Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

station, and will be occupied as soon as suitable persons can be found. Two Indians from this band, who have visited Mackinaw and been instructed there, have been hopefully converted.

OJIBEWAYS.

Sherman Hall, Missionary; Mrs. Hall. William T. Boutwell, Missionary. Frederick Ayer, Teacher.

The departure of Messrs. Boutwell and Hall to commence a mission on Lake Superior, together with the arrangements which they made for their labors during the year, were noticed in the last Report. Mr. and Mrs. Hall and Mr. Ayer left Mackinaw on the 5th of August, in company with the gentlemen engaged in the northwest trade. After a delay of a few days at Saut Ste Marie, where they received much kindness from Rev. Mr. Bingham, baptist missionary at that place, and Doct. James of the U. S. Army, they entered Lake Superior, and proceeding along the southern shore, arrived at Magdalen Island on the 30th. The journey was made in open boats, the passengers and boatmen encamping on shore at night, and was rendered pleasant by favorable weather, and the constant assistance and kindness of the traders. All the boats lay by on the Sabbath, and attended religious services, at which Mr. Hall officiated. After their arrival Mr. Warren, the principal trader at Magdalen Island, who, in connection with Mr. Aitkins and Mr. Oakes, traders at other posts in that quarter, had gratuitously transported the mission family and their baggage to their field of labor, generously gave them the use of

part house, and various articles of furniture, and contributed much to diminish the expense of the mission by furnishing various supplies for the family, and allowed them a portion of the produce of his farm on very favorable terms.

A small school was opened about a month after the arrival of Mr. Hall, and with the exception of about two months, was continued till the middle of June, the date of the latest communications. It has been taught principally in English, by Mr. Hall and Mr. Ayer, and has contained from 12 to 20 regular scholars. The Indians are much pleased to have a school, provided it can be per

The interest felt in the school will probably be much increased, when elementary books in the Chippeway language shall be introduced. A small Sabbath school has been kept up, and has

of his

manent.

given additional interest to the mission. The migratory habits, however, of the people, and their poverty, will probably prevent the regular attendance of a large number of pupils at any one place. The number might be greatly increased, if the mission hould furnish boarding and clothes for the scholars.

A religious meeting for the instruction of the Indians has been held nearly every Sabbath since the missionaries reached the station, at which all the instruction is given by an interpreter. The number of Indians who attend this service is small, composed principally of the children who belong to the school, and a few females. Great indifference respecting the truths of the Bible and all spiritual things prevails, as among every uninstructed heathen people, which nothing but long continued teaching, accompanied by the influences of the enlightening and convincing Spirit, can remove. The desire of the people for religious knowledge is too feeble to induce them to go to the place of meeting. A missionary must seek them out in their houses, and follow them on their hunting excursions and through all the changes of their residence, if he would hope to enlighten them and win them over to the faith of the gospel. Could a sufficient number of religious teachers be sent among the various tribes of Indians to present the truths of the Bible to them in this manner, it is believed few heathen communities would embrace Christianity with less reluctance. Mr. Hall has pursued this course, as far as circumstances would permit, and not without success. He has generally been received with much respect and kindness; most have listened attentively, number have been serious, and he has some hopes that one has been savingly benefitted.

A meeting is held every Sabbath for the members of the mission family and a few others, at which the services are performed in the English language. Both Mr. Hall and Mr. Ayer have devoted considerable time to the study of the Ojibeway language.

A large part of the persons employed by the gentlemen engaged in the fur trade are Frenchmen, and adherents of the Papal church. It is not known, however, that there has been any opposition to the mission, or that any attempt has been made to awaken prejudice against it in the minds of the Indians.

The climate of this part of the interior is healthy, and the last winter was not more severe than common winters in the state of Vermont. The soil is tolerably good. Garden vegetables and

[ocr errors]

a

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

most of the common grains do well, and the forests and prairies afford ample forage for the cattle in summer.

It was stated in the last Report that Mr. Boutwell, the associate of Mr. Hall in this mission, was left at Mackinaw, partly for the purpose of aiding Mr. Ferry, and partly that he might enjoy the facilities offered at Mackinaw and Saut Ste Marie, for acquiring the Ojibeway language. He proceeded to the latter place early in October, where he remained about four months, receiving constant kindness and assistance in his labors from Doct. James and H. R. Schoolcraft, Esq., United States agent for Indian affairs in that quarter. His progress in the Ojibeway language has been such that he is able to make himself understood in conversation on common subjects. The language is less difficult to be acquired and more regular in its grammatical structure than he anticipated, though it is exceedingly complex; a single verb, the one signifying to hear, for example, having, it is said, several thousand variations.

During Mr. Boutwell's residence at the Saut Ste Marie, the people at that place, both the whites and the Indians, were visited with special religious mercies. The attention to religious instruction was greatly increased, and many in the village and in the garrison, and some Indians, became anxious about their salvation. A considerable number were hopefully born again, and have united with the Baptist and Presbyterian churches in that place; among whom were several oíficers and soldiers in the garrison. Probably on no other part of our extended frontiers is there so favorable a religious influence exerted, as by the traders and other respectable residents in this quarter.

During the last spring Mr. Boutwell received an invitation from Mr. Schoolcraft to accompany him on an extensive tour among the northwestern Indians, to which the latter had been appointed by the War Department. As the acquisition of knowledge respecting the number and condition of the Indians is very important in conducting missions in this quarter, the Committee did not hesitate to instruct Mr. Boutwell to embrace the opportunity of making a tour with a gentleman so well acquainted with the character and habits of the Indians, and so much interested in their intellectual and religious improvement. He left Mackinaw on the 4th of June and arrived at Fon du Lac, the southwestern extremity of Lake Superior, on the 23d. From thence he was to proceed to the sources of the Mississippi, and after exploring various parts of the

[ocr errors]

country, return to Le Point to join Mr. Hall in his labors there, early in September.

Nearly the whole of the New Testament has been translated into the Ojibeway language by Doct. James and will probably be printed in the course of the year. A small spelling-book has also been prepared for the press by the same person.

MAUMEE.

Isaac Van Tassel, Missionary; Mrs. Van 'Tassel; Sydney E. Brewster, Farmer; Mrs. Brewster; Miss Hannah Riggs, Teacher.

Miss Withrow, heretofore mentioned as an assistant at this station, was married to Mr. Brewster early last summer. The school has been taught a considerable part of the year by a hired teacher, who left the station a few months since.

It was stated in the last Report that the Indians had sold their three reservations lying in the state of Ohio, containing about fifty thousand acres, and that it was expected they would remove from that part of the country, and the mission be speedily broken up. Few or none, however, have yet removed. As a body, they seem wholly disinclined to change their residence, and much dejected in view of their condition and prospects. "Some have said they will never leave their country. If they can find no place to stay, they will spend the rest of their days in walking up and down the Maumee, mourning over the wretched state of their people.” They still retain a reservation at the mouth of the Maumee, lying on both sides of that river, embracing nearly twenty-seven thousand acres. This is situated within the territory of Michigan, and is twenty-two miles north of the mission. On this reservation there are about 400 Indians, and about 350 more remain scattered over the reservations recently sold.

During the year the school at this station has somewhat increased. In October there were thirteen scholars; during the winter the average number was about eighteen, and in June there were thirty-one; of whom fourteen were boys, and seventeen girls. The

progress of the scholars has been good. Some efforts have been made, with apparent success, to increase the interest of the Indians in the education of their children. The school

may probably be continued as large as it now is, so long as the Indians remain in its vicinity.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small]

Some seriousness has prevailed among the scholars in the school, and the adult Indians have been more disposed to listen to instruction than heretofore; fifteen or twenty of them now steadily attend the Sabbath meetings at the mission house. Mr. Van Tassel also preaches once on the Sabbath at the Indian village near the station. A considerable number of white people attend the meetings on the Sabbath. Two persons have been admitted to the church.

More than a year ago Mr. Van Tassel published a small elementary book of 28 pages, which he had prepared in the Ottawa language, containing also a few hymns and scripture reading lessons. Five hundred copies were printed, making 14,000 pages. All those in the school who can read, are taught in this as well as in English books.

A few of the adults are also learning to read, and all appear much interested in hearing reading and singing in their own language.

Industry and temperance have made considerable advances among the Indians during the past year. Much more land is cultivated than heretofore. Some of the traders in the vicinity have discontinued the sale of intoxicating liquors, and others have promised not to sell any directly or indirectly to the Indians.

INDIANS IN THE STATE OF NEW-YORK.

TOSCARORA.-John Elliot, Missionary; Mrs. Elliot. Miss Elizabeth Stone, Teacher.

SENECA.-Asher Wright, Missionary; Hanover Bradley, Manager of Secular Affuirs; Mrs. Bradley. Miss Asenath Bishop, Miss Phebe Selden, Miss Rebecca Newhall, and Miss Emily Root, Teuchers and Assistants.

CATTARAUGUS.-William A. Thayer, Teacher and Catechist; Mrs. Thayer; Asher Bliss, Missionary, with his wife, are expected 10 proceed to this station during the

[ocr errors]

present month.

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

ALLEGHANY.—No mission family resides at this station, but the church organized here is frequently visited by missionaries from the other stations. Religious meetings are held, and other measures taken to instruct and benefit the people.

Though the revival which prevailed at these stations during the period embraced in the last Report, has not been continued during the past year with the same power, yet much seriousness has been visible at all the stations, and number have been hopefully converted. At Tuscarora the church, which, in February 1831, consisted of fifteen members only, who were in a cold and dispirited state, has been revived and enlarged until it now em

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
« AnteriorContinuar »