By Edward Palmer
The Arkansas Historical Association
JOHN HUGH REYNOLDS, Secretary
CONWAY, ARKANSAS 1917
Submitted by Dena Whitesell
ARKANSAS MOUNDS - By Edward Palmer
Arkadelphia, Clark County, Ark.
Feb. 6, 1882—Blind man keeps a book and news store, walks about, makes long journeys, can tell the right from the left turns in roads, by lying down, can distinguish the different kinds of money (coin). He is also an inventor of a fire screen.
Feb. 8,1882.—Was so cold and slippery that I could not go any where, nearly frozen in the open and bad hotel.
Feb. 10, 1882—Heavy rain and at night thunder and lightning. A second blind man of the place invented the glass slide for the cracker boxes. Visited the old Indian Salt Works near by, on Saline Bayou. Another very wet night (Feb. 10,1882), which was a great disappointment, so much loss of time, which those at a distance may not be disposed to recognize as a fact or reason for no more being done in winter. This State is not a very sunny part of the South—a small repetition of last February. The salt works are one mile from the banks of the Ouachita River and two miles southeast of Arkadelphia, but along the banks of the Saline Bayou. They are wells, which are salt as also is Saline Bayou.
Heckatoo, Lincoln County, Ark. -
Jan. 3, 1883.—Arrived at Heckatoo. Captain Felix R. R. Smith entertained me. It rained three days and nights making it wet and miserable, (Observation and results of excavations made around the mounds in various parts of the State: Salt wells, filler mounds, journey from Osceola, remains of old fortification on the Arkansas river, etc., etc., made in various years).
Sarassa (P. O.) Mounds, Lincoln County, Ark., Near Heckatoo -
The soil is sandy, and much roofing is found. Long Lake. These mounds are strewn over with pottery, having been cut up by the plow, and was originally only eighteen inches under the ground. Covered by a fine growth of weeds, none of which fragments were collected. For three days the rain made it difficult to work.
Sarassa Mounds, Near Heckatoo, Lincoln County, Ark. -
These mounds are composed of sandy loam, and have been cultivated for years. They are thickly scattered over with brick stuff, pieces of pottery and stone implements. The materials left under the soil appear to be only eighteen inches under—according to the limited examination I could make. The cultivation of the land confirmed this also. As the mound was covered over with cotton not gathered the owner did not wish it disturbed. Besides, the earth was very moist. During the following plowing whatever is found is to be sent to the National Museum. The mounds are arranged around a space of five acres of ground and are from three and one-half to four feet high and twenty-five to thirty feet in diameter. The mounds vary in distance apart from ten to one hundred and fifty feet. At the lower part of the plot a slough covered with weeds and water and from this earth may have been taken to make the mounds. Specimens found on surface as numbered.
Smith's Mound, Heckatoo, Lincoln County, Ark. -
On the farm of Felix R. R. Smith in southwest quarter section 17, range 7 south, 5 west. It is seven feet high, thirty feet wide and thirty-eight feet long. Stump of a tree two and one-half feet in diameter stands on the top. A cut five feet deep and three and one-half feet square was made. Sandy loam six inches, and the rest was stiff clay with no evidence of occupation. Not even ashes or a scrap of pottery. Around is very rich soil, but low, and covered with fine timber. A cypress swamp is near.
Adam's Mound, Two Miles West of South from Heckatoo, Lincoln County, Ark. -
This mound is near the Smith mound on land belonging to Major J. D. Adams. It is in northwest quarter section 20, west side near the northwest corner, range 7 south, 5 west, and is sixty feet west of a cypress bayou. * This mound is twenty feet high, sixty feet wide, and ninety feet long. Trees two feet through are growing on its summit. Its summit was covered by deer, and other wild animal tracks. Its outward appearance is that of a mass of yellowish Vaxy clay. A cut was made six feet deep and running six feet back. Nothing but stiff clay was found, not even a bone or piece of pot. On the top a cut was made downward with the same result. The land around is low and during heavy rains is more or less under water. The soil is very rich and covered with cane and large trees.
Prohibition Towns, Arkansas -
Steamboats and express companies evade the law. The Steamer Josie Harry, mail boat to White River, had on board numerous jugs of whiskey and brandy from Memphis for parties in the prohibition towns. The common deck hands often at the end of the month owe at the bar of the steamer more than the pay due them.
St. Francis River Bottom. Left Forest City by two-mule team, an ex-Confederate soldier for driver. He called home-made tobacco Arkansas scrip. Told his experience as prisoner at Camp Butter, Springfield, Ohio, and at Erie, Pa.
Nov. 3.—Apple and peach trees in bloom. Neglected grave yard of U. S. Troops at Madison, St. Francis county, Ark.
Forest City on Saturday. No saloon, drug store. Have a hole the money and bottle placed by a hole move go the bottle is filled no one seen.
Seeds of the china tree cures in horses. (Forest City, Ark.)
A Cap. Cook would not allow his mounds disturbed because his negroes would not rent his land, fearing hants.
Nine hundred inhabitants. No bakery, bread from Memphis or Helena. Turnips one cent each. Apples and Irish potatoes........bushel. Sweet potatoes fifty cents. Meat beef ten to fifteen cents a pound. Chickens small 25 cents each. No bank.
Salt Wells Near Arkadelphia, Clark County, Ark. -
Pottery borrowed from C. C. Scott of Arkadelphia, and also from George Fuller of the same place. The numbers that were loaned by the above are 790-91-92-93.
Feb. 1883.—Since visiting that part of the Arkansas below Little Rock it has seemed to me that the character of the pottery changes, becoming more ornamental. I therefore visited Arkadelphia to see if the same conditions extended that way. By the few specimens obtained am satisfied that it does. Near Arkadelphia was the location of a large settlement of Indians, when the whites first settled there. The whites ?? here for the purposes of making salt from Saline Bayou which is two miles southeast of Arkadelphia and one mile from Ouachita or Washita River. The Indians soon disposed of their home for the white intruder wanting salt. The whites having suitable tools to dig the salt had much the advantage of the Indian with his crude implements. The Whites had iron vessels to boil down the water while the Indians only had pails of unglazed earthen ware.
During the late war the Confederates made war here and nearly obliterated all traces of the Indian occupation. A few parts of mounds or what were formerly mounds occupied by Indians, remain as these fragments would indicate. Fragments were round.
Malvern, Junction, Oct. 1,1883.
Prof. Thomas, Dear Sir:
Find enclosed report of work done since forwarding box of specimens from Arkadelphia.
Valentine of Richmond is making a great effort to get work done in this State. He is writing to everyone he
thinks will help him, asking them if it will be convenient for them to open mounds for him and on what terms if not to recommend some one that could L. E. Gibney of Arkadelphia, handed me two letters he received from Valentine to read, which explained his plans and gave names of his friends who are helping him. At the railroad stations notices are posted stating that the highest cash price will be paid for any Indian antiquities. The figures of pipes stone, axe, heads and spears head the posters. There are other parties in the field, in consequence of which I think it best to go to those localities likely to yield good results without striking the work done by others.
Bryant Station, Saline County, Ark.
Sept. 16, 1883.—Visited Bryant station. No team could be had to go into the country, all having gone to camp meeting even the boarding house. Had to get the station keeper to go with me to the sawmill and get me a chance to stop until next day's train for Arkadelphia.
Mounds six miles south of Arkadelphia, Clark County, Ark. These mounds are in the woods.
Mounds on farm of Woodby Triggs, four miles northwest of Arkadelphia, Clark County, Ark.
Mounds three miles north of Arkadelphia, Clark county, Ark. Mounds are owned by W. A. Triggs.
Winchester Station, Drew County, Ark.
W. B. Dumas entitled to thanks of Bureau of Ethnology.
Nov. 22, 1882.—Seventy-five cents or one hundred pounds of lint cotton is taken for ginning cotton (a bale)— formerly it was one dollar. In some places the seed is taken for the ginning.
Filler Mound, Drew County, Ark.
Two and one-half miles southwest from Winchester Station.
The Filler Mound is situated on the farm of J. T. Filler, two and one-half miles southwest from Winchester Station on the Little Rock, Mississippi River & Texas railroad, Drew county, Ark.
The mound is four hundred and fifty feet from the bed of Bartholemew Bayou. It is two miles by section lines from the mounds on Holleywood plantation. Mr. W. B. Dumas, who having this farm rented, kindly gave me permission to dig into the mound. It is nine feet high, eighteen feet across at top and forty-five feet across base.
As the iron probe indicated there was something below. I commenced on one side so as to dig over the entire mound. At one foot below the surface I commenced to find pottery, remains, etc. This deposit of bodies deepened to two feet toward the centre. They were without any definite order of deposit nor did they face any one direction. The bones of one body often lay across another or under. Sometimes the vertebrae of one were found pressed between the upper and lower jaw of another. Two or three heads were very near together. It was a very difficult task to extricate the bones, pottery, etc., owing to the irregular manner of intermixture with the soil. Twenty-five skulls were so decayed that they could not be saved. A number of sound bones were saved which may be useful to study.
Four pots were taken near one head, two near another with a pipe. Also several mussel shells were found. Two were near the heads. Two turtle shells were inside of Cook Pot. The soil in which the deposit was found was vegetable loam and sand. Sandy loam was at base of mound.
Some of the skulls were in fragments so were many of the small bones. It rained during the examination and the specimens had to be gotten out as quickly as possible and placed to dry. The drawing gives a fair idea of the irregular way in which things were mixed up. Bayou Bartholemew is on the right of picture and does not overflow its bank.
Along Bartholomew Bayou the soil is sandy and the subsoil a yellow clay. No burnt brick like substance or ashes were found in or about the mound. From this mound much pottery was taken, including stone spades, pipes, bones and shells.
Mounds, West Point, White County, Ark., on Little Red River.
Oct. 6, 1883.—Agreed with some black men for one dollar per day to open mounds. At night one came and said they did not like to handle dead bones, that it was money enough for that kind of work. I told them I would handle the bones, as it was necessary to have them. I told him one dollar and twenty-five cents per day would be paid. He said he was going to church that night and would let me know early the next morning. This he did not do. Picked up a black man and boy and finished the work. West Point was once a famous river settlement, but now nearly deserted. Railroads the cause. It is nicely situated among oaks on a dry bluff land on Little Red River.
Harrisburg, Poinsett County, Ark., 1882.
Hotel one dollar and fifty cents per day, food badly cooked and badly served. The beds wretched, drinking water with insects in it. No shoe mender in the place. One hundred and fifty inhabitants.
Poor brick court house, jail inside, but unfinished. There is a doctor's shop, printing office, post office all in. court house. Owing to its unfinished condition prisoners are sent to other jails.
Saloons are voted out of town! But drunken men are seen. Kansas eggs may be around filled with whiskey and sealed with white wax and sold 10 cents each or one dollar per dozen. A grocery has an inner room and a Saturday crowd is especially noticeable from other days.
J. H. Hall and S. C. Stone are entitled to the thanks of the Bureau of Ethnology.
E. T. Walker presents three ears of corn said to have originated from corn found in a mound on the St. Francis River. No. 419—This rare and new corn.
Stone Mound on Farm of F. G. Stone, Three Miles East; of Harrisburg, Poinsett County, Ark.
On the same farm is a mound fifteen feet high, fifteen feet across at top and two hundred feet at base. After digging off the top soil of eighteen inches, two skeletons were found three feet apart, with face down, one to the west and the other south. Nothing but pots were found with them. A large oak tree grew in the centre about three feet in diameter, the roots of which had broken the pottery. No ashes, bones, charcoal, burnt clay, bones of food animals or birds were found. The first two feet was black loam, then,clay with gravel.
Brookfield Mound, Three Miles East of Harrisburg, I Poinsett County, Ark.
One-quarter mile east from the "Stone" mounds in the thick woods belonging to J. C. Brookfield is a mound ten feet high, fifteen feet across with small bushes growing on the summit. A hole was dug from the summit to the base without finding the least trace of anything indicating that man had occupied it. First a few inches of soil, then a mixture of clay and gravel.
Helena, Ark., January 2, 1882.
New Year is celebrated at the post office. I called on Major Arnot Harris of the Yeoman and Dr. S. M. Grant and presented letters from Dr. Morgan Cartwright of Indian Bay.
Jan. 3.—Left by ferry boat to Mississippi side and took cars for Jonestown with letter to ex-Governor and Senator
J. S. Alcorn. Returned to Helena, Arkansas, from Forest City and left January 11th for Marianna by boat.
Mounds on Farm of Hugh Waller in Carson Lake
Township, Six Miles a Little Southwest from Osceola, Ark.
There are several mounds on this farm, all of which have been more or less changed. I am informed that the earthquake of 1811 and 1812 cut large fissures through or ran close by all of them. Only one contained anything and that was one of the smallest. The earthquake cut a furrow through it on one side and near the edge of this furrow were found two nice water-vessels by the side of a skull, the rest of the body being precipitated into the deep furrow. In the centre of this mound were found six skeletons, the bones of which, though in place, were much split and cracked by the force of the earthquake.
Osceola, Mississippi County, Ark.
Nov. 10, 1881.—The grand jury had two black men on it and gave great satisfaction. The petit jury had one black man on it. Some strong talk by some against it. Shoes seem to wear out very slowly—no stones.
Three cotton gins were burnt this year. Chinamen who live here by burning bricks. They are very industrious and dress as other men, his hair cut even all around. Consumption in dogs and animals is caused by dampness. Osceola is a dirty, damp expensive place to live. The buildings are small. The grog shops outnumber any other kind of shop or business. The grand jury had three hundred witnesses before it and served sixty subpoenas, so said the foreman.
Journey from Osceola, Ark.
Oct. 27, 1881.—Left Osceola, Oct. 27, 1881, in a mule team for Little River over low woodlands for some miles, then through the new cut road. Trees blazed along the old road, along which were a few scattering houses. Had to pass through cypress swamps up to the knees. There was a good deal of water also. It rained all days. Twenty miles brought us to Arnold's but we could not stop. He had a fine cotton crop. Settlers are few and far between. Crossed Little River which was a dry sand bed, but steamboats run up it for one-half the year.
Stayed all night on its bank with Mr. Beggs in a rude hut (log) and was entertained in a handsome manner. He was only temporarily here till his own house was finished. A company of log cutters arrived.
A fierce storm of wind raged all night. Falling trees kept up a noise like the roaring of many cannons, fearfully blocking the roads which are not cleared of obstructions if they can be passed around.
We moved on to Big Lake, a hunters' haven. Noticed cottonwood trees having holes cut in them for collecting
water to quench the thirst of travelers. Passed camps of hunters and a few log huts inhabited by long-haired, dirty,sickly people, who claim to live in a healthy country. On every hand is malarial fever. Some said they had no food but what they shot.
Pemiscott Bayou, Twenty-two Miles Southwest of Osceola, Ark.
We stopped here, at Peterson's, an old resident. Bees, cotton, fowl, cows, corn, mules and etc., were seen in numbers. The house was poor and disorderly. Three females met us with snuff sticks in their mouths. Three men with guns, just returned from the hunt, approached the house. The place beggars description. Its dirty appearance and clothing of the people would lead you to infer the people never wash.
Conversing with the owner about his fruit trees, the .owner let a fearful tirade against the agent or nursery drummer who sold him a quantity of trees and plants. "All that lived," said he, "is six strawberry plants, two roses and three fruit trees, and I believe my skin," said he "if he ain't sent me a bill, all dead uns too."
Then with a threat of what he would do if another tree man came, we went to supper. The black table cloth spoke for itself as did the black coffee and plain corn bread, and most abominably cooked wild goose. The landlord was not very complimentary because of my disturbing the dead, he styling it a sin, and he could not see the use of the nonsense, or his part they all belong to the church, but order or cleanliness was not a part of their religion. A horsepower gin was on the place. With sufficient help about to secure his crops. He was waiting for white men to come and hire for that purpose.
Suggesting we could send him black men from Osceola as they were getting through their work. With scorn and contempt on his features, he said he would have none of the trash on his place. He did not want any of them to settle near or among them. Three slept in a bed on the floor, not only dirt, but bed bugs and fleas.
Domestic animals and fowls took possession of various parts of the house. At breakfast we had black coffee, corn bread, and raccoon very tough with a little new made stinking butter. We had seen the dogs tip off the cover from the churn and put their heads in and lick out the cream. We did not wait for dinner but left for Osceola.
Chickasawba, Twenty-four Miles North of Bayou Pemiscott, Ark.
Oct. 31, 1881.—Visited a mound here in a team. The mound was twenty-five feet high and had one-half acre on top. It had been so variously dug into that it would scarcely pay to open it, besides no men could be had. The owner did not wish to have it opened as he wanted it for a cellar for his house. For a wide distance around were the dwellings and graves of hundreds.
Osceola, Mississippi County, Ark.
July 4th.—-Was here July 4, 1882. It was very hot in the day. Night wind changed and was very cold. Overcoats comfortable.
Colored people had a festival. Ice cream and cake at night. During the day they had a barbecue a few miles out of town. White people a few of them ceased work or partially so. Many did as usual. Being no saloons there was sobriety. A few whites had a picnic in the country.
The colored people have a society known as Knights of Wise Men, they paraded at night with music and regalia. Swords of wood silvered over, each one with lantern. They occasionally at the order of an officer represented in their evolutions that of a ball room. Why all this?
B. F. Jackson, Louise, Mississippi County, Arkansas, entitled to thanks of Bureau of Ethnology.
Remains of Old Fortification on Arkansas River, Desha County, Ark.
On what is known as the Turner place and now owned by the widow of Thomas Bizzell are the outlines of an old fortification.
Four hundred yards from the old part of the Arkansas River there are three-quarters of an acre within its boundary. It is four feet high. It has been a garden for years. There is a path from it to where the Arkansas River formerly ran. This path is thirty-five feet wide at the part and fifteen feet at the lower part.. There appears to have been fifty yards of new land made from this path to the now river. Mr. Oliver Bizzell who lives near informed me that thirty-five years ago the trees that now grow on the new made land were then but small saplings, while some of them now are three feet through.
This fort was made very probably to protect a French trading post. As Mr. Oliver Bizzell says, numerous thimbles, pipes, broken dishes, parts of revolvers, gun, and pieces of silver coin have been found, as if the centre had been used for gun sight. The remains of an old forge were uncovered a short time ago and Chinese and other coins were found with broken articles of Indian origin. A Chinese coin and part of a pistol (stone) were presented to that gentleman, who also says that stone bullet moulds have been found. The specimens mentioned have been forwarded under the number 422.
Not far from the fort is a ridge that appears to have had houses of European origin upon it. At one corner of the fort is a hole sixteen feet deep, supposed to have been a magazine. At this place De Soto is said to have encamped or may have built it as some say. Part of a stone pistol found here. No. 798—the Chinese coin.
Waldestein Mounds, One and one-half Miles North of Linwood Station on the Railroad to Arkansas City.
These mounds are in the thick woods. Graves are on the tops. They are composed of sandy soil, but no outward signs of occupation were seen. These mounds are built on the bank of Long Lake. They average fifteen feet high, thirty-eight feet wide and forty-five feet long.
On the farm of Wm. Gardner, one mile east of Menard Mound, Arkansas County, Ark.
One mile east of the Menard Mound and near the bank of the Menard Bayou is the farm of William Gardner. Here is a mound that has been cultivated for years. It has sloping sides. The plow has turned up the soil and the rain has beaten it down, leaving whatever was beneath near the surface and easily to be disturbed. The surface is covered with pieces. The mound is ten feet high, one hundred and fifteen feet long and seventy-five feet through. I sank several holes in the mound. Found only sandy loam and no brick like substance.
Specimens from surface (Thomas' Nos. 714-13-16-17-15.)
Jamestown, Jefferson County, Ark.
1883.—There is here situated what has been called an Indian mound. It is, however, a natural one, very irregular and large for an artificial. It is in a hilly country, not wanting artificial elevations. Traveling in heavy rains brought on neuralgia which gave me much pain and no sleep. Face much swollen.
Oct. 31, 1883.—Left for Little Rock.
Bradley's Landing, Oldham, P. O., Crittenden County, Ark.
Boat hotel—a railroad hand waiting for a boat spent twenty-five dollars among loafers in three hours while dressed in the poorest clothing. He praised the James boys as heroes. He was from Mississippi.
Mounds, House Sites, One Mile from Bradley's Landing or Oldham P. O., Crittenden County, Ark.
These mounds, house sites, etc., are owned by Mrs. Bradley and are situated in a field one mile from the landing.
The field containing these mounds comprises twenty-five acres which have been cultivated for thirty or forty years. A creek runs back of the field called Wappanocka or Wappanoca. It empties into the Mississippi River one mile from Bradley's Landing. It runs northwest to southeast and is seven miles long. The field is not now overflowed.
The land outside the field shows that a river once ran by there and then there may have been overflows as on examination, the spot not disturbed by cultivation and the plow shows a deposit stratified as if deposited by water. Where no human remains are found the same stratified soil continues of sand or clay with vegetable remains. The Mississippi River is one-quarter mile directly opposite. This seems to have been made since the river ran by the field in which are the mounds. Many of the trees on this land are five feet in diameter, and eighty feet high. The human remains, etc., found in this field are found varying in depth from three to five feet. The mounds occupy the highest spot, so the further you go from the mounds the deeper are the things found. This would be the case by overflow, the greatest deposits in the low places. The soil is of a sandy nature in the higher and greasy clay in the low parts.
The mound had been so much dug up by relic hunters that I feared not much good could be done, besides the renter of the land would not grant permission as the cotton was not yet gathered; so I turned my attention to the house sites found all over the field.
In the same field as the mound are many house sites. Out of these house sites many things have been taken from time to time. Examining the undisturbed portions clearly proved that three to five feet was the depth the house sites are found. They were without any regularity, some are near together, while others are far apart. The human remains are found without any preference to facing any one quarter of the compass. Some were face up, other down or on the side, and but few bones could be saved. Some skeletons had one pot, others had more, with them together associated with other articles. After the top soil was removed was burnt clay which was sometimes a foot thick either crumbling with impressions of grass and sticks or hard with reed impressions. Then more or less ashes associated with some six inches of burnt grass with which were the human remains.
Choctaw Mound, Desha County, Ark.
At the junction of Wells and Choctaw Bayous with Walnut Lake and four or five miles south of east from Walnut Station, on the Little Rock, Mississippi & Texas Railroad. It is situated on a fine rich bottom of loam and clay and commands a fine view of the surrounding country. I did not ascertain who was the owner. It would make a grand signal station. It is ten and one-half feet high, forty feet through at the base gradually tapering to four feet at the top.
One foot of loam was removed and the mound was solid to the bottom, of solid clay with here and there fragments of pottery, but no ashes or charcoal, no burnt brick like substance or any remains of settlements.
From Choctaw Bayou to Felix Smith's plantation at Heckatoo is said to be a dry communication that was used by the ancient inhabitants and also from Wells Bayou was a dry communication to Star City, county seat of Lincoln County, Ark. It is a.hilly country-Mound Russell Farm four miles northwest from Arkadelphia-, Clark County, Ark. This farm is owned by W. A. Triggs. Pottery 214—Stone implements under that number were surface finds.
Mounds near Arkadelphia, Clark County, Ark. Natural mounds and sometimes used by Indians.
Mounds, Saline Bayou two miles southeast of Arkadelphia, Clark County, Ark. Nos. 210-11-12-13.
Carpenter's Mound six miles south of Arkadelphia, Ark.
1883.—Took food a colored woman cooked and I slept in a corn crib. Walked to and from the mounds—it was cheaper.
Arkadelphia, Clark County, Ark.
The following are entitled to the thanks of the Bureau of Ethnology: W. A. Trigg, C. C. Scott, George Fuller, L. E. Gibney.
Sept. 19, 1883.—The butchers ring a bell, a mournful toned bell, when they kill meat, to bring up the mourners for the wretched stuff called beef.
Arkadelphia, Clark County, Ark.
Feb. 2,1883.—Arkadelphia has sixteen hundred inhabitants, no Saloons, two years since there were three hundred and fifty-two majority against saloons. Last year election only (Oct. 3, 1882) nineteen against saloons. A place not benefited by railroad. Some chills and fevers seen even at this time. Picturesque rolling gravelly hills. Some small flowers in bloom in the warm bottoms.
Feb. 4, 1883.—Cold weather, sleet and snow. Stalagmites covered the ground irregularly, patches variously tinted with the mud.
Feb. 5.—Snow and sleet covered the ground, bad traveling, but went two miles out into the wood to mound that was natural.
Feb. 6.—So cold and bad no work could be done.
Benton, Saline County, Ark.
Mending street holes with broken pots from pottery factory. It contains seven hundred or eight hundred people. The Indian finds are very badly exaggerated. The roads are very bad. A reported buried city.
Jan. 27, 1883.—A wet day—at night heavy rains, with thunder and lightning. The same thing occurred one week ago, very warm the sun came out a few minutes. Bees and moths came out.
Idle men are common. Many good houses idle. Good careful farmers wanted. Instead of making heaps of leaves and weeds for their farms and gardens, prepare their fences, buildings, and put their tools in order for coming spring and get their wood ready, they idle away the mild winter, and the spring finds them with all their work at once on their hands.
Benton, Saline County, Ark.
J. T. Chidester entitled to thanks of Bureau of Ethnology.
Hughes' Mound, Three Miles Southwest of Benton, Saline County, Ark.
On the farm of Geo. Hughes is situated a fine mound one hundred yards from the Saline River. From appearance this river once ran within fifty feet of this mound. The land around has been cultivated for years. Some years since the farm house and its outbuilding stood encircling this mound. It became necessary to dig post holes and level several small mounds when skeletons, pottery, stone implements and etc., were found under ashes and bricklike substance.
This mound is southwest to northeast and has two parts an elevated somewhat circular part and an elongation or a long mound attached to its base. The highest part is eighty feet long and long part is one hundred ten feet long. The northeast part of long mound is fifty-four feet across, but at near the junction of the elevated part is seventy feet across. At the top of the highest part of the mound it is thirty-four feet across. The total width including the slope base and attachments is one hundred twenty-four feet. Height of the mound proper is twenty-five feet. The lean to, at its highest part which is next to the mound proper is twelve feet, the lower or northeast part is but ten feet high. Various parties, it is said, have dug into the mound and found various things which the soil does not indicate. In the centre of the mound proper a hole four feet square and
ten feet deep was dug when it became hard and without the least indication of any deposit. It was simply sandy loam. The prober touched nothing below this. Examining the appendage with a long iron rod, six places were struck that were proved by spade examination to be about three inches deep of bricklike stuff, then four inches of ashes and charcoal. After this nothing but sandy loam was found. The brick deposit was about two feet below surface.
By spade examination of four places the same results; were reached, but not topped with burnt clay.
At the depth of five feet was a sandy loam with nothing below. I am of the opinion that if anything was ever deposited in this mound it has been taken out. I saw no signs of human remains. The earth was frozen hard which made the examination more difficult. Near the northeast end of this mound is the river, a good view of which can be had from the top of the mound. The surrounding level bottom land is also seen for a distance (long).
A photograph of this mound was taken from the southwest end. Wind and storm prevented any other. From
appearance one is inclined to the opinion that this mound was first a long low mound and that the tall part was an after addition; that the central half of the long part had two feet added to it, because, at that depth, charcoal, ashes and brick stuff were found. The other half of the long part of this mound was two feet lower indicates this as the original height. Two feet below surface, ashes, and burnt clay were found. The land is all covered about this time by the high rise of the Saline River. After taking the photograph I had a pencil drawing made from it and from notes, because the photographer could not, owing to bad light, take in the entire mound at the time of my visit.
House Sites on Farm of J. T. Chidester, Three Miles Southwest op Benton, Saline County, Ark.
These are situated on the farm near the banks of Saline River. For the space of ten acres it was four feet higher until last year than the surrounding surface. The excessive overflow of the river uncovered this spot very irregularly revealing house sites. The ten-acre spot, now, presents a very uneven appearance, the water having left here and then evidences of occupation and exposed more or less various patches of brick-like substances, ashes, charcoal or slight elevations of black earth. The brick stuff being carried away. In two instances parts of skeletons were found in the black earth. Under one of the brick patches was found nearly a complete bowl and two slate pendants near by. Near one of the black piles of ashes were found some human bones, pieces of pottery and a stone flesher.
Near another pile of ashes was found a stone implement. Several stone implements more or less associated with these house sites. Many things were washed out during the overflow and carried away.
Pecan Point, Mississippi County, Ark.
Left Osceola Nov. 12, 1881 for Pecan Point. On the train were judges, lawyers, and many passengers all more or less connected with the circuit court. There were six black prisoners chained two by two and one white man. The white man sat ironed by the judge, deputy sheriff, lawyers, etc., to see them play cards. The white prisoner ate at a table near me, and after dinner he smoked a cigar with the clerk of the court. The black prisoners sat the whole while just inside the cabin so that their white guards could be in the cabin and look after them.
Dr. F. G. McGavock, who now lives contiguous to Pecan Point informs me that during the last year of the war he went to Castle Garden, N. Y., and hired eighty-six Irish girls at $20.00 per month, with board. (Saving the cotton crop by Irish women). All but five were Catholics. The negroes had left his father's large plantation. White men had all been drafted. Federal gunboats were in front of his house and Confederates camped in the rear who called for contributions while the Federals had plenty. There were only three old men as superintendents on the place. Cotton was selling at from $1.40 to $1.80 per pound.
These females were hired to work the cotton for one year and they did it too. While part of the crop remained yet unpicked the floods came. The doctor promised each girl a new balmoral and a pair of shoes if all the cotton was pulled up and saved. All the teams were put in the field, four women on a side and the entire cotton crop (the rest) was pulled and loaded on the wagons and taken to a dry place and saved. They—barefooted with dresses between their legs. Priests came every Saturday to gather money and keep them straight. He had a free ride. The year after the war only one-half remained, most of those who left received places as domestics in Memphis replacing the negroes.
The doctor complained that he had to feed officers of both sides. German men were hired but they were a decided failure. Heavy rains prevented me from finishing at this place from reaching Little Rock from here, so I left by steamer, but waited all night for a boat, in a low wood, but on the river bank. Rain and wind made the night very unpleasant, besides it was very cold. Several others were waiting and a corpse. There was no fire which rendered it very uncomfortable. A snag catching in a wheel and breaking it, hence the delay. A telegraph along the river bank would obviate the difficulty. Country stores—negro hands and their fondness for whiskey.
Pecan Point, Mississippi County, Ark.
Mrs. McGavock is entitled to thanks of Bureau of Ethnology.
Oct. 1882.—At one place three and one-half feet under the surface was found a layer of hard wood ashes one and one-half feet thick and near by was a skeleton and two pieces of pottery. In other localities the soil is generally one and one-half to two feet over the remains, in the above it is between three and four feet over. The excess in this locality has been added at various times by the overflow of the Mississippi River near by since the burials were made.
Pecan Point, Ark.
On the land belonging to R. W. Friend and one mile west from the Mississippi River are two mounds, one fifty feet across and five feet high. Nothing was found in it. The other is four feet high and twenty-five feet across. At the depth of sixteen inches but not near the centre were found two skeletons (decayed). These mounds are near a lake. May they not have been used to watch game (the larger for ball game).
On the same estate and not far from the above mentioned mounds is another mound in a field, twenty feet across and three to four feet high. It was cultivated one year which let in the water and destroyed the bones as they were but twelve to eighteen inches from surface. The large trees that once grew over it had split the pots turning the pieces in every direction.
One hundred thirty-one (eleven) bundles more or less in pieces were found near together; and belonging to several pots. Probably some of the pieces may belong to some of the other bundles from this mound.
One hundred thirty-two (five) packages presented to the Smithsonian Institution by Dr. J. M. Lindsley of Pecan Point, Mississippi County, Ark. They were taken from a cultivated field containing fifteen acres. It is one-half mile from river.
Numerous huts like modern Indians must have been built over it judging by the ashes and burnt roofing which was met with three to four feet thick and without regularity skeletons, pots, etc., are found with the same house sites.
Pecan Point, Ark.
For a week before the Fourth of July, 1882, at Pecan Point was one hundred two and one-half midday—night ninety-five and fell so suddenly during the night of the Fourth that by five a. m. on the morning of July 5th the thermometer registered but sixty-four—a very unusual condition for the time of year and locality. Overcoats in demand. The sudden cold was severely felt by the early risers.
Dr. J. M. Lindsley of this place presented five fine pots.
Indian Bayou, Ark.
1883.—Left Indian Bayou latter part of Oct. 27, 1883, for Lonoke, Lonoke County, Ark. Twenty-two miles by a two-horse wagon with a cotton cover—a very rainy, raw day. At post office at Lonoke received letter ordering me back to Indian Bayou by end of November. As my wagon was going over to the Iron Mountain railroad went with him to flag station. Twenty-two miles only for midnight trains. Conductor kindly sat up with me to flag train at eleven thirty. At two p. m. reached Newport. Went to bed—hotel kept by colored men. Very good fare and lodging. Town was lately burnt out. All appears new and now commencing to build brick houses.
A hard name—gamblers—saloons. Started on Sunday for Batesville, Independence County, Ark.
Indian Bayou, Ark.
1883.—The quarters occupied by me at Indian Bayou are scarcely describable. I slept in a lean-to with part of the end out. The host said he was not prepared to entertain strangers. Poor methods and poor ways.
A. J. Tait Mounds, Indian Bayou, twenty-two miles south of Lonoke, Lonoke County, Ark., 1883.
Jefferson County, Ark.
1883.—A neat place full of business, situated among the hills. Left by Jamestown seven miles southwest.
Roman Mounds, Highland Lake, Crittenden County, Ark.
1883.—At the northwest corner is the farm of John W. Roman—Blackfish, P. O. It is six miles southwest of Tyronza Station on Memphis, Kansas City & Springfield Railroad. The owner commenced with little but is now building a good house. There is plenty around and a good orchard. A pleasant man and wife, good food, clean though
poor and without education. They show the qualities to rise in station and wealth. He is a man of true economy.
There are several mounds in the woods in a very isolated place.
Mounds, House Sites, Gilmore Station, Crittenden County, Ark.
Twenty-eight miles northwest of Memphis, Tenn.
1883.—Twenty-eight miles from Memphis, Tenn., on the Kansas City, Springfield & Memphis Railroad is Gilmore Station. In making the railroad two small mounds were cut through. Three others remained but they had been dug into.
The house and gardens of Mrs. Gilmore is on natural high ground and from which house sites have been plowed out. This thrifty farm and cattle ranch was made so by its late owner who commenced with nothing; by economy and push, he died while yet young with plenty.
Tyronza Station, Poinsett County, Ark., on Memphis, Kansas City & Springfield Railroad.
1883.—Mrs. Martha Starker presents two spear heads and a piece of a fine water vessel, for which she is entitled to the thanks of the Bureau of Ethnology. These were plowed from a mound.
Pacific Place, Crittenden County, Ark.
Captain Charles Morris presents specimen of very fine stone spade for which he is entitled to the thanks of the Bureau of Ethnology. Saw his mound collection. He has a very fine farm but a very poor cotton crop this year, pleasant old fashioned hospitality. He wants to sell to give his children advantages of society and the school.
Clarendon, Monroe County, Ark.
Dec. 31, 1881.—Was the last day for the sale of liquor. A dull county seat with but little business. There is a miserable hotel which charges two dollars per day for transients, per week four dollars. Three beds in a room and two in a bed—very poor board.
A new railroad (The Texas & St. Louis) is being constructed which fills up every house. The old road, narrow gauge is the Helena & Arkansas Midland Railroad. Men at the hotel let out the old year and brought in the new by a noisy drunk.
Pine Bluff, Ark.
Dec. 30, 1882.—Since the Saturday before Christmas all has been holiday though the finest of weather, and thousands of bales of cotton remain unpicked. Yet on this day the town is full of idlers, acting as though the world owed them a living work or play—a dancing bear show.
Jan. 1, 1883.—Fire broke out in one of the best brick blocks. It is a bankrupt city—the fire department unorganized—no head. Demoralization and destruction of property street scene next morning.
Pine Bluff, Ark.
Henry J. Lewis is entitled to the thanks of the Bureau of Ethnology and also J. W. Bocage, J. M. Taylor and G. W. Davis. One fine pipe donated by E. W. Martin.
Six stone implements and five specimens of pottery (good) donated by J. M. Taylor (sent two photographs May 17, 1883). One fine stone spade donated by Major G. W. Davis.
Pine Bluff has twenty-eight thousand negroes and eight thousand whites. Passengers were discussing that point as to what might be expected.
Nov. 13, 1882.—The first frost, cotton seed at oil mill will pay renter eight dollars per ton but planters ten dollars.
Pine Bluff, Jefferson County, Ark.
1882.—Formerly only sheep and cows ate the seed. The lints get into the throats of hogs and kills them. Cotton seed and meal sell at fifteen to twenty dollars per ton, cake sent to Europe. The hulls are used for fuel and ashes for lye. Lint is taken from the seed by a fine gin. Twenty-five pounds of lint in a ton of seed and this sells at five cents per pound. One hundred pounds of cotton seed generally yields thirty pounds of lint cotton. In 1882, Nov. 20th, the highest price at New Orleans was eleven and one-half cents, the lowest eight and one-half cents per pound. One bale to the acre if properly cultivated. It takes one-third of its value to pick it.
Rent for Lands.
One-half when team and food are furnished for the same. They pay for ginning.
Eighty pounds of lint cotton per acre and pay for ginning.
Six to eight dollars in money per acre and if goods are furnished a mortgage is taken on the crop. Fifteen cents a bale for weigher. A certificate is given, the owner takes this and a sample and sells. The cotton factor arrange to supply the merchants money at eight per cent per annum in two and one-half per cent accepted drafts on merchants. Two and one-half per cent for advancing money at end of three months. It is compound interest. River insurance, fire insurance, and repairs to bale—then you pay two and one-half per cent commission for sales and storage The merchant to meet these expenses must double on his goods.
1863-64 cotton was one dollar per pound.
1865 cotton was five cents per pound.
1866 cotton was thirty-five cents per pound. Land rent fifteen dollars an acre.
Pine Bluff, Jefferson County, Ark. Negro Graves.
The spades used to dig graves are left ten days on the grave after it is filled up. They believe snakes can be infused into the limbs and stomachs of each other by conjurers by giving them cooked reptiles broken up fine and mixed with their food.
Poor hotel—no single rooms—two dollars per day.
House sites on farm of Robert Anderson twelve miles northeast of Forest City, St. Francis County, Ark,, on St. Francis River.
The remains appear to be house outlines. From Anderson's farm two miles southwest was the old Burnt Mill, and three miles north the old military ferry that crossed the St. Francis River. At this place on the immediate bank is a projecting point which I am told was at one time much larger but from time to time it has caved in until now there is not much more than ten feet projecting into the river. I was informed that human remains, much pottery and many stone implements were washed out by the disintegration at the point by water, and lost, the settlers putting no value on them.
There is now to be seen the space of fifty feet square covered with bricklike substance. Part is in a cotton field all but ten feet of the balance has been a wagon road for many years, thus the brick roofing and whatever was deposited under it has been destroyed as deep ruts are made through it. The remaining ten feet was at a projecting point into the river.
Two mounds on Anderson estate one-quarter mile from former place. Twelve miles northeast of Forest City, Ark.
(1) One-quarter back (removed) from former place is a mound three feet high and forty-five feet across. This mound is bare of vegetation or trees, but large trees surround it. During every high rise of the St. Francis River cattle have been kept upon this mound until it is stamped solid. Permission was given to dig a small hole in the centre. The first foot and a half consisted of a mixture of clay (burnt) ashes, and soil. The balance was sand. It is near the bank of a slough.
(2) The second mound is one-half mile in a direct line from the above and on bank of the same slough. It is five feet high and fifty feet across. The cattle kept upon it during the overflows have made it quite hard and no brick-like substance was found. First three feet was black loam, then yellow clay. The owner did not wish these mounds disturbed at the outer edges as he kept his cattle thereupon. The water would penetrate and carry the earth away. Large trees and thick cane surround the mound.
Dec. 8, 1881.—The hotel is kept by one-legged Confederate soldier. It was used during the war as a United States Headquarters. The building used as a hospital is still standing, but the rest of the town is destroyed. The Confederates in cutting their ditches allowed the river and rains to encroach so that the town had to be moved high up from the river. Darkies with buggies are common.
Saturday is a great day for shopping and getting drunk.
A black man drove me to Indian Bay. He was out collecting a fifty-cent debt from a colored minister of that place. He was free in his denunciations of many ministers.
Carpenter's Mounds, Six Miles South op Arkadelphia, Clark County, Ark.
1883.—Six miles south of Arkadelphia is what is known as Carpenter's field and two hundred yards from the Ouachita River is a group of mounds. These mounds are located amidst dense woods and cane. Trees cover the greater portion of the mounds. The two largest trees are oak measuring three and four feet in diameter and one hundred twenty-five feet high. A slough runs back of the mounds and empties into the Ouachita River two hundred yards off. Did not remeasure the mounds as Mr. Gibney had accurately done that before. At ten feet from west end of the mound made first trench twelve feet long and eight feet wide—found two feet of soil, then eight inches to two feet of burnt clay with impressions of grass and sticks which is sent under a. Among the irregularly arranged mass was found a mud dauber's nest sent marked with letter b. Third layer was ashes varying from * * *
On opening the Carpenter Mound there was only one chance for food or lodging. A colored woman provided food for me at her cabin and I slept in a corn crib. Walked to and from the mound—some distance.
1883. Leaving Desaic I remarked to the hack driver, "What a neat, comfortable house and what beautiful flower gardens!" "Yes," said he, "That's our county clerk. How that wife's family have sprung from nothing since the war! They made up their minds to do something and they have succeeded remarkably well."
Malvern from Judsonia, Ark.
Oct. 2, 1883.—Left at eleven thirty Malvern for Judsonia—arrived at two thirty. Wet night—walked with heavy baggage to town—a deception. Inquired of mail man about hotel, if one was near by. "Oh, yes, I keep one," he said, so followed him. Next day I found one near the depot.
Oct. 5.—Left by horse for West Port, four miles, fare fifty cents.
Jackson Mound, Mississippi County, Ark. House Sites.
Close to the above mound after digging through the burnt clay and ashes, then at four feet a hard burnt floor (or fire place) somewhat round was found. This was covered with about three inches of ashes and in which was found two entire pots. Following in the same level a broken pot was found without human remains, but with burnt clay and ashes as the preceeding.
Four Miles from Lunar Landing, Ark.
Major W. B. Street lives on the river about four miles above Luna Landing.
Bradley's Landing, Crittenden County, Ark.
Feb. 6, 1883.—Left Memphis for Bradley's Landing. The river had overflowed the bank so that the hotel could not be reached. There being no other place to stay I went back to the steamer. It rained very hard, a sheet of water all round the landing. I could not hire a boat or owner, it being dark. Next morning ice everywhere, in the afternoon heavy snowstorm which covered the ground and it was exceedingly cold for this section.
Malvern, Hot Spring County, Ark.
1883.—Stone implements donated to the National Museum by T. G. Steele for which he is entitled to the thanks of the Bureau of Ethnology.
Journey to Washington, D. C, from Arkansas.
Excessive rains drove me from Arkansas. I arrived in Washington, Feb. 2, 1882, just in time to overhaul four boxes of dirty looking pieces of pottery. Their peculiar figuring was unseen until they were washed. These were taken from one mound and formerly was on the house top when it was burnt down they fell remained in three rows one in side or laying by the mouth of the other. House was originally standing. In the fall of the house the pots were much broken but the burnt clay roofing kept their forms complete. But they had to be taken out in fragments to be cleaned and reconstructed in Washington.
Wynn Mounds or as this locality is known by the name of Mound Lake which is twenty-five miles from mouth of old Arkansaw River and sixteen miles from the present mouth of that river. This group of mounds is situated on the bank of a lake. The largest mound is fifteen feet high and fifty feet through and one hundred thirty feet long.
Its appendage is three feet high, one hundred forty feet long and sixty feet wide of a sandy soil. No brick-like substance found. A numerous settlement did not reside here judging from the fragments of pots, stone implements, etc., found. The large mound is covered with cane and trees. In it is deposited the remains of the dead of this settlement for 30 years.
The house of Mr. Wynn is on a small mound and fruit trees are planted on another. This place is not disturbed by overflow and has been cultivated for many years.
Desha County, Ark.
Clayton Mound at the nine mile post.
Twelve miles due east and west from Arkansas City, Desha county, Ark., is situated a very fine mound on property of J. P. Clayton. It is nearly hid by large cane bushes and trees. One oak is three feet through and two others are three feet, six inches.
For many years this spot has been used as a burying ground. It is due east and west on Cypress Creek. It has an appendage which enables an easy assent. No brick-like substance was found on the surface. This appendage is sixty-five feet long and sixty feet across, and seven feet high. The mound is thirty feet high, one hundred twenty-five feet long and sixty-five wide, of sandy soil. It stands in a dense thicket of cane, it is two and. one-half miles northeast from the De Soto Mound.
Desha County, Ark. Franklin County.
Near the junction of Opossum Fork and Cypress Creek, which is six miles northwest of Arkansas City, Desha County, Ark., is three mounds on the farm of Benjamin Franklin, about two hundred yards from Cypress Break to first mound on which is erected a cattle shed. Fifteen yards to center one and thirty yards to outer or third one. Average height seven feet. Average length fourteen yards on top. Thirty-one yards at base. Width on top eleven yards.
Dense cane with scattering trees surround these mounds. During the overflow from the streams these mounds' summits are above water and cattle resort thereto. All the top soil is tramped off leaving the yellow clay as compact as can be made. Nothing to indicate life found.
Lawrence, Monroe County, Ark., December, 1881.
Major J. W. Powell. Sir:
I visited Lawrenceville December 7th. This place is situated on the edge of Maddox Bay. Here is a fine mound but there is a grave yard on top, so could not touch it. There was a fine bank along the edge of the bay on which the Indians had lived but the owner would not allow it to be disturbed. But in a field near the large mound, belonging to Daniel Thompson were found numerous signs of ancient habitation. This field has been cultivated for several years, consequently what has not been turned up by the plow remains under the soil mostly in a badly broken condition. In one spot close to the surface was found the burnt roofing (that was clay) (eight inches thick) of a house one hundred feet in circumference. Nearly imbedded in this clay was found a cocoanut shaped pot. I am of the opinion that this curiously shaped vessel was on the top of the house when it was burnt down. There was part of another vessel on the same roof.
Mounds at Akron, Independence County, Ark.
Nine miles northwest of Jacksonport on Big Bottom of White River is a large mound seven feet high and three hundred feet across, of circular form. It is covered with graves of the townspeople, as it is on the outskirts. In digging the graves many things have been taken. From one grave a fine carved shell and a number of shell beads were found and presented to the National Museum by M. A. Mull of Jacksonport, Jackson county, Ark. A figure of clay was taken out at the same time with the shells. It was sold to Dodd, Brown & Co., corner Fifth and St. Charles streets, St. Louis, Mo.
There is another mound near the above. It is four feet high and fifty feet across. One foot from surface found six inches of burnt clay-brick stuff, then five inches of ashes and charcoal. A few important things were found.
Turned over the whole mound. The base is of clay and sand.
Indian Bayou, Lonoke County, Ark.
1883.—R. B. CarLee of DeVall's Bluff, Arkansas, presents a fine stone implement obtained at Indian Bayou. She is entitled to thanks of the Bureau of Ethnology.
Indian Bay, Monroe County, Ark., December, 1881.
Major J. W. Powell. Sir:
I visited Indian Bay December 12th. At this place is a large mound belonging to A. Spencer. It is three hundred feet above the high water of the bay and two hundred and fifty feet long. Permission could not be obtained to open it.
Just outside of Indian Bay settlement is a large mound now used as a burying ground by the townspeople. Close to it is a field owned by Dr. Henry Shipman, in which field are two small mounds, three to four feet high and thirty feet in circumference. In one two feet under the soil was found a skeleton of a half grown person with the three vessels (158) arrayed by the head. They were somewhat injured by plowing over the ground.
No. 159. Taken from the field but the skeleton was destroyed by the plow.
No. 160. The broken pottery under this number was taken from the other small mound before mentioned or rather it appears to have had on it a two-room hut with a clay roof upon which must have been placed several pots. By the destruction of this house by fire the pots were precipitated and broken and mixed with the debris. No skeletons, etc., were found.
No. 161. The broken pottery under this number was taken from under the burnt roofing of a house situated in a field thirty-five yards from the above mound. If they were not under the roofing at the time of burning they would have been more or less mixed with the top and not covered up as was the case. Some of these vessels are of different ornamentations from anything previously found.
No. 162. Found on the floor of the fire places, covered with debris of roofing of houses and without skeletons or anything else.
Separated the fragments as much as possible. The falling of burnt house near has necessarily mixed them somewhat with the houses underneath.
No. 163. Pieces from under burnt roofing of second house ten feet from No. 161.
No. 164. Wasp's nests.
No. 165. Stone implements and burnt floor. Roofing supposed to be brick bats. There is a scarcity of stone implements, there being little or no stone in the country.
There are two mounds on Big Cypress Creek and in dry part of year used as places to watch for game, and for temporary occupation. The mounds are at the divide between the overflow and the highlands.
No. 166. Floor of house.
No. 167. Cypress bark for roofing and clothing.
Indian Bay, Monroe County, Ark.
Christmas day at Indian Bay. This is a short crop year. Merchants and land renters complain of non-settlement of debts. Every species of jug and bottles are carried away filled with whisky. Not only were the necessaries of life carried away, but also the luxuries. The wearing apparel bought by the colored people was not adapted to the condition of poor people. Is not a dry season a blessing if we utilize its dictates. Two days before Christmas Baley's family troop, consisting of father, brother, wife and their six children arrived and performed in the school house to whites only, at twenty-five cents per head. If colored were admitted it was only by special permission. Take the human race as a whole, there is nothing in color, it is in the quality of the human composition.
In the south and the north so much is wasted on Christmas. The day before Christmas young and old are
trying to catch each other with the cry of "Christmas Gift!" It is a day of extravagance and a means to dissatisfaction. The poor fret because they cannot do as the rich.
Dec. 25, 1881.—A pleasant spring-like day with some leaves on peach and apple trees, green weeds and grass.
Dec. 26, 1881.—Left by stage for Holley Wood, Ark.
Knapp Mounds or Mound Lake, Seventeen Miles Southeast of Little Rock, Pulaski County, Ark.
This mound derives its name from a field by its banks owned by Mr. Gilbert Knapp, in which field is one of the finest group of mounds in Arkansas. This lake is three miles long and about one-quarter mile wide and more resembles an arm of a river than a lake.
The field in which is situated this celebrated group of mounds contains ninety acres and has been cultivated for thirty years or more. It is connected with the lake by an embankment one mile long, five feet high, five feet across at top and eight feet at the base. It starts at the lake, circles around the field and connects again at the lake. In 1844 during the period of the greatest overflow ever known in this section, these mounds were above the water and many families with their household effects and live stock came here for safety.
The largest mound of the group is one hundred feet high, two hundred four feet long at base and one hundred and sixty-five feet wide. It measures sixty by seventy feet on the top and is nearly square. It has natural bushes and trees covering it. Some elms are eighteen inches through. The owner gave permission to have a shaft dug on the vacant summit. It was eight feet square. At first were two feet of vegetable mould, in which were mixed some animal bones and pieces of pots. Then for eight feet was sandy loam which became so hard that at ten feet solid clay was struck and I could go no further. A tunnel had been made some time since by a relic hunter in the back of the mound and the same hard conditions of sandy soil were met. I myself dug a tunnel in the side midway between the top and the base, but found the same hard sandy loam. The top and sides were examined without finding even brick-like substance.
The second in size of these mounds is seventy-five feet high, eighty-five feet wide on the top and one hundred ten feet long. At the base it is one hundred eighty feet long and one hundred fifty-five feet at the west end, but at the east end it is one hundred seventy-five feet wide. It presents a prominent squarish front. A shaft ten feet deep was sunk and eight feet wide in the summit. At first was two feet black sticky clay. In the center of this cut were found two fine crystals. At this depth were found a few pieces of pottery but no ashes or burnt clay. At two feet the soil changed to a yellow greasy clay which continued for eight feet when it became too hard to work. There were no indications of a change, and nothing showing human occupation was found in this formation.
The exteriors of the mounds presented the same yellow clay and extended to the base. The top has been cultivated as a garden for years.
Fifty feet from the mound is a pond of water fifteen feet across, and two hundred and sixty feet long and is grown over with trees and bushes. This pond may have been made by taking earth to build the mound. An elm tree eighteen inches in diameter stands on one side of the mound.
The largest of this group and the third in size in the Knapp field is a mound twelve feet high, forty-eight feet wide, fifty-seven feet long on top and nearly square. At the base it is one hundred eight feet long, and ninety feet wide. A cut eleven feet deep and five feet square was made in the centre of this mound. For from four feet it was sandy soil with vegetable mould, and intermixed here and there with a piece of pottery and animal bones. In the centre at four feet deep, a broken pot was found. At five feet a yellowish sandy soil with a little clay took its place for seven feet when it became so wet and without any ashes, etc., that I abandoned it.
The second largest mound is five feet high, one hundred two feet long and seventy-eight feet wide. A cut
four feet square and four feet deep yielded a mixture of sandy soil with a good admixture of vegetable matter. In this were irregularly mixed pieces of pottery and animal bones. Upon this mound seem to have been two kinds of house sites. For instance four places were seen which have burnt clay and five places with ashes and human bones only. For years this mound has been plowed over and having sloping sides the rain has washed off the soil and bares from time to time the articles deposited. Examination showed that at one and one-half feet below the surface is found what the plow has left undisturbed. The plow has mixed up things in this mound.
Protruding out of the soil but a very little as if turned out of one of these house sites, with burnt clay, was a stone tool somewhat like a hide dresser iron tool and with it were fragments of human bones.
From another of these house sites where burnt clay had been turned out by the plow and at the same time partially exposed were three broken pots and some human bones.
In the second division of house sites without burnt clay, the plow had much mixed the soil with ashes, and human remains, and pottery fragments.
From one of these spots a small medal (71346), human remains, and fragments of pottery were taken, the soil was sandy.
The smallest mound with the two other small ones and a small mound like at the side of the largest mound average about four feet high, about one hundred feet long and seventy-eight feet wide.
Holes four feet deep were dug in them from the centre. Their composition was a light sandy soil with an admixture of vegetable mould with here and there pieces of pottery, animal bones, mussel shells and stone implements.
The trees are left from off the bank of the lake and the caves are clearly seen on each side of the largest mound. May not the earth have been obtained here to build the mound, while at the same time these caves afforded anchorage for canoes?
The mounds and ponds are entirely surrounded by the lake and ancient levee.
Dec. 25, 1882.—Visited the Knapp mound. It was situated midway in a field. A colored woman invited me to dine with her in her cabin. My coat pocket yielded an apple and some pecan nuts. There is a great waste of powder at Christmas in this section.
July, 1884.—Tallest of the mounds is eight hundred thirteen feet in circumference at the base. The southeast slope is ninety-six feet with the base of forty-seven feet.
Southwest slope is one hundred two feet, base fifty-seven feet, five inches. Diameter of top, fifty, feet. Circumference on top, two hundred fifteen feet.
Second Large (Square) Mound.
Length, northeast end, one hundred eighty-six feet.
Length southeast side, two hundred and thirteen feet, slope seventy-one feet.
Length, northeast end, one hundred and ninety-two feet, slope height eighty-six feet.
Length southwest side, two hundred and thirteen feet, four inches, slope eighty-six feet.
Length of northeast end, seventy-one feet.
Length of southwest side, ninety feet, four inches.
Length of northwest end, seventy-five feet.
Length of southeast side, eighty-eight feet, eight inches.
Diameter, seventy-six feet, five inches.
The above are my own measurements.
July 1, 1884.—Visited the Knapp Mounds on the west side of the Arkansas River and measured the mounds. I was very kindly entertained by a colored family (named Sparks). Color line departs when hunger demands something to eat. They were in position to give it and did not want to charge, but that would not do so paid to my own satisfaction.
Mr. Knapp had given me a letter to Mr. Sharks. There is a way too, that will please, if the intention is at hand.
Crops are backward because of the late wet spring. Cotton blooms rare.
Scanlon's Landing, twelve miles below Memphis, Crittenden- county, Ark.
Mound Near Walnut Lake Station, Desha County,
The mound is situated on the banks of Walnut Lake near Walnut Lake Station, on the Little Rock, Mississippi & Texas Railroad, and commands a fine view of the lake. The mound is owned by Mrs. Moses P. Embree, who gave me permission to examine it. Nothing was found, however. It is eight feet high, fifteen feet across at the top and forty feet at base. I dug a shaft to the base. It was entirely of sandy loam.
Walnut Lake is six miles long and of an average width of seventy-five yards. No sign of occupation was found.
Mounds on Frenchman's Bayou, Six Miles West of
Golden Lake Post Office on Mississippi River,
Mississippi County, Ark.
These house sites consist of several elevations of circular form and composed of sandy loam. The highest is eight feet and covered with graves. Most of the mounds are in plowed fields cultivated for years and are above the overflow. The human remains, pottery, etc., once there must have been near the surface, the plow having cut to pieces everything there originally. There is an abundance of pieces of brick-like substance with ashes, animal bones and mussel shells. Nothing was found in place as originally.
A house is standing on one of the mounds. In the garden was dug up a stone bead and a piece of pottery. Presented by J. W. Uzzell.
Stephens' Mounds, Six Miles South of Newport, Jackson County, Ark.
On the farm of G. R. Stephens, six miles south of Newport, is a mound five feet high and fifteen feet across,
428 Arkansas Historical Association
and circular in form. A few inches under the soil, in the centre, two skeletons were found. In plowing over it the skull of one was nearly carried away. They lay face down and each in a different direction and quite opposite. Two wheel-like tools and a bone tool covered with copper stain were found with them. The copper may have been taken away by the plow. Two pieces were found. One had three pieces of bone stained with copper. The other skull had pipe and pieces of pots. There were some little charcoal and ashes, but no brick stuff.
Little Rock, Ark.
Jan. 15, 1883.—Took passage on the steamer, Wood-son for Reed's Landing. A colored lady school teacher, a very promising person, bought a cabin ticket and was refused by a white woman to stay in the cabin by the assumption of the woman supposing she was the wife of an officer. She complained to the clerk who ordered her out to the room of the colored chambermaid. She talked of prosecuting. The captain, who came in, said the law allowed him to assign passengers to any part of the boat he chose. What a farce of justice! A known lie, a prejudice against reason.
Jan. 20, 1883.—In the early morning lightning and thunder with a heavy sleet and very cold. Traveled eight miles southeast of Little Rock to J. R. Thibault, who has a fine private collection of mound specimens. His wife, an educated woman, shares his joys, a woman whose father always instructed her to observe natural objects.
Memphis for Little Rock, on the cars was A. Philips, a rough specimen of the old planter. He said he despised the negro, because he said he was not now a profitable and dependable workman. He blamed the Republicans for it all. He said the race is decreasing and as soon as the old negroes are gone, the new race must move or be killed. The two races cannot live together. A shower of oaths and a large whiskey bottle and all round him a filthy floor with tobacco juice. He said he was a Democrat of the straight kind. He rejoiced at the defeat of the Republicans. The discussion changed when the subject of the Democrats fathering the liquor question was mentioned. Two gentlemen of the State said they had all along voted with Democrats, but now they could not support such immorality. This silenced the man of filthy habits.
Little Rock, Ark.
Thanks of the Bureau of Ethnology are due to the following: J. K. Thibault, F. T. Gibson, Gilbert Knapp. J. K. Thibault donated fourteen fine specimens of pottery.
Little Rock, Ark.
Nov. 1882.—Passed two school houses for white and colored both alike. Children well fed and clothed.
Pyracanthus in bloom, November 9th.
1882.—Visited U. S. Armory building, large and in good repair. The air of comfortable independence pervades it. The building looks as if newly repaired.
Nov. 11, 1882.—While passing the cars as they came in from Pine Bluff, a gentleman said, "The cars are crowded, that's like the darkies, they are always on the move; he is good for nothing; he never will have anything; he is only fit for a slave!"
Ancient Indian Canal, Pulaski County, Ark.
Eleven miles northeast of Little Rock, Ark.
This water course has the appearance of being artificially cut. It is somewhat irregular in form and is said to be nearly as it was when the country came into the possession of the whites.
It connects Mills Bayou with Galloway Lake. Mills Bayou empties into the old Arkansas River, and thus the ancient inhabitants had a continuous water communication.
Thibault Mounds Eight Miles East of South of Little Rock, Pulaski County, Ark.
1883.—These mounds are situated on the farm of J. K. Thibault, Esq., eight miles southeast of Little Rock, Ark.
They are small, averaging one and one-half feet high above surface and eighteen feet in diameter. These mounds have so little slope that the plow and rains have not materially worked off the surface. The owner had practically examined the most of them carefully and as soon as the weather permitted said he would finish them. A foot of soil being removed you strike burnt clay, then ashes and with these, human remains, pottery, etc. This gentleman presented through me to the National Museum several specimens of Crania and pottery under Smithsonian numbers.
Mr. Thibault has been asked to lend several of his finest specimens to the National Museum, those taken from his mounds.
The Arkansas River is now one mile distant from the mounds. Judging from the surroundings the river once ran by this ridge upon which are the mounds, the spot being inhabited. These mounds might be called house graves. The huts seem to have been erected five or six feet apart over the mounds. As the soil remains, as it was originally, the plow has not materially disturbed whatever is under the soil and in the house remains. My visit to this gentleman, J. K. Thibault, was during a heavy storm and seeing that it would put him to great inconvenience I returned to Little Rock. His house was undergoing repairs. A fine collection. He is giving all his duplicates to the National Museum and will lend his choice specimens that drawings and casts may be made from them.
This gentleman presented me with several specimens for the National Museum which are sent in package marked x. His collection cannot be purchased or obtained by exchange. He has some rare painted specimens of pottery and some with curious inlaid ornamentations.
He has a happy household, the wife and children taking an interest in his mound examinations.
He has also some curiously shaped specimens of pottery and some pipes, slate beads the finest ever seem by me. A curious paddle shaped implement made of slate. I have pointed out to the owner several choice articles which will be desirable to borrow. A sister, Mrs. Helen E. Hobbs, and a brother-in-law, F. T. Gibson, have both some choice specimens which Mr. Thibault will borrow from them and send with his specimens should you so desire. Menard Mound, or Hill Owned by Napoleon Menard.
Seven miles west by land of Arkansas Post, Arkansas River, Arkansas County, Ark.
1883.—Menard Mound or as it is commonly called, Mepard Hill is one-quarter mile in a direct line from this Arkansas River to Poynters post office and ferry, and seven miles west, by land, of Arkansas Post. It is situated on the farm of Napoleon Menard and is one the best known mounds in the State.
This mound is seventy feet high, one hundred fifty feet wide at the base and forty-five feet across at the top. I think it was originally circular. Sheep and individuals climbing up its sides for several years have made the sides very irregular, besides the digging into its sides to see what could be found accelerated its present ragged condition. I examined three cuts made ten feet into its side and found mixed composition of sandy loam, black vegetable earth, and clay. This may be owing to the earth having been taken from several places and thrown without order on the mound.
This mound has two wings, the larger or the west wing is twenty feet high and one hundred and fifty-six feet long and twenty-seven feet wide at the narrowest part, the widest part is sixty feet. The south or lowest wing is seven feet high and one hundred and seventy-five feet long and sixty feet wide. These wings are of sandy soil with yellow clay subsoil. Some few pots were taken out last year.
One wing is composed of six inches of sandy loam, another of six inches of burnt clay, and the third of three inches of matting and corn. Not much of the matting or corn could be saved, so badly burnt were they; on the same side of the wing, but nearer the mound were found many broken pots under a thick layer of burnt clay, last year. On the opposite side of this northern mound was to be found not even burnt brick stuff. Thirty acres are included in the space around the mound in which are many house sites from which many pieces of pottery have been taken.
The house sites look like a cluster of small mounds, the highest not more than two feet with flat tops and all consist of soil, burnt clay and ashes with which skeletons, pottery, etc., were found. It was from these, that last year so many things were taken by me. The line running through the small mounds indicates a fence. Near by it the Menard Bayou, or the old bed of White River across which is a road leading to Poynter's post office on the Arkansas River.
Menard Mound, Arkansas County, Ark.
Napoleon Bonapart Menard entitled to thanks of the Bureau of Ethnology.
Left Arkansaw Post for Grand Prairie, fifteen miles northwest on a visit to John R. Maxwell.
As the fires have for years been kept out of the prairie the timber has sensibly increased and driven outward and lessened the area of the Grand Prairie.
Arkansas Post, Arkansas County, Ark.
Landed at the Post late in the afternoon. Stayed at a noted hotel. This place is as old as Philadelphia. It once had a State bank, was the capital of the Province of Louisiana. Some bricks of the government house remain. The town was destroyed by the war and the change of the war.
The new town has thirty to forty inhabitants. The intrenchments of Confederates in the late war admit river and rains to encroach and carry away the soil until the town may be endangered. Thanksgiving day, November 24th, I had no turkey. There was no observance of the day. The ground was frozen.
Circus that travels upon a river boat. (Admission twenty-five cents.)
Gambling tables, dice, roulette, and guessing for dollars seem to be the main object, so as to pass counterfeit money.
There was also a twenty-five cent side show consisting of an exhibition tent and a dressing tent to accommodate a miserable variety show for which ten dollars license was paid. Had the whole show exhibited it would have been $100.
The performers were a hard-faced lot. The poor crowd of dupes, black and whites, by their appearance had better put the money to their own comfort.
For three days after my arrival here there was a raw, wet, cold rain, then frost so that the ground was frozen for three days, after which it was warm and pleasant.
Mounds fifteen miles northwest from Arkansas Post, Arkansas County, Ark., Month of December, 1881. Major J. W. Powell. Sir: At the beginning of the month I left Arkansas Post to visit some mounds said to be fifteen miles northwest of Arkansas Post. Said mounds were small. A previous party had taken from the largest mound five skeletons with nothing with them. I found nothing in or about the mound but camp fires. These mounds are situated just inside of what was called Grand Prairie. Game passing to the prairie from the woods could be watched from this elevation by the hunters.
Journey to Little River, Ark., October 13, 1882. to Fishmouth.
From Osceola to Little River most of the journey was through dense woods. The water rose last winter eighteen feet, covering the woods leaving the water sediment marks on the trees and the blazed ones by the axe made by the men in their boats as they sailed along the tree tops so as to mark their return road. Neither bird nor animal seen on the road. Fishmouth Highlands old river cut off. Cotton though topped is six feet high. Mr. Jackson's mad bees.
Fishmouth Highland, Ark.
The first mound visited was four feet high, forty feet long and thirty feet wide and of oval form. Three graves of white people were on the summit, but the owner gave permission to examine between the graves. The first hole dug was two and one-half feet below surface in nice black soil, then ten inches of burnt clay, six inches of charcoal and ashes, associated with which was a skeleton and pots. In the second examination the same result was obtained as the first with the skeleton and pottery. Four feet below the former skeleton a hard burnt floor was struck covered with two feet of ashes and two specimens of pottery but no skeleton. In the third hole dug, after passing through the top soil, then burnt clay, charcoal and ashes same thickness as first hole dug. In the ashes was a broken pot, but no remains.
The human remains were found facing some to one quarter, others to another, face downward or on the back.
The second mound visited was seven feet high and twenty-five feet across. Graves covered its surface so no examination was made.
House Sites - Thirty yards from the last named mound is a level spot with burnt brick-like stuff protruding more or less out from the surface soil. This extended about two hundred feet square. A house and outbuildings covered a part of it. On removing the brick-like substance for six inches to two feet, two skeletons were found a few feet apart (grown) and one of a child. The former had five pots each, the child one and two toy vessels. Ashes were associated with the skeletons.
Several house sites with broken pottery were found. The spot was once larger, but the overflow from the Little River cut-off, which runs by it, has carried away part of it.
Left Forrest City for Madison, St. Francis county, Ark., November 3, 1882, by two mule team, an Ex-Confederate soldier for driver. He called homemade tobacco Arkansas scrip. He told his experience as a prisoner at Camp Butler, Springfield, Ohio and Erie, Pa. Apple and peach trees in bloom. Neglected grave yard of U. S. troops at Madison.
Cherry Valley, Cross County, Ark.
Nov. 1, 1882.—Three months old. A new place built on the bottom lands on the Crawley's ridge branch St. Louis, Iron Mountain Railroad.
Three new stores going up, one frame and one log dwelling finished. A well is dug. Hotel commenced. There is a frame boarding house in which is the post office. Blacksmith shop under boards. A saw mill under upright boards and an upright board shanty. A fine timber country, but they are getting ready to waste it.
Cotton bales, cotton seed and staves await shipment.
Each man expects a fortune in a hurry and he praises the railroad. Land owner gave for depot lot two hundred by fifteen hundred feet deep. Lots (front) fifty feet by one hundred feet back sell for twenty dollars. One acre blocks back part sold for fifty dollars.
Marianna and Other Places in Arkansas.
Jan. 1882.—The colored barbers keep separate shops for white and colored customers.
Jan. 18, 1882.—Snow and sleet with ground slightly frozen, a very disagreeable day.
Marianna has eight hundred population, a fine post office. This place is twelve or fourteen miles up the Languille- River, thirty-five miles from Helena by river and twenty-five by land.
Two miles south of this place on the Helena road is the Lone Pine Spring. The tree is yet standing. Here the thief Murrell had his counterfeit shop for making money, vestiges of which are said to still remain.
Travel on the railroad suspended for several days as the only two engines were injured. Disagreeable waiting, and when started was slow. Freight was taken along and delivered by the wayside. Steam would give out then a stop to get up a new supply.
Garretson's Landing, Arkansas River, Ark.
Mr. Garretson informed me that his mother who lived here from her childhood, while the Choctaw Indians were here, often spoke of their burying their dead by laying them upon the mounds and covering them over.
Garretson's Landing, Jefferson County, Ark.
Major H. P. Spellman entitled to the thanks of the Bureau of Ethnology.
Houson Mounds, Two Miles Northeast of Garrettson's Landing on the Arkansas River, Jefferson County, Ark.
Two miles northeast from Garrettson's Landing are two mounds on the Houson farm. They are close to the road leading from Garretson's Landing to Linwood railroad station on the railroad, leading to Arkansas City. One mound is twenty-five feet high, forty-four feet wide and fifty-five feet long. It is flat on top and covered with graves. No pieces of pottery, bones or burnt clay seem to have been turned up in digging the graves. Its exterior showed a sandy soil. It is forty-five feet from Cypress Bayou which is back of it.
The second mound is three hundred fifty yards in a line from the first and forty feet from Cypress Bayou. It is thirty feet high, fifty feet wide and sixty feet long. Graves are on its top. No examination was allowed. It is of sandy soil. The land around is of rich bottom.
Smuggs' Mound, One and One-quarter Miles South from Garretson's Landing on Arkansas River, Jefferson County, Ark. (Owned by Children of Late Mr. Smuggs.)
This mound is situated on the estate of Mr. Smuggs. It is ten feet high, thirty-five feet long and twenty-five feet wide. I made a cut five feet deep and four feet square in the side and found nothing but clear sandy soil. Previous to my visit, a large hole had been cut from the top to the bottom, but nothing but sand was found. No sign of ashes or even of pottery was seen.
Seventy-five feet from this mound is Long Lake, across which are dense woods.
Holly Grove, Ark., and Vicinity.
Dec. 26, 1881.—Left by stage for Holly Wood. Found everybody celebrating Christmas. I stopped at Widow Smith's Hotel. The influence of her daughters attracts boarders and so her house is full.
Next morning started by team to Mrs. Trotter's farm near East Lake, four miles from Holly Grove and six miles from White River. Stayed at the house of Shoebly Taylor. The people were kind but of many words. Theirs was a rented place.
Dec. 29.—Left for Clarendon, Monroe county, Arkansas by team ten miles.
Hollywood Plantation, Ark., Taylor Mounds.
Nov. 22, 1882.—Leaving Winchester State for Dr. J. M. Taylor's, four miles—got lost by not being rightly directed and went ten miles out of our way. After miles of wandering, it being dark and hearing chopping, followed the sound and came upon two men chopping poles. Went to their cabin to hire one and team to take us to the Taylor Mounds.
Darkies excited over skulls would not touch them. One took two sticks to take one up. One would not keep with my colored man because he handled bones. He said he feared the dry bones would shake about him at night.
Three days and nights rain.
W. B. Dumas kindly entertained us.
Hollywood Plantation Near Winchester Station, Drew County, Ark.
Dr. J. M. Taylor entitled to thanks of Bureau of Ethnology.
Mounds on the farm of Dr. J. M. Taylor, four miles west from Winchester Station, Drew County, Ark., on the L. R., Mississippi & Texas Railroad.
I found this celebrated group of mounds in a field of sixty-three acres, known as the "Mound Field." This field is bounded by Bartholomew Bayou and a line of what is supposed to be artificially made ponds running east and west. Some of these hold water most of the year. It is from these very probably that the earth was taken to build the mounds. They are largely filled up now. Before the war the ponds had large trees growing about them. These were cut down, the ponds drained and cultivated. For several years they have been neglected and trees are growing up. These intersect Bartholomew Bayou. Bayou Bartholomew is said to be five hundred miles long and sixty feet wide in channel and two hundred feet from bank to bank. There is often an eighteen foot rise of water, but it never overflows its banks which are on an average of twenty-four feet high. It runs north and south.
The lower part of this mound field is made up from the overflow of the Arkansas River, when it runs over Ambro Bayou below Pine Bluff. There is now a levee there so no overflow comes from this source.
The top soil is black sandy loam and the bottom is a sandy loam of light yellow clay.
The upper part of the field is stiff black loam and subsoil is a stiff waxy clay of a reddish to black soil.
We examined the subsoil about the mounds and brought to light numerous pieces of pottery, mussel shells, bones and stone implements that had been turned up by the plow. This field has been cultivated for years. There are many house sites to be found in this field. All that I found had mostly been previously disturbed. For years various ones have dug and plowed up skeletons, pottery, etc. At two feet deep I found an abundance of ashes in which were the following: Turtle shell, pipe, mussel shells, pots, pottery fragments, stone implements plowed out.
Bayou Bartholomew lies on the right of these mounds and ponds on the left.
The openings between the ponds vary in width from thirty to one hundred feet. You pass from these outlets to cleared land and back of which are natural woods.
One of the mounds is thirty feet high and of sandy loam mixed with clay.
A second mound is fourteen feet high and one hundred feet wide at the base and thirty feet through at top. It is of sandy loam at top and clay at base.
Another mound is nine feet high, eighteen feet through at top and thirty feet at base and of same composition.
Several other mounds average three feet high and fifteen feet through and are of same composition as the second and third. Nothing was found in these mounds. The action of the plow and rains in uncovering mounds, and the repeated examinations of various ones with spades has left nothing to be found. Many fine things have been taken out of the house sites found between the mounds in this field.
This mound field is fifteen feet above the water channel of Bayou Bartholomew. No overflow.
Forrest City, Ark.
I arrived late, and the hotels being full had to take room at a colored restaurant.
Helena & Iron Mountain Railroad.
No saloon—drug stores have hole in which the money and bottle are placed, the money is displayed, the bottle is filled, returned and no one seen.
Seeds of the China tree used to cure botts in horses.
Captain Cook would not allow his mounds disturbed because his negroes would not rent his land for fear of hants, as they express.
The place has nine hundred inhabitants and no bakery, bread is brought from Memphis or Helena.
Turnips one cent each, apples and Irish potatoes one dollar per bushel, sweet potatoes fifty cents per bushel, beef ten to fifteen cents per pound, chickens small twenty-five cents each. (No bank).
Forrest City Depot.
Wishing to go to Memphis by the Memphis and Little Rock Railroad at six a. m., was on hand with my trunk as the train arrived. The checker refused to check the trunk because it was not at depot twenty minutes before the train arrived so it could be entered on book for the train. The ticket agent said to him, check it as there was time, but he refused, so I lost a day that was wanted at Memphis.
Crook Mound, Ten Miles Southeast of Forrest City, St. Francis County, Ark.
This mound is situated on the farm of Captain W. J. Crook, ten miles southeast from Forrest City and sixty feet from Tuni Creek. It has been cultivated for over fifteen years and besides during the overflows cattle are kept there for months. Their constant tramping has so mixed up the soil, that but little of the soil as it originally was remains. I found (three) small spots, however, of original deposit with four to twelve inches of loam and three inches of burnt clay—then ashes variable in thickness. The base was of clay. It is oblong in form fifteen feet high, four hundred eight feet long, and one hundred fifty feet wide. It has been very deeply plowed. A skeleton or two with a few pots have been taken out.
Extensive examination could not be made as the owner feared that water would affect the mound and make it an unsafe place for their cattle.
This place is at the foot of Crawley's Ridge.
House Sites, Called Old Brick Fort or House on the Property of Major Chairs, Known as the Blackwell Patric Farm, Four Miles Southwest from Forrest City, St. Francis County, Ark., and One Hundred and Fifty Feet from Crow Creek.
This is called by some people the Old Brick Fort or House from the quantity of brick-like material found more or less exposed.
There are (3) of these house sites. A public road runs by the only perfect one and cuts through the other two.
These three house sites are about ninety feet apart.
Major Chairs lives at Columbia, Tenn His agent, A. C. Hickey gave me permission to examine the mounds.
Chairs' Mound on Property of Major Chairs, Four Miles
Southeast from Forrest City, St. Francis
On the same estate as the house sites, but two hundred yards from Crow Creek. It is ten feet high, thirty-six feet across. Small brush grown over it.
The back water of St. Francis River comes near to this mound.
Mounds on Lake Anderson, Ten Miles Northeast from Forrest City, Ark.
Lake Anderson or Mud Lake is six or seven miles long and about two hundred yards wide and three-quarters of mile to the St. Francis River. Here are some mounds on the farm of John Anderson on the bank of the lake.
Three hundred yards from first mound is another on the bank of the lake. It is five feet high, forty-five feet wide and circular in form. Cattle tramping over it have rendered it very hard and thoroughly mixed the materials composing it. It consists of clay, loam, ashes and burnt brick-like material.
Still further to the south is another seventy-five yards from the last mentioned mound. It is round in form, five feet high and fifty-five feet across. Its composition is like that of the former and is equally mixed and as hard trampled.
There is a depression in the lake bank in front of the mound and so a good view of the lake is had. These mounds are in a bottom covered by timber of large size.
One-quarter mile from the last mentioned mound and close to the bank of the lake are several patches of brick-like material, finely ground. For years the public road has passed over them so that whatever was originally beneath this burnt clay has been destroyed by vehicles which have worn deep ruts in the ground. These house sites are only one and one-half feet above the general surface.
Mound at Arkansas City, Desha County, Ark.
Little less than one mile north of Arkansas City is a mound situated on a level bottom that overflows by the. Mississippi River, which is one mile back of Cypress swamp that is contiguous to mound and from which the prehistoric people may have obtained their water supply. This mound during last years overflow, which was of unusual height, was five feet above water. Since the settlement of the country this mound has been used as a burying ground, its surface is thickly studded over with graves. In digging which, bones, pottery and brick-like substance is turned out, giving evidence as to its having been inhabited previous to the advent of the whites. It was probably nearly square originally.
Should anyone depart this life at Arkansas City during an overflow the remains is taken to this mound in a boat followed by the inhabitants in various kind of water crafts, a novel procession.
Alianthus trees have taken freely to the mound, an oak or two of natural growth remains on its surface.
The mound is one hundred eight feet long, seventy-two feet wide and twelve feet high.
There is about thirty-five feet of a slope at east end which was produced by the breaking down of the mound surface.
This view of the mound shows Cypress Bayous in the background, also the graves on the top and right-hand end.
DeSoto or Depriest Mound, Thirteen Miles Northwest op Arkansas City, Desha County, Arkansas.
This mound is generally known as the DeSoto Mound, it being supposed by some that DeSoto camped here during one winter. H. T. Depriest now owns it and has his house on the attachment or slope from the mound.
It is close to the bank of Cypress creek which empties into the Mississippi River, eight miles from the mound. This stream is thirty to forty yards wide and twenty feet deep. Five miles in a direct line is the Mississippi River. Back of the mound is a large pond from which the earth was taken to build this mound. It is of black and sticky nature. Fruit trees are planted on the top and corn, etc., have been cultivated there. No brick-like substance was found on it. A few pieces of pottery were turned up by the plow. The mound is sixty feet high on the back side, but sloping toward the addition upon which the house stands. This attachment was probably to enable an easy ascent to the mound. The mound is one hundred ten feet across, one hundred forty-four feet long and has one-half acre on top. The accompanying view is of the so-called "De Soto" mound on Cypress Creek looking southwest with Cypress on the north.
Depriest Mound, Thirteen Miles Northwest op Arkansas City, Ark.
Returned from Depriests' Mound to Arkansas City December 6, 1882.
There was the necessity of stopping on the journey. I stayed with a poor, but very accommodating white man.
The colored driver of the two-mule wagon and my colored artist stopped with a friend of the driver, the bill of the two was three times as much as mine.
Alarm of fire brought out a crowd, a new store on fire two stories high—no fire department—with buckets soon put out the fire.
Side walks so staked in place that rise as water rise they remain and the people walk on the water.
Dec. 1882.—Was like May much of the time.
Arkansas City, Ark.
Col. B. F. Grace, James Murphy and J. D. Coates are entitled to the thanks of the Bureau of Ethnology.
Arkansas City, Ark. From Garrettson's Landing, Mississippi River.
1883.—January 10 at 1 a. m.—Arrived at Arkansas City by freight train, City Hotel was full so had to sit in a chair by the fire. Had walked or rode all day in the mud and it was very cold, all the way from Garrettson's Landing on Mississippi River.
Arkansas City, Ark.
1882.—Noted for saloons and a hard crowd. There is « fine oil mill,
Feb. 27, 1882.—Water rose eighteen inches above the City Hotel floor and on the level five or six feet.
Wooden court house, jail and a wooden town.
At the hotel cockroaches march over the table, the wall and floor, no water or fire in rooms, a filthy place—two dollars per day—an obliging lord, but does not know his business.
Dec. 6, 1882.—Transit of Venus—a clear and warm day, at sundown clouded and at night a fearful wind. At seven next morning, clear and cold. Stayed all night in an open house—very uncomfortable.
The day of December 6th was unusually bright with a peculiar blue sky. Roads fearfully muddy.
Mounds to Watch for Game. Big Cypress Creek, Ark.
These mounds during the dry part of the year was resorted to by the Indians to watch for game, as the waters overflow the country, the mounds being at the divide between the overflow and the high lands.
Menard Mounds, Eight Miles Southeast of Arkansas Post, Arkansas County, Ark.
Arkansas Post, Ark., November 29,1881. Major J. W. Powell, Sir:
Since forwarding my last communication, I have visited a section of land owned by the heirs of the late Frank
Menard, Esq., eight miles southeast of Arkansas Post, Arkansas County, Ark.
These mounds are situated in a field of twenty acres. It is forty feet high, nine hundred sixty-five feet in circumference at the base and three hundred feet at the top with trees and bushes growing on its tapering sides.
I did not open this mound as two cuts had already been made in it without revealing anything, but an eight foot hole was dug in the top at which depth were found ashes, in which a metal cross of six or eight inches long was found. From the top of this mound a good view of the surrounding country was obtained.
From the eastern side of this mound projects an appendix, ten feet high, twenty feet across and three hundred feet in length, and at the end of which is a small circular mound fifteen feet high and forty feet across. Nothing was found in this mound, but evidences of its once having been occupied by numerous houses were verified, by finding of dwellings. As the Arkansas River once ran near by the site, it was doubtless occupied during the overflow of the river, so also might have been the connection between it and the big mound. Near the center of this connection and just under the soil burnt clay roofing of a house was found, then a few inches of ashes and charcoal. This house was fifteen feet in circumference. At one side of this house imbedded in the burnt clay debris were many broken pots. Their position and the material with which they were associated would lead one to the conclusion that the Indians of former days like those of now use the roof of their clay houses to put their cooking utensils upon, as the smallness of their dwelling and the absence of shelves would render these frail objects liable to be broken. These pots differ in ornamentation and form from those found with the dead, thus they are of especial interest.
On the opposite side of the house from which these pots were found, were several inches of wood ashes below which was a hard floor of burnt clay with a smooth surface three feet across. This floor must have been made of wet clay smoothed and then burnt hard by the heat of the fire. The burning down of the house whether by accident or design converted the outer clay roofing to a red brick-like substance, bearing the impression of grass and sticks supports in it and precipitating the pots of clay. Four pots were found inside of each other, but cracked all over, in the last one was a large piece of burnt roofing. This material was variously mixed amongst the rest of the broken pots. If these pots had been under the roof, the roof would have covered them, breaking them up and forming an even mass or layer.
List of Articles, Menard Mound (No. 3), Ark.
1881.—137 Stone implements.
138 Mixed pieces of pottery.
139 Heads of animals (one as a rattle).
140 Pottery, more or less broken (the pieces may be somewhat mixed—found with a skeleton, the head of which had been previously destroyed).
141 Three specimens of pottery found with a decayed skull.
142 Three pots (with half-grown person decayed).
143 Pot with skull.
144 Two pots on human form placed in four bundles. The crania found with them is in a separate bundle with the mark (144).
145 Two pots found with a decayed crania.
146 Four pots found with a decayed skeleton of a child.
147 Two pots with a decayed skeleton of a child.
148 Three pots found with half-grown person.
151 Clay and charcoal (burnt).
152 Burnt clay from inside of pots.
Menard Mound, Seven Miles West of Arkansas Post, Ark.
1883.—The large mound seen in the picture is seventy feet high, one hundred fifty feet wide at base and forty-five feet wide at top. It was originally circular, but sheep, cattle and individuals climbing up its sides accelerated the present rugged sides. Its composition is a mixture of sandy loam, black vegetable earth and clay irregularly intermixed which may be owing to the material being collected from several parts.
This mound has two wings or appendages, the larger or west wing is twenty feet high, one hundred fifty-six feet long, twenty-seven feet wide at narrowest part and sixty feet a widest part. It was in the center of this wing that so many broken yellow fiat dishes were found. This visit yielded charred corn, matting, etc., which have been forwarded under 423-24-25.
First—Six inches of soil. Second—Six inches burnt clay. Third—Three inches matting and corn. These were found on the north side of wing which is covered with brick-like substance, of which the opposite side has none. The south or lowest wing is seven feet high, one hundred seventy-five feet long and sixty feet wide. These wings are of sandy soil with yellow clay sub-soil.
Mound and Grave.
In speaking of the first settlement on the Arkansas River, says, in one of the Tumuli Mounds on the bank of the bayou intersected by the falling away of the earth, a pot of this kind still employed by the Chickasaw and other natives for boiling their victuals in had fallen out of the grave and did not appear to be of very ancient interment.
Speaking of the mounds the author says, I suspect that the mounds are merely incidental, arising from the demolition of the circular dwelling in which the deceased had been interred, a custom which was formerly practiced by the Natchez, Cherokee and other natives.
"Journal of Travels in Ter. of Arkansas, 1819, by Thomas Nuttall, F. L. S., 1819."
Arkansas Post, Village on Arkansas River.
The first attempt at settlement on the bank of the Arkansas was begun a few miles below the Bayou which communicated with the White River. An extraordinary inundation occasioned the removal of the garrison to the borders of the lagoon near Madame Gordons and again disturbed by an overflow, they at length chose the present site of Arkansas Post.
They cultivated peach and other trees. .
Indians Have No Religions.
Vol. 2.—Kalm's Travels says the Indians have no religion.
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