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Table of the magnetical observations and calculations made during the survey of the " mineral lands."
Place of observation.
No. of station.
Time. \Latitude north. Longitude west) Magnetical dip.
86 36/ E.
The hours of observation were generally from 8 to 12 A. M. The latitudes are mere approximations, assuming the north line of Illinois to be 420 30 , and calculating from that line by the surveys into townships and sections. The longitudes have been calculated in the same way, assuming that of Prairie da Chien, Fort Crawford, to be 90° 52' west of Greenwich, as determined by Lieutenant Calhoun, in Major Long's expedition.
V.-EARTHWORK ANTIQUITIES IN WISKONSIN TERRITORY.
I present this subject, not as a discovery, but merely to add such evidence to the discoveries and publications of others as seem, from the doubts I have heard so repeatedly expressed, to be necessary to convince the majority of readers of their correctness. In the 34th volume of “Silliman's Journal," is a communication from Richard C. Taylor, Esq., on the subject of these identical works, in which he describes them as being in the form of animal effigies.” The figures given by Mr. Taylor are so unlike any ancient tumuli in other parts of the country, that I had, ever since noticing them, felt a strong desire to examine the originals. On entering Wiskonsin, I was so engaged in other pursuits that I had forgotten the “effigies," until, upon examining the “sandstone bluffs," eight miles east of the Blue Mounds, I literally stumbled over one of them, overgrown with the rank prairie grass. I was at once convinced of the correctness of Mr. Taylor's representations, and not a little astonished that some well-informed persons there, in the midst of these strange groups, should still pretend to dispute their artificial origin. The same ambition to exercise an independent judgment might lead the same individuals to dispute that the ruins of Herculaneum are artificial ; the same argument might be used that they just come so in the earth.” Without going into any discussion in regard to the origin, his. tory, or design of these figures, I shall merely represent their form and dimensions with as much accuracy as a very particular survey of a few of them enabled me to attain. I shall not even pretend to say that they are like animals; for this the reader can determine for himself. I have not attempted, in any degree, to represent them as they might once have been, but eractly as I found them on the day that I surveyed them.
The method pursued in making the surveys is represented in plate No. 1, Antiquities. Here, for convenience, I make use of the names of the parts of an animal. The figure delineated is the foremost one of two, between which the road passes, and which are on the verge of a smali prairie, about ten miles east of Madison, the capital of Wiskonsin. Small stakes were set in the following points, viz: the eye, the fore foot, the shoulder, the hip, the hind foot, and thé end of the tail. The angular positions of these and other points were determined by measuring, with a tape measure, the sides of the several triangles which those points form, in such a manner that the determined side of one triangle shall be the base of a new one. After the determination of all the triangles, their several diameters and distances were measured and noted; and, finally, to determine the bearing of the whole figure, the magnetical bearing of the line from the hip to the shoulder was registered on the field-book.
The following is a copy from the field-notes, in reference to the above figures. (See Antiquities, plate No. 1.)
Observations.-Ears distinctly separated. Two trees, sixteen inches in diameter, growing in the nose. Ground sloping gently towards the feet. Both the fore and hind legs curved a little backwards. The tail a
little hollowed on the upper side. Height, or relief of the figure above - the natural surface, about three feet; and the back somewhat steeper than the belly. Bearing of hip to shoulder N. 38° W.
It will be seen, by examining the above notes, that they determine twenty-five points in the circumference of the figure; and that the connecting of these points by lines, and thus completing the outline, permits no exercise of imagination. The figure from the earth is simply
transferred to the paper on a scale of the one hundred and twentieth part, 1. in linear dimensions. Seven other figures were surveyed with the same e degree of particularity, and the distances between them, and the relative
positions of the same group, accurately noted. They are represented in E the three following plates, on a smaller scale of forty feet to the inch.
That which is above described, and represented on plate No. 1, is again represented on the small scale “ Plate No. 4, Antiquities," as figure 8.
The “military road” from Prairie du Chien to the Four lakes, after crossing the Wiskonsin river, and ascending a small tributary, occnpics the height or dividing-ridge between the waters of the Wiskonsin on one side, and those of Rock river and some smaller streams on the other, for the distance of eighty or one hundred miles, occasionally descending into a moderate valley, and crossing a small rivulet, a head branch of some of the incipient streams. Most of the route is on a high open prairie. From the Blue Mounds eastward to the Four lakes, the country abounds with the earth
work antiquities, of the origin of which the present aborigines are as 1999 rant as ourselves. About seven or eight miles eastward from the Biz Mounds, the road descends into the valley of a head branch of Sugar rire a tributary of Rock river; and here, near a bluff of sandstone of a very pic turesque and fantastic outline, commence our particular descriptions.
Antiquities, plate No. 2.- This plate represents a group of works abou: eight miles east of the Blue Mounds. It is on the great road from Prairie du Chien, through Madison, to Lake Michigan; a road so decidedly marked by nature, that I presume it has been the thoroughfare-thetrail." the great “war-path”—ever since the region in the vicinity has been inhabited by migrating man, and will continue to be his pathway until the bills and the rivers exchange their places. The sand-bluff surmounted with pines is here a picturesque object; and the streamlet and springs not very distant, with a few scattering trees for fire, have long made it a camping-ground. Mr. Taylor has represented only one of the two "effigies” which occur at this point; the other was probably so overgrown with grass and small hazel-bushes as to escape his observation. Our encampment was near this place; and, in the midst of some discussion with regard to the tumui. they were opened to see whether they were stratified, and whether the black mould continued underneath them, even with the surrounding sortace. No. 2 was composed of sand, without any change to mark an original suriace below, although it is now overgrown with grass, and is covered with a thin black mould. The whole of this descent, near the bottom of which the figure lies, has evidently been formed by the disintegration of the soft incoherent sandstone bluff contiguous; and, at the time of forming this tumnlos, it was very probably destitute of loam at this point, as it now is at a point still nearer the bluff. A section of the embankment, near the gap, exhib.id a thin line of loam, even with what might be supposed to have been the original surface of the ground. Alluvial stratification is positive proof that a formation is not artificial, but the absence of a base of mould is not positive proof of the same thing; for the constructors may have remored the surface on commencing their work. Many of our tumuli have not only a base of mould marking an original surface, but ashes, coals, bones, and artificial implements deposited at the bases of tumuli, of various forms and heights, from two to seventy feet.
In examining the tumuli of Wiskonsin, I did not at any place discorer a ditch or cavity from which the earth to construct them had been taken. They abound along the natural road, occupying the fertile and commanding hill-tops, and the gentle slopes into the valleys; being uniformly raised from a smooth and well-formed surface, always above inundation, and well guarded from the little temporary currents produced by showers.
The backs of the effigies" were uniformly placed up-hill, and the feet downward, as at the sand-bluff. There are some points on the surface of soft ground, where we naturally expect chasms, rugæ, mammillary points, and undulations. These occur from the uprooting of trees, from avalanches, from the settling of banks, from the action of temporary streams and cur. rents of water. Mammillary points are often left along the sharp crest of a hill; and insular mounds are not unfrequently left in low alluvial bottoms; certain points of upland having withstood that action of the currents which has carried away and degraded the surrounding surface to a lower level But there are other situations where we expect to find, and do actually fird, the surface evenly graded into smooth undulations, as on the dividing tables