For a long time it was the opinion of many intelligent people, who had investigated the subject, that the Indians were the descendants of the ten lost tribes of Israel. If it is a fact that they were actually lost, that might be a very reasonable theory, but although a good many Jews have been found in America in recent years, I have never heard of their claiming any relationship with the Indian.
George Catlin, an American artist, who had traveled among the Indians of the entire continent, and was undoubtedly better acquainted with the Indian character and traditions than any other white man, claimed to be firm in the belief that the Indians had an Adam of their own and that they were originally created on the American continent.
Bancroft, the eminent American historian, expressed his belief that the Indians are of Mongolian descent. This opinion is corroborated by Dr. Eastman, a highly educated Sioux Indian of full blood, who says that he recognizes the names of several of the Japanese warships as familiar Sioux names, varying but little from those of his own tongue.
During the world's fair at St. Louis, in 1904, an educated Indian woman, of the Creek Nation, stated that during a conversation with some of the Filipinos, who were there on exhibition, that she could understand a large part of their language, and could converse with them in their native tongue with a surprising degree of intelligence.
But whether they were of Mongolian, Malay, Phenician, Scandinavian, American, Aztec, or Hebrew origin, or whether they were descended from the man in the moon, will probably never be known, and the imagination, unsupported by facts, may roam at will in the realm of ingenious, speculation, which it is unprofitable to pursue.