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(AMERICAN INDIANS.) Barton, Benjamin Smith. New Views of the Origin of the Tribes and Nations of America. 8vo, original boards, minor wear and soiling; rear free endpaper lacking lower corner; uncut. Philadelphia, 1797
first edition. Barton compiled vocabulary lists from forty American Indian languages and compared them with European and Asian languages. Working from rudimentary data and a crude methodology, he managed to come to a conclusion which has been upheld by modern research: "The nations of America and those of Asia have a common origin" (page lxxxviii). He also breaks the languages into groups, and theorizes on the time when their ancestors arrived in America. The work is prefaced with a long dedication to Thomas Jefferson, who shared an interest in the subject. Evans 31777; Field 89; Howes B211; Pilling 297; Sabin 3819 ("first philosophical treatise on American philology by an American author"). We find no copies sold at an American auction since 1953.
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