater axis—to which direction the rocky elevations of the island. The works. varying from five to nine in breadth. 59 . Consequently. The island is nearly fifty miles in length. an exceedingly ragged. including the various improvements in mining appliances and the vast resources of modern science. or one might suppose that belonging to the United States. at one point alone.

. but are oftener without this adaptation. or at their bottom. shaped like a bowl. having examined a large number of those tools. Stopes 100 feet in length are found. Tools made of copper. A large portion of a wooden utensil. A drain sixty feet long presented some interesting features. The tools. the timbers had mostly decayed. Arrowheads of copper have also been picked up. no other tools formed of stone have been observed. drains being cut in the rock to carry off the water. the chief tool with which the labor was performed. With the exception of the stone hammers. weighing from ten to even thirty pounds. though injured from oxidation. e. These excavations are connected underground. When opened. excavations such as are described extend in almost a continuous line for more than two miles. charcoal. at the surface. and where bearing veins of copper are generally worked. the vessel was thinner in those portions. the wood having been more easily removed when working in certain directions. filling it for nearly its entire length with the rotted wood. apparently through the agency of fire. The stone hammers. appear to have been of fair workmanship. and were evidently hardened. The fragment was not of uniform thickness throughout. Having seen the remark that tile copper tools of the ancient miners are of rough and not polished exterior. It must originally have been about three feet in diameter. p. I believe this roughness to have 60 . in most instances the pits being so close together as barely to permit their convenient working. as if lost in the chase. on the north side of the island. having been cut through the surface drift into the rock. These mauls are occasionally found grooved for the affixture of the handle. when cutting with the grain. inferences being drawn therefrom as to their rude construction. Even the rocky islets off the coast have not escaped the observation of those ancient miners. it had evidently been covered for its entire length by timbers felled and laid across. They are either perfect or are broken from use. etc. and the fragments of large numbers of them are found intermingled with the debris on the edge of the pits. and from its appearance something of the rude character of the tool employed in shaping it could be gathered.. both in the vicinity of the pits and scattered over the island. This vessel had possibly been used in bailing water from the excavation. and consisting principally of chisels and knives. and the center portions had sunk into the cavity. have been taken from such of the pits as have been explored. have been found by cartloads.has elicited the astonishment of all who have witnessed it—no mistakes having apparently been made in this respect. or mauls. at the bottom of a pit. I wish to say that. was taken from the debris. At a deep inlet known as McCargoe’s Cove.

From the method pursued by this people in mining. mostly of vegetable matter. It is possible the two classes of tools here referred to may mark two distinct eras in the history of this manufacture.been caused mostly by corrosion. The method of mining pursued by those people was evidently. yet it does not seem too much to estimate hundreds of years for their accomplishment. Though no exact estimate can now be made as to the length of time occupied in the prosecution of those extensive works. if those people withdrew during the lengthy winter season. often in the roughest manner. and. Foster to prove that the mound-builders understood the art of fusing copper. then. Excellent arguments have been advanced by Mr. wearisome process! Even with a large force constantly engaged in this labor. if not polished. Some of the copper heads taken from the “mounds” in Michigan display a wonderful degree of neatness in the manipulation of the metal. could barely be equivalent to two of our skilled miners. The removal of the contents was consequently very dirty work. the original surface being apparent in places. on turning back the overlying drift. The pits which have been examined. more or less interrupted as they undoubtedly must have been. What a slow. yet the agency of fire was here evidently not employed. at least. some of their copper tools were made by being cast or moulded. as has been supposed. by being cleaned out. Besides this. they were partly filled with water. with their rude methods. and that. and evidently confirming the fact that at least the external faces of the tool were originally approximately smooth. it would more than double the period required. when by the application of water the rock was sufficiently disintegrated. yet in most cases the evidence appears conclusive that the rudely-fashioned tool was simply wrought by being beaten into the desired form. and that the moulded tool designates an advance from the primitive method of hammering the metal into shape. An experienced mining captain computed that two hundred of those men. beneath which lay a thick bed of charcoal and mud mingled with fragments of copper-bearing rock. As to the time which has elapsed since the mines have ceased to 61 . to heat the rook through the aid of fire. to attack and separate it with their great stone mauls. In many cases this is quite palpable. in which the agency of fire bore so prominent a part. it would seem improbable they could have long remained ignorant of the fusibility of the metal. it must have taken a long series of years to accomplish the work exhibited. the accumulations of many a fall of the leaf. the junction of the bead being in many cases almost imperceptible. invariably had on top a large deposit.

but had grown and decayed where the stump stood. In one ease. has made some valuable and suggestive remarks on the relation observed by the different species of forest growth. no difference being observable in the growth. and some years may also be allowed for the time which may have elapsed before it commenced growing on its peculiar site. in his “Antiquity of Man. we have 584 years as the period of its growth. As at Isle Royale. and on the tumuli formed of the excavated debris which surround them. interior portion of the stump remaining sound. may not be far from the truth.unbroken. only the red. in his notes on the Ohio mounds. as already given. This tree had not been blown down. On removing this stump the debris underlying it was found to consist of the 62 . I cannot but conclude that since the last work was done on those pits. President of the United States. the partially decayed stump of a red oak (probably Quercus coccinea. gave as the result the number of 384. those excavations and the debris surrounding them . Lyell. The remains of trees older by hundreds of years than the oldest of our present timber are found in and on the sides of the pits. and not considered an overestimate.) was found on the tumulus at the edge of a pit. all the timber now growing on them being of the same character as that covering the adjacent worked by this by-gone race. acknowledged to have been remarkably skilled in woodcraft as well as in warfare. a more definite approximation can be reached. A large proportion of the rotted wood surrounded it. The present growth of forest covers. several generations of trees have arisen and disappeared. But it must be remembered that this does not prevent the period of the desertion of the works being placed back at twice or even three times that distance. on their sides. In other words it only proves that the pits had not been worked within the time mentioned. are now growing in the pits. Trees.” quotes the passage with further and approving remarks. through the regular rotation. To this will have to be added thee number of years which a tree with the durability of the wood of this species takes to reach the stage of decay here exhibited. the species of the present forest covers equally the excavations and the adjoining land. from two to four feet in diameter. the present condition of things was bronght to pass. If to this be added 200 rings. and which is now in process of supplanting by what is known as our ‘‘second growth. we may form some slight conception of the period which must have elapsed before. undecayed center of the tree. as representing the decayed outer portion of the stump. Various careful estimates have placed this period from seven hundred to eight hundred years. therefore. A careful enumeration of the annual rings composing this red. So that the placing this period at from 700 to 800 years.” The late General Harrison. Linn.

where. many valuable facts connected with the life of this remarkable people. From another pit. others fractured from use. which had apparently been exposed to the action of fire and then had been partially hammered into a shape approximating to a bowl-like utensil. and more interesting still. It had evidently fallen into the pit long after it had been deserted. It is manifest from the working of the veins. mingled with considerable amounts of charcoal. where a stream about forty feet in width had cut a channel through the rocks and formed quite a fall of water. The bones were so decayed. beneath a third deposit of vegetable matter. which. It occupies an elevated slope. the object of their toil. The latter are found in large quantities in the rubbish forming the tumuli at the mouths of the pits. and occupying the successive terraces of the slope. it is hoped will afford. a knife. however. the walls of which were generally left unbroken. with other points on the island.usual angular fragments of copper-bearing rock. which varied frown a quarter of an inch to an inch in thickness. on a thorough exploration. Pine-trees (Pinus strobus) of the present forest. have frequently been cut on the tumuli. But time did not permit a satisfactory examination of this interesting locality. rejecting as unmanageable the fragments of rook which contained even large-sized nuggets of the metal. giving an extensive view of Lake Superior and overlooking the intervening point of land which makes the little bay an excellent harbor. thrown out from the adjoining pit. and. made of copper. exhibits the character of the copper generally sought by those men. that they crumbled to pieces. Indications suggest that timber or bark was used in their construction. generally about four feet in depth. This. in which 380 annual rings have been counted. or the habitations of these people. At an indentation of the coast on the south side of the island. had perished. that those miners followed the deposits of sheetlike copper. as well as in the excavations themselves. unable to escape. the remains of the skeleton of a deer were exhumed. The remains consist of a series of shallow excavations. to the south shore of Lake 63 . and they vary from ten to thirty feet in diameter. They doubtless shipped the copper. Another interesting relic consists of a sheet-like piece of copper. and it was only through the undecayed portions of an antler that the animal was recognized. some perfect. others are quadrangular. and with which were intermingled a large number of stone hammers. too. Some of these pits are circular. was discovered what is taken to be the site of the town. they seemingly had been pushed behind those miners as they advanced in the exploration of the vein. the soil being thrown up around them to a sufficient height.

the sheltered and yet commanding hillside. places them above the Indian in the scale of humanity. the skull being orthocephalic. ie. and the Teutonic. up to this time the bones of man have not been met with on the island. The conformation of the bones of this race. as is testified by the articles of copper found in the burial-places of the mound-builders. they have completely disappeared through decay. from its general outline. as has been already remarked. the abundant stream and fall of water. therefore. occupies a position between the Indian cranium. Singular to say. I have named. Triangle Island. widely separate them from the North American Indian. were all strong recommendations even to those semi-savage inhabitants. But this conclusion will hardly be accepted as satisfactory. who. it being hitherto unnamed on any of the maps.. of a population so crowded as is implied by the extensive excavations on Isle Royale. though not of any great intellectual development. Of the excavations on the small islands lying off Isle Royale. which enabled them to watch the return and departure of their copper-laden flotillas. some must have died during even the periodic occupation of the island. and there is no 64 . copper tools. and it is to be hoped that the explorations in process of being made will result in the discovery of human remains. and ally them rather with the ancient inhabitants of Brazil. whose monuments are so widely distributed through our country. for the purpose of distinguishing it. the wonderful metal finding its way thence to other parts of the country. The good landing. It is also remarkable that the discoveries of the remains at the settlements on the south shore of Lake Superior have never included human bones—so far as I am aware—but have been confined chiefly to excavations.Superior. which is brachycephalic. and is a sandstone rock with very little soil on any part of it. was well selected as a town site. Their characteristics suggest a people. and stone hammers. the admirable harbor. during so long a lapse of time. it is difficult to believe but that. which is dolicocephalic. however humble. Some contend that. and are not devoid of an ambition which. and only a few small trees or brushes at one end. This point. and have been buried there. and the unremitting toil which is devoted to the amelioration of life through the improvement of its surroundings. are capable of patient endeavor. and especially the cranium. an interesting example was discovered by me on the rocky islet which. This island lies off the south-west end of Isle Royale. These will doubtless identify this people with the mound-builders. It is possible those men may have had some superstitious belief which led to the removal of their dead to their burial mounds further south. The sides of the island rise abruptly.

is a marked depression. This is of rectangular form. and all along it. But about thirty-five feet northwestward of the head of the landing occurs a more remarkable excavation. I am inclined to think that mine were the first hands to rest on those objects since the departure of the primitive workmen. as from indications we hoped to find this the repository of some valuable relics. Small boats could easily be hauled out here. leads down to the lake. Though of small size. The rock is discolored as if from the action of fire. wherever are indications of copper mines. but though emptied of its contents nothing further was encountered. The fragments occasionally contained copper. All those works exhibit the same roughish surface. at each end of the circular pits. already described. had a large slab of rock covering its mouth. and presenting some indications of artificial origin. to our disappointment. and the isolated character of the island. twenty-live feet long by twenty feet wide. and also in a cleft-like indentation on the south side. and the well-like pits are immediately perceived to be the work of human agency. At this place the rock is mostly as level as the floor of a room. by about twenty feet wide. probably decaying through the lapse of ages. Though careful search was made. We found this pit more than half full of the angular fragments above alluded to. are the circular pits of the ancient miners. occupying nearly the center of the island. they are remarkably distinct. a gradual slope. and rather abundant on the 65 . from two to five feet in diameter. From appearances. particularly with the aid of timbers laid for the purpose. the rock being generally smooth throughout.landing for even small boats. no relics were met with other than the angular fragments of the rock broken off by the usual methods pursued by those rude miners. sixty feet in length. At two places. Immediately at the inner end of the southern landing. and at the base of the more central point the sandstone is considerably hollowed. Near this. as a place of safety. they had long since disappeared. Had any tools or other utensils been deposited here. This last mentioned landing has much the appearance of its natural conditions having been improved by artificial means. the copper veins in the wall-like cliff had been attacked and partly excavated. as are most of the pits. One of the smaller pits. It is filled with water. totally unlike that produced by the action of water. a little over two feet in diameter and nearly two feet deep. and about as many feet deep. except for a short space on the northeast side. It required two men to remove this. It may not be uninteresting to state in this connection that I found the rare fern Botrychium lunaria (Swartz) flourishing.

The so-called “Garden Beds. across a stormy and treacherous sea. and dignifying them with something of the prowess and spirit of adventure which we associate with the higher races of man. caribou. much decayed and gnawed by rodents—which were picked up at two separate points on the island. it was. The caribou. from a more southern latitude. It grows in tufts of Potentllla tridentata (Ait. or was the work prosecuted during the summer months only? These are questions not easily answered. would seem to imply that they were of no desultory or intermittent rock of this island. would not be ashamed to acknowledge. gives evidence of his former presence in the horns which are sometimes found. must. thus affording food in considerable quantity. and smaller mammals. great or small. and other dwarfed plants. However. The discoveries on Isle Royale throw a new light on the character of the mound-builders. largely dependent on cereals for subsistence. today. to be available. most likely. The island probably abounded in game. in sufficient supply. giving us a totally different conception of them. as is probable. It is evident that such extensive operations as are here described required a system and an organization of no mean order for those days The vast extent and the method of their labors.). if such were employed? How did so great a population support life in such circumscribed limits while still carrying on their mining operations? Did they make a permanent settlement. whose dangers are formidable to us now. In contemplating the facts involved. and I have now in my possession two interesting relics—the larger portions of the antlers of this animal. these men dared to face the unknown—to brave the hardships and perils of the deep and of the wilderness. wore doubtless not scarce. How did this people become aware of those mineral deposits at so isolated a point? How did these men become present in such large numbers as is implied by the extent of the works discovered? What was the character of their vessels or sailing craft. If grain food was used by them. grass. transported to the island. in all probability. long extinct here. being dreaded by even our largest craft. and often proving their destruction. The deer. or were they simply migratory. The copper. visiting the island and returning as occasion offered? Did any or all of them remain throughout the severe northern winter. actuated by an ambition which we. their families abiding with them. the object of the mining. bear. Leaving their homes.” covering so wide an area of 66 . many questions are naturally suggested. have been conveyed in vessels. while the waters were alive with many varieties of fish. we have hitherto supposed that the mound-builders were essentially an agricultural people.

That a central government. that commercial transactions. in presence of the remarkable disclosures here detailed. the rude boats or vessels pass to and fro in busy traffic. existed between them. it was not difficult for the imagination to repeople the solitudes once more with those primitive men. situated at the south. The past rises and recreates itself. ruled with patriarchal if not autocratic sway over the entire region. demonstrate the agricultnraj habits of the ancient people of this region. the forest falls beneath the blows of their rude axes. the constant finding in the burial places of the latter of ornaments and utensils wade of Lake Superior copper would warrant.the St. some. are bound with their valued freight for the main land far to the south. The remains of these cultivated fields also afford a clue as to the source of the chief part of the supplies required for the mining adventures in the northern country. as well as similar grounds of other places. disappearing in the distance. landing on the precipitous islets. which cannot be received without further confirmation. Michigan. If the ancient miners were not identical with the mound-builders. however. begrimed. at least. Again they swarm along the rocky beaches with those ragged shores. The question will not fail to suggest itself: Were these vast operations accomplished through slave labor? That a conquered people were kept at this isolated place by their victors. the overhanging cliffs echo and resound with the clang of their stone hammers. delve in the slowly-deepening pits. Standing on the rocky eminences of the island. from their toil. and looking down on the surrounding features. 67 . or by the banks of the beautiful lakes of the interior. is an opinion. which lie scattered along the pleasant indentations of the coast. softly ascending to the same blue Heaven which still bends over all with its eternal benediction. the voice of an unknown language falls upon the air with a strange rhythm. many circumstances more than hint at. and in this thraldom obliged to work the copper mines. from Mexico to Lake Superior. even then torn with the storms of thousands of winters. the half-naked savages. Joseph river and Grand river valleys. the curling smoke rises from their excavations or their dwellings. baptized in the silvery spray of Lake Superior. The apparent similarity of their characteristics and habits is further testimony in this direction.

68 .