Page images

themselves that he should be permitted to resume his labors iv their country.” A resolution to this effect had been adopted by the Cherokee National Council, October 2, 1839, disclaiming all participation in the complaints or charges made agaiust Mr. Jones, and stating that "it was the desire of the people and authorities of the nation that he should be again permitted to resume his labors among them” (H).

Mr. Jones is expected to remove his family to the Indian territory early the present season. Du the past winter he has visited Boston, and other places on the sea-board, with a view to promote the interests of the Cherokee mission; and by his unaffected piety and general deportment has confirmed the Board in their previous judgment of his right to their entire confidence and affection.

The following brief history of the Cherokee mission, prepared by Mr. Jones on request, is subjoined, in the absence of a more detailed accouni of its operations during the past year.

After giving the location and boundaries of the ancient Cherokee country, now within the limits of North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee, and the history of the relations of the Cherokees to the United States till 1819, Mr. Jones proceeds as follows.

“ About 1819 the Baptist Board commenced a mission at Valley Towns, in the northeast part of the nation. This region, situated in the mountains, was deeined the most unenlightened part of the country. For many miles around, the gloom of heathenism and superstition had not then been penetrated by the rays of the sun of righteousness.

“During the first years of the mission, its efforts were chiefly directed to the instruction of youth. Several hundreds were taught to read the word of God, and initiated into the elements of other useful knowledge. The mission, however, was not entirely destitute of spiritual fruit. At an early date three of the pupils and several white persons were hopefully converted; some of whom still continue to exemplify the happy influence of divive truth, and some have fallen asleep in Jesus.

“In 1827 the plan of operations was somewhat modified, when the efforts of the mission were brought to bear more directly on the spiritual condition of the adult population. The divine blessing accompanied these labors, and several persons were soon brought under serious concern for their souls; and being directed to the Lamb of God, as the sinner's only hope, found peace in believ. ing. Subsequent years have been crowned with similar results, and the cause of truth has been advancing at an increased ratio.

“The introduction of the gospel among thein greatly augmented the sum of human happiness. Wherever it was received evident and happy changes were produced, in regard to industry, economy and domestic arrangements. Houses, gardens, fields, personal costume, the instruction of children, the observance of the Sabbath day, attendance on the worship of God, and the abandonment of ancient vices and superstitions, united their testimony to the superior purity and efficacy of the principles supplied by the religion of Jesus.

“ Among the early converts was our br. John Wickliffe, a man of a devoted and humble spirit. He soon commenced a course of profitable labor for the spiritual benefit of his people. In the spring of 1833, during a visit of the Hon. Heman Lincoln, the esteemed Treasurer of the Board, to the Valley Towns station, our br. Wickliffe was set apart to the ministry of the gospel, by the laying on of hands. He has proved a worthy helper in the labors of the mission.

« In 1829, thirty-seven Cherokees and one white person were added to the mission church by haptism.

“In June, 1831, the numbers were sixty-eight Indians and ten whites.

" In June, 1832, the numbers were one hundred and thirty-seven Indians, eleven whites, and one black.

« In 1833 a valuable and efficient addition was made to the mission, in our excellent and devoted br. Jesse Bushyhead. Our sphere of labor was then extended below the mountains; and under the divine blessing many souls were hopefully converted.

« Previously to April 7th, 1835, there had been baptized, in connexion with the mission, two hundred and forty-four Indians, fifteen whites, and one black.

Twenty-three Indians had died, and nine had been excluded; making at that date, in communion with the church, two hundred and thirty-one Indians, fifteen whites, and one black.

“From this date the labors of the mission have been variously interrupted by the agitations which arose in the country on account of an alleged treaty, ceding the whole country to the United States. Notwithstanding the obstacles thus thrown in the way, the brethren continued to travel through the country, during those troublous times, preaching the word in season and out of season; (until they were taken by the troops, to be sent off to the west ;) and the Lord blessed their labors abundantly, to the awakening of sinners and the building up of believers in their most holy faith.

“ In the summer of 1838 the military forces, who had occupied the country since 1836, were increased to about ten thousand strong. Forts were erected by them, in all parts of the nation, and at a time appointed the whole population were arrested and placed in the forts, and within military lines; and were finally marched to the general depots, preparatory to being transported to the west. Some were then delivered to the United States agent, and sent off at once; but the great body of the people were, on petitioning the commanding general, permitted to remain till cooler weather, when the risk of health would be lessened.

“ During their captivity they suffered much from sickness, and great numbers died ; especially young children and old persons.

“Many thousands were brought together by these operations; and however painful the circumstances of their assembling, opportunities were afforded for much evangelical labor; which, I trust, was blessed to the spiritual advantage of many souls. The brethren employed themselves, in the camps, visiting the sick, administering consolation to dying saints, pointing awakened sinners to the Lamb of God, as the only ground of hope; preaching daily in various parts of the camp, conversing with serious inquirers, and instructing them in the way of life. The Lord was pleased to crown these efforts with the influences of his Holy Spirit, and many came forward to testify their hope in Christ. Above one hundred and seventy were baptized, on a profession of their faith, and added to the church during their captivity.

“ An arrangement was finally made between the nation and Maj. Gen. Winfield Scott, by which the conducting of the emigration was placed in the hands of the National Council.

“On arriving at the place of destination, the first care of the members of the churches was to provide temporary arrangements for the preaching of the gospel at all the principal settlements of the emigrants. The continued blessing of heaven has attended the labors of the mission in the new location. More than one hundred and thirty persons have been added to the churches by baptism, and one new church has been organized, since their arrival in the west. The present number of members in the mission churches is somewhat exceeding six hundred.”

With respect to future operations among the Cherokees, arrangements will be made as soon as practicable after Mr. Jones's arrival in the Indian territory. The principal departments, next to preaching the gospel, are teaching and translation. Preaching is solicited in various neighborhoods by earnest and personal application; and the effects of the long-continued unsettled state of society, antecedent and consequent to their removal, give additional force to these appeals. “In the department of education two classes claim attention ; children of families who speak the English language, and those of families who speak the Cherokee oply, and who constitute the great body of the population.” For these last, schools can be taught by native teachers; but for the former, missionary teachers are needed. Much attention is required for the preparation and publication of books. Ouly a portion of the Scriptures has yet been translated into Cherokee, and of this the supply has been entirely inadequate to the demand. One of the earliest objects of Mr. Jones will be to procure a new supply from the press at Shawanoe.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Mission to the Creeks.

CANADian River.-John Davis, native preacher and school-teacher.
2 stations; 1 native assistant.

Since the withdrawal of Messrs. Kellam and Mason, this mission has not been re-occupied by a missionary from the States, and no late information of the condition of the native church has been received. At our last dates Mr. Davis had been encouraged to expect an appointment as school-teacher from the United States Government, it being the most eligible, in view of the hostility of the tribe, to secure the countenance and protection of the civil authorities.

Mission to the Choctaws.
PROVIDENCE.—R. D. Potts, preacher and school-teacher, Mrs. Potts,= 2.

The intelligence from this mission is full of encouragement. In a letter dated Feb. 24, Mr. Potts gives account of a “glorious display of the grace of God" at Providence. On the last Sabbath in January he baptized a white man, a member of his family, and, “ while at the water side, the Holy Spirit came down with power. The stoutest hearts were subdued, the tear was seen in every eye. It was indeed a refreshing from the Lord.” About 18 are supposed to have been converted to God, 5 of whom have been baptized, and others are expected soon. The church numbers 16.

A church has also been constituted by Mr. Potts, in Texas, distant 20 miles, to which 4 were added by baptism in February. Mr. Potts says of this church, “ The Holy Spirit is evidently with them. A more solemn and interesting meeting I never attended. Many were under very deep conviction of siu when I left."

Mr. Potts has the charge of a school, under direction of the United States Government, numbering 14 members, 5 of whom reside in his own family at his cost. Applications have been made for the admission of others, but they were unavoidably refused, for the want of means for their support.*

[merged small][graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]

* Beside the laborers above enumerated, the Rev. Isaac McCoy and wife, formerly missionaries of this Board, and now resident at Shawanoe, are zealously devoted to Indian improvement and reform, but their services have of late years borne more directly upon the civil condition of the Indians, and he has been in the employment and under the direction of the United States Government. They are not therefore considered missionaries of the Board, nor have their names been registered as such, since the suspension of the Carey station, in Michigan, in 1830.



Of the school-teachers, some of whom are also preachers, several are under appointment, or are supported wholly or in part by appropriations, of the United States Government; viz. 1 for the Ojibwas, i for the Ottawas, 1 for the Oneidas, &c., 1 for the Otoes, 3 for the Shawanoes, &c., and 1 for the Choctaws. One of the teachers for the Shawanoes, &c., (Mr. Meeker), is attached to the Ottawa station, and collects no school, but teaches from house to house. The school-teacher for the Otoes was appointed recently, and is on his way to the station.


Mission to France.

Douay.-E. WILLARD, preacher, Mrs. WILLARD. Lannoy and BAISIEUX.-J. THIEFFRY, native preacher. ORCHIES and NOMAIN. A1X.-A. MOUTEL, native preacher. BERTRY.-J. PRUVOTS, native preacher. Walincourt, Ligny, Estourmel, oul-stations. VILLEQUIER (Genlis).–J. B. CRE?tin, native preacher, Pierre Joseph Lacquemont, native assistant.

Manicamp, Chauny, Sulency, foc., out-stations. RIVEcourt.-JOSEPH FOULBOEUF, native preacher. RŮME (Belgique).- Victor Lepoix, native preacher. Louis Choquet, pative assistant. J. N. Froment, colporteur. 8 stations and 6 out-stations. 1 missionary and 1 female assistant, =2.- native preachers and 3 native assistaüts, 9. The connexion of M. Dusart with the Board was closed, at his request, in March. Three other agents have been dismissed for causes not affecting their moral character; and two native assistants bave been received into the service of the mission in their stead. Others of good promise, are about to be engaged in the place of M. Dusart. Messrs. Pruvots and Foulboeuf have been set apart to the ministry of the word by the laying on of hands of the presbytery. The latter and M. Lepoix, who had been studying with Mr. Willard, were stationed the last year, one at Rivecourt, and the other at Rûme, a large village on the borders of Belgium. M. Lepoix is expected, however, to remove shortly to the neighborhood of Villequier, that station requiring several laborers.

The general state of the mission is more prosperous than at any former period. The number of baptisms during the year has been larger, and the persons baptized are nearly all recent converts, and mostly from the ranks of the Catholics. The number of churches, including their branches, is 13, and of baptisms the past year, 34 ; 2 have been added by letter and 6 disinissed; 1 has died. Present number of members 180. Three of the churches, at Rûme, Rivecourt, and Aix, have been organized in the course of the year.

“ There seems to be cause of encouragement every where,” says Mr. W., Jan. 1, “ except at Nomain and Orchies; but in all places where divisions, cabals, chicanery, &c., occur, and especially where there is a mixture of nationals and dissidents (or Irvingites) to keep up a continual contention, we have little or no hope of success."

Mr. Willard renews bis solicitation for further aid, particularly with respect to colportage and education. “A number of young men have presented themselves," he infor us, “ for employment as colporteurs, or to be received as students. Can any thing of the kind have place? I am fully persuaded that colportage and education are the great things to be attended to here. If we can only have the young men about us, a very important advantage is secured, by withdrawing them from an evil and seductive influence on the one band, and hy insensibly directing, moulding and establishing their whole faith in conformity with the word of God on the other. Let us have a man to attend to this, and we shall not fail of having young men enough.” To show the character of these applicants, we subjoin an extract from a letter of one, a young

school-master, educated at the Normal school at Versailles, addressed to Mr. Willard in October.

"To have a firm resolution to crucify every thing, desiring to enter by the door of the sheepfold, in order not to be a thief and a robber, is not the resuli of thoughtlessness, but, on the contrary, these are thoughts suggested by the efficacious grace of a God who has given his only Son to the world. I desire to be also a child of the Father, and I look lo those who live in Christ 10 draw me 10 him by pure and lawful ways, according to the holy gospel, and, consequently, according to sound doctrine. I wish to reject every kind of innovation, and also all docirines which have beeu invented by the wicked one, or by the religious delirium of men. I have kuown enough of the things of the Lord to render it impossible for me to remain any longer in the church of Rome ; for, judge of the situation of iny soul when I find myself obliged by my calling lo bow down to dumb idols. I am preparing to break the chains which bind me to filthy popery. I wish to live henceforth with the Lord-I wish ever, with the aid of bis grace, lo become a workman with him in the harvest which there is to gather in of poor souls, who are yet plunged in the valley and sbadow of death. In a word, I desire to uusite with Christians and labor with all my might for the glory of my God. If the Lord answer my prayers, I shall soon go out of greai Babylon to dwell not in another Babylon; for there are so inany sects on the earih, that I may well fear to fall again into one which does not walk in the straight paths of the gospel; and I have reason, I think, to fear, for it is the true church of Christ that I seek. I have contidence that the Baptist church, according to the information which Foulboeuf has given me of it, walks most in the truth,-it is, therefore, to that church that I should wish to belong; and as you, sir, are the agent of that society in France, 1 pray you to give your hand to a feeble brother, who wishes to get out of the mire, and to receive híın to your Christian fellowship.”

The mission has been recently visited, at the request of the Board, by one of its members, the Rev. Mr. Stow. No full report has yet been received of the results of his inquiries, but it is understood that he is, in general, well pleased with the aspect of the mission. “It is evidently gaining ground, and is, perhaps, quite as prosperous as any man, knowing the circumstances, could have anticipated."


Mission to Germany and Denmark.
HAMBURG.-J. G. ONSKEN, native preacher. Messrs. Lange and Kobner, preaching assist-

Messrs. Muller, Knauer, and Lücken, colporteurs.
BERLIN.-G. W. LEHMANN, native preacher.
OLDENBURG.-- WEICHARDT, native preacher.
5 stations ; 6 nalive preachers, 3 native assistants,=9.

The appeals of the Board and others to the Venerable Senate of Hamburg, mentioned in our last annual report, haviug failed of their designed effect, Mr. Oncken was arrested and cast into prison on the 13th of May; having "continued," as the order of the Senate expresses it,“ to preach, baptize, and administer the Lord's supper, according to his own confession, notwithstanding the prohibition of the authorities."

Immediately on the receipt of this painful intelligence, the Board had recourse to a new series of measures, not only to effect Mr. O.'s release, but to secure him and his suffering brethren from future inolestation. The Rev. Dr. Welch, of Albany, a member of the Board, was requested to visit the seat of our general government, and by a full and fair representation, endeavor to obtain the effective interposition of the President. In this service, which was undertaken with an alacrity alike honorable and auspicious, our highly esteemed brother was successful. The President, though distinctly declining all official interference, kindly entertained the memorial presented to the Department of State, setting forth the essential merits of the case, and directed instructions to he transmitted to the ted States consul at Hamburg, to institute the proper inquiries. Such additional arrangements and communications were also made as were deemed best adapted to secure the desired toleration. The result remains yet to be seen. It appears from the correspondence, a copy of which is herewith submitted, that all has been done that could be, to bring the affair to a prosperous issue; and that, although no immunity is expressly conceded to Mr. Oncken by the Venerable Senate, there is ground for hope that the persecution of Christians at Hamburg will not be speedily renewed.

It is matter of devout thanksgiving, that during the progress of these events

« PreviousContinue »