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eminent writer (a), America emerged from the sea later than any other part of the known world : and supposing the human race to have been planted in Americà 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 first parents of the Americans. The Terra Australis incognita is feparated from the rest of the world by a wide ocean, which carries a fhip round the earth without interruption * How has that continent been peopled? There is not the slightest probability, that it ever has been joined to any other land. Here a local creation, if it may be termed so, appears

fo unavoidable; and if we must admit more than one act of creation, even the appearance of difficulty, from reiteration of acts, totally vanisheth. M. Buffon in his natural history affirms, that not a single American quadruped of a hot climate is

* Late discoveries have annihilated the Terra Auftralis incognita. The argument however remains in force, being equally applicable to many islands fcattered at a great distance from the continent in the immense South Sea. (a) M. Buffon.


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of the earth: with respect to these we must unavoidably admit a local creation ; and nothing seems more natural, than under the same act to comprehend the first parents of the American people.

It is possible, indeed, that a ship 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 least before a ship was brought to such perfection as to bear a long course of bad weather. Will it be thought, that any supposition ought to be embraced, however improbable, rather than admit a separate 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 Australis must have been planted by the Almighty with a number of animals and vegetables, some of them peculiar to those vast continents : and when such care has been taken about inferior life, can fo wild a thought be admitted,


as that man, the noblest work of terreftrial creation, would be left to chance ? But it is scarce necessary to insist upon that topic, as the external characters of the Americans above mentioned reject the supposition of their being descended 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 invasion, than any other part of that great continent. This conjecture is supported by analogy: we believe that a spot, not centrical only but extremely fertile, was chosen for the parents of the old world; and there is not in America, a spot more centrical or more fertile for the parents of the new world, than Mexico or Peru.

Having thus ventured to state what occurred upon the origin of the Americans, without pretending to affirm any thing as certain, we proceed to their progress. The North-American tribes are remarkable with respect to one branch of their history, that, instead of advancing, like other nations, toward the maturity of society and



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government, they continue to this hour in their original state of hunting and fishing. A case so fingular rouses our curiosity; and we wish to be made acquainted with the cause.

It is not the want of animals capable to be domesticated, that'obliges them to remain hunters and fishers. The horse, it is true, the sheep, the goat; were imported from Europe ; but there are plenty of American quadrupeds no less docile than thofe mentioned. There is in particular a species of horned cattle peculiar to America, having long wool instead of hair, and an excrescence upon the shoulder like that of the East-India buffalo. These wild cattle multiply exceedingly in the fertile countries which the Mislilppi traverses ;, and Hennepin 'reports, that the Indians, after killing numbers, take no part away but the tongue, which is reckoned a delicious morsel. These creatures are not extremely, wild; and, if taken young, are easily tamed: a calf, when its dam is killed, will follow the hunter, and lick his land. The wool, the hide, the tallow, would be of


value in the British colonies. Vol. III. T


If the shepherd-state be isot obstructed in America by want of proper cattle, the only account that can or need be given, is paucity of inhabitants. Consider only the influence of custom, in rivetting men to their local fituation and manner of life: once hunters, they will always be hunters, till some cause more potent than custom force them out of that state. Want of food, occafioned by rapid population, brought on the shepherd-state in the old world. That caufe has not hitherto existed in North America : the inhabitants, few in number, remain hunters and fithers, 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 fettle

But even at that time, the country was ill peopled : take for example the country above described, stretching northwest from the Misfilippi: the Europeans never had any footing there, and yet to this day it is little better than a desert. I give other examples. The Indians who furgound the lake Nippisong, from whence the river St Laurence issues, are in whole but five or fix thousand; and yet their



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