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Osages would demand her in a formal manner, and that the President, by whose direction she had been left at Brainerd, would feel himself obliged to grant their request. Two years had nearly past, and the strongest attachment had been formed between her and her adopted connexions, when news came that the demand had been made, and that she must soon be taken from them.
The pain which this intelligence gave both to the parents and the child, may be learned from the following extract of a letter written by Mr. Chamberlain, at the time. It is dated August 4, 1820. “My wife and myself are in trouble at present, and wish your prayers. We expect every day to lose our dear Osage daughter. We have not dared to tell her what the prospects are; though she got some hint of it among the children the other day. She ran to her mother in great suprise, and said, Mother, they say some people have come after me; but mother wont let me go, will she?' Her mother could not answer her, and it passed off. It will no doubt be as hard for her to leave uș, as for any other child, of her age, to leave its parents; and I think it will be as hard for us to part with her, as though she were our own. But the Lord will direct.”
In this state of suspense every thing remained until the 22d of August. On that day a person commissioned by Government arrived at Brainerd with orders to take Lydia Carter and John Osage Ross. The letter addressed by Colonel Meigs to the missionaries upon this trying occasion states, that Governor Miller had assured him he would use his influence to have the children returned to Brainerd again; and then adds, I am sensible it must be painful to you to part with them; but it seems the only measure to be adopted, to prevent the shedding of much blood. * * * * I request you to deliver the two little prisoners to Mr. Rogers. I am confident that he will be governed by your advice, and will, in every respect, act towards them kindly.”
The effect which this communication produced cannot be better described than by quoting the journal of the missionaries.
“ This message," say they, “was inexpressibly distressing to all the mission family, especially to those who had adopted these children as their own. We had, some days since, been informed, that the children were demanded, and had reason to expect they must be given up; but still were not without hope, that by some means they might yet he retained, till they should be prepared to carry the knowledge of the Saviour to their people: All hope is now taken away; they must be given up : not to the arms of death, but to a call from the wilderness, to be taken back, probably, to a savage life. We can commend them to the care of that gracious Redeemer, to whom they have been devoted, and who is still able to preserve, and bring them where they can receive that instruction which we would gladly have given, and by means of which they may still be prepared for usefulness in life, peace in death, and happiness beyond the grave.
“ John Osage Ross, being younger, and not having been so long with us, was not much affected. But Lydia Carter had become strongly attached to us all. She knew no other parents ; consequently, the thought of a separation was peculiarly trying to her as well as to us.
“ When she heard that Mr. Rogers had come for her, which was early in the morning, she, in company with another little girl, escaped to the woods, and wandered five miles in order to prevent being taken. All the persons about the house, including the children of the school, went in pursuit of her, but without success. When at last overtaken, she appeared somewhat frightened, and began to cry; but was soon consoled ; and on returning, she appeared cheerful; and on learning that we thought it best for her to go, she said she was willing. This relieved our feelings very much; as we could never before make her consent to go away on any terms; and we feared she would have been forced from us. She remained very cheerful, and sung in our family worship with her usual animation.
“ The following morning was the time fixed open for her departure. Having a trunk and some other articles which it was inconvenient to carry, she desired her mother to keep them; and, in case she should never return, to give them to her sister Catharine; adding pleasantly, Here is a little handkerchief, too small for me; I wish you to gie this to Catharine whether I come back or not."
In describing the final separation, the journal says, “ She remained composed till just before they started; and then appeared in deep thought. She looked around on those she loved, for the last time, and then dropped her head, and the tears flowed profusely. She walked out to the horse, without being bidden; and, notwithstanding her evident grief, she was not heard to sob aloud, except when taking leave of her little sister Catharine. Her whole appearance through this trying scene, was like that of a person of mature age, in like circumstances. It is the Lord ; let him do what seemeth him good.'
(To be continued.)