Imágenes de páginas

several large streams of water, all of which we had to ford; sometimes we were in low, marshy ground, where the trees and bushes were so thick as to make it dark as midnight without a moon. Finally, being greatly fatigued, we reached, at five minutes past twelve o'clock, Chickamaugah creek. It was very high, and ran swiftly, and the Indian guide signified to us that it would not do to ford it. Mr. Kingsbury lived about one fourth of a mile on the other side. What could we do? We hallooed as loudly as we could, and called out until our throats were sore, but no one appeared, or answered. They were all buried in sleep. We were preparing to lie out all night, weary, wet with the dew, which falls in much greater abundance here than in New York, and without fire, when our Indian guide offered to go over the creek, if we would let him have one of our horses, calling his own 'steaky,' that is little, or small. He then waded in till the water came within a foot of the horse's back, and got safely on the other side. Our brethren soon came to our relief, to our unspeakable joy ; we crossed in a canoe, and our horses were taken over by one of their

I cannot tell you the happiness I felt in treading missionary-ground. But we did not get over the creek until half past one o'clock in the morning, one hour and twenty-five minutes after our arrival at the creek. But you may judge of my surprise, when I was told that Mr. Kingsbury had gone to meet me the day before. We had taken different roads, and therefore missed of each other. I did not see him until the next week after my arrival. Thus I reached this long sought place (at half past one o'clock) on Saturday morning, Sept. 20th. At three o'clock I went to rest, and awoke at six the next morning, without feeling any inconvenience.

“ Last week, I returned from a council of Indians which met sixty-five miles south of this place. I had a




talk with the Cherokees and also with the Creeks about establishing schools among them, and requested them to let me know sincerely their feelings. The Creeks have not yet given a final answer. The Cherokees consulted together, and ordered one of their chiefs to make a speech on the subject, and proclaim the result to the council, which he did in his own language, and in a very animated

His discourse was fifteen minutes long, or

Mr. Hicks wrote down the heads of it, which are as follows.

" "I am now going to address the council of the Cherokee nation, and each representative will inform his town, respectively, the result of our deliberation on the subject of what we have heard from the northern good people, who have sent this man to us ;-of their offer of pity to our people, and that we have taken hold of their offer. We have thought right to accept of their benevolent object, that our children may learn to act well in life, and their minds be enlarged to know the ways of our Creator: For we have been told that by education, we may know that at death, our spirit will return to the Father of it. It will also promote our children's good to labor for their living when they come to years of manhood. I am sensible the hunting life is not to be depended on.

So our father, the president Washington recommended to us to labor, instead of hunting.

“These good people have established one school at Chickamaugah, and sent us teachers to educate our children. Wherefore the council requires all persons to treat them friendly, and not disturb any thing they have. And

there are now warriors to start immediately to visit the president of the United States, the chiefs are also requested to instruct them to ask our new father, the president, for his assistance to instruct our children.'

“ From this speech, judge for yourselves whether the


harvest among these Indians is not ripe, and the time come when Christians every where should open wide to them the hand of charity. But I must stop. I could 'write a pamphlet without telling you all I have seen which is interesting. From what I have said, you can judge of my employments during the four weeks I have been in this nation. I am glad for your sake that God has detained me to this time in a healthy region, for it has been a sickly season in the vicinity of Natchez. Even in Tennessee, I could feel the sultry weather of August and September. These are the most unhealthy months of the year. I have been sick three days at a time in these months ; but my health is as good as ever, since the cold nights have come on. This has been proved lately, while I was absent at the council. I have mentioned High Tower, sixty-five miles from this place, where I had miserable living, and was obliged to lie out in the woods and on the ground four nights in succession, but never had better health. The journey to that place was tedious and dangerous. I was obliged to swim my horse over a large river, and cross myself with my baggage in a canoe. The High Tower river I forded when the water came up to my saddle-bags. Both rivers are from two hundred to three hundred yards wide, and there is not a bridge any where. The Lord has kindly preserved me thus far, and it would be ungrateful in me not to trust him in time to come.

“I suppose you wish to know how much I have collected in all for the Indians, since I commenced my tour in Massachusetts in January last. I do not know exactly, but I believe it amounts to four thousand four hundred dollars, or not far from it. While collecting this, I travelled two thousand miles and preached one hundred and fifteen times."

Mr. Cornelius thus describes his visit at the house of a Cherokee chief.

“On Wednesday, the following day, we went to meet a council of chiefs, to be convened at the house of Charles H., about fifteen miles distant. We rode ten miles, and tarried all night at an Indian house, where we were kindly furnished with such things as it afforded. A bed was thrown upon the floor, upon which we slept comfortably, and in the morning we pursued our journey to the house of Mr. H. where we arrived in time to take breakfast with him, and the Indian chiefs. The whole scene was to me new, and as interesting as new. In the first place, I was disappointed in finding the Indians so comfortable in their circumstances. Of Mr. H., I had been told much by my brethren, and I can say, although my expectations were high, they were fully realized. He is a half-breed Cherokee, about fifty years of age. He has very pleasant features, and an intelligent countenance. He speaks the English language with the utmost facility, and with great propriety. I was exceedingly surprised that a Cherokee should be able to obtain so extensive a knowledge of English words as he possesses. He reads better than one half the white people, and writes an easy hand. For thirty years, he has been, as occasions required, an interpreter for the United States. As a man of integrity, temperance, and intelligence, he has long sustained a most reputable character. Some time since, he made a public profession of the Christian religion, and united himself to the church under the care of the Rev. John Gambold, the missionary of the United Brethren, who has for a number of years been laboring in this nation. Since that time, he has exhibited a character according to the gospel, and given evidence, which none can resist, that an Indian bosom can become a habitation for the Holy Spirit, and the seat of true Christian felicity. How cheering must be the reflection to the mind of the dear servant of Christ who was instrumental of his conversion to God, that he has, through the favor of heaven, hidden a multitude of sins, and saved a soul from death. Mr. H. has taken great pains to educate his children, and bring them up in the practice of the arts of civilized life. He has two sons who read, and write, and speak the English language, and I could not but feel greatly animated to hear the sound of the wheel and the shuttle from the hand of his daughters. This house is built after the manner of the houses of the white people, and better than the habitations generally are in the settlements. It is made of hewn pine logs, is twenty-six feet by eighteen, two stories high, with a double piazza the whole length of the house, ornamented with hand rails and banisters, and covered with a good roof of shingles, which is not usually the fact in the western country. He possesses the affection and confidence of his countrymen to a high degree, and lately has been promoted to the highest station but one in the nation, that of second chief, or beloved

Indeed I can truly say I have seldom been so happily disappointed as I have been in meeting such an Indian as Mr. H. I wish all the incredulous people of our country could but see what I have seen in this man, and I think they must blush to say, as I have often heard them say, 'There is something in an Indian wholly peculiar, which will forever render it impossible, either to civilize or Christianize him! In the case of Mr. H., this

proposition, in both its parts, is proved false. I have but one subtraction to make from the high character which I think is justly due to Mr. H., and even this is less in him than in others who cannot plead as he could, when probably he first owned a slave, that he had not the same knowledge of moral truth as they.

as they. Although he is humane to his slaves, a few only of whom he owns, I


« AnteriorContinuar »