Page images
PDF
EPUB

live upon

of

my scholars is twenty six, but it is difficult to keep them together; they are often roving about from place to place to get something to

. I am also teaching a singing school. They take great pleasure in learning to sing. We can already carry three parts of several tunes. I am well contented to live here, so long as I am in such great business. I believe I shall persuade the men in this castle, * at least the most of them, to labor next year. They begin now to see, that they would live better if they cultivated their lands, than they do now by hunting and fishing

I ask the continuance of your prayers, that God would give me grace, and fill my heart with love of God and compassion to perishing souls : and that God would make me an instrument of winning many souls to Christ, before I leave this world.

Please to accept much love and respect, from your affectionate and unworthy pupil,

DAVID FOWLER.”+ Extract of a letter from Joseph Woolley, of the

Delaware nation, school master among the Mohawks.

Johnson-Hall, July 1765. “REVEREND AND HONORED SIR, “ The language of my heart is to contribute the little mite I have, to the living God, and be in his service. My soul seems to be more and more upon the perishing pagans in these woods. I long for the conversion of their souls, and that they may come to the knowledge of the Lord Jesus, and be saved. But 0, what reason have I to be ashamed before God, and confess my corrupt nature and lukewarmness in the things of religion, that I live no nearer to him. It is impossible to express the things I mean. My heart feels sorrow for the poor Indians, that they know no more about a crucified Saviour; and I wish I was made able to teach and instruct them; and I shall do whatever lies in my power to tell them of Christ, as long as I tarry. I feel ashamed that I have done no more towards it.

* Indian towns are sometimes called castles, because surrounded with a high palisade.

David Fowler is now living at Oneida, an industrious farmer and

useful man.

I hope you enjoy your health, which I wish may long continue. I have no more to add, but that I beg leave to subscribe myself, and be esteemed, your dutiful and most humble servant,

JOSEPH WOOLLEY."*

The missionaries gave pleasing information, by letters, from time to time, of the teachable disposition of the Indians, and of the commendable exertions of the school-masters in general.

No attempts to introduce christianity among the six confederate nations, had yet been attempted, excepting among the Mohawks and Oneidas. The others seemed inclined to oppose and reject all offers of the kind from protestants. Mr. Samuel Kirkland, who had completed his collegiate education at Nassau Hall, set out from Lebanon, in the autumn of 1765, with a design to penetrate into the country of the Senecas, to learn their language, and conciliate their friendship, preparatory to undertaking a mission among them. They were the most remote tribe of the confederacy, and in a more savage state of soci

He possessed an amiable disposition, and his manners were polished. His labors were soon finished. He died shortly after the date of this letter,

[ocr errors]

ety. The Six Nations, exclusive of the Tuscaroras, speak the same radical language, in different dialects. Mr. Kirkland had already acquired considerable knowledge of the Mohawks, which has a great affinity to the language of the Senecas. The adventure was bold and hazard

No protestant missionary had ever penetrated these forests, or visited this tribe of ferocious pagans. This gentleman was in various respects, peculiarly qualified for the arduous task. He possessed uncommon constitutional strength and vivacity, a mind fearless in danger, a great fund of benevolence, and a heart devoted to the cause of the Redeemer, and zealous for the conversion of the heathen.

He travelled among those barbarians, unattended, boldly persevered in the good work; endured trials and encountered dangers, which would have appalled a common mind with terror and dismay.

Although famine spread its horrors round him, and his life was often in danger, from some, who watched an opportunity to kill him, yet he continued with them more than eighteen months ; taught them from the word of life, and acquired a competent knowledge of their language. The contempt with which those haughty and bloodthirsty warriors first beheld him, was in many instances, converted into admiration of his courage and kindness, and some individuals became so enamored with him, that they expressed their desire to be instructed in his religion. But so unconquerable was the rage of others against him, and the English generally, that he saw no prospect of usefulness or safety. He therefore took'a mission to the Oneidas, where, for many years, he continued his laborious services, his faithful and successful ministry. Though his mission is closed he still continues preaching to them.

Mr. Occum's labors, as a preacher, were, for several years, chiefly bestowed upon the Mohegan, Montauk, and Narraganset tribes, with some occasional missions to the Six Nations. He was earnestly invited by the Rev. Mr. Davis, of Virginia, afterwards president of New Jersey college, to go among the numerous nations of the Cherokees, where a large and inviting field of labor was presented, but some disturbances among the southern Indians prevented his compliance.

The Rev. Mr. Buell, of Long Island, in a letter to the Rev Mr. Bostwick of New York, speaking of Mr. Occum, says, “ As a speaker “of the gospel, he seems always to have in view " the end of the ministry, the glory of God, and .*. the salvation of men.

His manner of expression, when he preaches to the Indians, is vastly “ more natural and free, clear and eloquent,

quick and powerful, than when he preaches to ".others. He is the glory of the Indian nation. "I rejoice in the grace of God conferred on him, " and admire the gospel pearl which is set, not " in the heart of a nobleman, but in the heart of. “one born a pagan.”

Mr. Wheelock, speaking of his popularity among the white people, feeling great interest in: his usefulness, and fearing the effect of the notice and intimacy with which he was flattered, with earnestness exclaimed, “ May God merci

fully preserve him from falling into the conu demnation of the devil.”

[ocr errors]

SECTION V.

MESSRS. WHITAKER AND OCCUM'S MISSION TO GREAT BRIT

AIN-THEIR SUCCESS-LORD DARTMOUTH'S PATRONAGEBOARD OF TRUSTEES IN ENGLAND-PROPOSALS FOR REMOVING THE SCHOOL-CHARTER FOR A COLLEGE GRANTED-DR. WHEELOCK'S PASTORAL RELATION DISSOLVED.

IN America, the reputation of the school became great and extensive. In Great Britain, many pious and respectable persons commenced a correspondence with Mr. Wheelock, and sent him donations of money, books, and clothing, for his Indian boys. The number of students, missionaries, and school masters, who depended upon him for support, increased beyond the extent of the ordinary supplies. Further exertions on his part were required to obtain the means of pursuing his favorite object. He, therefore, with the advice and concurrence of the board of correspondents, concluded to send Mr. Occum to. Great Britain. The Rev. Nathaniel Whitaker, of Norwich, was appointed to accompany him, to solicit benefactions for the Indian School, They accordingly went, carrying with them testimonials, by which they and the school were highly recommended by many of the most rese pectable persons in America.

Mr. Occum was the first lydian preacher, who had ever been welcomed to the shore of England. With great applause he preached in London, and the principal cities of England and Scotland, to numerous audiences of different denominations. Wherever he preached, generous contributions were made for the school.

Divine Providence disposed the hearts of all orders of men, to contribute to the benevolent design. By the influence, and at the solicitation

« PreviousContinue »