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Unidentified photographer/creator 
Dighton Rock 
1856 
  
Google Books 
 
LL/34434 
  
Published in "Ethnological Researches, Respecting The Red Man of America - Information Respecting the Human Condition and Prospects of the Indian Tribes of the United States", Bureau of Indian Affairs (1856), Part IV, by Henry R. Schoolcraft, p.120
 
Having visited the locality of the Dighton Rock, and examined the inscription, in 1847, its true character, as an example of the ideographic system of the Indians, was clearly revealed to my mind. I had no hesitation in adopting an interpretation of it made in 1837 by an Algonquin pictographist, called Chingwauk, in which he determined it to be the memorial of an ancient Indian battle. The details of this are given in Part I., p. 114. It was perceived that no exact representation of it had ever been made, and no new attempt to make one was then attempted, being without proper apparatus; certain discrepancies were pointed out in Part I., Plate 36, of this work. These, after a lapse of six years, are indicated in a daguerreotyped view of the inscription, taken during the summer of the present season (1853). By this process of transferring the original inscription from the rock, it is shown to be a uniform piece of Indian pictography. A professed daguerreotypist from Taunton attended the artist (Capt. E.) on this occasion. On the uniform dark surface of the rock, no incidence of light could be obtained, after the most careful cleansing of the surface, sufficient in power to reflect the lines of the inscription. These lines are deeply sunk, as if by rubbing with a hard substance; and appear, when carefully studied, of nearly uniform breadth. As the solar rays are, however, reflected with great perfectness from a white surface, the lines were traced with chalk, with great care and labor, preserving their original width. On applying the instrument to the surface, the impression herewith presented (Plate 14) was given. It presents a unity of original drawing, corresponding to the Indian system, which cannot fail to strike the observer. It is entirely Indian, and is executed in the symbolic character which the Algonquins call Kekeewin, i. e., teachings. The fancied resemblances to old forms of the Roman letters or figures, which appear on the Copenhagen copies, wholly disappear. The only apparent exception to this remark, is the upright rhomboidal figure, resembling some forms of the ancient 0, but which appears to be an accidental resemblance. No trace appears, or could be found by the several searches, of the assumed Runic letter Thor, which holds a place on former copies. Rock inscriptions of a similar character have, within a few years, been found in other parts of the country; which denotes the prevalence of this system among the aboriginal tribes, from the Atlantic to the Mississippi. It is more peculiarly an Algonquin trait, and the inscriptions are called by them Muzzinabiks, or rock-teachings; while the elements of the system itself are called, as above stated, Kekeewin and Kekeenowin. Nor does this discovery militate against the general body of Scandinavian testimony respecting the Ante-Columbian discoveries in America. That testimony remains undisputed, even in more southerly latitudes of the United States. These comprise the notices of the Scandinavian monuments of the United States, so far as they have been recognized. 
 
 
  

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