Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Have They Found Where Battles Were Fought Around Cumorah? – Part VII “Ancient Wars in Western New York

Continuing from the previous post regarding the fallacy that ancient Nephite forts have been found in upstate New York and the effect of the Indian wars of more modern times has had on the artifacts found there.
An Iroquois village of longhouses within an enclosed area surrounded by stockade walls, in what was called an Iroquois Fort. It was quite common for the Six Nations tribes to build forts because of the constant attacks and unrest among the Indians for centuries around the Great Lakes

For some two hundred years, these wars continued, and unlike the Plains Indians, those around the Great Lakes built their own forts to protect themselves, their pelts, and their lands from encroachment from other tribes. With the addition of Jesuit missionaries, eventually several tribes were split among themselves as these missionaries divided, either on purpose or accidentally, one segment of a tribe against another until civil wars were raging along the Great Lakes area among several powerful tribes.
    In addition, at the threat of losing some of their trade business, the Dutch provided the Mohawk with as many guns as they wanted, which upset the balance of power among the tribes and cause numerous lopsided wars among them. By the mid-1600s, death and destruction was a byword along the Great Lakes with thousands of native American deaths, destruction of Indian forts, and the realignment of tribes, because of the powerful civil wars among them.
    The Algonkin, Oneida, Sokoki, Huron, Mohawk, Mahigan, Iroquois, Pennacook, Becancour, Montagnais, Kichesipirini, Onondaga, MicMac, Abenaki, Nipissing, Ottawa, Cree, Ojibwe, and numerous other smaller tribes were all at war with one another throughout most of the early and mid-1600s. Not until the summer of 1760 when the British all but defeated the French and gained control of the entire region that the several Indian tribes signed a treaty with the British that they would remain neutral in all future wars between the French and British.
The Iroquois and numerous other native tribes signed a peace treaty of neutrality with the British in 1760

The point of all this is that Great Lakes Theorists like to portray forts and bones and arrowheads, etc., in the area of the Great Lakes as being from Nephite-Lamanite era, but in reality, the Indian tribes of the 1400-1600s were heavily involved in their own battles over fur-rich land, the beaver and fur trade business later, and un until the French-Indian wars of 1755-63.
    This sealed the fate of the French at Montreal and North America, and further French efforts to keep their Canadian native allies in the war failed. After the war, Johnson used his influence with the Iroquois to merge the Iroquois League and the Seven Nations of Canada into a single alliance in the British interest. The sheer size of this group was an important reason the British were able to crush the war begun by the Odawa (Ottawa) leader, Pontiac (also known as Pontiac's Conspiracy or Pontiac's Rebellion)—a devastating war by a loose confederation of elements of Indian tribes from the Great lakes region, as well as Illinois and Ohio country, and west of the Appalachian Mountains from 1754 to 1763. However, this effort to drive British soldiers and settlers out of the region failed. In fact, warfare along this frontier was brutal, and the killing of prisoners, the targeting of civilians, and other atrocities were widespread
    The Algonkin fought alongside the British during the American Revolution (1775-83) participating in St. Leger's campaign in the Mohawk Valley in 1778. The Algonkin homeland was supposed to be protected from settlement by the Proclamation of 1763 and the Quebec Act of 1774, but after the revolution ended in a rebel victory, thousands of British Loyalists (Tories) left the new United States and settled in Upper Canada.
    To provide land for these newcomers, the British government in 1783 chose to ignore the Algonkin in the lower Ottawa Valley and purchased parts of eastern Ontario from Mynass, a Mississauga (Ojibwe) chief. Despite this, Algonkin warriors fought beside the British during the War of 1812 (1812-14) and helped defeat the Americans at the Battle of Chateauguay. Their reward for this service was the continued loss of their land to individual land sales and encroachment by American Loyalists and British immigrants moving into the valley.
Ottawa Valley just north of the east end of Lake Ontario along the southern tip of the Canadian Shield

The worst blow occurred when the British in 1822 were able to induce the Mississauga near Kingston, Ontario to sell most of what remained of the Algonkin holdings in the Ottawa Valley. Because few, if any, Mississauga actually lived there, the price paid for them to sell another people's land was virtually nothing. And for a second time, no one bothered to consult the Algonkin who had never surrendered their claim to the area but still received nothing from its sale.
    Further losses occurred during the 1840s as lumber interests moved into the Upper Ottawa Valley. Treaties and purchases by the Canadian government eventually established ten reserves that permitted the Algonkin to remain in the area, but like most Native Americans in both Canada and the United States, they were allowed to keep only a tiny portion of what once had been their original homeland.
    Obviously, one can see how this area was rampant with battles and wars covering at least four centuries, all taking place at least a thousand years after the demise of the Nephites. To claim, as Great Lakes Theorists do, that these old ruins, bones and arrowheads belonged to the Nephite period is simply make believe, with far more evidence of recent periods than the time of the Book of Mormon.
    In short, have they found where battles were fought around Cumorah? Obviously. Are they Nephite-Lamanite battles? No. And there is not one shred of evidence to suggest that they were, but a ton of evidence to show they were Indian tribes against one another dating between 1400 and 1700, and then against the British and French, and then in the Revolutionary War.
    To understand this better, according to the scriptural record, two great battles of extermination took place on, around and near the Hill Cumorah. The first occurred sometime around 600 BC in which some two million Jaredite warriors were killed, along with their wives and children. The second occurred in 385 AD, in which 230,000 Nephite warriors, and a large, but unknown number of Lamanites, were killed. However, in the area of the hill Cumorah in New York, claimed by North American theorists to be the hill mentioned in the Book of Mormon, which has been plowed up over and over again for planting all around the hill, and in some cases along the slopes of the hill, no concrete evidence has ever been found that that can be pointed to today, yet, as anyone who has ever searched for arrowheads knows, the best places to look are plowed fields, erosion channels, and other sites where surface vegetation is removed and where subsurface deposits are exposed or churned to the surface. This effort in western New York has not turned up the plethora of artifacts one would have expected.
Searching for artifacts in an area that saw over 22,000 killed in the mid-1700s in a war around the limited area of Ohio to the Great Lakes and Montreal should yield plenty of results, plus all the other fighting and battles in this area among Indian tribes from the 1400s through to the 1900s

To make their point, however, theorists present George Albert Smith’s comment upon visiting the hill in 1906, “We visited the Hill Cumorah…when we went up there and looked around, we felt that we were standing on holy ground. The brethren located, as near as they thought was possible, the place from which the plates of the Book of Mormon were taken by the Prophet…Evidence of the great battles that have been fought there in days gone by are manifest in the numerous spear and arrow-heads that have been found by farmers while plowing in that neighborhood. We were fortunate enough to obtain a few of the arrowheads” (Conference Report, April 1906, p56).
    They also quote Susa Young Gates statement about Elder Claude Taylor who visited the area in 1901: “Outside the farmhouse Elder Taylor and myself noted several bushel baskets filled with arrow heads and I asked Mrs. Samson (local resident) what they were. She said they had just begun to plow up the hill Cumorah and around the hill, to plant some crops, and they turned up these arrow heads by the basket full” (J. M. Sjodahl, An Introduction to the Study of the Book of Mormon , p7). Yet, there are no such artifacts from the Hill Cumorah on display anywhere by anyone.
    However, there is another side to this that is not always mentioned by the North American theorists.
(See the next post, “Have They Found Where Battles Were Fought Around Cumorah? – Part VIII,” for more information on the results of the numerous Indian wars fought in and around the area of the Great Lakes and its effect on artifacts found there today)

1 comment:

  1. The Lord turned against the natives. Of course, that does not justify everything the Gentiles did, but clearly the Lord was on the side of the newly arrived Europeans to help them gain a homeland inheritance.

    "And I beheld the Spirit of the Lord, that it was upon the Gentiles, and they did prosper and obtain the land for their inheritance; and I beheld that they were white, and exceedingly fair and beautiful, like unto my people before they were slain." --1 Nephi 13:15