STANLEY Station is in the "English River District," Rupert's Land. The native minister is the Rev. J. A. Mackay. The Indians connected with this station are almost all professors of Christianity. The congregation varies with the season of the year, being sometimes 200, and at other times not more than 20. During the past year there has been an average attendance at the Lord's table of 59 communicants. Schools are conducted with difficulty, on account of the wandering habits of the people.
During the past year £18 was contributed by the natives for Church purposes; and the churchyard fenced in, both the timber and the labour being gratuitously afforded.
"STANLEY MISSION, RUPERT'S LAND, Dec. 20th, 1867.
MY DEAR MRS. HAWKESLEY,--At length I am able to write [76/77] and say we have received the bale of clothing from your working party at Clifton. We received our supplies by the Hudson Bay Company's freight boats about the end of September last. You can hardly imagine how anxiously we look forward to such an event, which with us happens only once a year. How anxious we feel lest some package may be left behind or damaged, upon the receipt of which the comfort of another twelve months in some measure depends! Each summer since our removal to this place we have been sadly disappointed: the first year by the non-arrival of nearly the whole of our groceries, and the last year by our private supply of clothing and our books being left behind. This year, how thankful we were to find that nothing we expected had been forgotten, and the pleasure we felt as we opened the different packages cannot be described. We received three bales of clothing, one from our kind friends Mr. and Mrs. Hunt, whom we have never seen, but who continue to help forward the work at this station, the church being of their own planting; one from some other Christian friends; and the one from your working party at Clifton. How thankful and happy we felt to know that so much interest is felt in us and our poor people, I cannot describe. Everything came safe, and nothing gave us more pleasure than the books and periodicals. It is such a blessing to have nice books to read in the long winter evenings. We are the more thankful for this blessing, as we received nothing of the kind last year. Please tell Miss B------ that I received most thankfully the pretty crocheted cape which she so kindly sent. Nothing was broken in the Chinese work-basket. I cannot tell you how much I prize it; its usefulness is but a small part of the value of such gifts. I am your debtor for the encouraging thought, daily renewed, that we are remembered in the prayers of friends so far away, and who take an interest in us for our work's sake. My husband desires me to thank Miss R------ for the copy of Weltbrecht's Memoirs. We found also a packet of cards with simple texts, prayers, hymns, etc., from the same lady. These will be of [77/78] use hereafter; as none of our people understand English, it would be of no use to give them such, but my husband expects to receive a small printing-press next summer, and he intends to print some like them in Cree, and then they will be very useful. We have not yet used the sweeties which Miss H----- kindly sent, as we are keeping them for a Christmas-tree which we intend to have when the time comes, which is now near. We are also keeping the small articles of clothing, such as gauntlets and scarfs, for the same purpose--to put on the tree. Some of the clothing we have already given to the school children, but most of the articles are still on hand to be used as they are required. We never give away any clothing indiscriminately; it is too valuable to be distributed thoughtlessly. We almost always require some return in the way of labour for the benefit of the mission from those who are helped by us, which is much better than giving them away as gifts only. One of the two cloaks we gave to the wife of an old man as a reward for his having voluntarily offered to gather in our crops of wheat, barley, and potatoes, while my husband was absent on a missionary journey. The old man worked very hard and attended to everything very carefully, so that he really deserved a reward.
I am glad you send your letters separate from the bales, as they reach us much sooner, and we are able to answer them. Some of our friends who enclose their letters in the bales must think us very ungrateful from our long silence, as quite two years must elapse in such a case before an answer can be returned. My husband wishes me to say that if it will not cause too much trouble, it would be very convenient if the money value of the clothing was sent. We look forward to receiving the two bales forwarded in May, 1867, next summer. The quilt for Mr. Budd we shall forward as soon as we have an opportunity, which will not be until spring. As you show such a kind interest in us, you will be pleased to hear that we have another little daughter born on the 9th October last, while my husband was absent from home on one of his long journeys. And now may our [78/79] heavenly Father bless you and all the kind friends who think of us and help us so much for Christ's sake.
I am, dear Mrs. Hawkesley,
Yours, very gratefully,