« AnteriorContinuar »
the Stockbridge Indians were invited by the Oneidas (one of the Five Nations) to reside with them in the Oneida Reservation, in the western part of the state of New York. This invitation was accepted, and they removed from New England to that quarter," where their few descendants now continue, under the government of the United States.
A similar attempt to that at Stockbridge was made in the year 1754, when another Indian school was established in New England, and contributions for its support obtained in Great Britain and America. The funds collected in England were put in the hands of a board of trustees, at the head of whom was the Earl of Dartmouth : and those collected in Scotland were committed to the Society established in that country for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge.
From this institution arose Dartmouth College, which was established in 1760, in Hanover township in New Hampshire, and Dr. Wheelock, its founder, was made president. The school was united to the college, but the institution, as far as the Indians were concerned, did not succeed. “ Experience had taught Dr. Wheelock," says Belknap, " that his Indian youths, however well educated, were not to be depended upon for instructors of their countrymen. Of forty who had been under his care, twenty had + turned to the vices of savage life; and some,
whom he esteemed subjects of Divine grace, had not kept their garments unspotted."*
In British North America, there are at present - besides the Roman Catholic establishments appropriated to the use of the Indians-three Protestant missionaries among the Esquimaux on the coast of Labrador. In Canada there is only one regular Protestant Indian mission, but several of the missionaries of the British settlements in the Upper Province, act as occasional visitors for the religious instruction of the Indians; and there are likewise schoolmasters appointed to teach them. The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel is taking steps to extend and improve these establishments. The Church Missionary Society also nominated, a few years ago, the chaplain of the newly-formed British settlement on the Red River of Lake Winnipic, to be their missionary in that quarter; who, among his other duties, has to superintend the religious and school education of the neighbouring Chippewa and other Indians, both of the pure and the mixed breed.
A regular schoolmaster and schoolmistress have also been sent out by the same society, who have appropriated a liberal allowance for these benevolent purposes.
After the revolutionary contest which terminated
* Belknap's Hist. of New Hampshire, vol. ii. chap. 24.
in the separation of Great Britain from those of her North American colonies with which she had been at war, the Indian missions in that country continued, and were extended under the management of the general government of the United States, as well as of individual states within the Union. It is unnecessary in these Notes to enter into detail as to their exertions in this respect. The subject has often occupied the attention of their executive government, and of Congress, and the difficulties attending it have been apparent. There has been no want of zeal in those who have been employed in this object; it appears to have received every reasonable encouragement on the part of the American government; and has called forth the exertions and liberality of various societies, which have established themselves in different parts of the Union for the promotion of this important object.
President Monroe, in his inaugural speech (March 1821), adverted to the subject of those Indians who are placed under the protection of the United States. He observed, that the care of them had long been an essential part of the American system, but that unfortunately it had not been executed in a manner to accomplish all the objects intended by it. That they had been treated as independent nations, without their having any substantial
substantial pretension to that rank; this distinction flattering their
pride, retarding their improvement, and, in many instances, paving the way to their destruction, That the progress of many of the American settlements had constantly driven the Indians back with almost the total sacrifice of the land, which they have been compelled to abandon. They have claims,” says he, "on the magnanimity, and, I may add, on the justice of the nation, which we must all feel. We should become their real benefactors; we should perform the office of their Great Father, the endearing title which they emphatically give to the chief magistrate of our Union. Their sovereignty over vast territories should cease, in lieu of which the right of soil should be secured to each individual and his posterity in competent portions; and, for the territory thus ceded by each tribe, some reasonable equivalent should be granted, to be vested in permanent funds for the support of the civil government over them, and for the education of their children; for their instruction in the arts of husbandry, and to provide sustenance for them until they can provide it for themselves. My earnest hope is, that Congress will digest some plan, founded on these principles, with such improvements as their wisdom may suggest, and carry it into effect as soon as it may be practicable.”
Shortly before this period, the government of the United States had appointed the Reverend Dr. Morse to make a visit of observation and inspection among various Indian tribes, and to report to the President upon their circumstances and condition. Dr. Morse was at that time acting in some degree in a similar situation under commissions from the Scottish Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge, and from the Northern Missionary Society of the State of New York. His attention was now particularly directed to ascertain, as distinctly as possible, the actual state of the Indians in a moral, religious, and political view ; the nature and climate of the countries occupied by them; and the customs, manners, and institutions of the native inhabitants.
His Report was laid before Congress in the spring of 1822, and was published in America in the course of the same year, with all its numerous accompanying documents. Dr. Morse states, that a great deal has been already done, and is now. continuing to be effected, in several parts of the Union, for the benefit of the Indians ; and he recommends various measures as connected with their future civilization and improvement. The details contained in the Report are much too voluminous to be particularly remarked upon here : some parts of the work have already been adverted to, and a few others shall be afterwards