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- The American Goliah - 6/10 -
temerity enough to form one.
I take it that this specimen was carefully placed in its present locality. Had it been washed from a distance, it would have been fractured and mutilated, and it would not in all likelihood, have lodged in its present easy and natural position.
If this were once a living man, he must have died ages and ages ago. If buried, the accumulated deposits upon his grave, in this low piece of ground, during thousands of years would have been deeper than three feet. If he were drowned, or if he lay down on the surface of the earth to die, the flesh would have decayed and dropped from his bones without petrification. If he were petrified in his present locality, we ought to find other petrifications in its immediate neighborhood, whereas all the twigs and branches which covered and surrounded him are free from the slightest encrustation.
Human bodies do not petrify in layers; but the strata in the Cardiff giant, especially on the left side, are as manifest as they are in a ledge of rocks. The eye brows, the tip of the nose, the breast and the thigh are of the same stratum, and the layers in the right arm are clearly of different degrees of density.
The conclusion seems irresistible that the giant is a work of art rather than of nature. The sculpture must have been done some years ago, or the lower parts of the figure would not have crumbled and been washed away by the sluggish oozing of the water through the soil.
Its age cannot antedate the present race of men, for the shape of the head and the features are entirely modern. The old-time people, as portrayed in the sculpture of Assyria and Egypt, had no such heads as this. The artist evidently took a corpse for a model and proportioned his colossal figure by careful measurement. He was thus enabled to secure the general anatomical accuracy for which his giant is remarkable. He followed the model very closely, not attempting to represent a living being, not venturing even to supply the missing hair. And these omissions, the result of inexperience, furnish, singularly enough, the principal arguments to the petrifactionists. For the popular opinion that the body and head are hollow, that the nostrils and other orifices are open, and that the tendons in the decayed leg are visible, has not the slightest foundation. Why was this image made? Why hidden? and by whom? are questions which I must be excused from answering at present. HENRY
THE BELIEF OF THE ONONDAGA INDIANS--THE BODY OF AN INDIAN PROPHET.
To the Editor of the Syracuse Journal:-- In your columns devoted to "Letters from the People," I thought you would at this time publish the following, it being interesting as one of the current opinions of the Indians of "the Castle" regarding the wonderful "human petrified statue," which, in its colossal proportions and the sphynx-like silence of its history is so electrifying and exciting the people.
By one of the old squaws I am told that a large number of Onondagas believe that the statue is the petrified body of a gigantic Indian prophet, who flourished many centuries ago, and who foretold the coming of the pale-faces, though long before the foot of our forefathers had touched the western continent. He warned his people with prophetic fervor of the coming encroachments of the white man, and the necessity of their abstinence from a poison drink he would bring to craze and destroy them. He told them that he should die and be buried out of their sight, but that THEIR DESCENDANT WOULD SEE HIM--AGAIN. J.P. FOSTER, State Agent and Teacher for the Onondaga Indians.
THE STONE GIANT.
On Saturday the sale of the remaining one-half interest in the Great Giant Wonder was closed up. Another partner, Mr. Wm. Spencer --an old-time schoolmate of Mr. Newell--was taken in, so that the present owners are Wm. C. Newell, of Cardiff, Alfred Higgins, Dr. Amos Westcott and Amos Gillett, of this city, David H. Hannurn, of Homer, and Wm. Spencer, of Utica.
Saturday was a bad day, as to weather; nevertheless several hundred visited the Giant.
Sunday was a crusher. The people began to go early, and kept going all day long. From eleven to three o'clock it was a dense mass of people on the Newell farm. Around the house and barns acres were covered with teams and wagons, and the road, for a long distance in either direction, was lined with them. It seemed as if such another jam never went to a show before, and it was with great difficulty that the line could be kept so that all could have a fair sight. All the proprietors were on hand, and did all they could to accommodate the crowd. At three P.M. twenty-three hundred tickets had been sold, Mr. Higgins bringing in the $1,150 received therefor, for safety. Not less than three hundred tickets were sold after three o'clock, so the total number of visitors for the day would be 2,600.
The Tully story of fraud is exploded. The mysterious man said to have visited that village, etc., turns out to be no other than a cousin of Mr. Newell's, a resident of Binghamton, and a tobacconist. He was on the grounds all day yesterday, and frankly told all there was of his visit at the time alleged, to the satisfaction of every one.
LETTER FROM A PETRIFACTIONIST.
EDITOR STANDARD:--Permit me to notice a few of the arguments upon the Cardiff discovery, appearing in your paper of Saturday last, and the Journal of the same day.
It seems a committee of the editors and owners of the Journal, named respectively Tom, Dick and Harry, of widely various characteristics, visited the Giant last week, and treat the subject on their return by articles published in that highly original sheet, according to their respective peculiarities. Tom, who is evidently admired in his family circle as a man of great humor, has so cultivated that faculty that it presents an abnormal development, and if petrification ever does overtake him, posterity may hope it will not operate upon his intellectual faculties. Dick, on the other hand, is gloomily satirical, and by the aid of that useful faculty utterly annihilates his opponents without saying anything. But last, Harry takes up the theme and treats it in a spirit becoming the gravity of the subject.
He thinks that the artist formed the figure according to a pattern, having a cold "corpse" conveniently by as a model, from which he could take "careful measurement," and proceeded to make this figure, not attempting, he says, to make this corpse look like a "living figure," which certainly was modest in the artist. He also says that he did not attempt to "supply the missing hair." The question very naturally arises here, "Why was the hair missing, and how long had the corpse been a corpse to lose its hair? and was it a pleasant occupation to do business with such a corpse?" This omission (i.e. to put on hair), Harry says, arose from "inexperience."
Now, experience is certainly an excellent thing, and when properly acquired and wisely used is undoubtedly of considerable benefit to mankind. But that it was necessary, in order to enable an artist to know that hair grows on the human head, we had not before supposed. Into such absurdities, oh Harry, does he run who abandons his familiar scissors for the unaccustomed pen.
I will briefly refer to the letter of Rev. S.R. Calthrop in favor of the statue theory. While it shows the scholarship of its author, his thorough appreciation of artistic influences, and the wonderful imitation of nature produced by the one who formed this figure, it does not seem to me to go very far towards proving his position. Starting off with the idea that many reasons may be given against the theory of petrification, he commences with number one, and then he stops; it is true he gives one other reason, but neglects to number it; and the two reasons are--
First, that evidences of stratification appear on the body, thereby assuming that they would not appear in a petrified body; and, secondly, that the separate members of the body are not detached from each other as they were in life, assuming also that this does occur in cases of petrifaction.
Are these assumptions correct as matters of fact?
The evidence as to the existence of strata in this body is very conflicting. A number of professional persons who visited this figure on Saturday, and subjected it to close scrutiny with a powerful magnifying glass, and who all, by the way, hold the "statue theory," say there were no evidences of stratification in the body; that what appears to be such is simply the difference in shading, produced by the greater or less density of the material composing the figure. The appearances indicating stratification are also explainable by the action of the water, charged with carbonate of lime, upon the body. The line of contact between the body and the water would necessarily receive a deposit of lime, causing a straight line of lighter color to appeal oi the body. It is also a fact, which I have learned from quite a number who first visited the body when it was submerged in water, that the present water level leaves exposed the nose, eyebrow and breast at the points where some persons now think they see stratification. In fact, deposits of carbonate of lime of a whitish color, even now, adhere to the left ear and side of the face which show the presence of that substance in the water, and that it will adhere to and become a part of the subject with which it is brought in contact.
Now, how is stratification produced in the formation of stone and rocks. It is said by geologists to be formed only when the original material forming the rock or stone has been transported and deposited by the operation of a body of water holding the material in solution, and depositing it in alternate layers at its place of destination.
How is a petrified body formed? Science answers, that it is formed by the gradual infiltration of silicious earth, pyrites of iron, carbonate or sulphate of lime, into the pores of the body, taking the place of the decaying parts, and substituting a new and original substance to take the place and form of the body petrified. These substances are always conveyed to their place of destination, and then applied to accomplish their purpose by the operation of water. The petrified substance may have none of the material composing the original figure, and the nature of the body formed either
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