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eminent writer (a), America emerged from the fea later than any other part of the known world: and fuppofing the human race to have been planted in America by the hand of God later than the days of Mofes, Adam and Eve might have been the first parents of mankind, i. e. of all who at that time existed, without being the firft parents of the Americans. The Terra Auftralis incognita is feparated from the rest of the world by a wide ocean, which carries a ship round the earth without interruption *. How has that continent been peopled? There is not the flightest probability, that it ever has been joined to any other land. Here a local creation, if it may be termed fo, appears unavoidable; and if we must admit more than one act of creation, even the appearance of difficulty, from reiteration of acts, totally vanifheth. M. Buffon in his natural history affirms, that not a single American quadruped of a hot climate is

* Late difcoveries have annihilated the Terra Auftralis incognita. The argument however remains in force, being equally applicable to many iflands fcattered at a great diftance from the continent in the immenfe South Sea.

(a) M. Buffon.


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found in any other part

of the earth: with

refpect to these we muft unavoidably admit a local creation; and nothing feems more natural, than under the fame act to comprehend the firft parents of the American people.

It is poffible, indeed, that a fhip with men and women may, by contrary winds, be carried to a very distant shore. But to account thus for the peopling of America, will not be much relished. Mexico and Peru must have been planted before navigation was known in the old world, at leaft before a fhip was brought to fuch perfection as to bear a long course of bad weather. Will it be thought, that any fuppofition ought to be embraced, however improbable, rather than admit a feparate creation. We are, it is true, much in the dark as to the conduct of creative providence ; but every rational conjecture leans to a feparate creation. America and the Terra Auftralis must have been planted by the Almighty with a number of animals and vegetables, fome of them peculiar to thofe vaft continents: and when fuch care has been taken about inferior life, can fo wild a thought be admitted,


as that man, the nobleft work of terreftrial creation, would be left to chance? But it is fcarce neceffary to infist upon that topic, as the external characters of the Americans above mentioned reject the fuppofition of their being defcended from any people of the old world.

It is highly probable, that the fertile and delicious plains of Peru and Mexico, were the first planted of all the American countries; being more populous at the time of the Spanish invafion, than any other part of that great continent. This conjecture is fupported by analogy: we believe that a spot, not centrical only but extremely fertile, was chofen for the parents of the old world; and there is not in America, a fpot more centrical or more fertile for the parents of the new world, than Mexico or Peru.

Having thus ventured to ftate what occurred upon the origin of the Americans, without pretending to affirm any thing as certain, we proceed to their progrefs. The North-American tribes are remarkable with refpect to one branch of their history, that, inftead of advancing, like other nations, toward the maturity of fociety and government,

government, they continue to this hour in their original state of hunting and fishing. A cafe fo fingular roufes our curiofity; and we wish to be made acquainted with the cause.

It is not the want of animals capable to be domefticated, that obliges them to remain hunters and fifhers. The horfe, it

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is true, the sheep, the goat, were imported from Europe; but there are plenty of American quadrupeds no lefs docile than thofe mentioned. There is in particular a fpecies of horned cattle peculiar to America, having long wool instead of hair, and an excrefcence upon the shoulder like that of the Eaft-India buffalo. These wild cattle multiply exceedingly in the fertile countries which the Miffifippi traverses; and Hennepin reports, that the Indians, after killing numbers, take no part away but the tongue, which is reckoned a delicious morfel. Thefe creatures are not extremely. wild; and, if taken young, are eafily tamed: a calf, when its dam is killed, will follow the hunter, and lick his hand. The wool, the hide, the tallow, would be of great value in the British colonies.




If the fhepherd-state be not obstructed in America by want of proper cattle, the only account that can or need be given, is paucity of inhabitants. Confider only the influence of custom, in rivetting men to their local fituation and manner of life: once hunters, they will always be hunters, till fome caufe more potent than custom force them out of that state. Want of food, occafioned by rapid population, brought on the fhepherd-state in the old world. That caufe has not hitherto exifted in North America: the inhabitants, few in number, remain hunters and fifhers, because that state affords them a competency of food. I am aware, that the natives have been decreasing in number from the time of the first European fettleBut even at that time, the country was ill peopled: take for example the country above defcribed, ftretching northweft from the Miffifippi: the Europeans never had any footing there, and yet to this day it is little better than a defert. I give other examples. The Indians who furgound the lake Nippifong, from whence the river St Laurence iffues, are in whole but five or fix thoufand; and yet their country


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