Page images


They were impatient to welcome our brethren among them, and grateful for their labours. The religious instructions given by them have been well attended, and in one or more instances, rendered productive of deep seriousness. It would seem no difficult task to improve essentially, the condition of the Indians, were it not for the counteracting influence of men of corrupt minds in their vicinity. Unprincipled traders find means to draw from them, for articles of no value, their an. nuities, which would otherwise be expended on their homes, and in cultivating the soil. The consequences arising from this source, not only defeat the benevolent designs and efforts of the Missionaries in reference to uncivilized Indians, but threaten to render useless, all their care and labour bestowed upon the young:

The pupils, when they leave the schools, must return to their parents, from whom they derive no inducements to continue the habits and pursuits in which they have been trained, the advantages of which they have only begun to realize, and nothing remains for them but to resume their former usages.

Fully aware of these evils as applying to all the stations, Mr. M'Coy has for several years, with enlightened zeal and untiring perseverance, been labouring to provide a remedy. This can only be found in the procurement for them, of a permanent residence, remote from white

If this could be obtained, and the first settlement of it commenced by such of them as were already instructed in husbandry and the arts of life, and who had the improvement of their race at heart, there would be no reasonable doubt of ultimate success. But Government only, could furnish the situation required, and the means of removing the Indians, and organizing, and protecting the settlement.

To Congress, the Board has appealed; and it gives us pleasure to state, that our views have been sustained by many in that honourable body, and the result will be matter of future report.

VALLEY TOWNS, On the river Hiwassee, in the south-east part of Tennessee. This station, is under the care of the Rev. Evan Jones, assisted by Mrs. Jones, and John Timson, interpreter. In their last Report, the Board stated, that measures had been taken with a view to improvement in the manner of conducting this establishment. It had (as the other stations have) a farm connected with it, which occasioned much expense without producing adequate returns. This was cultivated by hired labourers, and engrossed much of the attention of the Missionary to superintend them; and called him off from more appropriate and important duties, without the countervailing consideration in its favour, which exists in other tribes, that it was necessary as a model to Indians of agricultural improvement. This, therefore, has been given up by the advice of a committee, Rev. Iverson L. Brooks, who visited it, and in his report to the Board, communicated much valuable information.

Mr. Jones is now relieved from onerous secular cares, and can devote his attention to the school (which is principally under the instruction of Mrs. Jones) and to the acquisition of the language, and evangelical labours. It is confidently believed that far more will be done than heretofore, for the religious improvement and salvation of the Indians; and we are already assured of an awakened interest on the part of several, to the great concerns of the soul. It is contemplated by the Board, to establish a school at Notley, a village about fifteen miles distant, in connection with this mission, so soon as a satisfactory instruc

ter can be obtained. At that place, the children will be boarded by their parents, who have exhibited a strong desire for their education, and a disposition to furnish some part of the means necessary to it.

WITHINGTON, Among the Creeks on the river Chatahoochee, in the state of Georgia. This mission has suffered from the degraded character of the Indians among whom it is located. The tribe is large, and has repeatedly had opportunities, pending negotiations with the United States, to have secured means for the improvement of themselves and their children in knowl. edge, but have not done it. No provision of this kind has ever been made for them, until a treaty was negotiated last autumn with them by Colonel M'Kenny, who, in his solicitude for their welfare, incorporated a provision that one thousand dollars per annum should be expended in their intellectual and moral cultivation. This, when received, will be appropriated to aid our establishment. Their other annuities, which are large, are uselessly, if not injuriously expended. The tribe is divided among themselves—and their animosities have at times risen high. They have been, and are now, agitated on the subject of a removal to the west; and what will be the result is not foreseen. Advantage is taken of their ignorance and degradation by designing men, who never fail to render their party spirit and contentions more intolerable, and prejudice their minds against all measures for bettering their condition. The Mission family at the place, we have reason to think, do all that is practicable under their circumstances. Col. M'Kenny of the department of Indian affairs, visited them in his late tour, and kindly interested himself to write in behalf of the station. “I find,” says he, "in Mr. Compere, all the necessary qualifications both in acquirements and disposition to make him useful to these people : and besides those of an ordinary kind, he has made himself well acquainted with the structure and grammar of their language, and begins to speak it. This is an important auxiliary in a superintendant, because it gives him great power in all that relates to the intellectual, moral, and religious enlightening of the Indians. In the several members of his family also, I find every qualification, and I may add, in rare excellence, for the stations they fill." The assiduous instructions of Mr. Compere, in publick and in private, have not been in vain. He has had the satisfaction of baptizing his interpreter, Mr. John Davis, who gives evidence of decided piety, and evinces much concern for the salvation of his people. Besides him, a few others appear to hear with interest.


This station is situated in the vicinity of the Cherokees, and was formerly an appendage of the Valley Towns Mission, but was constituted an independent establishment four years since, under the auspices of a few influential brethren. It has a church of about thirty members, in a prosperous state, and a flourishing school of twenty children, under the care of Rev. Mr. O'Brien. The school, it is probable, will increase, as some Indian families have been disposed to board their children in its neighbourhood, to enjoy its advantages. At present, the number of such is small, on account of the scarcity of last year's crop.

ONEIDA AND TONAWANDA SCHOOLS, &c. These schools are under the fostering care of judicious brethren in the western part of the State of New York.


This Institution, situated at Great Crossings, Scott county, Kentucky, continues to rise in importance. One year since, the number of students was little more than fifty; the last report of its Board of Managers shows that it has now on its catalogue the names of one hundred and one. It remains under the same superintendance, and the care of the same able instructer as heretofore; and the last quarterly examination gave the most satisfactory evidence of improvement in the pupils.


On the arrival in this country of Rev. Mr. Yates, of Calcutta, he with marked kindness offered to interest himself in the collection of funds for the Board. In the embarrassed state of our finances no service could have been more seasonable, and no one better qualified to perform it. Ten years' residence in a dense heathen population, where their debasing idolatry and cruel usages had fallen under daily observation, prepared him to plead their cause with effect. He was ready to give all that para ticular information, which the Christian publick require, of their wretchedness, and for which the gospel is the only remedy. The warmth of affection with which he was received, and the listening attention with which his representations were regarded, indicated the deep interest felt by the churches in the woes and sufferings of deluded millions, and in the measures adopted for their melioration. It was plain that the situation of the heathen needs only to be disclosed, and the claims they have on Christians as the depositories of the word of life, properly enforced, to induce them to act. Mr. Yates spent two months in his tours, and visited the principal cities as far south as the District of Columbia. The Rev. Mr. Galusha, of New York, Rev. G. F. Davis, of South Reading, Mass, and the Rev. Alonzo King, of North Yarmouth, Me. severally took parts at the request of the Board, in attending the anniversaries of the Auxiliary Societies in Maine, which are most of them in a flourishing state.

It is due to all the above named brethren to say that their services were gratuitous, and no expenses incurred by them, but such as were unavoidable. The Board has had no Agents devoted to the formation of Societies, which is essential to the extension of our Missions, but hope soon to engage some efficient men in the enterprise. The assistance of such, has been earnestly solicited from various sections of the country, and the best effects in the diffusion of information, exciting union, and combining and directing effort, might be expected to follow their labours.

There can however be no substitute for pastoral duty and influence in this respect. No minister of Christ can with propriety excuse himself from the Agency appropriated to him among the people of his charge. It belongs to him by his spirit, preaching and example, to prepare their minds for sacred charities, and in the absence of special Agents, to supply their place by his own vigorous exertions. He is ever on the field, and can avail himself of the best occasions for introducing the subject. He has the confidence of his flock, and the chief Shepherd expects him to do his duty. A determined purpose among the pastors to subserve the general cause,


among the best pledges of success.


It will be perceived by the Treasurer's Report that our funds are still low and inadequate. Were all the obligations discharged at the several

Stations among the Indians, for which we are responsible, it would subject us to loans.

It should, however, be observed with gratitude, that we have been able to meet the actual expenses of the year, and commence a reduction of former debts. By an early attention to treaties which were formed and forming, we have been able to secure annuities to a considerable amount, which will in future lessen the demands on the general fund, from those Stations to which the annuities are applicable. In reference to some of these, the Board is much indebted to the judgment and enterprise of Mr. M'Coy.

It is also due to Dr. Judson to state, that the presentation by him of more than $4000 to the Mission funds, being the avails of presents made to him personally by individuals and the Bengal Government, has gone far towards enabling the Board to discharge the heavy arrearages due in India. Those arrearages have been accumulating for several years, but are now fully liquidated. A fact which cannot fail to inspire confidence and awaken fresh efforts in behalf of this important field of labour.


The Board, having now spread before you a history of their proceedings during the past year, and a view of the present condition and prospects of their missionary operations, feel it to be their duty, to make an urgent and loud appeal to you, for a more extensive and systematick co operation, in the great enterprise. The time has arrived, when the American Baptist Churches ought to engage in this sacred cause, with a degree of zeal, and a combined energy, more commensurate with the increasing strength of the denomination, and with the miseries and wants of a world lying in wickedness. The Board cannot pause, to plead for the duty of christians to support missions. They speak now, to those, who acknowledge that they are not their own, and who admit, as binding on the churches of Christ, the parting command of their Redeemer, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." They make this appeal to those, who believe that the heathen are perishing in their sins; that the gospel is the only remedy for their guilt and wretchedness; and that it is the duty of christians to aid in sending this gospel to the ends of the earth. To such christians, the Board would speak, with an earnestness befitting the magnitude of the cause, and ask for their prayers, and for increased pecuniary aid. They are constrained to call aloud on the churches for the means of sustaining the existing missions, and of extending their exertions in this great field, to a range proportioned to our numbers and strength. The

* field is the world," and yet how small a space of the moral desert is occupied by the Missionaries of the American Baptists! Though the number of our churches is about four thousand, containing, probably, three hundred thousand members, we have but one mission in Asia, one in Africa, and a few missionaries stationed at various points among the Indians of our own continent. The amount contributed by our churches for the support of Foreign Missions the last year, was $11272,90, a sum which is less than one fourth of that contributed for the same object, by the Baptist Churches in England, whose numbers are far Jess, and their burdens much greater than ours.

Are American Baptists, then, less concerned for the honour of the Redeemer, and for the

salvation of men' The Board hope, that a new zeal will henceforth animate our churches. The Redeemer summons them to exertion. He has protected and prospered our missions, and his voice calls to us, to go forward. New fields invite the efforts of the denomination, and the Board entreat their brethren to furnish them with the means of entering into these fields, now white to harvest.

A Mission to South America and Mexico was recommended by a Committee of the last Convention. It will be kept constantly in view, and attempted at the earliest period, at which missionaries and funds can be provided.

China, too, deserves immediate attention, as presenting an important and interesting field for Missionary operations, which can be entered with greater facility, and occupied with greater safety and success, by American Christians, than by any others in the world.

The special events of divine Providence are opening in Greece, a wide and effectual door, for the introduction of uncorrupted Christianity. And the Board earnestly hope, that it may be in their power, at no distant period, to commence, in that interesting country, a vigorous system of evangelical operations. The Mission at Liberia needs support and enlargement.

There is an ample scope at the colony, for the operations of schools, and for the preaching of the gospel.

The Burman mission, too, calls for more extensive and vigorous exertions. The brethren there have united in asking, that more missionaries may be sent, and have pointed out important stations, which they might occupy. When we remember, that it was for the support of this mission, in particular, that our combined efforts, as a denomination, were first elicited, and in some sense pledged; that God has preserved it, like the burning bush, amidst so many dangers; that he has granted us an encouraging degree of success; and that this extensive field is entirely unoccupied, excepting by our own missionaries, we must feel that strenuous exertions ought to be made on its behalf. As the New Testament is already translated, and as Dr. Judson is now engaged in translating the Old, the friends of missions and of the Bible are called upon for special donations, for the purpose of printing the word of life, and circulating it among the millions of Burmah.

But the Board, instead of possessing the ability to enlarge the existing missions, and establish new stations, are scarcely able, with their present income, to sustain the missions already established. Brethren, shall it be so in future? Will you not come up to the full measure of your duty on this subject ? We call on you, in the name of Him who has redeemed us from death; we urge you, by the misery of a world lying in wickedness; we entreat you, by all that is solemn in the thought of an approaching judgment, to give us your prayers, and your pecuniary aid. Let every Christian resolve that a portion of his income shall be paid into the treasury of the Lord. Let a male and female primary mission society be established in every Church and congregation. Let every one, who can afford the expense, subscribe for the American Baptist Magazine, the official publication of the Board. Let the monthly concert for prayer be punctually attended; and let every Christian, in his closet, plead with God, that he will let his way be known on earth, his saving health unto all people. Then, brethren, will your peace be like a river, while the wilderness and the solitary place will be glad for you, and the desert rejoice and blossom like the rose.

« PreviousContinue »