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Letter from Mr. D. E. Walker to Henry R, Schoolcraft


Chapter 73
Page 282

Letter from Mr. D. E. Walker to Henry R, Schoolcraft.

Batavia,
July 26th, 1845.

MR. SCHOOLCRAFT:
I have visited the mound on Dr. Noltan's farm. Nothing of great importance can be learned from it. I should think it about fifty rods from the creek, and elevated, perhaps, some eight feet above the general level of the ground.

A similar one is also found about two miles south of this, and, as is this, it is on high ground, of circular form, and with a radius of about one rod. They were discovered about thirty or thirty-five years since. Nothing has been found in them, save human bones. The first, some nine or ten years since, was nearly all ploughed up and scraped into the road.

It is said that; "sculls, arms and legs were seen on fences, stumps and the high-way for a long time after they were drawn into the road."

On, some two miles beyond the second was discovered a burial-ground. At that place were ploughed up shell, bone, or quill-beads. Near this place was found a brown earthen pot, standing between the roots of a large tree, (maple, they think) and with a small sapling grown in it, to some six inches in diameter. Beads of shell, bone or porcupine quills have often been found. I would have remarked, that on the first mound stood a hickory-tree some two feet through. There is also a ridge at the termination of high ground; I say a ridge, it appeared to me to be a regular fortification. It is, I should judge from thirty to forty feet in length. It would appear that the ground was dug down from some distance back, and wheeled to the termination of high ground, until a bank is thrown up to a height of some fifteen or twenty feet. This ridge, some think to be natural; others, from the fact that a smooth stone, about the size and shape of a pestle, was found in it, think it to be artificial. Perhaps other relics may have been found in it that would show it to be an artificial formation. All I could learn (and I rode about seven miles out of my way to con-Terse with an old inhabitant) was, that this pestle was found in the ridge, and within three or four feet of its surface.

We may, perhaps, infer something from the size of an underjaw found here, which is said to have been so large as to much more than equal that of the largest face in the country.

Respectfully.
P. E, WALKER.

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Iroquois General Ethnology - Table of Contents
Iroquois General Ethnology of Western New York


Notes About the Book:

Source: Notes on the Iroquois or, Contributions to the Statistics, Aboriginal History, Antiquities and General Ethnology of Western New York, By Henry R. Schoolcraft, 1846, Senate Document, Twenty-Four.

Online Publication: The manuscript was scanned and then ocr'd. Minimal editing has been done, and readers can and should expect some errors in the textual output.

This site includes some historical materials that may imply negative stereotypes reflecting the culture or language of a particular period or place. These items are presented as part of the historical record and should not be interpreted to mean that the WebMasters in any way endorse the stereotypes implied.

 

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