THE time had come for making the "second link" in the chain of Mission Stations in the Wilderness. The following letter gives a graphic account of his winter exploration of the new ground:
The above locality is the residence of "Flat Mouth," the aged and principal Chief of the band of Indians inhabiting this lake. My last to the ladies of the Seabury Society contained his letter of January 27th to me, imploring us to help him and his people. I am again writing you from the top of my knapsack, and wish now to make some amends for long neglect of you in the epistolary line. From what point shall I begin? Perhaps you would say, Answer my letters first, and then tell me about the Mission. I am mistaken in thinking that your letter was at hand. I have left it behind, so that I cannot do as you would wish, at least at this time and place.
And as for missionary news, can it be that you have not grown tired of its long repetition? Only think of it, Missions, Missions, Missions, for nearly half a score of years: and do you still wish for more of them? Can you follow me with any imaginable delight away off out here in the woods of the Chippeways? If you can, certainly you have learned the spirit of endurance, for the journey, though only eighty miles, is a hard one for a gentle female, and when you get aboard the train carnage, you will think it a novel one too. No other conveyance can possibly travel these woods in the winter season. The snow is deep, and there are no roads. There is only the Indian trail. The Lapland sleigh, then, adapted to one person only abreast, is our sole means of locomotion by carriage west of the Mississippi. But I will first introduce you to my companions by the way.
Having visited Fort Ripley, I there prevailed upon the Chaplain, the Rev. Mr. Manney, to accompany me to the spot that might be our next missionary post,--the second link in the chain of Indian Missions. And furthermore, having alluded to the trip in conversation with Captain Todd, the commanding officer of the garrison, he at once offered to go along with us, which we gladly, of course, acquiesced in; and now there were two trains necessary, which were in charge of two French (half breed) voyageurs, one to each. The morning that we started from the fort was 12° below zero. At Crow Wing, seven miles above the fort, we got aboard our novel conveyance. It is simply half-inch boards without runners drawn upon the top of the snow. This day took us to the Mission, where we remained over night, enjoying the hospitality of the House, now in the temporary charge of Mr. and Mrs. Kenney, which amiable couple have become permanent members of our establishment. More of these hereafter. The next morning we were off bright and early, bidding all an Indian adieu.
Of course, until accustomed to this mode of travel, we were not infrequently laid at full length upon the snow. We passed through mostly a pine country, and over many and beautiful lakes. It is beyond the conception of any one who has not visited this country, to understand the number of lakes everywhere through the land. So numerous are they, that, in the Summer, canoes are the only practicable means of traveling, and this is the manner of travel for two or three hundred miles. The lakes are filled with the most delightful soft water, and which, in the hottest weather of July and August, never loses its freshness. They are frequently five, ten or fifteen miles in length, with a firm soil all round about them. This lake is thirty miles long by six or eight in width, with an exceedingly diversified outline or shore, so that, following its contour, you would have to travel, I suppose, at least 160 miles. As Kah-sah-gah-squah-jeo-mo-kag is the next Indian village to our North from Kah-geeashkoonsikag, we passed through no settlements of the human race the whole way thither. At night we encamped in the open air, clearing away the deep snow, and building a huge fire. The necessity for this last was most evident, especially while the thermometer ranged as low as 20° below zero, which was the state of the weather on one night of our encampment. We carried no tent along with us, but towards the wind we planted poles, and laid our train-cloth against them, which proved a great protection during the night. This was my first winter expedition, for I am now again at Kahgeeashkoonsikag, and on returning to it from Leach Lake alive and well, I have great cause to be thankful.
Having reached the Lake (for which we started) on a Friday afternoon, we took occasion, the day following, to examine the merits of its different parts in view of a Mission. We decided upon Ottertail Point, which is a bold promontory, well wooded with the sugar maple, with abundance of rich lands about it. This point is seen from all quarters, and has everything to favor it that is possible in so northern a latitude. The fish of the lake are the finest possible, and are easily caught,--various kinds and in the greatest abundance,--especially the white fish, which is the shad of the lakes. Barrels of them are caught, in their season, in one night The Indians hang them up in the Autumn to freeze, so that on this journey they fed us with fresh fish taken five months ago. The old chief and his principal warriors were all off hunting; consequently we had no interview with them, but I left a letter for Flat-Mouth, from whom I hope shortly to hear. You shall of course be kept informed of the extension of the chain.
The Indians here have apprehended my leaving them, and after council, met me to express their views of the benefit we were to them, and their hope that I would not leave them. This is all very pleasant for me to hear, after the many conflicts I have had in my mind from time to time respecting them. I had also intended herein giving you a full narration of our first baptism, but it must be very short and imperfect.
The Mission House was nicely prepared for the occasion. All the infants and children were dressed in white robes, the very robes formerly used at Nashotah. Never have I witnessed a more attentive, serious and interested looking congregation than was this people on that occasion. The service was said throughout in Ojibwa. I baptized eight children, naming the Trinity in their language. Be assured, at this first gathering of these "little ones" into the Fold of the Redeemed, I was deeply moved with exceeding thankfulness for the blessing on our humble labors. The principal Chief of this lake assured me that, ere long, many would profess Christianity from amongst the adult portion of his people.
About this time, writing to the Bishop touching the encouraging prospects of the work, the invitations from pagan Indians to go and teach them, and the need of more helpers, he says:
......It cannot be asked by them [the pagan Indians] through the hopes of mere temporal improvement without cost on their parts: for our rule is to give nothing without compensation by labor or otherwise. And this has freed us from a nation of beggars, and caused the Indian to respect us. I am happy at this time to testify to the further fact, that I have met with no Methodist Indians from abroad that have not entreated for the Church, instead of the sect into which they have been led by the leaders of this waning Religion......A Romish priest visited Leach Lake last Autumn, but it would appear that this schism and heresy in CHRIST'S BODY is not in good odor with the Indians of these parts. They ask for the Church. Do the brethren ask for more than a sufficiency for their support? We have it not. Do they ask for a sufficiency? They have it. Let them not dream of starvation. By exchange of flour, pork, potatoes, corn or clothing, we can always have abundance of the finest fresh fish or game almost the year round: and in the Spring, maple sugar by the barrel; in the Summer season, berries without measurement,--the whortleberry, the strawberry, the raspberry and cranberry; and in the Autumn, the wild rice by the barrel. We have been kept in these things constantly, and have now, notwithstanding our large family, more than we know what to do with, and wish we could get quantities off to St. Paul for the family there. So that I hope none will fancy the visionary notion of starvation amidst Indians. Another set of principles acted upon by us would make both the Indian and ourselves starve; but now, through labor, every wigwam round about us has abundance of good food, and they are beginning to realize some of the benefits of civilization.
(April 24th.--To Mrs. Dimock.)
You have become, along with a few others, very intimately associated in my mind with the early struggles of Nashotah. It was those very struggles that first awakened in your mind an interest in Nashotah's behalf, and now that you are pleased to accompany me in my missionary labors onwards upon the great frontier, to be a Pioneer with me, I should certainly be very remiss were I to neglect informing you from time to time of the progress of our work......
Ascension Day counts the first anniversary of the Mission to the Chippeways. And how thankful should I be for the blessings that have attended our endeavors to benefit spiritually and temporally these poor aborigines, the pagans of our own land! I could in no wise have looked for the results that now appear, short of three or five years' labor; but the Great Head of the Church has been pleased to bless us through the prayers and offerings of the faithful, which have been so sincerely offered up, as to relieve us of all that necessity usually accompanying new Missionary efforts--the leaving our post to make/#$/z<r and personal appeals through the Church. We are thankful indeed that the poor Indian has friends so many and earnest amongst our people, who have stepped forward, upon our first entering amongst them for the work of the Gospel, to supply all our lack. "Our design has been," in the language of an Indian Missionary, "first to labor to make these Indians men, that so we may be the better able afterwards to make them Christians." How far we have succeeded in the first and in the second of these objects I hope now, dear Madam, to show you.
The romance usually thrown around the Indian and the wigwam, as found in books, is most untrue to the original. He is a poor, degraded creature, living on the ground, in birch-bark huts, and continually wrapped in the blanket, which is never washed, except by the rains of heaven. His bodily support comes from the uncertain chase and the wild products of nature. But having no houses in which to preserve anything, he is often in great straits for preserving life. And if this is his condition corporeally, what must it be spiritually, when, having indeed a sense of the Great Supreme, he only pays worship to Him once or twice a year, in excessive dancing and hideous yelling. Here are then two pictures, one of the Indian in his state bodily, and the other of the Indian in his state spiritually.
In both respects the work of our humble mission has refuted the assertion made us by too many before we entered upon this field of labor. It was told us that we could have no hopes of the present generation of adults; that they would not change; that the children only could be wrought upon, and even here the question was a very doubtful one. But what has been the result?
This almost twelvemonth shall speak for itself. Those houses of hewed logs which you see but a short distance from the Mission House, are Indian dwellings, the result of their own exertions. We have encouraged them, indeed, in building, which was our duty to do; but, with little exception, they did the work themselves. How rejoiced we were on seeing the light from a neighbor's house, on the first night of the Indian moving into his more substantial and fixed abode.' This much we saw during the first Winter, and moreover throughout that first Winter we saw the Indians, to the number of perhaps three hundred, at different periods, laboring as they had not done before, and as many as thirty continuously working with the ax or otherwise for a support. We may, with truth, say there was not a hungry wigwam round about us. This could be said of no other spot in the Indian country bordering upon the white population. I am too unacquainted with the more remote interior, to be able to answer correctly concerning the Indian when wholly removed from the influence of the whites.
The work of the past Winter has not been confined to the Indians of this village, but many Indians from abroad have been here, to work, or to take note of the treatment of their brethren by the Mission: in consequence of which, several petitions have been made us from abroad to come and plant Missions in other portions of the Indian country. The following letter is most interesting to every true lover of the Gospel and its power over men. "Flat-Mouth," the aged and principal Chief of a band of eleven hundred Indians, who live eighty miles to our Northwest, at a lake thirty miles in length, called Kah-sah-gah-squah-jeo-mo-kag, writes through an interpreter, under date of January 27th, as follows: "My friend, since I saw you, you have been always in my memory. I have since thought of a great many things that you could do, to better our condition. My friend, you cannot imagine how anxious I am to have you come and live among us, and oh! how glad I will be when I come from my hunt and see some part of your House put up on the borders of our lake! This lake has been owned by my forefathers, and no one will have a word to say, when I have made any promises. I now say to you, come and choose out a place, which is not occupied, anywhere about our lake, and take and use freely anything, wood, hay, fish, &c., which will make you comfortable. My friend, I shall leave in a few days for my hunt, and shall not be back again before the Spring opens. My friend, if you have any compassion for us and our children, you will not hesitate, and come now, and choose a place for your home. I shall leave word with Buffalo and the old men what to say to you. They will not be bad words, but good ones, that they will speak. My friend, when I get back from my hunt, and see you getting ready to live among us, I will then be glad to know that some of our people will have the opportunity to learn from whence the whites get their knowledge. My friend, this is all at present, and I hope the GREAT SPIRIT will spare my life, until I see you living among us."
During the month of March, I visited this Chief's lake and selected an admirable site for another Indian Mission House. I trust, under circumstances so favorable and imperious upon us all, as indeed the cry for help from the pagan to the Christian must ever be regarded, this appeal from Flat-Mouth will not pass by unheeded by ourselves and the Church at large. We regard this first Indian Mission House as the training establishment, where the clergyman and layman (male and female) may be prepared in the language, manners, and habits of the Indian for the Church's work through the whole Indian country. The recently chosen site, then, for the next station, will form the second link in the chain.
Our journey to the old Chief's residence was in many respects a novel one to me, for notwithstanding I have camped out, sleeping upon the ground for thirty nights in succession whilst traveling, yet this one had its peculiarities, and it was fortunate 'r me that the Chaplain and commanding officer of Fort Ripley consented to be my companions; for the latter, having served in the Florida and Mexican wars, understood completely everything necessary for bivouacking. The intensity of the cold rendered large fires necessary to be kept up during the night, and hence it was quite impossible to use a tent. We therefore slept upon the ground, after clearing away the deep snow, wrapping ourselves in blankets, and lying down with our feet towards the fire. And notwithstanding we were traveling through a wilderness where there was not a habitation of any kind (Indian or white man), we slept, after commending ourselves to the Divine protection, as free from all fear of harm, the beast of the forest, or the elements, as you can, dear Madam, in the midst of a barred city. The weather during this journey ranged from 12° to 18° below zero. And yet we slept in the open air without peril to our lives.
Our conveyance was the train, which is a species of the Lapland sleigh, but drawn by a single horse or by three or more dogs. The train is a long narrow board without runners, scats or sides, to which our robes and luggage are lashed, and upon which we sit in constant expectation of being laid off at full length upon the snow, which for the first two or three days' journey was too often a reality. But at length we became quite skilled in balancing ourselves. We had two trains, each drawn by a single horse. We met some dog trains that had come down from Prince Rupert's Land, where are extensive Missions of the English Church among the Aborigines of those parts. The train alone can be used, by reason of the peculiarity of the road, which is simply the Indian trail, formed by the Indian mode of traveling on foot, namely, one after the other, never side by side. This trail runs as an artery through the country, communicating with perhaps the polar regions.
In the Summer this journey is made with the canoe, for by reason of the multitude of lakes lying from a half mile to two or three miles asunder, we can make a voyage through the interior for two or three hundred miles after this fashion. The canoe is so light, being made of birch bark, that one man can readily carry it (inverted) over his head. The bark answers well for a variety of purposes in Indian life. He covers his wigwam with it, and makes his boxes of it, and sometimes kettles, in which water may be boiled, and yet the bark is more inflammable than the pitch pine. The thin folds answer very well for writing upon with the lead pencil.
We hope soon to hear from the Chief of Kahsahgahsqitahjeomokag; and, if our wishes are gratified in respect to the location, then we hope measures will soon be taken to have his wishes in turn met. I am happy in believing that laborers will be raised up to us in this field. Several devoted females have offered their pious labors, which are most truly required in teaching Christianity and the domestic life to the pagan.
I will now return to our humble Mission House on the borders of this lake. At the close of Winter, the principal chief of this band informed me of his own and several of the principal men's intention, after returning from their Sugar Camp, to commence the cultivation of the soil in good earnest, and also the construction of houses for themselves. A half-breed told me a few days since that nearly all the Indians were talking about working instead of hunting as a means of their future livelihood. This, under the benign influence of the Gospel, can alone save them from utter extinction.
And now to close what I have to say about their temporal improvement, let me testify to their most ready acceptance of the white-man's dress, which is very important in view of success in labor, for the blanket is decidedly hostile to the free exercise of the limbs, it was only a few days since, that the first Chief of the Chippeways, inhabiting the East side of the Mississippi, at Mille Lac, which is a large lake about one hundred miles distant, visited us. His object was to inform me of his intention to move to our lake the present Spring, and to begin the cultivation of the soil and the building a house for his family. He desired to tell me of his appreciation of what we had done the past Winter for his people, and that he was now coming to us, that his children might learn the civilized life, for he intended placing them beneath our entire control. This Chief's name is Bear's Heart. He is about forty years of age. It is a rare thing for a Chief to change his quarters; and doing this for the sake of our Mission, will have a powerful influence over the Indians as a nation, in commending the good we may do them to their acceptance.
And now, my dear Madam, I have written you already a long letter respecting the temporal state and improvement of the Indian. I could write you as much more in relation to his spiritual growth, and would take great pleasure in doing so, but I fear your patience has already been well tried. I shall therefore make my words as few as possible, and yet attempt to convey to your mind some correct idea of the teachableness of the Indian, and what he may become in a religious point of view.
Our Mission House has been the church during the Winter. It has been most gratifying to us to observe the uniform attendance of many of the natives. The room has been crowded on each LORD'S Day, morning and evening. But in addition to the Sunday services, they have also voluntarily come up to an Ojibwa service every night of the week. We have been greatly encouraged, not simply with their attentiveness to listen, but readiness to practice what they are taught. In public worship, they conduct themselves with the utmost propriety. They kneel at prayer, both vocal and silent. And they have made a very fair beginning at responding, singing and chanting. In the absence of the ability to read, they are taught to repeat the service orally. Several are preparing for Holy Baptism, and on the third Sunday in Lent last, these presented their children, eight in number, for this initiatory sacrament. All were dressed for the first time in their lives in pure white. I have never had a more solemn and deeply interesting service than this was, during the entire of my ministry. We have the Prayer Book in Ojibwa, and also the New Testament. I am now able to read these quite well, so as to dispense with (the necessity of) an interpreter during the week-day services. The little church whose corner-stone was laid on the 1st of November last (All-Saints' Day), is now in progress, and we hope to have it in readiness for consecration by the Bishop on the occasion of his first visit to our Indian Mission.......
(April 28th, Gull Lake, To the Rev. Mr. Wilcoxson)
...... I have just heard from the Rev. Mr. Greenleaf, who is willing to come to Stillwater, and take charge both there and at Willow River, if we can secure to him $100 a year for a few years. I think this will be our best plan, and we will be able to do so, when the churches at St. Anthony and Stillwater are off our hands. I will write to him accordingly, believing that you and Brother Merrick will agree to it. We shall then be free to act elsewhere, if our ability will allow it. When you are ready, with Brother Chamberlain, to purchase 80 acres of Government land for the Theological Department of our Mission House, I will send you $100 for the purpose. It should be deeded in my name, and then a deed of trust made out and signed by me for this purpose. I say Brother Chamberlain, because I thought the judgment of two better than one on so important a matter. I intend writing to Mr. Sweet to look out for a forty-acre lot, as a glebe for the church that may hereafter be built thereat. If there should be two eighties well located together, I may be able to send you the $200 at once. The Rev. Dr. Croswell sends in the Easter Offerings, and desires that I shall divide with you at St. Paul, if it should seem best. Permit me, therefore, to say to the vestry that when they are ready to enlarge the church, they will call upon the Mission for $10°, provided they are building without running- into debt. If they run any risks, we had better have nothing to do in the matter......
Please find out about the completion of the church at St. Anthony, in order that it may be consecrated in August or September next. I refer to the ceiling of the roof (order the lumber necessary, at once, and I will pay for the same as soon as the bill is presented), the entire plastering, and one coat of painting on the inside. Please also find out from Brother Chamberlain if the church at St. Anthony is to be consecrated at its present size (which I hope he will consent to), and what will be required for its completion, as above, for the church at Stillwater. The season is passing, and no time ought to be lost. It is my wish to have both churches consecrated; and, in such case, we must do all that we can to enable them to be presented without the least debt.
Find out about the taxes of our entered lands. There was a mistake with regard to the Green Lake lands in Wisconsin being free from taxation; and they have now, in part, to be redeemed at large cost by the Bishop. Our clergyman thereat made the blunder. It may be that the lands we own back of St. Paul, if not within it, are of the same character. Please write to Mr. Alfred M. Weeks at La Crosse, and request him to have the church lots deeded to my name, which give him in full, and also have the object specified on the face of the deeds, for which they have been given. There is nothing of this kind declared in the deeds, and furthermore they are, the Bishop informs me, made out to Joseph Lloyd Breck. As you have been in correspondence with Mr. Weeks, I have thought it best that you continue it. Ask him to have the deeds registered at our expense, and to forward them to me at Fort Ripley. Have you ever procured the deeds which I sent through Herman Greely to be registered at Willow River? Please forward them to me.
The horse-skin gloves sent me are odd ones. I return one to procure the opposite hand for mate, or let the merchant send me a new pair and I will return the other gloves. Sorry to give you this trouble, but this is one of the countries up here. Tell Mr. Parker to bring a carpenter with him, for it is now so late in the season, he can never accomplish the work alone.....
(May 8th.--To Miss Edwards.)
This letter, my very dear Sister, has been in press for nearly ten days past, but the multitude of businesses has prevented its publication until now. And, by the way, Indian business is, I make no venture in saying it, different from all other business in the world. They are a strange compound of children and men. The very opposite course must be pursued with them, compared with the treatment of the whites. With the latter, energy in activity is everything; but with these people, you are the most energetic when the most patient, quiet and immovable or unaffected. You are never to be excited, never alarmed, always cool and never surprised, even physically. If walking abroad and an Indian rises from the bushes or appears from behind a tree, or comes on behind you, the truest valor is to pass on without exhibiting the least sign that you notice him, and yet, at the same time, he must be impressed that you see him, or know him to be there, but feel no way concerned that he is there. After a long pause, a question of an hour if you please, you may then in a careless and smiling manner speak. We have a little boy of about ten years of age, who remains perfectly motionless in body and the expression of the eye, even when an arrow is aimed at a chip or piece of wood placed on the top of his head. Or if any attack is made upon his person with any instrument, in sport, he is in like manner unmoved. Will you not think us living in heathendom, when such is the atmosphere? And, too, will you not think us pretty well taught when we can play the Indian so well?--and yet further, can walk amidst them, how much soever they are armed, and in many respects be as one of them?
(May 19, Gull Lake.--To the Rev. Mr. Wilcoxson:)
The Bishop writes that he will visit Stillwater and Willow River, Sunday, 31st July; 1st of August, Prescott and Point Douglass; 2nd, St. Anthony; 3rd, Rapids; 4th, Fort Ripley; 5th, To Indian Mission; 6th, 7th, 8th, Chippeway Mission; 9th, Fort Ripley; 10th, Rapids; nth, 12th, Fort Snelling; 13th, 14th, Consecration of Churches at St. Anthony and St. Paul; 15th, off in Boat. Please make the appointments as given me by the Bishop. I have written you respecting the consecration of the churches at St. Anthony and Stillwater. Please see to their expense in preparing, &c.; write me accordingly. Also, if the cemetery at St. Paul should be enclosed for consecration, it should be consecrated; and if the parish is not able to do it, we will help, to the amount of $15. What say you? Where shall the next corner-stone be laid? My wish is that one be laid at the Episcopal Visitation, in order that we may progress in the work of building a church. I wish it to be in Minnesota. Write me about it as early as practicable. Shall it be Point Douglass, Cottage Grove or Sauk Rapids, or up the St. Peters? Will you make out the annual report for the Bishop?
P. S.--$259.60 were sent you a few days since. The font from St. Louis is for Christ Church, the gift of Mrs. Steele. Two boxes are on the way, and let them come directly through. There will be a Communion Service for the church at Stillwater soon at Forbes, from St. Louis. Please retain (without using it) until the consecration of the church. There will be two more fonts, one for Stillwater and one for the church of St. Columba.
(June 16th.--To the Rev. Mr. Wilcoxson.)
The Corporation of Trinity Church, New York, has pledged Prof. Adams $500 a year for five years. This is glorious! I have just returned from a trip to the most westerly band of Chippeways, 250 miles out by canoe, Brother Manney along, camping out every night. We selected the site of another Mission House upon one of the most beautiful lakes imaginable. We laid out extensive Mission grounds with the consent of the Indians, and staked out the position of the house in a beautiful grove upon the finest tableland, 100 or more feet above the water, with a valley below towards the lake, where extensive Mission gardens may be made for the work of the natives. We also laid out a prairie farm of the best soil, upon a stream that affords a fine water-power, running into the lake. But more when I see you.
(June.--To the Rev. Mr. Wilcoxson.)
Please have the box for the Church corner-stone at Point Douglass (or other place you decide on) in readiness. I expect to be with you, however, a few days before the Bishop arrives. Please secure a good span of horses and a stout wagon that can carry six or eight clergy, for this will be our best mode of traveling the Episcopal circuit. We shall then be independent. Brother Manney goes down with me. I am expecting Brothers Leach and Corbyn up. I certainly expect Father Gear, Brother Chamberlain and yourself to come up into this country with the Bishop. Get a good team, and you will all come up free, as relates to the transportation at least.
I am starting this week for another interior point eighty miles West, called in plain English, Otter Tail Lake, which is said to be the finest country of this nation. The chief visited us yesterday. He is a very tall, well-made man, and is young. He goes out in our advance to collect his men for a council. I hope Brother Manney will go with me.
This is a strange life. I hope during rice gathering to visit the lower Mississippi. This will be immediately on the return , of the Bishop. Wherever you decide the corner-stone shall be laid, see that the land is secured with proper papers. It must be within Minnesota. Write, please, to Brother Benedict, of Galena, inviting him up at the Episcopal Visitation, and any others you think proper. I was delighted with your Nashotah offering. Let it be annual. Did I tell you that Nashotah made an offering for us?
(June 13th, Nigigwaunowahsahgahigaw.--To his Brother?)
.... Dear Sister Jeannie's or your own fruitful imagination could scarcely determine the spot where this letter is now penned. The scene before me is very beautiful. A lake, fifteen or twenty miles in length, and five or eight in width, spreads itself out in all the picturesqueness of a highly-cultivated landscape, and yet the hand of man has not touched it. Perhaps not five white men have ever seen this lake; and to-morrow we may go where the white man has never been.
You may wonder where this can be, and what I am doing in these distant parts. I wonder at myself; but, as the phrase runs, "I am in for it,"--and therefore I stop at nothing. We have now accomplished about 250 miles with the birch-rind canoe, and the waters that I have just described to you run north into the Red River of Prince Rupert's Land. Indeed this lake is the head of that river. Upon this lake lives the most westerly band of the Chippeway nation. The Indians next unto these are the Sioux or Dakotas, between whom and the Chippeways exist long hereditary feuds, that Christianity and civilization can alone heal. But these are distant three or four clays' journey. Your old classmate, the Rev. Solon Manney, Chaplain of Fort Ripley, is my traveling companion. He is quite corpulent, and can laugh as heartily as in his younger days.
Our leader into these parts is an Africo-Ojibwa--the respectable and quite well-educated descendant of a negro that was kidnapped by the Chippeways in 1778, and brought from Chicago to the St. Croix River, who, on coming to manhood, intermarried with these people, and hence the negro blood already in a variety of families. This man, George Bungo, as his name runs, is coal black, and a large, fine-looking man, enjoying the confidence of all who know him. His wife is an Ojibwa woman, but his children are of a light complexion, and very finely featured. He has been living many years in these parts, being now forty-six years of age. He received his education in English and French in the Canadas. Mr. Bungo has somehow taken a fancy to me, and is determined that I shall benefit by the Chippeway side of his "progenity." Therefore it is that I have come hither to examine the finest of the Chippeway country.
The land is fertile, and there is much of it--sufficient for the entire Chippeway nation living within Minnesota. It is expected that before long the land on the east side of the Mississippi River will be bought by the Government, in which case the Chippeways now inhabiting these parts will be removed to the west of this river, and there is no country so suitable for them as the parts about Nigigwaunowahsahgahigaw. I am seated upon the ground within the door of a linen tent, loaned us by the Government from Fort Ripley, and writing you from my lap; therefore excuse all blunders. The Africo-Ojibwa has two Canadian French half-breeds along with him, to aid in propelling the canoe.
I have left the Mission at Gull Lake in charge of the matron and our excellent carpenter, Mr. Parker, who is as excellent a Churchman as a mechanic. He is English, and can do the finest work, as well as plain style, such as log-buildings call for.
We have now a good melodeon, upon which Mrs. Welles performs, accompanying the instrument with her pleasant voice, attuning Ojibwa chants and hymns to a harmony that quite delights us all. Mr. Parker accompanies with the violin and his voice. This constitutes the aid given me at our daily Ojibwa service, which continues to be attended by as many as our Mission House will seat, and not infrequently many sit upon the floor. We are now building the Church of St. Columba, which we hope to have consecrated August 7th, when the Bishop visits us for the first time. We hope also to present the Church of the Ascension on the St. Croix Lake, and the Church of the Holy Trinity at the Falls of St. Anthony, for consecration during this Visitation. A corner-stone for another church we hope also will be laid at another of our stations. We hope to build one church a year, besides purchasing some lands for Parish Glebes. Certain ladies are interested in these things, for all which we cannot be thankful enough to the Great Head of the Church.
I wish you could see our first Chippeway Mission House. It is as humble looking as beautiful. Although built of hewn logs, it is the Early Pointed Style. It has three parts, with two intermediate connecting links. It was unfinished the past winter, and I suffered much from exposure; but if I am permitted to be there the coming season of cold weather, I shall be cared for much better. But I do not promise myself such snug quarters, especially if the Rev. Brother Merrick joins the Chippeway Mission, which it is his wish to do, in case his health permits his return. I shall then leave him there, and begin anew at this or some other point, in all probability.
Our Ojibwa family promises to be quite large by Autumn. A Church farmer and his family are expected by the Episcopal Visitation. Also two ladies as teachers; besides the son of our excellent Selkrig, Missionary to the Atawahs in Michigan, who are Chippeways. He speaks the language fluently, and it is much to be hoped that he will prepare for the Ministry. Our garden at the Ojibwa Mission looks well. It is cultivated by an Indian under my personal supervision. He is in it from morning until night. Some of the Red Men are now felling and hewing timber for their houses. They have planted their gardens according to their capacity. A day or two before I left on this journey, I joined together in Holy Matrimony one of our white laborers and a respectable Indian woman. This was done in the public Daily Service. The man intends building thereabouts. Thus we expect, in time, the Indian race will be blended into the white, which to my mind is their only salvation as a people, unless the white man emigrates no farther. But to the ends of the earth he will go, despite all law and all temporal distress.
But "enough of Injins," I think I hear you cry out; and if so, I can write you no more, for at present I am all Injin myself, and feel as perfectly safe and at home here upon the shores of Nigig &c. as you do within your new quarters at Wilmington.
(September 9th, St. Paul.--To Miss Edwards.)
......As this is dated from St. Paul, instead of places with such barbarous names as Nigigwaunowahsahgahigaw or Kahsahgahsquahjeomokag, you will expect to hear accounts of a Christian people. It was with great pleasure that the Church of the Ascension at Stillwater on the St. Croix Lake, was prepared and presented for Consecration on the last Sunday in July. The origin, progress, and completion of this building is of much interest in itself, and of very great importance to a western village, such as Stillwater. The fewness of the Churchmen found upon the frontier, renders it highly impracticable for them to build a church alone. And not unfrequently the most part, as well as the most devoted, of the members of the Church found here, are females, and consequently without ability, in a pecuniary point of view, for such an undertaking. For it is not generally the pious layman of either England's Church or of the Eastern States, that is willing to leave high spiritual privileges for an uncertainty. Therefore it is that the woman marrying out of the Church must ofttimes find herself displaced from her accustomed privileges in the Church;--a solemn warning to all those who love the LORD JESUS CHRIST in sincerity and in truth.
You may imagine, therefore, our delight upon hearing a proposal from the East for building a School House, or assisting to build a church for one of our villages. It came from three sisters; the one, the wife of a clergyman in Maryland, whilst the other two resided in New York City. These sisters had in their possession a bequest of a loving brother, who had departed this life after spending many years of deep interest in the cause of Missions, though himself a layman. The bequest was in amount $400, and was made to them to purchase some memorial of himself. In consideration, therefore, of his interest in Missions (though of the Foreign field), these devoted sisters thought some little building for church use in the remote West would be far more becoming the Christian's expenditure than a purchase of plate. The Great Head of the Church bless them! For so it was that, just at that time, we were very anxious to have a church at Stillwater, the third village in size and importance within Minnesota. But what could the six females (and but only one male communicant) do towards effecting such an object? It was altogether impracticable and out of the question. How delighted, therefore, were our hearts made to find it within our power to propose to these few sheep of the Fold brought here into the Wilderness, so valuable aid in the accomplishment of their long-wished-for object.
The principal Proprietor of the Village, whose wife was a Communicant, presented a valuable lot for the church. Another gentleman, whose wife was another of the six female members m this place, undertook to circulate a subscription paper amongst the villagers, who willingly helped us, though not largely; but I am able to say for them, what can be said seldom, that all who subscribed had paid their subscriptions in full by the night before the Consecration, saving one person who had removed from the town. So that, with the bequest, with the people's subscriptions, and our own assistance from the funds of the Associate Mission, we were able to present the church for consecration free from all debt, though built at a cost of $1200, or upwards. Thus a beautiful plank church, consisting of chancel and nave, with an open roof, and in the early English style, with belfry, bell, and cross, stands out in full view of all who travel these waters, publishing to them the presence of the Gospel among a frontier population. We are now hoping that a village, six miles below, upon the Wisconsin side of the Lake, will soon be in conjunction with this, under the same pastoral charge.
To leave this pleasing consummation of things at one of our Stations, I will pass on to the principal parish, which is Christ Church at St. Paul. Here, perhaps, it will be remembered by you, that the Church was consecrated the year following the organization of our Association. The original cost of building was about $1700, and it was consecrated without encumbrance, consisting of chancel, nave, and tower, being fifty-six feet in length from end to end. Since then a bell of 300 lbs. weight, and an organ of excellent proportions with the building, have been added. And now the addition of further church room, so as to accommodate almost twice the present number of worshippers, is going forward with good promise of bringing in many more to the Fold of CHRIST'S Holy Church.
This Parish has also just purchased a cemetery of ten acres, near the city, for the Church's departed. There are also three acres belonging to this Parish adjoining the city plot, at a point where a second Parish must soon be organized, and a church ought to be built. These, under the influences of the Mission House and School, already in operation at this place, may well again influence the whole Territory, which, in business matters, is closely connected with St. Paul, the capital of Minnesota. We hope, in the course of the coming year, to purchase a few acres of land at another point near St. Paul, for a Church Female School. The importance of this arises from the expectation that the residence of the future Bishop of our Territory will be at this place; and not only the Divinity School, but the Church Schools also, should be under his eye and guidance, more or less.
It gave me great happiness to find so great promise of Church extension in Wisconsin by reason of the Church Schools that have grown up there. First, good old Nashotah, that I have just visited, cheered my heart greatly with its more than twenty Alumni in Holy Orders, and its next term opening with thirty undergraduates, all preparing for the sacred Ministry. The acorn is indeed rapidly becoming the oak. Would that I had the time to dwell with you upon this former field of my work and your own labors. Perhaps a letter to the Register may reach your circle through its columns, and in such case my feelings and views touching the importance of this School of the Prophets, will sufficiently explain themselves. I hope the Parish or the Seabury Society will continue to aid that, my first-born, for the Church's sake, and--if it will be of any avail--for my sake also. I was received there with every consideration of love and reverence, that a Pastor in the Church could desire for himself. ....
At Racine is located the Church College under the Rev. Dr. Park, which is said to be full of promise, so that here is a feeder to Nashotah. At Milwaukee has recently been established St. Ann's Hall, opened by three ladies, who came up with the Rev. Dr. Smedes, from his Church Female School at Raleigh, N. C., who planted it in Milwaukee as an offshoot of his own, and then returned. Both these schools, the one for young ladies and the other for young gentlemen, are already well patronized, thereby showing, beyond a doubt, that whensoever the Church puts forth her powers, she will succeed in propagating herself. Where there was no church edifice in the city of Milwaukee, when we came out in 1841, there are now three churches built, and a. fourth under contemplation. At St. Anthony's Falls, the Church of the Holy Trinity (in the first place originated by the assistance extended to us by your own good old Parish), would have been consecrated at this time, were it not for the liberality of one of the parishioners, which enables them to enlarge the church first, so that this act will be put off for another year. Since building the first section of the church, we have added a neat chancel and vestry-room. And now, by the side of the church lot, the Rector, the Rev. Mr. Chamberlain, has added two more, whereon he is building a house for himself, in which he intends opening a female boarding school. His wife is a daughter of the late Bishop of Illinois, and is considered a superior woman. The activity of this clergyman is giving permanency and direction in the right way to this second parish of Minnesota.
And now as for the growth of the Church spiritually. I trust the report of good Bishop Kemper to the General Convention will prove that our labors have been blessed in some measure; and, when the fewness of our inhabitants is considered, and the activity of the Romanists and the sects of all sorts, as combined against the Church, it will surely be thought that GOD hath done great things for us.
And suffer me to speak a few more words respecting the white field in which we labor. There are now seven clergymen belonging to our Territory. Only one was in the field when we arrived here. Since writing to you all a year since, a large tract of country to the West of the Mississippi is filling up with settlers on the newly-ceded lands bought of the Dakota Indians. A Missionary, the Rev. E. A. Greenleaf, is already in the field, and has lately written requesting our co-operation along with him in building a church at Shakopee on the St. Peter's River. We hope to be able to assist him in the Spring of 1854. Also at Sauk Rapids, up the Mississippi, the same request was made a short time since. When a church is once built, a great barrier is removed from among the difficulties we experience in procuring clergymen to enter the wild parts of the missionary field. At two other points also, are laymen, who have undertaken to lay-read under the direction of the clergy. Thus also the Church may be planted, especially when visited occasionally by the Missionary. The two Forts of the Territory, each having a chapel, are under charge of the Church.
And now, you must be wearied with so long an epistle, even from Saint Paul. I learn that the ladies have again prepared for us a box of clothing, and also the Minnesota Circle of your large family has most liberally contributed a magic lantern to the Indian department of our Mission. Upon their arrival at the Red station, I shall hope to write again and inform you all as fully of that field, as I have now done respecting the white. There is much in your letter of deep interest to me personally, for which I thank you most sincerely. Mrs. Leggett's self-denial for Minnesota is truly beautiful, and I beg you, in writing, to make what return you can by communicating to her anything of interest that may be in this letter. Your meeting with Mrs. Dimock was one of those kindnesses that a Divine Providence occasionally permits in this vale of tears. How vast and full must the interest of such meetings be in the next world, with the Saints, and Martyrs, and Confessors of all time!
(September 17th.--To Miss Edwards)
It was with feelings of entire affection that I trod again upon that ground where, for so many years, I had literally embodied myself--both with it and with its inhabitants. Nashotah is the same lovely spot, and all its old associations came back to me as fresh as though but three weeks instead of three years had elapsed since I was there. I think I could have risen in the morning at five o'clock, the old hour, and gone out to the bell tree, and rung the bell, then gone to the Indian grave, and there called the roll, with as much ease and naturalness as if my connection with the House had never been interrupted. I could not credit it, that so long time had passed since my parting with my first-born. As to the welcome I received there, I am glad to testify to the utmost love that a pastor or spiritual father could possibly wish for himself, bestowed on me by all the people, young and old, male and female. And if this were so from the old parishioners, not a few of whom I had (under GOD) been the instrument of bringing into fellowship with CHRIST and adoption towards GOD THE FATHER, how much more so was it by those within the Institution itself! It would be foolish in me to write all the assurances of affection received while there from every one. There was not a solitary exception to this, I fully believe, in the heart of any one. I was full of the bliss of love and loving ones throughout my visit of seven days. And I am sure there was no deception in all this exhibition of feeling. Indeed, it was not exhibition, but a quiet assurance of heart speaking with heart in the warmest embrace of true love. On Sunday, the old worshippers gathered together within the old wooden church, and altogether I might have imagined they were still my people, and that my pastoral relationship had never been interrupted. The large old font still stood by the west door, and old parishioners again brought young children, born during my absence, and I buried them in the waters of Regeneration. The Holy Eucharist is still the privilege of the faithful, and the Daily Prayer is the custom as in former days. Would that there was a Nashotah in every portion of the Vineyard! I should rejoice to see one in Minnesota. As regards my humble opinion of the Institution itself, as to what it is and shall be, you will doubtless read in the Register of Philadelphia--that is, if they should think well to publish what I have written. The editor, a short time since, made request of me for some missionary intelligence respecting the Indian Mission; and I so far extended it as to embrace Nashotah in a distinct article, as well as the White Mission in a second, and the Red in a third. He may think this extravagant, and may follow my license given him to publish or withhold whatever he pleases in and about the articles, so as not to change the sense of them. You will think I am becoming a publisher of our work. But my apology is this:--There are many, many that expect me to write to them, and who look for long and interesting missionary letters, no merely dry statistical accounts (you fully understand this weight of duty). Hence I sometimes use a letter, sent by me for publication, in reply to a number of unanswered ones, begging their authors to receive this published account of our mission work; which is, I believe, generally satisfactory.
(October 16th, Kahgeeashkoonsikag.--To the Rev. Mr. Wilcoxson.)
Yours of the 28th ult. and 3rd October have both come to hand, and I wish there was time to congratulate you on the consummation of an event that I would be but too happy to officiate at, as you very kindly invite me to do. But it is impossible. I wish also I could tell you how greatly I admire your selection, for she has long appeared to me to be one that would make an admirable wife for any person, and now particularly for my good Brother, the rector of Christ Church, St. Paul. I beg you to give her my love, as now her brother too; and further congratulations I hope to have the pleasure of making in person, when you visit us, as we have thought that to Kahgeeashkoonsikag would be a delightful bridal tour. When shall we expect you? But we are always prepared to receive visitors.
(November 7th.--To the Rev. Mr. Wilcoxson.)
As regards the offer of the German for exchange of land by the church, I could not consent to it. The lot by the church whereon we intend building a school-house, is the property of the Mission House or Associate Mission; and should the land in the rear of the church be given for the land of the lot, it is plain we should be sacrificing so much of the property. Besides, the broad front is far more valuable than twice the depth, and it keeps business houses also at a greater distance from the congregation during worship, which is very important during the week-day services. I hope, upon second reflection, that you will agree with me.
(November 12th, Kahgeeashkoonsikag.--To the young ladies of the Minnesota Circle of the School of the Misses Edwards)
This letter has been promised so long, that I can wait no more for the arrival of the New Haven Box. I have, however, just learned of its safety, as far as St. Paul; but it may be a full month yet before it reaches the Indian Mission. And then a letter could not reach yourselves, young ladies, before Christmas; whereas I desire particularly to be wishing you a Happy Christmas, especially whilst the Indians are first learning what it is to greet a Saviour born. The children will also then be enjoying your gift to them, the magic lantern which you have so generously furnished them at my request. I do not wish you to understand that this instrument is to be exhibited on Christmas Day, but during the festival season. It will, I am sure, greatly delight them, for it will be something entirely new in their scope of things. But our use of the lantern will not be confined to a mere exhibition of pictures, and to amuse. A far higher motive than this has prompted my asking for this instrument. I believed, and am quite confident still, that it may be used with great success in conveying knowledge to their minds, for they are children, even the oldest of them, and these last may best be taught after this manner. Something appeal-in0' to the senses will instruct, far sooner than words (alone) addressed to the intellect. Thus it is that the white child is first taught. Pictures and picture-books are effectual, as well as attractive, in fixing the attention of the young.?>ut, my dear young friends, you know all this, and I only speak of it, that you may be persuaded at what price we hold your benefaction, and to assure you what great good it may be the means of doing, not this year only, but for years to come. For the Indian, of all people, is mentally the most reflecting, and therefore requires what the Prophet speaks of as appertaining to the dull of hearing: "Line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, and there a little." So that three or four times a year, at least, may the exhibition be repeated without losing its effect. How often does the child look through its picture-book? A thousand times; and yet delights to do it again! Even so these simple-minded people (for the adult and old Indians are embraced in those whom we would teach, even by pictures), all are susceptible of being taught by frequent repetition. Indeed, I think the Greater Festivals may be usefully marked by some such exhibition, not upon them, but upon a day near them, as the day after. Thus Christmas is first distinguished in the white child's mind by Santa Claus and the stocking full of candies and nuts. But I must now, young ladies, pass on to something more pleasing to you,--the Indian Mission House and its inmates! The Indian Mission and its inhabitants! For this is what I promised in my late letter to the ladies of the Seabury Society. That letter has, I hope, long since come to hand, and its pages were confined to the White Mission. Now this shall in turn be restricted to the Ked field of the Northwest. The Mission family has been greatly enlarged since last Winter. We had then m the female department the matron, Mrs. Welles, only; whereas now she has two immediate assistants, Miss Mills and Miss Allen. These three were unknown to each other personally until they met in Minnesota. The work of Indian conversion won their hearts and made them missionaries, and such in truth they are proving themselves. But our Mission family has yet others in it, who may well be styled missionaries. We are engaged in civilizing as well as Christianizing the Indian. There is therefore necessity for some of the lay officers of life as well as the Ecclesiastical. Hence we have a farmer with his family, viz., a wife and two children. Also, a carpenter and his wife. These are -white folks, and all are members of the Church. The children attend the Mission school. The carpenter is engaged in the construction of the Mission buildings, and in teaching the Indians how to put up their houses. Mr. Parker, the carpenter, is an Englishman, thoroughly devoted to the Church, and to the interests of this Mission. He is an excellent musician, and in this capacity does immense good. The farmer is engaged in attending to the Mission and Indian agricultural pursuits. The wives of these men are fully alive to the interests of the Church in evangelizing these pagans; so that they form altogether a body of Missionaries such as is seldom readily gathered together amidst a pagan people.
There are, moreover, within our family or Household, three young men of much promise for future service in the Church. The first of these is the son of our matron; and the second is the son of our aged Missionary to the Ottawa Indians in Michigan. These young men, whilst pursuing studies preparatory to Divinity, are at the same time rendering me valuable assistance in the temporal affairs of the Mission. In the Spring we are expecting others to join us in like capacity. The third young man is an Indian, the son of an Ottawa Chief, who is pursuing study preparatory to becoming a native catechist, and we hope some day to see him in the Ministry, at least in the Order of Sub-Deacons. He is a fine-featured youth, and of a most amiable disposition. His father was once a dissipated pagan, but is now a most exemplary Christian, and has allowed his son to travel a thousand miles away from home to have the advantages of an education, in order to become an instructor to his people.
Thus, my dear young friends, in connection with our Mission to the Red Man, we have the sons of the white training for usefulness in the Church. Several whites have asked us to receive their children, which in a limited degree we purpose doing, being persuaded that the example of the white child, youth, and young man, will greatly facilitate our work of instructing the native. Thus, also, we are doing a positive good, for none will dispute (he benefit of teaching the white. We have sent two of our young men to Nashotah, where they are pursuing a regular course of Divinity. These may return to Minnesota upon graduating. Let me now add, that in all my Ministry I have never had a more harmonious family than the present, which numbers, exclusive of the Interpreter, fifteen members of CHRIST.
I fear you will think I am wearying you overmuch by continuing this subject to a yet greater length. But I must speak of the delight which we take in the Indian Church, which has been consecrated by the name of St. Columba. It is open for a daily Ojibwa service, and the attendance and attention of the natives are truly gratifying. They appear to realize that the Church is indeed a House belonging to the GREAT SPIRIT. The children behave remarkably well, and are taught the prayers and the Creed in the school-room, and upon Sundays they are more especially taught religion in a catechetical form. To bring a people out of darkness must take time, and it is our fullest conviction, that the threefold discipline herein brought to bear upon the pagan, will (with the Divine blessing) terminate in his conversion to Christianity, and his civilization. This discipline bears upon all. It is in the field or house, which is work. It is in the school-room, which is mental training as well as bodily restraint. And it is in the Church, which is spiritual culture. Thus soul, mind, and body are, by our system, brought under a training, that must destroy paganism, and admit light into the whole man; unless the white man of the frontier--who would rob them, for gain, of the last drop of blood in their veins--should frustrate the work.
I will now close with a few extracts from a letter just received from the Bishop of Prince Rupert's Land, which is the English settlement to our North at the Red River, where there are extensive missions of the Church. This may be gathered from the publication of Bishop Anderson for the year 1850, wherein he says, at the ordination of a native (to the Diaconate) there were a thousand Indians and whites who received the Holy Eucharist--thus testifying, in very strong terms, the blessing of the Gospel as shed abroad amidst a poor people, living yet further North of us by 250 miles, and speaking essentially the same language. And yet when you have reached this settlement, there are stations full 500 miles farther up yet in the wilderness, where live the Missionary and his family. And yet more promising still is the progress of the Church, which, in the language of the Bishop, is fully shown in these words: "The labors among the Esquimaux are, I hope, advancing this Winter on the East," &c. After stating that he had, but five days before, returned from a journey which had occupied him fully ten weeks, he says of his distant Indian stations: "They are promising beyond my most sanguine expectations; and, as far up as English Rivers, the number of those who resist the Gospel are very few--a very small fraction." He speaks of ninety-one communicants at the Holy Sacrament at one of the stations. He has about twelve clergymen in the field, and perhaps ten churches built. This work began in 1820, in a feeble but successful manner. It has scarcely been four years since the Bishop was sent out, which has effected great good.
(November 26th, Chippeway Mission.--To Miss Edwards.)
...... How good you all have been, for so many years ministering to our wants! And what return can I make? Or have you your reward in the consciousness of doing good? For we can only thank you, and work on in our calling. Nevertheless I would like much to tell you how overwhelmed with kindness we felt ourselves by the receipt of your box containing so many gifts to two or three of us. And now, by the same team, another box arrived from a good lady of Hartford, in which were table-cloths, towels, knives, forks, and spoons, which came in very Apropos for our enlarged household. But besides these there was a large assortment of carpenter's tools, which with the increase of native mechanics, have also arrived very timely, and will do immense good in the cause of civilization. These were the result of her little boys' carrying a portion of their fruit to the market, which was disposed of for the benefit of this Mission. Can it be that her sons shall grow up without feeling it to be good to become Missionaries themselves? I think not.
The mail goes out to-morrow, and I have but little time today for letter-writing. And yet I must send this, for I wish the ladies to receive it before Christmas. They will certainly be pleased to know that their benefaction has come to hand. The two letters already written,--the one to the ladies of the Society, and the other to the young ladies of the Minnesota Circle,--will be sufficient apology, I trust, for this brief epistle. Or rather, ought I not to apologize to you all for inflicting so much epistolary matter upon you? I have written fully concerning both the White and Reel portions of the Minnesota field. Permit me now to express our thanks for the benefits and encouragements received from abroad, by yourselves, our best of friends, who through good report and evil report, in different Missionary fields, in Wisconsin and in Minnesota, amongst Whites and amongst Chippeways, have stood by us without fear. We do thank you and your good Rectors, and the people of Trinity parish generally, for their kindness in our behalf; and yet it is not for ourselves that we so much thank, but for the multitudes that are thronging this valley of the Mississippi, and for these poor Aborigines, whose heritage we are appropriating. Mrs. Welles will write to 3rou herself, and express fully her gratitude for the much you have done for her individually. Permit me, however, to express to you the great pleasure I feel in your disinterested labors and love in behalf of all who are associated along with me in these labors. They are truly worthy, and I would that you knew them, as I behold them, every day, in the discharge of their sacred and secular duties. Without them, the Ojibwa Mission could not be. The clothing sent myself is truly excellent, and most acceptable. Under expectation of an outfit, which you had suffered me to entertain for some months past, no steps had been taken to replenish my wardrobe; consequently, both the Rev. Mr. Wilcoxson and myself were made glad by the arrival of the box, on personal grounds, independently of all others. The present box, designed more for Missionary use than for the native wardrobe, will afford you the satisfaction that your labors are the more Missionary themselves on this account, and will be so for no little time to come, if I can judge at all of the excellence of the material and the work. The other articles within the box have already been disposed of very happily for the several members of our large Household. The various departments have been severally benefited in one or more respects by these donations. I was sorry to hear that the Magic Lantern of the young ladies could not be sent in this box. It is, however, very probably at St. Paul in another box, sent out by our excellent friend Mr. Bowman, which will reach us, we trust, before the Feast of the Nativity.
On Holy Innocents' Day he writes to the Bishop a new and rather startling variety in Missionary experience:
...... I had been living, as I thought, most entirely for the Red Man. The very chief "Bad Boy" had received many kindnesses at my hands. But his heathen spirit thought there was an opportunity to gain more. Since then, he has been in manacles within the Mission House, with an armed force from the Fort parading up and down before our doors! All this took place in my absence. Bad-Boy's son and two other Indians concluded upon having a feast, and accordingly shot one of our oxen; upon which, Mr. Parker, our carpenter, went forthwith to the Indian Agent, and thence, with his instructions, to the Fort, when Capt. Todd sent out a company of soldiers, who reached this place before the interesting party had dispersed. But, upon espying the blue-jackets, the guilty ones fled. At this, the soldiers marched up to the lodge of the Chief, and demanded the fugitives. Upon his excusing himself the power of bringing them back, they led him by the nose out of the wigwam, and manacled him, with the threat of imprisoning him, if his men were not found and given up within such a time. And, sure enough, they were brought in and taken to the Fort, where for three weeks they carried a chain and ball to their feet, and were kept at all kinds of menial works. And at their late payment, they were called upon by the Government Officers to pay the Mission the full value of the ox and the inconvenience occasioned us by killing it. The Indians do yearly commit such depredations upon the Whites living at hand, which therefore is not thought strangely of here; but the summary course taken has been of great service to us, and commands a respect that, before, the Indian had not given.
We are now reducing all matters to an admirable system, and the native is gradually yielding: nevertheless, what we shall be none can tell, for the Indian in all his foolishness (which is monstrous), and the wicked White man, are against every improvement in soul, mind, or body.
Our little church looks, in its first Christmas adornings, beautifully neat. The native children and women took an active part in this during several days prior to Christmas. At the 5 o'clock Matin service, Mr. Parker was married to a very estimable woman, to whom he had become engaged whilst in England.
And in this same letter, it is no surprise to find the old Nashotah difficulty reappearing as formidably as ever:
.... By the way, my dear Bishop, this bringing together a number of unmarried Missionaries, both male and female, is rather more than I can manage! They will threaten love, all that I can do; and hence I have determined to marry them off as fast as I can. Inasmuch as they have come out Missionaries, as above, I am willing to part with them on the promise of a missionary life elsewhere. .... This is joking; but, dear Bishop, it is no joke after all. The fact is before me, and I must manage it as well as I can. The truth is as I stated it the last Summer; and there is no mending the matter in any other way, unless an entire disbanding and dissolution takes place, which, before the Church and my own conscience, I am unprepared for.
This was a year of severe trials in a pecuniary point of view. His labors to carry on the exhaustive expenses of the Indian Mission were very great; the cost of teaming all their goods and provisions; the finishing their buildings; then, in addition, the building of churches in the white field, the partial supporting of the clergy, and a hundred other things in minute detail--(all constantly set forth in letters to Brother Wilcoxson)--and attended to with the utmost business exactness, were expensive, and were sufficient to occupy the entire time of any man. These things had formed the history of the business incident to their work from the beginning. But when there was more than usual delay in the receipt of the contributions of the faithful, and the wants of the Missionaries claimed his attention--when thus straitened, faith supported his failing heart.
This year had added to it a grievous mistake in passing over the Headship of the White Field, with its business transactions, into the hands of another. Thus years of trouble arose! In the midst of his engrossing and peculiar duties in the Indian field, he was most unduly perplexed, and for a time the Church property was in the greatest jeopardy; and, but for Bishop Kemper's decided action and expression, in conjunction with the clergy, the Church in Minnesota would have been impoverished.
Although we have in our hands the history of the conflict, we prefer to drop it here--nearly all the persons involved, and who took the liveliest interest in the prosperity of the Church, having gone to their rest. Wilcoxson, the devoted and self-sacrificing Missionary, whose labors where unceasing, and who was one of the founders of the Church in the Territory, and who labored to secure the valuable inheritance, he alone remains.
In immediate connection with what has gone before, I record a paper not drawn up until 1856:
KNOW ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENTS, that we, the undersigned, first members and founders of the "Associate Mission" for Minnesota, do hereby solemnly declare it as our opinion, that the "Mission grounds," located at Saint Paul, Minnesota Territory, were purchased with money contributed for a purpose in all respects like unto Nashotah, that is to say, to be the nursery of the Church in Minnesota for educating and training young men for the Holy Ministry of the Protestant Episcopal Church in these United States of America. And furthermore, we declare our intentions to carry out the will and holy purpose of the donors, to wit, J. K. Sass, Esq., of Charleston, South Carolina, the Misses Edwards, of New Haven, Connecticut, and others, to the utmost of our powers, by advice and otherwise.
Signed at St. Columba Mission, this eighth day of July, A. D. 1856.
J. LLOYD BRECK,
Missionary to the Ojibwas, and Member of the Associate Mission.
Signed at Hastings, July 15th, 1856.
TIMOTHY WILCOXSON, Itinerant and Member of Associate Mission.
Signed at Paris, Kentucky, this 23d day of July, A. D. 1856.
JOHN AUSTEN MERRICK, One of the first Members and Founders of the Associate Mission.
(Feb. 10th, Chippeway Mission House.--To Miss Edwards)
.....Few of those composing the Seabury Society in 1843 are now members of the same. The changes incident to life have produced these, and yet your principles have remained the same, and--singular enough--your interest has never flagged in the least degree. On the contrary, considering these changes with you and with us, bringing in new elements, the efficiency and zeal of the Society have greatly increased with each succeeding year. You found me with Nashotah, that beloved School of the Prophets, in which my soul was wrapped up with ardent zeal and love through so many years. You saw me resign the charge, and the institution pass into other hands. You declined my proposition that you should continue laboring with Nashotah; and, like good pioneers, you preferred to risk further adventures along with me upon the unknown frontier of our almost boundless West And now you will, or are willing, to accompany me into the depths of forests, yet to us quite interminable, and here seek after the roaming savage, whose attraction is nought more than a human nature common to ourselves. For the regeneration of this--so hard a thing to believe possible, and, to many, alas! of doubtful expediency, when the Saxon claims are so numerous and strong--the ladies of the Society are even now willing to accompany me into these wild regions, and sit down to teach a body of barbarians the simplest rudiments of civilized life, and the first principles of the Christian Religion.
But now, my dear friends and co-laborers, and co-missionaries, I do not intend you to expose yourselves to the treatment of rude savages, and deprive yourselves of the comforts of life for a log-cabin in the depths of a wilderness, where you can have no society of the European races. No, this I cannot suffer nor expect, as a mode of life. You may occasionally drop in to see us, how we do, and speak to us some encouraging words, or even do a few kind acts to relieve us in our seclusion; but as for abiding with us, we cannot ask it or suffer it. No, my dear Miss Edwards; tell the ladies, for me, that they are fully discharging their duty by spending their strength in promoting missions among the Whites. There are others, who feel it their duty to instruct the Indian. Let these come up therefore to the help of the Lord against the mighty, and, I doubt not, we shall be fully fortified in all that we prudently and lawfully undertake. I am far from wishing any to engage along with me in the work of pagan conversion, who feel it not a duty, which they owe to the miserable humanity which we are rapidly dislodging from all that heritage, which has come down to them from their forefathers. If the nation can do this, there are many who feel that the Church cannot look on in indifference, when she has that in her possession which alone can compensate, in time and in eternity, for their aggravated sufferings and losses. Let these who thus feel, co-operate with us in this work. Those who think their duty to be elsewhere, should undoubtedly labor elsewhere; and their reward will be with them. I write thus, because I think the ladies of the Society prefer supporting a White to a Red Mission; and, according as I urged them to remain with Nashotah, in the degree at least that they had done when I was with that Mission, so now, again, I have a plan to propose, whereby they may be promoting the Minnesota Mission, and yet not be disconnected with the Indian Department.
Very contrary to my expectations of what an Indian Mission would require, I have found it absolutely necessary for the Indian Missionary to be almost perpetually on the ground, if he expects to perfect the work he aims at in civilizing and Christianizing a barbarous people. It has therefore been quite necessary to look to additional help in the conduct of the one or the other of these Missions. As few of the clergy of the Church would come into the depths of this wilderness, to live amongst savages and teach them as we are required to do, I have concluded to keep on the advance line of the forefront of the Church, whilst others, with less wild habits, or disposed to less wild life, may take positions within the line of civilization. And forasmuch as Nashotah has enjoyed as rich a harvest of alms and offerings since my departure therefrom as before it, so also I believe the Minnesota Mission, passing into the hands of another, would, if properly conducted, likewise receive its portion of support. By "the Minnesota Mission," we mean the Mission to the Whites. It is quite superfluous for me to add how surprised I have been at the large sum the ladies have sent us annually, and how thankful we are that it is so, when it puts into our hands so much ability for doing good.
(Second Sunday after Trinity, Chippeway Mission House.--To his Brother Charles.)
My very dear Brother: Every day with us is almost a record of pleasing events, whilst Sunday after Sunday witnesses some growth of the people in the Christian Religion, till over thirty have been received into the Christian Fold; and besides these, eight others are with us already Christian, so that, where two and a half years ago was a wilderness of savages, the Christian worship has obtained footing in such wise that barbarism is confessedly conquered.
We have a good friend in the Rev. Dr. Goodwin, of Middle-town, Connecticut, and perhaps a better in Miss C. E. Board-man, of New Milford. Every Easter she sends us one hundred dollars, and each year a box of valuable clothing. She has now presented me with a carpet for my room, besides sundry articles of clothing for the Indian family, such as ladies can everywhere make for the great advancement of our cause.
Nashotah was my sphere once; Minnesota was, after it; and the Chippeway field is as much so now. I love this work, and this field, and this people, so that my dear Brother Charles need not be afraid of any sudden desertion. As well think of my coming to the Empire City of New York, to which my spiritual father, Dr. Muhlenberg, has also lately pressed me to enter for Missionary work. But I have given him in a long letter the reasons why I decline from his views of my duty.
To-day the largest offering yet made to Nashotah or these Missions at any one time, was presented upon the Ojibwa Altar. It was one thousand dollars in gold coin, the third part only of what the General Government gives us this year. The Government gives it as an addition to the work already undertaken and carried out. Not as a substitute for the exertion of our friends abroad; so that, dear Brother, decline not from your purpose of an offering, as though we needed it not.
This is a great work, and should not be done by the Church in a meagre way. The Agent's expression upon giving me this money was, that our friends should the rather consider this as the expression of the Government's appreciation of our work. and their desire to extend its usefulness.
We have also received three yoke of oxen, two cows, wagon, cart, ploughs, &c., to take care of and use for our needs; also 28,000 feet of dried lumber, and 30,000 shingles, and 800 pounds of nails for building purposes. Ought we not to be encouraged and go on rejoicing?
All this has come to us in so remarkable a manner, that I intend to prepare an article on the subject for our friends, and send a copy to each of the Church papers.
I have written to a clergyman inviting him to enter this station; and in such case, I think of entering a second one, 200 miles farther up the Mississippi, which is the head of navigation and the Falls of Pokagamon.
(July 28th, Chippeway Mission House.)
I write this Missionary letter to our friends, young and old, male and female, who belong to Trinity Parish, Pittsburgh, in most grateful acknowledgment for the much benefit which the several Missions that have been under my charge have received, from time to time, for the past twelve years. I write from the Chippeway Mission House, where I am most happy in believing that both Christianity and civilization are having place. Your faith in this work was good, when as yet nothing had been done to bring the Indian out of darkness into light, and from his wild habits to those of domestic life. Were you now with us in this portion of the Vineyard, where we have labored the most part of the time during the past two years, even weak faith would be satisfied by seeing what we daily behold, viz., fields under cultivation, with many Indian laborers, and a Christian Temple with many Indian worshippers.
This is no fancy picture drawn to the imagination. The excessively degraded state in which we found these people, affords ample evidence of their improvement. And it is due you, as friends of this cause, and yet more as co-laborers along with us in this field, to know wherein this improvement has taken place. Permit me first to give you the testimony of the Governor of Minnesota (who is the Superintendent of Indian Affairs), as embodied in a letter which he has recently written to me: "I am gratified," he says, "to hear from all sources the unexampled success you are having in the great cause of humanity. Your Mission is now, and has been, doing more than any other Mission I know of. It will be highly gratifying to have a detailed report from you by the last of September, that I may forward it to the Government, and make it a part of the future history of the Red Man's redemption." And another testimony still, though not from abroad, to the excellency of our system, which unites religion and industry together, or Christianity and civilization, will doubtless be gratifying to you. At the late Wisconsin Convention, Hobart Church of the Oneida nation of Indians, was represented by two young natives, whom their Missionary (a graduate of Nashotah) informed me the whole tribe respected most highly, and had therefore sent them on as their delegates. These were two of three Indian boys that were received at Nashotah when young and unacquainted with our language, and were trained there through a course of four years, and then sent back to their people. And furthermore, to show the Church's power, under the influence of the HOLY SPIRIT to transform the Red Man, I could here appeal to the glorious work of the English Church to the North of us, where two natives are already valuable Missionaries, united unto a Bishop of an Apostolic spirit, with a staff of thirteen clergymen. These are, indeed, in labors most abundant, throughout a region that is a very wilderness, beginning at a point 300 miles to our North, and then stretching out in all directions 500 to 700 miles farther on, embracing thousands of Christian Indians, where on the arrival of the first Missionary in 1820 there was not one within the fold of the reformed branch of the Church.
But I am not required to go North to establish our claim for doing good to the Indian. What little as a Church we have at any time done for the regeneration of the Red Man, has been abundantly blessed, to encourage us to do more. The father of the young Ottawa Indian who is with us preparing for the Ministry, sent his son thither from the heart of Michigan, where he is the principal Chief of his tribe, to procure for him an education in the Christian religion, so as to enable him to teach his own people or the Chippeways the better way of life. Whence this desire, and this sacrifice of an old Indian for a son of the sweetest disposition? Once he had learned the White man's vice and was an habitual drunkard. He has now been a sober man for fifteen years, and for a long time been a devoted Christian, and the grand medicine has been abandoned altogether, and the religion of the Cross adopted by his people. Whence this? The quiet and faithful labors of Selkrig, now an old man, tottering into the grave, will tell. And as a last bequest which this faithful servant would make to the cause of the Indian, he sends us his youngest son and asks us to take him and train him for the Ministry of the Word amongst the pagan of this land.
From what I have now written, you will learn, Christian brethren, that plants are ripening here for the harvest, that comes on apace before the reapers can be prepared to enter in. But you will like to know something further, viz., in what have the two years promised fruit, where we have been laboring? Seeds of glorious light have been sown, and they are even now shooting forth branches, which promise in due time abundant harvest. Enter with me now, please, the neat, square log-church. It is the very picture of simplicity and solemnity. Ever kept sacred for the Divine homage, it is always in that perfect order which becometh His Sanctuaries. These Indians call Christians the praying people; and the church building the Wigwam of prayer.
Above eighteen months since, we began connecting a simple form of religious worship with the daily instruction of an advanced class of native youth. This attracted a few adults into the Mission House; which, continuing through the Winter, crew into a habit; and when the church was ready for consecration, we transferred the prayers to it, and built a distinct house for the school, so that now every day at 4:30 o'clock P. M. the bell rings and tolls for an Ojibwa service, whereupon the laboring Indians and others come up in their native dress (where they have not adopted our habit), and here they conduct themselves with the utmost propriety, for the most part observing all the usages of liturgical worship. I have before informed you, that the English Prayer Book has been translated and published in Ojibwa by an English Society. This book is to us of the greatest possible assistance in conveying a knowledge of Christianity.
I have asked you to enter the Church. It is a week day. There are fifty-six natives present. The average number of daily attendants is over forty, quite frequently there are fifty--as large a number as you would see at their medicine dance, which occurs but twice in a year. "Pagan "is well translated by them into Ojibwa, by one word, signifying, "The people who do not pray" The small handful of whites you observe in the church are my fellow Missionaries in the LORD, who have, male and female, come hither to instruct the heathen in the better way of things, both temporal and spiritual. There are none other Whites living hereabouts. The Indian that you hear interpreting, is the same concerning whom I first wrote you, and who came to this place with us in the Spring of 1852. He was once of the grand medicine, but, born amongst the Canada Chippeways, he has had superior advantages to those living in the United States, has received a fair education in English, and is well versed in the English and Ojibwa New Testament. I am thankful to say, I am able to read the liturgy in their own tongue, and thus appear before them in the true light of a clergyman. The interpreter gives the sermon and other instruction by word of mouth to the people, and also leads in the Ojibwa responses, which the people commit to memory, and say them orally, as our black congregations do in the South. Two Sundays since, I baptized him, and he is now ready, with our approbation, to prepare for the Diaconate, according to the new canon.
That young man of sixteen years of age, whom you observed entering the church late, and kneeling down for silent prayer although the congregation was standing at the time, was also baptized a fortnight since. That mild and self-possessed countenance has ever distinguished him, although his great change in personal habits and dress could scarcely identify him with the same youth that had, two years before, stepped forward from amidst his pagan companions--the first one of these people to help us plant our frail tent of canvas-cloth upon the ground where our Mission Houses are now standing. This willing conduct of a youth dressed in blanket, leggings, and braided hair falling down upon the back of each shoulder according to the male custom of these people, was in truth his first abrenunciation of paganism. For he was shortly after received into our Mission family, and we now regard him as one that will shortly be prepared to become a catechist to the younger children, and eventually, we hope, a native clergyman.
Amongst the children who occupy the chancel steps, please observe the largest of those boys. He was also baptized at the same time, and has been a member of the Mission House for upwards of a year. These, my dear friends, do not stand alone as people of prayer within this Chippeway Mission. Eighteen others have been enrolled within the fold of the Redeemed; so that our faith has not been tested to the degree that our brethren's to the North was, for they waited till the third year before they witnessed the first native baptism. How excessively thankful, then, should we be, in this remote corner of the wilderness, to see not only a Christian Temple built, but a body of daily worshippers within it, to the number that I have stated; nor only so, but amongst these, three Indians and one white youth, actually going through a course of preparation for the Ministry, whilst, from the White Mission in Minnesota, we have already sent three young men to Nashotah to prepare for Holy Orders.
How thankful, I say, should we be for all this evidence of life in the use of all those divers helps, which the LORD hath appointed in His Church on earth. We constantly impress upon the minds of these people, that the Church of St. Columba is not the White Man's prayer wigwam, but that it was built expressly for themselves. You must not, therefore, be shocked at seeing the native in his native dress. The blanket and leggings with the men, and the blanket and short gown with the women, still prevail; and when we reflect how difficult a matter it is to change customs, even of attire, among any people, but especially those rude like unto these, you will be astonished to see so many already conformed to the dress of the Whites. A number of young women, and some of the married women, have adopted the full dress of the White woman, and for the blanket have substituted the shawl. And many more are ready to make the change, so soon as they find themselves able to do it. Unfortunately, the Government only provides those articles of clothing for her annuity Indians, that are calculated to keep them Indians.
Since I have spoken of the dress of these Indians, I will remark the pleasing feature that is already apparent amongst many of them--the evident desire to be clean and neat in person and apparel on Sunday, above all other days in the week. The girls are taught by the Christian ladies of our household to make their own dresses, whilst the young women perform all the domestic work of our Missionary establishment under the same supervision. The Mission farm is wrought altogether by the natives, under the direction of a devoted Christian layman, who has been with us from the beginning. And that you may know what the Indian will do, when encouraged under the right influences, there are on some days as many as fifty men, women and children, at work in the House and in the fields. Perhaps, in the course of the year, as many as five hundred different Indians have wrought under our directions. Work was considered a disgrace by these Indians a very short time back, and the principal Chief of this lake, by name "The Bad-Boy," who informed me eighteen months ago, that the white man wished to teach the Indian how to work, so as to make a slave of him, and said the white man never enters their country except to make a gain of them, is now living in a house, working, and frequenting the church with, I believe, a laudable desire to know the truth.
The Mission farm acts in a two-fold manner. It assists the native to subsist by work, and it instructs him in work; so that there is scarcely an Indian family that has not a distinct garden under cultivation, and some of these are quite large. The Government has built a saw-mill for the Indian, but a short distance from us, so that he is hereby greatly encouraged to build and live in houses like the White man. And had I time, and were it not overtaxing your patience to hear more, I could narrate some things concerning these poor Indians, that would satisfy the most doubting ones, that these people are not only men, but capable of improvement, and men ambitious for improvement, equal to any nation that has been rescued in time past, from poverty and degradation of soul, mind, and body. But I can say no more at present. Nevertheless I will say to you, my brethren, that ye are "Helpers of our joy." And if you ask, for all that you have done, "What is your hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing?" we reply--"Are not even these poor children of the forests, in the presence of our LORD JESUS CHRIST, at His coming? "
On the 30th of October, this year, writing to the Bishop concerning the help that may possibly be derived from the Government appropriations of <so much a year for schools and so much for agriculture, among his Indians, he says:
.....The Protestant sects will not, I think, move in the matter very energetically, for they have miserably failed, in these parts, to effect anything for either conversion or civilization. But the Romanists will do all they can, I have reason to believe, to control the fund.
In an earlier part of the same letter he gives some further details of growth:
.....Yesterday I baptized three more children, which have been entrusted to our care; and last night the head man of the Grand Medicine came to me, and delivered up his only child, a fine boy of about six years of age, and I am to baptize him on Sunday next. This child will be the twenty-ninth person received into the Church at this place.
(January 2d.--To his Brother)
Our Associate Mission, consisting of the Rev. Timothy Wilcoxson, the Rev. J. A. Merrick (Deacon), and the Rev. J. L. Breck, was organized in the Church of the Holy Communion, New York, by the Rev. Dr. Muhlenberg, on Trinity Sunday, 1850, and we entered Minnesota on St. John Baptist's Day, of the same year. We then made purchase of real estate at St. Paul (on which the Mission House has been built) at $300, which is now valued at twenty thousand dollars. [In 1881, it was valued at $65,000.] The Rev. Dr. Van Ingen has become head of this Mission, and is in charge of the White field, whilst the Rev. Mr. Breck is in charge of the Red. The Associate Mission entered upon the work of Indian conversion in the Spring (Feast of the Ascension) of 1852. The head of this department of our Mission, in company with a Divinity student, visited this place (Kahgeeashkoonsikag), where resided the principal Chief of the Ojibwa nation, by name "Hole-in-the-Day." His father was a distinguished Chief of the same name, and, I am informed, he always carried the Bible about with him in the latter years of his life, and asked persons here and there to read it to him. On Christmas Day just past, I had the happiness to baptize, amongst other adults, one of the old Chief's wives, along with her only daughter, who is a member of the Mission family.
On All-Saints' Day, 1852, the corner-stone of the Church of St. Columba was laid at this Mission, for the exclusive benefit of the Indian. It is built of squared logs, with nave and chancel, open roof, and early pointed. It was consecrated the next Summer (1853) by the Missionary Bishop of the Northwest. It is the first church of any name west of the Mississippi, and north of the St. Peter's River, or Fort Snelling. The Bishop has since, in the year 1854, administered the holy rite of Confirmation in it to six persons. Of these, five were Indians. Four have since then become communicants. The fifth lives at some distance from us; and, on account of sickness, has been unable to attend. We have now Indians baptized to the number of 38, and others preparing for baptism. We have now baptized persons confirmed, and these are now communicants. We have now Indian students preparing for the office of catechist and deacon. Ojibwas now act as god-parents to the newly baptized. On Christmas Day five adults and three children, all full-blooded Chippeways, were baptized in the church. There are 29 persons in the Mission House, of which 22 are natives. This number does not include the interpreter and the farmer and their families. For want of room, we are under the necessity of refusing many applicants for admission.
The following are the Missionaries: The Rev. J. L. Breck, head; Mr. John Johnson (Ojibwa), interpreter; Mr. John Parker, carpenter and overseer of Indians at work; Mr. Charles Selkrig, curator; Mr. Jonathan Edwards, farmer; Miss Jane M. Mills, head of the School department; Miss Richardson, assistant teacher; Mrs. Parker, housekeeper. These teach civilization in all its varied branches, in the house and in the field. We have no White servants. The Indians perform all the cooking, washing, ironing, baking, and making butter, under the direction of the ladies. There are few now who cannot sew and make their own clothes, which applies to women in the wigwam as well as in the Mission House. All kinds of gardening and farming are taught, as well as house-building. In the course of the year, about four hundred different natives work under our directions, frequently for weeks together, averaging thirty a day in both the field and the house.
In the church the service is mostly in Ojibwa, for we have the English Prayer Book in this tongue. The baptized children occupy the chancel steps, where they take the lead in the postures and the oral responses. These are now known and joined in by many of the congregation, for we regard the people in the light of catechumens, and to be taught. The service is daily, at the close of work, when all attend. The Indians made this daily service by coming into the Mission House family prayer before the church was built. It is now a habit with them, and we have every reason to believe it to be a very pleasant one, as well as highly beneficial. I might here add many items of particular interest, but such perhaps as might not appear to advantage in a sermon. I hope the above will be sufficient to show how the matter works with us.
We have been invited by Indians to seven different places, and should a clergyman, now thinking of it, join us, we shall in all probability begin a Station at the uppermost Falls of the Father of Waters, called Pokagama, which, by the river, is 200 miles above us. We have improvements in this spot, to the value of about $4,500, Church property. The foregoing I have in the greatest haste thrown together, and hope it may answer the purpose.
(January 13th.--To Mrs. Dimock.)
...... You began, dear Madam, with us in the early stages of our work in Wisconsin, when many were the words which were spoken against us; but your faith triumphed over all, and helped to plant that which is now praised by thousands for the much good that it is doing in the cause of Zion. You were the blessed instrument of sending a Missionary forth, who is now faithfully proclaiming the terms of salvation to the settlers of Indiana. Mr. Bingham at one time communicated with me upon the subject of coming into Minnesota for Missionary work; but he is now, most probably, in a field where his services will be required for years to come. We have sent three young men to Nashotah to prepare for Holy Orders, and a fourth is now ready to go. You will be rejoiced to learn that Mr. Cotheal has induced the Sunday-School of St. John's Chapel, New York, to present a beautiful communion service to the Indian church at this place. There are now Ojibwa communicants, and the baptisms of Christmas Day (five adults and three children), and of the Sunday after the Epiphany (two adults and three children), make the number of converts forty-five. But a lengthy Missionary letter, now in the hands of the Bishop, will, if approved by him, shortly appear in the Church papers, so that any present prolonged account will be unnecessary, as regards Ojibwa information. But if you will suffer it, I hope in the Summer to write you, as I have done during the year past. We have now a Mission household of thirty-two persons. Of these, twenty-five are Chippeway children and young persons. Many others are pressing to enter to be instructed in religion and the domestic life. In the course of the Summer, we hope to make such important additions to our establishment as will admit of double this number. The two persons baptized on Epiphany Sunday were the oldest and best people of this band, noted for their industry and honest life. They have attended the Church Ojibwa daily services very constantly for a year past. They are parents of eleven children, have twenty-five grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. I baptized them "Abraham" and "Sarah," and in the evening, at Divine service, married them, according to the Christian form and obligation.
(February 1st.--To his Uncle)
Your kind letter of the 16th January, with the numerous packages of seeds, arrived this morning, by the hand of our Indian courier. He left in the morning of yesterday for the Fort Ripley post-office, which is twenty miles distant; and, notwithstanding he had to travel on foot, he was back again before the next morning. This post-boy was Charles Breck Gigalrish. He takes his turn with the other members of our House in weekly visits to the Fort. It is most fortunate that we have communication with the world so near to us as this Post of the United States. Had it not been for this happy circumstance, we might have been under the necessity of going a hundred and fifty miles for our letters, viz., to St. Paul. I hope, before these seeds are fruit, and these deep snows have given place to waving grass and grain, you will hear from the Northwest again.
(To his Brother)
I think you are acquainted with the Rev. Theodore B. Lyman, of Trinity Church, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a whole-hearted clergyman, and long time an ardent friend to myself and the work in my hands. [Now the Bishop of North Carolina.--C. B.] I have just heard from him, and will quote a few passages: "I have now the pleasure of sending you a gift from our excellent friend, John H. Shoenberger, which I hope may prove timely and serviceable. Please find check for $250. In the course of the season, I hope to have at least fifty additional from the Ladies' Society; and I promise you also not less than one hundred as my own gift. I hoped to have sent it at this time; but have been disappointed about some funds upon which I had counted. You shall have it, however, in good time. I was sadly disappointed in not being able to visit you last Summer. The trip I cannot give up; and I now cherish the hope of being able to accomplish it about the middle of next May. I was glad to learn from Bishop Kemper, after his last visit to you, that everything was going on so entirely to his satisfaction."
Married, on Saturday, August nth, 1855, in the Church of St. Columba, near Fort Ripley, by the Rev. E. G. Gear, Chaplain United States Army, the Rev. James Lloyd Breck, Missionary to the Chippeways, and Miss Jane Maria, daughter of the late William R. Mills, Esq., of Argyle, New York. Miss Mills had proved herself a most invaluable Missionary to the Indians. The children admired and loved her exceedingly, calling her their white mother; and she was never more delighted than when she had them gathered around her for instruction, or at her knees reciting their prayers.
(August 13th.--To his Brother Charles.)
It would have afforded me the sincerest joy to have had you with me on the nth inst., and to have had you solemnize my marriage with Miss Jane M. Mills. But the reasons you assign are fully forcible and satisfactory.....You have, my Brother, been truly kind to me; and in no one particular have I departed from your own and dearest Father's counsel.
(August 31st--To the Rev. Mr. Wilcoxson.)
Mrs. B. is over her attack, and quite well again. Her double, triple duties of the past year, have almost worn her out; and she has withstood their reaction to the last moment. She is now rapidly gaining strength; and if there was such a thing as a possibility for an Indian Missionary to make a bridal tour, be assured it would be done. But I have no hope for it. I rejoice at all the missionary information you pen, and would be glad to aid in getting a clergyman for Shakopee; but where is our Nashotah? From the Wisconsin Nashotah, we have not a man, and no prospect of getting a graduate from that quarter. If we are ever to get men, it must be by raising them up within our own field. My last letter, founded upon Father Gear's, gives the only solution to our bondage that will give freedom. Let us try it. Let us open the way. But I have no time to write further at present.
(September 7th.--To the Rev. George P. Schetky.)
Thank you for your long and interesting narrative of your parish labors. Ere this, you have heard of my marriage. The lady whom I have married, has been thoroughly tested in point of Missionary zeal, discretion, and success, during her two years' residence in the Indian field and Mission House.
I am happy to inform you of two additional members to our Mission. One of these, Mr. Samuel Hall, a graduate of Trinity College and candidate for Holy Orders under Bishop Williams, is proving himself most useful to the Mission. The other is Miss Frink. She has charge of the girls of the Mission House, and is proving herself admirably skilled for the work of the Indian Mission.
You will be gratified to learn that appeals are continually made us from bands of Indians living seventy-five and a hundred miles West and North of us, to come and teach them. But you will be pained to know that we have had to deny them teachers even, for the past two years. But I still hope something may be done for them. The Indians of this land have all determined to pursue labor hereafter for a living, and they certify that they will all in due time become Christians. They do all kinds of work already, in the garden and in the House.
I have now had the happiness to baptize sixty-seven Chippeways. You see so much in the Banner and other periodicals concerning us, that it would be superfluous for me to enlarge at this time. Five years have now passed away since I entered Minnesota, and it may be as many more before I can visit the East again. A lifelong labor opens before me in the Red Man's country, and I have no wish to return to the White field. I feel as perfectly at home among the aborigines, as I ever did at Nashotah.
We have thirty-five native children within the Mission House, and were you here, -you would be charmed to hear them singing both English and Ojibwa hymns, as well as to witness them in their performance of the Ojibwa service in the church. They lead their parents in the responses, as well as in the postures. At each meal, after saying a simple grace in English, they chant the versicle, "Glory be to Thee, O Lord" which they do in the sweetest possible manner. They dearly love to sing, and were you to hear them singing their national airs in the wigwams, you would be delighted at the future use to be made of their voices in the Church's devotions.
A few particulars of a secular character will show you the change that has come over these people. They have opened a road through a heavy forest eight miles near us, and for thirty miles farther on, under appointment by the General Government, but which, it was expected, would be done by the White Man. Four young men have just come in from cutting and stacking twenty tons of marsh hay. The Indians have also cut and cleared seventy acres of land this Summer, notwithstanding there was much heavy timber upon it. The farming, gardening, &c., are done by the Indians, under our direction. Also the buildings are put up by them, with one White assistant. I have just sent young men with the ox-team sixty miles to the mill for flour. In the House, the cooking, washing, ironing, and all household work are done by Indian women, under the direction of the ladies. Also all the sewing and clothing of the House are the result of their labors. Ought I not to be encouraged, dear Brother, at this state of things? and will you not annually make an offering for the furtherance of the work?
(October 30th.--To Mrs. Dimock.)
...... Your long interest in our labors will permit this communication to be made without apology, for it is your Mission fully as much as ours. The recent visit of the Missionary Bishop of the Northwest forms an event of no ordinary interest with those who are buried in the wilderness of the Red Man. We see no Whites here, apart from our Mission Household. You may readily imagine the real happiness an Episcopal visitation affords us, and this is now participated in by the native of these forests, as well as by ourselves. Forsaking the wild life for the civilized, and the pagan religion for the Christian, you may imagine that so great a change as has come over them in the short period of these years would naturally lead them to new sympathies and interests. And in this, how ennobling, and yet how suitable to children's conceptions is our holy Religion! The various seasons of the Ecclesiastical year impress, with deeply interesting and instructive doctrine, the minds of these children of the forest, as well as those of the highly polished and refined people of our cities. We are not now all pagans. Seventy have put on CHRIST by Holy Baptism, which by referring to my letter of last year you will find to be a great increase in the Christian ranks. The House of Prayer, opened daily for worship in the tongue of this people, is a sight of no ordinary interest, as it stands looking out upon the shores of this beautiful lake. The Scripture teaching of the Saviour's journeys with His Disciples over the land of Judea, and across the sea of Galilee in fishermen's boats, do remind us often of the people amongst whom we dwell. The church-bell and the orderly movements of each day have greatly checked the heathen rattle of pagan worship. The feeling that is Christian is fast gaining the ascendency. And when we beheld, on the last Sunday but one, sixteen natives, all habited in white garments, approaching the chancel rails to renew their baptismal vows, our hearts partook of that deep joy which assured us that the downfall of paganism had come. At nine o'clock in the morning of that day, the Bishop administered the Holy Eucharist to those whom he had confirmed the year before; whilst at 11 o'clock the new candidates for Confirmation were presented for this holy ordinance of the Christian Religion. And at night five others (three adults) were received into the congregation of the faithful. On Monday night the Bishop addressed the children of the school. Thus were five days a sort of jubilee with us, and we no longer feel as though all were pagan about us. On the contrary, the Christian tone of thought and feeling is beginning to gain the ascendency, and the battle of the LORD against the powers of darkness is almost decisive.
Before I can write to you again, we hope to form another Mission amongst a band of these same people, who live sixty miles to the West, numbering 1100 souls. Their head chief has been to us, begging for instruction for himself and his people, and has also applied to their civil officers to have us appointed their teachers by the General Government. In case this comes to pass, I expect to go there in person, whilst this station, now quite well organized, will fall to the lot of a new Missionary, who is expected to join us this Autumn. Thus it appears as though I were always to be on the frontier, and I am happy to tell you that my constitution is well adapted to the work, as well as the temper of my mind. I am also happy to assure you that my wife is -perfectly at one with me in this matter. I found it necessary to marry, where the domestic life was to be taught as well as the Christian. There are several lay Missionaries with me at St. Columba. They are as follows: Mrs. Breck, the matron; Miss Frink, a lady in middle life, the teacher of the girls' school; Mr. Hall, a candidate for Holy Orders, the teacher of the boys' school; Mr. Selkrig, son of our Missionary to the Ottawas in Michigan, also preparing for the Ministry, conducts the temporal affairs of the Mission with the laboring Indians. We have also a carpenter and a farmer, both in the capacity of teachers to the Indians in their respective callings. Thus you find us quite a large force engaged in the Missionary enterprise; and the experience had here will enable us to go forward, we trust, with fresh zeal and success in the wide-spreading field that lies open before us.
I am unable to write to all our friends, amongst young and old; therefore, under one cover, I write to several. And now, dear Mrs. Dimock, I beg you, after reading this letter, to cause it to be read to our faithful young friends of the Sunday-School of St. Luke's Parish in your city (New York). That school has been engaged for some time past in educating the oldest son of our interpreter, a full Chippeway. I would wish these children to know that Alfred is still in our school and doing well. He is also industrious out of school, and will, I hope, become through their offerings and' prayers a valuable man to this people.
(November 26th.--To his Brother)
.....I must first thank you for your congratulations on account of my marriage. My devoted wife fully responds to all your wishes for an interview at some future day. She wishes me to give you her love, and to tell "Lloydy" that she is not very white, but she is not an Indian. I am glad to testify to her knowledge of Indian human nature, most entire success in managing the Indian, and freedom from all fear of him.
As regards the Church in Minnesota, your remarks have, I hope, done good. I have copied them and sent them to several of our reliable business men in the Territory, and I find at the late Convocation, at which I could not attend, the Missionary Bishop has ordered, at the request of the clergy, a Primary Convention about the 1st of May next, to take into consideration the organization of a Diocese. We have now nine clergymen in Minnesota, and another expected this Autumn or Winter.
(January 2d.--To the Rev. Mr. Wilcoxson.)
On Christmas Day our Indians made their first offering. They had been preparing for it during Advent. It amounted to $59.90 and is to be devoted to Nashotah, hoping, in time, for an Indian Missionary from that School of the Prophets. Two adults and three children were baptized on the same day; also two of the confirmed were admitted to the Holy Communion. In the evening I married a young couple of Christian natives. Our first service was at five o'clock in the morning. Thermometer 38° below zero, and a church full of worshippers. We are indeed enabled to have things here done decently and in order. These are the "savages," &c., unfit for salvation!
(February 16th.--To the Church of the Holy Communion, New York, in acknowledgment of their Epiphany Offering to the Chippeway Mission)
I know not better how to thank you for this oft-repeated favor in the LORD, than to furnish you with some plain account of the practical working of our system for propagating the Gospel amongst pagan Chippeways. Fifteen years have now passed away since I entered the Ministry and Missionary field of the Church, and how wonderfully has the LORD blessed our labors! Nashotah and the Diocese of Wisconsin are too well known to require any enlargement at my hands. In 1841, the year that the Associate Mission entered there, all was a wilderness. We could walk from Nashotah as a centre, in various directions, fifteen, twenty, and thirty miles, and only occasionally at intervals of five, eight, and twelve miles see any sign of the White Man's presence. But now, how changed, with its numerous cities, towns and thickly-populated rural districts; and instead of a little band of Missionaries, almost lost in the wilderness by reason of their fewness and the extent of the field, now witness the thirty-seven clergy, headed by a venerable and Apostolic Bishop, with its School of the Prophets, having thirty-two young men in it preparing for the Holy Ministry.
After passing above eight years in Wisconsin, without going once beyond its Territory, it was in the Church of the Holy Communion, New York, whose Epiphany we have so long enjoyed, that the Associate Mission for Minnesota was formed. In May next, six years will have passed away since your venerable pastor and my spiritual Father blessed us in the Name of the LORD, as we stood before him in the Sanctuary, ready to depart for another unoccupied field of labor yet further West. I will not go over the steps by which we have reached our present stature. We could have wished it greater far, but are conscious that our own strength alone could not, in any wise, have made it a garden of the LORD, such as, I trust, it has in some measure become. Minnesota has now its nine working clergy, with its seven churches built, and two military chapels, in all which are the stated services of the Church. For the Feast of the Ascension Day next, the Missionary Bishop of the Northwest has called our Primary Convention at St. Paul. And now that native Ojibwas are to be represented in it by men of their own nation, you will require no apology from one who has made his home amongst them for the past three years, if the remainder of this letter should be devoted to them. Especially, too, as your offering will be given mainly to the work of pagan conversion and civilization.
I will not take you through the successive stages of Missionary life, by which we have been brought to the present state of this Mission. Permit me to introduce you at once to the Christian Ojibwa Fold, by narrating to you our Christmas in this remote corner of our country. It is no longer the wilderness of three years since. Sunday was then unknown, and the Nativity had no being in their midst. But the presence of CHRIST'S servants, and the outward symbol of the Heavenly Jerusalem, have verified these things, so that the pagan religion has gradually disappeared through disuse, leaving the ground for the Gospel's undisputed possession. All the people have not become Christians yet;--it would not have been well, perhaps, had they so suddenly been admitted to the mysteries of the Faith. The number at present baptized is seventy-seven. The confirmed are twenty-one, and not so many have been yet admitted to the Holy Eucharist, and those admitted can only participate once a month, although, for the Missionaries, this Holy Sacrament is celebrated weekly. But this is the true state of the case: the people of this band have virtually abandoned their pagan rites, and have declared publicly their intention to become Christians and civilized men. They have thus given themselves and their children up, by coming to us for advice, and in attending the daily Ojibwa service in the House of Prayer, which has been erected in their midst and consecrated to the perpetual adoration of Jehovah. Christmas Day, just past, is one of those periods in life, from which we count anew the growth of a system. We had celebrated the Nativity before in these woods, and in this rustic Temple of the LORD; but it may be said, until now, it was an effort on the part of the Missionary and his White assistants to make it real. Now, however, the life appeared in the people themselves.
The happy appointment of the season of Advent afforded a fitting opportunity to prepare the minds of all for the Great Festival. At the opening of this season, I had told them of the much that had been done for them by their brethren amongst the Whites abroad, and that it was their duty now to do something for the spread of the Gospel amongst their own people further West, who yet were sitting in darkness; and we gave them the Scripture rule of laying aside a portion each week according as GOD should prosper them. In the school of the Mission, one half day in each week was devoted to work for this object, and it was very gratifying to see the girls deeply interested in sewing, and the boys in chopping wood to earn something for the Christmas offering. This occupation, with the daily services, and the more special teaching of the season itself, together with the decorations customary for the Nativity, quite well filled up the time of Advent.
At length the eve of the Festival came, but nothing marked it as peculiar, except that the children of the Mission House and of the wigwams were very busy in bringing to the good matron, their special friend, stockings and little bags for the reception of any offerings that Santa Claus might make them. For this friend of all good Christian children has found his way into even this wilderness, and has love to spare for the little ones of the forest, as well as for those who dwell in walled cities. After meeting the communicants for instruction previous to the administration of the Holy Eucharist on the Nativity, all retired to their houses or wigwams with all that quiet which so often prepares the way for special events. The night was intensely cold--40° below zero--the mercury frozen in the bulb! Nothing broke the stillness of the night, save the tread of some watcher as he passed to and fro between the Mission House and the Church. At length 4 o'clock arrived, and the bells of the church and Mission House answered each other, vying m their most jubilant ringing in of a SAVIOUR born for the Red Man too. And do you think the Indian, the pagan of three years ago, will answer to so early a call to prayer? You will not doubt when you enter the church at the next ringing, yet three hours before the sunrise, and witness the Church full of Christian and pagan Chippeways. It was even so; and more than this, there was evidently the living Temple also here to unite in the numerous chants and songs of praise that distinguished this native service. I had told them, in Advent, of the early visit of the Shepherds to the infant SAVIOUR, and they now followed their example with all readiness of mind. They had been instructed in the devotion of the Magi to CHRIST, and now after the discourse was over, to give more point to their first offering, I had a young man, who is in course of preparation for the Sacred Ministry, hold the alms-basin at the chancel gate, and during the reading of the sentences in Ojibwa, the people came up, one by one, and deposited their offerings upon it. At the close of the service, the sum was found to be $59.90. This has been sent to Nashotah to assist in educating some one for the Indian field. In the Spring, we intend to make another offering for the same purpose, perhaps at Whitsuntide. In the Summer we shall set apart a portion of land to be cultivated by native hands, that the proceeds may be for an Autumnal Thanksgiving offering to be devoted in the same manner. It may be this people will be able to support one student entirely.
But to return to the early service. At the close of the first, the communicants alone remained to participate in the highest of the church mysteries. When these were concluded, the-glorious sun was just rising, and at the Mission House, we found old and young assembled to greet and be greeted with a kiss of peace, which was a custom established, for certain occasions, before our coming among them. This was the proper time for bringing forth the children's stockings and bags. Were Santa Claus in any sense present, I am sure he must have felt very happy in the consciousness of having won for himself the lasting title of the children's friend'; for many young hearts were now made glad at receiving back again their little property well filled with sugar-plums, nuts, and candies, such as they had never known before Christians came amongst them. But on this intensely cold morning, we were glad to have it in our power to add something more substantial than these. Our kind friends abroad had sent us a quantity of ready-made clothing the past summer. Now was a most fitting opportunity to dispense their charity, and we were able to give two or more articles to each Christian man, woman, and child. And to the pagan attendants at the early service, we gave some of the products of the Mission farm, thus making all hearts twice glad.
All was now quiet again, until 11 o'clock, when the bells a second time announced Divine Service, and the church was soon filled with worshippers. A baptism of two adults and three children distinguished this service. It is very necessary for us to throw more of the outward ceremonial into the ministration of religion amongst a simple-minded people such as these, than would be required with you. Besides, we especially prefer that the blanket should be concealed from view at the time the Sacraments are administered. Hence, at Baptism and Confirmation, all the candidates, both male and female, are clothed in plain white garments, which are kept in the Mission for these occasions. When the Bishop visited us in October last, it was very beautiful to see sixteen adults walking in procession from the Mission House to the church, all clothed in this appropriate manner to receive the laying on of hands.
During the past year I had the happiness to baptize thirty-five Chippeways; and three more, who had been baptized abroad by the Romanists, I also received by signing them with the sign of the Cross, at the time others were received into the Church by Holy Baptism. During the past year we have lost but one by death, and this an infant whose pagan mother died in childbirth.
And besides this death, only two other deaths have occurred amongst the Christians, and these were children, one of whom was not expected to live when I baptized him. I make mention of this matter, because the popular belief of the Indian was, and a very deeply implanted one too, that if any were baptized they would die at an early day after the Sacrament, for they could no longer be assisted by the "Grand Medicine" as their pagan religion is styled. So that we have had the most powerful of prejudices to contend against in convincing them to the contrary. Moreover they believe the pagans and Christians will occupy two distinct abodes in the world to come. To come amongst an ancient people and change their religion and manner of life in spiritual and temporal respects is indeed a most difficult task; but, with the Divine Help, we hope it has already been largely effected here. A proof of this is the following: During the past year two families, whose parents were yet pagan, but who had given up some children to Baptism, upon losing infants, came to us requesting baptism (at that too late hour) for their children. I consented to give them burial, which satisfied them. Whilst speaking on the subject of Baptism, let me add that on the Third Sunday in Lent, we hope to receive four more adults into the Christian Fold, besides some children. One of the adults is mother to one of the children that died without Baptism.
To return to Christmas Day. A third service was held at night, when the church was again illuminated, specially the chancel, as it had been in the morning. A young couple of Christian Indians were now united together in the holy estate of matrimony, which afforded a good opportunity for discoursing on the nature of Christian marriage. At the close of the last service of the day, the male portion of the congregation met for the organization of the parish of St. Columba, which was done in due form. The wardens and vestrymen then elected delegates to the primary Convention in May next.
Thus in three years has the Church, coming amongst a purely a°-an people, so turned them from their heathenism as to make a Christian and civilized and industrious community. I could add much more, but dare not intrude longer upon your time. But the argument arising out of this is two-fold for the vitality of our branch of the Catholic Church. She has done the work here; and more, the Church at the East has done the work too. For without any support from any specially pledged source, a band of Missionaries has been supported, many native children kept at school, and an average of twenty, constantly beneath the Mission roof, entirely fed and clothed by the offerings of the faithful. The last year, however, we received some substantial support from the Indian school-fund; but this has since ceased in consequence of a new treaty, so that we are again thrown. wholly upon the general offerings of the friends of the Red Man. Indians to the Northwest of us are calling aloud for help. The Romanists have offered to go, but the chiefs ask for those who will teach them civilization, as well as make Christians of them. They have called me before their Agent (a United States Officer) and begged that I might come and teach them. They are a band of 1100 souls. If a Missionary can be found for this place, I have resolved upon going again into the wilderness. By dividing this band of Missionaries, and adding two more, we shall be able to accomplish it. But of this, more hereafter. I should have been glad to enlarge upon the private discipline we find necessary for educating these people in the faith. But it must suffice to know at present that all the baptized, confirmed, and communicants meet me in private classes for instruction, twice and three times in each week, after the daily service (which is in Ojibwa) has been said.