It is necessary now to rely on tradition, and on the preliminary considerations already presented, to show what became of the rest of the moundbuilders of the Ohio dynasty. It is apropos, however, to remark that the whole of the mound building people could not have escaped by the route traced out by Thomas up the valley of the Kanawha River. By far the larger part of them had a habitat further south and further west, and the most probable line of retreat for them was down the Ohio Valley.
There are many traditions that relate to the migrations of the native tribes within the United States. I will call your attention to but two of them. These relate to the great movements that are here discussed, but they are confirmed by several others that supply contributory details, and when taken all together their force amounts almost to as great a body of evidence as if the events were a matter of history.
These two traditions have been accepted by all archeologists as trustworthy testimony, as far as the Indians could communicate a history of past events. The only differences of opinion that have appeared pertain to the interpretation and application of the traditions themselves.
One of these two traditions recounts the hostile incursion of the Lenni-Lenape, an Algonquian tribe or group of tribes, into the region west of the Alleghany Mountains, their conflict with the "Tselaki," a word which has been corrupted into Cherokee, and with the Allegewi, a word which is perpetuated in the term Alleghany, and their final settlement, under the name Delaware, in the eastern part of Pennsylvania and in New Jersey, together with some further migrations toward the east. The other relates to the migration of some of the Siouan tribes down the Ohio River and their going "up stream" and "down stream "on the Mississippi on reaching the mouth of the Ohio. I do not know that any one has called in question the essential parts of this tradition.
John Heckewelder, a Moravian missionary with the Delaware or Lenni-Lenape in Pennsylvania, gave the first printed account of the hostile incursion of the Lenni-Lenape against the Ohio mound builders. It is published in Vol. XII. of the memoirs of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, in 1818. He took it from the relation of the intelligent Indians. With some abbreviation it is as follows:
"The Lenni-Lenape (according to traditions handed down to them by their ancestors) resided many hundred years ago in a very distant country in the western part of the American continent." For some reason they determined on migrating to the eastward, and accordingly set out together in a body. After a very long journey, and with many long stops on the way, they at length arrived on the "Namaesi-sipu," which by Mr. Heckewelder is translated "Mississippi, or River of