Barcarolle No. 3 in G-flat Major, Op. 42

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Acosta, a Jesuit who was for some time engaged as a missionary among them. From the fact that no ancient author has made mention of the [14] compass, he discredits the supposition that the first inhabitants of this country found their way here by sea. His conclusion is that they must have found a passage by the North of Asia and Europe which he supposes to join each other; or by those regions which lie southward of the straits of Magellan.

Gregorio Garcia, who was likewise a missionary among the Mexicans and Peruvians, from the traditions of those nations, and from the variety of characters, customs, languages and religion, observable in the new world, has formed the opinion that it was peopled by several different nations.

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The resemblance of the northern Indians, in feature, complexion and manner of living, to the Scythians, Tartars, and Samojedes, being greater than to any other nations. Emanuel de Moraez, in his history of Brazil, says that this continent was wholly peopled by the Carthaginians and Israelites. In confirmation of this opinion, he mentions the discoveries which the Carthaginians are known to have made beyond the coast of Africa.

The progress of these discoveries being stopped by the Senate of Carthage, those who happened to be in the newly discovered countries, cut off from all communication with their countrymen, and being destitute of many of the necessaries of life, easily fell into a state of barbarism. George de Huron, a Dutch writer on this subject, considering the short space of time which elapsed between the creation of the world and the deluge, maintains that America could not have been peopled before the flood. He likewise supposes that its first inhabitants were located in the north; and that the primitive colonies extended themselves over the whole extent of the continent, by means of the Isthmus of Panama.

He asserts, on the authority of Josephus, that the port at which this embarkation was made, lay in the Mediterranean. In the latter opinion he is supported by Columbus, who, when he discovered that Island, thought he could trace the furnaces in which the gold had been refined. Monsieur Charlevoix, who travelled through North America, is of opinion that it received its first inhabitants from Tartary and Hyrcania.

In support of this impression he says that some of the animals which are to be found here, must have come from those countries: a fact which would go to prove that the two hemispheres join to the northward of Asia. And in order to strengthen this conjecture, he relates the following story, which he says was told to him by Father Grollon, a French Jesuit, as matter of fact.

Father Grollon said, that after having labored some 16 time in the missions of New France, he passed over to China. One day as he was travelling in Tartary he met a Huron woman whom he had known in Canada. He asked her by what adventure she had been carried into a country so very remote from her own; she replied that having been taken in war, she was conducted from nation to nation, until she reached the place where she then was.

Monsieur Charlevoix narrates another circumstance of a similar kind.

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He says that he had been assured, another Jesuit had met with a Floridian woman in China. Here she had married a Tartar, who had attended the conquerors in China, and with whom she then was. Arguing from these facts and from the similarity of several kinds of wild beasts which are found in America, with those of Hyrcania and Tartary, he arrives at what he deems, a [16] rational conclusion, that more than one nation in America had Scythian or Tartarian extraction. Charlevoix possessed a good opportunity of becoming acquainted with the character and habits of the American Indians.

His theory however has been controverted by some, possessing equal advantages of observation. Adair, an intelligent gentleman who resided among the nations during the space of forty years, and who became well acquainted with their manners, customs, religion, traditions and language, has given to them a very different origin. But perfect soever as may have been his knowledge of their manners, customs, religion and traditions, yet it must be admitted that any inquiry into these, with a view to discover their origin, would most probably prove fallacious.

A knowledge of the primitive language, alone can cast much light on the subject. Whether this knowledge can ever be attained, is, to say the least, very questionable——Being an unwritten language, and subject to change for so many centuries, it can scarcely be supposed 17 now to bear much, if any affinity, to what it was in its purity. Adair says, that from the most exact observation he could make during the long time which he traded among the Indians, he was forced to believe them lineally descended from the Israelites, either when they were a maritime power, or soon after the general captivity; most probably the latter.

He thinks that had the nine tribes and a half, which were carried off by Shalmanezer, king of Assyria, and which settled in Media, remained there long, they would, by intermarrying with the nations of that country, from a natural fickleness and proneness to idolatry, and from the force of example, have adopted and bowed before the Gods of the Medes and Assyrians; and have carried them along with them.

But he affirms that there is not the least trace of this idolatry to be discovered among the Indians: and hence he argues that those of the ten tribes who were the forefathers of the natives, soon advanced eastward from Assyria and reached their settlements in the new continent, before the destruction of the first Temple.

In support of the position that the American Indians are thus descended, Mr. Adair adduces among others the following arguments:. The Sachem is a necessary party in conveyances and treaties, to which he affixes the mark of his tribe. If we go from nation to nation among them, we shall not find one, who does not distinguish himself by his respective family. The genealogical names which they assume, are derived either from the names of those animals whereof the cherubim is said in revelation to be compounded; or from such creatures as are most similar to them.

The Indians bear no religious respect to the animals from which they derive their names; on the contrary they kill them whenever an opportunity serves. Moreover they call some of their tribes by the names of the cherubinical figures, which were carried on the four principal standards of Israel. All the nations of Indians have a great deal of religious pride, and an inexpressible contempt for the white people.

In their war orations they used to call us the accursed people , but flatter themselves with the name of the beloved people , because their supposed ancestors were, as they affirm, under the immediate government of the Deity, who was present with them in a peculiar manner, and directed them by Prophets, while the rest of the world were aliens to the covenant. It is this opinion, that God has chosen them out of the rest of mankind, as his peculiar people, which inspires the white Jew, and the red American, with that steady hatred against all the world except themselves, and renders them hated and despised by all.

Their words and sentences are expressive, concise, emphatical, sonorous and bold; and often both the letters and signification are synonymous with the Hebrew language. Adair cites a number of examples. They divide the year into spring, summer, autumn and winter. They number their year from any of these four periods, for they have no name for a year; and they subdivide these and count the year by lunar months, like the Israelites who counted time by moons, as their name sufficiently testifies.

They began the year at the appearance of the first new moon of the vernal equinox, according to the ecclesiastical year of Moses. As the Jews have a Sanctum Sanctorum, so have all the Indian nations. There they deposit their consecrated vessels——none of the laity daring to approach that sacred place. The Indian tradition says, that their forefathers were possessed of an extraordinary divine spirit by which they foretold future events; and that this was transmitted to their offspring, provided they obeyed the sacred laws annexed to it.

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  8. There are traces of agreement, though chiefly lost, in their pontifical dress. Before the Indian Archimagus officiates in making the supposed holy fire for the yearly atonement of sin, the Sagan clothes him with a white ephod, which is a waistcoat without sleeves. In resemblance of the Urim and Thummim the American Archimagus wears a breastplate made of a white conch-shell, with two holes bored in the middle of it, through which he puts the ends of an otter-skin strap; and fastens a buck-horn white button to the outside of each; as if in imitation of the precious stones of the Urim.

    In remarking upon this statement of Mr. Adair, Faber, a learned divine of the church of England, has said, that Ishtoallo the name according to Adair of the Indian priests is most probably a corruption of Ish-da-Eloah , a man of God, the term used by the Shunemitish woman in speaking of Elisha; and that Sagan is the very name by which the Hebrews called the deputy of the High Priest, who supplied his office and who performed the functions of it in the absence of the high priest, or when any accident had disabled him from officiating in person.

    This could not be the fact if a majority of the old nations were of heathenish descent. They are utter strangers to all the gestures practiced by Pagans in their religious rites.

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    They have likewise an appellative, which with them is the mysterious, essential name of God; the tetragrammaton , which they never use in common 22 speech. They are very particular of the time and place, when and where they mention it, and this is always done in a very solemn manner. It is known that the Jews had so great and sacred regard for the four lettered, divine name, as scarcely ever to mention it, except when the High Priest went into the sanctuary for the expiation of sins. Adair likewise says that the American Indians, like the Hebrews, have an ark in which are kept various holy vessels, and which is never suffered to rest on the bare ground.

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    They have also a faith, in the power and holiness of their ark, as strong as the Israelites had in theirs. It is too sacred and dangerous to be touched by any one, except the chieftain and his waiter. The leader virtually acts the part of a priest of war protempore, in imitation of the Israelites fighting under the divine military banner.

    Among their other religious rites the Indians, according to Adair, cut out the sinewy part of the thigh; in commemoration, as he says, of the Angel wrestling with Jacob. They believe that swallowing gnats, flies and the like, always breed sickness. Adair, are quite Levitical. He acknowledges however, that they have no traces of circumcision; but he supposes that they lost this rite in their wanderings, as it ceased among the Hebrews, during the forty years in the wilderness.

    According to the same particular divine [22] law of mercy, each of the Indian nations has a house or town of refuge, which is a sure asylum to protect 23 a man-slayer, or the unfortunate captive, if they can but once enter into it.

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    In almost every nation they have peaceable towns, called ancient holy, or white towns. These seem to have been towns of refuge; for it is not in the memory of man, that ever human blood was shed in them, although they often force persons from thence and put them to death elsewhere. The Indian custom looks the very same way; but in this as in their law of blood, the eldest brother can redeem. With these and many arguments of a like kind, has Mr.

    Adair endeavored to support the conjecture, that the American Indians are lineally descended from the Israelites; and gravely asks of those who may dissent from his opinion of their origin and descent, to inform him how they came here, and by what means they formed the long chain of rites and customs so similar to those of the Hebrews, and dissimilar to the rites and customs of the pagan world.

    Major Carver, a provincial officer who sojourned some time with the Indians and visited twelve different nations of them, instead of observing the great similarity, mentioned by Adair as existing between the natives and Hebrews, thought he could trace features of resemblance between them and the Chinese and Tartars; and has undertaken to shew how they might have got here.

    He says,. From these islands a communication with the main land could be more readily effected than from any other point. At different periods each nation might prove victorious, and the conquered by turns fly before the conquerors; and hence might arise the similitude of the Indians to all these people, and that animosity which exists among so many of their tribes.

    This might have been effected at different times and from different parts: from Tartary, China, Japan or Kamschatka, the inhabitants of these countries resembling each other, in color, feature and shape. Other writers on this subject, coinciding in opinion with Carver, mention a tradition which the Indians in Canada have, that foreign merchants clothed in silk formerly visited them in great ships: these are supposed to have been Chinese, the ruins of Chinese ships having been found on the American coast.

    The names of many of the American kings, are said to be Tartar; and Tartarax, who reigned formerly in Quivira, means the Tartar.

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    Manew, the founder of the Peruvian empire, most probably came from the Manchew Tartars. Montezuma, the title of the emperors of Mexico, is of Japanese extraction; for according to some authors it is likewise the appellation of the Japanese Monarch. The plant Ginseng, since found in America, where the natives termed it 25 Garentoguen, a word of the same import in their language, with Ginseng in the Tartar, both meaning The Thighs of a Man.

    Robertson is decidedly of opinion, that the different tribes of American Indians, excepting the Esquimaux, are of Asiatic extraction. He refers to a tradition among the Mexicans of the migration of their ancestors from a remote country, situated to the north-west of Mexico, and says they point out their various stations as they advanced into the interior provinces, which is precisely the route they must have held, if they had been emigrants from Asia. Jefferson, in his notes on Virginia, says, that the passage from Europe to America was always practicable, even to the imperfect [24] navigation of the ancient times; and that, from recent discoveries, it is proven, that if Asia and America be separated at all it is only by a narrow streight.

    A knowledge of their several languages would be the most certain evidence of their derivation which could be produced. In fact it is the best proof of the affinity of nations, which ever can be referred to. After regretting that so many of the Indian tribes have been suffered to perish, without our having collected and preserved the general rudiments of their language, he proceeds,. Arranging them under the radical ones to which they may be palpably traced, and doing the same by those of the red men of Asia, there will be found probably twenty in America, for one in Asia, of those radical languages; so called because if ever they were the same, they have lost all resemblance to one another.

    A greater number of those radical changes of language having taken place among the red men of America proves them of greater antiquity than those of Asia. He also made two beings to whom he gave living souls and named them Ea-gwe-howe, real people. Subsequently some of the people became giants and committed outrages upon the others.