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The National magazine

William W. Williams, James Harrison Kennedy

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History is a narrative of public proaches. The Americans are bolder events at any given epoch, and neces- than other nations in their jettison of sarily is not an exact science. When such deck load and lumber, albeit the record is complete, consistent they came over in the Mayflower,” with acknowledged facts and undis- or were landed at Jamestown, puted, we call it Authentic, and when Early American history is at this not so accredited, Apocryphal. It moment especially disturbed. There occasionally becomes transitory--that is, in fact, less certainty about it now is to say, studied as time passesmin than at any former period. The reathe light of new discoveries, particular son is as curious as it is unsatisfacincidents cease to be authentic, either tory. It is because now, four hundred in themselves or in their relations, years since Columbus, we find we becoming not unfrequently dislo- know more of geography and history cated, and, like the pieces of glass in than either he or his predecessors for a kaleidescope, arrange themselves in a thousand years. He probably knew new and unforeseen combinations, of the voyages of which we are to changing place with other and older write, and honestly believed the events, sometimes losing, never gain- islands he encountered on his way to ing importance by the movement. Asia a new world; but it is impossible Some of the best attested historical

he could have died, as is still thought facts turn out veritable fables and and taught, with the impression that closely pursued, their metamorphoses Cuba and Japan were the same counresemble the shadows which chase tries. This continent was supposed each other over mountain tops, and to have risen from the ocean, on the are lost to view as daylight ap- breast of some mighty and recent

convulsion. Springing from myste- the earth teems with evidences of an rious depths into visible life like the armed and bitter struggle between fabled Roman goddess—but with sev- civilized populations in the south and eral feet deep of vegetable loam upon vast hordes of northern Asiatics conits surface, it seemed the latest and tinued for generations, wherein millmost wonderful achievement of the ions of men participated and perexhaustless energies of creative na- ished, and of which they are the sole ture, the fair and beauteous virgin relics and were the only witnesses. bride of earth's maturer longings, Our forefathers peopled the unknown and the destined theater of man's seas with great monsters, but they nobler life and sublimer destinies. were of mortal birth. The barriers

But, piercing the mysterious silence we have to encounter are celestial as of unrecorded time, amidst the track- the angels--the fallen angels-in less forests of Central America, there their immortality, and more invinciwere exhumed deserted cities in ble in their stubbornness. Not a few Yucatan, with treasures of painting, are yet to be found who begin Amerisculpture and wonderful architec- can history with the voyage of Col. ture, arsenals and weapons of war, umbus. Some even doubt the Sagas implements of husbandry and the and Norse voyages.

While these chase, literary works, the relics of heavy-shod antiquaries are vainly an unknown people who, in those striving to keep step with modern once favored regions, possessed for progress, we affirm the following procenturies a civilization older and positions as covering the present conmore perfect than the Ptolemies. And dition of American Archæological then, to shock the romantic dreams Science and its result, viz.: of our ancestors and shame their easy 1. The legend of Atlantis is not a credulity, came the discovery in the fable, the former existence of that woods of North America of great country being attested by evidence mounds and earthworks resembling equally satisfactory with the proof of those of Britain, stretched across the the lake dwellers. America is not Mississippi Valley east from the Great “ The New World," but the oldest of River to the sea, and on the other the continents. side, entrenchments projected from

can Columbus be the mouth of the Rio Grande to its said to have been “the Discoverer of source in some lone canyon of the America,” his voyage having been Pacific coast, wrapped by the Sierras preceded by many others at intervals in lofty gloom and dipping lines of in three hundred years, beginning in beauty and grandeur down to the

D). 545

When these navigators western horizon.

came here they found this contiOn both sides of the Mississippi nent peopled by colonies and tribes


In no



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