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FOR THE YEAR 1822.
Published at the expense of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions,
Wo PUBLISHED FOR THE Board by SAMUEL T. ARMSTRONG,
IN turning to the exertions of the Board, among the Aborigines of our western wilderness, there is much to excite gratitude for the past, to inspire hope for the future, and to impel forward in an enterprise, which has received signal tokens of the divine approbation. It is now the universally admitted duty of American Christians to send the knowledge of Christianity to the scattered tribes within our own borders. The missions, already undertaken among them by this Board, have obtained favor with the government of the United States, with the Christian community, and with the people, for whose benefit they were primarily intended. Perseverance, an attentive
observation of Providence, an unshaken reliance on the power and promises of God, and a careful eye to every practicable improvement in the system of operations, will not fail of the most desirable success and the most glorious reward.
In the course of the past year, the mission among the Cherokees has been strengthened by the arrival of the Rev. William Potter, and Dr. Elizur Butler, who have entered with zeal and activity into the labors of their brethren. Mr. Potter was ordained to the holy work of an evangelist, soon after the last annual meeting of the Board, by the association of ministers in Windham county, Con, under whose auspices he had been previously licensed to preach. Dr. Butler completed his linedical education in Connecticut, not long before he entered upon the work, in which he is now employed. Both had been revently married to , persons, who, as well as themselves, had for some time looked forward with
pleasure to the commencement of these benevolent labors. They set out on their journey about the first of November, and reached Brainerd the 10th of January. Nothing of importance befel them, other than the ordinary occurrences of travelling at an unpleasant season of the year.
Station of Brainerd.
The various operations at Brainerd have been carried forward, as the health of the missionaries, and the resources at their disposal, gave the ability. The school has continued, with as little variation in regard to numbers, as could reasonably be expected. In the beginning of last month, there were 87 Cherokee children, 57 boys, and 30 girls, actually in the school, beside the children belonging to the mission families. There were also 15 Cherokee children belonging to the school, who were then absent, for various causes. The pupils had regularly proceeded in their studies, passed the stated examinations with credit, and were advancing to maturity with all those incitements to industry and virtue, which belong to a Christian and civilized country. More assistants to carry on the business of education, in its various branches, to the best advantage, were urgently needed; particularly a young person of each sex, possessing vigorous health, good judgment, and a love for the work, to be employed in the superintendence of the children, when out of school. This want, it is hoped, the Committee may hereafter be able to supply. These children, collected from the wilderness, and placed under the direction of Christian benevolence, are indeed a precious deposit. Every thing should be done for their improvement, which can possibly be effected. Soon they will be mingling with their countrymen, and imparting their acquired character to others, and 1
they to others still, in a wider and still wider range. No time is to be lost. The principal difficulty lies in selecting the best agents, which our Christian community is able to supply, for this labor of love. But if the Board, and its friends in every part of the country, look to him who has the resources of the universe at his disposal, there is reason to believe that He will provide such instruments, as will be acknowledged and honored by himself, in the communication of his mercy.
Among the events, which particularly concern the school, it is to be noticed with gratitude, that several of the boys were uncommonly serious, at the date of the last intelligence; and that there was a general disposition to listen to religious instruction. A considerable number of boys and girls had been selected to be supported as beneficiaries, and had received names prescribed by their patrons. The little Osage captives, concerning whom the sympathy of many has been excited, were taken from the mission in the summer of 1820, by order of the government, to be restored to their tribe with other captives, as one mean of preserving peace between the Osages and the Cherokees of the Arkansaw. The negociation failed however; and the little girl, removed so many, hundred miles, amidst the damps and exhalations of autumn, sickened and died, not far from the mission established by the Board, on the Arkansaw. In the hours of sickness and languishing, she exem. plified the sweetest submission; repeating the hymns, which she had learned at Brainerd; and, it is probably not too much to hope, that out of the mouth of this babe the Savior may have persected praise.
[The Report then describes the labors of the year—the erection of mills, &c. and states that the “agricultural department has not yielded that profit, which was hoped and expected from it.” The difficulty lies in several causes, the multiplicity of cares, the erection of buildings, the want of more assistant missionaries, &c. Some details of the farming business are then given from the journal, as published in the Herald for November, p. 338..]
In accomplishing the original design of the Committee, as well as with a view to relieve the brethren at the present exigency, two assistant missionaries, one from Vermont and the other from Ohio, have been directed to join the mission at Brainerd, and are
now probably on their way thither. They have small families, and are strongly recommended as qualified to discharge the various duties, which will there devolve upon them. Should they arrive in safety, it is probable that one will assist Mr. Hall at Taloney." During the year past, there has been much sickness among the members of the mission families. Few have escaped; the greater part have suffered severely. Yet it should be mentioned with gratitude, that no adult connected with the mission has been removed by death, and that the children of the school have been remarkably healthy. The very arduous labors of all, but especially of the females, have doubtless produced much of the sickness, which they have endured. The Committee sincerely regret that so heavy a burden has fallen upon those public-spirited and devoted females, who have addicted themselves to this service of the saints. They have well nigh sunk under the various and distressing weight of care, which has continually rested upon them. As hired assistance could not be obtained without difficulty, and when obtained was often worse than none, they determined to manage the domestic affairs, with the aid of the female pupils between the hours of school. Some estimate of the labor performed may be made, when it is stated, that one of the female assistants, who was far from enjoying good health, had, as her charge, to iron for 120 persons, and to mend the clothes of more than 50 boys; and that another, who had a weakly child to nurse, superintended the washing, beside teaching the school for the girls. A worthy matron, who gratuitously spent three months in the labors of the missionfamily, writes as follows concerning them: “When we take into consideration the attention, which the sick required, the reception, , of company, cleaning of house, making of candles and soap, &c. I am astonished that so much could have been performed. It would be much for the cause, if some pious woman, a good manager, and in good health, could be sent to superintend the kitchen, and the mission table. O may no thoughtless, useless, incxperienced female ever add to the burden of the dear sisters at Brainerd.” Though the Visiting Committee could not conveniently attend the examination of the school, and inspect the concerns of the mission, as would have