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Footprints of Vanished Races



J. Conant, 1879

Notwithstanding all this labor and study, the great questions continually repeated, which were suggested when our antiquities were first noticed, still remain unanswered; namely: Who were the authors of these works? What was their origin, and what were the causes of their disappearance? Were they the red men found in possession of the continent at the time of its discovery? I am not aware that the opinion that the red men were the authors of the most extensive works, though maintained by some scholars of high repute, is held by any who have given them personal and thorough examination. The earlier travelers who stumbled upon them in the wilderness, or on the prairie, express their astonishment at their magnitude and the skill displayed in their erection. Captain Carver, in the account of his travels in the years 1766-‘7-‘8, describes what he was convinced was a military work, which he accidentally discovered upon the bank of Lake Pepin. This was long before it was known that America had any antiquities. Concerning it he says that “its form was somewhat circular, and its flanks reached the river. Though much defaced by time, every angle was distinguishable, and appeared as regular and fashioned with as much military skill as if planned by Vauban himself.” Again: “I was able to draw certain conclusions of its great antiquity.” “How a work of this kind could exist in a country that has hitherto been the seat of war to untutored Indians alone, whose whole stock of military knowledge has only, till within two centuries, amounted to drawing the bow, and whose only breastwork, even at present, is the thicket, I know not.”
Softcover, illustrated, 122 pgs.