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the summit, I measured a beach tree which is ten feet nine inches in circumference. The tree stands upon the sloping part of the mound, and is on the upper side at the point I measured about two and one half feet from the earth, while on the lower side it is more than six feet. This fact will furnish a tolerable idea of the degree of declivity on the side of the mound.
“On the southeast side, there is a projection of earth from the mound similar to the one first described, except that it does not extend to the summit; at the distance of forty-two feet from the top, it forms a large triangular platform, upon which are many very large trees. I measured one oak, which had fallen and is in decay. The bark had been destroyed, and yet at the distance of six feet from the but-end it is twelve feet and four inches in circumference. Upon this huge oak, lying in ruins, I gazed with admiration, as a monument of the antiquity of the stupendous mound. How long previous to the growth of this tree, the mound had stood, no monument could tell. But long enough for the tree to spring up from its seed, and for several centuries, till overpowered with age, it had fallen and is now returning to dust again. The mind is lost in conjecture about this huge pile. In regard to its history, not a vestige remains but the proof of its antiquity, and even this is imperfect. All we can say, is, that it is as ancient as the trees it bore.
“That the mound, large as it might be, was constructed to answer the purpose of some human design, cannot be questioned. This a careful observer would infer from the mound itself, and when he views it in connection with other traces of design with which it was associated, his conviction must be complete. At a short distance southeast, stands another mound, in ascending which, I took thirty steps. It was circular, and one hundred feet in diameter on the top. Around its edge a parapet of earth
“1. They are very numerous. 2. They are found chiefly in the western districts of our country. 3. They are usually near a water-course. 4. They are constructed in a style of defence. 5. They are covered with trees in all respects similar in kind and size with the surround. ing forests. Some of these trees are very large. In the neighborhood of Knoxville, as I was informed by a respectable man, Col. Ramsey, a tree had been cut down on one of these mounds, at the but-end of which the owner counted two hundred growth, or circles, in the wood. Each of these, according to received opinion, represents one year of its age; therefore it seems the mound must have been two hundred years old, and how much more, none can tell.* 6. They were constructed before the discovery of America. This is certain, looking at the ability requisite for such undertakings. The natives then were as utterly destitute of the means or disposition, as they now are. The probability is that they were built before the present race of natives inhabited the continent.
“In some of these mounds deposits of human bones have been found. In many others, however, no traces of bones can be found.
“ The High Tower river rises in the mountainous part of the Cherokee country, opposite to the Hiwassee, and runs in a southwesterly course till it unites with the Oostanaulee, and forms the Coosa, which again unites with the Tallapoosa, and forms the Alabama. This last empties into the gulf of Mexico. The High Tower mound stands upon the northern side of the river, about ten or twelve miles from its junction with the Oostanaulee. I observed no fossils around it except a few pebbles, and some scattering pieces of mica or isinglass. This last surprised me much, for it was the first I had seen since leaving Maryland.
:“ If I could only have devoted a few hours more to the examination of this wonderful mound, and its entrenchment, I should have rejoiced. But the Indians were entirely wearied before I had completed the little I did. I was therefore at their word obliged to leave it. I trust it will yet receive a minute inspection and description from some qualified person. Of this, however, I have not much hope, it is so far from any public road."*
“ High Tower, Sabbath, October 20.—After breakfast I was left alone with John Brown, the Cherokee half-breed, whom I had taken with me as an interpreter,+ and we endeavored to devote the day to the worship of God. We were frequently interrupted by the Indians, but yet it was one of the most profitable Sabbaths I ever experienced. My heart was more tender than usual, and while we read the Bible, the only book with us, I could not refrain from tears of affection to that dear
* These mounds are found in the vicinity of each other, spread over the great plains, from the southern shore of Lake Erie to the gulf of Mexico, generally in the neighborhood of the great rivers. For the history of the aboriginal inhabitants of America, and the condition of its population before the arrival of the Europeans, only a small portion of the existing materials have, as yet, been collected. The first volume of the Transactions of the American Antiquarian Society, established at Worcester, Mass. furnishes considerable information on this highly interesting subject.
† John Brown was the brother of Catharine and David Brown, names well known in the missionary community. The conversion of this family is one of the most affecting instances of the success of modern missions. After Catharine had been with the missionaries two years, a younger brother, David, came to the school, and was religiously affected in consequence of the faithful instructions of Catharine. Both visited the paternal home together, and the worship of God commenced where heathenism had reigned unmolested. Finally, both parents, two sons, three daughters, and a daughter-inlaw, eight in all, became apparently the heirs of immortal life. Several of them soon after died in the triumphs of Christian hope.-See the Memoir of Catharine Brown, by the Rev. R. Anderson.
Saviour who I knew was present with us, and willing to comfort us. The reflections, too, occasioned by my situation were such as to melt my heart. I was in the centre of a nation lying in midnight darkness, where God was neither known nor worshipped. I endeavored to bear testimony to the authority of his holy institutions, and I could compare my example to nothing but the burning of a dim light in the midst of a vast chamber of darkness. It was hid in the deep cloud that hung over the land. Yet I could pray to God, for the coming of his glorious kingdom among this poor people. I had told the Indians in the morning, I could not go with them to the council, for this was the day which the great Creator had set apart for himself, in which he had told his creatures they must do no work. They took it all in good part, and said they supposed that was our custom, and that they had not been thus educated.
“I spent a part of the day in conversation with John, and endeavored to impress his mind with the importance of an immediate attention to religion. He appeared quite affected, and told me he could not but hope that God had begun a work of grace in his heart. This day was a rich day to me. I never so fully realized the feelings of a missionary in a heathen land, far from friends and Christian society. In the evening the company returned, and I was told that the counoil had broken up, and that the chiefs were fast returning home. May God grant that they may soon learn to spend their Sabbaths in other employments. I was told that they separated with similar ceremonies to those with which they came together, with this exception, that the Creeks made the ceremonial speeches by which they took leave of the Cherokees, the Cherokees having saluted them, and bid them welcome at first. Nothing more of interest occurred this day, and we all once more committed ourselves to sleep on the ground.