The study of the ancient American horse and elephant points unavoidably to the North American setting for the Book of Mormon and adds clarity and strong supportive evidence that the Book of Mormon is true, contrary to the attacks of anti-Mormons who say the absence of the horse and elephant in ancient America discounts the Book Mormon’s divine authenticity.
It seems strange that so much controversy still exists over the existence of the horse and elephant in North Americas, for as far back as 1904, news to the contrary was published in Century Magazine. An elaborate article entitled, “The Evolution of the Horse in America, (a study of the Fossil Wonders of the West), written by Henry Fairfied Osborn, Professor of Zoology, Columbia University, and Curator of the American Museum of Natural History, who made it clear that both the elephant and horse existed in ancient North America.
The pre-glacial or earliest Pleistocene times in America, as in Europe, were of temperate climate. . . The country was covered from north to south with three noble species of elephants, namely, the Northern Mammoth, the Columbian Mammoth, and the Imperial Mammoth, or elephant of Texas; . . . The great number of our preglacial horses speak for favorable conditions, and constitute an additional proof of the American origin theory. (B. H. Roberts, New Witness for God, vol. III, pp. 537-8)
The bones of the Mammoth and Mastodon have been found in several bogs and other sites in New York, as were the bones of the giant sloth, the horse, the giant beaver, peccary, musk-ox, caribou moose, deer, buffalo and others.