A repository of much authentic and colorful history and description of the Indian Territory was the Indian Advocate published in Louisville, Kentucky, under the patronage of the American Indian Mission Association. This Baptist organ received many interesting accounts from missionaries carrying on the work of the Church among the Creek, Cherokee, and Choctaw Indians that appeared in practically every number. In the July, 1847 issue of the Advocate was an interesting account by Rev. P. P. Brown, a visiting missionary, of the Choctaws and their schools. Brown is writing at Armstrong Academy July 23, 1847, after witnessing for three weeks the public examinations of the pupils in various Indian schools:
The ringing of the big bell announced the hour for commencing. Many a heart beat with school-boy excitement. Most had been present at our first trial day, and now began to feel what they ne'er had felt before, a great anxiety with regard to their success. Hope and fear chased each other in rapid succession over their countenances, as class after class was called out. Trustees, chief, and captains—great ones of the nation, besides many others, were attentive listeners, as example after example was unfolded upon the wonderful, mysterious black-board, the school-master's right hand man; attention grew more eager, as each pupil traversed the different countries on our globe—delineated small meandering streams till they were swollen into mighty rivers, flowing on to the never-satisfied ocean—scaled the dizzy heights of snow-capt mountains—measured each zone from pole to pole, and, rising with the world, traced its path, annually described around the sun.
The exercises being closed, sundry speeches in English and Choctaw followed commending the progress made, and encouraging to more persevering efforts.
Then came dinner, all wanted—of beef, pork, cakes, pies, and coffee. Examination is a great gala-day, when mind and body both expect to be feasted.
Dinner over—horse bridled and saddled—the parting hand given—we are on our way to Captain Jones' plantation, eighteen miles distant. Our company consists of the three trustees, R. M. Jones, G. W. Harkins, and F. Leflore, and the Hon. Chief, S. Fisher. Most of our way lies through the prairie, where the sun has a fair shake at us, which by this time has become quite hot; the slight breeze, however, which is almost constantly playing over the prairie, adds much to our comfort, and with the aid of our umbrellas, we pass on very comfortably. We passed but two houses, as the settlements are principally in the timber, or near the rivers.
About sunset we reached our stopping place. Mr. Jones has named his residence Lake West, from a small lake in the vicinity. His plantation lies mostly in Red River bottom. It contains five-hundred acres of the richest kind of land, producing abundant crops of cotton and corn. The dwelling house stands back from the plantation, on a gentle rise of ground, sufficiently elevated to protect it from the highest floods, which inundate the whole bottom. It is a two-story frame building, painted white, of plain, simple, but substantial architecture, with a single piazza, extending the whole length. Several large shade trees give it a rural appearance: and with the large yard surrounding it—the adjacent garden of excellent vegetables—the flourishing peach orchard—the well of cool water the necessary out-buildings, in good repair—the well-furnished table—food served up in good farmer style, — I almost imagined myself upon the premises of a Kentucky planter. A great amount of money has been expended to render the place pleasant and comfortable, yet the sickening miasma from the neighboring swamps and ponds makes it unfit for a continued residence. It is used at present only as a winter retreat. Another plantation, about thirty miles East, is occupied in summer.
On Wednesday morning, after a sumptuous breakfast, we started for Mr. Jones' new home, on our way to the first female examination, directing our course towards the mouth of Boggy River—a dark, muddy stream. Our way lay principally through fine timbered land, free from thick undergrowth, and covered with grass sufficient to furnish an excellent summer range in the absence of prairie. We crossed several small prairies, covered
with a luxuriant growth of wild grass and bushes, indicating a productive soil. Several Choctaw farms came in our way; some indicating a good degree of thriftiness, having good log houses, comfortable stables, with plenty of livestock—cows, hogs, turkeys, hens, and geese.
Their farms are generally small, usually not exceeding twenty acres, in which corn and sweet potatoes are principally cultivated. Their crops are generally backward, owing to the lateness of the season when they are put in. Crossing Boggy at its junction with Red River, we passed into a higher region of country, more broken and less fertile, but producing good crops of corn.
A little before sunset, we were kindly welcomed by Mr. Jones' lady to the hospitalities of her home. She is of a Chickasaw family, a very pleasant and agreeable companion, whose easy, graceful, lady like manners command the respect and win the admiration of all. She has one child, a daughter, who will be sent to the States to be educated, as soon as she reaches the requisite age. The plantation at this place contains about three-hundred acres of excellent land. There is an abundance of large timber on the place, and the location has thus far proved healthy. One of the best crops of cotton in the country, indicates the quality of the soil, and the diligence with which it has been cultivated. — Among other good things furnished us we were furnished with a rich treat of watermelons, the first I had tasted this season.
On Thursday, two o'clock, P. M. our company, enlarged by Mrs. Jones, who rides with her daughter in her coach, move on to the school under the superintendency of Rev. E. Hotchkin, one of the missionaries of the American Board of Commissioners. It is called The Koonsher Female Seminary.
The examination was held on Friday, the 9th. In a late number of the Advocate, this is called a "school for boys." It is exclusively for girls. Forty-four are boarded upon an appropriation of $3,000 from the Nation and $600 from the Board.
Their clothing is furnished by their parents, as are also the pupils in all the female schools, and one small male school. The school is arranged into two departments, under two teachers. In point of discipline and instruction, it is regarded the first Female school in the nation. It has been in operation three years.
On Thursday evening we were presented with a pleasing specimen of skillful management, and superior learning of the young ladies. Supper was over, we were all assembled in the hall and spacious piazza for an hour of worship. The exercises commenced by each young lady rising successively to her feet, and repeating the same verse of Scripture. A few questions upon the meaning of several were contained in the verse and answers in such exact concert as to sound like one loud voice. Then followed questions and answers in rhyme from a small Sunday School Paper answered in the same manner producing favorable impressions preparatory to the exercises tomorrow.
After worship Mr. Israel Fulsom, an educated half breed, gave a spirited address in Choctaw and English seeming to dwell mostly on the benefits to be derived from Bible instruction.
About seven o'clock on Friday morning, the examination commenced, in a meeting house, a neat frame building erected with funds principally obtained in the neighborhood. Quite a number of Choctaws and whites were present. The exercises were conducted in a manner well calculated to please a popular audience, which must judge from what it sees rather than from what it hears; questions being rapidly proposed and as promptly answered—now individually, now collectively—so exact that the slightest variation could hardly be detected—often repeating whole pages with the sound of a single voice, loud and distinctly enunciated. I remarked one peculiarity in the tone of voice in recitation, which seemed to predominate over all the rest. Every pupil's voice seemed pitched upon the same key. Every sound seemed to be uttered with the same sound and same force. From what cause it could originate, I know not: that so many different voices, in natural strength and tone, in a school of that size, could be tuned to the same pitch, in answering every question, must have required a great amount of patient training.
In addition to the common branches, the history of the United States, and a small elementary work on natural philosophy, have been pursued. Several neatly executed maps of the U. States were shown, as the work of the young ladies. The dresses worn by the pupils were presented as specimens of their needle-work, which spoke much for their taste and skill.
After a most sumptuous dinner, in company with Mr. Berthlet, an enterprising merchant of Doaksville, I started for that place, crossing the Kiamishi, which rises near the eastern boundary of the Nation, and bending round to the southwest flows in a southeasternly direction into Red River.
Doaksville is a small place, containing about fifty or sixty people, consisting mostly of traders and mechanics. It has six stores, two saddler shops, one tailor, one blacksmith, one cabinet, and one shoemaker shop; also a drug store and a public house.
The stores are principally owned by white men, who expect to remain no longer than to amass a fortune. Some few Choctaws are in partnership with them. — The public house is owned by Col. David Fulsom, one of the principal men in the Nation. He keeps an excellent house on strictly temperance principles. He also owns the blacksmith shop. Two or three physicians reside here. Their practice is confined to whites and half-breeds, as the full-bloods do not readily adopt the white man's method of curing the sick, adhering to their old method of incantations. They are, however, gradually abandoning them, and applying to the Missionaries and physicians for medicine.
The location of Doaksville, is very unpleasant, especially during the wet season. It stands mostly upon two hills, jetting out into a narrow valley, through which flows a small stream. The soil is a red sticky clay, which renders the streets at times almost impassable. On account of the uncertain stay of a majority of the inhabitants, no public interest is felt in making improvements. A small log meeting house, stands on a hill near the place occupied mostly by Rev. Cyrus Kingsbury.
On Saturday, I attended the examination of the female school, under the superintendence of Mr. Kingsbury, at Pine Ridge Station, about a mile from Doaksville. It is called the Chuala Female Seminary. Twenty four pupils are boarded upon an appropriation of $1,600 from the Nation and $1,000 from the American Board. Others are boarded by the parents, and with those brought in from the neighborhood and the number attending during this session amounts to forty, which imposes a very severe task upon the teacher.
In addition to the branches pursued at Mr. Hotchkin's, Watts on Mind, and the shorter catechism have been studied.
At the close of the exercises, we were shown some specimens of work executed by the young ladies, in fancy book marks,—calico shirts—pantaloons—palm leaf hats, and a bed quilt. The work was very neatly finished, in a style that would do honor to any young boarding school Miss in the States. The different articles were sold at auction; the proceeds of which were to be applied in erecting a Meeting house on Blue River, where a new station is about being opened.
After dinner, I left Doaksville on my way to Norwalk station, where Mr. Charles Copeland, resides. Mr. C. acts as steward to the male school, under the superintendence of Rev. A. Wright, called The Newark School for Boys. It is five miles from Wheelock, where Mr. Wright resides, and twelve miles east of Fort Towson. It receives an appropriation of $800 from the Nation, and $160 I think, from the Board, upon which are boarded sixteen boys; their clothing being supplied by their parents. Some few pay for their board, and some attend from the neighborhood, making the average number twenty-two. — They are mostly small, and understand the English language. I spent the Sabbath here. Mr. Copeland, who is a licensed preacher, attended a meeting some five miles south, on Red River. The religious exercises at the station, consisted in Sabbath School duties, at which Banvard's series was studied. At the close, books were distributed to be read during the day.
After worship, at night, each boy was called upon to give an account of what he had read. Most of them were able to tell something. Some related nearly all they had read, frequently reciting verbatim. It was a very profitable and interesting exercise, and well calculated to fix the mind upon the subject while reading. It seemed to be entered into by the boys with a great deal of pleasure.
At an early hour on Monday morning, the examination commenced. The studies pursued were spelling, reading, writing,—Mental arithmetic, geography, a small elementary work on Natural Philosophy and music. Some attention is paid to the latter in all the schools; but more in this than any other. The pupils are taught the principles, and learn to sing by the rules. — The teacher is exceedingly fond of the study, and takes great delight
in teaching it. Several pieces, both sacred and secular, were sung by the boys, to the great amusement of the spectators.
At the close, an address was given by Mr. Leflore, the chief of the district. At the commencement of the schools, he strongly opposed them, but is now decidedly in their favor. Early next morning, in company with friends, I went on to Mr. Wright, to attend the examination of the female school under his superintendence, called The Wheelock Female Seminary. — The amount of appropriation to this school, I did not learn. Forty-five pupils divided in primary and higher departments, were examined by two teachers. The exercises were held in Mr. Wright's excellent stone church, the best edifice of the kind in the Nation; erected at a cost of $2,000. A respectable number of persons were present to witness the recitations which were agreeably interspersed with occasional pieces from the school choir. On the table before the pulpit, were specimens of needlework, and several very neat exhibitions of perspective drawing, taught by Miss Dickenson, a natural artist, and an accomplished teacher. The articles of needle work, were exposed to sale at the close of the exercises, the proceeds of which, were to be applied to finishing the church.
The Boarders of the school are divided into two families, a part boarding with Mr. Wright, and a part with Mr. H. Copeland, who acts as steward. After the examination, I wound my way back to Doaksville, and in company with the principal teacher, went on ten miles to Spencer Academy, the anniversary of which, was held on Tuesday, the 20th. inst.
On Friday, the 16th, the female school, under the superintence of Rev. C. Byington, was examined. It is located twenty-eight miles east of Wheelock, and about one hundred from Armstrong. It is called the Iyanubi Female Academy. Being anxious to visit Spencer, previous to their examination, I did not attend it, but understood from the Trustees, that every thing was quite satisfactory—the needle-work superior. At all the female schools, the pupils are required to take their turns in the kitchen, and do their washing.
Spencer Academy. — I spent a week here very profitably to myself, and I trust to my school, in learning their method of management in teaching and discipline. As you approach the
Institution, from the south, you enter a long lane, separating a large cornfield on the left, from a small uncultivated field on the right. The miserably poor soil, and the lateness of the season, when the corn was planted, give it rather a sorry appearance, and should the drought come on at its usual time, there will be a poor yield.
The first building met with, is a good sized stable and shed, about two hundred yards from the dwelling houses. Entering the large yard on the north side of the farm, before you stand two large two story frame buildings painted white.
Pitchlynn Hall on the right, is occupied on the lower floor by Rev. Mr. Ramsay, the superintendent, and one of the teachers; the upper story by a part of the boys.
Jones Hall on the left, is occupied by the principal teacher, with another portion of the pupils. Passing into the square formed by the buildings, on the extreme left, you see the school house; it is built of logs, one story high, divided into one large school room and two small recitation rooms. On the north side of the square, fronting to the south, stands Armstrong Hall, of the same size and form as the others; occupied on the lower floor by the primary teacher, and the Institution carpenter, on the second floor by the remainder of the boys, principally the smaller ones.
On the right or east side of the square, is a two story building, occupied by the steward and family, and some female helpers. In the rear of this dining room attached to which is the kitchen, bakery and "Tom Fuller" room. To the east of Pitchlynn Hall, and a little back, stand the store room, smoke house, and a lodging room for hired help.
The three Halls have large piazzas extending the whole length, which render them very pleasant and agreeable. The school was given into the hands of the Presbyterian Board of Missions more than a year ago, who contribute to its funds annually $2,000. Previous to that time it was solely under the direction of the Nation, and although its income was $8,333⅓ per annum, during the short period of three years, it became involved about $3,000. I believe it is a matter of much profit to the Nation, and satisfaction to those connected with the other schools, that the attempt was made for them to manage the institution, as the people are
satisfied they cannot do it, and they have been made acquainted with the difficulties missionaries have to contend with. The present income is $10,833⅓ and it is expected to maintain one hundred boys. Eighty only have been at school the last session, and I believe the intention is, not to increase the number till the institution is entirely relieved from its embarrassment. It is the most advanced school in the Nation, as many of the pupils had been under tuition for a long time previous to its commencement. But few of those, however, now in school, are considered scholars, the majority are principally beginners, of one, two, and three years attending.
I was in the school three days, listening to the recitations and witnessing the other exercises. I was much pleased with the contented spirit which seemed to pervade the room, and the lively interest in the different studies manifested by all.
It is really a gratifying thought, to enter a school room in the Nation, and see the youthful eye so eagerly bent upon the book, to witness the earnestness of attention in investigation, when, but a short time before they were wandering as fancy led, and seeking objects which their own crude notions presented.
The examination was held under a bower in the yard. It was well attended, by those who seemed to take a deep interest in the exercises.
A difficulty that had occurred in school a few days previous, and which was brought before the trustees, cast a shade of gloominess over some, and had its effect upon the general exercises. Otherwise, a pleasing aspect seemed to be spread over the whole, The school was examined in the common branches, in Algebra, Geometry, Astronomy, Surveying and Latin. Several pieces were spoken by the boys, and several compositions were read. The exercises were closed with prayer by Rev. Mr. Page, a full-blood Choctaw, of the Methodist connection.
The Methodists have two schools; Fort Coffee Academy, and New Hope Female Seminary: both in Musholitubi District, on the Arkansas river. They are both prospering. The schools will resume operations the 7th of October.
Thus has ended my tour to the schools, full of interest to me, and which, I trust will result in profit to my school.
In the September, 1849 issue of the Advocate, was an interesting sketch of the Comanche people as related to Rev. H. F. Buckner, and by him contributed to the Tennessee Baptist, from which it was copied in the Advocate; the Gold Rush through the Indian Territory was on, and enterprising Indians of the Five Civilized Tribes went among the wild Indians to barter for mules which they sold to the California emigrants departing from Fort Smith through the Territory. Mr. Buckner's account follows:
As little is known concerning the wild Indians who live west of the Creeks and Cherokees, I have thought that whatever information might be given concerning them, be it ever so scant, woud not be altogther uninteresting.
A party of sixteen, consisting mostly of Creeks and Cherokees, have just returned from a trading excursion, and from Unus McIntosh their leader, I have obtained the following: — "We proceeded," says he, "in a direction South of West from the Creek Agency. Each of us had a rifle and such other weapons as we could carry conveniently about our persons. Our mules were laden with tobacco, vermilion, &c., &c., which we expected to barter with the Comanches for mules, intending to supply the emigrants to California with those animals. The country over which we traveled was mostly prairie, with here and there a skirt of scrubby oaks. We had for our interpreter a Kickapoo, who had spent some time with the Comanches, and who could speak a little broken English. After traveling about 200 miles in the same direction without seeing or hearing any thing worth relating, we came in sight of the tents where the Comanches were whiling away the months of spring.
I confess that our hearts began to fail us when we came in sight of tents extending farther than our eyes could see on an open prairie and filled with wild savage Indians, who in all probability, would regard us as enemies. Our guide had us all to alight, examine our rifles and to see that they were well primed. He then addressed us as follows:
"Me friends; may be so well we all find an grave to day, all go one way; Comanche may be so fight, and may be so friendly; we must no run nor be fraid. Sometime I fight Camanch wid only tree or four; but we sixteen, and hab plenty guns! We heap!
We no run!" His little son then came running up to him, and asked him to load his pistol, (he was only eight years old.) The old man looked at his boy with an expression of satisfaction, loaded his pistol, and turning to us said: "My boy may be so better man than me; he no scare; may be so me little scare in here, (placing his hand on his breast and smiling.) We must no let Camanch see us fraid."
There was one white man in company, and on this occasion he looked rather paler than his race. Our guide, on perceiving this, painted 'brother Johnathan's face all over with vermilion, lest his countenance should betray the state of his mind.' We then remounted and proceeded in the direction of the tents. Presently six old men, mounted on mules came meeting us. We were going to shake hands with them according to the custom of civilized life, when one of them made a sign for us to stop, which we did. He then inquired of us the object of our visit, and to what nation we belonged. Being answered that some of us were Creeks, some Cherokees and one Kickapoo, and that we had come to buy mules, he requested us to separate in parties according to our different tribes, which we did, (brother Johnathan identifying himself with the Cherokees.)
He then proceeded to shake our hands according to the custom of their nation, which indeed, were very singular. Causing us to stand with our right side fronting him, and to hold our right arm in the same position that a tailor would if he was going to measure the length of our coat-sleeve; he caught us with both his hands just above the waist, and then waiving our arm up and down as we would a pump handle, he looked us steadily in the eyes. He first shook the hands of the Creeks, then of the Cherokees, and lastly of the Kickapoo. After shaking the hand of each individual he placed his own over the reign of his stomach (as a token of love) bowed himself to the earth, and after pronouncing the name of the tribe to which the individual belonged, added "chartar," which in their language, signifies good. Having concluded this ceremony, they invited us to accompany them to their tents, and after our arrival showed us where to erect ours. One of them led forward a mule laden with raw buffalo meat and invited us to eat, telling us at the same time that the meat on the right side of the mule was for the Creeks, while that on the left
side was for the Cherokees and Kickapoo. We invited their chiefs to eat with us, setting before them cooked meat, bread, sugar, coffee. They ate very heartily, dipping their hands into the bowl and eating the sugar alone, then drinking the coffee.
I will only have time and room to add the following items in unconnected sentences. Their young men appear to be vain and fond of dress; which consists of a tight skirt made of checked linen, a beaded gown made of dressed buckskin, beaded mockasins and wrappers. They have a small mirror suspended constantly to their wrist, which they consult on all occasions when they wish to appear in company. The men wear very long hair, but the women keep theirs closely trimmed. The former appear to be spirited and independent; the latter, as among all savages, mean, and careless about their dress. There were about 5000 encamped at that place, and being asked the number of their tribe, said: "as the hand is to the length of the whole arm, so are we to the whole number of our tribe." When talking they keep their hands and arms in constant motion. They express all their verbs, and prepositions in this manner, and have words only to express the manner and quality of things. They have many Mexican and Spanish prisoners, who they use as servants, and whom they sell on the same terms that they do their mules. They claim all the land from the salt plains to the rocky mountains inclusive. They move twice in the year, and are governed in this by the movements of the buffalo. They eat nothing but raw meat steeped in pepperwater. Some of them have light hair and blue eyes, but it is thought that this class is of Spanish extraction. They say that they are the most powerful nation on earth and to prevent their people from thinking differently the chiefs had those of their tribe put to death whom Gen. Butler had taken to Washington city. I was not able to learn anything of their religion or laws. They will meet in council next spring at the salt plains to which they have invited their neighboring tribes. They have never heard the gospel.
A Choctaw tradition related by Peter P. Pitchlyn of that tribe, appeared in the October, 1840 issue of the Advocate:
"According to the tradition of the Choctaws, the first of their race came from the bosom of a magnificent sea. Even when they
first made their appearance upon the earth, they were so numerous as to cover the sloping and sandy shore of the ocean, far as the eye could reach, and for a long time did they follow the margin of the sea before they could find a place suited to their wants. The name of their principal chief has long since been forgotten, but it is well remembered that he was a prophet of great age and wisdom. For many moons did they travel without fatigue, and all the time were their bodies strengthened by pleasant breezes, and their hearts, on the other hand, gladdened by the luxuriance of perpetual summer.
"In process of time, however, the multidude was visited by sickness, and one after another were left upon the shore the dead bodies of old women and little children. The heart of the Prophet became troubled, and, planting a long staff that he carried in his hand, and which was endowed with the miraculous power of an oracle, he told his people that from the spot thus designated they must turn their faces towards the unknown wilderness. But before entering upon this portion of their journey, he designated a certain day for starting, and told them that they were at liberty, in the meantime, to enjoy themselves by feasting and dancing, and performing their national rites.
"It was now early morning, and the hour appointed for starting. Heavy clouds and flying mists rested upon the sea, but the beautiful waves melted upon the shore as joyfully as ever before. The staff which the Prophet had planted was found leaning towards the North — in that direction did the multitude take up their line of march. Their journey lay across streams, over hills and mountains, through tangled forests and over immense prairies. They were now in an entirely strange country, and as they trusted in their magic staff, they planted it every night with the utmost care, and arose in the morning with great eagerness to ascertain the direction towards which it leaned. And thus had they travelled for many days, when they found themselves upon the margin of an, O-kk-na-chitto, or great highway of water. Here did they pitch their tents, and having planted their staff, retired to repose. When morning came, the oracle told them that they must cross the river before them. They built themselves a thousand rafts, and reached the opposite shore in safety.
"They now found themselves in a country of surpassing loveliness, where the trees were so high as almost to touch the clouds, and where game of every variety, and the sweetest of fruits, were found in the greatest abundance. The flowers of this land were more brilliant than any they had ever before seen, and so large as often to shield them from the sunlight of noon. With the climate of the land they were delighted, and the air they breathed seemed to fill their bodies with a new vigor. So pleased were they with all this that they saw, that they built mounds in all the most beautiful valleys they passed through, so that the Master of Life might know that they were not an ungrateful people. In this new country did they conclude to remain, and here did they establish their national government, with its benign laws.
"Time passed on, and the Choctaw nation became so powerful that its hunting grounds extended even to the sky. Troubles now arose among the younger warriors and hunters of the nation, until it came to pass that they abandoned the cabins of their forefathers, and settled in distant regions of the earth. Thus from the very body of the Choctaw Nation have sprung those other nations which are known as the Chickasaws, the Cherokees, the Creeks, or Muskogees, the Shawnees and the Delawares. And in the process of time, the Choctaws found a great city, wherein their most aged men might spend days in peace; and because they loved those of their people who had long before departed into distant regions, they called this city Yazoo, the meaning of which is 'Home of the People who are gone'."
In 1854 the Advocate carried an appeal to the people of the South written by Rev. D. N. McIntosh, October 5, 1854. Rev. H. F. Buckner had been recalled from his field of usefulness in the Creek Nation, that he might assist the Board of Missions. Those who customarily think of the Creeks of that period as an uneducated people will be surprised at the excellent command of English displayed by this Creek Indian, in the preparation of the paper for himself and associate Creek ministers:
"Dear Brethren:—The fact that brother Buckner has been called to act as agent in raising funds for the purpose of relieving the Board of embarrassment, is causing a great deal of regret among our brethren.
"The news was as unexpected as it was discouraging. 'Not a dollar,' says the Indian Advocate 'is in the treasury,' and on this account we were obliged to give up our only missionary, after the five years of almost unparalleled success in which he has preached Christ among us. Many of us were brought to the foot of the Cross under his ministry. His name is associated with our first serious impressions of any obligation to return a Saviour's love by obedience and change of life. But we will not murmur at the dealings of Him whose afflictions are kindly sent. Even the present crisis may be fraught with good. Of this we feel assured the Lord doeth all things well. But are our infant organizations to be left to struggle on alone? Before we have learned to walk, must we assume all the responsibility of full grown men? Badly versed in the common requirements of the church relation, how are we to decide questions which must often arise among us, and that require counsel which few of us are competent to give? Can we preserve our existence without such counsels, and are we hereafter to depend only on the aid which our present condition can afford us?'
"Such are questions that present themselves to our minds. Our congregations are the largest in the nation. We are preparing beyond our most ardent anticipations, and now our brother who has, under God, been an active instrument in bringing about this state of things, is to be taken from us—and why? Because money is wanting to sustain missionaries. To whom does the Board look for this money? The Baptist churches of the South. To these Baptist churches, then, we appeal, in this our time of need. Is there no way of meeting the present crisis? You have wealth. On you religion and moral light has beamed with uncommon refulgence. Compared with a great part of the world, seems —
and your physical means of gratification have kept pace with your moral and intellectual.
"On lands over which our fathers roamed in freedom, Which they never dreamed would be wrenched from them by violence or ingratitude, you are raising families, and surrounding them with all the luxuries which a fruitful soil and profitable mercantile connections can bestow. Your children prattle in lovely inno-
cense over our fathers' graves. — Could we hear their glad voices as do you, each silver tone would strike upon our ears like echoes from the tomb. The ashes of our ancestors have mingled with the soil which turns in rich and grateful fertility before your plow. The axe of the white man has felled the forests in whose shades we had our birth. — and those wilds which once echoed with the shouts of the chase, and which at a later period had begun to repay our attempts at agriculture, are now busy marts of trade, which is enriching a race whose fast tendencies have dispossessed us of their advantages. The rivers and lakes on whose banks our maidens sang notes to their lovers, and our braves mingled in the wild war-dance now echo with riper civilization, from the influence of which we are driven to begin a new civilization farther west, surrounded by temptations which are the legitimate results of our removal, and the money allowed us by your people; the latter alluring your transient and most avaricious traders to our borders, whose influence, which it teaches us how to gratify our cupidity, at the same time makes a mock of the restraints of virtue, by clothing vice in a garb often mistaken for manliness and honor.
"Our people who aided you against your British enemies, and who were to have been remembered and remunerated, had their own lands taken from them to defray the expenses of a war in which they acted in good faith as allies.
" 'The United States were to take as much of the lands as may appear to the Government thereof to be a just indemnity for the expenses of the war, and as a restitution for the injuries sustained by its citizens and the friendly Creek Indians.'
"Five times as much land was taken as was necessary to defray these expenses, and instead of having been taken of the hostiles, it was taken of the lower Creeks, who acted as allies to Gen. Jackson; not, however, on the ground of the justness of the measure, but because of "considerations interesting to the United States relative to the Spanish dominions immediately South of us."
"For these lands the friendly Creeks are not yet remunerated, nor are their Chiefs remembered, as promised by Gen. Pinckney.
"We might say much more, but letting this suffice, have we not a claim, aside from Christian sympathy, on your generosity?
So long as we are affiliated with these 'harpies,' to quote from a distinguished Senator, 'who prey upon the destinies of the Indians, and pursue them, instead of the benign influences of the Government, as they are sent on their pilgrimage to the wilderness,' may we not hope for your aid in neutralizing their influence and wresting from them their power of evil?
"In our day of trial we come to you, and ask your aid. Our brother will tell you our condition. He will tell you how desirous many of us are for the salvation of our people.
"Give us the enlightening influences of religious instruction, and we may in time be able to send that influence to our brethren of the Plains. You will be rewarded by the approbation of God, and your foot steps will be followed by tears of gratitude. The remembrance of your zeal shall descend to our children, and they will bless you. And, now, brethren, we ask your prayers, that God may bless our efforts in behalf of our country—for whatever may be the result, we mean to be found at our posts, and die with the harness on. Give us at least your sympathy in our struggle. You have already done much, and in acknowledging it we feel drawn toward you by ties of affection and friendship. It is our wish that those ties may never be tarnished by doubt or destroyed by suspicion. — United in Christ, let us bid each other God speed, and finally meet around the throne of our common Father, to cement through an eternity of joy the union which his Spirit had began on earth.
James Perryman, D. N. McIntosh, Louis McIntosh,