Friday, March 7, 2014

Your Daily Giant 4/8/2013

Today's Daily Giant comes from the Southern Literary Messenger, Volume 5, 1839, pg. 789. A common theme in the historical record is settlers encountering giant Native Americans in many parts of the country. The following account is about the famous Captain John Smith in the early 1600's. If everyone is taught about his travels in school, then why would his own testimony be stricken from the history books? You don't have to answer that, it is a rhetorical question. From the article, "Captain Smith's "General Historic", Vol. 1, p. 120 gives an account of a prodigious giant tribe of Indians, the Susquesahanocks, whom he met at the head of the Chesapeake Bay. This relation has been rejected as incredible.... Monumental evidences have, however, within the last age, come to light, which would seem to confirm the existence of such a race of giants. Human bones of extraordinary size, thigh bones three feet in length, and skeletons seven feet in length have been discovered on Flint Run in the county of Shenandoah, on Hawksbill creek, Tuscarora creek and on the South Branch of the Potomac." The finds continued in the general area for the next 100 years after these accounts as well, including the unearthing of 7 to 8 foot skeletons which were at one time on display at the Maryland Academy of Sciences, with skulls of "unusual size" and thigh bones, "as thick as a horse". The following account about the Smith encounter is from Ross Hamilton's, "A Tradition of Giants". ― "They measured the calf of the largest man‘s leg, and found it three quarters of a yard about, and all the rest of his limbs were in proportion; so that he seemed the stateliest and most goodly personage, they had ever beheld. His arrows were five quarters yard long, headed with the splinters of a white Chrystal-like stone…" Also from Smith, "Those are the most strange people of all those Countries, both in language and attire; for their language it may well beseeme their proportions, sounding from them, as it were a great voice in a vault, or cave, as an Echo." Finally the NASA website says the following about Smith's Map of 1612."Considering the crude navigational tools he had at his disposal, Captain John Smith’s map of Virginia was amazingly accurate. Credit: Virtual Jamestown Archive." The giant Susquesahanock on the map is the one Smith described above. So Smith could do everything else with exceptional accuracy other than reasonably evaluate the size of humans.

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