IT having been decided by the Executive Committee that an official visit by some of its members to the Indian Missions and Agencies placed under the care of the Church's Missionary organizations was essential to a correct understanding of their needs, a delegation consisting of Rev. J. A. Paddock, Mr. William Welsh, and the Secretary, proceeded to Dakota in June last, and made a tour of observation of all the stations on the Missouri River and our Missions in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Mr. Welsh and the Secretary, accompanied by Mr. Hinman, Gen. Stanley, U.S.A., commander at Fort Sully, and Mrs. T. S. Rumney, of Germantown, Philada., visited the Agencies and tribes on the Missouri as far north as Cheyenne River, and returning (Gen. Stanley leaving them at Fort Sully), they were joined by Dr. Paddock at Yankton Agency in a visit to the Ponka and Santee Missions. Afterward, Dr. Paddock and the Secretary visited White Earth, in Minnesota, and the Oneida Mission at Green Bay. The round of visits occupied a little over a month, and the result of the Committee's observations is set forth in the following pages.
The delegation was furnished transportation by the War Department from Fort Randall to Fort Sully, and has also to acknowledge its indebtedness to the President and Directors of the Northern Pacific Railroad for facilities extended to two of its members on their visit to White Earth Agency. In this connection it may be proper to state that the Commissioner of Indian Affairs and the Department of the Interior at Washington fully approved of and encouraged this visit to the several tribes of Dakota Indians, giving the delegation special aid in the accomplishment of its work. The Northern Pacific Railroad Company also wrote an open letter to be read to the Northern tribes, promising them work and assistance along the proposed line of its road.
The official report of the Visiting Delegation was made to the Executive Committee by the Secretary at the regular meeting in July. A report was also made to the Secretary of the Interior by Mr. Welsh, in his capacity as honorary member of the U. S. Indian Commission. Copies of this report have been widely distributed by the Interior Department.
Acting upon the report of its members, the Executive Committee have taken measures to relieve the most pressing wants made known to them, and briefly touched upon in the subjoined narrative. Upon proper representations being laid before him, the Commissioner of Indian Affairs ordered a distribution of rations to be made to the Ponkas, sufficient to keep them from starving, and he has also taken steps to carry out that portion of the treaty with the Sioux which provides for the furnishing of cattle and certain farming machinery to the Indians who show a capacity for using and taking care of them. The changes and additions in the personnel and material of the work of the several Missions have been elsewhere set forth.
The narrative and report of this visit, which follow, are mainly transferred from the wayside notes of the Secretary, and are allowed to follow the same form of daily familiar "jottings-down."
Philadelphia, May 21st.--Mrs. Stanforth and Mrs. Rumney (of Germantown) join us here with Mr. Welsh; Mrs. R. to visit part of the field with us--Mrs. Stanforth returning to her work among the Ponkas. This lady arose from a sick bed about the third of the month, and left her son (Rev. Mr. Dorsey) still ill with scarlet fever at the Ponka Mission, to go to Washington and plead for the protection of her Indians against the wild Brulés, who, no later than the first of the month, invaded the Reservation, stole a horse and killed and mutilated one of the Ponkas. Mr. Welsh has procured the consent of the War Department that the Ponkas shall be armed with breech-loading rifles for their defence while on the Reservation.
Sioux City, Iowa, May 24.--The steamer Miner is here loading for the Upper Missouri. On her last trip down she was fired upon by a party of Indians a few miles above our Agency at Cheyenne. Two shots passed through the pilot-house. The boat is heavily loaded with freight for the Northern Pacific Railroad Company, and crowds of the roughest and most turbulent characters in Dakota are wending their way to the proposed Missouri crossing of the Railroad, where, of course, an important town will spring up. The Miner is also to take up a large detachment of United States troops for the posts above Fort Sully. It is the only chance we are likely to have for several days of going by water to the last-named locality--the highest objective point of our inspecting tour--and we take passage. The trip to Sully usually takes eight days.
Steamboat Miner, Sunday, May 26.--The boat is so crowded that men, women and children lie under the rainy skies on the open deck. Two babes a day old (twins) and their mother, a soldier's wife, were brought aboard before starting last night. A young Western woman (American) descended the steep bank with them--a twin on each arm and in her hand a basket. In crossing the gang-plank she slipped and fell, nearly rolling into the river; but without losing her presence of mind, or relaxing even so much as the smile on her face, she recovered herself unaided. We had Morning Prayer in the cabin this morning, Mr. Welsh discoursing from a text in the Psalter, and the brass band of the 6th U. S. Infantry assisting in the music. Our voices were of course blown out of hearing by the breath of the martial instruments, the players waking the echoes of the grand old bluffs with the familiar strains of Pleyel's Hymn and America. There are several cases of sickness and suffering on board, and the demand upon the time and trained skill of our two ladies is incessant.
Yankton (City), May 27.--The Miner ran upon a snag opposite this place this morning, and narrowly escaped sinking alongside the landing. All the passengers were safely landed. We are to finish our journey by land, going first to Santee. Distance from Sioux City to this point by river, 142 miles; time consumed by boat, thirty-eight hours.
Mission House, Yankton Agency, May 28.--Left Yankton (City and capitol) this morning at 3 o'clock by stage for Santee, distant about 18 miles. It came on to rain very hard before reaching Springfield, where we would have to cross the river in a canoe to go to Santee, and our telegrams to Mr. Hinman to meet us had been swallowed up somewhere on the wires, like the tunes in the post-horn of which a certain Baron once told a marvellous story--the operator not being in his place to catch our message when it arrived. There was nothing better to be done than change our plans again and push on through the rain to this Agency, which we did, reaching the Mission House at 7 P.M. Distance from Yankton (by stage) about 65 miles. Mrs. Stanforth parted company with us to-day, crossing the river 15 miles below this point, opposite the Ponka Agency.
THE YANKTON MISSION.
This Mission is the second of our Missions on this river in order of time and importance. It was founded four years ago, and Paul Mazakute, the native Santee presbyter, was sent here by Mr. Hinman to preach the Gospel to the Yanktons, a tribe of the Sioux which has for many years occupied these lands. When the writer last visited this Reservation, ten years ago, these Indians were among the most degraded of any he had ever seen, their contact with the worst class of white men and soldiers having reduced them to the lowest condition of moral depravity and physical destitution. Their Agent, who shortly afterwards retired with a large fortune, was a fair type of the class of political appointees which at that period managed the affairs of the Indians. Now, the Church has three Mission stations among them, under charge of the Rev. J. W. Cook, assisted by a native Santee Deacon, two white male, and two female teachers, and two Dakota catechists.
The statistics of these Mission stations since Mr. Cook assumed charge of the work in the spring of 1870, are as follows:
Church of the Holy Fellowship at Yankton Agency.
Baptisms: Children 62, Adults 105, 167
Received from R. C. and Presby's, 13
Church of St. Philip the Deacon, in White Swan's Village, Eighteen miles above Agency, at upper end of Reservation.
Baptisms: Children 7, Adults 21, 28
Received from R. C. and Presby's, 3
Church of the Holy Name, at Chateau Creek, seat of Mad Bull's Band.
Baptisms: Children and Adults, 108
The tribe of Yanktons numbers about 2,500, divided into eight bands under as many chiefs, of whom Strike-the-Ree, Medicine Cow, Jumping Thunder, White Swan, Mad Bull, Dolorio, and Feather-in-the-Ear are the principal men of influence. Only one of these, and he the least noted, holds out against the influences of the Christian religion. The other bands are all brought under its immediate or indirect influence. The power of the Medicine men has been shattered, and this year, for the first time probably in the annals of the tribe, the annual sun-dance, the principal heathen festival, was danced without the infliction of the rites of torture, ordinarily inseparable from it as an act of religious devoteeism. These were omitted at the request of the Agent, a loyal son of the Church, who, though he has only recently been appointed to the position, appears to have largely gained the confidence and good will of the Indians, and will no doubt render valuable aid to our Missionary in carrying on his work among them. Since this Agency was committed to the supervision of the Church, in 1871, from fifty to sixty comfortable log houses have been built for the Indians, generally with their assistance, and nearly double the amount of land broken, fenced, and put under cultivation that was cultivated before. The effort of the Agent, seconded by the Missionary, is to break up the tepee or tent system, which inculcates habits of vagrancy and wandering, and to separate the households, assigning: to each family a log cabin and an enclosure of ground. The chiefs and head men are all turning their attention to tilling the soil, and no longer think it a disgrace to perform manual labor. Some of the women keep their houses as clean and orderly as our best farmers' wives. All the employes at the Agency are moral men, and are required by us to teach the Indians in their several departments of labor, farming, carpentering, blacksmithing, etc.
The Yankton Mission House and Chapel come into view at a long distance from the road and river, standing on a gently sloping lawn back of the Agency, near the foot of the bluffs. The building, though plain, has a very-pleasing and churchly appearance, the tower surmounted by belfry and cross, and the other details as well as the proportions and coloring harmonizing; well. The main building is of logs, boarded without and whitewashed within. The Mission grounds are enclosed, and a large well-kept garden adjoins the house. In the rear is a large cemetery stretching down from the hills, and the eye takes in at a single glance, on the summit of these bluffs, the lonely scaffolds, fast dropping to decay, on which the Sioux in times past were wont to place their dead, and the large, imposing cross, springing lightsome and erect from the centre of the Christian burial-ground in the plain below. Here are the graves of Minnehaha, and other red children of the Church, each marked by a simple white cross. The Indians venerate with the deepest feelings of love and attachment this consecrated ground,, and esteem it one of the highest privileges of their new faith to look forwards to this as their last resting-place.
When it was known among these Indians that Wapaha hota, or "Grey-Hat," as Mr. Welsh is called by them, had arrived, they flocked from all quarters to shake hands and exchange the all-comprehensive salutation "How!" Mr. Cook's little "study" and reception-room, adjoining the chapel, was crowded with them. They were nearly all dressed, either wholly or in part, in citizens' clothing. Only one of our visitors retained the distinctive-peculiarities of savage attire, a style marked rather more disagreeably by the-absence of apparel than anything else, and evidently regarded by the majority of both heathen and Christian Indians, as a custom more honored in the breach than in the observance. As Bad Axe sat silent in our midst, his face and half-naked body streaked with paint, his scalp-lock decorated with feathers, war-club and long pipe in hand, and huge brass ear-rings, tin bracelets, anklets, and fancy shell necklace on his person, John Ree, nephew of the chief "Old Strike," his probable successor and one of our most faithful and devoted Christian helpers, looked at him and said aloud that once he delighted in such a costume, but it seemed very foolish to him now. To which other Indians who were squatting around the room gravely smoking, assented by the usual guttural ejaculation, "How!"
In the evening the native choir met for practice, led by the wife of the Agent. A native lad, whom it is designed to educate at Nebraska College, played the organ with admirable skill. It was very pleasant to hear the familiar tunes, "Happy Day," "Jerusalem the Golden," "Nearer, my GOD, to Thee," sung in this strange place, and in a wild but not unmusical language. The choristers sang with smooth and strong voices, with great accuracy, and with their heart in their song. They love the hymns and praises of the Church and never weary of singing.
The attendance of native children at the day-school the following morning was not as large as the visitors expected to see. It is alleged by our Missionaries that the summer sessions, especially during planting time, are invariably thinly attended. In winter, and during bad weather in the summer, the benches are usually full. Measures are to be taken to remedy the evil of non-attendance, which will no doubt prove effectual, as they will be based in part on the discretionary issue of rations, a power which the Agent already possesses, and which it is believed the Department will allow him to use more freely for the wholesome discipline of the tribe. The children are taught in English and Dakota. They acquire their own language with astonishing ease and rapidity, usually learning to read very well in a year. In English they are more slow, but display the average ability of white children. One of the classes read in the Third Reader. All are very fond of writing, and learn quickly. In arithmetic they make dull progress, comparing not unfavorably however with the lower grades in our white schools. Mr. Cook has taken three children, two girls and a boy, into the Mission family to educate, and train in domestic ways. They are apt, docile and industrious, and very much attached to their new home. The little, meek-eyed, comely, and gentle Cecilia, in her tidy attire, would hardly be recognized as once the inmate of the dirty tepee.
Sunday at the Mission House was a day long to be remembered by the visitors. The usual four Services of the day were held: Children's Early Service, Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Service in the evening in English. At each of the Dakota Services the chapel was well filled, the congregation retiring to the green in the intervals between the Services, to sit in groups and pass the friendly pipe, which seems to answer the needs of food and conversation ofttimes. In church they were reverent and attentive; joining heartily in the singing and responses. The women, young and old, were present in goodly numbers. Some of them came six and seven miles to church. Several of the day scholars walk that distance from and to their homes daily, and are regular in their places.
The Visiting Committee held three councils with the Yanktons, at the request of the latter, during their stay on the Reservation. One was with the chiefs and representatives of the whole tribe, another with the Christian men "who wore citizens' clothes," and the third with the "Crow band," a sort of secret lodge of braves and young men, organized for secular purposes connected with the general wants of the tribe. The conference with the latter brought out the usual complaints and interrogations respecting the white man's government of Indians, and the open council with the chiefs was mainly occupied with discussions of their secular wants. We had expected that Feather-in-the-Ear, our heathen rival, would inveigh against the administration of affairs, for at these councils the speakers strive hard to carry off applause and popular admiration by bold utterances and impassioned declamation. The complaints were very few, and not all well grounded, and the heathen party were singularly undemonstrative. The council was held in the open air, within an enclosure of skins and tepee canvas, and not many yards from where, but a day or two before, the sun-dance was held. John Ree raised his large American flag over the spot, and the place was filled with braves and young men, the chiefs and head men sitting apart by themselves. Without the enclosure, peering in at the opening and pressing their faces against every aperture in the skins, were the women, the youth and the children, a curious and motley crowd. Several of the warriors came in their gala dress, with faces painted and hair dressed to suit the high occasion. Old Strike-the-Ree discarded his savage attire and came resplendent in a clean white shirt worn over all his other clothes. A remarkable wig, with a rim of sheep's wool, evidently of home manufacture, was on his head, for the old man is quite bald as well as half blind. He is the orator and statesman as well as the leading warrior of his tribe, and a man of rare sagacity. His wit and address would have adorned the enlightened courtier. The burden of most of the speeches was the poverty and want of the red man, and a few of the passages of Strike's oration will illustrate the temper and quality of all that was said:
''Friends, you see I wear a dress like your own. This shirt was given me by my father (the Agent) and I put k on, because I wish to appear like you. I have my war dress--there it is (pointing to a brave, dressed in buckskin shirt and leggings, richly embroidered with colored porcupine-quills and bead-work); I gave it to him to wear. I wish to talk with you as a white man, for I think the words of an Indian do not reach the Great Father. Where are the promises made to us last year? Were they meant for this world or the next? I am getting old, and shall die soon. I would like to tell my friends in the next world that some of the things promised were received by my people before I left them."
The articles asked for by the Yanktons, as well, indeed, as by most of the other tribes, are cattle and agricultural implements. Very different from the speeches made at this council were the words spoken at the conference with the men (generally baptized members of our Church), who commended themselves to us simply as "the men who wore citizens' clothes." Between fifty and sixty came to the chapel in the evening to meet us. Their words were words of praise to GOD and gratitude to the Church for what had been wrought. Said Magaska (White Swan), alluding to the Church:
''I seem to have found a great stake, set deep in the earth, to which I can cling, and from which storms cannot 'wrench me away. I know it is planted by the GREAT SPIRIT, and that it will hold me up in this life, and secure me heaven at last."
Magaska and Mad Bull, chiefs of the two bands at opposite ends of the Reservation, are each devoted to the schools and chapels erected for them in their separate localities. These structures are neat, well built, and with a little expense can be made comfortable. Mr. W. S. Hall, of N. Y., has succeeded Mr. Brooks, as teacher, at White Swan's. The work at each of these places consists of reading Service and teaching Sunday-school on Sunday; and on week days, teaching and visiting. The positions are isolated, and at times lonely, and our teachers must each cook, sweep, and mend for himself, assisted, however, in his work of instruction by the Dakota catechist. Neither the school at Choteau nor at Swan's, is as well attended as it should be, but we look for improvement forthwith in this respect. When our delegation drove down to Choteau (Mad Bull's), school had been dismissed, but seeing us coming, the bell was rung, and soon the chapel was filled with young men, women, and children. The old sturdy chief, glorious in a flaming red vest which Mr. Cook had given him the day before, sat in a back seat in the corner, and called his young men to the front to testify of what had been done. The addresses were in admirable spirit, and Mad Bull seemed overjoyed at our visit. He parted with us with many assurances of Christian feeling and earnestness. Nearly every member of his band attend the Services.
Before leaving the Yankton Mission, at the urgent request of John Ree, Botin, and other members of a deputation that waited upon us to second the wish, it was decided (with the approval of the Executive Committee) to erect another school-house about five miles below the Mission House, to meet the wants, especially in winter, of the bands living in and near the timber. John Ree and Botin were both prominent speakers at the evening conference referred to, and show an excellent spirit in the work of the Church. The last named was one of the very earliest of the tribe to go to Mr. Hinman and plead for a Mission to be established in the Reservation. They met us by appointment at the locality where a school is wanted, and manifested deep interest and gratitude at our decision.
Flying Pipe, a head soldier of one of the chiefs, and the very first to bear a message to Mr Hinman urging him to send the light which he had kindled among the Santees to the Yanktons also, we were sorry to hear is dying in his tepee. He has been baptized by Mr. Cook, and says he wants to be laid after his death in the good ground which the Church has also signed with the sign of the Cross.
"Napoleon's Ranch," Dakota, May 30th.--Left Yankton Mission and Agency this morning at seven o'clock, for Crow Creek Agency, on the Missouri river, distant one hundred and five miles. Our road to Fort Randall, through the Yankton Reservation, which lies along the rich bottom lands, with a frontage of thirty-five miles on the Missouri, lay for a part of the way in the track of a recent waterspout, which, it is said, broke on the bluffs, a few miles back from the river, flooding the low lands and bringing acres of sand down upon the Indians' ploughed fields and springing corn. Miles of our road were buried under water, which sometimes came into the wagon boxes. At Fort Randall we were joined by General Stanley, commander at Fort Sully, and provided with transportation in a Government ambulance, with a guard of soldiers to look after the Government property. Until lately this region has been infested by horse-thieves, gamblers, whiskey-traders and other low whites; the progress of the Northern Pacific Railroad through the upper country having drawn them in that direction. The wretched, solitary log cabin in which we are stopping, was formerly one of their resorts, and more than one murder has been committed in its main room (the bar-room), in which Evening Prayer has just been said. The window shows the passage of a ball through one of its four panes. The landlord and some of the soldiers were present at prayers. We spread our blankets on some coarse hay on the floor of the bar-room, but the premises are alive with fleas, and possibly insects even more unclean. This is a sample house of the region, and the second human habitation we have seen to-day, in our ride of fifty miles, since leaving the Reservation. It is long, low and dark, like a piratical cruiser, far out alone in a vast sea of rolling prairie, where never a tree or a shrub is to be seen. The cabin is built of cotton-wood logs, with mud chinking and roof.
Flying Pipe's Camp, Elm Creek, June 1st.--When we reached the crossing of Elm Creek, twelve miles from Crow Creek Agency, our destination last evening, we were stopped by a rise of water, and found ourselves in the midst of a camp of Grand River Indians (Yanktonais) returning from a neighborly visit (three hundred miles) to their cousins the Yanktons. They gathered around us when they saw Mr. Hinman in the ambulance, inviting us to pass the night with them, and repeating to each other in low tones of delight, Hinmanee! Hinmanee! The old chief gave up his tepee to our party, and his two squaws soon chopped and dug a trench around it, as the heavens threatened rain. We were made more comfortable than on the previous night in the inn of the white man, notwithstanding the storm and the crowding of our tepee by admitting the soldiers to its shelter. These Indians are living upon corn, which they boil over a fire built of two small sticks of wood adroitly placed against a kettle. Wood in this region is almost as scarce as food. The old chief, who has the same name as one of our Yankton Christian Indians, is the patriarch of the camp. The thirty men, women and children around us, are his wives, children and grandchildren. When we were ready to start at four o'clock this morning, every tepee had been struck, the ponies laden, and the traviars, or drag-poles, by which the Indians transport their small children and worldly goods, had been adjusted to the sides of the draught-horses, the women, as usual, performing all the labor and leading the animals out from camp, with babies and burdens strapped to their own backs. Flying Pipe preceded our ambulance, wading into the stream to try the depth of the water, which had fallen two or three feet during the night.
CROW CREEK AGENCY.
This Agency, designated on the maps as Fort Thompson, is the scene of Mr. Hinman's early trials in Dakota, when his Santees had been banished from Minnesota and thrown upon this inhospitable tract to starve. And starve they did, three hundred of them, including all the young children, perishing for want of food. The Reservation contains over 120,000 acres; but only a small part is fit for cultivation, and even on this the crops fail nearly every other year. A portion of the Sioux tribe of Yanktonais are gathered here, the remainder of the tribe being at Grand River and in its vicinity. The number of lodges on the Reservation at the present time is two hundred and twelve, or about 1,200 souls. They are, of course, fed by the Government; without their regular rations they would soon starve. The game has all been driven from this part of the country. Ten years ago the buffalo ranged on this side of the Missouri, but they are two and three hundred miles to the westward now. The rations are issued every seven days, each chief drawing the rations for his band, which is then divided and subdivided to the lodges. The head chiefs now here are: White Ghost, Weze, White Shield, Running Bear, White Bear, The-Man-to-whom-the-Bears-pray, and Stormy Goose.
The Agent at Crow Creek is Dr. H. F. Livingston, nominated to his post by our Board of Missions, to whom the oversight of these Indians was assigned two years ago. Nothing could be worse than the condition of this Agency and tribe when transferred to our care. The Government employes were living in open adultery with the Indian women, and rows of Agency houses were indecently named after the vile commerce carried on. The Agent bore an equally disgraceful appellation among the Indians, while whiskey "ruled the camp, the court, the grove." The scenes of debauchery-witnessed under the old Indian system were too vile to be related in print. But a great change has been effected in the short time that has elapsed since the new policy went into operation. The present Agent, by his activity and personal courage, has entirely broken up the infamous whiskey traffic, which threatened the utter ruin of the tribe at one time, though his life has been more than once in jeopardy at the hands of the border roughs.
Besides the care of the Yanktonais on this side of the river, the Agent at Crow Creek has the oversight of the Lower Brulés, another tribe of the Sioux, living on the other side, in the edge of the great Sioux Reservation. This tribe numbers about 2,200 souls, and is nearly equally divided under two-principal chiefs, Iron Nation and Little Pheasant. The former, with one hundred and ninety lodges, and several subordinate chiefs, of whom White Medicine Cow and Iron Eyes are the most influential, live near the Sub-agency, on the west bank of the river, ten miles below this place. Little Pheasant, with his fellow-chiefs, Medicine Bull, Standing Cloud and one or two others, with their bands, occupy a beautiful situation at the mouth of White River, twenty-three miles below the Sub-agency.
Dr. Livingston reports that eleven hundred of the three thousand five hundred Indians under his care planted, this year; an increase of one hundred and fifty on the number last year. When it is remembered that these are still wild, or "blanket Indians," only three or four years ago in the condition described; their capacity to learn and improve is shown in a marked manner. The number of acres planted this year is four hundred, against three hundred in 1871. Most of the land was sown in-corn, as it is the only crop at all certain. The Agent reports the health of the tribe good. About two-thirds of them rely upon the medicine of the palefaces in sickness, turning their backs upon their own "medicine men," which for wild Indians is an unusual circumstance. The women, as a class, are virtuous, but have made but little progress as yet in civilization. This people still prefer the tepee life, but are gradually yielding to the necessities of their altered state, and will soon, it is believed, settle down and adopt the log cabin of their brethren below on the river. The Government employes on the Reservation are all, it is believed, moral men. Nineteen Indians were mustered among the workmen last year, and received wages. They were principally employed as herders.
The day after our arrival being Sunday, we had Morning Prayer at ten o'clock in an old barracks, built of stockades, covered with the mud roof of the country, Mr. Hinman reading the Service and preaching in English. Most of the Government employes were present. In the afternoon the chiefs, head soldiers, and leading men of the tribe met us in council in the same place. They came in gala costume, and no two were dressed alike. Buckskin shirts richly embroidered with porcupine quills cut in thin strips and colored, and fringed with long tassels of human hair, alleged to be parts of scalp locks taken in battle; colored cloth leggings, fastened to the waist, heavily worked with beads in fantastic patterns; and red, blue, or black blankets, with a broad band of white bead-work sewed across the centre, were the styles most in favor. The hair of each warrior was parted in the middle, front and back, and gathered in two long locks, bound around with strips of choice fur and dropped down in front, one over each shoulder; only the hair of the crown being exempt from this treatment. This, being the scalp lock, the red man's badge of manhood and pledge of valor, is carefully taken up from a space about twice the size of a silver dollar and braided and plumed with eagles' feathers, in accordance with the rank and prowess of the wearer, each feather, usually denoting a scalp taken. Faces, and seams of the hair, and bodies (where the bodies are exposed) striped with yellow and red, or, sometimes, white paint, complete the picture of the average Indian toilet for State occasions. The Council was convened for the purpose of presenting the subject of schools and churches, and the room was filled with braves, who listened approvingly to Mr. Welsh's remarks. When he referred to a former visit and his meeting with Bone Necklace (an influential chief, since deceased), and the wish that the old man expressed, that he might live to see GOD'S ministers from the good white men settled among his people, a silence fell upon the circle of chiefs, and soldiers, and presently from without we heard the wail of his widow, who was among the squaws gathered around the doors. The mourner's cry was continued at intervals until late in the night.
But we soon found our friends were not disposed to talk much of schools and churches until we had answered some not unreasonable inquiries in regard to the intentions of the Government in allowing the Northern Pacific Railroad to be built, and the telegraph to pass through their Reservation, and in withholding from them the cattle and other supplies promised by the last treaty. In answering these questions, we could, of course, only speak from our knowledge of the views and wishes of the Department in Washington, and these were explained to them, as also the probable action which would be taken on the subject of the Northern Pacific Railroad. The principal speakers were White Ghost (Bone Necklace's son), Weze, who made his maiden speech on this occasion, Fool Dog, a chief of the Fool Band, one of the most intelligent and devoted friends of the whites on the river, and White Bear. Weze said:
''As when men meet a relative, so have we been made happy by seeing you. You came to our fathers and made friends of them, and we wish to be your friends. We make all our wishes known to our father (the Agent) and the soldier who lives in the Fort on the hill (Gen. Stanley), as you told us to do. Why have our words not been heard? We think it strange that you should speak of schools when we asked for other things first. We cannot eat schools and churches."
Another said: ''Though I am small, I will tell you of things that do not please me. You promised us, if we gave up hunting the buffalo and lived upon these lands, we should have food to eat. We do not find it so. We cat up our seven days' food in two days. [How! How! from all the Indians.] What do you think of one small pan of flour for five persons?"
In their hungry and disquieted state we forbore to speak further of schools. We afterwards found the insufficiency of their rations mainly caused by their own improvidence. Mr. Hinman addressed them in their own language. He said they had made him ashamed before his white friends. They had invited him to come and make them like the Santees, and now that he had come with these friends to tell them of things to make their hearts glad they had talked only of their stomachs.
"When the Santees were here they had nothing to eat, and many of them died for want of food; but they did not throw away their schools and churches. To-morrow we shall go away, and take these things to your brethren, the wild Tetons. If your wise men are not all dead, you will still desire to have these schools and churches for which your fathers asked." Mr. H. 's words produced a deep impression, and they afterwards assured us that they expected these things, but they desired us to use our influence to procure additional rations. Mr. Welsh said, in our country it was the custom not to expect a feast of friends who came to see us; but rather to offer them hospitalities. In the evening our party was invited to a feast in the tepee of "The-Man-to-whom-the-Bears-pray." Our bill of fare was a mixture of French and Indian--black coffee and boiled dog. We sat on a buffalo robe spread on the ground, with the two dishes served in two camp-kettles before us, and were each furnished with two tins, one for meat and the other for drink, using our pocket-knives for table-cutlery. If our repast was not a hearty one, it was certainly memorable to the three unflinching white braves who partook of it. The red man esteems dog-flesh a delicate and savory dish.
Was it to excuse their weakness or to honestly confess their mistaken prejudice, that our dog-feasters afterwards averred their preference for it to the pork of our Dakota white ranches?
The most interesting event of this day, however, was the Service in the Dakota tongue in the afternoon. Mr. Hinman read the Evening Prayer in that language, in the presence of a goodly assemblage of chiefs and young men. The hymns were sung in Dakota, by members of our party. It was the first time the large majority of these Indians had attended the worship of GOD, and they listened with unfeigned wonder, as well as with awe and reverence, to the prayers and hymns and preached word. It was noticeable that one of the chiefs who lighted his pipe, and after a whiff or two passed it to his neighbor, as is the all-prevailing custom, found no one to smoke with him, though his calumet went half around the circle. It came back to him extinguished, and he did not relight it. The child of a Santee man and wife, who are in the employ of the Agent, was baptized during the Service.
It is but due to these Yanktonais Sioux to state here, that on our return to Crow Creek we found a much better state of feeling in regard to our proposed Mission work among them than at our first visit. Though the uneasiness in regard to the intentions of the Government, and the effect of the completion of the Pacific Railroad through their country, had not passed off, they no longer opposed the idea of schools, and promised to send their children and young men to be taught. They sought interviews with us at all hours, even late in the evening, and were very much grieved because, in an open council held jointly with their Brulé brethren from over the river, Mr. W. announced to them that he had heard that they were unwilling to till the land and learn to live by agriculture. They very indignantly repelled this accusation, and were very urgent to know who had told him this. White Ghost said to Mr. W.:
"Koda (friend), what you have said makes me laugh. Our fathers told us to hold the soil tight, and we have held it tight. Every one of us wishes to dwell on the land and do well with it. Our fathers began to plant it, and we have been told it will make us strong to work our fields. Without cattle and tools it makes us weak. Let me tell you something. I think the whites do not work their own land, for they come here to steal ours."
"The-Pipe Cleaner" complained that there were "too many papers scattered up the river, that were full of holes" [containing false reports]. Another said: ''You ought not to have spoken as you have done [about the failure to work the lands], because your words are as medicine, and may have discouraged many here. Our great father [the President] told us to plant the lands, and we are doing it as well as we can with the tools and oxen we have. But we are dying of weakness and starvation. You can see the graves of our people like gopher hills around you." Medicine Bull said: "We are filled up with promises. Your words keep us quiet. Tell our great father we wish to live."
Whitestone: "I am a chief of the Two Kettle band. I have helped the whites, and there is no white blood on my hands, nor the mark of stolen horses. I have done no bad act. I think it is for this that I am a chief. I have been to Santee and seen what you (Mr. H.) have done there. I put on the white man's dress, that I, too, might be like one of them. When I returned to my people, they laughed at me, and I put on my Indian dress again. I was a scout for your General [Harney] and gave my body to the whites, but you see I am poor still. I am told there is no place for me among my own people, so I remain here."
Lazy Bear: [To Mr. H.] "Your good wishes make my heart glad. I am no chief, nor soldier, and I talk as I please. The words of others pass me by, and I laugh at them. What you have said [about schools and churches] may not suit others here, but it pleases me. I am trying to get a white heart and keep the words of my father."
It was resolved before we left Crow Creek to take immediate measures to open a school at the Agency, as there will be a large number of children living within a, short distance of the post this fall and winter. The Agent will be able to provide temporary accommodations for the school, and board for the teacher (a Sister from the Potter Memorial House, Phila.), without the erection of new quarters. All trace of opposition or indifference to our plans had disappeared from the conversation of the chiefs and leading men. They came privately to Mr. Hinman and the Agent, and renewed not only their desire for schools, but their request that the houses which they had objected to might now be built. They confessed that their seeming opposition in council was only for political ends in their tribe, and a device to get us to procure the material aid of which they stand in need. They were told that as fast as they developed a will for steady industry, and were able to use and take care of the cattle and utensils required, we would ask the Government to supply them.
CROW CREEK SUB-AGENCY--THE LOWER BRULÉS.
Little Pheasant's Camp, While River.--We crossed the Missouri, nine miles below Crow Creek Agency, in an open wagon, with the water coming over the top of the box, and only the heads and backs of the mules visible. Two of our party crossed at a time, perched on the front seat. We landed on an island, and were thence ferried to the opposite shore in a boat pulled by soldiers, part of the guard stationed at the Sub-Agency. The Sub-Agency buildings and company quarters are built of logs and mud, and stand on the bank of the river. In the rear, covering the low bluffs, is Iron Nation's camp, of about 190 lodges. We are now in the edge of the Indian territory proper, the great Reservation set apart by the Treaty of 1868 for the tribes of Dakotas not otherwise provided for. It embraces all that portion of Dakota west of the Missouri, and south of the 46th parallel. The lands in this immediate vicinity are occupied by the Lower Bruits, of which, as before stated, there are two camps--Iron Nation's, near the Sub-Agency, and Little Pheasant's, at the mouth of the White River, twenty-three miles below. The latter chief has invited us to visit and counsel with him and his fellow-chiefs in regard to things necessary for the welfare of his people. Dr. Livingston, our Agent at Crow Creek (who has the care also of this tribe), accompanies us, as also Lieut. Reedy, in command of the garrison at the Sub-Agency, and his hospitable wife, and the Surgeon of the Post. The road to this camp lies through the timber along the Missouri for five miles, when we strike a spur of hills appropriately termed the "Bad Lands," jutting upon the river. Over these black and bald alkaline crests we have some rugged climbing. Occasionally we meet Indians, and once we encountered a painted warrior and his "squire," or a similar attendant, coming in either from a hunt or a war party (we surmised the latter), who demanded of us somewhat fiercely where all these palefaces were going! The Sub-Agency Interpreter, "Uncle Zeph," an old French trapper who has passed among the Sioux one-half the allotted age of man, explained our mission, but the savage stared at us incredulously. We had entered a region where even the talismanic names Hinmanee and Wapaha hota (or Grey Hat, Mr. Welsh's Indian designation) might not always insure courteous treatment.
At three o'clock on the afternoon of a very hot day we reached the sum mil of the hills overlooking Little Pheasant's camp. "Beautiful for situation" certainly--almost an Indian's paradise. The buffalo and the antelope have been chased far to the westward, however, and there is only the timber and the soil left, and the meandering White River, coming down from the region of the Black Hills, hundreds of miles away. On a tributary of this river, about two hundred miles from the Missouri, is Spotted Tail's tribe of Upper Brulés, and along the White River, in the summer season, hunting and fishing parties of wild Indians come and go. Little Pheasant's location is therefore an important one, being a sort of outlet to the tribes beyond, and as they are continually visiting his people, no better geographical site for a Mission establishment exists along the Missouri. Its advantages in other respects will be considered presently.
The camp lay spread out below us almost in the form of a hollow square. There were about two hundred lodges, or tepees, of white cloth, with here and there one of dressed buffalo hides. To the left, near the Missouri, was the planted field of fifty acres, with the corn well up, and tolerably free from weeds. A very fair fence surrounded it, the rails for which, the Indians told us, they had cut and packed on their backs from the river. The weeds were kept down with a few hoes, but chiefly by the hands and sharpened sticks. We were glad to hear that in preparing the ground the men had worked as well as the women. For an Indian warrior to labor like a squaw, and in the presence of his wild brethren from the plains, is a novel as well as a hopeful sight. The view of the camp was most picturesque. We were among full-blooded Sioux warriors and young men, just beginning to turn their thoughts to civilized modes of life, but by no means released from their barbarous customs, and still living in their primitive state. Ponies were grazing about the hills, guarded by the squaws; boys and girls were playing through the village (absorbed in a game identical, as we afterwards learned, with the "Shinny" played by white lads in our own cities), and an occasional "soldier" maintaining a sort of police over the camp, was seen moving lazily about. We received a courteous but quiet welcome at the lodge of the principal chief, and his wife and two daughters, both grown, prepared the tepee for our reception. In evident expectation of our coming, these two princesses, both of whom are exceedingly pretty, were arrayed in clean white robes, fastened around the waist with broad leather belts, studded with brass ornaments; with wide brass bands around the wrists and arms, and richly embroidered leggings and moccasins encasing the lower extremities. As fresh water was the first essential for our comfort, one of them picked up the five-gallon keg, and after adjusting it by its straps to her back and shoulders, marched off a mile to the river, with as much nonchalance as though she were going to a well in the yard. "Mrs." Little Pheasant kindled a fire and hung over it the camp-kettle, by a chain depending from a single stake bent over the fagots, while the second princess assisted her father in staking out our horses for the night.
While the ladies of our party were preparing our evening meal, and chiefs and head soldiers were dropping into our circle to exchange a friendly howl and the never-failing shake of the hand, a little incident occurred at an adjoining tepee illustrative of the domestic life of these people. A squaw, neatly attired (we at first thought it was in honor of our arrival), came frequently out of her lodge to look long and earnestly in the direction of the distant hills. Pretty soon we missed her, and at the end of an half-hour we saw her descending the slope in the rear of the camp leading her husband's pony loaded with venison and carrying his gun, while before her, in dignified silence but with tired steps, stalked her liege lord. Arriving at his tepee, the weary hunter entered without seeming to notice us, even by so much as a look of curiosity, and was soon stretched upon his couch of skins enjoying his pipe, while his wife, after unloading and unsaddling the pony and tethering him near the lodge, busied herself in preparing her husband's supper. The rites of hospitality were not forgotten by our taciturn neighbor, for he sent us some of his venison. The life of the camp drudge--the veritable hewer of wood and drawer of water--is not altogether an enforced servitude with Indian women, but a voluntary homage and duty which the wife pays to her warrior, who is demeaned in the eyes of her sex by performing manual labor. A squaw who would let her husband work immediately loses caste with her red sisters, and one of the bitterest reproaches which one woman of the tribe can hurl at another is, that her chosen brave had been compelled through her inefficiency to labor with his hands. Christian men and women who wonder that the progress of civilization has been so slow among these people, may perceive by this and similar tokens what prejudices have to be uprooted and what radical changes effected in all the social relations of the Indian, as well as in his moral status, by our Missionaries. These Lower Brulés, like their neighbors the Yanktonais, are very poor and for ever hungry. Game is growing scarcer every year; a load of deer's meat is not often seen at the door of their lodges; soon their only dependence will be in the corn and other produce raised by their own hands.
That night we slept thirteen in a bed--or if not in one bed, side by side under one cover, the cloth tepee. The flickering fire in the centre gave us light, while the smoke expelled the mosquitoes. Guarding the entrance, stretched upon his buffalo robe, but ever and anon rising to go out and see that our horses were safe, slept and smoked, and smoked and slept, our watchful host the chief. Some Minneconjous were in the camp, and he felt anxious about our property. His wife, equally watchful over a poor little sick child, rising to cover it continually, passed a wakeful night near him, while stretched at our feet were the two princesses. During the night a fierce storm of wind and rain smote the camp. The tepee seemed about to yield to the fury of the blast. At a word from the mother the young women arose, and producing forked sticks from some part of the tent, planted one against each of the upright poles, so steadying it from the inside that the lodge seemed rooted to the ground. After the storm had passed we heard the "medicine drum " in one of the near tepees, and were told that the chief conjuror, or medicine man, was practising his arts over a dying person.
The next day, about noon, the chiefs and leading men of the tribe were ready to go into Council. No amount of urging or coaxing could make them hasten their preparations beyond the accustomed mode of slow and dignified procedure. Paint was to be applied, hair braided, scalp locks adorned, and warrior dresses donned. The Council was held in an enclosure of skins, made that morning for the purpose, a crier proclaiming beforehand through the village that all things were in readiness. About eighty chiefs and braves were gathered together, and it seemed as if the whole camp had arisen and surrounded the Council-room. The speeches at first were not dissimilar to those we had heard at Crow Creek. Diplomacy was tried by each of the speakers, and popular applause courted. The Indian bravuras were frequent and ringing. Among the best and most apposite things said were the following:
Ina-jin-au-pi (They-bring-them-standing): I am not a chief, but I am a soldier, and I am also a soldier of temperance. I am speaking for the young men who have joined with me to keep whiskey from the camp, and to prevent war parties being formed. We have done this because you told us that you wished it done, and that it would help you to keep your promises to us. Now when we get these things that have been promised we shall be a new people. Before the sun goes down for summer, we hope these promises will be kept.
Bear Bird: The land you see here is our birthright. Our fathers lived here before us. We wish to live here and to show the outside people [the wild Tetons] that we can live by this land. Although I am an Indian, I have, declared my intention to the whites, and sent my word to my brethren of the plains, that I wish to live as a civilized man.
Standing Cloud [To Mr. W.]: When you travel you have the words of the GREAT SPIRIT and our Great Father in your heart, and you have come to see us on a good day; good things seem to agree in you. Tell our great Father when you go back to him, that among the bands of Indians you have seen on this river, this one which you have seen to-day most desires to live [as white men]. Look at this land ! It has been planted seven years, but it grows no larger. Good men have died waiting to see it grow [i.e., the number of planted acres increase].
Medicine Bull: My friends, the words you have heard to-day are the truth. Since we have been here the hostiles have watched us all the time to see when we were going to be happy and rich. You have made me rich hitherto with words only. If we had received the good things when they were first promised, this valley would not be large enough to hold our people.
Little Pheasant arose; he addressed a few words to his chiefs and people, telling them the substance of what he was about to say to their white friends, and then shaking hands with members of the Commission, said--calling us each by an Indian name--
Wapaha hota, Hinmanee, Putin sin sapa; I shall not cease to follow your advice. This is a beautiful day, such as the GREAT SPIRIT delights in. I intend to speak the words of truth. [To the Interpreter.] You are an old man; your tongue belongs to us. You know we speak the truth when we tell our friends what we have done. [To Commissioners.] I have heard that your society (Church) is eight thousand strong. We look upon you as an elder brother. I have shaken hands with you, and mean to hold your hands. One-half of my body belongs to my friends in the East. [Calls upon the GREAT SPIRIT to hear the words spoken to-day.] If the promises made to us are kept, ten Sundays will not pass before we shall be ready for schools. The words of the whites for fifty years have failed; our great Father [President] has failed--but we do not believe you will fail. My heart is glad and my words are loud. Putin sin sapa! [to the Secretary, who was taking notes]--When you have written your book, close it up and do not open it until you read it to the great Father. He has taken our lands from us and is feeding us in exchange for them. While we eat his meat we should keep his words. But our food is not enough. You whites work with your bellies filled to your throats; you eat in the middle of the day. My young men grow faint at their work and lie down. When our fathers killed the game on these lands they did not drag their children up to eat it where it fell, nor did they run the buffalo until they became poor in running them up to their tepees; our beef is lean from its long journey, and we have to go a hard journey to get it. My friends, we ought to have our own cattle, as promised to us. How long will it be before these promises are kept? Count the time for us by Sundays. My young men have kept their words to you. You no longer see streams here that run whiskey. There are white men over the river that have no more morality than pigs; they live by the neck of the whiskey-bottle. Why does our Great Father allow these men to drag themselves through the country? My young men want instruction, they want to live by your words. But we want these promises kept. [Takes a medal from his neck and places it on the ground. ] You see this medal--it is the schools you wish us to have. Here [drawing a line a foot off] are my people; we want this space filled up, before we come to the schools, with the promises you have made. Since the Church has had charge of the Indians, the country has become peaceful. I hope when you speak you will say good words to my young men, though when you are gone the evil white men will scatter them like this [raising a handful of dust and letting it fall from his fingers. Little Pheasant spoke prophetic words, for our Commission was scarcely out of the Territory before the whites whose morality he describes had filled whole columns of local newspapers with false and scandalous stones reflecting personally on its members.]. Tell them now--you have our eyes and our ears--tell these men words that will make their hearts glad, words they will think over when you are gone, and which will make them laugh in their sleep.
Could we leave these men without giving them another assurance that, so far as we could, we would aid them in procuring the cattle and implements promised by the Treaty? It was arranged on the spot that the rations, about which so much complaint had been made (in no spirit of unkindness towards the Agent, however), should be issued from a storehouse to be erected at Little Pheasant's camp. We were then asked to send teachers and establish schools forthwith, which we promised to do. The Agent has authority to build a Mission school-house in connection with the Sub-Agency storehouse, which will provide quarters for our Missionaries. It is proposed to send two male teachers, and two sisters from the Memorial House, Philadelphia, to the Bruits, before the end of summer.
Fort Sully, June 4.--Resumed journey from Crow Creek Agency yesterday morning. Passed the night in another characteristic Dakota "ranch," dirty and full of vermin. Our host did his best to make us comfortable, however. Mrs. R. retired to a doubtful rest on the dining-table, curtained about with shawls. Our road for one or two miles to-day lay through a prairie-dog village, the only "settlement" we passed on our journey. Reached this Fort a little before noon. It is situated on a bluff, one hundred and sixty feet above the level of the river, and is garrisoned by four companies of infantry. The buildings are good, and the families of the officers stationed here afford refined and agreeable society. It is proposed that, until Mission buildings are erected, our Missionary to the tribes in this vicinity accept the invitation of the commanding officer and occupy quarters, standing vacant at present, at this post. Members of our Church will offer him the hospitalities of a home, and would hail with pleasure the introduction of the Services of our holy religion in this remote region. The Agency where it is designed to plant our Mission, is seven miles above the Fort, on the opposite side of the river; but there is a most interesting Indian colony on the river bank opposite the Fort. When we arrived to-day, almost the first man to meet us was Charlie Fisherman, a full-blooded Indian, who, last fall, instructed and assisted by Mr. Hinman, threw off his blanket and resolved to become like a white man. With the assistance of Black Tomahawk, a Minneconjou, who had also been brought under the influence of Christianity, he put up one or two log-cabins and planted and enclosed a small field on the other side of the river. The relatives and other members of the tribes to which these men belong sought to dissuade them from their purpose, and after exhausting other arguments, tried ridicule, a most potent means usually with the Indian. But they bore it all and stood firm. Then wild members of the tribe came in from the prairies and threatened to burn their houses and tear down their fences; but Charlie and Tomahawk took their guns and blankets and declared if this were attempted they would become wild Indians again, but only to defend their property. In the spring the opposition ceased, and the success of these men in their new life led to the building by others of a dozen more cabins, which we can see now across the river. Charlie was dressed in his best suit of white men's clothes to-day, and wore a white shirt; but his countenance was brighter than his raiment when he saw Mr. Hinman alight from the ambulance. He removed his hat reverently, and hurrying forward to meet his friend and pastor, threw his arms around his neck. We were the guests of General and Mrs. Stanley at dinner to-day, and in the afternoon started for the Agency.
The river is high, and the rapid current cutting into and washing away the banks on which the Agency buildings stand, so, that carpenters are busy tearing down and removing the houses nearest the stream, as we step ashore and climb the crumbling ascent. Once more in hostile territory! We have now reached the uppermost limit of our Indian jurisdiction (so far as the Government is concerned) on the river. Since leaving Yankton Mission we have been entering the deeper shades of savage life. The dawn of civilization which we saw there, receding as we have moved northward, has been succeeded by the dim twilight at Crow Creek, the duskier shadows among the Brulés, and to-day we reach the confines of the black night of barbarism. Here we find, for the first time, a distinction made between the denizens of the soil, implying tendencies among them which must be carefully watched and held in subjection. The Indians living around and visiting the Agency from the interior, are classed as either "Hostiles" or "Friendlies," the former being the wandering nomads of the plain, who prefer their independence and a doubtful subsistence procured by hunting, to accepting the white man's food, and thereby, as they understand, becoming his vassals. The effort of the Government at this and other remote frontier posts is to create the appetite for such food as coffee, sugar, and flour, and so make the Indians dependent on our bounty until they are able to receive instruction in tilling the soil. There are at this Agency now about three hundred and sixty lodges, or a little over two thousand Indians, drawing rations from the Government. The tribes represented are the Two Kettles, the Minneconjous, the Sans Arcs, and a few Blackfeet, all Sioux or Dakota tribes. Most of those here are friendly Indians, the hostiles having nearly all departed on their spring hunt. Of the four or five hundred lodges that encamped about the Agency when they were here, nearly all drew rations. The principal chiefs now here are Long Mandan, Four Bears, Burnt Face, Swan, and Sting Foot.
The Agent at Cheyenne at present is Mr. T. M. Koues, of New York, who, however, is about to resign. This is perhaps the most difficult Agency to fill of any on the river. Mr. K. has administered the affairs of the post with firmness and strict fidelity to principle, and during his period of office has maintained unbroken relations of friendship and good-will between the Government and the Indians; He will be succeeded by Mr. H. W. Bingham, of Minnesota, a brother-in-law of Mr. Hinman, and a gentleman commended for the position by Bishop Whipple.
On the morning after our arrival, some of the chiefs expressed a desire to meet us in council. The request was granted, and the meeting was held in an old dance-house outside the stockade. We had been told that a young and saucy hostile, known as Bull Eagle, had announced his intention to declare his mind to the pale-faces; but no attention was paid to the threat. About fifty braves assembled. Burnt Face opened the discussion, after Mr. Welsh had spoken a few words. He had that morning been reconciled to his brother, with whom he had quarrelled. He confessed openly his fault, but said now his heart was good. He had removed the black paint (signifying distress) from his face, and his countenance was bright with the vermilion of gladness. He said that with the aid of his squaw he had built him a house, but he was destitute of everything to work with. After enumerating the usual wants, he said very sensibly that when men talked long they usually "talked foolish," and then sat down. When he had taken his seat, a young Indian, naked to the waist, glided into the circle, and bade our interpreter give place to a man of his own choosing. He then brought forward an attaché of the trading post, who speaks the Dakota language, and bade him sit with him on the ground, facing our party. This Indian, we were told, was Bull Eagle, and a very harmless-looking young fellow he appeared to be. His body was streaked with yellow ochre, signifying his disdain of the white man's dress, and his freedom to act and speak as he pleased. He said the GREAT SPIRIT was his father, and this (patting the ground) is my mother. "I know nothing about any great father at Washington." (To Mr. Welsh), "Have you come here to tell us lies?--I want an answer." As no answer was vouchsafed, Bull Eagle arose and proceeded with his showy declamation. He wanted General Stanley to take his white soldiers out of the country; took Mr. Koues by the arm and bade him leave the Reservation. Approaching the Secretary of the Commission, he took up a sheet on which a few notes of his harangue were being kept, and stepping back to his place, tore it in pieces, saying he wanted no lies to be written! Bull Eagle's speech and action, which were rather more impudent and absurd than violent, so disgusted the sensible men, even of his own tribe, that they withdrew one by one. When he had subsided, a noted warrior, belonging to the same band, administered a scathing rebuke, which was afterwards repeated when the conference adjourned and Bull Eagle had retired among his own fellows. He told him he was a hanger-on at the Agency and a man of no reputation in his band, and would not have been allowed to speak if his chiefs had been present.
In the evening we were invited to the house of the Agency interpreter, where we met three of the principal men of the tribes living in this vicinity, viz.: Four Bears, a Two Kettle chief, whose band numbers forty-four lodges; Swan, a chief of the Sans Arcs, and a man of much intelligence and influence, and Chappelle, a leading half-breed. Nothing could have been better than the spirit exhibited by these earnest seekers after the light. Four Bears said they had been made ashamed that day by the conduct of a foolish young man. They wished us to forget what had been done by him [shaking hands again]. "We have listened and waited for your coming, and our hearts were made glad when it was told us you were on your way. We think you wish us and our children to live, you have come so far to see us. Our wild brethren are against us, but we wish to keep your words and follow your advice." The chief spoke with much feeling and earnestness some twenty minutes, asking for nothing unreasonable, and pleading for the instruction of his people in the ways of the industrious white men. He was followed by Swan, who expressed the deepest mortification at the occurrences of the day. He said his people were like children, and it recalled his own early follies and his former way of life to see them act so unwisely as they had done. "Once I thought I should never take the hand of the white man. I came to this Agency full of these bad thoughts. I think the GREAT SPIRIT must have put it into my heart to do differently--to lay aside my sharp weapons and to go unarmed, and try to live as the whites live. I am glad to see this white woman here to-night (Mrs. R.); it is a good sign, and through it I think my people will have what they need. My young men are looking to you--we are building houses and working the ground with our hands. We want ploughs, hoes, and cattle. My wild brethren are against us; they find fault with me; I can do nothing right for. them. But in the fall I shall show them my house and fenced ground and other property. We want your help to cause more houses to be built, and more farms, with cattle and small stock, to be held by us, and we want schools and a church." Chappelle said: "Whenever you wish for anything you pray to the GREAT SPIRIT, and when we do the same we shall be like you." After the speeches Mr. Welsh explained our mission to them, receiving their unqualified and cordial assent to our plans for the enlightenment of their people, and in the general conversation that followed little else was talked about but the education and training of their young men, women, and children in Christian arts and religion. It was past midnight when the conference broke up. Before separating, a prayer was said, during which our three visitors sat with inclined head and reverent demeanor, and the hearty, clinging grasp of the hand, and the prolonged, earnest look of satisfaction, as they passed one by one out of the door, showed how much they had been impressed by what they had heard. We are assured that before winter sets in upwards of one hundred houses will have been completed by Swan's and Four Bear's bands, and by other friendlies in this vicinity. About two hundred acres have been planted this year, most of it by the Indians. Until within two or three years the Indians have received little or no instruction in agriculture.
The next day we started to return to the Fort, going down on the west or hostile side of the river. The Agent accompanied us, and when we arrived opposite the Fort, the site of Charlie Fisherman's enterprise, we found Burnt Face and his people anxious to have a council with us, to efface yesterday's bad impression. The planted fields in this locality look well, and in our conference with the chiefs and head men they expressed the same wish to "learn to live like white men," that we had heard at all our stopping-places up and down the river. On our way from this settlement with the Agent, to examine some of the lands in the vicinity, we had a little "adventure." A well-armed hostile rode up to us, and said a fight was going on at the Agency between the soldiers and Indians, and that a party (Mr. Hinman could not ascertain from the man whether of Indians or soldiers) had been sent to bring us back. Other hostiles soon joined him, and their actions and answers were so unsatisfactory that it was deemed best to cross over to the Fort without delay. On going to the place where the boat is usually kept, we found that it had been taken over by our irrepressible young hero of yesterday's council, Bull Eagle, who had not only left it on the other side, but had hidden the oars, as we soon learned by hallooing across. It looked very much like a hostile conspiracy against our party, and during the hour we remained on the bank, while the oars were being hunted: up and the boat pulled over, we were, as Mr. Hinman informed us, "evidently under observation" from the dozen wild Indians assembled on the shore. We learned on reaching the Fort, that the story of the fight had originated in the wounding of a soldier by a young hostile, who had, for some cause not ascertained, shot him with an arrow and fled to the plains, and that hearing that threats had been made against a member of our party from the Agency, a detachment of soldiers had been sent down for our protection. We are again the guests of Gen. Stanley to-night, than whom the Indians, nor their friends under the peace-policy, have not a more consistent, courageous, or faithful helper and defender.
McKay's Ranch (opposite Whetstone), June 12.--On our way down the river from Fort Sully we have stopped at this place, the ferry-crossing for the Government post opposite, to confer with the Sub-Agent in charge of the property left there. This was formerly the Agency for Spotted Tail's band of Upper Brulés, and when those Indians were removed three hundred miles to the westward, on White River, the post was nearly broken up. The house in which we are stopping on this side belongs to Mr. Welsh. It was formerly a whiskey-shop of the worst class, and to break up the traffic clandestinely carried on when Spotted Tail's Indians were on the opposite shore, Mr. W., on his first visit here, bought the proprietorship and destroyed the stock. It is now managed as a traveller's inn by a member of the Dakota Legislature, who, on Mr. Hinman's arrival to-day, desired him to-administer baptism to his little child, his wife's first-born. McKay is not a, religious man--indeed his past career has been marked by some of the wildest scenes that were ever associated with a frontiers-man's life. But his love of this little babe was very tender, and the scene when he knelt with it in his arms, in the rough log-cabin where the ceremony was performed, was very touching. Among the good promises made to us was, that this child, should not hear another oath from his lips.
Ferry-Landing, opposite the Ponka Agency, June 17.--Returning through: Yankton Reservation and completing the business left unfinished at the Agency when we went above, we find ourselves on the afternoon of a blustering day about eighteen miles below our Mission-house (three miles below the Choteau station, which is at the lower end of the Reserve) and directly opposite our work among the Ponkas, the scene of Rev. J. O. Dorsey-and Mrs. Stanforth's labors. The wind is blowing almost a gale, and the Missouri, which is at this point three-quarters of a mile wide, is very rough, and, as the ferryman informs us, dangerous to cross in a small boat. We have made one attempt to pull over and been nearly swamped, from want of skill and nerve on the part of our steersman. We must wait until evening, when, according to the popular notion, the "wind will go down with the sun." The little Mission-house, the home of Mr. Dorsey and his mother, made familiar to the readers of THE SPIRIT OF MISSIONS by Mrs. Stanforth's simple but stirring letters, is plainly in view from the wood-pile where we sit. It is situated a mile back from the river, where the Agency buildings, soldiers' barracks, and trader's store are standing, "all in a row," fronting the stream. About the same distance beyond the Mission-house are the bluffs, which nearly enclose on three sides the few hundred acres of bottom land in which the house and Agency buildings are situated. On this level plain, which is nearly as barren of timber as the bluffs, are the planted fields of the Ponkas, and to the left of the Agency row, the cabins and tepees of the tribe, or that portion of them remaining here, braving the attacks of the hostile Sioux and the vicissitudes of hunger and destitution ever staring them in the face. The Mission-house, solitary and alone on the prairie, is a small two-story cottonwood frame building, perfectly plain, painted white, without porch or front steps--only a common door in the pointed gable-end, with two windows on the first floor and three above. It is enclosed by a rough board fence; its nearest neighbor is the saw-mill, a few rods this side in the direction of the river, and between the saw-mill and the Ponka camp or village, flows Ponka Creek. Our recent Missionary labors among these people, as related in THE SPIRIT OF MISSIONS, have invested each detail of this scene with interest, while occurrences only a few days old are heightening the almost dramatic spell. Over those bluffs in the rear of the Mission-house, last Thursday, came a war party of Brulés from the head streams of the White River. They were first discovered by the female members of the Mission-house, who were alone and nearest the point at which the painted warriors debouched from the bluffs and formed a line of battle on the low hills. Mrs. S. and her assistant immediately ran out and rang the large bell of the Mission, a signal agreed upon with the people at the Agency. This called out the guard, which has been stationed there since the last attack, and roused the Ponka camp and stopped the advance of the Sioux, who dismounted and stood beside their little ponies, casting dust into the air as a challenge. A volley from the long-range needle-guns of the guard caused them to mount again in hot haste, and the Ponkas coming up armed and painted for battle, the foe was soon driven out of sight, but not before some lively skirmishing, in which the balls sang merrily around the Mission quarters.
PONKA MISSION AND AGENCY.
The Ponkas are the remnant of an apparently once noble tribe, who were moved to this Reservation, several years ago, from one of the States bordering on the Mississippi. Since their removal, the lands which they occupy have been included in the territory set apart for the Sioux, and hence the repeated incursions of the wild Tetons, who claim that they have no right there, and make their presence on the soil the pretext for stealing their stock and occasionally taking a scalp. The Ponkas belong to the same family as the Omahas, and were once a part of that tribe. Disease, destitution, and the forays of the wild Sioux have reduced their numbers to seven hundred and thirty-three souls. Though a brave people and skilled in war, they long ago gave their promise to our Government not to take arms against the whites, and they have never once broken their word, not even when our soldiers and border settlers have committed outrages upon them and shed innocent blood in their camps. It has therefore not been necessary to propitiate these Indians by bountiful supplies of provisions, so the Government has not placed them on its "feeding-list." Until the present Indian policy was established, the instruction in farming and other industrial pursuits received by the Ponkas was similar to other favors and forms of justice dealt out to Indians. When Mr. Hinman went among them, three years ago, there was a Government school in operation, and some progress was being made by the tribe in cultivating the soil. They pleaded so hard for a Mission such as they had seen at Santee, that he sent his native assistant, Rev. Paul Mazakute, to preach the Gospel to them, which he did, through an interpreter. The next year their crops failed, and their annuities being less than twenty-three dollars to each individual, they were miserably poor and starving. In 1871, the Rev. J. O. Dorsey, deacon, a graduate of Alexandria Seminary, went to the Ponkas, and all alone began his work, studying meanwhile day and night to acquire their language, which is totally different from the Dakota. He was joined in November by his mother, whose womanly sympathy was aroused by the suffering condition of the tribe, and then commenced those earnest appeals from her pen--the touching narrative of her daily life among them--which have elicited such a noble response from families and individuals all over the land. The Government also has been moved to make an additional appropriation for them, through the individual effort of a member of the Indian Commission, and to order the issue of sufficient rations to keep them from starving this summer. The Agent of the Ponkas, H. E. Gregory, is a nominee of our Missionary Board, an active Churchman, and he has exerted himself to extend the agricultural operations of the tribe; larger fields have been well planted and cultivated by the Indians this season, which give promise now of an abundant crop. [Since the above was written, it has been GOD'S good pleasure that this hope of an abundant harvest, in which the Ponkas were rejoicing, should once again fail. A scourge of grasshoppers visited the Reservation in July, which nearly destroyed every green thing, and this was followed by another mysterious providence, a hail-storm of unprecedented violence, which has smitten the corn and other crops, and utterly destroyed what the grasshoppers had left.] Mr. Gregory is in ill-health; he will retire from the Agency in two or three months, or as soon as a successor can be appointed.
Our party received a cordial welcome from the Ponkas, as well as from the Mission family, which has been enlarged by the addition of two female assistants, Mrs. Stanforth's health having utterly broken down. Three intelligent and interesting children, adopted by Mr. D. and his mother, form also part of the household. Mr. Dorsey has made so much progress in the language that he is able to use it for colloquial purposes. He has obtained over five thousand words, and is anxious to introduce Ponka text-books for elementary instruction in his schools, but which books will have to be composed and printed. Though it was near midsummer, and the little school-room (the largest, however, of the three rooms which form the ''suite of apartments" on the first floor of the Mission-house) was very close, and furnished only with a few broken benches, the daily session was continued, with a regular attendance of nineteen men, twenty-four women and girls, and the same number of boys. There are on the lists twenty-eight men, twenty-nine females, principally girls, and thirty-four boys. The men have been studying English only one year, and are through the Primer, three of them reading in McGuffey's Reader to 41st page. A class of twelve boys read and spell with facility words of four letters, and some of them are well along in the First Reader. The boys count to one hundred, and begin to do sums in simple addition. The girls are nearly as well advanced, a class of eight spelling words in two syllables. All but two or three know the alphabet. Mr. Dorsey, with his other duties, does not find it incompatible with either his Missionary labors or his sense of propriety to teach the alphabet and other elementary studies to his patient and eager Indian pupils. The girls are being taught by Miss Baker. Mrs. Stanforth's ministrations are mainly to the sick and destitute. Every day at noon, the aged and infirm receive from her kitchen a bowl of nourishing soup, and scrofulous patients are cared for, their sores washed, and clean garments issued to the needy.
The most interesting event of our short stay at the Ponka Mission was the first public baptism in the tribe. The rite had been administered only once before, and on that occasion to a dying child. Now Mr. Dorsey had the great joy of announcing a class of twenty-nine adults and infants ready for admission into the Church, the first-fruits of his ministry among this people. As the men had expressed a dislike at receiving so holy an ordinance in the school-room, and were looking forward to the completion of the chapel, for which the contract had been let before we arrived, it was arranged that it should be administered in the open air, on the site of the proposed edifice. The foundation walls had been laid some time before, and at our request the Agent caused loose planks to be placed over them, and above this improvised floor a screen, erected to shield the party from the burning sun. A large cross was made and planted at the chancel end of the future chapel, and at three o'clock the ceremony took place in the presence of a goodly company of whites and Indians. Mr. Dorsey was assisted by Dr. Paddock and by the Revs. Messrs. Hinman and Cook, the latter gentleman joining us on the day alter our arrival at the Mission. Hymns were sung in English and Dakota, and part of the baptismal office rendered in Ponka. Before the ceremony the candidates were interrogated by members of the Commission, and evinced a wonderfully clear apprehension of the nature and import of the sacrament. Each came with a clean garment furnished for the occasion, and throughout the Service manifested due decorum and a thoroughly appreciative interest. Few who were present will forget the scene of this first Ponka baptism. The number of adults baptized was seventeen, and of children twelve; two adults, who had been baptized by a Romish priest in infancy, were received into the Church. The following list gives the Indian name of each, and the Christian name given in baptism:
Persons baptized at Ponka Mission on Wednesday, June 19, 1872.
White Swan, named Frank La Fleche; his wife, Mary E. La Fleche; their daughter, Therese La Fleche. Paul De Lodge. Treads-on-two, Andrew Dyer. White Back, Jno. Kemble. Fast-little-runner; Wm. Rumney; Wm. R.'s step-son, Allen Ruthven; his wife, Eloise Rumney; his daughter, Anna Rumney. Standing Yellow Hair, Chas. Hinks; his wife, Amelia Hinks. Raises-a-smoke, Mark Cleveland. Big Bear, Timothy Potter. Walking-together, Frederic U-ha-ma-ni. Wife of interpreter, Margaret Le Clerc. Children of my interpreter: William Le Clerc; Logan Le Clerc; Charles Leeds Le Clerc. New Moon, wife of Robert Primeau, or Big Elk, a chief, Fanny Primeau; her son, Antoine Primeau; her daughter, Margaret Primeau. Black Elk, John Nichols; his son, Edward Nichols. Marie, daughter of Lone Chief, Marie Hall; her boy, James Hall; her girl, Emily Hall. Lucy Gayton. McClellan Gayton. Angelique Gayton.
Received: 2, viz., Rosalie, wife of Jno. Nichols, and Mariette Primeau. They were baptized in infancy by a Romish priest.
Recapitulation--Baptized, adults, 17; children, 12. Total, 29. Received, 2.
Before leaving the Ponka Mission we held two councils with the chiefs and principal men. We found them divided into two parties, and separated in their choice of localities; the half-breeds and some of the under-chiefs and people of the full-bloods wishing to remain near the Agency, while the more influential native chiefs and their followers, living principally at their village nine miles below, near the confluence of the Niobrara with the Missouri, were desirous of abandoning the Reservation altogether and returning to their kindred tribe, the Omahas, in Nebraska. At the first council little was said of this plan, as both parties were present, and it would provoke differences. Antoine ("the lone chief") a graceful orator, and perhaps the wisest counsellor and best friend of our work in the tribe, and who is also the leader of the half-breed party, addressed us very eloquently. He was followed by Standing Buffalo, another leading chief; White Eagle, the head of the removalists and principal chief of the full-bloods; Standing Bear, the Smoke-maker, Black Crow, and others. It would cumber this report too much to present even an epitome of their speeches. A few of Antoine's expressions of welcome must suffice for an illustration of the friendly words spoken:
"When I see you, my friends, I am made wise and can look far ahead. When Mr. Hinman came to us, he brought the GREAT SPIRIT to our hearts. I find to-day that you are stronger than all other friends sent to us by our great Father. Do not lose heart--still strive for us. The sight of you raises our eyes--your presence makes us strong. What you have said is the thing we want. The good and the wise raise up the poor. You brought our mother (Mrs. Stanforth) to us. We are glad to see her here to-day. We want our children made wise. We are the poorest tribe on this river. You have been up the country to make friends with the Dakotas; but you see what a people they are; how they have stolen our horses. I do not know whether you believe what they say or not. They are provided for by our great father. Now, will you say when you reach Washington that we are justly dealt with?"
At an evening conference held in the Mission-house, White Eagle and others of his party spoke unreservedly on the subject of our Church work in this tribe, acknowledging that their only hope was in this direction. It was midnight, again, when the council broke up, and then it came out that most of our visitors had not tasted food since the morning. Some crackers that were set before them were greedily devoured. Several of the party preferred to remain all night on the bare floors of the school-room, without blankets, to venturing abroad without arms--such is the continual alarm inspired by the attacks of the Sioux. One of the arguments used by these men to induce us to interfere for their protection was, that they could not heed the religious instruction of their teachers while their hearts were full of bad thoughts, in daily anticipation of visits from their hated enemies. It was not right, they said, to go to GOD'S house with arms in their hands.
Niobrara River, June 20.--We left Ponka Mission and Agency this morning, and rode down along the Missouri nine miles to the banks of this stream, where about one-half the tribe of Ponkas have their homes in summer, and cultivate the soil. Here are about twenty cabins and a commodious and comfortable dirt lodge used for council purposes. White Eagle and his fellow-chiefs were here, and, before leaving the Reservation and taking the road across the river to the Santee Reservation, we had a final conference about our proposed school-house at this point. We found them much depressed by the recent incursions of the wild Tetons, and by the sad prospect for their support until their corn ripens. They showed us their root-houses--pits dug in the earth and lined with braided corn-husks--from which they had scraped up all but a few handfuls of corn, and these alone stood between them and absolute destitution. They met us in the dirt lodge (which they said we might use temporarily as a school-house if we thought proper) and recited the sad story of their sufferings. They were anxious to remove from the-Reservation. It was settled that Mr. Welsh should meet their chiefs at the Omaha Agency during the coming week, and ascertain if it was practicable for the Ponkas to rejoin their brethren there. Failing in this, we would plead with their great Father at Washington to furnish them food and protection. This gave them fresh hope and courage, and the young men set to> work with alacrity to aid us in crossing the Niobrara, or Running Water. This stream forms the southern boundary not alone of the Ponka Reservation-but of the whole territory set apart for the Dakota tribes, and gives its name to-the district set off by our Church as an Episcopal Jurisdiction under Bishop Clarkson. It is dangerous fording it at times, on account of the current and! the shifting quicksands; but our party crossed without difficulty, and bidding good-by to the land of the Dakotas took up its line of march in Nebraska for the Santee Mission.
[NOTE.--The meeting arranged for the Ponka chiefs and Mr. Welsh, at the Omaha Agency, was subsequently held, but did not result favorably for the hopes of the removalists. Gen. Sheridan, who sympathizes with the condition of the Ponkas, has promised that they shall be more adequately protected against the Sioux, and the U. S. Indian Commissioner has authorized rations to be issued in sufficient quantities to keep the Ponkas from actual suffering until Congress meets and can take action in their case.]
The road from the Niobrara enters the Santee Reservation a few miles from the crossing just described, and runs along the Missouri bottom, once or twice ascending the hills where the bluffs impinge on the river, until it reaches the Agency, about twelve miles below. We find, wherever the soil will admit of it, the farms of Christian Indians laid out, decent log-cabins erected, good fences built, and fields well cultivated. The land is taken up in eighty-acre lots, the body of arable land on the Reservation not being sufficient to allow of a partition in quarter sections to all the tribe, nor indeed is the Agent authorized to issue certificates for larger allotments. This is a. hardship which will be seriously felt as the tribe increases in number, which it is now doing. And it has been one cause of the abandonment of the Reservation by a party of spirited Christian men, who, taking their families with them and renouncing their tribal rights and relations, have gone out upon the Sioux River, and entered farms of one hundred and sixty acres each, avowing their intention of becoming citizens. Mr. Hinman's congregation, the once savage Santees, whom in the providence of GOD he has led out of a bondage and exile, the strong features of which recall some of the scenes in Israel's first captivity, are now dispersed and settled throughout the Reservation, in comfortable homes, with scarce a trace of their former wild habits remaining. Not a tepee nor a blanket Indian have we seen since we crossed the Running Water. We have left barbarism behind us and have come into a community which for industry, morality, and consistent Christian conduct will compare favorably with any parish of the same size in the United States or elsewhere. When it is remembered that ten years ago these Indians were outcasts on the frontiers of Minnesota, and that for four years afterwards, while our Missionary was among them, nothing was done by the Government for their relief or preservation, but much, it would seem, for their extinction, it ought not to appear to any practical man a very difficult task to rescue other tribes more favorably situated.
In the fields and doorways as we pass along, Indian women, dressed in the working attire of their civilized sisters, look out from their domestic employment, and men in citizens' clothes stop amid their labors to exchange a friendly greeting with their Pastor. The children are clad like our own, and quite as cleanly as the boys and girls of our own working-classes. Once we met a party of field laborers, coming in, perhaps, for their noonday meal (these Indians having attained the state of the white workman as depicted by Little Pheasant), and enjoying a ride on a hay-rick behind an ox-team. They were laughing and singing, while one of the number marched along on foot, guiding the oxen by word of command to ''gee" and ''haw," delivered in good Saxon, only without the too common Saxon expletive.
Our Mission buildings at Santee stand a mile back from the river, on a bench of land just under the bluffs, which here lose their bold outlines and recede into rolling prairie. The cottonwoods that line the shore shut out the view of the Mission from the river, except at a point where the whirlwind of 1870, which carried away the first structure, crashed through the timber, cutting a broad track to the water's edge. The new group of buildings excel the first in beauty and appropriateness, and there are few Mission establishments in America that vie with ours at Santee in good taste, harmony of design, and in Churchly effect. Approaching it from the direction of Springfield, a town lying on the opposite shore about three miles above, the Santee Mission presents the appearance of an English rural deanery, its pointed roofs and Gothic spires and its warm colors contrasting very pleasantly with the undulating landscape in its sober hues of summer, and displaying exquisite symmetry of outline and admirably proportioned parts. The building consists of a chapel, with deep chancel, and spire and baptistery adjoining, on the south; on the north side the Mission-house proper, with school-house 20 by 45 ft., or nearly as large as the chapel, and a tower finishing off this end. There are twelve sleeping apartments in the building, and the kitchen and laundry on the first floor are roomy and convenient. The Mission-grounds embrace eighty acres, well fenced and kept in good condition by the Indian hired help. There is a garden of ten acres and a wheat field of twenty-five acres, and all the crops look well. We were not surprised that the Santees are proud of their Mission establishment, or that the wild Indians coming down from Cheyenne are deeply impressed by what they see here. Indians are natural lovers of the beautiful, and are not insensible to the quiet dignity and grace with which the Church sits enshrined in this lovely spot.
Of Mr. Hinman's work here, little more need be said than that, to the human eye, it stands complete, like a well-tilled field of corn ripening for the harvest. His congregation are scattered throughout their Reservation, and schools can no longer be maintained for the children at this or any other single point, on account of the distances which intervene. Small school-houses will have to be built, at two or three different localities, in the erection and maintenance of which the Indians will ere long be able to take a part. The work of the Church among the scattered families is carried on during week-days by a band of native Catechists. On Sundays the people come from every direction, on foot and in wagons, to attend the four Services held in the chapel. The Mothers' Meeting and other week-day Services are also well attended. Of the nine hundred Santees gathered on this Reservation, three hundred are communicants of the Church. In their preparation to receive Holy Communion, the Indians, Mr. Hinman says, are very conscientious and thorough. On the Sunday following our arrival the chapel was thronged. In accordance with their custom, the men sit apart from the women, the latter usually occupying the front slips. Many came after the seats were filled, and quietly crouched on the floor around the chancel steps. The choristers occupy stalls, and the cabinet organ is played by Mrs. Hinman, or one of the Sisters attached to the Mission, who leads the singing. The heartiness and fervor with which the songs of Zion are sung in this Indian chapel, the whole congregation joining, are rarely witnessed among our own people. We only hear the like at our Missionary meetings when all hearts are aglow. Mr. Hinman is assisted in his ministerial labors by Rev. Paul Mazakute, native Presbyter, and Rev. Christian Taopi and Rev. Luke C. Walker, native Deacons. Neither Paul nor Taopi, however, are capable of performing daily active service, both being in the last stages of consumption. Taopi was formerly a brave, who distinguished himself in the wars between the Santees and Chippewasin old times. With the same burning ardor and zeal, he has given his life, since his ordination, to the conversion of his people. ''If ever there was a saint," said Mr. Hinman, as we stood around the invalid's chair, "this man is one;" and the impression made upon us by the spiritualized and patient look and demeanor of the sufferer seemed to confirm his words. Paul is another miracle of grace, a man whose life is devoted to his ministry among his brethren. His home is on the Basilic, a small stream flowing through the Reservation and emptying into the Missouri. A number of the Santees have taken up farms on this stream, and Paul is endeavoring to provide a refuge for his children among them. We visited his place and found him living in a tepee. A few yards distant is a rude shelter made of boughs placed on upright sticks. Here, every Sunday, he gathers the people in the valley and holds the Church Service. A frame chapel is being erected not far from the spot; and it is very desirable, also, that a cabin, which has been commenced by his people for Paul, should be completed before winter. He cannot last many months, and it would be a reproach to our Church to suffer this most estimable member of her Clergy, who has, under Mr. Hinman, carried the Gospel to the tribes in which our Mission work is now so successful, to close his days in utter destitution and without a home or fit shelter for his family.
Among the most affecting incidents of our visit was the eagerness of these Indians, once so cruelly wronged by our race, to testify the love and gratitude with which their hearts are filled towards Christian white men for their rescue from the savage and heathen state. The Catechists came in a body with young Wapashaw, the son of the head chief, as their leader, and made a most touching address. The men lingered in the chapel after the Services, to shake hands with us, and in the afternoon we gave audience to the chiefs and other head men. There sat Wapashaw, the man once renowned as the most daring and reckless of the Santee warriors--an hereditary chief, who is still remembered in Minnesota for his fierce and sanguinary character--now a devoted, humble follower of our Blessed LORD, whose daily life and conversation show a mind and heart wholly changed. He is full of zeal for the Church, and for the extension of the knowledge of CHRIST among his red brethren. He is a man of marked ability and eloquence, and his speech was replete with expressions of gratitude for what had been done for his tribe. He had only words of love and kindness for our people, never once admitting or adverting to the wrongs practised by our Government upon his nation, but charging all the faults of the past upon their own obstinacy and perverseness. The wickedness of officials, and the hatred and injustice dealt out to his race by white men, were all forgotten in the joy and gratitude that filled his heart for the blessings of the light to which they had been admitted. AH the Santee chiefs are communicants of the Church.
The Visiting Committee resolved, before leaving Santee, to appeal to the Church for funds to open a training-school at this point for Indian youth of both sexes, to be gathered from the Santees, the Yanktons, and other tribes of the Sioux, as well as from the Ponkas. They have been strongly impressed with the need of such a school, to educate the foremost scholars of the several Mission-schools, and others who offer themselves, for the work of teachers and hospital attendants among their own people, and to provide for 3, native Ministry. A large class could be formed at once, and the Santee Mission would be a most appropriate field in which to commence such a work. So important is the plan of such a school regarded by a layman connected with the Commission, that he has pledged five thousand dollars towards it, provided the balance can be secured. A Philadelphia firm has pledged one thousand dollars. About twelve thousand dollars more are needed.
On board Steamer Western, Missouri River, June 24.--Our visit to our Indian tribes on the Missouri is ended. There still remain, of the Dakotas, two tribes to be seen--the Ogalallas, about twenty-five hundred, under Red Cloud, and about the same number of Upper Brulés under Spotted Tail, both located in the western part of Dakota and Nebraska. Their Agencies are not yet established permanently by the Government, and it has been decided not to visit them until their homes have been assigned to them. There has been an unfortunate blunder in regard to the lands they are to occupy, which the Government is now rectifying. When they are permanently settled, which will probably be this fall, we propose to open schools among them, both of these leading chiefs having asked for schools and churches. There is also the tribe of Shoshones and Bannocks, in Wyoming Territory, a poor and friendless people, like the Ponkas, for whose training and spiritual oversight the Church has undertaken to provide, and whose Agent, the nominee of one of our Missionary bodies, has written to us earnest letters begging our help. A visit to these must also be deferred until later in the year, or perhaps the coming spring. We have still two Missions of the Church to see--the one among the Chippewas in Minnesota, and the last, and oldest of our Indian Missions--about the oldest Episcopal Mission in America--among the Oneidas at Green Bay, Wisconsin. At Sioux City, whither our party is now bound, we are to separate; Mr. Welsh, accompanied by Mrs. Rumney, going to the Omaha Agency, to meet the Ponka chiefs by appointment, and Rev Dr. Paddock and the Secretary going to Minnesota. When we left Santee this morning, to take the stage at Springfield, we were so fortunate as to descry a steamer in the distance descending the river. As these boats will stop for passengers, an exciting race began for the nearest point on the river shore. By furious driving the spot was reached just as the boat swung around the bend above us. We were taken on board, and so a long -and fatiguing ride by stage is avoided. It is expected that we shall reach Sioux City to-night
Oak Lake City, Minnesota, June 29.--The little group of rough unfinished frames of houses, some of them roofed with canvas, where we are stopping to-night, is a station on the Northern Pacific Railroad, about thirty miles from its present western terminus on the Red River of the North. It is a railroad town in more senses than one, having been built at what is called ''railroad speed," to catch the transient business of the road, which is pushing forward with vigor and will soon enter Dakota. It takes the traveler only one day now to cross Minnesota from Duluth (on Lake Superior, the eastern terminus of the Northern Pacific Railroad) to the Red River, the western boundary of the State. We came to Duluth by way of Faribault and St. Paul, stopping a day at the seat of our Episcopate in this noble State, to endeavor to prevail upon its beloved Bishop to accompany us to the Mission which he founded and has fostered at White Earth. But his health and labors would not permit, though he ardently desired to go. The Rev. D. R. Knickerbacker, Rector of Gethsemane Church, Minneapolis, very kindly consented to make one of our party, and we were also joined at St. Paul by Rev. J. T. Fowler, Vicar of Whittle-le-Woods Parish, near Manchester, England, who is visiting our Western institutions. The point we have reached to-night is only twenty-three miles south of our Mission at White Earth Reservation. We find the white settlers in this region in no very amiable mood towards the Indians, on account of several murders committed within the past few months by members of bands of Chippewas living along the lakes to the eastward of the Reservation, and near the head waters of the Mississippi. The murderers (who are believed to be in custody) are the roving vagabonds belonging to that class which furnishes most of the travellers by rail in the Great West their impressions concerning the Indian tribes, and from which class about as correct ideas of the average wild inhabitants of the Plains can be derived as could be formed of our own race by intercourse with the poor wretches who people the slums of our large cities. In the inn where we are stopping we meet honest, intelligent settlers, and laboring men having farms or doing business in this vicinity. They all speak in the highest terms of Rev. Mr. Johnson (Enmegahbowh), our native Chippewa Presbyter, and also of the work he is doing, for they frequently see him here; but they shake their heads incredulously at every suggestion that a similar work is possible among the Pillager and other bands of the Chippewas, not knowing that Enmegahbowh's people were once among the most warlike and sanguinary of the Chippewa nation. To-morrow is Sunday, and we are anxious after supper to press on and finish our journey; but the night has set in rainy and dark, and we shall hardly be able to find a team and driver. Reluctantly we consent to wait until the morning and take a daylight start. Mr. Knickerbacker, following the custom of his Bishop, asks if it will be agreeable to the company present to have the Evening Prayer of the Church before we retire to rest. It is a rough and motley company, but there are warm hearts beating under these coarse flannel shirts, and all seem well pleased to join us. So our three Clergymen take the Service between them, and we have Prayers in this main room, and a short exposition of a text from the Holy Scriptures.
WHITE EARTH MISSION.
Thirty-six square miles of as beautifully diversified country as can be found in the Northwest constitute the Reservation set apart in this portion of Minnesota for the Chippewas. It is a region of lakes and pine forests, And has been for generations the favorite haunts of this people. Will they be allowed to retain it? Its southern boundary is within nine miles of the Northern Pacific Railroad, which a few miles beyond Oak Lake City will have a branch running north to Pembina. The railroad grants for this road cover a portion of the western borders of the Reservation, and greedy eyes are fixed already upon other sections, and we hear at the Agency that combinations have been formed to induce the Chippewas to release a strip of their beautiful country. Among other expedients resorted to by a certain class of white men, is intermarriage (so called) with the Chippewa women, with a view to get possession of farms. It is needless to say that our Missionary and his people have set their faces firmly against this practice, and it is only among those not yet brought under the influence of the Church that it exists.
The Agent at White Earth is Major E. P. Smith, a very courteous and kindly disposed gentleman, who was nominated for the position by the Congregationalists. This denomination have had Missionaries and schools among the Chippewas for many years. Their efforts now appear to be confined chiefly to educational work among them. There is no chapel, nor is there a regular religious Service maintained on the Reservation by this society, nor by any other religious body but our own. The Agent has a training-school for children above twelve or fourteen, and a Sunday-school. The training-school is supported by Government moneys, an appropriation of $5,000 having been made in 1870 to carry it on. It is very gratifying to the members of the Visiting Committee to be able to state that Major Smith and his assistants have shown a willingness to assist our Missionary in many ways, and that they hold him and his work in high esteem. They testify to it as genuine, and successful beyond any similar work undertaken among this people. Indeed, far and wide, there is but one opinion concerning the results which, under GOD, have attended Enmegahbowh's labors. They are, as old ex-agents and traders who have spent their lives among the Northwestern tribes declare, simply wonderful.
We reached the Church's Mission while the bell was ringing for Morning Service. Far back on the road we had overtaken groups of Indians, some in wagons, but most of them on foot, hastening to church. Cabins along the road were closed up, not a soul about--all had gone up to the LORD'S House. The Mission chapel stands on a wooded knoll, overlooking a small lake. It is a neat structure of pine, sheathed within and painted brown without. Its dimensions are about 20 by 40; the interior is plain, almost to baldness. The chancel is without furniture, excepting the altar, a rude lectern, and a common chair. It is simply a raised platform, separated from the congregation by a common rail. The floor is covered with neat mats, made of rushes by the Indian women. The altar is covered with a cloth presented by Dr. Breck's former congregation in Cleveland. The space for the chancel window is concealed by white sheeting, the stained-glass window promised long ago not having been furnished. The walls and roof and pine seats, as well as the chancel, sadly need coloring or staining. But there are many wants connected with our Missionary work here, and these must form the subject of earnest appeals to the loving women and faithful laymen of the Church.
We found a congregation of about one hundred and fifty men, women, and children, as many as the place would hold, assembled in this humble chapel when we arrived. As at Santee and other Indian Mission chapels, the women sit apart; the chiefs also occupy seats together about half way between the door and chancel. The singing was partly in English and partly in Ojibway (Chippewa), the ladies from the Agency and one or two male assistants furnishing the music in our own tongue on this occasion. A daughter of our Missionary plays the melodeon. The wardrobe of our Indian Presbyter furnished but one surplice and stole, and these were worn by Rev. Dr. Paddock, who preached the morning discourse. The full Church Service is not used, on account of the inability of but very few members of the congregation to read their written language. The same remark will apply to our Services among the Dakota Indians and their language. But nearly all joined audibly and devoutly, on their knees, in the liturgical responses, and afterwards in the hymns, which were sung with thrilling fervor. We had ''Nearer, my GOD, to Thee" (translated into Ojibway by our Missionary), and the dear old hymn of Bishop Heber, the Church's battle-song for Missionary conquest. We had sung it the Sunday before at Santee, and caught new inspiration from the scene before us, as these Christian Indians united with us in the familiar lines,
"Shall we, whose souls are lighted
With wisdom from on high,"--
and now we were joined by our red brethren of the Ojibway nation, singing in their own tongue, with fervent spirit and joyful understanding, the same precious words. After the sermon and benediction, the congregation were addressed by members of the visiting delegation.
The Chippewas are classified, according to their location, as the Chippewas of the Mississippi and the Chippewas of Lake Superior, and number, it is supposed, about ten thousand. These are exclusive of the tribes in British America, among whom the English Church has long been carrying on a. quiet but successful work. The Indians at present on this Reservation number about eight hundred, over one-half of whom are under the influence of our Mission. The number of communicants reported by Mr. Johnson (Enmegahbowh) is not far from two hundred. Those Indians not yet reached by our Mission, most of them having arrived on the Reservation during the past summer, are the Otter Tail band, about three hundred souls, and between eighty and one hundred of the Gull Lake and Mille Lac bands. The remainder of the bands just named, about one thousand souls, are expected this fall or next spring, with three hundred from Sandy Lake and four hundred from Oak Point. It is the interest of the Government, as well as of the Indians themselves, that all the Mississippi bands should be gathered on this Reservation, and to this end the efforts of the Interior Department are now being directed. Unless the schemes that are being formed to dispossess the Chippewas of part of the White Earth tract shall be successful, there will be land enough to give each Indian a good farm. It is estimated that fully one-third of the area of the Reserve is taken up by the numerous lakes that diversify its surface. About one hundred miles north of the Agency is another tribe of Chippewas, gathered on a Reservation lying along the shores of Red Lake. There are probably one thousand of these Red Lake Indians, and year after year they have sent down supplicating appeals to Bishop Whipple and our Missionary at White Earth to come among them and establish our Church and open schools for their children. The Congregationalists have had a teacher among them, and the Romanists began a Mission at Red Lake; but with singular unanimity and persistent earnestness, these Red Lake Indians have for seven or eight summers sent delegations down asking that ''Bishop Whipple's Church" and Missionaries be sent among them. The name of Minnesota's noble Bishop and his saintly presence are known and reverenced throughout these northern tribes. It would be the crowning glory of his work in this region to extend the Church among them, and if the hands of the Commission are upheld, neither the "Red Lakers" nor any other tribe of Chippewas will send another appeal for the Church in vain.
In an open Conference the next morning with the chiefs and leading men of the tribe about the Mission, they were very outspoken concerning their secular as well as their spiritual needs. A sad calamity has befallen them--for in their utter dependence on their little farms it cannot be humanly considered in any other light; a plague of grasshoppers came in the early part of June, and their crops, which were very promising up to that time, have been totally destroyed. These Indians, with the assistance rendered by some friends in the East, supplementing the Government aid extended to them, have built, since 1870, thirty log-cabins, and broken and planted about two hundred acres of ground. We saw their cabins and little four and five acre farms to-day, and commended them for the neatness and thrift exhibited in those houses we visited. In one cabin we found a sewing-machine, and in another a woman and her mother were knitting. One house had a little bed-room partitioned off. These are the dawnings of civilization. Only three years ago most of these Indians were in their blankets, and living in birch-bark wigwams. Now they are clothed like white men, and learning to live as we live. The Agent and his assistants are active in promoting their instruction. The mills on the Reservation are run by full-blooded Chippewas, under the general oversight of the Government miller, and they have even mastered the intricacies of the steam-engine, and can be relied upon as watchful and intelligent engineers. The carpenter and blacksmith have each two or three apprentices, of whose steadiness, cleverness, and progress they speak in the highest terms. The destruction of the crops on the Reservation has thrown a dark shadow over the affairs of the tribe, and in speaking of their material prospects the chiefs to-day seemed greatly depressed. Unless Government aid is afforded them, there will be great suffering during the coming winter, the whole tribe will be totally dependent on their success in trapping and fishing, and on the wild rice which they can gather from the margins of lakes off their Reservation.
It was very cheering to hear from men in the condition of these new disciples of our faith, whose future is one of inevitable suffering, and possibly one of starvation, in the terrible winter of this clime now before them, such words as the following, spoken by White Fisher:
"We know that you are doing all that you can for us, and that our great Father in Washington will be asked by our Agent and by the Church to help us. We are happy when we think of this, and the thought that you will carry our words back fills our hearts with hope. We do not think we can ever go back to our former ways. We are very sad when our brethren [from Red Lake and elsewhere] send us messengers asking for Missionaries, and we have no promises to send them that Missionaries will go among them. Our Bishop has promised us, but we fear he cannot do as he would like. We are very thankful for what he has done. We have held Councils to help our brethren, and have sent our best man to Leech Lake to hear their wishes. They have sent word by him that they mean what they say, and have not made idle promises to us. We are firm in our faith and anxious to prove our zeal."
Min-o-ge-zhick; GOD is moving in our hearts. Our thoughts and feelings and wishes are not from the surface--they are from our hearts. We know that the way in which we are walking is right. We have commenced in earnest, and when we fail we do not mean to be disheartened. What the chiefs have said, I think, is true. We are not discouraged when affairs go wrong with us with our Agent; it only makes us more strong to look to GOD and to ask His blessing. The improvements you see about you here are our own work. We have been here over four years. If we could have had cattle and other help, our young men would have been able to do more.
As the chiefs and other leading men have asked us for separate schools for their young children, it is proposed to reopen the Mission school, and to strengthen and enlarge a school carried on under the auspices of the Mission about four miles from this station by an educated half-breed lady. A young and highly intelligent and exemplary young man, a full-blooded Chippewa, whose baptismal name is Francis Vinton, and who is warmly commended by our Missionary for his zeal and piety, and by the Agent for his fidelity and natural ability, has been appointed a Catechist and teacher. His Indian name is Crow Feather, and he is twenty-five years of age.
[NOTE.--Bishop Whipple has since designated this young man, and one other, as suitable candidates for scholarship at Faribault. Who will help us provide for the education of these young men?]
On the afternoon of this day we were waited upon by the head chief of the Otter Tail band, recently arrived on the Reservation, and living in their birch-bark wigwams about eight miles from the Mission. He had heard of our arrival, and forthwith came over to see us with two of his fellow-chiefs. He is an old man, said to be very sagacious; but he and his people are very poor. Though probably dressed in his best, he had only an old military coat and tattered pair of leggings on his person. We expected, of course, a petition for food and clothing. But here is the old man's speech entire:
O-gah-ba-ge-zhick: What I have to say I have well pondered over. I have thought over it since last winter. I am not a man of many words, and will come at once to what I have to say. I have long been anxious to follow the path of these men [Enmegahbowh's people]. I have been interrupted; once by the death of my son, who was killed by a white man. I kept my feelings down [clasping his arms over his chest], I wanted to see the Bishop then.
I heard that some good white men were coming to visit this people. I thought I must see them for my people. I lost a son once before. He was lynched by the whites. I have come to you to set my heart right I know you pity us, because I see your works amongst this people. Now if you can make our hearts lighter, we will arise and follow them.
We are very glad to be permitted to come to this Reservation. These brethren are kind to us. I used to live at Otter Tail, but the whites crowded upon us--there was no room for me. I shook hands with the whites and left the place. I always shake hands with the whites--ask any of your brethren. I have tried to befriend them. Some of our band have gone to Leech Lake; the greater part have come here. It is my wish to live near this people; but not too close now. I wish to keep my young men away from them until they become like them. I would like to select a home on the other side of White Earth Lake, near enough to attend church and receive instruction. It is the desire of our hearts to become Christians. We feel that it must be so; and not only ourselves, but others of our bands are travelling this way. Will it be impossible now to send us a Missionary? I have done.
The chief was promised that a teacher should be provided for his tribe as soon as a qualified person could be found. Mr. Johnson (Enmegahbowh) will doubtless be authorized this fall to go to Canada in quest of one or more Catechists from among the native Chippewa teachers educated by the Church of England. Until a suitable assistant can be found, young Vinton, who is. studying hard to qualify himself, will aid our Missionary in his Sunday and week-day Services. The weekly routine of instruction and Services at the White Earth Mission is as follows: Sunday, Morning and Evening Prayer and catechising. Monday, 5 P.M., baptism class; 7 P.M., Woman's Meeting. Tuesday evening, chiefs meet. Wednesday evening, Sewing Society. Thursday evening, Prayers. Friday evening, Service, and meeting of chiefs and men. Saturday evening, singing class. Enmegahbowh says that if from any cause he does not attend either of these meetings at the chapel, at the hour designated, he is sharply reminded of his shortcoming by the chapel bell being rung until he makes his appearance. This is probably the only parish in the land where the congregation ring the bell to call the Clergyman to Prayers. Our Missionary is living in a comfortable frame-house, which only requires enlarging to be well suited to his needs. His faithful wife and daughters keep house in Christian style, and are very attentive and considerate for the comfort of their guests. Two of the daughters have attended the Poughkeepsie (N. Y. ) Academy, and have only been withdrawn for lack of means in the hands of their father to complete their education. He is very anxious to have them educated, and they will be invaluable aids in his. work if this can be accomplished. Mr. Johnson is desirous to send them to St. Mary's School, Faribault.
On the morning of our departure from White Earth Mission, the Holy Communion was administered, in accordance with our desire, notice having-been given at Morning Prayer on Sunday. Fifty male and female communicants knelt with us at the LORD'S Table. At the offertory each person present rose, as is their custom, and going forward deposited his offering in the plate, which was placed on the chancel rail. Those who had no money brought little birch vessels, called mokuks, filled with maple sugar. One chief, who-had nothing else, laid his stone pipe on the rail, first asking permission in a. whisper of the Missionary. Looking out of the windows we could seethe little fields of these people stripped bare of vegetable life; but here they were giving their all--literally every penny they possessed at the time--as an offering to GOD. The amount contributed by our Chippewa brethren was twenty-one dollars. It was increased to twenty-five dollars by members of our party, and sent to Bishop Whipple to aid Diocesan Missions in the State of Minnesota. The thoroughness with which these humble disciples divested themselves of their little worldly all, is shown in an incident which occurred after the Service. One of our party bought a few mokuks of sugar of a poor woman at the door, paying her three twenty-five cent stamps. Shortly after, while he was conversing with his white brethren at the chancel rail, a sum of money was handed to our Missionary to be laid on the plate, and, on opening it, the purchaser of the mokuks recognized the money he had paid at the door a few minutes previous. Our English brother could scarcely repress his emotions at the fervent devotions and simple faith of these poor children of the forest. When we parted with them at the door of the chapel, our delegation to go to their comfortable Eastern homes in the abodes. of plenty and Christian civilization, and these to their empty cabins and desolate fields, the sad, but calm, trustful countenances of our red brethren, and the warm pressure of the hand, were tokens of Christian faith and fellowship long to be remembered.
Green Bay, Wisconsin, Sunday, July 7.--From White Earth by rail to Duluth, parting company with our friends Messrs. Fowler and Knickerbacker on the way, and from Duluth by Lake Superior steamer to Marquette, and thence to this place, has consumed the remainder of the week, which we began with an enforced journey on the LORD'S Day. And now we must take another short one, thanks to the tardiness of the Lake steamer, or disappoint our friends of the Oneida Mission. The Oneida Reserve is ten miles west of this place. It is past the hour for Morning Service, but we may meet them at Evening Prayer, and we have only a day to spend on the Reserve. We must go forward.
The Mission of our Church to the Oneidas is one of the oldest Indian Missions in America. It is the continuation of the work begun among the Six Nations, in this State, by the Venerable Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, as early as the beginning of the present century. The Oneidas were removed to their present Reservation between 1820 and 1830. A part of the tribe was settled on Fox River, three miles south of Green Bay. Here the Mission was resumed by our own Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, and included in the Foreign field of the Church. The first Clergyman sent to Green Bay proved unfaithful, and the Mission fell into decay. When the present Reservation was settled by the Oneidas the Church followed them, and a new work was begun under the spiritual oversight of Rev. Eleazar Williams. A log-church was built near the site of the present Church building, and a daily Service was held. Mr. Williams was succeeded by Rev. R. F. Cadle in 1834. Our present Missionary, Rev. E. A. Goodnough, began his labors among the Oneidas seventeen years ago.
The Reservation is a beautiful tract of land, twelve miles long by eight wide. The portion of the tribe by which it is occupied numbers thirteen hundred, having nearly doubled by natural increase since 1838. The greater portion of the people are sober, industrious, and faithful to their religious professions; but there is a party of thriftless and idle men who seriously retard the general welfare of the community by their schemes to dispose of parts of the Reservation to white speculators in the vicinity, who of course encourage them in their evil work. The influence of the friends of the Indian is greatly needed to counteract the mischief which is being wrought by these speculators. It is very desirable that the party opposed to the sale of the Reservation should be encouraged to stand firm. The lands of the Reservation have not been divided in severally, and cannot be while the present feeling exists on the subject of the sale of the lands. Each member of the tribe has the privilege of taking as much land as he can cultivate. We saw a few well-tilled farms of fair dimensions, bat generally the fields were small, the farm-houses dilapidated, and there was an appearance of unthriftiness about too many of them.
The Mission church stands on the main road (which runs through the centre of the Reservation), about five miles from its upper or northern end. It is an old-fashioned square-towered edifice, about thirty by fifty-five feet, very plain within as well as without. Its cost was seven thousand dollars. Opposite the church is the Government school-house, under the charge of our Missionary, who, assisted by Mrs. Goodnough, teaches a day-school of about fifty scholars during nine months in the year. Three hundred yards from the church is the rectory, a comfortable cottage built by friends of our work among the Oneidas, to which is attached about eight acres of enclosed and cultivated land, and which, with the barn, outhouses, and other property is the property of the Mission. Mr. Goodnough has been a good Pastor and careful instructor of this people during his ministry, but he needs practical aid and sympathy in his isolated work. It is unfortunate for the Mission that so few of our churchmen at Green Bay and in adjoining places have so little interest in its success, and in the welfare of these Indians. But under every disadvantage, and with no little opposition, our Mission has prospered and been blessed.
The Services on the afternoon of our arrival consisted of Evening Prayer, and a short discourse by Dr. Paddock. About two hundred men, women, and children were present. The Prayer Book has been carefully translated into the Mohawk tongue, which is the language spoken by the Oneidas; but few of the men seemed able to read sufficiently to make ready use of it. The youth and the children show greater proficiency. The responses were earnest, and the worship and general deportment of the congregation devout. An old-fashioned organ supplies the instrumental part of the music, and a choir of half a dozen voices leads the singing, which is hearty and inspiriting. We are reminded while joining with our brethren in the Services, that within four weeks we have heard our liturgy, or parts of it, in as many different tongues. After the benediction, addresses were made to the congregation by members of the Visiting Committee. Our friends evinced deep interest in the work we have undertaken, and seemed greatly pleased with our visit. At the conclusion of the addresses, men, women, and children came forward to shake hands. There are several fine specimens of the once-famed Iroquois in this tribe, and the women excel any Indian women we have seen in intelligence, good manners, and womanly independence.
The religious training of this tribe is divided between the Methodists and ourselves. To enable each to carry on its work quietly and effectively, the two Missions are situated at opposite ends of the Reservation, and those who attend on the ministrations of either, have settled in that part of the Reserve where it is located. Our Missionary claims to have under Church influence about eight hundred of the thirteen hundred persons composing the tribe. His own influence is thrown in favor of maintaining the lands inviolate, and he aims to discourage their sale; while a good many of the Methodist members favor the schemes of the speculators. In the eight hundred who are attached to our Mission, there are two hundred and twenty-five registered communicants.
Mr. Goodnough presents the following statement of (he needs of his Mission:
"1st. We need aid to make more provision for the education of the children. Either we should build two more school-houses to accommodate the more remote children, or else provide a good substantial dinner daily for the school children at the Mission, where, I believe, that all the children (three hundred in number) could be gathered into our present schools, which would be better than scattered schools, as then I could have them all under my own daily charge.
''2d. We need a new floor, some windows, a globe, new desks, and maps and charts for our school-house.
"3d. We need a new church; the building of which by the united labor of the Indians will tend to fix their minds on this place as a permanent home, and thus it will be of the greatest benefit to the tribe, aside from the high and holy use it will serve as an offering to their LORD; we cannot build this church without aid from Christian friends; but the fund has already been begun; a seed has been planted in faith, in answer to prayer, and the church must be built.
"4th. We need also presents suitable for the school children at Christmas. Clothing, books, almost anything that white children would prize, will be very valuable.
"5th. Also, we need clothing and medicine and articles of food for the old and sick of our congregation, when they are too poor to provide for themselves.
"All packages may be addressed to E. A. Goodnough, Fort Howard, Wisconsin, per Merchants' Despatch."
On the day of our departure from the Reservation, to take the eastward-bound train to our homes, we met the communicants of our Church and others in Council, with regard to the division of their lands. The leading chief and principal speaker was Cornelius Hill, a young man of good ability who is studying law. He is highly commended by our Missionary for his zeal, uprightness, and fidelity to the Church and the true interests of his tribe. We were glad to find that most of the intelligent members of the tribe are opposed to the scheme of division for the purposes of sale, and that their strength is continually increasing. When this question is removed from the politics of this people, or settled satisfactorily to all, there will, no doubt, come an era of prosperity in their affairs such as they have never known, in which the Church, properly sustained and encouraged, should make rapid progress. The prayers and labors of our people to that end are greatly desired.
The Committee returned to New York on the 10th July.