Изображения страниц
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

mercy to be exercised in favor of those of whose guilt, in point of fact or of law, there may be doubt. But it is believed that in the annals of this boasted land of freedom, no instance can be found of an individual being kept in confinement or subjected to punishment after a decision in bis favor by a court claiming to have cognizance of his case.

As the counsel, therefore, of the said Samuel A. Worcester and Elizur Butler, the Supreme Court having reversed the judgment rendered against them in the State court, it has become my duty respectfully to apply to your excellency for their discharge. Such an act, I trust, will not be less grateful to your own feelings, than welcome to the families and friends of these indi. viduals.

With sentiments of respect,

I am your Excellency's ob't serv't. (Signed)


MEMORIAL of the Prudential Committee addressed to the Con

gress of the United States, praying that the value of the mission buildings and improvements in the Choctaw nation, which were lost to the Board by the treaty of September 1830, might be refunded.

[Referred to at p. 103 of the Report.] To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States in Congress

assembled. The Memorial of the Prudential Committee of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, humbly and respectfully represents:

That the Board, in behalf of which your memorialists now address your honorable bodies, after full communication with the President and Secretary of War on the subject, and obtaining their approbation, as will be seen by papers marked A, B, C, D, and E, hereunto annexed,* commenced the establishment of schools among the Choctaw Indians, during the year 1818. The object which the Board had in view in this measure, the same for which it was organized, and which it has always kept in view in all its proceedings, was of a purely philanthropic and religious nature, being no other than the diffusion of knowledge, civilization, and Christianity. Encouraged by the liberal aid afforded by the government of the United States, and by an appropriation of $6000 a year for sixteen years, made by the Choctaws themselves, out of their annuity, your memorialists proceeded to form a school establishinent on a broad and permanent basis, with the expectation that the Choctaws would remain on the lands which they then occupied, and continue to need the advantages for education thus afforded until all the blessings of civilization, knowledge, and Christianity should be fully introduced among them.

In the prosecution of this object there has been expended under the direction of your memorialists from the commencement of the mission in 1818, to August 1831, the sum of $142,390 45;, which, with about $5000 on hand,

* The papers here referred to were forwarded with the memorial; but as they are similar in purport to the letter from Mr. Crawford, p. 175, it is not deemed necessary to insert them here.

[ocr errors]

has been received from the following sources, viz. $61,981 79 from the funds of the Board, consisting of voluntary contributions from benevolent individ. uals in all parts of the country; $64,000 from the Choctaw annuities; $1,697 26 as donations from individuals in the Choctaw nation; and $20,241 66 from the treasury of the United States. The amount of receipts each year from these several sources is given in the paper inarked F, appended to this memorial; and the disbursements also during each year for the several schools and other objects of the mission, will be seen on paper marked G.

The objects for which these expenses have been incurred, are, generally, the erection of buildings, improvements on land, the purchase of stock, household furniture, mechanic's tools, and farming utensils, the boarding and clothing of scholars, and furnishing the requisite books, and the outfit and travelling expenses of teachers and missionaries.

In stating these expenses, it should, however, be borne in mind, that the whole of the sum named above has not been consumed in merely meeting the current expenses of instruction, but that a large portion of it has been so invested in buildings, improvements on land, and in stock and other inoveable property, as would, it was expected, enable the establishment, when fully in operation, to defray its necessary expenses chiefly, if not wholly, from its own resources. The whole value of the buildings, improvements on land, stock, and other property belonging to the schools at all the stations, and which could be rendered available for their support, was estimated in August 1829, to be $29,261; of which about $9,000 was connected with the station at Elliot, and about $10,000 with that at Mayhew; and it is believed not to have been less in August 1830, when the treaty with the Choctawg was formed. Annual estimates of it have been regularly forwarded to the War Department, by the Rev. Cyrus Kingsbury, the superintendent of Choctaw schools. This sum deducted from the whole amount of disbursements would leave the sum actually consumed in conducting the schools $113,129 45.

So far had this properly become available for meeting the expenses of the schools, that, at the period last mentioned, the product of it, under goed management, in case the Choctaws should remain in their old country, and the schools should go on as they had done, was estimated to be equivalent for the purposes of education, to the annual interest of $75,000 for a hundred years to come. During the year ending with the date just mentioned, the station at Mayhew, with a boarding school containing fisty scholars, and with a mission family consisting of six persons, cost less than $370, exclusive of the produce of the plantation and stock. Had the Choctaws remained in their old country, it is estimated by Mr. Kingsbury, the superintendent, that fifty boarding scholars might have been educated at Mayhew for generations to come, without any extraneous expense, after the present appropriation from the annuity should cease in 1836. Indeed the estimated income from the plantation and stock at that station, during the year ending August 1831, was $2,630—nearly the interest on $33,000. A similar result was to be expected from the other large stations. So that the liberal expenditures made in the early stages of the pols, for erecting buildings, ving land, and pur. chasing stock, had actually become a school-fund, invested in such a manner, that, with the gratuitous services of missionary laborers, aided by the labora

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

of the scholars, the schools could ultimately be supported at a very small expense. In addition to the money expended on this mission by your memorialists, they have furnished for the use of the schools and the mission families large quantities of clothing and other articles, received from benevolent persons throughout the country, amounting during thirteen years, to not less than $12,000. They have also furnished the gratuitous services of thirtythree men, and thirty-three women, whose terin of labor in the mission, on an average, has been more than six years each. If the labor of the women be left out of the account, and the labor of the men be estimated at only $100 a year, it will amount to $19,800. Of these twelve were school teachers, eight were farmers, seven were mechanics, five were preachers, and one was a physician.

The result of all this expense and labor, though by no means so great as could have been desired, and probably much less than they would have been, had the same amount of funds and labor been expended with a view solely to produce immediate effect, without the design of laying a foundation for a permanent establishment, have still not been inconsiderable. From the commencement of the mission in 1818, to August 1831, schools had been opened at fourteen different stations, and taught for a longer or shorter period of time. During the year ending with the latter date, the whole number of scholars taught at seven of the stations from which reports were received, was 235; of whom 144 were boys, and 91 girls; and 154 were boarded and most of them (clothed at the expense of the mission. Nearly all were furnished with books in the same manner. The number in each school, during each year may be seen in paper marked H, appended to this memorial, with a general view also of the attainments of the scholars.

In addition to this, the Choctaw language has been acquired by several of the teachers and missionaries, its orthography settled, and the words first reduced to writing by them. Seven distinct books of an elementary and instructive character, have been prepared by them in this language, and printed, amounting to 10,000 copies, and 1,180,000 pages.

It should also be mentioned that besides those instructed at the schools mentioned above, nearly all of whom are able to read in both the English and Choctaw languages, several hundred youths and adults, who are wholly unacquainted with the English, have been taught to read their own language, All the youths of both sexes who have been connected with the boarding schools have been, in a good measure, trained to habits of industry, and taught to perform tlie various branches of agricultural or household labor, and a considerable number have acquired so much knowledge of different mechanical arts, as to render themselves in this manner useful to their people.

To give a summary view of what has been done in the schools, your memorialists would state that the mission has furnished board, tuition, books, blankets, and clothing, in part, to scholars boarded, during the thirteen years which the mission has been in operation, lo an amount equivalent to 1500 scholars for one year; which, at $75 a year for each, would amount to $112,500: And it has furnished tuition and books to scholars not boarded, to an amount equivalent to 1000 scholars for one year.

It slıould also be stated, as a result of the mission, having a very important bearing on the happiness of the Choctaws, and on their progress in intelli

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

gence and virtue, that the gospel has been preached extensively among them, and more than 350 persons have made a profession of the Christian religion; most of whom, since they united with the church, have sustained a strictly moral character, and have abstained entirely from the use of intoxicating liquors, notwithstanding great efforts liave been made to seduce them from their steadfastness. Those who have had opportunity to form an opinion have, your memorialists believe, universally admitted that the mission has exerted on a portion of the Choctaws, at least, an enlightening, moral, and civilizing influence. The testimony of colonel William Ward, United States Agent, and other gentlemen, on this point, is annexed in paper marked I.

Having adverted to the origin of the Choctaw school establishment, and briefly stated the expenditures and the results of them, your memorialists beg permission to invite the attention of your honorable bodies to the fact, that, by the treaty entered into between the United States and the Choctaws, in September 1830, the school establishment has been unexpectedly broken up, just as the advantages of the large stations first forned were beginning to be realized, and all the funds which your memorialists had been encouraged to invest in buildings, improvements on land, stock, &c., with a view to continued, future operations, have been rendered wholly unavailable for the purposes for which benevolent individuals originally gave them, and for which your memorialists invested them in the manner above stated; while, as your memorialists understand, all the buildings, improvements, stock, and other property at the several stations, which had been accumulated by the application of the joint funds of the Board, the Choctaws, and the United States, together with the labor of the teachers and missionaries employed by the Board, do, by said treaty, become the exclusive property of the United States, no allowance having been made to the Board for the money and labor which it has expended.

And here your memorialists would beg leave further to say that they would by no means have thought so large an expenditure judicious, had they had any reason to anticipate so early a dissolution of the school establishment.

They would also state that the grant of money by the government of the United States to Indian schools ought not to be regarded in the light of a personal favor to the teachers or the society under whose direction they labor, but as an expression of benevolence on the part of the government towards the Indians; for the teacher and the society, so far from receiving any personal benefit from such grant, are only thereby subjected to additional labor and responsibility. Since the commencement of the Choctaw mission, the Board has, on an average, paid more than three times as much annually towards its support, as has been paid by the United States. And the teachers, farmers, mechanics, and missionaries who have been employed in the mission, so far from making it a lucrative business, hare engaged in no trade, have had no stipend, and have received nothing from the Board, or from any other source, except a bare support. They have no property, except what they may have had previously to their engaging in this service, some of whom, at that time, gave all they possessed, which was considerable, to the Board. So far have they been from finding their course of life to be one of ease and self-indulgence, that one third of all who have engaged in the ser

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

vice have either died, or been obliged to retire from it on account of impaired health.

Although two thirds of the expense of erecting the first buildings for the accommodation of the schools, at the stations earliest occupied, was defrayed out of the treasury of the United States, to the amount of $7,550, yet at three of the stations more recently formed, all the buildings have been erected without any such aid; and at the older stations some of the first buildings lave decayed and been rebuilt, or have been repaired or enlarged, and additional buildings put up, which has all been done without aid from the United States. So that at the present time, those buildings, towards the erection of which the United States contributed any thing, constituted less than one quarter of the whole property connected with the school establishment.

Your memorialists will only add, that when, in the year 1828, the Cherokees of the Arkansas, among whom yourkmemorialists had mission schools established on the same principles as those among the Choctaws, exchanged their lands lying within the Arkansas territory for a country farther west, it was stipulated in the treaty by which this exchange was made, that the value of the buildings and other improvements, after deducting the amount which had been given towards them by the United States, should be refunded to your memorialists, which was accordingly done, to an amount exceeding $11,000.

In view of these facts, your memorialists lately presented a petition to the President of the United States, through the Secretary of War, praying that the value of the property connected with the schools might be refunded to them; and were informed that their prayer could not be granted, on the ground, that, as no provision was made for the purpose in the treaty, the Executive were not authorized to make such a grant, without an act of Cungress on the subject.

Under these circumstances, therefore, the prayer of your memorialists is, that your honorable bodies will take measures to have the value of the buildings, improvements, and other property, belonging to the Choctaw mission schools, at the time when the treaty before referred to was made, fairly ascer. Lained; and will cause the whole value of said property, or such part of it as may be deemed proper, to be reimbursed to your memorialists, to be appropriated by them for the promotion of education and religion among the Choclaws in their new country. Or your memoralists would pray that your honorable bodies would grant to the Board two sections of land for each of the stations of Elliot and Mayhew, including the improvements at those stations, and one section for each of the stations of Emmaus and Goshen, and half a section each for Aiikhunna, Hebron, and Yoknokcliaya, including these stations respectively, with the privilege of laying the same on any unoccupied, unimproved land, in case any of these stations should be claimed by reservations granted to the Choctaw chiefs, and warriors: these grants of lands to be disposed of by the Board, and the avails to be appropriated to the promotion of education and religion among the Choctaws in their new country, as before proposed; and your memorialists as in duty bound will ever pray. (Signed)

WM. REED, Chairman. March 24, 1832.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »