Page images

till this time. Now it was easy to adopt and carry them into effect. No one exhibited more zeal and decision than the natives,-thirty-nine of whom enrolled themselves, and signed the pledge of total abstinence at the organization of the society, which number was subsequently increased to fifty-three. It is a circumstance of uncommon interest attending this reform, and which furnishes a pledge of its perpetuity and triumphant success, that the traders participate in it. A part of them on the river took out their supplies the last fall without any distilled spirits, and all of them have entered into a contract not to deal in them after a given time, which is just at hand, under a penalty of $500. They have become sensible that even their own interests are promoted by the temperance of the Indians.

The youths in the boarding school, of whom there are sixteen, have made good proficiency in knowledge, under the tuition of Mr. and Mrs. Potts. Samuel Beach, Richard Furman, Jonathan Going and Joseph Elliot are members of the church, and adorn their profession. These, together with Adoniram Judson, John Byee, and Abraham Faw, read the scriptures, write, cypher and speak the English language. In the female department, the children are much younger, and one only reads in the New Testament; while others, with some of the lads, read in easy lessons. The children are docile, and in most instances easily governed.

In November last, it was thought that an arrangement might be made, which would bring more pupils under a course of instruction without increasing the expenses of the station. For this end, Mr. and Mrs. Potts removed into the village, and opened a day school, and Mr. Slater took charge of those at the station.

Their anticipations were realized; and instead of sixteen, they now have twenty-six scholars, about one half of whom board with their parents. The church at the station was admitted into the Michigan Association, in September last. The occasion is described by Mr. Slater, as being one of much interest. Several of the Indian members were present as delegates, and addressed the meeting with effect. Three of them had been pupils of the school, and were desirous of remaining with their elder white brethren for a time, hoping to become better qualified for usefulness when they should return. These were cheerfully received into Christian families, where the requisite advantages would be afforded them without charge.


This station is in North Carolina, about seven miles from the charter limits of Georgia ; 180 miles N. W. of Augusta, and 50 miles from Clarksville, Habersham Co. in that state. It is surrounded by mountains, the scenery of which is delightful and the air invigorating. The river Hiwassee passes by the southern border of the mission premises, and furnishes water power for mills owned by the establishment.

Missionaries, Rev. Evan Jones, Mrs. Jones, Mr. LEONARD BUTTERFIELD, Mrs. BUTTERFIELD, and Miss SARAH RAYNER. Native Assistants, John Wickliffe, Dsulawe, Alexander M'Grey, and John Timson, interpreters.

There is no extensive farm carried on at this place as formerly, it being found detrimental to the best interests of the mission; but Mr. Jones and his assistants are devoted to preaching the gospel, and otherwise instructing the natives in useful knowledge. The advantages of this course over the other have been most apparent. In about twelve months after its adoption, a revival of religion commenced, which has now been in progress for three years, and which still continues.

On the 6th of June, the superintendent writes, “ I had the unspeakable pleasure last Sabbath to bury in baptism thirty-six full Cherokees, twenty-four males and twelve females. Among them was a man apparently about seventy


[ocr errors]

years old, accompanied by two sons, a daughter, and her husband, and three grand

Another man, about sixty, publickly renounced rendering homage to fire and imaginary beings, and his practice of conjuring, and professed himself a follower of the supreme God, through the mediation of his Son Jesus Christ. Two females were quite aged, and nine men and their wives were in the prime of life. All these joyfully followed the steps of the Saviour. The congregation on the Sabbath was large and serious; and, on invitation, about fifty came forward to express their desire to forsake sin and seek salvation." At subsequent periods, thirteen more were added to the church by baptism, and three by letter, making the entire number of members one hundred sixty-five,of whom one is black, fifteen (including the missionaries) are white, and one hundred and forty-nine are Cherokees.

There are two native preachers and five exhorters, who are very useful in their respective neighborhoods, and the former osten travel to distant places. The pious character of the converts generally is fully sustained. Says Mr. Jones, “in all the settlements where the members reside, [being remote from the station) they meet on Sabbath days, to sing and pray. They have also regular prayer meetings in the week. All the heads of families have inorning and evening worship in their houses, and many, who are not heads of families, use their influence for that purpose.

“ Temperance is gaining ground. All the members of the church are also members of the Temperance Society. There are many instances of the most inveterate habits, in which a radical reformation has been effected; and apparently hopeless victims have been restored to respectability and usefulness in society.

“ The boarding-school is intended to accommodate twenty pupils, and is usually full. Its beneficial influence is already felt, and, in a little while, must be still more so. The persons instructed are chiefly females, and those from places where, when they return, they can scarcely fail by their example and intelligence to awaken an interest in favor of education. Twenty thousand pages of tracts have been kindly furnished to this station by the American Tract Society, and distributed to those who were anxious to receive them.”

In conclusion, Mr. Jones says, “I think there are as many serious inquirers now, as there were nine months ago. The field is wide, and still extending, and the need of native help increases in the same proportion. Several distant settlements are desirous to hear the gospel, whose wishes we cannot gratify. Indeed the fields are white unto the harvest, and I am persuaded that Christians, while they urge on with a holy zeal the glorious work among the millions who are hungering for the bread of life, will not be inattentive to the like hungering among a few thousands of the Cherokees.”

There has sprung up in the nation, about 75 miles west of the Valley Towns, a second church, the history of which is worthy of record. Three years ago, Mr. Jesse Bushyhead, a Cherokee, became convinced, by the study of the Bible alone, of the duty and propriety of believers' baptism; and though at the time unacquainted with any Baptists, he took a journey of twenty miles to attend one of their meetings, and make an open profession of his faith. On this occasion, there was a minister present from Tennessee, who soon after visited the neighborhood of Mr. Bushyhead, and commenced preaching once a month. His labors were blessed, and in a little time a church was gathered, which now consists of seventy-three members,—thirty-five of whom were baptized in the nation, and the others from the vicinity, or were received by letter. To this church Mr. Bushyhead belongs, and by them he has been licensed to preach. He reads English with ease, and is capable of acquiring knowledge from any books published in the language, and consequently of preparing himself for much usefulness. It is proposed by the Board to take him into their service so soon as negotiations for the purpose can be completed.

Stations West OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER.-SHAWNEE Mission. This mission was commenced July 7, 1831, by Mr. JOHNSTONE LYKINS and family, and is situated a short distance west of the state of Missouri, and 7 miles south of the Missouri river. He early engaged in the erection of necessary buildings, which are now completed. In August, 1832, Rev. ALEXANDER Evans and family joined the station, and, in November, Mr. DANIEL FRENCH; since which, a church has been constituted, but the number of its members is not reported. A school has been commenced, and the children receive a part of their support, being allowed to dine at the mission house. Rev. Mr. Evans is diligently employed in acquiring the Indian language, with the earnest expectation that he shall soon be able to preach in it the unsearchable riches of Christ. The number of missionaries at the station being sufficient for the varied duties to be performed, and the plans of operation being fully digested, the best results may be looked for.

Rev. Mr. M'Coy resides near this place, and though not now engaged in the service of this Board, he has by his counsel and agency contributed materially to the promotion of its objects the past season.


The mission to the Creeks was commenced August 12th, 1829, by Mr. John Davis, an educated native of the tribe, whose untiring exertions in behalf of his countrymen are worthy of all commendation. For two years, he labored alone, teaching school three days in a week, and visiting from house to house, and preaching the rest of the time. His labors excited a lively interest, and sinners were converted to God, but not being ordained,.no attempts were made by him to gather a church. In August, 1832, Rev. David Lewis and family arrived in tlie nation, and were received by Mr. Davis with great joy. After mutual consultation, they were happily agreed in the measures to be pursued, among which may be mentioned the formation of a church, the choice of a station, and the erection of necessary buildings.

In relation to the first, all the indications about them contributed to make their duty plain; and on the 9th of September, a church was organized, consisting of six members. On this occasion, Rev. Mr. M'Coy who was present, thus writes. "Mr. Lewis preached in the forenoon, and I in the afternoon; and brother Davis, besides interpreting, prayed and exhorted in both Indian and English. This was a good day to us all

. We had no artifice employed to occasion excitement; nevertheless we retired from our meeting, not only with solemn countenances, but many faces, both black and red, were suffused with tears, and every heart seemed to be filled. For myself, I felt like seeking a place to weep tears of gratitude to God, for allowing me to witness a gospel church, formed under such auspicious circumstances in the Indian Territory, towards which we have so long directed our chief attention with deep solicitude."

During the week, many came and conversed on the great concerns of the soul, and wished to be considered candidates for admission into the church; but, for reasons which were deemed sufficient, two only were received at that time. These were Creeks,-one a man of 25, and the other a youth of about 16, both of whom were baptized the next Sabbath, and immediately after, the communion of the Lord's supper was administered. In October, satisfactory evidence having been obtained of their piety, thirty-eight were admitted to the sacred rite of baptism at one time, and at subsequent occasions seventeen, making the additions from the formation of the church 57, and the entire number 63. Of these, twelve are natives, four are whites, and forty-two Africans. The mother and daughter of the late Gen. Mc'Intosh, being among the conFerts, may be expected to exert an extensive influence in favor of religion, particularly on the female part of the community. We cannot contemplate

the surprising change already effected without indulging the most cheering hopes for the future.

İn selecting a site for the station, the brethren were essentially aided by the intelligence and kindness of Gen. Campbell, the agent of government. They made choice of a spot three miles north of Arkansas river, 15 west of Cantonment Gibson, in the midst of a dense Indian settlement. Probably no place in the nation offers so tine a prospect of usefulness. Here Mr. Lewis commenced, and has nearly completed the erection of all necessary buildings, the expense of which exceeded our calculations, because they are larger than was at first contemplated. It is stated, however, that they are even now barely sufficient for the purposes for which they were put up, particularly the school and meeting house. The ordinary congregation of the Sabbath, when the weather is good, amounts to about three hundred.

There is, moreover, a flourishing Sabbath School, consisting of eighty pupils, to be accommodated. In this view of the wants of the place, the enlargement adopted has received the concurrence of the Board.

No common school has yet been or will be attempted by Mr. Lewis, till other assistance shall arrive, which is expected this season. His time could be better appropriated, while the demand for direct efforts in preaching and visiting continued. He has, therefore, gone from house to house, during the day, and usually attended worship at some convenient place in the evening. His visits have been received with kindness by all classes, and attended with indications of a special blessing.

CHEROKEES. The station among the Cherokees was commenced May 6, 1832, by DunCAN O'Briant and family. It is situated about 70 miles north of Fort Smith, and within two miles of the boundary line of Arkansas Territory. The settleinent is principally composed of emigrants, who accompanied Mr. O'Briant from Tinsawatta, in Georgia, and who, on their arrival, were much occupied for a time in preparing habitations for theinselves. So soon as the missionary had got up his own log-house, and before it was finished, he opened it for worship on the Sabbath, and collected his people together again, whose united devotions, for several months, were unavoidably interrupted. The church, consisting of tifteen, resumed its meetings, but had to deplore the early loss, by death, of three of its oldest members. Their consistent piety, however, had left on the minds of survivors an assured confidence, that they died in the faith of the Lord Jesus.

As soon as arrangements could be made for it, Mr. O'Briant collected a school, of twenty scholars, but had not all the necessary accommodations. He was expecting, at an early day, to proceed to the erection of a building of sufficient disnensions to meet the wants of the school, and the usual congregation of the Sabbath.

The prospects before him were good. The soil was abundantly rich and productive. The Indians on the ground were industrious in providing for their future confort. A grist and saw mill were in a course of erection on an unfailing stream of water, within two miles of the station, and contentment seemed to pervade the place.

CHOCTAWS. Although the Choctaws, east of the Mississippi, have been favored with an able and successful Baptist ministry by one of their own countrymen, no direct missionary efforts were attempted among them by us till since their removal. Early the last summer, the Rev. CHARLES E. Wilsoņ, of Philadelphia, was appointed a missionary of this Board, and directed to enter the Indian territory, without the assignment of a specific field. Since his arrival there, he has been recommended to visit the Choctaws, and found them in an

interesting state, and cordially disposed to receive him. His labors among them are of too recent date to furnish matter for report; but all the indications of Providence corroborate the fitness and importance of his undertaking.

Sailing OF MISSIONARIES. It was stated, in our last report, that several missionaries were under appointment, and might be expected to sail soon for India. In accordance with this arrangement, the Rev. Thoinas Simons, Mr. Royal B. Hancock and wife, and Miss Sarah Cummings, took passage in the ship Fenelon, which left Boston the 29th of June last; and on the 22d of December, Rev. Nathan Brown and Rev. Abner Webb, with their wives, and Miss Caroline J. Harrington, embarked in the ship Corvo, all for Calcutta. The former arrived out the 15th of October, and at the date of the last intelligence, had taken passage for Maulmein. They, doubtless, joined the mission before the close of the year. From Viessrs. Webb and Brown no information has been received.

MISSIONARIES UNDER APPOINTMENT. Five brethren have been examined, and accepted by the Board,—four from Hamilton, and one from Newton Institution. Of these, four are destined to labor in the East, and one in the West. Applications for appointments by others, whose course of study is not yet completed, are under consideration.

AGENCY. The Board have employed but few agents at any time. They have oce

occasionally encouraged a young man appointed to a foreign station to travel a while before leaving the country. These excursions have afforded him the opportunity of becoming personally known to the churches, and the acquaintance has usually proved a source of mutual satisfaction. The information given by him on missionary subjects has served to correct erroneous opinions, which are always more or less prevalent, and to produce union of principle and action in the friends of benevolence.

Some of the officers of the Board have also visited different sections of the country, as often as the multiplied and urgent duties of their situation at home would permit. The respected Treasurer of the Convention is at this time absent on an excursion at the south, particularly with a view to inspecting one of the Indian stations. The time, however, has arrived, when the operations of the Board are assuming such high and comprehensive ground, that a small part of the churches can no longer sustain them in strength and vigor ; nor would it be proper, if they could. The cause in which they are engaged is a common one, uniting the hearts of all who love the kingdom of God, and should therefore be allowed to unite their hands. With a view to extend and increase this sacred co-operation, they have appointed the Rev. ALFRED BenNETT, a permanent agent. All who know him, will appreciate bis qualifications for the service.

He is ardently devoted to the object, and well acquainted with the details of missions. Wherever he goes, those who hear him will derive correct information from his statements. He has now been about six months in our employ, most of which time he spent in Virginia. His future field it is difficult at present to define, from the numerous claims which are presented to him. It is the design of the Board, however, to strengthen his hands by the appointment of such other agents as circumstances shall require.

STATE OF THE TREASURY. The same prosperity which has distinguished the labors of the year has been apparent in the supply of means to sustain them. It might have been feared, that so rapid an increase of expenditures would involve us in debt; but the

« PreviousContinue »