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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 73.djvu/218

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

of the Iroquois, but its main area is west of the Mississippi, embracing the wide plains over which roamed the buffalo. These areas are separated by the states of West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Michigan, where now reside the Algonquian, or at least where they were found by the Europeans when they made acquaintance with the region. Guided by the same principles, we may infer reasonably that, on the amelioration of the glacial climate, the Siouan family, residing wholly on the southeastern Atlantic seaboard, migrated toward the north and west, crossing the mountains that bound them in, and sought the plains on the west. With the vicissitudes of war and the lapse of thousands of years, those who remained on the east side of the Alleghany Mountains were permanently separated from those who migrated, and the western tribes expanded rapidly over the western plains of the Missouri, becoming powerful and a scourge to their neighbors, "the Iroquois of the West," as they have been termed not inaptly.

We can infer, therefore, that these two stocks, the Algonquian and the Siouan, moving, one from the southwest and the other from the southeast toward the Mississippi Valley, early came into collision, and that in the main the Mississippi River at first constituted the boundary line separating their domains. This early hostility became a hereditary war, and on the side of the Siouan stock the Iroquois also participated. I do not know of any record, and of but one tradition, of war between the Iroquois stock and the Siouan stock west of the Alleghanies, but both these stocks maintained bitter and hereditary war against the Algonquian. The prehistoric Siouan people were neighbors in the Carolinas of the prehistoric Iroquois, and the two people more or less allied in language and having similar customs and the same opportunities for northward migration probably moved about simultaneously, both tribes crossing the mountains into the country where the waters flowed in the western direction, the Iroquois to the north of the Sioux.

It is a remarkable fact that, with the exception of the earthworks of the gulf coast, these two stocks are the only ones that have been found to have had a general custom of constructing earth mounds and embankments.[1] These common resemblances, regardless of any


  1. The mounds that are common in southern Michigan and along the Lake Huron shore northward from Detroit, as well as those in northern Ohio and western New York are attributable to the Iroquois or to some of their kindred tribes, viz: the Hurons, Eries and Neutrals. The Iroquois dominion extended to the north shore of lake Huron even in historic time. An old Dutch map of 1690 (?) published by Van der Aa has "Iroquoysen" in the northern part of Wisconsin. Indeed there is good reason for believing that the Iroquoian and Siouan stocks at this time possessed the whole country east of the Mississippi River and south of the Great Lakes to northern Georgia, constituting together the great Ohio dynasty of the mound-builders. The true earth mounds of northern Wisconsin are probably later than this period. Mr. Geo. A. West says