Total Pageviews

Search This Blog

June 17, 2018

1878 Three, 50-yard long Indian Mounds exhumed 3 Miles Northeast of Warrensburg, just off the Blackwater, fifteen skulls found. From the 1500s?

April 2, 1878 
EXHUMED 
(3 miles NE of Warrensburg)

From the Rocks of Ages.
(With references to “Hiawatha” By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882)
Representative Indian Mound, perhaps similar to those just 3 Miles Northeast of Warrensburg, MO
A Wonderful Discovery in Warrensburg.
Yesterday morning, our curiosity led us to visit the old Indian graveyard, three miles northeast of Warrensburg, Mo., From which the Normal school boys have lately been excavating so many curious and interesting relics. At the early peep of dawn, H. C Fike, G. F. Heath and "We," were gazing inquisitively upon the venerable monuments of an extinct, rare extinct, indeed, so far as this portion of the Man's former possessions are concerned. There are three of those large mounds in this group, occupying the positions of the three corners of a triangle whose sides are fifty yards in length. They are on top of 
A HIGH RIDGE 
covered with a forest of large, tall saplings and now and then a large white oak or a hickory tree. The ridge rises abruptly from. Blackwater Creek, and extends southward 
THE MOUNDS
are about a hundred and fifty yard from the creek. The first and largest one is at the northwest corner of the triangle. It is about thirty feet in diameter at the base, and five feet high in the centre, and is gracefully rounded off, presenting a somewhat the appearance appearance of a large potato hill. A rectangular wall of 
LIMESTONE ROCK. 
Was originally built on the level surface, eight feet square, and four feet high, into which the bodies of the dead were stored away, there to rest in peace until the voice of the Great Spirit should summon the painted warrior to arise and take up his march to
THE HAPPY HUNTING GROUNDS
in their blissful Ponemah (From “Hiawatha” By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882). After the bodies were placed in the rude tombs, the earthen mound built over it. The stone of which the tombs were made was evidently carried from the creek a hundred and fifty yards distant as that is the nearest place from which they could hare been obtained. Perhaps this laborious task was performed by the women, as they, among all 
SAVAGE TRIBES,
have been made the menial servant of their "Lord and Masters," and among none more completely than with the American Indians. We were provided with picks and spade with which to resurrect the remains of the hunters and warriors who danced around their camp fires on Blackwater, perhaps three centuries ago. We were aware that the statutes of Missouri make it a misdemeanor to remove 
THE REMAINS 
of any human being from the place of interment, through wantonness or mischief, but, of course, we were not actuated by any such motive, and were only laboring to add to the cause of science and history. Besides, from the
APPEARANCE OF THE SKULLS 
that we found, it would be very difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that these were the remains of a class of mammals sufficiently developed according to the Darwinian theory to entitle them to be ranked as members of the human family. In fact we saw a bone taken out that had the perfect appearance of a short piece of the caudal appendage of an ape. My mind lent to that theory of the case in about the ration of eight to seven. There were dried up skulls and bones; arrow heads and pipes; point balls and pieces of unique pottery and a variety of beautiful stones that must have been brought from a far country. 
"From where the Rappahannock sweetly sleep; 
On green Virginia's breast." 
THE SKULLS
were mostly in the northwest corner of the vault. There were fifteen taken from this large mound, but they had been there so long and decayed to such an extent, that none of them could be preserved in their natural condition. The place where the brains ought to be if these savages ever had any brains, was filled with dark, slimy earth, and "In these holes that the eyes were wont to inhabit, were crept, as it were, 
IN SCORN Of EYES," 
the same slimy substance. Only the larger bones of the skeletons could be found. The others had all decayed. The teeth, however, were in a perfect state of preservation, and would doubtless be a valuable acquisition to the resources of some "Practical Dental Surgeon." We indulged fond hopes of finding a goodly supply of the flowing tresses of some gallant Yenadizzies's (Yenadizz From Hiawatha Poem Link By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882) charming Neenemoosha (means my sweetheart, my darling, my love) in this 
"CITY OF THE DEAD," 
it would be so valuable in these halcyon days of fashionable head dresses and ornamental ornamental wigs. But nothing of the poor Indians remained, except their bones, and to remove these from the resting place where they had been laid in the long ago, seemed a pity. We thought of the 
CAMP FIRES THAT BLAZED 
in the distance of the brave hearted warriors who witnessed the last sad ceremonial rites when these graves were filled while friend and relatives sobbed their sorrowful Wahonowin. (From “Hiawatha” By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882) But our 
ROMANTIC REFLECTIONS
were changed to practical thoughts when our chief cook and bottle-washer told as he thought it was our time to "dig awhile." The mounds must have been made when the surrounding country was all a prairie, as their existence antedates the recollection of the oldest settler who can remember when the surrounding forest was only small shrubbery, the smoke pipes that were found, will, perhaps, save some young gentleman a cigar bill now and then; by the way, this is a gentle reminder of the source from which this time honored eastern was originated. Whoever smokes one of these pipes will have the consolation of knowing that he is smoking one of the 
PIPES OF THE DADIES.
 The discovery of these mounds aroused a good deal of latent curiosity that will not satisfied until the last one is demolished and no trace of their existence left.

 - of at at to j i EXHUMED From the Bocks of Agtt....

1887 Book - SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION—BUREAU OF ETHNOLOGY. BURIAL MOUNDS OF THE NORTHERN SECTIONS OF THE UNITED STATES. BY PROF. CYRUS THOMAS.


The Song of Hiawatha
1855 - by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Never stoops the soaring vulture
On his quarry in the desert,
On the sick or wounded bison,
But another vulture, watching
From his high aerial look-out,
Sees the downward plunge, and follows;
And a third pursues the second,
Coming from the invisible ether,
First a speck, and then a vulture,
Till the air is dark with pinions.
  So disasters come not singly;
But as if they watched and waited,
Scanning one another's motions,
When the first descends, the others
Follow, follow, gathering flock-wise
Round their victim, sick and wounded,
First a shadow, then a sorrow,
Till the air is dark with anguish.
  Now, o'er all the dreary North-land,
Mighty Peboan, the Winter,
Breathing on the lakes and rivers,
Into stone had changed their waters.
From his hair he shook the snow-flakes,
Till the plains were strewn with whiteness,
One uninterrupted level,
As if, stooping, the Creator
With his hand had smoothed them over.
Through the forest, wide and wailing,
Roamed the hunter on his snow-shoes;
In the village worked the women,
Pounded maize, or dressed the deer-skin;
And the young men played together
On the ice the noisy ball-play,
On the plain the dance of snow-shoes.
  One dark evening, after sundown,
In her wigwam Laughing Water
Sat with old Nokomis, waiting
For the steps of Hiawatha
Homeward from the hunt returning.
  On their faces gleamed the firelight,
Painting them with streaks of crimson,
In the eyes of old Nokomis
Glimmered like the watery moonlight,
In the eyes of Laughing Water
Glistened like the sun in water;
And behind them crouched their shadows
In the corners of the wigwam,
And the smoke in wreaths above them
Climbed and crowded through the smoke-flue.
  Then the curtain of the doorway
From without was slowly lifted;
Brighter glowed the fire a moment,
And a moment swerved the smoke-wreath,
As two women entered softly,
Passed the doorway uninvited,
Without word of salutation,
Without sign of recognition,
Sat down in the farthest corner,
Crouching low among the shadows.
  From their aspect and their garments,
Strangers seemed they in the village;
Very pale and haggard were they,
As they sat there sad and silent,
Trembling, cowering with the shadows.
  Was it the wind above the smoke-flue,
Muttering down into the wigwam?
Was it the owl, the Koko-koho,
Hooting from the dismal forest?
Sure a voice said in the silence:
"These are corpses clad in garments,
These are ghosts that come to haunt you,
From the kingdom of Ponemah,
From the land of the Hereafter!"
  Homeward now came Hiawatha
From his hunting in the forest,
With the snow upon his tresses,
And the red deer on his shoulders.
At the feet of Laughing Water
Down he threw his lifeless burden;
Nobler, handsomer she thought him,
Than when first he came to woo her,
First threw down the deer before her,
As a token of his wishes,
As a promise of the future.
  Then he turned and saw the strangers,
Cowering, crouching with the shadows;
Said within himself, "Who are they?
What strange guests has Minnehaha?"
But he questioned not the strangers,
Only spake to bid them welcome
To his lodge, his food, his fireside.
  When the evening meal was ready,
And the deer had been divided,
Both the pallid guests, the strangers,
Springing from among the shadows,
Seized upon the choicest portions,
Seized the white fat of the roebuck,
Set apart for Laughing Water,
For the wife of Hiawatha;
Without asking, without thanking,
Eagerly devoured the morsels,
Flitted back among the shadows
In the corner of the wigwam.
   Not a word spake Hiawatha,
Not a motion made Nokomis,
Not a gesture Laughing Water;
Not a change came o'er their features;
Only Minnehaha softly
Whispered, saying, "They are famished;
Let them do what best delights them;
Let them eat, for they are famished."
  Many a daylight dawned and darkened,
Many a night shook off the daylight
As the pine shakes off the snow-flakes
From the midnight of its branches;
Day by day the guests unmoving
Sat there silent in the wigwam;
But by night, in storm or starlight,
Forth they went into the forest,
Bringing fire-wood to the wigwam,
Bringing pine-cones for the burning,
Always sad and always silent.
  And whenever Hiawatha
Came from fishing or from hunting,
When the evening meal was ready,
And the food had been divided,
Gliding from their darksome corner,
Came the pallid guests, the strangers,
Seized upon the choicest portions
Set aside for Laughing Water,
And without rebuke or question
Flitted back among the shadows.
  Never once had Hiawatha
By a word or look reproved them;
Never once had old Nokomis
Made a gesture of impatience;
Never once had Laughing Water
Shown resentment at the outrage.
All had they endured in silence,
That the rights of guest and stranger,
That the virtue of free-giving,
By a look might not be lessened,
By a word might not be broken.
  Once at midnight Hiawatha,
Ever wakeful, ever watchful,
In the wigwam, dimly lighted
By the brands that still were burning,
By the glimmering, flickering firelight
Heard a sighing, oft repeated,
Heard a sobbing, as of sorrow.
  From his couch rose Hiawatha,
From his shaggy hides of bison,
Pushed aside the deer-skin curtain,
Saw the pallid guests, the shadows,
Sitting upright on their couches,
Weeping in the silent midnight.
  And he said: "O guests! why is it
That your hearts are so afflicted,
That you sob so in the midnight?
Has perchance the old Nokomis,
Has my wife, my Minnehaha,
Wronged or grieved you by unkindness,
Failed in hospitable duties?"
  Then the shadows ceased from weeping,
Ceased from sobbing and lamenting,
And they said, with gentle voices:
"We are ghosts of the departed,
Souls of those who once were with you.
From the realms of Chibiabos
Hither have we come to try you,
Hither have we come to warn you.
  "Cries of grief and lamentation
Reach us in the Blessed Islands;
Cries of anguish from the living,
Calling back their friends departed,
Sadden us with useless sorrow.
Therefore have we come to try you;
No one knows us, no one heeds us.
We are but a burden to you,
And we see that the departed
Have no place among the living.
  "Think of this, O Hiawatha!
Speak of it to all the people,
That henceforward and forever
They no more with lamentations
Sadden the souls of the departed
In the Islands of the Blessed.
  "Do not lay such heavy burdens
In the graves of those you bury,
Not such weight of furs and wampum,
Not such weight of pots and kettles,
For the spirits faint beneath them.
Only give them food to carry,
Only give them fire to light them.
  "Four days is the spirit's journey
To the land of ghosts and shadows,
Four its lonely night encampments;
Four times must their fires be lighted.
Therefore, when the dead are buried,
Let a fire, as night approaches,
Four times on the grave be kindled,
That the soul upon its journey
May not lack the cheerful firelight,
May not grope about in darkness.
  "Farewell, noble Hiawatha!
We have put you to the trial,
To the proof have put your patience,
By the insult of our presence,
By the outrage of our actions.
We have found you great and noble.
Fail not in the greater trial,
Faint not in the harder struggle."
   When they ceased, a sudden darkness
Fell and filled the silent wigwam.
Hiawatha heard a rustle
As of garments trailing by him,
Heard the curtain of the doorway
Lifted by a hand he saw not,
Felt the cold breath of the night air,
For a moment saw the starlight;
But he saw the ghosts no longer,
Saw no more the wandering spirits
From the kingdom of Ponemah,

From the land of the Hereafter.
Karl Bodmer lithograph of Missouria, Otoe, and Ponca Indians
Missouria Link
Karl Bodmer

No comments: