The history of Columbia County, Wisconsin, containing an account of its settlement, growth, development and resources; an extensive and minute sketch of its cities, towns and villages--their improvements, industries, manufactories, churches, schools and societies; its war record, biographical sketches, portraits of prominent men and early settlers; the whole preceded by a history of Wisconsin, statistics of the state, and an abstract of its laws and constitution and of the constitution of the United States
Butterfield, C. W.
History of Wisconsin: 1.-Wisconsin antiquities, pp. -21 PDF (1.3 MB)
HISTORY OF WISCONSINIo BY C. W. BUTTERFIELD. I.-WISCONSIN ANTIQUITIES. The first explorers of the valleys of the Great Lakes and the Mississippi and its tributaries, seem not to have noticed, to any considerable extent, the existence within these vast areas of monuments of an extinct race. Gradually, however, as the tide of emigration broke through the barriers of the Alleghanies and spread in a widely extended flow over what are now the States of the Northwest, these prehistoric vestiges attracted more and more theattention of the curious and the learned, until, at the present time, almost every person is presumed to have some general, knowledge, not only of their existence, but of some of their striking peculiarities. Unfortunately, these signs of a long since departed people are fast disappearing by the never ceasing operations of the elements, and the constant encroachments of civilization. The earliest notices of the animal and vegetable kingdom of this region are to be found in its rocks; but Wisconsin's earli- est records of men can only be traced in here and there a crumbling earth-work, in the fragment of a skeleton, or in a few stone and copper implements-dim and shadowy relics of their handicraft. The ancient dwellers in these valleys, whose history is lost in the lapse of ages, are desig-, nated, usually, as the Mound-Builders; not that building mounds was probably their distinctive employment, but that such artificial elevations of the earth are, to a great extent, the only evi- dences remaining of their actual occupation of the country. As to the origin of these people, all knowledge must, possibly, continue to rest upon conjecture alone. Nor were the habitations of this race confined to the territory of which Wisconsin now forms a part. At one time, they must have been located in many ulterior regions. The earth-works, tumuli, or "mounds," as they are generally designated, are usually symmetrically raised and often inclosed in mathematical figures, such as the square, the octagon, and the circle, with long lines of circumvallation. Besides these earth-works, there are pits dug in the solid rock; rubbish heaps formed in the prosecution of mining operations; and a variety of implements and utensils, wrought in copper or stone, or moulded in clay. Whence came the inhabitants who left these evidences to succeed- ing generations ? In other words, who were the Mound-Buidlders ? Did they migrate from the Old World, or is their origin to be sought for elsewhere ? And as to their manners and customs and civilization-what of these things? Was the race finally swept from the-New World to give place to Red men, or was it the one from which the latter descended ? These momentous ques- tions are left for the ethnologist, the archaeologist, and the antiquarian of the future to answer- if they can.
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