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The hint for the fable of the following poem was furnished by the numerous ruins which yet remain visible in the interior of Nortlı America, and particularly in the vicinity of the Ohio and the Mississippi: ruins which demonstrate, that, long anterior to the first voyage of Columbus, the section of country which I have designated, was inhabited by a nation more civilized than the wandering tribes in whose possession it was found by the English and French. Indeed, even at that early day, the imperfect and perishable traditions of the North American savages seem to have preserved no trace of a record to whom those ruins belonged; or by whom, for what purpose, or at what period they were reared. Towers of stone, containing implements and idols of copper; the embankments of fortresses, judiciously located and traced with all the accuracy and mathematical skill which the ablest modern engineer can boast; and barrows or tumuli, in which have, for ages, been inhumed the bones of forgotten thousands; all proclaim the country to have been, “in the olden time,” the seat of a people, numerous, warlike and civilized, far beyond what can be predicated of either the present aborigines, or their ancestors.
Who, or whence, were the authors of these ruins and what has become of them? are questions which curiosity has asked, and which philosophers, the orists and historians have attempted to answer, in vain. They have been ascribed to the lost Jewish tribes; to a Welch colony; and to I know not what other strange origin: and grave and learned dissertations have been penned by learned and grave men, in support of each of the theories.
In this conflict of absurd opinions, and unsupported conjectures, I have thought it allowable to embellish a poetic tale with a theory of my own; and one if it needs that merit, is at least as plausible and as well supported by authentic history and doubtful tradition, as either of those to which I have alluded.
Northern District of New-York, ss. L S.] BE IT REMEMBERED, That on the twenty-fourth day of July, in the forty-ninth year of the independence of the United States of America, A. D. 1824, Samuel B. Beach, of the said district, hath deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof he claims as author, in the words following, to wit:
“Escalala, an American Tale, by Samuel B. Beach."
Out upon Time, who forever will leave
O'er that which hath been.-Byron. In conformity to the act of the Congress of the United States, entitled “An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned;" and also to the act entitled "An act supplementary to an act entitled •An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts and Books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned,” and extending the bene fits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving and etching historical and other priots.”
RICHARD R. LANSING,
SS. ly, in
The author not being able to examine the proof-sheets, the following ern :$ escaped the notice of the publisher: Page 18, line 20, insert a comma after the word 'note.'
36, last line but one, for ‘point,' read paint.
“An harts, times to an opies uring rts of