The First Americans

The First Americans


In the long history of the FIRST AMERICANS from paleoindians to present there is much of which to be proud and much of which to be ashamed.  This section will  present both objective and subjective information.


“The first American was part of nature and she of him; he knew her richness and beauty, her harshness and menace, as not one modern American in 10,000 does.”
American history does not begin with the first European exploration of the western hemisphere. There is ample evidence that the Western Hemisphere was visited long before Christopher Columbus “discovered” it.  Scientific research, conjecture and even common sense, substantiated by increasing archaeological knowledge demonstrates that earlier cultures probably reached, and even impacted the First American civilizations: Carthaginians, Phoenicians, Egyptians, Chinese, Romans, Vikings, and Polynesians are among the candidates.

Although President Thomas Jefferson excavated an Indian mound in the1700s, and there were scholars in the late 1800s and early 1900s who did some rather bad excavations, systematic research on the First Americans did not begin in earnest until the 1930s, when, at a site in Clovis, New Mexico a beautifully crafted spear point was unearthed lodged within the bones of a fossilized woolly mammoth.  Archaeologists dated the “Clovis point” at about 12,000 years old and conjectured that the earliest known inhabitants of the Western Hemisphere probably walked across a land bridge from Asia.  Since then, discoveries at other sites have revised the date, mode of transportation, and point of origin. 

In 1975, when I published the bicentennial commemorative book on Bayou Lacombe, I stated, “About 30,000 years before Columbus ‘discovered’ America, and again about 15,000 years ago, the first Americans walked across the then existing Bering Strait land bridge between Asia and America..”  {Research now indicates that they may have also come in successive wave by boat from Europe, Japan, China, and even Polynesia during pre-Columbian times.  Since the early years of my personal exploration and research in the jungles of Yucatan and Central America I have learned much more from the efforts of others.}

In a very short time the First Americans populated the entire North and South American continents and proceeded to develop a dizzying diversity of cultures, including such incredibly rich and complex societies as the marvelous and mysterious Temple Mound Builders of the Southern United States, whose achievements are just beginning to be appreciated.  No crude hunter gatherers, these Mound Builders lived in big urban centers supported by intensively cultivated farms, built huge monuments, and prospered as efficient businessmen; operating factories, producing manufactured goods, and an export import trade network over several thousand miles of land and water routes.

When word of these people inhabiting the newly found continent reached Europe, they were classed as perhaps not really human; they were not, after all, mentioned in the Holy Bible.  However, by 1512 the Roman pope declared that the New World’s Indians were true descendants of Adam and Eve.  As such, they must obviously have come from the Old World’s Garden of Eden.  However, after the expedition of Spaniard Hernando De Soto through the Southeastern Untied States in the 1540s did his perception of the Indian as the savage “red devil” of present day pop culture, with horns, tail and pitchfork, gain credence in European countries and led to the justification for the exploitation and extermination of the native inhabitants as evil sub humans, which pervaded all subsequent contact.

Despite this papal declaration of humanity, a Protestant bishop, who in 1750, based upon his own prejudiced study of the amended bible placed the creation of the world at 9 o’clock on the morning of October 26, 4004 B.C., still maintained that Indians could not possibly be human, or they would have been mentioned in the “Holy Good Book.”  It was this kind of deliberately befuddled thinking, which led to their further exploitation and mistreatment by some Europeans, and gave justification through divine rationale and Euro racial superiority for their eventual extermination. 

Although Negro males were accorded citizenship by the fourteenth amendment to the US Constitution in the late 1860s, and women were enfranchised by the 19th amendment in 1920, Indians, America’s first citizens, were not made legal citizens until 1924!

Growing evidence indicates that the Indians of the Southeast US were the descendants of a large group of Maya Indians who migrated to Louisiana from Yucatan over a period of time about 800 A.D.

Academic research backed by personal observation and exploration in the jungles of Mexico, Yucatan, Central America, and the Caribbean coupled with archaeological and scientific evidence, supports or verifies legends, folk traditions, rituals, and oral histories contained in historical and contemporary  native references.

(Under development)