Footprints of the Welsh Indians: Settlers in North America Before 1492
In the 12th century, the terror and turmoil brought about by the contention for the throne caused an exodus of the frightened and disillusioned populace from Wales. Prince Madoc led some three expeditions westard, across the seas, to seek a new life in a land that, it was felt, could hardly be less hospitable than home. Groups of as many as 250 settlers traveled in ten or more Viking-style boats, up to 75 feet in length. Madoc returned to Mobile Bay in 1170 with ships laden with settlers, and a thriving colony was founded. Tantalizing evidence suggests that when he came back with a second group a year later, the difficulties of calculating longitude brought him to the mouth of the Mississippi, and the two groups never did find one another. The first group were forced out of Tennessee in about 1500 due to wars with the Cherokee, and in a great migration found their way to the banks of the Upper Missouri River, where they became known as the Mandan Indians. The second group travelled up the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers to the Falls of the Ohio, where they established a well defended colony. Wars with the Shawnee and Iroquois tribes eventually spelled their downfall. Archaeological finds in the Southern states as well as in the Ohio Valley include the remains of highly engineered stone forts, metal implements and other artifacts impossible to explain in the context of the savage tribes encountered by the Europeans and Americans who eventually settled the region. Numerous accounts in the 16th through the 19th centuries recall meetings with fair skinned Indians. Those accounts especially include encounters with the Mandans, but they also include accounts with a mysterious people known as the"Asguaw," "Tallega," and several other names. Memoirs and correspondence tell of encounters with "Welsh speaking Indians" - and suggest how the newer arrivals may have dealt with the inconvenient possibility that other White settlers had preceded them.
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THE HIDATSA AND THE ARIKARA
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