History of the American Indians


     Adair's History of the American Indians is the result of James Adair's observation of the Southern Indians and their habits and customs which he observed and studied almost 40 years, and having come to the conclusion that they must be the lost tribes of Israel.   Roger Williams and William Penn also shared this view.  Adair's book gives a fascinating and powerful argument to that affect.  The book presents his 23 Arguments. 

Argument I. Their Division into Tribes
Argument II. Their Worship of Jehovah
Argument III. Their Notions of Theocracy
Argument IV. The Belief in the Ministration of Angels
Argument V. Their Language and Dialects
Argument VI. Their Manner of Counting Time
Argument VII. Their Prophets and High Priests
Argument VIII. Their Festivals, Fasts, and Religious Rites
Argument IX. Their Daily Sacrifice
Argument X. Their Ablutions and Anointing
Argument XI. Their Laws of Uncleanness
Argument XII. Their Abstinence from Unclean Things
Argument XIII. Their Marriage, Divorce, and Punishment for Adultery
Argument XIV. Their Several Punishments
Argument XV. Their Cities of Refuge
Argument XVI. Their Purification, and Ceremonies Preparatory for War
Argument XVII.. Their Ornaments
Argument XVIII. Their Manner of Curing the Sick
Argument XIX. Their Burial of the Dead
Argument XX. Their Mourning for the Dead
Argument XX!. Their Raising Seed to a Deceased Brother
Argument XXII. Their Choice of Names Adopted to their Circumstances & Times
Argument XXIII. Their Own Traditions, the Accounts of English Writers, and the Testimony Which the Spanish and Other Authors Have Given, Concerning the Primitive inhabitants of Peru and Mexico

     James Adair's book History of the American Indians is the earliest source information concerning these Southern Indians.  His book was first published in London in 1775.  He was urged to get to London as soon as possible to get his book printed because of much turmoil in America at that time.

   Thomas Jefferson the third President of the United States of America(1801-1809) believed that the Lost Tribes of Israel were among the Indians.  He initiated the Lewis and Clark expedition.

    The evidence that James Adair gives in his book is quite convincing.  Here are few points that stuck out in my mind the most.

   1) They constructed their place of worship so  "that their backs are to the east, and faces to the west", this is after "the Jerusalem copy"! (p. 118)

    2) "They do not pay the least perceivable adoration to any images, or to dead persons; neither to the celestial luminaries, nor evil spirits, nor any created being whatsoever.  They are utter strangers to all the gestures practiced by the pagans in their religious rites."  (p. 20)

    3) "The Germans among them, frequently say Yah-yah, as an affirmative, they call them Yah-yah Algeh, 'Those of the blasphemous speech'; which strongly hints to us, that they still retain a glimpse of the third moral command delivered at Sinai." (p. 70)

    4) They  "observe a weekly sabbath." (p. 79)  Which I learned from having a conversation with a Cherokee woman, that this  "sabbath" is the seventh day Sabbath, which the world calls Saturday.  The same day Israelites observe.  I was also told that the number 7 had special esteem amongst the Cherokee tribe.

    5) When going to war they always carried their  "sacred ark" with them! (p.162)

    6) They rejoiced  "at the appearance of the new moon." (p. 20)

    7) They  "observed a year of jubilee." (p. 226)

    8) They used the word  "HalleluYah" in their religious gatherings etc. (p. 102)

    James Adair also noted a form of the sacred name used by the Indians which was Yo He Wah, many have noticed it's similarity to Jehovah.

    I remember attending a homespun Feast of Tabernacles down in Kerrville Texas, where we had a formal reading of the book of Deuteronomy, where persons would take turns reading from the Scriptures.  When the readers came to capital LORD (which indicates in the King James Version where the tetragrammaton originally appeared in the Hebrew Scriptures), some readers would say Yahweh, while others would say Yahuwah, but when one sister came to it, she was uncertain of the correct pronunciation, so she would simply say the four letters  "Yod He Vav He".  Later on she began using "Yod He Waw He".  To me it sounded much like what James Adair heard, possibly through time and circumstance the three letters  "Yod He Waw"  turned into Yo He Wah (in Arabic they say Yot instead of Yod).

   In the Old World, the three letter form YHW (Yod He Waw) was used for the Creator by Jews in Elephantine Egypt. (See The New 20th--Century Encyclopedia [2nd Ed.] of Religious Knowledge p. 886).  An actual view of this is also seen in the May/June 1995 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review.

   What a valuable resource is James Adair's book History of the American Indians, his book can be found in several libraries of the southern states.

   This book was hard to obtain, but thanks to the folks at Cherokee Language and Culture the book in now made available to the public again and has been reprinted and re-titled "Cherokee Beliefs & Practices of the Ancients - Out of the Flame".  It is the portion of Adair's book called the 23 Arguments. 229 pages.  At the affordable price of only $25.00.  It can be obtained through some Indian bookstores.    We also carry the book at Warpath Ministry.