Friday, February 10, 2017

Chief Cornstalk on the Ohio Mounds: "Ohio and Kentucky had once been settled by a white race"

Shawnee Chief Cornstalk Claims the Ohio Mounds Built by a White Race

Ohio Archaeological and Historical Quarterly, January 1912

1776 interview of Chief Cornstalk that wasn't published until 1816.
     "During this visit Captain William McKee, one of the officers assembled there for Hand's intended campaign, had frequent conversations with Cornstalk with reference to the antiquities of the West, in which the old chief evinced much intelligence and reflection. In reply to an inquiry respecting the mound and fort-builders, he stated that it was the current and assured tradition among his people, that Ohio and Kentucky had once been settled by a white race, possessed of arts of which the Indians had no knowledge that after many sanguinary contests with the natives, these invaders were at length exterminated. McKee inquired why the Indians had not learned these arts of those ancient white people? Cornstalk replied indefinitely, relating that the Great Spirit had once given the Indians a book which taught them all these arts; but they had lost it, and had never since regained a knowledge of them. What people were they, McKee asked, who made so many graves on the Ohio, and at other places? He declared that he did not know, and remarked that it was not his nation, or any he had been acquainted with. The Captain next practically repeated a former inquiry, by asking Cornstalk if he could tell who made those old forts, which displayed so much skill in fortifying? He answered, that he only knew that a story had been handed down from a very long ago people, that there had been a white race inhabiting the country who made the graves and forts; and, added, that some Indians, who had traveled very far west, or north-west, had found a nation or people, who lived as Indians generally do, although of a different complexion."