Sunday, September 2, 2018

Have They Found Where Battles Were Fought Around Cumorah? – Part IV “Matching Nephite Forts”

Continuing from the previous post regarding the fallacy that ancient Nephite forts have been found in upstate New York, and despite stone tools, projectile points and mounds, what hard evidence of a factual nature can be shown for the North American theories of the Land of Promise, and the location of the Hill Cumorah?
    For the author of the blog under discussion in this series, to make the statement “The Great Lakes area is covered in ruins that match the cities and fortresses of “Cumorahland,” is both a meaningless statement and irresponsible as well. Cumorahland, as he puts it, or more properly the land of the Nephites, has almost nothing written that describes how buildings were buil tand what they looked like, other than two statements in Alma: “Yea, he had been strengthening the armies of the Nephites, and erecting small forts, or places of resort; throwing up banks of earth round about to enclose his armies, and also building walls of stone to encircle them about, round about their cities and the borders of their lands; yea, all round about the land” (Alma 48:8), and the later “And upon the top of these ridges of earth he caused that there should be timbers, yea, works of timbers built up to the height of a man, round about the cities. And he caused that upon those works of timbers there should be a frame of pickets built upon the timbers round about; and they were strong and high (Alma 50:2-3); and also one in Helaman: “And thus they did enable the people in the land northward that they might build many cities, both of wood and of cement” (Helaman 3:11). 
    Thus, the building material of wood, stone, and cement was used. However, we have no description of how forts were built or out of what material. We do know that walls around the cities and around the land were built of stone and also of timbers. We also know that some of the houses in the Land Northward were built of cement. But we do not know how any forts were built, of what material, what shape, or what height were the walls. Nor do we know in what clusters, how far apart, what distances, hills, ravines, canyons, mountains, or deserts were between any of these structures.
Fort Ticonderoga in upstate New York, not far from the Onondaga lands match anything built in Nephite times?

It is interesting to note that the ancient forts in New York do not date prior to the mid-1600s, when the British king Charles II, granted James Duke territorial land that included Buffalo, New York. In 1664, Duke built a fort in Buffalo, as a deterrent to numerous Indian tribes of Neuter, Erie and Seneca nations inhabited the entire western New York region. Baron LaHonton marked the Buffalo fort site on his 1687 exploration map, naming it Fort Suppose. In 1679, the Frenchman Captain René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle (Robert de La Salle), built Fort Conti—two log blockhouses, 40-feet square, connected by palisades  at the mouth of the Niagara River on Lake Ontario for winter quarters and defensible from attack. It was La Salle that explored the Great Lakes region and the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico, claiming the entire Mississippi River basin for France. However, the fort was later destroyed by the Senecas in 1675, though it was rebuilt in 1687 as Fort de Nonville by the Governor of Montreal, who hae spent the summer in a campaign against the Seneca villages in the Genessee Valley near Rochester. 
    Prior to that, on July 12, 1673, the Governor of New France, Louis de Buade de Frontenac, arrived at the mouth of the Cataraqui River to meet with leaders of the Five Nations of the Iroquois to encourage them to trade with the French. While the groups met and exchanged gifts, Frontenac's men, led by La Salle, hastily constructed a rough wooden palisade on a point of land by a shallow, sheltered bay, where the St. Lawrence River leaves Lake Ontario (today’s Kingston, Ontario, Canada).
Fort Frontenac, which was built on the site of Fort Cataraqui at the mouth of the St. Lawrence River where it leaves Lake Ontaior, in the location traditionally nown as Cataraqui 

Originally the military trading post was named Fort Cataraqui but was later renamed Fort Frontenac by La Salle in honor of his patron. The purpose of the fort was to control the lucrative fur trade in the Great Lakes Basin to the west, as well as a bulwark against the English and Dutch, who were competing with the French for control of the fur trade. La Salle was left in command of the fort in 1673. Later, in 1684 the French built Fort Denonville, which replaced Fort Conti (which had been built in 1679), which was a portage point that allowed furs and other goods to be transported around the rapids and falls of the Niagara River to Lewiston and then on to Quebec. Fort Denonville later was replaced by Fort Niagara.
    In 1719 Joncaire’s Blockhouse, or Fort Joncaire, was built along the upper Niagara River (toward Lake Erie) by Daniel Joncaire, a French “white Indian.” While there were many subsequent forts built in the Great Lakes area, since that was the home of the very lucrative fur trade and wars with the Iroguois nations often prevailed, many of these early forts still remain either full or in part, but mostly in ruins, with their walls of stone and brick easily seen, though some are completely gone.
    The point of all of this is not a history lesson, but to show the history of the Great Lakes, the French fur trade, the battles and wars with the Iroquois, the forts built for defense along with trading posts and blockhouses, is extremely well known. And in all of this, there is no mention of earlier forts, earlier constructions, either in stone or in wood, and even if the wood was so old it deteriorate, the foundations, markings, and evidence of such living would have remained—but none was ever recorded. The only comment about earlier forts and actions dating back beyond the region’s known history is made by writers who have imagined and created a history that is not verifiable nor even factual.
Old Fort Niagara, a stone fort built in 1726 to guard against the Seneca and Iroquois nations, featuring the original stone buildings built by the French and British 

Consequently, the question remains, how exactly can one even consider that a description of something (undescribed) in North America matches something (undescribed) in the Land of Promise? That is, did Fort Ticonderoga in upstate New York match the fort in the city of Nephi? Did the fort in Niagara match the forts in the city of Noah, or Ammonihah? 
    Nor are there any reports, early newspaper articles, or other writings or Indian legends suggesting that there were any type of settlement, activities, or wars dating back prior to the development of the Iroquois Confederacy which dates to the 12th to 15th centuries. The Iroquoian peoples that the first Europeans encountered, though far different from the Plains Indians later encountered, were still far from the advancements found in other parts of the Americas when the Spanish invaded. The height of the Iroquois Confederacy was between this first encounter and the American Revolution, which British defeat spelled the end of the Iroquois, especially in the New York area. In all that time no history of the Iroquois arose to suggest a tie in with ancient cultures such as the Nephites and Lamanites. 
    This area, and its limited history is evidently a tie-in to antiquity by Great Lakes Theorists, since their background is claimed to have been many things; however, no evidence nor even any suggestion of such has ever been found that dates before their claimed origination in the 12th century AD.
    Undaunted by any lack of proof of any kind, even examples of such ancient structures, the author of the blog site continues with: “As we have discussed common attitudes of the 18th and 19th centuries labeled Native Americans as backward, savages and therefore not the descendants of the people who had created such great civilizations. One of the things Joseph Smith knew was that the Native Americans were not savages and they were the descendants of that great society.”
    However, while Joseph Smith and most members acknowledge American Indians, in all the Americas, were, in part, descendants of Lehi through the Lamanite people, it should not be ignored that the Lamanites, even during the height of the Nephi era, were not so advanced, as Lehi’s grandson, Enos, stated: “they were led by their evil nature that they became wild, and ferocious, and a bloodthirsty people, full of idolatry and filthiness; feeding upon beasts of prey; dwelling in tents, and wandering about in the wilderness with a short skin girdle about their loins and their heads shaven; and their skill was in the bow, and in the cimeter, and the ax. And many of them did eat nothing save it was raw meat” (Enos 1:20), a theme found throughout the scriptural record when describing the Lamanites. Nor have we found a lot of difference in the North American Indian discovered by the early Europeans, even the Iroquois and Six Nations, though they were more advanced from the Plains Indians like the Apache, Sioux and Navajo.
    Like so many who fail to know history, this author makes wide-sweeping generalities that bear little resemblance to facts. As an example, in the New York area between the close of the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, the various Indian tribes, such as the Onondaga whom he has introduced, was considered very highly by European settlers, that is, the later Americans. The stories of their friendships with the white settlers is, in many cases, remarkable. Each was treated well and with deep respect by the others and their stories are not few among them and recorded in early journals and histories of this.
(See the next post, “Have They Found Where Battles Were Fought Around Cumorah? – Part V,” for more information on the fallacy that the ruins and relics found in Western New York could have been Nephite or Lamanite of the Book of Mormon period)

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