Chapter II. The Story of Nashotah
ALL preparations being completed, our letters now give us the account of the journey Westward, and the entering upon the great work there.
(Sept. 15, 1841, Milwaukee, Wis. Ter.--To Mrs. Charles)
My Dearest Sister Jeannie:
According to my promise in a letter to your dear husband, and to my own inclinations, I now sit down to write you an account of our journey out to Wisconsin, in answer to the account you gave me of your last to Wellsboro'. On Tuesday the last day of August, I left my dear parents' roof, in company with Brother Adams, for the city of New York. I need not stop here to state how severe the final parting with home and its many endearments was, only that it was much greater than I had calculated upon, and I believe for our dear parents too. At New York, I called and saw your dear mother and other members of the family; but she was not ready to accompany me to Auburn, hoping for an opportunity later in the season. On Wednesday night, the 1st of September, Brother Adams and myself (Prior Cadle had started the day previous) left for Albany, where the next morning we breakfasted. Here we called on the Rev. Mr. Van Rensselaer, a class-mate. At 7:30 A.M. took cars for Syracuse, which place we reached about dark. Here we took the canal for Oswego, thirty-eight miles distant, which town we reached on Friday morning. Here we had to remain till 6 P. M. for the steamboat on Lake Ontario, on which beautiful Lake this town is directly situated. Here we called on the parson, the Rev. Mr. McCarty. We left Oswego in the midst of a thunder-storm, which was by no means pleasant, and I had to retire very shortly to my berth without taking any tea, for fear of sea-sickness. The whole night and next day till 11 A. M. the waves of the Lake ran high; when, by the Divine protection, we arrived in safety at Lewiston, 150 miles from Oswego. Here we took horse-cars for Niagara Falls, twelve miles distant, where we remained over Sunday. We had never before visited the Falls, and, of course, were busily occupied in viewing this astounding work of the Most High till nigh evening, when we called on the parson, Presbyter Porter, who invited Brother Adams and myself to preach for him the next day, which we did, Adams in the morning and myself in the afternoon.
On Monday morning at 6 we left in the steam-cars for Buffalo, which city we reached about 8:30 A. M., when we went immediately to the Chicago boat to deposit our baggage and secure berths, as the boat was to leave at 11 A. M. the same morning. Whilst there we were astonished at finding Prior Cadle's name on the papers as a passenger. He had left New York in hopes of reaching a boat three days earlier, but in this had failed, arriving an hour or two too late. He wished to go earlier, to see Bishop Kemper before he left Wisconsin. We soon found him at the Rev. Dr. Shelton's house, and much to his surprise, for he thought we had intended remaining back some ten days or more. Of course the meeting, and knowledge of each other's company through the Lake traveling, added mutually to our joy.
At 11 A. M. Drs. Shelton and Rudd bade us adieu, and in a few minutes the steamboat Chesapeake was gallantly (as much so as can be expected of a crowded steamboat) bearing us up Lake Erie. There was a gentle breeze,--enough to ruffle the surface of the water, and no more. This, with the novelty of Lake traveling, delighted me for a while. I found no objection to it for that day and night. Early next morning we stopped at Cleveland, Ohio, where we remained two hours and a half, affording Brother Adams and myself time to see the town and the Church of the town. We then moved off, directing our course for Detroit, winch place we reached about 9:30 p. M., and where I deposited a letter for home, as I had done before at Oswego. Here I stepped on shore, in order that I might say I had been in Michigan, and then retired to my couch.
The next morning we continued our course through Lake St. Clair and the river of the same name. The weather was still favorable; but about noon a storm arose, which blew strong from the north, and was increasing. A little before this commenced, I had .taken sick with a bilious attack, brought on from confined cabins, close berth, and a mean supply of food, nor only so, but not served up in a cleanly way. However, one advantage of my sickness was, that it prevented me from being sea-sick, which latter was the case with most of the passengers, and even with Brother Adams, who had been seasick eighteen days when crossing the Atlantic. This was Wednesday; but, before night, the waves rolled so high that we had to put in at a harbor. After taking wood on board we again put out, making for Mackinaw, which place we reached in the night. Here there were about 3000 Indians encamped, having assembled to receive their annuity from Government, but I was unable to see them.
The next morning very early we set out again, passing along the north of the State of Michigan; but about ten o'clock the captain was compelled to beat under a small island, where he anchored and remained till near 7 P. M. Then, supposing it more favorable, for it had now cleared off finely, he weighed anchor, and struck a more southerly course; but he had not been out long ere he learned his mistake, and yet could not stop, for there are no harbors along this Lake for several hundred miles. After sailing some fifteen or twenty miles he tried to anchor on the windward side of Fox Island, but in his attempt was foiled owing to the rocky bottom. He then made a bold effort, by means of engine and one large sail, to reach a natural harbor some forty miles distant, which, by the gracious guidance of an Almighty Father, we succeeded in, but through great laboring of the vessel.
Saturday morning opened to us most charmingly,--a real October day in Pennsylvania. We left the harbor early, and took a transverse course across the Lake for Milwaukee, about 240 miles distant. The waters were calm all day. For several hours we were out of sight of land on all sides, notwithstanding the atmosphere was perfectly clear. About 12 o'clock at night the boat drew up before Milwaukee, and soon we were mounting the hill upon which the town is partly built,--we regarding an early entrance, under a clear heavens, on a Sunday morning, as a good omen for the business in which we were embarked.
We remained at Milwaukee on Sunday, and preached to the congregation of Presbyter Hull,--Prior Cadle in the morning, Brother Adams in the afternoon, and myself in the evening. Brother Hobart was out at Prairieville preaching; and he being expected on Monday morning, we remained still at Milwaukee for him; and about noon he came, having walked in, being eighteen or twenty miles. He mentioned to us that there were no lodgings, public or private, for us as yet in Prairieville, that there were not so much1 as for himself only, and that there would not be till next week, and then only temporarily. The reason of this was, that the people only built for the accommodation of their respective families; that houses were in great demand, and the public-house was filled every night, insomuch that floors were regularly strewed with mattresses to accommodate travelers.
We therefore have been here since Sunday, not having yet seen Prairieville, but shall, I hope, on Friday, as it lies in the path of my Sunday's preaching, which is to be at Sugar-creek Prairie, 43 miles from here. We have about eight preaching points under our care. We shall need a house or room, and three horses, and some land. How these are needed, and by the blessing of GOD will be got without running a penny into debt, will be part of my next letter.
(September 13, 1841.--To his Uncle Samuel)
. . . . To the work of this Mission we feel ourselves bound for at least seven years, and I myself look upon it as the work of my life. It is not, therefore, visionary in us to make some preparations, which are now necessary, and will be so for as long a time as the Mission lasts. We shall require fifteen or twenty acres of land, there not being a house to rent, nor, so far as we can learn, a family to board in, throughout the village of Prairieville. A small house becomes necessary for our living together, as we are to do Missionary duty for about forty miles around. There being four of us, three horses are therefore required. Now all this will cost from $1200 to $1300. We have received $268, and when I was at Brother William H. Aspinwall's, he mentioned to me, without my having ever opened my lips to him on the subject, that he had heard, through Mr. Erben of New York, of our wants in the outset, and he, with Mr. Erben, intended making up the fourth part of the whole amount. The Domestic Committee have paid our expenses out, and given our Superior $300, and us three, each $250 per annum.
He then asks for $50, of money belonging to himself, for the purchase of a horse; adding, "We have clothing sufficient to last us two or three years."
Through the Autumn they traversed the region in which they had located themselves. Prairie Village was their home at first. Adams and Breck occupied a room about the size of their bed, adjoining the Post-office, in which they wrote. But in a short time they obtained quite a large room, where the three missionaries lodged and studied. Their books and clothing came safely, and were bestowed on shelves and in boxes. The settlers were not familiar with the use of the Prayer Book, but in a short time took their part in the services. They were very hospitable, and entertained the missionaries gladly at all their stations. Father Cadle still resided at Racine, not being able to get a room to himself.
They were enthusiastic and laborious, not only in their spiritual work, but in the duties which fell to their lot. Passers by were amused at their awkward chopping wood, and men would take the ax and give them lessons. They soon had a horse, but they had something better,--"stogies" for their feet. These were both mud and water proof, while Mr. Breck had to dismount from his hired horse, and drive him with a long halter to enable him to reach Racine in time,--for the hire of which he had to pay six dollars! In writing he expresses himself as convinced that this is a part of the LORD'S vineyard, to which, by the Divine blessing, he can profitably adapt himself. The number of Churchmen met with at this early date of their labors was but few. This only inspired them to give themselves earnestly to the saving of communities, much of whose religion was left behind them in the East.
Their first Christmas holidays in Wisconsin are thus described in a letter to Mrs. Charles Breck:
On the Wednesday before Christmas day, about noon, I started forth on horseback and rode, through a driving snow-storm, and for the most part through an uninhabited portion of the country, fourteen miles to Eagle Prairie (where there are a number of Church families, being chiefly English people). Leaving there an appointment for service and preaching on the ensuing Monday night, I continued my ride five miles further, to an inn, which, notwithstanding it is a log-house, and only attracts the attention of travelers from its ancient appearance, yet is noted for a hundred miles or more around for its good landlord.
My pony being taken care of, I stepped into the house, but soon discovered that the driving snow found its way in through the roof, and particularly in my chamber, where was a considerable snow bank, evidently a snow-drift. But I slept soundly and rose with renewed strength to pursue my journey.
On Thursday morning it snowed but little, and by noon I found myself sixteen miles further on at the house of Mrs. Bowman, on Sugar-creek Prairie, where I dined. This woman, a communicant in the Church, had, previous to our coming into the Territory, gone 45 miles, to a town that the Bishop was visiting, to beg him to hold a service in her neighborhood; which request was complied with by the good Bishop. This afternoon I spent in visiting the various Church families on this prairie, and in catechising their children. The families live at such a distance from each other in these parts, that the children could not come to a Sunday-school, even were one established. We therefore appoint lessons to be learned under the direction of parents, and call at certain periods to hear them in the presence of the families,--which instructs parents as well as children. When we first visited Sugar Creek, we had to preach in a barn. I passed the night at the house of Mr. Boyd, whose infant son I baptized a few weeks before. I left in the morning for Elkhorn, where, about six weeks ago, we organized a parish, naming it "St. John's in the Wilderness."
Friday night being Christmas Eve, we had service in the school-house, which was illuminated for the occasion, and well filled with the settlers of the wilderness. On Christmas day we kept the Nativity of our Blessed Lord and Saviour JESUS CHRIST. A very old lady present could with difficulty refrain from tears at the thought of once more enjoying the Church services, and especially on a Christmas-day. All seemed rejoiced. In the afternoon I baptized Mr. Brainard and nine children of his family. Could you have witnessed this scene your heart surely would have rejoiced. The whole was so perfectly unostentatious and so rustic. No church, no altar, no chancel,--we assembled in this plain western school-house, which had in its centre a long table, that served as our altar. Around this we stood in order, as follows: myself at the back of it, having before me, and placed on it, a rude vessel serving as a font; the father stood opposite to me on the other side, with two adult children on the one side of him, and a third on the other; the witnesses of these were the grandfather and his daughter, Mrs. Brainard, both communicants; the grandmother was too infirm to stand,--she was confirmed by Bishop Seabury. At either end of this long table stood the younger children, four sons at one end, and a son and daughter at the other. We occupied the centre of the school-room, while the congregation sat all around us, with fixed attention. When all were duly baptized, how powerfully did this whole scene strike me as resembling, in some of its features, the accounts contained in the Acts of the Apostles, and in the Epistles:--"Stephanas and his household" were baptized there; Brainard and his household "were baptized" here.
In several of his letters he describes the country, interspersed with small but beautiful lakes, lovely rolling prairies, and numerous oak openings, presenting the appearance of parks and orchards. From the statistics furnished to the Domestic Committee, it appears that from the 1st of October to the 1st of January, they had ridden 1851 miles on horseback, and walked 736 miles, which is at the rate of 10,000 miles a year. Father Cadle lost his way returning from Green Bay, and nearly perished. Brother Hobart was sent up to the parish in that town, there to spend a few Sundays previous to the visit of the Bishop.
They now had one student, a young man who, for want of means, was unable to pay his way at the Academy.
The correspondence for the year 1842 is full of interest as respects their labors, in which they were most abundant and systematic. The visits of the Bishop were seasons of real refreshment. Their removal to Nashotah, and their ordination to the Priesthood, took place during the year 1842.
Hobart went to the East about the first of January, to raise money for the purchase of land and the building of a small house. He returned in September, and took for his charge the southern portion of their large field. In the spring, Father Cadle resigned his position, and severed his connection with their Mission. He never identified himself with them, not so much as to make one visit to their several stations. He probably realized very soon that he was not fitted to occupy the relation Of Head to any such "Associate Mission." In one of his letters Breck wrote as follows:
Church discipline, dearest Brother, is what we need, and how shall it be compassed? To do something towards this object, we have organized a private class at three different points, to meet us at certain times, to be instructed in the elementary doctrines of Christianity. The avowed purpose of these meetings is, to prepare persons for Baptism, Confirmation and the Holy Eucharist. After awhile there will be three or four classes instead of only one in a place. We teach these what to do in public as well as private,--in the public congregation as well as in their private walk.
(April 5th, 1842.--To his Brother Charles.)
Now that Brother Hobart is in the East, Brother Adams and myself are exceedingly busy. To be a Missionary in Wisconsin over a surface of thirty miles square, is a "tremendous chore" [Then follows an account of walking long distances in all directions, catechising and preaching continuously; wading across streams, having their boots and socks in their hands; officiating in a house where they had but one candlestick--how the service was to be managed at first puzzled him.] I looked to see the end, and lo! boys were (by a process more rapid and surer than alchemy) changed into candlesticks; and now they stood on the benches in the midst of the people, holding a candle in their right hands. Thus has the ancient order of Acolythists been restored.
In many instances the houses were very small, having in them but one room, with beds uncurtained.
You can have but little conception of the sangfroid wherewith you will be showed to a bed to sleep in, that is in the same room where all the rest of the family sleep. When I first came out, I felt awfully bad at such vile barbarities; but I am getting somewhat wild myself; and, following the example of my good Bishop, can carry on a conversation with the family after having gone to bed. Thus we live up to the principle of carrying out our Churchmanship under every circumstance. When the Bishop last visited us, we once slept eight in a room, and the tattling old woman kept the Bishop awake a long time.
What is civilizing this land is neither education nor Christianity, but the introduction of saw-mills!
I started forth from Eagle Prairie on Tuesday morning, and after walking some four miles met Brother Adams (also on foot), traveling to Rochester (twenty-four miles from Prairie village), to fill an appointment I had made there three weeks before for this night. We interchanged news, and passed on.
Then follows an account of their labors day after day,--catechising, preaching, &c. Their course of travel was like a network, intersecting the whole region, leaving them but little leisure for study or rest.
As to the Mission succeeding, I have no more doubt than that the Church will prosper in this land. We have been worried, but not entirely worn out. We have been tried in our faith, patience, and perseverance, and nigh unto despair; but in the last moment of hope we have been restored to hope that causeth us to praise and glorify our Heavenly Father, and giveth us another evidence of His good Providence in this His own work. Our dear Bishop has authorized us to purchase land and build a small house, and this we have accordingly done. We have purchased a tract of 460 acres of land on the Nashotah lakes, ten miles from Prairie Village, and yet more central to our Mission. Nashotah means Two Lakes (it is the Indian name for twin lakes), and these are so called from their resemblance to each other. They are about a mile in length, and half a mile in width. Their banks are bold, their bottom fine white gravel. The color of the water is. a living green, and in appearance very pure.
This situation was purchased without my knowledge by the Rev. Mr. Hull of Milwaukee, the appointed agent of the Bishop. It is admirably calculated to answer all the purposes of this school and Mission. We have contracted for the building of a frame house, 17 feet by 22 feet, to cost $350.
Brother Adams, myself, and Charles Curran, expect to begin our moving to Nashotah to-morrow, August 30th, where we shall live in a small frame, 13 feet by 17 feet, and one story high. We expect additional lodgers soon, who will be students. In this room we are to cook our own victuals (pork, potatoes and tea). Having neither bedstead nor mattress, we shall sleep on our buffalo robes, spread upon the floor. The place is most accessible, but at the same time delightfully retired, and in many parts of it hidden. Several are the spots adapted for private oratories. But this must be deferred till GOD opens the way. Many and serious steps, dear Brother, have been taken since last I wrote to you. A Convocation of the Clergy of the Territory was held at Milwaukee on the nth of September, over which our devoted Missionary Bishop presided. An opportunity was hereby afforded us to become acquainted with the Missionaries of Wisconsin, the best of whom, next to Hull, was, in our opinion, Davis, the priest of the Oneidas at Duck Creek, a man possessing a most lovely disposition. We were to have received Priest's Orders at this time, but the letters of the Missouri Standing Committee did not arrive. Soon after the adjournment of the Convocation, the Bishop visited our Mission, the which occupied him nine days, and very busy the whole time. I had the honor of officiating as teamster to his Bishopship. He performed the following ministrations for our people: Celebrated the Holy Eucharist seven times; confirmed 18 persons; baptized 6 adults and 19 infants; and preached 14 discourses. Thus have our labors been highly blessed during the past year. We have 120 communicants, of which 16 have been admitted by us. During the year past, the Bishop has confirmed 31 in all; and, with those that he baptized for us we have admitted to this sacrament 66, of which 15 were adults and have churched three women with the public office. At one of our stations the people fitted up a large barn for the visitation of the Bishop, the arrangement of which was as follows: At the extreme end was placed the altar; on its left a reading-desk, and a chancel in front; on the right and in the mow (five feet above the level of the floor) was fixed the choir. The services were as follows: Morning Prayer, with Baptism of one adult, when the Bishop preached the first sermon, and confirmed five adults. After this there was an intermission of fifteen minutes, and then followed the Ante-Communion service, the Creed after the Gospel, and a second discourse; and he then administered the Holy Communion to thirty-one persons.
After the Holy Communion, according to the fashion to be introduced on our ground, all the communicants came forward and shook hands with their Bishop, being severally introduced by one of us. After half an hour's intermission, the congregation again assembled for Evening Prayer, during which was a woman churched, and Holy Baptism administered to seven children. After Evening Prayer the Bishop made a few touching remarks. Thus passed a day "the brightest," said the Bishop, "in his calendar." We were about to commence our school, and felt that we must have the weekly communion and the daily and other services growing out of it, which we could not have until our Ordination. Brother Davis requested us to be ordained in his church, to which the Bishop consented. We did therefore accompany our Right Reverend Father to Green Bay and Duck Creek. As you may imagine, dear Brother, we had a delightful journey of 120 miles with the Bishop, taking, m all, nearly four days to go. Brother Adams and myself preached for Brother Akerly at Green Bay, and on Saturday went to Duck Creek, where the Oneida Indians are settled. And on Sunday, the Twentieth after Trinity. (October 9th) were ordained in the midst of the Oneidas.
I need not attempt to describe the scene, for I cannot. But so much I may say: Early in the morning the solemn tones of the Church bell fell strangely solemn on the ear. The neat white church was beautifully located on a gentle rise of ground from the parsonage of Brother Davis. I visited the Church ere the reverend brethren had assembled, and there--but in future! At the hour appointed for worship, we accompanied the Bishop to the Church. By this time groups of Indians had arrived, and were sitting, some on the Church steps, some on this log and others on that,--a sight so full of interest to a Churchman that we can never forget it. The bell at length ceased its tolling, and the Indians were all within the consecrated walls. We went to the rear of the Church, entered by two doors, approached, and knelt at the altar. So soon as we had risen, a single voice commenced chanting the first sentence of the Te Deum, in the Oneida language, at the close of which the whole congregation sung aloud Hallelujah three times, and so they continued doing at the end of each sentence. After this was sung, we left the Church by another door for. the robing room, where we put on the full ecclesiastical dress, and then returned. The Indians now had their worship in their own tongue, after which the Bishop preached to them by an interpreter, and held the ordinance of Confirmation. We were then ordained, after which was administered the Holy Eucharist. The sight was now in the highest degree interesting. There are no communicants amongst the Indians. Their humility is striking, and well worth the white man's imitation. They approach with childlike simplicity, and all receive the Body in the hollow of the hand (and so not a crumb falls to the ground). Particularly of the women is it well to note, that they retain the short
and blanket, which latter they wear over the head, thus hanging over the whole person,--a dress peculiarly modest, hiding the whole body, except a small portion of the face, and oftentimes all of this; after this manner they sit in Church and approach the chancel. At the close of the Communion service they all come and shake hands with the Bishop and the clergy present. Early the next morning Brother Adams and myself started for Nashotah on foot, but we had not gone over twenty miles when a man desired us to take back a horse that he had hired, and so we rode most of the way home. The Mission house at Green Bay being no longer used, they gave us a bell weighing 88 pounds, a pair of globes, and a variety of school books.
We are now once more on our own ground, and shall enter upon steady work for another year.
(December 5th, 1842.--To his Mother)
You have learned that we are in our new quarters, and are really beginning to feel that we are in a Monastery. We have both cleric and lay brethren, but as yet few in number. The internal arrangement of our house is becoming more and more perfect. We have spent all, or about all, the money that Brother Hobart collected at the East, in the purchase of our land and the building a small frame house; and now we are poor, but the poor of CHRIST, and therefore have nothing to apprehend. Owing to our poverty we have to get along as best we may.
The students boarding with us are all theological, that is, those whom we intend for the Ministry. They are chiefly young men, sons of the farmers, and all communicants of the Church, save one that is too young, but is otherwise a Christian lad, who does a good deal of our housework. Our students, like ourselves, are poor, but not the less worthy for that. They seek the Ministry, but are unable to attain unto it without aid; and what aid can we give? We have a house; for this we pay no rent,--it belongs to the Church, and so do we. We have land; that is in like case; it is fertile beyond all calculation (that is to an Eastern man). They work four hours a day for their board and washing.--and we give them their education without cost. Thus their clothing is their only expense; and to enable them to purchase this, we shall give them six weeks vacation during harvest, when they can earn the highest wages. In the winter they can split rails, for fencing in the spring. Our other students, not lay brethren of our House, will board with families nigh at hand, and pay for their tuition.
Brother Adams and myself work four hours, except when we are teaching or doing Missionary labor. We must all work for our board. This is the only way in which they will feel it their duty to labor and to study, and the only way in which our people will feel their duty to the Church, and to ourselves as the clergy of the same.
We rise at 5 A. M. Matins at 6. The Morning Service of the Church at 9. On Wednesdays and Fridays, the Litany at 12. On Thursdays the Holy Eucharist at the same hour of 12. The Evening Service of the Church at 3, and Family Prayer or Vespers at 6:30 or 7 p. M. Our students labor between 7 and 9 in the morning, and 1 and 3 in the afternoon.
Now that we are in a house of our own and the people see our readiness to undergo things unpleasant in themselves, they are made ready to bestow a portion of their produce on us.
I have just returned from visiting the Swedish settlement, where I went to baptize the first American-born child in it. On arriving at the house of Mr. Unonius, I found almost the entire settlement collected. It was a cause of joy and thankfulness to minister to these people, members of the Swedish Episcopal Church.
At Lisbon we have twenty-seven communicants. The parish, organized by the Bishop, was, with his permission, called "St. Alban's," after the first English martyr.
This year had its multiplied trials and perplexities. These would have overwhelmed him, but for the untiring devotion of the Bishop to every interest of the Mission. This is fully exhibited in the correspondence so sacredly preserved. One event full of importance took place in 1842, but which was not divulged by him until the close of the summer of 1843. It occurred on the return of Brother Hobart from the East. In a letter to his mother, dated August 21st, 1843, just after the Bishop had visited his parents, he remarked:
The Bishop may have told you and dear father, what I have never yet mentioned to any of my relatives, and which I would not now mention, were it not that you have a claim on me to tell you wherein I have received the approbation of my brethren in the Ministry, and chiefly of my Bishop. It is simply this: that in September last, before my Ordination to the Priesthood took place, my Brothers Adams and Hobart personally applied to the Bishop to appoint me Head of this Mission, the which he accordingly did. Since that time I have had the entire control and charge, under the Bishop, of the Mission and students living with us. This confidence of my brethren and our spiritual Father in a son of yours, cannot but be gratifying to you.
February 9, 1843.--Our household consists of seven, and yet nearly all that they eat is the free gift of the people. We have had a great many visits made us by persons of all creeds and no creeds. We treat them all well; we make our house a parish hospitium, none come but they are invited to partake of our board, and many have we had to sit down at our table. None come but they go away better pleased than when they came. We intend having a basement in the new house, that will answer for a workshop. The first story is for a school-room, and when the doors of the Sacristy are opened, this will serve as a chapel, while the upper story will do for lodgings. We do not intend running into debt, and shall have no need to if we are assisted as we have been the past year; $3,500 have been sent us in the gross, aside from our Missionary stipends.
April 3d.--Let me tell you what our three young men have done this winter. They have, in the four hours' work per day, cut down and hauled rail-cuts for a 12 or 15 acre lot bordering on the Lake, which is to be a pasture for a cow and two horses; also, cut enough more for a 5 acre lot that is already broken up. They have cut all the fire-wood for two stoves, besides building a small harness-room and granary, also a smoke-house, besides taking care of horses, &c. The smoke-house is for the curing of beef and pork.
(June 10th, 1843.--To his Brother Charles)
Several changes have taken place since writing last. Our Brother Adams has left; and, by letter from him just received, we find that he has reached New York City. His nervous system would not allow him to continue West any longer. I hope he will find that situation wherein he shall employ his extraordinary abilities to the greatest good of the Church, for which he lives. In his stead was raised up a clergyman by name William Walsh, who was a member of the Middle Class in the Seminary when we graduated. What we most need is men that will throw themselves heart and soul into the work, because finding the peculiar character of this Mission best adapted to their disposition and talent. These, in time, will be raised up.
Our Mission is gaining respect m this country, and abroad. Mr. Caswall in England, writing to the Bishop, states among other things: "The eyes of a large and influential portion of the clergy of' the Church in England, of both schools in theology took a deep interest on the Wisconsin Mission, and it is regarded here as a most important experiment. I saw at Lambeth, the other day, a letter from a dignitary of the Church in Australia to Archdeacon Hare, in which a similar plan is suggested for the advancement of the Church in that colony, without any knowledge of the Wisconsin Mission. Soon afterwards the Rev. E. Hawkins showed me a letter just received from Dr. Pusey, in which the latter says: "Have you heard of the establishment in Wisconsin, which Bishop Kemper calls his most promising Mission?" Our greatest encouragement rests in this one thing, viz., that our Bishop is wholly with us, and is working as hard for us, as we are ourselves; nothing is done here but that it has his sanction, or awaits it. Almost every week we receive a long letter from him; and, what is better, he is thinking of making Nashotah his residence.....
The Rev. Mr. Worthington of Sherwood Parish, Maryland, has pledged us $250 for the support of students for two years to come, and tells Bishop Kemper that at its end he hopes to increase the same, and may at last make it a thousand per year. This glorious deed appears to result from hard labor on his part, on the part of his wife and the consort of the late Rev. Mr. McElhenney, teaching school, &c. Within the past two weeks we have received $284. Should we not be most thankful for GOD'S great goodness to His unworthy servants? We cannot but take courage.
We have entered our chapel at Prairie Village, although it is not by any means finished within. We are beginning to feel that we are on Church ground. Within fifteen miles we now preach at twelve different places, and, with one exception, at all of these on Sundays; and we are now ready to officiate as often as on every alternate Sunday at each of these points. All this is the result of system, and united efforts. The Bishop sends us in a few weeks two Oneida Indians, the sons of two chiefs, to be educated as native teachers. I have just received a letter from an English Wesleyan preacher, who wishes to come and study for the Ministry of the Church. Praised be GOD for this!
To his sister, Mrs. Charles Breck, on the 22d of June, he writes, pleading for a letter from home:
Whom have I save our holy mother in this Western land to care for me? We do believe in the Communion of Saints: but our exceeding coldness towards this doctrine, and blindness as to its blessedness, is one powerful reason that we should be awake to the little reality that we have concerning it. Will you not write me very soon, and give me a minute account of all your parish affairs (with the permission of the Rector); also of your own home, your husband, my godchild, your mother, and my sister Jeannie? All will deeply interest a brother buried in the wilds of the far West. Do not allow me to lose all sense of a home. Something has much of late impressed me that my life is not alway to be spent in Wisconsin. This may be a delusion of the devil, or presumption in me as to the future; but the thought has at various times impressed itself on my mind that I shall yet be a Missionary in the midst of the Rocky Mountains, and then what will one's life be?--perhaps the Red Man your only associate, save the small band of faithful ones accompanying you! To be thus separated from all that is near and dear to us on earth, is almost cruel to think of. But why make feigned realities of what may be only the fancies of the mind? My much-beloved Brother Miles writes, stating that his departure for the East (Mesopotamia) is at hand. He goes forth as an avowed monk of the American Church, to the Syrian Christians. He urged me hard to accompany him; but I have no right to turn back from this work in which I am now engaged.
I must tell you something about the Swedes. Shortly after Easter they came to us requesting the Holy Eucharist. It was the Sunday after Ascension Day that I visited them. I officiated in the Morning' Prayer at Nahmabbim, after which walked three miles to the Peaghigan Lake, on the shores of which the Swedes are settled. Service at 1 P. M. Two students accompanied me. We found them all assembled, and the appearance of things indicated their sense of the Holy Service. They have no chapel yet built; we had therefore to occupy a private house. Its front door was strewn with pine branches, whilst within was a table arranged altar-wise, and a chancel railing, all in pure white. I accompanied the chief Swede, who was also their lay-reader, into a by-room, and there prepared the elements, and put on the vestments. I now returned with the elements, and placed them on the altar. We knelt in silent prayer. I rose and said: Our Father who art in Heaven. The remainder was said in silence. This is indeed the custom in the Swedish Church, but at this time there was another reason,--the Swedes understand but little English. Then followed the Holy Commandments, which were responded to in English, the congregation having been previously instructed. The Collect for the Day was read in Swedish by their lay reader. I now announced the Epistle, which was then read out of their own Prayer Book; the same was done with the Holy Gospel. The Collects, Epistles, and Gospels are the same in their Prayer Book as in ours. My discourse was interpreted by the Swede. Then followed the Communion Service. I administered the elements into their hands, and not into their mouths as is the custom in Sweden.
(August 21st, 1843.--To Ms Mother.)
A very long time has unconsciously elapsed since I last wrote you; and now that I begin to write, it is with the feelings that separated us, now within ten days of two years. I have for a few moments been dwelling on the hardness of that separation (a subject that may admit such solemn thought at the least once a year); and it was impossible to finish at this moment the reading of dear father's letter, which you placed in my hands on that morning, without shedding tears. That letter I hope ever to keep, and again I thank father for it, inasmuch as it brings vividly before my mind his ardent love for me. I shall read it, as I have this day, again and again; and GOD bless you both, my dearest parents! You have both watched over me throughout youth and the entrance upon manhood with the deepest solicitude. Under your roof (and not at any foreign home) I received those religious impressions which have ever remained with me. I well remember how you both taught me to pray, and how greatly has your teaching been blessed in several of my brothers and sisters. For all this, day by day, I pray GOD to bless you in the abundance of His graces, for His dear Son's sake.
Near the close of his long letter he says:
We have just received two large boxes of clothing, one from Philadelphia and the other from Boston. These all come in good play for our students, of whom we expect a large increase this winter. Thanks, dear Father, for teaching me how to labor, or rather for instilling into me industrious habits; for now I can do almost everything, whether in the house or out of it.
Two valuable letters were written in September and November, one to his father and one to his uncle, setting forth the foundation principles on which the Mission was started and had been continued. A brotherhood of labor for CHRIST; of poverty for CHRIST; of entire consecration of themselves, and all they had or received, to CHRIST, in and through His Church and His poor; all in implicit faith and love. Thus far they had been sustained by the prayers and alms of the faithful, and in GOD they reposed all their trust for the time to come. A letter to his father, dated December 13, written by Bishop Kemper, would seem to have been in reply to an expressed fear, on the part of his father, that Lloyd might yield his position:
My dear Sir--Your favor of November i3th, was duly received. Nothing, I assure you, shall be done at Nashotah, with my consent, to the injury of the standing or the influence of your very excellent and devoted son. We can obtain money, clothing, and students; but, alas! we cannot obtain men,--self-sacrificing men, of the views and feelings with which he is blessed. My late journey--my visits, letters, solicitations--were perfectly unavailing. If then, for the actual preservation of our most important Institution, Lloyd should insist upon putting into his own place a clergyman older than himself, I shall not object. An act, however, of this nature is not probable,--it is barely possible. To the opinion of the world under such circumstances he and I would be indifferent; indifferent, because we should have the approbation of our own consciences, the applause of good men, and the sanction of our Divine Master.
With best respects to Mrs. B., I am, my dear sir,
Very affectionately yours,
Under date of February 24, he gave to his brother a minute account of the state of things under their favorable and unfavorable aspects:
My duties daily increase; and, except from the lay brethren, my assistance decreases. We are now 19 in family, of which number 13 are Divinity students. Of these, 5 are candidates for Holy Orders, having passed their examination at the recent visit of the Bishop. All are over twenty-two years of age.
From the candidates I expect to receive great assistance; they are our lay-readers, catechists from house to house, and, to a certain extent, they assist in preparing candidates for the Holy Sacraments. You are aware of the discipline we use in this last respect, which, being written and uniform, can be dispensed by proxy to a considerable extent. We have some of the finest of young men connected with us,--men that are responsible. Were it not that we had been blessed in this respect, long since would the mission, in all human probability, have come to nought.
The Bishop has been with us till now for several weeks.
I am almost left alone, and perhaps will be before a month passes by. My only Brother, the Rev. William Walsh, who has never been a member of the Mission, only a resident Missionary at Nashotah, leaves in a few weeks for the East, no more to return West. But I am not yet discouraged, for the Church is aiding us with the right kind of men, and money too. We are in need of a farmer, and one is sent us, together with proper assistants. We are in need of a baker, and one is sent us, of four years' experience, and now all our bread is baked at home. We have built a large oven, in which perhaps nearly a barrel of flour could be baked at one heating. I hope to see more of the boxes of clothing coming West--of which we have promises from certain quarters. Think of your old classmate Odenheimer sending me at a single draft over $500! If we were in debt, I should be entirely discouraged; but we are entirely free. We have no foundation of any value upon which we can depend and yet there are twenty of us living together, wholly dependent for our food and raiment and all things upon the Church, and yet not allowed to suffer in any one respect. How, dearest Brother, is this, except through the protecting Providence of Almighty GOD! This feature of our system I regard as the most blessed of all, and one which will make us Strong if we will only abide close by it. It is in no respect the system of the world, and comes as near the maxims of our Divine Master as these days will-suffer; and therefore I am ready to stand by it, trusting in GOD to make us complete at the last.
The Bishop has organized a parish amongst the Swedes, Norwegians, and Danes, called the "Scandinavian Parish," from the fact that all sprang from that stock. The Bishop held confirmation among them, and administered the Holy Sacrament; and in the afternoon of the same day proceeded to consecrate their burying ground, which was neatly fenced, and over the gateway a large Cross erected. From the gate we formed a procession, and whilst walking to the central position of the ground repeated some appropriate psalm in the Psalter responsively. Upon arriving at the platform, the company divided off to the right and left, leaving a space in the midst; and now the Bishop read a short and appropriate address for the occasion, after which I read a selected portion of the New Testament. A few psalms followed in response. Afterward I read the Act of Consecration, and gave the same to the Bishop, who then reverently laid it on the ground as the altar; and then the Senior Warden stepped forward and took the same, to be preserved among the archives of the parish. After this the Swedes sang a psalm in their own language, and the Bishop concluded with prayer, and the blessing. The miserable manner in which the dead are disposed of in these western lands almost overturns the doctrine of the belief in the Resurrection; and a solemn consecration of particular spots is loudly demanded.
We expect to open a day-school for boys on the 1st of May, to be taught by the lay-brothers of the Mission. Thus, in due time, we hope to be able to support ourselves from the farm and the pay-school.
I would write more dear Brother, but I cannot. My time is all occupied with the affairs of the Mission. I have to attend to the instruction of the Brethren; to the stations, making appointments, &c.; to the building that is going on; to the portioning out work, &c.; and now I have the entire property of the Mission to see to, which is all in my name, there being no corporate body. I could not have thought, two years ago, that this would have been the case. I wait to see the end of my desolate condition. I seek your sympathy. If this matter come to nought, upon myself will fall the excess of ridicule; but I feel an honest desire to serve the Church, and this has been moulded out for me.
July 18th.--We are almost entirely sustained by the efforts of female members of the Church in different parts of the country. The clergy appear to stand aloof, and say, "If the Mission succeeds, we will then exert ourselves to sustain it; but we cannot throw away funds that may be lost in an unreal thing." And thus they would have us succeed first, by stemming of our own strength against every possible obstacle; and after we had gained our object, and were strong, then they will say, "Come, see how much good we can do by giving our alms to this Mission, for no money is lost by so doing!" The praiseworthy efforts in Philadelphia in behalf of Nashotah have been made by two young ladies, unknown to myself, who acknowledged the principles on which our Mission stands,--principles indelibly affixed to the Church, though they may be hidden for a time. On these we stand, and so long as we stand by them we shall be safe, and must prosper, GOD being our Helper, even though not a dollar be sent us. I hope a steady reliance on the HOLY SPIRIT will ever keep me from betraying the trust, and the great confidence the Church hath reposed in me. I look for no clergyman to join the Mission until the right men are raised up, under its influence. The clergy for the West must be trained here in the West. Since I left the Seminary at New York, now three years, not a solitary student has come West and remained until this present.
During the vacation in August, in company with a number of the lay-brothers, he went on a pedestrian tour of 300 miles, going and returning, visiting the Oneida Indians and the capital of the Territory. They traveled along with their team, which carried their provisions, clothing, and tent.
We were out on the journey four weeks and one and a half days; and during the entire time lived in our tent, except once or twice when we had to change our quarters for a hay-mow--owing to the flooded state of a part of the country. We had the hardest weather to contend with, and the most terrible of woods. Roads, bridges, were carried away, and we had to ford streams every half hour during a part of the way. We traveled over a prairie country twenty-one miles without seeing a house or meeting a living creature. I officiated the first two Sundays to Indians, the Brothertowns and Oneidas, who are quite well civilized; on the next Sunday to a body of Fourierites; and on the fourth to American citizens. (The Sunday previous to starting, I preached to Swedes, &c., and the one previous to that to a congregation of English.) I believe our journey to have effected the purpose for which we went forth. These young men will certainly be practically prepared for the life of Western Missionaries.
The work of the Mission throughout this year was cause of great thankfulness to Almighty GOD, especially in the manifest fruit of their endurance. The Rev. William Adams had returned, and at once proved himself of incalculable benefit as a teacher, pushing the young men forward very rapidly. On the 24th of May Lloyd wrote to his brother:
Nashotah has just had its first ordination celebrated, and a truly missionary one it was, viz.: the Rev. Gustaf Unonius to the Sacred Order of Deacons,--the Swedish gentleman of whom you have heard me speak before. He was bred a lawyer in Sweden, and is both a gentleman and a scholar. Had it not been for this Mission, the poor Norwegians would have been lost to the Church. We have two parishes formed amongst them, and two churches building, with about 150 communicants. Of these Brother Unonius takes charge. Another parish and three stations first occupied by this Mission are supplied by a second clergyman, and yet another parish and one more station are supplied by a third minister, all which are independent of this Mission, but are yet the fruits of our efforts. There is yet another parish on our Mission, supplied by a candidate for Holy Orders living in our House. There are two other stations in the wooded wilderness, supplied by two other candidates; two more are ministered unto by Rev. Mr. Adams; and the centre by myself, whereat the students worship. It is a marvel that we have got to the point that we have arrived at, considering the material we have had to work with. May the Divine Head, who hath guarded us hitherto, be our support unto the end of our humble efforts! You have, doubtless, read attentively the beginning of attacks on Nashotah; but they shall not draw us ouc. We have no controversy to wage, and are not party men. We simply hold by the Church, and wish to realize, in a quiet way, the strength of her principles. There is a Catholicity further back than Rome and who can forbid us this, if we can become worthy of it?
In addition to the letters of the Rev. Dr. Breck himself--which give the inside view of the foundation of Nashotah--it may be well to add a couple of extracts from the "Recollections" of one of the Alumni, who kept a diary during parts of the years 1845 and 1846. [The Rev. George P. Schetky, D.D.] Our first shall be a description of a baptism by immersion in Nashotah Lake:
Tuesday, St. John Baptist's Day, June 24th, 1845.--No recitations to-day. We all felt worn out, having worked very hard yesterday, and losing so much sleep. Brothers Wheelock and Irish were compelled to seek refuge in the boat at midnight, on account of the attacks of the mosquitoes. Morning Prayer at 9 o'clock. After the Second Lesson, two adults were presented for baptism. Brothers Armstrong and Keene were witnesses for Brother Lucius Taft, and Dr. Goodnough's daughters for Miss Sarah Elizabeth Lee. ... We proceeded to the Lake m the following order, singing as we went the Seventy-second Psalm in metre to the tune of "The Old Hundredth": Brethren and Students, two by two; the Rev. Mr. Breck, in surplice; candidates for baptirm, in white robes; witnesses; congregation. At the lake, where the baptistery is moored on the north side of the pier, we opened ranks, and the Rev. Mr. Breck, with the candidates and their witnesses, passed on to the bank opposite to the baptistery, where the baptismal service--which had been begun in the Chapel--was continued, beginning with the questions to the candidates. Upon completing the Prayer of Consecration, the Rev. Mr. Breck went down into the water, accompanied by Brother Taft, who kneeled in the baptistery, where the baptism took place. Returning to the bank, he led in the young lady, who also knelt. The mode of baptism was, at the mention of each of the three sacred names, to bend the remaining portion of the person under the water. As each candidate arose from the water, after the "reception" and signing with the cross, the first verse of the Eighty-eighth Hymn, "Soldiers of Christ, Arise!" was sung. The service was then concluded, and we returned in the same order, rehearsing the Apostles' Creed as we ascended the hill, and as we moved towards the Chapel, singing the remaining verses of the Hymn, concluding with the Gloria Patri as we entered the Chapel. While the Rev. Mr. Breck and the newly baptized were changing their garments, we were occupied in private devotions; and upon their entrance into the Chapel we chanted the Jubilate Deo. The service then went on as usual, beginning with the Nicene Creed. . . . The Rev. Mr. Breck's sermon was brief, and, for the most part, was an exhortation to those just baptized. Thirty persons partook of the Holy Communion. The chancel was beautifully decorated with flowers by Brother Leach. Over the altar was the sentence: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.
While the striking picturesqueness and freshness of services like this easily captivated the imagination, and gave wonderful intensity to all religious impressions, there were other sides to the work, of which we find little mention in the letters of the founder. One of these was as to the ceaseless round of varied work--all the labor being performed by members of the body, without any hired help. Another was the comic element, which, to any one gifted with an appreciation of the ludicrous, must have lubricated the toils of their daily life with ripples of frequent laughter. The intense earnestness of the founder seems, in his correspondence, never to have relaxed with any sense of humor. But the following extract will give a specimen of the labor, as well as of the genial fun which sometimes made up for the leanness of the larder:
Monday, July 21st, 1845.--Brother Keene was appointed Steward of the House, in the place of Brother Leach, resigned. Brother Goodnough cradled wheat this morning. Brothers Bartlett, Haff, Blackwell and self raked and bound. In the afternoon hoed, and then spent an hour on the Washing Committee. The Rev. B. Akerly of Milwaukee and the Rev. Dr. Bury of Cleveland, Ohio, visited us, and remained all night. They assisted at Evening Prayer. Supper was delayed until half-past eight o'clock, to allow our visitors an opportunity to go around the Mission premises by daylight. The Rev. Mr. Unonius arrived at a later hour.
Tuesday, July 22d--Bell rang at 5 o'clock. After roll-call, we learned that the Rev. Superior sat up so late with the visiting clergy, that he overslept the hour. When the Chapel Service was delayed, it caused no little conjecture among us; and at half-past six o'clock we came from our rooms to the kitchen to learn the cause. There we found that there was a bare larder, and John Cornelius had been dispatched to the barnyard to hunt the old rooster and hen, which, with one pullet, constituted our whole remaining stock of poultry. The clergy were walking along the bank of the lake. The Rev. Mr. Breck, seeing us congregated around the kitchen, rang the bell for Morning Prayer, and then went to the kitchen where Brother Keene was engaged in preparing for breakfast. As he came out, he was heard saying to Brother Keene, "Put in plenty of pepper," and it was immediately surmised that the clergy were to have a dish of chicken soup. The Rev. Messrs. Akerly and Unonius read the Service. During the chanting of the Venite, the crack of John's gun was heard; and soon he came past the window where I was seated, at the west end of the Chapel, bearing the old rooster which he had shot, and carried it to the kitchen. During the Te Deum, I saw him dodging around the school-room, chasing the old hen and pullet, with gun in hand. Crack! and a series of cacklings, and soon he walked up to the kitchen with the old hen. We had an address from the Rev. Dr. Bury, recited some psalms, and sang the Forty-eighth Psalm in metre. Breakfast was ready at eight o'clock. I was the waiter at the table at which all the clergy were seated. In front of the Rev. Mr. Breck was a large tin pan, containing the chicken soup, which he dispensed to our guests, the Rev. Dr. Bury being seated on his right, and next to him the Rev. Mr. Unonius, while the Rev. Mr. Akerly was on his left. The only virtue in the soup was, that it was hat, Brother Keene having faithfully fulfilled the injunctions he had received. The attempts on the part of the visitors to make any impression on the meat were soon abandoned. The Rev. Mr. Breck, in his usual bland and courteous manner, attended the guests, who each, with politeness, declined to be served a second time. The Rev. Mr. Unonius had been sawing away on a drumstick, and with emphasis declined to undertake any further effort, while the heat of the soup added to the natural ruddiness of his complexion. He had evidently become very warm, and called for 'cold water!' Breakfast over, they went out to the library, and were joined by the Rev. Mr. Breck, who accompanied them over the grounds. At ten o'clock the Rev. Dr. Bury and the Rev. Mr. Akerly drove away, but not before the former placed a ten dollar bill in the hands 'of the Rev. Mr. Breck, saying, "I think you can find use for that." I had just finished washing the breakfast dishes, when the Rev. Mr. Breck called me to go to Summit for beef. Returned at noon with seventeen pounds. [A few days later, we learned that our Rev. visitors had had a hearty laugh about their breakfast at Nashotah. Not long after this, we received some substantial aid from the Rev. Dr. Bury and his people, who thenceforward were warmly interested in Nashotah. The pullet became an object of interest to all visitors, some of whom offered to purchase it. But we refused all such offers, and it grew up to maturity under our care; and when, from natural causes, it died, we buried it respectfully in the ground, near the root-house.]
Wednesday, July 23.--The Rev. Mr. Unonius visited us today, and was asked which he preferred, chicken or chicken soup? He said that Brother Keene must have poured into that soup the entire contents of the pepper-box, and that "Brother Lloyd" gave him "the toughest drumstick of that old rooster."
The following month came near mingling a touch of the tragic with other incidents of the opposite character. A wolf is not desirable company, even at midnight in midsummer:
In the simplicity of Western life, we did not think of bolts or bars for our doors and windows, and not unfrequently these would remain open, even during the night, especially in very warm weather. On a very hot night, I think in August, about two o'clock, while in a doze, I was aroused to full consciousness of a breathing above me. My bed was immediately under the window in the basement of the chapel (north-east corner). Looking up I saw the glaring eyes of a wolf! With a scream I bounded to the floor, rousing all around me. Nimham sallied forth (sans culottes) with his rifle; but the beast had made off. A few nights after, there was a terrible commotion heard from the hog-pen, which called up Nimham, who succeeded in getting a shot at a wolf which had dragged off a shoat to the lower bank of the lake, where we found the carcase on the following morning.
The correspondence this year brought him into communication with Miss S. M. Edwards of New Haven, the Secretary of the Seabury Society of Trinity Parish. Her letters were full of thought, and of such value and interest as to be read to the students, to their great profit. The Society sent the Mission seventy-five dollars. In a letter, dated January 19, he wrote as follows:
Whilst conveying to its members, through yourself, our sincerest thanks, I would also comply most cheerfully with your request for "information respecting the condition and needs of the Mission." We have uniformly pursued a very quiet course. We have rather suffered than expose ourselves to the ruinous effects of too much prosperity, which might for a time have been the result of public appeals. We have now acquired a strength through quietness and patient endurance, which is worth far more than thousands of dollars.
I cannot be too thankful for our difficulties and trials. What remains of them is scarcely to be noticed in comparison with that which we have already passed through. We have been most wonderfully blessed in the midst of extreme poverty; when reduced to the last pound of flour, without a penny wherewith to purchase more, and not knowing whence the next should come, we have received signal relief. And at no time have we been blessed more than at this present. The absurd and false reports spread abroad concerning this Mission a year since did us no little harm. For a long season the alms of the Church were closed in upon us. [After giving the number of students and specifying their needs, he adds]: They do all kinds of labor themselves, even to washing, ironing, cooking, &c. This would be as impossible as unwise, were it not that our discipline is very strict, and our system made very compact. You will pardon me for introducing a short prayer, which, amongst others, is used by this Brotherhood on every Saturday at 12 o'clock, noon. We do herein remember yourselves, who have freely administered to our wants, when there was no lawful claim upon you for aid, unless it be the Christian regard and sympathy of members of the One Fold of our Blessed LORD: "Let us pray GOD, who grants the prayers of His servants one for another, to remember for good all those whom we should remember in our prayers," &c. We take great comfort in offering up this weekly prayer. In respect to many alms, the source as well as the giver are alike unknown to us. We do therefore feel that by this prayer we thank GOD, our Heavenly Father, for His own gifts, and that He will bless those that in secret do good.
Another sample of the difficulties of supplying the larder will stir the sympathy of all good housekeepers. We take it from the "Diary" before mentioned:
February 15th.--Under much tribulation prepared breakfast. I he supply of the store-room was reduced to a few beans, a piece of fat pork, and a couple of loaves of bread, and a peck of meal. The tea-leaves of last night were again boiled; and a stew was made of some cold potatoes, cold beans, and a small piece of cold pork, with a sprinkling of pepper. The wood had not been brought in on the previous evening, as I had not been appointed to the duty; so I had to scratch around the baker's pile of firewood for light stuff, and under the snow for chips, and dry the wood in the stove-oven, before I could get a fire. To add to my difficulties, I was informed at breakfast that both Brothers Brainard and Goodnough were sick. Fortunately, they were indisposed to take any breakfast, and at noon, being relieved of duty in the kitchen, I was better able to provide for them, as I went to the store, and procured some better tea, rice, and bread, for toast, on my own account.
On Thursday, February 26th, of this year 1846, we find, in the same Diary, a brief entry which looks like a glancing intimation of the work to be done, in a few years after, among the Red Men of the western forests. The entry is:
Thermometer 22° below zero. The coldest day of this winter. A party of Indians camped on the opposite side of the lake, and visited us, and attended Evening Prayer. They were from Duck Creek.
In a letter to Miss Edwards, dated June 30th, Mr. Breck refers to a box sent by the Seabury Society, and to a letter received from the Secretary:
Since you have spoken upon some very important points in relation to Missionary operations, and have further declared the interest the Seabury Society, as well as other members of Trinity Parish, have taken in behalf of this Mission, it will not be thought presuming if I do here enlarge upon the principles it. We came West without pecuniary means, to accomplish a great work, viz., to found a Brotherhood, which should evangelize the country about it, and from it to send forth similar Brotherhoods, which should in like manner plant themselves in destitute regions, and in time again send forth their Brotherhoods, and thereby accomplish the work of the Church in a manner not to be overcome by any powers of man or the devil. We made no appeals to the Church before entering upon the work. We simply started forth to the work of the Church, in faith that GOD would provide for His Own. (The Domestic Committee gave us small stipends, which lapsed as Missionaries withdrew, leaving me with a pittance to sustain myself and the students.) We were mere instruments in His Hand. His was the work; He would therefore provide the means so long as He would have us work for Him. Five years have almost elapsed since entering upon this Mission, and without resources save the alms of the Church to rely upon. We do now find ourselves free from all pecuniary liabilities. We have a valuable tract of land of 465 acres, and accommodations for five-and-twenty brethren. Our present buildings are merely temporary ones, mostly sided with rough boards, whitewashed. These have answered the purposes of the Mission in its commencement very well. They have been built out of the occasional alms of the Church sent us from time to time. I am certain that Nashotah would not have been in existence at the present time had we begun our work with thousands of dollars at our command; but, having had to struggle along, we have gained that experience which no amount of money could have bought, and which, now gained, no money could take away from us. If we were to start forth to-morrow on a new mission, it should be Nashotah over again. We do not want immense sums of money; but as is required, and this is the Gift of GOD, which we daily implore may be given unto ourselves. We are a Brotherhood banded together, supported out of one common purse, into which the proceeds of our own labor, as well as the charities of the Church, are all cast. The contents of the Box are just such as meet the present wants of the House. The chief part of the Brethren are clothed by the House; eleven are without any support from abroad, their pledged support having failed them. We have never sent away any one by reason of his destitution or our own.
On the Ember Sunday of next Lent we hope, with Divine permission, to present for ordination to the Diaconate, six candidates. Since you have, in the name of the Society, desired me to state what would be wanted by the Mission in respect to clothing, I would take the liberty of suggesting the furnishing them with white cravats and some substantial clothing. If one surplice could be provided, it would be gratifying to me.
To his brother, in a letter of August nth, alluding to the perverts, he says:
I think we should be prepared to see many more yet going over to Rome; but that they do so is no proof of the Catholicity of Rome, but of the want of true Catholicity in the Church at whose altars we serve. Yet it is a base cowardice to run away from the Church because she is not what she ought to be, and thereby leave her to those who care nought for her claims. If she is the Church of GOD, let us stand firmly by her and not fear the enemy that riseth within or without her walls.
In a letter of August 27th, to his uncle, who had written him with regard to the decease of his aunt, Mrs. Lloyd, he says:
Dear Aunt's kindness to myself during her life, I have always felt proud to acknowledge, and hope I ever shall so feel now that she is numbered among the Saints of Paradise. I am thankful to yourself, Sir, for the consolation you afforded me in stating the fact of her reception of the most blessed Body and Blood of CHRIST before her death. She did certainly show forth in her life, as well as in her death, a studied pattern of Christian graces.
Speaking of his readiness to relinquish, for the benefit of others, his aunt's legacy, he says:
I am living for and laboring for the Church, and hope to die in her service, and If it please the Great Head of the Church I should wish to die in the active performance of duty. If I serve GOD acceptably, I can never be injured by POVERTY, and money is only a desirable thing in my eyes so far as it is a means of doing good. As for myself, I care nothing for it.
(September 26.--To Miss S. M. Edwards.)
We have but just now commenced labors among the Welsh, by means of an Interpreter. They have the Book of Common Prayer in the Welsh language with them, by means of which I can readily lead them in their devotions.
I announce the different parts of the Service, sometimes reading a few lines, and then the Interpreter continues in the Welsh tongue. The Sermon he interprets sentence by sentence, or as a whole. These are Church people to whom I thus minister, and I pray GOD that His especial blessing may accompany labor bestowed upon such lost sheep here in the wilderness. What is more wonderful than that His Holy Church should here find them out, and gently lead them back to the Fold of the Good Shepherd? On Sunday last was celebrated the first Confirmation holden in the Church of St. Sylvanus' Parish, which is our central point, though until recently the least thickly populated of our entire Mission. I have become Rector of the parish and have resigned the Missionary stipend, not that this people can at once give me my support, but I would greatly prefer suffering much to being longer connected with an organization that I could not put confidence in. This parish includes the schools and neighborhood. I had the happiness to present twenty-four persons to receive at the hands of the Bishop the Apostolic rite of Confirmation. Within the past year we have baptized about one hundred men, women and children. Next week I expect to organize the eighth parish within our Mission. We cannot be too thankful to Almighty GOD for the ready reception He has allowed us to meet with on the part of this people. I can only ascribe this success to GOD'S blessing on the form and method of conducting Missionary work adopted in this system. The central Brotherhood gives power and constitutes a body of strength, whilst the clergy dispense the same amongst the people. We preach and catechise from house to house. The people are anxious to be rightly instructed in the truths of our most holy Faith, and our aim and endeavor is to teach and practice them in their integrity and fulness.
The "Diary" from which we have quoted before, gives us some very striking items about this time:
Saturday, October 24, 1846.--This evening, as we came from Chapel, we heard the sound of a cornopean from the bank near the outlet. The instrument was evidently in the hands of a skillful performer, who chose to remain hidden for some time, while he performed such airs as Robin Adair, The Minstrel Boy, The Last Rose of Summer, and Auld Lang Syne. We gathered upon the bank listening with delight to the strains as they came borne across the lake, and were about to turn away with wonder as to who it could be who thus annually had favored us, when we saw the unknown ascend "hill and, remaining for a few minutes looking towards the Mission, he performed in most exquisite style, Days of Absence, and Home, Sweet Home. Then, turning westward, he waved "Adieu." Who this person is, still remains unknown to every one around here. When he was here last year, an endeavor was made to discover, but without success. It is always this season of the year that he visits us, and at this hour.....
We annually expected this unknown delightful performer, and were not disappointed during the whole period of my residence at Nashotah. We discussed this delightful music and "The Unknown" in my room, where I had a cocoa party, with ginger-snaps from "Home."
Monday, October z6th, 1846.--This week I have to perform the duties of watchman;--after the 10 o'clock or "curfew" bell tolls, to visit each building and room, see that the fires and candles are safe or extinguished, and the buckets all filled, and report to the Rev. Mr. Breck, or, in his absence, to the Brother who is left in charge.....Those who patrol are not required to be present at the early roll-call.
In the same year we find memoranda as to prairie fires and wild game which are notable:
Friday, November 6th, 1846......Prairie fires visible all around this evening. A patrol appointed, with changes every two hours during the night.
Saturday, November 7th.....Prairie fires still visible, requiring the continuance of patrol.
The Twenty-second Sunday after Trinity, November 8th. Very sick all night, and obliged to leave the choir:--the consequence of exertion in beating the fire which had approached the lower marsh near the wash-house.
Monday, November 9th.....Prairie fires, and Aurora Borealis,--a beautiful spectacle.
Tuesday, November 10th.--Went to Hosmer's and Smith's, near Silver Lake, on Brother Keene's horse, visiting and instructing my godchildren.
During the journey started two deer and-several flocks of quail.
Christmas Eve, Thursday, December 24th.--The Chapel had been most beautifully trimmed and decorated by several of the brethren, assisted by several ladies. It was illuminated by 140 candles,--three (wooden) chandeliers in the body of the Chapel, two in the Chancel, and two in the Choir gallery. The Bishop took part in the services, and the Rev. Mr. Breck preached. A crowded congregation.
(December 31st.--To J. K. Sass, Esq., of Charleston, S. C.) Your very obliging favor of the 5th inst, was received on the 23d, and should have been answered at once, were it not for the solemnities of this Holy Season, occupying an unusually large portion of my time. I know not how to repay you, Sir, for your kindness toward this Mission. Were it not for the blessed doctrine of the Communion of Saints, as well as the Oneness of CHRIST'S Church on Earth as it is in Heaven, you certainly could not feel for us, separated at this distance, and without the least probability of our ever meeting each other until (which may GOD ALMIGHTY grant) we meet in Paradise.
The object for which the S. S. children of St. Michael's Church have contributed of their weekly offerings, is one of deep interest. You will oblige me much by presenting my sincerest thanks to your devoted Rector in having so frequently permitted his people to contribute towards the support of Nashotah; and next please acknowledge to the children my gratitude for this act of charity in behalf of the destitute, who would devote themselves unto the service of the Church.....
Hitherto the occasional alms sent for the support of divinity students has had only a general bearing, but now I shall select some one in particular, and report to the children from time to time respecting him. We shall soon have a vacancy by reason of the ordination of six of our candidates. Their places in the Institution are already asked for, and by some who are destitute. As soon as I apportion St. Michael's S. S. offering to one in particular (if thought by you advisable that I should), I will inform the children of it. The children will in this manner be themselves the instrument whereby the Gospel shall be preached. They cannot go forth themselves, but they can aid others in making the necessary preparations, so that they may in their stead go forth. The small amount of twenty-five dollars per year, where the student can clothe himself, and seventy-five when clothed by the Mission, constitute the entire expense of a divinity student under our Discipline. For many it would doubtless be a life of much self-denial. But as yet, but few, beside the unprovided for, will subject themselves to our manner of life. Its tendency is admirably adapted to the formation of a Missionary character; and when it is once thoroughly established as a system, young men of all classes in the community will seek unto it. Each student has a duty, of greater or lesser responsibility, apart from his studies and religious exercises;--this duty is an avocation in some temporal business, not so great as to interfere with either study or religion, but of sufficient magnitude to engage earnestly a portion of his daily attention. Thereby, for the sake of CHRIST'S holy religion (following His Own most holy example set forth in the washing His disciples' feet), the numerous duties of a household, both within doors and without, are, according to a judicious division, attended to; and the system becomes, in time, self-supporting. We only require a few more years to gain strength and become more compact, before we shall not only support ourselves, but be the blessed instrument in the hands of Divine Providence (God willing) in reproducing ourselves in some yet more western region, and be the first supporters of this second Mission. The whole tendency of our system is to do this, and when Missions shall have so begun to Christianize the heathen portions of the world, as well as the remote borders of our own native land, then, as in olden time, nations will hasten to do homage to Him, whom it would now appear to be utterly impossible to persuade that He is their only GOD and SAVIOUR. Let a priest of the Church go forth with his assistants, both cleric and laic, and plant themselves in the midst of a people, and begin to work in earnest for their souls, as well as for their own bread, and quickly, believe me, dear Sir, the people will be compelled to think, "Surely these men would not act after this manner if they meant not our good!" And soon (as they have here, for I am no longer a Missionary, but supported by the people) they will administer to the temporal necessities of the household, which hath administered to them a supply for their Spiritual wants, of which they were themselves grossly ignorant, until the Gospel was preached after a manner so striking as this.
I cannot, dear Sir, write to the children at this time, but as soon as I know the young man that will be supported by their offerings, I will endeavor to write a long letter to them. We are gradually progressing in our work, having a few weeks since organized our eighth parish within the bounds of this Mission. These will, with one exception, be all independent of this Central Mission at the time of the Ordination, which has been appointed for the Ember Sunday of Lent. Our Baptisms have been one hundred during the year ending October 1st, much larger than in any previous year. But these and sundry other matters I must defer for the present. Please make such use of the enclosed acknowledgment as you shall think proper. I hope dear Sir, that your influence with other Parishes will aid us this present year, by reason of our having some important departments to furnish with suitable buildings, as well as others which ought to be built for the health and comfort of the student, who has now to sleep, study, etc., in a room seven by twelve. I wish much to build suitable sleeping apartments, and for this you might perhaps influence some to contribute of their means. With the sincerest respect for the Rev. Mr. Trapier, and thanks to the children for their goodness, I remain your indebted servant for the Church, January 20th is the date of a long and interesting letter to the Secretary of the Seabury Society, which in connection with Trinity Parish, New Haven, bestowed upon the Mission both money and clothing most bountifully. The venerable Dr. Croswell was a devoted friend, fully appreciating the work. According to the request of the Society, Dr. Breck sets forth the needs of the young men and their deservings.
These young men have struggled with me here; and if here, I am sure they will in the more public capacity of priests and deacons in the Church of God. We have always had the Daily Services of the Church from the very day that we were ordained to the Diaconate; and also the Holy Eucharist weekly, since there has been a priest in our house; along with Which, Offerings have been made.
The "Diary" of the Rev. Mr. Schetky informs us that, among the varied industries of Nashotah,
The Brickyard was commenced under Mr. H. P. Sexton early in 1847; and in the course of time nearly every member of the House performed work as a member of that Committee, [In another place we read that] The Parochial School House (which received the name of "The Castle"), the residence of H. P. Sexton (the master of the brickyard), which in subsequent years became the residence of the Rev. Dr. Cole, the President of Nashotah House, the residence of Prof. Adams and the Rev. Mr. Markoe, were all built of brick manufactured by a committee of members of the House. Nor were these all.
It was while engaged in toils like these, that he received intelligence that he would shortly receive a legacy from Mrs. Lloyd's estate. On the 9th of February he thus writes to his uncle on the subject:
If I considered my own necessities, many would tell me, that these had a strong claim upon such a gift. What is the size of my room wherein I sleep, study, and counsel these young men?--precisely seven feet square. In it I have a washstand, the old secretary (which father had at his farm; it was brought to the Territory by my brother Samuel, and given to me), also one chair, and a bed of straw, upon which material, in common with all my brothers of the House, I have always slept, saving when the buffalo robe was its substitute. I expect to make use of this money for the honor and glory of GOD. It is now another talent given me so to employ. It is to me a great satisfaction that my relatives agree with me as to the intended disposition of the bequest.
To several of his correspondents, this year, he mentions with great interest, that the Bishop has purchased adjoining property, and taken up his residence within half a mile of the Mission House.
(March 4th.--To Miss S. M. Edwards.)
The Ordination of five of our candidates took place, on the Ember Sunday, as was appointed. The sixth is to be admitted to the Diaconate on Sunday next, in St. Alban's Church, Lisbon, twelve miles from our House. This departure from the provisions of the Church has been suffered by reason of the peculiar circumstances of the case. This parish is one of the earliest formed upon this Mission, and has been under our constant charge five years. The people composing it are highly worthy, but plain English emigrants. They are chiefly farmers, and, although very poor, they have nevertheless built themselves a neat church, which they did by their own labor, without application to foreign parts. For instance, after the day's labor on the farm was ended, they would assemble at the church (which is situated immediately in the midst of their farms), and whilst the boys would hold the candle, the men would strike the nail or use other tools. This sixth candidate now prepared for Holy Orders has been their lay reader for the space of three years the coming Easter; during which time he has, with but a very few exceptions, walked, to and fro, the twelve miles each week. He is now to become their pastor, and they are ready to pledge him a support independent of the Domestic Committee. The five that have been ordained have all left me in good heart, save one who becomes another clerical associate within our House.
The disposition which the Bishop has made of them is highly satisfactory to me as well as to themselves. One has become Missionary to the Oneida Indians under the Rev. Solomon Davis. I look to this appointment as the first true step taken by the Church towards Indian Missions, which have been so long time neglected and made sport of by too many who have been engaged in them. The Rev. Mr. Davis has, during twenty years (the time in which he has been laboring amongst these unfortunate people), worked out a most admirable Discipline . for the spiritual training of the Indian. He numbers over one hundred and fifty communicants in this single tribe. He has never made known the result of his tried experience but to a few of his most intimate friends. His reason has been, the unpreparedness of the Church to enter upon Indian Missions. He will now impart all his knowledge to the young clergyman (the Rev. Mr. Haff) who joins him in his labors. From this beginning, I do confidently look forward to the establishment of a chain of missions amongst the Indians, to the Pacific. There are three of this tribe with us (respectively of the ages of twenty, sixteen and thirteen years), who are preparing for the Ministry, or to become teachers. There is moreover another young man with us of great promise, whose thoughts have been for a long season directed in this line.
Pardon me, dear Madam, if I boast a little after these first fruits have been given under GOD to the Holy Church. Remember that once I was left entirely alone, neither priest nor deacon with me, and the Bishop at the distance of St. Louis from us. And at that time, there were seventeen stations on my hands, and nearly fifteen young men preparing for the Ministry. But now how changed! GOD'S mercies and blessings are amongst the chiefest of His mysteries. Upon our Mission there are at the present four priests and three deacons, and the Bishop of the Northwest is in our immediate vicinity! These clergymen are preaching the Gospel to a number of nations, which acknowledge us their only lawful pastors, namely, Swedes, Norwegians, English, Welsh, Irish, a few Germans, and our own native citizens.
The graduates are distributed as follows: The Rev. Messrs. Graham and Keene to Milwaukee, Mr. Haff to the Indians, Mr. Armstrong to St. Albans, Mr. Bartlett to St. John's in the Wilderness, and the Rev. John Johnstone, M.D., to Nashotah.
In June, 1847, a board of visitors appointed by the Bishop, consisting of the Rev. Solomon Davis and the Rev. Benjamin Akerly, made an extended and highly commendatory report of the condition of Nashotah, closing with the following striking statement, in entire harmony with the above:
Nashotah bids fair to become a Propaganda for our Holy faith. Among its present members are, one Englishman, three Oneida Indians, one Irishman, two Swedes, one Dane, one Norwegian, a converted Jew, and twelve Americans; each of whom purposes, when admitted to Holy Orders, to labor among his own people.
(June 22d.--To his Uncle.)
After the lapse of six years since seeing my dearest parents, you will not think it strange in me to be somewhat overjoyed at beholding them in far-famed Wisconsin.
They have arrived in good health and spirits. I never remember seeing them both at the same time looking so well. May GOD in His mercy spare them to their children for many years.
(July 3d.--To his Parents.)
Accept of my sincerest thanks for your late visit, and let me assure you of the great happiness it gave me to see my parents once more. I hope, indeed, to visit you the coming summer, or the summer after, if Divine Providence will permit. I have sent the daguerreotypes by Mr. Kemper, one for yourselves, which is my preaching or speaking attitude in the log school house or private log-house, where I have only the cassock, girdle, and bands on. I supposed you would prefer this of the three, being your son in his profession. When you look upon it, pray for me. Be assured that I do not forget to pray for my dearest father and mother. The following words I have long used in my daily intercessions: "Thou only, O Blessed JESUS, who hast led a life of perfect self denial, canst teach Thy servant what this meaneth. Blessed be Thy Holy Name for giving me birth of religious parents, and causing them to train me up in the nurture and admonition of Thy Holy Apostolic Church. Marvellous are Thy commands, O LORD, who dost now say unto me: Whoso loveth father or mother more than Me, is not worthy of Me; and whoso hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands for My name's sake, shall receive an hundred-fold, and shall inherit everlasting life. And yet, O compassionate SAVIOUR, Thou art pleased to answer prayers offered up in their behalf. I humbly beseech Thee, therefore, reward Thou them an hundred-fold for their unceasing anxiety and labor bestowed upon me, as also upon my brothers and sisters, in order to imbue our hearts and minds with the precepts of Thy Holy Word. In the present life give unto them and their children a sufficiency of necessary things, and in the life to come bestow upon them the unspeakable Gift of Eternal Salvation; this, O JESU, I humbly beg for Thine own dear sake. Amen." The foregoing is my accustomed daily prayer, which I composed a long time since. You yourselves are the only ones that have ever seen it, and it is now written that you may be assured of the deep affection which I bear toward those, who were, under GOD, the instruments of my being. I implore you both to pray for my steadfastness in the life unto which I have been called in the Church of the Living GOD.
With the sincerest love and in true obedience, I remain your oft unworthy son, LLOYD.
July 6th.--He acknowledges, at length, a very valuable box from the Seabury Society. The surplices and prepared linen he proposes keeping until their next Ordination and then goes on to say to the Secretary:
You are aware, dear madam, that the young men are all preparing for the Ministry or the Service of the Church in some capacity. It must therefore be of great satisfaction to yourselves and us in thus making up the service of the Church in this manner. Were it any other service but GOD'S, what young men preparing for any secular profession or calling could be found of sufficient humility to acknowledge themselves thus the recipients of the alms of the Church? But in this service, it is rather their glory that they are thus cared for. It is the one Body, of which they are component parts. They have in our Brotherhood all things in common, and so had the whole body of believers once. Ours is therefore primitive and consistent and wholesome for us, and if other members of the Faithful supply our lack, we rejoice and take courage that the members of the Body, called the Faithful, do sympathize with us who are a part of that same Body. And here I would state to you the conviction which is upon my mind, that had we not been thus cared for, and no other way been provided for us, this House must have been reduced to great want, in which the faith of some might have been overthrown. The labors of devoted women of the Church, in many instances expressly given to promote the welfare of the Church by Nashotah, as an instrument of good unto the same, these labors have not only clothed our bodies, but they have likewise been a great strengthening to devout zeal in our souls.
How shall we behold others, personally unacquainted with us, who know of our labors only by the hearing of the ear, but even with this much are led to make great sacrifices for us, and yet we ourselves not be moved by it! I do therefore, Miss Edwards, consider the real benefits bestowed upon this Brotherhood by the Christian women of the Church as the saving, under GOD, of this House from complete ruin, and above I have given you my reasons.
I must add one further acknowledgment which is more personal than from ourselves as a Body. I refer to those articles which appear to have been prepared expressly for myself, and that were marked with my name. You will know to whom this acknowledgment is due. I must also, as on all previous occasions, look to yourself to return our sincerest thanks for the benefits at this time received by us. Be assured that you are not forgotten in our prayers, and let me humbly trust that Nashotah is not forgotten in the prayers of those who labor for us in the LORD.
It may be interesting for you to know that the Primary Convention of Wisconsin has been held in Milwaukee, at which above twenty clergymen belonging to Wisconsin alone were present. The Rt. Rev. Missionary Bishop was unanimously elected Bishop of Wisconsin. All was harmonious, and the promise of great good to Wisconsin was the result in the organization of a Diocese. Two Norwegian parishes were represented by lay-delegates; and one Indian (Hobart Church, Duck Creek).
At the close of the Convention, late at night, the head chief (one of the four delegates present) arose and in the Oneida tongue made a speech to the Convention, which was anglicized by the Indian Interpreter of the Tribe. During the speech, the white delegates drew near and sat upon the chancel kneeling-board before him, in order to hear the more distinctly. The Indians were appointed to the most honored pew in the .Church. The effect was highly beneficial, and all closed with the blessing of our Rt Reverend Father.
(July 7th.--To his Uncle. Speaking again of Mrs. Lloyd's Bequest.)
This Legacy was left me for my benefit, without any conditions binding me for the future. I must therefore act wisely and discreetly, as a good steward of all talents committed to my trust. This last is one of them. You are aware that I embarked upon this Missionary enterprise without any adequate pecuniary means for carrying out its principles. We rested upon faith and a good conscience. You must also be aware that all this property of Nashotah in Wisconsin, numbering hundreds of acres of the finest land, and now greatly enhanced in value, rests solely in my name, for the lack of a corporate body, under a legal "Declaration of Trust," to the Institution itself. The sole responsibility of this Mission rests with me; all economical arrangements have been according to my ordering,--such as the building of houses, the administration of the farm, etc., the clothing of about twenty young men from the crown of their head to the soles of their feet, the food of the household, determining meals, etc., indeed the entire routine of duty: all this has come upon me; and, so far, I have, under the blessing of Divine Providence, been highly favored. For all which I cannot feel too grateful to Almighty GOD for His manifold goodness towards so unworthy a creature of His Hands as myself. I purpose applying my legacy to the benefit of this House, with the following proviso, that a mortgage be upon the property, to be paid only in case the House should ever change its present features, or be otherwise destroyed; and in such case this mortgage is first payable, along with one year's interest, to myself.
(August 12th.--To J. K. Sass, Esq.)
The last week in the present month, in company with some of the lay-brothers and one of the Missionaries of the Church in Wisconsin, I expect, (GOD willing) to go to Taychorah Lake, which lies seventy miles to the north-west, where we hope to organize St. Bartholomew's Parish, upon the day of that Saint. Two years ago we went beyond white settlers and located land at the Government price ($1.25 per acre) upon the borders of that beautiful lake, which land was the gift of the Rev. Solomon Davis and his wife, for a second Missionary Brotherhood like unto this at Nashotah. The news of a second Mission immediately drew the attention of settlers, and the entire country is now completely occupied for miles around. A number of Church families have gone there, and these have now written back to have a parish organized, and one of their number appointed a lay-reader, until they can have a resident clergyman.
(February 3d.--To Miss S. M. Edwards)
I have received a letter from your most devoted and venerable pastor, enclosing for the use of the House $75 from the Seabury Society, and also 840 from the Sunday-school of Trinity Parish,--most timely aid for our increasing wants. Not only is the bleak winter upon us, but since the Ordination in June last, twelve additional divinity students have been added to our household, making our lay-brothers twenty-nine in number. For these and the clerical brethren we have not adequate room. After making temporary use of every corner of our buildings, even to the dividing up the one half part of a large (above ground) ice-house into four rooms, which accommodate five brothers by night and by day, still we have not room. Three are living with our neighbors. I should say to you, that the luxury of an ice-house was the result of a special contribution for such an object. It is now divided by a brick wall through the centre, and the rooms made in the half part thereof are not uncomfortable except from their narrowness. But I can truly that there has never, at any time previous in our history as a House, been so great good feeling prevailing throughout all our members. None are complaining, to my knowledge. If they were uneasy, I should at once learn, it, for I am as one of themselves, and all readily come to me upon every matter. We need room and hope to have some more this season. But all our buildings erected as yet, have been the result of occasional alms, and this must be our hope in the future. Now that we make brick, we are enabled to build not only more durable houses, but those which cost less than frame ones.
May 20th.--I have abundant cause for thankfulness to Almighty GOD for the good will of so many of His servants throughout the Church. There are so many young men applying for admission to Nashotah with a view to prepare for Holy Orders, that we have not accommodations sufficient. We are under the painful necessity of refusing entrance.
Our Parish School is particularly interesting. It is taught by the lay-brothers, and has connected with it nearly fifty scholars, mostly children of the people living within two miles of the Mission House. It was begun the 1st of December last, and is strictly a Church school, in which the Catechism and Holy Scriptures are daily taught, and the children are publicly examined in the same at certain intervals, when all parents are invited to be present. Besides this there is public catechising in the Church every fourth Sunday morning of the month, immediately after the Second Lesson. There are children from a distance joining the school, and boarding with families in the neighborhood, who are under my directions in all things.
(May 28th,--To his Brother.)
From yourself, dear Charles, I received all my first correct notions of the Church. I think they have remained unaltered to the present time. Having been left to myself in the entire government and responsibility of this Mission, I have devoted to it all my time and energies, to the utmost of my power, I have, under GOD'S blessing and favor, encircled around our House the interest and prayers of very many faithful members of the Church, particularly amongst the young. It is wrong in me to say that I have done this--for I have scarcely yet urged the subject of Nashotah upon the attention of any, that have not first signified their interest in us. From South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, through Maryland, Philadelphia, New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts, to Maine, we have received steady alms and offerings, not in large sums, nevertheless blessed sums of freewill offerings unto GOD through this Mission.
Brother Adams is an admirable Theologian and deeply interests young men in their studies, inspiring the most careless to a laudable zeal. He teaches Theology, Profane History, Hebrew, and some other branches when necessary. A well-educated (in seven, languages) Danish student, and candidate for Holy Orders, is teacher in the languages. Another candidate is teacher of mathematics and English branches. Besides three classes in Practical Religion, I do also teach a class in Greek. I have a duty also in hearing occasionally the recitations of all the classes in all studies.
The scholars boarding in the vicinity, and others about to be sent, will form a nucleus for a boarding-school, which will be a distinct department, under our immediate supervision. There would of course be a family living in such department to look after household affairs. We have three tenants living upon our farms. We have University powers by charter,--the title of the Institution being "Nashotah House;" "Religious" ought to have been inserted between the two words. What think you of my undertaking to train and educate one clergyman's son for every ten students?
August 9th he mentions the marriage of Brother Adams to the Bishop's daughter.
(October 22d.--To his Mother.)
I had intended before this writing to you, to inform you of the reasons why my contemplated visit to the East has been given up. Nashotah has now been in existence seven years, during which period she has been sustained by GOD through many trials and adverse circumstances. I have now asked myself: "Shall I distrust His gracious Providence over us, and take the matter of hastening GOD'S own work into my own hands?" I fear the consequences should I do so. We have, it is true, frail tenements, but we have stout hearts inhabiting them. Better this, dearest Mother, than massive buildings, with few and weak brethren to live in them! Why I think such might be the case, I cannot precisely tell you; but 1 think a gradual growth and strength, acquired by degrees, would be more like unto GOD'S provisions in the natural world, as well as in the spiritual kingdom. The sturdy oak hath its strength after years of the slowest and most quiet growth. The mighty river is formed from unnumbered little gushing fountain-heads. The promise of Redemption, made to Adam, did not take effect until four thousand years afterward. And already our Saviour's second coming has been delayed nearly two thousand years.
I am not comparing the labor of so small an instrument as Nashotah with so wonderful works of GOD as these last-named events. But I mean simply to say, that if GOD dealeth thus with us, He would not have us deal differently with Him. There is not a sparrow that falleth to the ground without His knowledge, and all the hairs of our head are numbered. Knowing therefore that GOD taketh thought for these small things, I nave also, I trust, without presumption, thought that He doth likewise take knowledge of us; and the past history of Nashotah doth, I think, show this most evidently. When I came West, I was unknown to the Church. I came to an unknown part of our country. We labored here very quietly. We have continued so, with scarcely any exception, for more than seven years. Nevertheless, GOD in His goodness, has raised us up friends, and now it would be impossible for me to declare the very many that are interested in our welfare throughout the Church. I feel confident that should I go East, I could readily procure twenty or thirty thousand dollars for Nashotah. But I do not go, hoping to receive (God willing), two thousand by next spring, which will allow of a gradual growth, and yet keep unto Nashotah all her many friends, still laboring in her behalf. Had f now gone East, I should have remained several months; but in the stead thereof Nashotah will not now suffer by reason of strangers filling my post of duties. Nevertheless, dearest Mother, I do promise myself a visit East next summer, simply to see my relatives and a few friends,--not for Nashotah's sake, so much as for your own. I know that you love me dearly, and I have never known how much I love you and dearest Father, save when parting with you. GOD bless you, my dearest Mother, for the tenderness wherewith you led me from my youth up, and the affection which you have cherished in my own breast towards our holy religion. I shall make no more promises, but still I think GOD so ordereth my steps, as to lead to the East the next year.
(November 28th.--To the Sunday School of Trinity Church, New Haven, Connecticut)
I wish, my dear children, to impart to you some information concerning the missionary life in this far off west. We entered in 1841 upon our labors in this region of country, which was then a wilderness. Our mode of life necessarily conformed, in many particulars, to that of the settlers among whom we were cast. Let me ask you to go back with me to the year that we came to Wisconsin. At that time we had no regular laid-out roads. In all our journeys we had to follow the settlers' circuitous tracks, or the deeply trodden Indian trail. Fences were unknown, except around the log cabin; and those were often made of brushwood, rudely strewn together. Streams to be crossed, had to be forded. And instead of the domestic bark of the dog, our ears were then entertained with the howlings of the wolf, or the gobbling of the sand-hill crane; or, when approaching the shores of our beautiful lakes, with the shrill shriek of the loon. In the autumn, or in the spring, when our pathway lay across the prairies, or through the oak-openings, not unfrequently we had to encounter the Indian fires, which traveled with remarkable rapidity the length and breadth of 'the whole country. These fires have not yet left us, and often damage the labors of the husbandman, burning up stacks of grain and hay, and thousands of rails as they are built in fences. In 1841 there were but few settlers back of the lake towns, and those few were grouped together here and there, for mutual preservation and advantage. These people had come to the West to benefit themselves and their children in temporal possessions. Spiritual advantages had not entered their minds, when bidding farewell to the scenes of childhood. Nevertheless, I can truly say to you, my children, that the missionary of the cross of CHRIST is no unwelcome guest at their firesides. The huge blazing log fire has room enough about it to afford a place for the messenger of "peace and good-will." Warmth comes to him, not from the fire alone, but from the hearts of the woodman and the woodman's wife; and their children, in affectionate confidence, climb up upon his knees, and all listen with interest to his words. I have experienced this, dear children, a thousand times, and each time it has been a reward, full of happiness, for all my labors. After walking the entire day, the happy group of the evening always made me forget the oil of so many hours spent amidst the lonely woods, or on the yet more lonely prairie. I had always two valuable companions to guide me through unfrequented parts; these were, the pocket compass and the pocket Prayer Book. Had it not been for the first, the east would often have been mistaken for the west, the left-hand track for the less beaten right hand. The second was a blessed companion on the way, effectually relieving the monotony undisturbed by the presence of man. The beautiful lakes, varying from two to five and seven miles in length, diversify the face of the country, and remind the Christian of those of Galilee, which once bore up our LORD, indifferently, whether in the "little boat" or on foot as upon dry land. Many sweet thoughts were suggested to my mind by these circumstances, and I soon found fitting places along the shore, beneath the overhanging trees, for the sweet anthem and prayer. These soon became the stated resting places on-my journey; and I cannot tell which afforded me the greater delight, to greet the retired spot, or, after a short rest, to rise with renewed strength, in soul and body, and continue my onward way. But, dear children, Wisconsin is no longer what it was then. The white man has come in, and taken possession of all. The very land has become tame by being subdued to the plough. The Indian trail is no longer the settlers' highway. Roads, fenced in, at right angles, are met with everywhere. The very wolf is forgotten, along with the red man. The gentler birds have taken the place of those of prey. Instead of the thinly-scattered population, the country itself has become full of people,--people of all nations, English, Irish, Scotch, Welsh, Swedes, Norwegians, Danes and Germans, besides others. The Americans are found everywhere, and at the head of every enterprise; whilst the foreigners are, for the most part, settled in communities, according to the language or national habits of each. And herein it was, dear children, that Nashotah did so much, with GOD'S blessing, during the first five years of its establishment. The Church was the first upon the ground in many places, and hence had, in this respect, a great advantage over those who came in later to present their chums. The members of the Church rejoiced in hearing the voice of their own shepherd, and with glad hearts, followed, at the bidding of CHRIST, through him. It was truly inspiring to hear the two or three of CHRIST'S flock, responding in the midst of the crowded log-house, at the time of public service. I cannot tell you, dear children, which was most glad under these circumstances, the sheep at being found, or the shepherd at find-in the sheep. But these were occasions of mutual rejoicing, and many have been the scenes of this nature which I have experienced. These were some of the rewards of the backwoods missionary. The plain fare and its rude chamber were all in excellent keeping; and in cold winter I have often awaked in the morning, and found a coverlet of snow over me. These are called the hardships of missionary life; but, dear children, I have never yet known any hardships, if these are counted such. The advantage of an early arrival within the Territory (now one of the States of the Union) told not only upon the Churchmen, but also upon the entire community in some point or other. Many became Churchmen, and all respected the Church, if for no other reason, for this--that she was the first upon the ground. Consider, dear children, with what delight, on the first Christmas that I passed in the Ministry, as well as in the West, I administered Holy Baptism to a father and nine children! This was at a station thirty miles from our central post. It was soon after organized into a parish, by the name of "St. John's in the Wilderness." One of the children whom I baptized on the occasion just mentioned has been with us more than five years, preparing for the Holy Ministry, and is one of the most promising of our lay brothers. At length, young brethren began to gather round us as a nucleus; and finding the duties of the House increasing so fast as to incapacitate us for so much missionary work, and having established stations with some degree of permanency in various parts, we succeeded in obtaining licenses from the Bishop for lay-readers. Accordingly, we sent them forth statedly, assigning to each some particular point; and it was a most happy sight, at the first ordination of deacons that had as yet ever taken place west of the Great Lakes, to behold three of the seven then ordained, becoming the pastors of the very people to whom, as candidates for Holy Orders, they had been lay-readers. One of these stations was an English settlement, at the distance of twelve miles from us, to and from which the Rev. Mr. Armstrong, as a candidate and lay-reader, walked each week for two years and a half. He had also a Sunday School, which lie statedly taught. This parish is "St. Alban's," Waukesha county, and was organized by the Missionary Bishop in a barn, the only structure of the settlement, at that time, sufficiently commodious to hold the congregation. Since then the parishioners have built a very neat frame church and they contribute according to their means to support their clergyman. On the above occasion, there was present a young Englishman that sat unobserved in the mow, who became so much interested in the services that he shortly after applied for admission into our Brotherhood. He has since been ordained, and has succeeded in his ministerial labors much to the satisfaction of all. This was the Rev. David Keene, who, upon graduating, took charge of entirely missionary ground in the city of Milwaukee, and is now rector of one of the three parishes already organized there, each of which has its own distinct church edifice and rector. Another station, at which there was lay-reading, lay in the heart of a thick forest to the north, and was composed of English Dissenters. The lay-reader sent to these people, himself an Englishman, was a man of some years and experience. His success has exceeded our most sanguine expectations. This lay-reader, since his ordination, has become their pastor, and the people are building "All Saints' Church," which is the title of the parish that he organized amongst them. There are two parishes organized amongst the Swedes, Norwegians, and Danes. These foreigners came into the Territory shortly after the Mission was begun, and settled within the limits of Nashotah. Consequently, by means of the striking resemblances between the most important parts of their liturgy and our own, a door of access was at once opened, of which we were favored to avail ourselves; and, much to our gratification, we found they were themselves fully as ready to enter our door, opening into the American Church, as we were to enter theirs, opening into their hearts. The entire body, consisting of about two hundred communicants, soon sought admission into this branch of the Church Catholic; and at the same time petitioned that one of their number, a well-educated Swede, who had hitherto acted as my interpreter, might be admitted into Nashotah, to prepare for the Ministry. This was assented to by the Missionary Bishop, and, accordingly, he soon entered our House, and after faithful study, was ordained in the presence of his countrymen, as their minister. During his candidateship, he acted in the two-fold capacity of lay-reader and catechist. I continued to hold services amongst them until the ordination of their candidate; and during that interval was aided by him as interpreter. I can never forget the many touching services that I have participated in, with these simple-minded, pious people. The Rev. Gustaf Unonius, the candidate spoken of, upon his ordination, took entire charge of them until June last, when the Rev. M. F. Sorenson, another graduate of Nashotah, and a Dane, succeeded him. The Rev. Mr. Unonius is now ministering to Americans and Norwegians in another part of the State. The two parishes that I organized amongst the Norse people, viz., the Scandinavians at Pine Lake (Lake Pickagon, in Indian), and St. Olaf's, Ashippun River, are both flourishing, and each one is building for itself a church. Soon after the settlement was begun at Pine Lake, I was officiating in a service, held especially for the purpose of baptizing a Jewess, the wife of a Swedish military officer, who had taken up his residence amongst his own people; and whilst in the midst of the service, I was very forcibly struck with the appearance of a youth, of a remarkably fine countenance; which led me the next day into their settlement, to search for him. Guided by GOD'S hand, I found him, and took him, with his parents' consent, into the Church's service, and here he has been for nearly five years, a pious youth, pursuing the preparatory studies for the sacred Office.
It would weary you, my dear children, to enter with further minuteness into our labors; as, for example, those amongst the Welsh, and other people from Northern Europe. Here, therefore, I must close, after making a few remarks on the Indians, amongst whom another of our graduates, the Rev. F. R. Haff, has gone, purposing to devote himself for life to their spiritual good. These Red men occupy the Oneida Reserve, one hundred miles to the north of us, and are for the most part Christianized. They have a commodious frame church built, surmounted by a cupola that holds a bell, which, at the cost of sixty dollars, was presented by the head chief. The Church Service is said in their own tongue, which is the Mohawk, and scarcely anything can exceed the beauty and the devotion of their native chants. It was here that the Rev. William Adams and myself were admitted to Priests' Orders in 1842. The women retain the Indian attire, which at the time of public worship gives an air of great simplicity and earnestness to the service. Most especially are they devout at the celebration of the Holy Communion. These people are very anxious to hold those who serve at their Altar in just esteem, particularly the Bishop, whom they escort into their settlement with great joy, sometimes sixty of their warriors going forth on horseback to meet him. One of the three Indian youths, whom we received from this tribe into our house to educate, after remaining with us four years, has returned to aid the Missionary the Indian parish school, where the Mohawk alone is taught.
You must now, my clear children, be tired indeed; and I will close with a few remarks relative to our House, where those young brethren with us, who are preparing for Holy Orders, are gathered together. This "field is white unto the harvest," and the only practicable means whereby laborers may be furnished, is to train up young brethren upon the missionary ground itself, to do the work lying undone all about them. By your alms to Missions you are aiding in this blessed work. GOD ALMIGHTY has been very gracious to us, in that He has raised us up friends to help our weak endeavors. He has likewise sent us young brethren, of good hearts and minds, who are proving themselves, with Divine assistance, capable of receiving the true discipline of the Holy Apostolic Church. Those who have already gone forth from this Brotherhood as heralds of the Cross, have remained in the West, and are again proving themselves, through GOD'S help, to be capable of enduring hardness for CHRIST. But not only have young brethren been sent to us; devoted clergymen have also been raised up to assist me in the training and education of this House. All this cometh of the LORD. And now, dear children, let me exhort you to labor diligently on the good work of missions, to which your teachers, among other things, I trust will incline your hearts, and encourage your efforts. I was once, as you are now, a Sunday-school scholar, and at a very early age my heart was consecrated to this very scene of my present labors. One of my own, Sunday-school scholars at the East has also joined me at Nashotah, and is now proving himself of great value to me in the affairs of this House. If I learn that your interest in missions has been heightened by this letter, be assured that it will afford me much pleasure to write to you again. With much affection I remain your unworthy Missionary of the Cross of CHRIST, JAMES L. BRECK.
(February.--To Miss Edwards)
I felt almost pained at your apology for the amount of the alms of the Seabury Society; indeed, the sum of money was so much greater than I had expected, that as I sat in my little cell with closed doors reading the letter, I involuntarily threw myself upon my knees, and thanked GOD for so abundant a gift.
I find not wherein we have any claim upon you for charities, which should require apologies. Let me now hope that your mind will be comforted by the reflection that your alms, and those of the children, the result of so much labor and thought, have been offered by me upon our own Altar before using them. Thus do we consecrate all gifts sent to us,--even boxes of clothing are, by a written form, presented as "oblations" along with other alms, at the time of the offertory. We have never felt it to be right to use the labors and the charities of GOD'S people, without first consecrating them to the service of Him whom we serve.
You were not wrong in freely speaking to me on the subject of the Holy Communion, as regards the infrequency of its celebration. I felt all that you now feel before I was ordained, and frequently did I then say, that if there were no chief Festivals in the Church, we would have the Holy Eucharist the oftener. Easter coming midway between two months is ofttimes an excuse for only one administration for the two months. This is not the purpose surely of the Church's provision for Holy Seasons. These are intended to make Christians holier and more strict in the duties of religion. I think the Weekly Communion to be the first step towards arriving at the "stricter life," and I have long believed that our clergy wait much too long for the strivings of the SPIRIT, instead of striving along with the HOLY SPIRIT. Heaven must, at times, be "taken by violence." If the clergy would only begin themselves, I am certain the laity would not be long in following them Even here in the woods, the weekly Communion is a thing demanded by the laity, and this parish could not be persuaded to have a clergyman over them that would not administer to them this Holy Sacrament thus often, however eloquent and in other respects excellent he might be.
Many of the clergy are in correspondence with me, and I am persuaded that the spirit of the early Church is gradually reviving; but its strength must not be looked for in our day. Full one century will pass away before primitive faith and preaching shall have been revived. The greatest earnest of this future good is the spirit which is beginning to manifest itself in all parts of our country. It is a quiet movement through the land. It is unseen, but felt. It passes from one to another. Its impressions are most solemn, abiding, and silent outwardly, but eloquent within. This is it which worketh in and through the Church; it is none other than the SPIRIT OF GOD within the souls of the Elect, making "the leaven" that will finally "leaven the whole lump." Be encouraged, then, to look with great confidence to the end. This may be far off, in time; but it is at hand, in eternity. A little labor, and then we are gathered into the fold of CHRIST; a little toil now, an eternity of rest then!
(April 18th.--To his Brother.)
You cannot, my dear Brother, express yourself on Church Doctrine and Practices to my dissatisfaction, for I have been taught by you, and I am willing yet to be taught. Brother Adams is soon to publish another book, which will be of great importance to the Church. He is a very hard student, teaches Theology with great power, and is my unflinching friend at all times.
In the latter part of 1848 and the earlier portion of 1849, the Rev. Gardner Jones caused no little excitement and scandal. He came to the Institution in October, 1848, recommended by a literary clergyman of distinction (long since a Bishop), as a professor of languages, and was appointed as Professor of Hebrew. But he brought no Letter Dimissory, and showed no Letter of Orders, giving brief and evasive replies to all inquiries in that direction. His conduct provoked more or less suspicion from the first, which became more and more strengthened, until it was discovered that he was an ordained priest in the Church of Rome. He had been also a minister in the Dutch Reformed Society in New York. He left in April, 1849, "and was seen, at the close of the day of his departure, standing on the southwest bank, intently gazing upon the Mission. A few days later, he passed through Waukesha, and thence to Milwaukee, was finally traced to Ottawa, Illinois, and thence to the Jesuit Mission House at South Bend, Indiana. Without doubt he was an agent in the service of the Church of Rome, and a Jesuit, having for his object the ruin of Nashotah, and by so doing to weaken, if not destroy, the influence she had exercised, and was exerting, in the infant Diocese of Wisconsin,--the primary Convention having met scarcely two years before."
(July 21st.--To his Father)
The decease of the oldest member of our dearest family must be to yourself and dearest Mother most afflicting, but the goodness of GOD has been wonderfully manifested towards us in sparing us so long to you. I pray GOD to bless you, my dear Father, and my dear Mother also; and that He will at last bring you to His everlasting kingdom for His dear Son's sake. Amen.
Your youngest son, dear Malcolm, has been confirmed, and admitted by me to the Holy Communion.
(May.--To Miss Edwards.)
Your remarks on the Holy Week were in entire agreement with my own views, and, I am happy to say, with our practice too. During the season of Lent, our chapel is darkened, but especially in the Holy Week. Upon Good Friday, the surplice is not worn. The long black cassock is preferred to the black gown, which we never wear in the church or to preach in, except on Good Friday. Outward demonstrations tell of the recurrence of the several parts of the ecclesiastical year. We are certainly taught through the eye as well as the ear. Every sense was, doubtless, intended to receive and convey Divine instructions to the soul. The adult is quite as greatly influenced by the joy of the Christmas greens (in a somewhat different way, but nevertheless quite as much) as children are, whom all admit to be readily and permanently impressed by these means. How distinctly shall I always remember the Christmas early Matin Service of St. Paul's College, which, at the age of thirteen, I attended! I thought almost that it was heaven! Can I then be indifferent to these helps?
Great simplicity of dress is observed for the mournful as well as for the joyous occasions; and we do not refuse admission to the green things of the earth upon all the festivals of the year. At Eastertide you would witness our humble chapel clothed in pure white. The painted curtain of the large east window has given place to the clean and while linen of the Saints; this is most meet when the King of Saints is rising from His tomb, and next ascending up into heaven. The Sepulchre was remembered long by the "two angels in white, sitting."
August 16th.--In order to make as strong and solemn an impression as possible upon the youthful hearts, I selected this day, the closing one of the Summer Term of the Parish School, so as to secure the presence of all at the laying of the cornerstone of our chapel. In each of our departments there are two examinations in a year, one at the close of each term; but the terms vary one from the other. Those of the Divinity school are regulated semi-annually by the Ember weeks. The Academical youth (boys, come from a distance) have October and April. The Primary school has August 16th. (Girls as well as boys are admitted into the Parish school.) After the examinations there was a procession of all the departments. The Academical marched by order of their captain, and under color of the flag. These are some of the little days of Nashotah, nevertheless honored by the Bishop, for he was in attendance when we reached the school-house. In the afternoon at 2 o'clock, a procession was formed at the vestry-room of the Mission Chapel, and we proceeded in the following order:--the Bishop in his Episcopal robes, four priests in surplices, the lay-brothers, the Academical students, and the Parish school. We then followed the contour of our plateau, which is perfectly beautiful. A large congregation was seated on the green, beneath the towering oaks, during this procession. The Bishop appointed Psalms to be chanted by the lay-brothers as we walked. The order of services, documents, &c., was put within the tin box, which, after soldering, was placed in the cavity of a solid stone two feet square. The Rev. Mr. Abercrombie delivered an address, with great animation and affection, for the prosperity of our House. It is entitled the "Triumph of Faith at Nashotah."
I wish now to state one further service of this day, namely the baptism of two children by immersion in our Baptistery, which is situated by the lake shore. It extends out into the lake first by a raised platform, where the clergy, sponsors and candidates stand; and from this, by steps, down into the water, (which there runs out into deeper water) by a sunk, wooden floor, encircled by a railing, apparently resting on the water's surface; the whole representing the bow of a boat, at the farthest point of which is a pure white cross rising out of the water. It was to this consecrated spot, deservedly called St. Sacrament, that we proceeded from our rustic chapel after Evening Prayer had been said there, and also the Baptismal Service as far as the words, "Dearly beloved, ye have brought this child here," &c. This is our uniform custom on occasions of Baptisms by Immersion, for children or adults, the whole congregation following the schools, then the candidates for baptism (all dressed in white robes, both adults and children), and the clergy are in advance, saving the lay-brothers who chant in front, and open for us at the Baptistery. The lay-brothers have made paved steps from the height of forty feet down the bank to the lake. You would have been delighted, I am sure, with the faith of the little boy and girl, who in snowy white vestments went down with me into the water, clinging to my hand, confiding in me to bring them safely out again;--the one fatherless, and the other motherless, and both adopted by one of our wardens.
The ensuing letters give a graphic description of his second visit to Green Bay:
(November 21st.--Appleton, Wisconsin.)
You will wonder, doubtless, at the above named place from which I date this epistle. I am on a pedestrian tour of two hundred and sixty miles (going and returning). I left Nashotah on the business of the Mission on Thursday morning of last week. On that day I walked forty-one miles to the north-west of our Mission, passing through Watertown on Rock river, which is one of our most populous inland towns. On the 7th the Bishop consecrated the church that has just been erected in this place. The Rev. M. Hoyt is the Rector and Missionary. He depends for his support chiefly upon the weekly offerings. There are about forty communicants. Watertown is twenty-one miles west of Nashotah. I reached this place (Appleton) at n A. M., and spent two hours with the Rector, visiting his church and dining with him at the house of one of his most active laymen, a Dane, who was formerly a parishioner of mine at Pine Lake, now the Scandinavian Parish under the Rev. Mr. Sorenson. I had left home in the morning at 5 o'clock, breakfasting nine miles on my road. I now left Watertown at 1 P. M., and walked twenty miles to a public-house, situated on the border of a beautiful prairie. It was, however, quite dark when I reached this my lodging-place, for the days are now very short; and I soon found my resting-place, too, for I was very tired. The object of my walking so far the first day, was to accomplish the journey to Green Bay (130 miles) by Saturday night, and I had only three days in which to do it. The next day, I arose at my usual hour of 5 o'clock, and at six started forth and walked eight miles to breakfast (at 8 o'clock). By this time I had gotten beyond the Nashotah circuit, and was a stranger to all the settlers; but, with the customary kindness of the Western people, my host, the landlord of a log-cabin, answered me, upon asking for a speedy breakfast, that he was soon going five miles on my road, and would carry me that distance. I accepted the offer, but did not gain much, by reason of the slowness of his team. I now continued my journey towards Fond du Lac, which place I reached at 3 o'clock, where, to my great wonder, was already a town of two thousand inhabitants, that, five years before, had but two or three houses in it. I am happy to say that the services of the Church are also had here. A clergyman from Maryland arrived here in August last. The parish at this place has had assistance to the amount of $900 towards building a church. This first duty of every parish will be begun in the spring. The people will contribute perhaps as much more to the above sum. There are twenty-one communicants. Fond du Lac is remembered by me as the scene of a furious storm, that drove us from our tent to take refuge in a barn, where we found shelter in a hay-mow during the night; for in 1844 a number of us were traveling on foot with a tent, and slept on the ground throughout a journey of one month.
But the country is not so thinly settled now as it was then; besides I am now traveling alone. It was nearly 4 o'clock when I met the Rev. Mr. Swett, and after a short chat I went forward on my journey, intending to make nine miles this evening. I now left the prairies and oak openings for the dense woods that border the eastern shore of Lake Winnebago. These woods were no more settled than when we had passed through them in 1844. I must confess that I began to feel lonesome as nightfall came on. I knew this year to be noted for the many bears that had come down from the North, for they had come even as far down as Nashotah. Besides, there were other wild animals that I might not be aware of, nearabouts. These woods were very extensive, being sixty miles in length and twenty in breadth. What might not be cherished within their bosom? It now became quite dark;--for five miles there was not a dwelling. The western clouds after sunset were illumined with a distant prairie fire; but even this, at length, left me in the darkness of a starless night. The clearing, however, at last came, where I was informed I should find an inn kept by a Dutchman, but--yet more unfortunate than ever--where 1 supposed the inn to be I could not discover any sign, and to help me to this conclusion out came two dogs barking most furiously, which led me to hasten forward into the dark woods again, hoping soon to find a house. But on I walked and walked (fortunately there was only one road through these woods, else I might very easily have lost my way); but to my great satisfaction no wild animals opposed my foot-path, neither to my knowledge skulked any behind me; only a strange bird gave an ugly croak or scream, disturbed doubtless in its resting-place at the top of the trees; and two wild Indians on their ponies, dressed up in all their curious attire, passed me, giving their customary friendly salutation.
But, at length, I espied a light; I had now gone nearly three miles farther on than I had intended, for I had actually passed the inn of the Dutchman. You have often heard of persons being lost, and, after wandering about a long time, catching the glimmering of a distant light; but none can know the sensation, saving those that have experienced it.
In the midst of my troubles, before espying the light, I had "knelt on the ground, and great was the strength that I received from saying the prayer of our LORD'S own teaching. I hastened forward towards the light, and found that I had reached the outskirts of the Brothertown Indians (a civilized tribe); and here I was rewarded for all my journey by admission to a clean inn, for everything looked the very picture of neatness. I got my supper, and soon retired for the night; and here I must stop writing at Appleton, for I have been walking all day, and the landlord wishes the use of the room that I am writing in.
(Oshkosh, Wisconsin.)--Again I am writing from another western village of about twelve hundred inhabitants, the growth of the past two years.
Arriving early, I visited some church families, and to my great delight found they were very anxious for the services of the Church once more. An old lady from Vermont assured me that it was a great deprivation indeed to be without the Church. Another, upon hearing of my arrival, at once entreated for the baptism of her child; and I was pleased at meeting a few people at the administration of the Sacrament in their private house. This was the first Sacrament ever administered here. The Bishop expects to visit this place (for the first time) in a few weeks, which I hope may result in the appointment of a missionary.
I left off my letter at Calumet, the outskirts of the Brother-town Indians. On the next morning I passed through this tribe but I was not pleased with their change of dress, &c. The Yankee attire no more becomes the Indian than would the Indian's the white man. These people, however, have been admitted citizens of the United States, which gives them all our privileges.
Immediately succeeding the Brothertown are the Stockbridge Indians, who, more sensible than their neighbors, remain Indians. But the influence of the Church is wanting among them, and they must soon perish as a people. I once preached to them; but this imitation of the whites has made them greatly to differ in simplicity from the Oneidas (of whom I once wrote), particularly the women, who still retain the Indian blanket, gracefully covering their entire person, making them appear wonderfully like to nuns. Nothing is more beautiful and saintlike than an aged Christian Indian woman. I am sure you would greatly admire one of them clad in the simple habit that I have mentioned. Leaving this tribe I again entered the woods, and for ten miles saw no house. In their midst, and aloud, I repeated the Creed, curiously impressed with the thought that this might be the first time since the creation of the world that those words of immutable truth had here been heard. The first house that I came to was a log-cabin, which as a public house I entered, and, to my singular pleasure, found my host to be an old Indian. His aged squaw quickly prepared me a nice meal. It had now begun to rain, and the excessively bad roads that I had now to travel, fully assured me of the impracticability of reaching Green Bay that night. Imagine roads utterly unfit for man or beast to travel, and you too have a little idea of them. Such roads I never remember seeing before! And on either side there was a tangled thicket that could not be penetrated. Instead of traveling four miles an hour I could with difficulty walk two. Consequently, a little after dark, I arrived at an inn fifteen miles from Green Bay, and this was Saturday Night! so that my journey was not accomplished before Sunday noon. I chose the less of two evils, for had I remained, I should have been myself deprived of public worship all the day; whereas now I did not only attend Divine Service, but likewise preached in the afternoon for the Rector of the parish at Green Bay.
(Friday Evening, Waupun.)--I had to break off last night in a hurry, to write to a clergyman at the north; and now I have just glanced over what I have written you, and were I writing for effect, I should stop my diary at once, and commit that which I have already written to the flames. At Green Bay my stay was prolonged till Wednesday morning. I was very delightfully entertained by the Rev. Solomon Davis, late missionary to the Oneida Indians (during a period of twenty-seven years), but now, owing to ill health, retired from duty. Should his health permit again, both himself and wife are ready to penetrate the forests, and, as it were, once more to bury themselves alive. What martyrdom is this, beyond all praise!
On Monday I visited some of the parishioners of Christ Church, along with the Rector, the Rev. Mr. Hommann, who is admirably adapted to this field of labor. There are forty communicants here, and a growing parish. This northern Wisconsin is now beginning to grow with great rapidity. The church, which is quite large, is already filled. On Tuesday the Rev. Mr. Davis and his wife went with me to his old Mission at Duck Creek, where the Rev. Mr. Haff (one of our graduates) is stationed, in charge of the Oneidas. I find him in good health, and with the extended charge of 160 communicants, besides the much other work arising from a large number of souls yet to be brought to a sense of their duty. It was here that I was ordained to the Priesthood; and now, borrowing the keys of the church, and withdrawing from my brethren, I retired to the same, and there before the Altar went through the Ordinal for the Priesthood, and again, before GOD and his Holy Angels, renewed the vows that I had before made thereat. After dining with Mr. Haff and his family, we returned (accompanied by Mr. Haff) to the Bay, where was an appointment for me to preach at 7 P. M. Accordingly the services were very agreeably divided up between my former pupil and myself. On Wednesday morning at 6 o'clock I started for Nashotah, taking altogether a new route on the west side of Winnnebago Lake. It was at the close of the first day's journey that I commenced writing this, namely at Appleton. That village has within it a beautiful specimen of Church consistency, in the "Lawrence Institute," founded by the Methodists under the patronage of Mr. Lawrence, an Episcopalian of Boston, who has actually given $10,000 to the above sect, for the purpose of establishing a school under its influence. But here I must stop, for I am very tired, and have a long walk before me to-morrow.