The Asiatic Fathers of America

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The Asiatic Fathers of America – Chinese Discovery and Colonization of Ancient America

by Dr. Hendon M. Harris, Jr.
Edited and abridged by Charlotte Harris Rees

“The record of Asia is written into the stones of America and into the bodies of its early people.”
Hendon M. Harris, Jr., 1975

Is it possible that the Chinese discovered and colonized America not just a few years before Columbus but thousands of years ago?  Is there evidence that they made repeated trips to America over the centuries?

In 1972 the late Dr. Hendon M. Harris, Jr. made a startling discovery in an antique shop in Korea. He became weak and had to sit down. In his hands he held a primitive ancient world map in classical Chinese which showed the location of the fabled Fu Sang (land to the east) – right where America should be.

Most Chinese believe that Fu Sang  is just myth. But was it? The Chinese classic the Shan Hai Jing, which some date back to 2200 B.C., described Fu Sang in detail. Many of those descriptions fit exact locations in America including the Grand Canyon. Seventy-two percent of the place names on this map, which some call the “Harris Map,” are from the Shan Hai Jing.

Dr. Harris’ search led to his acquisition of six more maps. He became aware of twenty-three other similar old maps in museums and collections around the world. No one knows the origin date of this style maps. The existence of this many of these old maps supports their authenticity. Some people thought that the countries in the center of the map -  China, Japan, and Korea – were real but that the countries on the far edges of the map were imaginary. They had no faith that the Chinese could have gone that far so early. Harris believed that these maps were later copies of the long lost map that originally accompanied the Shan Hai Jing.

After extensive research, in 1975 Dr. Harris published a book of almost 800 pages titled The Asiatic Fathers of America but the book had little circulation. Ever since Dr. Harris’ sudden death in 1981 of a stroke the maps were held by the heirs. In 2003 the family took them to the Library of Congress where they remained for three years while they were studied.

Was Harris Right?

National Geographic March 2006 states that the DNA of most American Indians carry markers that “link them unequivocally to Asia.” Encyclopedia Smithsonian contends that the Indians arrived by boat (not over a land bridge). National Geographic September 2004 related that some believe that when Columbus arrived that there were 30 million Indians in North America. To amass such a large population would have taken many centuries.

Now the author’s daughter Charlotte Harris Rees, who gave a speech on this topic at the Library of Congress on May 16, 2005, is bringing Dr. Harris’ book out again in an abridged version.  Dr. Cyclone Covey, Professor Emeritus of Wake Forest and longtime scholar on the Shan Hai Jing and ancient American history, advised her during this project. Perhaps this time the world is ready to explore these possibilities.

About the book

The Asiatic Fathers of America (abridged) gives a concise explanation of the Harris Map, early Chinese map making, and a discussion of ancient Chinese literature (including the Shan Hai Jing) that mentions Fu Sang. Dr. Harris’ book shows the correlation of American Indian and Chinese customs and language. It also explains how the Chinese would have been able to come by sea at such an early date. Mrs. Rees has included some pictures of the Harris map collections which are shown publicly for the first time.

About the author

Dr. Hendon M. Harris, Jr. was a Baptist missionary in Taiwan then later in Hong Kong. Born in Kaifeng, China to American parents he spoke Mandarin as early as he did English. His knowledge of Chinese literature and language allowed him to recognize the significance of the map when he first saw it.


“The Harris collection of maps will, in the long run, cause and even more fundamental and agonizing reappraisal of American history than my book has.” Gavin Menzies, author of best seller, 1421 The Year China Discovered America.

“In my assessment, The Asiatic Fathers of America is a groundbreaking and important book that was well ahead of its time when first privately printed and circulated over thirty years ago. Now the author’s daughter, Mrs. Charlotte Rees, is seeking to have her father’s book properly published and widely circulated for the first time.” – Robert Schoch, PhD Yale, Professor, Boston University, author of several book including Voyages of the Pyramid Builders.

“Harris deserves gratitude for this major historical advance.” Cyclone Covey, PhD Stanford, Professor Emeritus of History at Wake Forest, author of several books including A Critical Reprise of ‘Aboriginal’ American History.

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