According to legend, Welsh Prince Madoc found America before Columbus did. His people lived with the Mandan tribe, whose language is a Welsh dialect.
Prince Madoc Owain of Wales and his people found America in 1170 CE. They arrived near what is now Mobile, Alabama. He returned to Wales to get supplies and more people to colonize the New World and returned with nine other ships. They sailed north on the Alabama River. Eventually the settlers lived with the Mandan tribe. There is evidence that this is fact.
They were a peaceful gentle tribe of the Sioux Nation. Like other AmerIndian tribes, the Mandans were Shamanic. They believed in the Great Spirit, Maka, (Mother Earth) and other spiritual beings. The Mandans had a legend of their ancestors coming many miles across the water and teaching them about Mary and Jesus that were incorporated into their religion.
Mandan Tribe: Village Life
The AmerIndians lived in the center of trade by the Upper Missouri River with their Hidatsa friends and neighbors in what is now central North Dakota. Their village was the focus of political, financial and ceremonial activity. It was a group of homes, with the residents dedicated to improving all lives of the families, clans and the village. A sacred cedar post was at the center of the village, symbolizing the tribe’s chief cultural champion. The post was surrounded by an open plaza and the major medicine lodge. Forty or fifty residential lodges were in the plaza. During most of the year, Mandans lived in the permanent lodges; however in winter, they built temporary homes in forested, low-lying areas by the river to avoid brutal weather.
Mandans grew crops that included corn, beans, squash and tobacco in fields that surrounded the villages. In autumn, other tribes and settlers brought a bountiful assortment of goods.
Mandan Tribe: Pre-Columbian Buildings
There are pre-Columbian fortifications and stoneworks of European design, including three forts by the banks of the Alabama River indicating a Welsh presence. The first fort is on top of Lookout Mountain in Alabama. Its construction is nearly identical to a castle in the Welsh town where Modoc was born. The second large fortress is on Fort Mountain, Georgia; the third, near Manchester, Tennessee. There are minor fortresses near Chattanooga.
According to Cherokee tradition, white people built them. Oconosoto was a ruling chief of the Cherokee Nation who testified that Modoc was a leader of Welsh people who crossed the great water. This information was handed down from generation to generation. The forts’ technology is beyond that of the Native Americans at the time. Archaeologists confirmed that the forts were built several hundred years before 1492.
The Mandans used boats that were made like the Welsh Coracle boats. This type of vessel is still used in Wales.
Mandan Tribe: Explorers’ Accounts
In the 1700s, French explorer, Sieur de la Veremdrye visited the Mandans and wrote a detailed account. They lived in permanent villages, men had beards, elders’ hair was grey and women were very beautiful.
George Caitlin was an artist who spent eight years living with the Mandans. He was impressed by their white complexions, varying hair color and gray, blue and hazel eyes. He investigated their history and traced their origins. He compared Mandan words with Welsh and concluded that they were the descendents of Modoc’s tribe.
There were travelers’ accounts of fair skinned Amerindians who spoke some Welsh and used the same grammatical structure as the Welsh. A Welsh soldier was lost in the woods. A band of AmerIndians rescued him. He was able to communicate with them because of their European dialect.
Mandan Tribe: Lewis and Clark Expedition
When Lewis and Clark arrived, the Mandans lived in two villages, Matootonha and Rooptahee. The explorers reached the villages in October 1804 and stayed the winter in Fort Mandan, across the river from Matootonha.
They found skeletons wearing brass breasts bearing etchings of the harp, a Welsh symbol, and a mermaid. There was also an inscription indicating that their deeds that were virtuous, so they earned these rewards. Clark and others, after an investigation, concluded that the skeletons were those of Modoc’s men.
The Mandans seemed receptive to the expedition’s agenda. Lewis and Clark hoped to establish peace with the Arikaras and the tribe. Despite peace talks between the two factions, there were conflicts between the tribes as winter approached.
The tribe gave the explorers food during the winter in their home, Fort Mandan, in exchange for goods. When food became scarce, the explorers and the Mandans went on buffalo hunts. Sheheke and Black Cat, chiefs from Matootonha and Roohaptee, met often with Lewis and Clark and the explorers participated in Mandan ceremonies. When spring arrived, the expedition continued its trek.
Mandan Tribe: End Notes
These AmerIndians were almost eradicated by smallpox. The last epidemic struck in 1937 and resulted in the Mandan population declining to the point where it couldn’t remain an independent tribe.
The Lumbee and Mandan tribes have a lot in common, according to Roanoke’s Lost Colony: New Clues Found with Virginea Pars Map. Sir Walter Raleigh sent Arthur Barlowe to the New World to find a suitable place for a colony. He found Roanoke Island in July, 1585. In August 1587, over 100 settlers, went there to establish the settlement. Some AmerIndians became enraged because of colony Commander Sir Ralph Lane’s brutal treatment and responded with attacks; however, Manteo and his people, members of the Croatoan Tribe, were friendly toward the colonists. In August 1590, when the English returned, they discovered the colony was deserted. The only clue was the word Croatoan etched on a post which led historians to theorize they moved south to join AmerIndians on Hatteras Island. North Carolina’s Lumbee tribe, the Croatians’ descendents, appears to evidence the theory that the colonists married into the tribe because some members have English surnames, grey eyes, fair hair and complexions and their language is a type of English.
There’s America’s Stonehenge, Mystery Hill in New Hampshire that has similarities with England’s most famous henge. They are observatories, astronomical alignments and very little is known about their builders. Many pre-Colombian structures in America’s Stonehenge were taken away, vandalized or destroyed.
The Underground Upton Chamber is one of the largest and most perfectly built stone chambers, dated by experts, circa 710 CE. The Oracle Chamber’s altar stones resemble those found in European megalithic sites. Scientists stated that the structures are similar to Phoenician architecture and writings on the stones resemble Celtic Ogham, Phoenician, Iberian, Basque, Libyan, Egyptian and Punic scripts. The henge could be linked to the Greeks or Phoenicians because there’s a similarity between the construction of the Oracle in Mystery Hill and those found in ancient temples in Malta and Greece. The Celts might have been the builders because the entrance is like the one at Avebury in the English County, Wiltshire.
Evidence suggests that Prince Modoc sailed to America before Columbus, the Welsh lived there and Modoc and his people established the Mandans as a Welsh AmerIndian tribe, which is further supported by the Lumbee tribe and America’s Stonehenge.
- Austin N. Stevens, ed., Mysterious New England, Yankee Inc., 1977
- Colin & Damon Wilson, The Mammoth Encyclopedia of the Unsolved, Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2000.
- Martha Waggoner, “Scientists Report New Clue to Fate of Roanoke Lost Colony: Possible Fort Symbol Found beneath Paper Patch on 16th-century Map,” Associated Press
- Robert Sullivan, Ed., “Hidden America,” Life Books, February 27, 2009. No. 1.
- Strange Stories, Amazing Facts, Eds. unlisted, The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc., 1976.