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several streets. The uncleanliness in these barracks baffles description, and this is perhaps the cause of the great mortality.” — “Both sexes are obliged to labour hard : the men cultivate the ground. The harvest is delivered to the missionaries, and stored in magazines, from which the Indians receive only so much as is necessary for their support. It serves also for the maintenance of the soldiers of the Presidio, but they are obliged to pay a very high price for the flour.”
“ Twice in the year they received permission to return to their native homes. This short time is the happiest of their existence, and I myself have seen them going home in crowds with loud rejoicings. The sick who cannot undertake the journey, at least accompany their happy countrymen to the shore where they embark, and then sit for days together, mournfully gazing at the distant summits of the mountains which surround their homes. They often sit in this situation for several days without taking any food : so much does the sight of their lost home affect these new Christians.
Every time, some of those who have the permission to visit their homes run away; and they would probably all do it, were they not deterred by their fears of the soldiers, who catch them, and bring them back to the mission as criminals." Langsdorff, who had visited the mission of San Francisco a few years before, made a similar obser
vation. " When the Indian is retaken, he is brought back to the mission, where he is bastinadoed, and an iron rod is fastened to one of his feet; which has the double use of preventing him from repeating the attempt, and of frightening others from imitating his example."* The timidity of those runaway converts is so great, says Kotzebue, that “ seven or eight dragoons are sufficient to overpower several hundred Indians." +
This mode of dragooning the American heathen into Christianity — and that, too, in the nineteenth century — is scarcely to be credited; and yet the circumstance is confirmed by the united testimony of witnesses of various countries, and professing different religions — by French, Russian, and British travellers -- and these of the Romish, Greek, and English Church. It was observed by the celebrated Eliot, known in New England as the “ Apostle of the Indians,” that in order “ to Christianize the savages, it was necessary at the same time to civilize and make men of them;" but the priests at San Francisco seem to have thought it more consonant with the mild precepts of Christianity that they should begin by enslaving them. “ The savage,” adds Kotzebue, comes unthinkingly into the mission,
• Langsdorff's Voyages, part ii. chap. 7.
receives the food which is willingly offered him, and listens to their instructions. He is still free. But as soon as he is baptized, he belongs to the church, and hence he looks with pain and longing to his native mountains. The church has an unalienable right to her children, a right which she exercises with rigour.”*
ATTEMPTS OF THE ENGLISH, PRIOR TO THE REVOLU
TIONARY WAR IN NORTH AMERICA, TO CONVERT THE INDIANS - SIMILAR MEASURES SUBSEQUENT TO THAT PERIOD - ATTEMPTS OF A LIKE NATURE BY THE AMERICANS OF THE UNITED STATES.
From the observations contained in the preceding chapter, and from the authorities referred to on the subject of the general result of the early Roman Catholic missions in North America, the reader will probably be of opinion that the labours of their missionaries effected little towards the conversion of the Indians. We may now inquire how far the Protestants were more successful.
Almost all the early royal charters and patents issued for British North America professed, among other things, the object of converting the Indians. King James I., in the Nova Scotia patent, (1621) declared, in reference to those countries," as are either inhabited or occupied by unbelievers, whom to convert to the Christian faith is a duty of great importance to the glory of God.” amble to the Pennsylvania charter, during a subse
In the pre
quent reign, it is also stated to be a principal object
to reduce the savage natives by just and gentle manners to the love of civil society and Christian religion.” And the first royal charter granted to the colony of Massachussets Bay (1628) declared, “ And for the directing, ruling, and disposing of all other matters and things whereby our said people, inhabitants there, may be so religiously, peaceably, and civilly governed, as their good life and orderly conversation may win and invite the natives of the country to the knowledge and obedience of the only true God and Saviour of mankind, and the Christian faith : which, in our royal intention, and the advanturer's free profession, is the principal end of this plantation.” The corporation which this charter established, bore, for its common seal, the figure of an Indian, erect, naked, a bow in one hand, an arrow in the other, and a scroll issuing from his mouth, with these words, - Come over and help us.* It may be curious to trace what followed this symbolical invitation.
Fourteen years after the date of this charter, a resolution passed the house of commons in England, which in its preamble — but in its preamble onlyadverted to the subject of Indian conversion: “ Whereas the plantations in New England have,
* Douglass's Summary, vol. i., part 2, sect. viii.