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L^H 

i/s 6^>^ 




AN 



INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS r 

OR, 

EVIDENCE THAT HWUI SHlN 

AND 

A PARTY OF BUDDHIST MONKS FROM AFGHANISTAN 

gisrofrmb Jmerita 

IN THE FIFTH CENTURY, A. D. 



BY 

EDWARD P. VINING. 



" If Buddhist priests were really the first men who, -within the scope of written 
history and authentic annals, went from the Old World to the New, it will sooner or 
later be proved. Nothing can escape history that belongs to it." LELAND. 




NEW YORK: 
D. APPLETON AND COMPANY, 

1, 3, AND 5 BOND STEEET. 
1885. 



.109 






COPYBIGHT, 1885, 

BY EDWARD P. VINING. 



TO 

HUBERT HOWE BANCROFT, 

AS A TOKEN OF APPRECIATION 
OF 

THE CONSCIENTIOUS LABOUR BESTOWED UPON HIS 
"NATIVE RACES OF THE PACIFIC STATES," 

AND THE OTHER VOLUMES OF HIS 
HISTORIES OF THE PACIFIC STATES OF NORTH AMERICA, 

THIS WORK IS 
RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED. 



t 



vi PREFACE. 



to explain are far outweighed by the evidence presented by 
the numerous details of the account which are proved to be 
true. The explanations suggested as to some doubtful points 
might seem more plausible if they were confined to that eluci 
dation of the difficulty which, upon the whole, appears to be 
its most probable solution. I have preferred, however, to 
note all possible explanations that have suggested themselves 
to me, believing that in some cases the truth which further 
investigation will reveal may possibly lie in some interpre 
tation which now seems improbable. 

Errors will undoubtedly be found in this work, but I have 
hoped to excite sufficient interest in the question under ex 
amination to induce more competent scholars to bring the 
truth to light regarding those points as to which I have 
failed. I am confident, however, that, after the elimination of 
all errors, it will be found that the great mass of evidence that 
is presented that America was discovered in the fifth century 
of the Christian era remains practically untouched ; and that 
as a whole the work will be much easier to ignore than to 
answer by those who may differ from its conclusions. 

All attempts to establish a truth which has not been gener 
ally received are met by the difficulty that it is almost impos 
sible to interest in the subject those who have formerly paid 
no attention to it, and that those who have studied it are 
strongly tempted by a natural regard for their own self-com 
placency to deny that there is anything more in the subject 
than they have been able to perceive for themselves. I, there 
fore, can not hope that my views will immediately meet with 
general acceptance; but that their truth will ultimately be 
recognized, I can not doubt. 

Some quotations have been made at second-hand, and from 
authorities which I would not have given if I had had easy 
access to a better library than my own ; and some books which 
I desired to consult I have not been able to obtain. Due al 
lowance should be made for these facts. 

It is proper that I should express my thanks for the kind 
responses which I have received to my applications for assist 
ance and information from many to whom I was unknown, 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 

PAGB 

INTRODUCTORY . .. . . . . ; . .1 

The birth of Buddha His titles His character His religious belief His 
universal charity His life as a hermit The discovery which he imag 
ined that he had made Desire that all should share its benefits His 

..^command to evangelize the world The compliance of his disciples 
The dispersion from India Countries visited Traces of the religion in 
Europe Also throughout Asia And in Alaska The wanderings of 
Buddhist priests Few records preserved Ease of journey from Asia 
to America The Gulf-Stream of the Pacific Shipwrecks on the Kurile 
and Aleutian Islands Records of journeys of Buddhist priests Their 
reliability and value A Chinese record of a visit to an Eastern country 
Reasons for crediting the account Object of this work Previous dis 
cussions of the subject Plan of this work The discovery made by de 
Guignes Humboldt s views Klaproth s dissent The Chevalier de Par- 
avey s essays Neumann s monograph Leland s translation and com 
ments Articles by MM. Perez, Vivien de Saint-Martin, d Eichthal, Bras- 
seur de Bourbourg, Godron, Jones, Brown, Simson, Bretschneider, Adam, 
d Hervey de Saint-Denys, Lobscheid, Channing M. Williams, and S. 
Wells Williams. 

CHAPTER II. 

DE GUIGNES S DISCOVERY . . . . . .18 

Chinese voyages Knowledge of foreign lands Work of Li-yen, a Chinese v^ 
historian The country of Fu-sang The length of^the li Wen-shin 
Its identification with Jesso Ta-han Its identification with Kamtchatka 
The route to Ta-han by land The country of the Ko-li-han The She- 
goei The Yu-che Description of Kamtchatka The land of Lieu-kuci 
The description of Fu-sang No other knowledge of the country The 
Pacific coast of North America A Japanese map The Kingdom of 
Women Its description Shipwreck of a Chinese vessel American 
traditions Civilization of American tribes on the Pacific coast The 
Mexicans Horses Cattle The fu-sang tree Mexican writing Man 
ner in which America was peopled-^Similarity of customs in Asia and 
AmericaVResemblances in the people Charlevoix s story Natives 
floated upon cakes of ice The kingdom of Chang- jin Voyages of 
other nations The Arabs Exploration of the Atlantic The Canaries 
Story of their king The Cape Verd Islands Conclusion. 
B 



x CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER III. 

PAGE 

KLAPBOTH S DISSENT . 

Title of de Guignes s article incorrect Translation of the account of Fu-sang 

Vines and horses not found in America Route to Japan Length of 

the li Identification of Wen-shin with Jesso Ta-han identified with 

""""""Taraikai or Saghalien The route to Ta-han by land The Shy-wei 
Lieu-kuei Fu-sang south of Ta-han instead of c^i Fu-sang an ancient 
name of Japan Analysis of name " Fu-sang "The paper mulberry- 
Metals The introduction of Buddhism Fantastic tales. 

CHAPTER IV. 

DE PARAVEY S SUPPORT . . . . , . 49 

America visited by Scandinavians American tribes emigrants from Asia 
Ancient Chinese maps Researches antedating those of Klaproth Let 
ter of Pere Gaubil Ta-han Licu-kud Identification of these with 
Kamtchatka Size of Fu-sang Views of M. Dumont d Urville Length 
of the li America lies at the distance and in the direction indicated 
The Meropide of Elien The Hyperboreans The monuments of Guate 
mala and Yucatan The Shan-hai-Tcing Identification of the fu-sang 
tree with the metl or maguey The Japanese Encyclopaedia says Japan 
is not Fu-sang The banana or pisang tree may have been the tree called 
fu-sang Grapes in America Milk in America The bisons of America 
Llamas Horses Wooden cabins The ten-year cycle The titles of 
the king and nobles The worship of images Resemblance of pyramids 
of America to those of the Buddhists An image of Buddha The 
spread of the Buddhist religion History of the Chichimecas Resem 
blance of Japanese to Mexicans Analogies of Asiatic and American 
civilizations pointed out by Humboldt Credit due de Guignes Appen 
dix Ma Titian-tin s account The fu-sang said to be the prickly poppy 
of Mexico Laws punishing a criminal s family have existed in China 
Chinese cycle of sixty years existed in India Cattle harnessed to carts 
The grapes of Fu-sang wild, not cultivated Another Chinese custom 
in Fu-sang The route to Ta-han The route to Japan very indirect 
Priests called lamas both in Mexico and Tartary. 



CHAPTER V. 
DE PARAVEY S NEW PROOFS . . . 

De Paravey s researches preceded those of Neumann and d Eichthal Con 
nection between the Malay and American languages Fu-sang located near 
San Francisco Chinese picture of a native of Fu-sang Spotted deer 
Cattle-horns in Mexico Horses Nations of Northern Asia Appendix 
^. A Buddhist monuments in America A figure of Buddha in Yucatan 
^ The worship of Siva The explorations of Dupaix Foot-print in the 
rocks The cause of eclipses Pyramids Appendix B A Buddhist 
sanctuary near the Colorado River The name Quatu-zaca The Mexi 
cans emigrants from the north Appendix C An engraving of a native 
of Fu-mng The natives of Oregon The deer of America Connection 
of American and Asiatic tribes Pearl-fishing The cochineal insect and 
the nopal The people of Cophene American place-names which ap 
pear to contain the name Sakya. 



CONTENTS. xi 

CHAPTER VI. 

PAGl 

NEUMANN S MONOGRAPH . . . . . .78 

The knowledge of foreign nations possessed by the Chinese Their precepts 

The journey of Lao-tse Embassies and spies Knowledge derived 
from foreign visitors Its preservation in Chinese records The introduc 
tion of Buddhism Its command to extend its doctrines to all nations 
Chinese system of geography and ethnology The unity of the Tartars 
and Red-skins American languages The Tunguses, or Eastern Barba 
rians The Pc-ti, or Northern Barbarians The Ainos^ or Jebis, and the 
Negritos The Wen-shin, or Pictured-people Embassies between China 
and Japan The Country of Dwarfs The Chinese " Book of Mountains 
and Seas " Information given by a Japanese embassador Kamtchatka, 
the Tchuktchi, and the Aleuts Lieu-kuei The length of the H Licu- 
kuei, a peninsula The land of the Jc-tshay The natives of Kamtchat- 
ia Their dwellings Their clothing The climate The animals of the 
country The customs of the people The country of the Wen-shin identi 
fied with the Aleutian Islands Ta-han, or Alaska The kingdom of Fu- 

^_*/pff nin^Jts inhabitantSj^Ihfi Amaggn^ Fu-sang identified" with the 
western portion of America called Mexico The fu-sang tree Only one 
voyage made Chinese accounts of Fu-sang The distance from Ta-han, 
or Alaska, indicates that Fu-sang is Mexico The oldest history of 
America Successive tribes The ruins of Mitla and Palenque Some 
thing of earlier races to be learned from the condition of the Aztecs 
Pyramidical monuments If Buddhism existed in America, it was an im 
pure form The myth of Huitzilopochtli Thefu-sang, the maguey, or 
Agave Americana Connection between the flora of America and that of 
Asia Metals and money Laws and customs of the Aztecs Domestic 
animals Horses Oxen Stag-horns Chinese and Japanese in the 
Hawaiian group and in Northwestern America Shipwrecks upon the 
American coast The voyages of the Japanese. 

CHAPTER VII. 
THE ARGUMENTS OF MM. PEREZ AND GODKON . . .104 

Knowledge of America possessed by the Chinese The Country of Women 

Other travelers relate incredible stories Klaproth s argument The 
account contained in the Japanese Encyclopaedia Note denying that. 
Fu-sang is Japan Weakness of Klaproth s argument Identity of names 
of cities in Asia and America American languages Resemblance of 
the Tartars to the Aborigines of America Similitude of customs A 
Buddhist mission to America in the fifth century The Chinese able to 
measure distances, and possessed of the compass The musk-oxen and 
bisons of America Horses Names of European animals misapplied to 
American animals The "horse-deer" of America Vines The diffi 
culty in identifying the fu-sang tree Iron and copper in America and 
Japan. 

CHAPTER VIII. 

D EICHTHAL S "STUDY" . . . 119 

The Buddhistic origin of American civilization The geographical relations 
between Northeastern Asia and Northwestern America The memoirs of 
de Guignes and Klaproth If Fu-sang was in Japan, there is no 
for the"" Country of Women "The Japanese deny that 



their country De Guignes s map The ease of a voyage Irom Asia t< 



xii CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

America The warm current of the Pacific Ocean The Aleutian Islands 
Voyages of the natives The civilization of New Mexico A white 
population Cophene Buddhism Ho\v it is modified and propagated 
Its absorption of the doctrines of other religions Its proselytism Its 
religious communities The route from Cophene to Fu-sang A. Bud 
dhist sanctuary at Palenque Description of Stephens An image of 
Buddha The lion-headed couch The winged globe The aureola about 

the figure Decadence in art The altars upon which flowers and fruits 

are offered Reply to observations of M. Vivien de Saint-Martin The 
two routes to Ta-han That country located near the mouth of the 
Amoor River Traces of Buddhism in that neighbourhood Ease of 
voyage to the Aleutian islands Klaproth s theory untenable No other 
hypothesis remaining than that Fu-sang must be sought in America. 

CHAPTER IX. 
COINCIDENCES NOTED BY HUMBOLDT, LOBSCHEID, AND PEESOOTT . 142 

Extracts from the " Views of the Cordilleras "Similarity of Asiatic and 
American civilizations The struggles of the Brahmans and Buddhists 
The divisions of the great cycles The Mexicans designated the days of 
their months by the names of the zodiacal signs used in Eastern Asia 
Cipactli and Capricornus Table of resemblances The tiger and monkey * 
found only in southern countries The Aztec migration from the north 
Resemblance between certain Mexican and Tartarian words The 
cutting-stones of jhe Aztecs The sign Ollin and the foot-prints of Vish- 
nTT^E%eTtrDf^r^TxTm : e~oT % Several nations Changes resulting from 
changed circumstances and lapse of time Analogies in religious cus 
toms Analogy in the fables regarding the destructions of the universe 
Lobscheid s reasons for thinking the American Indians to be one race 
with the Japanese and Eastern Asiatics Similarity of customs Tiles 
, Anchors The route from Asia to America Shipwrecks of fishing- 
boats Head-dresses Languages Religion Customs Marriage sol 
emnized by tying the garments together Extracts from Prescott s " His 
tory of the Conquest of Mexico " Analogies in traditions and religious 
usages Disposal of the bodies of the dead The analogies of science 
The calendar General conclusions. 

CHAPTER X. 
SHORTER ESSAYS . . . . ... . 161 

i " Where was Fu-sang? "by the Rev. Nathan Brown, D. D. Difficulties at 
tending a decision Horses Grapes Reason for thinking Fu-sang more 

I distant than Japan Length of the ft Distances of the route Difficul 
ties attending Klaproth s theory The military expeditions of the Japa 
nese The introduction of the Buddhist religion The Hans Great 
Han Identification of the fu-sang tree with the bread-fruit tree Con 
clusion Remarks of the Abbe Brasseur de Bourbourg The paper and 
books of the Mexicans and Central Americans Civilization of New 
Mexico Chinese boats Animals Mr. LclandVFusang" An earlier 
article Who discovered America ? J. Hanlay s essay The fu-sang tree 
identified with the maguey Metals Resemblance in religion and cus 
tomsAlso in features Language Civilization on Pacific coast Letter 
of Mr. Th. Simson The Mexican aloe The fu-sang tree Japan 
Letter of E. Bretschneider, M. D. Accounts of Fu-sang by the Chinese 
poets" The Kingdom of Women "Verdict of Father Hyacinth The 
distance Horses and deer The fit-sang tree The fung-tree The pa- 



CONTENTS. xiii 

per mulberry Metals " The Kingdom of Women " and Salt Lake City ** 
Fu-sang not Japan Ta-han in Siberia Envoys from Fu-sang Contra 
dictory fancies Mr. Leland s criticism Letter of Pere Gaubil Unre 
liability of Chinese texts The peopling of Japan Chinese knowledge of 
surrounding countries Remarks of liumboldt Letter of the Rt. Rev. 

Channing M. Williams The Chinese " Classic of Mountains and Seas " 

Fabulous stories Translation of extracts therefrom Remarks of M. 
Leon de Rosny Passage from Asia to America The distance Char 
acter of the Esquimaux An article from a newspaper of British Colum 
bia Discovery of Chinese coins in the bank of a creek Evidence that 
they had been buried for a long time. 

CHAPTER XI. 
REMARKS OF MM. VIVIEN DE SAINT-MARTIN AND LTTCIEN ADAM . 185 

"An Old Story Set Afloat" The route to Fu-sang Identity of the Ainos 
with the Wen-shin Ta-han near the mouths of the Amoor River Route 
of Buddhist missionaries to the Amoor Civilization of Buddhist origin 
Pillars with Buddhist inscriptions Necessity of accurate translation 
Twenty thousand li signify only a very great distance The fu-sang 
tree Warlike habits Lack of draught animals Civilization of Mexico 
Difficulty of the voyage Conclusion Remarks of M. Adam Chinese 
acquainted with America Ease of the journey Travels of Buddhist 
monks Points characteristic of American civilization Ten-year cycle 
The fu-sang tree The fung tree The hibiscus The Dryanda cordata 
The maguey, or agave Zoological objections Punishments Slave 
children Absurdities Legend of Quetzalcoatl He came from the East 
The legend a myth Colleges of priests Practice of confession The 
alleged figure of Buddha The elephant s head Lack of tusks America 
for the Americans Theory that ffwui Shan repeated the stories of_h4- - 
nese sailors Remarks of M. de HelRaltTand Professor Joly. 

CHAPTER XII. 

D HERYEY S NOTES *. . . . .204 

Bibliography The name of the priest The city of King-chcu Ta-han 
Lieu-kuci, a peninsula Earlier knowledge of Fu-sang The construction 
of the dwellings The lack of arms and armour The punishment of 
criminals The titles of the nobles The title Tui-ht found in Corea The 
colours of the king s garments The cycle of ten years Peruvian his 
tory The long cattle-horns The food prepared from milk The red 
pears Grapes The worship of images of spirits of the dead Its ex 
istence in China Cophene The "Kingdom of Women" The legumes 
used as food Wen-shin The punishment of criminals The name Ta- 
han The country identified with Kamtchatka Two countries of that 
name One lying north of China, and one lying east Unwarlike nature 
of the people. 

CHAPTER XIII. 

D HERVEY S APPENDIX. . . . " 

Difference between Hod Shin s story and other Chinese accounts An 
earlier knowledge of Fu-sang The poem named the Li-sao The Shan- 
hai-king The account of Tong-fang-so The immense size of the coun 
try The burninf of books in China The origin of the Chinese The 
writer Kuan-meiThe arrival of ~ffoei Shin in 499 The civil war then 






xi v CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

raging The delay in obtaining an imperial audience The " History of 
the Four Lords of the Liang Dynasty "An envoy from Fu-sang The 
presents offered by him Yellow silk A semi-transparent mirror This 
envoy was Hod Shin The stories told by Yu-kie The silk found upon 
the fu-sang tree The palace of the king The Kingdom of Women 
Serpent-husbands The Smoking Mountain The Black Valley The ani 
mals of the country The amusement of the courtiers The poem Tong- 
king-fu The route to Fu-sang Fu-sang east of Japan Lieu-kaei 
The direction of the route. 

CHAPTER XIV. 
PROFESSOR WILLIAMS S ARGUMENT . . . . . 230 

" Notices of Fu-sang and other Countries lying East of China "The ori 
gin of American tribes The work of H. H. Bancroft Mr. Leland s book 
Ma Twan-lin His " Antiquarian Researches " Hwui-shin s story 
Cophene No later accounts of Fu-sang The titles of the nobility The 
ten-year cycle Red pears The fu-sang tree No mention of pulque 
Brocade Fables Account of the Shih Chau Ki The article of the 
Marquis d Hervey de Saint-Denys Criticisms thereon Pang-lai The 
distance of Japan and Fu-sang The name Fu-sang sometimes applied 
to Japan Mention of the fu-sang tree in a Chinese geography Expedi 
tions sent to search for Fu-sang Comparison with Swift s " Voyage to 
Laputa " The Kingdom of Women Mention by Maundevile and Marco 
Polo of a land of Amazons The country of Wan Shan Tattooing Its 
existence among the Esquimaux Quicksilver Two kingdoms of Ta Han 
Lieu-kuci and the Lewchew Islands. 

CHAPTER XT. 
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION. NATURE OF THE CHINESE LANGUAGE . 249 

Fu-sang wood Nie-yao-kiun-tiThe Warm Spring Valley The Shin I 
King The kingdom Hi-ho-koue The astronomer Hi-ho The story of 
a Corean An island of women Pung-lai An expedition to explore 
it The colonization of Japan Lang Yuen The Kwun-lun Mountains 
A statue of a native of Fu-sang A poem to his memory The tree of 
stone Varying translations The peculiarities of the Chinese language 
The brevity and conciseness of the written language Its lack of 
clearness The meaning of groups of characters, or compounds Proper 
names No punctuation Difficulty of translating correctly Preparation 
of M. Julien Illustrations of mistakes. 

CHAPTER XVI. 
THE DESCRIPTION OF FU-SANG. . . . . 260 

The Chinese authorities Variations in the texts The Chinese text A 
literal translation Parallel translations of eight authors Hie date of 
Hjaii^SMn s arrival in China The location of Fu-sang The fu-sang 
trees The derivation of the name of the country The leaves of the 
fu-sang tree Its first sprouts Red pears Thread and cloth Dwell 
ingsLiterary characters Paper Lack of arms The two places of 

confinement The difference between them The pardon of criminals 

Marriages of the prisoners Slave-children The punishment of a crimi 
nal of high rank The great assembly Suffocation in ashes Punish 
ment of his familyTitles of the king and nobles Musicians The 
king s garments The changing of their colour A ten-year cycle Lon^ 



CONTEXTS. xv 

cattle-horns Their great size Horse-carts, cattle-carts, and deer-carts 
Domesticated deer Koumiss The red pears preserved throughout the 
year TO-P U-T AOCS The lack of iron Abundance of copper Gold 
and silver not valued Barter in their markets Courtship The cabin 
of the suitor The sweeping and watering of the path The ceremonies 
of marriage Mourning customs The worship of images of the dead 
The succession to the throne A visit from a party of Buddhist mis 
sionaries Their labours and success. 

CHAPTER XYII. 

THE KINGDOM OF WOMEN, THE LAND OF "MASKED BODIES," AND- 

THE GEEAT HAN COUNTBY . . . . . 301 

The accounts of all these countries derived from the same source The 
Chinese text The location of the Kingdom of Women Its inhabitants 
Tfreir long locks Their migrations Birth of their young Nursing 
the young The acre at which they walk Their timidity Their devotion 
to their mates The salt-plant Its peculiarities A shipwreck The 
women A tribe whose language could not be understood Men with 
puppies heads Their food, clothing, and dwellings The land of 
" Marked Bodies " Its location Tattooing with three lines The char 
acter of the people Lack of fortifications The king s residence 
Water-silver No money used The Country of Great Han Its location 
Lack of weapons Its people. 

CHAPTER XVIII. 

THE LENGTH OF THE Li. THE NAME "GEEAT HAN" . . 328 

The direction from Japan in which Fu-sang lay Variations in standards 
of measure The Chinese li about one diird of a mile in length The 
greater length of thcTjapanese li Possibility of still another standard 
in Corea Communication between Corea and Japan and between Corea 
and China Chinese knowledge of the route to Japan derived from 
Corean sources Fu-sang farther from " Great Han " than Japan is 
Distances stated with at least approximate accuracy The country of 
"Marked Bodies" identified as the Aleutian Islands Allowances for 
changes and misunderstandings Caesar s account of the inhabitants of 
Britain Maundevile s repetition of the story " Great Han " identified 
as Alaska Land found in the regions indicated by Hwui Sh5n Mean 
ing of the character "Han" Nature of the Chinese characters The 
manner in which they are compounded of two parts Some characters 
in which the meaning is affected by that of both parts Application of 
the character " Han " to a swirling stream and to the Milky Way 
Hence its possible meaning of " dashing water " Meaning of the name 
"Alaska" The breakers of the Aleutian Islands The population A 
philological myth The hypotheses upon one of which Hwui Shan s 
story must be explained the explanation should be consistent. 

CHAPTER XIX. 

THE CUSTOMS OF THE LAND OF "MAEKED BODIES," AND OF GEEAT 
HAN ... 

Necessity of examining the account in detail The resemblance of the peo 
ple of the two countries Their customs Their languages The marks 
upon their bodies Tattooing with three lines Existence of the custom 



xv i CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

in America The marks a sign of the position of their bearer The 
merry nature of the people Their feasts and dances Their hospitality 

Hospitality of the American Indians The Iroquois The Esquimaux 

The Aleutians Absence of fortifications The chiefs The decora 
tion of their dwellings The Haidah Indians Other Indian tribes from 
British Columbia to Alaska Esquimaux fondness for ornamentation 
Ditches The dwellings of the people Water-silver Proof that ice is 
meant Quicksilver No country ever had ditches filled with quicksilver 
The traffic by means of precious gems No money used Value of 
amber The peaceful nature of the people The punishment of crime 
Summary of facts mentioned by Hwui Shan Application of the doctrine 
of chances The two countries bearing the name of Great Han. 

CHAPTER XX. 
THE COUNTRY LYING IN THE REGION INDICATED BY Hwui SHAN . 360 

The direction from China, Japan, and Great Han in which Fu-sang lay 
The trend of the American Pacific coast The distortion of the com 
mon maps Mexico lies in the region indicated The nations inhabiting 
Mexico in the fifth century Their language Traces of their beliefs and 
customs existing one thousand years later Aztec traditions The Tol- 
tecs Their character Their civilization The time of their dispersion 
Their language The Pacific coast The evidence of place-names The *Y* 
Aztec language Limits of the Mexican empire The name of the coun 
tryThe city of Tenochtitlan The application of the name " Mexico " 
First applied to the country Early maps Late application of the 
name to the city Pronunciation of the word Similar names throughout 
the country Meaning of the syllable " co " Varying explanations 
Real meaning of the term " The Place of the Century-plant " Meaning 
of the syllable " ME " Meaning of the syllable " xi " Its meaning in 
other compounds Other abbreviations Appropriateness of the designa 
tionThe god Mexitli Proof that he was the god of the century-plant 
Reason that the Spaniards were misled as to the meaning of " Mexico." 

CHAPTER XXI. 
THE FU-SANG TREE AND THE RED PEARS . . . 382 

Connection between the name of the country and that of the " tree "Ap 
plication to smaller plants of the Chinese character translated "tree" 
Application of the term " tree " to the century-plant Description of the 

"y SE& maguey, agave, aloe, oiicentury-plant The leaves of the fu-sang 

Disagreement oFditterent texts The t ung tree Evidence of corruption 
in the text Conjecture as to original reading Similarity of the young 
sprouts to those of the bamboo Their edibility Thread and cloth from 
the fiber of the plant The finer fabric made from it Variation in the 
Manufacture of paper The red pear The prickly-pear Resem 
blance of the century-plant to the cacti Preserves made from the prickly- 
pears Confusion in the Mexican language between milk and the sap of 
the century-plant-The Chinese "lo," or koumiss-The liquor made 
tronOhe sap i of thft century-plant Its resemblance to koumiss Indians 
lever use milk Confusion in other Indian languages between sap and 
m l k -^ ? amn " tb m name f u-sang-Variations in the characters with 
which it is written The spontaneous reproduction of the century-plant 
-The decomposition of the character sang "-The tree of the fergT 
wme-jar The tree having a great cloud of blossoms Blooming but 
once in a thousand years-The Chinese name of the prickly-plar 
Kitel s definition of the term "fu-sang "Professor Gray s statement 



CONTENTS. xvii 

CHAPTER XXII. 

PACK 

THE LANGUAGE OF FU-SANG .... . 403 

Peculiarities of the Chinese language Difficulty of indicating pronunciation 
of foreign words Examples Change in sound of Chinese characters 
The pisang or banana tree Names of countries terminated with KWOH 
The character SANG The character FU The most distant countries 
at the four points of the compass distinguished by names beginning 
with FU Mexican dialects FU-SANG-KWOH and Me-shi-co The title of 

the king Montezuma s title Title of the noblemen of the first rank 

The Mexican Tecuhtli, or Teule The Petty TUI-LU The NAH-TO-SHA, or 
Tlatoque The title lower than that of Tecuhtli Its meaning Tran 
scription of foreign words by characters indicating both the meaning 
and the sound TO-P U-TA OCS, or tomatoes The grape-vine The tree of 
stone A Mexican pun Danger of being misled by accidental or fancied 
resemblance. 

CHAPTER XXIII. 
THE PEOULIAEITIES OF THE COUNTRY . . . . .418 

The construction of the dwellings Adobe walls The " Casas Grandes " 
Houses of planks Lack of armour Absence of fortifications Literary 
characters The pomp which surrounded the Aztec monarch Musical 
instruments The evanescence of Montezuma s pomp Rulers accom 
panied by musical instruments Tangaxoan The king of Guatemala 
The king of Quiche Homage to the Spaniards and to the Spanish priests 
The long cattle-horns The Chinese measure called a HUH Animals 
of the New World erroneously designated by the names of those of the 
Old World Bisons Their range An extinct species Its gigantic 
horns The horns of the Rocky Mountain sheep Use of horns by the 
Indians Herds of tame deer The lack of iron The use of copper 
Gold and silver not valued Their markets Barter Customs attending 
courtship Sprinkling and sweeping the ground as an act of homage 
The customs of the Apaches The fastened horse The Coco-Maricopas 
Serenades Huts built in front of those of the parents The length 
of the " year " The punishment of criminals of high rank The sweat- 
house, or estufa Indian councils Severe punishment of men of distinc 
tion Custom in Darien Punishment witnessed by Cortez Smothering 
in ashes. 

CHAPTER XXIV. 
THE NARRATOR OF THE STORY . . 439 

The condition of China at the time The reign of a Buddhist emperor 
The bhikshus, or mendicant priests Their duties Rules for their con 
duct The name Hwui ShSn Frequency with which the name Hwui 
occurs Meaning of the characters The nationality of Hwui Shan 
Cophene Struggle between Brahmanism and Buddhism The route 
from India to China The command that at least three should go to- 

"" gether when traveling Persecution in China in the year 458 The 
journey to America by water Ease of the trip Probability that Ilwui 
Shan was but slightly acquainted with the Chinese language Yu Kie s 
criticism of Hwui Shan s statements Causes of errors Use of the term 
"water-silver" Accounts given by first explorers seldom ^free from 
error Absurdities narrated by other Chinese travelers Pliny Hero 
dotus Marco Polo Maundevile Caesar The unicorn Elks without 
joints in their legs The Icelandic account of Vinland Difficulties in 



xv iii CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

the account The Unipeds The Zeno brothers Ignorance of geography 
in the fifteenth century Marvelous tales of early explorers Allowances 
to be made Hwui Shkn entitled to equal charity. 

CHAPTER XXV. 
THE INTRODUCTION OF ASIATIC CIVILIZATION . . . .456 

The former ignorance of the people The introduction of Buddhism The 
changes of a thousand years The two places of confinement Meaning 
of the character FAH two species of prisons One for those sentenced 
to death The other for minor criminals The Mexican Hades The 
future abode of the Aztec hero The sojourn but temporary The dark 
and dismal " Place of the Dead," in the north Confinement here eternal 
The slave children Treatment of illegitimate children and of orphans 
Age at which children were taken to the temple Boys at seven years 
of age Girls at eight Chinese custom of calling children a year older 
than they would be considered by us The punishment of the family of a 
criminal Mourning customs Fasts Funerals Images of the deceased 
Reverence of these images and offerings to them The custom in 
China The absence of mourning-garments The king not fully crowned 
until some time after his accession to the throne. 

CHAPTER XXVI. 
THE INTRODUCTION OF ASIATIC CIVILIZATION. (Concluded.) . 470 

The colour of the king s garments Colours in Asia Green and blue con 
founded The dyes used by the Mexicans Changes of the king s gar 
ments Dresses of different colours for different occasions Various 
species of mantles worn Changes because of superstitious ideas Length 
of the " year " Divisions of the day The marriage ceremonies Chinese 
customs Mexican customs attributed to Quetzalcoatl Mexican weddings 
The horse-carts, cattle-carts, and deer-carts Difficulties of this passage 
Explanations suggested The introduction of the horse into America 
Extinct species of horses in America Indian traditions Name may 
have been applied to some other animal Mirage The Buddhist descrip 
tion of the " three carts " or " three vehicles." 

CHAPTER XXVII. 
THE COUNTRY OF WOMEN AND ITS INHABITANTS . . 487 

Stories of Amazons Account of Ptolemy That of Maundevile Marco 
K Polo The Arabs The Chinese Similar stories in America Explana 
tions of these accounts 4 Cihuatlan," the Place of Women The account 
given by Cortez Nuno de Guzman The expedition to Cihuatlan The 
monkeys of Southern Mexico Their resemblance to human beings- 
Stones of pygmies Classical tales Pliny s account That of Maunde 
vile fhe worship of Hanuman in India Chinese stories The Wran^- 
hng People The Eloquent Nation The Long-armed People Chu-iu! 
or the Land of Pygmies Pygmies in America-Mexican monkeys Their 
ig locks, queues, or tails Their migration Their bickering or chatter- 
-Their ruttmg-season-The period of gestation-The beginning of 
the year m China Tartary, and Mexico-The absence of breads-Nurs 
ing children over the shoulderYoung monkeys carried on their mothers 

- rT A ng + a \- V 1 ? back f the head - A different translation sug- 
l ~-p. ^SE th m y can walk ~That at which they become fully 
grown Their timidity Their devotion to their mates 



CONTENTS. xi x 

CHAPTER XXVIII. 

PAGE 

THE COUNTRY OF WOMEN AND ITS INHABITANTS. (Concluded.} . 505 

The habit of standing erect The colour of the inhabitants Albinos 

Aztlan, " the White Land " The mountain Iztaccihuatl, or " the White 
Woman" The Iztauhyatl, or "salt-plant" The salt of the Mexicans 
and Chinese References of Sahagun to the Iztauhyatl An erroneous 
identification References to it by Hernandez The salt- weed The sage 
brush The characteristic vegetation of Mexico Food of the monkeys 
Cattle and game fattened upon the white sage Its value in Asia The 
Mexican rainy season The preceding month of " hard times" Difficulty 
of obtaining food at this season Animals coming to lowlands in the 
spring to feed upon the early vegetation A sweet variety of sage 
The use of an herb to sweeten meat Chinese description of monkeys 
An Aztec pun Shipwreck of a Chinese fishing-boat Corean fishing- 
boats Japanese vessels wrecked on the American coast The laud 
reached thought to be that mentioned by Hwui Sh2n The women of 
the country The language that could not be understood Heads like 
those of puppies The Cynocephali Their voices Barking Indians 
Their food Their clothing Their dwellings The doorways. 

CHAPTER XXIX. 
Yu KIE S STATEMENTS REGARDING FU-SANG . . . .519 

The envoy from the kingdom of Fu-sang The commission of Yu Kie 
Hwui Shan the envoy mentioned Yu Kie s story The presents given 
to the emperor The custom of offering tribute The yellow silk The 
term applied to vegetable fibers Sisal hemp Its strength Probability 
that the agave fiber would be brought home by a traveler The semi- 
transparent mirror Mexican obsidian mirrors Nature of obsidian 
The " Palace of the Sun " The Chinese zodiac Their horary cycle 
Concave and convex mirrors Obsidian mirrors peculiar to Mexico The 
silk taken from the agave Lack of cocoons The seeds of the century- 
plant carried to Corea The use of agave leaves as fuel The ashes 
used for obtaining lye The agave fiber steeped in an alkaline solution 
The feast of Huitzilopochtli Intercourse between Corea and China The 
Corean records Possibility that further information may be found in 
them The palace of the king The glitter of obsidian in the morning 
light The Country of Women again Serpent husbands The expedi 
tion of Nuno de Guzman The Smoking Mountain Volcanoes Hairy 
worms The "nopal de la tierra " The fire-trees The fire-rats The 
Black Valley The Snowy Range Huitzilopochtli The intoxicating liq 
uor The "Sea of Varnish" Petroleum Mineral springs Hot springs 
The extent of the land Animals Winged men Birds that bear hu 
man beings. 

CHAPTER XXX. 
MEXICAN TRADITIONS . . . ^36 

Mexican hieroglyphics The tradition regarding Wixipecocha His arrival 
His appearance His conduct His teachings Persecution His de 
partureSurvival of the doctrines he taught The " Wiyatao "Another 
version of the tradition The written account preserved by the Mijcs 
The " Taysacaa " Identity of the term Wixipecocha with the name and 
title "Hwui Shin, bhikshu" The Mexican language Huazontlan 
Quetzalcoatl His history not a myth The epoch at which he hved- 
His arrival His garments His attendants Their knowledge of arts 



xx CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

Another account Customs introduced Religious penances The founda 
tion of monasteries and nunneries Belief that he was a Buddhist priest 
Brahmanism and Buddhism The worship of Siva The religion of 

Nepal The goddess Kali The worship of Mictlancihuatl QuetzalcoatPs 

horror of bloodshed The arts he taught The calendar His promise 
to return His vow to drink no intoxicating liquor His temptation and 
fall His sorrow Etymology of his name Its true meaning not " the 
Plumed Serpent," but "the Revered Visitor" Term applied to the 
priests of Nepal The Mexican " Cihuacoatl " The arrival of Quetzal- 
coatl from the east Possible explanations The crosses on his mantle 
Explanation of occurrence of crosses in Yucatan Intercourse with 
the West Indian Islands The god Hurakan Oracles and prophecies 
Veneration of the cross in ancient times Its occurrence in India and 
Egypt Its use in Asia as a symbol of peace The patchwork cloaks of 
the Buddhist priests Buddha s commands The mark of a foot-print 
in the rocks Occurrence of such foot-prints in America and Asia 
Veneration shown them. 

CHAPTER XXXI. 
VARIOUS AMERICAN TRADITIONS. BUDDHISM . . . .- 555 

White and bearded men wearing long robes The great numbers of coun 
tries in which such traditions exist Non-intercourse between them 
Traditions of Yucatan Zamna and Cukulcan The introduction of the 
alphabet Attendants The name Cukulcan The three brothers of 
Chichen Itza The buildings erected The teachings of Cukulcan His 
departure The survival of his doctrines Votan His long-robed attend 
ants Resemblance of name " Votan " to Asiatic perversions of " Gau 
tama" The time of these visits The "katuns" of Yucatan South 
American traditions The Muyscas Their civilization The arrival of a 
white stranger His names The arts he taught His doctrines The 
veneration of the people for him Resemblance of his names to Buddhist 
titles A Pachcheko The Updsakas The Chinese Ho Shang Tradition 
of the Guaranis Tamoi, Tamu, Tume, or Zume His teachings The 
impress of his foot-prints The tradition in Paraguay His promise to 
return Adventure of the fathers de Montoya and de Mendoza The 
Brazilian tradition The great road Foot-prints Another tradition 
The story in Chili Tonapa in Peru His appearance His mildness 
His teachings His departure Viracocha The pyramids of Peru Con, 
or Contice The Buddhist decalogue Avoidance of women Buddhist 
practices The dress of the priests Hats not worn by the Indians 
Resemblance of teachings of the American culture-heroes to those of the 
Roman Catholics Resemblances between Buddhism and Roman Catholi 
cism Their monasteries Their doctrines The costume of the Grand 
Lama Belief in an early mixture of Christianity and Buddhism A Cen 
tral American image The calendar The arts practiced by Buddhist 
priests The art of casting metals Sculptured vases. 

CHAPTER XXXII. 

EELIGIOTJS CUSTOMS AND BELIEFS . . . . . 574 

The incongruity of the religious system of the Aztecs The Toltecs Con 
tentions between rival sects Monasteries The " Tlamacazqui " The 

herb-eaters Their asceticism The monastery and nunnery attached to 
the chief temple of the city of Mexico The duties of the devotees The 
clothing The discipline The differences in rank Other ascetics Pro 
bation of candidates Vows not for life Married priests The monas- 



CONTENTS. ^ 

tery of the Totonacas The pontiff of Mixteca The title " Taysacaa " 

Auricular confession The practice of bearing a calabash The dress of 
the priests Continence Prayers Fasting The early disciples of Sakya 
Muni The Buddhist monasteries Candidates for the priesthood Edu 
cation of children Food and clothing Penances Nunneries Life of 
the inmates Punishment of incontinence Time for meals Clothing of 
idols Absence of vital points of Christian doctrine Marriage of the 
priests Vegetarianism Failure of the Buddhists to strictly comply with 
the tenets of their religion The eating of flesh A curious anomaly in 
Buddha s teachings Religious terms The name Sakya Its occurrence 
in Mexico Otosis Gautama Guatemala Quauhtemo-tzin Tlama and 
lama Teotl and Deva Refutation of a negative argument Religious 
tenets The road to the abode of the dead The divisions of the abode 
of the dead Transmigration Yearly feast for the souls of the dead 
The tablet at Palenque The lion-headed couch Seated figures An 
image of Quetzalcoatl The story of Camaxtli Preservation of his 
blonde hair. 

CHAPTER XXXIII. 

THE PYRAMIDS, IDOLS, AND ARTS OF MEXICO .... 597 

Temples built upon truncated pyramids Mounds antedating Aztec occupa 
tion Speculations as to the date of their erection The Place of the 
House of Flowers The monuments of San Juan Teotihuacan Their size 
Their construction Mexican "teocallis" Their proportions Re 
semblances to the pyramids of India Pyramids found wherever Bud 
dhism prevails The tumulus or tope Its occurrence at Nineveh, in 
China, and Ceylon Resemblances noticed by several authors The tem 
ple of Boro-Budor in Java The palace at Palenque Dome-shaped 
edifices The dome at Chichen The construction of the pyramids The 
layer of stone or brick The layer of plaster The false arch Decora 
tive paintings The priests the artists The ornament upon the breast 
The name Chaacmol Cornices Friezes Representation of curved 
swords An elephant s head as a head-dress Other ornaments in shape 
of an elephant s trunk The elephant the symbol of Buddha The tapir 
Remains of the elephant or mastodon in America Their possible con 
temporaneity with man Pipes carved in the shape of elephants Their 
discovery An inscribed tablet The elephant-mound of Wisconsin A 
Chippewa tradition Ganesa Teoyaomiqui Their resemblance The 
conception of Huitzilopochtli The story of Cuaxolotl Tezcatlipoca 
The mirror held by him Similar idols in Asia The imprint of the hand 
The cataclysms by which the human race has been destroyed The 
cardinal points Their connection with certain colours The temples of 
Thibet The palace of Quetzalcoatl A small green stone buried with 
the dead Sweeping the path before the monarch The use of garments 
and dishes but once The breech-cloth Quilted armour Suspension- 
bridges Books Marriage ceremonies and customs Tying the gar 
ments together Postponement of the consummation of marriage Po 
lygamy Children carried on the hip Children s toys The cakes used 
as food A game Practices of many Asiatic countries Milk not used 
Authors led to believe in a connection between Asiatic and Mexican 
civilization Differences between the Mexicans and other American tribes 
Erroneous criticism. 

CHAPTER XXXIV. 
THE HISTORY OF JAPAN , . . 623 

Records reaching back nominally to 660 B. c. Gaps in the history Great 
age of sovereigns A giant Absence of exact dates The introduction 



xx ii CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

of writing Manufacture of paper Chinese records of embassies Men 
tion of a Japanese sovereign whose name does not appear in the Japa 
nese annals Translation of extracts from the Japanese history Inter 
course with Corea and China Embassies Wars Introduction of Bud 
dhism Titles of nobility Copper, silver, and gold Intercourse of Corea 
with Japan and China The Chinese account of Japan The route from 
China to Japan The distance Cattle and horses not raised Tattooing 
Clothing Cities Polygamy Laws Burial of the dead The " Chi- 
shuai " An envoy A later embassy A Japanese princess The king 
dom of Kiu-nu ; that of Chu-ju The Eastern Fish-People A Chinese 
expedition to seek for P ung-lai Tan-cheu Route to Japan The divis 
ions of Japan Titles of the officers Embassies Tattooing Absence 
of writing Mourning-garments Buddhism Route to Japan Discovery 
of gold, silver, iron ore, and copper The Country of Women Reasons 
why Fu-sang can not have been situated in Japan Consideration of 
other theories Proof that Hwui Shan had visited some unknown land 
Had the Chinese any earlier knowledge of America ? The Shan Hai King. 

CHAPTER XXXV. 
THE CHINESE " CLASSIC OF MOUNTAINS AND SEAS " . . . 643 

Preface SUH-CHU Mountain The Mountain of Creeping Plants Aspen 
Mountain Hairy birds The Foreign Range KAN fish KU-MAO, KAO- 
SHI, Lofty, Wolf, Lone, Bald, and Bamboo Mountains K UNG-SANG, 
TS AO-CHI, YIH-KAO, and Bean Mountains An excessively high peak 
TU-FU, KANG, LU-K I KU-SHE, Green Jade-stone, WEI-SHI, KIT-FUNG, 
FU-LI, and YIN Mountains SHI-HU, K I, CHU-KEU, Middle Fu, HU-SHE, 
MANG-TSZ , K I-CHUNG, MEI-YU, and WD-KAO Mountains The Fu-tree (or 
FU-SANG) North HAO, MAO, Eastern SHI, NU-CHING, K IN, TSZ -TUNG, 
YEN, and T AI Mountains The CHA Hill The Great Men s Country 
SHE-PI S body The Country of Refined Gentlemen HUNG-HUNG The 
Valley of the Manifestation of the Dawn The Green Hills Country The 
journey of SHU-HAI The Black-Teeth Country The Warm Springs Ra 
vine FU-SANG The Place where the Ten Suns bathe An account of 
the Ten Suns Yu-sm s concubine The Black-Hip Country The Hairy 
People s Country A boat upon the sea-shore The Distressed People s 
Country K KU-WANG A great valley SHAO-HAO PI-MU-TI Hill Place 
where the Sun and Moon rise The Great Men s Country Giants and 
dwarfs The Great People s Market The Little People KUEH Mount 
ainThe Country of Plants HOH-HU Mountain The Mountain of the 
astern Pass The Mountain of the Bright Star The White People s 
Country The Green Hills Country The Nation of Courteous Vassals 
1 he Black-Teeth Country Summer Island The KAI-YU Country CHEH- 
TAN and the Place of the Rising of the Sun YU-KWOH Qualdno- Mount 
ain The Black-Hip Country The Needy Tribe King HAI NU-CHEU 
YEH-YAO-KIUN-TI Mountain The Fu-tree Warm Springs Valley 
I-TiEN-su-MAN Mountain The YING Dragon The Mountain of the 
1 lowing Waves. 

CHAPTER XXXVI. 
COMMENTS UPON THE "CLASSIC OF MOUNTAINS AND SEAS" . . 669 

T1 ions ld rrof^ 1 ?^ 7 f - the rld -Article by M. Bazin, Sr.-Its divis- 

.roups of mountams-Taoists of the fourth century-The spirits 

bonT Th v e *r th -? XtraVagancies of the work-First mention of the 

or co7nted ami T ar D ? COUrs Q cs of Confucius-Thought to be apocryphal 

- Tseu-hia Sse-ma-ts ien Sse-ma-ching Chao-shi 



CONTENTS. xxiii 

Wang-chong Tso-sse The " Book of Waters " Chang-hoa Consider- ** 
ation of the western and southern kingdoms Summaries of the geogra 
phy of Tu-yu Lo-pi Kia-ching-shi Cheu-pang Tsu-tse-yu The En 
cyclopaedia of Tu-yeu Conclusion of M. Bazin The imperial academy 
of the Han-lin The Shan Hai King read as a romance or pastime 
Particularly by young men Opinions of commentators Notes Gaps 
or omissions The "Bamboo Books" Length of the work Xo transla 
tion heretofore made M. Burnouf s intention to translate it Change 
of opinion among scholars as to its value Monsters mentioned by other 
writers Tacitus Men clothed in skins A river with eight mouths 
The compass The T ien Wu : Lord of the Water Seals, sea-lions, and 
sea-otters The Islands of the Flowing Stream Cuttle-fish Birds with 
hairy legs Serpents as ear-ornaments The Shan Hai King a compila 
tion of a number of distinct accounts Regions mentioned twice or more 
Description of Japan The genii who once ruled the earth The state 
of civilization Tigers and bears A poisonous insect The Ravine of 
the Manifestation of the Dawn The Hairy People Fu-sang and the 
Black-Teeth Country The Malay custom of blackening the teeth The 
Philippine or Luzon Islands The banana or plantain (pisany) The 
"ten suns." 

CHAPTER XXXVII. 
BECAPITULATIOX . . . . ... . 684 

Summary of reasons for thinking that Hwui ShSn visited Mexico The com 
mand of Buddha The ease of the journey The " silk " and mirror 
brought back by him The belief of his contemporaries Fu-sang must 
have been in Japan or America, and was not in Japan Hwui Shan s 
story paralleled with accounts of the countries by other authors The 
Country of Marked Bodies Great Han Fu-sang The Country of Wom 
en Summary of facts mentioned by Hwui Sh&n The transparent 
mirror could not have been obtained elsewhere than in Mexico The 
Mexican tradition of Hwui Sh&n s visit Coincidences between Asiatic 
and American civilizations Pyramids Architecture Arts Religious 
structures Religious customs and beliefs Idols Marriage ceremonies 
Dress Food Books Games The working of metals Suspension- 
bridges The calendar Civilized nations of America all upon the Pacific 
coast Allowances to be made Errors of first explorers Hwui Shan 
not a Chinaman Errors of manuscripts Changes in language Changes 
in customs Our imperfect knowledge of Mexican civilization The ar 
gument stronger than its weakest parts Conclusion. 

APPENDIX. 
LIST OF AUTHORITIES AND KEFERENCES . . 711 

INDEX . .... 741 



2 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

mentioned in history either under his family name of Gautama, 
or under the appellation of Buddha, "the Enlightened"; or, 
from the fact that he was of the race called Sakya, he is re 
ferred to as Sakya-muni, "the hermit of the Sakyas." 

This prince, although handsome, strong, and heroic sur 
rounded by pleasures and tempted by the most brilliant worldly 
prospects 1278 took little part in the sports of his mates, and 
used frequently to retire by himself into solitude, where he 
seemed lost in meditation. 1890 Educated in the belief that death 
was immediately followed by a new birth, and that all living 
creatures were chained to a never-ending series of transmigra 
tions, he, as he grew in age, was more and more oppressed by 
the conviction that all is vanity, and that a man hath no profit 
of all his labour which he taketh under the sun. Possessed of 
wealth and power, and lacking no earthly good, but saddened 
by the knowledge that age must follow youth, and that death 
would soon put an end to all his possessions ; and believing that 
he must then commence a new life which death would again 
end, and that so for all eternity he must struggle on, being able 
to retain for but a moment all that seemed good to his eyes, and 
then being compelled to abandon it the prospect thus stretch 
ing out before him so appalled him that he finally determined to 
devote his life to the endeavour to find some escape from this 
eternal series of deaths. 

It was not for himself alone that he desired to find this relief, 
but for his dearly loved wife and infant child as well ; and, fur 
thermore, his heart was filled with an anxious yearning to be the 
saviour of mankind, no matter what the cost to himself might be. 

Born at a time when tyranny and the oppression of the law 
of castes had become as intolerable in the civil world of India as 
the dogma of eternal metempsychoses had become in its relig 
ion ; 1879 when woman was looked upon, as she still is in Oriental 
countries, as but the plaything of the stronger sex ; when 
throughout the world the citizens of each petty nation consid 
ered all other tribes as barbarians or wild beasts he, being the 
first of the human race 1882 to rise above the accidents of fate, 
looked upon all mankind as his brothers and sisters, and would 
fain save them all from the woe of the innumerable deaths that 
awaited them. High and low, bond and free, rich and poor, 
male and female, old and young, countrymen and foreigners, 






INTRODUCTORY. 3 

for all he felt the same tender pity, and no living creature was 
so mean as to be beneath his all-embracing love and sympathy. 

Filled with this anxious devotion, he stole softly away from 
his home by night, and adopted the life of a Brahmanical her- \ 
mit. For years he tortured himself, often fasting until life was 
almost extinct ; striving, vainly, but with an inextinguishable 
desire, to find the path which led away from eternal misery. 
Finally, light, as he believed, dawned upon him. Misery was 
merely the result of unsatisfied desire. If all desire could be 
extinguished, unhappiness would perish with it. 

By sitting in a state of inward contemplation, it was possible 
to arrive at a condition of mind when, for a time, all surrounding 
objects would fade aw r ay and be forgotten. In this state of 
ecstasy, neither hunger nor cold nor any bodily want could be 
the source of discomfort, for the mind would be so fixed upon 
its meditation that it would not know that these existed. Be 
yond this state, however, another condition could be reached, in 
which, after attaining to a forgetfulness of everything but self- 
existence, the abstraction would become so great that even the 
consciousness of self-existence would be lost. From this state of 
entire unconsciousness, a state neither of existence nor of non- 
existence, there would be no awakening forever. The dreary 
round of transmigrations would be forever over with ; the 
dreamless sleep would never end. 

It was only after continual striving through myriads of ex 
istences that this end could be reached, but he who set out upon 
the path to Nirvana would never turn back ; and ultimately the 
extinction of consciousness, which was held to be the supreme 
good, would be attained. 

There was only one thing of such importance that even the 
state of quiescence and meditation, which was the foretaste of 
the final beatitude, could be abandoned for it, and that was the 
desire to preach the glad tidings to others, that they too might 
set out upon the happy path. The love of one s neighbours was 
recognized as the most sacred law, and it was to be only by the 
exercise of this virtue that it should be possible to reach the 
rank of the perfect Buddha. 1885 As he himself had come for self- 
sacrifice, and only by surrendering himself had learned how the 
world might be saved, so all who desired to follow him must 
tread in these footprints. Charity and love must extinguish all 



4 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

egotism in the heart, and so fill the possessor with a spirit of 
devotion that he would surrender himself utterly, and forget 
everything personal, his own existence even, in order to save 
others. 1896 

In the Chinese liturgy there is recorded a vow of the Bod- 
hisattva Kwan Yin the Great Compassionate Heart, or Mercy 
which is characteristic of this religion : * " Never will I seek or 
receive private, individual salvation ; never enter final peace 
alone, but forever and everywhere will I live and strive for the 
universal redemption of every creature throughout all worlds. 
Until all are delivered, never will I leave the world of sin, sor 
row, and struggle, but will remain where I am." im 

Buddha declared that the good news was for all the world ; 
and his disciples were commanded to hasten to preach it to every 
creature. " Let us part with each other," the legend reports him 
as saying, " and proceed in various and opposite directions. Go 
ye now and preach the most excellent law, expounding every 
point thereof, and unfolding it with care. Explain the begin 
ning and middle and end of the law to all men without excep 
tion" 1 * 91 "Since the doctrine which I proclaim is altogether 
pure, it makes no distinction between high and low, rich and 
poor. Like water it is, which washes and purifies all alike. 
It is like the sky, for it has room for all ; men, women, boys, 
girls, rich and poor." 1892 

This command was faithfully obeyed by his disciples. Max 
Milller states 196 that at a very early period a proselytizing 
spirit awoke among the disciples of the Indian reformer an ele 
ment entirely new in the history of ancient religions. No Jew, 
no Greek, no Roman, no Brahman, ever thought of converting 
people to his own national form of worship. Religion was 
looked upon as private or national property. It was to be 
guarded against strangers. Here lay the secret of Buddha s 
success. He addressed himself to castes and outcasts. He 
promised salvation to all ; and he commanded his disciples to 
preach his doctrine in all places and to all men. A sense of 
duty, extending from the narrow limits -of the house, the vil 
lage, and the country, to the widest circle of mankind, a feel 
ing of sympathy and brotherhood toward all men the idea, 
in fact, of humanity were first pronounced by Buddha. In the 
* See Bell s " Catena," pp. 4C5, 406, and 409. 



INTRODUCTORY. 5 

third Buddhist council, the acts of which have been preserved 
to us in the " Mahavanso," we hear of missionaries being sent to 
the chief countries beyond India. 

Some centuries after the days of Buddha, upon the death of 
Asoka, a powerful king of India, who had been an ardent devo 
tee of the Buddhist faith, his immense empire was dismem 
bered, 1883 and, profiting by this opportunity, the Brahmans raised 
their heads, stirred up the smouldering hatred in the hearts of 
the castes that were formerly privileged, and by such aid recon 
quered the land which they had lost, and commenced a war of 
bloody persecution against Buddhism, which resulted in the 
complete expulsion of that sect from Central India. Ceylon, 
Burmah, Siam, and Gamboge gave them asylum. Some of the 
proscribed sect went even to the distant islands and founded a 
church in Java, which, judging from the ruins that still remain, 
must at one time have flourished. Others went to the north, 
were arrested by the deserts of Persia, and, after halting in 
Nepal, crossed the mountains, and carried their religion and 
their arts into China, whence they soon passed into Japan and 
Thibet. 

This religion was introduced into China about A. D. 66, 251J 
and reached Corea in the year 372. 1964 There is no part of 
Northern Asia to which it did not make its way. There is 
reason to believe that its missionaries penetrated into Europe. 
Mr. Leland mentions a Buddhistic image 1717 discovered in an 
excavation in London, at a depth of fifteen feet, nine feet of 
which consisted of loose soil or debris of a recent character, but 
the remaining six feet were hard, solid earth, of a character 
which indicated a probability that the image might have been 
left a thousand years or more ago where it was found. Profes 
sor Holmboe has written a work 1555 in which strong grounds are 
adduced for believing that Buddhist devotees reached Norway, 
or at least that part of Europe which was then occupied by the 
ancestors of the Norwegians of to-day. Professor Max Miiller 195 
refers to the existence of Buddhism in Russia and Sweden, as 
well as in Siberia, and throughout the north of Asia, and says 
that a trace of the influence of Buddhism among the Kudic 
races, the Finns, Lapps, etc., is found in the name of their 
priests and sorcerers, the Shamans " Shaman " being supposed 
to be a corruption of ^ramana, the name of Buddha, and of 



6 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

Buddhist priests in general. The suppression of the "r" is 
probably owing to the influence of the Pali, which shows a great 
delicacy, 851 or, if the term is preferred, an extreme poverty, in 
the combinations of two or more consonants, and which always 
drops the letter " r " when it follows an initial consonant of a 
Sanskrit word. 862 Thus, for instance, 1897 the Sanskrit words 
"prakrama" and "pratikrama" became in Pali "pakkama" and 
" parikkama." 

It is a singular fact that this word " Shaman," applied to a 
priest or magician, is found, not only throughout nearly every 
part of Asia, but that it passed over into America so long ago 
as to become so thoroughly incorporated into the Yakut lan 
guage of Alaska, that it and its derivatives were thought by Dall 
to have belonged originally to that language, 1167 and he claims 
that those authors who have thought it to be an (East) Indian 
word are mistaken. The religious ideas of some of the tribes of 
Alaska strongly point to an earlier knowledge of some more or 
less impure form of Asiatic Buddhism, and thus indicate that 
the word was really borrowed from the disciples of that faith, 
and is not a mere case of accidental resemblance in sound and 
meaning. Pinart 2045 says that the belief in metempsychosis is 
generally spread abroad among the Koloches ; they believe that 
the individual never really dies, and that apparent death is but 
a momentary dissolution, the man being reborn in another form: 
sometimes in the body of a human being, and sometimes in that 
of certain animals, such as the bear, the otter, or the wolf ; of 
certain birds, such as the crow or the goshawk ; and of certain 
marine animals, but principally the cachalot. Veniaminoff, in 
his great work, commits an error in saying that the Koloches do 
not believe in any other form of metempsychosis than a change 
into the body of another human being. This purely human 
metempsychosis is not exclusive, although it predominates. 

Pinart also states that 2042 the primitive religion of the Ka- 
niagmioutes and the western Esquimaux in general appears to 
present an order of ideas much superior to those of the Koloches, 
or other American tribes. This religion, if the conjecture may be 
permitted, is the remains of a religious system now lost, but in 
dicating a very elevated order of ideas. . . . They divided the 
heaven into five regions, superposed one upon another. . . . We 
find in these different heavens, as we rise from one to another. 



INTRODUCTORY. 7 

successive transformations and purifications. Each individual, 
if he lives an honourable life and conforms to their religious ideas, 
can rise to the highest of these heavens by means of these dif 
ferent transformations. Every individual, in their belief, dies 
and returns to life five times, and it is only after having died 
for the fifth time that he quits the earth forever and passes into 
another existence. 

It can not be denied that these dogmas are strikingly analo 
gous to those of the Buddhist faith, and, when added to other 
reasons for believing that this religion may have been preached 
in Alaska, the existence of these religious ideas, and of the Bud 
dhist designation for a priest, furnishes reasonable grounds for 
at least entertaining the question whether there was not some 
early communication of the Buddhists of Asia with America. 

Even at the present day, the Buddhist priests, or lamas, of 
Central Asia, are divided into three classes, comprising not 
only 2093 the religious, who devote themselves to study and ab 
straction, and become teachers and eventually saints, and the 
domestic, who live in families or attach themselves to tribes 
and localities, but also the itinerant, who are always moving 
from convent to convent, and traveling for travel s sake, often 
without aim, not knowing at alt where they are going. Prin- 
sep says that there is no country that some of these have not 
visited, and that when they have a religious or partisan feeling 
they must be the best spies in the world. 

Hue also speaks 1566 of those lamas who live neither in lama 
series nor at home with their families, but spend their time 
vagabondizing about like birds of passage, traveling all over 
their own and the adjacent countries, and subsisting upon the 
rude hospitality which, in lamasery and in tent, they are sure 
to receive, throughout their wandering way. They take their 
way, no matter whither, by this path or that, east or west, 
north or south, as their fancy or a smoother turf suggests, and 
lounge tranquilly on, sure at least, if no other shelter presents 
itself by-and-by, of the shelter of the cover, as they express it, 
of that great tent, the world ; and sure, moreover, having no 
destination before them, never to lose their way. 

The wandering lamas visit all the countries readily accessi 
ble to them China, Mantchooria, the Khalkhas, the various 
kingdoms of Southern Mongolia, the Ouriaughai, the Koukou- 



g AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

noor, the northern and southern slopes of the Celestial Mount 
ains, Thibet, India, and sometimes even Turkestan. There is 
no stream which they have not crossed, no mountains they have 
not climbed. 

It should be remembered that the journeys of these wander 
ing priests have been going on for more than two thousand 
years, and that, so far as known, no records of them have been 
preserved, except those which have been kept in China, and 
which will be mentioned a little farther on. Hence it is impos 
sible to define the limits which they may have reached ; but, if 
it is shown that the journey to America, from some of the regions 
(such as that at the mouth of the Amoor River), which it is well 
known that they did reach, is neither longer nor more difficult 
than many of the journeys that they undertook, this fact will 
give reasonable ground for the conjecture that they may, in 
some one or more instances, have even extended their wanderings 
as far as to the American Continent. 

Mr. Leland, in his book, entitled "Fusang," 1715 embodies 
a long letter from Colonel Barclay Kennon, formerly of the 
United States North Pacific Surveying Expedition, in which the 
ease of the voyage from Northern Asia to Northern America is 
fully described. It is hardly necessary to quote additional au 
thorities, for the fact mentioned by Mr. Bancroft, 103 that on the 
shore of Behring s Strait the natives have constant commercial 
intercourse with Asia, crossing easily in their boats ; but the 
facts mentioned by Captain Cochrane, 1086 that two natives of a 
nation on the American Continent, called the Kargaules, were 
present at a fair held at Nishney Kolymsk, a town situated in 
Asia, on an island in the Kolyma River, and that large armies 
of mice 1087 occasionally migrate from Asia to America, or in 
the other direction, make it evident that there is no great diffi 
culty in the passage. 

Lewis H. Morgan calls attention to the fact that mi the Ja 
panese Islands sustain a peculiar physical relation to the north 
west coast of the United States. A chain of small islands 
the Kurilian breaks the distance which separates Japan from 
the peninsula of Kamtchatka ; and thence the Aleutian chain 
of islands stretches across to the peninsula of Alaska upon 
the American Continent, forming the boundary between the 
North Pacific and Behring s Sea. These islands, the peaks of a 



INTRODUCTORY. 9 

submarine mountain-chain, are thickly studded together within 
a continuous belt, and are in substantial communication with 
each other, from the extreme point of Alaska to the Island of 
Kyska, by means of the ordinary native boat in use among the 
Aleutian islanders. From the latter to Attou Island the greatest 
distance from island to island is less than one hundred miles. 
Between Attou Island and the coast of Kamtchatka there are 
but two islands, Copper and Behring s, between which and 
Attou the greatest distance occurs, a distance of about two hun 
dred miles ; while from Behring s Island to the mainland of Asia 
it is less than one hundred miles. These geographical features 
alone would seem to render possible a migration in the primitive 
and fishermen ages from one continent to the other. But, su- 
peradded to these, is the great thermal ocean-current, analogous 
to the Atlantic Gulf-Stream, which, commencing in the equato 
rial regions near the Asiatic Continent, flows northward along 
the Japan and Kurilian Islands, and then, bearing eastward, di 
vides itself into two streams. One of these, following the main 
direction of the Asiatic coast, passes through the Straits of 
Behring and enters the Arctic Ocean ; while the other, and the 
principal current, flowing eastward, and skirting the southern 
shores of the Aleutian Islands, reaches the northwest coast of 
America, whence it flows southward along the shores of Oregon 
and California, where it finally disappears. This current, or 
thermal river in the midst of the ocean, would constantly tend, 
by the mere accidents of the sea, to throw Asiatics from Japan 
and Kamtchatka upon the Aleutian Islands, from which their 
gradual progress eastward to America would become assured. 
It is common at the present time to find trunks of camphor- wood 
trees, from the coasts of China and Japan, upon the shores of the 
Island of Unalaska, one of the easternmost of the Aleutian 
chain, carried thither by this ocean current. It also explains 
the agency by which a disabled Japanese junk with its crew was 
borne directly to the shores of California but a few years since. 
Another remarkable effect produced by this warm ocean-current 
is the temperate climate which it bestows upon this chain of 
islands and upon the northwest coast of America. These con 
siderations assure us of a second possible route of communica 
tion, besides the Straits of Behring, between the Asiatic and 
American continents. 



10 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

The " Histoire de Kamtchatka " 1638 mentions a report that a 
Japanese vessel was wrecked upon Kituy, one of the Kurile 
Islands; and M. Pinart 2038 states that a number of Japanese 
junks, borne by the currents, and probably by the great Ja 
panese current, the Kuro-siwo, or " Black Stream," have been 
shipwrecked upon the Aleutian Islands one such case having 
occurred in 1871 : thus showing that if a boat were merely 
allowed to drift with the current along the eastern shore of 
Asia, it would pass by the way of the Kurile and Aleutian Isl 
ands, and, if not stopped by these, would soon drift to the 
American coast. 

It has already been mentioned that records have been pre 
served in China of a number of journeys made by the devo 
tees of the Buddhist religion. The "Encyclopaedia Britanni- 
ca" 1 !11 gives the following list of clerical travelers, the accounts 
of which are now known to us, and adds : " The importance of 
these writings, as throwing Tight on the geography and history 
of India and adjoining countries, during a very dark period, is 
great." 

Shi Tao-an (died A. D. 385) wrote a work on his travels to the 
" western lands " (an expression applying often to India), which 
is supposed to be lost. 

Fa Hian traveled to India in 399, and returned by sea in 414. 

Hwai Seng and .Sung Yun, monks, traveled to India to col 
lect books and relics, 518-521. 

Hwen Tsang left China for India in 629, and returned in 645. 

To which should be added : 

" The Itinerary of Fifty-six Religious Travelers," compiled 
and published under imperial authority, 730 ; and 

" The Itinerary of Khi Nie," who traveled (964-976) at the 
head of a large body of monks to collect books, etc. Neither of 
the last two has been translated. 

The Rev. Mr. Edkins 1271 says that both Fa Hian and Hwen 
Tsang will be admitted by every candid reader to deserve the 
reputation for patience in observation, perseverance in travel, 
and earnestness in religious faith, which they have gained by 
the journals and translations they left behind them. 

It should not be forgotten that these men were influenced by 
the same motives which actuate our Christian missionaries of 
recent times. They went, seeking not for glory or riches for 



INTRODUCTORY. n 

themselves, but either to preach their faith, in accordance with 
Buddha s command, in countries in which it was not known, or 
to meet their brethren in foreign lands, or that they themselves 
might obtain more complete information as to the details of the 
teachings of their master than they could find in their own 
country. Hence it may fairly be claimed that the accounts of 
these men, w T ho braved all dangers from a devotion to their re 
ligious duty, are entitled to far more than the ordinary degree 
of credit, and that their statements should be very carefully 
weighed before we undertake to reject them or to brand their 
authors as romancers. We can well afford the same degree of 
charity toward them that was shown by Sir John Maundevile 1836 
in darker days than our own : 

" And alle be it that theyse folk han not the Articles of cure 
Fythe, as w r ee han, natheles for hire gode Fey the naturelle, and 
for hire gode entent, I trowe fulle, that God lovethe hem, and 
that God take hire Servyse to gree, right as he did of Job, that 
was a Paynem, and held him for his trewe Servaunt. And there 
fore alle be it that there ben many dy verse Lawes in the World, yit 
I trowe, that God lovethe alweys hem that loven him, and serven 
him mekely in trouthe ; and namely, hem that dispysen the veyn 
Glorie of this World ; as this folk don, and as Job did also : 
And therf ore seye I of this folk, that ben so trewe and so f eythe- 
f ulle, that God lovethe hem." 

With this prelude, as to the motives which have led the fol 
lowers of Buddha to undertake numerous, difficult, and hazardous 
journeys to countries previously unknown, and as to the degree 
of credence to which their accounts are, as a rule, entitled, we 
come to the object of this book. 

There is, among the records of China, an account of a Bud- vf 
dhist priest, who, in the year 499 A. D., reached China, and stated / 
that he had returned from a trip to a country lying an immense 
distance east. In the case of the other travelers to whom we , 
have referred, the accounts which we possess of their journeys 
were either written by themselves or their followers ; but, in the i 
case of Hwui Shan, the interest excited in his story was so great yKw 
that the imperial historiographer, whose duty it was to record 
the principal events of the time 2417 (each dynasty having its 
official chronicle concerning the physical and political features 
of China and the neighbouring countries 1306 ), entered upon his 



12 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

official records a digest of the information obtained from this 
traveler as to the country which he had visited. It is this offi 
cial record, or rather a copy of it, contained in the writings of 
Ma Twan-lin, one of the most celebrated scholars that the Chi 
nese Empire ever knew, which is discussed in this work. 

It is certainly no more than reasonable to start with the pre 
sumption that the account may be true, and that the story should 
not be rejected as false because of any slight difficulties, which 
further investigation might remove. 

All the reasons which lead us to accept the accounts of other 
Buddhist missionaries apply with equal force to this record, and 
we have, in addition, the fact that Hwui Shan succeeded in 
convincing the Chinese Emperor, and the scholars by whom he 
was surrounded, of the truth of his tale, and that he also ob 
tained the belief of the people of China and of all Eastern Asia 
so thoroughly that even now, after the lapse of some fourteen 
centuries, there is scarcely a man in China, Japan, or Corea, who 
does not have at least some slight knowledge of the account of 
the marvelous land of Fusang that was visited by him. The 
fact that he obtained such universal credence is certainly one of 
some weight. An impostor would not be likely to be so suc 
cessful. Among those whom Hwui Shan convinced were many 
c.areful scholars and bright, intelligent men, who knew well how 
to weigh and sift evidence, and who would have found the flaw 
in his story if one had existed. 

It is the object of this book to show that the land visited by 
Hwui Shan was Mexico, and that his account, in nearly all its 
*. details, as to the route, the direction, the distance, the plants of 
the country, the people, their manners, customs, etc., is true of 
Mexico, and^f^n^other country in the world ; such a multitude 
of singular facts being named, that it is inconceivable that such 
a story could have been told in any other way than as the result 
of an actual visit to that country. It is true that there are a few 
difficulties to be surmounted ; but the author believes that he has 
succeeded in removing a number upon which some of his prede 
cessors have stumbled, and that the few that remain can not 
outweigh the immense volume of evidence that is presented as 
to the general truth of the account. 

After giving translations of all that is known to have been 
written in French or German upon the subject, and also includ- 



INTRODUCTORY. 



13 



ing a full statement of substantially all that has been written 
about it in English (with the exception of Mr. Leland s book 
which the reader is recommended to obtain, if he has failed so 
far to do so, and if he finds the subject at all interesting), the 
original Chinese account will be given, with copies of the several 
translations that have heretofore been made, and with a new 
translation by the present author. Each statement made by 
Hwui Shan will then be carefully examined in connection with 
the histories of Mexico, to see whether the statement was or was 
not true of that country prior to the time of its conquest by the 
Spaniards. 

After a full discussion of his account, the histories of Mexico 
and other parts of America will be examined to determine, if 
possible, whether any traditions as to his visit, or any results of 
his teachings, still lingered in the country at the time when the 
Spaniards, more than a thousand years later, entered it, and 
whether any such coincidences were found in the civilization of 
these two regions of the world, in their customs, religious be 
liefs, arts, architecture, etc., as to lead to a reasonable presump 
tion that they may have had an early connection with each 
other. As it has been claimed that the country visited by Hwui 
Shan may have been located in some part of Japan, its history 
will also be reviewed for the same purpose. The book will con 
clude with a consideration of the question as to whether the 
Chinese had any earlier knowledge of America, or any further 
information regarding it than that which was given them by 
Hwui Shan. 

The first detailed information which was given to European 
scholars, as to the existence of this account among the Chinese 
records, was afforded them in an article published by M. de 
Guignes, in the " Literary Memoirs extracted from the Registers 
of the Royal Academy of Inscriptions and Belles-Lettres," Vol. 
XXVIII, published in Paris in 1761, and entitled "Investigation 
of the Navigations of the Chinese to the Coast of America, and 
as to Some Tribes situated at the Eastern Extremity of Asia"; 14: 
a translation of which article is given in the following chapter. 

It would appear, however, that de Guignes must have given 
some earlier account of his discovery of this relation, among the 
Chinese books which he had read in preparing for his great 
work upon the " General History of the Huns, the Turks, the 



14; AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

Mongolians, and other Western Tartars," as (unless there is an 
error in the date) we find a letter written by the Pere Gaubil 1409 
to M. de 1 Isle, dated at Pekin, August 28, 1752, in which he 
mentions M. de Guignes s discovery of this account, but states 
his disbelief of the reliability of the Chinese works from which 
his translations were made. An extract from this letter is given 
in Chapter X. 

V Philippe Buache, 1543 in a work entitled "Considerations Geo- 
graphiques et Physiques sur les Nouvelles Descouvertes au Nord 
de la Grande Mer," published at Paris in 1753, in which he cor 
rectly advanced the opinion of the existence of the Strait of 
Anian (since called Behring s Strait), evidently borrowed from 
de Guignes, when he stated that in the year 458 a colony of Chi 
nese was established on the coast of California, in a region called 
Fusang, which he placed at about 55 north latitude. Her- 
vas, 1543 in commenting upon this statement, says that this colony 
has not been found, and that it is certain that none of the lan 
guages which are spoken along that coast, between the forty- 
ninth and sixty-fourth degrees (a number of the words of which 
are to be found in the account of Cook s third voyage), have 
any close connection with the Chinese language. 

Alexander von Humboldt, in his "Views of the Cordille 
ras," 1 2 mentions a number of surprising coincidences be 
tween the Asiatic and Mexican civilizations, of such a nature 
and of such importance as to lead him to the conclusion that 
there must have been an early communication between these 
two regions of the world ; but he makes no reference in this 
work to the history brought to light by de Guignes ; and in his 
"Political Essay on the Kingdom of New Spain" he says 1607 
that, according to the learned researches of Father Gaubil, it ap 
pears doubtful whether the Chinese ever visited the western 
coast of America at the time stated by de Guignes. 

^ No further attention seems to have been paid to the subject 
until the year 1831, when M. J. Klaproth published, in Vol. 
LI of the "New Annals of Voyages," an article entitled "Re 
searches regarding the Country of Fusang, mentioned in Chi 
nese Books, and erroneously supposed to be a Part of Amer 
ica," 1 47 in which he took the ground that the country mentioned 
Chinese account was probably located in some part of 
Japan. A translation of this article is given in Chapter III. 



INTRODUCTORY. ,~ 

For some reason, which it seems difficult to explain, Klap- 
roth s assertions and assumptions (for of argument there is but 
little, and that is partly based upon mistaken premises) seem to 
have been generally accepted as a settlement of the question. 

This did not deter the Chevaliejxdfi^aavey, however, from ^T 
publishing 2015 two pamphlets, 2017 one in 1844 and the other at a 
somewhat later date, in which he argued that the country of 
Fusang should be looked for in America, and not in Japan. 
Translations of these pamphlets are given in Chapters IV and V. 
De Paravey also published two other essays, 2011 in which he at 
tempted to prove that the natives of Bogota must have derived 
from Asiatic sources such partial civilization as they possessed. 2012 / 

The next to discuss the subject was Professor Karl Friedrich K 
Neumann, who published his views in the " Zeitschrift fur 
Allgemeine Erdkunde," Vol. XVI of the new series, 1966 under 
the title of " Eastern Asia and Western America, according to 
Chinese Authorities of the Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Centuries." 
Mr. Leland published a translation of this opuscule in his book, 
entitled " Fusang," and a translation is also given in the present 
volume, Chapter VI. 

Since that time, articles upon the subject have followed each 
other so thick and fast that it is difficult to give a complete list 
of them. I 

In 1850 Mr.J^lad 172 published a resume of the arguments W 
upon this subject, in the New York " Knickerbocker Maga- 
zine " ; and in 1862 this was republished, with additions, in the 
New York " Continental Magazine." In 1875 Mr. Leland pub 
lished a much fuller work, entitled " Fusang, or the Discovery 
of America by Chinese Buddhist Priests in the Fifth Century." 
This treats the subject at much greater length than any other 
work, and hence it is impossible for the present author to do 
more than refer to it ; but it adxlucesjnuch new and valuable 
evidence as to the true location of Fusang, and well merits care 
ful perusal. 

In 1862 M. Jose Jkcez 2026 published a "Memoir upon the Re 
lations of the Americans in Former Times with the Nations of 
Europe, Asia, and Africa," one section of which related to the 
knowledge of America possessed by the Chinese. 

In 1865 1277 M. Gustave d Eichthal published a "Study con- r\ 

cerning the Buddhistic Origin of American Civilization." n 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

In the same year M. Vivien de Saint-Martin, 2458 in a chapter 
of his " Geographical Annual " for that year, entitled " An Old 
Story Set Afloat," combated the idea that the Chinese had any 
early knowledge of America. 

In 1866 the Abbe Brasseur de Bourbourg, in the work en 
titled "Ancient Monuments of Mexico," 763 argued against the 
views of the author of the " Geographical Annual." 

In 1868 Dr. A. Godron, President of the Academy of Sci 
ences at Nancy, published, in the " Annals of Voyages of Geog 
raphy, History, and Archaeology," 1411 an article entitled "A 
Buddhist Mission to America in the Fifth Century of the Chris 
tian Era." 

According to the "American Philological Magazine" for 
August, 1869, the Rev. N. W. Jones published in his " Indian 
Bulletin " an able argument to show that the Chinese Fusang 
was America. 

In the same number of the " American Philological Maga 
zine " there appeared an article 85 upon the subject, by the Rev. 
Nathan Brown, under the heading, " Where was Fusang ? " 

In May, 1869, a letter upon the subject from Mr. Theos. 
Simson 1719 was published in the " Notes and Queries for China 
and Japan"; and in October, 1870, a letter by E. Bretschneider, 
Esq., M. D.j" 4 was published in the " Chinese Recorder and Mis 
sionary Journal." Both of these letters were copied by Mr. Le- 
land in his work. 

At the first session of the International Congress of Ameri 
canists, held at Nancy in 1875, M. Lucien Adam read an argu 
ment against the identification of Fusang with America. 

These various articles, some of them more or less condensed, 
are, with the exception of the argument by the Rev. N. W. 
Jones (of which I have been unable to find a copy), given in 
Chapters VII to XI of this work. 

In 1876 M. the Marquis d Hervey de Saint-Denys published 
a " Memoir regarding the Country known to the Ancient Chi 
nese by the Name of Fusang " ; 1544 but as his views, and the 
exceedingly valuable new material that he presents, are given 
more fully in his notes to his translation of Ma Twan-lin s work, 
entitled " Ethnography of Foreign Nations," and as, moreover, 
much of the " Memoir " is quoted by Professor Williams in his 
comments upon it, it has not seemed necessary to copy the " Me- 



INTRODUCTORY. 17 

moir" in this work. The substance of the notes upon the 
" Ethnography " is, however, given in Chapters XII and XIII. 

Mr. Bancroft, in his "Native Races of the Pacific States," 404 
gives Klaproth s translation of the story of Fusang, and com 
ments briefly upon it. 

Professor S. Wells Williams presented to the American Ori- / 
ental Society, on October 25, 1880, an article entitled "Notices 
of Fusang and Other Countries lying East of China," in which 
he urges some new grounds for adopting the conclusion of Klap- 
roth that Fusang should be decided to have been located in 
Japan. This article, slightly condensed, is copied in Chapter 
XIV. 

The last article on the subject is contained in the " Maga 
zine of American History," for April, 1883, in which there is 
given a letter from the Rt. Rev. Channing M. Williams, refer 
ring to the accounts of Fusang contained in the Shan Hal King, 
the Chinese classic of lands and seas. This will be found in 
Chapter X ; and a translation of all that portion of the Shan 
ffai King which relates to Eastern regions will be found in 
Chapter XXXY. 

An extract from the Introduction to the " Grammar of the 
Chinese Language," by the Rev. W. Lobscheid, 1759 in which 
many singular coincidences are mentioned between the civiliza 
tions of Mexico and China ; and some extracts from Mr. Pres- 
cott s " History of the Conquest of Mexico," in which he ex 
presses his conviction of a connection between the civilizations 
of the two countries, are also given (in Chapter IX), as having a 
bearing upon the subject. 



CHAPTER II. 

DE GUIGNES S DISCOVERT. 

Chinese voyages-Knowledge of foreign lands-Work of Li-yen, a Chinese histo 
rianThe country of Fu-sang The length of the li- Wen-shin Its identifi 
cation with Jesso Ta-han Its identification with Kamtchatka The route to 
Ta-han by land The country of the Ko-li-han The She-goei The Yu-che 
Description of Kamtchatka The land of Lieu-kuci The description of Fu- 
sang No other knowledge of the country The Pacific coast of North America 
A Japanese map The Kingdom of Women Its description Shipwreck 
of a Chinese vessel American traditions Civilization of American tribes 
on the Pacific coast The Mexicans Horses Cattle The fu-sang tree- 
Mexican writing Manner in which America was peopled Similarity of cus 
toms in Asia and America Resemblances in the people Charlevoix s story 
Natives floated upon cakes of ice The kingdom of Chang-jin Voyages of 
other nations The Arabs Exploration of the Atlantic The Canaries 
Story of their king The Cape Verd Islands Conclusion. 

Investigation of the Navigations of the Chinese to the Coast of 
America, and as to some Tribes situated at the Eastern Ex 
tremity of Asia by M. de Gruignes. ul5 

THE Chinese have not always been confined within the bound 
aries which Nature appears to have established to the country 
in which they dwell ; they have often crossed the deserts and 
the mountains which shut them in on their northern side, and 
sailed the Indian and Japanese seas which bound their kingdom on 
the east and the south. The principal object of these voyages has 
been, either commerce with foreign nations, or the intention to 
extend the limits of their empire. In these voyages observations 
have been made that are important, as well in regard to history 
as to geography. Several of their generals have rectified the 
maps of the countries which they reconnoitered, and their histo 
rians have reported some details as to routes, bearings, and dis 
tances, which can be made useful. 

In the enumeration of all the different foreign nations that 



DE GUIGNES S DISCOVERY. ^9 

the Chinese have known, it appears that some of them must 
have been situated easterly from Tartary and Japan, in a region 
which was included within the limits of the American Continent. 

A knowledge of this region of the world could have been 
obtained only by means of a cruise that is very remarkable and 
unusually daring for the* Chinese who have always been con 
sidered as but mediocre sailors, hardly capable of undertaking 
long voyages, and whose vessels are constructed of so little 
strength as to be poorly adapted to resisting the hardships of a 
sail over a distance so great as that from China to Mexico. 
These voyages have appeared to me to be so important, and to 
have so intimate a relation with the history of the tribes of 
America, as to induce me to devote myself to collecting and 
placing in order all that could contribute to their elucidation. 

I intend this memoir to establish the voyages of the Chi 
nese to Jesso, to Kamtchatka, and to that part of America which 
is situated opposite the easternmost coast of Asia. I dare flatter 
myself that these researches will be the more favourably received, 
inasmuch as they are novel, and rest wholly upon authentic facts, 
and not upon conjectures, such as those which we find in the 
works of Grotius, Delaet, and other writers who have investi 
gated the origin of the American tribes. It is surprising to see v 
that Chinese vessels made the voyage to America many centuries 
before Christopher Columbus that is to say, more than twelve 
hundred years ago. This date, anterior to the origin and the es 
tablishment of the Mexican Empire, leads us to inquire whence 
these nations, and some other nations of America, received that 
degree of civilization which distinguishes them from the barbar 
ous tribes of the continent. 

Li-yen, a Chinese historian, who lived at the commencement 
of the seventh century, speaks of a country called Fit-sang, more 
than forty thousand li distant from China, toward the east. He 
says that, in order to reach it, one should set forth from the coast 
of the province of Leao-tong, situated to the north of Pe-ltin, 
and that, after having traveled twelve thousand li, one reaches 
Japan ; that from that country, toward the north, after a voy 
age of seven thousand li, the country of Wen-shin is attained ; 
that at a distance of five thousand li eastwardly from the last 
the country of Ta-han is found, from which Fit-sang may be 
reached, which is at a distance of twenty thousand li from Ta- 



20 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

han. Of all these countries we know no others than Leao-tong, 
a northerly province of China, the point of embarkation, and 
Japan, which was the principal halting-place for the Chinese 
vessels. The three other places at which they arrived in suc 
cession are Wen-shin, Ta-han, and Fu-sang. I shall show that 
the first must be understood as Jesso; and the second as Kam- 
tchatka, and that the third must be a country situated near Cali 
fornia. But before examining this route particularly, I wish to 
give an idea of the li which the Chinese geographers employed 
as the standard for measuring the distance between these places. 
It is very difficult to determine the true length of this measure. 
To-day, two hundred and fifty li make a geographical degree, 
which gives ten li to each French league of about three English 
miles. But the length of the li, like that of the French league, 
has varied under the different imperial dynasties and in the dif 
ferent provinces of the empire. Pere Gaubil, who has made able 
researches concerning the astronomy of the Chinese, does not 
dare to attempt to prove the true length of this measure. He 
informs us that the majority of the scholars of the reign of the 
Han dynasty maintained that a thousand li, measured from the 
south to the north, gave a difference of an inch in the length of 
the shadow of an eight-foot hand of a sun-dial, when measured 
at noon. The scholars of later days have believed this deter 
mination to be wrong, because they have been guided in their 
judgment by the measure of the li in use in the times in which 
they lived. If we cast our eyes upon the li adopted by the 
astronomers of the Liang dynasty, which flourished at the com 
mencement of the sixth century, we find a material difference, 
since two hundred and fifty li, measured from the north to the 
south, give a similar difference in the length of the shadow. In 
order to judge of the distance of the countries by the statement 
as to the number of li between them, it is therefore necossary to 
know the length of the li at the time of the author. We may 
be assured that he has considered the length of this measure, and 
has given the distances with precision. The difficulty in deter 
mining the length of the li may be avoided by considering the 
report of the same author regarding two places that are well 
known. The distance which is reported from the shore of Leao- 
tong to the island of Tui-ma-tao is seven thousand li. In con 
formity with the length of the li established by this distance, 






DE GUIGNES S DISCOVERY. 21 

the twelve thousand U from. Leao-tong to Japan terminate at 
about the center of the island, near Meaco, which is the capital, 
and which then bore the name of Shan-ching, or the City of the 
Mountain. Wen-shin, which is found seven thousand li from 
Japan toward the northeast, can not be anything else than 
Jesso, situated to the northeast of Japan, and at which the seven 
thousand li terminate. A Chinese historian, who has given us a 
very curious memoir concerning Japan, has furnished us with 
additional proofs. In speaking of the limits of this empire, he 
says that to the northeast of the mountains which bound Japan 
is placed the kingdom of the Mao-jin, or of hairy men, and be 
yond them that of Wen-shin, or the country of painted bodies, 
about seven thousand U from Japan. The first are the inhab 
itants of Matsumai; the latter are their neighbours on the north, 
the people of Jesso, which, as a consequence, must be Wen-shin. 
This country, according to the Chinese historian, was made 
known about 510 or 520 A. D., its inhabitants having figures 
similar to those of animals. They traced different lines upon 
their faces, the form of which served to distinguish the chief 
men of the nation from the common people. They exposed 
their condemned criminals to wild beasts, and they deemed those 
innocent from whom the animals took flight. Their towns or 
villages were unwalled. The dwelling of the king was orna 
mented with precious things. They added, again, that a ditch 
might be seen there which appeared to be filled with quicksilver, 
and that this matter, esteemed in commerce, became liquid and 
flowing when it had imbibed water from the rain. It was, for 
the rest, a fertile country, where all that is necessary to sustain 
life might be found in abundance. 

This description agrees with what we read in the accounts of 
those who have explored the island of Jesso. The Japanese, who 
were formerly sent there by an emperor of Japan, found hairy 
men there who wore their beards in the manner of the Chinese, 
but who were so rude and brutish that they would not receive any 
instruction. When the Hollanders discovered Jesso, in 1 643, the 
same barbarians were living there that had been described by the 
Chinese and Japanese, and their country appeared to abound in 
mines of silver. But that which agrees the most remarkably 
with the account of the Chinese is, that the Hollanders found 
there a mineral earth which glistened in the sun as if it consisted 



22 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

of silver. This earth, mixed with a very friable sand, they found 
where water had been placed. It is this which the Chinese had 
taken for quicksilver. These proofs, and the situation of Wen- 
shin, and its distance from Japan according to the Chinese 
writers, do not permit us to doubt that it must be the island of 
Jesso. At a distance of five thousand li from this country, toward 
the east, the ancient Chinese navigators found Ta-han. They 
declared that the inhabitants of this country had no military 
weapons ; that their customs were essentially the same as those of 
the people of Wen-shin, but that they had a different language. 
At almost exactly the distance of five thousand li, indicated 
by the Chinese, we find upon our maps the southern coast of an 
island which Don Jean de Gama discovered when going from 
Mexico to China. Because of the agreement as to distance, I at 
first believed that this coast was that of Ta-han y but the details 
of the route which was taken to reach that country by land, a 
route which can not be reconciled with the island of Gama, which 
is said to be separated from Asia, has compelled me to seek else 
where for the true location of the country, and to place it in the 
easternmost part of Asia. The statements of our navigators who 
have sailed these seas have contributed not a little to confirm me 
in this opinion. They have remarked that, in the route from 
China to California, they usually took the wind carrying them 
to the north of Japan and into the sea of Jesso, from which they 
sailed to the east, but that at the Strait of Uries the current car 
ried them rapidly toward the north. Thus the Chinese, for the 
purpose of keeping close to the coast, have entered into the Strait 
of Uries, beyond which they have found a number of islands 
which extend as far as the southernmost point of Kamtchatka, 
where the five thousand li, the distance between Jesso and Ta- 
han, also terminate ; that is to say, they have reached the port of 
Avatcha, at which the Russians recently embarked, to attempt 
the discovery of the western coast of America, and whence they 
have taken the route of Captain Spanberg, who was commis 
sioned by the Russian empress, in 1739, to reconnoitre the coast 
of Japan. But, in order to leave no doubt as to this point, 
I believe that we should be able to show by the route indi 
cated by the Chinese author that Ta-han is more to the north 
than the place discovered by Gama, and that it forms a part of 
Siberia, 



DE GUIGNES S DISCOVERY. 23 

I shall not examine in full detail all the Tartarian tribes men 
tioned by the Chinese historian, but shall confine myself to 
speaking only of those that are situated in the easternmost part 
of Asia, and shall devote myself to relating the customs of the 
inhabitants, so that they may be compared with those of the 
nations whom I place in America, and that it may be conclu 
sively shown, by the differences which are found, that these last 
can not be placed in Kamtchatka. Moreover, this circumstantial 
account has seemed very interesting to me, because of the infor 
mation that it gives in regard to the condition of Eastern Siberia. 

The Chinese travelers, who desired to reach the country of 
Ta-han, set forth from a city situated to the north of the river 
Hoang-lio toward the country of the Tartar Ortous. This city, 
which the Chinese called Ckung-sheu-kiang-ching, must be the 
same as that which now bears the name of Piljotaihotun. The 
great desert of Shamo was then passed, and Caracorum was 
reached, which was the principal encampment of the Iloei-ke^ 
important Tartarian tribes, from which they came into the coun 
try of the Ko-li-han and of the Tu-po, situated to the south of 
a large lake, upon the frozen surface of which the travelers were 
obliged to cross. To the north of this lake, great mountains 
were found, and a country where the sun, says one, is not above 
the horizon longer than the length of time that it takes to cook a 
breast of mutton. This is the singular expression of which the 
Chinese author makes use to describe a country situated very 
far to the north. The Tu-po, neighbours of the Io-li~han, have 
their dwelling-places upon the south of the same lake. These 
people, who do not distinguish the different seasons of the year, 
shut themselves up in cabins made of interlaced brush- wood, 
where they live upon fish and birds and other animals which are 
found in their country, and upon roots. They neglect to feed 
herds, and do not apply themselves at all to the cultivation of the 
earth. The richest among them clothe themselves in the skins 
of sables and of reindeers, others being clad in birds -feathers. 
They attach their dead to the branches of trees. They thus leave 
them to be devoured by wild beasts, or to fall from putrefaction, 
which is a practice also found among the Tunguses who live in 
the same country. 

Another Chinese historian informs us as to where we may 
look for the true abode of the Eb-li-han, which appears to us Ux 



2 AN" INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

be the same as the country of the ICerkis or Kergis. He men 
tions the rivers Obi and Angara under the names of 0-pu and 
Gang-ko-la. We must conclude from this that the lake placed 
to the north of the Ko-li-han is the famous Lake Baikal, which 
those who come from Russia, or from Siberia, to China, are 
obliged to cross upon the ice when they arrive there in winter. 
The Chinese employed eight days in crossing it. Less time is 
taken at present ; but it is still as dangerous as ever, because of 
the force of the winds and the abundance of snow. It follows 
from this account that the country of Ko-li-han is that of the 
KerJcis, a warlike people, who lived among the mountains, and 
who have been regarded as the ancestors of the Circassians, who, 
among themselves, call themselves l&rkez, and who live to the 
north of Georgia, where they have finally penetrated. The an 
cient country of the Kerkis is situated in the provinces which 
we now call Selinginskoy and Irkutskoy, between the Obi and 
the Selinga. This is what it was necessary to determine in 
order to arrive at an exact knowledge of the route which led to 
Ta-han. Upon leaving the country of the Ko-li-han, one comes 
into that of the She-goei. These people are situated to the east 
of Lake Baikal and of the country of the KerJcis, upon the north 
ern bank of the river Amoor. From the detailed description 
which has been preserved for us by the Chinese historians, it 
may be seen that these barbarians extended in the north of Siberia 
along the Lena River up to the neighbourhood of the sixtieth 
degree. This important tribe was divided into five principal 
hordes, which appeared as so many different nations. The first, 
called Nan She-goei, that is to say, Southern She-goei, were situ 
ated to the north of the Tartarian Niu-che and Khi-tans, in the 
vicinity of the river Amoor, in a country marshy, cold, and ster 
ile, where no sheep were raised, and where but few horses were 
found, but which produced swine and cattle in great numbers, 
and even a greater number of wild beasts, from which the in 
habitants protected themselves with difficulty. The barbarians 
were clothed in hog-skins, and at the summer solstice they re 
tired into the midst of the mountains. They had wagons cov 
ered with felt, such as are used by the Turks, which were drawn 
by cattle. They built their cabins of wood, with some reeds. 
Their writing was by means of small pieces of wood, and the 
manner in which they disposed them expressed their different 



DE GUIGNES S DISCOVERY. 25 

ideas. He who wished to marry, commenced by carrying 
away the destined bride by force, and afterward sent a present 
of cattle or horses to her parents. After the death of her hus 
band, the laws of the country compelled the woman to pass the 
remainder of her life in widowhood, and the family continued 
the mourning for three years, as is the custom among the Chi 
nese. The corpses of the dead were placed upon piles of wood 
and abandoned. The other branches of the same nation con 
sisted of the She-goei of the north (which were called Po She- 
goei) and the Great She-goei. They were clothed in fish-skins, 
and had no other industry than fishing and hunting sables, and 
during the winters they retired into caverns. At the north of 
the last there lived another nation, whose excursions carried 
them to the Arctic Ocean. 

This is the account given by the Chinese historians of the 
ancient inhabitants of the north of Asia, across whose country 
those who wished to go to Ta-han were obliged to pass. In fact, 
after having left the country of the She-goei and traveling east 
ward for five days, the Yu-che are found, a people who derive 
their origin from the She-goei ; from there, after ten days jour 
ney toward the north, the country of Ta-han is reached, which 
is the terminus of the route which I have undertaken to exam 
ine. Ta-han may be reached by sea also, as I have shown above, 
and by setting sail from Jesso ; from which we must necessarily 
conclude that the country of the Yu-che, which makes part of 
Siberia, is situated toward the river Ouda, which discharges 
itself into the Sea of KamtchatJca, and that Ta-han, placed to the 
north of the Yu-che, is the easternmost part of Siberia, and not 
the island of Gama, which is entirely detached from the conti 
nent, and is situated more to the south and nearer to Jesso. 

This part of Siberia, called Kamtchatka, is the region which 
the Japanese call OJcu-jesso, or Upper Jesso. They place it upon 
their maps to the north of Jesso, and represent it as being twice 
as large as China, and extending much farther to the east than 
the eastern shore of Japan. This is the country which the Chi 
nese have named Ta-han, which may signify " as large as China," 
a name which corresponds with the extent of the country and 
to the idea which the Japanese have given us of it. But, ac 
cording to the more detailed accounts given by the Russians, 
the country is a tongue of land which extends from north to 



V\ 



J 



26 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

south, from the Cape of Suetoi-noss as far as to the north of 
Jesso, with which several writers have confounded it. It is a 
part of Siberia which is separated from the rest by a gulf of the 
Eastern Sea, which runs from the south to the north. Toward 
the northern extremity it is inhabited by very savage tribes. 
Those who live in the southern part are more civilized, and have 
much in common with the Japanese, which has occasioned the 
belief that they were originally colonists from that country. It 
is probable that their commerce with the Chinese and Japanese, 
who traded upon their coasts, has contributed to render them 
more friendly and affable than those of the north, to whom these 
two civilized nations penetrated but very rarely. 

The southern part of Kamtchatka, or Ta-han, has also been 
known to the Chinese by the name of Lieu-kuei. Formerly, the 
Tartars who lived in the neighbourhood of the river Amoor 
reached the country after five days navigation toward the north. 
The Chinese historian reports that this country is surrounded 
by the sea upon three sides, that the people dwell along the 
coast and in the neighbouring islands, and that they have their 
dwellings in deep caverns and woody thickets. They make a 
species of cloth from dog-hair. The skins of swine and reindeer 
serve for their clothing during the winter, and fish-skins during 
the summer. The weather of the country is cold, because of 
the fogs and snows which they have in abundance. The rivers 
are frozen over, and several lakes are found, supplying fish, which 
the people salt in order to preserve them. They have no knowl 
edge of the division of the seasons. They love to dance, and 
wear their mourning-garments for three years. They have large 
bows, and arrows pointed with bone or stone. In the year 640 
A. D. the king of this country sent his sons to China. 

These long details have been necessary to arrive at an exact 
understanding of the situation of the country of Fti-sang, which 
is the utmost limit of the navigations of the Chinese. The fol 
lowing is the description of it which their historians have pre 
served for us. It was given by a priest who went to China in 
the year 499 A. D., in the reign of the Ti dynasty : 

" The Kingdom of Fu-sang is situated twenty thousand li to 
the east of the country of Ta-han. It is also east of China. It 
produces a great number of a species of tree called fu-sang, from 
which has come the name borne by the country. The leaves of 



DE GUIGNES S DISCOVERY. 



27 



ihefu-sang are similar to those of the tree which the Chinese call 
fung. When they first appear, they resemble the shoots of the 
reeds called bamboos, and the people of the country eat them. V 
The fruit has the form of a pear, and inclines toward red in 
colour ; from its bark they make cloth and other stuffs, with 
which the people clothe themselves, and the boards which are 
made from it are employed in the construction of their houses. 
No walled cities are found there. The people have a species of 
writing, and they love peace. Two prisons, one placed in the 
south and the other in the north, are designed to confine their 
criminals, with this difference, that the most guilty are placed in 
the northern prison, and are afterward transferred into that of 
the south if they obtain their pardon ; otherwise they are con 
demned to remain all their lives in the first. They are per 
mitted to marry, but their children are made slaves. When 
criminals are found occupying one of the principal ranks in the 
nation, the other chiefs assemble around them ; they place them 
in a ditch, and hold a great feast in their presence. They are 
then judged. Those who have merited death are buried alive 
in ashes, and their posterity is punished according to the mag 
nitude of the crime. 

"The king bears the title of noble Y-chi ; the nobles of the 
nation after him are the great and petty Tui-lu and the Na- 
to-sha. The prince is preceded by drums and horns when he 
goes abroad. He changes the colour of his garments every year. 
The cattle of the country bear a considerable weight upon their 
horns. They are harnessed to wagons. Horses and deer are 
also employed for this purpose. The inhabitants feed hinds as 
in China, and from them they obtain butter. A species of red 
pear is found there, which is kept for a year without spoiling ; 
also the iris, and peaches, and copper in great abundance. They 
have no iron, and gold and silver are not valued. He who 
wishes to marry, builds a house or cabin near that of the maid 
whom he desires to wed, and takes care to sprinkle a certain 
quantity of water upon the ground every day during the year ; 
he finally marries the maid, if she wishes and consents ; other 
wise he goes to seek his fortune elsewhere. The marriage cere 
monies, for the most part, are similar to those which are prac 
ticed in China. At the death of relatives, they fast a greater or 
less number of days, according to the degree of relationship, and 



28 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

during their prayers they expose the image of the deceased 
person. They wear no mourning-garments, and the prince who 
succeeds to his father takes no care regarding the government 
for three years after his elevation. In former times the people 
had no knowledge of the religion of Fo; but in the year 458 A. D., 
in the Sung dynasty, five priests of Samarcand went preaching 
their doctrine in this country, and then the manners of the peo 
ple were changed." 

The historian from whom Ma Twan-lin has copied this rela 
tion adds that there was no knowledge of the country of Fu- 
sang before the year 458 A. D., and, up to the present time, I 
have not seen any other than these two writers who speak of it 
with full details. Some writers of dictionaries, who have also 
made mention of it, content themselves by saying that it is situ 
ated in the region where the sun rises. 

This account informs us that Fa-sang is twenty thousand li 
from Ta-han or Kamtchatka, a distance almost as great as that 
from the shore of Leao-tong to Kamtchatka. So, in setting forth 
from one of the ports of this last-named country, as that of 
Avatcha, and sailing eastward for a distance of twenty thousand 
li (which presents to us a great expanse of sea), the route termi 
nates upon the westernmost coast of America, not far from the 
spot where the Russians landed in 1741. In all this vast waste 
of waters we do not find any land, not even an island, to which 
the distance of twenty thousand li could be applied, and we can 
not suppose that the Chinese had followed the coast of Asia and 
landed upon its most easterly extremity, and there found the land 
of Fu-sang. The excessive coldness of the weather which exists 
in Kamtchatka and the neighbouring northern regions renders 
them almost uninhabitable. The distance is far from sufficient, 
and the unfortunate inhabitants appear to be given over to 
barbarism, when their customs are compared with those of the 
people of Fu-sang. 

In vain we flatter ourselves that we know the western coast 
of America perfectly ; we know nothing of the country situated 
to the west and northwest of Canada. Our first geographers, 
from conjectures, as to the foundation of which we are ignorant, 
have prolonged the western shores of America so that they ap 
proach Asia, supposing that they are not separated, otherwise than 
by a strait to which they have given the name of Anian. Fran- 



/ 



DE GUIGNES S DISCOVERY. 



29 



9ois Gualle, who endeavours to prove the existence of this strait, 
calls our attention to the changing of the currents and the waves, 
and to the whales and other Arctic fish that are found in the north 
ern part of the Pacific Ocean ; but, since the publication of M. de 
PIsle s map of this part of the globe, we have learned the results 
of the explorations of the Russians, who, without giving us the 
contour of the coasts of America with precision, have made 
known to us, in general, that the coast of California trends toward 
the west and approaches quite near to that of Asia, leaving noth 
ing between the two countries except a strait of small width, re 
establishing the shape of the American Continent as it was given 
by the earliest geographers, apparently from a knowledge more 
exact than we have thought, and which has been lost to us. 

The Japanese, who have also cultivated the arts, and naviga 
tion in particular, appear not to have been ignorant of the situa 
tion of the countries which lie to the north of their empire. 
Kaempfer claimed to have seen in Japan a map, made by the 
people of that country, upon which they represented Kamtchatka, 
which extends farther east than Japan. Upon the eastern shore, 
opposite to America, there is a gulf of a square form, in the mid 
dle of which a small island is seen ; farther to the north a second 
may be perceived, which appears to touch the two continents 
with its two extremities. Upon a map which this celebrated 
traveler brought to Europe, and which has passed into the collec 
tion of the late M. Hans Sloan, along the eastern coast of Kam 
chatka a strait is seen, and beyond it a large country which is 
America. In the northern part of the strait is an island which 
extends toward the two continents. M. Hans Sloan has wished 
me to call attention to this curious map, and Mr. Birch, Secre 
tary of the Royal Society of London, has sent me an exact copy 
of it. 

This map agrees quite closely with our old maps of America, 
and with the new discoveries of the Russians. No island is seen 
where M. de 1 Isle has placed the coast which the Russians have 
discovered ; but, in the neighbourhood of this strait, America ap 
pears to advance considerably, and to form a long tongue of land 
which extends nearly to Asia. I am led to believe that this coast 
must form part of the continent of America, from the fact that 
M. de 1 Isle states that a large number of the inhabitants came 
to meet the Russians with boats similar to those of the Green- 



30 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

landers or Esquimaux, which indicates some relationship be 
tween the people, and at the same time a connection of this land 
with America. In this case it is readily seen that the Chinese 
could reach Fu-sang much more easily than would otherwise be 
possible, for they could follow the coasts almost all the way. 

I think that I have given sufficient proof that, at a distance of 
twenty thousand li from Kamtchatka, there is found a land where 
Fa-sang may be placed ; that this land is that of the continent 
of America, from which it results that Fu-sang is situated in this 
continent. The Chinese historians speak also of a country a 
thousand li farther east than Fu-sang. They call it the " King 
dom of Women." But their account is filled with fables, similar 
to those which our first explorers have related concerning newly 
discovered countries. 

"The inhabitants of this kingdom are white. They have 
hairy bodies, and long locks that fall down to the ground. At 
the second or third month the women come to bathe in a river, 
and they become pregnant. They bear their young at the sixth 
or seventh month. Instead of breasts, they have white locks at 
the back of the head, from which there issues a liquor that serves 
to nourish their children. It is said that, one hundred days after 
their birth, the children are able to run about, and appear fully 
grown when three or four years of age. The women take flight 
at sight of a stranger, and they are very respectful toward their 
husbands. These people feed upon a plant which has the taste 
^ wnic h f r this reason bears the name of the 
ves are similar to those of the plant which 
the Chinese call Sie-hao, which is a species of absinthe." 

It is easy to perceive from this tale that, as is the custom in 
several places in the Indies, the women of the country nursed 
their children over their shoulders, and the fable reported above 
must have originated from this practice. 

We also find in the same authors that, in the year 507 A. D., 
in the reign of the Liang dynasty, a Chinese vessel, which was 
sailing the ocean, was driven by a tempest to an unknown island. 
The women resembled those of China, but the men had a figure 
and a voice like those of dogs. These people fed upon small 
beans, and had clothing made of a species of linen cloth, and the 
walls of their houses were constructed of earth built up in a cir 
cular form. The Chinese could not understand their language. 



DE GUIGNES S DISCOVERY. 31 

There is room for the belief that the beans that are mentioned 
are grains of maize ; and the Chevalier de Tonti, in his accounts 
of Louisiana, reports that the Taen9as, when speaking to their 
king, have the custom of making a great howling, by means of 
which they intend to show their respect and admiration for him. 
A similar practice among the people of the last-mentioned island 
may have led the Chinese to say that their voices resembled 
those of dogs. * 

We can not doubt at present that the Chinese had penetrated 
very far into the ocean toward the south, sailing back and 
forth across it, and that, in consequence, they had sufficient 
boldness and experience in navigation to enable them to sail to 
California direct. The examination of the route which they 
took, and the distances which they have given, prove that they 
went there in the year 458 A._p. In fact, we find some traces 
of this commerce in our own accounts. George Home tells that, 
at the west of the country of the Epiceriniens, neighbours of the 
Hurons, there lived a people among -whom there arrived foreign 
merchants who had no beards and who were carried by large 
vessels. Francisco Yasquez de Coronado states also that, at Qui- 
vira, vessels were found of which the sterns were gilded ; and 
Pierre Melendez, in Acosta, speaks of the wrecks of Chinese 
vessels seen upon the coast. It is also an unquestionable fact 
that foreign merchants clothed in silk formerly came among the 
Catualcans. All these accounts, added to those which we have 
adduced, become so many proofs that the Chinese traded at the 
north of California, near the country of Quivira. We may also 
notice, as a necessary consequence of such commerce, that, of all 
the American tribes, the most civilized are situated near the 
coast which faces China. In the region of New Mexico there 
are found tribes that have houses of several stories, with halls, 
chambers, and bath-rooms. They are clothed in robes of cotton 
and of skin ; but that which is most unusual among savages is, that 
they have leather shoes and boots. Each village has its public 
criers, who announce the orders of the king, and idols and tern- 

* The Chinese geographers have also made mention of an island, called Kia-y, 
which is situated to the east of Japan. In the year 659 some of these islanders 
came to China with the Japanese. The Japanese map, which has been sent to 
me by M. Sloan, places the island of Kia-y to the east of Japan and of Jesso, in 
the midst of twelve other smaller islands. 



32 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

pies are seen everywhere. Baron de la Hontan speaks also of 
the Morambecs, who lived in walled cities situated near a great 
salt lake, and made woolen cloth, copper hatchets, and various 
other manufactures. Some writers have maintained that the 
civilized people situated to the north are the remnants of the 
Mexicans who took flight at the time when Hernando Cortez 
penetrated into Mexico, and who fled to the north and founded 
several considerable kingdoms, among others that of Quivira. 
Although this conjecture appears not to be devoid of some 
foundation, we read, nevertheless, in Acosta, that the Mexicans 
themselves, a long time before the Spanish invasion, came to 
Mexico from the north, which leads me to believe that the Chi 
nese who landed in northern America had contributed to their 
civilization. The foundation of the Mexican Empire does not 
date back of the year 820 A. D., a time several centuries later 
than the navigations of the Chinese, of which the first occurred 
in 458. The people who inhabited Mexico before 820, and who 
bore the name of Chichimecas, were savages, who retired into 
the mountains, where they lived without laws, without religion, 
and without a prince to govern them. About the year 820 the 
Nahuatalcas, a wise and civilized nation, came to Mexico, from 
which they drove the inhabitants, and there founded the power 
ful empire which the Spaniards destroyed. The Nahuatalcas 
did not bring from the north the custom of sacrificing human 
victims. These barbarous sacrifices were not instituted until 
after their arrival in Mexico, and upon the occasion of a circum 
stance which is related in full by Acosta. 

Before terminating this essay, it is necessary to make some 
remarks regarding the description of the country of Fu-sang, and 
to reply to some objections that may be raised, particularly as to 
the occurrence of horses, which have not been found in an^-part 
of America. The great advantages which are derived from the 
possession of these animals would appear to be sufficient to in 
sure their preservation. We observe upon this subject that all 
nations do not seem to have been equally persuaded of their use 
fulness. Tartary, which is filled with horses, is near to Siberia, 
where, in several places, they have not been found at all, and 
where the dog or the reindeer is used instead. Nevertheless, 
horses could have been taken to these places no difficulty, such 
as that of crossing the sea, preventing their transportation and 






DE GUIGNES S DISCOVERY. 33 

these tribes have known of them among their neighbours without 
having made use of them. Possibly the Chinese vessels formerly 
carried a few of them to America, and some tribes then used 
them. But it is well known to what a point the savages of Amer 
ica carried their cruelty toward conquered tribes. Their wars 
caused frequent migrations and the complete annihilation of 
several nations, and consequently the destruction of the usages 
which these exterminated tribes may have received by means 
of commerce. Finally, no one undertakes to guarantee all that 
is contained in the relations of Marco Polo, of Plan Carpin, and 
of Rubruquis. These ancient travelers have sometimes wan 
dered from the truth ; and yet we can not, merely upon this ac 
count, sweepingly condemn all of their statements. The Chinese 
traveler may have allowed himself to be deceived by something 
that he saw, and may have applied the name of horses to certain 
animals of the country of Quivira and of Cibola, which resembled 
them in size, and which the Spaniards have called sheep, on ac 
count of the wool that they bear.* In the same way we have 
given the names of European animals to several animals of 
America, notwithstanding the fact that they are of a different 
species. In regard to the cattle mentioned in the account : since 
we have discovered the country of Quivira, Hudson s Bay, and 
the Mississippi, a species of cattle has been found with large 
horns, so that no difficulty remains regarding this point, and we 
may conclude that the Chinese navigators landed to the north 
of California, where they found these animals. 

A more exact description of the tree called fu-sang would 
contribute toward enabling us to determine the region more 
definitely. All that is said of it agrees rather with some tree of 
America than with any that occurs in the frozen land of Kam- 
tchatka; and the uses that are made of it, such as the manufact 
ure of the stuffs, the cloth, and the paper spoken of in the^ 
account, appear to indicate a civilized people inhabiting a tem 
perate country, such as that in the neighbourhood of Calif ornia^ 
rather than a country like Kamtchatka, the inhabitants oT which 
retire into caverns, and are clothed in skins, and are too barbar 
ous to make cloth or paper, or to have letters or true literary 
characters for the expression of their ideas a thing unknown 

* " These animals," says Acosta, " are of as great use to the Indians aa asses 
are among us, and are used to carry heavy burdens." 
3 



34 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

even to several nations in the southern part of Kamtchatka, 
who, as we have previously observed, are, from their southerly 
location, much nearer to China than Fu-sang can be supposed 
to be, if we locate it in the northern part of Kamtchatka, or any 
where upon the northeastern coast of Asia ; in America, on the 
contrary, and particularly among the Mexicans, there is found a 
species of writing which consists not of alphabetical characters, 
but hieroglyphic characters or representations of ideas, such as 
the oldest characters of China were. 

Be it as it may, it is not my design to produce a multitude 
of conjectures as to the people of Fu-sang and as to the Ameri 
cans. I confine myself to that which appears to me to be sol 
idly confirmed. The Chinese penetrated to a country very far 
from the shores of the Orient. I have examined the distances 
stated by them, and the length of the standard of measure used 
by them, and they have led me to the coast of California. I 
have concluded from this that they have known America since 
the year 458 A. D. In the countries near to the spot where they 
landed were found the most civilized nations of America. I 
have thought that they are indebted for their civilization to the 
commerce which they have had with the Chinese.* This is all 
that I proposed to establish in this essay. 

It is now easy to perceive the manner in which America has 
been peopled. There is much probability that several colonies 
have passed to it from the north of Asia, in the place where the 
two continents are the nearest together, and where a great island 
that extends from the east to the west, and which appears to 
unite them, renders the passage still easier. They may have 
reached it either by means of the ice, which in these seas some 
times lasts two or three years, as we have seen examples in our 
own days, or by the help of the canoes in use among the Green- 
landers and other northern barbarians living in the easternmost 
part of Siberia. 

A certain agreement in the manners and customs which are 
found among the Tunguses and the Samoyedes with those of the 
tribes of Hudson s Bay, of Mississippi, and of Louisiana, adds a 

* George Home, 1, iv, c. 13, goes further. He affirms that the Mexicans are 
a colony of Chinese who came into America in 1279 A. D. with their emperor 
named Ti-pun, after the conquest of China by the Mongols. But this statement 
is erroneous, since Ti-pun with his fleet was swallowed up by the waters. 



DE GUIGNES S DISCOVERY. 35 

new force to these reflections. It is known that in general all 
the nations of the same country are distinguished by peculiari 
ties of countenance, and by an exterior, that proclaims their com 
mon origin. Such are the Chinese, for example, who are easily 
recognized among other nations. The nations of Europe have a 
long and bushy beard, while that of the Chinese, the Tartars, 
and the people of Siberia is but slight ; in which point they re 
semble the Americans, from which it might be inferred that 
these last came from Tartary. In examining the animals, we are 
compelled to make the same reflection. Several are found in 
America which are not met with elsewhere, except in the north 
of Asia as the hairy cattle, and the reindeer, so common in 
Siberia and in the northern part of America. 

A number of additional facts can also be stated which con 
firm the ease of the passage. We extract them from Charlevoix, 
who reports that Pere Grellon, after having laboured for some 
time in the missions of New France, went from there to China, 
and thence to Tartary, where he met a Huron woman whom 
he had known in Canada. She had been captured in war, and 
taken from one nation to another until she had reached Tartary. 
Another Jesuit, upon returning from China, related also that a 
Spanish woman from Florida, who met with the same misfortune, 
after having passed through extremely cold regions was finally 
met in Tartary. 

However remarkable these accounts may be, it is neverthe 
less not impossible to reconcile them with geography. The 
women reached the shore of the sea that washes the western 
coast of America, whence they first passed by canoes to the 
island that is found in the strait, from which they landed upon 
the continent of Asia, and finally, taking the route from Ta-han, 
to which I have referred, they approached China. 

There is room for the belief that this is one of the ways by 
which America has been peopled ; but it is not at all likely 
that it has been the only one on the side of the north. Some 
among the writers who have investigated the origin of the 
Americans have made some conjectures upon the subject which 
seem not to be destitute of foundation. At the mouth of the 
river Kolyma, in Siberia, is found a thickly peopled island, which 
is often frequented by those who come to hunt for the fossil 
ivory of the mammoth, which is more beautiful than that of the 



36 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

elephant, and is used for making different objects. They arrive 
there, with all their families, by crossing the ice, and it frequently 
happens that, surprised by a thaw, they are carried away upon 
large cakes of ice toward the opposite point of America, which 
is not very far distant. That which seems to give more weight 
to this conjecture is the fact that the Americans who inhabit this 
country have the same physiognomy as the unfortunate island 
ers, who, from too great a desire for gain, expose themselves to 
the danger of thus being transported to a strange country. It can 
not be doubted that floating ice has sometimes carried men, and, 
even more frequently, animals, to neighbouring countries. Great 
cakes of ice, detached from more southerly lands, have been seen 
to arrive upon the coast of Iceland, laden with wood and with 
animals, of which the Icelanders take so great advantage that 
they neglect the interior of the island, and remain more willingly 
upon the coast, in order to be on hand to profit by them. It is 
in this manner that a number of ferocious animals have pene 
trated into regions where men would never wish to have brought 
them. 

I conclude, from all these observations, that a part of Amer 
ica has been peopled by the barbarians who inhabit the north of 
Asia. Adding also that the commerce of the Chinese has not 
only carried new inhabitants to them, but has also contributed 
much to the civilization of the American people, and to give 
them a knowledge of the, most useful arts. And if, upon the 
evidence of the Japanese map, we place the kingdom of Chang- 
jin to the south of the Strait of Magellan, it is certain in that 
case that the Chinese and the Coreans have known the southern 
part of America ; that their navigators have frequented it ; and 
that by this means they have civilized the Peruvians, among 
whom certain arts flourished, and who felt themselves not to be 
barbarians in anything. 

Other nations, less civilized than the Chinese, have also had 
means for reaching America no less easily at the south. Those 
who have populated the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, the 
Moluccas, and the Philippines, are connected with the inhab 
itants of India and of China ; they have been from island to 
island in their canoes ; they have penetrated successively to New 
Guinea, New Holland, and New Zealand, immense countries of 
which we do not know the extent. In that way they have ap- 



BE GUIGNES S DISCOVERY. 37 

preached the American Continent. Some of them may have 
reached the islands which are found between the tenth and twen 
tieth degrees of south latitude islands so near to each other 
that they form, as it were, a chain, which they could have fol 
lowed. They have been peopled one after another, until those 
most distant from their original starting-point, and the nearest to 
America, have received their colonies. 

Perhaps the same reasoning might be applied to some parts 
of Europe. The British Islands, Norway, Iceland, and Green 
land may have been the places of passage of American colonies, 
and, as these regions became more thickly peopled, some of the 
inhabitants would go to seek new and more distant habitations. 
But without stopping here to make conjectures regarding the 
navigation of the ancients, history furnishes us with a proof that 
civilized nations have attempted to discover new lands to the 
west of Europe, and to penetrate far into this vast sea. It is 
true of the Arabs. 

It is known that under the dynasty of the Ommiades these 
tribes made the conquest of a part of Africa. Thence, under 
the leadership of Tharic, they passed into Spain, which they re 
duced to a province of their empire ; but after the Ommiades 
had been destroyed in Syria, a prince of that house escaped the 
general massacre made by the Abbassides, and fled to Spain, 
where he was proclaimed caliph, and founded a powerful mon 
archy, which was destroyed by other princes coming from Africa. 
These possessed the greater part of Spain, until they were driven 
out by the Christians. It was during the reign of the Arabs in 
Spain that some of their sailors, setting sail from Lisbon, where 
they then were masters, embarked upon the gloomy sea or West 
ern Ocean, with the intention of penetrating as far as they could 
toward the west, and of discovering the islands and lands which 
existed there. But their enterprise did not meet with the suc 
cess with which they flattered themselves. After eleven days of 
navigation before a favourable wind, they found a thick sea, 
which exhaled a bad odor, where they met a number of rocks, 
and where the darkness commenced to make itself perceived. 
They were not so bold as to penetrate any farther. Making sail 
then to the south, they, after twelve days of navigation, ex 
plored the Canaries, where they met a man who spoke Arabic. 
They traveled about among the islands, and landed upon one, 



38 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

where they were stopped by the islanders. Questioned by the 
king of the country as to the object of their voyage, they an 
swered him that their design had been to penetrate to the end of 
the world. The king informed them that his father had ordered 
some of his subjects to make the same attempt, but that, after 
having sailed the sea for a month without discovering anything, 
they had returned to the Canaries. These strange voyages of 
the Arabs, and particularly that of the inhabitants of the Cana 
ries, cause us to suspect that others of the islanders, equally 
bold and more fortunate, may have reached America ; since they 
had the courage to abandon themselves, with their vessels, to the 
mercy of this vast sea, although they had no knowledge of the 
compass, and, as we regard them, were but little skilled in the 
art of navigation. 

Other Arabs, and the people of Senegal, knew also at the 
same time of the Cape Verd Islands. We have not found in 
any writer that the Arabs penetrated any farther. Nevertheless, 
they approached at least this near to the lands of America, and, 
if they were not bold enough to sail directly to it, some of those 
who sailed the sea may have been carried by the tempests to the 
islands of the Azores, which are in the same degree of latitude, 
where pieces of wood and dead bodies from America are often 
found. It is this which gave birth to the belief of Christopher 
Columbus that there must be, and were, lands near the Azores. 

After this recital, we see that even the most barbarous people 
have had sufficient skill in the art of navigation to reach very 
distant islands, and, as a necessary consequence, to go even as far 
as to America ; but it is not my intention to exhaust the subject. 
We shall not be able to succeed in doing that until after we have 
obtained an exact knowledge of all the globe, and have discov 
ered all the southern lands. I must stop with having collected 
the facts which are scattered in the Chinese geographies con 
cerning the voyages of the Chinese in the South Sea and to 
America, and with having made, in consequence, some reflections 
concerning the passage of colonies to America. 



CHAPTER III. 

KLAPROTH S DISSENT. 

Title of de Guignes s article incorrect Translation of the account of Fu-sang 
Vines and horses not found in America Route to Japan Length of the li 
Identification of Wen-shin with Jesso Ta-han identified with Taraikai or 
Saghalien The route to Ta-han by land The Shy-ivd Li&i-kuei Fv^sang 
south of Ta-han instead of east Fu-sang an ancient name of Japan Analy 
sis of name " Fu-sang " The paper mulberry Metals The introduction of 
Buddhism Fantastic tales. 

Researches regarding the Country of Fu-sang, mentioned in 
Chinese Books, and erroneously supposed to be a Part of 
America. By J. Klaproth. 

THE celebrated de Guignes, having found in Chinese books 
a description of a country situated a great distance to the east 
of China, and thinking it probable that this country, called Fu- 
sang, must be a part of America, set forth this opinion in an 
essay read before the Academy of Inscriptions and Belles-Lettres, 
entitled " Investigation of the Navigations of the Chinese to the 
Coast of America, and as to some Tribes situated at the Eastern 
Extremity of Asia." 

It should be first observed that this title is incorrect. Noth 
ing is said in the Chinese original, which de Guignes had before 
his eyes, concerning any voyage undertaken by the Chinese to 
Fu-sang, but, as is shown farther on, it is simply a question of a 
description of this country, given by a priest who was a native 
of it, and who had come to China. This notice is found in that 
part of the Great Annals of China * entitled Nan-szu, or " His- 

* These are the Nan-eul-szu, or the "Twenty-two Historians," of which the 
works form a collection of more than six hundred Chinese volumes, and which 
should not be confounded with the annals entitled T ung-kian-kang-mu, which 
are known in Europe by the meager extracts which Pere Mailla has given in 
twelve volumes, in 4. 



40 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

tory of the South." After the destruction of the dynasty of 
Tain, in 420 A. D., China was overwhelmed with troubles, which 
resulted in the establishment of two empires, one in the northern 
provinces, the other in those of the south. The last was succes 
sively governed, from 420 to 589 A. D., by the four dynasties of 
Sung, Tsi, Liang, and Cfiin. The history of the two empires 
was written by Li-yan-cheu, who lived about the commencement 
of the seventh century. This is what he says about Fu-sang : 

" In the first of the years yung-yuan, of the reign of Fe-ti, of 
the dynasty of Tsi, a shaman (or Buddhist priest), called Hoei 
Shin, arrived from the country of Fu - sang at King - cheu* 
He related what follows : Fu-sang is twenty thousand li to the 
east of the country of Ta-han, and equally to the east of China. 
In this country there grow many trees called fu-sang,\ of which 
the leaves resemble those of the fung (Bignonia tomentosa), 
and the first shoots those of the bamboo. The people^ of the 
country eat them. The fruit is red and of the shape of a pear. 
The bark of this tree is prepared in the same way as that of 
hemp, and cloth and clothing are made of it. Flowered stuffs 
are also manufactured from it. Wooden planks are used for the 
construction of their houses, for in this country there are no 
cities and no walled habitations. The inhabitants have a species 
of writing, and make paper from the bark of ilaefu-sang. They 
have no weapons or armies, and do not make war. According 
to the laws of the kingdom, there are a southern prison and a 
northern prison. Those who have committed crimes that are 
not very serious are sent to the southern prison, but great crimi 
nals are shut up in the northern one. Those who may receive 
pardon are sent to the first ; those, on the contrary, to whom 
it can not be accorded are confined in the northern prison.]; 
The men and the women who are shut up in the latter are per 
mitted to marry each other. The male children, born from 
these unions, are sold as slaves at the age of eight years ; the 

* King-clieu is a city of the first order, situated upon the left side of the 
great Kiang, in the present province of Hu-pe. 

\ Fu-sang in Chinese, or, according to the Japanese pronunciation, Fouls-sob, 
is the shrub which we call " Hibiscus rosa Chirunsis" 

t De Guignes has very badly translated this passage, as follows : " The most 
guilty are placed in the northern prison and afterward transferred into that of 
the south if they obtain their pardon ; otherwise they are condemned to remain 
all their lives in the first." 



KLAPROTH S DISSENT. 41 

girls at the age of nine years. The criminals who are confined 
there never come forth alive. When a man of high rank com 
mits a crime, the people assemble in great numbers. They sit 
down face to face with the criminal, who is placed in a ditch, 
and regale themselves with a banquet, and take leave of him as 
of a dying man.* Then he is surrounded by ashes. For an 
offense of little gravity the criminal alone is punished, but for a 
great crime, the culprit, his sons, and grandsons are punished ; 
finally, for the greatest offenses his descendants to the seventh 
generation are included in the punishment. The name of the 
king of the country is Y-k i (or 7tt-k*t)J The nobles of the 
first class are called Tui-lu ; those of the second, little Tui-lu ; 
and those of the third, Na-tu-sha. When the king goes forth, 
he is accompanied by drums and horns. He changes the color 
of his garments at different epochs. In the years of the cycle 
Ma and y \ they are blue ; in the years ping and ting, red ; in 
the years ou and ki, yellow ; in the years keng and sin, white ; 
finally, in those which have the characters jin and kuei, they 
are black. 

" The cattle have long horns, upon which burdens are loaded 
which weigh as much, sometimes, as twenty ho (of one hundred 
and twenty Chinese pounds). In this country they make use of 
carts harnessed to cattle, horses, and deer. They rear deer there 
as they raise cattle in China, and make cheese from the milk of 
the females. || A species of red pear is found there, which is 
preserved throughout the year. There are also many vines. 4 * 

* Do Guignes translates the last words by " He is then judged." 
f De Guignes has wrongly read " Y-chi." 

\ The years 1, 11, 21, 31, 41, and 51 of the cycle of sixty years bear the char 
acter Ida; the years 2, 12, 22, 32, 42, and 52 have the character y. 

Ping, 3, 13, 23, 33, 43, and 53; ting, 4, 14, 24, 34, 44, and 54. 

Ou, 5, 15, 25, 35, 45, and 55 ; Id, 6, 16, 26, 36, 46, and 56. 

Kmg, 7, 17, 27, 37, 47, and 57 ; sin, 8, 18, 28, 38, 48, and 58. 

Jin, 9, 19, 29, 39, 49, and 59 ; kuei, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60. 

1 De Guignes translates : " The inhabitants feed hinds, as in China, and from 
them they obtain butter." 

* In the original, To-p it-t ao. De Guignes, having decomposed the wor< 
p u-t ao, translates: "A great number of iris-plants and peaches are found 
there." Nevertheless, the word p u alone never means the iris ; it is the r 

of rushes and other species of marshy reeds which are used for making ^mats. 
T ao is, in fact, the name of the peach, but the compound word p u-t ao, in 
Chinese, signifies the vine. At present, it is written with other characters u e., 



42 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

Iron is lacking, but copper is found. Gold and silver are not 
esteemed. Commerce is free, and they do not baggie at all. 

" Their practices regarding marriage are as follows : He who 
desires to wed a girl establishes his cabin before her door ; he 
sprinkles and sweeps the earth every morning and every night. 
When he has practiced this formality for a year, if the maid 
will not give her consent, he desists ; but, if she is pleased 
with him, he marries her. The ceremonies of marriage are 
nearly the same as in China. At the death of father or 
mother they fast seven days. At that of a grandfather or 
grandmother they refrain from eating for five days ; and only 
for three days at the death of brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, 
and other relatives. The images of spirits are placed upon a 
species of pedestal, and prayers are addressed to them morning 
and evening.* 

" The king does not occupy himself with the affairs of gov 
ernment during the three years which follow his accession to 
the throne. 

" Formerly the religion of Buddha did not exist in this coun 
try, but in the fourth of the years ta-ming, of the reign of 
Jfiao-iou-tiy of the dynasty of Sung (458 A. D.), five pi-k ieu, 
or priests, of the country of Ki-pin (Cophene), came to Fu-sang, 
and there spread abroad the law of Buddha. They carried with 
them their books and sacred images and the ritual, and estab 
lished monastic customs, f and so changed the manners of the 
inhabitants." 

^ ^, but Iffc yji is the ancient orthography of the times of Han, which pre 
vailed until the tenth century of our era. 

The vine is not a native of China, its seeds having been imported by the cele 
brated General Chang K ian, sent into the western country in the year 126 B. c. 
He traveled through the Afghanistan of our days, and the northwestern part of 
India, and returned to China after thirteen years absence. The term p u-t ao is 
not native to China, any more than the object which it designates. It is probably 
the imperfect transcription of the Greek ptrpvs. The Japanese pronounce it 
bou-do. They usually give to the vine the name of yebi-kadzoura, composed of 
yebi, a sea craw-fish, and of kadzoura, a general name of climbing plants which 
attach themselves to neighbouring trees. 

* De Guignes translates : " During their prayers they expose the image of the de 
funct person." The text speaks of shin, or genii, and not of the spirits of the dead. 

f In the original, ^ }f{, ch K-kia that is to say, "to leave one s house or 
family," or " to embrace a monastic life." DC Guignes has not translated this pass 
age, with the exception of the beginning. 



KLAPROTITS DISSENT. 43 

The circumstance that vines and horses are found in the 
country of Fu-sang is sufficient to prove that it could not be 
any part of America, these two objects having been brought to 
the continent by the Spaniards, after the discovery of Chris 
topher Columbus in 1492. But other reasons, drawn from the 
Chinese books, explicitly oppose the supposition that Fu-sang 
should be identified with any part of the New World. We 
have seen, from the account of the priest Hoei Shin, that Fa- 
sang was twenty thousand li to the east of Ta-han. De Guignes 
has erroneously taken this last country for Kamtchatka. He 
bases this hypothesis upon another passage of the Nan-szu, in 
which the author says that, in order to go to Ta-han, the traveler 
sets out from the western shore of Corea,* coasts along this 
peninsula, and, after having gone twelve thousand li, arrives 
at Japan ; that from there, after a route of seven thousand li 
toward the north,.he comes to the country of Wen-shin, and that, 
five thousand li from the last, toward the east, the country of 
Ta-han is found, from which Fu-sang is distant twenty thou 
sand li. 

In olden times the Chinese vessels which sailed to Japan 
crossed the Strait of Corea, passed before the isles of Tsu-sima 
(in Chinese, Tui-ma-tao), and landed in some port of the north 
ern coast of the great island of Niphon. We must, therefore, 
conclude that the distance mentioned in the route much exceeds 
the reality. It should also be remembered that the ancient Chi 
nese did not have any means of determining the length of their 
journeys at sea. Even if we admit the maritime li of the fifth 
century to have measured four hundred to the degree, the dis 
tance of twelve thousand li of coasting between the mouth of 
the Ta-t ung-Jciang, in 38 45 N. latitude, upon the western 
coast of Corea, and the middle of the coast of Niphon, upon 

* De Guignes translates the passage : " Sets out from the shore of the province 
of Lcao-tong, situated to the north of Pckin." But, in the first place, this prov 
ince is not to the north, but to the northeast of Pekin. Next, the Chinese text 
says that they set forth from the district of Lo-lang, which is situated not in 
Leao-tung, but in Corea, and of which the capital is the present city of P ivg- 
jang (in d Auville s map, Ping-yang\ situated upon the northern bank of the 
Ta-t wig-Hang, or P ai-shue, a river of the province of P ing-ngan, which, in 
great part, in the time of the dynasty of Han, formed the district of Lo-lang. 
P ing-yang was the residence of K i-isu, the first Chinese prince who was estab 
lished in Corea, about the year 1122 before our era. 



44 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

the Japanese Sea, is, nevertheless, more than twice too great ; 
the distance between the two points, in coasting, is not more 
than fifty-six hundred li, of four hundred to the degree. It, 
therefore, results that the li of the Chinese route measure about 
eight hundred and fifty to the degree. 

The same account estimates the distance between the Ja 
panese port and the country of Wen-shin as seven thousand li, 
or a little more than eight degrees of latitude. This distance 
conducts us, however, by following the contour of the coast of 
the Japanese Sea, exactly to the northern part of Niphon and to 
the southern point of the island of Jesso. The country of Wen- 
shin, or " Tattooed People," is, in fact, found there ; for the 
Ainos, who then occupied both the northern part of Japan and 
the island of Jesso, have even to this day the custom of painting 
the face and the body with different figures. 

The distance from the country of Wen-shin to that of Ta-han 
is, according to our account, five thousand li, or about six de 
grees of latitude. This brings us exactly to the southern point 
of the island of Taraikai, erroneously called Saghalien upon our 
maps. The identity of this island with Ta-han is confirmed by 
another account, which describes the route from the northern 
part of China to the last-named country. 

In the times of the T ang dynasty the Chinese had estab 
lished three fortified cities to the north of the northernmost 
curve described by the Hoang-ho, which surrounded upon three 
sides the present country of the Ordos, called for this reason 
Ho-t ao, or " Enveloped by the River." One of these cities, sit 
uated between the two others, bore the name of Chung-sheu- 
kiang-ch ing, or "the Central City, which Protects the Sub 
missive People." It does not now exist, but its site, -which can 
be determined with precision, was in the country now occupied 
by the Mongol tribe of Orat, upon the northern bank of the 
Hoang-ho. To go by land to the country of Ta-han, the trav 
eler set forth from this city, and traversed the desert of Gobi, 
or Shamo, and arrived at the principal encampment of the Hoei- 
hh e, situated upon the left bank of the Orkhou, not far from its 
sources, and the same place where the Mongolians afterward 
constructed their first capital, Caracorum. From there he 
reached the country of the Ko-li-han and of the Tu-p o, sit 
uated to the south of a great lake, upon the ice of which he 



EXAPROTH S DISSENT. 45 

must cross in winter. We know from other indications that the 
lake is that of Baikal. To the north of this lake, say the Chi 
nese relations, high mountains are found, and a country where, 
says one, the sun is not above the horizon longer than during 
the little time that it takes to cook a breast of mutton. The 
Tu-po, neighbours of the Ko-li-han, inhabit the country to the 
south of the lake. Another historian informs us what is the 
true abode of the lb-H-han, and we know that this country is 
the same as the ancient country of Kirkis, or Kerghiz, situated 
between the 0-pu (the Obi) and the Ang-Jco-la (the Angara). 
Upon leaving the country of the Ko-li-lian, and traveling to the 
east, we enter into that of the Shy-wei. 

The Shy-wei include a great number of tribes that do not 
appear to belong to the same nation, for the Chinese accounts 
mention several who speak a different language from that which 
the others use. Nevertheless, the greater part of the Shy-wei 
are of the same origin as the Khi-tan and speak their idiom, 
which is identical with that of the Mo-ho ; the latter are, to all 
appearances, the Mongols. The others belong to the Tunguse 
race. The most southerly Shy-wei live in the vicinity of the 
river Nou, an affluent upon the right of the upper Amoor. After 
having left the country of the Shy-wei^ who live to the east of 
the Ko-li-han and of Lake Baikal, and marching for fifteen days 
to the east, we find the Shy-wei called ; JD, Ju-cfie, who 
are probably the same people that other Chinese authors call 
jit id) Ju-che that is to say, the Djourdje, ancestors of the 
present Mantchoos. From there we advance for ten days 
toward the north, and enter into Ta-han, surrounded by the sea 
upon three sides. 

This country, called also Lieu-kiiei, therefore can not be 
other than the island of Taraikai, as we have already ascertained 
by following the route by sea laid down by Li-yan-sheu. De 
Guignes has wished to consider Kamtchatka as Ta-han ; but it is 
impossible to reach Kamtchatka from the eastern bank of Lake 
Baikal within thirty days, this time being barely sufficient to go 
across a country where there are no roads, from the eastern point 
of Lake Baikal, by way of the country of the Mantchoos and 
along the Amoor, to the great island of Taraikai, situated before 
the mouth of that river. 

The identity of Ta-han and the island of Taraikai, once 



46 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

demonstrated, prevents all further search for the country of Fu- 
sang in America. We have seen that the navigators, who went 
from the eastern coast of Corea to Ta-han, traveled at first 
twelve thousand, then seven thousand, and again five thousand 
li, or in all twenty-four thousand li (or, according to our calcula 
tion, twenty-nine and a half degrees of latitude), in order to reach 
that country. Fu-sang was twenty thousand li (or twenty-three 
and a half degrees) to the east of Ta-han or Taraikai, and so 
nearer h y four thousand li than the latter country was to the 
eastern coast of Corea. If we adopt the letter of the relation, 
and seek for Fu-sang to the east of Ta-han, we fall into the great 
ocean, for the opposite coast of America in the same latitude is 
not less than four times as distant. 

We must therefore reject the entire tale as to Fu-sang as 
fabulous, or else find a means of reconciling it with the truth. 
This may be found by supposing the indication of the direction 
as toward the east to be incorrect. Now, the route by sea which 
conducts us to Taraikai indicates this as being the constant di 
rection ; whereas the traveler at first goes to the south to double 
Corea, then, upon entering the Japanese Sea, he directs his course 
to the northeast, and finally changes this course for one more 
northerly, in order to follow the channel of Tartary to a point 
south of Taraikai. We may therefore presume that one sets sail 
from that country, and that at first one goes directly east, in order 
to pass the Strait of Perouse, by skirting the northern coast of Jes- 
so, but that, upon arriving at the eastern point of this island, the 
course turns to the south and leads us to the southeastern part 
of Japan, which was the country called Fa-sang. In fact, one of 
the ancient names of this empire is Fu-sang (Hibiscus rosa Chi- 
nensis), and the Japanese books say that it was applied to their 
country because of its beauty. 

If we analyze the two syllables which compose the word "fu- 
sang," we find that the first, Jfe/w, signifies "to help, to be use 
ful," and that the second, |j|, sang, designates the mulberry. The 
word therefore signifies, the useful mulberry. This circumstance 
leads me to think that there is some mistake in the Chinese ac 
count preserved in the JVan-szu, and that it confounds the hibis 
cus, or the " Rose of China," with the paper-mulberry (Morus 
papyrifera), for the description of the tree in question applies 
rather to this last than to the hibiscus ; in fact, the bark of the 



KLAPROTH S DISSENT. 47 

paper-mulberry furnishes to the Japanese all the productions 
which the Chinese account attributes to the true fa-sang. The 
bark is employed to make paper, stuffs, clothing, cordage, wicks, 
and several other useful things. 

Among the other productions of Fu-sang, as we have already 
remarked, the vine and the horse did not exist in America before 
the arrival of the Europeans, but they are found in Japan. The 
copper of this country is celebrated as an important article of 
export. Iron is, even now, rare in Japan, and consequently more 
valued than copper. According to mythological traditions, horses 
and cattle were produced from the eyes of the spirit Ouke-motsi- 
no-kami y and the other domestic animals issued from his mouth. 
As to the vine, it appears that that is older in Japan than in 
China, where it was not introduced until the second century be 
fore our era ; for, according to the Japanese traditions, grapes 
were produced from a tress of black hair thrown down by Iza- 
naki-no-mikote, the last of the seven celestial spirits that reigned 
in the country. 

The single difficulty which remains is that which concerns 
the introduction of Buddhism. According to the Japanese 
annals, this religion was not diffused throughout the empire until 
552, the date that it was carried from Fiak-sai, or Pe-tsi, a 
kingdom situated in Corea, to the court of the Dairi. Never 
theless, as this belief had been introduced in 372 into the king 
dom QiKao-li, or Ko-rai, and in 384 into Fiak-sai, and the Japan 
ese had had intercourse with the two countries for a long time, 
it is not at all improbable that Buddhism had found disciples in 
Japan before the way into the palace of the Dairi was opened to it. 

Finally, I will call attention to the fact that the country of 
Fu-sang has furnished the Chinese poets with innumerable op 
portunities for giving fantastic descriptions of its marvels. The 
authors of the Shan Hai King * and the Li-sao,\ as well as 
Hwai-nan-tz, I Li T ai-pi, \\ and other writers of the same kind, 

* The Shan Hai King, the Chinese " Classic of Lands and Seas," is described 
in chapter xxxvi of this work. 

f The Li-sao is a celebrated poem written by Kiu Yuen in the third century u. c. 

\ Hivai-nan-tz is one of ten eminent writers of antiquity, who are associated 
together under the designation -of the " Ten Philosophers." He was the grandson 
of JTau-ti, of the Han dynasty, B. c. 189. He wrote upon the origin of things. 

1 Li T ai-pi is one of the most popular of the Chinese poets. He lived during 
the reign of the T ang dynasty. 



48 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

have used them freely. According to them, the sun rises in the 
valley of Yang-Jcu, and makes his toilet at Fu-sang, where there 
are mulberries several thousand fathoms high ; the people eat the 
fruit, which gives to their bodies the colour of gold, and endows 
them with the power to fly in the air. In an equally fabulous 
notice of Fu-sang, which dates from the time of the Liang dy 
nasty, there is a statement that the silk- worms of the country 
are six feet long and seven inches in breadth ; they are of the 
colour of gold, and lay eggs of the size of swallows eggs. I spare 
the reader the rest of these fables. 



CHAPTER IV. 

DE PARAYEY S SUPPORT. 

America visited by Scandinavians American tribes emigrants from Asia An- 

cient Chinese maps Researches antedating those of Klaproth Letter of 
Pere Gaubil Ta-han Lieu-kuei Identification of these with Kamtchat- 
ka Size of Fu-sang Views of M. Dumont d Urville Length of the li 
America lies at the distance and in the direction indicated The Meropide ; 

of Elien The Hyperboreans The monuments of Guatemala and Yucatan 

The Shan-hai-king Identification of the fu-sang tree with the metl or ma-, 
guey The Japanese Encyclopaedia says Japan is not Fit-sang The banana or 
pisang tree may have been the tree called fu-sang Grapes in America 
Milk in America The bisons of America Llamas Horses Wooden cabins 
The ten-year cycle The titles of the king and nobles The worship of 
images Resemblance of pyramids of America to those of the Buddhists 
An image of Buddha The spread of the Buddhist religion History of the 
Chichimecas Resemblance of Japanese to Mexicans Analogies of Asiatic 
and American civilizations pointed out by Humboldt Credit due de Guignea 
Appendix Ha Twan-lin s account The pi-sang said to be the prickly 
poppy of Mexico Laws punishing a criminal s family have existed in China 
Chinese cycle of sixty years existed in India Cattle harnessed to carts The 
grapes of Fu-sang wild, not cultivated Another Chinese custom in Fu-sang 
The route to Ta-han The route to. Japan very indirect Priests called 
lamas both in Mexico and Tartary. 

America under the Name of the Country of Fu-sang by 
M. de Paravey.* 

THE scholars of Iceland and Denmark have shown that the 
Scandinavians, long before Columbus, visited the northeastern 
portion of America, and there found wild vines and grapes ; . 
and that they even penetrated to the south as far as to what is 
now known as Brazil. Before these modern researches, the il 
lustrious Buffon, in his " Discours sur les Varietes de TEspece 
Humaine," took the ground, as M. de Humboldt has also recent 
ly done, that the tribes of Northwestern America, and even oi 
4 






50 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

Mexico, had come from Tartary and Central Asia ; and, relying 
upon the new discoveries of the Russians, he traced the route 
followed by the Asiatics, holding that they reached the north 
western portion of California by way of Kamtchatka and the 
chain of the Aleutian Islands. Upon his side, M. de Guignes, 
examining the books of China, and by them throwing a light 
upon the origin of all European nations, found among them a 
very remarkable memoir regarding the country of Fu-sang, or the 
country of the Extreme East. He availed himself of the light 
thrown by the Russians and the latest geographers upon the 
extreme northeastern countries of Asia, and, in his scholarly 
work, he proved, as far as it was then possible to do so, that the 
country of Fu-sang, known in the year 458 A. D., rich in gold, 
silver, and copper, but destitute of iron, could be nothing else 
than America. 

All the maps, rough and purposely altered as to the size of 
foreign countries, that we have been able to find in the books or 
collections relating to China, and anterior in date to the exact 
maps of the Celestial Empire, which were finally made by the 
aid of the corrections of the missionaries at Pekin, show, in fact, 
to the east and northeast of China, beyond Japan, marked under 
one of its names, Ji , pen ^ (" Origin of the Sun "), a con 
fused mass of countries, delineated as small islands, undoubtedly 
because they were reached by sea ; and among these countries, 
of which the size is purposely reduced, is marked the cele 
brated country of Fu-sang, a country of which many fables 
have been related in China, but which, in the account translated 
by M. de Guignes, is presented in a light so entirely natural that 
it can not be considered otherwise than as one of the countries of 
America, even if it is not, as we think possible, intended for the 
entire Continent of America. 

We had not known of the old Chinese maps, drawn up so as 
to present Europe and all of Asia, outside of China, as very small 
countries, until our visit to Oxford in 1830. We then copied 
them at the Bodleian Library, and our scholarly friend, Sir 
George Stanton, afterward gave us one of these imperfect maps. 

Upon returning to London, we there sought and found the 
Chinese text of the account translated by M. de Guignes ; for 
the works in which it is found are monopolized at Paris by cer 
tain students of Chinese. We copied this text, and showed it to 



DE PARAVEY S SUPPORT. 51 

Mr. Huttman, then secretary of the English Asiatic Society. He 
recognized in it, as we did, a description of America, or of one 
of its parts, and, in the surprise which he felt, he communicated, 
probably, with M. Klaproth regarding our researches, for we were 
at London again when this Prussian scholar published, in the 
"Nouvelles Annales des Voyages," in the year 1831, a pretended 
refutation of the memoir of M. de Guignes, a refutation which 
he addressed to us, together with a letter of equal length, which 
we may some day publish. Neither this letter nor this printed 
article changed our convictions as to the justice of the views 
of the learned M. de Guignes. We declared them to M. Klap 
roth, and, as he himself undoubtedly felt the feebleness of the 
arguments by which he had endeavoured to prove that this ac 
count of Fu-sang should be understood to refer to Japan, he 
afterward, on this account, as we suppose, wishing to convert 
M. von Humboldt to his false ideas, caused the insertion, in 
Vol. X of the " Nouveau Journal Asiatique de Paris," of the 
letters of the late Pere Gaubil, in which this learned mis 
sionary, without disputing this story, discusses the ideas of M. 
de Guignes, and, not knowing anything then of the maps of 
which we have spoken, appears to be unwilling to admit that 
America, under the name of Fa-sang, or under any other name, 
had been really known to the Buddhists or shamans of High 
Asia since the year 458 A. D. 

Since that time, however, we have endeavoured to prove, by 
an exact calculation of the distance in li t given in this account, 
translated from the Great Annals of China, regarding the country 
of Fu-sang, and by discussing the route traveled to reach it, that 
this country, even following the views of M. Klaproth and of 
Father Gaubil, concerning the Chinese names given to the coun 
try so distant from Kamtchatka, could not be found elsewhere 
than in America. 

According to the shaman or Buddhist monk who made Fu- 
sang known to the Chinese in the year 499 of our era, this coun 
try was at the same time to the east of China, and equally to the 
east of a semi-civilized land known in the Chinese books by 
the name of the country of Ta ;fc, Han g|, or of the " Great 
Hans," a name applied first to the Chinese dynasty of the Hans, 
founded in 206 B. c., after that of the Tsin. 

But, according to the Chinese accounts regarding this coun- 



52 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

try of Ta-han which could be reached either by sea, by setting 
out from Japan and sailing to the northeast, or by land, by set 
ting forth from the sharp bend toward the north which is made 
by the great river Hoang-ho, into the country of the Mongols, 
and passing to the south of Lake Baikal, and then, going the 
same distance to the northeast this country, very distant from 
China, could not be any other than Kamtchatka, also called the 
country of Lieu-kuei, or "Place of Exile" (lieu, $) "of the 
Vicious" (kuei, &), in other Chinese geographies. 

Father Gaubil, in these same letters, published by M. Klap- 
roth, admits this to be the country of Lieu-kuei, for it is said 
that the fact that this country is surrounded by the sea upon 
three sides, as Kamtchatka is, and the distance at which it is 
placed in the geography of the Tang dynasty, also published by 
this learned missionary, both agree in confining the land of 
Lieu-kuei to this extreme point of northeastern Asia. It 
should also be noticed that M. Klaproth himself, in the memoir 
which we refute, when discussing the position of the country of 
Ta-han, declares that this land has also been called the country 
of Lieu-lcuei ; and since, according to Father Gaubil, this 
place is Kamtchatka, the country of Ta-han must answer to the 
southern portion of Kamtchatka, and not to the great island of 
Saghalien or Taraikai, which is found at the east of Tartary, 
opposite the mouth of the Yellow River, the island in which M. 
Klaproth attempts to place it in his " Researches regarding Fu- 
sang" 

It is, also, in Kamtchatka that the celebrated M. de Guignes 
places the country of Ta-han, which the Chinese books, such as 
the Pian-y-tien, the great " Geography of Foreign Nations," a 
valuable work, of which a copy is possessed by the Royal Li 
brary at Paris, represent as inhabited by barbarous men of great 
stature, and with hair very long and in wild disorder. 

And when the shaman Hoei Shin, coming from the country 
of Fii-sang to China, and landing at Klng-cheu, in the prov 
ince of Hu-pe, upon the left bank of the great river Kiang, 
said that "Fu-sang is at the same time to the east of China and 
to the east of the country of Ta-han" or of Kamtchatka, it is evi 
dent that he indicated a very great extension of this country of 
Fu-sang, from north to south ; since Kamtchatka, even in its 
niost southerly part, is very distant to the northeast from China, 



DE PARAVEY S SUPPORT. 53 

even from its northern boundary, and still farther from the river 
Kiang; he speaks, therefore, not of an island; not even of one 
as large as Japan; but of a continent of great extent, such as 
North America. 

So, when we had communicated the memoir of M. de Guignes, 
and its pretended refutation by M. Klaproth, to the celebrated 
navigator M. Dumont d Urville, whose unfortunate loss science 
still deplores, this scholar, who, before his last voyage, had, in 
accordance with our advice, commenced the study of the geo 
graphical books preserved in China, could not restrain a smile of 
pity upon seeing that M. Klaproth had, by main strength, at 
tempted to change this vast continent into a simple province of 
Japan, a country which he himself points out under its true 
name, in another passage of the Great Annals cited by M. de 
Guignes, and where the route is described leading by sea from 
Corea to the country of Ta-han. In order to reach that region, 
the route touches the country of TFb, or of Japan, which was 
already well known to the Chinese in all its parts. The route, 
continuing toward the north, touches at the country of Wen-shin 
(the island of Saghalien) ; then turning to the east, Ta-han or 
Kamtchatka is reached, otherwise called Lieu-kuei. It is evi 
dent that no other land than North America, east of Asia, is suf 
ficiently large to be at the same time to the east of Central China 
and of Kamtchatka : this was not plainly said by M. de Guignes, 
but he evidently perceived it, and the distance also at which 
Fu-sang is placed from the country of Ta-han or Kamtchatka, 
in the account of the shaman, completes the demonstration. 

In fact, he stated this distance of Fu-sang easterly from Ta- 
han at twenty thousand U, and, as the length of the li has fre 
quently been changed in China, M. Klaproth tries, by supposing 
the length to be very small, to make this distance reach only as 
far as Japan ! But, as the direction toward the east still incom 
modes him and causes him to fall into the ocean, because of the 
admission which he makes that Ta-han must be the island of 
Saghalien, he without further ceremony changes this direction 
and turns it around toward the south ; and in this way, by add 
ing one false supposition to another, he arrives at the conclusion 
that the southeastern part of Japan is this country of Fu-sang; 
again assuming that this country had been but recently discov 
ered by the Chinese. 



54. AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

But Father Gaubil, upon whom he otherwise relies, could un 
deceive him and set him right as to the real length of the li. In 
his "Histoire de la Dynastie des Tang," a dynasty that reigned 
shortly after the epoch when the accounts of Ta-han and of Fu- 
sang were inserted in the Great Annals, he said that "fifteen 
thousand li are reckoned as the distance between Persia and the 
city of Sy-ngan-fu," then the capital of China (see "Memoires 
concernant les Chinois," Vol. XV, p. 450). Persia is designated 
in these books as the kingdom of Po-sse, and its capital was 
formerly near Passa-garde and Shiraz or Persepolis. 

Now, toward the northeast, the geographies of the Tang dy 
nasty reckon fifteen thousand li also as the distance from Sy- 
ngan-fu to the country of Lieu-kuei (ib., Vol. XV, p. 453) 
which, according to M. Klaproth, is the same as the country of 
Ta-han & country surrounded by the sea upon three sides, and 
which Father Gaubil asserts, as we have said, to be Kamtchatka. 
If, therefore, we set a pair of compasses upon a terrestrial 
globe, placing the points upon Sy-ngan-fu, then the capital of 
China, and Shiraz or Persepolis, the capital of Po-sse (or Persia), 
and then, keeping one point upon the first-named city, swing the 
other around to the northeast, it will be found to reach to the 
southern part of the land of Kamtchatka, thus proving the accu 
racy of the stated distances. 

The length of the li during this epoch is therefore fixed ; 
hence, one third of the above-named distance represents five 
thousand li, and, adding this to the length of the fifteen thousand 
li above described, the distance of twenty thousand li, which the 
account of the shaman affirms as extending toward the east from 
the country of Ta-han to that of Fu-sang, from which he had 
come, can be reckoned with great accuracy. 

If, then, with the compasses we lay out upon the globe this 
distance of twenty thousand li, setting one point upon the south 
ern end of Kamtchatka (which answers to the country of Lieu- 
Jtuei or of Ta-han), and swinging the other point toward the 
east, we should, if Fu-sang is America, reach at least the western 
coast of this new continent, a coast which, although long known 
to the Asiatics, has, by a sort of fatality, been the last to be ex 
plored by Europeans. Now, in fact, this is just where the point 
of the compasses will reach, and this confirms both the conject 
ures of Buffon and the assertions made by M. de Guignes, based 



DE PAPvAVEY S SUPPORT. 55 

upon the very incorrect maps which were all that could then be 
obtained ; for the arm of the compasses thus reaches to a point 
north of the mouth of the Columbia River, not far from Califor 
nia.* 

This scholar could not then arrive at the same precision that 
is possible for us, since, we repeat, the exact outlines of the 
northwest coast of America near the Aleutian Islands, and even 
those of the country of Kamtchatka, had not, in his days, been 
fully established ; but his merit was on that account even the 
greater, in being the first to recognize the true value of the li at 
that epoch, and to find, in the geographies of China, which had 
been so rarely consulted by European scholars, countries so un 
known to us as Kamtchatka, and the vast American Continent; 
known from ancient times by the wandering tribes of Central 
Asia, but which have only recently been made known to us, by 
the admirable and persevering efforts of an illustrious genius. 

By the aid of the same books preserved in China, and which, 
unfortunately for Europeans, have not been translated, although 
we have possessed them for more than a century, we can show 
that the Meroplde of Ellen is North America ; for the invasion 
of the country of the Hyperboreans, of which this author speaks, 
can not have taken place elsewhere than from North America 
into Kamtchatka, and extending as far as to the banks of the 
great Amoor River, a region in which, according to the old 
Chinese books, there lived a multitude of tribes of which the 
names are scarcely known in Europe to this day, although very 
curious and all significant. 

From the most ancient times, having undoubtedly received 
colonies from Greece and Syria, these happy Hyperboreans sent 
to the temple of Apollo at Delos sheaves of the grain which 
they harvested. 

Herodotus and Pausanias name to us the nations which passed 
these offerings from hand to hand to Greece, and when to what 
we have said are added the accounts of the same nations which 
are given in the Chinese books, we can not avoid the conviction 
that the true land of the Hyperboreans that is to say, of the 
tribes of the northeast can not be situated elsewhere than 
upon the Amoor River, and in the neighbourhood of Corea, 

* In his later essay M. de Paravey corrects this statement, and names San 
Francisco as the point that is reached. E. P. V. 






56 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

countries having an alphabet, and very anciently civilized or 
colonized. 

Through the Hyperboreans, in connection with the ferocious 
tribes of North America, tribes which Elien described under the 
name of Ud%ipog, or " Warriors," the Greeks of ancient times, 
who had carried the culture of the cereals to the banks of the 
Amoor, therefore obtained some knowledge concerning Fa-sang, 
or the Eastern World, that vast continent which, explored from 
the western side by the Phoenicians of Egypt, and afterward by 
the Carthagenians, received the name of Atlantis. 

The flowery imagination of the Asiatics embroidered with 
fables these accounts of a world so distant, and which could only 
be reached by incurring very great dangers ; but the curious 
monuments of Palenque in Guatemala, and those not less impor 
tant which M. de Waldeck sketched in Yucatan, demonstrate 
positively the ancient relations between Central Asia, India, and 
Europe, and America, or Meropide, the true land of Fu-sang. 

The Shan-hai-Jcing, an old mythological geography of Chi 
na, the Li-sao, and other Chinese books, relate fables also regard 
ing the valley of Tang-Jcu, or of the Hot Springs, from which 
the sun appears to issue ; it rises then in the country of Fa-sang, 
where the mulberries grow to a prodigious height. It is said 
that the people of Fu-sang eat the fruit of these mulberries in 
order to become immortal, that they can fly in the air, and that 
the silk-worms of these trees, enormous also, inclose themselves 
in cocoons of monstrous size. 

All these fables are founded upon the name sang, |p:, of the 
mulberry, which enters into " Fu,-sang" the Chinese name of 
America ; and this can be explained from an examination of the 
Mythriac monuments, sculptures of Eastern Asia, in which there 
may always be observed upon the right the sun rising behind a 
tree such as the mulberry. This is nothing else, in fact, than the 
representation of the hieroglyphic character preserved in China 
to express the East, a character which is pronounced tong, jf[, 
and which is formed by drawing the symbol of the sun, Q ji, be 
hind that of a tree, fa mo ; the sun in rising showing its disk, in 
fact, behind the trees. 

Tacitus, in his " Germanicus," relates fables, also, in regard to 
the country where the sun sets, in explaining the sparkling 
when its fires penetrate the ocean ; but his admirable work has 



DE PARAVEY S SUPPORT. 57 

been none the less constantly read and consulted since his time, 
and these marvelous tales have not caused the denial of the 
existence of the region of which he speaks. 

But the account of the shaman Hoei Skin regarding Fu-sang 
offers none of these fables ; and, if it places a tree of this name 
in America, it describes it as a plant having red fruit in the 
form of a pear, a shrub, of which the young shoots are eaten ; 
and of which the bark is prepared like that of hemp, of which 
cloth, clothing, and even paper are made : for the inhabitants 
of this country had a method of writing, says this account, and, 
in fact, books and a species of writing are found in America, in 
Mexico, and elsewhere. 

In the Chinese botanical books the name of fu-sang, which 
may be translated as "the serviceable, useful mulberry" (these 
adjectives conveying the meaning of "fu"), is given now to the 
Jcetime, or hibiscus rosa sinensis, a plant brought from Persia to 
China, as we learn from Father Cabot, and which has been 
grafted upon the mulberry. 

But M. Klaproth, by some mistake, has been led to see in 
this plant the paper-mulberry, of which, in fact, cloth and cloth 
ing are also made ; while others find in it the metl or maguey of 
Mexico, but badly described ; for this plant also gives cloth and 
paper, it furnishes a sort of wine and food, and is pre-eminently 
useful. 

In truth, this name Fu-8ang expresses only the name of the 
Extreme East, for in the ancient hieroglyphic geography the Cen 
tral Kingdom is called, as it now is in China, Chong-hoa, or 
"the Central Flower," and the four cardinal countries have the 
name of the Sse-fu, or " the Four Auxiliary Countries," composed 
of the four principal petals of the nelumbo, the mystic flower, 
the flower of the middle, the sacred lotus, type of ancient Egypt 
and of the earth, par excellence. 

India offers this geographical symbol to us again, and the 
ancient Chinese maps call the countries of the north, Fu-yu ; 
those of the south, Fti-nan / those of the west, Fu-lin (that is to 
say, the Ta-tsin, the Roman Empire) ; and, finally, those of the 
east, Fu-sang. Now, to the east of China there is no other ex 
tensive land than America ; and, if Jeipan lias ever been also 
given this name of Fu-sang, it is because it is to the east of 
China ; but the Japanese Encyclopaedia, which should have been 



5 8 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

consulted by M. Klaproth, who attempted to support his opinion 
by this name erroneously applied to this country, says that it is 
not the true country of Fu-sang. 

The banana, the pi-sang tree of the Malays, may also be 
one of the trees called fu-sang, for these trees, as well as the 
flowers of the nelumbo, or rose-lotus of Egypt, where the young 
Horus is seen to spring that is to say, where the sun is born, 
are types of the East, All this, we repeat, is merely a natural 
series of symbols employed in the ancient and hieroglyphic 
geography, which is too little studied. 

The account translated by M. de Guignes also places many 
pu-tao, or grapes, in the country of Fu-sang. M. de Guignes 
translated the two characters separately, understanding pu to 
mean the iris, and tao the peach. M. Klaproth has properly 
rectified this, but with singular thoughtlessness he forgets that 
the forests of North America abound in several species of 
wild vines, and that the Scandinavians placed the country of 
Vin-land (the Land of Vines) in the northeastern part of the 
continent. He therefore denies the existence of the vine in 
America, and, relying especially upon this passage, he concludes 
that Fu-sang must be Japan, where the vine, as he says, had 
existed for a long time, although in China it had not been intro 
duced from Western Asia until the year 126 before our era. It 
can therefore be seen how feeble his attempted refutation of M. 
de Guignes is, even when the last is mistaken ; and his memoir, 
as a whole, offers no more forcible arguments. 

When the shaman said that iron was lacking in Fu-sang, but 
that copper was found, and that gold and silver were not valued 
(because of their abundance, no doubt), he repeats what Plato 
said of Atlantis, and what has been reiterated in all accounts 
regarding America ; a celebrated river of the northern part of 
this continent bears the name of the Coppermine River, and 
copper is also very abundant in Peru. 

It is also stated that the inhabitants of Fu-sang raised herds of 
deer and made cheese from the milk of the hinds; and in the Chi 
nese and Japanese Encyclopaedias, as also in the Pian-y-tien, 
when the figure of an inhabitant of Fu-sang is given, he is drawn, 
in fact, as engaged in milking a hind having small round spots, 
and in the two Encyclopaedias this is given as forming the char 
acteristic peculiarity of this country of Fu-sang. Philostratus, in 



DE PAKAVEY S SUPPORT. 



59 



his " Life of Apollonius," mentioned tribes in India who raised 
hinds for their milk, and the thing is not so common as to fail 
to be remarked, but herds of hinds have also been found in 
America in our days ; for Valmont de Bomare, in the article 
entitled " Deer," says : " The Americans have herds of deer 
and of hinds running in the woods throughout the day and at 
night re-entering their stables. Several tribes of America have 
no other milk," he adds, " than that obtained from their hinds, 
and of which they also make cheese." 

It appears, therefore, that he translates by these words what 
JEToei Shin said in 499 A. D. concerning the nations of Fa-sang 
and in calling attention to the fact that this usage formerly ex 
isted in India, it was not without design, for the same shaman 
affirms that the religion of Buddha (an Indian religion) had been 
carried to the country of Fin-sang, in the year 458 of our era, by 
five monks of Ky-pin> or of Cophene, an Indian country. He 
says that the tribes, from that time converted by them, had nei 
ther military weapons nor troops, and, like the Argippeans (of 
whom Herodotus speaks), that they did not make war ; he adds, 
finally, that they had a species of writing and worshiped images 
that is to say, that they were true Buddhists. 

That which is said regarding the cattle with long horns that 
carried heavy burdens upon their heads, and of carts to which 
horses, cattle, and deer were harnessed, offers, as it appears, the 
only difficulty ; but the bisons with manes and with enormous 
heads, found in North America, may have been the cause of this 
eiToneous statement, and, but for the evasion of the description, 
the Chinese name Ma, which is applied to horses, asses, and 
camels, and which forms the radical of useful animals of this 
nature, might be given, even although it were wrongfully, to 
the llamas and alpacas already domesticated perhaps in South 
America, which also was included in Fa-sang. 

It may be possible, moreover, that horses had been introduced 
before this epoch into Northwestern America, which is hardly 
known even in our days, and where tribes are mentioned which 
use them ; and where teams of reindeers, like those of Kam- 
tchatka, may also be seen. It is true that it has been supposed 
that these horses are descended from those brought to Mexico 
by the Spaniards ; but this has not been proved : and even if we 
suppose them to be of European origin, an epidemic or a de- 



GO AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

str active war may, since the fifth century, have destroyed the 
domesticated horses brought to Fu-sang by the Tartars and the 
Buddhists of Asia. 

The people of Fa-sang had no other habitations than villages 
of wooden cabins, such as have been found near the Columbia 
River, to the northwest of California ; and, to obtain a wife, 
the young men of the country were obliged to serve their be 
trothed for an entire year. Now (in the "Collection of The- 
venot"), this is precisely what Palafox says of the American 
Indians, whose manners he describes ; and this custom also ex 
ists in the extreme northeastern countries of Asia, countries 
from which America may be reached, as we have said. 

Other details of their customs seem to be borrowed from the 
Chinese civilization, especially the cycle of ten years, or perhaps 
even of sixty years as M. de Humboldt has in fact described 
among the Muyscas of the plateau of Bogota, in South America, 
the usage of the cycle of sixty years and of institutions analogous 
to those of the Buddhism of Japan. The cycle of Fa-sang , bear 
ing the names of the ten Chinese Kans, served to mark the suc 
cessive colours of the king s garments, colours which were changed 
every two years, just as is prescribed for the Emperor of China 
by the chapter yue-ling of the Lil-ki, or "Sacred Book of Rites." 

But the so-called Chinese cycles, which gave their alphabets 
to the most ancient nations of Syria, Phoenicia, and India, as well 
as to those of Greece, as we have elsewhere shown (see our " Es 
say upon the Common and Hieroglyphic Origin of the Figures 
and of the Letters," Paris, 1826; and the article, entitled " Japan 
ese Origin of the Muyscas," in the " Annales de Philosophie 
Chretienne," Vol. X, page 8, where the figures of the cycles may 
be found), may have been carried to Fu-sang quite as well from 
Central Asia, or from India, as from China, as they were never 
unknown to the Buddhists or shamans. 

We might also discuss the sound of the titles given to the 
king and nobility of the country of Fu-sang / but these discus 
sions would carry us too far, and we will merely call attention 
to the fact that the title of the king was I-ky, a sound which 
seems connected with the name of the Jfic-sos, the pastoral 
kings of Egypt who came from Asia, and the last syllable with 
Ric, the name of the Gothic kings, who also came from the 
north of Asia ; and possibly also with that of Cacique* the title 



DE PARAVEY S SUPPORT. Cl 

of the chiefs of the islands of America, and with that of the 
Arikis, or kings of the islands of Oceanica. 

We will therefore confine ourselves to discussing the conclu 
sion of this account of Fit-sang. 

" Formerly," says Hoei Shin, " the religion of Buddha did 
not exist in this country ; but in the Song dynasty (in 458 A. D. 
a precise date here), five Pi-kieu, or priests of the country 
of Ky-pin (a country in which Father Gaubil sees Samarcand, 
and M. de Remusat sees the ancient Cophene, near India), came 
to Fu-sang, carrying with them their books and sacred images, 
and their ritual, and established monastic customs, and so 
changed the manners of the inhabitants." 

Accordingly, Hoei Shin, a shaman himself, who came to 
China in 499, forty-eight years after this conversion of the peo 
ple of Fu-sang, declared that then the people of that country 
worshiped the images of spirits at morning and night and did 
not wage war. 

It is said that proselytism is one of the duties of the Bud 
dhist priests and monks. It is therefore not surprising to see 
them set forth from Central Asia, and cross the seas and the 
most dangerous countries, in order to convert the savage tribes 
of America, a country already well known to them and to the 
Arabs and Persians of Samarcand. 

This can no longer be considered doubtful, since M. de Wai- 
deck has sketched an old temple or monastery of Yucatan, a 
large square inclosure accompanied by pyramids analogous to 
those of the Buddhists of Pegu, Ava, Siam, and the Indian Ar 
chipelago, and which can be studied in all their details. 

A multitude of niches, in which the figure of the celebrated 
god Buddha sits with crossed-legs, exist in Java, all around the 
ancient temple of Boru Buddha ; and upon examination of the 
temple of Yucatan, of which M. de Waldeck has published 
beautiful drawings, we find there the same niches in which sits 
the same god Buddha, and also find other figures of East Indian 
origin, such as the frightful head of Siva, a flattened and de 
formed head which surmounts each of these niches. 

We can not affirm, however, that these temples of Yucatan 
were as old as the account of Fa-sang, as we have no description 
of other buildings in this country than wooden cabins ; but, per 
secuted by the Brahmans of India, the Buddhists may have been 



02 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

compelled, at several different times, to seek an asylum in Fa- 
sang, or America, and possibly even went to Bogota and as far 
as to Peru, where the manners of the people have been found to 
be so gentle and so analogous to those of the Buddhists. 

In the same manner they civilized the wild tribes of the In 
dian Archipelago, and of the countries between India and China, 
and built temples and pyramids such as those of which we find 
the remains, as in Java, or those which are still standing and 
venerated, as in Pegu and Siam. 

China received the Buddhist religion soon after the com 
mencement of the Christian era, under Ming-ti, of the Han dy 
nasty ; Corea in the year 372 A. D. ; Fa-sang -, as we have said, 
in the year 458 ; and Japan, finally, not until 552, when the Japa 
nese received it from Corea and from the kingdom of JPe-tsi, a 
land situated in the neighbourhood of the Amoor River and of 
Corea, and an ancient center of civilization. 

It is from Corea, say the Chinese books, that the country of 
Ta-lian can be reached, from which, sailing to the east, one ar 
rives at America that is to say, at Fa-sang. On the voyage one 
touches at Japan, and, without doubt, sails along its shores in 
order to reach the island of Saghalien upon the north, from 
which the route turns to the east toward Kamtchatka or 
Ta-han. 

But in the curious " History of the Chichimecas," published 
in the collection of M. Ternaux, Ixtlilxochitl, the author, a na 
tive American, says that the Toltecs came by sea from Japan 
to America, landing upon the northwest coast, and in a country 
having a red soil, such as that near the Gila River, where also 
an ancient monument is mentioned, called the House of Motecu- 
zuma. 

He had seen in Mexico the Japanese sent to Rome by the 
missionaries ; and in these modern Japanese he recognized the 
features and the costume of the Toltecs of whom he spoke ; 
now he fixed their migration in the fifth century of our era. 
He is therefore found to be in perfect accord with the Chinese 
accounts, concerning the different voyages to America ; for Ja 
pan, as we have already said, is situated upon the route by sea 
from Corea to the country of Ta-han, the southern part of 
Kamtchatka, situated in a high latitude, and where, as it is said, 
the prevailing winds are from the west and the northwest, so 



DE PARAVEY S SUPPORT. 



63 



that they would naturally carry a vessel toward Fu-sang, or 
North America, a country situated to the east. 

The Buddhistic monuments of Yucatan ; the history that 
has been preserved of the migration of the Toltecs from Japan 
to America ; the Chinese accounts of the country of Ta-han, 
and of the vast country of Fu-sang, which were given by the 
Buddhists who left this country of America, and arrived at 
China by way of Japan : all are therefore in perfect accord. 
This passage, ly way of Japan, explains, moreover, how, as 
we showed in 1835, in an article entitled " Dissertation sur les 
Muyscas," inserted in the " Annales de Philosophic Chretienne," 
cited above, and also published separately, at Paris, under the 
title " Memoire sur 1 Origine Japanoise des Peuples du Plateau 
de Bogota," the numerals and many words of the language of 
the Muyscas, a tribe living upon the plains of Bogota, are found 
also in the present language of the Japanese. 

Just as the Scandinavians, at a much later date, descended 
from the northeastern coast of the New World, and from Vinland, 
where they established a settlement, as far as to Brazil in South 
America, where their monuments have been found, so, a thousand 
years before the Spaniards, but landing upon the northwestern 
coast, the Buddhists of India (then persecuted by the Brahmans), 
the colonies of Japan and of the nations living upon the banks of 
the Amoor (the ancient country of the Hyperboreans), may have 
penetrated to Mexico, to Yucatan, to the country of Guatemala 
and to Palenque, to the kingdom of Cundinamarca, and finally 
to the rich and civilized kingdom of Peru. The celebrated M. 
von Humboldt has very well shown the connection of race, of 
civilization, and of cycles, manners and usages, which unites the 
tribes of these last countries to those of Tartary and of Asia ; 
but, by following Father Gaubil (to whom America was but little 
known) and M. Klaproth, in denying the identity of America 
with Fu-sang, he deprived himself of the most powerful argu 
ments in support of his views, and could not fix any precise date 
for these migrations. 

We hope that, if he reads this short memoir, he will render 
more justice to the truth of the discoveries of the celebrated M. 
de Guignes, the profound sinologue from whose works M. Klap 
roth drew a great part of his learning, and which, upon that ac 
count, the latter should not so greatly traduce. 



64. AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

We have wished, in this brief extract from our researches 
regarding America, to render justice to this learned and mod 
est author of the " History of the Huns." As he was, so are 
we, oppressed by contemptible coteries ; but we hope that some 
day more justice may be shown to the researches which have oc 
cupied our best years. 

CHEVALIER DE PARAVEY. 
August, 1843. 



APPENDIX 

Gives M. Klaprottis article as far as the end of the translation of the 
Chinese account of Fu-sang ; and M. de Paravey adds the following 
additional notes : 

1. The celebrated Ma Twan-lin, so esteemed by M. Remusat, has also 
given this account (of Fu-sang} in his Wen-hien-tong-lcao, with some 
variations in the readings ; and it is this which has been translated by M. 
de Guignes. It is also repeated in the celebrated Chinese Encyclopaedia, 
entitled Yuen-lden-tui-han, in which we found it in London in 1830, 
and in the Pian-y-tien, or " Geography of Foreign Nations " ; and copies 
of all these highly esteemed works exist in Paris. 

2. M. de Paravey, in regard to the characters Jfc |jj| (Fu-sang), has 
observed that Father Goncalves, in his highly esteemed Portuguese- 
Chinese Dictionary, translated the name Fu-sang by Papula cornuda, the 
argemone, or prickly-poppy of Mexico. This learned missionary, there 
fore, considered it a plant or shrub of America ; and this single definition 
may be considered as proving that the country of Fu-sang corresponds to 
some part of Mexico. 

3. The laws of Fu-sang, which punish the children and descendants 
of a great criminal, have existed in China from time immemorial, and also 
in the countries of Asia which are tributary to China. 

4. M. Klaproth recognizes the existence in Fu-sang of the Chinese 
cycle of sixty years ; but the researches of Father Souciet show that it 
existed also in India, and, in the "Journal Asiatique," of Paris, M. de 
Paravey has shown that it commenced in India and in China in precisely 
the same year. The Buddhists of India, or of the northern part of Cen 
tral Asia, may therefore have carried it to the country of Fu-sang, in 
America, and to Mexico. 

5. In India, it is said, there are cattle which are harnessed to carts ; and 
in Kamtchatka there are reindeer, a species of stag, which draw sledges. 

6. In the text, M. Klaproth, in spite of all that he says in his foot- 



DE PARAVEY S SUPPORT. 65 

note, should, as we have stated in oar memoir, translate the words M . 
tao (which he writes phou-thao) by "grapes," and not by the word 
" vines," which, among us, conveys the idea of culture. The woods of 
North America, in its northern and northwestern parts, abound in wild 
grapes, as the shaman says ; but cultivated vines were not found in Amer 
ica, and the text, in fact, does not say that they were. 

7. The custom which required the king not to occupy himself with 
state affairs during the first three years of his reign was also an ancient 
custom in China and in Indo-China. 

8. In support of his ideas, M. de Guignes has translated another pass 
age of the Nan-szu, which gives the route by sea from Corea to the 
country of Ta-Tian. M. Klaproth also translates this passage, which gives 
the distance from Ping-yang, the ancient capital of Corea, to Japan as 
12,000 li; from that country to the land of the Wen-shin as 7,000 li; 
and from the last-named region to the country of Ta-han, 5,000 li. 

In applying to this route by sea the same scale (as to the length of 
the li) which is found from the stated distance between Persepolis and 
Sy-ngan-fu, M. de Paravey found in fact that the distance between the 
mouths of the Amoor River, or the end of the island of Saghalien (which 
was the country of Wen-shin), and the southern part of Kamtchatka, or 
the land of Ta-Jian, is by this route 5,000 li; and he also found 7,000 li 
to be the distance between Yedo, the capital of Japan, and the mouths of 
the Amoor River. 

The description of the route is therefore exact in these two parts ; and 
if it first states 12,000 li as the distance by sea between Japan and the 
capital of Corea, situated upon its west coast (which is evidently too 
great a distance), it is because the route to Japan first led to the Lieu- 
Ueu Islands, which are in fact situated 5,000 li from Japan and 7,000 
from Corea : either this detour must be allowed, or else the length of the 
li must be regarded as very small; but Ta-han is none the less in Kam 
tchatka. And in all the hypotheses it is impossible that Japan, here de 
scribed by its own name, and a country perfectly well known, could have 
contained Fu-sang, as M. Klaproth wishes to prove. 

9. A single word, when it is well chosen, amounts sometimes to a 
demonstration. In the Dictionary of the Language of Mexico, by the Pere 
Molina, a dictionary of which a copy is preserved in the British Museum 
at London, we have found that the word lama, or tlama, expresses the 
title of the " medicine-men " among the Mexicans ; and no one is ignorant 
that in Thibet and Tartary the lamas, or Buddhist priests, are at the 
same time the physicians of these countries (so little known) through 
which lay the route from India to Fu-sang. 

CHEVALIER DE PAEAVEY. 
March 7, 1844. 
5 



CHAPTER V. 
DE PARAVEY S NEW PROOFS. 

De Paravey s researches preceded those of Neumann and d Eichthal Connection 
between the Malay and American languages Fu-sang located near San Fran 
cisco Chinese picture of a native of Fu-sang Spotted deer Cattle-horns in 

Mexico Horses Nations of Northern Asia Appendix A Buddhist monu 
ments in America A figure of Buddha in Yucatan The worship of Siva 
The explorations of Dupaix Foot-print in the rocks The cause of eclipses 
Pyramids Appendix B A Buddhist sanctuary near the Colorado River 
The name Quatu-zaca The Mexicans emigrants from the north Appendix 
C An engraving of a native of Fu-sang The natives of Oregon The deer 
of America Connection of American and Asiatic tribes Pearl-fishing The 
cochineal insect and the nopal The people of Cophene American place- 
names which appear to contain the name Sakya. 

New Proofs that the Country of Fu-sang mentioned in the Chi 
nese Books is America. 

To the Proprietor of the "Annales de Philosophie Chretienne " : 
SIR : Until we have in France a minister who realizes the 
great importance of Persia, India, and China, and who will 
properly organize that Asiatic Society of which I, with Messrs, 
de Sacy and de Chezy, was among the founders ; until sufficient 
funds are given to the society to secure for it a building of its own 
and a librarian ; and until it is given as its president a man who, 
like Lord Aukland, Director of the Asiatic Society of London, 
is able by his wealth and influence to unite and utilize all the 
educated Orientalists who now, divided among themselves, exist 
in Paris and in France I shall take pleasure in contributing to 
your journal, because it is not submissive to any commission 
or any coterie, as has been well shown during the seventeen 
years of its existence, and as is shown, again, by its publication 
of my various essays, very imperfect, as I well know, but which, 
.as a whole, will some day form a mass of facts as novel as posi- 



DE PARAVEY S NEW PROOFS. 57 

tive. With your sound judgment you have appreciated the 
force of my " Description of the Origin of the Letters," of which 
the " Journal Asiatique," of Paris, has never had a single word 
to say, but which the celebrated Dr. Young approved and upon 
which M. Princeps is engaged. 

In 1844 you published my " Dissertation upon American 
Fu-sang." You have also carefully criticised the articles re 
garding the East which M. Mohl has been giving for some 
years past in the "Journal Asiatique," and I thank you for 
having called attention, in a note to the article of 1845, to 
the fact that I had also discussed the delicate and important 
question regarding the location of the celebrated country of 
Fu-sang. M. Walcknaer has told me that M. Remusat trans 
lated the Chinese texts regarding Fu-sang for him. I do not 
know whether or not M. Walcknaer, that erudite geographer, 
has expressed any opinion upon the subject ; neither do I know 
what the learned Viscount of Santarem thinks about it : but that 
which I do know, and which I ask you to publish, is that M. 
Neumann, quoted by M. Mohl, did not publish his dissertation 
at Munich in 1845 until after having seen me at London in 
1830- 31, upon his return from China, and after having learned 
from Mr. Huttman, then Secretary of the Asiatic Society of Lon 
don, that I was engaged upon an extensive work upon this 
account of Fu-sang, of which I had found the Chinese text in 
England, the copy at Paris being taken by M. Klaproth. 

It is the same regarding M. d Eichthal, quoted by M. Mohl. 
At the Asiatic Society (September, 1840) and at the Geographi 
cal Society also, in the same year, M. d Eichthal heard a note 
which I read regarding this country, and saw the transcript 
which I presented of the figures of Buddha and of Siva, first 
recognized by me in the beautiful work of M. de Waldeck upon 
the ruins of Uxmal in Yucatan. You yourself then saw the dif 
ferent drawings and designs, and M. Burnouf, Jr., recognized, 
like me and after me, the figures of Buddha and of Siva. 

How could M. Mohl have been ignorant of these facts, so well 
known at that time ? How could he have given M. d Eichthal 
the credit without mentioning me ? I do not know. Neither 
could I have known of the memoir of M. d Eichthal or the dis 
sertation of M. Neumann, which date only from 1845, while my 
articles were published in your journal in 1843 and 1844, and I 



68 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

am the first to pray you, sir, to translate or criticise their argu 
ments ; for the subject is, as I repeat, very important. 

Bernardin de Saint Pierre, in his " Harmonies de la Nature," 
had already indicated the migrations toward the east of the 
nations of India and of Oceanica, arriving thus at America to 
the north of Peru ; and M. the Admiral de Rossel, the celebrated 
navigator and courteous and loyal scholar, has mentioned the 
Sandwich Islands as the ancient half-way port between India, 
China, and America, a theory which is renewed in this day. 

M. de Saint Pierre, in his " tudes de la Nature " (Eleventh 
Study, and Note 49, edition of 1836, first volume), has spoken also 
of numerous points of connection found by a very old author 
between the Malays and the Peruvians ; and my numerous ex 
tracts from the " Dictionary of the Quichua Language of Peru," 
a dictionary of which a copy is preserved in the Royal Library 
at Paris, have confirmed these points of connection with the Ma 
lay spoken at Java. M. d Eichthal has therefore entered upon a 
good road ; but I have the priority, and M. de Avezac, to whom 
I have often spoken of these matters, may have conversed with 
him also and described to him my studies. 

You speak here of my " Dissertation upon Fu-sang," which, 
before it was printed, was the inciting cause of M. Klaproth s 
article in 1831, as I have shown in my memoir. Permit me, sir, 
to correct that dissertation by some new and very important 
notes. I said that the ships of Kamtchatka, constructed in that 
place by the Buddhists, who came there from Cabul, carried 
them to America near the mouth of the Columbia ; but I wrote 
then far from my books and without a terrestrial globe, and I 
therefore examined the matter again in 1844, and found that I 
had placed the point of their arrival a little too far north. 

The beautiful work of M. Duflot de Mofras upon Oregon 
(Paris, 1844), a work which I have read and analyzed, conducts 
me to the excellent port of San Francisco, to the south of the 
Columbia River, as the point of arrival of the Indian Buddhists 
of Cabul. 

According to the scale of 15,000 li, reckoned by the Chinese 
between Persia and the city of Sy-ngan-fu, and also reckoned 
between this city and the southern point of Kamtchatka or of 
Ta-han, the distance of 20,000 li between Kamtchatka and Fu- 
sang, measured upon a terrestrial globe, reaches precisely to this 



DE PARAVEY S NEW PROOFS. (59 

point ; and M. de Mofras says that the northwestern winds which 
prevail at San Francisco during a great part of the year would 
bring one there easily from the northeastern coast of Asia. 

There, ships enter without difficulty, while the bar at the 
mouth of the Columbia is very difficult to cross, at least for 
large vessels. Still, this natural entrance to the beautiful coun 
try of Oregon may also have been known of old. 

In the figure of the half - clothed, half -civilized American 
of Fu-sang, which is given in the " Pian-y-tien" and also in 
the Chinese Encyclopaedia, this native is seen milking a young 
hind with white spots, and her fawn is equally spotted. I 
sought in vain for any account of this kind of spotted deer in 
America, until, upon re-reading M. von Humboldt s works, I 
noticed that the Cervus Mexicanus of Linnaeus is spotted like 
our European roe-deer, and that the spots are particularly notice 
able while the animal is young. This species of deer is found in 
America, and in Mexico in particular, in immense numbers, says 
M. von Humboldt, as well as a large deer similar to ours, and 
often entirely white ; a deer which is found in the Andes, where 
it also runs in herds. These last, therefore, recall the white and 
tame hinds which are milked by the Indians of the Himalaya, 
as we are told by Philostratus in his "Life of Apollonius of 
Tyane," for these people, being Buddhists, deprive themselves of 
meat, and live upon fruits and dishes made from milk. 

The account of Fu-sang speaks also of cattle with very long 
horns, that are domesticated by the natives of that country. 
Now, M. von Humboldt says that the bisons of Canada are 
often broken to the yoke and that they breed with our Euro 
pean cattle. 

These bisons weigh as much as two thousand pounds or 
more, but their horns are small ; whereas he says that cattle- 
horns of a monstrous size have been found in ruined monuments 
near Cuernavaca, in the southwestern part of Mexico. He refers 
these horns to the musk-ox of the extreme north of America ; 
but M. de Castelnau, in his courageous exploration near the 
Amazon and in Paraguay, found cattle with very long horns, 
besides another species with small horns, which ran with them 
in the same plains. 

The account of Fii-sang is therefore confirmed upon this point ; 
but there is certainly some error in the text when it is said that 



70 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

upon these long horns the cattle carried a weight of twenty ho 
(the Chinese " ho " being a weight of one hundred and twenty 
pounds) that is to say, a total weight of twenty-four hundred 
pounds ! It should be said that they weighed, per head, at least 
twenty-four hundred pounds, and not that this enormous burden 
was placed upon their horns ; that would be impossible. 

The horses mentioned in this account seem alone to have 
been lacking in America ; but the Patagonians, true Tartars, are 
always on horseback, and there is nothing to prove that they had 
not preserved among them some descendants of the horses which 
the bonzes of India brought to Mt-sang, and which the boats of 
Kamtchatka had perhaps taken from Tartary. 

I will give you some day an article about the tribes of the 
extreme north of Asia, having large boats and very short nights 
during summer. 

A hundred times wiser than M. Klaproth, M. de Guignes, Sr., 
in his memoir regarding Fu-sang, by a few words referred to 
this nation with large boats, and of whom the name Ku-tu-moei 
that is to say, " Having the Nights very short in Summer " 
indicates the position to be near the Arctic circle. 

There is an account of this nation in the work of Ma Twan- 
lin, entitled " Wen-hien-tong-kao" and I have extracted what 
he says upon the subject. 

I have shown elsewhere that the passage from Europe to 
America by the way of Northern Siberia must then have been 
practicable, this sea being gradually filled up with the detritus 
of great rivers which fall into it, and in this way it freezes more 
and more each year, for it is known that deep seas do not freeze. 
All these facts open new and important questions, and your use 
ful and weighty journal may well treat them. 

Accept, etc., CHEVALIER DE PARA VET. 

SAINT GERMAIN, April 24, 1847. 



DE PARAVEY S NEW PROOFS. fj 

APPENDIX A. 

IN EEGAED TO THE MEMOIR OF M. D EICHTHAL MENTIONED BY M. MOHL. 

Proof given in 1840 of the Introduction of the Worship of Buddha into 
America ly Means of the East Indians of Cabul. 

To the President of the Academy of Sciences : 

DID certain bonzes of India, setting forth from Central Asia, in the 
year 458 of oar era, go to America by the way of Kamtchatka and the 
northwestern part of the New World, in order to convert the nations that 
lived there, and of which the existence has been known ever since? 

This is what is affirmed by the learned M. de Guignes, Sr., in the 
"Memoires de F Academic des Inscriptions," where he has given a trans 
lation of the account of the voyage of these East Indian bonzes, taken 
from the Great Annals of China. 

This has been since denied by M. Klaproth and M. von Humboldt, who 
base their opinion upon some doubts expressed by the scholarly Father 
Gaubil, who had not sufficiently studied the question. I desire to state 
my reasons for answering this question in the affirmative. I have no 
doubt upon the subject, since discussing it with the learned Admiral M. 
de Rossel, and exhaustively studying the memoir of M. de Guignes con 
cerning the navigations of the Chinese to the celebrated eastern land 
which they called the country of Fu-sang, and which they placed some 
two thousand leagues to the east of the shores of their empire and of 
Tartary. But as neither my mere assertions nor those of others should 
receive any more favourable consideration than has been given to the ex 
cellent work of M. de Guignes, Sr., and as the Academy of Sciences wishes 
facts rather than words, I will call attention to the monuments of a portion 
of Central America, hitherto almost unknown, at least in regard to its an 
tiquities ; monuments to which I have already called the attention of the 
Asiatic Society of Paris, of M. Burnouf, Jr., and of M. the Chevalier Jaubert, 
and which they have agreed with me in recognizing as purely Buddhistic. 

M. the Baron van der Cappelen, living near Utrecht, Holland, has 
shown me large drawings of the temple of Boro-Boudor in Java, brought 
from India by him. This ancient temple is circular, and is ornamented 
with thousands of small, beautiful niches, in which the figure of the cele 
brated Indian god Buddha sits cross-legged, each niche being surmounted 
by the monstrous and deformed head of Siva. 

I could show the same idols in ancient Egypt, and at Axum, in Abys 
sinia ; but, in looking over the beautiful work of M. Waldeck, the skillful 
artist and distinguished disciple of David, who was sent to Yucatan by the 
generous and unfortunate Lord Kingsborough, I was surprised to see upon 
the sketch of the southern facade of the vast square palace of the ruins of 
Uxmal, near Merida, eight niches of the Indian Buddha, figured seated 



as n 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

Java, in the East Indies, and with the face decorated with coarse rays 
surrounding it, and to see in addition a monstrous and flattened human 
head surmounting the square niche and the cabin or house in which this 
Indian Buddha is seated. 

The resemblance of this Buddha of Yucatan with the figure of the 
Buddha of Java, published in "Crawfurd s Indian Archipelago" (vol. ii, 
p. 206), is such that M. Burnouf at first believed my sketches of the 
ancient palace of Uxmal in Yucatan, sketches copied from Plate xvii of 
M. Waldeck s, to be of purely East Indian and Siamese origin, and not 
American. 

M. Burnouf knew that the worship of the monstrous Siva accompanied, 
even in Siam and Nepal, the gentler worship of Buddha, and that their 
images are often coupled, as in the temple of Boro-Boudor, in ancient 
Java, in the Indian Archipelago, and as in particular Typhon and the 
young Horus were coupled in ancient Egypt. 

We find again, in the center of America, the same two figures, also 
coupled, exactly copied, and, to the number of eight, ornamenting the 
southern facade of an Oriental temple ; thus, as it seems to me, clearly 
demonstrating the truth of the account of the voyage to Fu-sang, in 
the year 458 A. D., translated from the Chinese by M. de Guignes, and 
attributed to five Buddhists who set forth from Ky-pin or Cophene that 
is to say, from the country of Cabul in India. 

In the "Annales de Philosophie Chretienne," vol. xii, p. 441, where an 
analysis is given of the "Antiquites du Mexique," by Dupaix, the ex 
plorations are mentioned which he made at Zachilla, the capital of the 
ancient kingdom of the Zapotecs, where he found upon a rock the imprint 
of a gigantic foot, an imprint in which M. de Paravey sees an imitation 
of that which is worshiped upon Adam s Peak in Ceylon, and of which 
the nations of Ava and Pe"gu, of the Buddhist religion, have also similar 
imitations; in addition, Colonel Dupaix also found in this place an idol, 
seated, the hands crossed upon the breast, and which can be nothing else 
than one of the figures of Sakya, or Buddha. 

There, according to the " Journey of the Shamans," since translated by 
M. Re"musat, was the country of Buddhism, and of the monstrous idola 
tries of India ; deplorable alterations from the pure worship founded in 
Indo-Persia by Shem, in whom we see the celebrated ffeu-tsi of the Chi 
nese. 

There we hear of the two imaginary planets Ragu and Cet u, the head 
and tail of the dragon, the nodes of the moon, the cause of eclipses, 
and the place of the conjunctions ; and these planets are drawn at full 
length upon the western facade of the palace of Uxmal in Yucatan, being 
interlaced so as to form knots or nodes, and having feathers instead of 
scales, thus showing that they are intended for aerial beings. All this 
points to an ancient hieroglyphic astronomy, in which the spirals of the 



DE PARA VET S NEW PROOFS. 73 

sun, in its apparent course from one tropic to the other, are symbolized 
by a dragon or a vast boa-constrictor, a thing quite natural as an image. 

So, in Chinese, or ancient Babylonian, an eclipse of the sun is written 
by a picture of the sun eaten by a dragon, or serpent, and an eclipse 
of the moon by the figure of the moon eaten by a dragon. In Chinese 
ji 0, chi fji, is an eclipse of the sun, and yue ^, chi f, an eclipse of 
the moon ; these phrases being used to convey the idea that the heavenly 
bodies are swallowed little by little Chi, ^ ("Diet. Chin.," No. 9505), 
the phonetic, means "to eat," and when this is united with the radi 
cal chong, &, that of the serpent, the two together signify " to eat little 
by little as the boas swallow their food." Notwithstanding the fact that 
the art of calculating eclipses is known in China, the common people 
believe only in making a noise to frighten this imaginary dragon, this 
feathered or aerial boa. 

To find the picture at full length of these Chinese and East Indian 
superstitions, at Uxmal in Yucatan, and to see every evidence of a dupli 
cation in America of the Buddha of Java an island which also contains 
at Suku a tcocalli, or ancient pyramidal temple, similar to that of Uxmal 
in America, drawn by M. Waldeck (see his " Voyage au Yucatan ") have 
appeared to me to be important and decisive facts. I hope that they, when 
brought to general notice by publication in the Society s Transactions, will 
attract the attention of educated Americans, and show them that their 
country and its ruins are worthy of more careful study than they have as 
yet received, and that they will lead to other explorations than those hith 
erto made, which have been but little better than nothing. 

To defend the learned author of the " History of the Huns," relying 
here upon the wise geographer Buache, against the ill-founded objections 
of M. Klaproth, has also appeared to me to be very important, and I do 
not believe that any one can now deny the voyages of the Indo-Tartars 
to America, and that nearly one thousand years before Columbus. 

I could give further proofs of the connection of Uxmal, Palenque, and 
Tulha with India, but fear to trespass too greatly upon your space. 

CHEVALIEB DE PARAVE?. 

PARIS, July SO, 1840. 

APPENDIX B 

TO OUR LETTER TO THE ACADEMY. 

New Proofs of the Introduction of the Worship of Buddha into America, or 
into the Country of Fa-sang. Which was the First Country converted 
to this Religion in the New World? 

ONE of the countries of America which was first converted by the 
shamans of Cabul, arriving from the southern point of Karatchatka at 



74: AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

the excellent port of San Francisco, in California, to the north of Monte 
rey, must evidently have been the country upon the banks of the Colorado 
River, a large river which flows through these same regions from the 
north to the south and falls into the northern end of the Gulf of California. 
Now, in the useful translations of the Spanish authors made by M. Ter- 
naux-Compans, we find that Castatteda placed near the Colorado River, in 
a small island, a sanctuary of Lamaisra, or of Buddhism. He mentions a 
divine personage living in a small house near a lake upon this island, and 
called, as he says, " Quatu-zaca," who was reputed never to eat. 

Maize, deer-skin mantles, and cloth made of feathers were offered to 
him in great quantities; and in the same place (which proves a coloniza 
tion) they also made many little bells of copper. 

Even the name of this deified lama, or of this idol Quatu-zaca, contains 
the Tartar and East Indian name u Xaca," written SM-Tcia in Chinese, and 
" Sakya " in Sanscrit, the name of the celebrated god Buddha ; a remark 
which we are the first to make, and " Quatu " may indicate his origin as 
of " Cathay." * 

Castaiieda adds that the nations of these countries were very peace 
able and gentle, never waged war, and (abstaining from flesh) lived solely 
upon three or four kinds of very good fruits. 

It is therefore impossible to fail to see here an ancient colony of Bud 
dhists, or of lamas, a colony which in turn pushed its branches into Mex 
ico, Yucatan, Bogota, and even to Peru, a country of very civilized customs. 

The Mexicans, frightfully cruel in their recent idolatries, are, as is 
known, emigrants from the northeast of Asia and from the northwestern 
part of America, but much more recent; and before their arrival in 
these beautiful countries it is to be believed, as is stated in the account 
of Fu-sang, that the gentle and fraternal religion of the Buddhists, the 
remnants of the race of Shem, reigned there exclusively. 

Even the title of the shamans, who came there in 458, is derived from 
the Sanscrit "sramawa," which signifies "peaceful," M. Pauthier tells us; 
and this name is afterward found again in Mexico, where M. Ternaux- 
Compans (Mexican Vocabulary, in his translation of the old Spanish authors) 
gives Amanam as the name of the priests and the diviners, a word which 
evidently may at first have been pronounced Chamanani, Samanani, 
Shamaneans. CHEVALIER DE PAEAVET. 

SAINT GERMAIN, April 26, 1847. 

*The name "Cathay" was, however, used AS a name of the Kingdom of 
China, 1790 or of its northern portion, and not of In ,ia. 1801 E. P. V. 



DE PARAVEY S NEW PROOFS. 75 



APPENDIX C. 

IN EEGAED TO THE FIGURE OF A NATIVE OF FU-SANG FOUND IX CHINESE 
BOOKS, AND NOW PUBLISHED FOR THE FIRST TIME. 

To what Country of America can the almost Nude Man, which the Chi 
nese Books picture as an Inhabitant of Fu-sang, have belonged? 

As may be seen by the engraving,* the Chinese supposed that the men 
who inhabited the country of Fu-sang were almost naked. Now, it may 
be said that the inhabitants of North America are fully clothed. This is 
true of the greater part of the country ; but in the " Voyage to tbe Mouth 
of the Columbia River " of Lewis & Clark (page 302, and also page 507), 
at latitude 46 18 north, these explorers found the Chinook Indians, and 
in a village upon the Island of Deer, they found women who, instead of 
short petticoats, had a simple truss about the loins, or a narrow skin cov 
ering this part of their bodies. 

They say (page 286) that the Indians living near the Columbia River, 
owing to the mildness of the climate, always have the legs and feet bare, 
even in winter; and never wear more than small robes, even in cold 
weather ; or skin aprons and a kind of cloak upon the shoulders (page 
310). The moccasins for the feet and legs are not used, except in Canada 
and near Hudson s Bay, where the climate is much colder. 

So the man of Fu-sang, shown as almost nude in the old drawing from 
the Pian-y-tien and the Chinese Cyclopaedia, must have lived near the 
Columbia River in the neighbourhood of California, a rich and beautiful 
country of a very mild and temperate climate, the country of Oregon, 
regarding which, Spain, England, and the United States are now dis 
puting. 

In addition, if we open the " Exploration de TOregon et de la Cali 
fornia," published in 1844 by M. Duflot de Mofras (vol. ii, page 250), we 
see, in fact, that these Indians therein described have only the loins or the 
middle of the body covered ; and this exactly as in the plate of the na 
tive of Fu-sang, a plate reproduced since the year 499 of our era in all the 
foreign geographies published in China and Japan. 

Everything, therefore, justifies my conjectures. As to the spotted hind 
and its fawn, we have cited M. von Humboldt in regard to the Cervus Mex- 
icanus of Linnseus. And we point out, in this connection also, in order to 
show that the natives know how to keep them in herds and tame them, 
the " Voyage en Amerique " by M. de Chateaubriand (in 8vo, vol. i, page 

* It has not been thought advisable to give a copy of the engraving, to which 
reference is made, as there is no reason for believing it to be anything more than 
a sketch made from the fancy of the Chinese artist. E. P. V. 



76 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

130), where he speaks of the hinds of Canada, a charming sort of hornless 
reindeer, which they tamed there, he tells us. 

CHEVALIEE DE PAEAVEY. 

(Extract from No. 90 (June, 1847) of the " Annales de Philosophic 
Chretienne.") 

EEFCTATION OF THE OPINION EXPEESSED BY M. JOMAED THAT THE NATIONS 
OF AMEEICA NEVEE HAD ANY CONNECTION WITH THOSE OF ASIA. 

(Extract from the number of May, 1849, of the "Annales de Philosophic 

Chretienne. r ) 

THE essay opens with a statement of the importance of geographical 
study, in assisting to open up commerce with foreign nations ; disputes 
the unchristian idea that the people of America can have been Autoch 
thones; gives a resume of former arguments regarding Fu-sang ; and adds 
the following new matter : 

In addition to the Phoenician and East Indian art of dyeing purple with 
the murex, and the art of fishing for pearls, which is found near Panama, 
in the countries of Guaxaca and of Chacahua in America, there also exists 
another art, purely East Indian, which of itself demonstrates the arrival 
of the Buddhists of Cabul in America, named by them the country of the 
Extreme East that is to say in Chinese, the country of Fu-sang. This art 
is that of using the cochineal insect of the nopal plant, an art equally found 
at Guaxaca, and which produces the wealth of this central country of 
America. 

In 1795, at Madras in India, Major Anderson showed, in a special essay, 
that the cochineal insect and the nopal plant upon which it lives are found 
in India and toward the countries of Lahore and Cabul ; and he thought 
that from these they must have been imported into America, into the 
country of Honduras near Mexico ; but he does not show how.* 

* The substance of the article that is referred to 103 is, that cochineal insects 
were brought from Rio Janeiro to Calcutta, and that, when they reached the latter 
place, the nopal plants upon which they lived were so nearly dead that none of 
them could be revived. The insects were therefore tried upon all the varieties of 
nopal that could be obtained, including a variety from the Cape of Good Hope, one 
from Mauritius, and a number of others, but could not live upon any of them, with 
the exception of a variety found growing in Bengal, which had a flower exactly 
similar to that of the nopal upon which the insects grew in America, and which 
seemed to be the same plant. Upon this the insects thrived. 

W. Roxburgh says this variety " seems to be a native of Bengal ; at least it has 
been long known." 

James Anderson says " it is common over all the Carnatic " ; and he again 
speaks of it as " common and indigenous," and also says " it is common as far 



DE PARAVEY S NEW PROOFS. 77 

Now, the account of Fu-sang attributes precisely to these East Indians 
of Ky-pin, or of Cabulistan, the civilization of America, which must hare 
preceded the ferocious and sanguinary religion of the Tartars of Mexico. 

These peaceful and Buddhistic Indians occupied themselves with com 
merce and useful arts. Having known in their own country how to 
utilize the precious lac insect as well as that of the nopal, and finding the 
nopal in Mexico, they must have also carried there the insect which lives 
upon it, or, if it existed there, they made use of it as a means of preparing 
cochineal, an art that is purely East Indian and Asiatic. 

Merely the names of Guaxaca, Chacahua, Zachita, and Zacapa, found 
in Honduras and Guatemala, demonstrate the presence of these Buddhists 
in these countries, since " Xaca " and " Sakya," or " Shi-Tcia," are the 
well-known Asiatic names of the celebrated divinity Fo, or the Indian 
Buddha, a god. represented as seated with crossed legs, the figure of which, 
drawn at Uxmal in Yucatan without recognition, by M. de "Waldeck, the 
artist sent by the late Lord Kingsborough, has been first brought into 
notice by us. 

The character shi, lp, of the name " Shi-lsia," or " Sakya," signifies 
"to release, to dismiss, to pardon"; and the character Icia, SJ|J, "to sit 
with the legs crossed," exactly as the figure found at Uxmal by M. "Wai- 
deck is seated. CHEVALIER DE PAEAVEY. 

north as Nepal, where they say an insect lives on it with which they dye red." 
There is no proof, however, that this was the cochineal insect. 

At this time different varieties of the cactus had been introduced from 
America into almost all parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa, and had long been com 
mon in many districts. There is nothing to show that the nopal, then found in 
Bengal, had not been introduced from America some time during the three centuries 
elapsing between the discovery of America and the date referred to in the article. 
And there is one fact, which seems to render it almost certain that the plant had 
been introduced from Mexico, and at a comparatively recent date, as it is stated 
that " the Bengalese call their cactus * neeg-penny, or nag-penny. " It is evident 
that this is a corruption of the Mexican term "nopalli," or "nochpalli"; and if the 
plant had been introduced in Hwui SMrfs time, thirteen centuries before, the name 
would probably have changed more than this during that length of time. There 
is really no reason to believe that the plant had been introduced into India before 
the discovery of America by Columbus. By the end of the eighteenth century the 
prickly pear, or Indian fig, had become wild in India, just as it had in many other 
countries where it is known that it was carried early in the sixteenth century. 
It seems to have been widely distributed, not only for its fruit, but as a curiosity, 
and as it throve well in nearly all tropical lands, it soon grew wild and spread it- 
self over the country. E. P. V. 



CHAPTER VI. 



The knowledge of foreign nations possessed by the Chinese Their precepts The 
journey of Lao-tse Embassies and spies Knowledge derived from foreign 
visitors Its preservation in Chinese records The introduction of Buddhism 
Its command to extend its doctrines to all nations Chinese system of ge 
ography and ethnology The unity of the Tartars and Red-skins American 
languages The Tunguses, or Eastern Barbarians The Pe-ti, or Northern Bar 
barians The Ainos, or Jebis, and the Negritos The Wen-shin, or Pictured- 
people Embassies between China and Japan The Country of Dwarfs The 
Chinese " Book of Mountains and Seas " Information given by a Japanese 
embassador Kamtchatka, the Tchuktchi, and the Aleuts Lieu-kuei The 
length of the li Lieu-kuei, a peninsula The land of the Je-tshay The na 
tives of Kamtchatka Their dwellings Their clothing The climate The 
animals of the country The customs of the people The country of the Wen- 
shin identified with the Aleutian Islands Ta-han, or Alaska The kingdom 
of Fu-sang and its inhabitants The Amazons Fu-sang identified with the 
western portion of America called Mexico The fu-sang tree Only one voy 
age made Chinese accounts of Fu-sang The distance from Ta-han, or Alas 
ka, indicates that Fu-sang is Mexico The oldest history of America Suc 
cessive tribes The ruins of Mitla and Palenque Something of earlier races 
to be learned from the condition of the Aztecs Pyramidical monuments If 
Buddhism existed in America, it was an impure form The myth of Huitzilo- 
pochtli The/w-saw#,the maguey, or Agave Americana Connection between 
the flora of America and that of Asia Metals and money Laws and customs 
of the Aztecs Domestic animals Horses Oxen Stag-horns Chinese and 
Japanese in the Hawaiian group and in Northwestern America Shipwrecks 
upon the American coast The voyages of the Japanese. 

Eastern Asia and Western America, according to Chinese Au 
thorities of the Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Centuries by Karl 
Friedrich 



1. THE KNOWLEDGE OF FOREIGN NATIONS POSSESSED BY 
THE CHINESE. As, in the eyes of the Chinese, the " Middle 
Kingdom " was the most cultured upon earth, its precepts re- 



NEUMANN S MONOGRAPH. 79 

quired that it should not only preserve its customs and laws as 
handed down from former generations, but that it should extend 
these customs and laws abroad beyond the limits of the country. 
It was added that this extension of knowledge should not be 
brought about by the art of persuasion of any missionaries, or by 
the compulsive force of armed troops. A true renovation could 
only take place, as in the case of every other healthy organic 
growth, when the pressure was from within outward ; when the 
surrounding barbarians, irresistibly attracted by the virtue and 
majesty of the Sons of Heaven, and ashamed of their barbarism, 
should voluntarily obey the image of the Heavenly Father and 
become men. 

A people actuated by such a spirit would undertake no voy 
ages of discovery, and would carry on no wars of conquest ; and 
during the history of this Oriental land, covering a period of four 
thousand years, no single prominent man is named who journeyed 
into foreign lands in order to improve himself or others. The 
journey of Lao-tse to the West, from which he neither returned 
nor wished to return, appears to have been a myth, designed to 
connect his teaching regarding the " Primitive and Infinite Wis 
dom " with the western " Mountain of the Gods " or with Bud 
dhism. The campaigns which were undertaken beyond the 
limits which nature has set to the Chinese empire were merely 
the result of efforts at self-preservation. In Central as in East 
ern Asia, in Thibet as on the Irawaddy, it is necessary to take 
precautions against dangers and disasters which might ultimately 
threaten the liberty of the nation. As is not infrequently the case, 
in Europe as well as in Asia, it becomes necessary to send embas 
sies and spies into surrounding regions in order to obtain infor 
mation as to their situation and condition, as well as to the cir 
cumstances and intentions of the inhabitants, of a nature which 
might prove of service in military expeditions and negotiations 
with the enemies of the empire. Moreover, the glorious and for 
tunate " Middle Kingdom " allured not only barbarians eager for 
spoils, but also merchants eager for gain, since several articles, 
such as silk, tea, and genuine rhubarb, were found only here. 
The Chinese government, like its people, has been controlled by 
the precepts of its sages, and has at all times received strangers 
humanely and courteously, as long at least as they yielded un 
conditional obedience, or otherwise showed submission and fear ; 



80 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

and, according to Oriental custom, their gifts were repaid by 
others more valuable. All these discoveries, and all the informa 
tion obtained in their different peaceable or warlike methods, 
whether relating to the neigbouring nations or to those dwelling 
in the most distant parts of the earth, were noted in the last divis 
ion of the Annual Registers of Chinese history, of which, from 
our point of view, they constitute the most valuable portion. 

The arrogance and vanity of the Chinese people were part 
ly eradicated, however, by means of the introduction of Bud 
dhism, and its gradual conquest of the countries of Eastern Asia. 
He Who believed in the divine mission of the Son of the King of 
Kapilapura must recognize every human being as his equal and 
brother ; yes, must strive for the ancient religion of Buddha, 
as in the case of many others of its dogmas and customs, agreed 
with the more youthful religion of Christianity in this point also 
to extend the gospel of redemption to all nations upon the face 
of the earth ; and, for this purpose, following the example of the 
divine-man, must be ready to take upon himself all conceivable 
sufferings and labours. We therefore find a number of Bud 
dhist monks and priests going forth from Central Asia and 
China, from Japan and Corea, to known and unknown regions, 
either for the purpose of obtaining information as to their dis 
tant brothers in the faith or to preach the doctrine of the Holy 
Trinity to unbelievers. The accounts of these missionaries 
travels, of which we possess several, viewed from a geographical 
and ethnological standpoint, are among the most important and 
instructive works of the entire body of Chinese literature. From 
them is derived the greatest part of the information which we 
shall give regarding Northeastern Asia and the countries of the 
western coast of America; information which has descended from 
centuries that until now have been concealed from view by dark 
est night. 

2. THEIR SYSTEM OF GEOGRAPHY AND ETHNOLOGY. Arro 
gance and vanity are the basis whereupon the Chinese built 
most of their peculiar system of geography and ethnology. 
Around the " Central Flower," so they were taught by their 
sages, dwelt rude, uncouth nations, which in reality were but 
animals, although they had the form and figure of the human 
race. Because of this assumed animal nature, the inhabitants 
of the " Central Flower " gave them nicknames of all kinds : 



NEUMANN S MONOGRAPH. 81 

dogs, swine, demons, and barbarians, were the distinguishing 
names which they gave to foreigners dwelling in the four cardi 
nal directions ; to the east, west, north, and south. The few 
western investigators and historians, who have thought it worth 
the trouble to devote their attention to the fallow field of the 
history of Eastern and Central Asia, have unquestionably fol 
lowed the ethnographical system resting upon these limited geo 
graphical elements. It therefore sometimes happens that races 
are represented as belonging to the same family, which in fact 
have no connection, and sometimes one and the same nation is 
divided up among different families ; this occurring especially 
among the numerous and widely extended family of the Tartars. 
3. THE UNITY OF THE TARTARS AND RED-SKINS. The Tun- 
guses and Mongolians and a great portion of the Turks origi 
nally formed (according to the important indications of their 
bodily figure, as well as the elements of their languages) a single 
family of nations, really connected with the Esquimaux (the 
Skraelings or dwarfs of the Norsemen) as well as with the races 
and tribes of the New World. This is the solid, irrefutable re 
sult of the latest researches in the fields of comparative anatomy 
and physiology, as well as in those of comparative philology and 
history. All researches point in the end to their unity. The Red 
skins have all the different peculiarities which can remind us of 
their neighbours on the other side of Behring s Strait. They have 
a four-cornered or round head, high cheek-bones, heavy jaws, 
large four-cornered eye-sockets, and a low, retreating forehead. 
The skulls of the oldest Peruvian graves show the same pecul 
iarities as the heads of the nomadic Indians of Oregon and 
California ; and Gallatin, in his researches in the field in which 
he stands alone, has shown * that the American languages as a 
whole have such a similarity that, however different their vo 
cabularies may be, they all point back to a common origin. All 
researches regarding the manner in which America was peopled 
lead to the same final conclusion. Since the earth has been in 
habited, these natives have dwelt in the neighbouring regions of 
Asia and America. The rude masses have in the course of cen 
turies, by means of different processes of civilization, been sepa 
rated into different races and nations, each of a peculiar physi 
cal type a consequence of the higher mental tendencies and 
* Baer, in the " Beitrage zur Kentnisa des Russischen Reiches," vol. i, p. 279. 



8 2 Atf INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

numerous languages have grown up; yet they still bear sufficient 
tokens of their original unity, in their physical peculiarities, as 
well as in their languages, their customs, and their habits. This 
unity is shown by their genealogy (the oldest historical system 
of all nations which know only a single original ancestor), which 
leads the Turks, Mongols, and Tunguses back to the same ori 
gin.* Among the Tartarian hordes we find a relationship simi 
lar to that which existed between the different German races. 
The Ostrogoths and Visigoths, the Ostphalians and Westpha- 
lians, the men of the north and men of the south, belonged in 
their essential nature to one and the same Teutonic family, not 
withstanding the differences in their culture and their destiny. 

4. THE TUNGUSES, THE EASTERN BARBARIANS. All the nu 
merous Tartaric tribes which wandered about, or dwelt north 
easterly from the Middle Kingdom, were called by the civilized 
southern people Tong-hu, "Eastern Red-men, or Barbarians," 
from which term our word " Tunguse " has sprung, which has 
since been applied to the people of a much smaller section of 
country. Among the Tong-hu the Mongolians were prominent, 
many centuries before Chinggis Chakan, distinguished by the 
slightly different names of Wog or Mog, and divided into seven 
tribes, whose abodes stretched from the Corean Peninsula high 
up into the North, across the Amoor River, and to the Eastern 
Ocean that is to say, to the Gulf of Anadir, or to Behring s 
Strait. The nomadic races, called Pe-ti, or " Northern Barbari 
ans," dwelt more directly north ; and many tribes were sometimes 
described as belonging to the Tunguses, and sometimes to the 
Pe-ti. In one way and another the Chinese obtained an aston 
ishingly accurate knowledge of the northeastern coast of the 
Asiatic Continent, which, as is shown by their observations in 
astronomy and natural history, extended to the sixty-fifth degree 
of latitude, and even to the Arctic Ocean. f Among other ac 
counts, they tell of a country, inhabited by a small tribe, called 
Kolihan, or Chorhan, which during the latter half of the seventh 
century sent several embassies to the court at Singan. This 
country lay on the North Sea, far from the " Middle Kingdom," 

* The " Shajrat ul Atrak," or Genealogical Tree of the Turks and Tartars, 
translated by Colonel Miles, London, 1838. Tung, or Tungus, is here (p. 25) rep 
resented as a son of Turk. 

f Gaubil, "Observations Mathematiques," Paris, 1732, vol. ii, p. 110. 



NEUMANN S MONOGRAPH. 83 

and beyond, still farther north, and on the other side of this sea, 
the days were sometimes so long and the nights so short that 
the sun sank and rose again before a breast of mutton could be 
roasted.* The Chinese were well acquainted with the customs 
of these hordes, which completely resembled those of the present 
Tchuktchi, the Koljushes, f and other families of Northeast 
ern Asia and Northwestern America. "These barbarians," they 
say, " have neither oxen, sheep, nor other domestic animals ; but, 
as some compensation for the lack of these animals, they make use 
of deer, which are very numerous." The deer spoken of are un 
doubtedly reindeer, which have also been described by European 
voyagers as resembling the common deer.J " Of agriculture these 
petty tribes know nothing. They support themselves by hunt 
ing and fishing, and upon the root of a plant that is found there 
in great abundance. Their dwellings are built of brush-wood 
and pieces of larger wood, and their clothing is made of birds - 
feathers and the skins of wild animals. Their dead are laid in 
coffins, which are hung on trees growing in the mountain ranges. 
They know nothing of any division of the year into different 
seasons." * 

The Chinese were also as well acquainted with the tribes 
which dwelt directly east as with these northern nations. 

5. THE Amos, OR JEBIS, AND THE NEGRITOS. Even as early 
as the reign of the Cheu dynasty, in the times of David and 
Solomon, the limits of Chinese civilization reached to the Pacific 
Ocean. The numerous neighbouring groups of islands were known 
in the kingdom and visited for the purpose of trading. Their 
inhabitants sent embassies to the court, which offered all kinds 
of presents, that are described in full in the Shu-king, or Chinese 
Book of Annals. Moreover, it often happened, and still happens, 
that China sent forth a part of its overflowing or discontented 
population to those islands which were either sparsely settled, 

* " Ma Twan-lin? Book 348, p. 6. 

f " Koljushi," or " Koljuki," is the name of the pegs which these barbarians 
wear in their under lip, and from these they originally derived their name. The 
Russians who govern this land afterward called them " Galoches " (from that 
word of the French language), the name being at first applied only in jest. In 
the course of time, however, this word superseded the earlier name " Koljukes," 
so that they are now universally called " Kaloshes." 

t Forster, " Schifffahrten im Norden," Frankfort, 1784, p. 338. 

* "Jfa Twan-lin," Book 344, p. 18. 



84 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

or, in some cases, entirely uninhabited, colonies having thus been 
sent to Japan, to Lieu-Tcuei, and to Tai-wan or Formosa, of which 
fact we possess explicit historical testimony. The family of the 
Ainos, or Jebis, stretching from Japan to Kamtchatka, over the 
Kurile and the Aleutian Islands and far away into the North, 
where it meets the allied family of the Esquimaux, must have 
appeared especially remarkable to these Chinese-Mongolian colo 
nists and traders (who themselves possessed but scanty beards) 
on account of the strong growth of hair with which the bodies 
of these Ainos were covered. On this account they were called 
Mao-jin (or, according to the Japanese pronunciation of the 
Chinese characters, Mo-sin), meaning " Hairy-people " ; or, from 
the numerous sea-crabs which the ocean in these regions throws 
up upon the beach,* Hia-i (or, according to the Japanese pro 
nunciation, Jesso) that is to say, " Crab-barbarians." Moreover, 
because the Ainos, like the inhabitants of the South Sea Islands, 
and other barbarians, have the custom of tattooing themselves 
with all kinds of figures, they were also called Wen-shin, or 
" Pictured-people." In the course of time still other names were 
applied to them ; but he who is governed by a knowledge of the 
nature of these regions and their inhabitants, immediately recog 
nizes that the different descriptions and accounts all relate to the 
same family of the Ainos. We are indebted to the repeated em 
bassies, which in earlier times went back and forth between China 
and Japan, for a great part of the information contained in the 
Annual Registers of the " Middle Kingdom " regarding the north 
easterly and southeasterly islands and tribes, and, although much 
that is fabulous is undoubtedly contained in their accounts, still 
even their most incredible tales may contain some element of 
truth. So in the Chu-shu, or "Dwarfs," dwelling far distant 
from Japan in a southerly direction, having black bodies, naked 
and ugly, who murder and eat strangers, we immediately recog 
nize the inhabitants of New Guinea or Papua.f The Ainos are 
first mentioned by the name of " the Hairy-people," in the Chi 
nese " Book of Mountains and Seas," a work dating from the 
third or second century before our era, and richly adorned with 
wonderful tales. It says that they live in the Eastern Sea, and 

* " Beschreibung der Kurilischen und Aleutischen laseln," translated from the 
Russian into German, Ulm, 1792, p. 16. 
f " MaTwan-lin," Book 327, p. 37. 



NEUMANN S MONOGRAPH. 35 

have hair growing over their entire body. * Several of these 
people accompanied a Japanese embassy to the " Middle King 
dom " in the year 659 A. D. In the Annual Register of the Tang 
dynasty they are called " Crab-barbarians," and the following 
observation is added : " They had long beards and lived north 
easterly from Japan " ; they presented arrows, bows, and deer 
skins, as the chronicle states, as offerings to the throne.f 

These were inhabitants of Jesso, which island had shortly be 
fore (in 658 A. D.) been conquered by the Japanese and made 
tributary to them. The questions of the " Son of Heaven " of 
the Tang dynasty and the answers of the Japanese embassador 
are given as follows : 

The Ruler of the Tang Dynasty. Does the celestial auto 
crat enjoy continual peace ? 

The Ambassador. Heaven and earth unite their gifts, and 
constant peace results. 

The Ruler of the Tang Dynasty. Are the officers of the 
kingdom well selected ? 

The Embassador. The grace of the Heavenly Ruler is be 
stowed upon them and they remain well. 

The Ruler of the Tang Dynasty. Does internal peace pre 
vail ? 

The Embassador. The government stands in accord with 
heaven and earth the people have no cause for complaint. 

The Ruler of the Tang Dynasty. Where does this land of 
Jesso lie ? 

The Embassador. To the northeast. 

The Ruler of the Tang Dynasty. How many kinds of " Crab- 
barbarians " are there ? 

The Embassador. Three : the most distant we call Tsugaru 
(after which the Strait of Sangar, between Japan and Jesso, is 
named) ; the nearest Ara, and the next Niki. The men here 

* The Shan-hai-kiny, quoted in the " Histoire des Trois Royaumes," translated 
by Titsingh, Paris, 1832, p. 213. Klaproth has, in accordance with his well-known 
deceptive manner, attempted to pass off this translation as his own. 

\ Tang-shu, or " Annual Register of the Tang Dynasty," Book 220, p. 98. 
" Ma Twan-lin," Book 326, p. 23, where the account, as usual, is mutilated. Ti 
tsingh, " Annales des Empereurs du Japan," Paris, 1834, p. 52. There is an agree- 
ment between the Chinese and Japanese Annual Registers upon this subject, that 
is worthy of notice. 



86 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

with us belong to these last. They come annually with their 
tribute to the court of our kingdom. 

The Ruler of the Tang Dynasty. Does this land produce 
grain ? 

The Embassador. No ; the inhabitants live upon flesh. 

The Ruler of the Tang Dynasty. Have they houses ? 

The Embassador. No ; they dwell in the mountain ranges 
among the trunks of trees.* 

Since this time in the seventh century, several military expe 
ditions have been undertaken against these neighbouring " North 
ern Barbarians," by the adjoining civilized kingdom, which have 
generally resulted successfully. The inhabitants of Jesso, how 
ever, usually rose again after a short time, drove the Japanese 
garrison out of the land, and surrendered themselves anew to 
the wild freedom that was enjoyed by other members of the 
same family upon the neighbouring islands. Even now, as we 
learn from different sources, the Japanese rule over only a small 
part of this island so rich in gold mines. 

Jesso easily leads to an acquaintance with Kamtchatka, which 
happened to be also fully described for us at the same time, as 
is shown by the following account : 

6. KAMTCHATKA, THE TCHUKTCHI, AND THE ALEUTS. 
Lieu-kuei, or Ling-goei, as the Kamtchatdales of the present 
day still call their fellow-countrymen on the Penshinish Bay,f 
is described in the Annual Registers of the "Middle King 
dom " as fifteen thousand Chinese miles distant from the capital ; 
this standard of distance (the H 9 or Chinese mile), according to 
the renowned astronomer T-han, was, in the time of the Tang 
* Nippon-ki that is to say, " The Annual Registers of Japan," from 661 B. c. 
to 696 A. D., which were completed in the year 720. They embrace thirty volumes 
in 8vo. The portion translated by Hoffman is found in the 26th vol., p. 9, or 
vol. viii, p. 130, of Siebold s "Japanese Archives." 

f Steller, " Beschreibung von dem Lande Kamtschatka," Leipzig, 1734, p. 3. 
The words between quotation-marks are translated literally from the Annual 
Registers of the Tang dynasty (Tang-shu, Book 220, p. 19). The remainder 
is explanatory, and is mostly added from Steller. The Annual Registers of the 
Tang dynasty have also been compared with the article of Ma Twan-lin (Book 347, 
p. 6), which indeed seems to have been borrowed from the Tang-shu, but it 
is arranged in better order, and also contains much original matter, on which 
account I have used it as the basis of my work. The compiler of the Encyclopae 
dia of Kang-hi ( Yuen-kien-lui-han) contented himself (Book 241, p. 19), as in 
many other places, with transcribing from Ma Twan-lin. 



NEUMANN S MONOGRAPH. 37 

dynasty, contained about 338 times in one of our geographical 
degrees. 

Now, Si-ngan, the Chinese capital during the reign of the 
Tang dynasty, is in the district of Shan-si, 34 15 34 north 
latitude and 106 34 0* east longitude from Paris. 

Peter and Paul s Haven in Kamtchatka is situated in 53 
59" north latitude and 153 19 56" east longitude from Paris. 

The distance between these two points wonderfully confirms 
the accounts of the Chinese Annual Registers, and leaves no 
room for doubt as to the identity of Kamtchatka with Lieu- 
kuei, for we may well be satisfied when such rough estimates, 
which may have been made by semi-barbarous sailors or by the 
barbarous inhabitants, come, in so great a distance, within two 
or three degrees of astronomical results. 

" This land lies in a northeasterly direction from the * Black 
River, or the Black-dragon River (the Amoor) and the coun 
try of the Mo-ko, from which it is reached by a sailing-voyage of 
fifteen days duration, which is the time usually occupied by the 
Mo-ko upon the voyage." As has already been indicated, these 
Mo-ko are the Mongolians, who in former centuries, and even up 
to the times of the Tang dynasty, extended from Corea, on 
the south, to the farther side of the Amoor River, on the 
north ; the western boundary of the country which they inhab 
ited being unknown. In the east, as is expressly declared in our 
authorities, they roamed as far as to the ocean i. e., to the Paci 
fic Ocean from the coast of which they could easily cross to the 
islands of the Pacific and to the continent of America. That 
this really happened, is indicated by the physical resemblance 
between the inhabitants of the two countries and the relation 
ship between the Mongolian languages and the idioms of several 
tribes of American Indians. The distance from Ochotsk to the 
peninsula lying opposite is only about one hundred and fifty 
German miles, and the natives of this region are in fact accus 
tomed to making this journey by water in from ten to fourteen 
days. 

" Lieu-kuei lies northerly from the Northern Sea, by which 
it is surrounded upon three sides. On the north the peninsula is 
bounded by the land of the Je-tshay, or Tchuktchi,* of which 

* In the " Tang-shu " there is a typographical error. Instead of Pe-hai, " the 
North Sea," the name is given as Shao-hai, " the Little Sea." The proper read- 



8 3 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

the limits are not clearly defined. From Kamtchatka to Je- 
tshay is a month s journey, and beyond it is an unknown land, 
from which no embassy ever came to the * Middle Kingdom. 
Neither fortified places nor walled cities are found in this land ; 
the people live scattered about upon the islands of the sea, and 
upon the banks along the rivers and the sea, of which they salt 
and preserve the fish." 

Steller also assures us that the dwellings of the Italmen 
i. e., the natives of Kamtchatka are found along the rivers, on 
the inner sea, and at the mouths of small rivers, especially in 
such of these places as are provided with trees and bushes. Fish 
are found in incredible numbers, and salmon are especially numer 
ous ; they are prepared in many ways, but chiefly by salting,* so 
as to serve for food both for man and beast throughout the long 
winters. The races living still farther north live also, almost 
exclusively, upon fish, from which fact they have received the 
name " Eskimantik," or "Eskimo," that is to say, "Raw-fish 
eaters ."f 

" Their dwellings consist of pits, which they dig quite deep 
in the earth, and then wall up with thick, unhewn wooden 
planks." These serve only as their winter residences, their sum 
mer residences being set upon posts, like our pigeon-houses. 
The Italmen dig the earth out from three to five feet deep, 
making an excavation in the shape of a long rectangular paral 
lelogram, and as large as may be required to accommodate their 
families. They throw the excavated earth all around the bor 
ders of the pit in a pile two feet broad. Then they prepare 
willow stakes five or six feet long, and drive them into the 
ground close together along the wall of the pit, so that they 
reach to the same height as the earthen wall. Between these 
stakes and the earth they place dry straw, so that the earth may 
not fall through and by immediate contact with the articles con 
tained in the dwelling cause them to become mouldy or rusty, 
ing is found in the two Encyclopaedias already named. Je-tshay-kuo, which here 
means " the Land of the Je-tshay," is also named only in the two Encyclopaedias. 
The arrogant Chinese love to write the names of foreign nations with characters 
which are insulting and abusive in their meanings. The name Lieu-kud is there 
fore written with characters meaning " the Dysenteric Devils," and Jc-tshay with 
characters meaning " the Devil s Attendants." 

* Steller, pp. 169, 210, 211. 

f Mithridates, iii, 3-425. 



NEUMANN S MONOGRAPH. 39 

In the middle of the pit they make the fire-place, between 
four slender piles, which are fastened above at one side of the 
entrance, which is near the fire-place, and serves also as a chim 
ney through which the smoke escapes. Opposite the fire-place 
they make a channel in the ground from eight feet to two fath 
oms long (the size and length being dependent upon the size of 
the dwelling), which extends outside of the house, which is 
opened when a fire is kindled and closed when the fire is allowed 
to go out. This air-opening is made in any side of the dwelling 
without regard to the cardinal points, care being only taken that 
it should always open toward the river near which the house is 
placed. The wind can usually find free entrance, but, when 
it comes in too strongly, they place a cover over the air- opening 
as a protection against it. When it is desired to enter the dwell 
ing, it is necessary to go in through the opening in the roof, 
which serves as a chimney, and descend a ladder or a tree-trunk, 
in which notches in which to place the feet have been hewed. 
Diificult as this is to. a European, especially when a fire is burn 
ing and there seems danger of stifling from the smoke, it seems 
a very easy matter to the Italmen. The little children usually 
creep through the air-channel, which also serves as a cupboard 
in which the cooking and table utensils are stored. Internally, 
the dwelling is divided into squares by wooden beams, so that 
each of the inhabitants has his own particular sleeping-place 
and private room. 

" On account of the frequent fogs and heavy snows, the cli 
mate is very raw and cold. The people are all clothed in the 
hides of the animals which they kill by hunting ; but they also 
prepare a species of cloth, from dogs hair and various kinds of 
grasses, which is also used for clothing. In the winter the skins 
of swine and reindeer are used as clothing, and in the summer 
the skins of fishes. They have great numbers of dogs." 

We now know that a remarkable difference is found in the 
climate of different portions of Kamtchatka. Districts that lie 
only a short distance from each other have very different weather 
at the same season of the year. The southern portion of the 
peninsula is, in general, on account of the proximity of the sea, 
very cloudy and damp, and is, for a great portion of the time, 
subject to fearfully tempestuous winds. The farther we ascend 
to the north, toward the Penshinish Bay, the gentler are the 



90 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

winds in winter, and the smaller is the amount of rain that falls 
during the summer. There is no part of the world, however, 
in which rains are heavier or more frequent than in Kamtchatka, 
and deeper snow is nowhere found than occurs upon this penin 
sula between the 51st and 54th degrees of north latitude. On 
this account the inhabitants need their warm clothing of seal 
skins and reindeer hides. The skins of dogs, marmots, and 
sables are also prepared for this use. The women split dry net 
tle-stalks and other grasses, and labouriously spin a yarn from 
them, which is made up into a species of linen cloth, and like 
wise serves as the material for different articles of clothing. 
Reindeer, black bear, wolves, foxes, and other wild quadrupeds 
are found in great numbers, and are caught in many ways, some 
of them extremely ingenious, of which the Chinese have also 
heard. Dogs are the only domestic animals, and these are upon 
many accounts almost indispensable to the people of Kamtchat 
ka ; they are harnessed to sledges, and so serve as substitutes 
for our horses and asses : and the dogs of this land are so strong 
that they endure more than our beasts of burden. Their skins 
and hair are made up into clothing, so that they also supply the 
place of sheep (of which none are found in this country), and of 
their wool. The statement, that swine are found in Kamtchatka, 
is an error of the Chinese writer ; * they would, indeed, prosper 
here, but in Steller s time none had been introduced into the 
country. Up to the present day several of the Mantchoo tribes, 
living farthest to the northeast, clothe themselves in fish-skins, 
on which account the Chinese call them " Ju-pi " (Fish-skins). 
They, like the Chedshen, belong to the Aleutian family. 

" The people have no regulations or laws, and know nothing 
of officers or of superiors in rank. If there is a robber in the 
land, the people are all called together in order to judge him. 
Nothing is known of the division and the succession of the four 
seasons of the year. Their bows are about four feet long, and 
their arrows like those of the * Middle Kingdom. From bones 
and stones they make a species of musical instrument. They 
love to sing and dance. They lay their dead in large tree- 
trunks, and mourn for them for three years, but without wear 
ing any particular kind of mourning-garment. In the year 640, 

* It is possible that this term is applied to some species of marine animal re 
sembling the seal. E. P. V. 



NEUMANN S MONOGRAPH. 91 

during the time of the reign of the Second Son of Heaven of the 
Tang dynasty, the first and last tribute-bringing embassy came 
from the land of Lieu-kuei to the * Middle Kingdom. " 

Before the conquest of the country by the Russians, the Kam- 
tchatdales lived in a kind of community, as is the case among 
all wild tribes, as, for instance, among the early German tribes. 
Each revenged for himself the injuries that were done to him, 
and availed himself for this purpose of his weapons, which con 
sisted of bows, arrows, and bone spears. In time of war they 
chose a leader, whose authority ceased with the war. If any 
thing was stolen and the thief was not discovered, the elders 
called the people together and then exhorted each one of them 
to give up the criminal. If he was not detected in this way, then 
the magic arts of their shamans, or priests, were brought into 
requisition to conjure death and ruin down upon the head of the 
villain. The Italmen divided the solar year into two parts, call 
ing one " summer " and the other " winter." The division into 
days and weeks is quite unknown to the Kamtchatdales, and 
most of them can not count beyond forty. They waste the 
greater part of their time with music and dancing, and in tell 
ing merry stories. Their songs and melodies, of which Steller 
gives us several, seem charming and agreeable. 

If, says this distinguished man (sacrificed in Russia), whom I 
usually follow in the account of the customs and usages of the 
Kamtchatdales, we compare the cantatos of the great Orlando 
di Lasso, with which he charmed the King of France after the 
Parisian s Carnival of Blood, with those of the Italmen, the lat 
ter seem much the more agreeable of the two, many of these 
arias being not merely one-part melodies, but being sung with an 
alto also. 

The Chinese account of the disposition of the corpses of the 
dead, and of the three-years mourning, is not well founded. At 
least, at the time of the discovery of the country by the Rus 
sians, nothing similar was found to exist. The sick, when they 
seemed past recovery, were cast to the dogs while still living, 
and any lamentation over the death of parents or other rela 
tions very seldom occurred. It is possible, however, even if im 
probable, that since the seventh century many a change and error 
has been made in the Chinese records regarding this country. 

The habitation of the Wen-shin, or " Pictured-people," must 



92 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

be looked for to the east of Kamtchatka, and therefore in the 
Aleutian Islands, if we accept the estimate in regard to their dis 
tance from Japan. 

" The land of the Wen-shin," it is said in the Annual Regis 
ters of the Southern Dynasties,* "is distant from Japan in a 
northeasterly direction about seven thousand Chinese miles," or 
some twenty of our geographical degrees, a direction and dis 
tance placing us in the midst of the group of the Aleutian 
Islands. It is impossible to conceive how de Guignes can have 
sought for these " Pictured-people " in Jesso, and imagined that 
he found them there. 

" The bodies of these people exhibit all kinds of figures, such 
as those of animals and the like. They have three lines upon 
the forehead ; the large and straight indicate the nobles, the 
small and crooked the common people, of the nation." 

It is well known that before their conversion to Christianity 
the Aleuts not only tattooed different figures upon their bodies, 
but they also bored through the cartilage of the nose and wore 
a peg or pin stuck transversely through the opening, and upon 
holidays hung glass beads upon this pin. The women in the 
same way bored through the ear, all about the margin, and also 
made incisions in the lower lip, in which they wore bone or stone 
needles some two inches long. 

7. TA-HAN", ALASKA. In the times of the Liang dynasty, in 
the first half of the sixth century of our era, the Chinese heard of 
a land which lay five thousand of their miles easterly from the 
country of the " Pictured-people " of the Aleutian Islands, and 
named it " Ta-han," or "Great China." The direction and the 
distance lead us to the great Peninsula of Alaska. The country 
was apparently named " Great China " because some account of 
the great continent which stretched out beyond the peninsula 
had reached the "Middle Kingdom." So, for the same.reasons, 
according to the Sagas, the Irish who, in earlier centuries, dis 
covered America long before the days of Columbus, named the 
newly-discovered regions " Great Ireland." \ 

* Nan-sse i. e., " History of the Southern Dynasties," Book 79, p. 5. The 
same article is also found in the Liang-shu, or " The Annual Registers of the 
Liang Dynasty," Book 64, p. 19, and in Ma Tivan-lMs work, Book 327, p. 2. 

f The Munich " Gel. Anzeiger," vol. viii, p. 636. This must have been the 
country stretching from the two Carolinas to the southern point of Florida. 



NEUMANN S MONOGRAPH. 93 

We are informed that the people of Ta-han upon the whole 
resembled the " Pictured-people " in their customs and usages. 
"The two nations, however, spoke quite different languages. 
The people of Ta-han carried no weapons and knew nothing of 
war and strife." 

Beyond Ta-han, the Chinese learned, at the close of the fifth 
century of our era, of the existence of a land which the elder 
de Guignes has already located in the northwestern part of the 
American Continent. The conjecture of this sagacious and schol 
arly man is in its main points well founded, but we are now in 
a position to clearly determine the particular country of America 
to which the Chinese account referred. The zealous investiga 
tions concerning the perished civilization of the New World, and 
the traces of it which still exist, have led to results of which the 
investigators of the eighteenth century could have had no knowl 
edge. We will now give, first, a complete and literal transla 
tion of the Chinese account regarding the distant eastern land, 
and follow it with an explanation, as far as practicable, of its 
various statements. 

8-11. THE KINGDOM OF FU-SANG AND ITS INHABITANTS. 
[Here follows a translation of the Chinese account, which is 
given in full elsewhere, and which it therefore will not be neces 
sary to quote here.] 

12. THE AMAZONS. The same Buddhist priest to whom we 
owe the account of the land of Fu-sang tells also of a Kingdom 
of Women. It lay about a thousand Chinese miles easterly from 
Fu-sang, and was inhabited by white people with very hairy 
bodies.* The whole account, however, contains so much that is 
fabulous that it is not worth while to give it. It is none the 
less remarkable, however, that, from the most ancient times, all 
great civilized nations which have had written accounts that 
have come down to us, speak of a kingdom of women which, the 
farther that the northeastern portions of Asia became known 
without finding any such kingdom, was always pushed back to a 
greater distance, until finally these governing women were trans 
planted into America. It is hardly necessary to say that such a 
kingdom of women never existed. It is quite possible that here 

* The account is found in the Nan-*se, Book 79, p. 6 ; IAang-riu, Book 54, 
p. 49, and copied from these, but with many corrections, in the Encyclopaedia of 
Ma Twan-lin, Book 327, et seq. 



94: AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

and there the women of many different races had separate dwell 
ing-places, or perhaps lived apart upon an island, where they from 
time to time received visits from the men. The Arabs likewise 
tell of such an arrangement ; * but they placed their country of 
women in quite another part of the world. The knowledge of 
the Arabians and Persians of the northern and northeastern re 
gions of the earth extended only as far as Japan. East of Japan, 
Abulfeda expressly declares, the earth was believed to be unin 
habited. 

13. Fu-SANG, THE WESTERN PORTION OF AMERICA, CALLED 

MEXICO. What all these distant lands were called by their na 
tive inhabitants we do not know, and, in fact, it is rarely that 
the native names of foreign countries are known, even of those 
which have been recently discovered. We only know that the 
Chinese Buddhist missionaries gave to the country the name of 
a tree which grew in great numbers both there and in Eastern 
Asia,f or rather, perhaps, as seems probable, the new land was 
covered with a plant similar to the Asiatic fu-sang, and to this 
new plant the old name fu-sang was given, and this designation 
was then applied to the country also, for it is one of the in 
born dispositions of human nature to name a country after its 
prominent productions which are rare elsewhere. So the Nor 
mans, who discovered the northern coast of America, about five 
hundred years after the era of these Buddhist priests, named 
the country "Yinland," because of the great abundance of 
wild grape-vines growing there. On account of the great dis 
tance of Fu-sang, no more missionaries ever reached the country, 
yet the Buddhists and the Chinese investigators interested in 
antiquarian researches never allowed this land, which had been 
once described with so many details, to be forgotten. Chinese 
scholars have mentioned it frequently in their works, and have 
even given it a place in their maps,J while the Buddhists, in 
their uncritical, meditative way, never became weary of repeat 
ing the old tales. The myth-loving geographers and poets also 
availed themselves of this knowledge at a later period, and spun 
the tale out in many fanciful ways, as was done by those of the 
West in regard to Prester John. These strange and charming 

* Edrisi, ii, p. 433, ed. Jaubert. 

f Loureiro, "Flora Cochin-Chinensis," Berolini, 1793, ii, 510. 

$ Fa-kiai-ngan-li-tu, \. e., " Sure Tables of Religion," i, 22. 



NEUMANN S MONOGRAPH. 95 

pictures of the imagination, regarding the tree and the land of 
Fit-sang, will, in the eyes of the earnest investigator, cause no 
more doubt of the truth of the historical portion of the accounts, 
than the rich collections of popular stories regarding Alexander 
the Great and Charlemagne cause regarding the historical works 
of Arrian and Eginhard. 

The distance of the land from Ta-han, or Alaska, which, ac 
cording to the estimate already given, amounts to fifty-seven or 
fifty-eight degrees, brings us to the northwestern coast of Mex 
ico, or New Spain, in the region of San Bias or the neighbouring 
districts. The other details of the Buddhist-Chinese account 
also point to this region no less plainly, but before entering 
upon an examination of the history of the Aztecs, it seems neces 
sary to explain a difliculty which might otherwise destroy this 
whole attempt to furnish proof as to the true situation of the 
country. 

14. THE OLDEST HISTORY OP AMERICA. The account of 
this Buddhist, goes back to times far antedating all the tra 
ditions and historical records of the Aztecs, dubious as these 
are, from the fact that they rest only upon the uncertain inter 
pretation of their hieroglyphic records. One fact, however, is 
certain amidst these otherwise uncertain tales as to the early his 
tory of America. The barbarian races of conquerors that fol 
lowed one another in this region, always journeying from the 
north to the south, murdered, drove away, and enslaved the ear 
lier inhabitants, and, in the course of time, formed new civil 
and political institutions, modified by their own peculiarities, 
but modeled upon those of the destroyed kingdom, and these, in 
turn, were in the course of a few centuries again shattered by 
other barbarians. These later bands of conquerors can no more 
be considered as the first colonists in the New World than the 
first colonists of Europe can be thought to be the tribes which 
conquered the German and other races in the Old World. 

15. THE RUINS OP MITLA AND PALENQUE. The nameless 
ruins which are designated by the names of the neighbouring 
cities of Mitla and Palenque (the last-named city being situated 
in the province of Tzendale, near the boundary-line between the 
city of Ciudad Real and Yucatan) have been considered by en 
thusiastic investigators to date back to a period several thousand 
years before the Christian era. Enthusiasts have found here not 



96 AN INGLOKIOUS COLUMBUS. 

only the home of the most intellectual civilization of the New 
World, but also the home of Buddhism.* The Toltecs a name 
that means "Architects" appeared about the middle of the 
seventh century. One of their literary productions, " The Divine 
Book," had, according to an unconfirmed tradition, been pre 
served up to the times of the Spaniards.f The Aztecs, on the 
contrary, first came to Anahuac, or " the Land near the Water," 
during the reign of the Emperor Frederick II. J The savage 
conquerors, as was the case with all races at the time of the great 
migrations of the nations of Europe, were at first hostile to both 
the existing religion and the native civilization. In the end, 
however, when the necessity of having the state properly con 
trolled was forced upon them, they could erect the new structure 
only upon the existing ruins. This is as true in a figurative as 
in a literal sense, and we can learn much of the condition of the 
earlier races in this land by a consideration of the regulations, 
customs, and usages of the Aztecs. The most learned historian 
of New Spain, in harmony with the results of the most recent 
researches, long ago recognized the original connection of the 
numerous languages of Mexico, notwithstanding all their differ 
ences in single points.* 

The pyramidical, symbolical form of the wonderful monu 
ments of ancient Mexico appears in truth to have some external 
points of resemblance with the religious structures erected by 
the Buddhists, and the pyramids of the old inhabitants of this 
land served, like those of the Egyptians and Buddhists, as places 
of interment ; but neither their architecture nor their ornamenta 
tion, if we are to decide from the drawings of Mexican antiqui 
ties, exhibit any East Indian symbol, unless their eight rings or 
stories are considered as such. It is stated in a Buddhist legend 
that the remains of Sakya, after his cremation, were collected in 
eight metallic vessels and as many sacred buildings were erected 
over these. || But if Buddhism ever reigned over Central Ameri- 

" Antiquites Mexicaines," ii, p. 73 ; " Transactions of the American Anti 
quarian Society," ii; Prescott, "History of the Conquest of Mexico," Paris, 1844, 
"i, P- 253 - f Prescott, i, 67. 

\ The chronological estimates of the different historians do not agree with 
one another. Those of the learned Clavigero appear to be always the most reliable, 
however. Prescott, i, 11. 

* Clavigero, "Storia Antica del Messico," i, 153. 

i "Asiatic Researches," xvi, 316. 



NEUMANN S MONOGRAPH. 97 

ca, it surely can not have been the pure religion of Sakya, as it 
is found to-day in Nepal, Thibet, and other countries of Asia, 
but only a form of a religious belief founded upon the funda 
mental principles of this doctrine, and changed to adapt it to 
the earlier belief of the people of the New World ; for the mis 
sionaries of Sakya might be called Jesuits, from the fact that 
they, in order to obtain an easier entrance for their religion and 
its dogmas, either built them up upon the previous customs and 
usages of the country or cunningly mixed the two together. 
The myth of the birth of the terrible Aztec god of war is per 
haps a faded remnant of the East Indian religion which may 
once have bloomed here. Huitzilopochtli, like Sakya, was begot 
ten in a wonderful way : his mother saw a ball of glittering 
feathers floating in the air, placed it in her bosom, became preg 
nant, and bore her terrible son, who, at the time of his birth, had 
a spear in his right hand, a shield in his left, and a waving tuft 
of green feathers upon his head.* Juan de Grijalva, the nephew 
of Valasquez, was so astonished at the superior civilization of 
the main continent as compared with the islands, and particu 
larly at the regularity of the buildings, that he, upon this 
account, in 1518, gave to the Peninsula of Yucatan the name 
of "New Spain," a name which soon obtained a much wider 
extension.f 

16. FU-SANG, MAGUEY, AGAVE AMERICANA. It is known that 
the flora of the northwestern regions of America is intimately 
connected with that of China, Japan, and other lands in the east 
ernmost region of the Orient. On this account it may be believed 
that ihefu-sang tree was also found in America in earlier times, 
and that from bad management it has since become extinct. The 
tobacco-plant and Indian corn are in a similar way native both 
to China and to the New World. J It appears much more prob 
able, however, that the traveler, as has not unfrequently occurred 
in other similar cases, when he saw in Mexico a new plant for 
merly unknown to him, which was used there for many purposes 
in a similar way to the uses made of t\iQfu-scung tree in Eastern 
Asia, gave to it the name of the well-known Asiatic tree which 
he thought to resemble it. The plant that I mean is the great 

* Clavigero, ii, 19. f Prescott, i, 143. 

\ Professor Neumann seems to have made this statement on insufficient au 
thority. E. P. V. 
7 



98 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

Mexican Aloe, the Agave Americana, called " Maguey " by the 
natives, which, throwing up its pyramidical tuft of flowers 
above the dark circle of its leaves, is found in such great abun 
dance upon the plains of New Spain. From its crushed leaves 
a firm paper is prepared, even up to the present time, as at the 
time when the Aztec kingdom flourished, and the few hiero 
glyphic manuscripts that have escaped the barbarity and fa 
naticism of the Spaniards consist of this paper ; and of such 
manuscripts the Buddhist missionary speaks. The flowing sap 
is brewed into an intoxicating drink, which is still liked by the 
people of the country. Its large, stiff leaves serve as firm roofs 
for their low huts, and from the fibers are made all kinds of 
thread, cordage, and rough cloth. When cooked, the roots form 
a savoury species of food ; and the thorns are used as needles and 
pins. This wonderful plant, therefore, offers not only food and 
drink, but clothing and writing-materials, and, in fact, so satis 
fies, to a certain degree, every want of the Mexicans, that many 
who are acquainted with the land and its inhabitants are con 
vinced that the maguey must be rooted out before the sloth and 
indolence of the people evils which prevent them from reach 
ing a higher culture and civilization can be checked.* 

17. METALS AND MONEY. The use of iron, although it is 
found so abundantly in New Spain, was, as our traveler has 
justly observed, not known. Copper and bronze were then used 
instead in this country, as they were formerly used in other 
regions of the earth. According to the account of Antonio de 
Herrera, two varieties of copper were prepared, one hard and 
the other soft of which the first was used for hatchets, cutting- 
instruments, and agricultural implements, and the other for 
kettles and all kinds of household utensils. The inhabitants 
also understood how to work silver, tin, and lead mines ; but 
neither the silver nor the gold, which was found upon the sur 
face of the earth or in the channels of the rivers, served as the 
usual medium of exchange, and these metals were not especially 
valued in the land. Pieces of tin, in the form of a hammer, and 
packages of cacao containing a certain number of kernels, were 
generally used as money. " Admirable money," exclaims Peter 
Martyr, " which checks avarice ; since it can neither be long 
kept nor safely buried." f 

* Prescott, i, 63, 87. f Prescott, i, 92. 



NEUMANN S MONOGRAPH. 99 

18. LAWS AND CUSTOMS OF THE AZTECS. The laws of the 
Aztecs were very strict ; but in the few fragments of them which 
are contained in the hieroglyphic pictures that we have, we 
find no trace of the regulations described as existing in the 
land of Fu-sang. An hereditary nobility stood, however, at the 
side of Montezuma, divided into several different ranks, con 
cerning which the historians give contradictory accounts. Zu- 
rita speaks of four ranks of chiefs, who paid no tribute and who 
enjoyed other privileges. * . The customs of courtship and mar 
riage resembled those which exist to-day in Kamtchatka. We 
have no knowledge of the mourning ceremonies of the Aztecs, 
except that their kings had particular palaces in which they 
passed the time of mourning for their nearest relatives, f At the 
festivities in honour of the gods, drums and trumpets were 
sounded ; and this may also have been done by the attendants 
of the king as to the representative of the divinity. J 

The Aztecs reckoned time by a cycle of fifty-two years, and, 
as is well known, knew very accurately the time of the revolu 
tion of the earth about the sun. The ten-year cycle mentioned 
in the Chinese account may have been a subdivision of that of 
fifty-two years, or else may have been used as an independent 
method of reckoning time, as is the case with the ten-year cycle 
of the Chinese, who call the signs of the different years " stems." 
It is remarkable that the Mongolians and Mantchoos designate 
these " stems " by words indicating different colours, which fact 
may possibly have some connection with the change of colour in 
the garments of the prince of Fii-sang in the different years of 
the cycle. * Among the Tartarian tribes the first two years of 
the ten are called green and greenish, the next two red and 
reddish, the two following yellow and yellowish, the next two 
white and whitish, and, finally, the last two black and blackish. 
It appears impossible, however, to bring this cycle of the Aztecs 
into any connection with those of the Asiatic tribes, who usually 
reckon time by periods of sixty years. 

19. DOMESTIC ANIMALS. The Aztecs have no draught ani 
mals or beasts of burden, and it is well known that horses were 
not found in any part of the New World, and the account of 

* Prescott, i, 18. t Mithridates, iii, 3-33. 

J Bernal Diaz, " Hist, de la Conquista," pp. 152, 153 ; Prescott, iii, 87, 97. 
* Gaubil, " Observations Mathematiques," Paris, 1732, ii, 135. 



100 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

the Chinese traveler certainly is not applicable to the later 
Mexican monarchies. Two species of oxen with large horns 
ranged in herds in the plains of the Rio del Norte before the 
arrival of the Spaniards.* These may have been tamed by the 
earlier inhabitants and used as domestic animals. Stags horns 
have also been found in the ruins of Mexican buildings, and 
Montezuma showed the Spaniards enormous horns as curiosities.f 
It is possible that in earlier times stags ranged farther south than 
at present and that their range extended from Upper California 
and other regions of North America, in which they are still 
found in large herds, as far as to the regions of Central America. 
An inhabitant of China would naturally think it very strange 
to see butter made from the milk of the hinds, as milk is 
rarely used in China even up to the present day. When the 
inhabitants of Chu-san saw that the English sailors milked 
goats, even grave, elderly men could not restrain their laughter 
at the sight. Moreover, the Chinese traveler may have used the 
character " ma " (or " horse ") to designate some animal resem 
bling a horse ; for changes of this kind frequently occur in simi 
lar accounts. In the same way the names of many animals of 
the Old World have been applied to similar animals in the New 
World which belong to quite different species. The eastern 
limits of the Asiatic Continent are also the limits of the native 
country of the horse ; and it furthermore appears that this ani 
mal was first introduced into Japan from Corea in the third cen 
tury of our era.J But no matter from what source the error in 
regard to American horses may have come, the unprejudiced 
and circumspect inquirer will not be induced merely upon this 
account to declare the whole story regarding Fusang-Mexico to 
be an idle tale. It appears to me that this description of the 
countries upon the western coast of America, in the Annual 
Register of the Chinese Empire, is at least as credible as the 
account contained in the Icelandic Sagas of the discovery of the 
eastern shores of the New World. 

20. CHINESE AND JAPANESE IN THE HAWAIIAN GROUP AND IN 

* Humboldt, " Neu-Spanien," iii, 138. 

f Humboldt, " Neu-Spanicn," ii, 243. 

$ Nippon-lei -I e., " Annual Registers of the Kingdom of Japan." In the 
entry for the year 284 it is said : " In this year norses were brought from Corea " ; 
but it is not especially stated that they were the first in Japan. 



NEUMANN S MONOGRAPH. 101 

NORTHWESTERN AMERICA. In support of the theory of an early 
communication of China and Japan with the islands between 
Asia and America and with the western coast of this division of 
the earth, even though such communication may have been only 
accidental, a number of facts of modern date may be adduced. 
Even if the Chinese and the Japanese, who, by virtue of their 
knowledge of the compass since the earliest date of their his 
tory, would find such a voyage not to be particularly difficult, 
never intentionally undertook any voyages by sea to America, 
yet it may have happened, as it still happens, that ships from 
Eastern Asia, China, and Japan, as well as those of Russians 
from Ochotsk and Kamtchatka,* were thrown upon the islands 
and coast of the New World. The earliest Spanish travelers 
and explorers heard of foreign merchants who had landed upon 
the northwestern coast of America, and even claimed to have 
seen fragments of a Chinese ship, f We also know that the 
crew of a Japanese junk accidentally discovered a great conti 
nent in the East, wintered there, and then safely returned home. 
The Japanese stated that the land extended farther to the north 
west.! They may have passed the winter in the neighbourhood 
of California, and have discovered the coast farther north, to 
gether with the Peninsula of Alaska. 

A Japanese ship was wrecked, about the end of the year 1832, 
upon Oahu, one of the Sandwich Islands, of which the Hawaiian 
" Spectator " contained the following detailed account : " This 
Japanese ship had nine men on board, who were carrying fish 
to Jeddo from one of the southerly islands of the * Eastern King 
dom. A storm drove them into the open sea, where they drifted 
about for ten or eleven months, until they finally (in December, 
1832) landed in the port of Waiala, upon the island of Oahu. 
The ship sank, but the men were saved and brought to Hono 
lulu, where they remained for eighteen months, and then, in 
accordance with their own desires, sailed for Kamtchatka, hop 
ing to be able to slip quietly from this country into their native 
land. * For the terribly barbarous government of Japan, remem- 

* An account of a Russian ship which was driven upon the coast of California 
in 1761 may be found in the "Travels of Several Missionaries of the Society of 
Jesus in America," Nuremberg, 1785, p. 337. 

f Torquemada, u Mon. Ind.," iii, 7 ; Acosta, "Hist. Nat. Amer.," iii, 12. 

\ Kaempfer, " Gcschichte von Japan," Lemgo, 1777, i, 82. 



102 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

berino- even to this day the evil artifices of the Portuguese Jesuits, 
and fearing the secret plots of the neighbouring Russians, prohib 
ited even its own unfortunate shipwrecked subjects from re 
turning to their native land. " When the people of Hawaii," so 
continues the " Spectator," " saw these foreigners so closely re 
sembling them in external form and in many customs and 
usages, they were much astonished, and unanimously declared, 
* There can l>e no farther room for doubt. We came from 
Asia. " * 

Another instance of a Japanese ship in America and of the 
former inconsiderate iron policy of the Japanese government is 
as follows : During the winter of 1833- 34 a junk from Japan 
suffered shipwreck upon the northwest coast of America in the 
neighbourhood of Queen Charlotte s Island. The numerous 
members of the crew, weakened by hunger, were, with the ex 
ception of two persons, murdered by the natives. The Hudson s 
Bay Company took charge of these unfortunate beings, and in 
1834 sent them to England, from which country they were sent 
on to Macao. This was considered as a fortunate occurrence, as 
it was hoped that the government at Jeddo would show some 
gratitude for this humane treatment of its subjects, and possibly 
give up its policy of prohibiting the entry of foreigners into the 
kingdom. The ship which it was intended should restore these 
subjects to the rulers of the "Eastern Kingdom," and at the 
same time extend the doctrines of the Christian religion to Japan 
(for Carl Guetzlaff was on board), was received with cannon- 
balls, and compelled to leave the coast of the inhospitable land, 
with its intended good work unperformed. 

All these different facts sufficiently prove that a voyage to 
America and the neighbouring islands, on the part of some of 
the people who shared in the Chinese civilization, can not have 
been a very infrequent occurrence. And, upon the other side, 
the inhabitants of these islands may, in their frail canoes, have 
accidentally or intentionally landed from time to time upon the 
Asiatic Continent. " It is wonderful," says the Jesuit Hierony- 
mus d Angelis, who in 1680 was the first European to visit 

* " Hawaiian Spectator," i, 296, quoted in Belcher s " Voyage Round the 
World," London, 1843, i, 304; Jarvis s "History of the Sandwich Islands," Lon 
don, 1843, 27. According to a tradition of the people of the islands, several such 
ships had been wrecked upon Hawaii before the arrival of the whites. 



NEUMANN S MONOGRAPH. 103 

Jesso,* " how bold these people are, and how expert in naviga 
tion. In their defective boats they undertake voyages occupy 
ing from two to three months, and, however many may perish 
at sea, new adventurers are always found to undertake the same 
bold risks/ 

Since the opening of Japan to other nations and its entrance 
into the affairs of the world, the state of facts outlined above is 
of course entirely changed. Voyages from Eastern Asia to 
Western America and back are now of common, almost of daily, 
occurrence. The large Japanese Embassy, which came to Wash 
ington by the way of the Hawaiian Islands and California in 
1860, is fully described in my " History of Eastern Asia," and 
is still held in fresh remembrance, f 

* P. Dan Bartolli, " Dell 1 Historia della Compagnia di Giesu," Rome, 1640, T, 
71. D Angelis himself designed a map of Jesso. 

f " Ost-Asiatische Geschichte, Tom Ersten Chinesischen Krieg bis ru den Ver- 
tragen zu Peking " (1840-1860), yon Karl Friedrich Neumann, Leipzig, 1861, 
335 pp. 



CHAPTER VII. 

THE ARGUMENTS OF MM. PEREZ AND GODRON. 

Knowledge of America possessed by the Chinese The Country of Women Other 
travelers relate incredible stories Klaproth s argument The account con 
tained in the Japanese Encyclopaedia Note denying that Fu-sang is Japan 
Weakness of Klaproth s argument Identity of names of cities in Asia and 
America American languages Resemblance of the Tartars to the Abo 
rigines of America Similitude of customs A Buddhist mission to America 
in the fifth century The Chinese able to measure distances, and possessed of 
the compass The musk-oxen and bisons of America Horses Names of 
European animals misapplied to American animals The " horse-deer " of 
America Vines The difficulty in identifying the fu-sang tree Iron and 
copper in America and Japan. 

Memoir upon the Relations of the Americans in Former Times 
with the Nations of Europe, Asia, and Africa Section en 
titled, "Knowledge possessed by the Chinese in the Fourth 
Century of our Era" by M. Jose Perez, D. M. m * 

THE question as to whether or not the people of Eastern 
Asia, at the time above named, had any communication with the 
natives of any part of America, appears to be worthy of the 
careful investigation of scholars. An unexpected discovery has 
thrown light upon this subject ; and, following the authority of 
some writers and the criticisms of others, it appears evident that 
the New World was known in former times to the Chinese and 
Japanese. Before engaging in a discussion regarding the authors 
who have thought that the country of Fu-sang should be iden 
tified with America, it is indispensable to place the steps of the 
process by which their conclusion was reached under the eyes 
of the reader, without taking part in the perversion of facts for 
the benefit of any theory whatever, as has unfortunately been 
done to the injury of the solution of the problem which now 
occupies us. 



THE ARGUMENT OF M. PEREZ. 105 

It was in 1761 that de Guignes published his justly cele 
brated memoir, in which, after identifying several nations of the 
extreme East, mentioned by the Chinese accounts, and particu 
larly that of Ta-han, which he placed, with reason, in the most 
eastern part of Siberia, this learned Sinologue made known to 
the astonished scientific world the Chinese descriptions of the 
famous country of Fu-sang, in which he recognized a part of 
North America. This continent, say the writers of the Celestial 
Empire, is situated twenty thousand li to the east of the country 
of Ta-han. The king bears the title of Y-chi, and the chiefs of 
the nation beneath him are the great and petty Tui-lu and the 
Na-to-sha. "The historian from whom Ma Twan-lin copies 
this account," says de Guignes, " adds that the Chinese had no 
knowledge of the country of Fa-sang before the year 458, and 
to the present time I have seen no other than these two writers 
who give any extended account of it. Some authors of diction 
aries who mention it, merely say that it is situated in the region 
where the sun rises." The situation of I\i-sang, clearly described 
in the accounts, and the great distance which separates it from 
China, to the east of which country it lies a distance stated in 
precise terms by the Chinese geographers appear to positively 
prove that this country can not be contained in Asia, even within 
its utmost bounds. Moreover, the Chinese historians, as de 
Guignes has remarked, also speak of another country a thousand 
li farther east than Fu-sang, a country called " the Kingdom of 
Women." The account which is given of it is, it is true, full of 
fables ; but that merely proves that this last country marked one 
of the extreme limits of their geographical knowledge, and that 
it was a land of which they had but very imperfect accounts, 
analogous to those which the travelers of the Middle Ages gave 
regarding the eastern countries which they reached. Does not 
even Marco Polo himself, whose intellectual superiority and the 
value of whose geographical statements it is now the fashion to 
exaggerate beyond all reason, relate to us the most incredible 
stories regarding countries in which he lived ? . . . 

The Chinese account of " the Kingdom of Women " is written 
with no less intelligence and sincerity than the European works 
of the Middle Ages of which we have spoken, and that which 
appears to us to be fabulous might well seem true if it were better 
explained. It is evident that the author did not intend to say 



100 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

i -M 

that it was the river of this country which caused the women s 
pregnancy, but merely that the baths taken in its waters were 
favourable to them when in that condition, which is moreover 
proved by the following phrase, where it is said that they gave 
birth to their young four months after having taken these baths ; 
and as for the white locks which they had at the back of the 
head, by which they nursed their children, the account is ex 
plained very easily by a custom, common in India and elsewhere, 
by which the women nurse their children over their shoulders. 
Finally, de Guignes mentions, as an additional proof in support 
of his theory, the shipwreck in 507 A. D. of a Chinese vessel 
upon the shores of an unknown island situated at a great dis 
tance in the Pacific Ocean. The women of this country resem 
bled those of China, and the men made themselves understood 
by barking, undoubtedly like the noise made by the Tse^as 
in Louisiana in the presence of their king, in order to do him 
honour. 

From all these facts it appeared indisputable to the learned 
Sinologue that the Chinese had penetrated very far into the Pa 
cific Ocean, if they had not traveled over it, and that they had 
sufficient boldness to go to California in the year 458 A. D. . . . 

Klaproth, the famous Orientalist, having much learning, but 
even more envy, did not wish that any one should have greater 
credit than himself for Chinese scholarship, and thought it pos 
sible to plunge de Guignes s celebrated discovery into forget- 
fulness by stuffing it into a mattress of paradoxes quite filled 
with wonderful statements. ... As to the great distance which 
exists, according to the shaman s account, between this unknown 
country and China, Klaproth takes a lesson from the trick of 
decipherers who fail either to understand an entire inscription or 
some of its words : he finds errors in the original document. 

" The distances named in the accounts," says he, " much ex 
ceed the truth " (that is to say, the hypothesis of the Prussian 
Sinologue), " and the Chinese had no means of determining the 
length of their cruises at sea." Finally, to make it impossible 
to identify Fa-sang with any part of America, Klaproth con 
ceives the ruse of finding a place upon the map for the country 
of Wen-shin. After having consigned these unfortunate " Tat 
tooed Men " to the island of Jesso, he writes, quite satisfied with 
himself : " The identity of Ta-han and the island of Tarakai, 



THE ARGUMENT OF M. PEREZ. 1Q7 

once demonstrated, prevents all further search for the country 
of Fu-sang in America." Then, viewing his fanciful argument 
more and more complacently, he adds : " We must, therefore, 
reject the entire tale as to Fu-sang as fabulous, or else find a 
means of reconciling it with the truth. This may be found by 
supposing the indication of the direction as toward the east to 
be incorrect. We may, therefore, presume that one goes directly 
east in order to pass the Strait of Perouse in skirting the north 
ern coast of Jesso, but that upon arriving at the eastern point of 
this island the course turns to the south and leads us to the 
southeastern part of Japan, which was the country called Fu- 
sang. It was, in fact, one of the ancient names of this empire." 
We will soon consider the attention that should be given to all 
this arguing, but will now return to the original source from 
which proceeds all the information given to us regarding the 
country in which we are interested. Several accounts of Fu- 
sang are in existence, but they are evidently derived one from 
another, and all have a common origin. Our limits do not per 
mit us to reproduce those which have been successively trans 
lated by de Guignes and Klaproth, but we will give here the 
account of this country which is contained in the large and cele 
brated Japanese Encyclopaedia, entitled Wci-kan-san-sai-dzou-ye 
(vol. xiv), which M. de Rosny has kindly translated from the 
original expressly for our work. This notice is merely an abridg 
ment of the accounts formerly mentioned, but it possesses the 
inestimable advantage over the latter, of making known to us 
the clearly expressed opinion of the Japanese editor upon this 
question. As it is with Japan that Klaproth identifies the coun 
try of Fu-sang, this opinion can not fail to be of great weight in 
the balance. The following is the translation of this notice : 

Fou-s6 (in Chinese, Fu-sang). The Encyclopaedia, entitled 
San-sai-dzou-ye, says : 

" The country of Fou-so is situated at the east of the coun 
try of Tai-kan. According to the authority of the work en 
titled Foung-tien, Fou-so is distant from the country of Tai-kan 
in an easterly direction about 20,000 li. It is placed to the east 
of the < Middle Kingdom (China). Many trees, called fou-s6- 
mok (Hibiscus rosa Sinensis), are found there.* Their leaves 

* In Japanese, " Sono-tsontsi-ni fou-so-mok ohosi." " In hanc terram fou-s6 
(sic vocitatae) arbores multae sunt." 






108 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 



are similar to those of the to-tree ; when they are young they 
are like bamboo-sprouts, and the natives eat them. Their fruits 
are like pears, and are of a red colour. The fiber of the bark is 
drawn out to make cloth from which clothing is made. Planks 
made from the tree are employed to build their houses. 

"In this country there are no cities. The natives have a 
method of writing, and they make clothing (sic) from the bark 
of the fou-so tree. They have no offensive weapons or defen 
sive armour, and do not wage wars. 

" They give to their king the name of UTi/ci-zin, that is to 
say, the most honourable man. When the latter walks abroad 
he is accompanied with drums and trumpets. At different peri 
ods of the year he changes the colour of his garments. In the 
cyclic years kia and i they are blue ; in the years ping and ting 
they are red, etc. 

"The natives raise deer, as cattle are raised, and prepare 
creamy dishes from the milk of the animals. 

" In this country there is no iron, but there is copper. Gold 
and silver are not valued. In the markets no duties are levied. 
The rules for the observance of the marriage-ceremony are in 
general the same as those of the l Middle Kingdom (China). In 
the second year of the period, called ta-ming (or great light ), 
the year 458 of our era, under the reign of the emperor Hiao 
Wu-ti* of the Sung dynasty, five bhikshus (mendicant priests) of 
the country of Ki-pin^ in their travels reached Fou-s6, and com 
menced to propagate Buddhism there." The editor of the Wa- 
Jcan-san-sai-dzou- ye adds the following comment : 

" NOTE. It is not now certainly known what to think re 
garding the country of FOU-SO, which is said to be to the east of 
China and also to the east of the country of Tai-kan. It is 
therefore uncertain whether the country to which the bonzes of 
the country of Ki-pin went, carrying the doctrine of Buddha, 
is situated to the north or to the east of Japan. In any case, 
it is wrong to think that the account refers to Japan, and the 
statement that Fou-s6 may be another name of Japan is incor 
rect." The Japanese author adds in a note : " Ki-pin is one 
of the western countries (Si-yu). It is San-ma-cell-han" (Sa- 
marcand). 

* This prince of the Pch Sung, or Northern Sung dynasty, reigned from 454 to 
465 A. D. The period ta-ming is comprised between the years 457 and 464. 



THE ARGUMENT OF M. PEREZ. 1Q9 

To this account, and as before to serve as the foundation 
of our argument, we will add the translation which M. de 
Rosny has also kindly made for us of the notices of the great 
Japanese Encyclopaedia of the countries of Boun-zin and Tai- 
kan. 

BOUN-ZIN (in Chinese, Wen-shin). The Encyclopedia, en 
titled San-sai-dzou-ye, says : " The productions of the country of 
Boun-zin (Men with Tattooed Bodies) are of very little value. 
In the inns no food is found. The dwelling of the king is orna 
mented with gold and gems. In the markets, traffic is carried 
on by means of precious objects." 

TAI-KAN (in Chinese, Ta-hari). The Encyclopaedia, entitled 
San-sai-dzou-ye, says : " In the country of Tai-kan there are 
no armies, and war is not waged. The people are similar to 
those of Boun-zin (the Men with Tattooed Bodies), but their 
language is different. 

" Some people say that the country of Tai-kan is situated to 
the east of the country of Boun-zin^ at a distance of about five 
thousand li" 

Having laid these documents before our readers, we will now 
attempt to discuss the arguments that have been urged against 
the identification of the country of Fu-sang^ or Fou-so, with 
America. First of all, we find, in the account translated by M. 
de Rosny, a passage which completely annihilates the hypothesis, 
otherwise so gratuitous as we see, of the Prussian scholar, ac 
cording to which Fu-sang was one of the names of Japan. " In 
any case," says the Japanese author of the great Encyclopae 
dia, " it is wrong to think that the account refers to Japan, and 
the statement that Fou-sd (or Fu-sang) may be another name of 
Japan is incorrect." I will add that, after the statement of such 
an authority, it hardly seems necessary to further refute the im 
aginary system invented by Klaproth to compensate for the pov 
erty of his cause, since M. de Rosny has been unable to find in 
any of the Japanese-Chinese dictionaries of his excellent col 
lection anything which can justify the statement made by the 
German scholar, that Fu-sang is another name for Japan. Then, 
if we admit that Fu-sang is the same as Japan, it is necessary to 
find between this last country and China another country, Ta- 
han, inhabited by savages with tattooed bodies and so slightly 
advanced in knowledge as not to have arms of any nature 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

which is expressly contradicted by our historical and geographi 
cal knowledge. 

It is also necessary to find to the east of Japan, and not 
in America, another country, Niu-jin-Tcwoh, which one of the 
most famous Chinese works, the Peu-tsao-kang-mouh, places to 
the east of the country of Fa-sang, which is again impossible. 
Then it is necessary to admit, as Klaproth wishes, that the author 
of the description of Fa-sang must have been deceived as to the 
distance of twenty thousand li which separated this remote coun 
try from the lands known at this time ; as also that he must have 
been mistaken when he said that Buddhism had been introduced 
there in the year 458 A. D., since it did not reach Japan until a 
century later ; he must also have been mistaken in his mention 
of the tree which gave its name to Fa-sang, for, according to 
Klaproth, "there is some error in the Chinese account, which 
confounds the hibiscus (or the rose of China) with the paper- 
mulberry, or Morus papyrifera" etc., etc. 

Once admitting that in the place of the hypothesis, at least very 
probable at first sight, so skillfully presented by M. de Guignes, 
another hypothesis absolutely inadmissible is proposed to us, let 
us consider the weight that should be given the objections of 
Klaproth against the identification of Fa-sang with America. 

We have seen that Klaproth thought that he had found a 
serious objection in the grapes which the Chinese voyagers 
found in Fa-sang but this objection can not now be admitted. 
By a singular oversight he forgets that the forests of North 
America abound in wild vines of several species, and that the 
Scandinavians had placed Vin-land, or the " Land of Wine," in 
its northeastern part ; he thinks that Fa-sang may have been 
Japan, where, he says, the vine has existed from times imme 
morial, although the Chinese did not introduce it from Western 
Asia until the year 126 before our era. 

In addition to all that precedes, a multitude of petty particu 
lars are also presented, which, by their significant number, suffice 
to convince the most unwilling that America must have received 
colonies from Asia. We will mention only a few of these par 
ticulars, reserving the others to communicate hereafter to those 
who are not persuaded that to discuss the matter further is but 
to labour at demolishing open gates. We not only find in Amer 
ica the grand distinctive traits of the nations of the extreme 



THE ARGUMENT OF M. PEREZ. 

Orient, but we see that at some remote epoch the Asiatics had 
given to the cities of the New World the same names as the 
cities of their mother country, as the Europeans did when they 
gave to the western cities of the New World the names of New 
York, New Orleans, New Brunswick (sic), etc. So the name 
of the famous Japanese city of Ohosaka, to the west of the Pa 
cific, has become Oaxaca, in Mexico, upon its eastern side. For 
merly there were the same names of nations or of tribes, which 
we find with the most striking resemblance upon the two sides 
of the Pacific, as, for example, the Chan, a tribe living in the 
neighbourhood of Palenque, of which the name signifies " Ser 
pent." * The identical name being found again in Indo-China,f 
in the country of the Nagas, " Serpents." Nachan, " the City of 
the Serpents," in America, corresponds with the Cambodian 
Nakhorchan " the City of Serpents." It is sufficient to add that, 
in glancing over an old map of Mexico, the geographical names 
of several different provinces are found, and among them names 
which betray a Chinese origin at first sight, such as Mi-choa-kan, 
Ko-li-man, Te-koua-na-pan, etc. The name which the Otomis 
give to their language, " Hiang-hioung," is not less convincing, 
and it is known that these Indians are included among the oldest 
populations of Central America. Grammatical affinities, not less 
remarkable, are established between different idioms of the Old 
and the New World. In several languages, both of Greenland 
and of Brazil, a special form of negative conjugation is found ; 
and in the Moska and the Arawack the negation is interposed 
between the root of the verb and its terminations, as is the case 
in the Turkish and the other Tartarian dialects. In Guarani, in 
Chiquito, and in Quichua, as in Tagala and Mantchoo, there 
exists a pronoun of the first person plural, excluding those who 
are addressed, and another which includes these last. The con 
jugation of the languages of the plateau of Anahuac recalls in 
most of its details the conjugations of the Basque and the Hun 
garian verbs. 

The type of the different Indian nations is astonishingly 
similar to the Mongolian type. M. Ledyard, who has had the 
advantage of studying the American race in the countries in 

* See the Abbe Brasscur de Bourbourg s " Popol Vuh," p. civ. 
f See the notice of these nations given by Yule, "Narrative of the Mission 
sent to the Court of Ava in 1855." 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

which its members live, and who has also undertaken ethno 
graphic researches in Siberia, was so much struck with this truth 
that he wrote to Jefferson : " I shall never be able to inform you 
how closely the Tartars resemble the aborigines of America, both 
in a general way and circumstantially." * At the south the 
Chiriquanos, a Peruvian tribe, present analogies not less strik 
ing. " If I should see these Indians in Europe," said M. Temple, 
in speaking of them, " with their coppery tint approaching sal- 
lowness, with their long hair brilliantly black, and with their 
lack of beard, I should assuredly take them for Chinese, such is 
the close resemblance between these nations in their traits." f 
Another traveler, John Bell, said there were no other tribes in 
the world which had so striking a resemblance to one another as 
that of the natives of Canada to the Tunguses.J Alex, von Hum- 
boldt goes much further. He mentions a monument discovered 
in Canada, nine hundred leagues from Montreal, upon which was 
found an inscription in Tartarian characters.* 

Similitude of customs, which may be supposed the result of 
chance, but which may rather be the effect of another cause, are 
not less striking. The form of the teo-calU y " the house of the 
divinity," among the Mexicans, singularly resembles that of the 
pagodas with steeples, of Barmany and of Siam ; and the relig 
ious ceremonies which were practiced there are not less analogous 
to the Brahmanic ceremonies than the figure of the Mexican god, 
Quetzalcoatl, is to that of the Indian Buddha. In closing this part 
of my memoir, I shall be contented to remind my readers of 
the fact that numerous scholars have called attention to resem 
blances between America and Asia, in the customs and institu 
tions of the nations of the two continents, which an intelligent 
critic can not mistake for those which are merely the effect of 
chance. 

Those who are interested in these questions may consult with 
profit the writings of Garcia, Hugo, Grotius, Fischer, Acosta, 
Brerewood, and Pennant, as well as many other erudite works bet 
ter known, which it is therefore less necessary to mention here. 

* Sparks s " Life of Ledyard," p. 66. 

f Temple, "Travels in Peru," vol. ii, p. 184. 

\ "Travels to Various Parts of Asia," 1T88, vol. i, p. 280. See also the 
" Transactions of the American Ethnological Society," vol. i, 1845, p. 175. 

* " Tableaux de la Nature," vol. i. 



THE ARGUMENT OF M. GODRON. 



A Buddhist Mission to America in the Fifth Century of the 
Christian Era by Dr. A. Godron, President of the Acad 
emy of Sciences o 



THE Europeans were certainly not the first navigators who 
landed upon the American Continent after the commencement 
of the Christian era. Before the voyage of Columbus to the 
New World, before the visits of the Basques to Newfoundland, 
even before the times, between the ninth and fourteenth centu 
ries, when the Norwegians undertook their bold excursions to 
America and established settlements there, the Asiatics certainly 
had knowledge of this immense continent. 

It is not my intention to discuss in this article all the proofs 
which might be presented in support of this statement to these 
I will return hereafter ; but for the present I propose to examine 
only the account of a visit of Buddhist missionaries to America, 
which was made in the fifth century of the Christian era. 

[Here follows a resume of the statements and arguments of 
previous writers upon the subject. M. Godron continues :] 

As to the point raised by M. Klaproth, that the Chinese did 
not possess means of measuring the distances of their journeys 
accurately and of determining their direction, it may be ob 
served that we possess a document which disproves this asser 
tion, and which is the more curious from the fact that it came 
from Klaproth himself. It proves that the Chinese, even in the 
times of remote antiquity, were no novices in the art of measur 
ing distances and fixing their direction. Reference is made to 
a letter upon the invention of the compass, which he addressed 
to von Humboldt, and of which this celebrated traveler pub 
lished extracts.* 

Speaking of the voyages from China to India by the way of 
the Bolor, which he had been discussing, Klaproth states that 
the accounts of these journeys are worthy of the more confidence 
from the fact that the compass had long been employed by the 
Chinese. He adds that Sse-ma-tscian, a Chinese historian who 
lived at the time of the destruction of the Bactrian Empire 
by Mithradates, gives the following account : " The Emperor 
TV-ing-wang, 1,110 years before the Christian era, gave a pres- 
* Alex, von Humboldt, " Asie Centrale." Paris, 1843, in 8vo ; vol. i, Intro 
duction, p. 40. 



H4: AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

ent to the embassadors of Tong-Hng and Cochin-China. Tbey 
feared tbat they would not be able to retrace the way back 
to their country, and the emperor therefore gave them five 
magnetic chariots which pointed to the south by means of the 
movable arm of a small figure covered with a feather-robe." 
Adding to these chariots an odometer, that is to say, a mechan 
ism by which another small figure strikes a blow upon a drum 
or bell each time that the chariot has passed over the distance of 
a Chinese li, we then have an indication of the direction of the 
road, and a means of measuring the distance passed over. " In 
the third century of our era," adds Klaproth, " the Chinese ships 
were steered upon the Indian Ocean according to the indications 
of a magnetic needle. In order to avoid friction, and to give a 
freer movement to the needle, it has been supposed that they al 
lowed it to float upon water. This was the aquatic compass of 
the Chinese and the magnetic fish of the ancient Indian pilots." 

We, therefore, see that Klaproth was perfectly well informed 
upon the subject, and may well feel surprised at his remarks in 
regard to the voyages to Mi-sang. If the scientific honesty of 
a scholar of his rank were not sheltered from all criticism, it 
might readily be believed that he was forced to mislead the 
Chinese navigators in order to prevent their arrival in America, 
and to compel them to land in Japan. 

But this consideration did not limit the criticisms which the 
scholarly Prussian Orientalist made regarding the theories of de 
Guignes. He picks to pieces the description which the Bud 
dhist monk Hoei Shin gives of the country of Fu-sang. He finds 
a new source of objection in the nomenclature of the animals 
and vegetation described as existing in this country. Accord 
ing to him, cattle and horses did not exist in America until they 
were imported by the Spaniards. The vine and wheat were un 
known before the conquest. He, therefore, arrives at the con 
clusion that the description of Fu-sang is not applicable to 
America. These new difficulties are not more serious than those 
which have preceded. 

No zoologist denies that two species of cattle were found 
native in North America. One of these is the musk-ox (Bos 
moschatos), which goes in small herds of twenty to thirty in 
dividuals in the frigid regions which border upon the Arctic 
circle, between the 60th and 73d degrees of north latitude, 



THE ARGUMENT OF M. GODRON. 

and which can not be referred to here. The other is the bison 
(Bos Americanus), which goes in herds that are often ex 
tremely numerous, which are found -in the temperate regions 
of North America, and which in winter migrate farther south. 
These cattle were certainly found in the region which the Chi 
nese of the fifth century knew by the name of Fu-sang, and 
which must correspond to New California. They also existed 
in abundance in the sixteenth century in the kingdom of Cibola 
and the country of Quivera. The first Spanish conquerors who 
penetrated into this country called them vaccas, and these ani 
mals were a precious and abundant resource for them. 

One of these " conquistador es" P. de Castaneda de Nogera, de 
scribed them in a manner which it is impossible to misunderstand.* 

According to Gomara, there existed at the same time, in the 
northwestern part of Mexico, a population whose principal wealth 
consisted in domestic bisons.f 

It is perfectly true that horses were imported into America 
from Europe. If the Buddhist monks stated that they were 
found in Fu-sang, it must have been because of the natural tend 
ency of a man who arrives in a new country to assimilate the 
animals which he finds there to those which he has seen in his 
native land, and many examples of this tendency might easily be 
cited. To confine ourselves to America, it is known that the in 
vaders of the New World applied the names of European animals 
to the animals found in America, being guided by the general 
resemblance, which was often very remote, in the selection of 
the particular name. Thus, they called the llamas "big sheep," 
because they were covered with wool ; the peccaries they called 
"hogs," remarking, it is true, that they were smaller than our 
hogs. Turkeys were in their eyes " hens," which were larger 
than those of Spain. The Buddhist missionaries might have 
even found sheep in the country of Fu-sang, if they had pene 
trated farther into the mountains. 

P. de Castaneda de Nogera saw animals near Chichilticale, 
to which he applied this name.t He referred to a species of 

* P. de Castaneda de Nogera, "Relation du Voyage de Cibola entrepres en 
1540," in the collection of Ternaux-Compans. Paris, in 8vo ; vol. is (18 
p. 237. 

f Gomara, " Historia General de las Indias." Medina, 1558, in 8vo, chap, cc 
See his work cited above, p. 54. 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

mountain-goat, the Musimon montanus, which is found in these 
regions up to the present day. 

But what zoological type existed upon the western coast of 
North America to which the Buddhist missionaries gave the 
name of the horse ? Was it not the same species of which the 
Spaniards, during their expeditions into the same country, saw 
such numerous individuals, which they called horse-deer ; animals 
remarkable for their great height, and bearing large and branch 
ing antlers ? * This appears extremely probable. These Spanish 
adventurers were no more naturalists than the Buddhist monks 
of whom we have spoken. The name was undoubtedly applied 
to the elk, because it stands as high as a horse, and the female 
is without horns. Even the males shed their horns every year, 
and, when without these ornaments, they may easily have been 
mistaken at a distance for horses. Moreover, the Spaniards 
made a broad distinction between these " horse-deer " and the 
common deer which they shot in the same part of America. 

Several species of vines are indigenous to North America, 
and they grow in a wild state. The Norwegians, in the year 
1000, when exploring the eastern coast of the continent near the 
forty-first degree, north latitude, gave the name of Yinland to 
the country for this reason, f But this does not suffice to prove 
that this plant existed also upon the western coast fifty-two de 
grees of longitude farther west. 

But the Spaniards observed vines in 1540 in the country of 
Cibola and Quivera, notably among the Teyas and the Querechos. 
They found the grapes of an agreeable flavor, and ate both them 
and red plums. J 

It is therefore no occasion for astonishment to learn that the 
Buddhist missionaries saw vines in the country of Fa-sang. 

The Spanish conquerors also found a cereal abundantly culti 
vated by the natives in the same part of North America, and in 
several of their accounts they give it the name of "wheat" 

* L. Cabiera de Cordove, " Histoire de Phillippe II, Roi d Espagne," in the col 
lection of Ternaux-Compans, vol. x, p. 444. 

f C. Christ. Rafn, " Metnoire sur la Decouverte de PAmerique au x e Siecle." 
Copenhagen, 1845, in 4to, p. 13. 

f P. de Castaneda de Nogera, in the work cited, vol. ix, pp. 125 and 278. 
Juan Jaranello, " Relation du Voyage fait a la Nouvelle Terre par Vasquez de 
Coronado," in the collection of Ternaux-Compans, vol. ix, p. 378. 



THE ARGUMENT OF M. GODRON. 

(trigo), and in others it is designated by the name of maize, 
which has been preserved for it. Need we wonder that the Bud 
dhist monks should have availed themselves of the name appli 
cable to wheat to designate this precious cereal ? Do not the 
French peasants even now call it Turkish wheat, or Roman 
wheat?* 

But what is that tree which is covered with red, pear-shaped 
fruit, and which furnishes the natives with the raw material from 
which their cloth is made ? Some authors have thought this to be 
the Hibiscus rosa Sinensis ; others, the Broussonetia papyrifera. 
We can not admit either of these views to be correct. The Hi 
biscus rosa Sinensis is, as its name indicates, a native of China. 
The Broussonttia grows in China and Japan and in the islands 
of Polynesia, but not in America. 

We do not know to what botanical species the tree men 
tioned by the Chinese historian should be referred ; but the 
failure to decide this question does not furnish the least ob 
jection in regard to the geographical position of the country of 
Fa-sang. 

Iron was unknown in this last country, and in fact the natives 
of North America were ignorant of the existence of this valuable 
metal. It was certainly used in Japan before the fifth century ; 
and this fact alone is sufficient to show that the country of 
Fu-sang can not, as Klaproth wishes, be identified with the 
great island of Japan. The Americans, on the contrary, were ac 
quainted with the use of copper, and made tools from it before 
the arrival of the Europeans. Native copper exists in several 
countries of the New World, and it is found in great abundance 
near Lake Superior, where it is still mined. Along the southern 
shore of this lake, Mr. Knapp, Superintendent of the Minnesota 
Mining Company, discovered in 1840 a great number of galleries 
often from seven to nine meters in depth, and of an extent equal 
to about the same number of kilometers. These excavations 
were the work of the early indigenes, the proof of this assertion 
having been found by clearing out the trenches. Very many 
stone mallets and hammers were found, and also wooden shov* 
els and a great quantity of pottery made without the aid of 

* The account of Fu-sang says nothing about wheat. It seems probable that 
Dr. Godron had in mind the wheat mentioned by the Northmen as foxmd in Yin- 
land, and that, writing from memory, he confused the two accounts. E. P. V. 



118 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

the potter s wheel.* It may also be added that many very old 
pines have grown upon the rubbish thrown out of these ancient 
excavations. Mr. Foster counted three hundred and ninety-five 
concentric rings upon the trunk of one of them which was cat 
down. Moreover, the pines now living are surrounded by de 
cayed trunks, the debris of preceding generations.! 

We therefore see that all the difficulties raised by Klaproth 
fall one after the other, and leave the views of the scholarly 
French Sinologue, de Guignes, without serious objection. The 
country which the Chinese of the fifth century designated by 
the name of Fit-sang can therefore have been nothing else than 
the American Continent, thus discovered by the Asiatics ten 
centuries before Christopher Columbus. 

* Lubbock, "North American Archaeology," French translation given in the 
Revue Archeologique of 1865, p. 182. 

f Lubbock, "Prehistoric Man," French translation. Paris, 1867, 8vo, p. 205. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

D EICHTHAL S " STUDY." 

The Buddhistic origin of American civilization The geographical relations between 
Northeastern Asia and Northwestern America The memoirs of de Guignes 
and Klaproth If Fu-sang was in Japan, there is no room for the " Coun 
try of Women " The Japanese deny that Fu-sang was in their country 
De Guignes s map The ease of a voyage from Asia to America The warm 
current of the Pacific Ocean The Aleutian Islands Voyages of the natives 
The civilization of New Mexico A white population Cophene Bud 
dhism How it is modified and propagated Its absorption of the doctrines of 
other religions Its proselytism Its religious communities The route from 
Cophene to Fu-sang A Buddhist sanctuary at Palenque Description of 
Stephens An image of Buddha The lion-headed couch The winged globe 
The aureola about the figure Decadence in art The altars upon which 
flowers and fruits are offered Reply to observations of M. Vivien de Saint 
Martin The two routes to Ta-han That country located near the mouth 
of the Amoor River Traces of Buddhism in that neighbourhood Ease of 
voyage to the Aleutian islands Klaproth s theory untenable No other hy 
pothesis remaining than that Fu-sang must be sought in America. 

Study concerning the Buddhistic Origin of American Civili 
zation by M. Gustave crMchthaV 

CONDENSED TRANSLATION. 

ARTICLE I. The Geographical Relations between Northeast 
ern Asia and Northwestern America. (From the " Revue Arche"- 
ologique," of September 1, 1864.) 

The memoir of de Guignes, " Upon the Voyages of the Chi 
nese to the Coast of America and as to some Tribes situated 
at the Eastern Extremity of Asia," does not in its title fully ex 
press the thought which he entertained. The true problem 
which he intended to examine was that of the existence of a 
connection between the civilization of America and that of East 
ern Asia ; and some, at least, of the most important elements for 
its solution were in his hands. Upon the one side, the discover- 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

ies of Behring in 1728 and 1741 had confirmed the old Japanese 
documents, and made known, at least in a general manner, the 
geographical relations between the northern portions of Asia and 
America ; upon the other side, the studies of de Guignes for his 
history of the Mongols had made him acquainted with the an 
cient Chinese histories, and in one of them he found the accoun* 
upon which all his work is based. 

Klaproth, in an equally celebrated memoir, has, as is well 
known, sought to overthrow de Guignes s conclusion, and has 
endeavoured to substitute another hypothesis. The publication 
of this last memoir has had a deplorable result. By the weight 
attached to his name the author has shaken, in the minds of 
others, the solution indicated by de Guignes, and has turned them 
aside from the truth; yet, nevertheless, viewed as an attempted 
refutation, Klaproth s memoir may be said to be a valueless 
work, and we shall presently show the incredible weakness of 
the arguments which he opposes to those of his predecessor. 
He produces no new documents, and does no more than to re 
peat those already quoted by de Guignes, and in fact the only 
merit that can be recognized in his work is that he often trans 
lates them more accurately, and with the superiority given him 
by the general progress in his times in the science of geography 
and in acquaintance with the Chinese. 

Klaproth, in the most arbitrary manner, places himself in op 
position to the letter of his text by assuming that the statement 
that Fu-sang is situated to the east of Ta-han is erroneous, and 
placing it to the south instead ; but this is not the only objec 
tion to his argument, for no one in Japan has ever been heard 
to speak of it as Fu-sang; the details which are given by the 
Chinese narrator regarding this country do not agree with Japan 
in any respect, and among other circumstances there is one that is 
mentioned which is quite decisive. The narrator not only places 
Fu-sang twenty thousand li to the east of Ta-han, but he speaks 
of a country, " the Kingdom of Women," which is found one 
thousand li to the east of Fu-sang. Now, one thousand li to the 
east of Japan there is nothing but the sea. 

It should also be remembered that the Chinese, living so near 
to Japan, and having communications with that country from 
the most ancient times, have never dreamed of placing the coun 
try of Fu-sang there. To them Fu-sang has become merely a 



D EICHTHAL S "STUDY." 

legendary country, of which fables are told that would never be 
believed as to a neighbouring land, for the prestige of distance 
and of novel circumstances is necessary to give rise to tales of 
such a nature. 

History is no more favourable than fable to Klaproth s opin 
ion, for, as he himself admits, Buddhism was introduced into the 
country of Fa-sang in the year 458 A. D., and was not introduced 
into Japan, officially at least, until 552, about a century later. 
How, then, can it be admitted that Fa-sang can be Japan, or 
even any part of Japan ? . . . 

With a species of divinatory instinct, or rather with extreme 
good sense, de Guignes traced upon the map drawn by him the 
probable route to America followed by those whom he calls 
Chinese navigators ; the details are undoubtedly very imperfect ; 
only one of the Aleutian Islands, the first Behring s Island, is 
shown, and upon the other hand the peninsula of Alaska is im 
moderately extended both in length and breadth ; there is also a 
complete absence of exact determination of latitudes and longi 
tudes ; nevertheless, the general outline of the coasts of Asia and 
America is perfectly correct. All the discoveries and observa 
tions since made have only served to confirm it. 

We have three very important documents before us, i. e. : 
" Statistische und ethnographische Nachrichten liber die Russi- 
schen Besitzungen an der Nordwest-Kiiste von America," by 
Rear- Admiral von Wrangell, St. Petersburg, 1839 ; an analysis 
by F. Loewe, of the work of Pere Wenjaminow, upon "The 
(Aleutian) Islands of the District of Unalaska," extracted from 
the eighth number for 1842 of the periodical, entitled "Archiv 
fur die wissenschaftliche Kunde von Russland"; and, finally, the 
analysis in the "Revue des Deux Mondes," for April 1, 1858, of 
the memoir of Maury regarding the ease of the passage between 
the northeastern shores of Asia and the northwestern coast of 
America. All these documents agree in demonstrating the ease 
of this communication, and of establishing a settlement upon the 
northwestern coast of America. The climate of all this region, 
even in the highest latitudes, and up to the sixtieth degree, is 
relatively very mild. The chain composed of the Aleutian 
Islands and the peninsula of Alaska forms, as it were, a barrier 
to arrest the polar influences. Moreover, the great warm current 
of the Pacific Ocean, observed by modern navigators, raises the 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

temperature there very notably. From observations carefully 
collected, it has been proved that the mean temperature of Sitka 
is about 45 Fahrenheit, with, it is true, but very slight differ 
ence between the summer and the winter ; even in winter the 
sea is never solidly frozen, and, in a word, according to the 
unanimous testimony of navigators, there is no other place in the 
world where so great and sudden a change of climate is found 
as is met in passing from Behring s Sea to the Pacific Ocean. 

The Aleutian Islands, before their conquest by the Russians 
(1760-1790), were inhabited by a numerous and prosperous pop 
ulation. Amphibious and fur-bearing animals existed there in 
immense numbers. The inhabitants had a tradition that they 
were of Asiatic origin, and they transported themselves easily 
from one island to another in their leather canoes, or baidares. 

" The farther one goes north," says Maury, " the easier the 
passage becomes, and the greater attraction the natives seem to 
find in it. A pole serves them as a rudder ; a branch of a tree 
provided with its limbs and foliage is set up in the air to serve 
as a sail. The crew, which is usually composed of a man with 
his wife and children, take the opportunity when the wind blows 
gently toward the point which they wish to reach, and they may 
be seen fearlessly sailing before the wind in the open sea at a 
speed of four or five miles an hour." Langsdorff, in his " Voy 
age around the World in the Years 1803-1807," speaks of canoes 
made by the natives, which would hold as many as a dozen per 
sons, and mentions the fact that they sailed in them from the 
Island of Kodiak to Sitka. 

All this, it is true, is proof only of navigation by the indi 
genes either between Asia and America, or from one point to 
another of the northwestern coast of America. We see nothing 
of any question of navigation in these regions by the Chinese, 
or even of a direct navigation by the Japanese between the two 
Continents ; and although there are numerous instances, some of 
them quite recent, in which Japanese junks have been driven by 
tempests, or the ocean currents, upon the American coast, the 
return is much more difficult, and there does not exist any trace 
of a regular navigation between China or Japan and America in 
ancient times. In this respect the title given by de Guignes to 
his memoir, " Upon the Voyages of the Chinese to the Coast of 
America," shows that the author wished to give a prudent vague- 



D EICHTHAL S "STUDY." 123 

ness to the title, but said perhaps too much. All the facts go to 
show that the relations with America, of which de Guignes caught 
a glimpse, can and must have existed ; but in the present state of 
our knowledge * we must hold that they took place by means of 
more modest navigators, who still had sufficient skill for so easy 
a passage. . . . 

The brief and judicious observations made by de Guignes, 
regarding the state of civilization attained by the natives of the 
region now known as New Mexico, have been fully confirmed 
by the more perfect knowledge derived from old and new docu 
ments regarding the region, and we now have unquestionable 
proof of its high state of civilization, and, in some respects, of 
its connection with the Chinese civilization before the conquest. 
All historical documents, moreover, authorize us to place in this 
country the point at which originated the civilization of the 
American tribes found farther south. . . . 

What is said regarding the existence of a white population 
is confirmed by the observations of modern explorers,f and 
finally what is said regarding the existence of two prisons in 
the country may find its explanation in the belief as to future 
punishments held by some Indian tribes, especially by the Man- 
dans. J . . . 

When de Guignes translated from the Chinese records the 
statement that the religion of Fo was formerly unknown in the 
land of Fu-sang, but that under the Sung dynasty five bonzes 
from Samarcand carried their doctrine into this country and 
changed the manners of the inhabitants, neither he nor any man 
of that day suspected, either that the religion of Fo was any 
thing more than the national religion of China, or that it was 
identical with Buddhism, and the question does not seem to have 
occurred to de Guignes as to how these so-called Chinese priests 
can have come from Samarcand. 

The country of Ki-pin, the ancient Cophene, corresponded 
very closely with the country now called Bokhara, the land of 
Samarcand. Samarcand, in fact, at the time spoken of, was one 

* The species of suzerainty exercised by China over Kamtchatka is the only 
proof given by de Guignes of the action of China in its neighbourhood. 

f" Report on the Indian Tribes," by Lieutenant Whipple, p. 31 ; Catlin, 
" Letters and Notes," etc., vol. i, p. 93. 

\ Catlin, "Letters and Notes," etc., vol. i, p. 157. 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

of the great foci of Buddhism. Moreover, it is in the center of 
Asia, in contact with Persia upon one side and Turkestan upon 
the other, at the outlet of all the routes which lead from this 
central region to the northern frontier of China, and to all the 
northwestern part of Asia as far as to the coast of the Pacific 
Ocean. . . . 

At the time of Klaproth, the history of Buddhism, although 
something was known of it, was far from complete. The great 
works of Hodgson, of Tumour, and of Burnouf had not then 
appeared. That of which de Guignes could not even have 
thought, and which Klaproth himself could have accomplished 
but very imperfectly, it is now possible to attempt with a hope 
of success. By recapitulating all that we know now regard 
ing the internal development and the distant propagation of 
Buddhism, it will be easy to understand what may have been 
the results of its propagation in America, and from this point of 
view to judge the institutions and the monuments of American 
civilization. 

ARTICLE II. Buddhism : How it is Modified and Propagated. 
(November 1, 1864.) 

This article shows that the spirit of good-will and charity 
which animated the doctrines of the Buddhist religion dis 
posed it to conciliation toward the foreign religions that sur 
rounded it, when carried from India, the land of its birth, into 
other countries, even when these other religions had but slight 
affinity with it. 

It never placed itself in open hostility to the world by which 
it was surrounded, and in India respected the pantheon of the 
gods that were worshiped there. Hostile as the spirit which 
dictated the distinction of castes in India is to the ardent charity 
which animated Buddhism, it accepted the distinction of castes 
as an accomplished fact. 

The fusion of Buddhism with the national religion, even with 
that of the sects of India the most opposed to its nature, is a fact 
established by the most authentic documents and by unquestion 
able proofs. In principles, nothing can be more opposite to 
Buddhism than the worship of Siva ; yet, notwithstanding this, 
at the end of a few centuries we see an intimate union estab 
lished between the two religions. 

In Java, Buddhism is found mixed with Brahmanism, or with 



D EICHTHAL S "STUDY." 125 

the worship of Siva, and the union of Buddhism with Brahman- 
ism is also found in Ceylon ; and the Buddhistic religion of Ja 
pan shows a large mixture of other elements. 

This series of facts shows what transformations Buddhism 
underwent, even in very early times, by contact with the other 
religions which it encountered. It also shows us the expansive 
force by which it was animated, and which served to transport 
it to a great distance from the place at which it originated. 
Proselytism is an essential feature of Buddhism ; it is the con 
sequence of the sentiments of good-will and universal charity 
which it professed, and at the same time of the profound faith 
which the word of the master inspired in his disciples. " If the 
great saint Buddha formerly descended upon the earth," says 
Hiuen-tsang, " it was that he might himself spread abroad the 
blessed influences of his law Buddha established his doctrine in 
order that it might be spread abroad into all places. What man 
is there who would wish to be the only one to drink of it ? I 
can not forget the words of the sacred book, Whosoever has 
hidden the law from men shall be struck with blindness in all 
his transmigrations. " 

" The man who believes in the mission of Sakya-muni," says 
M. Neumann, "is obliged to consider every man as an equal and 
a brother, and must even strive to have the blessed news of re 
demption carried to all the nations of the earth, and for this 
purpose he should, following the example of the divine-man, 
submit himself to all trials and all sufferings. This is why we 
see a multitude of Buddhist monks and missionaries going from 
Central Asia, China, Japan, and Corea, and traveling into all 
parts of the world, known and unknown. It is to preach to un 
believers the doctrine of the three jewels (i. e., Buddha, the Law, 
and the Assembly), or to gather news of their co-religionists." 

Buddhism rejected the mystery in which Brahmanism was en 
veloped, and, proclaiming the superiority of moral works above 
mere ritualistic practices,* its preachings opened its doctrines to 
the acceptance of all mankind. Its disciples, both men and 
women, after having in the earliest days shared a nomadic life, 
were united in religious communities and convents, which were 
governed by the eldest or the most honoured, f It recommended 

* Burnouf s " Introduction H I Histoire du Buddhisme," pp. 335 and 337. 
f Burnouf, p. 214. 



126 AN" mGLOKIOUS COLUMBUS. 

penance as the means of progressive improvement ; it instituted 
the confession ; * it prohibited bloody sacrifices.f 

We can now understand both the truth and importance of 
the statements made in the Chinese account : that five monks 
went to Fu-sang, and there spread abroad the law of Buddha ; 
that they carried with them their books, their sacred images, and 
their ritual, and instituted monastic customs, and so changed the 
manners of the inhabitants. A Buddhist mission could not be 
better characterized. It should be remembered, however, that 
the books and images carried by these missionaries of the fifth 
century would undoubtedly contain quite as strong an infusion 
of the elements of Brahmanism (and of the worship of Siva in 
particular) as of the elements of Buddhism properly so called. 
China and Japan seem also to have furnished their contingent, 
and we in fact know that if this doctrine was first established in 
Fu-sang by monks from Samarcand, the account which has been 
transmitted to us is the work of a Chinese monk who had so 
journed there himself. As to the indication of Samarcand, as the 
country from which the mission departed, there is nothing that 
should not seem to us to be perfectly authentic. Since the pub 
lication of the journey of Hiuen-tsang, we know that the Buddh 
ist propagandist, setting forth from the north of India, passed 
Samarcand in order to reach, by way of Turkestan and the des 
ert of Gobi, the northern frontiers of China. 

Starting from this point, the Buddhist missionaries would 
have nothing further to do than to turn toward the north, in 
order to follow the route indicated by de Guignes, which, by 
way of the Lake of Baikal and the Amoor River, would lead 
them to the country of Ta-han. The remarkable Buddhist 
monuments recently discovered near the mouth of the Amoor 
River, although their date can not be precisely determined, 
prove in any case that at a very ancient epoch this country was 
frequented by the Buddhists.J; 

From Ta-han, as stated in the Chinese account, these mis 
sionaries reached Fu-sang. 

AETICLE III. Consideration of the Observations of Hum- 
boldt upon the Relations between the Civilization of Asia and 
America (January 1, 1865), and 

* Burnouf, p. 300. f Burnouf, p. 339. 

\ See C. de Sabin, " Le Fleuve Amoftr," Paris, 1861. 



D EICUTHAL S " STUDY. 



127 



AETICLE IV. Upon the Presence of Buddhism among the 
Red-skins (April 1, 1865), it seems unnecessary to translate ; as 
Humboldt s arguments are fully given elsewhere, and as Article 
IV relates mostly to the religious belief and practices of the 
Mandan Indians. 

ARTICLE V. A Buddhist Sanctuary at Palenque (June 1 
1865). 

John Stephens, in his book, entitled " Incidents of Travel in 
Central America, Chiapas, and Yucatan," new edition, London, 
1844, vol. ii, p. 318, makes the following statement : 

" Within the walls of the palace of Palenque, at the east of 
the interior tower, is another building with two corridors, one 
richly decorated with pictures in stucco, and having in the center 
an elliptical tablet. It is four feet long and three wide, of hard 
stone, set in the wall. Around it are the remains of a rich stucco 
border. The principal figure sits cross-legged on a couch orna 
mented with two leopards heads ; the attitude is easy, the 
physiognomy the same as that of the other personages, and the 
expression calm and benevolent. The figure wears around its 
neck a necklace of pearls, to which is suspended a small medal 
lion containing a face ; perhaps intended as an image of the sun. 
Like every other subject of sculpture we had seen in the coun 
try, the personage has ear-rings, bracelets on the wrists, and a 
girdle round the loins. The head-dress differs from most of the 
others at Palenque in that it wants the plume of feathers." 

Stephens abstains from noting any analogy between this 
image and any other known type ; but M. Lenoir, who, in his 
"Parallel of the Ancient Mexican Monuments with those of the 
Old World," referred to this figure, made the remark that its 
graceful attitude is analogous with the pose which the East 
Indians give to their god Buddha.* We shall be bolder than 
M. Lenoir, and where he only suspected an analogy we shall not 
fear to recognize a true identity. 

In fact, the scene which we find under our eyes is frequently 
found in the monuments of Buddhist worship. It may be ob 
served, for instance, three times repeated, in the bas-reliefs of 
the temple of Boro-Boudor in Java, which Crawfurd has inserted 
in his work upon the Indian Archipelago. These picture one or 
more worshipers presenting to Buddha, in accordance with the 
* " Antiquites Mexicaines," vol. ii, p, 77. 



128 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 




precepts of his religion, offerings of flowers and of fruits. One 

of these images in par 
ticular, that repro 
duced in Crawfurd s 
plate xxii,* and copied 
in the accompanying 
cut, Fig. 1, offers a 
striking resemblance 
to our image of Pa- 
lenque, which is copied 
in Fig. 2. In each 
we see a worshiper 
offering to the divin 
ity, before whom he 
is kneeling, a flower, 
which, in the case of 
the Buddhist, is in- 
contestably a lotus- 
flower, and, in the case 
of the American wor 
shiper, either the same 
flower or some other 
of similar appearance 
possibly, as has been 
suggested by M. the 
Abbe Brasseur de 
Bourbourg, a cacao- 
tree flower. Here, 
however, the flower is 
not found, as in the 
bas - relief of Boro- 
Boudor, in the hand 
of the worshiper, but 
it rests upon a sort of 
support which the 

* Crawfurd s " History of 
the Indian Archipelago," 3 
vols. in 12rao. Edinburgh, 
1820; vol. ii, plates xix, 
xxii, and xxiii. 



FIG. 1. "Worshiper offering a flower to the image 
of Buddha. 




FIG. 2. Bas-relief found at Palenque. 



D EICHTHAL S "STUDY. 



129 



worshiper presents to the divinity ; but this same disposition, or 
one that is analogous, may be seen in Crawfurd s plate xix. 
Moreover, this same flower is twice found upon the head of our 
divinity, and is also frequently found associated with the figures 
of the gods of Palenque. (See, among the rest, Stephens s " Cen 
tral America," vol. ii, p. 316, plate No. 2.) The two lions, or 
leopards, facing in opposite directions, upon which our divinity 
is seated, recall the lions which, in the paintings of India, some 
times support the seat of Buddha (and even sometimes of other 
divinities), and of which an example is given in the image of 
Buddha reproduced in Fig. 1. 

But they also recall the figures of animals in pairs, facing in 
opposite directions, which are found so often in th6 sculptures 
and paintings of Asia. Such are notably the celebrated capi 
tals of the columns of Persepolis, and of the temple of Delos, 
formed of two horses ; and the group of the lion and the bull 
placed back to back, attributed to Ardahnari ; finally, they 
agree in every particular with the group of two crouching lions 
which, although brought from the island of Cyprus, are of 
Assyrian type which may be seen in the Museum of Napoleon 
III, and of which an engraving is here given (Fig. 3). 

Nevertheless, the resemblance of this last group with that 
which serves as a seat for our Buddha is much less than that 
which it presents to two other groups of lions or leopards, placed 
back to back, one found at the base of a niche of the edifice 
called the " House of the Nuns," at Uxmal,* the other discovered, 
or more properly disinterred, by Stephens in the same city. A 





FIG. 3. Sculpture from the island of 
Cyprus. 



F I0 . 4. Sculpture found at Uxmal, Yu 
catan. 



* Catherwood, "Views of Ancient Monuments of Central America, Chiapas, 
and Yucatan," plate xv. 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

picture of the latter is given in the "Incidents of Travel in 
Yucatan," vol. i, p. 183, and we reproduce it in Fig. 4, p. 129, 
in order that the reader may be able to appreciate its resemblance 
to the Cyprian group. 

Upon the plinth of the Cyprian group there is seen the image 
of the winged globe, so frequently represented upon the pedi 
ments and friezes of the temples of Egypt, Assyria, and Persia. 
This emblem does not occur in the last-mentioned American 
group, but an ornament, either identical or at least very similar, 
may be seen above a door opening into the interior of a sanct 
uary at Ocosingo, a city not very far distant from Palenque. 

" In the back wall of the central chamber of this temple," 
says Stephens,* " was a doorway of the same size with that in 

front, which led to an 
apartment without any 
partitions, but in the 
center was an oblong in- 
closure, eighteen feet by 
eleven, which was mani 
festly intended as the 
FIG. 5.-Ornament above a door of a ruin at mogt important part o f 

Ocosmgo. A / 

the edifice. The door 

was choked up with ruins to within a few feet of the top, but 
over it, and extending along, the whole front of the structure, 
was a large stucco ornament, which at first impressed us most 
forcibly by its striking resemblance to the winged globe over 
the doors of Egyptian temples. Part of this ornament had 
fallen down, and, striking the heap of rubbish underneath, 
had rolled beyond the door of entrance. We endeavoured 
to roll it back and restore it to its place, but it proved too heavy 
for the strength of four men and a boy. The part which 
remains is represented in the engraving, and differs in details 
from the winged globe. The wings are reversed ; there is a 
fragment of a circular ornament, which may have been intended 
for a globe, but there are no remains of serpents entwining it." 

Even at Palenque, above the door and upon the frieze of the 
sanctuary of the edifice described by Stephens under the name 
of " Casa No. 3," we see the two extremities of a similar orna 
ment, the central part having been destroyed. Stephens has re- 

* Stephens s " Central America," vol. ii, p. 259. 




D EICHTHAL S "STUDY." 131 

produced this ornament, or at least the two extremities which 
still remain of it, without making it the object of any observa 
tion in his text.* 

At our first step into the study of the antiquities of Central 
America, we, therefore, find again the same singularity which 
struck us in the traditions relative to the Deluge. We see our 
selves carried in one direction to Western Asia and the banks of 
the Mediterranean, and in the other to India and Eastern Asia. 
Between the two lies the land of Chaldea, and it is from this 
intermediate point that traditions and rites, as well as civiliza 
tion, have radiated. 

"It is in Chaldea," says M. Alfred Maury,f "that civilization 
arose for the first time upon our globe, or at least this country 
was one of the first centers from which it was spread abroad into 
neighbouring lands. It is therefore easy to conceive that a legend 
existing in Chaldea may have been carried among the nations 
who from all quarters resorted to this country." 

Bearing in mind, again, that we have every reason to believe 
Samarcand to have been the point of departure of the Buddhism 
propagated in America, this circumstance makes it more easy to 
conceive of the presence in the New World of Asiatic elements 
borrowed even by Western Asia. 

But the course of our work has brought us again into the 
presence of very serious and difficult questions. We shall there 
fore content ourselves with the presentation of the facts which 
we have given, and conclude this article with a return to the 
examination of the figure of Buddha at Palenque. 

The oval in which the figure is inscribed, although it is true 
it is a little larger, recalls that which envelopes the bust of 
our Boro-Boudor (see Fig. 1, upon page 128), an oval which 
in itself is nothing more than the aureola which at first -sur 
rounded only the head of Buddha, but which was gradually 
enlarged. 

But there is another point of resemblance which, although it 
relates to a simple detail only, is still more striking and decisive. 
Stephens relates, as we have remarked, that the oval was origi 
nally surrounded by a border in stucco, of which he saw only 
the remains, and which he did not indicate in his design ; but 

* Stephens s " Central America," vol. ii, p. 354. 
f " Encyclopedic Moderne," t. xii, p. 71. 



132 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

in the design of Castaiieda * this border is clearly shown, although 
even then very dilapidated. It is after this model that, in our 
copy of the design of Stephens, we have attempted to restore the 
border in question, in part at least, and at the same time we 
have restored a series of small ornaments, also given by Cas- 
taneda, of which the form is somewhat crescent-shaped. These 
ornaments have given rise to the most singular interpretations ; 
but the same ornaments, similarly disposed, are found about the 
aureola of the figure of an East Indian divinity which Raffles 
has given in his " History of Java " (vol. ii), and which is re 
produced below. 

Moreover, if the origin and signification of this ornament is 
sought, it will be found, from a study of the other figures given 
by Raffles, that it grew from successive 
transformations of the flames originally 
drawn about the aureola of the divinities, 
and of which an example is found in our 
figure itself. 

Such analogies as these, we believe, 
can not be the effect of chance. 

In order to explain them, it must be 
admitted that the Buddhist artists who 
came to America brought with them the 
Fia. 6^-Aureola about the game collection o f plans and de signs, the 
head of an East Indian 
idol. same albums, if I may use the word, which 

were found in the hands of the Buddhist 

missionaries in the south of India and in the Indian Archipelago. 
It is a supposition which is confirmed by all the analogies that 
we know to exist between American and Asiatic art, and more 
over it is a very natural supposition, fully justified by the his- 
tory-of Buddhist propagandism, and without which the existence 
of so marked a connection between American and Asiatic art 
appears an insoluble problem. 

It should, however, be borne in mind that, between the primi 
tive types imported by the Buddhists and the different monuments 
which we are examining, we should expect to find all the differences 
produced by an inevitable decadence in art, as well as by the influ 
ence of local causes and the aspect of novel natural surroundings. 

* " Antiquites Mexicaines," vol. ii, plate xxvi ; and Kingsborough s " Antiqui* 
ties of Mexico," vol. iv, part third, plate xx. 




D EICHTHAL S " STUDY." 



133 



Below and in front of our bas-relief there was also found a 
species of table, or bracket-shelf, which Castaiieda gives in his 
design, but of which Stephens saw no more than the mark upon 
the wall of the place where it had stood, which he reproduces 
with dotted lines " after the model of similar tables existing in 
other places." * 

"Del Rio," says Mr. Squier, in his "Researches regarding 
the Serpent Symbol in America," describes this table as a large 
flag-stone, six feet in length, f three feet four inches wide, and 
seven inches thick, placed upon four legs like a table. These 
legs were ornamented by figures in bas-relief. Along the tab 
let against the wall there reached a sort of border similarly 
sculptured. 

Now, this is precisely the character of the Balang-ko of the 
Hindoos, or the Then-balang of the Siamese stones or altars of 






FIG. 7. Table or altar found at Palenque. 

Buddha, upon which fruits and flowers were offered instead of 
bloody sacrifices. These are found in the Siamese and Japanese 
temples, as well as in all Buddhist temples generally. J 

* "Central America," vol. ii, p. 318. " Antiques Mexicaines," vol. ii, plate 
xxvi, Fig. 33. 

f This length is in fact that which is indicated in the report of Del Rio (see 
"Memoires de la Societe Geographique de Paris," vol. ii, p. 170) and in the Ger 
man translation given by Minutoli, " Beschreibung einer alten Stadt," etc., Berlin, 
1832. Nevertheless, this measure does not agree with that given by Stephens, and 
by Del Rio himself, in the place cited for the length of the bas-relief a measure 
which, according to the engraving, should be equal to that of the tablet. 

\ Squier, " The Serpent Symbol and the Worship of the Reciprocal Principles 
of Nature in America," New York, 1851, p. 89. Squier himself refers to an arti 
cle by Captain James Low r " On Buddha and the Phrabat Explanation of the 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

Quite recently an English journal, the " London Illustrated 
News " (February 25, 1865, p. 193), has given, with an image of 
Buddha, a specimen of a Buddhist altar, perfectly conformable 
to the Mexican altar, of which an illustration is given in Fig. 7. 
The presence of this altar, added to all the resemblances of detail 
which we have pointed out in the bas-relief, seems to us to clear 
ly prove the Buddhistic character of the Sanctuary of Palenque. 
The figure which we have described is, to our knowledge, the 
only one of the kind which exists at Palenque. Outside of this 
city, and in all the other ruins of Central America, we do not 
know of any other figure at all similar, unless it is a figure 
which M. Waldeck has given in his " Voyage to Yucatan," and 
which he says he saw repeated four times in that number of 
niches of the southern f acade of the " House of the Nuns " at 
Uxmal. 

It is noticeable that this artist, who thought that he found 
the imprint of Buddhism at Uxmal in a 
number of details, perhaps indifferent, 
seems not to have remarked the resem 
blance of this figure drawn by him to the 
reformer of India. He contents himself 
with the statement that " upon the sill of 
the niche which surmounts each door 
there is placed a small seated figure" 
FIG. 8.-Seated figure Qn thig occasion at least M . Waldeck 
found in niches of /.. - A i 

a building at Uxmal. can not therefore be accused of taking 

sides. Moreover, the southern fa9ade of 

the " House of the Nuns," of which he speaks, has been drawn 
again by Stephens in a general view of the site, and has since 
been drawn by Catherwood.* The niches indicated above each 

Symbols on a Prapatha or Impression of the Divine Foot," in the " Transac 
tions of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland," vol. iii, p. 77. 
I have verified the citation, and it is entirely correct. I fear, however, that there 
may have been an error in the transcription of the Indian name given as Ealang- 
ko or Tlien-balang. The word is unknown to all the Indian scholars whom I have 
been able to consult. May there not have been a confusion with the stone Bin- 
lang of the worshipers of Siva ? (See Coleman s " Mythology of the Hindus," p. 
176.) I have not succeeded, however, in discovering the true name of these 
altars. The authors who describe them merely mention them without stating the 
name by which they are called. 

* Stephens, " Yucatan," vol. i, p. 306. Catherwood, " Views of Ancient Monu- 




D EICHTHAL S " STUDY." 



135 



door are perfectly distinguishable, although, by reason of the 
distance from which the view is supposed to be taken, it is im 
possible to distinguish whether any object is or is not contained 
in them.* 

Admitting as authentic, therefore, the image given by M. 
Waldeck (and there is every reason for so doing), it is impossible 
to fail to be struck by the analogy which it presents with the 
representations of Buddha in general, but particularly with the 
figure of Buddha sitting cross-legged, which is found placed and 
repeated in an entirely similar manner in the four hundred niches 
of the temple of Boro-Boudor at Java.f The characteristic posi 
tion of the right arm is the same in both cases. The head-dress 
is different, but we find an almost exactly similar head-dress 
upon other figures of Buddha, or 
upon the heads of other divinities. 
It is a sort of fan which adorns 
the head of the divine person 
age, and which is formed by a ser 
pent with several heads.J It is an 
ordinary attribute of Vishnu.* It 
is also found upon the head of 
Hanouman, || upon that of Gane- 
sa, A of Vira-Badhra, Q etc., and 
finally upon that of Buddha him 
self 4 A Buddha with this head 
dress somewhat modified is sculpt 
ured upon the wall of the temple of Indra-Saba at Ellora ; it has 

ments in Central America^ plate viii. It is true that there are not merely four 
of these niches visible upon the southern fa9ade, as stated in the account, but 
eight. At the same time, however, it is also true that the fa9ade is divided into 
two compartments, each containing four niches, and this fact may possibly explain 
Waldeck s error. 

* The part of this f a9ade photographed by M. de Charney contains only two 
of the eight niches, and, even with the magnifying-glass, it is impossible to distin 
guish any appearance of a statue in either of them. But the form of the niche 
is exactly as given by Waldeck, and it is possible that the statues have been de 
stroyed since the visit of that traveler. 

f Crawfurd s " History of the Indian Archipelago," vol. ii, plate xxix. 
\ Moor s " Hindu Pantheon," plate xxiv. 

* Ibid., plate viii. II Ibid., plate xcii. 
A Ibid., Frontispiece. Ibid -> P late xxvi - $ Ibid> > plate lxXV 




FIG. 9. Figure of Buddha from 
a temple at Ellora. 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

been reproduced by Daniel,* and we give it in our Fig. 9 (page 
135), that it may be compared with the figure at Uxmal.t 

The existence of these niches, with their uniform statues, 
often found in very great numbers in the walls of the terraces 
which support the temples, is one of the common traits of the 
religious architecture of the Indian Archipelago and of Central 
America. We content ourselves here with merely pointing out 
this analogy. "VVe shall return to the subject again when, after 
our review of American history, we return to the examination 
of the antiquities of Palenque.J 

GUSTAVE D EICHTHAL. 

Supplement to the First Article. Reply to some Observations of 
M. Vivien de Saint-Martin upon de Guignes s Memoir. 

The first question which presents itself to us, in connection 
with this work, is that of the geographical connections and the 
ancient communications between Asia and America, which could 
have permitted the passage of Buddhist missionaries to the New 
World. We have said that it seems to us to be possible to reduce 
this question to the analysis and development of de Guignes s 
memoir upon the subject. In our first article we therefore took 
up the examination of this memoir, and concluded by adopting 

* " Oriental Scenery." Description of Ellora. 

f Even the modification which is presented by the head-dress of the statue 
at Uxmal seems to be an indication of its authenticity. 

| Before terminating this article, we think it necessary to again call the atten 
tion of our readers to another bas-relief which decorates the house designated by 
Stephens as Casa No. 4. It is an unknown divinity, but one which has complete 
ly the appearance and attitude of an East Indian divinity. M. Lenoir, in his 
" Parallel of the Ancient Mexican Monuments with those of the Old World," was 
the first to make the remark. " This bas-relief," says he, " represents a divinity 
who offers, especially in his attitude, a great resemblance to the divinities of 
India or Japan" ("Antiquites Mexicaines," vol. ii, p. 78); the figure itself is 
found in the same volume, plate xxxiii, and also in the " Antiquities of Mexico " 
of Lord Kingsborough, vol. iv, third part ; also in the " Memoircs de la Societe" 
de Geographic," vol. ii, plate xvi. Unfortunately this bas-relief was, by 1840, 
almost destroyed. Stephens saw only a fragment ("Central America," vol. ii, p. 
S55). Compare this bas-relief with the figure of Parvati, given by Moor, "Hindu 
Pantheon," plate v, figure 5 ; and with a statuette of Lakchmi which is to be seen 
in the Imperial Library. A bas-relief discovered by Stephens at Chichen-Itza, in 
Yucatan, is the only one among the American figures with which we are acquainted 
that shows a similar attitude. (" Incidents of Travel in Yucatan," vol. ii, p. 292.) 



D EICHTHAI/S "STUDY." 137 

the opinion expressed by de Guignes, that the Fu-sang of the 
Chinese tradition can be nothing else than a portion of America. 

An eminent geographer, M. Vivien de Saint-Martin, has com 
bated this conclusion in a chapter of his " Annee Geographique " 
(1865), entitled "Une Vieille Histoire remise & Flot " (i. e., An 
Old Story Set Afloat). 

There is always profit to be found in a work emanating from 
M. Vivien de Saint-Martin, and we ourselves have found it in 
this article ; but we persist none the less in the opinion which 
we have expressed : we even think that the observations of M. 
Vivien de Saint-Martin have only added a new force to our con 
viction. The memoir of de Guignes is composed of two quite 
distinct parts : one is the account of the country of Fu-sang, 
written in the fifth century of our era by a Buddhist missionary 
named Hod Shin, which de Guignes extracted from the history 
of Li-yan-cheu the other part is a commentary intended to 
determine the geographical position of the country of Fu-sang. 
In the first part, de Guignes is merely a translator ; in the sec 
ond, he appears as a critic, and a critic of the first order. 

His merit, as we formerly remarked (and upon this point 
M. Vivien is in accord with us), is that, enabled by his vast 
knowledge of Chinese literature, he discovered two itineraries 
one maritime, the other terrestrial ; both of which terminate at 
the country of Ta-han, the point of Asia which, according to the 
account, is nearest to the country of Fu-sang. 

The meeting of the two routes at their northern extremity 
proves that the country of Ta-han is necessarily situated at some 
point upon the northeastern coast of Asia. De Guignes thinks 
that this point is in Kamtchatka. M. Vivien de Saint-Martin 
thinks that it should be sought upon the river Amoor, near the 
point at which it empties into the Sea of Ochotsk, in the region 
in which, as we have already said, Buddhist monuments in a 
state of excellent preservation have been recently discovered. 
We were instantly struck by the same thought as M. Vivien de 
Saint-Martin, and r after a new examination of the question, we 
declare that we are convinced of the correctness of this view. 

In fact, even according to the description of the route trans 
lated by de Guignes, we see that by traveling five clays to the 
east, in the direction of the Amoor River, the Shy-wei Ju-che 
are reached ; from there, after traveling five days to the north, 



AN INGLOKIOUS COLUMBUS. 

the country of Ta-han is reached, surrounded on three sides 
by the sea. Now, below its junction with the Soungari-Oula, 
and especially below its junction with the Oussori, the Amoor 
turns directly to the north, and the country of Ta-han may 
probably be located near its mouth. The circumstance that it 
is surrounded on three sides by the sea, may be accounted for 
by supposing that it is situated in some bend described by the 
river. But de Guignes, who was but imperfectly acquainted 
with the course of the Amoor and with the geography of this 
region, has thought it necessary to go as far north as Kam- 
tchatka to find a locality which corresponds with the descrip 
tion of his itinerary. 

We, therefore, very willingly make this concession to M. 
Vivien de Saint-Martin, or, rather, we thank him for the recti 
fication which he has led us to adopt. But this fact does not 
prove that de Guignes s memoir should be considered any the 
less worthy of interest, or that the solution of the question 
which he proposes is any the less probable. But let M. Vivien 
speak for himself : 

" The few germs of rudimentary civilization, of which the 
trace is found among the tribes of the Amoor, are of Buddhist 
origin : they undoubtedly appertain to several different epochs, 
but the oldest are connected with the missions of the sixth cent 
ury and the three following centuries, which are mentioned in the 
texts which de Guignes was the first to describe. This is a real 
service, among many others, which the scholarly author of the 
* History of the Huns has rendered to science, and of which 
his error as to the location of Ta-han does not at all dimmish 
the merit." * 

After calling attention to the Buddhist monuments discov 
ered some ten years ago upon the lower bank of the Amoor 
River, near the village designated as " Ghiliak of the Tower," 
M. Vivien continues thus : 

" We, therefore, now have positive proof that the mission 
aries of the religion of Buddha, or of Fo, as it is called by the 
Chinese, not only carried shamanism into all of Central Asia, 
but pressed to the east and descended the valley of the Amoor 
River as far as to the shores of the Eastern Sea, at the same time 
that other propagators of this pre-eminently proselyting religion 

* " L Ann^e Geographique," Paris, 1865, p. 258. 



D EICHTHAL S "STUDY." 139 

spread themselves by the maritime route into all the islands 
contained within the boundaries of the sea inclosed between the 
Japanese Archipelago and the coast of Mantchooria, designated 
upon our maps as the Sea of Japan." * 

Having traveled this distance, would the Buddhist mission 
aries arrest their voyage here, or would they not rather, profiting 
by the ease with which the chain of the Aleutian Islands would 
enable them to pass from one continent to the other, press on 
until they had penetrated to America ? A tradition, mentioned 
by de Guignes, states that at an early epoch " the Tartars who 
lived in the neighbourhood of the Amoor River were accustomed 
from this point to reach the southern portion of Kamtchatka, 
after five days navigation toward the north." 

This is the most direct route to reach the Aleutian Islands. 
They could also reach them almost equally well by turning the 
point of the island of Saghalien, or Taraikai, upon the south, and 
coasting along the chain of the Kurile Islands. It is true that 
we have no historical proof of navigation across what may be 
called the Aleutian Sea, either by the Tartars or by the Bud 
dhist missionaries. But the ease of this navigation is an incon 
testable fact, and here, moreover, the tradition of Fu-sang is 
found. 

This tradition is not founded merely upon the unsustained 
statement of an obscure missionary ; it is attested by a multi 
tude of legendary beliefs, of which Klaproth himself has made 
known to us the principal monuments. From that time the 
question has been, " Where is this land of Fu-sang situated ? " 
De Guignes founded his answer to this question upon the dis 
tance of twenty thousand li, at which distance to the east from 
Ta-han, Hoei Shin stated that this country was situated, and 
thus arrived at the conclusion that Fu-sang must be found at 
some point upon the American coast, probably in California. 
As for us, we believe (and M. Vivien is of the same opinion) 
that the round distance of twenty thousand li is purely emphatic, 
and merely indicates that the distance is very great. But even 
this interpretation does not at all weaken de Guignes s conclu 
sion : " The Chinese," says this illustrious scholar, " have pene 
trated into countries very distant toward the east. I have ex 
amined their measures, and they have conducted me to the coast 
* " L Annee GSographique," p. 259. 



140 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

of California. I have concluded from this that they have known 
America since the year 458 A. D. In the countries near to those 
where they landed we find the most civilized nations of America. 
I have thought that they were indebted for their civilization to 
the commerce which they have had with the Chinese. This is all 
that I have sought to establish in this memoir." If, at the epoch 
when de Guignes lived, this conclusion offered itself to him as 
a probable hypothesis, how much stronger would he have con 
sidered the proof if he had known, as we now know, both the 
character of Buddhism, and its diffusion in the countries along 
the coast of the Sea of Japan and near the mouth of the Amoor 
River, and, in addition, the proofs, which we dare call incontest 
able, of its presence in America. 

It is, nevertheless, against this fortunate divination of an 
illustrious scholar that M. Vivien de Saint-Martin now protests. 
Undoubtedly he has shown that in the account of the shaman 
Hoei Shin several particulars do not agree with America. We 
may, therefore, conclude that Hoei Shin, not having any one 
to check his account, and perhaps never having been himself in 
Fu-sang (for the text is mute, or at least doubtful, as to this 
point), may have, as to some points, consulted his imagination 
rather than his recollection ; but making all concessions on 
this account, there remain two important points in his story as 
to which no doubt can be raised : the essentially Buddhistic 
character of the customs of Fu-sang, and its situation at a 
great distance to the east of the Kingdom of Ta-han and the 
" Middle Kingdom." Now, from these two characters, Fu-sang 
can not be located elsewhere than in America. M. Vivien de 
Saint-Martin is not of this opinion. It is true that he does not 
offer any conclusion that is well-founded ; he merely thinks that 
the " supposition of Klaproth (who sees in Fu-sang a portion of 
Japan) is, as has been said of it, the most probable." But the 
supposition of Klaproth, as we have repeated time after time, 
and as, moreover, M. Vivien himself acknowledges, has insur 
mountable objections opposed to it : it places to the south of 
Ta-han that which, according to the account, should be found at 
the east, and it supposes the existence of a Buddhist kingdom in 
Japan at an epoch when Buddhism was not known there. It 
remains, therefore, to return to de Guignes s hypothesis, which, 
moreover,, is now a hundred times more probable than it seemed 



D EICHTHAL S "STUDY." 

at the epoch when it was first produced by its illustrious author. 
" Old stories," in spite of the displeasure of M. Vivien de Saint- 
Martin, are good to revive when they are true old stories. 

To the documents which we named in our second article, as 
showing the association which has existed between Buddhism 
and the Brahmanic religions, particularly the worship of Siva, 
there should be added those given by Koeppen, in his history of 
Buddhism in Thibet, " Die Lamaische Hierarchic und Kirche," 
vol. i, page 296 and following. 



CHAPTER IX. 

COINCIDENCES NOTED BY HUMBOLDT, LOBSCHEID, AND PEESCOTT. 

Extracts from the " Views of the Cordilleras " Similarity of Asiatic and Ameri 
can civilizations The struggles of the Brahmans and Buddhists The divis 
ions of the great cycles The Mexicans designated the days of their months 
by the names of the zodiacal signs used in Eastern Asia Cipactli and 
Capricornus Table of resemblances The tiger and monkey found only 
in southern countries The Aztec migration from the north Resemblance 
between certain Mexican and Tartarian words The cutting-stones of the 
Aztecs The sign ollin and the foot-prints of Vishnu Effects of a mixture of 
several nations Changes resulting from changed circumstances and lapse of 
time Analogies in religious customs Analogy in the fables regarding the 
destructions of the universe Lobschcid s reasons for thinking the American 
Indians to be one race with the Japanese and Eastern Asiatics Similarity 
of customs Tiles Anchors The route from Asia to America Shipwrecks 
of fishing-boats Head-dresses Languages Religion Customs Marriage 
solemnized by tying the garments together Extracts from Prescott s " History 
of the Conquest of Mexico " Analogies in traditions and religious usages 
Disposal of the bodies of the dead The analogies of science The calendar 
General conclusions. 

Extracts from the " Views of the Cordilleras and Monuments of 
the Indigenous Nations of America" by Alexander von 
Hurnboldt. 



1579 J T j g a gur p r j ge t fi n( ^ toward the end of the fifteenth 
century, in a world that we call " new," the ancient institutions, 
the religious ideas, the forms of edifices which, in Asia, appear 
to belong to the first dawn of civilization. It is true of the 
characteristic traits of the nations, as of the interior structure of 
the vegetation scattered upon the surface of the globe, that 
everywhere they exhibit the imprint of a primitive type, in spite 
of the differences which are produced by the nature of the cli 
mates and of the soil, and by the combined influences of various 
accidental causes. . 



COINCIDENCES NOTED BY HUMBOLDT. 143 

1580 If the languages offer but feeble proof of ancient commu 
nication between the two worlds, this communication is indispu 
tably shown in the cosmogonies, the monuments, the hieroglyphics, 
and the institutions of the nations of America and Asia. . . . 

IMS jf we re fl ec t ever so little upon the epoch of the earliest 
Toltec migrations, upon the monastic institutions, the symbols of 
worship, the calendar, and the form of the monuments of Cholula, 
Sogamozo, and Cuzco, we perceive that Quetzalcoatl, Bochica, and 
Manco-Capac did not draw their code of laws from the north of 
Europe. Everything appears to carry us to Eastern Asia, to the 
nations that have been in contact with the Thibetans, the sha- 
manistic Tartars, and the bearded Ainos of the islands of Jesso 
and Saghalien. . . . 

USB ^ prolonged struggle between two religious sects, the 
Brahmans and the Buddhists, ended by the emigration of the 
shamans of Thibet into Mongolia, China, and Japan. If any 
of the tribes of the Tartarian race passed by the way of the 
northwestern coast of America, and from there southerly and 
easterly to the banks of the Gil a and those of the Missouri, as the 
etymological researches of Yater in his work upon the peopling 
of America appear to indicate, it would be less surprising to find, 
among the semi-barbarous tribes of the new continent, idols and 
architectural monuments, a hieroglyphic writing, an exact knowl 
edge of the duration of the year and traditions concerning the 
first condition of the world, which all recall the knowledge, the 
arts, and the religious opinions of the Asiatic nations. ... 

1592 We have seen that the Mexicans, the Japanese, the Thibe 
tans, and several other nations of Central Asia, have followed 
the same system in the division of the great cycles and in the 
names of the years that compose them. It remains for us to 
examine a fact which more directly concerns the history of the 
migrations of the nations, and which appears to have hitherto 
escaped the attention of scholars. I expect to be able to prove 
that a great part of the names by which the Mexicans designated 
the twenty days of their months are those of the signs of a 
zodiac used, from the most remote antiquity, by the nations of 
Eastern Asia. To make it evident that this assertion is less 
hazardous than it appears at first sight, I will give in a single 
table first, the names of the Mexican hieroglyphs as they have 
been transmitted to us by all the authors of the sixteenth cent- 



144 



AN INGLOKIOUS COLUMBUS. 



ury ; second, the names of the twelve signs of the zodiac among 
the Tartars, Thibetans, and Japanese ; third, the names of the 
nakchatras, or lunar houses of the calendar of the Hindoos. I 
dare flatter myself that those of my readers who will examine 
this comparative table attentively will be interested in the dis 
cussion into which we must enter regarding the first divisions of 
the zodiac. 



SIGNS OF THE ZODIAC. 






Hindooi, 


Mantchoo- 






of the 
Mexican Calendar. 


Lunar Houses of 
the Hindooi. 


Greeks, and 




Japanese. 


Thibetan*. 






Eastern Nations. 












Aquarius. 
Capricornus. 
Sagittarius. 


Singueri. 
Ouker. 
Pars. 


Ne. 
Ous. 
Torra. 


Tchip, rat, water. 
Lang, ox. 
Tah, tiger. 


Atl, water. [ster. 
Cipactli, marine mon- 
Ocelotl, tiger. 


(The mahara 
is a marine 


Scorpio. 


Taoulai. 


Ov. 


To, hare. 


Tochtli, hare. 


monster.) 


Libra. 
Virgo. 
Leo. 
Cancer. 


Lon. 
Mogai. 
Morin. 
Koin. 


Tats. 
Mi. 

Ouma. 
Tsitsouse. 


Broil, dragon. 
Prow/, serpent. 
7%a, horse. 
Zon, goat. 


Cohuatl, serpent. 
Acatl, reed. 
Tecpatl, flint (knife). 
Ollin, path of the pun. 


Serpent. 
Eeed. 
Kazor. [Vishnu 
Foot-tracks of 


Gemini. 


Petchi. 


Bar. 


Prehou, monkey. 


Ozomatli, monkey. 


Monkey. 


Taurus. 


Tukia. 


Torri. 


Tcha, bird. 


Quauhtli, bird. 




Aries. 
Pisces. 


Nokai. 
Gacai. 


In. 
Y. 


y, dog. 
Pah, hog. 


Itzcuintli, dog. 
Calli, house. 


A dog s tail. 
House. 



From the most ancient times, the people of Asia have known 
two systems of dividing the ecliptic : one into twenty-seven or 
twenty-eight houses, or lunar mansions, the other into twelve 
parts. The opinion which has been advanced, that this last 
method of division existed only among the Egyptians, is erro 
neous. The oldest monuments of Indian literature, the works of 
Kalidasa, and of Amarsinh, mention both the twelve signs of 
the zodiac, and the twenty-seven " Companions of the Moon. * 
From our knowledge concerning the communications which oc 
curred several thousand years before our era, between the nations 
of Ethiopia, of Upper Egypt, and of Hindostan, we are justified 
in dismissing the supposition that all that the Egyptians trans 
mitted to the Grecian tribes appertained exclusively to them. 

The division of the ecliptic into twenty-seven or twenty-eight 
lunar houses, is probably more ancient than the division into 
twelve parts, connected with the annual movement of the sun. 
The phenomena which are repeated in the same order with every 
revolution of the moon, attract the attention of mankind more 
readily than changes of position, of which the cycle is com 
pleted only in the space of a year. . . . 



COINCIDENCES NOTED BY HUMBOLDT. 145 

1593 Examining first the analogy which the names of the 
Mexican days offer to the signs of the Thibetan, Chinese, Tar 
tarian, and Mongolian zodiac, the analogy is found to be very 
striking in the eight hieroglyphs called atl, cipactli, ocelotl, 
tochtli, cohuatl, quauhtli, ozomatli, and itzcuintli. Atl, water, is 
often indicated by a hieroglyph, of which the parallel lines and 
undulations recall the sign which we employ to designate 
Aquarius. The first tse, or catasterism, of the Chinese zodiac, 
the rat (chit), is also frequently found represented by the figure 
of water. At the time of the reign of the emperor Chuen-hiu, 
there was a great deluge ; and the celestial sign hiuen-hiao, 
which corresponds in position with our Aquarius, is the symbol 
of his reign. So Pere Souciet observes, in his " Researches upon 
the Cycles and the Zodiacs," that China and Europe agree in 
representing, under different names, the sign which we call 
Amphora, or Aquarius. Among the western people the water 
which falls from the vase of the water-bearer forms another con 
stellation (Hydor), to which the beautiful stars Fomahand and 
Deneb Jcaitos belong, as is proved by several passages from 
Aratus, Geminus, and Scholiaste de Germanicus. 

Cipactli is a marine animal. This hieroglyph presents a strik 
ing analogy with Capricornus, which the Hindoos and other 
people of Asia call a marine monster. The Mexican sign indi 
cates a fabulous animal, a cetacean armed with a horn. Gomara 
and Torquemada call it espadarte, a name by which the Spaniards 
designate the narwhal, of which the great tooth is known by the 
name of the unicorn s horn. Boturini has mistaken this horn 
for a harpoon, and erroneously translates cipactli by " serpent 
armed with harpoons." As this sign does not represent a real 
animal, it is very natural that its form should vary more than 
those of the other signs. Sometimes the horn appears to be a 
prolongation of the muzzle, as in the famous fish oxyrinque, rep 
resented in the place of the southern fish beneath Capricornus 
in some Indian planispheres ; in other cases the horn is lacking 
entirely. Casting the eyes upon figures copied from very an 
cient designs and reliefs, it is seen that Valades, Boturini, and 
Clavigero have all erroneously represented the first hieroglyph 
of the Mexican days as a shark, or a lizard. In the manuscript 
of the Borgian Museum, the head of the cipactli resembles that 
of a crocodile ; and this same name of crocodile is given, by Son- 
10 



OF THt 

UNIVERSITY 

OF 



146 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

nerat, to the tenth sign of the Indian zodiac, which is our Capri- 
cornus. 

In addition, the idea of the marine animal cipactli is found 
united in the Mexican mythology with the history of a man, who, 
at the time of the destruction of the fourth sun, after having 
floated upon the water for a long time, was saved, alone, by 
attaining the top of the mountain of Colhuacan. We have else 
where observed that the Noah of the Aztecs, who was usually 
called " Coxcox," bore also the name of " Teo-cipactli," in which 
the word "god" or " divine" is added to that of the sign cipactli. 
In casting the eyes upon the zodiac of the Asiatic tribes, we find 
that the Capricornus of the Hindoos is the fabulous fish mahara, 
or souro, celebrated for its exploits, and represented from the 
most remote antiquity as a marine monster with the head of a 
gazelle. 

As the people of India, as well as the Mexicans, often indi 
cate the naJcchatras (lunar houses) and the laquenons (the 
twelve signs of the zodiac) merely by the heads of the animals 
which compose the lunar and solar zodiacs, it is not at all sur 
prising that the western nations have transformed the mahara 
into Capricornus (alyonepG)^), and that Aratus, Ptolemy, and the 
Persian Kazwini have not given it even a fish s tail. An ani 
mal which, after having lived in the water for a long time, takes 
the form of a gazelle, and climbs the mountains, reminds the 
people, of whom the restless imagination seizes upon the most 
distant affinities, of the ancient traditions of Menu, of Noah, and 
of the Deucalions celebrated among the Scythians and the Thes- 
salians. It is true that, according to Germanicus, Deucalion, 
who may be considered to resemble Coxcox, or Teo-cipactli of 
the Mexican mythology, should be placed, not in the sign Capri 
cornus, but in Aquarius, the sign which immediately follows it. 
This circumstance, however, is not surprising, as it merely con 
firms the ingenious view of M. Bailly regarding the ancient con 
nection of the three signs, Pisces, Aquarius, and Capricornus or 
the fish-gazelle. 

Ocelotl, tiger, the jaguar (felis oncd) of the warm regions of 
Mexico ; tochtli, hare ; ozomatli, she-monkey ; itzcuintli, dog ; 
cohuatl, serpent ; quauhtli, bird, are the catasterisms which are 
found under the same name in the Tartarian and Thibetan 
zodiac. In Chinese astronomy the hare is not only the fourth 



COINCIDENCES NOTED BY HUMBOLDT. 147 

tse, or sign of the zodiac, but the moon, since the remote epoch of 
the reign of Too, has been figured as a disk, in which a hare, sit 
ting upon its hind feet, turns a stick in a vessel, as if making but 
ter ; a puerile fancy which may have had its origin in the plains 
of Tartary, where hares abound, and which are inhabited by pas 
toral tribes. The Mexican monkey, ozomatli, corresponds to the 
heu of the Chinese, thepetchi of the Mantchoos, and the prehou 
of the Thibetans, three names which designate the same animal. 
Procyon appears to be the monkey Hanuan, so known in the 
Hindoo mythology, and the position of this star, placed upon the 
same line with Gemini and the pole of the ecliptic, corresponds 
very well with the place which the monkey occupies in the Tar 
tar zodiac, between Cancer and Taurus. Monkeys are also found 
in the heaven of the Arabs. They are the stars of the constella 
tion Canis Major, called El-Jcurttd in the catalogue of Kazwini. 
I enter into these details concerning the sign ozomatli because it 
is a very important point, not only in the history of astronomy, 
but also in that of the migrations of the tribes, to find an animal 
of the torrid zone placed among the constellations of the Mon 
golian, Mantchoo, Aztec, and Toltec tribes. 

The sign itzcuintli, dog, corresponds with the last sign but one 
of the Tartarian zodiac, the ky of the Thibetans, the nokai of 
the Mantchoos, and the in of the Japanese. Pere Gaubil informs 
us that the dog of the Tartarian zodiac is our sign Aries ; and it 
is very remarkable that, according to le Gentil, although the 
Hindoos were not acquainted with the series of signs which com 
mences with the rat, Aries is sometimes replaced by a wild dog. 
In the same way, among the Mexicans itzcuintli designates the 
wild dog, for they call their domestic dog techichi. Mexico 
formerly abounded with carnivorous quadrupeds which united 
the qualities of the dog and the wolf, and which Hernandez 
has described to us but imperfectly. The race of these animals, 
known by the names of xoloitzcuintli, itzcuintepotzotli, and tepeitz- 
cuintli, is probably not entirely extinct, but they have more likely 
retired into the wildest and most remote forests ; for in the part 
of the country which I have passed through I have never heard 
a wild dog mentioned. 

Le Gentil and Bailly have been misled in the opinion which 
they have advanced that the word mdcha, which designates our 
ram, signifies a wild dog. This Sanskrit word is the common 



AN" INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

name of the ram, and it has been employed very poetically by an 
Indian author who, describing the combat of two warriors, says 
that " by their heads they were two mtchas (rams), by their 
arms two elephants, by their feet two noble coursers." 

The following table shows at one view the signs of the Tar 
tarian zodiac and the names of the days of the Mexican calendar, 
which are alike : 

Zodiac of the Tartar-Mantchoos. Zodiac of the Mexicans. 

Pars, tiger. Ocelotl, tiger. 

Taoulai, hare. Tochtli, hare, rabbit. 

Mogai, serpent. Cohuatl, serpent. 

Petchi, monkey. Ozomatli, monkey. 

Nokal, dog. Itzcuintli, dog. 

Tufaa, bird, fowl. Quauhtli, bird, eagle. 

Without connecting the hieroglyphs water (atl) and the 
marine monster (cipactli), which offer a striking analogy with the 
zodiacal signs of Aquarius and Capricornus, the six signs of the 
Tartarian zodiac which are also found in the Mexican calendar 
are sufficient to make it extremely probable that the nations of 
the two continents have drawn their astronomical ideas from a 
common source, and it is worthy of notice that the points of 
resemblance upon which we insist are not derived from rude 
pictures or allegories, susceptible of being interpreted in ac 
cordance with any hypothesis that it is desired to sustain. If 
we consult the works composed at the time of the conquest, by 
Spanish authors, or by American Indians who were ignorant of 
the existence of a Tartarian zodiac, it will be seen that in Mex 
ico, from the seventh century until our era, the days have been 
called "tiger," "dog," "monkey," "hare" or "rabbit," as, 
throughout Eastern Asia, the years bear the same names among 
the Thibetans, the Tartar-Mantchoos, the Mongols, the Calmucks, 
the Chinese, the Japanese, the Coreans, and among the nations 
of Tonquin and Cochin-China. 

It is conceivable that nations which never had any connection 
may have similarly divided the ecliptic into twenty-seven or 
twenty-eight parts, and given to each lunar day the name of the 
stars near which the moon is found to be placed in its progress 
ive movement from west to east. It also appears very natural 
that pastoral and hunting nations should designate the constel 
lations and the lunar days by the names of the animals which 



COINCIDENCES NOTED BY HUMBOLDT. 149 

are the constant objects of their affections or their fears. The 
heaven of the nomad tribes may be found to be peopled with 
dogs, deer, bulls, and wolves, without furnishing sufficient ground 
for the conclusion that the tribes have ever formerly made parts 
of the same nation. Traits of resemblance which are purely acci 
dental, or which arise from a similarity of circumstances or lo 
cation, should not be confounded with those which are the results 
of a common origin or of ancient communication. 

But the Tartarian and Mexican zodiacs are not confined ex 
clusively to animals found in the regions inhabited by these 
nations now ; in both, the tiger and the monkey are also found. 
The two animals are unknown upon the plateau of Eastern and 
Central Asia, to which the great elevation gives a colder temper 
ature than that which is found in the same latitude farther east. 
The Thibetans, the Mongolians, the Mantchoos, and the Cal- 
mucks have therefore received from a more southerly country the 
zodiac which has, too exclusively, been called the Tartarian cycle. 
The Toltecs, the Aztecs, the Tlascaltecs migrated from the north 
toward the south ; we know of Aztec monuments as far north as 
the banks of the Gila, between 33 and 34 north latitude, and 
history informs us that the Toltecs came formerly from regions 
still farther north. The colonists coming from Aztlan did not 
arrive as barbarian tribes ; everything announces the remains of 
an ancient civilization as existing among them. 

The names given to the cities which they constructed were 
the names of the places which their ancestors had inhabited ; 
their laws, their annals, their chronology, the order of their sacri 
fices, were modeled upon the knowledge which they had acquired 
in their father-land. Now, the monkeys and the tigers, which 
figure among the hieroglyphs of the days, and in the Mexican 
traditions of the four ages, or destructions of the sun, do not live 
in the northern part of New Spain, or on the northwestern coast 
of America. As a consequence, the signs ozomatli and ocelotl ren 
der it extremely probable that the zodiacs of the Toltecs, the 
Aztecs, the Mongolians, the Thibetans, and many other nations, 
which are now separated by a vast extent of country, originated 
at the same point in the Old World. 

The lunar houses of the Hindoos, in which we find also a 
monkey, a serpent, a dog s tail, and the head of a gazelle, or of 
a marine monster, offer still other signs, of which the names re- 



150 AN INGLOEIOUS COLUMBUS. 

call those of calli, acatl, tecpatl, and ollin of the Mexican calen 
dar. 

Indian Nakchatras. Mexican Signs. 

Magha, house. Calli, house. 

Venu, cane (reed). Acatl, cane (reed). 

Critica, razor. Tecpatl, flint, stone knife. 

Sravana, three foot-prints. Ollin, movement of the sun, 

figured by three foot-prints. 

We can not help noticing that the Aztec word calli has the 
same signification as kuala or holla, among the Wogouls, who 
live upon the banks of the Kama and the Irtish, as ail, the 
Aztec word for water, and itels (river) recall the words atel, 
atelch, etel or idel (river) in the languages of the Mongolian Tar 
tars, the Tcheremissians, and the Tchuwassians. The denomina 
tion of calli, house, also designates very well a lunar station or 
inn (mendzil el kamar, in Arabian), a place of repose. So, also, 
among the Indian nakchatras, in addition to the houses (magha 
and punarvasu), we also find a bedstead and a couch. 

The Mexican sign acatl, cane, is generally drawn as two reeds 
tied together ; but the stone found in Mexico in 1790, and which 
offers the hieroglyphs of the days, represents the sign acatl in a 
very different manner. We recognize there a bundle of rushes, 
or a sheaf of maize, contained in a vase. We recall, in this con 
nection, the fact that, in the first period of thirteen days of the 
year tochtli, the sign acatl is constantly accompanied by Cinteotl, 
who is the goddess of maize, the Ceres of the Mexicans, the di 
vinity who presides over agriculture. Among the western peo 
ple, Ceres is placed in the fifth of the twelve signs. We also 
find very ancient zodiacs in which a bundle of ears of grain fills 
all the place which should be occupied by Ceres, Isis, Astre"e, or 
Erigone, in the sign of the harvests and vintages. Thus we 
find that, from a high antiquity, the same ideas, the same sym 
bols, the same tendency to think physical phenomena dependent 
upon the mysterious influence of the stars, existed among nations 
the most widely separated from one another. 

The Mexican hieroglyph tecpatl indicates a cutting-stone of 
an oval form, elongated toward the two extremities, similar to 
those which are used as knives, or which are attached to the 
end of a pike. This sign recalls the critica, or cutting-knife, 
of the lunar zodiac of the Hindoos. Upon the large stone (rep- 



COINCIDENCES NOTED BY HUMBOLDT. 

resented in a plate given in the original French edition), the 
hieroglyph tecpatl is figured in a different manner from the form 
ordinarily given to it. The stone is pierced in the center, and 
the opening appears to be intended to receive the hand of the 
warrior who uses this two-pointed weapon. It is known that 
the Americans had a peculiar method of piercing the hardest 
stones and of working them into shape by friction. I brought 
from South America, and deposited in the Berlin Museum, an 
obsidian ring, which had served for a young girl s bracelet, and 
which formed a hollow cylinder of almost seven centimetres in 
ternal diameter, and four centimetres height, and of which the 
thickness is not more than three millimetres. It is difficult to 
conceive how a vitreous and fragile mass can have been reduced 
to so thin a band. Tecpatl, however, differed in other respects 
from obsidian, a substance which the Mexicans called iztli. Un 
der the name tecpatl, jade, hornblende, and flint were con 
founded. 

The sign ollin, or ollin tonatiuh, presided, in the beginning of 
the cycle of fifty-two years, over the seventeenth day of the 
first month. The explanation of this sign greatly embarrassed 
the Spanish monks, who, destitute of the most elementary prin 
ciples of astronomy, attempted to describe the Mexican calen 
dar. The Indian authors translated ollin by movements of the 
sun. When they found the number nahui (four) added, they 
rendered nahui ollin by the words " the sun (tonatiuh) in its 
four movements." The sign ollin is made in three ways : some 
times like two interlaced ribbons, or rather like two parts of 
the curved lines, which intersect and have three distinct folds 
upon their summits ; sometimes, like the solar disk, inclosed by 
four squares, which contained the hieroglyphs of the numbers one 
(ce) and four (nahui) ; sometimes like three foot-prints. The 
four squares, as we shall hereafter show, alluded to the famous 
tradition of the four ages, or four destructions of the world, 
which occurred upon the days four tiger (nahui ocelotl),four 
wind (nahui ehecatl), four rain (nahui quiahuitl), and four 
water (nahui atl), in the years one reed (ce acatl), one flint (ce 
tecpatl), and ce calli, one house. The solstices, the equinoxes, 
and the passages of the sun past the zenith of the city of 
Tenochtitlan, correspond very nearly to these days. The repre 
sentation of the sign ollin by three xocpalli, or foot-prints, such as 



152 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

are often found in the manuscripts preserved in the Vatican and 
in the Codex Borgianus, folio 47, n. 210, is remarkable from the 
analogy which it offers in appearance with sravana, or "the 
Three Foot-prints of Vishnu," one of the mansions of the lunar 
zodiac of the Hindoos. In the Mexican calendar the three foot 
prints indicate either the course of the sun in its passage to the 
equator, and in its movement toward the two tropics, or the 
three positions of the sun, in the zenith, upon the equator, and at 
one of the solstices. It may be possible that the lunar zodiac 
of the Hindoos contains some sign which, like that of Libra, re 
lates to the course of the sun. We have seen that the zodiac of 
twenty-eight signs may have been transformed, little by little, 
into a zodiac of twelve mansions of the full moon, and that some 
nakchatras may have changed, their name since the zodiac of 
the full moon has, from a knowledge of the annual movement 
of the sun, become a true solar zodiac. Krishna, the Apollo of 
the Hindoos, is in fact nothing but Vishnu under the form of the 
sun, who is adored more particularly under the name of the god 
Surya. In spite of this analogy of ideas and of signs, we think 
that the three foot-prints which indicate sravana,, the twenty- 
third of the nakchatras, have only an accidental resemblance 
with the three foot-tracks which represent the sign ottin. M. de 
Chezy, who unites a profound knowledge of the Persian to that 
of the Sanskrit, observes that the sravana of the Indian zodiac 
alludes to a legend which is very celebrated among the Hindoos, 
and which is recorded in most of their sacred books, particularly 
in the Bhdgavat Pdrdnd. Vishnu, wishing to punish the pride 
of a giant, who thought himself as powerful as the gods, present 
ed himself before him in the form of a dwarf, and begged him to 
give him in his vast empire the space which he could inclose by 
three of his paces. The giant smilingly granted his request ; but 
immediately the dwarf grew so prodigiously that with two paces 
he measured the distance between the heavens and the earth. 
As he demanded a place to set his foot for the third pace, the 
giant recognized the god Vishnu, and prostrated himself before 
him. This fact explains so well the figure of the naJcchatra named 
sravana, that it seems difficult to admit that the sign can be 
connected with that of ollin, as cipactli and the Mexican Noah, 
Teo-cipactli, are connected with the constellation Capricornus 
and with Deucalion, placed formerly in Aquarius. 



COINCIDENCES NOTED BY HUMBOLDT. 153 

We have thus developed the connection which exists between 
the signs composing the different zodiacs of India, of Thibet, and 
of Tartary and the hieroglyphs of the days and the years of the 
Mexican calendar. We have found that among the proofs of 
such connection the most striking and the most numerous are 
those which are presented by the cycle of twelve animals, which 
we have designated by the name of the Tartarian and Thibetan 
zodiac. In terminating a discussion of which the results are so 
important in regard to the history of the ancient communication 
of the nations, it remains for us to examine the last zodiac more 
closely, and to prove that in the system of Asiatic astronomy, 
with which the Mexican astronomy appears to have had a com 
mon origin, the twelve signs of the zodiac presided not only over 
the months, but also over the years, the days, the hours, and even 
the smallest divisions of the hours. . . . 

1594 \vherever we observe at the same time several divisions 
of the ecliptic which differ, not in the number of the signs, but 
in their general names, as the tse, the tchi, and the celestial ani 
mals of the Chinese, the Thibetans, and the Tartars, this multi 
plicity of signs is probably due to a mixture of several nations, 
which have been subjugated one by another. The effects of this 
mixture, particularly of the influence exercised by the conquerors 
upon the conquered, are especially manifest in the northeastern 
part of Asia, in which the languages, in spite of the great num 
ber of Mongolian and Tartarian roots which they contain, differ 
so essentially among themselves, that they seem to be incapable 
of any methodical classification. The greater the distance from 
Thibet and Hindostan, the greater the difference in the type of 
the civil institutions, in knowledge, and in culture. Now, if the 
tribes of Eastern Siberia, among whom the dogmas of Buddhism 
have evidently penetrated, show but feebly their connection 
with the civilized nations of Eastern Asia, we need not be sur 
prised that in the New Continent we find only a few points of 
analogy in the traditions, in the chronology, and in the style of 
the ancient monuments, while in other respects we discern a 
great number of striking differences. When nations of Tartarian 
or Mongolian origin, transplanted to foreign shores, mixed with 
the hordes indigenous to America, and traced out painfully a 
path toward civilization, their languages, their mythology, their 
divisions of time, all took a character of individuality which 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

effaced, so to say, the primitive type of their national physiog 
nomy. . . . 

1597 Thibet and Mexico present very remarkable traits of 
connection in their ecclesiastical hierarchy, in the number of 
their religious fraternities, in the extreme austerity of their pen 
ances, and in the order of the processions. It is impossible to 
fail to be struck with these resemblances, when reading with 
attention the account which Cortez gave to the Emperor Charles 
the Fifth of his solemn entry into Cholula, which he called the 
holy city of the Mexicans. . . . 

1598 Of all the traits of analogy which have been observed 
in the monuments, in the manners, and in the traditions of the 
nations of Asia and America, the most striking is that which the 
Mexican mythology presents in its fable regarding the system of 
the universe, of its periodic destructions and regenerations. 
This fable, which unites the idea of a renewal of matter sup 
posed to be indestructible with the completion of great cycles, 
and which attributes to space that which appears to appertain 
only to time, goes back to the greatest antiquity. The sacred 
books of the Hindoos, especially the Bhdgavat P&rdnd, speak 
of the four ages and of the pralayas, or cataclysms, which at 
different epochs have caused the destruction of the human spe 
cies. A tradition of five ages, analogous to that of the Mexicans, 
is found upon the plateau of Thibet. It is true that this astro 
logical fable, which has become the basis of a system of cos 
mogony, had its birth in Hindostan ; it is probable, also, that 
from there it passed to the western nations by the way of Iran 
and Chaldea. The resemblance between the Indian tradition of 
the yugas and the Jcalpas, the cycles of the ancient inhabitants 
of Etruria, and this series of exterminated generations, charac 
terized by Hesiod under the emblem of four metals, should not 
be forgotten. 

The nations of Culhua, or of Mexico, says Gomara, who 
wrote in the middle of the sixteenth century, believed, according 
to their hieroglyphical paintings, that before the sun which now 
shines upon them, there existed four others which were de 
stroyed one after another. The "five suns " are as many ages in 
which our species has been annihilated by inundations, by earth 
quakes, by a universal conflagration, and by the effect of hurri 
canes. After the destruction of the fourth sun, the world was 



COINCIDENCES NOTED BY LOBSCHEID. 155 

plunged into darkness for the space of twenty-five years. It was 
in the middle of this profound night, ten years before the ap 
pearance of the fifth sun, that the human race was re-created. 

599 As it may cause surprise to find five ages, or suns, among 
the Mexican tribes, while the Hindoos and the Greeks admit 
only four, it is worthy of notice that the Mexican cosmogony 
is in accord with that of the Thibetans, who also regard the 
present age as the fifth. If we examine with care the beautiful 
fragment of an earlier tradition, preserved by Hesiod, in which he 
explains the Oriental system of the renewal of nature, it will be 
seen that this author really counts five creations in four ages. 
He divides the period of bronze into two parts, which make up 
the third and fourth creations ; and it is surprising that so clear 
a passage has sometimes been misinterpreted. 

We are ignorant as to the number of ages referred to in the 
Sibylline books ; but we think that the analogies which we indi 
cate are not accidental, and that it is not without interest for the 
philosophical history of man to see the same fables scattered 
from Etruria to Thibet, and from there to the Cordilleras of 
Mexico. 

Extracts from the " Grammar of the Chinese Language" by 
the Hev. W. Lobscheid. 

1756 AMERICAN INDIANS APPARENTLY ONE RACE WITH THE 
JAPANESE AND EASTERN ASIATICS. ... In passing across the Isth 
mus of Panama, and in Mexico, I was struck with the similarity 
of architecture between the Chinese and these people. Instead of 
excavating mountains, instead of making expensive vaults, all the 
principal edifices are erected on elevated ground. The tiles of the 
roofs are concave and convex, just as we have them in China ; 
the anchors of their boats are the same as we find them in Japan 
and the north of China, i. e., with four hooks without a barb ; 
and innumerable other manners, customs, and peculiarities of 
civilization agree exactly with those of Eastern Asia, as in no 
other country of the world. 

We now come to inquire as to how these tribes could reach 
America. During the summer months, when the sun did not set 
for one whole month, the inhabitants of the extreme parts of 
Northeastern Asia, either pressed by hostile tribes, or from an im 
pulse of adventure, must have crossed over to the American Conti- 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

nent, where, either by hunting or fishing, they could easily sup 
port themselves and provide for their wants during the coming 
winter. Wave after wave of immigration is likely to have rolled 
on ; and if only at long intervals a few returned to their native 
place, that was sufficient to account for a knowledge of a large 
Eastern Continent, floating among the Chinese, Japanese, and 
other Asiatics. 

The large fleets of fishing-boats about the coasts of Japan and 
China are, we know, frequently overtaken by tremendous gales, 
and either destroyed or carried eastward. We know of Japa 
nese junks having been picked up beyond the Sandwich Islands, 
and close to the shore of America, after an absence of more than 
nine months. But much more. Large fleets of war-junks, some 
times manned by as many as one hundred thousand men, have 
left the coast of China and Japan, and have been scattered by the 
northwest gales, and but few of these ever survived or returned. 
It is not unlikely that these junks, being well provisioned, 
have continued in their eastern course, until, within 28 north 
latitude, they fell in with the trade-wind, which compelled them 
to change their course, and carried them toward Mexico or Lower 
California, where they laid the foundation of that kind of civiliza 
tion which resembles so closely that of the Chinese and Japanese. 
Look at the Chinese dress five or six centuries ago, and you have 
the head-dress of the Mexicans ; look at the monstrous uniforms 
and coats-of-mail, and at the head-dress of the Japanese women, 
and you will be struck with their similarity to the Mexicans. As 
all the kings, chiefs, and priests in one word, all the creators of 
that peculiar civilization were destroyed by the Spaniards, we 
need not wonder at the low ebb of education of the present race, 
who are merely the children of peasants and the lower classes. 
Were Chinese who speak the different dialects and well versed 
in their own literature, and Japanese of education, well furnished 
with ancient works, sent with scientific men to America, we 
may rest assured, they would soon decipher the inscriptions now 
fast going to ruin. 

SUMMARY OF SIMILARITY OF THE AMERICAN INDIANS WITH THE 
JAPANESE, CHINESE, AND NORTHERN ASIATICS. I. LANGUAGE. 
Monosyllabic, as spoken by the Otomi and other tribes. Hiero 
glyphs, or ideographic characters, on the same principle as the 



COINCIDENCES NOTED BY LOBSCHEID. 157 

Chinese ; absence of the R among the tribes where the ideo 
graphic characters are found ; prevalence of hissing sounds and 
gutturals, and most words terminating in a vowel. 2. Poly 
syllabic language of a syllabic character, representing, not sound, 
but syllables, as in Japan. Japanese words detected in the Indian 
language ; Japanese form of the possessive case ; prevalence of 
the R, and the termination of every word in a vowel except 
theN. 

II. RELIGION. The most ancient religion of the Indians, now 
forming the wandering tribes, is the belief in one Great Spirit, 
whom they worship, like the Japanese their Sin (spirit), without 
image. In both places, long, hortatory addresses are delivered to 
the audience, and both exhibit profound reverence of that spirit, 
and deep religious feelings. The polytheistic form of worship, as 
found in Mexico, etc., is, according to accepted history, the most 
modern one, and was, if we believe Chinese legends, introduced by 
Buddhists and shaman priests, about the beginning of the sixth 
century of our era, which nearly coincides with the commence 
ment of the Toltecan history, which is put down at A. D. 596. The 
dragon or serpent worship was very prevalent. That the Chi 
nese dragon is nothing but a serpent, can be proved from the fact 
that at this moment serpents are kept in temples as representa 
tives of the ancient dragon. They resembled the Chinese and 
(Buddhist) Japanese in their ideas of " the transmigration of the 
soul ; in the monastic forms and discipline ; in their penances, 
ablutions, alms-givings, and public festivals ; in the worship of 
their household gods ; in the devotions of the priests to the study 
of astrology and astronomy ; in the admission of virgin females 
to the vows and rites of the cloister ; in the incense and chants 
of their worship ; in their use of charms and amulets ; in some 
of their forms of burning their dead, and the preservation of the 
ashes in urns, and in the assumption of the right to educate the 
youth." Among other superstitious notions is the one of a celes 
tial dragon endeavouring to devour the sun during its eclipse, 
and their fondness for the drum, gong, and rattle. 

III. CUSTOMS. The dragon-standard ; banner-lances, as we 
find them in Chinese Buddhist temples ; ensigns and banners 
stuck in a ferula, fixed at the back of a warrior. A kind of her 
aldry as we meet among the Japanese. Some of their nuptials 
were symbolized by the ceremony of tying the garments of the 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

two contracting parties together. There was only one lawful 
wife, though a plurality of concubines. I have already referred 
to the similarity of dress, architecture, and anchors of ships. 

Physiologically considered, there is not the slightest difference 
between these tribes and those of Japan and China, and the tribes 
among themselves differ no more from each other than the peo 
ple of Europe of one and the same stock. 

Extracts from the " History of the Conquest of Mexico "by 
William H. Prescott. 

2083 An obvious analogy is found in cosmogonal traditions 
and religious usages. The reader has already been made ac 
quainted with the Aztec system of four great cycles, at the end of 
each of which the world was destroyed, to be again regenerated. 
The belief in these periodical convulsions of nature, through the 
agency of some one or other of the elements, was familiar to 
many countries in the Eastern Hemisphere ; and, though varying 
in detail, the general resemblance of outline furnishes an argu 
ment in favour of a common origin. The fanciful division of 
time into four or five cycles or ages was found among the Hin 
doos ("Asiatic Researches," vol. ii, mem. 7), the Thibetans 
(Humboldt, " Vues des Cordilleres," p. 210), the Persians (Bailly, 
" Traite de PAstronomie," Paris, 1787, tome i, discours prelimi- 
naire), the Greeks (Hesiod, ""Epya KCU -H^epai," v, 108 et seq.), 
and other people, doubtless. . . . 

2084 " I have purposely omitted noticing the resemblance of re 
ligious notions, for I do not see how it is possible to separate 
from such views every influence of Christian ideas, if it be only 
from an imperceptible confusion in the mind of the narrator." 
(Quoted from Vater s " Mithridates," Berlin, 1812, Theil III, 
Abtheil 3, p. 82, note.) . . . 

15 These coincidences must be allowed to furnish an argu 
ment in favour of some primitive communication with that great 
brotherhood of nations on the Old Continent among whom simi 
lar ideas have been so widely diffused. The probability of such 
a communication, especially with Eastern Asia, is much strength 
ened by the resemblance of sacerdotal institutions, and of some 
religious rites as those of marriage and the burial of the dead ; 
by the practice of human sacrifices, and even of cannibalism 
traces of which are discernible in the Mongol races ; and, lastly, 



COINCIDENCES NOTED BY PRESCOTT. 159 

by a conformity of social usages and manners so striking that 
the description of Montezuma s court may well pass for that of 
the Grand Khan s, as depicted by Maundeville and Marco Polo. 
It would occupy too much room to go into details in this mat 
ter, without which, however, the strength of the argument can 
not be felt, nor fully established. It has been done by others ; 
and an occasional coincidence has been adverted to in the preced 
ing chapters. . . . 

2086 There are certain arbitrary peculiarities, which, when 
found in different nations, reasonably suggest the idea of some 
previous communication between them. Who can doubt the 
existence of an affinity, or at least intercourse, between tribes 
who had the same strange habit of burying the dead in a sitting 
posture, as was practiced to some extent by most, if not all, of 
the aborigines, from Canada to Patagonia ? The habit of burn 
ing the dead, familiar to both Mongols and Aztecs, is, in itself, 
but slender proof of a common origin. The body must be dis 
posed of in some way ; and this, perhaps, is as natural as any 
other. But, when to this is added the circumstance of collecting 
the ashes in a vase, and depositing the single article of a precious 
stone along with them, the coincidence is remarkable. Such 
minute coincidences are not unfrequent ; while the accumulation 
of those of a more general character, though individually of little 
account, greatly strengthens the probability of a communication 
with the East. . . . 

2067 A proof of a higher kind is found in the analogies of 
science. We have seen the peculiar chronological system of the 
Aztecs their method of distributing the years into cycles, and 
of reckoning by means of periodical series, instead of numbers. 
A similar process was used by the various Asiatic nations of the 
Mongol family, from India to Japan. . . . 

2088 It is scarcely possible to reconcile the knowledge of Oriental 
science with the total ignorance of some of the most serviceable 
and familiar arts, as the use of milk and iron, for example arts 
so simple, yet so important to domestic comfort, that, when once 
acquired, they could hardly be lost. . . . Yet there have been 
people considerably civilized, in Eastern Asia, who were almost 
equally strangers to the use of milk. ... It is possible, more 
over, that the migration may have been previous to the time 
when iron was used by the Asiatic nation in question. . . . Such 



160 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

is the explanation, unsatisfactory indeed, but the best that sug 
gests itself, of this curious anomaly. . . . 

2089 TI^ rea d e r of the preceding pages may, perhaps, acquiesce 
in the general conclusions not startling by their novelty : 

First, that the coincidences are sufficiently strong to authorize 
a belief that the civilization of Anahuac was, in some degree, in 
fluenced by that of Eastern Asia ; and, secondly, that the discrep 
ancies are such as to carry back the communication to a very 
remote period so remote, that this foreign influence has been 
too feeble to interfere materially with the growth of what may 
be regarded, in its essential features, as a peculiar and indigenous 
civilization. 



CHAPTER X. 

SHORTER ESSAYS. 

" Where was Fu-sang ? " by the Rev. Nathan Brown, D. D. Difficulties attending 
a decision Horses Grapes Reason for thinking Fu-sang more distant than 
Japan Length of the li Distances of the route Difficulties attending 
Klaproth s theory The military expeditions of the Japanese The introduc 
tion of the Buddhist religion The Hans Great Han Identification of the 
fu-sang tree with the bread-fruit tree Conclusion Remarks of the Abbe 
Brasseur de Bourbourg The paper and books of the Mexicans and Central 
Americans Civilization of New Mexico Chinese boats Animals Mr. Lc- 
land s " Fusang" An earlier article Who discovered America ? J. Hanlay s 
essay The fu-sang tree identified with the maguey Metals Resemblance 
in religion and customs Also in features Language Civilization on Pacific 
coast Letter of Mr. Th. Simson The Mexican aloe The fu-sang tree 
Japan Letter of E. Bretschneider, M. D. Accounts of Fu-sang by the 
Chinese poets "The Kingdom of Women" Verdict of Father Ilyacinth 
The distance Horses and deer The fu-sang tree The t ung tree The paper- 
mulberry Metals" The Kingdom of Women " and Salt Lake City Fu-sang 
not Japan Ta-han in Siberia Envoys from Fu-sang Contradictory fancies 
Mr. Leland s criticism Letter of Fere Gaubil Unreliability of Chinese 
texts The peopling of Japan Chinese knowledge of surrounding countries 
Remarks of Humboldt Letter of the Rt. Rev. Channing M. Williams The 
Chinese " Classic of Mountains and Seas " Fabulous stories Translation of 
extracts therefrom Remarks of M. Leon de Rosny Passage from Asia to 
America The distance Character of the Esquimaux An article from a 
newspaper of British Columbia Discovery of Chinese coins in the bank of a 
creek Evidence that they had been buried for a long time. 

" Where was Fu-sang f " by the Rev. Nathan Brown, D. Z>. 850 

IT is not a little amusing to observe the regularity with which 
the discovery of an ancient connection between China and Mex 
ico annually goes the rounds of the newspapers. 

The author of the discovery is generally stated to be Pro 
fessor Karl Neumann, who has lit upon some old Chinese record 
containing it ; but no dates are given for verifying the fact, and 
no translation of the documents upon which he relies. 
11 



162 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

The following paragraph, from the first chapter of Riviero s 
" Peruvian Antiquities," translated by Dr. Hawks, is somewhat 
more definite. After speaking of various theories framed in ref 
erence to the colonization of America, he says : 

" But the hypothesis which in importance surpasses all these 
is that of de Guignes, who, relying upon the chronicles of 
China, attributes Peruvian civilization to emigration proceeding 
from the i Celestial Empire, or the East Indies. Recent inves 
tigations would seem to confirm this opinion." . . . 

Signer Riviero goes on to say there is " no doubt " that Que- 
tzalcoatl, Bochica, Manco Capac, and other reformers of Central 
America were Buddhist priests. Such random assertions are a 
positive injury to archaeological science ; they destroy confidence, 
not only in the author who makes them, but in antiquarian re 
searches generally. The connection of the Mexican mythology 
with Buddhism is a thing to be proved, not assumed as a matter 
beyond doubt. Buddhism is the most gentle and inoffensive of 
all the heathen religions ; it is as unlike to the bloody religion 
of the Aztecs as it is to the cruel rites of the Brahmanical wor 
shipers of Siva and Durga. If an idol is to be found in Yuca 
tan combining these two opposite forms of worship, it is a 
phenomenon well worth the study of the learned. But, before 
attempting a solution of the enigma, we want certain proof that 
such a combination exists. . . . 

The difficulties presented ... are formidable, whether, with 
Klaproth, we suppose that the Chinese account refers to Japan, 
or with de Guignes, that it refers to America. The former 
asserts that neither the vine nor horses were known in America 
till after the time of Columbus, and that this circumstance alone 
disproves the theory of de Guignes. But such a summary dis 
posal of the question can not be admitted. The fossil remains 
of this continent have not been sufficiently examined to decide 
that the bones of the horse are not among them. But were this 
point settled, it would still be very supposable that some other 
animal might be intended by the word translated "horses." In 
regard to the grape, M. Klaproth is certainly mistaken. New 
England, as early as the year 1000, was called by the Norwe 
gians Vinland, or " the Land of Vines," from the abundance of 
grapes which they found there. 

The narrative of Hoei Shin is classed by Klaproth with the 



SHORTER ESSAYS. 



163 



stories and exaggerations of the Chinese poets, who make Bu 
sang their land of fables, a country lying in the remote East, 
where the sun rises and makes his toilet. . . . 

Other passages say that beyond the Southeastern Ocean, be 
tween the Kan-shui, or " Sweet Rivers," lies the kingdom of 
Ghi-wa-kof, where lived the virgin Ghi-wa, or Ili-ho, who mar 
ried the prince of Ghi-ica and gave birth to ten suns. 

But these fables are rather against than in favour of M. Klap- 
roth s theory ; for the poets would have been more likely to 
select, as the scene of the marvelous, a remote and unknown 
country rather than one so near as Japan. The life-like particu 
larity of Hoei Shin s account evidently raises it out of the region 
of fable, and compels us to regard it as a matter-of-fact descrip 
tion of some existing country. But where is Ta-han? De Guig- 
nes says this country is Kamtchatka ; Klaproth says it is Taraikai, 
or Saghalien. . . . 

The distance from the mouth of the Hoang-ho to the coast of 
North America, by a direct eastern course, would be from 6,500 
to 7,000 miles ; corresponding very well to 20,000 Chinese li, as at 
present reckoned. But the question arises, whether Hoei Shin in 
tends to say that Fit-sang is equally distant from China and from 
Ta-han, or whether he means that Fa-sang is at the same dis 
tance from Ta-han that Ta-han is from China. The latter sense 
would require the translation to read : " Fu-sang is 20,000 li east of 
the country of Ta-han, and it [meaning Ta-han] is equally distant 
to the east of China." This would locate Ta-han on the road to 
Fu-sang, instead of making Ta-han and China the basis of an 
isosceles triangle, of which Fu-sang is the apex. It would render 
the account more natural and consistent ; for if Fu-sang is in 
an easterly direction from both the other countries, we must infer 
that the three were nearly in a line. 

If we adopt Li-yan-cheits statement of the route to Ta-han, 
whether the latter be Saghalien or Kamtchatka, we must contract 
our estimate of the U, and that will bring Fu-sang proportionately 
nearer. 

As navigation in those early times was generally along the 
shore, with very little means of accurately measuring distances 
by water, it will not perhaps be unreasonable to allow, on the 
average, six nautical li to the mile, and then 20,000 K would 
just be sufficient to land us in Oregon or California. From the 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

southern point of Kamtchatka to Alaska the distance is about 
one thousand miles, and to Oregon as much farther ; so that of 
the 20,000 li, or 3,300 miles, we would have a surplus of 1,300 
miles to allow for the windings along the coast. The stages of 
the voyage would then become : From Corea to the chief port in 
Japan (making a very large allowance for winding course), 2,000 
miles ; thence to Wen-shin (either in Jesso or Saghalien), 1,100 
miles ; thence to Kamtchatka, 800 miles ; thence to Fu,-sang, a 
long stretch of 3,300 miles. 

Thus we see there is no insuperable objection to the theory 
of de Guignes. On the contrary, the supposition of Klaproth, 
that Fa-sang was the southern part of Japan, involves us in inex 
tricable difficulties. 

It makes Li-yan-cheu and Hoei Shin contradict each other : 
one affirming that Japan is 12,000 li distant, the other that it is 
20,000 ; one declaring that it is east of Ta-han, the other that it is 
directly south. Klaproth endeavours to show that thefu-sang tree 
is the mulberry, of which the Japanese make paper ; but it would 
be very difficult to discover any resemblance between a mulberry- 
plant and the shoot of a young bamboo. Nor would its fruit be 
compared to a pear, which it does not at all resemble in form. 
At the period in question, the beginning of the sixth century, 
Japan was governed by the tyrant Burets Teno, who, according 
to the imperial annals, sent some thousands of soldiers to destroy 
a rival. Of course, it could not be said of such a people :that 
" they had neither arms nor troops." 

The northern and southern prisons, described by Hoei Shin, 
find no confirmation in the Japanese annals. There is no evi 
dence that the Japanese reared stags instead of cattle ; they were 
not without iron, nor did they esteem gold and silver of no ac 
count Finally, as Klaproth himself acknowledges, the Buddhist 
religion was not introduced into Japan till the year 552, when it 
was brought in from Corea ; consequently, the priest Hoei Shin 
could not have spoken of it as the religion of the country in the 
year 500. 

But another supposition still remains. The Han were a peo 
ple, rather than a country : Ta-han, the Great Han. The Hans 
were among the oldest of the Chinese races ; they occupied the 
northern part of the empire, overspread Corea, and ultimately 
became masters of Japan. The Japanese historians trace back 



SHORTER ESSAYS. 165 

their line of emperors to Eu-kung, king of Chou, whose great- 
grandson, Wu-wang, became emperor of China, 1122 B. c. The 
kings of Chou were of the Han race. Gutzlaff says " the state of 
Han [424 to 230 B. c.] was ruled by a line of kings who traced 
their descent from the founders of the Chou dynasty." (" Chin. 
Hist.," p. 202.) Klaproth gives us the testimony of Chinese 
writers that Wu T ai-pe, elder son of Ku-kung, prince of Chou, 
founded the kingdom of WM, where his descendants reigned 659 
years. Being conquered and driven out by the king of Yue, 
they sailed for Japan, and became the founders of that empire : 
" The children, the grandchildren, and the relatives of the last 
king of Wu y put to sea, and became the Wo or Japanese." In 
the third century of our era, these Han rulers of Japan took 
possession of Corea, which, after the fall of the Han dynasty in 
China, appears to have become the general rendezvous of the 
Han races. The country was known as that of the San-han, or 
San-kan, the " Three Hans" namely, the Ma-han, composed of 
fifty-four tribes, the Shin-han, twelve tribes, and the Pian-han, 
also twelve tribes. It is highly probable that Hoei Shin, in 
speaking of the country of the Great Han, meant Japan, in dis 
tinction from Corea, the common residence of the three principal 
Han families. 

It would seem, from the descriptions by other writers, of coast 
wise and overland journeys to the Great Han, that this term was 
also used for a more northerly region, either the northern part of 
Japan (including Saghalien) or a portion of the continent. With 
these accounts the narrative of Hoei Shin has no necessary con 
nection. It is a strong argument in favour of a Southern Ta-han 
as a point of departure for America, that it would make the 
deviation from an eastern course far less than by the northern 
route. 

We must wait for a more perfect knowledge of the former 
flora and fauna of America before we can identify, with any cer 
tainty, the plants and animals mentioned by Hoei Shin. It has 
been suggested that the maguey, or Mexican aloe, is the fu-sang ; 
but we think a more substantial tree is indicated. In many re 
spects the description would agree better with some tree of the 
bread-fruit family, which includes the artocarpus, moms or mul 
berry, maclura, and fig. Of the bread-fruit no less than fifty 
varieties are enumerated as indigenous to the South Sea Islands, 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

and there is no reason why they should not have been abundant 
in the tropical regions of the American coast.* Williams, in his 
" Narrative of Missionary Enterprises," gives this description of 
the most common variety : 

" Among all the trees that adorn the islands of the Pacific, 
the bread-fruit deserves the pre-eminence for its beauty and value. 
It frequently grows fifty or sixty feet high, and has a trunk be 
tween two and three feet in diameter. The leaves are broad and 
sinuated, something similar in form to those of the fig-tree. 
They are frequently eighteen inches in length, and of a dark- 
green colour, with a glossy surface resembling that of the richest 
evergreens. The fruit is oval, about six inches in diameter, and 
of a light pea-green." Ellis adds that "it subsequently changes 
to brown, and when fully ripe assumes a rich yellow tinge." 

Williams continues : " The value of this wonderful tree ex 
ceeds its beauty. It is everything to the natives their house, 
their food, their clothing. The trunk furnishes one of the best 
kinds of timber they possess. It is the colour of mahogany, ex 
ceedingly durable, and is used by the natives in building their 
canoes and houses, and in the manufacture of the few articles of 
furniture they formerly possessed. From the bark of the 
branches they fabricate their clothing ; and, when the tree is 
punctured, there exudes from it a mucilaginous fluid, resembling 
thick cream, which hardens by exposure to the sun, and, when 
boiled, answers all the purposes of English pitch. The fruit is, 
to the South Sea Islander, the staff of life. It bears two crops 
every season. Besides this, there are several varieties which 
ripen at different periods, so that the natives have a supply 
of this palatable and nutritious food during the greater part of 
the year." 

Our conclusion is this : That the narrative of Iloei Shin is en 
titled to full credence ; that before the Anglo-Saxons invaded 
England , before France became a nation ; a hundred years be 
fore the birth of Mohammed, and more than fourteen hundred 

* The bread-fruit tree, like its congener, the jack-tree of India, requires care 
for its preservation, and its non-cultivation in a particular country at the present 
time does not prove its non-existence a thousand years ago. Mr. Ellis (" Polynesian 
Researches," chap, ii.) says the tree " is propagated by slips from the root " ; but 
he expresses his fear that it will in a few years become scarce, as the indolent na 
tives " are generally adverse to the planting of bread-fruit trees." 



SHORTER ESSAYS. 167 

years before the daring Columbus ventured upon unknown waters 
in search of a new world, the Orientals were passing and repassing 
the broad Pacific, from China to the American coast, either by 
the shore line, where the current would aid in carrying them 
around and down the Mexican coast, or by a direct route over 
calmer seas, passing the Sandwich Islands and falling into the 
Mexican current a little north of Peru ; that, previous to the 
year 500, there was an empire on this continent which must 
have rivaled China in civilization, laws, and good government ; 
that its ruler was so powerful as to maintain his authority with 
out the use of armies ; that the people had a written language ; 
that they used, in their reckoning of time, the Chinese cycle of 
sixty years ; that they had domestic animals, and used wheel 
carriages ; that among the chief productions of the country was 
a tree resembling or identical with the bread-fruit tree ; that the 
Buddhist religion had been recently introduced, but had not 
exterminated the more ancient idolatry, which consisted in the 
worship of images representing spirits. These general facts we 
consider established on as good authority as we could ask for 
that of a Buddhist priest, probably himself one of the mission 
aries to whom reference is made. 

Remarks of the Abbe J3rasseur de Bourbourg. 

Without undertaking to defend here the argument of M. de 
Guignes regarding Fu-sang^ recently revived by M. Gustave 
d Eichthal by the article in which he ascribed the American 
civilization to a Buddhist origin, an argument attacked by Klap- 
roth and more lately by M. Vivien de Saint-Martin, we will, 
since we are upon known ground, digress sufficiently to call at 
tention to some errors in the article of the latter in the " Anne*e 
Geographique." We shall not seek to prove that either the/w- 
sang tree or any very similar tree existed in America ; but it is 
certain that most of the books of the natives that have been pre 
served to our times, without counting those of the collection of M. 
Aubin, are made from the fibers of the bark of a tree from which 
the Americans made a true paper. (See Gomara, " Conquista de 
Mexico," t. i, p. 424 ; Landa, " Relacion de las Cosas de Yucatan," 
p. 44 ; Humboldt, Vues des Cordilleres," t. ii, pp. 269, 304.) Such 
are, among others, the "Dresden Manuscript," the manuscript 
of the Imperial Library, called " Mexican Manuscript, No. 2," the 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

" Codex Trdano," etc., which, it may be observed, in passing, are 
written in alphabetical characters. M. Vivien de Saint-Martin 
in his article says that writing, properly so called, or alphabetical 
writing, does not exist in America ; nevertheless, it was well known 
in 1865 that alphabetical writing really existed, and nothing more 
is necessary to prove this than the work of Landa, which the 
scholarly geographer cites, two pages farther on, which, if not 
sufficient to satisfy him of its existence, should at least have de 
terred him from stating the contrary in a manner so absolute. 

He adds that " it has never been stated that the miserable 
savages of the northwest coast had a method of writing or made 
paper." There may, however, have been other nations upon these 
coasts at an earlier date who were in possession of these two arts ; 
for it is known, says M. von Humboldt (" Vues des Cordilleres," 
t. ii, p. 96), that in the last century, " among the inhabitants of 
Nutka, the Mexican month of twenty days was found in use," 
which conveys the idea of a state of civilization passably ad 
vanced. The remains of gigantic edifices have also been found 
from time to time in these quarters, certainly the works of a 
people more advanced in civilization than the miserable savages 
in question. 

In spite of Klaproth s skillful refutation of the hypothesis 
of de Guignes, it has been reproduced several times, says Alex 
ander von Humboldt, by the pens of a number of estimable 
scholars, who think that they have found in the Vinland of 
Asiatic explorers more than one characteristic trait of America. 

It is now unquestionably established, moreover, from the ac 
counts of the first Spanish explorers, which have been studied 
upon the spot by the Americans of our days, that the countries 
situated in the center of the American Continent, and upon its 
western coasts, from the banks of the Rio Gila to the copper 
mines of Lake Superior, were formerly inhabited by tribes which 
were scarcely inferior in civilization to those of Mexico proper. 
They existed only in a state of decadence at the time of the 
Spanish conquest, and the remains of this civilization are found 
even now in the villages of houses of several stories in New 
Mexico. 

As to Chinese or Japanese voyages to the northwestern 
coasts : from time to time their traces have been thought to be 
found in the ports of California (Bradford, " American Antiq- 



SHORTER ESSAYS. 169 

uities," p. 233) ; and Gomara states that, at the time of the expe 
ditions of Cortez and Alarcon in these regions, " they heard of 
boats which had pelicans of gold and silver at the prow, which 
were loaded with merchandise, and which they thought to come 
from Cathay and China, because the sailors of these boats caused 
it to be understood by signs that their voyage had taken thirty 
days." 

There also exists a well-known tradition, among the inhabit 
ants of the Pacific coast of North America, that men of distant 
nations came formerly from beyond the sea to trade at the prin 
cipal ports of the coast (Bustamante, " Supplement to Book III of 
the Work of Sahagun "). It is also known that the northern tribes 
were much more peaceable than the Mexicans, and that in their 
country there exist "plains covered with trees, among which 
there are vines, mulberries, and rose-bushes." (See, in the collec 
tion of Ternaux-Compans, Castaiieda s "Relation du Voyage 
de Cibola en 1540," p. 126.) 

They also possessed great numbers of dogs, which carried 
their effects, and perhaps even the bison may have been used 
as a draught animal and beast of burden ; and it is certain, at 
least, that the chiefs of the country had quite large herds of tame 
deer and domestic bisons (see letter written by the Adelantado 
Soto, etc., in the " Collection of Narrations regarding Florida," 
edited by Ternaux-Compans, p. 47, and in the "Relation of 
Biedma," p. 101) ; and, according to the accounts of various 
authors, it is probable that they were used much as are our 
domestic animals. 

Gomara, in his "Hist. Gen. de las Indias," in several places 
mentions the accounts of travelers of his days, and those of the 
conquerors, who speak of numerous herds of domestic bisons ex 
isting among the northern tribes, and which furnished them with 
clothing, food, and drink. Humboldt and Prescott remark that 
the drink must have been their blood, for the natives of these 
countries appear to have this, in common with those of China 
and Cochin-China, that they make no use of milk (" Tableau de 
la Nature," trad. Galuski, Paris, 1863, p. 213). It is known 
that other Indians in the northern part of the United States, 
and in Canada, used certain large deers as draught animals for 
their sledges, in the same way that, at the present day, elks are 
used by the Indians of the country north of Canada. 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

M. de Saint-Martin says that, before the arrival of the Span 
iards, neither draught animals nor beasts of burden were known 
in America. What can he call the vicunas and llamas of 
Peru, which are used as beasts of burden exactly as camels are 
in Asia ? (See Cieya de Leon, " Cronica del Peru," cap. ex and cxi ; 
and as for North America, consult Gomara, who was the chap 
lain of Cortez.) " There are also great dogs, capable of fighting 
with a bull, and which carry two arrobas weight (fifty pounds) 
upon a sort of saddle when they go to the chase." (" Hist, de 
las Indias," p. 289 ; see also Casteiiada, " Relation de Cibola," 
p. 190.) 

In any case, before pronouncing so positively as to what is 
known or not known regarding the Americans, it seems to us 
to be prudent to wait ; for every day, it may be said, throws 
some new light upon the diverse ancient civilizations of the 
continent discovered by Columbus. The "Old Stories Set 
Afloat " are not always as improbable as may be thought, and 
M. Gustave d Eichthal may be right in his reply to the scholarly 
editor of the " Annee Geographique," that " old stories are good 
things to revive when they are true old stories." . . . 

94 The Abbe de Bourbourg says, in his introduction to the 
" Popol-Yuh " : " It has been known to scholars for nearly a cen 
tury that the Chinese were acquainted with the American Con 
tinent in the fifth century of our era. . . . Readers, who may 
desire to make comparisons between the Japanese description of 
Fu-sang and some country in America, will find astonishing 
analogies in the countries described by Castaneda and Fra Mar 
cos de Niza in the province of Cibola." ... 91 Speaking of the 
Mexican religion, he is constrained to say : " Asia appears to 
have been the cradle of this religion, and of the social institu 
tions which it consecrated." 

The book, entitled " Fusang ; or, the Discovert/ of America 
by Chinese Buddhist Priests in the Fifth Century? by Charles 
G. Leland (l%mo, London, 1875). 

This work opens with a memoir of Carl Friedrich Neumann. 
This is followed by a translation of Professor Neumann s argu 
ment regarding Fa-sang, which is succeeded by a chapter of 
comments and suggestions by Mr. Leland. Then follows a chap 
ter regarding the navigation of the North Pacific, and embody- 



SHORTER ESSAYS. 

ing a letter from Colonel Barclay Kennon, setting forth the 
ease with which a voyage may be made from Asia to America, 
by way of the Aleutian Islands, even in an open canoe, and 
calling attention to the frequency with which this voyage is 
made by the natives of those regions. Next come a chapter of 
remarks upon Colonel Kennon s letter and a chapter detailing 
the venturesome travels of other Buddhist priests. The affinities 
of Asiatic and American languages are next considered, the pos 
sible connection of the Mound-builders with the Mexicans is 
then discussed, and attention is called to the wide distribution 
of images of Buddha, The arguments of de Guignes, Klaproth, 
and d Eichthal are next reviewed. Then follow two letters from 
Theos. Simson and E. Bretschneider respectively, with comments 
by Mr. Leland. An appendix, describing the Ainos, and discus 
sing the resemblance between the American Indians and the 
tribes of Northeastern Asia, closes the work. 

It should be remarked that this book is an amplification of 
an article written by Mr. Leland, which appeared in the " Gen 
tleman s Magazine " many years before, and Professor Williams 
is, therefore, wrong in stating that Mr. Bancroft s digest of the 
arguments upon the subject preceded Mr. Leland s argument. 

As the article from which the following extracts are taken 
was credited by the " Chinese Recorder " (from which it is here 
copied) to the " Gentleman s Magazine," it is probably Mr. Le 
land s early argument. 

Who discovered America? Evidence that the New World was 
knoicn to the Chinese fourteen hundred years ago. 171 

. . . There are among the Chinese records, not merely vague 
references to a country to the west of the Atlantic, but there is 
also a circumstantial account of its discovery by the Chinese 
long before Columbus was born. 

A competent authority on such matters, J. Hanlay, the Chi 
nese interpreter at San Francisco, has lately written an essay on 
this subject, from which we gather the following startling state 
ments, drawn from Chinese historians and geographers. 

Fourteen hundred years ago, even, America had been discov 
ered by the Chinese, and described by them. They stated that 
land to be about twenty thousand Chinese miles distant from 
China. About five hundred years after the birth of Christ, 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

Buddhist priests visited there, and brought back the news that 
they had met with Buddhist idols and religious writings in the 
country. Their descriptions, in many respects, resemble those 
of the Spaniards a thousand years later. They called the coun 
try "Ifa-sang" after a tree that grew there, whose leaves re 
semble those of the bamboo, of whose bark the natives made 
cloths and paper, and whose fruit they ate. These particulars 
correspond exactly and remarkably with those given by the 
American historian, Prescott, about the maguey-tree in Mexico. 
He states that the Aztecs prepared a pulp for paper-making out 
of the bark of this tree. Then, even its leaves were used for 
thatching ; its fibers for making ropes ; its roots yielded a 
nourishing food ; and its sap, by means of fermentation, was 
made into an intoxicating drink. The accounts given by the 
Chinese and Spaniards, although a thousand years apart, agree 
in stating that the natives did not possess any iron, but only 
copper ; that they made all their tools for working in stone and 
metals out of a mixture of copper and tin ; and that they, in 
comparison with the nations of Europe and Asia, thought but 
little of the worth of silver and gold. The religious customs and 
forms of worship presented the same characteristics to the Chi 
nese fourteen hundred years ago as to the Spaniards four hun 
dred years ago. 

There is, moreover, a remarkable resemblance between the 
religion of the Aztecs and the Buddhism of the Chinese, as well 
as between the manners and customs of the Aztecs and those of 
the people of China. There is also a great similarity between 
the features of the Indian tribes of Middle and South America 
and those of the Chinese, and, as Hanlay, the Chinese interpreter 
of whom we spoke above, states, between the accent and most of 
the monosyllabic words of the Chinese and Indian languages. 

The writer gives a list of words which point to a close 
relationship, and infers therefrom that there must have been 
emigration from China to the continent at a most early period, 
as the official accounts of the Buddhist priests fourteen hundred 
years ago notice these things as existing even at that time. Per 
haps now, old records may be recovered in China, which may 
furnish full particulars of this question. 

It is, at any rate, remarkable, and confirmative of the idea of 
emigration from China to America at some remote period, that 



SHORTER ESSAYS. 173 

at the time of the discovery of America by the Spaniards, the 
Indian tribes on the coast of the Pacific, opposite to China, for 
the most part enjoyed a state of culture of ancient growth, while 
the inhabitants of the Atlantic shore were found by the Euro 
peans in a state of original barbarism. . . . 

Letter of Theos. Simson.* 

" ( Buddhist Priests in America. Under this heading, 1719 a quer 
ist in the last number of * Notes and Queries submits to inquiry 
a statement of Professor Carl Neumann, of Munich, respecting 
the supposed entry of Buddhist priests into the American Con 
tinent some thirteen hundred years ago, and their passage into 
the land of the Aztecs, which they called Fu-sang, after the 
Chinese name of the American aloe. 

" Now, in the first place, this statement, if true, inf erentially 
proves much more than it asserts ; the Mexican aloe is a native 
of Mexico only, and it is manifest, therefore, that if these sup 
posed Chinese travelers named the country after the Chinese 
name of the Mexican aloe, that plant must have been well known 
to them before the period of their visit to its native country ; 
hence, we are carried further back, to a time when the Mexican 
aloe must have been known in China, and we must allow a con 
siderable period for it to have become so well known as to sug 
gest to the travelers a name for a newly discovered or, as it 
must needs have been in this view, a rediscovered country. This 
consideration takes us back into the question of the original 
peopling of the American Continent, to the age of stone or 
bronze, perhaps, which is beyond the intended scope of the 
querist s quotation. 

"At the period when the land of Fu-sang is first mentioned 
by historians, China, exclusive of the neighbouring * barbarous 
tribes, over whom she held sway, was not so extensive as she is 
at present, but comprised only what we now call the Northern 
and Central Provinces. Does the Mexican aloe grow in that 
part of the country at all ? I am inclined to think not, though 
I can not speak positively upon the point. In Canton it is said 
by the Chinese to have been introduced from the Philippine Isl 
ands, and is called Spanish (or Philippine) hemp, its fibers being 
sometimes employed in the manufacture of mosquito-nets. 

"But the fu-sang (or, more correctly, the fu-sang free), as 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

described in Chinese botanical works, appears to be a malvaceous 
plant ; at any rate, whatever it may be, it certainly is not the 
Mexican aloe, or anything similar to it. 

"The land of Fu-sang is described by Chinese authors as be 
ing in the Eastern Sea, in the place where the sun rises. Consid 
ering the geographical limits of China at the time referred to 
(some thirteen hundred years ago), surely we need not look far 
ther than Japan for a very probable identification of the Fu-sang 
country according with this description, which indeed appears to 
be embodied in the more modern name Jih-pen-kicoh, Japan, 
which is translatable as the Country of the Rising Sun. It is 
a matter of fact, too, that Buddhism was introduced into that 
country some thirteen hundred years ago ; and this by no means 
extraordinary event is a very much more probable version of 
the incident referred to than the marvelous story given by Pro 
fessor Neumann." 

" Fa-sang ; or, Who Discovered America" ly E. Bretschnei- 
der, M. D. 714 

" In the May number of the f Chinese Recorder there is an 
article, reproduced from the Gentleman s Magazine, in which 
it is sought to be proved that the Chinese had discovered Ameri 
ca as early as 500 A. D. . . . I have not read the dissertations of 
M. Paravey. ... I am also equally unacquainted with the article 
of Mr. Neumann ... I believe, however, that the Chinese no 
tices about Fu-sang are all derived from one and the same source, 
and each and all rest upon the statements of a lying Buddhist 
priest, Hui-shen, who asserts that he was in Fu-sang. . . . 

"In later times the Chinese poets, who seem to be gifted 
with a much livelier imagination than some of our savants, have 
developed and richly embellished the reports with regard to the 
land of Fu-sang, and have made out of it a complete land of fa 
bles, where mulberry-trees grow to a height of several thousand 
feet, and where silk-worms are found more than six feet in 
length. The statements about Fu-sang given by M. Leon de 
Rosny, in his * Yarietes Orientales, from a Japanese Encyclo 
paedia, are probably borrowed from the Chinese. I have not, 
however, read M. Rosny s work. (Cf. Notes and Queries, vol. 
iv, p. 19.) 

" In order to place the credibility of the Buddhist priest Hid- 



SHORTER ESSAYS. 



175 



sh$n in the proper light, I will yet mention what he further re 
lates of his journeys. He asserts, namely (loco citato), that there 
is a kingdom, 1,000 li east of Fu-sang, in which there are no men, 
but only women, whose bodies are completely covered with hair. 
When they wish to become pregnant, they bathe themselves in 
a certain river. The women have no mammae, but tufts of hair 
on the neck, by means of which they suckle their children. 

" Upon these vague and incredible traditions of a Buddhist 
monk, several European savants have based the hypothesis that 
the Chinese had discovered America 1,300 years ago. Neverthe 
less, it appears to me that these Sinologues have not succeeded 
in robbing Columbus of the honour of having discovered Amer 
ica. They might have spared themselves the writing of such 
learned treatises on this subject. It appears to me that the ver 
dict passed upon the value of the information of the Buddhist 
monk Hui-shtn by Father Hyacinth is the most correct. This 
well-known Sinologue adds the following words merely, after the 
translation of the article Fu-sang J out of the History of the 
Southern Dynasties : Hui-shen appears to have been a consum 
mate humbug. (Cf. The People of Central Asia/ by F. Hya 
cinth.) 

" I cannot, indeed, understand what ground we have for be 
lieving that Fu-sang is America. We can not lay great stress 
upon the asserted distance, for every one knows how liberal the 
Chinese are with numbers. By tamed stags we can, at all events, 
only understand reindeer. But these are found as frequently in 
Asia as in America. Mention is also made of horses in Fu-sang. 
This does not at all agree with America, for it is well known that 
horses were first brought to America in the sixteenth century. 
Neumann appears to base his hypothesis on the assumption that 
the tree fit-sang is synonymous with the Mexican aloe. Mr. 
Sampson has already refuted this error. ( Notes and Queries, 
vol. iii, p. 78.) 

"According to the descriptions and drawings of the tree/w- 
sang, given by the Chinese, there is no doubt that it is a malvacea. 
In Pekin, the Hibiscus rosa Sinensis is designated by this name, 
while Hibiscus Syriacus is here called mu-Jcin. These names seem 
to hold good for the whole of China. The description which 
is given in the Pun-tsdo-Jcang-mu of both plants (xxxvi, pp. 64 and 
65) admits of no doubt that by the tree fu-sang, chu-kin, chi-kin, 



176 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

ji-Jsij is to be understood Hibiscus rosa Sinensis. It is also 
mentioned that this tree has a likeness to the mu-kin (Hibiscus 
Syriacus). Its leaves resemble the mulberry-tree. Very good 
drawings of both kinds of hibiscus are found in the Chi-wu-ming- 
shi-tu-k ao (xxxv, pp. 58 and 34). The Buddhist priest Hui-shen 
compares the tree fu-sang with the tree fung. Under this 
name the Chinese denote different large-leaved trees. In the 
Chi-wu-ming-shi-tu-tfao (xxx, p. 46), the tree fung is represented 
with broadly ovate, cordate, entire, great leaves, and with great 
ovoid, acuminate fruits. Hoffman and Schultes ( Nonas Indi 
genes des Plantes du Japon et de la Chine ) have set down the 
tree Vung as Paulownia imperialis. This agrees quite well with 
the Chinese drawing. 

" The tree tfung must not be confounded with the yu-fung 
tree (synonyma, ying-teMung, jZn-tfung), from whose fruit is 
furnished the well-known and very poisonous oil Vung-yu, which 
the Chinese employ in varnish and in painting. It should be the 
Dryanda cordata / according to others, JZlceococca verucosa. I 
have not seen the tree, but it is known to occur very abundantly 
in Central China, and especially on the Yang-tse-Jciang. There 1 
is a Chinese description in the Pun-fsao (xxxv, p. 26), and a draw 
ing of it in the Chi-wu-ming-shi-tu-Jc ao (xxxv, p. 26). 

" There is also a tree which the Chinese call wu-tfung (syn- 
onyme, chen). This tree has already been mentioned by Du 
Halde (< Description de 1 Empire Chinois ) as a curiosity, in which 
the seeds are found on the edges of the leaves. This phenomenon 
is also described in the drawings of the Chi-wu-ming-shi-tu-Wao 
(xxxv, p. 56). Compare, further, the description in ihePim-fsao 
(xxxv, p. 25). It is the Sterculia plantanifolia, a beautiful tree 
with large -leaves, lobed so as to resemble a hand, which is culti 
vated in the Buddhist temples near Pekin. The Chinese are 
quite right in what they relate about the seeds. The seed-folli 
cles burst, and acquire the form of coriaceous leaves, bearing 
the seeds upon their margin. 

" The leaves of all the trees just now mentioned allow them 
selves to be compared, as is done by the Chinese, with those of the 
hibiscus, or other plants of the malvaceous family, but have not 
the slightest resemblance with the Mexican aloe, or maguey-tree 
(Agave Americana), which has massive, spiny-toothed, fleshy 
leaves. Mr. Hanlay ( Chinese Recorder, vol. ii, p. 345), of San 



SHORTEPw ESSAYS. Iff 

Francisco, can not, therefore, succeed in proving that the Bud 
dhist priest Hui-sMn understood by fu-sang the Mexican aloe. 

" Finally, I have to mention a tree which, as regards its ap 
pearance and usefulness, corresponds pretty much with the de 
scription given by Hui-shtn of the fu-sang tree. I am speaking 
of the useful tree Broussonetia papyrifera, which grows wild 
in the temperate parts of Asia* especially in China, Japan, Corea, 
Mantchooria, etc., and is, besides, found on the islands of the 
Pacific ; while, as far as I know, it does not occur in America. 
The leaves of this tree are remarkable for their varying very 
much in shape. The same tree produces at once very large and 
quite small leaves. They are sometimes entire, sometimes many- 
lobed. The fruit is round, of a deep scarlet colour, and pulpy. 
It is a well-known fact that, in the parts where the tree grows, 
its bark is used for the making of paper and the manufacturing 
of clothing material. From ancient times it has been known to 
the Chinese under the name cttu (synonyma, kou, kou-sang, 
Jcou-shu : cf . Pun-tfsao-kang-mu, xxxvi, p. 10). An excellent en 
graving of the tree is found in the Chi-wu-ming-shi-tu-k ao 
(xxxiii, p. 57). Hui-shen, in his botanical diagnosis, perhaps 
made a mistake with regard to thefu-sang tree, and confounded 
broussonetia with hibiscus. 

"Just as little as the Mexican aloe, does the non-existence of 
iron in the country Fu-sang prove that America is to be under 
stood, for there were many countries in ancient times which 
possessed copper, but where the art of working iron was un 
known. The Chinese report also that the natives of the Loo- 
choo Islands did not possess iron, but only copper. 

"Mr. Hanlay (I. c.) appears to have received the discovery 
of America by the Chinese with the greatest enthusiasm. Per 
haps I have furnished him, by means of the above notice about 
the Kingdom of Women, which Hui-shtn visited, a new proof 
for his view of the case. Fu-sang lies, according to Hui-shen, 
directly east from China, more than 20,000 li, thus about the 
situation of San Francisco at the present day. The celebrated 
Women s Kingdom lies 1,000 li farther toward the east, thus 
about the country of Salt Lake City, where, at the present day, 
the Mormons are, which, if not a women s country, is nevertheless 

* Saghalien, where Mr. Bretschneider would put Fu-sang, can hardly be called 
temperate. Note by C. G. Leland. 
12 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

a country of many women, and where to the disgrace of the 
United States prostitution is carried on under the mask of the 
Christian religion. 

"I do not agree with Mr. Sampson ( Notes and Queries, 
vol. iii, p. 79) in supposing that Fa-sang must be identified with 
japan g ^ Ji-pen, the Land where the Sun rises ; for Japan 
has been well known to the Chinese since several centuries before 
our era, under another name. I avail myself of this opportunity 
to add a few words about the earliest accounts which the Chinese 
have of Japan. This country was primitively known to them 
under the name Wo, which occurs for the first time in chapter 
cxv of the History of the Posterior Han? (A. D. 25-221). I 
can not afford to give here a translation of the whole article, and 
shall, therefore, only touch upon some of the most important 
points. The kingdom Wo, it is said, is situated on a group of 
islands in the Great Sea, southeast of Han (in the southwestern 
part of Corea), and is composed of about a hundred principali 
ties. Since the conquest of Chao-sien (Corea) by the Emperor 
Wu-ti, 108 B. c., about thirty of these principalities entered into 
relations with China. The most powerful of the rulers has his 
capital in Ye-ma-fai. It is mentioned that neither tigers and 
leopards, nor oxen, horses, sheep, and magpies exist. As far as I 
know, this last remark is not true at present, at least as far as 
horses and oxen are concerned ; it is true, however, that sheep 
can not thrive in Japan, and the attempts of the Europeans to 
acclimatize them have been, until now, unsuccessful. 

" In the reign of Juang-wu, A. D. 25-58, envoys came from 
the Wo-nu with presents to the Chinese court. They stated that 
their country was the southernmost of the kingdom. . . . 

" A Nu-wang-kuo, a Country of Women, is spoken of in the 
southern part of Japan. This statement is confirmed by the 
Japanese annals. (Cf. Klaproth, Annales des Empereurs du 
Japon, p. 13.) The Japanese call this country Atsowma. 

"The land Ta-han must have been a province in Siberia. 
Fa-sang is said to lie to the east of Ta-han. Supposing, then, 
that a country, Fu-sang, really existed, and was not an invention 
of a Buddhist monk, it does not necessarily follow that it is to 
be sought on the other side of the ocean. Let me here observe 
that this monk mentions in no place in his account having passed 
over a great sea. Klaproth, in assuming that Fu-sang is meant 



SHORTER ESSAYS. 



179 



for the island of Saghalien, is, I believe, more near to the truth 
than the other Sinologues. 

"In Notes and Queries (vol. iv, p. 19) there is a passage, 
cited out of the Liang-ssti-kung-kiJ that the kingdom of Fu- 
sang had sent envoys to China. This would, of course, prove 
that the so-called country of Fu-sang had political intercourse 
with China; but it makes it more unlikely that America was here 
meant. We will, therefore, in the mean time, still consider Fa- 
sang as a terra incognita nee non dubia, and bestow upon Mr. 
Burlingame the double honour of having been the first American 
embassador at the Chinese court, and the first Chinese embas- 
sador in America. 

" The contradictory fancies about China that originate in the 
brains of European literati are truly astonishing. Some main 
tain that the Chinese discovered America 1,300 years ago ; while 
a well-known Frenchman, Count Gobineau, some years ago as 
serted that the Chinese had immigrated from America. In his 
Essay upon the Inequality of Human Races, vol. ii, p. 242, 
Count Gobineau says : * Whence came the yellow nations ? 
From the great Continent of America. This is the answer both 
of physiology and philology. 

" All these unfounded hypotheses have much the same value 
as the supposed discovery of America by the Chinese." 

This letter, and that of Mr. Simson, are copied, by permission, 
from the work of Mr. Charles G. Leland, entitled, " Fusang ; or, 
the Discovery of America." Mr. Leland s criticism is short, but 
sharp : 

i72i j n k r i e f ? j) r Bretschneider asserts that there was no 
Fu-sang it being all the invention of a lying priest ; but that it 
was in Siberia. There was never any such place ; but still Mr. 
Simson is wrong in placing it in Japan, and Klaproth is right in 
declaring it was at Saghalien. There was no fit-sang tree either ; 
but the monk who saw it meant the kou-sang, describing more 
accurately, however, a Mexican plant. Klaproth refuted de Guig- 
nes, and exposed his errors by proving that Fu-sang was also in 
Japan ; only, in Dr. Bretschneider s opinion, it was elsewhere. 
And it is certainly curious that the writers who utterly discredit 
the very existence of Fii-sang, and all that is said of it, have each 
a theory as to where it really was." 



180 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

Extract from a letter written by Pere Gaiibil to M. de 
risle, }m dated Pekin, August 28th, 1752: 

" The translation made by M. de Guignes from the Wen-Man- 
Vung-k ao concerning the nations Wen-shin, Ta-han, etc., situ 
ated a great distance to the northeast of Japan, may have led 
you to believe that in the times of the Liang dynasty (or even 
more than three hundred years earlier) the Chinese were ac 
quainted with America. 

" All these texts prove nothing, however, when they are care 
fully examined, and corrected by the clearer writings of earlier 
and more trustworthy authors. 

" From similar vague accounts, and from the distances indi 
cated by several authors, it might be concluded that at the be 
ginning of the Christian era, or even earlier, the Chinese were 
acquainted with Europe, as, for instance, Italy, France, etc. 
Now,, this is certainly not the case. All these texts should be 
carefully examined ; and the thing is not at all difficult. Before 
the days of M. de Guignes, a number of missionaries had sent 
to Europe translations of texts similar to those of his ; but there 
were numerous mistakes in the texts, and there was especially 
shown in them a lack of critical judgment, which should have 
been sufficient to prevent the occurrence of any misunderstand 
ing based upon them. 

" I can not admit your idea that America, or at least North 
America along the coast of California, may have been peopled by 
the tribes of Northeastern Chinese Tartary. 

" The ancient and modern Chinese authorities agree in the 
following statements : 

"First, that under the dynasty Cheu, before the Christian 
era, Japan was peopled by the Southern Chinese ; and, 

" Second, that the last emperor of the Hia dynasty, after 
having been dethroned by Ching-tang, his son, fled to Tartary 
with a great number of Chinese, and founded the different Tar 
tarian powers to the north and northeast of China. 

" It is certain that at the time that the Russians concealed 
their establishments in Kamtchatka, the court of Pekin had a 
knowledge of that country; and it also seems certain that long 
before the present dynasty the Chinese had known Jesso, and, in 
general, the countries to the northeast, including Kamtchatka, 
but not fully or in detail." 



SHORTER ESSAYS. 181 

Humboldt makes the following observation in regard to this 
letter : ltw7 

"According to the learned researches of Father Gaubil (found 
in an astronomical MS. of the Jesuits, preserved in the Bureau 
des Longitudes at Paris), it appears doubtful whether the Chi 
nese ever visited the western coast of America a thousand years 
before that period (the eighteenth century), as was advanced by 
M. de Guignes, the justly celebrated historian." 

"Concerning Fa-sang " -from the "Magazine of American 
History" for April, 1883 *. 2483 

The question, "Where was Fa-sang?" has long excited 
interest, and some have supposed that Fu-sang was the west 
ern coast of America, which had been discovered by the Japan 
ese. The literature of the subject is extensive, but unsatis 
factory in the extreme. An almost unknown book, or rather 
essay, on Fu-sang was put out somewhat privately, a few years 
ago, by the Rev. William Brown, D. D., who is now in Japan 
translating the Bible into the Japanese tongue. One of the 
later efforts in connection with the subject is Leland s "Fu- 
sang ; or, the Discovery of America by Chinese Buddhist Priests 
in the Fifth Century," London, Triibner & Co., 1875. About 
all that concerns the bibliography of Fu-sang may be traced 
in this work. We have frequently been treated to pretended 
extracts from the chronicles containing the voyage to "Fu- 
sang" wherever it may have been ; but, having a desire to learn 
the exact facts from a known American scholar, we addressed 
a note to the Rt. Rev. Channing M. Williams, Bishop of Japan, 
asking for information, who, in reply, kindly wrote as follows : 

" It is only within a day or two that I have been able to 
procure the information that you wish. The Shan Hai Xing 
( Mountain and Sea Classic which the Japanese pronounce 
San Gai Hfio) is a very old Chinese work, many of the ac 
counts of which are entirely fabulous. It treats largely of drag 
ons and fanciful beings of all sorts men with ten heads or 
one eye, creatures with bodies of animals, birds, snakes, and in 
sects, and heads of men, etc. 

" I have, however, gotten one of the best scholars I know to 
examine the work ; and he has found three places in which refer 
ence is made to the fu-sang (Jap., fu-soo) tree. These I have 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

translated quite literally, and herewith inclose. The Japanese 
think the reference is to their country, and one of the names 
which have been given to it is Fa-soo-Jcoku. There is a Japanese 
work I have seen which speaks of the fu-soo (Chinese, fu-sang) 
tree in the island of Ki-shu, which was 9,700 feet in length, and 
dark, petrified wood is said to be now dug up where the tree is 
supposed to have stood. 

" The subject has, I see by the Shanghai papers, been brought 
before the North China branch of the Asiatic Society, and Dr. 
Macgowan promised to read a paper at the autumn meeting 
proving that the Chinese did not go to America. 

" Yours, very truly, 

" C. M. WILLIAMS. 

" Vol. 4. To the south the water goes 500 li (three Chinese 
li make a mile), the flowing sand 300 li (when you) reach the 
Wu-ko Mountain. To the south (you) see the Tu Sea. To the 
east (you) see the/^-tree silsofu-sang. No trees or grass (but) 
great wind (on) this mountain. 

"Vol. 9. North of this* is Heh Chi KwoJc (Black Teeth 
Country). The people of Heh Chi Kwolc are black, eat rice, use 
snakes, colour of which is red. Below there is a hot-water valley. 
Above the hot-water valley is the fu-sang (tree). The place 
where the ten suns bathe is to the north of the Heh Chi IZwok. 
(They) dwell in the water. Nine suns dwell in the lower 
branches. One sun dwells in the upper branches. 

" Vol. 14. * Within the great uncultivated waste is a mount 
ain called Nie Tao Kiun Li. On it is the /w-tree. Its height is 
300 li. The leaves are like mustard. There is a valley called 
Warm Spring Valley. Above this hot- water valley is the fu- 
tree. Just as one sun reaches (or arrives) another sun comes 
forth. All bear (lit., cause to ride) a crow. " 

" P. S. Since writing the above, I have looked at Klaproth s 
introduction to Nipon o dai itsi ran, and find that he has trans 
lated a little freely one of the passages from the Shan Hai 
King? The longer account of Fu-sang, which he gives in a 
note, is translated from another Chinese work, called Nan Szu 
( Histoire du Midi )." 

* A place which can not be identified. 



SHORTER ESSAYS. 183 

Extract from the Remarks of M.Leon deRosny upon a Note of 
M. Foucaux " Regarding the Relations which the Buddhists 
of Asia and the Inhabitants of America may have had with 
Each Other at the Commencement of our Era" 21S1 
" It is true that the passage from Asia to America, by the way 
of Behring s Straits, does not offer any difficulty ; that the fleets 
of the Esquimaux resort annually from Kamtchatka to the coun 
try known until recently as Russian America. But it should be 
remarked that the tribes which go from the deserts of Asia to 
the deserts of America belong to a race that is purely boreal, 
which lives only in a certain circle, which neither in Asia nor in 
America extends its excursions to the south. Between China, 
Japan, and civilized Asia, on the one side, and Kamtchatka, on 
the other, there are immense distances to be passed. Great 
distances also separate the peninsula of Alaska from the warm 
regions in which were located the ancient civilized states of Cen 
tral America. 

" How can we suppose that the Esquimaux, who always shun 
precisely these warm regions, can have served as the medium of 
connection between China and Mexico, Japan and Peru ? And 
what kind of people are these Esquimaux ? The most miserable 
of all races. Living in their inhospitable climate, in the lowest 
stage of civilization, they are contented with the poorest shelter, 
and with food that is gross and repugnant. Buried for whole 
months under the snow, and having only the most elementary 
rudiments of human culture, how can we suppose that these 
guzzlers of the oil of cetaceans can have been the creators of 
the high civilizations of Mexico, of Yucatan, and of Peru ; 
the authors of the colossal monuments of Uxmal or of Pa- 
lenque?"* 

The accompanying newspaper article is given as having a 
possible connection (although I can not say that I have much 

* It is sufficient to say, in reply to M. de Rosny, that he is combating a man 
of straw. The theory is, not that the Esquimaux made the journey to Mexico, 
but that the Buddhist priests went from Asia to Mexico via the home of the Es 
quimaux; and that, as the most difficult part of the journey, the trip from Asia to 
America, by way of the Aleutian Islands, is not too difficult a voyage for the 
Esquimaux, the difficulty of the route can not be fairly claimed to be so great aa 
to make the theory of such a voyage by the five Buddhist priests incredible or 
improbable. E. P. V. 



184 AN INGLOKIOUS COLUMBUS. 

confidence in the truth of the story) with some visit in ancient 
times from Asia to America : 

(" The Weekly Colonist," Victoria, E. C., Wednesday, October 25tli, 1882.) 

" THE OLDEST INHABITANTS. WERE THE CHINESE HERE 3,000 
YEARS AGO ? 

" What if antiquarians are able to prove that the Chinese were 
the earliest settlers of this continent ? That from the loins of the 
children of the Flowery Kingdom are descended the native 
tribes whom the white pioneers found possessing the land ? This 
theory has been often advanced. A few weeks ago a party of 
miners, who were running a drift in the bank on one of the 
creeks in the mining district of Cassiar, made a remarkable find. 
At a depth of several feet the shovel of one of the party raised 
about thirty of the brass coins which have passed current in China 
for many centuries. They were strung on what appeared to be 
an iron wire. This wire went to dust a few minutes after being 
exposed ; but the coins appeared as bright and new as when they 
first left the Celestial mint. They have been brought to Vic 
toria, and submitted to the inspection of intelligent Chinamen, 
who unite in pronouncing them to be upward of three thousand 
years old. They bear a date about twelve hundred years ante 
rior to the birth of Christ. And now the question arises, how 
the coins got to the place where they were found. The miners 
say there was no evidence of the ground having been disturbed 
by man before their picks and shovels penetrated it ; and the fact 
that the coins are little worn goes to show that they were not 
long in circulation before being hidden or lost at Cassiar. 
Whether they were the property of Chinese mariners who were 
wrecked on the north coast, about three thousand years ago, and 
remained to people the continent ; or whether the Chinese min 
ers who went to Cassiar seven or eight years ago deposited the 
collection where it was found, for the purpose of establishing 
for their nation a prior claim to the land may never be known. 
But the native tribes of this coast resemble the Mongolian race 
so closely, that one would not be surprised at any time to hear 
of the discovery of yet more startling evidences of the presence 
of Chinese on this coast before the coming of the whites." 



CHAPTER XL 

REMARKS OF MM. VIVIEN DE SAINT-MARTIN AND LUCIEN ADAM. 

"An Old Story Set Afloat" The route to Fu-sang Identity of the Amos with 
the Wen-shin To-Aawnear the mouths of the Amoor River Route of Buddh 
ist missionaries to the Amoor Civilization of Buddhist origin Pillars with 
Buddhist inscriptions Necessity of accurate translation Twenty thousand 
li signify only a very great distance The fu-sang tree Warlike habits 
Lack of draught animals Civilization of Mexico Difficulty of the voyage 
Conclusion Remarks of M. Adam Chinese acquainted with America Ease 
of the journey Travels of Buddhist monks Points characteristic of Ameri 
can civilization Ten-year cycle The fu-sang tree The f ung tree The 
hibiscus The Dryanda cordata The maguey, or agave Zoological objec 
tions Punishments Slave children Absurdities Legend of Quetzalcoatl 
He came from the East The legend a myth Colleges of priests Prac 
tice of confession The alleged figure of Buddha The elephant s head Lack 
of tusks America for the Americans Theory that Hwui Sh&n repeated the 
stories of Chinese sailors Remarks of M. de Hellwald and Professor Joly. 

"An Old Story Set Afloat" by M. Vivien de /Saint-Martin. 466 

CONDENSED TRANSLATION. 

IT was the scholarly and industrious de Guignes, the justly 
renowned author of that monument of Oriental erudition enti 
tled " The History of the Huns," who was the first to make the 
name of Fu-sang known in Europe. . . . An erroneous opinion 
on this subject does not diminish the merit of his great works, 
any more than it is affected by his other idea, equally strange, 
of the Egyptian origin of the Chinese. . . . 

As the route from Leao-tong to Fa-sang passes by way of 
Japan, Wen-shin, and Ta-han, the precise situation of the coun 
try of Ta-han becomes of interest in considering the true loca 
tion of Fu-sang. This can not be determined with certainty 
from the statements of the historian. The point in Japan which 
is touched en route is not specified, the directions are but vaguely 



130 Atf INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

noted, and, worse than all, the distances that are indicated can 
not be relied upon, for we are not only ignorant as to the length 
of the U (an extremely variable measure) which is referred to in 
the account, but it should be remembered that the Chinese sail 
ors can have had but very imperfect means of measuring the 
distances, and their figures can therefore be taken as nothing 
more than rough approximations. 

Hence, we can be guided only by the general indications. 
Fortunately, there are several which prevent us from straying 
far from the true course. The Hairy Men among the mountains 
of Northern Japan, and the Wen-shin, or Painted (or Tattooed) 
Men, are clearly the Ainos ; from which it follows that the coun 
try of the Wen-shin must be looked for along the shores of the 
Sea of Japan (lying between the Japanese Archipelago and the 
coast of Tartary), either at the northern extremity of the great 
island of Niphon, or in the island of Jesso (which is also called 
Matsmai), or, finally, upon some point of the Asiatic Continent 
(Mantchooria) which borders the Japanese Sea on the west. 

From the land of the Wen-shin, a maritime route conducts 
us to the country designated by the name of Ta-han. Neither 
the distance (five thousand U) nor the direction (toward the 
east) can be of much service to us in looking for this last point. 
Fortunately, there is another document, which furnishes us with 
indications so precise as to remove all doubts, which are not 
scattered by the account of the Chinese coasting voyage. The 
result, as will be seen, is to place Ta-han near the mouths of the 
Amoor, perhaps in the great island of Saghalien (or Tarakai), 
which lies opposite them, but more probably upon the Asiatic 
Continent. 

This document is a description of the journey, written by 
Buddhist missionaries of the time of the T ang dynasty (618 to 
907 A. D.), who went to preach their doctrine among the barbar 
ous hordes and half-savage tribes of Central and Eastern Asia. 
It is to this dissemination of the Buddhist religion, dating at least 
as far back as the first half of the fifth century of our era, that 
the shamanism of the nomadic tribes of Central Asia is due. 
The Buddhist missionaries of China, who undertook this voy 
age, set forth from the great bend which the Hoang-ho makes 
west of Pekin, and crossed the desert of Gobi, thus gaining the 
principal encampment of the Turkish Hoei-khe, from which they 



REMARKS OF M. VIVIEN DE SAINT-MARTIN. 187 

afterward reached the celebrated Mongolian city of Caracorum, 
of which the ruins may still be seen, not far from the sources of 
the Orkhon, about one hundred and fifty leagues to the south of 
Lake Baikal. From that point the route continued to this lake, 
and, turning to the east, they, after having visited a number of 
Turkish and Mongolian tribes of the Daourian region, and of 
the high valleys of the Amoor, reached the country of the Yu- 
che, a people whom the Mantchoos (who pronounce their name 
"Djourdje") regard as the parent tribe of their nation. This 
country lies about half way down the Amoor River. 

Here we are upon known ground. During the ten years that 
the Russians have had possession of this vast basin of the 
Amoor, it has been thoroughly explored, maps and descriptions 
of the country have been published, and the land and its people 
have become familiar to us. The indigenes are miserable tribes 
of semi-savages, living by the chase and by fisheries. They be 
long to the nation of the Tunguses, which is a branch of the race 
of the Mantchoos. There are some tribes, however (the Ghiliaks), 
spread along the sea-shore, which belong to the insular race, and 
differ but slightly from the Ainos, whose long beards, and the 
singular development of whose hairy system, not less than their 
physical appearance and the combination of their physiognomi 
cal traits, distinguish them broadly from the beardless Tartarian 
races which are confined to the continent. 

The few germs of rudimentary civilization, of which the 
trace is found among the tribes of the Amoor, are of Buddhist 
origin ; they undoubtedly appertain to several different epochs ; 
but the oldest are connected with the missions of the sixth cent 
ury and the three following centuries, which are mentioned in 
the texts which de Guignes was the first to describe. This is a 
real service, among many others, which the scholarly author of 
the "History of the Huns" has rendered to science, and of which 
his error as to the location of Ta-han does not at all diminish 
the merit. A very curious discovery, made some ten years ago, 
upon the banks of the lower portion of the Amoor River, by one 
of the first Russian explorers, confirms the accuracy of the old 
accounts collected by the Chinese historians. Near the Ghiliak 
" Village of the Tower," the remains of pillars were found, hav 
ing Chinese and Mongolian inscriptions, containing Buddhist 
formulas. The pillars are delineated, and the inscriptions copied, 



188 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

in the interesting volume published at Paris in 1861 by M. de 
Sabin (from recent Russian material) under the title, "The Amoor 
River; its History, Geography, and Ethnography." One of the 
inscriptions, if the translation is exact, is of the time of the Yuan 
(Mongolian) dynasty, which reigned in China from 1260 to 1338 
A. D. ; but there were older establishments there, for the inscrip 
tion itself speaks of a re-established convent.* We therefore 
now have direct proof that the missionaries of the religion of 
Buddha (or of Fo, as the Chinese write his name) not only intro 
duced shamanism throughout all Central Asia, but pushed to 
the east and descended the valley of the Amoor to the shores of 
the Eastern Sea ; while other propagators of this worship, so 
distinguished for its proselyting spirit, overspread (by the mari 
time route) all the shores of that sea enclosed between the Japa 
nese Archipelago and Mantchooria, which our maps designate 
by the name of the Sea of Japan. The country of Ta-han, at 
which the two parties of missionaries arrived, one from the west 
by land, and the other from the south by sea, and which was, 
for both, the extreme limit of their journeys, can be found no 
where else than near the mouth of the Amoor. The maritime 
voyage carries us in this direction, and the terrestrial route can 
lead us nowhere else. It is, in fact, said of the Yu-che (the Tun- 
guses of the valley of the Amoor, near the middle of its course) 
that by a ten days journey to the north the country of Ta-han 
may be reached. . . . 

Arrived at Ta-han, we are, as it were (in spite of the dis 
tance), upon the threshold of Fu-sang, the final point of our 
search ; for the single Buddhist traveler, who made the name of 
the mysterious country of Fu-sang known to the Chinese, set 
forth from Ta-han, and no intermediate country is mentioned. 

But, in this controverted question, it is a matter of the first 
importance to have a translation free from suspicion. Although 
we do not wish to cast any doubt upon the general accuracy of 
de Guignes s translation, which has, in addition, been criticised 
by Klaproth, nevertheless, in order to have all possible assur 
ance of freedom from error, we have had recourse to the inex 
haustible kindness of M. Stanislas Julien, and give the literal 
version with which this scholar kindly favoured us. It may be 
depended upon that he has given a scrupulously faithful tran- 

* Sabin, p. 158. 



REMARKS OF M. VIVIEN DE SAINT-MARTIN. 189 

script of the Chinese text. (This translation is given in Chapter 
XVI.) 

A few short remarks will suffice to show that it is quite im 
possible that the country of Fu-sang could have been located in 
America. To the reasons, sufficiently decisive, which were given 
by Klaproth, it is now possible to add others more direct and 
more convincing. 

First, as to the distance. We have already seen how dan 
gerous it is to rely upon statements of this nature contained in 
Chinese books, especially when they relate to great distances in 
countries that are known but little or not at all ; and, when they 
are given by men who are generally ignorant, they are without 
any guarantee whatever of even approximate accuracy. As 
suredly this is the case as to the account which we are now con 
sidering. It is evident that, in the mouth of the Buddhist mis 
sionary to whom the Chinese are indebted for their only knowl 
edge of the country of Fu-sang, twenty thousand li signify 
nothing more than a very great distance. Nevertheless, if we 
adhere to the letter of his account and to the direction, " to the 
east," where are we conducted ? Leaving the neighbourhood of 
the lower Amoor, turning past the island of Saghalien, passing 
by the way of the Kurile Islands and along the long chain of 
the Aleutian Islands (i. e., following the line the most favour 
able to the American hypothesis), we scarcely reach beyond the 
peninsula of Alaska, and are placed in the midst of a region 
having a climate that is almost polar, and of which the miser 
able indigenous population does not correspond in any way with 
the statements of the text. 

For those who have thought that Fu-sang might be sought 
for as far as Mexico, we would simply observe that the part of 
the American coast to which the twenty thousand li conduct us 
is distant more than fifty degrees, or at least twelve hundred 
leagues, from the Mexican coast.* 

This first argument would seem sufficient ; but other impossi 
bilities are revealed by merely reading the text. 

The description of the fu-sang tree, and of its uses, is abso 
lutely foreign to America, either to Mexico, or to the northwest 
coast. Klaproth very justly remarked that the description, by 

* This argument falls to the ground, if Ta-han is located either in the Aleu 
tian Islands or in Alaska. E. P. V. 



190 AN INGLOKIOUS COLUMBUS. 

confusion, or from some other cause, appears to apply to the 
Morus papyri/era, although the tree commonly known in China 
by the name oifu-sang must be the Rose of China, the Hibiscus 
rosa Chinensis. 

It has never been said that the miserable savages of the 
northwestern coast of America had a method of writing, or that 
they made paper; and it could not be said of the more southerly 
tribes, or of the nations of Mexico, whose whole life was always 
a combat, "that they did not make war." 

The cattle (if this term is applied to the bisons) have never 
been employed as draught animals by any of the indigenous 
tribes of America. The aboriginal Americans have never had 
carts drawn by horses, cattle, or deer, for two excellent reasons : 
first, because the Americans, before the arrival of the Spaniards, 
had no horses ; and, second, because they knew no more of draught 
animals than of beasts of burden. The tribes of America had no 
idea of raising animals for their milk ; they knew nothing either 
of milk or of the articles made from it, and therefore made no 
cheese. 

It seems useless to insist further on these radical points of 
difference between Fa-sang and America. Those who seek for 
Fu-sang in Mexico should reflect that, at the time of the old 
Toltec monarchy (according to the historic traditions, which are 
our only guides), it then had, in its local civilization, religious 
monuments, palaces, and numerous cities, of which it is surpris 
ing that the Buddhist account says not a word. So that, on one 
side, no part of the story is applicable to any country or tribe 
whatever of America, and, on the other side, the account says 
not a single word of the only things which would most strike a 
stranger coming into Western America in the times of the Tol 
tec monarchy.* 

We have said nothing of the difficulties, or rather the mate 
rial impossibilities, of a navigation, going and returning, between 
the Sea of Japan and America, at the time spoken of in the Bud 
dhist account ; as contradictions and radical impossibilities have 
accumulated, it would appear too fastidious to insist upon f ur- 

* M. Vivien overlooks the fact that the Toltec civilization may have been 
founded mainly upon the teachings of the Buddhist monks, and that, therefore, 
the religious monuments, palaces, etc., may not have existed until after the date 
of their arrival. E. P. V. 



REMARKS OF M. VIVIEN DE SAINT-MARTIN. 

ther details. It should be noted that reference is made, not to 
an accidental voyage, but to a communication, regular, and, as 
it seems, habitual.* That de Guignes may have believed in the 
possibility of such a communication, in the state in which the 
ideas of Europe then were in regard to the northwestern coast 
of the American Continent above California, can be conceived. 
In order to see how far the general notions prevailing a hundred 
years ago were from the truth, it is only necessary to cast our 
eyes upon the map made by Philippe Buache to accompany the 
memoir of de Guignes. This map, it is true, would make d An- 
ville smile ; but Buache was not a d Anville, and it is not neces 
sary to go back a hundred years to see how frequently it is the 
case that men, otherwise sagacious, have but a vague idea of the 
important part which the study of positive geography should 
have in the solution of scientific questions. 

It would remain to seek the true situation of Fu-sang, if this 
question had the least importance ; but its sole interest lies in its 
having been attached to the complicated question of the origin 
of the Americans; which has given rise to as many vain hypothe 
ses as useless and false speculations. Like all problems in which 
the effort is to penetrate the depths of the centuries in order to 
find the half-obliterated traces of events anterior to history, this 
question presents a powerful attraction ; but such researches have 
their conditions and their limits, to which scarcely any attention 
has been paid in the investigations regarding America. Fu-sang 
has nothing to do with American questions. From that which 
the Buddhist priest tells us, it is evident that he speaks of a 
country in which there existed a certain degree of civilization 
which excludes all the savage countries of Asia to the north 
of Ta-han (Eastern Siberia and Kamtchatka). It is therefore 
necessary to look in some other direction. The disposition of 
the insular countries of Eastern Asia leaves only one : that to the 
southeast or the south. Klaproth thought that Fu-sang might 
be a part of Niphon, the largest island of the archipelago ; and 
this supposition is, as has been said, the most probable. It be 
comes a certainty, if, as Klaproth affirms, Fu-sang is in fact one 
of the names which Japan has borne. 

I will add only a word on the subject of the memoir of M. 
Gustave d Eichthal. The essay of this scholarly author is an at- 
* I can find no authority for this statement. E. P. V. 



192 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

tempt to prove that the Mexican civilization not only comes 
from Asia, but that it has a Buddhistic origin. It is for this rea 
son, evidently, that he has warmly taken in hand the defense of 
the ideas of de Guignes, which, in fact, if they could be sus 
tained, would furnish a direct explanation of the analogies which, 
as some believe, have been discovered between certain delinea 
tions figured upon the Aztec monuments and some of the monu 
ments of India. 

Whether well founded or not, these analogies have no neces 
sary connection with the question of Fu-sang. This question is 
entirely one of geography, and it is only from this stand-point 
that I have regarded it. The other question has an archaeologi 
cal side, of which the examination should be conducted by those 
more competent than myself. 

Condensed Translation of an Article read by M. Lucien 
Adam before the International Congress of Americanists, 
at Nancy, 1875. 1T 

It is not my intention to fully go over the discussion regard 
ing the Chinese account of the country of Fu-sang (dating from 
the fifth century), which discussion has been going on from 1761 
to the present time ; but it is plain that the advantage remains 
with de Guignes, at least as far as regards the geographical de 
termination of the location of this country. 

The elements of this first part of the problem are in substance 
as follows : 

Li-yen, a Chinese historian who lived during the first part 
of the seventh century, speaks of a country called Fu-sang, dis 
tant more than twenty thousand li from China, toward the east. 
He said that, in order to reach that country, it was necessary to 
set forth from the coast of the province of Leao-tong, situated 
to the north of Pe-kin; that, after traveling twelve thousand 
li, Japan, properly so called that is to say, Niphon was reached; 
that from there, after a voyage of seven thousand li to the 
northeast, the country of the Wen-shin was reached; and that five 
thousand li from this last-named country, toward the east, the 
country of Ta-han was found, from which the country of Fu- 
sang could be reached, which lay twenty thousand li farther 
east. The total distance from Leao-tong to Fa-sang, touching 



REMAKES OF M. LUCIEN ADAM. 193 

successively at Niphon, Wen-shin, and Ta-han, was therefore 
forty-four thousand li. 

Of these five terms two are known, Leao-tong and Niphon. 
De Guignes and Klaproth agree in placing the third in the island 
of Jesso. But while de Guignes identifies Ta-han with Kam- 
tchatka and Fu-sang with California, Klaproth thinks that the 
fourth country named must be the island of Krafto, and the 
fifth the southeastern coast of Niphon. 

I agree with Messrs. Neumann, de Paravey, Perez, d Eich- 
thal, Godron, and Leland, that upon these two points de Guignes 
has the best of the argument as against Klaproth, and that in 
fact the Chinese have known, at least from the sixth century, 
of the existence of the New World; since discovered in the year 
1000 by the Icelander Leif Erikson, in 1488 by Jean Cousin 
of Dieppe, and in 1492 by Christopher Columbus. 

I think it important to add the fact mentioned by Com 
mander Maury and Colonel Kennon,* an old officer of the United 
States Navy, that it is possible to go from China to America by 
way of the islands of Japan, the Kurile Islands, the coast of 
Kamtchatka, the Aleutian Islands, and Alaska, without ever los 
ing sight of land for more than a few hours, and that the dis 
covery of America would not present any very serious difficulty 
to Chinese sailors. 

After having established the fact of this discovery, by the 
geographical article of the historian Li-yen, de Guignes pub 
lished a description of Fu-sang, borrowed by him from Ma 
Twan-lin, which was published for the first time in a portion 
of the " Great Annals of China," entitled Nan Szu. 

The story of the Buddhist monk is rendered the more proba 
ble from the established fact that in the fifth century of the 
Christian era numerous Buddhist monks, actuated entirely by 
religious motives, accomplished voyages nearly as long as, and 
certainly more dangerous than, that from Leao-tong to the coast 
of California. Again, at the time when the predecessors of 
Hoei Shin visited Fu-sang, Samarcand, situated almost in the 
center of Asia, was incontestably one of the principal centers of 
Buddhist propagandism. 

* Mr. Leland has, in his book entitled " Fusang," inserted a letter from Colo 
nel Kennon, who, during the years 1853- 56, was connected with the expedition 
sent out for the purpose of surveying the shores of Behring s Strait. 
13 



AN INGLOEIOUS COLUMBUS. 

From this double point of view, it is far from being improba 
ble that, coming into the country lying in the neighbourhood of 
the Amoor River, the monks of Samarcand should have heard a 
country mentioned as lying far to the east, and that these apos 
tles should have sailed in the direction of the rising sun, coast 
ing along by the way of the islands which connect the Old 
World with the New. 

For the rest, it is necessary to determine whether the de 
scription of Fu-sang given by Hoei Shin is applicable to any 
particular portion of the American Continent with a precision 
such that we will be compelled to consider the Chinese monk as 
an eye-witness. 

To this question I answer, without hesitation, that a very 
small number of the details reported by Hoei Shin present a 
character that is truly American ; that the remainder are purely 
fanciful and absurd, and that the story as a whole can not be 
considered as testimony worthy of credit. 

The lack of iron, the paper made from bark, and the absence 
of metallic money, are indeed points that are characteristic of 
America ; but it should also be borne in mind that the same 
facts were found in the history of several other countries situ 
ated to the east of China, notably in the Loo Choo Islands. 

The cycle of ten years is used in Peru ; but Fu-sang can not 
be placed in South America, and Mr. Leland, who does not wish 
to lose the benefit of the decennial cycle, supposes that in the 
fifth century Mexico may have been inhabited by the ancestors 
of the present Peruvians ! 

Except these four statements of which the first three are 
not exclusively American, and the last is not applicable to the 
civilization of North America I can not see anything worthy of 
credit in the account of Hoei Shin. 

In the first place, the fu-sang tree described by this monk 
can not be the maguey, or great American aloe. "I do not 
know," said Dr. Godron, speaking in 1868, "to what botanical 
species the tree mentioned by the Chinese narrator can be re 
ferred." The scholarly botanist has not changed his opinion, 
and has kindly written me a note which settles the question 
definitely : 

" The Buddhist monk, Hoe i Shin, describes, as existing in 
the country of Fu-sang, a tree of which the fruit is red and pear- 



REMARKS OF M. LUCIEN ADAM. 195 

shaped, and which produces this fruit all the year round ; its 
leaves being similar to those of the tree t ung, and its sprouts 
to those of the bamboo. Some have believed that in this plant 
they recognized the Hibiscus rosa Sinensis or the Hibiscus 
Syriacus. The second is out of the question, since it is a native 
of no other country than Syria. It is cultivated as an ornamental 
tree in our gardens. The first grows spontaneously in China, as 
well as in Cochin-China, according to Laureiro ; it is cultivated 
in all the gardens of the two peninsulas of India, and may also 
be seen in our orangeries. These two species of hibiscus do not 
have red or pear-shaped fruit. Their fruit is surrounded by 
large bracts, which envelop it ; it is capsular, and opens at ma 
turity. 

" It has also been said that the fu-sang tree is the Dryanda 
cordata. This plant, of the family of the Euphorbiaces, is a 
tree of little height, which grows wild in Japan. The fruit is a 
globular and woody capsule of the size of a walnut with its husk ; 
it contains several kernels, from which a very acrid poisonous oil 
is extracted, which is much used as an oil for lamps, and which 
in China bears the name of Mu-yeu. The leaves are large, 
and disposed in tufts at the ends of the branches ; they have a 
leaf-stalk, are heart-shaped, and do not in any way resemble 
(any more than those of the Hibiscus rosa Sinensis and Sy~ 
riacus) the leaves of the bamboo, which are shaped like 
those of the grasses. The bamboos appertain to an entirely 
different grand division of the vegetable kingdom from the 
Malvaces and the Euphorbiaces. But Hoei Shin was no bot 
anist. 

"The maguey, or Agave Americana, answers still less to the 
description of the Buddhist monk ; its fruit is neither red nor 
pear-shaped, but is a hexagonal capsule, and its extremely large 
leaves form a rosette about the roots. 

" Of the plants to which that mentioned by the Buddhist 
monk has been compared, none are American, with the exception 
of the agave, and, moreover, it seems as impossible to reconcile 
any plant of China or Japan with the description, as any plant 
of the New World. The question seems to us, up to the pres 
ent time, to be insoluble." 

I remark, upon the subject of the fu-sang tree, that Hoei Shin 
does not mention the long thorns which characterize the maguey, 



196 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

and does not say anything of the alcoholic liquor which is ex 
tracted in Mexico from the heart of the plant. 

The zoology of the Buddhist monk is no more correct than 
his botany, for horses were brought to America from Europe in 
the sixteenth century ; and it is well known that at the time of 
the conquest the inhabitants of the New World had neither 
beasts of burden nor draught animals. The pretended herds of 
deer of Fu-sang are evidently herds of reindeer ; and as to the 
cattle, or bisons, they have been found domesticated, not upon 
the coast of the Pacific, where we would naturally look for Fit- 
sang, but rather in the ancient country of Cibola that is to say, 
in the region now known as New Mexico, where the houses are 
constructed of unburned bricks, and where the Indians, called 
Pueblo Indians, live in fortified towns, in order to defend them 
selves against the incursions of the red-skins. 

Messrs. d Eichthal and Leland have ingeniously sought to 
explain this part of the account of Hoei Sfdn by substituting, 
for horses, animals of a great height, and with branching horns, 
which the Spaniards call " horse-deer," and by transporting Fu- 
sang into the interior of the continent, because of the bisons 
found in Cibola. But the details given by the monk, relative to 
the construction of the houses, to the cities, and to the military 
weapons, absolutely exclude New Mexico, Arizona, and Califor 
nia itself. 

M. d Eichthal has endeavoured to explain the idle tale of the 
two prisons, by the dogmas as to future punishment held by the 
Mandans : the prison of the north being understood as hell, and 
that of the south as paradise. What, then, becomes of the mar 
riages contracted by the prisoners, and the children sold as 
slaves, the boys at the age of eight years and the girls at that 
of nine ? Evidently Hoei Shin speaks of temporal punishment 
and of prisons in the present life. 

Of the ceremonies of marriage, the punishments inflicted 
on criminals of the different classes of society, and of the coun 
try inhabited by white women, I can see nothing to say, except 
that it is all imaginary, and stamped with the imprint of mani 
fest absurdity. 

I now hasten to discuss the most important question raised 
by the account. Is it certain, or even credible, that Hoei Shin 
found Fu-sang- America converted to Buddhism, as he expressly 



REMARKS OF M. LUCIEN ADAM. 197 

declared? If the apostles, who came from Samarcand, spread 
abroad the worship of Buddha, and with it the sacred books and 
holy images of that religion, we should expect to find some 
thing of all this in their traditionary history (since writing was 
unknown), and in their monuments. 

History, properly so called, is absolutely mute concerning any 
religious revolution of the fifth century. It is true, however, 
that this silence might be explained by claiming that the natives 
formerly had books, which have been destroyed. Let us, there 
fore, examine their traditions, and see whether, as has been 
thought by some, Quetzalcoatl, the god of the city of Cholula, 
may not have been one of the five monks of Samarcand. 

According to Motolinia, Quetzalcoatl was a white man, of 
good height, having a large forehead, and great eyes ; his hair 
was long and black ; he wore a large beard, trimmed to a round 
shape. He was chaste and peaceable, and very moderate in all 
things. So far was he from asking that the blood of men, or 
even of animals, should be shed in sacrifice, that he held no of 
ferings as agreeable except those of bread, flowers, or perfume ; 
he prohibited all acts of violence, and detested war. Finally, he 
lacerated his body with the thorns of the agave, and recom 
mended the practice of the most severe penances. 

I admit that the resemblance is specious ; but if there is one 
point upon which the legend is particularly plain, it is that Que 
tzalcoatl came from a country situated to the east of America, 
and that, when he took leave of his disciples on the eastern 
coast, he told them that white men, bearded like himself, would 
come by sea from the east and subdue the entire country. It is 
said that the cause of Montezuma s ruin was his blind faith in 
this prophecy. To this first reason for doubting that Quetzal 
coatl can have been a Buddhist priest, there may be added a 
second, which I think decisive. Quetzalcoatl, who, according to 
the legend, came from Tula to Cholula that is to say, from one 
Toltec capital to another appeared as the ideal representative of 
the Toltec race ; but before he was invested with this marvelous 
form, under which there was poorly concealed an energetic pro 
test of the vanquished nation against the belligerent disposition 
and sanguinary tastes of the Aztecs, Quetzalcoatl had been a god 
similar in appearance to all the rest. At Tula his visage was 
hideous. At Cholula his body was that of a man, and his head 



198 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

that of a bird with a red beak. Finally, at a much older period, 
Quetzalcoatl had been, in the north, purely and simply a bird, 
representing the hieroglyphical sign of the air ; and, in the south, 
sometimes an aerolite, and sometimes a serpent. 

The Quetzalcoatl of the legend is, therefore, a personage not 
less fabulous than the Saturn of the Latins, than Bochica, the 
legendary white man of the Musca Indians, or Manco Capac, the 
legislator of the Incas.* 

In America, as in Europe, the golden age, or age of peace, has 
been a popular fancy, and it may be affirmed that during the 
fifth century the New World was the theatre of incessant wars, 
which is, moreover, attested by the immense defensive works 
discovered in the valleys of the Gila, the Colorado, the Ohio, 
and the Mississippi. As to the colour of the personage in whom 
the ideal of the golden age is incarnated, it should be remarked 
that Quetzalcoatl has often been represented with a red visage, 
and that among all nations, not belonging to the Caucasian race, 
whiteness of the skin has been considered a sort of blessing, im 
plying a divine mission or a superior nature. 

The existence in Mexico of religious orders or of colleges of 
priests, of which the members took vows of asceticism, of poverty, 
and of mortification of the body, does not necessarily imply the 
preaching either of Buddhism or of Christianity, for America is 
not the only country in which men who were not connected 
with either of these two great religions have united themselves 
to practice frightful austerities in common. As for the volun 
tary tortures esteemed as honourable by the Mandan Indians, 
some of them bear a close resemblance to the tortures which the 
fanatics of East India inflict upon themselves ; but, as has been 
very judiciously remarked by M. Foucaux, these practices point 
us to Brahmanism rather than to Buddhism. Finally, it is no 
torious that the races of the New World have, in their life as 
hunters, and in their perpetual wars, acquired an incredible 
power of supporting suffering stoically, and that most of them 
systematically submit their young warriors to the most cruel 
trials of their endurance. 

The practice of auricular confession by the natives of Mexico 

* The same course of reasoning in regard to the myths that in New Mexico 
and Arizona have gathered about the name of Montezuma, would prove, quite as 
conclusively, that no such chieftain ever lived. E. P. Y. 



REMARKS OF M. LUCIEN ADAM. 199 

would be an argument more conclusive than the preceding, if it 
had not been superabundantly established that the avowal of 
faults is a custom that is almost universal. 

For the rest, the traditions and beliefs of the ancient races of 
America constitute a field in which all investigators find almost 
everything that they desire ; and I can oppose to the opinion of 
M. d Eichthal, where he recognizes Buddhist influences, the opin 
ions of others who think that they see Christian influences of 

which the agents were the apostles Saint Bartholomew and Saint 
Thorn afc or the colonists of Great Ireland or those of Ilvitra- 
mannaland. 

It remains, therefore, to verify the uncertain data of tradi 
tion by the examination of monuments and antiquities. 

In the belief of M. G. d Eichthal, the results of the Buddhist 
preaching of the fifth century are visible upon the walls of the 
Palace of Palenque, and the House of the Nuns at Uxmal. 

It may be objected to the view of d Eichthal that the bas- 
relief described by him is identical with others found in Bud 
dhist temples ; that, according to Dupaix, Lenoir, Catlin, de Wai- 
deck, and M. Viollet-le-Duc, Palenque was built much later than 
the fifth century of our era. But this is a question that is still 
undecided, and I must recognize the fact that, in the opinion of 
Mr. Hubert H. Bancroft, the date of the construction of Pa 
lenque can only be uncertainly fixed as some time between the 
first and the eighth century of the Christian era. 

It should be observed, moreover, that Stephens, who copied 
the bas-relief, saw no trace of Buddhism in it. M. Lenoir has 
confined himself to saying that there is an analogy between the 
attitude of the principal figure and the usual pose of Buddha. 
M. d Eichthal, however, does not hesitate to raise a simple an 
alogy in the position into a complete identity, doing this with 
out paying any attention to the statements of Stephens : that 
the character of the principal personage is the same as that of 
personages represented elsewhere in the palace ; that the pre 
tended worshiper is sitting cross-legged, and not upon his 
knees ; that the offering does not consist of a flower, either of 
the lotus or of the cacao-tree, but of a bunch of plumes, an 
ornament essentially American, which is lacking in the head 
dress of the principal personage ; that similar plumes are asso 
ciated with the figures of other divinities of Palenque ; and, 



200 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

finally, that the ruins of this stone-built city are situated in the 
Atlantic state of Chiapas, and not in the kingdom of Cibola, or 
upon the western coast. M. Lenoir, when he spoke of analogy, 
had nothing else in mind than the pose of the principal per 
sonage, sitting with legs crossed. Now, there exists at Copan a 
bas-relief in which four personages, incontestably American, are 
represented in this same attitude. 

Of the figure seated in the niche of the wall of the House of 
Monks at Uxmal, Mr. Hubert H. Bancroft assures us that it is 
not certainly known whether this figure, which has now disap 
peared, was copied from nature or drawn from the more or less 
uncertain descriptions of the Indians. In any case, it is true 
that M. de Waldeck, who was looking for Buddhist resem 
blances, did not himself recognize the figure as that of Buddha, 
and this is a very important fact. 

Mr. Leland does not share in what I may be permitted to call 
the Buddhistic illusions of M. Gustave d Eichthal. " Images re 
sembling the ordinary Buddha have been found," says he, " in 
Mexico and Central America, but they can not be proved to 
be identical with it." This is the truth. The ancient monu 
ments of America sometimes present, in certain details, analo 
gies with the principle of Grecian art, Assyrian art, Egyptian 
art, and Hindoo art ; but these points of resemblance are purely 
accidental, and are owing to the unity of the human mind, and, 
from the mere fact that the conclusions drawn from them are 
contradictory between themselves, it is evident that no impor 
tant historical point can be determined by their means. 

Mr. Francis A. Allen, who also admits the authenticity of 
the tale of Hoei Shin, believes that he has found upon the walls 
of the temples of Central America an ornament that is very com 
mon in Buddhist countries. I mean the head and trunk of the 
elephant, an animal unknown in the New World since the last 
glacial period. This 1 time the argument appears to be without 
reply. The following is a short extract on this subject, from 
the recent work of Mr. Hubert H. Bancroft, on "The Native 
Races of the Pacific States " : 

"At Uxmal, above one of the doors of the House of the 
Governor, Uhere is a sculptured decoration, the central portion 
of which is a curved projection, supposed by more than one 
traveler to be modeled after the trunk of an elephant. It pro- 



REMARKS OF M. LUCIEN ADAM. 



201 



jects nineteen inches from the surface of the wall. This pro 
truding curve occurs more frequently on this and other buildings 
at Uxmal than any other decoration, and usually with the same 
or similar accompaniments which may be fancied to represent 
the features of a monster of which this forms the nose. It oc 
curs especially on the ornamented and rounded corners, being 
sometimes reversed in its position. The same ornament is found 
in the ruins of Zayi, at the angle of the fa9ade of the Casa 
Grande, and at Labna at the corner of a palace, where the sup 
posed trunk is superposed upon the mouth of an alligator inclos 
ing a human head. . . . Finally, the head-dress of one of the 
personages represented upon a bas-relief of the Palace at Pa- 
lenque presents a somewhat striking resemblance to an elephant s 
trunk." 

The projection described by Mr. Bancroft reproduces, to a 
certain extent, the curve of the trunk of the elephant ; but it 
should be noted that the tusks of the animal are lacking. In 
the absence of this characteristic part, it may be legitimately 
supposed that, if the artist attempted to copy the nasal append 
age of any animal (which is not at all evident), his model may 
have been the American tapir.* 

That which I said above regarding the traditions of the an 
cient Americans is equally applicable to their monuments. Every 
one interprets them in the sense that serves his theories the best, 
and I dare say that too often the archaeology of the New World 
is studied to find an argument for the defense of preconceived 
theories, or to extend and systematize analogies that are entirely 
accidental. 

While I lived in the United States, I often heard the claim 
that America was made for the Americans ; which I am far from 
wishing to contradict. It is to be desired that this formula 
should be introduced into the study of American antiquities, to 
serve as a fundamental rule, and that, for the future, we should 
not seek in America for India, Egypt, Assyria, or Greece, but 
for America itself. 

Returning to Fa-sang: I think that the Chinese had a 
knowledge of America, at least in the seventh century, but I 

* But the proboscis of the tapir is hardly noticeable, and it never takes the 
curve characteristic of the elephant s trunk, shown in these Central American 
decorations. E. P V. 



202 AN" INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

reject absolutely the tale of Hoei Shin. I understand thereby 
that this missionary had collected fables, mixed with a very 
little truth, from the mouths of the Chinese sailors ; that he 
played upon his compatriots by boasting that he had visited 
this American Fa-sang; and that he was induced to tell this 
falsehood by the pious desire to aggrandize the kingdom of 
Buddha in their eyes. 

M. FREDERICK DE HELLWALD said that the question of Fu- 
sang recurs periodically, and is obstinately reproduced from time 
to time, just as certain journals occasionally repeat the differ 
ent tales regarding the apparition of the sea-serpent : and as it 
is a fact that no one has been given an opportunity to study this 
monstrous animal zoologically, just so no one has ever given 
scientific proof of the discovery of America by the Chinese. In 
1871 the " Athenaeum," of London, related this account of the 
discovery of America by the yellow men as a thing entirely new. 
Dr. Bretschneider at that time amply refuted this fable ; but this 
has not prevented an English book from taking the subject up 
again recently. It is to be feared that the refutation of Messrs, 
de Rosny and Lucien Adam will not prevent a re-appearance 
of the monster. The Congress of Americanists will render a 
true service to science by declaring that it holds Fu-sang as a 
scientific sea-serpent, and by prohibiting it from infesting the 
regions of American studies. 

Professor JOLT, of Toulouse, could understand this impatience 
for a solution of the problem, but did not share in it. Before 
rejecting the Asiatic hypothesis, should not the proofs bearing 
upon the subject which can be furnished by the auxiliary sciences 
be exhausted ? Do we know enough of American archaeology, 
zoology, anthropology, and craniology to be able to decide au 
thoritatively ? Is it too much to ask that the attempt to solve 
the question be postponed, at least until a later sitting of the 
Congress ? 

Returning to the subject of the herds of tame cattle and of 
deer, mentioned by Hoei Shin, M. Joly asked whether these so- 
called cattle might not be understood to be the largest of the 
domestic quadrupeds of Central America, the llama, which is 
used as a pack animal and to draw loads of goods. 

M. LUCIEN ADAM observed that the llama inhabits only 



REMARKS OF PROFESSOR JOLY. 203 

South America, particularly Peru. Fu-sang is at one time sup 
posed to be Mexico ; presently it is moved to Arizona, in order 
to find the bison there ; and then to Russian America, in order to 
find the reindeer : now we descend to Peru, in order that we 
may find a sufficiently imperfect representative of cattle in the 
llamas of that country. 

M. JOLT thought that paleontology might furnish a better 
solution of the question of the communication between America 
and Eastern Asia. Could not the representations of the elephant 
upon the walls of Palenque be explained by a knowledge, on 
the part of the natives, not of a contemporaneous elephant, but 
of some one of the primitive elephants the mammoth or the 
mastodon ? Might not the Mexicans have discovered some 
skulls of the Eleplias primogenius which existed in America dur 
ing the glacial period? Might not the figure of this animal 
have been preserved in some prehistoric design, as in France the 
image of the reindeer or the cave-bear has been preserved graven 
upon fragments of deer-horns? It is denied that Hoei Shin 
could have found horses in America. Undoubtedly the horse 
was imported by the conquering Spaniards ; but may not an in 
digenous equine race have existed in America ? 

Have not beds of the bones of horses been found in the Bad 
Lands ? Until the soil of America has been more thoroughly 
examined, and more fully studied, so that it shall have deliv 
ered up its paleontological secrets, M. Joly asked that c-aution 
should be exercised regarding this Asiatic hypothesis. 



CHAPTER XII. 

D HERVEY S NOTES. 

Bibliography The name of the priest The city of King-cheu Ta-han Lieu- 
kuei, a peninsula Earlier knowledge of Fu-sang The construction of the 
dwellings The lack of arms and armour The punishment of criminals The 
titles of the nobles The title Tui-lu found in Corea The colours of the king s 
garments The cycle of ten years Peruvian history The long cattle-horns 
The food prepared from milk The red pears Grapes The worship of 
images of spirits of the dead Its existence in China Cophene The " King 
dom of Women" The legumes used as food Wen-shin The punishment of 
criminals The name Ta-han The country identified with Kamtchatka Two 
countries of that name One lying north of China, and one lying east Un- 
warlike nature of the people. 

Notes of the Marquis d^Hervey de Saint-Deny s on Ma Twan- 
lin s Account of Fa-sang, Wen-shin, Ta-han, and the "King 
dom of Women: 1547 

MA TWAN-LIN S account of Fa-sang is of exceptional inter 
est, for it has raised the important question as to whether the 
Chinese knew of America, not only in the fifth century of our 
era, as is indicated by the account of Hoei Shin, but back to 
the most remote antiquity, as I propose to demonstrate a little 
farther on. The Oriental scholar de Guignes was the first to 
find in the works of Ma Twan-lin (which had never been inves 
tigated before by any European student) the mention of the 
country of Fa-sang; which he recognized as belonging to 
North America, and which he thought might be identified with 
California ; being led to this conclusion by studying the route 
followed by the Chinese vessels, which the currents had borne 
to the shores of that country. He set forth this opinion in a 
very justly celebrated memoir; the assertions contained in which 
were opposed by a critic who was very much disposed to deny 
everything that he had not discovered himself. But the feeble- 



D HERVEY S NOTES. 205 

ness of his refutation became a powerful argument in support 
of the opinion advanced by de Guignes, for no one was better 
able than Klaproth to expose errors of the kind which he ac 
cused de Guignes of having committed; and when the poverty of 
his contradictory pleas is exposed, as well as the manifest inac 
curacy of the statements that he makes, the conclusion is natural 
that the author of the " History of the Huns " has the best of 
the argument. D Eichthal, the Chevalier de Paravey, Professor 
Neumann, and M. Perez have in turn defended de Guignes s 
memoir with much force, by adding numerous new proofs in 
support of those which had been given by that scholar. Finally, 
in a volume full of facts, entitled " Fusang, or the Discovery of 
America," an American author, Mr. Charles G. Leland, has very 
recently devoted himself to the confirmation of the identification 
of Fu-sang with California or Mexico, by means of more recent 
documents borrowed from the latest researches concerning the 
navigation of the Pacific and the ethnography of the American 
tribes. Dr. Bretschneider alone declares his confidence in the 
judgment of Klaproth ; undoubtedly from the robust faith with 
which there is proof that he was inspired, since he very fairly 
admits that he has read nothing that has been written in opposi 
tion to his views. Lack of space prevents any analysis of the 
works which I have cited, and which it appears sufficient to point 
out to the reader. I shall take pains to call attention success 
ively to the passages of this notice which have been the subject 
of controversy, and to several expressions which have been in 
terpreted in very different ways by de Guignes, Klaproth, Neu 
mann, and Bretschneider. I have endeavoured to make my ver 
sion as literal as possible, so that specialists who are not Sino 
logues may easily obtain an accurate idea of the original text. 
The same desire to aid in clearing up the question as to Fu-sang 
induces me to place in an appendix several documents from 
Chinese sources which relate to it, and which I believe have 
never before been published in any European language. 

The name of the Buddhist priest, i| ^, Neumann writes 
Hoei Shin, and Dr. Bretschneider, Hui-shen. This appellation 
signifies " very sagacious," or "very intelligent" (not "universal 
compassion," as Neumann has translated it ; I can not imagine 
why), and is a religious name, from which no indication can be 
drawn as to the true nationality of the bonze who bore it. Mr. 



206 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

Leland writes : " Klaproth says, a native of the country, and by 
the country he means Fa-sang ; but in the German version of 
the same passage, given by Neumann, * the [or this] country re 
fers to China." If Neumann, whose German version I have not 
seen, otherwise than in the English translation which Mr. Leland 
has made (adding that it has been revised by Neumann himself), 
gives it to be clearly understood that Hoei Shin was a native of 
China, he is surely in error. The characters of the Chinese text, 
ji |U, " of that kingdom " (otherwise, " of this country "), relate 
to Fa-sang, and not to China. It is true that there is nothing in 
the Chinese text to indicate whether Hoei Shin had become a 
bonze in Fu-sang, or whether he was a native of that country. 
This question it is necessary to reserve, and my version is abso 
lutely literal. 

To arrive at the city of IZing-clieu, which was situated in what 
is now called Hu-kuang, and upon the banks of the Yang-tse- 
kiang, Hoei Shin would be compelled to ascend the river, pass 
ing Kien-kang, or Nan+king, which was the capital of the empire 
of the Tsi dynasty. 

De Guignes believed that he was able to identify the country 
of Ta-lian with Kamtchatka, and also with the place of exile 
called Lieu-kuei by the Chinese. Klaproth thinks that Ta-han, 
which he also recognizes as the same country as Lieu-kuei, must 
be the island of Saghalien, otherwise called Tarakai, or Karafto. 
He adopts this hypothesis arbitrarily, without making any allow 
ance for the fact that Ma Twan-lin says that Ta-Jian lies more 
than 5,000 li to the east of Wen-shin, and this in turn more than 
7,000 li northeasterly (not northerly) from Japan, and without 
making any attempt to reconcile his opinion with that statement, 
or with the geographical treatise Long-wei-pi-shu, which says 
that Lieu-kuei could be reached by land, and that the sea sur 
rounded this country on three sides only. ("Lieu-kuei is to 
the north of the Northern Sea, and is surrounded by the sea on 
three sides.") Dr. Bretschneider places the country of Ta-han 
in Siberia, abandoning Klaproth s opinion on this point ; and 
Professor Neumann, with whom Mr. Leland agrees, affirms that 
he believes the American peninsula of Alaska to have been in 
tended by this designation. The kingdom of Ta-han is the ob 
ject of special mention, a little farther on, and I therefore defer, 
for discussion in that connection, several documents which I 



D HERVEY S NOTES. 



207 



would be obliged to repeat if they were inserted here, merely 
remarking for the present that Ma Twan-lin, and other Chinese 
writers, treat separately the countries described by them under 
the name of Lieu-kuei and Ta-han, and class the first among the 
regions of the north, and the second among the regions of the 
east. In any case, whatever may be the exact and definite iden 
tification of Fu-sang, it should not be overlooked that when the 
bonze Hoei Shin, who arrived in the empire of the Tsi (the 
dynasty then ruling a large portion of China) by way of the 
Great Itiang, described Fu-sang as being at the same time to the 
east of Ta-han and of China, he should be understood as speak 
ing, not of a land of limited extent, but of a true continent. 

I can not allow the phrase of the account of Hoei Shin read 
ing, "It [the country of Fu-sang] contains many fu-sang trees, 
and it is from this fact that its name is derived " to pass, without 
repeating an observation which I made some years ago (in the pref 
ace of my translation of the Li-sao], and without demonstrating 
that if the bonze Hoei Shin is the first who made the manners of 
the people of Fu-sang known to the Chinese, there was a knowl 
edge among the Chinese, centuries before him, of the existence 
of such a country. Even during the life-time of Kiu-yuen, the 
author of the poem entitled the Li-sao that is to say, in the 
third century before our era the name of Fu-sang was em 
ployed by the poets to designate the countries to the extreme 
east. Now, the fact that this denomination of Fu-sang was 
not an imaginary one, but a name drawn from a peculiar product 
of a particular country, necessarily implies a real knowledge, 
previously acquired, of the existence of the country so designated. 

The passage relating to the construction of their dwellings 
Klaproth translates : " The planks of the wood [of i\iQ fu-sang] 
are used in the construction of their houses " ; and Neumann, ac 
cording to Mr. Leland s English version, " The houses are built 
of wooden beams." This last translation is the most exact, since 
the Chinese text does not expressly indicate that the planks which 
were used in the construction of the houses were made from the 
wood of the fu-sang tree. 

Klaproth has translated another passage : "They have neither 
arms nor troops " ; Neumann, " The people have no weapons "; and 
Bretschneider, " Arms and war are unknown." No one of these 
three versions is strictly exact ; for the expression " kia-ping " con- 



208 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

veys the idea of soldiers and their military armament, but with 
out excluding them from the bow and arrow for hunting (which 
would be included in the collective term " arms ") and of which 
it is not said that the inhabitants of Fit-sang were destitute. 

The statement is made that, " when a crime is committed by 
a person of elevated rank, the people of the kingdom assemble in 
great numbers, place the criminal in an excavation, celebrate a 
banquet in his presence, and take leave of him as of a dying man, 
when he is surrounded with ashes." This is not clear, and leaves 
much in doubt as to the exact punishment of the criminal, of 
which this ceremony appears to be merely a preliminary, in 
tended to give it more solemnity. It has been supposed that he 
was then sent to either the northern or the southern prison. Neu 
mann says, " He is covered with ashes," which appears to sig 
nify that he was buried alive, as de Guignes also understood this 
passage ; but the meaning of the character || is " to surround" 
and never " to cover" 

The passage relating to the degrees of crime and their pun 
ishments, Mr. Leland translates, following Neumann : "If the 
offender was one of the lower class, he alone was punished ; 
but, when of rank, the degradation was extended to his chil 
dren and grandchildren. With those of the highest rank, it at 
tained to the seventh generation." This interpretation is abso 
lutely inadmissible. The word of the Chinese text, Iff, which 
should be understood of the gravity, literally of the weighty of a 
crime, can not be used in the sense of the rank, more or less ele 
vated, of the criminal. Klaproth did not commit this error. 

In the following sentence in regard to the designations of the 
king and the nobility, the title of the nobles of the first class is 
given as gj ]J, Tui-lu. In the great collection, entitled Ku-Jcin- 
tu-shu-tsi-ching, the text of the " History of the Liang Dynasty," 
from which this account is borrowed, is reproduced, and this pas 
sage reads, ^ ^ ^ Ta Tui-lu (Great Tui-lu), in opposition to 
>J\ f ]J, Siao Tui-lu (Petty Tui-lu, or Tui-lu of the Second Rank), 
an honourary title, which is mentioned immediately below. It is 
therefore probable that the character, ^, ta, has been inadvertent 
ly suppressed in my editions of the Wen-hien-tong-kao ; and this 
was the opinion of de Guignes, who translated this passage, 
" Great and Petty Tui-lu." This detail is of little importance, but 
it is deserving of attention (inasmuch as the remark must be new, 



D HERVEY S NOTES. 

since the notice of Ma Twan-lin regarding Corea has not been 
translated into any European language before) that the title 
given to the highest dignitaries of Fu-sang is precisely the same 
as that borne by the first dignitaries of Kao-kiu-li (Corea). 1546 
"The mandarins of Kao-li are called ^ fj Jjj, Ta Tui-lu." 
Eleven other titles, by which lower ranks are called, are also 
given. " The care of the management of the internal and exter 
nal affairs of state is divided among these twelve ranks of func 
tionaries. The mandarins, called Ta Tui-lu, are elected and de 
posed by the members of this rank, by their own authority, 
without consultation either with the king or his ministers." 

In regard to the colour of the king s garments, it should be 
noted that the Chinese often confound blue and green. The 
character ^ , employed here, designates equally the azure of the 
sky and the light green of plants commencing to sprout. 

In this connection, reference is made to a cycle of ten years, 
represented by the cyclic characters ^ kia, y, pj ping, ~J~ 
ting, tic ou -> tl biy JjE fceng, -^ sin, jin, and 2 kouei, which 
the Chinese use in the formation of their cycle of sixty years, 
associating additional characters with them. Neumann, who 
found a great affinity between the Mongolian Tartars and Mant- 
choos and the Indians of North America, cites in this connec 
tion the remark of Pere Gaubil : " I do not know where the 
Mantchoo Tartars learned to express the ten Jean [or years of the 
decennary cycle] by words which signify colours " ; and he gives 
this curious information of his own ; " The two first years of the 
decennary cycle are called by the Tartars green and greenish, the 
two following years red and reddish, and the other years, in their 
order successively, yellow and yellowish, white and whitish, and 
black and blackish" Finally, Mr. Leland establishes a very close 
analogy between the institutions of Peru at the time of the Span 
ish conquest and the picture of the manners of Fu-sang sketched 
by Hoei Shin, and thinks that the same civilization formerly 
reigned in the two Americas. He treats this subject with much 
interest (pages 49-59), and makes the following observations re 
garding the passage to which this note refers : 

" The change of the colour of the garments of the king, ac 
cording to the astronomical cycle, is, however, more thoroughly 
in accordance with the spirit of the institutions of the Children 
of the Sun than anything which we have met in the whole of 
14 



210 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

this strange and obsolete record ; and it is indeed remarkable that 
Professor Neumann, who had already indicated the southern 
course of Aztec, or of Mexican, civilization, and who manifested, 
as the reader may have observed, so much shrewdness in adducing 
testimony for the old monk s narrative, did not search more 
closely into Peruvian history for that confirmation which a slight 
inquiry seems to indicate is by no means wanting in it. Thus, 
with regard to the observations of the seasons, Prescott tells us 
that the ritual of the Incas involved a routine of observances 
as complex and elaborate as ever distinguished that of any na 
tion, whether pagan or Christian. Each month had its appro 
priate festival, or rather festivals. The four principal had refer 
ence to the sun, and commemorated the great periods of his 
annual progress, the solstices, and equinoxes. Garments of a 
peculiar wool, and feathers of a peculiar colour, were reserved to 
the Inca. I can not identify the blue, red, yellow, and black 
(curiously reminding one of the alchemical elementary colours, 
still preserved, by a strange feeling for antiquity, or custom, in 
chemists windows) ; but it is worthy of remark that the rainbow 
was the Inca s special attribute or scutcheon, and that his whole 
life was passed in accordance with the requisitions of astronomi 
cal festivals ; and the fact that different colours were reserved to 
him, and identified with him, is very curious, and establishes a 
strange analogy with the narrative of Hoei Shin." 

The translation by Klaproth of the sentence, which he gives 
as, " The cattle have long horns, upon which burdens are loaded 
which weigh as much sometimes as twenty Ao," is absolutely in 
admissible. The reference is, not to cattle upon the heads of 
which burdens are loaded, but to the hollow horns of the cattle, 
which serve as receptacles. The ho is a measure of capacity, 
containing ten teu, or Chinese bushels, and the capacity of the 
Chinese bushel has, it is said, varied from one litre thirty-five to 
one litre fifty-four centilitres. We might be in doubt of the 
existence of horns so extraordinary, but we read, in "L Histoire 
de la Conquete du Mexique par les Espagnols," that Montezuma 
showed them, as a curiosity, cattle-horns of enormous dimen 
sions ; and, in his " Tableaux de la Nature," A. von Humboldt 
says that, in making excavations in the southwestern part of 
Mexico, ancient ruins were found, and cattle-horns were discov 
ered which were truly monstrous. 



D HERVEY S NOTES. 211 

I have not translated literally the phrase which refers to the 
food which the people make from milk, owing to the difficulty 
of determining the exact meaning of the character gg } lo, which 
is used to designate the alimentary preparation of which the 
hind s milk furnished the base. The true meaning of the charac 
ter is curdled milk, and also cream. It also indicates a sort of 
liquor which the Tartars make from fermented mare s milk. 
This last sense is adopted by Dr. Bretschneider ; de Guignes has 
translated it butter, and Neumann has imitated him. Klaproth 
thinks that cheese should be understood ; and M. de Rosny, who 
has translated from the Japanese an abridged reproduction of 
this notice regarding Fu-sang, says that the inhabitants made 
creamy dishes from the milk of their domesticated hinds. I 
have preferred to leave the expression somewhat vague, since it 
can not be determined just what was meant by the character 
used in the original. 

The version of the Encyclopaedia, Ku-Jcin-tu-shu-tsi-ching, 
cited above, offers the variation, " They have the pears of the 
fu-sang tree," etc., instead of the reading in our text, " They 
gather the red pears, which are preserved for an entire year." 

In the sentence, reading, " They also have to pu-tao " (many 
grapes), de Guignes translates the characters 2 fff |fl, tojm-tao, 
" a great quantity of iris-plants and peaches," by giving their 
isolated value to the characters pu and tao, and by giving to 
the first (pu, reeds) a signification which is exceptional, to say 
the least. He could not have been ignorant that the compound 
pu-tao signified (/rapes ; but he also knew that the word, in re 
cent times at least, demands a different orthography. Klaproth 
has asserted that the two characters of the expression pu-tao, 
employed by Ma Twan-lin, following the " History of the Liang 
Dynasty," are nothing but the old form of the orthography more 
recently adopted. It has, moreover, been established that these 
characters are merely used to render phonetically in Chinese a 
word of foreign origin ; and this makes the ideography of their 
composition of less importance than it would otherwise be. I 
have felt myself compelled to adopt this view; but it is indeed 
surprising to see Klaproth seek, in the existence of the vine in 
Fu-sang, to find an argument for affirming that that country 
could not be America ; as if the Scandinavians had not given to 
just this land of North America, where they landed, a name 



212 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

which was suggested by the abundance of wild vines which they 
found. Neumann has preferred to follow the opinion of de Guig- 
nes in regard to translating the characters pu-tao separately, 
instead of as a compound. He renders the phrase, " apples and 
rushes from which the inhabitants make mats" This last state 
ment is in all respects a more-than-free translation, since the 
phrase in italics does not occur in the text, and the word tao 
should not have the meaning of apple the fruit of which the 
Latin name is malum (persicum). 

The version of Iu-kin-tu-shu-tsi-ching offers quite an impo r- 
tant variation in the phrase relating to the image that is set up 
on the death of a member of the family. In place of f $ W$ ffl, 
" the image of a spirit is set up" that version reads, J& ft ffi 
jpljl |Jk that is to say, " the image of the spirit which represents 
the soul of the deceased is set up " or exposed. It is remarkable 
that this custom has existed among the Chinese from a great 
antiquity, as may be read in the chapter Ou-tse-chi-ko of the 
Shu-Icing. Klaproth made the translation from the version of 
Ma Twan-lin, and Neumann from that of the Ku-Jcin-tu-shu- 
tsi-ching, which accounts for their difference in the rendering of 
this passage. But neither of these two scholars appears to me to 
have correctly expressed the letter and spirit of the Chinese text 
in the interpretation of the complementary member of the 
phrase, which immediately follows: j|J] fy ffi -ll> literally, "Morn 
ing and night, prostrations are made and oblations offered." 
Klaproth says, " Prayers are addressed (to the images of the 
spirits) morning and night" ; and Neumann, " They (the relatives 
of the deceased) remain from morning to night absorbed in 
prayer before the image of the spirit of the dead." ^f, pal (to 
salute, to prostrate one s self), and j|, tien (to offer oblations or 
libations to spirits), are expressions which do not convey, other 
wise than indirectly, the idea of addressing prayers, and the 
meaning of the author may be altered, in an account of this na 
ture, by modifying thus the expressions which he uses. 

As to the country from which the Buddhist priests came, IR- 
pi n > St fC> Klaproth writes, in parenthesis, Cophene. The author 
of the Japanese Encyclopaedia, San-sai-dzou-ye, from which M. de 
Rosny extracted and translated an abridgment of Hoei Shin s 
account, adds in a note, after the word Ki-pin, " Ki-pin is one 
of the western countries (Si-yu) ; it is San-ma-ceU-kan (Samar- 



D HERVEY S NOTES. 



213 



cand)." Mr. Leland says, "The land of Ki-pin, the ancient 
Kophen, is now called Bokhara, the country of Samarcand. 
Samarcand, at the times of which we are speaking, was one of 
the great strongholds of Buddhism." 

The nature of the facts reported in regard to the " Kingdom 
of Women " has served for an argument to impeach the veracity 
of Hoei Shin ; but it is impossible to fail to distinguish between 
the account of this bonze concerning Fu-sang, a country in which 
he had resided, and his story about a Kingdom of Women, of 
which he knew nothing himself but the marvelous tales which he 
had heard related. It may be remarked that all the ancient 
nations have had some tradition of Amazons, or kingdoms of 
women; and M. d Eichthal has made the curious fact known that 
entire tribes of North America have borne the name of " women " 
as a national name. It may also be noted that the Chinese au 
thors mention several kingdoms of women, entirely distinct from 
each other, which fact arose, without doubt, because the Chinese, 
among whom the women lived retired in the inner apartments, 
without playing any active part in public life, would naturally 
give the appellation of Kingdom of Women to those countries of 
which the manners contrasted with those of the " Middle King 
dom " in this respect. Those which have been mentioned above 
are situated to the west of China. The Long-wei-pi-shu speaks 
of as many as ten, and in the notice which we translate here the 
Wen-hien-tong-Jcao mentions two which should not be confounded. 
Finally, under the name of ^C A S> Niu-jin-leoue, an insignifi 
cant variation, the Encyclopaedia San-tsai-tu-hoei, published in 
the Ming dynasty, speaks also of an island in the South Sea 
where the women showed themselves in force and made prison 
ers of almost all the sailors of a Chinese vessel which winds 
and tempests had driven upon that distant shore. 

The expression which I render, " These islanders fed upon 
small legumes," is very difficult to translate by an exact equiva 
lent, for the botanical classifications of the Chinese are very dif 
ferent from ours. The Chinese give the name of j, teu > to a ^ 
vegetables having distinct grains enveloped in a pod, shell, or 
husk. De Guignes, while translating this phrase " little beans," 
thought it possible that maize might be meant. 

The short notice which follows, regarding the country of 
Wen-shin, or of " Tattooed Bodies," 155 does not vary, except by 



214: AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

a few different readings, from the account contained in the por 
tion of the Nan-sse, or " Annals of the South," inserted in my 
article on Japan. 1552 Ma Twan-lin has, however, suppressed here 
the closing sentence concerning the punishment of criminals, 
and the trials to which they were subjected. De Guignes and 
Klaproth have thought that this country of Wen-shin might be 
the island of Jesso. Neumann, who places the kingdom of Ta- 
han in the peninsula of Alaska, thinks that the Wen-shin inhab 
ited the Aleutian Islands. This last opinion appears very diffi 
cult to reconcile with the account, that is given farther on, of the 
abundance of provisions among the Wen-shin, and of the sumpt 
uous palace of their king. In the " Chinese Recorder " " 4 Dr. 
Bretschneider wrote : " Wen-shen, the country in which the peo 
ple tattoo themselves, lies 7,000 li northeast from Japan. The 
inhabitants make large lines upon their bodies, and especially 
upon their faces. By a stretch of the imagination we might 
suppose North American Red Indians to be here meant. It is 
known, however, that the Japanese have also the habit of tattoo 
ing themselves." Without daring to attempt to decide the ques 
tion of the identification of the country of Wen-shin, I will call 
attention to the following paragraph regarding Ta-han, or rather 
regarding the two different countries of that name. It will be 
seen that the manners of the people of Ta-han of tJie East were 
similar to those of the inhabitants of Wen-shin, and that there 
were also affinities between the people of this land and those of 
Fu-sang, which therefore seem to show a relationship between 
the three nations. 

The name of the country of Ta-han is too extraordinary in 
itself not to excite attention. Ta-han (ft. SI) signifies literally 
" Great Chinese " (han, Chinese, vir fortis), and Ta-han-kwoh, 
" Kingdom of the Great Chinese," or " Great Chinese Kingdom," 
which de Guignes attempted to explain as follows : " That part 
of Siberia called Kamtchatka is the region which the Japanese 
call Oku-yeso, or Upper Jesso. They place it upon their maps 
to the north of Jesso, and represent it as being twice as large as 
China, and extending much farther to the east than the eastern 
shore of Japan. This is the country which the Chinese have 
named Ta-han, which may signify as large as China, a name 
which corresponds with the extent of the country, and to the 
idea which the Japanese have given us of it." Neumann, on the 



D HERVEY S NOTES. 215 

contrary, who locates Ta-han in the peninsula of Alaska, sup 
poses that the Chinese have called this country Great China, or 
a great country comparable to China, because they had knowl 
edge of the vast continent which exists beyond it. These two 
explanations are ingenious, without doubt ; but we find another, 
much simpler, in the Chinese Encyclopaedia Yuen-kien-lui-han, 
regarding at least one of the two countries called Ta-han of 
which that work makes mention. The Yuen-Jcien-lui~han de 
serves to be carefully examined, since it may give proof of the 
correctness of Dr. Neumann as to the identification of the coun 
try of Ta-han situated on the route to Fu-sang, and at the 
same time confirm the assertion of de Guignes as to the kingdom 
of Ta-han situated in Kamtchatka or somewhere else in Eastern 
Siberia, as MM. Perez and Bretschneider have thought. Neu 
mann has, in support of his opinion, the express statement of 
Li-yen and of Ma Twan-lin, that the Ta-han at which vessels 
touched on the way to Fu-sang was an Oriental country, situated 
to the east, and not to the north, of Wen-shin. De Guignes, on 
his side, produces a very precise account of the route which Chi 
nese travelers followed when they went by land to the country 
of Ta-han, an itinerary which can not be disputed. Here is what 
we read in the Encyclopaedia Yuen-kien-lui-han First : Kiuen 
231, fol. 46 : " TAHAN OF THE EAST. This kingdom is to the east 
of that of the Wen-shin more than 5,000 li. Its people have no 
arms and do not wage war. Their manners are the same as 
those of the Wen-shin, but their language is different " (exactly 
the same notice as that which the Wen-hien-tong-Jcao gives us). 
Second : Kiuen 241, fol. 10 : " TAHAN OF THE NORTH. We read 
in the Sing-tang-shu ( Supplement to the History of the Tang Dy 
nasty a work published in the eleventh century of our era by 
imperial order) : The Ta-han (of the north) live to the north of 
the kingdom of Kio, or Kiai. They raise many sheep and horses. 
The men of this kingdom are robust and of a great height, from 
which fact the name Ta-han ( ( Great Chinese, or, in common 
language, Tall Fellows ) is derived. They are neighbours of 
the Ke-Jcia-sse (natives who live upon the shore of the lake Pe- 
hai, or Baikal). In former times they had no relations with the 
empire (of China), but in the years ching-Jcuan and yong-hoei 
(627-655) embassadors from their nation came once or twice 
offering horses and martens furs as tribute." The kingdom of 



216 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 



A70, or JTiai, is situated 500 li to the northeast of the territory 
of the Pa-ye-Jcu, one of the most easterly tribes of the great 
nation of the Hoei-he (Ouigours), which extends as far as the 
country of the Shi-wei, or She-goei, occupying the northeast 
ern part of Siberia. These last natives of Ta-han (whom Ma 
Twan-lin calls Ta-mo, and whom he also classed among the 
nations of the north) are those whom de Guignes thought to 
be located in Kamtchatka ; but the immediate consequence of 
this verification is to make it impossible to find a place in 
Asia for the " Ta-han of the East" in which we are solely in 
terested. None of the scholars who have studied this ques 
tion have suspected the existence of two countries called Ta- 
han ; and this fact has compelled them to make great efforts 
to bring into agreement the accounts of the two routes to Ta- 
han, one by land and the other by water, which led, in fact, to 
two different countries. Neumann, whose judgment seems the 
least reliable, has therefore very probably been the most in 
spired. Although the notice of Tahan of the East is very short, 
it contains the proof of a characteristic and very extraordinary 
fact, of which the importance should not be overlooked. The 
people of Ta-han, we are told, have no arms and know nothing 
of war. This fact would be inexplicable regarding a tribe of 
upper Asia, exposed to the attacks of the ferocious and belliger 
ent nations whom they had upon their frontiers, and it reveals 
a civilization analogous to that of the people of Fu-sang, to 
whom the same peculiarity is attributed. 



CHAPTER XIII. 
D HERVEY S APPENDIX. 

Difference between Hod Shin s story and other Chinese accounts An earlier 
knowledge of Fu-sang The poem named the Li-sao The Shan-hai-king 
The account of Tong-fang-so The immense size of the country The burn 
ing of books in China The origin of the Chinese The writer Kuan-met 
The arrival of Hod Shin in 499 The civil war then raging The delay in 
obtaining an imperial audience The " History of the Four Lords of the Liang 
Dynasty "An envoy from Fu-sang The presents offered by him Yellow silk 
A semi-transparent mirror This envoy was Hod Shin The stories told 
by Yu-kie The silk found upon the fu-sang tree The palace of the king 
The Kingdom of Women Serpent-husbands The Smoking Mountain The 
Black Valley The animals of the country The amusement of the courtiers 
The poem Tong-king-fu The route to Fu-sang Fu-sang east of Japan 
Lieii-kud The direction of the route. 

Appendix to the Account regarding Fu-sang by the Marquis 
d^Hervey de Saint-DenysS 

THE relation of the bonze ffoei Shin has, for more than a 
century, served as the foundation for all that has been written 
for the purpose of attempting to decide the question whether 
Fu-sang was America or not. This account, so clear and pre 
cise, possessed, in the eyes of the Chinese, a character of authen 
ticity which distinguished it from quite a large number of other 
documents relating to Fu-sang^ which were furnished by authors 
with more or less inclination for the marvelous. Ma Twan-lin 
contented himself, for this reason, with merely repeating it with 
out adding anything to it. Ma Twan-lin never undertook to 
unite in his accounts all that the Chinese authors had related 
regarding the subject of his work, but confined himself to men 
tioning only what appeared to him to be the most worthy of 
credit. The merit of his compilation, taken as a whole, results 
mainly from this work of elimination, accomplished by judicious 



218 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

criticism. But if it is attempted to clear up an obscure point by 
means of the comparison of different accounts and by investiga 
tions of all kinds, the most fabulous stories, and little points, ap 
parently the most trivial, sometimes contain the clew to the 
wished-for knowledge. Hence it appears that, in an effort to 
decide as to the true location of Fu-sang^ the contrary method 
should be followed and no means of information should be neg 
lected. I have, therefore, grouped here all the documents which 
I have been able to collect relating to this interesting question ; 
some much anterior to Hoei Shin s account, and others forming, 
to a certain extent, the corollary of the declarations of this 
priest. 

The first show that, if we admit it to be a fact that Buddhist 
missionaries of the fifth century visited America, this is far from 
proving that they were the first who discovered the country ; 
the second permit us to detect the origin of the introduction of 
supernatural elements into the authentic account of the bonze 
Hoei Shin, and justify Ma Twan-lin in adhering to the strict 
letter of Hoei Shin s account, and in declining to leave it for a 
comparison of the different statements, by means of which the 
true elements of these accounts might, some day, be separated 
from the false. 

It is proved that the idea of the existence of a great country, 
covered with vast forests made up of a particular species of trees 
called fu-sang trees, and situated beyond the eastern seas, was 
an old tradition, even to the Chinese authors of the third century 
before our era, this fact being attested by the Li-sao. Kiu- 
yuen, the author of this celebrated poem, traveled in thought to 
the four extremities of the universe. In the north he perceived 
the land of long days and long nights ; in the south the bound 
less sea attracted his attention ; in the west he perceived the sun 
descend and sink in a lake, which has been supposed to be Lake 
Tingry, or the Caspian Sea ; and, finally, in the east in spite of 
the immensity of the Pacific Ocean, and, in spite of the thought, 
which would naturally occur to him, that the sun also rose from 
the midst of the waters he caught a glimpse of distant shores 
receiving the first gleams of the dawn. It is in a valley in a 
land shaded by the fu-sang tree that he places the limits of the 
extreme east. The Shan-hai-Tcing, a work of uncertain date, but 
of incontestable antiquity, contains an analogous reference to 



D HERVEY S APPENDIX. 219 

this land. An author, almost contemporaneous with Kiu-yuen, 
Tong-fang-so (whose text is supposed to have suffered some al 
terations, but at an epoch much anterior to that of Hoei Shin), 
expresses himself thus : " At the east of the Eastern Sea, the 
shores of the country of Fu-sang are found. If, after landing 
upon these shores, the journey is continued by land toward the 
east for a distance often thousand li, a sea of a blue colour (pi- 
hai) is reached, vast, immense, and boundless. The country of 
Fu-sang extends ten thousand li upon each of its sides. It con 
tains the palace of Tai-chin-tong-wang-fu (the God who Presides 
over the East). Great forests are found, filled with trees of 
which the leaves are similar to those of the mulberry, while the 
general appearance of the trees is similar to that of those which 
are called chin (certain coniferous trees). They attain a height 
of several times ten thousand cubits, and it takes two thousand 
people to reach their arms around one of them. These trees 
grow two and two from common roots, and mutually sustain 
each other ; hence their name ot fu-sang (sese sustinentes mori 
mulberry-trees which sustain each other). Although they grow 
tall and straight, like the conifers, their leaves and their fruit 
are similar to those of the mulberry of China. The fruit, of 
exquisite flavour and of reddish colour, appears but very rarely, 
the tree which produces it bearing it but once in nine thousand 
years. The anchorites who eat the fruit become of the colour of 
gold, and acquire the power of hovering in celestial space." 

The exaggeration of the proportions of the fu-sang tree is 
evidently nothing but hyperbole ; but it may be remarked that 
this tree is described as resembling the mulberry or the tong tree 
in its leaves, and the chin tree in its form ; this last being a spe 
cies of conifer of which the wood is used in the manufacture of 
arrows. This description, although not having great botanical 
precision, reminds one involuntarily of the gigantic Wellingtonia 
of California, which may be the last remains of an immense 
forest.* 

* The Mexicans noticed a resemblance between the century-plant, or agave (the 
plant which Hwul Slian called the fu-sang tree), and the conifers ; for they called 
the fir-tree 62 "oya-metl," 1915 a term meaning the fake or counterfeit agave; and, 
in fact, the flowering-stalk of the century-plant often forty feet in height and 
eight inches in diameter at the base with its numerous branches of flowers, 
springing out, almost horizontally, from its upper half, is very similar in form 
and general appearance to a fir or pine tree. E. P. V. 



220 AN INGLOKIOUS COLUMBUS. 

The indication of a breadth of ten thousand li for the country 
of Fu-sang shows that it was a true continent ; and, if we do 
not believe that this curious account of another ocean, found to 
the east, beyond the vast territory, should be applied to the At 
lantic, it still may be thought that America was better known to 
the Chinese before the Christian era than it could be even from 
the narration of Hoei Shin himself. In any case, the Buddhist 
missionaries who again found the route to Fu-sang were certainly 
guided in their voyage by the light of old traditions. 

I ventured the following observations when publishing my 
translation of the Li-sao, some years ago : 

" The general burning of books, two hundred and thirteen 
years before our era, was far from being as destructive as has 
been imagined ; but still it caused a sensible diminution of the 
sum of acquired knowledge. A great number of texts were 
preserved in the memory of scholars or by the secretion of manu 
scripts, and were thus finally restored, but many others were lost 
or altered. Moreover, the Chinese people, at the same time that 
they raised the great wall, isolated themselves in other ways, in 
order to preserve their unity. No surprise should therefore be 
felt at finding that the Chinese in very ancient times were pos 
sessed of ideas more just and extensive, regarding a multitude 
of subjects, than the Chinese of the following centuries; BO that, 
to reach reliable accounts, it is necessary to go back as far as 
possible into that antiquity which, perhaps, there is good reason 
for vaunting so highly. 

" I have sometimes thought that a great mystery might be 
concealed in the origin of the old Chinese with black hair, who 
arrived from the north (it is not known from what country) at 
the banks of the Yellow River not as primitive men, but as the 
representatives of a ripened civilization who avoided any inter 
mixture with the native population, and who always turned 
themselves toward their father-land to seek for light. If it 
should be unquestionably proved that Fu-sang is indeed Ameri 
ca, and if the first ideas which the Chinese had of that region 
should appear lost in the most remote antiquity, would not a 
strange enigma be presented to us for solution ? " 

Mr. Leland s book has shown me that the thought which dic 
tated these lines has also presented itself to several scholars 
who have made a specialty of the study of subjects relating to 



D HERVEY S APPENDIX. 221 

America ; and the Long-wei-pi-shu cites an opinion of the Bud 
dhist writer Kuan-mei, which demonstrates to what great an 
tiquity some idea of the existence of Fu-sang went back among 
the Chinese, if their statements on the subject are to be believed: 
" It is in Fu-sang that Hwang-tVs astronomers resided (who were 
charged with the observation of the rising sun) ", says Kuan-mei. 
" In the first year yong-yuen, of the Tsi dynasty, there was a 
bonze named Hoei Shin, who arrived from that country, and 
who made it known" (literally, by whose narration it commenced 
to be known k., I, fol. 10), an expression which should be un 
derstood here merely as referring to a knowledge renewed after 
the lapse of centuries. Hwang-ti is the first sovereign of the 
times reputed historical, and the first cycle of the Chinese com 
menced in his reign, in the twenty-seventh century before our 
era. We may assuredly entertain a doubt as to whether the 
astronomers of this celebrated emperor, to whom the Chinese 
attribute the invention of the astronomical globe and the insti 
tution of their cycle, established an observatory in Fu-sang. 
Nevertheless, I believe the fact to be established that there was 
some account of Fa-sang current among the Chinese long before 
the time of Hoei Shin, and this is what I first proposed to make 
evident. 

Let us now examine the circumstances under which Hoei 
Shin s report was made, and attempt to decide what connection 
there was between this bonze and the five Buddhist priests who 
went to Fu-sang in 458 ; why Hoei Shin ascended the Grand 
Kiang to King-cheu, instead of stopping at Nan-king, then the 
capital of the empire ; and, finally, consider what should be 
thought of an embassy from Fu-sang, which, according to the 
work entitled Liang-sse-kong-ki (" Memoirs of the Four Lords 
of the Liang Dynasty " ), came to visit the Chinese court in the 
years tien-kien, which commenced in the year 502, that is to say, 
at an epoch very near to that of the arrival of Hoei Shin a co 
incidence which should not be overlooked. We will finally con 
sider the account of the route to Fu-sang as given by the histo 
rian Li-yen, and the light furnished in this respect by several 
passages of Ma Twan-lin, hitherto inedited. 

We read in the JZu-kin-tu-shu-tsi-ching : " In the time of 
Tong-hoen-heu, the first year yong-yuen (499), the bonze of the 
kingdom of Fa-sang, named Hoei Shin, came to China. Never- 



222 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

theless, the official annals of the Tsi dynasty make no mention of 
him, and it is the books of the Liang dynasty which contain the 
account of Hoei Shin regarding Fu-sang, in a section devoted to 
the eastern countries." 

The year 499, designated as the date of the arrival of Hoei 
Shin upon the banks of the Kiang, was a year of civil war, which 
preceded the downfall of the Tsi dynasty, and during which that 
shadow of an emperor, called Tong-hoen-heu (" Prince of the Dis 
orders of the East "), remained a prisoner in his palace, besieged 
by his own brother. This brother was declared " Protector of the 
Empire," and he resided at the same city of J^ing-cheu, to which 
we see that Hoei Shin repaired. This brother soon mounted the 
throne, and Was almost immediately deposed by the founder of 
the Liang dynasty, known by the name of Liang Wu-ti, in the 
first month of the year 502. Now, if we suppose that Hoei Shin 
came from Fu-sang and intended to visit the emperor of 
China a favour which could never be obtained except after long 
entreaties these circumstances explain why it was that he was 
compelled to remain at King-cheu, until the complete overthrow 
of the Tsi dynasty, without being able to obtain an imperial 
audience. The accession of Liang Wu-ti, a prince who was a 
believer in the Buddhist religion, must, on the contrary, have 
insured him a favourable reception by the new ruler of the empire. 

I now come to the statements of the Liang -sse-lcong -lei, and 
am convinced that others, like myself, will be struck by the vivid 
light which they throw upon the story. The four princes, or 
feudal lords, of whom the book contains the memoirs, were 
named Ho-tchin* Yu-Tcie, Sho-tuan, and Chang-ki. Nothing is 
said as to how they were connected with one another ; but their 
memoirs tell us that in the years tien-Men, that is to say, in the 
first years of the reign of Liang Wu-ti, an envoy from the 
kingdom of Fu-sang presented himself, and, having offered to 
the emperor divers objects of his country, the emperor charged 
Yu-lcie to interrogate him regarding the customs and the produc 
tions of Fu,-sang, the history of the kingdom, its cities, its riv 
ers, its mountains, etc., as was the custom in similar cases when 
ever a foreign embassador visited the court. 

* In the " Ethnography," edited by the Marquis d Hervey de Saint-Denys, this 
name is written Hoei-tchin ; while in the same author s " Memoir " it is given as 
Ho-tchin. The Marquis d Hervey states that this last form is correct. E. P. V. 



D HERVEY S APPENDIX. 223 

" The envoy from Fu-sang wept, and responded with respect 
ful ardour," says the text a singular phrase, which appears to 
give the idea of an old man affected at finding himself again in 
his native land after long years of absence. "The offering 
which he presented consisted principally of three hundred pounds 
of yellow silk, spun by the silk- worm of ihefu-sav.g tree, and of 
an extraordinary strength. The emperor had an incense-burner 
of massive gold, of a weight of fifty kin. [The kin weighs a 
little more than 600 grammes.] This could be lifted and held 
suspended by six of these threads without breaking them. There 
was also among the presents offered to the emperor a sort of 
semi-transparent precious stone, cut in the form of a mirror, and 
of the circumference of more than a foot. In observing the sun 
by reflection by means of this stone, the palace which the sun 
contains appeared very distinctly." (Mention of these mirrors 
has been made in the " Notes and Queries," and Mr. Leland pre 
sents some very remarkable observations upon this subject. 
"Discovery of America," p. 184.) 

There is but little probability that Hoei Shin was a native of 
Fu-sang, although all the texts agree in calling him " a bonze of 
that country." It may be suspected that he had left China, 
when very young, in company with the five priests of Ki-pin. 
This can not be considered as anything more than a conjecture ; 
but that which appears to me to be beyond doubt is, that Hoei 
Shin and the envoy from Fu-sang, the bearer of the presents 
offered to the emperor Wu-ti, were one and the same person. 
To the presumption which is raised by the agreement of the 
dates, and the circumstances, as mentioned above, should be 
added the convincing fact that the prince Yu-Jcie, when speaking 
at length of Mi-sang and other regions of the extreme east, as is 
recorded in the Liang-sse-kong-ki, sometimes, as we shall see, 
based his declarations upon the statements of the envoy whom 
he had had the charge of interrogating, and sometimes upon the 
relation given by Hoei Shin, without indicating that there was 
any difference between the two sources of his information. It is 
here, moreover, that we find the source of all the extravagancies 
which have been mixed with Hoei Shin s narration, and which 
have resulted in casting suspicion upon even his simplest state 
ments. 

The account quoted by Ma Twan-lin was probably the official 



224: AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

record of the statements made by Hoei Shin, in his quality of 
envoy of the kingdom of Fu-sang, in answer to the questions of 
Yu-kie y who was delegated for the purpose by the emperor. 
The compilation of this account is similar to that of a great num 
ber of analogous documents contained in the notices of the Wen- 
hien-tong-kao. Nothing is found which approaches the domain of 
fable, any more than there is in the description of the presents 
offered to the emperor, and the precision of the details gives to 
the whole an appearance of truth which can not be mistaken; but 
the lord Yu-kie wished to amuse the court in regard to his con 
ferences with a person who had excited such general curiosity. 

Let us return to the study of the Liang-sse-kong-ki. The 
truth will thus be established. 

" One day, when the attendants at court were amusing them 
selves with stories of foreign countries, the lord Yu-kie took up 
the subject, and spoke in the following terms : * At the extreme 
east is Fu-sang. Silk-worms are found there which are seven 
feet long and as much as seven inches in circumference. Their 
colour is golden. It takes a year to raise them. On the eighth 
day of the fifth month they spin yellow silk, which is extended 
upon the branches of the fu-sang tree, for they make no cocoons. 
This silk is naturally very weak ; but it is cooked in lye prepared 
from the ashes of the wood of the fu-sang, and thus acquires such 
strength that four threads twisted together are sufficient to raise 
a weight of thirty Chinese pounds. The eggs of these silk 
worms are as large as swallow s eggs. Some were taken to Kao- 
kiu-li (Corea) ; but the voyage injured them, so that nothing 
issued from them but silk-worms as small as those of China. 

c The palace of the king is surrounded by walls of crystal, 
which appear clearly before daylight ; but the walls become 
quite invisible during an eclipse of the moon. 

" The lord Yu-kie said besides : * At the northwest, about ten 
thousand li, there exists a Kingdom of Women, who take serpents 
for husbands. Moreover, these reptiles are inoffensive. They 
live in holes, while their wives or concubines live in houses 
and palaces, and exercise all the cares of state. In this king 
dom there are no books, and they know nothing of the art 
of writing. They believe firmly in the efficacy of certain forms 
of prayers or maledictions. The women who act uprightly pro 
long their lives, and those who swerve from the right are imme- 



D HERVEY S APPENDIX. 225 

diately cut off. The worship of spirits imposes laws that none 
dare to violate. To the south of Ho-cheu (the Island of Fire) 
[probably ^, hwo, "fire," and >)\\,cheu, " an islander district"], 
situated to the south of this country, is the mountain Yen-kuen 
(Burning Mountain) [probably 0, yen, "smoke," and J|, kwun, 
" a peak, a high mountain "], the inhabitants of which eat locusts, 
crabs, and hairy serpents, to preserve themselves from the heat. 
In this land of Ho-cheu, the ho-mu (trees of fire) [probably 
>j, hwo, " fire," and /f;, muh, " wood, a tree "] grow ; their bark 
furnishes a solid tissue. Upon the summit of the mountain Yen- 
kuen there live fire rats (ho-shu) [probably jfc, hwo, "fire," 
and J3,, shu, " a rat, mouse, weasel, squirrel, or similar animal "], 
the hair of which serves also for the fabrication of an incombus 
tible stuff, which is cleansed by fire instead of by water. To the 
north of this Kingdom, of Women is the Black Valley (He-ko) 
[probably Jl|, hoh, " black," and kuh, , " a ravine, gully, gorge, 
canon "], and north of the Black Valley are mountains so high 
that they reach to the heavens. Snow covers them all the year. 
The sun does not show itself there at all. It is there, it is said, 
that the dragon Cho-long (the Luminous Dragon) resides. [Prob 
ably Q, chuh, " an illumination, a torch, to illumine," and ||, 
lung, " a dragon."] At the west is a fountain that inebriates, 
and has the taste of wine. In these regions there is also found 
a sea of varnish, of which the waves dye black the feathers and 
furs that are dipped in them, and another sea of the colour of 
milk. The territory surrounded by these natural marvels is of 
great extent and extremely fertile. Dogs, ducks, and horses of 
a great height live in it, and, finally, birds which produce human 
beings. The males born of these birds do not live. The daugh 
ters only are raised with care by their fathers, who carry them 
with their beaks or upon their wings. As soon as they commence 
to walk, they become mistresses of themselves. They are all of 
remarkable beauty and very hospitable, but they die before 
reaching the age of thirty years. 

" The rabbits of this country are white and as large as 
horses, their hair being a foot long. The sables are as large as 
wolves. Their hair is black and of extraordinary thickness. 

" The attendants of the court were much amused at these 
stories. They all laughed and dapped their hands, and said 
that letter stories had never been told. 

15 



220 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

"A minister of the emperor, named Wang-yun, interrupted 
Yu-kie with this bantering objection : * If we believe the official 
accounts which have been collected regarding the Kingdom of 
Women, situated to the west of the country of Tsan-yai and to 
the south of the Kingdom of Dogs (Keu-kwoh), it is merely in 
habited by barbarians of the race of the Kiang-jong, who have 
a woman as their sovereign ; but there has never been any ques 
tion of serpents filling the office of husbands. How do you ac 
count for that ? Yu-kie responded with pleasantry with a new 
explosion of extravagancies, in the midst of which there appeared 
here and there a true idea, burlesqued for diversion." 

This curious fragment shows that the Chinese of the sixth 
century were not as credulous as might be believed ; that they 
knew how to distinguish between the true and improbable, and 
that the extravagancies of their story-tellers, at which they were 
the first to laugh, does not diminish the merit of the writers that 
they respected. 

The Ku-ldn-tu-shu-tsi-cliing is very explicit in this respect ; 
citing several poets who in their works make allusions to Fu- 
sang, it makes the following statement : " We read in the poem 
entitled Tong-king-fu % f I ascended to the source of day and thus 
arrived at Fu-sang.^ ffwai-nan-tse has written, ( The sun issues 
from the valley Yang-Jco (the Luminous Valley) [probably It, 
yang, "the rising sun," and ^J, huh, "a ravine, valley, gully"],* 
and rises in the midst of the fu-sang trees. Yang-Hang says, 
Beyond the great sea is Fu-sang? 2ii\& Li-tai-pe writes, f At the 
extreme west is the jo-mo tree ; at the extreme east, the fu-sang 
tree. " "From all this," continues the book from which we 
cite, " it follows that Fit-sang lies to the east of China. Some 
understand that the sun really comes out of this country, or that 
Fu-sang is the sun itself ; but this is mere ignorance on their 
part. When it is said that the sun comes forth from Fu-sang, 
it simply means that the sun rises in the extreme east." 

I will conclude with some remarks regarding the description 
of the route from China to Fit-sang, given by the historian Li- 
yen, who lived at the beginning of the seventh century of our 
era, and regarding the conjectures to which this itinerary has 

* Williams s "Chinese Dictionary," p. 1071, defines "Yang-kuh," "the valley 
of sunrise in the extreme east, probably in Corea,, where Yao worshiped the sun 
at the Ternal equinox. * 



D HERVEY S APPENDIX. 22T 

given rise. According to Li-yen, the route sets out from the 
coast of Leao-tong, skirts along Japan, touches at the country of 
the Wen-shin, and then reaches the kingdom of Ta-han, from 
which the route to Fu-sang is quite direct, the distance being 
almost equal to the entire distance already traveled. The total 
length of the journey is about 44,000 li, and each of the interme 
diate distances is specified. The length of the li can not serve as 
the basis for any certain calculation as to the exact distance, be 
cause of the variations which it has suffered. The inductive 
labours of the scholars, who have attempted to determine the situ 
ation of Fu-sang from the statements of Li-yen, have heretofore 
consisted in proceeding from the known to the unknown, by at 
tempting to determine the length of the li from its value in the 
distance between Leao-tong and Japan, so as to obtain a propor 
tionate measure which would furnish the means for the identifi 
cation of the more distant regions designated by the names of 
Wen-shin, Ta-han, and Fu-sang. This very reasonable method 
meets two great difficulties in its practice one resulting from 
the fact that the particular point in Japan to which the measure 
was taken is not clearly indicated ; and the other from the fact 
that the estimate of distances by sea in a voyage of this kind can 
only be approximate. Thus, de Guignes and Neumann, who 
agree in placing the country of Wen-shin in Jesso, have differed 
regarding the identification of Ta-han, which the first thinks to 
be in Kamtchatka, and the" second upon the peninsula of Alaska, 
and this has resulted in their placing Fu-sang more or less to 
the south. But neither of these two scholars, nor M. d Eichthal, 
the Chevalier de Paravey, M. Jose Perez, or Mr. Leland, has 
hesitated to acknowledge that Fu-sang must be sought upon the 
American Continent. I do not hesitate to declare that it seems 
to me impossible to seek elsewhere for a region of a thousand 
leagues in extent, situated beyond the great ocean, to the east of 
Japan, an$ the new documents which I have been permitted to 
collect attest this to be its true location. 

The mention regarding the extent of Fu-sang is in the frag 
ment of the Shi-cheu-ki, cited above ; that of the situation of 
Fu-sang to the east of Japan is found in the preface of the 
" Ethnography of the Eastern Nations," by Ma Twan-lin, where 
it is distinctly said, "Japan is situated directly to the east of 
China, and Fu-sang is situated directly to the east of Japan " 



228 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

(Kiuen, 324, fol. 1, line 6). Ma Twan-lin adds that about thirty 
thousand li separate China from this country of the extreme 
east ; an assertion which does not in any way contradict the 
estimate of forty thousand li made by Li-yen, since the distance 
here spoken of is that in a direct line, and not the distance by a 
roundabout route. 

This positive statement of Ma Twan-lin s would be sufficient 
to destroy the singular hypothesis of Klaproth, who imagined 
that the Chinese had confounded Japan with Fu-sang, if this 
paradoxical theory did not crumble of itself at all points, as it is 
easy to demonstrate that it does. 

Klaproth does not dispute either the sincerity of the state 
ments of Hoei Shin, or the veracity of the Chineses writers who 
have spoken of Fu-sang, and confines himself to commenting 
upon their statements from his point of view. The best way of 
exposing his attempted refutation of de Guignes s memoir is to 
show how he has proceeded in his interpretation of the Chinese 
authors. 

The Prussian scholar commences by admitting, with de 
Guignes, that the country of Wen-shin must be Jesso, so that 
he is obliged to accept as the length of the li, in the time of the 
historian Li-yen, a measure proportionate to the number of li 
which this writer concedes between Leao-tong and the island of 
Jesso. Then, immediately, in order to bring the remainder of 
the itinerary into accordance with his fancy, he supposes the li 
to be less than half as long, and so small that it can not be ap 
plied to any of the measures of distance indicated by the Chinese 
geographers of any epoch. M. d Eichthal has described this 
contradiction very clearly; but that which he has not said is, that, 
in order to place Ta-han in the island of Karafto, or Tarakai, 
the same land according to him as Lieu-Jcuei, Klaproth ignores 
or pretends to be ignorant, on the one side, that the land of 
Lieu-kuei is described by the Chinese books as a peninsula and 
not as an island (" Long-wei-pi-shu? Kiuen, 4, fol. 7 ; " Wen- 
hien-tong-kao," Kiuen, 347, fol. 4), and, on the other side, that 
the countries of Lieu-kuei and Ta-han are described separately 
in the two works above named, with the important distinction 
that Lieu-kuei is described among the regions of the north, and 
Ta-han among those of the east ; this last country being located 
to the east of the Wen-shin, while Lieu-Jcuei is to their north. 



D HERVEY S APPENDIX. 229 

The question of the orientation troubled the scholarly author 
of the " Tableaux de 1 Asie " very little, it is true ; and, as the 
direction toward the east, on leaving the island of Karafto, or 
Tarakai, incommoded him, he, in order to arrive at his conclu 
sion, changed this direction, so precisely given by the Chinese 
texts, and, without ceremony, turned it arbitrarily toward the 
south. In such manner was he carried away by his imagination, 
that he concluded by supposing that the Chinese navigators of 
the seventh century thought that they were visiting Fii-sang 
when they landed upon the southeastern coast of Japan that is 
to say, in a country which had been known to them, and which 
had had constant relations with China, for more than five cent 
uries. If such reasoning had been published by an Orientalist 
of less reputation than Klaproth, it would be almost superfluous 
to expose it. 

Attention should be called, in conclusion, to the fact that 
Klaproth is the only critic who has opposed the identification of 
Fu-sang with America ; since no attention should be paid to the 
unsupported opinion of those who with closed eyes declare that 
they agree w T ith him. 

Such is the additional information drawn from the examina 
tion of a number of Chinese authors information which I have 
thought should be added to the notice of Ma Twan-lin. For a 
statement of all that has been published hitherto in European 
languages on the question of Fu-sang, as also for the latest in 
formation concerning the ethnography of North America, and 
the navigation of the Pacific, Mr. C. G. Leland s book may be 
profitably consulted. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

AKGUMENT. 

" Notices of Fu-sang and other Countries lying East of China " The origin of 
American tribes The work of H. H. Bancroft Mr. Leland s book Ma 
Twan-lin His " Antiquarian Researches " Hwui-shin s story Cophene 
No later accounts of Fu-sang The titles of the nobility The ten-year cycle 
Red pears The f u-sang tree No mention of pulque Brocade Fables 
Account of the Shih Chau Ki The article of the Marquis d Hervey de Saint- 
Denys Criticisms thereon P&ng-lai The distance of Japan and Fu-sang 
The name Fu-sang sometimes applied to Japan Mention of the fu-sang tree 
in a Chinese geography Expeditions sent to search for Fu-sang Compari 
son with Swift s "Voyage to Laputa" The Kingdom of Women Mention 
by Maundevile and Marco Polo of a land of Amazons The country of Wan 
Shan Tattooing Its existence among the Esquimaux Quicksilver Two 
kingdoms of Ta Han Lieu-kuei and the Lewchew Islands. 

Notices of Fu-sang and Other Countries lying East of China 
by Professor S. Wells Williams.* 

THE origin of the various nations and tribes inhabiting the 
American Continent is a question that has attracted the atten 
tion of antiquarians ever since the discovery of the continent 
four centuries ago. The general designation of "Indians," given 
by Columbus to the people whom he met, shows the notion then 
entertained of their Asiatic origin, not less than his ignorance of 
their true position. Since that time, numerous antiquarians 
have given us their ideas and researches upon this obscure sub 
ject. Some have combined many scattered facts so as to uphold 
their crude fancies ; while others have formed a theory, and 
then hunted over the continent for facts to prove it. When 
their various works are brought together, comparison only shows 
how little which can lead to a definite conclusion has yet been 
really ascertained. The digest of the most careful of these trav 
elers, and the candid analysis of the works of antiquarians and 



PROFESSOR WILLIAMS S ARGUMENT. 231 

philologists, given by H. H. Bancroft in the fifth volume of his 
laborious work on the " Native Races of the Pacific States " (pp. 
1-136), fully upholds his concluding sentence as to the present 
state of this question : " To all whose investigations are a search 
for truth, darkness covers the origin of the American peoples and 
their primitive history, save for a few centuries preceding the 
conquest. The darkness is lighted up here and there by dim 
rays of conjecture, which only become fixed lights of facts in 
the eyes of antiquarians whose lively imaginations enable them 
to see best in the dark, and whose researches are but a sifting 
out of supports to a preconceived opinion." 

Since the publication of this work, in 1875, attention has 
been again directed to a hypothesis as to the origin of the na 
tive races namely, that America was peopled from China by 
the issue of Mr. C. G. Leland s book, entitled " Fusang, or the 
Discovery of America by Chinese Buddhist Priests in the Fifth 
Century." Mr. Bancroft had already collected the leading data 
upon this particular point (volume v, pp. 34-51), and Mr. Le- 
land adduces no new facts.* He brings together in a conven 
ient form what he has collected from de Guignes, Neumann, and 
d Eichthal in favor of his theory ; while he analyzes and criti 
cises the remarks of Klaproth, Sampson, and Bretschneider 
against it. 

I have thought that a translation of the sections describing 
the lands lying to the east of China, found in the work of Ha 
Twan-lin, would tend to place his notice of Fu-sang in its true 
light, and help us to guess where that country should be looked 
for. This distinguished Chinese author belonged to a literary 
family, and spent his life in collecting and arranging the materials 
for his great work, the Wdn Hien Tung Kao, or "Antiquarian 
Researches," which was published about the year 1321, by the 
Mongol emperor Jin-tsung, a nephew of Kublai Khan. Ma 
Twan-lin s life was passed amid the troublous times of the con 
quests of the Mongols, and his father held a high office at the 
court of the emperors of the Sung dynasty at Hangchow. He 
was busily engaged with these labors during the whole period of 
the residence of Marco Polo in China (1275-1295), and their 
deaths probably occurred about the year 1325. 

* Attention has already been called to the fact that an earlier and shorter ar 
gument by Mr. Leland preceded Mr. Bancroft s work by many years. E. P. V. 



232 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

The "Antiquarian Researches" now contains 348 chapters 
(Men), arranged, without any natural sequence, under twenty-five 
different heads, as Chronology, Classics, Religion, Dynasties, etc. 
The last title is called Sz* X Kao, or " Researches into the Four 
Frontiers." In it are gathered together, in twenty-four chapters, 
all the information that the author could collect respecting for 
eign kingdoms and peoples. He himself seems never to have 
traveled outside of his own land ; and during the ruthless wars 
of the Mongols he was probably glad to escape all molestation 
by staying quietly at bis home at Po-yang, in Kiangsi province. 
The eight volumes containing these notices of other countries 
must consequently be regarded only as the carefully written 
notes of a retired scholar, who was unable to test their value or 
accuracy by any standard, either of his own personal observation, 
or of the criticisms of those among his acquaintances who had 
gone abroad. The energy and skill of the great Khan, so unlike 
the effete and ignorant rule of the native monarchs at Hang- 
chow, must have developed much mental and physical vigor 
among his subjects. An author like Ma Twan-lin would there 
fore be stimulated to gather all the information he could, no 
matter whence it came, to enrich his work. His design was 
more like that of Hackluyt orPurchas than that of Rollin or La 
Harpe ; and in carrying it out he has done a good service for 
the literature of his native land. 

In his survey of lands beyond the Middle Kingdom, he com 
mences on the east, and goes around to the south and west, 
describing each country without much reference to those near it. 
Having no data for ascertaining their distances, size, or relative 
importance, he makes no distinction between islands, peninsulas, 
and continents ; for all such things his countrymen are even 
now just beginning to learn. . . . 

[The first section of Ma Twan-lin s work, translated by 
Professor Williams, is that relating to Hia-i, the land of the 
"Shrimp Barbarians." These are shown to be the Ainos, and 
it does not seem necessary to copy the account here. Then 
follows his translation of the account regarding Fu-sang, which 
is given elsewhere ; upon which Professor Williams makes the 
following observations :] 

Ma Twan-lin makes no comment on this narrative, nor does 
he tell us whence Hwui-shin got it ; he did not feel obliged to 



PROFESSOR TVILLIAHS S ARGUMENT. 233 

discuss its veracity, or explain its obscurities. The first impres 
sion made upon one who reads it, with the idea that Fu-sang lay 
somewhere on the American Continent, is that it proves rather 
too much, judging by what we yet know of the nations and 
tribes who once dwelt there. I do not mean that the notices 
it gives of the houses, unwalled cities, curious mode of judging 
prisoners, and mourning customs, could not have applied to the 
natives of Mexico or Peru ; but it has not the air of the narra 
tive of a man who had actually lived there. It is easy to reply 
that all traces of the people mentioned have been lost, so that 
our present ignorance of their early civilization proves nothing 
either way. Still, this account reads more like the description 
of a land having many things in common with countries well 
known to the speaker and his hearers, but whose few peculiari 
ties were otherwise worth recording. The shaman Hwui-shin 
may have been one of the five priests who went to Fu-sang 
from Ki-pin only forty years before his arrival at Kingchau, the 
capital of the Tsi dynasty. Ki-pin is the Chinese name for 
Cophene, a region mentioned by the Buddhist traveler Fa-hien 
(chap, v) under that name, and by Strabo and Pliny as situated 
between Ghazni and Candahar, along the western slopes of 
the Suleiman Mountains, in the upper valleys of the Helmond 
River. These priests had probably traveled far north of China 
in their missionary tour, as described by de Guignes and 
d Eichthal, and lived in Fu-sang until it had become familiar to 
them. I think that Ma Twan-lin inserts Hwui-shin s account 
next to that of Hia-i, from an idea that both kingdoms lay in 
the same direction. He seems to have found no accounts of a 
later date, and the long interval of seven centuries had furnished 
nothing worth recording about a land so insignificant as Fu- 
sang. We can hardly imagine that such would have been the 
case with a country to be reached by a long sea-voyage, one 
where stupendous mountains, great rivers, well-built cities or 
citadels, and people with black or dark-red complexions, would 
each make a deep impression upon an Asiatic. It is just as 
likely that junks drifted across the Pacific Ocean in the sixth 
century as in the nineteenth ; but Hwui-shin is as silent respect 
ing the manner in which he returned from Fu-sang, as of the 
way he reached it. If the five priests had traveled toward 
Okotsk, and beyond the river Anadyr, till they reached Beh- 



234: AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

ring s Straits, and then slowly found their way down to warmer 
climes, this would naturally form part of the story. Silence on 
all these points makes one hesitate in coming to the conclusion 
that Fu-sang formed any part of America. 

The internal evidences to be deduced from what is stated 
are still more opposed to that conclusion. In our present state 
of knowledge of the ancient American languages, so far as I can 
learn, it would be a vain search to look for any words among 
them suggesting the names of yueh-ki for king ; tui-lu for a 
high noble ; siao tui-lu for a secondary grandee ; and no-cha- 
sha for those of the lowest rank. It is not possible at this date 
to be quite sure what sounds were intended by the priest, or by 
the historian, to be represented by the Chinese characters used 
in transliterating the three foreign words ; but those here given 
are the present sounds in the court dialect, and probably near 
their originals. 

But the next statement, respecting the changes required every 
two years in the color of the king s dress, carries with it alto 
gether too much likeness to Chinese ritualism to be overlooked. 
It needs a little explanation to be made clear. The sexagenary 
cycle, used in Eastern Asia from remote times, is made by repeat 
ing ten stems six times in connection with twelve branches re 
peated five times ; the two characters united form the name of 
a year. The ten years containing the ten stems begin with the 
first year of the sixty. Consequently, the first and second years, 
the eleventh and twelfth, the twenty-first and twenty-second, 
and so on to the last decade, will contain the same two stems 
kiah yueh five times over ; in these two years the king s dress 
must be tsing, or azure color. In the next two, the third and 
fourth in each decade, the stems ping ting require it to be chih, 
red or carnation. In the next two the stems wu hi require it to 
be hwang, yellow ; in the fourth binary combination, the stems 
Jc&ng sin require it to be peh, white. Lastly, the two stems jin 
kwei, denoting the ninth and tenth years of each decade, close 
the series, and then his robes are to be AeA, black. These five 
are the primitive colors of Chinese philosophy. 

Nothing analogous to this custom has ever been recognized 
among the Aztec, Peruvian, or Maya people. The ten stems 
in these five couples indicate among the Chinese and Japanese 
the operation of the five elements, wood, fire, earth, metal, water, 



PROFESSOR WILLIAMS S ARGUMENT. 235 

in their active and passive exhibitions ; each one destroys its 
predecessor, and produces its successor, in a perpetual round of 
evolutionary forces. The mention of such an observance in Fu- 
sang seems to fix its location in Eastern Asia, where the sexa 
genary computation of time has long been known. It was a 
curious usage, which would strike a priest familiar with the Chi 
nese ritual. 

The same may be said of the worship of ancestral manes and 
images, and of the three years mourning by the new king. The 
efforts to explain the big horns of the oxen, the red pears which 
will keep a year, and the vehicles drawn by horses, have each 
their difficulties if applied to anything yet known of the na 
tions of ancient America along the Pacific coast, but may be 
applied to Northern Asia with some allowances. I think the red 
pears may denote persimmons, which are dried for winter use, 
and to this day form a common article for native ships stores. 

The identification of the tree fu-sang, on which the notice 
chiefly turns, is not yet complete. Klaproth refers it to the Hi 
biscus rosa sinensis; but I agree with Dr. Bretschneider in mak 
ing it to be the Broussonetia papyri/era, or paper-mulberry, a 
common and useful tree in Northeastern Asia. The use asserted 
to be made of the bark in manufacturing paper and dresses does 
not apply to the Hibiscus nearly so well, though that plant also 
produces some textile fibers, as does also another large tree not 
yet entirely identified, belonging to the family Tiliaceae or lin 
dens. The further statement, too, that its shoots are eatable 
like those of the bamboo, is inapplicable to the agave of Mexico 
as well as to the Hibiscus, the linden, or Broussonetia, none of 
which are endogenous. It is one of the inaccuracies of the de 
scription, and can not be reconciled with either plant. The 
maguey made from the agave is better fitted for threads and 
cloths than for making paper. The fruit or berry of the Brous 
sonetia is reddish, indeed, but no one would liken it to a It or 
pear. If the agave is intended, as Mr. Leland urges, it is very- 
probable that Hwui-shin would have said something about the 
intoxicating drink called pulque, obtained from the leaves, rather 
than have likened them to the tung, as he has done. This last 
tree is either the ^Eleococca or Pawlonia, both well known in 
China and Japan ; so that an omission to speak of the pulque be 
comes rather an evidence against the agave being thefu-sang tree. 



236 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

The remark about the fibers being woven into brocade is also 
true of the Broussonetia. A beautiful fabric is made in Japan 
by weaving them with a woof of silk ; but nothing of this sort 
could be made from the weak agave fibers. Moreover, the 
Broussonetia has not been found in Mexico, although Neumann 
thinks that it once existed there. . . . The word kin (Jg), ap 
plied to the curious paper-silk brocade manufactured from the 
fu-sang bark, according to Ma Twan-lin s text, is also applied to 
embroidery and parti-colored textures. It is not so much the 
damask-like figure that is the essential point ; but among the 
Chinese the kin always has a variety of colors. This seems to 
have attracted the attention of Hwui-shin, and the remarkable 
iridescence of some specimens of this Japanese mulberry silk still 
excites admiration. Professor Neumann says that in the year 
books of Liang he found the reading to be mien ($^), " floss " ; 
but the textual character kin has more authority in its favor, and 
is found in the Yuen Kien Lui Han. He translates the sentence: 
" From the bark they prepare a sort of linen which they use for 
clothing, and a sort of ornamental stuff." The word pu, here 
rendered linen, is now confined to cotton fabrics ; but the distinc 
tion aimed at in the two terms used seems to have been that of 
a plain fabric and a brocaded one, like the Japanese nisiki. 

It may be added, lastly, that many fables have gathered 
around the tree and the country of Fu-sang, which increase the 
difficulty of their identification. For instance, the Shih Chau 
Ki, quoted in the native lexicon Pei-wtin Yin Fu, says : " The 
fu-sang grows on a land in the Pih Hai, or Azure Sea, where it 
is abundant ; the leaves resemble the common mulberry (sang), 
and it bears the same kind of berries (shin, ^g) ; the trunk rises 
several thousand rods (chang), and is more than two thousand 
rods in girth. Two trunks grow from one root, and lean upon 
each other as they rise ; whence it gets the name fu-sang, i. e., 
supporting mulberry." * The use of the technical word shin for 
the fruit of the fu-sang is a very strong argument for its being 
the Broussonetia, and shows that its affinity to the silk mulberry 
(Mbrus) had been noticed. 

* This is evidently a philological myth ; as one of the meanings of the charac 
ter FU is " to prop up, support," * the name FU-SANG was supposed to mean 
"the supporting mulberry," and the tale given above was probably invented to 
account for it. It appears, however, that there is a species of double maguey, or 



PROFESSOR WILLIAMS S ARGUMENT. 237 

Since the publication of Mr. Leland s book, the Marquis 
d Hervey de Saint-Denys, who has succeeded Stanislas Julien 
in the Chinese Professorship at Paris, has contributed a paper 
in the Transactions of the Academy of Inscriptions and Belles- 
Letters for 1876, which contains some additional notices of Fu- 
sang. Among these is an extract translated from the Liang $? 
Kung Ki, or " Memoirs of Four Lords of the Liang Dynasty," 
which throws some light on the times in which Hwui-shin lived, 
and the circumstances attending his arrival at King-chau. The 
marquis shows that it was just at the overthrow of the Tsi 
dynasty that the priest came as envoy from Fu-sang, and bad to 
wait three years before the Emperor Wu-ti, of the Liang dy 
nasty, could receive him. The section in Ma Twan-lin he justly 
regards as a copy of the official report made to his superiors by 
Yu Kieh, one of these four lords, obtained from Hwui-shin, the 
envoy. It is quite unlike the usage in such cases that nothing is 
said in the official annals of the presents offered by him ; these, 
if they had come from America, would have been different from 
anything before seen, and therefore likely to be recorded. Such 
a list, however, did not necessarily fall within Ma s purpose when 
describing Fu-sang. The marquis notices some of the presents 
offered, which are spoken of in the " Memoirs of the Four Lords," 
and also some popular notions of that day concerning Fu-sang. 
He identifies the envoy with the shaman Hwui-shin, and con 
cludes, with reason, that he was one of the five priests who went 
in the year 458 from Ki-pin. I have no copy of the Liang Sz J 
JTung Ki, and therefore quote his translation : 

"At the commencement of the year 502,* an envoy from the 
kingdom of Fu-sang was introduced, and, having offered different 
things from his country, the emperor ordered Yu Kieh to in 
terrogate him on the manners and productions of Fu-sang, the 
history of the kingdom, its cities, rivers, mountains, etc., in 

that the plant sometimes throws out two flowering-stalks instead of one ; as Saha- 
gun refers to it in the following words : 220 " The god Xolotl took to flight and 
hid himself in a field of maize, where he metamorphosed himself into a stalk of 
that plant, having two lower portions with separate roots, which the labourers call 
xolotl ; but having been discovered among the maize, he fled a second time and hid 
himself among the magueys, where he changed himself into a double maguey, which 
is called mexolotl (from metl, maguey, and xolotl )." E. P. V. 

* This clause should read, "At the commencement of the years called tien-kien," 
i. e., about the year 502. E. P. V. 



238 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

conformity to the usage practiced at court whenever a foreign 
envoy visited it. The envoy from Fu-sang wept, and replied 
with a respectful animation, says the Chinese text, such as an 
old man would exhibit when he found himself in his own country 
after a long absence.* The presents which he offered consisted 
especially of three hundred pounds of yellow silk, produced by 
worms found on the fu-sang tree, and of extraordinary strength. 
The censer of the emperor, made of solid gold, weighed fifty 
catties (between fifty and sixty pounds), and three f threads of 
this silk held it up without breaking. Among the presents was 
also a kind of semi-transparent stone, carved in the form of a 
mirror, in which, when the sun s image was examined, the palace 
in the sun distinctly appeared. . . . 

" One day, while he was entertaining the court about foreign 
countries, the magnate Yu Kieh began to speak thus : In the 
extreme east is Fu-saug. A kind of silk-worm is found there, 
which is seven feet long and almost seven inches around. The 
color is golden. It takes a year to raise them. On the eighth 
day of the fifth moon the worms spin a yellow silk, which they 
stretch across the branches of the fu-sang, for they wind no co 
coons. This native silk is very weak ; but, if it be boiled in the 
lye made from the ashes of fit-sang wood, it will acquire such 
strength that four strands well twisted together are able to hold 
up thirty catties. The eggs of these silk-worms are as big as 
swallows eggs. Some of them were taken to Corea ; but the 
voyage injured them, and when they hatched out they were or 
dinary silk-worms. The king s palace is surrounded with walls 
of crystal. They begin to be clear before daylight, and become 
all at once invisible when an eclipse of the moon occurs. 

"The magnate Yu Kieh proceeded to say : About ten thou 
sand li northwest of this region there is a Kingdom of Women ; 
they have serpents for husbands. The serpents are J venomous 
and live in holes, while their spouses dwell in houses and pal 
aces. No books are seen in this kingdom, nor have the people 

* The pamphlet, from which Professor Williams translated, might leave it to be 
inferred that the phrase, " such as an old man would exhibit when he found him 
self in his own country after a long absence," was contained in the Chinese text. 
It is, however, merely a comment, made by M. d Hervey de Saint-Denys. E. P. V. 

f The word " three " should be " six." E. P. V. 

\ This clause should read, " The serpents are not venomous." E. P. V. 



PROFESSOR WILLIAMS S ARGUMENT. 239 

any writing. They firmly believe in the power of certain sor 
ceries. The worship of the gods imposes obligations which no 
one dares to violate. In the middle * of the kingdom is an island 
of fire with a burning mountain, whose inhabitants eat hairy 
snakes to preserve themselves from the heat ; rats live on the 
mountain, from whose fur an incombustible tissue is woven, 
which is cleaned by putting it into the fire instead of washing it. 
North of this Kingdom of Women there is a dark valley ; and 
still farther north are some mountains covered with snow whose 
peaks reach to heaven. The sun never shines there, and the lu 
minous dragon dwells in this valley. West of it is an intoxi 
cating fountain whose waters have the taste of wine. In this 
region is likewise found a sea of varnish whose waves dye plumes 
and furs black ; and another sea having the color of milk. The 
land surrounded by these wonders is of great extent, and exceed 
ingly fertile. One sees there dogs and horses of great stature, 
and even birds which produce human beings. The males born 
of them do not live ; the females are carefully reared by their 
fathers, who carry them on their wings ; as soon as they begin 
to walk they become mistresses of themselves. They are re 
markably beautiful and very hospitable, but they die before the 
age of thirty. The hares of that land are as big as the horses 
elsewhere, having fur a foot long. The sables are like wolves 
for size, with black fur of extraordinary thickness. 

" The courtiers were greatly amused with these recitals, 
laughing and clapping their hands, while they assured the nar 
rator that they had never heard better stories. One minister in 
terrupted Yu Kieh by a bantering objection : ( If one can put 
any trust in the official reports collected in relation to this King 
dom of Women, it might be all simply inhabited by savages who 
are governed by a woman ; there would then be no question re 
specting this matter of serpents acting as husbands. How would 
you then arrange this matter ? 

" Yu Kieh answered pleasantly, that he had nothing more to 
say on that point ; and then he went on from one strange story 
to another still more strange, in which one part truth was mixed 
with nine parts invention." 

The whole paper from which this extract is taken does credit 
to its author s researches into this matter, however much we may 
* For " In the middle " read "At the south." -E. P. V. 



240 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

differ from his inferences. On a previous page he adduces fur 
ther proof from two early Chinese authors, who mention Fu- 
sang. One of them is Kiuh Yuen, who nourished about B. c. 
300, and wrote the poem Le Sao, or " Dissipation of Sorrows," 
which has since become a classic among his countrymen. In it, 
the marquis says, " he traveled in thought to the four quarters of 
the universe. On the north he perceived the land of long days 
and long nights ; on the south, the boundless ocean met his 
view ; on the west, he saw the sun set in a lake, perhaps the 
Tengiri-nor or the Caspian Sea ; on the east, in spite of the vast- 
ness of the Pacific, and of the idea which would naturally pre 
sent itself to his mind as the sun rose from the abyss of waters, 
he beheld the far-off shores receive the beams of Aurora, and in 
a valley, on a land shaded by the fu-sang tree, he places the lim 
its of the extreme east." 

He also calls in another author to fortify the poet, namely, 
Tung Fang-soh, whose work, the Shin-i King, or " Record of 
Strange Wonders," was extant in the Han dynasty, but was af 
terward lost. That now bearing his name has been manipulated 
by subsequent authors, and Mr. Wylie regards it as a production 
of the fourth or fifth century, and " the marvelous occupies so 
large a portion that it has never been received as true narrative." 
But the marquis does not so regard it : " The works of Tung 
Fang-soh, which treat of regions most remote from China, have 
undergone some slight alterations at the dictum of the Chinese 
literati, who inform us that the alterations which they suspect 
date back to the fourth century after Christ. Their criticism, 
far from diminishing for us its authority, becomes, on the con 
trary, a valuable testimony of its authenticity at that date. 
This it what it says : * East of the Eastern Ocean is the country 
of Fu-sang. When one lands on its shores, if he continue to 
travel on by land still further east ten thousand li, he will again 
come to a blue sea, vast, immense, and boundless. I think that 
I hazard nothing in saying beforehand that it is impossible to 
apply these indications of Tung Fang-soh to any other country 
than America." 

Fu-sang and Pang-lai are still used among the Chinese for 
fairy land, and are referred to by the common people very much 
as the Garden of the Hesperides and Atlantis were among the 
ancient Greeks. In Hankow, when a shopkeeper wishes to praise 



PROFESSOR WILLIAMS S ARGUMENT. 24:1 

the quality of his goods, he puts on his sign that they are from one 
or other of these lands. The latter is perhaps the more common 
of the two, for it has become associated with the conqueror 
Tsin Chi Hwangti, who sent an expedition, about B.C. 220, 
easterly to find it and two other islands, called San Sien Shan, 
or Three Fairy Hills, where the genii live. Pang-lai is now the 
name of a district in the province of Shantung (better known 
from the pref ectural city Tangchau, west of Chef u), which com 
memorates this expedition after the fairies. Nothing was more 
natural to people living along the Yellow River, in the days of 
Kiuh Yuen and Tung Fang-soh, when Shantung was inhabited 
by wild tribes, than to regard all that little known region in the 
utmost east as the abode of whatever and whoever were wonder 
ful. To quote such legends as corroborative history or travel, 
needs the support of some authentic statement to begin with ; 
and Hwui-shin would be as likely to connect his account with 
something his hearers would recognize as existing in that direc 
tion, as to make up a story. I do not infer that neither the Chi 
nese nor Japanese of the sixth century had any knowledge of 
the American Continent from other sources, for it was as easy 
then for vessels to drift across the Pacific as they still do ; but 
they could not drift back again, and, when once landed anywhere 
between Alaska and Acapulco, the sailors were not likely to try 
a second voyage to reach their homes. 

There is, furthermore, an unexplained point how the name of 
the treefu-sang came to be applied to the kingdom Fu-sang. 
If the Broussonetia be the plant denoted, and everything con 
firms this deduction, one would have expected its identity or 
likeness to the chu shu, its Chinese name, to have been men 
tioned. It is, however, quite as probable that the tree got its 
name from the country, for the manufacture of paper from its 
bark does not seem to have been known in the days of Kiuh 
Yuen. 

Yu Kieh s pleasant account of Fu-sang and its silk-worms 
tends rather to show that in his day it was a region which every 
one could people with what he chose. The use of silk among 
the people on the Pacific coast was, according to H. H. Ban 
croft, mostly confined to the Mayas in Central America ; it was 
by no means a common product, and mostly used in combination 
with cotton. This reference by Yu Kieh, although so exagger- 
16 



242 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

ated, tends to show that Fu-sang was regarded as on the western 
side of the Pacific Ocean ; and I am inclined to place it in Sag- 
halien Island. 

De Guignes lays much stress on the alleged distance of Fu- 
sang from Ta-han, and ingeniously reduces the 20,000 li, or 7,000 
miles, to an actual estimate of the road taken by Hwui-shin (Le- 
land, p. 128) to get there. In the introduction to his accounts 
of all these eastern countries, in chap. 324, Ma Twan-lin places 
the Flowery Land in the center of the universe, and then adds : 
" East of China lies Wo-kwoh, also called Japan ; east of Wo- 
kwoh, farther on, lies Fu-sang, about 30,000 li from China." 
These figures are much too hap-hazard to depend on in settling 
this point, and carry less weight than such internal evidence as 
we can analyze. If compared with other distances applied to those 
regions by this author, we soon find how valueless they all are. 
No one in the sixth century had any means of measuring long 
distances, or taking the bearings of places, so as to make even a 
rough guess as to their relative positions, if he had tried to make 
a map. For an illustration of this remark, see Dr. Bretschnei- 
der s article in " Transactions of North China Branch of the Royal 
Asiatic Society," No. X, 1876, where he gives an example of 
Asiatic map-making in A. D. 1331, to show the divisions of the 
Mongol Empire. It looks like a checker-board. 

The position of Fu-sang can not therefore be yet settled from 
these notices ; but we may, as the Marquis d Hervey de Saint- 
Denys hopefully remarks, yet see the day when the immense 
riches hidden and almost lost in Chinese books will be brought 
out, and something more definite on this head be discovered. 

I have only two other quotations to add. One is the name 
FuAhi-koku, i. e., the kingdom of Fu-sang, an unusual designation, 
known to the Japanese themselves, of their own country or a 
part of it, and which would hardly have been applied to a land 
on the other side of the Pacific Ocean. The other is the men 
tion found in the Ying-hioan Chi Lioh, or " Geography of the 
World," by SiiKi-yii, the late governor of Fuhkien, who wrote it 
in 1848. In speaking of the troubles in Corea caused by the 
Mongol invasion, and the ravages of the Japanese corsairs along 
the Chinese coast during the Ming dynasty, he proceeds to say : 
" But as the rising grandeur of our present Imperial house began 
to diffuse itself afar, its quick intelligence perceived that it ought 



PROFESSOR WILLIAMS S ARGUMENT. 243 

first to scatter [as it were] slips from ihefu-satig tree in the Valley 
of Sunrise ; and thereby those lands (Corea and Japan) were awed 
into submission for many years, and our eastern frontier remained 
quiet and protected ; neither of these nations presumed to en 
croach on our possessions. " The Valley of Sunrise, used in the 
Shu King, or " Book of Records," is regarded as a synonym of 
Corea, and thefu-sang tree is here connected with that land. A 
few sentences on, Governor Su quotes from another book, called 
" Records of Ten Islands or Regions " : " In the sea toward the 
northeastern shores lie Fu-sang, Pang-kiu, and Ying-chau ; their 
entire circuit is a thousand li." He then adds : " I think that the 
story about these Three Fairy Hills arose from the exaggerated 
descriptions of our own writers, who used them to deceive and 
mislead men ; for really they were small islands, contiguous to 
Japan and belonging to it. If their ships of that period went to 
them out in the ocean, why could not [our people ?] find them 
if they had searched for them ? " He then relates the quixotic 
expedition sent by Tsin Chi Hwangti under Si! Fuh to find 
them, with several thousand men and women, none of whom 
ever returned. From this reference it may be concluded that 
Governor Sil regarded Fu-sang and the other two to belong to 
the Kurile Islands near Yezo. He had access to many works 
in his own literature, and took unwearied pains to get at the 
truth of what he was writing about, by asking intelligent 
foreigners who were able to tell him. Among these were Rev. 
David Abeel (whose aid he acknowledges), and M. C. Morrison, 
a son of Rev. Dr. Morrison, the missionary. His opinion de 
serves to be received as that of an intelligent scholar, though he 
knew nothing of the question started by de Guignes. 

In reading the marquis s translation of Yu Kieh s story, an 
English scholar can hardly fail to compare it with the " Voyage 
to Laputa " ; for that land was placed not far from Fu-sang by 
its clever discoverer and historian. Dean Swift, like Yu Kieh, 
drew on his imagination for his facts. The numerous references 
in that " Voyage " to the people of China, their institutions, pecul 
iarities, costumes, and manners, must have been derived or sug 
gested to him by the writings of Semedo, Martini, Mendez 
Pinto, and other travelers in Asia before 1720, which were prob 
ably in Sir William Temple s library. But one would almost as 
soon think of quoting Swift s assertion in chapter iii of this " Voy- 



244 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

age " regarding " the two lesser stars or satellites which revolve 
about Mars," as proof that Professor Asaph Hall s discovery of 
1876 had been already known in Queen Anne s reign, as to seri 
ously undertake from these Chinese authors to prove that they 
knew the American Continent by the name of Fu-sang. 

[Then follows the translation of the account of the " King 
dom of Women," which is given in full in the seventeenth chap 
ter of this work. Professor Williams comments :] 

From this account, following that of Fu-sang, we might con 
clude that Ma Twan-lin regarded Hwui-shin alone as his author 
ity for both of them, as he is quoted at the beginning of each 
section. But the incident of A. D. 508 may have been taken 
from the " History of the Liang Dynasty. " The mention of Tsin- 
ngan, however, as the residence of the shipwrecked man who 
found the Ntl Kwoh, shows how little dependence can be placed 
on the Buddhist priest s estimate of the distance or direction of 
either Fu-sang or Nti Kwoh from China. The only seaport of 
that day named Tsin-ngan was the present Pu-tien Men, identical 
with the prefectural city of Hing-hwa, situated between Fuhchau 
and Tstien-chau in the province of Fuhkien. This man was 
probably a fisherman, bound for the Pescadore Islands, who was 
driven off by a storm through the Bashee Straits into the Pacific 
Ocean, among the islands east of the Philippines. I think the 
priest is not responsible for the sailor s story, as it is omitted in 
the Yuen Kien Lui Han, and only the first part given. The 
legend of the Nil Kwoh probably applies to two places. Sir 
John Maundevile * places his Lond of Amazoyne beside the 
Lond of Caldee where Abraham dwelt ; but his Yle of Nacume- 
ra, where "alle the men and women of that Yle have Houndes 
Hedes ; and thei ben clept Cynocephali," might be looked for 
where the " History of the Liang Dynasty " puts them as well 
as anywhere else. 

In his Book of Marco Polo " (ed. 1871, vol. ii, pp. 338-340), 
Colonel Yule has brought together notices of the various legends 
which have appeared from time to time in Eastern Asia of this 
fabled land of females, to illustrate what the Venetian has reported 
in chapter xxxi about the " Two Islands called Male and Female." 
In his other admirably edited work, "Cathay, and the Way 
Thither" (p. 324), he alludes to the report of Marignolli, about 

* " Maundevile s Voyage," ed. by nalliwcll, 1839, pp. 154, 197. 



PROFESSOR WILLIAMS S ARGUMENT. 245 

A. D. 1330, of a kingdom in Sumatra ruled by women. The first 
part of Ma s notice, which is certainly ascribed to the shaman, 
leads one to look northeasterly toward the Kurile Islands for people 
with so much hair ; and suggests a comparison with the inhab 
itants of Alaska called Kuchin Indians, described in Bancroft s 
" Native Races " (vol. i, pp. 115, 147, sqq.). But it would not be 
worth while to spend much time in looking for this fabled land, 
had not the idea got abroad that its location would aid in identi 
fying Fu-sang with some part of America. 

[Next comes Professor Williams s translation of the account 
of the Wtin SMn, or the land of " Marked Bodies," found in 
the seventeenth chapter of this work, as to which he says :] 

It is not certain whether marking and painting the body, or 
tattooing, is intended by this term wan sMn ; but as the Chi 
nese have a technical term, king, Hj, used in this extract * to de 
note the process, it proves that tattooing must be here intended. 
This practice is less common among the islanders in the North 
Pacific than in the South, where a warmer climate enables them 
to show off their pretty colors and figures. The courses and 
distances from Japan here given would land us in Alaska ; but 
no weight can be attached to them in this quotation from the 
Liang records. 

The distinction of rank, indicated by the different lines de 
scribed in this extract, is like that in force among the Eskimo 
tribes near Icy Cape, as described by Armstrong : " At Point 
Barrow the women have on the chin a vertical line about half 
an inch broad in the center, extending from the lip, with a 
parallel but narrower one on either side of it, a little apart. 
Some had two vertical lines protruding from either angle of the 
mouth, which is a mark of their high position in the tribe " 
(Bancroft, vol. i, p. 48). The practice of tattooing has been 
so common at various times among the Chinese, Japanese, and 
other inhabitants of Eastern Asia, that nothing can be inferred 
regarding the country here intended. The singular notice of 
filling the moat with quicksilver may be paralleled by Sz ma 
Tsien s description of the wonderful subterranean tomb of the 
great conqueror Tsin Chi Hwangti (B. c. 270) in Shensi, wherein 
he tells us that "rivers, lakes, and seas were imitated by means 

* I am unable to find this character in Ma Twan-lin s Chinese account of the 
country of " Marked Bodies." E. P. V. 



246 AN INGLOKIOUS COLUMBUS. 

of quicksilver caused to flow in constant circulation by mechan 
ism." 

[After giving the translation of the account of the country 
of Ta Han, Professor Williams says :] 

In chapter ccxxxi of the Yuen Kien Lui Han, a valuable Cyclo 
paedia, compiled by orders of the Emperor Kanghi, and issued in 
1710, this section is quoted verbatim from the Nan Shi of Li 
Yen-shau, the same source from which Ma Twan-lin got it. 
Though that history contains the records of the Liang dynasty 
(A. r>. 502-557), it was not written till about one century after 
ward, in the Tang dynasty ; and during that interval nothing 
more seems to have been learned about the lands of Fu-sang, Ta 
Han, or Nil Kwoh. Nor had Ma Twan-lin found anything in his 
day, six centuries afterward, to add to what the shaman Hwui- 
shin reported ; while this Cyclopaedia the product of a com 
mission of learned men who ransacked the literature of China to 
find whatever was valuable and insert it contains just the same 
story, hoary with the twelve hundred years repose it had had in 
the Nan Shi. To show the carelessness of these compilers in their 
work, in chapter ccxli another kingdom is described under the 
name of Ta Han, but not a word is added to indicate how two 
kingdoms should have had the same name. This last is equally 
vague with the first in respect to its identification, and reads as 
follows : 

"The New Records of the Tang Dynasty say: Ta Han 
borders on the north of Kuh; it is rich in sheep and horses. 
The men are tall and large, and this has given the name Ta Han 
(i. e., Great China) to their country. This kingdom and Juh are 
both conterminous with JZieh-Jciah-sz 1 , and therefore they were 
never seen as guests [in our court]. But during the reigns 
Ching-kwan and Yung-hwui (A. D. 627 to 656) they presented 
sable skins and horses, and were received. It may be that they 
have come once since that time. " 

The compilers of the Cyclopaedia abridged this extract some 
what, for they do not refer to Lake Baikal, where Ta Han joins 
the countries of the Kieh-kiah-sz\ and Kuh, and thus help to 
identify it. The next section contains an extract of seven pages 
from the " New Records of Tang " about the Kieh-kiah-sz\ or 
Hakas, whom Klaproth regards as the ancestors of the Kirghis 
now dwelling in Tomsk. If half of this account be true, the 



PROFESSOR WILLIAMS S ARGUMENT. 247 

Hakas formed a powerful kingdom in the Tang dynasty, and 
their neighbors Ta Han and Kuh are to be looked for on the 
river Yenisei, or more probably between the Angara and Vitim 
rivers. 

The effort of Professor Neumann to identify the first-named 
Ta Han with Alaska, simply because he places Wan Shan 
among the Aleutian Islands, and Ta Han lies 5,000 U east of it, 
is based alone on reported distances that are mere guesses. Mr. 
Leland also refers to de Guignes s opinion that Ta Han meant 
Kamtchatka, and that Wan Shan was Yezo, and adds this com 
ment : " De Guignes determined with great intelligence that 
the country of the Wen-schin, 7,000 li northwest of Japan, must 
be Jezo, from the exact agreement of the accounts given of that 
country by Chinese historians of the early part of the sixth cent 
ury (Goei-chi and Ven-hien-tum-hao, A. D. 510-515) with that 
of Dutch navigators in 1643. Both describe the extraordinary 
appearance of the natives, and speak of the abundance of a 
peculiar mineral resembling quicksilver " (p. 129). Mr. Leland 
has been misled, in regard to this agreement, by not knowing 
that these supposed historians are only the names of two books, 
viz., " Records of the Wei Dynasty " (A. D. 386 to 543), and 
the same " Antiquarian Researches " from which I have trans 
lated these sections. He also assumes that Hwui-shin and his 
predecessors went by sea, adding that this was "no impossible 
thing at a time when in China both astronomy and navigation 
were sciences in a high sense of the word." 

[Then follow the accounts of the "Land of Pygmies," of 
the " Kingdom of Giants," and of the " Islands of Lewchew," 
none of which have any direct bearing upon the account re 
garding Fu-sang, the "Women s Kingdom," or the countries 
passed on the way thither. Professor Williams continues :] 

In concluding these extracts from Ma Twan-lin s writings, I 
need hardly draw attention to the vagueness which marks them, 
when we look for any definite information. His long chapter 
on Japan bears more marks of well-digested information than 
any of those which are here given, and indicates constant inter 
course between it and China. Mr. Leland quotes from several 
authors whatever will elucidate and uphold his theory respecting 
Fu-sang, and deserves thanks for his research in this interesting 
question. He has, however, been led astray by a similarity, or 



248 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

an error in spelling, to confound Kamtchatka with Lewchew.* 
. . Mr. Leland has a note in which he says : " It [ie., the ac 
count of the kingdom of Zsieu-Tcuei] is evidently borrowed from 
the Tang-schu, but is much better arranged, and contains some 
original incidents, on which account I have freely availed my 
self of it." I have no means of verifying this statement, and 
therefore am unable to say how far Ma quoted from the " History 
of the Tang," and also to explain whether Kamtchatka was ever 
called Lieu-kuei, and what the Chinese characters for this name 
are, or whether Lieu-kuei is a misprint for Liu-kiu or Lew- 
chew. The name of this insular kingdom has been written a 
dozen ways by foreigners ; it is called Riu-kiu by the Japanese, 
Doo-choo by the inhabitants, Low-kow by the Cantonese, and 
Lewchew by the Ningpo people ; but it could never have been 
confounded with Kamtchatka by either of them. 

* It appears that Professor Williams was led to confound Liu-Hu (^ ]Ejj), 
or Lewchew, with Lieu-hud (ffifc ^j| characters transcribed in Professor Will- 
iams s dictionary as Liu-kwei), a term which seems, beyond question, to have 
been applied to Kamtchatka. The fact that he did not learn the characters for 
the term Lieu-kuei is evidently the cause of his error ; and in this case it was he, 
and not Mr. Leland, who was led astray by the similarity in sound of the two 
names, one of which was applied to the Lewchew Islands and the other to Kam 
tchatka. E. P. V. 



CHAPTER XV. 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION. NATURE OP THE CHINESE LAN 
GUAGE. 

Fu-sang wood NiS-yao-kiun-ti The Warm Spring Valley The Shin I King 
The kingdom Hi-ho-koue The astronomer Hi-ho The story of a Corean 
An island of women P*ung-lai An expedition to explore it The coloniza 
tion of Japan Lang Yuen The Kwun-lun Mountains A statue of a native 
of Fu-sang A poem to his memory The tree of stone Varying translations 
The peculiarities of the Chinese language The brevity and conciseness of 
the written language Its lack of clearness The meaning of groups of char 
acters, or compounds Proper names No punctuation Difficulty of trans 
lating correctly Preparation of M. Julien Illustrations of mistakes. 

To the information regarding Fu-sang, which is contained in 
the quotations given in the preceding chapters, a few additional 
items may be added. Klaproth states 1666 that some Japanese 
writers report that a blackish, petrified wood is found in their 
country, which is highly valued, and which is called fu-sang 
wood, or wood of the country of Fu-sang : that this country is 
Japan, which has received this name because of its beauty, in 
which it resembles the shrub fu-sang, which is, as is well known, 
the species of hibiscus which we designate by the name of rosa 
Sinensis. 

1667 A passage of the Shan Hai King, quoted by some Japan 
ese authors, reads as follows : 

" In the vast space placed at the eastern extremity of the 
world is the mountain Nie-yao-Jciun-ti. It is there that the tree 
fu-sang grows. Its height is three hundred li. Its leaves re 
semble those of mustard. Near this, to the east, is the valley 
Wen-yuan-ku." The Chinese words, " 2ffi<&-yao-kiun-ti" are pro 
nounced by the Japanese " I-yo-Jcun-te" and the Japanese author 
adds that this is lyo, one of the four provinces of the island 



250 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

of Si-kokf. The valley Wen-yuan-ku is also called ^Pang-kit, 
or " Warm Springs." 

We read in another Chinese work, called Shin I King : "In 
the eastern part of the world there is a mulberry-tree eight hund 
red feet in height ; it covers a large space of ground, and its 
leaves are ten feet long and six or seven broad. Upon this tree 
there live silk-worms three feet in length, of which the cocoons 
furnish a pound of silk. The fruit of this tree is three feet and 
five inches long." 

The following passage is found in another chapter of the 
Shan Hai King : " Beyond the southeastern ocean, and between 
the Kan-shui, or the " Pleasant Rivers," is the kingdom of Hi- 
ho-Jcoue (or, according to the Japanese pronunciation of the char 
acters, Ghi-wa-kokf). There lived the virgin Hi-ho (Ghi-wa), 
who espoused Ti-tsiun, and gave birth to ten suns." The same 
book also says that Hi-ho ( Ghi-wa) is the name of a kingdom 
among the countries of the east, which is also called "The 
Place where the Sun Rises." . . . 

A passage of the Shan Hai King T sang-chu, which is a com 
mentary upon the Shan Hai King, says : "In the days of the 
Emperor Hwang-ti, Hi-ho ( Ghi-wa) was the astronomer charged 
with the observations of the sun. This prince having given him 
the country of Fu-sang, he embarked with his family, settled 
there, and gave this country the name of Hi-ho-koue ( Ghi-wa 
kokf), or the country of Hi-ho. He had ten children ; the boys 
were named Yen (in Japanese, Fiko), or the male sun ; and the 
girls Ki (in Japanese, Fime), or the female sun ; the sun being 
considered as the source of all fecundity." " So,"adds the Japan 
ese author, " a man, who in our days would be called Ko-saJc, 
would at that time have been called Ko-fiko ; and a woman 
named Ouki-ne would then have been called Ouki-fime. This 
country," he continues, " was also called Wa-kokf" (in Chinese, 
Ho-koue). Wa (Ho), the second character of Ghi-wa, signifies 
tranquillity and peace ; kokf means kingdom. Wa (in Chinese, 
Ho) is, even now, one of the names of Japan. 

Klaproth also reports an incident which indicates that Hwui 
Shan told in Corea, as well as in China, the story of his advent 
ures, and that some recollection of his narration was preserved 
by the people, as the following story of a country inhabited 
by women recalls Hwui Shan s account of the "Kingdom of 



ADDITIONAL INFORMATION. 251 

Women," as well as the Chinese account of the sailors who were 
shipwrecked upon an island inhabited by women who resembled 
those of China. The incident is as follows : 1657 

The King Ihi (of Wo-tsiu, one of the divisions of Corea) 
sent emissaries to look for Koung, to capture him, so that he 
might be punished. When they had reached the eastern coast of 
the country, they asked an old man if there were any people beyond 
the sea upon the east. He answered : " Some of the inhabitants 
of this country once embarked to go a-fishing, when they were as 
sailed by a storm ; and, having been violently driven before the 
wind for ten days, they reached an island inhabited by people 
whose language they could not understand, and who had an 
ancient custom of drowning a young virgin in the sea at the 
seventh month." The same old man also stated that there was 
another country in the midst of the sea, inhabited by women, 
without any men. He said that, simply clothed in linen gar 
ments, they threw themselves into the sea, and passed it by swim 
ming. Their bodies resembled those of the Chinese women, and 
their garments had sleeves three fathoms long. Their country 
was in the midst of the sea of Wo-tsiu. 

The expedition above referred to occurred during the reign 
of the Wei dynasty, i. e., some time between 386 and 534 A. D. 2518 

As a place called P ung-lai is frequently mentioned in con 
nection with Fu-sang, the following statements regarding it may 
be of interest : 

In the year 219 B. c., 2159 during 1671 the epoch of the Japanese 
Dairi Ko-rei-ten-o, who reigned from 290 to 210 B. c., the Em 
peror Shi-hwang, of the T sin dynasty, reigned in China. He 
sent the skillful physician Siu-fu to the island of P ung-lai to 
seek for the beverage of immortality. It is stated that, not hav 
ing succeeded in this commission, he arrived at Japan, and died 
upon the mountain Fusi. The Chinese mythologists pretend 
that in the Eastern Sea there are three mountains (or islands) of 
the genii, called P ung-lai, Fang-chang, and Ing-cheu. They 
are inaccessible. To the first is also given the name of P ung- 
tao, or the island of P ung; it is said that they are covered 
with tabernacles, and with halls of gold and silver, which are 
used as the habitations of the genii. 

It is to these three islands that Tsin Shi Hwang Ti (the 
Emperor Shi Hwang, of the Tsin dynasty) sent an expedition, 



252 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

composed of some thousands of young people of both sexes, un 
der the guidance of one Tao-szu, to seek there for the remedy 
that confers immortality. The Chinese historians report that 
the fleet which bore them was shipwrecked, and that a single 
bark returned with the news of the disaster. It is seen that the 
Japanese annalists report the contrary. Sin-fu was, according 
to their statement, one of the physicians of the emperor of 
China ; he introduced into their country arts and sciences which 
they had not before known, and the Japanese have therefore 
accorded divine honours to him. 

It appears that the Chinese tradition of the three fabulous 
islands, situated in the Eastern Sea, had its origin in the vague 
ideas which they then had of Japan, which is really composed of 
three large islands, which could only be reached with difficulty 
by navigators as inexperienced as the Chinese must have been at 
that time. Other Chinese authors state that the island, or the 
mountain, of P ung-lai is found near an island situated to the 
east of CJiang-Jcoue, a district of T ai-cheu, of the province of 
Che-Many. 

Mr. Mayers adds 1189 that it is conjectured that this legend has 
some reference to attempts at colonizing the Japanese islands ; 
and M. de Rosny 2157 states that this expedition is mentioned by 
a number of Japanese historians. 

Klaproth mentions the fact that 1682 the Japanese proverbially 
apply the name P ung-lai shan to all places where treasure is 
kept. 

In Professor "VVilliams s Dictionary, 254T the term ^ $jj, LANG 
YUEN, is defined " Fairy-land." The characters mean a vacant or 
unoccupied pasture-field, or park ; and as it is a fact that there 
is much confusion between the Chinese accounts of "Fairy 
land " and of Fu-sang, this may possibly be a reference to the 
vast plains of America, which, some centuries ago, were almost 
uninhabited. 

Mr. Medhurst 1867 states that ^p Jj| (pronounced Fu-sang in 
the Mandarin dialect, and Hoo-song in the Hok-keen dialect) is 
a kind of supernatural mulberry-tree, that grows on the east of 
the JTwun-lun hill, toward the sunrising ; hence the common 
expression that the sun rises at Fu-sang. 

It is reported 2325 that the name Kwun-lun is applied to a 
range of mountains, rendered famous in Chinese history and 



ADDITIONAL INFORMATION. 253 

legend, separating Thibet from Chinese Turkestan and the Des 
ert of Gobi. It starts from the Pushtikur Knot, in latitude 36, 
N., and runs along easterly nearly parallel between that and the 
35th degree. At the 92d degree of longitude, E., in the middle 
of its course, it divides into two ranges, one declining to the 
southeast the Bajinkara, or Snowy Mountains and unites 
with the Yung Ling, or Cloudy Mountains. The other branch 
bends northerly, and, under the various names of Kilien Shan, 
In Shan, and Ala Shan, passes through Kansuh and Shinsi to 
join the Inner Hing-ngan range. The JTwun-lun range is the 
Olympus of China, and the supposed source of the Fung-sJiwin. 

Professor Williams states that the term Kwun means "a 
peak beyond comparison," and adds that the Kwun-lun range is, 
like the Caucasus among the Arabs, the fairy-land of Chinese 
writers, one of whom says its peaks are so high that when sun 
light is on one side the moonlight is on the other. 2545 The En 
cyclopaedia Britannica 1316 says that the name is derived from 
the Chinese geographers, and is probably a corruption of some 
Turkish or Thibetan word ; it appears to be unknown locally. 
The name having been adopted, chiefly on the initiative of Hum- 
boldt, before any correct geographical knowledge had been ob 
tained of the region to which it was applied, it has been used 
with inconvenient want of precision, and this has encouraged 
erroneous conceptions. Little precise information is available on 
the subject. It is worthy of notice that the name Kwun-lun is 
also applied to an island in the China Sea (Pulo Condor Island), 
probably in imitation of the Anamitic name Conon, or Koh- 
noong. 2546 

As the characters g, $f, KWUN-LUN, are composed of the 
radical for mountains, |lj, combined with the phonetics B ^, 
Kwux-LUtf, which, taken by themselves, mean 258 " the canopy of 
the sky," it seems possible that the name originally meant 
" mountains reaching to the sky," and that it may have been ap 
plied to more than one high range, somewhat as the general 
term " Alps " is applied in English. 

As in some cases Chinese characters terminating in nasals are 
intended to transcribe foreign words in which no nasal is found 
as, for instance, Kiang-lang is written for the Sanskrit Kdla, and 
Thoung-loung-mo for the Sanskrit drouma 1619 it does not seem 
impossible that, in case sufficient reason is found for believing 



254 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

the country of Fu-sang to be identical with Mexico, the name 
HTwun-lun, as applied to the mountain-range east of which Fu- 
sang is situated, may be used as the Chinese transcription of the 
Mexican word Quauhtla, meaning a mountain, or a range of 
mountains. 1918 

As an illustration of the knowledge of the country of Fu- 
sang still preserved among the people of China, the following 
translation of an account given by Mr. Chung Nam Shan, of 
San Francisco, in September, 1883, may be found of interest : 

" Some fifty li east of Canton there is a temple named the 
temple of Po-lo, outside of the door of which there stands a statue 
of a man who came from the country of Fu-sang. Here he 
lived for some years, and here he finally died ; and after his death 
he was deified and his statue placed at the door of the temple. 
He is represented as standing looking earnestly toward the east, 
with his right hand shading his eyes. At some later date a visitor 
to the temple wrote this stanza about him : 

Where the sun rises, in the land of Fu-sang, there is my home ; 
Seeking glory and riches, I came to the Kingdom of the Central Flower ; 
Everywhere the cocks crow and the dogs bark, the same in one place as 

in another, 
Everywhere the almond -trees blossom the same. " 

The last two lines are intended to be consolatory to a man 
that is homesick ; the assurance being that one place is substan 
tially the same as another, and the conclusion being that it is 
therefore foolish to grieve for any particular place. 

The Chinese believe that in " Fairy-land " (between which 
mythical land and the country of Fu-sang there is, as has been 
mentioned, more or less confusion in their traditions), or in the 
Kwun-lun mountains, 2557 there is a tree of stone, 2642 called K I I-KA^, 
" the agate gem " ; 2539 PIH-SHIT, " the green-jade-stone tree," 2657 or 
LANG-KAN-SHTi, 2536 " the coral-tree " ; which myth it will here 
after be shown may have originated from a pun, or accidental 
resemblance between two words of the Mexican language. 

Before entering upon the discussion of the account given by 
Hwui Shan, it seems necessary to give his story in full, in the 
original Chinese, as preserved for us by Ma Twan-lin, and place 
opposite to it the different translations that have been made 
by the Chinese scholars who have given the subject attention. 



NATURE OF THE CHINESE LANGUAGE. 255 

This course is necessary, as the disagreements as to the true ren 
dering of various phrases and characters are numerous and im 
portant ; and Hwui Shan s report will often be found to be 
true if a certain reading, for which there is good authority, is 
adopted, while, if the versions of other translators are accepted, 
no confirmation of the statement can be found. 

It is evident that, in cases in which some five or six translat 
ors differ radically as to the meaning of a certain clause, all but 
one are certainly mistaken as to its true meaning, and it may 
even be the case that no one of the translators has correctly ren 
dered it. The present author, therefore, while admitting that he 
has no other knowledge of Chinese than such as he has been able 
to obtain from the study of a few Chinese-English dictionaries 
and grammars, during the time that he has been interested in the 
question as to the true location of the country of Fu-sang, will 
venture to give his own translation of the account, differing in 
some points from the version given by any of the celebrated 
scholars who have preceded him. In all cases, however, the 
authorities will be quoted in full upon which he relies as justify 
ing the changes in the translation ; and it is believed that these 
authorities will be found sufficiently plain and decided, as to the 
points in question, to enable all to see the reasons for the render 
ing that is given. As, moreover, he has had the assistance of a 
number of native Chinese scholars, as well as of others who 
have made a study of the Chinese language, some one or more 
of whom he has consulted as to each doubtful point, he believes 
that his translation will be accepted as giving at least as accurate 
a rendering of the true meaning of the original as is found in any 
of the earlier versions. 

The principle has been adopted that, in all cases in which the 
Chinese text may be understood in two or more ways, one of 
which is true while the others are not, Hwui Shan is entitled to 
that translation which brings his story into conformity with 
the truth. While there is certainly great danger, in attempting 
a translation from the Chinese under this principle, that the 
translator may fail to give the true meaning of the original text, 
it nevertheless seems plain that if the account be true, such a 
course will best bring out its truth ; while, if it be false, no in 
genuity can twist it into a true description. 

The possibility of interpreting a sentence in several different 



256 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

ways arises from the peculiarities of the Chinese language. 
While it is feasible to so convey a thought in Chinese that there 
can be no misconception as to the true meaning, or as to the re 
lations which the different words of the sentence bear to one 
another, and while this is usually done in the colloquial idioms, 
yet in the written language it is made an object to convey the 
conception with the least possible number of words or characters, 
and clearness is therefore frequently sacrificed in favour of brev 
ity. 

"Before all things," says Martin, 1825 "a Chinese loves con 
ciseness. While we construct our sentences so as to guard 
against the possibility of mistake, he is satisfied with giving the 
reader a hint of his meaning. Our style is a ferry-boat, that 
carries the reader over without danger or effort on his part ; his 
is only a succession of stepping-stones, which test the agility of 
the passenger in leaping from one to another. ... In return 
for a few hints, the reader himself supplies all the links that are 
necessary for the continuity of thought." 

It is said of Confucius, for instance, 980 that he studies the 
utmost brevity and terseness, and frequently the most profound 
Chinese scholars, without the aid of commentaries, are unable to 
comprehend the meaning of his sentences. Even at this day, 
among the Chinese, a writer can scarcely lay claim to classical 
taste unless he is able to couch his thoughts in language so 
brief and obscure as to require the aid of a commentator to 
make them intelligible to the common reader. 

Dr. Bretschneider states 782 that, in translating from the Chi 
nese, the principal question is the understanding of groups of 
words in their connection, or phrases, not of single words ; for 
very often the single characters in a phrase lose completely their 
original meaning. In the dictionaries, for example, you find fu 9 
to assist, and ma, horse. Entfu ma is not an " assistant horse," 
but is used in Chinese historical writings always to designate the 
son-in-law of the emperor. Chinese literature is very rich in such 
combinations and phrases formed by two or more characters ; 
and the original meaning of the characters, in most of the cases, 
does not serve to explain the phrases. It is in vain, then, that 
you look for them in the dictionaries ; the greater part, although 
often unknown to our European Sinologues, have come down by 
tradition to the Chinese of the present day, and they are so 



NATURE OF THE CHINESE LANGUAGE. 257 

familiarized with those terms that they consider it superfluous 
to incorporate them in the dictionaries. A Chinese dictionary 
in a European language, with a good collection of phrases, is 
still a desideratum. At least all existing dictionaries are of no 
value to the reader as regards the Chinese historical style, and, 
if he consults only Morrison s or other dictionaries, he runs the 
risk of committing the greatest mistakes. 

In Chinese historical writings, or narratives of journeys, one 
meets with a great many proper names. The Chinese, in render 
ing names of countries or men, are obliged to represent every 
syllable of the name by a similar sounding hieroglyph (it is 
known that all Chinese words are monosyllabic). As every 
hieroglyph has a meaning, it is sometimes difficult for a Euro 
pean scholar, translating without a native teacher, to distinguish 
whether the characters represent only sounds, or whether they 
must be translated. European translators have often committed 
errors of this kind. 

Another difficulty, to the European reader of Chinese books, 
arises from the complete ignorance of the Chinese of our system 
of punctuation. They have some characters which denote the 
end of a period, but they seldom make use of them ; and gen 
erally one finds no break in a whole chapter ; so that the reader 
must decide for himself where a point is to be supplied. An 
erroneous punctuation sometimes changes the sense of the whole 
period, or even the whole article. 

Dr. Bretschneider adds that 781 every Sinologue knows how 
apt the ambiguous Chinese style is to give rise to misunderstand 
ings, and that often the Chinese themselves are unable to solve 
the difficulties ; and he states 783 that he is of opinion, and thinks 
every conscientious Sinologue will agree with him, that it is im 
possible to make correct translations from Chinese in Europe, 
without the assistance of a good native scholar, except, of course, 
those Sinologues who have studied the language in China, and 
who have studied it for a long time. 

Professor Max Miiller says that, 1962 while the mere transla 
tion of a Chinese work into French seems a very ordinary per 
formance, M. Stanislas Julien, who had long been acknowl 
edged as the first Chinese scholar in Europe, had to spend 
twenty years of incessant labour in order to prepare himself for 
the task of translating the " Travels of Hiouen-thsang." 
17 



258 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

As an illustration of the danger of misunderstanding a Chi 
nese text, the following translation of a Chinese ode, by Pro 
fessor Neumann, is quoted from the " Chinese Repository " : 979 

41 Cease fighting now for a while, 
Let us call back the flowing waves. 
"Who opposed the enemy in time ? 
A single wife could overpower him ; 

Streaming with blood, she grasped the mad offspring of guilt; 
She held fast the man, and threw him into the meandering stream. 
The Spirit of the Water, wandering up and down on the waves, 
Was astonished at the virtue of Ying. 

My song is at an end. 
Waves meet each other continually ; 
I see the water green as mountain Peih, 
But the brilliant fire returns no more. 
How long did we mourn and cry ! " 

" I am compelled," says Professor Neumann, " to give a free 
translation of this verse, and confess myself not quite certain of 
the signification of the poetical figures used by our author." 
We will subjoin a less free translation : 

" The spirit of war has now ceased and vanished away; 
Let us go back in thought, returning like the winding stream. 
Who was there that could then resist the foe, 
When but a single female was found to insult his power? 
With her blood she spat on the guilty wretch, 
Then, despising life, she sank in the curling waves. 
Her pure ice-like spirit now wanders over the stream, 
Her courageous soul with hesitancy lingers behind. 

" My song ended, I still loitered on the spot, and, casting a 
look on all around, I saw the hills retaining their blueness, and 
the sea its azure hue ; but the beacon smoke and the shadowing 
masts return no more. Long I stayed disburdening myself of 
sighs." 

An instance of a still more radical misunderstanding of the 
meaning of a Chinese sentence is given 978 in the " Chinese Re 
pository," vol. iii, p. 72. 

The quotations given above sufficiently show the difficulty 
sometimes experienced in comprehending the exact meaning of 



NATURE OF THE CHINESE LANGUAGE. 259 

a Chinese author, and hence it should not be considered as any 
reflection upon the scholarship and superior knowledge of the 
eminent gentlemen who have given translations of the Chinese 
account of Fu-sang, if the present author, relying partly upon 
the dictionaries and grammars of the language, and partly upon 
the views of native scholars, ventures in some cases to differ 
from his predecessors. 

Although knowing far less in regard to the Chinese language 
than any of the celebrated scholars who have discussed Hwui 
Shan s story, it is possible that the greater length of time, and 
the more patient and careful study, which he has devoted to this 
particular account, may have counterbalanced this disadvantage, 
and may have enabled him to discover the true meaning of cer 
tain phrases which have heretofore been misunderstood. 



CHAPTER XVI. 

THE DESCRIPTION OF FU-SANG. 

The Chinese authorities Variations in the texts The Chinese text A literal 
translation Parallel translations of eight authors The date of Hwui ShSn s 
arrival in China The location of Fu-sang The f u-sang trees The deriva 
tion of the name of the country The leaves of the fu-sang tree Its first 
sprouts Red pears Thread and cloth Dwellings Literary characters 
Paper Lack of arms The two places of confinement The difference be 
tween them The pardon of criminals Marriages of the prisoners Slave- 
children The punishment of a criminal of high rank The great assembly 
Suffocation in ashes Punishment of his family Titles of the king and 
nobles Musicians The king s garments The changing of their colour 
A ten-year cycle Long cattle-horns Their great size Horse-carts, cattle- 
carts, and deer-carts Domesticated deer Koumiss The red pears preserved 
throughout the year To-p u-i Aoes The lack of iron Abundance of cop 
per Gold and silver not valued Barter in their markets Courtship The 
cabin of the suitor The sweeping and watering of the path The ceremonies 
of marriage Mourning customs The worship of images of the dead The 
succession to the throne A visit from a party of Buddhist missionaries 
Their labours and success. 

THE substance of the following account is found in the 
Liang-shu or " Records of the Liang Dynasty," contained 
in the Nan-shi, or " History of the South," written by Li Yen- 
shau,* who lived at the commencement of the seventh century. 
The Nan-shi forms a portion of the Great Annals of China, 
the Nien-rli-sJii^ or " Twenty-two Historians." 

Ma Twan-lin copied the account in his " Antiquarian Re 
searches " ; but as Mr. Leland states 1714 that he gives the report 
"much more correctly," it is evident that he made such changes 
as he thought the truth to require. A number of points, as to 
which the different accounts vary, are noted by some of the trans- 

* See Klaproth s account, given in chapter iii, and that of Professor Williams, 
in chapter xiv. 



THE DESCRIPTION OF FU-SASTG. 261 

lators, but it is not likely that attention has been called to all the 
variations. As the present author has been unable to obtain a 
copy of any other than Ma Twan-lin s account, that alone is 
given ; but in a few important cases, in which Mr. Leland and 
the Marquis d Hervey de Saint-Denys have pointed out the 
difference between the text of Ma Twan-lin and that of the 
Liang-ahUy the character found in the latter is given in a note 
in the column headed " Definition." It would be interesting to 
compare the different Chinese versions of Hwui Shan s story, 
and such a comparison would undoubtedly do much to remove 
difficulties and assist in bringing the truth to light ; when it 
would probably be found that most of Ma Twan-lin s " correc 
tions," like those of some of our modern Shakespearean com 
mentators, resulted only from a failure to understand the 
original text, and that it is necessary to reject them, in order 
to arrive at the true meaning of the author. 

The left-hand pages that follow contain the characters of Ma 
Twan-lin s text, with their sounds, and Professor Williams s defini 
tions of their meaning, with a column showing the page of his 
dictionary upon which they are found. In the last column is 
given that English word which comes the nearest to expressing 
the meaning of the Chinese character; and, by reading these 
words in their order down the column, a literal translation of 
the story will be discovered, which will, in most places, be found 
intelligible such English words as are necessary to show the 
connection with one another of the characters, and the ideas 
which they express, having been inserted in small type. 

Upon the opposite pages eight different translations will be 
found, being those of de Guignes, Klaproth, Neumann, de Ros- 
ny, Julien, d Hervey de Saint-Denys, Williams, and the present 
author ; these being given in the order above-named, and an 
English version of the first six being presented instead of the 
original French or German of their authofs. In making these 
translations it has been my intention to follow the foreign text as 
closely and literally as is consistent with intelligibility and with 
justice to the translators. It will be seen that, in a number of 
cases in which my version of the Chinese text differs from that 
of the majority, I am nevertheless supported by some one or 
more of the scholars who have previously studied the subject. 



262 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 



No. 


Character 


Page. 


Sound. 


DEFINITION. 


Translation. 


1 

2 


T/C 


144 

724 


FU 
SANG 


To assist, support. 
The mulberry tree. 


FU- 
SANG. 


3 


# 


144 


FU 


Same as 1. 


FU- 


4 


ixi v 


724 


SANG 


Same as 2. 


SANG 


5 


HI 


. 491 


KWOH 


A state, country, region. 


COUNTRY 


6 


^ 


38 


CHE 


This, that ; indicates the sub 
ject of the proposition. 


REGARDING : 

in the 




, 








reign of the 


7 


ffjK 


966 


TS I 


The name of a dynasty. 


TS I 




J 1 








dynasty, 












in the years called 


8 


/Tc 


1149 


YUNG 


Perpetual, eternal, final. 


EVERLASTING 


9 


7C 


1134 


YUEN 


The first, the commencement. 


FOUNDATION, 












in the 


10 


7C 


1134 


YUEN 


Same as 9. 


FIRST 


11 


< 


634 


NIEN 


A year. 


YEAR, 


12 


3 


342 


K l 


He, she, it, that, there. 


THAT 


13 


H 


491 


KWOH 


Same as 6. 


COUNTRY 


14 


^ 


1113 


YIU 


To have, to be, existence. 


HAD 


15 


J* 


730 


SHA 


Sand, gravel. ( Transcription 


a SHA 










j of the San- 




16 


ri 


576 


MA.X 


A gate, a door. ( skritSramana. 


MAN 












named 


17 


H 


265 


HWUI 


Intelligent, wise, mild. 


HWUI 


18 


$p* 


736 


SHAN 


Deep, profound, learned. 


SHAN 


19 


* 


498 


LAI 


To come, to reach. 


who 
CAME 


20 


M 


60 


CHI 


To arrive, to, at. 


TO 


21 


if 


403 


KING 


A thorny bush. { Name of a 
I Chinese 


KING- 


22 


JH 


48 


CHEU 


An islet, a dis- j political 
trict, a region. [ district. 


CHE U 

and 


23 


ift 


788 


SHWOH 


To speak, narrate. 


TOLD 




. 








the following 


24 


"zr 


1142 


YUN 


To speak, say, circulate. 


STORY : 



THE DESCRIPTION OF FU-SANG. 263 



The following is the account which has been preserved for us. It was 
given by a priest who went to China in the year 499 A. D. in the reign of 
the Toy dynasty. 



In the first of the years young yuan of the reign of Fe-ti, of the dynasty 
of 77m, a Chamen (or Buddhist priest) called Hoei chin, arrived from the 
country of Fu-sang at King-tchcou. He related what follows : 



During the reign of the Tsi dynasty, in the first year of the years bear 
ing the designation " Eternal Origin " (i. e., in the year 499 of our era), 
there came a Buddhist priest from this kingdom, who was called by his 
cloister-name of Hoei-schin, i. e., "Universal Sympathy," to King-tscheu 
an old name for the present district of Hu-Kuang and several adjoining 
districts who said : 



(Not translated.) 



The kingdom of Fu-sang (was made known to the Chinese) in the first 
year of the period Yong-Youen of the dynasty of the Thsi (499). In this 
kingdom there was a Cha-men, named Hoei-chin, who came into the dis 
trict of King-tcheou. He related that which follows : 



In regard to the kingdom of Fu-sang, the first year, yung-youen, of the 
dynasty of Tsi, there was a Cha-men, or Buddhist priest of this kingdom, 
called Hod-chin, who arrived at the city of King-tcheou, and who reported 
that which follows : 



In the first year of the reign Yung-yuen of the emperor Tung Hw&n- 
hau, of the Tsi dynasty (A. D. 499), a Shaman priest named Hwui-shin ar 
rived at King-chau from the kingdom of Fusang. He related as follows : 



In the first year of the reign of the Ts i dynasty, known by the desig 
nation YUNG-YUEN, or "Everlasting Foundation" (i. e., in the year 
499 A. D.), a Shaman, or Buddhist priest, named Hwui SHAN, came to 
KI.NG-CHEU from that country, and narrated the following account regard 
ing the country of FU-SANG (or FU-SANG-KWOH). 



264: 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 



No. 


Character 


Page. 


Sound. 


DEFINITION. 


Translation. 


25 


$ 


144 


FU 


Same as 1. 


FU- 


26 


^ 


724 


SANG 


Same as 2. 


SANG 


27 

28 


* 


941 

839 


TSAI 
TA 


To be in or at, to dwell. 
Great, chief, prominent. 


IS SITUATED 

from the 

GREAT 


29 


m 


164 


IIAN 


A Chinese, relating to China ; 
name of a river ; the milky 
way. 


HAN 


30 
31 


m 


491 
930 


KWOH 
TUNG 


Same as 5. 

The spring of the year, east, 
eastward. 


COUNTRY 

to the 

EAST 


32 


- 


721 


BH 


Two ; the second ; to duplicate. 


TWICE 


83 


M 


1040 


WAN 


Ten thousand ; many ; an in 
definite number. 


TEN THOUSAND 

or 


34 


m 


1121 


YC 


The rest, the remnants, super 
abundant. 


MORE 


35 
36 


m 


518 

879 


LI 
TI 


A Chinese mile, which has 
been of various lengths, 
from 1,158 to 1,894 feet. 

The earth, a place, land. 


LI 

(Chinese miles). 
That 
PLACE 


37 

38 


* 


941 

105 


TSAI 
CHUNG 


Same as 27. 
The middle, center. 


IS SITUATED 

at the 

MIDDLE 


39 


MI 


491 


KWOH 


Same as 5. 


COUNTRY 


40 


Z, 


53 


CHI 


Sign of the genitive case. 


S 


41 


M 


930 


TUNG 


Same as 31. 


EAST. 


42 


:k 


342 


K l 


Same as 12. 


THAT 


43 
44 





920 
909 


T U 
TO 


The earth, a region, place. 
Numerous, many, often. 


REGION 

has 

MANY 


45 


i& 


144 


FU 


Same as 1. 


FU- 


46 


ik 


724 


SANG 


Same as 2. 


SANG 


47 

48 


l 


607 
434 


MUH 
KU 


Wood, a tree. 

The cause, because, for, for- 
merly r old. 


TREES, 

and it is 

BECAUSE 



THE DESCRIPTION OF FU-SANG. 



265 



The kingdom of Fusany is situated twenty thousand li to the east of 
the country of Tahan. It is also east of China. It produces a great 
number of trees called fusang, 



Fusang is twenty thousand li to the east of the country of Tahan, and 
equally to the east of China. In this country there grow many trees 
called fusang, 



Fusang is about twenty thousand Chinese miles distant from Ta-han 
in an easterly direction. The land lies easterly from the Middle King- 
dom. Many fusang trees grow here, 



The country of Fou-so is situated at the east of the country of Tai-kan. 
According to the authority of the work entitled Toung-tien, Fou-so is dis 
tant from the country of Tai-kan in an easterly direction about 20,000 li. 
It is placed to the east of the " Middle Kingdom " (China). Many trees, 
called Fou-so-mok (Hibiscus rosa sinensis), are found there. (In Japanese, 
" SONO TSOUTSI NI FOU-SO-MOK ONOSi," " In hanc terram FOU-SO [sic vocati] 
arbores multi sunt "), 



This kingdom is situated about twenty thousand li to the east of the 
kingdom of Ta-han. This country is to the east of the Middle Kingdom. 
It produces a great number of fusang trees, 



Fu-sang is situated more than twenty thousand li to the east of the 
kingdom of Ta-han, and is equally to the east of China. It contains 
many fu-sang trees, 



Fu-sang lies east of the kingdom of Ta-han more than twenty thou 
sand li; it is also east of the Middle Kingdom. It produces many fu 
sang trees, 



FU-SANG is situated twice ten thousand LI (Chinese miles) or more to 
the east of the Great HAN country. That land is also situated at the east 
of the Middle Kingdom (China). That region has many FU-SANG trees, 
and it is from 



266 



AX INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 



No. 


Character 


Page. 


Sound. 


DEFINITION. 


Translation. 


49 


I/I 

rx^ 


278 


I 


By^ans^oMo Because;to 


OF THESE 










SslVwi fbS tS 


trees that they 


50 


ywj 


1047 


WEI 


To do, to mate. P inion - 


GIVE 












the country its 


51 


^ 


600 


MING 


A name, a title, famous. 


NAME. 


52 


^ 


144 


FU 


Same as 1. 


The FU- 


53 


ik 


724 


SANG 


" " 2 


SANG 




x l^ 








s 


54 


5?t 


1081 


YEII 


The leaves of plants. 


LEAVES 


55 


"(El 


837 


SZ 


Like, appearing, resembling. 


RESEMBLE 


56 


IPI 


934 


T UNG 


The name of a tree. (As this 
character differs from the 


9 










one given in the Liang -87m, 
the true reading is uncertain.) 


and the 


57 


^j 


91 


ciru 


To begin, the first. 


FIRST 


58 


^fe 


742 


SHlNG 


To produce, bear, grow, come 


SPROUTS 










forth. 


are 


59 


#R 


297 


JU 


As, like, to equal. 


LIKE 


60 


^ 


813 


SIUN 


The tender shoots of bamboo. 


( BAMBOO 
\ SHOOTS. 












The 


61 


[^1 


491 


KWOH 


Same as 5. 


COUNTRY 




" * 








s 


62 


A 


286 


JAN 


A human being. 


PEOPLE 


63 


^ 


766 


SHIH 


To eat or drink, take food. 


EAT 


64 


2> 


53 


CHI 


Same as 40. A pronoun in 


THEM 










the accusative. 


and the (or a) 


65 


fli 


769 


SHIH 


Fruit of plants ; real, solid. 


FRUIT 




-^^ 








which is 


66 


$n 


297 


JU 


Same as 59. 


LIKE 




^ 








a 


67 


^H 


515 


LI 


A pear. 


PEAR, 


68 


m 


719 


RH 


And, if, still, on the contrary. 


BUT 


69 


^fc 


72 


CH IH 


A reddish carnation ; light-red 


REDDISH. 




S* 






colour. 














They 


70 


M 


986 


TSIH 


To spin thread. 


SPIN THREAD 












from 


71 


S 


342 


K l 


Same as 12. 


THEIR 


72 


j 


679 




Skin, leather, a surface, bark. 


BARK, 



THE DESCRIPTION OF FtJ-SANG. 267 



from which has come the name borne by the country. The leaves of the 
fusang are similar to those of the tree which the Chinese call tony. When 
they first appear, they resemble the shoots of the reeds called bamboos, 
and the people of the country eat them. The fruit has the form of a 
pear, and inclines toward red in colour ; from its bark they make cloth, 



of which the leaves resemble those of the thming (Bignonia Tomentosa), 
and the first shoots those of the bamboo. The people of the country eat 
them. The bark of this tree is prepared in the same way as that of hemp, 



whose leaves resemble the Dryandra Cordifolia, but the sprouts, on the 
contrary, those of the bamboo, and these are eaten by the inhabitants of the 
land. The fruit in its form resembles a pear, but is red. A species of 
linen cloth is prepared from the bark, 



Their leaves are similar to those of the t6 tree ; when they are young 
they are like bamboo sprouts, and the natives eat them. Their fruits are 
like pears, and of a red colour. The fibers of the bark are drawn out 



and it is from this fact that it derives its name. In its leaves, the fu 
sang tree resembles the thong tree (Paullownia imperialis). When they 
commence to grow they are like the (edible) shoots of the bamboo. The 
inhabitants eat them. The fruits of this tree resemble pears, but they 
are red. They spin (the fibers of) the bark, 



and it is from this fact that its name is derived. The leaves of the fu- 
sang tree are similar to those of the long tree (according to Leland, the 
Dryanda cordata or El&ococca verucosa). When the fu-sang commences 
to grow, it resembles the young sprouts of the bamboo, and the inhabit 
ants of the country eat it. Its fruit has the form of a pear, and is of a 
red colour. From its bark they make a cloth, 



from which it derives its name. The leaves of the fu-sang resemble those 
of the tung tree. It sprouts forth like the bamboo, and the people eat 
the shoots. Its fruit resembles the pear, but is red ; the bark is spun 



these trees that the country derives its name. The leaves of the FU-SANO 

resemble ? and the first sprouts are like those of the bamboo. The 

people of the country eat them and the (or a) fruit, which is like a pear 
(in form), but of a reddish colour. They spin thread from their bark, 



268 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 



No. 


Characfr 


Page. 


Sound. 


DEFINITION. 


Translation. 


73 


ft 


1047 


WEI 


Same as 50. 


from which they 
MAKE 


74 


ffi 


713 


PU 


Cotton, linen, or hempen 
fabrics. 


CLOTH, 


75 
76 


I 


278 

1047 


I 
WEI 


Same as 49. 
" " 50. 


OF WHICH 

they 

MAKE 


77 


^ 


270 


I 


Clothes, garments. 


CLOTHING, 


78 


sfc 


1093 


YIH 


And, also. 


AND 


79 
80 


n 


278 
1047 


I 

WEI 


Same as 49. 
" " 50. 


OF WHICH 

they 

MAKE 


81 


* 


399 


KIN 


A kind of thin brocade. 
The Liang-shu has here 
the character MIEN, jg, 
which signifies fine silk, 
soft. 


FINER MATERIAL. 

They 


82 


f 


1005 


TSOH 


To act, to do, to make. 


MAKE 

with 


83 

84 
85 


J?R 

sfn 

int 
7m 


651 

1064 
1059 


PAN 

WUII 

wu 


A board, a plank for 
building adobe walls. 

A house, a cabin. 
None, not, destitute of. 


PLANKS OF THE 
KIND USED FOR 
BUILDING ADOBE 
WALLS, their 
HOUSES. 
They are 

DESTITUTE OF 


86 


$& 


77 


CITING 


A citadel, a walled city. 


CITADELS 
and 


87 


IP 


492 


KWOH 


The second wall of a large 
city. 


WALLED CITIES. 
They 


88 


W 


1113 


YIU 


Same as 14. 


HAVE 


89 





1041 


WlN 


Lines, marks, literature, 
literary. 


LITERARY 


90 


^ 


1032 


TSZ 


A character in writing; 
writing. 


CHARACTERS. 

They 


91 


J# 


278 


I 


Same as 49. 


USE 

the 


92 


t& 


144 


FU 


i 


FU- 


93 


III 


724 


SANG 


(( 


SANG 


94 
95 


I 


679 
1047 


P l 
WEI 


" " 72. 
" " 50. 


BARK 
to 
MAKE 


96 


lii 


56 
I 


CHI 


Paper, stationery, a docu 
ment. 


PAPER. 



THE DESCRIPTION OF FU-SANG. 269 



and other stuffs with which the people clothe themselves, and the boards 
which are made from it are employed in the construction of their houses. 
No walled cities are found there. The people have a species of writing, 



and cloth and clothing are made of it. Flowered stuffs are also manu 
factured from it. Wooden planks are used for the construction of their 
houses, for in this country there are no cities, and no walled habitations. 
The inhabitants have a species of writing, and make paper from the bark 
of ihefusany. 



and is used for clothing, and a species of flowered tissue is also prepared 
from it. The houses are made of wooden beams. Fortified places and 
walled places are unknown. Written characters are used in this land, 
and paper is made from the bark of the fu-sang. 



to make cloth, from which clothing is made. 

The planks of the tree are employed to build their houses. In this 
country there are no cities. The natives have a method of writing, and 
they make clothing (sic) from the bark of the fou-so tree. 



and from them make cloth to make their garments. 

They also make from them a species of brocade (<). (The inhabitants) 
construct houses of planks. They have no walled cities. They have a 
writing, and make paper from the (fibers of the) bark of the fu-sang. 



suitable for making clothing, and also thinner fabrics, which have the 
appearance of silk. The houses are constructed of planks. Neither for 
tified cities nor walled enclosures are found in Fusang ; but the people 
have a method of writing, and make paper from the bark of i\\Q fu-sang. 



into cloth for dresses ; and woven into brocade. The houses are made of 
planks. There are no walled cities with gates. The [people] use charac 
ters and writing, making paper from the bark of the fu-*ang. 



from which they make cloth, of which they make clothing. They also 
manufacture a finer fabric from it. In constructing their houses they use 
planks, such as are generally used when building adobe walls. They have 
no citadels or walled cities. They have literary characters, and make 
paper from the bark of the FU-SANG. 



270 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 



No. 


Character 


Page. 


Sound. 


DEFINITION. 


Translation. 












They 


97 


m 


1059 


WU 


Same as 85. 


ARE DESTI 
TUTE OF 


98 


& 


698 


PING 


A soldier, troops, a weapon, 
military. 


MILITARY 
WEAPONS 

and 


99 


R3 


355 


KIAH 


Armour, a soldier, military. 


ARMOUR, 




* 








and they do 


100 


2p 


717 


PUH 


No, not. 


NOT 


101 


Bfe 


461 


KUNG 


To attack, to fight with, to 


WAGE 










rouse. 




102 


Mfe 


45 


CHEN 


To join battle, a battle, war, 


WAR 










military. 


in 


103 


3C 


342 


K l 


Same as 12. 


THAT 


104 


H 


491 


KWOH 


" " 5. 


KINGDOM. 




^ 








According to their 


105 


^2r 


123 


FAH 


A law, a rule, a religion. 


RULES 












(of law or religion) 




f* 








they 


106 


rf 


1113 


YIU 


Same as 14. 


HAVE 




t 2 








a 


107 


IW 


614 


NAN 


The south, to go south, sum 


SOUTHERN 










mer. 


and a 


108 


^l(j 


709 


POH 


The north, to separate, op 


NORTHERN 










pose. 






jf-=>T 








( PLACE OF 


109 


Wi 


1139 


YUH 


A prison, a jail. 


I CONFINE- 












f MENT. 


110 


^fer 


296 


JOII 


As, if, perhaps, like. 


IF 




. 








they 


111 


W 


1113 


YIU 


Same as 14. 


HAVE 


112 


^ 


128 


FAN 


To offend, violate ; a criminal. 


3 

CRIMINAL 




. 








who has 


113 


fl 


407 


KING 


Light, not heavy, slight. 


SLIGHTLY 


114 


f 


1016 


TSUI 


Trespass, crime, sin; pun 


SINNED, 










ishment. 




115 


* 


38 


CHE 


Same as 6. 


HE 


116 


A 


299 


JUH 


To enter, go into. 


ENTERS 




a 








the 


117 


M 


614 


NAN 


Same as 107. 


SOUTHERN 


L18 


Wt 


1139 


YUH 


" " 109. 


PRISON, 




RH 








but if his 


L19 


fp 


1016 


TSUI 


" " 114. 


CRIME 


120 


s 


108 


CHUNG 


Heavy, weighty, important. 


WEIGHS 



TEE DESCRIPTION OF FU-SANG. 271 



and they love peace. Two prisons, one placed in the south and the other 
in the north, are designed to confine their criminals, with this difference, 



that the most guilty 



They have no weapons or armies, and do not make war. According to 
the laws of the kingdom, there are a southern prison and a northern 
prison. Those who have committed crimes that are not very serious are 
sent to the southern prison, but great criminals 



The people have no weapons, and carry on no wars. According to the 
regulations of the kingdom, there exist, however, a southern and a north 
ern prison. The petty transgressors are shut up in the southern, and the 
greater 



They have no offensive weapons or defensive armour, and do not wage wars 
between themselves. 



They have neither armour nor lances, and do not wage war. According to 
the laws of the kingdom, there are two prisons, that of the south and that 
of the north. Those who have committed a misdemeanour of small mag 
nitude are confined in the southern prison ; and those who have committed 



They have no soldiers, and no thought of making war. According to the 
laws of their kingdom, there exist a northern prison and a southern pris 
on. Those who have committed crimes of little gravity are sent to the 
southern prison, while the great criminals 



There are no mailed soldiers, for they do not carry on war. The law of 
the land prescribes a southern and a northern prison. Criminals convicted 
of light crimes are .put into the former, and those guilty of grievous of 
fences 



They have no military weapons or armour, and they do not wage war in 
that kingdom. 

According to their rules (of government or of religion) they have a 
southern and a northern place of confinement. An offender who has 
transgressed but slightly enters the southern place of confinement, but 
if he has sinned heavily 



272 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 



No. 


Character. 


Page. 


Sound. 


DEFINITION. 


Translation. 


121 


% 


38 


CHE 


Same as 6. 


HE 


122 


A 


299 


JUH 


" " 116. 


ENTERS 

the 


123 


^f(j 


709 


POH 


" " 108. 


NORTHERN 


124 


*5fc 


1139 


YUH 


" " 109. 


PRISON. 




wH/V 








If he may 


125 


^ 


1113 


YIU 


" " 14. 


HAVE 


126 


S& 




748 


SHE 


To remit punishment, par 


PARDON, 










don, forgive. 




127 


IW 


956 


TSEH 


A rule, law, precept; be 


THEN 




? "T 






cause, then. 


he is 


128 


* 


135 


FANG 


To let go, liberate ; indulge ; 


SENT AWAY 










to send away. 


to 

(or possibly from 




r7 








the) 


129 


PfJ 


614 


NAN 


Same as 107. 


SOUTHERN 


130 


st 


1139 


YUH 


" " 109. 


PRISON, 












but if there is 


131 


^ 


717 


PUH 


" " 100. 


NO 


132 


* 


748 


SHE 


" " 126. 


PARDON 










These three 


for 


133 




38 


CHE 


" 6. words are not 


HIM, 










found in the 




134 




956 


TSEH 


text of Ma 
" 127. J Twan-lin. They 


THEN 










are inserted 


he is 


135 




135 


FANG 


u 190 here on the 
- authority of Mr. 


SENT AWAY 


136 


Ifc 


709 


POH 


Kwong fci Chiu. 
" " 108. 


to the 
NORTHERN 


137 


Wi 


1139 


YUH 


" " 109. 


PRISON. 












The 


138 


fa 


941 


TSAI 


" " 27. 


DWELLERS 












. in the 


139 


tt 


709 


POH 


" " 108. 


NORTHERN 


140 


m 


1139 


YUH 


" " 109. 


PRISON, 


141 


^ 


38 


CHE 


" " 6. 


THOSE 


142 


m 


614 


NAN 


The male of the human spe 


MEN 










cies, a man, a son. 


and 


143 


^C 


641 


NtJ 


Women, a lady, a wife, 


WOMEN, 










young. 


when they (have) 


144 


ffi 


790 


SIANG 


Mutually, together, to assist, 


TOGETHER 










to examine, look at. 





THE DESCRIPTION OF FU-SANG. 2 73 



are placed in the northern prison, and are afterward transferred into that 
of the south, if they obtain their pardon ; otherwise they are condemned 
to remain all their lives in the first. 
They are permitted to 



are shut up in the northern one. Those who may receive their pardon 
are sent to the first ; those, on the contrary, to whom it can not be ac 
corded, are confined in the northern prison. The men and the women 
who are shut up in the latter are permitted to 



in the northern prison, so that those who may be pardoned are placed in 
the southern jail, while, upon the contrary, those as to whom this is not 
the case are confined in the northern prison. The men and women con 
fined here for life are allowed to 



(Not translated.) 



n the northern prison. If the culprit obtains pardon, he is put in the 
southern prison, and if he does not obtain pardon, he is put in the 
lorthern prison. In the northern prison, which receives criminals of the 
wo sexes, if a man and woman 



re confined in the northern prison, in such a manner that the southern 
irison receives those who may obtain pardon, while those who can not be 
>ardoned are placed in the northern prison, from which they can never be 
eleased. Among the prisoners of the two sexes of the northern prison 



nto the latter. Criminals, when pardoned, are let out of the southern 
)rison ; but those in the northern prison are not pardoned. Prisoners in 
he latter 



e enters the northern place of confinement. If there is pardon for 
im, then he is sent away to (or, possibly, from) the southern place of con- 
nement, but if he can not be pardoned, then he is sent away to the 

northern one. Those men and women dwelling in the northern place of 

xrafinement, when they 
18 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 



No. 


Character. 


Page. 


Sound. 


DEFINITION. 


Translation. 


145 


BE 


672 


P EI 


A mate, a companion, as a 


MATE 




F-9U 






wife; to pair, to mate, 


(d) 










equal. 


and 


146 


/h 


742 


SHlNG 


Same as 68. 


BEAR 




- * * 








(or have borne) 


147 


-51 


614 


NAN 


" " 142. 


MALE 




x^y 








children ; at 


148 


A 


647 


PAH 


Eight. 


EIGHT 


149 


H& 


827 


SUI 


A year of one s age, age, 


YEARS 










years, yearly. 


of age they 


150 


/TT7| 


1047 


WEI 


Same as 50. 


MAKE 




yin| 








them 


151 


& 


640 


NU 


A slave. 


SLAVES, 




S2^^ 








but if they 


152 


/fr 


742 


SHANG 


Same as 58. 


BEAR 




- * * 






t. 


(or have borne) 


153 


:& 


641 


Nfl 


" " 143. 


FEMALE 




~*s^ 








children, at 


154 


x w 


413 


KIU 


Nine, many, deep. 


NINE 


155 


H 


827 


SUI 


Same as 149. 


YEARS 




>Sf 








of age they 


156 


yiuj 


1047 


WEI 


" " 50. 


MAKE 












them 


157 


#$ 


675 


PI 


A maid-servant ; an unmar 
ried female slave. 


j FEMALE 
{ SLAVES. 












The 


158 
159 


H 


128 
1016 


FAN 

TSUI 


Same as 11 2. ( To transgress, 
-| to commit a 
" " 114. ( crime ; guilty. 


t GUILTY 












one 


160 





53 


CHI 


" " 40. 


S 


161 


^ 


735 


SHlN 


The trunk, the body. 


BODY 


162 


31 


60 


CHI 


Same as 20. 


UNTIL 












(or at) 


163 


^B 


836 


SZ 


Death, to die. 


DEATH 


164 


^ 


717 


PUH 


Same as 100. 


does 
NOT 


165 


ffl 


98 


CH UH 


To go forth, to go out. 


GO FORTH. 












When a 


166 


M 


484 


KWEI 


Honourable, noble, good. 


NOBLE 


167 


A 


286 


JAN 


Same as 62. 


MAN 


168 


^f 


1113 


YIU 


" " 14. 


HAS 



THE DESCRIPTION OF FU-SANG. 275 



marry, but their children are made slaves. When criminals are found 
occupying one of the principal ranks in the nation 



marry each other. The male children born from these unions are sold as 
slaves at the age of eight years ; the girls at the age of nine years- The 
criminals who are confined there never come forth alive. 
When a man of high rank 



marry. The boys born of these marriages become slaves when eight 
years old, but the girls not until they have passed their ninth year. 
When a man of high rank 



(Not translated.) 



have commerce with each other, and, if a boy is born, he is enslaved at 
the age of eight years ; if a girl is born, she is enslaved at the age of nine 
years. The men who have committed a crime remain in prison until their 
death. When a nobleman 



marriages are permitted. The children which are born of these unions 
become slaves, the boys at the age of eight years, and the girls at the age 
of nine years. When a person of elevated rank 



marry. Their boys become bondmen when eight years old, and the girls 
bondwomen when nine years old. Convicted criminals are not allowed to 
leave their prison while alive. When a nobleman (or an official) has 



mate (or have mated) and bear (or have borne) children ; the boys are 
made slaves at the age of eight years, and the girls at the age of nine 
years. The criminal (or the criminal s body) is not allowed to go out up 
to (or at) the tune of his death. When a nobleman has 



276 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 



No. 


Character 


Page. 


Sound. 


DEFINITION. 


Translation. 


169 


fg 


1016 


TSUI 


Same as 114. 


TRANSGRESSED, 




^ 








the 


170 


|^j 


491 


KWOH 


" " 5. 


COUNTRY 


171 


A 


286 


JlN 


" " 62. 


PEOPLE, 
in a 


172 


~fc 


839 


TA 


" " 28. 


GREAT 


173 


Of 


264 


HWUI 


To collect, assemble ; an as 


ASSEMBLY, 










sembly, meeting. 




174 


^ 


1002 


TSO 


To sit, squat, kneel ; to sit 


SIT 










in judgment on. 


in judgment 
on the 


175 




1016 


TSUI 


Same as 114. 


TRANSGRESSING 


176 


A 


286 


JlN 


" " 62. 


MAN, 


177 


~fjk 


1118 


TO 


A preposition, in, at, on, 


IN 




^ 






with, by, to be in, to oc 


ED 










cupy a position. 




178 


Eft 


323 


K ANG 


A ditch, excavation, pit; 
a tumulus. 


( EXCAVATED 
| TUMULUS. 


179 


it 


924 


TUI 


To front, opposite, to re 


IN FRONT OF 










spond, a sign of the da 












tive. 




180 


z 


53 


CHI 


Same as 40. 


HIM 












they 


181 


^. 


1090 


YEN 


A feast, a banquet, merri 


FEAST 










ment. 


and 


182 


life 


1102 


YIN 


To drink, to receive, con 


DRINK, 










cealed. 


and 


183 


^ 


129 


FAN 


To separate, divide, share, 


SEPARATE 










distribute. 


from him 


184 


ik 


447 


KtfEH 


Parting or dying words, a 


TAKING LEAVE 










farewell, to take leave. 


of him 


185 


^ 


296 


JOH 


Same as 110. 


AS 












if from a 


186 


su 


836 


SZ 


" " 163. 


DYING 


187 


E J 


684 


PIEH 


To separate, divide, to 


man 
SEPARATING 




* 






part, to leave, a parting, 












moreover. 




188 


m 


1082 


YEN 


A final affirmative particle. 


TRULY. 


189 


\& 


278 


I 


Same as 49. 


WITH 


190 


M 


260 


HWUI 


Ashes, embers, lime, dust. 


ASHES 

they 


191 


|2E 


292 


JAO 


To wind around, to be en 


SURROUND 










tangled in, to go about, 












to environ. 




192 


^ 


53 


CHI 


Same as 40. 


HIM 



THE DESCRIPTION OF FU-SANG. 277 



the other chiefs assemble around them ; they place them in a ditch, and 
hold a great feast in their presence. They are then judged. Those who 
have merited death are buried alive in ashes, 



commits a crime, the people assemble in great numbers. They sit down 
face to face with the criminal, who is placed in a ditch, and regale them 
selves with a banquet, and take leave of him as of a dying man. Then 
he is surrounded by ashes. 



commits a crime, a great assembly of the people of the kingdom is called, 
and a banquet is held in the presence of the criminal, which takes place 
in an excavation. There they bestrew him with ashes, and take leave of 
him as of a dying person. 



(Not translated.) 



commits a crime, the inhabitants gather together in a great assembly. 
The culprit is placed in a subterraneous place, and food and drink are 
placed before him ; then they take leave of him as when one takes leave 
of one that is dead. He is surrounded with ashes. 



commits a crime, the people of the kingdom assemble in great numbers, 
place the criminal in an excavation, celebrate a banquet in his presence, 
and take leave of him as of a dying man. Then he is surrounded with 
ashes. 



been convicted of crime, the great assembly of the nation meets and 
places the criminal in a hollow (or pit) ; they set a feast, with wjjne, be 
fore him, and then take leave of him. If the sentence is a capital one, 
at the time they separate they surround (the body) with ashes. 



committed a crime, the people of the country hold a great assemblage and 
sit in judgment on the culprit, in an excavated tumulus. They feast and 
drink before him, and bid him farewell when parting from him, as if 
taking leave of a dying man. Then they surround him with ashes 



278 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 



No. 


Character 


Page. 


Sound. 


DEFINITION. 


Translation. 


193 


:K 


342 


K l 


Same as 12. 


THERE. 




"^^ 








If of 


194 





1095 


YIH 


One, the first, the same. 


ONE 


195 




108 


CHUNG 


Same as 120. To repeat, to 


WEIGHT, 










add, a time, again, a classi 












fier of thickness or layers. 




196 


m 


956 


TSEH 


Same as 127. 


THEN 


197 




1095 


YIH 


" " 194. 


ONE 


198 


& 


735 


SHAN 


" " 161. 


BODY 




-^j 








(or person) was 


199 


g? 


702 


P ING 


A screen-wall, a de- " 


HIDDEN 




#r 






fence, to hide, to 












expel, to reject ; to To 












spoil, as robbers. keep 






t 






back. 




200 


*M, 


926 


T UI 


To retreat, draw back, 


AWAY. 










abate, yield. 


If of 


201 


A 


721 


RH 


Same as 32. 


DOUBLE 


202 


M 


108 


CHUNG 


" " 120. 


WEIGHT, 


203 


Mil 


956 


TSEH 


" " 127. 


THEN 


204 


if* 


735 


SHAN 


" " 161. 


the 
BODIES 




"^ 








were 


205 


z* 


394 


KIH 


To effect, to reach to, to im 
plicate, also, concerning. 


IMPLICATED 

of the 


206 


~* 


1030 


TSZ 


A child, a son, a boy, an heir. 


CHILDREN 




9-r 








and 


207 


J^j* 


829 


SUN 


A grandson, a grandchild, 


GRANDCHIL 










suckers. 


DREN. 




t 








If of 


208 


^* 


723 


SAN 


Three, thrice, several. 


TRIPLE 


209 


H| 


108 


CHUNG 


Same as 120. 


WEIGHT, 


210 


% 


38 


CHE 


" " 6. 


of 
THOSE 


211 


Mil 


956 


TSEH 


" " 127. 


THEN 


212 


1%. 


394 


KIH 


" " 205. 


were 
IMPLICATED 


213 


-k 


987 


TS IH 


Seven. 


SEVEN 


214 


ttfc 


763 


SHI 


An age, a generation; the 


GENERATIONS. 










world; times, seasons. 


The 


215 


^5 


600 


MING 


Same as 51. 


TITLE 


216 


SI 


491 


KWOII 


" " 6. 


of the 
COUNTRY 












s 



THE DESCRIPTION OF FU-SANG. 279 



and their posterity is punished according to the magnitude of the crime. 



For an offense of little gravity, the criminal alone is punished, but for 
a great crime, the culprit, his sons, and grandsons, are punished ; finally, 
for the greatest offenses, his descendants to the seventh generation are 
included in the punishment. 



If the transgressor is of low rank, he alone is punished ; if of higher 
rank, the punishment falls upon his children and grandchildren also, and, 
if of the highest rank, the punishment reaches to the seventh generation. 



(Not translated.) 



If a man has committed a grave crime, he alone is cut off from society. 
If he has committed two grave crimes, the same punishment is visited 
also upon his children and his nephews ; if he has committed three, this 
punishment is extended to the seventh generation. 



If the crime is only one of the first degree, the criminal alone is pun 
ished ; if the crime is of the second degree, his children and grandchild 
ren are punished with him ; and, finally, if the crime is of the third degree, 
the descendants of the criminal to the seventh generation are included in 
his chastisement. 



For crimes of the first grade, the sentence involves only the person of 
the culprit ; for the second, it reaches the children and grandchildren ; 
while the third extends to the seventh generation. 



there. For a single crime (or a crime of the first magnitude), only one 
person (the culprit) was hidden (or sent) away. For two crimes (or a 
crime of the second magnitude), the children and grandchildren were 
included in the punishment. For three crimes (or a crime of the third 
magnitude), seven generations were included in the punishment. 



280 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 



No. 


Character 


Page. 


Sound. 


DEFINITION. 


Translation. 


217 


I 


1043 


WANG 


A king, a ruler, royal, to be 


KING 










a king. 


is 


218 


s^v 


1047 


WEI 


Same as 50. 


MADE 












the 


219 


j 


1096 


YIH 


One ; bent ; often used as a 


CHIEF 










pedantic form of YIH, 












meaning, one, the first. 


of the 


220 


15 


345 


K l 


Full, abundant, very, large, 


MULTITUDES. 




/1*1 






numerous, multitudes, a 












crowd of people. 


The 


221 


n 


484 


KWEI 


Same as 166. 


NOBLE 


222 


A 


286 


JAN 


" " 62. 


MEN 












of the 


223 


~ff 


879 


TI 


A series, an order. Tlaced 


} 




5ri 






before figures, it forms the 












ordinal numbers. 


J- FIRST 


224 


, 


1095 


YIH 


Same as 194. 


j 












rank, 


225 


* 


38 


CHE 


" " 6. 


THESE 












are 


226 


^ 


1047 


WEI 


" " 50. 


MADE 


227 


it 


924 


TUI 


" " 179. 


TUI- 


228 


j 


554 


LU 


A vessel for containing rice, 


LU; 










a fire-pan, a grog-shop, 












black. 


of the 


229 


a? 


879 


TI 


Same as 223. 


\ 




^* 








[ SECOND 


230 




721 


RH 


" " 32. 


I 


231 


^s* 


38 


CHE 


" " 6. 


rank, 
THESE 


232 


is; 

yij 


1047 


WEI 


" " 50. 


are 
MADE 


233 




795 


SIAO 


Small, little, inferior. 


LITTLE 


234 


i- 


924 


TUI 


Same as 179. 


TUI- 


235 


H 


554 


LU 


" " 228. 


LU; 












of the 


236 


2p 


879 


TI 


" " 223. 


) 


237 


* 


723 


SAN 


" " 208. 


[ THIRD 
) rank, 


238 


^ 


38 


CHE 


" " 6. 


THESE 


239 


^ 


1047 


WEI 


" " 50. 


are 
MADE 


240 


$& 


611 


NAH 


To enter, to receive, to insert, 


NAH- 




MM V 






within. 





THE DESCRIPTION OF FU-SANG. 281 



The king bears the title of noble Y-chi, the nobles of the nation after 
him are the great and petty Touy-lou, and the 



The name of the king of the country is Y-khi (or YU-khi). The nobles 
of the first class are called Toui-lou ; those of the second, little Toui-lou ; 
and those of the third 



The name of the king is pronounced "Ichi "; the nobles of the first 
class are called "Tuilu"; the second class, "Little Tui-lu"; and those of 
the third class 



They give to their king the name of Kiki-zw, that is to say, " the most 
honourable man," 



The king is called Lid. The nobles of the first class are the Toui-lou ; 
those of the second class, the little Toui-lou ; those of the third class, the 



The king is called Y-Jci. The nobility of the first class are called toui- 
lou ; those of the second class, little toui-lou ; and those cf the third class 



The king of this country is termed yueh-Jci ; the highest rank of nobles 
is called tui-lu ; the next, little tui-lu ; and the lowest, 



The title of the king of the country is " The chief of the multitudes." 
The noblemen of the first rank are called " Tui-lu ", those of the second 
rank, " Little Tui-lu "; and those of the third rank, 



282 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 



No. 


Character 


Page. 


Sound. 


DEFINITION. 


Translation. 


241 


PIH 


921 


TUH 


To speak to one another, to 


TUH 










talk. 




242 


^K 


730 


SHA 


Same as 15. 


SHA. 




-^ 








The 


243 


jl^j 


491 


KWOH 


" " 5. 


COUNTRY 


244 


EE 


1043 


WANG 


" " 217. 


KING, 




1 -* 

> * 








when he 


245 


tr 


207 


HING 


To step, to go to walk, to act, 


WALKS 










to do. 


abroad, 


246 


"W 


1113 


YIU 


Same as 14. 


HAS 


247 


M 


434 


KU 


A drum, to drum, to excite. 


DRUMS 




_- 








and 


248 


/i 


409 


KIOH 


A horn, a corner, to gore. 


HORNS 


249 


3iir 


867 


TAO 


To lead, to conduct. 


LEADING 




j " 








and 


250 


^St 


1024 


TS UNG 


A clan, a family, posterity, to 


FOLLOWING. 




- 






follow, followers. 




251 


K 


342 


K l 


Same as 12. 


HIS 


252 


^ 


270 


I 


" " 77. 


CLOTHES 


253 


fe 


727 


SEH 


Air, manner, form, colour, 


COLOUR, 










hue, complexion, mode, 












sort, glory, beauty. 




254 


IM 


826 


SUI 


To accord, to follow, to com 


ACCORDING TO 










ply with, according to. 


the 


255 


^ 


634 


NIEN 


Same as 11. 


YEARS 


256 


^c 


307 


KAI 


To change, to alter, to amend, 


CHANGES, 










to correct. 




257 


11 


281 


YIH 


The mutations or alterations 


IS CHANGED. 




?7J 






in nature, as of the sun or 












moon; to change. 


The 


258 


f 


355 


KIAH 


Same as 99. The first year of 


FIRST 










the cycle. 


and 


259 


z, 


1096 


YIH 


Same as 219. The second year 


SECOND 










of the cycle. 




260 


^P 


634 


NIEN 


Same as 11. 


YEARS, 


261 





995 


TS ING 


The green of plants or the 
blue of the sky. 


they are 
BLUE 

(or green); 


262 


R 


699 


PING 


The third of the ten stems. 


the 
THIRD 


263 


T 


903 


TING 


The fourth of the ten stems. 


and 
FOURTH 


264 


4p 


634 


NIEN 


Same as 11. 


YEARS, 



THE DESCRIPTION OF FU-SANG. 283 



Na-to-cha. The prince is preceded by drums and horns when he goes 
abroad. He changes the colour of his garments every year. 



Natu-cha. When the king goes forth, he is accompanied by drums and 
horns. He changes the colour of his garments at different epochs. In 
the years of the cycle Ida and i, they are blue ; in the years ping and 
ting, 



"Na-to-scha" When the prince goes out he is accompanied by drums and 
horns. The colour of his clothes is different in different years. In the 
two first of the ten-year cycle they are blue ; in the next two, 



When the latter walks abroad he is accompanied by drums and trumpets. 
At different periods of the year he changes the colour of his garments. In 
the cyclic years kia and i, they are blue ; in the years ping and ting, they 



Na-to-cha. When the king goes forth, he is accompanied with drums and 
horns. The colour of his garments is changed according to the years. In 
the years marked with the cyclic signs Kia and I they are green ; in the 
years marked with the cyclic signs Ping and Ting they are 



na-to-cha. When the king goes abroad he is accompanied with drums and 
trumpets, which precede and follow him. He changes the colour of his 
garments according to the order of the years. In the years (of the cycle 
called) kia and y his garments are of a blue or green colour. In the years 
ping and ting they are of a 



no-cha-sha. When the king goes abroad he is preceded and followed by 
drummers and trumpeters. The color of his robes varies with the years 
in the cycle containing the ten stems. It is azure in the first two years ; 
in the second two years it is 



NAH-TO-SHA. The king of the country, when he walks abroad, is pre 
ceded and followed with drums and horns. The colour of his garments is 
changed according to the mutations of the years. The first and second 
years (of a ten-year cycle) they are blue (or green) ; the third and fourth 
years they are 



284: 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 



No 


Character 


Page. 


Sound. 


DEFINITION. 


Translation. 


265 


^ 
^ 


72 


CH IH 


Same as 69. 


RED; 












the 


266 


H/ 


1063 


WU 


The fifth of the ten stems. 


FIFTH 




i^i 








and 


267 


a 


337 


KI 


The sixth of the ten stems. 


SIXTH 


268 


^ 


634 


NIEN 


Same as 11. 


YEARS 


269 


iff 


252 


HWANG 


The colour of earth, yellow. 


YELLOW; 




^ 








the 


270 


J^t 


321 


KING 


The seventh of the ten stems. 


SEVENTH 


271 


3r 


806 


SIN 


The eighth of the ten stems. 


EIGHTH 


272 


& 


634 


NIEN 


Same as 11. 


YEARS 


273 


fl 


706 


POH 


White, clear, bright, pure. 


WHITE ; 












the 


274 


^f+ 


287 


JlN 


The ninth of the ten stems. 


NINTH 












and 


275 


%& 


483 


KWEI 


The last of the ten stems. 


TENTH 


276 





634 


NIEN 


Same as 11. 


YEARS 


277 


M 


218 


HOH 


Black, dark. 


BLACK. 




ilv 








They 


278 


pf 


1113 


YIU 


Same as 14. 


HAVE 


279 


2fc. 


638 


NIU 


An ox, a cow, a bull, cattle, 


CATTLE- 










some kinds of deer. 




280 


^t 
y^j 


409 


KIOH 


Same as 248. 


HORNS ; 












the 


281 


Jg 


27 


CH ANG 


Long, in time or distance, 


LONG 










constantly, direct, straight, 












old, to grow, too heavy. 


ones are 


282 


J^t 


278 


I 


Same as 49. 


USED 




MJ 








of the 


283 


ft 


409 


KIOH 


" " 248. 


HORNS 


284 





941 


TSAI 


A year, to contain, to fill in, 


TO CONTAIN 










to bear. 




285 


$J 


1065 


WUH 


A thing, matter, substance, 


THINGS. 










an article, goods. 


They 


286 


^ 


60 


CHI 


Same as 20. 


REACH 












the 


287 


}ffi 


771 


SHING 


To bear, to sustain, to raise, 


BEST 










to conquer, to excel, supe 












rior, best, excellent, to add. 


of them, to 


288 


d 


721 


RH 


Same as 32. 


TWICE 



THE DESCRIPTION OF FU-SANG. 285 



The cattle of the country bear a considerable weight upon their horns. 



red ; in the years ou and ki, yellow ; in the years Iceng and sin, white ; 
finally, in those which have the characters jin and kouei, they are black. 
The cattle have long horns, upon which burdens are loaded which weigh 
as much sometimes as 



red ; in the two following years, white ; and in the two last, black. The 
oxen have such large horns that they contain as much as ten sheepskins ; 
the people use them to keep all kinds of goods. 



red, etc. 



red ; in the years marked with the signs Meou and Sse, they are yellow ; 
in the years marked with the cyclic signs Keng and Sin, they are white ; 
in the years marked with the signs Jin and Kouei, they are black. They 
have cattle whose horns are very long, and who bear upon their horns a 
weight as great as 



of a red colour ; they are of a yellow colour in the years ou and ki; of a 
white colour in the years keng and sin; and of a black colour in the years 
jin and kouei. Ox-horns are found in Fusang so large that their capacity 
is sometimes as great as two 



red ; it is yellow in the third ; white in the fourth ; and black in the last 
two years. There are oxen with long horns, so long that they will hold 
things the biggest as much as 



red ; the fifth and sixth years, yellow ; the seventh and eighth years, 
white ; and the ninth and tenth years, black. They have cattle-horns, of 
which the long ones are used to contain (some of their) possessions, the 
best of them reaching (a capacity of) twice 



286 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 



No. 


Character. 


Page. 


Sound. 


DEFINITION. 


Translation. 


289 


+ 


768 


SHIH 


Ten. 


TEN 




1 








times as much 


290 


m 


233 


HUH 


(From a peck measure and a horn.) 
The Chinese bushel, holding ten 
pecks, or a picul, according to 


as an ordinary 
HORN-MEAS 
URE. 










some; but the common table 












makes it measure five pecks, or 
half a picul. At Shanghai the 


They 


291 


* 


1113 


YIU 

(Same as 14) 


huh for rice holds only 2-05 pints, 
and that for peas, 1-86 pint. The 
Buddhists use it for a full picul 
of 133X Ibs., av., but the Hindu 
drona, which the huh represents, 


HAVE 










weighs only 7 Ibs. 11 oz., av. 




292 


Wt 


571 


MA 


A horse, warlike, quick as a 


HORSE- 




tttg 






horse. 




293 


M 


39 


CE E 


A wheeled carriage, a cart. 


CARTS, 


294 


^r 


638 


NIU 


Same as 279. 


CATTLE- 


295 




39 


CH E 


" " 293. 


CARTS, 












and 


296 


m 


562 


LUH 


A deer, especially the males ; 
stags which have horns. 


DEER- 


297 


Iff 


39 


CH E 


Same as 293. 


CARTS. 




t^ 








The 


298 


El 


491 


KWOH 


" " 5. 


COUNTRY 


299 


A 


286 


JAN 


" " 62. 


PEOPLE 


300 


5f 


1072 


YANG 


To nourish, rear, "bring up, 


RAISE 










tame ; to raise, educate. 




301 


JS 


662 


LUH 


Same as 296. 


DEER 


302 


y,p 


297 


JO- 


" " 59. 


AS 




5" 








in the 


303 


Pff 


105 


CHUNG 


" " 38. 


MIDDLE 


304 


SI 


491 


KWOH 


" " 5. 


KINGDOM 




*** 






, 


they 


305 


iif 


98 


CH UH 


To rear, to feed, to raise, to 


RAISE 




M-l 






domesticate. 




806 


^ 


638 


NIU 


Same as 279. 


CATTLE. 


307 


J# 


278 


I 


" " 49. 


FROM 


308 


^t 


298 


Jtr 


Milk, milky, the breasts, the 


MILK 










nipple ; to suck, to nurse. 


they 


309 


^ 


1047 


wi 


Same as 50. 


MAKE 


310 





553 


LOH 


Cream, dried milk, racky [kou 


KOUMISS. 










miss] from mare s milk. 


They 


311 


w 


1113 


YIU 


Same as 14. 


HAVE 


312 


^ 


72 


CH IH 


" " 69. 


the 
RED 



THE DESCRIPTION OF FU-SANG. 287 



They are harnessed to wagons. Horses and deer are also employed for 
this purpose. The inhabitants feed hinds, as in China, and from them 
they obtain butter. A species of red 



twenty ho (of 120 Chinese pounds). In this country they make use of 
carts harnessed to cattle, horses, and deer. They rear deer there as they 
raise cattle in China, and make cheese from the milk of the females. 
A species of red 



Horses, oxen, and deer are also harnessed to wagons. Deer are raised 
here as cattle are in the " Middle Kingdom," and from the milk of the 
hinds butter is made. The red 



The natives raise deer, as cattle are raised, and make creamy dishes 
from the milk of the animals. 



twenty ho (the ho is a measure of ten bushels). 

They have carts drawn by horses, cattle, and deer. The inhabitants 
raise deer as cattle are raised in China. They make cheeses from milk. 
There is a species of red 



hundred bushels. They are used to contain all sorts of things. Carriages 
also may be seen, to which horses, cattle, and deer are harnessed. The 
inhabitants raise deer as cattle are raised in China ; the milk of the hinds 
makes part of their food. They gather the red 



five pecks. Vehicles are drawn by oxen, horses, and deer ; for the people 
of that land rear deer just as the Chinese rear cattle, and make cream of 
their milk. They have red 



ten times as much as the capacity of a common horn. They have horse- 
carts, cattle-carts, and deer-carts. The people of the country raise deer 
as cattle are raised in the Middle Kingdom (China). From milk they 
make koumiss. They have the red 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 



No. 


Character. 


Page. 


Sound. 


DEFINITION. 


Translation. 


313 


3& 


515 


LI 


Same as 67. 


PEARS 


314 


& 


404 


KING 


The warp ; to pass through ; 


THROUGH- 










laws ; religious manuals. 


out the 


315 


4p 


634 


NIEN 


Same as 11. 


YEAR 


316 


/Y* 


717 


PUH 


" " 100. 


UN 


317 


^H 


244 


HWAI 


Going or gone to ruin, to 


SPOILED, 




xK 






spoil, to injure, to perish, 












spoiled, useless. 


and 


318 


^> 


909 


TO 


Same as 44. Many ; numer 


TO 




^g 








ous. 




319 




715 


P U 


The cat-tail rush, the cala 


P U- 










mus, or sweet-flag. 




320 


$fc 


870 


T AO 


A peach, a nectarine, a flower- 


T AO- 










bud. 


es. 


321 


3 


342 


K l 


Same as 12. 


ITS 


322 


Wl 


879 


TI 


" " 36. 


GROUND 




jfm* 








is 


323 


Tfft 


1059 


WU 


" " 85. 


DESTITUTE OF 


324 


$16 


893 


T lEH 


Iron, made of iron, firm. 


IRON, 




^f*^ 








but it 


325 


rJ 


1113 


YIU 


Same as 14. 


HAS 


326 


m 


934 


T UNG 


Copper, brazen, coppery. 


COPPER. 




~ . 








They do 


327 


<r* 


717 


PUH 


Same as 100. 


NOT 


328 


ft* 


484 


KWEI 


" " 166. 


VALUE 


329 


^ 


398 


KIN 


Gold, gilded, yellow, precious. 


GOLD 












or 


330 


sill 


1101 


YIN 


Silver, money, wealth. 


SILVER. 




. 








Their 


331 


rp 


762 


SHI 


A market, crowded, vulgar, 


MARKETS 










to trade, salable. 


are 


332 


M 


1059 


WU 


Same as 85. 


DESTITUTE OF 


333 


ffl 


1007 


TSU 


Rent or tax in kind from 


TAXES 










fields ; rental ; income ; 












taxes. 


and 


334 


ft 


433 


KU 


To estimate, reckon, guess, 


FIXED PRICES. 










think, set a price on ; value, 












worth, price. 


When 


335 


s 


342 


Kl 


Same as 12. 


THEY 


336 


$& 




268 


HWUN 


A bridegroom, a husband, to 


MARRY, 










marry a wife. 





THE DESCRIPTION OF FU-SANG. 289 



pear is found there, which is kept for a year without spoiling ; also the 
iris, and peaches, and copper in great abundance. They have no iron, 
and gold and silver are not valued. He who wishes to marry 



pear is found there which is preserved throughout the year. There are 
also many vines. Iron is lacking, but copper is found. Gold and silver 
are not esteemed. Commerce is free, and they do not haggle at all. 
The practices regarding marriages are as follows : 



pears of the fusang trees keep good throughout the whole year. In addi 
tion, there are many apples and reeds, mats being made from the last. 
There is no iron in this country, but copper is found. Gold and silver are 
not valued, and do not serve as the medium of exchange in the markets. 
Marriages are concluded in the following manner : 



In this country there is no iron, but there is copper. Gold and silver 
are not valued. In the markets no duties are levied. 



pear which can be preserved for a year without spoiling. There are many 
grapes. No mines of iron exist, but copper is very abundant. The in 
habitants do not esteem either gold or silver. The public markets are 
not subject to any duty. The laws relating to marriage are as follows : 



pears which are preserved for an entire year, and they also have many 
grapes. Their land does not contain any iron, but they have copper, ob 
tained from their mines. Gold and silver among them have but little 
value. The markets are free, and that which is sold does not have a 
fixed price. In regard to marriage, 



pears which will keep a year without spoiling ; water-rushes and peaches 
are common. Iron is not found in the ground, though copper is ; they do 
not prize gold or silver, and trade is conducted without rent, duty, or 
fixed prices. 

In matters of marriage 



pears kept unspoiled throughout the year, and they also have TOMATOES. 
The ground is destitute of iron, but they have copper. Gold and silver 
are not valued. In their markets there are no taxes or fixed prices. When 
they marry, 

19 



290 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 



No. 


Character 


Page. 


Sound. 


DEFINITION. 


Translation. 


337 


fc 


123 


FAH 


Same as 105. ) A rule, a pat- 


it is the 
RULE 










[ tern to go 




338 


Hi] 


956 


TSEH 


" " 127. ) by. 


THEN 












for the intending 


339 


its 


790 


SI 


A son-in-law. 


SON-IN-LAW 


340 


ti 


1044 


WANG 


To go, formerly, past, the fu 


TO GO 










ture. 


and the 


341 


I^C 


641 


Ntf 


Same as 143. 


WOMAN 













s 


342 


lc 


351 


KIA 


A household, a family, a 


DWELLING 




- 






dwelling. 


s 


343 


P^ 


576 


MAN 


Same as 16. 


DOOR 


344 


& 


1037 


WAI 


Outside, beyond, foreign, to 
exclude. 


OUTSIDE 


345 


>fjs 


1005 


TSOH 


Same as 82. 


TO MAKE 


346 




1064 


WUH 


" " 84. 


HOUSE 












(or cabin). 


347 


* 


21 


CH AN 


Morning, dawn. 


MORNING 
and 


848 




804 


SIH 


Evening, dusk, the last day 


EVENING 




< 






of a month or year. 


he 


849 


iH 


731 


SIIA 


To sprinkle, to scatter, deep 


SPRINKLES 










water. 


and 


350 


jjj 


726 


SAO 


To sweep, to brush, to clean 


SWEEPS 










up, a broom. 


(the ground) 


851 


$f 


404 


KING 


Same as 314. 


THROUG fl 












out a 


852 


t^ 


638 


NIEN 


" " 11. 


YEAR, 


853 


flff 


719 


RH 


" " 68. 


AND 




* 








if the 


354 


~k 


641 


Nt 


" " 143. 


WOMAN 




^^ 








is 


355 


^ 


717 


PUH 


" " 100. 


NOT 


356 


is 


1131 


YUEH 


Contented, delightful, to 


PLEASED 










agree to, willing. 


with him, 


357 


in 


984 


TSIH 


Eating, to go, now, soon, then, 


THEN 










forthwith. 


she 


358 


ffg 


443 


K U 


To turn animals out of a field, 


SENDS AWAY 




"* 






to drive on, to lash, to or 












der people into their prop 












er places. 




359 


S 


53 


CHI 


Same as 40. 


HIM; 


360 


* 


790 


SIANG 


" " 144. 


but if they are 
MUTUALLY 



THE DESCRIPTION OF FU-SANG. 2 91 



builds a house or cabin near that of the maid whom he desires to wed, 
and takes care to sprinkle a certain quantity of water upon the ground 
every day during the year ; he finally marries the maid, if she wishes and 
consents ; otherwise, he goes to seek his fortune elsewhere. 



He who desires to wed a girl, establishes his cabin before the door of 
the latter ; he sprinkles and sweeps the earth every morning and every 
night. When he has practiced this formality for a year, if the maid will 
not give her consent, he desists ; but if she is 



the man builds himself a hut before the door of the house in which the 
one lives whom he desires ; morning and evening he sprinkles and clears 
the ground. When a year has passed, if the maiden does not consent, he 
leaves her ; but if she 



(Not translated.) 



The future son-in-law goes into the family of the girl and constructs a 
house, outside of her door ; morning and night he waters and sweeps 
;he place. If, at the end of a year, the girl feels no love for him, she 
sends him away ; but, if they are smitten with love for each other, 



he customs of the country are as follows : the suitor constructs a dwell- 
ng for himself before the door of the house in which dwells the young 
woman whom he seeks. Morning and evening he sprinkles and sweeps 
he earth in this place. At the end of a year, if the young woman is not 
leased, she sends him away ; and, in the contrary case, 



i is the law that the (intending) son-in-law must erect a hut before the 
oor of the girl s house, and must sprinkle and sweep the place morn- 
ng and evening for a whole year. If she then does not like him, she 
ids him depart ; but if she is 



t is the custom for the son-in-law to go and erect a house (or cabin) out- 

ide of the door of the dwelling of the young woman (whom he desires to 

marry). Morning and evening he sprinkles and sweeps (the ground) for 

year, and, if the young woman is not pleased with him, she then sends 

im away ; but if they are mutually 



292 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 



No. 


Character 


Page. 


Sound. 


DEFINITION. 


Translation. 


361 


It 


1131 


YUEH 


Same as 356. 


PLEASED, 


362 


JTj 


612 


NAI 


But, it may be, doubtless, 


THEN 










moreover, if, then, there 


they 




ff^ 






upon. 




363 


J& 


71 


CH ING 


To finish, to complete, to ac 


COMPLETE 










complish. 


the 


364 


$H 
" 


268 


HWUN 


Same as 336. 


MARRIAGE. 












The 


365 


2n 


268 


HWUN 


" " 336. 


MARRIAGE 


366 


fl 


520 


LI 


An act, particularly an act of 


CEREMONIES 










worship, ceremony, rites, 


for the 










manners. 




367 


"A* 


839 


TA 


Same as 28. "I T 


MOST 




* > 






In gen- 




368 


U 


878 


TI 


To oppose, to sus- I ^emost 


PART 










to obtdn/ 6 1011 J P art 


are 


369 


JSil 


1125 


YOr 


By, with, to, as, as if. 


AS 




^ 








in the 


370 


pff 


105 


CHUNG 


Same as 38. 


MIDDLE 


371 


RH 


491 


KWOH 


" " 5. 


KINGDOM 




~"T 








the 


372 


[j 


933 


T UNG 


Together, all, identical, same, 


SAME. 










the same as. 


Fora 


373 


SH 


991 


TS IN 


To love, to approach, near, 


FATHER, 




^ 






intimate, a relative, a wife, 


MOTHER, 










kindred. The six TS IN 


WIFE, OR 










are parents, brothers, wife, 


SON, 




. t 






and sons. 


they 


374 


5x 


725 


SANG 


To mourn, to lament for one s 


MOURN 










parents. 




375 


"C 


987 


TS IH 


Same as 213. 


SEVEN 


376 





293 


JEII 


A day, the sun, daily. 


DAYS, 


377 


>5 


717 


PUH 


Same as 100. 


NOT 


378 


^ 


766 


SHIH 


" " 63. 


EATING. 


379 


M& 


1007 


TSU 


A grandfather, an an- "| 


Fora 
GRAND 










cestor, the first, the 1 












origin, to begin. A 












V grand- 




380 


3c 


147 


FU 


A rule, a father, an father. 


FATHER 










ancestor, a senior, 












paternal. J 


or grand- 


381 


fif 


605 


MU 


A mother, a dam, the source 


MOTHER 




-^ 






of. 


they 


382 


131 


725 


SANG 


Same as 374. 


MOURN 


383 


3L 


1060 


wu 


A perfect number, five, the 


FIVE 










whole, all. 




384 





293 


JEH 


Same as 376. 


DAYS 



THE DESCRIPTION OF FU-SANG. 293 



The marriage ceremonies, for the most part, are similar to those which 
are practiced in China. At the death of relatives, they fast a greater or 
less number of days, according to the degree of relationship. 



pleased with him, he marries her. The ceremonies of marriage are 
nearly the same as in China. At the death of father or mother, they fast 
seven days. At that of a grandfather or grandmother, they refrain from 
eating for five days, 



consents, the marriage is completed. The marriage customs, on the 
whole, resemble those of the " Middle Kingdom." When the parents die, 
it is the custom to fast for seven days ; on the death of a grandfather, 
on either the father s or mother s side, five days ; 



The rules for the observance of the marriage ceremony are in general 
the same as those of the Middle Kingdom (China). 



they are married. The ceremonies of marriage are in general the same as 
those in China. If a father or mother dies, one fasts for seven days ; if 
it is a grandfather or grandmother, for five days ; 



the marriage is immediately celebrated with ceremonies which have much 
resemblance to those of China. At the death of father or mother, it is 
the custom to fast for seven days. The fast is for five days at the death 
of a grandfather or grandmother, 



pleased with him, they are married. The bridal ceremonies are for the 
most part like those of China. A fast of seven days is observed for par 
ents at their death ; five for grand-parents ; 



pleased, then the marriage is completed, the marriage ceremonies being 
for the most part like those of the " Middle Kingdom " (China). 

For a father, mother, wife, or son, they mourn for seven days without 
eating. For a grandfather or grandmother they mourn for five days 



294 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 



No. 


Character. 


Page. 


Sound. 


DEFINITION. 


Translation. 


385 


# 


717 


PUH 


Same as 100. 


NOT 


386 


^ 


766 


SHIH 


" " 63. 


EATING ; 




J^G 








for an 


387 


51 


213 


HIUNG 


An elder brother, a senior. 


ELDER 




s u 








BROTHER, 


388 


ji 


879 


TI 


A younger brother, junior, 


YOUNGER 










cousins. 


BROTHER, 


389 


ffi 


707 


POH 


A father s elder brother. 


FATHER S ELD 




1 H 








ER BROTHER, 


390 


.jfcj/ 


779 


SHUH 


A father s younger brother. 


FATHER S 




4?V 








YOUNGER 












BROTHER, 


891 


fcfc 


432 


KU 


A polite term for females. 


or his SISTER, 




t ji- 








or for an 


392 


"iff} 


1031 


TSZ 


An elder sister, a school-mis 


ELDER 










tress. 


SISTER 












or 


393 


hk 


586 


MEI 


A younger sister, a sister, a 


YOUNGER 










girl. 


SISTER, 


394 


~ 


723 


SAN 


Same as 208. 


THREE 


395 





293 


JEH 


" " 376. 


DAYS, 


396 


^ 


717 


PUH 


" " 100. 


NOT 


397 


^ 


766 


SHIH 


" " 63. 


EATING. 


398 


m 


750 


SHEH 


To institute, establish, set up. 


They 
ESTABLISH 












and 


399 


^K 


1002 


TSO 


Same as 174. 


SET UP 




qprf. 








the 


400 


m 


737 


SHAN 


A god, a spirit, divine, super 


SPIRIT 










natural. 


s 


401 


Hfc 


793 


SIANG 


Like, a figure, image, like 


IMAGE, 










ness, a statue, an idol, to 












resemble. 


and 


402 




32 


CHAO 


The dawn, morning, early. 


MORNING 












and 


403 




804 


SIH 


Same as 348. 


EVENING 


404 


^? 


648 


PAI 


To honour, reverence, kneel 


REVERENCE 










to, salute. 


it, and 


405 




896 


TIEN 


To enshrine as a god, to offer 


OFFER LIBA 










libations. 


TIONS 




. >- 








to it. They do 


406 


T* 


717 


PUH 


Same as 100. 


NOT, 












in their 


407 


rjj J 


59 


CHI 


To regulate, a rule, practice, 


MOURNING 










mourning usages. 


USAGES, 




. 








wear 


408 


JiR 


1017 


TS UI 


A strip of sackcloth ancient 


MOURNING- 










ly worn on the breast as a 


GARMENTS 










badge of mourning. 


or 



THE DESCRIPTION OF FU-SANG. 295 



and during their prayers they expose the image of the deceased person. 
They wear no mourning 



and only for three days at the death of brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, 
and other relatives. The images of spirits are placed upon a species of 
pedestal, and prayers are addressed to them morning and evening. 



for the death of an elder or younger brother or sister, or an uncle or aunt, 
three days. They sit then, from morning until evening, before the image 
of the spirit, absorbed in prayer ; yet they have no mourning 



(Xot translated.) 



if it is an uncle, or an aunt, or a sister, for three days. The image of 
the deceased person is placed upon a pedestal. It is saluted morning and 
night, and offerings made to it. There is no law in regard to mourning 



and for three days at the death of brothers, sisters, uncles, and aunts, 
Avithout distinction between the elder and younger, or between the rela 
tives on the father s side and those on the mother s side. The image of a 
spirit is set up, before which prostrations are made morning and night, 
and to which oblations are made. Moreover, mourning 



and three days for brothers, sisters, uncles, and aunts. Images to repre 
sent their spirits are set up, before which they worship and pour out liba 
tions morning and evening ; but they wear no mourning or 



without eating ; for an elder brother, younger brother, father s elder 
brother, or father s younger brother, or for the corresponding female rela 
tives, or for an elder sister or younger sister, three days without eating. 
They set up an image of the spirit (of the deceased person) and reverence 
it, and offer libations to it morning and evening. In their mourning 
usages they do not wear mourning garments or \f Q"? 



296 



AX INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 



No. 


Character. 


Page. 


Sound. 


DEFINITION. 


Translation. 


409 


*g 


890 


TIEH 


Badges of coarse white hemp 


MOURNING- 










en cloth worn by mourners 


BADGES. 










at funerals. 


An 


410 


if 


838 


SZ 


To succeed to, lawfully ; the 


INHERITING 




IHJ y 






expectant heir, children, 












heirs ; to employ ; here 












after ; the following. 




411 


3E 


1043 


WANG 


Same as 217. 


KING 

is 


412 


AL 


538 


LIH 


To stand erect, established, to 


SEATED ON 










set up, to succeed to or seat 


THE THRONE 










one s self on the throne. 


for 


413 


~> 


723 


SAN 


Same as 208. 


THREE 


414 


& 


634 


NIEN 


" " 11. 


YEARS 


415 


>F 


717 


PUH 


" " 100. 


WITHOUT 


416 


II 


991 


TS IN 


" " 373. 


APPROACHING 












the 


417 


HU 


491 


KWOH 


" " 5. 


COUNTRY 


418 


% 


764 


SHI 


An affair, a matter, business, 


. AFFAIRS. 










duties. 




419 


~M" 


342 


K l 


Same as 12. 


THEY 




~y/> 








were 


420 


r& 


822 


SUE 


Inelegant, uneducated, com 


IGNORANT 










mon, vulgar. 




421 


l8 


414 


KIU 


Old, venerable, formerly, an 


FORMERLY, 










ciently. 


and 


422 


fiE 


1059 


WU 


Same as 85. 


DESTITUTE 




/>i 








OF 


423 


TO 


153 


FUH 


Buddha. 


BUDDHA 




I/ r* 








a 


424 


Sr 


123 


FAH 


Same as 105. 


RULES; 




4-2 








but in the 


425 


,/^v 


831 


SUNG 


To dwell ; a feudal state ; the 


SUNG 










Sung dynasty. 


dynasty, 
in the period called 


426 


~fc 


839 


TA 


Same as 28. 


" GREAT 


427 


IJj 


599 


MING 


Bright, clear, the dawn, splen 


BRIGHTNESS," 










dour. 


in the 


428 


- J. 


721 


RH 


Same as 32. 


SECOND 


429 


^ 


634 


NIEN 


" " 11. 


YEAR, 


430 


lit 


340 


KI 


A coarse carpet or felt rug, 


KI- 










made of camel s hair. 




431 


51 


695 


PIN 


A stranger, a visitor, to en 


PIN 










tertain. 




432 


H 


491 


KWOH 


Same as 5. 


COUNTRY 



THE DESCRIPTION OF FU-SANG. 297 



garments, and the prince who succeeds to his father takes no care regard 
ing the government for three years after his elevation. In former times 
the people had no knowledge of the religion of Fo, but, in the year 458 
A. D., in the Sum dynasty, from Samarcand 



The king does not occupy himself with the affairs of government dur 
ing the three years which follow his accession to the throne. Formerly 
the religion of Buddha did not exist in this country, but in the fourth of 
the years Ta-ming, of the reign of Hiao-wou-ti of the dynasty of Soung 
(458 A. D.), from the country of Ki-pin (Cophene), 



garments. The king who succeeds his deceased father does not occupy 
himself with the affairs of the kingdom for the next three years. Of old, 
the method of living of these people was not according to the laws of 
Buddha. It happened, however, that in the second year of the years 
bearing the designation "Great Light," of the Song dynasty (458 A. D.), 
from the kingdom of Kipin, 



In the second year of the period called " ta-ming " (or great light), the 
year 458 of our era, under the reign of the emperor Hiao Wu-ti of the 
Sung dynasty, from the country of Ki-pin, 



garments. The heir to the throne remains three years without occupying 
himself with the affairs of the kingdom. Formerly they did not know 
the doctrine of Buddha. In the second year of the period Ta-ming, of 
the dynasty of the Song (458), from the kingdom of Ki-pin (i. e., Cophene, 
now the country of Caboul), 



garments are not worn. During the first three years of his accession, the 
king does not occupy himself with affairs of state. Formerly the religion 
of Fo was unknown in Fusang. It was only in the Song dynasty, in the 
second of the years ta-ming (458), that from the kingdom of Ki-pin 



fillets. The successor of the king does not attend personally to govern 
ment affairs for the first three years. In olden times they knew nothing 
of the Buddhist religion, but during the reign Ta-ming, of the Emperor 
Hiao Wu-ti of the Sung dynasty (A. D. 458), from Ki-pin 



mourning-badges. A king who inherits the throne does not occupy him 
self with the affairs of the government for the first three years after his ac 
cession. Formerly they were ignorant, and knew nothing of the Buddhist 
religion ; but during the reign of the Sung dynasty, in the second year of 
the period called TA-MIXG (or " Great Brightness," i. e., in the year 458 
A. D.), from the country of Ki-nx (i. e., Cophene, now Cabul), 



298 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 



No. 


Character. 


Page. 


Sound. 


DEFINITION. 


Translation. 




r**l 








had 


433 


jj 


27 


CH ANG 


To taste, to try, to essay, to prove. 
When preceding another verb, 


FORMERLY 










it denotes past time, usually. 












formerly, ever. 




434 


rJ 


1113 


YIU 


Same as 14. 


HAD 


435 


It 


674 


PI 


To compare, to corre- "| 
spond, to equal, to bring 


PI- 










into harmony, to select, A 






f-j 






each, every. men- 




436 


Jn\ 


416 


K lU 


A natural hillock, a high dicant 


K lU, 




* 






place, a hill with a hoi- priest. 


. ; 










lowed or level top for 


(mendicant priests), 










worshipers, a tumulus. 




437 


3 


1060 


WU 


Same as 383. 


FIVE 


438 


A 


286 


JlN 


" " 62. 


MEN, 
who 


439 


%$ 


1112 


YIU 


To float, drift, swim, travel, rove 
about, to take pleasure in, satis- 


VOYAGING 










fled, pleased. 




440 


ft 


207 


HING 


Same as 245. 


WENT 

to 


441 


K 


342 


K l 


" " 12. 


THAT 


442 


s 


491 


KWOH 


" " 5. 


COUNTRY, 




\Z 1 








and 


443 


$ 


549 


LIU 


The flowing of water, to pass, to 
circulate, to diffuse, to make 
known, to shed, fluid, to select, 


MADE 
KNOWN 


444 


"S 


932 


T UNG 


to beg, a class, roving, vagrant. 
To permeate, go through, see 


THROUGH 




^^ 






clearly, to bring about, to suc 












ceed, current, through, general, 


it 










complete. 




445 


/fife 


153 


FUH 


Same as 423. 


BUDDHA 




|X f* 








a 


446 


iy-fc 


123 


FAH 


" " 105. 


RULES, 




^i 








and his 


447 


>B"T^ 


404 


KING 


" " 314. 


RELIGIOUS 













BOOKS, and 


448 


1^ 


793 


SIANG 


" " 401. 


IMAGES, 




^30 








and 


449 


f2* 


372 


KIAO 


To instruct, to teach, command, 


TAUGHT 










precept, doctrine, a religious 
sect, a party, a class. 


the 


450 


A 


546 


LING 


A law, a rule, an order, to 


COMMAND 










command, an officer. 


to 


451 


m 


98 


CH UH 


To become a priest. 
Same as 165. (Hepburn, p. 424.) 
Forsaking home, 


FORSAKE 










surname, and the 


the 










world to enter a 




452 


^Sc. 


351 


KIA 


" " 345. Buddhist monas 


FAMILY, 










tery. 


and its 


453 




155 


FUNG 


The wind, a breeze, speech, man 
ner, deportment, style, fashion, 


MANNERS 










reformation, instruction, temper, 












habit. 




454 


16* 


822 


SUH 


Same as 420. 


RUDENESS 


455 


^ 


828 


BUI 


To accord with, then, thereon, 


FINALLY 




-tlu 






finally. 


was 


456 


2 


307 


KAI 


Same as 256. 


REFORMED. 



THE DESCRIPTION OF FU-SANG. 299 



five priests went preaching their doctrine in this country, and then the 
manners of the people were changed. 



five pi-khievu, or priests, came to Fu~sang, and there spread abroad the 
law of Buddha. They carried with them their books and sacred images, 
and the ritual, and established monastic customs, and so changed the 
manners of the inhabitants. 



five begging monks came to this land, and there spread abroad the re 
ligion of Buddha, with his sacred writings and images. They instructed 
the people regarding the rules of monastic life, and so changed the cus 
toms of the people. 



five bhikshu (mendicant priests) in their travels reached FOU-SO, and com 
menced to propagate Buddhism there. 



five bhikcJwus (religious mendicants) traveled into this country, and there 
spread abroad the law, the books, and the images of Buddha. Their doc 
trine induced men to leave their families (in order to embrace a religious 
life). The manners of the inhabitants were then changed (i. e., the peo 
ple immediately adopted the usages and the principles of Buddhism). 



five Buddhist priests repaired by sea to this country. They there dis 
tributed the books of the law and the holy images ; they taught the pre 
cepts of monastic life, and changed the manners of the inhabitants. 



five beggar priests went there. They traveled over the kingdom, every 
where making known the laws, canons, and images of that faith. Priests 
of regular ordination were set apart among the natives, and the customs 
of the country became reformed. 



formerly, five men who were PI-K IU (i. e., bhikshus, mendicant Bud 
dhist monks) went by a voyage to that country, and made Buddha s rules 
and his religious books and images known among them, taught the com 
mand to forsake the family (for the purpose of entering a monastery), and 
finally reformed the rudeness of its customs. 



300 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

Hwui Shan also gave a description of a country called " the 
Kingdom of Women," situated about one thousand li east of 
Fu-sang. This story has always been rejected as a manifest 
absurdity, and its presumed falsity has been one of the most 
powerful arguments for casting discredit upon his whole account. 
For this reason, those who have accepted his statements regard 
ing the country of Fu-sang have said as little as possible about 
his tale in regard to "the Kingdom of Women," and have dis 
missed it with the statement that it was merely a description, 
given by him from hearsay, of a country that he had not visited, 
and that its absurdities should not be permitted to raise doubts 
as to the truth of his report regarding the country of Fu-sang, 
in which he had resided. 

His description, which will be found, when rightly translated 
and understood, to be substantially true, and to furnish strong 
proof of the reliability of his statements, will be given in the 
following chapter ; and as the only clew to the location of Fu- 
sang is that it lies easterly from both China and the Great Han 
Country, and as all that is known as to the situation of this last- 
named country is that it lies northeasterly from Wen Shan, the 
land of "Marked Bodies," the Chinese account of these two 
countries will also be given. 



CHAPTER XVII. 

THE KINGDOM OF WOMEN, THE LAND OP " MARKED BODIES," AND 
THE GKEAT HAN COUNTRY. 

The accounts of all these countries derived from the same source The Chinese 
text The location of the Kingdom of Women Its inhabitants Their long 
locks Their migrations Birth of their young Nursing the young The age 
at which they walk Their timidity Their devotion to their mates The 
salt-plant Its peculiarities A shipwreck The women A tribe whose lan 
guage could not be understood Men with puppies heads Their food, 
clothing, and dwellings The land of " Marked Bodies " Its location 
Tattooing with three lines The character of the people Lack of fortifi 
cations The king s residence Water-silver No money used The Country 
of Great Han Its location Lack of weapons Its people. 

THE following account of the Kingdom of Women is ex 
pressly stated to have been given by Hwui Shan ; but it does not 
appear to have been noticed that the reports in regard to the 
Great Han Country, and the land of "Marked Bodies," must 
also, in all probability, have been derived from the same source. 

These countries were made known to the Chinese during the 
reign of the Liang dynasty. Now, it is known that Hwui Shan 
reached China just before the establishment of this dynasty, but 
that his account was not given to the emperor, and did not 
become generally known, until some time during its first years. 
Hence there can have been no earlier report, regarding Great 
Han, than that which he could have given ; and as in his account 
of Fu-sang he refers to Great Han, and in the description of 
this country the land of " Marked Bodies " is mentioned, it is 
almost impossible that he should not have been questioned as to 
these strange countries also. The accounts are short such as 
would be incidentally given in a single report, in which the main 
interest centered upon another land ; and there is nothing to 
show that the Chinese ever heard anything more about them. 



302 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 



No. 


Character. 


Page. 


Sound. 


DEFINITION. 


Translation. 


457 


# 


641 


Ntr 


Same as 143. 




WOMAN 

8 


458 


HI 


491 


KWOH 


" " 5. 




COUNTRY. 


459 


it 


641 


NtJ 


Same as 143. 




WOMAN 

s 


460 


EH 


491 


KWOH 


" " 5. 




COUNTRY, 


461 


^P 


265 


HWUI 


" " 17. 




HWUI 


462 


$i 


736 


SHAN 


" " 18. 




SHlN 


463 


^ 


1142 


YUN 


" " 24. 




SAYS, 


464 


IE 


941 


TSAI 


" " 27. 




IS SITUATED 
from 


465 


^ 


144 


FU 


1. 




FU- 


466 


Jj| 


724 


SANG 


" " 2 




SANG 


467 


1C 


930 


TUNG 


" " 81. 




EAST 




^J^ 










one 


468 


"T 


980 


TS IEN 


A thousand, many, an indefi 


THOUSAND 










nite number. 






469 


Ji 


518 


LI 


Same as 35. 




LI. 


470 




342 


K l 


" " 12. 




ITS 


471 


A 


286 


JAN 


" " 62. 




PEOPLE 

s 


472 


^ 


1146 


YUNG 


To receive, the air, " 
manner, conduct, 
the face, looks, or 


The aspect 
of one s man 


MANNER 
of 










attitude. 


ner (Med- 




473 


f 


582 


MAO 


The outward mien, 
gait, style, man 
ner, form, appear 


hurst, p. 757). 
The appear 
ance, air, de 


APPEARANCE 










ance, the face, 


meanour. 


is 










like, similar to. , 






474 


ifl 


936 


TWAN 


Sprouting, the head, 
the origin, straight, 




STRAIGHT 










direct, correct, up 


Correct, in 












right, modest, 


tegrity, up 




475 


IE 


75 


CHING 


grave, decent. 
Correct, proper, 
straight, right, 


right, either 
physically 
or morally. 


ERECT. 










erect, exact, really, 














the first. 




Their 




^^ 






( (Mcdhurst. 586.) 




476 


EL 


727 


SEH 


Same as 253. < The countenance, 
( colour, beauty. 


COLOUR 

is a 


477 





738 


SHlN 


Social delights, very, extreme 


VERY 










ly. 






478 


lii* 


377 


KIEH 


Clear, limpid, pure, neat, 


PURE 










tidy. 






479 


1=3 


706 


POH 


Same as 273. 




WHITE. 


480 


^ 


735 


SHAN 


" " 161. 




Their 
BODIES 



THE KINGDOM OF WOMEN. 393 



THE KINGDOM OF WOMEN. 

The inhabitants of this kingdom are white, 



THE KINGDOM OF WOMEN. 

The bonze Hoei-chin has spoken in the following terms of a kingdom 
of women situated a thousand li from Fu-sang toward the east. The 
women of this kingdom have very regular features and very white faces ; 
but 



NtT KWOH, OR KINGDOM OF WOMEN. 

Concerning the Kingdom of Women, the shaman Hwui-shin relates : It 
is a thousand li to the east of Fu-sang. The bearing and manners of the 
people are very sedate and formal ; their color is exceedingly clear and 
white : their bodies 



THE COUNTRY OF WOMEN. 

Hwui ShSn says that the Country of Women is situated a thousand li 
east of Fu-sang. Its people s manner of appearance is straight erect 
(or, is very correct), and their colour is (or their countenances are) a very 
pure white. 

Their bodies 



304 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 



No. 


Character 


Page. 


Sound. 


DEFINITION. 


Translation. 


481 


n 


884 


T l 


The body, the whole person, the 
substance, a solid, the essentials, 
influential, to embody. 


THE WHOLE 
BODY 


482 


rJ 


1113 


YIU 


Same as 14. 


HAS 


483 


^ 


580 


MAO 


The covering of animals or 


HAIR. 










birds, as hair, fur, feathers, 












or down. 


The 


484 


Ji 


121 


FAH 


The hair of the head, numer 


HAIR OF THE 










ous, grass, vegetation. 


HEAD i s 


485 


*Sk 


27 


CH ANG 


Same as 281. 


LONG, 


486 


IS 


1051 


WEI 


To sustain, bear, allege, send off, 


the 
END 










confide to, a wrong, grievance, 
the end, the last, really. 


reaching to the 


487 


iiil 


879 


TI 


Same as 36. 


GROUND. 


488 


3* 


60 


CHI 


" " 20. 


AT 




* 








the 


489 


*. 


721 


RH 


" " 32. 


SECOND 












or 


490 


\ 


723 


SAN 


" " 208. 


THIRD 


491 


^i 


1129 


YUEH 


The moon, a lunar month, 


MONTH, 




. .. 






monthly. 




492 


ia 


407 


KING 


Originally formed of words above a 
man, repeated, to indicate the 


BICKERING, 










bickering of the people ; strong, 












violent, bickering, testy, to be 


they 










quarrelsome, great, abundant. 




493 


A 


299 


JUH 


To enter, to go into, to pro 


ENTER 










gress, according to, an en 












trance. 


the 


494 


* 


781 


SHUI 


Water, a fluid, clear, a stream, a 
trip from one place to another, 


WATER. 










an inundation, trivial, common. 


Tbcv 










gentle, low land, to wet, to soak. 




495 


M J 


956 


TSEII 


Same as 127. 


THEN 


496 


*s 


287 


JlN 


Pregnant (used 
only of women). * 


BECOME 
PREGNANT 


497 


fiB 


736 


SHAN 


Pregnant, quick ^p e ^j; n 


WITH YOUNG 




/wt 






with child. 


In 


498 


. 1 . 


562 


LUH 


Six. 


SIX 


499 


^ 


987 


TS IH 


Same as 213. 


SEVEN 


500 


H 


1129 


YUEH 


" " 491. 


MONTHS 




-**- 








they 


501 


jS 


14 


CH AN 


To produce, to breed, to bear, 


BEAR 










a birth, the natives, an es 












tate, an occupation. 


their 


502 


-^p. 


1030 


TSZ 


Same as 206. 


YOUNG. 




^ 








The 


503 


ft* 


641 


NCr 


" " 143. ) 


FEMALE 










[ Females. 




504 




286 


JAN 


" " 62. ) 


PEOPLE 

s 



THE KINGDOM OF WOMEN. 395 



They have hairy bodies and long locks that fall down to the ground. At 
the second or third month the women come to bathe in a river, and they 
become pregnant. They bear their young at the sixth or seventh month. 



have hairy bodies and long locks which fall down to the ground. At the 
second or third month they enter the water, and they then become preg 
nant. They bear their young at the sixth or seventh month. 
These women 



are hairy, and the hair of the head trails on the ground. In the spring 
they emulously rush into the water and become pregnant ; the children 
are born in the autumn. These female-men 



are hairy, and they have long locks, the ends of which reach to the 
ground. 

At the second or third month, bickering, they enter the water (come 
down to the low lands or to the streams ? or, perhaps, " enter upon a mi 
gration," the character SHUI meaning not only " water," but also " a trip 
from one place to another "). They then become pregnant. They bear 
their young at the sixth or seventh month (probably of gestation ; but 
possibly of the year). The female-people 



20 



306 



AN INGLOEIOUS COLUMBUS. 



No. 


Character 


Page. 


Sound. 


DEFINITION. 


Translation. 


505 


jjtij 


214 


HIUNG 


The thorax, the breast, the 


CHESTS 










bosom, the feelings, the 












heart, clamour. 




506 


IB 


981 


TS IEN 


To advance, progress, in front 


IN FRONT 




lU J 






of, before, in advance, for 












merly, when, a light black 












colour. 




507 


:fe 


1059 


WU 


Same as 85. 


ARE DESTI 




7JR 








TUTE OF 


508 


ft 


298 


Jtr 


" " 308. 


BREASTS, 












but the 


509 


JH 


191 


HIAO 


The nape, the part which 


NAPE OF THE 




^^ 






rests on the pillow; a 












sort or class, great, A 
funds. 1 A 


(or back of the head) 


510 


^ 


175 


HEU 


After, in time ; too late ; [ y J 
behind, in place; then, man 


BEHIND 










next, an heir, to remain, 












the second. 




511 


4fe 


742 


SHlNG 


Same as 58. 


BEARS 


512 


^ 


580 


MAO 


" " 483. 


HAIR- 


513 





317 


KAN 


Eoot, origin, beginning, a base ; a 
classifier of things long and stiff, 
and even of ropes ; an organ. 


ROOTS; 

and the 


514 


a 


706 


POH 


Same as 273. 


WHITE 


615 


% 


580 


MAO 


" " 483. 


HAIR 


516 


pjj 


105 


CHUNG 


" " 38. 


MIDST 


517 


-W 


1113 


YIU 


" " 14. 


HAS 


518 


>J4- 


67 


CHIH 


Juice, gravy, liquor, 1 


JUICE 










pleasing to the taste 1 ^j^ 


or is pleasing to the 


519 


^t 


298 


Jtf 


Same as 308. 


taste). They 
NURSE 












their 


520 


"~f~* 


1030 


TSZ 


" " 206. 


YOUNG 




w 








for 


521 


W 


707 


POH 


A hundred, many, all. 


ONE HUNDRED 


522 


g 


293 


JEH 


Same as 376. 


DAYS, 


523 


I f 
.At* 

HE 


616 


NlNG 


The moose; power, ability, 


and they then 

CAN 




rjbJ 






skill, capable, skillful, may, 












can. 




524 


^rf 


207 


HING 


Same as 245. 


WALK. 












When 


525 


. 


723 


SAN 


" " 208. 


THREE 




Mil 








or 


526 


l/y 


836 


SZ 


Four, all, around, everywhere. 


POUR 


527 


^p 


634 


NIEN 


Same as 11. 


YEARS 




Fill 








old 


528 


m 


956 


TSEH 


" " 127. 


THEN 



THE KINGDOM OF WOMEN. 307 



Instead of breasts they have white locks at the back of the head, from 
which there issues a liquor that serves to nourish their children. It is 
said that one hundred days after their birth the children are able to run 
about, and when three or four years of age appear 



have no breasts upon their chests, but only hair of a white colour at the 
back of the neck, which contains milk. One hundred days after their 
birth the children commence to walk, and at the age of three or four 
years they have attained 



have no paps on their bosoms, but hair-roots grow on the back of their 
necks ; a juice is found in the white ones. The children are suckled a 
hundred days, when they can walk ; by the fourth year they are 



are destitute of breasts in front of their chests, but behind, at the nape of 
the neck (or back of the head), they have hair-roots (short hair, or a 
bunch of hair, or a hairy organ), and in the midst of the white hair it is 
pleasing to the taste (or there is juice). They nurse their young for 
one hundred days, and they can then walk. When three or four years 
old they become 



308 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 



No. 


Character 


Page. 


Sound. 


DEFINITION. 


Translation. 


629 


fcg 


77 


CH ING 


Same as 363. f Adult (Medhurst, 


FULLY 




7xV 






p. 60). To become 




630 


A 


286 


JlN 


a man. 
" " 62. 1 (Hepburn, p. 346.) 
A grown-up per 


GROWN, 










son, Mi-grown. 




531 


* 


279 


I 


A final particle, denoting that the 


TRULY. 




~^\ 






sense has been fully expressed, 












or that the intention is very 












strong. 




532 


JiL 


385 


KIEN 


To see, to know, to observe, an 


SEEING 










opinion, to appear. 












{(Hepburn, p. 115.) 


a 


633 


A 


286 


JlN 


A man, a person, 
male or female, 


HUMAN BEING, 










people, mankind. 


they are 


534 


jpg| 


403 


KING 


A shy horse, to terrify, afraid, 


AFRAID, 










alarmed. 


and 


535 


m 

tf=^ 


676 


PI 


To flee from, to escape, avoid, to 
retire, to hide away. 


FLEE 


636 


DM 


689 


P lEN 


At or by the side, deflected, exces 
sive, aside, partial. Before verbs, 


TO ONE SIDE. 










must, will. 


They 


637 


n 


1054 


WEI 


To dread, venerate, respect, awe, 
devotion for, dread, timidity. 


VENERATE 


538 


"xf"* 


25 


CHANG 


A line of ten feet, to ] 


their 


639 


* 


142 


FU 


measure, an elder. A 
To help, assist, a hus- [ , A . 
band, a man, a J USDana - 
scholar. 


HUSBANDS 

(or mates). They 


540 


^* 


766 


SHIH 


Same as 63. 


EAT 




^^ 








the 


541 


8% 


198 


HIEN 


Saltish, preserved, salted, 


SALT- 










bitter. 




542 


gy 


956 


TS AO 


Plants with herbaceous stems, 


PLANT; 











herbs, vegetation, plants in 












general. 


its 


643 


^ 


1Q81 


YEH 


Same as 54. 


LEAVES 


644 


M 


837 


SZ 


" " 55. 


RESEMBLE 




-L/ 








those of the 


545 


3jj) 


796 


SIE 


Deflected, inclined, depraved, 


SIE- 










corrupting. 




646 


8? 


170 


HAO 


Tall herbs ; the Artemisia pe 


HAO 










dicularis ; Vitex, or Amar- 
anthus; Tansy. 


(a species of ab 
sinthe), 


547 


rffj 


719 


RH 


Same as 68. 


BUT 


648 


M 


348 


K l 


Fume, vapour, steam, breath, 


its 
ODOUR 










air, spirit, temper, to smell. 


is more 


549 


^* 


188 


HIANG 


Fragrant, odoriferous, sweet. 


FRAGRANT 


550 


!* 


1053 


WEI 


Taste, flavour, smell, relish. 


and its 

TASTE 


551 




198 


CHANG 


Same as 541. 


SALTISH. 



THE KINGDOM OF WOMEN. 399 



appear fully grown. The women take flight at sight of a stranger, and 
they are very respectful toward their husbands. These people feed upon 
a plant which has the taste and odour of salt, and which for this reason 
bears the name of the " salt-plant." The leaves are similar to those of 
the plant which the Chinese call sie-hao, which is a species of absinthe. 



their full growth. The women take to flight rapidly at sight of a stranger. 
They have much respect for their husbands. A fragrant herb, of which 
the leaves resemble those of the plant sie-hao (a species of absinthe), and 
of which the taste is saltish, is eaten in this country. 



fully grown. Whenever they see a man, they flee and hide from him in 
terror, for they are afraid of having husbands. They eat pickled greens, 
whose leaves are like wild celery ; the odor is agreeable and the taste 
saltish 



fully grown. This Is true ! When they see a human being, they are 
afraid, and flee to one side. They venerate (or are devoted to) their hus 
bands (or mates). 

They eat the " salt-plant." Its leaves resemble (those of the plant called 
by the Chinese) the SIE-HAO (a species of absinthe or wormwood), but 
its odour is more fragrant and its taste is saltish. 



310 



INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 



No. 


Character. 


Page. 


Sound. 


DEFINITION. 


Translation. 




^ 








In the reign of the 


652 


jjfe 


525 


LIANG 


A bridge, a beam, self-reli 


LIANG 




^ 






ant, the principal, the Li 


dynasty, under the 


653 


3* 


1061 


WU 


ang dynasty. 
Military, martial, warlike. 


emperor 

wu- 


554 


*3j* 


880 


TI 


To judge, a god, a sovereign, 


TI 




" 






Heaven, supreme. 


In the years des 












ignated by the name 


655 


~jfc 


897 


T lEN 


Heaven, the sky, a day, sea 


TIEN 




^ 






son, celestial,* God. 




656 


B^ 


387 


KIEN 


To examine carefully, an of 


KIEN 










fice, to look down upon as 


(Celestial Protec 










a god, to oversee. 


tion), in the 


657 


_f .. 


562 


LUH 


Same as 498. 


SIX- 




^^ 








th 


558 


fi 


634 


NIEN 


" " 11. 


YEAR, 


559 


% 


1113 


YIU 


" " 14. 


THERE WERE 


560 


li* 


990 


TSIN 


To increase, to grow, to at 


TSIN- 




*""* 






tach, to adopt. 




661 


^r 


620 


NGAN 


Peace, rest, tranquillity, 


NGAN 


562 


A 


286 


JlN 


peaceful, calm, quiet. 
Same as 62. 


(the name of a place) 

MEN 


563 


iffi 


917 


TU 


To ford, to cross a stream or 


CROSSING 




f X-*^ 






sea, to go through, to pass, 


the 




t>L_* 






a ferry-boat. 




564 


w 


160 


HAI 


The sea, an arm of the ocean, 


SEA. 










a large river, marine, vast, 












great, oceanic. 




565 


1^ 


1047 


WEI 


Same as 50. 


BECAUSE OF 




1 ^*T 








the 


666 


H 


155 


FUNG 


" " 453. 


WIND 


667 


ffi 


817 


su 


To fell timber, a place, if, as 


CAUSING 










to, who, what, a cause, a 


them to be 










final expletive. 




568 


HI 


683 


P lAO 


A whirlwind, swayed, whirled, 


BLOWNABOUT, 




/Jy-*A 






blown about or rocked by 


thev 










the wind. 


mejr 


569 


M 


60 


CHI 


Same as 20. 


REACHED 


670 




1095 


YIH 


" " 194. 


A CERTAIN 




i 








(or the same) 


671 


ifi 


866 


TAO 


An island out at sea ; a hill 


ISLAND 










on which birds can alight 


(or possibly " sea- 


572 


& 


862 


TANG 


in crossing seas. 
To ascend, to advance, to at 


coast "). They 
WENT 




^* 






tain, as soon as, specially, 












at the time. 




673 


p 


622 


NGAN 


A shore, bank, or beach ; the edge 
or bank of a stream, end of a 


ASHORE 










journey. 


where there 


574 


"W 


1113 


YIU 


Same as 14. 


WERE 


575 


A 


286 


JAN 


" " 62. 


PEOPLE 

s 



THE KINGDOM OF WOMEN. 3H 



In the year 507 A. D., in the reign of the Learn dynasty, a Chinese ves 
sel which was sailing the ocean was driven by a tempest to an unknown 
island 



During the reign of the emperor Ou-ti, of the Leang dynasty, in the 
sixth of the years called tien-kien (507), some Chinese sailors of Tsin-ngan 
(now Fou-tcheou-fou [Fo-kien]), who were navigating the sea, were carried 
far out of their course by furious winds. They landed upon an island 



In the year A. D. 508, in the reign of Wu-ti, of the Liang dynasty, a 
man from Tsin-ngan was crossing the sea, when he was caught in a, storm 
and driven to a certain island. On going ashore, he found it to be in 
habited. 



In the reign of the LIANG dynasty, under the emperor WU-TI, in the 
sixth year of the period designated by the name TIEN-KIEN, or " Celestial 
Protection" (i. e., in 507 A.D.), some men of TSIN-NGAN, who were cross 
ing the sea, were driven by the winds to a certain island (or the same 
sea-coast). They went ashore and found the inhabitants 



312 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 



No. 


Character 


Page. 


Sound. 


DEFINITION. 


Translation. 


576 


JjL 


437 


Kfl 


To dwell, dwellings, residence, 


DWELLINGS. 










the settled parts. 


The 


577 


I5C 


641 


NCr 


Same as 143. 


WOMEN 


578 


m 


956 


TSEH 


" " 127. 


THEN 


579 


XftJ 


297 


Jtf 


" " 59. 


RESEMBLED 




^ 








the 


580 


III 


105 


CHUNG 


" " 38. 


MIDDLE 


581 


|^| 


491 


KWOH 


" " 5. 


KINGDOM 


582 


A 


286 


JiN 


" " 62. 


PEOPLE, 


583 


ffi 


719 


RH 


" " 68. 


BUT 












their 


584 


=3 


1083 


YEN 


A word, sentence, 


LANGUAGE 










remark, speech, 


s 




ZST- 






talk, reports. Conver- 




585 


7-:T)L 

pq 


1126 


Ytf 


To talk with, to con- sation, 


WORDS 










verse, to tell, discus- 












words, conversa- sion. 












tion, discourse, 












language. 




586 


^ 


717 


PUH 


Same as 100. 


NOT 


587 


W 


425 


K O 


To be willing, to permit, able 


COULD 










to do, can, may. 


be 


588 


|P^ 


193 


HIAO 


Light, clear, the dawn, intel 


UNDERSTOOD. 










ligent, easy to perceive, to 












make to understand, to 


The 










comprehend. 




589 


M 


614 


NAN 


Same as 142. 


MALES 


590 


iw 


956 


TSEH 


" " 127. 


THEN 


591 


A 


286 


JiN 


" " 62. 


had 
MEN 

8 


592 


jf 


735 


SHlN 


u " 161. 


BODIES 


593 


m 


719 


RH 


" " 68. 


BUT 


694 


m 


329 


KEU 


A dog, petty, contemptible, a 


PUPPIES 










puppy, a brat. 




595 


St 


876 


T EU 


The head, the front, the top, 


HEADS. 




,._ 






the first, the beginning. 




596 


35 


342 


K l 


Same as 12. 


THEIR 


697 


SB 


771 


SHING 


A sound, a voice or tone, a 


VOICES 










note in music, a cry, a wail, 












language. 




598 


$tf 


297 


JU 


Same as 59. 


RESEMBLED 












those of 


599 


xC 


452 


K ftEN 


A dog, especially a large 


DOGS 










one. 





THE KINGDOM OF WOMEN. 313 



The women resembled those of China, but the men had a figure and a 
voice like those of dogs. The Chinese could not understand their lan- 



p 

guage. 

H 

Q 



of which the women resembled those of China, but of which the men had 
dogs heads, and barked like dogs. It was impossible to understand their 
language. 



The women were like those of China, but their speech was unintelligible. 
The men had human bodies, but their heads were those of dogs, and their 
voices resembled the barking of dogs. 



dwellings. The women resembled those of the Middle Kingdom tChina), 
but the words of their language could not be understood. The males 
had human bodies, but puppies heads, and their voices resembled those 
of dogs 



314 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 



No. 


Character 


Page. 


Sound. 


DEFINITION. 


Translation. 


600 


* 


140 


FEU 


The bark of a dog, to bark, to 
yelp, to howl, as canine 
animals do. 


BARKING 

(or howling). 


601 


S 


342 


K l 


Same as 12. 


THEIR 


602 


^ 


766 


SHIH 


" " 63. 


EATING 


603 


^ 


1113 


YIU 


" " 14. 


POSSESSED 


604 


/h 


795 


SIAO 


" " 233. 


SIAO- 


605 


S 


874 


TEU 


A wooden trencher, a dish, 
pulse, legumes, to measure 
out, a peck. 


TEU 

(little beans), 


606 


3C 


342 


K l 


Same as 12. 


THEIR 


607 


^c 


270 


I 


" " 77. 


CLOTHING 


608 


#n 


297 


Jff 


" " 59. 


RESEMBLED 


609 
610 

611 
612 





713 
96 

920 
1047 


PU 
CHUH 

T U 
WEI 


" " 74. 

To beat down hard, as a 
threshing-floor, to ram down 
the earth, to make chunam 
pavements or adobe walls. 

Same as 43. 
" " 50. 


CLOTH 

(of linen or cotton). 

BEATING 
DOWN 

EARTH 

they 

MADE 


613 


Hi 


969 


TS IANG 


A wall, built of mud, stone, 
or brick. 


ADOBE WALLS. 


614 


s 


342 


K l 


Same as 12. 


THEIR 


615 


2 


206 


KING 


Form, figure, shape, contour, 
the body, manner, style, to 
appear. 


SHAPE 

was 


616 


ffl 


245 


HWAN 


To revolve, to encircle, to en 
viron, to go around, a circle, 
a ball, round. 


ROUND, 

and 


617 


S 


342 


K l 


Same as 12. 


THEIR 


618 


^ 


225 


HU 


An inner door, a door having 
only one leaf, a hole, an 
opening. 


DOORS 


619 


#B 


297 


Jtf 


Same as 59. 


RESEMBLED 


620 


w 


875 


TEU 


A hole, a burrow, a drain, 
loss, waste, damage, to dig a 
hole. 


BURROWS. 



THE KINGDOM OF WOMEN. 



These people fed upon small beans, and had clothing made of a species 
of linen cloth ; and the walls of their houses were constructed of earth, 
built up in a circular form. 



These islanders fed upon small legumes, and had garments of a species 
of cloth, and constructed houses of a round shape from beaten earth, with 
a single opening as an entrance. 



Their food was small pulse; their garments were like cotton. The 
walls of their houses were of adobie, round in shape, and the entrance 
like that to a den. 



barking (or howling). Among their food was SIAO-TEU (" little beans " or 
kernels possibly an attempt to both transcribe and translate the Mexican 
word CENTLI 1898 or ciNTLi, 1900 meaning maize). Their clothing resembled 
linen (or perhaps cotton) cloth. Beating down the earth, they made adobe 
walls of a round shape, the doors of which resembled burrows. 



316 



AN INGLOKIOUS COLUMBUS. 



No. 


Character 


Page. 


Sound. 


DEFINITION. 


Translation. 


621 

622 


I 


1041 
735 


WAN 
SHAN 


Same as 89. 
" " 161. 


MARKED 
BODIES. 


623 


3t 


1041 


WAN 


Same as 89. 


The 
MARKED 


624 


jfp 


735 


SHlN 


" " 161. 


BODIES 












country, in the 


625 


yjp\ 


525 


LIANG 


" " 552. 


LIANG 




^ 








dynasty 8 


626 


S$ 


759 


SHI 


Time, a season, an hour, a 


TIME, 




j 






period, a Chinese hour, a 












quarter of a year, while. 




627 


g|j 


1041 


WAN 


To hear, to learn by report, 


WAS RE 










hearing, fame, news, to 


PORTED 










state to, small, a noise. 




628 


jg 


1082 


YEN 


Same as 188. 


TRULY 




^ 








to be 


629 


> 


941 


TSAI 


" " 27. 


SITUATED 




*=t^. 








from the 


630 


H? 


1057 


WO 


The Japanese, yielding, trim 


JAPANESE 










ming. 




631 


in 


491 


KWOH 


Same as 5. 


COUNTRY 


632 


m 


930 


TUNG 


" " 31. 


EAST- 


633 


^ti 


709 


POH 


" " 108. 


NORTH 


634 


-t 


987 


TS IH 


" " 213. 


SEVEN 


635 


^p 


980 


TS IEN 


" " 468. 


THOUSAND 


636 


ii 


1121 


Ytf 


" " 34. 


MORE 


637 


M 


518 


LI 


" " 35. 


LI. 












Its 


638 


A 


286 


JAN 


" " 62. 


PEOPLE 




fiJHfi 








s 


639 


fl 


884 


T l 


" " 481. 


WHOLE 












BODIES 


640 


hf 


1113 


YIU 


" " 14. 


HAVE 


641 


3c 


1041 


WAN 


" " 89. 


MARKS 


642 


Ittt 


297 


jty 


" " 59. 


LIKE 


643 


IP 


756 


SHEU 


A wild animal, a beast, a 


WILD BEASTS. 










hairy brute, a gamekeeper, 
brutal, violent. 




644 


3S 


342 


K l 


Same as 12. 


THEIR 



THE LAND OF "MARKED BODIES." 317 



Ven-chin is found seven thousand li from Japan, toward the north 
east. 

This country was made known about 510 or 520 A. D., its inhabitants 
having a figure similar to that of animals. 



The land of the Wen-schin is distant from Japan in a northeasterly 
direction about seven thousand Chinese miles. The bodies of these people 
exhibit all kinds of figures, such as those of animals and the like. 



The kingdom of Ouen-chin was made known (to the Chinese) under the 
dynasty of the Liang (502-587) ; it is situated seven thousand li to the 
northeast of Japan. The men have lines (oucn) upon the body (chin) like 
(certain) animals. 



During the Leang dynasty, the following story was current regarding 
Ouen-chin : 

They live more than seven thousand li to the northeast of Japan. They 
have their bodies tattooed, and marked like those of certain animals. 



WAN SHAN, OR PICTURED BODIES. 

During the Liang dynasty (A. D. 502-556), it was reported that about 
seven thousand li to the northeast of Japan there was a country whose 
inhabitants had marks on their bodies, such as are on animals. 



MARKED BODIES. 

During the reign of the Liang dynasty (502 to 556 A. D.), it was reported 
that the country of " Marked Bodies " was situated seven thousand li and 
more to the northeast of the country of Japan. Its people have marks 
upon their bodies like (those upon ?) wild beasts. 



318 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 



No. 


Character 


Page. 


Sound. 


DEFINITION. 


Translation. 


645 


H 


628 


NGOH 


The forehead ; the front, or 


FRONT 










what is before ; a fixed or 












regular number or quan 
tity ; what ought to be or 


(or forehead) 










is settled by law ; incessant. 




646 


Jt 


741 


SHANG 


To go up, to exalt, upward, 


UPON 










top, above, facing, high, 












ancient, before, superior, 


they 










honourable. 




647 


5 


1113 


YIU 


Same as 14. 


HAVE 


648 


_ 


723 


SAN 


" " 208. 


THREE 


649 


-<$r 


1041 


WAN 


" " 89. 


MARKS. 


650 


^C 


1041 


WIN 


" " 89. 


If the 
MARKS 




g 








are 


651 


~fc 


839 


TA 


" " 28. 


LARGE 




-. 








and 


652 


H 


70 


CHIH 


To look ahead, straight, di 


STRAIGHT, 










rect, true, exactly, a per 












pendicular stroke, to 




653 


% 


38 


CHE 


straighten, to go direct. 
Same as 6. 


THESE 


654 


]3" 


484 


KWEI 


" " 166. 


NOBLE ; 


655 


jjr 


1041 


WAN 


" " 89. 


but if the 
MARKS 













are 


656 


/J> 


795 


SIAO 


" " 233. 


SMALL 


657 


ffl 


458 


K UH 


Crooked, bent, a bend, false, 


CROOKED, 










tortuous. 




658 


^ 


38 


CHE 


Same as 6. 


THESE 


659 


Hi 


979 


TSIEN 


Light in estimation, mean, 


IGNOBLE. 










low, ignoble, worthless, to 


The 


660 





920 


T U 


disesteem, to deprecate. 
Same as 43. 


LAND 


661 


^ 


822 


SUH 


" " 420. 


COMMON 




3rL 








PEOPLE 


662 


Ifc 


244 


HWAN 


Joy expressed by the 1 H . h _ 


are MERRY, 


663 




554 


LOH 


voice, jolly, merry, glad, i % 
pleased, to rejoice. 1 }L?f " 
Pleasure, quiet, to rejoice f "e^ 1 " 
in, to take delight in, 


and 
REJOICE IN 




j> 






dissipation, music. J merr y- 




664 


W 


1065 


WITH 


Same as 285. 


ARTICLES 


665 


B 


157 


FUNG 


A large goblet, full cup, abun 


ABUNDANCE 










dant, plenteous, fertile, pro 




666 


ffi? 


719 


RH 


lific, plenty, copious. 
Same as 68. 


ALTHOUGH 


667 


HS 


979 


TSIEN 


" " 659. 


POOR IN 


668 


tf 


207 


HING 


" " 245. 


QUALITY. 
TRAVELING 



THE LAND OF "MARKED BODIES." 319 



They traced different lines upon their faces, the form of which served 
to distinguish the chief men of the nation from the common people. 

It was, for the rest, a fertile country, where all that is necessary to sus 
tain life might be found in abundance. 



They have three lines upon the forehead ; the large and straight indi 
cate the nobles, the small and crooked the common people of the nation. 



Those who have three straight lines upon the forehead are esteemed (or 
considered as noble). If the lines are small and crooked, they are scorned. 
The inhabitants live joyously. The various products are abundant and 
cheap. 

The travelers who go through this country 



Upon the forehead they have three marks or lines. Those which have 
the marks large and straight are chiefs ; those who have only small crooked 
marks are of low condition. Their nature is merry. The productions of 
their country are abundant and cheap. The traveler 



They had three marks on their foreheads. Those whose marks were 
large and straight belonged to the honorable class, while the lower sort of 
people had small and crooked marks. It is a custom among this people 
to collect a great variety of things of a very poor sort to amuse them 
selves. Those who travel 



In front (or upon their foreheads) they have three marks. If the 
marks are large and straight, they indicate that those who have them are 
of the higher classes ; but if they are small and crooked, then their pos 
sessors are of the lower classes. The people of the land are of a merry 
nature, and they rejoice when they have an abundance, even of articles 
that are of little value. Traveling 



320 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 



No. 


Character. 


Page. 


Sound. 


DEFINITION. 


Translation. 


669 


%T 


429 


K OH 


A guest, a visitor, an ac 


VISITORS 










quaintance, a customer, a 












stranger, an alien, transi 


do 










tory, foreign. 




670 


^9 


717 


PUH 


Same as 100. 


NOT 


671 


9 


964 


TSI 


To take in both hands and 


PREPARE FOR 




/f^t 






offer to, to give, to send a 


THEIR JOUR 










present, to prepare things 


NEY 










for a journey, to supply. 




672 


7[*m 


524 


LIANG 


Rations, soldiers pay, food, 


FOOD, 




f . 






provisions, taxes in kind. 


and they 


673 


^tj 


1113 


YIU 


Same as 14. 


HAVE 













their 


674 


S 


1064 


WUH 


" " 84. 


DWELLING 


675 


^r 


1126 


YU 


The part of the house covered 


SHELTER. 










by the eaves, to cover, to 












shelter, wide, vast, terri 


They are 










tory. 




676 


$ft 


1059 


WU 


Same as 85. 


DESTITUTE OF 


677 


% 


77 


CH ING 


" " 86. 


FORTIFICA 












TIONS 












and 


678 


^B 


492 


KWOH 


" " 87. 


WALLED 




31 








CITIES. 












The 


679 


njWi 


491 


KWOII 


" " 5. 


COUNTRY 




1*^1 








s 


680 


jj 


1043 


WANG 


" " 217. 


KING 













s 


681 


rJT 


817 


su 


" " 567. 


RESIDENCE 


682 


Ig 


437 


KU 


" " 576 


BUILDING 




^4r 








is 


683 


PH 


767 


SHIH 


To adorn, to paint, to orna 


ADORNED 










ment, to gloss over, to pre 












tend, to excuse, a facing, 












an ornament. 




684 


\& 


278 


I 


Same as 49. 


BY MEANS OF 


685 


& 


398 


KIN 


" " 329. 


GOLD 




/in 








and 


686 


ffeR 


1101 


YIN 


" " 330. 


SILVER 


687 


S^ 


15 


CHlN 


Whatever is noble, precious, 


and 
PRECIOUS 










or beautiful, rare, excel 












lent, to prize. 


and 


688 


JUg 


524 


LI 


Elegant, fair, beautiful, flow 


BEAUTIFUL 










ery, bright, a pair, to de 












pend on, to tie, a beam, a 


(objects) 




vOirfe. 






boat. 




689 


)p! 


292 


JAO 


Same as 191. 


ABOUT 




fc 








the 


690 


J5 


1064 


WUH 


" " 84. 


DWELCING. 



THE LAND OF MARKED BODIES." 321 



Their towns or villages were unwalled. The dwelling of the king was 
ornamented with precious things. 



(Not translated.) 



have no need to furnish themselves with provisions. They have houses. 
The cities are not walled. The palace of the king is ornamented with 
gold and silver. The exterior is all covered (literally, " surrounded ") 
with precious substances of a great beauty. The inhabitants 



easily finds food [M. d Hervey de Saint-Denys, on page 60 of his " Eth 
nography," translates this passage : " The traveler has no nee.d to carry 
food with him the country furnishing it to him in abundance "]. The 
Ouen-chin have houses, but no walled cities. The habitation of their 
king is ornamented with gold, silver, and jewels. Surrounding (this habi 
tation) 



or peddle do not carry any provision with them. 

They have houses of various kinds, but no walled towns. The palace 
of the king is adorned with gold, silver, and jewels in a sumptuous man 
ner. The buildings are surrounded 



visitors do not prepare food for their journeys, and they have the shelter 
of their (the inhabitants ) dwellings. They have no fortifications or 
walled cities. The residence of the king of the country is adorned with 
gold and silver, and precious and beautiful objects about the dwelling. 



21 



322 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 



No. 


Character 


Page. 


Sound. 


DEFINITION. 


Translation. 


691 


<& 


1047 


WEI 


Same as 50. 


They 
MAKE 




* 








a 


692 


jtfi/f 


983 


TS IEN 


The moat or fosse around a 


DITCH 




^1 






town, a ditch to lead water 


of a 










in, irrigation, to dig out. 




693 


Jill 


478 


KWANG 


Broad, extensive, wide, spa 


BREADTH 










cious, large, ample, stout, 












to enlarge. 


of 


694 


, 


1095 


YIH 


Same as 194. 


ONE 


695 


ot 


25 


CHANG 


" " 538. 


ROD 




** 








(of teu Chinese 




u^ 








feet), which is 


696 


~^~ 


769 


SHIH 


" " 65. Real, solid, 


FILLED 










hard, full, compact, to fill, 












to cram. 




697 


$ 


278 


I 


Same as 49. 


BY MEANS OF 


698 


w^ 


781 


SHUI 


" " 494. ) 


WATER- 










> Quicksilver. 




699 


Vt 


1101 


YIN 


" " 330. ) 


SILVER. 












When it 


700 


m 


1124 


Ytf 


Rain, a shower, to rain. 


RAINS, 


701 


M J 


956 


TSEH 


Same as 127. 


THEN 












the rain 


702 


#m 


549 


HIANG 


" " 443. 


FLOWS 


703 


#* 


1118 


Ytf 


" " 177. As, to, to be 


UPON 










come. 














the 


704 


ic 


781 


SHUI 


Same as 494. ) 
> Quicksilver. 


WATER- 


705 


^: 


1101 


YIN 


" " 330. ) 


SILVER 


706 


; 


53 


CHI 


" " 40. "To pass from 


S 










one state to another." 




707 


_t 


741 


SHANG 


Same as 646. 


SURFACE. 












In their 


708 


uT 


762 


SHI 


" " 331. 


MARKETS 












(or bartering) they 


709 


HFJ 


1149 


YUNG 


To use, to employ, to cause, 


USE 










useful, by, with, thereby. 




710 


3^ 


15 


CHAN 


Same as 687. "| 


PRECIOUS 




-^ 






Jewels, 




711 


5? 


663 


PAO 


Precious, valuable, [ valu- 


GEMS. 




Jf^ 






a gem, a coin, ables. 












value, noble. J 





THE LAND OF "MARKED BODIES." 



A ditch might be seen there which appeared to be filled with quick 
silver, and this matter, esteemed in commerce, became liquid and flowing 
when it had imbibed water from the rain. 

M. de Guignes adds, from another source : " They exposed their con 
demned criminals to wild beasts, and they deemed those innocent from 
whom the animals took flight." 



(Not translated.) 



dig a ditch one chang (ten Chinese feet) long, and fill it with quicksilver. 
When it rains, the water runs upon the quicksilver. In the markets (in 
the place of money) they use the most esteemed fruits. [NOTE. M. 
Julien has evidently mistaken the character PAO, " a gem " (see No. 
711), for the very similar character SHIH, "fruit" (see No. 696), and 
hence has erroneously translated the last word " fruits " instead of 
" gems." E. P. V.] 



there is a ditch of ten cubits width, which is filled with quicksilver. 
When it rains, the water flows upon the quicksilver. The transactions 
in their markets are made by means of precious objects. 

M. d Hervey de Saint-Denys adds, in his " Ethnography," page 60, the 
following, derived from the " NAN-SSE," i. e. : He who has committed a 
petty crime is scourged. He who rs accused of a crime deserving death is 
thrown to wild beasts to be devoured. If the accusation is calumnious, 
the beasts keep at a distance from him, it is said (instead of devouring 
him) ; then, after a night (of trial), he is set at liberty. 



with a moat, over ten feet broad. When it is filled with quicksilver, and 
the rain is allowed to flow off from the quicksilver, the water is then re 
garded in the markets as a precious rarity. 



They make a ditch of a breadth of one rod (of ten Chinese feet, or 
nearly twelve English feet), which is filled with " water-silver " (i. e., ice). 
When it rains, then the rain flows upon the surface of the water-silver. 
In their traffic they use precious gems (or valuables, as the standard of 
value, instead of gold or silver). 



324 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 



No. 


Character. 


Page. 


Sound. 


DEFINITION. 


Translation. 


712 


^ 


839 


TA 


Same as 28. 


GREAT 


713 


H 


164 


HAN 


This character is composed of 
"water" and "hardship." The 


HAN. 










Milky Way. The large branch 
of the Yang-tsz River. A Chi 












nese; relating to China. The 












Han dynasty, which was named 
from the Duke of llan. 




714 


* 


839 


TA. 


Same as 28. 


GREAT 


715 


$g 


164 


HAN 


" " 713. 


HAN, 




TV 








during the 


716 


jjffi 


525 


LIANG 


" " 552. 


LIANG 




^ 








dynasty s 


717 


H^F 


759 


SHI 


" " 626. 


TIME, 












was 


718 


Sj 


1041 


WAN 


< i< 6 27. 


REPORTED TO 




~** 








BE 


719 


i?!| 


1082 


YEN 


" " 188. 


TRULY 


720 


?E 

M-* 


941 


TQA.I 


u 27. 


SITUATED 












from 


721 


~y^ 


1041 


WAN 


" " 89. 


MARKED 


722 


% 


735 


SHlN 


" " 161. 


BODIES 


723 


HI 


491 


KWOH 


" " 5. 


KINGDOM 


724 


3t 


930 


TUNG 


" " 81. 


EAST 


725 


5 


1060 


WU 


" " 383. 


FIVE 


726 


=p 


980 


TS IEN 


" " 468. 


THOUSAND 




y~w 








and 


727 





1121 


YtJ 


" " 34. 


MORE 


728 


a 


518 


LI 


" " 35. 


LI. 












Its people are 


729 


^ 


1059 


WU 


" " 85. 


DESTITUTE OF 


730 


^ 


698 


PING 


" " 98. 


MILITARY 


731 


:fe 


489 


KWO 


A kind of lance, a javelin, a 


WEAPQNS, 










spear, weapons, war. 


and do 


732 


* / j* 


717 


PUH 


Same as 100. 


NOT 


733 


JAT* 


461 


KUNG 


" " 101. 


WAGiE 


734 


^ 


45 


CHEN 


" " 102. 


WAR. 


735 


A 


155 


FUNG 


" " 453. 


Their 

MANNJERS 



THE GREAT HAN COUNTRY. 325 



At a distance of five thousand li from Ven-chin, toward the east, Ta- 
han was found. The inhabitants of this country had no military weapons ; 
their customs 



In the times of the Leang dynasty, in the first half of the sixth century 
of our era, the Chinese heard of a land which lay five thousand of their 
miles easterly from the country of the "Pictured People," and named it 
" Ta-han" or " Great China." The people of Ta-han carried no weapons, 
and knew nothing of war and strife. In their customs and usages, the 
people of Ta-han, on the whole, 



The kingdom of Ta-han was made known (to the Chinese) under the 
dynasty of the Leang (502-558) ; it is situated about five thousand li to 
the east of the kingdom of Oueu-chin. The inhabitants have no arms, 
and do not wa";e war. Their manners and their 



In the time of the Leang dynasty, it was said of the kingdom of Ta- 
han : This kingdom is situated to the east of the country of the Ouen-chin 
more than five thousand li. Its people have no arms, and do not wage 
war. Their manners 



TA HAN, OR GREAT CHINA. 

It was reported, during the Liang dynasty, that this kingdom lay more 
than five thousand li east of Wan Sha"n. The inhabitants have no sol 
diers or weapons, and never carry on war. Their manners and 



GREAT HAN. 

During the reign of the LIANG dynasty, Great HAN was reported to be 
situated five thousand LI or more to the east of the " Marked Bodies " 
country. Its people have no military weapons, and do not wage war. 



326 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 



No. 
736 


Character. 


Page. 


Sound. 


DEFINITION. 


Translation. 


^ 


822 


SUH 


Same as 420. 


RUDENESS 












is 


737 


n 


700 


PING 


Two together, both, with, and, 
even with, to compare. 


COMPARED 


738 


n 


1125 


YO 


Same as 369. 


WITH 

that of the 


739 


3C 


1041 


WAN 


" " 89. 


MARKED 


740 


% 


735 


SHAN 


" " 161. 


BODIES 


741 


m 


491 


KWOH 


" " 5. 


COUNTRY 
the 


742 


m 


933 


TUNG 


" " 372. 


SAME, 


743 


m 


719 


RH 


" " 68. 


BUT 

their 


744 


w 


1083 


YEN 


" " 584. 


LANGUAGE 

8 


745 


PH 


1126 


Ytf 


" " 585. 


WORDS 
are 


746 


m 


281 


I 


To divide, different, foreign, 
to oppose, a difference. 


DIFFERENT. 



THE LAND OF "MARKED BODIES." 

In all the foregoing translations the character SHIH (No. 696, 
page 322) has been rendered " filled." Its fundamental meaning 
seems to be " fruit," from which the secondary signification of 
" solid, hard, compact, full, crammed," was derived. When used 
as a verb, it seems to me to mean "to solidify, to harden, to pack 
together, to cram " ; and, while it is applicable to the process of 
filling a confined space with solid substances or articles closely 
packed together, I doubt whether it can be used with pro 
priety to express the filling of a receptacle with a liquid. It 
therefore appears to me that the word, when used as a verb, 
should be translated " to harden, to solidify, to make compact," 
rather than " to fill," and that the description of the country 
should be read (punctuating after characters Nos. 689, 695, 699, 
and 707): 

" The residence of the king- of the country is adorned with 
gold and silver, and precious and beautiful objects about it. 
The dwellings consist of excavations of a breadth of one rod. 
These (dwellings) are made solid, hard, compact, or impervious 



THE GREAT HAN COUNTRY. 327 



DE 
GUIGNE8. 


were essentially the same as those 
had a different language. 


of the people of Ven-chin, but they 


NEU 
MANN. 


resembled the "Pictured People." 
quite different languages. 


The two nations, however, spoke 


JULIEN. 


customs are the same as those of the kingdom of Ouen-chin, but the Ian- 
guage is different. 


D lIEKVET. 


are the same as those of the Ouen-chin, but their language is different. 


WILL 
IAMS. 


customs are the same as those of the Wan Shan, but their speech 
differs. 


VINING. 


The rudeness of their customs is 
country of " Marked Bodies," but 
ferent. 


the same as that of the people of the 
the words of their language are dif- 



by the use of water-silver [i. e., ice]. When it rains, then the 
rain flows off from the surface of the water-silver." 

I should understand that Hwui Shan meant to say that the 
walls and roof of the dwellings were made solid and impervious 
to either air or water by means of ice. The houses of this re 
gion of the world are described by modern travelers as consist 
ing of an excavation, with low, earthen side-walls, and a roof of 
earth thrown over beams and branches used for its support. 

If, now, water was poured over these walls and the roof, it 
would soon freeze, and render them compact and impervious to 
rain, so that "when it rained, then the rain would flow off over 
the surface of the ice." 

This translation suggested itself to me at so late a date that 
I have not had time to consult competent Chinese scholars as to 
the possibility of so rendering the passage. I have, therefore, 
followed former translators in the version which is discussed in 
Chapter XIX. I believe, however, that the Chinese text is sus 
ceptible of the rendition given above, and that such a ver 
sion removes all difficulties in the account, and brings HwuL 
Shan s description into strict conformity with the truth. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

THE LENGTH OF THE LI. THE NAME "GREAT HAN." 

The direction from Japan in which Fu-sang lay Variations in standards of meas 
ure The Chinese li about one third of a mile in length The greater length 
of the Japanese li Possibility of still another standard in Corea Communi 
cation between Corea and Japan and between Corea and China Chinese knowl 
edge of the route to Japan derived from Corean sources Fu-sang farther from 
" Great Han " than Japan is Distances stated with at least approximate accu 
racyThe country of " Marked Bodies " identified as the Aleutian Islands Al 
lowances for changes and misunderstandings Caesar s account of the inhabit 
ants of Britain Maundevile s repetition of the story " Great Han " identified 
as Alaska Land found in the regions indicated by Hwui Shan Meaning 
of the character " Han " Nature of the Chinese characters The manner in 
which they are compounded of two parts Some characters in which the 
meaning is affected by that of both parts Application of the character " Han " 
to a swirling stream and to the Milky Way Hence its possible meaning of 
" dashing water " Meaning of the name " Alaska " The breakers of the 
Aleutian Islands The population A philological myth The hypotheses 
upon one of which Hwui Shan s story must be explained The explanation 
should be consistent. 

HAVING thus given the Chinese accounts of the land of Fu- 
sang, and of the countries found upon the route from China to 
that region, together with the arguments of former writers as to 
their location, let us now examine the question for ourselves. 

Fortunately, there is no doubt as to the first of the countries 
that is named as lying upon the route. Long before the days of 
Hwui Shan, the Chinese were acquainted with this kingdom of 
Japan, and, when it was mentioned by him, there was no neces 
sity for describing its location. 

At a distance of over seven thousand li to the northeast of 
Japan, it was stated that the country of " Marked Bodies " was 
to be found. More than five thousand li to the east of this the 
land of "Great Han" was situated, and over twenty thousand 



THE LENGTH OF THE LI. 329 

li easterly from this last-named country lay the land of Fu-sang. 
As it is expressly stated, however, that Fu-sang lay to the east of 
China, and as the greater part of the route from Japan to Great 
Han was in a northeasterly direction, it is evident that Fu-sang 
must have lain farther south than Great Han, and that its true 
bearing from this last country was southeasterly rather than 
east. 

With these explicit statements as to the direction of the 
route, there would be no difficulty in laying it down upon a chart, 
provided that we knew the exact length of the li. 

It is the case, however, that nearly all standards of measure 
were more or less indefinite when they were first established, and 
that, even after having been fixed with some degree of precis 
ion, they have been subject to change in the course of cent 
uries. The chief difficulty is found in the earlier stages of civili 
zation, however. Crawfurd, for instance, in speaking of the 
Javanese, says that, 1138 in countries where there are no roads, 
where the principal conveyance is by water, and where the paths 
are circuitous and little frequented, it is not reasonable to sup 
pose that any determinate measure of considerable distances 
should exist. Such contrivances, although familiar to Europeans, 
are the result of much improvement and civilization. The In 
dian islanders, in traveling, speak of a day s journey, which, with 
tolerable uniformity, may be reckoned at twenty British miles. 

In another place he states that, 1131 from their very nature, 
the measures of grain among the Javanese are indefinite, and 
hardly insure greater accuracy than we imply ourselves when 
we speak of sheaves of corn. In the same district they are tol 
erably regular in the quantity of grain and straw they contain ; 
but such is the wide difference between the different districts or 
provinces that the same nominal measure is often twice nay, 
three times as large in one as in another. 

This difficulty usually ceases to exist, however, by the time 
that the state of civilization is reached which the Chinese had 
attained in the fifth century. Long before that time their stand 
ards of measure had apparently become so well established that 
they have remained to the present time, with but few other 
changes than those recently made by the Europeans. 

Bretschneider says : " Having often had the opportunity of 
comparing distances given by the Chinese with our measures, I 



330 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

came to the conclusion that we make no considerable error in tak 
ing three Chinese li of our days as. equal to one English mile; and 
it can be proved, from ancient itineraries of the eleventh and 
twelfth centuries, that the length of the Chinese li has not 
changed since that time." 

The " Chinese Repository " 1016 says that there is great difficulty 
in estimating the Chinese li, or mile. It appears, by the " His 
tory of the Ming Dynasty," that the measures have varied 
under the different dynasties. The Chinese have never been 
able to measure distances by astronomical observations. It may 
be doubted whether they have ever taken the trouble to measure 
roads. On those which are prepared for the emperor, and at great 
expense, the number of li is written up all along the road ; but it 
is a fact that those li are not all of equal length. The traveler, 
when inquiring the distance from one place to another, is told so 
many li, and it is often added, " They are great or small." It is 
admitted that in the north the li are longer than in the south. It 
would appear that popular tradition has determined their number. 
A geography, printed by order of government, states that from 
Canton to Pekin the distance is 8,185 li. As the positions of Can 
ton and Pekin are known, it seems that they might serve to esti 
mate the Chinese lij but there is no doubt that the windings of 
the road are included in those 8,185 li. Now, the routes in China, 
both by land and water, wind without end ; so that there seems 
no way of estimating the li with precision. However, it is 
generally believed that there are two hundred li to a degree of 
latitude. 

In another place it states that 971 the li, or mile, is an uncer 
tain measure. Its common measure is 31 6^ fathoms, or 1,897 
English feet, and it is the usual term in which length is estimat 
ed. The Chinese reckon 192J li for a degree of latitude and 
longitude (for a degree of a great circle say, 65 miles this is 
1,918 feet) ; but the Jesuits divided the degree into 250 li, each 
li being 1,826 English feet, or the tenth part of a French league, 
which is the established measure at present. A li, according to 
this measurement, is a little more than one third of an English 
mile. 

A long article on the true length of this standard of meas 
ure 1036 is also given, in which the same general conclusion is 
reached that the li is about one third of an English mile. 



THE LENGTH OF THE LI. 331 

Remusat, in a note upon " The Pilgrimage of Fa Hian," 15WT 
makes the statement that the length of the sheu, or cubit, is 
variously estimated : sometimes at two chih (0-610 metres) ; 
sometimes at one chih and two tsun (0*4575 metres). Four sheu 
make one hung (bow), and three hundred hung make one li. 
According to this calculation the li would be either 549 or 732 
metres. 

Prinsep says that S095 a li is not quite one third of a mile ; for 
two hundred li equal a degree of latitude, or some sixty-nine 
statute miles. 

Professor Williams states that 2509 a discrepancy exists regard 
ing its precise length, owing to the various measures of the 
chih. It is usually reckoned at 1,825*55 feet, English, which 
gives 2*89 li to an English mile. This is based on the esti 
mate of 200 li to a degree ; but there were only 180 li to a de 
gree before Europeans came, which increases its length to 2, 028 39 
feet, or 2 6 li to a mile, which is nearer the common estimate ; 
and Summers 2415 says that the li, or Chinese mile = 316^ fath 
oms = 1,897-J- English feet : 192 li = I degree of latitude or 
longitude, according to the Chinese ; but the Jesuits make 250 
li = 1 degree, each li being = 1,826 feet, or ^ of a French league. 

It will not be necessary to quote other authorities upon the 
subject ; but, at the risk of being tedious, it seemed best to give 
the foregoing, for the purpose of showing that, after all that has 
been said as to the uncertainty as to the true length of the li t 
there is really but little disagreement as to what that length 
was before the coming of the Jesuits, and that if it be estimated 
at one third of an English mile the result will be very close to 
the truth. 

The Chinese li is sometimes stated to be equal to three hun 
dred and sixty (double) paces, and a comparison of this number 
with the one thousand (double) paces which was the original basis 
for the length of our mile, gives substantially the same result. 

Attention should be called, however, to the fact that, just as 
there is a great difference between the lengths of the English 
mile, the German mile, and the nautical or geographical mile, so 
there is a great difference between the standards of distance 
used in Japan and China, respectively, and there is some reason 
for thinking that still another standard may have been used in 
Corea. 



332 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

The Japanese and Coreans, who do not use the letter "/," 
substitute " r " for it, and pronounce the word " ri" instead of 
" li" The same character is used by them when writing the 
word, however, that is used by the Chinese for the " li. n 

Klaproth 1651 says that the ri of Corea, which is the same as 
that of the Mantchoos in China, contains only three and a half 
Japanese matsis, and, as the Japanese ri contains thirty-six 
matsis, ten Corean ri* are hardly equal to one Japanese ri. 

This last standard is equal to about three English miles ; and 
if Klaproth is correct in his statement that the Corean ri or li is 
the same as the Chinese, its length is about one third of a mile. 
Oppert, in one place, 1999 says, however, that thirty Corean li equal 
three English miles ; and if his statement can be relied upon, this 
reduces the Corean li to about one tenth of a mile. 

About a century after the visit of Hwui Shan, Li Yen-shau, 
who copied the official records of the story of the Buddhist priest, 
also gave an account of the country of Japan, in which (or in 
the copies which the Chinese now have) the distance from the 
port of Lo-lang, in western Corea, to Japan, is stated to be 
twelve thousand li. As the actual distance to the capital of 
Japan is not more than fifteen hundred miles, it follows either 
that there is a serious error in his account, or else that the li used 
as a standard must be only about one tenth of a mile in length. 
This statement of Li Yen-shau s has been the cause of nearly 
all the misunderstanding as to the true position of the coun 
tries described by Hwui Shan. No other instance seems to occur 
in the Chinese records in which the length of the li varies mate 
rially from one third of a mile ; yet from this single instance, of 
a standard apparently only one tenth of a mile in length, used 
by a writer who lived long after the days of Hwui Shan, his 
whole story has been discredited, and an effort has been made to 
show that the distance which he described as twenty thousand li 
was in reality only the trifling distance between the island of 
Saghalien and Japan. 

It will be shown in one of the following chapters that the 
chief early intercourse of the Japanese was with the people of 
Corea. These in turn were frequently visited by the Chinese. 
Klaproth 1656 says that there was constant communication between 
the two countries, and that Corea paid tribute to China through 
out the fifth and sixth centuries. Their histories also show that 



THE LENGTH OF THE LI. 333 

when the Chinese visited Japan it was by way of Corea. It 
is therefore evident that the Chinese relied upon the Coreans for 
information as to the route to Japan, and for assistance in reach 
ing that country, and nothing can be more probable than that 
Li Yen-shau, when gathering information as to Japan, obtained 
much of it, either directly or indirectly, from Corean sources. 
Whether it is a fact that the Corean li is, or ever has been, only 
one tenth of a mile in length, and that the Chinese borrowed the 
description of the route given by the Coreans, without making the 
correction for the difference in the length of the li used in the 
two countries, or whether, as is indicated by a discovery of M. de 
Rosny, mentioned in a note given in Chapter XXXIV, a seri 
ous error was made by the Chinese in copying from their early 
records, by which they doubled the distance, must be left to the 
decision of competent scholars ; but that the true explanation of 
the great distance that is named will be found either in one 
cause or the other, there seems little room to doubt. 

Whatever the cause of the error in the description of the 
route to Japan may have been, Hwui Shan, when describing the 
length of his journey, to the representative of the Chinese em 
peror, could not have meant by the word li anything else than 
the distance then called a li by the Chinese that is to say, about 
one third of an English mile. He certainly can not be blamed 
for his failure to foresee that a century after his death his story 
would be confused with another account, in which there would 
be either a serious error or else in which another standard of 
distance would be used. 

Those who have placed Fu-sang in Japan have either ignored 
so many difficulties, or disposed of them so satisfactorily to them 
selves, that the trifling discrepancy that, according to their views, 
the distance from Japan to Great Han was twelve thousand li 
(of a length never used elsewhere in Chinese accounts), while 
the distance from Great Han to Japan (Fu-sang) was twenty 
thousand li, seems unworthy of notice. 

In addition to the difficulty which a number of former in 
vestigators have found in determining, approximately, the 
length of the li, the second objection is raised that Hwui 
Shan, or the mythical Chinese voyagers who have been sup 
posed to have visited the country of Marked Bodies and Great 
Han, could not have had any means of determining with, accu- 



334: AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

racy the distances which they traveled or the direction of their 
voyage. 

Admitting that the distances and the direction may not be 
accurately given, it certainly does not follow that they are not 
a reasonable approximation to the truth. Surely there was no 
greater difficulty in those days than there is now in making a 
rough estimate, with reasonable accuracy, as to the distance 
traveled and the general direction of the course. Of all the 
men who sail the seas, it is doubtful whether there is one who, 
if he had pursued a southerly course of a thousand or twelve 
hundred miles, could be so egregiously mistaken as to believe 
that he had sailed seven thousand miles easterly ; and if it be as 
sumed that Hwui Shan attempted to describe his journey in 
good faith, it certainly ought not to be taken for granted that 
he was liable to make so gross a blunder. 

Klaproth says 1659 that the navigators who visit the Japanese 
Islands estimate even the distances which they have themselves 
traveled only approximately. It is evident, however, that they 
do estimate them approximately, and would not be likely to be 
guilty of such stupidity as calling south, east, and thinking one 
mile to be seven. 

The " Chinese Repository," 101T when referring to distances 
reckoned in " days journeys," says that " the day s journey is 
usually considered one hundred tt, a little more or less " ; and it 
is not improbable that the Buddhist traveler, when journeying 
along the shore or paddling from island to island, estimated each 
day s journey as about this distance. However this may have 
been, there can be no question that a man possessed of courage, 
persistency, and hardihood sufficient to carry him through a 
journey of forty-one years, in countries previously unknown, 
can hardly have lacked the amount of knowledge necessary 
to enable him to distinguish between east and south, or be 
tween one mile and half a dozen. When he says that the 
country of Marked Bodies lies twenty-three hundred miles 
northeasterly from Japan, we may grant that this is a mere 
estimate. Possibly the distance was only two thousand miles, 
or it may have been twenty-five hundred ; the course, also, may 
have varied a few degrees from northeast ; but if we are to as 
sume that he may have meant a country less than five hundred 
miles from Japan, and lying directly north, we assume that he 



THE LENGTH OF THE LI. 335 

was either grossly ignorant or thoroughly dishonest, and in either 
case it would be useless to examine his story further. 

Let us for the present, however, proceed upon the assump 
tion that he may have been honest and intelligent, as he must 
have been brave and resolute, and see whether his story is or is 
not true. 

If we sail from Japan, in a northeasterly direction, for a 
distance of some two thousand miles, where do we find our 
selves ? Not in the island of Jesso, but among the Aleutian 
Islands. Do these islands or their people correspond with Hwui 
Shan s account ? If they do, we have a strong proof that his 
story is true. If they do not, it is useless to look elsewhere for 
the country described by him, and his story may be dismissed 
as false. 

Allowance must be made, however, for the changes that 
have taken place in the fourteen centuries that have elapsed 
since the time of his travels. It could not be expected that all 
the customs mentioned by him should have come down to the 
present day, or that those which still exist should be found 
identical in all respects with the form which they had so long 
ago. It is also to be presumed that those which have survived 
will be found, in many cases, scattered among tribes now living 
at some distance from the region inhabited by their ancestors 
fourteen hundred years ago. 

Caesar s account of the people of Gaul and Britain antedates 
by only some four centuries Hwui Shan s story of the lands 
visited by him ; but if we had no other means of proving that 
Caesar actually visited western Europe and England than a com 
parison of his account with existing customs, his credit would 
suffer as has our Buddhist priest s. 

When speaking of the people of Britain, he says " that they 
do not consider it right to eat the hare, the domestic fowl, or the 
goose, and adds that 917 " most of the inhabitants of the interior 
do not sow grain, but live upon milk and flesh, and clothe them 
selves in skins. All the men of this country dye themselves with 
woad, which gives them a bluish colour, and makes their appear 
ance in battle more terrible. Their hair is long, and all parts 
of their body are shaved except the head and upper lip. Ten 
or twelve have their wives in common, usually brothers with 
their brothers, or parents with their children ; but the offspring 



336 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

are considered the children of him by whom the maiden was 
first espoused." 

It is a curious illustration of the persistency with which his 
torical tales survive, and of the fact that even the most incredible 
are frequently founded upon some warped or perverted truth, 
and hence are deserving of study in order that the truth which 
they contain may be separated from the error, that Sir John 
Maundevile, returning to England some twelve centuries later, 
with his mind filled with marvels not only those which he had 
himself seen in the Orient, but also all that he had been able 
to gather from others regarding the countries still farther east 
should have brought back to Britain the story which had 
started from it so long before. The tale had survived, but the 
location of the land had been forgotten, and hence it was sup 
posed to be situated in the distant East. 

leas ( ( B e y 0n( i e that Yle, is another Yle, where is gret mul- 
tytude of folk ; and thei wole not for nothing eten Flesche of 
Hares, ne of Hennes, ne of Gees ; and yit thei bryngen forthe y 
now, for to seen hem and to beholden hem only. But thei eten 
Flesche of alle other Bestes, and drynken Mylk. In that Centre 
thei taken hire Doughtres and hire Sustres to here Wyfes, and 
hire other Kynneswomen. And gif there ben 10 or 12 men or 
mo dwellynge in an Hows, the Wif of everyche of hem schalle 
ben comoun to hem alle, that duellen in that Hows." 

Returning again to the account of the Buddhist traveler, it 
will be seen that he says that, about sixteen hundred miles east 
of the land of "Marked Bodies," there lay a country called 
GREAT HA^. At about that distance east of the center of the 
Aleutian Islands, Alaska is found ; and if his story is true, Great 
Han was located in or near Alaska. 

It should first be noticed that here are two instances in which 
land exists in the Pacific Ocean, just where he says it is to 
be found. A glance at a map will show how unlikely it is that 
he would be right as to the existence of land in a certain direc 
tion, and at a certain distance, if his story were but a figment of 
the imagination. With all the islands in the Pacific Ocean to 
choose from, those who attempt to locate Fu-sang. elsewhere 
than in America, can do so only by ignoring both the distance 
and the direction. If any other U than the true one is used, 
and if the bearings mentioned by Hwui Shan are preserved, the 



THE NAME "GREAT HAN." 337 

end of the route will fall into the fathomless depths of the Pa 
cific. 

The name of the easternmost of the two countries is given as 
fa TA (Great), g|, HAN. The last character being made up of 
two parts, meaning respectively " water " and " hardship." 

Instead of being composed, 2390 as is frequently supposed, of a 
vast number of arbitrary and complicated symbols, the charac 
ters of the Chinese language are compounded of very simple 
elements, which carry along with them into their derivatives 
something of their own meaning, while each generally preserves 
its figure unchanged. These elementary characters supply the 
place of an alphabet ; but it is an alphabet of ideas, not of 
sounds. 

The earliest Chinese characters were evidently pictorial ; but 
pictures could not be made which would clearly express all ideas. 
Among the means resorted to, for obtaining characters to express 
conceptions that could not be indicated by a simple sketch, was 
that of combining two familiar pictures to give rise to a new 
idea, sometimes of an abstraction, sometimes the name of a 
real thing. 2392 For instance, a man with a large eye represents 
" seeing " ; two men, " to follow " ; three men, " many " ; 1568 
two men on the ground, " sitting." 

All other means failing, the present great mass of characters 
was formed by a principle from which the class is called "pho 
netic"; because in the characters classed under it, while one 
part (called the " radical ") preserves its meaning, the other part 
(called the " phonetic " or " primitive ") is used to give its own 
sound to the whole figure. This part does sometimes, however, 
8393 convey also its symbolic meaning as well as its sound. 

As a specimen of the influence which the primitive frequently 
exerts upon the meaning of the compound, the following is 
given : 1027 

jg, TI, means low or mean ; when compounded with the radi 
cal " man," it means a low man, a base fellow, a vagabond ; when 
with " heart," it means a sordid mind, meanness ; when with 
"hand," it .means underhanded, crafty; when with a "tree," 
the roots ; when with a "stone," the foundation ; when with a 
" horn," to put the horn down, to gore ; when with an " eye," to 
look down, humble, condescending ; when with a "boat," per 
haps the bottom of the boat or rudder ; when with " words," 
22 



338 AN INGLOEIOUS COLUMBUS. 

low words, vulgarisms, slander ; and when with " grain," ripe 
grain that bends down. 

G. T. Lay, in an article in the " Chinese Repository," insists 
upon the importance of recognizing the influence of the " pho 
netic" upon the meaning of the character, in the following 
words : 104S 

" The Chinese primitives or vocal portions may not be ex 
changed (for others of the same sound) without producing the 
greatest change in the sense. Every student of a few months 
standing knows that you can not substitute one primitive for an 
other without producing a different sense ; with this fact before 
him, will any man have the hardihood to tell me that the primi 
tive in composition serves only for the purposes of sound ? We 
acknowledge that Chinese sometimes exchange these primitives 
in their books, and more frequently in their petitions, letters, and 
private documents, and thus occasion doubt and difficulties which 
might have been avoided. The number of substitutions is al 
ways in the direct ratio of the composer s ignorance of the written 
language. Many a time has the foreigner mortified the pride of 
the native by showing him that he had written the wrong primi 
tive, and perhaps not less frequently has the native repaid the 
little affront by pointing out a similar mistake which the foreign 
er had made. This is an every-day proof that the Chinese rec 
ognize the principle that the primitive has a meaning as well as 
a sound." 

There are at least five or six hundred common Chinese char 
acters in which it is universally admitted that the meaning of 
the so called "phonetic" is preserved in the compound char 
acter. 

Let us see whether this character HAN should not be in 
cluded in this class. Professor Williams defines the word as 
follows : " The Milky Way ; the large branch of the Yang-tsz 
River ; a Chinese ; relating to China ; the Han dynasty, which 
was named from the duke of Han." 

Its most common use at present is in the meaning " Chinese." 
The " Land of Han " is China, 1363 and hence the term " Great Han " 
has been considered to mean either " Great China," or a land 
inhabited by " Great Chinese." It is evident, however, that 
the term " Han " was first applied to the Chinese as subjects 
of the Han dynasty, 1363 which took its name from its founder, 



THE NAME "GREAT HAN." 339 

the duke of Han. He in turn derived his title, like many 
English noblemen, from the small district over which he first 
ruled, and this district took its name from the river Han, upon 
the bank of which it was situated. 

If we now inquire how the character in question first came 
to be applied to the river Han, and if we bear in mind that the 
character is composed of two parts, meaning "water" and "hard 
ship," it is readily seen that it may have been adopted as the 
name of the river to express the idea that its leading character 
istic was that its " water " could be navigated only with " diffi 
culty," if at all. The Chinese " Historical Classic," the SHU 
KING, as translated by Mr. James Legge, mentions " the Han 
with its eddying movements," 1708 and Professor Williams refers 
to 2533 the swirling waters of the river Han, thus showing that 
the two parts of the character correctly describe the stream. 

The character Han also means the Milky Way. 2628 And here 
again the idea of foaming, dashing water is apparent ; the Milky 
Way resembling a foaming stream among the stars. 

When Hwui Shan reached the Aleutian Islands, or Alaska, 
what name did he find the country to bear ? what was the mean 
ing of the name, and how would he probably attempt to tran 
scribe it in Chinese characters ? 

It is stated in the " Chinese Repository " that 1007 the etymolo 
gies of the Chinese are sometimes deserving of notice as an index 
of their habits of thought, and modes of combining relative 
ideas in order to embody a new one ; and Professor Williams says 
that 2494 scholars are fastidious as to the introduction of merely 
phonetic words into their compositions, and prefer to translate 
everything that they can. 

Hence, the probability is strong that Hwui Shan would at 
tempt both to translate the name, and to adopt a character which 
would to some extent describe the country. 

Dall gives the following statement as to the name applied by 
the natives of the Aleutian Islands to the adjoining continent, 
and as to its meaning : 1168 

"Alaska. This name, now applied to the whole of our new 
territory, is a corruption, very far removed from the original 
word. When the early Russian traders first reached Unalashka, 
they were told by the natives that to the eastward was a great 
land or territory. This was called by the natives Al-ak-shak, or 



34:0 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

Al-ay-ek-sa. The island now known as Unalashka was called 
Na-gun-alayeksa, or the land near Alayeksa. From Alayeksa 
the name became, by corruption, Alaksa, Alashka, Aliaska, and 
finally Alaska. . . . We have then Alaska for the territory, Ali 
aska for the peninsula, and Unalashka for the island ; all derived 
from the same root, meaning a GKEAT country or continent" 

Pinart also states that among the Aleuts 2039 a tradition of the 
people is mentioned, in which they say that, before coming to 
their present home, they lived " in a great land, which was also 
called Alidkhskha that is to say, * a continent. " 

Coxe also mentions the acquaintance of the Aleutian Island 
ers with the size of the adjoining continent, in the following 
words : 1123 

" Glottof did not land till he reached the last and most east 
ward of these islands, called by the inhabitants Kadiak ; from 
which the natives said it was not far to the coast of a wide, ex 
tended, woody continent." 

Hence, when Hwui Shan was in the Aleutian Islands, he, too, 
probably heard of the " great land," " the continent," to the 
east ; and this he indicated by the character TA, meaning "great." 

That the character is used with this meaning, and not as a 
mere phonetic, is quite conclusively proven by the fact that in 
the twenty-eight cases in which it is used by Hiuen Ts ang, 1616 in 
the names of towns or districts of India, it is invariably a trans 
lation of the Sanskrit " Maha," having the same meaning, while 
m the twenty cases in which the syllable " TA " is transliterated, 
some other character is always used. 1617 

While it is possible that he may have meant "China" by the 
character " Han," thus intending to call the continent " Great 
China," and so indicate the fact that it was larger than China, it 
seems more probable that he meant to go back to the original 
meaning of the character, and thus indicate that it was a great 
country of dashing icater, or a great country reached with diffi 
culty by water. 

This would be very appropriate, as Langsdorff says that 1699 
the current, or the influence of the ebb and flood tides, is very vio 
lent and irregular here between the numerous islands, and needs 
to be carefully watched by every sailor. While the Encyclo 
paedia Britannica states that 1292 the Aleutian Islands are bare and 
mountainous, and their coasts are rocky and surrounded by 



THE NAME " GREAT HAN." 341 

breakers, by which the approach is rendered exceedingly dan 
gerous. 

Although the population of the Aleutian Islands is now 
very small, the islands were once thickly peopled. Langsdorff 
says, for instance, that 170 about 1770 the population of Kadiak 
and the neighbouring islands was estimated at fifty thousand 
people. 

One curious indication of the location of the country named 
"Han " is found in the Chinese character ^|, of which the Hok- 
kee n pronunciation is CHAY. This is defined as 1864 "driftwood 
floating down a river, upon which they fable that genii ride in 
order to float into the Milky Way, or Heavenly River, and thus get 
among the stars." Here is evidently a myth founded upon the 
character " Han," which was applied by Hwui Shan to a country 
far to the northeast, upon which driftwood floating in the Kuro- 
siwo, or gulf-stream of the Pacific, would ultimately be thrown. 
After the existence of this country was partly forgotten, some 
surviving statement, that the driftwood floated to " Han," was, 
on account of the fact that one of the meanings of the character 
is "the Milky Way," supposed to mean that the driftwood 
floated to this Heavenly River. 

Before taking up the account of the lands of "Marked 
Bodies " and " Great Han," and examining them clause by clause 
to see whether similar accounts are given by other travelers to 
the same region, attention should be called to the fact that a 
thorough examination of Hwui Shan s story should lead to some 
one of the following conclusions : 

First. His story is entirely false ; nothing more than an 
effort of the imagination of a " lying Buddhist priest." 

Second. He himself had not visited the countries which he 
described, but he had heard some account of them from others 
who had visited them, and he attempted to repeat their stories. 

Third. He had actually visited the countries described by 
him, and he attempted to give a truthful account of his travels. 

In deference to the views of those scholars who see in every 
nursery tale and every history a myth of the rising sun, a fourth 
theory might be added : that the story of Fu-sang is a " sun- 
myth." This Procrustean theory is so all-embracing applying 
with equal force to " Sing a Song of Sixpence " and the Iliad ; to 
the history of Jacob and the life of either of the Napoleons 



342 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

that the various arguments used to adapt it to any tale what 
ever might be applied (even with special force, as to some points) 
to the history of Fu-sang, " the Land of the Rising Sun." A 
sprinkling of Sanskrit, and a reference to the clouds surrounding 
the rising sun as " cows " or " herds," would make the argument 
complete. 

As it is reasonable to presume, however, that not more than 
nine tenths of early history is a variation upon the sun-myth 
theme, let us assume that the story of Fu-sang is among the 
few early tales that have some claim to other foundation. 

In such case it is but reasonable to ask that the story as a 
whole should lead to some one of the three conclusions before 
mentioned. A portion of the story should not be accounted for 
by one hypothesis, and another of its statements by a different 
theory, wholly inconsistent with the first. It is not proper, for 
instance, to arrive at the conclusion that there was no such land 
as Fu-sang, and then in the next sentence attempt to prove that 
there was a land of Fu-sang, but that it was located in Japan. 

The author will attempt to show that the third theory is the 
true one. It is not necessary to remove every objection ; some 
difficulties will unquestionably remain unsolved. But the true 
point to be decided is as to which one of the possible theories 
offers the fewest and least serious perplexities. If it be shown 
that Hwui Shan describes a particular region in America, with 
its characteristic plants, and mentions peculiar customs of its 
people, such as are not known to have ever existed elsewhere ; 
if truth after truth is told, of a nature such as could never have 
been imagined if America had not actually been visited a 
point will soon be reached when even explanations that would 
otherwise seem improbable may be accepted in regard to some 
few difficulties that present no other solution. 

If it requires infinitely more explanation to account for Hwui 
Shan s story upon either the first or second theory than it does 
upon the third, then the third may be considered as established 
with reasonable certainty. In the following pages an effort will 
be made to show that this is the case. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

THE CUSTOMS OF THE LAND OF " MAKKED BODIES," AND OF 

GEEAT HAN. 

Necessity of examining the account in detail The resemblance of the people of the 
two countries Their customs Their languages The marks upon their bodies 
Tattooing with three lines Existence of the custom in America The marks 
a sign of the position of their bearer The merry nature of the people Their 
feasts and dances Their hospitality Hospitality of the American Indians 
The.Iroquois The Esquimaux The Aleutians Absence of fortifications 
The chiefs The decoration of their dwellings The Haidah Indians Other 
Indian tribes from British Columbia to Alaska Esquimaux fondness for 
ornamentation Ditches The dwellings of the people Water-silver Proof 
that ice is meant Quicksilver No country ever had ditches filled with 
quicksilver The traffic by means of precious gems No money used Value 
of amber The peaceful nature of the people The punishment of crime 
Summary of facts mentioned by Hwui Shan Application of the doctrine of 
chances The two countries bearing the name of Great Han. 

MARSDEN, in his edition of the " Travels of Marco Polo," 1739 
states that while much ingenuity has been shown, on the one 
side, in pointing out what seem to be improbabilities, defects, 
and inconsistencies in his work, and, on the other, in defend 
ing it upon general principles, little has hitherto been done, by 
editors or commentators, toward an examination of the particu 
lar details, with the view of bringing them to the test of mod 
ern observation ; and yet it is upon the unexceptionable evi 
dence of their consistency with known facts, rather than the 
strength of any argument, that the reader is expected to ground 
his confidence in the intentional veracity of the author. 

This criticism seems equally true in regard to the Chinese 
descriptions of eastern lands ; and this chapter will therefore be 
devoted to an examination of "the particular details" of the 
account of the Countries of Marked Bodies and Great Han, in 
order to show " their consistency with known facts." 



344: AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

I. THE RUDENESS OF THE CUSTOMS (of the people of the 
two countries) is THE SAME, BUT THEIR LANGUAGES ARE DIF 
FERENT. 

Latham says 170T that the inhabitants of the Aleutian Islands, 
properly so called (i. e., of Behring s and Copper Islands), of the 
Rat Islands, of the Andreanowsky Islands, of the Prebulowiini 
Islands, of Unalaska, and of Kadiak, are all Esquimaux ; a fact 
which numerous vocabularies give us full means of ascertaining. 
In respect to the difference of speech between particular islands, 
there is external evidence that it is considerable. The people of 
Atka have a difficulty in understanding the Unalaskans, and 
vice versa. Again, the Kadiak vocabulary, as found in Lisiansky, 
differs very notably from the Unalaskan of the same author ; 
indeed, it may be doubted whether the two languages are mu 
tually intelligible. 

Dall states that 1154 the language of the western Innuit differs 
totally in the vocabulary from that of any Indian tribes, while 
there are many words common to the Greenlanders and the 
Behring s Strait Esquimaux. On the other hand, the words of the 
language of the Aleutians are in very large part quite dissimilar 
to those of the most adjacent Innuit. There is more difference 
in this respect between them and the Innuit of Kadiak than ex 
ists between the Greenlandic and Behring s Strait dialect. Never 
theless, the Aleutian language is clearly of the Innuit type, and 
is only entitled to rank as a branch of the Orarian stock. 

While Langsdorff repeats, almost verbatim, the words of 
Hwui Shan : "The inhabitants of Kadiak are but slightly dif 
ferent from those of Unalaska. In general the people are some 
what taller and more robust, but otherwise they are undeniably 
of the same race. The language is different. The customs, man 
ners, methods of living, means of sustenance, and the clothing, 
however, are almost exactly the same." 1709 

il. THE PEOPLE HAVE MARKS UPON THEIR BODIES LIKE 
WILD BEASTS. 

It does not seem quite certain whether Hwui Shan meant 
that the marks were like those upon animals, or that they were 
pictures of wild beasts, or merely that the people resembled 
animals from the fact that their bodies were marked. 

If it is meant that the marks were representations of wild 
beasts, the Haidah Indians, of Queen Charlotte s Islands, who 



CUSTOMS OF THE LAND OF " MARKED BODIES." 345 

live not far from Alaska, and who may have moved from a still 
nearer neighbourhood during the last fourteen centuries, ex 
actly meet the description. They seem to be intruders in their 
present location, as Swan states that there is a 24 24 marked differ 
ence in their manners and customs from the Indians of the main 
land. He adds that a singular 2423 custom which prevails among 
them, and which seems to be a distinctive feature of this tribe, is 
that of tattooing their bodies with various designs, all of which 
are fanciful representations of animals, birds, or fishes, either an 
attempt to represent in a grotesque form those which are known 
and commonly seen, or their mythological and legendary crea 
tions ; he says also that 2422 each of the people will have on some 
part of the body a representation in tattooing of the particular 
figure which constitutes his or her family name or connection. 
The chief will have all the figures tattooed on his body to show 
his connection with the whole. 

If it is merely meant, however, that the people resembled 
wild beasts rather than men, because their bodies were marked 
or tattooed, it is not necessary to look farther than to the tribes 
now living in Alaska and the Aleutian Islands. 

Bancroft says that, 101 were these people (the Esquimaux) 
satisfied with what nature has done for them, they would be 
passably good-looking. But with them, as with all mankind, 
no matter how high the degree of intelligence and refinement 
attained, art must be applied to improve upon nature. The few 
finishing-touches neglected by the Creator, man is ever ready to 
supply. Arrived at the age of puberty, the great work of im 
provement begins. Up to this time the skin has been kept satu 
rated in grease and filth, until the natural colour is lost, and 
until the complexion is brought down to the Esquimaux standard. 
Now pigments of various dyes are applied, both painted out 
wardly and pricked into the skin. 

John Ledyard, who visited Unalaska with Captain Cook, 
stated that, among the people whom they saw, 108 both sexes 
had undergone the usual face painting and ornamentation ; and 
Langsdorff mentions that 1698 tattooing was very customary in 
former times in the Aleutian Islands, especially among the women. 
They punctured the chin, the neck, and the arms. 

III. IN FRONT (OB UPON THEIR FOREHEADS) THEY HAVE 

THREE MARKS. 



346 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

Richardson says : 105 " The women tattoo their faces in blue 
lines, produced by making stitches with a fine needle and thread 
smeared with lamp-black." Beechey reports that, between 
Kotzebue Sound and Icy Cape, 102 " all the women were tattooed 
upon the chin with three small lines." Armstrong states that, 109 
at Point Barrow, the women have on the chin a vertical line 
about half an inch broad in the center, extending from the lip, 
with a parallel but narrower one on either side of it, a little 
apart. Choris assures us that, 102 on Behring s Isle, men as well 
as women tattoo ; many men having the face tattooed. Coxe 
mentions that im the women of the Aleutian Islands were orna 
mented with different figures sewed into the skin, and that 118 
the faces of the women of the Fox Islands were marked with 
blackish streaks made with a needle and thread in the skin ; and 
Bancroft says that 105 young Kadiak wives secure the affection 
ate admiration of their husbands by tattooing the breast and 
adorning the face with black lines ; while the Kuskoquim women 
sew into their chin two parallel blue lines. 

This custom seems to have spread over a large portion of 
Northwestern America. 

Ross says that all the Esquimaux women met by him 162 were 
tattooed to a greater or less extent, chiefly on the brow, and on 
each side of the mouth and chin ; this ornament consisting in 
lines alone, without any peculiar figures, and thus conforming 
to the usages of the Northwestern Esquimaux of America, as they 
have been described by different voyagers. 

Mackenzie, after mentioning that 1773 the Chepewyans have a 
tradition among them that they originally came from another 
country, inhabited by very wicked people, and had traversed a 
great lake which was narrow, shallow, and full of islands, where 
they had suffered great misery, it being always winter, with ice 
and deep snow, adds that Im both sexes have blue or black bars 
of from one to four straight lines on their cheeks or forehead, 
to distinguish the tribe to which they belong. He also asserts 
that 1775 the men of both the Slave and Dog-rib tribes of Indians 
have two double lines, either black or blue, tattooed upon each 
cheek, from the ear to the nose, and that some of the Kniste- 
naux women 1771 tatoo three perpendicular lines, which are some 
times double, one from the center of the chin to that of the under 
lip, and one parallel on either side to the corner of the mouth. 



CUSTOMS OF THE LAND OF "MARKED BODIES." 347 

Powers remarks that the Karok 2058 squaws tattoo in blue three 
narrow fern-leaves perpendicularly on the chin, one falling from 
each corner of the mouth, and one in the middle, and that the 
Wintun 2059 squaws all tattoo three narrow lines, one falling 
from each corner of the mouth, and one between. 

IV. IF THE MARKS ABE LARGE AND STRAIGHT, THEY INDICATE 
THAT THOSE WHO HAVE THEM ARE OP THE HIGHER CLASSES ; 
BUT IP THEY ARE SMALL AND CROOKED, THEN THEIR POSSESSORS 
ARE OP THE LOWER CLASSES. 

Armstrong states that at Point Barrow some of the wom 
en 103 " have two vertical lines protruding from either angle 
of the mouth ; which is a mark of their high position in the 
tribe." 

V. THE PEOPLE OF THE LAND ARE OP A MERRY NATURE, 

AND THEY REJOICE WHEN THEY HAVE AN ABUNDANCE, EVEN OF 
ARTICLES THAT ARE OF LITTLE VALUE. 

It is singular that nearly every traveler to Alaska and the 
Aleutian Islands has mentioned this peculiarity in the disposi 
tion of the people, by which they are clearly distinguished from 
the taciturn and phlegmatic tribes occupying other portions of 
the American Continent. 

Bancroft states that 109 the Aleuts are fond of dancing. 
Langsdorff asserts that 169S the character of the people of the 
island of Unalaska is in general kind and good-natured, sub 
missive, and obedient. Ball states m6 that originally the Aleu 
tian tribes were active and sprightly, and that, 1172 like most 
of the Innuit tribes, they were fond of dances and festivals, 
which, like those of Norton Sound, were chiefly celebrated in 
December. Food was then plenty, and the otter-hunting 
season did not commence till a little later. 1157 Whole villages 
entertained other villages, receiving the guests with songs and 
tambourines. Successive dances of children, naked men beating 
their rude drums, and women curiously attired, were followed 
by incantations from the shamans. If a whale was cast ashore, 
the natives assembled with joyous and remarkable ceremonies. 
They advanced and beat drums of different sizes. The carcass 
was then cut up, and a feast held on the spot. 

This peculiarity seems to be shared by the Kamtchatkans, 
for it is stated of them that 1641 they pass their time in singing 
and dancing, and in relating their intrigues, and the greatest 



34:8 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

misfortune that they can suffer is to be deprived of these 
amusements. 

VI. TRAVELING VISITORS DO NOT PREPARE FOOD FOR THEIR 

JOURNEYS, AND THEY HAVE THE SHELTER OF THEIR (THE IN 
HABITANTS ) DWELLINGS. 

By referring to the seventeenth chapter, it will be seen that 
some of the former translators of this passage have thought that 
reference was made to " a fertile land, where all that is neces 
sary to sustain life may be found in abundance "; to a country 
where "the various products are abundant and cheap," and 
where " the travelers who pass through it have no need to fur 
nish themselves with provisions." The Marquis d Hervey de 
Saint-Denys renders the first clause of the paragraph above 
quoted, " The traveler easily finds food"; and in another place 
translates the same clause, " The traveler has no need to carry 
food with him (the country furnishing it to him in abundance)." 

The version of this passage by Professor Williams will be 
seen, however, to agree in its main features with that given by 
the present author. 

The statement of the Chinese account is, that "traveling 
visitors do not prepare food for their journeys "; and the in 
ference of former translators, that the reason is that " the coun 
try furnishes it in abundance," is merely an inference, and hap 
pens to be erroneous. 

The true reason is, that the people, although poor, are so hos 
pitable that they supply travelers freely with all that they them 
selves have. This complete hospitality, which is carried to such 
a point that it is considered to be a right of the traveler to share 
freely of all that may be found in the dwellings that he enters, 
and that there is no thought on either side that it is an act of 
mere courtesy, is characteristic of the aborigines of the Ameri 
can Continent ; as it existed throughout all of North America, 
at least, and was probably found in South America also ; while 
it is doubtful whether the same universal and complete hospi 
tality has existed anywhere else in the world. 

So accustomed were all or nearly all of the tribes of America 
to this hearty welcome in every house that they entered, that 
Mr. Stephen Badger, in a letter to the Massachusetts His 
torical Society, published in 1798, complains that " 6 the Indians 
are strangely disposed and addicted to wander from place to 



CUSTOMS OF THE LAND OF "MARKED BODIES." 349 

place, and to make excursions into various parts of the country, 
and sometimes at no small distance from their proper homes, 
without anything on hand for their support in their perambula 
tions, as for this they depend, with unanxious concern, upon the 
charity and compassion of others. 

Morgan says that 1936 one of the most attractive features of In 
dian society was the spirit of hospitality by which it was per 
vaded. Perhaps no people ever carried this principle to the 
same degree of universality as did the Iroquois. Their houses 
were not only open to each other, at all hours of the day and of 
the night, but also to the wayfarer and the stranger. Such 
entertainment as their means afforded was freely spread before 
him, with words of kindness and of welcome. He states again 
that, 1919 among the Iroquois, hospitality was an established 
usage. If a man entered an Indian house in any of their vil 
lages, whether a villager, a tribesman, or a stranger, it was the 
duty of the women therein to set food before him. An omis 
sion to do this would have been a discourtesy amounting to an 
affront. If hungry, he ate ; if not hungry, courtesy required 
that he should taste the food and thank the giver. This would 
be repeated at every house he entered, and at whatever hour in 
the day. As a custom it was upheld by a rigorous public senti 
ment. The same hospitality was extended to strangers from 
their own and from other tribes. Upon the advent of the Euro 
pean race among them it was also extended to them. Quotations 
follow from " Smith s History of Virginia," from the Rev. John 
Heckewelder, from Lewis and Clarke, and from many others, to 
show that this hospitality is universal among the Indian tribes. 

In another place 1937 Morgan gives the following anecdote in 
illustration of the difference between the hospitality of the In 
dians and that of the whites : 

Canassatego, a distinguished Onondaga chief, who flourished 
about the middle of the last century, said, in a conversation with 
Conrad Weiser, an Indian interpreter : " You know our prac 
tice. If a white man, in traveling through our country, enters 
one of our cabins, we all treat him as I do you. We dry him if 
he is wet, we warm him if he is cold, and give him meat and 
drink that he may allay his hunger and thirst ; and we spread 
soft furs for him to rest and sleep on. We demand nothing in 
return. But if I go into a white man s house at Albany, and ask 



350 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

for victuals and drink, they say, Where is your money ? And 
if I have none, they say, Get out, you Indian dog I " 

Mackenzie speaks particularly m2 of the generosity and hos 
pitality of the Knistenaux ; and Ross 216S mentions several in 
stances 2164 in which he had " ample proof of the hospitality " 2163 
of the Esquimaux whom he met. 

To return to Alaska and the Aleutian Islands : Dall mentions 
a case of great kind-heartedness shown to him by two of the 
natives of Alaska. 1152 He says again of the Aleutians that 1171 hos 
pitality was one of their prominent traits. 

Quoting from Veniaminoff, he says 1169 that it is the custom of 
the Aleutians for the successful hunter or fisher, particularly in 
times of scarcity, to share his prize with all, not only taking no 
large share, but often less than the others ; and if he has forgotten 
any one at the distribution, or any one arrives too late, he shares 
the remainder with him. All those in need of assistance hasten 
to meet the returning hunter at the landing, and sit down silently 
by the shore. This is a sign that they ask for aid ; only the 
infirm or orphans send persons to represent them : and the hunt 
er divides his prize, without expecting thanks or restitution. 

Continuing his quotations from the same authority, he adds : 1161 

" The Aleuts are not inhospitable, but they practice hospital 
ity in their own way. They meet all strangers at the landing- 
place, though rarely saluting them by word or sign, except 
where they have learned the custom, daily becoming more uni 
versal, from the Russians. If the stranger has a relative or inti 
mate friend, he goes to him ; if not, no one will invite him, but 
all are ready to receive him : he can choose his quarters himself. 
Then he is entertained in the best manner ; the woman of the 
house takes care of his clothing, mending his kamlayka, or what 
ever stands in need of repair ; but she is not obliged to receive 
him, as was formerly customary. They never think of asking 
their guest for anything, but let him stay as long as he may ; 
they even provide him with food of every kind when he departs" 

The duplication by Veniaminoff, in the clause in italics, of the 
statement given in the Chinese account, should be particularly 
observed. 

Bancroft says that 109 the Aleuts are given to hospitality ; and 
Coxe mentions that 1124 when the natives of the Fox Islands are 
on a journey, and their provisions are exhausted, they beg from 



CUSTOMS OF THE LAND OF "MAKKED BODIES." 351 

village to village, or call upon their friends and relations for 
assistance. 

VII. THEY HAVE NO FORTIFICATIONS OB WALLED CITIES. 

This is so well known to be true of the Aleutians and Alas 
kans, that no quotations upon the subject will be necessary. 

VIII. THE RESIDENCE OF THE KING (OR KINGS) OF THE 

COUNTRY IS ADORNED WITH GOLD AND SILVER AND PRECIOUS 
AND BEAUTIFUL OBJECTS ABOUT THE DWELLING. 

First, as to the ruler, Bancroft states that, 110 in the Aleu 
tian Islands, every island, and, in the larger islands, every village, 
has its toyon,* or chief, who decides differences, is exempt from 
work, and is allowed a servant to row his boat, but in other re 
spects possesses no power. 

The houses of the chiefs are not now decorated in the Aleu 
tian Islands as described in the account, but some remnants of 
such decoration still exist in Alaska, and, by going a little way 
down the American coast, we find, among the Haidah Indians 
(who, as has already been stated, seem to be intruders in their 
present position, and who may have migrated from the Aleu 
tian Islands or their neighbourhood during the last fourteen 
hundred years), carvings and decorations which recall the de 
scription given above. 

As it is mentioned, a little farther on in the account, that, in 
their barters, precious gems are used (as the standard of value, 
instead of gold and silver), it is evident that, at the time when 
the residence of the chief was adorned with gold and silver, 
these metals were used merely as ornaments. After their value 
as the medium of exchange with foreign nations was learned, it 
is not likely that the outside of any dwelling would long be 
covered with them, and they would, therefore, soon be replaced 
with other decorations. 

Swan, in his account of the Haidah Indians, gives an engrav 
ing which he says 8422 is intended to represent one of the carved 
posts or pillars which are raised in front of the houses of the 
chiefs or principal men. These pillars are sometimes from fifty 
to sixty feet high, elaborately carved, at a cost of hundreds of 

* This word, which is found with the same meaning, and with but slight 
changes in sound, throughout Eastern Asia, and in the Aleutian Islands and 
Alaska, is a proof of an early communication between the two continents. E. 
P. V. 



352 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

blankets ; some of the best ones even costing several thousand 
dollars : consequently, only the most wealthy individuals of the 
tribe are able to purchase the best specimens. These pillars are 
carved out of a single cedar-tree, the back hollowed so as to re 
lieve the weight when raising it in a perpendicular position. 
They are deeply and firmly set in the earth, directly in front of 
the lodge, and a circular opening near the ground constitutes the 
door of entrance to the house. The Chimsean Indians, at Fort 
Simpson, and the Sitka tribes, have this style of carved posts, 
but they set them at a short distance from the front of their 
houses. The figures carved on these posts are the family totems, 
or heraldic designs of the family occupying the house ; and as 
these Indians build large wooden lodges, capable of containing 
several families, the carvings may be said to indicate the family 
names of the different occupants. The chief or head man owns 
the house, and the occupants are his family and relatives. 

Dall mentions similar 1162 high posts, curiously carved, as being 
frequently erected before the houses of the Thlinkeets, and says 
that they are sometimes placed directly in front, so that an en 
trance is made through the block or log, which is often of enor 
mous size. 

The Niskah or Naas Indians, of British Columbia, have elabo 
rately carved poles in front of many of their houses. Some of 
the houses have their fronts built in the form of an animal s 
head. The front of one of their houses is described as shaped 
like a wolf s head, the nose being the porch, and the mouth the 
door. 14 " 4 A chief s rank is marked by the height of the pole 
erected in front of his house (on which the crest which distin 
guishes his division of the tribe is carved) ; and no offense leads 
to more frequent quarrels than the attempt on the part of a 
chief to put up a pole higher than his rank warrants. 1423 

Fondness for ornamentation is shown by both the Alaskans 
and Aleuts, their boats being frequently 1173 inlaid very prettily 
with lozenge-shaped pieces of gypsum. 

The same love for such ornamentation, which led to the deco 
ration of their houses, is still shown in many smaller matters. 
Langsdorff says that 1697 the Aleutian, who but seldom has an op 
portunity of obtaining a piece of good wood a few inches in diam 
eter, when he obtains a suitable piece, occupies himself for weeks 
together in shaping it into a board so made that, when it has 




CUSTOMS OF THE LAND OF "MARKED BODIES." 353 



been soaked in water for some little time, it can be bent evenly 
and uniformly. He then attempts to gradually bring together 
the two corners of the little board, which he has previously 
given the form of a semi-oval, and sew them together with sinew- 
thread, by which means a pyramidical cap is made. If he is 
successful in this work, which is not always the case, for the 
board often either breaks or bends unevenly, he paints it with 
coloured earth and ocher, brought from the far distant crater of 
the volcano, and adorns it with figures labouriously carved from 
walrus-tusks, without any tools worthy of the name. He also 
decorates it with glass or amber beads, obtained from the Rus 
sians, and with the bristles from the muzzle of the sea-lion, which 
to a certain extent take the place of the ornamental plumes used 
by Europeans ; the Aleutians placing a high value upon a bunch 
of these bristles which are the trophies of a successful hunter 
as each sea-lion has but four. 

IX. THEY MAKE A DITCH OF A BKEADTH OF ONE ROD (of 
ten Chinese feet, or nearly twelve English feet), WHICH is FILLED 

WITH WATER-SILVER. WHEN IT RAINS, THEN THE RAIN FLOWS 
UPON THE SURFACE OF THE WATER-SILVER. 

As the Chinese seldom punctuate their writings, it is uncer 
tain whether the clause " ABOUT THE DWELLING," which in the 
present translation was used as the closing member of the pre 
ceding phrase, may not really be the opening clause of the pres 
ent sentence ; in which case the ditch above mentioned should 
be considered as surrounding the house or houses, either of the 
ruler or of the people. 

Coxe says that the inhabitants of some of the Aleutian Isl 
ands lm live in holes dug in the earth, but elsewhere "" explains 
his meaning more clearly by saying that their 1121 dwellings are 
hollowed in the ground, and covered with wooden roofs, resem 
bling the huts in the peninsula of Kamtchatka. These are de 
scribed as 1643 surrounded by a wall of earth, or by a palisade. 
Langsdorff states that M96 the dwellings of the Unalaskans consist 
of pits, which are covered with a roof of earth thrown over them, 
upon which, after they have stood for a few years, high grass 
grows, so that a village then resembles a European church-yard 
with high grave-mounds. He adds that, 1701 although the dwell 
ings of the inhabitants of Kadiak are in most respects like those 
of the Unalaskans, they differ somewhat, from the fact that more 
23 



354: AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

wood is used in their construction. These houses, half-buried 
in the earth, although without stoves, are warm enough in the 
winter to protect their inhabitants from the cold. 

It is evident from these quotations that the earth, excavated 
within the walls of the dwelling, is thrown up about them out 
side and upon the roof. Those who have had occasion to erect 
tents know that one of the most essential precautions to secure 
comfort is to dig a small trench about them, to carry away any 
rain that may fall ; and in a country so intolerably I1M rainy as 
is Alaska, 1163 it would seem as if a ditch about the houses were 
an absolute necessity. Hayden describes the cabins or huts of 
the Arikaras 1463 in very much the same language as that used 
above in picturing the dwellings of the Alaskans, and adds : 
" Around the house, on the outside, a small trench is dug, to carry 
away the rain." No such ditches are described as existing in 
Alaska, however, although Petroff states that 203 storms and tides 
often 1 inundate the swampy shore on which their partly sub 
terranean dwellings are built, and, filling them with water, drive 
the inmates out ; while Dall also concurs in the statement that "" 
their underground houses are, in summer, full of water. 

It is not certain, however, that Hwui Shan meant to say that 
the ditch or ditches surrounded the houses. All that can be de 
rived with certainty from his words is, that somewhere in the 
country he saw one or more ditches filled with a substance suf 
ficiently remarkable to be, in his opinion, worthy of mention. 

He describes this substance as "water-silver." Now, although 
this term usually means quicksilver 119 (and it has therefore been 
so translated by all others), yet here it seems to be impossible 
that it can have been used otherwise than as a descriptive phrase 
for ice. We, who see every year the wonderful transformation 
of water into a solid crystalline substance, easily forget the sur 
prising nature of the change to one who has not been accustomed 
to it. The king of Siam could believe all the marvelous tales 
of foreign lands that were told to him, until this transformation 
was mentioned. Then his credulity was taxed too far, and he 
announced his disbelief, and the reasons for it. " Water," said 
he, 1038 " is a fluid, and a fluid is not a compact body ; therefore, 
water can never appear in a compact form, and all the fables 
about ice, snow, and hail are unworthy of credit." 

Now, although ice is occasionally formed in Northern China, 



CUSTOMS OF THE LAND OF "MARKED BODIES." 355 

the temperature is seldom low enough 986 to form it at Canton ; 
and, as it is seen throughout the most of China and other coun 
tries of Southern Asia, it is merely a thin and easily melted cake, 
differing widely from the glittering and immensely thick mass 
which is formed in the ditches in the Aleutian Islands. It is 
therefore not surprising that Hwui Shan should have spoken of 
the great thickness of ice seen in this country. The character 
CHI,* in the phrase, may possibly be used, not in its most common 
sense, as a mere particle indicating the relations to each other of 
the words between which it is placed, but in its original sense 
as a verb, meaning 2412 " to proceed, to go to," 1305 " to proceed 
to," or, as Professor Williams defines it, "to pass from one 
state to another," and it seems not impossible that Hwui Shan 
may have meant that the rain passed from the state of a fluid 
into that of the " water-silver." The passage is very obscure, 
and many educated Chinamen have confessed that they were 
unable to decide with certainty as to its meaning. 

Had it been the intention to say that the ditches were filled 
with quicksilver, there is 2531 a character 1866 (^, HUNG) meaning 
quicksilver, which could have been used instead of the compound 
"water-silver." This would have placed the meaning beyond 
question, and the nature of the Chinese language is such that 
it will hardly permit two characters to be used when one would 
fully express the meaning. 

It is possible that the original term may have been "icy- 
silver," as ;J^, PING, ice? differs by only one dot from 7]^, SHUI, 
water. It seems more likely, however, that Hwui Shan wished to 
distinguish between this hard, solid, transparent ice of the Arctic 
regions, and the thin crusts, scarcely deserving the name, which 
were all that could be seen in China ; and, in order to do so, he 
used a compound analogous to a number of others existing in 
Chinese. Quartz crystal is, for instance, called 2574 SHUI-TSING, 
" water - crystal," or 2578 SHUI-YUH, "water-gem." This last 
term was also applied to glass, 2658 "because it is clear as water 
and hard as a gem," when that substance was first introduced in 
China a few centuries ago. "Water-silver" is as appropriate 
and natural a term for ice as the other compounds above named 
are for the substances to which they are applied. 

It should be again insisted that Hwui Shan is fairly entitled 

* See chap, xvii, character No. 706. 



356 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

to that translation of his account which will make his story con 
form with the truth, provided that such a translation is possible. 
If he were relying upon his imagination, innumerable statements 
would be made which no possible ingenuity could harmonize 
with the truth. If " water-silver " is translated " ice," all diffi 
culties vanish, and his account becomes simple and truthful. If 
it is translated " quicksilver," we become involved in manifest 
absurdities, as, for instance : " When the ditch is filled with quick 
silver, and the rain is allowed to flow off from the quicksilver, 
the water is then regarded in the markets as a precious rarity." 
This should not be understood as an imputation upon the schol 
arship of the late Professor Williams, the depth of whose learn 
ing, and whose thorough acquaintance with the Chinese language 
are too well known to need mention. .His translation is quoted 
merely as showing the utter absurdity of the whole passage if 
" water-silver " is translated by its usual equivalent of " quick 
silver." There never was a country in which there was a ditch 
filled with quicksilver. If such a country had ever existed, rain 
water flowing upon it, and then flowing off from it, would not 
be in any way affected by it ; and if the water were affected by 
it, it could not be considered in the markets as a precious rarity, 
as an unlimited amount of water could have been permitted to 
flow over it. Can it be believed that any sane man would ever 
have told so absurd a story ? 

X. IN THEIR TEAFFIC THEY USE PEECIOUS GEMS (or Valu- 

ables as the standard of value instead of gold or silver). 

As late as the beginning of the nineteenth century, Langs- 
dorff stated that m3 no money was current in the country. Yeni- 
aminoff 116 describes the custom of bartering existing among the 
Aleuts, and says that " it is of great age, and has been preserved 
without change." Dall mentions 1165 amethysts, zeolites, tourma 
lines, garnets, spinel, agates, carnelians, variegated marble, hy- 
pochlorite (commonly used for ornaments by the natives, resem 
bling jade, and sometimes called malachite), and fossil ivory, as 
existing in Alaska. 

Langsdorff says that 1704 a species of mussel-shell, the sea- 
tooth (Dentdlium entails), which is called tache, or heikwa, is 
very highly prized by -the Aleutians, and even now is in great 
request. Bancroft states that 106 at times amber is thrown up in 
large quantities by the ocean on the south side of Kadiak, gen- 



CUSTOMS OF THE LAND OF "MARKED BODIES." 357 

erally after a heavy earthquake, and that at such times it forms 
an important article of commerce with the natives. Dall 1159 also 
speaks of their fondness for amber, and states that among im the 
relics forwarded to the Smithsonian Institution from the Aleu 
tian Islands, was one rude amber bead, evidently of native make, 
on a sinew thread. The amber was obtained from the lignite 
beds, which are reported on the islands of Amchitka, Atka, and 
Unalaska, and may exist elsewhere. We know that amber was 
held in great esteem by the early natives, and extraordinary 
value set upon it. This bead, therefore, may have represented 
in value a good many sea-otter skins. 

Amber is among the articles included by the Chinese under 
the general term "gems," and its value in China was formerly 
very great. 9 

XI. THEY (the people of Great Han) HAVE NO MILITARY 

WEAPONS, AND DO NOT WAGE WAR. 

This well characterizes the peaceful Esquimaux, and is a 
statement that it would be impossible to make with truth regard 
ing any of the tribes of Northeastern Asia. 

XII. HE WHO HAS COMMITTED A PETTY CRIME IS SCOURGED. 

HE WHO IS ACCUSED OF A CRIME DESERVING DEATH IS THROWN 
TO WILD BEASTS TO BE DEVOURED. IF THE ACCUSATION IS CA 
LUMNIOUS, THE BEASTS KEEP AT A DISTANCE FROM HIM, IT IS SAID 

(instead of devouring him) ; THEN, AFTER A NIGHT (of trial), HE 

IS SET AT LIBERTY. 

This statement was copied by the Marquis d Hervey de Saint- 
Denys from the Chinese "History of the South." Ma Twan- 
lin, for some reason, did not think it best to include it in his 
account. The white bears and other large wild beasts, which 
once existed in the Aleutian Islands, have long been extinct. 
No trace of the custom above referred to can therefore now be 
found in those islands, and the most that could be expected to 
have survived to the present day would be some dim trace, to 
be found among the nearly allied tribes of Kamtchatka or 
Alaska. 

The author fancies that he has seen an account of the aban 
donment to wild beasts, by the Alaskans, of some alleged witch 
es ; but if so, he is unable to find it again. Possibly the night 
of trial through which their medicine-men pass before assuming 
the office, when, alone in the forest or plains, they wait for their 



358 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

guardian spirit to appear to them in the guise of some wild ani 
mal, may be a trace of the ancient custom. 

Something of the kind may still exist in Kamtchatka, as it 
is stated that those who have committed a theft 1642 are released, 
for the first offense, by returning what they have taken, and by 
living isolated from dealings with their countrymen, without 
being able to expect any help from them. 

If it be considered that any difficulties in the foregoing ac 
count are not satisfactorily explained, let it be asked again, 
Which one of the possible theories upon the subject is accom 
panied by the fewest and least serious difficulties ? 

Is it possible that Hwui Shan could have told the following 
truths, except as the result of an actual visit to America by way 
of the Aleutian Islands ? 

1. Land was to be- found in the Pacific Ocean, some twenty- 
three hundred miles northeasterly from Japan. 

2. Some sixteen hundred miles farther east, land was again 
to be found. 

3. The journey could be continued easterly, for some six 
thousand miles at least, and land would still be found. 

4. The second of the countries mentioned by him was known 
as a " great " land ; and it not only lay east of the first coun 
try, but was so extensive that it also lay to the east of China. 

5. The people of the first two countries were alike in their 
customs, but their languages were different. 

6. The people of the first of the countries tattooed their 
bodies. 

7. They had the custom of tattooing some portion of the 
face with three lines. 

8. These lines indicated the position of their owner in the 
tribe. 

9. The people were of so merry and joyous a nature that the 
fact was worthy of notice. 

10. They were so hospitable as to furnish their visitors, not 
only with shelter, but also with food for their journeys. 

11. They had no fortifications or walled cities. 

12. They had no military weapons and did not wage war. 

13. The dwellings of their chief men were curiously adorned, 
externally. 

14. The ditches in their land were filled with some singular 



CUSTOMS OF THE LAND OF "MARKED BODIES." 359 

substance to which the term " water-silver " could be applied, 
and this substance was in some way connected with the rain. 

15. Gold and silver were not used as the standards of value, 
but their place was filled by " gems." 

If it be assumed that there is just one chance out of two 
that each one of these statements would be true as to any newly 
discovered land, then the probability that they would all be true 
is as one to the fifteenth power of two, or one to over thirty-two 
thousand, a proportion which makes it practically impossible 
that the story can have been imaginary. It will readily be ad 
mitted that there is no more than one chance out of two that any 
one of the fifteen statements above referred to would be true of 
an unknown region, and it is evident that of some of them the 
chance is not one in a dozen. The probability that such a story, 
if invented by one who knew nothing of the region, would prove, 
upon exploration, to be true, instead of being one in thirty-two 
thousand, is really, therefore, but one in millions, and it is easier 
to accept almost any difficulty, as to one or two of the points, 
than to believe that the account was imaginary, or that it related 
to any other country. 

D Hervey (see Chapter XII) has clearly explained the difficulty 
into which earlier writers had been led by confounding the two 
regions called Ta Han, or Great Han one to the north of China 
(and hence on the Asiatic Continent), and the other to the east 
or northeast (and hence on the American Continent). This con 
fusion between the two countries, which caused de Guignes and 
other writers to look upon the Asiatic Continent for Hwui Shan s 
Great Han country, has been the chief cause of the desperate 
attempts to locate Fu-sang, also, somewhere else than in America. 



CHAPTER XX. 

THE COUNTRY LYING IN THE REGION INDICATED BY HWUI SHAN. 

The direction from China, Japan, and Great Han in which Fu-sang lay The 
trend of the American Pacific coast The distortion of the common maps 
Mexico lies in the region indicated The nations inhabiting Mexico in the 
fifth century Their language Traces of their beliefs and customs existing 
one thousand years laterAztec traditions The Toltecs Their character 
Their civilization The time of their dispersion Their language The Pacific 
coast The evidence of place-names The Aztec language Limits of the 
Mexican empire The name of the country The city of Tenochtitlan The 
application of the name "Mexico" First applied to the country Early 
maps Late application of the name to the city Pronunciation of the word 
Similar names throughout the country Meaning of the syllable " co " 
Varying explanations Real meaning of the term " The Place of the Centu 
ry-plant " Meaning of the syllable " ME " Meaning of the syllable " xi " 
Its meaning in other compounds Other abbreviations Appropriateness of 
the designation The god Mexitli Proof that he was the god of the century- 
plant Reason that the Spaniards were misled as to the meaning of " Mexico." 

HAVING, in the preceding chapters, arrived at the conclusion 
that the country referred to by Hwui Shan under the name of 
" Great Han " was located in the 



let us continue the examination of his story, and endeavour to 
identify the land which he calls the country of Fu-sang.^ 

His first reference to it is as follows : 

I. FU-SANG is SITUATED TWICE TEN THOUSAND LI OR MORE 

TO THE EAST OF THE GREAT HAN COUNTRY. THAT LAND IS ALSO 
SITUATED TO THE EAST OF THE MlDDLE* KlNGDOM (China). 

Attention should first be called to a fact, already noticed, that, 
as the greater part of the route from Japan to the Great Han 
country bears in a northeasterly direction, the route from the 
land of Great Han to a country lying to the east of China can 
not be directly east, but must lie somewhat southerly. 

Probably but few realize how the western coast of America 



THE COUNTRY INDICATED BY HWUI SHAN. 361 

trends toward the east. We are so accustomed to consider the 
top of our maps as the north, and the bottom as the south, and to 
think, half unconsciously, that a perpendicular line upon the map 
represents a true north and south line, that, when we see the 
usual maps of North America drawn upon the customary projec 
tion, in which, in order to represent the rounding surface of the 
earth upon a plane surface with as little distortion as possible, 
the westerly meridians are drawn sloping from near the center of 
the upper margin of the map toward the lower left-hand corner, 
we forget that these sloping lines are the true meridians, and 
learn to consider the western coast of America as bearing almost 
north and south. If Hwui Shan had said that the land six thou 
sand miles beyond Alaska lay to the south of that country, prob 
ably no one would have thought of objecting that it lay also to 
the east ; and yet it is quite as true to say that Mexico lies to the 
east of Alaska as it is to say that it lies to the south. A map of 
the northern half of the hemisphere including the North Pa 
cific Ocean, drawn upon the customary projection, in which 
the meridians passing through the western coast of America 
are placed upon the right side of the map, instead of on the 
left, as we are accustomed to see them, will help to fix the 
true direction of the coast in the mind, and will also show how 
natural it would have been for Hwui Shan to consider his jour 
ney beyond Alaska as a continuation of the same general course 
which he had been pursuing, and not as an abrupt turn at right 
angles from the east to the south. (See Frontispiece.) It is 
difficult for us to realize that San Francisco lies farther east of 
the westernmost of the Aleutian Islands than Portland, Maine, 
lies east of San Francisco, and that, in going from California to 
Panama, the route trends so much toward the east that its termi 
nus is found to be upon nearly the same meridian as Washington. 

If a voyage of some six thousand miles (making a due allow 
ance for the sinuosity of the coast, and for a slight but natural 
exaggeration by a traveler who had no means of measuring the 
distance accurately) were made from Alaska, in an easterly di 
rection, but trending toward the south, so that at the end of the 
journey the destination would lie easterly from China, where 
would the traveler find himself ? 

A few moments study of a map will answer the question 
clearly and unmistakably : on the coast of Mexico. 



362 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

If a traveler had made this journey in the latter part of the 
fifth century, A. D., what tribe of people would he have found 
upon the Pacific coast of Mexico, what language was then 
spoken there, what were the manners and customs of the people, 
what was their state of civilization, and by what name was the 
country then known ? 

Here, unfortunately, except for the account given by Hwui 
Shan himself, we are compelled to rely upon tradition, supple 
mented only by a few scanty hieroglyphical records, and by 
vague recollections of more complete accounts which once exist 
ed ; upon the ruins scattered about the country, and upon cus 
toms and arts, which had evidently come down from distant 
generations, which were found to exist in the land at the time 
of the Spanish conquest. It is surprising, however, to find how 
much of the history of Mexico at the time spoken of may, on 
close and careful study, be vaguely discerned through the mists 
of the intervening centuries. 

M. Lenoir very justly observes that 1726 there necessarily ex 
isted a great affinity between the customs, arts, and beliefs of the 
Mexicans, at the time of their conquest by the Europeans, and 
those which existed, when the population of Guatemala flour 
ished, and Palenque and Mitla were founded. We may, there 
fore, by first examining the religion, the customs, the arts, and 
even the literature, of the Mexicans during the reign of Monte- 
zuma, hope to obtain some knowledge of these earlier tribes, 
even though the Mexicans seem to have to a great extent 
forgotten them, and to have been ignorant in regard to the 
state of civilization which had been reached by the nations who 
were the founders of their arts and sciences. 

There is no question that several races of conquerors suc 
ceeded one another in the Mexican empire, and that they had suc 
cessively adopted the religion and the customs of the vanquished 
people ; and it may be again repeated that it is indisputable that 
some traces of the primitive religion and customs must have sur 
vived, and that a mixture of the old and the new religion must 
have occurred, as was the case in the history of Christianity 
when it overcame paganism. 

According to the traditions of the Aztecs, they migrated 
during the eleventh 1601 or twelfth lm century to the region where 
they dwelt at the time of the conquest. When they reached 



THE COUNTRY INDICATED BY HWUI SHAN. 363 

this country 1226 they, according to Humboldt, found the pyramidal 
monuments of Teotihuacan, of Cholula, or Cholollan, and of Pa- 
pantla. They attributed these immense works to the Toltecs, a 
powerful and civilized nation which had lived in Mexico for five 
hundred years ; they used hieroglyphic writing, and knew the 
length of the year more exactly than the greater part of the 
nations of the Old World. The Aztecs did not certainly know 
whether other tribes had lived in the country of Anahuac before 
the Toltecs. In regarding the " Houses of God " of Teotihuacan 
and Cholollan as the work of this last nation, they assigned to 
them the greatest antiquity of which they had any knowledge. 
It is possible, nevertheless, that they were constructed before the 
invasion of the Toltecs an event which, according to some 
writers, occurred in the year 648 of our era. 

Humboldt also states, in another place, 1601 that the Toltecs 
preceded the Aztecs, in the country of Anahuac, by more than 
five centuries, and differed from them by that love for the arts, 
and that religious and peaceful character, which distinguished the 
Etruscans from the first inhabitants of Rome. 

M. Lenoir says that 1727 the Toltecs, who inhabited this part 
of America toward the seventh century, and who, according to 
tradition, had a mild and gentle religion, and offered only flowers 
and fruits to their gods, were displaced successively by the 
Chichimecs and the Aztecs, whose ferocious and sanguinary relig 
ion was practiced by the nation over whom Montezuma ruled 
at the time of the Spanish conquest. According to the Mexican 
tradition, the Toltecs who inhabited the land of Anahuac were 
far advanced in the arts and sciences. After their migration to 
the Bay of Campeche and Honduras, their country was occu 
pied by the Chichimecs, a warlike and ferocious nation, but one 
whose people profited by the presence of some Toltecs who still 
remained in their old home, and acquired, from them, a knowl 
edge of agriculture and the arts. 

Bancroft also refers to "the old-time story, how the Tol 
tecs in the sixth century appeared on the Mexican table-land ; 
how they were driven out and scattered in the seventh century ; 
how, after a brief interval, the Chichimecs followed their foot 
steps ; and how these last were succeeded by the Aztecs, who were 
found in possession." 

The preceding quotations fix the date of the arrival of the 



364 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

Toltecs in the land of Mexico as in the sixth or seventh century. 
The traditions are too vague and unreliable, however, and the 
scanty paintings which confirm them too brief and uncertain as to 
their precise meaning, to permit the exact century to be deter 
mined with accuracy. No writer fixes the date later than the 
sixth or seventh century, but many set it much earlier. 

The Mexican historian, the Abbe Domenech, 316 places the 
Toltecs arrival in New Spain about the third century before the 
Christian era. 

The Abbe Brasseur de Bourbourg says that 624 the uncer 
tainty regarding the origin of the Toltec race prevents the fix 
ing, with any surety, of the epoch when they appeared upon the 
shores of Mexico ; everything leads to the belief, however, that 
it was during the century before the Christian era, or in the 
first century after Christ. A date mentioned by him, of which 
he does not undertake to guarantee the authenticity, appears to 
fix the time of the arrival of the tribes speaking the Nahuatl 
language as in the year 279 B. c. 

According to Bancroft, 417 the date of the arrival of the Tol 
tecs in Huehue Tlapallan is given by Ixtlilxochitl, in his first 
Toltec Relation (p. 322), as 2,236 years after the creation, or 520 
years after the flood. That is, it occurred long before the 
Christian era. In other places (pp. 206 and 459) the same author 
represents the Toltecs as banished from their country, and mi 
grating to Huetlapan, in California, on the South Sea, in 387 A. D. ; 
and this last-named date is repeated by Gallatin (in Schoolcraft s 
"Arch.," vol. v, p. 96) and Muller ("Reisen," tome iii, p. 97). 

As, according to Gallatin, 1402 we may safely conclude that, 
within a few years after the conquest, there did not exist a 
single historical painting in which events prior to the fifteenth 
century were faithfully recorded under their proper date, it is 
impossible to arrive at any positive conclusion as to the exact 
time when the Toltec empire was founded ; but we can rely 
with much confidence on the general conclusion, stated by Ban 
croft, that 195 as the Nahua nations were living when the Span 
iards found them, so had they probably been living for at least 
ten centuries, and not improbably for a much longer period. 

We are, therefore, carried back to about the days of Hwui 
Shan, and have reason to believe that if he had made the jour 
ney to Mexico he would have found there either the Toltecs, 



THE COUNTRY INDICATED BY HWUI SHiN. 365 

or some nation speaking substantially the same language, and 
having many of the arts and customs which were possessed by 
the Toltecs of later days. 

The quotations already given show that 245 the Aztecs derived 
their system of hieroglyphics from the Toltecs, and that the 
civilization of the latter was far superior to that of their suc 
cessors. According to tradition, it was 195 during the Toltec 
period of Nahua culture that husbandry and all the arts pertain 
ing to the production and preparation of food were brought to 
the highest degree of perfection, and similar traditions exist as 
to all other arts known to the Mexicans at the time of the con 
quest. 

The indications which we have, all agree 178 that the ancient 
Toltecs and the seven tribes of Nahuatlacas, or Nahuas, had the 
same origin, and spoke the same language, which was the Mexi 
can, Kahuatl, or Aztec. Buschmann says : 862 " That the Aztecs 
were of a common origin with the Toltecs, Acolhuas, and other 
inhabitants of Mexico, is shown by the language common to all 
and still known as the Aztec, although the people are prefer 
ably and more usually called Mexicans." 

Similar statements are made 421 by Bancroft, 356 McCulloh, 1843 
Bandelier, 611 and all other authorities that have referred to the 
subject. 

It might be thought, however, that the quotations which have 
been given refer only to the region in the neighbourhood of the 
city of Mexico, and that a different state of affairs may have 
existed upon the shore of the Pacific. It is found, however, that 
the Toltecs colonized that coast, and that the Aztec language 
was spoken upon nearly the whole of the western border of the 
country of Mexico. 

Ixtlilxochitl, 433 in Kingsborough (vol. ix, p. 214), mentions a 
Toltec party that emigrated to the Michoacan region, and dwelt 
there for a long time. Sahagun (tome iii, let. x, pp. 145-146) refers 
to a Toltec migration as an issue from the same region. Veytia 
(tome ii, pp. 39-40) speaks of Toltecs who founded colonies all 
along the Pacific coast, and gradually changed their language 
and customs. Gallatin 361 says that Copan was a colony of Tol 
tecs ; and the Abbe Brasseur de Bourbourg says that the Pipiles, 
a tribe speaking the Mexican language, occupied a portion of 
Guatemala 655 before the great emigration of the Toltecs in the 



366 Atf INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

eleventh century ; and he also states that, 762 in that part of Ana- 
huac which lay upon the sea-shore, north and south, and particu 
larly upon the shore of the Pacific Ocean, the Nahuatl (Mexican 
or Aztec) language was found as the native dialect, and that 7W 
the Xinca language of Guatemala was probably a corrupt dia 
lect of the Mexican. 

Between the east and southeast from Zacatecas, 909 Hervas 
(vol. iii, p. 64) sets the Mazapili, who, according to him, proba 
bly spoke a dialect of the Aztec language. He also says that 1541 
this language extended far beyond the limits of the Mexican 
empire, and quotes the statement of Herrera, that it was spoken 
in Nicaragua and in Guatemala. 

A glance at a map of Mexico, by one having even a slight 
acquaintance with this tongue, will show that the names of 
places are nearly all Aztec, even in regions of the country in 
which other languages are spoken. The map given by Orozco 
y Berra, 2007 at the end of his " Geografia," and reproduced by 
M. Malte-Brun, 1780 shows that the Aztec or Mexican-speaking 
tribes had possession of the entire Pacific coast of Mexico, from 
latitude 16 40 (just south of Acapulco) to latitude 25 20 
, (about half-way between Mazatlan and Guaymas) ; but Mexican 
names will be found far beyond these limits. 

It has been generally admitted that 2102 the presence through 
out nearly the whole of the Spanish peninsula, of topographical 
names significant in the Euskarian language, and evidently de 
rived from it, makes it a safe inference that this language had 
formerly a similar extension ; and the same course of reasoning 
leads to the conclusion that the Mexican language must once 
have been spoken in nearly all portions of the present republic 
of Mexico. 

To account for this, 154 says Bancroft, we have, if other causes 
are not sufficient, the unknown history and migrations of the 
Nahua people during the centuries preceding the Toltec era. 

The Aztec language was, and is, according to Alexander von 
Humboldt, 863 the most widely extended of any in Mexico. It is, 
as he states, "at the present day extended from 37 north lati 
tude to Lake Nicaragua, over a length of four hundred leagues." 

Buschmann 885 adds that the first reasons that present themselves 
are not sufficient to explain the intensity of the extension of 
Aztec place-names : the thick setting of such names in provinces 



THE COUNTRY INDICATED BY HWUI SHAN. 367 

in which other tongues, chiefly or only, were spoken, or their 
dispersion, although more sparsely, to great distances from the 
extreme north of Mexico nearly to the southern boundary of the 
kingdom of Guatemala. As an example of the strong setting 
of Aztec names in provinces in which other languages ruled, 
Oaxaca, Michoacan, and the whole northerly half of Guatemala, 
may be mentioned. 

Even at the time of the Spanish conquest, however, the Az 
tec civilization and the Aztec language ruled throughout a great 
portion of the country. Bancroft says that 365 the Nahua, Aztec, 
or Mexican, the language of Mexican civilization, was spoken 
throughout the greater part of Montezuma s empire, extend 
ing from the plateau of Anahuac, or valley of Mexico, as a 
center, eastward to the Gulf of Mexico, and along its shores 
from above Vera Cruz east to the Rio Coatzacoalcos, westward 
to the Pacific, and upon its border from about the twenty-sixth 
to the sixteenth parallel ; thus forming an irregular but continu 
ous linguistic line from the Gulf of California southeast, across 
the Mexican plateau to the Gulf of Mexico, of more than four 
hundred leagues in extent. Again, it is found on the coast of 
Salvador and in the interior of Nicaragua, and it also had some 
connection with the languages of the nations of the north. 

Solis, speaking of the limits of the empire of Mexico at the 
time of the conquest, says 2342 its length from east to west was 
more than five hundred leagues, and its breadth from north to 
south was in some places fully two hundred leagues. 

On the east it was bounded by the Atlantic Ocean, and 
extended along its shores from Panuco to Yucatan. On the 
west it touched upon the other sea, and looked out upon the 
Asiatic Ocean (or the Gulf of Anian), from Cape Mendocino 
as far as to the limits of New Galicia. On the south it was 
bounded by the South Sea, from Acapulco to Guatemala, and 
even insinuated itself through Nicaragua into that isthmus or 
stretch of land which both divides and unites the two Americas. 
On the northern side it reached to the district of Panuco, and 
included that province. 

Orozco y Berra 2006 states that the Mexican empire, when it 
reached its greatest extension, included a part of the State of 
Mexico ; those of Puebla and of Vera Cruz on the east ; on the 
west the greater part of the country between the Zacatula River 



368 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

and the Pacific Ocean ; and that on the south it was bounded 
by the river Coatzacoalcos. 

Clavigero 1053 says that it extended toward the southwest and 
south as far as to the Pacific Ocean ; and Bancroft says that it 428 
reached the Pacific coast, along which it extended from Zaca- 
lotlan to Tututepec. 

As to the identity of the civilization of the other inhabitants 
of Mexico with that of the Aztecs or Mexicans, properly so 
called, we have the express statement of Gomara, 521 that " speak 
ing of the Mexicans, is to speak in general of all New Spain." 

Such information as we have, therefore, confirms us in the 
conclusion that if Hwui Shan had visited the Pacific coast of 
Mexico during the latter half of the fifth century, he would have 
found there a nation of the same blood as that from which the 
Aztecs of Cortez s day descended, and one speaking substan 
tially the same language as that which was found to be current 
at the time of the conquest : a nation resembling the Aztecs in 
many of their manners and customs, but of a milder, gentler 
nature ; free from the horrors of the superstitious rites to which 
the Aztecs of later times abandoned themselves, and (unless the 
greater civilization that is mentioned by tradition was wholly 
the result of Hwui Shan s visit) more advanced in many of the 
essential arts of civilization. 

The question now arises as to the name of this country. 
Had it any general name ? If so, what was it, and what was its 
meaning? It is well known that the country is now called 
" Mexico "; but it appears to be quite generally thought that this 
term was properly the name of the city of Mexico, and that it 
was not until after the coming of the Spaniards that it over 
spread the immense region now so designated. This statement 
is made by Bancroft 451 and Buschmann, 883 and was undoubtedly 
repeated by them from some of the older historians of the coun 
try. The weight of evidence is strongly against this conclusion, 
however. It is stated, time and again, by the best authorities, 
that the real name of the city was not Mexico, but Tenochtitlan, 
or some very similar term, different authors giving the variations 
Temixtitlan, 1200 Tenuchtitlan, 1200 Tenuthtitlan, 2349 Tenustitan, 2600 
Temixtitan, 1102 Tenuxtitan, 1782 Tenuchtitan, 2603 Temixitan, 1091 Te- 
mistitan, 1605 Tenoxtitlan, 1605 Temihtitlan, 1605 Themisteton, 451 Timi- 
tistan, 451 and Tenuchitlan. 451 



THE COUNTRY INDICATED BY HWUI SHN. 369 

Torquemada MT ("Monarq. Ind.," tome i, p. 293) says ex 
plicitly : " The natives do not call it (the city) Mexico, but Te- 
nuchtitlan." Gage 1376 states that "the old and first name of the 
city, according to some historians, was Tenuchtitlan " ; and Solis 
says, 8349 " The great city of Mexico was formerly known by the 
name of Tenuthtitlan, or by a similar name, which is given a 
little different pronunciation by others." Even Buschmann, who 
claims that the term Mexico was originally applied to the city, 
and not to the country, states in other places that 882 "the Mexi 
cans themselves appear to have called it Tenochtitlan in prefer 
ence, or at least a part of it (Tlatelulco not having been included 
in that designation 884 ), and it appears that the Spaniards first 
made the name Mexico general." Diaz 120 says that Temixtitlan, 
or Tenuchtitlan, was the proper name of the city, but adds that 
"Mexico" was certainly also an old appellation, which the elder 
Indians rejected after the conquest, but which was afterward 
accepted by the younger generation of Indians. 

It certainly can not take long to decide whether the " elder 
Indians " or the " younger generation " best knew the true Aztec 
designation of the city. " Tenochtitlan " so evidently occurred 
in the name, that many of those, who think the term Mexico to 
have been also connected with it, give the compound " Mexico- 
Tenochtitlan " 248 as the true appellation. 461 

In order to explain this double name, Herrera stated that 1689 
the old residence of the Aztecs, Tenuchtitlan, had two large 
divisions, of which one was called Tlatelulco and the other 
Mexico. Gage 1380 makes the same statement, and adds that, 
because the imperial palace was in this last-named portion of 
the city, the whole city was also sometimes called Mexico, al 
though that was not its original name. Solis 451 is of opinion 
that Mexico was the name of the ward Tenochtitlan being ap 
plied to the whole city; from which Bancroft concludes that the 
compound Mexico-Tenochtitlan would signify the ward Mexico 
of the city Tenochtitlan, but adds that it was but gradually that 
the Spanish records began to add Mexico to Tenochtitlan, and 
that in the course of time the older and more intricate name 
disappeared. 

Brasseur de Bourbourg states, however, that 731 the city was 
divided into four quarters, sections, or wards, instead of two, 
and that the names of these were Teopan, Atzacualco, Moyotlan, 
24 



370 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

and Quepopan. Bandelier 503 copies this statement, spelling the 
last name " Cuepopan," and translating the four terms in their 
order, "Place of God," "House of the Heron," "Place of the 
Mosquito," and "Place of the Dike." 

The term " Mexico " was first heard by Europeans when 
Grijalva landed on the coast in May, 1518, as the designation of 
a country rich in gold. 1688 Diaz says that when the Spaniards 
asked where the Indians obtained their gold and jewels, 1197 " they 
pointed toward the place of sunset, and said Culhua and Mex 
ico" In another place m6 he states, " They could not give us 
more gold, but in a land far away toward the setting sun it 
might be found in abundance. Then they said Culba, Culba, 
and Mexico, Mexico / but we did not understand the meaning of 
these words." Prescott 2072 and Zamacois 2586 repeat the statement. 

Can it be believed that these Indians, when they pointed to 
ward the land from which their gold was obtained, referred to a 
ward of the city of Tenochtitlan ? 

The early map-makers seem to have been for a long time un 
decided as to whether the term Mexico was the name of the city 
or of the country, and they usually compromised by so giving the 
name that it might be understood either way. The two oldest 
maps of America, 1689 have the name " Mexico " written in rather an 
uncertain manner some distance back in the country, and do not 
indicate whether they would have it understood to mean a prov 
ince or a city. In " Apiano, Cosmographica," 1575, is a map, 
supposed to be a copy of one drawn by Apianus, in 1520, on 
which the name " Themisteton " is given apparently to a large 
lake in the middle of Mexico ; 451 Fernando Colon, in 1527, and 
Diego de Ribero, 1529, both give the word " Mexico " in small 
letters, inland, as if applied to a town, although no town is desig 
nated ; Ptolemy, in "Munster," 1530, gives " Temistitan " ; 
"Munich Atlas," No. VI, supposed to have been drawn be 
tween 1532 and 1540, " Timitistan vel Mesicho" ; Baptista Ag- 
nese, 1540- 50, "Timitistan vel Mesico " ; Ramusio, 1565, " Mex 
ico"; "Mercator s Atlas," 1569, "Mexico," as a city, and "Te- 
nuchitlan " ; Michael Lok, 1582, "Mexico" ; in Hondius, about 
1595, in Drake s " World Encompassed," the city is " Mexico," 
and the gulf, " Baia di Mexico" ; Hondius, in "Purchas, His 
Pilgrimes," Laet, Ogilby, Dampier, " West-Indische Spieghel," 
Jacob Colon, and other seventeenth century authorities, give 



THE COUNTRY INDICATED BY HWUI SHAN. 371 

uniformly to the city, or to the city and province, but not to the 
country at large, the name as at present written. 

M. Nicolas Schotter, in connection with an essay regarding 
Americus Vespucius, 1091 exhibited to the Congress of Americanists, 
at Luxemburg, in 1877, a remarkable map of the world, which is 
" a reproduction upon a plane surface of a silver globe, which 
made part of a chalice which the Duke Charles IV, of Lorraine, 
brought from Germany, and which is now deposited in the 
library at Nancy." Neither .tjie name of the maker nor the date 
of his work is known, although it is seen that the German car 
tographer gave to the southern part of the continent of America 
the name of " New America," to Mexico that of "New Spain," 
and that all the remainder of North America is represented as 
being an integral part of Asia, bearing the names of " Asia Ori- 
entalis," " Asia Magna," and " India Orientalis." The Indian 
Ocean is represented as extending from the eastern coast of 
Africa to the shores of South America. Its southeastern part, 
however, bears the names of the " Ocean of Magellan," and of 
the "Pacific Sea," proving, beyond controversy, that the globe 
in question was made after the year 1520. 

LTpon this map the capital of New Spain bears the name of 
"Temixitan," while the term "Mexico" is found to the south 
west, not far from the Pacific Ocean. To the northwest again 
occurs the name " Messigo," while not more than a dozen names 
in all are given within the territory now covered by the country 
of Mexico. 

It appears from these references that it was not until about 
half a century after the date of the conquest that the map-makers 
felt certain that they were right in applying the term Mexico to 
the city rather than to the country, and that in the earlier maps 
the indications are that it was thought that it might be the name 
of the land. 

The Bishop Juan de Zumarraga dates a letter, 2602 in 1529, from 
"Tenuxtitlan " ; again, in 1530, he speaks of "this great city of 
Tenuchtitan," and signs the same document, " Given in the said 
city of Tenuxtitan." In 1529 he dates one of his letters from 
" Mexico-Tenustitan " 260 and in it says, " The Calzonzi of Micho- 
acan was, next to Montezuma, the most powerful king of all 
Mexico." Here, only a few years after the conquest, the term 
Mexico is used not as the name of the city or of a province, but 



372 *AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

as the name of the whole country, embracing even Michoacan, 
which was not subject to Montezuma. In a work, published 
in 1522, the following passage occurs, " They have conquered a 
city called Temistitan." 464 Here, again, in one of the first refer 
ences to the city that appeared in Europe, there is no hint that 
its name was Mexico. 

Cortez certainly had a favourable opportunity to learn the 
name of the city that he had conquered. Time and again he 
refers to mo " the great city of Temistitan" ; and in one place 
he adds, 1102 " Before I describe this great city and the others 
already mentioned, it may be well, for the "better understanding of 
the subject, to say something of the configuration of Mexico in 
which they are situated, it being the principal seat of Muteczuma s 
power. This province is in the form of a circle, surrounded on 
all sides by lofty and rugged mountains, its level surface com 
prising an area of about seventy leagues in circumference." 

Summing up the evidence, it appears that the name " Mexico " 
was first heard as the designation of the country from which the 
Indians on the Gulf of Mexico obtained their gold ; that Cortez 
applied the name to the valley in which the capital city and 
many others were situated, while de Zumarraga applied it to the 
whole region, including Michoacan ; that the elder Indians did 
not recognize it as the name of their city, and that all its wards 
or divisions had other names ; that in the earlier maps and 
accounts the name of the city is given (with variations of spell 
ing) as Tenochtitlan ; and that it gradually passed through the 
compound " Mexico-Tenochtitlan " to " Mexico," taking about 
half a century to make the change. During all this time, how 
ever, the term " Mexico " was steadily applied to the country sub 
stantially as it is* still applied. 

No other term is given in any place as the name of the coun 
try ; and if the land had any general name by which it was 
known, that name must have been " Mexico." 

This was neither pronounced " Mec-si-co," nor, as the Span 
iards pronounce it, " Mejico," with the " j " sounding like the 
German "ch" or Greek " x " ; but "Me-shi-co," the "x" being 
pronounced like " sh " in English 357 or " ch " in French. 2036 

Numerous place-names, either fromf the same root or from one 
very similar, will be found scattered over the country. The Abbe" 
Brasseur de Bourbourg -mentions Mexilla 626 (evidently from Me- 



THE COUNTRY INDICATED BY HWUI SHlN. 373 

xi -\-the Aztec place-termination "tlan"), Meztitlan 1 (from 
Mez -f- the terminations " ti " and " tlan "), Iztacmixtitlan 737 (from 
Iztac= white -\-mix -f- the terminations "ti" and "tlan"), 
Mixiuhcan (from Mi-xiuh + the termination "can"), and 
Mixco 752 (from Mix + the place-termination " co "). Bancroft 
mentions " Mexi-caltzinco " and " Mexiuh-tlan," 42 and a glance 
at a map of the country will also show the forms "Mixtan," 
" Mextitlan," and " Mexcala." If these words, or the majority 
of them, have a common root, it is evident that its meaning 
must be applicable in some way to a very large portion of the 
region known as Mexico. 

The last syllable, " co," serves as a suffix 869 to many place- 
names, 2173 and " signifies in or within that which is signified by 
the noun " (Parades, p. 39) ; or possibly it conveys the broader 
meaning of the region, " in " which it is situated, or " at " or 
"near" that which is signified by the preceding syllables. Ex 
amples of its use are found in " Soconusco," ^ (formerly 
"Xoconochco" 887 ), " Matlatzinco," 8M " Tenantzinco," 87 "Azca- 
potzalco," 88 " Xochimilco," 881 " Tezcuco," " Acapulco," 1963 etc. 

The meaning of the remainder of the word " Mexico," or of 
the entire word, has been stated in many different ways by the 
various authors who have attempted to explain it. McCulloh 
says that 1842 the etymology of Mexico is, "Place of Mextli? 
the name Mextli being a synonym of Huitzilopochtli, the desig 
nation of their god of war. He borrows this statement from 
Clavigero, and is followed by Pimentel, 2035 Buschraann, 882 Tyler, 322 
Bancroft, 247 and others. 

Brasseur de Bourbourg states that, 662 according to several 
authors, the Mexicas, or Mexicans, derived their name from one 
of their first chiefs, Mecitl, or " the Hare of the Aloes." Saha- 
gun says that 22C9 the name Mexicatl was formerly pronounced 
Mecitl, formed from me or metl, which signifies the maguey r , and 
from citli, a hare. This, therefore, should be written Mecicatl 
but the change of c to x has produced the corruption Mexicatl. 
It is said that this name was given to the people because the 
Mexicans, when they first arrived in the country, had a chief or 
lord named Mecitl, who at the moment of his birth was surnamed 
Citli (or the Hare). As, moreover, a large leaf of the maguey 
was given to him for a cradle, he was therefore called Me-citl, as 
if to say, the man raised in this maguey leaf. When he had 



3T4 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

grown up he became priest of their idol, and in this quality he 
had relations with the demon a thing which insured him respect 
in the eyes of his subjects, who, according to the account of the 
elders, adopted the name of this high-priest, and were called Mex 
ica, or Mexicatl. 

Herrera says 1689 that, according to some, " Mexico " means a 
spring ; and this statement is often copied : but, upon reference to 
the Aztec or Mexican dictionaries, it will be found that there is 
no word in the language having any such meaning which bears 
even the most distant resemblance to the term "Mexico." 

Bancroft has the following on the subject : 451 " A number 
of derivations have been given to the word Mexico, as mexitli, 
( navel of the maguey ; metl-ico, f place amidst the maguey ; 
meixco, on the maguey border ; mecitli, hare ; metztli, moon ; 
amexica, or mexica, you of the anointed ones. The significa 
tion, spring or * fountain, has also been applied. ,But most 
writers have contented themselves by assuming it to be identical 
with the mexi, mexitl, or mecitl, appellations of the war-god, 
Huitzilopochtli, to "which has been added the co, an affix imply 
ing locality ; hence * Mexico would imply the place or settle 
ment of Mexico, or Mexicans. This war-god, Huitzilopochtli, as 
is well known, was the mythic leader and chief deity of the Az 
tecs, the dominant tribe of the Nahua nation. It was by this 
august personage, who was also called Mexitl, that, according 
to tradition, the name was given them in the twelfth century, 
and in these words, Inaxcan aocmoamotoca inam azteca ye am 
mexica, Henceforth bear ye not the name Azteca, but Mexica. " 

Torquemada 32 ("Monarq. lud.," tome i, p. 293), referring to 
the principal god of the Aztecs, which had two names, Huitzilo- 
puchtli and Mexitly, says that this second name means " Navel 
of the Maguey." 

Clavigero gives the following account : 1061 " There is a great 
difference of opinion between different authors as to the etymol 
ogy of the word Mexico. Some derive it from Metztli, the 
moon, because they saw the moon reflected in the lake as the 
oracle had predicted. Others declare that Mexico means at 
the fountain or spring, because they found a spring of good 
water upon its site. But these two derivations are too violent, 
and the first is not only violent, but also ridiculous. I thought 
at one time that the name should be Mexicco, which would mean 



THE COUNTRY INDICATED BY HWTJI SHlN. 375 

* in the center of the magueys, or Mexican aloe-plants ; but, 
from the study of the history of these people, I have been un 
deceived, and have become convinced that Mexico means the 
place of Mexitli J (or Huitzilopochtli who was the Mars of the 
Mexicans), because of the sanctuary there built to him ; hence 
Mexico means to the Mexicans the same that Fanum Martis 
meant to the Romans. From words of this description, when 
compounded, the Mexicans take away the final letters tl. The co 
that is added is equivalent to our preposition in. The word 
Mexicaltzinco means the place of the house or temple of the god 
Mexitli : so that Huitzilopochco, Mexicaltzinco, and Mexico, the 
names of the three places which were successively inhabited by 
the Mexicans, mean substantially the same thing." 

Professor J. G. Mtiller, commenting upon these various state 
ments, says: 1964 " If we inquire concerning the meaning of Mex 
itli and Mexico, we find the singular answers that Mexitli 
means the god of Mexico, and that Mexico means the 
city of Mexitli. The name of the place called Huitzilopochco, 
and the name of the god Huitzilopochtli, might be explained in a 
similar way by their connection with each other, or the name of 
Tenoch, the mythical founder of Tenochtitlan, by its connection 
with the name of that city. Clavigero was therefore wrong 
when he was induced, by this course of reasoning in a circle, to 
withdraw his earlier view, according to which Mexico meant 
in the midst of the maguey, or the Mexican aloe. The Mexi 
can word for maguey is metl, from which the final consonants 
tl, as is the custom in the case of that termination in the Mexi 
can language, are dropped when the word is compounded with 
others. This gives a very good explanation of the name Mex 
ico. The usual name of the city in olden times was Tenoch 
titlan, meaning the prickly pear upon the stone ; and this w^as 
also the hieroglyph of the city, it being clearly an emblem of the 
wandering multitude who at first were oppressed with many 
troubles. Soon, however, the place became a Mexico, a place 
in the midst of magueys the plants which were the richest of all 
in their blessings to the Mexicans, for they furnished them with 
their favourite drink, called octli, and also with a species of 
hemp, and with paper." 

Having given this full account of the views of others, the 
present author now hopes to show that the real meaning of the 



376 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

term Mexico is "Place of the Century-plant." The name of the 
agave, or century-plant, in the Aztec language is metl, mi and, as 
already explained, 1987 nouns ending in tl lose that termination in 
compounds and derivatives. The syllable me is sometimes used 
as the plural termination of nouns, 1403 and it is in a few cases in 
terchanged with ma, the root of maitl,** or maytlj** the hand ; 
as, for instance, inT the word meaning to carry a burden on the 
shoulders, which is sometimes written mama 190T and sometimes 
meme. im With these exceptions, however, it is doubtful whether 
the syllable me occurs in any Aztec word, except as the repre 
sentative of the name of the agave. There is no question as to 
the power of the termination co, and the misunderstandings as to 
the meaning of the whole word have all arisen from the difficulty 
of explaining the syllable xi. The only explanation that has been 
given is that of Clavigero, who, by writing the word " Me-xic-co," 
derived the middle syllable from xic^-tli, " the navel." This is 
not a satisfactory derivation, however, and it is surprising that no 
one has noticed that the syllable xi is the abbreviated represent 
ative of the word xihuitl, 615 or xiuitl, mi meaning an herb or 
plant. 1928 In accordance with the rules of the Mexican language, 
the tl would be dropped in the compound, and the abbreviation 
of the remaining xiui to xi is less violent than that which takes 
place in the Mexican language in many other cases. Buschmann, 
who is one of the leading authorities upon the subject of the Az 
tec language, and whose soundness of judgment is universally 
recognized, speaks as follows regarding a case of much greater 
abbreviation : 872 

" I may be permitted to call it great boldness to point out 
the letter x in the forms maxtlatl and maxtli as the last trace 
of the verb xeloa. As it is found there in close connection, 
both with the following consonant and the preceding syllable, 
it would at first sight seem that it should be regarded as a 
middle letter of a word. That an etymologist should venture 
such an unheard of conjecture as that above made, has only 
become possible through the unlimited power of induction, 
proceeding cautiously step by step. In these two examples, 
which I have treated with etymological accuracy, I have taken 
a glance into the dark history of word destruction (or abbre 
viation) into which the tribes throughout the whole of North 
America have plunged in lawless licentiousness ; the Aztec 



THE COUNTRY INDICATED BY I1WUI SHAN. 377 

idiom to a less degree than others, but still more than has been 
believed. Only one example of a simple kind need be cited: 
Niltze, which Molina gives as an exclamation, * ho ! halloa ! is 
an abbreviation of nopiltzine, my son (from pilli = son, no = my, 
tzin, the reverential form applied here rather as an endear 
ment and e, the sign of the vocative)." 

In one case the syllables mexi (used with the same meaning as 
in Mexico) are abbreviated so that the xi appears as x, s, or z. 
This is in the word usually written mexcalli, but also appearing as 
mexical, mescal, mezcal, mezcale, mescali, mescale, and mizcal 
the name of the maguey-plant (i. e., the metl,pita, agave, Ameri 
can aloe, or century-plant for these different terms are all ap 
plied to the same plant, 1508 or to mere varieties of what is essen 
tially the same plant), or of a plant of similar growth, and a name 
which is also applied to a spirituous liquor distilled from its 
juice. Sahagun also defines the words as " the cooked leaves of 
the aloe." 

It may be stated, by the way, that the concluding syllable of 
this word is evidently a form of qualli, good, 908 which is perhaps a 
participle of qua, to eat, mjeaning that which one can eat. 873 Hence 
the word mexical, mezcal, or mexcalli, would mean the good or 
edible century-plant, or that part of the century-plant which can 
be eaten or drunk when suitably prepared for the purpose. This 
is surely a more appropriate etymology than that suggested by 
Buschmann, who thinks it to be from metz-calli, meaning the 
house or temple of the moon. 886 

Returning to the word " Mexico " : In the Maya language of 
Yucatan we find the word xihuitl abbreviated to xiu. m In the 
Aztec language we find the name of the Mexican balsam-tree 1496 
to be hoitzilo-xitl, 1497 and there is no other possible etymological 
explanation of the termination of this word than that it is a 
corruption of xihuitl. The form xitl, when followed by a word 
with which it was compounded, would be reduced to xi, as we 
have it in "Me-xi-co." 

Fortunately, however, we are able to give a number of Mexi 
can words which can not be explained in any other way than 
by considering the syllable xi as the representative of the word 
xihuitl. This word is almost the only one in the Mexican lan 
guage which has two or more radically distinct meanings. It, 
however, means not only an herb or plant, but also has the 



378 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

meanings 1928 " a year," " a comet," and " a turquoise." Now, 
we find, in Molina s Aztec Dictionary, 1926 the following words : 

" Ximmictia, to choke or smother the plant of wheat, or 
anything similar. 

" Ximmatlaliztli, a sapphire, a precious stone. 

" Xippachoa, to cover anything with herbs, or to choke the 
plant of wheat, or anything similar." 

In these words the doubled consonants indicate, merely, that 
the preceding vowel is short, and it is necessary to reject one of 
the two in order to arrive at the true etymology. The root 
mic, which occurs in the first word, conveys the idea of death, 
and is connected with miqui, to die ; 868 tia is a verbal termina 
tion. Mictia means " to kill," and xi-mictia, if we are right as 
to the meaning of the first syllable, would mean " to kill a 
plant." This is practically the definition given by Molina. The 
third word is compounded from xi and the verb pachoa^ 
meaning " to rule over, to govern, to set upon eggs like a hen." 
Here, again, the idea of overshadowing, or covering over, ex 
pressed by pachoa, when combined with the idea of plants or 
herbs expressed by xi, produces the definitions given in the dic 
tionary. 

In the second case, the syllable xi means a turquoise ; liztli 
is a grammatical termination, and the matla of xi-matla-liztli is 
connected with the word matla-lin, ms meaning "an obscure 
green colour." The whole word, therefore, means a turquoise of 
an obscure green colour. 

In these cases there seems no possibility of doubt as to the 
fact that xi is an abbreviation of xihuitl. Two other cases may 
be cited in which this word is abbreviated to tz and z, just as, in 
the different forms of mexcalli, it is reduced to x, s, or z. Otti 
is the Aztec name for India rubber, 1916 while metzolli means 1914 
"the marrow or soft part of the maguey." Here me means 
the maguey, olli the soft elastic portion, and the tz can mean 
nothing else that plant. We also find meztallotl* "the white 
heart of the maguey before it throws out its shoot," and metol- 
lotl, m * "the marrow or soft part of the maguey." It is difficult 
to explain why the inserted z in the first word does not affect the 
meaning, on any other theory than that it means plant. Another 
case in which the termination huiil is dropped in a compound 
is seen in the word quammaitl " a branch of a tree," of which 



THE COUNTRY INDICATED BY HWUI SHAN. 379 

the part maitl means a hand or arm in this case, a branch 
while the syllable qua can be nothing else than the abbreviated 
representative of the word quahuitl, a tree. 

From these illustrations, drawn from the Mexican language, 
it appears to be established beyond any reasonable question that 
the term "Me-xi-co" (pronounced by the Aztecs Me-shi-co) 
means "the Place of the Agave-plant," or "the Region of the 
Century-plant. That this is an appropriate designation, and one 
which would very naturally be given by any people coming into 
the country from beyond its borders, will be admitted by all 
who have visited it. 

The plant is peculiar to the country ; it grows throughout 
nearly all portions of the land ; its peculiarities are such as to in 
stantly attract attention ; and, as will be explained in the follow 
ing chapter, it may be claimed to be of greater value to the 
inhabitants than any and all other plants growing in the 
country. 

There is, therefore, reason to believe that if Hwui Shan visited 
the region which he claimed to have explored, he reached the 
country now known as Mexico, and then probably called by the 
same name ; this appellation, as we have seen, being derived from 
that of the most useful and remarkable plant which is found there. 

The connection between the term Mexico and the name of 
the god Mexitli) or Huitzilopoclitli, may be explained by suppos 
ing him to have originally been a deification of the century- 
plant. 

" They manufactured so many things from this plant called 
maguey, 324 and it is so very useful in that country, that the devil 
took occasion to induce them to believe that it was a god, and 
to worship and offer sacrifices to it." (" Spiegazione delle Tavole 
del codice Mexicano," in Kingsborough s "Mex. Antiq.," vol. v, 
pp. 179-180.) 

His name of Huitzilopochtli which has been supposed to be 
derived from Huitzitzilin, or, as Molina spells the word, Vitzitzi- 
/m, 1930 " the humming-bird," and the root opoch, found in the 
word opochmaitl " the left hand" (maitl meaning "hand")> 
and which he was said to have been given because he had a fringe 
of humming-birds feathers adorning his left leg seems rather 
to have been derived from Huitzla " a thorny place or a 
thorny plant," and the root poch, with the termination tli, as 



380 AN INGLOKIOUS COLUMBUS. 

found in tel-pochtli "a youth," and icli-poclitli^ " a maiden," 
and to have meant "the Ever-youthful One of the Thorny 
Plant." 

The termination pochtli occurs in the name of the god 
0-pochtli, protector of fishermen 2239 (perhaps originally A-pochtli, 
"the Youthful One of the Water"), and it here evidently has 
nothing to do with the left hand. That the termination pochtli 
was not an essential part of Huitzilopochtli s name is shown by 
the fact that 744 the place in which his temple was situated was 
called Huitzillan, a compound formed from Huitzil with the 
place-termination tlan. 

Bancroft states 321 that Huitzilopochtli was the son of the 
goddess of plants, and that his connection with the botanical 
kingdom is shown by the fact that he was specially worshiped at 
three ancient yearly feasts, which took place exactly at those 
periods of the year that are the most influential for the Mexican 
climate : the middle of May, the middle of August, and the end 
of December. 

The theory, that he was originally a deification of the century- 
plant, is strengthened by the fact that he was considered as the 
god of vegetation, by whose power it was annually revivified. 1965 
We also find the word Vitzyecoltia (which by many other 
authors would be spelled Huitzyecoltia, Molina always using v or u 
before a vowel to indicate the sound of the English w, which 
other writers indicate by the letters hu) defined as meaning 
" to celebrate the feast of the vine." The syllable yec is from 
the root of yec-tli, meaning " good." The last five letters form 
a verbal termination. The syllable vitz can mean nothing else 
than a thorn or thorny plant, and must have originally referred 
to the century-plant which was the one from which the Mexi 
cans obtained their " wine," which was the only intoxicating 
liquor with which they were acquainted ; and the plant is therefore 
frequently referred to by early authors as the " vine " of the 
country. The Mexicans certainly had no feast dedicated to the 
grape-vine, as, although it occurs in the country (as will be 
shown in Chapter XXII), it is seldom referred to, and they never 
made wine from grapes. 1 - 

Since writing the above, I have found the following statement 
in Sahagun : 2m " New wine made from the maguey is called 
uitz-tli." This seems to remove all possibility of doubt of the 



THE COUNTRY INDICATED BY HWUI SHlN. 381 

connection of the verbal root variously spelled uitz, vitz, and 
huitz, with the century-plant. 

The name Camaxtle, lS5& or Camaxtli under which this god 
was worshiped by the Tlascaltecs, seems to have been formed 
from the prefix ca (meaning unknown) and a variant of the 
name Mexitli. This people also knew him by the name of Mix- 
couatl* in which another variation of the same word may be 
seen. 

While it is true that the word " Mexico " means " the Place 
of the Century-plant," it could also be used with the meaning of 
" the Place of Mexi-tli "/ Mexi-tli being (as above explained) 
nothing but a name for the personified or deified century-plant. 
Now, in the center of the city of Tenochtitlan, there was a large 
square containing the temple in which the god Huitzilopochtli, 
or Mexitli, was worshiped. This square and its temple would 
be called " Mexico," meaning (in this connection) " the Place of 
the God Mexitli," and this fact explains how it was that the 
name was thought to apply, first, to a ward of the city, and, 
later ) to the whole city ; why it was that many of the Spaniards 
supposed it to be applicable to a limited area only, instead of to 
the whole country, and why they failed to learn its original sig 
nification. 



CHAPTER XXI. 

THE FU-SANG TREE AND THE BED PEARS. 

Connection between the name of the country and that of the " tree " Application 
to smaller plants of the Chinese character translated "tree Application 
of the term " tree " to the century -plant Description of the metl, maguey, 
agave, aloe, or century -plant The leaves of the fu-sang Disagreement of dif 
ferent texts The t ung tree Evidence of corruption in the text Conject 
ure as to original reading Similarity of the young sprouts to those of the 
bamboo Their edibility Thread and cloth from the fiber of the plant 
The finer fabric made from it Variation in the texts Manufacture of pa 
per The red pear The prickly-pear Resemblance of the century-plant to 
the cacti Preserves made from the prickly-pears Confusion in the Mexican 
language between milk and the sap of the century-plant The Chinese " lo," 
or koumiss The liquor made from the sap of the century -plant Its resem 
blance to koumiss Indians never use milk Confusion in other Indian lan 
guages between sap and milk Meaning of the name fu-sang Variations in 
the characters with which it is written The spontaneous reproduction of the 
century-plant The decomposition of the character " sang " The tree of the 
large wine-jar The tree having a great cloud of blossoms Blooming but 
once in a thousand years The Chinese name of the prickly-pear Eitel s 
definition of the term " fu-sang " Professor Gray s statement. 

HAYING thus settled, as far as it is now possible to do so, the 
character of the nation which Hwui Shan would have found in 
the region indicated by him, if he actually took the journey 
which he claimed that he had made, and having attempted to 
determine the name of the country, and its meaning, let us now 
continue the examination of his story. 

II. THAT REGION HAS MANY FU-SANG TREES, AND IT is FROM 

THESE TREES THAT THE COUNTRY DERIVES ITS NAME OF Fu-SANG. 

THE LEAVES RESEMBLE ? AND THE FIRST SPROUTS ARE LIKE 

THOSE OF THE BAMBOO. THE PEOPLE OF THE COUNTRY EAT 
THEM AND THE (or A) FRUIT, WHICH IS LIKE A PEAR (in form), 
BUT OF A REDDISH COLOUR. THEY SPIN THREAD FROM THEIR 



THE FU-SANG TREE AND THE RED PEARS. 



383 



BARK, FROM WHICH THEY MAKE CLOTH OF WHICH THEY MAKE 
CLOTHING ; THEY ALSO MANUFACTURE A FINER FABRIC FROM IT. 
. . . THEY MAKE PAPER FROM THE BARK OF THE FU-SANG. . . . 
THEY HAVE THE RED PEARS KEPT UNSPOILED THROUGHOUT THE 
YEAR. 

One of the first points to attract the attention is, that there \ 
is a connection between the name of the country and that of a 
species of " tree " which grows there. It has already been shown 
that there is a similar connection between the name " Mexico " 
and the agave, or century-plant. It might be claimed, however, 
that this is not a " tree." 

In reply to this objection, it may be said that it is probable 
that the century-plant would be included by the Chinese under 
the general term MUH, fa which is here translated " tree," this 
character being used by the Chinese not only as the radical of 
trees, but also of shrubs. 2491 Fig. 10 contains illustrations of two 



iJfc/ 




FIG. 10. Two plants classified in the En-YA, under th c heading MUH, or " trees." 

plants which in the Rii-YA (a book written by one of the most 
celebrated scholars of the Han dynasty, between B. c. 202 and 
A. D. 25) are included under this general heading of MUH, or 
"trees." It is evident that, if these insignificant plants can 
properly be included in that term, the century-plant the flower 
ing-stalks of which sometimes tower to a height of forty 2373 or 
fifty 2372 feet, throwing out branches on every side, 2373 and being 



384 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

sufficiently solid to be used as beams, 2370 of which houses are built 
in many places ; 222 these stalks being said to make " very good 
rafters," and being also used as fuel, 11 can hardly be excluded, 
either on the ground of size or of lack of woody consistency. 

As a matter of fact, the term " tree " was usually applied to 
the century-plant by < the early writers. Acosta, for instance, 
says : " " The maguey is the tree, of marvels, to which the Indians 
are accustomed to ascribe miracles, inasmuch as it gives them 
water, wine, oil, vinegar, honey, syrup, thread, and a thousand 
other things. It is a tree which the Indians of New Spain es 
teem very highly. . . . The wood of this tree is hollow and soft, 
and is used for preserving a fire, for it burns slowly like a match 
lock, and keeps the fire for a long time, and I have seen the In 
dians use it for this purpose." 

So, too, Gage says : 1379 " About Mexico, more than in any 
other part, groweth that excellent tree called metl" ; and, 1377 
"There are also mantles made of the leaves of a tree called 
metV Bartram also speaks of " a forest " of agaves, and ex 
plains : 55 " I term it a forest, because their scapes, or flower- 
stems, arose erect near thirty feet high." 

It is therefore manifest that Hwui Shan is not alone in his 
application of the term " tree " to the century -plant. 

Before examining his description of the plant, or tree, from 
which the country took its name, it will be best to note what is 
said by other writers regarding the plant which, if Mexico is 
identified with Fu-sang, must have been the " f u-sang tree " of 
Hwui Shan. 

Prescott says : 2066 " The miracle of nature was the maguey r , 
whose clustering pyramid of flowers, towering above their dark 
coronals of leaves, were seen sprinkled over many a broad acre 
of the table-land. Its bruised leaves afforded a paste from which 
paper was manufactured ; its juice was fermented into an in 
toxicating beverage, pulque, of which the natives to this day 
are excessively fond ; its leaves further supplied an impenetrable 
thatch for the more humble dwellings ; thread, of which coarse 
stuffs were made, and strong cords, were drawn from its tough 
and twisted fibers ; pins and needles were made of the thorns at 
the extremity of its leaves ; and the root, when properly cooked, 
was converted into a palatable and nutritious food. The agave, 
in short, was meat, drink, clothjng, and writing-materials, for the 



THE FU-SANG TREE AND THE RED PEARS. 385 




FIG. 11. A century-plant in blossom. 



386 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

Aztec ! Surely, never did nature inclose in so compact a form 
so many of the elements of human comfort and civilization . " 

Clavigero, in his " History of Mexico," has epitomized the 
uses of the various kinds of agaves of that country in the fol 
lowing language : 237 

" Some species furnish protecting inclosures, and afford im 
passable hedges to other objects of cultivation. From the juice 
of others are extracted honey, sugar, vinegar, pulque, and ardent 
spirits. From the trunk and the thickest part of the leaves, 
roasted in the earth, an agreeable food is obtained. The flower 
ing-stalks serve as beams, and the leaves as roofs for houses. The 
thorns answer for lancets, awls, needles, arrowheads, and other 
cutting and penetrating instruments. But the fibrous substance 
of the leaves is the most important gift of the agaves of Mexico. 
According to the species, the fiber varies in quality from the 
coarsest hemp to the finest flax, and may be employed as a supe 
rior substitute for both. From it the ancient Mexicans fabri 
cated their thread and cordage ; mats and bagging ; shoes and 
clothing ; webs equivalent to cambric and canvas ; the ham 
mocks in which they were born, and in which they reposed and 
died, and the paper on which they painted their histories, and 
with which they adored and adorned their gods. The value of 
these agaves is enhanced by their indifference to soil, climate, 
and season ; by the simplicity of their cultivation, and by the 
ease with which their products are extracted and prepared. It 
is not, therefore, surprising that the ancient Mexicans used 
some part or preparation of these plants in their civil, military, 
and religious ceremonies, and at marriages and deaths ; nor that 
they perpetuated an allusion to their properties in the name of 
their capital." 107S 

Fig. 11 is a cut of a century-plant, adapted by the engraver 
from a photograph, by Mr. Taber of San Francisco, of a plant 
now (December, 1884) in blossom in that city. The represen 
tation of the flowering-stalk is much better than that of the 
leaves about its base. 

It is unfortunate that the various Chinese authorities differ 
so radically as to what it was that the leaves of the fu-sang tree 
resembled, that it seems impossible to determine, with any cer 
tainty, the real statement of Hwui Shan on the subject. 

In Ma Twan-lin s account, it is said that they resemble those 



THE FU-SANG TREE AND THE RED PEARS. 



337 



of the T UNG tree. This is said by Klaproth to be the Bignonia 
tomentosa, by Neumann to be the Dryandra cordif olia, by Julien 
to be the Paullownia imperialis, and by Leland to be the Dry- 
anda cordata, or Eleococca verrucosa. 

Fig. 12, copied from the Rn-YA, shows, on the left, the 
YUNG-T UNG, or " Beautiful T UNG " tree ; now called the wu- 





Fio. 12. The t ung tree and the wild mulberry. 

T UNG ; and this in Williams s Dictionary (p. 1060) is said to be 
the Eleococca verrucosa. In the same engraving is given a pict 
ure of the wild mulberry, or mountain mulberry, the leaves of 
which will be seen to closely resemble those of the YUNG-T UNG. 
Leland states, however, 1718 that in the "Year Books of the 
Liang Dynasty," the character is not written jffl, T UNG, the t ung 
tree, but Jp), T UNG, copper. According to this older authority, 
therefore, the leaves of the fu-sang tree resembled copper. The 
old Chinese geography, called the Shan Hai King, adds to the 
confusion by saying that the leaves are like mustard, or sinapis. 
The two characters given above have the same "phonetic," or 
"primitive" (the part at the right), and differ only in the "radi 
cal" (the part at the left), which, in the first is "tree," and, in 
the second, is " metal." The characters are so much alike that 
the indications are strong that the first was substituted for the 
second by some copyist or commentator, who reasoned as fol- 



388 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

lows : " The appellation c f u-sang means the useful mulberry. 
The tree was therefore some species of mulberry. The Regis 
ters of the Liang Dynasty say that its leaves resemble copper. 
This is evidently a mistake ; there is no plant having leaves re 
sembling copper ; the character, however, very much resembles 
that used for the T UNG tree, and the leaves of this tree are very 
similar to those of the mulberry. It is therefore probable that 
some copyist, transcribing the old records, written before print 
ing was invented, mistook a carelessly written character, T UNG, 
H3, meaning * the T UNG tree, for the character T UNG, $p], * cop 
per. I will correct his error, and restore the reading as it 
must originally have stood." So, like many of our Shakespearean 
commentators, he probably substituted his own conjecture for 
the original text, merely because he was unable to understand 
the latter ; and thereby made it almost impossible for those 
coming after him to detect the real meaning of the author. 

If I may be permitted to submit a surmise, which is con 
fessedly a mere conjecture, of which the most that can be said is 
that it is possibly true ; I would suggest that the old reading " cop 
per " is probably an error, but that the mistake is not in the radi 
cal, but in the phonetic. There is in the Chinese language a 
character, j, KEu, 2538 which closely resembles the one used for 
" copper," jjj). This character KEU is defined as meaning " a 
hook, a barb, a claw, a fluke ; a sickle, a bill-hook ; a crooked 
sword ; to hook, to make crooked or hooked." It is evident that 
the general idea is that of being crooked, sharp, and barbed ; and 
the character was probably originally composed of the radical 
" metal " with a picture of a fish-hook and its bait. This character 
is used in the compound KEu-YAo, 2577 " the barbed-exotic," which 
is applied to a species of thistle found in Kiang-su. No charac 
ter in the Chinese language would better describe the curved 
and prickly leaves of the century-plant, " armed with teeth like a 
shark," 1282 than this term KEU, " a hook, a barb, a crooked sword." 
Now, if Hwui Shan said that the leaves of the f u-sang resembled j, 
it is not beyond the limits of reasonable possibility that this may 
have been so illegibly written as to have been mistaken for ||sj, 
or that some copyist may have carelessly made this change 
while transcribing. Then the course of reasoning above sug 
gested would very naturally have led to the substitution of the 
character Jpi), and the accounts would have exhibited the confu- 



THE FU-SANG TREE AND THE RED PEARS. 



3S9 



sion and contradiction that we now find. It is not contended 
that these changes are proved, or anything more than merely 
possible. It is claimed, however, that unless some such changes 
took place, the variations in the texts can not be explained ; and 
that it is now impracticable to decide with certainty as to the 
character originally used. The fact that the leaves of the cent 
ury-plant do not at all resemble those of the TUNG tree is there 
fore no proof that the fu-sang tree was not the century-plant 

In Hwui Shan s next statement we find a detail regarding 
which there is no dispute, which makes it absolutely impossible 
that the original description of the plant can have represented 
that its leaves resembled those of the T UNG tree. This is the fact 
that " the first sprouts are like those of the bamboo." Now, the 
bamboo is an endogenous plant, and the first sprouts of nearly all 
endogens have a similar general character, but differ widely from 
those of the exogens. No mulberry, no T UNG tree (if this is cor 
rectly identified by any of the authors above named), ever exhib 
ited a " first sprout " which even the most careless observer could 
consider as at all resembling that of the bamboo, while this com 
parison might be made with 
justice as to the sprout of 
almost any endogenous plant. 

Fig. 13, a copy of another 
illustration of the Rn-TA, 
gives a picture of these bam 
boo-sprouts. It is not difficult 
to find specimens of the cent 
ury-plant in almost any of 
our cities, and young sprouts 
may frequently be found push 
ing up around them. If the 
reader will take the trouble to 
examine some of these, he will 
see that the illustration of 
bamboo-sprouts will answer 
nearly as well for those of the 
century-plant. The resemblance is very close and very striking. 

Hwui Shan would hardly have been likely to mention these 
shoots, however, if it were not a fact that their great number 
about the elder plants is such as to attract attention. M. Jourdanet, 




FIG. 13. Bamboo-sprouts. 



390 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

in his notes upon Sahagun, says that, 2221 at an advanced period of 
the plant s development, eight or ten shoots grow up about it ; 
while Bartlett M9 and Squier 2372 agree in the statement that " an 
infinity of shoots " springs from the decaying roots of the old 
plants, and that no known plant multiplies with greater facility. 

Our Asiatic traveler noticed a second point of resemblance to 
bamboo-shoots, however, and that lay in the fact that they were 
edible. Professor Williams states that 249 the tender shoots of 
the bamboo are cultivated for food, and are, when four or five 
inches high, boiled, pickled, and comfited. Crawf urd says that 1136 
the young shoots of the bamboo are, with the natives of the In 
dian Islands, a frequent, favourite, and agreeable esculent vege 
table, and may be either boiled, or used with vinegar as a pickle. 

The " Chinese Repository " gives the following account : 988 
"The young and tender shoots of the bamboo are used as a 
vegetable for the table in different ways ; if cut as soon as they 
appear above the ground, they are almost as tender and delicate 
as asparagus. They are white and palatable, and when in this 
state are used as pickles, as greens, as a sweetmeat, and as a 
medicine. The fondness for these young shoots is so general 
that they are made articles of commerce, and are sent to the 
capital and all parts of the empire. They are cured by exposing 
them, when fresh, to steam, and afterward drying them. They 
often form a part in the feasts of the rich, and constitute an im 
portant article of diet for the priests. These young shoots are 
artificially cultivated during the most part of the year. All 
classes use the pickle, as a relish, with rice and other vegetable 
dishes." 

The statement of Clavigero, 2370 that, from the trunk of the 
century -plant and the thickest part of the leaves, roasted in the 
earth, an agreeable food is obtained, has already been quoted. 
Bancroft mentions the maguey-plant, Agave Mexicana, among 
the articles on which the natives of New Mexico rely for food, 115 
and also names "roasted portions of the maguey stalks and 
leaves" 203 among the articles of food used by the natives of 
Mexico. General Crook, in his report to the Government of his 
expedition against the Mescalero Apaches (who take even their 
name from the " mescal," before referred to a species of agave), 
states as one of the reasons which make it almost impossible to 
capture them, that 1U9 " the agave grows luxuriantly in the mount- 



THE FU-SANG TREE AND THE RED PEARS. 391 

ains, and upon this plant alone the Indians can live." M. God- 
ron says that 1413 they not only eat the tender roots of the plant, 
but also the central shoot, keeping its soft and fleshy consistence. 

It is reasonable to believe that the young and tender shoots 
would be included among the parts of a " soft and fleshy consist 
ence," and so would be eaten with the rest. Other authors do 
not mention them particularly, as they would form only a small 
portion of the food derived from the plants, but Hwui Shan 
would be led to refer specially to them, because of their resem 
blance to the edible shoots of the bamboo. 

The Chinese text says that the people of the country spun 
thread from the bark of the fu-sang tree, from which they made 
cloth, of which they made clothing, and that they also manufact 
ured a finer fabric from it. 

In the case of most exogenous fiber-producing plants, it is 
from one of the layers of bark that the fiber is derived, and those 
who are accustomed to seeing flax, hemp, or the paper-mulberry, 
naturally learn to associate fiber with the "bark," and to speak 
of it as derived therefrom, even in the case of endogenous 
plants, which have no true bark, and in which the fiber is scat 
tered through the stems and leaves. The Abbe Brasseur de 
Bourbourg, for instance, makes the statements that 657 the Cak- 
chiquels made garments from the bark of trees, and of maguey s, 
and that 659 nequen is a species of coarse hemp which the Mexi 
cans draw from the bark of the aloe, or maguey. 

Dr. Brinton, also, after mentioning that three Central Ameri 
can codices, described by him, were all 841 written on paper 
manufactured from the leaves of the maguey-plant, refers to the 
statements of old writers, who said that the books of the Mexi 
cans were made of the bark of trees. 

In Ma Twan-lin s text, the clause which I have translated, 
"They also manufacture a finer fabric from it" (the thread), 
reads, " They make KIX, |g, from it " (the thread). The term KIN- 
IS defined as meaning " embroidered stuff, or embroidered and 
ornamented stuff in general." 1713 Professor Williams (p. 399 
of his dictionary) defines it as a kind of thin brocade, and in 
the article, copied in Chapter XIV of this work, says that the 
word is applied to embroidery and parti-coloured textures. It is 
not so much the damask-like figure that is the essential point, 
but among the Chinese the kin always has a variety of colours. 



392 Atf INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

Mr. Leland says, however, 1713 that the " Year Books of the 
Liang Dynasty" have, instead of KIN, the character MIEN (evi 
dently $), which signifies fine silk. This "Register of the 
Liang Dynasty " is the original authority on the subject, and, in 
case of a variation in the texts, its reading is entitled to at least 
as much attention as that of Ma Twan-lin. 

Hepburn defines the character MIEN, " cotton, floss silk," I4M 
and says that the "Tree-MiEN," ^f; $, is a kind of cloth, made 
of the bark of the mulberry, worn in ancient times. 1493 Professor 
Williams defines the word, " soft, cottony, like fine floss or raw 
silk, drawn out, prolonged, extended, as a thread or fiber." 

It is therefore probable that in the time of Hwui Shan the 
term was applied to some species of soft textile fabric, made 
from the fiber of the paper-mulberry, of a finer quality than the 
usual coarse material manufactured from it, and if the word was 
so used in his days, he would naturally apply it to a similar ma 
terial made from the agave fiber. 

As to the manufactures of the Mexicans, McCulloh says : 1846 
" From the maguey they made two kinds of cloth, one of which 
was like hempen cloth, and a finer kind which resembled linen" 

Clavigero states that 1082 "from the leaves of the pati,* and 
of the quetzalichtli (species of maguey), they drew a fine thread, 
with which they made cloth as good as that made of linen, and 
from the leaves of other species of maguey they derived a 
coarser thread similar to hemp." This account is repeated by 
the Abbe Brasseur de Bourbourg. 719 

Sahagun, also, when speaking of the merchant who deals in 
mantles made from the fiber of the maguey, says : 2208 " Some of 
those which he sells are of light tissue, similar to those which 
are used for head-dresses, such as the finely woven mantles of 
the single thread of the nequen, and those which are made from 
the twisted threads of this plant. He also sells others of coarse 
texture, very closely woven, and still others coarse and thick, 
made either from the pita, or from the thread of the maguey." 

The Chinese account says that paper, also, is made from the 
bark of the f u-sang ; and the following quotations regarding the 
paper manufactured from the fiber of the agave, maguey, or 
century-plant will be of interest in this connection. 

Bancroft says : 232 " Paper, in Aztec amatl, used chiefly as a 

* Perhaps a typographical error. The pita is probably meant. E. P. V. 



THE FU-SANG TREE AXD THE RED PEARS. 393 

material on which to paint the hieroglyphic records, was made 
for the most part of maguey fiber, although the other fibers used 
in the manufacture of cloth were occasionally mixed with those 
of this plant. The material must have been pressed together 
when wet, and the product was generally very thick, more like a 
soft pasteboard than our paper. The surface was smooth, and 
well adapted to the painting which it was to bear. Certain gums 
are said to have been used for the more perfect cohesion of the 
fiber, and the amatl was made in long, narrow sheets suitable 
for rolling or folding." 

The Cavalier Boturini,* a collector of Mexican relics, in 
forms us 2453 (yet from sources which he has omitted to quote) : 
" Indian paper was made from the leaves of the maguey, which, 
in the language of the natives, was called metl, and in Spanish 
pita. The leaves were soaked, putrefied, and the fibers washed, 
smoothed, and extended for the manufacture of thin as well as 
thick paper." 216 

Squier makes the following statement : 2372 "The fiber of the 
maguey is coarser than that of the Agave Sisilana, but it is, 
nevertheless, of great utility, and is extensively used. The an 
cient Mexicans painted their hieroglyphical records and ritual 
calendars on paper made from the leaves of this plant, macerated 
in water, and the fibers deposited in layers, like those of the 
Egyptian cyperus (papyrus), and the mulberry of the South Sea 
Islands ; and in modern times the fibers are used for a corre 
sponding purpose. Indeed, the paper made from the maguey 
is so much esteemed for its toughness and durability, over that 
made in the United States and Europe, that, in 1830, a law was 
enacted by the Mexican Congress requiring that no other kind 
of paper should be used in recording the laws, or in the execu 
tion of legal documents." 

He adds 2373 that Mr. Brantz Mayer, in his work, " Mexico as 
It Was and as It Is," p. 313, observes : "The best coarse wrap 
ping or envelope paper I have ever seen is made in Mexico, from 
the leaves of the Agave Americana. It has almost the tough 
ness and tenacity of iron." 

Hwui Shan s account says that the people of the country ate a 
fruit which was like a pear in appearance, but which was red. The 

*Cavaliere Lorenzo Boturini Benaducci, " Idea de Una Nueva Historia Gene 
ral y Catalogo del Musco Historico," Madrid^ 1746, p. 95. 



394: AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

character SHIH used to designate the fruit, indicates that it did 
not have a nut or kernel, 2563 as, if it had, the term KWO 2544 
would probably have been used instead. The connection is such 
that it is naturally inferred that the fruit referred to was that 
of the fu-sang. This seeins the most probable meaning of the 
text ; and yet I hardly think it entirely certain that the meaning 
may not have been that the people ate a fruit instead of the 
fruit (of the fu-sang). The fruit referred to can be nothing else 
than the well-known prickly-pear, otherwise called the noctli, 1 * 00 
nopalli 1 nopal? nochtli tuna* or Indian fig. 2590 The re 
semblance of its shape to that of a pear is such that it derives 
its best-known name from this fact, and, while there are species 
of many different colours, 1386 the common wild variety is red. It 
is the fruit of a species of cactus. The agave, or century-plant, 
belongs to a different botanical family, and yet it so closely re 
sembles the cacti, in many of their most striking peculiarities, that 
travelers frequently fall into the error of classing it with them. 
Lieutenant Herndon, for instance, says that the " maguey is a 
species of cactus." 1533 An editorial article in the New York 
"Herald," of February 17, 1883, says that "the present customs 
duty on hennequin, or Sisal hemp which is the product of a 
kind of cactus is six dollars a ton " ; the fact being that 
the so-called Sisal hemp is derived from a species of agave very 
closely related to the century-plant. So, also, an article in the 
Chicago "Tribune," of May 11, 1884, mentions "that species 
of cactus called the maguey." Both the agaves and the cacti 
are distinguished from other plants by their thick, fleshy, stem- 
less leaves, which, in both cases, are usually armed with strong 
spines or thorns. They grow in arid 2372 and barren 2373 lands, 
in which scarcely any other plant except varieties of artemi- 
sia, or sage-brush can live ; and it is not strange that they 
should be considered by the unscientific observer as different 
species of one general family. It is possible that Hwui Shan 
used the term fu-sang as a generic name, under which he in 
tended to include all varieties of the cactus, and that he classed 
the agaves with them. Mexico is the home of both plants, and 
they form the characteristic vegetation of a large portion of 
that country. They are indigenous nowhere else except in the 
neighbouring regions, and it is in Mexico that they present more 
varieties and larger species than in any other part of the globe. 586 



THE FtJ-SANG TREE AND THE RED PEARS. 395 

The prickly-pear abounds in nearly all portions of Mexico, and 
it is a fruit that is much esteemed, and which enters largely into 
the food of the inhabitants. Gage says of it that it is 1386 " abso 
lutely one of the best fruits " in the country. Emory speaks of 
its " truly delicious " taste. Diaz states that the army of Cortez 1204 
lived for a time upon it ; and Prescott says that the provisions 
with which his camp was supplied from the friendly towns in the 
neighbourhood consisted of fish and the fruits of the country, 2081 
" particularly a sort of fig borne by the tuna ( Cactus opuntia)." 

The last statement of the Chinese text regarding these " red 
pears " is, that they are kept unspoiled throughout the year. In 
the relation of the voyage to Cibola, undertaken in 1540, con 
tained in vol. ix, of the first series of the " Voyages," etc., pub 
lished by M. Ternaux-Compans, it is stated that the people of the 
country 2437 " make many preserves from tunas, the juice of which 
is so sweet that it preserves them perfectly without adding any 
syrup." The statement is also made in another place that, " in a 
province called Nacapan, many tunas, or Indian figs, are found, 
of which the people make preserves." 2431 

The Marquis d Hervey de Saint-Denys, in his notes, which are 
given in the twelfth chapter of this work, calls attention to the 
fact that the Encyclopaedia, Ku-kin-tu-shu-tai-ching, gives the 
passage of the Chinese text last above referred to, " They have 
the pears of thefu-sang tree" etc., instead of the reading given 
by Ma Twan-lin. This seems to indicate that there was a doubt 
in the minds of various Chinese authors and compilers as to 
whether the (< red pears " were or were not the fruit of the f u- 
sang tree. 

Before leaving the account of the fu-sang, there is another 
statement of the Chinese text, which, in my opinion, should be 
connected with the details regarding this plant, and that is : 

III. FROM MILK THEY MAKE KOUMISS. 

As this phrase follows a reference to the deer of the country, 
it has usually been translated, " from the milk of the hinds they 
make butter, cheese, creamy dishes, or cream " ; for all these 
articles are named by different authors as indicated by the Chi 
nese character LO, which in the translation given above is ren 
dered "koumiss." The words, "of the hinds," italicized above, 
are not found in the Chinese text, and are supplied only from 
the inferences of the translators. 



396 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

According to the " Chinese Repository," 987 the products of 
the dairy, as milk, butter, and cheese, are hardly known among 
the Chinese. Milk is usually cooked by boiling ; it is also em 
ployed in making cakes, pastry, etc. Butter and cheese are not 
used by them, nor do they understand the process of making the 
latter. Professor Williams refers to the same fact in the following 
words : 2501 " The Chinese use very little from the dairy, as milk, 
butter, or cheese ; the very small number of cattle raised in the 
country, and the consequent dearness of these articles, may have 
caused them to fall into disuse, for they are all common among 
the Manchus and Mongols. A Chinese table seems ill-furnished 
to a foreigner when he sees neither bread, butter, nor milk upon 
it, and, if he expresses his disrelish of the oily dishes or alliaceous 
stews before him, the Chinese thinks that he gives a sufficient 
reply to the disparagement of his taste, when he answers, You 
eat cheese, and sometimes when it can almost walk. " 

In many other parts of Asia, as, for instance, in Sumatra, 
the natives use no milk or butter. 1822 

Koumiss, or some similar preparation, was made by the Chi 
nese, however, 1008 as far back as in the days of the Han dynasty 
(B. c. 202 to A. D. 25), and the following account of it is given 1009 
in the " Chinese Repository " : 

" The Chinese describe a preparation, made from the milk of 
various domestic animals, that resembles the koumiss, found 
among the Tartars. It is called lo, and is made in the follow 
ing manner : Put a quart of milk into a boiler, and simmer 
it for some time, when another quart is to be added, and the 
whole boiled until many bubbles arise to the surface, all the 
while stirring it about with the ladle ; now pour it into a ves 
sel, and wait till it is cold, when the pellicle that forms upon 
the surface is to be taken off to form the soo (a kind of oil 
that is simmered from such pellicles). Now add a little old lo, 
and cover it up for a while with paper, until it is completely 
made." 

This is evidently the LO mentioned in our text, and it was, 
therefore, neither butter, cheese, cream, nor any similar article 
of food. 

Attention has been called to the. fact that a " wine," much 
resembling koumiss, was made by the Mexicans from the sap of 
the agave, and it has been claimed that if Hwui Shan was at- 



THE FU-SANG TREE AND THE RED PEARS. 397 

tempting to describe the agave, or century-plant, in the tree which 
he calls fu-sang, he would have referred to this liquor that was 
made from it. Bancroft 204 says that one of the most popular 
Nahua beverages was that since known as pulque. This liquor, 
called by the natives octli pulque, or pulcre, being a South 
American aboriginal term applied to it in some unaccountable 
w r ay by the Spaniards was the fermented juice of the maguey. 
One plant is said to yield about one hundred pounds in a month. 
A cavity is cut at the base of the larger leaves, and allowed to 
fill with juice, which is removed to a vessel of earthenware or 
of skin, where it ferments rapidly and is ready for use. 

In another place 122 he states that their principal and national 
drink is pulque, made from the Agave Americana, and is thus 
prepared : When the plant is about to bloom, the heart, or stalk, 
is cut out, leaving a hole in the center, which is covered with the 
outer leaves. Every twenty-four hours, or, in the hotter climates, 
twice a day, the cavity fills with the sap from the plant, which 
is taken out and fermented by the addition of some already- 
fermented pulque, and the process is continued until the plant 
ceases to yield a further supply. The liquor obtained is at first 
of a thick white colour, and is at all times very intoxicating. 

Brasseur de Bourbourg also states that the colour of pulque is 
whitish, like that of whey, 714 and it is, therefore, evident that, in 
its colour and general appearance, as well as in its fermentation 
and its intoxicating quality, it closely resembles the koumiss, or 
"lo," and no better term than this could be found for it in 
Chinese. 

That koumiss, or some other intoxicating liquor, was used 
in Fu-sang, is indicated by that clause of the account in which 
it is stated that the people of the country feasted and drank* at 
the great assemblies which they held to pass judgment upon 
criminals of a high rank. 

The question instantly arises, however, " If this was the arti 
cle to which Hwui Shan referred, why did he say that it was 
made from milk ? " The answer to this query is, that the Mexi 
cans applied the term milk to the sap of the century-plant, or 
rather designated both articles by a common term, which was 
originally the name of the sap. 

Milk, in the Mexican or Aztec language, is called " memeyal- 

* See character No. 182, in chapter xvi, p. 276. 



.398 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

lotl." 1906 The last part, " yallotl," is elsewhere spelled " yollotl," 616 
or " yullotli," 1903 and means the heart, the life, or, in case of a 
plant, the sap, the juice. The syllable "me" is, as is the case in 
the word Mexico, from metl, a century-plant, or agave ; and the 
reduplicated form, meme, indicates the plural. 1403 The whole word 
therefore means " century-plants sap." 

Powers states that it 2061 is a singular fact that the Indians 
generally have no word for " milk." They never see it, for they 
never extract it from any animal, because that would seem to 
them a kind of sacrilege or robbery of the young. Hence, an 
Indian frequently sees this article for the first time among civil 
ized people, and adopts the Spanish word for it. 

The confusion existing in the Aztec language between the 
name for milk (i. e., the natural food of young children) and the 
sap of the century -plant is shown by the following quotation 
from Bancroft : 302 

" The children were given to Xolotl to bring up, and he fed 
them on the juice of the maguey : literally, in the earliest copy 
of the myth that I have seen, the milk of the thistle, i la leche de 
cardo, which term has been repeated blindly, and apparently 
without any idea of its meaning, by the various writers that 
have followed. The old authorities, however, and especially 
Mendieta, from whom the legend is taken, were in the habit of 
calling the maguey a thistle ; * and, indeed, the tremendous 
prickles of the Mexican plant may lay good claim to the l Nemo 
me impune lacessit * of the Scottish emblem." 

Thomas, also, speaking of "pellets of milk? which were 
burnt before a certain idol in Yucatan, says : 2446 " By the term 
milk, as here used, is meant the milky juice of some plant." 

The same confusion between sap and milk exists in other 
American languages ; as, for instance, in the Chippeway (or Ojib- 
beway), in which milk is called 1761 " the sap of the breast," 1762 
and wine is called 928 "grape-milk." 

The Chinese also occasionally use the word milk in a figura 
tive sense, as in the compounds " milk-gold," 2535 for liquid gold 
used in painting ; " bamboo-milk," for tabasheer ; and " milky 

* " Maguey is the thistle from which they extract honey," Mendieta, " Hist. 
Ecles.," p. 110. " Metl is a tree or thistle which, in the language of the islands, 
is called maguey," Motolinia, " Hist, de los Ind.," in Icazbalceta, " Col. de Doc.," 
tome i, p. 243. 



THE FU-SAXG TREE AND THE RED PEARS. 399 

perfume," for olibaimm or incense : but they probably do not 
use it any more freely in this figurative sense than it is so em 
ployed in English. 

The foregoing explanations appear to remove all material 
difficulties in Hwui Shan s account, as far as it is quoted in this 
chapter, and the statements which are copied from other authors 
prove that if he had gone to Mexico he would there have found 
a country deriving its name from a remarkable plant, whose 
first shoots were like those of the bamboo, and which were 
edible ; that thread, clothing, and two varieties of cloth were 
prepared from its fiber, and that paper was also made from it ; 
and, finally, that a species of red pear was found in the land, 
which it was the custom to preserve in such a manner that it 
served as an article of food throughout the year. There is no 
other country in the world as to which all of these statements are 
true, and there therefore seems no escape from the conviction 
that Hwui Shan either visited Mexico himself, or else derived 
his information from some one who had been in that country. 

This chapter will be concluded with an account of the charac 
ters used by the Chinese in writing descriptions of Fu-sang, or 
of the fu-sang tree, and with a reference to Chinese traditions 
regarding the existence of a "tree" having the most striking 
peculiarities of the century-plant ; traditions which may be 
founded upon the verbal statements of Hwui Shan, which would 
naturally be fuller and more complete than those embodied in 
the official record. 

The name FU-SANG is usually written in Chinese with the two 
characters J ||, of which the first means "to assist, to sup 
port, to defend " ; and the second indicates the mulberry. It is 
probable that the characters are used only as phonetics, but there 
is a possibility that their signification was borne in mind and 
that the name was intended to mean "the useful mulberry," or 
" the defensive mulberry " ; the term " mulberry " being applied 
to the plant on account of the similarity between the uses made 
of its fiber and those to which that of the paper-mulberry was 
applied. As to the appropriateness of the term "useful," as 
applied to the agave, there can be no question ; and if the first 
character is considered to mean "defensive," or "defending," 
rather than " useful," this would also be appropriate, as it was, 
and still is, a custom in Mexico to use the agaves as a defensive 



00 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

hedge ; 5U their strong and numerous spines rendering it impos 
sible for animals, or men, to force their way through it. 

In some cases the character ^j-Jj, which is also pronounced FU, 
is used instead of the first of the two given on the last page. 2527 

In one instance the character $j|, su, is used instead of |j|, SANG. 
This is in the phrase, j[ ^ J jj|, SHAN YIU FU-SU, which Pro 
fessor Williams translates, "the hills produce mulberries." The 
first two characters mean, " the hills produce " (or " the island 
produces "), and the term " mulberries " must therefore be his 
translation of the last two characters. He adds the statement 
that this ancient name FU-SU is probably the same as FU-SANG. 
The last character, su, is composed of a " plant," and " to revive/* 
and means, " to resuscitate, to revive as when wilted, or from 
apparent death, to breathe again, to rise from the dead." The 
compound FU-SU might therefore be translated, "the useful res 
urrection-plant," or " the useful plant that rises again when ap 
parently dead." 

This definition might well be applied to the century-plant, 
for it reproduces itself spontaneously. 2221 It perishes after efflo 
rescence, 2372 but an infinity of shoots then spring from the decay 
ing roots, and no plant multiplies with greater facility. 549 

The character gj, su, the phonetic of the word j$j, su, men 
tioned above, is, on account of its meaning, used for writing 
the last syllable of the name JESUS (jE-su). 1043 

The character Jjj|, SANG, is sometimes decomposed into its two 
parts, and written ^ /fc, JOH MUH, " the JOH tree," which Pro 
fessor Williams describes 2534 as a " divine, self-existing tree, 
which grows in Fu-sang," and it can be nothing else than another 
term for the fu-sang tree. 

We find in the Chinese dictionaries 2651 the character /fi[g, NIH 
(composed of a tree and a large wine-far], which is described as " a 
fabulous tree, said to be a thousand feet high ; it flowers once in 
a millennium, and perfects its fruit in nine more." . This charac 
ter, and the description, seem to have grown from some exag 
geration of the peculiarities of the agave, which is a tree, or 
plant which fills a large wine- jar with its sap ; which towers 
above all 33 surrounding plants, and which, although it does not 
require either a millennium to develop its blossoms (as the Chi 
nese legend has it), or a century 2373 (as our own popular tradi 
tions have it hence the common name of "century-plant"), 



THE FU-SANG TREE AND THE RED PEARS. 401 

still does not blossom for quite a number of years the exact time 
of flowering varying with localities and climate. 2373 

Hepburn 1491 gives a word or phrase, which in Japanese is 
pronounced Udonge, and in Chinese YIU-T AN-HWA, the charac 
ters meaning, " a great cloud of blossoms," which he defines as 
the name of a fabulous flower, said to bloom but once in a thou 
sand years. Here again a tradition seems to have been pre 
served of some description that Hwui Shan gave of the century- 
plant, for its flowering-stalk rises to the height of forty feet or 
upward, and throws out branches on every side, like those of a 
candelabrum, so as to form a kind of pyramid, each branch sup 
porting a cluster of flowers, greenish-red 2313 (in some species) or 
yellow 633 (in others). It is therefore evident that no plant better 
deserves the appellation of " a great cloud of blossoms." 

The Chinese call the prickly-pear 1488 JiJ] ^ ^, SIEN-JAN-CHANG, 
"the palm of the fairy people s hand." 2520 The first character, 
which is translated " fairy," is composed of a man and a mountain, 
or island, and hence may have originally meant the inhabitant of 
some mountain, island, or region beyond the sea. Many of the 
Chinese legends called fairy stories relate to such a region, and 
it is just possible that they knew that the prickly-pear was a na 
tive of such a trans-oceanic land. 

In EitePs Chinese Dictionary 1279 1 very unexpectedly came 
upon the following definition : " ^p, Fu, in the phrase, ^j| |j|, 
FU-SANG : a divine tree found in the East (Japan) ; a tree 
(Agave Chinensis) found in Corea." 

It is evident that the location of the FU-SANG tree in Japan, 
in the first part of the definition, is founded upon the opinion, 
enunciated by Klaproth, that the country of FU-SANG must have 
been situated in Japan. But how does Eitel come to describe 
the term as being applicable to a species of agave ? The agaves 
are all natives of America, and it does not seem possible that, if 
they had ever been introduced into Corea, they could have sur 
vived for any length of time in so cold a country. Professor 
Gray informs me that botanists do not know of any plant or tree 
called the Agave Chinensis, or Agave Sinensis, and that he has 
every reason to believe that no species of agave exist in that coun 
try. Mr. Yu Kill Clum, a gentleman connected with the Corean 
embassy, who remained in this country after the other members 
had returned home, was shown a picture of the agave, when he 
26 



402 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

said that no such plant was to be found in Corea, and also took 
occasion to say that the statements of those who attempted to 
locate FU-SANG in Corea or Japan were false. 

I am, therefore, uncertain as to the authority which Mr. Eitel 
had for saying that the term FU-SA^G was applied to a species of 
agave growing in Corea ; but it is certainly strange that of all 
the plants in the world he should have named the one described 
by Hwui Shan. 



CHAPTER XXII. 

THE LANGUAGE OP FIT-SANG. 

Peculiarities of the Chinese language Difficulty of indicating pronunciation of for 
eign words Examples Change in sound of Chinese characters The pisang 
or banana tree Names of countries terminated with KWOH The character 
SANG The character FU The most distant countries at the four points of 
the compass distinguished by names beginning with FU Mexican dialects 
FU-SANG-KWOH and Me-shi-co The title of the king Montezuma s title Ti 
tle of the noblemen of the first rank The Mexican Tecuhtli, or Teule The 
Petty TUI-LU The NAH-TO-SHA, or Tlatoque The title lower than that of 
Tecuhtli Its meaning Transcription of foreign words by characters indi 
cating both the meaning and the sound TO-P U-TA OCS, or tomatoes The 
grape-vine The tree of stone A Mexican pun Danger of being misled 
by accidental or fancied resemblance. 

Ix the preceding chapters the fu-sang tree has been identified 
with the agave, and the country of Fu-sang with Mexico, and the 
question will naturally arise, why the term " Fu-sang " should 
have been used as the transcription or translation of the word 
"Mexico." 

Before attempting to answer this question, it will be neces 
sary to examine some of the peculiarities of the Chinese lan 
guage, and of the transliterations which it adopts for other for 
eign proper names. 

On this point the testimony is unanimous, that 783 it is as im 
possible for the Chinese to render the correct pronunciation of 
words of other languages by their hieroglyphs as it is to indi 
cate the exact pronunciation of Chinese characters by European 
spelling. One will find, in the different manuals for learning 
the Chinese language, the most detailed directions for pronounc 
ing Chinese characters. In Romanizing Chinese sounds, not only 
all European letters and ciphers are laid under contribution, but, 
besides this, the letters are marked with strokes, crotchets, ac- 



4:04: 



AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 



cents, etc. This is a vain trouble. No Chinese will understand 
the words pronounced by Europeans according to these rules. 

According to Crawf urd, 1146 the articulation or pronunciation 
of the Chinese is so imperfect, and so utterly unlike that of all 
the rest of mankind, that it is only by mere accident that they 
ever pronounce a foreign word rightly. Professor Williams says, 
in reference to this subject : 2495 "If it is difficult for us to ex 
press their [the Chinese] sounds by Roman letters, it is still 
stranger for the Chinese to write English words. For instance, 
baptize, in the Canton dialect, becomes pa-p i-tai-sz? ; ( flannel 
becomes fat-lan-yin ; stairs becomes sz -ta-sz / impregnable 
becomes im-pi-luk-na-pu-U, etc." So, also, in the transcription of 
Sanskrit words, " Aurva " becomes Tu-liu ; 555 " Kakshivat," Kia- 
/<; ; 556 "Udaye," Tau-to-i; 551 and " Visv&mitra," Pi-she-po. 

Max Miiller remarks that 1961 " the Chinese alphabet was never 
intended to represent the sound of words. With such a system 
of writing it was possible to represent Chinese, but impossible 
to convey either the sound or the meaning of any other lan 
guage. Every Sanskrit word, as transcribed by the Chinese Bud 
dhists, is a riddle which no ingenuity is able to solve. Who could 
have guessed that Fo-to, or, more frequently, Fo, was meant 
for Buddha ? Jfo-lo-keou-lo for Rahula/ the son of Buddha ? 
Po-lo-ndl for ( Benares ? Tcha-li for ( Kshattriya ? Siu-to-lo 
for < Sudra ? Fan, or Fan-lan-mo, for Brahma ? " 

As instances of the difficulty of identifying foreign words 
which the Chinese have attempted to reproduce in their charac 
ters, the following are given, as specimens of a much longer list 
which was prepared, but which it would be wearisome to insert 
at length : 



Foreign Word. 


Chinese Transcription. 


Foreign Word. 


Chinese Transcription. 


Russia 


Ngo-lo-sz. 2517 
Tak-kat. 1146 
( Ha-la-ho-lin, usu- 
1 ally abbreviated to 
( Ho-lin. 78T 

Pu-su-man. 785 
Tan-too-loo. 1003 
Sz-me-li. 2334 


France 


Fah-lan-si. 2517 
Bang-ka-sat. 1146 
Pa-le-kwan. 1018 
P u-hua. 1 " 3 
Ki-sze-da-ni. 777 
Ha-she-ko-urh. 1021 
A-ko-lap. 1003 
Kak-tsze. 1003 
Che-la-t o-po-mo. 1622 
Chi-li-ti-p o. 1621 
Ngo-tche-li-ye. 1694 


Ta<ml 


Macassar 




Barkoul 


Bokhara 


Mussulman (writ 
ten by Plano- 
carpin " Bes- 
sermin ") 
Dentro 


Constantinople . . 
Kashffar . 


Azora 


Casa 


Craddhavarma . . 


Siberia 


Atcharya 





THE LANGUAGE OF FU-SANG. 405 

The last three words are from the Sanskrit, and some imper 
fections in the transliteration might be expected, from the fact 
that the Sanskrit books from which the names were taken were 
translated fourteen centuries ago, and that the powers of the 
Chinese characters used to represent the syllables of these words 
have changed in the mean time. 1272 

The other words in the table are, however, of comparatively 
recent adoption, and show how imperfectly, even when they are 
first chosen, the Chinese characters represent the sounds which 
they are intended to transcribe. When to this original imperfec 
tion is added that produced by the fact that, since the days of 
Hwui Shan, the sounds attached to the characters have been in a 
state of slow but constant flux, 1269 it may be admitted that the 
present sounds, FU-SANG, of the characters JJ* J| may be very far 
from representing the pronunciation of the foreign word which 
they were so long ago chosen to express. 

As a further illustration of the changes produced in the 
sound of the Chinese characters in the course of centuries, it may 
be noticed that Sanskrit syllables, pronounced in all of the follow 
ing ways, i. e., 9ya, ye, 9% yi, chya, yva, dja, djha, dha, dya, 
dhya, and tcha, 1618 were, some fourteen or fifteen centuries ago, 
transcribed by Chinese characters all of which are now pronounced 
CHE (the ch like the English sh}. 

The foregoing statements illustrate the extreme difficulty of 
attempting to decide with certainty as to the sounds which the 
characters now pronounced FU-SANG were originally intended to 
represent. 

My own opinion is that, long before the Christian era, the 
Chinese had obtained some imperfect knowledge of the Philippine 
Islands, or some of the neighbouring islands, upon which the plan 
tain, or banana (called in Malay 2459 the pisang*), grew, and that 
there were then numerous popular stories and traditions regard 
ing this " Land of the Pisang" and of the wonderful pisang-tree 
to be found upon it, far away to the east or southeast, and that 
the characters Ife H, FU-SANG, the " useful mulberry," or f$j JJ, 
FU-SANG, the "supernatural mulbery," or ^J ||, FU-SANG, the 
" distant mulberry-tree," were adopted as both describing the 
tree and transcribing its name. My reasons for this opinion will 
be given in a following chapter. For the present, I will merely 
say that if, when Hwui Shan reached China, from a distant 



406 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

eastern country, which derived its name from a wonderful plant 
or tree growing in it, the fact was that the Chinese already had 
a number of vague traditions regarding a land situated in the 
east and taking its name from a remarkable tree, they would 
be very likely to consider the two countries as identical ; and if 
the characters which they had adopted for expressing the name 
of this land, already vaguely known, could, by any possibility, 
be considered as representing the sound of the name of the 
country mentioned byHwui Shan, the likelihood that they would 
consider the two regions as one and the same, and therefore 
use for the name of the newly discovered land the characters 
already applied to the other eastern country, would be much in 
creased. 

Absurd as it may appear at first sight, I think it very prob 
able that the Chinese, having the characters FU-SANG, already 
well known as the name of an eastern country, took these charac 
ters, with the addition of |9, KWOH, 2326 meaning country, and 
used them to transcribe the name " Mexico " of the country that 
had been visited by Hwui Shan. 

It should first be mentioned that in Chinese the names of coun 
tries are usually followed by this word KWOH, or, as it is some 
times written, KWO, "kingdom." 2408 MEI KWOH, ^| g (the 
Fertile or Beautiful Country), is used as the name of the United 
States of America, 2326 and is unquestionably an attempt to trans 
literate the word "America," the character KWOH representing 
the final syllable "ca" of America. As the Chinese have no 
characters which have the sound either of "a" or "ri," both 
these syllables have been omitted. 

Great Britain 2335 is called ^ " gl, TA-YING-KWOH (the Great 
YING Land, or the Great Excellent Country). Here the fc TA, 
" Great," is taken from the first word of the name Great Britain. 
YING-KWOH represents " England," the syllable TING being in 
tended for the "Eng " of England, and the last syllable, " land," 
being translated by KWOH. 

The character [U, KWOH, country, being so near, both in sound 
and meaning, to the terminal syllable " co " (meaning at, in, place, 
or region) of "Mexico," it is of all the characters in the Chinese 
language the one which would most likely be chosen to transcribe 
that syllable. 

Tkere is, therefore, no difficulty, so far as the final syllable is 



THE LANGUAGE OF FU-SANG. 4QT 

concerned, in believing that FU-SANG-KWOH may have been used 
by the Chinese as the transcription of ME-XI-CO. 

Now, as to the middle syllable : this, as we have already seen, 
was pronounced by the Mexicans " shi." Can the character ||, 
now pronounced SANG, have ever been used to represent this 
sound ? In some dialects of the Chinese, the character has prob 
ably been pronounced substantially as it now is, for two thousand 
years or more ; but in other dialects the sound has, as probably, 
been quite different. This character is now usually pronounced 
so by the Japanese ; but Professor Williams (see Chapter XIV 
of this book) says that the Japanese pronunciation of FU-SANG- 
KWOH is FU-SHI-KOKU. Here the middle syllable is pronounced 
exactly as the Mexicans enunciated the corresponding syllable 
of the name of their country. His authority for this pronun 
ciation is not stated, but there are other evidences that the 
character was sometimes given nearly this sound. 

It may be noted that the use of a character having a terminal 
nasal is not always a proof that the transcribed syllable has such 
a nasal. M. Julien says l619 that KIANG-LANG was written for the 
Sanskrit Mia, and T OUNG-LOUNG-MO for the Sanskrit drouma. 
In this last word, the letters NG must be dropped, leaving T OU- 
LOU-MO, which was as near as the Chinese seemed able to come 
to drouma. So, too, we find 2327 MAN-LAH-KIA written for Ma 
lacca, and MENG-KIA-SAH for Macassar. 

It has already been stated * that, when referring to the fu- 
sang tree, the character H is sometimes decomposed into its two 
parts and 2534 written * x ?fc, " the JOH tree." The first part is 
the "phonetic" of the character |J|, and is supposed to give to 
it" its sound. It is seen, however, that, when written separately, 
the character is pronounced JOH (j given the French pronuncia 
tion, like zn), and not SANG. Attention was also called, in the 
same connection, to the fact that a character pronounced su is 
sometimes substituted for SANG. 

The Sanskrit word sramana, applied to a Buddhist priest, is 
not only written in Chinese with characters pronounced SHA-MAN, 
but also H P J, SANG-MAN, 2559 and || P*j, sni-MAN. 2169 Here the 
character g|, SANG, is used as the equivalent of other characters 
pronounced SHA and SHI. 

* See page 400. 



408 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

In view of the illustrations already given of the imperfection 
with which Chinese characters frequently represent the sounds 
which they are intended to transcribe, is it beyond the bounds 
of possibility that the character usually pronounced SANG, but 
fluctuating in sound at different times or in different dialects 
toward so, su, SHI, SHA or ZHOH, may have been considered by 
the Chinese as a sufficiently good representative of the xi (or 
SHI) of Me-xi-co ? 

As to the first syllable, M. de Paravey claims that, as a coun 
try in the extreme north was known as FU-YU (j fj;), 2317 one in 
the extreme south as FU-NAN (j^ ]fj), 2319 and one in the extreme 
west as FU-LIN (fjjj} |^), 2320 the Chinese adopted this fourth ru, 
in FU-SANG, as being properly expressive of a country at the ex 
treme east. 

In the Chinese SAN-FUH-TSi, 2331 a term applied to a kingdom 
in the island of Sumatra, and which is probably intended to rep 
resent the same name for which we have adopted the word 
" Sumatra," the Chinese character run seems to be equivalent to 
our syllable " ma." M. Julien finds the character ^, ru, written 
for the Sanskrit IM in Subhuti, and for 16 in Bodhisattva. 1628 
He also finds other characters, now pronounced ru, written ioipa 
in Vachpa, 1629 and for ve in Vetala, 1627 as well as for pu and pti. 

It is therefore evident that, of the characters now pronounced 
FU-SANG-KWOH, the first may have been intended to represent any 
of the sounds FU, FU, PU, PU, BO, BHU, PA, or VE ; the second to 
represent SANG, so, su, SHI, SHA, or ZHOH ; and the third to rep 
resent KWOH, KWO, or co. 

Now, let it be borne in mind that there have undoubtedly 
been some changes in the sound of Mexican words during the 
last fourteen centuries ; that different dialects varied in their 
pronunciation ; and that one language is mentioned by Busch- 
mann as closely connected with the Mexican, which substituted 
v for the Mexican M, and which would therefore pronounce 
" Me-shi-co " as " Ye-shi-co." 

With this allowance, is it impossible that the characters now 
pronounced FU-SANG-KWOH, and which at one time, or in some 
particular dialect, may have been pronounced PA-SHA-CO or VE- 
SHI-CO, may have been taken as the representatives of the Aztec 
word " Me-shi-co," or of a possible variant " Ve-shi-co " ? 

All this is not given as absolutely proving that the term Fu- 



THE LANGUAGE OF FU-SANG. 409 

SANG-KWOH was used for " Mexico," but merely as indicating that 
the connection is not as distant as it appears at first sight, and 
that any argument drawn from the apparent dissimilarity of the 
words can have but little weight. 

My own opinion is, as already stated, that when Hwui Shan 
related his adventures to the Chinese, and told that this distant 
eastern land derived its name of " Me-shi-co " from a remarkable 
" tree " growing there, they immediately inferred that the coun 
try was the same of which they had before heard as FU-SANG- 
K\VOH ; believing that the possible sounds of these characters 
were near enough to those of the name of the country visited by 
him to make it probable (when other circumstances were taken 
into consideration) that the country was the same. 

Having thus referred to the subject of language, let us now 
consider that portion of Hwui Shan s story in which he gives a 
number of the words of the language used in the country which 
he visited. 

IV. THE TITLE OF THE KING OF THE COUNTRY IS " THE 

CHIEF OF THE MULTITUDES." THE NOBLEMEN OF THE FIRST 
RANK ARE CALLED " TUI-LU " ; THOSE OF THE SECOND RANK, " PET 
TY TUI-LU " J AND THOSE OF THE THIRD RANK, " NAH TO-SHA." 

The first clause is translated by others, " The king is called 
noble Y-chi? < Y-Jchi? < Yit-khi, I-chi? < I-ki? < Y-U? or 
* Yueh-ki "/ and if it were not for the translation by de Rosny 
of the Japanese form of the story, in which he says, "They 
give to their king the name of Kiki-zin, that is to say, * the most 
honourable man? " I should have felt more hesitation about ren 
dering the title as " Chief of the Multitudes." It appears to me 
that the two characters should have been reversed, so as to read, 
" K I-YIH," instead of " YIH-K I," if this were the meaning ; but a 
number of educated Chinamen, whom I have consulted on the 
subject, all concur in the statements that the characters as they 
stand mean " the chief of the multitudes," and can have no other 
meaning, and that, while they are not quite sure whether the 
characters should be translated or transliterated, they are of the 
opinion that it was not the intention to use them merely as 
phonetics, and they therefore think that they should be trans 
lated as above. Moreover, the meanings of the characters, 
taken separately, are so exactly those of the words of which the 
title of the Mexican ruler was composed, that I can not doubt 



410 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

that the characters were intended by Hwui Shan as its transla 
tion. The first character, YIH, ,, means, " one, bent, the first " 
(Williams s Dictionary, p. 1096), and the second, K I, jjj|J, "full, 
abundant, very, large, numerous, multitudes, a crowd of people " 
(Williams s Dictionary, p. 345). Medhurst 187 also gives the mean 
ing " great." This character is composed of a city, or region, 
and to worship, and was probably first adopted as a representa 
tion of the assembly of the people, when they gathered, once a 
year, to witness the public worship of the Supreme God by the 
emperor. Hence its first meaning would be, "the people, the 
multitude," from which the meanings " numerous," " abundant," 
" full," " large," and " great " would subsequently be evolved. 
In Hwui Shan s time the word may have been in the first stage, 
and have meant distinctively " the people." 

The title of the Mexican emperor is seldom mentioned by 
historians, and is in fact so rarely referred to, that some authori 
ties even state that the Mexican language has no word for em 
peror. 506 Nevertheless there are occasional references to Monte- 
zurna s title, which is given as " Chief of Men," 607 " Tlaca-tecuh- 
tli." 524 This title is composed of " tlaca-tl," a man, or, in the 
plural, men or people, and " tecuhtli," the title which will be next 
considered, and which is equivalent to " lord " or " chief." The 
compound therefore means " Lord of Men " or " Chief of the 
People." 

Sebastian Ramerez de Fuenleal, Bishop of San Domingo, in 
a letter to the Spanish empress, 2138 dated Mexico, November 3, 
1532, said : " Montezuma bore the title of Tecatecle Tetuan Intla- 
catl 9 and this is the title which they also give to your majesties ; 
its meaning being Wise and Powerful Lord. 5 " The good bishop 
evidently knew but little of the Mexican language. The first 
word is a compound of " teca," meaning nation, tribe, or people,* 
and " tecle," which is one of the numerous variations 1878 of the 
title given in the last paragraph as " Tecuhtli," meaning lord 1198 
or chief. No such word as tetuan is found in the Aztec diction 
aries, but teuan is defined as " our," and this is probably the 
word meant. " Intlacatl " is a compound of " in," nearly equiv 
alent to the English " the," and " tlacatl," " man or people." Here 
the meaning is substantially the same as that of the title given 

* The names of most of the Mexican tribes end in " tcca," or its abbreviation, 
" tec," as, for instance, the " Az-tecas " or Aztecs, the " Tol-tecas " or Toltecs. 



THE LANGUAGE OF FU-SANG. 411 

in the last paragraph, " chief " and " people " being found in both, 
the whole meaning literally, " the Nation s Lord of our People." 

Let us now examine the statement of Hwui Shan, that the 
noblemen of the first rank are called TUI-LU, Jj|. The first 
character is not used in transcribing Sanskrit words, but it does 
not seem to have been subject to much, if any, fluctuation in 
sound. The second character is used to represent the Sanskrit 
syllables Id, r6, ru, lu, rti, and Iri, I631 and when written with a 
small square (or "mouth") at the left which does not affect its 
sound for Iri, r<?, 1630 ru, and rtf. 1638 

Was there any such title as this in existence among the Mexi 
cans ? Bancroft says : 166 " There were several military orders 
and titles, which were bestowed upon distinguished soldiers for 
services in the field or the council. There was one, the member 
ship of which was confined to the nobility ; this was the cele 
brated and knightly order of the Tecuhtli. To obtain this rank 
it was necessary to be of noble birth, to have given proof in sev 
eral battles of the utmost courage, to have arrived at a certain 
age, and to have sufficient wealth to support the enormous ex 
penses incurred by members of the order." 

In another place 168 he states that the rank of Tecuhtli was the 
highest honour that a prince or soldier could acquire. 

Molina 1919 and Biondelli 613 spell the word " Tecutli" the 
first defining it " a cavalier or chief," and the second, " a warrior, 
a prince, a chief. " Morgan gives the form " Teuchtli. " 194 Ol- 
mos, 1982 Buschmann, 89 and Clavigero 1072 use the form " Teuctli." 
Bancroft also uses it in the compound Mictlan-teuctli, Lord of 
Hades. 803 Olmos 1991 explains this change of spelling or pronun 
ciation by saying that sometimes, when u follows after c, the it 
is made liquid, and, although it is not lost in the written word, it 
seems to be lost in the pronunciation, or at least is but slightly 
sounded, and the c remains in the pronunciation with the pre 
ceding vowel. As to the rank of these noblemen, Clavigero says 
that the Teuctli took precedency of all others in the senate as 
well in sitting as in voting ; 1073 and Buschmann says 905 that 
Tecutli, or Teuctli, is the Mexican word for what we are accus 
tomed to call a cazique, prince, chief, chieftain, a lord in general, 
or a high noble. In the name of OmetochtU, one of the numerous 
Nahua gods of wine, 204 the part " tochtli," which by itself means 
rabbit, is evidently a variant of this title. 



412 AN" INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

The name of the general in command of the army first met 
by Cortez is given as Teutile, 2341 Teuhtlile, 453 or Teudile. 2118 
Here again we have the same title, which, as in other cases, took 
the place of the name. 506 If proof is needed, it is found in the 
fact that the name of his companion or lieutenant is given as 
Pilpatoe, 2341 which is evidently a title also : from Pitti, noble/ 17 
and Patio, precious. In a letter written by Nicholas DeWitt, in 
1554, " Pipiltic " is named as one of the titles given to noble 
men. 2439 The form " Tecle " has already been mentioned, and this 
is stated to be an older form than the preceding. 528 Zurita gives 
the form " Teutley," 504 and Arenas, Teuhtli. 65 Gallatin gives the 
name of the god, before referred to, as Hometewfa , 1408 and de 
Zumarraga 2601 and the auditor Salmeron 2223 and his colleagues 
use the form " Teule." It will be seen that these various forms 
differ as much between themselves as Hwui Shan s form TUI-LU 
differs from any of them ; and it seems beyond all reasonable 
doubt that he intended to transcribe the title given above. 

In the notes of M. the Marquis d Hervey de Saint-Denys, 
reproduced in Chapter XII of the present work, he states that one 
of the Chinese texts gives this title as " Great Tui-lu " instead of 
merely " Tui-lu." The use of a word meaning " great " or 
" noble," in connection with a title expressing elevated rank, is 
common in all countries. As to its use in Mexico, Solis mentions 
that, 2354 when approaching Montezuma, his subjects entered into 
his presence barefooted, and made three reverences without rais 
ing their eyes from the earth saying at the first, " lord ! " at the 
second, " my lord ! " and at the third, " great lord ! " 

The Chinese account continues that the noblemen of the 
second rank were called "Petty TUI-LU." 

I have not found any case in which a word meaning " petty " 
is attached to the title Teuctli. I find in Molina, however, 1921 the 
forms Tlatoca-tepito, a petty ruler or king, and Tlatoca-tontli, 
a petty king or lord. In these compounds Tlatoca is the title 
next referred to, tepito means " little, small," 192 and tontll in 
dicates diminution, 1984 littleness, depreciation, or humiliation. 1985 
It is therefore evident that the Mexicans were accustomed to 
divide at least one of their ranks of nobility into two classes, the 
less powerful being indicated by attaching to the title a word 
meaning " little " or " petty." 

Hwui Shan says that the nobles of the third rank are called 



THE LANGUAGE OF FU-SANG. 413 

NAH-TO-SHA. This is the Mexican title referred to in the last 
paragraph, which takes the forms Tlatocayo, 1922 Tlatoani, 906 or, in 
the plural, Tlatoque. 1923 

As to the use of NAH for the syllable " Tla " : it should be re 
membered that the Chinese language has no word in which one 
consonant is followed by another without the interposition of a 
vowel, and it is therefore absolutely powerless to express such a 
sound as " Tla." La would seem the most likely form to use for 
it ; but I and n are so regularly interchanged with each other, in 
the various Chinese dialects, that it is not strange that in this 
case, as in many others, na should be used for la. In Med- 
hurst s Dictionary, 1873 a large number of words will be found 
written with an initial I and pronounced with ??, or written with 
n and pronounced with I. In " Smith s Vocabulary of Proper 
Names" we are told, under the heading Lui, 2330 "For words 
commencing with this character, see NUI, the more correct 
word." 

In transcribing Sanskrit words, characters pronounced NA, 
NIB, and NO are used to represent the Sanskrit syllable da (with 
the cerebral d) and also the syllable da (with the dental c?). 1620 

Bancroft says, in relation to the title : 317 " The nobles of 
Mexico, and of the other Nahua nations, were divided into 
several classes, each having its own peculiar privileges and 
badges of rank. The distinctions that existed between the vari 
ous grades and their titles are not, however, clearly denned. 
The title of Tlatoani was the highest and most respected ; it 
signified an absolute and sovereign power, an hereditary and 
divine right to govern. The kings and the great feudatory lords, 
who were governors of provinces, and could prove their princely 
descent and the ancient independence of their families, belonged 
to this order." 

Although Bancroft seems to be uncertain as to the exact na 
ture of the distinction between various ranks, there is no ques 
tion that this title, Tlatoani, Tlatoca, or Tlatocayo, was a lower 
title than that of Teuctli. 

Buschmann says in regard to it : 06 " Tlatoani is the parti 
ciple, present, active, of itoa, or tlatoa, to speak.* It expresses, 

* Tlatoa is derived from itoa, " to speak," with the prefix tla, a species of 
pronoun, meaning " it " or " something." It therefore means, " to speak something 
of importance something to which attention should be paid," i. e., " to command." 



414: Atf INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

/ 

first, in reality, speaker ; second, however, and chiefly, great 
lord, nobleman, governor, prince, cazique. 3: 

The word is really equivalent to the English title " Command 
er." The fundamental radical of the word is the syllable to (from 
itoa, to speak), and this syllable is represented in Chinese by the 
character Pj|}, TO, also meaning to speak. There are a great num 
ber of other Chinese characters pronounced TO, but this particu 
lar one was chosen because of its coincidence in meaning as well 
as in sound with the syllable which it was to represent. 

This is in accordance with the usual custom of the Chinese, 
who, in transcribing foreign words, often seek for meanings, 
allusions, fortuitous coincidences, and plays of words. 1344 Thus, 
for the word "opium," they use characters pronounced YA- 
PIEN 2406 (which is as near as they can come to the sound of the 
word), and meaning " black flakes." For the name of the Ganges 
(or Gunga) they use the characters HANG-no, 2321 which, like the 
original word, mean " the ceaseless river." So they transcribe 
the word " Turk " 93T with the characters T IU-KIUE, meaning 
" insolent dogs." 

The last syllable of the words Tlatoca, Tlatocayo, or Tlatoque 
is represented by a character pronounced SHA, the sounds K and 
SH being in this case, as in many others, interchanged. 

Another phrase is used by Hwui Shan in which I think that 
I detect an attempt to transcribe a Mexican word. This is the 
statement that 

V. They have TO-P TJ-T AO-CS in THAT PLACE. 

The characters TO-P U-T AO I think to be intended for the 
Mexican word 1924 which we have adopted as the name of the 
tomato. 

The translators have had much difficulty with this phrase, 
rendering it : " They have the iris and peaches in abundance " ; 
" There are also many vines " ; " In addition there are many 
apples and reeds, mats being made from the last " ; " There are 
many grapes " ; and " Water-rushes and peaches are common." 

The exact meaning of the characters, TO-P TJ-T AO is "numer 
ous reed-peaches," or "many reeds and peaches." 

A compound, 1471 pronounced P U-T AO, is used as the name of 
the grape-vine by the Chinese, 2570 but it is written with different 

The suffix nij or cayo, turns the verb into a noun, precisely as our suffix " er " 
turns " command " into " commander." 



THE LANGUAGE OF FU-SANG. 415 

characters from those used in the text. Klaproth claims that the 
name was formerly written with the characters given in this 
place, but I have not been able to find any other authority for 
the statement. Beal seems to think that the P U-T AO may have 
been the sugar-cane. 567 

Reeds or rushes are found in great numbers along the water 
courses of Mexico, and Tulan, the capital of the Toltecs, took its 
name from the "tules," or reeds, in its neighbourhood. This 
Aztec word has passed into the English language, and the reeds 
growing in the marshy lands of California are now universally 
called "tules." The Mexicans wove the mats of which their 
beds were made from these reeds, or tules. 722 

The term " reed-peach " would have been particularly appli 
cable to the tomato, as the straggling vine upon which it grows is 
somewhat analogous to a reed, and different compounds of the 
word "peach," with a modifying adjective, are, in Chinese, used 
to designate various soft, round fruits that are destitute of a 
kernel or stone. Thus the " fairy peach " is a poetical name for 
a fig, 2672 the " divine peach " is a variety of orange, the " fragrant 
peach " is the lemon, and the " flossy blossoming peach " is the 
flower-bud of cotton. 

Bancroft refers 202 to the use made of the tomato by the Mexi 
cans, and, in fact, even at the present day there are few of the 
characteristic dishes of the country of which it does not form a 
part. 

If the compound is decided to mean " grapes " or " grape 
vines," it is equally true that they were found in the country. 
The fact that they were found in " Vinland," or New England, 
does not prove that they existed in Mexico, some four thousand 
miles distant. After finding, however, that grapes were indige 
nous 1606 to California, 2457 Texas, 1970 Arizona, 691 New Mexico, 2479 24SO 243S 
and Sonora, 534 and at Parras, in the state of Durango, Mexico, 548 1 
finally found several references to their existence throughout the 
land of Mexico, although it is evident that the fruit was not 
esteemed, and that little use was made of it. 

Prescott refers incidentally to the grape-vines in Mexico. 2073 
Acosta says : * In New Spain there are some vines which bear 
grapes, although no wine is made from them." 12 Diaz states that, 
1199 " in the middle of August, in the year 1519, we left Sempoalla. 
We came the first day to Xalapa and then to Socochina, a well- 



416 AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS. 

kept place of difficult accessibility, where there are a multitude 
of arbours of the grape-vines of this country." To this statement 
the translator adds the following note : 

"The grape-vine was certainly brought from Europe to 
the West Indies, yet it can not be doubted that the Spaniards 
had before found it growing wild in America." Oviedo, whose 
work, so far as it relates to the historical portion of natural his 
tory, is of great value, says, explicitly : " These wild vines bear 
good, black grapes. I say good, for, considering that they are a 
wild growth, they well deserve that appellation. They are found 
throughout the whole West Indies, and I believe that all the 
vines now remaining there have descended from this wild stock." 

Finally, Clavigero gives the following account regarding 
them : 1055 

" Grapes are not entirely lacking in this country. The places 
called Parras and Parral, in the diocese of New Biscay, were so 
named from the abundance of vines which were found there, of 
which many vineyards were made, which, to this day, yield good 
wine. In Mixteca there are two species of wild vine, native to 
that country : the one, in its shoots and in the figure of its leaves, 
resembles the common vine, and bears red grapes, which are large 
and covered by a hard skin, but which are of a sweet and agree 
able taste, which would surely be improved by cultivation ; the 
grapes of the other vine are hard, large, and of a sour flavour, 
but they make a very good preserve." 

The Chinese account may possibly refer to grapes, but I can 
not help thinking that " tomatoes " is the true rendering. 

In Chapter XY attention was called to the fact that the Chi 
nese have a legend of a tree of stone, called " the agate gem," "the 
green-jade-stone tree," or " the coral tree." This may possibly 
be founded upon Hwui Shan s account of the gems, which were 
most highly prized by the Mexicans, and which they called Chal- 
chiuitl, m * or Chalchihuitl. m These were green or bluish-green 
stones, resembling amethysts, 544 emeralds, 2358 or turquoises, 5 . 85 and 
probably very similar to the green -jade stone so highly prized in 
China. These were considered as valuable by the Mexicans as 
diamonds are by us, 2388 and when Montezuma wished to send to 
the ruler of Spain the most royal present which it was possible 
for him to give, he sent his general to Cortez with four of these 
stones, which were handed over with great solemnity as jewels 



THE LANGUAGE OF FU-SANG. 417 

of inestimable value, 2343 and with the statement that he could 
not consent to part with them except to give them to so power 
ful a monarch as the one to whom Cortez yielded obedience must 
be. Each stone was declared to be worth a load of gold 455 (i. e., 
the weight that a man could carry some sixty pounds), or, 
according to some authorities, two loads. 1932 Chalchihuitl was 
one of the titles bestowed upon Quetzalcoatl, and it was the name 
given to Cortez, 738 by the Mexicans, who knew of no title that 
they could give him which would more fully express their sense 
of his superiority. 

This word is evidently composed of xalli (pronounced shalli, 
and, after dropping the terminal li, scarcely distinguishable from 
chal), meaning sand or a sandy stone, 1927 and x