There can be found a higher theme for the pen of the philosophic historian than is presented by that peculiar race which once roamed in savage wilderness over this vast continent, and within the memory of many here present, built their wigwams and strung their bows on the spot where we now are assembled. But he who would seize upon this theme must hasten to the task. The power of the pale face has driven the Indians hill to hill, from prairie to prairie; their council fires are almost extinguished; their traditions are nearly forgotten; the last echo of their war song is but faintly heard along the receding frontier. Like the white mist of the morning on their native hills, they are melting away, and long, it is feared, before the problem of their origin is solved, the record of their final extinction will have been made.
The mounds and fortifications of the Mississippi Valley together with the bones, implements of war and other relics entombed within them-still the unsettled theme of controversy-shall be carefully studied and described. This too is a work which admits of no delay. Civilization is already around them and within the lapse of a few years, these extraordinary monuments of a half- civilized race who in distant days, kindled their fires over this vast region, will be totally destroyed.'--Darke's address before the Erodelphian Society of Miami University