ANNIVERSARY OF HIS CONSECRATION.
PRESS OF WILLIAM F. FELL & CO.,
Ashley, E. Presbyter. Sisseton Agency, D.T.
Burt, H. Presbyter. Crow Creek Agency, D.T.
Cleveland, W.J. Presbyter. Rosebud Agency, D.T.
Cook, C.S. Presbyter. Pine Ridge Agency, D.T.
Deloria, P.J. Deacon. Fort Yates, D.T.
Fowler, W.W. Presbyter. Minneapolis, Minn.
Robinson, John. Deacon. Pine Ridge Agency, D.T.
Ross, Amos. Deacon. Pine Ridge Agency, D.T.
Stroh, C. R. Presbyter. Santee Agency, Neb.
Tatiyopi, David. Deacon. Crow Creek Agency, D.T.
Taylor, Joseph C. Deacon. Rosebud Agency, D.T.
Tuttle, Isaac H. Deacon. Choteau Creek P.O., D.T.
Walker, Luke C. Presbyter. Lower Brule Agency, D.T.
Weddell, F.M. Deacon. Rosebud Agency, D.T.
Van Deerlin, E.J.H. Presbyter. Rosebud Agency, D.T.
Barrington, A.H. Presbyter. Watertown, D.T.
Babcock, J.H. Presbyter. Mitchell, D.T.
Bohn, C.H. Presbyter. Yankton, D.T.
Doherty, R.M. Deacon. Faribault, Minn.
Flowers, G. W. Presbyter. Pierre, D.T.
Gardiner, F., Jr. Presbyter. Sioux Falls, D.T.
Harris, W.J. D.D., Presbyter.
Himes, J. V. Presbyter. Elk Point, D.T.
Jones, J. Nelson. Presbyter.
Molineux, J. H. Deacon. Sioux Falls, D.T.
Morris, John. Presbyter. Mitchell, D.T.
McBride, J. M. Presbyter. Aberdeen, D.T.
Potter, C.A. Deacon. Huron, D.T.
Robinson, M.S. Deacon. Hurley, D.T.
Sanford, D. A. Presbyter. Woonsocket, D.T.
Whaling, J.R. Deacon. Lead City, D.T.
Wicks, W.J. Presbyter. Springfield, D.T.
of Bishop W. H. Hare's elevation to the Episcopate was very fittingly celebrated in this city yesterday (January 10th), the day following the exact date of his consecration.
In the morning at 10.30 services were held in Calvary Cathedral, on which occasion the Bishop gave some personal reminiscences of his life as bishop, and stated why he had accepted the duties of the high office. After this the Clergy present held a conference on Diocesan matters pertaining to Church Work in South Dakota, which meeting lasted until 2.30.
The visiting Clergy and others then repaired to All Saints' School, where an elegant dinner had been arranged by Calvary Parish, at which twenty-four guests sat down.
After dinner, toasts and responses were given as follows:--
"The Bishop." Response by Bishop Hare.
"The Parishes and Missions." Rev. J. V. Himes.
"South Dakota." Rev. J. H. Babcock.
"The Clergy." D. R. Bailey, Esq.
"Laity and Ladies' Guilds." Bishop Hare.
"Cathedral Corporation." Rev. F. Gardinger, Jr.
"The Niobrara Deanery." Rev. J. W. Handford.
In the evening, before the guests began to assemble for the public reception, a very happy episode occurred, of which Bishop Hare was the central figure, and the recipient of a [3/4] very elegant set of Episcopal robes. Rev. J. H. Babcock, of Mitchell, made the presentation speech, as follows:--
Rev. Father in God: This presentation of a Bishop's Robes is the first that has occurred in the history of our youthful diocese. We who have the privilege of making it wish that it may be regarded as an expression both of our gratitude to Almighty God, the giver of all good gifts, and also of our love and respect for our fellow-man who has been placed over us in the Lord. The gift itself is small; but to us it implies much. It means, first of all, that we can, as we ought to be, thankful that during these fifteen years we have had a leader who is fearless and prudent in conducting our Christian warfare; an overseer of the vineyard who is himself a diligent laborer; a preacher of the gospel who, rightly dividing the word of truth, boldly declares the whole counsel of God; a father, who, by precept and example, promotes peace and good works among the members of the household. It means, also, that we duly honor the diligence and fidelity, and thoughtfulness and perseverance with which the weighty duties of your solemn office have been performed, and appreciate the loving kindness and sympathy that have gone out from the heart of our Chief Pastor to the people of his flock. We are glad, also, to express hereby our unfeigned pleasure at being able honestly and sincerely to congratulate all Christian people in South Dakota upon the abundant blessing that has been bestowed upon this field while it has been under your spiritual charge. In the increase of true religion that has followed the increased teachings of the Gospel of Christ in His kingdom, we find good reason to thank God and take courage.
Moreover, we think that we ought to feel encouraged, not only by the success that has crowned our honest endeavors, but also by the trials and hindrances and opposition that we have been called to meet; for these have put us on our mettle, as well as made us show what kind of men we are. Especially may we be thankful concerning the charges and attacks lately made upon your character--which charges, though made against yourself alone, yet, of course, affect us all; for we are members one of another, and if any member suffer, all the members suffer with it. Even for these accusations we may be thankful, because they have been [4/5] the means of revealing a noble character, and of calling forth a general expression of love and admiration--love of the man, admiration of the Bishop; love for his gentleness, charity and impartiality; admiration of ins patience, firmness and conscientious discharge of duty. Out of a great evil has resulted one great good--it has shown to us all the gratifying fact that there can exist a union of true love and strict justice, even in the soul of one of our fellows. It has drawn out many expressions like that which appeared in one of the papers of our own See City: "Nothing whatever can shake the firm belief of the people of Dakota in the integrity and purity of Bishop Hare."
The old robes put on at your consecration have worn well; doubtless they have performed their part better than any of us have ours; at last they have yielded to the wear and tear that befall all things that accompany a Bishop in his travels. May these new ones do as good service--only may they not last so long. Rather, may they be used so constantly that they will soon have to be replaced. May your long and happy life of continuous diligence and usefulness require many similar presentations at the returns of this joyous anniversary. And may the wasting of these, our present garments, that perish so quickly in the using, cause us all so faithfully to fulfill our trusts, that one day the Great Bishop and Shepherd of our souls may clothe us in the imperishable robes of His righteousness.
In reply, Bishop Hare, who was thoroughly taken by surprise, said--
"What can I say to you in returning my heartfelt thanks? I remember well the first time I put on my Episcopal Robes. I felt so small. There came to my mind those words of King Solomon, 'I am but a little child, and know not how to go out or how to come in. How shall I rule this Thy so great people Israel?'"
He spoke of the great difficulty of realizing the office of a Bishop in this age and among a people like ours, who unite with a desire for decisive leadership a keen sense of individual rights. He referred also to the special difficulties with which he was confronted and beset, thrown, as he was, into a whirlpool of conflicting interests and opinions, where he soon discovered a Bishop was needed who [5/6] could not be intimidated, inveigled, bribed, cajoled, or hoodwinked. His resolve had been that suggested for St. John Baptist's Day, to "Constantly speak the truth, boldly rebuke vice and patiently suffer for the truth's sake." He continued: "I believe in individual rights, and although in my haste to secure results, I may have trodden on the individual rights of others, I have not done so intentionally, and I hope I never shall do so knowingly." In conclusion he said: "I know not how to thank you, except, perhaps, in the expressive words which an Indian once used to me: 'The sun seems to shine brighter when you are near. You are my backbone; you are the cane that I walk with.'"
Mr. R. W. Folds, the Senior Warden of Calvary Church, then presented the Bishop with the following resolutions:--
SIOUX FALLS, January 9th, 1888.
At a special meeting of the Vestry the following resolutions were adopted
Resolved, That we, the Wardens and Vestrymen of Calvary Cathedral, hereby offer our congratulations to Rt. Rev. William H. Hare, on this, the fifteenth anniversary of his consecration as Bishop.
Resolved, That we desire to express our hearty thanks for his timely counsel and goodly admonitions, as well for the tender care with which he has nurtured this Church to its present prosperity.
Resolved, That we truly feel that we have in our beloved Bishop a Father in God who, by patience and self-denial, has ever gone before us as an example in the work for the Lord, and trust we may long have his spiritual guidance and advice.
R. W. FOLDS, Senior Warden.
G. W. LEWIS, Junior Warden.
JOHN S. LEWIS,
E. G. WRIGHT,
C. H. MUMBY,
S. A. BROWN, M.D.
The people then began to assemble, and those in attendance upon the presentation services repaired to the parlors, and the Bishop, assisted by Miss Ellen Peabody and Rev. and Mrs. Frederick Gardner, Rev. J. V. Heines and Mrs. J. S. Lewis and others received the guests as they were ushered in by the young gentlemen of St. Andrew's Guild. After arrivals ceased, music was rendered by some of the ladies and gentlemen present, and a generally enjoyable and informal evening was spent, until 11 o'clock.
NOTE.--This account is taken largely from the Sioux Falls Press, of January 11th, 1888.
THIS anniversary, which you, my dear friends, have kindly come together to make memorable, seems not only to justify, but to invite from me, some personal reminiscences and some retrospective glances of the work in which, as a Bishop, I have been engaged.
On All Saints' Day (Nov. 1), 1872, I was waited upon by two members of the Commission then charged with the care of the Indian Mission work of our Church, and informed that the House of Bishops had elected me to be Missionary Bishop of Niobrara.
Niobrara was the name of a river running along the border line between Nebraska and Dakota, And had been chosen as a convenient term in Ecclesiastical nomenclature for the large tract of country of which then little was known, save that it stretched northward from the river Niobrara, and was roamed over by the Poncas and different tribes of Sioux or Dakota Indians.
The Jurisdiction proper of the Missionary Bishop of Niobrara was originally a tract of country bounded "on the east by the Missouri River; on the south by the State of Nebraska; on the west by the 104th Meridian, the Territory of Wyoming, and Nebraska; on the north by the 46th degree of north latitude; including also the several Indian Reservations on the left bank of the Missouri, north and east of said river." In order, however, to give unity and compactness to the effort of the Church for the Indian tribes, the Missionary Bishop of Niobrara was also authorized to take charge of such missionary work among Indians east of the Rocky Mountains, as might be [8/9] transferred to his oversight by the Bishops within whose Jurisdiction such work might lie.
The news of my election was utterly unexpected, and fell upon me like a thunderbolt from a clear sky. The honor was almost too much for my small stock of virtue. I was at the time Secretary and General Agent of the Foreign Mission Work of this Church, and deeply immersed, body, mind and heart, in the work of making known the Gospel among the heathen in distant lands. I had but a year before been elected by the House of Bishops to the Missionary Episcopate of Cape Palmas and parts adjacent in Africa, but this action of the Bishops had not been allowed to come before me. The House of Deputies, in language complimentary to me, which I may not quote, represented to the House of Bishops that injury would be done to the Foreign Missionary work of the Church by my withdrawal from the office of Foreign Secretary, and the House of Bishops reconsidered their appointment. (See Journal of General Convention, 1871, pp. 227-228).
I fell into the habit of considering that this action virtually determined that my vocation should be for many years that of Secretary and General Agent for the Foreign Work. My. sense of the practical worth of that enterprise had strengthened every month I was connected with it; and my conviction deepened that that department of the Church's enterprises can never be either relinquished or disparaged so long as "neighbor" means any one near or far off to whom we may do good, nor so long as the Church believes that her creation and her mission are not of man, but of GOD, and that her resources are not merely an aggregate of human agencies nor an aggregate of money collections only, but "the powers of the world to come." My heart had become knit in, too, with the brave standard bearers of the Church in heathen lands, and tears filled my eyes as I thought of even seeming to desert the army in the field, and leave it uncertain about its base of supplies. [9/10] Moreover, a domestic tie of tender sacredness bound me to my home.
My first thought was to decline; and I informed my visitors that it would take me but a few hours to decide, and if the House of Bishops would remain in session, they should have my answer without delay. But the House had done its duty and adjourned, arid left me to decide what was mine. The call was most solemn. It was from an authority that was next to that of the Head of the Church Himself. It came to one who held the opinion that the opposition of the individual judgment and will to the summons of the Church is almost fatal to her prompt and efficient conduct of her Missionary campaign, and should never be ventured except for reasons of paramount importance.
As I afterward came to see, I had been led through a course of preparation for such a. summons. Though born and bred at the East, I had spent six months in Michigan and Minnesota, in 1863, and there seen something of the Indian problem. I had seen that there was nothing in the van of civilization to ameliorate the condition of the Red man, because the van of civilization is often its vilest off-scourings: that its first representatives generally despise the Indians, and condescend to them in nothing but the gratification of inordinate appetites and desires; and that when civilization of a better class appears, it is too often so bent on its own progress, and so far from helpful or kindly, that its advance, like that of a railroad train at full speed, dashes in pieces those unlucky wanderers who happen to stand in its way, and leaves the others with only a more discouraging sense of the length of the road, and the slowness with which they make their way along it. In a town in Michigan I had seen Indians made drunk on the Fourth of July, and employed by white men to perform diabolical antics to attract men to liquor saloons. But schools for Indians, there were none. In Minnesota I had read in the daily papers the offer of the State of $250 for [10/11] the scalp of any Indian delivered at a designated office. I had returned to the East the Indian's advocate; and while on many subjects connected with the Indians I was not in haste to reach a conclusion, I had become convinced of this: that the Indian's claim upon the Church of Christ was most sacred; and that I had seen nothing to lead me to think that there was anything in the Indian problem to drive us to either quackery or despair. It would find its solution, under the favor of GOD, in the faithful execution of the powers committed by GOD to the Civil Government, and a common-sense administration of the gracious gifts deposited with His Church.
I thought then, I think now, that good and patriotic men cannot blink the Indian problem. It stares them in the face. If ever the warning of the wise man be in season, it is in this case: "If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; if thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not He that pondereth the heart consider it? and He that keepeth thy soul, doth not He know it? and shall not He render to every man according to his works?"
Discussions of the probable future of the Indians were, it seemed to me, beside the question, and dangerous, because they drown the call of present duty. Suppose these people be designed by Providence to be hewers of wood and drawers of water. Our duty is to fit them for that lot. Suppose that they are to be merged in our more numerous race. Our duty is to fit them for that absorption by intermarriage, and so arrest the present vicious intermingling. Suppose that they are to die out. Our duty is to prepare them for their departure. Our duty is the plainer, because the treatment which will fit these people for any one of these lots will fit them for either of the others.
The issue of all my cogitating was--I accepted the appointment.
The presiding Bishop determined upon Thursday after the Feast of the Epiphany, January 9th, 1873, as the time, and St. Luke's Church, Philadelphia, with which I [11/12] had been intimately connected in my early ministry, as the place for my consecration, and I was then and there duly consecrated.
A number of circumstances combined to add to the interest of the occasion. I was only thirty-four years of age; only one of the Bishops of our Church had been consecrated when so young. When consecrated, I made the one hundredth Bishop in the line of the American Episcopate. The Bishop consecrated next before me was my father-in-law, a man of twice my age. My grandfather, Bishop Hobart, of New York, had been distinguished for his Missionary efforts in behalf of the Indians--the Oneidas and other tribes of the Six Nations--in New York, and these Oneidas had been removed to Wisconsin, and were to be placed under the care of his grandson. In fact, my first visitation on leaving the East was to the Oneida Mission. Many whom Bishop Hobart confirmed in New York State, fifty years before, brought their grandchildren to be confirmed by his grandson.
I was desirous of studying the condition of the semi-civilized Indians before going to the wilder tribes of the Northwest, and therefore first made a visit to the Indian Territory of the Southwest. While I was en route, the whole country was plunged into a frenzy of excitement, and of denunciation of the whole Indian race, by the Modoc massacre, and the mouths of many sober men were filled with calls for revenge, such as at other times they were wont to denounce as the characteristic of the vindictive Sioux. The general of the army telegraphed a subordinate that he would be "fully justified in the utter extermination" of the Modocs, Friends wrote me that a blow had been struck at all efforts for the Indians which was simply fatal, conclusive; and that it would be folly in me to persist. I pressed on, nevertheless, only lamenting that the treachery of a handful of Indians was allowed by an intelligent people to govern opinion, while the good [12/13] behavior of tens of thousands of Indians was utterly forgotten.
From the Indian Territory I made my way to Dakota, like Abraham, who went out not knowing whither he went. I reached Yankton City April 29th, 1873. A military officer, to whom I was there introduced as being the Missionary Bishop to the Indians, somewhat bluntly replied: "Indeed! I don't envy you your task." I recalled the words, "Let not him who putteth on his armor boast himself as he that putteth it off;" and simply replied, "A minister, like a military officer, obeys orders." Whatever was uncertain, I was at least sure of my commission.
My arrival in Yankton occurred just after one of the most memorable storms that Dakota has ever known, and the effects of it were plainly to be seen in the carcasses of cattle which had perished in it, and in huge banks of snow which lay still unmelted. The storm had overtaken Custer's celebrated cavalry, while they were encamped about a mile or two outside the town of Yankton, and brave men, who never quailed before the foe, had fled in complete rout before the tempest, and taken refuge in any house where they could find a shelter, leaving all their camp equipment and horses to their fate.
From Yankton I passed up the Missouri River, along which the main body of the Missionary enterprise of our Church among the Indians was then located. I found that Missionary work had been established on the Santee, Yankton and Ponca Reserves, and three brave young Deacons, fresh from the Berkeley Divinity School, had, the previous fall, pressed up the river and begun the task of opening the way for Missionary effort among the Indians of the Lower Brule, the Crow Creek and Cheyenne River Reserves.
Altogether, there were, besides three natives, five white clergymen and five ministering women. I could not then, I cannot now, admire enough the courage with [13/14] which these Soldiers of Christ had entered upon the work and the fortitude with which they persevered in it. Their entrance upon it was largely, of necessity, a leap in the dark, and their continuance in it a groping where there was no light and no trodden way. They had made the wild man their companion, an unknown heathenism their field of labor, and the wilderness their home. Nor could I but wonder at the grand faith, the dauntless conviction of duty and the tremendous moral energy of the one man--William Welsh--who had both excited and backed their efforts by his zeal, his counsel and his wealth.
The missionaries above referred to have since been joined by others of like spirit with the best of them. They deserve the encomium which I admiringly bestowed upon them in one of my annual reports: "Brave leaders in the vanguard of civilization! Patient pioneers removing prejudices and other obstructions, and preparing the way for day schools and boarding schools and all the good things that accompany the progress of the King! Faithful guides, too, to the Indians amid the perplexities which surround them, especially as they pass through their present transition stage."
But what about the Indians? I had read much of what had been written, by delighted visitors, of the heartiness and reverence with which the services of the Church were rendered by these humble people. And all that was ever written I found more than realized when it was my privilege to kneel with them in their little sanctuaries. I could understand how the brave, self-denying missionaries to whom I had come could feel, regarding their converts, as the Apostle exclaims: "What thanks can we render to God for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God?" I found that a great deal of true and effective work had been done--work which has affected the whole after-history of the Mission.
It was not long before I saw both sides of Indian. life. The better side said a shewd Christian Yankton chief; as I was about to leave the rude chapel erected among his [14/15] people: "Stop, friend, I have a few words to say. I am glad to hear you are going to visit the wild, upper tribes. Companies of them often come down to visit my band, and I always take them to see this chapel. I think a good deal depends upon the impression my chapel. makes on them. I think if it was put in better order it would make a better impression than it does. The rain and snow come through that roof. This floor is not even. Now, you are called an Apostle. That is a good name. I believe it means 'one sent.' But there are many people to whom you are sent to whom you cannot go; for they are wild people. But these visitors of mine go everywhere and tell everywhere what they have seen." The wilder side, too, I saw; for among the Lower Brules, a fellow rode up by the side of our party, with an airy, reckless, dare-devil manner, and remarked, as he flourished his weapon: "I want my boy to go to school, but I am an old man. I am wounded all over. I like to fight. I love war. I went off the other day among some strange Indians. They said: 'Go away, or we'll kill you.' 'Kill away,' said I; 'that's what I like.'" He was type of hundreds and thousands. But is it an unheard-of thing for white men to hate the restraints of religion and morality for themselves, and yet wish them for their children?
The scenes grew wilder as I pushed farther on. A service held at the Cheyenne River Agency, in the open air, left a deep impression on my mind. It was a strange scene. In front of us, forty or fifty feet distant, rolled the Missouri River. Nearer at hand, grouped in a semicircle, fringed with a few curious soldiers and employés of the Agency, sat the Indians; many bedecked with paint and feathers and carrying guns and tomahawks; some in a soberer guise, betokening that they were inclining to the white man's ways; while all gazed, apparently half amused, half awe-struck, at the vested Missionary of the Station as he sang the hymns and offered the prayers of the Church, and then at the Indian deacon and at me, as we spoke the words of Life.
After a study of the field, and much conversation with the clergy, I reached some conclusions, and began to lay out settled plans of work.
1ST. MAPPING OUT THE FIELD.--I soon saw that my work was not to be that of a settled pastor in daily contact with his flock; but that of a general superintendent, whose duty it would be to reach the people through their pastors; not so much to do local work as to make local work possible and easy for others.
The whole field was therefore mapped out into divisions, these divisions being ordinarily the territory connected with a United States Indian Agency. The special care of each of them was entrusted to one experienced Presbyter, and around him were grouped the Indian ministers and catechists and others who were engaged in evangelistic work within his division.
Their pay, I arranged, should pass to them not directly from me, or from the Board, but through the hands of the Presbyters immediately over them, that the responsibility of the assistants to their respective chiefs might be duly felt. These assistants were to reside near their several chapels and conduct the services there, and monthly the chief missionary was to make his visitation, for the purpose of ministering the Word and Sacraments and inspecting the condition of his field. The whole field was soon, in this way, put in manageable shape.
2D. BOARDING SCHOOLS.--My visit to the Indian Territory and my study of the Indian problem in my own field, convinced me quite early that the Boarding School ought to be one of the most prominent features of our Missionary work.
I thought that children gathered in such schools would soon become, in their neat and orderly appearance, their increasing intelligence, and their personal testimony to the loving and disinterested lives of the missionaries with whom they dwelt, living epistles, known and read of their wilder brethren. They would form the nuclei of congregations [16/17] at the chapels connected with the schools, and learn to carry on with spirit the responses and music of the services.
I also proposed to establish a central Boarding School of higher grade, at the place of the Bishop's residence, to be conducted under his immediate supervision, to which the other schools should be tributary by furnishing their most promising boys for education as Teachers, Catechists and Missionaries.
This plan was carried out, and thus grew up the St. Paul's, St. Mary's, St. John's and Hope Indian Boarding Schools, which, under their respective heads, have won a deservedly high reputation. St. Paul's Boarding School was the first venture in this line among the Indians, in Dakota.
The last feature of the plan was modified later, when the establishment at the East of schools for the Indians, like Hampton Institute, offered peculiar advantages in the way of higher education. It then seemed to be wiser to send out of the Indian country to these schools the pupils who had proved themselves of most promise and most likely to develop into teachers and ministers.
3D. LIMITATIONS.--I next realized that, as no man can do everything, I must eliminate from my plan of work those things which it was not absolutely necessary for me to do, and devote my attention to those things which no one else could or would do, and to the things most essential in one holding the position and placed in the conditions in which I found myself.
There stretched before me vast tracts of wild country inhabited by roaming tribes. It was to be my duty to explore them and make a way for the entrance of the church. There were in the whole district but five churches and but two dwellings for the missionaries, and not a single Boarding School. The Missionary Board employed no business agent in the field, and I saw that I must be a builder of parsonages, schools, and churches. There were but seven clergymen in the mission; I saw [17/18] that I must seek out, or raise up, more. Obstacles of varied and peculiar nature met the workers at every turn. I saw that I must be their friend, counsellor and comforter--a real pastor of pastors--if I could be. Large funds would be needed. I was made to feel thin it was left largely to me to raise them. "The Mission had two ends," I was told; "one in the East, where the money was, and the other in the Indian Territory, where the work was. I was expected to look after both ends."
I gave up, therefore, all thought of ever learning the several native languages with which I was confronted, except so far as was necessary in order to read the vernacular service. It is my associates, and not I, who have mastered the native languages and proclaimed to the Indians, in their own tongue, the wonderful works of God.
Now a few words as to my general views on the Indian question. I soon came to look upon everything as provisional--to quote from one of my annual reports--which, if permanently maintained, would tend to make Indian life something separate from the common life of our country: a solid foreign mass indigestible by our common civilization. I saw that just because it has been an indigestible mass has our civilization been all these years constantly trying to vomit it, and so get rid of a cause of discomfort. Ordinary laws must have their way. All reservations, whether the reserving of land from the ordinary laws of settlement, or the reserving of the Indian nationality from absorption into ours, or the reserving of old tribal superstitions and notions and habits from the natural process of decadence, or the reserving of the Indian language from extinction, are only necessary evils or but temporary expedients. Safety for 250,000 Indians divided up into over a hundred tribes speaking as many different languages, scattered on about seventy different reservations among 50,000,000 of English speaking people can be found, only if the smaller people flow in with the current [18/19] of the life and ways of the larger. The Indians are not an insulated people, like some of the islanders of the South Sea. Our work is not that of building up a National Indian Church with, a nationa4 Liturgy in the Indian tongue. It is rather that of resolving the Indian structure and preparing its parts for being taken up into the great whole in Church and State.
From the first, therefore, I struggled against the notion that we were missionaries to Indians alone and not missionaries to all men; I pressed the study of the English language and its conversational use in our schools, and, however imperfect my efforts, the aim of them has been to break down "the middle wall of partition" between whites and Indians, and to seek not the welfare of one class or race, but the common good.
The character of the work to be done appears from the fact that the Indians with whom the Mission has had to deal were some of the most reckless and the wildest of our North American Tribes, and scattered over a district some parts of which were twelve days' travel distant from others. So desolate was the country that on one of my trips I remember not seeing a human face or a human habitation, not even an Indian lodge, for eight days. Emissaries of evil had reached the Indians long before the Missionaries of the Cross appeared. "All the white men that came before you," replied a chief, "said that they had come to do us good, but they stole our goods and corrupted our women; and how are we to know that you are different?"
Such were some of the difficulties, but notwithstanding them all, and despite all shortcomings, the missionaries have penetrated the most distant camps and reached the wildest of the tribes. We have missions now among the Sissetons, Wahpetons, Santees, Yanktons, Lower Brulés, [19/20] Yanktonnais, Blackfeet, Sans Arcs, Oncpapas, Minneconjoux, Two Kettles, Upper Brulés, and Ogalalas.
The blessing which has attended the labors of the missionaries appears from the fact that in 1872 there were but six congregations, and in 1887 there are forty-five.
Twelve years ago there was not to be found among any of these Indians a single Boarding School! We have now four in successful operation, with about forty children in each.
We have three commodious, substantial Boarding School Buildings, and a vast and once desolate country is dotted over with thirty neat churches and chapels, and eighteen small but comfortable mission residences. [The fourth is conducted in a Government building.] No recess in the wilderness is so retired that you may not, perhaps, find a little chapel in it. All these buildings have been erected without government subsidies, by the gifts of generous friends.
The clergy have presented for confirmation during my Episcopate nearly fifteen hundred candidates; seven faithful Indians are serving in the sacred ministry, four having died; and the offerings of our native Christians have increased since we were able to make a systematic effort in this behalf, as indicated in the following statement:--
The money for all the thirty churches and eighteen parsonages referred to above, except three, passed through my hands, and the buildings were put up tinder my supervision. I know, therefore, their condition, and am glad to report that they are all of them entirely free from encumbrance and debt of any kind, except one of the Santee chapels, on which the Western Church Building Society holds a mortgage of $100.
If I had not discovered it before, the events of 1875 made it plain that I should soon be the messenger of the church to white people as well as Indians.
The discovery of gold, in 1875, in a part of the great Sioux Reservation, known as the Black Hills, set a large part of our western population aflame, and hundreds of adventurers during that year, in open violation of the law and the proclamation of the Executive, invaded this portion of the Indians' land, and took possession of it.
I was outspoken in my denunciation of this flagrant violation of the sacred obligations of a great to a weak people. I foresaw, however, that no power on earth could shut our white people out from that country if it really contained valuable deposits of gold or other mineral. I went, therefore, to Washington and urged upon the President that a commission of experts should be sent out to explore the country, and that, should they report the presence of gold, steps should be taken to secure a surrender of the tract in question from the Indians on equitable terms: This was eventually done.
The Government had at first been prompt and decided in requiring the removal of the intruders; then it weakened and prevaricated; and soon the desire for the acquisition of this country was so ardent and influential, that the Government was practically driven to negotiate with the Indians to secure a voluntary sale of the coveted territory, as the only resort from the danger of a popular movement which should snatch it from them by force.
The Black Hills were thus thrown open to settlement, and I made there my first efforts in the line of establishing the church among the white people of Dakota.
In 1883, an important step was taken by the House of Bishops, which gave my Missionary District its present size and shape. The House passed the following resolution:--
"Resolved, That the boundaries of the Missionary Jurisdiction of Niobrara be so changed as to make it [21/22] identical in outline and area with that portion of the Territory of Dakota lying south of the forty-sixth parallel of latitude, and so as to include the Santee Indian Reservation in Nebraska.
"Resolved, That the name of this Jurisdiction be changed from Niobrara to South Dakota."
The change was altogether acceptable to me. It was an evidence of confidence at a time when a number of influences and schemes, to whose success my presence and continuance in office were a menace, had combined against me and had culminated in an onslaught, which had met a temporary success. The change detached from my district territory on the north, remote, and, to me, difficult of access, and it gave me country on the east, near at hand and on the line of railroads, thus making it possible for me to do twice the amount of work with little increase of travel or labor, and it gave me the opportunity and privilege of active intercourse with the people who are to control the destiny of this part of our land, a people of high intelligence and wonderful enterprise.
I received a cordial welcome to the new part of my field, from the clergy and people. If preferences had been thwarted by my appointment, the fact was kindly forgotten or considerately hidden from my eye. I had soon met each and every one of the missionaries in the respective fields and drunk in their counsel. All felt cheered that the Church had at last brought the Mission in Dakota out from a corner, and all had a mind to work.
The venerable Dean of Dakota, Dr. Hoyt, gave me at once his confidence and help, and before long, his love. He had reached seventy-six years of age, his body had become infirm, but his mind was vigorous, his heart warm, his zeal for the work unabated, and his will firm and rock-like. He looked forward to what might yet be in Southern Dakota, as Moses looked from Pisgah upon the land of promise. He offered himself for any field which I thought he could profitably work. When, later, sickness laid him by, he wrote me, "I am dying of ennui--Give me work. Let [22/23] me have a trial; if I don't succeed, I'll come back to my prison." His last work was at Scotland. He took it up with boy-like hope and lived to see a fine house of God covered in from the weather and almost completed, and then turned his eyes toward the Father's house where there are many mansions, and died.
I found the condition of the new district assigned me that of depression. Dakota, in the days of its quickest growth, had been allowed to remain as an appendage to Nebraska--of itself a huge diocese--and dragged after a Bishop whose rare gifts of mind and heart were overtaxed by the imperative demands of his own diocese. When opportunities had been great and others, had been busy, our Church had been comparatively inactive.
I thought that some one palpable want should be met in some distinct, striking way, met immediately, met well, met completely. If this were done, it would show that, notwithstanding past inactivity, we were ready to make brave ventures and could do good things well. It would thus inspire enthusiasm and confidence.
With this end in view ALL SAINTS' SCHOOL was undertaken. I hoped to be able to push it to completion without delay, to make it a building which would attract the eye and win admiration, and dedicate it free from any and every kind of lien and encumbrance. The enterprising and generous spirit of the people of Sioux Falls and the munificent gifts of friends at the East enabled me to carry out my design. The corner stone was laid September, 1884, and the building was ready for use September, 1885, and stands to-day, with the five-acre tract on which it is placed, free from encumbrance of every kind. Better than this, a faculty have been drawn thither who, in the best spirit, work together harmoniously and efficiently, toward noble ends, in the development of the mind and character of the young.
More important, however, than this enterprise, though not a work that could be taken in hand and completed with despatch like a building, was the reinforcement of the [23/24] little band of faithful clergy. There were but nine in the whole Eastern Deanery, and one of these was preparing to withdraw. The securing of clergymen has been my most difficult task. There was but little, in a worldly way, to offer. I felt when I read in print my own invitation, that it would repel more than it would attract. Thus it read:--
"There is little in any of our vacant towns to attract ministers who expect that the people in our new settlements will build a church, stir their hearts up to seek after God, and then send their messengers out to seek for some minister who will be willing to preside over the work which they have done. There is much to attract men of another spirit, men who remember that the work of the Ministry out here is not to wait to be sought, but to seek for Christ's sheep that are dispersed abroad, and for His children who are swallowed up in this wicked world; ministers who are ready, if needs be, to do all the work at first themselves, and to stand, to speak figuratively, at their church doors on Sunday morning proclaiming "My oxen and my fatlings are killed and all things are ready. Come unto the marriage."
Nevertheless, the call was listened to, and there is nothing in my work which gives me such comfort, and so much makes me think I may be good for something, as the character of the clergymen who have joined our ranks.
I begin to have a feeling that, whatever difficulties are ahead, we are, dear brethren, at least "out of the woods." We know what we have to do. We are resolved to do it. We feel the glow, at least sometimes, of new life. We are making headway. The accession to our ranks of eleven valuable clergymen; the building of eight churches, five more being under way; the erection of three rectories; the passage of three missions from a state of dependence into a condition of self-support; the establishment of a Boarding School of high grade, and the erection of a noble building for its use, tell their own conclusive story.
For all this work in both deaneries and for all that the clergy and my other fellow-workers have done to effect it, I am profoundly thankful. I am not elated. One of my maxims has always been the quaint old saying, "In woe hold out; in joy hold in."
As I look back upon the past, there rise up before my mind's eye periods of physical inability which must have made me seem a drag upon the enterprises of my brethren and must have sorely taxed their patience; shortcomings so grievous that I must have seemed almost a cumberer of the ground; want of thoughtfulness for my associates, which must have made them think me hard-hearted. I can only say "Enter not into judgment with thy servant, O Lord, for in thy sight shall no man living be justified."
It is not to you, dear brethren, hut to myself, that I, on this occasion, address the word of admonition, "Watch thou in all things--endure affliction. Do the work of an evangelist--make full proof of thy ministry." "I charge thee, before God, and before the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom, preach the Word, be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all, long suffering and doctrine."
To my work--to you--to God--I would afresh consecrate myself. God give me to deserve the large measure of confidence and love which you, dear brethren, have in so many ways shown that you extend to me. God write upon my heart the memorable and momentous words addressed to me by the Presiding Bishop at my consecration:--
"Be to the flock of Christ a shepherd, not a wolf; feed them, devour them not. Hold up the weak, heal the sick, bind up the broken, bring again the outcast, seek the lost. Be so merciful, that you be not too remiss; so minister discipline that you forget not mercy; that, when the Chief. Shepherd shall appear, you may receive the never-fading crown of glory; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen."