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I was in the place my sons now are. Though 1 was an unprofitable pupil in some respects; yet my worldly affairs have been much benefited by the instruction I there received. I hope my children may reap greater advantages under your care, both with respect to their future as well as their worldly welfare.
Their situation at your brother's meets with my highest approbation. Your goodness, in having provided for them out of the funds, far exceeds my expectations, and merits my warmest thanks. The reason that induced me to send them, to be instructed under your care, is the assurance I had that their morals and education would be there more strictly attended to, than at any other place I know of. I am much pleased at the kindness you
shew in pressing them to be familiar at your house. I beg you will be constant in exhorting them to conduct themselves with propriety. The character you give me of the worthy gentleman, their preceptor, is extremely pleasing. From the whole, I feel perfectly easy with respect to their situation, and the care taken of their education, and am fully convinced that all now depends on their own exertions. The steady friendship you. do me the honor to assure me of, is what, from numberless obligations, I doubly owe your family on my part; and I beg leave to assure you, that until death I remain your sincere friend.
Should then be any thing you might wish from these parts, curiosities or the like, I shall be happy to send them to you.
Dear Sir, I am,
This respectable Sachem, (whose father was also Sachem of the Mohawks, after the death of the famous king Hendric,) and who has always lived in the English manner, in a letter to the President, relative to the education of his sons, dated Buffaloe Creek, July 23, 1801, thus writes :
“It gives me great satisfaction to hear that my sons have so conducted themselves, as to merit yourapprobation. The hopes you form of them is pleasing beyond expression. When my sons went away, I promised they should remain only one year; but as they seem to make progress, I hope you will begin by times to convince them, it is their interest to remain another winter, and exert themselves in their studies. I intend going to England this fall, and should I return safe in the spring, I will see them, and they might then come out on a visit home.”
The two sons of Col. Brant abovementioned, were brought six hundred miles from their father's house to Moor's School, in October, 1800, by Col. Benjamin Sumner, of Clarimont. The Colonel resided fifteen months among the Indians in Canada; and in a letter to Doctor Wheelock, he mentions the great improvements, which the Six Nations, particularly the Mohawks, have made in agriculture and the conveniences of living, as really surprising; and that this change is in a considerable degree to be attributed to the influence of Col. Brant, and other leading characters among them, who had been educated by the late Dr. Wheelock. He also mentions the charge which Col. Brant gave him relative to his sons, which was, that they should be educated in letters, piety, and virtue.
Francis Annance, Sachem of the St. Francois Indians in Canada, had the advantages of an English school education. He has a promising son, who is now a member of Moor's Indian School. In a letter to the Hon. President Wheelock, of Sept. 1803, he thus writes :
“I have experienced the art of reading and writing to be of more than common benefit to man, in respect to his present occasions, and the bettering of his understanding and judgment, by giving him a sight into things both of a civil and spiritual nature, which would otherwise undoubtedly have escaped his knowledge. But this advantage is quite unknown to my nation ; therefore they see not the value of it. But if I should be supported by this government, to whom I have applied for the same, so that I may be able to instruct our children here steadily, for four or five years, they would then begin to see the beauties of learning."
May this enlightened and generous chief be assisted in his good intentions. He did succeed in his application to the British government for support. He has actually taken upon himself the useful office of school master, and is now teaching the children of his people the useful arts of civilized nations. He receives a salary from the king of England of a hundred dollars per annum. He was several years a member of Moor's School, and left it about the close of the revolutionary war. In this connexion, the following extract of a letter to Dr. John Wheelock, from the Rev. Davenport , Phelps, of Upper
be very acceptable.
Extract of a letter from the Rev. Davenport
Phelps, of Upper Canada, to Dr. John Wheelock.
Glanford, U. C. November 1, 1800.
I cannot, sir, but here observe, that strong hopes may be entertained, that we may yet see the wilderness bud and blossom like the rose. There is already a degree of civilization among a number of the nations, which would surprize a stranger. And with some of them there is such an appearance of christianity, that many of the whites who possess it, might well blush at a comparațive view. Of this great and important alteration, and of the present pleasing prospect of success, in extending the knowledge of the Re
them (if suitable measures might be adopted, and exertions used for the purpose) I am fully persuaded the labors of your venerable predecessor, under God, have been the cause. Col. Brant greatly encourages civilization and christianity. Through his exertions and influential example among the Indians, it is to be hoped, their progress towards refinement my yet bę considerable,
Such is the satisfactory evidence, that good fruit is gathered in those extensive fields, cultivated by Doctor Wheelock, long after he rests from his labors. Among these christian tribes his name will not be pronounced, but with a glow of gratitude and affection. It must give pleasure to every benevolent mind, to read the letters of some, who were his Indian pupils. They display the advantages of education on the savage mind. Their ingenuous feelings, the correctness of their sentiments, the propriety of their expressions, the quickness of their apprehension, and justness
of their reasonings, certainly do them honor, To do justice to their characters, we must consider how transient were their opportunities for scientific improvements; we must consider, who have been their associates in the wilderness, mostly excluded from civilized society; excluded from books, from civil, literary and religious institutions.
It has been a question with some, whether the Indians possess a sufficiency of original genius to make any considerable progress in literature. The opinion that they do not, is founded principally on two circumstances. One is, that nota withstanding great pains have been taken to make scholars of many, yet none have appeared eminent in science. The other is, that though they have had opportunity, for almost two centuries, by living near the English, to see the superior advantages of civilized life, yet they in general, remain strongly attached to their original savage
From a superficial view of these reasons, a conclusion unfavorable to the natural abilities of the Indians seems to follow; yet a variety of facts renders the conclusion more than doubtful. It is true that a considerable number of Indian youth have been admitted into English schools; and it is as true, that very few have been conducted through a regular course of collegiate studies. One at Harvard, one at Dartmouth, and perhaps as many at Princeton, have received collegiate honors. It is not to be supposed that any of these were in a situation to pursue their studies after leaving college to much advantage. From there not being some among them, who are distinguished luminaries of science, nothing unfavorable can be inferred. None have enjoyed the means. Such are their roving habits in early life, that constant study has been found