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Josiah Gregg

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The origin of the American Indians has been discussed by too many able writers for me to enter into it here: nor will I attempt to show the general traits of similarity that are to be observed in their various languages: yet it may interest an occasional reader, to be informed of the relations of consanguinity which subsist between many of the different Indian tribes. They may be arranged principally under the following heads: i. The Dahcotah stock, which is by far the most extensive of those indigenous west of the Mississippi. It embraces the Arkansas (of which the Quapaws are now the only remnant), the Osages, Kansas or Kaws, Iowas, Winnebagoes, Otoes, Missouries, Omahas, Poncas, and the various bands of the Sioux: all of whom speak a language still traceable to the same origin, though some of them have been separated for several centuries. I call these indigenous to the West, because most of them have been so from the period of the earliest explorers on the Mississippi; yet the tradition among them is that they came from about the northern lakes; which appears corroborated by the fact, that the language of the Naudowessies, Assiniboins, and perhaps others in that quarter, shows them to be of the same family. 2. The different bands of the Comanches and Shoshonies or Snakes, constitute another extensive stock, speaking one language. 3. The Blackfeet, Gros Ventres or Minnatarees, Crows and Arrapahoes, speak dialects of another. 4. The Pawnees and Rickaras of the north, and the Wacoes, Wichitas, Towockanoes, Towyash and Keechyes, of Red River, are of the same origin. The Chayennes, originally from near Lake Winnipeg, and the Kiawas (or Caiguas, according to Mexican orthography), appear unallied to any of the foregoing nations. 5. Of those from the north and east, the Algonquin stock appears most extensive, embracing the Potawatomies, Ottawas, Chippewas, Knisteneaux, Crees, Sacs and Foxes; with whom the Delawares have also been classed, though their language would now appear very distinct. 6. The Wyandots, Senecas, and others of the Six Nations, are of the Huron or Iroquois. 7. The Shawnees and Kickapoos are of one stock. 8. The Kaskaskias, Piorias, Piankeshaws and Weaws, are descendants of the Miamies. 9. The Choctaws and Chickasaws are nearly the same people. 10. The Creeks and Seminoles though old authors speak of the Creeks as being akin to the Choctaws, yet there is now but little relationship to be traced in their language; while that of the Cherokees appears entirely sui generis.
p.297 footnote

Josiah Gregg

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The Indian system of chiefs, which still prevails, and is nearly the same everywhere, except with the Cherokees, Choctaws, Chickasaws, and the Creeks to a degree, seems to bear a strong resemblance to that of the patriarchs of old; which, with their clans so analogous to those of our forefathers, perhaps affords as strong a proof as any other of their Asiatic origin. To this might be added their mode of naming; for the Indians universally apply names significant of acts, qualities, beasts, birds, etc., to their offspring, a practice which seems to have prevailed generally among the ancient Asiatics. Surnames have only been adopted by educated families and mixed bloods of the border nations, and are generally taken from their missionaries or some favorite friends; except they inherit surnames from parents of white extraction.

Josiah Gregg

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