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cause language is the key to all other activities; and the wisdom of the choice was soon demonstrated by practical application of the classification-for it was found that tribes speaking related languages were so nearly alike in arts, industries, social organization, and belief as to live together in harmony, while, if their languages were unlike, their other activities, especially their beliefs, were so incongruous as to prevent harmonious association.

Under the linguistic classification, the aborigines of America north of northern-central Mexico were classified, early in the present decade, in about seven hundred and sixty tribes, grouped in sixty stocks; and the later researches have served to establish and somewhat to extend this classification.

The discrimination of the tribes and the linguistic stocks to which they may be assigned has afforded means for tracing the history and elucidating the movements of the aborigines with considerable success; and this phase of the work has received especial attention during the last two years. The most instructive example is afforded by the tribes of the Siouan stocks: Gathering on the southern Atlantic coast probably three to five centuries before Columbus, the parent tribes drifted northward along the coast, and spread slowly inland; leaving the main coast along the middle Atlantic estuaries, they followed Chesapeake and other bays into the interior, gradually abandoning piscatory habits, and developing agriculture in connection with the chase; the inland invasion brought them in contact with the buffalo, and a considerable part of the people followed this easy game westward across the Appalachian mountains, and down the westward-flowing rivers to the Mississippi, whence they spread still farther westward, becoming the buffalo Indians par excellence of the northern plains. Meantime they in creased, both by normal growth and by the absorption of weaker tribes and

tribal remnants; they spread over an area several of hundred thousand square miles, and developed a number of tribal federations, the most noted being the Dakota confederacy of six or seven great tribes. Quite similar appears to have been the growth of the Algonquian-speaking peoples, who occupied the Atlantic coast north of the Siouan tribes, and pushed inland along various rivers from the Susquehanna to the St. Lawrence, and drifted thence westward along the Great Lakes and over the plains adjacent, displacing or absorbing alien tribes, and forming various confederacies as they spread over the vast interior territory. Similar, too, save in extent of migration, was the growth of the Iroquois confederacy which, within the period of three to five centuries terminated by white settlement, pursued a career of assimilation in which they extended territorial holding, absorbed a large but unknown number of inimical tribes, pressed hard against neighboring Siouan and Algonquian peoples, and developed one of the best organized and best known of the native American confederacies, the famous Iroquois League. These examples illustrate the demotic development and geographic history of the aborigines of eastern America; a growth and history which may be summed in the statement that the greater peoples represented by the principal linguistic stocks appear to have originated on the coast and spread inland, acquiring a crude agriculture, creating elaborate social institutions, and developing intelligence to a degree corresponding to the esthetic and industrial and social growth.

Quite different are the conditions on the Pacific coast, where nine-tenths of the aboriginal linguistic stocks are concentrated in one-tenth of the area; here the peoples are subsedentary (or limited in range), generally of restricted social organization, and of specialized or localized industries and arts, while the intelligence is of correspondingly

low order. When the Pacific coast aborigines are compared with those of the Atlantic coast and the interior, they are found notably more primitive in activital development; their activities were autochthonal and narrow, while those of their eastern contemporaries were broadly provincial; and in most other respects they occupied a lower cultural plane than that of the vigorous Algonquian and Iroquoian and Siouan peoples of the eastern plains and shores. It is significant, too, that the prehistoric relics of the Atlantic. coast are much more abundant and seem to attest a longer and more varied occupancy than the corresponding relics of the Pacific belt. Briefly, the researches concerning movements of tribes and peoples show that the American aborigines cannot be treated as a unit in the study of migrations, or of the peopling of the various parts of the continent; at the same time they have thrown much light on the actual lines of development and movement of the aborigines during the centuries preceding the discovery by Columbus.

The definition of the culture stages and the recognition of the lines of growth and migration of tribes and confederacies throws some light on the question as to the origin of the aborigines, and removes the inquiry from the domain of pure speculation. Summarily it may be noted, first, that the various lines of activital development are convergent, and, second, that the history of every known tribe or confederacy is a record of interclan or intertribal blending and union. Accordingly, the course of aboriginal development in America during prehistoric times can be pictured only by a series of convergent and interblending lines, coming up from a large. but unknown number of original sources scattered along the various coasts of the continent.

It has not yet been found possible to reduce the period of aboriginal occupancy of the Western Hemisphere

either to the accepted units of chronology or to the time-scale of geology. Various observers have reported human relics from different geologic deposits ranging in age from Miocene to late Pleistocene; but the more critical researches of the Bureau (conducted partly in coöperation with the United States Geological Survey) have shown that the evidence of association is manifestly erroneous in nearly all cases, and inconclusive in all. The latest special researches relating to the antiquity of man were conducted in the autumn of 1898, in the gold belt and Table-mountain zone of California, whence various human relics have been reported from Tertiary formations; the inquiries only served to reveal the various sources of error by which the original observers were not unnaturally misled. The chronologic inquiries indicate occupancy of various districts several centuries before the coming of white men, but there is nothing to indicate, with any strong degree of probability, an occupancy of more than fifty or sixty centuries-the body of phenomena indicating a much. briefer period of habitation than that attested by the more abundant and varied relics of the Eurasian continent. In brief, there is no unmistakable indication of human occupancy of the Western Hemisphere during any of the geologic periods as commonly defined, nor more than a very few millenniums before the landing of Columbus.

During the year (1898) the collaborators of the Bureau of American Ethnology, with several other American anthropologists, have found it convenient to apply a distinctive term to the aborigines of the American hemisphere, viz., Amerind. The term is susceptible of use in different grammatic forms, and does not involve confusion with the modern population of Caucasian derivation. It is applied collectively to the several aboriginal tribes and tribesmen of the American hemisphere, including the Eskimo.




HE Report of a conference upon the boundaries of the successive acquisitions of territory by the United States has been published by the Census Bureau.* The conference was appointed, at the request of the Census Office, as an advisory committee, in the hope that certain discrepancies between different branches of the Government might be harmonized. The main conclusions of the conference are summarized by the chairman, Walter F. Wilcox, as follows:

"1. The region between the Mississippi River and Lakes Maurepas and Pontchartrain to the west and the Perdido River to the east should not be assigned either to the Louisiana Purchase or to the Florida Purchase, but marked with a legend indicating that title to it between 1803 and 1819 was in dispute.

2. The line between the Mississippi River and the Lake of the Woods, separating the territory of the United States prior to 1803 from the Louisiana Purchase, should be drawn from the most northwestern point of the Lake of the Woods to the nearest point on the Mississippi River, in Lake Bemidji.

3. The western boundary of the Louisiana Purchase between 49° and 42° north followed the watershed of the Rocky Mountains; thence it ran east along the parallel of 42° north to a point due north of the source of the Arkansas River, and thence south to that source.

4. The northwestern boundary of Texas as annexed extended up the principal stream of the Rio Grande to its source and thence due north to the parallel of 4° north.

"5. The southern boundary of the Mexican Cession of 1848 should be drawn from a point on the Rio Grande

*Census Bulletin No. 74.

eight miles north of Paso, instead of from one about 30 miles farther north, as is the usual practice at present, west three degrees, and thence north to the first branch of the Gila River.”

The conference report was signed by Walter F. Wilcox, representing the Census Office; Andrew H. Allen, representing the Department of State; O. H. Tittmann, representing the Coast and Geodetic Survey; Henry Gannett, representing the Geological Survey, and P. Lee Phillips, representing the Library of Congress. The findings of the conference have no official standing, but are entitled to great weight, owing to the distinguished names signing the report.

The territorial acquisitions concerning the boundaries of which discrepancies had been noted were considered by the conference in chronological order.


The Louisiana Purchase was thus first considered, and the situation discovered was, briefly, that the territory came into the possession of the United States through the Treaty of 1803 with France, having the same extent as when ceded by France to Spain in 1763, and as when retroceded to France by Spain by the Treaty of San Ildefonso, of October 1, 1800. To ascertain the extent of this territory eastward, the conference examined the several well-known authorities upon the early history of Louisiana-Marbois, Ellicott, Gayarré, Darby, Stoddard, and others; the treaties involved; letters of Monroe, Jefferson, and Talleyrand; certain maps; the text of the grant to Crozat by Louis XIV, in 1712; the presentation of the case by the Commissioner of the General Land Office in his volume entitled "The Louisiana Purchase;" etc. This examina

tion failed, however, to enable the conference to determine the dispute about the territory between the Mississippi and Perdido Rivers, claimed alike by Spain and France, and afterwards by the United States, and finally released by Spain in the Treaty of 1819, in language assigning no limits to West Florida. The conference concluded that the boundary line of this territory at the Mississippi River, as claimed by Spain, should be so defined by a legend on the map, and that the boundary line at the Perdido River, as claimed by the United States, should be similarly indicated. This conclusion was reached with an understanding or admission of the following facts touching the territory between the two rivers claimed by Spain as a part of West Florida: That the territory of Louisiana, as described by France and granted to Crozat by Louis XIV, extended on the east to the River Mobile, which, with the port, was ceded specifically by France to England by the Treaty of Paris in 1763, Spain at the same time ceding the Floridas to Great Britain, with St. Augustine and the bay of Pensacola-thus, inferentially at least, determining the respective boundaries of Louisiana and West Florida; that the first occupation of the interior of the territory between the Rivers Mississippi and Perdido by the Spaniards was during the war of the American Revolution, when it belonged to Great Britain; that Great Britain retroceded the Floridas to Spain in 1783, at which time the Louisiana territory belonged to Spain by the French cession in the preliminaries of peace of 1762 (confirmed in 1763), whereby "all the country known under the name of Louisiana" was transferred; that Spain in 1800 retroceded Louisiana to France as it was received from France in 1763; that France in 1803 ceded the territory of Louisiana to the United States, as discovered and held by France, ceded to Spain, and retroceded to France; and, finally, that in 1819 Spain ceded to

the United States all the territory held or claimed by His Catholic Majesty under the names of East and West Florida. In addition to the grounds of dispute between France and Spain, and the United States and Spain, here shown, there was a conflicting claim concerning the extent of West Florida, born of the contention between French and Spanish discoverers and settlers in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; and there was also the claim of the French, by right of La Salle's descent of the Mississippi in 1682, to all the country drained by that river."

With reference to the Louisiana boundary, there remained but one point of difference between the maps under consideration. Article II of the definitive Treaty of Peace of 1783 between the United States and Great Britain, after defining the northern boundary to the Lake of the Woods, continues as follows: Thence through


the said lake to the most northwestern point thereof, and from thence on a due west course to the River Mississippi." Such a line as that described being obviously impossible, the Mississippi River being south not west of the Lake of the Woods, the line drawn by the conference was a line from the most northwestern point of that lake to the nearest point on the Mississippi. This line the conference regarded as justified by rules of international law and practice respecting vaguely described boundaries in such topographical circumstances.


The Oregon Territory was the next subject to receive the attention of the conference. There seemed to be nothing in the history of that part of our possessions to warrant mention of the claim of Spain rather than that of Great Britain, and the final settlement of the question of sovereignty and boundaries by the Treaty of 1846, fixing the 49th parallel, "by an amicable compromise,"

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