They are not uncommon in the mounds along the Illinois
In a large mound at the mouth of the Illinois river we
examined a number of plummet-like stones of limestone,
with a crease about the smaller end, that were square at
the base and pointed like a pyramid. They were made
of white limestone, had been polished and were about three
inches long. All our theories in regard to the use of
these plummets or pendants we have finally discarded as
Besides the plummet-shaped objects, there were many
other objects of stone with one or more perforations for
suspension or attachment to the person or dress. These
are often found, like the axes and other stone implements,
in the fields where the plow turns them to the surface.
There is a common type in a sort of tablet shape.
After much discussion it is not satisfactorily settled
among antiquarians whether these objects were tools to
use in the manufacture of something, or whether they
were simply ornaments. There is in the State Collection
several of these perforated objects made of a sort of
striped slate, and quite attractive as aboriginal objects,
of stone. These objects are not nearly so plentifully found
in Illinois as in Indiana and Ohio. Almost every collec-
tion in Indiana contains some of these objects of striped
slate. We have not found them in any of our ancient
One curious form of objects of this class found quite
often in Ohio and Indiana, but very rarely in Illinois, is
a sort of hollo\ved-out stone, somewhat like a miniature
These have near each end a perforation as though for
the purpose of attachment. We have seen but few of
these in Illinois and all were found along the Illinois
river. Those shown in the State Exhibit were found
along the Mississippi bluff in Madison county.
Another form of stone implements quite common to
Illinois, and of which some fine specimens were shown in
the State Exhibit at the World's Columbian Exhibition,
were mortars and pestles. The depression in many of these
mortars is shallow and not very large, and quite often
the stone, which is usually an oblong, glacial boulder
flattened on two sides, will contain a depression on
either side. We have never found in Illinois any mortars
worked out in the shape of a bowl, like those from Cali-
fornia, about Los Angeles and elsewhere.
Pestles are common, but in many instances so much
more elaborately made than the stone mortars that it
is possible that wooden mortars were used, or a natural
depression in ledge or ledge rock taken advantage of.
Along the bluffs of the Mississippi, in Madison county,
we have found some fine pestles all made of limestone,
and generally a foot or more in length and three or
four inches in diameter.
Some of these long pestles are made very round and
true with much care and labor. The common pestle, so
familiar as a relic in Ohio, with a short hand-hold and
a wide, flaring base, is very rare in the State of Illinois.
A large Mound in the American Bouuiii, Madison County. Hi.
Under the head of pestles or rubstones might possibly
be classed a form in the shape of a very short cone,
with a flat base. We have found numbers of these on the
Illinois river. They are usually made of hematite and are
symmetrically made and highly polished. They are gen-
erally called rubstones. We have seen numbers of them
made of other hard stones besides iron ore.
Quite a variety of relics of stone are met with that from
their remarkably smooth appearance would suggest their
being used as rubbing stones. Still others have been
made for purposes now not known.
Occasionally one finds a curious tube made of stone.
Some of these tubes are doubtless pipes. One of the
finest pipes we have seen in Illinois, with the figure of a
bird carved upon it, is simply a tube.
There are other tube-shaped objects not uncommon
that were used most probably in some part of observ-
ances either of a religious character or by the medicine
men. One of the prettiest objects, and which we placed
in the latter class, we obtained under the bluff in the
vicinity of the Great Cahokia Mound. It was a tube
some four inches long and flattened on one side. It was
found in one of the mounds near by. When we first saw
it we thought it to be of glass, and of course of modern
manufacture, but on closer examination we discovered it
to be made out of quartz crystal and the original faces
of the crystal could still be traced near one end. The
hole bored through this crystal was about three-quart-
ers of an inch in diameter. From a mound on the Illi-
nois river we took another tube-shaped object made of
gypsum, the hole through this, however, was tapering
and we always thought it to be some kind of pipe.
There is no class of objects of ancient production more
interesting than the aboriginal pipes.
It would seem that all the skill and ingenuity in stone
carving among the ancient ppople of Illinois are shown
in the manufacture of their pipes. We call them pipes
because we think they smoked them, but I have doubts
if any of these objects were ever used as we use a pipe
for the narcotic influence of tobacco. We have taken
many pipes from mounds and handled many scores of
others from mounds, but have yet to see a real mound
pipe that seemed to show any evidence of much use, in
the way of tooth marks or wear in the bowl such as one
of our modern types exhibits after any extended use
Those from the mounds generally have a new appearance,
even to the markings in the boring of the cavity for the
bowl. It is possible, it is true, that new pipes might
have been buried with the body of the departed, but in
the surface tinds we have failed to see an ancient pipe
with a burned and worn bowl. In the very fine collec-
tion of ancient pipes in the Illinois Exhibit not one
showed much sign of continued use in any way. We are
inclined to think the ancient pipe was simply an object
to perform religious ceremony by making smoke which
was connected with some worship, fire and smoke being
representative of their divinity. Pipes, we believe, more
than any other stone implements, are typical of the
people who used them.
In the State Exhibit were four good stone pipes
taken by us from a large mound on the Illinois river.
In the mound was a great number of skeletons, but we
would have been greatly surprised if we had found in
that mound a single curved base pipe like those of Ohio.
Yet in the same vicinity on the bank of the Illinois, we
explored another large mound and in the basin of burned
clay we found a pipe of the type we expected to see,
almost exactly like those found by Morehead in the
There are several types of mounds in Illinois, but there
are more types of pipes, because there are some types of
pipes that were made and used by people who did not
make mounds, and others by people who did not follow
the custom of placing such things in the grave.
The finest pipes in Illinois of ancient patterns are those
of the curved base. One of these taken from a mound
on the Illinois river represents a raccoon sitting on the
base of the pipe.
A hole in the animal's back represents the bowl, which
is connected with the small hole through the base to
form the stem. The figure of the animal is very spirited,
the holes for the eyes being filled with with a globule of
of white metal, probably native silver. The rings on the
raccoon's tail were well delineated. The pipe was smooth
and polished, made of a piece of red catlinite and between
three and four inches long. Another and larger pipe of
the same material and from the same vicinity was made
to represent an eagle standing in an attitude of pride
on the base which formed the stem. Another beautiful
pipe we took from a mound had the figure of a turtle
resting on the bowl, and in still another the bowl of the
pipe was made to represent a frog. Another fine pipe
from a mound on the bank of the Mississippi had carved
in bold relief on the top of the base the life-sized figure
of a lizard. A few we have seen had for a bowl a repre-
sentation of a human head.
Curved Base Pipe to be Used Without a Stem.
And it is worthy of remark that in all the delineations
of the human head we have seen from this class of an-
cient mounds, there is a head dress quite unlike any
costumes of our modern Indians. The mound builders'
head dress was arranged in folds of some fabric.
The bowls in all these beautiful and artistic pipes are
very small, and as before remarked, show no signs of
use. They were doubtless used, however, in some sort of
ceremony by the owner. Nor were the ancient pipes
made to use with a stem, this was formed by the base
of the object and the perforated end of the base wa&
placed between the lips.
The mounds from which these pipes were taken seem to
be related to those of Ohio with which the earthworks
and enclosures are connected. A colony of this ancient
people seems to have extended up the Illinois, possibly
some distance above Peoria, as we have seen one of their
mounds in the bottom some miles above that city. And
there were also colonies of these people on the Missis-
sissippi, but not near the northern end of the State; we
have seen no signs of them in either Iowa or Wisconsin.
The great city and center of population of that age was
in Madison and St. Glair counties in the "American Bot-
tom" on the Mississippi river. We shall speak of them
farther on in our description of their agricultural imple-
ments, for they seem to have been decidedly a people
with fixed abodes and devoted to agriculture.
The second class of pipes is of very great interest, more,
perhaps, on account of their elaborate carving, however,
is very different from the preceding. They are very large
and probably on this account have been called "Calumet
Pipes" by the Smithsonian savants. These large stone
pipes were smoked with a large stem if one was used,
and were made to represent b rds, mammals, amphibians
and sometimes the human figure.
Mound Pipe. ,
They were probably pipes of ceremony on great or im-
portant occasions. Some of the most beautiful pipes of
this class we have ever seen were in our exhibit at the
One was the figure of a bird, possibly an eagle or a
hawk, for it had a hooked bill. It was eight or nine
inches in height and boldly carved from a piece of black
stone, probably a variety of steatite.
One peculiarity of this splendid pipe was that the bowl
was a straight tube, the perforation contracting in the
middle, the lower part being used evidently for the in-
sertion of a stem. With this pipe was found another
somewhat longer, but without ornament, and of the
same material. The perforation in this also was con-
tracted to a small aperture in the middle of the tube.
These pipes were plowed up together in a field in south-
ern Illinois. We obtained a contracted tube pipe some-
what like the latter, but smaller, in Calhoun county, and
have seen a few others found in the vicinity of Peoria,
on the Illinois river.
Another fine and very large pipe shown in the State
Collection was also from the southern part of the State.
It also seemed an attempt to represent some bird. It
was more than a foot in length and made of some hard
light colored stone.
Since we have found none of these peculiar torms of
pipes in any of our mounds we are inclined to think
them comparatively modern, and used by the later grave-
making people and not connected with the mound build-
There is another class of pipes found in considerable
tiumbers in Illinois that are of exceedingly great interest.
They have been called ceremonial pipes and are some-
times of large size and show considerable skill in the
carving. Some splendid specimens of this type were
shown in the State Collection. One of the most interest-
ing of these is the representation of the human figure
in a crouching attitude not very unlike the sphinx in
Egypt. The face is not a bad one and it is interesting
to note the attempt to portray a head dress, evidently
of some fabric. The figure holds in its right hand a sort
of mace, or implement terminated by a round knob or
ball. Two funnel shaped holes, one extending down-
Sphynx Pipe from Mound.
wards from the back and the other inwards from the
posterior parts meet at their smaller ends. The upper
bole is supposed to be the bowl of the pipe. This is the
best specimen of this type of pipe we have seen in the
United States. It is beautifully carved from a block of
red catlinite, and stands somewhat over eight inches
It was found in a small grave mound, if mound it might
be called, for it was more of a rock covered grave than
a mound, on a branch of the Piasa creek in Macoupin
county. In the same grave was a most elaborate piece
of pottery, and a very large flint spear head. Another
most elaborately carved and beautiful pipe of this type
we found ourselves in a very small mound or rather a
simple burying place but a few inches below the sur-
rounding surface, on top of the bluff east of the Great
Oahokia Mound. The object is in the shape of a huge
frog, being some eight inches or more in height. The
position of the animal is one of rest. The legs and feet are
well delineated, the eyes projecting and full, and the
general appearance of the object quite spirited. As in
the preceding pipe, the right hand holds a sort of mace
or knobbed instrument evidently some sort of symbol
indicative of position or other meaning.
This remarkable pipe is also carved from a piece of red
catlinite and buried with it were some splendid pottery
vessels and ornaments of shell aud copper. Some of the
ornaments had first been made of wood and then covered
On the bank of the Mississippi in an ancient bury ing-
place covered with huge flat rocks, we found another
one of those sphinx pipes representing the crouching
form of a man holding with both hands on its knees
what seems to be the figure of a fish. From the wide
open mouth protrudes what seems to be another fish.
It is also of red catlinite and the carving very fine. It
is not quite so large as the frog pipe just described.
This singular pipe is the nearest approach to some sort
of idol or divinity we have observed among these so-
In Calhoun county, which is remarkable for tfce number
and variety of its relics, we have found quite a number
of these large frog pipes. But few of them are made of
catlinite. Some are of limestone and we have seen a few
of sandstone. We are inclined to think they belonged to
some of the more recent nations or tribes who have in-
habited the vicinity. We do not know of one of these
pipes having been found in. one of our typical mounds
or those related to Cahokia or the Ohio earthworks.
One thing peculiar in these pipes is the manner in which
the stem was fitted on them, if indeed they were smoked
with a stem. The aperture for the stem is a single
short funnel-shaped hole, usually the same size as the
bowl. How a stem could be made to stay in "its place
we cannot conceive.
There is another type of pipe more common than any
we have yet described. These are mostly made of stone
and sometimes show excellent workmanship. Occasion-
ally one is found of baked clay. They are all made to
be smoked with a small stem. There is a great variety
of shapes; many were simply a bowl like our cob pipes,
while others had a projecting base. Some are made of
baked clay. Some are of catlinite and many of lime-
stone. We have never seen a pipe made of any of the
granite Crocks or any very hard material. Nor did we
ever see a copper pipe nor any of metal, except a modern
one. Neither have we found in any of the mounds or
ancient graves any sign of a wooden pipe, nor a pipe of
bone. There are in the southern part of the State, among
the graves of the pottery-making tribes, many pipes of
pottery, mostly of rude character, that have the same
peculiar funnel-shaped cavities for both bowl and stem.
These are seldom, if ever, seen on the Illinois river. The
same question arises, how did the smokers make the
stem stay in the funnel-shaped aperture?
Many of the pipes just described are found in graves,
and mounds that contain them are abundant along the
Illinois river. In one large mound on the bluff several
miles above the mouth of the Illinois river, in Jersey
county, we found several of these pipes shown in the
State Exhibit. The mound was nearly a hundred feet in
length at the base, and nearly forty broad, and nearly
twelve feet high. The material of which the mound was
composed was the light buff colored, marly clay called
loess and not hard to dig, although where it is below
the reach of the rains, it is very dry and compact. It was
a burial mound and had evidently been made through a
succession of interments. We judged that perhaps a
hundred or more bodies had at different times been de-
posited there. The greater number of the remains were
about the sides of the structure, as though a body had
been laid down without any apparent form or special
position, and covered over with several feet of earth.
There were men, women and children, and many of them
had met violent deaths, some having been tomahawked
and others killed with arrows. Quite a number of them
had worn ornaments of sea shells, and fine strings of
these were about the remains of both men and women,
and even some children. There were a few stone imple-
ments and a number of pipes of the type we have just
described and of which there is a considerable number in
the State Collection. As this fine mound stood in a cul-
tivated field and the owner wished to level off the land,
we witnessed its almost entire demolition, having first
photographed it from different sides before its deface-
ment. There was a considerable number of relics which
we preserved carefully, including those of the crania,
which were sufficiently well preserved, and such as showed
wounds or other peculiarities. We derived much informa-
tion from this mound. There were no signs of copper or
any metal, not even ores; no mica or obsidian or objects
from a distance, except some small sea shells, to give any
indication of commercial relations with other and distant
tribes or nations. Not a single pipe or ornament was
made of catlinite, and they had a degenerate modern ap-
pearance, both in shape and workmanship. There was
nothing that might suggest a connection with the peo-
ple who made the Great Cahokia Mound or the earth-
works of Ohio. Still they had a large mound and per-
haps held some sort of ceremonies there in remem-
brance of some still ^unforgotten religion, either that
of their fathers or of some friendly nation from whom
they had learned to revere some sort of divinity. We
can even imagine the sadness, the tears and despair
as this remnant of the ancient people lit their pipes
in sacred reverence around this mound in their death
wail. That they had enemies that had slain their
wives and children around their firesides was plain
enough from the gruesome evidence of the cruel holes
the merciless weapons left in the skulls of the women and
children. And the remains of some of the men showed
plainly how they had fallen. One stalwart young man
had a flint arrow head entirely through the center of his
backbone and the weapon remained there still. The ver-
tebral cord had been cut asunder. Another skeleton of
a middle aged man had in the region of the vital organs
no less than six arrow heads.
We were much interested in these arrow points of the
enemy, for they were different in shape from those com-
monly found in the vicinity.
The pipes and other objects found in this mound tell
a good story. The once powerful mound-building races
of the valley had become, by pestilence or otherwise, but
a remnant, may be nearly or entirely extinct and those
later mound builders were merely remnants of their allies
or subjugated tribes that had learned to follow the cus-
toms and religion of a more advanced people. This weak
remnant of the mound builders had probably escaped
the dire calamity by plague or other scourge that had
swept from the face of the earth that wonderful people
who had built up the Cahokia, the grandest monument
the world has seen.
The burial mound on the Illinois river just described
we believe to be modern and among the later erections
of the mound building races. But while we thus qualify
the time of its erection, it is in fact old enough, for the
evidence of the trees in the forest which covered the
ground and the decayed stump which still stood on the
apex of the mound itself, bore evidence that it was not
new, and had been built long before the caravels of Co-
lumbus had sought the shores of the New World.
Many of the later aboriginal pipes, either of stone or
clay, approach in general character the pipes now com-
mon among civilized races, being furnished mostly with
necks to which to attach the stem. There are very many
modifications in the style of the more modern pipe, but
there is almost always discoverable the type form.
There is another form of pipe found in Illinois, mostly
along the Illinois river. This pipe seems to have been
made to be used by more than one person at the same
time. There is a large, round bowl with four, five or six
places to insert stems.
One very pretty pipe of this kind we obtained in Cal-
houn county and another one from Woodford county,
above Peoria. These were both of burned clay. But we
have a very nice one of sandstone from Randolph county.
One other form of pipe, which is rare, however, and
we are done with this most interesting class of relics.
This is a pipe in the form of a stone axe.
One very nice one of these we have seen in Dr. Zeller's
collection at Spring Bay, near Peoria. Four or five of
the Doctor's best relics were obtained for our State Ex-
hibit. Another very nice axe-shaped pipe we saw in the
collection of Mr. Harry Mann, at Chester, in Randolph
The other we have in our own collection. It was found
in Jersey county. The Chester specimen is made of
argillaceous stone, perhaps a slate. Oar own specimen
seems to be of a species of rather hard steatite. These
specimens do not look modern, but they may be. It
would be interesting to know whether, if they are
ancient, they had suggested the iron pipe tomahawks,
the handle of which was the stem to a pipe in the
poll of the weapon, or whether these stone axe pipes
had been suggested by the French iron tomahawk.
These stone axe-shaped pipes are small, being not more
than three inches long.
Sculptures or Idols.
Although many of the articles described by us may be
called sculptures in view of the manner of their produc-
tion, in this paper we will confine the sculptures to
those objects representing the human form that seemed
to be intended for other uses than those of a pipe.
It seems that the mound builders and aborigines had
but just begun to make images or representations of the
human form that might be called "idols." Very few
have been found in the Mississippi valley. A few of these
objects now in the Smithsonian collection, have been
found in Tennessee.
They are mostly a foot or more in height and have
a sitting posture very much like the stone idols from
India. As might be expected, these early images are
rather rude attempts at sculpture. One of the best speci-
mens of these ancient images we have seen in the United
States was found in a mound in southern Illinois and
was a prominent object in the State Collection at the
It is something over a foot in height and extremely
heavy, weighing nearty fifty pounds. It has been carved
from a massive piece of fluorspar. The face, though
rather rude, is not a bad one. There is apparently no
attempt, as in some of the pipes, to delineate any head-
covering or dress of any kind. There is an incised line
from the neck down the sides inclosing the back in a
sort of scroll. The whole figure is smooth and well
finished. The right hand rests on the upright knee.
We have seen idols or images, very similar to this and
carved from calcite or a similar stone, from India. Con-
sidering the scarcity of these objects among our relics
of the stone age, this is an extremely interesting speci-
men. We have seen a few others, somewhat similar, from