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´╗┐Title: Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission of the Church Missionary Society
Author: Stock, Eugene
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission of the Church Missionary Society" ***

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"If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of
the sea, even there shall Thy hand lead me and Thy right hand shall hold
me"--Ps. cxxxix 9, 10

    Shores of the utmost West
        Ye that have waited long
    Unvisited noblest,
        Break forth to swelling song
    High raise the note that Jesus died
    Yet lives and reigns the Crucified


The third, fourth, and fifth chapters of this little book are
substantially a reprint of parts of a pamphlet entitled, "Metlakahtla,
or Ten Years' Work among the Tsimshean Indians," published by the Church
Missionary Society in 1868. Almost all the rest, or three-fourths of the
whole, is new matter--new, that is, in a separate form, for the greater
part has appeared at various times in the Society's periodicals. One or
two facts are taken from the Rev. J. J. Halcombe's excellent book,
"Stranger than Fiction," which has done so much to make the Metlakahtla
Mission known. For much valuable information I am indebted to Admiral

E. S.












X.         "           QUEEN CHARLOTTE'S ISLANDS

XI.        "           FORT RUPERT









British Columbia, now forming part of "The Dominion of Canada,"
includes within its limits several islands, of which Vancouver's is the
principal, and that part of the continent of North America, west of the
Rocky Mountains and east of Alaska, which is included between the 49 deg.
and the 60 deg. parallels of north latitude.

English connection with this part of the world may be said to date
from an exploratory voyage made by Captain Cook in 1776, when he landed
at Friendly Cove and Nootka Sound, and took possession of them in the
name of his sovereign. He supposed at the time that these places were
on the mainland, and it was not until Captain Vancouver, an officer in
the English Navy, was despatched in 1792 to the Pacific, that he
discovered that Nootka and Friendly Cove were on the west side of the
island which now bears his name, and which is sometimes spoken of as
the gem of the Pacific.

In 1793, Alexander Mackenzie, one of the most enterprising pioneers in
the employment of the North-West Fur Company, who had already
discovered the mighty river since named after him, crossed the Rocky
Mountains, and pushed his way westward, until he stood on the shores of
the Pacific. Some years later, in 1806, Mr. Simon Frazer, another
_employe_ of the same Company, gave his name to the great river
that drains British Columbia, and established the first trading post in
those parts. After the amalgamation of this Company with the Hudson's
Bay Company, other posts were established, such as Fort Rupert, on
Vancouver's Island, and Fort Simpson, on the borders of Alaska, then
belonging to Russia, but subsequently sold by her to the United States.

In 1858, the discovery of gold in the basin of the Fraser river, on
the mainland, attracted a large number of gold-diggers from California,
and among them a considerable body of Chinese. To maintain order among
a motley population of lawless habits, British Columbia was formed into
a colony, with its capital at Victoria, on Vancouver's Island.

Official returns, made a few years ago, gave the number of Indians in
British Columbia as 31,520, distributed over the islands and mainland.
They belong to several distinct families or nations, speaking distinct
languages, subdivided into a multitude of tribes speaking different
dialects of their own. Thus the Hydahs of Queen Charlotte's Islands are
altogether distinct from the Indians of Vancouver's Island, where,
indeed, those on the east coast are distinct from those on the west.
Again, on the mainland, the Indians on the sea-board are distinct from
the Indians of the interior, from whom they are divided by the Cascade
range of mountains. These inland Indians are of more robust and
athletic frame, and are altogether a more vigorous race.

Among the coast tribes, however, there are great differences, those to
the north being far superior to those in the south. Those who know the
Indians well declare that it would be impossible to find anywhere finer
looking men than the Hydahs, Tsimsheans, and some of the Alaskan
tribes. "They are," writes one, "a manly, tall, handsome people, and
comparatively fair in their complexion."

The Indians on the sea-board of the mainland, and those on the east
coast of Vancouver's Island who have affinity with one another, have
been grouped into three principal families or nations. The first of
these is met with at Victoria and on the Fraser river, and may be
called the Chinook Indians, from the language which is principally in
use. In the second division may be comprised the tribes between Nanaimo
on the east coast, and Fort Rupert at the extreme north of Vancouver's
Island, and the Indians on the mainland between the same points. The
Tsimsheans, a third family, cluster round Fort Simpson, and occupy a
line of coast extending from the Skeena river to the borders of Alaska.

On his arrival at Fort Simpson, on the 1st of October, 1857, Mr.
Duncan found located there, to quote his own words in a recent official
report, "Nine tribes, numbering (for I counted them) about 2,300 souls.
These proved to be just one-third of the tribes speaking the Tsimshean
language. Of the other eighteen tribes, five were scattered over 100
miles of the coast south of Fort Simpson, other five occupied the Naas
river, and the remaining eight tribes lived on the Skeena river--the
whole of the twenty-seven tribes numbering then not over 8,000 souls,
though I at first set them down at 10,000. In addition to the Tsimshean
tribes which I have mentioned, I found that Indians of other two
distinct languages frequented the Fort for trade. These were the Alaska
Coast Indians, whose nearest village was only some fifteen miles north
of Fort Simpson, and the Hydahs from Queen Charlotte's Islands."

The tribal arrangements among the Tsimsheans are very much the same as
among other Indian clans. Each tribe has from three to five chiefs, one
of whom is the acknowledged head. Among the head chiefs of the various
tribes one again takes preeminence. At feasts and in council the chiefs
are seated according to their rank. As an outward mark, to distinguish
the rank of a chief, a pole is erected in front of his house. The
greater the chief the higher the pole. The Indians are very jealous in
regard to this distinction.

Every Indian family has a distinguishing crest, or "totem," as it is
called in some places. This crest is usually some bird, or fish, or
animal; particularly the eagle, the raven, the finback whale, the
grisly bear, the wolf, and the frog. Among the Tsimsheans and their
neighbours, the Hydahs, great importance is attached to this heraldry,
and their crests are often elaborately engraved on large copper plates
from three to five feet in length, and about two in breadth. These
plates are very highly valued, and are often heir-looms in families. No
Indian would think of killing the animal which had been taken for his
crest. While two members of the same tribe are allowed to intermarry,
those of the same crest are prohibited from doing so under any
circumstances. The child always takes the mother's crest: if she
belonged to a family whose crest was the eagle, thru all her children
take the eagle for their crest.

The most influential men in a tribe--not excluding the chiefs--are the
medicine men. Captain Mayne, R.N., thus speaks of them:--[Footnote:
_Four Years in British Columbia, and Vancouver Island_, p. 260
(Murray, 1862).]

"Their initiation into the mysteries of their calling is one of the
most disgusting ceremonies imaginable. At a certain season, the Indian
who is selected for the office retires into the woods for several days,
and fasts, holding intercourse, it is supposed, with the spirits who
are to teach him the healing art. He then suddenly reappears in the
village, and, in a sort of religious frenzy, attacks the first person
he meets and bites a piece out of his arm or shoulder. He will then
rush at a dog, and tear him limb from limb, running about with a leg or
some part of the animal all bleeding in his hand, and tearing it with
his teeth. This mad fit lasts some time, usually during the whole day
of his reappearance. At its close he crawls into his tent, or falling
down exhausted is carried there by those who are watching him. A series
of ceremonials, observances, and long incantations follows, lasting for
two or three days, and he then assumes the functions and privileges of
his office. I have seen three or four medicine men made at a time among
the Indians near Victoria, while twenty or thirty others stood, with
loaded muskets, keeping guard all round the place to prevent them doing
any mischief. Although a clever medicine man becomes of great
importance in his tribe, his post is no sinecure either before or after
his initiation. If he should be seen by anyone while he is communing
with the spirits in the woods, he is killed or commits suicide, while
if he fails in the cure of any man he is liable to be put to death, on
the assumption that he did not wish to cure his patient. This penalty
is not always inflicted, but, if he fails in his first attempt, the
life of a medicine man is not, as a rule, worth much. The people who
are bitten by these maniacs when they come in from the woods consider
themselves highly favoured."

Mr. Duncan, in 1857, gave the following painfully curious description
of the medicine men--

"The superstitions connected with this fearful system are deeply
rooted here, and it is the admitting and initiating of fresh pupils
into these arts that employ numbers, and excite and interest all,
during the winter months. This year I think there must have been eight
or ten parties of them, but each party seldom has more than one pupil
at once. In relating their proceedings I can give but a faint
conception of the system as a whole, but still a little will show the
dense darkness that rests on this place.

"I may mention that each party has some characteristics peculiar to
itself, but, in a more general sense, their divisions are but three,
viz, those who eat human bodies, the dog eaters, and those who have no
custom of the kind. Early in the morning the pupils would be out on,
the beach, or on the rocks, in a state of nudity. Each had a place in
front of his own tribe, nor did intense cold interfere in the slightest
degree. After the poor creature had crept about, jerking his head and
screaming for some time, a party of men would rush out, and, after
surrounding him, would commence singing. The dog eating party
occasionally carried a dead dog to their pupil, who forthwith commenced
to tear it in the most dog like manner. The party of attendants kept up
a low growling noise, or a whoop, which was seconded by a screeching
noise made from an instrument which they believe to be the abode of a
spirit. In a little time the naked youth would start up again, and
proceed a few more yards in a crouching posture, with his arms pushed
out behind him, and tossing his flowing black hair. All the while he is
earnestly watched by the group about him, and when he pleases to sit
down they again surround him and commence singing. This kind of thing
goes on, with several different additions, for some time. Before the
prodigy finally retires, he takes a turn into every house belonging to
his tribe, and is followed by his train. When this is done, in some
cases he has a ramble on the tops of the same houses, during which he
is anxiously watched by his attendants, as if they expected his flight.
By-and-bye he condescends to come down, and they then follow him to his
den, which is marked by a rope made of red bark being hung over the
doorway, so as to prevent any person from ignorantly violating its
precincts. None are allowed to enter that house but those connected
with the art; all I know, therefore, of their further proceedings is,
that they keep up a furious hammering, singing, and screeching for
hours during the day.

"Of all these parties, none are so much dreaded as the cannibals. One
morning I was called to witness a stir in the camp which had been
caused by this set. When I reached the gallery I saw hundreds of
Tsimsheans sitting in their canoes, which they had just pushed away
from the beach. I was told that the cannibal party were in search of a
body to devour, and if they failed to find a dead one, it was probable
they would seize the first living one that came in their way; so that
all the people living near to the cannibals' house had taken to their
canoes to escape being torn to pieces. It is the custom among these
Indians to burn their dead; but I suppose for these occasions they take
care to deposit a corpse somewhere, in order to satisfy these inhuman

"These, then, are some of the things and scenes which occur in the day
during the winter months, while the nights are taken up with amusements
--singing and dancing. Occasionally the medicine parties invite people
to their several houses, and exhibit tricks before them of various
kinds. Some of the actors appear as bears, while others wear masks, the
parts of which are moved by strings. The great feature in their
proceedings is to pretend to murder, and then to restore to life, and
so forth. The cannibal, on such occasions, is generally supplied with
two, three, or four human bodies, which he tears to pieces before his
audience. Several persons, either from bravado or as a charm, present
their arms for him to bite. I have seen several whom he has thus
bitten, and I hear two have died from the effects."

One of the most curious and characteristic customs of the the Indians
of British Columbia is the _giving away of property_ at feasts.
Mr. Duncan gives the following account of it:--

"These feasts are generally connected with the giving away of
property. As an instance, I will relate the last occurrence of the
kind. The person who sent the aforementioned invitations is a chief who
has just completed building a house. After feasting, I heard he was to
give away property to the amount of four hundred and eighty blankets
(worth as many pounds to him), of which one hundred and eighty were his
own property and the three hundred were to be subscribed by his people.
On the first day of the feast, as much as possible of the property to
be given him was exhibited in the camp. Hundreds of yards of cotton
were flapping in the breeze, hung from house to house, or on lines put
up for the occasion. Furs, too, were nailed up on the fronts of houses.
Those who were going to give away blankets or elk-skins managed to get
a bearer for every one, and exhibited them by making the persons walk
in single file to the house of the chief. On the next day the cotton
which had been hung out was now brought on the beach, at a good
distance from the chief's house, and then run out at full length, and a
number of bearers, about three yards apart, bore it triumphantly away
from the giver to the receiver. I suppose that about six hundred to
eight hundred yards were thus disposed of.

"After all the property the chief is to receive has thus been openly
handed to him, a day or two is taken up in apportioning it for fresh
owners. When this is done, all the chiefs and their families are called
together, and each receives according to his or her portion. Thus do
the chiefs and their people go on reducing themselves to poverty. In
the case of the chiefs, however, this poverty lasts but a short time;
they are soon replenished from the next giving away, but the people
only grow rich again according to their industry. One cannot but pity
them, while one laments their folly.

"All the pleasure these poor Indians seem to have in their property is
in hoarding it up for such an occasion as I have described. They never
think of appropriating what they gather to enhance their comforts, but
are satisfied if they can make a display like this now and then; so
that the man possessing but one blanket seems to be as well off as the
one who possesses twenty; and thus it is that there is a vast amount of
dead stock accumulated in the camp doomed never to be used, but only
now and then to be transferred from hand to hand for the mere vanity of
the thing.

"There is another way, however, in which property is disposed of even
more foolishly. If a person be insulted, or meet with an accident, or
in any way suffer an injury, real or supposed, either of mind or body,
property must at once be sacrificed to avoid disgrace. A number of
blankets, shirts, or cotton, according to the rank of the person, are
torn, into small pieces and carried off."

The religion of the Tsimsheans is thus described:--

"The Tsimsheans, I find, believe in two states after death: the one
good, and the other, bad; the morally good are translated to the one,
and the morally bad are doomed to the other. The locality of the former
they think to be above, and that of the latter is somewhere beneath.
The enjoyment of heaven and the privations of hell they understand to
be carnal. They do not suppose the wicked to be destitute of food any
more than they were here, but they are treated as slaves and are badly

"The idea they entertain of God is that He is a great chief. They call
Him by the same term as they do their chiefs, only adding the word for
above--thus, 'shimanyet' is chief, and 'lakkah' above: and hence the
name of God with them is Shimanyet Lakkah. They believe that the
Supreme Being never dies: that He takes great notice of what is going
on amongst men, and is frequently angry, and punishes offenders. They
do not know who is the author of the universe, nor do they expect that
God is the author of their own being. They have no fixed ideas about
these things, I fully believe; still they frequently appeal to God in
trouble; they ask for pity and deliverance. In great extremities of
sickness they address God, saying it is not good for them to die.

"Sometimes, when calamities are prolonged or thicken, they get enraged
against God, and vent their anger against Him, raising their eyes and
hands in savage anger to Heaven, and stamping their feet on the ground.
They will reiterate language which means 'You are a great slave!'"

A very curious tradition respecting the first appearance of white men
on the coast was related some years ago to Mr. Duncan by an old chief:--

"A large canoe of Indians were busy catching halibut in one of these
channels. A thick mist enveloped them. Suddenly they heard a noise as
if a large animal was striking through the water. Immediately they
concluded that a monster from the deep was in pursuit of them. With all
speed they hauled up their fishing lines, seized the paddles, and
strained every nerve to reach the shore. Still the plunging noise came
nearer. Every minute they expected to be engulfed within the jaws of
some huge creature. However, they reached the land, jumped on shore,
and turned round in breathless anxiety to watch the approach of the
monster. Soon a boat, filled with strange-looking men, emerged from the
mist The pulling of the oars had caused the strange noise. Though
somewhat relieved of fear, the Indians stood spell bound with
amazement. The strangers landed, and beckoned the Indians to come to
them and bring them some fish. One of them had over his shoulder what
was supposed only to be a stick, presently he pointed it to a bird that
was flying past, a violent poo went forth, down came the bird to the
ground. The Indians died. As they revived again they questioned each
other as to their state, whether they were dead, and what each had
felt. The whites then made signs for a fire to be lighted. The Indians
proceeded at once, according to their usual tedious fashion of rubbing
two sticks together. The strangers laughed, and one of them, snatching
up a handful of dry grass, struck a spark into a little powder placed
under it. Instantly flashed another poo and a blaze. The Indians died.
After this the new comers wanted some fish boiling. The Indians
therefore put the fish and water into one of their square wooden
buckets, and set some stones in the fire, intending when they were hot,
to cast them into the vessel, and thus boil the food The whites were
not satisfied with this way. One of them fetched a tin kettle out of
the boat, put the fish and the water into it, and then, strange to say,
set it on the fire. The Indians looked on with astonishment. However,
the kettle did not consume, the water did not run into the fire Then,
again, the Indians died. When the fish was eaten, the strangers put a
kettle of rice on the fire. The Indians looked at each other and
whispered, 'Akshahn, akshahn,' or 'Maggots, maggots.' The rice being
cooked, some molasses were produced and mixed with it. The Indians
stared, and said, 'Coutzee um tsakah ahket,' or 'The grease of dead
people.' The whites then tendered the rice and molasses to the Indians,
but they only shrank away in disgust. Seeing this, to prove their
integrity, they sat down and enjoyed it themselves. The sight stunned
the Indians, and again they all died. Some other similar wonders were
worked, and the profound stupor which the Indians felt each time come
over them they termed death. The Indians' turn had now come to make the
white strangers die. They dressed their heads and painted their faces A
nok nok, or wonder working spirit possessed them. They came slowly, and
solemnly seated themselves before the whites, then suddenly lifted up
their heads and stared. Their reddened eyes had the desired effect. The
whites died."

Among the Indians of British, Columbia no Protestant Missionary had
laboured prior to 1857. Some Roman Catholic priests, however, had been
in the country, and of them Captain Mayne writes:--[Footnote: "_Four
Years in British Columbia_," p. 305.]

"If the opinion of the Hudson's Bay people of the interior is to be
relied upon, the Roman Catholic priests effected no real change in the
condition of the natives. The sole result of their residence among them
was, that the Indians who had been brought under their influence had
imbibed some notions of the Deity, almost as vague as their own
traditions, and a superstitious respect for the priests themselves,
which they showed by crossing themselves devoutly whenever they met
one. Occasionally, too, might be seen in their lodges, pictures
purporting to represent the roads to Heaven and to Hell, in which there
was no single suggestion of the danger of vice and crime, but a great
deal of the peril of Protestantism. These coloured prints were
certainly curious in their way, and worth a passing notice. They were
large, and gave a pictorial history of the human race, from the time
when Adam and Eve wandered in the garden together, down to the
Reformation. Here the one broad road was split into two, whose courses
diverged more and more painfully. By one way the Roman Catholic portion
of the world were seen trooping to bliss; the other ended in a steep
bottomless precipice over which the Protestants might be seen falling.
[Footnote: A fac-simile of a similar picture appeared in the _Church
Missionary Gleaner_, of March, 1880.] Upon the more sensible and
advanced of the Indians, teaching such as this had little effect. I
remember the chief of the Shuswap tribe, at Kamloops, pointing out to
me such an illustration hanging on his wall, and laughingly saying, in
a tone that showed quite plainly how little credence he attached to it,
'There are you and your people,' putting his finger as he spoke on the
figures tumbling into the pit."

"Of such kind was the only instruction that the Indiana had received
prior to 1857. Its influence was illustrated in that year at Victoria,
where a Roman Catholic Bishop and several priests had been resident for
some time, and were known to have exerted themselves among the Songhie
Indians who reside there. A cross had been raised in their village, and
some of them had been baptized; but when these were called before the
bishop for confirmation, they refused to come unless a greater present
of blankets was made to them than had been given at their baptism. The
bishop was said to have been very angry with the priests when this came
to his knowledge; he having very possibly been deceived by them as to
the condition of the Indians. I am informed that he had a large heart
painted upon canvas, through which be drew a blanket, and represented
it to the Indians as symbolical of their condition."

How the Indians were brought to know the way of God more perfectly,
and to choose it for themselves, it will be the purpose of the
following chapters to show.



The Red Indian is in a peculiar sense, the child of the Church
Missionary Society. More exclusively so, indeed, than even the Negro.
In those efforts for the evangelisation of Africa with which the
Society's name has, from the first, been so indissolubly associated, it
has but shared the field with other excellent societies. In the Far
North and Far West of British America, it has laboured almost alone.
Nearly sixty years have passed away since its missionaries penetrated
into the then remote regions of the Red River, and since that time,
nearly the whole of the vast territories, stretching northward to the
Arctic Sea, eastward to the borders of Labrador, and westward to the
Rocky Mountains, have been trodden by their untiring feet. It was
fitting, therefore, that when, in the providence of God, the day came
for the Gospel to reach beyond the Rocky Mountains to the tribes on the
shores of the Pacific, it should be carried thither by the Church
Missionary Society.

But long before that time arrived, the eye of the Committee, passing
round the globe, had rested upon those distant shores. In their Annual
Report for 1819-20, the following interesting passage is to be found:--

_From the C. M. S. Report_, 1819-20.

"It has been suggested to the Committee that the Western parts of
British America, lying between the high ridge called the Rocky
Mountains and the North Pacific Ocean, and extending from about the
42nd to the 57th degree of North Latitude, offer a more extensive,
promising, and practicable field for Missionary labours than any other
in that quarter of the globe. The climate is, in general, temperate,
the soil reasonably productive, and the surface of the country level.
[Footnote: Some of the information given to the Committee at that early
date was not very accurate. The surface of British Columbia is anything
but level and the soil is not too productive.] The people are not
savage, ferocious, and wandering but settled in villages and in several
respects somewhat civilized, though still in the hunter state, with few
arts, no letters, no general knowledge, but a great desire to be taught
by white men, whose superiority they clearly discern. Numbers of them
are scattered over this great range of country, and it has hitherto
been very little known that so great a portion of the North American
continent is covered with a stationary, aboriginal people, still,
however, very much in a state of nature. The North West Company trades
through all the great space which lies between Montreal and the North
Pacific, a longitudinal distance of not less than 4,000 miles, and
keeps up a direct communication, by sea, between London and the mouth
of the river Columbia, on the North West coast of America. A member of
that Company, who is a highly respectable merchant in Canada, informs
your Committee that he has been frequently among the Indians in
question, and thinks the prospect of the introduction of Christianity
very promising, while many of the principal persons in Upper Canada are
anxious for the promotion of that object."

The Society's work, however, among the Red Indians, which was begun in
the following year, was concentrated on Red River, and thirty-six years
passed away before the attention of the Committee was again drawn to
the more remote field on the Pacific shore.

In the spring of 1856, the late Rev. Joseph Ridgeway, Editorial
Secretary of the Society, attended, as a deputation, the anniversary
meeting of the Tunbridge Wells Church Missionary Association. There he
met a naval officer, Capt. J. C. Prevost, R.N., who had just returned
from Vancouver's Island. While in command of H.M.S. _Virago_, he
had been much impressed by the spiritual destitution of the Indians of
the Pacific coast of British North America and the adjacent islands.
They were "scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd," and he, like
his Divine Master, was "moved with compassion on them." No Protestant
missionary had ever yet gone forth into the wilderness after these lost
sheep; and in addition to their natural heathenism, with its degrading
superstitions and revolting cruelties, a new danger was approaching the
Indians in the shape of the "civilisation" of white traders and miners,
with its fire-water and its reckless immorality. Capt. Prevost
earnestly inquired of Mr. Ridgeway what prospect there was of the
Church Missionary Society undertaking a Mission on the coast.

The reply was not encouraging. The Committee had just determined to
signalise the conclusion of the Crimean war by planting a Mission at
Constantinople, to extend their work in the Punjab by the occupation of
Multan; and to accept Sir Robert Montgomery's invitation to Lucknow;
and there was little hope of their having men or money to spare for the
"few sheep in the wilderness" to be found scattered over British
Columbia. The Editorial Secretary's sympathies, however, were touched,
and he, at least, did what he could. He invited Captain Prevost to
write a memorandum on the subject for the _Church Missionary
Intelligencer_. The offer was thankfully accepted; and in the number
of that periodical for July, 1856, appeared an article entitled
"Vancouver's Island," in which Mr. Ridgeway briefly stated the case,
and introduced Capt. Prevost's contribution. After an interval of
twenty-four years, and remembering what wonderful and blessed fruit has
sprung from the seed thus quietly sown, it will be interesting to
reproduce here the Christian officer's own words:--

_Captain Prevost's Memorandum, July, 1856._

"The country within which the proposed Mission is designed to operate
extends from about the 48 deg. of north latitude to 56 deg., and from the
Rocky Mountains on the east to the Pacific Ocean on the west. It includes
several beautiful and fertile islands adjoining the mainland, of which
the largest, most important, and most populous, is Vancouver's, being
about 290 miles in length and 55 miles in its average breadth.

"The Government, impressed with a sense of its great commercial, and
its growing political, importance, combining also great advantages as a
naval station, erected it into a colony in 1838, and gave to the
Hudson's Bay Company a charter, conferring on them certain privileges
on condition of their carrying into effect the intentions of the
Government. The climate of this island is more genial than that of
England, its soil is more productive, and its coasts abound with the
finest fish. It contains, too, the only safe harbours between the 49 deg.
north latitude and San Francisco, and there have been discovered lately
fields of fine coal of immense extent, from which the entire coast of
the Pacific, and the steamers trading there, can be supplied. What has
been stated with regard to these natural advantages of Vancouver's
Island applies generally to the mainland."

"The seat of the Colonial Government is at Fort Victoria, where there
is a chaplain, the only Protestant minister within the limits of the
above mentioned territories. About three years since a Roman Catholic
Bishop, a British subject, arrived at the same place, accompanied by a
staff of Jesuit priests, and purchased a site for a cathedral there.
Hitherto their success has been very doubtful."

"It is difficult to ascertain, with any degree of accuracy, the total
amount of the native population, a mean, however, between the highest
and lowest estimates gives 60,000, [Footnote: Since 1856 many thousands
have died of disease and from vicious habits (see p. 2).] a result
probably not far from the truth. It 13 a fact well calculated to arrest
the attention, and to enlist in behalf of the proposed Mission the
active sympathies of every sincere Christian, that this vast number of
our fellow subjects have remained in a state of heathen darkness and
complete barbarism ever since the discovery and partial surveys of
their coasts by Vancouver in 1792 1794, and that no effort has yet been
made for their moral or spiritual improvement, although, during the
last forty years a most lucrative trade has been carried on with them
by our fellow-countrymen. We would most earnestly call upon all who
have themselves learned to value the blessings of the Gospel, to assist
'in rolling away' this reproach. The field is a most promising one.
Some naval officers, who, in the discharge of their professional
duties, have lately visited these regions, have been most favourably
impressed with the highly intelligent character of the Natives, and,
struck by their manly bearing, and a physical appearance fully equal to
that of the English, whom they also resemble in the fairness of their
complexion, and having their compassion excited by their total
destitution of Christian and moral instruction, they feel it to be
their duty to endeavour to introduce among them the knowledge of the
Gospel of Christ, under the conviction that it would prove the surest
and most fruitful source of social improvement and civilization, as
well as of spiritual blessings infinitely more valuable, and would be
found the only effectual antidote to the contaminating vices which a
rapidly-increasing trade, especially with California and Oregon, is
bringing in its train.

"There is much in the character of the Natives to encourage missionary
effort. They are not idolaters: they believe in the existence of two
great Spirits--the one benevolent, and the other malignant; and in two
separate places of reward and punishment in another world. They are by
no means bigoted. They manifest a great desire and aptitude to acquire
the knowledge and arts of civilized life; and, although they are
addicted to some of the vices generally prevalent amongst savages, they
yet possess some virtues rarely displayed by them. Some of the servants
of the Hudson's Bay Company, who have married Native women, bear the
highest testimony to their characters as wives and mothers, and to the
manner in which they fulfil all their domestic relationships.
Drunkenness was almost wholly unknown, until lately introduced by
increasing intercourse with Europeans; but it is now spreading with
rapid and destructive effect among the tribes. Loss of chastity in
females was considered an indelible disgrace to the family in which it
occurred, and was consequently uncommon. But here, again, European
influence has made itself felt, and this is now far from being the
case. Persons who are acquainted both with this people and with the New
Zealanders, are of opinion that the former are mentally and physically
equal, if not superior, to the latter; and that, were like measures
taken to convert and civilize them, they would be attended by similarly
happy results. As to the medium of communication, although the number
and variety of languages is very great, yet the necessities of trade
have given rise to a _patois_ generally understood, and easily
acquired, which might be made available for missionary purposes, at
least as far as oral teaching is concerned.

"The expense of establishing and supporting a Mission would not, it is
hoped, prove large. Fish and game are extremely cheap. Fuel, both coal
and wood, is cheap and abundant. It is proposed that the first
missionary station should be at Fort Simpson, on the mainland, as it
offers many advantages for prosecuting the objects of the Mission.
There the Missionaries would enjoy the protection, and, it is hoped,
the cordial co-operation, of the Hudson's Bay Company; and, in return,
the Company's servants would receive the benefit of the ministrations
of the members of the Mission. The position is central to all the most
populous villages; and here, in the spring of each year, a kind of
great national fair is held, where the tribes from the most distant
parts of the coast and interior assemble, to the number of about
15,000, and receive the commodities of the Company in exchange for the
skins collected during the preceding season. On these occasions
valuable opportunities would be afforded to the missionaries of
conversing with the natives, and giving them religions instruction.
Here, too, a school might be opened for the Native children, where they
would receive an industrial as well as religious and secular education,
and be secluded from the prejudicial influence of their adult

This earnest appeal was not long in eliciting a response. Shortly
afterwards, in the list of contributions published monthly by the
Society, appeared the following entry:--

Two Friends, for Vancouver's Island, L500.

Still the Committee hesitated; but two or three months afterwards,
Capt. Prevost came to them again with the news that he was re-appointed
to the same naval station, and was to proceed thither immediately in
command of H.M.S. Satellite; and, with the sanction of the Admiralty,
he offered a free passage by her to any missionary the Society could
send out.

Here was the opening, here were the means; but where was the man to
go? There did not seem to be anyone available; but, at length, only ten
days before the "Satellite" was to sail, a student, then under
training, was thought of. Who was this?

A few years before, one of the Society's Missionaries had addressed a
village meeting in the Midland Counties. It was a very wet night, and
but a handful of people attended. The Vicar proposed to postpone the
meeting; but the missionary urged that the few who had come were
entitled to hear the information they were expecting, and proceeded to
deliver a long and earnest speech. Among the listeners were three young
men, and the heart of one of these was deeply touched that night. He
subsequently offered himself to the Society, and was sent to the (then
existing) Highbury Training College to be trained as a school master,
under the Rev. C. R. Alford, afterwards Bishop of Victoria, Hong Kong.
That young man's name was WILLIAM DUNCAN, and it was he to whom now
came the call of the Committee to start in ten days for British

William Duncan was ready. On December 19th, 1856, he took leave of the
Committee, and on the 23rd, he sailed with Capt. Prevost from Plymouth
in the Satellite. [Footnote: An interesting notice of Captain Prevost's
offer, and of the valedictory dismissal of Mr. Duncan, appears in the
recently published "Memoir of Henry Venn" p. 137.]

The voyage to Vancouver's Island took nearly six months. It was on
June 13th, 1857, that the Satellite cast anchor in Esquimault Harbour,
Victoria. But Mr. Duncan had still five hundred miles to go. His
mission was to the Tsimsheans, and for them Fort Simpson was the point
to aim at. Unable, however, to obtain a passage thither at once, he
remained at Victoria three months, patiently preparing for future work
by studying the language. Meanwhile the officers of the Hudson's Bay
Company raised some objections to his settling at Fort Simpson. The
Indians, they said, could not be allowed to come into the fort to him,
and it would be quite unsafe for him to venture outside; and they
recommended him to turn his attention to the tribes of Vancouver's
Island, who, having been brought more into contact with white men, were
presumed to be on that account more accessible to Christian influence.
Mr. Duncan, however, justly felt that the advantage was rather the
other way; besides which to Fort Simpson he was appointed, and to Fort
Simpson he would go. The Governor of the Colony warmly entered into his
views, and gave him letters to the officer in charge, directing that
accommodation was to be found for him, and all facilities given him for
the prosecution of his work.



On the night of October 1st Mr. Duncan landed at the Fort. Like other
Hudson's Bay Company trading posts, this "Fort" consisted of a few
houses, stores, and workshops, surrounded by a palisade twenty feet
high, formed of trunks of trees. Close by was the Tsimshean village,
comprising some two hundred and fifty wooden houses, well-built, and
several of them of considerable size. A day or two after his arrival,
Mr. Duncan had a significant glimpse of the kind of savages to whom he
was presently to proclaim the Gospel of Peace:--

"The other day we were called upon to witness a terrible scene: An old
chief, in cool blood, ordered a slave to be dragged to the beach,
murdered, and thrown into the water. His orders were quickly obeyed.
The victim was a poor woman. Two or three reasons are assigned for this
foul act: one is, that it is to take away the disgrace attached to his
daughter, who has been suffering some time from a ball wound in the
arm. Another report is, that he does not expect his daughter to
recover, so he has killed this slave in order that she may prepare for
the coming of his daughter into the unseen world. I think the former
reason is the most probable. I did not see the murder, but, immediately
after, I saw crowds of people running out of those houses near to where
the corpse was thrown, and forming themselves into groups at a good
distance away. This, I learnt, was from fear of what was to follow.
Presently two bands of furious wretches appeared, each headed by a man
in a state of nudity. They gave vent to the most unearthly sounds, and
the two naked men made themselves look as unearthly as possible,
proceeding in a creeping kind of stoop, and stepping like two proud
horses, at the same time shooting forward each arm alternately, which
they held out at full length for a little time in the most defiant
manner. Besides this, the continual jerking of their heads back,
causing their long black hair to twist about, added much to their
savage appearance. For some time they pretended to be seeking the body,
and the instant they came where it lay they commenced screaming and
rushing round it like so many angry wolves. Finally they seized it,
dragged it out of the water, and laid it on the beach, where I was told
the naked men would commence tearing it to pieces with their teeth. The
two bands of men immediately surrounded them, and so hid their horrid
work. In a few minutes the crowd broke again in two, when each of the
naked cannibals appeared with half of the body in his hands. Separating
a few yards, they commenced, amid horrid yells, their still more horrid
feast. The sight was too terrible to behold."

Just at the same time another feature in the character of the Indians
was painfully illustrated. On October 7th he wrote:--

"Immediately after dinner the second officer of the Fort, who had not
been absent more than a minute, came rushing back, to report that an
Indian had just been murdered close to the Fort gates. On repairing to
the gallery, I saw this shocking sight. Several Indians, with muskets
in their bands, were hovering about the dying man, and one or two
ventured to go near and assist him. He was shot in the right breast,
and apparently dying, but seemingly conscious of what had happened. In
a few minutes two Indians, looking as fierce as tigers, carrying
muskets, came bounding to the spot, and, after ordering all away, one
of them immediately fired at the poor fellow as he lay on the ground,
and shot him in the arm. They then as quickly bounded away. The head
chief was the murderer. Being irritated by some other chiefs while
partly intoxicated, he vented his rage upon the first stranger that
came in his way, and, after shooting him, ordered two of his men to
finish the horrible deed."

But the young missionary, though saddened, was not discouraged. The
more barbarous and degraded he found the Indians to be, the more vivid
was his sense of their need of the Gospel; and was anything too hard
for the Lord? So he continued vigorously his study of the language,
assisted by an Indian named Clah. Taking an English dictionary, he
succeeded, by unwearied industry, in ascertaining the Tsimshean
equivalents for fifteen hundred of the most necessary words. At the
same time he set about making friends with the people. During the
winter, when the severe cold and the deep snow kept them much indoors,
he visited every house in turn, and on Jan. 14th he wrote:--

"To-day we have finished our calls. I have been inside 140 houses, all
large and strong buildings. The largest would measure, I imagine, about
sixty by forty feet. One house I was not permitted to enter, as they
had not finished their sorceries for the season. However they sent me
out an account of their family. In all, I counted 2,156 souls, namely,
637 men, 756 women, and 763 children; and, making an addition for those
away procuring fuel, and those at the Fort, I estimate the sum-total of
residents to be 2,325, which is rather over than under the true number.
The total number rendered by themselves, which of course includes all
that belongs to them, whether married into other tribes or living
south, is 2,567. These are divided into nine tribes, but all speak the
same language, and have one general name--Tsimshean, So far as I am at
present able to make out, I calculate that there are seventeen other
tribes, all living within fifty miles of this place, which either speak
Tsimshean or something very near to it.

"It would be impossible for me to give a full description of this my first
general visit, for the scenes were too exciting and too crowded to admit
of it. I confess that cluster after cluster of these half-naked and
painted savages round their fires was, to my unaccustomed eyes, very
alarming. But the reception I met with was truly wonderful and
encouraging. On entering a house I was saluted by one, two, or three of
the principal persons with 'Clah-how-yah,' which is the complimentary term
used in the trading jargon. This would be repeated several times. Then a
general movement and a squatting ensued, followed by a breathless silence,
during which every eye was fixed upon me. After a time several would begin
nodding and smiling, at the same time reiterating, in a low tone, 'Ahm,
ahm ah ket, Ahm Shimauyet' ('Good, kind person, good chief'). My
interpreter would then ask them to let us know how many they had in their
family, which was instantly followed by a deafening clamour. Sometimes the
vociferation was so general that it was really bewildering to hear it.
Everybody was talking and trying to outdo the rest, and nobody was
listening. This storm, would be abruptly succeeded by a general hush, when
I was again pleasantly but rigidly scrutinized. Of course the attempt of
everybody to count was a failure, and so the business at last was taken up
by one of the leading persons, who generally succeeded to the satisfaction
of all. While this was going on, I managed to count and class the inmates
of the house, and look at the sick. In some houses they would not be
content until I took the chief place near the fire, and they always placed
a mat upon a box for me to sit upon. My enquiries after the sick were
always followed by anxious looks and deep sighs. A kind of solemn awe
would spread itself at once."

At length, after eight months' patient preparation, Mr. Duncan was
able to make his first attempt to convey to the Indians, in their own
tongue, the message of salvation through a crucified Saviour, by means
of a written address, which he had composed with infinite pains, and
which he proceeded to deliver at the houses of the different chiefs:--

"_June_ 13, 1858: _Lord's day_.--Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and let all creation join in chorus to bless His holy name. True to His
word, 'He giveth power to the faint, and to them that have no might. He
increaseth strength.' Bless for ever His holy name!

"Last week I finished translating my first address for the Indians.
Although it was not entirely to my satisfaction, I felt it would be
wrong to withhold the message any longer. Accordingly I sent word last
night (not being ready before) to the chiefs, desiring to use their
houses to-day to address their people in. This morning I set off,
accompanied by the young Indian (Clah), whom I have had occasionally to
assist me in the language. In a few minutes we arrived at the first
chief's house, which I found all prepared, and we mustered about one
hundred souls. This was the first assembly of Indians I had met. My
heart quailed greatly before the work--a people for the first time come
to hear the Gospel tidings, and I the poor instrument to address them
in a tongue so new and difficult to me. Oh, those moments! I began to
think that, after all, I should be obliged to get Clah to speak to
them, while I read to them from a paper in my hand. Blessed be God,
this lame resolution was not carried. My Indian was so unnerved at my
proposal, that I quickly saw I must do the best I could by myself, or
worse would come of it. I then told them to shut the door. The Lord
strengthened me. I knelt down to crave God's blessing, and afterwards I
gave them the address. They were all remarkably attentive. At the
conclusion I desired them to kneel down. They immediately complied, and
I offered up prayer for them in English. They preserved great
stillness. All being done, I bade them good-bye. They all responded
with seeming thankfulness. On leaving, I asked my Indian if they
understood me, and one of the chief women very seriously replied, 'Nee,
nee' ('yes'); and he assured me that from their looks he knew that they
understood and felt it to be good.

"We then went to the next chief's house, where we found all, ready, a
canoe-sail spread for me to stand on, and a mat placed on a box for me
to sit upon. About 150 souls assembled, and as there were a few of the
Fort people present, I first gave them a short address in English, and
then the one in Tsimshean. All knelt at prayer, and were very
attentive, as at the other place. This is the head chief's house. He is
a very wicked man, but he was present, and admonished the people to
behave themselves during my stay.

"After this I went in succession to the other seven tribes, and
addressed them in the chiefs' houses. In each case I found the chief
very kind and attentive in preparing his house and assembling his
people. The smallest company I addressed was about fifty souls, and the
largest about 200. Their obedience to my request about kneeling was
universal, but in the house where there were over 200 some confusion
took place, as they were sitting so close. However, when they heard me
begin to pray, they were instantly silent. Thus the Lord helped me
through. About 800 or 900 souls in all have heard me speak; and a great
number of them, I feel certain, have understood the message. May the
Lord make it the beginning of great good for this pitiable and long-lost

Mr. Duncan was now beginning to feel his way among the Indians, and
the head chief, Legaic, having offered him the use of his house for a
schoolroom, he opened school on June 28th. Twenty-six children attended
in the morning, and fourteen or fifteen adults in the afternoon. The
head chief and his wife took great interest, and assisted in every way
they could. Their house was made clean, and a seat was placed upon a
mat for Mr. Duncan. The children also came neat and clean; one boy only
had nothing but a blanket to cover him, and in his case it was not
poverty, but superstition, that prevented him from having a shirt on
like the rest. This poor lad had been initiated into the mysteries of
medicine in the previous winter, and so was forbidden by law to wear
any thing over him except a blanket or a skin for one year. If he had
put on a shirt, death would have been expected to ensue.

On Sunday, July 11th, God enabled him a second time to proclaim the
Gospel in another carefully-written address. He went, as on the first
occasion, to each of the nine tribes separately, and began and
concluded with prayer. At the concluding prayer almost all knelt, or
the exceptions were rare. One man, however, sullenly refused. It was
Quthray, the chief of the cannibal gang, of whom we shall hear again.

After a few weeks the school was suspended, in consequence of the
absence of the chief in whose house it was held. It had been used
sufficiently long, however, to show that it was appreciated by both
parents and children, and thus encouraged, Mr. Duncan determined to
commence to build a school-house. The wood had arrived in a raft, and a
number of Indians were engaged to assist in the building; but scarcely
had they begun to carry the wood up the hill, when one of the Indians
dropped dead. The news ran through the camp, and great alarm spread on
all sides. Mr. Duncan at first feared that owing to the superstition of
the Indians with regard to such events, the confidence which he had
secured among the people would be greatly shaken, and his work amongst
them retarded. But, through God's mercy, his fears were not realized.
He deemed it prudent to suspend the work for a time, but, after
repeated invitations from the Indians, he resumed it on Sept. 17th:--

"Yesterday I spoke to a few on the subject, and all seemed heartily
glad. One old chief said to me, 'Cease being angry now,' thinking, I
suppose, my delay was occasioned by anger. He assured me he would send
his men to help. It was quite encouraging to see how earnestly they
expressed their desire for me to proceed with the work, and I may
safely say the feeling was universal. This morning I went to the raft
at six a.m., but only one old man was there. In a little time came
other two or three, then a few more, then two chiefs. By about half
past six we mustered seven or eight workers on the raft, though several
more came out and sat at their doors, Indian like, as though they
wished only to look on. This seemed greatly in contrast with their
expressions to me yesterday; but such is the Indian. I knew it was of
no use to push, so I patiently waited. About half-past six one of the
Indians on the raft sprang to his feet, gave the word of starting,
which is a peculiar kind of whoop, and he, with the few so inadequate
to the work, determined to begin. At this I proceeded up the beach to
the place for building upon, but what was my surprise when, on
returning, I met upwards of forty Indians carrying wood. They all
seemed to have moved in an instant, and sprung to the work with one
heart. The enthusiasm they manifested was truly gladdening, and almost
alarming. Amongst the number were several old men, who were doing more
with their spirited looks and words than with their muscles. The whole
camp seemed now excited. Encouraging words and pleasant looks greeted
me on every side. Every one seemed in earnest, and the heavy blocks and
beams began to move up the hill with amazing rapidity. When the Fort
bell rang for breakfast they proposed to keep on. One old man said he
would not eat till the work was done. However, I did not think it good
to sanction this enthusiasm thus far, but sent them off to their
houses. By three o'clock p.m. all was over, for which I was very glad,
for the constant whooping, groaning, and bawling of the Indians,
together with the difficulties of the work, from the great weight of
the pieces and the bad road, kept me in constant fear."

But no sooner had Mr. Duncan set up his school, and commenced work in
it, than the opposition of the medicine men began. They saw that if the
work progressed, "their craft was in danger of being set at nought."
The chiefs of three tribes had already declared that they had made up
their minds to abandon their sorceries.

On November 19th the new school was opened, and it was soon attended
by one hundred and forty children and fifty adults; but on December 1st
Mr. Duncan was told by the manager of the Fort that the head chief,
Legaic, was going to ask him to give up the school for about a month
during the medicine season. Shortly afterwards he was told that they
would be content if he would stay school for a fortnight, and after
that they would all come to be taught; but if he did not comply, they
intended stopping him by force, and had determined to shoot at the
pupils as they came to the school. Mr. Duncan had a long talk to two of
the officers about the matter, giving them plainly to understand that
he did not intend in the least degree to heed the threats of the
Indians. "Go on with my work I would, in spite of all. I told them
Satan had reigned long enough here; it was high time his rule should be
disturbed (as it is)." On December 20th he wrote:--

"This day has been a great day here. I have heartily to thank that all
-seeing Father who has covered me and supported me to-day. The devil and
wicked men leagued to overthrow me this day, but the Lord would not
have it so. I am still alive. This morning the medicine party, who are
carrying on their work near to the school, broke out with renewed fury.
On going to school, I observed a crowd of these wretched men in a house
that I was approaching. As soon as I got into the school, the wife of
the head chief came to beg me to give up school for a little time. She
was certainly very modest in her manner and request, but altogether
unsuccessful. I spoke to her a little, and then she said (what I knew
to be false) that neither she nor her husband desired to go on with the
medicine-work, for, they often cried to see the state of things, but it
was the tribe that urged them to do what they were doing. When she saw
she could prevail nothing, not even so much as to prevent striking the
steel (used as a bell), which they have a peculiar hatred for, she left
me. I then went up the ladder and struck the steel myself, as I did not
like to send a boy up. Very soon about eighty pupils were in the
school, and we went on as usual.

"This afternoon a boy ran to strike the steel, and not many seconds
elapsed before I saw the head chief (Legaic) approaching, and a whole
gang of medicine men after him, dressed up in their usual charms. The
chief looked very angry, and bade the boy cease. I waited at the door
until he came up. His first effort was to rid the school of the few
pupils that had just come in. He shouted at the top of his voice, and
bade them he off. I immediately accosted him, and demanded to know what
he intended or expected to do. His gang stood about the door, and I
think seven came in. I saw their point: it was to intimidate me by
their strength and frightful appearance; and I perceived the chief,
too, was somewhat under the influence of rum. But the Lord enabled me
to stand calm, and, without the slightest fear, to address them with
far more fluency, in their tongue, than I could have imagined possible
--to tell them of their sin faithfully--to vindicate my conduct--to
exhort them to leave their bad ways, and also to tell them they must
not think to make me afraid. I told them that God was my Master, and I
must obey Him rather than them, and that the devil had taught their
fathers what they were practising, and it was bad, but what I was
teaching now was God's way, and it was good. Our meeting lasted for
more than an hour. I saw a great many people at a distance looking
anxiously at our proceedings, the school door being open. The chief
expressed himself very passionately, now and then breaking out into
furious language, and showing off his savage nature by his gestures.
Towards the close of the scene, two of the confederates, vile-looking
fellows, went and whispered something to him, upon which he got up from
a seat he had just sat down upon, stamped his feet on the floor, raised
his voice as high as he could, and exhibited all the rage and defiance
and boldness that he could. This was all done, I knew, to intimidate
me, but, blessed be God, he did not succeed. Finding his efforts
unavailing, he went off.

"The leading topics of the chiefs angry conversation were as follows--
He requested four days' suspension of the school, he promised that, if
I complied, he and his people would then come to school, but threatened
if my pupils continued to come on the following days, he would shoot at
them, lastly, he pleaded, that if the school went on during the time he
specified, then some medicine men, whom he expected on a visit shortly
from a distant tribe, would shame, and, perhaps, kill him. Some of his
sayings during his fits of rage were, that he understood how to kill
people, occasionally drawing his hand across his throat to show me what
he meant, that when he died he knew he should go down, he could not
change, he could not be good, or, if I made him good, why, then, he
supposed he should go to a different place from his forefathers, this
he did not desire to do. On one occasion, whilst he was talking, he
looked at two men, one of them a regular pupil of mine, and the other a
medicine-man, and said, 'I am a murderer, and so are you, and you'
(pointing to each of these men), 'and what good is it for us to come to
school?' Here I broke in, and blessed be God, it gave me an opportunity
of telling the three murderers that pardon was now offered to them if
they would repent, and amend, and go to Jesus our Saviour."

It was afterwards found out that Legaic, at the moment of his most
violent fury, had caught sight of Clah (who, unknown to Mr. Duncan, was
watching over him with a revolver), and knew that, if he touched the
missionary, it would be at the risk of his life. So it ever is: "in
some way or other, the Lord will provide!"

This conduct on the part of Legaic was the more discouraging, inasmuch
as he had, in the first instance, as we have seen, given up his own
house for the school. So persistent, however, was his hostility at this
time, and so great were the difficulties in the way of attending
school, that Mr. Duncan was at length obliged to close the new
building, and another chief having offered him the use of his house for
a school, where the children and others would not be afraid to come, he
readily availed himself of his kindness, and was soon able to report
the steady progress of the work. On Christmas Day he wrote:--

"Yesterday I told my scholars to bring their friends and relatives to
school to-day, as I wanted to tell them something new. We numbered over
200 souls. I tried to make them understand why we distinguished this
day from others. After this I questioned the children a little, and
then we sang two hymns, which we also translated. While the hymns were
being sung, I felt I must try to do something more, although the
language seemed to defy me. I never experienced such an inward burning
to speak before, and therefore I determined to try an extemporaneous
address in Tsimshean. The Lord helped me: a great stillness prevailed,
and, I think, a great deal was understood of what I said. I told them
of our condition, the pity and love of God, the death of the Son of God
on our account, and the benefits arising to us therefrom; and exhorted
them to leave their sins and pray to Jesus. On my enumerating the sins
of which they are guilty, I saw some look at each other with those
significant looks which betokened their assent to what I said. I tried
to impress upon them the certain ruin which awaits them if they proceed
in their present vices. Very remarkably, an illustration corroborating
what I said was before their eyes. A poor woman was taken sick, not
four yards from where I stood, and right before the eyes of my
audience. She was groaning under a frightful affliction, the effect of
her vices."



From the extract last given we can gather that, notwithstanding the
opposition of some, and the frightful depravity of all, Mr. Duncan
seemed to be gaining the ear of the people just in proportion as he
advanced in fluency of speech in their mother tongue. And during the
following year, 1859, not a few tokens for good were granted him. In
some parts of the camp open drunkenness and profligacy were
diminishing, and the comparative quiet and decorum consequent on this
made a great impression on the rest. In March a meeting of chiefs was
held at Legaic's house, at which Mr. Duncan's arguments against many of
their most degrading customs were discussed, and generally approved;
and a message was sent to him that they wished him to "speak strong"
against the "bad ways" of their people. On April 6th, Legaic himself
appeared at the school, not now to intimidate the missionary, but to
sit at his feet as a learner. Others followed his example; and when, in
August, one notoriously bad character, named Cushwaht, broke into the
school with a hatchet, intending to shoot Mr. Duncan, and, not finding
him there, smashed all the windows, the greatest indignation was
expressed on every side, and Mr. Duncan had to implore the people not
to shed the offender's blood.

Nor were only outward changes visible. It was soon manifest that the
Spirit of God was at work in the hearts of some. On October 10th a most
encouraging incident occurred:--

"I was informed, on coming out of the school this afternoon, that a
young man, who has been a long time suffering in consumption (brought
on by a severe cold), and whom I have visited several times, was dying;
so, after a little reflection, some misgiving, and prayer, I started
off to see him. I found him, as his wife had said, dying. Over twenty
people were about him; some were crying, and two, I am sorry to say,
were partly intoxicated. I looked on for some time in silent sorrow.
When I wished to speak, silence immediately ensued. I rebuked the noise
and tumult, and directed the dying man to fix his heart on the Saviour
Jesus, to forget the things about him, and spend his little remaining
time in praying in his heart to God to save him. His reply was, 'O yes,
sir; O yes, sir;' and for some moments he would close his eyes, and
seemed absorbed in prayer. He begged me, with much earnestness, to
continue to teach his little girl. He wanted her to be good. This
little girl is about seven years old: her name is Cathi. She has been
very regular at school since I commenced, and has made nice progress.
Much to my comfort, a young woman sat by his side, who has been one of
my most regular pupils. She is in the first class, and can read
portions of the Bible. Her intelligence is remarkable, and I have
observed her to be always listening to religious instruction. Thus,
here was one sitting close to the dying man who could tell him, much
more accurately than I, the few directions I desired to utter. What a
remarkable providence it seemed to me! With tears in her eyes, she
begged him to give his heart to God and to pray to Him. I longed to
pray with him, and watched anxiously a long time for the opportunity.
The opportunity came, and the strength came with it. I knelt down by
his side. All was hushed, and I prayed from a full heart to the Lord
our God to have mercy upon the poor soul about to come into His
presence, for the sake of His dear Son Jesus. I felt sure that the Lord
heard my prayer, and I can indulge a hope for this poor man's

There was much in the case of this young man which encouraged Mr.
Duncan in the hope that he was a true believer in Christ. He understood
the main and leading truths of the Gospel, and he frequently prayed
much to God. Daring his sickness, he never permitted the medicine folks
to operate upon him; and this of itself showed a wonderful change in
him. He died the following night, having reassured the people around
him of his safety, and had a very solemn parting from his little girl.

Thus, just two years after the solitary Missionary had landed on the
coast as a stranger, the first fully ripened fruit of his labours was
gathered into the heavenly garner.

In January, 1860, the first Bishop of Columbia, Dr. Hills, arrived at
Victoria. Observing the deplorable condition into which the Indians
fell who flocked thither, and thus came into contact with the vices of
an outlying colonial settlement, the Bishop invited Mr. Duncan to come
down and organise some Christian work amongst them. He accordingly
spent two or three months in the summer there, holding Tsimshean
services, and opening a school. A good work was thus set on foot, which
has since been successfully carried on by others.

At this time Captain Prevost returned to England, and as a specimen of
the results so far of the Mission which his own loving zeal had
originated, brought home with him a little journal kept, during Mr.
Duncan's absence at Victoria, by one of the Tsimshean boys at Fort
Simpson. Here are some fragments of it:--

"_Tuesday, April_ 4_th_, 1860.--If will die my father, then
will very poor my heart 4 my brother all die; only one Shooquanahts
save, and two my uncle save. I will try to make all things. I want to
be good, and I want to much work hard. When we have done work, then
will please, Sir, Mr. Duncan, will you give me a little any thing when
you come back."

"_April_ 17: _School, Fort Simpson_.--Shooquanahts not two
hearts--always one my heart. Some boys always two hearts. Only one
Shooquanahts--not two heart, no. If I steal any thing then God will
see. Bad people no care about Son of God: when will come troubled
hearts, foolish people. Then he will very much cry. What good cry?
Nothing. No care about our Saviour; always forget. By and by will
understand about the Son of God."

"_May_ 17.--I do not understand some prayers, only few prayers I
understand; not all I understand, no. I wish to understand all prayers.
When I understand all prayers, then I always prayer our Saviour Jesus
Christ. I want to learn to prayer to Jesus Christ our Saviour: by and
by I understand all about our Saviour Christ: when I understand all
what about our Saviour, then I will happy when I die. If I do not learn
about our Saviour Jesus, then I will very troubled my heart when I die.
It is good for us when we learn about our Saviour Jesus. When I
understand about our Saviour Jesus, then I will very happy when I die."

Another encouraging case is that of an old man, of whom Mr. Duncan

"One night, when I was encamping out, after a weary day, the supper
and the little instruction being over, my crew of Indians, excepting
one old man, quickly spread their mats near the fire, and lay down to
sleep in pairs, each sharing his fellow's blanket. The one old man sat
near the fire smoking his pipe. I crept into my little tent, but, after
some time, came out again to see that all was right. The old man was
just making his bed (a thin bark mat on the ground, a little box of
grease, and a few dry salmon for his pillow--a shirt on, and a blanket
round him--another bark mat over all, his head too, formed his bed in
the open air, during a cold, dark night in April). When everything was
adjusted, he put his pipe down, and offered up, in his own tongue, this
simple little prayer, 'Be merciful to me, Jesus.' Then he drew up his
feet, and was soon lost to view."

Mr. Duncan had now the joy of welcoming a fellow-labourer. The Rev. L.
S. Tugwell, who had been allotted by the Society to a Mission which
looked so hopeful, arrived with Mrs. Tugwell in August, and at once
threw himself with the utmost earnestness into the work of preparation
for future usefulness. But to his keen disappointment the health of
both entirely broke down in the damp climate, where sometimes the rain
falls for ten months out of the twelve, and he was obliged to return to
England after fourteen months' residence on the coast.

Before leaving, however, Mr. Tugwell had the high privilege of
admitting into the visible Church its first Tsimshean members. On July
26th, 1861, fourteen men, five women, and four children were baptized.
Others were deterred by heathen relatives. Some candidates were not
passed. But of these, Mr. Duncan wrote, "We truly hope they are indeed
children of God."

But other fruit, though not so ripe, was now plainly visible, and had
begun to attract public attention. In January, 1860, Mr. Duncan
received a letter from the Rev. E. Cridge, the English chaplain at
Victoria, conveying a message from the Governor, Sir James Douglas:--

"I am requested by his Excellency the Governor to express to you the
great gratification he has received from conversing with several of the
Indians who have been under your instruction at Fort Simpson, and who
are now at Victoria; and his pleasure at witnessing the great
improvement in manners, bearing, and religion which you have succeeded
in effecting in their condition. His Excellency trusts you will
continue to show the same energy, perseverance, and zeal which he is
sure you must already have applied to the work, and that your labour
will be rewarded by a still larger measure of success. His Excellency
also wishes me to say that he would feel obliged by your reporting to
him from time to time on the progress of your Mission. Any suggestions
you may make with regard to measures which may occur to you as likely
to prove beneficial to the Indians under your care, such as settling
them in any particular locality, or setting apart a reserve of land for
their use, will receive his Excellency's best attention; who will also,
if necessary, represent any such measures, with his favourable
recommendation to her Majesty's Government."

Commander Mayne, R.N., mentions in his interesting book, _Four Years
in British Columbia_ (p. 212), that Captain G. Y. H. Richards, of H.
M. S. _Hecate_, who was in command on the coast at this time, was
so much struck by Mr. Duncan's success, that he said to him, "Why do
not more men come out? Or, if the missionary societies cannot afford
them, why does not Government send out fifty, and place them up the
coast at once? Surely it would not be difficult to find fifty good men
in England willing to engage in such a work; and their expenses would
be almost nothing compared with the cost which the country must sustain
to subdue the Indians by force of arms. And such," adds Commander
Mayne, "are the sentiments of myself--in common, I believe, with all my
brother officers--after nearly five years' constant and close
intercourse with the Natives of Vancouver's Island and the coast."



As early as July, 1859, Mr. Duncan had foreseen the necessity, if the
Mission were not only to save individual souls from sin, but to
exercise a wholesome influence upon the Indian tribes generally, of
fixing its head-quarters at some place removed from the contamination
of ungodly white men. "What," he wrote, "is to become of children and
young people under instruction when temporal need compels them to leave
school? If they are permitted to slip away from me into the gulf of
vice and misery which everywhere surrounds them, then the fate of these
tribes is sealed." What that fate would be may be gathered from one of
Bishop Hills' first letters in 1860. He found that of one tribe more
than half had been cut off in a dozen years by drink and dissolute
habits; and the traffic in Indian females for immoral purposes was
openly carried on, from L40 to L60 per head being paid for them.
"Victoria," wrote Mr. Duncan, "although it is 500 miles from Fort
Simpson, will always prove the place of attraction to these tribes, and
to many even further away. There they become demoralised and filled
with disease; and from thence they return, laden with rum, to spread
scenes of horror too awful to describe."

The Tsimsheans who had come under Mr. Duncan's influence, themselves
implored him to devise some way of escape from the ruin they saw
impending on their nation. And he laid before the Society a plan for
establishing a colony, where well-disposed Indians might be gathered
together. His objects are thus succinctly stated in an official report
presented by him to the Canadian Government some years afterwards:--

"1st. To place all the Indians, when they became wishful to be taught
Christianity, out of the miasma of heathen life, and away from the
deadening and enthralling influence of heathen customs.

"2nd. To establish the Mission where we could effectively shut out
intoxicating liquors, and keep liquor vendors at bay.

"3rd. To enable us to raise a barrier against the Indians visiting
Victoria, excepting on lawful business.

"4th. That we might be able to assist the people thus gathered out to
develop into a model community, and raise a Christian village, from
which the native evangelist might go forth, and Christian truth radiate
to every tribe around.

"5th. That we might gather such a community around us, whose moral and
religious training and bent of life might render it safe and proper to
impart secular instruction.

"6th. That we might be able to break up all tribal distinctions and
animosities, and cement all who came to us, from whatever tribe, into
one common brotherhood.

"7th. That we might place ourselves in a position to set up and
establish the supremacy of the law, teach loyalty to the Queen,
conserve the peace of the country around, and ultimately develope our
settlement into a municipality with its native corporation."

The Indians themselves pointed out the locality for such a settlement,
a place called METLAKAHTLA, [Footnote: Metlakahtla = the inlet of Kahtla,
Kahtla was the name of the tribe formerly settled there.] occupying a
beautiful situation on the coast, seventeen miles from Fort Simpson. It
had formerly been their own home; but they had removed their tents to
Fort Simpson twenty years before for convenience of trade. Here they
would be free from the influences of the Fort, which were decidedly
adverse to the well-being of the Mission; they would have more
opportunity of social improvement; they would have plenty of beach room
for their canoes; and they would have plenty of land suitable for
gardens, which they did not possess at their present station, and a
channel always smooth, and abounding with salmon and shell-fish, while
its beauty formed a striking contrast to the dreary country around.

The project met with the entire approval of the Governor, and the
winter was occupied in preparing wood for the buildings, in the
expectation that the removal would be effected in the spring. But the
departure of Mr. Tugwell delayed the accomplishment of the scheme, and
it was not until the summer of 1862 that Mr. Duncan found himself able
to carry it out.

On May 18th, 1862, he began taking down the large temporary school
which had been put up at Fort Simpson, and three days later its
materials were rafted, and were on their way to the new site. Just then
a message from God of a most solemn kind came to the coast tribes. Only
two days after the raft had gone away, canoes from Victoria arrived
with the news that the smallpox had broken out among the Indians there;
and, worse still, it immediately became evident that the canoes had
brought the fell disease with them. "It was," wrote Mr. Duncan,
"evidently my duty immediately to see and warn the Indians. I had
previously determined to do this in a farewell visit to each tribe
before my departure from Fort Simpson, but I now felt doubly pressed to
call upon all quickly to surrender themselves to God. I therefore spent
the next few days in assembling and addressing each tribe (nine in all)
separately. Thus all in the camp again heard a warning voice; many,
alas! for the last time, as it proved. Sad to relate, hundreds of those
who heard me were soon and suddenly swept into eternity."

Even at that moment of alarm very few of the Indians could make up
their minds, when the time for departure came, to throw in their lot
with the new colony. Nor can we be surprised at this, when we read the
rules Mr. Duncan had framed for its guidance, admirable in themselves,
and now abundantly justified by their signal success, but still
involving a radical change in the habits of the Indians, and the
abandonment of some of their most cherished practices. They were
fifteen in number:--

   1. To give up their "Ahhed," or Indian devilry;
   2. To cease calling in conjurors when sick;
   3. To cease gambling;
   4. To cease giving away their property for display;
   5. To cease painting their faces;
   6. To cease drinking intoxicating drink;
   7. To rest on the Sabbath;
   8. To attend religious instruction;
   9. To send their children to school;
   10. To be clean;
   11. To be industrious;
   12. To be peaceful;
   13. To be liberal and honest in trade;
   14. To build neat houses;
   15. To pay the village tax.

Nevertheless, when the day of removal came, fifty Indians accompanied
Mr. Duncan to Metlakahtla:--

"On the 27th May, in the afternoon, we started off. All that were
ready to go with me occupied six canoes, and we numbered about fifty
souls--men, women, and children. Many Indians were seated on the beach,
watching our departure with solemn and anxious faces; and some promised
to follow us in a few days. The party with me seemed filled with solemn
joy as we pushed off, feeling that their long-looked-for flit had
actually commenced. I felt we were beginning an eventful page in the
history of this poor people, and earnestly sighed to God for His help
and blessing.

"The next day, the 28th May, we arrived at our new home about two p.m.
The Indians I had sent on before me with the raft I found hard at work,
clearing ground and sawing plank. They had carried all the raft up from
the beach, excepting a few heavy beams; erected two temporary houses;
and had planted about four bushels of potatoes for me.

"Every night we assembled, a happy family, for singing and prayer. I
gave an address on each occasion from one portion of Scriptural truth
suggested to me by the events of the day."

And a much larger number were not long in following. On June 6th a
fleet of thirty canoes arrived from Fort Simpson, bringing nearly three
hundred souls; in fact nearly the whole of one tribe, the Keetlahn,
with two chiefs. Not many days, however, elapsed before the dreaded
cloud overshadowed the coast. Small-pox broke out at Fort Simpson, and
seized upon the Indians; and although for awhile they were content to
ward it off, as they thought, by incessant conjuring, yet when some of
the leading medicine men themselves fell victims to the disease, a
great fear fell upon all, and they fled in all directions, but only
spread the fatal scourge more widely by so doing. Many came to
Metlakahtla, and though Mr. Duncan refused to receive some, he could
not refuse all. "For the temporal and spiritual welfare of my own
people," he wrote, "who now clung to me like timid children, I was kept
in constant labour and pressing anxiety. Death stared us in the face on
every hand. But God remembered us in the day of our calamity;" and of
the original settlers only five were cut off. One of these was Stephen
Ryan, one of the first group baptized by Mr. Tugwell in the preceding
year. A touching account is given of his end:

"He died in a most distressing condition, so far as the body is
concerned. A way from everyone whom he loved, in a little bark hut on a
rocky beach just beyond the reach of the tide, which no one of his
relatives or friends dared to approach except the one who nursed him;
in this damp, lowly, distressing state, suffering from the malignant
disease of small-pox, how cheering to receive such words as the
following from him: 'I am quite happy. I find my Saviour very near to
me. I am not afraid to die; heaven is open to receive me. Give my
thanks to Mr. Duncan: he told me of Jesus. I have hold of the ladder
that reaches to heaven. All Mr. Duncan taught me I now feel to be
true.' Then, saying that he wished to be carried to his relatives, his
words were, 'Do not weep for me. You are poor, being left; I am not
poor: I am going to heaven. My Saviour is very near to me: do all of
you follow me to heaven. Let not one of you be wanting. Tell my mother
more clearly the way of life: I am afraid she does not yet understand
the way. Tell her not to weep for me, but to get ready to die. Be all
of one heart and live in peace.'"

Notwithstanding this heavy trial, the infant settlement grew and
prospered; and in the following March, 1863, Mr. Duncan, in a letter to
the Society, summed up the results of the Mission so far in these
remarkable words:--

"The Lord has sustained His work, and given marked evidence of His
presence and blessing. Above one-fourth of the Tsimsheans from Fort
Simpson, a few Tongass, Nishkah, Keethrathla, and Keetsahlass Indians
(which tribes occupy a circle of about seventy miles round Fort
Simpson), have been gathered out from the heathen, and have gone
through much labour, trial, and persecution, to come on the Lord's
side. About 400 to 600 souls attend Divine service on Sundays, and are
being governed by Christian and civilized laws. About seventy adults
and twenty children are already baptized, or are only waiting for a
minister to come and baptize them. About 100 children are attending the
day schools, and 100 adults the evening school. About forty of the
young men have formed themselves into two classes, and meet for prayer
and exhorting each other. The instruments of the medicine-men, which
have spell-bound their nation for ages, have found their way into my
house, and are most willingly and cheerfully given up. The dark and
cruel mantle of heathenism has been rent so that it cannot be healed.
Numbers are escaping from under its deadly embrace. Customs, which form
the very foundation of Indian government, and lie nearest the Indian's
heart, have been given up, because they have an evil tendency. Feasts
are now characterized by order and good will, and begin and end with
the offering of thanks to the Giver of all good. Thus the surrounding
tribes have now a model village before them, acting as a powerful
witness for the truth of the Gospel, shaming and correcting, yet still
captivating them; for in it they see those good things which they and
their forefathers have sought and laboured for in vain, viz., peace,
security, order, honesty, and progress. To God be all the praise and
glory! Amen and amen."

To this may be added some extracts from a formal report which he sent
to the Governor at the same time, and which gives a most interesting
account of the material prospects of the settlement:--

"_Metlahkatlah, 6th March, 1863._,

"Sir,--The Tsimshean Indians, who have lately removed from Fort
Simpson under my superintendence and settled here, are very anxious to
tender your Excellency their warmest thanks for the liberal and timely
aid which you have rendered them in building their new village. The 150
window-sashes and 600lbs. of nails, which came of your bounty of L50,
arrived quite safely in September last by the Hudson Bay Company's
steamer 'Labouchere,' and have been duly distributed and appropriated
as follows:--To thirty-five houses (averaging about 34 feet by 18) four
window-sashes and 13lbs. of nails each; and to two smaller houses two
window-sashes and 6lbs. of nails each. Five window-sashes and about
130lbs. of nails remain.

"In obedience to your Excellency's kind wish, I will proceed to lay
before you a few particulars respecting our new Indian Mission

"Your Excellency is aware of the dreadful plague of the small-pox with
which it pleased Almighty God to visit the Indians of this coast last
year, and by which many thousands of them were swept away. Though no
fewer than 500, or one-fifth of the Tsimsheans at Fort Simpson, have
fallen, I have gratefully to acknowledge God's sparing mercy to us as a
village. We had only five fatal cases amongst those who originally left
Fort Simpson with me, and three of these deaths were caused by
attending to sick relatives who came to us after taking the disease.
Yet so fearful was the amount of death and desolation on every side of
us till about the end of September, that the Indians had but little
spirit left for building, or even for the gathering necessary food for
the winter. Thus it was that they found inclement weather upon them
long before they were properly housed. In addition to the great amount
of labour and trouble attendant upon moving and building new houses, we
have had to encounter great opposition from many of the Indians from
Fort Simpson, who, in spite of the great warnings they have had,
continue still to be steeped in drunkenness and heathenism. Nor has the
conflict been one wholly outward, if indeed mainly so. For to many who
have joined me, the surrendering their national and heathen customs
performed over the sick--ceasing to give away, tear up, or receive
blankets, etc., for display, dropping precipitately their demoniacal
rites, which have hitherto and for ages filled up their time and
engrossed all their care during the months of winter--laying aside
gambling, and ceasing to paint their faces--had been like cutting off
the right hand and plucking out the right eye. Yet I am thankful to
tell you that these sacrifices have been made; and had your Excellency
heard the speeches made by the chiefs and some of the principal men at
our Christmas evening meeting, alluding to these and other matters, you
would, I am sure, have rejoiced.

"On New Year's Day the male adult settlers came cheerfully forward to
pay the village tax, which I had previously proposed to levy yearly,
viz., one blanket, or two and a half dollars of such as have attained
manhood, and one shirt or one dollar of such as are approaching
manhood. Out of 130 amenable we had only ten defaulters, and these were
excused on account of poverty. Our revenue for this year, thus
gathered, amounts to 1 green, 1 blue, and 94 white blankets, 1 pair of
white trousers, 1 dressed elk skin, 17 shirts, and 7 dollars. The half
of this property I propose to divide among the three chiefs who are
with us, in recognition of stated services which they will he required
to render to the settlement and the other half to spend on public works.

"As to our government, all disputes and difficulties are settled by
myself and ten constables, but I occasionally call in the chiefs, and
intend to do so more and more, and when they become sufficiently
instructed, trustworthy and influential, I shall leave civil matters in
their hands. I find the Indians very obedient, and comparatively easy
to manage, since I allow no intoxicating drinks to come into our
village. Though we are continually hearing of the drunken festivals of
the surrounding tribes, I am happy to tell you that Metlahkatlah has
not yet witnessed a case of drunkenness since we have settled here--a
period of ten months. Still, not all with me are true men. Some few, on
their visits to Fort Simpson, have fallen, and two, whose cases were
clearly proved and admitted of no extenuation, I have banished from our

"On Sabbath days labour is laid aside, a solemn quiet presides, and
the best clothing is in use. Scarcely a soul remains away from Divine
Service, excepting the sick and their nurses. Evening family devotions
are common to almost every house, and, better than all, I have a hope
that many have experienced a real change of heart. To God be all the
praise and glory!

"We have succeeded in erecting a strong and useful building, capable
of containing at least 600 people, which we use as church and school.
We held our first meeting in this building on the night it was
finished, the 20th December last. I have about 100 children, who attend
morning and afternoon, and about 100 adults (often more) in the
evening. I occupy the principal part of the time in the adult school,
in giving simple lectures on geography, astronomy, natural history, and
morals. These lectures the Indians greatly prize.

"On the 6th February we commenced our first works, viz., making a road
round the village. This will take us some time to complete, as the
ground is very uneven, and much of it wooded. I propose, after the road
is conveniently finished, to set about building, out of our public
fund, two good sized houses for the accommodation of strange Indians
when they come to trade with us, and thus prevent the interference to
domestic comfort and improvement arising to the villagers from these
visits under the old system. I have other public works in view, such as
fixing proper rests for canoes when unemployed, laying slides for
moving canoes on the beach and into the water at low tides, also
sinking wells and procuring pumps for public use, etc., etc.

"I feel, also, that it is of vast importance to seek out profitable
employment for those with me, and thus keep them away from those labour
markets which exhibit temptations too strong and vices too fascinating
for the Indian, in his present morally infantile condition, to
withstand. Hence, I have already measured out and registered over 100
plots of ground for gardens, situated in various parts of the channel
in which we are settled. These, the Indians are anxious to cultivate. I
have also desired them to prepare salt and smoked fish, fish grease and
dried berries, which, with furs, will form our first articles of
exportation. Other branches of labour will arise in due course. But in
order to set about thus much, we need seed (especially the potato),
salt, direct means of communication with Victoria, and an agent there.

"I am anxious that even the trading vessel should be in our own hands,
first, because the Indians would, on that account, feel a deeper
interest in her, and exert themselves the more to keep her well and
profitably employed, secondly, the profits of the vessel would redound
to the village, and, thirdly, it is necessary to avoid having
intercourse with that barbarous class of men who are employed in running
the small vessels up the coast, which, by trading in intoxicating drink,
are all doing a work not easily described, and not readily believed by
those who do not witness it. Their visits to the Indian camps are
invariably marked by murder, and the very maddest riots. To purchase the
vessel we need, I suppose from L100 to L150 will be required. I
therefore propose that 100 Indians shall subscribe L1 or L1 10s, or the
equivalent in furs. The Indians are willing to do their utmost, and I
expect to have to render them little help, beyond seeking out the
vessel, and I do not intend to give them any pecuniary aid, except to
procure such things as, through ignorance or inexperience, they despise,
but such as are, nevertheless, essential to their well-being and

"Trusting, by God's blessing upon us, we shall go on improving, and
continue to merit your Excellency's favour and good-will,

"I have the honour to remain, with warmest gratitude,

"Your Excellency's humble and obedient Servant,


_"To His Excellency, James Douglas, Esq., C. B,

"Governor of Vancouver's Island and British Columbia."_



While the work at Metlakahtla was thus prospering materially, and
increasing in general moral influence, under the blessing of Him
without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy, higher spiritual
blessings were not withheld. Fresh classes of candidates for baptism
had been formed during the last winter at Fort Simpson, and were
continued diligently at the new settlement; and in April, 1862, the
Bishop of Columbia, at Mr. Duncan's request, took the journey to
Metlakahtla to baptize as many as might be found ready. But before
this, one of the most interesting converts, a miracle of grace indeed,
had been baptized, in the urgency of his special case, by Mr. Duncan
himself. This was Quthray, a cannibal chief, one of the two men whose
horrible orgies had met the eye of the newly-arrived missionary, at
Fort Simpson, four years and a half before, and who has also been
already mentioned as the one man who sullenly refused to kneel at Mr.
Duncan's second service. He had, however, become one of the most
regular and earnest attendants at the services and classes, and gave
unmistakable evidence that Divine grace had indeed changed his heart.
He joined the Metlakahtla party, but had not been there long before he
fell ill. In October he passed away, a ransomed soul, to be a jewel in
His crown who came to seek and to save the lost:--

"_Saturday, 18th October, 1862_.--Just as I was rising this
morning I received intelligence that poor Quthray, the young cannibal
chief, was dying. I have frequently visited him during his illness, and
was with him for a long time a few nights ago. As he has long and
earnestly desired baptism, and expressed in such clear terms his
repentance for his sins, and his faith in the Saviour of sinners, I
told him that I would myself baptize him before he died, unless a
minister from Victoria arrived in time to do it. He always appeared
most thankful for my visits, and, with the greatest force he could
command, thanked me for my promise. Accordingly this morning I
proceeded to the solemn work of admitting a brand plucked from the
burning into the visible Church of Christ by baptism. Though I was not
sent here to baptize, but to preach the Gospel, yet I had no fear but
that I was doing what was pleasing to God in administering that sacred
rite to the poor dying man, as an officially appointed person was not
within several hundred miles of him. I found the sufferer apparently on
the very verge of eternity, but quite sensible, supported by his wife
on one side, and another woman on the other, in a sitting posture on
his lowly couch spread upon the ground. I addressed him at once,
reminding him of the promise I had made to him, and why I also spoke
some words of advice to him, to which he paid most earnest attention,
though his cough would scarcely permit him to have a moment's rest. A
person near expressed a fear that he did not understand what I said,
being so weak and near death, but he quickly, and with great emphasis,
exclaimed, '_I hear, I understand_' While I was praying his
expression of countenance was most lovely. With his face turned upward,
he seemed to be deeply engaged in prayer. I baptized him, and gave him
the name of Philip Atkinson. I earnestly besought the Lord to ratify in
heaven what He had permitted me to do in His name, and to receive the
soul of the poor dying penitent before Him. He had the same resignation
and peace which he has evinced throughout his sickness, weeping for his
sins, depending all upon the Saviour, confident of pardon, and
rejoicing in hope.

"This is the man of whom I have had to write more than once to the
Society. Oh the dreadful and revolting things I have witnessed him do!
He was one of the two principal actors in the first horrid scene I saw
at Fort Simpson about four and a half years ago, an account of which I
sent home, namely, that of a poor slave woman being murdered in cold
blood, thrown on the beach, and then torn to pieces and eaten by two
naked savages, who were supported by a crew of singers and the noise of
drums. This man was one of those naked cannibals. Glorious change! See
him clothed and in his right mind, weeping--weeping sore for his sins--
expressing to all around his firm belief in the Saviour, and dying in
peace. Bless the Lord for all His goodness."

It was on April 21st, 1863, that the Bishop baptized at Metlakahtla
fifty-nine adults and some children. On the 19th, Sunday, he landed
from the "Devastation;" and for two days he was incessantly occupied in
examining the candidates. His account is deeply interesting:--

"We were met by the whole village, who stood on the bank, in a long
line--as fine a set of men and as well-dressed as could anywhere be
seen where men live by their daily toil--certainly no country village
in England would turn out so well-clad an assemblage.

"At three the bell was rung, and almost instantly the whole population
were wending their way to church. There were hymns and prayers in
Tsimshean. They repeated the answers to a catechism in Tsimshean. I
addressed them, and offered prayers in English, which were interpreted
by Mr. Duncan. There was much earnest response. The service lasted one
hour and three quarters. There was an evidence of devotion. Mr. Duncan
plays the accordion.

"Monday, April 20th.--Got to the Mission-house at eight to breakfast.
Afterwards engaged the whole day seeing catechumens till one o'clock
next morning. One after another the poor Indians pressed on to be
examined. They had been under training for periods varying from eight
months to three years. They had long been looking for a minister to
admit them to baptism. It was a strange yet intensely interesting sight
in that log cabin, by the dim glimmer of a small lamp, to see just the
countenance of the Indian, sometimes with uplifted eyes, as he spoke of
the blessedness of prayer--at other times, with downcast melancholy, as
he smote upon his breast in the recital of his penitence. The tawny
face, the high cheek-bone, the glossy jet-black flowing hair, the dark,
glassy eye, the manly brow, were a picture worthy the pencil of the
artist. The night was cold--I had occasionally to rise and walk about
for warmth--yet there were more. The Indian usually retires as he
rises, with the sun, but now he would turn night into day if he might
only be allowed to 'have the sign,' and be fixed in the good ways of

"Tuesday, April 21st.--Immediately after breakfast, having had prayer,
the work again began. Catechumens came in, and, one by one, were
sifted; some, to their grief, were deferred. One man came and begged he
might be passed, for he might not live till the next visit of a
clergyman. Another brought a friend, and said, if I would only admit
his wife to baptism, they would promise for her she should persevere
and live to God. Another, a fine child of fourteen, I had thought too
young to answer for herself--one who had always shown remarkable love
for instruction, and had stood by the school when the many were its
foes. She came with tears of entreaty which were irresistible and
beautiful, and lovely was the sensitive intelligence which beamed upon
her devotional features when afterwards she received the waters of
baptism. Till four o'clock was I thus engaged, an hour after the time
appointed for the baptisms.

"The peculiar suitableness of the questions in the Baptismal Service
to the case of converts from heathenism was very remarkably illustrated
throughout the examination. Converts from heathenism can fully realize
renunciation of the world, the flesh, and the devil. Amongst these
Indians, pomp of display, the lying craft of malicious magic, as well
as all sins of the flesh, are particularly glaring, and closely
connected with heathenism. To them these things are part and parcel of
heathenism. So are the truths of the Creed in strongest contrast to the
dark and miserable fables of their forefathers; and heartily can they
pledge themselves to keep the holy will of God all the days of their
life, seeing in Him a loving and true Father, of whom now so lately,
but so gladly, they have learnt to know.

"I first drew forth their views of the necessity of repentance, its
details, and their own personal acquaintance with it. I then questioned
them as to the Three Persons of the Trinity, and the special work of
each, with allusion to the Judgment, and the state of the soul
hereafter, inquiring into their private devotion, to learn their
personal application of repentance and faith, I questioned their
anxiety for baptism, and demanded proof of their resolution to keep the
will of God for their guide, to speak for God, and to labour for God's
way all their life long. I sought to find out the circumstances under
which they first became seriously inclined, and to trace their steps of
trial and grace. Admitting them to the promise of baptism, I exhorted
them to earnest prayer and devotion, as a special preparation, until
the time came.

"The examination concluded, the candidates, to the number of fifty-six,
were assembled in the church, and ranged in a large circle, in the midst
of which the ceremony was to take place.

"The impressiveness of the occasion was manifest in the devout and
reverent manner of all present. There were no external aids, sometimes
thought necessary for the savage mind, to produce or increase the
solemnity of the scene. The building is a bare and unfinished octagon
of logs and spars--a mere barn--sixty feet by sixty, capable of
containing 700 persons. The roof was partly open at the top; and,
though the weather was still cold, there was no fire, A simple table,
covered with a white cloth, upon which stood three hand-basins of
water, served for the font, and I officiated in a surplice. Thus there
was nothing to impress the senses, no colour, or ornament, or church
decoration, or music. The solemnity of the scene--was produced by the
earnest sincerity and serious purpose with which these children of the
Far West were prepared to offer themselves to God, and to renounce for
eer the hateful sins and cruel deeds of their heathenism; and the
solemn stillness was broken only by the breath of prayer. The responses
were made with earnestness and decision. Not an individual was there
whose lips did not utter in their own expressive tongue their hearty
readiness to believe and to serve God."

The following are some of the Bishop's notes of the examination:--

"Legaic (principal chief), aged 40.--_Answers_:--We must put away
all our evil ways. I want to take hold of God. I believe in God the
Father, who made all things, and in Jesus Christ. I constantly cry for
my sins when I remember them. I believe the good will sit near to God
after death. Am anxious to walk in God's ways all my life. If I turn
back it will be more bitter for me than before. I pray God to wipe out
my sins; strengthen me to do right; pity me. My prayers are from my
heart. I think sometimes God does not hear me, because I do not give up
all my sins. My sins are too heavy. I think we have not strength of

"Neeash-lakah-noosh (called 'the Lame Chief'; he is blind also of an
eye; fine old man), aged 70--_Answers_:--When asked if he wished
to become a Christian, said--For that object I came here with my
people. I have put away all lying ways, which I have long followed. I
have trusted in God. We want the Spirit of God. Jesus came to save us.
He compensated for our sins. Our Father made us, and loved us because
we are His work. He wishes to see us with Him because He loves as. When
asked about the judgment, said, The blood of Jesus will free those who
believe from condemnation. _Remarks_--Under regular instruction
for a year, and before that for some time by his daughter. Is most
consistent, trying to do simply what is right. The other day was
benighted on Saturday, on his way to spend the Sunday at Metlakahtla,
seven miles off. Would not come on, nor let his people gather herring
spawn, close under their feet, he rested the Lord's Day, according to
the commandment.

"Lappigh Kumlee, aged 30--_Answers_--I have given up the lucrative
position of sorcerer. Been offered bribes to practise my art secretly. I
have left all my mistaken ways. My eyes have been bored (enlightened). I
cry every night when I remember my sins. The great Father Almighty sees
everything. If I go up to the mountains He sees me. Jesus died for our
sins upon the cross to carry our sins away. _Remarks_--Dates his
change from seeing a convert reading a book, and he felt ashamed that he
knew nothing, and he determined to learn, and soon he found his own
system false. In one case, when his spirit said there would be recovery,
death came; in another, when he foretold death, life remained.

"Thrak sha kawn (sorcerer), aged 50--_Answers_--I wish to give up
all wicked ways. Have been a medicine-man, and know the lies of
heathenism. I believe in the great Father who made us, in Jesus who
died on the cross that God would pity us. I want the Spirit of God to
touch my heart. We must all stand before God. God will measure our
ways. No one to be his master but God. I will not keep my eyes on the
ground any more but will look up to heaven all my life. _Remarks_
--He has had to bear much scorn, and to go through much struggle.

"Wahthl (wife of Legaic), aged 40--_Answers_--I wish to put away
evil and have a clean heart. Feel the pain of the remembrance of sin so
bad I would sometimes like to die. I want to seek God's face, but feel
little hope, still I determine to persevere, though miserable. Loss of
relatives, and finding no peace and rest, and feeling in darkness led
me to look to God. I know that God sent His Son Jesus to die for our
sins. _Remarks_--About nine months under regular instruction. She
is evidently anxious for her soul, knows the truth, but her sins are
such a burden that she has not found peace. She has been anxious her
husband should go forward in good.

"Loosl (widow of the cannibal chief who died penitent), aged 25--
_Answers_--I know how blind I have been. Was first turned to God
by the news of the Saviour. Was struck that He came down amongst us.
God is a spirit full of love. Christ came to carry away our sins. We
must pray for the Spirit to help us. I confess my sins to God and cry
for pity. I pray for my friends. After death the judgment. We must
stand before God. Jesus will answer for those who trust in Him.
_Remarks_.--Upheld her husband in his wickedness. Was turned by
his turning at his death.

"Nishah-kigh (chieftainess of the Nishkahs), aged 45--_Answers_:--I
must leave all evil ways. I feel myself a sinner in God's sight. I
believe in God the Father Almighty, and in Jesus Christ, who died for
our sins. God sends down His Spirit to make us good. Jesus is in heaven,
and is writing our names in God's book. I feel God's Word is truth. Have
been for some time accustomed regularly to pray. _Remarks_.--Two
years ago she was found giving Christian instruction to a sick and dying
person. Her husband tells me she passed much time in devotion. When she
first heard the Word of God her sorrow was great, and her penitence more
than she could bear. Some five years she has been earnestly seeking God.

"Nayahk (wife of Lappligheumlee, a sorcerer), aged 25.--_Answers_:
--Answers well and clearly upon the separate work of each Person of the
Trinity. Prays for pardon--for the Holy Spirit. _Remarks_.--Suffered
much from the mockery of her husband. At her earnest demand he gave up
devilry. Been consistent in the midst of opposition; adhered to the
Mission when many were against. Has been a blessing to her family, all
of whom have renounced heathenism. Her husband, the sorcerer, laments
his past life, and would be the first to put his foot upon the evil

"Ad-dah-kippi (wife of a Christian Indian), aged 25.--_Answers_:--I
must put away sin. I know I have been making God angry, but must put
away all my old ways, lies, and the evil of my fathers. God gave us
commandments. God would not hear us till we put away our sins, Jesus
would make peace for us and add His Spirit. Am resolved to endeavour to
live to God all my life. Was much moved last fishing at my sinfulness,
and then repented strongly, and resolved to walk with God. I pray
morning, noon, and night for pardon and God's Spirit. _Remarks_.
--Had opposed her husband, who is a Christian."

One of those baptized, it will be seen, was the famous head-chief
himself, Legaic, the same who had threatened Mr. Duncan's life four
years before. He had been a ferocious savage, and had committed every
kind of crime. After he first began to attend the school, he twice fell
back; but the Spirit of God was at work in his heart, and when the
removal to Metlakahtla took place, he deliberately gave up his position
as head-chief of the Tsimshean tribes in order to join the colony.
Constant inducements were held out to him to return; and on one
occasion he actually gave way. He gathered the Indians together, on the
Metlakahtla beach, told them he could hold out no longer, and was going
back to his old life--that he could not help it, for he was being
pulied away--that he knew it was wrong, and perhaps he should perish
for ever, but still he must go. In tears he shook the hand of each in
turn, and then stepping alone into his canoe, paddled rapidly away from
his weeping friends. He went a few miles along the coast, and then, as
darkness came on, put the canoe ashore. The night was one of such
misery, he afterwards said, as no words could describe. "A hundred
deaths would not equal the sufferings of that night." On his knees he
wept and prayed for pardon, and for strength to return; and next day he
again appeared at Metlakahtla, to the joy of all.

Legaic, who before was "a blasphemer, a persecutor, and injurious,"
was baptized by the name of Paul. In him indeed did "Jesus Christ show
forth all long-suffering, for a pattern to them who shall hereafter
believe on Him to life everlasting."

The Rev. R. J. Dundas, who visited Metlakahtla six months later, and
baptized thirty-nine more adults and thirteen children, thus wrote of
Paul Legaic and his daughter Sarah:--

"I paid a visit to the wife of the chief Paul Legaic. He it was who
nearly took Mr. Duncan's life at the head of the medicine-band
attacking the school. They were both baptized by the Bishop last April.
Legaic was the wealthiest chief of the Tsimsheans at Fort Simpson. He
has lost everything--has had to give up everything by his conversion to
Christianity. It was with many of them literally a 'forsaking of all
things to follow Christ.'--His house is the nicest and best situated in
the village. A very little labour and expense in way of internal
fittings would make it quite comfortable. He and his wife have one
child only, a young girl of fourteen. She was a modest-looking,
pleasing child--very intelligent--one of the first class in the school.
She did not look like one who had ever been 'possessed with a devil;'
and yet this is the child whom, three years ago, her teacher saw naked
in the midst of a howling band, tearing and devouring the bleeding dog.
How changed! She who 'had the unclean spirit' sits now at the feet of
Jesus, clothed, and in her right mind."

On the occasion of a visit paid soon after this by Mr. Duncan to Fort
Simpson, Legaic, again like his great namesake, boldly preached the
faith which once he destroyed. Mr. Duncan wrote:--

"Feb. 6, 1864.--I have just returned from a visit to Fort Simpson. I
went to proclaim the Gospel once more to the poor unfeeling heathen
there. I laid the Gospel again distinctly before them, and they seemed
much affected. The most pleasing circumstance of all, and which I was
not prepared to expect, was, that Paul Legaic and Clah (the one in
times past a formidable enemy and opposer, and the other one among the
first to hear and greet the Gospel) sat by me, one on either side.
After I had finished my address on each occasion they got up and spoke,
and spoke well.

"Legaic completely shamed and confounded an old man, who, in replying
to my address, had said that I had come too late to do him and other
old people good; that, had I come when the first white traders came,
the Tsimsheans had long since been good; but they had been allowed to
grow up in sin; they had seen nothing among the first whites who came
amongst them to unsettle them in their old habits, but these had rather
added to them fresh sins, and now their sins were deep laid, they (he
and the other old people) could not change. Legaic interrupted him, and
said, 'I am a chief, a Tsimshean chief. You know I have been bad, very
bad, as bad as any one here. I have grown up and grown old in sin, but
God has changed my heart, and He can change yours. Think not to excuse
yourselves in your sins by saying you are too old and too bad to mend.
Nothing is impossible with God. Come to God; try His way; He can save
you.' He then exhorted all to taste God's way, to give their hearts to
Him, and to leave all their sins; and then endeavoured to show them
what they had to expect if they did so--_not_ temporal good, not
health, long life, or ease or wealth, but God's favour here and
happiness with God after death."

Legaic had been well known to the traders and others on the coast, and
the change in him caused the greatest astonishment among them. "Mr.
Duncan's Grand Vizier" they called him. One visitor wrote in the
Victoria paper:--

"Take a walk near the church, and you may see the mighty chief of Fort
Simpson (Legaic) standing under the porch of his well-built house,
ornamented with fancy casing around where the gutters should be, but
are not, and also around the windows. Legaic! why, I remember him
myself, some ten years ago, the terrifying murderer of women as well as
men, now lamb-led by the temperate hand of Christianity--a Church-going
example--an able ally of the Temperance Society, though not having
signed the pledge."

For seven years this once dreaded savage led a quiet and consistent
Christian life at Metlakahtla as a carpenter. In 1869, he was taken ill
at Fort Simpson, on his way home, after a journey to Nass River. He at
once sent this short note to Mr. Duncan:--

"Dear Sir,--I want to see you. I always remember you in my mind. I
shall be very sorry if I shall not see you before I go away, because
you showed me the ladder that reaches to heaven, and I am on that
ladder now. I have nothing to trouble me, I only want to see you."

But Mr. Duncan, to his great sorrow, was quite unable to get away from
his incessant duties at Metlakahtla. A second and third summons
followed in quick succession, and presently came the news of his death,
accompanied by a few unfinished lines:--

"My dear Sir,--This is my last letter, to say I am very happy. I am
going to rest from trouble, trial, and temptation. I do not feel afraid
to meet my God. In my painful body I always remember the words of our
Lord Jesus Christ."

Well may we say, "Is anything too hard for the Lord?"

Reverting to the history of the Mission, we find that in 1866 the
Bishop of Columbia paid a second visit to Metlakahtla, and after
careful examination, baptized sixty-five adult converts on Whit Sunday
in that year. "I truly believe," he wrote, "that most of these are
sincere and intelligent believers in Christ, as worthy converts from
heathenism as have ever been known in the history of the Church." And
in the autumn of the following year Mr. Cridge, then Dean of Victoria,
who had from the first manifested the deepest interest in the Mission,
stayed for some weeks at the settlement, and on September 8th baptized
ninety-six adult Indians and eighteen children.

Dean Cridge was struck by the advanced age of the candidates presented
to him. Twenty-six were over fifty; and one man, who was sixty-five,
said, "I feel like an infant, not able to say much; but I know that my
heart is turned to God, and that He has given His Son to wash away my
sins in His blood."

"When he entered the room to be examined, he knelt down and offered a
silent prayer. While speaking of his sins he showed emotion, and
covered his face. Amongst other answers, these are some of his words:
'I repent very much of my past sins before Jesus.' I asked why
Christians were not afraid to die; he said, 'Faith in God will make us
not afraid to die,' I baptized him Jeremiah; he is about forty years of
age. His wife was not less satisfactory in the testimony she gave of a
true conversion to God, and was added by baptism at the same time with
her husband to the fold of Christ."

What can we say to such tokens of true knowledge and faith as these,
but that the words of our Lord to Peter are still applicable to many
even of the most degraded heathen in our own day?--"Blessed art thou,
Simon Bar-Jona, for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but
my Father which is it Heaven!"



Metlakahtla is no hermit's cell in the wilderness, removed faraway
from the haunts of men, and exerting no influence upon them. Rather is
it a harbour of refuge, whose lights radiate forth into the darkness,
inviting the bark in distress to seek its friendly shelter, and guiding
even the passing vessel in its course. Very rapidly it acquired a
recognized position of importance and influence as the centre--one
might almost say the official centre--of all good work of every kind
among the coast Indians.

The growth of the settlement naturally added greatly to the heavy
burden of accumulated responsibilities which Mr. Duncan found himself
compelled to undertake. He was lay pastor and missionary, treasurer,
chief trader, clerk of the works, head schoolmaster, and the father and
friend of the people. In addition to this the Colonial Government
appointed him a magistrate, in order that he might have legal power to
dispense justice, not only at the Christian settlement, but along the
whole coast, wherever his influence extended. Thee village council and
constables referred to in the report already quoted (p. 4) were a great
assistance at Metlakahtla itself. But outside the settlement
magisterial duties brought sometimes a heavy burden of anxiety and
responsibility upon Mr. Duncan. In 1864, for instance, the authorities
desired him to arrest a smuggling vessel, from which some of the tribes
on the coast were obtaining spirits contrary to the law. He sent five
of his Indians to arrest the smuggler, but they failed in the attempt;
and not only so, but one of them was shot, and three others wounded. In
the following year a shocking incident occurred. The Indian camps at
that time were "deluged with fire-water," and Metlakahtla, because it
stood alone against "the universal tide of disorder," was threatened
with the vengeance of its heathen neighbours. A quantity of liquor was
landed there by a party of Kitahmaht Indians for sale. It was at once
seized. In revenge for this, they stole a little boy belonging to the
village while he was on a fishing expedition with his parents.
"Horrible to write, the poor little fellow was literally worried to
death, being torn to pieces by the mouths of a set of cannibals at a
great feast."

Nevertheless, Mr. Duncan's influence grew continually. In this very
case its power was, exhibited in his successfully interposing to allay
the exasperation of his people, and to prevent a war of extermination.
Even the white traders in fire-water themselves were sometimes touched.
The captain of one smuggling vessel, who was fined four hundred dollars
by Mr. Duncan in virtue of his magisterial authority, "afterwards
became one of his most active friends--a result partly due to the
impression created by what he saw at Metlakahtla, and partly to the
fact of Mr. Duncan having obtained restitution for him from the Indians
at Fort Simpson for injuries done to his vessel."

The moral influence exercised by the Mission is most strikingly
illustrated by an incident related by the Bishop of Columbia. In 1862,
H.M.S. "Devastation" sailed up the coast seeking the three Indian
murderers of the two white men: The Indians gave up two, but would not
surrender the third. Two lives for two lives was their notion of equal
justice. But as soon as the ship was out of sight, the murderer left
his tribe, went to Metlakahtla, and gave himself up to Mr. Duncan.
"Whatever you tell me to do," he said, "I will do. If you say I am to
go on board the gun-ship when she comes again, I will go." Six months
afterwards the "Devastation" again came up to Metlakahtla, and fired a
gun to announce her arrival. The murderer heard it. Had his resolution
broken down after so long an interval? He went straight to Mr. Duncan,
and said, "What am I to do?" "You must come with me a prisoner." He
went on board with the missionary, and delivered himself to the
captain. "Thus," justly observed Bishop Hills, "what the ship of war
with its guns and threats could not do for civilization, for protection
of life, for justice, the simple character and influence of one
missionary availed to accomplish." In due course this man was brought
to trial for his crime, when it came out that he had been an unwilling
participator, and he was pardoned. On his release he went back to
Metlakahtla, and was baptized by the Bishop in 1866.

A similar and very interesting case occurred in 1872. Some years
before, an Indian from a tribe living thirty miles off had come to Mr.
Duncan, and with great emotion confessed himself a murderer, saying
that having frequently attended the services, the burden of sin had
become "too heavy for him to carry," and some Christian relatives had
advised him to confess his crime and take the consequences. Mr. Duncan
sent word to the Government at Victoria, but they thought it best not
to prosecute the man for a crime which was not recent, and which had
been done under the orders of a powerful chief who was still at large.
No further steps, therefore, were taken. But at the beginning of 1872,
a magistrate who was visiting at Fort Simpson detected two men who had
been concerned in another murder, and the excitement caused by this led
to further inquiry about the Metlakahtla man's crime, and to the arrest
of both himself and his chief. The four Indians thus in custody made
severally a full confession of both crimes to Mr. Duncan and the other
magistrate, and they were sent to Victoria for trial. They were found
guilty, and, on being called upon to reply, made most affecting
speeches in court, acknowledging the sin, and their just liability to
punishment. Sentence of death was ordered to be recorded, but on the
recommendation of the judges, it was commuted to five years'
imprisonment (not confinement) at Metlakahtla.

"So," wrote Mr. Duncan six months afterwards, "they are now with us,
and all behaving very well. The proud chief has become very docile and
happy, and he and all declare it their intention to remain at
Metlakahtla till death. Several of the foremost Christians make it
their duty occasionally to visit them, and instruct and encourage them.
Thus can God bring good out of evil."

The charge of the Chief Justice, Sir Matthew Begbie, at this trial is
a most remarkable document, and must be printed here _in extenso_.
Had the white man always treated the red man in such a spirit, what
results might we not have seen. [Footnote: Admiral Prevost writes to us
respecting another judge in the colony--'Some time ago a right minded
judge, beloved and respected, both by Indians and white men, had to
settle a dispute between two persons--as to the equal division of some
land. In the presence of both he selected one to go and measure the
land, so as to divide it into two equal portions, at the same time
telling him (the one sent) the other would have the first choice when
he had made the division Of course, the division was made as fairly as
it could be.']

_Charge of the Chief Justice._



"Many years ago there were some poor white men on the sea. Men on the
sea are always in danger from the wind and the waves, but these men
trusted in God, who rules the winds and waves, and they were not
afraid. Neither were they afraid of the men whom they might meet, for
they did not intend to hurt anybody, and they were ready to do good.
And, indeed, if the white men intended to do harm to the Indians, the
whites could destroy them off the face of the earth. The whites could
send up one man-of-war, which could easily, and without landing a man,
destroy all their houses and canoes and property, and drive them naked
and helpless into the woods to starve. No canoe could venture to go
fishing. In one year the white men could destroy all the Indians on the
coast without losing a man. One of our cannon could swallow up all the
muskets of your tribe.

"Now these poor white men on the sea met with some Indians. The
Indians said they were hungry, and the white men gave them bread. Was
that the act of a friend or an enemy? Then, when the Indians saw that
the white men were good and confiding, and saw a little bread, and a
saw and some tools, and a musket and a pistol, the devil came to them
and said, 'Kill these white men, do not stop because they gave you
bread when you were hungry; kill them, and take the saw and the musket
and the bread.' These things the devil put on his hook with which he
was fishing for the souls of the Indians, as men put a small fish on a
hook to catch salmon and halibut. And the Indians listened to the voice
of the devil, and slew these men, who were not fighting, nor had either
they or the Indians declared war or anger at all. They slew these men
while the bread of charity was still in their mouths. This is treachery
and murder. All people hate murder, all people seek to have revenge for
murder. This is the law among Indians also. If a white man kill an
Indian, the Indians desire that white man to be put to death. Now my
people come to me and ask for satisfaction. The law among the whites is
that they cannot have revenge unless I permit it. Now my people come
and ask me for revenge. But many snows have fallen upon this blood, and
they hide it from my sight. Many snows have fallen also on my head; my
head is very white, and I have seen many things. When the head is
white, the heart ought to be prudent and moderate. I will not therefore
take the lives of these Indians now before me, though they are all in
my hand, and if I close it, it will strangle them all. My head is
white, but my hand is strong, and my heart is not weak. If I punish
them less than by killing them, it is not because I am weak, nor
because I am afraid. But I want to do good to these Indians. What good
would their lives do me! Their lives are of no use to me to take at
present. But I wish to preserve their lives, and to change their lives.
I wish to change their hearts, and to let them see that our laws are
good and our hearts are good, and that we do not kill, even when we
have a right to kill, and when we have the power to kill. There is a
rock at Metlakatlah, and a rock at Victoria, upon which their old canoe
has split. Now I offer them a new canoe. When men are sailing in an old
broken canoe, and have with difficulty got to shore, and made a small
camp, if anybody offer them a fine new canoe with which to continue the
voyage of life, they should accept the offer gladly. Now there is a
much better canoe, as they may see, at Metlakatlah. I wish them to sail
in such a canoe for the future, and to adopt a better rule of life, and
a better law of religion. They must at present go back to prison until
I speak with the other great chiefs of my people, and see what is best
for them to be done. I shall try and persuade the other chiefs to send
them away to Metlakatlah, to do what Mr. Duncan shall tell them, and to
live as they shall direct. And so long as they live well and quietly,
and learn and labour truly to get their own living, I shall not
remember the blood which they have spilt.

"The prisoners themselves may see that our law is a better law than
theirs. For two whole days I have been sitting here listening to the
voice of my people, complaining of murders and of violence, and of
robbery and oppression. Whoever has suffered, he comes freely and
complains to me. Now the prisoners have been in court all this time,
and they have seen Indians accused, and Chinamen, but they have seen no
white man accused.

"Yet there are some bad white men, who would, perhaps, steal or commit
violence, if they were not afraid. They are afraid of our law, which
fills me and gives me strength, so that if I fall on a man I break him
to pieces. But even bad white men, through fear, are restrained. Now,
therefore, I think that it will much more restrain Indians who are
inclined to do evil, and support and guide those who are inclined to do

"If the other chiefs listen to my voice, and the prisoners behave well
at Metlakatlah, it shall be well. But if they do that which is wrong,
my anger will burn up again very fiercely, and it will melt the snows
which cover the blood of the men whom they have killed, and I shall see
the blood and be very angry, and will burn them all up in my anger.

"Let them cease to believe in sorcerers, who have now no strength
since Christianity is established. Let them become Christians, and so
their hearts will be made really and permanently good."

A touching illustration of the reputation of Metlakahtla, as a refuge
for the suffering and oppressed, occurs in a letter of Mr. Duncan's,
dated March, 1876:--

"A poor slave woman, still young in years, who had been stolen away
when a child, and carried to distant tribes in Alaska territory, where
she had suffered many cruelties, fled from her oppressors last summer,
and, though ill at the time, took to the sea in a canoe all alone, and
determined to reached Metlakahtla or perish in the attempt. On her way
(and she had upwards of one hundred and fifty miles to travel), she was
seen and taken by a party of Port Simpson Indians, who would no doubt
have been glad to hand her back to her pursuers for gain, but on
hearing of her case, I demanded her freedom, and finally she was
received into a Christian family here, and tenderly cared for. Both the
man and his wife who received her into their home had themselves been
slaves years ago. They understood her language, sympathised deeply with
her, and laboured hard to impart to her the knowledge of the Saviour of
sinners. After about three months her cruel master with his party came
here to recapture her, but they had to return home unsuccessful. In
three months more her strength succumbed to the disease which had been
brought on her by cruelty and hardship. She was a great sufferer during
the last few weeks of her life, but she died expressing her faith in
the Saviour, and rejoicing that she had been led here to end her days."

Once during the twenty-three years which have passed away since the
North Pacific Mission, as it is now called, was begun, has Mr. Duncan
come back to his mother country; and this visit may most conveniently
be noticed now. He was only absent a year. He left Metlakahtla, took
the long journey home, stayed six months, and went all the way back
again to Victoria, within the year 1870. During his brief stay in
England, he chiefly occupied his time in learning various trades, and
purchasing machinery, etc., for the settlement. He went to Yarmouth
purposely to learn rope-making and twine-spinning; at another place he
acquired the art of weaving: at a third, that of brush-making; at a
fourth, "the gamut of each instrument in a band of twenty-one
instruments." On his way back he stayed two or three months at
Victoria, arranging with the Government for the allotment of reserve
lands to the Indians of the settlement, which they might clear,
enclose, and cultivate for themselves. The Governor entered warmly into
his plans, and presented $500 himself to the Mission, to be laid out in
village improvements. At length he set sail again, and on February
27th, 1871, landed once more at Metlakahtla. His reception must be
related in his own words.--

"The steamer in which I was conveyed over the last 600 miles of my
journey had on board a crowd of miners, bound for the newly-discovered
gold-fields of Omineca, in the interior of British Columbia. These had
to be landed at the mouth of the Skeena River, about ten miles before
we came to Metlakahtla. It was Sunday afternoon when we arrived at the
landing, and though the weather was very stormy--snowing and blowing
hard--yet I could scarcely restrain myself from attempting to finish
the remaining ten miles of my voyage in a canoe, and thus take my
people by surprise, and be able to join them in their evening service.
After due reflection, however, I decided to remain in the steamer, and
go in her to Metlakahtla on the morrow. In the meantime, the news of my
arrival travelled to Metlakahtla, and on the following morning a large
canoe arrived from thence to fetch me home. The happy crew, whose
hearts seemed brim full of joy at seeing me back, gave me a very warm
welcome. I at once decided to leave my luggage and the steamer, and
proceed at once to Metlakahtla with my Indian friends, who assured me
that the village was in a great state of excitement at the prospect of
my return. We were favoured with a strong, fair wind, and with two
sails up we dashed along merrily through a boiling sea. I now felt I
was indeed homeward bound. My happy friends, having nothing to do but
to watch the sails and sit still, could give free vent to their long
pent-up feelings, and so they poured out one piece of news after
another in rapid succession, and without any regard to order, or the
changes their reports produced upon my feelings: thus we had good and
bad, solemn and frivolous news, all mixed indiscriminately.

"On sighting the village, in accordance with a preconcerted
arrangement, a flag was hoisted over our canoe, as a signal to the
villagers that I was on board. Very soon we could discern quite a
number of flags flying over the village, and the Indians hurrying
towards the place of landing. Before we reached the beach large crowds
had assembled to greet me. On my stepping out of the canoe, bang went a
cannon, and when fairly on my feet bang went another. Then some of the
principal people stepped away from the groups, and came forward, hats
off, and saluted me very warmly. On my advancing, the corps of
constables discharged their muskets, then all hats were doffed, and a
general rush to seize my hand ensued. I was now hemmed in with the
crowds of solemn faces, many exhibiting intense emotion, and eyes
glistening with tears of joy. In struggling my way to the Mission
house, I had nearly overlooked the schoolchildren. The dear little ones
had been posted in order on one side, and were all standing in mute
expectation of a recognition. I patted a few on the head, and then with
feelings almost overcome, I pressed my way to my house. How sweet it
was to find myself again in my own little room, and sweeter still to
thank God for all His preserving care over me. As numbers of the people
were pressing into and crowding my house, I ordered the church bell to
be rung. At once they hurried to the church, and when I entered it was
full. Such a sight! After a few minutes silence we joined in
thanksgiving to God, after which I addressed the assembly for about
twenty minutes. This concluded, I set off, accompanied by several
leading Christian men to visit the sick and the very aged, whom I was
told were anxiously begging to see me. The scenes that followed were
very affecting. Many assured me that they had constantly prayed to God
to be spared to see me once again, and God had answered their prayers
and revived their hearts, after much weeping. On finishing my visit I
made up doses of medicine for several of the sick, and then sat down
for a little refreshment. Again my house becoming crowded, I sat down
with about fifty for a general talk. I gave them the special messages
from Christian friends which I had down in my note book, told them how
much we were prayed for by many Christians in England, and scanned over
the principal events of my voyage and doings in England. We sat till
midnight, but even then the village was lighted up, and the people all
waiting to hear from the favoured fifty what I had communicated. Many
did not go to bed at all, but sat up all night talking over what they
had heard.

"Such is a brief account of my reception at Metlakahtla. I could not
but reflect how different this to the reception I had among the same
people in 1857. Then they were all superstitiously afraid of me, and
regarded with dread suspicion my every act It was with feelings of fear
or contempt they approached me to hear God's word, and when I prayed
amongst them I prayed alone, none understood, none responded. Now how
things have changed! Love has taken the place of fear, and light the
place of darkness, and hundreds are intelligently able and devoutly
willing to join me in prayer and praise to Almighty God. To God be
_all_ the praise and glory. Amen"

The troubles and difficulties on the coast, which so often added to
Mr. Duncan's burdens, were not always the fault of the Indians. As
often as not they were due to the recklessness of unscrupulous and
drunken white men. In 1872, a party going up to the gold mines on the
Skeena River burned an Indian village. This brought the Governor of
British Columbia, J. W. Trutch, Esq., up the coast with two ships of
war, the "Scout" and the "Boxer." A deputation of Tsimsheans Christians
was sent to propitiate the injured tribe, and invite them to meet the
Governor at Metlakahtla; and there, as on common ground which both
parties could trust, peace was solemnly made, the Government paying six
hundred dollars as compensation.

On this occasion the Governor laid the first stone of a new church,
upon which Mr. Duncan and the Indians alike had set their hearts, as a
visible crown of the work. The ceremony took place on August 6th, in
the presence of the whole community and of the officers of the ships.
But laying the stone was one thing; building the church was another.
The Governor and Captain Cator saw lying on the ground huge timbers to
be used in its erection, but how these were to be reared up was not
apparent. Very kindly they gave Mr. Duncan a quantity of ropes, blocks,
etc., but even then they sailed away in considerable scepticism as to
the possibility of unskilled red men raising a large and lofty church.
In January, 1874, Mr. Duncan wrote:--

"The massive timbers for framing, which Governor Trutch and Captain
Cator, of H. M. S. 'Scout,' saw on the ground last year, and doubted of
our ability to raise, are, I am happy to say, now fixed, and fixed
well, in their places, and all by Indian labour. Especially am I
thankful to report that, though the work is attended with no little
danger, particularly to inexperienced hands, as we all are, yet have we
hitherto been graciously preserved from all accidents.

"The Indians are delighted with the appearance the building has
already assumed, and you may gather from the amount of their
contributions (L176) how much they appreciate the work. They propose
again subscribing during the coming spring, and I only wish our
Christian friends in England could witness the exciting scene of a
contributing day, with how much joy the poor people come forward and
cast down their blanket or blankets, gun, shirt, or elk skin, upon the
general pile 'to help in building the house of God.'"

By the end of that year the church was finished, and on Christmas Day
it was opened for the service of God. "We had indeed," wrote Mr.
Duncan, "a great struggle to finish it by that time--the tower and
spire presenting very difficult and dangerous work for our unskilled
hands--yet, by God's protecting care, we completed the work without a
single accident. Over seven hundred Indians were present at our opening
services. Could it be that this concourse of well-dressed people, in
their new and beautiful church, but a few years ago made up the
fiendish assemblies at Fort Simpson! Could it be that those voices, now
engaged in solemn prayer and thrilling songs of praise to Almighty God,
are the very voices I once heard yelling and whooping at heathen orgies
on dismal winter nights!"

The progress in building operations and the secular affairs of the
settlement generally at this time are succinctly described in an
official Report, prepared by Mr. Duncan, and presented to the Minister
of the Interior of the Dominion of Canada, in May, 1875. The occasion
of this important document being drawn up was the occurrence of some
conflict of opinion between the Provincial Government of British
Columbia at Victoria and the Dominion Government of Ottawa, respecting
the Indian Land Question. The same thorny problems that have so often
given trouble in South Africa and New Zealand had presented themselves,
and the local authorities at Victoria were anxious that the liberal
treatment of the Indians on the coast, which had marked their own
dealings with them while the Colony was independent of Canada, should
be still pursued now that British Columbia was incorporated in the
Dominion Confederation. But even the liberal plans of the Victoria
Government had, to a large extent, failed in their object of
ameliorating the Indians, and Metlakahtla still remained almost the
only example of success upon the coast. To us it is, of course, obvious
that the cause of this success was simply its being based on the
foundation of Christian teaching and Christian life; and Mr. Duncan
made no secret of this in his Report. He gave a description of the
Indians as he found them, and a full narrative of the Mission from the
first. That part of the Report, however, it is needless to print here.
It only recapitulates what we have already told in greater detail. The
opening and closing paragraphs we subjoin:--

_Report presented by Mr. W. Duncan to the Government of Canada._

"From a copy of statutes which I lately received from the Indian
Commissioner, British Columbia, I learn that changes in the management
of Indian affairs are about to be inaugurated in that province. It is
in anticipation of these changes that I feel prompted to address to you
this present letter, my object being to place before you the origin and
growth of the Indian settlement at Metlakahtla, and from these facts
thus brought out to deduce a policy, or at least certain principles of
action, which I am anxious to commend to the Government in the
treatment of all the Indian tribes in that part of the Dominion."

_[Here follows a history of the Mission.]_

"We number now about 750 souls, and, according to the testimony of
several medical men, who have had opportunities of judging, form the
healthiest and strongest Indian community on the coast.

"Next, as to our progress in law and order. It is in this aspect to
the outward observer, perhaps more than in any other, that our
advancement appears both real and striking. From a great number of
lawless and hostile hordes has been gathered out and established one of
the most law-abiding and peace-loving communities in the province. What
to the most sanguine minds seemed at least a generation of time distant
has been brought about in a few years. The isolated germ of a Christian
community gathered strength year by year, while every opposing force in
the vicinity gradually weakened and at last succumbed. The law has
triumphed. The liquor-selling vessels have long since ceased their
traffic. The Indians who took up the trade with their canoes have also
been stopped. Drunkenness, or even liquor-drinking, over a very large
district are now things of the past. The rushing to Victoria has
subsided into rare and legitimate visits, and peace, order, and
security reign in all the country round.

"The local means which have been instrumental in bringing about these
salutary changes were--First, we called out a corps of Native
constables, and afterwards selected, irrespective of rank, twelve older
men of good character to act as Native Council, and with these we have
deliberated upon every matter affecting the welfare of our settlement.
The Council has no pay, but only a badge of office, worn on stated
occasions. The constables, in addition to a simple uniform, receive a
small remuneration when on duty.

"As our settlement increased, and our work in the interests of peace
became more extended, I have increased the two Native forces year by
year until they now number over sixty men, and include several chiefs.
And further, in order to utilize these forces, and have every settler
under proper surveillance, I have divided all the male community into
ten companies, each company having an equal number of constables and
councilmen, who act as guides and monitors.

"Again, in order to enlist the energies of our younger men for the
public weal, I have organized a fire brigade of six companies and ten
to each company. These, I trust, will prove of real service to the new
town which is about to be built. And here I would acknowledge with
thankfulness the prompt help which has occasionally reached us from the
Provincial Government, and without which, of course, our local
machinery would have proved altogether inadequate for all emergencies.

"Lastly, as to our material and social progress. This, too, is already
encouraging, but by no means so complete as we hope to see it. The slow
progress of the Indians in this cause cannot be matter for wonder when
we consider--first, Their ignorance and inaptitude to find out for
themselves any fresh and permanent modes of industry; secondly, Their
want of capital, owing to which civilization may tend to the
impoverishment of the Indians by calling for an increased outlay in
their expenses without augmenting their income. Having these facts
before me, I have endeavoured to help and guide the males under my
influence to fresh modes of industry, and though our success has not
been very great, it is at least encouraging.

"Our first work of a secular kind was to establish a village store;
for, having left Fort Simpson, we soon felt the want of supplies. I may
here explain the Hudson's Bay Company refused to establish a shop in
our midst, and I feared to encourage the trading schooners to come to
us, as they invariably carried intoxicating liquor for sale, so we
determined to keep the village trade in our own hands and appropriate
the profits to the public works of our settlement.

"To this end we first purchased a schooner, one-third of the money
being given by the Governor, Sir James Douglas. The schooner took down
the products of our industry to Victoria, and returned laden with goods
for our store, proving a pecuniary success and a capital training for
the Indians who were employed.

"After some years the Hudson's Bay Company were willing to carry our
freight on their steamer, so we sold the schooner, and I refunded to
the Government account a proportionate part of the sale money.

"The managing of our village trade, principally by Indians, has given
me much anxiety, and exposed me to much slander and abuse from white
traders; but seeing the good results from my efforts in this way to our
settlement I have kept on, and feel loath to give it up till I can hand
it over entirely into the hands of the Natives.

"The first profits of our trade I spent in building a large market-house
and court-house. The market-house was to shelter and accommodate all
those visiting us from other tribes, and for this purpose we found it to
be of great advantage. We were thus enabled to keep strange Indians from
impeding our social progress, having them under better surveillance
during their stay, and rendering them more accessible to Christian
instruction. The other works for public advantage to which we have
severally applied the monies resulting from our village trade, along
with the contributions of friends of the Mission, are road-making,
building a saw-mill, blacksmith's shop, soap-house, and large
carpenters' shops and work-sheds. For the last two years we have been
engaged erecting entirely by Indian labour a new church capable of
holding 1,200 people. This we completed so far as to be able to use it
about five months ago.

"The finishing we hope to do this summer, and when complete we expect
we shall have spent altogether about 8,000 dollars. Of this sum the
Indians of the settlement contributed over 800 dollars. We have now
going up a school-house, 60 by 27, which will be paid for out of the
trade profits, with the exception of 200 dollars sent us by the Indian

"Our latest undertaking is the building of a massive sea-wall round
the village. The Indians contribute the material, and I pay for the
labour of putting it up.

"This brings me to mention a few particulars relative to the greatest
of all our undertakings in building, viz., that of a new town of some
200 houses. It was hardly to be expected that the plan of our village
and the first houses erected at Metlakahtla would prove satisfactory to
us as we advanced in civilization. The people were then in a transition
state, and I had to be content to see houses go up only a little
improvement upon their old style of building; but about five years ago
they began to be dissatisfied with their houses, and I then succeeded
in persuading them to cease putting up fresh buildings until we should
all agree upon the right model for a dwelling-house and a better plan
of a town site. It has taken all this time to educate them up to a
really substantial plan for both, but-I am happy to say that after much
discussion we are now agreed. The old village is to be pulled down and
a new town built up. I have already surveyed the land, and drawn out a
map showing town lots, which the Indians highly approve. The lots are
60 by 120, and on each will be erected a double house. One hundred such
lots are already taken, and builders have begun to work. As the new
houses are to be substantial and commodious buildings, and beyond their
means to build without aid, I have pledged myself to assist them to the
amount of 50 dollars each single house, which will, I anticipate, be
sufficient to purchase nails, windows, and whatever else they must
import, as well as pay the workmen at the saw-mill for sawing their
lumber. Thus the Indians will only be required to bring their own logs
to the mill and find the labour to erect their houses.

"As our mill is small, and our means limited, we do not expect to
complete all our buildings in less than three years, but when completed
we trust to show to the Natives around a real model town, and hope it
will stimulate them to follow in our steps.

"Having thus very briefly sketched an outline of the history of
Metlakahtla, it remains for me to say that whatever of moral or
material progress the Indians there have made, they owe it all to the
hold which religious truth has obtained over their hearts and
consciences. It is only because they have felt the inspiring influence
of the Gospel that they have aspired to a higher degree of social life,
and are exerting themselves to obtain it.

"Our church and schools (both Sunday and day schools) are well and
eagerly attended. The appearance of our large Native congregation in
their new church is a thrilling and heart-gladdening sight.

"Quite a number of intelligent Natives are devoting themselves
gratuitously to evangelistic work among their brethren, and with much
success. We have two Native teachers in the day-school and one Native
evangelist, also over twenty Sunday-school teachers employed in the
Mission, and thus this little settlement, under God's blessing, bids
fair to become at no very distant day a happy and thriving Christian

Accompanying this Report, there was a paper of practical suggestions
for the provision and administration of Reserve Lands for the several
tribes. These were embodied in an official Memorandum, drawn up by the
Attorney General of the Province, which concluded with these words:--

"The undersigned has the honour to recommend that the above
suggestions be adopted, and that if this Memorandum be approved, His
Honour the Lieutenant-Governor be respectfully requested to forward a
copy thereof, and of the Minute of Council referring thereto, to the
Dominion Government, for their consideration and assent; and he further
recommends that another copy be sent to the Dominion Government, for
transmission to the Right Honourable the Secretary of State for the



"Victoria, 17th August, 1875."_

The Lieutenant-Governor in Council adopted the following Minute:--

"_Copy of a Report of a Committee of the Honourable the Executive
Council, approved by His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor, on the 18th
day of August, 1875._

"The Committee of Council concur with the statements and
recommendations contained in the Memorandum of the Honourable the
Attorney-General, on the subject of Indian affairs, dated 17th August,
1875, and advise that it be adopted as the expression of the views of
this Government as to the best method of bringing about a settlement of
the Indian Land Question.

"(Certified) W. J. ARMSTRONG, _Clerk of the Executive Council._"

The next thing was to secure the adoption of the scheme by the
Government of Canada; and with this view Mr. Duncan undertook the long
journey across the continent to Ottawa. The Hon. D. Laird, Minister of
the Interior, gave the most attentive hearing to his representations,
and also made him a donation of 1,000 dollars towards the work at
Metlakahtla; and on May 10th, 1876, Mr. Duncan wrote, "I am glad to
inform you that the terms set forth in the Report have been adopted
(with a small modification or two) by the Dominion Government, and so
the dead-lock about the land question seems in a fair way of being

Mr. Duncan's well-timed interposition in this matter was not the least
of the many services God has enabled him to render to the Indian
population of British Columbia.

About the same time, the Provincial Government gave another proof of
its confidence in the Mission, by appointing one of the Christian
Tsimsheans of Metlakahtla head constable of the district, with a salary
of 350 dollars per annum.

Year by year the Metlakahtla community has continued to increase, by
the admission to its privileges of new settlers. New Year's-day is
especially the time for enrolling them. A general meeting of the adult
males of the village is held, and before them all each applicant for
leave to join their body has to stand up and declare his adhesion to
the rules. He thus cuts himself off from all heathen customs, and
"places himself under Christian instruction" (to use the Tinnevelly
term [Footnote: In Tinnevelly, the progress of Christianity has been
mainly due to the adhesion of whole villages at a time to the Christian
community. These adherents cannot be called "converts," and the phrase
used of them is that they "place themselves under Christian
instruction." Subsequently they become candidates for baptism, and many
of them ultimately prove to be true converts.]). He probably knows
something of the Gospel from Christian Indians he has met at the
fisheries or elsewhere, and thus is already, to some extent, prepared
for the teaching he will now regularly receive. In course of time--such
is the frequent experience at Metlakahtla--his conduct and demeanour
give evidence of a work of grace in his heart; he becomes a catechumen,
and, after a due period of probation, is admitted by baptism, not only
into the community, but into the Church. On the New Year's-day of 1875,
no less than one hundred new comers were registered, and the number has
frequently been not much short of that.



Christmas is a joyous time at Metlakahtla, and the accounts we have of
its services and festivities help not a little to bring the settlement
before the eyes of our imagination. Two such accounts are subjoined.
The first is from Mr. Duncan's Report for 1873. Christmas-day in that
year is memorable for a visit paid to Metlakahtla by the Indians who
still remained in the neighbourhood of Fort Simpson. These tribes had
not been forgotten by their Christian fellow-countrymen. Bands of
evangelists from the settlement frequently went up the coast in canoes
to the Fort on Saturday to hold services on the Sunday, and their
efforts received a manifest blessing. This work has since then been
interrupted by the establishment of a Canadian Methodist Mission at the

The second account was sent home by Bishop Bompas, of Athabasca, after
his visit to the coast in 1877-8.


_From Mr. Duncan's Report._

"This is the first season that the heathen customs at Fort Simpson
have been generally disregarded, and hence we thought it well to
encourage Christian customs in their place. To this end we decided to
invite all the congregation at Fort Simpson to spend the festival of
Christmas with us at Metlakahtla, that they might receive the benefit
of a series of special services, and he preserved from falling into
those excesses which we had reason to fear would follow should they
spend the Christmas by themselves. About two hundred and fifty availed
themselves of our invitation, and they arrived at Metlakahtla the day
before Christmas in twenty-one canoes, which indeed presented a
pleasing picture as they approached us with flags flying.

"According to a previous arrangement they all clustered to the market
-house, which we at present use for our church, and which had been very
appropriately decorated. On our guests being seated I gave them a short
address, and after prayer, in company with Mr. and Mrs. Collison, shook
hands with them all. They then were quartered round the village, and a
very exciting scene ensued, all the villagers literally scrambling for
the guests. After the scramble, several came running to me to complain
that they had not succeeded in securing a single guest, while others
had got more than their share. To settle matters amicably, I had to
send two constables round the village to readjust the distribution of
our new friends.

"Our Christmas-eve was spent in practising, with a band of twenty
young men, a new Christmas hymn in Tsimshean, which I managed to
prepare for the occasion. About 1.30 on Christmas morning we
reassembled, when Mr. Collison and myself accompanied the twenty waits
to sing round the village, carrying the harmonium and concertina with
us. We sang in seven different places, and three hymns in each place.
The village was illuminated, and the singing was hearty and solemn.
This was the first attempt of the Indians at part-singing in their own

"Christmas-day was a great day, houses decorated with evergreens,
flags flying, constables and council passing from house to house in
their uniforms, and greeting the inmates. Now a string of young men,
then another of young women, might be seen going into this house, then
into that; friends meeting on the road, shaking hands everywhere;
everybody greeting everybody; hours occupied with hand-shaking and
interchanging good wishes; nobody thinking of anything else but
scattering smiles and greetings, till the church bell rings, and all
wend their way to meet and worship God. The crowd seemed so great that
fears were entertained that our meeting-house could not accommodate
them. I at once decided that the children should assemble in the school
-house and have a separate service. Samuel Marsden kindly volunteered to
conduct it. Even with this arrangement our meeting-house was crowded to
excess. There could not have been less than seven hundred present. What
a sight! Had any one accompanied me to the Christmas-day services I
held twelve or fourteen years ago at Fort Simpson, and again on this
occasion, methinks, if an infidel, he would have been confused and
puzzled to account for the change; but, if a Christian, his heart must
have leaped for joy. The Tsimsheans might well sing on this day, 'Glory
to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will towards men.'

"After service all the Indians collected near the Mission-house to
greet us. In order to take advantage of the occasion I had them let in
by about fifties at a time, the Fort Simpson Indians preceding. After
giving each company a short address, we again shook hands with all. It
was three p.m. before we had gone through with them all in this way.

"The following day the young men engaged in the healthy game of
football, and all the people turned out to witness the sport. Mr. and
Mrs. Collison and myself were present to encourage them. After football
a marriage took place. A young woman, formerly trained in the Mission
-house, was married to a chief. A marriage feast was given, to which
between four and five hundred people were invited. During the day a
Fort Simpson young man came to see me and confess a crime of theft he
committed about a year and a half ago, and for which, when the proper
time arrives, he will have to go to gaol. In the evening the church
bell was rung, and all assembled for divine service. Some little time
after service the bugle was sounded 'Go to bed.'

"I held special services every night while the Fort Simpson people
were here with us. The subjects upon which I addressed them were as
follows, viz.:--'Thou shalt call His name Jesus,' 'Thy Word is a Lamp'
etc.; 'Understandst thou what thou readest?' 'Ye must be born again,'
'Can the Ethiopian change his skin?' 'What shall a man give in exchange
for his soul?' 'One thing is needful,' 'Give me thy hand,' 'Quit ye
like men.' In addition we had a midnight service on New Year's-eve. The
people attended the services regularly, and seemed to drink in the
Word. May God give the increase. On one of the evenings before the
service I exhibited the magic lantern to the Fort Simpson people,
showing them some Scriptural views and the sufferings of martyrs.

"On New Year's-day, as heretofore, we held a general meeting for the
business of the village, at which all the males are expected to attend.
Only some three or four were absent. The male portion of our guests
from Fort Simpson also attended to witness the proceedings. The ten
companies, into which all males here are divided, were first examined,
after which I gave an address bearing upon matters of the past year,
and introduced the new settlers, who were already seated in the middle
of the room. This finished, each of the latter came forward in the
presence of the assembly, made his declaration to be a faithful member
of our community, and was registered. Speeches were then made by
several of the council, followed by about twenty speeches from the Fort
Simpson Indians, which were very interesting, being expressive of the
new feelings which animated them, and the line of conduct they meant to
pursue in the future, God being their helper. I concluded the meeting
with another address. We then adjourned to the open ground in front of
the Mission-house, stood in companies, two cannons were fired, then,
with hats off (though it snowed very hard), we sang 'God save the
Queen,' and dismissed.

"On Friday, the 2nd of January, our guests departed home. When ready
to start, the church bell rang, and they paddled their canoes to our
meeting-house, which is built upon the beach. Leaving their canoes,
they reassembled for a short address and a concluding prayer. This
over, again entering their canoes, they pushed a little from the beach,
a cannon was fired, and amid the ringing cheers of hundreds of voices
they dashed off paddling with all their might. In a few seconds they
simultaneously halted, and returned as hearty cheers as they were
receiving. The air now rang with the double cheering, caps,
handkerchiefs, and flags waving, the whole forming a very animated
scene. Thus our guests departed."


_By the Bishop of Athabasca_

"The festivities of the season commenced here on Christmas Eve, when a
party of about twenty-five of the elder school girls were invited to
meet us at tea. After tea we were all entertained by Mr. Duncan, with
the exhibition of a galvanic battery and other amusements. This party
having dispersed to their homes in good time, at a later hour came
together the singers who were appointed to sing Christmas carols during
the night along the village street, led by Mr. Schutt, the schoolmaster.
After their singing they returned to supper at the Mission before
retiring to rest.

"On Christmas morning the first sight which greeted us was that of the
constables lengthening to its full height the flagstaff on the
watchhouse, to hoist the flag for Christmas, and all the village street
was soon gaily dressed with flags. The constables then marched about
the village to different houses to shake hands and make Christmas peace
with all whom they had been called to interfere with in the course of
the year. At eleven o'clock the church bell rang, and the large church
was thronged with a well-dressed and attentive congregation.

"After service all the villagers, to the number of about 600, had to
come and pass through the Mission-house to shake hands with all the
inmates. In doing this they so crowded the verandah that the boards
actually gave way beneath them, but the ground being only about two
feet below no injury resulted. After all the shaking of hands was over,
the villagers returned home to their own private entertainments, and
most of us at the Mission enjoyed a quiet Christmas evening together;
but Mr. Duncan entertained at tea a party of the chiefs and principal
persons of the village, whom we did not join, from inability to
converse in the Tsimshean tongue.

"The day after Christmas was again a gay one. The constables, twenty
-five in number, paraded and exercised on the green with banners and
music, and about fifty volunteers, in neat white uniforms, with drums
and fifes and banners flying, went through creditable evolutions and
exercises. All the strangers who had come from neighbouring villages to
spend Christmas at Metlakahtla were collected by Mr. Duncan in the
Mission Hall, and, after a suitable address received, all of them,
presents of soap, apples, sugar, tobacco, etc. In the evening the usual
week-day service was held in the schoolroom, always crowded.

"The following day all the children of the schools were assembled by
Mr. Duncan at his house, first the girls and then the boys, about 200
in all; and, after being amused by him, were treated to sugarplums and
apples, and each one received some article of clothing (cap or cape,
etc.), so as to be sent away to their homes rejoicing.

"Next day all the men of the village, about 300, were assembled in the
market-house to be addressed by Mr. Duncan. After he had given them the
best advice he could, their Christmas presents were distributed to them
in the presence of all the Mission party. These consisted of 1/2lb.
sugar and six apples to each one, with copy-book and pencil, or tobacco
for the older men.

"The day after this, Mr. and Mrs. Schutt kindly entertained all the
widows of the village, about sixty in number, to a substantial dinner.
It was a pleasure to see even the old and decrepit able to sit at table
and enjoy their meal, and it made us enter fully into the idea of the
renovating influence of Christmas blessings, to think in what dark and
murderous heathenism these aged widows had been reared when young.
After dinner Mr. Duncan brought them to his Hall to listen to an
address, so that they might not return home without words of Gospel
truth and comfort to cheer them for struggling days.

"The morrow, being Sunday, was marked by the usual services; these
consist, first, of morning Sunday School at half past nine, at which
about 200 are present, both children and adults, males and females
being in separate buildings. All the elder scholars learn and repeat a
text both in English and Tsimshean, and have it explained to them, and
they are able to use intelligently their English Bibles for this
purpose. At eleven is morning service in church, attended at Christmas
time by 700 to 800. Hymns are sung, both in English and Tsimshean, and
heartily joined in by the congregation. This being the last Sunday in
the year, the service was made a specially devotional one to seek mercy
for the offences of the past twelve month.

"After morning service the adults met again in Sunday School to learn
in English and Tsimshean the text of the sermon, and have it again
explained to them by the native Sunday School teachers, who are
prepared for this duty at a meeting with Mr. Duncan on Saturday
evening. It is very interesting to see about 300 adults gathered
together in the three schools at midday, entirely in the hands of
native teachers, and with English Bibles in their hands poring
intelligently over the text, and following out again the subject of the
morning discourse. I cannot but think it would be a great gain if this
scheme of Mr. Duncan's could be largely followed in other Missions.

"Afternoon service is held in the church at three o'clock, with a
Litany, and after this, when the daylight lasts long enough, there is a
second Sunday School. The church is as full in the afternoon as in the
morning, and the punctuality of the attendance is surprising. In the
evening, at seven o'clock, service is again held in the school room,
which is crowded, and occasional meetings are held by the elder
converts for the benefit of any aged people unable to come to church.

"To return to the Christmas doings: On the Monday all the women of the
village, about 300, assembled in the market-house, and, after suitable
addresses, valuable presents were made to each, viz., 1lb. soap, 1lb.
rice, and several apples, etc. so that they return home laden and
rejoicing. Altogether about L50 must have been spent upon the Christmas

"On Monday evening, being the last night of the old year, a suitable
service was held in church, the subject being Psalm xc., 'So teach us
to number our days,' etc. On New Year's-day the festivities were
renewed. Bugle-notes and drums and fifes, and the exercises of the
volunteers, enlivened the scene. The youth of the village played
football on the sands. All the men of the village were assembled in the
market-house, and were permanently enrolled in ten companies, the
members of each company receiving rosettes of a distinguishing colour.
Each company has in it, besides ordinary members, one chief, two
constables, one elder, and three councillors, who are all expected to
unite in preserving the peace and order of the village. The ten chiefs
all spoke in the market-house on New Year's-day, and in sensible
language promised to follow the teaching they had received, and to
unite in promoting what is good. After the meeting all adjourned to the
green in front of the church, and joined in singing 'God save the
Queen,' in English, before dispersing to their homes. The rest of the
day was spent in New Year's greetings.

"Wednesday Evening was occupied by the usual week-day service, and
Thursday and Friday evenings were devoted to the exhibition in the
school-room, first to the women and then to the men, of a large magic
lantern, with oxygen light, and also a microscope, showing living
insects and sea-water animalcules, as well as various slides.

"The above is but an imperfect sketch of the efforts made by Mr.
Duncan for the welfare and happiness of his village,"



A glance at the map will show that both Metlakahtla and Fort Simpson
are situated on a peninsula which juts forth from the coast between the
estuaries of two rivers, the _Skeena_ to the south, and the
_Nass_ to the North. The mouth of the Nass River is one of the
great fishing resorts of the Indians. From long distances the tribes of
both the mainland and the adjacent islands flock thither every year in
March and April, the season when the oolikan, a small fish about the
size of a smelt, is caught.

As many as five thousand Indians gather together on these occasions,
and encamp for miles along both banks of the river. Having put up their
temporary bark huts, they dig pits to store the fish in, and then
quietly await their arrival. Meanwhile, hardly a sign of life is to be
seen on land or water. The towering mountains, that rise almost from
the banks, are covered deep with snow, and the river is fast bound in
ice to the depth of six or eight feet. Slowly the ice begins to break
higher up, and the tides, rising and falling, bear away immense
quantities. At length a few seagulls appear in the western sky, and the
cry echoes from camp to camp that the fish are at hand.

Immense shoals of oolikan come in from the Pacific, followed by larger
fish such as the halibut, the cod, the porpoise, and the finned-back
-whale. Over the fish hover the sea-birds--"an immense cloud of
innumerable gulls," wrote Bishop Hills after a visit to the place, "so
many and so thick that as they moved to and fro, up and down, the sight
resembled a heavy fall of snow." Over the gulls, again, soar the eagles
watching for their prey. The Indians go forth to meet the fish with the
cry, "You fish, you fish! you are all chiefs; you are, you are all
chiefs." The nets haul in bushels at a time, and hundreds of tons are
collected. "The Indians dry some in the sun, and _press_ a much
larger quantity for the sake of the oil or grease, which has a
considerable market value as being superior to cod-liver oil, and which
they use as butter with their dried salmon. The season is most
important to the Indians; the supply lasts them till the season for
salmon, which is later, and which supplies their staple food, their
bread." "What a beautiful provision for this people," writes one of the
Missionaries, "just at that season of the year when their winter stock
has run out! God can indeed furnish a table in the wilderness."

It was in the spring of 1860, that Mr. Duncan first visited the Nass
River. He received a most encouraging welcome from the Nishkah Indians
--one of the Tsimshean tribes--dwelling on its banks. The account is a
particularly interesting one:--

"_April 19th, 1860_.--About 4 p.m. we arrived in sight of the
three lower villages of the Nishkah Indians, and these, with two upper
villages, constitute the proper inhabitants of the river. On
approaching the principal village we were met by a man who had been
sent to invite us to the chief's house. Numbers of Indians stood on the
bank. When we stopped, several rushed into the water: some seized my
luggage, and one took me on his back. In a few minutes we were safely
housed. Smiling faces and kind words greeted me on every side. My
friend Kahdoonahah, the chief who had invited me to his house, was
dancing for joy at my arrival. He had put his house in order, made up a
large fire in the centre, placed two big iron kettles on it, and had
invited a number of his friends to come and feast with me. About thirty
of us, all males, sat round the fire. Boiled fresh salmon was first
served out. All the guests were furnished with large horn or wooden
spoons: I preferred to use my own. My plate was first filled with
choice bits, and afterwards large wooden dishesful were carried round,
and one placed before every two persons. This done, boiled rice, mixed
with molasses, was served us. Fresh spoons and dishes were used. While
the dishes were being filled, each person had a large spoonful handed
him to be going on with. After the feast I had considerable
conversation, and concluded by requesting that all the chiefs and chief
men of the three tribes should meet me on the morrow, when I would
endeavour to give them the good news from God's book. Kahdoonahah,
suggested that there might be some difficulty to get all the chiefs to
assemble, unless something was provided for them to eat He therefore
promised to send out and invite them all to his house, and give them a
feast for the occasion.

"It was now evening, and the guests went home. Kahdoonahah then
brought in an old man to sing to me. The old man very solemnly sat down
before me, fixed his eyes upon the ground, and began beating time by
striking his foot with his hand. He was assisted by Kahdoonahah, who
not only sang, but kept up a thumping noise with a large stick. A few
boys also clapped their hands in proper time. After they had sung two
or three songs I told them we would have a change. I drew my few boys
around me. One of them immediately warned the chief and his company
that we were going to sing songs to God, which were the same as
prayers, and therefore they must be very reverent. We sang several
little hymns, some of which I translated. The party soon increased, and
sat very attentively.

"_April 20_.--After breakfast two men entered the house, and
stood just within the door. Looking at me, one of them shouted out,
'Woah shimauket, woah shimauket, woah shimauket, woah.' After repeating
this twice, they went away. This was an invitation from a chief who
wanted me and my crew to breakfast with him. I took two of my party,
and set off. When I was entering the chief's house, he stood up, and,
beckoning me to a seat, cried out loudly, 'Yeah shimauket, yeah
shimauket, yeah shimauket, yeah.' As soon as I was seated, he stopped,
and sat down. These words, rendered into English, are, 'Welcome chief,
welcome chief, welcome chief, welcome!' We feasted on boiled salmon,
and rice, and sugar, and molasses, after which the chief presented me
with five marten skins and a large salmon. When I returned to
Kahdoonahah's house, he had got three large iron kettles on the fire
for the feast; and I was informed that an old chief had given me a
large black bear's skin. The drum began to beat, and a general bustle
prevailed around me. I sat down to collect my thoughts, and to lift up
my heart to God to prepare me for the important meeting about to take
place, at which the blessed Gospel was to be proclaimed to these poor
tribes of Indians for the first time.

"About twelve o'clock they began to assemble. Each took a place
corresponding to his rank. We soon mustered about sixty chiefs and
headmen. Between one and two p.m. we began to feast, which consisted,
as usual, of salmon and rice, and molasses. I had heard Kahdoonahah say
that they intended to perform before me their '_Ahlied;_' but I
requested him to have no playing, as I wanted to speak very solemnly to
them. He promised me they would do nothing bad; but now that the
feasting was over, much to my sorrow, he put on his dancing mask and
robes. The leading singers stepped out, and soon all were engaged in a
spirited chant. They kept excellent time by clapping their hands and
beating a drum. (I found out afterwards that they had been singing my
praises and asking me to pity them and to do them good.) The chief
Kahdoonahah danced with all his might during the singing. He wore a
cap, which had a mask in front, set with mother-of-pearl, and trimmed
with porcupine's quills. The quills enabled him to hold a quantity of
white bird's down on the top of his head, which he ejected while
dancing, by jerking his head forward: thus he soon appeared as if in a
shower of snow. In the middle of the dance a man approached me with a
handful of down, and blew it over my head, thus symbolically uniting me
in friendship with all the chiefs present, and the tribes they
severally represented.

"After the dance and singing were over, I felt exceedingly anxious
about addressing them; but circumstances seemed so unfavourable on
account of the excitement, that my heart began to sink. What made the
matter worse, too, was a chief, who had lately been shot in the arm for
overstepping his rank, began talking very passionately. This aroused
me. I saw at once that I must speak, or probably the meeting might
conclude in confusion. I stood up, and requested them to cease talking,
as I wished them to rest their hearts, and listen to the great message
I had come to deliver. Instantly the chief ceased talking, and every
countenance became fixed attentively towards me. I began, and the Lord
helped me much. I was enabled to speak with more freedom and animation
than I had ever done before in the Indian tongue. Much to my
encouragement the Indians unanimously responded at the finish of every
clause. The most solemn occasion of this kind was when I introduced the
name of the Saviour. At once every tongue uttered Jesus, and, for some
time, kept repeating that blessed name, which I hope they will not

"After I had finished my address I asked them to declare to me their
thoughts upon what they had heard, and also if they desired to be
further instructed in God's word. Immediately a universal cry arose of,
'Good is your speech. Good, good, good news! We greatly desire to learn
the book. We wish our children to learn.'"

In the autumn of the same year, Mr. Duncan again visited the Nass
River, and ascended to the upper villages. Everywhere he found a
readiness, sometimes most touchingly expressed, to receive Christian
instruction. At one interesting gathering, a Nishkah chief named
Agwilakkah. after hearing the Gospel message for the first time, stood
up before all, stretched forth his hands towards heaven, and lifting up
his eyes, solemnly said:--

"_Pity us, Great Father in heaven, pity us! Give us Thy good! book
to do us good and clear away our sins. This chief_ [pointing to Mr.
Duncan] _has come to tell us about Thee. It is good, Great Father. We
want to hear. Who ever came to tell our fathers Thy will? No, no. But
this chief has pitied us and come. He has Thy book. We will hear. We
will receive Thy word. We will obey._"

Four years, however, passed away before regular Missionary operations
could be extended to the Nass River. In 1864, a Christian Tsimshean,
travelling up the river as a fur-trader, told the Indians he met with
of the Saviour he had himself found, and on his return to the coast
seven young men of the Nishkah tribe accompanied him, that they might
visit Metlakahtla and hear the Missionary for themselves. They stayed
there for a few days, listening eagerly to Mr. Duncan's instructions.
When they left, they begged for some fragment of God's Word to take
back to their tribe; and Mr. Duncan wrote out for each, on a piece of
paper, the words in Tsimshean, "This is a faithful saying, and worthy
of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save

In this case the living voice was not long in following the written
message. On July 2nd, 1864, the Rev. R. R. A. Doolan arrived at
Metlakahtla from England, and, at Mr. Duncan's suggestion, he at once
went on to the Nass River to establish a permanent Mission.

With prayerful energy the young Missionary, inexperienced and
ignorant of the language, flung himself into the conflict with
heathenism. A sore conflict it was. Ardent spirits had come up the
river; drunkenness was fast spreading among the Indians; and
quarrelling and murders were of frequent occurrence. On one occasion,
after a whisky feast, the Indians on opposite sides of the river set to
work firing across the stream at one another, in pure wantonness.
Several were wounded, women as well as men; and next day Mr. Doolan was
called upon to attend to their injuries. Again and again was his own
life in imminent danger. One day an Indian rushed out of a hut he was
passing, gun in hand, and fired at him twice. Both times the gun missed
fire! "I was so close to him," wrote Mr. Doolan, "that I saw the fire
from the flint."

If Divine providence was thus exhibited in the preservation of the
missionary's life, Divine grace was soon to be not less signally
manifested in a blessing on his labours. A boy named Tacomash was the
first fruits gathered in. He and another boy came from a village twenty
-five miles off to live at the Mission-house, and attend school. After a
few weeks he went home to see his father, and was attacked with
bronchitis. Mr. Doolan, hearing of this, hastened off to see him. "The
journey," he says, "was a most painful one. I wore two pairs of
mocassins, but the ice soon cut through both. I was ten hours walking
the twenty-five miles. I found the poor lad very weak, and suffering
much. He had steadfastly resisted the medicine-men from rattling over
him, saying God would be angry with him if he allowed them." Tacomash
got better, and returned to the station; and shortly after Mr. Doolan
writes, "To-day I was rejoiced to hear Tacomash praying to God. He was
among the trees, and did not know anyone heard him. He asked Jesus to
pity him, and make his heart strong." Soon, however, the lad became ill
again, and died trusting in the Saviour. On his death-bed he was
baptized at his own earnest desire, and named Samuel Walker.

On Mr. Doolan's retirement from the Mission in 1867, the work on the
Nass River was taken up by the Rev. R. Tomlinson, who had just arrived.
By Mr. Doolan's efforts some fifty Indians had been influenced to
abandon their heathen customs and to desire to live together as a
Christian community; and a settlement similar to Metlakahtla was now
planned. This settlement received the name of Kincolith; and here Mr.
Tomlinson earnestly laboured from 1867 to 1878, when he left to go
forward into the regions beyond.

The work proved to be one requiring much patience and courage. For two
or three years it was much retarded by hostilities between two tribes.
But Mr. Tomlinson was encouraged by the zeal and intrepidity of his
wife, who accompanied him on his visits to the combatants, and
everywhere disarmed opposition by her presence. Subsequently the
trading store, which had been established on the Metlakahtla plan,
turned out a failure, and the Indian settlers, about sixty in number,
depressed by the losses they incurred, showed signs of wavering, and of
returning to their heathen friends, who were manifesting the most
bitter antagonism to the Mission. But towards the close of 1870, by the
mercy of God, the tide seemed to turn, and when Archdeacon Woods
visited the station at the Bishop of Columbia's request, in October,
1871, he found a peaceful Community, an attentive congregation, and
several candidates for baptism, of whom he admitted twenty adults (with
seven children) to the Church, making, with nine previously baptized,
thirty-six altogether.

From that time the Kincolith Mission, though not exhibiting rapid
success, has been steadily growing, and not a few of the Nishkah Indians
who were accustomed to attend Mr. Doolan's services, but had fallen
back, have joined the community, and some have been baptized. The store
was re-opened in 1874 with improved prospects. A dispensary was
established by Mr. Tomlinson, and has been highly appreciated by the
Indians. A saw mill has been erected, which not only supplies material
for building new houses, but also gives employment to those of the
settlers who are neither fur-hunters nor skilled workmen. The annual
fishing seasons have been a time of distinct blessing, the Christian
Indians holding services for their heathen fellow-countrymen in the
various camps, and many of the heathen joining them in resting from the
fishing operations on the Lord's Day. Year by year the number of
settlers has increased, and now exceeds two hundred, of whom three
-fourths are baptized.

One chief, who joined on New Year's-day, 1877, was well known as the
fiercest savage on the river. He was baptized by Bishop Bompas in
March, 1878, taking, like Legaic at Metlakahtla, the name of Paul. He
was very penitent for his past life, and was earnestly trying to follow
good ways, when illness and death overtook him. Just before he died, he
gave very clear testimony that he had found pardon and peace in Jesus.
At the funeral service the people sang Sankey's hymn, "There will be no
more parting there." His son, a young man of twenty, has since been
baptized, also by the name of Paul, and has been married to the
Christian daughter of another leading chief--a girl named Rhoda.

As already mentioned, Mr. Tomlinson has now moved forward into the
interior to carry the Gospel to the Kitiksheans and other tribes up the
Nass and Skeena Rivers and among the Cascade Mountains, and has
established a station near a place known as the Skeena Forks, where
three branches of that river unite. At Kittackdamix also, at the end of
the navigation on the Nass, a native Christian teacher has been
stationed, towards whose expenses the Kincolith Christians contributed
L12 in money and kind. A site has been selected there for another
Christian village, and several Indian families propose settling on the
spot. The Kincolith station is now under the charge of Mr. H. Schutt, a
schoolmaster sent out in 1876.

Mr. Tomlinson, like Mr. Duncan, has lately been appointed a
magistrate. He writes:--"The proposal was made to me quite unexpectedly
by the head of the Government, and I did not feel justified in
declining the offer. Already good begins to result from it. The hearts
of the well-disposed are strengthened, while the ill-disposed whites
are restrained from molesting the native settlers."



On the group of islands named after George the Third's Queen, dwell
the finest and the fiercest of the coast tribes. The Hydahs are a
manly, tall, handsome people, and comparatively fair in their
complexion; but they are a cruel and vindictive race, and were long the
terror of the North Pacific coast. They even ventured to attack English
ships, and in 1854 they plundered an American vessel, detaining the
captain and crew in captivity until they were ransomed by the Hudson's
Bay Company. No tribe, moreover, has been more fearfully demoralised by
the proximity of the white man's "civilization." Drunkenness and the
grossest vices have spread disease and death among them.

But the Hydahs have not failed to recognise the advantages that
Christianity has conferred upon their neighbours on the mainland.
Trading expeditions up the coast took them occasionally to Metlakahtla,
and the peace and prosperity they saw there deeply impressed their
minds. A striking instance of the moral influence of the Christian
settlement occured in 1873. Many years before, a young Tsimshean woman
had been captured by a party of Hydahs, and carried as a slave to Queen
Charlotte Islands, where, after a while, a son was born to her. Five
and twenty years passed away, and then she was restored by her owner,
for a consideration, to her relatives at Fort Simpson. The Hydahs seem
to have thought this a good opportunity to make friends with their old
enemies, and they sent a deputation to Metlakahtla with her son, now a
grown man, to give him up as a voluntary peace-offering. "We had,"
wrote Mr. Duncan, "a solemn peace-making at the Mission-house. Several
excellent speeches were made, and a document was drawn up and signed by
the relatives of the young man, expressive of their reconciliation with
their ancient foes."

The principal trading post, Massett, is on the northern coast of the
northern island, Graham Island. Here Mr. and Mrs. Collison, with their
two little children, landed on November 1st, 1876--

"On our arrival I had intended to have wintered in one of the Indian
houses, as the winter season was too far advanced for building, but Mr.
Offut, the officer in charge of the H. B. Co.'s post on the island,
kindly offered us a small house, in which goods had been stored, and as
it was within 100 yards of the Indian encampment, I gladly accepted the
offer. This I immediately put under repair, covering it with barks
outside, and putting up a stove inside. The house was very small,
measuring eighteen feet by twelve, and, in order to secure a little
privacy, I partitioned off eight feet, leaving for all purposes an
apartment ten feet by twelve. This has usually been well filled with
Indians, sitting almost on each other, and as we were both to entertain
such numbers at meals, we have often had to remain without food all
day. Of course this, with many other difficulties, will be overcome by
a command of their language, but any attempt to carry out order without
a fair knowledge of their tongue might only insult and estrange them."

To the privations thus endured were soon added those attendant on
sickness First, their eldest child was attacked by fever, and for some
weeks his life was despaired of, and then Mr. Collison himself was
struck down and brought nigh unto death Both, we need not say, were
tenderly nursed by the wife and mother, and both, by the mercy of God,
were raised up again.

In the same letter Mr. Collison describes a remarkable peculiarity of
the Hydah villages--

"In approaching a Hydah village from a distance one is reminded of a
harbour with a number of ships at anchor, owing to the great number of
poles of all sizes erected in front of every house. These are carved
very well, with all kinds of figures, many of them unintelligible to
visitors or strangers, but fraught with meaning to the people
themselves. In fact, they have a legend in connection with almost every
figure. It is in the erection of these that so much property is given
away. They value them very highly, as was instanced lately on the
occasion of the Governor-General's visit. He was most anxious to
purchase one, but they would not consent to it at any price."

Patiently and prayerfully for the next two years and a half, with one
or two intervals for visits to Metlakahtla, did Mr. Collison labour
among the Hydahs, on the same lines as Mr. Duncan had done originally
among the Tsimsheans; first, diligently trying to pick up their
language, and making himself known as their friend; then opening a
school; then seeking to win them from some of their most degrading
customs. Very quickly he gained a remarkable influence over them, and
though the medicine-men were, of course, bitterly hostile, greater was
He who was with the Missionary than those that were with his opponents;
and the tokens of the working of the Holy Ghost were manifested sooner
than even an ardent faith might have anticipated.

During the winter of 1877-8, school was conducted daily, women and
children attending in the morning, and men in the evening, and the
Sunday services were generally attended by three hundred and fifty
Indians. Gambling, heathen dances, and the manufacture of "fire-water"
from molasses, began gradually to diminish; and Mr. Collison's growing
influence was well tested on the occasion of the death of a principal

"I visited him during his illness, and held service in his house
weekly for the five weeks preceding his death. On the morning of the
day on which be died I visited him, and found him surrounded by the men
of his tribe and the principal medicine-man, who kept up his
incantations and charms to the last. He was sitting up, and appeared
glad to see me, and, in answer to my inquiries, he informed me that he
was very low indeed and his heart weak. I directed him to withdraw his
mind from everything, and look only to Jesus, who alone could help him.
He thanked me again and again whilst I instructed him, and when I asked
him if he would like me to pray with him he replied that he would very
much. I then called upon all to kneel, and, with bowed head, he
followed my petitions earnestly. He informed me that, had he been
spared, he would have been one of the first in the way of God, but I
endeavoured to show him that even then he might be so by faith in the
Lord Jesus Christ. Afterwards I sent Mrs. Collison to prepare some food
for him, and make him comfortable, and about mid day he sent for me
again, but why he sent for me, or what he wanted to say to me, I never
learned, as before I reached his house he expired.

"His death was announced by the firing of several cannon which they
have in the village. On my entering the house, the scene which
presented itself was indescribable--shrieking, dancing, tearing and
burning their hair in the fire, whilst the father of the deceased, who
had just been pulled out of the fire, rushed to it again and threw
himself upon it. He was with difficulty removed, and I directed two men
to hold him whilst I endeavoured to calm the tumult.

"I was very much shocked to find that a young man--a slave--had been
accused by the medicine-men as having bewitched the chief and induced
his sickness. In consequence of this he had been stripped, and bound
hands and feet in an old outhouse, and thus kept for some days without
food. I only learned this about one hour before the death of the chief,
and it was well I heard it even then, as I learned that they had
determined to shoot him, and a man had been told off who had his gun
ready for the purpose. I lost no time in calling the chiefs and the
friends of the deceased together, and showed them the wickedness and
sinfulness of such proceedings, and how, by their thus acting, they had
probably kept up a feeling of revenge in the mind of their friend who
had just expired. They accepted my advice, and had him unbound, and he
came to the Mission house to have his wounds dressed. His wrists were
swollen to an immense size, and his back, from hip to shoulder,
lacerated and burned to the bone by torches of pitch pine. He was
deeply grateful to me for having saved him.

"The dead chief was laid out, and all those of his crest came from the
opposite village, bringing a large quantity of swan's down, which they
scattered over and around the corpse. At my suggestion, they departed
from the usual custom of dressing and painting the dead, and, instead
of placing the corpse in a sitting posture, they consented to place it
on the back. The remains were decently interred, and I gave an address
and prayed; thus their custom of placing the dead in hollowed poles,
carved and erected near the houses, has been broken through, and since
this occurred many of the remains which were thus placed have been

The first Hydah to come out distinctly as a Christian was a chief
named Cowhoe, concerning whom an interesting incident is related. One
day he brought a book to Mr. Collison, saying it had been given him
many years before by the captain of an English man-of-war, and asking
what it was. It proved to be a Testament, with this inscription on the
fly-leaf--"_From Capt. Prevost, H. M. S. 'Satellite,' trusting that
the bread thus cast upon the waters may be found after many days._"
More than twenty years had passed away, and now that prayer was
answered, though not by the instrumentality of the gift that bore the
record of it. Cowhoe became a regular attendant at Mr. Collison's
services and school, and we are told that at a meeting held on the Day
of Intercession for Missions, Nov. 30th, 1877, he "prayed very
earnestly for the spread of the truth amongst his brethren." When
Admiral Prevost visited the coast in the summer of 1878, Cowhoe and his
father went to Metlakahtla in a canoe on purpose to see the benefactor
of their race. Of this visit the Admiral gives the following account:--

"Edensaw, the chief of the Hydah nation, arrived with his son, Cowhoe,
and Mr. Collison. They had heard of my visit, and were anxious, to see
me "face to face." I knew him in 1853, when I first visited the Queen
Charlotte Islands in command of H.M.S. _Virago_. An American
schooner had been plundered and destroyed by the Islanders; my object
was to punish the offenders, but, after a searching enquiry, I was not
able to fix the guilt upon any particular tribe. Some portion of the
property was restored, and no lives being lost, I was obliged to be
satisfied by assembling together all the chiefs, and reminding them of
the power I held to punish the guilty. In my own mind, I believe
Edensaw was the guilty person. From that time up to this hour, he has
"been halting between two opinions"--a proud man--he could not give up
his power, his wealth and standing over the heathens, to follow the
Lord God; still he knew the Missionary had brought something better
than he had ever possessed in all his glory, and it was expedient for
him to be friends with the white men. When Duncan first arrived at Fort
Simpson, in 1857, he frequently entreated him to come over and teach
the Hydahs, and when I met him again on board the _Satellite_ in
1859, he made a similar request to me. I may here remark that anxious
as we were to establish a Mission amongst that fine race of Indians, it
was not until October, 1876, the Committee of the C. M. S., were able
to comply with their request. During that time hundreds, principally
females, had passed into eternity through vice and disease contracted
at Victoria.

"I may add, when I visited Massett last October (1879) with Bishop
Ridley, he left Cowhoe with Sneath to assist him during the winter, the
first native teacher from the Hydahs. I trust the good seed has taken
root in many hearts. "God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to
perform!" It was to show me this book, and to shake me by the hand,
that the father and son came this long journey."

In the autumn of 1878, some touching evidences of the Spirit's work
gladdened the missionary's heart. On October 26th he wrote:--

"Not a few are enquiring earnestly for the way of life. At a little
social meeting which I had a few days past, the principal chief said:
'I was careless and unconcerned about the message which the white chief
brought us, but I can be so no longer. Even at night, when I lie awake
on my bed, I cry to God to pardon my many sins and save me. I know now
it is true--all true, and I want to be safe in the Ark, even in Jesus
the Saviour'; and he continued at some length exhorting the others to
receive the Word.

"Another chief also spoke with intense earnestness and feeling. He
said, 'A short time since I was blind, and knew nothing of these great
things. But Jesus has opened my eyes, and now I see. Jesus is the way,
and I am in that way now. I am happy, very happy; but one thing keeps
me back, and when that is over, I will seek to be baptized, and live
only for God.'

"This one thing referred to is a giving away of property on account of
a deceased brother whose effects he took charge of, and promised to
give away property, and put up a carved pole to his memory. As he has
already promised, and given notice to the tribe, he does not wish to
draw back.

"Another--a young man--is already obeying the injunction, 'Let him
that heareth say, Come'; and at the salmon fishing and elsewhere has
endeavoured to gather his friends together for prayer and praise."

And on March 20th, 1879, reviewing the winter's work, Mr. Collison
again wrote:--

"In October last, having mastered the difficulties of the language, I
was induced to commence a weekly prayer-meeting. At this meeting we
opened with a hymn, after which I prayed, and then delivered a short
Gospel address, at the close of which I invited those of them who
understood the solemnity and responsibility of prayer, and to whom God
had given hearts to pray, to lead briefly and successively in audible

"This mode of conducting the prayer-meeting was attended with good
results, as it united those who were in earnest, and who had received
the truth into their hearts, more closely together, and led several of
those who were halting between heathenism and the truth to decide for
the latter.

"Thus a band was formed (amongst whom were several of the chiefs and
principal men) which confronted the heathen customs on the one hand,
and drunkenness and gambling on the other, and, having come out boldly
on the side of the truth, their influence was soon perceptible.

"I dare not attempt to convey to you in words the intense earnestness
and fervour of the petitions which they offered up on behalf of
themselves, their families, and the surrounding villages; whilst, at
the same time, there was nothing like excitement, but rather a calm
solemnity and quiet earnestness prevailed amongst all.

"And surely our united petitions were graciously answered, and a great
change was soon apparent.

"The Lord's Day was observed by the majority, and the services of the
day attended by almost all encamped, as well as by a number from the
opposite village, which is about three miles off.

"The flag which I received from the Missionary Leaves Association, to
hoist on Sundays, in order to acquaint them of the weekly return of the
day of rest, now no longer hangs alone; but nine of the principal men
now follow the example shown by the Mission, and have set up their
banners also."

"Dancing has been abandoned and the medicine work is almost
overthrown, and, in passing along the village after dark, my ear is now
often greeted with the Christian hymn or the song of praise where
formerly the noise of the heathen dance, or the frantic orgies of the
medicine man drowned all other sounds. Thus a change has been effected
during the past three years, in the contemplation of which I can only
exclaim, 'What hath God wrought!'"

Even the chief medicine man himself abandoned his sorceries, and came
forward as an inquirer--

"The charms and rattles of the leading medicine man are now in our
possession, he having given them up, and he is now an earnest inquirer
after the truth and is always present at the services. He was first
brought into contact with the truth shortly before Christmas last in
the following manner.

"A young man was brought home very sick, and I went to see him and
found him suffering from a severe attack of 'brain fever', brought on
by his swimming for some time in the cold salt water, in order to cure
a severe headache which he had.

"I did all I could to alleviate his sufferings, and instructed his
relatives as to how they should nurse him. This resulted in his resting
more easily and in his obtaining some sleep, to which he had been a
stranger for several nights.

"Not satisfied, however, with this, they sent off for the medicine-man,
who was encamped up the inlet. He arrived at midnight, and at once
commenced his whooping and rattling. This he continued at intervals,
until the following day, when I paid him a visit.

"The house was full, and the patient evidently much worse. The
medicine man, or 'Scahaga,' as he is called in their own tongue, had
just finished another performance, and sat down exhausted as I entered.

"All appeared surprised at my intrusion, but I knelt down beside the
sick man, and took his hand to feel his pulse. I shook my head, and
then informed them that he was much worse. The medicine-man then
answered in his own defence, and commenced by informing me that he had
found out the cause of his sickness. A man from the other village had
caused it by snatching the cap from the head of the sick man when up
the inlet together, which had led to his being smitten or bewitched by
a land otter. To this statement several agreed, as they stated the
nervous twitches and convulsive movements of the sick man were exactly
similar to the movements of the above-mentioned animal.

"I then addressed them all on the power of God and His dealings with
man, and how that He alone bringeth down and raiseth up. I then called
upon all to join with me in prayer for themselves and also on behalf of
the sick man. The medicine-man was evidently humbled and discomfited,
though ashamed to acknowledge it before so many. Shortly afterwards the
young man died, and I attended his funeral, and gave an address and
prayed, according to portions of the Burial Service. The medicine-man
was present, and most attentive.

"From that time he appears to have lost faith in his profession,
though he informed me that the 'Scahnawah,' or spirit, appeared to him,
and advised him to continue his medicine work, which would be a source
of great gain to him; but that he had replied, saying God's Word had
come, and he was determined to give up his practice, and seek the
salvation of his own soul. His long hair, which has never been cut, and
which folded up serves him for a pillow at night, he speaks of having
cut off as soon as he can do so with safety to his health. When I see
him sitting at our services, clothed and in his right mind, I am
reminded that the Gospel is now as ever 'the power of God unto

At Christmas (1878), when the Indians from other villages came in
canoes to Massett, the usual festive custom of "dancing with painted
faces, and naked slaves with their bodies blackened," was dispensed
with, and in lieu of it the visitors were received by a choir of a
hundred Hydahs, children and adults, chanting the anthem, "How
beautiful upon the mountains." "The unanimous opinion of all was that
the new and Christian welcome was far superior to the old heathen one."

In the same letter Mr. Collison mentions his translations, in which he
had succeeded beyond his expectations. Portions of Scripture, a simple
catechism, the Commandments, the Lord's Prayer, the General Confession
and Thanksgiving, several collects, ten hymns, and a series of "Short
Addresses on Great Subjects," had been produced by him in the Hydah

Mr. Collison had visited several tribes at a distance, both on the
islands more to the south, and on the coast of Alaska to the north. At
Skidegate Inlet, which divides the two principal of the Queen Charlotte
Islands, he had a particularly warm reception.

In a letter, dated March 21st, 1879, he wrote that he had thirty names
on the list of catechumens, most of them heads of families.

Mr. Collison has since removed to Metlakahtla, to undertake the
pastoral and school-work there. His place at Massett has been taken by
Mr. G. Sneath, a zealous young missionary artizan, who twice went to
East Africa to join the Victoria Nyanza Mission, and twice was ordered
home by the consular surgeon at Zanzibar, and who has now essayed
missionary service in a colder climate.



Fort Rupert is a trading post at the northern end of Vancouver's
Island, some three hundred miles south of Metlakahtla. In that
neighbourhood are found the Quoquolt Indians, and among them a Mission
has lately been begun. This is, however, but a tardy response to their
repeated entreaties for a teacher. It has always been a problem beyond
their power to solve, why, when Mr. Duncan first arrived on the coast,
he actually sailed past them on his voyage from Victoria, and went
first to the Tsimsheans, who were so much further off; and on one
occasion they stoutly remonstrated with the captain of a man-of-war,
sent to punish them for marauding on the territory of another tribe,
that they were left without a teacher, and were only visited when they
had done wrong.

In due time teachers did appear, in the shape of a party of Roman
Catholic priests; and Mr. Duncan, stopping at the Fort when on a voyage
to Victoria in 1860, found that two of them had been there and had
taught some of the Indians "a hymn to the Virgin Mary in the trading
jargon." "I told them," he adds, "of Jesus the true and only Saviour,
which the priests had neglected to do." These Romish Missionaries held
their ground for eleven years, and then abandoned the Quoquolts as
hopeless. As will be seen however, their hopes revived when at length a
Protestant Missionary was found to be gaining an influence over the

In October, 1875, the head chief at Fort Rupert took the three hundred
miles journey to visit Metlakahtla, and once more preferred his
request. He addressed the Christians of the settlement, and said that
"a rope had been thrown out from Metlakahtla, which was encircling and
drawing together all the Indian tribes into one common brotherhood."
Mr. Duncan planned to go and begin a Quoquolt mission himself; but it
proved quite impossible for him to leave his multifarious work at the
settlement, and ultimately the Rev. A. J. Hall, who was sent out in
1877, volunteered to go.

It was on March 12th, 1878, that Mr. Hall landed at Fort Rupert, and
was kindly received by the Hudson's Bay Company's officer in charge. A
large Indian house was purchased for the price of sixty blankets, and a
school at once opened. On June 11th, Mr. Hall wrote:--

"I have taught them one English hymn, 'Jesus loves me, this I know,'
and three simple chants in their own language; also three prayers--one
the Lord's Prayer, four texts which they read from the black board, and
a catechism, arranged and taught by Mr. Duncan at Fort Simpson. All
this instruction has been given in their own tongue, translated to me
by Mr. Hunt's son, who acts also as my interpreter at the Sunday

"I have been able to hold two services every Sunday since I first
came, and sometimes I have had perhaps eighty attend. Many are away
from the village now, trading and visiting other tribes, so that my
congregation is reduced. I have felt it a great privilege to stand up
before this dusky assembly and open up to them the Word of Life. They
are all clothed in blankets, some of them highly ornamented with needle
-work and pearl buttons. When they enter the building, the men take off
the bandannah handkerchiefs which are tied round their heads, and squat
all around me. The men sit on one side, and the women on the other, as
a rule. This fact is in consequence of the inferior position of the
women, and because they are not allowed to attend the meetings which
the men constantly hold to talk over the affairs of the camp. At first
my congregations came with painted faces, and were little inclined to
stand when we sang. They are now, however, more clean in their
appearance, and, with few exceptions, rise when I play the tune on my
English concertina.

"I have almost exclusively spoken to them from the Book of Genesis,
and have brought in the work of our Lord from these lessons, e.g., when
speaking on sacrifices, the offering of Isaac, and the life of Joseph.
These narratives in Genesis have attracted them very much, and they
listened very attentively to my interpreter. All my addresses are
written before I enter my church, and read to the interpreter, and
therefore, I believe, they are already acquainted with many truths from
God's Word, which do strike against the immorality in which they are
living. Sometimes, when I speak in the church, they talk among
themselves, either approving what is said, but more often because the
truth spoken is a rebuke to some of them."

In a later letter, dated March 1st, 1879, Mr. Hall further describes
his interesting congregation;--

"The Indians did not rush to my services at first, and then drop off.
No! a few came at first, and they have gradually increased, and on the
Sunday before they all went to Alert Bay there were probably eighty at
my first service, the majority being men--men who have frequently
committed murder, and who have bitten each other from their youth
upwards in the winter dances. Medicine-men were present who have often
eaten the bodies of dead men, exhumed from their graves, and who to
this day are dreaded by all the people, because there is not an Indian
in the camp but that superstitiously believes these doctors can kill
them by their sorcery. I cannot tell you yet that these wicked men who
come to my services are earnestly seeking a better way. I cannot tell
you yet that I can see any change in them. I know that some of them
hate me and my message, and speak against it; but they come and hear
the truth; and who can say but that God will give them His Holy Spirit,
and that they may be turned from darkness to serve the living and true

"My congregation will not sit upon the forms I have had made; they
prefer to draw their dirty blankets tightly round them, and to squat on
the floor. When I am speaking, they generally rest their heads upon
their bent knees, and fix their eyes upon the floor. Not a muscle seems
to move, and they appear to drink in every word that is spoken to them,
as if they thirsted for the truth. In teaching these people I treat
them as children, but I know they have nothing of the gentleness and
simplicity of children; they are cunning, 'deceitful above all things,
and desperately wicked.'"

The Roman Catholics having left a memorial of their abandoned mission
in the shape of a good school-house, which was standing idle, Mr. Hall
wrote to them at Victoria for leave to use it. The request was refused,
"because," they wrote, "our missionaries may require it again." And a
few months afterwards, when Mr. Hall was beginning to feel his way
among the people, a priest appeared at Nu-wit-ty, the northern point of
Vancouver's Island, thirty miles from Fort Rupert, just when Mr. Hall
was visiting the tribe residing there. He (the priest) called a meeting
of the Indians, concerning which Mr. Hall writes, on March 10th, 1879:--

"The Indians went to the meeting, and I went as well; probably one
hundred were present. He told them to kneel down; they did so, and then
he told them to look at him, and cross themselves as be did, and the
poor Indians followed him. He then told them about the Fall, and it was
very good what he said; but soon he spoke of a way that went to heaven,
and one that went to hell, and he told them that if they followed him
he would lead them to heaven, and that if they followed me they all
would go to hell, and I should go with them. He said he wanted to
baptize them, and then they would be as white as snow. When he spoke
against me, many Indians interrupted him, and one went up to where he
was standing and blew a lamp out. They then called out my name, and
wished me to address them. I did so, and told them all to kneel down,
and put my hands together, telling them to do the same. We repeated the
Lord's Prayer, which is very beautiful in the Indian language; they
call it 'good words.' When the priest spoke I took my hat off and
listened, but when I spoke the priest kept his hat on, and smoked all
the time.

"My address had been written some time before; it was about 'Lying,
stealing, pride, and drunkenness.' Perhaps I did wrong, but I did not
refer to what the priest had said against me. George Hunt, who was
present, was indignant at the way the priest spoke, and, directly the
priest finished, he made an earnest speech in my favour. In coming away
from Hu-wit-ty, the head chief begged me to come and live among them,
and I promised I would do something for them."

The work at Fort Rupert is much interfered with by the migratory habits
of the Indians there. From June to November, 1879, for instance, they
were almost all away on a visit to Nu-wit-ty River; and at our last
date, March, 1880, they were gone for a month to Alert Bay. Mr. Hall,
however, has not been content to be left behind sitting still. He has
made canoe voyages to other parts of Vancouver's Island, and sought to
gain access to other tribes; but he describes the vice and degradation
as most painful, especially amongst the women. In September, 1879, in
company with Admiral Prevost, who was paying him a visit, he walked
across the island to the west coast, where the Koshema (or Quatseno, or
Quatsinough) Indians are found, a tribe hitherto quite untouched. The
Admiral addressed a large number who gathered together, and said,
"Thirty years ago I came among you with my man-of-war, but to-day I come
with a message of peace from the King of heaven." "It was," writes Mr.
Hall, "an act worthy of an Admiral to struggle, for ten hours, across
the most difficult trail I have ever met."

It is possible that the Mission may be moved from Fort Rupert to some
other place more convenient for reaching a large number of Indians.
That God has a people among the Quoquolts and Quatsenos, as well as
among the Tsimsheans and Hydahs, we cannot doubt, and in His own time,
and by His own grace, they too shall be gathered out.



Four great events have signalised the last four years at Metlakahtla.
These events were the visits of four important personages. First, Lord
Dufferin, then Governor-General of the Dominion of Canada, in August,
1876. Secondly, Bishop Bompas, of Athabasca, in the winter of 1877-78.
Thirdly, Admiral Prevost, the founder of the Mission, in June, 1878.
Fourthly, the new Bishop of Caledonia, Dr. Ridley, in October, 1879.
The following very interesting account of Lord Dufferin's visit is all
the more valuable as coming from an independent source:--

(From the _Toronto Mail_, September 19, 1876)

"On board Steamer 'Sir James Douglas,' _August 29th, 1876_

"About half-past six in the evening the 'Douglas' and the 'Amethyst'
dropped anchor in a bay at a place called Metlakahtla. This is an
Indian village started here about fourteen years ago by Mr. William
Duncan, under the auspices of the Church Missionary Society in England.
It has now a resident population of about eight hundred souls belonging
to what is called the Tsimshean nation. Mr. Duncan, who seems to be
possessed of an immense amount of activity, combined with deep interest
in the work in which he is engaged, still remains in charge of the
station, but has during the past two years had the assistance of an
English clergyman and his wife, named Collison, [Footnote: Mr. Collison
was not ordained at the time] who came out from England for the
purpose of working in the mission field among the Indians. Mr. Collison
is studying the language of the Tsimshean Natives, when proficient in
it, which he soon will be, judging from the progress he has already
made, he will labour among the Indians of Queen Charlotte's Islands.

"Under Mr. Duncan's instructions the Indians of Metlakahtla have
already made great strides in the direction of civilization and
Christianity. He has laid the village out regularly, and given to each
head of a family a large-sized lot of land. The houses, which have been
erected under his direction, are much more comfortable and convenient
than Indian domiciles generally, though somewhat accommodated in their
plans to the peculiar habits and mode of living of the race. The houses
which Indians build for themselves are without floors. Those of
Metlakahtla are floored with plank, and in the centre of the principal
room there is a level stone fireplace, from which the smoke, instead of
being left to find its way out of the house through a hole in the roof,
as in the dwellings built in the primitive Indian fashion, rises into a
sort of square inverted hopper which hangs over the fire, and from it
passes out of the house by way of a chimney. Under Mr. Duncan's
supervision the Indians have built a church in the village large enough
to accommodate the whole population. It is clapboarded on the outside,
and with its steeple, buttresses, and broad flight of steps ascending
to the front entrance, presents an imposing appearance. The wood (of
the interior at least) is cedar, the odour from which greets one's
nostrils on entering the building.

"Mr. Duncan is a member of the Church of England, and conducts his
services in accordance with the Anglican form of worship, but it is
understood declines ordination, although qualified for it. He is an
autocrat among his people, but his rule, though despotic, is benign,
and leaves them as full freedom as the members of any white community
enjoy, except that the use of intoxicants is prohibited, as is also
their introduction into the place, and the villagers are consequently
teetotalers "willy nilly." He is a Justice of the Peace under
commission from the Provincial Government, with a jurisdiction
including within it Queen Charlotte's Islands. He has a number of
Indian policemen to assist him in preserving order, and a gaol in
Metlakahtla, in which he incarcerates malefactors. There is at present
undergoing a two months' imprisonment in this bastile a white man who
was caught distilling in Queen Charlotte's Island. In extenuation of
his offence the prisoner asserts that it was from the Indians he
acquired a knowledge of the art, which resulted in himself being jugged
instead of the spirits he was making. In a very neat building,
specially erected for the purpose, Mr. Duncan conducts a school, in
which he gives instruction in reading, writing and arithmetic, as well
as in the doctrines of Christianity, to a large number of the young of
the village. Both boys and girls attend this school, but when the
former arrive at about the age of fourteen they are taken from it and
sent to an industrial school, which is also carried on at the place;
girls are allowed to remain at the other school beyond that age. To his
already multifarious occupations Mr. Duncan has just added that of
running a saw-mill--he was cutting up the first log in it this evening
when the 'Amethyst' signalled her arrival by firing a gun. Mr. Duncan
is a bachelor, a circumstance which, to many, will make the energy he
throws into his work and the success of it all the more remarkable.

"The Indians of Metlakahtla gain their livelihood by fishing and
hunting. Away up here, above the fifty-fourth parallel of latitude, the
climate is such as would not admit of agriculture being extensively
engaged in. Wheat cannot be brought to maturity. Potatoes and other
root crops seem to grow pretty well.

"Formerly the Indians of the Tsimshean nation offered human
sacrifices, and it is said that they also indulged cannibalistic
proclivities. It would seem, however, that they confined their eating
of human flesh to their 'medicine' festivals, and even then no one, as
far as I can ascertain, ever saw them do more than, while engaged in
the demoniacal rites which were customary on these occasions, merely
bite it. The victims at these celebrations were members of other tribes
whom they had enslaved. Not only are the teaching and influence of Mr.
Duncan having the effect of making the Indians fall away from such
inhuman and heathenish practices, but they are also removing much of
the deadly hostility which formerly existed among different tribes.
More Indians are gradually coming in from the country round about and
making Metlakahtla their home.

"In the administration of the affairs of the village the Indian
institution of the council is retained, and Mr. Duncan consults with
them in regard to all matters appertaining to the general weal. Some of
the Indians when baptized are given English names, while others prefer
to keep their Indian appellation, and are permitted to do so."

"_August 30th._

"The Governor-General and party proceeded on shore at Metlakahtla this
morning at half past nine o'clock. The day was a beautiful sunshiny
clear one, the first without fog and rain that we have had since leaving
Nanaimo. Although Mr. Duncan had learned that his Excellency was in
British Columbia, his visit to Metlakahtla was quite unexpected. A large
proportion of the inhabitants of the village were consequently away
working at fisheries some miles off, who, had they known of the Governor
General's visit, would have been present to join in receiving him. It
was understood that their absence from the village on so auspicious an
occasion would be a bitter regret to them. However, there was about a
couple of hundred of the villagers at home, including several members of
the council--the rest were chiefly young lads, young women, and
children, with a few old people. They assisted their energetic white
chief in getting up a demonstration which, under the circumstances, was
quite creditable to them. Several Union Jacks were hoisted throughout
the village, and a red cloth, with 'God save the Queen' worked on it,
was stretched across between two houses near the landing. As the vice
regal party went ashore a small cannon was fired off several times from
the gaol, a small hexagonal structure with a balcony round the top. The
next thing was the singing of the National Anthem to an accompaniment
supplied by some of the members of a brass band which exists among the
young men of the community. The latter were gorgeous in cast-off
uniforms of United States soldiers, purchased at a sale of condemned
military clothing recently held in Alaska. Half-a-dozen Indian maidens
then came forward and presented Lady Dufferin with a bouquet, after
which the distinguished visitors were taken to see the church, the
school house, and one of the Indian residences. Subsequently all the
people were assembled in the open air, and the younger portion of them
sang, under the direction of Mr. Duncan and Mr. Collison, a number of
songs and hymns, both in their native tongue and in English. They
pronounced the words of the pieces that were in the latter language with
a remarkably good accent, although every effort to induce any of them to
converse in it was futile. Lord Dufferin endeavoured to get some of them
to talk with him about their studies, but was not successful in
extracting from any of them, including a young Indian woman whom Mr.
Duncan has placed in the position of an assistant teacher in the school,
any more definitely English expression than a simper. Mr. Duncan stated
that many of his pupils understood English very well, but were somehow
averse to speaking it. The voices of the singers sounded very well, when
allowance is made for their bashfulness. Some of their pieces were of a
fugue character and the time which was kept in singing them was
remarkably good, considering that there was no accompaniment to them.

"After some time had been spent in singing, a young man advanced and
read the following address in excellent style:--

_"To His Excellency the Earl of Dufferin, Governor-General of the
Dominion of Canada_.

"MAY IT PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENCY,--We, the inhabitants of Metlakahtla,
of the Tsimshean nation of Indians desire to express our joy in
welcoming your Excellency and Lady Dufferin to our village. Under the
teaching of the Gospel we have learned the Divine command, 'Fear God,
honour the King, and thus as loyal subjects of her Majesty Queen
Victoria we rejoice in seeing you visit our shores.

"We have learned to respect and obey the laws of the Queen, and we
will continue to uphold and defend the same in our community and nation.

"We are still a weak and poor people, only lately emancipated from the
thraldom of heathenism and savage customs, but we are struggling to
rise and advance to a Christian life and civilization.

"Trusting that we may enjoy a share of your Excellency's kind and
fostering care, and under your administration continue to advance in
peace and prosperity.

"We have the honour to subscribe ourselves your Excellency's humble
and obedient servants.

"For the Indians of Metlakahtla,


"Secretary to the Native Council."

"The members of the Council all came forward in turn and signed the
document by making their marks."

The Governor-General replied as follows--

"I have come a long distance in order to assure you, in the name of your
Great Mother, the Queen of England, with what pleasure she has learnt of
your well being, and of the progress you have made in the arts of peace
and the knowledge of the Christian religion, under the auspices of your
kind friend, Mr. Duncan. You must understand that I have not come for my
own pleasure, but that the journey has been long and laborious and that
I am here from a sense of duty, in order to make you feel by my actual
presence with what solicitude the Queen and Her Majesty's Government in
Canada watch over your welfare, and how anxious they are that you should
persevere in that virtuous and industrious mode of life in which I find
you engaged. I have viewed with astonishment the church which you have
built entirely by your own industry and intelligence. That church is in
itself a monument of the way in which you have profited by the teachings
you have received. It does you the greatest credit, and we have every
right to hope, that, while in its outward aspect it bears testimony to
your conformity to the laws of the Gospel, beneath its sacred roof your
sincere and faithful prayers will be rewarded by those blessings which
are promised to all those who approach the Throne of God in humility and
faith. I hope you will understand that your White Mother and the
Government of Canada are fully prepared to protect you in the exercise
of your religion, and to extend to you those laws which know no
difference of race, or of colour, but under which justice is impartially
administered between the humblest and the greatest of the land. The
Government of Canada is proud to think that there are upwards of 30,000
Indians in the territory of British Columbia alone. She recognizes them
as the ancient inhabitants of the country. The white men have not come
amongst you as conquerors, but as friends. We regard you as our fellow
-subjects, and as equal to us in the eye of the law as you are in the eye
of God, and equally entitled with the rest of the community to the
benefits of good government, and the opportunity of earning an honest
livelihood. I have had very great pleasure in inspecting your school,
and I am quite certain that there are many among the younger portion of
those I am now addressing who have already begun to feel how much they
are indebted to that institution for the expansion of their mental
faculties, for the knowledge of what is passing in the outer world, as
well as for the insight it affords them into the laws of nature and into
the arts of civilized life, and we have the further satisfaction of
remembering that as year after year flows by, and your population
increases, all those beneficial influences will acquire additional
strength and momentum. I hope you are duly grateful to him to whom,
under Providence, you are indebted for all these benefits, and that when
you contrast your own condition, the peace in which you live, the
comforts that surround you, the decency of your habitation, when you see
your wives, your sisters, and your daughters contributing so materially
by the brightness of their appearance, the softness, of their manners,
their housewifely qualities, to the pleasantness and cheerfulness of
your domestic lives, contrasting as all these do so strikingly with your
former surroundings, you will remember that it is to Mr. Duncan you owe
this blessed initiation into your new life. By a faithful adherence to
his principles and example you will become useful citizens and faithful
subjects, an honour to those under whose auspices you will thus have
shown to what the Indian race can attain, at the same time that you will
leave to your children an ever-widening prospect of increasing happiness
and progressive improvement. Before I conclude I cannot help expressing
to Mr. Duncan, and those associated with him in his good work, not only
in my own name, not only in the name of the Government of Canada, but
also in the name of Her Majesty the Queen, and in the name of the people
of England, who take so deep an interest in the well-being of all the
native races throughout the Queen's dominions, our deep gratitude to him
for thus having devoted the flower of his life, in spite of innumerable
difficulties, dangers, and discouragements, of which we, who only see
the result of his labours, can form only a very inadequate idea, to a
work which has resulted in the beautiful scene we have witnessed this
morning. I only wish to add that I am very much obliged to you for the
satisfactory and loyal address with which you have greeted me. The very
fact of your being in a position to express yourselves with so much
propriety is in itself extremely creditable to you, and although it has
been my good fortune to receive many addresses during my stay in Canada
from various communities of your fellow subjects, not one of them will
be surrounded by so many hopeful and pleasant reminiscences, as those
which I shall carry away with me from this spot."

Before he left British Columbia Lord Dufferin delivered an address at
Government House, Victoria, in which, referring to this visit, he

"I have traversed the entire coast of British Columbia, from its
southern extremity to Alaska. I have penetrated to the head of Bute
Inlet, I have examined the Seymour Narrows, and the other channels
which intervene between the head of Bute Inlet and Vancouver Island. I
have looked into the mouth of Dean's Canal, and passed across the
entrance to Gardener's Channel. I have visited Mr. Duncan's wonderful
settlement at Metlakahtla, and the interesting Methodist Mission at
Fort Simpson, and have thus been enabled to realise what scenes of
primitive peace and innocence, of idyllic beauty and material comfort,
can be presented by the stalwart men and comely maidens of an Indian
community, under the wise administration of a judicious and devoted
Christian Missionary. I have seen the Indians in all phases of their
existence, from the half-naked savage, perched, like a bird of prey, in
a red blanket upon a rock, trying to catch his miserable dinner of
fish, to the neat maiden in Mr. Duncan's school at Metlakhatla, as
modest and as well dressed as any clergyman's daughter in an English

"What you want are not resources, but human beings to develope them
and consume them. Raise your 80,000 Indians to the level Mr. Duncan has
taught us they can be brought, and consider what an enormous amount of
vital power you will have added to your present strength."



Of the four visits mentioned at the beginning of the last chapter,
with which the last four years must ever be associated at Metlakahtla,
a very peculiar interest attaches to the third in order of time. To the
Christian Indians it was naturally the most joyous and memorable event
in the history of the settlement. It was not a small thing to receive a
Governor-General, a Missionary Bishop, or the chief pastor of their own
newly-formed diocese. But since the foundation of the settlement, there
has been no day like the 18th of June, 1878, when Metlakahtla had the
joy of welcoming, for the first time, the beloved and revered
originator of the Mission, Admiral Prevost.

He had never been in that part of the world since the migration from
Fort Simpson in 1862, and had never seen the wonderful issue of his own
plan. That he should see it now was a privilege rarely enjoyed. To few
men is it given in the Providence of God to initiate such an agency of
blessing, and to still fewer is it granted to behold such far reaching

Of this happy visit, the Admiral himself has kindly supplied for these
pages the following deeply interesting account:--

_Admiral Prevost's Narrative._

Three a.m., Tuesday, 18th June, 1878. Arrived at Fort Simpson in the
U. S. Mail Steamer _California_, from Sitka. Was met by William
Duncan, with sixteen Indians, nearly all Elders. Our greeting was most
hearty, and the meeting with Duncan was a cause of real thankfulness to
God, in sight, too, of the very spot (nay, on it) where God had put
into my heart the first desire of sending the Gospel to the poor
heathens around me. Twenty-five years previously H.M.S. "Virago" had
been repaired on that very beach. What a change had been effected
during those passing years! Of the crew before me nine of the sixteen
were, to my knowledge, formerly medicine men, or cannibals. In humble
faith, we could only exclaim, "What hath God wrought!" It is all His
doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes.

It did not take long to transfer ourselves and our baggage to the
canoe, and at 4.30 a.m. we started against wind and tide, rain, too, at
intervals; but having much to talk about of past events and future
plans, the twenty miles of distance soon disappeared, and about noon we
crossed the bar and entered the "inlet of Kahtla." On the north side of
the inlet stands, on an eminence, "the Church of God;" on either side
of it, spreads out the village of Metlakahtla, skirting two bays whose
beaches are at once a landing-place for its inhabitants and shelter for
the canoes. As we approached the landing-place two guns were fired and
flags displayed from house to house--conspicuous by a string of them
reaching the Mission House verandah, inscribed, "A REAL WELCOME TO
METLAKAHTLA." Near to this were assembled all the village--men, women,
and children--gaily dressed.

The choice of this harbour of refuge is one of God's many providential
dealings with this Mission. It is defended from the storms and heavy
rolling swell of the Pacific Ocean by large and lofty islands, forming
a breakwater across its entrance, extending as far out to sea as twenty
miles, inside of which smaller islands, numbering nearly a hundred,
form channels leading up to the foot of the snow-capped mountains, 15
or 18 miles distant, on many of which are the village gardens where
potatoes and other vegetables are grown.

The rise and fall of the tide is very great, often 25ft. It was low
water when we arrived, and difficult to land, but this had been
anticipated. We found a small canoe covered over with pretty mats
(Indian manufacture from the cedar bark). Into this we were
transferred, and when comfortably seated, we were lifted quietly on the
shoulders of the young men, and carried up to a platform close to the
entrance of the Mission House. We were surrounded by kind hearts who
had been long expecting us, and the flowers and garlands had withered;
but joy was depicted in their countenances. The body of constables,
dressed in a uniform given by the Government, presented arms; the small
band played; and then all the voices, about 250 in number (the larger
portion of the population being at the fisheries), joined in that
beautiful hymn--

  "What a friend we have in Jesus,
   All our sins and griefs to bear,
  What a privilege to carry
   Everything to God in prayer."

Then came the shaking of hands, and let me remind you a Metlakahtla
Indian can give a hearty shake of the hand!

Rain obliged us to seek shelter indoors. We all met again in the
church in the evening, changing the weekly service to Tuesday. It was
my privilege to address more than two hundred from Romans viii. 31--"If
God be for us, who can be against us?" It was an evening never to be
forgotten. After 25 years' absence, God had brought me back again,
amidst all the sundry and manifold changes of the world, face to face
with those tribes amongst whom I had witnessed only bloodshed,
cannibalism, and heathen devilry in its grossest form. Now they were
sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in their right mind. The
very churchwarden, dear old Peter Simpson, who opened the church-door
for me, was the chief of one of the cannibal tribes.

Words cannot describe the happy month I spent in this happy Christian
circle. I can only copy from my rough notes, written on the spot, some
of the events which occurred to me.

In the Mission House, I found the Rev. W. H. Collison, and his wife
and two children (whom I had known previous to their leaving England),
and Mr. and Mrs. Schutt and children. There was plenty of room for all,
and in addition to our party there were five girls, boarders in the
house, living in a dormitory upstairs with a cheerful look-out. These
are industrial pupils training for their future position as wives and
mothers. Each girl has her own recess. As many as fourteen boarders
have been in the house at one time, and God has greatly blessed the
instruction they have received, the Christian young men preferring a
wife who has passed through the Mission training to all others.

It rained so incessantly the first three days, that nothing could be
done outside. The meetings for Morning and Evening Prayers, in which
the boarders joined, were very precious. Sankey's hymns, a portion of
God's Word, explained by Duncan in Tsimshean, and united prayer, began
and closed the day.

On 21st June, I met by appointment in Duncan's room eight of the
twelve elders of the village (four absent at the fisheries) to consult
about the programme during my stay. It was no formal assembly, but a
council of wise heads met together, all taking a deep interest in the
affairs of the village, and all speaking out boldly.

_June 22nd._--Still rain, but all the men and some of the women
assembled in the school-room, to hear an address from me and to give me
their welcome in reply. We met at 5 p.m., and did not separate until 8
o'clock. Let me give one or two of the speeches addressed to me:--

GEORGE USHER (Indian name, Comtsool) said--"I also want to speak,
though I occupy not the seat of a chief, but only that of a common man
who sits at the door. Your seat is the seat of honour at the upper end
of the house. Yet I will address you.

"It is wonderful to us to see what changes have come amongst us since
your last visit, and it is wonderful to us to see how much good some
people are capable of doing for others. We think of your good work and
are amazed. If it shall so be that you leave this world before us to
see God, remember we are trying to follow you, to be with you before
long. We shall see you again in heaven."

JAMES LEEQUNEESH (chief) said--"Shimoigit, what we once were is known
to you, for you saw our state. I was a young man when you first saw us.
We profited by your visit, but you suffered by us. Which of us is not
now ashamed when we see your face again, and remember the injuries we
did to you? But we were then in darkness. We were like the wild
animals. We were living in mud and darkness. You got a hoe. You got
seed. You designed a garden, though on a very unfavourable site. It was
God who touched your heart. Then the workmen came. Your work was among
thorns, and you suffered, but so did Jesus the Son of God work among
thorns and suffer. So you then got a spade and turned over the ground
and put in the seed. God was with you, and now you have come back to
see what God has done. You are pleased to see that the plants have come
up a little. Yes, the good seed has grown, and this, sir, is the result
of your work. God put all this into your heart, and our own hearts are
deeply affected and aroused within us by your coming again to see us."

ADAM GORDON (Kshimkeaiks) said--"Sir, though I have not prepared a
speech, I cannot help saying my heart is thankful to tell you how happy
we all are. It is while we are still in the fight you have come to see
us. Like as children rejoice to see a father, so we rejoice to see you.
We are fighting every day with sin, but we shall cease fighting; by-and
-by, and be happy when we get to the other shore. Then when we reach
over there we shall be truly happy."

PETER SIMPSON (Thrakshakaun).--"I remember when you put your ship on
shore at Fort Simpson. I remember how nearly we were fighting, and the
guns were prepared. You had a rope put out to keep us off, and we heard
it said that you would fire at us from your ship when you got afloat.
We knew not what you had rather planned to do. You planned to bring us
the Gospel, and that has opened our eyes to heavenly things, and oh!
how beautiful, very beautiful indeed! Metlakahtla is like a ship just
launched. You are here to give us advice where to put the mast in, and
how to steer. I address you thus, though you are great and I am poor.
But Jesus despises not the poor. The Tsimsheans were very low, yet
Jesus raised us, and we are now anxious for all our brethren, the
tribes around us, to be made alive. We see them now willing to hear,
and we are trying to help them. We know God put it into your heart to
come here, and brought you here; God bless you for coming."

_Sunday, 23rd_.--To me, all days at Metlakahtla are solemnly
sacred, but Sunday, of all others, especially so. Canoes are all drawn
up on the beach above high water mark. Not a sound is heard. The
children are assembled before morning service to receive special
instruction from Mr. Duncan. The church bell rings, and the whole
population pour out from their houses--men, women, and children--to
worship God in His own house, built by their own hands. As it has been
remarked, "No need to lock doors, for no one is there to enter the
empty houses." Two policemen are on duty in uniform, to keep order
during service time. The service begins with a chant in Tsimshean, "I
wilt arise and go to my Father," etc., Mr. Schutt leading with the
harmonium; the Litany Prayers in Tsimshean follow, closing with the
Lord's Prayer. The address lasts nearly an hour. Such is the deep
attention of many present, that having once known their former lives, I
know that the love of God shed abroad in their hearts by the Holy Ghost
can alone have produced so marvellous a change.

First, there was a very old woman, staff in hand, stepping with such
solemn earnestness; after her came one who had been a very notorious
gambler; though now almost crippled with disease, yet he seemed to be
forgetting infirmity, and literally to be leaping along. Next followed
a dissipated youth, now reclaimed; and after him a chief, who had dared
a few years ago proudly to lift up his hand to stop the work of God,
now with humble mien, wending his way to worship. Then came a once
still more haughty man of rank; and after him a mother carrying her
infant child, and a father leading his infant son; a grandmother, with
more than a mother's care, watching the steps of her little grandson.
Then followed a widow; then a young woman, who had been snatched from
the jaws of infamy; after them came a once roving spirit, now meek and
settled; then, a once notorious chief; and the last I reflected upon
was a man walking with solemn gait, yet hope fixed in his look. When a
heathen he was a murderer: he had murdered his own wife and burnt her
to ashes. What are all these now, I thought, and the crowds that
accompany them! Whither are they going? and what to do? Blessed sight
for angels! Oh, the preciousness of a Saviour's blood! If there is joy
in heaven ever one sinner that repenteth, with what delight must angels
gaze on such a sight as this! I felt such a glow of gratitude to God
come over me, my heart was stirred within me, for who could have joined
such a congregation as this in worship and have been cold, and who
could have preached the Gospel to such a people and not have felt he
was standing where God was working?

After morning service, a class of female adults remain in the church,
and receive further instruction from the native teachers. At the same
time the male adults meet Mr. Duncan in his own room. At three, the
church bell again assembles all the village to worship; and again at
seven, when they generally meet in the schoolroom, the address being
given by one of the native teachers.

_June 26th._--Evening Service in schoolroom, about 90 in
attendance, most of the village absent at the fisheries. Some strange
Indians arrived today from a distance. A large building has been
erected on the shore, close to the general landing-place, for the
accommodation of such visitors; here they deposit their property
(brought for trade), and take up their abode, finding firewood ready
for use. As soon as they are comfortably housed and mashed (the latter
a positive injunction), they come to Duncan's room, where he receives
them, generally having something new and amusing to show them. To-day I
was present at their interview, when Duncan showed them a mechanical
picture, in which a "ship at sea," a "wind-mill," and a "water-mill,"
worked by machinery, are moved at the same time. A galvanic battery is
also a source of wonder and astonishment. After some time he explains
to his audience the cause and effects, exposing, too, the tricks
formerly played upon their ignorant minds by their own medicine men.
The visit is returned, and in that market-house the good seed of the
Word of God has been frequently sown by this faithful man of God to
casual visitors, and through them to the surrounding tribes.

A deputation also arrived from the Fort Simpson Indians to consult
with the Metlakahtla Indians how to meet the pending difficulties with
the White men as regards the Indian rights as to the salmon-fisheries.
The bugle sounded to call together the Council. Both parties assembled
together in the school-house, and consulted together for several hours;
and when they had finished, they sent for Duncan to tell him the
result. I mention this circumstance as one of the blessed results of
their new life in Christ Jesus. In their heathen days this difficulty
with white men would have been met with murder and destruction. In
1859, I was present at an assemblage of chiefs, when gold was first
discovered in British Columbia, and when more than twenty thousand
white men rushed into that country, bringing with them vice and
disease. The question was asked by the head chief, "How shall we treat
these strangers? Shall we cut their throats?"--going through the motion
of doing so in an unmistakable manner. In God's providence, the man in
authority had great influence over the Indian mind and action. A proper
answer was returned, and the lives of hundreds, nay, thousands were

27th.--Visited the village saw-mill, conveniently situated at the head
of a sheltered inlet about a mile and a quarter from the village. It is
managed entirely by natives, the head Indian receiving 8 dols., or L1
12s., the second, 6 dols., or L1 4s., the third, 5 dols., or L1 per
week. Lumber of all sizes is supplied to the village for building
purposes at moderate prices. Thus the Indians are kept independent of
the white man's help. Duncan told me a curious story of an old Indian
who came to him, when the mill was being erected, and asked him, "Are
you going to make water saw wood?" He got his answer, and exclaimed,
"When I see it I die, to go and tell it to my chief."

I visited the widow of Samuel Marsden (Shooquanahts), the first fruits
of this Mission. He was baptized, 21st July, 1861, and died May 8th,
1878, a Native elder, a ripe Christian, a faithful follower of the Lord
Jesus; and the clear testimony he bore on his death-bed to the
blessedness of the Christian hope and the presence of the Saviour was
very cheering. Duncan adds, "His parting words to myself and the elders
were very affecting; his end indeed was peace, and such a funeral the
Indians never saw." Catherine, his widow, is left with two children,
and lives in the same house with Catherine Ryan, whose husband died
about the same time as Samuel, leaving her with four children. I did
indeed wish for some of the friends of the Mission to have witnessed
the touching simple faith of these two brands plucked out of the fire,
as I read to them a few words from John xi., "Jesus wept." after which
we joined in prayer.

Shortly after my return to the Mission House, Samuel Marsden's father
called to see me. He was present at my first visit to Fort Simpson in
1853. Poor fellow! he looked quite cast down; he said his heart was
sad, he wanted to speak to me. "I have felt," he said, "that I must see
you. It has been on my heart to see you. I saw your ship long ago when
you first came to Fort Simpson. I saw you then also. I was a young man
then. I had a son, an only son, he was then very young. You did not
forget us. When Mr. Duncan came, I sent my son to learn. I was anxious
to walk in God's way myself; but I was very wicked. But I was anxious
that my son should learn; he learned quickly and had but one heart.
When Mr. Duncan came to Metlakahtla, Samuel was one of the first to
accompany him, and afterwards, when Mr. Duncan had to punish any of the
Indians of the villages around who were guilty of crime, Samuel was
always ready to go and assist in bringing them to justice. I was not
afraid, because I knew he was doing right, and God would defend him and
save him. Well, he continued to grow stronger in God's way, and was
anxious to work for Him, wherever he went telling the people about the
Son of God, the Saviour; but he became sick and was very weak for some
time. However, he almost recovered, and when the news came last autumn
that you were coming, no one was so glad as Samuel. He was rejoiced to
think that he would see you again; but it was not to be so now. God was
pleased to call him to Himself before you came. He is in heaven now.
Chief! this is why I was not present at the meeting to welcome you. My
strength was gone, my only son, I thought he would strengthen my heart
now that I am an old man; but God knows it is best. I felt that I could
not speak with the rest, as my heart was so weak. But there was a
burden on my heart. I felt so much that if Samuel were alive, he would
have much to tell you, and I felt that I could not rest until I told
you all this, as Samuel would have me do were he alive. I thank you
much for your sympathy and encouragement to us. My heart is very full.
I am very grateful to you, chief. When you pray, will you ask God to
make my heart strong? I want to be faithful too, I want to meet my son
and all of you above. I ask your prayers to help me. My heart is strong
and glad now, because I have seen you and told you my heart."

One afternoon the girls in the Mission House, five in number, were
given a half-holiday, to pick berries on the opposite islands. We
availed ourselves of the fine weather and this picnic to see the
village gardens. We started in a large canoe (every Indian from his
earliest childhood can handle a paddle), towards the head of the
estuary, which leads through a labyrinth of islands, to the pine-clad
shores of the snowy mountains, nearly twenty miles distance. We landed
at some of the islands, most of which have some cultivated land. Every
man and woman had a certain portion of ground measured out by Duncan,
when the village was first settled, and set apart by him for their sole
use. As the children advance in years, an addition is made. At present
only potatoes are planted, and these are not properly attended to, for
just at the time when labour is required for weeding, hoeing, etc., all
hands are absent at the fishing stations. Duncan hopes, in course of
time, to make better arrangements. How we all enjoyed ourselves in that
holiday trip!--all of us like children escaped from school. Berries
were plentiful, and we returned by moonlight, paddling and singing
hymns alternately, till the sparkling wood fire in the Mission-room
welcomed us to our home.

One evening I was invited by Matthews (one of the elders, and a good
carpenter), to hear him perform on a parlour organ, which he had bought
at Victoria for 80 dollars (L16). It was a wondrous sight--the Indian
and his wife at his side playing and singing many of the well-known
Sankey's hymns! Had I accepted an invitation to visit an Indian hut in
years gone by, I should have seen all kinds of devilry, witchcraft, and
cannibalism, often followed by murder. How strikingly were the words of
Holy Scripture brought before me, "Is anything too hard for the Lord?"

Much of the missionaries' time is taken up in visiting and recovering
the sick. Collison and I went together one morning to visit a young
woman, a Kitsalass (the people of the Rapids on Skeena river), dying of
consumption; her husband, an affectionate nurse for four months, and
most patient, seldom leaving her. I read Ps. xxv. 18, "Look upon my
affliction and my pain, and forgive me all my sins;" then a short
prayer, all around her kneeling. From my note-book I copy the
conversation which followed, noted down at the time. "Do you remember
what I said to you from God's Word?" She felt she was going to leave
the world; she was always thinking of Jesus and crying unto Him. "Have
you any fear of death?" "No! because I love Jesus." We replied, "He
first loved us!" The husband then spoke. He had been praying three
times a day. They did not know anything of their sinfulness before this
affliction. "I was greatly troubled at the thought of my wife leaving
me, but my heart is satisfied now, my heart is strong now, because the
Saviour has had mercy on us. He has shown us the way, and though it is
very hard, yet I know it will be for her gain."

Previous to this interview, her great desire had been to return to her
own people, but now she asked to be buried with the Christians at
Metlakahtla. She hesitated before this to ask to be baptized; she had
it on her heart to ask, but now she felt her time was short, and she
wished to be numbered amongst the people of God. Baptism was then
administered to her, in the simple words of our Lord, "Go ye,
therefore, and make Christians of all nations, baptizing them in the
name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." As a proof
of her humility, she asked to be baptized in her heathen name
("Lukaloosh"), not being worthy of a white woman's name, which is
always given.

After two days I visited her again, and found her much weaker,
breathing with difficulty. During a sleepless night she exclaimed, "I
know where I am going, it is no longer darkness; Jesus is with me."
These last words were frequently repeated. In the morning her husband
came to say, "she was fast departing, her heart beating faintly." He
was comforted by repeating his wife's last words, "Jesus is with me."

Fine weather having now set in, I invited all the village to a feast.
Two guns were fixed to recall the absentees, who were at their daily
work. Tables were soon spread on the green in front of the Church, each
guest bringing cups and spoons. Coffee and biscuit was provided in
abundance. Before they were seated, all assembled on the steps of the
Church, and were photographed by Duncan, [Footnote: A picture drawn
from this photograph appeared in the Church Gleaner of July, 1879.] to
the amusement of all present. A blessing was then asked, and the feast
commenced. Games followed, singing, and cheering, the latter very
hearty. At nine o'clock all separated to go to their homes.

_1st July_.--In the early morning paddled over to the island set
apart as the burial ground of Metlakahtla. All the graves are
surrounded with a neat wooden fence, and several marble headstones are
erected. I copied the three nearest to the landing-place:--



_Who was drowned in the Skeena. River, Aug. 15th, 1870,_


"Be ye therefore ready also."--LUKE xii. 40.

       *       *       *       *       *



_Who died May 2nd, 1877,_


       *       *       *       *       *



(Head Chief of the Tsimshean Indians),

_Who died May 6th, 1869,_


"Is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?"

       *       *       *       *       *

On 2nd July I left Metlakahtla in a large canoe, paddled by five
Kincolith Indians, to visit the C. M. S. Mission at Kincolith, "place
of the scalps," Naas River, established by the Rev. R. Doolan, in July,
1864. Since then the Mission has been removed lower down the river, at
the entrance of the Portland Canal, beautifully situated, hedged in by
high mountain peaks, 3,807 and 3,385 feet in height. Inland there is
good farming land, and many native villages, with souls thirsting for
the Gospel news. The following day we sighted the church; soon the
houses were visible. Flags were run up, and as we approached the
landing-place, a gun was fired, and we could see the inhabitants
hastening to welcome us, dressed in their best, some in very bright

Being high water we landed easily. Many were the kind words of welcome
floating in the bright sunshine. "WELCOME TO KINCOLITH," in large
letters of the fern leaves; "COME TO NAAS RIVER"; "TIS DAY
(_sic_), WE ARE ALL VERY HAPPY TO SEE YOU, SIR"--their own
composition and spelling. As we landed guns were fired. We were
welcomed at the Mission House by Mrs. Tomlinson and her five children.
Soon after, we all met again in the schoolroom, where I gave a short

_July 4th_.--Visited the sawmill, which is romantically situated
near the river, from whence there is a fine view of the valley. Its
high cliffs, and their snow-capped tops, betoken a severe winter
residence, though on our return we crossed a meadow where cows and
calves were grazing. In the meanwhile my invitation to a feast had been
accepted, all were busily employed, and soon all were seated enjoying
the coffee and biscuits as at Metlakahtla. During the feast, a canoe
was seen passing down the river, and the universal wish was expressed
by all the leading men that the strangers should be invited to join
them. Oh, how the blessedness of the Gospel is daily brought before one
among these Christian Indians--"peace, good-will towards all men"! In
former years a watchman would have told of the approach of an enemy,
and all would have taken to arms to defend their lives. "Oh that men
would therefore praise the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful
works to the children of men!"

_July 5th_.--This was our last day at Kincolith. At 8 p.m., we
embarked in our canoe to return to Metlakahtla, taking leave of the
Mission greatly encouraged, and thankful for the bright prospects
before them, acknowledging with deep gratitude the Lord's hand in the
work, and earnestly praying that the young converts may be preserved
from the many trials and temptations which are brought nearer and
nearer to them year by year.

_July 10th_.--Before my departure from Metlakahtla, I assembled
the few who were left at the village, to tell them I was anxious to
leave behind some token both of my visit to them after so long an
absence, and also that I still bore them on my heart. What should it
be? After hours of consultation, they decided they would leave the
choice to me, and when I told them (what I had beforehand determined
upon) that my present would be a set of street lamps to light up their
village by night, their joy was unbounded. Their first thought had a
spiritual meaning. By day, God's house was a memorable object, visible
both by vessels passing and repassing, and by all canoes as strange
Indians travelled about; but by night all was darkness--now no longer
so--as the bright light of the glorious Gospel, had through God's mercy
and love shined in their dark hearts, so would all be reminded, by
night as well as by day, of the marvellous light shining in the hearts
of many at Metlakahtla. When Duncan first settled at Metlakahtla, even
the Indians who came with him were in such fear from the neighbouring
tribes, that they begged him not to have a fire burning at night or
show a light in his house. The system of murder was then so general,
that whenever an enemy saw a light he sneaked up to it, and the death
of the unsuspecting Indian was generally the result. Thus my selection
was a happy one, and I thanked God for it.

I fear the story of my visit to this interesting Mission will try the
patience of many of the readers. I would, therefore, affectionately ask
them to consider it from my point of view, viz., God's providential
dealings with me from my first acquaintance with the Indians in 1853 to
the present time. I claim no honour to myself nor to the C. M. S., but
for Christ--"Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy name give
glory." Words cannot express my gratitude to God for permitting me to
see what I have see of the power of the Gospel of the Grace of God. He
who healed the deaf and dumb when upon earth still lives. When brought
to Christ, the same power still heals the spiritually deaf and dumb;
witness the great chief Legaic--He made him to delight in listening to
the same Gospel which once he so opposed, ridiculed, and despised, to
love the man whose life he so often attempted, and to join with him in
prayer and praise; and finally, at the time of his departure, to hear a
glorious testimony, that the sting of death had been removed, and he
was safe in the arms of Jesus.



As we have already mentioned, when Mr. Duncan went out in 1856 there
was but one clergyman of the Church of England on the whole western
coast of British America, viz., the Rev. E. Cridge, chaplain at
Victoria. The colony of British Columbia, however, grew apace; and in
1859 it was formed into a Diocese, Dr. Hills being appointed the first
Bishop. The visits of Bishop Hills and of more than one of his colonial
clergy to Metlakahtla have been noticed in the foregoing pages. By them
a large number of the Christian Indians were baptized. The C. M. S.
Committee have always desired to provide an ordained missionary for the
settlement; but for some years their effort seemed fruitless. It has
been before mentioned that the Rev. L. Tugwell, who went out in 1860,
and was privileged to baptize the first group of converts, was
compelled by failure of health to return home in the following year. In
1864, the Rev. R. R. A. Doolan, B.A., of Caius College, Cambridge,
offered himself for the work. He laboured zealously for three years,
and began the Mission on Nass River, as already related; and then in
1867 he, too, had to return to England. Both he and Mr. Tugwell found
important spheres of missionary labour in connection with the Spanish
Church Mission. In 1865, the Rev. F. Gribbell was sent out; but the
climate of Metlakahtla seriously affected his wife's health, and he
accepted colonial work offered him at Victoria by the Bishop of
Columbia. In 1867 the Rev. R. Tomlinson, B.A., was appointed to the
Mission, and he has providentially been permitted to continue in its
service ever since. He, however, took over the work on Nass River,
begun by Mr. Doolan, so that Metlakahtla still remained without an
ordained missionary. But the grace of God is not tied to a regular
ministry, and the settlement grew and prospered, spiritually as well as
materially, under the loving care of its lay founder. In 1873, Mr. W.
H. Collison joined the Mission as a schoolmaster, and in 1878 Mr. H.
Schutt went out in the same capacity, to leave Mr. Collison free to
begin new work in Queen Charlotte's Islands. In 1877 the Rev. A. J.
Hall, a young clergyman in full orders, was appointed to Metlakahtla;
but he, too, under the advice of his brethren, removed soon after his
arrival to Fort Rupert, to break up fresh ground. At length Mr.
Collison, having been ordained deacon and priest by Bishop Bompas, of
Athabasca, during the latter's visit to the coast in the winter of 1877
-8, and having been released from the work at Queen Charlotte's Islands
by the arrival of Mr. G. Sneath in 1879, again took up his abode at
Metlakahtla as pastor of the settlement.

In the meanwhile, certain unhappy disputes in Victoria, arising from
the extreme doctrinal views which found an entrance into the Church in
the Colony, as they have into the Church at home, had resulted in a
secession to the American "Reformed Church" under the leadership of the
Rev. E. Cridge. Mr. Cridge was greatly beloved by the Christians of
Metlakahtla, having given much godly counsel and help to the Mission;
and they not unnaturally felt much sympathy for him in the painful step
he had felt it his duty to take. In this state of things, the Bishop of
Columbia, anxious not to rouse feelings which it might be hard to
allay, with much wisdom and generosity refrained from visiting
Metlakahtla, and wrote to Bishop Bompas, of Athabasca, who is a devoted
missionary of the C. M. S., asking him to come over and visit the
coast, and to perform episcopal functions in the C. M. S. Mission.
Accordingly, in November, 1877, Bishop Bompas, reached Metlakahtla
after a long and difficult journey across the Rocky and Cascade
Mountains, and the wilderness of lakes and rivers stretching between
those chains. He remained three months on the coast, visited the
outlying stations, confirmed 124 of the Christian Indians, ordained Mr.
Collison deacon and priest, and assisted Mr. Duncan and the other
missionaries in maturing plans for the extension of the Mission.
[Footnote: Bishop Bompas' account of the Christmas he spent in
Metlakahtla is given at page 75. A narrative of his journey across the
Rocky Mountains appeared in the _C. M. Intelligencer_ of August,

In 1879, Bishop Hills, being on a visit to England, arranged with the
Church Missionary Society a plan for providing its Missions with
episcopal oversight. He had come, charged by his Diocesan Synod to take
steps for dividing his vast diocese into three--Columbia, New
Westminster, and Caledonia--which would form an ecclesiastical province
on the west side of the Rocky Mountains, just as, on the east side, the
four dioceses of Rupert's Land, Moosonee, Athabasca, and Saskatchewan,
form the province of Rupert's Land. The northernmost of these three
divisions, Caledonia, would comprise the field of the C. M. S.
Missions; and the Society therefore undertook to guarantee the income
of the Bishop for this division, provided that the Committee were
satisfied with the appointment made. The scheme was happily consummated
by the choice of the Rev. Wm. Ridley, vicar of St. Paul's,
Huddersfield, who had been a C. M. S. missionary in India, but whose
health had been unequal to the trying climate of the Peshawar Valley.
Mr. Ridley was consecrated on St. James's Day, July 25th, 1879, at St.
Paul's Cathedral, at the same time as Dr. Walsham How to the Suffragan
-Bishopric of Bedford (for East London), Dr. Barclay to the Anglican See
of Jerusalem, and Dr. Speechly to the new diocese of Travancore and

The Diocese of Caledonia comprises the territory lying between the
Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, with the adjacent islands, and
is bounded on the south by a line drawn westward from Cape St. James,
at the south end of Queen Charlotte's Islands, and on the north by the
60th parallel of latitude. It comprises, therefore, the mining
districts on the upper waters of the Fraser and Skeena and Stachine
rivers, with their rough white population, and many thousands of
Indians of the Tsimshean and Hydah nations on the coast, as well as
others in the interior.

Bishop Ridley sailed from Liverpool on September 13th for New York,
crossed the States by the Pacific Railway, took a steamer again at San
Francisco, and reached Victoria on October 14th. There he met Mr.
Duncan, and also Admiral Prevost, who had again gone out a few months
before, partly to prepare the way for the new Bishop; and a few days
after they sailed together for Metlakahtla. On November 1st he wrote as

"Metlakahtla has not disappointed me. The situation is excellent.
There is no spot to compare with it this side of Victoria. During this
week the weather has been charming. Frosty nights, but the days mild,
as in Cornwall at this season. Numbers of the worn-out old folk have
been basking in the sun for hours daily. Squatting in the long grass,
they looked the very pictures of contentment. They all gazed on the
sea. No wonder if they loved it. Besides being the store-house from
which they took their food, it is the chief feature in one of the most
beautiful views I have ever seen. We are at the entrance of an estuary
that winds about, labyrinth-like, until it leads up to a stream more
than twenty miles distant inland. Outside are large islands, their
lofty heads pine-clad, and the same garment reaching to the very waves
on all sides. These are God's breakwaters. Inside, wherever the channel
widens, there are smaller islands, so disposed as to make it impossible
to say what is island and what continent. These are gems in a setting
that perfectly reflects the grass and pines fringing the sea's glossy
surface, as well as the background of snow-patched mountain.

"Yesterday the stillness was reverential, and quite in keeping with
Sunday rest. Scores of graceful canoes were drawn above the tide. Not a
paddle broke the silence. As Admiral Prevost and I stood in the Mission
garden we heard, in the distance, the howls of a pack of wolves. A
flight of crows or rooks claimed a moment's attention. Besides this,
nothing disturbed the calm sea, or the stillness, but the wing of some
wild fowl splashing the sea as it rose. Before we returned to the house
we were ravished with the splendour of the sunset. The giant that had
run its day's course transformed the scene. He touched everything, till
sea and sky vied with each other in glorious effects. The snowy peaks
to eastward blushed.

"But, after all, the Sun of Righteousness has produced a far more
beautiful transformation in the character of the Indian, and this
change is not fleeting. The church bell rings, and, from both wings of
the village, well-dressed men, their wives and children, pour out from
the cottages, and the two currents meet at the steps of the noble
sanctuary their own hands have made, to the honour of God our Saviour.
On Saturday I had made a sketch of the village. Mr. Duncan remarked, as
the people streamed along, 'Put that stream into your picture.' 'That
would never do,' I said, 'nobody would believe it.' Inwardly I
exclaimed, 'What hath God wrought!' It would be wrong to suppose that
the love of God alone impelled them all. All, without reasonable cause
to the contrary, are expected to attend the public services. A couple
of policemen, as a matter of routine, are in uniform, and this is an
indication that loitering during service hours is against proper civil
order. This wholesome restraint is possible during these early stages
of the corporate life of the community. At present one strong will is
supreme. To resist it, every Indian feels would be as impossible as to
stop the tides. This righteous autocracy is as much feared by the
ungodly around as it is respected and admired by the faithful. Thus are
law and Gospel combined with good results."

Before leaving England, Dr. Ridley had earnestly appealed for funds to
provide him with a small steamer--an absolute necessity if his
episcopal duties were to be performed safely and regularly. Without it
the long voyages up and down the coast, and among the islands, would
have to be made in native canoes. The perilous nature of such
travelling had been sadly illustrated only two years before, by the
loss of a boat which was conveying an excellent Hudson's Bay officer
from Queen Charlotte's Islands to the mainland. He and his crew of
Tsimshean Christians were all drowned except one Indian, who was in the
water four days and nights, lashed to a piece of the canoe, and was
drifted on to the Alaska coast. This Indian related how, when they were
all clinging to the capsized boat, Mr. Williams, the officer, seeing
death imminent, called on them to pray, and as their strength failed
they sank praying and singing hymns. The Bishop himself, in one of his
first voyages, within a fortnight of his arrival, was overtaken by a
gale in a canoe which two men could lift, and in which ten were huddled
together, and "as nearly lost as a saved man could be." "How I longed
for my steamer!" he wrote; "unless I get one, a new Bishop will soon be
wanted, for the risk in these frail crafts is tremendous, and a short
career the probable consequence."

The money required, we are glad to say, has been raised, and, the
steamer will (D.V.) soon be speeding up and down the coast on its
errands of love--preserved and prospered, we doubt not, by His goodness
who rules the winds and the waves.

       *       *       *       *       *

It only remains to add the latest news from Metlakahtla, as
communicated in the annual letters of Mr. Duncan and Mr. Collison for
1879. Mr. Duncan writes, on March 8th. 1880:--

"In regard to secular matters, the year past has been one of marked
progress--the greatest year for building the Indians have ever known.
We have now eighty-eight new houses up, or in course of erection; and
when all the houses are erected, roads completed, and gardens, drains,
and fences finished, we shall have certainly a very attractive home.
But there remains a good deal to do yet. Our American neighbours are
being aroused to their duty for the poor Indians of Alaska,--
encouraged, they tell us, by what has been accomplished at Metlakahtla.
During the past year I have had several letters from, and interviews
with, American gentlemen (among whom were three generals of the army in
active service), who were anxious to learn from me my plans and modes
of dealing with the Indians. I am afraid they are attributing our
success too much to secular matters, and too little to the preaching of
the Gospel. I have strongly warned them not to commence at the wrong end.

"I have already opened up and discussed with the Indians the
desirability of their endeavouring to take into their own hands all the
secular work I have begun. If my hopes are realised, it will be a grand
termination of all my secular work. The Indians are delighted with the
idea, and will struggle hard to reach the goal.

"Our Church, Sunday School, and Day School are all prospering.

"The surrounding heathen tribes are not being neglected. I paid a
visit to the Kithratlas, in company with the Admiral, last Autumn, and
a native teacher--Edward Mather--is now being employed amongst them.
Other native teachers are about taking up work around, as the seasons
allow, and as the Indians are accessible.

"In the month of July Dr. Powell, Superintendent of Indian Affairs,
and Mr. Anderson, Commissioner for Fisheries, paid us their long
-promised visit in H.M.S. Rocket. Though only a portion of our
population were at home, our visitors expressed themselves as greatly
astonished and delighted at all they saw. Dr. Powell has since written
me an official letter, and read me his official report to the minister
at Ottawa, both which were highly commendatory, and Mr. Anderson has
published a long letter in the _Colonist_ newspaper about
Metlakahtla. The testimony of the latter gentleman was very telling
upon the community here, as he has lived in this country upwards of
fifty years, and is considered a great authority on Indian affairs."

Mr. Collison mentions that during the winter he conducted a class of
catechumens, and that, after due examination by Bishop Ridley, seventy
-two persons, men and women, were baptized on Sundays, Jan. 25th and Feb.
1st, of the present year, 1880. During the year under review sixty-three
children also were baptized. "Thus," writes Mr. Collison, "the visible
Church increases; but our greatest care and concern is that they may be
united to Christ by a living faith, and grow up in Him into a spiritual
temple, of which Jesus Christ Himself is the chief corner-stone."

       *       *       *       *       *

Such is the story of Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission. An
unfinished story, indeed, the plot of which is still unfolding itself,
and the issues of which, in this world, are known only to Him who sees
the end from the beginning. And yet a story which, embracing as it
does, the separate life-stories of many individuals, again and again
comes to a true "end," to an "end" for which we may well render
unceasing praise. What the destiny of Metlakahtla may be, none can say;
but what the destiny is of soul after soul that has passed away in
peace and hope, and that owed that peace and hope, under God, to the
influence of Metlakahtla, we do know. The day is coming--it may be very
soon--when Metlakahtla will, share the universal fate of the things
that are seen and temporal, and will have become a mere memory of the
past, while the men and women, and children, whom it brought to the God
and Father of all to be washed, and sanctified, and justified in the
name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God, live on and on in
the power of an endless life. No tall church spire, rising from the
inlet of Kahtla will then be needed to guide the mariner through the
Archipelago of the North Pacific coast, "for there shall be no more
sea." But the great temple of living souls will stand forth in all its
glory and beauty, and among the stones of that spiritual house will be
many hewn from the quarry in the Far West. Tsimshean and Hydah, and
many another Red Indian tribe, shall find a place in the building
which, fitly framed together, shall then have grown into a holy temple
unto the Lord. Happy indeed will those then be who have had a share,
however humble, in the work of raising it, stone by stone, to His
praise who will make it His dwelling for ever!


1776.          Discovery of Vancouver's Island by Captain Cook.

1792.          Further discoveries by Captain Vancouver.

1819.          Attention of the C. M. S. Committee drawn to the Indian
               Tribes on the North Pacific Coast.

1856. July.    Captain Prevost's Appeal for British Columbia appeared
               in the _C. M. Intelligencer._

  "            Contribution of L500 received to begin a North Pacific

  "   Dec. 23. William Duncan sailed with Captain Prevost in the

1857. June 13. The _Satellite_ reached Vancouver's Island.

  "   Oct. 1.  Duncan reached Fort Simpson.

1858  June 13. Duncan preached his first Sermon in Tsimshean.

  "   Nov. 19. Duncan opened a School for Indian children.

  "   Dec. 20. Legaic's attack on Duncan.

1859.          Bishopric of Columbia founded.

1860. April.   Duncan's first visit to Nass River.

  "   Aug. 8.  Arrival of Rev. L. S Tugwell.

1861. July 26. First baptism of Indians--nineteen adults.

  "   Oct. 10. Return home of Mr. Tugwell.

1862. May 28.  Foundation of the new Settlement at Metlakahtla.

1863. April.   Visit of the Bishop of Columbia to Metlakahtla--Baptism
               of fifty-seven adults.

1864. July 2.  Arrival of Rev. R. A. Doolan.

  "            Nass River Mission begun.

1865. May.     Second visit of Bishop of Columbia.

1867. May  27. Arrival of Rev. R. Tomlinson.

  "   Aug.     Return home of Mr. Doolan.

  "            Kincolith Station established on Nass River.

1869. May 6.   Death of Legaic.

1870. Jan. 28. Duncan left Metlakahtla for England.

  "   Mar. 13
      Sept. 8. Duncan in England

1871. Feb. 27. Duncan returned to Metlakahtla.

  "   Oct.     First baptisms at Kincolith by Archdeacon Woods.

1873. Aug. 6.  First Stone of Metlakahtla Church laid by the Governor of
               British Columbia.

  "   Nov. 9.  Arrival of Mr. W. H. Collison.

1874. Dec. 25. Opening of Metlakahtla Church.

1875. Aug. 18. Duncan's plans for the Indians of British Columbia
               adopted by the Provincial Government.

1876.          Duncan's journey to Ottawa to confer with the Canadian

  "   Aug. 30. Lord Dufferin's visit to Metlakahtla.

  "   Oct. 16. Arrival of Mr. H. Schutt.

  "   Nov.  1. Mr. Collison began Queen Charlotte Islands Mission.

1877. Aug.  6. Arrival of Rev. A. J. Hall.

  "   Nov.
      Mar. '78 Bishop Bompas's visit to the Mission.

1878. Mar. 12. Mr. Hall began Fort Rupert Mission.

  "   Mar. 17. Ordination of Mr. Collison.

  "   June 18. Admiral Prevost's visit to Metlakahtla.

1879. May   2. Arrival of Mr. G. Sneath.

  "   July 25. Consecration of Rev. W. Ridley to Bishopric of Caledonia.

  "   Oct. 14. Arrival of Bishop Ridley at Victoria.

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