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their hunter state, and wandering habits, and to do this, they must become, most of them, agricultural. Portions of our continent are adapted to a nomade population, and such will, in due time, spring up there; but in all the forest country, to the north and east of the Mississippi, planting must take the place of hunting. The people of the large Ottawa settlement of Wawqunukkezie, or L'Arbre Croche, in the Peninsula of Michigan, are now on the point of abandoning their hunter habits, and betaking themselves exclusively to the cultivation of the soil. Even with the rude and inadequate methods of culture now in use, they are able every spring to spare to the white settlers at Mackinac and other places, considerable quantities of corn and potatoes, from the remains of their winter stock. Now is the time when a little judicious assistance and instruction in the method of rearing and employing in the labours of the field, horses and oxen, in the construction and use of ploughs, and the making and repairing of the ordinary implements of husbandry, would do more for this people, than hundreds of treaties, or thousands of dollars given them in annuities.

It is to be regretted, that exertions for the good of mankind, originating in such disinterested motives as must prompt the missionary labours of all classes and denominations of Christians, should meet obstructions from the prejudices or the invidious feelings of rival sects. Yet we are credibly informed, that this is the case in several of those instances where Protestant missionaries are brought into contact with the Catholics of Louisiana and Canada. In many of these districts are no resident Catholic clergy, and their direct influence where they are found, has not, we think, been inimical to the Protestant missions. But it is to be remembered, that habits of close intimacy have, from the earliest settlement of the country, subsisted between the Indians and the lower portion of the Canadian Catholics. Particular instances are well known, in which large bands of Indians, have, from the frequent representations of the Canadians, who live much amongst them, adopted the belief that the religion of the people of the United States, which is, in general, identified with that of the Protestant Missionaries, is not the true religion of the God of white men, but a poor attempt to copy after the Catholic church, to whom alone the genuine religion had been given. To this impression, confirmed in many instances in its influence, by the more imposing ceremonies, and captivating emblems of that worship, may be attributed some share of the reluctance, on the part of Indian parents, to commit their children to the care of the mission families in the north-west. At some of the largest, best endowed, and most ably conducted mission establishments, scarce one of a hundred of the pupils are of an unmixed Indian blood, or the children of those so unconnected with the whites as to be considered a part of the nation or tribe to which the mother only commonly bears any relationship. Hence, in the present condi. tion of the mission schools, they benefit most directly, and principally, the children of white traders, and others residing for purposes of business in the Indian country, many of whom are not only abundantly able, but willing to send their children to the best schools of Canada and the United States, were it not for the superior advantages which the mission schools afford.

Another impediment to the extensive utility of the Protestant Missions, may be found in the reluctance on the part of their members, to conform, as the Canadian French have always done, to the habits and manner of life of the people they would instruct. We would not wish to see them becoming as careless of personal comfort and cleanliness, nor above all so compliant in moral habits, as the Canadians have commonly been, but something we think might be gained by descending to meet the Indians on their own ground. In our mission establishments, as at present conducted, a large and costly house is commonly erected, which, placing ourselves in the situation of the Indians, we may call elegant and imposing. It is erected at a distance of many miles, or many days' journey, from the encamping places or villages of the nearest bands of Indians ; the people of the mission families are dressed in the fine cloths and fashionable garments of the whites. With such external appearances, in person and dwelling, we may easily believe the Indians have too generally learned to associate ideas of haughtiness and insolence. They approach such dwellings and such people with timidity; and if they escape without encountering insult, or suffering injustice, they are ready to consider themselves fortunate. If they are induced to enter such a building, the extent, the neatness, the good order of the rooms, so unlike what they have been accustomed to see, produce a painful impression, and they go away imagining their children could not be otherwise than unhappy in such a place, and under the practice of habits so dissimilar to those of their own homes. The well-known improvidence of these people, their utter aversion to the labour of tracing the operation of causes to their remote ef. fects, combining with their habitual distrust of the character and motives of white men, render them totally indifferent to the prospective advantages of educating their children in the mode offered them at the mission schools. But were they in some measure aware of the importance of these opportunities, such is commonly the want of discipline in families, and of self-denial on the part of parents, that they would never think of foregoing the pleasure of seeing and watching over their children, for the sake of sending them to distant places of education.

The effect of a system, in some measure the reverse of this, has been tried, and though not found entirely to meet the wishes and hopes of the friends of humanity, has nevertheless, been con

siderable. From attentive observation of the experiment, we feel convinced that more instruction may, in a given time, be communicated to persons of unmixed Indian blood, by the efforts of a single individual, who is content, day after day, to visit their lodges, converse with them, however imperfectly, in their own language, and teach them the rudiments of human learning, without any restraint, without any attempt to recall them from their accustomed haunts, or take them from their needful employments,—than by the united exertions of a mission family of ten or fifteen persons, conducted in the ordinary method. We would not detract from the merit of those excellent individuals, who are stationed at too remote intervals along our frontier, or even beyond the outskirts of civilization, and who invite the Indians to them, to receive moral and religious instruction. Would that for one institution of this kind on our borders, there were twenty ! The improved condition of society in the immediate vicinity of such a mission house, the human learning, and the religious instruction communicated to the members of families widely scattered through the Indian country, and who, on returning to their own homes, must always diffuse some share of the benefits they have received—abundantly repay the expense of such undertakings. Our only design is to recommend to the consideration of the benevolent and humane, the course which seems to us to have been found most useful. We hope to see the time, when many men of tried character and steadfast piety, shall be scattered among the Indians in their camps and villages, aiding and instructing them, not in literature and religion only, but in the labours of agriculture, the mechanic arts, the construction of houses, the rearing of domestic animals, the care and management of the sick, and in all those numerous particulars, by which the life and habits of the Indian now differ so disadvantageously from those of the white man.

These may, to many, appear considerations of minor importance. Some may suppose, we ought to aim principally at giving the Indians our Divine Religion; and that all the benefits of civilization, all the comforts and securities afforded by the arts, would follow in its train. But this is reversing the order of things, unless we will have recourse to miraculous interference, which none can now expect. The arts must precede civilization; and civilization, some degree of it, must precede the adoption of the Christian religion. As well might the husbandman look for a harvest, from seed scattered in the unreclaimed forest, as the Christian teacher expect the fruit of a good life, from instructions which the minds of his hearers are wholly unprepared to admit, and unable to comprehend. Many of the most intelligent and considerable men among the Indians, are now prepared to adopt some of the most important arts, particularly that of working in iron, and the more improved methods of cul

tivating the soil. Not only the Ottawas and Potowatomies, and others, in the territories bordering the great lakes, but the Sacs and Foxes, the loways, and the Sioux, particularly the band of Wawbeshaw, at the Red Cedar, the Ottoes, Kansas, and Osages, are beginning to see the importance of producing more abundant crops of corn, that they may have some surer reliance than on their nearly exhausted hunting grounds. The use of the plough, is the next important step these people have to take, in their advance towards civilization; and however much of labour or of time, may be bestowed in teaching to individuals refinement or learning, adapted to a more mature condition of society, the great mass of the people will keep an even pace with those important arts, on which depends the sustenance of life. Much that is to be done in this way, might easily be accomplished by the Indian agents, had they leisure and inclination to attend to it, and would they propose to themselves, the example of Governor Blount, or some of those excellent men in the South, who have so much benefited the Creeks and Cherokees, by infusing into them some spirit of industry. Even the love of money, becomes an exalting and ennobling passion, when it is made the mean of rescuing men from degradation and barbarism. But, since experience has shown, that services of this kind are not generally to be expected from the officers of the Indian Department, such forming no part of their duties, it seems worthy the consideration of those humane and charitable associations, who are labouring to distribute the word of life to the heathen, whether they may not, hy conducting their efforts in a somewhat different manner, be the means of disseminating more durable and wide-spread benefits. If their efforts have heretofore in a great measure failed of success, let them inquire, whether or not they have commenced their work at the foundation; whether they have brought to this important task of civilizing the Indians, the same share of sound discretion, of well instructed and scrutinizing prudence, which has directed them in their own private undertakings. To us, it appears of importance, that the Indians be taught agriculture, and the methods of manufacturing and repairing the necessary implements; and he who aids in giving them these rude arts, confers more important and lasting benefits, than he, who, were it possible, should, without these, qualify them, by all human learning, to enter the field as disputants with Locke and Duns Scotus, Malthus and Ricardo. We reverence the religious opinions of all, who, with us, take the Bible for the revealed will of God; but we are not among those, who think the Christian religion is, with our Indians, to precede and prepare the way for civilization.


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