IN 1868, the Church Missionary Society commenced a Mission amongst the Chippeways in Canada proper; the charge of this Mission was entrusted to the Rev. Edward Wilson, grandson of the late Bishop of Calcutta. The Mission Station was fixed at Sarnia, on the St. Clair River, which connects Lake Huron with Lake Erie. Commenced at first in the obscurity of a log hut, with but a scanty attendance of Indians, it progressed, until in 1870 a neat little wooden church rose on the banks of the St. Clair, whose clear-toned bell summoned the Indians every Sabbath to worship the Lord in His House. The congregation then numbered fifty, while twenty Indian children attended the Sunday School, held between the services. It was hoped that from this point a chain of Missions might in time extend along the northern shores of Lakes Huron and Superior, thus connecting Canada with the Mission Stations of James' Bay.
The Mission has since been transferred from Sarnia to Garden River, at the east end of Lake Superior. This is an excellent situation from whence to extend Mission work among the surrounding heathen, for it is the centre of the district occupied by the Chippeways, and in summer there is railway communication with all parts of the two great lakes, Huron and Superior.
Sarnia and its out-station, Kettle Point, have been placed under the charge of a native pastor, the Rev. John Jacobs, who labours faithfully among the people. A new brick church has taken the place of the former wooden one, which now serves the purpose of a school, in the management of which Mr. Jacobs is aided by his sister. This church was opened for Divine worship by Bishop Hellmuth in September, 1871.
The Indian village connected with the Mission at Garden River is situated at the fork of the two rivers, St. Marie and Garden River, and is about twelve miles distant from Sault St. Marie, a white settlement of some 300 people. Here there is a nice little church, but no clergyman; Mr. Wilson therefore holds a Sunday service there for the benefit of the white people, in addition to his two services for the Indians and half-breeds at Garden River. The Indian and half-breed population at Garden River numbers between 300 and 400; of these one half are under the influence of the Jesuit priests, while the other half are attached to the Church of England. They seem to be earnest-minded, and fully alive to the blessings attendant on Christianity. There are full congregations every Sunday, and a regular attendance at the Holy Communion.
Garden River is 300 miles north of Sarnia, and during the winter is bound in with ice and snow, but in the summer Mr. Wilson hopes to pay periodical visits to his old flock.
A Mission was commenced at Garden River some twenty years ago by the New England Company; when they relinquished the Mission, it was taken up by the Church Missionary Society, on account of its being the very centre of the district occupied by the Chippeways. There is a nice little parsonage--a log building erected by the Indians themselves when Mr. Chance, their former Missionary, first went to live among them. It has hops clambering up the verandah, and quite a pretty little garden, with heartsease, roses, and polyanthus in front. The church stands close beside it--a whitewashed log building with good seats and fittings, though it possesses neither font nor Communion service. An ordinary basin placed on the Communion table is used for the baptisms.
The Indians have set apart land for a Mission farm, and they are anxious to have an Industrial Institution, where their own children, and the children of other Indians on the lake may be taught and trained.
With the view of promoting this step, the worthy old Chief of the Chippeways, "Little Pine," accompanied Mr. Wilson to Toronto in the summer of 1871.
There he had opportunity afforded him of telling his own story at several public meetings, and about £60 was collected towards the establishment of the Institution.
The account of this visit we will give in "Little Pine's" own words. Before doing so, let us describe him. He has a tall and dignified mien, and considerable physical energy, although he is approaching the venerable age of threescore and ten. Arrayed in his native costume, his head encircled with the skin of some wild animal, adorned with eagle's feathers, a white blouse, leather gaiters, reaching to his knees, fastened round the legs with beaded bands, moccasins, and two large medals suspended from his neck, one bearing the effigy of George III., the other that of Queen Victoria on the one side, and the royal coat of arms on the other; such is "Little Pine," the son of "Great Pine,"--once a famous warrior of the Chippeway tribe. And the following is his story, as related in his own words:--
"It was when the sucker moon rose (February), that the bad news came to us that our black-coat (Missionary was to be taken from us. I called our people together in the teaching wigwam, both men and women, and for a long time we sat and consulted what was to be done. It seemed a sad thing to us to lose our black-coat, who for many years had laboured faithfully among us, and had been as a father to us. We all said, 'It must not be; our black-coat must not leave us;' and we wrote a letter to the great black-coat (the Bishop) who lives in the big town (Toronto), and petitioned him to let our beloved minister stay and labour amongst us. The great black-coat wrote us back, answering that he was willing our pastor should remain, but he could not tell us for certain whether it would be so or not.
"The weeks passed on, the day of prayer came round many times, and now the moon of flowers (May) rose, the winter was past, and spring had arrived. Our black-coat now told us that the time had come for him to leave us; that there were other Indians, the Mohawks, away south on the Grand River, who called him to come and teach them, and he must now go. We were all very sad when he told us this, for we loved him much; we loved his wife; we loved his children, who were born on our land and had grown up together with our children. We could not bear to part with him; but he told us he was called away, and that however much he might himself wish it, still he could not stay, and he hoped another Missionary would soon be found to take his place.
"At length one morning the fire ship (steamboat) arrived, and we assembled on the wharf to bid him farewell; the young men fired their guns, and he departed from us.
"Then we were sad in our hearts. When we met in the prayer wigwam (church) the next Sunday, there was no black-coat to teach us. One of our young men read prayers, another read from God's book, we sung hymns, and then my brother chief, Pahgudgenene (Man of the Desert), stood up to exhort the congregation. But his heart was full, he could not speak; he only uttered a few words, and then, his voice choked him. He sat down, and buried his face in his hands. We all wept. We were overcome with grief. And we had no teaching that prayer-day.
"A few days after this we saw a sail-boat approach; it came fast over the waters of the river.
"We were indeed glad when we learned that a black-coat was on board. We knew who it was, for he had already visited us in passing. His English name was Wilson, but the Chippe-ways of Ahmujewunoong (Sarnia), with whom he lived as their minister, called him Puhkukahbun (Clear Daylight). He landed, and our young men helped him to carry his things up to the house. His wife was with him, and at this we were glad also. We hoped he had come to stop with us altogether, but he said 'No,' he could not promise to do that; he was only travelling from place to place among the Indians, so he could not stay long.
"At length the time drew near for him to leave us. The raspberry moon had already risen, and was now fifteen days old (July 15th), and Wilson said he must go at once.
"One day, while I was working in the bush, preparing bark troughs for next year's sugar-making, many thoughts were in my breast. All seemed gloomy and uncertain. This black-coat, Puhkukahbun, could make us no promise to remain with us; he had been with us a short time, and now he was away again. I felt gloomy and without hope.
"Suddenly, like the lightning darting across the sky, there came a thought into my breast. I thought, 'I also will go with him; I will journey with this black-coat to where he is going; I will see the great black-coat myself, and ask that Wilson may come and be our teacher; and I will ask the great black-coat also to send us more teachers to the shores of the Great Chippeway Lake; for why indeed are my poor brethren left so long in ignorance and darkness, with no one to instruct them? Is it that Christ loves us less than His white children? or is it that the Church is sleeping? Perhaps I may arouse them; perhaps I may stir them up to send us more help, so that the Gospel may be preached to my poor pagan brethren.' So I resolved to go. I did not think it necessary to call a council and inform my people that I was going; I only just told my wife and a few friends of my intention. I felt that the Great Spirit had called me to go; and even though I was poor, and had but a few dollars in my pocket, still I knew that the Great God in heaven, to whom forty years ago I yielded myself up, would not let me want; I felt sure that He would provide for my necessities.
"So when Puhkukahbun and his wife stepped on board the great fire ship, I stepped on also. I had not told him as yet what was my object in going, and at first he left me to myself, thinking, I suppose, that I was going on my own business. I was a stranger on board; no one knew me, no one seemed to care for me. I paid four dollars for my passage, but they gave me no food, not even a bed to lie upon. I felt cold in my heart at being treated so; but I knew it was for my people that I had come, and I felt content, even though obliged to pass thirty hours without any food at all.
"When we arrived at Sarnia, the fire waggons (railway cars) were almost ready to start; so I still had to fast; and not until we had started on our way to London (in Canada) did the black-coat know that I had been all that time without food. Then he was very sorry indeed, and from that time began to take great care of me, and I told him plainly what was my object in coming with him.
"We arrived at Toronto on the sixth day of the week, when the raspberry moon was twenty-two days old. I was glad to see the great city again, for I had seen it first many years ago, when it was like a papoose (a baby), and had but few houses and streets. We went at once to the place where Wilson had agreed to meet the black-coats who have authority over the Indian Missions.
"They all shook hands with me, and gave me a seat by the table. They talked a long time, and wrote a good deal on paper; and I was glad to see them writing on paper, for now I thought something would be settled, and my journey will not have been in vain; I was still more when they told me that they thought Wilson would come and be our Missionary and live among us. I said to them, 'Thank you, thank you greatly! This is the reason for which I came. I thank you for giving me so good an answer, and now I am prepared to return again to my people.'
"The black-coats then invited me to tell them all I had to say; so I opened my heart to them and divulged its secrets. I said that at Ketegannesebc (Garden River) we were well content, for we had had the Gospel preached to us now for forty winters, and I felt that our religious wants had been well attended to; but when I considered how great and how powerful are the English people, how rapid their advance, and how great their success in every work to which they put their hands, I wondered often in my mind, and my people wondered too, why the Christian religion had halted so long at Garden River, just at the entrance to the Great Lake of the Chippe-ways; and how it was that forty winters had passed away, and yet religion slept, and the poor Indians of the Great Chippeway Lake pleaded in vain for teachers to be sent to them.
"I said that we Indians know our Great Mother, the Queen of the English nation, is strong, and we cannot keep back her power, any more than we can stop the rising sun. She is strong; her people are great and strong; but my people are weak. Why do you not help us? It is not good. I told the black-coats I hoped that before I died I should see a big teaching wigwam built on Garden River, where children from the Great Chippeway Lake would be received and clothed and fed, and taught how to read and how to write; and also how to farm and build houses, and make clothing; so that by and by they might go back and teach their own people. I said I thought Garden River ought to be made the chief place from which religion might gradually go on, and increase, and extend year by year, until all the poor ignorant Indians, in the great hunting grounds of the Chippeways, should enjoy the blessings of Christianity.
"The black-coats listened to what I said, and they replied that their wish was the same as mine; and they hoped that in due time I should see my desire effected.
"Many were the thoughts that filled my mind at that time. As I walked along the streets of Toronto, and looked at the fine buildings, and stores full of wonderful and expensive things, the thought came into my breast, 'How rich and how powerful are the English people! Why is it that their religion does not go on and increase faster? Surely they behave as though they were a poor people. When I entered the place where the speaking paper (newspaper) is made, I saw the great machines by which it is done, and the man who accompanied us pointed to a machine for folding up the papers, and said, 'This is a new machine; it has not long been invented!' and I thought then, 'Ah, that is how it is with the English nation; every day they get more wise; every day they find out something new. The Great Spirit blesses them, and teaches them all. these things because they are Christians, and follow the true religion. Would that my people were enlightened and blessed in the same way!'
"The next day was the day of prayer, and I went to the big wigwam, where the children assemble to be taught (the Sunday School). I stood up and spoke to the children, and told them how much I desired that my children should be taught in the same way, and have such a beautiful wigwam to assemble in, where they might hear about God and His Son Jesus Christ. It rejoiced my heart to hear them sing, and I wished that my children could learn to sing hymns in the same manner.
" After this I entered the great house of prayer (the Cathedral). I feel much reverence for that sacred building. I was in Toronto when the first one was there. Since that time it has been burnt down, and rebuilt, and then all burnt down again; and yet now it stands here larger and grander than before. 'The white people,' I said to myself, 'have plenty of money to build this great house of prayer for themselves. If they knew how poor my people are, surely they would give more of their money to build a house for us, where our children may be taught.' I felt at home in this great house of prayer, though it is so large and so fine; for the great white chief used to worship there, and I regarded it as the Queen's prayer-wigwam. I could not understand the words of the service, but my heart was full of thoughts on God; and I thought how good a thing it was to be a Christian, and I rejoiced that I was a member of the Queen's Church, and had heard from its teachers of the love of Christ, who died for His red children as well as for the pale faces; for He is not ashamed, as we know now, to call us brothers.
"In the evening the man who writes for the speaking paper (the Toronto Telegraph reporter) came to see me. He said he was going to write about me in his paper, so that everybody might know who I was, and what I had come for. I thought this was good, for I wished everybody to know my reason in coming to Toronto, so that they might be stirred up to send help to my poor neglected brethren. This writing man put a great many questions to me. He asked me about my medals, and about our customs before I became a Christian, and what I thought of the recent Indian outbreaks in the country of the Long-knives (the States). I thought many of his questions were not to the point, and I told him so. I said to him,' When the white people read about me in your paper, I think they will say I am a fool.'
" During the few days we remained in Toronto I was out nearly all the time with Puhkukahbun (Mr. Wilson), collecting money at the people's wigwams. It was he who proposed that we should do this. He said to me,' You want to see the Christian religion increase, and the pagan Indians on the Great Chippeway Lake to have school-houses and teachers. This cannot be done without money, so we must set to work and collect some.' I am an old man of seventy winters, and cannot walk about as much as I could when I was a young brave, so he got such a waggon as the rich people go about in there, and we drove from house to house. I thought some of the people were very good; one woman gave us ten dollars, and several men also gave us ten dollars; but many of the people gave us very little, and some would not give us any at all.
"One evening the people of the big town assembled together in their great teaching wigwam to hear me speak. There were several black-coats on the platform, and Robinson was the leader (chairman). I told the people all that was in my heart, and appealed to them to help us. At the close of the meeting, the men took plates round for money. I watched the people giving; the women gave the most. I think that women have more love for religion than men. They told me that the collection amounted to twenty-one dollars. I did not say anything, but the thought in my breast was, 'This is too little; this is not enough to make religion increase.' I thought, 'This is a big city; there are plenty of rich people; on all sides are beautiful houses; they have good and abundant food,--surely there must be a great deal of money in this big city.' "
We here interrupt "Little Pine's" story in order to give his speech at the Toronto Missionary meeting, as taken down at the time by the reporter of the Toronto Daily Telegraph.
"The chief, coming forward, said: 'Chairman, how do you do? Ladies and gentlemen, I am glad to see you all. My friends, and you women, I am very glad to see you all. I have come to sec you in order to say something to you. Nobody has employed me to come. I, although I am but a poor man, and the chief of the Chippeways, have come here on behalf of my people. I suppose you are all Christians, but I hope you all belong to the Queen's Church, and if you do, you will all do what is right.
"First I will tell you how it was with me. When I was a little boy, when I was young, I never saw any Englishmen, only Indians. I think it was in this very moon forty-two years ago that I first saw a white man. I never saw a Christian till then. I grew up to be quite religious. By and by I had two children. At that time I first saw a clergyman; he belonged to the Big-knives (Americans). He took the people and put them into the water. By and by there came along a French priest who baptized all the people he could, and said they would go to heaven. Three winters after that a Methodist preacher came along, and he seemed to worship God with all his heart. One year after that there arrived another preacher, and he said that he was a Church of England minister. He came from Toronto. He remained one year, and he baptized the people, the same as the French priest. I was with him at church one Sunday, and after church he went away across the river. I thought a great deal of the white man. About a month after this, my father, who was chief at that time, said, "What shall we do about this religion? We will go to Toronto, and see about it," and I immediately replied, "I will go with you." When we had gone so far as we could with our birch-bark canoes, we had to walk the rest of the way to Toronto. When we met Sir John Colborne, he said to my father and to me--"I am a Christian after the religion in the old country. Now you Chippeways, you follow the same religion as I follow." It is about forty years since these things happened. A young man was standing there beside us; his name was McMurray. Sir John Colborne said that Mr. McMurray ought to become a Missionary. He did so, and he told us about the great God in heaven who watches over us and takes care of us. I am perfectly satisfied with the work that is going on at Garden River. I ask you, is not your Queen a great queen, and is not your country a great country, and your government a great government? Then why does not the religious work increase as the other things do? My friends, and my women, many years ago I was not the same man that I am now. I was in ignorance and poverty, but I have hunted, and I am now doing better. You, too, my friends, were many years ago in the same condition as I. Now see your great houses, and the fire waggons (railway trains). Why is not the Chippcway taught as you have been? Why is he not led in the same paths that you have been led? I have come before you to plead the cause of my people, to ask you to give money to help us, that the Christian religion may spread away further to where the sun sets. This is the thought which is now in my breast, and which has led me to come before you to-night. The English are a great people. I feel satisfied about that. I have watched their progress ever since I was a young man, and I see how great they are; and now I turn to these black-coats, and I ask, why does not the Christian religion increase as well as other things around me? I could talk to you all night, but I think I have said enough, and so I will now leave you.'"
Before resuming "Little Pine's Journal," we will place before our readers another address delivered by "Little Pine" at Hamilton, as he was returning to Garden River.
"I have not much to say. The newspapers will have told you all. I look around me and see many women and children, but few men. I think it is because the women love me best. I think it is only 400 years ago when the Indians owned all this land. When the first white man came here, the Indian was spread all over the country. When the white man came, he carried a cup of fire-water with him. Those Indians who inherited the land when the white man first came, lived on the shores of the great sea; I live on the inland sea. When the white man came the Indian had plenty to cat; the rivers were full of fish; the white man seized on all; he took our fish; he took our land and drove us back. My people are getting less and less every year, and what is the reason? The white man has carried the fire-water among us and we are becoming less and less every year. If the white man, instead of carrying the cup of fire-water in his hand, had carried his book (the Bible), he would have done well. Let me tell you about myself. The first Missionary I ever saw was when I was thirty years of age. He was an American. It is now about forty years since I went to Toronto with my father. My reason for coming was to inquire about religion. We wanted to see Sir John Colborne, to ask him what we were to do about religion. We came also to see the wonderful works of the white people--how they built their cities, towns, and houses. I am a member of the Church of England; I think it right to belong to the Queen's Church, and I ask myself why they do not go on and build more churches. This thought entered into my breast. My desire was to see the Queen's Church carried on amongst my people. That was the reason of my coming here. The clergyman, who you know, Dr. McMurray, was the first who told me about Jesus coming on earth. He told me for the first time that the Son of God was called Jesus--that He came from heaven to save the Indian as well as the white man, if they would believe in Him. You who are Christians and work for the Church, I appeal to you to help me and my people, so that the Church may increase. I think of my poor children far away up in the north and west. I appeal to you as Christians, and because you now own the land that belonged to my fathers, and I have a right to ask you to help me in this cause. You children, boys and girls, who I see around me, you have been well taught. Think of my children and send help to them. Already I have said in Toronto that I hold the English in. veneration. I will say more: mark well, I say now, the Indian land that once belonged to us, now belongs to the English, and is English land. Wherever I go, in travelling about, I see the Queen's flag, and I think how strong is the Queen of England and the English nation. I feel how strong is the English nation--no other nation has power to do anything against them. It is because you are so strong as a nation that I have a right to appeal to you to help me. This book I hold in my hand, I cannot read it. I cannot speak English. I hope the children before me will not be kept in ignorance like me. Englishmen and Englishwomen, if you have understood what I have said to-night, I am glad; I shall feel I have not come in vain and visited you. This is the reason I left my home to visit Toronto and here, and am now on my way back to Garden River. This is the last time I shall have the opportunity to speak to my white brethren; I go home, and shall only see my own people. We are one, my friends, in religion. God is God of the Indian as well as of the white man; we are all made one in the Christian religion. Now, before I go, it is my desire that some of you should say a few words to me, so that I can carry them to my people at Garden River. This is all I have to say, and I ask you sometimes to think of me and of my people. Before I sit down, I speak the last words to you children on both sides of me. The last word I can say to them is that they may be well educated, and the last thing I do is to leave the beaver-skin to lie here in this school-house, so that you will remember me." It need scarcely be said that "Little Pine" exerts himself in every possible way to spread amongst his people the knowledge of that Saviour whom he loves, and to whom (to use his own words) "he yielded himself up forty years ago."
After his address, "Little Pine" was asked to explain the meaning of the feathers on his head. He replied: "I also will ask you one question. Why were these medals" (pointing to those on his breast) "given to me? I know very well. One the Queen's son gave me at Sarnia; what it was given to me for I don't know. You ask me why I wear these feathers? It is that I am a Chippeway chief! The feathers I wear on my head denote the number of warriors my father killed; the skunk skin I wear round my head, I wear in defiance of my enemies, and where is the man who will pluck it from me? You all know the stone column at Queenstown (meaning Brock's monument); my father fought with Sir Isaac Brock, and this medal was given to him for bravery in battle." "Little Pine" further explained on this occasion, that he did not appeal on behalf of the whole tribe, but only for those of his people who were living under the flag of England. In the justice of this appeal, we think our readers will concur.
And now we resume "Little Pine's" own account of his visit Toronto.
" I was very anxious to see McMurray, the black-coat who first taught our people the Christian religion many winters ago. So the day after the meeting we crossed the lake to Niagara, and I was rejoiced in my heart to see him once more, and to shake hands with him and with his wife, who is one of our nation; and now I had only one thing more to do before I returned again to my own wigwam at Garden River, and that was to visit our black-coat Chance on the river of the Mohawks. I wished to shake hands with him, and I wished to see his wigwam, and mark the spot in my mind, so that I should be able to find him if at any future day I might want to see him. I told the black-coat McMurray what my desire was, and then he and Wilson talked together in the English tongue, and presently McMurray said to me, 'The black-coat Wilson thinks it is not good for you to go home too fast. Between this place and Chance's wigwam there are two big towns which you must pass through, and the black-coat Wilson wishes you to stop a day or two at each, so that you may speak to the people and rouse them up, and collect a little more money. I also think myself that the plan is good, and advise you to listen to his words.'
"I replied that my reason for wishing to hasten home was that I might cut the hay, so that my cows might have food to eat in winter, and I feared it might be too late if I delayed much longer; still, if it was necessary for me to do so, I would consent. So, instead of going at once to sec the black-coat Chance, we journeyed a short distance only, and arrived at an inland town (St. Catherine's), where was a spade-dug river (the Wellond Canal), and plenty of sail ships and fire ships.
"At the feeding wigwams (hotels) in this town they did not seem to like us very well, and from two of them we were turned away. I did not know the reason, but I thought in my mind, 'These people are not the right sort of Christians, or they would not refuse us shelter.'
"The black-coat in this town (Rev. H. Holland) was very good to us indeed. We were, both of us, strangers to him, and yet he received us as if we were old friends. He invited us to his wigwam, and we drank tea with his wife and daughters.
"This black-coat's wife seemed to me to be a very good woman, and full of love. She told me that she came from a far country, many days' journey distant to the South, beyond the Big-knives' land, where the sun is very hot, and the land inhabited by strange Indians. I thought it was because she came from this far country that she was different from the women who lived here, and perhaps it was her having known these strange Indians long ago that made her so good to me now. She gave me money to buy a shawl for my wife, and my heart warmed towards her; I tried to think what present I could make to her, and I told her I had a beaver-skin with me, which I always carried to put under my feet when I sat, or to lie upon at night. This I wished to give her if she would accept it, but she would not take it. She said that I should want it, and although I pressed her again to have it, still she refused.
"The day after our arrival at the inland town, where sail ships and fire ships are plenty, we hired a little waggon, and went from wigwam to wigwam, asking the white people for money to help Christianity to spread on the shores of the Chippeway Lake. Some opened their purses and gave us a little money, but most of the people seemed too busy with their buying and selling, and other employments, to listen to us; and even though they belonged to the Queen's Church, still they did not seem to care much about our poor Indians in the far North. One selling wigwam, especially, I remember, into which we entered three times, and each time waited a long time to be heard, and saw much money thrown into a moneybox, and yet, after all our waiting, they would only give half a dollar to help Christianity to spread on the shores of the Chippeway Lake.
"In the evening of the same day the white people gathered together in the teaching wigwam to hear what I had to say to them. After the meeting a collection was made, but it was too little money. There were several plates, but they only contained twelve dollars.
"If Jesus loves His red children as you say and believe He loves the white people, did He not give His life for them; and is that all that they will give to help to tell our poor Indian people, away on the Great Chippeway Lake, of His love? Religion will not increase unless the white people give more.
"On the second day of the week, early in the morning, we entered the fire waggon to go to the river of the Mohawks. The black-coat Wilson said he must leave me now, and go straight to Ahmujewunoong; and that after I had visited Chance in his wigwam, I must follow and meet him again. So when we came to a place where there were many fire waggons (Paris), the black-coat led me to another fire waggon, which stood there, and told me that it was going to the great river of the Mohawks, and then he left me to go on my way alone.
"When I arrived at the river of the Mohawks (Brantford), I felt strange and puzzled, having no one now to guide me, and I saw no face that I knew, neither could I speak English. But Wilson had given me a paper with words written on it; and this I showed to two men upon the road. They beckoned me to come with them, but I thought they had been drinking, and I walked away. Then I saw a woman sitting alone in a waggon, and I showed her my paper. She was very good to me, and told me to get in, and she drove me to the house of the black-coat who is the teacher of the Indian people on the river of the Mohawks. The black-coat (Rev. A. Nelles) was very good to me, and gave me food; and after about two hours he told me to get into the waggon, and a man got in too, and drove me to Chance's wigwam. It was a long way, and the man did not seem to know well which way to go, for he kept stopping and speaking to the people all the time. When we got to the wigwam I knocked at the door, and knocked again several times. At length the black-coat Chance heard me, and came to open the door, and I was greatly rejoiced to see him again once more, and his wife and children.
"When the day came for me to leave, the black-coat Chance took me in his waggon to the place where the fire waggons start, and sent a wire message to Wilson to be ready to meet me when I arrived. I sat in the fire waggon and smoked my pipe, and rejoiced in my mind that my work was now over, and I should soon return to my people. For many hours I travelled, and the sun had already sunk in the West, and I thought I must be nearly arrived at Ahmujewuhnoong, when the fire waggon chief came to look at my little paper; and then he looked at me and shook his head, and I understood I had come the wrong way. Presently the fire waggon stopped, and the chief beckoned me to get out, and he pointed to the West, and made signs, by which I understood that I must now wait for the fire waggons going towards sun-rising, and in them return part of the way back. By and by the fire waggons approached, coming from where the sun had set, and a man told me to get in. It was midnight when I reached London, and they let me go into the wire-house and lie down to sleep. I slept well all night, and early in the morning a man beckoned to me that the fire waggons were ready to start to Sarnia, and showed me which way to go.
"Thus I at length got back to Sarnia, and was glad to lie down and rest in Wilson's wigwam; and now I am waiting for the fire ship to come, and as soon as it comes I shall go on board, and return straight back to my people. The black-coat Wilson has asked me to let him write down all this that I have told him, so that it may be made into a book, and be read by everybody. And I hope that by and by all the white people will see this book, and that their hearts will be warmed towards the poor ignorant Indians who live on the shores of the Great Chippeway Lake.
"We have collected 300 dollars, but 3Oodollars is not enough to make religion increase. If we had but the worth of one of those big wigwams of which we saw so many in Toronto, I think it would be enough to build a big teaching wigwam at Garden River, in which the children would be taught and clothed and fed, and enough to send teachers also to the shores of the Great Chippeway Lake. I must have something done for my people before I die; and if I cannot get what I feel we ought to have from the great chiefs in this country, I am determined to go to the far distant land across the sea, and talk to the son of our great mother, the Prince of Wales, who became my friend when he gave me my medal, and I believe will still befriend me if I tell him what my people need."
This resolution "Little Pine," as many of our readers are aware, has carried out; he came to England with Mr. Wilson in 1872, and was greatly encouraged by his success in obtaining £743 out of the £1000 required to start the Industrial Institution. He sailed from our shores confidently hoping that God will open the hearts of the English people to supply the needful funds.
The Church Missionary Society have since deemed it right to withdraw from this Mission, but pecuniary aid was not withdrawn until funds had been raised from other sources for the continuance of the work. Mr. Wilson, at the urgent solicitation of "Little Pine," and acting on the advice of many friends, decided to remain at his post, believing, as he says, "If we work faithfully, and take all prudent steps for securing our ends, at the same time prayerfully waiting on God, the way will gradually open out clearly."
Nor did Mr. Wilson and the Chippeway Chief work and wait in vain; the necessary funds were raised, the industrial school was built, and on September 22nd, 1873, it was opened. Fifteen children were admitted, and eight more were shortly expected; but five days later, a terrible calamity occurred. On the night of Saturday, September 27th, Mr. Wilson and his family were awakened by a cry of fire; Mr. and Mrs. Wilson, with their servants and four children wrapped in blankets, took refuge in the church. Mr. Wilson rang the church bell to arouse the Indians; by the time help came, the church was in danger; so once more taking up the children, Mr. and Mrs. Wilson fled to the Roman Catholic Mission House; the priest received them hospitably, and kindly supplied their wants. Returning to the scene of the disaster, Mr. Wilson counted the Indian children: all were safe. The Garden River children were sent home, while the others found shelter in a neighbouring house-The church was saved, but the Mission House and industrial school, with its boot-making and carpentering shop, and all the furniture, clothing, and library, a piano also and harmonium, the gifts of friends, were burnt. On the Monday following, the Indians held a council, when they asked Mr. Wilson "whether he felt weak or strong about it, whether he could collect money to rebuild, or whether he should give up the Mission?" He replied that "he would wait on God till he saw the way," and the way was made plain. Fresh efforts were made, and the God in whom the Missionary trusted crowned those efforts with success.
Intelligence has just reached England that Lord Dufferin, the Governor-General of the Dominion of Canada, laid the foundation stone of a new industrial home on the 30th of July, 1874. The home now in course of erection is intended to accommodate eighty children, who, besides receiving Christian instruction, will be brought up to useful trades. The outbuildings and a commodious workshop are already completed, and are being used until the house is ready to receive its inmates.
It is hoped that, before the winter sets in, the home will be opened. Garden River is now included in the recently formed diocese of Algoma in the Dominion of Canada, and an earnest desire is manifested by the Canadians to fulfil the obligations which the white man owes to the Indian. In the speech made by Lord Dufferin on the occasion of laying the foundation stone of the industrial home, he spoke thus: "We are bound to remember that we are under the very gravest obligations towards our Indian fellow-subjects. In entering their country, and requiring them to change their aboriginal mode of life, we incur the duty of providing for their future welfare, and of taking care that, in no respect whatsoever, are their circumstances deteriorated by changes which are thus superinduced." "The erection of this Missionary Diocese," says the Church Herald, a Canadian paper, "has not been made a day too soon: settlements are forming throughout this vast region which ought to be occupied at once, but men and means are wanting. The Bishop therefore should devote the winter to visiting the towns and villages of the Dominion, and by his Christian advocacy and personal influence, open fountains of beneficence that would prove a source of support to his Missions for years to come."
The Chippeway Indians of North-West Canada are in a degree civilized; they know something of the Gospel of Christ, but they still need to be watched over and cared for, and taught to help themselves, and to be helped in building up their native church, and let us not withhold the bread of life from those who are hungering for it.
"Freely we have received, let us freely give."
"Large, England, is the debt
Thou owest to heathendom;
All seas have seen thy red-cross flag
In war triumphantly display'd;
Late only hast thou set thy standard up
On pagan shores in peace."
Southey's Ode to Bishop Heber.