The works of the mound-builders are most abundant in the Mississippi Valley, They are found it is true, in other parts of the continent, but no where wlse do they occur in such profusion or in such magnatude. From the Red River to Florida, from the Alleghenies to the Rock Mountains, the whole ground is strewn with their remains. In Ohio alone there are 10,000 mounds for burial or for foundations of dwellings, and more than 1,500 inclosures surrounded with earthen works. Some of the mounds are acres in extant-Munk’s mound the great tumulus of Cahokia, near St. Louis, rises by four platforms to a height of 100 feet, and covers sixteen acres of ground. Some tribes, evidently hunters by occupation, using tools and weapons made of unsmelted copper and meteoric iron, have left in addition to the ordinary conical mounds, huge earthen effigies, not only of beasts of the chase-elk and moose, wolf amd panther, goose, and wild duck- but of hawks and swallows, snakes and tadpoles. One such figure of a serpent is nearly 500 yards long.
Other tribes, apparaently more warlike, have left earthen walls, some of which are still thirty feet high and inclose as much as 400 acres of ground. The actual mounds which are so numerous served in many cases for burial, and some were so used by successive races. In some instances it is clear that interments continued even into historic times. Of two mounds in the same group one contained the skeleton of a medicine man, with a modern looking glass perhaps not fifty years old, in his hand. Another mound in the group contained the skeleton of a child, with a string of beads on its wrist and a pot of sweetmeats at his head, while trees with at least three centuries’ growth were growing in the ground above. That these structures hae been used by successive races is well illustrated by a mound in Illinois, in which, lying underneath recent Indian interments, was the skeleton of some long forgotton Jesuit pioneer, with a rosary of Venetian beads about its waist and a silver crucifix still in its bony hand.
There must have been several entirely different races of mound builders, judging from the wide differences in the style and materials of their works. In the upper part of he Mississippi Valley the mounds are mainly burial places. In Wisconsin many are in the shape of animals, in other districts the mounds contain chambers roofed with logs. The Gulf States are remarkable for their Earthen Pyramids. At one point on the lower Mississippi is a group of eight, one of which covers six acres of ground. Its sides correspond to the points of the compass, and it is surrounded by a ditch ten feet deep.
The record-union., September 09, 1893, Page 6, Image 6
Research done by Chris L Lesley