(The following was written by Bill Howison, and is reprinted from “Reflections”, a collection of local stories available at the Grove City Welcome Center and Museum. Any opinions made in the article are from the author.)

Also in the Draper papers, we find a reference by a Mr. Hale writing to Draper on 27th September 1882 about “a previous white race of which I will write later. I will say something about this prehistoric white race who once occupied the Kanawha Valley in Kentucky but never lived as an organized people West of the falls of the Ohio or North of that river.”  As of this date I have found no further reference to Mr. Hale and his previous white race.

Rev. David Jones in his journal under the date of 18 June 1772 says, “Went out to view the land on the east side of the Little Kanawha to kill Provisions. William Owens killed several deer and a stately buffalo bull.”

In speaking of that part of the valley of the Ohio near the mouth of the Great Kanawha, he says under the date of January 1773, “Here are a great abundance of buffalo, which are a species of cattle left here by former inhabitants.”

In her book, “Simon Kenton, His Life and Period”, Edna Kenton says in Chapter 1 – Kentucky The Strange Land, “of the Indian legends of the land the Ohio trader new little and of Indian traditions that explain the legends they knew even less. They early learned that Kentucky was uninhabited but they did not learn why. They did not know that by ‘assured tradition’ at first and in that place ‘had dwelt’  a ‘very long ago people’ who are of a white color and were masters of art unknown to the red man, who built great monuments and fortifications on both sides of the Ohio and who were finally exterminated with great slaughter. They did not know that by “assured tradition”, the Mound Builders worshiped not to the red man’s Sun but the Moon. In “Ohio First Fruits of the Ordinance of 1787” by Rufus King, we find “it is estimated that there are 10000 mounds in Ohio. The recent research of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology at Cambridge, Massachusetts, has been rewarded with richer and more important revelations as to the lost race than any which had been previously brought to light. Exploration of Mounds in the Northeast part of Hamilton County revealed besides human remains, implements and pottery of the common sort, a deposit of thousands of small pearl beads but what is estimated of higher significance “masses of iron manufactured and unmanufactured which had been hammered into ear schools, band and other artifacts. There was also found large amounts of native copper, silver, and some gold.”

The Ohio Archaeological and Historical Publications Volume XII published in 1904, page 93 sate in part “the wild tribes did not erect the squares and temples at Marietta Ohio…the North American Indian has no habits of progressive Industries. He is restless, revengeful, fond of war and reactionary. There is not one scintilla of evidence that the Indians build these mounds.”

There is tradition migrated from the west and found in the valleys east of the Mississippi a well-entrenched people called the Allegewi, and the Lenni-Lenope were driven back. They joined forces with the Iroquois and proclaimed a war of extermination against the Allegewi. Another tradition affirms that the primitive inhabitants of Kentucky perished in the war of extermination waged against them by the Indians and that the last great battle was fought at the falls of the Ohio where the remnants were driven upon a small island below the rapids and “the whole of them cut to pieces.”

The Indian Chief Tobacco informed General George Rogers Clark of tradition in which it was stated that there was a battle at Sandy Island that decided the fall of the ancient inhabitants. The Indian Chief affirmed that that Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee had once been inhabited by a white people who are familiar with the art of which the Indians knew nothing and that after a series of battles with the Indians, they were exterminated. He also declared that the old burial places were the grades of an unknown people; that the Fords had not been built by the Indians but belongs to a “very long ago” people who were of white complexion and skilled in arts.

(The conclusion of this story in the next blog entry.)