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2. We agree that our sole object on earth is to promote the religion of Christ in the western parts of America, both among the whites, Africans, and Indians ; and that the means to be employed are, the preaching of the gospel, distributing the holy scriptures, religious tracts, &c. and establishing and promoting schools for the instruction of the youth, and the education of such persons as may be se. lected to aid us either as preachers, catechists, or school teachers.
3d. We agree to engage in no business for the purpose of individual interest, to resign all private right to remittances from the Board, avails of labour, compensation for services, donations whether public or private ; and in a word all monies arising from any quarter shall go into the cominon funds of this society :
Provided, that nothing in this article be understood as affecting our private right to inheritances, or personal favours not made in compensation for services.
4th. This society shall have a secretary to record its proceedings, publish documents, &c. who shall be treasurer er officio.
5th. The funds of the society shall consist of the following branches, viz.
All monies or property, specially designated for the benefit of schools, shall form the Education fund, to be appropriated only for that particular purpose.
All monies and property specially designated for the maintenance and in. struction of Indian youth, shall form the Indian fund, to be appropriated for that object.
All monies or property specially designated for the erection of buildings for the mission or for schools, shall form the Building fund, to be used only for that purpose.
All monies or property coming into our hands without such special designation, shall be appropriated to the common expenses of the mission as circumstances dictate.
6th. All appropriations from the mission funds shall be made by a majority of the brethren united in this compact, subject however to the inspection of our patrons, the Board.
7th, We agree that all members of the mission family have equal claims upon the mission funds for equal support in similar circumstances the claims of widows and orphans not to be in the least afiected by the death of the head of the family. But it is to be understood that no one shall have a right to adopt a child into the mission family so as to entitle it to the claims secured in this article, but by consent of the brethren.
J. M. PECK, St. Louis, M. T. March 20, 1818.
J. E. WELCH.
MINUTES OF THE WESTERS MISSIONARY SOCIETY. Voted, That brother J. E. Welch be secretary to this society.
MARCH 4.—The missionaries opened a Sunday school for the instruction of Africans in this village; and it is with peculiar satisfaction that they record the attendance of no less than fourteen the first day.
To the Cor. Sec. dated St. Louis, March 14, 1818. In addition to the foregoing communications permit us to forward also the following remarks respecting the southern and interior parts of this terri. tory. This information has been obtained from several persons, but more par. ticularly from a baptist minister by the name of Edwards, who has resided on
this side of the Mississippi most of the time since 1811. Last year he spent some time in itinerating in the lower part of the territory to examine into the state of religion. In this tour he rode inore than 1000 miles, visited all the principal set. tlements on the Arkansas, the St. Francis, and the White rivers. In some places the people are not only destitute of ministers of any denomination, but deplorably ignorant of the gospel. In other settlements some attention is paid to religion. Baptist professors are scattered through the different parts of the country. They have removed from Kentucky and other western states, but now are deprived of the gospel. In some settlements churches might be formed, could there be min. isters obtained to oversee them. This part of the territory is rapidly settling ; but unless missionaries go amongst them they must be destitute of the gospel for some years to come. Between St. Louis and the above mentioned region are seven small churches, situate mostly in cape Giradeau county. These united in an association in 1815, calling themselves the “ Bethel Baptist Association."
Pursuant to our instructions from the Board, we have neglected no opportunity in which we might obtain information relative to the Indian tribes in this west. ern land. The Delawares and Shawnese, the remnants of once powerful tribes, live from 20 to 40 miles from cape Giradeau. They are not numerous, perhaps two or three hundred of each tribe.
The Delawares have expressed a desire to have their children instructed in English, and that if a teacher is sent amongst them they will build a schoolhouse. A band of the Cherokees have lately removed from their tribe east of the Mississippi, and are settled on the Arkansas. This was in consequence of an exchange of lands by the United States' government. The Cherokees, Shawnese, and Delawares are leagued together, and agree mutually to support each other. Within a few months past they have made war upon the Osage nation, and 'tis said have destroyed a considerable village. A gentleman who saw and conversed with their warriors as they returned from the fight, told brother Peck, that they had about one bundred scalps, which they showed as trophies of victory. The cause of this war is said to be the murders and other depredations which for years have been committed by the Osages upon the Delawares and Shawnese.
There is a settlement of about 150 Indians on the Merrimac river, about 50 miles west of St. Louis. Their chief is a white man by the name of Fish. Some of this band converse in English. They have comfortable dwellings, and are said to bave made considerable progress in civilization.
Another small settlement of natives are in the neighbourhood of St. Louis, not more than 10 miles distant. One of us expect to visit this band in a few days.
The Osages live more than 300 miles west of St. Louis, on and beyond the Osage river. They are a numerous nation, but scattered over an extensive country. They are more generally represented as a peaceable and well disposed nation, and inclined to become civilized, though some persons give them a different character. The Sacks (pronounced Soks,) and Foxes, (a band of the Sacks or Şaukies) are settled betwixt 150 and 300 miles up the Mississippi. Some are scattered through the upper part of the Illinois territory. They are not very friendly, though not on terms of hostility with our government. A short time since Quoshquomme, a chief of a band of the Sacks from Rock river, with a num. ber of Indians, were in this village. Brother Welch obtained an interview with the chief on the subject of education, the introduction of schools, &c. among the
tribe. It was understood from the interpreter who was employed, that the chief had two sons whom he wished to have educated in English. The interview closed without any thing decisive, as we had no funds to support the youth, and the chief prudently declined giving an answer relative to the establishment of schools amongst their nation, without consulting the other chiefs.
Other tribes, as the Winnebagoes to the north, and the Sioux, Ottoes, Mandans, &c. to the west, live more remote, and are less likely to receive immediate attention.
By this statement the Board will understand, that the Indian tribes who are populous and extensive, live at a distance from us ; that a large population of whites, quite ignorant of the gospel, are scattered through the country for 3 or 400 miles betwixt us and the Indians, and that if we attempt to carry the gospel immediately to these tribes, we must pass over multitudes more likely to receive the gospel than are the savage and uncultivated Indians. It is hoped, however, that some good may be done amongst local tribes, without lessening our useful. ness amongst the whites.
Hitherto we have said nothing on the importance of increasing the number of labourers in this western harvest. But we now venture to raise the Macedonian cry, 'come over and help us.' Could the Board, but more especially the public at large, be made fully sensible of the vast work that lies before us, and the imporLance of strengthening our hands by one or two additional labourers, our cry would not be unavailing. If one or more young men of ardent piety, and a good education, could receive an appointment from the Board the present season, by the time of their arrival we might be prepared to enlarge our sphere of effort.
Another added to this mission, in a little time would not much increase its expense, as the school department might then be rendered more profi-able.
Praying the Great Head of the church to guide in all the deliberations of your respectable body, we subscribe ourselves your unworthy servants in the mission cause,
J M. PECK,
J. E. WELCH. Under date of March 28, 1818, the missionaries thus write: “We have not much additional news to communicate. We have enlarged the plan of our school. At our public examination yesterday, our students performed remarkably well. Several gentlemen of respectability of the village, since they have been made acquainted with our object in this country, appear to interest themselves in our cause.
“Our African Sunday school has more thian 50 on the roll, most of whom are very attentive and strive to learn.
“ The first Sabbath in April we expect to baptise a candidate. This, we believe, will be the first time the ordinance was ever attended in St. Louis. We have as. certained that five persons at least have manifested a hope of religion within less than three months past. Thus grace begins to triumph here."
The fifth of April Mr. Welch says : “ Last evening was our church meeting. Additions were received by letter, and experience. To-day at nine o'clock a sermon was delivered on the banks of the Mississippi, and two candidates baptised -late work of grace! You can scarcely imagine the happiness we this day enjoyed around the table of the Lord, while bidding welcome to all the privileges of the house of God four new members. Prospects are flattering. I hope the Lord is about to commence a great work in this quarter."
From Rev. Mr. Ranaldson to the Cor. Sec. dated St. Francisville, March 20, 1818,
IT is my duty as your missionary to make frequent communications. In this I have been deficient. But I can assure you it has not been for want of disposition. The whole of my time has been occupied. My field of labour is still enlarging, and the work is increasing on my hands daily.
I wrote to you on the 19th of January, which I hope you have received. Having just returned from the first annual meeting of the Mississippi Society for Baptist Missions Foreign and Domestic, it is necessary for me to forward communications by the next mail, that you may receive them in time for the annual meeting of the Board.
Our society has been formed on missionary ground. There are pressing de mands for active and general exertions. Four missionaries are already employed by the society for the term of three months; and one for a year. Rev. Isaac Suttle, whom I mentioned in my last, is appointed to preach in the African church recently formed in the Creek nation, for the current year. It is hoped that the present hostilities of the Seminoles will not defeat the object of his appoint. ment. L. Scarborough is appointed for a circuit on the west of the Mississippi river ; N. Morris for the eastern section of West Florida; J. Flower for the frontier settlements in the Mississippi state ; and Benjamin Davis for the colour. ed people in New Orleans. This last appointment was made in consideration of the poor in this city who manifest a disposition to receive the word with gladness; for a number of them are truly pious. Whilst missionary exertions are making for the Asiatics and aboriginal Americans, the poor Africans in our country who bear the heat and burden of the day, should not be neglected. It truly requires the wisdom of the serpent blended with the harmlessness of the dove, to teach this wretched race of human beings! But we feel a confi. dence in the prudence and zeal of our brother appointed to the work. He has a faculty for teaching the blacks; and should the city corporation yield a favourable countenance to the undertaking, I hope it may soon be said, that the poor of New Orleans have the gospel preached to them.
The society hav attributed a great share of their success to the agency of your missionary, agreed to remit the sum which was appropriated for his use by the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions. I therefore inclose to you a check on a bank in Philadelphia, for five hundred dollars.
I hope the employment of domestic missionaries will never diminish your treasury, but rather replenish it. Permit me to tender my very grateful acknowledge ments to the Board, for the seasonable supplies they have given, which enabıcd me to make a decided stand in the midst of the strong hold of Satan, and to preach among the genties of Louisiana ihe unsearchable riches of Christ. Although I could not maintain my first position in the city of New Orleans, on account of its expensiveness, yet I am persuaded I could not occupy a more important missionary ground in the state, and one which promises more immediate and general usefulness as respects the mission, than the present station. I am happy to say that the prospects, as relates to my future support, are such as to supersede the necessity of the continued patronage of the Board. I have reason to expect
that the generosity of the people whom I serve in the gospel, will enable me still to give myself wholly to the work of the ministry. Your patronage therefore may, and will I hope, be extended to another in my place. Not that I wish to with. draw from the delightful services of the Board, or shake off the pleasing responsibility of the mission. No, I wish still to be the missionary, and still to act under the advice and auspices of the Board, at least so far as to maintain an intimate connexion with that honourable body.
This letter must soon close for the mail. In my next I will endeavour to give farther information concerning this country, &c. &c. There are thousands around as starving for the word of life. Several important stations are ready for the re. ception of missionaries. With affectionate importunity I would solicit the attention of the Board to be directed this way. O send us help, that we may lift up a standard for the people in the name of the Lord of hosts! We want at least six missionaries whose lips are touched with a live coal, whose hearts are sanctified with the love of God, whose bowels yearn for the salvation of men, whose fortitude and piety can resist the temptations of filthy lucre,and, in a word, whose abilities may be competent for the defence of the gospel, among ingenious and learned in. fidels, and before powerful adversaries of the doctrines of the cross. Aid such in their commencement, send them out under your patronage, and in a short time they may remunerate the Board by returning the loan with good interest.
It is expensive to live in this country. The enormous price of cotton raises every thing else to its par. House rent and the hire of servants are remarkably high. And in these two articles there is but little difference between this place and New Orleans.
Such is the state of society, that it appears unquestionably a duty incumbent to pay some attention to the education of the young. And although the whole of my time, strength and abilities, are required for the ministry of the word, yet I shall be obliged by the united petitions of the people to give a small portion of it to the instruction of their children. They wish me, however, merely to superintend an academy, and employ other teachers, able to sustain the laborious functions of the school. This plan should, in my humble opinion, be recommend. ed to all our missionaries to the vest, as the religious education of children is of the highest importance, and will probably contribute in a very great degree, to the acceptation of the gospel among a heterogeneous mass which has been collect. ed from the four quarters of the globe.
May the God of missions prosper and succeed your pious labours to send the gospel among all the nations of the earth.
CHEROKEE INDIANS. From the Rev. Mr. Posey to the Correspor:ding Secretary, dated Haywoed County,
North Carolina, larch 13, 1818. Having commenced legally in the work of the mission on the first of December last, I now take the liberty of addressing the Board, through you, in order that you may know something of the manner in which I have spent my time. I shall first give a brief view of the country. The paths through this wilderness are generally difficult to pass, like the bye ways of Deborah and the traveller