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Indiana Mounds Earthworks

1889 - By Elwood Pleas
Editor, New Castle Courier

   It has been publicly stated that a portion of the earthworks on the Alan Shepherd farm northeast of New Castle, were surmounted by a stockade of poles or split timbers when the first white settlements were made upon Blue River. All facts bearing upon this and similar questions are of interest.
   It is held by a large class of investigators that the Red Men who occupied this country when discovered by the Europeans, knew nothing of the Mound Builders or the objects or uses of their works, and that at least two races of people with very different modes of life, had preceded the Indians.
   Other investigators believe there is not sufficient evidence of country having been peopled by different races, but hold that our so-called Indians were a perishing or retrograding people when the whites first knew of them, and that their ancestors at one time were civilized and peaceably inclined, lived in villages and walled cities, and constructed works of great labor of which their degenerate descendants did not preserve even a tradition.
   Persons connected with the Smithsonian Institute are collecting information on such topics and inquiry has been made as to whether the Indians were using the mounds or earth works of this country when the whites arrived and if so, in what manner.
   Now it is suggested that a small portion of session of the Henry County Historical Society, at its next meeting, April 6, be devoted to eliciting information upon these points:
   1. Were any of the mounds or earthworks in the county in use by the Indians about 1819 to1821.
   2. Had they stockades upon any earthworks in the county either for purposes of defense or for the enclosure of their stock.
   3. Were the Indians living in the county in possession of any legend or information, or pretended information as to who built the mounds.
   It is not expected that very full answers to such queries can be had at this time, but such as we have should be preserved.

UEB 2005

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