History of the city of Toledo and Lucas County, Ohio
It was with no small degree of embarrassment that the writer undertook the work of historian. While not without experience in another field of literature, he was too well aware of the special requisites for the new department, to feel assured of success. But the work was congenial and has been pursued with unflagging interest, and with results yet to be determined.
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In common with the rest of the American Continent, the primitive condition of the territory now embraced within the State of Ohio and of its inhabitants, is without reliable record. That this region was occupied by an active and intelligent race for hundreds of years before the advent of the white man, is made evident by proofs which leave no room for doubt. These are of various kinds, but consist mainly of stone and earthworks still remaining in different portions of the State. The predecessors of the European settlers have come to be known as the " Mound Builders," from the fact that the chief remains of their occupancy consist of the works so numerous, especially throughout the Valley of the Ohio, the number already found being not less than 10,000. The purposes of these works seem to have been various, and chiefly those of fortification, religious temples and burial places. The chief record by which the age of these remains can be ascertained, consists of the trees here and there found growing upon them. From these it is calculated that at least six hundred years have elapsed since the structures were abandoned by their builders. How much longer, of course, is problematical only. These people seem to have lived in a condition more or less compact, and were not migratory in their habits. From proofs left, they must have carried on more or less of traffic with peoples in other and distant portions of the continent. They left nothing to indicate that they used beasts of burden or vehicles of any sort, their work having all been done by themselves, including the carrying of the heavy materials used in their mounds and fortifications. Their religion seems to have been the worship of nature, in different manifestations. Whence they came, can only be conjectured, their most probable source being Asia, entering the continent from the North, moving Southward, and being followed, if not driven, by succeed- ing hordes from the same general source. What was their final stopping place, is a matter no less uncertain than their origin; but they may have moved Southward into Mexico and there disappeared. The supposed successors to the "Mound-Builders" — the Indians — are the earliest occupants of this region known to history; and like their predecessors, these, too, were in time called to surrender their ground, and are now fast being crowded out of their hunting-grounds by advancing civilization and human greed. They will leave very little to mark their occupancy of the country or to indicate that they ever lived.