Saturday, December 29, 2012

Wicked Yankee Abroad - The Battle of Bentonville, NC

Well, I was really outside of New England this week. Instead of exploring Yankee history, I was on a long road trip visiting relatives in Florida. However, driving from Cape Cod to Florida did allow me to experience some pieces of history I generally do not get a chance to. Although time was a factor, so I could not spend days stomping around the south, my wife and I did make a stop at a Civil War battlefield while traveling through North Carolina. I lucked out in this instance because this battle actually had a Yankee connection. As I was to learn, one of the most Wicked Yankees of them all, General William Tecumseh Sherman, once blazed his way through this particular area of North Carolina. In that time, he participated in a conflict which would help decide the fate of the Carolinas, the Battle of Bentonville.

From November to December of 1864, a Union Army led by General William Sherman burned and destroyed its way from Atlanta to Savannah Georgia. Sherman’s army not only destroyed military targets but was also aimed at crippling southern industry and civilian infrastructure. They burned civilian property and destroyed southern railroad in an attempt to cripple the south physically and psychologically. In a letter to General HW Halleck, Sherman justified his tactics of total war.
"We are not only fighting hostile armies, but a hostile people, and must make old and young, rich and poor, feel the hard hand of war, as well as their organized armies. I know that this recent movement of mine through Georgia has had a wonderful effect in this respect. Thousands who had been deceived by their lying newspapers to believe that we were being whipped all the time now realize the truth, and have no appetite for a repetition of the same experience."
In short, Sherman wanted to make sure that the south lost their morale and their will to fight against the Union. In addition, he wanted to ensure that the people of the Confederacy could never again gather the support necesarry to rebel. For his actions, I believe Sherman is disliked throughout the south.

General William Tecumseh Sherman
After the capture of Savannah, Sherman was ordered by Ulysses S. Grant to transport his army to Virginia in order to end Grant’s stalemate with Robert E. Lee. However, within the Memoirs of General W.T. Sherman, Sherman records a letter he sent to Grant in December of 1864. Sherman believed that transporting his army north by sea would disrupt the morale and unity of his men. He believed his armies could do more by destroying Confederate railroads in a march through the Carolinas. Sherman expressed to Grant that he wanted to end the war as quickly as possible. He guessed that Robert E. Lee would remain in Richmond, but also believed he would be able to handle Lee if he ever left the Confederate capital. If not, he also knew Grant would then pin Lee’s army between them.

General Ulysses S. Grant
Commander of the Union forces


Robert E. Lee
Commander of the Confederate Forces














On March 8 of 1865, Sherman’s army crossed into North Carolina, their goal was to reach Goldsboro by passing through Fayetteville. Sherman knew that Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston was gathering rebel forces in the Carolinas to stop the advance of the Union army. In reaching Fayetteville on March 11, parts of Sherman’s army encountered and skirmished with several Confederate leaders.
General Joseph E. Johnston
As Sherman’s army destroyed Confederate weapons, railroads, and fortifications, The General continually expressed resentment for the people of the Carolinas. In his letters to Grant and Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, Sherman states that the people of the Carolinas should never again be trusted to amass weapons at their own discretion.

After just participating in a serious battle at Averysboro, Sherman believed that Johnston would not make any serious opposition. However, while five miles outside of Bentonville on March 19, Sherman was notified that a division of his army commanded by General Henry Slocum had just encountered the combined forces of General Joseph E. Johnston’s army. Sherman sent command to Slocum to fight defensively until Sherman could arrive with reinforcements.

According to General Johnston’s Narrative of Military Operations Described During the Late Wars Between the States, Johnston overestimated the distance between the two wings of Sherman’s army. He believed it would take about a day’s march to combine Sherman’s forces. This would prove to be incorrect. However, on the first day of battle, the Confederates were successful in holding the advance of the Union army.

According to Sherman’s memoirs, he and General Johnston spent the next day deploying their armies. Johnston’s army was formed into the shape of a "V" enveloping the village of Bentonville. Sherman’s forces, already split into two wings, engaged both sides of the Confederate force. As a heavy rain began, both armies prepared for battle.
Looking out over the battlefield from the Confederate side
According to Johnston, he knew that he was vastly outnumbered. He spread his forces thin to match the Union front in order to appear as an equal force. About noontime March 21, Sherman ordered the whole rebel line to be engaged in a strong skirmish fire. In his memoirs Sherman admits that he should have immediately begun a general battle. However, he also admits that he misjudged how strong Johnston’s forces were. While in reality, Sherman commanded around 60,000 men, Johnston led around only 21,000.
Examples of equiptment and weapons used at Bentonville
Courtesy of the Battle of Bentonville Visitor's Center
Confederate soldier's equiptment at Bentonville
Courtesy of the Battle of Bentonville Visitor's Center
Although the Confederates were successfully holding their position, Johnston began to understand he and his army were in danger. Therefore, before daybreak on March 22, he ordered that his forces retreat across the creek to their rear. Sherman detected the retreat too late. In addition, seeing the roads now clear to Goldsboro, he failed to follow and engage Johnston because he was still unsure of the strength of the Confederate forces.

Sherman reported that his loses over three days of battle were around 1,604. According to Johnston, over the course of three days 223 confederates were killed, 1,467 were wounded, and 653 were either missing or captured. The site North Carolina Historic Sites, lists the Federal loses at 1,527 and Confederate loses at 2,606. Although Johnston might not have known it, this battle would be his last chance to stop Sherman’s army in North Carolina. In addition, this was Sherman’s best chance to defeat and capture most of Johnston’s combined forces. Thus, hastening the end of the Civil War.


This 19th Century farmhouse was used as a battefield hospital

A row of unmarked graves of Confederate soldiers from Bentonville
However, according to Sherman’s own writing, he was very focused on capturing Goldsboro, hoping that he could continue to cripple any supply lines supporting General Lee in Richmond. He believed this would either force Lee's surrender or force him to march out of Richmond to confront the Union army. Ultimately, he believed his actions were bringing the war to a close as quickly as possible. In addition, he believed his tactics would destroy the morale and combat capabilities of the southern people for years to come.

As for Johnston, he knew that he was greatly outnumbered in Bentonville. In his narrative, he does not speak about defeating Sherman at this point. Rather, he and his army were fighting just to maintain a standstill. Retreat was his best option and definitely saved lives at that point.

The Civil War ended only a few months after the action at Bentonville. After Robert E. Lee surrendered his army at Appomattox Courthouse on April 9 1865, General Johnston and General Sherman met at a small farm in North Carolina. After Johnston's surrender Sherman issued ten days of rations to the starving Confederate soldiers who had once been enemies. Both men carved out moderately successful lives following the war and seemed to have earned a respect for each other. They maintained contact through friendly letters and even occasionally met for dinner. It is said that Johnston would not hear an unkind word said about Sherman in his presence.

When General Sherman died in New York City in February of 1891, General Johnston served as a pallbearer at the military procession following his funeral. It was reported to be a very cold day and Johnston refused to wear his hat, presumably out of respect for Sherman. When one of Johnston’s friends, fearing that the now older General would catch a cold, ask him to wear his hat, Johnston is said to have replied, "If I were in his place, and he were standing in mine, he would not put on his hat." Unfortunately, Joseph E. Johnston did become ill and died of pneumonia about a month later.

As my wife, dogs, and I traveled north on I-95 I watched these important southern cities fly by from my window. I saw cities and landscapes that I had only really read about in history books or taught to my students when I used to teach American history. I wish we had more time to explore, but time was short. As a Yankee, I don’t often get to see Civil War battlefields. Even though sometimes the miles and hours felt long, I made an effort to remember that we were literally following in the footsteps of heroes who fought for their beliefs and for the survival of our country. I was absolutely reminded of this when I was able to visit the site of and learn about the Battle of Bentonville.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Roger Williams' Code Cracked


Roger Williams
According to the Washington Post, as well as many other sources, a long enduring mystery concerning Rhode Island’s founding father has recently been solved. Roger Williams was not only the founder of the Providence Plantation, he was one of the first men to preach for a separation of Church and State. In addiiton to leaving behind a tradition of religious dissent, he also left us pages worth of code in his own hand.

Williams has long been imfamous and famous for his conflict with the government of Massachusetts. Soon after his arrival in Boston, Williams made his religious views clear. He stated that people should be free to follow their own conscience in religious matters, because he believed the conscience was a gift from God. In addition, while in Plymouth, he openly questioned the practice of illegally acquiring land from the local Wampanoags. For these views, he was banished from Massachusetts in 1635.

Williams spent the next several months as a guest of Massasoit, only to further flee the influence of Massachusetts by entering the territory of the Narragansett tribe in modern day Rhode Island. It was in Rhode Island where Williams and a group of his closest followers purchased land from the Sachem of the Narragansett to create their own plantation. He called the area Providence, because he felt that it was God’s providence which led him there. From its birth, Providence became a haven for those who were deemed religious dissenters.

Although most of the life of Roger Williams is well documented, he left behind a mystery. In a 250 page volume entitled “An Essay Towards the Reconciling of Differences Among Christians,” William left pages of written code. Although the book was donated to the Brown University Library in the 1800’s, the code within had never been deciphered.
Preface of the Mysery Book at the Brown University Library
Provided by Brown University
Although attempts had been made at a translation in the past by university staff, this year Brown University extended the challenge of the mysterious code to undergraduate students. Several students accepted the challenge and began independent research projects.

Finally, a 21 year old senior at Brown began to make some progress. Lucas Mason-Brown, who majors in math, first attempted to solve the code by analyzing the frequency of the different symbols and how often they appear in groups together. This did not initially prove helpful.

Mason-Brown then studied Roger Williams. He learned that Williams had been trained in shorthand while living in London. Using these clues, he was able to create a key to Williams’ code. He found that the code used 28 symbols which stood for either English letters or sounds. These symbols could then be arranged and re-arranged to make words. Mason-Brown also found that Williams often improvised his code, which sometimes made translation difficult.

The translation provided three separate sections of Roger Williams’ own notes and thoughts. Unsurprisingly, the content of many of these notes dealt with religious issues of the day, like infant baptism. In addition, Williams commented on the conversion of Native tribes to Christianity, which he felt was being done deceptively. These new translations give huge insight into the mind of Roger Williams toward the end of his life. It will certainly be fascinating to see what Williams was secretly writing about in the margins of his books, as he was already so vocal about his controversial opinions.

I find this type of discovery both interesting and instructive. I have often heard the theory that an historic education has very little practical application in life. In some ways, I agree. I could possibly live my life without my love of history. But I guess I could live a dull life without color, or candy, or bacon cheeseburgers too. I wouldn’t want to, mind you.  However, in the case of cracking the Roger Williams code, a student first attempted to use a math based solution, which failed. Ultimately, it was through historic study and a knowledge of the life of Williams that a key to the mystery was found. There are literally thousands of modern mysteries waiting to be solved. One should never rule out the possibility that the solution to any of them might actually be found in the past.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Anadama Bread


Anadama bread should be dark and sweet tasting
As I sit waiting for my vegan wife’s Tofurkey to bake in order to bring it to my parent’s home for our contribution to Thanksgiving, I am researching a much more traditional recipe for this year’s holiday recipe post. New England does have a ton of traditionally Yankee recipes, most including either a good deal of molasses or cornmeal. So, in honor of this somewhat peculiar taste preference, I present Anadama bread

Like many things New England, the origins of Anadama bread extend too far into our past to completely understand where and when it first appeared. Most articles seem to give credit to the Cape Ann area, and its fishing tradition, as the impetus for the creation of this sweet type of bread.

As the legend goes, there was once a Gloucester fisherman who worked long and hard, only to return to his wife named Anna, who could not cook to save her life. Now she must have been particularly horrible, because all she ever made for him was a cornmeal porridge, sweetened with molasses. Finally, after eating this slop every day, he grew frustrated and angry enough that he simply tossed some flour and yeast into the porridge mix and threw the whole thing into the oven, obviously hoping anything that resulted from the concoction would be better than what he already had. As he sat waiting for his creation to bake, he continually muttered, "Anna, damn her. Anna, damn her." Thus, the name was born.

I have about the same ability poor Anna had when it comes to my baking, but I found this recipe for Anadama bread from Yankee Magazine.

Ingredients:
- Two packages of dried yeast
- ½ cup of lukewarm water
- 2/3 cup of molasses
- 2 cups of water or milk, or 1 cup of each
- 1 ½ tsp. of salt
- 2 Tbsp. of shortening
- 1 cup of cornmeal
- 7 – 8 cups of flour

Directions:
- Dissolve the yeast into lukewarm water and set aside
- In a large bowl combine the molasses, water or milk, shortening, cornmeal, salt, and 3 cups of flour.
- Add the yeast and mix until you have a smooth dough.
- Continue to add the flour until the dough is stiff and no longer sticky.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. Estimated time is 10 minutes.
- place the dough in a greased bowl, turning it once to grease the top, then cover it and allow it to rise until double the bulk. Estimated time 1 ½ hours.
- Gently punch he dough down, then let it rest for 10 minutes.
- Shape the dough into 3 loaves, then place then into 3 greased 9x5 loaf pans.
- Let the rise until just about doubled, then bake at 350 degrees for 35 – 45 minutes.
- Invert loaves to cool onto a wire rack.

Although I have had Anadama bread and liked it, I have never actually attempted to bake it. If you try, I hope you enjoy it. Just typing this makes me hungry for the upcoming meal. Plus, the Tofurkey is done. Have a great Thanksgiving!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

New Evidence of a Canadian Viking Outpost


Map of possible Norse exploration routes
 Historians and archaeologists have long since believed Nose explorers visited the east coast of North America around 1000 AD. Certainly this blog has focused on several pieces of New England history in which this has been one of the working theories. However, for fifty years the only evidence of the presence of the Northmen has been the discovery of the temporary camp called L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland.
Recreated norse longhouse at L'Anse aux Meadows
Still, as I discovered when researching the theory behind Ericson’s supposed camp on Follins Pond, the Norse had described at least three lands during heir journeys west of Greenland. First Ericson described Helluland, or the land of stones. Second, he described Markland, so named because it was covered in forestland. The last land he described, he named Vinland, which could mean either "Wineland" or "Meadowland."

Although following the course of Ericson’s exploration on modern maps has not been really useful, many people have posed the theory that Helluland could actually be Baffin Island, which is immediately west of Greenland. Yet, until this year no proof had been discovered to support this hypothesis.

Earlier this fall, a professor of archaeology associated with Newfoundland’s Memorial University named Patricia Sutherland made significant new discoveries while excavating a centuries old building on Baffin Islands. According to National Geographic, Sutherland’s team uncovered several whetstones. What made these stones significant is that they contained traces of metal alloys like bronze, brass, and smelted iron. Each of these metals were unknown to the natives of Baffin Island, but were well known the Scandinavians of Greenland.
Patricia Sutherland (orange jacket) excavating Baffin Island
from National Geographic
Although she knew of the Viking Sagas relating Ericson’s discovery of Vinland, Sutherland first became interested in further examining Baffin Island when she encountered two pieces of odd looking cord at the Canadian Museum of Civilization. What made the cord unusual was that it appeared to be less like the animal sinew native tribes would have used, and more like the yarn Scandinavians would have created.

After uncovering additional unexplained artifacts from Baffin Island being stored in the museum, Sutherland decided to begin a reinvestigation on 2001. She began on the southeast coast, at an area called Tanfield Valley, near a site where a stone and sod house had been excavated in the 1960’s.

In addition to the whetstones, Sutherland’s team has discovered pelt fragments from Old World rats, a whalebone shovel similar to some used by Greenlanders, stones which appear to have been cut using European techniques, and stone ruins similar to those found in Greenland. Although some archaeologists have argued that radiocarbon dating has shown that the Tanfield Valley area was populated well before the supposed Norse visit, Sutherland believes the area shows evidence of several occupations well into the Viking Age.

As Baffin Island is far north of Newfoundland, it appears the original theory connecting Baffin Island to Helluland may be correct. In addition, most researchers believe that Newfoundland may have been the area described by Ericson as Vinland. Still, others believe the Scandinavian explorers of 1000 AD came as far south as New England. These theorists point to stone structures like Mystery Hill in Salem New Hampshire, and to mysterious characters found inscribed in large stones all across New England.

Of course, these discoveries in Baffin Island do not help to prove a medieval Norse presence in my area. Those unexplained New England curiosities today remain unexplained. Still, after hundreds of years of theory and speculation, we have finally begun to retrace a route of New World exploration first followed by Europeans over a thousand years ago.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Barnstable Village Ghost Hunter's Tour

True, Halloween has once again passed us by. However, I still needed to create a seasonally appropriate post, as All Hallows Eve has always been one of my favorite holidays. That being said, the wife and I were happy to take a Friday night to explore the haunted history of Barnstable, Ma in the name of Yankee research.

Our adventure was provided by the Cape and Islands Paranormal Research Society (CAIPRS), which conducts nightly walking tours in Barnstable Village, as well as Ghost Hunting walking tours on Mondays and Fridays. These tours take place between April 16 and November 15. All tours begin at 7PM in the small parking lot of the Old Jail and the US Coast Guard Heritage Museum on 3353 Main Street (rt. 6a).

Our tour guide, who led our small group of six, was very knowledgeable about Cape Cod history, focusing obviously on the supernatural stories of the area. Although we began our tour at the Old Jail, we actually started by walking on Old King’s Highway (6a), headed toward Barnstable Village.

Our first stop was a property on the corner of Hyannis-Barnstable rd, at which a man was allegedly hanged sometime in the late 1700’s. Although no one knows exactly when the man was executed or where on the property he lost his life, witnesses have claimed to see a tall dark figure walking the property or along 6a itself. However, he did not make an appearance for our tour that night.

Our next stop was at another eighteenth century property along Main Street. Although this property was once part of a large farm, it is now a law office. Our tour guide explained that the previous lawyer who had rented this property was surprised when one day the apparition of a woman materialized from the closet of his office. Not only was the woman wearing clothing reminiscent of the 1700’s, but she was also carrying an axe or hatchet.
The spirit of a hatchet bearing woman was seen in the lower office
Our CAIPRS guide informed us that this could have been an example of a residual haunt, which is something like a recording of an event or a person. She said that this woman may never materialize again or it could happen at random, no one is sure what might trigger it. However, she said that the current lawyer renting this space has his desk facing away from the closet just in case.

Our group next walked only a short distance to the Barnstable County Court House. Here, our guide shared several stories about the variety of specters who visit. Two of the most frequently seen are the figures of two unknown men. At times these men appear as dark clouds of smoke, which move about the inside of the building. Employees have sometimes mistaken these men for intruders and have attempted to follow them. However, as ghosts tend to do, they both disappeared without a trace.
Barnstable County Court House
The second spirit attached to the Barnstable court haunts the outside of the building. This spirit is sometimes seen as a shadow or a man walking the grounds. It is often reported that he will disappear from one spot only to appear in another.

Our tour continued a little way down 6a to the Barnstable Comedy Club, where we were again treated to several ghost stories related to the building. On the stage of the comedy club a woman in a gown is known to appear and disappear. Our tour guide again labeled this as a residual haunt. However, our guide informed the group that the spirit of an unknown man who appears in the small kitchenette to neatly pull out the silverware and plates is an example of an intelligent haunt. Unlike the previous ghost, this spirit is said to interact with objects in the physical world.
The Haunted Comedy Club
I thought a ghost like this, who constantly leaves dishes, cups, and silverware littering the counter, would be a real pain to have in the house. However, my wife suggested that if he could be trained to empty the dishwasher he might not be so bad.

Our next stop on the ghost hunting tour was the Crocker Tavern House. This house has several ghost stories attributed to it. Perhaps the most often repeated story was that of Aunt Lydia, who haunts the upstairs bedroom. Several people have reported waking in the middle of the night only to see the spirit of Lydia leaning over them in bed.
The Crocker Tavern House
Lydia appears in the upper left bedroom
From the Crocker House we retraced our steps to the Barnstable Restaurant and Tavern. Our guide explained that the current tavern had been rebuilt on the spot where the previous building had burned down. Inside, the ghost of a young girl in a blue dress is supposed to haunt the second floor. Sometimes she is seen running up the stairs and may even grab the hand of a visitor. When asked, I volunteered to walk up the stairs and down the hallway. My wife declined to accompany me.
I didn't see the spirit of the girl, but this poster of
this video seemed to have experience something
Although I took many pictures, I did not see any sign of the young girl. I did hear a lot of banging and thumping however. When I returned to the tour the guide asked me if I had heard any strange noises above me. I recalled all the thumping and banging. The tour guide then informed us that a recluse woman had died in the tavern attic. In all honesty the tavern was very busy that night and it was hard to tell where the noise was coming from. Still, it was fun to volunteer.

From the Barnstable tavern, the group walked back to Cobbs Hill Cemetery, where we really began our ghost hunting. Our guide pointed out the areas of the cemetery with the most reported activity. She described an entity called the Shadow that appears near a monolith-like grave stone. She also described the sounds of young girls laughing and talking. The guide then instructed us on the use of digital recorders, which we were to use while attempting to record disembodied electronic voices often called EVPs.
Cobb's Hill Cemetery
a beautiful Cape cemetery
In pairs, the group took 30 minutes to walk around the cemetery asking questions and hoping for spectral answers from beyond. To the horror of the wife, I hastily claimed the area where the Shadow sometimes makes an appearance. Although I saw many great examples of Puritan gravestones, we did not record a single anomalous sound.

Our last stop was back at the Old Jail, which we now entered. The guide asked for volunteers to sit on two stools in one of the old jail cells. Again, I stepped up, to the wife’s dismay. As I and another tour member sat, the guide explained how awful conditions were in these old prisons. Each prison cell was filled with many prisoners, who could only eat if they could afford it. Of course many prisoners starved or froze to death during New England winters.
The tour guide explained that strange noises are often heard in the Old Jail. Sometimes the spirits knock on the walls or drop objects to get attention. Occasionally the spirits even touch people on tour. The guide then warned that she was going to turn off all the lights and ask the spirits to let us know they were there.

Instantly it became very dark. Our CAIPRS guide explained that dark shadows of two unknown doomed prisoners have been seen walking between the two stools now occupied by myself and a young mother. In complete darkness one looses all sense of spatial dimension, so for an instant I could have been convinced that spectral shadows were closing in around me. However, our tour of the Old Jail ended without any unexplained noises or visions.
A cell in the Old Jail
The spirits of two prisoners appear in this cell
Although nothing unusual was seen on our tour of Barnstable Village, I, my wife, and my tour group did have a great time. I enjoyed hearing some of the historic ghost stories of the area and was happy to participate in exploring haunted hallways and jail cells. In addition, I would be happy to participate in another CAIPRS even in the future. The haunted tours unfortunately end next Friday, however they start again in the April. If anyone is interested in exploring the paranormal in an interesting and informative way, definitely check out one of the tours conducted by the Cape and Islands Paranormals Research Society. However, remember, just because I didn’t see anything doesn’t mean you won’t.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Bourne Stone - Bourne, Ma


The Bourne Stone - Summer 2012
I first became interested in the Bourne Stone years ago, when I learned that no one really knew who made it or what its writing meant. It was one of the first real unsolved New England mysteries that caught my attention. This was before I realized there were literally thousands of unsolved New England mysteries. Still, the Bourne Stone is unique, if not frustrating. As I learned when I began researching the stone’s history, everyone seems to find a place for the Bourne Stone to fit within their particular view of the discovery and colonization of the New World. What is left are a lot of theories, but very few verifiable facts.

What researchers really know about the stone is very basic and does not extend too far into the historic record. The stone, which currently resides at the Jonathan Bourne Historical Society, is a 300 pound block of granite. What makes this block stand out from others are the strange characters carved into it. According to the Bourne Historical Society, the stone was originally used as a doorstep to one of the Indian Meetinghouses established by Thomas Tupper, an early resident and missionary of Sandwich.

It was originally difficult to nail down exactly which Indian Meetinghouse the stone was supposedly first placed at, as references to it do not often appear in historic writing. In addition, according to information provided by the Massachusetts Historical Commission, there were several Indian meetinghouses erected in Bourne. The first church created for the natives was established in 1675 by Thomas Tupper and Richard Bourne near Burrying Hill in Bournedale. A plaque was created to commemorate the area where this initial church stood. The wife and I saw this plaque when investigating Chamber Rock. This building, however, did not apparently contain the Bourne Stone.

The plaque at Burying Hill

The second Indian Meetinghouse was built in 1688 by a carpenter named Edward Milton. The construction of the meetinghouse was funded by Judge Samuel Sewall, who would later become infamous for his involvement in the Salem Witch Trials between 1692 and 1693.

According to Sewall’s Letter-Book, Judge Sewall had appointed Thomas Tupper to oversee the construction of this meetinghouse a year earlier. Sewall’s letters certainly describe how the meetinghouse was built, but definitely make no reference to the presence of a mysterious stone being added to the doorstep of the church building. Still, it was at this location, according to RA Lovell in Sandwich: A Cape Cod Town, where the Bourne Stone was eventually found. This second meetinghouse was located near a traditional Wampanoag cemetery, on the southern edge of Great Herring Pond. The cemetery in Bourndale was easy enough to find and visit, however I could not see any trace of the foundation of the second meetinghouse.

Map showing Indian Meetinghouse - Sandwich: a Cape Cod Town

Old Indian Burial Ground- Bourndale 2012
The Second Meetinghouse was built near this cemetery


I can’t seem to find any written native or colonial reactions to the stone or its writing. However, popular folklore indicates that the writing on the Bourne Stone was initially placed face down to prevent the local natives from panicking when they saw it. Though I can’t source this information, I still found the story interesting. However, just as many sources seem to indicate that the writing on the stone only appeared after its use as a doorstep.

As to the fate of the Second Indian Meetinghouse, Lovell relates the local folklore, which states that it was eventually infested with blacksnakes (somewhat disgusting). The building was moved to the eastern shore of the Great Herring Pond. After the removal of the church, the stone seems to have been moved a short distance to the residence of a Herring Pond Wampanoag named Andrew Jackson. However, some sources state this home was built on the foundation of the meetinghouse. Regardless, this home burned down in 1932. When the property was sold to someone outside the family and tribe, the stone was donated to the newly created Aptuxet Trading Post Museum for future preservation and study. By this time, the writing on the face of the giant block was well known, but all memory or record of its original purpose upon creation had been lost. As of now, it can be viewed at the Jonathan Bourne Historical Center.

Certainly, since its removal to the museum, people have wondered and guessed at the meaning of the writing covering the surface of the stone. Some have claimed the writing was of native origin, many thought it was left by Norse explorers, some have claimed it was Celtic, and still others have gone to great pains to prove that the writing was left by Carthaginian explorers to New England.

Perhaps the most accepted and well recognized explanation for the Bourne Stone attributes the strange writing to the Norse explorers, including Leif Erikson, who might have reached as far south as Cape Cod in 1000 AD. According to the Cape Cod Times, Frederick Pohl and Norse runic expert Olaf Strandwold examined the stone’s writing. Strandwold believed the markings were in fact runic and could be translated as, "Jesus amply provides for us here in Heaven." Pohl, however, also admitted that translations may vary.

Although the Norse theory is perhaps the most well spread, when researching the Bourne Stone, two names and two additional theories continued to pop up again and again. In fact, when looking into the Bourne Stone, it would seem impossible not to encounter the theories and writing of Edmund B. Delabarre and Barry Fells. Both men investigated the writing on the stone and believed they had conclusively teased out their origins, though neither of them believed the Norse created the writing.

Chronologically, Delabarre began researching the Bourne Stone first. Edmund Delabarre was a professor of psychology from Brown University. He focused on the fields of shape perception and the mental processes related to involuntary movements. Although neither a historian nor an archeologist, Delabarre intensely studied both Dighton Rock and the Bourne Stone. He presented most of his theories concerning these two New England curiosities between 1919 and 1940.

Edmund B. Delabarre

Delabarre outlined his theories in at least two articles. One, he wrote for Old Time New England magazine, entitled The Indian Petroglyph at the Aptuxet Trading Post in Bourne, Massachusetts. The second article he wrote for the Rhode Island Historical Commission, it is titled Miguel Corte-Real: The First European to Enter the Narragansett Bay. Both pieces were written in 1936, very soon after the Bourne Stone was donated to the Aptuxet Museum.

As the title of one of Delabarre’s papers suggests, he believed that the Portuguese explorer Miguel Corte-Real accidently began exploring New England between 1502 and 1511. Most historians agree that Corte-Real had been on mission to find his brother Gasper, who had never returned from a previous expedition to the New World. Like his brother Gasper, Miguel was never heard from again. Most believe he and his crew were lost somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean or along the coast of Newfoundland.

However, Delabarre theorized that Corte-Real entered the Narragansett Bay after sailing south in search of his brother. From there he entered the Taunton River and finally ended his voyage (perhaps shipwrecked) at Assonet Neck in Freetown, Massachusetts. Delabarre believed that Dighton Rock, which once sat beside the Taunton River, bears the name of Corte-Real as evidence of his presence in New England. Not only did the Portuguese explorer carved his name into Dighton Rock, but Delabarre insisted Corte-Real also included the year 1511, the coat-of-arms of the Portuguese king, and a message in Latin which explained that he had become king or Sachem of the local natives.

Dighton Rock

Delabarre further explained that the Portuguese sailors with Corte-Real may have intermarried and fathered children with women of the Wampanoags. He used the writings of the Italian explorer Giovanni Da Verrazzano as further evidence to support his case. According to Verrazzano’s Voyage Along the Atlantic Coast of North America, 1524, Verrazzano explored the Narragansett Bay in 1524, eventually encountering the Rhode Island Wampanoags several years after Corte-Real's theoretical landing. Verrazzano wrote:
"This is the most beautiful people and the most civilized in customs that we have found in this navigation. They excel us in size; they are of bronze color, some inclining more toward whiteness, others to tawny color; the face sharply cut, the hair long and black, upon which they bestow the greatest study in adorning it; the eyes black and alert, the bearing kind and gentle."
Hence, Delabarre believed that Verrazzano had encountered the descendants of Corte-Real’s crew. He made the case that the inclusion of Portuguese DNA might have created this inclination toward lighter skin and also a resistance toward European diseases as well. In fact Delabarre poses that the name Wampanoag might have actually meant "White People," rather than "Eastern People," as most believe it does today.

Furthermore, though most historians agree that the Wampanoags had no written language until very recently, Delabarre suggested that they were developing an ideographic written language at about the same time that Metacomet was Sachem (1662 – 1676). Delabarre used the Bourne Stone and other unexplained petroglyphs as evidence of this language. In examining the Bourne Stone, Delabarre first guessed that one of the symbols on the stone represented a white man and a native shaking hands (figures 1 and 2 in the below graphic). He compared the symbol to similar ones seen on William Penn’s Wampum belt (figure 8) and on Dighton Rock (figure 7).
From Miguel Corte-Real- Edmund Delabarre
Figures 1+2 from the Bourne Stone
Figure 7 from Dighton Rock
Figure 8 from Penn's wampum belt
Delabarre believed they are represented a native and a white man


Penn's actual wampum belt
Although Delabarre did not offer a full translation of the Bourne Stone, he believed he had found meanings for several symbols included on Dighton Rock, the Bourne Stone, and a third Bannserstone found in Warren, Ma. According to the above graphic he created for the Rhode Island Historical Commission, symbol 3 represents a Sachem, symbol 4 represents the idea of "white," symbol 5 represents a people or a tribe, and symbol 6 represents Metacomet or King Philip, as Delabarre believed it closely resembled Metacomet's own signature.

Of course, these symbols do not all appear on the Bourne Stone and do not offer a means of understanding what might be written there. In addition, the legends of lost European tribes in the New World are numerous and often nothing more than myth. Futhermore, in 1971, Samuel Elliot Morrison dismissed Delabbare’s evidence in his book The European Discovery of America: The Northern Voyages. Still, Delabarre’s ideas offered some of the first explanations for the mysterious writing present on the Bourne Stone. However, his theory is definitely not the only one.

In 1976, a marine biologist employed by Harvard University began making waves in the world of accepted history and archaeology by claiming in his book America B.C. that Europeans, Carthaginians, and Phoenicians had made pre-Columbian contact with the New World. The Bourne Stone was among the many sites and curiosities which Fell examined. In addition, Fell believed he could offer a full translation of the stone's script.
Howard Barraclough "Barry" Fell
According to a 1975 article in the Springfield Union, Fell was invited to examine the Bourne Stone by James Whittail of the Early Sites Research Society. Fell worked all night in an attempt to translate the writing on the stone, and by morning offered a solution to the mystery of the stone's writing.

Fell explained that the writing on the Bourne Stone was an example of a variation in the Punic alphabet of Carthage which Fell claimed was used in the ancient Iberian Peninsula. Fell coined the term "Iberic" for the script. According to Fell the inscription on the face of the Bourne Stone reads, "Proclamation of annexation. Do not deface. By this Hanno takes possession."
An example of Punic writing for comparison
Fell believed the Hanno to which the stone referred was the Carthaginian King Hanno the Navigator, who was sent by the city of Carthage around 500 BC to explore the northwestern coast of Africa.

The only account of Hanno’s exploration comes from a Greek translation of a tablet Hanno deposited in the temple of Ba’al upon his return to Carthage. The tablet is known by the overly full title of The Voyage of Hanno, commander of the Carthaginians, round the parts of Libya beyond the Pillars of Heracles, which he deposited in the Temple of Kronos. The Greeks equated the Carthaginian Ba’al with their god Kronos.

Of course, the Greek translation did not provide any insight into Hanno’s visit to the New World. However, Fell believed that Hanno made a second voyage to the New World for which the Greek record, if it ever existed, was lost. In addition to the Bourne Stone, Fell believed the Carthaginians left their Iberic script in several other places in New England, including Mystery Hill in New Hampshire, and Dighton Rock.

However, few professional academics agreed with Fell’s description of the Bourne Stone. Anthropologists and archaeologists accused Fell of being amateurish and unconvincing. Some have even concluded that his later work relating to the Celtic language Ogham might have been outright fraud. However, others have recognized that Fell’s contributions to archaeology and linguistics might have at least brought needed attention to some of the unexplained curiosities which might suggest pre-Columbian European contact with the New World.

Furthermore, the Bourne Stone was most recently studied in 2004. In Collaboration In Archaeological Practice: Engaging Descendant Communities, Larry J. Zimmerman explained his own theory concerning the Bourne Stone. Zimmerman invited Norse runic expert Michael Barnes to examine the stone’s writing. According to Zimmerman, Barnes believed the writing was definitely not runic. This, of course, contradicted the previous theory of Olaf Strandwold. In addition, Zimmerman and archaeologist Patricia Emerson believed that the writing looked more like Native American petroglyphs or even natural markings. Although, they did not offer an explanation for what message the Bourne Stone was meant to convey. Neither did they support the theories of Fell or Delabarre.

After examining the available research related to the Bourne Stone, I have gained a greater appreciation for the potential for new discoveries related to pre-Columbian New England. Of course, I still do not know for certain what the writing on its face actually says, if it says anything at all. I don’t know that further study would give us the answer either, as everyone tends to interpret the characters so differently. Again, sometimes history is hard.

However, as most of the theorists have guessed, I would also pose that the writing on the Bourne Stone is connected to other unexplained New England sites like Mystery Hill and Dighton Rock. In addition, although I am uncertain if an ancient Carthaginian visited our neck of the woods, I do believe that we are just beginning to tease out the lines between legend and reality when it comes to the history of New England before the arrival of fifteenth century Europeans. As we begin to learn more, and as technology begins to fill in where traditional history and archaeology leave gaps, I think what we uncover will astound us and completely rewrite what we know about the people and the supposed discovery of North and South America.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Bourne Stone Preview

I have been very busy helping to plan my wedding, which is in 13 days! The FiancĂ© and I are very excited. We’re putting table plans together, taking dance lessons (mostly because I am a hopeless dancer), and taking care of all those last minute details and problems that come up before all weddings.

This has not left me a lot of time to research. However, I have been slowly putting together my notes on the Bourne Stone, which will be ready for an early October posting. Until then, CapeCast did a very interesting video on the mystery of the Bourne Stone, which summarizes many of the things I have been learning about it. Check out the video and look for a future post next month.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Jonathan Bourne Historical Center- Bourne, Ma

Jonathan Bourne Histrical Center Summer 2012
I recently had the time and opportunity to visit the Jonathan Bourne Historical Center in Bourne, Ma. Visiting the Historical Center allowed me to see a few of their exhibits which I have been meaning to check out for a long time. It also allowed me to see a few I had not known about. Of course these have now peaked my interest and propelled me into future research projects.

The Jonathan Bourne Historical Center is located on 30 Keene Street, in Bourne Ma. The Center itself was built in 1897 by Emily Howland Bourne, who is a descendant of the prolific and regionally important Richard Bourne.

I have written about Richard Bourne several times now, as he was one of the first Christian missionaries to the local Wampanoag tribe and is also connected to the Wampanoag Indian Museum through one of his descendants.

The Historical Center building originally served as a town library. Emily Bourne had the library built in honor of her father, Jonathan Bourne. Jonathan, though a prominent resident of New Bedford at the time, was instrumental in helping the residents of Bourne achieve separation from the town of Sandwich in 1884. Because of his assistance, the new town was named after Jonathan Bourne and the Bourne family.

Bust of Jonathan Bourne at the Historical Center
The building houses the Bourne Historical Society, the Bourne Historical Commission, and the Bourne Archives. Not only does the Historical Center advise the town of Bourne on issues of historical preservation, but it also contains town records like historical maps, photos, family records, oral histories, and historic books through the inclusion of the archives. This makes the center a valuable historic resource in its own right.

The building also houses many interesting exhibits. Among the most famous is the mysterious Bourne Stone, which I will be researching for a post in the very near future. However, their largest and most current exhibit is a display containing posters and artifacts from both the First and Second World Wars.

WWI and WWII Posters and Artifacts
This exhibit not only contains several interesting propaganda posters from the allied persepctive, but also contains a display which details information on the military career of Sergeant Stubby, the most decorated war dog of World War I. Although he appears to be an early Boston Terrier type, his true breed appears to have been unknown. However, he did originate in Connecticut, which makes him a Yankee, and worthy of a more detailed post in the near future.


Stubby the War Dog
An additional exhibit which caught my attention was on one of the few serial killers to grace the shores of Cape Cod. Nicknamed Jolly Jane, she was reportedly responsible for the deaths of nearly every member of an entire family.
Jolly Jane's Exhibit
While visiting the Historic Center, I drove a couple miles down the road to check out the recreation of the Aptuxet Trading Post. The building sits on the foundation of what is thought to be the original 1627 trading post, which once sat alongside the Manamet River. The original course of the river was incorporated into the digging of the Cape Cod Canal. The current museum is a recreation of what the post was thought to have looked like.
Aptuxet Trading Post Museum
The Jonathan Bourne Historical Center is open Mondays and Tuesdays 9am to 2:30pm. It is also open the second and fourth Wednesday of the month from 6:30pm to 8:30pm.

I had a great time visiting the Bourne Historical Center and the Aptuxet Trading Pos Museum.. Not only did I once again visit a museum dedicated to local history, but I learned several new things and was inspired to continue learning about what I saw. To me, that’s what its all about. As I’ve said, during the next few weeks, I hope to continue researching the Bourne Stone, Jolly Jane, and Stubby the war dog in order to create detailed posts about each.

Until then, if you are in the area, take time to visit the Jonathon Bourne Historical Center for yourself. It’s a great opportunity to admire objects and exhibits dedicated to some of the odder, more mysterious, and less well known subjects within New England History. In addition, it is a great example of how important smaller local museums are to the continued effort to preserve an archive our Yankee heritage for posterity.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Shark Attack on Cape Cod


Chris Myers on beach after shark attack Monday
If you have even walked by a TV news broadcast, tuned into the news on your radio, or glanced at an online headline you have most likely heard that a man has most likely been attacked by a shark off Ballston Beach in Truro, Ma. This is certainly not the first shark attack to occur in New England waters. In fact, it might not even be the first in recent memory.

According to several news stories, including this one from the Huffington Post, Chris Myers was body surfing with his son about a third of a mile off Ballston Beach Monday afternoon, when he was pulled under by a shark. JJ Myers, the son of the victim, heard his father scream and saw what he described as the back of the shark and its dorsal fin. Mr. Myers and his son swam quickly back to the shore where 911 was called.
Chris Myers suffered serious wounds below the knees on both legs. After being pulled from the water Myers was transported to Mass General Hospital in Boston. Although it was originally uncertain whether this was a shark attack at all, a Massachusetts Marine biologist named Greg Skomal later stated that he believed the injuries Myers suffered could only have been caused by a Great White.

Myrers underwent surgery on Tuesday to repair a severed tendon, but felt strong enough to interview with Good Morning America, where he discussed his ordeal in detail.

The whole story seems pretty scary to me, as I grew up swimming in the waters off Cape Cod. However, it also made me curious about the history of shark attacks in New England. I was not surprised to find that several historic news sources indicate that shark attacks are not unknown in this region, but I was pleased to find that they are seemingly quite rare.

Many news stories over the past week are reporting that before Chris Myers, the most recent shark attack in New England occurred in July of 1936 in the town of Mattapoisett. In some respects this is correct. The attack that occurred in Mattapoisett in 1936 was the last reported fatal shark attack of record in New England.

According to a 1936 article in the Boston Herald, a sixteen year old boy named Joseph C. Troy was attacked by what was probably a Great White while swimming about a 100 yards off Hollywood Beach in Mattapoisett. Troy had been swimming with a friend of his uncle named Walter Stiles. Stiles reported to the Herald that he saw the fin of the shark cut through the water toward Troy. He saw Troy attempt to fight the shark off when both the boy and the shark disappeared below the water. Stiles swam toward the shark and the boy and attempted to dive in an effort to recover the child. However, Troy eventually popped up to the surface unconscious.


Boston Herald article 1934
Stiles attempted to signal fisherman who were close by, but failing to do so, began to swim toward the shore carrying Joseph Troy. Eventually the two were pulled on board a passing boat. When Joseph Troy was pulled aboard it was noticed that his left leg had been badly injured during the attack. Apparently a chunk of flesh about the size of a five pound roast beef was missing. Doctors later attempted to amputate the injured leg in an attempt to save the boy’s life at St. Luke’s Hospital. However, Joseph C. Troy died of his injuries around 8:30 that night.

According to the website New England Sharks, the animal responsible for the 1936 Massachusetts attack was reportedly 10-12 feet long. Although it was never identified officially, the descriptions of the shark given by Stiles (whose name was misspelled in the article) most closely match that of a Great White.

An additional shark attack occurred in July of 1830 in Swampscott, Ma. According to an article in the 1830 Salem Register, the victim was a 52 year old man named Joseph Blarney. Blarney was fishing in a small dorey for several hours, when he was seen waving his hat in the air and calling for help. A ship near Blarney attempted to come to his aid when the dorey and Mr. Blarney were both attacked by what was assumed to be a shark. Blarney, as well as his small boat, disappeared below the water. The boat eventually resurfaced, but Blarney never did.
1830 fatal shark attack
New England Sharks reports that there was at least one other fatal shark attack which occurred in Boston harbor around the year 1730. However, I could not find records describing this attack.

Strangely enough the Cape Cod Times reported this morning that the fatal shark attack of 1936 was potentially not the most recent attack in New England waters. The article titled, Past Cape Shark attack victim says he feels vindicated, describes the 1996 experience of James Orlowski of South Hadley. Orlowski was collecting starfish in Truro in waist deep water, when what he claims was a six foot shark attacked his leg. Apparently Orlowski needed several stitches to repair the damage to his ankle. In addition, Orlowski experienced serious infection related to the injury. However, his story was doubted by authorities at the time. Investigators informed him that sharks do not frequent the waters of Truro, which we now know is false. The article speculates that there could be several more injuries due to shark attacks that simply went unreported.

This summer there have been many sharks spotted along the shores of Cape Cod. Many people have stated that the quickly recovering Gray Seal population around the "elbow" of the Cape is now attracting Great Whites to this area. Many marine biologists like Greg Skomal are excited to have the opportunity to study Great Whites more carefully. I don’t blame them, it’s interesting. It is like getting the opportunity to study a tiger or lion up close.

It has been speculated by some biologists that Great Whites attack humans when we are mistaken for seals or sea lions. This is potentially true in the case of Chris Myers who suffered serious wounds in his attack, but exited the water with all limbs and his life intact. The shark seemingly bit him and decided to move on. However, in the historic shark attacks of New England’s past, the victims were not as lucky.

Although I live on Cape Cod, there are not many seals in my area. Nor have there been any shark sightings in my area. However, I must admit, I would rather not swim far from shore alone. Certainly when I do swim, visions of a large predatory shadow gliding my way pop into my head frequently.

As New Englanders, we have grown up with the Atlantic as our backyard. We quahog, fish, and just relax in the shores of our home towns. However, when we do this, we must also remember we are entering the fringes of another world. One we are not well adapted to surviving in. Like our Yankee ancestors must have known, entering the ocean is like walking into the dense tree line of an unexplored tropical jungle. Much like New England itself, you just never know what might be lurking in the shadows or just out of sight.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Native Americans Origins News


Chipewyan Mothers- Source
In the past few weeks there have been several updates in regards to information pertaining to the mysterious origins of Native Americans. Although, as usual, the new information is not definitive, it seemingly adds new possibilities which researchers will now attempt to evaluate in comparison to existing theory.

The first piece of interesting information is that researchers now believe that Native Americans did not originate as a result of one single migration from Asia, but most likely stemmed from at least three. The research, described in Popular Archaeology, states that an international team led by Professor Andres Ruiz-Linares of the University of College London and Professor David Reich of the Harvard Medical school, have come to this conclusion after comparing the DNA of 52 Native American and 17 Siberian groups. All together, the team analyzed over 300,000 DNA sequences.

However, the team also found that the majority of natives descend from only the original migrants across Beringia over 15,000 years ago. In fact, only native groups that live in arctic regions and speak either Eskimo-Aleut or Na-Dene languages felt any genetic effect from the second and third migration across the Bering Land Bridge. Though these groups are more closely related to modern East Asian populations, the arctic groups still derive between 50% and 90% of the DNA from the first migrants. This suggests a genetic mixing between all three migrant groups.
Beringia
In addition, researchers were able to trace the potential genetic path followed by the original migrant group. After their arrival, the first group traveled south along the coast, splitting into separate population groups as they traveled into South America.

However, DNA suggests that there was some reverse migration among these groups. Some native populations in Central America show genetic traits of both North and South American groups. In addition, some Eastern Siberian populations show Native American traits that could only have occurred if established native populations reversed their path back across the Bering Land Bridge to mix their genes with Asian populations.

The second recent study regarding the origins of Native Americans has less to do with DNA and more to do with human artifacts. For many years those who believed that North American natives descend from a single migration from Asia also believed that this single migrant groups was most likely what archaeologists call the Clovis Culture.

Clovis Culture is defined by the presence of a distinctive type of stone tools like projectile points. This type was first discovered in New Mexico in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Radiocarbon dating has placed the arrival of the Clovis Culture from Siberia to approximately 13,000 years ago. For decades many theorists have believed that all natives in North, Central, and South America descend from Clovis groups and perhaps a single migration of people. However, more and more often, this is no longer thought to be the case.
Clovis points- Source
Aside from the study referenced above, some of the most intriguing evidence building a case for the multiple migration theory is coming out of Paisley Caves in South-central Oregon. Although this set of caves have been studied since the 1930’s, recently archaeologists have uncovered what many believe could be pre-Clovis human artifacts.

Pisley Caves Oregon- Source
What researchers have found are over a hundred examples of what is called Western Stemmed projectile points, a style of stone tool which differs significantly from the Clovis tradition. In addition, archaeologists have analyzed examples of dried human feces called coprolites. What is missing from the cave system is the presence of any Clovis artifacts.
The bases of three Western Stemmed projectile points
According to an article from Archaeology Daily News, the Paisley artifacts radiocarbon date to at least 13,200 years ago. If this analysis is correct, the Paisley artifacts would either pre-date or would have been contemporary with Clovis culture. Although the ancient DNA taken from the coprolites show an east Asian or Siberian origin, because the tool making traditions are so different, this evidence would also suggest the presence of two separate groups in ancient America.

In fact, researchers associated with the University of Oregon have postulated that the people of the Western Stemmed tradition may have descended from a separate migration that took place along a sea route, following the coast of ancient Beringia. Researchers also suggest that the Clovis culture may have first arisen in the Southeastern US, then moved west. However, the Western Stemmed tradition might have begun in the West and might have moved east from there. Both traditions would have remained separate for hundreds of years.

One of the interesting things I see when comparing these two studies is that they seemingly explain multiple migrations that are even separate from one another. The DNA study shows three separate migrations, but states that the DNA contributions of migrations two and three were limited to the very arctic regions of North America. However, the Paisley Caves study seems to have uncovered a population descended from a completely independent migration that existed apart from arctic regions. The studies don’t necessarily contradict each other. Rather, each suggests that there is more to the origins of Native Americans than we currently understand. Considering how much has changed in Native American origin theory in the last year, I can't wait to see what the next year of research brings us and potentially how this might impact what we believe about the origins of natives in New England.