Greater Ancestors

World Museum

Allegheny county – Immense Proportions

An Old Indian Burying Ground Discovered in Pittsburg.

Within the last few weeks quite a num
ber of human skeletons, some of them in a
tolerably faff state of preservation, have been
dug up from the old Indian buryiDg ground
in the 9th Ward. Our readers may not be
aware, perhaps, that in early history of
this neighborhood, and when the red man
had almost exclusive control west of the
mountains, that portion of the Ninth Ward
lying in the vicinity of the Lake Superior
Copper Works was a favorite burying ground
with tbe Indian tribes, Tbe tract so used
extends over an area of several acres, and
appears to be thickly underlaid with human
remains. In sinking tbe foundations of the
various oil works and manufacturing estab
lishments lately erected in this neighbor
hood a large number of human bones.
skulls, etc., were discovered, but the only
pertect skeletons yet found were those dis
interred while tbe foundations for Parker &
Brothers’ new steel works were being exca
vated. At a point here, near tbe river bank.
two skeletons were discovered, one of which
appeared to be that of an Indian Chief, and
.i . i .1. t, .
me oiuer mac oi a young girl, woo was
perhaps, the dead warrior’s daughter. The
man, judging, from his remains, must have
been of herculean proportions. His skull
wore that peculiar shape which distinguishes
tbe Indian cranium, and bore evidence of
having been fractured at some period or
other of his life, possibly by the tomahawk
of an enemy.
Tae greatest interest, however, centered
in the remains of the girl, who evidently
held a high position in her tribe. On each
of her arms were two silver bracelets, and
suspended from her neck was a silver cruci
fix. At the time of her interment her cloth
ing must have been literally covered with
tiny silver bells, as some three or four hun
dred, altogether, ef these, with a large num
ber of beads, strung upon what appeared to
be saddlers’ silk, were discovered in the
grave. She had, also, a very rich ring on
one of her fingers, and wore earrings of ex
traordinary size. Several buttons of Eu
ropean manufacture, strung together like
sleeve-buttons, were also found lying around.
and some fragments of cloth, which fell to
pieces when disturbed. Various other little
articles lay scattered through the grave, all
going to show that the deceased, when in life,
must have occupied a most exalted position.
She was a princess, possibly, or the daughter,
it may be, of some powerful chief.
Some thirty feet from where the remains
alluded to were found, the skeleton of a
warrior was discovered, standing erect, with
the face to the Alleghany. The size of the
bones indicated tnat tne man mu6t nave
been of immense proportions. Another
skeleton, in an excellent state of preserva
tion, was also discovered a ft w yards fur
ther back, but, in fact, wherever an excava
tion was made, bones were found. We are
not familiar enough with Indian history to
venture an opinion as to when the red men
first commenced burying their dead here; it
is ciear, however, that they must have re
sorted to it long, long before our occupation
of the country, otherwise the ground occu
pied would not have been so extensive or
the interments so numerous. Evening

  1. The dollar weekly bulletin. [volume], December 04, 1862, Image 1


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