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Turks in the Americas.

An Universal History,from the Earliest Account of Time. Volume XX. Book IV. The History of the Turks,Tartars,and Moguls. London.1748


  • According to Hornius, the Phœnicians made three remarkable voyages to America. The first under the conduct of Atlas, whom Plato in his Critias calls the son of Neptune; have made the second, when, sailing along the coast of Africa, they were driven by a tempest to the remotest parts of the Atlantic ocean, and came at last to a vast island in a western direction from Libya ; and the third, when the Tyrians, in the days of Solomon, went for gold to Ophir.
  • …some of the Americans were descended  from the Egyptians and Phœnicians… For, that the Tyrians and Sidoniam, a branch of the Phœnicians, were celebrated in ancient times for passing over the seas, and their skill in maritim affairs, we learn from Scripture.
  • …the Americans in general were descended from some people who inhabited a country not so far distant from them as Egypt and Phœnicia
  • Now no country can be pitched upon so proper and covcnient for this purpose as the northeastern part of Asia, particularly Great Tartary, Siberia, and more especially the peninsula of Kamtschatka. That probably was the tract through which many Tartarian colonies passed into America, and peopled the most considerable part of the new world. This at present is the most prevailing opinion among the learned ; nor will any sober intelligent person, we persuade ourselves, refuse his assent to it, after he has maturely weighed the following observations:

      1. The genius, manners, and customs, of the Americans, have, little affinity with those of the Europeans, the more civilized Asiatics, or any of the African nations. It if, therefore, reasonable to suppose, that their progenitors were seated in some of the barbarous parts of Asia. Now, as the north eastern Asiatic Tartars, Siberians, and the people of Kamtschatka, had such a situation ; from them, as from their proper source, we must derive the greatest part of the American tribes.

      2. Many of the Americans, in their idolatry, savage disposition, barbarous qualities, and singular customs, vastly resemble the north-eastern Asiatics, particularly the Tartars, and natives of Kamtschatka. The Algonkins, according to La Hontan, rove about from one spot of ground to another, like the Scenite Arabs and Tartars, having neither cities, towns, nor any fixed habitations. The Peruvians hang their dead on tree, as do the people of Kamtschatka. The West-lndions live in houses, or huts, erected on four posts, into which they ascend by a ladder; and in such cottages as these dwell the inhabitants of Kamtschatka. The men of California go naked, are of a swarthy complexion, and live chiefly upon fish ; all which holds true of the Kamtschatkians. The TungusiOstiacks, and other neighbouring nations, worship the devil with their inchanting drums ; and that the ancient inhabitants of Virginia paid divine honours to infernal spirits, and were addicted to inchantments and conjurations…

  3. There is great reason to believe, that some of the western provinces of North America must either be continuous to, or at no great distance from, the north-eastern part of Asia…However, it is highly probable, that to the east of Kamtschatka, or, as the Chinese call it, Jecco, and the Germans Jedso, there is an immense tract approaching to north America; and that even to this day there remains at least a kind of communication between them, by means of a chain of islands. It may also be supposed, that Asia and America were formerly connected by an isthmus, which might have been destroyed by an earthquake.

      4. That part of America next to Asia is much more populous than the remoter eastern provinces, or kingdoms; which is a manifest indication, that this was first planted by colonies coming from the nearest parts of Asia, who settled here, and afterwards spread themselves gradually over ihe new world. From whence we may conclude, that the bulk of the Americans are descended from the TartarsSiberians, and people of Kamtschatka.

      5…. though the Spaniards found the continent of America full of wild beasts, yet none of them were to be met with in any of the islands which lay remote from that continent. This Acosta asserts to be true, on strict examination, of CubaHispaniolaMargaritaDominicaJamaica, etc. And this has been observed in other islands discovered since Acosta’s time. J. De Lact also says, that there were no such birds in any of these islands as could not fly far, such as partridges, etc. From whence it may be inferred, that America received many of its animals, and even men too, from some part of the world nearer to its continent than were Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica, etc. Now, as this must have been some of the north-eastern districts or provinces of Asia, it undoubtedly was, in a great measure, peopled, and stocked with animals, from thence.

       6.The people inhabiting the extreme north-eastern part of Asia entirely want horses, those animals not being able to live in so cold a region. Now no horses were found in America, at the first discovery of it by the Spaniards; so that in several places the natives used rein-deer, and large mastiff-dogs, instead of them, as many of the posterity of the ancient most northern Scythians or Tartars did.

      7. The Chichimecæ, a barbarous people, in their roving manner of life, and many of their customs, much resembling the Tartars, came into Mexico, according to the Americans themselves, about seven hundred years after the birth of Christ. As, therefore, about the year of Christ 400 the Scythians or Tartars so overstocked their country, that they were obliged to disperse into various parts of the world, some of them at that time probably found their way into America, over a considerable part of which they might spread themselves in 300 years. This they might do, either by advancing westward to the Frozen Sea, and Nova Zemla, from whence they might easily pass over to Greenland, separated from north America only by Davis’s Streights; or by moving in an eastern direction towards the peninsula of Kamtschatka. But, for various reasons that might be assigned, it is not likely, that any great number of people could attempt the former passage; and therefore it must be allowed, that the most considerable body of planters migrated out of the north-eastern part of Asia into the new world.

      8. It appears from SolinusAmmianus Marcellinus, and Paulas Venetus, that Scythia, or Tartary, and Hyrcania, abounded with tigers, lions, bears, and deer. Nay, we learn from Pliny, that there was a vast variety, as well as multitude, of wild beasts, in the great Tartarian solitudes; and that the country, in many places, was rendered a desert by those beasts. As, therefore, these animals are found in America, we may reasonably presume, that they came from thence, though how this passage was effected, we cannot pretend to determine, till we see what relation the eastern extremity of Asia bears to the western one of America…so that the multitude of strange beasts, as well as birds, to be met with in America,may be easily conceived to have got thither from Tartary by the eastern passage. This will amount to a reasonable presumption, that such a passage was the most natural, and consequently that the largest number of planters came to the new world from Tartary, Siberia, Kamtschatka, and the other most north eastern regions of Asia.

      9. Nor can any objection to what has been advanced be drawn from the supposed impossibility of the Scythians or Tartars being ever induced to undertake so long and dangerous a migration. For we are informed by Pliny and Ammianus Afarcellinus, that the Scythian Cannibals, or man-eaters, depopulated all the neighbouring country, obliging the inhabitants to fly to the remotest regions, in order to seek out new habitations. The names of these cannibal nations have long been, in a great measure, lost; though there are the remains of two of them, according to Hornius, still in America ; which may possibly give some light into the origin of some of the American tribes. About Florida we meet with a people called Apalatci and Apalcheni, which appear, by the affinity of their names,to have been the Apalai of Solinus. That author joins these Apalai with the Mossagetæ, some of whose descendents likewise probably migrated into the new world. For we find the Mazateca, or Masateca, constituting one of the four nations of New Spain, and the Massachaseta, Massachuseta, or Massagaseta (which is still nearer to Massageta), situated in New England. The Tambi, an ancient people of Peru, according to Hornius, came from the Tabieni of Ptolemy, from whom the promontory of Tabis, or Tabin, received its name. Hence we may conclude, that these Tabieni pretty nearly corresponded with the present Jukagri, Koraiki, Tschucktshi,Liutori, Kamtscbadali, and Kurili, inhabiting the extremity of the northeastern tract of Asia towards the aforesaid promontory; and consequently that the north-eastern Asiatic Tartars, Siberians,and inhabitants of Kamtschatka, not a little contributed towards peopling the new world.

      10. That there was a second migration of the Hunns, Alans, Avares, Turks, Tartars, Moguls, Parians, and other Scythian nations, into America, we learn from Hornius. The Hunns, or at least a branch of that people placed in the farthest part of Asia, had the appellation of Cunadani, or Canadani, from Cunad, a place not far from the sea, where some of them had their situation. Hence we find a city in the Upper Hungary, built by their dependents, denominated Chonad, or Chunad the inhabitants of which, and those of the neighbouring district, still retain the name of Chonadi, or Cunadi  [ Kanad, or Qanad in Turkic means ‘a wing’ – noted by Ed.]. From these Hornius believes the natives of Canada to have deduced both their origin and denomination. And, as an author of good credit assigns the Huyrones habitations in the neighbourhood of the Moguls, he thinks, that these Huyrones were the progenitors of the Hurons, seated not far from Canada; and that the Hunni, or Chuni, in conjunction with the Alani, to whom they were neighbours, were likewise the ancestors of the Chonsuli, a people about Nicaragua. The same writer also supposes the Parii, an ancient Scythian nation, to have spread themselves over the region of Paria in America. Farther, as Herodotus mentions a Scythian or Tartar people called Napa, and another denominated Pali, he conjectures, that the Nepi, in the island of Trinidada, came from the former, and the Otapali in Florida from the latter. The Turks seem to have been called lyrca by Herodotus, and were, according to Hornius, the fathers of the Iroquoi, or Iroquois; nay, as the Hyrcanians were descended from the lyrca [ Hyrkania – modern Shirvan, a region in Azerbaijan Republic – noted by Ed ], and in iheir own language had the name of Tzuruki, he takes the Souriquoi to have been also their posterity. The Mexican words Teu and Tepec, importing God, and a mountain, had likewise the same signification in the ancient Turkish; which he considers as a confirmation of the truth of his opinion. Some traces of the Moguls rmy be observed in the Tamogali, and the Mogoles about the Rio de la PlataChoten, or ChotenaBaita, and Tangur, or Tanguth, are local proper names in Great Tartary; and with these Coton in ChiliPaita in Peru, and Tangora in the same country, very well correspond. The Mexican local proper names generally end in an, as Teutitlan, Coatlan, Hazatlan, Quezatlan, Petutlan, etc. as do also those of the TartarsIndians, and other eastern nations. Many of the Scythian, or Hunnian, etc. proper names, had the particle Al prefixed to them; which frequently happened to those of Yucatan [ the word Yucatan consists of 2 Turkic wordsYuk meaning ‘ load,cargo’ and Atan meaning ‘throwing’ – noted by Ed.], and the adjacent parts of North America. An American king named Tatarax reigned formerly in Quivira, who seems to have been of Tartar extraction. For, the antient Turks and Tartars frequently annexed the particle ax to the proper names of their princes, and the word Tatar or Tartar occurs in that of this monarch. Nay, that the Americans imitated the Turks and Tartars in the aforesaid particular, appears from those American kings called StalderaxAlmoraxMerebax, and Naguatax; as also from Atzlan, an ancient name in the kingdom of Mexico, answering exactly to that of Atzlan Beg, a Turkish prince in Natolia, about the year of Christ 1300. From all which we may infer, to omit other instances of this kind which might be produced, that the greatest part of the ancient inhabitants of the new world deduced their original from the above-mentioned north-eastern Asiatic nations.

11.The Epicerini, a people of Canada, when the Europeans first came among them, asserted, that, very far from them, in a western direction, there lived a nation who affirmed, that foreign merchants, without beards, in great ships, frequently visited their coasts….it appears, that the Japanese had also an intercourse with the Americans. The Chiapaneca, a nation in this vast region that came from from Nicaragua, but originally from Mexico and California, by their name appear to be descended from some people left in America by the Japanese. The river, province, and lake of Chiapa, in the kingdom of Mexico, as well as Ker-Japan in the island of Trinidada, afford some traces of the Japanese. The Tartars anciently called the Japanese Zipangri; and, when Columbus arrived at Hispaniola, and heard that part of this place was called Zipangi by the natives, he imagined himself to have come to the proper Japan. The word Montezuma, or Motezume, the usual title of the emperors of Mexico, is plainly of Japanese extraction, Motazaiuma, according to Hornius, being the common appellation of the Japanese monarchs. But though, from what is here observed, it seems probable, that the Japanese left some people on this vast continent, yet we are apt to believe, that not many natives of Japan remained here. For that nation, being originally Chinese, undoubtedly retained the customs, and political maxims, prevailing in China. However, as, under the name of Chinese, several Oriental writers comprehended the Manchew Tartars, who were quite of a different political constitution from the true Chinese, we may reasonably suppose, that the former attended the latter, as well as the Japanese, to America, and made several settlements there. From whence we may collect, that the new world was principally supplied with inhabitants by the eastern and north-eastern Asiatic Tartary.

12.  The founder of the Peruvian empire was one Manco, or Mancu, if we will believe the Americans themselves, who certainly must have been the best acquainted with the traditional knowlege of their own antiquities. Now Manco, or Mancu, evidently alludes to Manchew, or rather is the same word with it. This is an additional proof, that some Manchew colonies settled in America, and particularly Peru; so that, as this was the politest part of the new world, together with Mexico, we may naturally suppose the Chinese to have been the most conversant with the inhabitants of it, and, if anywhere, to have planted colonies in it. But, from what is here observed, it is likely enough, that the Manchew Tartars, who probably were introduced by the Chinese, founded the Peruvian empire; as those of the same nation who attended the Japanese did that of Mexico. So that the Chinese and Japanese seem only to have traded with the Americans, transported in their ships the Manchew Tartars hither, and communicated some of their names, customs, manners, etc. to them. The northeastern and eastern Tartars, therelore, of which the Manchews were a branch, must greatly, if not above all other nations, have contributed towards the peopling at least of a considerable part of the new world.

13.  Father Jartoux has obliged the learned world with a most accurate description of the celebrated plant Ginseng, which he first committed to writing in the year 1709. at the time it was gathered, when he had it exhibited to his view in the utmost perfection. This plant is a native of Manchew Tartary; and then it was not known, that any other part of the world produced it. Father Lafitau, a missionary Jesuit in Canada, being hereby excited to an inquiry after the Ginseng, after three months search, found it there. The Americans had, for a long time, been acquainted with its virtues; and, among them, it all along went under the name of Garentoguen, which signified the thighs of a man.However, he inferred from thence, and in our opinion very justly, that north America was joined to Tartary, or at least to some tract continuous to it; since it is almost impossible, that the Tartars and Americans sould both have hit upon those names without a communication of ideas. Nor do we doubt, but many similar arguments, in favour of a connection of Asia and America, would be suggested to us, by a nice inspection into, and examination of, the plants and animals, as well as customs, religions, languages, etc. of those two immense continents, which, with the seas appertaining to them, form the most considerable part of the terraqueous globe.

14. So that, from the tract lately discovered, to the east of Japan and Kamtschatka, and the people settled there, we may infer the probability of America’s being planted in part by colonies drawn from the north-eastern regions of Asia. For, by such discovery, a nearer approach is made from Japan and Kamtschatka to the coast of California; and, from this approach, a presumptive argument is drawn in favour of our opinion; according to which, all the islands and continents between JapanKamtschatka, and California, as well as a considerable part of America, at least, were peopled from Siberia and Tartary.

  •  We are under no necessity to suppose, that the lions, tigers, bears, etc. of America were brought thither by sea, as having already proved, that these animals were produced in ScytbiaHyrcania [present day Shirvan, part of Azerbaijan Republic – noted by Ed.], and Tartary, and that, in all probability, they passed from thence into America. Nor is this difficult to be conceived, if we believe the continents of Asia and America either to be united, or separated by a narrow freight, or lastly, that there is a communication kept open between the extremities of these two continents, by a chain of islands lying near those extremities and one another.
  • …the first arrival of the Scythians, or Tartars, happened about the year of Christ 400 has been rendered extremely probable by Hornius; as also that the Chichimeca, a barbarous people, in most of their customs resembling the ancient Scythians, found their way into Mexico about the 700th year of Christ. The first of these migrations seems to have been occasioned by the embroiled state of Tartary, which was greatly agitated by bloody wars and intestine commotions, as well as overstocked with people, about the beginning of the fifth century. And the latter was probably effected by the dependents of the first migrators, who in the space of 300 years might have peopled the most northern parts of America. This is likewise confirmed by the account the Americans themselves give us of the Chichimeca, and their first arrival in Mexico. Nor can it well be doubted, but that since the year 700 the Tartars have performed several other such migrations.