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Title: Mary and I - Forty Years with the Sioux
Author: Riggs, Stephen Return, 1812-1883
Language: English
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[Illustration: STEPHEN R. RIGGS, D.D., LL.D.]


Forty Years with the Sioux



Missionary to the Dakotas, and Author of "Dakota Grammar
and Dictionary," "Gospel Among the Dakotas," etc.

With an Introduction by Rev. S. C. Bartlett, D.D.

President Of Dartmouth College

Congregational Sunday-School and Publishing Society
Congregational House

Copyright, 1880, by Stephen R. Riggs.

Copyright, 1887, by
Congregational S. S. and Publishing Society.

Electrotyped by
C. J. Peters and Son, Boston.

    To My Children,





This book I have INSCRIBED to my own family. It will be of interest to
them, as, in part, a history of their father and mother, in the toils
and sacrifices and rewards of commencing and carrying forward the work
of evangelizing the Dakota people.

Many others, who are interested in the uplifting of the Red Men, may
be glad to obtain glimpses, in these pages, of the inside of
Missionary Life in what was, not long since, the Far West; and to
trace the threads of the in-weaving of a Christ-life into the lives of
many of the Sioux nation.

"Why don't you tell more about yourselves?" is a question which, in
various forms, has been often asked me, during these last four
decades. Partly as the answer to questions of that kind, this book
assumes somewhat the form of a personal narrative.

While I do not claim, even at this evening time of my life, to be
freed from the desire that good Christian readers will think favorably
of this effort of mine, I can not expect that the appreciation with
which my Dakota Grammar and Dictionary was received, by the literary
world, more than a quarter of a century ago, will be surpassed by this
humbler effort.

Moreover, the chief work of my life has been the part I have been
permitted, by the good Lord, to have in giving the entire Bible to
the Sioux Nation. This book is only "the band of the sheaf." If, by
weaving the principal facts of our Missionary work, its trials and
joys, its discouragements and grand successes, into this personal
narrative of "MARY AND I," a better judgment of Indian capabilities is
secured, and a more earnest and intelligent determination to work for
their Christianization and final Citizenship, I shall be quite

Since the historical close of "Forty years with the Sioux," some
important events have transpired, in connection with our missionary
work, which are grouped together in an Appendix, in the form of
                                                             S. R. R.

    BELOIT, Wis., January, 1880.

    NOTE:--This book, first published by the author, though with the
    imprint of W. G. Holmes, Chicago, has met with such favor as to
    indicate that it should be brought out under auspices that would
    give it to a larger circle of those interested in Indian
    missions. And to carry on the life of its author to its close,
    and give a more complete view of the progress of the work,
    another chapter has been added, making the "Forty Years" Fifty
    Years with the Sioux.
                                                             A. L. R.


The churches owe a great debt of gratitude to their missionaries,
first, for the noble work they do, and, second, for the inspiring
narratives they write. There is no class of writings more quickening
to piety at home than the sober narratives of these labors abroad. The
faith and zeal, the wisdom and patience, the enterprise and courage,
the self-sacrifice and Christian peace which they record, as well as
the wonderful triumphs of grace and the simplicity of native piety
which they make known, bring us nearer, perhaps, to the spirit and the
scenes of Apostolic times than any other class of literature. How the
churches could, or can ever, dispense with the reactionary influence
from the Foreign Mission field, it is difficult to understand.
Doubtless, however, when the harvest is all gathered, the Lord of the
Harvest will, in his wisdom, know how to supply the lack.

Some narratives are valuable chiefly for their interest of style and
manner, while the facts themselves are of minor account. Other
narratives secure attention by the weight of their facts alone. The
author of "Mary and I; Forty Years with the Sioux" has our thanks for
giving us a story attractive alike from the present significance of
its theme and from the frank and fresh simplicity of its method.

It is a timely contribution. Thank God, the attention of the whole
nation is at length beginning to be turned in good earnest to the
chronic wrongs inflicted on the Indian race, and is, though slowly and
with difficulty, comprehending the fact, long known to the friends of
missions, that these tribes, when properly approached, are singularly
accessible and responsive to all the influences of Christianity and
its resultant civilization. Slowest of all to apprehend this truth,
though with honorable exceptions, are our military men. The officer
who uttered that frightful maxim, "No good Indian but a dead
Indian,"--if indeed it ever fell from his lips,--needs all the support
of a brilliant and gallant career in defence of his country to save
him from a judgment as merciless as his maxim. Such principles, let us
believe, have had their day. They and their defenders are assuredly to
be swept away by the rising tide of a better sentiment slowly and
steadily pervading the country. The wrongs of the African have been,
in part, redressed, and now comes the turn of the Indian. He must be
permitted to have a home in fee-simple, a recognized citizenship, and
complete protection under a settled system of law. The gospel will
then do for him its thorough work, and show once more that God has
made all nations of one blood. He is yet to have them. It is but a
question of time. And the Indian tribes are doubtless not to fade
away, but to be rescued from extinction by the gospel of Christ
working in them and for them.

The reader who takes up this volume will not fail to read it through.
He will easily believe that Anna Baird Riggs was "a model Christian
woman,"--the mother who could bring up her boy in a log cabin where
once the bear looked in at the door, or in the log school-house with
its newspaper windows, "slab benches," and drunken teacher, and could
train him for his work of faith and perseverance in that dreary and
forbidding missionary region, and in what men thought that forlorn
hope. And he will learn--unless he knew it already--that a lad who in
early life hammered on the anvil can strike a strong and steady stroke
for God and man.

The reader will also recognize in the "Mary" of this story, now gone
to her rest, a worthy pupil of Mary Lyon and Miss Z. P. Grant. With
her excellent education, culture, and character, how cheerfully she
left her home in Massachusetts to enter almost alone on a field of
labor which she knew perfectly to be most fraught with self-sacrifice,
least attractive, not to say most repulsive, of them all. How
hopefully she journeyed on thirteen days, from the shores of Lake
Harriet, to plunge still farther into the wilderness of Lac-qui-parle.
How happily she found a "home" for five years in the upper story of
Dr. Williamson's log house, in a room eighteen feet by ten, occupied
in due time by three children also. How quietly she glided into all
the details and solved all the difficulties of that primitive life,
bore with the often revolting habits of the aborigines, taught their
boys English, and persevered and persisted till she had taught their
women "the gospel of soap." How bravely she bore up in that terrible
midnight flight from Hazelwood, and the long exhausting journey to St.
Paul, through the pelting rains and wet swamp-grass, and with
murderous savages upon the trail. But it was the chief test and glory
of her character to have brought up a family of children, among all
the surroundings of Indian life, as though amid the homes of
civilization and refinement. All honor to such a woman, wife, and
mother. Her children rise up and call her blessed. Forty-one years
after her departure from the station at Lake Harriet, the present
writer stood upon the pleasant shore where the tamarack mission houses
had long disappeared, and felt that this was consecrated ground.

The other partner in this firm of "Mary and I" needs no words of mine.
He speaks here for himself, and his labors speak for him. His Dakota
Dictionary and Bible are lasting monuments of his persevering toil,
while eleven churches with a dozen native preachers and eight hundred
members, and a flourishing Dakota Home Missionary Society, bear
witness to the Christian work of himself and his few co-laborers.
"Forty Years Among the Sioux," he writes. "Forty years in the Turkish
Empire," was the story of Dr. Goodell. Fifty Years in Ceylon, was the
life-work of Levi Spalding. What records are these of singleness of
aim, of energy, of Christian work, and of harvests gathered and
gathering for the Master. Would that such a holy ambition might be
kindled in the hearts of many other young men as they read these
pages. How invigorating the firm assurance: "During the years of my
preparation there never came to me a doubt of the rightness of my
decision. At the end of forty years' work I am abundantly satisfied
with the way in which the Lord has led me." How many of those who
embark in other lines of life and action can say the same?

And how signally was the spirit of the parents transmitted to the
children. Almost a whole family in the mission work: six sons and
daughters among the Dakotas, the seventh in China. I know not another
instance so marked as this. And what a power for good to the Dakota
race, past, present, and future, is gathered up in one undaunted,
single-hearted family of Christian toilers. A part of this family it
has been the writer's privilege to know, and of two of the sons he
had the pleasure to be the teacher in the original tongues of the Word
of God. And he deems it an additional pleasure and privilege thus to
connect his name with theirs and their mission. For not alone the
dusky Dakotas, but all the friends of the Indian tribes and lovers of
the Missionary cause, are called on to honor the names of Pond,
Williamson, and RIGGS.
                                                      S. C. BARTLETT.



    1837.--Our Parentage.--My Mother's Bear Story.--Mary's
    Education.--Her First School Teaching.--School-houses and
    Teachers in Ohio.--Learning the Catechism.--Ambitions.--The
    Lord's Leading.--Mary's Teaching in Bethlehem.--Life Threads
    Coming Together.--Licensure.--Our Decision as to Life
    Work.--Going to New England.--The Hawley
    Family.--Marriage.--Going West.--From Mary's Letters.--Mrs.
    Isabella Burgess.--"Steamer Isabella."--At St. Louis.--The
    Mississippi.--To the City of Lead.--Rev. Aratus Kent.--The Lord
    Provides.--Mary's Descriptions.--Upper Mississippi.--Reaching
    Fort Snelling                                                   23


    1837.--First Knowledge of the Sioux.--Hennepin and Du
    Luth.--Fort Snelling.--Lakes Harriet and Calhoun.--Three Months
    at Lake Harriet.--Samuel W. Pond.--Learning the Language.--Mr.
    Stevens.--Temporary Home.--That Station Soon Broken Up.--Mary's
    Letters.--The Mission and People.--Native Customs.--Lord's
    Supper.--"Good Voice."--Description of Our Home.--The
    Garrison.--Seeing St. Anthony.--Ascent of the St.
    Peters.--Mary's Letters.--Traverse des Sioux.--Prairie
    Travelling.--Reaching Lac-qui-parle.--T. S. Williamson.--A
    Sabbath Service.--Our Upper Room.--Experiences.--Church at
    Lac-qui-parle.--Mr. Pond's Marriage.--Mary's Letters.--Feast    38


    1837-1839.--The Language.--Its Growth.--System of
    Notation.--After Changes.--What We Had to Put into the
    Language.--Teaching English and Teaching Dakota.--Mary's
    Letter.--Fort Renville.--Translating the Bible.--The Gospels of
    Mark and John.--"Good Bird" Born.--Dakota Names.--The Lessons We
    Learned.--Dakota Washing.--Extracts from Letters.--Dakota
    Tents.--A Marriage.--Visiting the Village.--Girls, Boys, and
    Dogs.--G. H. Pond's Indian Hunt.--Three Families Killed.--The
    Village Wail.--The Power of a Name.--Post-Office Far Away.--The
    Coming of the Mail.--S. W. Pond Comes Up.--My Visit to
    Snelling.--Lost my Horse.--Dr. Williamson Goes to Ohio.--The
    Spirit's Presence.--Prayer.--Mary's Reports                     58


    1838-1840.--"Eagle Help."--His Power as War Prophet.--Makes
    No-Flight Dance.--We Pray Against It.--Unsuccessful on the
    War-Path.--Their Revenge.--Jean Nicollet and J. C.
    Fremont.--Opposition to Schools.--Progress in Teaching.--Method
    of Counting.--"Lake That Speaks."--Our Trip to Fort
    Snelling.--Incidents of the Way.--The Changes There.--Our Return
    Journey.--Birch-Bark Canoe.--Mary's Story.--"Le Grand
    Canoe."--Baby Born on the Way.--Walking Ten Miles.--Advantages
    of Travel.--My Visit to the Missouri River.--"Fort
    Pierre."--Results                                               76


    1840-1843.--Dakota Braves.--Simon Anawangmane.--Mary's
    Letter.--Simon's Fall.--Maple Sugar.--Adobe Church.--Catharine's
    Letter.--Another Letter of Mary's.--Left Hand's Case.--The Fifth
    Winter.--Mary to Her Brother.--The Children's Morning
    Ride.--Visit to Hawley and Ohio.--Dakota Printing.--New
    Recruits.--Return.--Little Rapids.--Traverse des
    Sioux.--Stealing Bread.--Forming a New
    Station.--Begging.--Opposition.--Thomas L. Longley.--Meeting
    Ojibwas.--Two Sioux Killed.--Mary's Hard Walk.                  89


    1843-1846.--Great Sorrow.--Thomas Drowned.--Mary's Letter.--The
    Indians' Thoughts.--Old Gray-Leaf.--Oxen Killed.--Hard
    Field.--Sleepy Eyes' Horse.--Indian in Prison.--The Lord Keeps
    Us.--Simon's Shame.--Mary's Letter.--Robert Hopkins and
    Agnes.--Le Bland.--White Man Ghost.--Bennett.--Sleepy Eyes'
    Camp.--Drunken Indians.--Making Sugar.--Military
    Company.--Dakota Prisoners.--Stealing Melons.--Preaching and
    School.--A Canoe Voyage.--Red Wing.                            104


    1846-1851.--Returning to Lac-qui-parle.--Reasons
    Therefor.--Mary's Story.--"Give Me My Old Seat, Mother."--At
    Lac-qui-parle.--New Arrangements.--Better
    Understanding.--Buffalo Plenty.--Mary's Story.--Little Samuel
    Died.--Going on the Hunt.--Vision of Home.--Building
    House.--Dakota Camp.--Soldier's Lodge.--Wakanmane's
    Village.--Making a Presbytery.--New Recruits.--Meeting at
    Kaposia.--Mary's Story.--Varied Trials.--Sabbath Worship.--"What
    is to Die?"--New Stations.--Making a Treaty.--Mr. Hopkins
    Drowned.--Personal Experience.                                 123


    1851-1854.--Grammar and Dictionary.--How It
    Grew.--Publication.--Minnesota Historical Society.--Smithsonian
    Institution.--Going East.--Mission Meeting at Traverse des
    Sioux.--Mrs. Hopkins.--Death's Doings.--Changes in the Mode of
    Writing Dakota.--Completed Book.--Growth of the Language.--In
    Brooklyn and Philadelphia.--The Misses Spooner.--Changes in the
    Mission.--The Ponds and Others Retire.--Dr. Williamson at
    Pay-zhe-hoo-ta-ze.--Winter Storms.--Andrew Hunter.--Two
    Families Left.--Children Learning Dakota.--Our House
    Burned.--The Lord Provides                                     141


    1854-1856.--Simon Anawangmane.--Rebuilding after the
    Fire.--Visit of Secretary Treat.--Change of Plan.--Hazelwood
    Station.--Circular Saw Mill.--Mission
    Buildings.--Chapel.--Civilized Community.--Making
    Citizens.--Boarding-School.--Educating our own
    Children.--Financial Difficulties.--The Lord Provides.--A Great
    Affliction.--Smith Burgess Williamson.--"Aunt Jane."--Bunyan's
    Pilgrim in Dakota                                              153


    1857-1862.--Spirit Lake.--Massacres by Inkpadoota.--The
    Captives.--Delivery of Mrs. Marble and Miss
    Gardner.--Excitement.--Inkpadoota's Son Killed.--United States
    Soldiers.--Major Sherman.--Indian Councils.--Great Scare.--Going
    Away.--Indians Sent After Scarlet End.--Quiet
    Restored.--Children at School.--Quarter-Century Meeting.--John
    P. Williamson at Red Wood.--Dedication of Chapel               162


    1861-1862.--Republican Administration.--Its Mistakes.--Changing
    Annuities.--Results.--Returning from General Assembly.--A
    Marriage in St. Paul.--D. Wilson Moore and Wife.--Delayed
    Payment.--Difficulty with the Sissetons.--Peace
    Again.--Recruiting for the Southern War.--Seventeenth of August,
    1862.--The Outbreak.--Remembering Christ's Death.--Massacres
    Commenced.--Capt. Marsh's Company.--Our Flight.--Reasons
    Therefor.--Escape to an Island.--Final Leaving.--A Wounded
    Man.--Traveling on the Prairie.--Wet Night.--Taking a
    Picture.--Change of Plan.--Night Travel.--Going Around Fort
    Ridgely.--Night Scares.--Safe Passage.--Four Men Killed.--The
    Lord Leads Us.--Sabbath.--Reaching the Settlements.--Mary at St.
    Anthony                                                        171


    1862.--General Sibley's Expedition.--I Go as Chaplain.--At Fort
    Ridgely.--The Burial Party.--Birch Coolie Defeat.--Simon and
    Lorenzo Bring in Captives.--March to Yellow Medicine.--Battle of
    Wood Lake.--Indians Flee.--Camp Release.--A Hundred Captives
    Rescued.--Amos W. Huggins Killed.--We Send for His Wife and
    Children.--Spirit Walker Has Protected Them.--Martha's Letter


    1862-1863.--Military Commission.--Excited Community.--Dakotas
    Condemned.--Moving Camp.--The Campaign Closed.--Findings Sent to
    the President.--Reaching My Home in St. Anthony.--Distributing
    Alms on the Frontier.--Recalled to Mankato.--The
    Executions.--Thirty-eight Hanged.--Difficulty of Avoiding
    Mistakes.--Round Wind.--Confessions.--The Next Sabbath's
    Service.--Dr. Williamson's Work.--Learning to Read.--The
    Spiritual Awakening.--The Way It Came.--Mr. Pond Invited
    Up.--Baptisms in the Prison.--The Lord's Supper.--The Camp at
    Snelling.--A Like Work of Grace.--John P. Williamson.--Scenes in
    the Garret.--One Hundred Adults Baptized.--Marvelous in Our Eyes


    1863-1866.--The Dakota Prisoners Taken to Davenport.--Camp
    McClellan.--Their Treatment.--Great Mortality.--Education in
    Prison.--Worship.--Church Matters.--The Camp at Snelling Removed
    to Crow Creek.--John P. Williamson's Story.--Many Die.--Scouts'
    Camp.--Visits to Them.--Family Threads.--Revising the New
    Testament.--Educating Our Children.--Removal to Beloit.--Family
    Matters.--Little Six and Medicine Bottle.--With the Prisoners at
    Davenport                                                      220


    1866-1869.--Prisoners Meet their Families at the Niobrara.--Our
    Summer's Visitation.--At the Scouts' Camp.--Crossing the
    Prairie.--Killing Buffalo.--At Niobrara.--Religious
    Meetings.--Licensing Natives.--Visiting the Omahas.--Scripture
    Translating.--Sisseton Treaty at Washington.--Second Visit to
    the Santees.--Artemas and Titus Ordained.--Crossing to the Head
    of the Coteau.--Organizing Churches and Licensing
    Dakotas.--Solomon, Robert, Louis, Daniel.--On Horseback in
    1868.--Visit to the Santees, Yanktons, and Brules.--Gathering at
    Dry Wood.--Solomon Ordained.--Writing "Takoo Wakan."--Mary's
    Sickness.--Grand Hymns.--Going through the Valley of the
    Shadow.--Death!                                                230


    1869-1870.--Home Desolate.--At the General Assembly.--Summer
    Campaign.--A. L. Riggs.--His Story of Early Life.--Inside View
    of Missions.--Why Missionaries' Children Become
    Missionaries.--No Constraint Laid on Them.--A. L. Riggs Visits
    the Missouri Sioux.--Up the River.--The Brules.--Cheyenne and
    Grand River.--Starting for Fort Wadsworth.--Sun
    Eclipsed.--Sisseton Reserve.--Deciding to Build There.--In the
    Autumn Assembly.--My Mother's Home.--Winter Visit to
    Santee.--Julia La Framboise                                    244


    1870-1871.--Beloit Home Broken Up.--Building on the Sisseton
    Reserve.--Difficulties and Cost.--Correspondence with
    Washington.--Order to Suspend Work.--Disregarding the
    Taboo.--Anna Sick at Beloit.--Assurance.--Martha Goes in Anna's
    Place.--The Dakota Churches.--Lac-qui-parle, Ascension.--John
    B. Renville.--Daniel Renville.--Houses of Worship.--Eight
    Churches.--The "Word Carrier."--Annual Meeting on the Big
    Sioux.--Homestead Colony.--How it Came about.--Joseph Iron Old
    Man.--Perished in a Snow Storm.--The Dakota Mission
    Divides.--Reasons Therefor                                     256


    1870-1873.--A. L. Riggs Builds at Santee.--The Santee High
    School.--Visit to Fort Sully.--Change of Agents at
    Sisseton.--Second Marriage.--Annual Meeting at Good Will.--Grand
    Gathering.--New Treaty Made at Sisseton.--Nina Foster
    Riggs.--Our Trip to Fort Sully.--An Incident by the Way.--Stop
    at Santee.--Pastor Ehnamane.--His Deer Hunt.--Annual Meeting in
    1873.--Rev. S. J. Humphrey's Visit.--Mr. Humphrey's
    Sketch.--Where They Come From.--Morning Call.--Visiting the
    Teepees.--The Religious Gathering.--The Moderator.--Questions
    Discussed.--The _Personnel_.--Putting up a Tent.--Sabbath
    Service.--Mission Reunion.                                     270


    1873-1874.--The American Board at Minneapolis.--The _Nidus_ of
    the Dakota Mission.--Large Indian Delegation.--Ehnamane and
    Mazakootemane.--"Then and Now."--The Woman's Meeting.--Nina
    Foster Riggs and Lizzie Bishop.--Miss Bishop's Work and Early
    Death.--Manual Labor Boarding-School at Sisseton.--Building
    Dedicated.--M. N. Adams, Agent.--School Opened.--Mrs. Armor and
    Mrs. Morris.--"My Darling in God's Garden."--Visit to Fort
    Berthold.--Mandans, Rees, and Hidatsa.--Dr. W. Matthews' Hidatsa
    Grammar.--Beliefs.--Missionary Interest in Berthold.--Down the
    Missouri.--Annual Meeting at Santee.--Normal School.--Dakotas
    Build a Church at Ascension.--Journey to the Ojibwas with E. P.
    Wheeler.--Leech Lake and Red Lake.--On the Gitche Gumme.--"The
    Stoneys."--Visit to Odanah.--Hope for Ojibwas                  288


    1875-1876.--Annual Meeting of 1875.--Homestead Settlement on the
    Big Sioux.--Interest of the Conference.--_Iapi Oaye._--Inception
    of Native Missionary Work.--Theological Class.--The Dakota
    Home.--Charles L. Hall Ordained.--Dr. Magoun of Iowa.--Mr. and
    Mrs. Hall Sent to Berthold by the American Board.--The _Word
    Carrier's_ Good Words to Them.--The Conference of 1876.--In J.
    B. Renville's Church.--Coming to the Meeting from Sully.--Miss
    Whipple's Story.--"Dakota Missionary Society."--Miss Collins'
    Story.--Impressions of the Meeting                             308


    1871-1877.--The Wilder Sioux.--Gradual Openings.--Thomas
    Lawrence.--Visit to the Land of the Teetons.--Fort Sully.--Hope
    Station.--Mrs. General Stanley in the _Evangelist_.--Work by
    Native Teachers.--Thomas Married to Nina Foster.--Nina's First
    Visit to Sully.--Attending the Conference and American
    Board.--Miss Collins and Miss Whipple.--Bogue Station.--The
    Mission Surroundings.--Chapel Built.--Mission Work.--Church
    Organized.--Sioux War of 1876.--Community
    Excited.--Schools.--"Waiting for a Boat."--Miss Whipple Dies at
    Chicago.--Mrs. Nina Riggs' Tribute.--The Conference of 1877 at
    Sully.--Questions Discussed.--Grand Impressions                325



    MRS. NINA FOSTER RIGGS       345

    REV. GIDEON H. POND          361

    SOLOMON                      374

    DR. T. S. WILLIAMSON         382

    A MEMORIAL                   399

    THE FAMILY REUNION           408




    1837.--Our Parentage.--My Mother's Bear Story.--Mary's
    Education.--Her First School Teaching.--School-houses and
    Teachers in Ohio.--Learning the Catechism.--Ambitions.--The
    Lord's Leading.--Mary's Teaching in Bethlehem.--Life Threads
    Coming Together.--Licensure.--Our Decision as to Life
    Work.--Going to New England.--The Hawley
    Family.--Marriage.--Going West.--From Mary's Letters.--Mrs.
    Isabella Burgess.--"Steamer Isabella."--At St. Louis.--The
    Mississippi.--To the City of Lead.--Rev. Aratus Kent.--The Lord
    Provides.--Mary's Descriptions.--Upper Mississippi.--Reaching
    Fort Snelling.

Forty years ago this first day of June, 1877, Mary and I came to Fort
Snelling. She was from the Old Bay State, and I was a native-born
Buckeye. Her ancestors were the Longleys and Taylors of Hawley and
Buckland, names honorable and honored in the western part of
Massachusetts. Her father, Gen. Thomas Longley, was for many years a
member of the General Court and had served in the war of 1812, while
her grandfather, Col. Edmund Longley, had been a soldier of the
Revolution, and had served under Washington. Her maternal grandfather,
Taylor, had held a civil commission under George the Third. In an
early day both families had settled in the hill country west of the
Connecticut River. They were the true and worthy representatives of
New England.

As it regards myself, my father, whose name was Stephen Riggs, was a
blacksmith, and for many years an elder in the Presbyterian church of
Steubenville, Ohio, where I was born. He had a brother, Cyrus, who was
a preacher in Western Pennsylvania; and he traced his lineage back,
through the Riggs families of New Jersey, a long line of godly men,
ministers of the gospel and others, to Edward Riggs,[1] who came over
from Wales in the first days of colonial history. My mother was Anna
Baird, a model Christian woman--as I think, of a Scotch Irish family,
which in the early days settled in Fayette County, Pa. Of necessity
they were pioneers. When they had three children, they removed up into
the wild wooded country of the Upper Alleghany. My mother could tell a
good many bear stories. At one time she and those first three children
were left alone in an unfinished log cabin. The father was away
hunting food for the family. When, at night, the fire was burning in
the old-fashioned chimney, a large black bear pushed aside the quilt
that served for the door, and, sitting down on his haunches, surveyed
the scared family within. But, as God would have it, to their great
relief, he retired without offering them any violence.

    [1] Heretofore, we have supposed the first progenitor of the
    Riggs Family in America was Miles; but the investigations of Mr.
    J. H. Wallace of New York show that it was Edward, who settled
    in Roxbury, Mass., about the year 1635. The name of Miles comes
    in later. He was the progenitor of one branch of the family.

Mary's education had been carefully conducted. She had not only the
advantages of the common town school and home culture, but was a pupil
of Mary Lyon, when she taught in Buckland, and afterward of Miss
Grant, at Ipswich. At the age of sixteen she taught her first school,
in Williamstown, Mass. As she used to tell the story, she taught for a
dollar a week, and, at the end of her first quarter, brought the $12
home and gave it to her father, as a recognition of what he had
expended for her education.

It was a joy to me to meet, the other day in Chicago, Mrs. Judge
Osborne, who was one of the scholars in this school, as it was in her
father's family; and who spoke very affectionately of Mary Ann
Longley, her teacher.

Contrasted with the present appliances for education in all the towns,
and many of the country districts also, the common schools in Ohio,
when I was a boy, were very poorly equipped. My first school-house was
a log cabin, with a large open fireplace, a window with four lights of
glass where the master's seat was, while on the other two sides a log
was cut out and old newspapers pasted over the hole through which the
light was supposed to come, and the seats were benches made of slabs.
One of my first teachers was a drunken Irishman, who often visited the
tavern near by and came back to sleep the greater part of the
afternoon. This gave us a long play spell. But he was a terrible
master for the remainder of the day. Notwithstanding these
difficulties in the way of education, we managed to learn a good deal.
Sabbath-schools had not reached the efficiency they now have; but we
children were taught carefully at home. We were obliged to commit to
memory the Shorter Catechism, and every few months the good minister
came around to see how well we could repeat it. All through my life
this summary of Christian doctrine--not perfect indeed, and not to be
quoted as authority equal to the Scriptures, as it sometimes is--has
been to me of incalculable advantage. What I understood not then I
have come to understand better since, with the opening of the Word and
the illumination of the Holy Spirit. If I were a boy again, I would
learn the Shorter Catechism.

My ambition was to learn some kind of a trade. But I had wrought
enough with my father at the anvil not to choose that. It was hard
work, and not over-clean work. Something else would suit me better, I
thought. About that time my sister Harriet married William McLaughlin,
who was a well-to-do harness-maker in Steubenville. This suited my
ideas of life better. But that sister died soon after her marriage,
and my father removed from that part of the country to the southern
part of the State. There in Ripley a Latin school was opened about
that time, and the Lord appeared to me in a wonderful manner, making
discoveries of himself to my spiritual apprehension, so that from that
time and onward my path lay in the line of preparation for such
service as he should call me unto. My father, as he said many years
afterward, had intended to educate my younger brother James; but he
was taken away suddenly, and I came in his place. Thus the Lord opened
the way for a commencement, and by the help of friends I was enabled
to continue until I finished the course at Jefferson College, and
afterward spent a year at the Western Theological Seminary at

Mary had been educated for a teacher. She was well fitted for the
work. And while she was still at Ipswich, a benevolent gentleman in
New York City, who had interested himself in establishing a seminary
in Southern Indiana, sent to Miss Grant for a teacher to take charge
of the school near Bethlehem, in the family of Rev. John M. Dickey. It
was far away, but it seemed just the opening she had been desiring.
But a young woman needed company in travelling so far westward. It was
at the time of the May meetings in New York. Clergymen and others were
on East from various parts of the West. In several instances, however,
she failed of the company she hoped for, by what seemed singular
providences. And at last it was her lot to come West under the
protection of Rev. Dyer Burgess, of West Union, Ohio. Mr. Burgess was
what was called in those days "a rabid abolitionist," and had taken a
fancy to help me along, because, as he said, I was "of the same
craft." And so it was that during his absence I was living in his
family. This is the way in which the threads of our two lives, Mary's
and mine, were brought together. A year and a half after this I was
licensed to preach the gospel by the Chillicothe Presbytery, and we
were on our way to her mountain home in Massachusetts.

Before starting for New England, the general plan of our life-work was
arranged. Early in my course of education, I had considered the claims
of the heathen upon us Christians, and upon myself personally as a
believer in Christ; and, with very little hesitation or delay, the
decision had been reached that, God willing, I would go somewhere
among the unevangelized. And, during the years of my preparation,
there never came to me a doubt of the rightness of my decision. Nay,
more, at the end of forty years' work, I am abundantly satisfied with
the way in which the Lord has led me. If China had been then open to
the gospel, as it was twenty years afterward, I probably should have
elected to go there. But Dr. Thomas S. Williamson of Ripley, Ohio, had
started for the Dakota field the same year that I graduated from
college. His representations of the needs of these aborigines, and the
starting out of Whitman and Spalding with their wives to the Indians
of the Pacific coast, attracted me to the westward. And Mary was quite
willing, if not enthusiastic, to commence a life-work among the
Indians of the North-west, which at that time involved more of
sacrifice than service in many a far-off foreign field. Hitherto, the
evangelization of our own North American Indians had been, and still
is, in most parts of the field, essentially a foreign mission work. It
has differed little, except, perhaps, in the element of greater
self-sacrifice, from the work in India, China, or Japan. And so, with
a mutual good understanding of the general plan of life's campaign,
with very little appreciation of what its difficulties might be, but
with a good faith in ourselves, and more faith in Him who has said,
"Lo, I am with you all days," Mary left her school in Bethlehem, to
which she had become a felt necessity, and I gathered up such
credentials as were necessary to the consummation of our acceptance as
missionaries of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign
Missions, and we went eastward.

Railroads had hardly been thought of in those days, and so what part
of the way we were not carried by steamboats, we rode in stages. It
was only the day before Thanksgiving, and a stormy evening it was,
when we hired a very ordinary one-horse wagon to carry us and our
baggage from Charlemont up to Hawley. I need not say that in the old
house at home the sister and the daughter and granddaughter found a
warm reception, and I, the western stranger, was not long overlooked.
It was indeed a special Thanksgiving and time of family rejoicing,
when the married sister and her family were gathered, with the
brothers, Alfred and Moses and Thomas and Joseph, and the little
sister Henrietta, and the parents and grandparents, then still living.
Since that time, one by one, they have gone to the beautiful land
above, and only two remain.

Well, the winter, with its terrible storms and deep snows, soon passed
by. It was all too short for Mary's preparation. I found work waiting
for me in preaching to the little church in West Hawley. They were a
primitive people, with but little of what is called wealth, but with
generous hearts; and the three months I spent with them were
profitable to me.

On the 16th of February, 1837, there was a great gathering in the old
meeting-house on the hill; and, after the service was over, Mary and I
received the congratulations of hosts of friends. Soon after this the
time of our departure came. The snow-drifts were still deep on the
hills when, in the first days of March, we commenced our hegira to the
far West. It was a long and toilsome journey--all the way to New York
City by stage, and then again from Philadelphia across the mountains
to Pittsburg in the same manner, through the March rains and mud, we
travelled on, day and night. It was quite a relief to sleep and glide
down the beautiful Ohio on a steamer. And there we found friends in
Portsmouth and Ripley and West Union, with whom we rested, and by whom
we were refreshed, and who greatly forwarded our preparations for life
among the Indians.

Of the journey Mary wrote, under date City of Penn, March 3, 1837: "We
were surprised to find sleighing here, when there was little at
Hartford and none at New Haven and New York. We expect to spend the
Sabbath here; and may the Lord bless the detention to ourselves and
others. Oh, for a heart more engaged to labor by the way--to labor
_any_ and _everywhere_."

In West Union, Ohio, she writes from Anti-Slavery Palace, April 5:
"Brother Joseph Riggs made us some valuable presents. His kindness
supplied my lack of a good English merino, and Sister Riggs had
prepared her donation and laid it by, as the Apostle directs,--one
pair of warm blankets, sheets and pillow-cases. My new nieces also
seemed to partake of the same kind spirit, and gave us valuable
mementos of their affection.

"We found Mrs. Burgess not behind, and perhaps before most of our
friends, in her plans and gifts. Besides a cooking-stove and
furniture, she has provided a fine blanket and comforter, sheets,
pillow-cases, towels, dried peaches, etc. Perhaps you will fear that
with so many kind friends we shall be furnished with too many
comforts. Pray, then, that we may be kept very humble, and receive
these blessings thankfully from the Giver of every good and perfect

Mrs. Isabella Burgess, the wife of my friend Rev. Dyer Burgess, we put
into lasting remembrance by the name we gave to our first daughter,
who is now living by the great wall of China. By and by we found
ourselves furnished with such things as we supposed we should need for
a year to come, and we bade adieu to our Ohio friends, and embarked at
Cincinnati for St. Louis.

     "STEAMER ISABELLA, Thursday Eve, May 4.

     "We have been highly favored thus far on our way down the Ohio.
     We took a last look of Indiana about noon, and saw the waters
     of the separating Wabash join those of the Ohio, and yet flow
     on without commingling for ten or twelve miles, marking their
     course by their blue tint and purer shade. The banks are much
     lower here than nearer the source, sometimes gently sloping to
     the water's edge, and bearing such marks of inundation as
     trunks and roots of trees half imbedded in the sand, or cast
     higher up on the shore. At intervals we passed some beautiful
     bluffs, not very high, but very verdant, and others more
     precipitous. Bold, craggy rocks, with evergreen-tufted tops,
     and a few dwarf stragglers on their sides. One of them
     contained a cave, apparently dark enough for deeds of darkest
     hue, and probably it may have witnessed many perpetrated by
     those daring bandits that prowled about these bluffs during the
     early settlement of Illinois.

     "Friday Eve.--This morning, when we awoke, we found ourselves
     in the muddy waters of the broad Mississippi. They are quite as
     muddy as those of a shallow pond after a severe shower. We
     drink it, however, and find the taste not quite as unpleasant
     as one might suppose from its color, though quite warm. The
     river is very wide here, and beautifully spotted with large
     islands. Their sandy points, the muddy waters, and abounding
     snags render navigation more dangerous than on the Ohio. We
     have met with no accident yet, and I am unconscious of fear. I
     desire to trust in Him who rules the water as well as the

     "ST. LOUIS, May 8, 1837.

     "Had you been with us this morning, you would have sympathized
     with us in what seemed to be a detention in the journey to our
     distant unfound home in the wilderness, when we heard that the
     Fur Company's boat left for Fort Snelling last week. You can
     imagine our feelings, our doubts, our hopes, our fears rushing
     to our hearts, but soon quieted with the conviction that the
     Lord would guide us in his own time to the field where he would
     have us labor. We feel that we have done all in our power to
     hasten on our journey and to gain information in reference to
     the time of leaving this city. Having endeavored to do this, we
     have desired to leave the event with God, and he will still
     direct. We now have some ground for hope that another boat will
     ascend the river in a week or two, and, if so, we shall avail
     ourselves of the opportunity. Till we learn something more
     definitely in regard to it, we shall remain at Alton, if we are
     prospered in reaching there."

In those days the Upper Mississippi was still a wild and almost
uninhabited region. Such places as Davenport and Rock Island, which
now together form a large centre of population, had then, all told,
only about a dozen houses. The lead mines of Galena and Dubuque had
gathered in somewhat larger settlements. Above them there was nothing
but Indians and military. So that a steamer starting for Fort Snelling
was a rare thing. It was said that less than half a dozen in a season
reached that point. Indeed, there was nothing to carry up but goods
for the Indian trade, and army supplies. Some friends at Alton invited
us to come and spend the intervening time. There we were kindly
entertained in the family of Mr. Winthrop S. Gilman, who has since
been one of the substantial Christian business men in New York City.
On our leaving, Mr. Gilman bade us "look upward," which has ever been
one of our life mottoes.

At that time, a steamer from St. Louis required at least two full
weeks to reach Fort Snelling. It was an object with us not to travel
on the Sabbath, if possible. So we planned to go up beforehand, and
take the up-river boat at the highest point. It might be, we thought,
that the Lord would arrange things for us so that we should reach our
mission field without travelling on the Day of Rest. With this desire
we embarked for Galena. But Saturday night found us passing along by
the beautiful country of Rock Island and Davenport. In the latter
place Mary and I spent a Sabbath, and worshipped with a few of the
pioneer people who gathered in a school-house. By the middle of the
next week we had reached the city of lead. There we found the man who
had said to the Home Missionary Society, "If you have a place so
difficult that no one wants to go to it, send me there." And they sent
the veteran, Rev. Aratus Kent, to Galena, Illinois.

Some of the scenes and events connected with our ascent of the
Mississippi are graphically described by Mary's facile pen:


    "We are now on our way to Galena, where we shall probably take a
    boat for St. Peters. We pursue this course, though it subjects
    us to the inconvenience of changing boats, that we may be able
    to avoid Sabbath travelling, _if possible_. One Sabbath at least
    will be rescued in this way, as the _Pavilion_, the only boat
    for St. Peters at present, leaves St. Louis on Sunday! This we
    felt would not be right for us, consequently we left Alton
    to-day, trusting that the Lord of the Sabbath would speed us on
    our journey of 3000 miles, and enable us to keep his Sabbath
    holy unto the end thereof.

    "Of the scenery we have passed this afternoon, and are still
    passing, I can give you no just conceptions. It beggars
    description, and yet I wish you could imagine the Illinois
    semi-circular shores lined with high rocks, embosomed by trees
    of most delicate green, and crowned with a grassy mound of the
    same tint, or rising more perpendicularly and towering more
    loftily in solid columns, defying art to form or demolish works
    so impregnable, and at the same time so grand and beautiful. I
    have just been gazing at these everlasting rocks mellowed by the
    soft twilight. A bend in the river and an island made them
    apparently meet the opposite shore. The departing light of day
    favored the illusion of a splendid city reaching for miles along
    the river, built of granite and marble, and shaded by luxuriant
    groves, all reflected in the quiet waters. This river bears very
    little resemblance to itself (as geographies name it) after its
    junction with the Missouri. To me it seems a misnomer to name a
    river from a branch which is so dissimilar. The waters here are
    comparatively pure and the current mild. Below, they are turbid
    and impetuous, rolling on in their power, and sweeping all in
    their pathway onward at the rate of five or six miles an hour.

    "Just below the junction we were astonished and amused to see
    large spots of muddy water surrounded by those of a purer shade,
    as if they would retain their distinctive character to the last;
    but in vain, for the lesser was contaminated and swallowed up by
    the greater. I might moralize on this, but will leave each one
    to draw his own inferences."

     "STEPHENSON (now Davenport), May 22.

     "We left the _Olive Branch_ between 10 and 11 on Saturday
     night. The lateness of the hour obliged us to accept of such
     accommodations as presented themselves first, and even made us
     thankful for them, though they were the most wretched I ever
     endured. I do not allude to the house or table, though little
     or nothing could be said in their praise, but to the horrid
     profanity. Connected with the house and adjoining our room was
     a grocery, a devil's den indeed, and so often were the frequent
     volleys of dreadful oaths that our hearts grew sick, and we
     shuddered and sought to shut our ears. Notwithstanding all
     this, we were happier than if we had been travelling on God's
     holy day. Our consciences approved resting according to the
     commandment, though they did not chide for removing, even on
     the Sabbath, to a house where God's name is not used so
     irreverently--so profanely."

     "GALENA, May 23.

     "This place, wild and hilly, we reached this afternoon, and
     have been very kindly received by some Yankee Christian
     friends, where we feel ourselves quite at home, though only
     inmates of this hospitable mansion a few hours. Surely the Lord
     has blessed us above measure in providing warm Christian hearts
     to receive us. Mr. and Mrs. Fuller, where we are, supply the
     place of the Gilmans of Alton. We hope to leave in a day or two
     for Fort Snelling."

     "GALENA, Ill., May 25, 1837.

     "A kind Providence has so ordered our affairs that we are
     detained here still, and I hope our stay may promote the best
     interests of the mission. It seems desirable that Christians in
     these villages of the Upper Mississippi should become
     interested in the missionaries and the missions among the
     northern Indians, that their prejudices may be overcome and
     their hearts made to feel the claims those dark tribes have
     upon their sympathies, their charities, and their prayers."

     "STEAMER PAVILION, Upper Mississippi, May 31.

     "We are this evening (Wednesday) more than 100 miles above
     Prairie du Chien, on our way to St. Peters, which we hope to
     reach before the close of the week, that we may be able to keep
     the Sabbath on shore. You will rejoice with us that we have
     been able, in all our journey of 3000 miles, to rest from
     travelling on the Sabbath. Last Saturday, however, our
     principles and feelings were tried by this boat, for which we
     had waited three weeks, and watched anxiously for the last few
     days, fearing it would subject us to Sabbath travelling.
     Saturday eve, after sunset, when our wishes had led us to
     believe it would not leave, if it should reach Galena until
     Monday, we heard a boat, and soon our sight confirmed our ears.
     Mr. Riggs hastened on board and ascertained from the captain
     that he should leave Sabbath morning. The inquiry was, shall we
     break one command in fulfilling another? We soon decided that
     it was not our duty to commence a journey under these
     circumstances even, and retired to rest, confident the Lord
     would provide for us. Notwithstanding our prospects were rather
     dark, I felt a secret hope that the Lord would detain the
     _Pavilion_ until Monday. If I had any faith it was very weak,
     for I felt deeply conscious we were entirely undeserving such a
     favor. But judge of our happy surprise, morning and afternoon,
     on our way to and from church, to find the _Pavilion_ still at
     the wharf. We felt that it was truly a gracious providence. On
     Monday morning we came on board."

This week on the Upper Mississippi was one of quiet joy. We had been
nearly three months on our way from Mary's home in Massachusetts. God
had prospered us all the way. Wherever we had stopped we had found or
made friends. The Lord, as we believed, had signally interfered in our
behalf, and helped us to "remember the Sabbath day," and to give our
testimony to its sacred observance. The season of the year was
inspiring. A resurrection to new life had just taken place. All
external nature had put on her beautiful garments. And day after
day--for the boat tied up at night--we found ourselves passing by
those grand old hills and wonderful escarpments of the Upper
Mississippi. We were in the wilds of the West, beyond the cabins of
the pioneer. We were passing the battle-fields of Indian story. Nay,
more, we were already in the land of the Dakotas, and passing by the
_teepees_ and the villages of the red man, for whose enlightenment and
elevation we had left friends and home. Was it strange that this was a
week of intense enjoyment, of education, of growth in the life of
faith and hope? And so, as I said in the beginning, on the first day
of June, 1837, Mary and I reached, in safety, the mouth of the
Minnesota, in the land of the Dakotas.


    1837.--First Knowledge of the Sioux.--Hennepin and Du
    Luth.--Fort Snelling.--Lakes Harriet and Calhoun.--Three Months
    at Lake Harriet.--Samuel W. Pond.--Learning the Language.--Mr.
    Stevens.--Temporary Home.--That Station Soon Broken Up.--Mary's
    Letters.--The Mission and People. Native Customs.--Lord's
    Supper.--"Good Voice."--Description of Our Home.--The
    Garrison.--Seeing St. Anthony.--Ascent of the St.
    Peters.--Mary's Letters.--Traverse des Sioux.--Prairie
    Travelling.--Reaching Lac-qui-parle.--T. S. Williamson.--A
    Sabbath Service.--Our Upper Room Experiences.--Church at
    Lac-qui-parle.--Mr. Pond's Marriage.--Mary's Letters.--Feast.

About two hundred and forty years ago, the French voyagers and fur
traders, as they came from Nouvelle, France, up the St. Lawrence and
the Great Lakes, began to hear, from Indians farther east, of a great
and warlike people, whom they called Nadouwe or Nadowaessi, _enemies_.
Coming nearer to them, both trader and priest met, at the head of Lake
Superior, representatives of this nation, "numerous and fierce, always
at war with other tribes, pushing northward and southward and
westward," so that they were sometimes called the "Iroquois of the

But really not much was known of the Sioux until the summer of 1680,
when Hennepin and Du Luth met in a camp of Dakotas, as they hunted
buffalo in what is now north-western Wisconsin. Hennepin had been
captured by a war-party, which descended the Father of Waters in
their canoes, seeking for scalps among their enemies, the Miamis and
Illinois. They took him and his companions of the voyage up to their
villages on the head-waters of Rum River, and around the shores of
Mille Lac and Knife Lake. From the former of these the eastern band of
the Sioux nation named themselves Mdaywakantonwan, _Spirit Lake
Villagers_; and from the latter they inherited the name of Santees
(Isanyati), _Dwellers on Knife_.

These two representative Frenchmen, thus brought together, at so early
a day, in the wilds of the West, visited the home of the Sioux, as
above indicated, and to them we are indebted for much of what we know
of the Dakotas two centuries ago.

The Ojibwas and Hurons were then occupying the southern shores of Lake
Superior, and, coming first into communication with the white race,
they were first supplied with fire-arms, which gave them such an
advantage over the more warlike Sioux that, in the next hundred years,
we find the Ojibwas in possession of all the country on the
head-waters of the Mississippi, while the Dakotas had migrated
southward and westward.

The general enlistment of the Sioux, and indeed of all these tribes of
the North-west, on the side of the British in the war of 1812, showed
the necessity of a strong military garrison in the heart of the Indian
country. Hence the building of Fort Snelling nearly sixty years ago.
At the confluence of the Minnesota with the Mississippi, and on the
high point between the two it has an admirable outlook. So it seemed
to us as we approached it on that first day of June, 1837. On our
landing we became the guests of Lieutenant Ogden and his excellent
wife, who was the daughter of Major Loomis. To Mary and me, every
thing was new and strange. We knew nothing of military life. But our
sojourn of a few days was made pleasant and profitable by the
Christian sympathy which met us there--the evidence of the Spirit's
presence, which, two years before, had culminated in the organization
of a Christian church in the garrison, on the arrival of the first
missionaries to the Dakotas.

The Falls of St. Anthony and the beautiful Minnehaha have now become
historic, and Minnetonka has become a place of summer resort. But
forty years ago it was only now and then that the eyes of a white man,
and still more rarely the eyes of a white woman, looked upon the Falls
of Curling Water;[2] and scarcely any one knew that the water in
Little Falls Creek came from Minnetonka Lake. But nearer by were the
beautiful lakes Calhoun and Harriet. On the first of these was the
Dakota Village, of which _Claudman_ and _Drifter_ were then the
chiefs; and on whose banks the brothers Pond had erected the first
white man's cabin; and on the north bank of the latter was a mission
station of the American Board, commenced two years before by Rev.
Jedediah D. Stevens.

    [2] Minnehaha means "Curling Water," not "Laughing Water," as
    many suppose.

Here we were in daily contact with the Dakota men, women, and
children. Here we began to listen to the strange sounds of the Dakota
tongue; and here we made our first laughable efforts in speaking the

We were fortunate in meeting here Rev. Samuel W. Pond, the older of
the brothers, who had come out from Connecticut three years previous,
and, in advance of all others, had erected their missionary cabin on
the margin of Lake Calhoun. Mr. Pond's knowledge of Dakota was quite
a help to us, who were just commencing to learn it. Before we left the
States, it had been impressed upon us by Secretary David Greene that
whether we were successful missionaries or not depended much on our
acquiring a free use of the language. And the teaching of my own
experience and observation is that if one fails to make a pretty good
start the first year in its acquisition, it will be a rare thing if he
ever masters the language. And so, obedient to our instructions, we
made it our first work to get our ears opened to the strange sounds,
and our tongues made cunning for their utterance. Oftentimes we
laughed at our own blunders, as when I told Mary, one day, that _pish_
was the Dakota for _fish_. A Dakota boy had been trying to speak the
English word. Mr. Stevens had gathered, from various sources, a
vocabulary of five or six hundred words. This formed the commencement
of the growth of the Dakota Grammar and Dictionary which I published
fifteen years afterward.

Mr. and Mrs. Stevens were from Central New York, and were engaged as
early as 1827 in missionary labors on the Island of Mackinaw. In 1829,
Mr. Stevens and Rev. Mr. Coe made a tour of exploration through the
wilds of Northern Wisconsin, coming as far as Fort Snelling. For
several years thereafter, Mr. Stevens was connected with the
Stockbridge mission on Fox Lake; and in the summer of 1835 he had
commenced this station at Lake Harriet. At the time of our arrival he
had made things look quite civilized. He had built two houses of
tamarack logs, the larger of which his own family occupied; the lower
part of the other was used for the school and religious meetings. Half
a dozen boarding scholars, chiefly half-breed girls, formed the
nucleus of the school, which was taught by his niece, Miss Lucy C.
Stevens, who was afterward married to Rev. Daniel Gavan, of the Swiss
mission to the Dakotas.

As the mission family was already quite large enough for comfort, Mary
and I, not wishing to add to any one's burdens, undertook to make
ourselves comfortable in a part of the school-building. Our stay there
was to be only temporary, and hence it was only needful that we take
care of ourselves, and give such occasional help in the way of English
preaching and otherwise as we could. The Dakotas did not yet care to
hear the gospel. The Messrs. Pond had succeeded in teaching one young
man to read and write, and occasionally a few could be induced to come
and listen to the good news. It was seed-sowing time. Many seeds fell
by the wayside or on the hard path of sin. Most fell among thorns. But
some found good ground, and, lying dormant a full quarter of a
century, then sprang up and fruited in the prison at Mankato. Also of
the girls in that first Dakota boarding-school quite a good proportion
became Christian women and the mothers of Christian families.

But the mission at Lake Harriet was not to continue long. In less than
two years from the time we were there, two Ojibwa young men avenged
the killing of their father by waylaying and killing a prominent man
of the Lake Calhoun Village. A thousand Ojibwas had just left Fort
Snelling to return to their homes by way of Lake St. Croix and the Rum
River. Both parties were followed by the Sioux, and terrible slaughter
ensued. But the result of their splendid victory was that the Lake
Calhoun people were afraid to live there any longer, and so they
abandoned their village and plantings and settled on the banks of the

During our three months' stay at Lake Harriet, every thing we saw and
heard was fresh and interesting, and Mary could not help telling of
them to her friends in Hawley. The grandfather was ninety years old,
to whom she thus wrote:--

     "LAKE HARRIET, June 22, 1837.

     "We are now on missionary ground, and are surrounded by those
     dark people of whom we often talked at your fireside last
     winter. I doubt not you will still think and talk about them,
     and pray for them also. And surely your grandchildren will not
     be forgotten.

     "We reached this station two weeks since, after enjoying
     Lieutenant Ogden's hospitality a few days, and were kindly
     welcomed by Mr. Stevens' family, with whom we remain until a
     house, now occupied by the school, can be prepared, so that we
     can live in a part of it. Then we shall feel still more at
     home, though I hope our rude habitation will remind us that we
     are pilgrims on our way to a house not made with hands, eternal
     in the heavens.

     "The situation of the mission houses is very beautiful,--on a
     little eminence, just upon the shore of a lovely lake skirted
     with trees. About a mile north of us is Lake Calhoun, on the
     margin of which is an Indian village of about twenty lodges.
     Most of these are bark houses, some of which are twenty feet
     square, and others are tents, of skin or cloth. Several days
     since I walked over to the village, and called at the house of
     one of the chiefs. He was not at home, but his daughters smiled
     very good-naturedly upon us. We seated ourselves on a frame
     extending on three sides of the house, covered with skins,
     which was all the bed, sofa, and chairs they had.

     "Since our visit at the village, two old chiefs have called
     upon us. One said, this was a very bad country,--ours was a
     good country,--we had left a good country, and come to live in
     his bad country, and he was glad. The other called on Sabbath
     evening, when Mr. Riggs was at the Fort, where he preaches
     occasionally. He inquired politely how I liked the country, and
     said it was bad. What could a courtier have said more?

     "The Indians come here at all hours of the day without
     ceremony, sometimes dressed and painted very fantastically, and
     again with scarcely any clothing. One came in yesterday dressed
     in a coat, calico shirt, and cloth leggins, the only one I have
     seen with a coat, excepting two boys who were in the family
     when we came. The most singular ornament I have seen was a
     large striped snake, fastened among the painted hair, feathers,
     and ribbons of an Indian's head-dress, in such a manner that it
     could coil round in front and dart out its snake head, or creep
     down upon the back at pleasure. During this the Indian sat
     perfectly at ease, apparently much pleased at the astonishment
     and fear manifested by some of the family."

     "June 26.

     "Yesterday Mr. Riggs and myself commemorated a Saviour's love
     for the first time on missionary ground. The season was one of
     precious interest, sitting down at Jesus' table with a little
     band of brothers and sisters, one of whom was a Chippewa
     convert, who accompanied Mr. Ayer from Pokeguma. One of the
     Methodist missionaries, Mr. King, with a colored man, and the
     members of the church from the Fort and the mission, completed
     our band of _fifteen_. Two of these were received on this
     occasion. Several Sioux were present, and gazed on the strange
     scene before them. A medicine man, _Howashta_ by name, was
     present, with a long pole in his hand, having his head decked
     with a stuffed bird of brilliant plumage, and the tail of
     another of dark brown. His name means 'Good Voice,' and he is
     building him a log house not far from the mission. If _he_
     could be brought into the fold of the Kind Shepherd, and become
     a humble and devoted follower of Jesus, he might be
     instrumental of great good to his people. He might indeed be a
     _Good Voice_ bringing glad tidings to their dark souls."


     "HOME, July 8, 1837.

     "Would that you could look in upon us; but as you can not, I
     will try and give you some idea of our _home_. The building
     fronts the lake, but our part opens upon the woodland back of
     its western shore. The lower room has a small cooking-stove,
     given us by Mrs. Burgess, a few chairs and a small table, a box
     and barrel containing dishes, etc., a small will-be pantry,
     when completed, under the stairs, filled with flour, corn-meal,
     beans, and stove furniture. Our chamber is low, and nearly
     filled by a bed, a small bureau and stand, a table for writing,
     made of a box, and the rest of our half-dozen chairs and one
     rocking-chair, cushioned by my mother's kind forethought.

     "The rough, loose boards in the chamber are covered with a
     coarse and cheap hair-and-tow carpeting, to save labor. The
     floor below will require some cleaning, but I shall not try to
     keep it white. I have succeeded very well, according to my
     judgment, in household affairs,--that is, very well for me.

     "Some Indian women came in yesterday bringing strawberries,
     which I purchased with beans. Poor creatures, they have very
     little food of any kind at this season of the year, and we feel
     it difficult to know how much it is our duty to give them.

     "We are not troubled with all the insects which used to annoy
     me in Indiana, but the mosquitoes are far more abundant. At
     dark, swarms fill our room, deafen our ears, and irritate our
     skin. For the last two evenings we have filled our house with
     smoke, almost to suffocation, to disperse these our officious

     "July 31.

     "Until my location here, I was not aware that it was so
     exceedingly common for officers in the army to have two wives
     or more,--but one, of course, legally so. For instance, at the
     Fort, before the removal of the last troops, there were but two
     officers who were not known to have an Indian woman, if not
     half-Indian children. You remember I used to cherish some
     partiality for the military, but I must confess the last
     vestige of it has departed. I am not now thinking of its
     connection with the Peace question, but with that of moral
     reform. Once, in my childhood's simplicity, I regarded the army
     and its discipline as a school for gentlemanly manners, but now
     it seems a sink of iniquity, a school of vice."

With the month of September came the time of our departure for
Lac-qui-parle. But Mary had not yet seen the Falls of St. Anthony. And
so we harnessed up a horse and cart, and had a pleasant ride across
the prairie to the government saw-mill, which, with a small dwelling
for the soldier occupant, was then the only sign of civilization on
the present site of Minneapolis. Then we had our household goods
packed up and put on board Mr. Prescott's Mackinaw boat, to be carried
up to Traverse des Sioux. Mr. Prescott was a white man with a Dakota
wife, and had been for years engaged in the fur trade. He had on board
his winter outfit. Mary and I took passage with him and his family,
and spent a week of new life on what was then called the Saint Peter's
River. The days were very enjoyable, and the nights were quite
comfortable, for we had all the advantages of Mr. Prescott's tent and
conveniences for camp life. His propelling force was the muscles of
five Frenchmen, who worked the oars and the poles, sometimes paddling
and sometimes pushing, and often, in the upper part of the voyage,
wading to find the best channel over a sand-bar. But they enjoyed
their work, and sang songs by the way.


     "Sept. 2, 1837.

     "Dr. Williamson arrived at Lake Harriet after a six days'
     journey from home, and assured us of their kindest wishes, and
     their willingness to furnish us with corn and potatoes, and a
     room in their house. We have just breakfasted on board our
     Mackinaw, and so far on our way have had cause for thankfulness
     that God so overruled events, even though some attendant
     circumstances were unpleasant. It is also a great source of
     comfort that we have so good accommodations and Sabbath-keeping
     company. You recollect my mentioning the marriage of Mr. and
     Mrs. Prescott, and of his uniting with the church at Lake
     Harriet, in the summer.

     "Perhaps you may feel some curiosity respecting our appearance
     and that of our barge. Fancy a large boat of forty feet in
     length, and perhaps eight in width in the middle, capable of
     carrying five tons, and manned by five men, four at the oars
     and a steersman at the stern. Near the centre are our sleeping
     accommodations nicely rolled up, on which we sit, and breakfast
     and dine on bread, cold ham, wild fowl, etc. We have tea and
     coffee for breakfast and supper. Mrs. Prescott does not pitch
     and strike the tent, as the Indian women usually do; but it is
     because the boatmen can do it, and her husband does not require
     as much of her as an Indian man. They accommodate us in their
     tent, which is similar to a soldier's tent, just large enough
     for two beds. Here we take our supper, sitting on or by the
     matting made by some of these western Indians, and then, after
     worship, lie down to rest."

     "Monday, Sept. 4.

     "Again we are on our way up the crooked Saint Peter's, having
     passed the Sabbath in our tent in the wilderness, far more
     pleasantly than the Sabbath we spent in St. Louis. Last
     Saturday I became quite fatigued sympathizing with those who
     drew the boat on the Rapids, and with following my Indian
     guide, Mrs. Prescott, through the woods, to take the boat above
     them. The fall at this stage of water was, I should think, two
     feet, and nearly perpendicular, excepting a very narrow
     channel, where it was slanting. The boat being lightened, all
     the men attempted to force it up this channel, some by the rope
     attached to the boat, and others by pulling and pushing it as
     they stood by it on the rocks and in the water. Both the first
     and second attempts were fruitless. The second time the rope
     was lengthened and slipped round a tree on the high bank, where
     the trader's wife and I were standing. Her husband called her
     to hold the end of the rope, and, as I could not stand idle,
     though I knew I could do no good, I joined her, watching the
     slowly ascending boat with the deepest interest. A moment more
     and the toil would have been over, when the rope snapped, and
     the boat slid back in a twinkling. It was further lightened and
     the rope doubled, and then it was drawn safely up and
     re-packed, in about two hours and a half from the time we
     reached the Rapids."

     "Tuesday, Sept. 5.

     "In good health and spirits, we are again on our way. As the
     river is shallow and the bottom hard, poles have been
     substituted for oars; boards placed along the boat's sides
     serve for a footpath for the boatmen, who propel the boat by
     fixing the pole into the earth at the prow and pushing until
     they reach the stern.

     "At Traverse des Sioux our land journey, of one hundred and
     twenty-five miles to Lac-qui-parle, commenced. Here we made the
     acquaintance of a somewhat remarkable French trader, by name
     Louis Provencalle, but commonly called Le Bland. The Indians
     called him Skadan, _Little White_. He was an old voyager, who
     could neither read nor write, but, by a certain force of
     character, he had risen to the honorable position of trader. He
     kept his accounts with his Indian debtors by a system of

     "For the next week we were under the convoy of Dr. Thomas S.
     Williamson and Mr. Gideon H. Pond, who met us with teams from
     Lac-qui-parle. The first night of our camping on the prairie,
     Dr. Williamson taught me a lesson which I never forgot. We were
     preparing the tent for the night, and I was disposed to let the
     roughness of the surface remain, and not even gather grass for
     a bed, which the Indians do; on the ground, as I said, that it
     was for _only one night_. 'But,' said the doctor, 'there will
     be a _great many one nights_.' And so I have found it. It is
     best to make the tent comfortable for _one night_."

This was our first introduction--Mary's and mine--to the broad
prairies of the West. At first, we kept in sight of the woods of the
Minnesota, and our road lay among and through little groves of timber.
But by and by we emerged into the broad savannahs--thousands of acres
of meadow unmowed, and broad rolling country covered, at this time of
year, with yellow and blue flowers. Every thing was full of interest
to us, even the Bad Swamp,--Wewe Shecha,--which so bent and shook
under the tramp of our teams, that we could almost believe it would
break through and let us into the earth's centre. For years after,
this was the great _fear_ of our prairie travelling, always reminding
us very forcibly of Bunyan's description of the "Slough of Despond."
The only accident of this journey was the breaking of the axle of one
of Mr. Pond's loaded carts. It was Saturday afternoon. Mr. Pond and
Dr. Williamson remained to make a new one, and Mary and I went on to
the stream where we were to camp, and made ready for the Sabbath.


     "Saturday Eve., Sept. 9, 1837.

     "_My Ever Dear Mother:_--

     "Just at twilight I seat myself upon the ground by our fire,
     with the wide heavens above for a canopy, to commune with her
     whose yearning heart follows her children wherever they roam.
     This is the second day we have travelled on this prairie,
     having left Traverse des Sioux late Thursday afternoon. Before
     leaving that place, a little half-Indian girl, daughter of the
     trader where we stopped, brought me nearly a dozen of eggs (the
     first I had seen since leaving the States), which afforded us a
     choice morsel for the next day. To-morrow we rest, it being the
     Sabbath, and may we and you be in the Spirit on the Lord's

     "LAC-QUI-PARLE, Sept. 18.

     "The date will tell you of our arrival at this station, where
     we have found a _home_. We reached this place on Wednesday
     last, having been thirteen days from Fort Snelling, a shorter
     time than is usually required for such a journey, the Lord's
     hand being over us to guide and prosper us on our way. Two
     Sabbaths we rested from our travels, and the last of them was
     peculiarly refreshing to body and spirit. Having risen and put
     our tent in order, we engaged in family worship, and afterward
     partook of our frugal meal. Then all was still in that wide
     wilderness, save at intervals, when some bird of passage told
     us of its flight and bade our wintry clime farewell.

     "Before noon we had a season of social worship, lifting up our
     hearts with one voice in prayer and praise, and reading a
     portion of God's Word. It was indeed pleasant to think that God
     was present with us, far away as we were from any human being
     but ourselves. The day passed peacefully away, and night's
     refreshing slumbers succeeded. The next morning we were on our
     way before the sun began his race, and having ridden fifteen or
     sixteen miles, according to our best calculations, we stopped
     for breakfast and dinner at a lake where wood and water could
     both be obtained, two essentials which frequently are not found
     together on the prairie.

     "Thus you will be able to imagine us with our two one-ox carts
     and a double wagon, all heavily laden, as we have travelled
     across the prairie."

Thomas Smith Williamson had been ten years a practising physician in
Ripley, Ohio. There he had married Margaret Poage, of one of the first
families. One after another their children had died. Perhaps that led
them to think that God had a work for them to do elsewhere. At any
rate, after spending a year in the Lane Theological Seminary, the
doctor turned his thoughts toward the Sioux, for whom no man seemed to
care. In the spring of 1834 he made a visit up to Fort Snelling. And
in the year following, as has already been noted, he came as a
missionary of the A. B. C. F. M., with his wife and one child,
accompanied by Miss Sarah Poage, Mrs. Williamson's sister, and Mr.
Alexander G. Huggins and his wife, with two children.

This company reached Fort Snelling a week or two in advance of Mr.
Stevens, and were making preparations to build at Lake Calhoun; but
Mr. Stevens claimed the right of selection, on the ground that he had
been there in 1829. And so Dr. Williamson and his party accepted the
invitation of Mr. Joseph Renville, the Bois Brule trader at
Lac-qui-parle, to go two hundred miles into the interior. All this was
of the Lord, as it plainly appeared in after years. At the time we
approached the mission at Lac-qui-parle, they had been two full years
in the field, and, under favorable auspices, had made a very good
beginning. About the middle of September, after a pretty good week of
prairie travel, we were very glad to receive the greetings of the
mission families....

A few days after our arrival, Mary wrote: "The evening we came, we
were shown _a little chamber_, where we spread our bed and took up our
abode. On Friday, Mr. Riggs made a bedstead, by boring holes and
driving slabs into the logs, across which boards are laid. This
answers the purpose very well, though rather uneven. Yesterday was the
Sabbath, and such a Sabbath as I never before enjoyed. Although the
day was cold and stormy, and much like November, twenty-five Indians
and part-bloods assembled at eleven o'clock in our school-room for
public worship. Excepting a prayer, all the exercises were in Dakota
and French, and most of them in the former language. Could you have
seen these Indians kneel with stillness and order, during prayer, and
rise and engage in singing hymns in their own tongue, led by one of
their own tribe, I am sure your heart would have been touched. The
hymns were composed by Mr. Renville the trader, who is probably
three-fourths Sioux."

       *       *       *       *       *

Doctor Williamson had erected a log house a story and a half high. In
the lower part was his own living-room, and also a room with a large
open fire-place, which then, and for several years afterward, was used
for the school and Sabbath assemblies. In the upper part there were
three rooms, still in an unfinished state. The largest of these, ten
feet wide and eighteen feet long, was appropriated to our use. We
fixed it up with loose boards overhead, and quilts nailed up to the
rafters, and improvised a bedstead, as we had been unable to bring
ours farther than Fort Snelling.

That room we made our home for five winters. There were some hardships
about such close quarters, but, all in all, Mary and I never enjoyed
five winters better than those spent in that upper room. There our
first three children were born. There we worked in acquiring the
language. There we received our Dakota visitors. There I wrote and
wrote again my ever growing dictionary. And there, with what help I
could obtain, I prepared for the printer the greater part of the New
Testament in the language of the Dakotas. It was a consecrated room.

Well, we had set up our cooking-stove in our upper room, but the
furniture was a hundred and twenty-five miles away. It was not easy
for Mary to cook with nothing to cook in. But the good women of the
mission came to her relief with kettle and pan. More than this, there
were some things to be done now which neither Mary nor I had learned
to do. She was not an adept at making light bread, and neither of us
could milk a cow. She grew up in New England, where the men alone did
the milking, and I in Ohio, where the women alone milked in those
days. At first it took us both to milk a cow, and it was poorly done.
But Mary succeeded best. Nevertheless, application and perseverance
succeeded, and, although never boasting of any special ability in that
line of things, I could do my own milking, and Mary became very
skilful in bread-making, as well as in other mysteries of

       *       *       *       *       *

The missionary work began now to open before us. The village at
Lac-qui-parle consisted of about 400 persons, chiefly of the Wahpaton,
or Leaf-village band of the Dakotas. They were very poor and very
proud. Mr. Renville, as a half-breed and fur-trader, had acquired an
unbounded influence over many of them. They were willing to follow his
leading. And so the young men of his soldiers' lodge were the first,
after his own family, to learn to read. On the Sabbath, there gathered
into this lower room twenty or thirty men and women, but mostly women,
to hear the Word as prepared by Dr. Williamson with Mr. Renville's
aid. A few Dakota hymns had been made, and were sung under the
leadership of Mr. Huggins or young Mr. Joseph Renville. Mr. Renville
and Mr. Pond made the prayers in Dakota. Early in the year 1836, a
church had been organized, which at this time contained seven native
members, chiefly from Mr. Renville's household. And in the winter
which followed our arrival nine were added, making a native church of
sixteen, of which one half were full-blood Dakota women, and in the
others the Dakota blood greatly predominated.

One of the noted things that took place in those autumn days was the
marriage of Mr. Gideon Holister Pond and Miss Sarah Poage. That was
the first couple I married, and I look back to it with great
satisfaction. The bond has been long since sundered by death, but it
was a true covenant entered into by true hearts, and receiving, from
the first, the blessing of the Master. Mr. Pond made a great feast,
and "called the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind,"
and many such Dakotas were there to be called. _They_ could not
recompense him by inviting him again, and it yet remains that "he
shall be recompensed at the resurrection of the just."

     Nov. 2.

     "Yesterday the marriage referred to was solemnized. Could I
     paint the assembly, you would agree with me that it was deeply
     and singularly interesting. Fancy, for a moment, the audience
     who were witnesses of the scene. The rest of our missionary
     band sat near those of our number who were about to enter into
     the new and sacred relationship, while most of the room was
     filled with our dark-faced guests, a blanket or a buffalo robe
     their chief 'wedding garment,' and coarse and tawdry beads,
     brooches, paint, and feathers their wedding ornaments. Here and
     there sat a Frenchman or half-breed, whose garb bespoke their
     different origin. No turkey or eagle feathers adorned the hair,
     or parti-colored paint the face, though even _their_ appearance
     and attire reminded us of our location in this wilderness.

     "Mr. Riggs performed the marriage ceremony, and Dr. Williamson
     made the concluding prayer, and, through Mr. Renville, briefly
     explained to the Dakotas the ordinance and its institution.
     After the ceremony, Mr. Renville and family partook with us of
     our frugal meal, leaving the Indians to enjoy their feast of
     potatoes, turnips, and bacon, to which the poor, the lame, and
     the blind had been invited. As they were not aware of the
     supper that was provided, they did not bring their dishes, as
     is the Indian custom, so that they were scantily furnished with
     milk-pans, etc. This deficiency they supplied very readily by
     emptying the first course, which was potatoes, into their
     blankets, and passing their dishes for a supply of turnips and

     "I know not when I have seen a group so novel as I found on
     repairing to the room where these poor creatures were
     promiscuously seated. On my left sat an old man nearly blind;
     before me, the woman who dipped out the potatoes from a
     five-pail boiler sat on the floor; and near her was an old man
     dividing the bacon, clenching it firmly in his hand, and
     looking up occasionally to see how many there were requiring a
     share. In the corner sat a lame man eagerly devouring his
     potatoes, and around were scattered women and children.

     "When the last ladle was filled from the large pot of turnips,
     one by one they hastily departed, borrowing dishes to carry
     home the supper, to divide with the children who had remained
     in charge of the tents."


    1837-1839.--The Language.--Its Growth.--System of
    Notation.--After Changes.--What We Had to Put into the
    Language.--Teaching English and Teaching Dakota.--Mary's
    Letter.--Fort Renville.--Translating the Bible.--The Gospels of
    Mark and John.--"Good Bird" Born.--Dakota Names.--The Lessons We
    Learned.--Dakota Washing.--Extracts from Letters.--Dakota
    Tents.--A Marriage.--Visiting the Village.--Girls, Boys, and
    Dogs.--G. H. Pond's Indian Hunt.--Three Families Killed.--The
    Village Wail.--The Power of a Name.--Post-Office Far Away.--The
    Coming of the Mail.--S. W. Pond Comes Up.--My Visit to
    Snelling.--Lost my Horse.--Dr. Williamson Goes to Ohio.--The
    Spirit's Presence.--Prayer.--Mary's Reports.

To learn an unwritten language, and to reduce it to a form that can be
seen as well as heard, is confessedly a work of no small magnitude.
Hitherto it has seemed to exist only in sound. But it has been, all
through the past ages, worked out and up by the forges of human
hearts. It has been made to express the lightest thoughts as well as
the heart-throbs of men and women and children in their generations.
The human mind, in its most untutored state, is God's creation. It may
not stamp purity nor even goodness on its language, but it always, I
think, stamps it with the deepest philosophy. So far, at least,
language is of divine origin. The unlearned Dakota may not be able to
give any definition for any single word that he has been using all his
life-time,--he may say, "It means that, and can't mean any thing
else,"--yet, all the while, in the mental workshop of the people,
unconsciously and very slowly it may be, but no less very surely,
these words of air are newly coined. No angle can turn up, but by and
by it will be worn off by use. No ungrammatical expression can come in
that will not be rejected by the best thinkers and speakers. New words
will be coined to meet the mind's wants; and new forms of expression,
which at the first are bungling descriptions only, will be pared down
and tucked up so as to come into harmony with the living language.

But it was no part of our business to make the Dakota language. It was
simply the missionary's work to report it faithfully. The system of
notation had in the main been settled upon before Mary and I joined
the mission. It was, of course, to be phonetic, as nearly as possible.
The English alphabet was to be used as far as it could be. These were
the principles that guided and controlled the writing of Dakota. In
their application it was soon found that only five pure vowel sounds
were used. So far the work was easy. Then it was found that x and v
and r and g and j and f and c, with their English powers, were not
needed. But there were four _clicks_ and two _gutturals_ and a _nasal_
that must in some way be expressed. It was then, even more than now, a
matter of pecuniary importance that the language to be printed should
require as few new characters as possible. And so n was taken to
represent the nasal; q represented one of the clicks; g and r
represented the gutturals; and c and j and x were used to represent
ch, zh, and sh. The other clicks were represented by marked letters.
Since that time, some changes have been made: x and r have been
discarded from the purely Dakota alphabet. In the Dakota grammar and
dictionary, which was published fifteen years afterward, an effort was
made to make the notation philosophical, and accordant with itself.
The changes which have since been adopted have all been in the line of
the dictionary.

When we missionaries had gathered and expressed and arranged the words
of this language, what had we to put into it, and what great gifts had
we for the Dakota people? What will you give me? has always been their
cry. We brought to them the Word of Life, the Gospel of Salvation
through faith in Jesus Christ our Lord, as contained in the Bible. Not
to preach Christ to them only, that they might have life, but to
engraft his living words into their living thoughts, so that they
might grow into his spirit more and more, was the object of our
coming. The labor of writing the language was undertaken as a means to
a greater end. To put God's thoughts into their speech, and to teach
them to read in their own tongue the wonderful works of God, was what
brought us to the land of the Dakotas. But they could not appreciate
this. Ever and anon came the question, What will you give me? And so,
when we would proclaim the "old, old story" to those proud Dakota men
at Lac-qui-parle, we had to begin with kettles of boiled pumpkins,
turnips, and potatoes. The bread that perisheth could be
appreciated--the Bread of Life was still beyond their comprehension.
But by and by it was to find its proper nesting-place.

It was very fortunate for the work of education among the Dakotas that
it had such a staunch and influential friend as Joseph Renville, Sr.,
of Lac-qui-parle. It was never certainly known whether Mr. Renville
could read his French Bible or not. But he had seen so much of the
advantages of education among the white people, that he greatly
desired his own children should learn to read and write, both in
Dakota and English, and through his whole life gave his influence in
favor of Dakota education. Sarah Poage, afterward Mrs. G. H. Pond, had
come as a teacher, and had, from their first arrival at Lac-qui-parle,
been so employed. Mr. Renville had four daughters, all of them young
women, who had, with some other half-breeds, made an English class.
They had learned to read the language, but understood very little of
it, and were not willing to speak even what they understood. All
through these years the teaching of English, commenced at the
beginning of our mission work, although found to be very difficult and
not producing much apparent fruit, has never been abandoned. But for
the purposes of civilization, and especially of Christianization, we
have found culture in the native tongue indispensable.

To teach the classes in English was in Mary's line of life. She at
once relieved Miss Poage of this part of her work, and continued in
it, with some intervals, for several years. Often she was greatly
tried, not by the inability of her Dakota young lady scholars, but by
their unwillingness to make such efforts as to gain the mastery of

Teaching in Dakota was a different thing. It was their own language.
The lessons, printed with open type and a brush on old newspapers, and
hung round the walls of the school-room, were words that had a meaning
even to a Dakota child. It was not difficult. A young man has
sometimes come in, proud and unwilling to be taught, but, by sitting
there and looking and listening to others, he has started up with the
announcement, "I am able." Some small books had already been printed.
Others were afterward provided. But the work of works, which in some
sense took precedence of all others, was then commencing, and has not
yet been quite completed--that of putting the Bible into the language
of the Dakotas.[3]

    [3] Completed in 1879.

     "Nov. 18, 1837.

     "I make very slow progress in learning Dakota, and could you
     hear the odd combinations of it with English which we allow
     ourselves, you would doubtless be somewhat amused, if not
     puzzled to guess our meaning, though our speech would betray
     us, for the little Dakota we can use we can not speak like the
     Indians. The peculiar tone and ease are wanting, and several
     sounds I have been entirely unable to make; so that, in my case
     at least, there would be 'shibboleths' not a few. And these
     cause the Dakota pupils to laugh very frequently when I am
     trying to explain, or lead them to understand some of the most
     simple things about arithmetic. Perhaps you will think them
     impolite, and so should I if they had been educated in a
     civilized land, but now I am willing to bear with them, if I
     can teach them any thing in the hour which is allotted for this

     "As yet I have devoted no time to any except those who are
     attempting to learn English, and my class will probably consist
     of five girls and two or three boys. Two of the boys, who, we
     hope, will learn English, are full Dakotas, and, if their
     hearts were renewed, might be very useful as preachers of the
     Gospel to their own degraded people."

Fort Renville, as it was sometimes called, was a stockade, made for
defence in case of an invasion by the Ojibwas, who had been from time
immemorial at war with the Sioux. Inside of this stockade stood Mr.
Renville's hewed-log house, consisting of a store-house and two
dwellings. Mr. Renville's reception-room was of good size, with a
large open fireplace, in which his Frenchmen, or "French-boys," as
they were called by the Indians, piled up an enormous quantity of wood
of a cold day, setting it up on end, and thus making a fire to be felt
as well as seen. Here the chief Indian men of the village gathered to
smoke and talk. A bench ran almost around the entire room, on which
they sat or reclined. Mr. Renville usually sat on a chair in the
middle of the room. He was a small man with rather a long face and
head developed upward. A favorite position of his was to sit with his
feet crossed under him like a tailor. This room was the place of Bible
translating. Dr. Williamson and Mr. G. H. Pond had both learned to
read French. The former usually talked with Mr. Renville in French,
and, in the work of translating, read from the French Bible, verse by
verse. Mr. Renville's memory had been specially cultivated by having
been much employed as interpreter between the Dakotas and the French.
It seldom happened that he needed to have the verse re-read to him.
But it often happened that we, who wrote the Dakota from his lips,
needed to have it repeated in order that we should get it exactly and
fully. When the verse or sentence was finished, the Dakota was read by
one of the company. We were all only beginners in writing the Dakota
language, and I more than the others. Sometimes Mr. Renville showed,
by the twinkle of his eye, his conscious superiority to us, when he
repeated a long and difficult sentence and found that we had forgotten
the beginning. But ordinarily he was patient with us, and ready to
repeat. By this process, continued from week to week during that first
winter of ours at Lac-qui-parle, a pretty good translation of the
Gospel of Mark was completed, besides some fugitive chapters from
other parts. In the two following winters the Gospel of John was
translated in the same way.

Besides giving these portions of the Word of God to the Dakotas sooner
than it could have been done by the missionaries alone, these
translations were invaluable to us as a means of studying the
structure of the language, and as determining, in advance of our own
efforts in this line, the forms or moulds of many new ideas which the
Word contains. In after years we always felt safe in referring to Mr.
Renville as authority in regard to the form of a Dakota expression.

       *       *       *       *       *

During this first year that Mary and I spent in the Dakota country,
there were coming to us continually new experiences. One of the most
common, and yet one of the most thrilling and abiding, was in the
birth of our first-born. In motherhood and fatherhood are found large
lessons in life. The mother called her first-born child Alfred
Longley, naming him for a very dear brother of hers. The Dakotas named
this baby boy of ours Good Bird (_Zitkadan Washtay_). They said that
it was a good name. In those days it was a habit with them to give
names to the white people who came among them. Dr. Williamson they
called _Payjehoota Wechasta_--Medicine man, or, more literally,
Grass-root man--that is, _Doctor_. To Mr. G. H. Pond they gave the
name _Matohota_, Grizzly-bear. Mr. S. W. Pond was _Wamdedoota_,
Red-eagle. To me they gave the name of _Tamakoche_, His country. They
said some good Dakota long ago had borne that name. To Mary they gave
the name of _Payuha_. At first they gutturalized the h, which made it
mean _Curly-head_--her black hair did curl a good deal; but afterward
they naturalized the h, and said it meant _Having-a-head_.

The winter as it passed by had other lessons for us. For me it was
quite a chore to cut and carry up wood enough to keep our somewhat
open upper room cosey and comfortable. Mary had more ambition than I
had to get native help. She had not been accustomed to do a day's
washing. It came hard to her. The other women of the mission preferred
to wash for themselves rather than train natives to do it. And indeed,
at the beginning, that was found to be no easy task. For, in the first
place, Dakota women did not wash. Usually they put on a garment and
wore it until it rotted off. This was pretty much the rule. No good,
decent woman could be found willing to do for white people what they
did not do for themselves. We could hire all the first women of the
village to hoe corn or dig potatoes, but not one would take hold of
the wash-tub. And so it was that Mary's first washer-women were of the
lowest class, and not very reputable characters. But she persevered
and conquered. Only a few years had passed when the wash-women of the
mission were of the best women of the village. And the effort proved a
great public benefaction. The gospel of soap was indeed a necessary
adjunct and outgrowth of the Gospel of Salvation.

     "Dec. 13.

     "My first use of the pen since the peculiar manifestation of
     God's loving kindness we have so recently experienced shall be
     for you, my dear parents. That you will with us bless the Lord,
     as did the Psalmist in one of my favorite Psalms, the 103d, we
     do not doubt; for I am sure you will regard my being able so
     soon to write as a proof of God's tender mercy. I have been
     very comfortable most of the time during the past week. As our
     little one cries, and I am now his chief nurse, I must lay
     aside my pen and paper and attend to his wants, for Mr. Riggs
     is absent, procuring, with Dr. W. and Mr. Pond, the translation
     of Mark, from Mr. Renville."

     "Dec. 28.

     "Yesterday our dear little babe was three weeks old. I washed
     with as little fatigue as I could expect; still, I should have
     thought it right to have employed some one, was there any one
     to be employed who could be trusted. But the Dakota women,
     besides not knowing how to wash, need constant and vigilant
     watching. Poor creatures, thieves from habit, and from a kind
     of necessity, though one of their own creating!"

     "Jan. 10.

     "The Dakota tent is formed of buffalo-skins, stretched on long
     poles placed on the ground in a circle, and meeting at the top,
     where a hole is left from which the smoke of the fire in the
     centre issues. Others are made of bark tied to the poles placed
     in a similar manner. A small place is left for a door of skin
     stretched on sticks and hinged with strings at the top, so that
     the person entering raises it from the bottom and crawls in. At
     this season of the year the door is protected by a covered
     passage formed by stakes driven into the ground several feet
     apart, and thatched with grass. Here they keep their wood,
     which the women cut this cold weather, the thermometer at
     eighteen to twenty degrees below zero. And should you lift the
     little door, you would find a cold, smoky lodge about twelve
     feet in diameter, a mother and her child, a blanket or two, or
     a skin, a kettle, and possibly in some of them a sack of corn."

     "Thursday Eve., Jan. 11.

     "Quite unexpectedly, this afternoon we received an invitation
     to a wedding at Mr. Renville's, one of his daughters marrying a
     Frenchman. We gladly availed ourselves of an ox-sled, the only
     vehicle we could command, and a little before three o'clock we
     were in the guest-chamber. Mr. Renville, who is part Dakota,
     received us with French politeness, and soon after the rest of
     the family entered. These, with several Dakota men and women
     seated on benches, or on the floor around the room, formed not
     an uninteresting group. The marriage ceremony was in French and
     Dakota, and was soon over. Then the bridegroom rose, shook
     hands with his wife's relations, and kissed her mother, and the
     bride also kissed all her father's family.

     "When supper was announced as ready, we repaired to a table
     amply supplied with beef and mutton, potatoes, bread, and tea.
     Though some of them were not prepared as they would have been
     in the States, they did not seem so singular as a dish that I
     was unable to determine what it could be, until an additional
     supply of _blood_ was offered me. I do not know how it was
     cooked, though it might have been fried with pepper and onions,
     and I am told it is esteemed as very good. The poor Indians
     throw nothing away, whether of beast or bird, but consider both
     inside and outside delicious broiled on the coals."

     "April 5.

     "Yesterday afternoon Mrs. Pond and myself walked to 'the
     lodges.' As the St. Peter's now covers a large part of the
     bottom, we wound our way in the narrow Indian path on the side
     of the hill. An Indian woman, with her babe fastened upon its
     board at her back, walked before us, and as the grass on each
     side of the foot-path made it uncomfortable walking side by
     side, we conformed to Dakota custom, one following the other.
     For a few moments we kept pace with our guide, but she, soon
     outstripping us, turned a corner and was out of sight. As we
     wished for a view of the lake and river, we climbed the hill.
     There we saw the St. Peter's, which in the summer is a narrow
     and shallow stream, extending over miles of land, with here and
     there a higher spot peeping out as an island in the midst of
     the sea. The haze prevented our having a good view of the lake.

     "After counting thirty lodges stretched along below us, we
     descended and entered one, where we found a sick woman, who
     said she had not sat up for a long time, lying on a little
     bundle of hay. Another lodge we found full of corn, the owners
     having subsisted on deer and other game while absent during the

     "When we had called at Mr. Renville's, which was a little
     beyond, we returned through the heart of the village, attended
     by such a retinue as I have never before seen, and such strange
     intermingling of laughing and shouting of children and barking
     of dogs as I never heard. Amazed, and almost deafened by the
     clamor, I turned to gaze upon the unique group. Some of the
     older girls were close upon our heels, but as we stopped they
     also halted, and those behind slackened their pace. Boys and
     girls of from four to twelve years of age, some wrapped in
     their blankets, more without, and quite a number of boys almost
     or entirely destitute of clothing, with a large number of dogs
     of various sizes and colors, presented themselves in an
     irregular line. As all of the Indians here have pitched their
     lodges together, I suppose there might have been thirty or
     forty children in our train. When we reached home, I found
     little Alfred happy and quiet, in the same place on the bed I
     had left him more than two hours previous, his father having
     been busy studying Dakota.

     "This evening two Indian women came and sat a little while in
     our happy home. One of them had a babe about the age of Alfred.
     You would have smiled to see the plump, undressed child peeping
     out from its warm blanket like a little unfledged bird from its
     mossy nest."

Mr. Pond had long been yearning to see inside of an Indian. He had
been wanting to be an Indian, if only for half an hour, that he might
know how an Indian felt and by what motives he could be moved. And so
when the early spring of 1838 came, and the ducks began to come
northward, a half-dozen families started out from Lac-qui-parle to
hunt and trap on the upper part of the Chippewa River, in the
neighborhood of where is now the town of Benson, in Minnesota. Mr.
Pond went with them, and was gone two weeks. It was in the first of
April, and the streams were flooded, and the water was cold. There
should have been enough of game easily obtained to feed the party
well. So the Indians thought. But it did not prove so. A cold spell
came on, the ducks disappeared, and Mr. Pond and his Indian hunters
were reduced to scanty fare, and sometimes to nothing, for a whole
day. But Mr. Pond was seeing inside of Indians, and was quite willing
to starve a good deal in the process. However, his stay with them, and
their hunt for that time as well, was suddenly terminated.

It appears that during the winter some rumors of peace visits from the
Ojibwas had reached the Dakotas, so that this hunting party were
somewhat prepared to meet Ojibwas who should come with this announced
purpose. The half-dozen teepees had divided. Mr. Pond was with Round
Wind, who had removed from the three teepees that remained. On
Thursday evening there came Hole-in-the-day, an Ojibwa chief, with ten
men. They had come to smoke the peace-pipe, they said. The three
Dakota tents contained but three men and ten or eleven women and
children. But, while starving themselves, they would entertain their
visitors in the most royal style. Two dogs were killed and they were
feasted, and then all lay down to rest. But the Ojibwas were false.
They arose at midnight and killed their Dakota hosts. In the morning
but one woman and a boy remained alive of the fourteen in the three
teepees the night before, and the boy was badly wounded. It was a
cowardly act of the Ojibwas, and one that was terribly avenged
afterward. When Mr. Pond had helped to bury the dead and mangled
remains of these three families, he started for home, and was the
first to bring the sad news to their friends at Lac-qui-parle. To him
quite an experience was bound up in those two weeks, and the marvel
was, why he was not then among the slain. To Mary and me it opened a
whole store-house of instruction, as we listened to the wail of the
whole village, and especially when the old women came with dishevelled
heads and ragged clothes, and cried and sang around our house, and
_begged in the name of our first-born_. We discovered all at once the
power of a name. And if an earthly name has such power, much more the
Name that is above every name--much more the Name of the Only Begotten
of the heavenly Father.

       *       *       *       *       *

Lac-qui-parle was in those days much shut out from the great world. We
were two hundred miles away from our post-office at Fort Snelling. We
seldom received a letter from Massachusetts or Ohio in less than three
months after it was written. Often it was much longer, for there were
several times during our stay at Lac-qui-parle when we passed three
months, and once five months, without a mail. We used to pray that the
mail would not come in the evening. If it did, good-by sleep! If it
came in the early part of the day, we could look it over and become
quieted by night. Our communication with the post-office was generally
through the men engaged in the fur-trade. Some of them had no sympathy
with us as missionaries, but they were ever willing to do us a favor
as men and Americans. Sometimes we sent and received our mail by
Indians. That was a very costly way. The postage charged by the
government--although it was then twenty-five cents on a letter--was no
compensation for a Dakota in those days. It is fortunate for them that
they have learned better the value of work.

Once a year, at least, it seemed best that one of ourselves should go
down to the mouth of the Minnesota. Our annual supplies were to be
brought up, and various matters of business transacted. I was sent
down in the spring of 1838, and I considered myself fortunate in
having the company of Rev. S. W. Pond. This was Mr. Pond's second
visit to Lac-qui-parle on foot. The first was made over two years
before, in midwinter. That was a fearful journey. What with ignorance
of the country, and deep snows, and starvation, and an ugly Indian for
his guide, Mr. Pond came near reaching the spirit land before he came
to Lac-qui-parle.

This second time he came under better auspices, and, having spent
several weeks with us, during which many questions of interest with
regard to the language and the mission work were discussed, he and I
made a part of Mr. Renville's caravan to the fur depot of the American
Fur Company at Mendota, in charge of H. H. Sibley, a manly man, since
that time occupying a prominent position in Minnesota.

To make this trip I was furnished by the mission with a valuable young
horse, gentle and kind, but not possessed of much endurance. At any
rate, he took sick while I was away, and never reached home. The
result may have been owing a good deal to my want of skill in taking
care of horses, and in travelling through the bogs and quagmires of
this new country. I could not but be profoundly sorry when obliged to
leave him, as it entailed upon me other hardships for which I was not
well prepared. Reaching the Traverse des Sioux on foot, I found Joseph
R. Brown, even then an old Indian trader, coming up with some led
horses. He kindly gave me the use of two with which to bring up my
loaded cart. That was a really Good Samaritan work, which I have
always remembered with gratitude.

When the first snows were beginning to fall in the coming winter, and
not till then, Dr. Williamson was ready to make his trip to Ohio. The
Gospel of Mark and some smaller portions of the Bible he had prepared
for the press. The journey was undertaken a few weeks too late, and
so it proved a very hard one. They thought to go down the Mississippi
in a Mackinaw boat, but were frozen in before they reached Lake Pepin.
From that point the entire journey to Ohio was made by land in the
rigors of winter.

The leaving of Dr. Williamson entailed upon me the responsibility of
taking care of the Sabbath service. Mr. G. H. Pond was not then a
minister of the Gospel, but his superior knowledge of the Dakota
fitted him the best to communicate religious instruction. But it was
well for me to have the responsibility, as it helped me in the use of
the native tongue. I was often conscious of making mistakes, and
doubtless made many that I knew not of. Mr. Pond and Mr. Renville were
ever ready to help me out, and, moreover, we had with us that winter
Rev. Daniel Gavan, one of the Swiss missionaries, who had settled on
the Mississippi River, at Red Wing and Wabashaw's villages. Mr. G.
came up to avail himself of the better advantages in learning the
language, and so for the winter he was a valuable helper.

It pleased God to make this winter one of fruitfulness. Mr. Renville
was active in persuading those under his influence to attend the
religious meetings, the school-room was crowded on Sabbaths, and the
Word, imperfectly as it was spoken, was used by the Spirit upon those
dark minds. There was evidently a quickening of the church. They were
interested in prayer. What is prayer?--and how shall we pray? became
questions of interest with them. One woman who had received at her
baptism the name of Catherine, and who still lives a believing life at
the end of forty years, was then troubled to know how prayer could
reach God. I told her in this we were all little children. God
recognized our condition in this respect, and had told us that, as
earthly fathers and mothers were willing, and desirous of giving good
gifts to their children, he was more willing to give the Holy Spirit
to them that ask him. Besides, he made the ear, and shall he not hear?
He made, in a large sense, all language, and shall he not be able to
understand Dakota words? The very word for "pray" in the Dakota
language was "to cry to"--_chakiya_. Prayer was now, as through all
ages it had been, the child's cry in the ear of the Great Father. So
there appeared to be a working upward of many hearts. Early in
February Mr. Pond, Mr. Renville, and Mr. Huggins, Mr. Gavan and
myself, after due examination and instruction, agreed to receive ten
Dakotas into the church--all women. I baptized them and their
children--twenty-eight in all--on one Sabbath morning. It was to us a
day of cheer. To these Dakota Gentiles also God had indeed opened the
door of faith. Blessed be his name for ever and ever.

     "Dec. 6, 1838.

     "This is our little Alfred's natal day. He of course has
     received no birthday sugar or earthen toys, and his only gift
     of such a kind has been a very small bow and arrow, from an
     Indian man, who is a frequent visitor. The bow is about
     three-eighths of a yard long and quite neatly made, but Alfred
     uses it as he would any other little stick. I do not feel
     desirous that he should prize a bow or a gun as do these sons
     of the prairie. My prayer is that he may early become a lamb of
     the Good Shepherd's fold, that while he lives he may be kept
     from the fierce wolf and hungry lion, and at length be taken
     home to the green pastures and still waters above."

     "Feb. 9, 1839.

     "We mentioned in our last encouraging prospects here. The
     forenoon schools, which are for misses and children, have some
     days been crowded during the few past weeks, and a
     Sabbath-school recently opened has been so well attended as to
     encourage our hopes of blessed results. Last Lord's day we had
     a larger assembly than have ever before met for divine worship
     in this heathen land. More than eighty were present."

As Mr. Gavan was a native Frenchman and a scholar, we expected much
from his presence with us, during the winter, in the way of obtaining
translations. He and Mr. Renville could communicate fully and freely
through that language, and we believed he would be able to explain
such words as were not well understood by the other. And so we
commenced the translation of the Gospel of John from the French. But
it soon became apparent that the perfection of knowledge, of which
they both supposed themselves possessed, was a great bar to progress.
And by the time we had reached the end of the seventh chapter, the
relations of the two Frenchmen were such as to entirely stop our work.
We were quite disappointed. But this event induced us the sooner to
gird ourselves for the work of translating the Bible from the original
tongues, and so was, in the end, a blessing.


    1838-1840.--"Eagle Help."--His Power as War Prophet.--Makes
    No-Flight Dance.--We Pray Against It.--Unsuccessful on the
    War-Path.--Their Revenge.--Jean Nicollet and J. C.
    Fremont.--Opposition to Schools.--Progress in Teaching.--Method
    of Counting.--"Lake That Speaks."--Our Trip to Fort
    Snelling.--Incidents of the Way.--The Changes There.--Our Return
    Journey.--Birch-Bark Canoe.--Mary's Story.--"Le Grand
    Canoe."--Baby Born on the Way.--Walking Ten Miles.--Advantages
    of Travel.--My Visit to the Missouri River.--"Fort

"Eagle Help" was a good specimen of a war prophet and war leader among
the Dakotas. At the time of the commencement of the mission, he was a
man of family and in middle age, but he was the first man to learn to
read and write his language. And from the very first, no one had
clearer apprehensions of the advantages of that attainment. He soon
became one of the best helps in studying the Dakota, and the best
critical helper in translations. He wanted good pay for a service, but
he was ever ready to do it, and always reliable. When my horse failed
me, on the trip up from Fort Snelling, and I had walked fifty miles,
Eagle Help was ready, for a consideration (my waterproof coat), to go
on foot and bring up the baggage I had left. And in the early spring
of 1839, when Mr. Pond would remove his family--wife and child--to
join his brother in the work near Fort Snelling, Eagle Help was the
man to pilot his canoe down the Minnesota.

But, notwithstanding his readiness to learn and to impart, to receive
help and give help--notwithstanding his knowledge of the "new way," of
which his wife was a follower, and his near relations to us in our
missionary work, he did not, at once, abandon his Dakota customs, one
of which was going on the war-path.

As a war prophet, he claimed to be able to get into communication with
the spirit world, and thus to be made a _seer_. After fasting and
praying and dancing the circle dance, a _vision_ of the enemies he
sought to kill would come to him. He was made to see, in this trance
or dream, whichever it might be, the whole panorama, the river or
lake, the prairie or wood, and the Ojibwas in canoes or on the land,
and the spirit in the vision said to him, "Up, Eagle Help, and kill."
This vision and prophecy had heretofore never failed, he said.

And so, when he came back from escorting Mr. Gavan and Mr. Pond to the
Mississippi River, he determined to get up a war party. He made his
"yoomne wachepe" (circle dance), in which the whole village
participated--he dreamed his dream, he saw his vision, and was
confident of a successful campaign. About a score of young men painted
themselves for the war; they fasted and feasted and drilled by dancing
the no-flight dance, and made their hearts firm by hearing the brave
deeds of older warriors, who were now _hors de combat_ by age.

In the meantime, the thought that our good friend Eagle Help should
lead out a war party to kill and mangle Ojibwa women and children
greatly troubled us. We argued and entreated, but our words were not
heeded. Among other things, we said we would pray that the war party
might not be successful. That was too much of a menace. Added to this,
they came and asked Mr. Huggins to grind corn for them on our little
ox-power mill, which he refused to do. They were greatly enraged, and,
just before they started out, they killed and ate two of the mission
cows. After a rather long and difficult tramp they returned without
having seen an Ojibwa. Their failure they attributed entirely to our
prayers, and so, as they returned ashamed, they took off the edge of
their disgrace by killing another of our unoffending animals.

After this, it was some months before Eagle Help would again be our
friend and helper. In the meantime, Dr. Williamson and his family
returned from Ohio, bringing with them Miss Fanny Huggins, to be a
teacher in the place of Mrs. Pond. Miss Huggins afterward became Mrs.
Jonas Pettijohn, and both she and her husband were for many years
valuable helpers in the mission work. Also this summer brought to
Lac-qui-parle such distinguished scientific gentlemen as M. Jean
Nicollet and J. C. Fremont. M. Nicollet took an interest in our war
difficulty, and of his own motion made arrangements in behalf of the
Indians to pay for the mission cattle destroyed. And so that glory and
that shame were alike forgotten. In after years Eagle Help affirmed
that his power of communicating with the spirit world as a war prophet
was destroyed by his knowledge of letters and the religion of the
Bible. Shall we accept that as true? And, if so, what shall we say of
modern spiritism? Is it in accord with living a true Christian life?

Thus events succeeded each other rapidly. But Mary and I and the baby
boy, "Good Bird," lived still in the "upper chamber," and were not
ashamed to invite the French savant, Jean Nicollet, to come and take
tea with us.

During these first years of missionary work at Lac-qui-parle, the
school was well attended. It was only once in a while that the voice
of opposition was raised against the children. Occasionally some one
would come up from below and tell about the fight that was going on
there _against_ the Treaty appropriation for Education.

The missionaries down there were charged with wanting to get hold of
the Indians' money; and so the provision for education made by the
treaty of 1837 effectually blocked all efforts at teaching among those
lower Sioux. What should have been a help became a great hindrance.
Indians and traders joined to oppose the use of that fund for the
purpose for which it was intended, and finally the government yielded
and turned over the accumulated money to be distributed among
themselves. The Wahpatons of Lac-qui-parle had no interest in that
treaty; and had yet made no treaty with the government and had not a
red cent of money anywhere that missionaries could, by any hook or
crook, lay hold of. Nevertheless it was easy to get up a fear and
belief; for was it possible that white men and women would come here
and teach year after year, and not expect, in some way and at some
time, to get money out of them? If they ever made a treaty, and sold
land to the government, would not the missionaries bring in large
bills against them? It was easy to work up this matter in their own
minds, and make it all seem true, and the result was the soldiers were
ordered to stop the children from coming to school. There were some
such moods as this, and our school had a vacation. But the absurdity
appeared pretty soon, and the children were easily induced to come

Mr. and Mrs. Pond were now gone. For the next winter, Mary and Miss
Fanny Huggins took care of the girls and younger boys, and Mr.
Huggins, with such assistance as I could give, took care of the boys
and young men. The women also undertook, under the instruction of Mrs.
Huggins and Miss Fanny, to spin and knit and weave. Mr. Renville had
already among his flock some sheep. The wool was here and the flax was
soon grown. Spinning-wheels and knitting-needles were brought on, and
Mr. Huggins manufactured a loom. They knit socks and stockings, and
wove skirts and blankets, while the little girls learned to sew
patchwork and make quilts. All this was of advantage as education.

My own special effort in the class-room during the first years was in
teaching a knowledge of figures. The language of counting in Dakota
was limited. The "wancha, nonpa, yamne"--one, two, three, up to
ten,--every child learned, as he bent down his fingers and thumbs
until all were gathered into two bunches, and then let them loose as
geese flying away. Eleven was _ten more one_, and so on. Twenty was
_ten twos_ or _twice ten_, and thirty _ten threes_. With each ten the
fingers were all bent down, and one was kept down to remember the ten.
Thus, when ten tens were reached, the whole of the two hands was bent
down, each finger meaning ten. This was the perfected "bending down."
It was "opawinge"--one hundred. Then, when the hands were both bent
down for hundreds, the climax was supposed to be reached, which could
only be expressed by "again also bending down." When something larger
than this was reached, it was a _great count_--something which they
nor we can comprehend--a million.

On the other side of _one_ the Dakota language is still more
defective. Only one word of any definiteness exists--_hankay_, half.
We can say hankay-hankay--_the half of a half_. But it does not seem
to have been much used. Beyond this there was nothing. A _piece_ is a
word of uncertain quantity, and is not quite suited to introduce among
the certainties of mathematics. Thus, the poverty of the language has
been a great obstacle in teaching arithmetic. And that poorness of
language shows their poverty of thought in the same line. The Dakotas
are not, as a general thing, at all clever in arithmetic.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before the snows had disappeared or the ducks come back to this
northern land, in the spring of 1840, a baby girl had been added to
the little family in the upper chamber. By the first of June, Mary was
feeling well, and exceedingly anxious to make a trip across the
prairie. She had been cooped up here now nearly three years. There was
nowhere to go. Lac-qui-parle is the "Lake that speaks," but who could
be found around it? And no one had any knowledge of any great Indian
talk held there that might have justified the name. But the romance
was all taken out of the French name by the criticism of Eagle Help,
that the Dakota name, "Mdaeyaydan," did not mean "Lake that talks,"
but "Lake that connects." And so Lac-qui-parle had no historic
interest. It was not a good place to go on a picnic. She had been to
the Indian village frequently, but that was not a place to visit for
pleasure. And on the broad prairie there was no objective point. Where
could she go for a pleasure trip, but to Fort Snelling?

And so we made arrangements for the journey. The little boy "Good
Bird" was left behind, and the baby Isabella had to go along, of
course. We were with Mr. Renville's annual caravan going to the
fur-trader's Mecca.

The prairie journey was pleasant and enjoyable, though somewhat
fatiguing. We had our own team and could easily keep in company with
the long line of wooden carts, carrying buffalo robes and other furs.
It was, indeed, rather romantic. But when we reached the Traverse des
Sioux, we were at our wit's end how to proceed further. That was the
terminus of the wagon-road. It was then regarded as absolutely
impossible to take any wheeled vehicle through by land to Fort
Snelling. Several years after this we began to do it, but it was very
difficult. Then it was not to be tried. Mr. Sibley's fur boat, it was
expected, would have been at the Traverse, but it was not. And a large
canoe which was kept there had gotten loose and floated away. Only a
little crazy canoe, carrying two persons, was found to cross the
stream with. Nothing remained but to abandon the journey or to try it
on horseback. And for that not a saddle of any kind could be obtained.
But Mary was a plucky little woman. She did not mean to use the word
"fail" if she could help it. And so we tied our buffalo robe and
blanket on one of the horses, and she mounted upon it, with a rope for
a stirrup. Many a young woman would have been at home there, but Mary
had not grown up on horseback. And so at the end of a dozen miles,
when we came to the river where Le Sueur now is, she was very glad to
learn that the large canoe had been found. In that she and baby
Isabella took passage with Mr. Renville's girls and an Indian woman or
two to steer and paddle. The rest of the company went on by land,
managing to meet the boat at night and camp together. This we did for
the next four nights. It was a hard journey for Mary. The current was
not swift. The canoe was heavy and required hard paddling to make it
move onward. The Dakota young women did not care to work, and their
helm's-woman was not in a condition to do it. On the fourth day out
they ran ashore somewhat hurriedly and put up their tent, where the
woman pilot gave birth to a baby girl. They named it "By-the-way." One
day they came in very hungry to an Indian village. The Dakota young
women were called to a tent to eat sugar. Then Mary thought they might
have called "the white woman" also, but they did not. She did not
consider that they were relatives.

By and by the mouth of the Minnesota was reached, through hardship and
endurance. But then it was to be "a pleasure trip," and this was the
way in which the pleasure came.

Since we had last seen him, S. W. Pond had married Miss Cordelia
Eggleston, a sister of Mrs. J. D. Stevens. The station at Lake Harriet
had been abandoned, the Indians having left Lake Calhoun first. Mr.
Stevens had gone down to Wabashaw's village, and the Pond brothers,
with their families, were occupying what was called the "Stone House,"
within a mile of the Fort. Mary found an old school friend in the
garrison, and so the two weeks spent in this neighborhood were
pleasant and profitable.

We now addressed ourselves to the return journey. The fur boat had
gone up and come down again. We were advised to try a birch-bark
canoe, and hire a couple of French voyagers to row it. In the first
part of the river we went along nicely. But after a while we began to
meet with accidents. The strong arms of the paddlers would ever and
anon push the canoe square on a snag. The next thing to be done was to
haul ashore and mend the boat. By and by our mending material was all
used up. It was Saturday morning, and we could reach Traverse that day
if we met with no mishap. But we did meet with a mishap. Suddenly we
struck a snag which tore such a hole in our bark craft that it was
with difficulty we got ashore. By land, it was eight or ten miles to
the Traverse. The Frenchmen were sent on for a cart to bring up the
baggage. But rather than wait for them, Mary and I elected to walk and
carry baby Bella. To an Indian woman that would have been a mere
trifle--not worth speaking of. But to me it meant work. I had no strap
to tie her on my back, and the little darling seemed to get heavier
every mile we went. But, then, Mary had undertaken the trip for
pleasure, and so we must not fail to find in it all the pleasure we
could. And we did it. Altogether, that trip to Fort Snelling was a
thing to be remembered and not regretted.


     "FORT SNELLING, June 19, 1840.

     "We left Lac-qui-parle June 1, and reached Le Bland's the
     Saturday following, having enjoyed as pleasant a journey across
     the prairie as we could expect or hope. We had expected to find
     at that place a barge, but we could not even procure an Indian
     canoe. With no other alternative, we mounted our horses on
     Monday, with no other saddles than our baggage. Mine was a
     buffalo robe and blanket fastened with a trunk strap. My
     spirits sank within me as I gave our little Isabella to an
     Indian woman to carry perched up in a blanket behind, and
     clung to my horse's mane as we ascended and descended the steep
     hills, and thought a journey of seventy miles by land was
     before us.

     "I rode thus nearly ten miles, and then walked a short distance
     to rest myself, to the place where our company took lunch.
     There, to our great joy, a Frenchman exclaimed, 'Le grand
     canoe, le grand canoe!' and we found that the Indian who had
     been commissioned to search had found and brought it down the
     river thus far. I gladly exchanged my seat on the horse for one
     in the canoe, with two Indian women and Mr. Renville's
     daughters. Our progress was quite comfortable, though slow, as
     some of our party were invited to Indian lodges to feast
     occasionally, while the rest of us were sunning by the river's

     "On the fourth day we had an addition to our party. The woman
     at the helm said she was sick--and we went on shore perhaps
     three-quarters of an hour on account of the rain, and when it
     ceased, she was ready with her infant to step into the canoe
     and continue rowing, although she did not resume her seat in
     the stern until the next morning. This is a specimen of Indian

     "We have found Dr. and Mrs. Turner in the garrison here; she
     was formerly Mary Stuart of Mackinaw."

     "Traverse des Sioux, July 4.

     "The canoe (birch-bark) which we praised so highly failed us
     about eight miles below this place, in consequence of not
     having a supply of gum to mend a large rent made by a snag
     early this morning. Not thinking it was quite so far, I chose
     to try walking, husband carrying Isabella, the Frenchmen
     having hastened on to find our horses to bring up the baggage.
     We reached the river and found there was no boat here with
     which to cross. Mr. Riggs waded with Isabella, the water being
     about two and a half feet deep, and an Indian woman came to
     carry me over, when our horses were brought up. Husband mounted
     without any saddle, and I, quivering like an aspen, seated
     myself behind, clinging so tightly that I feared I should pull
     us both off. I do not think it was fear, at least not entirely,
     for I am still exceedingly fatigued and dizzy, but I have
     reason to be grateful that I did not fall into the river from
     faintness, as husband thought I was in danger of doing.
     Isabella's face is nearly blistered, and mine almost as brown
     as an Indian's."

     "LAC-QUI-PARLE MISSION, July 27, 1840.

     "We are once more in the quiet enjoyment of home, and are
     somewhat rested from the fatigue of our journey. The repetition
     of that parental injunction, 'Mary, do be careful of your
     health,' recalled your watchful care most forcibly. How often
     have I heard these words, and perhaps too often have regarded
     them less strictly than an anxious mother deemed necessary for
     my highest welfare. And even now, were it not that the
     experience of a few years may correct my _notions_ about
     health, I should be so unfashionable as to affirm that
     necessary exposures, such as sleeping on the prairie in a tent
     drenched with rain, and walking some two or three miles in the
     dewy grass, where the water would gush forth from our shoes at
     every step, and then continuing our walk until they were more
     than comfortably dry, as we did on the morning our canoe failed
     us, are not as injurious to the health as the unnecessary
     exposures of fashionable life."

The Sioux on the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers were known to be but
a small fraction of the Dakota people. We at Lac-qui-parle had
frequent intercourse with the Sissetons of Lake Traverse. Sometimes,
too, we had visits from the Yanktonais, who followed the buffalo on
the great prairies this side of the Missouri River. But more than half
of the Sioux nation were said to be Teetons, who lived beyond the Big
Muddy. So it seemed very desirable that we extend our acquaintance
among them.

About the first of September, Mr. Huggins and I, having prepared
ourselves with a small outfit, started for the Missouri. We had one
pony for the saddle, and one horse and cart to carry the baggage. At
first we joined a party of wild Sioux from the Two Woods, whose leader
was "Thunder Face." He was a great scamp, but had promised to furnish
us with guides to the Missouri, after we had reached the Coteau. The
party were going out to hunt buffalo, and moved by short days'
marches. In a week we had only made fifty miles. After some vexatious
delays and some coaxing and buying, we succeeded in getting started
ahead with two young men, the principal one being "Sacred Cow." The
first day brought us into the region of buffalo, one of which Sacred
Cow killed. This came near spoiling our journey. The young men now
wanted to turn about and join the hunt. An additional bargain had to
be made. In about two weeks from Lac-qui-parle we reached the
Missouri, striking it near Fort Pierre. To this trading fort we
crossed, and there spent a good part of a week. Forty or fifty teepees
of Teetons were encamped there. They treated us kindly (inviting us to
a dog feast on one occasion), as did also the white people and
half-breeds of the post. We gathered a good deal of information in
regard to the western bands of the Sioux nation; we communicated to
them something of the object of our missionary work, and of the good
news of salvation, and then returned home pretty nearly by the way we
went. We had been gone a month. The result of our visit was the
conclusion that we could not do much, or attempt much, for the
civilization and Christianization of those roving bands of Dakotas.


    1840-1843.--Dakota Braves.--Simon Anawangmane.--Mary's
    Letter.--Simon's Fall.--Maple Sugar.--Adobe Church.--Catharine's
    Letter.--Another Letter of Mary's.--Left Hand's Case.--The Fifth
    Winter.--Mary to Her Brother.--The Children's Morning
    Ride.--Visit to Hawley and Ohio.--Dakota Printing.--New
    Recruits.--Return.--Little Rapids.--Traverse des
    Sioux.--Stealing Bread.--Forming a New
    Station.--Begging.--Opposition.--Thomas L. Longley.--Meeting
    Ojibwas.--Two Sioux Killed.--Mary's Hard Walk.

Among the encouraging events of 1840 and 1841 was the conversion of
Simon Anawangmane. He was the first full-blood Dakota man to come out
on the side of the new religion. Mr. Renville and his sons had joined
the church, but the rest were women. It came to be a taunt that the
men used when we talked with them and asked them to receive the
gospel, "Your church is made up of women"; and, "If you had gotten us
in first, it would have amounted to something, but now there are only
women. Who would follow after women?" Thus the proud Dakota braves
turned away.

But God's truth has sharp arrows in it, and the Holy Spirit knows how
to use them in piercing even Dakota hearts.

_Anawangmane_ (walks galloping on) was at this time not far from
thirty years old. He was not a bright scholar--rather dull and slow in
learning to read. But he had a very strong will-power and did not
know what fear was. He had been a very dare-devil on the war-path. The
Dakotas had a curious custom of being _under law_ and _above law_. It
was always competent for a Dakota soldier to punish another man for a
misdemeanor, if the other man did not rank above him in savage
prowess. As for example: If a Dakota man had braved an Ojibwa with a
loaded gun pointed at him, and had gone up and killed him, he ranked
above all men who had not done a like brave deed. And if no one in the
community had done such an act of bravery, then this man could not be
punished for any thing, according to Dakota custom.

Under date of Feb. 24, 1841, Mary writes:--"Last Sabbath was
Isabella's birthday. She has been a healthy child, for which we have
cause of gratitude. But this was not our only, or principal, cause of
joy on last Sabbath. Five adults received the baptismal rite
preparatory to the celebration of the Lord's Supper on next Sabbath.
One of them was a man, the first in the nation--a full-blooded Sioux,
that has desired to renounce all for Christ. May God enable him to
adorn his profession. His future life will doubtless exert a powerful
influence either for or against Christ's cause here. Three years since
he was examined by the church session, but then he acknowledged that
the 6th and 7th commandments were too broad in their restrictions for
him. Now he professes a desire and determination to keep them also.
His wife, whom he is willing to marry, with her child, and three
children by two other wives he has had, stood with him, and at the
same time received the seal of the new covenant. As they all wished
English names, we gave 'Hetta' to a white, gray-eyed orphan girl who
was baptized, on account of her grandmother."

This young man, Anawangmane, had reached that enviable position of
being above Dakota law. He had not only attained to the "first three,"
but he was the chief. And so when he came out on the side of the Lord
and Christianity, there was a propriety in calling him Simon when he
was baptized. He was ordinarily a quiet man--a man of deeds and not of
words. But once in a while he would get roused up, and his eyes would
flash, and his words and gestures were powerful. Simon immediately put
on white man's clothes, and made and planted a field of corn and
potatoes adjoining the mission field. No Dakota brave dared to cut up
his tent or kill his dog or break his gun; but this did not prevent
the boys, and women too, from pointing the finger at him, and saying,
"There goes the man who has made himself a woman." Simon seemed to
care for it no more than the bull-dog does for the barking of a puppy.
He apparently brushed it all aside as if it was only a straw. So far
as any sign from him, one looking on would be tempted to think that he
regarded it as glory. But it did not beget pride. He did indeed become
stronger thereby.

And yet, as time rolled by, it was seen, by the unfolding of the
divine plan, that Simon could not be built up into the best and
noblest character without suffering. Naturally, he was the man who
would grow into self-sufficiency. There were weak points in his
character which he perhaps knew not of. It was several years after
this when Simon visited us at the Traverse, and made our hearts glad
by his presence and help. But alas! he came there to stumble and fall!
"You are a brave man--no man so brave as you are," said the Indians at
the Traverse to him. And some of them were distantly related to him.
While they praised and flattered him, they asked him to drink whiskey
with them. Surely he was man enough for that. How many times he
refused Simon never told. But at last he yielded, and then the very
energy of his character carried him to great excess in drinking
"spirit water."

     "LAC-QUI-PARLE, March 27, 1841.

     "Until this, the seasons for sugar-making have been very
     unfavorable since we have resided here. But this spring the
     Indian women have been unusually successful, and several of
     them have brought us a little maple sugar, which, after melting
     and straining, was excellent, and forcibly reminded us of _home
     sugar_. However, it does not always need purifying, as some are
     much more cleanly than others, here as well as in civilized
     lands. Sugar is a luxury for which these poor women are willing
     to toil hard, and often with but small recompense. Their camps
     are frequently two or three miles from their lodges. If they
     move to the latter, they must also pack corn for their
     families; and if not, with kettle in hand they go to their
     camps, toil all day, and often at night return with their syrup
     or sugar and a back load of wood for their husbands' use the
     next day. Thus sugar is to them a hard-earned luxury. But they
     have also others, which they sometimes offer us, such as
     musk-rats, beavers'-tails, and tortoises. I have never tried
     musk-rats, but husband says they are as good as
     _polecats_--another delicacy!"

But I must leave these broken threads, and take up the thread of my
story. At Lac-qui-parle the schoolroom in Dr. Williamson's log house
became too strait for our religious gatherings. We determined to build
a church. The Dakota women volunteered to come and dig out, in the
side of the hill, the place where it should stand. Building materials
were not abundant nor easily obtained, and so we decided to build an
_adobe_. We made our bricks and dried them in the sun, and laid them
up into the walls. We sawed our boards with the whipsaw, and made our
shingles out of the ash-trees. We built our house without much outlay
of money. The heavy Minnesota rains washed its sides, and we plastered
one and clapboarded another. It was a comfortable house, and one in
which much preaching and teaching were done; moreover, when, in after
years, our better framed house was burned to the ground, this adobe
church still stood for us to take refuge in. There we were living when
Secretary S. B. Treat visited us in 1854, and in one corner of that we
fenced off with bed-quilts a little place for him to sleep. In this
adobe house we first made trial of an instrument in song worship. Miss
Lucy Spooner, afterward Mrs. Drake, took in her melodeon. But the
Dakota voices fell so much below the instrument that she gave it up in
despair. By all these things we remember the old adobe church at
Lac-qui-parle. And not less by the first consecration of it. That was
a feast made by Dr. Williamson for the _men_. The floor was not yet
laid, but a hundred Dakota men gathered into it and sat on the
sleepers, and ate their potatoes and bread and soup gladly, and then
we talked to them about Christ.

Of this church when commenced, Catherine Totidutawin wrote: "Now are
we to have a church, and on that account we rejoice greatly. In this
house we shall pray to the Great Spirit. We have dug ground two days
already. We have worked having the Great Spirit in our thoughts. We
have worked praying. When we have this house we shall be glad. In it,
if we pray, he will have mercy upon us, and if he hears what we say,
he will make us glad. As yet we do what he hates. In this house we
will confess these things to him--our thoughts, our words, our
actions--these we will tell to him. His Son will dwell in this house
and pardon all that is bad. God has mercy on us and is giving us a
holy house. In this we will pray for the nations."

     "Dec. 10, 1841.

     "The last two Sabbaths we have assembled in our new chapel.
     Only one half is completed, though husband and Mr. Pettijohn
     have been very diligent and successful. You can scarcely
     imagine what a task building is in a land where there is such a
     scarcity of materials and men. During the summer great
     exertions were made to prepare lumber, and two men were
     employed about two months in sawing it with a whip-saw. The
     woods were searched and researched for two or three miles for
     suitable timber, and the result was about 3200 feet--which is
     not enough--at an expense of $150. I might mention other
     hindrances, but, notwithstanding them all, the Lord has
     evidently prospered the work, and our expectations have been
     fully realized, if our wishes have not."

Besides Simon Anawangmane, two or three other young men were won over
to the religion of Christ before 1842. One of these was Paul
Mazakootaymane. Paul was a man of different stamp from Simon. He was a
native orator. But be was innately lazy. Still, he has always been
loyal to the white people, and has done much good work on their

There was at this time an elderly man who sought admission to the
church at Lac-qui-parle, _Left Hand_ by name. This man was Mr.
Renville's brother-in-law. We could not say he was not a true
believer--he seemed to be one. But he had two wives, and they both had
been received into church fellowship. They had been admitted on the
ground, partly, that it could not be decided which, if either, was the
lawful wife, and partly on the ground that Dakota women heretofore
could not be held responsible for polygamy. And now Left Hand claimed
for himself that he had lived with these women for a quarter of a
century, and had a family by each; that he had entered into this
relation in the days of ignorance, and that the Bible recognized the
rightfulness of such relations under certain circumstances, since
David and Jacob had more than one wife. Mr. Renville, who was a ruling
elder in the church, took this position, and the members of the
mission were not a unit against it. So the question was referred to
the Ripley Presbytery. The result was that our native church was saved
from sanctioning polygamy. We had the two wives of Left Hand, and two
women also in another case. But the husband's dying has long since
left them widows, and some of them also have gone to the eternal
world. The loose condition of the marriage relation is still that, in
the social state of the Dakotas, which gives us the most trouble.

       *       *       *       *       *

The fifth winter in our "little chamber" was one full of work. In the
early part of it, Mary was still in the school. In the latter part our
third child was born. She was named "Martha Taylor," for the
grandmother in Massachusetts. During the years previous, I had
undertaken to translate a good portion of the New Testament, the Acts,
and Paul's Epistles, and the Revelation. This winter the corrected
copy had to be made. Of necessity I learned to do my best work
surrounded by children. My study and workshop was our sitting-room,
and dining-room, and kitchen, and nursery, and ladies' parlor. It was
often half filled with Indians. Besides my own translations, I copied
for the press the Gospel of John and some of the Psalms. A part of the
latter were my own translation, and a part were secured, as the Gospel
was, through Mr. Renville. There was also a hymn-book to edit, and
some school-books to be prepared. So the winter was filled with work
and service. The remembrance of it is only pleasant. Of course, the
ordinary family trials were experienced. A bucket of water was spilled
and was leaking down on Mrs. Williamson's bed below, or one of the
children fell down the stairs, or our little Bella crawled out of the
window and sat on the little shelf where the milk was set to cool in
the morning, giving us a good scare, etc.


     "LAC-QUI-PARLE, April 28, 1841.

     "Your letter presented to my 'mind's eye' our mountain home. I
     entered the lower gate, passed up the lane between the elms,
     maples, and cherries, and saw once more our mountain home
     embowered by the fir-trees and shrubbery I loved so well. How
     many times have I watched the first buddings of those
     rose-bushes and lilacs, and with what care and delight have I
     nursed those snowballs, half dreaming they were sister spirits,
     telling by their delicate purity of that Eden where flowers
     never fade and leaves never wither. Perhaps I was too
     passionately fond of flowers; if so, that fondness is
     sufficiently blunted, if not subdued. Not a solitary shrub,
     tree, or flower rears its head near our dwelling, excepting
     those of nature's planting at no great distance on the opposite
     side of the St. Peter's, and a copse of plums in a dell on the
     left, and of scrub-oak on the right. Back of us is the river
     hill which shelters us from the furious wind of the high
     prairie beyond. Until last season we have had no enclosure, and
     now we have but a poor defence against the depredations of
     beasts, and still more lawless and savage men. On reading
     descriptions of the situation of our missionary brethren and
     sisters in Beirut, Jerusalem, and elsewhere, the thought has
     arisen, 'That is such a place as I should like to call home.'
     But the remembrance of earthquakes, war, and the plague, by
     which those countries are so often scourged, hushed each
     murmuring thought. When I also recollected the mysterious
     providences which have written the Persian missionaries
     _childless_, how could I long or wish to possess more earthly
     comforts, while my husband and our two 'olive plants' are
     spared to sit around our table. Little Bella already creeps to
     her father, and, if granted a seat on his knee, holds her
     little hands, although, as Alfred says, 'she does not wait till
     papa says amen.' While we are surrounded by so many blessings,
     I would not, like God's ancient people, provoke him by
     murmuring, as I fear I have done, and if he should deprive us
     of any of the comforts we now possess, may he give us grace to
     feel as did Habakkuk, 'Although the fig-tree shall not blossom,
     neither shall fruit be in the vine, etc., yet I will rejoice in
     the Lord and joy in the God of my Salvation.'

     "I suppose you have hardly yet found how much of romance is
     mingled with your ideas of a married state. You will find real
     life much the same that you have ever found, and with
     additional joys, additional cares and sorrows. I have realized
     as much happiness as I anticipated, though many of my bright
     visions have not been realized, and others have been much
     changed in outline and finishing. For instance, our still
     winter evenings are seldom enlivened by reading, while I am
     engaged lulling our little ones or plying my needle. Although I
     should greatly enjoy such a treat _occasionally_, I can not, in
     our situation, expect it, while it is often almost the only
     time husband can secure for close and uninterrupted study. You
     know the time of a missionary is _not his own_."

     "Thursday, May 19, 1841.

     "Perhaps the scene that would amuse you most would be 'the
     babies' morning ride.' The little wagon in which Isabella and
     my namesake, Mary Ann Huggins, are drawn by the older children,
     even Alfred ambitious to assist, would be in complete contrast
     with 'the royal princess' cradle'; yet I doubt not it affords
     them as much pleasure as a more elegant one would. Alfred's was
     made by his father, and Hetta, an Indian girl living at Mr.
     Huggins', constructed a canopy, which gives it a tasteful,
     though somewhat rude appearance. Mrs. Williamson's son John
     draws his sister in a wagon of his own, so that the whole troop
     of ten little ones, with their carriages, form a miniature
     pleasure party."

     "LAC-QUI-PARLE, Feb. 26, 1842.

     "We are grateful for the expression of kindness for us and for
     our children, and we hope that our duty to those whom God has
     committed to our care will be made plain. Before your letter
     reached us, containing the remark of 'Mother Clark' about
     taking the little girl, we had another little daughter added to
     our family, and had concluded to leave Isabella with Miss
     Fanny Huggins, as it is probable we shall return to this
     region, instead of ascending the Missouri. Our little Martha we
     shall of course not leave behind if our lives are spared and we
     are permitted to go East; and Alfred we intend taking with us
     as far as Ohio."

Of the next year--from the spring of 1842--little need be said in this
connection. The preparations were all made. Mary and I took with us
the little boy, now in his fifth year, and the baby, while the little
girl between was left in the care of Miss Fanny Huggins. It was a year
of enjoyment. Mary visited the old home on Hawley hills. The old
grandfather was still there, and the younger members of the family had
grown up. Here, during the summer, the little boy born in Dakota land
gathered strawberries in the meadows of Massachusetts. Our
school-books and hymn-book were printed in Boston, and in the autumn
we came to Ohio. During the winter months the Bible-printing was done
in Cincinnati.

When we were ready to start back, in the spring of 1843, we had
secured as fellow-laborers, at the new station which we were
instructed to form, Robert Hopkins and his young wife Agnes, and Miss
Julia Kephart, all from Ripley, Ohio. The intercourse with so many
sympathizing Christian hearts, which had been much interested in the
Dakota mission from its commencement, was refreshing. We found, too,
that we had both been forgetting our mother tongue somewhat, in the
efforts made to learn Dakota. This must be guarded against in the
future. In our desire to be Dakotas we must not cease to be English.

The bottoms of the Lower Minnesota were putting on their richest
robes of green, and the great wild-rose gardens were coming into full
perfection of beauty, when, in the month of June, our barge, laden
with mission supplies, was making its way up to Traverse des Sioux. At
what was known as "The Little Rapids" was a village of Wahpaton
Dakotas, the old home of the people at Lac-qui-parle. There were
certain reasons why we thought that might be the point for the new
station. We made a halt there of half a day, and called the chief men.
But they were found to be too much under the influence of the Treaty
Indians below to give us any encouragement. In fact, they did not want

We passed by, and landed our boats at the Traverse. The day before
reaching this point, Mrs. Hopkins and Mary had made arrangements to
have some light bread,--they were tired eating the heavy cakes of the
voyage. They succeeded to their satisfaction, and placed the warm
bread away, in a safe place, as they supposed, within the tent, ready
for the morning. But when the breakfast was ready, the bread was not
there. During the night an Indian hand had taken it.

The Dakotas were accustomed to do such things. While at Lac-qui-parle
we were constantly annoyed by thefts. An axe or a hoe could not be
left out-of-doors, but it would be taken. And in our houses we were
continually missing little things. A towel hanging on the wall would
be tucked under the blanket of a woman, or a girl would sidle up to a
stand and take a pair of scissors. Any thing that could be easily
concealed was sure to be missing, if we gave them an opportunity. And
these people at the Traverse (Sissetons they were) we found quite
equal to those at Lac-qui-parle. Stealing, even among themselves, was
not considered very dishonorable. The men said they did not steal,
but the women were all _wamanonsa_.

We had decided to make this our new station. We should consult the
Indians, but our staying would not depend upon their giving us an
invitation to stay. And so the first thing to be done was to start off
the train to Lac-qui-parle. In the early part of June, 1842, after
Mary and I left, there had come frosts which cut off the Indian corn.
The prospect was that the village would be abandoned pretty much
during the year. This led Dr. Williamson to come down to Fort
Snelling, as Mr. S. W. Pond and wife had already gone up to take our
place. This spring of 1843, Mr. Pond had left, and Dr. Williamson
could not return until the autumn, as he had engaged temporarily to
fill the place of surgeon in the garrison. In these circumstances it
was deemed advisable for Mr. and Mrs. Hopkins to go on to
Lac-qui-parle for a year. Mary took her baby, Martha Taylor, now
fifteen months old, and went up with them to bring down Isabella.

Thomas Longley, a young man of 22 years, and rejoicing in a young
man's strength, had joined us at Fort Snelling. He was a part of our
boat's company up the Minnesota; and now he and I and the little boy,
Zitkadan Washtay, remained to make a beginning. Immediately I called
the Indians and had a talk with them, at Mr. Le Bland's trading-post.
I told them we had come to live with them, and to teach them. Some
said _yes_ and some said _no_. But they all asked, What have you to
give us?

It was at a time of year when they were badly off for food, and so I
gave them two barrels of flour. Before the council was over, some of
the principal men became so stupid from the influence of whiskey which
they had been drinking, that they did not know what they were saying.
Old Sleepy Eyes and Tankamane were the chief men present. They were
favorable to our stopping, and remained friends of the mission as long
as it was continued there. But some of the younger men were opposed.
One especially, who had a keg of whiskey that he was taking to the
Upper Minnesota, was reported as saying that when he had disposed of
his whiskey, he would come back and stop Tamakoche's building. But he
never came back--only a few days after this, he was killed in a
drunken frolic.

We expected to meet with opposition, and so were not disappointed.
Thomas and I pitched our tents under some scrub-oaks, on a little
elevation, in the lower river bottom, a half a mile away from the
Trader's. Immediately we commenced to cut and haul logs for our cabin.

In the meantime, the party going to Lac-qui-parle were nearing their
destination. With them there were three young men who had accompanied
us to Ohio, and spent the year. Their baptized names were _Simon_,
_Henok_, and _Lorenzo_. Each was about twenty years old. While on
their way down, we had cut off their hair and dressed them up as white
men. They had all learned much in their absence; while two of them had
added their names to the rolls of Christian churches in Ohio. Thus,
they were returning. The party spent the Sabbath a day's travel from
Lac-qui-parle. On Monday, before noon, these young men had seen, on
some far-off prairie elevation, what seemed to be Indians lying down.
But their suspicions of a war-party were not very pronounced.

Five miles from the mission, the road crosses the
_Mayakawan_--otherwise called the Chippewa River. It was a hot
afternoon when the mission party approached it. They were thirsty, and
the young men had started on to drink. Simon was ahead, and on
horseback. Suddenly, as he neared the stream, there emerged from the
wood a war-party of Ojibwas, carrying two fresh scalps. Simon rode up
and shook hands with them. He could do this safely, as he was dressed
like a white man. They showed him the scalps, all gory with blood; but
he wot not that one of them was his own brother's. This brother and
his wife and a young man were coming to meet their friends. As the two
men came to the crossing, they were shot down by the Ojibwas, who lay
concealed in the bushes. The woman, who was a little distance behind,
heard the guns and fled, carrying the news back to the village. And so
it happened that by the time the mission teams had fairly crossed the
river, they were met by almost the whole village of maddened Dakotas.
They were in pursuit of the Ojibwas. But had not the missionaries
taken these boys to Ohio? And had not these two young men been killed
as they were coming to meet the boys? Were not the missionaries the
cause of it all? So questioned and believed many of the frantic men.
And one man raised his gun and shot one of the horses in the double
team, which carried Mrs. Hopkins and Mary. This made it necessary for
them to walk the remainder of the way in the broiling sun of summer.
Mary found her little girl too heavy a load, and after a while was
kindly relieved of her burden by a Dakota woman, whom she had taught
to wash. The excitement and trouble were a terrible strain on her
nervous system, and made the gray hairs come prematurely here and
there among the black.


    1843-1846.--Great Sorrow.--Thomas Drowned.--Mary's Letter.--The
    Indians' Thoughts.--Old Gray-Leaf.--Oxen Killed.--Hard
    Field.--Sleepy Eyes' Horse.--Indian in Prison.--The Lord Keeps
    Us.--Simon's Shame.--Mary's Letter.--Robert Hopkins and
    Agnes.--Le Bland.--White Man Ghost.--Bennett.--Sleepy Eyes'
    Camp.--Drunken Indians.--Making Sugar.--Military
    Company.--Dakota Prisoners.--Stealing Melons.--Preaching and
    School.--A Canoe Voyage.--Red Wing.

Suddenly, at the very commencement of our new station, we were called
to meet a great sorrow. Mary had come back from Lac-qui-parle with the
two little girls, and our family were all together once more. Mr.
Huggins and his sister, Miss Fanny Huggins, and Mr. Isaac Pettijohn
had come down along. Mr. Pettijohn helped us much to forward the log
cabin. Saturday came, the 15th of July--and the roof was nearly
finished. We should move into its shelter very soon. No one was
rejoicing in the prospect more than the young brother, Thomas Lawrence
Longley. He sang as he worked that morning.

Mr. Huggins had the toothache, and, about 10 o'clock, said he would go
and bathe, as that sometimes helped his teeth. Brother T. proposed
that we should go also, to which I at first objected, and said we
would go after dinner. He thought we should have something else to do
then; and, remembering that once or twice I had prevented his bathing,
by not going when he wished, I consented. We had been in the water but
a moment, when, turning around, I saw T. throw up his hands and clap
them over his head. My first thought was that he was drowning. The
current was strong and setting out from the shore. I swam to him--he
caught me by the hand, but did not appear to help himself in the
least--probably had the cramp. I tried to get toward shore with him,
but could not. He pulled me under once or twice, and I began to think
I should be drowned with him. But when we came up again, he released
his grasp, and, as I was coming into shallow water, with some
difficulty, I reached the shore. But the dear boy Thomas appeared not
again. The cruel waters rolled over him. In the meantime, Mr. Huggins
had jumped into a canoe, and was coming to our relief. But it was too
late--_too late_!

Mary's first letter after the 15th of July, 1843:--"_Traverse des
Sioux_, Friday noon: What shall I add, my dear parents, to the sad
tidings my husband has written? Will it console you in any measure to
know that one of our first and most frequent petitions at the throne
of grace has been that God would prepare your hearts for the news,
which, we feared, would be heart-breaking, unless 'the Comforter'
comforted you and the Almighty strengthened you? We hope--indeed, some
small measure of faith is given us to believe--that you will be
comforted and sustained, under this chastening from the Lord. And oh,
like subdued, humbled, and penitent children, may we all kiss the rod,
and earnestly pray that this sore chastisement may be for our
spiritual good!

"I feel that this affliction, such as I have never before known, is
intended to prepare us who are left for _life and death_. Perhaps some
of us may soon follow him whom we all loved. When I stand by his
grave, overshadowed by three small oaks, with room for another person
by his side, I think that place may be for me.

"The last Sabbath he was with us was just after my return from
Lac-qui-parle. I reached here on Saturday, and having passed through
distressing scenes on our way to Lac-qui-parle, occasioned by an
attack of the Chippewas on some Sioux who were coming to meet us, I
felt uncommon forebodings lest something had befallen the dear ones I
had left here. But I endeavored to cast my care upon the Lord,
remembering that while we were homeless and houseless we were more
like our Saviour. And that if _he_ was despised and rejected of men,
_we_ surely ought not to repine if we were treated as our Master. With
such feelings as these, as we came in sight of husband's tent, I
pointed it out to Isabella, when she asked, 'Where's papa's house?'
and soon I saw Mr. Riggs and brother Thomas and little Alfred coming
to meet us.

"Not quite one week after that joyful hour, Mr. Riggs came home from
the St. Peter's, groaning, 'Oh, Mary, Thomas is drowned--Thomas is
drowned!' I did not, I could not receive the full import. I still
thought his body would be recovered and life restored; for your sakes,
I cried for mercy, but it came not in the way I then desired. Still, I
tried to flatter myself, even after search for the body had been given
up for the day, that it had floated down upon a sand-bar, and he would
yet live and return in the dusk of the evening. But when I lay down
for the night, and the impossibility of my illusive hopes being
realized burst upon me, oh--

"The hand of the Lord had touched us, and we were ready to sink; but
the same kind hand sustained us. May the same Almighty Father
strengthen you. One thought comforted me not a little. 'If brother
Thomas had gone home to our father's house in Massachusetts, I should
not have grieved much; and now he had gone to his Father's and our
Father's home in Heaven, why should I mourn so bitterly? I felt that
God had a right to call him when he pleased, and I saw his mercy, in
sparing my husband to me a little longer, when he was but a step from
the eternal world. Still, I felt that I had lost a brother, and _such
a brother_!

"Before I went to Lac-qui-parle, I had confided Alfred to his special
care. I knew that the rejection of our offer of stopping at the Little
Rapids, by the Indians there, had been exceedingly painful and
discouraging to Mr. Riggs, and the rumor that the Indians here would
do likewise was no less so; and I should have felt very unpleasantly
in going for Isabella at that time, but it seemed necessary, and I
felt that brother Thomas would be, what he was, 'a friend in need.' On
my return, on recounting the scenes I had passed through, the killing
by the Chippewas of the eldest brother of one of our young men, as he
was coming to meet him--the shooting of one of our horses by a Sioux
man, who pretended to be offended because we did not pursue the
Chippewas, when we were more than three miles from the mission, and
that I carried Martha there in my arms, one of the warmest afternoons
we had--Thomas said, 'I see you have grown poor, but you will improve
from this time.'

"On Saturday morning, as we were busily engaged near each other, he
sang, 'Our cabin is small and coarse our fare, But love has spread our
banquet here!' Soon afterward he went to bathe, and of course our roof
and floor remained unfinished, but that evening we terminated in
sadness what had been to us a happy feast of tabernacles, by moving
into our humble dwelling. For a little while on Sabbath, his remains
found a resting-place within the house his hands had reared. I kissed
his cheek as he lay upon a plank resting on that large red chest and
box which were sent from home, but, owing to the haste and excitement,
I did not think to take a lock of hair. It curled as beautifully as
ever, although dripping with water, and the countenance was natural, I
thought, but it has rather dimmed my recollections of him as he was
when living. I felt so thankful that his body had been found before
any great change had taken place, that gratitude to God supplanted my
grief while we buried him. Mr. Huggins and Fanny sang an Indian hymn
made from the 15th chapter of First Corinthians, and then, 'Unveil thy
bosom, faithful tomb.' We came _home_ just after sunset. It is but a
little distance from our dwelling, and in the same 'garden of roses,'
as Thomas called it, where he now sleeps."

       *       *       *       *       *

Only a few additional circumstances need to be noted. The sad story
was carried speedily to the Indian tents, and those who were in the
neighborhood came to look on and give what sympathy and help they
could. That was not much. The deep hole was too deep to be reached by
any means at our command. The waters rolled on, and to us, as we gazed
on them, knowing that the dear brother, Thomas, was underneath them,
they began more and more to assume a frightful appearance. For months
and months after, they had that frightful look. I shuddered when I
looked. The Indians said their water God, _Oonktehe_, was displeased
with us for coming to build there. _He_ had seized the young man. It
did seem sometimes as though God was against us.

The Saturday's sun went down without giving success to our efforts,
and on Sabbath morning the Indians renewed the search somewhat, but
with no better result. Toward evening the body was found to have risen
and drifted to a sand-bar below. We took it up tenderly, washed and
wrapped it in a clean linen sheet, and placed it in the new cabin, on
which his hands had wrought. A grave was dug hastily under the
scrub-oaks, where, with only some loose boards about it, we laid our
brother to rest until the resurrection. That was our Allonbachuth. We
were dumb, because God did it. That was the first great shadow that
came over our home. It was one of ourselves that had gone. The sorrow
was too great to find expression in tears or lamentations. The Dakotas
observed this. One day old _Black Eagle_ came in and chided us for it.
"The ducks and the geese and the deer," he said, "when one is killed,
make an outcry about it, and the sorrow passes by. The Dakotas, too,
like these wild animals, make a great wailing over a dead friend--they
wail out their sorrow, and it becomes lighter; but you keep your
sorrow--you brood over it, and it becomes heavier." There was truth in
what the old man said. But we did not fail to cast our burden upon the
Lord, and to obtain strength from a source which the Black Eagle knew
not of.

The old men came frequently to comfort us in this way, and it gave us
an opportunity of telling them about Christ, who is the great
Conqueror over death and the grave. Sometimes they came in and sat in
silence, as old Sleepy Eyes and Tankamane often did, and that did us
good. Old Gray Leaf had a gift of talking--he believed in talking.
When he came in, he made an excited speech, and at the close said, "I
don't mean anything."

       *       *       *       *       *

About this time Mary wrote: "A few days after T. was drowned, some of
the Indians here, entirely regardless of our affliction, came and
demanded provisions as pay for the logs in our cabin. Mr. Riggs had
previously given them two barrels of flour, and it was out of our
power to aid them any more then, although Mr. R. told them, after
their cruel speeches, that he would endeavor to purchase some corn,
when the Fur Company's boat came up. They threatened killing our
cattle and tearing down our cabin, and husband's proposition did not
prevent their executing the first part of their threat. Just one week
after dear T. was drowned, one ox was killed, and in eight days more
the other shared the same fate. Then we _felt_ that it was very
probable our cabin would be demolished next."

       *       *       *       *       *

The summer was wearing away. We were getting some access to the
people. On the Sabbath, we could gather in a few, to be present while
we sang Dakota hymns and read the Bible and prayed. But there was a
good deal of opposition. As our oxen had been killed and eaten, and we
were approaching the winter, it was necessary that we have some means
of drawing our firewood. So I bought _one_ ox, and harnessed him as
the Red River people do. He was a faithful servant to us during that
winter, but the next summer he too was killed and eaten. This time
they came boldly, and broke open our stable, and killed and carried
away the animal. It seemed as if they were determined that we should
not stay. Did the Lord mean to have us give up our work there? We did
not want to decide that question hastily.

In the meantime, the field was proving to be a very unpromising as
well as difficult one, because of the great quantities of whiskey
brought in. St. Paul was then made up of a few grog-shops, which
relied chiefly on the trade with the Indians. They took pelts, or
guns, or blankets, or horses--whatever the Indian had to give for his
keg of whiskey. The trade was a good one. The Lower Sioux bought for
the Upper ones, and helped them to buy; and those at the Traverse and
other points engaged in the carrying trade. When a keg was brought up,
a general _drunk_ was the result; but there was enough left to fill
with water, and carry up farther and sell for a pony. This made our
work very discouraging. Besides, we were often annoyed by the visits
of drunken Indians. Sometimes they came with guns and knives. So that
we all felt the strain of those years, and we often asked one another,
"What good is to come of this?"

One winter night, Sleepy Eyes had come in from Swan Lake, and placed
his horse at our haystack, while he himself went to the trader's to
spend the night. Just before we retired to rest, we heard voices and
feet hurrying past our door. I went out and found that two men and a
woman were at the stable--the men were shooting arrows into Sleepy
Eyes' horse. One of the men said, "I asked uncle for this horse, and
he did not give it to me--I am killing it." They had done their work.
Perhaps I had interfered unnecessarily--certainly unsuccessfully. As
they returned and passed by our cabin, I was behind them, and, as I
was stepping in at the door, an arrow whizzed by. Was it intended to

The next morning that Indian started off for whiskey, but a white man
passed down the country also, and told the story at Fort Snelling. The
result was that the man who killed his uncle's horse was put in the
guard-house. Not for that, but for shooting at a white man, he was to
be taken down into Iowa, to be tried for assault. The commandant of
the post at Snelling doubted whether good would come of it, and I
fully agreed with him. And so, in the month of March, Tankamane (Big
Walker) and I went down to the fort and procured his release. He
promised well--he would drink no whiskey while he lived--he would
always be the white man's friend. He signed the pledge and went back
with Big Walker and myself. A captain's wife asked how I dared to go
in company with that man. I said, "Madam, that man will be my best
friend." And so he was. He went up to the Blue Earth hunting-grounds,
and brought us in some fine venison hams.

But still intemperance increased. A drunken man went to the mission
singing, and asked for food. They gave him a plate of rice and a
spoon, but he did not feel like eating then. After slobbering over it
awhile, he compelled the white women to eat it. They were too much
afraid to refuse. One time Mr. Hopkins and I were both away until
midnight, when my friend, Tankamane, while drunk, visited the house
and threatened to break in the door. But we reached home soon
afterward, and the women slept. Thus we had the "terror and the
arrow," but the Lord shielded us.

These were very trying years of missionary work. It was at this time
our good friend and brother, Simon Anawangmane, who had come from
Lac-qui-parle, gave way to the temptation of strong drink. We were
grieved, and he was ashamed. We prayed for him and with him, and
besought him to touch it not again. He promised, but he did not keep
his promise. He soon developed a passion for "fire water." It was not
long before he put off his white man's clothes, and, dressed like an
Indian, he too was on his way to the western plains, to buy a horse
with a keg of whiskey. There were times of repenting and attempted
reformation, but they were followed by sinning again and again. Shame
took possession of the man, and shame among the Dakotas holds with a
terrible grip. He will not let go, and is not easily shaken off.
_Shame_ is a shameless fellow; it instigates to many crimes. So eight
years passed with Simon. Sometimes he was almost persuaded to attempt
a new life. Sometimes he came to church and sat down on the door-step,
not venturing to go in; he was afraid of himself, as well he might be.

     "TRAVERSE DES SIOUX, July 13, 1844.

     "... The Indians and the babies, the chickens and the mice,
     seem leagued to destroy the flowers, and they have wellnigh
     succeeded. Perhaps you will wonder why I should bestow any of
     my precious time on flowers, when their cultivation is attended
     with so many difficulties. The principal reason is that I find
     my mind needs some such cheering relaxation. In leaving my
     childhood's home for this Indian land, you know, my dear
     mother, I left almost everything I held dear, and gave up
     almost every innocent pleasure I once enjoyed. Much as I may
     have failed in many respects, I am persuaded there was a
     firmness of purpose, to count no necessary sacrifice _too
     great_ to be made. I do not think I have made what should be
     called _great sacrifices_, but I am using the phrase as it is
     often used, and I am conscious that, in some respects, I have
     tasked myself too hard. I feel that I have grown old beyond my
     years. Even the last year has added greatly to my gray hairs. I
     have been spending my strength too rapidly, and I have often
     neglected to apply to Him for strength of whom Isaiah says, 'He
     giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he
     increaseth strength.' How beautiful and precious is the promise
     to those who wait upon the Lord! When 'even the youths shall
     faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall';
     'they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they
     shall mount up with wings, as eagles, they shall run and not be
     weary, they shall walk and not faint.' Oh, if we could _live by
     faith_, the difficulties and the trials of the way would not
     greatly trouble or distress us."

In the spring of 1844, Robert and Agnes Hopkins came down from
Lac-qui-parle, and, for the next seven years, were identified with the
missionary work at Traverse des Sioux. The opposition to our remaining
gradually died away and was lived down. Louis Provencalle, the trader,
_alias_ Le Bland, had probably tried to carry water on both shoulders,
but he was thoroughly converted to our friendship by an accident which
happened to himself. The old gentleman was carrying corn, in strings,
into his upper chamber by an outside ladder. With a load of this corn
on his back, he fell and caught on his picket fence, the sharp-pointed
wood making a terrible hole in his flesh. For months I visited him
almost daily and dressed his wound. He recovered, and, although he
was not the less a Romanist, he and his family often came to our
meetings, and were our fast friends. Perhaps some seeds of truth were
then sown, which bore fruit in the family a score of years afterward.

Thus we had, occasionally, an opportunity to help a fellow white man
in trouble. It was one Saturday in the early part of September, while
we were at work on our school-house, that an Indian runner came in
from Swan Lake, to tell us that a "ghost" had come to their camp. A
white man had come in in the most forlorn and destitute condition. The
story is well told by Mary in her letters home.

     "TRAVERSE DES SIOUX, Oct. 10, 1844.

     "We have just returned in safety, after spending a week very
     pleasantly and profitably at Lac-qui-parle. An armed force,
     from Forts Snelling and Atkinson, have recently passed up to
     Lake Traverse, to obtain the murderers of an American killed by
     a Sisseton war-party this summer.

     "The circumstances of the murder were very aggravating, as
     communicated to us by the only known survivor. A gentleman from
     the State of Missouri, Turner by name, with three men, were on
     their way to Fort Snelling with a drove of cattle for the
     Indians. Being unacquainted with the country, they wandered to
     the north-west, when they were met by a war-party of Sisseton
     Sioux, returning from an unsuccessful raid upon the Ojibwas.
     Finding them where they did, on their way apparently to the Red
     River of the North, they supposed they belonged to that
     settlement, with whom they had recently had a quarrel about
     hunting buffalo. And so they commenced to treat these white men
     roughly, demanding their horses, guns, and clothes. One man
     resisted and was killed, the others were robbed. Shirts,
     drawers, hats, and vests were all that were left them. Some of
     the cattle were killed, and the rest fled. One of the
     Americans, with some Indians, were sent after them, but he made
     his escape, and was never heard of again. The next morning, the
     other two were permitted to leave, but the only requests they
     made, for their coats, a knife, and a life-preserver, were not

     "The second and third day after this escape, they saw the
     cattle, and if only a knife had been spared them, they might
     have supplied themselves with provisions, but as they were, it
     was safest, they thought, to hasten on. On the fourth day they
     came to a stream too deep to ford, and Turner could not swim.
     Poor Bennett attempted to swim with him, but was drawn under
     several times, and, to save his own life, was obliged to
     disengage himself from Turner, who was drowned. Bennett came on
     alone five days, finding nothing to eat but hazel-nuts, when at
     length he came in sight of the Sioux Lodges at Swan Lake. He
     lay awake that night deliberating whether he should go to them
     or not. 'If I went,' he said, 'I expected they would kill me;
     if I did not go, I knew I must die, and I concluded to go, for
     I could but die.'

     "The next morning he tottered toward the Sioux camp. Ever and
     anon he stopped and hid in the grass. The Dakotas watched his
     movements. Some young men went out to meet him, but Bennett was
     afraid of them, and tried to crawl away. When the old man
     Sleepy Eyes himself came in sight, his benevolent, honest
     countenance assured the young white man, and he staggered
     toward the Dakota chief. His confidence was not misplaced.
     Sleepy Eyes took the _wanage ghost_, as they called him, to
     his tent, and his daughter made bread for him of flour, which
     the old man had bought of us a few days before; and Bennett
     declared he never ate such good bread in his life. Mr. Riggs
     brought him home, for which he said he was willing to be his
     servant forever. We furnished him with such clothing as we had,
     and after three weeks recruiting we sent him home. At Fort
     Snelling, he was furnished with money to go to his parents,
     whom he had left without their consent.

     "Since our return from Lac-qui-parle, the Indians have been
     drunk less than for some time before. At one time quite a
     number of men came in a body and demanded powder, which Mr.
     Riggs intended giving them. I buttoned the door to prevent
     their entrance, as Mr. Riggs was not in at the moment, but the
     button flew into pieces as the sinewy arm of Tankamane pressed
     the latch. Some of the party were but slightly intoxicated.
     Those Mr. Riggs told positively that he should not listen to a
     request made by drunken men, notwithstanding their threatening
     'to soldier kill' him--that is, to kill his horse. Tankamane
     was so drunk that he would not be silent enough to hear, until
     Mr. R. covered his mouth with his hand and commanded him to be
     still, and then assured them that he was not ready to give them
     the powder, and that they had better go home, which they did

     "I am not usually much alarmed, though often considerably
     excited. Some Sabbaths since, a party of Indians brought a keg
     of whiskey, and proposed drinking it in our new building, which
     is intended for a chapel and school-room. But the Lord did not
     permit this desecration. One of their number objected to the
     plan, and they drank it outside the door."

When our school-house was erected and partly finished, our efforts at
teaching took on more of regularity. It was a more convenient room to
hold our Sabbath service in. In religious teaching, as well as in the
school, Mr. Hopkins was an indefatigable worker. He learned the
language slowly but well. Often he made visits to the Indian camps
miles away. When the Dakotas of that neighborhood abstained for a
while from drinking, we became encouraged to think that some good
impressions were being made upon them. But there would come a new
flooding of _spirit water_, and a revival of drinking. Thus our hopes
were blasted.

     "TRAVERSE DES SIOUX, March 15, 1845.

     "At the present time our Indian neighbors are absent, some at
     their sugar camps, and others hunting musk-rats. Thus far the
     season has not been favorable for making sugar, and we have
     purchased but a few pounds, giving in return flour or corn, of
     which we have but little to spare. Last spring, we procured our
     year's supply from the Indians, and for the most of it we gave
     calico in exchange. Not for our sakes, but for the sake of our
     ragged and hungry neighbors, I should rejoice in their having
     an abundant supply. They eat sugar, during the season, as
     freely as we eat bread, and what they do not need for food they
     can exchange for clothing. But they will have but little for
     either, unless the weather is more favorable the last half than
     it has been the first part of this month. And they are so
     superstitious that some, I presume, will attribute the
     unpropitious sky and wind to our influence. Mr. Hopkins visited
     several camps about ten miles distant, soon after the first and
     thus far the only good sugar weather. One woman said to him,
     'You visited us last winter; before you came there were a great
     many deer, but afterward none; and now we have made some sugar,
     but you have come, and perhaps we shall make no more.'"

     "June 23, 1845.

     "_My Dear Mother_:--

     "Having put our missionary cabin in order for the reception of
     Captains Sumner and Allen, and Dr. Nichols, of the army, I am
     reminded of home. I have not made half the preparation which
     you used to make to receive military company, and I could not
     if I would, neither would I if I could. I do, however,
     sometimes wish it afforded me more pleasure to receive such
     guests, when they occasionally pass through the country. We
     have so many uncivilized and so few civilized, and our
     circumstances are such that I almost shrink from trying to
     entertain company. I sometimes think that even mother, with all
     her hospitality, would become a little selfish if her kitchen,
     parlor, and dining-room were all _one_."

This was the second military expedition made to secure the offenders
of the Sisseton war-party. The one made in the fall of 1844 secured
five Indians, but not the ones considered most guilty. But they made
their escape on the way down to Traverse des Sioux. The expedition, to
which reference is made above, was more successful. The Indians
pledged themselves to deliver up the guilty men. They did so. Four men
were delivered up and taken down to Dubuque, Iowa, where they were
kept in confinement until winter. Then they were permitted to escape,
and, strange to say, _three_ of them died while making their way back,
and one lived to reach his friends. It was very remarkable that
_three Indians_ should be placed over against _three white men_ in the
outcome of Providence.

     "Aug. 15, 1845.

     "Our garden enclosure extends around the back side and both
     ends of our mission house, while in front is a double log
     cabin, with a porch between. Back of the porch we have a _very
     small_ bedroom, which our children now occupy, and back of our
     cabin, as it was first erected, we have a larger bedroom,
     which, by way of distinction, we call the _nursery_. The door
     from this room opens into the garden. The room does not extend
     _half_ the length of the double log cabin, so that Mr. Hopkins
     has a room corresponding with our nursery, and then, between
     the two wings, we have two small windows, one in the children's
     bedroom, and the other in our family-room. Shading the latter
     are Alfred's morning-glories and a rose-bush. A shoot from this
     wild rose has often attracted my attention, as, day after day,
     it has continued its upward course. It is now _seven feet
     high_--the growth of a single season--and is still aspiring to
     be higher. Bowed beneath it is a sister stalk laden with
     rose-buds. Last year it was trampled upon by drunken Indians,
     but now our fence affords us some protection, and we flattered
     ourselves that our pumpkins and squashes would be unmolested.
     But we found, to our surprise, one day, that our garden had
     been stripped of the larger pumpkins the night previous. Our
     situation here, at a point where the roving sons of the prairie
     congregate, exposes us to annoyances of this kind more
     frequently than at other stations among the Sioux. I can
     sympathize very fully with Moffat in like grievances, which he
     mentions in his 'Southern Africa.'"

     "Jan. 29, 1846.

     "For several Sabbaths past we have had a _small_ congregation.
     It encourages us somewhat to see even a few induced to listen
     for a short time to the truths of the Gospel. But our chief
     encouragement is in God's unfailing promises. The Indians here
     usually sit during the whole service, and sometimes smoke
     several times.

     "For some weeks I have been teaching the female part of our
     school. Some days half a dozen black-eyed girls come, and then,
     again, only one or two. Their parents tell them that we ought
     to pay them for coming to school, and, although there have been
     no threats of cutting up the blankets of those who read, as
     there was last winter, they are still ridiculed and reproached.
     We have in various ways endeavored to reward them for regular
     attendance, in such a manner as not to favor the idea that we
     were hiring them."

In the spring of 1846, Mary wanted to get away for a little rest. We
fitted up a canoe, and, with a young man of the fur-trade, we started
down the Minnesota. Mary had her baby, our fourth child, whose name
was Anna Jane. We had scarcely well started when we met drunken
Indians. Their canoe was laden with kegs of whiskey, and they were on
shore cooking. They called to us to come over and give them some food;
but we passed by on the other side. One man raised his gun and poured
into us a volley of buckshot. Fortunately, Mary and the baby were not
touched. The canoe and the rest of us were somewhat sprinkled, but not
seriously hurt.

That canoe voyage was continued down the Mississippi River as far as
Red Wing. At Mr. Pond's station we took in Jane Lamonte, afterward
Mrs. Titus. Where the city of St. Paul now is, we made a short stop,
and I hunted up one of our Dakota church members, the wife of a
Frenchman. A half a dozen log houses, one here and one there, made up
the St. Paul of that day. At Pine Bend, Mr. Brown left us. After that,
the rowing was heavy, and the muscles were light. Just above the mouth
of the St. Croix, we found a house, where we spent the night
comfortably. The next day, we reached Red Wing, a Dakota village, or
Hay-minne-chan, with much difficulty. We had to row against a strong
head wind, and I, who was the principal oarsman, fell sick. But, as
Providence would have it, we came upon a wood-man, who took us to the

Red Wing was the station of the Swiss mission, occupied by the
Dentans. Mrs. Dentan had been a teacher in the Mackinaw mission
school. Here we found good Christian friends, and spent two weeks in
helping them to do missionary work. While we were there, I went to see
a young man whom the medicine-men were conjuring. The Dakota doctor
claimed that the spirit which caused the disease was greatly enraged
at my presence. And so, at their earnest request, I retired. That sick
young man is now one of our excellent native pastors. We have since
talked over the event with much interest.


    1846-1851.--Returning to Lac-qui-parle.--Reasons
    Therefor.--Mary's Story.--"Give Me My Old Seat, Mother."--At
    Lac-qui-parle.--New Arrangements.--Better
    Understanding.--Buffalo Plenty.--Mary's Story.--Little Samuel
    Died.--Going on the Hunt.--Vision of Home.--Building
    House.--Dakota Camp.--Soldier's Lodge.--Wakanmane's
    Village.--Making a Presbytery.--New Recruits.--Meeting at
    Kaposia.--Mary's Story.--Varied Trials.--Sabbath
    Worship.--"What is to Die?"--New Stations.--Making a
    Treaty.--Mr. Hopkins Drowned.--Personal Experience.

The time came when it was decided that Mary and I should go back to
Lac-qui-parle. The four years since we left had brought many changes.
They had been years of discouragement and hardship all along the line.
The brothers Pond had built among the people of their first love--the
old Lake Calhoun band, now located a short distance up from the mouth
of the Minnesota. There they had a few who came regularly to worship
and to learn the Way of Life. But the mass of the people of Cloud
Man's village were either indifferent or opposed to the Gospel of

At Lac-qui-parle, where had been the best seed-sowing and harvesting
for the first seven years, the work had gone backward. Bad corn years
had driven some of the native Christians to take refuge among the
annuity Indians of the Mississippi. Temptations of various kinds had
drawn away others--they had stumbled and fallen. Persecutions from
the heathen party had deterred others, and some had fallen asleep in
Christ. Among these last was Mr. Joseph Renville, who had stood by the
work from the beginning. He had passed away in the month of March; and
thus the Lac-qui-parle church was reduced to less than half its
members of four years ago.

Out of this church there had gone a half a dozen or so, chiefly women,
down to Kaposia, or Little Crow's village, which was on the
Mississippi, a few miles below the site of St. Paul. Through them,
more than any other influence perhaps, there came an invitation, from
Little Crow and the head men of the village, to Dr. Williamson,
through the Indian agent at Fort Snelling, to come down and open a
school and a mission. This application was considered at the meeting
of the Dakota mission held at the Traverse, and the voices were in
favor of acceptance. But if Dr. Williamson left Lac-qui-parle, that
involved the necessity of our returning thither. This proposition Mary
could not entertain willingly. True, the work at the Traverse had been
full of hardships and suffering, but the very sufferings and sorrows,
and especially that great first sorrow, had strongly wedded her
affections to the place and the people. It was hard to leave those
Oaks of Weeping. She could not see that it was right; still, she would
not refuse to obey orders.

And so the month of September, 1846, found us travelling over the same
road that we had gone on our first journey, just nine years before.
Then we two had gone; now we had with us our four little ones, but it
was a sad journey. The mother's heart was not convinced, nor was it
satisfied we had done right, until some time after we reached


     "TRAVERSE DES SIOUX, Sept. 17, 1846.

     "This is probably the last letter I shall write you from this
     spot so dear to us. If I could see that it was duty to go, it
     would cheer me in the preparations for our departure, but I
     cannot feel that the interests of the mission required such a
     sacrifice as leaving this home is to me.

     "These are some of the thoughts that darken the prospect, when
     I think of leaving the comforts and conveniences which we have
     only enjoyed one or two short summers--such as the enclosure
     for our children--our rude back porch which has served for a
     kitchen, the door into which I helped Mr. Riggs saw with a
     cross-cut saw, because he could get no one to help him. We
     located here in the midst of opposition and danger, yet God
     made our enemies to be at peace with us. Sad will be the hour
     when I take the last look of our low log cabins, our neat white
     chapel, and dear Thomas' grave."

     "LAC-QUI-PARLE, Dec. 10, 1846.

     "How pleasant it would be, dear mother, to join your little
     circle around home's hearth; but it is vain to wish, and so I
     take my pen, that this transcript of my heart may enter where I
     cannot. In one of the late New York _Observers_, I found a gem
     of poetry, which seemed so much like the gushings of my
     affection for my mother that I must send you the verse which
     pleased me best:--

    "'Give me my old seat, mother,
      With my head upon thy knee;
    I've passed through many a changing scene,
      Since thus I sat by thee,

    "Oh, let me look into thine eyes--
      Their meek, soft, loving light
    Falls like a gleam of holiness,
      Upon my heart, to-night!'

     "How very often have I found myself half wishing for my old
     seat, with my head upon thy knee, that I might impart to you my
     joys and my sorrows, and listen to your own. In times of
     difficulty and distress, how I have longed for your counsel and
     cheering sympathy. After leaving our home at Traverse des Sioux
     and reaching this place, my heart yearned to embrace you. My
     associates could not comprehend why it should be so trying to
     me to leave that place so dear to us. I had hoped to live and
     die and be buried there by the loved grave of Thomas. I had
     laid plans for usefulness there, and the change that came over
     us in one short week, during which we packed all our effects
     and prepared for the journey, was so sudden and so great that
     it often seemed I should sink under it. Had I been able to see
     it clearly our duty, the case would have been different. I hope
     it will prove for the best. Doubtless I was too much attached
     to that burial spot and that garden of roses. Henceforth, may I
     more fully realize that 'we have no abiding city here,' and,
     like a pilgrim, press onward to that eternal haven--that
     unchanging home--little mindful where I pass the few brief
     nights that may intervene."

     "Dec. 16.

     "You will, I think, feel gratified to know that there are some
     things pleasant and encouraging here, notwithstanding the
     discouragements. The sound of the church-going bell is heard
     here--the bell which we purchased with the avails of moccasins
     donated by the church members. Some of those contributors are
     dead, and others have backslidden or removed; still, there are
     more hearers of the Word here than at Traverse des Sioux,
     although the large majority in both places turn a deaf ear to
     the calls and entreaties of the Gospel. Quite a number of the
     women who attend the Sabbath services can read, but some of
     them can not find the hymns, and I enjoy very much finding the
     places for them."

Our place at the Traverse was filled by Mr. A. G. Huggins' family, who
thenceforward became associated with Mr. Hopkins, until they closed
their connection with the mission work. Fanny Huggins had married
Jonas Pettijohn, and they were our helpers at Lac-qui-parle for the
next five years.

The time seemed to have come when our relations to the Indians should,
if possible, be placed upon a better basis. From the time that the
chief men came to understand that the religion of Christ was an
exclusive religion, that it would require the giving up of their
ancestral faith, they set themselves in opposition to it. Sometimes
this was shown in their persecution of the native Christians,
forbidding them to attend our meetings, and cutting up the blankets of
those who came. Sometimes it was exhibited in the order that the
children should not attend school. But the organized determination to
drive us from the country showed itself most decidedly in killing our
cattle. We could not continue in the country, and make ourselves
comfortable, without a team of some kind. This, then, was to be their
policy. They would kill our cattle. They would steal our horses. And
they had so persistently held to this line of treatment, during the
last four years, that Dr. Williamson and his associates had with
difficulty kept a team of any kind. Once they were obliged to hitch up
milch cows to haul firewood.

The Indians said we were trespassers in their country, and they had a
right to take reprisals. We used their wood and their water, and
pastured our animals on their grass, and gave them no adequate pay. We
had helped them get larger corn-patches by ploughing for them, we had
furnished food and medicines to their sick ones, we had often clothed
their naked ones, we had spent and been spent in their service, but
all this was, in their estimation, no compensation for the field we
planted, and the fuel we used, and the grass we cut, and the water we
drank. They were worth a thousand dollars a year!

And so it seemed to me the time had come when some better
understanding should be reached in regard to these things. I called
the principal men of the village--Oo-pe-ya-hdaya, Inyangmane, and
Wakanmane, and others--and told them that, as Dr. Williamson was
called away by the Lower Indians, my wife and I had been sent back to
Lac-qui-parle, but we would stay only on certain conditions. We knew
them and they knew us. If we could stay with them as friends, and be
treated as friends, we would stay. We came to teach them and their
children. But if then, or at any time afterward, we learned that the
whole village did not want us to stay, we would go home to our
friends. For the help we gave them, the water we used must be free,
the wood to keep us warm must be free, the grass our cattle ate must
be free, and the field we planted must be free; but when we wanted
their best timber to build houses with, which we should do, I would
pay them liberally for it. This arrangement they said was
satisfactory, and soon afterward we bought from them the timber we
used in erecting two frame houses.

From this time onward we did not suffer so much from cattle-killing,
though it has always been an incident attaching to mission life among
the Indians. For the years that followed we were generally treated as
friends. Sometimes there was a breeze of opposition, some wanted us to
go away, but we always had friends who stood by us. And they were not
always of the same party. The results of mission work began to be seen
in the young men who grew up, many of them desirous of adopting, in
part at least, the habits and the dress of the whites.

There was another reason for a cessation of hostilities on their part;
_viz._, that starvation did not so much stare them in the face. They
had better corn crops than for some years previous. And, besides this,
for two seasons the buffalo range was extended down the Minnesota far
below Lac-qui-parle. For many years they had been far away, west of
Lake Traverse. Now they came back, and for two winters our Indians
revelled in fresh buffalo meat, their children and dogs even growing
fat. And the buffalo robes gave them the means of clothing their
families comfortably.

Sometimes the herds of bison came into the immediate neighborhood of
the village. One morning it was found that a large drove had slept on
the prairie but a little distance back of our mission houses. Mr.
Martin McLeod, the trader, and a few others organized a hunt on
horseback. There was snow on the ground, I hitched our ponies to a
rude sled, and we went to the show. As the hunters came into the herd
and began to shoot them, the excitement increased in our sled--the
ponies could not go fast enough for the lady.

We now addressed ourselves afresh to the work of teaching and
preaching. The day-school filled up. We took some children into our
families. The young men who had learned to read and write when they
were boys, came and wanted to learn something of arithmetic and
geography. In the work of preaching I began to feel more freedom and
joy. There had been times when the Dakota language seemed to be barren
and meaningless. The words for Salvation and Life, and even Death and
Sin, did not mean what they did in English. It was not to me a
heart-language. But this passed away. A Dakota word began to _thrill_
as an English word. Christ came into the language. The Holy Spirit
began to pour sweetness and power into it. Then it was not exhausting,
as it sometimes had been--it became a joy to preach.


     "LAC-QUI-PARLE, May 17, 1847.

     "Since Mr. Riggs left home, two weeks to-day, I have had a
     double share of wants to supply. I could almost wish he had
     locked up the medicine-case and taken the key with him, for I
     have not so much confidence in my skill as to suppose the
     Indians would have suffered if it had been out of my power to
     satisfy their wants. I purposed only giving rhubarb and a few
     other simples, but I have been besieged until I have yielded,
     and have no relief to hope for until Mr. Riggs returns.

     "In addition to the medicines, there has been a great demand
     for garden-seeds, to say nothing of the common wants of a
     little thread, or soap, or patches for a ragged short-gown, or
     a strip of white cloth for the head to enable them to kill
     ducks or buffalo, as the case may be. There is scarcely any
     view of God's character that gives me so clear an apprehension
     of his infinite goodness and power as that of his kind care of
     his sinful creatures. He listens to their requests, and giving
     doth not impoverish, neither doth withholding enrich him."

     "May 26.

     "This afternoon twenty-six armed Indian men paraded before the
     door and discharged their guns. I was a little startled at
     first, but soon learned that they had been in search of
     Chippewas that were supposed to be concealed near by, and that
     they had returned unsuccessful, and were merely indulging in a
     little military exercise."

     "Jan. 11, 1848.

     "The last Sabbath in December, Mr. Riggs spent at an Indian
     encampment about sixteen miles from this place. When he left
     home, baby _Samuel_, Mr. and Mrs. Pettijohn's only child, was
     ill, but we did not apprehend dangerously so; when he returned
     on Monday noon, little Samuel was dead. This has been a severe
     affliction to them. Why was this first-born and only son taken,
     and our five children spared, is a query that often arises.

     "Some weeks ago, an elderly woman with a young babe begged me
     for clothing for the little one. I asked her if it was her
     child. She replied that it was her grandchild, that its mother
     died last summer, and that she had nursed it ever since. At
     first she had no milk, but she continued nursing it, until the
     milk flowed for the little orphan. This, thought I, is an
     evidence of a grandmother's love not often witnessed. I felt
     very compassionate for the baby, and gave the grandmother some
     old clothing. After she left, a knife was missing, which seemed
     rather like a gypsy's compensation for the kindness received.
     But perhaps she was not the thief, as our house was then
     thronged with visitors from morning till night. We endeavor to
     keep such things as they will be tempted to steal out of their
     reach, but a mother can not watch three or four children, and
     perform necessary household duties at the same time, without
     sometimes affording an opportunity for a cunning hand to slip
     away a pair of scissors or a knife unnoticed.

     "The buffalo are about us in large herds. I have just taken a
     ride of four or five miles to see these natives of the prairie.
     Before the herd perceived our approach, they were quietly
     standing together, but, on perceiving us, they waited a moment
     for consultation, and then started bounding away. Those who
     were prepared for the chase entered their ranks, and then the
     herd separated into three or four parts, and scampered for life
     in as many different directions. Several were killed and
     dressed, and we brought home the huge head of one for the
     children to see, besides the tongue and some meat, which were
     given us as our share of the spoils."

     "May 25,1848.

     "How very quiet and green I think those lanes are--no noise
     except the whispering winds in those beautiful elms and maples;
     and those still rooms, where rang the merry shout of children
     returned from school. I could almost fancy they would look as
     sober and sombre as those dark firs under which we played when
     we and they were small. _They_ still are young and vigorous,
     for aught I know, but _we_, alas! are young no longer. Do the
     lilacs and roses and snowballs still bloom as brightly as ever?
     But the thought of those bright and beautiful scenes makes me
     sad, and I wish to write a cheering letter, so good-by to the
     visions of departed joys.

     "We are building, this summer, a plain, snug, one-story house,
     with a sitting-room, kitchen, and two bedrooms on the lower
     floor, and two rooms above, if ever they should be completed.
     We have been hoping to have a young lady to assist in teaching,
     etc., for an occupant of one of our bedrooms, but the prospect
     is rather discouraging. And yet I feel that it is no more so
     than we deserve, for I have not exercised faith in this
     respect. I have, however, some hope that He 'who is able to do
     exceeding abundantly, above all that we ask or think,' will
     send us such fellow-laborers as we need."

During these two buffalo winters, almost the whole village removed up
to the Pomme de Terre, or _Owobaptay_ River as the Dakotas called it.
That was a better point to hunt from. For the regulation of the hunt,
and to prevent the buffalo from being driven off, they organized a
_Soldiers' Lodge_. This was a large tent pitched in the centre of the
camp, where the symbols of power were kept in two bundles of _red_ and
_black_ sticks. These represented the soldiers--those who had killed
enemies and those who had not. To this tent the women brought
offerings of wood and meat; and here the young and old men often
gathered to feast, and from these headquarters went forth, through an
_Eyanpaha_ (cryer), the edicts of the wise men.

For these two winters, I arranged to spend every alternate Sabbath at
the camp, going up on Saturday and returning on Monday. This soldiers'
tent was, from the first, placed at my disposal for Sabbath meetings.
It was an evidence of a great change in the general feeling of the
village toward Christianity. It was a public recognition of it. All
were not Christians by any means; but the _following_ was honorable
and honored, and we usually had a crowded tent. Our evening meetings
were held in the tent of one of our church members. So the Word of God
grew in Dakota soil.

Where the village of Lac-qui-parle now stands is the site of
Wakanmane's planting-place and village of those days. In one of the
summer bark houses, we were accustomed to hold a week-day meeting. Our
mission was three miles from there, and on the other side of the
Minnesota; but it was only a pleasant walk of a summer day, and I was
sure to find a little company, chiefly women, of from half a dozen to
a dozen present. After two years' absence, Dr. Williamson returned to
Lac-qui-parle on a visit, and remarked that he had found no meetings
among the Dakotas so stimulating and encouraging as that weekly
prayer-meeting. I have since spent a Sabbath, and worshipped with
white people on the same spot. It seemed like Jacob coming back to
Bethel, where the angels of God had been.

There were still few things to encourage, and many to discourage, all
through the Dakota field; but it began to appear to us that if our
forces could be doubled, the work, with God's blessing, might be
pushed forward successfully. And so the Dakota Presbytery, which was
organized in 1845, proceeded to license and ordain Gideon H. Pond and
Robert Hopkins as ministers of the Gospel. They had both been working
in this line for years, and it was fit that they should now be
properly recognized as fellow-laborers in the vineyard of the Lord.

The American Board was ready also to respond to our call for more
help. In the spring of 1848, Rev. M. N. Adams and Rev. John F. Aiton
were sent up from Ohio and Illinois; and, later in the season, Rev.
Joshua Potter came from the Cherokee country. Our annual meeting was
held that year with Dr. Williamson, at his new station, Kaposia, a few
miles below St. Paul. It was a meeting of more than ordinary interest;
not only on account of our own reinforcements, but because we met
there two lady teachers (Gov. Slade's girls), the first sent out to
the white settlements of Minnesota. The toilers of fourteen years
among the Dakotas now shook hands with the first toilers among the
white people.

The boy Thomas had been added to our little group of children. With a
part of the family, Mary now made the trip back to the Traverse, with
a much gladder heart than she had when coming up two years before.


     "LAC-QUI-PARLE, Oct. 16, 1848.

     "This year the annual meeting of our mission was at Kaposia,
     the station occupied by Dr. Williamson and family. I
     accompanied Mr. Riggs with three of our children. From the
     Traverse, Mr. Hopkins had arranged that we should proceed
     through the Big Woods, by means of ox-carts. There was no road
     cut yet, and hundreds of large logs lay across the path; but
     the patient animals worried over them, and drivers and riders
     were very weary when, late at night, we came into camp. At
     Prairieville, as _Tintatonwe_ signifies, where Mr. S. W. Pond
     is located, we spent the Sabbath, and reached Dr. Williamson's
     on Monday, _only eight days_ from Lac-qui-parle, not a little
     fatigued, but greatly prospered in our journey. More truly than
     did the Gibeonites could we say, 'This our bread we took hot
     for our provision out of our houses on the day we came forth
     to go unto you; but now, behold, it is dry, and it is mouldy.'

     "At Kaposia we found the Messrs. Pond, also Mr. and Mrs. Aiton,
     and Mr. and Mrs. Adams, who have recently joined the Sioux
     mission. Mr. and Mrs. Hopkins, with their three children, who
     were of our party from the Traverse, and ourselves in addition
     to Dr. Williamson's family, made such a company as I had not
     seen for a long time. The warm reception we met with from so
     many kindred in Christ excited me almost as much as did the
     greeting at home after five years' absence. It reminded me of
     that happy meeting, and, as at that time, I was overpowered
     with joyful emotions.

     "We passed nearly a week at Kaposia, and then set our faces
     homeward, spending a night at Mr. G. H. Pond's, at Oak Grove,
     and one also at Mr. Samuel W. Pond's, at Tintatonwe. Two nights
     we camped out, and reached Traverse on Friday afternoon. While
     there I often went to brother Thomas' grave. The turf, which I
     assisted in setting, was very green, and the rose-bushes were
     flourishing. The cedar we planted withered, but a beautiful
     one, placed by Mr. Hopkins near the grave, is fresh and
     verdant. Mr. and Mrs. Adams returned with us to Lac-qui-parle."

     "LAC-QUI-PARLE, Jan. 6, 1849.

     "The Spirit has seemed near us, and we hope A. is listening to
     his teachings. Some of the Indians also have manifested an
     inquiring state of mind, but Satan is very busy, and unless the
     Lord rescues his rebellious subjects from the thraldom of the
     devil, I fear the Holy Spirit will depart from us.

     "The same foolish yet trying accusations are made--such as that
     we are to receive pay according to the number of scholars in
     the school here when the land is sold--that we are using up
     their grass and timber and land, and making them no requital. A
     few days ago the old chief and his brother-in-law came and
     rehearsed their supposed claims, and said that the Indians were
     tired eating corn and wanted one of our remaining cattle. Truly
     we can say that this earth is not our _rest_, and rejoice that
     we shall not live here always.

     "We have had faith to expect that the Lord was about to 'make
     bare his arm' for the salvation of these degraded Indians; and
     although the heathen rage, we know that He who 'sitteth on the
     circle of the earth and the inhabitants thereof are as
     grasshoppers,' can turn the hearts of this people as the rivers
     of water are turned."

     "May 31, 1849.

     "During Mr. Riggs' absence, our worship on the Sabbath, both in
     Sioux and English, has consisted of reading the Scriptures,
     singing, and prayer. I have been gratified that so many
     attended the Sioux service--about thirty each Sabbath. Anna
     Jane remarked the Saturday after her father left home, 'We
     can't have any Sabbath because two men and one woman are gone,'
     referring to her papa and Mr. and Mrs. Adams. Still, these
     Sabbaths have brought to us privileges, even though the
     preached Word and the great congregation have been wanting."

     "June 15.

     "Mr. Riggs reached home two weeks ago, and last Monday he left
     again for Big Stone Lake, accompanied by Mr. Hopkins of
     Traverse des Sioux. They have gone hoping for opportunities to
     proclaim the Word of God to the Sioux in that region."

     "Sept. 2, 1850.

     "Last evening, hearing Thomas cry after he had gone to rest, I
     went to the chamber. Alfred was teaching him to say, 'Now I lay
     me,' and the sentence, 'If I should die,' distressed him very
     much. I soothed him by asking God to keep him through the
     night. He has never seen a corpse, but, a few weeks ago, he saw
     Mrs. Antoine Renville buried, and he has seen dead birds and
     chickens. He said, 'What is to die, mamma?' and evidently felt
     that it was something very incomprehensible and dreadful. I
     felt a difficulty in explaining it, and I wished to soothe the
     animal excitement, and not lessen the serious state of mind he
     manifested. I think I will tell him more about Jesus'
     death--his burial and resurrection. It is this that has
     illumined the grave. It is faith in Him who has conquered 'him
     that had the power of death,' which will give us the victory
     over every fear."

With an increased missionary force, we hoped to see large results
within the next few years. There _was_ progress made, but not so much
as we hoped for. In fact, it was chiefly apparent in "strengthening
the things that remain." Just before this enlargement, Mr. S. W. Pond
had separated from his brother, and formed a station at Shakopee, or
Six's Village, which he called _Prairieville_. After a while, little
churches were organized at Kaposia, Oak Grove, Prairieville, and
Traverse des Sioux. At Lac-qui-parle the numbers in the church were
somewhat increased. We began to have more young men in the church, and
they began to separate themselves more and more from the village, and
to build cabins and make fields for themselves. Thus the religion of
Christ worked to disintegrate heathenism.

The summer of 1851 came, which brought great changes, and prepared the
way for others. It was one of the very wet summers in Minnesota, when
the streams were flooded all the summer through. In making our trip
for provisions in the spring, we were detained at the crossing of one
stream for almost a whole week. In the latter part of June, the
Indians from all along the upper part of the Minnesota were called
down to Traverse des Sioux, to meet commissioners of the government.
They were obliged to swim at many places. The Minnesota was very high,
spreading its waters over all the low bottom contiguous to the mission
premises. Governor Ramsay and Commissioner Lea were there for the
government. General Sibley and the fur-traders generally were present,
with a large number of the Wahpaton and Sisseton Sioux.

The Fourth of July was to be celebrated grandly, and Mr. Hopkins had
consented to take a part in the celebration, but the Lord disposed
otherwise. In the early morning, Mr. Hopkins went to bathe in the
overflow of the river. When the family breakfast was ready he had not
returned. He was sought for, and his clothes alone were found. He had
gone up through the flood of water. It was supposed that,
unintentionally, he had waded in beyond his depth, and, as he could
not swim, was unable again to reach the land.

This was the second great sorrow that came, in the same way, to the
mission band of Traverse des Sioux. It threw a pall over the
festivities of the day. The Indians said again the Oonktehe--their
Neptune--was angry and had taken the _wechasta wakan_. But the mission
families were enabled to say, "It is the Lord." When the body floated
it was caught in fishing nets, and carefully taken up and buried by
the "Oaks of Weeping." Mr. Hopkins did not live to see much matured
fruit of his labors, but he had put in eight years of good, honest
work for the Master, among the Dakotas, and he has his reward.

The Treaty was made, which, with one consummated immediately after, at
Mendota, with the Lower Sioux, conveyed to the white people all their
land in Minnesota, except a reserve on the upper part of the river.
These treaties had an important bearing on our mission work and on all
the eastern Dakotas.

The messenger who brought word to us at Lac-qui-parle of the sudden
death of our brother, Robert Hopkins, brought also to me a pressing
invitation from the commission to attend the making of the Treaty. I
at once mounted a pony and rode down. It gave me an opportunity of
seeing the inside of Indian treaties. On my return, I was in advance
of the Indians, and, coming to the Chippewa alone, I found no way of
crossing its swollen tide but by swimming. In the middle of the
stream, my horse turned over backward, and we went down to the bottom
together. He soon, however, righted himself, and I came up by his
side, with one hand holding his mane. I remember well the feeling I
had when in the deep waters, that my horse would take me out. And I
was not disappointed. This event has ever since been to me a lesson of
trust. "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I
will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they
comfort me."


    1851-1854.--Grammar and Dictionary.--How It
    Grew.--Publication.--Minnesota Historical Society.--Smithsonian
    Institution.--Going East.--Mission Meeting at Traverse des
    Sioux.--Mrs. Hopkins.--Death's Doings.--Changes in the Mode of
    Writing Dakota.--Completed Book.--Growth of the Language.--In
    Brooklyn and Philadelphia.--The Misses Spooner.--Changes in the
    Mission.--The Ponds and Others Retire.--Dr. Williamson at
    Pay-zhe-hoo-ta-ze.--Winter Storms.--Andrew Hunter.--Two Families
    Left.--Children Learning Dakota.--Our House Burned.--The Lord

A grammer and dictionary of the Dakota language had been going through
the process of growth in all these years. It was incidental to our
missionary work, and in the line of it. The materials came to us
naturally in our acquisition of the language, and we simply arranged
them. The work of arrangement involved a good deal of labor; but it
brought its reward, in the better insight it gave one of their forms
of thought and expression.

To begin with, we had the advantage of what had been gathered by the
Messrs. Pond and Stevens, and Dr. Williamson, in the three years
before we came. Perhaps an effort made still earlier, by some officers
of the army at Fort Snelling, in collecting a vocabulary of a few
hundred words of the Sioux language, should not be overlooked. Thus,
entering into other men's labors, when we had been a year or more in
the country, and were somewhat prepared to reap on our own account,
the vocabulary which I had gathered from all sources amounted to
about three thousand words.

From that time onward, it continued to increase rapidly, as by means
of translations and otherwise we were gathering new words. In a couple
of years more, the whole needed revision and rewriting, when it was
found to have more than doubled. So it grew. Mr. S. W. Pond also
entered into the work of arranging the words and noting the principles
of the Dakota language. He gave me the free use of his collections,
and he had the free use of mine. This will be sufficient to indicate
the way in which the work was carried on from year to year. How many
dictionaries I made I cannot now remember. When the collection reached
ten thousand words and upward, it began to be quite a chore to make a
new copy. By and by we had reason to believe that we had gathered
pretty much the whole language, and our definitions were measurably

It was about the beginning of the year 1851 when the question of
publication was first discussed. Certain gentlemen in the Legislature
of Minnesota, and connected with the Historical Society of Minnesota,
became interested in the matter. Under the auspicies of this society,
a circular was printed setting forth the condition of the manuscript,
and the probable expense of publication, and asking the co-operation
of all who were interested in giving the language of the Dakotas to
the literary world in a tangible and permanent form. The subscription
thus started by the Historical Society, and headed by such names as
Alexander Ramsay (then governor of the Territory), Rev. E. D. Neill
(the secretary of the society), H. H. Sibley, H. M. Rice, and Martin
McLeod (the chiefs of the fur-trade), in the course of the summer,
amounted to about eight hundred dollars. With this sum pledged, it
was considered quite safe to commence the publication. The American
Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions very cheerfully consented
to pay my expenses while carrying the work through the press, besides
making a donation to it directly from their treasury.

From these sources we had $1000; and with this sum the book might have
been published in a cheap form, relying upon after sales to meet any
deficiency. But, after considering the matter, and taking the advice
of friends who were interested in the highest success of the
undertaking, it was decided to offer it to the Smithsonian
Institution, to be brought out as one of their series of contributions
to knowledge. Prof. Joseph Henry at once had it examined by Prof. C.C.
Felton and Prof. W.W. Turner. It received their approval and was
ordered to be printed.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the meantime, Mary and I had undertaken our second trip to the
East. Mr. and Mrs. Adams, who had been away awhile on account of Mrs.
Adams' health, were now back at Lac-qui-parle, associated with Mr. and
Mrs. Pettijohn. We commenced our journey across the prairie about the
first of September. The waters were still high, and we found it
necessary to make a boat which should serve as a bed for one of our
wagons, and be easily transferred to the water.

Our children now numbered a round half-dozen. The baby, Henry Martyn,
about two years old, must be taken along, of course. The boy, "Good
Bird," now about fourteen, we would take down with us and send to
school in Illinois. Isabella we concluded to take on to the mother's
mountain home in Massachusetts. The two little girls were kindly
cared for in the family of Rev. E. D. Neill of St. Paul; and the
little boy, Thomas, was to stay in Dr. Williamson's family, at
Kaposia. Thus the distribution was finally made.

The mission meeting took place this year at Traverse des Sioux. Among
other consultations, it was adjudged wise for Mrs. Hopkins and her
three children--the father and husband being gone--to accompany us on
their return to her friends in Southern Ohio. The brothers Pond and
Rev. Joseph Hancock, who had joined the mission and was stationed at
Red Wing, all had their horses, and, the travel by land being
difficult, they put them on board our good mission boat _Winona_, and
so we had a full cargo down to St. Paul.

From there we had a steamer to Galena, where we took passage in
freight wagons that were going to Elgin, the terminus of the railroad
that was then being made west from Chicago. This trip across the
country we all greatly enjoyed, stopping at Freeport over the Sabbath,
and listening to the somewhat celebrated revivalist Elder Knapp. We
crossed Lake Michigan, and by the Michigan Central to Detroit, and
then took a lake boat to Cleveland. That night we encountered a lake
storm; and, while almost every one was sea-sick, Mary and I stood on
the fore deck and enjoyed watching the mountain waves.

Reaching the land in safety, Mrs. Hopkins and her little family went
to Southern Ohio, and we spent a few days in Medina, with Mary's
brother, Rev. M. M. Longley. We found that the eight years which had
passed since we were East before had made a good many vacant chairs in
our home circles. My own father had been called from earth very
suddenly, in 1845. He was well and had done a hard day's work, but ere
the evening shadows fell he had passed beyond the river. The angel of
death and the angel of life had visited Mary's home again and again.
First the grandfather, Col. Edmund Longley, had gone to his fathers,
at the good old age of ninety-five. Then, in 1848, the _pater
familias_, Gen. Thomas Longley, had wrapped his cloak about him and
laid him down to rest. The next to hear the summons was the little
sister, Henrietta Arms. She had grown to be a woman, and Mary fondly
hoped to have her companionship and aid in the Dakota field. But the
Master called her up higher. And then, only a few months before we
reached Ohio, the loving, cultured, and beloved brother Alfred had
passed, through months of weariness and pain, up to the new life and
vigor of the heavenly world. He had been preaching for several years
in North-eastern Ohio. So many had gone that when we reached the
mountain home in Hawley, we found it desolate. Only Joseph and his
mother remained. Mary soon persuaded her mother to go down to South
Deerfield, that they might together spend the winter with the older
sister, Mrs. Cooley. And I went to New York City, and was the next
seven months engaged in getting through the press the grammar and
dictionary of the Dakota language.

Of the various hindrances and delays, and of the burning of the
printing-office in which the work was in progress, and the loss of
quite a number of pages of the book, which had to be again made up, I
need not speak. They are ordinary incidents. Early in the summer of
1852 the work was done,--and done, I believe, to the satisfaction of
all parties. It has obtained the commendation of literary men
generally, and it was said that for no volume published by the
Smithsonian Institution, up to that time, was the demand so great as
for that. It is now out of print, and the book can only be bought at
fancy prices.

The question of republication is sometimes talked of, but no steps
have been taken yet to accomplish the object. While, as the years have
gone by, and the book has been tested by Dakota scholars and found to
be all that was ever claimed for it, yet, in case of a republication,
some valuable additions can be made to the sixteen thousand words
which it contains. The language itself is growing. Never, probably, in
its whole history, has it grown so much in any quarter of a century as
it has in the twenty-five years since the dictionary was published.
Besides, we have recently been learning more of the Teeton dialect,
which is spoken by more than half of the whole Sioux nation. And, as
the translation of the Bible has progressed, thoughts and images have
been brought in, which have given the language an unction and power
unknown to it before.[4]

    [4] A revised edition will soon be published.

While we were in the East, several offers were made in regard to
taking one of our children. These offers came from the best families,
where a child would have enjoyed all the comforts and many of the
luxuries of life, more than could be had in our Indian home. It was a
question that had often claimed our thought, and sometimes had been
very favorably considered; but when the opportunity came, we decided
to keep our children with us for the present. The circumstances of our
home-life had changed somewhat; home education could be carried on to
better advantage and with less drawbacks than in the first years of
our missionary life.

And so in the month of June, when the Philadelphia market was red
with its best strawberries, we started westward, bringing the two
children with us. It had been a profitable year to Isabella. The
mother and children had spent a couple of the last months with
relatives and friends in Brooklyn, and now we made a little stop in
the Quaker City, and visited Girard College, Fairmount, and other
places of interest. It was September when we had gathered all our six
children together and were making the trip across the prairie to
Lac-qui-parle. This time we had with us the Misses Lucy and Mary
Spooner of Kentucky,--since Mrs. Drake and Mrs. Worcester. They came
out to spend two years in the mission. Miss Lucy's teaching in music,
vocal and instrumental, as well as other branches, was of singular
advantage to our own children, as well as to the Indians. Miss Mary
went into the family of Mr. Adams, who had gathered a little
boarding-school of Dakota children. This might be called the first
effort in this line made among the Dakotas.

Before our return, Mr. and Mrs. Pettijohn had taken the pre-emption
fever, and had left the mission and gone to the Traverse and made a
claim. Mrs. Pettijohn had been connected with the mission work since
1839, and Mr. P. for a shorter period. Both had been conscientious
workers, and had done good service. They now wanted to make a home for
their growing family. Mr. Huggins also, about the same time, left the
mission work, and made a home in the same neighborhood. Mr. Potter had
left the Dakota field after only a year's trial, regarding it as a
very difficult one, as compared with the one he had left in the Indian
Territory South. Now, in the years 1852 and 1853, our numbers
diminished very rapidly. The Indians were to be removed, according to
the stipulations of their treaties, to their reserve on the Upper
Minnesota. Both the brothers Pond elected to stay where they were, and
minister to the white people who were rapidly settling up the country.
Both were successful in organizing churches, one at Shakopee and the
other at Bloomington. Both still live, but have retired from the work
of the ministry, and are waiting for the translation to the upper

    [5] Since this chapter was written, Rev. G. H. Pond, the younger
    of the brothers, has gone to see the King in his Beauty, in the
    Land that is not very far off. He departed on the 20th of
    January, 1878, leaving a family of _fifty_,--twenty-two were
    grandchildren,--and all except the sixteen youngest professing

Likewise, for the same reasons, Mr. John F. Aiton retired from the
service of the Board about the same time, and Mr. Hancock also. Dr.
Williamsom elected to continue his work among the Dakotas, and so made
arrangements, in advance of the removal of the Indians, to open
a new station near the Yellow Medicine, which he called
Pay-zhe-hoo-ta-ze--the Dakota name for that stream.

During the summer of 1852, Dr. Williamson had erected his
dwelling-house at this new place, but it was still in quite an
unfinished state when he removed his family up, in the beginning of
the cold weather. That fall the snows came early, and found the family
without any sufficient supplies for the winter. In December, the
storms were incessant, and the snow became very deep, at which time
the doctor's men were toiling against odds, endeavoring to bring up
provisions to the family on the Yellow Medicine. But they could not
succeed. When they were yet more than forty miles away, their teams
gave out and were buried in the snow. The men, both frozen badly, Mr.
Andrew Hunter much maimed, barely succeeded in reaching the mission.
How the family were to winter through was not apparent, but the Lord
provided. Unexpectedly, the Indians found fish in the river, and Mr.
Adams, with a young man, worked his way down from Lac-qui-parle, and
carried them what provisions they could on a hand-sled. Thus they
weathered the terrible winter. Thus they commenced mission work at
this new place, where they continued for ten years, until the

At Lac-qui-parle we were doing effective Christian work. Our own
family were all together. The hard winter entailed a good deal of hard
work. The snow would sift through our roofs and pack into the upper
part of our houses, until, as we sometimes said, there was more inside
than outside. Every day, also, our hay-stacks were covered up with
snow, so as to make the labor of feeding the cattle very great. But
still these were years of enjoyment and profit. A company of Dakota
young men were growing up and preparing for work in the future.

The next year Mr. Adams received an invitation to take charge of the
church of white people at Traverse des Sioux, which was the
continuation of the mission church organized there. This invitation he
accepted, and closed his connection with the special work for the
Dakotas. It will occur to every reader of these memoirs to note how
many men the foreign mission work among the Dakotas gave to the home
mission work among the white people of Minnesota. The shepherds were
here in advance of their flocks. The work is one--the world for

The Dakota mission was now reduced to its lowest terms; only Dr.
Williamson's family and my own remained. If the Lord had not given us
the victory when we were many, would he do it when we were few? We
were sure he could do it. While it is true that the Lord is often on
the side of the strong battalions, it is not always so. And spiritual
forces are not measured by the same rules that measure material
forces. So we toiled on with good hope, and when, a year later, we
were called to leave Lac-qui-parle, and commence our station
elsewhere, Secretary Treat proposed that we call it _New Hope_.

       *       *       *       *       *

In carrying on missionary labor among a heathen people, the question,
What shall be the relation of the children of the mission family to
the people? is often a difficult and perplexing one. The springs of
the home-life must be kept, as far as possible, from being
contaminated. And yet the daily intercourse with those of impure
thoughts and impure words is contaminating. Shall we make our family a
_garden inclosed_? If so, the children when small must not learn the
language of the natives. Mary and I adopted this principle and carried
it out very successfully. Up to the time of our return in 1852, our
children had hardly learned any Dakota. Now, our boy Alfred was
fifteen years old, and had assigned to him duties which made it
necessary that he should understand the Indians somewhat and make
himself understood by them. So he commenced to learn the language.
John P. Williamson had commenced to talk it much earlier. Doubtless
the advantage in speaking a language is with those who learn in their
very childhood, other things being equal. The reason for the exclusion
had partly passed by, and the taking of Dakota children into our
family, and being closely connected with a boarding-school of Dakota
children, made it impossible, if it had been desirable, longer to keep
up the bars.

       *       *       *       *       *

By and by came along the third of March, 1854. The spring had opened
early, the ground was bare of snow, and everything was dry. Our
cellars had been in the habit of freezing, and to protect our potatoes
and other vegetables we had been in the habit of stuffing hay under
the floor, all around, in the fall. This hay had not yet been removed,
and was very dry. The cellar was dark, and a lighted candle was needed
by those who went down for any purpose. The mother was preparing for
the family dinner, and so had sent down the little boys, Thomas and
Henry, in their seventh and fifth years respectively, to bring her up
potatoes. Through carelessness, and without thought, perhaps, they
held the lighted candle too near the dried hay. It took fire
immediately, and in a few seconds of time so filled the cellar with
smoke that the boys with some difficulty made their escape.

There was no supply of water nearer than the river and spring run,
down quite a hill. But every boy and girl were soon carrying water.
The difficulty was to reach the fire with the water. The floor was
flooded and a hole was cut through, but the fire had taken such a hold
of the whole interior, that our little pails full of water were
laughed at by the flames. The effort was now made to save something
from the burning house. Some articles were carried into the other
house, which stood near by. But that also took fire, and both houses
were soon consumed, with almost all they had contained. A few books
were saved, and the chief part of Miss Spooner's wardrobe and bedding,
her room being on the corner away from where the fire commenced.
Before noon the fire-fiend had done his work, and our mission houses
were a mass of coals and ashes. Very little had been saved. The
potatoes in the cellars were much burned, and cooked; but, underneath,
a portion of them were found to be in a good state of preservation.

The adobe church, that stood partly under the hill, was the only
building that escaped. Thither we removed what few things we had
saved, and our Dakota neighbors were very kind, bringing us what they
could; while Mr. Martin McLeod, the trader, sent us blankets and other
things to meet the present necessity, partly as a gift, and
partly to be paid for. In a few days Dr. Williamson came up from
Pay-zhe-hoo-ta-ze with further supplies. And all along through the
spring and summer, as our friends in the East heard of our loss, the
boxes and barrels were sent for our relief. It did us good to know
that we had so many true-hearted friends.

[Illustration: MARY A. RIGGS.]


    1854-1856.--Simon Anawangmane.--Rebuilding after the
    Fire.--Visit of Secretary Treat.--Change of Plan.--Hazelwood
    Station.--Circular Saw Mill.--Mission
    Buildings.--Chapel.--Civilized Community.--Making
    Citizens.--Boarding-School.--Educating our own
    Children.--Financial Difficulties.--The Lord Provides.--A Great
    Affliction.--Smith Burgess Williamson.--"Aunt Jane."--Bunyan's
    Pilgrim in Dakota.

When, after the fire, we were somewhat comfortably domiciled in the
adobe church, the time came for our regular communion. The disaster
had made all our hearts tender, and the opportunity for helpfulness on
the part of our native church members, which had been improved by many
of them, had drawn us toward them. It was an appropriate time to
remember what Christ had done for us. And just then we were made very
glad by the return of Simon Anawangmane from his long wanderings. Some
years before, he had broken away from strong drink, but he was so
overcome with remorse and shame that he could not get up courage
enough to come back and take again upon him the oath of fealty to the
wounded Lord. He edged his way back. He had often come and sat on the
door-step, not daring to venture in. Then he came in and sat down in a
corner. By and by he took more courage. He had talked with Dr.
Williamson at Yellow Medicine, who gave him a letter, saying, "I think
Simon should now be restored to the church." We did reinstate him.
And for more than a score of years since his restoration, Simon has
lived, so far as we can see, a true Christian life. For nearly all
that time he has been a ruling elder in the church, and for ten years
past a licensed exhorter.

We decided almost immediately to rebuild our burnt houses, and as soon
as we had taken care of the potatoes in the cellars, that were not too
much injured, we set about getting out timbers. It was a slow process
to saw boards and timbers with the whip-saw, but up to this time this
had been our only way of making material for building. This work had
been pushed on so well that when, by the first of June, Secretary S.
B. Treat, of the mission house in Boston, made us a visit, we had
gotten out material for the frame of our house. His visit, at this
time, was exceedingly gratifying and helpful to us all. It was good to
counsel with such a sagacious, true, thoughtful, Christian counsellor
as Mr. Treat.

The whole line of mission work was carefully reviewed. The result was
that we gave up our plan of rebuilding at Lac-qui-parle and sought a
new place. The reasons for this were: first, we had from the beginning
been widely separated in our work, spreading out our labors and
attempting to cultivate as much of the field as possible. This had
obviously had its disadvantages. We were too far apart to cheer and
help each other. Now, when we were reduced to two families, Mr. Treat
advised concentrating our forces. That was in accordance with our own
inclinations. And, secondly, the Yellow Medicine had been made the
headquarters of the Indian Agency for the four thousand Upper Indians.
The drift was down toward that point. It was found that we could take
with us almost all the Christian part of our community. The idea was
to commence a settlement of the civilized and Christianized Dakotas,
at some point within convenient distance from the Agency, to receive
the help which the government had by treaty pledged itself to give.
And so we got on our horses and rode down to Dr. Williamson's,
twenty-five or thirty miles; and Mr. Treat and Dr. Williamson and Miss
Spooner and Mary and I rode over the country above Pay-zhe-hoo-ta-ze,
which was selected as the site for the new station, afterward called
Hazelwood. At Dr. Williamson's, we had a memorable meeting, at which
Mr. Treat told our Dakota church members of a visit he had made to the
Choctaws and Cherokees. We also had consultations on various matters;
among which was that of getting out a new Dakota hymn-book, which
should contain the music as well as the hymns. A new departure was
thus inaugurated in our mission work, and, in after years, time was
often counted from this visit of Secretary Treat.

The building materials we had prepared at Lac-qui-parle were partly
hauled by land and partly floated down the river; and by the month of
September our house was so far finished that we removed the family
down. Also, we had erected a small frame which served for various
purposes, as school-room and dwelling. But, while the work was
progressing, Mary had quite a sudden and severe attack of sickness. It
was nearly sundown when the messenger arrived, and Dr. Williamson and
I had a night ride over the prairie. The shadows looked weird and
ghostly--perhaps tinged by the mental state of the beholder. At
midnight we reached the sufferer, who was, by wise doctoring and
skilful nursing, restored in a week....

The Dakotas entered at once into the idea of the new settlement; and
no sooner had we selected the spot for our building and set a
breaking-plough to work in making a mission field, than they were at
work in the same line. The desirable places were soon selected, and
log cabins went up, the most of which were replaced by frame buildings
or brick within a year or two. The frames were put up by themselves,
with the assistance we could give them,--the brick houses were built
by the government.

We had been long enough schooling ourselves in the use of the
whip-saw. That was one of the processes of labor that, years before, I
had determined not to learn. I had acquired some skill in the use of
the broadaxe, and rather liked it. I had applied my knowledge of
mathematics in various ways to the work of framing houses, and it
became a pleasure. But I thought I should avoid the whip-saw. The
time, however, came when I needed a sawyer greatly, and could obtain
none, and so took hold myself.

But now we decided that it would be more economical to make boards by
horse and ox power than by man power alone; and so the committee at
Boston authorized the purchase of a small circular saw-mill. This
proved quite a help in our civilized community. It enabled us to put
up in the next season a house for a small boarding-school, and also a
neat church building. This latter was erected and finished at a cost
of about $700, only $200 of which was mission funds. At this time the
Indians were receiving money annuities. It was paid them in gold,
about $10 for each individual. So that the men received from thirty to
fifty dollars. At a propitious time I made a tea-party, which was
attended by our civilized men largely, and the result was that, with
some assistance from white people, they were able to raise about five
hundred dollars. It was a success beyond my most sanguine

We had now such a respectable community of young men, who had cut off
their hair and exchanged the dress of the Dakotas for that of the
white man, and whose wants now were very different from the annuity
Dakotas generally, that we took measures to organize them into a
separate band, which we called the Hazelwood Republic. They elected
their President for two years, and other needed officers, and were,
without any difficulty, recognized by the agent as a separate band. A
number of these men were half-breeds, who were, by the organic law of
Minnesota, citizens. The constitution of the State provided that
Indians also might become citizens by satisfying a court of their
progress in civilization.

A few years after the organization of this civilized community, I took
eight or ten of the men to meet the court at Mankato, but, the court
deciding that a knowledge of English was necessary to comply with the
laws of the State, only one of my men was passed into citizenship.

A part of the plan of our new community was a mission boarding-school.
Almost from the beginning, we had been making trial of educating
Dakota children in our own families. Mary had a little girl given her
the first fall after we came to Lac-qui-parle; she was the daughter of
Eagle Help, my Bible reader; but after she had washed and dressed her
up she stayed only a month, and then ran away. The Messrs. Pond raised
one or two in their families. Dr. Williamson had several Dakota
children when at Kaposia, and afterward at Pay-zhe-hoo-ta-ze. Mr.
Adams had at one time a boarding-school of a half-dozen at
Lac-qui-parle, and we had two or three in our family. Now the work was
to be attempted on a larger scale.

The Hazelwood boarding-school was for a while cared for by Miss Ruth
Pettijohn, and afterward by Mr. and Mrs. H. D. Cunningham. Counting
those in Dr. Williamson's family and our own, the boarding scholars
amounted to twenty. This was the extent of our ambition in that line
at that time. A large boarding-school demands a large outlay for
buildings, as well as for its continual support. The necessities of
our mission work did not then demand the outlay, nor could it have
been easily obtained from the funds of the Board. Connected with this
school, as teachers, were Mrs. Annie B. Ackley and Miss Eliza Huggins
and Isabella B. Riggs.

       *       *       *       *       *

We had reached the time, in 1854, when it became necessary to enter
upon some plan to educate our children beyond what we could give them
in our Indian home. Three years before this, Alfred had been at school
in Illinois, but that was only a temporary arrangement; now he was
seventeen years old and prepared to enter college. Mary and I often
discussed the question of ways and means. It was our desire to give
our children as good an education as we possessed ourselves--at least,
to give them a chance of obtaining such an education. We did not feel
that our position as missionaries should make this impossible, and yet
how it was to be accomplished we could not see. We had neither of us
any patrimony. In this respect we were on an equality. She received
$100 from her father's estate, and I but a little more than that, and
we did not know of any rich friends to whom we could apply for aid.
Our salary had been small from the beginning. We entered the mission
work at a time when the Board was cutting down everywhere. So that we
started on a salary or allowance of about $250, and for the first
quarter of a century it did not materially differ from the basis of a
Methodist circuit rider in the West of olden times; that is, $100
apiece, and $50 for each child. At this time, when our family numbered
eight, we had an allowance of $500. We were both close calculators,
and we never ran in debt. We could live comfortably with our children
at home, each doing something to carry the burdens of life. But how
could we support one or more away at school? A third of the whole
family allowance would not suffice to pay the expenses of one, at the
most economical of our colleges or schools. To begin, the work
required faith. We determined to begin, by sending Alfred to Knox
College, at Galesburg, Illinois. From year to year, we were able to
keep him there until he finished the course. Two years after sending
Alfred, we sent Isabella to the Western Female Seminary, at Oxford,
Ohio. This, however, we were enabled to do by the help which Mrs.
Blaisdell and other Christian friends of the Second Presbyterian
Church of Cincinnati gave.

With two away at the same time, "the barrel of meal did not waste, nor
the cruse of oil fail." In various ways the Lord helped us. One year
our garden produced a large surplus of excellent potatoes, which the
Indian agent bought at a very remunerative price. From year to year
our faith was strengthened. "Jehovah Jireh" became our motto. He stood
by us and helped us in the work of education all through the
_twenty-three_ years that have followed, until the last of Mary's
eight children has finished at the Beloit high school. We have
redeemed our promise and pledge made to each other. We have given, by
the Lord's help, each and all of our children a chance to become as
good or better scholars than their father and mother were.

The 3d of March was associated in our minds with calamity from the
burning of our houses at Lac-qui-parle. But two years later, or in the
spring of 1856, the 3d of March brought a great shadow over Dr.
Williamson's household. Smith Burgess Williamson was just coming up to
young manhood. He was large of his age, a very manly boy. On this 3d
of March he was engaged in hauling up firewood with an ox-team. He
probably attempted to get on his loaded sled while the oxen were in
motion, and, missing his step, fell under the runner. He was dragged
home, a distance of some rods, and his young life was entirely crushed
out. We were immediately summoned over from Hazelwood. Human sympathy
could go but a little way toward reaching the bottom of such a
trouble. It was like other sorrows that had come upon us, and we were
prepared to sit down in silence with our afflicted friends, and help
them think out, "It is the Lord"; "I was dumb because thou didst it."
The family had been already schooled in affliction, and this helped to
prepare them better for the Master's work.

During these passing years, the educational work among the Dakotas was
progressing beyond what it had done previously. Our boarding-school at
Hazelwood, in charge of H. D. Cunningham, was full and doing good
service. Our civilized and Christian community had come to desire and
appreciate somewhat the education of their children. At Dr.
Williamson's, also, several were taken into the family, and the
day-school prospered. Miss Jane S. Williamson, a maiden sister of the
doctor, had come to the land of the Dakotas when Mary and I returned
in 1843. From the association and connection of her father's family
with slavery in South Carolina, she had grown up with a great interest
in the colored people. She had taught colored schools in Ohio, when it
was very unpopular, even in a free state, to educate the blacks. When
she came to the Dakotas, her enthusiasm in the work of lifting up the
colored race was at once transferred to the red men, and she became an
indefatigable worker in their education.

She often carried cakes and nuts in her pocket, and had something to
give to this and that one, to draw them to her school. The present
race of Dakotas remember Aunt Jane, as we called her, or Dowan
Dootawin, _Red Song Woman_, as they called her, with tender interest,
and many of them owe more to her than they can understand.

At this time, a translation of the first part of John Bunyan's
Pilgrim, which I had prepared, was printed by the American Tract
Society, and at once became a popular and profitable reading-book for
the Dakotas.


    1857-1862.--Spirit Lake.--Massacres by Inkpadoota.--The
    Captives.--Delivery of Mrs. Marble and Miss
    Gardner.--Excitement.--Inkpadoota's Son Killed.--United States
    Soldiers.--Major Sherman.--Indian Councils.--Great Scare.--Going
    Away.--Indians Sent After Scarlet End.--Quiet
    Restored.--Children at School.--Quarter-Century Meeting.--John
    P. Williamson at Red Wood.--Dedication of Chapel.

By the northern line of Iowa, where the head-waters of the Des Moines
come out of Minnesota, is a lake, or group of lakes, called the "Minne
Wakan," _Mysterious Water_, or, as the name goes, Spirit Lake.
Sometime in 1855, this beautiful spot of earth was found and occupied
by seven or eight white families, far in advance of other white
settlements. In the spring of 1857, there were in this neighborhood
and at Springfield, ten or fifteen miles above on the Des Moines, and
in Minnesota, nearly fifty white persons. During the latter part of
that winter the snows in Western Iowa and Minnesota were very deep, so
that traveling on the prairies was attended with great difficulty.

It appears that during the winter a few families of annuity Sioux,
belonging to the somewhat roving band of Leaf Shooters, had, according
to their habit, made a hunting expedition down into Iowa, on the
Little Sioux. _Inkpadoota_, or Scarlet End, and his sons were the
principal men. The deep snows made game scarce and hunting difficult,
so that when, in the month of March, this party of Dakotas came into
the Spirit Lake settlement, they were in a bad humor from hunger, and
attempted at once to levy blackmail upon the inhabitants. Their wishes
not being readily complied with, the Indians proceeded to help
themselves, which at once brought on a conflict with the white people,
and the result was that the Indians massacred almost the entire
settlement, killing about forty persons and taking four women captive.

Some one carried the news to Fort Ridgely, and a company of soldiers
was sent out to that part of the country, but with small prospect of
finding and punishing the Indians. The deep snows prevented rapid
marching, and the party of Scarlet End, who were still in the Spirit
Lake country, managed to see the white soldiers, albeit the soldiers
could not discover them.

Soon after this event, we, at the Yellow Medicine, heard of it by a
courier who came up the Minnesota. It proved to be quite as bad as
represented. But nothing could be done at that season of the year,
either to obtain the captives or punish the perpetrators. So the
spring passed. When the snows had melted away, and the month of May
had come, there came a messenger from Lac-qui-parle to Dr. Williamson
and myself, saying that _Sounding Heavens_ and _Gray Foot_, two sons
of our friend _Spirit Walker_, had brought in one of the captive women
taken by Scarlet End's party, and asking us to come up and get her
that she might be restored to her friends.

We lost no time in going up to Lac-qui-parle. At the trader's
establishment, then in the keeping of _Weeyooha_, the father of
_Nawangmane win_, who was the wife of _Sounding Heavens_, we found
Mrs. Marble, rather a small but good-looking white woman, apparently
not more than twenty-five years old. She was busily engaged with the
aforesaid Mrs. Sounding Heavens, in making a calico dress for herself.
When I spoke to her in English, she was at first quite reserved. I
asked if she wanted to return to her friends. She replied: "I am among
my friends."

She had indeed found friends in the two young men who had purchased
her from her captors. They took her to their mother's tent who had
many years before become a member of the Lac-qui-parle church, and
been baptized with the Christian name of _Rebekah_. They clothed her
up in the best style of Dakota women. They gave her the best they had
to eat. They brought her to their planting-place, and furnished her
with materials with which to dress again like a white woman. It was no
wonder she said, "I am among my friends." But, after talking awhile,
she concluded it would be best for her to find her white friends. She
did not before understand that these Dakota young men had bought her,
and carefully brought her in, with the hope of being properly
rewarded. _They_ were not prepared to keep her as a white woman, and
really, with her six or seven weeks' experience as an Indian, she
would hardly care to choose that kind of life.

Mrs. Marble's husband had been killed with those who were slain at
Spirit Lake. Her story was that four white women were reserved as
captives. They were made to carry burdens and walk through the melting
snow and water. When they came to the Big Sioux, it was very full. The
Indians cut down a tree, and the white women were expected to walk
across on that. One of the woman fell off, and her captor shot her in
the water. Her fellow-captives thought she was better off dead than
alive. When Mrs. Marble was rescued from her captors, two others still
lived, Mrs. Nobles and Miss Abbie Gardner. The Indians were then west
of the Big Sioux, in the valley of the James or Dakota River.

We took Mrs. Marble down, accompanied by _Sounding Heavens_, _Gray
Foot_, and their father, _Wakanmane_. She remained a few days at our
mission home at Hazelwood, and in the meantime Major Flandreau, who
was then Indian agent, paid the young men $500 in gold, and gave them
a promissory note for the like amount. This was a very creditable

But what was most important to be done, just then, was to rescue the
other two women, if possible. We had Dakota men whom we could trust on
such a mission better than we could trust ourselves. There was Paul
Mazakootamane, the president of the Hazelwood Republic. White people
said he was lazy. There was truth in that. He did not like to work.
But he was a real diplomatist. He could talk well, and he was skilled
in managing Indians. For such a work there was no better man than he.
Then, there was John Otherday, the white man's friend. He could not
talk like Paul; but he had rare executive ability, and he was a
fearless fellow. There was no better second man than he. For the third
man we secured Mr. Grass. These three we selected, and the agent sent
them to treat for Miss Gardner and Mrs. Nobles. They took with them an
extra horse and a lot of goods. In about three weeks they returned,
but only brought Miss Gardner. Mrs. Nobles had been killed before they
reached Scarlet End's camp.

As a consequence of this Spirit Lake trouble, we lived in a state of
excitement all the summer. At one time the report came that
Inkpadoota's sons, one or more of them, had ventured into the Yellow
Medicine settlement. News was at once taken to Agent Flandreau, who
came up with a squad of soldiers from Fort Ridgely, and, with the help
of John Otherday and Enos Good Hail, and others, this son of a
murderer was killed, and his wife taken prisoner. The excitement was
very great, for Scarlet End's family had friends among White Lodge's
people at the Yellow Medicine.

Then came up Maj. T. W. Sherman with his battery. The Spirit Lake
murderers must be punished, but the orders from Washington were that
the annuity Indians must do it. To persuade them to undertake this was
not an easy task. It is very doubtful whether the plan was a wise one.
There were too many Dakotas who sympathized with Inkpadoota. This
appeared in the daring of a young Dakota, who went into Major
Sherman's camp and stabbed a soldier. He was immediately taken up and
placed under guard, but it was a new element in the complication.

Council after council was held. Little Crow, and the chiefs and people
generally of Red Wood, were at the Yellow Medicine. The Indians said
to Superintendent Cullen and Major Sherman, "We want you to punish
Inkpadoota; we can't do it." But they were told that the Great Father
required _them_ to do it, as a condition of receiving their annuities.
In the meantime, several hundred Yanktonais Sioux came over from the
James River, who had complaints of their own against the government.
One day there was a grand council in progress, just outside of Major
Sherman's camp. The Dakota who stabbed the white soldier managed to
get his manacles partly off, and ran for the council. The guard fired,
and wounded him in the feet and ankles, some shots passing into the
council circle. From the Indian side guns were fired, and the white
people fled to the soldiers' camp, the Dakota prisoner being taken
into the keeping of his friends.

For a while it was uncertain whether we were to have war or peace. The
hundreds of Sioux teepees, which covered the prairie between Dr.
Williamson's place and the agency, were suddenly taken down, and the
whole camp was in motion. This looked like war. Dr. Williamson asked
for a guard of soldiers. The request could not be granted. The doctor
and his folks, they said, could come to the soldiers' camp. But in an
hour or two, when the good doctor saw the teepees going up again, a
couple of miles off, he was content to remain without a guard--there
would not be war just then. The Dakota prisoner could have been
reclaimed, but it was thought best to let him go, as the white soldier
was getting well.

That evening, when I returned home from the council, I found Aunt Ruth
Pettijohn and our children in a state of alarm. Mary had gone down
below on a visit. The Sioux camp was all around us, and we were five
miles away from the soldiers' camp. What might take place within a few
days we could not tell. It seemed as if the nervous strain would be
less if they could go away for awhile. And so the next morning we put
our house in the charge of Simon, and we all started down to the Lower
Sioux Agency. We had no settled plan, and when we learned that matters
were being arranged, we were at once ready to return, having met Mary
with a company of friends, who were on their way up to the mission.
Alfred was coming home to spend his vacation, and had brought with him
a college friend; and Mrs. Wilson, a sister of Dr. Williamson, and
her daughter, Sophronia, and Miss Maggie Voris were come to make a

When we reached home, the Yanktonais had departed, and Little Crow,
with a hundred Dakota braves, was starting out to seek Inkpadoota and
his band. They came upon them by a lake, and the attack was reported
as made in the night, in the reeds and water. Afterward, when in
Washington, Little Crow claimed to have killed a dozen or more, but
the claim was regarded by the Indians as untrue. The campaign being
over, the Indians returned and received their annuities, and thus was
the Spirit Lake affair passed over. There was no sufficient punishment
inflicted. There was no fear of the white soldiers imparted; perhaps
rather a contempt for the power of the government was the result in
the minds of White Lodge and other sympathizers with Inkpadoota. And
even Little Crow and the Lower Sioux were educated thereby for the
outbreak of five years later.

Isabella Burgess had been two years in the Western Female Seminary, at
Oxford, Ohio, and Alfred Longley was completing his academical course
at Knox College. Isabella came to see him graduate, and then together
they started for their Indian home in Minnesota. It was about the
first of July, 1858, and at midnight, when the steamboat on which they
were traveling, having landed at Red Wing and discharged some freight,
and pushed out again into the river, was found to be on fire. The
alarm was given, and the passengers waked up, and the boat immediately
turned again to the landing; but the fire, having caught in some
cotton bales on the front deck, spread so rapidly that it was with
difficulty the passengers made their escape, the greater part of them
only in their night-dress. Their baggage was all lost. But the good
people of Red Wing cared for the sufferers, and started them homeward,
with such clothing as could be furnished. Of the catastrophe we knew
nothing, until I met the children at St. Peter, whither they came by
steamboat. This, and what had gone before, gave us something of a
reputation of being a _fiery_ family, and the impression was increased
somewhat when, nearly two years later, Martha Taylor, in her second
year at Oxford, escaped by night from the burning Seminary building.

After Alfred's return, in the summer of 1858, he spent a year at
Hazelwood, in teaching a government school, and then joined the
Theological Seminary at Chicago. In the summer of 1860, the absent
ones were all at home. During the six years we had been at Hazelwood,
two other children had been given us, Robert Baird and Mary Cornelia
Octavia, which made a very respectable little flock of _eight_.

_Twenty-five_ years had passed since Dr. Williamson came to the
Dakotas. Many changes had taken place. It was fitting that the two
families which remained should, in some proper way, put up a
quarter-century milestone. And so we arranged an out-door gathering,
at which we had food for the body and food for the mind. Among other
papers read at this time was one which I prepared with some care,
giving a short biographical sketch of all the persons who up to that
time had been connected with the Dakota mission; a copy of which was
afterward placed in the library of the Historical Society of

       *       *       *       *       *

Ever since the removal of the Lower Indians up to their reservation,
there had been several members of Dr. Williamson's church at Kaposia,
living near the Red Wood Agency. They would form a very good nucleus
of a church, and make a good beginning for a new station. This had
been in our thought for several years, but only when, in 1861, John P.
Williamson finished his theological studies at Lane Seminary, had we
the ability to take possession of that part of the field. While we
waited, Bishop Whipple came up and opened a mission, placing there S.
D. Hinman. Still, it was thought advisable to carry out our original
plan, and, accordingly, young Mr. Williamson took up his abode there,
organized a church of ten or twelve members, and proceeded to erect a
chapel. In the last days of the year 1861, I went down, by invitation,
to assist in the dedication of the new church.

That journey, both going and returning, was my sorest experience of
winter travel, but it helped to start forward this new church
organization, which was commencing very auspiciously. Mr. Williamson
had his arrangements all made to erect a dwelling-house early in the
next season. And when the outbreak took place in August, 1862, as
Providence would have it, he had gone to Ohio, as we all supposed, to
consummate an engagement which he had made while in the seminary.


    1861-1862.--Republican Administration.--Its Mistakes.--Changing
    Annuities.--Results.--Returning from General Assembly.--A
    Marriage in St. Paul.--D. Wilson Moore and Wife.--Delayed
    Payment.--Difficulty with the Sissetons.--Peace
    Again.--Recruiting for the Southern War.--Seventeenth of August,
    1862.--The Outbreak.--Remembering Christ's Death.--Massacres
    Commenced.--Capt. Marsh's Company.--Our Flight.--Reasons
    Therefor.--Escape to an Island.--Final Leaving.--A Wounded
    Man.--Traveling on the Prairie.--Wet Night.--Taking a
    Picture.--Change of Plan.--Night Travel.--Going Around Fort
    Ridgely.--Night Scares.--Safe Passage.--Four Men Killed.--The
    Lord Leads Us.--Sabbath.--Reaching the Settlements.--Mary at St.

When President Lincoln's administration commenced, we were glad to
welcome a change of Indian agents. But, after a little trial, we found
that a Republican administration was quite as likely to make mistakes
in the management of Indians as a Democratic one. Hardly had the new
order of things been inaugurated, in 1861, when Superintendent Clark
W. Thompson announced to the Sioux gathered at Yellow Medicine that
the Great Father was going to make them all very glad. They had
received their annuities for that year, but were told that the
government would give them a further bounty in the autumn. At one of
Thompson's councils, Paul made one of his most telling speeches. He
presented many grievances, which the new administration promised to
redress. But when the superintendent was asked where this additional
gift came from, he could not tell--only it was to be great, and would
make them very glad.

By such words, the four thousand Upper Sioux were encouraged to expect
great things. Accordingly, the Sissetons from Lake Traverse came down
in the autumn, when the promised goods should have been there, but low
water in the Minnesota and Mississippi delayed their arrival. The
Indians waited, and had to be fed by Agent Galbraith. And when the
goods came the deep snows had come also, and the season for hunting
was past. Moreover, the great gift was only $10,000 worth of goods, or
$2.50 apiece! While they had waited many of the men could have earned
from $50 to $100 by hunting. It was a terrible mistake of the
government at Washington. The result was that of the Upper Sioux the
agent was obliged to feed more than a thousand persons all winter.

The Lower Sioux were suspicious of the matter, and refused to receive
their ten thousand dollars' worth of goods until they could know
whence it came. By and by the Democrats in the country learned that
the administration had determined on changing the money annuity into
goods, and had actually commenced the operation, sending on the year
before $20,000 of the $70,000 which would be due next summer. The
knowledge of this planning of bad faith in the government greatly
exasperated the annuity Indians, and was undoubtedly the primal cause
which brought on the outbreak of the next summer. Men who were opposed
to the Republican administration and the Southern war had now a grand
opportunity to work upon the fears and the hopes of the Indians, and
make them badly affected toward the government. And they seemed to
have carried it a little too far, so that when the conflict came it
was most disastrous for them.

As the summer of 1862 came on, the Washington government recognized
their mistake, and sought to rectify it by replacing the $20,000 which
had been taken from the money of the July payment. But to do this they
were obliged to await a new appropriation, and this delayed the
bringing on of the money full six weeks beyond the regular time of
payment. If the money had been on hand the first of July, instead of
reaching Fort Ridgely after the outbreak commenced, one can not say
but that the Sioux war would have been prevented.

About the first of July, I returned from Ohio, whither I had been to
attend the General Assembly in Cincinnati, and to bring home Martha
Taylor, who had just completed the course at College Hill. After the
fire at Oxford, she had accepted Rev. F. Y. Vail's invitation to go to
his institution near Cincinnati. There she remained until the end of
the year. Then Isabella and Anna went on--the latter going to Mr.
Vail's seminary, and the former attending the senior class of the
Western Female Seminary, under a special arrangement, before the
seminary was rebuilt. So that now both the older girls had completed
the course.

On our return this time, we had with us Marion Robertson, a young
woman with a little Dakota blood, who had been spending some time in
Ohio, and who was affianced to a Mr. Hunter, a government carpenter at
the Lower Sioux agency. By arrangement Mr. Hunter met us in St. Paul,
and I married them one evening, in the parlors of the Merchant's
Hotel. Six or seven weeks after this, Mr. Hunter was killed in the

At that marriage in the hotel were present D. Wilson Moore and his
bride from Fisslerville, New Jersey, near Philadelphia. Mr. Moore
was of the firm of Moore Brothers (engaged extensively in
glass-manufacturing), had just married a young bride, and they had
come to Minnesota on their wedding trip. We had reached home only a
few days before, when, to our surprise, Mr. Moore and his wife drove
up to our mission. They had heard that the Indian payment was soon to
be made, and so had come up; but, not finding accommodations at the
agency, they came on to see if we would not take them in. We had a
large family, but if they would be satisfied with our fare, and take
care of themselves, Mary would do the best she could for them. This
will account for the way in which Mrs. Moore lost all her silk

The whole four thousand Indians were now gathered at the Yellow
Medicine. The Sissetons of Lake Traverse had hoed their corn and come
down. It was the regular time for receiving their annuities, before
the corn needed watching. But the annuity money had not come. The
agent did not know when it would come. He had not sent for them and he
could not feed them--he had barely enough provisions to keep them
while the payment was being made. The truth was, he had used up the
provisions on them in the previous winter. So he told them he would
give them some flour and pork, and then they must go home and wait
until he called them. They took the provisions, but about going home
they could not see it in that way. It was a hundred miles up to their
planting-place, and to trudge up there and back, with little or
nothing to eat, and carry their tents and baggage and children on
horse-back and on dog-back and on woman-back, was more than they cared
to do. Besides, there was nothing for them to eat at home. They must
go out on the buffalo hunt, and then they might miss their money. And
so they preferred to stay, and beg and steal, or starve.

But stealing and begging furnished but a very scanty fare, and
starving was not pleasant. The young men talked the matter over, and
concluded that the flour and pork in the warehouse belonged to them,
and there could not be much wrong in their taking it. And so one day
they marched up to the storehouse with axes in hand, and battered down
the door. They had commenced to carry out the flour when the
lieutenant with ten soldiers turned the howitzer upon them. This led
them to desist, for the Dakotas were unarmed. But they were greatly
enraged, and threatened to bring their guns and kill the little squad
of white soldiers. And what made this seem more likely, the Sioux
tents were at once struck and the camp removed off several miles.
Agent Galbraith sent up word that he wanted help. And when Mr. Moore
and I drove down, he said, "If there is anything between the lids of
the Bible that will meet this case, I wish you would use it." I told
him I thought there was; and advised him to call a council of the
principal men and talk the thing over. Whereupon I went to the tent of
Standing Buffalo, the head chief of the Sissetons, and arranged for a
council that afternoon.

The chiefs and braves gathered. The young men who had broken the door
down were there. The Indians argued that they were starving, and that
the flour and pork in the warehouse had been purchased with their
money. It was wrong to break in the door, but now they would authorize
the agent to take of their money and repair the door. Whereupon the
agent agreed to give them some provisions, and insisted on their
going home, which they promised to do. The Sissetons left on the
morrow, and so far as they were concerned the difficulty was over; for
on reaching home they started on a buffalo hunt. Peace and quiet now
reigned at the Yellow Medicine. Mr. Moore occupied himself in shooting
pigeons, and we all became quite attached to Mrs. Moore and himself.

In the meantime an effort, was made at the agencies, among half-breeds
and employés, to enlist soldiers for the Southern war. Quite a number
were enlisted, and when the trouble came Agent Galbraith was below
with these recruits. Several strangers were in the country. It was
afterward claimed that there were men here in the interests of the
South. I did not see any of that class. But some photographers were
there. Adrian J. Ebell, a student of Yale College, was taking
stereoscopic views, and a gentleman from St. Paul also.

       *       *       *       *       *

The 17th of August was the Sabbath. It was sacramental Sabbath at
Hazelwood. As our custom was, both churches came together to celebrate
the Lord's death. Our house was well filled, and we have always
remembered that Sabbath as one of precious interest, for it was the
last time we were to meet in that beautiful little mission chapel. A
great trial of our faith and patience was coming upon us, and we knew
it not. But the dear Christ knew that both we and the native
Christians needed just such a quiet rest with him before the trials

While we at Hazelwood and Pay-zhe-hoo-ta-ze were thus engaged on that
Sabbath of August 17th, the outbreak was commenced in the border white
settlements at Acton, Minn. As usual, the difficulty was commenced at
a grog-shop. Some four or five Indians made demands which were not
complied with, whereat they began to kill the whites. That night they
reached the villages at the Lower Sioux Agency, and a council of war
was called.

Something of this kind had been meditated, and talked of, and prepared
for undoubtedly. Some time before this, they had formed the
_Tee-yo-tee-pe_, or Soldiers' Lodge, which is only organized on
special occasions, for the hunt or for war. Some negotiations were
probably going on with the Winnebagoes and Ojibwas. But they were not
perfected. Several Winnebagoes were at this time at the Lower Agency,
but they do not appear to have been there for the purpose of the
outbreak. In the council held that night, Little Crow is reported to
have expressed his regret that the matter was precipitated upon them,
but he yielded to the argument that their hands were now _bloody_.

The attack was commenced in the early morning at the stores, Mr. James
W. Lynd, at Myrick's store, being the first white man shot down. So
the ball rolled. Many were killed and some escaped. Word of the rising
was carried to Fort Ridgely, and Captain Marsh was sent up to quell
it. The Indians met his company of fifty men at the ferry, and killed
half of them there, the rest making their escape with difficulty.
These things had been going on during the day, forty miles from us,
but we knew it not. Five miles below, at the Yellow Medicine, they had
heard of it by noon. The Indians gathered to consult what they would
do. Some, we learned, gave their voice for killing the white people,
but more were in favor of only taking the goods and property. The
physician at the Yellow Medicine was absent, and a young man started
down that day with the doctor's wife and children in a buggy. Before
they reached Red Wood, they were met by two Dakota men--the white man
was killed and the woman and children taken captive.

The sun was getting low Monday evening when we at Hazelwood heard of
what was going on. Mr. Antoine Renville, one of the elders of my
church, came running in much excited, and said the Indians were
killing white people. We thought it must be only a drinking quarrel.
The statement needed to be repeated and particularized somewhat before
we could believe it. Soon others came in and told more. Blackness
seemed to be gathering upon all faces. The parents came to the
boarding-school and took away their children. For several years Mary
had kept Angélique and Agnes Renville. At this time, the older one was
in Ohio, and the younger one went home with her mother.

Jonas Pettijohn, an old associate in mission work at Lac-qui-parle,
had been for some years a government teacher at Red Iron's village,
about fifteen miles above us. He had now been released, and was
removing his family. Mrs. Pettijohn and the children had reached our
house. Mr. Pettijohn came in the dusk of the evening with his last
load, which he was bringing with my horse team. The Indian men who had
brought down his goods, when they heard of the _émeute_, started back
immediately, and, meeting Mr. Pettijohn, took the horses. They
justified themselves by saying that somebody would take them.

Thus, as the darkness came on, we became sure that our Dakota friends
believed the reports. In the gloaming, strange men appeared at our
stables, and others of our horses were taken. A dozen of our neighbor
men came, and said they would stand guard with their guns. As the
evening progressed, we sent a messenger down to the Yellow Medicine,
who brought word that the stores were surrounded by Indians, and would
be broken in soon. Mr. Givens, the sub-agent, sent up a note asking me
to come down very early in the morning. Some of the Christian Dakota
women gathered into our house, and we prayed, and sang "God is the
refuge of his saints."

It was after midnight before we thought of leaving. The young folks
had lain down and slept awhile. By and by Paul came, and asked me to
give him some blue cloth I had on hand--he must dress like an Indian,
to be safe. And they evidently began to feel that _we_ might not be
safe, and that our staying would endanger them. This was made the more
serious because of Mrs. Moore and our three grown daughters. Indian
men would kill us to get possession of them. Thus the case was stated
by our neighbors. Afterward we had good reason to know that they
reasoned rightly.

And so we waked up the children and made preparations to depart. But
it was only to be temporary. The plan was to go down to an island in
the Minnesota River, and remain until the danger was overpast. Mr.
Moore looked to his revolver, the only reliable weapon among us.
Thomas and Henry got their double-barrel shot-gun. Mary put up a bag
of provisions, but, unfortunately, we forgot it when we departed.
Fortunately again, it was brought to us in the morning by Zoe, a
Dakota woman. Each one had a little baggage, but there was not enough
extra clothing in the company to make them comfortable at night. When
the daylight came, we were all over on the island, but our team was
left, and was stolen, with the exception of one horse. So we were in
rather a helpless condition as regards further escape.

On this little island we were away from the excitement and present
danger; but how long it would be safe for us to remain there was quite
uncertain. We could trust our own Indians that we should not be
personally injured; but how soon strange Indians would find our
hiding-place, we could not tell. During the forenoon I crossed back
and went to the village, to learn the progress of events. They did not
seem to be encouraging. The stores at the Yellow Medicine had been
sacked. The white people had all left in the early morning, being
convoyed by John Otherday. The only safe course open to us appeared to
be in getting away also. It was after midday when we learned that
Andrew Hunter and Dr. Williamson's young folks had succeeded in coming
away with both a horse team and an ox team. They had some flour and
other provisions with them, and had driven along the doctor's cattle.
Moreover, they had succeeded in crossing the Minnesota at a point a
mile or two below where we then were. From the island we could wade
over to the north side. This we proceeded to do, leaving the only
trunk that had been brought this far, by Mr. Cunningham's sister.

Andrew Hunter drove one of his wagons around on the prairie to meet
our party as we emerged from the ravine, each carrying a little
bundle. The women and children who could not walk were arranged with
the bundles in the wagon. Mr. Cunningham was successful in getting one
of his horses--the other had been appropriated by an Indian, together
with mine. His one horse he attached to my buggy and brought it over
the river, and we proceeded to join the rest of Mr. Hunter's party.
Two or three families of government employés from the saw-mill had
found their way to our missionary company. Thus constituted, we
started for the old crossing of Hawk River, some six or eight miles

While we were still in sight of the river bluffs, we discovered a man
coming after us. He was evidently a white man, and hobbled along with
difficulty, as though he were wounded. We stopped until he overtook
us. It proved to be a man by the name of Orr, whose comrades had been
killed up near the mouth of the Chippewa, and he escaped in a crippled
condition. Our wagons were more than full, but we could make room for
a wounded white man. About this time a rain shower came upon us, which
was a Godsend in many ways, although it made camping that night rather

When night overtook us, we were across the stream,--Hawk River,--and
we lay down to rest and consider what should be our course on the
morrow. In the morning, we had decided to cross the country, or
endeavor to do so, toward Hutchinson or Glencoe. But the country was
not familiar to us. We frequently found ourselves stopped in our
course by a slough which was not easy to cross. Still, we kept on our
way during Wednesday, and in the afternoon there fell to us four men
from Otherday's party. These men all had guns which were not of much
account. They belonged at New Ulm, and did not want to go to
Hutchinson. But they continued with us that day.

The evening came with a slow continued rain. The first night we were
out, the smaller children had cried for home. The second night, some
of the older children would have cried if it had been of any use. We
had no shelter. The wagons were no protection against the continued
rain, but it was rather natural to crawl under them. The drop, _drop_,
DROP, all night long from the wagon-beds, on the women and children,
who had not more than half covering in that cold August rain, was not
promotive of cheerfulness. Mrs. Moore looked sad and disheartened, and
to my question as to how she did she replied that one might as well
die as live under such circumstances.

Thursday morning found us cold and wet, and entirely out of cooked
food. Since the first night we had not been where we could obtain
wood. And then, and since, we should have been afraid to kindle a
fire, lest the smoke should betray us. But now it was necessary that
we should find wood as soon as possible. And so our course was taken
toward a clump of trees which were in sight. When we came into their
neighborhood, about noon, we found them entirely surrounded by water.
But the men waded in and brought wood enough for the purposes of
camping. There we spent the afternoon and night. There we killed one
of the cows. And there we baked bread and roasted meat on the coals,
having neither pot nor kettle nor pan to do it in. And while we were
eating, Mr. Ebell fixed up his apparatus and took a very good
stereoscopic picture of the party.

We had discovered from surveyor's stakes that we were making slow
progress, and so we decided, as we started Friday morning, to abandon
our plan of going to Hutchinson, and turn down to the old
Lac-qui-parle road, which would lead us to Fort Ridgely. This road we
reached in time to take our noon rest at Birch Coolie, nearly opposite
the Lower Sioux Agency, where the massacres had commenced. We were not
much posted in what had taken place there. Mr. Hunter rode over to
see his house, only a couple of miles distant. There he met Tatemema
(Round Wind), an old Indian whom he knew, who told him to hurry on to
the fort, as all the white people had been killed or had fled. Just as
we were starting from this place, a team came in sight, which proved
to be Dr. and Mrs. Williamson and Aunt Jane with an ox team. They had
remained until Wednesday morning, and thought to stay through the
trouble, but finally concluded it was best to leave and follow us. Our
company now numbered over forty, but it was a very defenceless one.

We were sixteen miles from Fort Ridgely, and our thought was to go in
there under cover of the night. The darkness came on us when we were
still seven or eight miles away; and then in the gloaming there
appeared on a little hill-top two Indians on horseback. They might
bring a war-party upon us. And so we put ourselves in the best
position for defence. Martha and Anna had generally walked with the
boys. Now they piled on the wagons, and the men and boys, with such
weapons as we had, marched by their side. As the night came on, we
began to observe lights as of burning buildings, and rockets thrown up
from the garrison. What could the latter mean? We afterward learned
they were signals of distress!

In our one-horse buggy, Mr. and Mrs. Hunter drove ahead of the party,
and he crawled into the garrison. He found that the Indians had
beleaguered them, had set fire to all the out-buildings of the fort,
appropriated all their stock, had been fighting all day, and had
retired to the ravine as the night came on. The fort was already
crowded with women and children, and scantily manned by soldiers. We
could come in, they said, but our teams would be taken by the
Indians. They expected the attack would be renewed the next day.

When Mr. Hunter returned, we stopped in the road and held a _hasty_
consultation, as we were in a good deal of fear that we were even now
followed. We had just passed a house where the dogs alone remained to
bark, which they did furiously. And just then some of the party,
walking by the side of our wagons, stumbled over the dead body of a
man. There was no time to lose. We decided not to go in, but to turn
out and go around the fort and its beleaguering forces, if possible.
The four men who had fallen to our company--three Germans and an
Irishman--dissented. But we told them no one should leave us until we
were past the danger. And, to prevent any desertion in this our hour
of trial, Mr. Moore cocked his revolver and would shoot down the man
who attempted to leave.

It was ten o'clock, and the night was dark. We turned square off the
road, and went up northward to seek an old ford over the little stream
that runs down by the fort. The Lord guided us to the right place, but
while we were hunting in the willows for the old unused road, there
was a cry heard so much like a human cry that we were all quite
startled. We thought it was the signal of an attack by the Indians.
Probably it was only the cry of a fox. Just then Dr. Williamson came
to me and said perhaps he had counselled wrongly, and that, if it was
thought best, he was quite willing to go back to the fort. But I
replied that we were now almost around it, and it would be unwise to
go back. And so we traveled on over the ravine and up on the broad
prairie beyond, and received no harm. Our pulses began to beat less
furiously as we traveled on toward three o'clock in the morning, and
felt that we were out of sight and hearing of the Sioux warriors. So
we stopped to rest our weary cattle. Some slept for an hour, but the
greater part kept watch.

As we were around the fort, and around the danger so far as we knew,
it was understood that the four men who wanted to leave in the night,
might leave us in the morning. And as it was possible they might have
an opportunity to send a letter to Governor Ramsay before we should,
Dr. Williamson and I attempted to write something by starlight. But
nothing came of that letter. When the light began to dawn in the east,
our party was aroused and moving forward. We had been guided aright in
the night travel, for here we were at the old Lac-qui-parle crossing
of Mud River. Here the four men left us, and as the sun arose we saw
the sheen of their guns as they were entering a little wood two or
three miles away. And only a little while after that we heard the
report of guns; the poor fellows had fallen in with the Sioux army,
which in that early morning were on their march to attack New Ulm. We
did not know their fate until afterward.

Our party now fell into the road that leads to Henderson, and traveled
all that Saturday in safety. But on the St. Peter road, five or six
miles to our right, we saw the burning stacks and houses, and
afterward knew that the Sioux were on that road killing white people
all that day. It was the middle of the afternoon when we came to a
deserted house. The dishes were on the table. We found cream and
butter in the cellar and potatoes and corn in the garden. We stopped
and cooked and ate a good square meal, of which we were greatly in
need. Then we pushed on and came to another house some time after
nightfall, which was deserted by the humans, but the cattle were
there. Here we spent the night, and would have been glad to rest the
Sabbath, but as yet there was too much uncertainty. Three or four
hours' travel, however, brought us to a cross-roads, where the whole
settlement seemed to have gathered. We there learned that a company of
troops had passed up, and had turned across to St. Peter. This seemed
to be a guarantee of safety, and so we rested the remainder of the
day, gathering in the afternoon to worship Him who had been and was
our deliverer and guide.

All the events of the week past appeared so strange. We had hardly
found any time to consider them. But often the thought came to us,
What will become of our quarter-century's work among the Dakotas? It
seemed to be lost. _We_ could see no good way out of the difficulties.
As we came into the settlements, we began to learn something of the
terribleness of the _émeute_, how the Indians had spread terror and
death all along the frontier. And still their deadly work was going
on. In the dusk of the Sabbath evening we talked over matters a
little, as we planned to separate in the morning. Some pecuniary
adjustments were made, D. Wilson Moore being the only one who had any
money. But all the party exchanged promises.

In the morning of Monday, Dr. Williamson and his part of the company
started across to St. Peter. There remained only Mr. Moore and wife,
and Adrian J. Ebell and my family, and we had the use of an ox team to
take us to Shakopee. It was twelve miles to Henderson. When we came to
the brow of the hill above the town, we were met by several women who
were strangers to us. They rushed up and grasped our hands. I asked
what they knew of us. They said, "We have white hearts, and we heard
you were all killed." Our young folks had worn out their shoes, and
their feet also, by walking through the sharp grass, and needed
something to wear. When these wants were attended to, and we all had
partaken of a good dinner at the hotel, we started on--Mr. and Mrs.
Moore taking the little steamboat to St. Paul. When they arrived
there, Mr. Shaw, of the Merchant's Hotel telegraphed back to Mr. John
Moore of Philadelphia of their arrival. He had just before received an
urgent telegram, "Get the bodies at any cost."

On our way to Shakopee we were met by our old friend S. W. Pond, who
had been trying for days to ascertain whether the report of our being
killed was true or not. He gave Mary and the children a cordial
welcome to his home. They remained there a few days, and then went on
to G. H. Pond's, and from thence to St. Anthony, where Mary found an
old personal friend in Mrs. McKee, the wife of the pastor of the
Presbyterian church. They also found friends in all the good families,
and soon rented a house and commenced living by themselves, the
neighbors helping them to many articles which they needed.

On hearing of the outbreak, Alfred, who had been preaching a few
months at Lockport, Ill., furnished himself with a revolver, and
hastened up to see what could be done. But, meeting the family at
Shakopee, he returned to Illinois without making any demonstration of
prowess, taking with him Anna, and, after she was somewhat recruited,
sending her to Rockford Female Seminary.


    1862.--General Sibley's Expedition.--I Go as Chaplain.--At Fort
    Ridgely.--The Burial Party.--Birch Coolie Defeat.--Simon and
    Lorenzo Bring in Captives.--March to Yellow Medicine.--Battle of
    Wood Lake.--Indians Flee.--Camp Release.--A Hundred Captives
    Rescued.--Amos W. Huggins Killed.--We Send for His Wife and
    Children.--Spirit Walker Has Protected Them.--Martha's Letter.

When Mary and the children had safely reached friends and civilization
at Mr. Pond's, I was pressed in spirit with the thought that I might
have some duty to perform in the Indian country. At Lac-qui-parle,
twenty-five miles beyond our station at Hazelwood, were Amos W.
Huggins, with wife and children, and Miss Julia La Framboise. They had
been in the employ of the government as teachers at Wakanmane's
village. What had befallen them, we knew not; but we knew that white
men had been killed between our place and Lac-qui-parle. Then, our
native church members--they might need help. And so I took a boat at
Shakopee, and went down to St. Paul, and offered my services to
Governor Ramsay, in whatever capacity he chose to put me. He
immediately commissioned me as chaplain to General Sibley's
expedition. The last day of August I was at St. Peter, where I learned
from Mr. Huggins' friends the story that he had been killed, and that
his wife and children were captives. In regard to them I received a
special charge from Mrs. Holtsclaw, and I conceived a plan of
immediately sending for Mrs. Huggins. But circumstances made it
impossible to carry out that plan for several weeks.

The next day, Sabbath though it was, I rode up with Colonel Marshall
and others to Fort Ridgely, where General Sibley's command was
encamped. He was waiting for reinforcements and ammunition supplies.
At the first news of the massacres, a large number of citizens had
impressed their neighbors' horses, and had started for the Indian
country. Many of them were poor riders, and they were all poorly
armed. They were without military organization and drill, and were
felt to be an element of weakness rather than strength. A night or two
before I reached the camp, a couple of shots had been fired, supposed
to have been by Indians. The drum beat the "long roll," and the men
that formed this "string-bean cavalry," as they were called, crawled
under the wagons. The next morning many of them had had a clairvoyant
communication with their families at home, and learned that their
wives were sick. They were permitted to depart.

Three days before, a detachment of cavalry and infantry had been sent
up as far as the Lower Sioux Agency, to find and bury the dead. They
had done their work, as they supposed, and crossed back to the north
side of the Minnesota, without seeing any Indians. As the sun was
setting on that Sabbath evening, they ascended the hill and made their
camp on the top of the Birch Coolie bluff. But the Sioux had
discovered them, and that night they were surrounded by twice their
own number of the enemy. In the early morning the attack was made and
kept up all day. The report of the musketry was heard at General
Sibley's camp, eighteen miles away, but the reverberation made by the
Minnesota hills placed the conflict apparently within six or eight
miles. A detachment sent to their relief soon returned, because, after
they had gone a short distance, they could hear nothing. But the
firing still continued, and another detachment, with a howitzer, was
sent, with orders to go on until the absent ones were found.

The sun was low when a messenger came from the troops last sent. The
Indians were in such large force that they did not dare risk a
conflict, and so had retired to the prairie. General Sibley's whole
force was then put in readiness, and we had a night march up to Birch
Coolie. The relief detachment was reached, and an hour or two of rest
obtained before the morning light.

When our camp was in motion, the Indians came against us and
surrounded us; but, soon perceiving that the force was not what they
had seen the night before, they commenced making their escape, and we
marched on to the original camp. It was a sad sight--dead men and dead
horses lying in the hastily dug breastworks. Twelve men were found
dead, whom we buried in one grave. Thirty or forty were wounded, and
nearly the whole of the ninety horses were lying dead. The camp had
suffered greatly for want of water, as the Indians had cut them off
entirely from the stream.

This defeat showed more clearly than before the necessity of being
well prepared before an advance was made upon the hostile Sioux. It
also served to rouse Minnesota thoroughly--a number of the killed and
wounded in this battle were St. Paul men. But the middle of September
had come and gone before General Sibley felt ready to move up the
river. In the meantime, while we were still at Ridgely, Simon
Anawangmane came down by land, and brought Mrs. Newman and her
children to our camp. And Lorenzo Lawrence brought in canoes Mrs. De
Camp and children and others.

Mrs. Newman had been taken captive by the Lower Sioux, and when they
reached the Yellow Medicine, she was apparently allowed by those who
had her to go where she pleased. One day she came to Simon's tent,
and, hearing them sing and pray, she felt like trusting herself and
children rather to Simon than to the others. When the camp started to
go farther north, Simon stayed behind, and then, placing Mrs. N. and
her children in his one-horse wagon, and hitching to his horse, he and
his son brought them down. Mrs. De Camp's husband had been severely
wounded in the battle of Birch Coolie, and had died only a couple of
days before she and the children were brought in. Lorenzo also brought
with him a large English church Bible, and my own personal copy of
Dakota grammar and dictionary, which I prized very highly.

The 21st of September, or five weeks after the outbreak commenced, we
were marching by the Lower Sioux Agency and Red Wood, and getting an
impression of what the _émeute_ had been, in occasionally finding a
dead body, and seeing the ruins of the buildings. The Sioux were now
watching our movements closely. Indeed, they had kept themselves
informed of our motions all along. It was this day, at the Red Wood,
John Otherday went into a plum-orchard and left his horse a little way
out. One of the hostiles who had been hidden there jumped on it and
rode off. This made Otherday greatly ashamed. The night of the 22d we
camped on the margin of Wood Lake, within three miles of the Yellow
Medicine. Here we were to rest the next day and wait for a train that
was behind.

At the Yellow Medicine were fields of corn and potatoes, and some of
our men mere anxious to add to their store of provisions. Accordingly,
before our breakfast was over at General Sibley's tent, some soldiers
in a wagon were fired upon and two of them killed by Sioux concealed
in a little ravine about a half a mile from our camp. This brought on
the battle. Almost immediately the hills around were seen to be
covered with Indians on foot and on horseback. The battle lasted for
two or three hours. The Sioux had compelled every man in their camp,
which was twenty miles above, to come down, except John B. Renville.
They were playing their last card, and they lost. When it was over, we
gathered up and buried sixteen _dead_ and _scalped_ Indians, and four
of our own men. Besides, we had a large number of wounded soldiers.
This battle made H. H. Sibley a brigadier-general.

Thus the Indians were beaten and retired. During the fight John
Otherday captured a Dakota pony, and so made good the loss of his
stolen horse. Simon Anawangmane was wounded in the foot in passing out
to the hostile Sioux and back to our camp; and the younger Simon was
brought in wounded, and died some days afterward. The day following
this battle, our camp was removed to a point beyond the mission
station at Hazelwood. As I rode down to see the ruins of our
buildings, some of our soldiers were emptying a _cache_ near where our
house had stood. The books they threw out I found were from my own
library. A part of these and some other things which were in good
condition I secured. They had been buried by our friends.

The next day was the 26th of September, when we pushed on to Camp
Release, where the friendly Dakotas were encamped. The hostiles and
such as feared to remain had fled to the British Possessions. The
friendly Indians had by some means come into the possession of almost
all the captive white women and children. One of our chief objects in
pursuing the campaign had been to prevent the killing of these
captives. Little Crow had written to General Sibley that he had many
captives; and General Sibley had replied, "I want the captives."

Now they came into our hands, nearly a hundred, besides half-breeds,
many of whom had been in a kind of captivity. The white women had
dressed up as well as they could for the occasion, but many of them
only showed their white relationship by the face and hands and
hair--they were dressed like Indians. It was a time of gladness for
us. White men stood and cried for joy. We took them all to our camp,
and wrapped them up as well as we could. Some of the women complained
because we did not furnish women's clothing; but that was
unreasonable. This was _Camp Release_.

Mr. Amos W. Huggins was the eldest child of Alexander G. Huggins, who
had accompanied Dr. Williamson to the Sioux country in 1835. Amos was
born in Ohio, and was at this time over thirty years old. He was
married, and two children blessed their home, which, for some time
before the outbreak, had been at Lac-qui-parle, near where the town of
that name now stands. It was then an Indian village and planting
place, the principal man being Wakanmane,--Spirit Walker, or Walking
Spirit. If the people of the village had been at home, Mr. Huggins and
his family, which included Miss Julia La Framboise, who was also a
teacher in the employ of the government, would have been safe. But in
the absence of Spirit Walker's people three Indian men came--two of
them from the Lower Sioux Agency--and killed Mr. Huggins, and took
from the house such things as they wanted.

The women and children were left uninjured. But after they had, in a
hasty manner, buried the father and husband, whither should they go
for protection? At first they thought to find safety with a French and
half-breed family, living across the Minnesota, where our old
mission-house had been. But there, for some reason, they were coldly
received. Soon the brother of Julia La Framboise came up from Little
Crow's camp and took her down. Spirit Walker had now returned, and
Mrs. Huggins took refuge in his friendly teepee, where she found a
welcome, and as good a home as they could make for her and her
fatherless children.

Spirit Walker would probably have attempted to take them to the white
soldiers' camp if she had been decided that that was the wisest
course. But Mrs. Huggins was timid, and preferred rather that her
Dakota protector should decide which was the best way. And so it
happened that when the flight took place, Spirit Walker's folks
generally were drawn into the swirl, and Mrs. H. found herself on the
journey to Manitoba.

Immediately after we had reached Camp Release, and had learned the
state of things, I presented the matter to General Sibley, whereupon,
the same night, he authorized the selection of four Dakota young men
to be sent after Mrs. Huggins. Robert Hopkins, Daniel Renville, Enos
Good Hail, and Makes Himself Red were sent on this mission, which they
fulfilled as expeditiously as possible. In a few days we were
gladdened by the sight of Mrs. Huggins and her two children, and a
child of a German woman, which they also brought in. The mother was
with us, and was overjoyed to find her little girl.

While these things were taking place on the Upper Minnesota, Martha,
now Mrs. Morris, still under the inspiration of the events, was in St.
Anthony, writing the following letter to the Cincinnati _Christian

    "In fancied security we had dwelt under our own vine and
    fig-tree, knowing naught of the evil which was to come upon us,
    until the very night of the 18th of August, 1862. Friendly
    Indians, who knew something of the evil intent of chiefs and
    braves, had given Miss Jane Williamson hints concerning it
    during that day. More than that they _dared_ not tell. But few
    of our own Indians had known much more respecting the coming
    storm than ourselves. When intelligence came of the bloody work
    which that morning's sun had looked upon, at the Lower Sioux
    Agency, thirty-five miles below, our good friends came to us,
    and, in an agony of fear for our lives and for theirs, besought
    us to flee. We would certainly be killed, and they would be in
    danger on account of our presence. Some believed, but more
    doubted. We had heard Indian stories before; by morning light we
    were confident this too would prove nothing but a drunken
    frolic, and we would only lose our worldly possessions if we
    should depart. The believing ones made ready a little clothing
    and provision, in case of need. The principal men gathered in
    council. _Could_ they protect us? They would _try_, at least
    until the morning. We sang 'God is the Refuge of his Saints,'
    commended ourselves to our Father's safe-keeping, and most of us
    retired to rest. An hour or two passed in peaceful slumber by
    some--in nervous anxiety by others.

     "One o'clock had passed: a heavy knock at the door. Our friends
     had learned more of the extent of the outbreak, and felt that
     their protection would be worse than useless. 'If you regard
     your own lives or ours, you must go.' To their entreaties we
     yielded, and made hasty preparations to depart. In a quarter of
     an hour we had left our homes forever. Our company consisted of
     my father's family, Mr. Cunningham's, and Mr. Pettijohn's, and
     a Mr. and Mrs. Moore from New Jersey; in all twenty-one
     persons. Mr. Cunningham had charge of the Hazelwood
     boarding-school, and Mr. Pettijohn, a former missionary under
     the American Board, had been recently a government teacher,
     twelve miles farther up the river. He had been moving his
     family down that day, on their way to St. Peter. As he drove my
     father's team along, with the last of his goods, early in the
     evening, he was met by two Indians, who took the horses from
     him, and set him on an inveterately lazy horse belonging to
     another Indian. Consequently our family had but a light buggy
     and one horse left, which was to aid Mr. Cunningham's two-horse
     team in carrying the _all_ of the party. Room was found in the
     conveyances for the smaller children and all the women, except
     my sister Anna and myself. We walked with the men and boys. Our
     Indian friends guided us through the woods, the thick and
     tangled underbrush, the tall, rank grass drenched with dew, to
     the river side, where we were quickly and carefully conveyed to
     a wooded island, and then our guides left us. One of them, Enos
     Good-Voice-Hail, was in the East some three or four years
     since--a brave, handsome man, whose eye you could not but
     _trust_. Our teams could not cross at that place, so they were
     kept for us until the morning. All the rest of that weary night
     we sat on the damp grass, cold and dreary, wondering what the
     day-dawn would bring. At length the morning came. My father and
     Mr. Cunningham paddled across the river to learn the state of
     affairs. We found we had neglected to bring the most of the
     provisions prepared, and wondered what we should do, even if
     permitted to go back home after a day or so spent on that
     island. While still talking, a woman hailed us from the
     opposite bank, who, as we found shortly, had brought several
     loaves of bread and some meat on her back, all the way from our
     houses. We received it as a Godsend, and soon after, my father,
     returning, brought some more provision, which another friend
     had secured for us. A longer, drearier day was never
     passed,--its every hour seemed a day. The rain came down and
     drenched us. My father went back and forth from the island to a
     village where the friendly Indians were mostly gathered, to
     find out what had been and what could be done. We learned that
     Dr. Williamson had sent away the most of his family,
     considering it his duty still to remain; that his wife and
     sister were with him; but the others, with a number of cattle
     for future need, were secreted in the woods, a mile or two
     below us.

     "By noon our houses had been rifled, and gradually the idea
     fixed itself upon us that we _must_ leave if possible. We made
     arrangements to join Dr. Williamson's family, and about three
     o'clock took up our line of march, each carrying some bundles,
     having left on the island the only trunk belonging to the
     party. For more than a mile we walked along, with difficulty
     keeping our footing on the side-hills, which we chose for
     safety. When fairly out on the bluffs, we came up with one of
     the two teams, in charge of Mr. Hunter, Dr. Williamson's
     son-in-law. The baggage being transferred from our shoulders to
     the wagon, the feebler ones were provided with seats, while
     the stronger marched on. Soon we came up with the remainder of
     the party,--Dr. Williamson's family, and half a dozen persons
     from one of the government mills, who had cast in their lot
     with them. We struck out on the prairie to save ourselves if
     there was any chance. Our march was shortly rendered unpleasant
     by a fiercely driving rain-storm, from the soaking effects of
     which we did not recover until the next day, though it had the
     good effect of obliterating our path. Our company was increased
     by the arrival of a Mr. Orr, who had been engaged in trading
     among the Indians, near the place Mr. Pettijohn had resided,
     and who had been shot and stabbed that morning. It seemed a
     marvel that he should ever have been able to walk that far, and
     room was immediately made for him in a wagon, though it
     curtailed that of others. Toward night we were overtaken by Mr.
     Cunningham, bringing one of his horses and our buggy, which he
     had succeeded in getting hold of, and which was the only
     vehicle belonging to twenty-one out of the thirty-eight. Night
     came on, and we lay down on the hard earth, with bed and
     covering both scant and wet, to _rest_. In the morning dawn,
     after our usual remembrance of Him who ruleth earth and sea, we
     went on our way, having had but little food, as cooked
     provisions were scarce, and we dared not kindle a fire, for
     fear of attracting attention.

     "Our day's march was slow but steady--only stopping when
     necessary to rest the teams; and although we considered
     ourselves in danger, we found it quite enjoyable, more
     particularly after _we_ and the _grass_ got dry, so that we
     could walk with ease. We had counted on having a fine night's
     rest in spite of our scant bed-clothing, as we were all _dry_,
     but we were disappointed. A slow, steady rain fall through all
     the long night, completely saturating almost every article of
     bed-clothing, and every person in the company. In that
     comfortless rain we drank some milk, ate a crust or two, and
     traveled on through the long, wet swamp grass, and the swamps
     themselves, in wading which two or three of us became quite
     accomplished. By noon of that day, which was Thursday, we came
     to a wood, fifteen or sixteen miles east from a settlement on
     the river, which was about twenty miles from home.

     "Our progress had been very slow--without any road, the grass
     so wet and the teams so heavily loaded. Still we could not but
     feel that the God who had led us during these long days, would
     neither suffer us to perish in this prairie wilderness nor be
     taken by savages. At this place we stopped for the remaining
     half day, killed a beef, and luxuriated on meat roasted on
     sticks held over the fire. We also baked bread in quite a
     primitive style. The dough being first mixed in a bag--flour,
     water, and salt the only ingredients--and moulded on a box, it
     was made into thin cakes about the size of a hand-breadth,
     placed on forked sticks over the fire, to bake if possible, and
     to be smoked most certainly.

     "Here our party was immortalized by a young artist--a Mr.
     Ebell--who had gone up into our region of country a few days
     previous to our flight, for the purpose of taking stereoscopic
     views. The next day we struck for the river, coming in not far
     from a settlement called Beaver, about six miles from the Lower
     Agency. Mr. Hunter had formerly resided at the place, and as we
     had not at the time the remotest idea of the extent of the
     massacres, he drove in to ascertain the whereabouts of the
     settlers. He saw no signs of any dead bodies, but two or three
     Indians employed in pillaging, informed him that all the people
     had gone to Fort Ridgely, and advised him to hasten there, or
     some other Indians would kill him. When just starting on after
     our noon rest, some one spied a team in the distance, which
     soon proved to be Dr. Williamson's, containing himself, wife,
     and sister. Previously, some of us fancied that we might have
     been unwise in fleeing, but when we saw them, we _knew we had
     not started too soon_. They left on Tuesday evening, being
     assisted to depart by two of the Christian Indians, Simon
     Anawangmane and Robert Chaske, at the peril of their own lives.
     They said they would gladly protect them longer, but it was

     "After holding council, we pursued our journey with the
     intention of reaching Fort Ridgely that night; and when within
     nine or ten miles, Mr. Hunter drove on to ascertain how matters
     stood there. We felt ourselves in danger, but thought if we
     were only inside the fort walls, we would be safe. The men
     shouldered their arms, the daylight faded, and we marched on.
     In the mysteriously dim twilight, every taller clump of grass,
     every blacker hillock, grew into a blood-thirsty Indian, just
     ready to leap on his foe. All at once, on the brow of the hill,
     appeared two horsemen gazing down upon us. _Indians!_ Every
     pulse stopped, and then throbbed on more fiercely. Were those
     men, now galloping away, sent by a band of warriors to spy out
     the land, or had they seen us by accident? We could not tell.
     The twilight faded, and the stars shone out brightly and
     lovingly. As we passed along we came suddenly on a dead body,
     some days cold and stiff. Death drew nearer, and as we marched
     on, we looked up to the clear heavens beyond which God dwells,
     and prayed him to keep us. When within a mile and a half of the
     fort, we met Mr. Hunter returning, who reported as follows: He
     left the buggy in his wife's charge, outside the barracks, and
     crawled in on his hands and knees. Lieut. Sheehan, commander of
     the post, informed him they had been fighting hard for five
     days; that the Indians had withdrawn at seven that evening, it
     being then between nine and ten, and that, if not reinforced,
     they could hold out but little longer. Some of the buildings
     had been burnt; they had then five hundred women and children
     inside, and if we _could_ go on--_go!_ We _went_, striking away
     out on the prairie.

     "Several of us girls had been mostly walking for the ten miles
     back, but now, to give the least trouble, we climbed on the
     wagons wherever we might find room to hold on, and sat
     patiently with the rest. Ah! if a night of fear and dread was
     ever spent, that was one. Every voice was hushed except to give
     necessary orders; every eye swept the hills and valleys around;
     every ear was intensely strained for the faintest noise,
     expecting momentarily to hear the unearthly war-whoop, and see
     dusky forms with gleaming tomahawks uplifted. How past actions
     came back as haunting ghosts; how one's hopes of life faded
     away, away, and the things of earth seemed so little and mean
     compared to the glorious heaven beyond! And yet life was so
     sweet, so dear, and though it be a glorious heaven, this was
     such a hard way to go to it, by the tomahawk and
     scalping-knife! Oh, God! _our_ God! _must_ it be? Then came
     something of resignation to death itself, but such a sore
     shrinking from the dishonor which is _worse_ than death; and we
     could not but wonder whether it would be a greater sin to take
     one's life than thus to suffer. So the night wore on until two
     hours past midnight, when, compelled by exhaustion, we stopped.
     Some slept heavily, forgetful of the danger past and present,
     while others sat or stood, inwardly fiercely nervous and
     excited, but outwardly calm and still. Two hours passed; the
     weary sleepers were awakened by the weary watchers, and as
     quietly as possible the march was renewed. It was kept up until
     about nine in the day, when we struck the Fort Ridgely and
     Henderson road.

     "Having traveled thus far without being pursued, we felt
     ourselves comparatively safe. I am sure there was not one who
     did not in heart join in the song and prayer of thanksgiving
     which went up from that lone prairie land, however much we may
     have forgotten or murmured since. 'Jehovah hath triumphed; his
     people are free, are _free_,' seemed to ring through the air.
     As we pursued our journey, we noticed dense columns of smoke
     springing up along the river with about the same rapidity we
     traveled, which we afterwards learned were grain-stacks fired
     by Indians. We rested for the night near a house, some fifteen
     miles from Henderson, from which the people had fled. Here we
     felt safe; but subsequently learned that we were not more than
     five or six miles from the Norwegian grove, where that same day
     a party of warriors had done their bloody work. Surely, _God
     led us and watched over us_.

     "The next day being the Sabbath, we went on only as far as we
     deemed necessary for perfect safety. Toward evening my father
     held divine service, which was almost the only outward reminder
     that it was the Lord's Day. People coming and going--bustle
     here, there, and everywhere--so different from our last quiet
     Sabbath at home, the last time we and our dear Indians
     gathered together around the table of our Lord, and perhaps
     the last time we ever shall, until we meet in the kingdom. The
     next morning our party separated, our family, with Mr. and Mrs.
     Moore, Mrs. Williamson and second daughter, and two or three
     others, continuing on the Henderson road, and the rest striking
     across to St. Peter, where Dr. Williamson has found abundant
     work in the hospitals. Near there his family expect to remain
     during the winter.

     "We arrived that afternoon in Henderson, a town a hundred miles
     from home, and we had been a week on the way. 'Why, I thought
     you were all killed!' was the first greeting of every one. A
     shoe store was hunted up before we proceeded to Shakopee,
     having first bidden a Godspeed to our friends, Mr. and Mrs.
     Moore. By this time some of us 'young folks' had acquired such
     a liking for walking that we consider it superior to any other
     mode of locomotion to this day; and if it had not been that we
     were so ragged and dirty and foot-sore, we should have
     preferred to continue our journey. During that week our ideas
     of paradise grew very limited, being comprised in having an
     abundance of water, some clean clothes, plenty to eat, and a
     nice bed to sleep in.

     "Since our entering Shakopee, we have visited among kind
     friends, until two weeks since, when we endeavored to set up
     house-keeping in this town of St. Anthony. Notwithstanding the
     kindness of friends and strangers, we, in common with others,
     find it difficult to do _something_ with _nothing_, especially
     as my father is with the expedition against the Indians. It
     cannot but be that we should look back lovingly to the homes we
     have left, which are all, even 'our holy and beautiful house,'
     wherein we have worshiped, destroyed by fire; but I trust that
     we all endeavor to 'take joyfully the spoiling of our goods.'
     'We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of
     God.' Among our many causes for thankfulness, one is suggested
     by the verse 'Pray ye that your flight be not in the winter.'
     Another cause is that there was so little loss of life among
     those connected with the mission. We mourn for our dear friend,
     Mr. Amos Huggins, son of a former missionary, and government
     teacher at Lac-qui-parle. His young wife and two small children
     were, at last accounts, in the hands of the Indians, as also
     Miss Julia La Framboise, an assistant teacher who resided in
     their family. Because of the influential relatives Miss La
     Framboise has among the Dakotas, we hope for her, while for
     Mrs. Huggins we can only _pray_.

     "It was not my intention, when I began this article, to enter
     at all into the causes of this outbreak; but what I have
     written will excite your indignation against all Dakotas, and I
     cannot bear that it should be so. It must be remembered that
     the _church members_, as a whole, have had _no hand in it_.
     One, John Otherday, guided a party of sixty-two across the
     prairies. Two others, Lorenzo Lawrence and Simon Anawangmane,
     have recently brought into Fort Ridgely three captive women and
     eleven children; and we doubt not that others will also 'let
     _their_ light shine'--_at the peril of their lives_, remember.

     "The Indians have not been without excuse for their evil deeds.
     Our own people have given them intoxicating drinks, taught them
     to swear, violated the rights of womanhood among them, robbed
     them of their dues, and then insulted them! What more would be
     necessary to cause one nation to rise against another? What
     _more_? I ask. And yet there are many who curse this people,
     and cry 'Exterminate the fiends.' _Dare_ we, as a nation,
     _thus_ bring a curse upon ourselves and on future generations?



    1862-1863.--Military Commission.--Excited Community.--Dakotas
    Condemned.--Moving Camp.--The Campaign Closed.--Findings Sent to
    the President.--Reaching My Home in St. Anthony.--Distributing
    Alms on the Frontier.--Recalled to Mankato.--The
    Executions.--Thirty-eight Hanged.--Difficulty of Avoiding
    Mistakes.--Round Wind.--Confessions.--The Next Sabbath's
    Service.--Dr. Williamson's Work.--Learning to Read.--The
    Spiritual Awakening.--The Way It Came.--Mr. Pond Invited
    Up.--Baptisms in the Prison.--The Lord's Supper.--The Camp at
    Snelling.--A Like Work of Grace.--John P. Williamson.--Scenes in
    the Garret.--One Hundred Adults Baptized.--Marvelous in Our

No sooner had the white captives been brought over to our camp than,
from various sources, we began to hear of Indian men who had
maltreated these white women, or in some way had been engaged in the
massacres of the border. On the morrow, General Sibley requested me to
act as the medium of communication between these women and himself,
inviting them to make known any acts of cruelty or wrong which they
had suffered at the hands of Dakota men during their captivity. The
result of this inquiry was the apprehension of several men who were
still in the Sioux camp, and the organization of a military
commission, composed of officers, to try such cases. Naturally, we
supposed that men who knew themselves guilty would have fled to
Manitoba with Little Crow. The greater number of such men had
undoubtedly gone. But some were found remaining who had participated
in individual murders, some who had abused white women, and more who
had been mixed up in the various raids made upon the white

When the wheels of this military commission were once put in motion,
they rolled on as the victims were multiplied. Besides those who
remained in the camp when the flight took place, and supposed that
clemency would be meted out to them, several small parties of Sioux
who had fled were pursued by our troops and "gobbled up," as the camp
phrase was. In all such cases the grown men were placed in confinement
to await the ordeal of a trial. The revelations of the white women
caused great indignation among our soldiers, to which must be added
the outside pressure coming to our camp in letters from all parts of
Minnesota,--a wail and a howl,--in many cases demanding the execution
of every Indian coming into our hands. The result of these combined
influences was that in a few weeks, instead of taking individuals for
trial, against whom some specific charge could be brought, the plan
was adopted to subject all the grown men, with a few exceptions, to an
investigation of the commission, trusting that the innocent could make
their innocency appear. This was a thing not possible in the case of
the majority--especially as conviction was based upon an admission of
being present at the battles of Fort Ridgely, New Ulm, Hutchinson, and
Birch Coolie. Almost all the Dakota men had been at one or more of
those places, and had carried their guns and used them. So that, of
nearly four hundred cases which came before the commission, only about
fifty were cleared, twenty were sentenced to imprisonment, and more
than three hundred were condemned to be hanged. The greater part of
these were condemned on general principles, without any specific
charges proved, such as under less exciting and excited conditions of
society would have been demanded. They were Sioux Indians, and
belonged to the bands that had engaged in the rebellion. Among those
who were condemned to be hanged was a negro called Gusso. By the
testimony of Indians, through fear or a liking to the business, he had
rather signalized himself by the killing of white people. But he
talked French, and could give what appeared to be accurate and
reliable information in regard to a great many of the Dakotas who were
brought before the commission. In consequence of this service, the
commission recommended that his capital punishment be changed to

More than a month passed before the court had finished its work. In
the meantime, we had changed our camp to the Lower Sioux Agency. From
this point the women and children of the imprisoned men, together with
such men as had escaped suspicion, were sent down under a military
guard to Fort Snelling, where they, being about fifteen hundred souls,
were kept through the winter.

At the close of their work, the military commission turned over their
findings and condemnations to General Sibley for his approval. During
the few days in which these passed under review, the principles on
which the condemnations were based were often under discussion. Many
of them had no good foundation. And they were only justified by the
considerations that they would be reviewed by a more disinterested
authority, and that the condemnations were demanded by the people of
Minnesota. General Sibley pardoned one man because he was a near
relative of John Otherday, who had done so much for white people.

The campaign was now closed. The work of the military commission was
completed. It remained now to go into winter-quarters, to guard the
prisoners, and to await such orders as should come from the President.
It was November when the camp was removed from the Lower Sioux Agency
to Mankato. On our way thither we must needs pass by or through New
Ulm. As we approached that place, with 400 manacled Sioux, carried in
wagons, and guarded by lines of infantry and cavalry, the people came
out and made an insane attack upon the prisoners. General Sibley
thought it best to yield so far to the wishes of the Germans as to
pass outside of the town.

On our reaching Mankato, I was released from further service in the
camp, and sent down to carry the condemnations to the military
headquarters at St. Paul. At midnight the stage reached Minneapolis.
My own family were across the river, living in a hired house in St.
Anthony. I had received very particular information as to how I should
find the place, and went directly there; but, as no answer was made to
my knocking, I went back to the church to see if I could have made a
mistake. After trying in other directions, I aroused Rev. Mr.
Sercombe, who insisted on going with me to the place where I had stood

Mary and the children were comfortably housed. Mrs. Sophronia McKee,
the wife of the Presbyterian clergyman, had been a fellow-townswoman
and special friend of Mary in their younger years. This was a
guarantee of help in this time of need. They found friends. Donations
of little things to help them commence housekeeping came in from
interested hearts. Friends farther away sent boxes of clothing and in
some cases money; so that after more than two months I found them in
comfortable circumstances.

All along the line of the frontier, where the Sioux raids had been
made, were many families who had returned to desolated homes. Many
persons all over the country took a deep interest in this class of
sufferers, and money contributions were made for their relief. The
Friends in Indiana and elsewhere had placed their contributions in the
hands of Friend W. W. Wales of St. Anthony. Here was a service in
which I could engage, and find relief from the strain of the campaign
and the condemnations. Accordingly, I undertook to hunt up needy
families in the neighborhood of Glencoe and Hutchinson, and to
dispense a few hundred dollars of this benevolent fund. One day, as I
was traveling in my one-horse buggy over the snow between Glencoe and
Hutchinson, I was overtaken by a messenger from General Sibley, asking
me to report to Colonel Miller, who was in command of the prison at
Mankato, to be present and give assistance at the time of the

As a matter of duty, I obeyed. From my youth up, it had been a
determination of mine never to go to see a fellow-being hanged. No
curiosity could have taken me. Rather would I have gone the other way.
But, if I could be of service to Indian or white man, in preventing
mistakes and furthering the ends of justice and righteousness, my own
feelings should be held in abeyance and made to work in the line of

On receiving the papers transmitted from the military commission,
President Lincoln had placed them in the hands of impartial men, with
instructions to report the cases which, according to the testimony,
were convicted of participation in individual murders or in violating
white women. Acting under these instructions, thirty-nine cases were
reported, and these were ordered by the President to be executed. But
among so many it was a matter of much difficulty to identify all the
cases. Among the condemned there were several persons of the same
name--three or four _Chaskays_, two or three _Washechoons_. In the
findings of the commission they were all numbered, and the order for
the executions was given in accordance with these numbers. But no one
could remember which number attached to which person. The only certain
way of avoiding mistakes was by examining closely the individual
charges. To Joseph R. Brown, who better than any other man knew all
these condemned men,--and he did not recognize all perfectly,--was
mainly committed the work of selecting those who were named to be
executed. Extraordinary care was meant to be used; but after it was
all over, when we came to compare their own stories and confessions,
made a day or two before their death, with the papers of condemnation,
the conviction was forced upon us that two mistakes had occurred.

The separation was effected on Monday morning, the men to be executed
being taken from the log jail, in which all were confined, to an
adjoining stone building, where they were additionally secured by
being chained to the floor. Colonel Miller then informed them of the
order of the President that they should be hanged on the Thursday
following, and they were advised to prepare themselves for that event.
They were at liberty to select such spiritual counsel as they desired.
Dr. Williamson was there as a Protestant minister, and Father Ravaux
of St. Paul as a Catholic priest. They were advised not to select me,
as I was acting interpreter for the government. More than
three-fourths of the whole number selected Mr. Ravaux. This was
accounted for by the fact that one of the Campbells, a half-breed and
a Roman Catholic, was of the number. Some days before this, Dr.
Williamson had baptized _Round Wind_, who was reprieved by an order
from the President, which came only a day or so before the executions,
reducing the number to thirty-eight.

Of this man _Round Wind_ it is sufficient to say that he was condemned
on the testimony of a German boy, who affirmed that he was the man who
killed his mother. But it was afterward shown, by abundance of
testimony, that _Round Wind_ was not there.

As the time of their death approached, they manifested a desire, each
one, to say some things to their Dakota friends, and also to the white
people. I acceded to their request, and spent a whole day with them,
writing down such things as they wished to say. Many of them, the most
of them, took occasion to affirm their innocence of the charges laid
against them of killing individuals. But they admitted, and said of
their own accord, that so many white people had been killed by the
Dakotas that public and general justice required the death of some in
return. This admission was in the line of their education. Perhaps it
is not too much to call it an instinct of humanity.

The executions took place. Arrangements were made by which
_thirty-eight_ Dakota men were suspended in mid-air by the cutting of
one rope. The other prisoners, through crevices in the walls of their
log prison-house, saw them hanged. And they were deeply affected by
it, albeit they did not show their feelings as white men would have
done under like circumstances.

At the close of the week, Dr. Williamson, finding himself quite worn
out with abundant labors, returned to St. Peter to rest in his family.
The Sabbath morning came. The night before, a fresh snow had fallen
nearly a foot deep. Colonel Miller thought it was only humane to let
the prisoners go out into the yard on that day, to breathe the fresh
air. And so it was we gathered in the middle of that enclosure, and
all that company of chained men stood while we sang hymns and prayed
and talked of God's plan of saving men from death. To say that they
listened with attention and interest would not convey the whole truth.
Evidently, their fears were thoroughly aroused, and they were eager to
find out some way by which the death they apprehended could be
averted. This was their attitude. It was a good time to talk to them
of sin--to tell them of their sins. It was a good time to unfold to
them God's plan of saving from sin--to tell them God's own son, Jesus
Christ our Lord, died to save them from their sins, if they would only
believe. A marvelous work of grace was already commencing in the

The next day after the Sabbath I left Mankato, and returned to my
family in St. Anthony, where I spent the remaining part of the winter,
partly in preparing school-books, for which there arose a sudden
demand, and all we had on hands were destroyed in the outbreak; and
partly in helping on the spiritual and educational work in the camp at
Fort Snelling. But Dr. Williamson, living as he did in St. Peter, gave
his time during the winter to teaching and preaching to the men in the
prison. Immediately on their reaching Mankato, he and his sister came
up to visit them, and were glad to find them ready to listen.

The prisoners asked for books. Only two copies of the New Testament
and two or three copies of the Dakota hymn-book were found in prison.
Some of each were obtained elsewhere, and afterward furnished them,
but not nearly as many as they needed. Some slates and pencils and
writing-paper were provided for them. And still later in the winter
some Dakota books were given them. From this time on the prison became
a school, and continued to be such all through their imprisonment.
They were all exceedingly anxious to learn. And the more their minds
were turned toward God and his Word, the more interested they became
in learning to read and write. In their minds, books and the religion
we preached went together.

Soon after this first visit of Dr. Williamson, they began to sing and
pray publicly, every morning and evening; which they continued to do
all the while they were in prison. This they commenced of their own
accord. At first the prayers were made only by those who had been
church members, and who were accustomed to pray; but others soon came
forward and did the same.

Before the executions, Robert Hopkins, who was, at that time, the
leader in all that pertained to worship, handed to Dr. Williamson the
names of thirty men who had then led in public prayer. And not very
long after, sixty more names were added to the list of praying ones.
This was regarded by themselves very much in the light of making a
profession of religion.

In a few weeks a deep and abiding concern for themselves was manifest.
Here were hundreds of men who had all their life refused to listen to
the Gospel. They now wanted to hear it. There was a like number of
men who had refused to learn to read. Now almost all were eager to
learn. And along with this wonderful awakening on the subject of
education sprang up the more marvelous one of their seeking after
God--some god. Their own gods had failed them signally, as was
manifest by their present condition. Their conjurers, their
medicine-men, their makers of _wakan_, were nonplussed. Even the women
taunted them by saying, "You boasted great power as _wakan_ men; where
is it now?" These barriers, which had been impregnable and
impenetrable in the past, were suddenly broken down. Their ancestral
religion had departed. They were unwilling now, in their distresses,
to be without God--without hope, without faith in something or some
one. Their hearts were aching after some spiritual revelation.

Then, if human judgment resulted in what they had seen and realized,
what would be the results of God's judgment? If sin against _white
men_ brought _such death_, what death might come to them by reason of
sin, from the Great Wakan? There was such a thing as sin, and there
was such a person as Christ, God's Son, who is a Saviour from sin.
These impressions were made by the preaching of the Word. These
impressions became convictions. The work of God's Spirit had now
commenced among them, and it was continued all winter, "deep and
powerful, but very quiet," as one wrote.

Some of these men, in their younger days, had heard the Messrs. Pond
talk of the white man's religion. They were desirous now, in their
trouble, to hear from their old friends, whose counsel they had so
long rejected. To this request, Mr. G. H. Pond responded, and spent
some days in the prison, assisting Dr. Williamson. Rev. Mr. Hicks,
pastor of the Presbyterian church in Mankato, was also taken into
their counsels and gave them aid. For several weeks previous, many men
had been wishing to be baptized, and thus recognized as believers in
the Lord Jesus Christ. This number increased from day to day, until
about three hundred--just how many could not afterward be
ascertained--stood up and were baptized into the name of the Father,
of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. The circumstances were peculiar,
the whole movement was marvelous, it was like a "nation born in a
day." The brethren desired to be divinely guided; and, after many
years of testing have elapsed, we all say that was a genuine work of
God's Holy Spirit.

Several weeks after the events above described, in the month of March,
I went up to Mankato and spent two Sabbaths with the men in prison;
and while there labored to establish them in their new faith, and at
the close of my visit, by the request of Dr. Williamson, I
administered to these new converts the Lord's Supper. _Robert Hopkins_
and _Peter Big Fire_ had both been prominent members and elders in Dr.
Williamson's church at Pay-zhe-hoo-ta-ze. Naturally they, with others
who were soon brought to the front, became the leaders and exponents
of Christian faith among the prisoners.

This first communion in the prison made a deep impression upon myself.
It began to throw light upon the perplexing questions that had started
in my own mind, as to the moral meaning of the outbreak. God's thought
of it was not my thought. As the heavens were higher than the earth,
so his thoughts were higher than mine. I accepted the present
interpretation of the events, and thanked God and took courage. The
Indians had not meant it so. In their thought and determination, the
outbreak was the culmination of their hatred of Christianity. But God,
who sits on the throne, had made it result in their submission to him.
This was marvelous in our eyes.

While these events were transpiring in the prison at Mankato, a very
similar work went on in the camp at Fort Snelling. The conditions in
both places were a good deal alike. In the camp as well as in the
prison they were in trouble and perplexity. In their distresses they
were disposed to call upon the Lord. Many of our church members, both
men and women, were in the camp. There were _Paul_, and _Simon_, and
_Antoine Renville_, the elders of the Hazelwood church, and _Joseph
Napayshne_ of the Lower Sioux Agency. But the outlook was as dark to
them as it was to us. Mr. J. P. Williamson thus describes the state of
the camp in the closing days of 1862:--

"The _suspense_ was terrible. The ignorant women had not seen much of
the world, and didn't know anything about law. They, however, knew
that their husbands and sons had been murdering the whites, and were
now in prison therefor, and they themselves dependent for life on the
mercy of the whites. The ever-present query was, What will become of
us, and especially of the men? With inquisitive eyes they were always
watching the soldiers and other whites who visited them, for an
answer, but the curses and threats they received were little
understood, except that they meant no good. With what imploring looks
have we been besought to tell them their fate. Strange reports were
constantly being whispered around the camp. Now, the men were all to
be executed, of whom the thirty-eight hanged at Mankato was the first
installment, and the women and children scattered and made slaves;
now, they were all to be taken to a rocky barren island somewhere, and
left with nothing but fish for a support; and, again, they were to be
taken away down South, where it was so hot they would all die of fever
and ague."

Rev. John P. Williamson, having been providentially absent in Ohio at
the time of the outbreak, returned to accompany this camp of despised
and hated Dakotas in their journey from the Lower Sioux Agency to Fort
Snelling. But it did not immediately appear what he could do for them.
He and I were in much the same condition, looking around for other
work. He says of himself that at this time he "made some effort to
secure a place as stated supply in the neighborhood of St. Paul or
Minneapolis, but was unsuccessful; and then he felt such drawing
toward the Indian camp that he took the nearest available quarters,
and spent the winter ministering temporally and spiritually to this
afflicted people."

When, in the spring following, they were taken down the Mississippi
and up the Missouri to Crow Creek, he did not forsake them, but stayed
by them in evil and in good report, with the devotion of a lover.
Everywhere, and at all times his thoroughly honest, devoted, and
unselfish course commanded the respect and confidence of white men in
and out of the army. And his self-abandonment to the temporal and
spiritual good of the families of the men in prison begot in them such
admiration and confidence that scarcely a prayer was made by them, in
all those four years of their imprisonment, without the petition that
God would remember and bless "the one who is called John."

The camp at Snelling was on the low ground near the river, where the
steamboats were accustomed to land. A high board fence was made
around two or three acres of ground, inside of which the Dakotas
pitched their cloth tents. In them they cooked and ate and slept, and
read the Bible and sang and prayed, and wrote letters to their friends
in prison.

By gradual steps, but with overwhelming power, came the heavenly
visitation. At first Mr. Williamson used to meet the former members in
one of their own teepees. Presently there was an evident softening of
hearts. Now news came of the awakening among the prisoners at Mankato.
The teepee would not contain half the listeners, so for some time in
the middle of winter the meetings were held in the campus, then in a
great dark garret over a warehouse, without other fire than spiritual.
In that low garret, when hundreds were crouched down among the
rafters, only the glistening eyes of some of them visible in the dark,
we remember how the silence was sometimes such that the fall of a pin
might be heard. Many were convicted; confessions and professions were
made; idols treasured for many generations with the highest reverence
were thrown away by the score. They had faith no longer in their
idols. They laid hold on Christ as their only hope. On this ground
they were baptized, over a hundred adults, with their children.

It was my privilege to be present frequently, and to see how the good
hand of the Lord was upon them in giving them spiritual blessings in
their distresses. There was ever a large and active sympathy between
the camp and the prison, and frequent letters passed between them.
When, at one time, I brought down several hundred letters from the
prisoners, and told them of the wonderful work there in progress, it
produced a powerful effect. In both camp and prison, both
intellectually and spiritually, it was a winter of great advancement.


    1863-1866.--The Dakota Prisoners Taken to Davenport.--Camp
    McClellan.--Their Treatment.--Great Mortality.--Education in
    Prison.--Worship.--Church Matters.--The Camp at Snelling Removed
    to Crow Creek.--John P. Williamson's Story.--Many Die.--Scouts'
    Camp.--Visits to Them.--Family Threads.--Revising the New
    Testament.--Educating Our Children.--Removal to Beloit.--Family
    Matters.--Little Six and Medicine Bottle.--With the Prisoners at

The course of the Mississippi forming the eastern line of the State of
Iowa is from north to south; but its trend, as it passes the city of
Davenport, is to the west; so that what is called "East Davenport" is
a mile above the city. At this point, in the beginning of the civil
war, barracks had been erected for the accommodation of the forming
Iowa regiments, to which was given the name of "Camp McClellan."

Thither were transported the condemned Sioux who had been kept at
Mankato during the winter. On the opening of navigation in the spring
of 1863, a steamboat ascended to Mankato, took on the prisoners, and,
on reaching Fort Snelling, put off about fifty men who had not been
condemned, to unite their fortunes with those in the camp. The men
under condemnation were taken down to Davenport, where, at Camp
McClellan, they were guarded by soldiers for the next three years.

After a little while, their irons were all taken off, and they enjoyed
comparative liberty, being often permitted to go to the town to trade
their bows and arrows and other trinkets, and sometimes into the
country around to labor, without a guard. They never attempted to make
their escape, though at one time it was meditated by some, but so
strongly and wisely opposed by the more considerate ones, that the
plan was at once abandoned. Generally the soldiers who guarded them
treated them kindly. It was remarked that a new company, whether of
the regular army or of volunteers, when assigned to this duty, at the
first treated the prisoners with a good deal of severity and
harshness. But a few weeks sufficed to change their feelings, and they
were led to pity, and then to respect, those whom they had regarded as
worse than wild beasts.

The camp was not a pleasant place, except in summer. The surroundings
were rather beautiful. The oak groves of the hill-side which bordered
the river were attractive. And the buildings occupied by the troops
were comfortable. But within the stockade, where the prisoners were
kept, the houses were of the most temporary kind, through the
innumerable crevices of which blew the winter winds and storms. Only a
limited amount of wood was furnished them, which, in the cold windy
weather, was often consumed by noon. Then the Indians were under the
necessity of keeping warm, if they could, in the straw and under their
worn blankets.

In these circumstances, many would naturally fall sick go into a
decline,--pulmonary consumption, for which their scrofulous bodies had
a liking,--and die. The hospital was generally well filled with such
cases. The death-rate was very large--more than ten per cent. each
year, making about 120 deaths while they were confined at that place.
About one hundred men, women, and children, who came afterward into
the hands of the military, were added to those who were first brought
down. These latter were uncondemned. As some, women had been permitted
to come with the prisoners at the first, and now more were added, a
good many children were born there. And thus it came to pass that all
who were released and returned to their people from this prison
numbered only about two hundred and fourscore.

For the first two years of their abode at Davenport, Dr. Williamson
had the chief care of the educational and church work among them.
During this time I only visited them twice. Once, when a difficulty
and misunderstanding had arisen between Dr. Williamson and a General
Roberts, who at one time commanded that department, the doctor was
obliged to return to his home in St. Peter. On learning the fact, I
counselled with General Sibley, who gave me a letter to General
Roberts. Before I reached there, however, Roberts had become ashamed
of his conduct, as I judged, and so I found it quite easy to restore
amicable relations. No such difficulties occurred thereafter.

For the prisoners these were educational years. They were better
supplied with books than they could be at Mankato. A new edition of
our Dakota hymn-book was gotten out, and in 1865 an edition of the
Dakota Bible so far as translated, besides other books. The avails of
their work in mussel-shells and bows gave them the means of purchasing
paper and books.

With only a few exceptions, all in the prison who were adults
professed to be Christians. A few had been baptized by Rev. S. D.
Hinman, of the Episcopal church, who visited them once while at
Davenport. But while a number were recognized as members of that
church, they worshipped all together. Morning and night they had their
singing and praying; but especially at night, when they were not
likely to be disturbed by any order from the officer in command.

In church matters they naturally fell into classes according to their
former clans or villages. In each of these classes one--or more than
one--Hoonkayape was ordained. He was the elder and class-leader. This
arrangement was made by Dr. Williamson. It was one step toward raising
up for them pastors from themselves. On our part it was a felt
necessity, for _we_ could not properly watch over and care for these
people as _they_ could watch over and care for each other. So the work
of education and establishment in the faith of the Gospel was carried

       *       *       *       *       *

Let us now return to follow for a little the fortunes of those in the
camp at Fort Snelling. The winter of suspense had worn away, and in
the month of April, soon after the Mankato prisoners passed down into
Iowa, those at Snelling were placed on a steamboat, and floated down
to St. Louis and up the Missouri to Crow Creek, where they were told
to make homes. Mr. J. P. Williamson _went_ with them, and _remained_
with them, during those terrible years of suffering and death. Who can
tell the story better than he?

"As they look on their native hills for the last time, a dark cloud is
crushing their hearts. Down they go to St. Louis, thence up the
Missouri to Crow Creek. But this brings little relief, for what of the
men; and can the women and children ever live in this parched land,
where neither rain nor dew was seen for many weeks?

"The mortality was fearful. The shock, the anxiety, the confinement,
the pitiable diet, were naturally followed by sickness. Many died at
Fort Snelling. The steamboat trip of over one month, under some
circumstances, might have been a benefit to their health, but when
1300 Indians were crowded like slaves on the boiler and hurricane
decks of a single boat, and fed on musty hardtack and briny pork,
which they had not half a chance to cook, diseases were bred which
made fearful havoc during the hot months, and the 1300 souls that were
landed at Crow Creek June 1, 1863, decreased to one thousand. For a
time a teepee where no one was sick could scarcely be found, and it
was a rare day when there was no funeral. So were the hills soon
covered with graves. The very memory of Crow Creek became horrible to
the Santees, who still hush their voices at the mention of the name.

"Meetings, always an important means of grace, were greatly
multiplied. Daily meetings were commenced at Fort Snelling; the
steamboat was made a Bethel for daily praise, and the Crow Creek daily
prayer-meetings were held each summer under booths, which plan was
continued the first summer at Niobrara. Women's prayer-meetings were
commenced at Crow Creek, deaconesses being appointed to have charge of
them. The children also had meetings, conducted by themselves. All
these means were blessed of the Holy Spirit to the breaking of the
Herculean chains of Paganism."

Soon after reaching Crow Creek, Mr. Williamson called to his
assistance Mr. Edward R. Pond and his wife, Mrs. Mary Frances
Pond--born Hopkins--both children of the old missionaries, who
continued with these people until the year 1870.

       *       *       *       *       *

For the security of the Minnesota frontier, and to further chastise
the Sioux, military expeditions were organized in the spring and
summer of 1863. The one that went from Minnesota was in command of
Gen. H. H. Sibley. Attached to this expedition was a corps of scouts,
forty or fifty of them being Dakota men, who had in some way, and to
some extent, showed themselves to be on the side of the white people,
at the time of the outbreak. In this expedition I had the position of

The families of these Sioux scouts were sent out to the frontier, and
maintained by the government, not only during that summer, but for
several years. This was known as the "Scouts' Camp," and the church
among them was called by the same name, until 1869, when several
churches were formed out of this one, as they began to scatter and
settle down on the new Sisseton Reservation.

In the summer of 1864, I visited their camp at the head of the Red
Wood. The next summer I was with them for a short time at the Yellow
Medicine. At each of these visits quite a number of additions was made
to the roll of church members--infants and grown persons were
baptized, marriages were solemnized, and ruling elders were ordained.
During these years we had licensed and ordained as an evangelist John
B. Renville, who accompanied me on each of the visits mentioned.

Let me now gather up, and weave in, some threads of our home-life. For
three years Mary and the children made their home in St. Anthony, now
East Minneapolis, in a hired house. Our three boys, at the
commencement of this period, being fifteen and thirteen and seven
respectively, were at a good age to be profited by the schools of the
town. Thomas and Henry soon commenced the rudiments of the Latin in
Mr. Butterfield's school. While, to add to the family finances,
Isabella and Martha, in turn, and sometimes both, engaged in teaching.

When a student in Chicago Theological Seminary, Alfred formed the
acquaintance of Mary Buel Hatch. Her father had died in her childhood;
and her mother had resided a while in Rockford, Ill., educating her
daughters, but was now living in Chicago. The attachment then formed
resulted in marriage, after Alfred had been located a year at
Lockport, Ill., where he was called, immediately on graduating, to be
the religious teacher of the Congregational church.

In the month of June, 1863, they took their wedding journey, and
visited the improvised home of the family in St. Anthony, whence they
returned and made their own home at Lockport for four years. This
first daughter introduced into the family has charmed us all by her
active, sunshiny Christian life.

Returning from the military campaign in the fall of 1863, when there
seemed to be no special call for my services with the Indians, I
addressed myself for the next six months to a revision and completion
of the New Testament in the Dakota language. It was a winter of very
hard and confining work, and right glad was I when the spring came,
and I could find some recreation in the garden.

The next autumn I went to New York and spent three months in the Bible
House, reading the proof of our new Dakota Bible, and having some
other printing done. To the New Testament above mentioned, Dr.
Williamson had added a revised Genesis and Proverbs. It was at this
time the Bible Society commenced making electrotype plates of the
Dakota Scriptures.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mary's health, always tenacious but never vigorous, had received a
severe shock by the outbreak and what followed. But she did not at
once succumb. Her will-power was very strong, which often proved
sufficient to keep her up when some others would have placed
themselves in the hands of a physician. But the house she lived in
became more frail and worn in the summer and autumn of 1864, and she
was obliged to take some special steps toward upbuilding. For some
weeks at the close of the year, when I was absent, she was prevailed
upon to try a residence at a water-cure, but without any permanent

As yet, the Dakota work, while it had given each one of us plenty to
do, did not assume anything like a permanent shape. Things were still
in a chaotic state. What would be the outcome, no one could tell in
the year 1865. There was a time when I seriously asked the question,
"What shall I do? Shall I seek some other work, or still wait to see
what the months will bring forth?" I had even made it a subject of
correspondence with Secretary Treat, whether I might not turn my
attention _partly_ to preaching to white people, and do a kind of
half-and-half work. That plan was at once discouraged by Mr. Treat;
and then Mr. G. H. Pond came to my relief, giving it as his decided
conviction that I should hold on to the Dakota work. So that question
was settled.

But where this work would be located did not then appear. There did
not seem to be any great reason why we should remain in St. Anthony.
The immediate family business was the education of our children. In
the autumn previous, I had taken Thomas to Beloit, where, after making
up some studies, he had entered the freshman class. Could we not
better accomplish this part of our God-given trust by removing
thither, and for a while making that our home? By so doing, I might be
farther away from any permanent place of work among the Dakotas. On
the other hand, I would be nearer the prisoners at Davenport, and
could relieve Dr. Williamson for the winter, which was desired. In
this state of doubt, it often seemed that it would have been so
comforting and satisfying if we could have heard the Lord's voice
saying, "This is the way, walk ye in it." But no such voice came.
However, as Mary recruited in the summer, and it seemed quite probable
she would be able to remove, our judgment trended to Beloit, and I
made arrangements for a family home by the purchase of a small cottage
and garden, which have been a comfort to us in all these years.

And so, in the month of September, we came to the southern line of
Wisconsin. Anna had just completed the course at Rockford Female
Seminary, and was ready to do duty in our new home. Martha accepted a
call to teach at Mankato. Isabella accompanied us to Beloit, having
under consideration the question of going to China with Rev. Mark W.
Williams. This decision was not fully reached until the meeting of the
American Board in Chicago, in the fall of 1865. One day she and I
walked down Washington street together, and talked over the subject,
and she gave in her answer.

In the early days of that year, two of the leaders in the outbreak of
1862 were captured from beyond the British line, and, after a trial by
a military commission, were condemned to be hanged. These men were
commonly known as Little Six and Medicine Bottle. While in Chicago at
the meeting of the Board, I received a note from Colonel McLaren,
commanding at Fort Snelling, asking me to attend these men before
their execution. The invitation was sent at their request. I obeyed
the summons, and spent a couple of days with the condemned. But while
I was there a telegram came from Washington giving them a reprieve.
This relieved me from being present when they were hanged, one month

The winter that followed, I gave to the prisoners at Davenport. They
had passed through the small-pox with considerable loss of life; and
that winter only the ordinary cases of sickness and the ordinary
number of deaths occurred. These were numerous enough. The confinement
of nearly four years, and the uncertainty which had always rested upon
them like a nightmare, had all along produced many cases of decline.
And even when the time of their deliverance drew nigh, and hope should
have made them buoyant, they were too much afraid to hope--the promise
was too good to be believed.

Before their release, I was called home to attend, on the 21st of
February, the marriage of Isabella and Mr. Williams, and to bid them
God-speed on their long journey by sailing vessel to China.


    1866-1869.--Prisoners Meet their Families at the Niobrara.--Our
    Summer's Visitation.--At the Scouts' Camp.--Crossing the
    Prairie.--Killing Buffalo.--At Niobrara.--Religious
    Meetings.--Licensing Natives.--Visiting the Omahas.--Scripture
    Translating.--Sisseton Treaty at Washington.--Second Visit to
    the Santees.--Artemas and Titus Ordained.--Crossing to the Head
    of the Coteau.--Organizing Churches and Licensing
    Dakotas.--Solomon, Robert, Louis, Daniel.--On Horseback in
    1868.--Visit to the Santees, Yanktons, and Brules.--Gathering at
    Dry Wood.--Solomon Ordained.--Writing "Takoo Wakan."--Mary's
    Sickness.--Grand Hymns.--Going through the Valley of the

The spring of 1866 saw the prisoners at Davenport released by order of
the President; and their families, which had remained at Crow Creek
for three dry and parched years, were permitted to join their husbands
and brothers and fathers at Niobrara, in the north-east angle of
Nebraska. That was a glad and a sad meeting; but the gladness
prevailed over the sadness. And now all the Dakotas with whom we had
been laboring were again in a somewhat normal condition. All had
passed through strange trials and tribulations, and God had brought
them out into a large place. The prisoners had prayed that their
chains might be removed. God heard them, and the chains were now a
thing of the past. They had prayed that they might again have a
country, and now they were in the way of receiving that at the hand of
the Lord.

And so, as Rev. John P. Williamson was with the united church of camp
and prison on the Missouri, Dr. T. S. Williamson and I took with us
John B. Renville and started on a tour of summer visitation. After a
week's travel from St. Peter, in Minnesota, we reached the Scouts'
Camp, which, in the month of June, 1866, we found partly on the margin
of Lake Traverse, and partly at Buffalo Lake, in the country which was
afterward set apart for their especial use.

At both of these places we administered the Lord's Supper, ordained
Daniel Renville as a ruling elder, and licensed Peter Big-Fire and
Simon Anawangmane to preach the Gospel. Neither of these men developed
into preachers, but they have been useful as exhorters from that day
to this. On the Fourth of July, we added Peter to our little company,
and started across from Fort Wadsworth, which had only recently been
established, to Crow Creek on the Missouri. From that point we passed
down to the mouth of the Niobrara.

On this journey across the prairie we encountered many herds of
buffalo. Sometimes they were far to one side of us, and we could pass
by without molesting them. Once, on the first day from Wadsworth, we
came suddenly upon a herd of a hundred or more, lying down. When we
discovered them, they were only about half a mile in front of us.
Peter said it was too good a chance not to be improved; he must shoot
one. We gave him leave to try, and he crawled around over some low
ground and killed a very fine cow. We could only take a little of the
meat, leaving the rest to be devoured by prairie wolves. This episode
in the day's travel frightened our horses, delayed us somewhat, and
made us late getting into camp at the "Buzzard's Nest." The result was
that in the gloaming our horses all broke away, and gave us four
hours of hunting for them the next morning. Then we had a long, hot
ride, without water, over the burning prairie, to James River.

As I have said, the prisoners released from Davenport and their
families from Crow Creek had met at Niobrara. This point had been
selected for a town site, and a company had erected a large shell of a
frame house intended for a hotel. Their plans had failed, and now the
thought probably was to reimburse themselves out of the government.

We found the Indians living in tents, while the families of Mr.
Williamson and Mr. Pond and others were accommodated with shelter in
the big house. For their religious mass-meetings, they had erected a
large booth, which served well in the dry weather of summer. Every
day, morning and evening, they gathered there for prayer and praise,
reading the Bible and telling what God had done for them. They had
come too late to plant, and there was but little employment for them,
and so the weeks we spent there were weeks of worship, given to the
strengthening of the things that remain, and arranging for future
educational and Christian work. The churches of the prison and the
camp were consolidated, and we selected and licensed Artemas Ehnamane
and Titus Ichadooze as probationers for the Gospel ministry. When we
had remained as long as seemed desirable, Dr. Williamson and I left
them, and came down to the Omaha Reserve, where we visited the new
agency among the Winnebagoes and the Presbyterian Boarding-School
among the Omahas. The latter was flourishing, but, having been
conducted in English alone, its spiritual results were very

The multiplication of Dakota readers during the past few years gave a
new impulse to our work of translating the Scriptures, and made larger
demands for other books. This furnished a great amount of winter work
for both Dr. Williamson and myself. In five years we added the Psalms,
Ecclesiastes, the Song, and Isaiah, together with the other four books
of Moses, to what he had printed in 1865.

The Wahpatons and Sissetons, who constituted the Scouts' Camp on the
western border of Minnesota, and who had done good service in
protecting the white settlements from the roving, horse-stealing Sioux
in the first months of 1867, sent a delegation to Washington to make a
treaty, and obtain the guarantee of a home and government help. While
that delegation was in Washington, I took occasion to spend a month or
more in lobbying in the interests of Indian civilization. To me this
kind of work was always distasteful and unsatisfactory, and this time
I came home to be taken down with inflammatory rheumatism. I had
planned for an early summer campaign in the Dakota country, but it was
July before I could get courage enough to start. And then it was with
a great deal of pain that I endured the stage ride between Omaha and
Sioux City. There I was met by Dr. Williamson, in his little wagon,
and together we proceeded up to the settlement in Nebraska.

Since we had been there in the previous summer, these people had
drifted down on to Bazille Creek, where Mr. Williamson and Mr. Pond
had erected _shacks_--that is, log houses with dirt roofs--and between
the two had made a room for assembly. The two men we had licensed the
summer previous were this season ordained and set over the native
church, Mr. Williamson still retaining the oversight. At each
visitation we endeavored to work the native church members up to a
feeling of responsibility in the work of contributing to the support
of their pastors, but it has been no easy undertaking.

This summer, with Robert Hopkins and Adam Paze for our companions in
travel, the doctor and I crossed over directly from Niobrara to the
head of the Coteau. Those Indians we now found considerably scattered
on their new reservation. Some general lines began to appear in the
settlement, and during this and our visit in the year following
several church organizations were effected; and Solomon
Toonkan-Shaecheya, Robert Hopkins, Louis Mazawakinyanna, and Daniel
Renville were licensed to preach.

Louis was an elder in the prison and on the Niobrara, and of his own
motion had gone over to Fort Wadsworth, and, finding a community of
Sioux scouts connected with the garrison, commenced religious work
among them. In this he was supported and encouraged by the chaplain,
Rev. G. D. Crocker. This year our camp-meeting was held on the border
of the Coteau as it looks down on Lake Traverse.

The opening of the season of 1868 found me starting from Sioux City on
a gray pony, which I rode across to Minnesota. But first I spent some
weeks with the Santees. They had partly removed from Bazille Creek
down to the bottom where the agency is now located. A long log house
had been prepared for a church and school-house. The Episcopalians
were building extensively and expensively, while our folks contented
themselves with very humble abodes. The work of education had
progressed very finely, Mr. Williamson and Mr. Pond giving much time
to it, while Mrs. Pond and Mrs. Williamson greatly helped the women in
their religious home-life.

This summer John P. Williamson and I took Artemas Ehnamane, the senior
native minister of the Pilgrim Church, and crossed over to Fort
Wadsworth, where Dr. Williamson and John B. Renville met us. On the
way, we made a short stop at the Yankton agency, which we had visited
two years before. Now it was opening up as a field of promise to Mr.
Williamson, and he proceeded to occupy it soon afterward. We made
another stop, for preaching purposes, at Brule and Crow Creek, where
the pastor of Santee showed himself able to gain the attention of the
wild Sioux. Our ride across the desert land was enlivened by
conversation on Dakota customs and Dakota songs. In both these
departments of literature, this former hunter and warrior from Red
Wing was an excellent teacher.

This annual gathering at the head of the Coteau was held at Dry Wood
Lake, where Peter Big-Fire had settled. It was the most remarkable of
all those yearly camp-meetings. On this occasion about sixty persons
were added to our church list. It was a sight to be remembered, when,
on the open prairie, they and their children stood up to be baptized.

At the close of this meeting we held another at Buffalo Lake, in one
of their summer houses, which was full of meaning. The recently
organized church of Long Hollow, which then extended to Buffalo Lake,
had selected Solomon to be their religious teacher. And this after
meeting was held to ordain and install him as pastor of that church.
He was a young man of Christian experience and blameless life, and
has since proved himself to be a very reliable and useful native

Since the marvels of grace wrought among the Dakotas in the prison and
camp, we had received numerous invitations to prepare some account
thereof for the Christian public. Several of these requests came from
members of the Dakota Presbytery, which then covered the western part
of Minnesota. Accordingly, I had taken up the idea, and endeavored to
work it out. Some chapters had been submitted for examination to a
committee of the Presbytery, and commended by them for publication. In
the autumn and winter of 1868, the manuscript began to assume a
completed form. It was submitted to Secretary S. B. Treat for
examination, who made valuable suggestions, and agreed to write an
introduction to the book. This he did, in a manner highly

The manuscript I first offered to the Presbyterian Board of
Publication. But the best that Dr. Dulles could do was to offer me a
hundred dollars for the copy-right. Friends in Boston thought I could
do better there. And so "Tahkoo Wakan," or "The Gospel Among the
Dakotas," was brought out by the Congregational Publishing Society, in
the summer of 1869. In the preparation of the book Mary had taken the
deepest interest, although not able to do much of the mental work. The
preface bears date less than three weeks before her death.

Authors whose books do not sell very well, I suppose, generally marvel
at the result. This little volume was, and is still, so intensely
interesting to me that I wonder why everybody does not buy and read
it. But over against this stands the fact that hitherto less than two
thousand copies have been disposed of. Pecuniarily, it has not been a
success. But neither has it been an entire failure. And perhaps it has
done some good in bringing a class of Christian workers into more
intelligent sympathy and co-operation in the work of Indian
evangelization; and so the labor is not lost.

       *       *       *       *       *

Since we left Minnesota, Mary had apparently been slowly recovering
from the invalidism of the past. She enjoyed life. She could
occasionally attend religious meetings. The society of Beloit was very
congenial. Sometimes she was able to attend the ministers' meetings,
and enjoyed the literary and religious discussions and criticisms. The
last winter--that of 1868-69--she became exceedingly interested in a
book called "The Seven Great Hymns of the Mediæval Church." She read
and re-read the various translations of _Dies Iræ_. But she was
attracted most to the _Hora Novissima_ of Bernard of Cluni. Such a
stanza as the 26th:--

    "Thou hast no shore, fair ocean!
      Thou hast no time, bright day!
    Dear fountain of refreshment
      To pilgrims far away!

    "Upon the Rock of Ages
      They raise thy holy Tower;
    Thine is the victor's laurel,
      And thine the golden Dower."

And the 29th:--

    "Jerusalem the golden,
      With milk and honey blest,
    Beneath thy contemplation,
      Sink heart and voice oppressed.

    "I know not, oh, I know not,
      What social joys are there;
    What radiancy of glory,
      What light beyond compare!"

But these and others were all eclipsed by the last, which seemed
afterward to have been a prophecy of what was near at hand, and yet
neither she nor we anticipated it:--

    "Exult, O dust and ashes!
      The Lord shall be thy part;
    His only, his forever,
      Thou shalt be, and thou art!"

This was a fascination to her. We were blind at the time, and did not
see afar off. Now it is manifest that even then she was preparing to
go to "Jerusalem the only." _She was tenting in the Land of Beulah._

For years past Mary had almost ceased to write letters. Neither her
physical nor mental condition had permitted it. But a letter is found
written on the 2d of February, 1869, which must have been the very
last she ever wrote. Along with it she sent a copy of some of the
stanzas from _Hora Novissima_, which at this time were such an
enjoyment to her. The letter is addressed to Isabella, in China. She
writes: "Your last letter, written October 5, '68, was received
January 5, 1869. All your letters are very precious to us, but this is
peculiarly so. Perhaps I have written this before; but if I have, I am
glad again to acknowledge the joy it gives me that our Father gives
you faith to look gratefully beyond the passing shadows of this life
into the abiding light of the life to come.

"Was the 19th of First Chronicles the last chapter we read in family
worship before you left home? If so, the 13th verse must be the one
you read: 'Be of good courage, and let us behave ourselves valiantly
for our people, and for the cities of our God: and let the Lord do
that which is good in his sight.' Even so let it be. May you ever 'be
strong in the Lord.'"

We had passed the nones of March. It was on Tuesday, the 10th, as I
well remember, the day of the ministers' meeting, which was held at
the house of the Presbyterian minister Rev. Mr. Alexander. Mary had
been planning to attend in the evening. But the day was chill and
cold, as March days often are. She had been out in the yard seeing to
the washed clothes, and had taken cold. In the evening she was not
feeling so well, and decided to stay at home. For several days she
thought--and we thought--it was only an ordinary cold, that some
simple medicines and care in diet would remedy.

On Saturday, as she seemed to be growing no better, but rather worse,
I called in Dr. Taggart, who pronounced it a case of pneumonia. The
attack, he said, was a severe one, and her lungs were very seriously
affected. Her hold on life had been so feeble for several years that
we could not expect she would throw off disease as easily as a person
of more vigor. But at this time her own impression was that she would
recover. And the doctor said he saw nothing to make him think she
would not.

But soon after the physician's first visit, the record is, "She was
occasionally flighty and under strange hallucinations, caused either
by the disease or the medicines." On the following Thursday, she
evidently began to be impressed with the thought that she possibly
would not get well. She said she felt more _unconscious_ and _stupid_
than she had ever felt before in sickness. When, in answer to her
inquiry as to what the doctor said of her case, I told her he was very
hopeful, she said, "He does not know much more about it than we do."
At one time she remarked, "I feel very delicious, the taking down of
the tabernacle appears so beautiful"; and she desired me to get
Bernard's Hymn, and read such passages as "Jerusalem the Golden" and
"Exult, O dust and ashes."

     "Friday, March 19, noon.

     "I watched with your mother last night. Her strength seems to
     keep up wonderfully well, but the disease has quite affected
     her power of speech. When it came light, I perceived a livid
     hue about her eyes, and became alarmed. We sent for Dr.
     Taggart. The propriety of continuing the whiskey prescriptions
     seemed quite doubtful, especially as the mother was taking them
     under a conscientious protest. When the doctor came, he
     appeared to be alarmed also, and changed his treatment from
     Dover's powders to quinine, but wished the whiskey continued.

     "During the morning she spoke several times about the
     probabilities of life. 'God knows the best time,' she said;
     'but, if I am to go now, I do not wish to linger long.' She had
     been able, she said, to do but little for years, and there was
     not much reason for her living--but she would be glad to stay
     longer for the children's sake. At one time she remarked, in
     substance: 'I have tried all along to do right; I don't know
     that I should be able to do better if the life was to be lived
     over again.'"

     "Saturday noon, March 20.

     "It is a privilege that I never knew before to watch and wait
     in a sick chamber where one is in sympathy and contact with the
     spirit that is mounting upward. It does seem as if the pins of
     the tabernacle were indeed being taken out one by one, and the
     taking of it down is beautiful--how much more beautiful will be
     its rebuilding!

     "Anna and I watched the first part of last night--or, rather,
     she watched, and I lay on the lounge and got up to help her. In
     the latter part, Alfred took Anna's place. So we watch and
     wait. Her mind-wandering continues at intervals, and she
     complains of her dulness--_so stupid_, she says. Christ, she
     says, has been near to her all winter, and is now. A little
     while ago, she remarked that she had been once, at St. Anthony,
     as low as she is now, and God had restored her. So she wanted
     us to pray that God would restore her yet again. This forenoon
     she had a talk with Henry, Robbie, and Cornelia separately.
     When Mr. Warner came in, she asked to see him, and said she
     hoped to have seen him under different circumstances than the
     present--and then commended Anna to his gentle care."

     "Saturday evening.

     "One feels so powerless by the side of a sick loved one! How we
     would like to make well, if we could! But the fever continues
     to burn, and we can only look on. Then the mind wanders and
     fastens on all kinds of impossible and imaginary things. We
     would set that right, but we can not. Dr. Taggart has just been
     here, and speaks encouragingly of your mother. He thinks if we
     can keep her along until the fever runs its course, then
     careful nursing will bring her up again. The neighbors are very
     kind in offering us help and sympathy."

     "Sabbath morning.

     "The mother is still here. But the hopes Dr. Taggart encouraged
     are not likely to be realized. Alfred and I watched with her
     until after midnight, and Mrs. Bushnell and Anna the rest of
     the night. As the _bourbon_ continued to be so distasteful, the
     doctor substituted _wine_; but that was no more desirable.

     "When told it was the Sabbath morning, she looked up brightly
     and said, 'I think He will come for me to-day.' Over and over
     again, she said, 'He strengthens me.' Mrs. Carr and Mrs. Benson
     came in this morning and were very helpful. The doctor has been
     up again, and says he is _still_ hopeful. So _we_ hope and

     "Sabbath evening.

     "The sick one continues much the same as earlier in the day.
     Mrs. Blaisdell and Mrs. Merrill came to offer their sympathy.
     Dr. Taggart came again and desired that she might renew the
     whiskey. This she promised to do. Mr. Bushnell has been in and
     expressed his confidence in the _minne-wakan_ for those who are
     ready to perish."

     "Monday morn, 5:30 o'clock.

     "The end seems to be coming on apace. Anna and Alfred watched
     the first part of the night, and Mrs. Wheeler and I have been
     watching since. The difficulty of breathing has increased
     within the last few hours, and added to it is a rattling in the
     throat. Your mother called my attention to it about three
     o'clock. It seems now as if we can't do much but smooth the
     way, which we do tenderly--lovingly."

     "Seven o'clock, A. M.

     "The battle is fought, the conflict is ended, the victory is
     won, and that _sooner_ than we expected. Your mother's life's
     drama is closed--the curtain is drawn.

     "About one hour ago she called for some tea. Mrs. Wheeler
     hasted and made some fresh. When she had taken that, we gave
     her also the medicine for the hour. She then appeared to lie
     easily. I sat down to write a note to Thomas, who was in the
     Freedman's work in Mississippi. But I had written only a few
     lines when Mrs. Wheeler called me. She had noticed a change
     come on very suddenly. When I reached the bedside, your mother
     could not speak, and did not recognize me by any sign. She was
     passing through the deep waters, and had even then reached the
     farther shore.

     "Mrs. Wheeler called up the children, and sent Robbie for
     Alfred. But, before he could come, the mother had breathed her
     last breath. Quietly, peacefully, without a struggle, only the
     gasping out of life, she passed beyond our reach of vision.

     "Yesterday she had said to me, 'I have neglected the flowers.'
     I asked, 'What flowers?' She replied, 'The immortelles.' _Dear,
     good one, she has gone to the flower-garden of God._"


    1869-1870.--Home Desolate.--At the General Assembly.--Summer
    Campaign.--A. L. Riggs.--His Story of Early Life.--Inside View
    of Missions.--Why Missionaries' Children Become
    Missionaries.--No Constraint Laid on Them.--A. L. Riggs Visits
    the Missouri Sioux.--Up the River.--The Brules.--Cheyenne and
    Grand River.--Starting for Fort Wadsworth.--Sun
    Eclipsed.--Sisseton Reserve.--Deciding to Build There.--In the
    Autumn Assembly.--My Mother's Home.--Winter Visit to
    Santee.--Julia La Framboise.

As Abraham, a stranger and sojourner in the land of the children of
Heth, bought of them the cave of Machpelah wherein to bury Sarah, so
it seemed to me that I had come to Beloit to make a last resting-place
for the remains of Mary. The house seemed desolate. Sooner or later,
it involved the breaking-up of the family. Indeed it commenced very
soon. Robert went up to Minnesota to spend a year at Martha's. In the
meantime, Anna had become mistress of the home, and had with her Mary
Cooley, an invalid cousin.

That year of 1869 I was commissioner from the Dakota Presbytery to the
General Assembly, which met in New York City. It was an assembly of
more than ordinary interest, as at that meeting, and the one that
followed in the autumn, the two branches of the Presbyterian Church
North were again united. During this stay in New York City I was the
guest of Hon. Wm. E. Dodge. That was quite a contrast to living among
the Dakotas. But at the close of the assembly I hastened westward to
join Dr. Williamson at St. Peter. He had procured a small double wagon
and a pony team, with which we together should make our summer
campaign. Having fitted ourselves out, as we always did, with tent and
camping materials, our first objective point was Sioux City, where we
had arranged to meet and take in Alfred L. Riggs.

Since a little previous to the outbreak in 1862, he had been preaching
to white people; first at Lockport, Ill., where he was ordained and
continued with the church five years, and then for a year at Centre,
Wis., and now at Woodstock, Ill. But all this time he seemed to be
only waiting for the Dakota work to assume such a shape as to invite
his assistance. For some time he had been especially acquainting
himself with the most approved methods of education, that he might
fill a place which, year by year, was becoming more manifestly
important to be filled.

As in the progress of modern missions a large and increasing share of
the new recruits are the children of missionaries, it will be
interesting to know, from one of themselves, how they grow up _in_ and
_into_ the Missionary Kingdom.

"My first serious impression of life was that I was living under a
great weight of something; and as I began to discern more clearly, I
found this weight to be the all-surrounding, overwhelming presence of
heathenism, and all the instincts of my birth and all the culture of a
Christian home set me at antagonism to it at every point. The filthy
savages, indecently clad, lazily lounging about the stove of our
sitting-room, or flattening their dirty noses on the window-pane,
caused such a disgust for everything Indian that it took the better
thought of many years to overcome the repugnance thus aroused. Without
doubt, our mothers felt it all as keenly as we, their children, but
they had a sustaining ambition for souls, which we had not yet gained.

"This feeling of disgust was often accompanied with, and heightened
by, fear. The very air seemed to breathe dangers. At times violence
stalked abroad unchallenged, and dark, lowering faces skulked around.
Even in times when we felt no personal danger, this incubus of savage
life all around weighed on our hearts. Thus it was, day and night.
Even those hours of twilight, which brood with sweet influences over
so many lives, bore to us on the evening air only the weird cadences
of the heathen dance or the chill thrill of the war-whoop.

"Yet our childhood was not destitute of joy. Babes prattle beside the
dead. So, too, the children of the mission had their plays like other
children. But it was lonesome indeed when the missionary band was
divided, to occupy other stations, and the playmates were separated.
Once it was my privilege to go one hundred and twenty miles--to the
nearest station--to have a play-spell of a week, and a happy week it

"Notwithstanding our play-spells, ours was a serious life. The serious
earnestness of our parents in the pursuit of their work could not fail
to fall in some degree on the children. The main purpose of
Christianizing that people was felt in everything. It was like
garrison life in time of war. But this seriousness was not ascetical
or morose. Far from it. Those Christian missionary homes were full of
gladness. With all the disadvantages of such a childhood was the rich
privilege of understanding the meaning of cheerful earnestness in
Christian life. Speaking of peculiar privileges, I must say that I do
not believe any other homes can be as precious as ours. It is true
every one thinks his is the best mother in the world, and she is to
him; but I mean more than this; I mean that our missionary homes are
in reality better than others. And there is reason for it. By reason
of the surrounding heathenism, the light and power of Christianity is
more centred and confined in the home. And then, again, its power is
developed by its antagonism to the darkness and wickedness around it.
For either its light must ever shine clearer, or grow more dim until
it expires.

"Next to our own home, we learned to love the homeland in 'the
States,' whence our parents came. A longing desire to visit it
possessed us. We thought that there we should find a heaven on earth.
This may seem a strange idea; but as you think of us engulfed in
heathenism and savage life, it will not seem so strange. It was like
living at the bottom of a well, with only one spot of brightness
overhead. Of course, it would be natural to think that upper world all
brightness and beauty. Thus all our glimpses of another life than that
of heathenism came from 'the States.' There all our ideas of
Christianized society were located. The correspondence of our parents
with friends left behind, the pages of the magazines and papers of the
monthly mail, and the yearly boxes of supplies, were the tangible
tokens which in our innocent minds awakened visions of the wonderful
world of civilization and culture in 'the East.'

"These supplies were in reality, perhaps, very small affairs, but we
thought them of fabulous value. Indeed they were everything to us.
With the opening of the new year the list of purchases began to be
arranged. Each item was carefully considered, and the wants of each
of the family remembered. This was no small task when you had to look
a year and a half ahead. What debates as to whether B could get on
with one pair of shoes, or must have two; or whether C would need some
more gingham aprons, or could make the old ones last through. And,
then, it was so hard to remember mosquito bars and straw hats in
January; but if they were forgotten once, the next January found them
first on the list. It was fun to make up the lists, but not so
exhilarating when, on summing up the probable cost, it was found to be
too much, and then the cruel pen ran through many of our new-born
hopes. Then the letter went on its way to Boston, or maybe to
Cincinnati, and we waited its substantial answer. Sometimes our boxes
went around by lazy sloops from Boston to New Orleans; thence the
laboring steamboat bore them almost the whole length of the Father of
Waters; then the flat-boatmen sweated and swore as they poled them up
the Minnesota to where our teams met them to carry them for another
week over the prairies. Now it was far on into rosy June. After such
waiting, no wonder that everything seemed precious--the very hoops of
the boxes and the redolent pine that made them; even the wrappers and
strings of the packages were carefully laid away. And, thanks to the
kind friends who have cared for this work at our several purchasing
depots, our wants were generally capitally met; and yet sometimes the
packer would arrange it so that the linseed oil would give a new taste
to the dried apples, anything but appetizing, or turn the plain white
of some long-desired book into a highly 'tinted' edition.

"When the number of our years got well past the single figures, then
we went to 'the States,' to carry on the education begun at home. Then
came the saddest disappointment of all our lives. We found we were yet
a good way from heaven. For me, the last remnant of this dream was
effectually dispelled when I came to teach a Sabbath-school in a back
country-neighborhood, where the people were the drift-wood of Kentucky
and Egyptian Illinois. Thenceforth the land of the Dakotas seemed more
the land of promise to me. From that time the claims of the work in
which my parents were engaged grew upon my mind.

"Of late years the children of missionaries have everywhere furnished
a large portion of the new reinforcements. This is both natural and
strange. It is natural that they should desire to stay the hands of
their parents, and go to reap what they have sown. On the other hand,
they go out in face of all the hardships of the work, made vividly
real to them by the experience of their childhood. They are attracted
by no romantic sentiment. The romance is for them all worn off long
ago. For instance, those of us on this field know the noble red man of
the poet to be a myth. We know the real savage, and know him almost
too well. Thus those who follow in the work of their missionary
fathers do not do it without a struggle--often fearful. On the one
hand stands the work, calling them to lonesome separation, and on the
other the pleasant companionship of civilized society. But if the word
of the Lord has come to them to go to Nineveh, happy are they if they
do not go thither by way of Joppa.

"I have spoken of the drawbacks to entering the work, but the
inducements must also be remembered. They are greater than the
drawbacks. We know them also better than strangers can. If we have
known more of the discouragements of the work, we also know more of
its hopefulness. We know the real savage, but we now know and fully
believe in his real humanity and salvability by the power of the
cross. Now, too, when the work is entered, the very difficulties which
barred the way grow less or disappear. We find the dreaded isolation
to be more in appearance than reality. We here are in connection with
the best thought and sympathy of the civilized world, whether it be in
scholarship, statesmanship, or Christian society. And not unfrequently
do we have the visits of friends and the honored representatives of
the churches. One may be much more alone in Chicago or New York.

"The difficulties of the work in earlier years are also changing. We
have a different standing before the people among whom we labor. We
also have matured and tested our methods of operation, and can be
generally confident of success. We have also an ever increasing force
in the native agency which adds strength and hopefulness to the
campaign. The people we come to conquer are themselves furnishing
recruits for this war, so that we, the sons of the mission, stand
among them as captains of the host, and our fathers are as generals."

       *       *       *       *       *

With such a growing-up, it would seem that he was _attracted_ to the
life-work of his father and mother. And yet our children will all bear
witness that no special influence was ever used to draw them into the
missionary work. Some ministers' sons, I understand, have grown up
under the burden of the thought that they were expected to be
ministers. It was certainly my endeavor not to impose any such burden
on my boys. But we certainly did desire--and our desire was not
concealed--that all our children should develop into the most noble
and useful lives, prepared to occupy any position to which they might
be called. Accordingly, when a boy, while pursuing his education, has
shown a disposition "to knock off," I have used what influence I had
to induce him to persevere. But, beyond this, it has been my desire
that each one should, under the divine guidance, _choose_, as is their
right to do, what shall be their line of work in life. At the same
time, it is but just to myself, as well as to them, to say that it
gives me great joy now, in my old age, to see so many of Mary's
children making the life-work of their father and mother their own.

       *       *       *       *       *

This visit of Alfred to the Santee and Yankton agencies was made for
the purpose of looking over the field, and forming an intelligent
judgment as to whether the way was open and the time had come to
commence some higher educational work among the Dakotas. The place for
such an effort was evidently the Santee agency. And John P.
Williamson, who had so long and so well carried on the mission work
among the Santees, had for several years past been more and more
attracted to the Yanktons, where there was an open door; and to the
Yankton agency he had removed his family, in the early spring, before
our visit. So the hand of God had shaped the work. It required only
that we recognize his hand, and put ourselves in accord with the
manifestations of his will. After a few weeks, Alfred returned to his
people in Woodstock, and made his arrangements to close his labors
there in the following winter, when he accepted an appointment from
the American Board to take charge of its work at the Santee agency.

Our summer campaign now commenced. The Williamsons, father and son,
with Titus, one of the Santee pastors, and myself, proceeded up the
Missouri. We made a little stop, as we had done in former years, with
the _Sechangoos_, or Brules, near Fort Thompson, preaching to them the
Gospel of Christ. Some interest was apparent. At least, a
superstitious reverence for the name that is above every name was
manifest. "What is the name?" one asked. "I have forgotten it." And we
again told them of Jesus.

Our next point was the Cheyenne agency, near Fort Sully, a hundred
miles above Fort Thompson, at Crow Creek. There we spent a week, and
met the Indians in their council house. Our efforts were in the line
of sowing seed, much of which fell by the way-side or on the stony
places. And then we passed on another hundred miles, to the agency at
the mouth of Grand River, where were gathered a large number of
Yanktonais, as well as Teetons. This agency is now located farther up
the river, and is called Standing Rock. Among these people we found
some who desired instruction, but the more part did not want to hear.
Our attempt to gather them to a Sabbath meeting seemed quite likely to
fail. But there had been a thunder storm in the early morning, and out
a few miles, on a hill-top, a prominent Dakota man was struck down by
the lightning. He was brought into the agency, and before his burial,
at the close of the day, we had a large company of men and women to
listen to the divine words of Jesus, who is the Resurrection and the
Life. It was an impressive occasion, and it was said by white men that
many of those Indians listened that day for the first time to
Christian song and Christian prayer. But that agency has since passed
into the hands of the Catholics, and David, one of our native
preachers, who visited there recently, was not permitted to remain.

At this point--Grand River--our company separated. John P. Williamson
and Titus returned down the Missouri, and Dr. Williamson and I took a
young man, Blue Bird by name, and crossed over to Fort Wadsworth. On
Saturday we traveled up the Missouri about thirty miles, where we
spent the Sabbath, and where we were joined by a Dakota man who was
familiar with the country across to the James River, and who could
find water for us in that "dry and thirsty land." As we journeyed that
Saturday afternoon, the day grew dark, the sun ceased to shine, our
horses wanted to stop in the road. It was a weird, unnatural
darkness--an eclipse of the sun. We stopped and watched its progress.
For about five minutes the eclipse was annular--only a little rim of
light gleamed forth. The moon seemed to have a cut in one side,
appearing much like a thick cheese from which a very thin slice had
been cut out. We all noted this singular appearance. The Dakotas on
the Missouri represent that year by the symbol of a _black sun with
stars shining_ above it.

When we reached the Sisseton reservation, we held our usual
camp-meeting again at Dry Wood Lake, regulating and confirming the
churches, and receiving quite a number of additions, though not so
many as in the year previous. The place for the Sisseton agency had
been selected, some log buildings erected, and the agent, Dr. Jared W.
Daniels, with his family, was on the ground. The time seemed to have
come when, to secure the fruits of the harvest, some more permanent
occupation should be made in the reservation. Mary was gone up
higher. The boys, for whose sakes, mainly, we had made a home in
Beloit, were no longer in college. Thomas had graduated, and spent a
year in teaching freedmen in Mississippi, and was now in the Chicago
Theological Seminary; while Henry had commenced to seek his fortune in
other employment. Without apparent detriment, I could break up
housekeeping in Beloit, and build at Sisseton. The plan was formed
during this visit, and talked over with Dr. Williamson and Agent
Daniels. God willing, and the Prudential Committee at Boston
approving, it was to be carried into effect the next spring.

And so I returned to my home in Beloit, and went on to attend the
meeting of the two General Assemblies at Pittsburg, where their union
became an accomplished fact. At the close of this meeting, I spent a
couple of weeks in visiting friends in Fayette County, Pa., and the
old stone church of Dunlap's Creek, which had been the church-home of
my mother when as yet she was unmarried.

       *       *       *       *       *

For several winters preceding this I had been working on translations
of the Book of Psalms and Ecclesiastes and Isaiah. They were printed
in 1871. But this winter of 1869-70 was mostly spent with the Santees.
Mr. Williamson had left that place and gone to the Yankton agency,
where he has since continued with great prosperity in the missionary
work. And so there came to me a pressing invitation from Mrs. Mary
Frances Pond and Miss Julia La Framboise to come out and help them
that winter.

Julia La Framboise was the teacher of the mission-school at Santee.
She was born of a Dakota mother, and her father always claimed that
he had Indian blood mixed with his French. Julia was a noble Christian
woman, who had been trained up in the mission families, completing her
education at Miss Sill's Seminary, in Rockford, Ill. I found them all
actively engaged in carrying forward mission work. But we conceived
more might be done to bring children into the school and men and women
to the church. Accordingly, I called together the pastors and elders
of the church, and engaged them to enter upon a system of thorough
church visitation, which had the effect of greatly increasing the
numbers in attendance on both the school and the church.

Even then, as it afterward appeared, Julia was entering upon the
incipient stages of pulmonary consumption. She was not careful of
herself. After teaching school until one o'clock, she was ever ready
to go with the agent's daughters to interpret for them in the case of
some sick person, or to relieve the wants of the poor. Before I left,
in March, her cough had become alarming. And so it increased. The
second summer after this, she was obliged to stop work, and simply
wait for the coming of the messenger that called her to the Father's
house above.


    1870-1871.--Beloit Home Broken Up.--Building on the Sisseton
    Reserve.--Difficulties and Cost.--Correspondence with
    Washington.--Order to Suspend Work.--Disregarding the
    Taboo.--Anna Sick at Beloit.--Assurance.--Martha Goes in Anna's
    Place.--The Dakota Churches.--Lac-qui-parle, Ascension.--John B.
    Renville.--Daniel Renville.--Houses of Worship.--Eight
    Churches.--The "Word Carrier."--Annual Meeting on the Big
    Sioux.--Homestead Colony.--How it Came about.--Joseph Iron Old
    Man.--Perished in a Snow Storm.--The Dakota Mission
    Divides.--Reasons Therefor.

The spring of 1870 brought with it a breaking-up of the Beloit home.
Some months before Mary's death, she had invited to our house an
invalid niece, the daughter of her older sister, Mrs. Lucretia Cooley.
A dear, good girl Mary Cooley was. She had during the war acted as
nurse, in the service of the Christian Commission. But her health
failed. It was hoped that a year in the West might build her up. After
her aunt had gone from us, Mary Cooley remained with us. But the
malady increased; and this spring her brother Allan came and took her
back to Massachusetts. And now, only a little while ago, we heard of
her release in California, whither the family had removed. The good
Lord had compassion upon her, and took her to a land where no one
says, "I am sick."

Then the house was rented. The household goods and household gods were
scattered, the major part being taken up into the Indian country. Anna
would spend the summer with friends in Beloit, and Cornelia, the
youngest, I took up to Minnesota, and left with Martha on the

My plan was to put up two buildings, a dwelling-house and a
school-house, for the erection of which the committee at Boston had
appropriated $2800. That may seem quite an amount; but the materials
had to be transported from Minneapolis and the Red River of the North.
What I purchased at Minneapolis was carried by rail and steamboat one
hundred and fifty miles. There remained one hundred and thirty, over
which the lumber was hauled in wagons in the month of June, when the
roads were bad and the streams swimming. And so the cost was very
great,--dressed flooring coming up to $75 per 1000 feet, dressed
siding $65, shingles about $15 per 1000, and common lumber $60 a
thousand feet.

When the materials were on the ground, but little money was left for
their erection. But, with one carpenter and two or three young men to
assist, I pushed forward the work, and by the middle of September the
houses were up, and ready to be occupied, though in an unfinished

During this time there were some things transpired which deserve to be

Before commencing to build, I had received the written approval of the
agent. In regard to the locality we differed. He wished me to build in
the immediate vicinity of the agency, while I, for very good reasons,
selected a place nearly two miles away. But that, I think, could have
made no difference in his feeling toward the enterprise. However, soon
after I commenced, I was visited by Gabriel Renville, who was
recognized as the head man on the reservation. He did not forbid my
proceeding, but wanted to know whether I had authority to do so. I
replied that I had the approval of Agent Daniels, which I regarded as
sufficient. When I reported this to Mr. Daniels, he advised me to
write to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, and obtain a permit,
which, he said, might save me trouble.

Accordingly, I wrote immediately to the Department of the Interior,
stating the life-long connection we had had with these Indians, and
the work we had done among them, and that now I was authorized by the
A. B. C. F. M. to erect mission buildings among them, and asking that
our plan be approved.

After three or four weeks, when I was in the very middle of my work of
building, there came an order from Washington that I should suspend
operations until they would settle the question to what religious
denomination that part of the field should be assigned. That subject
was then under advisement, they said.

Should I obey? If I did so, much additional expense would be incurred,
and my summer's work, as planned, would be a failure. Really no
question could be raised about it. The American Board had been doing
missionary work among those Indians for a third of a century, and no
other denomination or missionary board pretended to have any claim on
the field. It was unreasonable, under the circumstances, that we
should be asked to suspend, and thus suffer harm and loss. So I placed
my letter safely away and went on with my work. No human being there
knew that I had received such a command.

By the return mail I wrote to Secretary Treat, rehearsing the whole
case, and asking him, without delay, to write to the authorities at
Washington. I told him I had concluded to disregard the _taboo_, and
would not in consequence thereof drive a nail the less. When the
summer months were passed, and my houses were both up, I received a
letter from the commissioner commending my work, and telling me to go

In the latter end of August there came to me a letter, written in a
strange hand, saying that Anna was lying sick at Mr. Carr's, of
typhoid fever. The intention of the letter evidently was not to
greatly alarm me, but it conveyed the idea that she was very sick, and
the result was doubtful. Ten or twelve days had passed since it was
written. My affairs were not then in a condition to be left without
much damage, and so I determined to await the coming of another mail.
When I heard again, a week later, there was no decided change for the
better. So the letter read. But in the meantime this word had come to
me--"This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God." It
came to me like a revelation. I seemed to know it. It quieted my
alarm. All anxiety was not taken away, but my days passed in
comparatively quiet trust. About the middle of September I started
down with my own team, and, on reaching St. Peter and Mankato, I
received letters from Anna written with her own hand. She had come up
gradually, but a couple of months passed before she was strong.

Before I commenced building at Good Will, which was the name we gave
to our new station, the understanding was that Anna would be married
in the coming autumn, and she and her husband would take charge of the
mission work there. Anna seemed to have grown up into the idea that
her life-work was to be with the Dakotas. But it was otherwise
ordered. In the October following, when we all again met in Beloit,
she was married to H. E. Warner, who had lost an arm in the War of
the Rebellion, and they have since made their home in Iowa.

Martha Taylor Riggs had been married to Wyllys K. Morris, in December,
1866. For a time they made their home in Mankato, Minn., and then
removed to a farm twenty miles from town. Life on the extreme frontier
they found filled with privations and hardships, and so were quite
willing to accept the new place; and before the winter set in they
were removed to Good Will. Robert, who had gone up after his mother's
death, and spent a year with Martha at Sterling, Minn., returned to
Beloit, and entered the preparatory department of the college.
Cornelia went with us to Good Will, and remained two years.

       *       *       *       *       *

The home was again in Dakota land. We at once opened a school, which
has since been taught almost entirely by W. K. Morris.[6] The native
churches needed a good deal of attention. At Lac-qui-parle a number of
families had stopped and taken claims. There a church was organized of
about forty members, which for two or three years was in the charge of
Rev. John B. Renville. But about this time Mr. Renville removed to the
reservation, and from that time the Dakota settlement gradually
diminished, until all had removed, and the Lac-qui-parle church was
absorbed by those on the reserve.

    [6] This school has been much enlarged since 1877.

Ascension, or _Iyakaptape_, so named from its having been from time
immemorial the place where the Coteau was ascended by the Dakotas on
their way westward, was the district in which a number of the Renville
families took claims. Daniel Renville, one of our licentiates, had
been preaching to the church gathered there. But it was understood
all along that John B. Renville was to be their pastor. And so it came
about, as he now transferred his home to that settlement.

In the spring of 1863, Mr. Renville had purchased a little house in
St. Anthony, where they made their home for several years, Mrs.
Renville teaching a school of white children for a part of the time.
Removing from there, they pre-empted a piece of land on Beaver Creek.
During these years they had in their family from four to six
half-breed or Dakota children, whom they taught English very
successfully, and for the most part maintained them out of their own
scanty means. While living in St. Anthony, Mr. Renville had translated
"Precept Upon Precept," which was printed in Boston, and became
thenceforth one of our Dakota school-books.

As Mr. Daniel Renville was now released from labor at Ascension, I
proposed his name to the Good Will church, and advised them to elect
him to be their religious teacher. But when the election took place
they all voted for me. I thanked them for the honor they did me, and
told them that it could not be. Our plan of missionary work was
changed. Henceforth the preaching and pastoral work were to be done
almost exclusively by men from among themselves. It was better for
them that it should be so, for only in that way would they learn to
support their own Gospel. We missionaries had never asked them to
contribute anything toward our support. It was manifestly incongruous
that we should do so. And yet they were so far advanced in the
knowledge of Christian duties that they ought to assume the burden of
contributing to the support of their own religious teachers. It would
be a means of grace to them. Moreover, a man who spoke the language
natively had great advantage over us, both in preaching and pastoral

When I had made this speech to them, they went again into an election,
and chose Daniel Renville to be their pastor. He was soon afterward
ordained and installed by the Dakota Presbytery, and continued with
the Good Will church about six years. Previous to this time, the
original Dakota Presbytery had been divided into the _Mankato_ and
_Dakota_, the latter of which was again confined to the Dakota field,
as it had been when first formed in 1845.

At this time Solomon was the pastor of the Long Hollow church, and
Louis was stated supply at Fort Wadsworth, or Kettle Lakes, and Thomas
Good a licentiate preacher at Buffalo Lake. Some time after this the
Mayasan church was organized, and Louis called to take charge of it,
David Gray Cloud coming into his place at Fort Wadsworth.

The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church had set on foot their
Million Thank Offering effort, which was available for poor churches
in erecting houses of worship. By means of this outside help, the
Ascension church and the Long Hollow church, as well as the Homestead
Settlement church on the Big Sioux, were enabled to build houses--two
of them of logs. The building at Long Hollow continues to be occupied
by the church, while the other two houses have given place to larger
and better frame buildings.

In the spring of 1871 our Dakota church organizations were eight,
_viz._: The Pilgrim Church, at Santee, with 267 members, Rev. Artemas
Ehnamane and Rev. Titus Ichadooze pastors; The Flandreau or River Bend
church, on the Big Sioux, with 107 members, Joseph Iron-oldman pastor
elect; the Lac-qui-parle church, with 41 members, now without a
pastor; the Ascension church, on the Sisseton reservation, with 69
members, Rev. John B. Renville pastor; the Dry Wood Lake or Good Will
church, with 42 members, Rev. Daniel Renville pastor; the Long Hollow
church, with 80 members, Rev. Solomon Toonkan-shaecheya pastor; the
Kettle Lakes or Fort Wadsworth church, with 38 members, Rev. Louis
Mazawakinyanna stated supply; and the recently organized church at
Yankton agency, with 19 members, in charge of Rev. John P. Williamson.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the month of May of this year, the first number of the _Iapi Oaye_
appeared. It was a very modest little sheet of four pages, eight by
ten inches, and altogether in the Dakota language, with the motto,
"Taku washta okiya, taku shecha kepajin," which, being interpreted,
would read, "To help what is good, to oppose what is bad." Rev. John
P. Williamson, who had the sole charge of it for the first twelve
numbers, in his first Dakota editorial, thus accounts for its origin:
"For three years I have prepared a little tract at New Year, which Mr.
E. R. Pond printed, and I distributed gratuitously to all who could
read Dakota. And many persons liked it, and some said, 'If we had a
newspaper, we would pay for it.' I have trusted to the truth of this
saying, and so this winter have been preparing to print one. But I
have found many obstacles in the way, and have not gotten out the
first number until now." As it was to be the means of conveying the
thoughts and speech of one person to another, it was proper, he said,
to call it _Iapi Oaye_, or "Word Carrier." The subscription price was
placed at fifty cents a year. This was not increased after the paper
was doubled in size, as it was the first of January, 1873, at the
commencement of the second volume. When the change was made, I was
taken in as associate editor, and henceforth about one-third of the
letter-press was to be in the English language. By this means we could
communicate missionary intelligence to white people, and thus secure
their aid in supporting the paper, as well as extend the interest in
our work. And, as an attraction to the Dakotas, a full-page picture
has been generally added.

In starting the paper, the main object proposed was to stimulate
education among the Dakotas, so that we were not disappointed to find
that, in addition to all that came in from subscriptions, several
hundred dollars were required from the missionary funds to square up
the year. But we lived in hope, and do so still, that the time will
come when the enterprise will be self-supporting. It has proved itself
to be an exceedingly important assistant in our missionary work, which
we can not afford to let die.

       *       *       *       *       *

With the homesteaders on the Big Sioux, on the 23d of June, 1871, we
held our first general conference of the Dakota churches.[7] From the
Sisseton Agency there went down John B. Renville, Daniel Renville, and
Solomon, of the pastors, with several elders and myself. Dr.
Williamson came up from St. Peter; and John P. Williamson, A. L.
Riggs, and Artemas Ehnamane, and others, came over from the Missouri
River. Year by year, from that time on, we have continued to hold
these meetings, and they have constantly increased in interest and
importance. On this first occasion, four or five days were spent, and
religious meetings held each day. The circumstances by which we were
surrounded intensified the interest. As yet there was no church or
school-house in which we could assemble, and our meetings were held
out-of-doors, or under a booth in connection with Mr. All Iron's

    [7] This was preliminary to the regularly organized conference
    which met the next year.

This colony of more than one hundred church members had located near
the eastern line of Dakota Territory, in the beautiful and fertile
valley of the Big Sioux River. Their settlement lay along that stream
for twenty-five or thirty miles, its centre being about forty miles
above the thriving town of Sioux Falls.

The most of these men were in 1862 engaged in the Sioux outbreak in
Minnesota. For three years they were held in military prisons.
Meanwhile, their families and the remnants of their tribe had been
deported to the Missouri River; so that when they found themselves
together again, it was at Niobrara, Neb., or soon afterward at the
newly established Santee agency a few miles below.

What impulse stirred them up to break away from their own tribe, to
which they had but just returned, and try the hard work of making a
home among coldly disposed if not hostile whites? What made them leave
all their old traditional ties and relationships and go forth as
strangers and wanderers? It must be borne in mind that they left
behind them the food which the government issued weekly on the agency,
to seek a very precarious living by farming, for which they had
neither tools nor teams. They also gave up the advantage of the yearly
issue of clothing, and the prospect of such considerable gifts of
horses, oxen, cows, wagons, and ploughs, as were distributed
occasionally on the agency. More than this: those who had already
received such gifts from the United States Indian Civilization Fund
had to leave all behind, though they went out for the very purpose of
seeking a higher civilization. They went forth in the face, moreover,
of great opposition and derision from the chiefs of their tribe. The
United States Indian agent was also against them. Whence, then, did
they have the strength of purpose which enabled them to face all this
opposition, brave all these dangers?

The germs of this movement are only to be found in the resolves for a
new life made by these men when in prison! There all were nominally,
and the larger part were really, converted to Christ. All of them in
some sense experienced a conversion of thought and purpose. There they
agreed to abolish all the old tribal arrangements and customs. Old
things were to be done away, and all things were to become new. And as
they had been electing their church officers, so they would elect the
necessary civil officers.

But when they came to their people they found the old Indian system in
full power, backed by the authority of the United States. Of the old
chiefs who ruled them in Minnesota, Little Crow and Little Six, the
leaders of the rebellion, were dead; but the others, who had been kept
out of active participation, not by their loyalty to the United
States, but by their jealousy of these leaders, had saved their necks
and were again in power. A few had been appointed to vacancies by the
United States agent, and the ring was complete. And our friends were
commanded at once to fall in under the old chiefs before they could
receive any rations. They must be Indians or starve! Nothing was to be
hoped for from within the tribe, nor from Washington. The Indian
principle was regnant there also. Nothing was left to them but to seek
some other land. One said: "I could not bear to have my children grow
up nothing but Indians"; so they all felt.

They made their hegira in March, 1869. In this region this is the
worst month in the year, but they had to take advantage of the absence
of their agent and the chiefs at Washington. Twenty-five families went
in this company. A few had ponies, but they mostly took their way on
foot, packing their goods and children, one hundred and thirty miles
over the Dakota prairies. About midway a fearful snow-storm burst upon
them. They lost their way, and one woman froze to death. The next
autumn fifteen other families joined them, and twenty more followed
the year after. Even one of the chiefs, finding the movement likely to
succeed, left his chieftainship and its emoluments to join them. He
thought it more to be a man than to be a chief.

Existence was a hard struggle for several years; for these Indians had
neither ploughs nor working teams. But they exchanged work with their
white neighbors, and so had a little "breaking" done. And in the fall
and early spring they went trapping, and by this means raised a little
money to pay entry fees on their lands and buy their clothes. On one
of these hunting expeditions, Iron Old Man, the acting pastor of their
church and a leader in the colony, was overtaken, while chasing elk,
by one of the Dakota "blizzards," and he and his companion in the hunt
perished in the snow-drifts.

Joseph Iron Old Man was not an old man, notwithstanding his name, but
a man in middle life. He had been a Hoonkayape or elder in the prison,
re-elected on the consolidation of the Pilgrim Church in Nebraska,
and thus elected to the same office a third time in the River Bend
Church on the Big Sioux. After this, when the church met to elect a
religious teacher, he was chosen almost unanimously. It was expected
that the Presbytery would have confirmed the action of the church at
this gathering in June. But this was not to be. On the seventh day of
April, when it was bright and warm, he and another Dakota man, as they
were out hunting, came upon half-a-dozen elk. They chased them first
on horseback, until their horses were jaded. Then, leaving the horses,
they kept up the pursuit on foot, in the meantime divesting themselves
of all superfluous clothing. In this condition, the storm came upon
them suddenly, when they were out in the open prairie between the Big
Sioux and the James River. Escape was impossible, and to live through
the storm and cold in their condition was equally impossible, even for
an Indian. Far and near their friends hunted, but did not find them
until the first day of May.

So the hopes and plans of the colony and the church were disappointed.
At our meeting, we expressed sorrow and sympathy, and endeavored to
lead the people to a higher trust in God. The young men might fail and
fall, but the command was still, "Hope thou in God." Before we left
them, they elected another leader--Williamson O. Rogers--Mr. All Iron.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Dakota mission had been, from its commencement, under the American
Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. As Presbyterians, we had
been connected with the New School branch. But now the two schools had
been united. Many--nay, most--of the New School Assembly, who had
worked with the American Board, now thought it their duty to withdraw,
and connect themselves and their contributions with the Assembly's
Board of Foreign Missions. The ploughshare must be run through the
mission fields also. We in the Dakota mission were invited to transfer
our relations. The prudential committee at Boston left us to act out
our own sweet will. Dr. T. S. Williamson and Rev. John P. Williamson
elected to go over to the Presbyterian Board. For myself, I did not
care to do so. Although conscientiously a Presbyterian, I was not, and
am not, so much of one as to draw me away from the associations which
had been growing for a third of a century. Whether I reasoned rightly
or wrongly, I conceived that I had a character with the American Board
that I could not transfer; and I was too old to build up another
reputation. Besides, Alfred L. Riggs had now joined the mission, and
as a Congregational minister he could do no otherwise than retain his
connection with the A.B.C.F.M.

The case was a plain one. We divided. Some questions then came up as
to the field and the work. These were very soon amicably settled, on a
basis which, so far as I know, has continued to be satisfactory from
that day to this. The churches on the Sisseton reservation and at the
Santee were to continue in connection with the American Board; while
the Big Sioux and Yankton agency churches would be counted as under
the Presbyterian Board. Henceforth, in regard to common expenses of
Dakota publications, _they_ were to bear _one-third_, and _we


    1870-1873.--A. L. Riggs Builds at Santee.--The Santee High
    School.--Visit to Fort Sully.--Change of Agents at
    Sisseton.--Second Marriage.--Annual Meeting at Good Will.--Grand
    Gathering.--New Treaty Made at Sisseton.--Nina Foster
    Riggs.--Our Trip to Fort Sully.--An Incident by the Way.--Stop
    at Santee.--Pastor Ehnamane.--His Deer Hunt.--Annual Meeting in
    1873.--Rev. S. J. Humphrey's Visit.--Mr. Humphrey's
    Sketch.--Where They Come From.--Morning Call.--Visiting the
    Teepees.--The Religious Gathering.--The Moderator.--Questions
    Discussed.--The _Personnel_.--Putting up a Tent.--Sabbath
    Service.--Mission Reunion.

From Flandreau, the Dakota homestead settlement on the Big Sioux, I
accompanied A. L. Riggs and J. P. Williamson to the Missouri. A year
before this time, in the month of May, 1870, Alfred had removed his
family from Woodstock, Ill., to the Santee agency. The mission
buildings heretofore had been of the cheapest kind. Only one small
house had a shingle roof; the rest were "shacks." Before his arrival,
some preparation had been made for building--logs of cotton-wood had
been cut and hauled to the government saw-mill. These were cut up into
framing lumber. The pine boards and all finishing materials were taken
up from Yankton and Sioux City and Chicago, and so he proceeded to
erect a family dwelling and a school-house, which could be used for
church purposes.

These were so far finished as to be occupied in the autumn; and a
school was opened with better accommodations and advantages than
heretofore. In the December _Iapi Oaye_, there appeared a notice of
the Santee High School, Rev. A. L. Riggs Principal, with Eli Abraham
and Albert Frazier assistants. The advertisement said, "If any one
should give you a deer, you would probably say, 'You make me glad.'
But how much more would you be glad if one should teach you how to
hunt and kill many deer. So, likewise, if one should teach you a
little wisdom he would make you glad, but you would be more glad if
one taught you how to acquire knowledge." This the Santee High School
proposed to do.

On reaching the Santee, I met by appointment Thomas L. Riggs, who had
come on from Chicago at the end of his second seminary year. Together
we proceeded up to Fort Sully, where we spent a good part of the
summer that remained. But this, with what came of our visit, will be
related in a following chapter. In the autumn I returned to Good Will,
and the winter was one of work, on the line which we had been

During the early part of this winter, 1871-72, a change was made of
agents at Sisseton; Dr. J. W. Daniels resigned, and Rev. M. N. Adams
came in his place. Dr. Daniels was Bishop Whipple's appointee, and, as
the Episcopalians were not engaged in the missionary work on this
reservation, it was evidently proper, under the existing
circumstances, that the selection should be accorded to the American
Board. As, many years before, Mr. Adams had been a missionary among a
portion of these people, he came as United States Indian agent, with
an earnest wish to forward in all proper ways the cause of education
and civilization and the general uplifting of the whole people. He met
with a good deal of opposition, but continued to be agent more than
three years, and left many memorials of his interest and efficiency,
in the school-houses he erected, as well as in the hearts of the
Christian people.

       *       *       *       *       *

The object that had been paramount in taking our family to Beloit in
1865 was but partly accomplished when Mary died in the spring of 1869.
Since that time three years had passed. Robert had gone back to Beloit
to school, and was now ready to enter the freshman class of the
college. Cornelia was in her fourteenth year, and her education only
fairly begun. It was needful that she should have the advantages of a
good school. To accomplish my desire for their education it seemed
best to reoccupy our vacant house. That spring of 1872, I was
commissioner from the Dakota Presbytery to the General Assembly, which
met in Detroit. At the close of the assembly, I went down to
Granville, Ohio, and, in accordance with an arrangement previously
made, I married Mrs. Annie Baker Ackley, who had once been a teacher
with us at Hazelwood, and more recently had spent several years in the
employ of the American Missionary Association, in teaching the
freedmen. We at once proceeded to the Good Will mission station, where
the summer was spent, and then in the autumn opened our house in

The meeting of the ministers and elders and representatives of the
Dakota churches, which was held with the River Bend church on the Big
Sioux, had been found very profitable to all. At that time a like
conference had been arranged for, to meet on the 25th of June, 1872,
with the church of Good Will, on the Sisseton reservation. The
announcement was made in the April _Iapi Oaye_. In the invitation nine
churches are mentioned, _viz._: _The Santee_, _Yankton_, _River Bend_,
_Lac-qui-parle_, _Ascension_, _Good Will_, _Buffalo Lake_, _Long
Hollow_, and _Kettle Lakes_. It was said that subjects interesting and
profitable to all would be discussed; and especially was the presence
of the Holy Spirit desired and prayed for, since, without God present
with us, the assembly would be only a dead body.

In the green month of June, when the roses on the prairie began to
bloom, then they began to assemble at our Dakota Conference. Dr. T. S.
Williamson came up from his home at St. Peter--200 miles. John P.
Williamson, from the Yankton agency, and A. L. Riggs, from Santee,
brought with them Rev. Joseph Ward, pastor of the Congregational
Church in Yankton. As they came by Sioux Falls and Flandreau, their
whole way would not be much under 300 miles. Thomas L. Riggs, who had
commenced his new station in the close of the winter, came across the
country from Fort Sully on horseback, a distance of about 220 miles,
having with him a Dakota guide and soldier guard. They rode it in less
than five days. From all parts came the Dakota pastors and elders and
messengers of the churches. The gathering was so large that a booth
was made for the Sabbath service. It was an inspiration to us all. It
was unanimously voted to hold the next year's meeting with the
Yanktons at the Yankton agency.

At the Sisseton agency, in the month of September, a semi-treaty was
made by Agents M. N. Adams and W. H. Forbes, and James Smith, Jr., of
St. Paul, United States commissioners, with the Dakota Indians of the
Lake Traverse and Devil's Lake reservations, by which they relinquish
all their claim on the country of North-eastern Dakota through which
the Northern Pacific Railroad runs. By this arrangement, education
would have been made compulsory, and the men would have been enabled
to obtain patents for their land within some reasonable time; but the
Senate struck out everything except the ceding of the land and the
compensation therefor. Our legislators do not greatly desire that
Indians should become white men.

When Thanksgiving Day came this year, Mr. Adams dedicated a fine brick
school-house, which he had that summer erected, in the vicinity of the
agency. Of this occasion he wrote, "It was indeed a day of
thanksgiving and praise with us, and to me an event of the deepest
interest. And I hope that good and lasting impressions were made there
upon the minds of some of this people."

In the work of Bible translation, I had been occupied with the book of
Daniel in the summer, and, in the winter that followed, my first copy
of the Minor Prophets was made. When the spring came, I hied away to
the Dakota country. This time my course was to the Missouri River.
Thomas had been married in Bangor, Me., to Nina Foster, daughter of
Hon. John B. Foster, and sister of Mrs. Charles H. Howard of the
_Advance_. They came west, and, as the winter was not yet past, Thomas
went on from Chicago alone, and Nina remained with her sister until
navigation should open. And so it came to pass that she and I were
company for each other to Fort Sully.

As we left Yankton in the stage for Santee, where we were to stop a
few days and wait for an up-river boat, an incident occurred which
must have been novel to the girl from Bangor. The day was just
breaking when the stage had made out its complement of passengers,
except one. There were six men on the two seats before us, and Nina
and I were behind. At a little tavern in the suburbs of the town, the
ninth passenger was taken in. As he came out we could see that he was
the worse for drinking. I at once shoved over to the middle of the
seat, and let him in by my side. He turned out to be a burly French
half-breed, or a Frenchman who had a Dakota family. We had gone but a
little distance, when he said he was going to smoke. I objected to his
smoking inside the stage. He begged the lady's pardon a thousand
times, but said he must smoke. By this time he had hunted in his
pockets, but did not find his pipe. "O mon pipe!" The stage-driver
must turn around and go back--it cost $75. He worked himself and the
rest of us into quite an excitement. By and by he said to me: "Do you
know who I am?" I said I did not. He said, "I am Red Cloud, and I have
killed a great many white men." "Ah," said I, "you are Red Cloud? I do
not believe you can talk Dakota"--and immediately I commenced talking
Dakota. He turned around and stared at me. "Who are you?" he said.
From that moment he was my friend, and ever so good.

It was now the month of May, but there were deep snow banks still in
the ravines on the north side of the river. A terrible storm had swept
over the country from the north-east about the middle of April. A
hundred Indian ponies and forty or fifty head of cattle at the Santee
agency had perished. This made spring work go heavily.

I was interested in examining the building erected last summer for the
girls' boarding-school. It should have been completed before the
winter came on, according to the agreement. But now it is intended to
have it ready for occupancy the first of September. When finished, it
will accommodate twenty or twenty-four girls and also the lady

On the Sabbath we spent there, I preached in the morning, and Pastor
Artemas Ehnamane preached in the afternoon. The _Word Carrier_ tells a
good story of this Santee pastor. In his younger days, Ehnamane was
one of the best Dakota hunters. Tall and straight as an arrow, he was
literally as swift as a deer. And he learned to use a gun with
wonderful precision. Only a few years before this time, I was
traveling with him, when, in the evening, he took his gun and went
around a lake, and brought into camp twelve large ducks. He had shot
three times.

Well, in the fall of 1872 his church gave him a vacation of six weeks,
and "he turned his footsteps to the wilds of the Running Water, where
his heart grew young, and his rifle cracked the death-knell of the
deer and antelope.

"Being on the track of the hostile Sioux who go to fight the Pawnees,
one evening he found himself near a camp of the wild Brules. _He_ was
weak, _they_ were strong and perhaps hostile. It was time for him to
show his colors. His kettles were filled to the brim. The proud
warriors were called, and as they filled their mouths with his savory
meat, he filled their ears with the sound of the Gospel trumpet, and
gave them their first view of eternal life. Thus the _deer hunt_
became a _soul hunt_. The wild Brules grunted their friendly 'yes,' as
they left Ehnamane's teepee, their mouths filled with venison, and
their hearts with the good seed of truth, from which some one will
reap the fruit after many days."

       *       *       *       *       *

On the 13th of June, 1873, the second regular annual meeting of the
Dakota Conference commenced its sessions at Rev. John P. Williamson's
mission at the Yankton agency. The _Word Carrie_r for August says this
was a very full meeting: "Every missionary and assistant missionary,
except Mrs. S. R. Riggs and W. K. Morris, was present, also every
native preacher and a full list of other delegates." I came down from
Fort Sully with T. L. Riggs and his wife, who had only joined him a
few weeks before. Martha Riggs Morris and her two children came over
from Sisseton--three hundred miles--with the Dakota delegation. They
had a hard journey. The roads were bad and the streams were flooded.
There was no way of crossing the Big Sioux except by swimming, and
those who could not swim were pulled over in a poor boat improvised
from a wagon-bed. It was not without a good deal of danger. Those from
the Santee agency had only the Missouri River to cross, and a day's
journey to make. The interest of our meeting was greatly increased by
the presence of Rev. S. J. Humphrey, D.D., District Secretary of the
American Board, Chicago; and Rev. E. H. Avery, pastor of the
Presbyterian church in Sioux City.

Mr. Williamson's new chapel made a very pleasant place for the
gatherings. _Pastoral Support_, _Pastoral Visitation_, and _Vernacular
Teaching_ were among the live topics discussed. Their eager
consideration and prompt discussion of these questions were in strong
contrast with the stolid indifference and mulish reticence of the
former life of these native Dakotas, and showed the working of a
superhuman agency. Our friend S. J. Humphrey wrote and published a
very life-like description of what he saw and heard on this visit, and
it does me great pleasure to let him bear testimony to the marvels
wrought by the power of the Gospel of Christ.

       *       *       *       *       *

"The annual meeting of the Dakota Mission was held at Yankton agency,
commencing June 13. We esteem it a rare privilege to have been present
on that occasion and to have seen with our own eyes the marvelous
transformations wrought by the Gospel among this people. Thirty-six
hours by rail took us to Yankton, the border town of civilization.
Twelve hours more in stage and open wagon along the north bank of the
Missouri--the Big Muddy, as the Indians rightly call it--carried us
sixty miles into the edge of the vast open prairie, and into the heart
of the Yankton reservation. Here, scattered up and down the river
bottom for thirty miles, live the Yanktons, one of the Dakota bands,
about 2000 in number. Thirty miles below, on the opposite bank, in
Nebraska, are the Santees. Up the river for many hundreds of miles at
different points other reservations are set off, while several wilder
bands still hunt the buffalo on the wide plains that stretch westward
to the Black Hills. The Sissetons, another family of this tribe, are
located near Lake Traverse, on the eastern boundary of Dakota
Territory. This is the field of the Dakota Mission. The chief bands
laid hold of thus far are the Sisseton, the Santee, and the Yankton. A
new point has recently been taken at Fort Sully, among the Teetons.

"It was from these places, lying apart in their extremes at least 300
miles, that more than a hundred Indians gathered at this annual
meeting. On Thursday afternoon the hospitable doors of Rev. J. P.
Williamson's spacious log house opened just in time to give us shelter
from a fierce storm of wind and rain. The next morning the Santees,
fifty of them from the Pilgrim Church, some on foot, some on
pony-back, and a few in wagons, straggled in, and pitched their camp,
in Indian fashion, on the open space near the mission house. About
noon the Sissetons appeared, a dilapidated crowd of more than forty,
weary and foot-sore with their 300 miles tramp through ten tedious
days. Among them was one white person, a woman, with her two children,
the youngest an infant, not a captive, but a missionary's wife,
traveling thus among a people whom the Gospel had made captives
themselves, chiefly through the labors of an honored father and a
mother of blessed memory. It intimates the courage and endurance
needed for such a trip to know that there were almost no human
habitations on the way, and that swollen rivers were repeatedly
crossed in the wagon-box, stripped of its wheels and made sea-worthy
by canvas swathed underneath.

"An hour afterward, from 200 miles in the opposite direction, the Fort
Sully delegation appeared. For Father Riggs, and the younger son,
famous as a hard rider, this journey was no great affair. But the
tenderly reared young wife--how she could endure the five days of
wagon and tent life is among the mysteries.

"That this was no crowd of Indian revellers come to a sun dance (as it
might have been of yore) was soon manifest. The first morning after
their arrival, a strange, chanting voice, like that of a herald,
mingled with our day-break dreams. Had we been among the Mussulmans
we should have thought it the muezzin's cry. Of course, all was Indian
to us, but we learned afterward that it was indeed a call to prayer,
with this English rendering:--

    "'Morning is coming! Morning is coming!
    Wake up! Wake up! Come to sing! Come to pray!'

"In a few minutes, for it does not take an Indian long to dress, the
low cadence of many voices joining in one of our own familiar tunes
rose sweetly on the air, telling us that the day of their glad
solemnities had begun. This was entirely their own notion, and was
repeated each of the four days we were together.

"On this same morning another sharp contrast of the old and the new
appeared. By invitation of the elder Williamson, we took a walk among
the teepees of the natives who live on the ground. Passing, with due
regard for Dakota etiquette, those which contained only women, we came
to one which we might properly enter. The inmates were evidently of
the heathen party. A man, apparently fifty, sat upon a skin, entirely
nude save the inevitable blanket, which he occasionally drew up about
his waist. A lad of sixteen, in the same state, lounged in an obscure
corner. The mother, who, we learned, occasionally attended meeting,
wore a drabbled dress, doubtless her only garment. Two or three others
were present in different stages of undress, and all lazy, stolid,
dirty. As we looked into these impassive faces we could understand the
saying of one of the missionaries, that when you first speak to an
audience of wild Indians you might as well preach to the back of their
heads, so far as any responsive expression is concerned. And yet, now
and then, the dull glow of a latent ferocity would light up the eye,
like that of a beast of prey looking for his next meal. Alas! for the
noble red man! In spite of what the poets say, we found him a filthy,
stupid savage. All this we have time to see while Mr. Williamson talks
to them in the unknown tongue. But now the little church bell calls us
to the mission chapel. It is already filled--the men on one side, the
women on the other. The audience numbers perhaps two hundred.

"All classes and ages are there. All are decently dressed. Were it not
for the dark faces, you would not distinguish them from an ordinary
country congregation. The hymn has already been given out, and each,
with book in hand, has found the place. The melodeon sets the tune,
and then, standing, they sing. It is no weak-lunged performance, we
can assure you. Not altogether harmonious, perhaps, but vastly sweeter
than a war-whoop, we fancy; certainly hearty and sincere, and, we have
no doubt, an acceptable offering of praise. A low-voiced prayer, by a
native pastor, uttered with reverent unction, follows. Another
singing, and then the sermon. One of the Renvilles is the preacher. We
do not know what it is all about. But the ready utterance, the
mellifluent flow of words, the unaffected earnestness of the speaker,
and the fixed attention of the audience, mark it as altogether a
success. While he speaks to the people, we study their faces. They are
certainly a great improvement upon those we saw in the teepee. But not
one or two generations of Christian life will work off the stupid,
inexpressive look that ages of heathenism have graven into them. There
is a steady gain, however. Just as in a dissolving view there come
slowly out on the canvas glimpses of a fair landscape, mingling
strangely with the dim outlines of the disappearing old ruin, so there
is struggling through these stony faces an expression of the new
creation within, the converted soul striving to light up and inform
the hard features, and displace the ruin of the old savage life. But
the poor women! Their case is even worse. They start from a lower
plane. Some of these are young, some are mothers with their infants,
many are well treated wives, not a few take part with propriety in the
women's meetings, and yet you look in vain among them all for one
happy face. They wear a beaten and abused look, as if blows and
cruelty had been their daily lot, as if they lived even only by
sufferance. This is the settled look of their faces when in repose.
But speak to them; let the missionary tell them you are their friend;
and their eyes light up with a gentle gladness, showing that a true
womanly soul only slumbers in them. This came out beautifully at a
later point in the meeting. A motion was about to be put, when some
one insisted that on that question the women should express their
minds. This was cordially assented to, and they were requested to
stand with the men in a rising vote. The girls, of course, giggled;
but the women modestly rose in their places, and it was worth a trip
all the way from Chicago to see the look of innocent pride into which
their sad faces were for once surprised.

"But sermon is done. There is another loud-voiced hymn, and then the
meeting of days is declared duly opened. It is to be a composite, a
session of Presbytery, for they happen to have taken that form, and a
Conference of churches. A leading candidate for moderator is Ehnamane,
a Santee pastor. How far the fact that he is a great hunter and a
famous paddleman affects the vote we can not say. This may have had
more weight: his father was a great conjurer and war prophet. Before
he died he said to his son:--

"'The white man is coming into the country, and your children may
learn to read. But promise me that you will never leave the religion
of your ancestors.'

"He promised. And he says now that had the Minnesota outbreak not
come, in which his gods were worsted by the white man's God, he would
have kept true to his pledge. As it is, he now preaches the faith
which once he destroyed, and they make him moderator.

"We will not follow the meeting throughout the days. There are
resolutions and motions to amend and all that, just like white folks,
and plenty of speech-making. Now a telling hit sends a ripple of
laughter through the room; and now the moistened eyes and trembling
lip tell that some deep vein of feeling has been touched. Grave
questions are under discussion: _Pastoral Support_, opening out into
general benevolence; _Pastoral Visitation_, its necessity, methods,
difficulties, and also as a work pertaining to elders, deacons, and to
the whole membership; _Primary Education_--shall it be in the
vernacular or in English? a most spirited debate, resulting in this:
'_Resolved_, That so long as the children speak the Dakota at home,
education should be _begun_ in the Dakota.' Then the _Iapi Oaye_, the
_Word Carrier_--for they have their newspaper, and it has its
financial troubles--comes up. All rally to its support. But the
hundred-dollar deficit for last year, _that_, we suspect, comes out of
the missionaries' meagre salaries. All along certain more strictly
ecclesiastical matters are mingled in. James Red-Wing is brought
forward to be approbated as a preacher at Fort Sully. An application
is considered for forming a new church on the Sisseton reserve. The
church at White Banks asks aid for a church building, and a Yankton
elder is examined and received as a candidate for the ministry. The
Indians, in large numbers, share freely in all these deliberations.
Everything is decorous and dignified, sometimes evidently intensely
interesting, we the while burning to know what they are saying, and
getting the general drift only through a friendly whisper in the ear.
While they are discussing, we will make a few notes: about one-third
of these before us were imprisoned for the massacre of 1862, although,
probably, none of them took active part in it. The larger portion of
them were made freemen of the Lord in that great prison revival at
Mankato, as a result of which 300 joined the church in one day. They
were also of that number who, when being transferred by steamer to
Davenport, 'passed St. Paul in chains, indeed, but singing the
fifty-first Psalm, to the tune of Old Hundred. Seven of these men are
regularly ordained ministers, pastors of as many churches; two others
are licentiate preachers. Quite a number are teachers, deacons,
elders, or delegates of the nine churches belonging to the mission,
and they report a goodly fellowship of 775 Dakota members, 79 of whom
have come into the fold since the last meeting.

"Two or three of these men are of some historic note. John B.
Renville, who sits at the scribe's desk, was the main one in
inaugurating the counter revolution in the hostilities of 1862. Yonder
is Peter Big-Fire, who, by his address, turned the war party from the
trail of the fleeing missionaries. And there is Gray-Cloud, for five
years in the United States army, a sergeant of scouts; and Chaskadan,
the Elder Brewster of the prison church; and Lewis Mazawakinyanna,
formerly chaplain among the fort scouts, now pastor of Mayasan
Church, and Hokshidanminiamani, once a conjurer, now no longer raising
spirits in the teepee, but humbly seeking to be taught of the Divine
Spirit;--and all these--ah! our eyes fill with tears as we think that
but for the blessed Gospel they would still be worshipers of devils.

"The meeting is adjourned, and the brethren are coming forward to
greet us. We never grasped hands with a heartier good-will. But
somehow our sense of humor will not be altogether quiet as, one after
another, we are introduced to Elder Big-Fire, Rev. Mr. All-good,
Deacon Boy-that-walks-on-the-water, Pastor Little-Iron-Thunder, Elder
Gray-Cloud, and Rev. Mr. Stone-that-paints-itself-red. But they are
grand men, and their names are quite as euphonious as some English
ones we could pick out.

"While supper is preparing, we will look a moment at a phase of tent
life. A sudden gust of wind has blown over two of the large teepees.
And now they are to be set up again. One is occupied by the men, the
other by the women. Under the old régime the women do all this kind of
work. But now the men are willing to try their hand at it, at least
upon their own tent. It is new work, however, and, while they are
making futile attempts at tying together the ends of the first three
poles, the mothers and wives have theirs already up and nearly
covered. At length a broad-chested woman steps over among them, strips
off their ill tied strings, repacks the ends of the poles, and with
two or three deft turns binds them fast, and all with a kind of
nervous contempt as if she were saying--she probably is: 'Oh, you
stupid fellows!' The after work does not seem to be much more
successful, and they stand around in a helpless sort of way, while the
young women are evidently bantering them with good-natured jests,
much as a bevy of white girls would do in seeing a man vainly trying
to stitch on a missing button, each new bungling mistake drawing the
fire of the fair enemy in a fresh explosion of laughter. How the thing
comes out we do not stay to see, but we suspect that the practised
hands of the good women finally come to the rescue.

"Sunday is the chief day of interest, and yet there is less to report
about that. In the morning, at nine o'clock, Rev. A. L. Riggs conducts
a model Bible class, with remarks on the art of questioning. At the
usual hour of service the church is crowded, and Rev. Solomon
Toonkanshaichiye preaches, we doubt not, a most excellent sermon.
Immediately following is the sacrament of the Lord's Supper with the
fathers of the mission, Revs. Dr. Riggs and Williamson officiating, a
tender and solemn scene, impressive even to us who understand no
single word of the service, for grave Indian deacons reverently pass
the elements; and many receive them which but for a knowledge of this
dear sacrifice might have reckoned it their chief glory that their
hands were stained with human blood.

"Just as we close, in strange contrast with the spirit of the hour,
two young Indian braves go by the windows. They are tricked out with
all manner of savage frippery. Ribbons stream in the wind, strings of
discordant sleigh-bells grace their horses' necks and herald their
approach. Each carries a drawn sword which flashes in the sunlight,
and a plentiful use of red ochre and eagles' feathers completes the
picture. As they ride by on their scrawny little ponies the effect is
indescribably absurd. But they think it very fine, and, like their
cousins, the white fops, have simply come to show themselves.

"In the afternoon is an English service, and then one wholly conducted
by the natives themselves. No evening meetings are held, as these
people that rise with the birds are not far behind them in going to
their rest. On Monday the business is finished, and the farewells are
said. And on Tuesday morning the various delegations start for their
distant homes.

"We have no space to speak of the meeting of the mission proper. It
was held at Mr. Williamson's house during the evenings. Nearly all its
members were present,--a delightful reunion it was to them and
us,--and many questions of serious interest were amply discussed.

"We dare not trust our pen to write about these noble men and women as
we would. The results of their labors abundantly testify for them, and
their record is on high. May they receive an hundredfold for their
work of faith, and labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord
Jesus Christ."


    1873-1874.--The American Board at Minneapolis.--The _Nidus_ of
    the Dakota Mission.--Large Indian Delegation.--Ehnamane and
    Mazakootemane.--"Then and Now."--The Woman's Meeting.--Nina
    Foster Riggs and Lizzie Bishop--Miss Bishop's Work and Early
    Death.--Manual Labor Boarding-School at Sisseton.--Building
    Dedicated.--M. N. Adams, Agent.--School Opened.--Mrs. Armor and
    Mrs. Morris.--"My Darling in God's Garden."--Visit to Fort
    Berthold.--Mandans, Rees, and Hidatsa.--Dr. W. Matthews' Hidatsa
    Grammar.--Beliefs.--Missionary Interest in Berthold.--Down the
    Missouri.--Annual Meeting at Santee.--Normal School.--Dakotas
    Build a Church at Ascension.--Journey to the Ojibwas with E. P.
    Wheeler.--Leech Lake and Red Lake,--On the Gitche Gumme.--"The
    Stoneys."--Visit to Odanah.--Hope for Ojibwas.

The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions was to hold
its annual meeting in the autumn of 1873 in the city of Minneapolis.
That was almost the identical spot where our mission had been
commenced, nearly forty years before. And it was comparatively near to
the centre of our present work. These were reasons why we should make
a special effort to bring the Dakota mission, on this occasion,
prominently before this great Christian gathering. Our churches on the
Sisseton reservation were only a little more than 200 miles away.
Taking advantage of the St. Paul & Pacific Railroad, it would only be
a three-days journey. Accordingly, I applied to my friend Gen. Geo. L.
Becker of St. Paul, who was then president of the road, to send me
half-fares for a dozen Dakota men. He generously responded, and sent
me up a free pass down for that number.

This made it possible for all the churches on the Sisseton reservation
to be represented by pastors and elders. A. L. Riggs brought over a
good delegation from the Santee, so that we had there seventeen of our
most prominent men. The present missionaries and assistant
missionaries of the Board, except Mr. and Mrs. Morris, were all there.
Our brother John P. Williamson was engaged in church-building, and
could not attend. But there were the Pond brothers and Dr. T. S.
Williamson accepting with glad hearts the results of their labors
commenced thirty-nine years before. And the presence of so large an
Indian delegation added much to the popular interest of the occasion.
So that the subject of Indian missions in general, and of the Dakota
mission in particular, engaged the attention of this great meeting for
about one-third of their time. Artemas Ehnamane, the pastor of Pilgrim
Church at Santee, and Paul Mazakootemane, the hero of the outbreak of
1862, both made addresses before the Board, which were interpreted by
A. L. Riggs.

In the Dakota _Word Carrier_, we were at this time publishing a series
of "Sketches of the Dakota Mission," which we gathered into a pamphlet
and distributed to the thousands of Christian friends gathered there.
Number twelve of these sketches is mainly a contrast between the
commencement and the present state of our work among the Dakotas, from
which I make the following extract:--


"In the first days of July, 1839, a severe battle was fought between
the Dakotas and Ojibwas. The Ojibwas had visited Fort Snelling during
the last days of June, expecting to receive some payment for land
sold. In this they were disappointed. The evening before they started
for their homes--a part going up the Mississippi, and a part by the
St. Croix--two young men were observed to go to the soldiers'
burying-ground, near the fort, and cry. Their father had been killed
some years before by the Dakotas, and was buried there. The next
morning they started for their homes; but these two young men, their
people not knowing it, went out and hid themselves that night close by
a path which wound around the shores of Lake Harriet. In the early
morning following, a Dakota hunter walked along that path, followed by
a boy. The man was shot down, and the boy escaped to tell the story.

"During their stay in the neighborhood of Fort Snelling, the Ojibwas
had smoked and eaten with the Dakotas. That scalped man now lying by
Lake Harriet was an evidence of violated faith. The Dakotas were eager
to take advantage of the affront. The cry was for vengeance; and
before the sun had set, two parties were on the war-path.

"The young man who had been killed was the son-in-law of _Cloud-man_,
the chief of the Lake Calhoun village. _Scarlet Bird_ was the
brother-in-law of the chief. So _Scarlet Bird_ was the leader of the
war-party which came to where the city of Minneapolis is now built,
and about the setting of the sun crossed over to the east side; and
there, seating the warriors in a row on the sand, he distributed the
beads and ribbons and other trinkets of the man who had been killed,
and with them '_prayed_' the whole party into committing the deeds of
the next morning. The morning's sun, as it arose, saw these same men
smiting down the Ojibwas, just after they had left camp, in the region
of Rum River. Scarlet Bird was among the slain on the Dakota side; and
a son of his, whom he had goaded into the battle by calling him a
woman, was left on the field. Many Ojibwa scalps were taken, and all
through that autumn and into the following winter the scalp dance was
danced nightly at every Dakota village on the Mississippi and
Minnesota rivers, as far up as Lac-qui-parle.

"That was the condition of things then. Between then and now there is
a contrast. Then only a small government saw-mill stood where now
stand mammoth mills, running hundreds of saws. Then only a soldiers'
little dwelling stood where now are the palaces of merchant princes.
Then only the war-whoop of the savage was heard where now, in this
year of grace, 1873, a little more than a third of a century after, is
heard the voice of praise and prayer in numerous Christian sanctuaries
and a thousand Christian households. Then it was the gathering-place
of the nude and painted war-party; now it is the gathering-place of
the friends of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign
Missions. Then the dusky forms of the Dakotas flitted by in the
gloaming, bent on deeds of blood; now the same race is here largely
represented by pastors of native churches and teachers of the white
man's civilization and the religion of Christ. _And the marvelous
change that has passed over this country, converting it from the wild
abode of savages into the beautiful land of Christian habitations, is
only surpassed by the still more marvelous change that has been
wrought upon those savages themselves._ The greater part of the
descendants of the Indians who once lived here are now in Christian
families, and have been gathered into Christian churches, having
their native pastors. Some, too, have gone beyond to the still wild
portions of their own people, and are commencing there such a work as
we commenced, nearly forty years ago, among their fathers here.

"But the work is now commenced among the Teetons of the Missouri,
under circumstances vastly different from those which surrounded us in
its beginning here. Then, with an unwritten language, imperfectly
understood and spoken stammeringly by foreigners, the Gospel was
proclaimed to unwilling listeners. Now, with the perfect knowledge of
the language learned in the wigwam, a comparatively large company of
native men and women are engaged in publishing it. Many ears are still
unwilling to listen, and the hearts of the wild Indians are only a
very little opened to the good news; but the contrast between the past
and present is very great."

       *       *       *       *       *

While this meeting of the American Board was in progress, the ladies
of the Woman's Boards held a meeting, which was reported as full of
interest. So many women publishers of the Word in all parts of the
world were present that the enthusiasm and Christ-spirit rose very
high. Nina Foster Riggs, who had just arrived from Fort Sully, the
center of Dakota heathendom, announced her wish for a female companion
in labor there. Several young women present said, "I will go." From
these, Miss Lizzie Bishop of Northfield, Minn., was afterward
selected. Her health was not vigorous, but she and her friends thought
it might become more so in the Missouri River climate. She at once
proceeded with T. L. Riggs and wife to Hope Station. There I met her
for the first time in the first of the June following. She impressed
me as a singularly pure-minded and devoted young woman. Two Teeton
boys in the family belonged to her especial charge. She said she found
the Lord's Prayer in Dakota too difficult of comprehension for their
use, and desired me to make something more simple. I sat down and
wrote a child's prayer, of which this is a translation:--

            "My Father, God,
              Have mercy on me;
            Now I will sleep;
              Watch over me:
            If I die before the morning,
              Take me to thyself.
    For thy Son Jesus' sake, these I ask of thee."

[Illustration: MARY AND I.]

Miss Bishop's missionary work for the Teeton Sioux was soon over. But
I will let Nina Foster Riggs tell the story:

     "After the meeting of the American Board in Minneapolis, in
     October, 1873, Miss Elizabeth Bishop of Northfield, Minn.,
     entered the Dakota work.

    "Two years later, at the next western meeting of the society,
    and during the session of the Woman's Board of Missions, her
    death was announced. Of the intervening twelve months twice
    told, it falls to my lot to speak, and I attempt the task with
    mingled feelings, for I know it is impossible to do justice to
    the beauty of Lizzie's character.

    "Young, delicate, already suffering with a disease which made
    her to be over-fastidious in some things, sensitive to the
    discomforts of frontier life, and inexperienced in its ways of
    living, she came into the mission work.

    "These hindrances were met and more than overbalanced by her
    singleness of purpose, her even temper, her devotion to her
    chosen labor, and her unwavering trust in Jesus.

    "The first winter of her stay at Hope Station, on the bank of
    the Missouri River, opposite Fort Sully, was a winter of trial
    and of danger. Indians had threatened to burn the mission house.
    Hostile ones crowded about the place, the camps were noisy with
    singing and dancing in preparation for war-parties, and once a
    shot was fired into the house.

    "None of these things disturbed Lizzie. 'I do not _choose_ to be
    killed by the Indians,' she said, 'but if the Lord wills it so,
    it is all right.' And she went on as usual with her housework
    and her sewing-school, and the care of the two Indian boys who
    were taken into the family in the spring. While she taught the
    sewing-class, several little girls, some six or eight, made
    dresses of linsey-woolsey for themselves; and then, under Miss
    Bishop's supervision, combed their hair, bathed, and put on
    clean clothes. She also instructed several women in some
    branches of housework, and was always looking for the
    opportunity of doing good.

    "Very early in the winter she had a slight hemorrhage from the
    lungs, which was followed by others more severe at intervals
    through the summer. But she still kept up.

    "In the fall, after the removal to another mission station, her
    health gave way, and she was obliged to go to the fort to rest
    and recuperate. After her return she was able to resume only a
    part of her former work; but she carried on, with great
    enthusiasm, the morning school for children, and aided somewhat
    in the sewing-school.

    "Although, as the spring advanced, her health failed more and
    more, yet her courage would not give way, and she never but once
    expressed the opinion that she should not recover. Her plan had
    been to spend this second summer in her own home, though
    sometimes she was almost ready to stay on and work for 'my
    boys,' as she called them.

    "Finally, she concluded to go to Minnesota for the summer, but
    made every arrangement to return to the mission in the fall.
    After some hesitation because of her delicate health, she
    decided to make the journey with our mission party overland,
    down the country. So she took the trip, enjoyed every day, and
    declared she felt better and slept better every night.

    "The party camped out over the Sabbath, and on Monday evening,
    the seventh day after leaving Fort Sully, arrived at the Yankton
    agency. Here, at the mission home of our friend J. P.
    Williamson, the welcome was so warm, and the companionship so
    pleasant, that Miss Bishop desired to spend a few days longer
    than she had intended. She wanted to visit the schools, and
    learn both here and at Santee agency something to help her when
    she should go back to teach the Indian children on the Upper
    Missouri. So she stayed behind, full of hope and zeal. But her
    friends parted from her with foreboding in their hearts. In a
    few days she was again attacked with her old trouble; she
    rallied so as to get to her home, and to be again with her
    mother and sister. But she sank rapidly, and, after some weeks
    of severe suffering, she entered into rest.

    "Writing of her, her sister said: 'Her favorite motto was,
    "Simply to thy cross I cling." She trusted in Christ because he
    has promised to save all who come to him. She enjoyed hearing
    us sing to the last such hymns as, "Jesus, Lover of My Soul,"
    "Nearer, my God, to Thee," "My Faith Looks up to Thee," "Father,
    Whate'er of Earthly Bliss," "How Firm a Foundation," and

    "Resting on Him who is able to save, she passed away.

    "The work she loved, and so conscientiously carried on, has
    fallen to other hands, but is not finished nor lost; and in the
    homes she helped to make happy she is missed, yet her memory is
    an abiding presence, cheering and encouraging.

    "'And a book of remembrance was written before him for them that
    feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name. And they shall
    be mine, saith the Lord of Hosts, in that day when I make up my

    [8] Mention should be made here of Rev. Samuel Ingham and his
    wife, who joined the missionary force at Santee immediately
    after the meeting of the Board at Minneapolis. Mr. Ingham was
    suffering at the time from what was considered a temporary
    malady, but which proved serious and ended his life Dec. 27,
    1873. Mrs. Ingham continued in her work in the "Dakota Home,"
    the new school for girls.

The commencement of the Manual Labor Boarding-School on the Sisseton
reserve was an event which indicated progress. Agent M. N. Adams had
received authority from the department to erect a suitable building.
On the 4th of September, 1873, the foundation walls were so far
completed that the _corner-stone_ was laid with appropriate
ceremonies. There was quite a gathering of the natives and white
people on the reservation. After prayer in Dakota by Pastor Solomon,
Mr. Adams made a speech, which was interpreted, setting forth the
advantages that would accrue to this people from such a school as this
building contemplated. He then announced that he had in his hands
copies of the Bible in Dakota and English, and a Dakota hymn book,
together with eight numbers of the _Iapi Oaye_, a copy of the _St.
Paul Press_, and a Yankton paper, and also sundry documents, all of
which he deposited in the place prepared for them. I added a few
remarks, and then the corner-stone was laid and pronounced _level_.
Speeches followed from Solomon, John B., and Daniel Renville, pastors;
and from Robert Hopkins, Two Stars, and Gabriel Renville. They
accepted this as the guarantee of progress in the new era on which
they had entered.

That autumn the boarding-school was commenced. As only a part of the
building could be made habitable for the winter, the girls alone were
placed there, under the care and teaching of Mr. and Mrs. Armor. Mr.
and Mrs. Morris took the boys and cared for them, in very close
quarters, at the mission, only a little way off. In the summer of 1874
there appeared in the Word Carrier articles on "Our Girls," and "Our
Boys," written by Mrs. Armor and Mrs. Morris, respectively. In each
department they had about sixteen. Mrs. Armor classed her scholars as
_large girls_, _little girls_, and _very little girls_. That first
year was a good beginning of the school.

Mrs. Morris was willing to undertake the hard work these sixteen boys
imposed upon her, because she had just met with a great sorrow. She
had gone on East with _two_ children, and came back with only _one_.
"As I sit and mend," she writes, "the alarming holes which the boys
make in their clothes, an unbidden tear sometimes falls when I think
of _our_ blue-eyed, sunny-haired boy, whose last resting-place is in
the valley of the Susquehanna. And I think how much rather I would
have worked for him than for these boys. But I say to myself, '_My
darling is safe and out of reach of harm_'; and these boys need the
doing for that my darling one will never need more. For

    "' Mine in God's garden runs to and fro,
    And that is best.'

And I know that somehow the Lord knows what is best; and he does as he
will with his own."

       *       *       *       *       *

In the early spring of 1874, I was requested jointly by the American
Board and the American Missionary Association to visit and report upon
various Indians agencies, where their appointees, or nominees rather,
were agents. Accordingly, I started in the month of May, by St. Paul,
on the Northern Pacific Railroad, to Bismarck, and thence by steamboat
up the Missouri to Fort Berthold. At this time Major L. B. Sperry, who
had been a professor in Ripon College, was the nominee of the American
Missionary Association. It was not my good fortune to find Agent
Sperry at home, but Mrs. Sperry, in a very ladylike way, gave me the
best accommodations during the week I remained.

Here were gathered the remnant of the Mandans, only a few hundred
persons, and the Rees, or Arricarees, a part of the Pawnee tribe, and
the Gros Ventres, or Minnetaree, properly the Hidatsa. Altogether they
numbered about two thousand souls. We had before this entertained the
desire that we might be able to establish a mission among these
people, and this thought or hope gave interest to my visit. The Mandan
and the Hidatsa languages were both pretty closely connected with the
Dakota; but what seemed to bring these nearer to us was the fact that
many of all these people could understand and talk the Dakota, that
forming a kind of common language for them.

_Howard Mandan_, or "The-man-with-a-_scared-face_," as his Indian name
is interpreted, was the son of _Red Cow_, the principal chief of the
Mandans, and had been taken down by Gen. C. H. Howard, a year before,
and placed in A. L. Riggs' school at Santee. Howard had returned home
before my visit, and also Henry Eaton, a Hidatsa young man, who had
been East a good many years and talked English well.

George Catlin had, many years ago, interested us in the Mandans, by
his effort to prove, from their _red hair_ in some cases--perhaps only
_redded_ hair--and in some instances blue eyes, and the resemblances
which he claims to have found in their languages, that they were the
descendants of a Welsh colony that had dropped out of history a
thousand years ago. And Dr. Washington Matthews of the United States
Army had created in us a desire to do something for the spiritual
enlightenment of the Hidatsa, by his admirable grammar and dictionary
of their language. In his introduction to this book he gives us much
valuable information about the people.

Hidatsa, he tells us, is the name by which they call themselves. They
are better known to us by the names Minnetaree and Gros Ventre. This
last is a name given them by the Canadian French, and without any
special reason. It is a fact that Indians can eat large quantities of
food, but it is very rarely indeed that you will find one whose
appearance would justify the epithet _gros ventre_. The other term,
Minnetaree, is the name given them by the Mandans, and means, _to
cross the water_. The story is that when the Hidatsa people came to
the Missouri River from the north-east, the Mandan village was on the
west side of the river. They called over, and the Mandans answered
back in their own language: "Who are you?" The Hidatsa, not
understanding it, supposed they had asked, "What do you want?" and so
replied; "_Minnetaree, to cross over the water_." Whence came the
Hidatsa? Their legend says they originally lived _under_ a great body
of water which lies far to the north-east of where they now live. From
this under-water residence some persons found their way out, and,
discovering a country much better than the one in which they lived,
returned and gave to their people such glowing accounts of their
discoveries that the whole nation determined to come out. But, owing
to the breaking of a tree on which they were climbing out of the lake,
a great part of the tribe had to remain behind in the water, and they
are there yet.

This is very much like the myth of another tribe, who lived under the
ground by a lake. A large grape-vine sent its tap-root through the
crust of the earth, and by that they commenced to climb out. But a
very fat woman taking hold of the vine, it broke, and the remainder
were doomed to stay where they were. Do such legends contain any
reference to the great Deluge?

After the Hidatsa came up, they commenced a series of wanderings over
the prairies. During their migrations they were often ready to die of
hunger, but were always rescued by the interference of their deity. It
was not manna rained down around their camp, but the stones of the
prairie were miraculously changed into buffalo, which they killed and
ate. After some time they sent couriers to the south, who came back
with the news that they had found a great river and a fertile valley,
wherein dwelt a people who lived in houses and tilled the ground. They
brought back corn and other products of the country. To this beautiful
and good land the tribe now directed their march, and, guided by
their messengers they reached the Mandan villages on the Missouri
River. With them they camped and learned their peaceful arts.

Dr. Matthews says they have a tradition that during these years of
wandering the Genius of the Sun took up one of the Hidatsa maidens,
and their offspring came back, and, under the name of Grand-Child, was
the great prophet and teacher of his mother's people. Can that have
any reference to the "Son of Man"?

These Indians, the Mandans, the Hidatsa, and the Rees, live in one
village at Berthold, in all numbering something over two thousand; and
they have lived together, as we know, more than a hundred years, and
yet the languages are kept perfectly distinct and separate. Many of
them learn each other's language; and many of them talk Dakota also.
"Many years ago they were considered ripe for the experiments of
civilization; they stand to-day just as fit subjects as ever for the
experiment, which never has been, and possibly never will be, tried."
This is Dr. Matthews' statement. Let us hope that the latter part may
not be prophetic.

"They worship a deity," says Dr. Matthews, "whom they call 'The First
Made' or 'The First Existence.'" Sometimes they speak of him as "The
Old Man Immortal." They believe in _shades_ or _ghosts_, which belong
not only to men, but to animals and trees and everything.

"In the 'next world' _human shades_ hunt and live on the shades of the
buffalo and other animals who have lived here. Whether the shade of
the buffalo then ceases to exist or not, I could find none prepared to
tell me; but they seem to have a dim faith in shades of shades, and in
shadow-lands of shade-lands; belief in a shadowy immortality being the
basis of their creed."

By all these means our interest in Fort Berthold and its people grew,
and we became impatient of delay. But step by step we were led by the
hand of the Lord, until at the meeting of the American Board in
Chicago in the autumn of 1875, after an animated discussion on Indian
Missions, and the debt of the Board was lifted by a special effort,
Secretary S. B. Treat arose and said: "We are ready to send a man to
Fort Berthold." The man and the woman, Charles L. Hall and Emma
Calhoun, were ready, and the next spring they were commissioned to
make their home among the Mandans, Arickarees and Hidatsa.

On leaving Berthold in May, 1874, I proceeded down the Missouri to
Bismarck, where I was subjected to considerable delay; and then
stopping a few days with Thomas at Hope Station, and making a short
call at the Yankton agency, I went to the Santee to attend our annual
meeting of the Dakota Conference, which commenced its sessions with
the Pilgrim Church on the 18th of June.

A. L. Riggs had put up in large characters the motto of the
meeting--1834-1874. Thus we were reminded that forty years had passed
since the brothers Pond had made their _log cabin_ on the banks of
Lake Calhoun. These gray-headed men were expected to have been present
on this occasion, but were not. T. L. Riggs and wife could not come
down. Otherwise the attendance of whites and Indians was good. The
presence of Rev. Joseph Ward of Yankton, and of Mrs. Wood, the mother
of Mrs. Ward, and also of Rev. De Witt Clark of Massachusetts, greatly
added to the interest. The question discussed by the native brethren
with the most eagerness was, "Shall the eldership receive any money
compensation?" This had come up to be a question solely because such
native church helpers were receiving compensation among the
Episcopalians. But our folks decided against it by an overwhelming

So full an account has been given of the like meeting held a year
previous, that this, which was in most respects equally interesting,
may be passed over. Of the school here during the winter past, the
_Word Carrier_ had contained this notice: "The Normal School of the
Dakota Mission at Santee agency has had a prosperous winter session,
notwithstanding the dark days last fall, when its doors were closed,
and many of its former pupils removed beyond the reach of earthly
training by the small-pox." The whole number of scholars for the
winter three months was _eighty-five_.

After this meeting closed, I spent six weeks with the churches in my
own part of the field on the Sisseton reservation. I found the people
at Ascension church, J. B. Renville pastor, in the midst of church
building. Their log church had become too small, and they had for a
year been preparing to build a larger and better house of worship. Mr.
Adams took a great interest in this enterprise, and helped them much
by obtaining contributions and otherwise. The Dakota men and women
also took hold of it as their own work, and the house went up, and was
so far finished before the winter that its dedication took place about
the middle of December. The cost of the house was then given at $1500.
Two or three hundred more were afterward used in its internal
completion. This was a great step forward. _Dakota Christians build_,
with but little help, _their own house of worship_!

About the middle of August I left Sisseton to complete my work of
visiting Indian agencies, which I had undertaken to do for the
American Missionary Association. At St. Paul I was joined by Rev.
Edward Payson Wheeler, who was just from Andover Seminary. He was the
son of the missionary Wheeler who had spent his life with the Ojibwas,
at Bad River. He had learned the language in his boyhood, and I was
only too happy to have as my companion of the journey one who was at
home among the Ojibwas.

From St. Paul we went up the Lake Superior Road until we reached the
Northern Pacific, on which we traveled westward to Brainerd, and then
took stage seventy miles to Leech Lake. There we found white friends
and Ojibwas, to whom we preached, Mr. Wheeler trying the language he
had not used for years. We then proceeded by private conveyance, over
a miserable road through the pine woods, to Red Lake. Rev. Mr. Spees
and wife, who were there doing work under the American Missionary
Association, and Agent Pratt received us kindly. My friend Wheeler
talked with the Indians--the old men remembered his father, and seemed
to warm very much toward the son. It appeared to me that there was a
grand opening for an educational work and preaching the Gospel. When
we left Red Lake, I fully believed that E. P. Wheeler would return
there as a missionary before the snow fell. But I was disappointed.
The American Missionary Association was heavily in debt, and had no
disposition whatever to enlarge work among the Indians.

We then returned by the way we came, and went on to Duluth, where we
took a steamer on the Gitche Gumme (Lake Superior) for Bayfield. On
the downlake steamer we formed the acquaintance of Rev. John
McDougall, a Methodist minister, who, with his family, was going to
the Canadian Conference, from the far-off country of the Saskatchawan.
For more than a quarter of a century he had been a missionary among
the Crees and Bloods and Piegans.

But what interested me most was the account he gave of a small band of
about seven hundred Indians called Stoneys. They talk the Dakota
language, and, as their name indicates, they are evidently a branch of
the Assinaboines.

The name Assinaboine means Stone Sioux, and is a compound of French
and Ojibwa. The last part is Bwan, which is the name the Ojibwas give
the Dakotas or Sioux.

These Stoneys are said to be all Christians. They have their
school-house and church, and Rev. John McDougall, son of the old
gentleman, is their missionary. They live on Bow River, which, I
suppose, is a branch of the Saskatchawan, about two hundred miles
north-west from Fort Benton, and one hundred north of the Canada line.
To us who labor among the Dakotas, it is very cheering to know that
this small outlier of the fifty thousand Dakota-speaking people have
all received the Gospel. We clap our hands for joy.

Landing at Bayfield, we were kindly received by the Indian agent Dr.
Isaac Mahan.

Nestled among the hills, and looking out into the bay filled with the
Apostle Islands, this town has rather a romantic position. And just
out a little way, on Magdalen Island, is La Pointe, the old mission
station. We passed around it in a sail-boat on our way to Odanah.

Very soon after reaching Bayfield, we found a boat going over to
Odanah, which, I understand, is the Ojibwa for town or village, and
which is the name by which the mission station on Bad River has long
been known. As I entered the boat, Mr. Wheeler introduced me to the
Ojibwa men who were to take us over. When I shook hands with one of
them, he said, "My father, Mr. Riggs." Was he calling me his father,
or was it the Indian? I wondered which, but asked no questions. Two or
three days after, I learned that adoption was one of the Ojibwa
customs, and that when Mr. Wheeler was a little boy this man lost his
boy. He came to the mission and said to the missionary, "My boy is
gone; you have a great many boys; let me call this one mine." And so
they said he might so call him; and from that time Edward Payson
Wheeler became the adopted child of an Ojibwa.

Now, after he had been gone ten years, going away a boy and coming
back a man, they all seemed to regard him like a son and a brother. It
was very interesting for me to see how they all warmed toward him.
They came to see him, and wanted him to go to their houses. They all
wanted to talk with him; and when we came to leave, they all flocked
to the mission to shake hands, and to have a last word and a prayer;
and they gave him more _muckoks_ of _manomin_ (wild rice) than he
could bring away with him.

For four days we were the guests of the boarding-school which is in
charge of Rev. Isaac Baird. We became much interested in the school
and the teachers--Mrs. Baird, Miss Harriet Newell Phillips, Miss
Verbeek, Miss Dougherty, and Miss Walker. Naturally, I should be
prejudiced in favor of the Dakotas, but I was obliged to confess that
I had not seen anywhere twenty-five boys and girls better-looking and
more manly and womanly in their appearance than those Ojibwas. The
whole community gave evidence of the good work done by the school in
past years--many of the grown folks being able to talk English quite

But there was one impression that came to me without bidding--it was
that civilization had been pressed farther and faster than
evangelization. While houses and other improvements attested a great
deal of labor expended, the native church is quite small, only now
numbering about twenty-eight, and the _metawa_, their sacred heathen
dance, was danced while we were there, within a stone's-throw of the
church. My spirit was stirred within me, and I said to the members of
that native church that they ought so to take up the work of
evangelizing their own people in good earnest that the dancing of the
_metawa_ thus publicly would become an impossibility.

My visit to various points in the Ojibwa country has interested me
very greatly. From what I have seen and heard, the conviction grew
upon me that the whole Ojibwa field, comprising thirteen or fourteen
thousand people in the States of Wisconsin and Minnesota, is now open
to the Gospel as it never has been before. The old laborers sowed the
good seed, but they saw little fruit. No wonder they became
discouraged. For years the field was almost entirely given up. But,
although the servants retired, the Master watched the work, and here
and there the seed has taken root and sprung up. This appears in the
new desire prevailing that they may again have schools and
missionaries. Shall we not take advantage of this favorable time to
tell them of Jesus the Saviour?


    1875-1876.--Annual Meeting of 1875.--Homestead Settlement on the
    Big Sioux.--Interest of the Conference.--_Iapi Oaye._--Inception
    of Native Missionary Work.--Theological Class.--The Dakota
    Home.--Charles L. Hall Ordained.--Dr. Magoun of Iowa.--Mr. and
    Mrs. Hall Sent to Berthold by the American Board.--_The Word
    Carrier's_ Good Words to Them.--The Conference of 1876.--In J.
    B. Renville's Church.--Coming to the Meeting from Sully.--Miss
    Whipple's Story.--"Dakota Missionary Society."--Miss Collins'
    Story.--Impressions of the Meeting.

More and more the important events of the year culminate in, and are
brought out by, the meeting of our Annual Conference. Heretofore this
gathering had been in June. In the year 1875, it was held in
September, at the Homestead Settlement on the Big Sioux. Only four
years had passed since we were here before, but in this time great
changes had taken place. They had erected a log church, and outgrown
it, and sold it to the government for a school-house, and had just
completed, or nearly completed, a commodious frame building. In this
our meetings were held. Their farms and dwelling-houses had also
greatly improved. In several of these years they had been visited by
the grasshoppers, and by this visitation they had lost their crops.
But they held on--somewhat discouraged, it is true. When their
prospects and hopes from Mother Earth failed, they went to hunting,
and thus they had worked along. This year they had a fair crop, and by
exerting themselves they were able to entertain more than a hundred
Dakota guests. Besides what they could furnish from their own farms,
they had raised about $70 in money, which they expended in fresh beef.
Thus they made princely provision for the meeting, which was, as
usual, rich and full of interest.

Our Conference meetings began on the afternoon of Thursday, Sept. 16,
and by that time we were all on the ground and ready. We had
journeyed, camping by the way, some over from the Missouri and others
down from the head of the Coteau. The native delegates and visitors
were encamped by the river-side, convenient to wood and water and the
place of meeting. The missionaries pitched their tents by the house
and enjoyed the hospitality of P. A. Vannice and his good wife.

At the time appointed we gathered at the church and had a sermon by
one of the native pastors--Louis. Then came the business organization,
followed by short speeches of greeting and welcome. On the following
day the real work of the Conference began. Questions relating to the
proper training and education of children, and the training and
preparation needful for the ministry, were discussed with interest and
profit. The next day, which was Saturday, was taken up in the
discussion of two prominent subjects of interest--the homestead act in
its relation to Indians, and our Dakota paper. On the first of these
topics there was a full and healthy expression of opinion. It was said
that the plan of depending on the government for support tended to
bad. Said Ehnamane: "If when we are hungry we cry out to our Great
Father 'Give us food,' or when we are cold we say, 'Send us clothes,'
we become as little children--we are not men. Here at this place we
see that each man takes care of himself; he has a farm and a house,
and some have a cow and a few chickens. We go into their houses and
we see tables and chairs, and when they eat they spread a cloth over
the table, as do white people, and there are curtains to the windows,
and we see the women dressed like white women--here we find men. We
who look to the government for food and clothing are not men but
little children, and the longer we depend on the government the lower
down we find ourselves." Others differed: they said one could grow
into manhood anywhere supported by the government or caring for
themselves. Besides, it would not do to be too confident. It was hard
work to strike out alone; some had starved, some had been frozen to
death, and others had turned back. It means _work_ to become a
self-supporting citizen.

Perhaps there was as much real feeling expressed when the _Iapi Oaye_
was discussed as at any other time during Conference. Last year it was
hoped that by another year the paper would become self-sustaining.
Owing to several reasons, however, the subscription receipts for the
past year are very much smaller than for the year previous,
necessitating the meeting of a considerable deficiency by the
missionaries themselves. It was thought best for our native membership
to know the facts in order to stimulate action, lest we be obliged to
discontinue the paper. However, they would listen to nothing of that

The paper has so strong a hold on the people as to be almost a
necessity, and thereby a means of great and growing good. Sabbath
morning was devoted to communion services, and the 113 native
delegates and visitors from other stations united with their brothers
at Flandreau around the table of our Lord.

In the afternoon we had a grand missionary meeting, which was the
closing of the Conference. Speeches were made by the fathers in the
mission and by the older native membership, contrasting the darkness
of the past with the light of the present. It seemed, as we listened
to the words of joy and thanksgiving spoken by those who have come up
from heathenism, that the cup of joy and gladness must be full to
overflowing for the fathers of our mission, who went through the great
trials and dangers of early days, and who are permitted to look upon
the wonderful success of their lives spent thus in the Master's

The last topic discussed had somewhat of a history. Some time during
the year before, it had been published that the American Board had
_great-grandchildren_. The mission to the Sandwich Islands had
commenced Christian work on the Marquesas, and they again had extended
it to other islands. In an article which Dr. Williamson furnished to
the _Iapi Oaye_, under the heading of "Children and Grandchildren," he
recited these facts. A month or two afterward, I wrote an article on
the "Children of Grandchildren," in which I said I was thankful for
children, but wanted grandchildren.

These statements worked like leaven in some of the natives' minds.
David Gray Cloud, who opened the subject of missionary work to be
undertaken by the native churches, had been stimulated thereby. The
whole assembly seemed to be ready to take the first steps in the
organization of a native Foreign Mission Society. A committee was
appointed for that object, consisting of J. P. Williamson, A. L.
Riggs, John B. Renville, Robert Hopkins, and Iron Track. In the
meantime, the churches were exhorted to take up collections for the
Foreign Mission Fund.

In the beginning of the year 1876, at the Santee agency, in connection
with the mission training school, a theological class was organized.

For a few years past we have been realizing more and more the want of
a higher education in our native pastors and preachers. To supply this
defect, and prepare the young men who are coming up to the work to
fill the places of the fathers with a higher grade of scholarship, and
especially with a more thorough knowledge and appreciation of Bible
truth, this plan was undertaken. It is only a beginning.

The regular class consisted of John Eastman, Eli Abraham, Albert
Frazier, Henry Tawa, Peter Eyoodooze, and Solomon Chante, with Rev.
Artemas Ehnamane, the pastor of the Santee church. Some others have
been in attendance on evening exercises.

The object has been to give them as much knowledge and training as
could be imparted and received in the limited space of four weeks, in
Bible geography and history, in the main doctrines of the Christian
faith, in the best methods of teaching Bible truth, the founding and
growth of the Christian Church, in its orders of laborers, in its
ordinances, in its service, and in its benevolent and saving work.

For the first two weeks of the term A. L. Riggs was assisted by Rev.
J. P. Williamson, from the Yankton agency, which is the home of three
of the young men attending the class.

I had received an urgent invitation to come on from Beloit to aid in
the instructions of the last two weeks, which I quite willingly
accepted. While at the Santee on this visit, I became better
acquainted with the working of the normal school, and especially of
that part of it called the "Dakota Home." The following is A. L.
Riggs' description of it:--

    "The Dakota Home is one of a group of buildings for educational
    purposes belonging to the Dakota Mission, at their principal
    educational center, Santee agency, Nebraska. It was built by the
    funds of the Woman's Board of Missions, at a cost of about
    $4200. It was commenced in 1872, but not completely finished
    until 1874, although it has been in use from the first.

    "It is a large, well proportioned frame-building, two stories
    high, and forty-two by forty-eight feet on the ground. On the
    first floor is the teachers' suite of rooms, the large
    dining-hall, which is also sewing and sitting-room for the
    girls, the Home kitchen, and the necessary pantries and closets.
    Underneath is the commodious cellar and milk-room.

    "In the second story are the dormitories. There are ten
    sleeping-rooms and a bath-room. Each room is intended to be
    occupied by only two girls, though three of them can accommodate
    four, if necessary. Every sleeping-room is automatically and
    thoroughly ventilated without opening a door or window."

    "The object of the Dakota Home is to train up housekeepers for
    the future Dakota homes. Hence our effort is to train them into
    the knowledge and habit of all home work, and to instil in them
    the principles of right action, and cultivate self-discipline.

    "They learn to cook and wash, sew and cut garments, weave, knit,
    milk, make butter, make beds, sweep floors, and anything else
    pertaining to housekeeping, and they can make _good_ bread.

    "At this time the Home was in the charge of Miss Marie L.
    Haines--since become Mrs. Joseph Steer--and Miss Anna Skea."

Before I left the Santee, to return to my home in Beloit, the
ordination of Mr. Charles L. Hall was announced to take place at
Yankton on the 22d of February, and I was sorry I could not remain and
take part. The marriage of Mr. Hall and Miss Calhoun was consummated
at the Yankton agency a week previous to this time.

For the ordination the Congregational churches of Yankton and
Springfield had united in calling the council. The call included the
neighboring Congregational churches and three of our native churches.
The Santee Agency church was represented by Pastor Artemas Ehnamane
and Deacon Robert Swift Deer. The council convened in Mr. Ward's
church. The venerable Rev. Charles Seccombe of Nebraska was moderator,
and Rev. A. D. Adams of Sioux Falls was scribe.

The sermon was preached by Rev. Geo. F. Magoun, D.D., of Iowa College,
and his theme was "The Christian Ambassadorship." It was said to be a
sermon worthy of the occasion and the preacher. It was eminently
fitting that Dr. Magoun should preach the sermon on the sending off of
this new mission. For among those who bore such effective testimony in
behalf of Indian missions, on the platform of the American Board in
Chicago was President Magoun. The ordaining prayer was made by Rev.
John P. Williamson; the charge was given by Rev. Joseph Ward, and the
right hand of fellowship by Rev. A. L. Riggs.

Thus Mr. and Mrs. Hall were set apart, and sent off to plant the
standard of the cross at Fort Berthold, among the Mandans and Rees and
Hidatsa, at a point on the Missouri fifteen hundred miles above its
mouth. The _Word Carrier_ for April, 1876, gave them the right hand of
fellowship. It said: "They must be a part of us. They will, in fact,
form a part of the Dakota Mission. We will work with them, by our
prayers and sympathies and Dakota books and native help, so far as
they can use them." It said to them: "Go and plant the standard of the
cross at Berthold, and 'Hold the Fort' for the Master. You have the
old promise, 'Lo! I am with you all days.' It is ever new, and ever
inspiring. And yet there may be dark days and lonesome nights perhaps.
You will have to learn the way into dark human hearts, which must be
done 'by the patience of hope, and the labor of love.' You will tell
them, in the heart's language, of that strange love of the Great
Father, who sent his Son to seek and save the lost. You will entreat
the Holy Spirit to beget in the Hidatsa and Ree and Mandan people a
soul-hunger that can only be satisfied with the Bread and the Water of
Life. And may the good Lord keep you evermore, and give you showers of

According to previous announcement in the _Word Carrier_, the fifth
annual meeting of the Dakota Mission and Conference of the native
churches commenced its sessions on the afternoon of September 7, 1876,
in the new and beautiful Church of Ascension, J. B. Renville pastor.
The house was crowded. The delegations and visitors from Yankton,
Santee, Flandreau, and Brown Earth amounted to one hundred and six.

The convention was opened with prayer and singing, Rev. A. L. Riggs
and Rev. David Gray Cloud, English and Dakota secretaries, presiding.
A new Dakota hymn of welcome was sung by the choir and church, when
words of welcome were spoken by Pastor J. B. Renville, and by agent
J. G. Hamilton of the Sisseton agency, and by S. R. Riggs. These were
responded to by J. P. Williamson, for the Yanktons; by Rev. Artemas
Ehnamane, for the Santees; and by Rev. John Eastman, for the large
delegation from the Big Sioux.

The Conference then proceeded to make out the roll and perfect its
organization. All the native pastors were present, with elders, and
deacons, and teachers, and messengers from the churches, numbering
together fifty-nine, and missionaries eleven. T. L. Riggs and David
Gray Cloud were chosen secretaries for the next two years. The
Conference then listened to an address on family worship from Dr. T.
S. Williamson.

From the speeches of welcome and the responses it was manifest that
for months the convention has been looked forward to with great
interest; all parties have come up to the meeting with joyful
expectations. Major J. G. Hamilton, the representative of the
government on this reserve, has made liberal arrangements to feed all
the Dakota visitors, for which he has our thanks in advance.

Rev. A. D. Adams, pastor of the Congregational church at Sioux Falls,
we are glad to welcome to our hospitalities and discussions.

Although for the greater part of the time we were together the clouds
were over us, and sometimes enveloped us, all the services were very
largely attended; and on Sabbath the crowd was so great that we were
obliged to hold our morning service out-of-doors. The subjects brought
before the Conference for discussion were of vital practical interest,
and were entered into with enthusiasm by the native speakers, and the
action taken upon them was usually very satisfactory.

While our meetings were in progress, there came a message to us from
the white man's country, asking that our Dakota churches unite with
white Christians all along the western border in a _Prayer League_
against the grasshoppers. While Sitting Bull and the hostile Dakotas
are fighting with the white soldiers in one part of the country, and,
it may be, by the cruelties of one side or both, bringing upon us this
scourge from the hand of God, it is eminently fitting that the praying
Dakotas and the praying white people should together humble themselves
before him. So said the Dakotas.

It will give variety and interest to the circumstances and proceedings
of this meeting to have them recounted by others.


"The morning of September 1 found the missionaries of Bogue Station,
near Fort Sully, on their way to the annual meeting of the Dakota
Mission. The party consisted of five--Mr. and Mrs. Riggs, Misses
Collins and Whipple, and little Theodore. The carriage was heavily
loaded with articles needed for the overland journey, consisting of
tent, tent-poles and pins, axe, gun, stove, cooking-utensils,
provision-boxes, traveling-bags, blankets, and robes.

"A number of the Indians had promised to accompany them, but the
coming council of the commissioners proved a greater attraction than
the gathering together of their Christian brethren, and they remained
at home.

"The day was cool but pleasant, and all enjoyed the ride, which gave
them keen appetites for the dinner taken on the bank of the Huhboju.
In the afternoon Mr. Riggs shot some ducks, while others gathered
willows to carry along for the night's fire, as at that camping-place
there was no wood.

"The second day proved to be the most eventful of the trip. A village
of prairie-dogs was passed, a rabbit chased, and an antelope seen. But
the great event was the _tip over_--not an ordinary upset, but a
complete revolution of the carriage. The large grasses grew so thickly
across the track that a deep rut was concealed from view; and had it
been thought necessary to drive from the track, the bluff on one side
and a water hole on the other would have prevented.

"The upper part of the carriage was too heavy to keep its balance when
the wheels went into the rut, and the whole outfit was precipitated
six feet down the bank into the water hole, which, fortunately, was
dry. Mrs. Riggs slipped from her seat and was held down by the
provisions, boxes, and blankets, which fell upon her when the carriage
passed over. Mr. Riggs found himself upon the axle-tree. Miss Collins
gave a faint '_Oh, oh!_' and said, 'Don't hurt the baby.' The baby was
the safest of all. He was nearly asleep on Miss Whipple's arm, and was
there held while she went through a series of circus performing
hitherto unknown. When all were safely out, and it was known that no
one was seriously injured, exclamations of joy and thankfulness were

"Mr. Riggs started in pursuit of the team, which had become detached
from the carriage by the breaking of a bolt, and, frightened by the
confusion, had run away. They were easily caught, as one ran faster
than the other and thus running went in a circle. Miss Collins
commenced searching for the whiffle-tree and found it nearly a
half-mile away.

"The boxes, bags, blankets, etc., were taken out, the carriage drawn
into the road, and the bows of the top mended by means of a tent-pin
and a strap. The broken bolt was replaced by a lariat and picket-pin,
and the dash-board found a place in the feed-box in the rear. Other
things were arranged in their respective places, the team hitched to
the conveyance, and in a little more than an hour from the time of
stopping they were again journeying onward. Mr. and Mrs. Riggs and
Miss Collins had a few bruises, the other two not a scratch of which
to boast.

"At noon they lunched under the trees beside a dry lake-bed. All the
water they had they brought with them in a canteen.

"The head of Snake Creek was the next place where water could be
found, and this place they hoped to reach by six o'clock. But the road
was long and the horses weary. It was eight o'clock when the creek was
reached, and then it was found to be dry. There was nothing to be done
but to drive ten miles farther, where there were both wood and water.

"Little Theodore seemed to realize that all was not quite right, and,
knowing his bed-time, was passed asked his mamma to sing. Then he
said, 'Mamma, keep still while I pray.' Folding his hands, he lisped
in sweet baby accents,--'Dear Father in heaven, take care of little
Theodore, Grandma and Grandpa, Papa and Mamma, Aunt May and Miss
Whipple, for Jesus' sake. Amen.' Then he settled down in the seat to
sleep. Happy, trusting child! He that careth for sparrows would not
fail to hear the prayer of the little two-year-old who had expressed
the thought of each heart. It was nearly midnight when supper was over
and camp work done.

"All were thankful that the next day was the Day of Rest--the horses
not less than the people.

"The Sabbath was bright and beautiful, and, though nearly a hundred
miles from any habitation, they felt they were not alone, but that the
God who is worshiped in temples not made by hands was with them
through all the pleasant hours of the holy day.

"Old Sol now concluded to veil his face awhile, and Monday morning was
ushered in by a heavy rain. About nine o'clock the clouds broke away
and preparations were made to start. Before these were completed the
rain again commenced falling. They, however, did not tarry, but rode
ten miles in the moist atmosphere, which took the starch out of the
ladies' sun-bonnets, wet the robes and bedding, but did not dampen the
spirits of the party.

"Then they decided to wait until the storm abated. Pitched the tent in
the rain and remained there until the next morning, when the journey
was resumed, though the rain-drops were still falling.

"Wednesday forenoon they saw an Indian house and met four
Indians,--the first house passed and the first persons seen since
Bogue Station was left.

"That evening, just at dusk, the Jim River was forded, and that night
spent on its bank in fighting mosquitoes.

"Thursday they ascended the Coteau Range and made a call at Fort
Wadsworth. Two hundred miles had been traveled, and they had now
arrived at the first settlement. A few miles on their camp was made,
and early the next morning they started, hoping to reach Good Will in
time for dinner. Good Will was reached, but no person could be found.
Bolted doors prevented an entrance, and now they must go eight miles
to Ascension church, where the Conference was in session.

"After riding up and down the many hills over which the road runs,
they stopped at an Indian house to inquire the way. Out rushed a
multitude of men and women. One old lady, a mother in Israel, came
hurrying along on her staff, saying, 'That's Thomas, that's Thomas.'
They all shook hands, and expressed their joy because of the safe
arrival. The thought came, 'It is worth all the trouble of a journey
across the wide prairie to see so many Christian Indians.'

"A little farther on the _old_ church, now used for a school building,
was reached and found to be occupied by most of the missionaries who
were attending the meeting. They kindly welcomed the weary travelers
who had come so far from the wild Teeton band, and took them in and
warmed and fed them.

"But the subject which pre-eminently engaged the attention of the
Conference on this occasion, and drew from our native pastors and
laymen enthusiastic words, was that of carrying the Gospel to the
regions beyond."

       *       *       *       *       *

T. L. Riggs has written the following account of the formation of a


"A year since steps were taken at our _Ptaya Owohdaka_ gathering for
the formation of a NATIVE MISSIONARY SOCIETY. The question was: 'Are
not the native Christians ready and able to support a special agency
for the spread of the Gospel among the still heathen Dakotas? A
committee was appointed to canvass the matter and report at the next
Annual Conference. At this meeting, which has just adjourned, the
missionary committee reported over $240 _cash in hand_, and
recommended that: (1) a Missionary Board of three members--one the
secretary, another treasurer--be elected; and (2) a full discussion
and expression of opinion on the part of the Conference. This
discussion was earnest, and showed an understanding of the subject,
and a readiness to grapple with its difficulties, that was very
gratifying. The missionary board was carefully chosen and instructed
to select a fit man and send him out at once. After some
consideration, David Gray Cloud, pastor of the Ma-ya-san church, was
chosen by the Board. His acceptance being received, the Sabbath
afternoon service was mainly devoted to his special setting apart for
the new work.

"This is the first effort of the kind. Heretofore our own missionary
boards have fathered every such attempt. The support of native workers
has come in part or entirely from white people. Now in this new
attempt all this is changed. The native Christians send and support
their own man. We thank God that they are ready to do this.

"The new missionary will have for his special field the Standing Rock
agency, though during the colder winter months he will probably spend
the most of his time in the neighborhood of Fort Sully and Cheyenne
agency. To those in official position, as well as all others whom he
may meet, we commend him for the work's sake and the Master's."


"We had just come from a region where they are still abiding in the
shadow of death, and where they are just beginning to learn that they
may have life and have it more abundantly through our Lord Jesus
Christ. No wonder that when I saw so many rejoicing in his love I
felt like exclaiming, 'God has said, Let there be Light,' and all the
powers of earth can not withhold it, for God's time is at hand. Could
all the Christians in our land have beheld with me such a multitude
partaking of the Lord's supper and obeying that loving command, 'This
do in remembrance of me,' their hearts would, I think, have been
filled with thanksgiving, and a long and earnest shout of 'Glory to
God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men,' would
have resounded through the land.

"They have the spirit of Christ, and are not satisfied with being
saved themselves only, but desire the salvation of their benighted
brethren. They have organized a missionary association and raised in
one year about two hundred and fifty dollars to support a missionary.
He is sent forth from this meeting, and how it must have rejoiced the
hearts of those good men who have grown gray in the service, to see
this young man arising from the degradation of his forefathers,
standing on the Christian platform, receiving the blessings of his
people, and pledging himself faithfully to perform his work toward
them and to his God. They must have had feelings akin to those of
Simeon when he beheld the Saviour, 'For mine eyes have seen thy
salvation.' When I saw the work these women had done to help sustain
their paper, again I was amazed. Twenty dollars' worth of fancy work
was sold, and the women had done it all themselves. Well may we say,
'They have done what they could.' They only have one paper, the _Word
Carrier_ and it was about to fail for want of means to carry it on,
and these women, with a truly Christian spirit, went to work to
sustain this important disseminator of truth. That was far more for
them to give than for our Christians at home to subscribe for the
paper and make it self-supporting. On Sabbath there was not room in
their large church to hold the people, and we were obliged to hold
services in the open air, and seven or eight hundred Dakotas were
present to hear God's message to them. And to me it seemed the most
beautiful sight I ever beheld. There were several admitted into the
church, and one girl who was about sixteen years old, who was baptized
in infancy, now in youth comes out on the Lord's side. A little boy
about twelve years old was baptized, and I thought of many of the
little boys at home, even older than that, who had not accepted the
Saviour, and, although they have so many blessings, yet he hath chosen
the good part which shall not be taken away from him.

"I think the angels in heaven rejoiced when these people lifted up
their hearts and voices in praise to Him. And as the old missionary
hymn rang out on the air, I thought it seemed even grander than ever


    1871-1877.--The Wilder Sioux.--Gradual Openings.--Thomas
    Lawrence.--Visit to the Land of the Teetons.--Fort Sully.--Hope
    Station.--Mrs. General Stanley in the _Evangelist_.--Work by
    Native Teachers.--Thomas Married to Nina Foster.--Nina's First
    Visit to Sully.--Attending the Conference and American
    Board.--Miss Collins and Miss Whipple.--Bogue Station.--The
    Mission Surroundings.--Chapel Built.--Mission Work.--Church
    Organized.--Sioux War of 1876.--Community
    Excited.--Schools.--"Waiting for a Boat."--Miss Whipple Dies at
    Chicago.--Mrs. Nina Riggs' Tribute.--The Conference of 1877 at
    Sully.--Questions Discussed.--Grand Impressions.

We had been long thinking of and looking toward the wilder part of the
Sioux nation, living on and west of the Missouri River. More than
thirty years before this, in company with Mr. Alex. G. Huggins, I had
made a trip over from Lac-qui-parle to Fort Pierre. The object of that
visit was to inform ourselves in regard to the Teetons--their numbers
and condition, and whether we ought then to commence mission work
among them. And since the Santees were brought to the Missouri we had
made several preaching tours up the river, stopping awhile with the
Brules at Crow Creek, and with the Minnekanjoos, the Oohenonpa, the
Ogallala, and the Itazipcho of the Cheyenne and Standing Rock
agencies. The bringing of our Christianized people into proximity with
the wild part of the nation seemed to indicate God's purpose of
carrying the Gospel to them also.

The field was evidently now open, and waiting for the sower of the
precious seed of the Word. There was no _audible_ cry of "Come over
and help us," nor was there in the case of Paul with the Macedonian.
But there was the same unrest, the same agony, the same reaching out
after a knowledge of God, now as then. We listened to it, and
assuredly gathered that the Lord would have us work among the Teetons.

Thomas Lawrence was Mary's second boy. He could hardly be reconciled
with the idea that his mother should go away to the spirit land, while
he was down in Mississippi teaching the freedmen. Now he had been two
years in Chicago Theological Seminary, and was asking what he should
do when the other year was finished. The Prudential Committee of the
American Board were looking around for some one to send to the Upper
Missouri. Thomas had been born and brought up, in good part, in the
land of the Dakotas; but they deemed it only fair that he should now
with a man's eyes see the field, and with a man's heart better
understand the work before committing himself to it. And so, in his
summer vacation of 1871, they said to him, "Go with your father to the
land of the Teetons, and see whether you can find your life-work with

We came to the land of the Teetons, and stopped for five or six weeks
at Fort Sully, which was in the neighborhood of Cheyenne agency. There
we found Chaplain G. D. Crocker, who had been much interested in our
work among the Dakotas when stationed at Fort Wadsworth. We found also
good and true Christian friends in Captain Irvine and his wife, and in
the noble Mrs. General Stanley, the wife of the commandant of the
post. In the mornings of our stay in the garrison, we often gathered
buffalo berries--mashtinpoota, _rabbit noses_, as the Indians called
them. During the day we talked with the Dakotas, and studied the
Teeton dialect, and also the Assinaboine and the Ree. In our judgment,
the time had fully come for us to commence evangelistic work in this
part of the nation. Our friends at Sully thought so, and the
prudential committee did not hesitate a moment. Indeed, they could not
wait for Thomas to finish his seminary course, but sent him off in
midwinter to Fort Sully. He was ordained by a council which met in

The Indians of the Cheyenne agency, a portion of them, were
distributed along down in the Missouri bottom in little villages and
clusters of houses. In a village of this kind, a little below the
fort, and on the opposite side of the river, T. L. Riggs erected his
first house. It was a hewed log cabin, with two rooms below, one of
which was a school-room. The garret was arranged for sleeping
apartments. This was called Hope Station, so named by Captain Irvine's
little daughter, who about this time came into the Christian hope.

Of this new enterprise, Mrs. Gen. D. S. Stanley sent a very pleasant
notice to the _New York Evangelist_. "Six years ago," she says, "my
lot was cast among the Sioux, or Dakota Indians, who inhabit the
region bordering on the Missouri River, 500 miles above Sioux City,
Iowa, and in the vicinity of Fort Sully, Dakota Territory. All this
time it has been a matter of surprise to me that no Christian
missionary was laboring among these heathens, while so many were sent
to foreign lands. In reply to a suggestion to this effect, made to the
American Board, it was stated that it is almost impossible to induce a
competent person to undertake so difficult and dangerous a task.

"Meanwhile God was preparing the way. A boy had grown up among the
Dakotas, speaking their language, understanding their customs, and
identifying himself with their best interests. He was at this time in
college preparing for the ministry, and last spring this young man,
Rev. T. L. Riggs, son of the veteran missionary and Dakota scholar of
that name, came to this place, and entered upon the work for which he
seemed to be so peculiarly fitted. Almost unassisted, except by a
brother, and some facilities for work afforded by the commandant of
Fort Sully, he has erected two log buildings, and already schools are
in operation on both sides of the river, attended by about sixty
Indians, of various ages. Two native teachers were employed during the
summer, and two are engaged for the winter. Mr. Riggs has surmounted
great difficulties, inseparable from such efforts in remote and
unsettled regions; but he is full of energy, and his heart is in the

From the beginning, it has been the aim at this station to do the work
of education very much by means of native teachers. The first summer,
a young man from the Yankton agency, Toonwan-ojanjan by name, was
employed, and also Louis Mazawakinyanna, from Sisseton. The next
autumn, James Red Wing and his wife Martha, and Blue Feather
(Suntoto), were brought up from the Santees. Red Wing's wife taught
the women in letters and the family arts, while the men taught the
young men and children generally, and greatly aided in the religious
teachings of the Sabbath. Afterward, Dowanmane, another Santee man,
was employed in like manner. This was the commencement of educational
and Christian work in this Teeton field.

At another point, some few miles below Hope Station, on the same side
of the river, was another Dakota village, where Thomas immediately
commenced holding a preaching service, and has kept up a school. It is
one of his out stations, and called Chantier, from the name of the
creek and bottom. While the opportunities for education and the new
teaching were looked upon favorably, and gladly received by many,
there were not wanting those who were savagely opposed. At different
times, while Henry M. Riggs, who spent several years aiding in the
erection of buildings and other general work, was present with Thomas
at Hope Station, their house and tent were fired upon by Indians, and
residence there seemed hardly safe.

When he had thus started the work, leaving it to be cared for and
carried on by Henry M. Riggs and Edmund Cooley and the native
teachers, Thomas went down to the States to consummate a marriage
engagement with Cornelia Margaret Foster (known as Nina Foster),
daughter of Hon. John B. Foster of Bangor, Me. It was winter, and not
considered advisable for Mrs. Riggs to return with her husband to his
home among the Teetons. She made a visit with her sister, Mrs. C. H.
Howard, at Glencoe, in the vicinity of Chicago, and in the spring
month of May I accompanied her up the Missouri. We had a particularly
long voyage of eleven days, on the _Katie Koontz_, between the Santee
agency and Fort Sully; so long that we picked up Thomas on the way,
coming to meet us in his little skiff.

Thomas and Nina returned to Sully after our mission meeting at the
Yankton agency, and then, in September, went to the meeting of the
board at Minneapolis.

Sully was a far-off station. There were many reasons why a white
woman should not be there alone. Miss Lizzie Bishop's election to go
back with them, together with her beautiful life and early death, have
been detailed in a preceding chapter.

She had fallen out of the working ranks, but others were ready to step
to the front. In the previous spring, Secretary Treat had told me that
there were two young ladies in Iowa who were anxious to engage in
mission work. They preferred to go to the Indians, as they desired to
labor together. It was a David and Jonathan love that existed between
Miss Mary C. Collins and Miss J. Emmaretta Whipple. They were
immediately sent out by the Woman's Board of the Interior to labor at
Bogue Station.

This place, selected in 1873, had for various reasons become in 1874
the home station--thenceforward Hope was only an out-station. Bogue
Station is on Peoria bottom, about fifteen miles below Fort Sully, and
on the same side of the Missouri, called by the Indians
"Tee-tanka-ohe," meaning "The place of a large house," so called from
a house built years ago by an Indian. General Harney selected this
bottom as the place for an agency, or rather, perhaps, where a scheme
of civilization should be tried, and built upon it several log houses,
which became the dwellings of Yellow Hawk and his people. The bottom
has several advantages--considerable cottonwood timber, plenty of
grass for hay, and as good land for cultivation as there is in this
often "dry and thirsty land."[9]

    [9] Now named _Oahe_.

The first winter Oyemaza, or James Red Wing, and his wife lived here
with Henry M. Riggs, and taught a school. The second winter Thomas and
Nina, with Miss Bishop, made it their abode. So that it was not quite
a new place to which Miss Collins and Miss Whipple came, and yet new
enough. The mission dwelling is made of logs--one series of logs
joined to another, so as to make four rooms below, one of which has
served as a school-room through the week and a chapel for the Sabbath.
Additions have been made in the rear. The school-room has for a long
time back overflowed on the Sabbath, and the women and children have
been packed into the room adjoining, which is the family room. Hence a
great and growing want of this station has been a chapel and larger
school-room. The name of Bogue was given to the station for Mrs. Mary
S. Bogue, a special friend of Thomas while he was in the seminary, who
has gone to her rest. It was at one time expected that Mr. Bogue would
furnish the means to erect a chapel; but the shrinkage in values and
financial losses made him a broken reed. And so the desired building
has been postponed from year to year. But a small contribution of
fourteen cents, made by little Bertie Howard, was the nucleus around
which larger contributions gathered, chiefly from Nina's native
Bangor. About $400 of special contributions were thus received, and
the prudential committee made a loan, which was afterward made a gift,
of $500 toward it. The building is going up--August, 1877--a neat and
substantial frame, the material of which was brought up from Yankton
by boat. It is forty by twenty feet, and will have a bell-tower in one

       *       *       *       *       *

Let me now go back and take up the threads of the narrative which were
dropped two years ago. The two young ladies who desired to work
together in some Indian field found themselves here in Yellow Hawk's
village. They entered into the labors of those who had been here
longer. They grew into the work. The day schools in books and sewing,
together with the night school, employed all hands, during the winter
especially. A number have learned to read and write in their own
language. Besides the school carried on at the home station, the two
out stations have been occupied by native helpers. Edwin Phelps, from
the Sisseton agency, with his mother, Elizabeth Winyan, have been
valuable assistants for two winters past. Also for the winter of
1876-7, David Gray Cloud, one of the native pastors at the head of the
Coteau, did valuable service both in teaching and preaching. He was
sent to Standing Rock by the native missionary society, but, not being
able to get a footing there, he came down here to preach to these
Teetons salvation by Jesus Christ. In the spring, when he was leaving
for Sisseton, they begged him to stay, or at least to promise to come
back again.

The Word, during these years, has not been preached in vain. While in
the main it has been seed-sowing,--only seed-sowing--breaking up the
wild prairie-land of these wild Dakota hearts, and planting a seed
here and there, which grows, producing some good fruit, but in most
cases not yet the best fruit of a pure and holy life,--still, in the
summer of 1876, one young man, the first fruits among the Teetons,
_David Lee_ (Upijate) by name, came out as a disciple of Jesus. This
was the signal for the organization of a church at this station, which
was effected in August. Another native convert, the brother of the
first, was added in the autumn following; and still more a year or so

For two winters past, several boys and young men, who have made a good
commencement in education in these schools, have been sent down to
enjoy the advantages of A. L. Riggs' High School at Santee. The Sioux
war of the summer of 1876 produced a great excitement at all the
agencies on the Upper Missouri. The Indians in these villages were
more or less intimately connected with the hostiles. Many of those
accustomed to receive rations here were during the summer out on the
plains. Some of them were in the Custer fight. They say that Sitting
Bull's camp was not large--only about two hundred lodges. The victory
they gained was not, as the whites claimed, owing to the overwhelming
number of the Dakotas, but to the exhausted condition of Custer's men
and horses, and to their adventuring themselves into a gorge where
they could easily be cut off.

When the autumn came, the victories of the Sioux had been turned into
a general defeat. Many of them, as they claim, had been opposed to the
war all along. The attacks, they say, were all made by the white
soldiers. _They_--these Dakota men--were anxious to have peace, and
used all their influence to abate the war spirit among the more
excited young men. This made it possible for the military to carry out
the order to _dismount_ and _disarm_ the Sioux. But in doing this all
were treated alike as foes. Such men as _Long Mandan_ complain
bitterly of this injustice. From him and his connections the military
took sixty-two horses. He cannot see the righteousness of it.

As a matter of course, this excited state of the community was
unfavorable, in some respects, to missionary work during the winter.
The military control attempted to interfere with the sending away of
Teeton young men to the Santee school. But on the whole no year of
work has proved more profitable. In all the schools, Thomas reported
about two hundred and forty scholars. They were necessarily irregular
in attendance, as they were frequently ordered up to the agency to be
counted. Still, the willing hearts and hands had work to do all the
time. And so the spring of 1877 came, when the women folks of Bogue
Station had all planned to have a little rest. Mrs. Nina Riggs was to
go as far as Chicago to meet her father and mother from Bangor. Miss
Collins and Miss Whipple were going to visit their friends in Iowa and
Wisconsin. And so they all prepared for the journey and _waited for a
boat_. By some mischance boats slid by them. They put their tent on
the riverbank and waited. So a whole month had passed, when, at last,
their patient waiting was rewarded, and they passed down the Missouri
River and on to Chicago.

The ladies of the Woman's Board of the Interior had arranged to have
them present and take an active part in several public meetings in and
around Chicago. This was unwise for the toilers among the Dakotas. The
excitement of waiting and travel--the summer season--the strain on the
nervous system incident to speaking in public, to those unaccustomed
to it--all these were unfavorable to the rest they needed. We must not
quarrel with the Lord's plan, but we may object to the human unwisdom.
So it was; before Miss Whipple had visited her friends she was
stricken down with fever. Loving hearts and willing hands could not
stay its progress. It is said, and we do not doubt it, that all was
done for her recovery that kind and anxious friends could do. Miss
Collins, her special friend, did not leave her. Delirium came on, and
she was _waiting for the boat_. It was not now a Missouri steamer, but
the boat that angels bring across from the Land of Life. She saw it
coming. "The boat has come and I must step in," she said. And so she
did, and passed over to the farther shore of the river.

The Teetons say, "Two young women went away, and one of them is not
coming back. They say she has gone to the land of spirits. It has been
so before. Miss Bishop went away, and we did not see her again. And
now we shall not see Miss Whipple any more." So they mourn with us.
But, while the workers fall, their work will not fail. It is the work
for which Christ came from the bosom of the Father; and, as he lives
now, so he "shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be

Dear Miss Whipple's death came upon us like a thunder-clap. We are
dumb, because the Lord has done it. Nevertheless, it has made our
hearts very sad and interfered with our plans of work. But we can say,
"Not in _our_ way, but in _Thy_ way, shall the work be done." A
fitting tribute from Mrs. Nina Riggs will be found very interesting.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Miss J. E. Whipple died of gastric fever at Chicago, August 11, aged
24. For nearly two years she had been connected with the Dakota
Mission among the Teeton Indians. And she left her work there last
spring, in order to take a short vacation and visit among her friends.
On her way from her sister's home in Knoxville, Ill., to the home of
her father at Badger, Wis., she was attacked by the disease which
proved fatal. Through all her sickness to the end, she was tenderly
and lovingly cared for by Miss Mary Collins, her intimate friend and
companion in missionary labor. In the summer of 1875, Miss Whipple
gave herself to the cause of missions, and entered upon her work in
the autumn of that same year. She had little idea of what she should
be called to do, but self-consecration was the beginning of all, and
so, whatever work was given her to do, she took it up cheerfully and
earnestly, yielding time and strength and zeal to it. Though it seemed
small, she did not scorn it; though repugnant, she did not shirk it;
though hard, she bravely bore it. Her merry smile, her thoughtful
mind, her quick response, the work of her strong, shapely hands, all
blessed our mission home. She came a stranger to us, but when she left
us in the spring, only for a summer's vacation as we thought, she was
our true and well beloved friend.

"They tell me she is dead! When the word reached us, already was the
dear form laid away by loving hands to its last rest.

"Dead! The house is full of her presence, the work of her hands is
about us, the echo of her voice is in our morning and vesper hymns,
the women and children whom she taught to sew and knit, and the men
whom she taught to read and write, gather about the doorway. Even now
beneath the workman's hammer is rising the chapel, for which she hoped
and prayed and labored.

"Dead? No! The power of her strong young life is still making itself
felt, though the bodily presence is removed from us, nor can that
power cease so long as the work she loved is a living work.

"'The children all about are sad,' said an Indian woman. 'I too am
sorrowful. I wanted to see her again.' The little Theodore, whom she
had loved and tended, folded his hands and prayed, 'Bless Miss Emmie
up in heaven,--she was sick and died and went to heaven,--and bring
her back some time.' Sweet, childish prayer that would fain reach out
with benediction to her who is beyond the reach of our blessing,
eternally blest.

"As she passed away from the fond, enfolding arms that would have
detained her, she breathed a message for us all. Listen! Do you not
hear her speaking? 'Work for the missions, work for the missions.
Christ died for the missions.'

"On the wall of her room still hangs the Scripture roll as it was
left. And this is the word of comfort it bears:--

"'I shall be satisfied when I awake in Thy likeness.'

"'His servants shall serve Him and they shall see His face.'"


The sixth annual meeting of the Conference of churches connected with
the Dakota Mission took place at T. L. Riggs' station on Peoria
bottom, near Fort Sully, commencing on Thursday, September 13, 1877,
and closing on Sabbath, the 16th.

The very neat new chapel, which had been in building only a few weeks,
was pushed forward so that it made a very convenient and comfortable
place of meeting. The Sabbath immediately preceding, it was occupied
for religious service. It was very gratifying to see the house filled
by the Indians living here. In the general interest manifested in
religious instructions by the people of these villages, there is very
much to encourage us. Old men and women, young men and maidens, flock
to the new chapel, and express great gratification that it has been
erected for their benefit.

On Wednesday, the 12th of the month, the delegates began to come in.
The first to arrive were from the homestead settlement of Flandreau
on the Big Sioux. They had come 260 miles and traveled ten days. Then
came the delegation of more than twenty from the Sisseton reservation,
near Fort Wadsworth. And in the evening came the largest company from
the Yankton and Santee agencies. In all there were over sixty present,
about forty-five of whom were members of the Conference, and all had
traveled more than 200 miles. The last to arrive were John P.
Williamson and A. L. Riggs, who, being disappointed in getting a
steamboat, had to come all the way in the stage.

Our meeting was opened with a sermon by the youngest of our Dakota
pastors, Rev. John Eastman of Flandreau. This was followed by
greetings from T. L. Riggs and Mr. Yellow Hawk and Mr. Spotted Bear.
Responses by S. R. Riggs, and pastors Artemas, John Renville, Daniel
Renville, Solomon, David, Louis, and Joseph Blacksmith, followed by A.
L. Riggs and John P. Williamson, who had just arrived. The meeting was
very enjoyable and was followed by the organization. T. L. Riggs and
David Gray Cloud were the English and Dakota secretaries, the only
officers of the Conference. The roll contained fifty names, a number
less than we have had present in years past, but quite large,
considering the distance of the place from our churches, and the
pressure of home work.

Friday, after a morning prayer meeting, at which the house appeared to
be full, the Conference was opened with so large a gathering that it
was found necessary to pack the house, when about two hundred were
crowded in. As yet only a few of these Teetons have changed their
dress, but they sit for three hours, and listen very attentively to
discussions on the questions of "How to Study the Bible," and "Who
Shall be Received to Church Membership?" To the Teetons it was all
new, but the native pastors endeavored to put their thoughts into such
forms as to reach their understandings. Chaplain G. D. Crocker of
Sully was present with his family, and added to the interest. On
Saturday, Dr. Cravens, agent at Cheyenne, with his wife, made us a

The homestead question occupied us for a whole afternoon, and was one
which attracted the most attention, as these Teetons even are greatly
exercised to know how they shall secure a permanent habitation. Daniel
Renville, Joseph Blacksmith, and Esau Iron Frenchman, all
homesteaders, made eloquent appeals in favor of Indians becoming white
men. But their stories of hard times showed that it had been no
child's-play with them.

The report of the executive committee of the native missionary society
was read by A. L. Riggs, and David Gray Cloud gave an interesting
account of his last winter's work on the Missouri. Speeches were made
by John B. Renville, Joseph Blacksmith, S. R. Riggs, and John P.
Williamson. By vote of the Conference the same committee was
re-elected for another year--A. L. Riggs, Joseph Blacksmith, and John
B. Renville. The money now in the treasury is about $160, besides
certain articles contributed and not yet sold. The committee expect to
engage the services of one of the pastors for the coming winter.

Another question discussed was "Household Duties"; when the divine
constitution of the family was made to bear against polygamy. This
subject bore heavily upon the principal men of these villages, who
were present and heard it all. It will doubtless cause some searchings
of heart, which we hope will result in changed lives.

On Saturday afternoon a woman's meeting was held, which was peculiarly
interesting in consequence of Miss Whipple's unexpected translation.
She has worked herself very much into the hearts of these Teeton

Our whole meeting was closed by the services of the Sabbath. John P.
Williamson preached an impressive sermon in Dakota; John Eastman led
in the service of song at the organ; two of the native pastors
administered the Supper of our Lord; Gray-haired Bear and Estelle
Duprey were united in marriage; C. H. Howard of _The Advance_, made a
good talk to the Dakotas on Christian work through the Holy Spirit's
help, and led in an English Bible reading; and finally, John B.
Renville gave us a wonderful series of pictures on the "Glory of
Heaven"--what man's eye hath not seen--man's ear hath not heard--and
man's heart hath not conceived. We shall long remember the meeting at
Peoria bottom, and we shall expect to see results in the progress of
truth in the minds and hearts of these Teetons.

The Forty Years are completed. In the meantime, many workers have
fallen out of the ranks, but the work has gone on. It has been
marvelous in our eyes. At the beginning, we were surrounded by the
whole Sioux nation, in their ignorance and barbarism. At the close we
are surrounded by churches with native pastors. Quite a section of the
Sioux nation has become, in the main, civilized and Christianized. The
entire Bible has been translated into the language of the Dakotas. The
work of education has been rapidly progressing. The Episcopalians,
entering the field many years after we did, have nevertheless, with
more men and more means at their command, gone beyond us in the
occupation of the wilder portions. Their work has enlarged into the
bishopric of Niobrara, which is admirably filled by Bishop Hare. Thus
God has been showing us, by his providence and his grace, that the red
men too may come into the Kingdom.







CORNELIA MARGARET, daughter of Hon. John B. Foster and Catharine McGaw
Foster, was born in Bangor, Me., March 19, 1848. Very soon after she
left us, on August 5, 1878, there appeared appreciative testimonials
of her life and character in the _Advance_, in the _Iapi Oaye_, and in
_Life and Light_. In preparing this monograph, the writer will make
free use of all these materials.

Rev. R. B. Howard, while in the Theological Seminary at Bangor, knew
her as Nina Foster, "a golden-haired, fair-cheeked, gracefully formed
little Sabbath-school scholar of ten, at the Central Church. Her
quick, laughing eye, her sensitive face reflecting every changing
thought, her constant companionship of an only sister a little taller,
her ready answers to all Sabbath-school questions, her intelligent
appreciation of the sermons, and her sunshiny presence at school and
at home, were among the impressions which her childhood gave.

"She lacked no means of cultivating the rare powers of mind which she
early developed. Many things she seemed to learn intuitively. Her
scholarship was bright, quick, accurate. Literature was her delight.
Her mother's father, Judge McGaw, whose white locks and venerable
presence then honored Bangor, was an interested and judicious guide in
the home reading.

"In social life few shone more brilliantly, or were more admired and
sought after. In those days, the beauty of person of the young lady
was of a rare and noticeable type. Her conversational powers were
fascinating. She had by nature genuine histrionic talent, and in
conversation, reading, or reciting seemed to be completely the person
she sought to represent. On one occasion, by a slight change of dress,
voice, and manner, she appeared as an aged widow, pleading with a high
officer of the government at Washington, to help her find her son,
lost in the troublous times of the war."

The "only sister, a little taller," Mrs. Katie Foster Howard, thus
testifies of Nina's early life:--

"When a little child, from eight to twelve years old, she and some of
her companions formed 'a praying circle,' and had a little room in one
of their homes which they called The House of Prayer. They met often
in this room, and delighted to decorate it after their childish

"Another favorite occupation was the teaching of some poor children
whom she and one or two friends brought out of their dreary homes to
the church vestibule, and there taught to sew and read.

"When eleven years old she was examined by the pastor and church
officers for admission to the church; they asked her how long she had
loved Jesus, and she answered,'Oh, a great many years.'"

Mrs. Howard speaks of her sister as "the little girl in the Eastern
home, whose _spirituelle_ face, with its halo of golden hair, seemed
so much more of heaven than of earth as to cause the frequent, anxious
comment that this world could not long detain her. An active, happy
child among her playmates, her thoughts were often upon heavenly
things, and her desire was to turn theirs thitherward, yet without
anything morbid or unchildlike in her ways.

"As she grew to womanhood, she was the delight of the home which so
tenderly shielded her from every rude blast, and of a large circle of
attached friends. She possessed those charms of person and manners and
qualities of mind which won admiration, and peculiarly fitted her to
enjoy and adorn society. So when the time came for her to change this
for a secluded life, many regretted that the fine gold should be sent
where baser metal, as they thought, would do as well; that the noble
woman, so eminently fitted for usefulness in circles of refinement,
should spend her life among the degraded and unappreciative savages.
But the event has proved that only such a nature, abounding in
resources, could be the animating spirit of a model home in the
wilderness; which should be an object-lesson of Christian culture not
only to the Indian but to the army people, who were her only white
neighbors, and who for her sake could look with interest on a work too
often an object of contempt. And thus the reflex influence upon those
who missed her from their number, or met her as she journeyed to her
field of labor, has been in proportion to the grace of her refinement
and the depth and breadth of her character. God, who spared not his
own Son, still gives his choicest ones to the salvation of men."

While on a visit to Chicago, in the family of her sister, she first
became acquainted with Thomas L. Riggs, then a student in the
theological seminary. Their mutual love soon compelled her to consider
what it would be to share in his life-work. She recognized its
hardships and deprivations as could hardly have been expected in one
so inexperienced in life's trials. She afterward often playfully said
she was "not a missionary, only a missionary's wife." But it was a
double consecration, joyous and entire, to the life of wife and

Thomas and Nina were married at her home in Bangor, December 26, 1872.
It is said, "Christian people, and even Christian ministers, were
inclined to say, 'Why this waste?'" Some did say it. Some spoke in
bitter and almost angry condemnation of her course. That this
beautiful and accomplished girl, eminently fitted to adorn any
society, should devote herself to a missionary life, occasioned much
comment in the social circle in which she had been prominent. What
could she do for the coarse, degraded Indian women, that might not be
better done by a less refined, sensitive, and elevated nature? Why
shut up her beauty and talents in the log cabin of an Indian
missionary? It was a shock to some who had preached self-sacrifice,
and a painful surprise to many who had been praying the Lord of the
harvest to send laborers. But none of these things moved her. There
has seldom been a sweeter and more lovely bride. The parents too made
the consecration, while they wrestled in spirit. The father writes: "I
gave her up when she left us on that winter's night. It was a hard
struggle, but I think I gave her unconditionally to God, to whom she
so cheerfully gave herself."

At this season of the year, it was not possible for Nina to accompany
her husband to Fort Sully, and so he left her at Gen. C. H. Howard's,
near Chicago, to come on in the early spring. This was my first
opportunity of becoming acquainted with "Mitakosh Washta," as I soon
learned to call her. General Howard accompanied her to Sioux City, and
then I became her escort by railroad and stage to Santee agency, and
thence by steamboat to Sully. The boat was nearly two weeks on the
way, and we took on two companies of United States troops at Fort
Randall. The officers soon manifested a marked admiration for the
beauty and culture of the Bangor lady; so that afterward, in alluding
to this little episode, I used playfully to say to Nina that I was
rejoiced when Thomas, coming down the Missouri in his skiff, met us
and took charge of his bride.

We had but a few weeks to spend at Fort Sully, until we should start
down to the meeting of our annual Conference, which was held in June
that year, at the Yankton agency. But those weeks were full of
pleasure to Nina. Everything was new and strange. She was devoid of
fear when she sat in the iron skiff, and crossed the Big Muddy with
her husband at the helm. The time came to go down. It was nearly noon
on Monday when we were ready to start; but, by hard driving, we were
able to reach Rev. John P. Williamson's--more than 200 miles--by the
afternoon of Thursday. Secretary S. J. Humphrey, from Chicago, was
there, and afterward wrote that for T. L. Riggs and the father, who
were accustomed to hard traveling and sleeping on the ground, it was
nothing very strange; but for one reared as Nina had been, it was
simply wonderful.

This was the first meeting of Martha Riggs Morris with her new sister.
When the latter had gone beyond our ken, Martha wrote an appreciative
article for the _Word Carrier_: "Let me give something," she wrote,
"of the little glimpses I have had of her brave, cheery life. I may
first go back to the time when we first heard of Nina Foster--who
thought enough of T. L. Riggs and the Indian work to help him in it.
That was in the spring-time. A few months later, Thomas had a hard
ride across from Fort Sully to Sisseton on horseback, accompanied by a
soldier for guard and an Indian for guide. He came to attend the
annual Conference of the Dakota churches, and he showed us a picture
of the young lady herself. A beautiful face, we all thought it was.
And from what we heard of Nina Foster, we were all prepared to take
her into our hearts, as we did when we saw her afterward.

"It was in June of the year following that I had my first glimpse of
her. I had myself taken a tedious journey of some three hundred miles,
and the years as well as the journey had worn upon me. So I felt some
trepidation about meeting the blooming bride. But, on seeing her, that
soon vanished, and I had nothing left but admiration for the beautiful
sister. She told so merrily how they had strapped her in, to keep her
from falling out of the wagon, and other incidents of her unaccustomed
journey. There was an evident determination to make the best of every

A little while after this Mrs. Morris was called to lay away her
blue-eyed boy out of sight. Then Nina's letter was very comforting. "I
have wept," she says, "with you for the dear little baby form laid
away from your arms to its last sleep; and I think of your words,
'Nothing to do any more.' Ah! my dear sister, He will not so leave you
comfortless. He who forgot not, in the last hours of his earthly life,
to give to the aching mother-heart a new care and love, will not
forget, I think, to bestow on your emptied hands some new duty which
shall grow to be a joy."

At the meeting of the American Board at Minneapolis in the autumn of
1873, Mrs. Nina Riggs was present, and addressed the ladies of the
Woman's Board, asking for a young lady companion in her far-off field.
To this call Miss Lizzie Bishop of Northfield responded, and gave the
remainder of her bright, true life to help on the work at Fort Sully.
Nina visited her sister in Chicago, and charmed them all by reciting
her strange experiences of the summer. "Her buoyant spirits and
faculty for seeing the droll side of everything helped to make the
sketch a bright one. Her sense of humor and keen wit has lightened
many a load for herself and others; the more forlorn and hopeless the
situation, the more elastic her spirits. How often have those of her
own household, wearied with severe labor and weighed down with care,
been compelled to laugh, almost against their will, by her
irresistible drollery, and thus the current of thought was turned and
the burden half thrown aside."

In the summer of 1874 baby Theodore was born, and none from Fort Sully
came to our annual meeting. On my way from a visit to Fort Berthold,
down the Missouri River, I stopped off for a few days. They were then
occupying Hope Station, across the river from the fort. Both Miss
Bishop and Mrs. Nina Riggs I found very enthusiastic over their work
for the Teeton women.

When another year had been completed, Lizzie Bishop had gone home to
die, and Nina Riggs made a visit to her friends in the East. The Board
met in Chicago that autumn, and Mrs. Riggs again addressed the ladies.
"Two years ago," she said, "at a meeting in Minneapolis, I made a
request which was promptly answered. I asked for a young lady to go
back with me to the mission work. I find her name is not on the rolls.
But if ever a brave life should be recorded, and the name of an
earnest woman be loved and remembered by all, it is that of Miss
Lizzie Bishop of Northfield, Minn. We had hoped that she might return,
but the Lord has not seen fit to allow that. He calls her to himself
soon. For the past two years I have been at different stations. I was
at Hope Station, on the west side of the Missouri. Now I am at Bogue
Station, fifteen miles below Fort Sully, on the east side. Since I
have been there, I have met a great many women. At first they all
seemed to me very degraded; but I have come not only to feel
interested in many of them, but to love some of them with a very deep
love." So spake Nina; and when she sat down, a telegram was read that
the good and brave Lizzie Bishop had already entered in through the
gates of pearl, into "Jerusalem the golden."

Two others, Miss Mary C. Collins and Miss Emmaretta Whipple, were
ready to start back with Mrs. Riggs. So the vacant place was more than
filled, and they all girded themselves for a hard winter's work.

A little before this time, Nina sent to the _Word Carrier_ a short bit
of poetry, which seems to embody her own wrestling with doubt in
others. The last stanza reads:--

    "With daring heart, I too have tried
      To know the height and depth of God above;
    And can I wonder that I too walked blind,
      And felt stern Justice in the place of Love?
    Above the child, the sun shines on;
      Above me too One reigns I cannot see;
    Yet all around I feel both warmth and power;
      _If God is not_, whence can _their_ coming be?"

In September, 1876, the great gathering of the Dakota mission was held
in the new Ascension church, on the Sisseton reservation. Mrs. Morris
writes: "We looked out eagerly for the travelers from Fort Sully way.
We hoped they would come a few days beforehand, so that we might have
more of their companionship. But they did not come. And as we had to
be on hand in the Ascension neighborhood, ten miles away, to entertain
the missionaries that might come, we shut up our house, and went on
without the Fort Sully friends. It was Friday noon when they arrived,
and received a glad welcome from all."

Thomas and Nina and their little lad Theodore, now two years old, who
amused every one with his quaint sayings, together with Miss Collins
and Miss Whipple, with all their personal and camping baggage, had
been packed for eight days into a small two-horse buggy. The journey
of 250 miles, the way they traveled, over a country uninhabited, was
not without its romance. "Not the least of the enjoyment of this
'feast of days,' were the bits of talk sandwiched in here and there
between meetings, and caring for the children and providing for the
guests. As we baked the bread and watched over the two cousins,
Theodore and Mary Theodora, so nearly of an age, we had many a
pleasant chat--Nina and I. She gave me an insight into their happy
home-life, and I longed to know more. She told, too, of her special
work in visiting the homes of the Teetons, and prescribing for the
sick. At the special meeting held for the women, Nina made a few
remarks, winning all hearts by her grace of manners, as well as by her
lovely face. Now that she is gone, the Dakota women speak of her as
'the beautiful woman who spoke so well.'"

"To all who come I wish my home to seem a pleasant home," is a remark
which Miss Collins accredits to Nina. So indeed we found it in the
months of August and September of 1877. The dear Miss Whipple had just
stepped into the boat at Chicago which carried her to the farther
shore. Miss Collins was mourning over her departed comrade while
making out the visit to her friends. By appointment I met on the way,
Gen. Charles H. Howard of the _Advance_, who, with his family, was
bound for Fort Sully. We were prospered in our journey up the
Missouri, and gladly welcomed into the mission home on Peoria bottom.
The two sisters met and passed some happy weeks in the home of the
younger one. Mrs. Howard thus describes that home in those August
days: "Its treeless waste lay under a scorching sun. Beneath a bluff
which overlooks the river lowlands, nestled a solitary green enclosure
around a long, low dwelling, whose aspect was of comfort and of home.
The sunshine which withered the surrounding country was not the gentle
power under which had sprung up this oasis in the desert. The light
within the house, whose sweet radiance beautified the humble dwelling,
and shone forth upon the wilderness around, was the fair soul, whose
heaven-reflected glory touched all who came within its ray."

To the same effect is Miss Collins' testimony: "I think no one ever
entered her home without feeling that the very house was purified by
her presence. I remember well just how she studied our different
tastes. She knew every member of the family thoroughly; and our
happiness was consulted in all things." So we all thought. Nina
presided in her own home, albeit that home was in Dakota land, with a
queenly grace.

About the middle of that September our annual Conference met in their
new and not yet finished chapel, on Peoria bottom. Miss Collins did
not get back until the close of the meeting. Besides her guests, Mrs.
Nina Riggs had a good deal of company from Fort Sully and the agency.
But it was all entertained with the same quiet dignity. Of this visit
to her sister, Mrs. Howard wrote afterward: "I do not know how to be
grateful enough that we spent last summer (1877) together; it is a
season of blessed memory."

To this I add: I too have one last picture of Nina in my memory. I was
to return to Sisseton with the Indians who had come over to our annual
Conference. They went up on Monday to Cheyenne agency to get rations
for the journey. On Tuesday afternoon Thomas arranged to take me out
fifteen miles to meet them. Thinking they would go out and return that
evening a party was made up. The two sisters, Mrs. Howard and Nina,
and little Theodore and Thomas and myself in a buggy, and Gen. C. H.
Howard and "Mack" on ponies, we had a pleasant ride out. But it was
too late for them to return. The Dakota friends gave us of their fresh
meat, and with the provisions Nina had bountifully supplied for my
journey, we all made a good supper and breakfast, and had an abundance
left. The next morning we separated. That was my last sight of Nina.

In midsummer of 1878, the time for her departure came. She seemed to
have a premonition of its coming. Miss Collins writes: "The last
summer of her precious life seemed a very fitting one for the last.
She labored earnestly for the conversion of her boy, and said: 'If I
should die and leave my boy, I should feel so much better satisfied to
go if he had that stronghold.'"

In the _Word Carrier_ for September appeared this notice: "Our beloved
Nina Foster Riggs, wife of Rev. T. L. Riggs of Bogue Station, near
Fort Sully, has heard the Master's call, and gone up higher. She was
taken away in child-birth, on the 5th of August. Hers was a beautiful
life, blossoming out into what we supposed would be a grand fruitage
of blessing to the Dakotas. It is cut off suddenly! 'Even so, Father,
for so it seemeth good in thy sight.' _We are dumb, because thou didst

Two days after her death, Thomas wrote: "Dear Father--Mitakosh Washta
has been taken from us. My good Nina has gone. She was taken sick
Saturday night. Before the light of the Sabbath, violent convulsions
had set in. We got the post surgeon and Mrs. Crocker here as soon as
possible; but, though every effort was made, the spasms could not be
prevented, and our dear one sank gradually out of reach. Early Monday
morning, after child-birth, the mother seemed to brighten a bit; but
soon our gladness was turned to sadness, for she did not rally. God
took her. She was his. We buried the body--the beautiful house of the
more beautiful spirit--in the yard near her window, yesterday. May God
help us."

Only a few days before, a kind Providence had guided Arther H. Day, a
cousin of Nina's, from his work in the office of the _Advance_, in
Chicago, and Robert B. Riggs from his teaching in Beloit College, up
to Peoria bottom, for a little rest. And so they were there to help
and give sympathy. Of this event Mr. Day wrote: "Rarely is it the lot
of one so blessed with loving relatives and friends to pass away
surrounded by so few to sympathize, and to be buried with so few to
weep. Three relatives and nine other white friends stood alone by her
grave, and the many hundreds in the far East knew not of the scene. I
say _white_ friends, because I would not ignore the presence of those
many dusky faces which looked on in sorrow, because _their friend_ was

"About noon on Tuesday, August 6, the funeral service was conducted by
Chaplain Crocker. The same hymn was sung that, by Nina's own choice,
had been sung at her wedding:--

    "'Guide me, O thou great Jehovah.'

One room of the house was filled with Indians, and the service was
partly in the native language. Her grave was made near the window of
her room, where she so often had beheld the sunset; and as kindly
hands laid her body there, surrounded by beautiful flowers, the
chaplain said: 'Never was more precious dust laid in Dakota
soil--never more hopeful seed planted for a spiritual harvest among
the Dakota people.'"

This beautiful summing-up of her character appeared as an editorial in
the _Advance_, by Rev. Simeon Gilbert:--

     "Here was a young woman of extraordinary beauty of person, of
     still more noticeable symmetry and completeness of mental
     endowment, sweetness and nobility of disposition, brightness and
     elasticity of temperament; quickly, keenly sympathetic with
     others' joys and sorrows--but who had never known a grief of her
     own; converted in infancy, reared in one of the happiest of
     earnest Christian homes, and favored with as fine social and
     educational advantages as the country affords; with too much
     sense to be affected by mere 'romance,' yet deeply alive to all
     the poetry alike in literature and in real life; and withal,
     from early childhood, with a spiritual imagination exquisitely
     alive to the realness and the nearness of unseen things, and the
     all-controlling sweep of the motives springing
     therefrom;--rarely does one meet a young person better fitted at
     once to enjoy and to adorn what is best in American Christian
     homes. At the age of twenty-four she marries a young man just
     out of the seminary, and goes forth with him beyond the
     frontiers of civilization, into the very heart of savage Indian
     tribes. What a sacrifice; what a venture; what certain-coming
     solicitudes, perils, cares, deprivations, hardships, loneliness,
     and mountainous discouragements! And there for the short period
     of less than five years she lives, when suddenly the young
     missionary is left alone, longing for the 'touch of a vanished
     hand and the sound of a voice that is still.'

     "Now, a case like this must set one to studying over again
     what, after all, is the true philosophy of life, and what, on
     the whole, is the wisest economy of personal forces in the
     church's work of Christianizing the world. As helping to a
     right answer, let us note a few facts:--

     "1. It costs to save a lost world; and nothing is wasted that
     serves well that end. God himself has given for this purpose
     the choicest, the highest, and the best which it was possible
     for even him to give.

     "2. Heathen people, even savages, as we call them, are not
     insensible to the unique fascination, and power to subdue and
     inspire, which belong to what is really most beautiful in
     aspect, manner, mind, and character. Often it is to them as if
     they had seen a vision, or dreamed a startling dream of
     possibilities of which they had known nothing, and could have
     known nothing, until they _saw_ it, and the sight awakened into
     being and action the diviner elements of their own hidden
     nature. The Word of God is one form of revelation, but the work
     of God in a peculiarly complete and lovely character is another
     revelation, and one that unmistakably interprets itself. There
     is as much need of the one as there is of the other. The light
     of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ
     must, in most cases at least, first be seen reflected 'in the
     face' of some of his disciples. The more dense the darkness,
     the more intense must be the shining of the love and the beauty
     of the truth which are to enlighten, captivate, lead forth, and
     refine. Among all the teepees and huts of that Indian
     reservation, as also throughout the barracks and quarters of
     the military post at Fort Sully, Mrs. Riggs was known, and the
     potent charm of her personal influence and home-life was deeply
     felt. It is largely due to such persons that the cause of
     missions, even among the most degraded, commands the respect,
     if not the veneration, of those who otherwise might have
     looked on derisively.

     "3. Nor, again, are the lives of such persons wasted as regards
     their influence upon those who knew them, or shall come to know
     of them; at home. 'How far that little candle throws its beams;
     so shines a good example'; and in instances like these it
     shines more effectively than, perhaps, in any other
     circumstances would have been possible. If one were to mention
     a score of American women who have exerted most influence in
     determining the best characteristics of American women, half of
     them, we suspect, would be names of the women who, leaving home
     and country, went far forth seeking to multiply similar homes
     in other countries.

     "4. Nor, again, is the strangely beautiful life wasted because
     cut short so early in its course. The ointment most precious
     was never more so than when its box was broken and the odor of
     it filled all the house. This that this young missionary has
     done, animated by the love of the Master and a sacred passion
     for lifting up the lowly, will be spoken of as a memorial of
     her in all the churches; and in not a few homes, of the rich as
     of the poor, will be felt the sweet constraint of her
     beautiful, joyous, consecrated life. She was not alone; there
     are many more like her; and, best of all, there are to be
     vastly more yet, who will not be deaf to 'the high calling.'
     The Master has need of them. The way, on the whole, is
     infinitely attractive. Thanks for the life of this woman who
     did so much, from first to last, to make it appear so!

     "And thanks too for such a death, which, coming in the sweetest
     and completest blooming of life's beauty, when not a fault had
     stayed to mar it, and no wasting had ever touched it--an ending
     which transfigures all that came before it, and which now, in
     the mingling of retrospect and prospect, helps those who knew
     her to a deeply surprised sense of the fact that,

        'To Death it is given,
    To see how this world is embosomed in heaven.'"

To us, who are blind and cannot see afar off, it is impossible to
perceive, and difficult to believe, that the taking away in the vigor
of womanhood of one who was showing such a capacity and adaptability
for the work of elevating the Teetons can be made to subserve the
furtherance of the cause of Christ. But we must believe that God, who
sees the end from the beginning, and who makes no mistakes, will bring
out of this sore bereavement a harvest of joy; and that that grave
under the window of the mission house in Peoria bottom will be a
testimony to the love of Jesus and the power of his Gospel, that will
thrill and uplift many hearts from Bangor to Fort Sully. It was a
beautiful life of faith and service; and it has only gone to be
perfected in the shadow of the Tree of Life.

    S. R. R.



Born and brought up in Litchfield county, in a town adjoining
Washington, Connecticut, Rev. George Bushnell visited that hill
country in his youth, and was deeply impressed with the manifest and
pervading religious element in the community. Taken there by a special
providence, more than a quarter of a century ago, and enjoying the
privilege of a visit in some of the families, it seemed to me that it
had been a good place to raise men. This was on the line of the
impression made upon me years before that. When I first met, in the
land of the Dakotas, the brothers Samuel W. and Gideon H. Pond, they
were both over six feet high, and "seemed the children of a king."

In this hill town of Washington, on the 30th of June, 1810, Gideon
Hollister, the younger of the two brothers, was born. His parents were
Elnathan Judson and Sarah Hollister Pond. Gideon was the fifth child,
and so was called by the Dakotas _Hakay_. Of his childhood and youth
almost nothing is known to the writer. He had the advantage of a New
England common-school education; perhaps nothing more. As he grew very
rapidly and came to the size and strength of man early, he made a full
hand in the harvest field at the age of sixteen. To this ambition to
be counted a man and do a man's work when as yet he should have been
a boy, he in after life ascribed some of his infirmities. This
ambition continued with him through life, and occasional over-work at
last undermined a constitution that might, with care and God's
blessing, have continued to the end of the century.

He came to the land of the Dakotas, now Minnesota, in the spring of
1834. The older brother, Samuel, had come out as far as Galena, Ill.,
in the summer previous. The pioneer minister of that country of lead
was Rev. Aratus Kent, who desired to retain Mr. Pond as an adjutant in
his great and constantly enlarging work; but Mr. Pond had heard of the
Sioux, or Dakotas, for whose souls no one cared, and, having decided
to go to them, he sent for his brother Gideon to accompany him.

When they reached Fort Snelling, and made known their errand to the
commanding officer of the post, Major Bliss, and to the resident
Indian agent, Major Taliaferro, they received the hearty approval and
co-operation of both, and the agent at once recommended them to
commence work with the Dakotas of the Lake Calhoun village, where some
steps had already been taken in the line of civilization. There, on
the margin of the lake, they built their log cabin. Last summer Mr.
King's grand Pavilion, so called, was completed on the same spot,
which gave occasion for Mr. Gideon H. Pond to tell the story of this
first effort in that line:

     "Just forty-three years previous to the occurrence above alluded
     to, on the same beautiful site, was completed an humble edifice,
     built by the hands of two inexperienced New England boys, just
     setting out in life-work. The foundation-stones of that hut were
     removed to make place for the present Pavilion, perchance
     compose a part of it. The old structure was of oak logs,
     carefully peeled. The peeling was a mistake. Twelve feet by
     sixteen, and eight feet high, were the dimensions of the
     edifice. Straight poles from the tamarack grove west of the lake
     formed the timbers of the roof, and the roof itself was of the
     bark of trees which grew on the bank of what is now called
     'Bassett's Creek,' fastened with strings of the inner bark of
     the bass wood. A partition of small logs divided the house into
     two rooms, and split logs furnished material for a floor. The
     ceiling was of slabs from the old government saw-mill, through
     the kindness of Major Bliss, who was in command of Fort
     Snelling. The door was made of boards split from a log with an
     axe, having wooden hinges and fastenings, and was locked by
     pulling in the latch-string. The single window was the gift of
     the kind-hearted Major Lawrence Taliaferro, United States Indian
     agent. The cash cost of the building was one shilling, New York
     currency, for nails used in and about the door. 'The formal
     opening' exercises consisted in reading a section from the old
     book by the name of BIBLE, and prayer to Him who was its
     acknowledged author. The 'banquet' consisted of mussels from the
     lake, flour and water. The ground was selected by the Indian
     chief of the Lake Calhoun band of Dakotas, Man-of-the-sky, by
     which he showed good taste. The reason he gave for the selection
     was that 'from that point the loons would be visible on the

     "The old chief and his pagan people had their homes on the
     surface of that ground in the bosom of which now sleep the
     bodies of deceased Christians from the city of Minneapolis, the
     Lake Wood cemetery, over which these old eyes have witnessed,
     dangling in the night breeze, many a Chippewa scalp, in the
     midst of horrid chants, yells, and wails, widely contrasting
     with the present stillness of that quiet home of those

    'Who sleep the years away.'

     That hut was the home of the first citizen settlers of Hennepin
     county, perhaps of Minnesota, the first school-room, the first
     house for divine worship, and the first mission station among
     the Dakota Indians."

The departure of Mr. Pond called forth from Gen. Henry H. Sibley so
just and beautiful a tribute, that I can not forbear inserting a
portion, from the _Pioneer Press_ of St. Paul:--

    "When the writer came to this country, in 1834, he did not
    expect to meet a single white man, except those composing the
    garrison at Fort Snelling, a few government officials attached
    to the department of Indian affairs, and the traders and
    voyageurs employed by the great fur company in its business.
    There was but one house, or, rather, log cabin, along the entire
    distance of nearly 300 miles between Prairie du Chien and St.
    Peters, now Mendota, and that was at a point below Lake Pepin,
    near the present town of Wabashaw. What was his surprise then to
    find that his advent had been preceded in the spring of the same
    year by two young Americans, Samuel W. Pond and Gideon H. Pond,
    brothers, scarcely out of their teens, who had built for
    themselves a small hut at the Indian village of Lake Calhoun,
    and had determined to consecrate their lives to the work of
    civilizing and Christianizing the wild Sioux. For many long
    years these devoted men labored in the cause, through manifold
    difficulties and discouragements, sustained by a faith that the
    seed sown would make itself manifest in God's good time. The
    efforts then made to reclaim the savages from their mode of
    life, the influence of their blameless and religious walk and
    conversation upon those with whom they were brought in daily
    contact, and the self-denial and personal sacrifices required at
    their hands, are doubtless treasured up in a higher than human

General Sibley mentions an incident belonging to this period of their
residence at Lake Calhoun, which never before came to my knowledge:--

    "Gifted with an uncommonly fine constitution, the subject of
    this sketch met with an accident in his early days, from the
    effects of which it is questionable if he ever entirely
    recovered. He broke through the ice at Lake Harriet in the early
    part of the winter, and as there was no one at hand to afford
    aid, he only saved his life after a desperate struggle, by
    continuing to fracture the frozen surface until he reached
    shallow water, when he succeeded in extricating himself. His
    long immersion and exhaustive efforts brought on a severe attack
    of pneumonia, which for many days threatened a fatal

My own personal acquaintance with Mr. Pond commenced in the summer of
1837. He was then, and had been for a year previous, at Lac-qui-parle.
In September my wife and I joined that station, and the first event
occurring after that, which has impressed itself upon my memory, was
the marriage of Mr. Pond and Miss Sarah Poage, sister of Mrs. Dr.
Williamson. This was the first marriage ceremony I had been called
upon to perform; and Mr. Pond signalized it by making a feast, and
calling, according to the Saviour's injunction, "the poor, the maimed,
the halt, and the blind." And there was a plenty of such to be called
in that Dakota village. They could not recompense him, but "he shall
be recompensed at the resurrection of the just."

Mr. Pond had long been yearning to see what was inside of an Indian.
He sometimes said he wanted to be an Indian, if only for a little
while, that he might know how an Indian felt, and by what motives he
could be moved. When the early spring of 1838 came, and the ducks
began to come northward, a half-dozen Dakota families started from
Lac-qui-parle to hunt and trap on the upper part of the Chippewa
River, in the neighborhood of where the town of Benson now is. Mr.
Pond went with them and was gone two weeks. It was in the month of
April, and the streams were flooded and the water was cold. There
should have been enough of game easily obtained to feed the party. But
it did not prove so. A cold spell came on, the ducks disappeared, and
Mr. Pond and his Indian hunters were reduced to scanty fare, and
sometimes they had nothing for a whole day. But Mr. Pond was seeing
inside of Indians and was quite willing to starve a good deal.
However, his stay with them, and their hunt for that time as well, was
suddenly terminated, by the appearance of the Ojibwa chief
Hole-in-the-Day and ten men with him. They came to smoke the
peace-pipe, they said. They were royally feasted by three of the
families, who killed their dogs to feed the strangers, who, in turn,
arose in the night and killed the Dakotas. As God would have it, Mr.
Pond was not then with those three tents, and so he escaped.

No one had started with more of a determination to master the Dakota
language than Gideon H. Pond. And no one of the older missionaries
succeeded so well in learning to talk just like a Dakota. Indeed, he
must have had a peculiar aptitude for acquiring language; for in these
first years of missionary life, he learned to read French and Latin
and Greek, so that the second Mrs. Pond writes: "When I came, and for
a number of years, he read from the Greek Testament at our family
worship in the morning. Afterward he used his Latin Bible, and still
later his French Testament."

In this line of literary work General Sibley's testimony is
appreciative. He says:--

    "Indeed, to them, and to their veteran co-laborers, Rev. T. S.
    Williamson and Rev. S. R. Riggs, the credit is to be ascribed of
    having produced this rude and rich Dakota tongue to the learned
    world in a written and systematic shape, the lexicon prepared by
    their joint labors forming one of the publications of the
    Smithsonian Institute at Washington City, which has justly
    elicited the commendation of experts in philological lore, as a
    most valuable contribution to that branch of literature."

While Mr. Pond was naturally ambitious, he was also peculiarly
sensitive and retiring. When the writer was left with him at
Lac-qui-parle, Dr. Williamson having gone to Ohio for the winter,
although so much better master of the Dakota than I was at that time,
he was unwilling to take more than a secondary part in the Sabbath
services. "Dr. Williamson and you are ministers," he would say. And
even years afterward, when he and his family had removed to the
neighborhood of Fort Snelling, and he and his brother had built at Oak
Grove, with the people of their first love, Gideon H. could hardly be
persuaded that it was his duty to become a preacher of the Gospel. I
remember more than one long conversation I had with him on the
subject. He seemed to shrink from it as a little child, although he
was then thirty-seven years old.

In the spring of 1847, he and Mr. Robert Hopkins were licensed by the
Dakota presbytery, and ordained in the autumn of 1848. We were not
disappointed in our men. Mr. Hopkins gave evidence of large adaptation
to the missionary work; but in less than three years he heard the call
of the Master, and went up through a flood of waters. Mr. Pond,
notwithstanding his hesitation in accepting the office, became a most
acceptable and efficient and successful preacher and pastor.

After the treaties of 1851, these Lower Sioux were removed to the
Upper Minnesota. White people came in immediately and took possession
of their lands. Mr. Pond elected to remain and labor among the white
people. He very soon organized a church, which in a short time became
a working, benevolent church--for some years the banner Presbyterian
church of Minnesota in the way of benevolence. When, in 1873, Mr. Pond
resigned his pastorate, he wrote in his diary, "I have preached to
the people of Bloomington twenty years." He received home mission aid
only a few years.

We are very glad to have placed at our disposal so much of the private
journal of the late Rev. G. H. Pond as relates to the wonderful work
of God among the Dakotas in prison at Mankato, Minn., in the winter of
1862-63. The facts, in the main, have been published before; but the
story, as told so simply and graphically by Mr. Pond, may well bear
repeating. Mr. Pond arrived at Mankato Saturday, January 31, 1863, and
remained until the afternoon of Tuesday, February 3:--

     "There are over three hundred Indians in prison, the most of
     whom are in chains. There is a degree of religious interest
     manifested by them, which is incredible. They huddle themselves
     together every morning and evening in the prison, and read the
     Scriptures, sing hymns, confess one to another, exhort one
     another, and pray together. They say that their whole lives have
     been wicked--that they have adhered to the superstitions of
     their ancestors until they have reduced themselves to their
     present state of wretchedness and ruin. They declare that they
     have left it all, and will leave all forever; that they do and
     will embrace the religion of Jesus Christ, and adhere to it as
     long as they live; and that this is their only hope, both in
     this world and in the next. They say that before they came to
     this state of mind--this determination--their hearts failed them
     with fear, but now they have much mental ease and comfort.

     "About fifty men of the Lake Calhoun band expressed a wish to
     be baptized by me, rather than by any one else, on the ground
     that my brother and myself had been their first and chief
     instructors in religion. After consultation with Rev. Marcus
     Hicks of Mankato, Dr. Williamson and I decided to grant their
     request, and administer to them the Christian ordinance of
     baptism. We made the conditions as plain as we could, and we
     proclaimed there in the prison that we would baptize such as
     felt ready heartily to comply with the conditions--commanding
     that none should come forward to receive the rite who did not
     do it heartily to the God of heaven, whose eye penetrated each
     of their hearts. All, by a hearty--apparently hearty--response,
     signified their desire to receive the rite on the conditions

     "As soon as preparations could be completed, and we had
     provided ourselves with a basin of water, they came forward,
     one by one, as their names were called, and were baptized into
     the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, while each
     subject stood with his right hand raised and head bowed, and
     many of them with the eyes closed, with an appearance of
     profound reverence. As each one passed from the place where he
     stood to be baptized, one or the other of us stopped him and
     addressed to him, in a low voice, a few words, such as our
     knowledge of his previous character and the solemnities of the
     occasion suggested. The effect of this, in most cases, seemed
     to very much deepen the solemnity of the ceremony. I varied my
     words, in this part of the exercises, to suit the case of the
     person; and when gray-haired medicine-men stood literally
     trembling before me, as I laid one hand on their heads, the
     effect on my mind was such that at times my tongue faltered.
     The words which I used in this part of the service were the
     following, or something nearly like them in substance: 'My
     brother, this is the mark of God which is placed upon you. You
     will carry it while you live. It introduces you into the great
     family of God, who looked down from heaven, not upon your head,
     but into your heart. This ends your superstition, and from this
     time you are to call God your Father. Remember to honor him. Be
     resolved to do his will.' It made me glad to hear them respond,
     'Yes, I will.'

     "When we were through, and all were again seated, we sung a
     hymn appropriate to the occasion, in which many of them joined,
     and then prayed. I then said to them, 'Hitherto I have
     addressed you as friends; now I call you brothers. For years we
     have contended together on this subject of religion; now our
     contentions cease. We have one Father--we are one family. I
     must now leave you, and probably shall see you no more in this
     world. While you remain in this prison, you have time to attend
     to religion. You can do nothing else. Your adherence to the
     Medicine Sack and the Wotawe has brought you to ruin. Our Lord
     Jesus Christ can save you. Seek him with all your heart. He
     looks not on your heads nor on your lips, but into your
     bosoms. Brothers, I will make use of a term of brotherly
     salutation, to which you have been accustomed in your medicine
     dance, and say to you, Brothers, I spread my hands over you and
     bless you.' The hearty answer of three hundred voices made me
     feel glad.

     "The outbreak and events which followed it have, under God,
     broken into shivers the power of the priests of devils, which
     has hitherto ruled these wretched tribes. They were before
     bound in the chains and confined in the prison of Paganism, as
     the prisoners in the prison at Philippi were bound with chains.
     The outbreak and its attendant consequences have been like the
     earthquake to shake the foundation of their prison, and every
     one's bonds have been loosed. Like the jailer, in anxious fear
     they have cried, 'Sirs, what must we do to be saved?' They have
     been told to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, who will still
     save unto the uttermost all that come unto God by him. They say
     they repent and forsake their sins--that they believe on him,
     that they trust in him, and will obey him. Therefore they have
     been baptized into the name of the Father and of the Son and of
     the Holy Ghost, _three hundred in a day_."

In the spring of 1853, Mrs. Sarah Poage Pond departed, after a
lingering illness of eighteen months, and left a "blessed memory."
There were seven children by this marriage, all of whom are living,
and have families of their own, but George, who died while in the Lane
Theological Seminary. In the summer of 1854, Mr. Pond was married to
his second wife, Mrs. Agnes C. J. Hopkins, widow of Rev. Robert
Hopkins. The second Mrs. Pond brought her three children, making the
united family of children at that time ten. Six have been added since.
And there are twenty-two grandchildren, six of whom are members of the
Church of Christ, together with all the children and their companions.
Is not that a successful life? Counting the widowed mother and those
who have come into the family by marriage, there are, I understand,
just fifty who mourn the departure of the patriarch father. A little
more than two-score years ago, he was one; and now behold a

Mary Frances Hopkins, who came into the family when a girl, and
afterward married Edward R. Pond, the son, writes thus: "To me he was
as near an own father as it is possible for one to be who is so by
adoption, and I shall always be glad I was allowed to call him

The members of the synod of Minnesota will remember with great
pleasure Mr. Pond's presence with them at their last meeting at St.
Paul, in the middle of October. For some years past, he has frequently
been unable to be present. This time he seemed to be more vigorous
than usual, and greatly entertained the synod and people of St. Paul
with his terse and graphic presentation of some of the Lord's workings
in behalf of the Dakotas.

During the meeting I was quartered with Mrs. Governor Ramsay. On
Saturday I was charged with a message to Mr. Pond, inviting him to
come and spend the night at the governor's. We passed a profitable
evening together, and he and I talked long of the way in which the
Lord had led us; of the great prosperity he had given us in our
families and in our work. Neither of us thought, probably, that that
would be our last talk this side the golden city. The next day,
Sabbath, he preached in the morning, for Rev. D. R. Breed, in the
House of Hope, which, probably, was _his last sermon_. In the evening
he was with us in the Opera House, at a meeting in the interest of
home and foreign missions.

"His health gradually failed," Mrs. Pond writes, "from the time of his
return from synod, though he did not call himself sick until the 11th
of January, 1878, and he died on Sabbath, the 20th, about noon." She
adds: "His interest in the Indians, for whom he labored so long, was
very deep, and he always spoke of them with loving tenderness, and
often with tears. One of the last things he did was to look over his
old Dakota hymns, revised by J. P. W. and A. L. R., and sent to him
for his consent to the proposed alterations."

"His _simple faith_ in the Lord Jesus caused him all the time to live
a life of self-denial, that he might do more to spread the knowledge
of Jesus' love to those who knew it not." The love of Christ
constrained him, and was his ruling passion.

Of his last days the daughter says:--

"He really _died of consumption_. The nine days he was confined to bed
he suffered much; but his mind was mostly clear, and he was very glad
to go. I think the summons was no more sudden to him than to Elijah.
He was to the last loving and trustful, brave and patient. To his
brother Samuel, as he came to his sick bed, he said: 'So we go to see
each other die.' Some time before he had visited Samuel when he did
not expect to recover. 'My struggles are over. The Lord has taken care
of me, and he will take care of the rest of you. My hope is in the
Lord,' he said.

"Toward the last it was hard for him to converse, and he bade us no
formal farewell. But the words, as we noted them down, were words of
cheer and comfort: 'You have nothing to fear, for the present or the
future.' And so was given to him the victory over death, through faith
in Jesus."

_Is that dying? He sleeps with his fathers. He has gone to see the
King in his beauty, in a land not very far off._

As loving hands ministered to him in his sickness, loving hearts
mourned at his death. On the Wednesday following he was buried. A half
a dozen brothers in the ministry were present at his funeral, and,
fittingly, Mr. Breed of the _House of Hope_ preached the sermon.

_This is success._

    S. R. R.


In the summer of 1874 Rev. John P. Williamson made a tour up the
Missouri River as far as Fort Peck. His judgment was that there was no
opening at that place for the establishment of a new mission, but that
something might possibly be done by native Dakotas. In the meantime,
we had heard from the regions farther north than Fort Peck, where some
of our church-members had gone after the outbreak of 1862. Somewhere
up in Manitoba, near Fort Ellice, was Henok Appearing Cloud, with his
relatives. His mother, Mazaskawin,--_Silver-Woman_,--was a member of
the Hazelwood church, and his father, Wamde-okeya,--_Eagle Help_,--had
been my old helper in Dakota translations. These were all near
relatives of Solomon Toonkanshaecheye, one of our native pastors.

Dr. Williamson, by correspondence with the Presbyterian Board,
obtained an appropriation of several hundred dollars to send a native
missionary to these Dakotas in Canada. Solomon gladly accepted the
undertaking, and in the month of June, 1875, started for Manitoba with
Samuel Hopkins for a companion.

They were received with a great deal of joy by their friends, who
entreated them to stay, or come back again if they left. But
provisions were very scarce, and hard to be obtained; and hence they
determined to return to the Sisseton agency before winter. While in
Manitoba they had taught and preached the Gospel, and baptized and
received several persons to the fellowship of the church. Solomon
wrote, before he returned, "Indeed, there is no food; they have laid
up nothing at all; so that, when winter comes, where they will obtain
food, and how they will live, no one knows. But I have already found
something of what I have been seeking, and very reluctantly I turn
away from the work."

Solomon and Samuel returned to Sisseton, but their visit had created a
larger desire for education and the privileges of the Gospel. In the
March following, Henok Appearing Cloud wrote that he had taught school
during the winter, and conducted religious meetings, as he "wanted the
Word of God to grow." In much simplicity, he adds: "Although I am
poor, and often starving, I keep my heart just as though I were rich.
When I read again in the Sacred Book what Jesus, the Lord, has
promised us, my heart is glad. I am thinking, if a minister will only
come this summer and stay with us a little while, our hearts will
rejoice. If he comes to stay with us a long time, we will rejoice
more. But as we are so often in a starving condition, I know it will
be hard for any one to come."

Rev. John Black of Keldonan Manse, near Winnipeg, heard of this visit
of Solomon to Manitoba, and of the desire of those Dakotas to have a
missionary. He at once became deeply interested in the movement, and
wrote to Dr. Williamson, at St. Peter, proposing that the Presbyterian
Missionary Society of Canada should take upon themselves the charge of
supporting Solomon as a missionary among the Dakotas of the Dominion.
But when the matter was brought before the missionary committee, they
decided that the condition of their finances would not allow them to
add to their burdens at that time. It was not, however, given up, and
a year later the arrangement was consummated. In the _Word Carrier_
for December, 1877, appeared this editorial:--

     "The most important event occurring in our missionary work
     during the month of October is the departure of Rev. Solomon
     Toonkanshaecheye, with his family, for Fort Ellice, in the
     Dominion of Canada. This has been under advisement by the
     Presbyterian Foreign Missionary Society of Canada for two years
     past. Rev. John Black of Keldonan Manse, Manitoba, has been
     working for it. A year ago the funds of the society would not
     admit of enlargement in their operations. This year their way
     has been made clear, and the invitation has come to Solomon to
     be their missionary among the Dakotas on the Assinaboine River.
     They pay his expenses of removal, and promise him $600 salary.

     "He has gone. Agent Hooper of Sisseton agency furnished him
     with the necessary pass, and essentially aided him in his
     outfit, and so we sent him off on the tenth day of October,
     invoking God's blessing upon him and his by the way, and
     abundant success for him in his prospective work. From the
     commencement of negotiations in regard to this matter it has
     been of special interest to Dr. T. S. Williamson of St. Peter.
     He has conducted the correspondence with Mr. Black. And now,
     while the good doctor was lying nigh unto death, as he
     supposed, the arrangement has gone into effect. If this prove
     to be his last work on earth (may the good Lord cause
     otherwise), it will be a matter of joy on his part that thus
     the Gospel is carried to regions beyond, by so good and
     trustworthy a man as we have found Solomon to be all through
     these years."

Thus was the work commenced. Dr. Williamson did not pass from us then,
but lived nearly two years longer, and was cheered by the news of
progress in this far-off land. This being among our first efforts to
do evangelistic work by sending away our native ministers, our hearts
were much bound up in it. The church of Long Hollow was reluctant to
give up their pastor, and to me it was giving up one whom I had
learned to trust, and, in some measure, to depend upon, among my
native pastors. But it was evidently God's call, and he has already
justified himself, even in our eyes. Solomon found a people prepared
of the Lord, and, in the summer of 1878, he reports a church organized
with thirteen members, which they named Paha-cho-kam-ya--Middle
Hill--of which Henok was elected elder.

In the next winter Solomon and Henok made a missionary tour of some
weeks, of which we have the following report. The letter is dated
"February 22, 1879, at Middle Hill, near Fort Ellice, North-west

     "This winter it seemed proper that I should visit the Dakotas
     living in the extreme settlements, to proclaim to them the Word
     of God. I first asked counsel of God, and prayed that he would
     even now have mercy on the people of these end villages, and
     send his Holy Spirit to cause them to listen to his Word. Then I
     sent word to the people that I was coming.

     "Then I started with Mr. Enoch, my elder. The first night we
     came to three teepees of our own people at Large Lake, and held
     a meeting with them. The next morning we started, and slept
     four nights. On the fifth day we came to a large encampment on
     Elm River. There were a great number of tents, which we
     visited, and prayed with them, being well received. But as I
     came to where there were two men, and prayed with them, I told
     them about him whose name was Jesus--that he was the Helper
     Man, because he was the Son of God. That he came to earth, made
     a sacrifice of himself, and died, that he might reconcile all
     men to God; that he made himself alive again; that, although
     men have destroyed themselves before God, whosoever knows the
     meaning of the name of Jesus, and fears for his own soul, and
     prays, he shall find mercy, and be brought near to God. That is
     the Name. And he is the Saviour of men, and so will be your
     Saviour also, I said.

     "Then one of them in a frightened way answered me: 'I supposed
     you were a Dakota, of those who live in cabins. It is not
     proper that you should say these things. As for me, I do not
     want them. Those who wish may follow in that way; but I will
     not. You who hold such things should stay at home. What do you
     come here for?'

     "Walking-nest then said: 'You are Cloudman's son, I suppose,
     and so you are my cousin. Cousin, when we first came to this
     country there was a white minister who talked to us and said:
     "Your hands are full of blood; therefore, when your hands
     become white, we will teach you." So he said, and when you
     brought a book from the south, while they were looking at it,
     blood dropped from above upon it; and behold, as the white
     minister said, I conclude we are not yet good. Therefore, my
     cousin, I am not pleased with your coming,' he said.

     "But there were only two men who talked in this way. We left
     them and visited every house in the camp. Many may have felt as
     those men did, but did not say it openly. The men said they
     were glad, and welcomed us into their tents.

     "The next day I came into a sick man's tent whose name was
     Hepan, lying near to death. I talked with him, and prayed to
     God for him. Then he told me how he longed to hear from his
     friends down south, and mentioned over half a dozen names of
     his relatives. A woman also, who was present, said: 'I want to
     know if my friends are yet living.'

     "Then we continued our visiting from house to house. Sometimes
     we found only children in the tent; sometimes there were men
     and women, and I prayed with them and told them a word of
     Jesus. So we came to the teepees in the valley. Then I met Iron
     Buffalo. There we spent the Sabbath, and held meeting, having
     twenty-three persons present. A chief man, whose name is
     War-club-maker, called them together.

     "Our meetings there being finished, we departed and came to the
     Wahpaton village. They were making four sacred feasts. We did
     not go into them. But, visiting other houses, we passed on
     about five miles, when night came upon us. Still we went on to
     the end of the settlement, where we held a meeting. The teepee
     was small, but there I found a sick man who listened to the
     Word. This was Chaskay, the son of Taoyatedoota. He said he was
     going to die, and from what source he should hear any word of
     prayer, or any comforting word of God, was not manifest. But
     now he had heard these things, and was very glad, he said. This
     way was the best upon earth, and he believed in it now. So,
     while we remained there, he wanted us to pray with and for him,
     he said.

     "We spent one day there, and the second day we started home,
     and came to Hunka's tent, and so proceeded homeward. When we
     had reached the other end of the settlement, we learned that
     the white ministers were to hold a meeting of presbytery. They
     sent word to us to come, and so in the night, with my
     Hoonkayape, Mr. Enoch, I went back. They asked us to give an
     account of our missionary journey among the Dakotas. And so we
     told them where we had been and what we had done. Also, we gave
     an account of things at Middle Hill, where we live. When we had
     finished, they all clapped their hands. Then they said they
     wanted to hear us sing a hymn of praise to God in Dakota. We
     sang 'Wakantanka Towaste,' and at the close they clapped their
     hands again.

     "Then two men arose, one after the other. The first said: 'I
     have not expected to see such things so soon among the Dakotas.
     But now I see great things, which I like very much.' The other
     man spoke in the same way.

     "Men and women had come together in their prayer-house, and so
     there was a large assembly.

     "Then the minister of that church arose and said: 'White
     people, who have grown up hearing of this way of salvation, are
     expected to believe in it, and I have been accustomed to
     rejoice in the multiplication of the Christian church; but I
     rejoice more over this work among the Dakotas.'"

Both of these men came home to watch and wait by the sick-bed of dear
children. Nancy Maza-chankoo-win,--Iron Road Woman,--the daughter of
Henok, died April 28, 1879. She was thirteen years old, read the
Dakota Bible well, and was quite a singer in the prayer assemblies.
They say: "We all thought a great deal of her; but now she too has
gone up to sing in the House of Jesus, because she was called."

From Middle Hill, near Fort Ellice in Manitoba, comes a letter written
on May 20 by our friend Solomon. He reports _seven_ members added by
profession of faith to his church in April, and ten children baptized.
There, as here, the season has been a sickly one, and many deaths have
occurred. For three months he has had sickness in his own family. His
story is pathetic. "Now," he says, "my son Abraham is dead. Seven
years ago, at Long Hollow, in the country of the Coteau des Prairies,
he was born on January 12, 1872. And on the 23d of June following, at
a communion season at Good Will Church, he was baptized. When Mr.
Riggs poured the water on him, he was called Abraham. And then in the
country of the north, from Middle Hill, May 9, 1879, on that day, his
soul was carried home to the House of Jesus.

"Five months after he was born, I wanted to have him baptized. I
always remember the thought I had about it. Soon after a child is
born, it is proper to have it baptized. I believed that baptism alone
was not to be trusted in, and when one is baptized now it is finished
is not thinkable. But in Luke 18:16, our Lord Jesus says: 'Suffer the
little children to come unto me'; and so taking them to Jesus is good,
since his heart is set on permitting them to come. Therefore, I wanted
this my son to go to Jesus.

"And so from the time he could hear me speak, I have endeavored to
train him up in all gentleness and obedience, in truth and in peace.
Now, for two years in this country he has been my little helper. When
some could not say their letters, he taught them. He also taught them
to pray. And when any were told to repeat the commandments, and were
ashamed to do so, he repeated them first, for he remembered them all.
Hence, I was very much attached to him. But this last winter he was
taken sick, and from the first it seemed that he would not get well.
But while he lived it was possible to help him, and so we did to the
extent of our ability. He failed gradually. He was a long time sick.
But he was not afraid to die. He often prayed. When he was dying, but
quite conscious of everything that took place, then he prayed, and we
listened. He repeated the prayer of the Lord Jesus audibly to the end.
That was the last voice we heard from him. Perhaps when our time
comes, and they come for us to climb up to the hill of the mountain of
Jehovah, then we think we shall hear his new voice. Therefore,
although we are sad, we do not cry immoderately."

That was a beautiful child-life, and a beautiful child-death. Who
shall say there are not now Dakota children in heaven? To have been
the means, under God, of opening in this desert such a well of faith
and salvation is quite a sufficient reward for a lifetime of work.

    S. R. R.


The father of the Dakota Mission has gone. Thomas Smith Williamson
died at his residence in St. Peter, Minn., on Tuesday, the 24th of
June, 1879, in the _eightieth_ year of his life. My own acquaintance
with this life-long friend and companion in work commenced when I was
yet a boy, just fifty years ago in July. We were new-comers in the
town of Ripley, Ohio, where Dr. Williamson was then a practising
physician of some five years' standing. My mother was taken sick and
died. In her sick-chamber our acquaintance commenced, which has
continued unbroken for half a century.

The silver wedding of the Dakota Mission was celebrated at Hazelwood,
in the summer of 1860. Dr. Williamson himself furnished a sketch of
his life and ancestry for that occasion which has never been
published. From this document, as well as from articles written by his
son, Prof. Andrew Woods Williamson, and published in the _St. Peter
Tribune_ and the _Herald and Presbyter_, much of this life-sketch will
be taken.

Thomas Smith Williamson, M.D., was the son of Rev. William Williamson
and Mary Smith, and was born in Union District, South Carolina, in
March, 1800.

William Williamson commenced classical studies when quite young; but
the school he attended was broken up by the appointment of the teacher
as an officer in the Revolutionary army. When about sixteen years of
age, while on a visit to an uncle's on the head-waters of the Kanawha,
in Virginia, several families in the neighborhood were taken captive
by the Indians, and he joined a company of volunteers which was raised
to go in pursuit. After more than a week's chase, they were entirely
successful, and lost only one of their own number.

When not yet eighteen years old, he was drafted into the North
Carolina militia, and accompanied Gates in his unfortunate expedition
through the Carolinas. After the war was over and the family had
removed to South Carolina, William resumed his studies and was
graduated at Hampton Sidney College--studied theology, and was
ordained pastor of Fair Forest Church, in April, 1793.

The grandfather of Thomas Smith Williamson was Thomas Williamson, and
his grandmother's maiden name was Ann Newton, a distant relative of
Sir Isaac and Rev. John Newton. They were both raised in Pennsylvania,
but removed first to Virginia and then to the Carolinas, where they
became the owners of slaves, the most of whom were purchased at their
own request to keep them from falling into the hands of hard masters.

Thus Rev. William Williamson was born into the condition of
slaveholder. By both his first and second marriage also, he became the
owner of others, which, by the laws of South Carolina, would have been
the property of his children. For the purpose of giving them their
liberty, he removed, in 1805, from South Carolina to Adams County,
Ohio. Before her marriage, Mary Smith had taught a number of the young
negroes to read. And of their descendants quite a number are now in
Ohio. It should be remembered that the Smiths and Williamsons of the
eighteenth century thought it right, under the circumstances in which
they were, _to buy and hold slaves, but not right to sell them. They
never sold any_.

Thomas Smith Williamson inherited from his father a love for the study
of God's Word, and a practical sympathy for the down-trodden and
oppressed, which were ever the distinguishing characteristics of his
life. He was also blessed with a godly mother and with five
earnest-working Christian sisters, four of whom were older than
himself. He was converted during his stay at Jefferson College,
Cannonsburg, Pa., where he graduated in 1820. Soon after, he began
reading medicine with his brother-in-law, Dr. William Wilson of West
Union, Ohio, and, after a very full course of reading, considerable
practical experience, and one course of lectures at Cincinnati, Ohio,
completed his medical education at Yale, where he graduated in
medicine in 1824. He settled at Ripley, Ohio, where he soon acquired
an extensive practice, and April 10, 1827, was united in marriage with
Margaret Poage, daughter of Col. James Poage, proprietor of the town.
Perhaps no man was ever more blessed with a helpmeet more adapted to
his wants than this lovely, quiet, systematic, cheerful, Christian
wife, who for forty-five years of perfect harmony encouraged him in
his labors.

They thought themselves happily settled for life in their pleasant
home, but God had better things in store for them. His Spirit began
whispering in their ears the Macedonian cry. At first, they excused
themselves on account of their little ones. They felt they could not
take them among the Indians, that they owed a duty to them. They
hesitated. God removed this obstacle in his own way--by taking the
little ones home to himself. As this was a great trial, so was it a
great blessing to these parents. This was one of God's means of so
strengthening their faith that, having once decided to go, neither of
them ever after for one moment regretted the decision, doubted that
they were called of God to this work, or feared that their life-work
would prove a failure.

In the spring of 1833, Dr. Williamson placed himself under the care of
the Chillicothe Presbytery, and commenced the study of theology. In
August of that year he removed with his family to Walnut Hills, and
connected himself with Lane Seminary. In April, 1834, in the First
Presbyterian Church of Red Oak, he was licensed to preach by the
Chillicothe Presbytery.

Previous to his licensure, he had received from the American Board an
appointment to proceed on an exploring tour among the Indians of the
Upper Mississippi, with special reference to the Sacs and Foxes, but
to collect what information he could in regard to the Sioux,
Winnebagoes, and other Indians. Starting on this tour about the last
of April, he went as far as Fort Snelling, and returned to Ohio in
August. At Rock Island he met with some of the Sacs and Foxes, and at
Prairie du Chien he first saw Dakotas, among others Mr. Joseph
Renville of Lac-qui-parle. On the 18th of September he was ordained as
a missionary by the Chillicothe Presbytery, in Union Church, Ross
County, Ohio.

A few months afterward he received his appointment as a missionary of
the A. B. C. F. M. to the Dakotas; and on the first day of April,
1835, Dr. Williamson, with his wife and one child, accompanied by
Miss Sarah Poage, Mrs. Williamson's sister, who afterward became Mrs.
Gideon H. Pond, and Alexander G. Huggins and family, left Ripley,
Ohio, and on the 16th of May they arrived at Fort Snelling. At this
time, the only white people in Minnesota, then a part of the
North-west Territory, were those connected with the military post at
Fort Snelling, the only post-office within the present limits of the
State; those connected with the fur-trade, except Hon. H. H. Sibley,
were chiefly Canadian French, ignorant of the English language; and
Messrs. Gideon H. and Samuel W. Pond, who came on their own account as
lay teachers of Christ to the Indians in 1834.

While stopping there for a few weeks, Dr. Williamson presided at the
organization, on the 12th of June, of the First Presbyterian
Church--the first Christian church organized within the present limits
of Minnesota. This was within the garrison at Fort Snelling, and
consisted of twenty-two members, chiefly the result of the labors of
Major Loomis among the soldiers.

Having concluded to accompany Mr. Joseph Renville, Dr. Williamson's
party embarked on the fur company's Mackinaw boat on the 22d of June;
reached Traverse des Sioux on the 30th, where they took wagons and
arrived at Lac-qui-parle on the 9th of July. There, on the north side
of the Minnesota River, and in sight of the "Lake that speaks," they
established themselves as teachers of the religion of Jesus.

Of the "Life and Labors" pressed into the next forty-four years, only
the most meager outline can be given in this article. It is now almost
two round centuries since Hennepin and Du Luth met in the camps and
villages of the Sioux on the Upper Mississippi. Then, as since, they
were recognized as the largest and most warlike tribe of Indians on
the continent. Until Dr. Williamson and his associates went among
them, there does not appear to have been any effort made to civilize
and Christianize them. With the exception of a few hundred words
gathered by army officers and others, the Dakota language was
unwritten. This was to be learned--_mastered_, which was found to be
no small undertaking, especially to one who had attained the age of
thirty-five years. While men of less energy and pluck would have
knocked off or been content to work as best they could through an
interpreter, Dr. Williamson persevered, and in less than two years was
preaching Christ to them in the language in which they were born. He
never spoke it easily nor just like an Indian, but he was readily
understood by those who were accustomed to hear him.

It was by a divine guidance that the station at Lac-qui-parle was
commenced. The Indians there were very poor in this world's good, not
more than a half-dozen horses being owned in a village of 400 people.
They were far in the interior, and received no annuities from the
government. Thus they were in a condition to be helped in many ways by
the mission. Under its influence and by its help, their corn-patches
were enlarged and their agriculture improved. Dr. Williamson also
found abundant opportunities to practise medicine among them. Not that
they gave up their pow-wows and conjuring; but many families were
found quite willing that the white Pay-zhe-hoo-ta-we-chash-ta (Grass
Root Man) should try his skill with the rest. For more than a quarter
of a century his medical aid went hand in hand with the preaching of
the Gospel. By the helpfulness of the mission in various ways, a
certain amount of confidence was secured. And through the influence
of Mr. Renville, a few men, but especially the women, gathered to hear
the good news of salvation.

Here they were rejoiced to see the Word taking effect early. In less
than a year after their arrival, Dr. Williamson organized a native
church, which, in the autumn of 1837, when I joined the mission force
at Lac-qui-parle, counted seven Dakotas. Five years after the number
received from the beginning had been forty-nine. This was a very
successful commencement.

But in the meantime the war-prophets and the so-called medicine-men
were becoming suspicious of the new religion. They began to understand
that the religion of Christ antagonized their own ancestral faith, and
so they organized opposition. The children were forbidden to attend
the mission school; Dakota soldiers were stationed along the paths,
and the women's blankets were cut up when they attempted to go to
church. Year after year the mission cattle were killed and eaten. At
one time, Dr. Williamson was under the necessity of hitching up
milch-cows to haul his wood--the only animals left him.

These were dark, discouraging years--very trying to the native church
members, as well as to the missionaries. As I look back upon them, I
can but admire the indomitable courage and perseverance of Dr.
Williamson. My own heart would, I think, have sometimes failed me if
it had not been for the "hold on and hold out unto the end" of my
earthly friend.

As Mr. Renville could only interpret between the Dakotas and French,
Dr. Williamson applied himself to learning the latter language.
Through this a beginning was made in the translation of the Scriptures
into the Dakota. Late in the fall of 1839 the Gospel of Mark and some
other small portions were ready to be printed, and Dr. Williamson went
with his family to Ohio, where he spent the winter. The next printing
of portions of the Bible was done in 1842-43, when Dr. Williamson had
completed a translation of the book of Genesis. We had now commenced
to translate from the Hebrew and Greek. This was continued through all
the years of his missionary life. So far as I can remember, there was
no arrangement of work between the doctor and myself, but while I
commenced the New Testament, and, having completed that, turned to the
Psalms, and, having finished to the end of Malachi, made some steps
backward through Job, Esther, Nehemiah, and Ezra, he, commencing with
Genesis, closed his work, in the last months of his life, with Second
Chronicles, having taken in also the book of Proverbs.

Before leaving the subject of Bible translation, let me bear testimony
to the uniform kindness and courtesy which Dr. Williamson extended to
me, through all this work of more than forty years. It could hardly be
said of either of us that we were very yielding. The doctor was a man
of positive opinions, and there were abundant opportunities in
prosecuting our joint work for differences of judgment. But, while we
freely criticised each the other's work, we freely yielded to each
other the right of ultimate decision.

In the autumn of 1846, Dr. Williamson received an invitation, through
the agent at Fort Snelling, to establish a mission at Little Crow's
Village, a few miles below where St. Paul has grown up, and he at once
accepted it, gathering from it that the Lord had a work for him to do
there. And indeed he had. During the five or six years he remained
there, a small Dakota church was gathered, and an opportunity was
afforded him to exert a positive Christian influence on the white
people then gathering into the capital of Minnesota. Dr. Williamson
preached the first sermon there.

When, after the treaties of 1851, the Indians of the Mississippi were
removed, he removed with them--or, rather, went before them, and
commenced his last station at Pay-zhe-hoo-ta-zee, Yellow Medicine.
There he and his family had further opportunities "to glory in
tribulations." The first winter was one of unusual severity, and they
came near starving. But here the Lord blessed them, and permitted them
to see a native church grow up, as well as at Hazelwood, the other
mission station near by. It was during the next ten years that the
seeds of civilization and Christianity took root, and grew into a
fruitage, which, in some good manner, bore up under the storm of the
outbreak in 1862, and resulted in a great harvest afterward.

Twenty-seven years of labor among the Dakotas were past. The results
had been encouraging--gratifying. Dr. Williamson's eldest son, Rev.
John P. Williamson, born into the missionary kingdom, had recently
come from Lane Seminary, and joined our missionary forces. But
suddenly our work seemed to be dashed in pieces. The whirlwind of the
outbreak swept over our mission. Our houses and churches were burned
with fire. The members of our native churches--where were they? Would
there ever be a gathering again? But nothing could discourage Dr.
Williamson, for he trusted not in an arm of flesh, but in the
all-powerful arm of God. He found that he at least had the consolation
of knowing that all the Christian Indians had continued, at the risk
of their own lives, steadfast friends of the whites, that they had
succeeded in saving more than their own number of white people, and
that those of them who were unjustly imprisoned spent much of the time
in laboring for the conversion of the heathen imprisoned with them.

It required just such a political and moral revolution as this to
break the bonds of heathenism, in which these Dakotas were held. It
seems also to have required the manifest endurance of privations, and
the unselfish devotion of Dr. Williamson and others to them in this
time of trouble, to fully satisfy their suspicious hearts that we did
not seek _theirs_ but _them_. The winter of 1862-63, Dr. Williamson,
having located his family at St. Peter, usually walked up every
Saturday to Mankato, to preach the Gospel to the 400 men in prison.
"That," said a young man, "satisfied us that you were really our
friends." Sometimes it seems strange that it required so much to
convince them! History scarcely furnishes a more remarkable instance
of divine power on human hearts than was witnessed in that prison. For
a particular account of this the reader is referred to the monograph
on Rev. G. H. Pond.

Ever since the outbreak, Dr. Williamson has made a home for his family
in the town of St. Peter and its vicinity. For two years of the three
in which the condemned Dakotas were imprisoned at Davenport, Iowa, he
gave his time and strength chiefly to ministering to their spiritual
needs. Education never progressed so rapidly among them as during
these years. They almost all learned to read and write their own
language; and spent much of their time in singing hymns of praise, in
prayer, and in reading the Bible. They were enrolled in classes, and
each class placed under the special teaching of an elder. This gave
them something like a Methodist organization, but it was found
essential to a proper watch and care. This experience in the prison
and elsewhere made it more and more manifest that, to carry forward
the work of evangelization among this people, we must make large use
of our native talent.

The original Dakota presbytery was organized at Lac-qui-parle in the
first days of October, 1844. Dr. Williamson and myself brought our
letters from the presbytery of Ripley, Ohio, and Samuel W. Pond
brought his from an Association in Connecticut. The bounds of this
presbytery were not accurately defined, and so for years it absorbed
all the ministers of the Gospel of the Presbyterian and Congregational
orders who came into the Minnesota country. By and by the presbyteries
of St. Paul and Minnesota were organized; but the Dakota presbytery
still covered the country of the Minnesota River.

At a meeting of this presbytery at Mankato in the spring of 1865, when
our first Dakota preacher, Rev. John B. Renville, was licensed, an
incident took place which illustrates the meekness and magnanimity of
Dr. Williamson's character. On its own adjournment the presbytery had
convened and was opened with a sermon by Dr. Williamson, in the
evening, in the Presbyterian church. He took occasion to present the
subject of our duties to the down-trodden races, the African and the
Indian. Doubtless some who heard the discourse did not approve of it.
But no exceptions would have been taken if the Jewett family, out a
few miles from the town, had not been killed that night by a Sioux
war-party. Men were so unreasonable as to claim that the preaching
and the preacher had some kind of casual relation with the killing.
The next day, Mankato was in a ferment. An indignation meeting was
held, and a committee of citizens was sent to the Presbyterian church
to require Dr. Williamson to leave their town. Some of the members of
the presbytery were indignant at this demand; but the good doctor
chose to retire to his home at St. Peter, assuring the excited and
unreasonable men of Mankato that he could have had no knowledge of the
presence of the war-party, and certainly had no sympathy with their
wicked work.

In years after this, I traveled hundreds of miles, often alone with
Dr. Williamson, and while we conversed freely of all our experiences,
and of the way God had led us, I do not remember that I ever heard him
refer to this ill treatment of the people of Mankato. Like his Master,
he had learned obedience by the things he suffered.

Never brilliant, he was yet, by his capacity for long-continued,
severe exertion, and by systematic, persevering industry, enabled to
accomplish an almost incredible amount of labor. His life was a grand
one, made so by his indomitable perseverance in the line of lifting up
the poor and those who had no helper.

From the beginning he had an unshaken faith in his work. He fully
believed in the ability of the Indians to become civilized and
Christianized. He had an equally strong and abiding faith in the power
of the Gospel to elevate and save even them. Then add to these his
personal conviction that God had, by special providences, called him
to this work, and we have a threefold cord of faith, that was not
easily broken.

No one who knew him ever doubted that Dr. Williamson was a true
friend of the red man. And he succeeded wonderfully in making this
impression upon the Indians themselves. They recognized, and, of late
years, often spoke of, his life-long service for them. With a class of
white men, this was the head and front of his offending, that, in
their judgment, he could see only one side--that he was always the
apologist of the Indians--that in the massacres of the border in 1862,
when others believed and asserted that a thousand or fifteen hundred
whites were killed, Dr. Williamson could only count three or four
hundred. He was honest in his beliefs and honest in his apologies. He
felt that necessity was laid upon him to "open his mouth for the
dumb." They could not defend themselves, and they have had very few
defenders among white people.

In the summer of 1866, after the release of the Dakota prisoners at
Davenport, Dr. Williamson and I took with us Rev. John B. Renville,
and journeyed up through Minnesota and across Dakota to the Missouri
River, and into the eastern corner of Nebraska. On our way, we spent
some time at the head of the Coteau, preaching and administering the
ordinances of the Gospel to our old church members, and gathering in a
multitude of new converts, ordaining elders over them, and licensing
two of the best qualified to preach the Gospel. When we reached the
Niobrara, we found the Christians of the prison at Davenport and the
Christians of the camp at Crow Creek now united; and they desired to
be consolidated into one church of more than 400 members. We helped
them to select their religious teachers, which they did from the men
who had been in prison. So mightily had the Word of God prevailed
among them that almost the entire adult community professed to be
Christians. Rev. John P. Williamson was there in charge of the work.

For four successive summers, it was our privilege to travel together
in this work of visiting and reconstructing these Dakota Christian
communities. We also extended our visits to the villages of the wild
Teeton Sioux along the Missouri River. Dr. Williamson claimed that
Indians must be more honest than white people; for he always took with
him an old trunk without lock or key, and in all these journeys he did
not lose from a thread to a shoe-string.

For thirty-six years the doctor was a missionary of the American
Board. But after the union of the assemblies, and the transfer of the
funds contributed by the New School supporters of that board to the
Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions, the question of a change of
our relations was thoughtfully considered and fully discussed. He was
too strong a Presbyterian not to have decided convictions on that
subject. But there were, as we considered it, substantial reasons why
we could not go over as an entire mission. And so we agreed to divide,
Dr. Williamson and his son, Rev. John P. Williamson, transferring
themselves to the Presbyterian Board, while my boys and myself
remained as we were. The division made no disturbance in our mutual
confidence, and no change in the methods of our common work. Rather
have the bonds of our union been drawn more closely together, during
the past eight years, by an annual conference of all our Dakota
pastors and elders and Sabbath-school workers. This has gathered and
again distributed the enthusiasm of the churches; and has become the
director of the native missionary forces. With one exception, Dr.
Williamson was able to attend all these annual convocations, and
added very much to their interest.

While the synod of Minnesota was holding its sessions in St. Paul in
October, 1877, the good doctor was lying at the point of death, as was
supposed, with pneumonia. Farewell words passed between him and the
synod. But his work was not then done, and the Lord raised him up to
complete it. At the next meeting of the synod, he presented a
discourse on Rev. G. H. Pond; and during the winter following he
finished his part of the Dakota Bible. Then his work appeared to be
done, and he declined almost from that day onward.

On my way up to the land of the Dakotas, in the middle of May, 1879, I
stopped over a day with my old friend. He was very feeble, but still
able to walk out, and to sit up a good part of the day. We talked of
many things. He then expressed the hope that as the warm weather came
on he might rally, as he had done in former years. But the undertone
was that, as the great work of giving the Bible to the Dakotas in
their own language was completed, there was not much left for him to
do here. He remarked that, during the last forty-four years, he had
built several houses, all of which had either gone to pieces, or were
looking old, and would not remain long after he was gone. But the
building up of human souls that he had been permitted to work for, and
which, by the grace of God, he had seen coming up into a new life,
through the influence of the Word and the power of the Holy Ghost, he
confidently believed would _remain_.

When I spoke of the near prospect of his dissolution to his Dakota
friends, there arose in all the churches a _great prayer cry_ for his
recovery. This was reported to him, and he sent back this message, by
the hand of his son Andrew: "Tell the Indians that father thanks them
very much for their prayers, and hopes they will be blessed both to
his good and theirs. But he does not wish them to pray that his life
here may be prolonged, for he longs to depart and be with Christ." And
the testimony of Rev. G. F. McAfee, pastor of the Presbyterian church
in St. Peter, who often visited and prayed with him in his last days,
is to the same effect: "He absolutely forbade me to pray that he might
recover, but that he might depart in peace."

And so his longing was answered. He died on Tuesday, June 24, 1879, in
the morning watch.

He had no ecstasies, but he looked into the future world with a firm
and abiding faith in Him whom, not having seen, he loved. Of his last
days, John P. Williamson writes thus:--

     "He seemed to be tired out in body and mind, with as much
     disinclination to talk as to move, and apparently as much from
     the labor of collecting his mind as the difficulty of
     articulation. I think he talked very little from the time I was
     here going home from General Assembly (June 1) till his death,
     and for some time was perhaps unconscious.

     "You may know that father had a special distaste for what are
     called death-bed experiences. Still, we thought that perhaps,
     at the last, when the bodily pains ceased, there might be a
     little lingering sunshine from the inner man, but such was not
     the case; and perhaps it was most fitting that he should die as
     he had lived, with no exalted feelings or bright imagery of the
     future, but a stern faith, which gives hope and peace in the
     deepest waters."

He lived to see among the Dakotas ten native ordained Presbyterian
ministers and about 800 church members, besides a large number of
Episcopalians, a success probably much beyond his early anticipations.

On the farther shore he has joined the multitude that have gone
before. Of his own family there are the three who went up in infancy.
Next, Smith Burgess, a manly Christian boy, was taken away very
suddenly. Then Lizzie Hunter went in the prime of womanhood. The
mother followed, a woman of quiet and beautiful life. And then the
sainted Nannie went up to put on white robes. Besides these of his
family, a multitude of Dakotas are there, who will call him father. I
think they have gathered around him and sung, under the trees by the
river, one of his first Dakota hymns:--

    "Jehowa Mayooha, nimayakiye,
      Nitowashta iwadowan."

    "Jehovah, my Master, thou hast saved me,
      I sing of thy goodness."

My friend--my long-life friend--my companion in tribulation and in the
patience of work, I almost envy thee thy _first_ translation.

    S. R. R.




The Lord came to his garden, and gathered three fair flowers, which
now bloom in the city of our God. We, who knew their beauty, come to
lay our loving remembrances upon their graves.

Eliza Wilson Huggins was the third child of Alexander G. and Lydia
Huggins. She was born March 7, 1837, and died June 22, 1873.

She early gave herself to Jesus, and her lovely life was like a strain
of sacred music, albeit its years of suffering brought out chords of
minor harmony.

This young girl, in the dawn of womanhood, with gentle step and loving
voice, was a revelation to us who were younger than she. Huguenot
blood ran swiftly in her veins, and grief and joy were keen realities
to her sensitive soul. But she quieted herself as a child before the
Lord, and he gave her the ornament which is without price. Though she
wist not, her face shone, and we, remembering, know that she had been
with Jesus.

Her sister, Mrs. Holtsclaw, writes: "We are of Huguenot descent on our
father's side. Our great-great-grandfather was born at sea in the
flight from France to England. Two brothers (in that generation or
the one following) came to America, one settling in North Carolina,
the other in New England. Our grandfather left North Carolina when
father was a small boy, because he thought slavery wrong, and did not
wish his children exposed to its influences.

"Grandmother Huggins was a sister of Rev. James Gilliland of Red Oak,
Ohio. She was a very earnest Christian, and often prayed that her
descendants, to the latest generation, might be honest, humble
followers of Jesus.

"Eliza was converted, and united with the church in Felicity, Ohio,
under the pastorate of Rev. Smith Poage. She was, I think, about
twelve years of age."

She was a most loving daughter, sister, and friend, because she had
given herself unreservedly to Him who yearns to be more than friend,
mother, or brother to us all. When heavy bereavements came upon the
family, Jesus kept their hearts from breaking. The dear father went
the way of all the earth. Then a brother-in-law, who was a brother
indeed; then the elder brother, tried and true, in an instant of time,
speeds home to heaven; and again a younger brother, in his bright
youth; these three were the family's offering upon the altar of
freedom. A costly offering! A heavy price paid! "Though he slay me,
yet will I trust in him."

For seven years Miss Huggins taught school as continuously as her
health permitted. Her methods as a teacher were followed by peculiar
success. She loved children, and had a most earnest desire to help
them up to all that is best and wisest in life. Children know by
instinct whose is the firm yet loving hand stretched out to lead them
in the paths of pleasantness and peace. Some of this time she taught
in the mission school. Her sister says:--

"I cannot write of her long sickness, her intense suffering, her
patient waiting to see what the Lord had in store for her; all this is
too painful for me. St. Anthony, where she first came with such bright
hopes of finding health, was the place from which she went to her long
rest. It was the place where she found cure.

"The Dakota text-book, which she and Nannie prepared, was a labor of
much thought and prayer. It was not published until after she had gone

Mignonette and sweet violets may well be emblem flowers for this
lovely sister. Would that I might strew them on her grave, in the
early summer-time, as a farewell till we meet again.


BY M. R. M.

When an army marches on under fire, and one after another falls by the
way, the ranks close up that there may ever be an unbroken front
before the foe. So in life's battle, as one by one drops out of the
ranks, we who are left must needs _march on_. Yet, if we stop a little
to think and talk of the ones gone, it may help us as we press
forward. Then, to-day let us bring to mind something of the life of a
sister departed.

Nannie J. Williamson was born at Lac-qui-parle, Minn., on the 28th of
July, 1840. From her birth she was afflicted with disease of the
spine, so that she was almost two years old before she walked at all,
and then her ankles bent and had to be bound in splints. "Aunt Jane"
mentions that Nannie was in her fourth year when she first saw her,
and at that time, when the children went out to play, her brother John
either carried her or drew her in a little wagon, to save her the
fatigue of walking. So she must have truly borne the yoke in her
youth. That the burden was not lifted as the years went by, we may
judge from the facts that when away at school, both in Galesburg,
Ill., and Oxford, Ohio, she was under the care of a physician; and she
almost always studied her lessons lying on her back.

Though her days were stretched out to her 38th year, her body never
fully ripened into womanhood, and her heart never lost the sweetness
and simplicity of the child. It was not so with her mind. Overleaping
the body, with a firm and strong grasp, it took up every object of
thought, and filled its storehouse of knowledge.

"The date of her conversion is not known. She loved Jesus from a

In the fall of 1854 our family moved to within two miles of Dr.
Williamson's new station of Pay-zhe-hoo-ta-zee, or Yellow Medicine.
From that time we were intimately associated, and many delightful
memories are connected with those days. In September, 1857, Nannie
went to the W. F. Seminary at Oxford, Ohio. She made many friends
among her school-mates, and all respected her for her consistent
character, her faithfulness in her studies, and her earnestness in
seeking to bring others to Christ. One with more thankful humility
never lived. She was always so very grateful for the least favor or
kindness done her, and seemed ever to bear them in mind. She was
exceedingly thoughtful for other people, never seemed to think evil
of any one, and never failed to find kindly excuses for one's conduct
if excuses were possible. After the burning of the seminary building,
the senior class, of which Nannie was one, finished their studies in a
house secured for that purpose. Then followed the sorrowful days of
'62, that broke up so many homes, ours among others. Some time after,
Nannie wrote this: "It is a little more than a year since we left our
dear old homes. I wonder if our paths will ever lie so near together
again as they have in times past. Who can tell? But though we may
_seem_ to be far apart, we trust we are journeying to the same place,
and we shall meet _there_."

During the months that Nannie's mother waited to be released from
earthly suffering, the daughter spared none of her strength to do what
she could for the faithful, patient mother. After there was nothing
more to do on earth for that mother, then indeed Nannie felt the
effects of the long strain on body and mind. Even then her nights were
painful and unresting. But, after recruiting a little, she entered
upon the work to which her thoughts had often turned, that of
uplifting the Dakota women and children. In 1873, "she joined her
brother, Rev. J. P. Williamson, in missionary labor, at Yankton
agency, Dakota Territory, under the Presbyterian Board of Foreign
Missions, and continued in it until her death, November 18, 1877."

"Her knowledge of the Scriptures was such that the minister scarcely
needed any other concordance when she was by, and during her last
illness every conversation was accompanied with Scripture quotations.

"Notwithstanding her physical weakness, she taught school and did much
other work; and, as all was consecrated to the Lord, we are sure she
has much fruit in glory. Many in the Sabbath-schools of Traverse and
St. Peter received lessons from her, whose impression will last to

In the spring of 1876, she went to Ohio on the occasion of a reunion
of the first five graduating classes of the W. F. Seminary, Oxford,
Ohio. She desired with great desire to meet her class-mates, and the
beloved principal, Miss Helen Peabody; and also to visit relatives,
among them two aged aunts, one of whom crossed over to the other side
a little before her. She took great delight in her visit, and yet her
nights were wearisome, and she was probably not entirely comfortable
at any time. But she did not complain.

On her last visit home her face bore the impress of great suffering.
It was with difficulty she could raise either hand to her head, and
could only sleep with her arms supported on pillows. They would fain
have kept her at home, but she longed to do what she could as long as
she could. So she went back, taught in the school, visited the sick,
read from the Bible in the tents, and prayed. In her last illness some
of these women came and prayed with her, and so comforted her greatly.
She did not forget her brother's children, in her anxiety for the
heathen around them, and they will long remember Aunt Nannie's
prayerful instructions.

With so little strength as she had, it was not strange that, when
fever prostrated her, she could not rally again. So she lay for nearly
eight weeks, suffering much, but trusting much also. At times she
hoped to be able to work again for the women, if the Lord willed. But
when she knew that her earthly life was nearly ended, she sent this
message to her aunt: "Do not grieve, dear aunt, Though I had desired
to do much for these women and girls, the prospect of heaven is very
sweet." For a while she had said now and then: "I wonder how long I
shall have to lie here and wait," but one day she remarked, "I do not
feel at all troubled now about how long I may have to wait: Jesus has
taken that all away." When any one came in to see her, she said a few
words, and as the school children were gathered around her one day she
talked to them a little while for the last time. Two days before her
death, she dictated a letter to her father, who had himself been very
near death's door, but was recovering: "I do rejoice that God has
restored you to health again. I trust that years of usefulness and
happiness may still be yours. I am gaining both in appetite and
strength. I feel a good deal better." But the night that followed was
a sleepless one, and the next day she suffered greatly. About dark her
brother said to her, "You have suffered a great deal to-day." She
answered, "Yes, but the worst is over now." He said, "Jesus will send
for you," and she replied, "Yes, I think he will, for he says, 'I will
that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am.'"

She spoke now and then to different ones, a word or two, asked them to
read some Scripture texts from the "Silent Comforter" that hung where
she could always see it, wanted it to be turned over, and, with her
face to the wall, she seemed to go to sleep. She so continued through
the night, her breath growing fainter and fainter. And at day-break on
the morning of the Sabbath the other life began. "_That is the
substance, this the shadow; that the reality, this the dream._"


Julia A. La Framboise was the daughter of a French trader and of a
Dakota mother. When nine years of age, her father placed her in Mr.
Huggins' family. In that Christian home she learned to love her
Saviour, and, one year later, covenanted forever to be his. Her father
was a Catholic, and would have preferred that his daughter remain in
that church, but allowed her to choose for herself. His affection for
her and hers for him was very strong.

After her father's death, Julia determined to use her property in
obtaining an education. She spent two years in the mission school at
Hazelwood, then going to the W. F. Seminary, Oxford, Ohio, and for a
short time to Painesville, Ohio, and afterward to Rockford, Ill.
Having taken a full course of study there, she returned to Minnesota
as a teacher.

Our mother had a warm affection for Julia, as indeed for each of the
others of whom we write. Julia called our house one of her homes, and,
whenever with us, she took a daughter's share in the love and labor of
the household.

A story of my mother's childhood illustrates the spirit of benevolence
by which she influenced Miss La Framboise among others. Her surviving
sister, Mrs. Lucretia S. Cooley, writes:--

"When the first missionaries from the vicinity of my early home, Mr.
and Mrs. Richards of Plainfield, went to the Sandwich Islands, sister
Mary was a little girl. She was deeply impressed by the story of the
wants of the children, as portrayed by Mr. Richards, and expressed a
strong desire to accompany him. She had just learned to sew quite
nicely. Looking up to mother, she said, 'I could teach the little
girls to sew.' Here was the missionary spirit. Those who go to the
Indians, to the islands of the sea, to Africa, must needs be ready to
teach all things, doing it as to the Lord."

When the call to teach among her own people came, Miss La Framboise
gladly embraced the opportunity, laboring for them in season and out
of season for two short years. Her health failing, she was taken to
her old home in Minnesota, where she died, September 20, 1871, but
twenty-eight years of age.

Mrs. Holtsclaw, one of her girlhood friends, went to her in that last
sickness. She wrote: "I was with her when she died. It was beautiful
to see the steady care and gentle devotion of her step-mother, of the
rest of the family, and of the neighbors."

Miss La Framboise was thoroughly educated, thoroughly the lady; always
loyal to her people, even when they were most hated and despised;
always generous in her deeds and words; always to be depended upon.

Oh, could we but have kept her to work many years for the ennobling
and Christianizing of the Dakotas!

Bring lilies of the prairie for this grand-daughter of a
chieftain--ay, more, this daughter of the King!

    I. R. W.


Eighteen years had gone by since the family were all together on
mission ground. That was in the summer of 1861. In the summer of 1858,
Alfred had graduated at Knox College, Illinois; and Isabella returned
with him from the Western Female Seminary, Ohio. They gladly arrived
at home, in borrowed clothes, having trod together "the burning deck"
of a Mississippi River steamboat. All were together then. That fall,
Martha went to the Western Female Seminary, and was there when the
school building was burned in 1860. After that she came home, and
Isabella went back to graduate. In the meantime, Alfred had become a
member of the Theological Seminary of Chicago. And so it happened that
all were not at home again together until the summer of 1861. Then
came the Sioux outbreak, and the breaking-up of the mission home.
Though a new home was made at St. Anthony, and then at Beloit, it
never came to pass that all were together at any one time.

Then new home centres grew up. Alfred was married in June, 1863.
Isabella was married in February, 1866, and very soon sailed for
China. Martha was married in December of the same year, and went to
live in Minnesota. The dear mother went to the Upper Home in March,
1869. Alfred moved to the mission field at Santee Agency, Nebraska, in
June, 1870. Anna was married in October of the same year and moved to
Iowa. While Martha, the same autumn, removed to open the Missionary
Home at the Sisseton Agency. In May, 1872, a new mother came in, to
keep the hearthstone bright at the Beloit home. In February of 1872,
Thomas went to Fort Sully to commence a new station, and was married
in December of the same year. Meanwhile Henry, Robert, and Cornelia
were growing up to manhood and womanhood, and getting their education
by books and hard knocks. Henry was married in September, 1878, and
Robert was tutor in Beloit College, and Cornelia a teacher in the
Beloit city schools.

At these new home centers children had been growing up. At Kalgan,
China, there were _six_; at Santee, Neb., _five_; at Sisseton, D. T.,
_four_; at Vinton, Iowa, _three_, and at Fort Sully, D. T., _one_.
Another sister had also come at the Beloit home.

And now the Chinese cousins were coming home to the America they had
never seen. So it was determined that on their arrival there should be
a family meeting. But where should it be? Every home was open and
urged its advantages. But Santee Agency, Nebraska, united more of the
requisite conditions of central position and roomy accommodations.
And, besides, it was eminently fitting that the meeting should be held
on missionary ground. And so from early in July on to September the
clan was gathering.

First came Rev. Mark Williams and Isabella, with their six children,
fresh from China, finding the Santee Indian reservation the best place
to become acclimated to America gradually. Father Riggs and Martha
Riggs Morris, with three of her children, from Sisseton Agency,
arrived the 18th of August. On the 27th came Anna Riggs Warner, with
her three children, from Vinton, Iowa. Mother Riggs with little Edna
arrived on the 29th, from Beloit, Wis. Mr. Wyllys K. Morris and Harry,
their eldest son, came across the country by wagon, and drove in
Saturday evening, the 30th of August. Thomas L. Riggs and little
Theodore, with Robert B. Riggs, and Mary Cornelia Octavia Riggs, and
their caravan, did not arrive from Fort Sully until Tuesday afternoon
of the 2d of September. Alfred L. and Mary B. Riggs, and Henry M. and
Lucy D. Riggs were of course already there, as they were at home, and
the entertainers of the gathering.

Now the family were gathered, and this is the _Roll_:--

Stephen Return Riggs, born in Steubenville, Ohio, March 23, 1812;
married, February 16, 1837, to Mary Ann Longley, who was born November
10, 1813, in Hawley, Mass., and died March 22, 1869, in Beloit, Wis.

I. Alfred Longley Riggs, born at Lac-qui-parle, Minn., December 6,
1837; married June 9, 1863, to Mary Buel Hatch, who was born May 20,
1840, at Leroy, N. Y.

Children: Frederick Bartlett, born at Lockport, Ill., July 14, 1865;
Cora Isabella, born at Centre, Wis., August 19, 1868; Mabel, born at
Santee Agency, Nebraska, September 11, 1874; Olive Ward, born at
Santee Agency, Nebraska, June 13, 1876; Stephen Williamson, born at
Santee Agency, Nebraska, April 28, 1878.

II. Isabella Burgess Riggs, born at Lac-qui-parle, Minn., February 21,
1840; married February 21, 1866, to Rev. W. Mark Williams, who was
born October 28, 1834, in New London, Ohio.

Children: Henrietta Blodget, born at Kalgan, China, September 25,
1867; Stephen Riggs, born at Kalgan, China, August 22, 1870; Emily
Diament, born at Kalgan, China, May 26, 1873; Mary Eliza, born at
Kalgan, China, August 3, 1875; Margaret and Anna, born at Kalgan,
China, May 30, 1878.

III. Martha Taylor Riggs, born at Lac-qui-parle, Minn., January 27,
1842; married December 18, 1866, to Wyllys King Morris, who was born
in Hartford, Conn., September 11, 1842.

Children: Henry Stephen, born at Sterling, Minn., June 21, 1868;
Philip Alfred, born at Good Will, D. T., August 4, 1872, and died at
Binghamton, N. Y., August 18, 1873; Mary Theodora, born at Good Will,
D. T., July 31, 1874; Charles Riggs, born at Good Will, D. T., June
21, 1877; Nina Margaret Foster, born at Good Will, D. T., May 30,

IV. Anna Jane Riggs, born at Traverse des Sioux, Minn., April 13,
1845; married October 14, 1870, to Horace Everett Warner, who was born
January 10, 1839, near Painesville, Ohio.

Children: Marjorie, born at Belle Plaine, Iowa, September 29, 1872;
Arthur Hallam, born in Vinton, Iowa, October 28, 1875; Everett
Longley, born in Vinton, Iowa, July 15, 1877.

V. Thomas Lawrence Riggs, born at Lac-qui-parle, Minn., June 3, 1847;
married December 26, 1872, to Cornelia Margaret Foster, who was born
in Bangor, Me., March 19, 1848, and died August 5, 1878, at Fort
Sully, D. T.

Child: Theodore Foster, born near Fort Sully, D. T., July 7, 1874.

VI. Henry Martyn Riggs, born at Lac-qui-parle, Minn., September 25,
1849; married September 24, 1878, to Lucy M. Dodge, who was born at
Grafton, Mass., February 29, 1852.

VII. Robert Baird Riggs, born at Hazelwood, Minn., May 22, 1855.

VIII. Mary Cornelia Octavia Riggs, born at Hazelwood, Minn., February
17, 1859.

Stephen R. Riggs married, May 28, 1872, Mrs. Annie Baker Ackley, who
was born March 14, 1835, in Granville, Ohio.

IX. Edna Baker Riggs, born at Beloit, Wis., December 2, 1874.

The sons and daughters brought into the original family by marriage
contributed much to the success of the reunion. The cousins will not
soon forget the inimitable stories of Uncle Mark. Horace E. Warner
wrote a charming letter, proving conclusively that he was really
present; while Uncle Wyllys must have gained the perpetual remembrance
of the boys by taking them swimming. Mary Hatch Riggs was the
unflagging main-spring of the whole meeting. Lucy Dodge Riggs presided
hospitably at the "Young men's hall," where many of the guests were
entertained; and the new mother, Annie Baker Riggs, won the love of

It would not have been a perfect meeting without seeing the face of
John P. Williamson, the elder brother of the mission. Then, too, there
was our friend Rev. Joseph Ward, whose home at Yankton has so often
been the "House Beautiful" to our missionary pilgrims. We were also
favored with the presence of many of our missionary women: Mrs. Hall
of Fort Berthold, Misses Collins and Irvine, from Fort Sully, and
Misses Shepard, Paddock, Webb, and Skea, of Santee. The children will
long remember the party given them by Miss Shepard in the Dakota Home,
and the picnic on the hill.

It is impossible to give any adequate report of such a reunion. The
renewal of acquaintance, taking the bearings of one another's
whereabouts in mental and spiritual advance, is more through chit-chat
and incidental revelations than in any of the things that can be told.

And so we gather in as memorials and reminders some of the papers read
at the evening sociables, and some paragraphs from reports of the
reunion published in the _Word Carrier_ and _Advance_. First, we will
have Isabella's paper, the story of that long journey home--By Land
and by Sea:--

     "Ding lang, ding lang, ding lang! Hear the bells. The litters
     are packed, the good-bys spoken. Thirteen years of work in
     sorrow and in joy are over. 'Good-by. We will pray for you all;
     do not forget us.'

     "Down the narrow street, past the closely crowded houses of
     more crowded inmates, beyond the pale green of the gardens, on
     the stony plain, and our long journey is begun.

     "Eight hours and the first inn is reached, we having made a
     twenty-five-mile stage. Over rocks and river, fertile lake-bed;
     desert plain, and through mountain-gorge, we creep our way,
     till, on the fifth day, the massive walls of Peking loom up
     before us.

     "Here there are cordial greetings from warm hearts, and willing
     hands stretched out to help. Best of all is the inspiration of
     mission meeting, with its glad, good news from Shantung

     "By cart and by canal boat again away. At Tientsin we ride by
     starlight, in jinrickshas, to the steamer. How huge the
     monster! How broad seems the river, covered here and yonder,
     and again yonder, with fleets of boats!

     "We ensconce ourselves in the assigned state-rooms, and little
     Anna's foster-mother keeps a vigil by the child so soon to be
     hers no more. 'Farewell, farewell.'

     "Gray morning comes, and the ponderous engine begins his work.
     We move past boats, ships, steamers, past the fort at Taku, out
     on the open sea. No one sings, 'A Life on the Ocean Wave,' or
     'Murmuring Sea,' for our 'day of youth went yesterday.' The
     enthusiasm of early years is gone. Instead, I read reverently
     the 107th Psalm, verses 23, 31. Then with the strong, glad,
     spray-laden breeze on one's face, it is fitting to read, 'The
     Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea,
     than the mighty waves of the sea.' 'Let the sea roar, and the
     fullness thereof. Let the floods clap their hands ... before
     the Lord.' 'The sea is his and he made it.' 'The earth is full
     of thy riches. So is this great and wide sea. There go the
     ships: there is that leviathan, whom thou hast made to play

     "Five days, and we steam up through the low, flat, fertile
     shores of Woo Sung River to Shanghai.

     "Ho for the land of the rising sun! Two days we sail over a
     silver sea; yonder is Nagasaki, and now a heavy rain reminds us
     that this is Japan. On through the Inland Sea. How surpassingly
     beautiful are the green hills and mountains on every side.

     "At Kobe we receive a delightful welcome from Mr. C. H.
     Gulick's family, and on the morrow we meet our former
     co-laborer in the Kalgan work, Rev. J. T. Gulick. Ten days of
     rest, and our little Anna is herself again. She is round and
     fair and sweet, and every one laughingly says she is more like
     our hostess than like me.

     "Again away, in a floating palace, fitly named City of Tokio.
     We glide out of sight of Japan, with hearts strangely stirred
     by God's work in that land.

     "One sail after another disappears, until we are alone on the
     great ocean. Water, water, water everywhere.

     "Our days are all alike. Constant care of the children and
     thoughts of home and beloved ones keep hand and heart busy. The
     events of each day are breakfast, tiffin, and dinner, daintily
     prepared, and faultlessly served by deft and noiseless waiters.
     We think it a pleasant variety when a stiff breeze makes the
     waves run high. The table racks are on, yet once and again a
     glass of water or a plate of soup goes over. We turn our plates
     at the proper angle, when the long roll begins, and
     unconcernedly go on.

     "One day of waves mountain high, which sweep us on to our
     desired haven. On the eighteenth day we see the shore of
     beautiful America. How the heart beats! So soon to see father,
     brothers, and sisters! Thank God. Aye, thank him too for the
     manifold mercies of our journey.

     "How strange and yet familiar are the sights and sounds of San
     Francisco. The children's eyes shine as they plan and execute
     raids on a toy store.

     "There is yet the land journey of thousands of miles. By night
     and by day we speed on; across gorge, through tunnel and
     snow-shed, over the alkali plains, over fertile fields to

     "At last we arrive in Yankton, and a cheery voice makes weary
     hearts glad. 'I am Mr. Ward. Your brother Henry is here.' Ah,
     is that Henry! How he has changed from boyhood to manhood!

     "'Over the hills and far away.' Here we are! How beautiful the
     mission houses look! And the dear familiar faces! Rest and home
     at last for a little while. 'For here have we no continuing
     city, but we seek one to come.'"

But journeying may be done much more quickly by thought, and spirit
may go as quick as thought. So here is the account of Horace E.
Warner's thought journey to the family meeting:--

     "If there has seemed to be any lack of interest on my part in
     the family reunion, it is only in the seeming. For my decision
     to stay at home was made with deep regret, and after the slaying
     of much strong desire. But, aside from the gratification which
     it would have given me to see you all, and which I hope it would
     have given you to see me, I do not think the idea of the meeting
     is impaired by my absence. Only this--I feel as though I had,
     not wilfully nor willingly, but none the less certainly, cut
     myself off from that sympathy--in the Greek sense--which I stood
     in much need of, and can ill afford to miss.

     "I suppose you are now all together with one accord in one
     place, so far as that is possible. To be _all_ together would
     require the union of two worlds. And this may be, too,--shall
     we not say it is so? But if the dear ones from the unseen world
     are present, though you can not hear their speech nor detect
     their presence by any of the senses, can not you feel that I am
     really with you in some sense too? Of course, the difference is
     great, but so also the difference is great between the meeting
     of friends in the natural body and the spiritual body. If the
     mind, the soul, constitutes the man rather than the animal
     substances, or the myriad cells which make up his physical
     organization, why may not I leap over the insignificant barrier
     that divides us? As I write, this feeling is very strong with
     me. It is vague and indefinite, but yet it seems to me that I
     have been having some kind of communication or communion with
     you. At all events, my heart goes out strongly toward you all
     with fervent desire that the meeting will be full of joy and
     comfort--of sweetest and spiritual growth--the occasion of new
     inspiration, new courage, new hopes. It is not likely that
     there can be any repetition of it this side of the 'city which
     hath foundations.'

     "So the memories of this meeting should be the sweetest, and
     should cluster thick around you in the years of separation.
     This much I must perforce miss. For though I do truly rejoice
     in your joys, and partake with you of the gladness of the
     meeting after so long a time; yet it is only by imagination and
     sympathy that I make myself one with you, and of this the
     future can have no recollection."

Now we will let others give their thoughts of the meeting, as it
seemed to them from outside. And, first, a few words from Rev. John P.
Williamson of Yankton Agency:--

     "The first week in September, 1879, will long be remembered by
     the Riggs family, and by one or two who were not Riggses. From
     the east and the west, from the north and the south, and from
     across the mighty Pacific, they gathered at the eldest brother's
     house, at Santee Agency, Nebraska, for a family reunion. It was
     forty-two years last February since Stephen Return Riggs married
     Mary Ann Longley and came out as a missionary to the Dakotas;
     and now in his sixty-eighth year, his step still light, and his
     heart still young, he walks in to his son's house to find
     himself surrounded by nine children, three sons-in-law, two
     daughters-in-law, and nineteen grandchildren; with himself and
     wife making a company of thirty-five, and all present except one

     "This roll may never be as interesting to universal mankind as
     that in the tenth chapter of Genesis, but it is almost extended
     enough to evolve a few general truths. If we were to pick these
     up, our first deduction would be that _like begets like_. This
     man has certainly given more than his proportion of
     missionaries. And why, except that like begets like? He was a
     missionary, his children partook of his spirit, and became
     missionaries. We heard some mathematical member of the company
     computing the number of years of missionary service the family
     had rendered. The amount has slipped our memory, but we should
     say it was over one hundred and fifty.

     "Our other deduction would be that the missionary profession is
     a healthy one. Here is a family of no uncommon physical vigor,
     and yet not a single death occurred among the children, who are
     in goodly number. True, the mother of the family has finished
     her work and crossed the river to wait with her longing smile
     the coming children, but another ministers in her room, who has
     added little Aunt Edna to the list, to stand before her father
     when the rest are far away."

Next, we have the observations of Rev. Joseph Ward of Yankton:--

     "Families have their characteristic points as well as
     individuals. The family of Rev. S. R. Riggs, D.D., is no
     exception to this. Their characteristics all point in one
     direction. It is notably a missionary family. It began on
     missionary ground forty-two years ago at Lac-qui-parle, Minn.
     From that time until the present the name of the family head has
     always appeared in the list of missionaries of the American
     Board. One after another the names of the children have been
     added to the list, until now we find Alfred, Isabella, Martha,
     Thomas, Henry, attached to the mission; and doing genuine
     missionary work, though not bearing a commission from the board,
     are two more, Robert and Cornelia.

     "What place more suitable for the meeting together of father,
     children, and children's children--thirty-four all told,
     counting those who have joined the family by marriage--than
     Santee Agency, Nebraska, a mission station of the A. B. C. F.

     "Though not of the family, I was honored by an invitation to
     attend the meeting, assured that a 'bed and a plate would be
     reserved for me'; and so, on the first Tuesday of September, I
     stood on the bank of the Missouri, opposite the agency, waiting
     for the ferry-man to set me across. I came at the right time,
     for presently the delegation from Fort Sully drove their two
     teams to the landing, and in a moment more Rev. J. P.
     Williamson, with his oldest daughter, from Yankton Agency,
     were added to our number.

     "They came from the east and the west and the north. These from
     Sisseton, these from Sully, and these from the land of Sinim,
     for the oldest daughter and her husband, Rev. Mark Williams,
     have been for thirteen years in Kalgan, Northern China, and now
     for the first time come back to see the father and the
     fatherland. The personal part of the meeting I have no right to
     mention. I speak only of its missionary character. The very
     prudential committee itself, in its weekly meetings, cannot be
     more thoroughly imbued with a missionary spirit than was every
     hour of this reunion. And how could it be otherwise? All the
     reminiscences were of their home on missionary ground, at
     Lac-qui-parle, at Traverse des Sioux, and at Hazelwood. Did
     they talk of present duties and doings? What could they have
     for their theme but life at Kalgan, at Good Will, at Santee,
     and at Sully! Did they look forward to what they would do after
     the family meeting was over? The larger part were to go two
     hundred miles and more overland, to attend the annual meeting
     of the Indian churches at Brown Earth. And, besides, how to
     reach out from their present stations and seize new points for
     work was the constant theme of thought.

     "Wednesday evening there was a gathering of the older ones and
     the larger children. The father read a sketch recalling a few
     incidents of the family life. The reading brought now laughter
     and then tears. Forty-two years could not come and go without
     leaving many a sorrow behind.

     "The mother, who had lived her brave life for a third of a
     century among the Indians, was not there. A beautiful crayon
     portrait, hung that day for the first time over the piano, was
     a sadly sweet reminder of her whose body was laid to rest only
     a year ago among the Teetons, on the banks of the Upper
     Missouri. Then another paper of memories from one of the
     daughters, lighted with joy and shaded with sorrow, a few words
     of cheer and counsel from the oldest son, and a talk in Chinese
     from the Celestial member, were the formal features of the

     "As I sat in the corner of the study and heard and saw, there
     came to me, clearer than ever before, the wonderful power there
     is in a consecrated life. Well did one of them say that if they
     had gained any success in their work, it was by singleness of
     purpose. 'This one thing I do' could well be the family motto.
     They have not been assigned to a prominent place in the work of
     the world, but rather to the most hidden and hopeless part.
     But, by their persistence of purpose, they have done much to
     lift up and make popular, in a good sense, missionary work in
     general, and particularly work for the Indians. It is a record
     that will shine brighter and brighter through the ages. Eight
     children and thirteen grandchildren born on missionary ground,
     and a total of one hundred and fifty-eight years of missionary

     "But the end is not yet. They have just begun to get their
     implements into working order. Their training-schools are just
     beginning to bear fruit. Most fittingly, a few days before the
     gathering began, came a large invoice of the entire Bible in
     Dakota, the joint work of Dr. Riggs and his beloved friend and
     fellow-worker, Dr. Williamson, who has just gone home to his
     rest. At the same time came the final proof-sheets of a
     goodly-sized hymn and tune book for the Dakotas, mainly the
     work of the eldest sons of the two translators of the Bible.
     The harvest that has been is nothing to the harvest that is to
     be. Dr. Riggs may reasonably hope to see more stations
     occupied, more books made, more churches organized in the
     future than he has seen in the past. When the final record is
     made, he will have the title to a great rejoicing that he and
     his family were permitted by the Master to do so much to make a
     sinful world loyal again to its rightful Lord."

Martha's paper, which was read on that occasion, is a very touching
description of a missionary journey made under difficulties, six years
before, from Sisseton to Yankton Agency.


     "As I sit on the doorsteps in the twilight, the little ones
     asleep in their beds, I hear a solitary attendant on the
     choir-meeting singing. His voice rings out clearly on the night

    "'Jesus Christ nitowashte kin
    Woptecashni mayaqu'--

     singing it to the tune, Watchman.

     "That tune has a peculiar fascination and association for me,
     and my thoughts often go back over the time when I first heard

     "It was in the month of roses, in the year '73, that, in
     company with some of the Renvilles and others, I undertook a
     land journey to the Missouri. I had with me the lad Harry, then
     five years old, and a sunny-haired boy of nearly a year, little
     Philip Alfred. He never knew his name here. Does he know it
     now? Or has he another, an 'angel name'?

     "The rains had been abundant, and the roads were neither very
     good nor very well traveled. So some unnecessary time was spent
     in winding about among marshes, and we made slow progress. More
     than once we came to a creek or a slough where the water came
     into the wagons. The Indian women shouldered their babies and
     bundles as well, and trudged through, with the exception of
     Ellen Phelps and Mrs. Elias Gilbert. Their husbands were so
     much of white men as to shoulder their wives and carry them
     across. Being myself a privileged person, I was permitted to
     ride over, first mounting the seat to the wagon, holding on for
     dear life to the wagon-bows with one hand, and to the
     sunny-haired boy with the other.

     "By the end of the week we had only reached the Big Sioux,
     which we found up and booming. I was crossed over in a canoe
     with my two children, the stout arms of two Indian women
     paddling me over. Then we climbed up the bank, and waited for
     the wagons to come around by some more fordable place down
     below. While waiting, I talked awhile with Mrs. Wind, who had
     been a neighbor of ours on the Coteau. Her lawful husband, a
     man of strong and ungoverned passions, had grown tired of her
     and taken another woman. So Mrs. Wind, who had borne with his
     overbearing and his occasional beatings, quietly left him. This
     was an indignity her proud spirit could not brook. She went to
     the River Bend Settlement to live with her son, and there I saw
     her. I said to her, 'Shall you go back to the hill country?'
     'No,' she said; 'the man has taken another wife, and I shall
     not go.' I have since heard of her from time to time, and she
     still remains faithful.

     "The Sabbath over, we went on again re-inforced by the
     delegation from Flandreau. Reaching Sioux Falls in the
     afternoon, we avoided the town, and went on to a point where
     some one thought the river might be fordable. But alas! we
     found we had been indulging in vain expectations. The river
     was not fordable, and canoe or ferry-boat there was none. But
     necessity is the mother of invention. The largest and strongest
     wagon-box was selected, the best wagon-cover laid on the
     ground, the boat lifted in, and, with the aid of various ropes,
     an impromptu boat was made ready. Long ropes were tied securely
     to either end, poles laid across the box to keep things out of
     the water, and then the boat was launched. The men piled in the
     various possessions of different ones and as many women and
     children as they thought safe. Then four of the best swimmers
     took the ropes and swam up the river for quite a distance,
     coming down with the current, and so gaining the other shore.
     This occupied some time, and was repeated slowly until night
     came on, finding the company partly on one side and partly on
     the other. The wagon, in which we had made our bed o' nights,
     not being in a condition for sleeping in, as the box lay by the
     river-side all water-soaked, Edwin Phelps and Ellen, his wife,
     kindly vacated theirs for our benefit, themselves sleeping on
     the ground. When the early morning came, the camp was soon
     astir, and, breakfast being hastily despatched, the work of
     crossing over was renewed. I watched them drive over the
     horses; the poor animals were very loath to make a plunge, and
     some of them turned and ran back on the prairie more than once
     before they were finally forced into the water. When most of
     the others were over it came my turn to cross. The so-called
     boat looked rather shaky, but there was nothing to do but to
     get in and take one's chance. So I climbed in, keeping as well
     as I could out of the water, which seemed to nearly fill the
     wagon-box. Some one handed the two children in, and, holding
     tightly to them, I resigned myself to the passage. At one time
     I heard a great outcry, but could not distinguish any words,
     and so sat still, unconscious that one of the ropes had broken,
     rendering the boat more unsafe still. At last I was safely
     over, thankful enough. When finally every thing and everybody
     were across, and the boat restored to its proper place, we
     started on our way, at about ten o'clock in the morning. To
     make up for the late starting, the teams were driven hard and
     long, and the twilight had already gathered when we stopped for
     the night. After I had given my children a simple supper, and
     they were hushed to sleep, I looked out on the picturesque
     scene. The great red moon was rising in the sky, and in its
     light the travelers had gathered around the camp-fire for
     their evening devotions. As I walked across to join them, they
     were singing:--

    "'Jesus Christ, nitowashte kin
    Woptecashni mayaqu'--

    "Jesus Christ, thy loving kindness
    Boundlessly thou givest me'--

     to the tune Watchman. It struck my fancy, and I seldom hear it
     now without thinking of that night, and of the sunny-haired boy
     who was then taking his last earthly journey, and who has all
     these years been learning of the goodness of the Lord Jesus
     Christ in all its wonderful fulness. An incident of one day's
     travel remains clear in my mind. The lad Harry often grew tired
     and restless, as was not strange, and so sometimes he was
     somewhat careless too. In an unguarded moment, he fell out, and
     one of the hind wheels passed over his body. How I held my
     breath until the horses could be stopped and the boy reached!
     It seemed a great marvel that he had received no injury. It was
     surely the goodness of the Lord that had kept him from harm.

     "On Wednesday we came into Yankton, where I bought a quantity
     of beef, wishing to show my appreciation of the labors of the
     men in our behalf. So when camp was made at night the women had
     it to make into soup, and, almost before it seemed that the
     water could have fairly boiled, all hands were called to eat of
     it, and it was despatched with great celerity.

     "The next afternoon a fierce storm broke over us, and we were
     compelled to stop for an hour or more, while the rain poured
     down in torrents and the heavens were one continual flame of
     light. When again we started on, every hole by the road-side
     had become a pool, and the water was rushing through every low
     place in streams. The rain retarded our progress greatly, yet
     we came in sight of the Yankton Agency before noon of the next
     day. Just as we reached it, we found a little creek to cross,
     where a bridge had been washed away the night before. The banks
     were almost perpendicular, and we held our breath as we watched
     one team after another go down and come up, feeling sure that
     some of the horses would go down and _not_ come up again. But,
     to our great relief, all went safely over. And very soon we had
     arrived at the mission house occupied by Rev. J. P. Williamson
     and family, and were receiving the kindly welcomes of all. The
     hospitality there enjoyed was such as to make us almost forget
     our tedious journey thitherward.

     "From my traveling companions I had received all possible
     kindness, yet in many ways I had found the journey quite
     trying. It was not practicable to vary one's diet very much,
     with the care of the little ones just large enough to get into
     all mischief imaginable. So I remembered with especial
     gratitude Edwin and Ellen Phelps, who used now and then, at our
     stopping-places, to _borrow_ the boy, so helping me to get a
     little rest or to do some necessary work which would otherwise
     have been impossible. At that time Edwin and his wife had no
     children, and their eyes often followed my boy with yearning
     looks. Since then the Lord has given them little ones to train
     for his kingdom, and they are happy.

     "But of that little sunny-haired baby boy we have naught but a
     memory left--and this consolation:--

    "'Christ, the good Shepherd, carries my lamb to-night,
      And that is best.'

     "And this:--

    "'Mine entered spotless on eternal years,
      Oh, how much blest!'"

During the meeting the tastes and needs of the children were not
forgotten, but Aunt Anna held them attent to her memories of the old
home-life, written for the grandchildren.

     "Shut your eyes, and see with me the home place at
     Lac-qui-parle--a square house with a flat roof, a broad stone
     step before the wide-open door--cheery and sunshiny within.
     Welcome to grandfather's home!

     "To the right, in the distance, is the lake Mdeiyedan, where,
     like a tired child, the sun dropped his head to rest each
     night. Between us and the lake was a wooded ravine, at the
     foot of which, down that little by-path, was the coolest of
     springs, with wild touch-me-nots nodding above it, and a little
     further on a large boulder on which we used to play.

     "It seems to us as if we had but just come in from a long
     summer's walk, with our hands full of flowers, and each and
     every one must have a bouquet to set in his or her favorite
     window. The wind, blowing softly, brings with it a breath of
     sweet cleavers, and--well, so I must tell you what I remember.

     "I can not stop to tell you of all the little things that made
     our home pleasant and lovely in our eyes; or of the dear mother
     who had it in her keeping, for I know all the grandchildren are
     waiting for their stories.

     "Well, I will begin by telling the wee cousins about the family
     cat, Nelly Bly, and one of her kittens, Charlotte Corday.
     Kittens have some such cunning ways, you know, but Nelly Bly
     was one of the knowingest and best. She and her kitten were as
     much alike as two peas in a pod--jet-black, and with beautiful
     yellow-green eyes. Nelly Bly used to curl herself up to sleep
     in grandpa's fur cap, or sometimes in grandma's work-basket;
     and if she could do neither, she would find a friendly lap. One
     day poor pussy chose much too warm a place. Grandma had started
     up the kitchen fire, and was making preparations for dinner
     when she heard pussy mewing piteously--as she thought, in some
     other room. She went to the doors one by one to let pussy in,
     and no pussy appeared, but still she heard her mewing as if in
     pain. What could grandma do? She was neither down cellar nor
     up-stairs. She would look out-of-doors--but no--just then pussy
     screamed in an agony of pain. Grandma ran to the stove, opened
     the door, and pussy, as if shot out from a cannon's mouth, came
     flying past us--her back singed and her poor little paws all
     burned. I can't tell whether she learned the moral of that
     lesson or not, but I know she never was shut up in the oven

     "Yet not so very long after, when the old house was burned,
     Nelly Bly and Charlotte Corday found a sadder fate. Poor little
     kittens!--we spent hour after hour searching for their bones,
     but with small success, and then we buried them with choking
     sobs and eyes wet with childish tears.

     "Do not let me forget to tell you of Pembina and Flora, nor of
     the starry host that bedecked our barn-yard sky--every calf,
     however humble, was worthy of a name. There were our oxen,
     Dick and Darby, George and Jolly, and Leo and Scorpio, who used
     to weave along with stately swinging tread under their burden
     of hay. Then Spika and Denebola, Luna and Lyra--all worthy of
     honorable mention. Flora, gentle, but with an eye that
     terrified the little maid who sometimes milked her,--so, with
     wise forethought, a handful of salt was sometimes thrown into
     the bottom of her pail. You will hardly believe it, but she
     grew to be so fond of her pail that she found her way into the
     winter kitchen and anticipated her evening meal. How she ever
     got through two gates and two doors is a mystery still.

     "And there was Pembina--how well we remember the day when
     grandpa brought home a new cow, and how we all went down to
     meet him, and named her and her calf, Little Dorrit, on the
     spot. She was the children's cow _par excellence_, and
     blessings on her, we could all milk at a time. She had several
     bad habits, one of which was eating old clothes and paper, or
     rubbish generally. Once I remember she made a vain attempt at
     swallowing a beet, and if grandpa had not come in the nick of
     time to beat her on the back she would have been dead beat.

     "Our horses, too, were a part of the family. There were Polly
     and Phenie, short for Napoleon Bonaparte and Josephine--Fanny
     and Tattycoram (we had been reading Dickens then).

     "I remember hearing our own mother tell of the ox they had when
     they lived at Traverse des Sioux, their only beast of burden,
     and how he used to stand and lick the window-panes, and how
     when the Indians shot him she felt as if she had lost a friend
     and companion.

     "If these stories of our dear animal friends grow too tiresome,
     I might remember about the Squill family at Hazelwood--how they
     all, including Timothy and Theophilus, contributed something
     every week to a family paper. I wonder if Theophilus remembers
     writing an essay for--with red ink from his arm--and how
     Isabella said, 'Now, be brave, Martha, be brave!' when she was
     letting herself down from the topmost round of the ladder--and
     how Isabella, when beheading the pope in her fanatical zeal,
     split her forefinger with a chisel.

     "These are a very few only of the rememberings--some of them
     are too sacred and too dear to speak about--but even these
     little incidents seem endeared by the long stretch of years."

Some memories of former days were _revived_ for the older children,
and _imparted_ to the younger ones, by the Father's Paper:--


As one grows old, memory is, in some sense, unreliable. It does not
_catch and hold_ as it once did. But many things of long ago are the
things best remembered. Often there is error in regard to dates. The
mind sees the things or the events vividly, but the surroundings are
dim and uncertain. What is aimed at in this paper is to gather up, or
rather select, some events lying along the family line and touching
personal character.

The family commences with the mother. I remember well my first visit
to Bethlehem, Ind., where I first met Mary, with whom I had been
corresponding, having had an introduction through Rev. Dyer Burgess.
That was in the spring. My second visit to the same place was in the
autumn of 1836, when the school-mistress and I went on to New England


Of that journey eastward, and the winter spent in Hawley, I should
naturally remember a good many things: How when the stage from Albany
and Troy put us down in Charlemont, we hired a boy with a one-horse
wagon to carry us six miles to Hawley. But when we came to going up
the steep, rough, long hill, such as I had never climbed before, the
horse could only scramble up with the baggage alone. How we reached
the Longley homestead in a real November storm, only a few days before
Thanksgiving, and were greeted by the grandparents, ninety years old,
and by the father and mother and brothers and sisters--all of whom,
except Moses, have since gone to the other side. How only a day after
our arrival I was waited upon by a committee of the West Hawley
church, and engaged to preach for them during the winter. How every
Saturday I walked down to Pudding Hollow and preached on Sabbath, and
usually walked up on Monday, when I did not get snowed in. How the
first pair of boots I ever owned, bought in Ohio, proved to be too
small to wade in snow with, and had to be abandoned. How the old
family horse had a knack of turning us over into snow-drifts. How on
our first visit to Buckland, the grandfather Taylor, then about
ninety-five years old, when he was introduced to Mary Ann's future
husband, a young minister from the West, asked, "Did you ever think
what a good horseman Jesus Christ was? Why, he rode upon a colt that
had never been broke." How the old meeting-house on the hill, with its
square pews and high pulpit, creaked and groaned in the storm of our
wedding day, February 16, 1837. How we left in the first days of
March, when the snow-drifts on the hills were still fifteen feet deep.

March, April, May passed, and the first day of June we landed at Fort
Snelling, in the land of the Dakotas.

When another three moons were passed by, and we had seen St. Anthony
and Minnehaha, and made some acquaintance with the natives, I remember
we took passage, with our effects, on board a Mackinaw boat for
Traverse des Sioux. The boat was in command of Mr. Prescott, who
accommodated us with tent-room on the journey, and made the week pass
comfortably for us. From Traverse des Sioux to Lac-qui-parle we had
our first experience of prairie traveling and camping. It was
decidedly a new experience. But we had the company of Dr. Williamson
and Mr. G. H. Pond, while we commenced to learn the lesson.


The long, narrow room, partly under the roof, of Dr. Williamson's log
house, which became our home for nearly five years from that
September, is one of the memories that does not fade.

On the 6th of December I remember coming home from Mr. Renville's,
where we had been all the afternoon obtaining translations. Then there
was hurrying to and fro, and the first baby came into our family of
two. From that time on we were three, and the little Zitkadan-Washta,
as the Indians named him, grew as other children grow, and did what
most children don't do, _viz._, learn to go _down_ stairs before he
did _up_, because we lived upstairs, and all children can manage to go
away from home, when they can't or won't come back of themselves.

In those years our annual allowance from the treasury of the board was
$250. This was more than the other families in the mission had
proportionally. But it required considerable economy and great care in
expenditure to make the ends meet. Not knowing the price of quinine,
and thinking four ounces could not be a great amount, we were much
surprised to find the bill $16. But Dr. Turner of Fort Snelling kindly
took it off our hands.

Once we were discussing the question of how much additional expense
the baby would be, when I said, "About two dollars." Thereafter Mr. S.
W. Pond, who was present at the time, called the boy "Mazaska nonpa."


In the second month of 1840, our _three_ became _four_. And when the
leaves came out and the flowers began to appear, the mother had a
great desire to go somewhere. But the only place to go was to Fort
Snelling. And so, leaving Chaskay and taking Hapan, we crossed the
prairie to the Traverse des Sioux in company with Mr. Renville's
caravan. The expectation was that the fur company's boat would be
there. But it was not; nor even a canoe, save a little leaky one,
which barely aided us in crossing the St. Peters. The journey through
the Big Woods was over logs and through swamps and streams for
seventy-five miles. We had two horses but no saddle. Our tent and
bedding and such things as we must have on the journey were strapped
on the horses. The mother rode one,--not very comfortable, as may be
supposed,--but the baby girl had a better ride on a Dakota woman's
back. At the end of ten miles, "le grand canoe" was found, in which
they took passage. That ten miles was destined to be remembered by our
return also; for there where the town of Le Sueur now stands our bark
canoe finally failed us, and, without an Indian woman to carry the
baby, we walked up to the Traverse, through the wet grass. Altogether,
that was a trip to be remembered.

One other thing comes to my mind about our first "little lady." There
was only one window in our upstairs room. On the outside of that the
mother had a shelf fixed to set out milk on. One morning, when every
one was busy or out, the little girl, not two years old, climbed out
of the window and perched herself on that shelf. It gave us a good


In the first month of 1842 our family of _four_ was increased to
_five_. And when the summer came on, we took a longer journey, which
extended to New England. This time Hapan was left behind and
Hapistinna and Chaskay were the companions of our journey. The
grandmother in Hawley saw and blessed her grandchild namesake Martha
Taylor. "Good Bird" says he remembers picking strawberries in the
Hawley meadow, where his uncle Alfred was mowing, in those summer


A whole year passed, and we came back to the land of the Dakotas, to
make a new home at Traverse des Sioux, to experience our first great
sorrow, and to consecrate our Allon-bach-uth for the noble brother
Thomas Lawrence Longley. That was a garden of roses, but a village of
drinking and drunken Sioux; and more of trial came into our life of a
little more than three years spent there than in any other equal
portion. There our _Wanskay_ was born, and started in life under
difficulties. Our family of _five_ had now become _six_. Provisions of
a good quality were not easily obtained. But it happened that wild
rice and Indian sugar were abundant, and the laws of heredity visited
the sins of the parents on our third little lady child. But, with all
the disadvantages of the start, the little "urchin" grew, and grew,
like the others.


Trouble and sorrow baptize and consecrate. The many trials attendant
upon commencing our station at Traverse des Sioux and the oaks of
weeping there had greatly endeared the place to the mother; and when,
in September of 1846, the mission voted that we should go back to
Lac-qui-parle, she could not see that it was duty, and went without
her own consent. It was a severe trial. In a few months she became
satisfied that the Lord had led us. What of character the boy _Hake_,
who was born in the next June, inherited from these months of sadness,
I know not, but as he came along up, we called him a "Noble Boy." The
family had then reached the sacred number _seven_.

In the year that followed we built a very comfortable
frame-house--indeed, two of them--one for Mr. Jonas Pettijohn's
family--comfortable, except that the snow would drift in through the
ash shingles. Some of the older children can, perhaps, remember times
when there was _more snow inside than outside_. We were up on the
hill, and not under it, where Dr. Williamson and Mr. Huggins had built
a dozen years before; and consequently the winter winds were fiercer,
though we all thought the summers were pleasanter. In this house our
_sixth_ child was born, who has no Dakota cognomen. We shall call him
Ishakpe. The half-dozen years in which we made that house our home
were full of work, broken in upon by a year spent in the East--myself
in New York City chiefly. Henry, who could say to enquirers, "I was
two years old last September," and Isabella were with their mother in
Massachusetts and Brooklyn--Martha and Anna in the capital of
Minnesota, and Thomas at the mission station of Kaposia; Alfred, I
believe, was at Galesburg, Ill.


It has been a question that we often discussed, "How shall we get our
children educated?" The basis of allowance from the treasury of the
board had been on the principle of the Methodist circuit riders. The
$250 with which we commenced was increased $50 for each child. So that
at this time our salary was either $500 or $550. It was never greater
than the last sum until after the outbreak in 1862. We lived on it
comfortably, but there was very little margin for sending children
away to school. And now we were reaching that point in our family
history when a special effort must be made in that direction. Before
we went on East in 1851, the mother and I had talked the matter
over--perhaps some good family would like to take one of the children
to educate. And so it was, more than one good offer was received for
the little boy Henry. But our hearts failed us. Mrs. Minerva Cook of
Brooklyn said to me, "You are afraid we will make an Episcopalian of
him." So near was he to being a bishop!


Many remembrances have to be passed over. The last picture I have of
those mission houses at Lac-qui-parle is when, on the 3d of March,
1854, they were enveloped in fire. The two little boys had been down
cellar to get potatoes for their mother, and, holding the lighted
candle too near to the dry hay underneath the floor, the whole was
soon in a conflagration, which our poor efforts could not stop. The
houses were soon a heap of ashes, and the meat and many of the
potatoes in the cellar were cooked. The adobe church was then our
asylum, and the family home for the summer.


While occupying the old church and making preparations to rebuild,
Secretary S. B. Treat visited us. After consultation, our plans were
changed, and we erected our mission buildings at Hazelwood,
twenty-five miles further down the Minnesota, and near to Dr.
Williamson's and the Yellow Medicine Agency. During the eight years
spent there, many things connected with the family life transpired.
First among them worthy to be noted was the rounding out of the number
of children to _eight_--"Toonkanshena," so called by the Indians--just
why, I don't know--and Octavia the Hakakta. In those days our Family
Education Society had to devise ways and means to keep _one_ always,
and sometimes _two_, away at school. By and by, Zitkadan-Washta
graduated at Knox College, and Hapan and Hapistinna at the Western
Female Seminary and College Hill respectively. How we got them through
seems even now a mystery. But I remember one year we raised a grand
crop of potatoes, and sold 100 barrels to the government for $300 in
gold. That was quite a lift. And so the Lord provided all
through--then and afterward. Nothing was more remarkable in our family
history for twenty-five years than its general health. We had very
little sickness. I remember a week or so of doctoring on myself during
our first residence at Lac-qui-parle. Then, the summer after our
return there, the fever and ague took hold of two or three of the
children. The mother also was taken sick suddenly in the adobe church,
and Dr. Williamson and I had a night ride up from Hazelwood. At this
place (Hazelwood) the baby boy _Toonkanshena_ was sick one night, I
remember, and we gave him calomel and sent for the doctor. But the
most serious sickness of all these years was that of my "urchin" and
Henry, both together of typhoid fever. I have always believed that
prayer was a part of the means of their recovery.


When the summer of 1862 came, it rounded out a full quarter of a
century of missionary life for us. Alfred had completed his seminary
course, and in the meantime had grown such a heavy black beard that
when he and I sat on the platform together, in a crowded church in
Cincinnati, the people asked which was the father and which the son.

While waiting in Ohio for the graduating day of Hapistinna to come, I
ran up to Steubenville, where I was born, and walked out into the
country to the old farm where my boyhood was spent. The visit was not
very satisfactory. Scarcely any one knew me. Everything had greatly


The memories of August 18, 1862, and the days that followed, are
vivid, but must in the main be passed over. I can not forbear,
however, to note what a sorry group we were on that island on the
morning of the 19th. How finally the way appeared, and we filed up the
ravine and started over the prairie as fugitives! How the rain came on
us that afternoon, and what a sorry camping we made in the open
prairie after we had crossed Hawk River! How the little Hakakta girl,
when bed-time came, wanted to go home! How, when the rain had leaked
down through the wagon-bed all night upon them, Mrs. D. Wilson Moore
thought it would be about as good to die as to live under such
conditions! How Hapistinna and Wanskay wore off their toes walking
through the sharp prairie-grass! How we stopped on the open prairie to
kill a cow and bake bread and roast meat, with no pans to do it in!
And how, while the process was going on, we had our picture taken! How
many scares we passed through the night we passed around Fort Ridgely!
How thus we escaped, like a bird from the snare of the fowler,--the
snare was broken, and we escaped. How, when the company came to adjust
their mutual obligations, nobody had any money but D. Wilson Moore!
How those women met us on the top of the hill by Henderson, and were
glad to see us because we had white blood in us! How on the road we
met our old friend Samuel W. Pond, who welcomed our family to his
house at Shakopee!


The memories of the campaign of the next three months may be passed
over, as having little connection with the family. But I remember the
night when, with more than _three hundred condemnations_ in my
carpet-bag, I had a long hunt at midnight for the little hired house
in which the mother and children had re-commenced housekeeping. The
three years in St. Anthony were ones of varied experiences. Wanskay
had gone down to Rockford. Hapan and Hapistinna taught school and kept
house for the mother by turns. The three boys went to school.

The War of the Rebellion was not over, but it was nearing its end, as
we soon knew, when one day the noble boy Thomas brought in a paper for
me to sign, giving my permission for his enlistment. I had heard and
read so much of boys of sixteen going almost at once into the hospital
that I threw the paper in the fire.


The missionary work among the Dakotas was so broken up, the clouds
hung so heavily over it, that I very seriously entertained the
question of giving up my commission as a missionary of the American
Board, and turning my attention to work among white people. In my
correspondence with Secretary Treat I proposed a kind of
half-and-half work, but that was not approved. Finally I wrote a
letter of withdrawal, and sent it on to Boston. But the prudential
committee were slow to act upon it. In the meantime, Rev. G. H. Pond
came over and gave me a long talk. He believed I should do no such
thing; that the clouds would soon clear away; that the need of work
such as I could give would be greater than ever before. And so it was.
To me Mr. Pond was a prophet of the Lord, sent with a special message.
I wanted to know the way. And the voice said, "This is the way; walk
in it." With new enthusiasm I then entered upon the work of meeting
the increasing demand for school-books and for the Bible.

At the very beginning of the year 1865, having completed my three
months' work at the Bible House in New York, in reading the proof of
the entire New Testament in Dakota, and other parts of the Bible, as
well as other books, I returned to our home in St. Anthony to find the
mother away at the water-cure establishment. We remember that as a
year of _invalidism_, of _sickness_. But the skilful physician and the
summer sun wrought such a cure that in the autumn we removed to
Beloit. Here, with comparative health, she had three and a half years
of added life.


Among the new things that took place in Beloit in the year 1866 was
the marriage of Hapan and Hapistinna, the one starting off for the
far-off land of the Celestials, so-called, and the other to the
frontier of Minnesota. Wanskay was then our housekeeper, and the three
boys were in school. By and by the time came for the mother to be
called away. It was a brief sickness, and she passed from us into the
Land of Immortal Beauty. It was a comfort to us that our first-born,
Zitkadan-Washta, was residing near by that winter and spring of 1869.
As I remember it, three children were far away, and five gathered
around the mother's grave. Now, looking back over the ten years passed
since that time, I seem to say:--

    "My thoughts, like palms in exile,
      Climb up to look and pray
    For a glimpse of that heavenly country,
      That seems _not_ far away."

This is a good point to close and seal up the Memories. For the rest,
a few words may be sufficient. Manifestly, as a family, God has been
with us all the way, and the blessings of the Lord Jehovah have been
upon us. Forty-two years ago we went out--two alone--into the
wilderness of prairie; and now we have become _one_, _two_, _three_,
_four_, _five_, _six_, or more bands.

       *       *       *       *       *

Sabbath, September 7, wound up the precious weeks; and Sabbath evening
was the transfiguration of the whole. May its blessed memories
tenderly abide in all our hearts! For a year or more, we had looked
forward to the family meeting that was to be; but now we look back and
remember with growing pleasure the meeting that was. As the wagons
clattered away on Monday morning, they broke the charmed spell, but
each one went his own way richer than he came.
                                                              A. L. R.

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