American history is a curious beast that spins in its grave with “changing values”.
Williams’ legacy has grown over time with changing values.
His defense of Native Americans, accusations that Puritans had reproduced the “evils” of the Anglican Church, and denial that the king had authority to grant charters for colonies put him at the center of nearly every political debate during his life.
These “changing values” encompass propaganda and political correctness.
The current vogue implies Williams “has continued to be praised” since American independence.
By the time of American independence, however, he was considered a defender of religious freedom and has continued to be praised by generations of historians who have often altered their interpretation of his period as a whole.
However, this implication is predominantly wishful thinking and spin.
It’s very doubtful the Founding Fathers “praised” Roger Williams for advocating “fair dealings with Native Americans” and organising the “first attempt to prohibit slavery”.
Williams was also a student of Native American languages, an early advocate for fair dealings with Native Americans, and one of the first abolitionists in North America, having organized the first attempt to prohibit slavery in any of the British American colonies.
The Founding Fathers of the United States are the individuals of the Thirteen British Colonies in North America who led the American Revolution against the authority of the British Crown and established the United States of America.
The term is also used more narrowly, referring specifically to those who either signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 or who were delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention and took part in drafting the proposed Constitution of the United States.
It’s also doubtful the Founding Fathers “praised” Roger Williams for becoming a “common enemy” because of his sedition, heresy, dangerous opinions and infectious “heretic settlements”.
Finally, in October 1635, the General Court tried Williams and convicted him of sedition and heresy.
The Court declared that he was spreading “diverse, new, and dangerous opinions”.
He was then ordered to be banished.
However, the other New England colonies began to fear and mistrust the Narragansetts, and soon came to regard Roger Williams’ colony as a common enemy.
In the next three decades, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Plymouth exerted pressure to destroy both Rhode Island and the Narragansetts.
In 1643, the neighboring colonies formed a military alliance called the United Colonies which pointedly excluded the towns around Narragansett Bay.
The object was to put an end to the heretic settlements, which they considered an infection.
In fact, Williams’ legacy was effectively dead and buried by 1700 when “Newport entered the African slave trade”.
Roger Williams and Samuel Gorton both opposed slavery, and the 1652 law was their attempt to stop slavery from coming to Rhode Island.
Unfortunately, when the parts of the colony were reunited, the Aquidneck towns refused to accept this law, making it a dead letter.
For the next century, the economic and political center of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations was Newport, which disregarded the anti-slavery law.
Indeed, Newport entered the African slave trade in 1700, after Williams’ death, and became the leading port for American ships carrying slaves in their Triangular trade until the American Revolution.
American history is also particularly prone to selective memory syndrome.
For example, Roger Williams is remembered for A Key Into the Language of America.
His first published book A Key Into the Language of America (1643) proved crucial to his charter success, albeit indirectly.
The little book combined a phrase-book with observations about life and culture, as an aid to communicate with Indians.
The book covered everything from salutations in the first chapter, to death and burial in chapter 32.
Williams also sought to correct English attitudes of superiority toward the Native Americans:
Boast not proud English, of thy birth & blood;
Thy brother Indian is by birth as Good.
Of one blood God made Him, and Thee and All,
As wise, as fair, as strong, as personal.
This became the first dictionary of any Indian tongue in the English language, and fed the great curiosity of English people about the Native Americans.
It was printed by John Milton’s publisher, Gregory Dexter, and became an instant bestseller, giving Williams a large and favorable reputation.
But what the mainstream wilfully forgets is that Roger Williams particularly emphasised a Native American connection with the Hebrew language and Jewish culture.
Other opinions I could number up: under favour I shall present (not mine opinion, but) my Observations to the judgement of the Wise.
First, others (and my selfe) have conceived some of their words to hold affinitie with the Hebrew.
Secondly, they constantly annoint their heads as the Jewes did.
Thirdly, they give Dowries for their wives, as the Jewes did.
Fourthly (and which I have not so observed amongst other Nations as amongst the Jewes, and these) they constantly seperate their Women (during the time of their monthly sicknesse) in a little house alone by themselves foure or five dayes, and hold it an Irreligious thing for either Father or Husband or any Male to come neere them.
A Key Into the language of America – Roger Williams – 1643
In fact, the mainstream has been refining it’s selective memory skills for a very long time.
View of the Hebrews – Ethan Smith – 1823
These selective memory skills are fortified with a forgery finding faculty which is usually applied retrospectively to iron out any wrinkles in the mainstream narrative.
Barry Fell 1989
… another radio-carbon date was obtained for a Tennessee inscribed object, namely the stone bearing eight Hebrew characters excavated by William Emmert of the Smithsonian Institution in 1889 from an unrifled burial mound at Bat Creek.
In 1964 Dr. Henriette Mertz recognized Phoenician letters in the inscription, and independently it was found by Dr. Joseph B. Mahan that the letters read LYHWD in Hebrew if the stone is inverted from the orientation adopted by Thomas.
In 1972 Dr. Cyrus Gordon, the Hebrew scholar at Brandeis University, recognised that the letters belong to Hebrew styles of the Roman period, and was able to translate the text as “A comet for the Jews,” a standard formula dating from the revolt of 125 A.D., when Bar-Kochbar was associated with prophecy regarding a comet.
A full explanation of the decipherment is given in Professor Cyrus Gordon’s book Before Columbus (1971). See also The Secret by Joseph B. Mahan (1983).
At the Epigraphic Society’s San Francisco Congress in June 1988, Professor Huston McCulloch, Ohio State University, made known the result of an age determination based on Accelerator Mass Spectrometry of a 30 mg wood sample taken from one of the earspools found with the inscribed stone in the Bat Creek mound.
The test was performed in Zurich, Switzerland, with the cooperation of the Smithsonian Laboratory of Anthropology and funded by the Institute for the Study of American cultures.
The result showed that the date of the Bat Creek burial is 1605 ± 160 years B.P., thus far earlier earlier than Cyrus Thomas has supposed, and within the range of dates postulated by Professor Gordon’s epigraphic analysis.
America B.C. – Barry Fell – 1989 Edition
Tennessee Anthropologist 1993
“Back off, man! I’m a scientist.” (Dr. Peter Venkman, Ghostbusters, 1984)
Debate over the so-called Bat Creek stone and related issues has monopolized a substantial amount of journal space that could have more profitably been used for scholarly articles in the field of anthropology, rather than fantasy.
… … … … …
The Bat Creek stone is a fraud.
Other related issues raised by stone proponents, including the radiocarbon date, are therefore irrelevant.
The current leading proponent of the stone’s authenticity is an economist, lacking professional credentials in paleography, ancient languages, and archaeology.
The sentiments of professional archaeologists about frauds such as the Bat Creek stone were ably summarized over 100 years ago by the Reverend Stephen D. Peet (1892):
“One of the greatest among many annoyances to archaeologists is that so many fraudulent relics are found in mounds.
It seems difficult to fasten the frauds on any one, for they are planted probably in the night and are adroitly covered up.
Some of them are wrought with reference to the special sensation that may be made, and are very starting in their resemblance to foreign articles.
These are very easily detected and are rejected at once; others, however, bear a resemblance to the relics of the Mound-builders, and are very deceiving.
The most of these have some ancient alphabet, Hebrew, Phoenician, Hittite, and are recognized as frauds by these means.
Among these are the Grave Creek Tablet, the Newark Holy stone, the Pemberton Ax, the Stone from Grand Traverse Bay, and a great many others.
Not one of these has been accepted by the skilled archaeologists, but they have been discussed and defended by others until they have grown wearisome.”
The Bat Creek Fraud: A Final Statement
Robert C Mainfort Jr and Mary L Kwas
Tennessee Anthropologist Vol. XVIII, No. 2, Fall 1993
Wikipedia and “professional archaeologists” still cling to Reverend Peet’s Prejudicial Principle of 1892 whereby “frauds” are [by definition] any ancient American artefact with an inscription in “Hebrew, Phoenician, Hittite” or “some ancient alphabet”.
The Bat Creek inscription (also called the Bat Creek stone or Bat Creek tablet) is an inscribed stone collected as part of a Native American burial mound excavation in Loudon County, Tennessee, in 1889 by the Smithsonian Bureau of Ethnology’s Mound Survey, directed by entomologist Cyrus Thomas.
The inscriptions were initially described as Cherokee, but in 2004, similarities to an inscription that was circulating in a Freemason book were discovered.
Hoax expert Kenneth Feder says the peer reviewed work of Mary L. Kwas and Robert Mainfort has “demolished” any claims of the stone’s authenticity.
Mainfort and Kwas themselves state “The Bat Creek stone is a fraud.”
Thomas inaccurately identified the characters on the stone as “beyond question letters of the Cherokee alphabet,” a writing system for the Cherokee language invented by Sequoyah in the early 19th century.
The stone became the subject of contention in 1970 when Semitist Cyrus H. Gordon proposed that the letters of inscription are Paleo-Hebrew of the 1st or 2nd century AD rather than Cherokee, and therefore evidence of pre-Columbian transatlantic contact.
According to Gordon, five of the eight letters could be read as “for Judea.”
Archaeologist Marshall McKusick countered that “Despite some difficulties, Cherokee script is a closer match to that on the tablet than the late-Canaanite proposed by Gordon,” but gave no details.
In a 1988 article in Tennessee Anthropologist, economist J. Huston McCulloch compared the letters of the inscription to both Paleo-Hebrew and Cherokee and concluded that the fit as Paleo-Hebrew was substantially better than Cherokee.
He also reported a radiocarbon date on associated wood fragments consistent with Gordon’s dating of the script.
In a 1991 reply, archaeologists Robert Mainfort and Mary Kwas, relying on a communication from Semitist Frank Moore Cross, concluded that the inscription is not genuine paleo-Hebrew but rather a 19th-century forgery, with John W. Emmert, the Smithsonian agent who performed the excavation, the most likely responsible party.
In a 1993 article in Biblical Archaeology Review, Semitist P. Kyle McCarter, Jr. stated that although the inscription “is not an authentic paleo-Hebrew inscription,” it “clearly imitates one in certain features,” and does contain “an intelligible sequence of five letters — too much for coincidence.”
McCarter concluded, “It seems probable that we are dealing here not with a coincidental similarity but with a fraud.”
Mainfort and Kwas published a further article in American Antiquity in 2004, reporting their discovery of an illustration in an 1870 Masonic reference book giving an artist’s impression of how the Biblical phrase “holy to Yahweh” would have appeared in Paleo-Hebrew, which bears striking similarities to the Bat Creek inscription.
The General History correctly translates the inscription “Holiness to the Lord,” though “Holy to Yahweh” would be more precise.
They conclude that Emmert most likely copied the inscription from the Masonic illustration, in order to please Thomas with an artifact that he would mistake for Cherokee.
Reverend Peet’s Prejudicial Principle means the mainstream’s forgery finding faculty is frequently deployed because “so many fraudulent relics are found” [Reverend Peet].
Barry Fell 1989
This remarkable version of the Hebrew Decalogue or Ten Commandments, located on Hidden Mountain, near Albuquerque, New Mexico, became the main focus of attention during the Epigraphic Congress sponsored by the Western Chapter of the Epigraphic Society in 1984.
The inscription, written in ancient Hebrew letters of the style of the Moab stone, about 1000 B.C., was not translated until 1949, when Professor Robert Pfeiffer of Harvard University recognized it as a short version of the Ten Commandments as given in the twentieth chapter of Exodus.
For long it was thought to be a modern engraving until the examination carried out in 1984 disclosed anomalous features that may imply antiquity.
The geologist George E. Morehouse, reporting in ESOP volume 13 (1985), found patina indicative of an age from 500 – 2,000 years, and Fell, reporting in the same volume, noted that the punctuation matched that of ancient Greek manuscripts, such as the Codex Sinaiticus of the fourth century A.D.
America B.C. – Barry Fell – 1989 Edition
The Los Lunas Decalogue Stone is a large boulder on the side of Hidden Mountain, near Los Lunas, New Mexico, about 35 miles (56 km) south of Albuquerque, that bears a very regular inscription carved into a flat panel.
The stone is also known as the Los Lunas Mystery Stone or Commandment Rock.
The inscription is interpreted to be an abridged version of the Decalogue or Ten Commandments in a form of Paleo-Hebrew.
A letter group resembling the tetragrammaton YHWH, or “Yahweh,” makes three appearances.
The stone is controversial in that some claim the inscription is Pre-Columbian, and therefore proof of early Semitic contact with the Americas.
The first recorded mention of the stone is in 1933, when the late professor Frank Hibben (1910-2002), an archaeologist from the University of New Mexico, saw it.
According to a 1996 interview, Hibben was “convinced the inscription is ancient and thus authentic. He report[ed] that he first saw the text in 1933. At the time it was covered with lichen and patination and was hardly visible. He was taken to the site by a guide who had seen it as a boy, back in the 1880s.”
However, Hibben’s testimony is tainted by charges that in at least two separate incidents, he fabricated some or all of his archaeological data to support his pre-Clovis migration theory.
The reported 1880s date of discovery is important to those who believe that the stone is pre-Columbian.
However, the Paleo-Hebrew script, which is closely related to the Phoenician script, was well known by at least 1870, thus not precluding the possibility of a modern hoax.
One argument against the stone’s antiquity is its apparent use of modern Hebrew (or otherwise atypical) punctuation, though amateur epigrapher Barry Fell argued that the punctuation is consistent with antiquity.
Other researchers dismiss the inscription based on the numerous stylistic and grammatical errors that appear in the inscription.
According to archaeologist Kenneth Feder, “the stone is almost certainly a fake.”
He points out that “the flat face of the stone shows a very sharp, crisp inscription…”
His main concern however is the lack of any archaeological context.
And when this fine forgery finding faculty falters there’s always unluckily lost.
The Newark Holy Stones refer to a set of artifacts allegedly discovered by David Wyrick in 1860 within a cluster of ancient Indian burial mounds near Newark, Ohio.
The set consists of the Keystone, a stone bowl, and the Decalogue with its sandstone box.
The site where the objects were found is known as The Newark Earthworks, one of the biggest collections from an ancient American Indian culture known as the Hopewell that existed from approximately 100 BC to AD 500.
The events surrounding the discovery and authenticity of the artifacts are controversial.
A wide consensus believes that the artifacts are either the subject of a hoax or originate from a time period that has no relation to the Hopewell.
Others believe that the artifacts’ inscription contains dialect that is in fact of Judean descent and could have existed during that time.
Unlike other ancient artifacts found previously in this region, the Keystone was inscribed with Hebrew.
The Newark Holy Stones are viewed with considerable skepticism.
The first stone to be found was written in modern Hebrew.
Just over three months later, the second stone was found.
This was not only considerably more elaborate, it was written in archaic Hebrew.
Two other stones were also found at Newark shortly after Wyrick’s death (they have since been lost).
However, they were quickly dismissed as fakes when the local dentist, John H. Nicol, claimed that he had carved and introduced the stones to the site.
Finally, a fifth stone was found at the same site as the Decalogue stone two years later by David M. Johnson, a banker, and Dr. Nathaniel Roe Bradner, a physician.
This fifth stone, named the Johnson-Bradner Stone, was also inscribed with post-Exilic Hebrew. The Johnson-Bradner Stone has since been lost.
The credibility of “professional archaeologists” who invoke Reverend Peet’s Prejudicial Principle when they examine ancient Hebrew artefacts in North America is completely undermined by the cultural\linguistic evidence gathered by Roger Williams [and many others] since 1643 and the modern DNA evidence.
The idea that there is a connection between the ancient Hopewell mound builders and Jewish settlers that were in the Americas before Columbus is considered to be a form of pseudoarchaeology.
In other words:
Archaeologists who live in glass houses
shouldn’t throw “pseudoarchaeology” stones.