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In describing the Mound-builders no effort has been made to paint their costume, their modes of life or their system of government. They are presented to the reader almost exclusively under a single aspect, and under the influence of a single emotion. It matters not to us whether they dwelt under a monarchical or popular form of polity; whether king or council ruled their realms; nor, in fine, what was their exact outward condition. It is enough for us to know, and enough for our humanity to inquire, that they existed, toiled, felt and suffered; that to them fell, in these pleasant regions, their portion of the common heritage of our race, and that around those ancient hearth-stones, washed to light on the banks of the far western rivers, once gossiped and enjoyed life, a nation that has utterly faded away.
http://olivercowdery.com/texts/1839Mat1.htm -Cornelius Mathews, Behemoth: A Legend of the Mound-Builders