“Corn that grew in Tennessee in prehistoric times, possibly before Joseph put away his seven years’ supply in Egypt, was unearthed recently by W. E. Meyer of the bureau of American Ethnology and sent to the United States Department of Agriculture for identification.

During recent excavations in Davidson County, Tennessee, Mr. Meyer came upon a number of stone slab graves containing mortuary vessels.

Some of these held specimens of charred maize in fairly good condition.  From the size and shape of the grains it was possible to identify the variety as many-rowed tropical flint, a form about halfway between true flint and popcorn.

The same type of Indian corn occurs in the West Indies, and there is no question in the minds of scientists but that there was a very early communication between the West Indies and North America.  Not only corn, but beans, squashes, pumpkins and tobacco are of tropical and subtropical origin.

These staples, now so important throughout both hemispheres, found their way into North America and were cultivated beyond the Great Lakes in Canada long before the discovery of America.  There is abundant evidence of communication between the West Indies and Florida and up the Mississippi and its tributaries.” – The Soda Fountain:  An Illustrated Monthly Publication for the Soda Fountain Trade.  June, 1922.  NY.  D. O. Haynes & Co.

The Historic Foodie, April 26, 2009.