THIS statement was written as the basis of an appeal to the Board of Managers. It was presented to them on the 11th of March. Although the illegal and cruel action herein complained of was based on the advice of the members of the Board, or of part of them (the late Indian Commission), they refused even to hear this prayer. What further can the complainant do but tell it to the Church? It is believed that the law cited in support of his position cannot be gainsaid. The liberties and immunities of a Presbyter of the Church of God cannot be legislated away by indirection. Unless there is something in the canon constructing missionary districts and providing Bishops for them, which distinctly and specifically abridges the status of a Presbyter therein, no such difference of status can be claimed.
It is inconceivable that the Church has given to Missionary Bishops greater powers than have ever been possessed by the Diocesan Episcopate.
In truth, such claim is not only without foundation, but the Church has specifically extended her diocesan criminal law, and with it, all its guarding of the rights and liberties of the minister, over her whole missionary field. And as to rights of property and questions of equity, it must surely be admitted that no after legislation (as e. g. the new canon reorganizing the Board of Missions) can in any way affect or disturb them.
In regard to matters alleged against the Presbyter suffering these wrongs, he is and has been ready to meet any and all of them, and has thus far quietly and patiently submitted to infamous slander, cruel injustice, and brutal persecution, rather than seem even to be a disturber of the peace of the Church. He is neither confounded by covert and unmanly assaults of his enemies, nor in any way ashamed of the record of his life.
SAMUEL DUTTON HINMAN,
Missionary to Santees.
May 26th, 1879.
WESTBROOK, Feb. 17th, 1879.
To the REV. A. T. TWING, D.D., General Secretary of the Board of Managers of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society.
REV. SIR:—It is with sorrow unfeigned that I feel myself obliged to present this statement of facts, as I see and believe them, for the consideration of the Board of Managers. Being so unwarrantably shut off from necessary sources of information, I may be in error in some minor points of detail, but all the matters which give this plea its force and justification, are, I am sure, only too true. For many months I have hoped against hope, that a hearing of my cause and such justice as I feel I might rightly demand being meted to me, would long since have ended my troubles and left me no ground of complaint to thus bring before the General Church. I have been sadly disappointed. Longer silence would seem to my friends to imply culpable indifference, or neglect, or cowardice on my part. No way seems open to me to defend my manhood and perform the duty which I owe to my good name, and the honor of my children, but this one now thoughtfully and sorrowfully chosen. I will try to make my statement and argument as brief and plain as I can.
As I am informed, some time during the Advent season of 1877, the Missionary Bishop of Niobrara heard and entertained certain charges affecting my character as a man of honor, and as a Presbyter of the Church.
He gave me no notice of the fact, but instead promoted me in office, making me a rural Dean, and giving me oversight of all the work at Spotted Tail agency, in addition to that at Santee. He then invited all my catechists to visit him at Yankton agency, and extracting a promise of secrecy, informed them of his intentions towards me, and sought from them the obtaining of further information against me. Then placing [5/6] me under their surveillance he left Niobrara for a long visit to the East. Shortly after, one of the catechists who had been unable to go to Yankton agency, and so was not sworn to secrecy, revealed the plot to me. The rest being confronted with his statement, denied any knowledge of it. Soon another young man informed me of the same fact, he having his information from one of the catechists. Being confronted with the others, they again denied the plot, and persuaded the young man to take back his statement.
While at the East, the Bishop, though writing to me constantly as friend to friend, and expressing his satisfaction at the prosperity of the mission everywhere, was at the same time engaged in circulating, where they could do me most harm, rumors to my discredit. He then also planned and accomplished that I should be dismissed the mission without a hearing—the Indian Commission receiving his ex-parte and interested statements, and agreeing that he might do this by simply and quietly omitting my name from the list of missionaries nominated by them for the year 1878.
They still, however, kept on sending my salary, and also retained my name in the list of missionaries printed in the Spirit of Missions, to disarm suspicion and cover up what had been done.
Such a thing as this ought not to be done in a corner; and yet I have a letter from the Secretary of the Board of Managers informing me that, as late as Sept. 19th, '78, "neither the Board of Managers nor the Domestic Committee had taken any action, nor had my name by any one been presented to either body as connected with any charges of impropriety or irregularity."
I therefore claim, here at the start, that the Indian Commission had no such power as they assumed to exercise, nor any right to advise the Bishop of Niobrara to do an illegal and hidden act—that act striking at the very life itself of a Christian Presbyter. For, since the last General Convention, the Commission has only existed by courtesy of the Board as one of its integral parts, and it was responsible entirely to the Domestic Committee for which alone it could act. Nor is it conceivable that the Church has endued the Board of Managers with a power which she has rightly withheld from her Bishops [6/7]—so that what a Bishop may not himself lawfully do he may accomplish by indirection through a Committee of the Board of Managers. After having thus secretly accomplished my "taking off," the Bishop returned to Niobrara, arriving at Santee on Friday afternoon, March 22d. I received him cordially and he seemed unusually pleasant and communicative. The Rev. Daniel Hemans being very sick at East Bazille, I took the Bishop immediately to visit him. In all his conversation en route he seemed unusually kind and confidential. Arrived there, by the Bishop's request I read the Communion office, and prepared his will for the dying man. The Bishop asked that I return to Santee for Sunday, that he might remain with the sick brother and come back for afternoon service the next day, saying that he had sent for the other native Presbyter to meet him there.
The Bishop returned on Sunday P.M., made an address to the young people, and preached for me at the English service in the evening, I reading prayers at his request. He was kind and pleasant. On Monday, being the Feast of the Annunciation, he officiated with me at Holy Communion. Up to this time he had been my friend. Immediately after the service he handed me a letter, saying that "he was dissatisfied with my management; and that my reputation was so bad that he removed me from my position from that moment, and that he, by authority of the Indian Commission, took personal possession of my house and of the Church." He said that "discussion was entirely useless; that the Indian Commission had removed me since January, by not sending in my name for appointment; that I must immediately go away from the Mission and from the country; that he would not give me letters, and that if I attempted to officiate elsewhere he would write and stop it." I objected. He said "it was useless, that the Indian Commission agreed with him, that he had consulted six Bishops who had all advised him to take the course he had adopted, that the Commissioner of Indian Affairs had given him a letter removing me from the Indian country, in case I made any objection." He said he "would pay my salary for three months, and buy my furniture if I would go at once and quietly." He would only tell me of one charge against me, though to others he told many charges. In order not to come in contact with the [7/8] Government and so scandalize the Church here by compelling a forcible removal and the consequent proceedings at law (for which he seemed prepared), and by the advice of two brethren, who agreed to present me on charges to be brought by the Bishop, I yielded under protest, and demanded a trial. Yet still, when two days later I went to collect payment for my personal property from the Bishop, he refused to pay me unless I would first sign a paper, renouncing my ministry, and so submit to private degradation. When I refused, and asked him if he meant to say that he would not give me my own, unless I would first consent to stultify myself by signing a paper against my will and my own sense of right, he seemed confused, and said "No, not exactly that, but I have concluded that nothing here belongs to you, yet I was willing to consider that it was so if you would go away quietly. If you are going to put me to the expense and annoyance of a public trial, I can do nothing for you." I said, "Bishop, you know I have demanded a trial." He said he "must write to the Indian Commission to find out if I owned my own furniture." He also called a Council of the Indian Chiefs, and told them what he had done, and that "the Indian Commission and six Bishops and the Commissioner of Indian Affairs had told him to do it, that it was settled and could never be undone or reviewed." He then invited the Chief to a feast at the Mission School, and made a futile attempt to make merry with them over my removal, while I was yet in the house. I have since learned that he had no order from the Indian Commissioner, but only the promise of one in case I should refuse to go after having been lawfully removed. Three of the six Bishops mentioned by him have also told me that they gave him no such advice as alleged, but only advised a trial, if the charges which he recited could in his opinion be sustained by good evidence. And even if it shall transpire that any of the six Bishops did give their brother of Niobrara such advice as he claims, and did so promise him their moral support in the lawless and unprecedented course he has since pursued, and this after hearing only ex-parte and second-hand evidence, then I boldly hold that for them to so conspire for the destruction of a Presbyter of the Church was an atrocious act that can in no degree be justified. The Bishop now having crossed the Rubicon, took every occasion [8/9] to insult and humble me, and tried to abuse and brow-beat every Indian who, in the consternation that seized them, dared to lift up his voice. And at the same time he treated with every consideration and kindness any one who was found willing to turn against me, and openly rejoiced at any information or suspicion that he could turn to my discredit. To my venerated and trusted associate in the mission for nineteen years—a member of my family during the whole period, and for the last three years in charge of my motherless children—he said that everything should be precisely as he pleased, "for," he added, "I am the one to be pleased. When the Indians come here to service, or to visit, you are not to encourage their sadness. If things cannot be as I have determined, and if I am opposed, I will close the Mission and lock up the Church." Afterward, when this same friend elected to leave the Mission and take up her lot with me, this same Christian gentlemen told her he was "sorry she had any connection with such a beast." And when I came one stormy evening to my own house, he told her that I could "no longer be harbored there." About the same time the Bishop ordered me to leave the Reservation, or he would not pay me the salary still due me. When I told him I could not go, he asked, "Why not?" I said, I must stay, as everything I value is at stake." "Oh," he said, "if, you mean your property, I will take care of that." I said, "No, I mean my good name and the honor of my children, and I cannot go away and leave you here alone to use all your power for my ruin." He said, "Well, you must not come to the Mission House any more, but I will overlook your staying on the agency until after the trial."
As I related, I had demanded an immediate trial on the charges which had called for such extraordinary action. A presentment was therefore drawn up on the Bishop's information, and at my urgent request, by the three leading Presbyters of the Missionary District of Niobrara, as the only method of ascertaining the facts, and compelling the Bishop to accord me a hearing. Meantime, the Bishop had unlawfully appointed a Missionary of the Domestic Committee of the Board, then holding an appointment for Dakota Territory, to take charge of the Mission at Santee, the circumstances of such appointment not being known to the Board nor the nomination confirmed [9/10] by them. He had also laid "hands suddenly" on one of my Santee postulants before he had half finished his course of study. As the new Presbyter at Santee is ignorant of the Indians and their language, this young Deacon is virtually in charge of the Mission. After long delay, the Bishop nominated a Court, and finally fixed the day of trial for the 4th of June. The Court was made up of learned and experienced Presbyters. The Court failed to assemble on the day named, but at the Bishop's request I waited for them until the 6th inst. Before the Court assembled, however, the Bishop had privately taken the testimony of a principal witness, and sent the witness out of the country, saying that he did not want trouble, and did not want the charges known until the witness was safely away. He had also obtained and caused to be publicly read in all the Churches at Santee, the following letter from a worthy Bishop with a preface by himself. (No date.)
To the Members of the Church at Santee:
"My FRIENDS:—Bishop___ has sent me this letter. He has strengthened my heart and I think he will strengthen yours. I always remember you in my prayers and am your friend and Bishop.
Wm. H. HARE."
May 8th, 1878.
Christians of the Santee people:
MY BELOVED FRIENDS:—Since I at one time had care of your souls, and confirmed many of you, therefore now in your trouble and sorrow I send you these words of comfort and counsel. Hold fast to the Church and her laws and her minister, and also stand truthfully by the side of her Chief Overseer your Bishop. What he has done to your former minister he has considered with his brother Bishops, and they know what he has done and approve it, and think he has done right, and therefore know of a certainty that they will never undo that he has done. The time of temptation to your faith in God and righteousness, and to your faith in the Church is now upon you. God sometimes brings darkness to his people, but afterwards opens the clouds and it is again light; now in your distress, because it is so (dark), do not lose heart or despair. Take [10/11] heed lest ye be deceived. Pray always that dawn may come upon this darkness. Do not leave your faith in God, nor this Church which you love. Do not let any one cause you to doubt your Bishop's wisdom, justice or goodness. He is the best friend to you and to the Church, and God is with him, and will lift him up, and watch over him. If you therefore wish to stand by the side of God and right, you must stand by your Bishop.
Your old and true friend,
I have not seen the original of this letter. It came to me as it was translated into Dakota for the reading of the Indians to whom it was sent, and I have here retranslated it back into English. This letter was written by urgent request of the Bishop of Niobrara, who represented that I was keeping the people from attending Church, and persuading them that his course would end in his deposition. The Bishop who wrote it is a man who has the love and respect of all the Indians, and he wrote it entirely on the testimony of his brother of Niobrara. The facts are, that the Indians who are my friends were all attending Church regularly, and the idea of throwing away their religion had never entered their heads. But because they were indignant and sorrowful at the course pursued by their Bishop, they would only for special reasons go to the Central Church at the agency where the new missionary was installed, and where they were continually threatened for their friendship to me, and informed that the wrong done me could never be looked into or righted, because a Bishop had done it. As to the Bishop, I had said nothing, except that my case would go to trial and until then I could not hope for justice. So this letter had no effect upon the Indians, except to make them wonder how so good a man could have been led to do blindly so unjust an act. This Bishop has since told me he was sorry for it, and that he wrote the letter with great reluctance and hesitation, and acknowledged that it was an unfair interference with a Presbyter who had asked for a hearing, and only asks what, it appears, is by no means to be granted to him. "Hands off" until this difficulty is settled by mutual concession, or fair battle in an open field. You will notice that the letter as read to the Indians carries the idea that all the Bishops [11/12] had considered this matter and agreed to it, and this is the idea that is constantly sought to be impressed upon the Santees. All this cannot bear the light; for admitting that the entire House of Bishops had, after hearing but one side of a case, agreed to and advised a course of action which must inevitably bring disgrace and lasting ruin upon any man, no matter how humble or powerless; the significance of that action, although the act be already accomplished, would be weakened rather than be made stronger, by the very fact of being based on such injustice. And so, under the same circumstances, support blindly given, like that quoted above, raises at once the suspicion of a weak cause, in that such defence is called for or deemed in any degree honestly helpful.
The court being duly organized by the appointment of the Rev. ___ as President, the Bishop brought in his charges and proceeded to open the case as Prosecutor. To this I objected, for the reason that the canon (Neb. xx. 5 and 7) provides that all testimony shall be reduced to writing, and together with the findings thereon laid before the Bishop, who after a calm and unprejudiced review of the same, "shall pass such sentence as he may deem proper." There can, I think, be no doubt that this is the fair interpretation of Secs. 5 and 7. For how could one clothed with the sober dignity of a judge be allowed to appear as a prosecutor in his own court, and when the case of the defendant had been already jeoparded by his admitted personal and vital interest in his defeat? The court unanimously sustained my objection, notwithstanding the Bishop's demurrer, "that the accused would certainly escape (thus convicting himself), that the investigation would be utterly unsatisfactory and fail, unless he could conduct it in person, as he only had the necessary information." He also said, "that there were only two Presbyters in Niobrara of the right kind of ability to conduct a vigorous prosecution of the case, and both of them had decidedly and repeatedly refused to do so."
On this subject and case, a judge of the U. S. Court has pertinently written: "What a spectacle is presented of the Bishop, who is in case of conviction to be the ultimate judge, to so prejudge the case by prosecuting or aiding in it! He should hold himself aloof, and, keep his ermine as a judge as [12/13] unspotted, and himself as free from bias, as the ultimate judge in any appellate civil tribunal, when a man's life depends upon results, for reputation is worth more than life."
As the Bishop held that the Church demanded the prosecution of an accused person, and not simply an investigation to ascertain the truthfulness of rumors and charges, the court adjourned for a week to enable him to find a prosecutor. In the canon for the trial of a Bishop (Title Neb. ii. Can. 9, S. iv. 3), it is provided that there shall be no prosecution, as that term is understood in civil law, and I raise the question as to whether it is allowable in the case of any other minister. It certainly ought not to be. For surely the character of one Christian man is as dear and sacred as any others can be, no matter of how different station. A prosecutor is a paid servant who acts with the intention and hope of convicting the accused of guilt by any possible means; and so are brought into a Christian court of inquiry all the complex machineries and unseemly wranglings of a criminal court. And, in case a prosecutor is allowed, if the judge shall sympathize with that officer in his desire to convict, any defence on the part of the accused must evidently be almost a forlorn hope.
The canon of Nebraska (xx. 7), calls the officer whom the Bishop designates as a prosecutor, an advocate or proctor. And the same canon tells who, and what sort of man he must be. "He must be a clergyman, canonically resident in the diocese, or a layman who has been a communicant in some parish in the same for at least two years before the trial."
That is to say, he must either be a minister, or some person of equally good character. Now the person in this case, appointed to this office by the Bishop and for the last year sustained in the same, is not such a person at all as the canon calls for. He is a discharged soldier, of bad record; an adventurer who has for a long time led a dissolute life and is habitually profane; and he has in no manner mended his ways since being employed by the Bishop who still retains him, though his frequent dissipations and indiscretions have been reported, and who admits him at all times to the Mission House which I am already adjudged unworthy to enter.
The court re-assembled on the 12th of June. The prosecutor appeared for the Bishop. It appearing that the presentment was [13/14] informally drawn, not being dated "4," the prosecution challenged me to make any and all objections to informalities in said paper then and there; for the reason that the case, having gone to trial, no further objection could be entertained nor any defects hereafter pleaded. After obtaining an order for the correction of the paper by the insertion of the date as a matter of record, I waived all further objection (as did also the prosecution), and demanded that the case go to trial on the matters alleged against me. It now appeared that there was no direct testimony to put in evidence to sustain the first charge and its specifications. It also appeared that the Bishop had intended not only to act as prosecutor and judge, but also as principal witness for the prosecution; resting his case entirely on hearsay testimony. This the court would not allow. The Bishop then sought to obtain an adjournment for three months to enable him to obtain testimony. This I agreed to if he would guarantee my salary for that time. He flatly refused to do this, saying that the Indian Commission had already found fault with him for paying me anything at all. I then argued against the adjournment, the already long and sad waiting from March to June, and the fact that the time now set was the Bishop's own appointing, as was also the matter before the court of his own purveying. The court two to one refused to adjourn. The Prosecutor then arose and withdrew the entire first charge.
Adjourned for two hours. At the second session of the court the defendant being ready with his rebutting testimony on the remaining charges now in order, the Prosecutor for the Bishop arose and withdrew the whole case by entering a nolle pros. He pleaded what he had in the morning claimed could no longer be pleaded after the trial had once begun, their dissatisfaction with their own presentment: saying if it were not granted they must withdraw from the case. In a civil court this would not have been allowed, and I could under such circumstances have obtained a verdict of acquittal. [* In the recent trial of Dr. Livingstone, late U. S. agent at Yankton, Dakota, when the Prosecuting Attorney wished to withdraw the suit, the Judge said it was entirely inadmissible, and instructed the jury to return a verdict of not guilty, which they did without leaving the court.] But in such a case as this, no testimony having been heard, what verdict was it possible for the court to render? The case having gone to trial on charges [14/15] preferred by the Bishop at a time and place appointed by him, and before an honorable court of his own nomination, was by him withdrawn in a cowardly and unmanly way, for the only reason that it had become evident from the worthlessness of his testimony that the defendant must be acquitted. The court, however, ordered this entry made in the journal of the secretary: "That the trial has failed through no fault of the accused." Ought not the acquittal of a Presbyter by an honorable court to have been rather a matter of rejoicing? It was to the Bishop a matter the contemplation of which filled him with sorrow and anger. He said to the Indian Catechists that it would be very bad for him if I was acquitted. And in the chagrin caused by the breaking down of his case, he said he had only resorted to this subterfuge to gain a few months time until the fall of the year, that the whole country might be ransacked if haply they might discover testimony that would convict me; or, as a member of the court forcibly expressed it, "the Bishop let go to try and get a better hold." For the defending of this presentment only two witnesses could have been brought, one had been sent away by the Bishop, the other could testify to no matter good in evidence on the charges made.
The Annual Convocation of Niobrara assembled at Yankton Agency, D .T., on June 21st. I received a card of notification, but feeling that my case could not honorably be brought up there, and that my presence would annoy the Bishop, and that I should at any rate be accused of trying to work up sympathy for myself among my brethren of the clergy and the Indian delegates, I felt it my duty to stay away. For this I have since been sorry. It appears that the Bishop had no such delicate sense of honor in his management of the matter as I had honestly given him credit for.
Let us see. At Santee it has been the custom and law for the male communicants of each of the Churches there to elect their own delegate to convocation. The delegates are elected at a legally called meeting and by ballot. The Church of our Blessed Redeemer at East Bazille Creek, Neb., had so elected a delegate. But it seemed he was not such a person as the Bishop desired. The missionary in charge at Santee, therefore, directed his Indian Deacon to write a letter to the Indian Catechists at East Bazille, to annul the election and select another [15/16] man, as the person before elected was a friend to Mr. Hinman, and therefore unsatisfactory to him. As this was not done, the Bishop wrote the following to the person elected:
SANTEE AGENCY, NEB., June 13th, 1878.
My FRIEND:—It does not please me that you have made common cause with a bad man. I shall not wish to see you at convocation.
WILLIAM H. HARE, Bishop.
During the convocation, a private meeting of the clergy was called by the Bishop, and my case with which they had no concern, and which from right motives I had refrained from presenting before them, was, by the Bishop, skilfully laid before them in detail, for an expression of opinion favorable to his action already taken. Of course, this was all wrong, for there was no one present who knew about it on the defence, except as told them by the Bishop, and these very clergy were likely to be drawn as members of the Court. The Bishop had gone over the ground in private with some of the brethren, and obtained their promise to work for the passage of a resolution, reciting that under the circumstances a presentment was justifiable. They passed such a resolution, and also one of love and sympathy for me. The first was only for the Bishop's private information and justification, and the second was for my private consolation in my trouble. Only it was provided by a third resolution that both these should be read in the Churches at Santee, for the quieting of the Indians. This was all wrong: as the first resolution was so carelessly worded that, taken by itself, it might cover any and all acts of the Bishop, and was so understood after having been translated and read in Dakota. But, worse than this, the Bishop severed the first resolution from the others, and caused it to be printed and sent to the Secretary of the Indian Commission for general distribution, thereby making it to appear that he and his clergy were at one in this high-handed business, and that I stood utterly alone, and that no defence on my part was deemed possible. When this became known, the clergy were indignant, and three of them to my knowledge protested [16/17] against it as an outrage. One of them writes, "I confess I was much surprised, and for my part I sincerely regret to learn the resolution has been published or in any way made public. It was not the intention of the brethren that they should be so used. Our idea was of a private expression of our opinion in the case as it stood to the Bishop, etc." Another writes, "that resolution was passed simply for the Bishop personally, and a copy ordered to be sent to you. . . . The manner of this action and the merits of the case were not touched, and it was distinctly stated that we were in no shape to pronounce on the guilt or innocence of the accused. To other parties than those for whom it was intended, and who were acquainted with the circumstances and the object sought, the resolution would be misleading, and could be made to cover any and all acts of the Bishop. It was not so intended. I never could have consented to it as a resolution for the public eye." Another wrote still more strongly; so strongly that the Bishop took offence at the letter, but afterward concluded to overlook it in the interests of peace. With bad grace he then stopped the further circulation of the paper, but refused to call back or explain those already out. I explain this matter thus, at length, only because those resolutions left in circulation have done me untold harm.
On the 24th of June the Bishop caused another presentment to be drawn up by his attorney. From this new presentment all the charges and specifications, laid before the court of June 4th, are either dropped or changed, and other new ones are added. The specifications seem purposely indefinitely or loosely drawn, so as when the court shall be called, to admit any and all testimony that may have meantime been fabricated or adduced. To this document is affixed the name of the Bishop's paid attorney as one of the presenters. The canon requires (Neb. xx. I), that the Bishop "shall, on receiving the presentment, thereupon cause a copy of said presentment, together with a citation to appear and answer thereto, to be served upon the accused with all convenient speed." The Bishop gave me no notice, and departed for the East. Before this, however, and not informing me of his intentions in regard to the trial, he wrote me as follows: "The reason assigned for your continuance on the Santee Reserve and in communication [17/18] with the people having ceased to exist, I draw your attention to the fact that the condition on which your salary is continued requires your immediate departure, and the cessation of a discussion which only tends to disquiet. . . P. S.—Of any future proceedings, you will have the thirty days' notice required by canon." And a day later he sent the following: "Since writing yesterday, evidence of your violation of the conditions on which your salary was continued have come to me of a kind which I cannot resist, and I hereby notify you, therefore, that I consider myself released from the obligation to make any further payment, and will not make any." What that evidence was, I am to this day uninformed, and thus the Bishop settles all questions of mutual interest.
The Bishop next made a request of the U. S. Indian agent for the Santees, to expel me from the Reserve, quoting the promise of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs to issue an order to that effect. The agent refused to act without such order. His next appeal was to General Hammond, who told the agent that he had seen such order written out in the Commissioner's office at Washington, two weeks previous. But the agent still refused to act without the order.
The Bishop returned to Niobrara, retaining the presentment which he should have served in June, till the 29th day of August, and then did not cite me to appear until the 7th of October. The Honorable Commissioner of Indian Affairs was induced to address a letter to the Hon. Secretary of the Interior, reciting that I had been legally for cause removed from my office as a Missionary of the Protestant Episcopal Church to the Santees, and that I was remaining on the Santee Reserve for no other purpose than to make disturbance among the Indians, etc. To this the Hon. Secretary replied on Sept. 5th, that under the circumstances related, I might be lawfully expelled as an intruder in the Indian country, in accordance with the provision of the U. S. statutes to protect the Indians from the intrusion of unauthorized persons upon their lands.
 The Commissioner thereupon, Sept. 9th, sent the following order to the agent at Santee:
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
OFFICE OF INDIAN AFFAIRS,
WASHINGTON, Sept. 9th, 1878.
ISAIAH LIGHTNER, U. S. Indian Agent, Santee Agency, Nebraska.
SIR:—Herewith inclosed is a copy of a communication from the Hon. Secretary of the Interior, dated 5th inst., granting authority, for reasons therein given, for the removal of Rev. S. D. Hinman from the Santee Reservation. You will, therefore, take immediate steps to remove the said person, as authorized under the provision of Section 2,149, U. S. Revised Statutes.
E. A. HAYT, Commissioner.
Still, if I came to Santee for trial, it might be that some Indian would be found so regardless of his own well-being, or fearless of Episcopal authority, as to befriend me. And to prevent all possibility of my having even an Indian friend to stand by me or aid me, he appointed that the court should be held, not at Santee, where it is alleged that I have misbehaved, and where all facts can be best examined, but at Choteau Creek in Dakota Territory—a place where I can get no testimony, and where I must attend at great expense, and where I, being a citizen of Nebraska, could not resort to the civil court for relief from any errors or hardships the ecclesiastical court might inflict upon me. It further appears from the Bishop's note of Aug. 25th, here quoted, that he intended not only to act as complainant, director of the prosecution, and ultimate judge, as before, but that he also confidently expected to control the rulings of the court. In order that you may not incur expense and undergo inconvenience in producing witnesses at that place and date (Choteau Creek, D. T.), I deem it my duty to inform you that the presenters intend the first meeting of the court will be only for the purpose of organizing, issuing of commissions to take testimony of witnesses living at remote points, etc., after which it is expected that the court will adjourn to earliest possible date for the purpose of hearing testimony."
The field was now fixed as the Bishop desired it to be, to accord with his idea of the necessary preliminaries of a fair battle in which he was to be forced to take part. I am shut off [19/20] from all intercourse with my witnesses, and all possible knowledge of plots formed against me, on charges to be brought. The place of trial is outside the State, and all danger of any interference of the law to protect the man and the citizen is done away. I cannot go to Santee to manage my case or obtain testimony, but a commission may be sent to hear the Bishop's well-wrought stories of the conceived probabilities or possibilities of my wrong-doing.
This mass of secretly educed and most suspicious testimony is to be brought into court at its second session, and then for the first time I am to be allowed a fair view of the field, and the proposed movements of the enemy, already skilfully intrenched. Then I am to be told, behold the battle is in array, fight if you dare, but rather confess how foolhardy you have been to imagine the remote possibility of any defence on your part against such manly and astute generalship.
It should be mentioned here that some time before the court was to meet, the Bishop's attorney resigned his position as one of the presenters, doubtless feeling that he was hardly a fit person to present a Presbyter. His place was in some curious way filled by inserting the name of ___, a Deacon, who happened to be conveniently near to sign the presentment three months after it was made. To the court called Oct. 7th, one member, the Rev. ___, a gentleman whose presence the Bishop particularly desired, failed to come, and there could be no organization. After we had waited for two days and received no tidings of the absent member, the Prosecutor proposed a long adjournment to secure his attendance. But as we had already waited a reasonable time, and there seemed to be no reason why the Bishop (there present) should not obey the canon (Neb. xx. 3), the members of the court declined to admit the legality of an adjournment without other cause; it remained for the Bishop to draw two other names from which the third member of the court could be selected by the defendant. The Prosecutor also proposed the issuing of a commission to take testimony at Santee, etc., which was contested and not allowed. The Bishop failing to send in his nominations, the two members of the court present, the Prosecutor and the defendant, in order to save time, and also to please the Bishop, by retaining the Rev. ___, as a member of the court (it being [20/21] uncertain how soon another Presbyter could be got from abroad to fill the vacancy), then agreed that the presentment might be redated Oct. 9th, and reserved, and the Bishop be allowed to nominate the same court, and the defendant cited to appear on Nov. 12th. This was mutually and severally agreed to, reduced to writing, and so done.
The Bishop almost immediately disregarded this, though the agreement had been drawn up, affirmed and executed, by his own attorney. He sent me now the names of two Presbyters, from which to select a member of the court which was no longer in existence. One of these Presbyters, exercising my canonical right (Neb. xx. 3) I had already rejected for the same court. The other was the Rev. ___; against this I urged our agreement, and he replied that "as it was only verbal, he should disregard it." He then proposed the following most remarkable way of filling a vacancy: Under date of Yankton Agency, D. T., Oct. 22d, 1878, he writes, "You having failed and neglected to select, within the time allowed, one from the names of Presbyters sent to you, to fill the vacancy caused by the inability of Rev. ___, to sit Oct. 7th, 1878, in the court constituted for the trial of the presentment against you, I have therefore, in accordance with the canon in such case made and provided, this day selected the said Rev. ___ to fill said vacancy." Here it is first to be noted that, in accordance with our agreement (and about which the Bishop was consulted) and the presentment and citation served on me, Oct. 9th, there was no vacancy, and, in the second place, that if such vacancy had existed, neither of the persons named could have been nominated to fill it. The Bishop having committed the presentment to a court for trial, it would certainly seem that this court should be entirely independent of outside interference, and untrammelled in its action, and should be so held as to be free from even the slightest suspicion of direction or control from any source whatever. The court should keep its own counsels, and have absolute control over its own sittings, and its proper times and seasons of work. The Bishop wished to go to the Black Hills to make his first visitation there; he therefore, having already disregarded the order of Oct. 9th, and so usurped control over the court, now issued an official notice as Bishop, that the court would not convene on Nov.12th, [21/22] as had been determined at the meeting of Oct. 7th, but on Dec. 3d, to suit his own personal convenience. The postponement until December carried the case into the Advent season, a time when the President of the court, who is an active parish clergyman, of course could not attend. The Bishop then, on his own sole responsibility, issued a notice that the court was adjourned "sine die."
Since then he has issued a further notice, that, "owing to the difficulty of assembling a court in the inclement season of winter, the trial is postponed until spring, and will not take place before April." The whole of the year of 1878-79 has been exceedingly inclement to me and to mine, but no account is to be made of that, for the Bishop may punish and disgrace before conviction or even the form of a hearing.
Since the breaking up of the court of October 7th, a new system of tactics has been adopted by the Prosecutor. It will be remembered that the members of that court declined to issue a commission to take testimony out of court. Yet it seems that the parties to the prosecution are determined to have it so taken. Immediately after the disbanding of the court, on October 9th, I received notice from the Prosecutor to attend at Flandreau, D. T., a place more than a hundred miles away, to hear the testimony of a person named in the notice. I wrote and ascertained that the person so named had no testimony to give. The Prosecutor then proceeded to take the testimony of other persons not so named to me. Shortly after, I received notice to attend at the town of Niobrara, to hear the testimony of a certain citizen named. I went at once to Niobrara, and learned that the citizen named had no testimony to give against me. I did not attend on the day appointed, because I would not even seem to recognize such unwarrantable proceedings. Here again the testimony of other parties, not named to me, was taken, and a sheriff employed to enforce their attendance.
Excluded as I was by a Government order from residing on the Santee Reserve, the Prosecutor taking advantage of this expulsion to obtain secret testimony against me, procured by his personal influence the appointment of a friend of his own as deputy clerk of the county court (pro tem.) and another of his personal friends also to represent me and my interests. Then all three going to the Santee Reserve, they employed as [22/23] interpreter a man whom I had previously disciplined for public and repeated intoxication, and proceeded to take testimony to be used against me, representing themselves to the Indians as a legal court of justice. The Nebraska law requires that all testimony shall be sealed up in open court, and sent by mail to the clerk of the court authorizing the taking of the same. It is by him to be kept inviolate, and only opened when required in the prosecution of the case before the court. As there was no court to authorize the taking of this testimony and as there is no clerk to whom it may be sent, it is worthless to the prosecution.
Later still, I received notice that the testimony of an Indian was to be taken at Niobrara. Not supposing that my exclusion from Santee forbade any necessary intercourse with the Indians on matters of business importance, I had an interview with this Indian at his own house and learned that he had no such testimony as represented to give. For receiving me kindly and allowing me to remain at his house during my stay on the Reserve, he was informed by the Deacon at Santee Mission that the Bishop had said that any one who received me rendered himself liable to imprisonment; and that it was a great crime for any one to harbor me or give me food.
I now come to the last chapter of this most remarkable and shameful history. Certainly it is without a parallel in our days! For the honor of the Church I wish that I might omit it. In a free and enlightened country, in a Church which boasts of manhood and culture, and freedom from the childish bigotries and stupid intolerances of the past, such things ought to be impossible and unheard of. But in the interests of truth and my own happiness it must be written. The best way to reform such abuses as these is to expose them. A leading and influential Chief of the Santees (Wabashaw) having spoken of me as his friend, was told by the Missionary in charge—and he went to the Chief's house for the purpose of telling him—that "all who befriend Mr. ___ will be thrown out of the Church."
Another Chief (Lower Band) was told, in answer to an inquiry on his part, that "God had sent the present Missionary to Santee: and that all the men who stand by Mr. H. will be shut out of the Church, and will have no interest in the distributions of clothing, etc., made from the Mission House; and [23/24] their sick and poor will not be cared for, and their children will receive no presents at Christmas-time." Henry Waumdishun (some time delegate to the General Convention) having received me at his house, and being considered as obstinately my friend—he having also refused to sign a paper to bear testimony against me—was told by the same Minister of the Gospel of Peace that his "name was already cut off from the Church;" that they (the Bishop, etc.) "had fully decided upon it, and that all would be cut off who declared for Mr. H., and that he was already liable to imprisonment and a fine of a thousand dollars for receiving him at his house."
Another man (a French half-caste and late U. S. Interpreter and Interpreter to the Mission) was told that "all who stand by Mr. H. are to be excommunicated, and not allowed to put a foot even within the Church; and if they die, not even one of their bones can rest in consecrated ground." The Missionary also added: "I can also take away their rations and banish them from the Reservation, as Mr. H. has been banished. I have also the power to do this when I will to do so." Alas miserable me! Have I then for nineteen years worked for and among these poor people to no profit and in vain? Rescued them from heathenism only that this Evangelical Christian priest, backed by Episcopal approval, may cast them excommunicate and unburied into the flames of Gehenna; because having regained their manhood, they remember me with gratitude and devotion!
I so close my narrative. I have given only a small part of the abundant testimony at hand as evidence of the irregularity, passion, and subtlety which have characterized all these extraordinary and indefensible proceedings. And after the quotations last made—which can be multiplied and verified—surely I need not say more. But in all soberness I would ask the Right Reverend Fathers and Christian Brethren of the Board of Managers if an investigation of such circumstances as are here recited is not imperatively demanded, for what man can stand against such warfare as this?
I would also ask, In case I am adjudged upon the foregoing evidence to be guilty of all or part of what has been rumored or charged, what moral force or weight can such a verdict carry?
 In my own mind and heart I honestly feel that, not only myself, but also all my poor friends who have so bravely stood by me, enduring silently and patiently taunt and insult and rebuke, are likely to be made confessors in the cause of truth and manliness and personal liberty in the Church of God. And as to external opinion, which has been so craftily and secretly cultivated and managed, as to prejudge this whole case, I would ask most earnestly, is there any member of the Board who is willing openly to say that he thinks it lawful and just and right, to impoverish, disgrace, and utterly ruin a man, whose lifework is known and recognized by the Church, without first according him a fair and unprejudiced hearing?
I do not feel that the effect of this plain statement of facts which have now become part of the history of my life can be strengthened by aught that I can add to it. Yet it seems proper that I should also write out my opinion on the questions on which my appeal is founded, and the State from which I call for relief. And first, What reply is it possible for the Bishop of Niobrara to make to this complaint as it stands? He can only rely for his seeming justification upon the gravity of the offences alleged, and the (in his view) apparent trustworthiness of the testimony at hand. But such a reply is inadequate. For the Church has provided a tribunal where he may lay his grievance for adjudication; and if his case be so manifestly true and good (as he represents), conviction and condemnation must surely and speedily overtake the wrong-doer, and at once arrest and punish his crime. For a man who claims that he has a good case for action, to take it, not to the lawful tribunal for hearing, but to the public, and to coteries of friends, and to the avenues of public scandal, is monstrous, and casts suspicion first upon the integrity of his own character, and then upon the justice of his cause. Yet this the Bishop of Niobrara has avowedly and deliberately done, and such action he yet seeks to defend. But has he not rendered himself liable to the charge of being guilty of all those sins from which the Catechism teaches us we should keep our tongues? Next, submit that the course pursued by the Bishop is unjust and unprecedented. It is well known to the members of the Board, that during the last year every man of prominence connected with the Indian work on the Missouri River has been the subject of [25/26] most malignant attacks, evidently aimed, not so much at the reform of the service (which has not been reformed), as at the possession of the field. And to these assailants the field has been yielded without a protest or a struggle. Men, however, have been obliged to, and have, stood up manfully and successfully in their own defence. In regard to agents so attacked, the Bishop himself has written that until their offences were proved, we must accept their denial of the charges as a sufficient reply to them. Why should the case of a Missionary be different? Again, a Missionary of the A. B. C. F. M. to the Indians in this Missionary District is among those indicted by the U. S. Grand Jury for a great crime (grand larceny). He is only one of the many victims of this same attack. Has he been suspended, disgraced, ruined, and banished by his Church or Missionary Board? Not at all. He is rightly accounted and treated as innocent until his offence be proved. Why should the Episcopal Church be less merciful? Again, the Bishop has admitted (over his own hand) that during these troubles "infamous attacks have been made upon his own character. It is true: I have heard them. They have been very generally known. They are incredible. But what of that? Because they are infamous and injure the Church, shall the Board of Missions appoint a Committee to collect and circulate them (privately) as if they were true? Shall his character outside his district be ruined? Shall the Commissioner of Indian Affairs be asked to banish him? Shall the Board of Missions stop his salary, and suspend him from office? Shall other Bishops be asked to support this movement by the influence of their positions, and by letters to the Indians? Shall the Bishop, feeling that he is alone and helpless, be told that he is to have no hearing, no mercy, no justice or equity; but that he must yield to this brute force against him, or battle alone and hopelessly for his honor and his name? You say this would be atrocious, heartless, and cruel! Brethren! from the bottom of my heart, and from my very inmost soul, I can say it is hard and cruel. And yet, just this is what I have been called to bear. And to the Eye that looks down from the far-off heights of Heaven, I doubt if there be any such difference in the shading of the habiliments with which the pigmies of earth are clothed, [26/27] as to justify such unequal dealings as have been meted out to us two—Bishop and Presbyter, indeed—but fellow-men.
I assert that the course of the Bishop is also unscriptural and, therefore, in our Church utterly indefensible. The Christian law, which is one of brotherly charity, is written in St. Matthew xviii. 15, 16, 17, and it is and must be always, everywhere, the law of the Church. This law, founded on the authority of God's word, the Bishop at his consecration promised to obey: and any action of his that contravenes it is unlawful and void. Yet this law that cannot be called in question the Bishop from the very inception of these proceedings has broken and ignored, and lastly, the course of the Bishop is uncanonical and untenable. The Board cannot remedy or blot out the sad record of the year past: but the first act of the Bishop was an outrage, and for that I claim the only adequate redress, which is reinstatement in my position and work. The Bishop of Niobrara is your agent, and is not above Law. But he is bound in all his intercourse with his clergy—who are your missionaries—by the same laws that in like manner bind and protect yourselves. A Bishop has all such power and rights as belong to his office under the Canon Law of the Church, as enacted or enforced in the United States by the General Convention of the Church, and subject to such limitations as the constitution and canons of the various dioceses impose. The Presbyter, the officer of the Church of the most numerous order, is the active worker who comes in contact daily each with his own flock or charge. The Bishop is the Chief Pastor, the conservator of the Church, ordinarily elected by the Presbyters and their flocks. Both canon and national law, therefore, rightly protect the Presbyter in his difficult position from trifling interferences by his flock on the one hand, and from the tyranny or hasty or ill-considered action of his superior on the other.
All dioceses also have this guarantee of the Presbyter's necessary independence and protection for the dignity of his manhood (either in their constitution or canon law), that "no Presbyter shall be publicly censured or suspended from office or functions until lawfully tried and found guilty upon charges preferred." And a general canon allowing such temporary suspension, sent down from the House of Bishops in the Convention of 1874, was overwhelmingly defeated in the Lower House.
 In many things our Missionary Bishops are a law unto themselves, they having no counsel with legislative powers. But the Church has protected the rights and liberties of the other orders of the ministry by enacting that they shall only be suspended, degraded, or even admonished, on "being found guilty" upon presentment and trial (Tit. ii. Can. ii., S. i. and ii.) And by further providing—in the case of a Missionary Bishop having occasion to proceed against a minister—that "the trial shall take place according to the constitution and canons of any diocese of this Church which may have been selected by the said Missionary Bishop at the time of the appointment of such Standing Committee" (Tit. i. Can. 15, S. vii. 4.). This is dear and forcible; and it affords the ministers in a missionary district all the protection which not only the constitution but also the canons of an organized diocese afford her clergy. The Missionary Bishop of Niobrara did so select the constitution and canons of the Diocese of Nebraska, and Sec. 10 of her canon xx. for the trial of a clergyman says, that "no clergyman shall be suspended or receive any public censure from the Bishop of the Diocese without having been adjudged thereto in the manner provided for by this canon." The Bishops assembled at Lambeth likewise gave it as their opinion that the license of no missionary should be revoked without his first having been accorded a hearing.
These laws are rightly founded. For the Reformed Church brooks no autocrat in any office. The theologians of the Church of Rome logically conclude that if God has given any man unlimited power, He must have also made him infallible; lest ignorantly, or hastily, or wilfully, he use that power to the irreparable hurt of some fellow-Christian, or of the Church.
I take, therefore, the broad ground that the initial action of the Bishop in my case at Santee was unlawful and unrighteous, and that it can neither be defended nor maintained. The harshness in language and manner of the Bishop have made it, moreover, unnecessarily aggravating and cruel. His subsequent course has made the case unparalleled in the history of our Church.
The Bishop has clearly been guilty of a gross violation of both canon and civil law. If such things are allowed to be [28/29] smothered or to pass unquestioned, not many will seek the ministry of the Church; and the clergy of her missionary district will become, more and more, men small and weak, like the Seminarians of the Church of Rome.
The Bishop has not only suspended me from the exercise of my ministry in my own Church and in the District of Niobrara but he has also virtually suspended me from the exercise of my ministry any where, by refusing me letters and declaring that he would enter complaint against my officiating in any diocese in the land. He has also taken possession of and forbidden me my own house, and caused my expulsion from the Santee Reserve, my home. He has removed my name from the list of the clergy of Niobrara, and caused the publication of such list with my name left out; and my place filled by another in the Spirit of Missions and in the Church newspapers. He has publicly censured me in my own church and house, in various councils with the Indians at a meeting of all the clergy of Niobrara, in various sermons and addresses and in various letters written to the officers of the Missionary Associations of the Church. Not intending—and neglecting—to give me a fair trial or open hearing, he first broke up an honorable court, because he could not control it; and since the second presentment, for trivial and insufficient reasons, he has delayed and refused to act, until endurance on my part would no longer be accounted as patience, but as baseness and confession of guilt. In this way he has utterly ruined my good name; he has taken away my home; he has banished my family; and has caused suffering, humiliation, and disgrace to myself and my children. In justification of his high-handed course he has lately said, addressing the congregation at Santee, "What I did here last spring God told me to do, and He tells me still that I did rightly, and it is finished, never again to be changed or reviewed." Yet, who does not know that the same justification has been pleaded for every unlawful act or cruel deed that has in any age or nation been done, under the impulse of spiritual selfishness or zeal for religion?
I ask, therefore, in the name of justice which has been outraged, and of mercy which has been denied me, and of the liberty of a free man, in God's Church, who will not be crushed, [29/30] that I be immediately restored to my position and work at Santee; and that my arrears of salary be fully paid. I ask that the charges which the Bishop has brought against me and which can never be sustained, be by him withdrawn, or that he be advised to begin anew and to proceed lawfully, before he deprive me of my reputation, my sacred office, and my home.
In the case of a Presbyter but to-day ordained, the course herein pursued would be unjustifiable, unlawful, and outrageous. In my case it cannot be less. How can I but remember that I am the founder of all the Missions to the Dakotas; that they were built up by years of patient and lonely toil; and that but for me—I speak as a man—they would not have been. I have endured and waited patiently, silently, and with suffering too deep for words, for more than a year. I now ask from your honorable and charitable Board, prompt and adequate relief; and that, in any case, both the Domestic Committee and the Board of Managers be informed that I can no longer silently endure this wrong.
SAMUEL DUTTONN HINMAN,
Missionary to Santees.
The following paper accompanied the statement.
To the Board of Managers of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church.
We whose names are herein under written, Chiefs, Counsellors and Members of the Santee Tribe of Dakotas, respectfully represent:—
1. That at a council of the Mdewakantonwan and Walpekute tribes (now Santees), held at Lower Sioux Agency, Minnesota, in June, 1860, at which were present the Honorable Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Northern Superintendency, the United States agent and Bishop Whipple representing the Americans, the Rev. Samuel Dutton Hinman was appointed the missionary and teacher for our people.
2. And since that time, but especially during the years 1862-3 (the year of the Minnesota outbreak), when no one befriended us; and afterward at Crow Creek, Dakota [30/31] Territory, when we were starving and no one helped us; and in 1873 during the visitation of the small-pox, when all other white men locked their houses and fled; this man, the Rev. Samuel Dutton Hinman, did not desert us, but was truly and devotedly our friend. And he has never counted his life or his substance dear if by any means he could accomplish his wish to save us. And if any one who saw us at Redwood in Minnesota, in 1860, could again visit us now they would see what a salvation he has enabled us to accomplish. And although the success of his work for souls is known certainly to God alone, yet among ourselves in the lives of Paul Mazakute, Philip Johnson, Christian Taopi, Daniel Hemans, and of others still living, we seem to see with our own eyes his good work.
3. He has also been of great service to the President of the United States, and to the Honorable Commissioner of Indian Affairs among the Western tribes of Dakotas. And at the time of the purchase of the Black Hills, when a long and terrible war seemed inevitable, we think the preservation of peace chiefly due to this man.
4. Although this man has been spoken against, we know of no evil deeds of his, nor do we believe the reports; but his good and brave deeds of mercy and love among the poor and sick, to widows and orphans, among the sinful and miserable, these his numberless good works we do know and remember.
5. This man our friend was secretly and without a hearing, in March, 1878, removed by the Bishop of Niobrara; and he told us he acted by the direction of certain Bishops of the Board of Managers and of the Honorable Commissioner of Indian Affairs.
6. We have waited a long time for this matter to be investigated, and we wish you to accord the Rev. S. D. Hinman a hearing, and for these reasons: because we consider ourselves to be men, we desire thus publicly to declare that we are greatly displeased at the treatment our minister last spring received. And we ask you to replace him in his own home. After that if any one still desires to censure him, let him do it publicly in the presence of [31/32] our people. This man has a great and good name; he has also children, therefore it was not lawful to put him away secretly and without a hearing, but the matter should be openly and justly settled.
7. We desire this letter to be sent to the Honorable Commissioner of Indian Affairs at Washington, and to their Secretary for the Board of Managers.
SANTEE AGENCY, NEB., Feb. 28th, 1879.
NAPOLEON WABASHAW, Chief and Counsellor.
WAKULE REDWING, Chief.
WASPUJA DUTA, Chief.
HELIAKA MAZA, Chief.
ALF GOOD THUNDER, Counsellor.
PHILIP WEBSTER, Counsellor.
HENRY WAUMDISHUN, Counsellor.
MARKSZA WASHEUN, Counsellor.
And 40 others in council assembled (publicly called).
(Original MSS. sent to Washington.)