Permit me to close this chapter with a suggestion:
Is there not energy enough among the archæologists of the United States to make a thorough examination of some part of the deep clay deposits of Central Illinois or of those wonderful remains referred to by Mr. Curtis?
If one came and proved that at a given point he had found indications of a coal-bed or a gold-mine, he would have no difficulty in obtaining means enough to dig a shaft and excavate acres. Can not the greed for information do one tenth as much as the greed for profit?
Who can tell what extraordinary revelations wait below the vast mass of American glacial clay? For it must be remembered that the articles already found have been discovered in the narrow holes bored or dug for wells. How small is the area laid bare by such punctures in the earth compared with the whole area of the country in which they are sunk! How remarkable that anything should have been found under such circumstances! How probable, therefore, that the remains of man are numerous at a certain depth!
Where a coin is found we might reasonably expect to
[1. W. J. F. Maclennan, “Fortnightly Review,” 1869 and 1870.]
find other works of copper, and all those things which would accompany the civilization of a people working in the metals and using a currency,—such as cities, houses, temples, etc. Of course, such things might exist, and yet many shafts might be sunk without coming upon any of them. But is not the attempt worth making?
THE SCENE OF MAN’S SURVIVAL
LET us pass to another speculation:
The reader is not constrained to accept my conclusions. They will, I trust, provoke further discussion, which may tend to prove or disprove them.
But I think I can see that many of these legends point to an island, east of America and west of Europe, that is to say in the Atlantic Ocean, as the scene where man, or at least our own portion of the human race, including the white, yellow, and brown races, survived the great cataclysm and renewed the civilization of the pro-glacial age and that from this center, in the course of ages, they spread east and west, until they reached the plains of Asia and the islands of the Pacific.
The negro race, it seems probable, may have separated from our own stock in pre-glacial times, and survived, in fragments, somewhere in the land of torrid heats, probably in some region on which the Drift did not fall.
We are told by Ovid that it was the tremendous heat of the comet-age that baked the negro black; in this Ovid doubtless spoke the opinion of antiquity. Whether or not that period of almost insufferable temperature produced any effect upon the color of that race I shall not undertake to say; nor shall I dare to assert that the white race was bleached to its present complexion by the long absence of the sun during the Age of Darkness.