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Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe.. History of the Indian Tribes of the United States: Their Present Condition and Prospects, and a Sketch of Their Ancient Status. Volume 6. . Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo and Co, 1857. [format: book; image], [genre: government document; report]. Permission: Northern Illinois University
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=schoolcraft6.html


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Chapter I. — Original Continental Point of Observation.

THE first Indian tribe recognised in America was the Caribs. They revealed themselves to the wondering eyes of Europeans with that peculiar set of physiognomical features and traits, physical and mental, which have been found to be generic throughout the continent. The Caribs were a mild and indolent people, who, living in a delightful tropical climate, were nearly in a state of nudity. They subsisted on spontaneous fruits, and the productions of the sea coasts. They were without anything which deserve the name of industry, arts, or government. The island of Hayti, the central point of their location, was but one of the Caribbean group, which stretches, in the form of a bow, from the capes of Florida, over seven degrees of latitude, to near the mouth of the Orinoco; and their residing in the beautiful district of Xaraqua, the elysium of the Antilles, and the memory of their thoughtless lives of pastoral ease, singing and dancing, and the fate and fortunes of their beautiful Queen Annacoand, [15] wreathed in flowers, are the only mementoes we have that the Carib nation existed. [16]

If history has awarded the just meed to Columbus of having first, in 1492, displayed the flag of civilization to the Caribbean group of tribes, it has been equally ready to ascribe to Cabot, in 1497, the merit of unfolding the British type of it to the Vesperic groups of hunter tribes between the St. Lawrence and the capes of Florida. No attempt at colonization was made by the latter. Nearly an entire century passed away

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before the English began to colonise. Meantime Spain had early discovered Florida, a name once covering the whole continent from the tropics to the Arctic; and it is to her that history must ascribe the first discovery of a more vigorous and formidable class of tribes, who existed north of the Gulf of Mexico, namely, the Appalachians, Chicoreans, and Cherokees. Against these tribes, supposing the country to conceal those treasures of gold and silver which Mexico had so abundantly yielded, she commenced that series of extraordinary expeditions, which almost equal the Crusades for the spirit and enthusiasm which they generated. A few details will suffice to show this.

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Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe.. History of the Indian Tribes of the United States: Their Present Condition and Prospects, and a Sketch of Their Ancient Status. Volume 6. . Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo and Co, 1857. [format: book; image], [genre: government document; report]. Permission: Northern Illinois University
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=schoolcraft6.html
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