Arkansas County 8-10 foot skeletons
FOOD FOR THE CREDULOUS.
Remains of a Race of Giants Found in Arkansas-Human Skeletons Unearthed Eight and Ten Feet in Height-Strange and Unknown Pottery-Relics of a Former Age.
[From the Memphis Appeal.]
The statements which we make below, and the facts detailed are so strange and almost incredible and so like the many rumors and canards that have from time to time appeared in the press of Europe and America, that we premise them with the declaration that they are strictly true, and that we have not exaggerated what we have seen one iota. With this much as a preface we will proceed to our story:
Two miles west of Bald Point, in Arkansas county, Arkansas, on the east bank of the lovely stream called Layou, a tributary of the St. Francis river, stands an Indian mound, some twenty-five feet high and about an acre in area at the top. This mound is called Chickasawba, and from it the high and beautiful country surrounding it, some twelve square miles in area, derives its name-Onickasawbia. The mound derives its name from Chickasawba, a chief of the Shawnee tribe, who lived, died, and was buried there. This chief was one of the last of the race of hunters who lived in that beautiful region, and who once peopled it quite thickly—for Indians we mean. From 1820 to 1831 he and his hunters assembled annually at Earfield Point, then, as now, the principal shipping place of the surrounding country, and bartered off their furs, peltries, buffalo robes, and honey to the white settlers and the trading boats on the river, receiving in return powder, shot, lead, blankets, money, etc. Aunt Kitty Williams, who now resides there, relates that Chickasawba would frequently bring in for sale at one time as much as twenty gallons of pure honey in deerskin bags slung to his back. He was always a true friend of the whites, a man of gigantic stature and herculean strength. In his nineteenth year, he took a young wife, and by her had two children. In 1831, she died, and the old chief did not long survive her, dying in the same year, aged ninety-three or four years. Mr. W. Fitzgerald, who moved to that country in 1822, says that up to the time of his death, Chickasawba supplied him with game. He was buried at the foot of the mound on which he had lived, by his tribe, most of whom departed for the Nation immediately after performing his funeral rites. A few, however, lingered there up to a late date, the last of them, we believe, being John Last, who, in 1860, at the breaking out of the war, joined Captain Charley Bowen’s company of the late “so-called,” and fought the war through, as gallant a rebel as any of them, coming back home in 1865 to return to the arts of peace. Chickasawba was perfectly honest and the best-informed chief of his tribe. His contemporary chiefs were Long Knife, Sunshine, Corn Meal, Moonshine (Mike Brennan), and Mike Brennan’s son, named Jim Pemiscot.
A number of years ago, in making an excavation into or near the foot of Chickasawba’s mound, a portion of a
GIGANTIC HUMAN SKELETON FOUND
The men who were digging, becoming interested, unearthed the entire skeleton, and from measurements given us by reliable parties, the frame of the man to whom it belonged could not have been less than eight or nine feet in height.
Under the skull, which easily slipped over the head of our informant (who, we will here state is one of our best citizens), was found a peculiarly shaped earthen jar, resembling nothing in the way of Indian pottery which had before been seen by them. It was exactly the shape of the round-bodied, long-necked carafes, a specimen of which may be seen on Gaston’s dining table. The material of which this vase was made was a peculiar kind of clay, and the workmanship was very fine. The belly or body of it was ornamented with figures or hieroglyphics, consisting of a correct delineation of human hands, parallel to each other, open, palms outward, and running up and down the vase, the wrists to the base, and the fingers towards the neck. On either side of these hands were thigh bones, also correctly delineated, running around the vase. There were other things found with the skeleton, but this is all that our informant remembers.
Since that time, wherever an excavation has been made in the Chickasawbia country in the neighborhood of the mound, similar skeletons have been found, and under the skull of every one were found similar funeral vases, almost exactly like the one described. There are now in this city several of the vases and portions of the huge skeletons. One of the editors of the Appeal yesterday measured a laugh bone, which is fully three feet long. The thigh and shin bones, together with the bones of the foot, stood up in a proper position in a physician’s office in this city, measuring five feet in height, and show the body to which the leg belonged to have been from nine to ten feet in height. At Beaufort’s Landing, near Barfield, in digging a deep ditch, a skeleton was dug up, the leg of which measured between five and six feet in length, and other bones in proportion. In a very few days, we hope to be able to lay before our readers accurate measurements and descriptions of the portions of skeletons now in the city and of the articles found in the graves.
It is not a matter of doubt that these are human remains, but of a long-extinct race—a race which flourished, lived, and died many centuries ago, in those days told of in Scripture (“And there were giants in those days”). It was Sir Hans Sloane, we believe, who first put forth the theory that the gigantic bones found in various parts of the Old World were not human remains. This, so ill according with the popular ideas and superstitions about giants, was considered the rankest sort of heresy at the time. But Cuvier, the great anatomist, proved them, in almost every instance, to be portions of the fossils of mammoths, mastodons, and so on. Within the past century, there have been numerous well-attested instances of giants over eight feet in height. At the present time, we recall but one living giant over eight feet in height—Chang, the Chinese giant. There is a giantess who was exhibited through the South in 1834-5—a Miss Henrion, if we remember rightly—who was seven feet nine inches, etc.
With these individual instances before us and knowing the enormous size of almost the entire population of portions of Kentucky, we do not need to be disciples of Perron, the French academician (who believed Adam was one hundred and twenty-five feet high, Noah twenty-seven feet, Moses twenty feet, and so on down to the era of Christ, when the decrease stopped), to be convinced that the race of aboriginal men who built the large mounds in various parts of the country were of gigantic frame and enormous stature.
SEPTEMBER 6, 1870.
Research was done by Rephaim23
Memphis daily appeal. (Memphis, Tenn.), 28 Aug. 1870, Chronicling America