G. M. O.'s  "Old America"  from The Juvenile Instructor.

The 1874-76 Series by Elder George M. Ottinger

H. M. Stebbins' Book of Mormon article, in: Autumn Leaves (1889-90)   |   1870s Articles
Juvenile Instructor
(Salt Lake City: LDS Church)

  • 1874 Ottinger Articles:
          Nov. 28   Dec. 12   Dec. 26

  • 1875-76 Ottinger Articles:
          Jan. 09   Jan. 23   Feb. 06   Feb. 20   Mar. 06
          Mar. 20   Apr. 03   Apr. 17   May 01   May 15
          May 29   Jun. 12   Jun. 26   Jul. 10   Jul. 24
          Aug. 07   Aug. 21   Sep. 04   Sep. 18   Oct. 02
          Oct. 16   Oct. 30   Nov. 13   Nov. 27   Dec. 11
          Dec. 25   Jan. 09   Jan. 23

  • 1879 Votan article   1881 Indian Origins


    Transcriber's Comments

    The Contributor 1888   |   1897 Stebbins article   |   1894-1901 Stebbins book
    Antiquities of Mexico 1831-48   |   The Ten Tribes 1836   |   America in Prophecy?

    Vol. IX.                                       Salt Lake City,  November 28, 1874.                                       No. 24.

            [p. 280?]

    BY  G. M. O.


    Geologically, America is as old as any if not the oldest of the continents but we cannot ascribe to the world that great age that many scientific men have. Professor Hitchcock, in his excellent work on elementary geology, says, "that the coincidences between geology and revelation upon points where we might reasonably expect collision if both the records were not essentially true are much more numerous than the apparent discrepancies and therefore the presumption is, that no real disagreement exists; and that geology ought to be regarded as a new means of illustrating instead of opposing revelation." Too many of our learned men of late years ignore the mosaic history of the creation of our globe entirely; others adhere strictly to the prevailing opinion that limits the duration of the world to man's brief existence of a few thousand years. Into this controversy it is not our intention to enter being satisfied with two points in which all reasonable men agree -- that God created the world, and that man was among the latest of the animals to inhabit it. Now the great question is since mankind had a beginning, what continent was blessed as a dwelling place by our first parents, Adam and Eve. Generally to Asia has been assigned the honor; but some investigators who have devoted much study and time to the subject, believe that the human race first sprung into existence in America. Forty years ago the learned antiquarian, Samuel L. Mitchell, of New York, with other gentlemen eminent for their knowledge of natural history, advanced the theory that America was the country where Adam was created. With the present state of our knowledge of the past this idea is not an absurd one, and it is important enough to deserve the attention and reason of all readers of history. Mr. Mitchell supports his theory by tracing the progress of colonies westward from America over the Pacific ocean to new settlements in Europe and Africa. Mr. Josiah Priest author of a work on American antiquities, opposes this opinion on the grounds that the names of the rivers rising out of the region of country called Paradise are given in the book of Genesis, and one of these rivers (the Euphrates) still retains its name. Mr. Priest forgets that sixteen hundred years after the creation a mighty deluge covered the earth, undoubtedly changing its character altogether, leveling mountains, elevating plains, and forming new rivers while obliterating the old ones. Again the place of the creation of man is claimed to be in Cashmere, in the Himalaya Mountains. This range it is supposed was the first dry land which appeared above the water, the rivers of Eden being the Ganges, Indus and Brahmapootra. These are only conjectures, supported by no substantial facts. To all historians the precise location is unknown, and we can adopt the theory with as much reason and propriety, that the great valley of the Mississippi was the paradise of Adam, as we can reasonably suppose that man inhabited this same section of country previous to the deluge, judging by the relics found and pronounced by scientists undoubtedly antediluvian. When excavating the foundation of the gas works at New Orleans, at the depth of sixteen feet the skeleton of a man was found. The head lay under the roots of a cypress tree, all belonging to the fourth forest. There are ten similar growths buried below the present upright forest. Cypress trees are noted for their antiquity. One in the garden of Chapultepec, Mexico, Baron Humboldt considered over six thousand years old. In digging a well at Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1820, at the depth of eighty feet, the workmen came upon the stump of a tree, three feet in diameter, rooted in its native soil, which had been cut with an ax or sharp instrument. Iron rust was found on the top of the stump, as if the ax had been decomposed during the time the mass of earth rested upon it. The drift in which it was found is apparently as ancient as any portion of the Mississippi valley. In July 1868, in digging a well for the Union Pacific Railroad, four hundred and fifty miles west from Omaha, the workmen at the depth of sixty-eight feet came upon n deposit of human bones. At Quebec, Canada, a fossil human skeleton was found in the solid chist rock, the same formation underlying the city. Dr. Dickeson found a human pelvis near Natchez, on the bank of the Mississippi river, in a fossil state. A few years ago a human skull, well preserved, was found near Altaville, California, one hundred and twenty feet below the surface of the ground. Overlying this relic were formations of basalt and lava. Mr. Jeffries ("Natural History of the Human Races") says this skull is doubtless that of the lost race of America, and places its deposition at a very remote era -- at a much earlier period even than has been allotted to the creation of man. Professor Agassiz, lecturing at Mobile in 1853, presented the remains of a human foot and jaws with teeth, found in the coral reef limestone at Lake Monroe, and asserted that it had been buried in the rock ten thousand years ("Types of Mankind"). The stalagmite caves of Brazil contain fossils of man that show by the growth of the stalagmites, that the bones have been covered many hundred years. Dr. Lidefonzo of Rio [de] Janeiro, found a fossil bone of man in one of these caves in that vicinity. It was deeply buried in the clay underlying the stalagmite floor of the cave, and he estimates the covering over the fossil had existed in the cave since the formation of the floor by the carbonate waters twenty thousand years. In reference to discoveries made on the coast of Ecuador in 1860, James S. Wilson, Esq., found at various points extending over sixty miles, ancient pottery, images and vessels, finely wrought, some made of gold. The geological formation where these remains were found is reported to be "as old as the drift strata of Europe," a stratum of ancient surface earth, covered with a marine deposit six feet deep. Sir Roderick Murchison infers from this discovery that this land after being occupied by man had subsided and settled below the ocean long enough to accumulate the marine deposit and again been elevated, since which time forests have grown which are older than the Spanish conquest. This places human civilization in South America as far back as the time of the old stone age of western Europe.

    From an article lately going the rounds of the press we are informed that a learned linguist of Brazil will shortly publish a work over which he has devoted several years of study. and wherein he will prove, or endeavor to prove, that language originated in South America.

    We might multiply the evidences of man's existence on this continent previous to the flood; but enough has been given to establish his antediluvian antiquity. And although we are not able to present any definite facts from profane history that Adam was established on this hemisphere, we still have problems based on scientific researches carrying as much weight and reason towards the assertion of the fact (that Adam was an American) as our opponents can bring to bear against us. The unbiased mind of man is beginning to look at things as they are, not as they wish them to be. And the modern sciences, when rightly compared by the unprejudiced reasoner, daily demonstrate and are all tending to prove most clearly the truthfulness of our sacred writings, and that the hand of an all-wise Creator has controlled, and will continue to control, all creation with a wisdom and judgment so far beyond our puny imaginations, that we are utterly lost and confused when we attempt to penetrate the divine glories of the future, or explain or make clear His work and will during the long ages of the mysterious past.

    Note: This "Old America" episode (#1) was subsequently reprinted in the Millennial Star of March 9, 1875.

    Vol. IX.                                       Salt Lake City,  December 12, 1874.                                       No. 25.

            [p. 290?]

    BY  G. M. O.


    It is not at all unreasonable to assign an American nativity to Noah, and to assert that the ark was built in this country. When the subject of Noah's ark has mentioned the mind at once associates it with Mount Ararat, because there, on the subsiding of the flood, it rested. And this very fact precludes the possibility of its having been built there; and our Bible distinctly says that the ark "went upon the face of the waters," which also clearly demonstrates that it did not stand still or float over one particular spot during the flood. It was borne upon the waters above the earth, and "went" from the place of its building, following the current of the waters. Now when we study the geology of the earth's surface, especially that age called the "drift period," we find opinions varied and conflicting as to the causes or origin of the drift, the most reasonable theory, and one very widely adopted, attributes the effects to the deluge of Noah. This great drift has a general eastern direction. This mixture of boulders, gravel and sand has been carried along, evidently by powerful currents, in almost a uniform direction all over the world, and plainly points out the course and power of the waters when "all the fountains of the great deep were broken up" on the day the flood commenced. We cannot conceive how this great breaking up was effected.

    The scriptures, aiming to inculcate principles of a higher and more important degree to man than the mere answering of questions of this sort, leave the solution to mere conjecture. Many suppose there was a gradual sinking of the land until the waters submerged all continents, but the very reading "broken up" signifies power, force and violence; a sudden burst and one wide overwhelming rush, in its onward motion sweeping ruin over the face of the earth. Mr. Priest advances a most reasonable theory: "The well known velocity of the earth in its onward motion around the sun is about twenty-five miles a second. Let God, who first imposed this inconceivable velocity, suddenly stop the earth in its motion; what would the effect be? All the waters would rush forward with a power equal to their weight, which would be sufficient to overcome any impediment whatever. Rushing around the globe, rolling one half of the tremendous flood around this side, and one half over the other side, until the two should meet at the extreme east, when heaping up above a common level, they would roll back to their original places as the earth should again resume its motion. The law of gravitation would prevent the waters from leaving the surface and would cause a rapid current in the direction in which the earth is revolving.

    We are not only told of this great breaking up in holy writ, but the newly discovered Chaldean record of Noah's flood, written on tablets now in possession of the British Museum, and translated by Mr. Smith, reads as follows, the figures given meaning the respective numbers of the tablets:

    86 he spake saying, in the night it "I will cause it to rain from heaven heavily."

    92 The raging of a storm in the morning,

    93 arose, from the horizon of heaven extending and wide,

    94 Vul in the midst of it thundered, and

    95 Nebo and Saru went in front:

    98 Ninip went in front, and cast down;

    99 the spirits carried destruction;

    100 in their glory they swept the earth;

    101 of Vul the flood reached to heaven;

    102 the bright earth to a waste was turned;

    104 it destroyed all life, from the face of the earth * * *

    124 which had destroyed like an earthquake.

    This narrative, so strikingly similar to the Bible narration, was found in the ruins of Nineveh, and date only from the ago of Sardanapalus in the sixth or seventh century B. C.; yet they were copies of much more ancient documents, on every tablet it is so stated. At the same time those mighty waves were rolling over the earth, the waters above the earth burst downward. So that one vast perpetual tornado for forty days and nights lent its aid in the great destruction. This we suppose to be the meaning of the words, "And the windows of heaven were opened." Modern science has given us very accurately drawn charts of the course of the winds through the atmosphere surrounding us. We have no reason to believe these wind currents have changed since the creation. Now the prevailing current of wind over the central part of North America is from the west, and possibly this was the course followed by the tornado during the deluge. Now if the ark had been built in Armenia where the mountain Ararat is situated, and it is found that the winds and currents have a general eastern direction, the ark would, during the one hundred and fifty days or five months of the deluge (that is from the commencement until the waters gained their greatest depth), have gone in an eastern course, say at the rate of about forty miles a day, some six thousand miles, or beyond China; or if it floated faster, it would have left the ark somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. This would be an unreasonable theory to adopt, being entirely inconsistent. But the ark being built in America, somewhere, we may imagine in the latitude of Missouri, when taken up by the eastern borne current, and wafted by the hurricane following the same course, it is not out of the way to suppose it to have progressed as far as Ararat, some six or seven thousand miles from America, even had it traveled at a more rapid rate than forty or fifty miles a day. Over sixteen hundred years had passed from the creation until the ark was finished. In this time mankind had increased and multiplied and spread out far beyond the country around Eden (the Mississippi Valley), as signs of an antideluvian population indicate, and we may suppose the ark was built some distance east of the Garden, between the States of New York and Missouri. Couple this supposition with the circumstances connected with the flood, the current flowing from America, with the fact of the ark's resting in an easterly direction from this country, and we can form no other reasonable conclusion than that here the miraculous vessel was constructed and freighted with its treasure of animal life, and the progenitors designed and set apart to renew the human race. That the ancient Americans knew of the deluge is beyond dispute, as we have several versions of the story of the flood that have been handed down as tradition by different nations, and in one instance we have a picture-written description of it, an old Toltec record, fortunately preserved from the wholesale destruction that followed the Conquest. We will describe this writing and give the traditions of the Aztcecs, Zapotecas, Caribs, and Mandans in a future paper, as properly they do not come under this heading, they having received their knowledge from their forefathers the descendants of Noah, after the flood, and when America was again re-peopled.

    In our last article we assigned the creation of man to this country. Now Adam and Noah beyond dispute were countrymen, in fact relatives. Noah being a lineal descendant from Adam, let us couple the evidence presented in relation to the building of the ark in America with the antediluvian remains found and mentioned in relation to Adam, and we have additional reason to assign the honor to America as being the original Paradise, and the home of our first parents.

    Note: This "Old America" episode (#2) was subsequently reprinted in the Millennial Star of March 16, 1875.

    Vol. IX.                                       Salt Lake City,  December 26, 1874.                                       No. 26.

            [p. 302?]

    BY  G. M. O.


    "And unto Eber were born two sons; the name of one was Peleg, for in his days was the earth divided." We find this in Genesis, x. 25.

    This happened about one hundred years after the flood; and is considered by a great many to mean, not a great separation of the earth into two hemispheres, as at present, but a mere division of the land into family or tribe lots. But we have no reason to take any such a view of it. For in the beginning "God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear; and it was so." And we take this literal meaning; that the waters occupied a certain portion of the globe -- gathered together in one place, and the land occupied another portion, as one vast continent. But God saw fit, in His divine wisdom, in Peleg's day, to divide and split up this single continent into two great divisions, as we find it in our day. Undoubtedly when this separation happened, there was a great commotion, and disturbance, similar to the shock of a mighty earthquake, especially in that portion bordering on the line of division. And because there is no mention made of such disturbance, but the simple fact merely recorded in a few words, many have doubted that such a mighty convulsion of the earth did really happen. But as we have before said, the aim of the Scriptures is above the mere record of detail. We might doubt the truth of the account given us of the creation, because minutea are ignored; or the establishment of Adam on the earth. because no mention is made of his infancy, nor an anatomical detail of the construction of his bones and muscles given. I have not the least doubt in the world but that hundreds of young people, who now seldom look into the Bible, would read it oftener had Moses devoted some twenty or more chapters to a sensational narrative of the love, courtship and marriage of Adam and Eve. And had he done so, of what profit would it be to us? To nautical men possibly it would, but to nine-tenths of mankind it would not be of one particle of interest, had the log-book of Noah's voyage in the ark been inserted in Genesis, with every day's reckonings carefully summed up, and the depth of every sounding marked down. The whole of the Mosaic record, as a rule, dispenses with detail and that the division of the earth is merely mentioned in a few words is no reason why any one should doubt it. And we must recollect that it was only a short time after the deluge, and the family of Noah had not much time to increase, consequently there could not have been a great many people on the earth at the time, and they living in close proximity to Ararat, where the ark stranded (their settlements could not possibly have extended very far from that vicinity). Now, the great split or line of division was either to the east or west of that place many hundreds of miles, and possibly the shock of the rupture was but lightly felt by them; in fact they may not have known of it at all. And Moses has written possibly all that he knew about it -- all that was revealed to him and no more.

    We have every evidence geologically that there has been a tremendous upheaval, bending, warping and cracking of the earth, at some time ages ago. Unstratified rocks have been forced from their beds, and are found overlaying the stratified class, forming the earth's surface into a series of insulated peaks and elevated ridges, with deep valleys and broad plains. On every hand we find evidences of this great rupture. Modern geologists ascribe this to slow formations, and partial and isolated eruptions. This is correct, no doubt in many cases, but still it is no argument against a great convulsion and rending of the earth. That we have these changes and alterations in the contour of the land almost daily, by slow and gradual operations, and stupendous and sudden convulsions, is known to all readers. Dr. Pingle has clearly shown that the coast of Greenland, for a distance of six hundred miles north and south, is gradually sinking. Robert Chambers gives an instance of a district of forty geographical miles subsiding fifty-eight feet at one extremity and elevating ninety-six feet at another. Upon the northern shore of the Bay of Baioe are the ruined temples of Serapis and Neptune, also those of the Nymphs; they are now under water, caused by the gradual sinking of the land. In Scotland, England, Wales and America, the coasts have been elevated from a few feet to thousands of feet. In the year 1759 the mountain Jurillo rose from the plains of Mexico as if by magic, to the height of 1,600 feet, and still remains at that altitude. In South America, in 1822, the shock of an earthquake produced an elevation that was felt along the coast of Chili the distance of twelve hundred miles, and the land in an instant was elevated from three to four feet, and so remains. This elevation is estimated as covering an area of 100,000 square miles. In August 1868 Peru, Chili and Ecuador were almost literally overwhelmed in ruins by an earthquake; immense waves forty eight feet high rolled in fearful force over the coast; cities and towns were wholly destroyed, and three hundred thousand people perished in the great disaster. Those mighty waves have changed the whole face of the country. A volcano called Papandayang, the largest one in Java, located on the southern part of the island, on the 12th day of August 1792, after a violent paroxysm, entirely disappearing in the earth -- not only the cone, but the country for fifteen miles about it. Forty villages were destroyed, most of them virtually swallowed up, and three thousand inhabitants perished in the catastrophe. We might write chapter after chapter of like instances of changes and remodeling of the earth by the will and inconceivable power of Him who holds in his hands everything.

    We believe in the doctrine that teaches us that nothing is lost or wasted on our planet, and the subsiding sands of one coast go but to elevate the shores of other parts. This building up and tearing down, this life in death, is not only natural but necessary to the growth, development and perfection of our planet; and not only is the earth changed in form for the requirements of man, though never losing its main characteristics, but man never losing the genius of his race, or purposes of his creation, is led, if obedient to God, into changes more elevating and perfect, keeping step with the growth and advancement of the nature surrounding him.

    A little over sixteen hundred years after the creation, God found it necessary to destroy the whole human family excepting a few individuals. Scarcely one hundred years after this dire calamity, and in spite of so dreadful a chastisement, mankind so prone to retrocede when ignoring the power of their Maker, had again become lost in wickedness and sin. God determined, in His wisdom and kindness, to leave no means untried for man's redemption. He resolved on making a separation. To do this effectually, it was first necessary to separate the land, dividing it asunder so far as to render intercourse between the inhabitants almost impossible for centuries. So in the days of Peleg He caused this great division to take place, and that the separation and stoppage of intercourse might be more effectual, after allowing the short space of fourteen years for the earth to become modified and in harmony with its new shape, He confused the language of man, and led them forth into assigned portions of the land, that they might, uncontaminated one with another, endeavor to regain the Priesthood so thoroughly lost. Theories may be advanced, and exceptions made to the impossibility of such a separation in Peleg's day, but reason as we may, we must acknowledge that the hand that could gather together the land into one place, had and has, the power to rend it asunder at will.

    Note: This "Old America" episode (#3) was subsequently reprinted in the Millennial Star of March 23, 1875.

    Vol. X.                                       Salt Lake City,  January 9, 1875.                                       No. 1.

            [p. 2?]

    BY  G. M. O.


    The Creator, having divided the earth, and allowed a short time -- some fourteen years -- for its composure, continued His work of separation by confounding the language of the people "swearing in his wrath that they should be scattered upon all the face of the earth, and according to the word of the Lord the people were scattered." Thus, the descendants of Noah, originally confined to a particular locality and an original unity and equality, are now spread over the whole earth, presenting four leading or distinct types, white, yellow, red and black. Learned ethnologists ignoring the simplicity of the sacred and inspired records of holy writ, have lost themselves in vague and often absurd theories in their repeated efforts to solve the mystery of the origin of these distinct races, and their first advent upon the globe, but in all their labors they have most signally failed. Into this theme of wide-spread discussion we will not enter, holding to our own belief: that all men were created equal, with God's image as a model, without any classification or variety of color, but that through wickedness they have brought upon themselves repeated cursings of God, as in the cases of Cain, Ham and Laman, wherein their complextions were changed. Through the influences of climate, mode of living, or amalgamation, and by adhering to, or disregarding the will and commands of an all-wise God, has man advanced or fallen from the exalted state originally conferred upon him; and instead of presenting one type, as originally intended, speaking one language and forming one great order of brotherhood, we are split up, divided, classified and marked so that at the present time the curse of Babel has become a confusion worse confounded.

    Leaving the eastern hemisphere to be re-peopled by the numerous tribes and families radiating from Babel, we turn our thoughts to the long unexplained mystery -- the re-peopling of America. Until the appearance of the Book of Mormon no reasonable theory or definite historical explanation could be given of the origin of the aboriginal inhabitants of the western portion of our globe. Many and various, rational and irrational, have been the theories advanced to explain the origin of the people who have left their relics scattered over the land. One of these theories is that the original inhabitants were the "ten lost tribes of Israel." This idea has been defended by some students in elaborate treatises. Originally advanced by the Spanish monks, who assumed also that the Gospel was originally preached in America by St. Thomas, it has been taken up by many eminent writers, who have given us long and detailed descriptions of the journey the "tribes" made through Palestine, Syria, in fact, over the extent of Asia, crossing at Behring's Strait, and thence down the Pacific coast. Lord Kingsborough devotes the major part of one of his immense volumes to the explanation and support of this absurd idea. Another hypothesis, equally absurd, is that civilization was brought to America by the Malays. A few investigators maintain that the first inhabitants came originally from Phoenicia and M. de Gourbourg and some other writers hold to what may be called the "Atlanta" theory. They suppose the continent of America to have extended originally far across the Atlantic ocean, in a peninsula shape, but at some time in the world's history this extended portion was engulfed by some convulsion of nature, thus separating the two hemispheres more effectually, and the Atlantic people who escaped destruction settled in Central America. In fact, the claims of zealous writers attribute the original source of the Americans to almost every prominent nation of the old world, the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Israelites, Arabs, Egyptians, Celts, Hindoos, Tartars, Scythians, Coreans, Samoieds and Tungusians.

    In the midst of all these conflicting and jarring accounts and statements, let us examine the simpler, plain, unvarnished record of Ether, as we find it in the Book of Mormon. Here we learn that when the Lord confounded the language at Babel, He led forth a colony under the leadership of Jared and his brother. As He had guided the ark across the stormy waters before, as He led the children of Israel over the burning sands of Arabia afterwards, so He guided the few people chosen to re-populate a land "choice above all the earth." The record informs us that after a journey in the wilderness, compelling them at times to build barges on which they crossed many rivers, they finally, after a four years' sojourn, constructed vessels and sailed -- we infer from some point on the Mediterranean coast of Africa, possibly from the Atlantic coast now called Morrocco -- to America, and established themselves as colonists in the central part of the western continent.

    Ether has recorded the history of the rise, progress and decay of Jared and his people, but the people of this age of the world look upon the book containing his record as a myth, and still hold to their various theories and speculations. Let us take up the secular histories, in which all believe, and see how far the Book of Ether is sustained Us by the traditions and the few records preserved of the descendants of this colony who landed in the country some three thousand years ago.

    Three great events had already transpired in the world's history of so much importance that they could never be forgotten, never lost from the memory of man, as long as tongue could speak or hand record -- the creation of man, the deluge and the confusion of languages. Going back from son to father, it never has been forgotten; going into the future from father to son, it never will be forgotten Let us see how well the old Americans have preserved the memory of these epochs, that point so undeniably to the source of their information

    The Toltec painting of the deluge and confusion of tongues an engraving of which can be found in "Humboldt's Mexico," also in Priest's Antiquities. and Clavigero's History of Mexico, was painted in a manuscript book made of the leaves of a tree, suitable for the purpose. The picture represents Noah floating in a canoe, or boat; over Noah is a mountain, the summit crowned by a tree; to the left, rising above the waters, another mountain or peak is seen, crowned by a horn. This is a hieroglyphic denoting the mountain Colhucan (Ararat). At the foot of the mountain, supporting the tree, are two heads -- Noah and his wife. A dove rests in the tree, from whose beak branches the Toltec figure of speech or language. Fifteen figures of men are approaching, and receiving the language from the bird; it is supposed these figures represent the heads of families, or leaders of fifteen tribes. One remarkable feature in this picture is, that the figures have no resemblance to the Indians, but seem to be a transcript of a group of ancient Greeks or Romans. This presentation of a Caucasian assembly, is strong evidence that the present Indian is not a representative of the first inhabitants of America.

    Clavigero states that the Chipanese Indians had a manuscript, in which it was written "that a person named Votan was present at the building (of the tower of Babel) in order to mount to heaven, and that then every people received the various languages."

    The ancient Indians of Cuba, called Caribs, learned from their ancestors that God created heaven and earth and all things; that an old man having foreseen the deluge, built a canoe and embarked in it with his family and many animals. When the waters abated he sent forth a raven which never returned; he then sent a pigeon, which soon returned with a branch of the hoba tree. The old man and family then disembarked, and having made wine of grapes produced after the flood, became intoxicated. While in this condition, one of his sons exposed his nakedness, and another covered him. When he awoke, the Lord blessed the latter, and cursed the former. The Caribs hold that they were the descendants of the son who was cursed.

    Note: This "Old America" episode (#4) was subsequently reprinted in the Millennial Star of March 30, 1875.

    Vol. X.                                       Salt Lake City,  January 23, 1875.                                       No. 2.

            [p. 14]

    BY  G. M. O.


    The Zapotekas, of South America, boast of being antediluvian in America, and to have built the city of Coatlan, so called because it was founded at a place which swarmed with serpents, Coatlan meaning snake-city. It was built according to their tradition, three hundred, and twenty- seven years before the flood. At, the time of the flood a remnant of their people, together with their king, named Petela, saved themselves on a mountain.

    The Aztec tradition, in fact, their laws and religion, were received from the Toltecs, whom they supplanted. They begin by telling us that Noah, whom they call Tezpi, saved himself and his wife, whom they call Xochiquetzal, on a raft or canoe. The raft or canoe rested at the foot of a mountain called Colhuaean after the flood. They say that on this raft, besides Tezpi and his wife, there were several children and animals, with grain, the preservation of which was of great importance to mankind. When the Great Spirit, Tezcatipoca, ordered the waters to withdraw, Tezpi sent from his raft a vulture, which never returned, on account of the great number of dead carcasses found to feed upon. He then sent other birds, one of which was a humming-bird, which alone returned, holding in its beak a branch covered with leaves. Tezpi, seeing that fresh verdure covered the earth, quitted the raft near the mountain. They say that the men born after this deluge were born dumb, but a dove distributed the languages to them.

    Professor Schoolcraft, in his elaborate report to the Smithsonian Institute, and Catlin, in his history of the North American Indians, describe a very interesting ceremony, commemorative of the deluge and releasing of the birds, as annually performed by the Mandans, a nation now extinct, but who formerly inhabited the country between the Little Missouri and Yellowstone rivers. They are described as being of a much fairer complexion than the Indians of other nations, it being no unusual thing to find persons with blue eyes and fine reddish colored hair among them. They were domestic in their habits, resided in villages and engaged in agricultural pursuits. Among the painted pictures or books made of animals skins (parchment) and of leaves (the aloe), examined by Humboldt were not only delineated pictures of the deluge, but of all the leading circumstances in the history of the fall of man, and of the seduction of the woman by means of the serpent; also of the first murder, perpetrated by Cain on the person of his brother Abel.

    These traditions and paintings go far to prove the truthfulness of the book of Genesis, and sustain and verify the record of Ether. No one can charge the aboriginal inhabitants, as found by Columbus and his followers, with priestcraft, their religion at that time not being of a Christian character. It is a link that connects them with Asia and their ancestor Noah, and all the circumstances connected with the stranding of the ark on Ararat, and the confounding and separation at Babel.

    Here, for some fifteen hundred years, the Jaredites flourished and grew into a great nation, building cities, cultivating the land and drifting into wickedness, until they were destroyed by the Lord, some six hundred years before Christ. Their historian lived to see and record this destruction, and his records were found by a colony of Israelites who came from Jerusalem about that time under the leadership of Nephi. This colony grew and multiplied into two mighty nations, called the Nephites and Lamanites. The latter nation, falling into idolatry, was cursed by God, and became dark and benighted. The American Indians are the descendants of this nation. The Nephites remained a civilized and enlightened nation, and had many blessings and privileges conferred upon them, but falling into wickedness in their turn, some time during the third or fourth century of the Christian era, they were finally destroyed by the Lamanites. The history of these two nations is found systematically recorded in the Book of Mormon, only, and it is impossible to separate the mass of secular evidence of the enlightenment and high cultivation of those ancient people that I shall give, or definitely ascribe a tradition, a record or a ruin to the people of Jared, or to the people of Nephi. The Jaredites undoubtedly left records, and monuments, and cities scattered over the land. These same cities were re-occupied by the Nephites, and their records and traditions were amalgamated. The Nephites in turn were destroyed, and 'the uncivilized Lamanites had so entangled and interwoven and lost the connecting links of the several and distinct histories of the two great nations they supplanted, and so confounded and mixed the records with their own traditions by the time of the European occupancy, that it is beyond the power of man to fix data or determine as to what portion is of Jaredite and what of Nephite origin.

    Herrera, a Spanish historian of the sixteenth century, in his history of America (vol. 4, page 172), says, "Baptism was known in Yucatan; the name they give it signified to be born again." Here is a ceremony undoubtedly of Nephite origin.

    An important manuscript work, written two hundred years ago by Francisco Ximenes, is preserved in Guatemala. It is a translation from come of the "old books" of the natives; one of them, known as the "Popol-Vuh," in the native tongue (Quiche), has the Spanish translation annexed, This translation remained in Guatemala, unprinted and unknown, until discovered in our time by Brasseur de Bourbourg, who has translated the work into French. The "Popol-Vuh" was written in 1558, as an abridged reproduction of a very ancient Quiche book containing the history, traditions, religion and cosmogony of the Quiches. Professor Baldwin, speaking of this book, says: "It shows us their conceptions of the Supreme Being, and his relation to the world; it enables us to see what they admired in character, as virtue, heroism nobleness, and beauty; it discloses their mythology, and their notions of religious worship; in a word, it bears witness to the fact that the various families of mankind are all of "one blood," so far, at least, as to be precisely alike in nature." The cosmogony of the Quiches is undoubtedly far more ancient than the beginning of this people as a nation. According to the "Popol-vuh," the world had a beginning; there was a time when it did not exist; only "heaven existed; below all was emptiness. Nothing existed in this space; neither man, animal, earth or tree. Then appeared water, over which divine beings moved in brightness. They created earth; it came into being like vapor, and mountains rose above the waters. Thus was earth created by the Heart of Heaven. Next came the creation of animals; but the gods were disappointed. They could not tell their names, nor worship the Heart of Heaven. It was then resolved that man should be created. First he was made of earth, but the flesh had no cohesion; he was inert; he could speak, but could not move, and had no mind; therefore he was consumed in the water. Next man was made of wood; they multiplied, but had neither heart nor intellect, and could not worship, so they withered up. Man was then made of a tree called tzite, and woman of the pith of a reed, but they could not think, speak or worship, and were destroyed, all save a small remnant, which still exists as a race of small monkeys found in forests. A fourth attempt was successful, but the circumstances attending this creation remain veiled in mystery. It took place before the beginning of dawn, before the sun or moon; it was a wonder work of the Heart of Heaven. Four men were created; they could reason, speak and see in such a manner as to know all things at once. They worshiped the creator, giving Him thanks for their existence and the manifold blessings they enjoyed; but the gods, frightened and dismayed, breathed clouds or mist over their eyes, to limit their vision, and caused them to be men, not gods. While the four men were asleep, the gods made them beautiful wives, and from these came all the inhabitants of the earth.

    Whether the origin of this interesting tradition comes from Jared or from Nephi, it is impossible to say. We only know that it bears witness to the fact that ages long past, a race of people inhabited our continent, far advanced morally and religiously above the nations discovered by the Europeans of the sixteenth century; and it also bears witness of the fact that ages long past, a race of men worshiped and adored the true God and undoubtedly had Prophets and seers among them. Some speculators have represented the human race as a race of savages, until a comparatively modern date. Such an idea is most preposterous and not worthy of the time or thought of a sensible man, and merely shows the dreaminess of unbridled fancy. The Quiche manuscript was certainly not written by a barbarian

    Note: This "Old America" episode (#5) was subsequently reprinted in the Millennial Star of March 30 and April 6, 1875.

    Vol. X.                                       Salt Lake City,  February 6, 1875.                                       No. 3.

            [p. 32]

    BY  G. M. O.


    But little secular evidence remains, and the history of the nations who once enlivened our western plains, and the land now covered by the impenetrable forests of southern America, is meagre and fragmentary, so far as relates to the country previous to the time of Columbus. And, therefore, to be intelligible, it is necessary to go backward, step by step, from his time, gleaning what we can from the few fragments left us, undestroyed by time and man.

    That the Phoenicians had communication with America long before Tyre or Sidon was built, it is not difficult to believe; and from them the ancients learned ot a great continent beyond the Atlantic, including what Solon heard in Egypt of Atlantis. But, although fragments of their monuments have been found, and a similarity exists between the Punic or Phoenician characters used in writing and letters found in America, in one or two instances, we have no other evidence of their occupation as colonists.

    The ancient Americans' language, their style of architecture, their written characters, and the appearance of the people physically, judging from their painted manuscripts or sculptured monuments, are entirely different from the Phoenicians. Very justly has it been said by one explorer of the American ruins: "The American monuments are different from those of any other known people, of a new order, and entirely and absolutely anomalous; they stand alone."

    Greek writers inform us that the Phoenicians and Carthagenians knew the way to a country beyond the Atlantic. One fact mentioned by several ancient writers, and preserved in the records of Tyrian commerce, is related by Diodorus Siculus, as a matter of authentic history. Diodorus was a contemporary of Julius Caesar, and the author of a universal history, over which he spent thirty years. He makes the following statement: "Over against Africa lies a very great island, in the vast ocean, many days' sail from Libya westward. The soil there is very fruitful, a great part whereof is mountainous, but much likewise Champaign, which is the most sweet and pleasant part, for it is watered by several navigable streams and beautified with many gardens of pleasure, planted with divers sorts of trees, and an abundance of orchards. The towns are adorned with stately buildings, and banqueting houses pleasantly situated in their gardens and orchards. * * * The Phoenicians (Tyrians), having found out the coasts beyond the Pillars of Hercules (the Straits of Gibraltar), sailed along the coast of Africa. One of their ships, on a sudden, was driven by a furious storm far off into the main ocean. After they had lain under this violent tempest many days, they at length arrived at this island."

    This is similar to the constrained voyage of the Northman, Biarni, from Iceland to the coast of New England, in the year A. D. 985. The storm-driven ship of the Tyrians must have sighted the coast of Central, America, from the description, and returned to their home with precisely the same story and description of their discovery as the Spaniards returned with after sailing along the coast of Yucatan twenty-five hundred years afterwards. The Phoenicians were very secret in regard to their courses of navigation and commercial trading. This undesigned voyage, made more than eleven hundred years previous to the Christian era, was undoubtedly followed by others. The enterprising people who are said to have invented letters or writing, arithmetic, astronomy, navigation, glass and the coining of money, would not be likely to neglect to establish commercial relations with so extensive and populous a country.

    Professor Baldwin says: "If the old Central American books may be trusted, the voyage was not long previous to the beginning of the Toltec domination." The extensive ruins of cities in Mexico, Yucatan and Central America bear witness that anciently there was such a country as described by Diodorus, and the reader should bear in mind that the crew of the Tyrian ship found a country already densely populated and covered with large cities, and the land cultivated like a garden, and this three thousand years ago. How long previously had the country been a region of cities and civilization? There is no secular history that can answer.

    Punic characters, so supposed, were found engraved on the rocks near the sea at Dighton, Massachusetts, but they proved to be Runic. In a cave explored by Humboldt, between the Amazon and Orinoco rivers, South America, on a block of granite, glyphs were found, supposed also to be Punic letters. Professor Raffinesque, in his Atlantic Journal for 1832, has presented the public with engravings and their meaning, both Phoenician and American, which bear a striking similarity.

    A remarkable historical discovery has been achieved within the last two years in Brazil. It is a Phoenician inscription, commemorating a visit to Brazil some five centuries before the birth of Christ. Some slaves, during their agricultural labors. on a farm in the parish of Parahyba, discovered a stone, the engraved characters on which Senor Ladislao Netto, director of the Rio Janeiro museum, has pronounced pure Phoenician, I quote from the letter of this gentleman the translation of the inscription:

    The inscription is a commemorative stone, erected by some Sidonians, exiles or refugees from their native land, between the ninth and tenth years of the reign of a king named Hiram. These unfortunate or rash Canaanites (so they denominate themselves) left the port of Azionguba (Akaba), a port upon the Red Sea, and sailed for twelve lunar months along the land of Egypt -- that is Africa. The number of vessels, and the number of males and females comprising the expedition are all set forth, these particulars being placed intermediate between the invocation -- one at the beginning and the other at the end of the inscription of the names of their protecting god and goddess. It is written in eight lines of most beautiful Phoenician characters, but without separation of the words, without the vowel points and without quiescent letters."

    The inscription does not inform us which of the two Hirams is referred to, as the reigning monarch at the time, the ally of Solomon -- 980 to 947 B. C., or the Hiram who reigned in 558 to 552 B. C.

    Here, again, the same happened to our Sidonians as did to Pedro Cabral, two thousand years later, when, knowing nothing of Brazil, he found himself unexpectedly on its coast. Like Cabral, fleeing from the storms usual to the African coast, from Senegambia to the cape, they steered into the high sea, where, seized by the famous equatorial current, which flows with extraordinary swiftness, they unexpectedly came upon the Brazilian shores.

    M. de Bourbourg and other writers base their theories of the Phoenician origin of the inhabitants of America from the few records of their visits, and the vague and mysterious writings and traditions of the ancient Greeks, concerning the island of "Atalantis.

    If the inhabitants on the Mediterranean had communication with America in ancient times, they found it already inhabited by a civilized and prosperous people, with extensive cities, containing buildings, whose style and design could not be altered or improved or changed. When this communication was interrupted no one can say. The old American books speak of a great cataclysm. While the Greeks maintain that many ages before Athens was known as a city, the island of Atlantis. existed; in one day and one fatal night there came mighty earthquakes and inundations, during: which the island disappeared beneath the sea.

    Do not these traditions on both sides of the Atlantic mean the same thing? And may not this catastrophe be the cause of the interruption that remained for so long a time unbroken? That the Phoenicians at one time hold intercourse with Jared's people, is reasonable to suppose. But we have no definite proof that the first inhabitants were of Phoenician origin.

    Note: This "Old America" episode (#6) was never reprinted.

    Vol. X.                                       Salt Lake City,  February 20, 1875.                                       No. 4.

            [p. 40]

    BY  G. M. O.


    It was in the month of April A. D, 1519 that the renowned fillibuster, Hernando Cortez. anchored his fleet in the beautiful bay since known as the Bay of Vera Cruz. Previous to this -- in the year 1517 -- a number of roving spirits under the command of Francisco Hernandez of Cordova, discovered the island of Cozumel and the vast promontory Yucatan. This expedition, however, meeting with many disasters, and being opposed in landing so fiercely and successfully by the natives, returned to their last conquest, the island of Cuba. Another expedition under Juan de Grijalva, sailed during the spring of 1518, following the same course to Yucatan, then north and west along the coast to the point St. Juan de Ulna, or Vera Cruz, on the coast of Mexico. Here they exchanged their glass beads for gold with the kindly disposed natives. They also obtained information of a vast empire ruled by a great monarch -- Montezuma -- whose wealth and power was fabulous. The tidings of this discovery led to the organizing of the expedition under Cortez, who hoisted his black velvet banner embroidered with gold and emblazoned with a cross, and the characteristic device: "Let us follow the cross under this sign with faith we conquer." Cortez followed the route of his predecessors. Visiting Cozumel, they found the island not very fertile and thinly inhabited, but containing large and commodious buildings of stone, cemented with mortar. Several of these buildings were spacious temples with lofty towers, all constructed of the same material. One of the greatest surprises to the adventurers was the discovery in one of the courts of a temple the same emblem as that embroidered on their banner: a massive stone cross. This cross was worshiped by the natives. The Spaniards say it was in honor of the god of rain. Historians have never properly explained how the natives of this new world obtained this emblem of Christianity. The natives also believed in original sin, which was removed by performing the baptismal rite.

    Sailing from the island, the squadron crossed the narrow strait and sighted the mainland. Following the contour of the coast northward, they anchored at the mouth of the river Tabasco. Here also was found a well cultivated country with vast temples and commodious houses. Here our adventurers fought a fierce battle, during which the bullets from the guns of the invaders swept through the crowded ranks of the natives with terrible destruction, covering the ground with their slain and appalling them with the noise and flash, which they imagined to be thunder and lightning. Taking possession of the capital, Tabasco, in a lofty and massive pyramidal temple, one of the chief ornaments of the city, he erected an altar with images of the Savior and Virgin, took possession of the country in the name of the king of Spain and changed the name of Tabasco to St. Mary of Victory.

    As the ships of Cortez anchored in the placid waters of the Mexican bay, they observed that the shores were covered with a wonder stricken multitude, who came eagerly to contemplate with awe the unusual spectacle, while grassy slopes, luxuriant groves, villages and rural dwellings charmed the eyes of the Spaniards. It is not necessary to relate the number of bloody battles or describe the wreck and ruin that marked the route of the Spanish army from the sea coast to Tenochtitlan (City of Mexico), they are facts well known to the general reader but a description of the principal cities, as found by the invaders is more to our purpose.

    When they entered the city of Zempoalla they found the streets perfectly clean and nicely paved, while ornamental trees shaded them and spacious stone houses lined either side. They were thronged too with a busy, happy and refined people. A spacious courtyard surrounded a pyramidal temple, grand and imposing. The soil of the surrounding country was of astonishing fertility, supplying food abundantly. The Spaniards were never weary of expressing their delight while marching through this earthly Paradise two days. After leaving this city they moved through a country of luxuriant foliage, flowers and waving grain. Villages were thickly scattered around, and one of them -- Jalapa -- was filled with rural residences of the wealthy natives of surpassing magnificence.

    On the fourth day of their march they arrived at Naulinco, a large and populous town, containing many massive temples. Here Cortez rested for five days, after which he continued his march, following along the banks of a broad and picturesque stream, skirted by an unbroken line of neat and populous villages. After traveling some sixty miles they entered a large town called Xalacingo. They were now on the borders of a very powerful nation of republicans, called the Tlascalans, who had thus far succeeded in resisting the aggressions of the Aztecs. The entrance to this territory was guarded with an extensive wall of solid masonry, built like the great wall of China, to protect the country from invasion. This wall was some six miles long and the only entrance gate was so constructed that a small army stationed there could make a very determined resistance. After many bloody and hard-fought battles, the Spanish adventurers entered Tlascala, the capital of the republic. Historians say it was indeed a large and magnificent city, more populous and more imposing in its architecture than the Moorish capital, Granada, in old Spain. Among the many wonderful things found, the invaders were astonished at the effective police regulations, the well-kept baths, both hot and cold, and the barber shops attached. Cortez, in his letter to the emperor, Charles of Spain, stated that so populous was Tlascala, that he presumed thirty thousand persons appeared daily in the market-place buying and selling.

    Cortez remained in the conquered republic for twenty days to refresh his troops and gain all the information he possibly could respecting the Aztec empire. The Tlasalcans. hating their ancient foes, the Mexicans, forgot in a few days their own subjugation, and joined the Spaniards in their proposed expedition against Montezuma. All the forces of the republic were raised and placed at the disposal of Cortez.

    About eighteen miles from Tlascala was situated the city of Cholula, the population of which at that time was over one hundred thousand. It was in Aztec or Mexican territory. Cortez found it a beautiful city, with wide, neatly arranged streets and handsome dwellings. It was a sacred city and contained many costly and grand temples; it was in this city that the great and grand pyramid of adobies or sun-burnt brick, reared its towering head. Nothing of this beautiful city now remains but the ruins of this great pyramid. A Catholic chapel now crowns the summit, and it is covered with trees and grass. Humboldt gives its dimensions as follows: base 1440 feet; present height, 177; area on the summit 45, 210 square feet. Originally, it was in four stages, and dedicated to Quetzalcotl (the fair god), of whom we shall speak in a future article. It was called in the Aztec language a Teocalli, from teo -- god, and calli -- house or houses. "God's house." By order of Cortez the inhabitants of Cholula were massacred most inhumanly, and the beautiful city was reduced by fire to a heap of ruins. Delaying for a fortnight to rest his army, he resumed his march towards the capital of the Aztec empire, sixty five miles distant, and after several days' toil they reached the heights of Ithualco and the great valley of Mexico greeted their eyes. Forests, orchards, rivers, lakes. cultivated fields, gardens and beautiful cities and towns composed the landscape. Resting upon islands in the bosom of a great lake, was the queenly city, Tenochtitlan, or Mexico. A series of smaller lakes, with innumerable towns, with lofty temples and white dwellings, fringing their margins, picturesquely reflected their forms in the crystal waters the circumference of this valley, surrounded with a line of pale blue mountains, was some two hundred miles. Over forty large cities and towns and villages without number, covered its space. The Spaniards gazed upon the scene with amazement and wonder. The indications of power and civilization were far beyond their anticipation. Resting two days at the city of Amaquemecan, where two large stone buildings were provided for their accommodation, they proceeded to Ayotzingo, their path to which place led through smiling villages, fields of maize, gardens of beautiful flowers and groves of Arcadian splendor. The city was built on wooden piles in the waters of lake Chalco. Boats of every variety of color, and graceful design, glided through the streets. One historian says, "This city was the Venice of the new world.

    (To be Continued.)

    Note: This "Old America" episode (#7) was subsequently reprinted in the Millennial Star of April 26, 1875.

    Detail from George M. Ottinger's 1870s painting "The Aztecs."

    Vol. X.                                       Salt Lake City,  March 6, 1875.                                       No. 5.

            [p. 52]

    BY  G. M. O.


    Remaining two days at Ayotzingo, the march was again resumed, following along the southern shore of lake Chalaco. Gardens containing flowers of every hue, luxuriant foliage, crimson, green, and gold, embowered villages, clustered under the shade, and lined the edge of the lake whose waters were covered with the boats of the natives gliding in every direction. Reaching a narrow causeway, so narrow that but three horsemen could ride abreast, and some five miles in length, stretching to the northward and dividing Lake Chalco from Lake Xochicalco, the army crossed to the town of Cuitlahuac, built in the middle of the causeway. Cortez described it as the most beautiful town he had yet seen. Temples and lofty towers of massive architecture, beautiful mansions before which were lawns ornamented with trees and shrubbery. Floating gardens were constructed in the lake, and innumerable boats covered the water.

    After crossing this narrow causeway they entered the city of Izrapalapan, containing about fifteen hundred houses. In the centre of the city was a vast public garden, blooming with flowers and foliage of gorgeous colors. There was a large aviary filled with birds of beautiful plumage, and an immense reservoir, well stocked with fish, which contained water to irrigate the grounds.

    Resting over night, at early dawn the Spanish army was again on the march and the lofty temple of Tenochtitlan (Mexico) glittered in the sunlight before them. The capital was built on an island near the western shore of Lake Tezcuco. On the east, the island had no connection with the mainland, and could only be approached by canoes; on the west, the city was entered by an artificial causeway, built of earth and stones; it was about thirty feet wide and a mile and a half in length. On the shore end of this causeway was the city of Tacuba there was a similar causeway on the southwest, and one three miles long on the north, connecting with the city of Tecpeaca, and still another on the south six miles long. It was over this last one the Spaniards entered the city. Half way between the city and the mainland, on this narrow road, was the town of Xoloc. When the army drew near the city a procession of the principal inhabitants, adorned with plumes and clad in finely embroidered mantles, met them. They announced that the great emperor Montezuma, was advancing to welcome the strangers. The avenue was thronged with a countless crowd, while the lake was darkened with boats.

    When the glittering train of the emperor appeared, Cortez dismounted and advanced to meet him. Montezuma was seated in a magnificent palanquin, glittering with gold, and gorgeous with waving plumes of many colors. He was borne on the shoulders of four noblemen; others held over his head a canopy of beautiful workmanship, decorated with green feathers (the Aztec insignia of royalty) and gold and precious stones. Upon his head the monarch wore a crown of gold, surmounted with plumes. A richly embroidered mantle, with costly ornaments, was folded gracefully upon his shoulders. Buskins, fringed with gold, fitted closely to his legs, and the soles of his shoes were of gold. He was of good stature, well formed and peculiarly handsome, with a melancholy and anxious expression. His age was fifty three years. When Cortez dismounted, he alighted from his palanquin, and leaning upon the arms of two of his nobles, approached the Spaniard. His attendants in the meantime spread carpets of rich materials upon the ground, that his sacred feet might not come in contact with the earth. After an exchange of courtesies, the blended cortege marched into the city. "Who," exclaims Bernal Diaz, one of the invaders, "could count the number of men, women and children which thronged the streets, the canals, and terraces on the tops of houses on that day." Their route led through the heart of the imperial city and the Spaniards gazed with astonishment at the size, architecture and beauty of the houses. They were built of a porous red sandstone, and faultless in construction. Most of the streets were narrow, and contained buildings of a less imposing character. The great streets went over numerous canals spanned by well built bridges. The palace of the emperor was of stone, covering a large space of ground. But among the many interesting features of the Aztec capital the great "teo calli," or temple, stood foremost. It was situated in the centre of a vast square, which was surrounded by a wall eight feet high, built of cut stone. This enclosure was entered by two gateways, opening on the four principal streets of the city. The temple was a solid structure of earth and cobble, faced from top to bottom with hewn stone laid in cement. It was five stories or stages high, each receding so as to be smaller than that below it. In outline it was a rectangular pyramid, three hundred feet square at the base, with a level summit of considerable extent, on which were erected two towers and two altars, where "perpetual fires" were kept burning. The ascent was by a flight of one hundred and fourteen steps on the outside, which went four times around the structure. On the summit of the temple the religious ceremonies were conducted. The Spaniards were quartered in an immense palace erected by the father of Montezuma. The buildings enclosed a large courtyard, and the whole was surrounded by a strong wall, surmounted with towers for defence and ornament. The apartment assigned to Cortez was tapestried with the finest embroidered cotton. "This edifice was so large," writes one of the historians of that day, "that both the Spaniards and their allies, who, together with the women and servants whom they brought with them, exceeded seven thousand in number, were lodged in it. Everywhere there was the greatest cleanliness and neatness. Nearly all the chambers had for beds mats of rushes, and of palm; they had coverlets of fine cotton and chairs made of single pieces of wood. Some of the chambers were also carpeted with mats, and the walls were hung with tapestry beautifully colored."

    The water in the lakes was brackish, or salty; the city was supplied by means of an aqueduct which extended to Chapultepec. There were several markets or squares in the city, with one great square where an immense concourse assembled to engage in peaceful traffic. Three judges sat in state at the end of the square, to settle all difficulties. A numerous body of police kept moving through the crowd to prevent riot and confusion. The police regulations were unsurpassed by those of any city in Europe. Many of the streets were lined with shade trees. The houses of the common people were small but comfortable, built of reeds or adobies. The houses of the nobles and wealthy inhabitants were strongly built of stone, generally but one story high; they were enclosed in gardens blooming with flowers, and fountains of cool water conveyed through earthen pipes, played in the courtyards. A thousand persons were employed continually sweeping and watering the streets. The Spaniards estimated the population of the city at five hundred thousand.

    This substantially is the account given of the cities lining the route of Cortez by every writer who saw them before the conquest. But during the bloody conflict that followed nearly every building was destroyed, the invaders burning what was combustible and tearing down the stone edifices, turning over the inhabitants to extermination, and but little of the ancient city of Mexico was left. Some few relics recovered from the ruins of the old temple have been preserved. Among these is the great Aztec calendar stone on which are carved hieroglyphics representing the months of the year.

    Note: This "Old America" episode (#8) was subsequently reprinted in the Millennial Star of June 14, 1875.

    Vol. X.                                       Salt Lake City,  March 20, 1875.                                       No. 6.

            [p. 63]

    BY  G. M. O.


    The Mexican calendar stone was found buried in the great square during the year 1790, and is now preserved in the Museum of Antiquities in the City of Mexico, along with the sacrificial stone. The calendar is eleven feet eight inches in diameter, and was carved from a mass of porous basalt. It was a fixture of the Aztec temple. The Aztec year. like ours, consisted of three hundred and sixty-five days; or rather, it was composed of eighteen months, of twenty days each, which would make only three hundred and sixty days; but, at the end of the last month, they added five days, which they called "Nemontetni," or useless, because they did nothing in these days but receive and return visits. Nor did they add what is called the intercalary day every four years, as we do, but, at the expiration of every fifty second year added thirteen days. Their century consisted of fifty-two years, which was subdivided into four periods of thirteen years each. Two centuries -- one hundred and four years -- formed an age. The method adopted by the Aztecs to compute time was common to all the polished nations of Anahuca (Mexico), without any variation except in names and figures. The Chiapanese, a nation the most distant from the capital, instead of the names and figures of the rabbit, the cane, flint and house of the Aztecs, used the names of "Votan," "Lambat," "Been," and "Chinax;" these were the names of illustrious men among their ancestors.

    The religion of the Aztecs was most cruel and superstitious. Clavigero says if we compare the religion of the Mexicans with the mythology of the Greeks and Romans we shall find the latter the most superstitious and ridiculous, the former the most cruel. Those nations of Europe imputed to their gods the most atrocious crimes, and stained their worship with the most scandalous ceremonies. The Mexicans imagined their gods perfect, and however cruel they were in their worship there was nothing about it repugnant to decency.

    The Aztecs had an imperfect idea of a supreme independent Being, whom they acknowledged, feared and adored. They represented him in no external form, because they believed him to be invisible, and named only by the common appellation "Teotl" (God). At times they applied to him certain epithets denoting his power, such as "Ipalnemoani" -- he by whom we live; and "Tloque Nahuaque" -- he who has all in himself. They also believed in an evil spirit, called the "rational owl," and a place called "Mictlan," or hell; here reigned a god called "Mictlantetli" -- lord of hell. Among the many deities worshiped by the Mexicans there were thirteen principal or great gods. "Tezcatlipoca" -- Shining Mirror -- was the greatest after the invisible god. "Quetzalcoatl," the god of air, was of a fair complexion, and was called the "fair god." He was said to have once been high priest of Tula. He was worshiped by the nations of Mexico universally. Dr. Siguenza imagined this god was the apostle St. Thomas. The god most honored by the Aztecs was "Mexitli," or "Huitzilopochtli," the god of war; he was considered their chief protector. Of this god some said be was a pure spirit, others that he was born of woman without man's assistance.

    It was this god they said conducted them for so many years in their pilgrimage and at length settled them where they afterwards built the great city of Mexico. It is from his name the word Mexico is derived. The Aztecs' gods were generally the same as those of the other nations of Anahuac, differing only in a greater or less celebrity in some of their rites. The god most celebrated in Mexico was "Mexitli;" in Cholula and Huexotzinco, "Quetzalcoatl;" among the Totonacas, "Centeotl; among the Otomics, "Mixcoatl." The Tlascalans, although the constant enemies of the Mexicans, worshiped the same gods, and their most favored one was Mexitli, but under another name -- "Camaxtle." The number of the images by which these deities were represented in the temples, streets, houses and groves, was infinite. They were made of stone, clay, wood, gold and other metals. The divinity of these gods was acknowledged by prayers, kneeling and prostrations, with vows, fasts and other austerities, with human sacrifices and offerings. They not only believed the soul of man, to be immortal, but that the same was the case with that of the brute. But "Quetzalcoatl" -- Feathered Serpent, or Fair God -- demands the most interest from us. They figured him tall and of a fair complexion, with long hair and beard. From a love of decency he always wore a long robe; he possessed the greatest industry; he was supposed to have had the most profound wisdom, which he displayed in the laws which he left to mankind; in fact, he is said to have been most rigid and exemplary in manners. Besides the decency and sweetness of his manners, he showed aversion to all kinds of cruelty, so much so that he could not bear to hear the very mention of war. To him they owed their knowledge of melting metals, the laws governing their religious rites, and by some to him is attributed the arrangement of the calendar. It was generally believed that he suddenly disappeared, but would in time return to the country and again, as their great high priest, govern the people. So firmly was this tradition impressed on the mind of Montezuma, and, in fact, upon the minds of the Aztecs generally, that when Cortez landed, the emperor summoned his council, consisting of the king of Tezcuco and other high dignitaries, and it was unanimously decided that he was the "fair god," returning to the country, as predicted, and this was one of the main causes of the easy subjugation of the emperor and his people.

    The Aztecs had not only made a oreat proficiency in astronomy, but their political and military government, their social law and customs, their language, poetry, music, painting, sculpture, mosaic works and architectural knowledge were of an advanced order. Laying aside their inhuman sacrificial superstitions, their morality was above that of the fillibustering horde that subjugated them.

    The Aztecs or Mexicans were themselves invaders, whose extended dominion was less than two hundred and fifty years old, although they had been much longer in the valley of Anahuac; in fact, but a few years previous to the landing of Cortez, they had completed this conquest. But they did not come from abroad; they belonged to the country, dwelling somewhere in the south in obscurity. By some writers it has been assumed that they came to Mexico from the north; but investigations have made it probable that they went from the south. Mr. Squire says: "The hypothesis of a migration from Nicaragua and Cuseutlan to Anahuac is altogether more consonant with probabilities and with tradition than that which derives the Mexicans from the north; and it is a significant fact that on the map of migrations, presented by Gemelli, the place of the origin of the Aztecs is designated by the sign of water -- "atl" --standing for Aztlan, a pyramidal temple with grades, and near these a palm tree. Humboldt and Baldwin also think this indicates a southern origin. According to the native histories, as reported by Clavigero, they began their migration about A. D. 1600 [sic - 1000?]. Another result of investigation is reached as follows. Says Mr. Baldwin: "The Mexicans stated that their calendar was reformed some time after leaving Aztlan, and that, in the year 1519, eight cycles of fifty-two years each, and thirteen years of a ninth cycle, had passed since the reform was made. This carries back the beginning of their migration beyond the year 1090 A. D. They grew to supremacy by conquest of the small states into which the country was divided, and learned from their more cultivated neighbors to reform their calendar."

    (To be Continued.)

    Note: This "Old America" episode (#9) was never reprinted.

    Vol. X.                                       Salt Lake City,  April 3, 1875.                                       No. 7.

            [p. 80]

    BY  G. M. O.


    It is impossible to know anything to a certainly in regard to the people of ancient America, as all, or nearly all of the old books are lost or destroyed. The few annals preserved furnish but vague and dreamy outlines of the past. Here and there a faint gleam of light breaks the obscurity, only sufficient to show at different periods in the history a reasonable and passable outline.

    When Cortez subjugated Mexico the Aztecs had been in power more than two centuries. Extensive ruins and splendid monuments of art attest that a highly civilized people had, centuries before, occupied Anahuac. This race had not only peopled Mexico proper, but also Central America, and doubtless South America, as traces of a like civilization are found in these localities. Most of the ancient history of the Aztecs relates to ages previous to their time, and chiefly to their predecessors, the Toltecs. But, according to these writings, the country where the vast ruins are found was occupied at different periods by three distinct peoples, the Chichimecs, the Colhuas, and the Toltecs or Nahuas.

    Jefferies supposes the Toltecs arrived in Anahuac in the year 648, A. D. Baldwin, more properly, asserts that they came into the country about one thousand years before the Christian era; and it appears their supremacy ceased and left the country broken up and divided into small states two or three centuries before the arrival of the Aztecs.

    The knowledge of astronomy and the correct measurement of the year known to Montezuma's people were methods adopted from and formerly in use among the Toltecs. "And," says Baldwin, "it is not reasonable to refuse to give some attention to their chronology, even while doubting its value as a means of fixing dates and measuring historical periods." De Bourbourg says: "In the histories written in the Nahuatl language, the oldest certain date is nine hundred and fifty-five years before Christ." This is the oldest date in the history of the Toltecs which has been accurately determined; and he arrives at this date by the following calculation, which is quoted from the "Codex Chimalpopoka," one of the oldest American books still preserved: "Six times 460 years, plus 113," previous to the year 1558 A. D. This is given as a date of the division of the land by the Toltecs; that is, a division was made 2513 years previous to 1558 A. D., or in the year 955 B. C. The Toltecs issued, if this date be accepted, more than a thousand years before the Christian era, from a country called Huehue-Tlapalaii, somewhere at a distance to the northeast, undoubtedly the Ohio and Mississippi valleys.

    Sahagun learned from the old books and traditions that the Toltecs came from a distant north- eastern country. He mentions a company that settled near the Tampico river, and built a town called Panuco. De Botirbourg finds an account of this or another company preserved at Xilanco, an ancient city, situated on an island between Lake Terminos and the sea. This city was famous for its commerce, intelligence and wealth. The company came from the northeast, it is said, to the Tampico river. It consisted of twenty chiefs, and a large company of people. Torquemada also found a record which describes them as a people fine in appearance, industrious, orderly and intelligent; also that they worked in metals and were skillful artists and lapidaries."

    All the accounts say the Toltecs came at different times by land and sea, in small companies and always from the northeast. This can only be explained by supposing they came from the mouth of the Mississippi river along the coast, and by land through Texas. But the country from which they came was invariably Huehue-Tlapalan. Cabrera and Torquemada say the name of the country was simply Tlapalan; but that they called it Huehue (old) to distinguish it from three other Tlapalans which they founded in their new kingdom; and it seems not improbable that the old Tlapalan was the country of our Mound Builders.

    In connection with the account of the Toltec migration another circumstance is mentioned: that Huehue-Tlapalan was invaded by the Chichimecs (meaning barbarous aboriginal tribes, united under one leader). Baldwin gives a statement, a little condensed, of this transaction: "There was a terrible struggle, but, after about thirteen years, the Toltecs, no longer able to resist successfully, were obliged to abandon their country to escape complete subjugation. Two chiefs guided the march of the emigrating nation. At length they reached a region near the sea, named Tlapalan- Conco, where they remained several years. But they finally undertook another migration, and reached Mexico, where they built a town called Tollanzinco, and, later, the city of Tullan, which became the seat of their government." This Chicimec invasion is placed at a period in the chronology of the old native books long previous to the Christian era.

    According to the manuscript of Don Juan Torres, grandson of the last king of the Quiches, the Toltees descended from the house of Israel, who were released by Moses from the tyranny of Pharaoh. This story runs as follows:

    After they had fallen into idolatry, to avoid the reproofs of man, they separated from him (Moses), and, under the guidance of Tanub, passed from one continent to the other, landing at a place called the "Seven Caverns," a part of the kingdom of Mexico, where they founded the city of Tula. From Tanub sprang the kings of Quiche and the first monarchs of the Toltecs.

    The Toltecs were the most celebrated nation of Anahuac; they always lived in a social manners collected into cities under government of regular laws. Their superior civilization and skill in the arts were adopted by all the civilized nations of Mexico. They were not very warlike, preferring the civilization of the arts to the exercise of arms. If not the inventors, they were at least the reformers of the admirable system of the arrangement of time, which was adopted by the nations of Mexico. Boturini gleaned from their ancient histories that during the reign of one of their kings, Ixtlalcuechahuac, a celebrated astronomer named Huematzin, by the king's consent, assembled all the wise men of the nation, and with them painted that famous book called Teoamoxtli, or Divine Book, in which were represented, in plain figures, the origin of the Indians, their dispersion after the flood and confusion of tongues at Babel, their journey in Asia, their first settlement in America, the founding of their kingdom -- as well as its progress to that time; also a description of the calendar, their mythology and mysteries of their religion, moral philosophy, in fact, all that appertained to their history, religion and manners.

    The same author says that the eclipse of the sun, which happened at the death of our Savior, was marked in their paintings in the year 7, Tochtli, and that some learned Spaniards have compared their chronology with ours, and have found that they reckoned from the creation to the birth of Christ 5199 years, which corresponds with the Roman calendar. Clavigero says: "Upon reading Boturini, I set about comparing the Toltecan years with ours, and I found the thirty-fourth year of Christ, or the thirtieth of our era, to be the 7 Tochtli." Their religion was idolatrous, and they appear to have been the authors of the greater part of the mythology of the Aztecs; but they never practiced those barbarous and bloody sacrifices which became afterwards so common among the other nations. Sometime about the year 1052 A. D., the Toltecan monarchy concluded. Previous to this, direful calamities happened to them: for several years heaven denied them rain, the earth, the fruits and the air were filled with mortal contagion, and consequently the greater part of the nation perished. The wretched remains sought relief to their misfortunes by scattering themselves over the territory south and north of their kingdom. After the destruction of the Toltecs, for nearly a century, the land remained solitary and almost entirely deserted.

    (To be Continued.)

    Note: This "Old America" episode (#10) was never reprinted.

    Vol. X.                                       Salt Lake City,  April 17, 1875.                                       No. 8.

            [p. 87]

    BY  G. M. O.


    The abbe Clavigero asserts that the Toltecs permanently settled in Mexico about the year 607 of the Christian era, and their supremacy lasted three hundred and eighty-four years,

    Many historians think the Toltecs built in honor of the god Quetzalcoatl the celebrated pyramid of Cholula, but more modern research has demonstrated that Central America and Mexico have been subject to a series of political changes, caused by violent transfers of power from one people to another several times in the course of a long history. This has been indicated by the monuments, and the peculiarities of the inhabitants of the various districts, noticeable at the time of the conquest and still manifest to travelers who study the existing representatives of the old race and their dialects. Several distinct families or groups of language exist in communities widely separated. The most important was that which included the speech of Mayas, Quiches and Tzendals, which is supposed to represent thus language of the original civilizers, the Colhuas. There were other dialects supposed to indicate Toltec communities, while farther south of Mexico, in Nicaragua, the Aztec speech was in use.

    From the little that can be gleaned from the old books, it appears that the Colhuas preceded the Toltecs, and were the original founders of this old civilization. They found the country inhabited by a barbarous people, who lived by hunting and fishing, and had neither towns nor agriculture. They called them Chichimecs, which appears to have been a generic appellation for all uncivilized tribes. De Bourbourg says: "Under the generic name 'Chichimecs,' which has much embarrassed some writers, the Mexican traditions include the whole aboriginal population of the New World, and especially the people by whom it was first occupied at the beginning of time."

    Some of the traditions state that the Colhuas came from the east in ships. Sahagun mentions that a tradition to this effect was current in Yucatan. They are always described as the people who first established civilization and built great cities. They taught the Chichimecs to cook food, cultivate the earth and adopt the ways of civilized life. The natives thus civilized are sometimes called Quinames.

    The Colhuas are connected with a long and important period in the history previous to the Toltec ages. In some respects they seem to have been more advanced in civilization than the Toltecs. The events in their history relate chiefly to the Toltec alliance with the uncivilized Chichimecs of the mountains, and the subjection of their great city, called Xibalba, the capital of an important kingdom of the same name. This kingdom is supposed to litve included Guatemala, Yucatan, Tabasco, Tehuantepec, Chiapa, Honduras and other districts of Central America. Baldwin supposes it included all of Southern Mexico, and northward beyond the Tampico river. De Bourbourg says the ruins now known as Palenque appear to have been the city of Xibalba; but this is nothing but conjecture. Baldwin wisely says, "we may as reasonably suppose Copan, Quirigua, or some other old ruin to have been Xibalba." Tradition places their first settlements on the gulf, in Tabasco, between Tehuantepec and Yucatan, and it is inferred that the Mayas, Quiches and some other old communities were descendants of the Colhuas, from their more highly developed language, and their written characters having a closer resemblance to those of the oldest inscriptions.

    It is very probable that the Colhuas, Toltecs or Nahuas of the old books with the Aztecs were all substantially the same people. Baldwin says, "These unlike groups of language have not been sufficiently analyzed and studied to justify us in assuming that they did not all come from the same original source." Although distinct at the time of the conquest, there was not much difference in their religious ideas, their ceremonies of worship, their methods of building, or in the, general character of their civilization. The same author infers that if the Toltecs and the Mound Builders of the United States were the same people, they probably went from Mexico and Central America to the Valley of the Mississippi at a very remote period as Colhuan colonies, and after a long residence there, returned so much changed in speech and other respects ss to seem a distinct people.

    One important fact we notice: the tradition concerning the landing of a foreign race, conducted by an illustrious personage who came from an eastern country. For this important information we are indebted to the abbe de Bourbourg's learned translation of the old Quiche manuscript called the "Popul-Vuh," which is an abridged reproduction of a very ancient Quiche book. The fragments of this history show how several centuries before the dynasty of the Quiches, Central America was inhabited by a highly civilized people; and distinctly says that Votan, with a colony came from the land of the Hivim or Evei, being exiled by a cruel invasion of strangers, led there by their god. The description of Votan's voyage shows that these Evei or Colubri sailed to the islands of the Western ocean, and, leaving there, after a lapse of several generations, they crossed the sea with seven vessels and came to a large island, which, according to Votan's description, is Cuba. Having embarked again, he sailed to a great continent, which, from the description, is undoubtedly Yucatan. Having penetrated into the interior of this country, he founded the kingdom of Quiche, and built the' chief city, called Nachan. Ordonez maintains that the foundation of this kingdom was contemporary with the building of the Temple of Solomon, about one thousand years before the birth of Christ.

    Keeping to these accounts, we find that these Evei (who were exiled by the Hebrew people after their departure from Egypt), must have lived on the islands some five hundred years before Votan built his great city. But Votan clearly points out in his history that he found this vast country already inhabited by a civilized people, who had a religion, rites, laws, erudition and strong and flourishing cities; and also that this people were of common blood with the Evei whom he took there himself.

    According to the custom of primitive nations, as they gradually increased colonies of people were sent to the uninhabited districts both north and south. As the passage to the north was easier than to the south, which was impeded by the rugged peaks of the Andes, they ascended the numerous rivers flowing into the Gulf of Mexico, the Rio Grande, Rio Colorado. Rio Brazos, and more particularly, the Mississippi, peopling those immense regions of Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas, Ohio and Pennsylvania, even as far north as the lakes of Canada.

    The history of Votan gives us undeniable proof that the earliest inhabitants of Central America were people of Upper Asia, who landed there centuries before the vulgar era. The Evei of Votan reached there about one thousand years before it. Votan taught the people not only the art of hieroglyphic writing, but also the way to build those enormous pyramids, the ruins of which may still be seen in Mexico, temples which served at once both as tombs and as altars. The Aztecs were less advanced in many thing than their predecessors. Their picture-writing was a much ruder form of the graphic art than the system of the Mayas and Quiches, and if the country had never in previous ages felt the influence of a higher culture, it would not now have ruined cities like Mitla, Copan and Palenque.

    When tracing the chronology of the old books, we are thrown in doubt as to the value of dates when measuring historical periods. We, therefore, refer our readers to the Book of Ether and the first Book of Nephi, in the Book of Mormon, a careful reading of which may point to a more correct period and give us a more definite description of Votan's voyage. And I only refer for a correct solution of the teachings and the promised re-appearance of the "fair god," Quetzalcoatl, to the Book of Nephi the son of Nephi, page 456, Book of Mormon, (fourth European edition); and also to the Book of Alma, chapter xxx, for a confirmation of the "old books" when referring to the numerous migrations of families.

    Note: This "Old America" episode (#11) was never reprinted.

    Vol. X.                                       Salt Lake City,  May 1, 1875.                                       No. 9.

            [p. 98]

    BY  G. M. O.

    The abbe Don Lorenzo Hervas, having read the work of Clavigero, when in manuscript, made some curious and learned observations on the old Toltec calendar, and communicated them to the author of the Mexican history in a letter dated July 31, 1780. We will give a few extracts from the learned abbe's epistle.

    "The year and century have, from time immemorial, been regulated by the Mexicans with a decree of intelligence which does not at all correspond with their arts and sciences. In them they were certainly extremely inferior to the Greeks or Romans; but the discernment which appears in their calendar equals that of the cultivated nations. Hence we ought to imagine that this calendar has, not been the discovery of the Mexicans, but a communication from some more enlightened people; and as the last are not to be found in America, we must seek for them elsewhere in Asia or in Egypt. The Mexican year began upon the twenty-sixth of February, a day celebrated in the era of Nabonassar, which was fixed by the Egyptians 747 years before the Christian era; for the beginning of their month -- 'Toth' corresponded with the meridian of the same day. If those priests fixed also upon this day as an epoch, because it was celebrated in Egypt, we have there the Mexican calendar agreeing with the Egyptian. But independent of this, if is certain that the Mexican calendar conformed greatly with the Egyptian. * * * Boturini determined by the Mexican paintings the year of the confusion of tongues, and the years of the creation of the world, which determination appears not to be difficult. As the eclipses are noted in the Mexican paintings, there is not a doubt but the true epoch of chronology may be obtained from them. Respecting the symbols of the Mexican months and year, they discover ideas entirely conformable with those of the ancient Egyptians. The latter distinguished, as appears from their monuments, each month or part of the zodiac, where the sun stood, with characteristical figures of that which happened in every season of the year. Therefore, we see the signs of Aries, Taurus, and the two young goats (which now are Gemini), used to mark the months of the birth of those animals; the signs of Cancer, Leo, and Virgo, with the ear of corn, for those months in which the sun goes backward like a crab, in which there is greater heat, and in which the harvests are reaped. The sign of the scorpion (which in the Egyptian sphere occupies the space which at present is occupied by the sign Libra), and that of Sagitarius, in the months of virulent, contagious distempers, and the chase; and lastly, the signs of Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces, in those months in which the sun begins to ascend -- in which it rains much and in which there is abundant fishing. These ideas at least are similar to those which the Mexicans associated with their clime. They called their first month 'Acahualcol' that is the cessation of the waters, which began on the twenty-sixth of February, and they symbolized this month by a house, with the figure of water above it; they gave also to the same month the name 'Quahuitlehua,' that is the moving or budding of trees. The Mexicans afterwards distinguished their first month by two names, of which the first, "Acahualco," or the cessation of the waters, did not correspond with their climate, where the rains came in October; but it agrees with northern climes of America, from whence their ancestors (Toltecs) came; and from that the origin of this name appears evidently very ancient. The second name, that is 'Quahulitlehua,' or the budding of the trees, agrees much with the word 'Kimath,' used by Job to signify the pleiades (chap. ix verse 9) which in his time announced the spring, when the trees begin to move. The symbol of the second Mexican month was a pavilion, which indicated the great heat prevalent in Mexico in April, before the rains of May came on. The symbol of the third month was a bird which appeared at that time. The twelfth and thirteenth months had for their symbol the plant 'pactli,' which springs up and matures in these months. The fourteenth month was expressed by a cord and a hand which pulled it, expressive of the binding power of the cold in that month, which is January, and to this same circumstance the name 'Tititl,' which they gave it alludes. The constellation 'Kesii,' of which Job speaks to signify winter, signifies in the Arabic root (which is Kesal) to be cold and asleep, and in the text of Job it is read, 'Couldst thou break the cords or ties of Kesil?' The symbol for the Mexican century convinces me that it is the same which the ancient Egyptians and Chaldeans had. In the Mexican symbol we see the sun as it were eclipsed by the moon, and surrounded with a serpent which makes four twists, and embraces the four periods of thirteen years. This very idea of the serpent with the sun has, from time immemorial, in the world, signified the periodical or annual course of the sun. The Egyptians more particularly agree with the Mexicans; for to symbolize the sun they employed a circle with one or two serpents, but still more the ancient Persians, among whom their 'Mitras' was symbolized by a sun, and a serpent. There is no doubt that the symbol of the serpent is a thing totally arbitrary to signify the sun, with which it has no physical relation; wherefore then, I ask, have so many nations dispersed over the globe, and of which some have had no reciprocal intercourse, unless in the first ages after the deluge agreed in using one same symbol, and chose to express by it the same object. When we find the word 'sacco' in the Hebrew, Greek, Teutonic, Latin languages, etc., it obliges us to believe that it belongs to the primitive language of man after the deluge, and when we see one same arbitrary symbol, signifying the sun and his course, used by the Mexicans, the Chinese, the ancient Egyptians and Persians, does it not prompt us to believe the real origin of it was in the time of Noah, or the first men after the deluge? This fair conclusion is strongly confirmed by the Chiapanese calendar (which is totally Mexican), in which the Chiapanese, according to De la Vega, bishop of Chiapa, in his preface to his synodal constitutions, put forth the first symbol or name of the first year of the century, as 'Votan,' nephew of him who built a wall up to heaven, and gave to men the languages which they now speak."

    Humboldt has devoted several pages of his "Researches in America" in describing the similarity which exists between the Chinese, Japanese, Calmucks, Moguls, and other Tartar nations, also the Egyptians, Babylonians, Persians, Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Hebrews, and ancient Celtic nations of Europe with the Mexicans in their representations of astrology, astronomy, and divisions of time. For his interesting and minute description of the Aztec calendar stone the reader is referred to the edition of his Researches Vol. I, translated by Williams.

    In the centre of the stone is sculptured the god "Tonatiuh," (the sun) opening his mouth. This yawning mouth is like the image "Kala," or Time, a divinity of Hindostan. Its meaning, denotes that Tonatiuh, or time, devours the world, days, months, years, as fast as they come. The same figure or image, under the name "Moloch," was used by the Phoenicians. Humboldt says the Mexicans have evidently followed the Persians in the division of time, judging from the figures carved on the calendar stone. The Persians flourished fifteen hundred years before Christ.

    (To be Continued.)

    Note: This "Old America" episode (#12) was never reprinted.

    Vol. X.                                       Salt Lake City,  May 15, 1875.                                       No. 10.

            [p. 110]

    BY  G. M. O.

    The Acolhuans, or Tezcucians, next to the Aztecs, were the most distinguished nation of Mexico after the departure of the Toltecs. They built the great city of Tezcuco on the eastern border of the Mexican lake, which, next to Mexico, was the largest and most beautiful city of Anahuac. It contained three temples, each measuring four hundred feet along the base of its front. Although the Tezcucians indulged in the practice of human sacrifice, they at the same time believed in an all-powerful Creator of the universe; and so ardent were they in this belief, that they erected a temple which was dedicated "to the Unknown God, the Cause of Causes."

    The Tezcucians were in advance of the Aztecs in purely intellectual progress. They had the best histories, the best poems, the purest dialect and the best system of laws. Their laws were founded upon the principles of justice, honesty and fair dealing were required by all functionaries; a judge found guilty of receiving a bribe was punished with death; suitors appealed in person, not by counsel, and each party could be a witness in his own behalf. The clerk of the court made a statement of the case, and an abstract of the testimony and proceedings of the trial in writing (hieroglyphical), which was preserved by the court.

    Agriculture, above everything else was encouraged by the rulers. Every available spot of ground was cultivated. Nezhualcoyatl, the sovereign who reigned at Tezcuco about the middle of the fourteenth century, and who has been called the Solomon of the new world, had a fondness for gardening, and within his dominions were a number of gardens, floral and vegetable, described as being incomparably beautiful. These gardens were supplied with aqueducts and filled with fountains, fish-ponds and large aviaries, and protected by a wood containing thousands of cedars, which still flourished long after the conquest. Nor did this king content himself with gardening merely; he erected a magnificent pile of buildings, which might serve both as a royal residence and for the public offices. It measured from east to west three thousand, seven hundred feet, and front north to south two thousand, nine hundred and thirty feet. It was surrounded by a wall of adobies and cement, six feet wide and nine feet high for one half of its circumference, and fifteen feet high for the other half. Within its enclosure were two courts, one used as the great market place of the city. The interior court was surrounded by the council chambers and halls of justice; there were also accommodations for foreign ambassadors, and a large saloon with apartments opening into it for men of science and poets, who, in private pursued their studies or met together under the marble porticos to converse. Here also were kept the public archives. Adjoining this court were the apartments of the king and his family, which was quite numerous, he having by his various wives no less than sixty sons and fifty daughters. The walls of the palace were encrusted with alabaster and richly painted stucco, or hung with gorgeous tapestries of cotton and variegated feather work. Accommodations on a princely scale were provided for the sovereigns of Mexico and Tlacopan when they visited his court. The building contained three hundred apartments, some of them one hundred and fifty feet square, The interior of the building was doubtless constructed of the rich woods found in the country, which, when polished, are remarkable for their brilliancy and variegated colors. The more solid parts of the structure have furnished an inexhaustible quarry for the churches and other edifices since erected by the Spaniards on the site of the ancient city. We are not informed of the time occupied in building this palace, but two hundred thousand workmen were employed upon it. Not only were the beautiful gardens destroyed, but the palace itself was burned by order of Zumaraga, first bishop of Mexico. The Tezcucians excelled in poetry. Nezahualcayotl's mind, in his declining years, seemed to be absorbed in the contemplation of the future, and his immortal destiny. The following are some of his thoughts, as translated by Galves from the Othomic language:

    "The great, the wise the valiant, the beautiful,
    Alas! where are they now?
    They are all mingled with the clod;
    And that which has befallen them shall happen us,
    And to them that come after us.
    Yet, let us take courage, illustrious nobles, and chieftains,
    Let us aspire to Heaven,
    Where all is eternal, and corruption cannot come.
    The horrors of the tomb are but the cradle of the sun,
    And the dark shadows of death are brilliant lights of the stars."

    Some of their poems contain sentiments as sublime and eloquent as our most gifted poets. This lament of one of their bards is beautiful:

    "Banish care, if there be bounds to pleasure,
    The saddest life must have an end.
    Then weave the chaplet of flowers, and
    Sing the song of praise of the all-powerful God;
    For the glory of this world soon fadeth away."

    The Tlascalans were a branch of the Aztec family. They occupied at first the western borders of Lake Tezcuco; about the same time the Aztecs settled Mexico. These two nations were very hostile towards each other, and kept up bloody wars. After defeating the Aztecs in two great battles, they emigrated to the valley between the lake and the gulf of Mexico, and there built their capital called Tlascala, one of the most noted cities of Anahuac. They established a republican form of government, and maintained their independence against the whole power of Montezuma. In regard to civilization, they were equal with the Mexicans. To protect the eastern border of the republic, they constructed a wall of stone twenty feet thick and nine feet high, for a distance of six miles across the valley; on the western quarter ditches and entrenchments were constructed with a degree of mathematical skill which showed a high advancement of knowledge in military engineering.

    Tlascala meant "the place of bread," and the principal products were maize and cochineal. The Tlascalans were not only farmers, but soldiers, and very courageous and jealous of their honor and their liberty. Going into confederacy with the Spaniards against their ancient rivals, the Mexicans, they were involved in the common ruin after the conquest.

    To the north of Mexico dwelt the Huaxtecas, and the Tarascas dwelt to the north-west. In the arts and civilization they were nearly equal to the Aztecs. They were bold, independent and fearless, and never submitted to the Mexican powers, though repeated efforts were made to bring them into subjection.

    At the time of the conquest numerous tribes inhabited Central America, in fact, it was the old kingdom of Guatemala. Yucatan seems to have been a focal point of early civilization. Within its limits are found some of the most splendid ruins of America. At the time of the conquest the Quiches, Mayas and Tobascians occupied the country. Tecum-Umam was the ruling prince, and the chief city of the Quiches was Utallah, hardly surpassed by Mexico in point of splendor and magnitude. It was walled, and had only two ways of entrance, one by a causeway, and the other by a flight of steps. The refinement of these people astonished the Spaniards. They dwelt in well- constructed houses built of stone, and were respectably clothed. Their temples were large and of considerable architectural taste. They cultivated the ground with much care, lived in towns and had a well-regulated system of civil government.

    When the Spaniards first invaded the Isthmus of Darien, they found it densely peopled with natives, enjoying a degree of civilization equal to those of Guatemala. They were supposed to be of the same race as the Quiches, though divided into tribes, and differing in appearance as much as the different nations of Mexico from one another.

    Note: This "Old America" episode (#13) was never reprinted.

    Vol. X.                                       Salt Lake City,  May 29, 1875.                                       No. 11.

            [p. 131]

    BY  G. M. O.

    It is now generally admitted by all who have investigated the early history of America that the nations and tribes inhabiting the country at the time of the conquest were then gradually sinking away from a higher position once occupied by their ancestors in the social scale. The melancholy fact cannot be denied that they were the descendants of a more civilized race, rapidly drifting into the conditions of savages. Nothing leads us more strongly to this conclusion than the abundant remains of ruined cities scattered over the southern part of Mexico, and still further south into central America. Here ruins of ancient cities have been discovered, which must have been deserted and forgotten years before the Aztec supremacy. Most of these ruins have been found in dense forests, where, at the time of the Spanish conquest, they had long been hidden from observation. These antiquities show that, anciently, the country was occupied by a people admirably skilled in the arts of masonry and building. Some of their architectural decorations cannot be excelled by the best of constructors and decorators of the present day. They were not only highly skilled in the appliances of civilized life, but it is a fact beyond dispute that they had the art of writing, as the many inscriptions testify.

    One must know something of the wild condition of the country, to understand property the condition and situation of most of the old ruins. Mr. Squier says: "By far the, greater proportion of the country is in its primeval state, and covered with dense, tangled, and almost impenetrable tropical forests, rendering fruitless all attempts at systematic investigations. There are vast tracts, untrodden by human feet, or traversed only by Indians who have a superstitious reverence for the moss-covered and crumbling monuments hidden in the depth of the wilderness.

    A great forest of like character covers the southern half of Yucatan, half of Guatemala, and extends into Chiapa, Tobasco and Honduras. There are ruins in this forest that none but wandering nations have ever seen, and some that possibly no human foot has approached for ages. According to the old books, the principal seats of the earliest civilization, the Colhuas, were in this forest-covered region. In their time the whole was cultivated and filled with cities and towns teeming with inhabitants. Here it is supposed the Colhuan city of Xibalba was situated, which, after a long existences was destroyed by the Toltecs. Nearly in the centre of this forest is a lake called Peten. A solitary native town stands on its shore. This town was founded nearly a century before the arrival of the Spaniards, by a Maya prince of Itza, who, with a portion of his people, fled from Yucatan to that lonely region, to escape from the disorder and bloodshed of a civil war. This was the civil war which broke up the Maya kingdom, and during which the great city of Mayapan was destroyed., This was about the year A. D. 1420.

    In 1695 Don Martin Ursua, a Spanish officer, built a road from Yucatan to Lake Peten, captured the town and destroyed it. He reported that, when building this road, he found the "wrecks of ancient cities lying buried in the wilderness all along the route, stately edifices overgrown with foliage, and apparently very ancient." In fact, this vast forest covers an area considerably larger in extent than Ohio or Pennsylvania, and it remains as little known and unexplored as the heart of Africa; and the ruins of which something is known have merely been visited and described in part by explorers and travelers, who have brought away drawings of the principal objects.

    In giving a brief account of the more important ruins we necessarily pass over "fragments from the wreck that befell the American civilization of antiquity" -- thousands of other monuments, recorded and unrecorded by antiquarians, found in every sierra and valley of Mexico and Central America.

    In the northern part of the valley of Mexico was the city of Tulha, the ancient capital of the Toltecs. At the time of the conquest its site was an extensive field of ruins. At Xochicalco are the remains of a remarkable pyramid, constructed with five stories. It stands on a hill consisting chiefly of rock, which was excavated and hollowed for the construction of chambers and galleries. These galleries are six feet high, and paved with cement. The sides and ceilings are covered with a durable preparation which makes them smooth and glistening. The main gallery is one hundred and eighty feet long, terminating in two chambers, which are separated only by two massive, square pillars. Over a part of the inner chamber is a dome six feet in diameter; it has a regular slope, and was faced with square stones laid in cement. From the top went up a tube or circular aperture nine inches in diameter, probably to reach the open air or some point in the pyramid. The basement is a rectangular building, measuring in the northern front sixty-four feet in length, by fifty-eight in depth on the western front. The height between the plinth and the frieze is nearly ten feet; the frieze is three feet and a half in breadth, and the cornice one foot, five inches. The bearings of the edifice correspond exactly with the cardinal points of the compass. The building is constructed of porphyry rock, in blocks, laid up in cement, and is carved and sculptured with singular figures and hieroglyphics, executed in a skillful manner. Mayer, who visited this ruin in 1842, says:

    "We cannot fail to be struck will the industry, toil and ingenuity of the builders. Huge rocks were brought to form the walls supporting the terraces that surround the hill a league in circumference; and the whole of that immense mass was cased in stone, Beyond these terraces again there was still another task in the ditch or even greater extent, which had to be dug and regularly embanked. When you combine all the difficulties and all their labors, I think you will agree with me that there are but few works, not of essential utility, undertaken in the present age, by civilized nations, that do not sink into insignificance when contrasted with the hill of Xochicalco, from whose summit towered its lofty pyramid of sculptured porphyry."

    Who the builders were, no one can tell; there is no tradition of them or the temple. When first discovered, no one knew who had built it, or for what purpose it had been built. It has out-lasted history and memory; yet, fragment as it is, it denotes that the people who built it were persons of taste and refinement, living in an age of civilization and architectural progress, that may well entitle the ancient inhabitants of our continent to the character of an original race.

    In this part of Mexico, among other ruins, are the very ancient pyramidal structures at Teotihuacan, and an uncounted number of "teo callis," or pyramids of smaller size. The largest of these structures covers eleven acres. They are made of earth, and faced with brick or stone.

    Captain Dupaix saw, not far from Antequera, two truncated pyramids, penetrated by two carefully constructed galleries, lined with hewn stone bearing sculptured Decorations. He mentions also the ruins of elaborately decorated edifices, which stood on elevated terraces. At one place he excavated a mound, and discovered burnt brick; and be describes two ancient bridges, both built of hewn stone laid in cement, one of them being two hundred feet long and thirty-six feet wide. Obelisks, or pillars, forty two feet high, stood at the corners of these bridges. The pyramid of Cholula is in this part of the country, and at present seems little more than an artificial mound of earth. Originally, it was constructed in four stages, or stories. It covers an area of forty-five acres. When measured by Humboldt, it was fourteen hundred feet square at the base, and one hundred and sixty feet high. Its condition of decay indicates that it is much older than the Toltec period.


    Note: This "Old America" episode (#14) was never reprinted.

    Detail from G. M. Ottinger's 1870s painting "The Fall of Zarahemla."

    Vol. X.                                       Salt Lake City,  June 12, 1875.                                       No. 12.

            [p. 143]

    BY  G. M. O.


    The base of the Eastern Mountains, some fifty leagues north from Vera Cruz, in the heart of fertile savannahs constantly watered by streams from the neighboring hills, a country remarkable for fertility, is located an Indian village, which has scarcely a white inhabitant. The name of this town and the region surrounding is Papatla. Although only fifty miles from the coast, this has remained almost an unexplored country. Humboldt has alluded to the beautiful and lofty pyramid and extensive ruins found in this forest, but so little interest have they created that the neighboring Indians even have scarcely seen them; and it is almost impossible to find the path leading to the remarkable relics hidden in the wild and tangled forest. M. Nebel, a few years ago, was the first to describe and give us a drawing of the pyramid. which consists of seven stories each following the same angle of inclination, and each terminated, as at Xochicalco, by a frieze and cornice. The whole of this building is constructed of sandstone, neatly squared and joined, and covered to the depth of three inches with a strong cement, which, from appearance, was at one time covered with paint of various colors. The pyramid measures precisely one hundred and twenty feet on every side. Nobel does not give the elevation, but says there are fifty-seven steps to the top of the sixth story, each step measuring one foot in height. These steps ascend from the front, in three places by small box-like recesses or niches two feet in depth; and the frieze is likewise perforated with similar apertures. The stairway terminates at the top of the sixth story, the seventh appearing, although in ruins, to have been unlike the rest, and hollow. Here, most probably, was the place of worship, or shrine. The facing of the stones on this building, is decorated with hieroglyphics, carved in relief. The first story contains twenty-four niches on each side, in the second are twenty, in the third sixteen. There are three hundred and sixty-six of these openings on the whole pyramid, and twelve in the stairs.

    It is known that other important ruins exist in the forests of Papantla and Mesantla, which have never been described. The ruins called Mitla are in the Mexican State of Oaxaca, about twelve leagues east from the city of Oaxaca. They are situated in the upper part of a great valley, and are surrounded by a vast uncultivated desert. At the time of the conquest they were old and much worn by time and the elements, but a very large area was covered by the remains of ancient buildings. at present, six only, of the decaying edifices, and three ruined pyramids remain, the others being reduced to the last stage of decay. These important ruins were not described by Stephens and Catherwood. Captain Dupaix in his work gives some account of them. Mayer (1847) a brief description, and Charnay photographed some of the monuments in 1860. Four of the standing edifices are described by Dupaix as "palaces," and these, he says, "were erected with lavish magnificence. They combine the solidity of the works of Egypt with the elegance of those of Greece. But what is most remarkable, and interesting in these monuments, and Which alone would be sufficient to give them a first rank among all known orders of architecture is, the execution of their mosaic relieves, very different from plain mosaic, and consequently requiring more ingenious combination and greater art and labor. They are inlaid on the surface of the wall, and their duration is owing to the method of fixing the prepared stones into the stone surface, which made their union perfect. These ruins are so remarkable that all who have seen them speak of their perfection much as Dupaix speaks of the admirable design and finish of the work and beauty of the decorations. Their beauty, says Charnay, "can be matched only by the monuments of Greece and Rome in their best days." Speaking of the structure, he says: "It is a bewildering maze of courts and buildings, with facings ornamented with mosaics in relief, of the purest design." By antiquarians these buildings are called the "sepulchral palaces of Mitla." According to tradition, they were built by the Zapotecas, and intended as places of sepulture for their princes, the vaults beneath the building being used for that purpose. Another tradition devotes the buildings to a sect of priests, whose duty it was to live in perfect seclusion and offer expiatory sacrifices for the royal dead who reposed in the vaults beneath. The village of Milta was formerly called Miguitian, meaning a "place of sadness," and Leoba, "the tomb." The principal building has a length of one hundred and fifty feet. A stairway leads to a subterranean apartment of about one hundred feet in length, by thirty in width, the walls of which are covered with beautiful mosaic work, similar to those that adorn the exterior walls, resembling very much the figures found on Etruscan vases.

    The ruins of Mitla are distinguished from other ancient architecture of Mexico by six columns of porphyry placed in the centre of a large saloon, and supporting the ceiling. They have neither base nor capitals, and are cut in a gradually tapering shape, from a solid stone more than fifteen feet in length. Mt. De Laguna has discovered among the ruins some curious paintings of war trophies and sacrifices.

    Two miles from the great edifices mentioned, are the ruins of the "castle of Mitla." It was built on the summit of an isolated and precipitous hill of rock, which is accessible only on the east side. The whole leveled summit of this hill is enclosed by a solid wall or hewn stone, twenty-one feet thick and eighteen feet high. This wall has salient and retiring angles, with curtains interposed, and on the east side it is flanked by double walls. Within the enclosure are the remains of several buildings. Three hundred years ago the field of those ruins was very large, and undoubtedly included this castle.

    In this part of Mexico Dupaix discovered a peculiar ruin, an isolated granite rock, formed artificially into the shape of a pyramid, with six hewn steps facing the east. The summit of this structure is a platform or plane. This monument was undoubtedly used for astronomical observations, for on the south side of the rock are sculptured several figures having reference to astronomy. The most striking figure is that of a man in profile, standing erect and directing his view to the rising stars in the sky. He holds in his hand and to his eye a tube or optical instrument. Below his feet is a frieze, divided into six compartments, with as many celestial signs carved on its surface.

    Finely-wrought "telescopic tubes" have been found among the remains of the Mound Builders, and also in ancient Peru, where a silver figure of a man in the act of using such a tube has been discovered in one of the old tombs.

    Latrobe, on page 144 of his "Rambles in Mexico," relates that some workmen, in excavating for a canal at Chapingo (a village near Tezcuco), reached, four feet below the surface, an ancient causeway. The cedar piles by which the sides were supported were still sound at heart. And three feet below the edge of this ancient work, they discovered the entire skeleton of a mastodon, imbedded in the clay. The diameter of the tusk was eighteen inches. Wherever extensive excavations have been made on the table-land and in the valley of late years remains of this animal have almost always been found. In the foundation of the Church of Guadalupe, four leagues to the south of St. Nicholas, in the province of Guadalaxara, portions of the skeleton of this animal have been discovered. Mayer wisely enquires: "Had the ancient inhabitants of America some means of taming these beasts into labors for their gigantic architecture?" and we quote from the Book of Ether (Book of Mormon), page 533, an answer: "and they also had horses, and asses, and there were elephants and cureloms, and cumoms; all of which were useful unto man, and more especially the elephants, and cureloms, and cumoms."

    Old ruins, of which but little is known, exist in Guatemala, Honduras and San Salvador. Mr. Squire mentions the ruins of Opico, in the last named place, which cover nearly two square miles, and consist of vast terraces, ruins of buildings, circular and square towers and subterranean galleries, all built of beautiful cut stone. Remains of immense works exist in the district of Chontales, near the northern shore of Lake Nicarauga; and the pottery ware found in this vicinity equals the best specimens of Mexico and Peru. Don Jose Urritia describes a great ruin on a mountain near Camapa, of an oval form. Within the enclosure the streets and roads may be traced. Many ruined buildings constructed of stone and cement remain. Besides the bassi relievi, these stones bear hieroglyphics painted with a red varnish which still remain unimpaired.

    Note: This "Old America" episode (#15) was never reprinted.

    Vol. X.                                       Salt Lake City,  June 26, 1875.                                       No. 13.

            [p. 155]

    BY  G. M. O.


    In the department of Zacatecas, north of the city of Mexico, situated on the level of a hill top which rises out of a plain, are the extensive remains of an ancient city, known as ]the ruins of Quemada. The northern side of the hill rises with an easy slope from the plain, and is protected by a double wall and bastions, while on the other side the steep and precipitous rocks of the hill itself form a natural defense. The whole of the elevation is covered with ruins. On the southern side chiefly may be traced the remains of temples and pyramids. The rock-built walls of these edifices are joined with very little mortar; the stones, many of which are twenty-two feet in thickness, and of a corresponding height, are retained in their positions mainly by their own massiveness. Captain Lyon, in his volume of travels in Mexico, gives a very minute and interesting description of Quemada, and says: "There is no doubt that the greater mass of the nation which once dwelt here must have been established upon the plain beneath, since from the summit of the hill we could distinctly trace three straight and very extensive causeways diverging from that over which we passed" (called the grand causeway) south-west from the hill, a distance of two miles. One of these causeways measures forty-six feet in width. These roads were all paved with stone. Nothing but confused heaps of stones thickly strewn over the plain remains of this once great city. The citadel alone still remains to tell of the strength and grandeur of a city whose name is lost, and the history of which, with that of its inhabitants, remains an unsolved mystery.

    On the river Tecolutla, M. Nobel found the ruins of ancient structures, to which be gives this name of a near Indian rancho, called Mapilca. He states that it is impossible to define the limits of this ancient work, because it is now entirely covered with thick vegetation and forest, the silence of which has, perhaps, never been disturbed by an ax. He, nevertheless, describes some pyramids, many large sculptured stones and the indications of an extensive city once inhabited by a highly civilized people. Fifteen leagues west from Papantla, near the eastern coast of Mexico, lie the remains of Tusapan. Nothing of this city remains in great distinctness but the pyramidal monument of Teo-calli. This edifice has a base line of thirty feet on every side, and is built of regular and nicely cut stones. A single stairway leads to the upper part of the first story, on which is erected a quadrangular house or tower, while in front of the door still remains the pedestal of the idol, or perhaps the altar of worship. The interior of the apartment is twelve feet square; the ceiling terminates in a point, like the exterior roof. The walls have been painted, but the outlines of the figures are no longer distinguishable. The door and the two friezes are formed of sculptured stones. From the fragments of carving and the variety of figures of men and animals that lie in heaps about the rest of the city, this temple was, in point of adornment, by no means the most splendid edifice of Tusapan. Nebel found a statue of a woman nineteen feet high, cut from the solid rock, with the remains of a water-pipe connected with the body, from which he infers that it was the remains of a fountain; from this figure the stream was carried by a canal to a neighboring city.

    Near the city of Jalapa, and not far from the main road to the city of Mexico, were discovered, in the year 1835, the ruins known as Misantla. On a lofty ridge of mountains in the canton of that name there is a hill called Estillero, near which lies a mountain covered with a narrow strip of tableland, perfectly isolated from the surrounding country by steep rocks and inaccessible canyons. Beyond these are lofty walls of hills, from the summit of one of which the sea is visible. The only part of the country by which this plain is accessible is the slope of Estillero; on all other sides the solitary mountain seems to have been separated from the neighboring land by some violent earthquake, that sunk the land to an unfathomable depth. On this isolated and secluded eminence are situated the remains of an ancient As you approach it by the slopes of Estillero a broken wall of stones united with cement is first seen. This appears to have served as a protection to a circular plaza, in the centre of which is a pyramid eighty feet high, forty-nine feet front, and forty-two in depth. It is divided into three stories; at least, that is all that remains. On the broadest front a stairway leads to the second body, which, in turn, is ascended at the side, while the top of the third is reached by steps cut in the corner edge of the pyramid. Around the plaza commence the remains of a town, extending northerly for near a league. Immense square blocks of stone buildings, separated by streets at the distance of three hundred yards front each other, mark the sites of the ancient habitations, fronting upon four parallel highways. In some of the houses the walls are still four feet high, but of most of them nothing but the outline of their foundations is to be seen, On the south the city was defended by a long, narrow wall. In the cemetery connected with the city several bodies were found, parts of which were in tolerable preservation. Two stones, a foot and a half long, by half a foot wide, bearing hieroglyphics, were discovered; several figures cut out of stone and many domestic utensils have also been found.

    Forty years after the conquest of Honduras the ruins known as Copan were discovered; they were then, as now, densely covered by a forest. At the time of their discovery by Europeans they were wholly mysterious to the natives. They are situated in so wild and solitary a part of the country that they have not been very carefully explored. It is known that they extend two or three miles along the left bank of the river Copan; how far from the river into the forest they extend, no one has told. Mr. Stevens describes his first view of them as follows: "We came to the right bank of the river, and saw, directly opposite, a stone wall from sixty to ninety feet high, with frieze growing out of the top, running north and south along the river six hundred and twenty-four feet, in some places fallen, in others entire." This wall supported the rear and elevated side of the foundation of a great building. It was built of cut stone laid in cement, the blocks of stone being six feet long. He saw a stone column standing by itself, fourteen feet high and three feet on each side from top to bottom. It was richly ornamented with sculptured designs on two opposite sides, the other sides being covered with inscriptions finely carved on the stone. On the front face, surrounded with sculptured ornaments, was the figure of a man. Fourteen other obelisks of the same kind were seen by Mr. Stevens, some being higher than this; some of them had fallen. The great building first noticed stood on a pyramidal foundation, supported along the river by the high back wall.

    Mr. Stevens describes it as an "oblong enclosure," which it is customary to call the temple. The other three sides are formed by a succession of pyramidal structures and terraced walls, measuring from thirty to one hundred and forty feet in height. It is accessible from the river side by flights of steps, similar flights leading down on the inner side into the enclosed area. Two small pyramidal structures are on the south west angle of the river wall. Running at right angles with the river, and within the boundary marked by these structures, is the southern wall of the temple, beginning with a range of steps thirty feet high. At the southeastern extremity of this wall is another massive pyramid one hundred and twenty feet high on the slope. To the east of this are the remains of other terraces and pyramids, and a passage twenty feet wide, which seems to have formed a gateway. The temple wall, running from south to north, continues for a distance of four hundred feet, and then turning at right angles to the left, runs again southwards and joins the other extremity of the river wall. Within the area enclosed by these walls are other terraces, and pyramids one hundred and forty feet high, enclosing two smaller areas, or courtyards, one of which, situated near the eastern boundary wall, is two hundred and fifty feet square, and the other, close to the river wall, one hundred and forty feet by ninety, both being forty feet above the level of the river, and accessible by steps cut in the sides of the sloping walls that enclose them.

    Note: This "Old America" episode (#16) was never reprinted.

    Vol. X.                                       Salt Lake City,  July 10, 1875.                                       No. 14.

            [p. 167]

    BY  G. M. O.


    The peculiar characteristics of the ruins of Copan are the elaborately carved stone obelisks, varying from eleven to thirteen feet in height, and from three to four in width and in depth, in every case having on the principal face a human figure, male or female, sculptured in high relief, presenting its full front and having the upper part of the arm pressed close in to the body, and the lower part, or forearms brought forward so as to allow of the hands being pressed against the breast. They are all clad in rich garments, some in the form of tunics, others more like pantaloons. The feet are clumsy and generally covered with a kind of sandal or buskin. The heads are adorned with helmets with carved work of the most fanciful description, the details of which can hardly be separated from the mass of intricate ornamental work which covers the monuments on all sides from top to bottom. The expression of the faces on the different obelisks varies, though the calm and placid predominates. The sculptured ornaments are graceful and pleasing in design, and the back and sides are covered with hieroglyphics. In front of one, the monument described by Mr. Stephens as differing from others in its vicinity, is an altar four feet high and six feet square, of one block of stone, resting on four globes cut out of the same material. The bas reliefs on the sides represent sixteen human figures seated in oriental fashion, cross-legged. In the hand of each is a weapon, the character of which is difficult to define. The heads of all are covered with very peculiar head dresses, without plumes. On the western side are the two principal figures, sitting with their faces towards each other, as if engaged in discussion, while of the other fourteen figures seven are placed in the rear of each principal face, in the same direction as their respective leaders, of which they are evidently the retinues. The. top of the altar is divided into thirty-six tablets of hieroglyphics, evidently recording the important transaction that the two parties have met to discuss. In regard to costume, no two of the head dresses are alike, and though the remarkable facial angle is preserved, there is likewise a variety of expression in the countenances.

    Down the sides of the pyramids and covering the ground are innumerable remains of sculpture, some still remaining in position, others forming heaps of fragments, among which many blocks are remarkably well preserved. Half way up the sides of one of the pyramids are rows of death's heads of colossal proportions, but of such peculiar construction in the conformation as to represent the heads or skulls of monkeys, not of men. The supposition that they were so intended, is in a manner confirmed by the finding of the effigy of a colossal ape at the foot of the pyramid, bearing, it is said, a strong resemblance to the same species originally figured on the great obelisk from the ruins of Thebes, now in Paris. These animals were worshiped at Thebes, and it has been thought not unlikely that the same may have been the case among the inhabitants of Copan. Among the fragments are found several human heads, which have evidently been chiseled with a close adherence to nature, impressing the beholder with the belief that they were portraits, the features and expression of each bearing a strong individual character. The whole of the sides and walls of the pyramids and terraces have evidently been decorated with similar sculptures, which were fixed by stone tenons, which in many cases still adhere to them, and which were driven into the wall. Traces of color are still visible, indicating that these sculptures, like those of the old world, had been painted. In the outer wall of the small court within the temple a subterranean passage leading to the river wall, and below this a sepulchral vault, were examined several years ago by Colonel Galindo, who explored the ruins by order of the Mexican government. On each side of the vault, which is six feet high, ten feet long and five and a half wide, are small niches, which contained, at the time of opening, earthenware vessels of different descriptions filled with human bones packed in lime. On the floor of the vault, which was paved with stones and coated with lime, were strewn various articles, such as stone knives, marine shells and a small death's head cut in green stone and described as of exquisite workmanship.

    At some distance from the temple, in a level area enclosed by walls stands a group of eight obelisks, or idols, similar in size and position to those described, but each having a distinct individuality. They are placed at distances of from fifty to two hundred feet from each other, and in front of each is an altar. The chief object of the sculptor has evidently been to inspire awe and terror, and to produce the desired effect he has resorted to exaggeration of feature, some of the countenances being ludicrously hideous, some purely terrific and only one or two pleasing in expression. Some of them are covered on all sides with hieroglyphics, and the workmanship is considered equal to the finest Egyptian sculpture. At the foot of one of the statues lies a colossal sculptured head of an alligator, half buried in the earth. In the eyes of antiquarians these idols have always been most interesting, as there is a hope that some day a key may be found to the hieroglyphics, and the mysteries of Copan unraveled.

    Palacios, who described Copan nearly three hundred years ago, saw much more than Mr. Stephens. He tells of the "ruins of superb edifices built of hewn stone, which manifestly belonged to a large city." In connection with the great wall he mentions a colossal eagle, carved in stone, which bore on its breast a square shield covered with hieroglyphics. He also mentions a "stone giant," and a "stone cross," one of the arms of which was broken. He saw a plaza, or square, circular in form, surrounded by ranges of stone steps, or seats, similar to the Coliseum at Rome. It was "paved with beautiful stones, all square and well worked; six great statues stood in the enclosure, and in the centre was a great stone basin." Huarros, in his history of Guatemala, states that the "circus of Copan," as he calls this "plaza" described by Palacios, was still perfect and entire in the year 1700. He mentions gateways, which led into the enclosure.

    Copan was first discovered and described in 1576; it was then as strange and mysterious to the natives living near it as it is to-day; native tradition had forgotten its history, even its existence. The Spaniards under Cortez assaulted and captured a native town not far (some twenty miles) from the forest-covered ruins, but heard nothing of them. The captured town afterwards gave its name to this nameless city. Forty years afterwards Palacios discovered the ruins, and tried "in all possible ways" to get from the natives some account of the ruined city, but they could tell him nothing about it, so long had its existence then been lost to the memory of man. Mr. Stephens has very singularly fallen into the mistake of confounding this old ruined city with the town captured by the Spaniards. The ruins, like others in the country, were discovered accidentally, and to approach them it was necessary to cut paths through the dense tropical undergrowth.

    Within a few miles of Copan, on the banks of the river Montagua, are the ruins called Quirigua. These ruins have a close resemblance to Copan, and it is manifest that a great city once stood here. Antiquarians are of the opinion that these ruins are much older than Copan, for they have to a great extent become little more than heaps of rubbish. Mr. Stephens confines his description chiefly to a pyramidal structure with flights of steps and monoliths larger and higher than those at Copan, but otherwise similar. He states, however, that they are hardly so rich in design. One of the obelisks here is twenty feet high, with the figures of a man on the front, and on the back a woman; the sides are covered with hieroglyphics similar in appearance to those at Copan.

    (To be Continued.)

    Note: This "Old America" episode (#17) was never reprinted.

    Vol. X.                                       Salt Lake City,  July 24, 1875.                                       No. 15.

            [p. 178]

    BY  G. M. O.


    In the northern part of the Mexican State of Chiapas, hidden from sight by the dense forest, and forgotten long before the arrival of Cortez, the extensive ruins since known as Palenque were discovered during the year 1750. Whether the discovery was due to chance, or to divine revelation made to the Indians, as is asserted in that country, one thing is certain: they were never mentioned before that year. The news of their discovery excited considerable interest in Spain, and two explorations were made by order of the government (Bernasconi's, 1784, and Del Rio's, 1785). The expedition of Del Rio alone was productive of any result, and that only in the form of a and superficial description. Eighteen years afterwards Charles IV., of Spain, caused a careful reconnaissance to be made of them, but the results if the expedition long remained unknown. During the period of the revolution the three memorials of Captain Dupaix and the drawings of his companion, Castaneda, remained forgotten in the archives of Mexico. Finally, by exchange, they became the property of M. Baradere, who published them in 1834 in a work called Recuil des Antiquities Mexicaines. Waldeck (1834) and Stephens (1843) have added much to Dupaix, by giving fac-similes of the hieroglyphical tablets. Other explorers have since visited the ruins, and with pen and pencil excited our curiosity. And still it is possible that many of the ruined edifices have not been seen, but lie buried and unknown in the forest. The largest building at Palenque is called the "palace." It stands near the river on a terraced, pyramidal foundation 40 feet high, and 310 feet long, by 260 broad at the base. The building, which is built of hewn stone and laid in cement with remarkable precision, faces the east, and is 228 feet long, 180 feet wide and 25 feet high, and has fourteen doorways on each side, with eleven at the ends. A corridor nine feet wide and roofed by a pointed arch went around the building on the outside; this was separated from another within of equal width.

    The "palace" has four interior courts, the largest being seventy by eighty feet. They are surrounded by corridors, and the architectural work facing them is richly and elaborately finished. Around the top of the building runs a broad cornice of stone. The whole building has been originally coated with stucco and painted, remains of red, yellow, blue, black and white paint being still visible in many places. Between the doorways are square pieces adorned with spirited figures in stucco. A flight of broad stone steps leads up the side of the terrace to the principal doorway. From the north side of one of the courts rises a tower three stories high, built of stone; it is thirty feet square at the base. Within the courts of the palace are several other buildings, all much ruined. The great mound used for the foundation of this building was encased with stone, the workmanship here and everywhere else about this structure being very superior. Where the stucco, or plaster, has been broken, six or more layers or coats are revealed, each layer presenting traces of painting. This indicates that the building had been used so long before it was deserted that the plastering needed to be many times renewed.

    It would be beyond our limits to attempt to give a detailed description of the sculptured bas reliefs, the groups and figures in stucco which decorate the walls of the innumerable rooms and corridors in the palace; we therefore refer our readers to the beautiful drawings by Catherwood and the graphic descriptions of Mr. Stephens' works. Two other buildings marked by Mr. Stephens in his plan of the ruins as "Casa No. 1" and "Casa No. 2," are remarkable. No. 1 is seventy-five feet long, by twenty-five feet wide, and stands on the summit of a high truncated pyramid; it has solid walls on all sides save the north, where there are five doorways. In the interior are a corridor and three rooms, and between the doorways leading from the corridor to these rooms are great tablets, each thirteen feet long and eight feet high, all covered with elegantly carved inscriptions. A similar but smaller tablet, covered with an inscription, appears on the wall of the central room. This building resembles the palace in architectural and ornamental features, and also displays the same workmanship. Casa No. 2, generally called "La Cruz," is built on a steep and lofty pyramid, which stands on a terraced foundation. The building is fifty feet long, by thirty-one wide; it has three doorways at the south, with a corridor and three rooms. This edifice has, above the height required for the rooms, "two stories of interlaced stucco-work, resembling a high fanciful lattice." Here I may say, as to ornamentation, the walls, piers and cornices of all the ruined buildings of Palenque are covered with it; everywhere the artistic skill and workmanship is displayed, Mr. Stevens going so far as to say "In justness of proportion and symmetry of form, approaching the Greek models." This building is usually called "La Cruz," because the most prominent object within the building is a great bas relief, on which is sculptured a cross and several human figures. The building is approached by a flight of steps. Dupaix says, "It is impossible to describe adequately the interior decorations of this sumptuous temple." This cross is supposed to have been the central object of interest. It was wonderfully sculptured and decorated, and occupies the centre of the sculptured tablet. It stands on a highly ornamented pedestal, and is surmounted by an extraordinary bird, the wings and tail of which bear a strong resemblance to many of the plumes in the head dresses of the figures on the walls of the palace. Around the bird's neck hang strings of beads, from which is suspended an ornament resembling the curious flower called 'by the Aztecs "macphalxochitl," or "flower of the hand," the pistil being in the form of a bird's foot, with six fingers terminating in so many nails. On each side of the cross, with their faces turned towards it, are two male figures, carved with a justness of proportion equal to the sculptured remains of Egypt. One of these figures seems to be making an offering of a child to the bird. The infant held by this figure suggests the idea of a Christianity. The other figure is looking on, and being, shorter that his companion, is mounted on a kind of footstool. in order to bring his head in a line, and properly balance the composition. The costume of the men is different from that of the other figures found among the ruins; for while the garments of the latter in many cases indicate the warrior, the robes of these two figures are made of a pliable texture, more resembling the loose cotton drapery of the priest.

    The cross is one of the most common emblems found in all the ruins, and this led the early Catholic missionaries to assume that the knowledge of Christianity had been brought to that part of America long before their arrival; and they adopted the belief that the gospel was preached in Yucatan by St. Thomas.

    In one of the other "casas" there is a tablet containing two figures very much resembling the two in adoration before the cross in Casa No. 2. Here they appear to be making offerings of infants to a hideous mask with the tongue lolling out of the mouth, and supported by two crossed batons richly ornamented. The floors of these adoratorios were excavated by Del Rio, and found to contain an earthen vessel and a circular stone, beneath which were a stone head, two small pyramids, with the figure of a heart made of dark crystal and two covered earthen jars containing a substance resembling Vermilion.

    Among the stucco ornaments in these buildings are beautiful designs of plants and flowers. Mr. Stephens also found the sculptured head and two bodies of figures of most just and perfect proportion and symmetry of form. One statue only has been found similar to those of Copan. It is ten and a half feet high, elaborately carved and engraven with hieroglyphics.

    What more mav be discovered at Palenque when the whole field of its ruins shall have been explored it is impossible to say. The chief difficulty in the way is explained by Mr. Stephens, who states that the forest is so dense that without a guide he might have gone within a hundred feet of the buildings without discovering them. More, much more, has been discovered by explorers than I have mentioned.

    The ruins of Palenque, or Otolum, as it is called by some writers, are deemed by archaeologists of the greatest importance, on account of the abundance of inscriptions found there, which it is believed will at length be deciphered, being similar to the written characters of the Mayas, which are now understood.

    Note: This "Old America" episode (#18) was never reprinted.

    Vol. X.                                       Salt Lake City,  August 7, 1875.                                       No. 16.

            [p. 182]

    BY  G. M. O.


    Yucatan, a peninsula which lies north of the great forest, the remains of ancient cities are abundant. M. Charnay found "the country covered with them from north to south." Mr. Stephens states in his work on Yucatan that he visited "forty-four ruined cities and places," most of which were unknown to white men, even those inhabiting the country. Previous to the Spanish conquest Yucatan was called Maya. The natives still use this as the true name of

    the country.

    When Cordova landed on the coast in 1517 Yucatan was much more populous than at present. The people had more civilization, more industry and. more wealth; they had cities and large towns, and dwelling houses built of timber. They were much more highly skilled in the arts of civilized life. The Maya kingdom was broken up by a rebellion about one hundred years previous to the arrival of the Spaniards. According to the Maya chronicles the downfall occurred in the year 1420, when the capital city, Mayapan, was destroyed, and never afterwards inhabited. Merida, the present capital, was built on the site of an ancient Maya city called Titoo. Old Spanish records state that it was built on that site because there was in the ruins an abundance of building material. Mr. Stephens noticed in some of the buildings "sculptured figures from the ruins of ancient buildings. The remains of the ancient city of Mayapan are spread over an extensive plain, overgrown by trees and other vegetation. The most prominent object seen is a great mound sixty feet high and one hundred feet square at the base. Four stairways twenty-five feet wide, in a ruined condition, lead up to an esplanade within six feet of the top, which is reached by a smaller stairway. The summit is a plain stone platform fifteen feet square. Sculptured stones are scattered over the mound and at its base, and subterranean chambers have been discovered in the mound. Another remarkable edifice, a circular stone building, twenty-five feet in diameter, stands on a foundation of a pyramidal form, thirty-five feet high. On a terrace projecting from this mound was a double row of columns eight feet apart.

    Mr. Baldwin says: "Brasseur de Bourbourg classes some of the foundations at Mayapan with the oldest seen at Palenque and Copan. This point, however, cannot be determined with sufficient accuracy to remove all doubt. Mayapan may have stood upon the foundations of a very ancient city, which was several times rebuilt, but the city destroyed in 1420 could not have been as old as either Palenque or Copan.

    About seventeen leagues south of the city of Merida are the ruins of Uxmal. They have been regarded as the most important in Yucatan, chiefly because they have been more visited and more explored than the others. Circumstantial evidence appears to warrant the supposition that this city had not been wholly deserted at the time of the conquest, although it had previously begun to go to ruin. However, it was wholly deserted and in ruins in 1673. The area covered by its, remains is a league or more in diameter. The most important of the ruined buildings was named by the Spaniards "Casa del Gobernador" (House of the Governor.) It is, like all the other important buildings, situated on an artificial elevation, which rises in three terraces from the level plain. The first terrace is 575 feet long, 3 feet high and 15 feet broad; the second is 20 feet high, 250 feet wide and 545 feet long; the third, on which stands the stately edifice, is 19 feet high, 30 feet broad and 360 feet long. The sides of all are supported by substantial stone walls, rounded at the angles. In the centre of the, platform of the second terrace commences a stairway 130 feet wide, and leading up to the third terrace in front of the building, the facade of which is 322 feet long. The walls of the palace are constructed entirely of stone. From the base to the cornice, which runs around the building immediately above the doorways and about half the height of the building, is presented a smooth surface; but above the cornice, the four sides of the building present one solid mass of rich, complicated and elaborately sculptured series of ornaments. Eleven doorways are in the front of the building, and one at each end, while the back is one solid mass of masonry, nine feet thick, without doorways or openings of any kind. Above the doorways the ornamentation is very rich and elaborate, representing small human figures with head dresses of plumes, that above the centre door being larger than the others. The roof of this building is flat, and was originally covered with cement. The two principal rooms are sixty feet long and thirteen feet wide. The lintels of the doorways have all been of wood; some were still in their places, and in very good condition, when examined by Mr. Stephens. This is no proof against the antiquity of the building, as these beams are of a very hard wood, which does not grow in the neighboring forests, but must have been transported from forests three hundred miles distant. On one of these lintels were carved hieroglyphics, similar to those of Copan and Palenque. No stucco figures or carved monoliths, like those found at those two cities, have been found at Uxmal. On the second terrace stands the dilapidated walls of an edifice 94 feet long and 34 feet wide; it is finished in a still more simple style than the great building on the upper terrace. The figures of turtles sculptured along the upper edge of the cornice have given it the name of "Casa de la Tortugas" (House of the Turtles.) The rectangular court enclosed by the walls of this building was paved with stones, each six inches square and exquisitely cut in demi-relief with the accurate figure of a tortoise, and arranged in groups of four, with the heads of the tortoises together. The number required to cover the court is said to have been 46,660. On the same terrace are other remains, but in so ruinous a condition as to be indescribable. Such is, for instance, an oblong structure 200 feet long, by 15 feet wide, and about three feet high, along the foot of which runs a range of pedestals and broken columns. Near the "House of the Governor" are two buildings, each 128 feet long and 30 feet deep; they stand opposite each other, 70 feet apart; they are precisely similar in plan and ornaments, of which the coils of serpents have formed the principal part. These edifices have no doorways or openings of any kind, and when broken into, proved to be nothing but solid walls. In the centre of each wall, and exactly opposite to each other, are the remains of two large stone rings.

    Another important edifice is situated 240 feet south of these structures; it has been named the "Casa de las Monjas" (House of the Nuns.) It stands on a terraced foundation, and is arranged around a quadrangular courtyard 258 feet one way, and 214 feet the other. The front building is 279 feet long, and has a gateway ten feet eight inches wide, with four doors on each side of it, leading into the court. These buildings are more richly ornamented than the "House of the Governor," "surpassing any other now seen in the ruins." On the side facing the entrance of the main building high turret-like towers crowned the doorways, all covered with sculptured ornaments.

    The next building stands on an artificial mound, oblong in form, but not cut into terraces, rising very steep from the plain, and accessible by a range of uncommonly steep steps. This building is of stone, exceedingly plain from the base to the cornice over the doorways, and from this to the roof elaborately sculptured. From the front of this building runs an incline 22 feet long, paved with cement, and leading to the roof of a building occupying a lower position, and the walls of which are likewise richly sculptured, This group of buildings goes under the name of the "House of the Dwarf" Another group of buildings, built of stone and covered with stucco ornaments, has been called the "Casa de las Palamos" (House of the Pigeons), from the peculiar appearance of the gables, which are perforated with small oblong holes, having some resemblance to pigeon houses. Other less important buildings have been described by explorers, some of which stand on high, pyramidal mounds. And inscriptions are found here, but they are not so numerous as at Palenque and Copan.

    It must be remembered that the different names given to these buildings are entirely unconnected with their past history, or with the edifices themselves, and have only been applied by writers in consequence of some fancied resemblance.

    Our space will not permit us to describe the many other buildings crowning terraces and pyramids and hidden in the dense mass of foliage that covers the site of Uxmal.

    (To be Continued.)

    Note: This "Old America" episode (#19) was never reprinted.

    Vol. X.                                       Salt Lake City,  August 21, 1875.                                       No. 17.

            [p. 194]

    BY  G. M. O.


    The ruins of Chichen Itza are situated east of Mayapan, about half way between the eastern and western coasts of the peninsula of Yucatan. A public road runs through the space of ground covered by the ruins. This space is something less than a mile in diameter. The ruins found here are in every respect similar to those already described. The most beautiful building, called like one at Uxmal, "House of the Nuns," is 638 feet in circumference and 65 feet high. This unusual height is owing to three ranges of buildings being erected, the one immediately above the other, yet so that each of the upper ranges, being built back and not on the roof of the lower range, rests on an independent foundation, while the roof of the lower range extends like a platform in front of it. The second range is the most elaborately decorated, the ornaments being similar in style to those at Uxmal. The lower range seems to be nothing but a solid mass of masonry. A grand staircase 56 feet wide leads from terrace to terrace to the top of the building. In the interior of the chief apartment of the second range, which has three doorways, are nine oblong niches, and from the floor to the centre of the arched ceiling the walls are covered with paintings, now much effaced, but in many places still retaining the colors bright and vivid. The subjects are progressions of warriors, armed with spears and shields, and helmeted heads adorned with plumes. One of the buildings at this place has a rude ornamental exterior and does not stand on an artificial terrace, although the ground around it has been excavated so as to give it the appearance of an elevated foundation. One of the most picturesque ruins is circular in form, and stands on a double terraced platform. It is twenty feet in diameter, and has four doors which face the cardinal points. Above the cornice it slopes gradually almost to a point. The top is about sixty feet from the ground. A grand staircase of twenty steps, leading up to this building, is forty-five feet wide, and has a balustrade formed of the entwined bodies of huge serpents. At some distance from this building is the ruined structure known as the "Casa Colorado" (Red House); it is 43 feet long, by 23 feet wide, and stands on a platform 62 feet long, by 55 feet The ornamentation of this building is much effaced by decay. A stone tablet extending the whole length of the back wall, inside, is covered with an inscription. Here, as at Uxmal, are the ruins of a building supposed to be connected with the public games of the country. Two walls, each 274 feet long and 30 feet thick, run parallel to each other at a distance of 120 feet. In the centre of each wall, and exactly opposite to each other, at the height of 20 feet from the ground are two stone rings, four feet in diameter, with serpents carved on the outer circle. One hundred feet from the northern and southern extremities of the walls, and facing the open space enclosed by them, are two buildings, one 35 feet, the other 80 feet long. They are on elevations, each contains one room only. Both are much dilapidated, but, on the inner wall of the smallest, traces of rich sculptures yet remain. In front of each building are the remains of two columns, also richly sculptured. At the southern extremity of the walls stands a building consisting of two ranges, the upper one being the best preserved. It is ornamented externally with a frieze in bas-relief, representing a succession of tigers; while the whole inner wall of the structure, laid bare by the falling of the outer wall, is likewise covered with bas-reliefs, consisting of rows of human figures, interspersed with fanciful ornaments, each row being separated from the other by an ornamental border of a pleasing design. The figures are all males, with buskined feet and helmet head-dresses of plumes. The other parts of their dress are so different and indistinct as to admit of no accurate description. Each of the figures in the upper row carries in his hand a bundle of spears, and all are painted. The upper building, the front corridor of which is supported by massive pillars elaborately sculptured, presents scenes of still greater interest. Entering a doorway, the lintel of which is a massive beam of sapote wood, richly sculptured, and the jams of which are also richly ornamented, we find ourselves in a room with walls covered with paintings, and for the first time catch a glimpse of the occupations and pastimes of their mysterious inhabitants. The colors are in some places still visible and bright; in others, much effaced. Some of the figures seem to be dancing a war dance, with spear and shield; others are placed on low seats, apparently of basket work; others on cushions. One figure holds in one hand a large hoop or ring, which he seems intending to trundle with a short stick which he holds in his other hand. In one place is an old

    woman crouching down, apparently unloading a sack which is placed before her; and in another is a boat or canoe, with horses and people in it, and one man overboard. The head-dresses worn by these figures are different from others mentioned, and the men have their ears pierced and small, round plates attached to them. The colors used are green, red, blue and reddish brown, the last invariably used to represent the human flesh, the tint in the female figures being a shade lighter than that used for the male. Mr. Norman (Rambles in Yucatan) and Mr. Stephens (Incidents of Travel in Yucatan) give very interesting descriptions of the ruins of Chichen, well worth reading, but our limits will not permit description too elaborate or lengthy.

    The ruins known as Kabah are likewise in Yucatan, and are of the same character as those already described, and owing to the choice of site must have been one of the most imposing and important of the ancient cities. The principal building is a stone-faced mound, 180 feet square at the base, with a range of ruined apartments at the bottom. Four hundred yards from this mound is a terraced foundation 20 feet high and 200 by 142 feet in extent, on which stands the crumbling wall of an immense edifice. On the left is another range of ruined buildings, and in the centre a stone enclosure 27 feet square and 7 feet high, with sculptures and inscriptions around the base. Some of the ornamentation around the building has been described in the strongest terms of admiration. Mr. Stephens says, "The cornice running over the doorways, tried by the severest rules of art recognized among us, would embellish the architecture of any known era." At Uxmal the walls were smooth below the cornice, here they are covered with decorations from top to bottom. Mr. Stephens describes three buildings of importance; one 147 feet long, by 106 feet wide, of three distinct stories, each successive story being smaller than that below it. Another building on the terrace of an elevated foundation, 170 by 110 feet, was 164 feet long and comparatively narrow; it had pillars in its doorways, used as supports. The other building standing on a terrace is also long and narrow, and has a plain front. One remarkable monument found at Kabah resembles a triumphal arch. It stands by itself on a ruined mound, apart from the other structures. It has a span of fourteen feet, and is described as "rising on the field of ruins in solitary grandeur." The ruins of Kabah are extensive, and only a portion of them have been examined. It is so overgrown with foliage as to make exploration very difficult. The buildings and mounds are much decayed, and seem to be very old. Mr. Stephens gave the first account of Kabah, and it is believed that ruined edifices of which nothing is known are hidden away among the trees in places which no white man has approached. Some of the ruins in the woods beyond that part explored are visible from the great mound described; and a resolute attempt to penetrate the forest brought the explorers in view of a great edifice standing on a terrace estimated to be 800 feet long by 100 feet wide. The decorations seemed to have been abundant and very rich, but the structure was in a sad state of decay.

    At Izamal, Labna, Zayi, Xcoch, Ake and some other places are ruins of sufficient importance for special notice, but they present the same characteristics: broad and noble terraces, lofty pyramidal structures, supporting buildings of vast extent, and loaded with a profusion of ornaments, differing a little only in the style of ornamentation.

    Among the remains at Xcoch Mr. Stephens describes a great mound; and at Ake a remarkable ruin. On the summit of a great mound, very level, and 225 feet by 50 in extent, stand thirty-six shafts or columns in three parallel rows. The columns are about fifteen feet high and four feet square. The ruins of Ake cover a great space, and are ruder and more massive than most others.

    On the Island of Cozumel and the adjacent coast of Yucatan extensive ruins have been found. Owing to the scarcity of water on this peninsula the ancient inhabitants, provided for their wants by constructing aguadas, or artificial ponds. many of them are doubtless as old as the oldest ruined cities, and much skill, intelligence and labor were required to construct them. They were paved with several courses of stone, laid in cement, and in their bottoms wells or cavities were constructed. Over forty of such wells were found in the bottom of one of these ponds at Galal, which has been repaired and restored to use. Everywhere in Yucatan the architecture is regulated by the same idea, the difference indicating nothing more than different periods in the history of the same people.

    (To be Continued.)

    Note: This "Old America" episode (#20) was never reprinted.

    Vol. X.                                       Salt Lake City,  September 4, 1875.                                       No. 18.

            [p. 206]

    BY  G. M. O.


    The ruins in northern Mexico, New Mexico and Arizona consist chiefly of structures similar in plan and arrangement to those still used by the Pueblos; but they are far superior as monuments of architecture, science and skill. We have every evidence that in ancient times this part of the country was thickly settled, and a numerous population, evidently followers of agricultural pursuits and the builders of cities, occupied the country as far northward at least as the Utah lakes. The larger portion of their buildings doubtless was built of perishable materials, which have left no trace; many of them, however, were built of stone, though wood and adobe seems to have been more generally used. Some of the ruined stone buildings were inhabited when the Spaniards first conquered the country. The remains everywhere present the same characteristics, representing a people always building the same way with very little variation in the forms of their structures, and their condition in life substantially the same. But the ruins are not all the same age, many of them being so ancient that the traditions of present races do not reach them.

    In New Mexico, between the head waters of the San Jose and Zuni rivers, west of the Rio Grande, on a bluff rising some two hundred feet from the plain, are the ruins called "El Moro." On one side of the bluff, which is vertical, and composed of yellowish white sandstone, are "Spanish inscriptions and Indian hieroglyphics." Lieutenant Simpson (1849) describes the ruins as being the remains of an extensive Pueblo building, built of rock, "with considerable skill, the walls in some places being still perfect to the height of six or eight feet, the stones uniform in size, fourteen inches long and six inches wide, are placed in horizontal layers, each successive layer breaking joints with that below it. Remains of cedar beams, painted pottery, obsidian arrow- heads and other relics were found. Four or five years after Lieutenant Simpson passed through this part of the country Lieutenant Whipple went westward, following mainly along the thirty- fifth parallel. After Whipple left El Moro be entered the valley of Ojo Pescado; here, close by a spring were two old Pueblo buildings in ruins, and not far away a deserted town of a later date. The two ancient structures were circular in form and equal in size, being about eight hundred feet in circumference. They We're built of stone, but have so crumbled as to be but little more than heaps of rubbish. Pottery similar to that found at El Moro, painted in bright colors, and some of a beautiful polish was found. In the same neighborhood, on the summit of a cliff twenty-three feet high, was another old ruin strongly walled around. In the centre was a mound on which were traces of a building. Whipple encamped at Zuni, a great Pueblo building, inhabited at the time by two thousand people. Not more than a league away are the crumbling walls of an old Zona, which shows nothing but ruins. Its wall is from two to twelve feet high, and it covers several acres of ground. This old town became a ruin in ancient times; after remaining long in a ruined condition it was again rebuilt, and again deserted after a considerable period of occupation. It is still easy to distinguish between the two periods. "The standing walls rest upon ruins of greater antiquity," says Whipple. The premature masonry is about six feet thick, that of the later period is only from a foot to a foot and a half thick.

    At a place west of Zuni ancient relics were found. Here formerly stood an extensive town, probably constructed of adobes. Near the Colorado Chiquito is an extensive ruin on the summit of an isolated hill of sandstone. On the ridge overlooking Pueblo Creek are traces of an old settlement. Ruins are abundant in the Rio Verde Valley down to the junction of that river with the Rio Salinas. Whipple says: "Large fields in the valley of the Rio Gila and many spots among the Pinal Lena Mountains are marked with the foundations of adobe houses. In Canyon Chelly, near San Francisco Mountain, there are ruins of more permanent structures of stone, which in their day must have excelled the famed pueblos of New Mexico."

    In the valley of the Chaco, north of Zuni, are the ruins of what many suppose to have been the famous "Seven Cities of Cevola." The first Spanish traveler into these regions was Mark di Niga, a Franciscan monk, in the year A. D. 1539. How far northward his exploratory and missionary journey extended we are unable to tell. He reported on his return to New Galicia that there were towns and cities in this country built of stone, the houses several stories high and flat roofed. One town or city, called Cevola or Cibola, seemed to him larger than the City of Mexico, when viewed from a distance, for he did not venture to approach it closely. He also speaks of seven towns or cities in one kingdom, in which the Indians informed him there was gold in abundance. Friar Mark also says that he saw one of the natives of Cibola, who was a white man, of a good complexion and capacity (Hackloyt, III., 370). Spanish cupidity being excited by the friar's relation of the greatness and vast wealth of Cevola, Coronado, the governor of New Galicia, set out with an army to conquer and rob its cities. But these buccaneers were disappointed in not finding gold, silver and precious stones. The report of this conquest and the governor's disappointment is still in existence. Lieutenant Simpson examined the ruins of these supposed seven cities, and describes them as being all built pueblo fashion and of stone, and adds: "It discovers in the masonry a combination of science and art which can only be referred to a higher stage of civilization and refinement than is discovered in the work of Mexicans or Pueblos of the present day." Espejo made an incursion in these countries with a military force in the year 1583. He describes the natives "as a people much given to labor, and continually occupied" (Hackloyt III., 389).

    In regard to the white man that Friar Mark saw, some Indians on the coast told Alarchon that there were white men up the country (doubtless meaning in the direction of Cevola), but that they knew nothing else (Hack. III., 429). Ruins of Casas Grandes (great houses) in the Mexican state of Chihuahua are minutely described by Bartlett (Explorations in New Mexico, Vol. II). The general character of these buildings is the same as the Pimo and Moquis villages on the Gila and Colorado. One of the buildings measured by Mr. Bartlett was eight hundred feet long, and from east to west about two hundred and fifty feet. Garcia Conde also mentions a class of ruins along the margin of the Casas Grandes and Janos rivers for a length of twenty leagues and a breadth of ten. Jars, pitchers, in fact pottery of all kinds painted in designs with white, blue and scarlet colors, corn-grinders and stone axes have been found. These beautiful specimens of pottery are much superior to that made by the Mexicans of the present day. Bartlett says, "The whole valley and plain for miles around these ruins is strewed with fragments of pottery. On the summit of the highest mountain southwest of the ruins about ten miles distant is an ancient stone fortress from which the whole country, for a vast extent can be viewed." Many other ruins have been examined in this part of the old Mexican territory. and more will be brought to light, for the whole region has not been carefully examined, and new discoveries are constantly reported. So late as the year 1874 the U. S. surveying party reported the discovery of an extensive ruined city in Baker's canyon, about fifty miles south of the Utah line. An ancient mound was levelled by the railroad builders on the site of the depot in this city, and the mounds seven miles west of the Jordan are familiar to most of our citizens. For a long time it was the supposition that this was the original country of the Aztecs, from their name Aztec or "men of lakes;" but a more accurate knowledge of the localities has led to the abandonment of this opinion, and it is now considered more probable that the ancient civilization had reached the countries along the North American shores of the Pacific from the valley of Mexico or Central America. There is some faint light thrown upon the civilization of our western territories, slight but not devoid of significance. Among several of the Indian tribes of the United States there exists traditions of their having, during their passage eastward, come into hostile collision with and finally defeated people living in fortified towns. The Delaware Indians, for instance, say that many centuries ago the great Lenni-Lenapi inhabited a territory far to the west and that when they began moving eastward they came upon a numerous and civilized people, whom they call Alligewi, occupying the country on the eastern banks of the Mississippi, and living in fortified towns. The Iroquois, who likewise reached the river about the same time, united with the Lenni-Lenapi, and the two roving tribes made such fierce and repeated assaults upon the Alligewi that to avoid extermination the latter abandoned their cities and territories and fled down the banks of the river. The traditions of the Iroquois bear out, this of the Delawares.

    (To be Continued.)

    Note: This "Old America" episode (#21) was never reprinted.

    Detail from G. M. Ottinger's painting "Cliff-Dweller's Daughter."

    Vol. X.                                       Salt Lake City,  September 18, 1875.                                       No. 19.

            [p. 220]

    BY  G. M. O.


    An ancient people who have left remains of their civilization in the valleys of the Mississippi and its tributaries are called "Mound Builders," this name having been suggested by an important class of their works -- mounds, most of them terraced and truncated pyramids, constructed with intelligence and great labor. These works are not found widely separated or isolated, but form an almost continuous chain down the Ohio and Mississippi from Western Pennsylvania to Mexico and Central America. Ross County, Ohio, alone contains about one hundred enclosures and five hundred mounds. The number of mounds in the whole State of Ohio is estimated at over ten thousand, and the number of enclosures at more than fifteen hundred; and yet they are more numerous in the regions of the lower Mississippi and the Gulf of Mexico than anywhere else. Mounds and earth works are very numerous in Kentucky, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia, in fact, from Maine to Florida, but they are most abundant in Western New York and Central Pennsylvania in reference to the Atlantic States. The mounds are as variable in dimensions as are the enclosures, and range from such as are but a few feet in height and a few yards in diameter, to those which rise to the height of seventy feet and measure a thousand feet in circumference at their base. In form it may be observed that the larger part of the enclosures are regular in outline, the circle predominating, some are squares, some parallelograms, ellipses or polygons. The mounds are usually simple cones, sometimes truncated and occasionally terraced with graded or winding ascents to their summits. Most are circular, some elliptical, others pear shaped, and others squares with aprons or terraces and graded accents. A class found most frequent in Wisconsin and the North west takes the form of animals and reptiles, and another variety of remains are elevated causeways or roads, graded descents and covered ways to rivers and streams, or from one terrace to another. The regular works are found mostly on level grounds. The irregular works are those which were evidently works of defense, and are usually made to conform to the nature of the ground on which they are erected; they run around the brows of hills, across narrow rocks or isthmuses, which are protected on the sides by deep ravines, streams or steep and inaccessible precipices, and vary in the height of their walls and the depth of their ditches. The square and the circle are often found in combination, frequently communicating by avenues of parallel embankments. Where excavations are made, skeletons, fragments of pottery and other relics are usually found.

    Antiquarians have divided the works of the Mound Builders into three grand classes: -- works of defense, religious structures and sepulchral monuments. These relics are almost always found in districts and places where the soil is rich and fertile. Mr. Flint, the geographer, says, "The most dense ancient populations existed in precisely the places where the most crowded populations will exist in ages to come. Sites selected by our own people for settlements are often found to be those which were the principal seats of the Mound Builders. Marietta, Newark, Portsmouth, Cliilicothe, Circleville and Cincinnati, in Ohio; Frankfort, Kentucky, and St. Louis, Missouri, all stand on the sites of extensive ancient works which have in some instances determined the plan of the existing cities."

    Although the works of the Mound Builders are all of one general type, they vary materially in the different sections of the country. Enclosures and tumuli, evidently religious, are found mostly in the Southern and Western States, while defensive works are abundant in Western New York, Central Pennsylvania and Ohio. The nearer we approach the Gulf of Mexico the regular mounds or truncated and terraced pyramids, coinciding in type with the "teocallis" of Mexico, become more numerous and larger, and in some cases adobies, or sun-dried bricks were used in their construction. Relics of art have been dug from some of the mounds, consisting of a variety of ornaments and implements made of silver, copper, obsidian, porphyry and green stone, finely wrought. There are single and double axes, adzes, chisels, drills or gravers, lance-heads, knives, bracelets, pendants, beads and other ornaments of copper; pottery of elegant design and finish, with ornaments of bone, mica, silver and shells; articles of stone of fine workmanship, some of them elaborately carved, while in a few cases written characters or glyphic writing has been found. At an archaeological congress hold at Norwich, England, in 1868, one of the speakers related the fact that "Fragments of charred cloth made of spun fibres have been found in the mounds. A specimen of such cloth, taken from a mound in Butler County, Ohio, is in the Talisbury Museum."

    The Mound Builders used large quantities of copper. Remains of their mining works were first discovered in 1848 by Mr. Knapp near the shore of Lake Superior. A point or projection of land resembling in shape an immense horn, projects into the lake; it is about eighty miles long, and about forty-five miles broad where it joins the mainland. All through this district the remains of ancient mining works are found. Usually the civilized life of the Mound Builders has been classed below the ancient people of Central America and Mexico, this inference being drawn from the lack of stone work and finely carved inscriptions and decorations surmounting their mounds, but we have every reason to believe that originally the pyramids of the Mississippi Valley were crowned with temples and altars, but constructed of perishable materials. Mr. Baldwin remarks that "It can be seen without long study of their works as we know them, that the Mound Builders had a certain degree of civilization which raised them far above the condition of savages. To make such works possible under any circumstances, there must be settled life, with its accumulated and intelligently organized industry, used habits of useful work, directed by intelligence."

    Prominent among the remains of those ancient people is the great mound at Grave Creek, West Virginia. It is 70 feet high, and 1000 feet in circumference at the base. Ą mound in Miamisburg, Ohio, is 68 feet high and 852 feet in circumference. The great truncated pyramid at Cahokia, Illinois, is 700 feet long, by 600 feet wide, and 90 feet high. Within a circuit of a few miles from this mound are the remains of over one hundred and fifty ancient tumuli; and within the vicinity on the Missouri side of the river are the remains of two ancient cities of vast proportions. At the mouth of the Missouri there stood a pyramid with three stages or landing places. Fifteen miles west of St. Louis, on the Maramec River, is a group of mounds. In one of them were found stone coffins containing human bones. The mound known ae Mount Juliet, in Illinois, is sixty feet high, four hundred and fifty yards long, and seventy-five yards wide. It is erected on a bed of limestone formation, and Mr. Schoolcraft says in its construction 18,250,000 solid feet of earth were required. At Piqua, Ohio, on the Miami River, is located a circular wall of stone enclosing about twenty acres. This wall is built of limestone taken from the bed of the river. The stones are laid in mortar. Lower down the river are extensive ruins upon the plain. The wall of a fortification here is twelve feet high, of earth, and encloses one hundred and sixty acres. Surrounding Chilicothe, Ohio, are extensive ancient ruins. From a map by Mr. Squires, embracing a section of about twelve miles of the country surrounding this city, over one hundred mounds and forty enclosures, many of large size, can be counted. At Seltzertown, Mississippi, there is a mound 600 feet long, 400 feet wide, and 40 feet high. Its summit measures four acres, while its base covers six area of ground. There was a ditch around it, and near it are smaller mounds. Dickeson says the north side of this mound is supported by a wall of sun-dried brick two feet thick, filled with grass, rushes and leaves.

    (To be Continued.)

    Note: This "Old America" episode (#22) was subsequently reprinted in the Millennial Star of Feb. 21, 1876.

    Vol. X.                                       Salt Lake City,  October 2, 1875.                                       No. 20.

            [p. 230]

    BY  G. M. O.


    At Chilicothe, Ohio, on the bank of Paint Creek, are extensive ancient ruins located 250 feet above the stream. The walls are of stone laid in mortar, and about one mile in extent. The stones were taken from the bed of the stream below. The walls appear to have been shaken down by an earthquake. Four wells were discovered on this stream which had been dug through solid pyrites stone in the bed of the creek. When discovered they were covered by stone lids about the size of mill-stones, and of the same shape, that had evidently been wrought with tools of some hard substance. Each of these stones had a hole in the centre four inches in diameter. Near Portsmouth are extensive ruined fortifications with walled roads. At Circleville, Ohio, are remains of vast military works; two of them -- one round, the other square -- are of extraordinary size and are laid out with great engineering skill. The circular fort was surrounded by two walls, twenty feet high and also by a deep ditch. Eight gateways led into the square fort. In front of each gateway stood a mound forty feet in diameter and four feet high. Near the round fort was a mound ninety feet high, overlooking the whole county. At Newark, Ohio, very extensive ruined fortifications exist. The main work, of horse-shoe form, is nearly two miles in circuit. Several forts, round and square, are in its immediate vicinity. One of them is surrounded by a wall twenty-five feet high, on the outside of which is a deep ditch, and on the south side of the main work is a covered roadway leading to the country. Near the village of Miamisburg, south of Dayton, are ancient ruins similar to those at Newark. On an elevation 100 feet above the Great Miami river is situated the largest mound of the valley. It is 800 feet in circumference at the base, and was, when first discovered, 67 feet high and wholly overgrown by forest trees. Extensive mound forts exist on the Muskingum. One of them encloses sixty acres by an earth wall six feet high, by from ten to twenty broad. On each side are gateways. Leading from the one next [to] the river is a covered way formed by two parallel walls of' earth one hundred and thirty feet distant from each other. These walls are twenty feet high. Within the enclosure is a mound 180 feet long, 130 feet broad and 9 feet high. In the vicinity of Wheeling, Virginia, on both sides of the Ohio river are extensive fortifications and mounds. What are called the "Grave Creek Flats" have been the site of a very ancient city, of what nation it is not known. The Great Mound at Grave Creek is one of the largest in the Mississippi valley. It is 330 feet in circumference and 70 feet high. This mound was opened and explored in the year 1838 by Mr. A. B. Tomlinson. It contained two vaults. In the lower one were found the osseous remains of human bodies. One was ornamented with six hundred and fifty beads. The upper vault contained but one skeleton. A great number of trinkets, among which were 1700 bone beads, 500 sea shells, 150 pieces of mica, 5 copper wrist and arm bands, and a flat stone with engraving upon it were found. This stone was taken to Washington by Dr. Huss in 1860, but thus far they have been unable to decipher the engraved characters. Dr. Morton, of Philadelphia, has given a full description of the skull of the skeleton found in the upper vault. The posterior portion is strongly developed, the facial angle being about 78 degrees. His description classes this skull with the southern type, it evidently being not Mongolian. Ruined works of great magnitude are found in the State of Georgia. On the banks of Little River near Wrightsborough are the remains of a gigantic pyramid and large town. Near Savannah, among other ruins, is a conical truncated mound 50 feet in height and 800 feet in circumference at the base. Others of similar character are frequent in the States of Georgia, Florida and Alabama. In Westmoreland County, Penn., is a remarkable mound from which several specimens of art have been taken. One was a stone serpent five inches in diameter. Part of the entablature of a column carved in the form of diamonds and leaves, also an earthen jar or urn containing ashes, were found. At Brownsville, in the same State, were discovered ruins of an ancient fortification, circular in form, enclosing thirteen acres. The walls were of earth seven feet high, and within was a mound thirty feet high. In New Hampshire, near the town of Sanbornton, formerly existed a remarkable work, the walls [of] which were composed for defense, were faced with stone, regularly laid up outwardly, and filled in with clay, shells and gravel. In Montgomery County, New York, are ancient fortifications. Outside of one of these enclosures a number of skeletons have been uncovered. A few miles eastward of Buffalo are ancient works. Tradition fixes upon this spot as the scene of the final and most bloody conflict between the Iroquois and the "Gah- Kwas" or Eries. A little distance from the fort is a small mound, said to have been regarded with much veneration by the Indians, as it covered the remains of victims slain in some remarkable conflict in the olden time. Overlooking the town of Auburn, Cayuga County, situated on an eminence are circular works of defense. One of the best preserved works of defense in the State. is found in Oakfield, Genessee County. A mile to the northeast of this work was formerly a large enclosure called "Bone Fort" by the early settlers. In Erie County, N. Y., are earth embankments of various dimensions. A "bone pit" excavated near one of the forts in that county is estimated to have contained four hundred skeletons heaped promiscuously together, Descriptions of ancient works, bearing the general characteristics -- mounds and fortifications or defensive works -- might be multiplied. Sufficient evidence has been shown that an eminently agricultural population, enjoying a state of society essentially different from that of the natives found by the first settlers, at some time of the past occupied the fertile valleys of the land. And it is abundantly evident that there were large cities at Newark, Circleville, Marietta, and at Paint Creek, Ohio: at Grave Creek, Virginia, and St, Louis, Missouri. While Joseph Merrick of Pittsfield, Mass., was levelling some ground near his woodshed, on a place called Indian Hill, he discovered a black strap having a loop at each end, when attempting to cut it he found it as hard as bone. He succeeded, however in getting it open and found it to be made of raw-hide, sewed and made water tight with the sinews of some animal. In the fold were found four folded pieces of parchment, that contained some kind of handwriting. Curious neighbors coming to see the discovery destroyed one of the pieces. Mr, Merrick sent the other three to Cambridge, where they were discovered to have been written in Hebrew, plain and legible, being the following quotations from the Old Testiment: Deut. chap. vi., verses 4 to 9 inclusive; chap. xi., verses 13 to 21 inclusive: and Exodus chap, xiii., verses 11 to 16 inclusive, to which the reader can refer. In Scipio, N. Y., Mr. Halsted plowed up at different times during his ten years occupancy of a portion of his farm, several hundred pounds of brass, which appeared at one time to have been formed into various implements, both of husbandry and war -- helmets and working materials mingled together. The finder, as he discovered it by plowing, carried it to Auburn and sold it by the pound (Priest's American Antiquities, page 254). The Rev. R. G. Wilson, of Chilicothe, furnished the Antiquarian Society with the description of a mound, destroyed near the center of that town. On a common level with the surrounding earth, at the very bottom of the mound, a human skeleton, greatly decayed, was found. On the breast of this person lay what had been a piece of copper in the form of a cross, which had become verdigris. A stone ornament and several beads, apparently of bone, were found with the skeleton. Lexington, Ky., stands on the site of an ancient town. Connected with the antiquities of this place is a catacomb formed in the limestone rock about fifteen feet below the surface of the earth. In this cave were found hundreds of mummies, human bodies preserved by the art of embalming to as great a state of perfection as was known among the Egyptians. Unfortunately this discovery or these relics of the past were destroyed. The descent, to this cavern is gradual, the height being seven and the width four feet. The interior was sufficiently large to contain at least two thousand subjects.

    (To be Continued.)

    Note: This "Old America" episode (#23) was never reprinted.

    Vol. X.                                       Salt Lake City,  October 16, 1875.                                       No. 21.

            [p. 244]

    BY  G. M. O.


    The mummies were wrapped in a coarse kind of linen cloth, similar in texture to cotton bagging. A second envelope was a kind of network of coarse threads, formed in very loose meshes. The outer or third covering was like the first, or sometimes of leather sewed together. There was a small vessel found in the State of Ohio made of the same material as that of which the mortars now in use among the apothecaries are manufactured. It holds about three quarts, and has a groove around it near the middle, with two ears to insert a chain, so as to suspend it over a fire, and was probably a crucible for melting metals. The chain handle shows the ingenuity of its construction, by its being placed near the middle for the convenience of the refiner when pouring out his copper, iron or silver.

    When removing the earth which enclosed t mound, to open the way for a new street in Marietta, in the year 1819, several curious articles were found. They had been buried with the body of the person to whose memory the mound was erected. On the forehead of the skeleton were three, large circular ornaments composed of copper overlaid with a plate of silver. The fronts, or show sides, were slightly convex, with a deep depression in the centre. They measured two inches and a quarter across the face of each. On the reverse side, opposite the depressed portion is a copper rivet, around which are two separate plates. By these plates they were fastened to a leather belt, evidently a sword belt. The pieces of leather seemed to have been preserved by the salts of copper, the plates being nearly reduced to an oxide or rust. The silver was quite black but not much corroded, as, on being rubbed, it became bright and clear. Around one of the rivets was a small quantity of hemp or flax in a state of preservation. Near the side of the skeleton was found a silver plate, which appeared to have been a sword scabbard. This piece of silver was six inches long and two inches broad, with two longitudinal ridges corresponding with the edges or ridges of the sword once sheathed by it. Several holes were in the plate, evidently to rivet it to the scabbard. Two or three broken pieces of a copper tube were also found filled with iron rust. These pieces from their appearance composed the lower end of the scabbard near the point of the sword. The sword itself was not discovered, but a streak of rust its whole length. Near the feet was found a piece of copper, a piece of ochre or paint, and a piece of iron ore, which had been partially vitrified. This bit of ore was nearly pure iron. From the appearance of the earth surrounding the body and the pieces of charcoal, it would appear that the funeral obsequies had been celebrated by fire (Report American Antiquarian Society, p. 168-172, 1820).

    At Circleville the handle of a small sword or large knife was found. This handle was made of a elk's horn. Around the end where the blade had been inserted was a ferrule of silver, in good preservation. Though the handle showed the hole where the blade had been inserted, no iron was found, but an oxide remained of similar shape and size. At the same place, lying on a mirror of isinglass, a plate of iron was found, of course oxidized. Before being broken it resembled a plate of cast iron. Dr. Hildreth, of Marietta, has in his possession among many relics found in the mounds of that vicinity some pieces of copper which evidently at one time formed the front part of a helmet.

    Mr. Atwater (Report A. A. Society 1820) says, besides the various stone instruments, "There have been found very well manufactured swords and knives of iron, and possibly steel." Gold ornaments are said to be found in several of the mounds. Silver, very well plated on copper, has been found in several tumuli besides those at Circleville and Marietta. "Weapons of brass have been found in many parts of America and in the Canadas, with curiously sculptured stones, all of which go to prove that this country was once peopled with civilized industrious nations." (Priest's Am. Ant. p. 224). Pages might be written describing the many curious and interesting relics unearthed from time to time, all proving the assertion of Mr. Priest, and creating a deeper interest in the mystery that shrouds the intelligent and industrious mound building people who dwelt in our valleys long years ago.

    The narrative of the early discoverers and travelers in America are so meagre and indefinite, that many modern writers consider their few assertions as exaggerations. This has been done without just foundation. Such assertions are easily made, and have been made by writers who have failed to examine the various testimonies given by authors who traveled through or settled in our country three or four centuries ago.

    At the time the Spaniards discovered that part of the United States now known as Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia there were certain curious nations inhabiting those States greatly advanced in the arts of civilization; far beyond any of the adjoining tribes. It is true they were in almost a ruined state, from wars and other calamities. When De Soto marched through the country occupied by the Cherokees and Chickasaws he found part of the land desolated by pestilence. The Natchez and other nations were living under certain and fixed forms of government, and although they procured a part of their substance by hunting and fishing, the agricultural arts were in much greater perfection and more extensively pursued. They did not change their residence as other tribes, consequently their houses and furniture were more convenient, comfortable and various in their uses. The historian of De Soto's expedition, (Portuguese Gentlemen p. 46) says the houses of the natives were like the farm houses in Spain, and collected together into large towns. In other places he speaks of large dwellings with out- houses, bake houses, granaries, etc. The nation consisted of numerous villages, each of which was governed by a chief (called a "sun." These admitted their inferiority to one great chief, styled the "great Sun." The "great sun" had several officers, acting under him: two were chiefs, two masters of ceremonies for their temple rites, two officers who presided at councils, four who directed the festivals, and others who directed the public works. They believed mankind to be immortal, that after death their souls went to reside in another world, where they were rewarded or punished according to their conduct in the present life. They recognized a Supreme and all ruling Being, who governs the universe and was called the "Great Spirit." They also believed in an evil spirit, who was inferior in power to the good spirit, (Du Pratz, Hist. La. II. 173-208). The "great sun," who was considered a brother to the sun, honored the appearance of his elder brother every morning as he rose above the horizon; and to its honor a perpetual fire was maintained in their temples. The "great sun" being chief priest as well as ruler of the nation, appointed from the order of priests a certain number as guardians of the sacred fire. Charlevoix (Hist. of Canada, 319) says that the first fruits of every thing they gathered were brought to the temple, and no land was sown until the seed had been presented there. The same, author says, "We have abundant evidence that a perpetual fire was maintained by various other nations inhabiting the southern United States." According to Du Pratz, the historical tradition of the Natchez was, that before they came into the land they were then living in, they lived in a land nearly south-west towards Mexico, but by defeat in repeated battles, they had finally been driven eastward across the great river (Mississippi). So numerous was the nation that they occupied the land from the Gulf of Mexico on the south to the Ohio on the north having over five hundred "suns" or princes to rule over the nation. Their traditions relate that their ancient enemies "lived in a great number of large and small villages which were built of stone, in which were houses large enough to lodge a whole village: their temples were built with great labor and art, and they made beautiful works of all kind of materials." Like the Aztecs they had a tradition that the country had been once inhabited by white people who had the, use of iron tools, (Mr. Atwater Rep. Am. Ant. Sec., 273). The Natchez were exterminated in 1730 by the French whom they had treated with great kindness. The few who escaped death were sent to Santo Domingo and sold as slaves. Though oral tradition may be of little authority, still there are facts handed down from one generation to another that we must admit were originally true, and cannot be gainsayed. Having no means of fixing dates or for correcting their chronology or separating events blended and interwoven together, events separated by intervals of perhaps centuries it is impossible for us to arrive it any conclusion or assume to fix the time when the Natchez first occupied Louisiana or when the white people dwelt in the land.

    (To be Continued.)

    Note: This "Old America" episode (#24) was never reprinted.

    Vol. X.                                       Salt Lake City,  October 30, 1875.                                       No. 22.

            [p. 254]

    BY  G. M. O.


    The most complete account of the manners, appearance and history of the Indians of Virginia, particularly those inhabiting the sea coast, has been given by Captain John Smith, but unfortunately this bold pioneer relates only his own strange adventures, and the appearance of the country and its adaptability to colonization at that time. His intercourse with the natives was friendly, and he reported that "a more kind, loving people could not be." From other historians we glean but little relating to their manners and customs. The Indians of Virginia had their temples, which were simply huts or cabins of a larger size than their ordinary habitations, and there was nothing singular about their construction. They were sometimes decorated with rude carvings and paintings, which possibly had some signification understood by them (McCulloch's Researches, p. 111.) The Virginians believed there were tutelary deities to every town, besides the Great Spirit and other gods which are confounded with him.

    Our knowledge of the tribes inhabiting New England previous to the landing of the Pilgrims, is as meagre and indefinite as the history of the Virginians. The Naragansetts, under their venerable sachem, Canonicus, were perhaps the most powerful, and in many respects superior to the other tribes in that section of America. They had a temple, in which was kindled a fire, and the people at stated times cast into it, through the bands of their priests, whatever articles they esteemed valuable (Purchas, Pilg. iv). This temple was said to have been spacious. A few years previous to the arrival of the Europeans the country had been greatly depopulated by a disease which had previously been unknown to them. From their traditions it appears they had emigrated from the west not many years previous.

    The most important Indian nation of the United States was the renowned confederacy known as the Iroquois, or "six nations." They were originally divided into five tribes: Mohawks, Oneidas, Cayugas, Onondagas and Senecas. The Tuscaroras from the south were afterwards united with them. Various New England tribes were subjugated by them, and the great Powhatan of Virginia stood in awe of this powerful league. No American tribe ever produced such an array of renowned warriors and orators. The address of Garangula, the speeches of Logan, Red Jacket and others have been long considered master pieces of declamation. The great centre of this confederacy occupied the country between the Oneida and Cayuga lakes in the State of New York. The Delawares and Shawnees, to the south, occupying the greater portion of Pennsylvania, and situated between the great northern and southern tribes, were in turn at enmity and engaged in wars with either party almost continually. The "Lenni Lenapi," or Delawares, according to tradition, resided many hundred years ago in a very distant part of the American continent. For some reason, not stated, they emigrated eastward in a body. After a very long journey and frequent halts (even years at a time), they finally reached the Mississippi River, where they fell in with the Mingoes (Iroquois), who had likewise emigrated from a distant country and had struck the river somewhat higher up. Their object was the same as that of the Delawares. Their spies discovered the country eastward of the river to be inhabited by a very powerful nation, who had many large towns with intrenchments and strong fortifications. They are said to have been remarkably tall and stout, and there is a tradition that there were giants among them. They were called Talligewi, or Alligewi. Many wonderful things are told of this people. The Delaware's sent a messenger to the Alligewi to request permission to settle themselves in their neighborhood. This was refused, but they obtained leave to pass through the country and seek a settlement farther to the east. Accordingly they began to cress the river, when the Alligewi, seeing their great numbers, in fact there were many thousands of them, made a furious attack on those who had crossed, and threatened destruction to them all if they persisted in crossing the river. The Delawarea in revenge for the great loss of men, prepared for a conflict, and made a league with the Iroquois, and they both attacked the Alligewi, when great and bloody battles ensued, in which many were killed on both sides, no quarter being given. The Alligewi, driven from their towns and fortifications, determined to abandon the country to escape inevitable destruction. Leaving the conquerors in possession of the country, they fled down the Mississippi and never returned. This war lasted many years. The tradition of the Iroquois is precisely similar in respect to this war. The Creeks, Cherokees, Choctaws, Catawbas, Chickasaws, etc., inhabiting the Southern States, were warlike and at enmity with the surrounding nations. Like all the other nations of America, they were driven to perfect desperation by the ravages of the smallpox, which made such havoc previous to the discovery. Their traditions and religion were similar to those of the Natchez. James Adair, a trader and resident among them for over forty years, published, in 1775, the most complete account of these tribes to be found in the early writers. The principal portion of his work is devoted to a disquisition on the origin of the Indians, and arguments to prove their descent from the Jews.

    The various tribes west of the Mississippi vary but slightly in their shades of distinction from the other nations and tribes of America. Mr. Catlin has given us a most interesting account of these Indians, but has thrown no light on their origin. The Mandans are described by Mr. C. as being peculiar from the other tribes, having for the most part very fine and soft hair, and many being quite fair in complexion, with blue eyes. Their religious belief was in the main not unlike that of most of the North American tribes. One peculiarity, however, was the grand three days' ceremony of thanksgiving for the escape of their ancestors from the flood, of which they had a distant tradition, strikingly conformable to Scriptural history. Although there is almost an endless variety in what the traditions relate concerning their origin, there is one peculiar incident universal with the Indians of North and South America -- they all speak of a deluge of water that once overflowed the land, destroying all mankind but a few individuals, whom each tribe claims as its own particular progenitors.

    The ancient history of the aborigines, or of their migrations, is as confused as what they relate of their origin, and it is impossible to go back beyond a few years anterior to the arrival of the Europeans. Mr. Bradford, in his researches into the origin of the red race, adopts the following conclusions in regard to the ancient occupants of North America:

    1. That they were all of the same origin, branches of the same race, and possessed of similar customs and institutions.

    2. That they were populous, and occupied a great extent of territory.

    3. That they had arrived at a considerable degree of civilization, were associated in large communities, and lived in extensive cities.

    4. That they possessed the use of many of the metals, such as lead, copper, gold, and silver, and probably the art of working in them.

    5. That they sculptured in stone, and sometimes used that material in the construction of their edifices.

    6. That they had the knowledge of the arch of receding steps; of the art of pottery, producing urns and utensils formed with taste, and constructed upon the principles of chemical composition; and the art of brick-making.

    7. That they worked the salt springs, and manufactured salt.

    8. That they were an agricultural people, living under the influence and protection of regular forms of governments.

    9. That they possessed a decided system of religion, and a mythology connected with astronomy, which, with its sister science, geometry, was in the hands of the priesthood.

    10. That they were skilled in the art of fortification.

    11. That the epoch of their original settlement in the United States is of great antiquity; and

    Lastly, that the only indications of their origin to be gathered from the locality of their ruined monuments, point toward Mexico.

    Mr. Lewis H. Morgan finds evidence that the American aborigines had a common origin in what he calls "their system of consanguinity and affinity." He says, "The Indian nations from the Atlantic to the Rocky Mountains, and from the Arctic Sea to the Gulf of Mexico, with the exception of the Esquimaux, have the same system. It is elaborate and complicated in its general form and details; and while deviations from uniformity occur in the systems of different stocks, the radical features are in the main constant. This identity in the essential characteristics of a system so remarkable, tend to show that it must have been transmitted with the blood to each stock from a common original source. It affords the strongest evidence yet obtained of unity in origin of the Indian nations within the region defined." (Baldwin's Ancient America, page 66.)

    That the Mound Builders and the Toltecs were the same people there seems to be but little doubt; in fact, from the similarity in their buildings, and the traditions of one, and the picture writings of the other, it is very evident.

    Mr. James C. Southall, an able English author, shows in three instances that the mammoth, or mastodon, has been delineated by races who have lived at no very remote date: 1st, on the monuments of Central America; 2nd, by the Mound Builders, whom he shows to have lived not more than fifteen hundred years ago (Recent Origin of Man). This, by tbe way, coincides with the Book of Mormon, as it was about the third or fourth century, according to Mormon's account, that the country was convulsed with war, and the peaceful governments and inhabitants destroyed, the remnants drifting into that barbarism which still clings to them.

    Note: This "Old America" episode (#25) was subsequently reprinted in the Millennial Star of Feb. 28, 1876.

    Vol. X.                                       Salt Lake City,  November 13, 1875.                                       No. 23.

            [p. 266]

    BY  G. M. O.


    The Muyscas, or Chibehas, a nation of semi-civilized Indians, inhabited the country now comprising Venezuela, New Granada, and Equador, or the United States of Columbia. Before the arrival of the Spaniards this nation was highly advanced in civilization, and founded an empire, subjugating all the tribes between Serinza, latitude 6 degrees north, and Suma Paz, latitude 4 degrees south, including the table lands of Bogota and Tunja. The population of this empire at the time of the Spanish conquest has been estimated by Acosta at 1,200,000, and by other writers at 2,000,000. They were divided into three independent nations, governed by the Zipa, residing at Fanza, the Zaqui at Tunja, and the Jeque, the high priest, residing at Sogamoso. They had a tradition that while the nation was disputing about the choice of a king, a great legislator, a white man by the name of Bochica, the offspring of the sun, mysteriously appeared among them. He was clothed in a long garment and had a noble beard. He advised them to choose as their king Huncohua, which they did. Bochia was a deity into whose face the people dare not look. The Muyscas had an organized government, recognizing the rights of individuals to hold and enjoy property subject to taxation for the support of the state. Laws were regularly enacted and officers appointed to execute them. They occupied villages and cities, and paid great attention to the cultivation of the soil. We learn from Herrara that the people were clothed in black, white and colored mantles of cotton cloth, some of the women wearing cotton caps. Their homes were built of timber, and thatched. Those of the chiefs were like castles with large enclosures, having large courts with mouldings and paintings. They cultivated maize, yucca, turnips, potatoes and quinoa, a species of rice. Salt was manufactured by them into large loaves from saline springs. With this article they carried on a great traffic with adjacent tribes. They cured meat with salt; Quesada says he found "many sides and large pieces of venison dried with salt." They wrought gold into plates and various ornaments, such as collars, rings, bracelets, crowns, idols, animals of all kinds; and they cut emeralds and other hard stones into various shapes and figures (Herrara History of America, V. 71-87). Hamilton mentions the discovery of an ancient Indian ring, made of platina (History of Columbia, ii., 239). Their military weapons were long pikes, darts, slings, bows and arrows and macanas, or swords. They threw darts by means of slings, also with the estolica or hand-board. They marched with good order and manoeuvored well in time of battle. Their kings and priests were treated by the people with the greatest respect and submission, and in point of morality, says Herrara "these Indians were rational enough, punishing crime, particularly murder and theft." They were very observant of the precepts of their religion, having temples not only in their towns and villages, but numbers of little chapels or oratorios on their roads with golden or wooden idols placed in them. They also had consecrated lakes and woods where they made sacrifices (McCulloh, 342).

    The sun and moon, according to Herrara (v. 90), were looked upon as the universal creators, but numerous idols were worshiped. Baron Humboldt (Researches, i. 74) gives the following tradition of the Muyscas: "In the remotest times before the moon accompanied the earth, the inhabitants of the plain of Bogota lived like barbarians, naked, without any form of laws or religious worship. Suddenly appeared among them an old man, who came from the plains on the east of the Cordillera of Chingasa, and who appeared to be of a race unlike that of the natives, having a long, bushy beard. He was known by three distinct appellations, Bochica, Nemquetheba, and Zuhe. This old man instructed men how to clothe themselves, build huts, till the ground and form themselves into communities. He brought with him a woman to whom tradition also gives three names. Chia, Tobecayguaga and Huythaca. This woman was extremely beautiful and no less malignant, thwarting every enterprise her husband proposed for the benefit of mankind." As a punishment she was driven from the earth, and she became the moon. Bochica built towns and improved the land in various ways, introduced the worship of the sun, named two chiefs to lead the people, between whom he divided the civil and ecclesiastical authority, and then withdrew himself into the holy valley of Iraca, where he lived in the exercise of the most austere penitence. The same tradition also relates that Bochica, who had established himself high priest of Sogomozo or Iraca, advised the people to choose for a sovereign Huncanhua, revered on account of his wisdom and justice. Bochica lived a hundred Muysca cycles, or two thousand years. He then disappeared mysteriously. He was represented as having three heads, being a triplicate deity, who nevertheless formed but one divinity. He was not only considered the lawgiver and founder of the religious system of the Muyscas, but to him was attributed the invention of their peculiar calendar arrangement of time. A week consisted of three days, ten weeks making a month, twenty months a year and twenty Years an age. They also used a rural year of twelve or thirteen sunas or months, which was reckoned from one season of rains to another. They engraved on stones the signs which presided over the years, moons and lunar days. These stones reminded the priests in what Zocam, or Muysca year, such or such a moon (suna) became intercalary (McCulloh, p. 352). At the time of the celebration of the ceremony which marked the opening of a new cycle of fifteen years, the barbarous sacrifice of a human victim, called guesa, was performed. The victim was a child, carefully educated in the temple of the sun at Sogamozo till the age of fifteen. He was then led in procession to the sacrificial altar, accompanied by masked priests, some representing Bochica, others hearing the emblems of his wife Chia; others resembled frogs and the monster Fomagala, the symbol of evil, with one eye, four ears and a long tail. The blood of the Victim was received into sacred vessels. This barbarous ceremony has several striking relations with that celebrated by the Mexicans at the end of their great cycle of fifty-two years.

    Under the fanaticism of the Spaniards everything interesting in the history and religion of the Muyscas, beyond the few particulars mentioned have been lost, and the researches and dissertations of modern travelers and authors convey but an imperfect idea or what the Muysca civilization was in times preceding the Spanish conquest.

    Running due north from the Andes Mountains, near Popayan in New Granada, are two great rivers or one great river with a parallel branch. They empty into the Caribbean Sea, and are called Magdalena River and (the branch) Cauca River. The Magdalena is undoubtedly the Sidon of the Book of Mormon, and somewhere on the banks of this river was located the historical city so often mentioned in that book called Zarahemla. (See pages 139-40, 493, but more particularly 272-4).

    No extensive ruins have been discovered by modern travelers in this region of country. Herrara (i. p. 16) speaks of large houses that conveniently contained above one hundred and fifty persons, and mentions a territory in this neighborhood called Zeno, where, in a field near a large temple, "were found abundance of graves, some of them so ancient that large trees had grown over them. These graves or tombs were large and magnificent, adorned with broad stones and vaults, into which the dead bodies were laid." Many of these tombs were large rooms. Humboldt (Personal Narrative, iv., 314) says in Venezuela on the plains of Varinas are monuments of the industry of a nation that has disappeared. He also mentions tumuli that he examined, and describes a road constructed by this extinct nation, five leagues long and fifteen feet high, crossing a plain often overflowed.

    (To be Continued.)

    Note: This "Old America" episode (#26) was never reprinted.

    Vol. X.                                       Salt Lake City,  November 27, 1875.                                       No. 24.

            [p. 287]

    BY  G. M. O.


    The Peruvian Empire included the greater part of Western South America, north and south of the equator, "and, as a nation, they were (says Brownell) when discovered by Europeans, perfectly unique. Such refinements in government, such unity of purpose and such perfect system as were observable in all their customs and usages, have never been even attempted, much less accomplished, by any other community throughout the globe." Rumors of this wonderful country excited the Spanish marauders, and their thirst for gold led to many expeditions in search of the land where gold was more abundant than iron among themselves. Balboa discovered the Pacific while searching for Peru, A. D. 1511. He was led across the isthmus by an Indian chief who told him of that ocean, beyond which there was a country where all the common utensils were made of the precious metal. At the bay of Panama he heard more of this mysterious land of riches. He endeavored to find it, but did not go far enough down the coast. In his company of adventurers at this time was Francisco Pizarro. By intrigue Balboa lost his life and his murderer, Pedrarias, founded the City Of Panama, in 1519. During the year 1524 an expedition was fitted out in this new city to go in search of the golden country. The leaders of the enterprise were Pizarro, who could neither read nor write, Almagro, a reckless soldier of fortune, and de Luque, the Spanish vicar of Panama. They formed an alliance to discover and rob Peru. The vicar furnished most, if not all the funds; the others were to do the work. Pizarro being commander in chief, sailed down the coast exploring, burning, and robbing villages, until he reached the fourth degree of north latitude, when lack of provisions and needed repairs to his frail vessels compelled his return. The governor, Pedrarias, becoming interested in the affair, a second voyage was made. One of the vessels of this expedition went half a degree south of the equator and encountered a vessel "like a European caravel, in fact a Peruvian "balsa," loaded with merchandise, vases, mirrors of burnished silver, and woolen and cotton fabrics, curiously woven. But it became necessary again to send back to Panama for supplies and repairs. Pizarro was in the meantime left on an island near Tumbiiz. Here he was doomed to wait for seven months, and was finally obliged to visit Spain to get the aid necessary to carry out his designs: and it was not until 1531 that the destruction of the Peruvian empire commenced.

    The history of this conquest, and the appalling scenes if rapine and blood, the wholesale robbery and ruin wrought by the heartless horde of adventurers, is generally known. Pizarro, landing at Tumbez, marched into the country, sending word to the Inca that he came to aid him in suppressing the civil war, that had but lately threatened the empire. The great Inca, Huayna Capac, the conqueror of Quito, had divided his empire between his two sons Huascar and Atahuallpa, but the brothers could not agree. Huascar had been defeated, thrown into prison and finally killed. Pizarro, by treachery most atrocious, contrived to seize Atahuallpa, at a city called Caxamalca, murdering over ten thousand of the principal Peruvian nobles and, at the same time, people who had visited his camp, unarmed and friendly. This proceeding threw the whole empire into confusion, and made the conquest easy. The Inca was required to fill a room with gold as the price of his ransom. It was taken by the Spaniards, their promises were broken and the Inca Atahuallpa was cruelly put to death. The country subjugated, it was not long before the great empire of Peru was reduced to the same condition and under the and circumstances as Mexico had been a few years before.

    The Peruvians were highly skilled in agriculture and in some kinds of manufactures. It was only by their proficient system of industry, surpassing all other nations in that respect, that their wealth was acquired and their great public works accomplished. Europeans learned from them the use of the fertilizer called guano, and their aqueducts and canals for irrigation astonished the conquerors. Their skill in stone cutting, as seen and examined by modern builders, in what is left of their temples, aqueducts, roads, and other great edifices, calls forth only admiration from the beholder. In the arts of spinning, weaving and dyeing they hid great proficiency. Their cotton was fine, and of woolen cloth they had four varieties made of the wool of the vicuna or llama. Considerable taste and skill were displayed in the, designs and ornaments interwoven in their cloth. "They possessed the secret of fixing the dye of all colors, flesh color, yellow, gray, blue, green, black, etc., so firmly in the thread, or in the cloth already woven, that they never faded during the lapse of ages; even when exposed to the air or buried (in tombs) under ground. Only the cotton became slightly discolored, while the woolen fabrics preserved their primitive lustre. It is a circumstance worth remarking that chemical analyses made of pieces of cloth of all the different dyes prove that the Peruvians extracted all their colors from the vegetable and none from the mineral kingdom. In fact the natives or the Peruvian mountains now use plants unknown to Europeans producing from them bright and lasting colors." (Von Tschudi, Travels in Peru). Dr. Wood (Wandering Sketches, p. 125-6) also gives various descriptions of beautiful woven cloth found by him while excavating among the ruins of an ancient Peruvian temple.

    They had great skill in the art of working metals, especially gold and silver. They had copper, tin, lead, quicksilver, and iron. "Iron mines were worked on the shores of Lake Titicaca, Peru, long before the discovery" (Baldwin's Pre-historic Nations). Iron ore was and still is abundant in that country. The gold and silversmiths had attained great proficiency in melting, refining and casting in moulds of clay the precious metals. Most of the gold and silver work of these artists at the time of the conquest was melted by the Spanish for coinage. One of the old writers, describing a palace, says, "They had an artificial garden, the soil of which was made of small pieces of fine gold, and this was artificially sown with different kinds of maize, which were of gold, their stems, leaves, and ears. Besides this they had more than twenty sheep (llamas) with their lambs, attended by shepherds, all made of gold." Gomara places this garden on "an island near Puna." Other early writers mention similar gardens. In a description of golden articles sent by Pizarao to Spain in 1534, there are mentioned "four llamas, ten statues of women of full size, and a cistern of gold so curious that it incited the wonder of all" (Baldwin). The old chroniclers mention nothing more frequently than the vast quantities of gold in Peru. It being more common than any other metal, the palaces and temples were covered with it. It was wrought into very beautiful designs for temple and household furniture and utensils, and imitations of almost every object found in nature. During the first twenty-five years of the conquest, the Spaniards sent to Spain from Peru $800,000,000 worth of gold, all of which had been taken from the Peruvians as "booty." The most perfectly manufactured articles of pottery have been found in tombs, some of them of very curious design. Rivero says "At this day there exists in many houses, pitchers, large jars, and earthen pots of this manufacture, which are preferred for their solidity to those manufactured by our own potters."

    The Peruvians were inferior to the Central American nations in the arts of sculpture and ornamentation. Science was not very highly developed, but in the construction of their great roads and aqueducts their superior engineering skill displays itself. Their knowledge of botany is shown by the art of preparing colors and the many useful medicines in use. In astronomy they were behind the Central Americans; however, they had an accurate measure of the solar year, which they divided into twelve months, and they used mechanical contrivances with success to fix the times of the solstices and equinoxes. The art of writing in alphabetical characters, it appears was unknown to the Peruvians in the time of the Incas.

    (To be Continued.)

    Note: This "Old America" episode (#27) was never reprinted.

    Detail from George M. Ottinger's painting "Children of the Sun."

    Vol. X.                                       Salt Lake City,  December 11, 1875.                                       No. 25.

            [p. 290]

    BY  G. M. O.


    A class of men, called Amautas, was trained to preserve and teach whatever knowledge existed in the country. They understood, and it was their business to keep, the "quippus." This was made of cords of wool, twisted and fastened to a base, prepared for the purpose. These cords were of various sizes and colors, every size and color having its peculiar meaning. The record was kept or made by means of an elaborate system of knots and intertwinings. So carefully educated in the business of using and understanding these singular records were the Amautas, that those skilled in it attained the art of recording laws, decrees and historical events to transmit to their descendants, and thus the "quippus" could supply the place of documents. The Amautas committed to memory and transmitted to posterity historical poems, narratives and songs. Tragedies and comedies were also preserved in this way. They were also required to give their attention to the science of medicine and train pupils in knowledge. They were not priests but the learned men of the country, and the government allowed them every facility for study and for communicating instruction.

    Although it was believed until within a few years that the art of writing was unknown to the Peruvians, Humboldt mentions books of hieroglyphical writing round among the Panoes on the river Ucayali, which were "bundles of their paper resembling our volumes in quarto." A Franciscan missionary found an old man sitting at the foot of a palm tree and reading one of these books to several young persons. The Franciscan was told that the writing "contained hidden things which no stranger ought to know." It was seen that the pages of the book were "covered with figures of men, animals and isolated characters, deemed hieroglyphical, and arranged in lines with order and symmetry." The Panoes said these books "were transmitted to them by their ancestors, and had relation to wanderings and ancient wars." There is similar writing on a prepared llama skin found among other antiquities on a peninsula in Lake Titicaca, which is now in the museum at La Paz, Bolivia. It appears to be a record of atrocities perpetrated by the Spaniards at the time of the conquest, and shows that some of the Aymaraes could at that time write in hieroglyphics (Baldwin, Ancient America, 256). A paper, called "quellea," for writing, was known and could be made by the people. Montesinos says writing and books were common in the "olden times," meaning in ages previous to the Incas. How the art was lost he explains in his history of the country, from which we will quote hereafter. Baldwin says, "It is not improbable that a kind of hieroglyphical writing existed in some of the Peruvian communities, especially among the Aymaraes."

    The Peruvian system of government deserves particular attention. It was a paternal government, carried to its utmost limits, acquiesced in and approved by the people, and meeting apparently all their wants. From generation to generation the whole mass of commonality was shut out from any possibility of change; in every privilege and employment of life stringent and immutable rules and laws controlled and guided them. The whole empire was minutely divided and subdivided into districts, according to the population. Over each department a "curaca," or governor enforced the law. The state proscribed every man's place of residence, the nature and amount of his employment and the provision necessary for his support. The government claimed the entire ownership of the soil, the products of which were divided into three parts. The first was set apart to support the extensive system of religion; the second to sustain the royal court and furnish means for the construction of all public works and to defray the current expenses of the empire; the third was divided yearly among the people, apportionment being made to each family according to its numbers. The public domains were cultivated by the mass, and vigilant care was taken by the officers that no one should be idle, no one overworked and no one in a state of suffering from want. No man had the right to choose his own employment. Artisans were selected and set apart, and instructed in such mechanical sciences as were then known to the country. While the greater part of the population was engaged in agricultural labors, others were employed upon works of public utility. Most exact accounts were kept by officers of the entire population, and the resources of the empire. No birth, marriage, or death passed unrecorded. Thus every year an immense amount of statistical matter was accumulated, relative to the productions of the soil, the extent of the manufactures, and the condition of the people. Every person was required to marry at a certain age (twenty-four in males, eighteen in females). A certain degree of choice was left to the individual when selecting a partner, but it was to be confined within the limits of a specified district. The Inca always married his sister, that the purity of the royal blood might not be contaminated; but such a connection was forbidden between any Of the lower ranks. An extensive militia system was enforced, and in time of war troops were drafted from the different districts, regard being had to the hardihood and energy in making the selection. The youth of the nobility and especially the presumptive heir to the throne, were instructed in the art of war, going through a routine of bodily exercise and trials of endurance. Axes, lances, darts, bows and arrows and slings formed the principal weapons, and quilted coats to ward off arrows and sword thrusts, with helmets of skins and wood were worn by the soldiers. Great roads led along the mountain ridges, or along the plain near the sea-coast. One of these roads has been traced for nearly two thousand miles. Stations for couriers were built at regular intervals along the main routes, by means of which light burdens and messages could be conveyed with astonishing celerity to any required distance. Granaries and storehouses, filled with supplies for the army, stood at convenient intervals, under care of appointed officers.

    A strange but sagacious policy was adopted with a conquered nation. The worship of the sun was immediately introduced; all the laws of the Peruvian empire were enforced and its customs established; to lighten the yoke, the privileges as well as the duties of a subject were extended to the conquered people. It was not uncommon to retain the former nobles and governors in office, and the same paternal care was adopted in the interests of the whole populace. Yet no steps were omitted to completely demoralize the newly acquired country. Large colonies of Peruvians were transplanted from their own country to the new, and their places supplied by a corresponding number whose habitations they occupied. The Peruvian language was every where introduced, and in a few years a complete assimilation was accomplished. The people were contented with their lot and honored their priest and ruler with the utmost reverence. "No man could be rich, no man could be poor, says Prescott. "In Peru all might enjoy and did enjoy a competence. Ambition, avarice, the love of change, the morbid spirit of discontent, those passions which most agitate the minds of men, found no place in the bosom of the Peruvian. * * * He moved on in the same unbroken circle in which his fathers had moved before him and in which his children were to follow." The people thus lived in peace and quietness, contented with the government and the institutions under whose influence they lived, and by whose care the competencies of life were secured and guaranteed unto them.

    The only beast of burden in Peru was the llama, the vast herds of this animal being, without exception, the property of the state. The wool furnished material for clothing the whole population, passing through the hands, during its various preparations, of appointed agents before being distributed among the private families. The manufacture of cloth was especially the work of women and children.

    Unlike the Aztecs, no religion requiring the blood of human victims polluted the altars of their temples. Being worshipers of the sun they offered at his shrine but fruits and flowers that his rays had propagated.

    (To be Continued.)

    Note: This "Old America" episode (#28) was never reprinted.

    Vol. X.                                       Salt Lake City,  December 25, 1875.                                       No. 26.

            [p. 302]

    BY  G. M. O.


    The Peruvians fully believed in a Supreme Creator of the universe. The sun was the great object of adoration. "If it rained, the sun shone, filling the sky with rainbows; if it snowed or hailed he still withheld not his light or warmth; so that whether it was spring, summer, autumn or winter, the air was always, dry, the sun never absent. No wonder they worshiped it." They also revered the moon and stars, thunder and lightning and the rainbow, to which they built temples. They believed in the existence of the soul after death, and connected with it, the resurrection of the body, which prompted them to preserve the dead with much care. The centre of the earth was designated as the place of the wicked, where they should expiate their crimes by ages of weary toil. The good, they supposed, would pass a life of luxurious tranquility and ease.

    One of their customs was a kind of infant baptism. They gave to their children a name to distinguish them from all others. In some districts the child was baptized immediately after birth; in others not until it was two years old. The father gave the name to his child, and one of the relations acted as godfather. At the age of fourteen the candidates receive another name and a second baptism, or initiation as a subject into the kingdom, the name given at this time having some special meaning or allusion to family history or national event. This was a time of great.public rejoicing. The head of the department bestowed the new name. The finger nails were pared and the hair cut off in the sight of all the people and offered as a sacrifice to God. "Was this," asks a writer, "meant to signify that their talents and their beauty were consecrated to heaven, or did this cutting off of hair and nails point to the duties of personal mortification, and that their bodies with their desires, their wills and inclinations were to be kept in subjection tb a higher power?"

    The feast of summer (the feast of the sun) was celebrated in the royal city of Cuzco, with wonderful pomp and magnificence. It was called "the great feast of Raymi. Princes, governors and chiefs assembled together for worship. If by reason of old age, sickness or infirmity or for being on service at a distance, any of these could not attend they sent their sons or some other near relative to represent them. All came in splendid robes, bearing arms, each one, in his national costume, rivaling the other in the gorgeousness of his symbols and ornaments. The multitude of people as well as nobles was so great that there was no room in the houses to receive them all, and thev camped in the great squares, streets, on the hillsides and in the valley surrounding the city, under their own tents. Three days of rigorous fasting preceded their feast. During this time no fire was allowed to be kindled in any house, and their only food consisted of a little maize and an herb called "chucan." The Inca with all his court, presided. He left his palace early in the morning barefoot and walked to the great square, where the multitude assembled to salute the rising sun. Here the nobles and chiefs, with their servants bearing their parisols of feathers, gave the great plaza a covering or awning of one vast, many-colored feathery field. As the sun rose, one grand simultaneous shout of jubilee burst from the assembly. Drums beat. pipes played, and the voices of one hundred thousand people sang in praise. "They lifted up their arms to embrace the heavenly rays and kissed the air as if it were the raiment of God." Two golden vessels filled with concentrated wine were then offered to the deity by the Inca. The one in his right hand was emptied through a tube of gold, leading from the plaza to the altar of the temple. From the one in his left hand be drank to the health of his family, and then poured a little into the golden cups brought for the purpose by the nobles, who also drank with the Inca. Then the Inca, his family and the nobility, proceeded barefooted to the temple, and there offered those small cups thus consecrated on the inner altar. Only the nobility were allowed to enter the temple. The people, also barefoot, remained without and worshiped. Having made these offerings the high priest commenced his sacrifices on an altar richly adorned and placed in the centre of the great square. First was a llama lamb, black, without a spot or blemish, in the entrails of which the priests searched for some signs by which to read the future. After this came the General sacrifice, which consented of numerous llamas. The entrails and heart were burned to ashes, the flesh distributed among the poor and the wool made into clothing for the army. After this came the drink offerings. The Inca, seated on a throne of gold, drank to his family and certain nobles and warriors who had distinguished themselves in battle. Then the members of the royal family drank to each other, the chiefs following their example. In time, so much drinking produced its exhilarating effects and the general rejoicing became hilarious. Fancy balls, plays, charades, with all kinds of music and games and other amusements were indulged in for eight days. "No temples were built to the unseen God, for it was taught that the Creator of the universe, who was an animating, sustaining spirit, could only be worshiped in the unseen temple or each worshiper's heart, but to the sun, as the expression of the glory and power of the creating spirit, they ought to build temples." The name given to the deity was Pachacamac. "Pacha meaning the world, or universe, and cama, to animate" (Garcilaso).

    The Peruvians admit that they got their architectural notions from the ruined buildings found in the vicinity of Lake Titicaca, and it is universally admitted by historians and antiquarians that Peru was inhabited long previous to the Incas, by a race of refined people, greatly in advance and more highly civilized than they. The extensive ruins found in the country, assert this fact and we have from their own traditions, the history of a people, who worshiped the Creator and erected the great temple and city, the ruins of which are situated on the sea coast near Lima, and called Pachacamac. The inhabitants of this city, after being conquered by the Peruvians, were gradually weaned from their worship, and their temple was re-dedicated to the sun. But still the religion of these old inhabitants was not entirely obliterated. During the reign of the Inca Roca the foundation of certain colleges and schools somewhat changed the current religion and there was a sun party and a skeptical party but the sun party, being the party of the court and aristocracy prevailed. The Incas still maintained their heavenly origin (children of the sun), and yet Roca is reported to have repeatedly said that "considering the grandeur of the heavens, their beauty and constant splendor, the Creator of the world, judging from the palace he occupied, must be a Being superior to the heavens; and if he (the Inca) were inclined to worship anything on this side of those palace walls. he would certainly adore a man of wisdom and discretion; for he who is born a child is here to-day and gone tomorrow; and he who cannot deliver himself from death ought not to be worshiped."

    The Peruvians believed in confession and they had some singular rites connected with this ceremony. Each penitent at the time received from the priest the of the burnt offerings, which he blew reverentially into the air. Afterwards he received a small white stone to wash in a neighboring stream, set apart and made sactred for the purpose. Then returning, he called upon the heavens, the birds of the air, and the beasts of the field to testify against him if he did not adhere to the truth. This done, to prove the truth, the penitent threw a handful of maize into a basin. If the number of grains on being counted, proved even, the confession was good; if odd, it was bad and bad to be made over again. The punishments imposed upon transgressors were not light, and consisted of separation from the society of women for a time, abstinence from salt and pepper and wine. Sometimes they stripped themselves of the clothes which they had transgressed, burnt them and procured new ones, thus putting off the old man with his deeds and beginning anew and cleanly life.

    Though their temples were adorned not only with symbols of the sun, moon, rainbow and the planets, there was another object which has been a puzzle to the learned men who have investigated the ancient Peruvian religion. This was a marble cross of which there were several copies placed in various parts of the city Cuzco. Many attempts have been made to explain the origin'of this sacred emblem and its usages by the Peruvians, the most popular being that it was their representation of the starry constellation called by us the "Southern Cross," and not an emblem of the crucifixion. But it is difficult for us to escape from the conclusion that its reverence was derived from the same source and prompted by the same motives that has made it so sacred in our eyes. And the Book of Mormon gives us the most reasonable grounds and most convincing proof to sustain us in our opinion.

    (To be Continued.)

    Note: This "Old America" episode (#29) was never reprinted.

    Vol. XI.                                       Salt Lake City,  January 9, 1876.                                       No. 1.

            [p. 2?]

    BY  G. M. O.


    According to Garcilazo's history, the period of the Incas was less than five hundred years, if their dynasty consisted of no more than thirteen or fourteen sovereigns; and Manco Capac with his mysterious origin and his miraculous powers of civilizing, he has undoubtedly borrowed from traditions from the older inhabitants of Peru. Baldwin says: "The only Spanish writer who really studied the ancient history of Peru in the traditional and other records of the country was Fernando Montesinos, who went there about a century after the conquest. He was sent from Spain on service which took him to every part of Peru, and gave him the best possible opportunities for investigation. He was a scholar and a worker, with a strong inclination to such studies; and during two periods of residence in the country, he devoted fifteen years to these inquiries with unremitting industry and great success." (Old America, 261.) He learned the Peruvian language, and collected the historical poems, traditions and narratives. He received assistance from old men who were trained to read the quippus, and. who had learned from the Amantas. In fact hf omitted nothing which could aid him in his purpose; and in this way made a great collection of old Peruvian documents. And the result of his labors are embodied in a work entitled "Memorias Antiques Historķeles del Peru," and another work on the conquest entitled, "Annales."

    Montesinos divided Peruvian history onto three distinct periods. The first period began with civilization and lasted until the first or second century of the Christian era. The second wasa period of disorder and decline, introduced by invasions from the east and south-east. The country was broken up into small states and many of the arts of civilization were lost. This period lasted over one thousand years. The third period was that of the Incas who revived civilization and restored the empire. Montesinos discards the wonderful stories told of Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo, and says the nation was originated by a people led by four brothers, the youngest of these brothers assumed supreme authority, and became the first of a long line of sovereigns.

    Here let us turn and read the first and second books of Nephi (Book of Mormon); and especially the beginning of the fifth verse, page 56. "And now my son Laman, and also Lemuel and Sam -- behold if ye will hearken unto the voice of Nephi (the younger son of the four) ye shall not perish." And also Book of Jacob (Book of Mormon, page 115): Nephi began to be old ; he anointed a man to be king; the people, having loved Nephi exceedingly, are desirous of retaining his name, "and whoso should reign in his stead were called by the people second Nephi, third Nephi, etc., according to the reigns of the kings; and thus they were called by the people, let them be of whatever name they would." I ask the thoughtful reader is there anything more harmonious between sacred and secular history, than this fact relating to the early colonization of Peru?

    Montesinos gives a list of sixty-four kings who reigned in the first period. The first was Pahua Manco or AyarUchu Topa (the youngest brother,) whose power was increased by the willing submission of "neighboring nations." He was succeeded by Manco-Capac, a remarkable character. "Adjacent nations dreaded his power," and in his time the kingdom was much increased. The next king was Huainaevi-Pishua. During his reign was known the use of letters, and the Amautas taught astrology and the art of writing on leaves of the plantain tree. The fourth in order was Sinchi Cozque, who won great victories and adorned and fortified the city of Cuzco. Inti-Capac Yupanqui was another remarkable character. He divided the kingdom into districts and sub-districts, introduced a complete civil organization, arranged the calendar into the solar year of three hundred and sixty five days, and established the system of couriers. Manco Capac II. made great roads from Cuzco to the provinces. Nothing special is noted in the next thirteen reigns. Civil affairs received attention, a few conquests were made, and a great plague is mentioned. (See Book of Mormon, verse 3, page 138).

    The twentieth king was Huascar-Titupac, who gave all the provinces new governors of royal blood, and armed his soldiers with a cuirass made of cotton and copper. The twenty-first king was Manco Capac Amauta. He was an astronomer and "convened a scientific council which agreed that the sun was at a greater distance from the earth than the moon, and that they followed different courses." During the next twelve reigns, wars, conquests, and religious controversies are noted. Ayay-Manco, the thirty-fourth king, assembled the Amantas in Cuzco to reform the calendar and it was decided that the year should be divided into months of thirty days, and weeks of ten days, calling the five days at the end of the year a small week. They also collected the years into decades of ten's, calling each group of ten decades a sun. Of the next twenty-nine kings, Capac Raymi Amanta, the thirty-eighth of the line, and Yahuar Huquiz, the fifty-first, were "celebrated for astronomical knowledge." The latter "intercalated a year at the end of four centuries." Manco-Capac III, the sixtieth sovereign, is supposed to have lived at the beginning of the Christian era. In his time "Peru had reached her greatest elevation and extension." The reigns of the next three kings covered thirty-two years. Titu Yupanqui Pachacuti, the thirty-fourth, was the last sovereign of the old kingdom; he was killed in battle with a host of invaders who came from the east and south-east. His death threw the whole kingdom into confusion.

    There was a rebellion as well as an invasion by which the empire was broken up into small states. Many ambitious ones taking advantage of the new king's youth denied him obedience, drew away from him the people and usurped several provinces. Those who remained faithful to the heir of Titu Yupanqui conducted him to Tambotoco, whose inhabitants offered him obedience. Prom this it happened that this monarch took the title of king of Tambotoco. During the next twenty-six reigns the government of the old royal house was centered in this little state; in fact these twenty- six kings were merely kings of Tambotoco. Tyrants overran the country, civil war prevailed, the whole country was in disorder, invaders attacked and despoiled province after province, life and personal safety were endangered, the people lost confidence in one and the other until by these disturbances the use of letters was lost. "The art of writing seems to have been mixed up with the issues of a religious controversy in the time of the old kingdom." (Baldwin).

    During this unsettled time writing was proscribed even in the little state of Tambotoco. The fourteenth ruler (of the twenty-six) "prohibited under the severest penalties, the use of quellca for writing and forbade also, the invention of letters." Quellca was plantain leaves made into a kind of parchment. It is said that one Amanta was put to death for attempting the restoration of the art of writing. This period of decline and disorder was the dark age of Peru, and lasted until the rise of the Incas, who restored order and reunited the country.

    We have given but a skeleton sketch, a mere outline, of Peruvian history, as related by Montesinos. Let the earnest enquirer read that portion of the Book of Mormon contained in the books of Jacob, Enos, Jarom, Omni, Alma, Helaman, and his son Nephi, and he can discern almost a parallel statement of facts by the two histories. Some may object to the dissimilarity of names; but this has no weight, being a well understood and frequent occurrence in sacred and secular writings, although there is a striking similarity in the pronunciation of the third king's name, Huainaevi, (Wa ain e vi) and Nephi. We use it as no argument judging that there is enough and more abundant proof in the body of the two histories; always recollecting that the sacred history is but a condensed record of the religious progress of the country, and that Montesinos, on his part, gleaned his knowledge from those who lived ages after the events related had transpired, and consequently could got but a faint and imperfect version -- mere dim and indistinct outlines of the early Peruvian history.

    Note: This "Old America" episode (#30) was subsequently reprinted on the Millennial Star of May 1, 1876.

    Vol. XI.                                       Salt Lake City,  January 23, 1876.                                       No. 2.

            [p. 14?]

    BY  G. M. O.


    Traditions, historical records, and physical facts fully attest that mighty and vast changes have taken place in America during the ages past; and although apparently meagre and obscure in details and data, upon investigation a vast field is spread before the student. The vista opens wide and extensive, and presents daily accumulating facts and evidences of a civilized race of mankind, who antedate the present Indian, and who had probably reached their "golden age" two thousand years ago.

    In the foregoing articles relating to Old America, we have taken but a rapid and imperfect survey, merely indicating the abundance of matter and material open for research, and well worthy the study of the antiquarian, archaeologist, ethnologist, and theologian. To the last named, especially, this study should be not only one of love but of duty before God and to man. Laying aside the antagonism generated between religions and scientific opinion, he should enter the field with an honest determination to present the facts plainly and truthfully, aiming to restore that union and harmony so much needed by the so-called Christian world.

    Modern investigation of the religion of the ancient Americans has developed certain facts that have proved to be serious stumbling blocks in the way of the religious doctrines generally advanced; and either to avoid or explain them away authors have speculated and drifted into irrelevant and various theories, not from design always, certainly not through ignorance, but by simply ignoring the only key that gives a reasonable explanation of the mystery. This key we have endeavored to show is undoubtedly the Book of Mormon. Without following the many minor facts, or tracing out and analyzing the numerous circumstantial evidences comparing so harmoniously between the writers of the Book of Mormon and the old historical records and traditions of America, we have aimed (and we hope successfully) to establish the following great points of indisputable evidence:

    First, that the deluge as described by Moses, the greatest and oldest writer we possess, is entertained on record or in traditionary belief, by nearly every tribe or nation of old America. The Aztecs, who received their religion from the Toltecs, expressly declare in conjunction with the Bible that Tezpi (Noah) and the different races of land animals were preserved in the same ark or vessel; and it would be impossible to conceive how nations or peoples so remote from each other could agree in and testify to an event unless they have proceeded from those individuals who escaped the deluge under the guidance of the patriarch Noah, and when released from the ark, as a common starting point, dispersed themselves all over the world.

    Second, that although the Quiche records do not give us a clear record of Jared's settlement in the country, we may reasonably infer from the account given of Votan that such an event had taken place. In fact the Votan of American tradition may have been the Jared of Mormon; but we are inclined to the belief that Votan was Mulek, who left Jerusalem 589 years before the coming of Christ, during the reign of Zedekiah, or about the time that king was taken a captive to Babylon. It was one of the sons of Zedekiah who commanded this colony, and they eventually landed somewhere north of the Isthmus of Darien, and journeyed southward into the country now called the United States of Colombia. There they built their capital city Zarahemla, near the Magdalena river, called by them the river of Sidon. Jared's people landed on the coast of Mexico. They named the country (North America) the "land of Moron." They flourished on this continent for at least 1800 years, and at a moderate rate of increase the population must have in that time reached a very large figure. Their general tendency of colonization seems to have been northward, forming the settlements in the great valleys of the Mississippi and Ohio. Ruins of their cities are now referred to as the "works of the Mound Builders." When Votan (Mulek) landed in America he found, says the Quiche manuscripts, the country already inhabited by a people having the same religion, rites, laws, eruditions, and common blood with the people whom he took there himself. A few years previous to the landing of Mulek, a colony under Lehi left Jerusalem (during the first year of Zedekiah's reign). They crossed the Pacific and landed on the western coast of South America, somewhere, we infer, near the present city of Lima in Peru. Lehi's people possibly built the great city and temple of Pachacamac, and after a time crossed the Andes, settling in Bolivia, in the vicinity and on the shores of Lake Titicaca. Others went north into New Granada, and in time united with the descendants of Mulek's people. The traditions of the Peruvians, as recorded by Montesinos, correspond precisely with the Book of Mormon in regard to the organization of this colony after landing on the American continent. In time these colonies became disunited, and through the calamities of war, famine and pestilence, their descendants were reduced to their present condition of savages.

    Third, the prophets of the Book of Mormon told the people that when Jesus should be crucified terrible earthquakes and convulsions would occur on this continent. That these judgments came as predicted, the whole face of the continent geologically attests, and the "Old Books" of the Quiches assert it. In fact, in the old Central American books there is a constant tradition of an immense catastrophe of that character, a recollection of which was preserved in some of their festivals, especially in one celebrated in the month Izcalli, which commemorated this frightful destruction of land and people. The tradition indicates that the destruction was accomplished by a succession of convulsions; three are constantly mentioned. "The land was shaken by frightful earthquakes, and the waves of the sea combined with volcanic fires to overwhelm and ingulf it." Each convulsion caused many portions of the land to disappear, forming a line of coast much as it is now. Most of the inhabitants were overtaken while at their regular employments, and were destroyed. Some escaped in ships, some found safety on high mountains or on portions of the land, which for the time escaped immediate destruction.

    Fourth, while a number of people were assembled together around a certain temple in the northern part of South America (a temple preserved by the Lord) talking and wondering about the great cataclysm that had taken place, they heard a voice coming out of the heavens saying, "Behold my beloved son," and they saw Jesus descend and be stood in their midst, saying, "I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God." Afterwards He related to them how He had been crucified, and, in time, He organized the church on this continent. But in less than three generations the principles he had taught were disregarded, and the whole people dwindled in unbelief and wickedness.

    We find, however, that the visit of our Savior has not been forgotten. Nut only was a semblance of baptism administered, but the worship and traditions of a supreme ruler was kept up after a manner, by the various nations until the advent of the Europeans. "Quelzacoatl," of the Aztecs; "Kukulcan," of the Quiches; "Bochica," of the Muyscas, and the "Manco Capac, of the Peruvians, are, without doubt, one and tbe same person -- our Lord and Savior.

    Not even was the symbol of His church forgotten. The cross was not only found, as stated by Garcilazo, at Cozumel, by Grijalva, but Clavigero (History of Mexico, II, 14 note) says: "The crosses the most celebrated are those of Yucatan, of Mizteca, Queretaro, Tepique and Tianquiztepec." Gomara says -- "it could not be known how these Indians came to have so much devotion towards the holy cross, there being no footsteps of the Gospel having been preached at Cozumel, or in any other part of the Indies" (America.)

    It has indeed been a curious question, and one only properly explained by the Book of Mormon, how the nations of America obtained their vague and shadowy ideas of Christianity. Some few writers have vainly endeavored to trace the origin of the symbol of the cross in America to an Egyptian symbol known by the name of cruz atsata, or cross with a ring, represented by that ancient people on walls of temples, obelisks and monuments. Others attribute it to the Phoenicians, whose goddess, Astarte, is commonly represented on the Sidonian coins with a long cross in her arms. Of course these theories are mere conjecture, from which can be formed no reasonable conclusions. With the hope that our readers have been entertained and instructed by our brief historical descriptions, we will conclude by urging all to continue their investigations and researches in all that relates to " Old America."

    Note: This "Old America" episode (#31) was subsequently reprinted on the Millennial Star of Aug. 14, 1876.

    Vol. XIV.                                       Salt Lake City,  Match 1, 1879.                                       No. 5.

            [p. 58]


    BY G. M. O.

    (under construction)


    Note: This George M. Ottinger article was never reprinted..

    Vol. XVI.                                       Salt Lake City,  March 1, 1881.                                       No. 7.

            [p. 81]


    It is believed, I might say known, by the Latter-day Saints, that the Indians are of the, house of Israel.

    This idea is ridiculed by a great many who are not of our faith, but not by all, for quite a number of the Spanish and Mexican historians have been of that opinion.

    I desire to call the attention of the young readers of the Instructor to this very important subject, and to set forth a few of the many evidences which caused the historians to arrive at that conclusion, and leave the reader to form his own opinion.

    It is generally conceded that no other historian has made greater exertions or exhibited more interest in developing the antiquities of America than has Lord Kingsborough. He has written by far the most complete work on that subject of which we have any knowledge, and has seemingly had every possible opportunity to make himself familiar with the writings of nearly all the historians upon the subject, besides having access to the comparatively few Indian histories which have survived the fanaticism of the Spanish priests.

    After all his labors and researches he was convinced that the Indians are Israelites, as will appear in his arguments in support of his convictions. He says:

    "The extreme pertinacity which the Indians, both of Peru and Mexico, displayed in adhering to their old religion, frequently laying down their lives in its defense, and affirming, when reasoned with upon the subject, that if Christianity was good for the Castilians, their own religion was no less so for them, is a convincing proof that the signs and wonders which the Mexicans believe that Huitzilopuchtli had wrought in their favor (to which the hand and outstretched arm so often occurring in Mexican paintings probably alludes), and the oracles of Pachacama, revered in Peru, maintained the greatest ascendancy over their minds; and in this obstinacy, and blindly persisting in a persuasion which the Christians told them was false, it must be confessed that the Indians closely resembled the Jews.

    "The second reason for believing that Judaism was the religion of the Indians is, that they used circumcision. The third, that they expected a Messiah. The fourth, that many words incorporated in their language and connected with the celebration of their religious rites, were obviously either of Hebrew or Greek derivation. The fifth, that Las Casas, the bishop of Chiapa, who bad the best means of verifying the fact, was of that opinion. The sixth, that the Jews themselves, including some of their most eminent rabbis, such as Menasseh, Ben Israel and Montecinio, who though not a rabbi, was a Jew who had visited America, maintained it both by verbal statement and in writing. The seventh is the dilemma in which the most learned Spanish authors, such as Acosta and Torqliemada have placed their readers by leaving them no other alternative than to come to the decision whether the Jews had colonized America and established their rites among the Indians, or whether the devil had counterfeited in the New World the rites and ceremonies which God gave to His chosen people. The eighth is the resemblance which many of the Indian rites and ceremonies bore to those of the Jews. The ninth is the similitude which existed between many of the Indian and many of the Hebrew moral laws. The tenth is the knowledge which the Mexican and Peruvian traditions implied that the Indians possessed of the history contained in the Pentateuch. The eleventh is the Mexican tradition of the Teoamoxtli, or the divine book of the Tultecas. The twelfth is the Mexican history of their famous migration from Aztlan. The thirteenth is the traces of Jewish superstitions, history, traditions, laws, manners and customs which are found in the Mexican paintings. The fourteenth is the frequent sacrifices amongst the Indians, and the religious consecration of the blood and the fat of the victims. The fifteenth is the style of architecture of their temples. The sixteenth is the fringes which the Mexicans wore fastened to their garments. The seventeenth is a similarity in the manners and customs of Indian tribes far removed from the central monarchies of Mexico and Peru (but still within the pale of religious proselyteism) to those of the Jews, which writers who were not Spaniards have noticed, such as Sir William Penn, who recognized a probably fanciful likeness between the features of Indian and Jewish children. S.

    Note: (forthcoming)


    Transcriber's Comments

    George Martin Ottinger (1833-1917)

    An Accurate View of "Old America?"

    (under construction)

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