Home Page Table of Contents Black & White Version Next Chapter
The Tribes and the States
W. J. Sidis
RED RACE PRE-HISTORY
1. Source of the Red Race. No explanation has as yet been generally agreed on as to whence came the original American race, although, ever since there has been regular communication between the two sides of the ocean, numerous explanations have been suggested. Most of the explanations have been by way of reconciling the existence of an American race with the whites' rather conceited assumption that the human species must have come from their own side of the ocean. Examples of such theories are William Penn's hypothesis (adopted by the Mormons) that the reds are the descendants of the lost tribes of Israel, or the theory championed by many modern anthropologists, to the effect that the ancestors of the red race came to America from Asia, by way of the Bering Strait or the Aleutian Islands. Some anthropologists have placed this migration as late as the fourteenth century!
Why should it be any more necessary to explain the presence of a red race in America than that of a white race in Europe, or of a black one in Africa? True, all races are probably of a common origin; but that origin may have been in the western hemisphere just as easily as the eastern, or it may even have been in some place that has since been submerged under the ocean, which could explain some people going to America and some to Europe.
Probably the Eskimos came across the Bering Strait, since they are of a different race than the red tribes of America, but much more closely allied to the Mongolian peoples of the opposite side of the Arctic Ocean. Also, there are some peculiarities of the Pacific coast dwellers of America, which might be explained by some sort of Mongolian immigration into America which mixed with red tribes already here. But the red race itself, which has no resemblance to anything on the Asiatic side, could hardly be explained by a Mongolian migration; for only a few superficial resemblances can be found between the red and yellow races.
So, since it would take more than present location of races to serve as a basis, all we can say concerning the origin of the of the red race is that they are hardly to be derived from straying members of other races from other parts of the earth. An origin as a race in some specific place is more probable―most likely, in some region now under the Atlantic Ocean.
2. The Cro-Magnons. In connection with the pre-history of the red peoples, an important fact is that there were red men at one time in Europe as well as in America. The most persistent of Europe's cave-dwelling races were the Cro-Magnons, who were physically very much like the red race, and are even shown by some cave paintings in Western Europe as colored red and wearing the same sort of top-feathers as were common among the eastern Algonquins of North America. The Cro-Magnons were mainly located near the Atlantic regions of Europe, though found over most of Europe and northern Africa. The densest Cro-Magnon population appears to have been around the head of the Bay of Biscay, where there is still spoken a language called Basque, which is totally unrelated to any language on earth, but whose general structure resembles only the red-race languages of America. That this type of language must have once been general through most of Europe is indicated by European place-names; so that, apparently, the language spoken in Europe before the advent of the Aryans must have been one of red-race structure.
Of all the pre-historic peoples who came into Europe, the only ones who showed any signs of progress were the Cro-Magnons. Other races came and went, and each race acquired the arts and civilization of the Cro-Magnons at that particular time, and has remained at that particular stage ever since; only the Cro-Magnons kept progressing, building up slowly a civilization which their white successors took over and adopted as their own, but which ultimately became stagnant until progress was renewed by contact with the red men in America.
When the Cro-Magnons came to Europe, the earth's climate was warmer than now, and there were between America and Europe two land connections, one by way of Greenland and Iceland, and the other near the tropics, connecting North Africa with the West Indies and South America. The northern land connection appears to have been occupied by the Cro-Magnons at a very early period, and may, indeed, have been the original home of the red race, though, of course, nothing definite can be said as to this. The subsequent sinking of these land junctions, and the coming of the Ice Age, separated the red peoples of Europe and America for many thousands of years, so that each developed separately, but with noticeably common characteristics. It is, however, doubtful whether communication across the Atlantic between these two divisions of the red race was ever completely broken off at any time.
When the Cro-Magnons reached the side of the inland sea that is now the North Atlantic, they found the place inhabited by certain sub-human beings known as the Neanderthal man. These are probably the same as the dwarfs and gnomes of European legends, as their general appearance―hunched back and all―was of that description. The caves in which these "Neanderthals" lived were taken over and adapted to human habitation, while the dwarfs themselves were at first driven into subterranean abodes, and later became extinct. (It is to be noted that the dwarfs and gnomes of the legends of Western Europe usually live far underground, and later on became associated with mines.) It is extremely doubtful whether any mixture of such different species (not merely different races of the human species) was possible.
This was about a hundred thousand years ago. Later on, other races of human beings entered the same region, associating with the Cro-Magnons, both as friends and as enemies, and probably with some intermixture of races. Each invading race acquired such knowledge as the Cro-Magnons had at the time. First came the blacks, who, when the climate cooled before the Ice Age, retreated southward into Africa. Then, at the height of the Ice Age, came the Eskimo population which had already spread around the Arctic, and who had been driven south by the advancing ice; they again retreated north when the ice sheet began to break up, as they apparently lived best on the edge of the ice. After the ice sheet had gone, and the Cro-Magnons had begun to develop a small civilization around the flint mines of France and England, there came out of the east the most destructive invasion of all.
An immense inland sea was formed during the Ice Age between Europe and Asia, leaving on its eastern side a large region enclosed by sea, mountains, and ice, and isolated from the rest of the earth for many thousands of years. Here were isolated a few human beings and a number of animals. An albino type became the standard human race in this region; this type is found as an occasional freak in all races, but, under this peculiar isolation, it became a white race. And, this freak race being isolated together with certain varieties of animals resulted in their taming the animals, and incidentally infected the people with those animals' diseases and parasites. In the course of generations, the white race gradually acquired a certain amount of immunity to those diseases, which, however, they always carried with them and which proved to be their greatest weapon in their fight against other races. When the great ice sheet retreated on the north and on the mountains, and the inland sea was drained, this original white men's country became desert, forcing both human beings and animals elsewhere, first south over the mountain passes (into India and Persia), then in a succession of waves westward into Europe, bringing a heavy crop of highly destructive diseases.
It is quite possible that the first few waves of white invasion of Europe were absorbed by intermarriage, and the white men adopted the red civilization; but, since the red race had not the same immunity as the whites to the numerous germs the latter brought in with them, the newer waves of invasion gradually wiped the red men off the eastern hemisphere, though slowly enough to enable the whites to take over the civilization.
In the west of Europe, which was the last stand of the red people of the eastern hemisphere, traces of Cro-Magnon characteristics are still to be found among some of the inhabitants, even those of the purest white complexion. Also, the folk tales referring to "giants" are probably remnants of traditions of fight with a taller and heavier-built race; the name "giant" itself having no special meaning from the point of view of Aryan origin, while if, as seems probable, Basque is a remnant of pre-Aryan speech in Europe, that word might be derived from the Basque "gizon," meaning "man." But the whites still retain in Europe many place-names, and even a few survivals of the language structure and words, as traces of the red men conquered many thousands of years ago.
3. Atlantis. During the Ice Age, it appears that the northern land-connection across the Atlantic had sunk, but the southern connection remained, not as a continuous body of land, but as a mid-Atlantic continent connected by a chain of islands with Africa on the east, and with America on the west. Traditions of this island continent of "Atlantis" have been preserved on both sides of the Atlantic. A red-race civilization certainly developed around the north central Atlantic region on both sides of the ocean, and the geographical center of this was in what is now the Sargasso sea, in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, but where tradition on both sides of the ocean places the lost continent of Atlantis.
According to both Mexican and Mediterranean traditions, a great civilization existed on this continent, which was apparently the original center of red-race civilization. The legend states that the continent was occupied by ten nations unified under a common ruler and controlling an extensive empire extending far into the continents on both sides of the ocean. This great empire worked both the flint mines of France and the copper mines of Michigan. These ten nations under a single ruler were probably merely provinces of a single empire under centralized, possibly absolute, rule; but doubtless the tradition of such union had an indirect effect on the rise of the idea of federation, a plan of government developed entirely by the Red Man, and still flourishing mainly on American soil.
The pressure in that region being much greater from the east than in the west, on account of the numerous peoples of the eastern hemisphere, it is probable that Atlantis was colonized by red men from western Europe and Africa―that the colonization proceeded westward through Atlantis to the Antillies Islands (the so-called West Indies) and through there back to America, the red man's own home. During the Ice Age, Atlantis furnished almost the only favorable climate for a civilization, and there the red race founded the first great civilization on earth.
Later on, this continent became submerged, thus destroying this important red-race center, and leaving its outposts in Europe and America to follow their isolated courses of development. Tradition has it that Atlantis was sunk by an earthquake, or a series of earthquakes, at about 9600 B.C.
Atlantis' colonization westward had resulted in the Atlantean empire extending into Mexico, and into the North American prairies as far north as the Great Lakes, and to the mountains, both east and west. In the meantime, when the northern land-connection between Europe and America (possibly the original home of the red race) was submerged, the peoples who lived there were forced to the American side, and had to push further down the Atlantic coast, and into the same prairie region when the great ice sheet began to advance southward. These included the Iroquois nations, as well as the Algonquin stock, of which the Penacook nations are a prominent example.
This produced a constant pressure opposing the waves of Atlantean colonization coming up from the southward, so that the peoples coming from the northeastward were driven back into the north, and to the Atlantic coast region, the Appalachian mountain range forming a barrier against the invasion of the coastal region. But, with the submergence of Atlantis itself, the main strength was gone from the spread of prairie colonization, and the "Mound Builder" civilization which occupied most of North America several thousand years ago was now beset on all sides by the Atlantic peoples. The retreat was very slow, but eventually the Algonquins spread all over North America, while the Iroquois, the Waskoki, and others established themselves in various parts of the continent. Probably the Natchez, defeated and driven into the Mississippi River in 1732, represented the last remnants of the Mound Builders, the former lords of the American prairies.
Home Contents Next