The Opening of the Lawson’s Mound

Mr. LC Robinson of this city, who takes a lively interest in all that pertains to the elucidation of pre-historic conjecture, has for a long time endeavored to get Mr. Lawson’s consent to explore the large artificial mound near the Children’s Home, on what is known as the General Kendall place, and only this week succeeded. Last Wednesday he employed workmen to excavate an opening eighteen feet long the natural surface at the base. This mound, one of the largest of the Portsmouth group, is about 25 feet in diameter at the top, 100 feet at the base and 30 feet high. The exploration developed a great bed of ashes with numerous pieces of charcoal and unconsumed fragments of human bones. The charcoal was well preserved, but on exposure to the air would readily crumble to dust in the fingers. There is no doubt but that this mound was either a sacrificial alter or a cremating ground of a race of people of whom we know nothing, and of whom conjecture must necessarily be vague and unsatisfactory. The mound is on the line of the series of earthworks that led from the old fort in Kentucky. It was believed that some relics of the mound builders would be found in the excavation.”

“Messrs. LC Robinson and Thomas W Kinney will employ workmen to explore three mounds in Kentucky, opposite Portsmouth, next week, and it is believed further developments will be made.”1

  1. A Funeral Pyre: The Pre-histories Cremated their Dead. (1876, April 29). Portsmouth Times, p. 2.