LENAWEE COUNTY ANTIQUITIES AND PREHISTORY.
THE MOUND BUILDERS
-CLASSIFICATION OF MOUNDS-THEIR WORKS IN LENAWEE COUNTY-GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF MOUNDS-ARROW-MAKING-EARLY ARCHAEOLOGICAL WRITINGS-LATER OPINIONS.
Before the white man, the Indian; before the Indian who the archaeology of any County forms one of its most interesting chapters. Who the ancient dwellers were, what they did,
what lives they led, are all questions of conjecture now. Their history appears only in their silent monuments, as silent at the race, the fact of whose existence they perpetuate.
The relics they left are the only key that we possess of their lives, and these give a history whose antiquity seems almost Adamic. The principal remains left consist of earthworks,
mounds and parapets, filled with the rude implements of the people who built them, and with the bones of these lost portions of humanity. From their proclivities to build these earthworks,
these people are known as "Mound Builders," the only name that now fits their peculiar style of life. The mounds erected by them are of all sizes and shapes, and range in height from three
or four feet to sixty or seventy feet. In outline, they are of equal magnitude, though none of great height was ever known to exist within the confines of Lenawee County. What have been
discovered are generally small in size and irregular in outline. They have in nearly all instances been much reduced in height, as the hand of modern man demands them for practical purposes.
The more pretentious earthworks are very generally distributed from western New York, along the southern shore of Lake Erie, through Michigan, to Nebraska, thence north from this line to the
southern shore of Lake Superior. From this line they extend south to the Gulf of Mexico. Mounds occur in great numbers in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri,
Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida. They are found in less numbers in western New York, the Carolinas, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Michigan, Iowa, and portions of Mexico. In choosing this vast region, extending from the
Alleghenies to the Rocky Mountains, and from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, the Mound Builders took possession of the great system of plains, controlling the long inland water courses of the continent. Along the broad levels drained by this vast river system, the remains of prehistoric man are found. Archeologists have no difficulty in locating the places which were most densely populated, by reason of the irregular distribution of the works. It is interesting to note that in the selection of sites for these earthworks the Mound Builders were influenced by the same motives, apparently, which governed their European successors. It is a well established fact that nearly every town of importance in the valleys of the Ohio and Mississippi and their tributaries is located on the ruins left by this ancient people. The sites selected by the Mound Builders for their most pretentious works were on the river terraces, or bottoms, no doubt because of the natural highways thus rendered available, besides the opportunities for fishing and the cultivation of the warm, quick soil, easily tilled.
The earth mounds are classified as sepulchral, sacrificial, temple or truncated, mounds of observation, symbolical or animal-also known as emblematic-and mounds of defense. The first named,
sepulchral, are generally the most common of any. Emblematical or symbolical mounds are not known to have existed in this County. If they ever did exist here, all traces of them
have been obliterated by that leveler of savage country, the plow. Sepulchral mounds were devoted to the purpose of burial and were generally pyramidal in form and usually contained
layers of clay, ashes, charcoal, various soils and one or more skeletons, often very many. Sacrificial mounds are usually
stratified, the strata being convex layers of clay and loam,
the layers alternating above a layer of fine sand. They also contain ashes, igneous stones, charcoal, calcined animal bones, beads, implements of stone, pottery and rude sculpture.
They also have altars of burned clay or stone, resting in the center of the mound upon the original earth, on which the people offered sacrifice, employing fire for the purpose.
Mounds of observation-sometimes termed defensive-are found upon prominent elevations. They were, doubtless, alarm posts, watch-towers, signal stations, or outlooks. They commonly occur
in chains or regular systems and still bear traces of the beacon fires that once burned upon them. In addition to the division of mounds already made, sonic add monumental or memorial
mounds, not numerous, supposed to have been erected as memorials to the distinguished dead among the Mound Builders.
None of the few small mounds in Lenawee County has been properly opened. The examinations have not been systematic, and hence much has been lost. Commonly the plow
has been run over the mounds, regardless of the history a careful search would reveal, until almost all traces of their existence have been obliterated. This ruthless leveling of the mounds
has not been perpetrated, however, merely to gratify the iconoclastic propensities of the ploughman, but their cupidity moved them. They wanted the corn the mounds would produce. Running the
plowshare through the mounds was not a very successful method of obtaining a knowledge of their contents.
But vestiges of the labor of the so-called Mound Builders still exist in various parts of the County of Lenawee: in the form of earthworks, and those most worthy of mention are in the vicinity
of the village of Tecumseh. We herewith insert a notice of them, from the pen of the late Hon. Francis A. Dewey, who left many valuable statistics relating to early events and conditions in
the County" A short half-mile from the corner of the road, near Brownville, where it turns east on the old Saline toad, were the remains of earthworks. Here was a square enclosure with an
embankment of earth four feet high and three rods square, with two openings. Here in this enclosure tradition of the older Indians points with majestic pride, and says there is where the
celebrated or imperial chiefs held council. Also near by, on this level and beautiful plat of ground, was a circular embankment or enclosure, four feet high and about two rods in diameter,
with a cavity scooped out in the center. Where tradition of olden time illustrates the historical emblems, the sacred plants or herbs were placed in the center of the circle and set on fire;
from the fumes of this smoke the pipe of peace or war was dictated by the chiefs to the Indian nations. It is with pleasure that I now say within the year 1829 and '30, full fifty-eight years
ago, it was a cheerful treat for me on several different times to visit this beautiful plateau of ground, with its ancient works of solid embankments, with leisure and admiration
studied to learn who were the managers of this olden time monumental relic. Since the year 1832 the plow and cultivator have leveled the historic work of the ancient Mound Builders."
These and a few others-none of great magnitude-constitute all the evidences of the existence of this pre-historic race within the confines of Lenawee County, but it will be well to notice the
implements made by these forgotten tribes of men. Very fens utensils, made of copper, have been found in this part of Michigan, owing partly to the fact of the unexplored condition of the mounds, and to the additional fact that little, if any, copper exists in this part of the state. What does exist is in loose fragments that have been washed down from the upper lake region.
When mounds are explored, great care is necessary lest these small utensils be
lost, as they are commonly scattered through the mass, and are not always in
close proximity to the skeletons. The copper deposits about Lake Superior
furnished the pre-historic man with this metal, and, judging from the number of
relics now found, which were made of this metal, it must have been quite
abundant. The population then must also have been quite numerous, as
occasionally copper implements, tempered to an exceeding hardness, are found
about the country. These implements are small, generally less than half a pound
in weight, and seldom exceeding three pounds. There were millions of these in
use during the period of the ancient dwellers, which must have been thousands of
years in duration. The copper implements left on the surface soon disappeared by
decomposition, to which copper is nearly as subject as iron. Only a part of the
dead Mound Builders were placed in burial grounds, and of these only a part were
buried with their copper ornaments on or about them. Of those that were, only a small part have been
discovered, and in many instances the slight layer of earth over them has not prevented the decay and disappearance of the copper relics. Articles of bronze or brass are not found with
the remains of the builders of the mounds, and it is evident they knew nothing of these metals in the Mississippi valley; nor did they possess any of the copper that had been melted
and cast in molds.
Stone relics, however, are very numerous and well preserved. Stone axes, stone mauls, stone hammers, stone chisels, etc., are very plentiful yet, and were the common implements of the
prehistoric man in this part of the West. None were made with holes or eyes for, the insertion of a helve or handle. They were made more perfect by rubbing and polishing, probably done from
time to time, after they were brought into use. A handle, or helve, made of a width or split stick, was fastened in the grove by thongs of hide. The bit is narrower than the body of the axe,
which is generally not well enough balanced to be of much value as a cutting instrument. It is very seldom the material is hard enough to cut green and sound timber. The poll is usually
round, but sometimes flat, and, rarely, pointed. It is much better adapted to breaking than cutting, while the smaller ones are better fitted for war clubs than tools. As a maul to break
dry limbs they were very efficient, which was probably the use made of them. In weight they range from half a pound to sixteen pounds, but are generally less than three pounds. The very
heavy ones must have been kept at the regular camps and villages, as they could not have been carried far, even in canoes. Such axes are occasionally found in the Indian towns on the
frontier, as they were found in Michigan, among the aborigines. The Mound Builders apparently did not give them as much prominence among their implements as their savage successors.
Double-headed hammers have the grooves in the middle. They were made of the same material as the axes, so balanced as to give a blow with equal force at either end. Their mechanical
symmetry is often perfect. As a weapon in war, they were indeed formidable, and for this purpose they are yet used in the wilds of the far West.
Implements known as "fleshers" and "skinners," chisel formed, commonly called "celts," were probably used as aids in peeling the skins of animals from the meat and bones. For the purpose of
cutting tools from wood they were not sufficiently hard, and do not show such use; excepting a few flint chisels. They may have been applied as coal scrapers where wood had been burned, but
this could not have been a general thing without destroying the perfect edge most of them now exhibit. The grooved axes were much better adapted to this purpose. Fleshers and scrapers of
various sizes and shapes are numerous in this County.
Pestles to grind maize so as to fit it for cooking have been found in a variety of forms-some cylindrical, some bell-shaped and some cone-like. The materials are also various, consisting of
green stone, syenite, quartz, etc., and sometimes sandstone. Most of the pestles are short, with a wide base, tapering toward the top. They were probably used with one hand, and moved about
in the mortar in a circle. The long, round instrument, usually called a pestle, does not appear to be fitted for crushing seeds and grain by pounding or turning in the mortar. It was probably
used as a Tolling pin, perhaps on a board or leveled log, but not upon stone.
It is seldom found smooth or polished, and varies from seven to thirteen inches in length. In outline they taper toward each end, which is generally smooth and circular in form, as though it
had been twirled in an upright position.
Perforated plates, thread sizers, shuttles, etc., generally made of striped slate, are met with in an almost endless variety of forms, most of which, have tapering holes through them
fiat-wise, the use of which has been much discussed. They are generally symmetrical, the material fine grained, and their proportions graceful, as though their principal use was that of
ornamentation. Many of them may well have been worn suspended as beads or ornaments. Some partake of the character of badges or insignias of authority. Others, if strung together on thongs,
or belts, would serve as a coat of mail, protecting the breast or back against the arrows of an enemy. A number of them would serve to size and twist twine or coarse thread made of bark,
raw-hide, or sinew. The most common theory regarding their use is, however, lacking one important feature--none of them show signs of use by wearing, the edges of the holes through them
being sharp and perfect. This objection applies equally well to their use as suspended ornaments. Some of them are shuttle-form, through -which coarse threads might have been passed for
weaving rude cloth, or bark, or of fibrous plants, such as milkweed or thistles. There are also double ended and jointed oi}es, with a cross-section, about the middle of which is a circle
and through which is a perforation.
Badges and -wands, in a variety of forms, are frequently found. They are nearly all fabricated from striped and variegated slate, highly finished, very symmetrical and elegant in proportions,
evidently designed to be ornamental. If they -were stronger and heavier some of them would serve the purpose of hatchets or battle-axes. The material is compact and fine grained; but the
eyes, or holes for handles or staves, are quite small, seldom half an inch in diameter. Their edges are not sharp, but rounded, and the body is thin, usually less than one-fourth of an inch
in thickness. The form of badges known as "double crescents" is the most elegant and expensive of any yet brought to notice. They were probably used to indicate the highest rank of office.
The single crescent perhaps signified a rank next below the double. In nearly or quite all the crescents the points turn outward. The finish around the bore of all winged badges and the
crescents is the same, and the size of the bore about the same-from two-fifths to three-fifths of an inch. On one side of all is a narrow ridge; on the other, a flat band, lengthwise,
like a ridge that has been ground down to a width of one to two-tenths of an inch. Badges and crescents are invariably made of banded slate, generally of a greenish shade or color. The
other forms of wands or badges, such as those with symmetrical wings or blades, are also made of green striped slate, highly polished, with a bore of about one-half inch in diameter,
apparently to insert a light wooden rod of staff. They were probably emblems of distinction, and were not ornaments. Nothing like them is known among the modern tribes, in form or use
hence they are attributed to the Mound Builders. In addition to stone ornaments, the pre-historic man seems to have had a penchant, like his savage successors, to bedaub his body with
various colors, derived from different minerals. These compounds were mixed in hollowed stones or diminutive mortars -"paint cups"-in which the mineral mass of colored clay was
reduced to powder and prepared for application to the body. Such paint cups are not common in this county, in fact they are quite rare.
A few pipes of special note have been found. The comparative rarity of aboriginal smoking pipes is easily explained by the fact that they were not discarded, as were weapons, when those by
whom they were fashioned entered upon the Iron Age. The advance of the whites in no way lessened the demand for pipes, nor did the whites substitute a better implement. The pipes were
retained and used until worn out or broken, save the few that were buried with their dead owners. What was the ultimate fate of these can only be conjectured. In very few instances does
an Indian grave contain a pipe. If the practice of burying the pipe with its owner was common, it is probable that the graves were opened and robbed of this coveted article by members
of the same or other tribes.
It only remains to notice the "flints," in addition to which a few other archaeological relics of minor importance are found about the country, but none of sufficient import to merit
mention, or to throw additional light on the lost tribes of America. Arrow and spearheads and other similar pieces of flaked flints are the most abundant of any aboriginal relics in the
United States. Stone implements, such as have been heretofore mentioned, have been found in all parts of Lenawee County, but more frequently along the banks of the Raisin River and other
streams. "Indian arrows," on the contrary, are found everywhere; and there is not a boy living amid pastoral surroundings who does not treasure among his possessions a few of the flinty
weapons. They are chiefly made of hard and brittle siliceous materials; are easily damaged in hitting any object at which they are aimed, hence many of them bear marks of violent use.
Perfect specimens are, however, by no means rare. The art of arrow-making survives to the present day among certain Indian tribes, from whom is learned the art practiced that produces them. A classification of arrow-heads is not within the scope of this work; indeed, it is rarely attempted by archaeologists. The styles are almost as numerous as their makers. In general, they are all the same in outline, mostly leaf-shaped, varying according to the taste of those who construct them. They may have been chipped-probably most of them were-and some may have been ground. Spear-heads exhibit as large a variety as arrow-heads. Like arrow-heads, spear-heads were inserted in wooden handles of various lengths, though in many tribes they were fastened by thongs of untanned leather or sinews. Their modes of manufacture were generally the same. Sometimes tribes contained "arrow-makers," whose business it was to make these instruments, selling them to or exchanging them with their neighbors for wampum or peltry. When the Indian desired an arrow-head, he could buy one of the "arrow-maker" or make one himself. The common method was to take a chipping implement, generally made of the pointed rods of a deer horn, from eight to sixteen inches in length, or of slender, short pieces of the same material, bound with sinews to wooden sticks, resembling arrow shafts. The "arrow-maker" held in his left hand the flake of flint or obsidian on which he intended to operate, and pressing the point of the tool against its edge, detached scale after scale until the flake assumed the desired form.
The peculiar and distinctive features of these various relics of past ages may be of little interest to some readers; but the fact of their existence, and that they are the only remains of
a race of human beings who passed away, possibly hundreds of years before the advent of the white man on the American continent, urges the effort to solve the mystery of the ancient people
and their works. From the great number and variety of stone implements found in Lenawee County, one would suppose that this section was a favorite locality of that peculiar race; and that
fact adds a local interest to what would otherwise be, perhaps, a dry subject. A nation doubtless arose and fell in the same region where now thrives an Anglo-Saxon civilization; and we, "who tread on the earth that lies over their brow," can obtain information concerning them only by a careful, study of the implements and works they have left behind them. But the solution of the problem has baffled the skill, research and learning of the most noted scientists of two continents, since the existence of these "works of human hands" was first determined. True, we have theories, ably supported by argument, and these, in the absence of absolutely established facts, we must accept, weigh, adopt, or discard, and still remain in darkness as to the origin, mission and final destiny of the Mound Builders.
Judging by the works which they have left-and that is in accord with scriptural suggestion-they were a powerful race of slightly civilized and industrious people. The earth monuments only
remain, these enclosing relics of rude art, together with the last lingering remains of mortality the crumbling skeletons which the curious investigators have disturbed in their resting
places. But even these have yielded to scientific minds, strongly imaginative, some knowledge of the character and lives of the race. The twentieth century dawned almost as great ignorance
of the pre-historic race as did the nineteenth, yet in the ever restless spirit of modern investigation, efforts have been made to link the Mound Builders with some ancient and far distant
race of civilized mankind. Perhaps the best evidence to sustain this theory, and also to establish the great antiquity of these mysterious earth-works, has been obtained in the mammoth
mound at Moundsville, 1V. Va. Standing 70 feet high, 600 feet in circumference, with trees growing on it 700 years old, it is. the greatest monument of antiquity iii-the Ohio valley, and a tremendous memorial of the aboriginal life of a pre-historic people., This mound is said to be the largest in America, and was discovered by Joseph Tomlinson in I770, he being the first pioneer settler in that section of the country. Relative to the age of the mound, little is known. Tomlinson, the discoverer, stated that when lie discovered it and first mounted its summit, then ninety feet high, the timber on the mound was as large and dense as any of the surrounding forest. At that time some of the trees bore names and dates, one of the latter being 1734. A gigantic oak tree, felled some years afterward on the summit of the mound, was ascertained to be more than six centuries old. Even conjecture cannot point to the time when the mammoth mound was erected by a by-gone people. It may have been old when, Cheops was being built by half a million men, or when Cleopatra's Needle was being fashioned. Certain it is thought by some to be that the mound was erected by a prehistoric race who were very similar to the Egyptians, ruled by some one monarch who had sufficient control to combine vast numbers of them in a huge undertaking. In 1838 the mound was opened by its owner by excavating a passageway from the north side of the mound toward the center. At a distance of 100 feet from the entrance two skeletons were unearthed in a vault crudely constructed with unhewn timbers and loose stones common in that neighborhood. One of the skeletons was surrounded by 650 ivory heads and an ivory ornament about six inches in length. A shaft was sunk from the summit of the mound to meet the drift, and at a point thirty-four feet above the vault first discovered was another containing a skeleton which had been ornamented with copper rings, plates of mica and bone beads. History does not record whose silent tomb this was, and it remains for another Champollion to exercise his ingenuity in ascertaining the period of erection and the use of these monuments.
Probably the most interesting curio or antiquary taken from the mound in 1838 was a stone engraved in unknown characters resembling those used by the Scandinavian priests before the
introduction of the Roman alphabet. It has attracted more attention from scientists and antiquarians at home and abroad than any other relic of the vanished race found in America. The characters are conceded to be of European origin, and if this be true, it is evidence that other Europeans visited America before Christopher Columbus, or even Lief Erickson. Powell, the antiquarian, concerning the stone and its inscription, says: "'Four of the characters correspond to the ancient Greek, four to the Etruscan, five to the Norse, six to the Gaelic, seven to the old Erse, and ten to the Phoenician." The characters used are those of the ancient rock alphabet, consisting of right and acute-angled strokes, used by the Pelasgi and other early Mediterranean people, and which is the parent of the modern Runic as well as of the Bardic.
As early as 1772 Rev. David Jones publicly noticed the existence of the mounds in America, and advanced his views concerning them. In 1784, Arthur Lee wrote a treatise on the lost race, and
advanced some rather visionary ideas regarding it. But the first general survey of the works was made by Caleb Atwater, of Circleville, Ohio, in 1818, under the auspices, and at the expense, of the Archeological Society of Worcester, Mass. About 1836, Dr. Edwin Hamilton Davis, of Chillicothe, Ohio, was employed with Col. Charles Whittlesey in explorations and surveys of the Newark, Ohio, antiquities. In this work Dr. Davis became greatly interested and continued his investigations and collections ever afterward. Ephraim George Squier, of New York, also became greatly interested in archaeological matters, and in 1846 lie and Dr. Davis joined in the preparation of a work which formerly stood at the head of the archaeological literature of North America. Recognizing the merit of this work, the Smithsonian Institution at Washington, D. C., assumed a protectorate over it, and in 1848 published the work of Squier and Davis, together with some plans and notes furnished by others, under title of "Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley." This publication constituted the first systematic work with descriptions and figures of the numerous remains of the Mound Builders. From that day to the present, the Smithsonian Institution has continued to publish books and original papers relating to this subject. Stimulated by this national recognition, and in view of the absorbing interest of the subject, many original investigators have published manuscripts and books at private expense, some of which are very elaborate and complete.
It is a noticeable feature of all the early publications in this department of archeology that they attach great antiquity to the Mound 13uilders. The variations in this regard are also
very great. Some assume that thousands of years have elapsed since the building of these ancient relics, and all agree that they are very old. Eminent authorities are as widely at variance
regarding their antiquity as they are concerning their origin and purpose. In closing this chapter, we present the views of a number of recognized authorities, as tending to show that the
Mound Builders were, or may have been, the immediate predecessors of the Indians found here on the advent of the white man.
The Marquis de Nadaillac, in his admirable work on "Prehistoric America," published in 1895, and edited and verified by IV. H. Dall, sums up a voluminous discussion as follows:
"What, it may be asked, are we to believe was the character of the race to which, for the purpose of clearness, we have for the time being applied the term `Mound Builders'? The answer must
be, they were no more nor less than the immediate predecessors, in blood and culture, of the Indians described by De Soto's chroniclers and other early explorers; the Indians who inhabited
the region of the mounds at the time of their discovery by civilized men. As, in the far north, the Aleuts, up to the time of their discovery, were, by the testimony of the shell heaps, as
well as their language, the direct successors of the early Eskimos in the fertile basin of the Mississippi, the Indians were the builders, or the successors of the builders, of the
singular and varied structures attributed to the Mound Builders. It is true that a very different opinion has been widely entertained, chiefly by those who were not aware of the historical
evidence. Even Mr. Squier, who, in his famous work on the ancient monuments of the Mississippi valley, makes no distinction in these remains, but speaks of the Mound Builders as an
extinct race, and contrasts their progress in the arts with the supposed low condition of the modern Indians, in a subsequent publication felt compelled to modify his views and distinguish
between the earth-works of western New York, which lie admits to be of purely Indian origin, and those found in southern Ohio. Further researches have found that no line can be drawn
between the two; the differences are merely of degree. For the most part the objects found in them, from the rude knife to the carved and polished `gorget,'
might have been taken from the inmost recesses of a mound, or picked from the
surface among the debris of a recent Indian village, and the most experienced
archaeologist could not decide which was their origin. Lucian Carr has recently
reviewed the whole subject in 'a manner which can not but carry conviction to
the impatient archeologist, but the conclusions he arrives at have the weight of
other, and, as all will admit, most distinguished authority. It is not asserted
that the mounds were built by any particular tribe, or at any particular period,
nor that each and every tribe of the Mississippi valley erected such structures,
nor that there were not differences of culture and proficiency in the arts
between different tribes of mound builders as between the tribes of modern
Indians now known. , All that can be claimed is, that there is nothing in the
mounds beyond the power of such people as inhabited the region when discovered;
that those people are known to have constructed many of the mounds now, or
recently existing, and there is no evidence that any other, or different people,
had any hand in the construction of those mounds in regard to which direct
historical evidence is wanting. Summing up the results that have been attained,
it may he safely said that, so far from being any prior reason why the red
Indians could not have erected these works, the evidence shows, conclusively,
that in New York and the Gulf States they did build mounds and embankments that
are essentially of the same character as those found in Ohio." - Lucian Carr
says: "In view of the fact that these same Indians are the only people, except
the whites, who, so far as we know have ever held the region over which these
works are scattered, it is believed that we are fully justified in claiming that
the mounds and enclosures of Ohio, like those in New York and the Gulf States,
were the work of the red Indians of historic times or of their immediate
ancestors. To deny this conclusion and to accept its alternative, ascribing
these remains to a mythical people of a different civilization, is to reject a
simple and satisfactory explanation of a fact in favor of one that is
far-fetched and incomplete, and this is neither science nor logic. To quote a few brief extracts from sayings of other eminent students and scholars, and leave the determination of the question to the patient reader "The earth-works differ less in kind
than in degree from other remains respecting which history has not been entirely silent." Haven.
"There is nothing, indeed, in the magnitude and structure of our western mounds which a semi-hunter and semi-agricultural population, like that which may be ascribed to the ancestors or
Indian predecessors of the existing race, could not have executed." Schoolcraft.
"All these earth-works-and I am inclined to assert the same of the whole of those in the Atlantic states and the majority in the Mississippi valley-were the production, not of some mythical
tribe of high civilization in remote antiquity, but of the identical nations found by the whites residing in these regions."-Brinton.
"No doubt that they were erected by the forefathers of the present Indians."-Gen. Lewis Cass.
"Nothing in them which may not have been performed by a savage people."-Gallatin.
"The old idea that the mound builders were peoples distinct from and other than the Indians of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth centuries, and their progenitors, appears unfounded in fact and
fanciful."-C. C. Jones.
"Mound Builders were tribes of American Indians of the same race with the tribes now living."-Judge M. F. Force.
`The progress of discovery seems constantly to diminish the distinction between the ancient and modern races; and it may not be very wide of the track to assert that they were the same
The preceding pages give the views of well known scientists and explorers, both early and recent. It is not the purpose of this work to decide controverted questions, but to give both
sides and allow the reader to form his own opinions, based upon authorities cited.
In concluding this chapter we will state, however, that, although Lenawee County may not be a rich field for archaeological research, yet the evidence in existence that this section
was once the abode of these unknown earth workers is sufficient to create a local interest in any information concerning them. Judging from the mass of published information on the
subject, the Mound Builders were a race or races of people, somewhat nomadic, in their habits, yet more centralized in habitation than the Indians of historic times. They were semi-agricultural
in pursuits, given to hunting and fishing, and schooled in the primitive arts of warfare. They had some knowledge of trade, or a system of rude barter, which brought them into possession
of articles from far distant localities, since in Ohio copper implements have been found that must have come from Lake Superior, and mica that probably had its origin in the old mines of
North Carolina. But, after all, our opinions can be but deductions drawn from the mementoes they have left us, and which have withstood the forces of nature that causes less enduring
materials to crumble and decay. However carefully we may study and examine these rude and imperfect records, much will doubtless always remain shrouded in dense obscurity.