The Present State of Virginia
We know that all Nations of the World are the descendants of Noah’s three Sons,, Shem, Ham and Japhet : From the youngest (from some promised bluffing) may suppose the Europeans and Western Asiaticks to be descended. From Canaan the Son of the middlemost issued the Canaanites, and from some of his Sons might spring the Egyptians, Moors, Negreos, and other Inhabitants of Africa.
From Shem sprung Eber, and from Eber’s eldest son Peleg sprung the Hebrews, and from Eber’s younger Son Joktan are derived the East, and (I suppose) their Consins the West-Indians of America. For in Peleg’s Days the Earth was divided Gen. x. 25. And his Brother Jocktan’s Dwelling was from Mesha, as thou goest unto Sephar, a Mount of the East, v. 30. By these were the Nations divided in the Earth after the Flood, v.32.
To me the Indians of America seem to be some of posterity of Shem, driven thither by Providence, for Causes unknown to us, which might easily be done (in large Boats or Canoes and Periaguas) from the Eastern Parts of Asia, their Grand-father Jocktan’s Country: wich is not improbable : since a Storm might drive them the Shore, and the trade Winds, wich blow constantly one way half the Year, might carry them directly to America, over the vast South Sea Ocean, in which Passage their greatest Danger of Death might be Hunger and Thirst, but they can bear Want a prodigious while, and what might they not bear, when the Divine Power was miraculously concerned in it, for Purposes known to the Almighty only ,
Indeed for what we have yet discovered, we don’t know, but the continent of America may be join’d to Tartary, from whence (if so) they might have an easy, though tedious Conveyance. Be it how it will, I am Opinion, that they are descended from Asia, and not Africa, because in their copper colour, long black Hair, strait proper Shape, and haughty Crriage, they are some what like the East-Indians, whereas they seem to be of a different Breed from the Negroes, who are blacker, haveuglier Faces and Bodies, and are of a more servile Carriage, and slavish temper : Besides the Africans circumcise, whith other Jewish customs, I imagine, they may derive from Egypte, whereas the Indians use no such Practices : moreover they hate and despise the very sight of a Negroe, but they seem to like an East-Indian, and sear and revere the Whites.
What some may object in Contradiction to the universality of the Deluge; that the Communication between Asia and America was washed away by it ! thence inferring that the americans are of Antidiluvian Families, may (I presume) be exploded, when we remark, that in most Places, at a great Beds of strange Shells, and Bones, and Teeth of Fish and Beasts vastly different from any Land or Water-Animals now found in those, or any other Parts of the World, so that norwithstanding all the curious Speculations of Philosophers to reconcile this with Reason and ascribe for it natural causes: yet to me it appears evidently to be a token and Reict of the general Flood of Noah. For these shells and bones might be easily preserved from corruption and mouldering so long a time whilst covered with a great Thickness of dry Earth and kept from air, to which when they are exposed they soon decay.
The best( true account that we have of the Premitive wild inhabitants of the Earth, not civilized by Governùment, nor assisted by Learning, Arts and communication with Strangers, is of the Canaanites, whose state of Nature the Indians still retain, resembling them in most Respects, who may be their cousins descended from Joktan, and may be some cursed generations, for reasons hidden from us. For which causes they might be separated from the rest of making and be debarred the Light of Grace and kept in their barbarous ignorance for their obstinate rebellion against god, till of his gracious Goodness and Mercy he be pleased in his appointed time to compleat their conversion and be more favourable to them.
I have a much truer and clearer notion of the Canaanites, Hebrews and since I have seen the Indians, than I could have before, who afford living examples of the primitive savages and idolaters.
To confirm this, observe, that as the inhabitants of the land of Canaan, who were vanquished from Canaan the fourth son of accursed Ham, being a Mixture of several remarkable Nations that were great and idolatrous, and in an especial manner hateful to God, with frequent wars and barbarities among themselves, in like Manner are the American Indian, as savage, idolatrous, unbelieving, numerous, monstrous, idle and delighting in War and Cruelty as their antient relations the inhabitants of the land of Canaan, and have as many different Nations, languages and strange names ans customs as the Canaanites the Jebusites, the Hittites, the Hivites, the Perizites, and the Gergisites. The Indians being subdivided into as many branches ans sovereignties as they intermiwt with hideous neighbours as the gigantick Philippines of the race of Misraim, with the Moabites and Amorites, descendants of Lot by his own Daughters, with the Mididianites and Edomites, the Posterity of Midian and Esau.
The Senecaa Indians in their War Dress may appear as terrible as any of the Sons of Anak. The Usberees, Shuterees, and Cherackees are full as formidable as the Hittites, Jebusites and Amalakites and a Tuskaroodau is as savage and strange as any Canaaanite that dwelt by the Sea and a Pommunkee, Sapony, or Sugarr is as fierce and frightful as anyAmorite that dwelt upon or beyond the Mount ains and Powhatau, Oppechancanough and Wicknaunatauchee have fought may Battles not unlike Og, Sibon and Chederaomer.
In my mean judgment it seems not improbable that when Noah had cursed the Posterity of Ham, and reserved different blessings for Shem and Japhet, God set a distinguishing colour upon their bodies, and ingrasted in their Nature various Tempers, and endowed them with separate talents. From whence their Posterity are of three different Complexions and coutenances as is apparent in White, Black and Brown people, which by LMixtures, or from Climates or otherwise are subdivided : parcularly the brown children of Shem have two peculiar aspects different from each other, and distinct from all the rest one proper to the Jews the Sons of Peleg and the other belonging to the East and West-Indies, the sons of Joktan, Peleg’s younger Brother.
To the white posterity of Japhet to the Europeans in particular are Noah’s Words very applicable, where he said, that God should enlarge Japhet and he sould dwell in the Tents of Shem and Canaan shall be his servant which seems fulfilled in our Possession of Lands in the East and West-Indies, the Tents of the sons of Sheù, where Canaan or the Negroe is our Servant and Slave and as it is said of him in the 25th Verse, a servant of servants is Canaan unto his Brethren.
For the Negroes seem evidently to be descendants from some of the sons of Canaan. For it is not be supposed that the Jews destroyed them all for the Families of the Canaanites were spread abroad, Gen x 18 so that probably in process of time they possessed Africa. As for the Blessing upon Shem in the 26th Verse and Canaan being his Servant this appears to be fulfilled in the Jews in Part descended from Peleg, Heber’s eldest Son from whom sprung Abraham the Father of the Faithful, in whose seed the lord god of Shem may be said to be blessed according to Noah’s prophecy, who made part of Canaan slaves and took them captive. And as for the other branches of Shem’s posterity by Joktan which sound is not quite lost in either of the Indies) I take them to be the East and West-Indies, Chincse and Tartatrd and it may be the Persians for whom with their Cousins the Jews none but God knows what blessings may still be reserved in store ot being to be hoped that they and all the ends of the Worlmds may be converted and see and partake of the Salvation of our God, so that by all may the Lord God of Shem at length be blessed.
Thus far, as to my notions of the original of Indians whom I imagine to be descended from some of the Sons of Joktan, second Son of Eber sprung from Shem, Noah’s eldest son : wuith a derivation of the Whites from Japhet the youngest and the Negroes from some of the sons of Canaan, descendant of Ham, Noah’s second Son.