Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Aborigenes of Minnesota, 1911
Probable pre-Dakota Indians in Minnesota. It has been stated already that the later mound-building dynasty in all probability did not last as much as 500 years, and that this was set off, according to consistent interpretation of tradition, from the former and much longer dynasty by the expulsion of the Allegewi from their dwelling place, some of them, subsequently known as Cherokees, passing eastward and southward, and others, who probably constituted the larger portion, the Omaha, the Dakota and their kindred, moving down the Ohio, dividing at the mouth of that stream into two great parties. One of these parties finally, in whole or in part, arrived in Minnesota. The questions inevitably arise: Did they find Indians in Minnesota when they arrived? and who were they? The probability is that they did. If six to eight thousand years had elapsed since the retirement of the ice of the Glacial (Wisconsin) epoch, and if at the time of the Lenap-Allegewi war there was an Indian mound-building nation, or nations, whose habitat extended from southwestern Wisconsin and southeastern Minnesota to the Ohio river, and beyond; and further, if, according to the tradition from Heckewelder, already mentioned, there existed another people capable of waging a successful war against them, it is highly improbable that the rest of the area of Minnesota would have remained wholly un occupied during and preceding this war. It is more reasonable to assume that the country had already been at least thinly occupied by tribes that compared favorably in numbers and in valor with the mound builders themselves. It is impossible to believe that the earlier mound-builders of the upper Mississippi valley would have refrained from spreading over Minnesota had they been numerous enough and had the country been unoccupied. It is only left to assume, therefore, that some barrier in the form of unfriendly if not hostile people possessed the country to the west and northwest from the region occupied by the Indians of the first mound-building dynasty. This people must have been non-moundbuilders, since no other mounds than those of the later mound-building dynasty (those of the Dakota) have been discovered, i.e., none except those that may be referred possibly to the first dynasty.