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

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

"Why don t you tell more about yourselves?" is a 
question which, in various forms, has been often asked 
me, during these last four decades. Partly as the answer 
to questions of that kind, this book assumes somewhat 
the form of a personal narrative. 

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

Moreover, the chief work of my life has been the part 
I have been permitted, by the good Lord, to have in giv- 



ing the entire Bible to the Sioux Nation. This book is 
only "the band of the sheaf." If, by weaving the princi 
pal facts of our Missionary work, its trials and joys, its 
discouragements and grand successes, into this personal 
narrative of " MARY AND I," a better judgment of Indian 
capabilities is secured, and a more earnest and intelligent 
determination to work for their Christianization and final 
Citizenship, I shall be quite satisfied. 

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

S. R. R. 

BELOIT, Wis., January, 1880. 

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

A. L. R. 


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

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

It is a timely contribution. Thank God, the attention 
of the whole nation is at length beginning to be turned in 



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

The reader who takes up this volume will not fail to 
read it through. He will easily believe that Anna Baird 
Riggs was " a model Christian woman," the mother who 
could bring up her boy in a log cabin where once the bear 
looked in at the door, or in the log school-house with its 
newspaper windows, " slab benches," and drunken teacher, 
and could train him for his work of faith and persever- 


ance in that dreary and forbidding missionary region, and 
in what men thought that forlorn hope. And he will 
learn unless he knew it already that a lad who in 
early life hammered on the anvil can strike a strong and 
steady stroke for God and man. 

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



riet, the present writer stood upon the pleasant shore 
where the tamarack mission houses had long disappeared, 
and felt that this was consecrated ground. 

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

And how signally was the spirit of the parents trans 
mitted to the children. Almost a whole family in the 
mission work : six sons and daughters among the 
Dakotas, the seventh in China. I know not another 
instance so marked as this. And what a power for good 
to the Dakota race, past, present, and future, is gathered 
up in one undaunted, single-hearted family of Christian 
toilers. A part of this family it has been the writer s 


privilege to know, and of two of the sons he had the 
pleasure to be the teacher in the original tongues of the 
Word of God. And he deems it an additional pleasure 
and privilege thus to connect his name with theirs and 
their mission. For not alone the dusky Dakotas, but all 
the friends of the Indian tribes and lovers of the Mission 
ary cause, are called on to honor the names of Pond, 
Williamson, and RIGGS. 






1837. Our Parentage. My Mother s Bear Story. Mary s 
Education. Her First School Teaching. School-houses 
and Teachers in Ohio. Learning the Catechism. Am 
bitions. The Lord s Leading. Mary s Teaching in Beth 
lehem. Life Threads Coming Together. Licensure. 
Our Decision as to Life Work. Going to IS ew England. 

The Hawley Family. Marriage. Going West. 
From Mary s Letters. Mrs. Isabella Burgess. " Steamer 
Isabella." At St. Louis. The Mississippi. To the 
City of Lead. Rev. Aratus Kent. The Lord Provides. 

Mary s Descriptions. Upper Mississippi. Reaching 
FortSnelling 23 


1837. First Knowledge of the Sioux. Hennepin and Du 
Luth. Fort Snell ing. Lakes Harriet and Calhoun. 
Three Months at Lake Harriet. Samuel W. Pond. 
Learning the Language. Mr. Stevens. Temporary 
Home. That Station Soon Broken Up. Mary s Letters. 

The Mission and People. Native Customs. Lord s 
Supper, " Good Voice." Description of Our Home. 
The Garrison. Seeing St. Anthony. Ascent of the St. 
Peters. Mary s Letters. Traverse des Sioux. Prairie 
Travelling. Reaching Lac-qui-parle. T. S. Williamson. 

A Sabbath Service. Our Upper Room. Experiences. 

Church at Lac-qui-parle. Mr. Pond s Marriage. 
Mary s Letters. Feast< 38 




1837-1839. The Language. Its Growth. System of Nota 
tion. After Changes. What We Had to Put into the 
Language. Teaching English and Teaching Dakota. 
Mary s Letter. Fort Renville. Translating the Bible. 
The Gospels of Mark and John. " Good Bird " Born. 
Dakota Names. The Lessons We Learned. Dakota 
Washing. Extracts from Letters. Dakota Tents. A 
Marriage. Visiting the Village. Girls, Boys, and Dogs. 

G. H. Pond s Indian Hunt. Three Families Killed. 
The Village Wail. The Power of a Name. Post-Office 
Far Away. The Coming of the Mail. S. W. Pond 
Comes Up. My Visit to Snelling. Lost my Horse. 
Dr. Williamson Goes to Ohio. The Spirit s Presence. 
Prayer. Mary s Reports 58 


1838-1840. " Eagle Help." His Power as War Prophet. 
Makes No-Flight Dance. We Pray Against It. Unsuc 
cessful on the War-Path. Their Revenge. Jean Nicol- 
let and J. C. Fremont. Opposition to Schools. Pro 
gress in Teaching. Method of Counting. " Lake That 
Speaks." Our Trip to Fort Snelling. Incidents of the 
Way. The Changes There. Our Return Journey. 
Birch-Bark Canoe. Mary s Story. u Le Grand Canoe." 

Baby Born on the Way. Walking Ten Miles. Ad 
vantages of Travel. My Visit to the Missouri River. 
"Fort Pierre." Results 76 


1840-1843. Dakota Braves. Simon Anawangmane. 
Mary s Letter. Simon s Fall. Maple Sugar. Adobe 
Church. Catharine s Letter. Another Letter of Mary s. 

Left Hand s Case. The Fifth Winter. Mary to Her 
Brother. The Children s Morning Ride. Visit to Haw- 
ley and Ohio. Dakota Printing. New Recruits. 
Return. Little Rapids, Traverse des Sioux. Steal- 


ing Bread. Forming a New Station. Begging. Op 
position. Thomas L. Longley. Meeting Ojibwas. 
Two Sioux Killed. Mary s Hard Walk 89 


1843-1846. Great Sorrow. Thomas Drowned. Mary s 
Letter. The Indians Thoughts. Old Gray-Leaf. 
Oxen Killed. Hard Field. Sleepy Eyes Horse. Indian 
in Prison. The Lord Keeps Us. Simon s Shame. 
Mary s Letter. Robert Hopkins and Agnes. Le Bland. 

White Man Ghost. Bennett. Sleepy Eyes Camp. 
Drunken Indians. Making Sugar. Military Company. 

Dakota Prisoners. Stealing Melons. Preaching and 
School. A Canoe Voyage. Red Wing 104 


1846-1851. Returning to Lac-quUparle. Reasons There 
for. Mary s Story. " Give Me My Old Seat, Mother." 

At Lac-qui-parle. New Arrangements. Better Un 
derstanding. Buffalo Plenty. Mary s Story. Little 
Samuel Died. Going on the Hunt. Vision of Home. 
Building House. Dakota Camp. Soldier s Lodge. 
Wakanmane s Village. Making a Presbytery. New 
Recruits. Meeting at Kaposia. Mary s Story. Varied 
Trials. Sabbath Worship. " What is to Die ?" New 
Stations. Making a Treaty. Mr. Hopkins Drowned. 

Personal Experience 123 


1851-1854. Grammar and Dictionary. How It Grew. Pub 
lication. Minnesota Historical Society. Smithsonian 
Institution. Going East. Mission Meeting at Traverse 
des Sioux. Mrs. Hopkins. Death s Doings. Changes 
in the Mode of Writing Dakota Completed Book. 
Growth of the Language. In Brooklyn and Philadelphia. 

The Misses Spooner. Changes in the Mission. The 
Ponds and Others Retire. Dr. Williamson at Pay-zhe- 


hoo-ta-ze. Winter Storms. Andrew Hunter. Two 
Families Left. Children Learning Dakota. Our House 
Burned. The Lord Provides 141 


1854-1856. Simon Anawangmane. Rebuilding after the 
Fire. Visit of Secretary Treat. Change of Plan. 
K zelwood Station. Circular Saw Mill. Mission Build 
ings. Chapel. Civilized Community. Making Citi 
zens. Boarding-School. Educating our own Children. 
Financial Difficulties. The Lord Provides. A Great 
Affliction. Smith Burgess Williamson. " Aunt Jane." 

Bunyan s Pilgrim in Dakota 153 


1857-1862. Spirit Lake. Massacres by Inkpadoota. The 
Captives. Delivery of Mrs. Marble and Miss Gardner. 

Excitement. Inkpadoota s Son Killed. United States 
Soldiers. Major Sherman. Indian Councils. Great 
Scare. Going Away. Indians Sent After Scarlet End. 

Quiet Restored. Children at School. Quarter-Cen 
tury Meeting. John P. Williamson at Red Wood. 
Dedication of Chapel 162 


1861-1862. Republican Administration. Its Mistakes. 
Changing Annuities. Results. Returning from General 
Assembly. A Marriage in St. Paul. D. Wilson Moore 
and Wife. Delayed Payment. Difficulty with the Sis- 
setons. Peace Again Recruiting for the Southern War. 
Seventeenth of August, 1862. The Outbreak. Re 
membering Christ s Death. Massacres Commenced. 
Capt. Marsh s Company. Our Flight. Reasons There 
for. Escape to an Island. Final Leaving. A Wounded 
Man. Traveling on the Prairie. Wet Night. Taking 
a Picture. Change of Plan. Night Travel. Going 


Around Fort Ridgely. Night Scares. Safe Passage. 
Four Men Killed. The Lord Leads Us. Sabbath. 
Reaching the Settlements. Mary at St. Anthony . . .171 


1862. General Sibley s Expedition. I Go as Chaplain. 
At Fort Ridgely. The Burial Party. Birch Coolie 
Defeat. Simon and Lorenzo Bring in Captives. March 
to Yellow Medicine. Battle of Wood Lake. Indians 
Flee. Camp Release. A Hundred Captives Rescued. 

Amos W. Huggins Killed. We Send for His Wife 
and Children. Spirit Walker Has Protected Them. 
Martha s Letter 188 


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

John P. Williamson. Scenes in the Garret. One 
Hundred Adults Baptized. Marvelous in Our Eyes . . 206 


1863-1866. The Dakota Prisoners Taken to Davenport. 
Camp McClellan. Their Treatment. Great Mortality. 

Education in Prison. Worship Church Matters. 
The Camp at Snelling Removed to Crow Creek. John 
P. Williamson s Story. Many Die. Scouts Camp. 
Visits to Them. Family Threads. Revising the New 


Testament. Educating Our Children. Removal to Be- 
loit. Family Matters Little Six and Medicine Bottle. 

With the Prisoners at Davenport 220 


1866-1869. Prisoners Meet their Families at the Niobrara. 

Our Summer s Visitation. At the Scouts Camp. 
Crossing the Prairie. Killing Buffalo. At Niobrara. 

Religious Meetings. Licensing Natives. Visiting 
the Omahas. Scripture Translating. Sisseton Treaty 
at Washington. Second Visit to the Santees. Artemas 
and Titus Ordained. Crossing to the Head of the Coteau. 

Organizing Churches and Licensing Dakotas. Solo 
mon, Robert, Louis, Daniel. On Horseback in 1868. 
Visit to the Santees, Yanktons, and Brules. Gathering 
at Dry Wood. Solomon Ordained. Writing " Takoo 
Wakan." Mary s Sickness. Grand Hymns. Going 
through the Valley of the Shadow. Death ! 230 


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


1870-1871. Beloit Home Broken Up. Building on the 
Sisseton Reserve. Difficulties and Cost. Correspon 
dence with Washington. Order to Suspend Work. Dis 
regarding the Taboo. Anna Sick at Beloit. Assur 
ance. Martha Goes in Anna s Place. The Dakota 



Churches. Lac-qui-parle, Ascension. John B. Ren- 
V ille. _ Daniel Renville. Houses of Worship. Eight 
Churches. The "Word Carrier." Annual Meeting on 
the Big Sioux. Homestead Colony. How it Came 
about. Joseph Iron Old Man. Perished in a Snow 
Storm The Dakota Mission Divides. Reasons There 
for 256 


1870-1873. A. L. Riggs Builds at Santee. The Santee 
High School. Visit to Fort Sully. Change of Agents 
at Sisseton. Second Marriage. Annual Meeting at Good 
Will. _ Grand Gathering. New Treaty Made at Sisse 
ton. Nina Foster Riggs. Our Trip to Fort Sully. An 
Incident by the Way. Stop at Santee. Pastor Ehna- 
mane . _ His Deer Hunt. Annual Meeting in 1873. 
Rev. S. J. Humphrey s Visit. Mr. Humphrey s Sketch. 

Where They Come From. Morning Call. Visiting 
the Teepees. The Religious Gathering. The Moderator. 

Questions Discussed. The Personnel. Putting up a 
Tent. Sabbath Service. Mission Reunion . . . .270 


1873-1874. The American Board at Minneapolis. The 
Nidus of the Dakota Mission. Large Indian Delega 
tion. Ehnamane and Mazakootemane. " Then and 
Now." The Woman s Meeting. Nina Foster Riggs and 
Lizzie Bishop Miss Bishop s Work and Early Death. 
Manual Labor Boarding-School at Sisseton. Building 
Dedicated. M. N. Adams, Agent. School Opened. 
Mrs. Armor and Mrs. Morris. "My Darling in God s 
Garden." Visit to Fort Berthold. Mandans, Rees, and 
Hidatsa. Dr. W. Matthews Hidatsa Grammar. Be 
liefs. _ Missionary Interest in Berthold. Down the 
Missouri. Annual Meeting at Santee. Normal School. 
~- Pakotas Build a Church at Ascension. Journey to the 


Ojibwas with E. P. Wheeler. Leech Lake and Red Lake, 
On the Gitche Gumme. " The Stoneys." Visit to 
Odanah. Hope for Ojibwas , 


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


1871-1877. The Wilder Sioux. Gradual Openings. - 
Thomas Lawrence. Visit to the Land of the Teetons. 

Fort Sully. Hope Station. Mrs. General Stanley 
in the Evangelist. Work by Native Teachers. Thomas 
Married to Nina Foster. Nina s First Visit to Sully. 
Attending the Conference and American Board. Miss 
Collins and Miss Whipple. Bogue Station. The Mis 
sion Surroundings. Chapel Built. Mission Work. 
Church Organized. Sioux War of 1876. Community 
Excited. Schools. " Waiting for a Boat." Miss 
Whipple Dies at Chicago. Mrs. Nina Riggs Tribute. 

The Conference of 1877 at Sully. Questions Dis 
cussed. Grand Impressions 325 
















1337. Our Parentage. My Mother s Bear Story. Mary s Edu 
cation. Her First School Teaching. School-houses and 
Teachers in Ohio. Learning the Catechism. Ambitions. 

The Lord s Leading. Mary s Teaching in Bethlehem. 
Life Threads Coming Together. Licensure. Our Decision 
as to Life Work. Going to New England. The Hawley 
Family. Marriage. Going West. From Mary s Letters. 

Mrs. Isabella Burgess. " Steamer Isabella." At St. 
Louis. The Mississippi. To the City of Lead. Rev. 
Aratus Kent. The Lord Provides. Mary s Descriptions. 
Upper Mississippi. Reaching Fort Snelling. 

FORTY years ago this first day of June, 1877, Mary and 
I came to Fort Snelling. She was from the Old Bay 
State, and I was a native-born Buckeye. Her ancestors 
were the Longleys and Taylors of Hawley and Buckland, 
names honorable and honored in the western part of 
Massachusetts. Her father, Gen. Thomas Longley, was 
for many years a member of the General Court and had 
served in the war of 1812, while her grandfather, Col. 
Edmund Longley, had been a soldier of the Revolution, 
and had served under Washington. Her maternal 
grandfather, Taylor, had held a civil commission under 



George the Third. In an early day both families had 
settled in the hill country west of the Connecticut River. 
They were the true and worthy representatives of New 

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

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


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

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

Contrasted with the present appliances for education 
in all the towns, and many of the country districts also, 
the common schools in Ohio, when I was a boy, were 
very poorly equipped. My first school-house was a log 
cabin, with a large open fireplace, a window with four 
lights of glass where the master s seat was, while on the 
other two sides a log was cut out and old newspapers 
pasted over the hole through which the light was sup 
posed to come, and the seats were benches made of slabs. 
One of my first teachers was a drunken Irishman, who 
often visited the tavern near by and came back to sleep 
the greater part of the afternoon. This gave us a long 
play spell. But he was a terrible master for the re 
mainder of the day. Notwithstanding these difficulties 
in the way of education, we managed to learn a good 
deal. Sabbath-schools had not reached the efficiency 
they now have ; but we children were taught carefully 
at home. We were obliged to commit to memory the 


Shorter Catechism, and every few months the good min 
ister came around to see how well we could repeat it. 
All through my life this summary of Christian doctrine 
not perfect indeed, and not to be quoted as authority 
equal to the Scriptures, as it sometimes is has been to 
me of incalculable advantage. What I understood not 
then I have come to understand better since, with the 
opening of the Word and the illumination of the Holy 
Spirit. If I were a boy again, I would learn the Shorter 

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

Mary had been educated for a teacher. She was well 


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

Before starting for New England, the general plan of 
our life-work was arranged. Early in my course of edu 
cation, I had considered the claims of the heathen upon 
us Christians, and upon myself personally as a believer 
in Christ; and, with very little hesitation or delay, the 
decision had been reached that, God willing, I would 
go somewhere among the unevangelized. And, during 
the years of my preparation, there never came to me a 
doubt of the nghtness of my decision. Nay, more, at 
the end of forty years work, I am abundantly satisfied 


with the way in which the Lord has led me. If China 
had been then open to the gospel, as it was twenty year* 
afterward, I probably should have elected to go there. 
But Dr. Thomas S. Williamson of Ripley, Ohio, ha<l 
started for the Dakota field the same year that I gradu 
ated from college. His representations of the needs of 
these aborigines, and the starting out of Whitman and 
Spalding with their wives to the Indians of the Pacific 
coast, attracted me to the westward. And Mary was 
quite willing, if not enthusiastic, to commence a life-work 
among the Indians of the North-west, which at that time 
involved more of sacrifice than service in many a far-off 
foreign field. Hitherto, the evangelization of our own 
North American Indians had been, and still is, in most 
parts of the field, essentially a foreign mission work. It 
has differed little, except, perhaps, in the element of 
greater self-sacrifice, from the work in India, China, or 
Japan. And so, with a mutual good understanding of 
the general plan of life s campaign, with very little appre 
ciation of what its difficulties might be, but with a good 
faith in ourselves, and more faith in Him who has said, 
"Lo, I am with you all days," Mary left her school in 
Bethlehem, to which she had become a felt necessity, and 
I gathered up such credentials as were necessary to the 
consummation of our acceptance as missionaries of the 
American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, 
and we went eastward. 

Railroads had hardly been thought of in those days, 
and so what part of the way we were not carried by 
steamboats, we rode in stages. It was only the day be 
fore Thanksgiving, and a stormy evening it was, when 
we hired a very ordinary one-horse wagon to carry us 
and our baggage from Charlemont up to Hawley. I need 


not say that in the old house at home the sister and the 
daughter and granddaughter found a warm reception, 
and I, the western stranger, was not long overlooked. 
It was indeed a special Thanksgiving and time of family 
rejoicing, when the married sister and her family were 
gathered, with the brothers, Alfred and Moses and 
Thomas and Joseph, and the little sister Henrietta, and 
the parents and grandparents, then still living. Since 
that time, one by one, they have gone to the beautiful 
land above, and only two remain. 

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

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


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

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

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

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


"STEAMER ISABELLA, Thursday Eve, May 4. 

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

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


" ST. Louis, May 8, 1837. 

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

In those days the Upper Mississippi was still a wild 
and almost uninhabited region. Such places as Daven 
port and Rock Island, which now together form a large 
centre of population, had then, all told, only about a 
dozen houses. The lead mines of Galena and Dubuque 
had gathered in somewhat larger settlements. Above 
them there was nothing but Indians and military. So 
that a steamer starting for Fort Snelling was a rare thing. 
It was said that less than half a dozen in a season reached 
that point. Indeed, there was nothing to carry up but 
goods for the Indian trade, and army supplies. Some 
friends at Alton invited us to come and spend the inter 
vening time. There we were kindly entertained in the 


family of Mr. Winthrop S. Gilraan, who has since been 
one of the substantial Christian business men in New 
York City. On our leaving, Mr. Oilman bade us " look 
upward," which has ever been one of our life mottoes. 

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

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

" We are now on our way to Galena, where we shall 
probably take a boat for St. Peters. We pursue this 
course, though it subjects us to the inconvenience of 
changing boats, that we may be able to avoid Sabbath 
travelling, if possible. One Sabbath at least will be 
rescued in this way, as the Pavilion, the only boat for 


St. Peters at present, leaves St. Louis on Sunday ! This 
we felt would not be right for us, consequently we left 
Alton to-day, trusting that the Lord of the Sabbath would 
speed us on our journey of 3000 miles, and enable us to 
keep his Sabbath holy unto the end thereof. 

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

"Just below the junction we were astonished and 
amused to see large spots of muddy water surrounded by 
those of a purer shade, as if they would retain their 
distinctive character to the last ; but in vain, for the les 
ser was contaminated and swallowed up by the greater. 


I might moralize on this, but will leave each one to draw 
his own inferences." 

"STEPHENSON (now Davenport), May 22. 
"We left the Olive Branch between 10 and 11 on 
Saturday night. The lateness of the hour obliged us to 
accept of such accommodations as presented themselves 
first, and even made us thankful for them, though they 
were the most wretched I ever endured. I do not allude 
to the house or table, though little or nothing could be 
said in their praise, but to the horrid profanity. Con 
nected with the house and adjoining our room was a 
grocery, a devil s den indeed, and so often were the fre 
quent volleys of dreadful oaths that our hearts grew sick, 
and we shuddered and sought to shut our ears. Not 
withstanding all this, we were happier than if we had 
been travelling on God s holy day. Our consciences 
approved resting according to the commandment, though 
they did not chide for removing, even on the Sabbath, to 
a house were God s name is not used so irreverently 

so profanely." 

11 GALENA, May 23. 

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

" GALENA, 111., May 25, 1837. 

"A kind Providence has so ordered our affairs that we 
are detained here still, and I hope our stay may promote 


the best interests of the mission. It seems desirable 
that Christians in these villages of the Upper Mississippi 
should become interested in the missionaries and the 
missions among the northern Indians, that their preju 
dices may be overcome and their hearts made to feel the 
claims those dark tribes have upon their sympathies, 
their charities, and their prayers." 

" STEAMER PAVILION, Upper Mississippi, May 31. 

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


our happy surprise, morning and afternoon, on our way to 
and from church, to find the Pavilion still at the wharf. 
We felt that it was truly a gracious providence. On 
Monday morning we came on board." 

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


1837. First Knowledge of the Sioux. Hennepin and Du Luth. 
Fort Snelling. Lakes Harriet and Calhoun. Three Months 
at Lake Harriet. Samuel W. Pond. Learning the Lan 
guage. Mr. Stevens. Temporary Home. That Station 
Soon Broken Up. Mary s Letters. The Mission and People. 
Native Customs. Lord s Supper, "Good Voice." De 
scription of Our Home. The Garrison. Seeing St. Anthony. 
Ascent of the St. Peters. Mary s Letters. Traverse 
des Sioux. Prairie Travelling. Rea ching Lac-qui-parle. 
T. S. Williamson. A Sabbath Service. Our Upper Room. 
Experiences. Church at Lac-qui-parle. Mr. Pond s Mar 
riage. Mary s Letters. Feast. 

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

But really not much was known of the Sioux until the 
summer of 1680, when Hennepin and Du Luth met in a 
camp of Dakotas, as they hunted buffalo in what is now 
north-western Wisconsin. Hennepin had been captured 
by a war-party, which descended the Father of Waters in 



their canoes, seeking for scalps among their enemies, the 
Miamis and Illinois. They took him and his companions 
of the voyage up to their villages on the head-waters of 
Rum River, and around the shores of Mille Lac and Knife 
Lake. From the former of these the eastern band of the 
Sioux nation named themselves Mdaywakantonwan, 
Spirit Lake Villagers; and from the latter they in 
herited the name of Santees (Isanyati), Dwellers on Knife. 

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

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

The general enlistment of the Sioux, and indeed of all 
these tribes of the North-west, on the side of the British 
in the war of 1812, showed the necessity of a strong 
military garrison in the heart of the Indian country. 
Hence the building of Fort Snelling nearly sixty years 
ago. At the confluence of the Minnesota with the Mis 
sissippi, and on the high point between the two it has an 
admirable outlook. So it seemed to us as we approached 
it on that first day of June, 1837. On our landing we 
became the guests of Lieutenant Ogden and his excellent 
wife, who was the daughter of Major Loomis. To Mary 
and me, every thing was new and strange. We knew 


nothing of military life. But our sojourn of a few days 
was made pleasant and profitable by the Christian sym 
pathy which met us there the evidence of the Spirit s 
presence, which, two years before, had culminated in the 
organization of a Christian church in the garrison, on the 
arrival of the first missionaries to the Dakotas. 

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

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

We were fortunate in meeting here Rev. Samuel W. 
Pond, the older of the brothers, who had come out from 
Connecticut three years previous, and, in advance of all 
others, had erected their missionary cabin on the margin 
of Lake Calhoun. Mr. Pond s knowledge of Dakota was 

* Minnehaha means " Curling Water," not "Laughing Water," 
as many suppose. 


quite ~ nelp to us, who were just commencing to learn it. 
Before we left the States, it had been impressed upon us 
by Secretary David Greene that whether we were suc 
cessful missionaries or not depended much on our acquir 
ing a free use of the language. And the teaching of my 
own experience and observation is that if one fails to 
make a pretty good start the first year in its acquisition, 
it will be a rare thing if he ever masters the language. 
And so, obedient to our instructions, we made it our first 
work to get our ears opened to the strange sounds, and 
our tongues made cunning for their utterance. Often 
times we laughed at our own blunders, as when I told 
Mary, one day, that pish was the Dakota for fish. A 
Dakota boy had been trying to speak the English word. 
Mr. Stevens had gathered, from various sources, a vocab 
ulary of five or six hundred words. This formed the 
commencement of the growth of the Dakota Grammar 
and Dictionary which I published fifteen years after 

Mr. and Mrs. Stevens were from Central New York, 
and were engaged as early as 1827 in missionary labors 
on the Island of Mackinaw. In 1829, Mr. Stevens and 
Rev. Mr. Coe made a tour of exploration through the 
wilds of Northern Wisconsin, coming as far as Fort Snell- 
ing. For several years thereafter, Mr. Stevens was 
connected with the Stockbridge mission on Fox Lake ; 
and in the summer of 1835 he had commenced this sta 
tion at Lake Harriet. At the time of our arrival he had 
made things look quite civilized. He had built two 
1 muses of tamarack logs, the larger of which his own 
family occupied ; the lower part of the other was used for 
the school and religious meetings. Half a dozen board 
ing scholars, chiefly half-breed girls, formed the nucleus 


of the school, which was taught by his niece, Miss Lucy 
C. Stevens, who was afterward married to Rev. Daniel 
Gavan, of the Swiss mission to the Dakotas. 

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

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


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

"LAKE HARRIET, June 22, 1837. 

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

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

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


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

" The Indians come here at all hours of the day with 
out ceremony, sometimes dressed and painted very fan 
tastically, and again with scarcely any clothing. One 
came in yesterday dressed in a coat, calico shirt, and cloth 
leggins, the only one I have seen with a coat, excepting 
two boys who were in the family when we came. The 
most singular ornament I have seen was a large striped 
snake, fastened among the painted hair, feathers, and rib 
bons of an Indian s head-dress, in such a manner that it 
could coil round in front and dart out its snake head, or 
creep down upon the back at pleasure. During this the 
Indian sat perfectly at ease, apparently much pleased at 
the astonishment and fear manifested by some of the 

"June 26. 

"Yesterday Mr. Riggs and myself commemorated a 
Saviour s love for the first time on missionary ground. 
The season was one of precious interest, sitting down at 
Jesus table with a little band of brothers and sisters, one 
of whom was a Chippewa convert, who accompanied Mr. 
Ayer from Pokeguma. One of the Methodist mission 
aries, Mr. King, with a colored man, and the members of 
the church from the Fort and the mission, completed our 
band of fifteen. Two of these were received on this 
occasion, Several Sioux were present, and gazed on the 


strange scene before them. A medicine man, Howashta 
by name, was present, with a long pole in his hand, hav 
ing his head decked with a stuffed bird of brilliant 
plumage, and the tail of another of dark brown. His 
name means " Good Voice," and he is building him a log 
house not far from the mission. If he could be brought 
into the fold of the Kind Shepherd, and become a humble 
and devoted follower of Jesus, he might be instrumental 
of great good to his people. He might indeed be a 
Good Voice bringing glad tidings to their dark souls." 


"HOME, July 8, 1837. 

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

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

" Some Indian women came in yesterday bringing 
strawberries, which I purchased with beans. Poor crea- 


tures, they have very little food of any kind at this season 
of the year, and we feel it difficult to know how much it 
is our duty to give them. 

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

"July 31. 

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

With the month of September came the time of our 
departure for Lac-qui-parle. But Mary had not yet seen 
the Falls of St. Anthony. And so we harnessed up a 
horse and cart, and had a pleasant ride across the prairie 
to the government saw-mill, which, with a small dwelling 
for the soldier occupant, was then the only sign of civili 
zation on the present site of Minneapolis. Then we had 
our household goods packed up and put on board Mr. 
Prescott s Mackinaw boat, to be carried up to Traverse 


des Sioux. Mr. Prescott was a white man with a Dakota 
wife, and had been for years engaged in the fur trade. 
He had on board his winter outfit. Mary and I took 
passage with him and his family, and spent a week of 
new life on what was then called the Saint Peter s River. 
The days were very enjoyable, and the nights were quite 
comfortable, for we had all the advantages of Mr. Pres- 
cott s tent and conveniences for camp life. His propel 
ling force was the muscles of five Frenchmen, who worked 
the oars and the poles, sometimes paddling and sometimes 
pushing, and often, in the upper part of the voyage, 
wading to find the best channel over a sand-bar. But 
they enjoyed their work, and sang songs by the way. 

"Sept. 2, 1837. 

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

" Perhaps you may feel some curiosity respecting our 
appearance and that of our barge. Fancy a large boat 
of forty feet in length, and perhaps eight in width in the 
middle, capable of carrying five tons, and manned by five 
men, four at the oars and a steersman at the stern. Near 


the centre are our sleeping accommodations nicely rolled 
up, on which we sit, and breakfast and dine on bread, 
cold ham, wild fowl, etc. We have tea and coffee for 
breakfast and supper. Mrs. Prescott does not pitch and 
strike the tent, as the Indian women usually do ; but it is 
because the boatmen can do it, and her husband does not 
require as much of her as an Indian man. They accom 
modate us in their tent, which is similar to a soldier s 
tent, just large enough for two beds. Here we take our 
supper, sitting on or by the matting made by some of 
these western Indians, and then, after worship, lie down 
to rest." 

" Monday, Sept. 4. 

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


interest. A moment more and the toil would have been 
over, when the rope snapped, and the boat slid back in a 
twinkling. It was further lightened and the rope doub 
led, and then it was drawn safely up and re-packed, in 
about two hours and a half from the time we reached the 

" Tuesday, Sept. 5. 

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

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

" For the next week we were under the^ convoy of Dr. 
Thomas S. Williamson and Mr. Gideon H. Pond, who 
met us with teams from Lac-qui-parle. The first night of 
our camping on the prairie, Dr. Williamson taught me a 
lesson which I never forgot. We were preparing the 
tent for the night, and I was disposed to let the rough 
ness of the surface remain, and not even gather grass for 
a bed, which the Indians do; on the ground, as I said, 
that it was for only one night. l But, said the doctor, 


1 there will be a great many one nights? And so I have 
found it. It is best to make the tent comfortable for one 

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


" Saturday Eve., Sept. 9, 1837. 
" My Ever Dear Mother; 

" Just at twilight I seat myself upon the ground by our 
fire, with the wide heavens above for a canopy, to com 
mune with her whose yearning heart follows her children 
wherever they roam. This is the second day we have 
travelled on this prairie, having left Traverse des Sioux 



late Thursday afternoon. Before leaving that place, a 
little half-Indian girl, daughter of the trader where we 
stopped, brought me nearly a dozen of eggs (the first I 
had seen since leaving the States), which afforded us a 
choice morsel for the next day. To-morrow we rest, it 
being the Sabbath, and may we and you be in the Spirit 
on the Lord s day." 

" LAC-QUI-PARLE, Sept. 18. 

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

That room we made our home for five winters. There 
were some hardships about such close quarters, but, all in 
all, Mary and I never enjoyed five winters better than 


those spent in that upper room. There our first three 
children were born. There we worked in acquiring the 
language. There we received our Dakota visitors. There 
I wrote and wrote again my ever growing dictionary. 
And there, with what help I could obtain, I prepared for 
the printer the greater part of the New Testament in 
the language of the Dakotas. It was a consecrated 

Well, we had set up our cooking-stove in our upper 
room, but the furniture was a hundred and twenty-five 
miles away. It was not easy for Mary to cook with noth 
ing to cook in. But the good women of the mission 
came to her relief with kettle and pan. More than this, 
there were some things to be done now which neither 
Mary nor I had learned to do. She was not an adept at 
making light bread, and neither of us could milk a cow. 
She grew up in New England, where the men alone did 
the milking, and I in Ohio, where the women alone 
milked in those days. At first it took us both to milk a 
cow, and it was poorly done. But Mary succeeded best. 
Nevertheless, application and perseverance succeeded, 
and, although never boasting of any special ability in 
that line of things, I could do my own milking, and Mary 
became very skilful in bread-making, as well as in other 
mysteries of housekeeping. 

The missionary work began now to open before us. 
The village at Lac-qui-parle consisted of about 400 per 
sons, chiefly of the Wahpaton, or Leaf-village band of 
the Dakotas. They were very poor and very proud. 
Mr. Renville, as a half-breed and fur-trader, had acquired 
an unbounded influence over many of them. They were 
willing to follow his leading. And so the young men of 


his soldiers lodge were the first, after his own family, to 
learn to read. On the Sabbath, there gathered into this 
lower room twenty or thirty men and women, but mostly 
women, to hear the* Word as prepared by Dr. William 
son with Mr. Renville s aid. A few Dakota hymns had 
been made, and were sung under the leadership of Mr. 
Huggins or young Mr. Joseph Renville. Mr. Renville 
and Mr. Pond made the prayers in Dakota. Early in the 
year 1836, a church had been organized, which at this 
time contained seven native members, chiefly from Mr. 
Renville s household. And in the winter which followed 
our arrival nine were added, making a native church of 
sixteen, of which one half were full-blood Dakota women, 
and in the others the Dakota blood greatly predomi 

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

Nov. 2. 

"Yesterday the marriage referred to was solemnized. 
Could I paint the assembly, you would agree with me 
that it was deeply and singularly interesting. Fancy, for 
a moment, the audience who were witnesses of the scene. 


The rest of our missionary band sat near those of our 
number who were about to enter into the new and sacred 
relationship, while most of the room was filled with our 
dark-faced guests, a blanket or a buffalo robe their chief 
wedding garment, and coarse and tawdry beads, 
brooches, paint, and feathers their wedding ornaments. 
Here and there sat a Frenchman or half-breed, whose 
garb bespoke their different origin. No turkey or eagle 
feathers adorned the hair, or parti-colored paint the face, 
though even their appearance and attire reminded us of 
our location in this wilderness. 

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

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


lame man eagerly devouring his potatoes, and around 
were scattered women and children. 

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


1837-1839. The Language. Its Growth. System of Notation. 

After Changes. What We Had to Put into the Language. 

Teaching English and Teaching Dakota. Mary s Letter. 
Fort Renville. Translating the Bible. The Gospels of Mark 
and John. " Good Bird " Born. Dakota Names. The Les 
sons We Learned. Dakota Washing. Extracts from Letters. 

Dakota Tents. A Marriage. Visiting the Village. 
Girls, Boys, and Dogs. G. H. Pond s Indian Hunt. Three 
Families Killed. The Village Wail. The Power of a 
Name. Post-Office Far Away. The Coming of the Mail. 

S. W. Pond Comes Up. My Visit to Snelling. Lost my 
Horse. Dr. Williamson Goes to Ohio. The Spirit s Pres 
ence. Prayer. Mary s Reports. 

To learn an unwritten language, and to reduce it to a 
form that can be seen as well as heard, is confessedly a 
work of no small magnitude. Hitherto it has seemed to 
exist only in sound. But it has been, all through the 
past ages, worked out and up by the forges of human 
hearts. It has been made to express the lightest thoughts 
as well as the heart-throbs of men and women and chil 
dren in their generations. The human mind, in its most 
untutored state, is God s creation. It may not stamp 
purity nor even goodness on its language, but it always, 
I think, stamps it with the deepest philosophy. So far, 
at least, language is of divine origin. The unlearned 
Dakota may not be able to give any definition for any 
single word that he has been using all his life-time, he 
may say, " It means that, and can t mean any thing else," 



yet, all the while, in the mental workshop of the peo 
ple, unconsciously and very slowly it may be, but no less 
very surely, these words of air are newly coined. No 
angle can turn up, but by and by it will be worn off by 
use. No ungrammatical expression can come in that 
will not be rejected by the best thinkers and speakers. 
New words will be coined to meet the mind s wants; 
and new forms of expression, which at the first are 
bungling descriptions only, will be pared down and 
tucked up so as to come into harmony with the living 

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


from the purely Dakota alphabet. In the Dakota gram 
mar and dictionary, which was published fifteen years 
afterward, an effort was made to make the notation phil 
osophical, and accordant with itself. The changes which 
have since been adopted have all been in the line of the 

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

It was very fortunate for the work of education among 
the Dakotas that it had such a stanch and influential 
friend as Joseph Renville, Sr., of Lac-qui-parle. It was 
never certainly known whether Mr. Renville could read 


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

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

Teaching in Dakota was a different thing. It was their 
own language. The lessons, printed with open type and 
a brush on old newspapers, and hung round the walls of 
the school-room, were words that had a meaning even to 
.1 Dakota child. It was not difficult. A young man has 
sometimes come in, proud and unwilling to be taught, 
but, by sitting there and looking and listening to others, 


he has started up with the announcement, " I am able." 
Some small books had already been printed. Others 
were afterward provided. But the work of works, which 
in some sense took precedence of all others, was then 
commencing, and has not yet been quite completed 
that of putting the Bible into the language of the 

" Nov. 18, 1837. 

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

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

* Completed in 1879. 


Fort Renville, as it was sometimes called, was a 
stockade, made for defence in case of an invasion by 
the O jib was, who had been from time immemorial at 
war with the Sioux. Inside of this stockade stood Mr. 
Renviile s hewed-log house, consisting of a store-house 
and two dwellings. Mr. Renville s reception-room was 
of good size, with a large open fireplace, in which his 
Frenchmen, or " French-boys," as they were called by 
the Indians, piled up an enormous quantity of wood of a 
cold day, setting it up on end, and thus making a fire to 
be felt as well as seen. Here the chief Indian men of 
the village gathered to smoke and talk. A bench ran 
almost around the entire room, on which they sat or 
reclined. Mr. Renville usually sat on a chair in the 
middle of the room. He was a small man with rather 
a long face and head developed upward. A favorite 
position of his was to sit with his feet crossed under him 
like a tailor. This room was the place of Bible trans 
lating. Dr. Williamson and Mr. G. H. Pond had both 
learned to read French. The former usually talked with 
Mr. Renville in French, and, in the work of translating, 
read from the French Bible, verse by verse. Mr. Ren 
ville s memory had been specially cultivated by having 
been much employed as interpreter between the Dakotas 
and the French. It seldom happened that he needed to 
have the verse re-read to him. But it often happened 
that we, who wrote the Dakota from his lips, needed to 
have it repeated in order that we should get it exactly 
and fully. When the verse or sentence was finished, the 
Dakota was read by one of the company. We were all 
only beginners in writing the Dakota language, and I 
more than the others. Sometimes Mr. Renville showed, 
by the twinkle of his eye, his conscious superiority to us, 


when he repeated a long and difficult sentence and found 
that we had forgotten the beginning. But ordinarily 
he was patient with us, and ready to repeat. By this 
process, continued from week to week during that first 
winter of ours at Lac-qui-parle, a pretty good translation 
of the Gospel of Mark was completed, besides some fugi 
tive chapters from other parts. In the two following win 
ters the Gospel of John was translated in the same way. 

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

During this first year that Mary and I spent in the 
Dakota country, there were coming to us continually new 
experiences. One of the most common, and yet one of 
the most thrilling and abiding, was in the birth of our 
first-born. In motherhood and fatherhopd are found 
large lessons in life. The mother called her first-born 
child Alfred Longley, naming him for a very dear brother 
of hers. The Dakotas named this baby boy of ours Good 
Bird (Zitkadan Washtay). They said that it was a good 
name. In those days it was a habit with them to give 
names to the white people who came among them. Dr. 
Williamson they called Payjehoota Wechasta Medicine 
man, or, more literally, Grass-root man that is, Doctor. 
To Mr. G. H. Pond they gave the name Matohota, 
Grizzly-bear. Mr. S. W. Pond was Wamdedoota^ Red- 


eagle. To me they gave the name of Tamakoche, His 
country. They said some good Dakota long ago had 
borne that name. To Mary they gave the name of Pa- 
yuha. At first they gutturalized the h, which made it 
mean Curly-head her black hair did curl a good deal ; 
but afterward they naturalized the h, and said it meant 

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

u Dec. 13. 

" My first use of the pen since the peculiar manifesta 
tion of God s loving kindness we have so recently 


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

Dec. 28. 

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

" Jan. 10. 

" The Dakota tent is formed of buffalo skins, stretched 
on long poles placed on the ground in a circle, and 
meeting at the top, where a hole is left from which the 
smoke of the fire in the centre issues. Others are made 
of bark tied to the poles placed in a similar manner. A 
small place is left for a door of skin stretched on sticks 
and hinged with strings at the top, so that the person 
entering raises it from the bottom and crawls in. At 
this season of the year the door is protected by a covered 
passage formed by stakes driven into the ground several 
feet apart, and thatched with grass. Here they keep 
their wood, which the women cut this cold weather, the 


thermometer at eighteen to twenty degrees below zero. 
And should you lift the little door, you would find a cold, 
smoky lodge about twelve feet in diameter, a mother and 
her child, a blanket or two, or a skin, a kettle, and pos 
sibly in some of them a sack of corn." 

" Thursday Eve., Jan. 11. 

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

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


"April 5. 

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

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

" When we had called at Mr. Renville s, which was a 
little beyond, we returned through the heart of the vil 
lage, attended by such a retinue as I have never before 
seen, and such strange intermingling of laughing and 
shouting of children and barking of dogs as I never 
heard. Amazed, and almost deafened by the clamor, I 
turned to gaze upon the unique group. Some of the 
older girls were close upon our heels, but as we stopped 
they also halted, and those behind slackened their pace. 
Boys and girls of from four to twelve years of age, some 


wrapped in their blankets, more without, and quite a 
number of boys almost or entirely destitute of clothing, 
with a large number of dogs of various sizes and colors, 
presented themselves in an irregular line. As all of the 
Indians here have pitched their lodges together, I sup 
pose there might have been thirty or forty children in 
our train. When we reached home, I found little Alfred 
happy and quiet, in the same place on the bed I had left 
him more than two hours previous, his father having been 
busy studying Dakota. 

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

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


and was quite willing to starve a good deal in the pro 
cess. However, his stay with them, and their hunt for 
that time as well, was suddenly terminated. 

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


power of a name. And if an earthly name has such 
power, much more the Name that is above every name 
much more the Name of the Only Begotten of the heav 
enly Father. 

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

Once a year, at least, it seemed best that one of our 
selves should go down to the mouth of the Minnesota. 
Our annual supplies were to be brought up, and various 
matters of business transacted. I was sent down in the 
spring of 1838, and I considered myself fortunate in 
having the company of Rev. S. W. Pond. This was Mr. 
Pond s second visit to Lac-qui-parle on foot. The first 


was made over two years before, in midwinter. That 
was a fearful journey. What with ignorance of the 
country, and deep snows, and starvation, and an ugly 
Indian for his guide, Mr. Pond came near reaching the 
spirit land before he came to Lac-qui-parle. 

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

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

When the first snows were beginning to fall in the 
coming winter, and not till then, Dr. Williamson was 
ready to make his trip to Ohio. The Gospel of Mark 
and some smaller portions of the Bible he had prepared 
for the press. The journey was undertaken a few weeks 


too late, and so it proved a very hard one. They thought 
to go down the Mississippi in a Mackinaw boat, but were 
frozen in before they reached Lake Pepin. From that 
point the entire journey to Ohio was made by land in the 
rigors of winter. 

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

It pleased God to make this winter one of fruitfulness. 
Mr. Renville was active in persuading those under his 
influence to attend the religious meetings, the school 
room was crowded on Sabbaths, and the Word, imper 
fectly as it was spoken, was used by the Spirit upon 
those dark minds. There was evidently a quickening of 
the church. They were interested in prayer. What is 
prayer ? and how shall we pray ? became questions of 
interest with them. One woman who had received at 
her baptism the name of Catherine, and who still lives a 
believing life at the end of forty years, was then troubled 
to know how prayer could reach God. I told her in this 


we were all little children. God recognized our condi 
tion in this respect, and had told us that, as earthly 
fathers and mothers were willing, and desirous of giving 
good gifts to their children, he was more willing to give 
the Holy Spirit to them that ask him. Besides, he made 
the ear, and shall he not hear? He made, in a large 
sense, all language, and shall he not be able to under 
stand Dakota words? The very word for "pray " in the 
Dakota language was " to cry to " chakiya. Prayer 
was now, as through all ages it had been, the child s cry 
in the ear of the Great Father. So there appeared to be 
a working upward of many hearts. Early in February 
Mr. Pond, Mr. Renville, and Mr. Huggins, Mr. Gavan and 
myself, after due examination and instruction, agreed to 
receive ten Dakotas into the church all women. I bap 
tized them and their children twenty-eight in all on 
one Sabbath morning. It was to us a day of cheer. To 
these Dakota Gentiles also God had indeed opened the 
door of faith. Blessed be his name for ever and ever. 

" Dec. 6, 1838. 

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


" Feb. 9, 1839. 

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

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


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

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



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

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

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

In the meantime, the thought that our good friend 
Eagle Help should lead out a war party to kill and man 
gle Ojibwa women and children greatly troubled us. We 
argued and entreated, but our words were not heeded. 
Among other things, we said we would pray that the war 
party might not be successful. That was too much of a 
menace. Added to this, they came and asked MI*. Hug- 


gins to grind corn for them on our little ox-power mill, 
which he refused to do. They were greatly enraged, 
and, just before they started out, they killed and ate two 
of the mission cows. After a rather long and difficult 
tramp they returned without having seen an Ojibwa. 
Their failure they attributed entirely to our prayers, and 
so, as they returned ashamed, they took off the edge of 
their disgrace by killing another of our unoffending ani 

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

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


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

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

Mr, and Mrs. Pond were now gone. For the next 


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

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

On the other side of one the Dakota language is still 


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

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

And so we made arrangements for the journey. The 
little boy " Good Bird " was left behind, and the baby 


Isabella had to go along, of course. We were with Mr. 
Renville s annual caravan going to the fur-trader s 

The prairie journey was pleasant and enjoyable, though 
somewhat fatiguing. We had our own team and could 
easily keep in company with the long line of wooden 
carts, carrying buffalo robes and other furs. It was, 
indeed, rather romantic. But when we reached the 
Traverse des Sioux, we were at our wit s end how to 
proceed further. That was the terminus of the wagon- 
road. It was then regarded as absolutely impossible to 
take any wheeled vehicle through by land to Fort 
Snelling. Several years after this we began to do it, 
but it was very difficult. Then it was not to be tried. 
Mr. Sibley s fur boat, it was expected, would have been 
at the Traverse, but it was not. And a large canoe 
which was kept there had gotten loose and floated away. 
Only a little crazy canoe, carrying two persons, was 
found to cross the stream with. Nothing remained but 
to abandon the journey or to try it on horseback. And 
for that not a saddle of any kind could be obtained. 
But Mary was a plucky little woman. She did not 
mean to use the word " fail " if she could help it. And 
so we tied our buffalo robe and blanket on one of the 
horses, and she mounted upon it, with a rope for a 
stirrup. Many a young woman would have been at 
home there, but Mary had not grown up on horseback. 
And so at the end of a dozen miles, when we came to 
the river where Le Sueur now is, she was very glad to 
learn that the large canoe had been found. In that she 
and baby Isabella took passage with Mr. Renville s girls 
and an Indian woman or two to steer and paddle. The 
rest of the company went on by land, managing to meet 


the boat at night and camp together. This we did for 
the next four nights. It was a hard journey for Mary. 
The current was not swift. The canoe was heavy and 
required hard paddling to make it move onward. The 
Dakota young women did not care to work, and their 
helm s-woman was not in a condition to do it. On the 
fourth day out they ran ashore somewhat hurriedly and 
put up their tent, where the woman pilot gave birth to 
a baby girl. They named it " By-the-way." One day 
they came in very hungry to an Indian village. The 
Dakota young women were called to a tent to eat sugar. 
Then Mary thought they might have called " the white 
woman " also, but they did not. She did not consider 
that they were relatives. 

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

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

We now addressed ourselves to the return journey. 
The fur boat had gone up and come down again. We 
were advised to try a birch-bark canoe, and hire a couple 
of French voyagers to row it. In the first part of the 
river we went along nicely. But after a while we began 


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

" FORT SNELLING, June 19, 1840. 

" We left Lac-qui-parle June 1, and reached Le Bland s 
the Saturday following, having enjoyed as pleasant a 
journey across the prairie as we could expect or hope. 
We had expected to find at that place a barge, but we 
could not even procure an Indian canoe. With no other 
alternative, we mounted our horses on Monday, with no 
other saddles than our baggage. Mine was a buffalo robe 
and blanket fastened with a trunk strap. My spirits sank 
within me as I gave our little Isabella to an Indian woman 


to carry perched up in a blanket behind, and clung to my 
horse s mane as we ascended and descended the steep 
hills, and thought a journey of seventy miles by land was 
before us. 

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

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

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

" TRAVERSE DES Sioux, July 4. 

"The canoe (birch-bark) which we praised so highly 
failed us about eight miles below this place, in conse 
quence of not having a supply of gum to mend a large 
rent made by a snag early this morning. Not thinking it 
was quite so far, I chose to try walking, husband carrying 


Isabella, the Frenchmen having hastened on to find our 
horses to bring up the baggage. We reached the river 
and found there was no boat here with which to cross. 
Mr. Riggs waded with Isabella, the water being about 
two and a half feet deep, and an Indian woman came to 
carry me over, when our horses were brought up. Hus 
band mounted without any saddle, and I, quivering like 
an aspen, seated myself behind, clinging so tightly that 
I feared I should pull us both off. I do not think it was 
fear, at least not entirely, for I am still exceedingly 
fatigued and dizzy, but I have reason to be grateful that 
I did not fall into the river from faintness, as husband 
thought I was in danger of doing. Isabella s face is 
nearly blistered, and mine almost as brown as an Ind 
ian s." 

" LAC-QUI-PARLE MISSION, July 27, 1840. 
" We are once more in the quiet enjoyment of home, 
and are somewhat rested from the fatigue of our journey. 
The repetition of that parental injunction, Mary, do be 
careful of your health, recalled your watchful care most 
forcibly. How often have I heard these words, and per 
haps too often have regarded them less strictly than an 
anxious mother deemed necessary for my highest welfare. 
And even now, were it not that the experience of a few 
years may correct my notions about health, I should be 
so unfashionable as to affirm that necessary exposures, 
such as sleeping on the prairie in a tent drenched with 
rain, and walking some two or three miles in the dewy 
grass, where the water would gush forth from our shoes 
at every step, and then continuing our walk until they 
were more than comfortably dry, as we did on the morn 
ing our canoe failed us, are not as injurious to the health 
as the unnecessary exposures of fashionable life," 


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

About the first of September, Mr. Huggins and I, hav 
ing prepared ourselves with a small outfit, started for the 
Missouri. We had one pony for the saddle, and one 
horse and cart to carry the baggage. At first we joined 
a party of wild Sioux from the Two Woods, whose leader 
was " Thunder Face." He was a great scamp, but had 
promised to furnish us with guides to the Missouri, after 
we had reached the Coteau. The party were going out 
to hunt buffalo, and moved by short days marches. In 
a week we had only made fifty miles. After some vexa 
tious delays and some coaxing and buying, we succeeded 
in getting started ahead with two young men, the princi 
pal one being "Sacred Cow." The first day brought us 
into the region of buffalo, one of which Sacred Cow 
killed. This came near spoiling our journey. The young 
men now wanted to turn about and join the hunt. An 
additional bargain had to be made. In about two weeks 
from Lac-qui-parle we reached the Missouri, striking it 
near Fort Pierre. To this trading fort we crossed, and 
there spent a good part of a week. Forty or fifty 
teepees of Teetons were encamped there. They treated 
us kindly (inviting us to a dog feast on one occasion), as 
did also the white people and half-breeds of the post. 


We gathered a good deal of information in regard to the 
western bands of the Sioux nation ; we communicated to 
them something of the object of our missionary work, 
and of the good news of salvation, and then returned 
home pretty nearly by the way we went. We had been 
gone a month. The result of our visit was the conclusion 
that we could not do much, or attempt much, for the 
civilization and Christianization of those roving bands of 


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

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

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

Anaicangmane (walks galloping on) was at this time 
not far from thirty years old. He was not a bright schol 
ar rather dull and slow in learning to read. But he 



had a very strong will-power and did not know what fear 
was. He had been a very dare-devil on the war-path. 
The Dakotas had a curious custom of being under law and 
above law. It was always competent for a Dakota sol 
dier to punish another man for a misdemeanor, if the 
other man did not rank above him in savage prowess. As 
for example : If a Dakota man had braved an Ojibwa 
with a loaded gun pointed at him, and had gone up and 
killed him, he ranked above all men who had not done a 
like brave deed. And if no one in the community had 
done such an act of bravery, then this man could not be 
punished for any thing, according to Dakota custom. 

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


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

And yet, as time rolled by, it was seen, by the unfold 
ing of the divine plan, that Simon could not be built up 
into the. best and noblest character without suffering. 
Naturally 4 , he was the man who would grow into self- 
sufficiency. There were weak points in his character 
which he perhaps knew not of. It was several years 
after this when Simon visited us at the Traverse, and 
made our hearts glad by his presence and help. But alas ! 
he came there to stumble and fall! "You are a brave 
man no man so brave as you are," said the Indians at 
the Traverse to him. And some of them Avere distantly 
related to him. While they praised and flattered him, 


they asked him to drink whiskey with them. Surely he 
was man enough for that. How many times he refused 
Simon never told. But at last he yielded, and then the 
very energy of his character carried him to great excess 
in drinking " spirit water." 

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

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

But I must leave these broken threads, and take up 
the thread of my story. At Lac-qui-parle the school 
room in Dr. Williamson s log house became too strait 
for our religious gatherings. We determined to build a 
church. The Dakota women volunteered to come and 


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

Of this church when commenced, Catherine Totiduta- 
win wrote : " Now are we to have a church, and on that 
account we rejoice greatly. In this house we shall pray 
to the Great Spirit. We have dug ground two days 
already. We have worked having the Great Spirit in 
our thoughts. We have worked praying. When we 
have this house we shall be glad. In it, if we pray, he 


will have mercy upon us, and if he hears what we say, 
he will make us glad. As yet we do what he hates. In 
this house we will confess these things to him our 
thoughts, our words, our actions these we will tell to 
him. His Son will dwell in this house and pardon all 
that is bad. God has mercy on us and is giving us a holy 
house. In this we will pray for the nations." 

" Dec. 10, 1841. 

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

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

There was at this time an elderly man who sought 
admission to the church at Lac-qui-parle, Left Hand by 


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

The fifth winter in our " little chamber " was one full 
of work. In the early part of it, Mary was still in the 
school. In the latter part our third child was born. She 
was named "Martha Taylor," for the grandmother in 
Massachusetts. During the years previous, I had under 
taken to translate a good portion of the New Testament, 
the Acts, and Paul s Epistles, and the Revelation. This 
winter the corrected copy had to be made. Of necessity 


I learned to do my best work surrounded by children. 
My study and workshop was our sitting-room, and din 
ing-room, and kitchen, and nursery, and ladies parlor. It 
was often half filled with Indians. Besides my own trans 
lations, I copied for the press the Gospel of John and 
some of the Psalms. A part of the latter were my own 
translation, and a part were secured, as the Gospel was, 
through Mr. Renville. There was also a hymn-book to 
edit, and some school-books to be, prepared. So the win 
ter was filled with work and service. The remembrance 
of it is only pleasant. Of course, the ordinary family 
trials were experienced. A bucket of water was spilled 
and was leaking down on Mrs. Williamson s bed below, 
or one of the children fell down the stairs, or our little 
Bella crawled out of the window and sat on the little 
shelf where the milk was set to cool in the morning, giv 
ing us a good scare, etc. 


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

" Your letter presented to my l mind s eye our moun 
tain home. I entered the lower gate, passed up the lane 
between the elms, maples, and cherries, and saw once more 
our mountain home embowered by the fir-trees and shrub 
bery I loved so well. How many times have I watched 
the first buddings of those rose-bushes and lilacs, and 
with what care and delight have I nursed those snow 
balls, half dreaming they were sister spirits, telling by 
their delicate purity of that Eden where flowers never 
fade and leaves never wither. Perhaps I was too pas 
sionately fond of flowers ; if so, that fondness is suffi 
ciently blunted, if not subdued. Not a solitary shrub, 
tree, or flower rears its head near our dwelling, excepting 


those of nature s planting at no great distance on the op 
posite side of the St. Peter s, and a copse of plums in a 
dell on the left, and of scrub-oak on the right. Back of 
us is the river hill which shelters us from the furious 
wind of the high prairie beyond. Until last season we 
have had no enclosure, and now we have but a poor de 
fence against the depredations of beasts, and still more 
lawless and savage men. On reading descriptions of the 
situation of our missionary brethren and sisters in Beirut, 
Jerusalem, and elsewhere, the thought has arisen, That 
is such a place as I should like to call home. But the 
remembrance of earthquakes, war, and the plague, by 
which those countries are so often scourged, hushed each 
murmuring thought. When I also recollected the myste 
rious providences which have written the Persian mission 
aries childless, how could I long or wish to possess more 
earthly comforts, while my husband and our two < olive 
plants are spared to sit around our table. Little Bella 
already creeps to her father, and, if granted a seat on his 
knee, holds her little hands, although, as Alfred says, she 
does not wait till papa says amen. While we are sur 
rounded by so many blessings, I would not, like God s an 
cient people, provoke him by murmuring, as I fear I have 
done, and if he should deprive us of any of the comforts 
we now possess, may he give us grace to feel as did Hab- 
akkuk, Although the fig-tree shall not blossom, neither 
shall fruit be in the vine, etc., yet I will rejoice in the 
Lord and joy in the God of my Salvation. 

"I suppose you have hardly yet found how much of 
romance is mingled with your ideas of a married state. 
You will find real life much the same that you have ever 
found, and with additional joys, additional cares and sor 
rows. I have realized as much happiness as I anticipated, 


though many of my bright visions have not been realized, 
and others have been much changed in outline and finish 
ing. For instance, our still winter evenings are seldom 
enlivened by reading, while I am engaged lulling our 
little ones or plying my needle. Although I should 
greatly enjoy such a treat occasionally , I can not, in our 
situation, expect it, while it is often almost the only time 
husband can secure for close and uninterrupted study. 
You know the time of a missionary is not his own" 

" Thursday, May 19, 1841. 

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

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

"We are grateful for the expression of kindness for us 
and for our children, and we hope that our duty to those 
whom God has committed to our care will be made plain. 
Before your letter reached us, containing the remark of 
Mother Clark about taking the little girl, we had 
another little daughter added to our family, and had con- 


eluded to leave Isabella with Miss Fanny Huggins, as it 
is probable we shall return to this region, instead of 
ascending the Missouri. Our little Martha we shall 
of course not leave behind if our lives are spared and we 
are permitted to go East ; and Alfred we intend taking 
with us as far as Ohio." 

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

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

The bottoms of the Lower Minnesota were putting on 

100 MARY AND I. 

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

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

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


honorable. The men said they did not steal, but the 
women were all wamanonsa. 

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

Thomas Longley, a young man of 22 years, and rejoic 
ing in a young man s strength, had joined us at Fort Snel 
ling. He was a part of our boat s company up the Minne 
sota; and now he and I and the little boy, Zitkadan Wash- 
tay, remained to make a beginning. Immediately I called 
the Indians and had a talk with them, at Mr. Le Eland s 
trading-post. I told them we had come to live with them, 
and to teach them. Some said yes and some said no. But 
they all asked, What have you to give us? 

It was at a time of year when they were badly off for 
food, and so I gave them two barrels of flour. Before 
the council was over, some of the principal men became 
so stupid from the influence of whiskey which they had been 
drinking, that they did not know what they were saying. 

102 MARY AND I. 

Old Sleepy Eyes and Tankamane were the chief men 
present. They were favorable to our stopping, and re 
mained friends of the mission as long as it was continued 
there. But some of the younger men were opposed. 
One especially, who had a keg of whiskey that he was 
taking to the Upper Minnesota, was reported as saying 
that when he had disposed of his whiskey, he would come 
back and stop Tamakoche s building. But he never came 
back only a few days after this, he was killed in a 
drunken frolic. 

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

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

Five miles from the mission, the road crosses the 
Mayakawan otherwise called the Chippewa River. It 
was a hot afternoon when the mission party approached 
it. They were thirsty, and the young men had started on 


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


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

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

Mr. Huggins had the toothache, and, about 10 o clock, 
said he would go and bathe, as that sometimes helped his 
teeth. Brother T. proposed that we should go also, to 
which I at first objected, and said we would go after 
dinner. He thought we should have something else to do 
then ; and, remembering that once or twice I had prevented 
his bathing, by not going when he wished, I consented. 
We had been in the water but a moment, when, turning 



around, I saw T. throw up his hands and clap them over 
his head. My first thought was that he was drowning. 
The current was strong and setting out from the shore. I 
swam to him he caught me by the hand, but did not ap 
pear to help himself in the least probably had the cramp. 
I tried to get toward shore with him, but could not. He 
pulled me under once or twice, and I began to think I 
should be drowned with him. But when we came up 
again, he released his grasp, and, as I was coming into 
shallow water, with some difficulty, I reached the shore. 
But the dear boy Thomas appeared not again. The cruel 
waters rolled over him. In the meantime, Mr. Huggins 
had jumped into a canoe, and was coming to our relief. 
But it was too late too late ! 

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

" I feel that this affliction, such as I have never before 
known, is intended to prepare us who are left for life and 
death. Perhaps some of us may soon follow him whom 
we all loved. When I stand by his grave, overshadowed 

106 MAKY AND I. 

by three small oaks, with room for another person by his 
side, I think that place may be for me. 

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

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

" The hand of the Lord had touched us, and we were 
ready to sink; but the same kind hand sustained us. 
May the same Almighty Father strengthen you. One 


thought comforted me not a little. If brother Thomas 
had gone home to our father s house in Massachusetts, I 
should not have grieved much ; and now he had gone to 
his Father s and our Father s home in Heaven, why 
should I mourn so bitterly ? I felt that God had a right 
to call him when he pleased, and I saw his mercy, in 
sparing my husband to me a little longer, when he was 
but a step from the eternal world. Still, I felt that I had 
lost a brother, and such a brother ! 

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

"On Saturday morning, as we were busily engaged 
near each other, he sang, Our cabin is small and coarse 
our fare, But love has spread our banquet here ! Soon 
afterward he went to bathe, and of course our roof and 
floor remained unfinished, but that evening we termi- 

108 MAKY AND I. 

nated in sadness what had been to us a happy feast of 
tabernacles, by moving into our humble dwelling. For a 
little while on Sabbath, his remains found a resting-place 
within the house his hands had reared. I kissed his 
cheek as he lay upon a plank resting on that large red 
chest and box which were sent from home, but, owing to 
the haste and excitement, I did not think to take a lock 
of hair. It curled as beautifully as ever, although drip 
ping with water, and the countenance was natural, I 
thought, but it has rather dimmed my recollections of 
him as he was when living. I felt so thankful that 
his body had been found before any great change 
had taken place, that gratitude to God supplanted my 
grief while we buried him. Mr. Huggins and Fanny 
sang an Indian hymn made from the 15th chapter of 
First Corinthians, and then, Unveil thy bosom, faith 
ful tomb. We cajne home just after sunset. It is 
but a little distance from our dwelling, and in the 
same garden of roses, as Thomas called it, where he 
now sleeps." 

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


there. He had seized the young man. It did seem some 
times as though God wos against us. 

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

The old men came frequently to comfort us in this 
way, and it gave us an opportunity of telling them 
about Christ, who is the great Conqueror over death 
and the grave. Sometimes they came in and sat in 
silence, as old Sleepy Eyes and Tankamane often did, 
and that did us good. Old Gray Leaf had a gift of talk- 

110 MARY AND I. 

ing he believed in talking. When he came in, he made 
an excited speech, and at the close said, " I don t mean 

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

The summer was wearing away. We were getting 
some access to the people. On the Sabbath, we could 
gather in a few, to be present while we sang Dakota 
hymns and read the Bible and prayed. But there was 
a good deal of opposition. As our oxen had been killed 
and eaten, and we were approaching the winter, it was 
necessary that we have some means of drawing our fire 
wood. So I bought one ox, and harnessed him as the 
Red River people do. He was a faithful servant to us 
during that winter, but the next summer he too was 
killed and eaten. This time they came boldly, and 
broke open our stable, and killed and carried awny the 
animal. It seemed as if they were determined that we 


should not stay. Did the Lord mean to have us give up 
our work there? We did not want to decide that ques 
tion hastily. 

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

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

112 MARY AND I. 

in at the door, an arrow whizzed by. Was it intended 
to hit? 

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

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

These were very trying years of missionary work. It 
was at this time our good friend and brother, Simon 


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

" TRAVERSE DBS Sioux, July 13, 1844. 
"... The Indians and the babies, the chickens and 
the mice, seem leagued to destroy the flowers, and they 
have wellnigh succeeded. Perhaps you will wonder 
why I should bestow any of my precious time on flow 
ers, when their cultivation is attended \vith so many 
difficulties. The principal reason is that I find my mind 
needs some such cheering relaxation. In leaving my 
childhood s home for this Indian land, you know, my 
dear mother, I left almost everything I held dear, and 
gave up almost every innocent pleasure I once enjoyed. 
Much as I may have failed in many respects, I am per 
suaded there was a firmness of purpose, to count no 

114 MARY AND I. 

necessary sacrifice too great to be made. I do not think 
I have made what should be called great sacrifices, but I 
am using the phrase as it is often used, and I am conscious 
that, in some respects, I have tasked myself too hard. I 
feel that I have grown old beyond my years. Even the 
last year has added greatly to my gray hairs. I have 
been spending my strength too rapidly, and I have often 
neglected to apply to Him for strength of whom Isaiah 
says, He giveth power to the faint; and to them that 
have no might he in crease th strength. How beautiful 
and precious is the promise to those who wait upon the 
Lord ! When c even the youths shall faint and be weary, 
and the young men shall utterly fall ; they that wait 
upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall 
mount up with wings, as eagles, they shall run and not 
be weary, they shall walk and not faint. Oh, if we 
could live by faith, the difficulties and the trials of the 
way would not greatly trouble or distress us." 

In the spring of 1844, Robert and Agnes Hopkins 
came down from Lac-qui-parle, and, for the next seven 
years, were identified with the missionary work at Tra 
verse des Sioux. The opposition to our remaining grad 
ually died away and was lived down. Louis Provencalle, 
the trader, alias Le Bland, had probably tried to carry 
water on both shoulders, but he was thoroughly con 
verted to our friendship by an accident which happened 
to himself. The old gentleman was carrying corn, in 
strings, into his upper chamber by an outside ladder. 
With a load of this corn on his back, he fell and caught 
on his picket fence, the sharp-pointed wood making a 
terrible hole in his flesh. For months I visited him 
almost daily and dressed bis wound, He recovered, and, 


although he was not the less a Romanist, he and his fam 
ily often came to our meetings, and were our fast friends. 
Perhaps some seeds of truth were then sown, which bore 
fruit in the family a score of years afterward. 

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

" TK AVERSE DES Sioux, Oct. 10, 1844. 

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

"The circumstances of the murder were very aggra 
vating, as communicated to us by the only known sur 
vivor. A gentleman from the State of Missouri, Turner 
by name, with three men, were on their way to Fort 
Snelling with a drove of cattle for the Indians. Being 
unacquainted with the country, they wandered to the 
north-west, when they were met by a war-party of Sisseton 
Sioux, returning from an unsuccessful raid upon the 
Ojibwas. Finding them where they did, on their way 
apparently to the Red River of the North, they supposed 
they belonged to that settlement, with whom they had re 
cently had a quarrel about hunting buffalo. And so they 
commenced to treat these white men roughly, demanding 

116 MARY AND I. 

their horses, guns, and clothes. One man resisted and 
was killed, the others were robbed. Shirts, drawers, hats, 
and vests were all that were left them. Some of the 
cattle were killed, and the rest fled. One of the Ameri 
cans, with some Indians, were sent after them, but he 
made his escape, and was never heard of again. The 
next morning, the other two were permitted to leave, but 
the only requests they made, for their coats, a knife, and a 
life-preserver, were not granted. 

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

" The next morning he tottered toward the Sioux camp. 
Ever and anon he stopped and hid in the grass. The 
Dakotas watched his movements. Some young men went 
out to meet him, but Bennett was afraid of them, and 
tried to crawl away. When the old man Sleepy Eyes 
himself came in sight, his benevolent, honest counte 
nance assured the young white man, and he staggered 
toward the Dakota chief. His confidence was not mis 
placed. Sleepy Eyes took the wanage ghost, as they 


called him, to his tent, and his daughter made bread for 
him of flour, which the old man had bought of us a few 
days before ; and Bennett declared he never ate such 
good bread in his life. Mr. Riggs brought him home, 
for which he said he was willing to be his servant for 
ever. We furnished him with such clothing as we had, 
and after three weeks recruiting we sent him home. At 
Fort Snelling, he was furnished with money to go to his 
parents, whom he had left without their consent. 

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

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

118 MARY AND I. 

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

" TRAVERSE DES Sioux, March 15, 1845. 
" At the present time our Indian neighbors are absent, 
some at their sugar camps, and others hunting musk-rats. 
Thus far the season has not been favorable for making 
sugar, and we have purchased but a few pounds, giving 
in return flour or corn, of which we have but little, to 
spare. Last spring, we procured our year s supply from 
the Indians, and for the most of it we gave calico in 
exchange. Not for our sakes, but for the sake of our 
ragged and hungry neighbors, I should rejoice in their 
having an abundant supply. They eat sugar, during the 
season, as freely as we eat bread, and what they do not 
need for food they can exchange for clothing. But they 
will have but little for either, unless the weather is more 
favorable the last half than it has been the first part of 
this month. And they are so superstitious that some, 
I presume, will attribute the unpropitious sky and wind 
to our influence. Mr. Hopkins visited several camps 
about ten miles distant, soon after the first and thus far 
the only good sugar weather. One woman said to him, 


You visited us last winter ; before you came there 
were a great many deer, but afterward none ; and now 
we have made some sugar, but you have come, and 
perhaps we shall make no more. " 

" June 23, 1845. 
" My Dear Mother : 

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

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


friends. It was very remarkable that three Indians 
should be placed over against three white men in the 
outcome of Providence. 

" Aug. 15, 1845. 

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



11 Jan. 29, 1846. 

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

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

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

That canoe voyage was continued down the Mississippi 
River as far as Red Wing. At Mr. Pond s station we 

122 MARY AND I. 


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

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


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

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

At Lac-qui-parle, where had been the best seed-sowing 
and harvesting for the first seven years, the work had 
gone backward. Bad corn years had driven some of the 
native Christians to take refuge among the annuity Ind 
ians of the Mississippi. Temptations of various kinds 
had drawn away others they had stumbled and fallen. 


124 MARY AND I. 

Persecutions from the heathen party had deterred 
others, and some had fallen asleep in Christ. Among 
these last was Mr. Joseph Renville, who had stood l>y 
the work from the beginning. He had passed away in 
the month of March ; and thus the Lac-qui-parle church 
was reduced to less than half its members of four years 

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

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


" TK AVERSE DES Sioux, Sept. 17, 1846. 

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

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

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

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

" Give me my old seat, mother, 

With my head upon thy knee ; 
I ve passed through many a changing scene, 
Since thus I sat by thee, 

126 MAKY AND I. 

" Oh, let me look into thine eyes 

Their meek, soft, loving light 
Falls like a gleam of holiness, 
Upon my heart, to-night! 

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

"Dec. 16. 

" You will, I think, feel gratified to know that there 
are some things pleasant and encouraging here, notwith 
standing the discouragements. The sound of the church- 
going bell is heard here the bell which we purchased 
with the avails of moccasins donated by the church mem- 


bers. Some of those contributors are dead, and others 
have backslidden or removed ; still, there are more hearers 
of the Word here than at Traverse des Sioux, although 
the large majority in both places turn a deaf ear to the 
calls and entreaties of the Gospel. Quite a number of 
the women who attend the Sabbath services can read, but 
some of them can not find the hymns, and I enjoy very 
much finding the places for them." 

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

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

128 MARY AND I. 

ates had with difficulty kept a team of any kind. Once 
they were obliged to hitch up milch cows to haul fire 

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

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


from them the timber we used in erecting two frame 

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

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

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

130 MARY AND I. 

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

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

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

" In addition to the medicines, there has been a greafc 
demand for garden-seeds, to say nothing of the common 
wants of a little thread, or soap, or patches for a ragged 
short-gown, or a strip of white cloth for the head to en- 
able them to kill ducks or buffalo, as the case may be. 
There is scarcely any view of God s character that gives 


me so clear an apprehension of his infinite goodness and 
power as that of his kind care of his sinful creatures. 
He listens to their requests, and giving doth not impov 
erish, neither doth withholding enrich him." 

"May 26. 

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

" Jan. 11, 1848. 

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

" Some weeks ago, an elderly woman with a young babe 
begged me for clothing for the little one. I asked her if 
it was her child. She replied that it was her grandchild, 
that its mother died last summer, and that she had nursed 
it ever since. At first she had no milk, but she continued 
nursing it, until the milk flowed for the little orphan. 
This, thought I, is an evidence of a grandmother s love 
not often witnessed. I felt very compassionate for the 
baby, and gave the grandmother some old clothing. 
After she left, a knife was missing, which seemed rather 

132 MARY AND I. 

like a gypsy s compensation for the kindness received. 
But perhaps she was not the thief, as our house was then 
thronged with visitors from morning till night. We en 
deavor to keep such things as they will be tempted to 
steal out of their reach, but a mother can not watch three 
or four children, and perform necessary household duties 
at the same time, without sometimes affording an oppor 
tunity for a cunning hand to slip away a pair of scissors 
or a knife unnoticed. 

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

" May 25, 1848. 

" How very quiet and green I think those lanes are 
no noise except the whispering winds in those beautiful 
elms and maples ; and those still rooms, where rang the 
merry shout of children returned from school. I could 
almost fancy they would look as sober and sombre as 
those dark firs under which we played when we and they 
were small. They still are young and vigorous, for aught 
I know, but we, alas ! are young no longer. Do the lilacs 
and roses and snowballs still bloom as brightly as ever ? 
But the thought of those bright and beautiful scenes 


makes me sad, and I wish to write a cheering letter, so 
good-by to the visions of departed joys. 

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

During these two buffalo winters, almost the whole vil 
lage removed up to the Pom me de Terre, or Owobaptay 
River as the Dakotas called it. That was a better point 
to hunt from. For the regulation of the hunt, and to 
prevent the buffalo from being driven off, they organized 
a Soldiers 1 Lodge. This was a large tent pitched in the 
centre of the camp, where the symbols of power were 
kept in two bundles of red and black sticks. These rep 
resented .the soldiers those who had killed enemies and 
those who had not. To this tent the women brought 
offerings of wood and meat ; and here the young and old 
men often gathered to feast, and from these headquarters 
went forth, through an Eyanpaha (cryer), the edicts of 
the wise men. 

For these two winters, I arranged to spend every alter 
nate Sabbath at the camp, going up on Saturday and re- 
t urning on Monday. This soldiers tent was, from the 
first, placed at my disposal for Sabbath meetings. It 
was an evidence of a great change in the general feeling 

134 MARY AND I. 

of the village toward Christianity. It was a public 
recognition of it. All were not Christians by any means ; 
but the following was honorable and honored, and we 
usually had a crowded tent. Our evening meetings were 
held in the tent of one of our church members. So the 
Word of God grew in Dakota soil. 

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

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

The American Board was ready also to respond to our 
call for more help. In the spring of 1848, Rev. M. N. 


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

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

" LAC-Ql" PARLK, Oct. 16, 1848. 

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



of our houses on the day we came forth to go unto you ; 
but now, behold, it is dry, and it is mouldy. 

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

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

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

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

" The same foolish yet trying accusations are made 
such as that we are to receive pay according to the num- 


her of scholars in the school here when the land is sold 
that we are using up their grass and timber and land, 
and making them no requital. A few days ago the old 
chief and his brother-in-law came and rehearsed their 
supposed claims, and said that the Indians were tired 
eating corn and wanted one of our remaining cattle. 
Truly we can say that this earth is not our rest, and re 
joice that we shall not live here always. 

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

" May 31, 1849. 

" During Mr. Riggs absence, our worship on the Sab 
bath, both in Sioux and English, has consisted of reading 
the Scriptures, singing, and prayer. I have been grati 
fied that so many attended the Sioux service about 
thirty each Sabbath. Anna Jane remarked the Saturday 
after her father left home, We can t have any Sabbath 
because two men and one woman are gone, referring to 
her papa and Mr. and Mrs. Adams. Still, these Sabbaths 
have brought to us privileges, even though the preached 
Word and the great congregation have been wanting." 

"June 15. 

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

138 MAKY AND I. 

" Sept. 2, 1850. 

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

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


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

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

This was the second great sorrow that came, in the 
same way, to the mission band of Traverse des Sioux. It 
threw a pall over the festivities of the day. The Indians 
said again the Oonktehe their Neptune was angry 
and had taken the wechasta wakan. But the mission 
families were enabled to say, " It is the Lord." When 
the body floated it was caught in fishing nets, and care- 

140 MARY AND I. 

fully taken up and buried by the " Oaks of Weeping." 
Mr. Hopkins did not live to see much matured fruit of 
his labors, but he had put in eight years of good, honest 
work for the Master, among the Dakotas, and he has his 

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

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


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

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

To begin with, we had the advantage of what had been 
gathered by the Messrs. Pond and Stevens, and Dr. Will 
iamson, in the three years before we came. Perhaps an 
effort made still earlier, by some officers of the army at 
Fort Snelling, in collecting a vocabulary of a few hun 
dred words of the Sioux language, should not be over 
looked. Thus, entering into other men s labors, when we 
had been a year or more in the country, and were some 
what prepared to reap on our own account, the vocabu- 


142 MARY AND I. 

lary which I had gathered from all sources amounted 
to about three thousand words. 

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

It was about the beginning of the year 1851 when the 
question of publication was first discussed. Certain gen 
tlemen in the Legislature of Minnesota, and connected 
with the Historical Society of Minnesota, became inter 
ested in the matter. Under the auspicies of this society, 
a circular was printed setting forth the condition of the 
manuscript, and the probable expense of publication, and 
asking the co-operation of all who were interested in 
giving the language of the Dakotas to the literary world 
in a tangible and permanent form. The subscription 
thus started by the Historical Society, and headed by 
such names as Alexander Ramsay (then governor of the 
Territory), Rev. E. D. Neill (the secretary of the society), 
H. H. Sibley, H. M. Rice, and Martin McLeod (the chiefs 
of the fur-trade), in the course of the summer, amounted 


to about eight hundred dollars. With this sum pledged, 
it was considered quite safe to commence the publication. 
The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Mis 
sions very cheerfully consented to pay my expenses while 
carrying the work through the press, besides making a 
donation to it directly from their treasury. 

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

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

Our children now numbered a round half-dozen. The 
baby, Henry Marty n, about two years old, must be taken 
along, of course. The boy, " Good Bird," now about four 
teen, we would take down with us and send to school in 
Illinois. Isabella we concluded to take on to the 
mother s mountain home in Massachusetts. The two lit- 

144 MARY AXD I. 

tie girls were kindly cared for in the family of Rev. E. D. 
Neill of St. Paul ; and the little boy, Thomas, was to stay 
in Dr. Williamson s family, at Kaposia. Thus the distri 
bution was finally made. 

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

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

Reaching the land in safety, Mrs. Hopkins and her lit 
tle family went to Southern Ohio, and we spent a few days 
in Medina, with Mary s brother, Rev. M. M. Longley. 
We found that the eight years which had passed since we 
were East before had made a good many vacant chairs in 
our home circles. My own father had been called from 
earth very suddenly, in 1845. He was well and had done 
a hard day s work, but ere the evening shadows fell he had 


passed beyond the river. The angel of death and the 
angel of life had visited Mary s home again and again. 
First the grandfather, Col. Edmund Longley, had gone to 
his fathers, at the good old age of ninety-five. Then, in 
1848, the pater familias, Gen. Thomas Longley, had 
wrapped his cloak about him and laid him down to rest. 
The next to hear the summons was the little sister, Hen 
rietta Arms. She had grown to be a woman, and Mary 
fondly hoped to have her companionship and aid in the 
Dakota field. But the Master called her up higher. And 
then, only a few months before we reached Ohio, the lov 
ing, cultured, and beloved brother Alfred had passed, 
through months of weariness and pain, up to the new life 
and vigor of the heavenly world. He had been preach 
ing for several years in North-eastern Ohio. So many 
had gone that when we reached the mountain home in 
Hawley, we found it desolate. Only Joseph and his 
mother remained. Mary soon persuaded her mother to 
go down to South Deerfield, that they might together 
spend the winter with the older sister, Mrs. Cooley. And 
I went to New York City, and was the next seven 
months engaged in getting through the press the gram 
mar and dictionary of the Dakota language. 

Of the various hindrances and delays, and of the burn 
ing of the printing-office in which the work was in prog 
ress, and the loss of quite a number of pages of the 
book, which had to be again made up, I need not speak. 
They are ordinary incidents. Early in the summer of 
1852 the work was done, and done, I believe, to the 
satisfaction of all parties. Tt has obtained the commen 
dation of literary men generally, and it was said that for 
no volume published by the Smithsonian Institution, up 
to that time, was the demand so great as for that. It is 

146 MARY AND I. 

now out of print, and the book can only be bought at 
fancy prices. 

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

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

And so in the month of June, when the Philadelphia 

* A revised edition will soon be published. 


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

Before our return, Mr. and Mrs. Pettijohn had taken the 
pre-emption fever, and had left the mission and gone to 
the Traverse and made a claim. Mrs. Pettijohn had 
been connected with the mission work since 1839, and 
Mr. P. for a shorter period. Both had been conscientious 
workers, and had done good service. They now wanted 
to make a home for their growing family. Mr. Huggins 
also, about the same time, left the mission work," and 
made a home in the same neighborhood. Mr. Potter 
had left the Dakota field after only a year s trial, regard 
ing it as a very difficult one, as compared with the one he 
had left in the Indian Territory South. Now, in the 
years 1852 and 1853, our numbers diminished very rap 
idly. The Indians were to be removed, according to the 

148 MARY AND I. 

stipulations of their treaties, to their reserve on the Upper 
Minnesota. Both the brothers Pond elected to stay where 
they were, and minister to the white people who were 
rapidly settling up the country. Both were successful in 
organizing churches, one at Shakopee and the other at 
Bloomington. Both still live, but have retired from the 
work of the ministry, and are waiting for the translation 
to the upper world.* 

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

During the summer of 1852, Dr. Williamson had 
erected his dwelling-house at this new place, but it was 
still in quite an unfinished state when he removed his 
family up, in the beginning of the cold weather. That 
fall the snows came early, and found the family without 
any sufficient supplies for the winter. In December, the 
storms were incessant, and the snow became very deep, at 
which time the doctor s men were toiling against odds, 
endeavoring to bring up provisions to the family on the 
Yellow Medicine. But they could not succeed. When 
they were yet more than forty miles away, their teams 
gave out and were buried in the snow. The men, both 

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


frozen badly, Mr. Andrew Hunter much maimed, barely 
succeeded in reaching the mission. How the family were 
to winter through was not apparent, but the Lord pro 
vided. Unexpectedly, the Indians found fish in the river, 
and Mr. Adams, with a young man, worked his way down 
from Lac-qui-parle, and carried them what provisions 
they could on a hand-sled. Thus they weathered the ter 
rible winter. Thus they commenced mission work at this 
new place, where they continued for ten years, until the 

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

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

The Dakota mission was now reduced to its lowest 

150 MAKY AND I. 

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

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


Dakota children into our family, and being closely con 
nected with a boarding-school of Dakota children, made 
it impossible, if it had been desirable, longer to keep up 
the bars. 

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

There was no supply of water nearer than the river 
and spring run, down quite a hill. But every boy and 
girl were soon carrying water. The difficulty was to 
reach the fire with the water. The floor was flooded 
and a hole was cut through, but the fire had taken such 
a hold of the whole interior, that our little pails full of 
water were laughed at by the flames. The effort was now 
made to save something from the burning house. Some 
articles were carried into the other house, which stood 
near by. But that also took fire, and both houses 
were soon consumed, with almost all they had con- 

152 MARY AND I. 

tained. A few books were saved, and the chief part 
of Miss Spooner s wardrobe and bedding, her room 
being on the corner away from where the fire com 
menced. Before noon the fire-fiend had done his work, 
and our mission houses were a mass of coals and ashes. 
Very little had been saved. The potatoes in the cellars 
were much burned and cooked, but, underneath, a por 
tion of them were found to be in a good state of preser 

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





1854-1856. Simon Anawangmane. Rebuilding after the Fire. 

Visit of Secretary Treat. Change of Plan. Hazelwood 
Station. Circular Saw Mill. Mission Buildings. Chapel. 

Civilized Community. Making Citizens. Boarding- 
School. Educating our own Children. Financial Difficul 
ties. The Lord Provides. A Great Affliction. Smith 
Burgess Williamson. " Aunt Jane." Bunyan s Pilgrim in 

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


154 MAKY AND I. 

be restored to the church." We did reinstate him. 
And for more than a score of years since his restoration, 
Simon has lived, so far as we can see, a true Christian 
life. For nearly all that time he has been a ruling elder 
in the church, and for ten years past a licensed exhorter. 

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

The whole line of mission work was carefully reviewed. 
The result was that we gave up our plan of rebuilding at 
Lac-qui-parle and sought a new place. The reasons for 
this were : first, we had from the beginning been widely 
separated in our work, spreading out our labors and 
attempting to cultivate as much of the field as possible. 
This had obviously had its disadvantages. We were too 
far apart to cheer and help each other. Now, when we 
were reduced to two families, Mr. Treat advised concen 
trating our forces. That was in accordance with our 
own inclinations. And, secondly, the Yellow Medicine 
had been made the headquarters of the Indian Agency 
for the four thousand Upper Indians. The drift W.MS 
down toward that point. It was found that we could 
take with us almost all the Christian part of our corn- 


munity. The idea was to commence a settlement of the 
civilized and Christianized Dakotas, at some point within 
convenient distance from the Agency, to receive the help 
which the government had by treaty pledged itself to 
give. And so we got on our horses and rode down to 
Dr. Williamson s, twenty-five or thirty miles; and Mr. 
Treat and Dr. Williamson and Miss Spoon er and Mary 
and I rode over the country above Pay-zhe-hoo-ta-ze, 
which was selected as the site for the new station, after 
ward called Hazelwood. At Dr. Williamson s, we had 
a memorable meeting, at which Mr. Treat told our 
Dakota church members of a visit he had made to the 
Choctaws and Cherokees. We also had consultations on 
various matters ; among which was that of getting out 
a new Dakota hymn-book, which should contain the 
music as well as the hymns. A new departure was thus 
inaugurated in our mission work, and, in after years, 
time was often counted from this visit of Secretary 

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

156 MAKY AND I. 

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

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

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


attended by our civilized men largely, and the result was 
that, with some assistance from white people, they were 
able to raise about five hundred dollars. It was a success 
beyond my most sanguine expectations. 

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

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

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

158 MARY AND I. 

ta-ze. Mr. Adams had at one time a boarding-school of 
a half-dozen at Lac-qui-parle, and we had two or three in 
our family. Now the work was to be attempted on a 
larger scale. 

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

"We had reached the time, in 1854, when it became nec 
essary to enter upon some plan to educate our children 
beyond what we could give them in our Indian home. 
Three years before this, Alfred had been at school in 
Illinois, but that was only a temporary arrangement ; 
now he was seventeen years old and prepared to enter 
college. Mary and I often discussed the question of 
ways and means. It was our desire to give our children 
as good an education as we possessed ourselves at least, 
to give them a chance of obtaining such an education. 
We did not feel that our position as missionaries should 
make this impossible, and yet how it was to be accom 
plished we could not see. We had neither of us any 
patrimony. In this respect we were on an equality. 
She received $100 from her father s estate, and I but a 
little more than that, and we did not know of any rich 


friends to whom we could apply for aid. Our salary had 
been small from the beginning. We entered the mission 
work at a time when the Board was cutting down every 
where. So that we started on a salary or allowance of 
about $250, and for the first quarter of a century it did 
not materially differ from the basis of a Methodist circuit 
rider in the West of olden times; that is, $100 apiece, 
and $50 for each child. At this time, when our family 
numbered eight, we had an allowance of $500. We were 
both close calculators, and we never ran in debt. We 
could live comfortably with our children at home, each 
doing something to carry the burdens of life. But how 
could we support one or more away at school ? A third 
of the whole family allowance would not suffice to pay 
the expenses of one, at the most economical of our col 
leges or schools. To begin, the work required faith. 
We determined to begin, by sending Alfred to Knox 
College, at Galesburg, Illinois. From year to year, we 
were able to keep him there until he finished the course. 
Two years after sending Alfred, we sent Isabella to the 
Western Female Seminary, at Oxford, Ohio. This, how 
ever, we were enabled to do by the help which Mrs. 
Blaisdell and other Christian friends of the Second Pres 
byterian Church of Cincinnati gave. 

With two away at the same time, " the barrel of meal 
did not waste, nor the cruse of oil fail." In various ways 
the Lord helped us. One year our garden produced a 
large surplus of excellent potatoes, which the Indian 
agent bought at a very remunerative price. From year 
to year our faith was strengthened. " Jehovah Jireh " 
became our motto. He stood by us and helped us in the 
work of education all through the twenty-three years that 
have followed, until the last of Mary s eight children has 

160 MARY AND I. 

finished at the Beloit high school. We have redeemed 
our promise and pledge made to each other. We have 
given, by the Lord s help, each and all of our children a 
chance to become as good or better scholars than their 
father and mother were. 

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

During these passing years, the educational work among 
the Dakotas was progressing beyond what it had done 
previously. Our boarding-school at Hazelwood, in charge 
of H. D. Cunningham, was full and doing good service. 
Our civilized and Christian community had come to desire 
and appreciate somewhat the education of their children. 
At Dr. Williamson s, also, several were taken into the 


family, and the day-school prospered. Miss Jane S. 
Williamson, a maiden sister of the doctor, had come to 
the land of the Dakotas when Mary and I returned in 
1843. From the association and connection of her father s 
family with slavery in South Carolina, she had grown up 
with a great interest in the colored people. She had 
taught colored schools in Ohio, when it was very unpop 
ular, even in a free state, to educate the blacks. When 
she came to the Dakotas, her enthusiasm in the work of 
lifting up the colored race was at once transferred to the 
red men, and she became an indefatigable worker in 
their education. 

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

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


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

BY the northern line of Iowa, where the head-waten 
of the Des Moines come out of Minnesota, is a lake, 01 
group of lakes, called the " Minne Wakan," Mysterious 
Water, or, as the name goes, Spirit Lake. Sometime 
in 1855, this beautiful spot of earth was found and occu 
pied by seven or eight white families, far in advance oi 
other white settlements. In the spring of 1857, there 
were in this neighborhood and at Springfield, ten or 
fifteen miles above on the Des Moines, and in Minnesota, 
nearly fifty white persons. During the latter part of 
that winter the snows in Western Iowa and Minnesota 
were very deep, so that traveling on the prairies was 
attended with great difficulty. 

It appears that during the winter a few families of 
annuity Sioux, belonging to the somewhat roving band 
of Leaf Shooters, had, according to their habit, made a 
hunting expedition down into Iowa, on the Little Sioux. 
Inkpadoota, or Scarlet End, and his sons were the princi 
pal men. The deep snows made game scarce and hunt 
ing difficult, so that when, in the month of March, this 



party of Dakotas came into the Spirit Lake settlement, 
they were in a bad humor from hunger, and attempted at 
once to levy blackmail upon the inhabitants. Their 
wishes not being readily complied with, the Indians pro 
ceeded to help themselves, which at once brought on a 
conflict with the white people, and the result was that 
the Indians massacred almost the entire settlement, kill 
ing about forty persons and taking four women captive. 

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

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

We lost no time in going up to Lac-qui-parle. At the 
trader s establishment, then in the keeping of Weeyooha, 
the father of Nawangmane win, who was the wife of 
Sounding Heavens, we found Mrs. Marble, rather a 
small but good-looking white woman, apparently not 

164 MARY AND I. 

more than twenty-five years old. She was busily en 
gaged with the aforesaid Mrs. Sounding Heavens, in 
making a calico dress for herself. When I spoke to her 
in English, she was at first quite reserved. I asked if she 
wanted to return to her friends. She replied : " I am 
among my friends." 

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

Mrs. Marble s husband had been killed with those who 
were slain at Spirit Lake. Her story was that four 
white women were reserved as captives. They were 
made to carry burdens and walk through the melting 
snow and water. When they came to the Big Sioux, it 
was very full. The Indians cut down a tree, and the 
white women were expected to walk across on that. One 
of the woman fell off, and her captor shot her in the 
water. Her fellow-captives thought she was better off 


dead than alive. When Mrs. Marble was rescued from 
her captors, two others still lived, Mrs. Nobles and Miss 
Abbie Gardner. The Indians were then west of the Big 
Sioux, in the valley of the James or Dakota River. 

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

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

As a consequence of this Spirit Lake trouble, we lived 
in a state of excitement all the summer. At one time 
the report came that Inkpadoota s sons, one or more of 

166 MARY AND 1. 

them, had ventured into the Yellow Medicine settlement. 
News was at once taken to Agent Flandreau, who came 
up with a squad of soldiers from Fort Ridgely, and, with 
the help of John Otherday and Enos Good Hail, and 
others, this son of a murderer was killed, and his wife 
taken prisoner. The excitement was very great, for 
Scarlet End s family had friends among White Lodge s 
people at the Yellow Medicine. 

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

Council after council was held. Little Crow, and the 
chiefs and people generally of Red Wood, were at the 
Yellow Medicine. The Indians said to Superintendent 
Cullen and Major Sherman, " We want you to punish Ink- 
1 adoota; we can t do it." But they were told that the 
Groat Father required them to do it, as a condition of 
receiving their annuities. In the meantime, several hun 
dred Yanktonais Sioux came over from the James River, 
who had complaints of their own against the government. 
One day there was a grand council in progress, just out 
side of Major Sherman s camp. The Dakota who stabbed 
the white soldier managed to get his manacles partly off, 
and ran for the council. The guard fired, and wounded 
him in the feet and ankles, some shots passing into the 


council circle. From the Indian side guns were fired, 
and the white people fled to the soldiers camp, the 
Dakota prisoner being taken into the keeping of his 

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

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

168 MARY AND I. 

Wilson, a sister of Dr. Williamson, and her daughter, 
Sophronia, and Miss Maggie Voris were come to make a 

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

Isabella Burgess had been two years in the Western 
Female Seminary, at Oxford, Ohio, and Alfred Long-ley 
was completing his academical course at Knox College. 
Isabella came to see him graduate, and then together 
they started for their Indian home in Minnesota. It was 
about the first of July, 1858, and at midnight, when the 
steamboat on which they were traveling, having landed 
at Red Wing and discharged some freight, and pushed 
out again into the river, was found to be on fire. The 
alarm was given, and the passengers waked up, and the 
boat immediately turned again to the landing ; but the 
fire, having caught in some cotton bales on the front deck, 
spread so rapidly that it was with difficulty the passen 
gers made their escape, the greater part of them only in 


their night-dress. Their baggage was all lost. But the 
good people of Red Wing cared for the sufferers, and 
started them homeward, with such clothing as could be 
furnished. Of the catastrophe we knew nothing, until I 
met the children at St. Peter, whither they came by 
steamboat. This, and what had gone before, gave us 
something of a reputation of being a fiery family, and the 
impression was increased somewhat when,, nearly two 
years later, Martha Taylor, in her second year at Oxford, 
escaped by night from the burning Seminary building. 

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

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

Ever since the removal of the Lower Indians up to 
their reservation, there had been several members of Dr. 

170 MAKY AND I. 

Williamson s church at Kaposia, living near the Red 
Wood Agency. They would form a very good nucleus 
of a church, and make a good beginning for a new sta 
tion. This had been in our thought for several years, 
but only when, in 1861, John P. Williamson finished his 
theological studies at Lane Seminary, had we the abil 
ity to take possession of that part of the field. While 
we waited, Bishop Whipple came up and opened a mis 
sion, placing there S. D. Hiiiman. Still, it was thought 
advisable to carry out our original plan, and, accord 
ingly, young Mr. Williamson took up his abode there, 
organized a church of ten or twelve members, and pro 
ceeded to erect a chapel. In the last days of the year 
1861, I went down, by invitation, to assist in the dedica 
tion of the new church. 

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


1861-1862. Republican Administration. Its Mistakes. Chang 
ing Annuities. Results. Returning from General Assembly. 

A Marriage in St. Paul. D. Wilson Moore and Wife. 
Delayed Payment. Difficulty with the Sissetons. Peace 
Again. Recruiting for the Southern War. Seventeenth of 
August, 1862. The Outbreak. Remembering Christ s Death. 

Massacres Commenced. Capt. Marsh s Company. Our 
Flight. Reasons Therefor. Escape to an Island. Final 
Leaving. A Wounded Man. Traveling on the Prairie. 
Wet Night. Taking a Picture. Change of Plan. Night 
Travel. Going Around Fort Ridgely. Night Scares. Safe 
Passage. Four Men Killed. The Lord Leads Us. Sabbath. 

Reaching the Settlements. Mary at St. Anthony. 

WHEN President Lincoln s administration commenced, 
we were glad to welcome a change of Indian agents. 
But, after a little trial, we found that a Republican ad 
ministration was quite as likely to make mistakes in the 
management of Indians as a Democratic one. Hardly 
had the new order of things been inaugurated, in 1861, 
\vhen Superintendent Clark W. Thompson announced to 
the Sioux gathered at Yellow Medicine that the Great 
Father was going to make them all very glad. They had 
received their annuities for that year, but were told that 
the government would give them a further bounty in the 
autumn. At one of Thompson s councils, Paul made 
one of his most telling speeches. He presented many 
^grievances, which the new administration promised to 
redress. But when the superintendent was asked where 


172 MARY AND I. 

this additional gift came from, he could not tell 

O / 

only it was to be great, and would make them very 

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

The Lower Sioux were suspicious of the matter, and 
refused to receive their ten thousand dollars worth of 
goods until they could know whence it came. By and 
by the Democrats in the country learned that the admin 
istration had determined on changing the money annu 
ity into goods, and had actually commenced the opera 
tion, sending on the year before $20,000 of the $70,000 
which would be due next summer. The knowledge of 
this planning of bad faith in the government greatly 
exasperated the annuity Indians, and was undoubtedly 
the primal cause which brought on the outbreak of the 
next summer. Men who were opposed to the Republican 
administration and the Southern war had now a grand 
opportunity to work upon the fears and the hopes of the 
Indians, and make them badly affected toward the gov- 


ernment. And they seemed to have carried it a little too 
far, so that when the conflict came it was most disastrous 
for them. 

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

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

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

174 MARY AND I. 

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

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


was nothing for them to eat at home. They must go out 
on the buffalo hunt, and then they might miss their money. 
And so they preferred to stay, and beg and steal, or 

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

The chiefs and braves gathered. The young men who 
had broken the door down were there. The Indians 
argued that they were starving, and that the flour and 
pork in the warehouse had been purchased with their 
money. It was wrong to break in the door, but now they 
would authorize the agent to take of their money and 
repair the door. Whereupon the agent agreed to give 

176 MARY AND I. 

them some provisions, and insisted on their going home, 
which they promised to do. The Sissetons left on the 
morrow, and so far as they were concerned the difficulty 
was over ; for on reaching home they started on a buffalo 
hunt. Peace and quiet now reigned at the Yellow Medi 
cine. Mr. Moore occupied himself in shooting pigeons, 
and we all became quite attached to Mrs. Moore and 

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

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

While we at Hazelwood and Pay-zhe-hoo-ta-ze were 
thus engaged on that Sabbath of August 17th, the out 
break was commenced in the border white settlements 


at Acton, Minn. As usual, the difficulty was com 
menced at a grog-shop. Some four or five Indians made 
demands which were not complied with, whereat they 
began to kill the whites. That night they reached the 
villages at the Lower Sioux Agency, and a council of 
Avar was called. 

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

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

178 MARY AND I. 

the Yellow Medicine was absent, and a young man started 
down that day with the doctor s wife and children in a 
buggy. Before they reached Red Wood, they were met 
by two Dakota men the white man was killed and the 
woman and children taken captive. 

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

Jonas Pettijohn, an old associate in mission work at 
Lac-qui-parle, had been for some years a government 
teacher at Red Iron s village, about fifteen miles above 
us. He had now been released, and was removing his 
family. Mrs. Pettijohn and the children had reached our 
house. Mr. Pettijohn came in the dusk of the evening 
with his last load, which he was bringing with my horse 
team. The Indian men who had brought down his 
goods, when they heard of the 6meute, started back im 
mediately, and, meeting Mr. Pettijohn, took the horses. 
They justified themselves by sayi-ng that somebody would 
take them. 

Thus, as the darkness came on, we became sure that 
our Dakota friends believed the reports. In the gloaming, 
strange men appeared at our stables, and others of our 


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

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

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

180 MAEY AND I. 

with the exception of one horse. So we were in rather 
a helpless condition as regards further escape. 

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

Andrew Hunter drove one of his wagons around on 
the prairie to meet our party as we emerged from the 
ravine, each carrying a little bundle. The women and 
children who could not walk were arranged with the 
bundles in the wagon. Mr. Cunningham was successful 
in getting one of his horses the other had been appro 
priated by an Indian, together with mine. His one horse 
he attached to my buggy and brought it over the river, 
and we proceeded to join the rest of Mr. Hunter s party. 


Two or three families of government employes from the 
saw-mill had found their way to our missionary company. 
Thus constituted, we started for the old crossing of Hawk 
River, some six or eight miles distant. 

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

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

The evening came with a slow continued rain. The 
first night we were out, the smaller children had cried 
for home. The second night, some of the older children 
would have cried if it had been of any use. We had no 
shelter. The wagons were no protection against the con- 

182 MARY AND I. 

tin iied rain, but it was rather natural to crawl under 
them. The drop, drop, DKOP, all night long from the 
wagon-beds, on the women and children, who had not 
more than half covering in that cold August rain, was 
not promotive of cheerfulness. Mrs. Moore looked sad 
and disheartened, and to my question as to how she did 
she replied that one might as well die as live under such 

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

We had discovered from surveyor s stakes that we 
were making slow progress, and so we decided, as we 
started Friday morning, to abandon our plan of going to 
Hutchinson, and turn down to the old Lac-qui-parle road, 
which would lead us to Fort Ridgely. This road we 
reached in time to take our noon rest at Birch Coolie, 
nearly opposite the Lower Sioux Agency, where the mas 
sacres had commenced. We were not much posted in 
what had taken place there. Mr, Hunter rode over to 


see his house, only a couple of miles distant. There he 
met Tatemema (Round Wind), an old Indian whom he 
knew, who told him to hurry on to the fort, as all the 
white people had been killed or had fled. Just as we 
were starting from this place, a team came in sight, which 
proved to be Dr. and Mrs. Williamson and Aunt Jane 
with an ox team. They had remained until Wednesday 
morning, and thought to stay through the trouble, but 
finally concluded it was best to leave and follow us. Our 
company now r numbered over forty, but it was a very 
defenceless one. 

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

In our one-horse buggy, Mr. and Mrs. Hunter drove 
ahead of the party, and he crawled into the garrison. 
He found that the Indians had beleaguered them, had 
set fire to all the out-buildings of the fort, appropriated 
all their stock, had been fighting all day, and ha<5 retired 
to the ravine as the night came on. The fort was al 
ready crowded with women and children, and scantily 
manned by soldiers. We could come in, they said, but 

184 MARY AND I. 

our teams would be taken by the Indians. They ex 
pected the attack would be renewed the next day. 

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

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


morning, and felt that we were out of sight and hearing 
of the Sioux warriors. So we stopped to rest our weary 
cattle. Some slept for an hour, but the greater part kept 

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

Our party now fell into the road that leads to Hender 
son, and traveled all that Saturday in safety. But on 
the St. Peter road, five or six miles to our right, we 
saw the burning stacks and houses, and afterward knew 
that the Sioux were on that road killing white people all 
that day. It was the middle of the afternoon when we 
came to a deserted house. The dishes were on the table. 
We found cream and butter in the cellar and potatoes 
and corn in the garden. We stopped and cooked and 
ate a good square meal, of which we were greatly in 
need. Then we pushed on and came to another house 

186 MARY AND I. 

some time after nightfall, which was deserted by the 
humans, but the cattle were there. Here we spent the 
night, and would have been glad to rest the Sabbath, 
but as yet there was too much uncertainty. Three or 
four hours travel, however, brought us to a cross-roads, 
where the whole settlement seemed to have gathered. 
We there learned that a company of troops had passed 
up, and had turned across to St. Peter. This seemed 
to be a guarantee of safety, and so we rested the re 
mainder of the day, gathering in the afternoon to wor 
ship Him who had been and was our deliverer and 

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

In the morning of Monday, Dr. Williamson and his 
part of the company started across to St. Peter. There 
remained only Mr. Moore and wife, and Adrian J. Ebel! 
and my family, and we had the use of an ox team to 
take us to Shakopee. It was twelve miles to Henderson. 
When we came to the brow of the hill above the town, 
we were met by several women who were strangers to us. 


They rushed up and grasped our hands. I asked what 
they knew of us. They said, "We have white hearts, 
and we heard you were all killed." Our young folks had 
worn out their shoes, and their feet also, by walking 
through the sharp grass, and needed something to wear. 
When these wants were attended to, and we all had par 
taken of a good dinner at the hotel, we started on 
Mr. and Mrs. Moore taking the little steamboat to St. 
Paul. When they arrived there, Mr. Shaw, of the 
Merchant s Hotel telegraphed back to Mr. John Moore 
of Philadelphia of their arrival. He had just before 
received an urgent telegram, "Get the bodies at any 

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

On hearing of the outbreak, Alfred, who had been 
preaching a few months at Lockport, 111., furnished him 
self with a revolver, and hastened up to see what could 
be done. But, meeting the family at Shakopee, he re 
turned to Illinois without making any demonstration of 
prowess, taking with him Anna, and, after she was some 
what recruited, sending her to Kockford Female Semi 


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

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



cumstances made it impossible to carry out that plan for 
several weeks. 

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

Three days before, a detachment of cavalry and infan 
try had been sent up as far as the Lower Sioux Agency, 
to find and bury the dead. They had done their work, 
as they supposed, and crossed back to the north side of 
the Minnesota, without seeing any Indians. As the sun 
was setting on that Sabbath evening, they ascended the 
hill and made their camp on the top of the Birch Coolie 
bluff. But the Sioux had discovered them, and that 
night they were surrounded by twice their own number 
of the enemy. In the early morning the attack was made 
and kept up all day. The report of the musketry was 
heard at General Sibley s camp, eighteen miles away, but 
the reverberation made by the Minnesota hills placed the 

190 MARY AND I. 

conflict apparently within six or eight miles. A detach 
ment sent to their relief soon returned, because, after 
they had gone a short distance, they could hear nothing. 
But the firing still continued, and another detachment, 
with a howitzer, was sent, with orders to go on until the 
absent ones were found. 

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

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

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


our camp. And Lorenzo Lawrence brought in canoes 
Mrs. De Camp and children and others. 

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

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

192 MARY AND I. 

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

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

The next day was the 26th of September, when we 
pushed on to Camp Release, where the friendly Dakotas 


were encamped. The hostiles and such as feared to 
remain had fled to the British Possessions. The friendly 
Indians had by some means come into the possession of 
almost all the captive white women and children. One 
of our chief objects in pursuing the campaign had been 
to prevent the killing of these captives. Little Crow 
had written to General Sibley that he had many cap 
tives ; and General Sibley had replied, " I want the cap 

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

Mr. Amos W. Huggins was the eldest child of Alox- 
ander G. Huggins, who had accompanied Dr. Williamson 
to the Sioux country in 1835. Amos was born in Ohio, 
and was at this time over thirty years old. He was mar 
ried, and two children blessed their home, which, for some 
time before the outbreak, had been at Lac-qui-parlo, near 
where the town of that name now stands. It was then an 
Indian village and planting place, the principal man being 
Wakanmane, Spirit Walker, or Walking Spirit. If the 
people of the village had been at home, Mr. Huggins and 
his family, which included Miss Julia La Framboise, who 
was also a teacher in the employ of the government, 
would have been safe. But in the absence of Spirit 

194 MAEY AND I. 

"Walker s people three Indian men came two of them 
from the Lower Sioux Agency and killed Mr. Hug- 
gins, and took from the house such things as they 

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

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

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


woman, which they also brought in. The mother was 
with us, and was overjoyed to find her little girl. 

While these things were taking place on the Upper 
Minnesota, Martha, now Mrs. Morris, still under the inspi 
ration of the events, was in St. Anthony, writing the fol 
lowing letter to the Cincinnati Christian Herald: 

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

196 MARY AND I. 

"One o clock had passed : a heavy knock at the door. 
Our friends had learned more of the extent of the out 
break, and felt that their protection would be worse tlir.n 
useless. If you regard your own lives or ours, you must 
go. To their entreaties we yielded, and made hasty 
preparations to depart. In a quarter of an hour we had 
left our homes forever. Our company consisted of my 
father s family, Mr. Cunningham s, and Mr. Pettijohn s, 
and a Mr. and Mrs. Moore from New Jersey ; in all 
twenty-one persons. Mr. Cunningham had charge of the 
Hazelwood boarding-school, and Mr. Pettijohn, a former 
missionary under the American Board, had been recently 
a government teacher, twelve miles farther up the river. 
He had been moving his family down that day, on their 
way to St. Peter. As he drove my father s team along, 
with the last of his goods, early in the evening, he was 
met by two Indians, who took the horses from him, and 
set him on an inveterately lazy horse belonging to another 
Indian. Consequently our family had but a light buggy 
and one horse left, which was to aid Mr. Cunningham s 
two-horse team in carrying the all of the party. Room 
was found in the conveyances for the smaller children 
and all the women, except my sister Anna and myself. 
We walked with the men and boys. Our Indian friends 
guided us through the woods, the thick and tangled under 
brush, the tall, rank grass drenched with dew, to the river 
side, where we were quickly and carefully conveyed to a 
wooded island, and then our guides left us. One of them, 
Enos Good-\ r oice-Hail, was in the East some three or four 
years since a brave, handsome man, whose eye you 
could not but trust. Our teams could not cross at that 
place, so they were kept for us until the morning. All 
the rest of that weary night we sat on the damp grass, 


cold and dreary, wondering what the day-dawn would 
bring. At length the morning came. My father and Mr. 
Cunningham paddled across the river to learn the state 
of affairs. We found we had neglected to bring the 
most of the provisions prepared, and wondered what we 
should do, even if permitted to go back home after a day 
or so spent on that island. While still talking, a woman 
hailed us from the opposite bank, who, as we found shortly, 
had brought several loaves of bread and some meat on her 
back, all the way from our houses. We received it as a 
Godsend, and* soon after, my father, returning, brought 
some more provision, which another friend had secured 
for us. A longer, drearier day was never passed, its 
every hour seemed a day. The rain came down and 
drenched us. My father went back and forth from the 
island to a village where the friendly Indians were mostly 
gathered, to find out what had been and what could be 
done. We learned that Dr. Williamson had sent away 
the most of his family, considering it his duty still to 
remain ; that his wife and sister were with him ; but the 
others, with a number of cattle for future need, were 
secreted in the woods, a mile or two below us. 

" By noon our houses had been rifled, and gradually 
the idea fixed itself upon us that we must leave if possi 
ble. We made arrangements to join Dr. Williamson s 
family, and about three o clock took up our line of march, 
each carrying some bundles, having left on the island the 
only trunk belonging to the party. For more than a 
mile we walked along, with difficulty keeping our footing 
on the side-hills, which we chose for safety. When fairly 
out on the bluffs, we came up with one of the two teams, 
in charge of Mr. Hunter, Dr. Williamson s son-in-law. 
The baggage being transferred from our shoulders to the 

198 MARY AND I. 

wagon, the feebler ones were provided with seats, while 
the stronger marched on. Soon we came up with the 
remainder of the party, Dr. Williamson s family, and 
half a dozen persons from one of the government mills, 
who had cast in their lot with them. We struck out on 
the prairie to save ourselves if there was any chance. 
Our march was shortly rendered unpleasant by a fiercely 
driving rain-storm, from the soaking effects of which we 
did not recover until the next day, though it had the good 
effect of obliterating our path. Our company was in 
creased by the arrival of a Mr. Orr, who had been engaged 
in trading among the Indians, near the place Mr. Petti 
John had resided, and who had been shot and stabbed 
that morning. It seemed a marvel that he should ever 
have been able to walk that far, and room was imme 
diately made for him in a wagon, though it curtailed that 
of others. Toward night we were overtaken by Mr. Cun 
ningham, bringing one of his horses and our buggy, which 
he had succeeded in getting hold of, and which was the 
only vehicle belonging to twenty-one out of the thirty- 
eight. Night came on, and we lay down on the hard 
earth, with bed and covering both scant and wet, to rest. 
In the morning dawn, after our usual remembrance of Him 
who ruleth earth and sea, we went on our way, having 
had but little food, as cooked provisions were scarce, and 
we dared not kindle a fire, for fear of attracting at 

" Our day s march was slow but steady only stopping 
when necessary to rest the teams ; and although we con 
sidered ourselves in danger, we found it quite enjoyable, 
more particularly after we and the grass got dry, so that 
we could walk with ease. We had counted on having a 
fine night s rest in spite of our scant bed-clothing, as we 


were all dry, but we were disappointed. A slow, steady 
rain fall through all the long night, completely saturating 
almost every article of bed-clothing, and every person in 
the company. In that comfortless rain we drank some 
milk, ate a crust or tavo, and traveled on through the 
long, wet swamp grass, and the swamps themselves, in 
wading which two or three of us became quite accom 
plished. By noon of that day, which was Thursday, we 
came to a wood, fifteen or sixteen miles east from a settle 
ment on the river, which was about twenty miles from 

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

" Here our party was immortalized by a young artist 
a Mr. Ebell who had gone up into our region of 
country a few days previous to our flight, for the purpose 
of taking stereoscopic views. The next day we struck 
for the river, coming in not far from a settlement called 
Beaver, about six miles from the Lower Agency. Mr. 
Hunter had formerly resided at the place, and as we had 
not at the time the remotest idea of the extent of the 
massacres, he drove in to ascertain the whereabouts of 

200 MARY AND I. 

the settlers. He saw no signs of any dead bodies, but 
two or three Indians employed in pillaging, informed 
him that all the people had gone to Fort Ridgely, and 
advised him to hasten there, or some other Indians would 
kill him. When just starting on after our noon rest, 
some one spied a team in the distance, which soon proved 
to be Dr. Williamson s, containing himself, wife, and 
sister. Previously, some of us fancied that we might 
have been unwise in fleeing, but when we saw them, we 
knew we had not started too soon. They left on Tues 
day evening, being assisted to depart by two of the Chris 
tian Indians, Simon Anawangmane and Robert Chaske, 
at the peril of their own lives. They said they would 
gladly protect them longer, but it was impossible. 

" After holding council, we pursued our journey with 
the intention of reaching Fort Ridgely that night ; and 
when within nine or ten miles, Mr. Hunter drove on to 
ascertain how matters stood there. We felt ourselves in 
danger, but thought if we were only inside the fort walls, 
we would be safe. The men shouldered their arms, the 
daylight faded, and we marched on. In the mysteriously 
dim twilight, every taller clump of grass, every blacker 
hillock, grew into a blood-thirsty Indian, just ready to 
leap on his foe. All at once, on the brow of the hill, 
appeared two horsemen gazing down upon us. Indians ! 
Every pulse stopped, and then throbbed on more fiercely. 
Were those men, now galloping away, sent by a band of 
\varriors to spy out the land, or had they seen us by acci 
dent ? We could not tell. The twilight faded, and the 
stars shone out brightly and lovingly. As we passed 
along we came suddenly on a dead body, some days cold 
and stiff. Death drew nearer, and as we marched on, we 
looked up to the clear heavens beyond which God dwells, 


and prayed him to keep us. When within a mile and a 
half of the fort, we met Mr. Hunter returning, who re 
ported as follows : He left the buggy in his wife s 
charge, outside the barracks, and crawled in on his hands 
and knees. Lieut. Sheehan, commander of the post, in 
formed him they had been fighting hard for five days ; 
that the Indians had withdrawn at seven that evening, it 
being then between nine and ten, and that, if not rein 
forced, they could hold oat but little longer. Some of the 
buildings had been burnt; they had then five hundred 
women and children inside, and if we could go on go ! 
We went, striking away out on the prairie. 

" Several of us girls had been mostly walking for 
the ten miles back, but now, to give the least trouble, 
we climbed on the wagons wherever we might find 
room to hold on, and sat patiently with the rest. Ah ! 
if a night of fear and dread was ever spent, that was 
one. Every voice was hushed except to give necessary 
orders ; every eye swept the hills and valleys around ; 
every ear was intensely strained for the faintest noise, 
expecting momentarily to hear the unearthly war-whoop, 
and see dusky forms with gleaming tomahawks uplifted. 
How past actions came back as haunting ghosts ; how 
one s hopes of life faded away, away, and the things of 
earth seemed so little and mean compared to the glorious 
heaven beyond ! And yet life was so sweet, so dear, and 
though it be a glorious heaven, this was such a hard way 
to go to it, by the tomahawk and scalping-knife ! Oh, 
God ! our God ! must it be ? Then came sofnething of 
resignation to death itself, but such a sore shrinking from 
the dishonor which is worse than death; and we could 
not but wonder whether it would be a greater sin 
to take one s life than thus to suffer. So the night wore 

202 MARY AND I. 

on until two hours past midnight, when, compelled by 
exhaustion, we stopped. Some slept heavily, forgetful 
of the danger past and present, while others sat or stood, 
inwardly fiercely nervous and excited, but outwardly 
calm and still. Two hours passed ; the weary sleepers 
were awakened by the weary watchers, and as quietly 
as possible the march was renewed. It was kept up until 
about nine in the day, when we struck the Fort Ilidgely 
and Henderson road. 

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

" The next day being the Sabbath, we went on only as 
far as we deemed necessary for perfect safety. Toward 
evening my father held divine service, which was almost 
the only outward reminder that it was the Lord s Day. 
People coming and going bustle here, there, and every 
where so different from our last quiet Sabbath at 
home, the last time we and our dear Indians gathered 


together around the table of our Lord, and perhaps the 
last time we ever shall, until we meet in the kingdom. 
The next morning our party separated, our family, with 
Mr. and Mrs. Moore, Mrs. Williamson and second 
daughter, and two or three others, continuing on the 
Henderson road, and the rest striking across to St. Peter, 
where Dr. Williamson has found abundant work in the 
hospitals. Near there his family expect to remain during 
the winter. 

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

" Since our entering Shakopee, we have visited among 
kind friends, until two weeks since, when we endeavored 
to set up house-keeping in this town of St. Anthony. 
Notwithstanding the kindness of friends and strangers, 
we, in common with others, find it difficult to do some 
thing with nothing, especially as my father is with the 
expedition against the Indians. It cannot but be that 
we should look back lovingly to the homes we have left, 
which are all, even our holy and beautiful house, 

204 MAKY AND I. 

wherein we have worshiped, destroyed by fire ; but I 
trust that we all endeavor to take joyfully the spoiling of 
our goods. We must through much tribulation enter 
into the kingdom of God. Among our many causes for 
thankfulness, one is suggested by the verse Pray ye 
that your flight be not in the winter. Another cause is 
that there was so little loss of life among those connected 
with the mission. We mourn for our dear friend, Mr. 
Amos Huggins, son of a former missionary, and govern 
ment teacher at Lac-qui-parle. His young wife and two 
small children were, at last accounts, in the hands of the 
Indians, as also Miss Julia La Framboise, an assistant 
teacher who resided in their family. Because of the 
influential relatives Miss La Framboise has among the 
Dakotas, we hope for her, while for Mrs. Huggins we 
can on\y pray. 

" It was not my intention, when I began this article, 
to enter at all into the causes of this outbreak ; but what 
I have written will excite your indignation against all 
Dakotas, and I cannot bear that it should be so. It must 
be remembered that the church members, as a whole, 
have had no hand in it. One, John Otherday, guided a 
party of sixty-two across the prairies. Two others, 
Lorenzo Lawrence and Simon Anawangmane, have 
recently brought into Fort Ridgely three captive women 
and eleven children ; and we doubt not that others will 
also * let their light shine at the peril of their lives, 

" The Indians have not been without excuse for their 
evil deeds. Our own people have given them intoxi 
cating drinks, taught them to swear, violated the rights 
of womanhood among them, robbed them of their dues, 
and then insulted them ! What more would be neces- 


sary to cause one nation to rise against another ? What 
more? I ask. And yet there are many who curse this 
people, and cry Exterminate the fiends. Dare we, as 
a nation, thus bring a curse upon ourselves and on future 
generations ? 



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

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



had participated in individual murders, some who had 
abused white women, and more who had been mixed 
up in the various raids made upon the white settle 

When the wheels of this military commission were 
once put in motion, they rolled on as the victims were 
multiplied. Besides those who remained in the camp 
when the flight took place, and supposed that clemency 
would be meted out to them, several small parties of 
Sioux who had fled were pursued by our troops and 
" gobbled up," as the camp phrase was. In all such 
cases the grown men were placed in confinement to await 
the ordeal of a trial. The revelations of the white 
women caused great indignation among our soldiers, to 
which must be added the outside pressure coming to our 
camp in letters from all parts of Minnesota, a wail and 
a howl, in many cases demanding the execution of 
every Indian coming into our hands. The result of these 
combined influences was that in a few weeks, instead of 
taking individuals for trial, against whom some specific 
charge could be brought, the plan was adopted to subject 
all the grown men, with a few exceptions, to an investi 
gation of the commission, trusting that the innocent 
could make their innocency appear. This was a thing 
not possible in the case of the majority especially as 
conviction was based upon an admission of being present 
at the battles of Fort Ridgely, New Ulm, Hutchinson, 
and Birch Coolie. Almost all the Dakota men had been 
at one or more of those places, and had carried their 
guns and used them. So that, of nearly four hundred 
cases which came before the commission, only about 
fifty were cleared, twenty were sentenced to imprison 
ment, and more than three hundred were condemned to 

208 MARY AND I. 

be hanged. The greater part of these were condemned on 
general principles, without any specific charges proved, 
such as under less exciting and excited conditions of 
society would have been demanded. They were Sioux 
Indians, and belonged to the bands that had engaged in 
the rebellion. Among those who were condemned to be 
hanged was a negro called Gusso. By the testimony of 
Indians, through fear or a liking to the business, he had 
rather signalized himself by the killing of white people. 
But he talked French, and could give what appeared 
to be accurate and reliable information in regard to a 
great many of the Dakotas who were brought before the 
commission. In consequence of this service, the com 
mission recommended that his capital punishment be 
changed to imprisonment. 

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

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


was a near relative of John Otherday, who had done so 
much for white people. 

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

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

Mary and the children were comfortably housed. 
Mrs. Sophronia McKee, the wife of the Presbyterian 
clergyman, had been a fellow-townswoman and special 
friend of Mary in their younger years. This was a 
guarantee of help in this time of need. They found 
friends. Donations of little things to help them com- 

210 / MARY AND I. 

mence housekeeping came in from interested hearts. 
Friends farther away sent boxes of clothing and in some 
cases money ; so that after more than two months I 
found them in comfortable circumstances. 

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

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

On receiving the papers transmitted from the military 
commission, President Lincoln had placed them in the 
hands of impartial men, with instructions to report the 


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

The separation was effected on Monday morning, the 
men to be executed being taken from the log jail, in 
which all were confined, to an adjoining stone building, 
where they were additionally secured by being chained 
to the floor. Colonel Miller then informed them of the 
order of the President that they should be hanged on the 
Thursday following, and they were advised to prepare 
themselves for that event. They were at liberty to select 
such spiritual counsel as they desired. Dr. Williamson 
was there as a Protestant minister, and Father Kavaux 

212 MARY AND I. 

of St. Paul as a Catholic priest. They were advised 
not to select me, as I was acting interpreter for the 
government. More than three-fourths of the whole 
number selected Mr. Ravaux. This was accounted for 
by the fact that one of the Campbells, a half-breed and 
a Roman Catholic, was of the number. Some days 
before this, Dr. Williamson had baptized Round Wind, 
who was reprieved by an order from the President, 
which came only a day or so before the executions, 
reducing the number to thirty-eight. 

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

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

The executions took place. Arrangements were made 
by which thirty-eight Dakota men were suspended in 
mid-air by the cutting of one rope. The other prisoners, 
through crevices in the walls of their log prison-house, saw 
them hanged. And they were deeply affected by it, albeit 


they did not show their feelings as white men would have 
done under like circumstances. 

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

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

214 MARY AND I. 

liis sister came up to visit them, and were glad to find 
them ready to listen. 

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

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

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

In a few weeks a deep and abiding concern for them 
selves was manifest. Here were hundreds of men who 
had all their life refused to listen to the Gospel. They 


now wanted to hear it. There was a like number of men 
who had refused to learn to read. Now almost all were 
eager to learn. And along with this wonderful awaken 
ing on the subject of education sprang up the more 
marvelous one of their seeking after God some god. 
Their own gods had failed them signally, as was manifest 
by their present condition. Their conjurers, their medi 
cine-men, their makers of wakan, were nonplussed. Even 
the women taunted them by saying, " You boasted great 
power as wakan men ; where is it now ? " These barriers, 
which had been impregnable and impenetrable in the 
past, were suddenly broken down. Their ancestral relig 
ion had departed. They were unwilling now, in their 
distresses, to be without God without hope, without 
faith in something or some one. Their hearts were ach 
ing after some spiritual revelation. 

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

Some of these men, in their younger days, had heard 
the Messrs. Pond talk of the white man s religion. They 
were desirous now, in their trouble, to hear from their 
old friends, whose counsel they had so long rejected. 
To this request, Mr. G. H. Pond responded, and spent 
some days in the prison, assisting Dr. Williamson. Rev. 

216 MARY AND I. 

Mr. Hicks, pastor of the Presbyterian church in Mankato, 
was also taken into their counsels and gave them aid. 
For several weeks previous, many men had been wishing 
to be baptized, and thus recognized as believers in the 
Lord Jesus Christ. This number increased from day to 
day, until about three hundred just how many could 
not afterward be ascertained stood up and were bap 
tized into the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the 
Holy Ghost. The circumstances were peculiar, the whole 
movement was marvelous, it was like a " nation born in 
a day." The brethren desired to be divinely guided ; 
and, after many years of testing have elapsed, we all say 
that was a genuine work of God s Holy Spirit. 

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

This first communion in the prison made a deep im 
pression upon myself. It began to throw light upon the 
perplexing questions that had started in my own mind, 
as to the moral meaning of the outbreak. God s thought 
of it was not my thought. As the heavens were higher 
than the earth, so his thoughts were higher than mine. I 
accepted the present interpretation of the events, and 
thanked God and took courage. The Indians had not 
meant it so. In their thought and determination, the 


outbreak was the culmination of their hatred of Chris 
tianity. But God, who sits on the throne, had made it- 
result in their submission to him. This was marvelous 
in our eyes. 

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

"The suspense was terrible. The ignorant women had 
not seen much of the world, and didn t know anything 
about law. They, however, knew that their husbands 
and sons had been murdering the whites, and were now 
in prison therefor, and they themselves dependent for life 
on the mercy of the whites. The ever-present query was, 
What will become of us, and especially of the men ? 
With inquisitive eyes they were always watching the 
soldiers and other whites who visited them, for an an 
swer, but the curses and threats they received were little 
understood, except that they meant no good. With 
what imploring looks have we been besought to tell 
them their fate. Strange reports were constantly being 
whispered around the camp. Now, the men were all to 
be executed, of whom the thirty-eight hanged at Mankato 
was the first installment, and the women and children 

218 MARY AND I. 

scattered and made slaves; now, they were all to be 
taken to a rocky barren island somewhere, and left with 
nothing but fish for a support ; and, again, they were to 
be taken away down South, where it was so hot they 
would all die of fever and ague." 

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

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

The camp at Snelling was on the low ground near the 
river, where the steamboats were accustomed to land. 


A high board fence was made around two or three acres 
of ground, inside of which the Dakotas pitched their 
cloth tents. In them they cooked and ate and slept, and 
read the Bible and sang and prayed, and wrote letters to 
their friends in prison. 

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

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


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

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

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



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

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

In these circumstances, many would naturally fall sick 
go into a decline, pulmonary consumption, for which 
their scrofulous bodies had a liking, and die. The hos 
pital was generally well filled with such cases. The 

222 MARY AND I. 

death-rate was very large more than ten per cent, 
each year, making about 120 deaths while they were 
confined at that place, About one hundred men, women, 
and children, who came afterward into the hands of 
the military, were added to those who were first brought 
down. These latter were uncondemned. As some, 
women had been permitted to come with the prisoners 
at the first, and now more were added, a good many 
children were born there. And thus it came to pass 
that all who were released and returned to their people 
from this prison numbered only about two hundred and 

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

For the prisoners these were educational years. They 
were better supplied with books than they could be at 
Mankato. A new edition of our Dakota hymn-book was 
gotten out, and in 1885 an edition of the Dakota Bible 
so far as translated, besides other books. The avails of 
their work in mussel-shells and bows gave them the 
means of purchasing paper and books. 


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

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

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

" As they look on their native hills for the last time, a 
dark cloud is crushing their hearts. Down they go to 

224 MARY AND I. 

St. Louis, thence up the Missouri to Crow Creek. But 
this brings little relief, for what of the men ; and can 
the women and children ever live in this parched 
land, where neither rain nor dew was seen for many 

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

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


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

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

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

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

226 MAEY AND I. 

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

When a student in Chicago Theological Seminary, Al 
fred formed the acquaintance of Mary Buel Hatch. 
Her father had died in her childhood ; and her mother 
had resided a while in Rockford, 111., educating her daugh 
ters, but was now living in Chicago. The attachment 
then formed resulted in marriage, after Alfred had been 
located a year at Lockport, 111., where he was called, im 
mediately on graduating, to be the religious teacher of 
the Congregational church. 

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

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


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

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

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

228 MARY AND I. 

hold on to the Dakota work. So that question was 

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

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


down Washington street together, and talked over the 
subject, and she gave in her answer. 

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

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

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


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

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


And so, as Rev. John P. Williamson was with the 
united church of camp and prison on the Missouri, Dr. T. 
S. Williamson and I took with us John B. Renville and 
started on a tour of summer visitation. After a week s 
travel from St. Peter, in Minnesota, we reached the 
Scouts Camp, which, in the month of June, 186(5, we 
found partly on the margin of Lake Traverse, and partly 
at Buffalo Lake, in the country which was afterward set 
apart for their especial use. 

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

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

232 MAKY AND I. 

gloaming our horses all broke away, and gave us four 
hours of hunting for them the next morning. Then we 
had a long, hot ride, without water, over the burning 
prairie, to James River. 

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

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


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

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

Since we had been there in the previous summer, these 
people had drifted down on to Bazille Creek, where 
Mr. Williamson and Mr. Pond had erected shacks that 
is, log houses with dirt roofs and between the two had 
made a room for assembly. The two men we had licensed 
the summer previous were this season ordained and set 

234 MARY AND I. 

over the native church, Mr. Williamson still retaining 
the oversight. At each visitation we endeavored to 
work the native church members up to a feeling of 
responsibility in the work of contributing to the sup 
port of their pastors, but it has been no easy under 

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

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

The opening of the season of 1868 found me starting 
from Sioux City on a gray pony, which I rode across to 
Minnesota. But first I spent some weeks with the San- 
tees. They had partly removed from Bazille Creek down 
to the bottom where the agency is now located. A long 
log house had been prepared for a church and school- 
house. The Episcopalians were building extensively 
and expensively, while our folks contented themselves 
with very humble abodes. The work of education had 


progressed very finely, Mr. Williamson and Mr. Pond 
giving much time to it, while Mrs. Pond and Mrs. 
Williamson greatly helped the women in their religious 

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

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

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


of Christian experience and blameless life, and has since 
proved himself to be a very reliable and useful native 

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

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

Authors whose books do not sell very well, I suppose, 
generally marvel at the result. This little volume was, 
and is still, so intensely interesting to me that I wonder 
why everybody does not buy and read it. But over 


against this stands the fact that hitherto less than two 
thousand copies have been disposed of. Pecuniarily, it 
has not been a success. But neither has it been an entire 
failure. And perhaps it has done some good in bringing 
a class of Christian workers into more intelligent sympa 
thy and co-operation in the work of Indian evangeliza 
tion; and so the labor is not lost. 

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

" Thou hast no shore, fair ocean! 

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

" Upon the Rock of Ages 

They raise thy holy Tower; 
Thine is the victor s laurel, 
And thine the golden Dower." 

And the 29th : 

" Jerusalem the golden, 

With milk and honey blest, 
Beneath thy contemplation, 
Sink heart and voice oppressed. 

238 MAKY AND I. 

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

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

" Exult, O dust and ashes! 

The Lord shall be thy part; 
His only, his forever, 

Thou shalt be, and thou art! " 

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

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

" Was the 19th of First Chronicles the last chapter we 


read in family worship before you left home? If so, the 
13th verse must be the one you read : < Be of good cour 
age, and let us behave ourselves valiantly for our people, 
jind for the cities of our God : and let the Lord do that 
which is good in his sight. Even so let it be. May you 
ever <be strong in the Lord. " 

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

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

But soon after the physician s first visit, the record is, 
"She was occasionally flighty and under strange hallu 
cinations, caused either by the disease or the medicines." 
On the following Thursday, she evidently began to be 
impressed with the thought that she possibly would not 

240 MARY AND I. 

get well. She said she felt more unconscious and stupid 
than she had ever felt before in sickness. When, in 
answer to her inquiry a& to what the doctor said of her 
case, I told her he was very hopeful, she said, " He does 
not know much more about it than we do." At one 
time she remarked, " I feel very delicious, the taking 
down of the tabernacle appears so beautiful " ; and she 
desired me to get Bernard s Hymn, and read such pas 
sages as " Jerusalem the Golden " and " Exult, O dust 
and ashes." 

"Friday, March 19, noon. 

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

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


" Saturday noon, March 20. 

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

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

" Saturday evening. 

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

242 MARY AND I. 

then careful nursing will bring her up again. The neigh 
bors are very kind in offering us help and sympathy." 

" Sabbath morning. 

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

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

" Sabbath evening. 

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

" Monday morn, 5:30 o clock. 

" The end seems to be coming on apace. Anna and 
Alfred watched the first part of the night, and Mrs. 
Wheeler and I have been watching since. The difficulty 
of breathing has increased within the last few hours, and 
added to it is a rattling in the throat. Your mother 
called my attention to it about three o clock. It seems 


now as if we can t do much but smooth the way, which 
we do tenderly lovingly." 

" Seven o clock, A. M. 

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

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

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

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


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

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

That year of 1869 I was commissioner from the Da 
kota Presbytery to the General Assembly, which met in 
New York City. It was an assembly of more than ordi 
nary interest, as at that meeting, and the one that fol 
lowed in the autumn, the two branches of the Presbyte 
rian Church North were again united. During this stay 
in New York City I was the guest of Hon. Wm. E. 
Dodge. That was quite a contrast to living among the 



Dakotas. But at the close of the assembly I hastened 
westward to join Dr. Williamson at St. Peter. He 
had procured a small double wagon and a pony team, 
with which we together should make our summer cam 
paign. Having fitted ourselves out, as we always did, 
with tent and camping materials, our first objective point 
was Sioux City, where we had arranged to meet and take 
in Alfred L. Riggs. 

Since a little previous to the outbreak in 1862, he had 
been preaching to white people; first at Lockport, 111., 
where he was ordained and continued with the church 
five years, and then for a year at Centre, Wis., and now 
at Woodstock, 111. But all this time he seemed to be 
only waiting for the Dakota work to assume such a shape 
as to invite his assistance. For some time he had been 
especially acquainting himself with the most approved 
methods of education, that he might fill a place which, 
year by year, was becoming more manifestly important 
to be filled. 

As in the progress of modern missions a large and in 
creasing share of the new recruits are the children of mis 
sionaries, it will be interesting to know, from one of 
themselves, how they grow up in and into the Mission 
ary Kingdom. 

" My first serious impression of life was that I was 
living under a great weight of something; and as I 
began to discern more clearly, I found this weight to be. 
the all-surrounding, overwhelming presence of heathen 
ism, and all the instincts of my birth and all the culture 
of a Christian home set me at antagonism to it at every 
point. The filthy savages, indecently clad, lazily loung 
ing about the stove of our sitting-room, or flattening 
their dirty noses on the window-pane, caused such a dis- 

246 MARY AND I. 

gust for everything Indian that it took the better thought 
of many years to overcome the repugnance thus aroused. 
Without doubt, our mothers felt it all as keenly as we, 
their children, but they had a sustaining ambition for 
souls, which we had not yet gained. 

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

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

" Notwithstanding our play-spells, ours was a serious 
life. The serious earnestness of our parents in the pur 
suit of their work could not fail to fall in some degree 
on the children. The main purpose of Christianizing 
that people was felt in everything. It was like garrison 
life in time of war. But this seriousness was not asceti- 
cal or morose. Far from it. Those Christian missionary 
homes were full of gladness. With all the disadvantages 
of such a childhood was the rich privilege of understand 
ing the meaning of cheerful earnestness in Christian life. 


Speaking of peculiar privileges, I must say that I do not 
believe any other homes can be as precious as ours. It 
is true every one thinks his is the best mother in the 
world, and she is to him ; but I mean more than this ; I 
mean that our missionary homes are in reality better 
than others. And there is reason for it. By reason of 
the surrounding heathenism, the light and power of 
Christianity is more centred and confined in the home. 
And then, again, its power is developed by its antagonism 
to the darkness and wickedness around it. For either its 
light must ever shine clearer, or grow more dim until it 

" Next to our own home, we learned to love the home 
land in the States, 7 whence our parents came. A long 
ing desire to visit it possessed us. We thought that 
there we should find a heaven on earth. This may seem a 
strange idea ; but as you think of us engulfed in heathen 
ism and savage life, it will not seem so strange. It was 
like living at the bottom of a well, with only one spot of 
brightness overhead. Of course, it would be natural to 
think that upper world all brightness and beauty. Thus 
all our glimpses of another life than that of heathenism 
came from the States. There all our ideas of Chris 
tianized society were located. The correspondence of 
our parents with friends left behind, the pages of the 
magazines and papers of the monthly mail, and the 
yearly boxes of supplies, were the tangible tokens which 
in our innocent minds awakened visions of the wonderful 
world of civilization and culture in the East. 

" These supplies were in reality*, perhaps, very small 
affairs, but we thought them of fabulous value. Indeed 
they were everything to us. With the opening of the 
new year the list of purchases began to be arranged. 

248 MARY AND I. 

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

" When the number of our years got well past the 


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

" Of late years the children of missionaries have every 
where furnished a large portion of the new reinforce 
ments. This is both natural and strange. It is natural 
that they should desire to stay the hands of their par 
ents, and go to reap what they have sown. On the other 
hand, they go out in face of all the hardships of the work, 
made vividly real to them by the experience of their 
childhood. They are attracted by no romantic sentiment. 
The romance is for them all worn off long ago. For in 
stance, those of us on this field know the noble red man 
of the poet to be a myth. We know the real savage, 
and know him almost too well. Thus those who follow 
in the work of their missionary fathers do not do it with 
out a struggle often fearful. On the one hand stands 
the work, calling them to lonesome separation, and on 
the other the pleasant companionship of civilized society. 
But if the word of the Lord has come to them to go to 
Nineveh, happy are they if they do not go thither by 
way of Joppa. 

"I have spoken of the drawbacks to entering the work, 
but the inducements must also be remembered. They 
are greater than the drawbacks. We know them also 

250 MARY AND I. 

better than strangers can. If we have known more of 
the discouragements of the work, we also know more of 
its hopefulness. We know the real savage, but we now 
know and fully believe in his real humanity and salva- 
bility by the power of the cross. Now, too, when the 
work is entered, the very difficulties which barred the 
way grow less or disappear. We find the dreaded isola 
tion to be more in appearance than reality. We here 
are in connection with the best thought and sympathy of 
the civilized world, whether it be in scholarship, states 
manship, or Christian society. And not unfrequently do 
we have the visits of friends and the honored representa 
tives of the churches. One may be much more alone in 
Chicago or New York. 

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

With such a growing-up, it would seem that he was 
attracted to the life-work of his father and mother. And 
yet our children will all bear witness that no special 
influence was ever used to draw them into the mission 
ary work. Some ministers sons, I understand, have 
grown up under the burden of the thought that they 
were expected to be ministers. It was certainly my en 
deavor not to impose any such burden on my boys. But 


we certainly did desire and our desire was not con 
cealed that all our children should develop into the 
most noble and useful lives, prepared to occupy any posi 
tion to which they might be called. Accordingly, when 
a boy, while pursuing his education, has shown a disposi 
tion " to knock off," I have used what influence I had to 
induce him to persevere. But, beyond this, it has been 
my desire that each one should, under the divine guid 
ance, choose, as is their right to do, what shall be their 
line of work in life. At the same time, it is but just to 
myself, as well as to them, to say that it gives me great 
joy now, in my old age, to see so many of Mary s children 
making the life-work of their father and mother their own. 

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

252 MAKY AND I. 

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

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


into the hands of the Catholics, and David, one of our 
native preachers, who visited there recently, was not 
permitted to remain. 

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

When we reached the Sisseton reservation, we held 
our usual camp-meeting again at Dry Wood Lake, regu 
lating and confirming the churches, and receiving quite 
a number of additions, though not so many as in the 
year previous. The place for the Sisseton agency had 
been selected, some log buildings erected, and the agent, 
Dr. Jared W. Daniels, with his family, was on the 
ground. The time seemed to have come when, to secure 
the fruits of the harvest, some more permanent occupa 
tion should be made in the reservation. Mary was gone 

254 MARY AND 1. 

up higher. The boys, for whose sakes, mainly, we had 
made a home in Beloit, were no longer in college. 
Thomas had graduated, and spent a year in teaching 
freedmen in Mississippi, and was now in the Chicago 
Theological Seminary ; while Henry had commenced to 
seek his fortune in other employment. Without appar 
ent detriment, I could break up housekeeping in Beloit, 
and build at Sisseton. The plan was formed during 
this visit, and talked over with Dr. Williamson and 
Agent Daniels. God willing, and the Prudential Com 
mittee at Boston approving, it was to be carried into 
effect the next spring. 

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

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

Julia La Framboise was the teacher of the mission- 
school at Santee. She was born of a Dakota mother, 


and her father always claimed that he had Indian blood 
mixed with his French. Julia was a noble Christian 
woman, who had been trained up in the mission families, 
completing her education at Miss Sill s Seminary, in 
Rockford, 111. I found them all actively engaged in 
carrying forward mission work. But we conceived 
more might be done to bring children into the school 
and men and women to the church. Accordingly, I 
called together the pastors and elders of the church, and 
engaged them to enter upon a system of thorough church 
visitation, which had the effect of greatly increasing the 
numbers in attendance on both the school and the 

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


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

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

Then the house was rented. The household goods 
and household gods were scattered, the major part being 
taken up into the Indian country. Anna would spend 



the summer with friends in Beloit, and Cornelia, the 
youngest, I took up to Minnesota, and left with Martha 
on the frontier. 

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

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

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

Before commencing to build, I had received the written 
approval of the agent. In regard to the locality we dif 
fered. He wished me to build in the immediate vicinity 
of the agency, while I, for very good reasons, selected a 
place nearly two miles away. But that, I think, could 
have made no difference in his feeling toward the enter 
prise. However, soon after I commenced, I was visited 
by Gabriel Renville, who was recognized as the head man 
on the reservation. He did not forbid my proceeding, 

258 MAEY AND I. 

but wanted to know whether I had authority to do so. I 
replied that I had the approval of Agent Daniels, which 
I regarded as sufficient. When I reported this to Mr. 
Daniels, he advised me to write to the Commissioner of 
Indian Affairs, and obtain a permit, which, he said, might 
save me trouble. 

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

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

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


By the return mail I wrote to Secretary Treat, rehears 
ing the whole case, and asking him, without delay, to 
write to the authorities at Washington. I told him I had 
concluded to disregard the taboo, and would not in con- 


sequence thereof drive a nail the less. When the summer 
months were passed, and my houses were both up, I 
received a letter from the commissioner commending my 
work, and telling me to go forward. 

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

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

260 MARY AND I. 

Rebellion, and they have since made their home in 

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

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

Ascension, or lyakaptape, so named from its having 
been from time immemorial the place where the Coteau 
was ascended by the Dakotas on their way westward, was 
the district in which a number of the Renville families 
took claims. Daniel Renville, one of our licentiates, had 

* This school has been much enlarged since 1877. 


been preaching to the church gathered there. But it was 
understood all along that John B. Renville was to be 
their pastor. And so it came about, as he now trans 
ferred his home to that settlement. 

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

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

262 MARY AND I. 

who spoke the language natively had great advantage 
over us, both in preaching and pastoral work. 

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

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

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

In the spring of 1871 our Dakota church organizations 
were eight, viz. : The Pilgrim Church, at Santee, with 
267 members, Rev. Artemas Ehnamane and Rev. Titus 
Ichadooze pastors ; The Flandreau or River Bend church, 
on the Big Sioux, with 107 members, Joseph Iron-old- 


man pastor elect; the Lac-qui-parle church, with 41 
members, now without a pastor ; the Ascension church, 
on the Sisseton reservation, with 69 members, Rev. 
John B. Renville pastor ; the Dry Wood Lake or Good 
Will church, with 42 members, Rev. Daniel Renville 
pastor ; the Long Hollow church, with 80 members, Rev. 
Solomon Toonkan-shaecheya pastor ; the Kettle Lakes or 
Fort Wadsworth church, with 38 members, Rev. Louis 
Mazawakinyanna stated supply ; and the recently organ 
ized church at Yankton agency, with 19 members, in 
charge of Rev. John P. Williamson. 

In the month of May of this year, the first number of 
the lapi Oaye appeared. It was a very modest little 
sheet of four pages, eight by ten inches, and altogether 
in the Dakota language, with the motto, " Taku washta 
okiya, taku shecha kepajin," which, being interpreted, 
would read, " To help what is good, to oppose what is 
bad." Rev. John P. Williamson, who had the sole charge 
of it for the first twelve numbers, in his first Dakota edi 
torial, thus accounts for its origin : " For three years I have 
prepared a little tract at New Year, which Mr. E. R. 
Pond printed, and I distributed gratuitously to all who 
could read Dakota. And many persons liked it, and 
some said, If we had a newspaper, we would pay for it. 
I have trusted to the truth of this saying, and so this 
winter have been preparing to print one. But I have 
found many obstacles in the way, and have not gotten 
out the first number until now." As it was to be the 
means of conveying the thoughts and speech of one per 
son to another, it was proper, he said, to call it lapi 
Oaye, or "Word Carrier." The subscription price was 
placed at fifty cents a year. This was not increased after 

264 MARY AND I. 

the paper was doubled in size, as it was the first of Jan 
uary, 1873, at the commencement of the second volume. 
When the change was made, I was taken in as associate 
editor, and hencefortli about one-third of the letter-press 
was to be in the English language. By this means we 
could communicate missionary intelligence to white peo 
ple, and thus secure their aid in supporting the paper, as 
well as extend the interest in our work. And, as an 
attraction to the Dakotas, a full-page picture has been 
generally added. 

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

With the homesteaders on the Bio: Sioux, on the 23d 


of June, 1871, we held our first general conference of the 
Dakota churches.* From the Sisseton Agency there 
went down John B. Renville, Daniel Renville, and 
Solomon, of the pastors, with several elders and myself. 
Dr. Williamson came up from St. Peter; and John P. 
Williamson, A. L. Riggs, and Arternas Ehnarnane, and 
others, came over from the Missouri River. Year by 
year, from that time on, we have continued to hold 
these meetings, and they have constantly increased in 

* This was preliminary to the regularly organized conference 
which met the next year. 


interest and importance. On this first occasion, four or 
five days were spent, and religious meetings held each 
day. The circumstances by which we were surrounded 
intensified the interest. As yet there was no church or 
school-house in which we could assemble, and our meet 
ings were held out-of-doors, or under a booth in connec 
tion with Mr. All Iron s cabin. 

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

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

What impulse stirred them up to break away from 
their own tribe, to which they had but just returned, and 
try the hard work of making a home among coldly dis 
posed if not hostile whites ? What made them leave all 
their old traditional ties and relationships and go forth as 
strangers and wanderers ? It must be borne in mind that 
they left behind them the food which the government 
issued weekly on the agency, to seek a very precarious 
living by farming, for which they had neither tools nor 
teams. They also gave up the advantage of the yearly 
issue of clothing, and the prospect of such considerable 
gifts of horses, oxen, cows, wagons, and ploughs, as were 

266 MARY AND I. 

distributed occasionally on the agency. More than this : 
those who had already received such gifts from the 
United States Indian Civilization Fund had to leave all 
behind, though they went out for the very purpose of 
seeking a higher civilization. They went forth in the 
face, moreover, of great opposition and derision from the 
chiefs of their tribe. The United States Indian agent 
was also against them. Whence, then, did they have the 
strength of purpose which enabled them to face all this 
opposition, brave all these dangers? 

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

But when they came to their people they found the old 
Indian system in full power, backed by the authority of 
the United States. Of the old chiefs who ruled them in 
Minnesota, Little Crow and Little Six, the leaders of the 
rebellion, were dead ; but the others, who had been kept 
out of active participation, not by their loyalty to the 
United States, but by their jealousy of these leaders, had 
saved their necks and were again in power. A few had 
been appointed to vacancies by the United States agent, 
and the ring was complete. And our friends were com 
manded at once to fall in under the old chiefs before they 
could receive any rations. They must be Indians or 
starve ! Nothing was to be hoped for from within the 


tribe, nor from Washington. The Indian principle was 
regnant there also. Nothing was left to them but to seek 
some other land. One said: " I could not bear to have 
my children grow up nothing but Indians"; so they all 

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

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

Joseph Iron Old Man was not an old man, notwith 
standing his name, but a man in middle life. He had 
been a Hoonkayape or elder in the prison, re-elected on 

268 MARY AtfD I. 

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

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

The Dakota mission had been, from its commencement, 
under the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign 
Missions. As Presbyterians, we had been connected 
with the New School branch. But now the two schools 
had been united. Many nay, most of the New 


School Assembly, who had worked with the American 
Board, now thought it their duty to withdraw, and 
connect themselves and their contributions with the As 
sembly s Board of Foreign Missions. The ploughshare 
must be run through the mission fields also. We in the 
Dakota mission were invited to transfer our relations. 
The prudential committee at Boston left us to act out 
our own sweet will. Dr. T. S. Williamson and Rev. John 
P. Williamson elected to go over to the Presbyterian 
Board. For myself, I did not care to do so. Although 
conscientiously a Presbyterian, I was not, and am not, so 
much of one as to draw me away from the associations 
which had been growing for a third of a century. Whether 
I reasoned rightly or wrongly, I conceived that I had a 
character with the American Board that I could not 
transfer ; and I was too old to build up another reputa 
tion. Besides, Alfred L. Riggs had now joined the mis 
sion, and as a Congregational minister he could do no 
otherwise than retain his connection with the A. B. C. F.M. 
The case was a plain one. We divided. Some ques 
tions then came up as to the field and the work. These 
were very soon amicably settled, on a basis which, so far 
as I know, has continued to be satisfactory from that day 
to this. The churches on the Sisseton reservation and 
at the Santee were to continue in connection with the 
American Board: while the Big Sioux and Yankton 
agency churches would be counted as under the Presby 
terian Board. Henceforth, in regard to common expenses 
of Dakota publications, they were to bear one-third, and 
we two-thirds. 


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

FROM Flandreau, the Dakota homestead settlement on 
the Big Sioux, I accompanied A. L. Riggs and J. P. Will 
iamson to the Missouri. A year before this time, in the 
month of May, 1870, Alfred had removed his family from 
Woodstock, 111., to the Santee agency. The mission 
buildings heretofore had been of the cheapest kind. Only 
one small house had a shingle roof ; the rest were " shacks." 
Before his arrival, some preparation had been made for 
building logs of cotton-wood had been cut and hauled 
to the government saw-mill. These were cut up into 
framing lumber. The pine boards and all finishing ma 
terials were taken up from Yankton and Sioux City and 
Chicago, and so he proceeded to erect a family dwelling 
and a school-house, which could be used for church pur 

These were so far finished as to be occupied in the 
autumn ; and a school was opened with better accommo- 



dations and advantages than heretofore. In the Decem 
ber lapi Oaye, there appeared a notice of the Santee 
High School, Rev. A. L. Kiggs Principal, with Eli 
Abraham and Albert Frazier assistants. The advertise 
ment said, "If any one should give you a deer, you 
would probably say, You make me glad. But how 
much more would you be glad if one should teach you 
how to hunt and kill many deer. So, likewise, if one 
should teach you a little wisdom he would make you glad, 
but you would be more glad if one taught you how to 
acquire knowledge." This the Santee High School pro 
posed to do. 

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

During the early part of this winter, 1871-72, a change 
was made of agents at Sisseton ; Dr. J. W. Daniels re 
signed, and Rev. M. N. Adams came in his place. Dr. 
Daniels was Bishop Whipple s appointee, and, as the 
Episcopalians were not engaged in the missionary work 
on this reservation, it was evidently proper, under the 
existing circumstances, that the selection should be ac 
corded to the American Board. As, many years before, 
Mr. Adams had been a missionary among a portion of 
these people, he came as United States Indian agent, 
with an earnest wish to forward in all proper ways the 
cause of education and civilization and the general up 
lifting of the whole people. He met with a good deal of 

272 MARY AND I. 

opposition, but continued to be agent more than three 
years, and left many memorials of his interest and effi 
ciency, in the school-houses he erected, as well as in the 
hearts of the Christian people. 

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

The meeting of the ministers and elders and represen 
tatives of the Dakota churches, which was held with the 
River Bend church on the Big Sioux, had been found 
very profitable to all. At that time a like conference 
had been arranged for, to meet on the 25th of June, 
1872, with the church of Good Will, on the Sisseton 


reservation. The announcement was made in the 
April lapi Oaye. In the invitation nine churches 
are mentioned, viz. : The Santee, Yankton, River Bend, 
Lac-qui-parle, Ascension, Good Will, Buffalo Lake, 
Long Hollow, and Kettle Lakes. It was said that 
subjects interesting and profitable to all would be 
discussed ; and especially was the presence of the 
Holy Spirit desired and prayed for, since, without God 
present with us, the assembly would be only a dead 

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

At the Sisseton agency, in the month of September, 
a semi-treaty was made by Agents M. N. Adams and 
W. H. Forbes, and James Smith, Jr., of St. Paul, 

274 MARY AND I. 

United States commissioners, with the Dakota Indians 
of the Lake Traverse and Devil s Lake reservations, 
by which they relinquish all their claim on the country 
of North eastern Dakota through which the Northern 
Pacific Railroad runs. By this arrangement, educa 
tion would have been made compulsory, and the men 
would have been enabled to obtain patents for their 
land within some reasonable time; but the Senate 
struck out everything except the ceding of the land 
and the compensation therefor. Our legislators do 
not greatly desire that Indians should become white 

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

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


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

It was now the month of May, but there were deep 
snow banks still in the ravines on the north side of the 
river. A terrible storm had swept over the country 
from the north-east about the middle of April. A hun 
dred Indian ponies and forty or fifty head of cattle at 

276 MARY AND I. 

the Santee agency had perished. This made spring 
work go heavily. 

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

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

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

" Being on the track of the hostile Sioux who go to fight 
the Pawnees, one evening he found himself near a camp 
of the wild Brules. He was weak, they were strong and 
perhaps hostile. It was time for him to show his colors. 
His kettles were filled to the brim. The proud warriors 
were called, and as they filled their mouths with his 
savory meat, he filled their ears with the sound of the 
Gospel trumpet, and gave them their first view of eter- 


nal life. Thus the deer hunt became a soul hunt. The 
wild Brules grunted their friendly yes, as they left 
Ehnamane s teepee, their mouths filled with venison, and 
their hearts with the good seed of truth, from which 
some one will reap the fruit after many days." 

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

Mr. Williamson s new chapel made a very pleasant 
place for the gatherings. Pastoral Support, Pastoral 
Visitation, and Vernacular Teaching were among the 
live topics discussed. Their eager consideration and 

278 MAKY AND I. 

prompt discussion of these questions were in strong con 
trast with the stolid indifference and mulish reticence of 
the former life of these native Dakotas, and showed the 
working of a superhuman agency. Our friend S. J. 
Humphrey wrote and published a very life-like descrip 
tion of what he saw and heard on this visit, and it does 
me great pleasure to let him bear testimony to the mar 
vels wrought by the power of the Gospel of Christ. 

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


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

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

" That this was no crowd of Indian revellers come to a 
sun dance (as it might have been of yore) was soon man 
ifest. The first morning after their arrival, a strange, 
chanting voice, like that of a herald, mingled with our 

280 MARY AND I. 

day-break dreams. Had we been among the Mussulmans 
we should have thought it the muezzin s cry. Of course, 
all was Indian to us, but we learned afterward that it 
was indeed a call to prayer, with this English render 

" Morning is coining! Morning is coming! 

Wake up! Wake up! Come to sing! Come to pray! 

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

" On this same morning another sharp contrast of the 
old and the new appeared. By invitation of the elder 
Williamson, we took a walk among the teepees of the 
natives who live on the ground. Passing, with due 
regard for Dakota etiquette, those which contained only 
women, we came to one which we might properly enter. 
The inmates were evidently of the heathen party. A 
man, apparently fifty, sat upon a skin, entirely nude 
save the inevitable blanket, which he occasionally drew 
up about his waist. A lad of sixteen, in the same state, 
lounged in an obscure corner. The mother, who, we 
learned, occasionally attended meeting, wore a drabbled 
dress, doubtless her only garment. Two or three others 
were present in different stages of undress, and all lazy, 
stolid, dirty. As we looked into these impassive faces 
we could understand the saying of one of the missiona 
ries, that when you first speak to an audience of wild 
Indians you might as well preach to the back of their 
heads, so far as any responsive expression is concerned. 


And yet, now and then, the dull glow of a latent ferocity 
would light up the eye, like that of a beast of prey 
looking for his next meal. Alas ! for the noble red man ! 
In spite of what the poets say, we found him a filthy, 
stupid savage. All this we have time to see while Mr. 
Williamson talks to them in the unknown tongue. But 
now the little church bell calls us to the mission chapel. 
It is already filled the men on one side, the women on 
the other. The audience numbers perhaps two hundred. 
"All classes and ages are there. All are decently 
dressed. Were it not for the dark faces, you would not 
distinguish them from an ordinary country congregation. 
The hymn has already been given out, and each, with 
book in hand, has found the place. The melodeon sets 
the tune, and then, standing, they sing. It is no weak- 
lunged performance, we can assure you. Not altogether 
harmonious, perhaps, but vastly sweeter than a war- 
whoop, we fancy ; certainly hearty and sincere, and, we 
have no doubt, an acceptable offering of praise. A low- 
voiced prayer, by a native pastor, uttered with reverent 
unction, follows. Another singing, and then the sermon. 
One of the Renvilles is the preacher. We do not know 
what it is all about. But the ready utterance, the mel 
lifluent flow of words, the unaffected earnestness of the 
speaker, and the fixed attention of the audience, mark it 
as altogether a success. While he speaks to the people, 
we study their faces. They are certainly a great im 
provement upon those we saw in the teepee. But not 
one or two generations of Christian life will work off the 
stupid, inexpressive look that ages of heathenism have 
graven into them. There is a steady gain, however. 
Just as in a dissolving view there come slowly out on 
the canvas glimpses of a fair landscape, mingling 

282 MARY AND I. 

strangely with the dim outlines of the disappearing old 
ruin, so there is struggling through these stony faces an 
expression of the new creation within, the converted soul 
striving to light up and inform the hard features, and 
displace the ruin of the old savage life. But the poor 
women! Their case is even worse. They start from 
a lower plane. Some of these are young, some are 
mothers with their infants, many are well treated wives, 
not a few take part with propriety in the women s meet 
ings, and yet you look in vain among them all for one 
happy face. They wear a beaten and abused look, as if 
blows and cruelty had been their daily lot, as if they 
lived even only by sufferance. This is the settled look 
of their faces when in repose. But speak to them ; let 
the missionary tell them you are their friend ; and their 
eyes light up with a gentle gladness, showing that a true 
womanly soul only slumbers in them. This came out 
beautifully at a later point in the meeting. A motion 
was about to be put, when some one insisted that on that 
question the women should express their minds. This 
was cordially assented to, and they were requested to 
stand with the men in a rising vote. The girls, of 
course, giggled ; but the women modestly rose in their 
places, and it was worth a trip all the way from Chicago 
to see the look of innocent pride into which their sad 
faces were for once surprised. 

" But sermon is done. There is another loud-voiced 
hymn, and then the meeting of days is declared duly 
opened. It is to be a composite, a session of Presbytery, 
for they happen to have taken that form, and a Con 
ference of churches. A leading candidate for moderator 
is Ehnamane, a Santee pastor. How far the fact that he 
is a great hunter and a famous paddleman affects the 


vote we can not say. This may have had more weight : 
his father was a great conjurer and war prophet. Before 
he died he said to his son : 

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

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

" We will not follow the meeting throughout the days. 
There are resolutions and motions to amend and all 
that, just like white folks, and plenty of speech-making. 
Now a telling hit sends a ripple of laughter through the 
room; and now the moistened eyes and trembling lip tell 
that some deep vein of feeling has been touched. Grave 
questions are under discussion : Pastoral Support, open 
ing out into general benevolence ; Pastoral Visitation, its 
necessity, methods, difficulties, and also as a work per 
taining to elders, deacons, and to the whole membership ; 
Primary Education shall it be in the vernacular or in 
English ? a most spirited debate, resulting in this : i JRe- 
solved, That so long as the children speak the Dakota at 
home, education should be begun in the Dakota. Then 
the lapi Oaye, the Word Carrier for they have their 
newspaper, and it has its financial troubles comes up. 
All rally to its support. But the hundred-dollar deficit 
for last year, that, we suspect, comes out of the mission 
aries meagre salaries. All along certain more strictly 
ecclesiastical matters are mingled in. James Red- Wing 
is brought forward to be approbated as a preacher at Fort 
Sully. An application is considered for forming a new 

284 MARY AND I. 

church on the Sisseton reserve. The church at White 
Banks asks aid for a church building, and a Yankton 
elder is examined and received as a candidate for the 
ministry. The Indians, in large numbers, share freely 
in all these deliberations. Everything is decorous and 
dignified, sometimes evidently intensely interesting, we 
the while burning to know what they are saying, and 
getting the general drift only through a friendly whisper 
in the ear. While they are discussing, we will make a 
few notes : about one-third of these before us were 
imprisoned for the massacre of 1862, although, probably, 
none of them took active part in it. The larger portion 
of them were made freemen of the Lord in that great 
prison revival at Mankato, as a result of which 300 joined 
the church in one day. They were also of that number 
who, when being transferred by steamer to Davenport, 
* passed St. Paul in chains, indeed, but singing the fifty- 
first Psalm, to the tune of Old Hundred. Seven of these 
men are regularly ordained ministers, pastors of as many 
churches; two others are licentiate preachers. Quite a 
number are teachers, deacons, elders, or delegates of the 
nine churches belonging to the mission, and they report 
a goodly fellowship of 775 Dakota members, 79 of whom 
have come into the fold since the last meeting. 

" Two or three of these men are of some historic note. 
John B. Renville, who sits at the scribe s desk, was the 
main one in inaugurating the counter revolution in the 
hostilities of 1862. Yonder is Peter Big-Fire, who, by 
his address, turned the war party from the trail of the 
fleeing missionaries. And there is Gray-Cloud, for five 
years in the United States army, a sergeant of scouts ; 
and Chaskadan, the Elder Brewster of the prison 
church 5 and Lewis JVIazawakinyanna, formerly chaplain 


among the fort scouts, now pastor of Mayasan Church, 
and Hokshidanminiamani, once a conjurer, now no 
longer raising spirits in the teepee, but humbly seeking 
to be taught of the Divine Spirit ; and all these ah ! 
our eyes fill with tears as we think that but for the 
blessed Gospel they would still be worshipers of devils. 

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

" While supper is preparing, we will look a moment at 
a phase of tent life. A sudden gust of wind has blown 
over two of the large teepees. And now they are to be 
set up again. One is occupied by the men, the other by 
the women. Under the old regime the women do all this 
kind of work. But now the men are willing to try their 
hand at it, at least upon their own tent. It is new work, 
however, and, while they are making futile attempts at 
tying together the ends of the first three poles, the moth 
ers and wives have theirs already up and nearly covered. 
At length a broad-chested woman steps over among them, 
strips off their ill tied strings, repacks the ends of the 
poles, and with two or three deft turns binds them fast, 
and all with a kind of nervous contempt as if she were 
saying she probably is: Oh, you stupid fellows! 
The after work does not seem to be much more success 
ful, and they stand around in a helpless sort of way, 
while the young women are evidently bantering them 

286 MARY AND I. 

with good-natured jests, much as a bevy of white girls 
would do in seeing a man vainly trying to stitch on a 
missing button, each new bungling mistake drawing the 
fire of the fair enemy in a fresh explosion of laughter. 
How the thing comes out we do not stay to see, but we 
suspect that the practised hands of the good women 
finally come to the rescue. 

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

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


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

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

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


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

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



fares for a dozen Dakota men. He generously responded, 
and sent me up a free pass down for that number. 

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

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


"In the first days of July, 1839, a severe battle was 
fought between the Dakotas and Ojibwas. The Ojibwas 

290 MARY AND I. 

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

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

" The young man who had been killed was the son-in- 
law of Cloud-man, the chief of the Lake Calhoun village. 
Scarlet Bird was the brother-in-law of the chief. So 
Scarlet Bird was the leader of the war-party which came 
to where the city of Minneapolis is now built, and about 
the setting of the sun crossed over to the east side ; and 
there, seating the warriors in a row on the sand, he dis 
tributed the beads and ribbons and other trinkets of the 
man who had been killed, and with them "prayed" the 
whole party into committing the deeds of the next 
morning. The morning s sun, as it arose, saw these same 


men smiting down the Ojibwas, just after they had left 
camp, in the region of Rum River. Scarlet Bird was 
.iinong the slain on the Dakota side; and a son of his, 
whom he had goaded into the battle by calling him a 
woman, was left on the field. Many Ojibwa scalps were 
taken, and all through that autumn and into the following- 
winter the scalp dance was danced nightly at every 
Dakota village on the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers, 
as far up as Lac-qui-parle. 

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

292 MARY AND I. 

tian churches, having their native pastors. Some, too, 
have gone beyond to the still wild portions of their own 
people, and are commencing there such a work as wo 
commenced, nearly forty years ago, among their fathers 

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

While this meeting of the American Board was in 
progress, the ladies of the Woman s Boards held a 
meeting, which was reported as full of interest. So 
many women publishers of the Word in all parts of the 
world were present that the enthusiasm and Christ- 
spirit rose very high. Nina Foster Riggs, who had just 
arrived from Fort Sully, the center of Dakota heathen 
dom, announced her wish for a female companion in 
labor there. Several young women present said, " I 
will go." From these, Miss Lizzie Bishop of Northfield, 
Minn., was afterward selected. Her health was not 
vigorous, but she and her friends thought it might 
become more so in the Missouri River climate. She at 
once proceeded with T. L. Riggs and wife to Hope 



Station. There I met her for the first time in the first 
of the June following. She impressed me as a singularly 
pure-minded and devoted young woman. Two Teeton 
boys in the family belonged to her especial charge. She 
said she found the Lord s Prayer in Dakota too difficult 
of comprehension for their use, and desired me to make 
something more simple. I sat down and wrote a child s 
prayer, of which this is a translation : 

"My Father, God, 

Have mercy on me; 
Now I will sleep ; 
Watch over me : 
If I die before the morning, 

Take me to thyself. 
For thy Son Jesus sake, these I ask of thee." 

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

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

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

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

294 MAKY AND I. 

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

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

"None of these things disturbed Lizzie. 4 I do not 
choose to be killed by the Indians, she said, * but if the 
Lord wills it so, it is all right. And she went on as 
usual with her housework and her sewing-school, and the 
care of the two Indian boys who were taken into the 
family in the spring. While she taught the sewing- 
class, several little girls, some six or eight, made dresses 
of linsey-woolsey for themselves; and then, under Miss 
Bishop s supervision, combed their hair, bathed, and put 
on clean clothes. She also instructed several women in 
some branches of housework, and was always looking for 
the opportunity of doing good. 

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

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


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

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

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

" Writing of her, her sister said : * Her favorite motto 
was, " Simply to thy cross I cling." She trusted in Christ 
because he has promised to save all who come to him. 

296 MARY AND I. 

She enjoyed hearing us sing to the last such hymns as, 
"Jesus, Lover of My Soul," "Nearer, my God, to Thee," 
"My Faith Looks up to Thee," "Father, Whate er of 
Earthly Bliss," " How Firm a Foundation," and others. 

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

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

" And a book of remembrance was written before him 
for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his 
name. And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of Hosts, 
in that day when I make up my jewels. * " 
. The commencement of the Manual Labor Boarding- 
School on the Sisseton reserve was an event which in 
dicated progress. Agent M. N. Adams had received 
authority from the department to erect a suitable build 
ing. On the 4th of September, 1873, the foundation 
walls were so far completed that the corner-stone was laid 
with appropriate ceremonies. There was quite a gather 
ing of the natives and white people on the reservation. 
After prayer in Dakota by Pastor Solomon, Mr. Adams 
made a speech, which was interpreted, setting forth the 
advantages that would accrue to this people from .such a 
school as this building contemplated. He then announced 

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


that he had in his hands copies of the Bible in Dakota 
and English, and a Dakota hymn book, together with 
eight numbers of the lapi Oaye, a copy of the St. Paid 
Press, and a Yankton paper, and also sundry docu 
ments, all of which he deposited in the place prepared 
for them. I added a few remarks, and then the corner 
stone was laid and pronounced level. Speeches followed 
from Solomon, John B., and Daniel Renville, pastors; 
Miid from Robert Hopkins, Two Stars, and Gabriel Ren 
ville. They accepted this as the guarantee of progress in 
the new era on which they had entered. 

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

Mrs. Morris was willing to undertake the hard work 
these sixteen boys imposed upon her, because she had just 
met with a great sorrow. She had gone on East with tico 
children, and came back with only one. " As I sit and 
mend," she writes, " the alarming holes which the boys 
make in their clothes, an unbidden tear sometimes falls 
when I think of our blue-eyed, sunny-haired boy, whose 
last resting-place is in the valley of the Susquehanna. 
And I think how much rather I would have worked for 
him than for these boys. But I say to myself, My dar- 

298 MARY AND I. 

ling is safe and out of reach of harm / and these boys 
need the doing for that my darling one will never need 
more. For 

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

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

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

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


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

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

Hidatsa, he tells us, is the name by which they call 
themselves. They are better known to us by the names 
Minnetaree and Gros "Ventre. This last is a name given 
them by the Canadian French, and without any special 
reason. It is a fact that Indians can eat large quantities 
of food, but it is very rarely indeed that you will find one 
whose appearance would justify the epithet gros ventre. 
The other term, Minnetaree, is the name given them by 
the Mandans, and means, to cross the water. The story 
is that when the Hidatsa people came to the Missouri 
River from the north-east, the Mandan village was on the 
west side of the river. They called over, and the Man- 
dans answered back in their own language : " Who are 

300 MARY AND I. 

you ? " The Hidatsa, not understanding it, supposed they 
had asked, " What do you want ? " and so replied ; "Minne- 
taree, to cross over the water" 

Whence came the Hidatsa? Their legend says they 
originally lived under a great body of water which lies 
far to the north-east of where they now live. From this 
under-water residence some persons found their way out, 
and, discovering a country much better than the one in 
which they lived, returned and gave to their people such 
glowing accounts of their discoveries that the whole 
nation determined to come out. But, owing to the break 
ing of a tree on which they were climbing out of the lake, 
a great part of the tribe had to remain behind in the 
water, and they are there yet. 

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

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


directed their march, and, guided by^ their messengers 
they reached the Mandan villages on the Missouri River. 
With them they camped and learned their peaceful arts, 

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

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

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

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

302 MARY AND I. 

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

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

A. L. Riggs had put up in large characters the motto 
of the meeting 1834-1874. Thus we were reminded 
that forty years had passed since the brothers Pond had 
made their log cabin on the banks of Lake Calhoun. 
These gray-headed men were expected to have been 
present on this occasion, but were not. T. L. Riggs and 
wife could not come down. Otherwise the attendance of 
whites and Indians was good. The presence of Rev. 
Joseph Ward of Yankton, and of Mrs. Wood, the 
mother of Mrs. Ward, and also of Rev. De Witt Clark 
of Massachusetts, greatly added to the interest. The 
question discussed by the native brethren with the most 


eagerness was, "Shall the eldership receive any money 
compensation?" This had come up to be a question 
solely because such native church helpers were receiving 
compensation among the Episcopalians. But our folks 
decided against it by an overwhelming vote. 

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

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

304 MARY AND I. 

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

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

We then returned by the way we came, and went on 
to Duluth, where we took a steamer on the Gitche 
Gumme (Lake Superior) for Bayfield. On the down- 


lake steamer we formed the acquaintance of Rev. John 
McDougall, a Methodist minister, who, with his family, 
was going to the Canadian Conference, from the far-off 
country of the Saskatchawan. For more than a quarter 
of a century he had been a missionary among the Crees 
and Bloods and Piegans. 

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

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

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

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

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

306 MARY AND I. 

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

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

For four days we were the guests of the boarding- 
school which is in charge of Rev. Isaac Baird. We be 
came much interested in the school and the teachers 
Mrs. Baird, Miss Harriet Newell Phillips, Miss Verbeek, 
Miss Dougherty, and Miss Walker. Naturally, I should 
be prejudiced in favor of the Dakotas, but I was obliged 


to confess that I had not seen anywhere twenty-five boys 
and girls better-looking and more manly and womanly in 
their appearance than those Ojibwas. The whole com 
munity gave evidence of the good work done by the 
school in past years many of the grown folks being 
able to talk English quite well. 

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

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


1875-1876. Annual Meeting of 1875. Homestead Settlement on 
the Big Sioux. Interest of the Conference. lapi Oaye. 
Inception of Native Missionary Work. Theological Class. 
The Dakota Home. Charles L. Hall Ordained. Dr. Magoun 
of Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. Hall Sent to Berthold by the Ameri 
can Board. The Word Carrier s Good Words to Them. 
The Conference of 1876. In J. B. Renville s Church. Com 
ing to the Meeting from Sully. Miss Whipple s Story. 
" Dakota Missionary Society." Miss Collins Story. Im 
pressions of the Meeting. 

MORE and more the important events of the year cul 
minate in, and are brought out by, the meeting of our 
Annual Conference. Heretofore this gathering had been 
in June. In the year 1875, it was held in September, at 
the Homestead Settlement on the Big Sioux. Only four 
years had passed since we were here before, but in this 
time great changes had taken place. They had erected a 
log church, and outgrown it, and sold it to the government 
for a school-house, and had just completed, or nearly com 
pleted, a commodious frame building. In this our meet 
ings were held. Their farms and dwelling-houses had 
also greatly improved. In several of these years they 
had been visited by the grasshoppers, and by this visita 
tion they had lost their crops. But they held on some 
what discouraged, it is true. When their prospects and 
hopes from Mother Earth failed, they went to hunting, 
and thus they had worked along. This year they had a 
fair crop, and by exerting themselves they were able to 


entertain more than a hundred Dakota guests. Besides 
what they could furnish from their own farms, they had 
raised about $70 in money, which they expended in 
fresh beef. Thus they made princely provision for the 
meeting, which was, as usual, rich and full of interest. 

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

At the time appointed we gathered at the church and 
had a sermon by one of the native pastors Louis. 
Then came the business organization, followed by short 
speeches of greeting and welcome. On the following day 
the real work of the Conference began. Questions relat 
ing to the proper training and education of children, and 
the training and preparation needful for the ministry, were 
discussed with interest and profit. The next day, which 
was Saturday, was taken up in the discussion of two prom 
inent subjects of interest the homestead act in its rela 
tion to Indians, and our Dakota paper. On the first of 
these topics there was a full and healthy expression of 
opinion. It was said that the plan of depending on the 
government for support tended to bad. Said Ehnamane : 
" If when we are hungry we cry out to our Great Father 
c Give us food, or when we are cold we say, Send us 
clothes, we become as little children we are not men. 
Here at this place we see that each man takes care of 
himself ; he has a farm and a house, and some have a cow 

310 MARY AND I. 

and a few chickens. We go into their houses and we see 
tables and chairs, and when they eat they spread a cloth 
over the table, as do white people, and there are curtains 
to the windows, and we see the women dressed like white 
women here we find men. We who look to the gov 
ernment for food and clothing are not men but little chil 
dren, and the longer we depend on the government the 
lower down we find ourselves." Others differed : they 
said one could grow into manhood anywhere supported 
by the government or caring for themselves. Besides, it 
would not do to be too confident. It was hard work to 
strike out alone ; some had starved, some had been frozen 
to death, and others had turned back. It means work to 
become a self-supporting citizen. 

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

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

In the afternoon we had a grand missionary meeting, 


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

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

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

312 MARY AND I. 

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

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

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

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

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

I had received an urgent invitation to come on from 
Beloit to aid in the instructions of the last two weeks, 
which I quite willingly accepted. While at the Santee 
on this visit, I became better acquainted with the work 
ing of the normal school, and especially of that part of it 


called the " Dakota Home." The following is A. L. Riggs 
description of it : 

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

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

"In the second story are the dormitories. There are 
ten sleeping-rooms and a bath-room. Each room is in 
tended to be occupied by only two girls, though three of 
them can accommodate four, if necessary. Every sleep 
ing-room is automatically and thoroughly ventilated with 
out opening a door or window." 

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

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

At this time the Home was in the charge of Miss Marie 

314 MARY AND I. 

L. Haines since become Mrs. Joseph Steer and Miss 
Anna Skea." 

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

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

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

Thus Mr. and Mrs. Hall were set apart, and sent off to 
plant the standard of the cross at Fort Berthold, among 
the Mandans and Rees and Hidatsa, at a point on the 


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

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

The convention was opened with prayer and singing, 
Rev. A. L. Riggs and Rev. David Gray Cloud, English 
and Dakota secretaries, presiding. A new Dakota hymn 
of welcome was sung by the choir and church, when words 

316 MARY AND I. 

of welcome were spoken by Pastor J. B. Renville, and by 
agent J. G. Hamilton of the Sisseton agency, and by 
S. R. Riggs. These were responded to by J. P. William 
son, for the Yanktons ; by Rev. Artemas Ehnamane, for 
the Santees ; and by Rev. John Eastman, for the large 
delegation from the Big Sioux. 

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

" The day was cool but pleasant, and all enjoyed the 
ride, which gave them keen appetites for the dinner taken 
on the bank of the Huhboju. In the afternoon Mr. Riggs 
shot some ducks, while others gathered willows to carry 

318 MARY AND I. 

along for the night s fire, as at that camping-place there 
was no wood. 

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

" The upper part of the carriage was too heavy to keep 
its balance when the wheels went into the rut, and the 
whole outfit was precipitated six feet down the bank into 
the water hole, which, fortunately, was dry. Mrs. Riggs 
slipped from her seat and was held down by the provis 
ions, boxes, and blankets, which fell upon her when the 
carriage passed over. Mr. Riggs found himself upon the 
axle-tree. Miss Collins gave a faint * Oh, ohf and said, 
4 Don t hurt the baby. The baby was the safest of all. 
He was nearly asleep on Miss Whipple s arm, and was 
there held while she went through a series of circus per 
forming hitherto unknown. When all were safely out, 
and it was known that no one was seriously injured, ex 
clamations of joy and thankfulness were uttered. 

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

" The boxes, bags, blankets, etc., were taken out, the 


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

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

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

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

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

320 MARY AND I. 

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


" A year since steps were taken at our Ptaya Owo- 
hdaka gathering for the formation of a Native Mission 
ary Society. The question was: Are not the native 
Christians ready and able to support a special agency 
for the spread of the Gospel among the still heathen 
Dakotas? A committee was appointed to canvass the 
matter and report at the next Annual Conference. At 
this meeting, which has just- adjourned, the missionary 
committee reported over $240 cash in hand, and recom- 

322 MARY AND I. 

mended that : (1) a Missionary Board of three members 
one the secretary, another treasurer be elected; 
and (2) a full discussion and expression of opinion 
on the part of the Conference. This discussion was 
earnest, and showed an understanding of the subject, 
and a readiness to grapple with its difficulties, that was 
very gratifying. The missionary board was carefully 
chosen and instructed to select a fit man and send him 
out at once. After some consideration, David Gray 
Cloud, pastor of the Ma-ya-san church, was chosen by 
the Board. His acceptance being received, the Sabbath 
afternoon service was mainly devoted to his special set 
ting apart for the new work. 

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

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


" We had just come from a region where they are still 
abiding in the shadow of death, and where they are just 
beginning to learn that they may have life and have it 
more abundantly through our Lord Jesus Christ. No 


wonder that when I saw so many rejoicing in his love I 
felt like exclaiming, God has said, Let there be Light, 
and all the powers of earth can not withhold it, for 
God s time is at hand. Could all the Christians in our 
land have beheld with me such a multitude partaking of 
the Lord s supper and obeying that loving command, 
* This do in remembrance of me, their hearts would, 
I think, have been filled with thanksgiving, and a long 
and earnest shout of Glory to God in the highest, and 
on earth peace, good will toward men, would have re 
sounded through the land. 

" They have the spirit of Christ, and are not satisfied 
with being saved themselves only, but desire the salva 
tion of their benighted brethren. They have organized 
a missionary association and raised in one year about 
two hundred and fifty dollars to support a mission 
ary. He is sent forth from this meeting, and how it 
must have rejoiced the hearts of those good men who 
have grown gray in the service, to see this young man 
arising from the degradation of his forefathers, standing 
on the Christian platform, receiving the blessings of 
his people, and pledging himself faithfully to perform 
his work toward them and to his God. They must 
have had feelings akin to those of Simeon when he 
beheld the Saviour, For mine eyes have seen thy 
salvation. When I saw the work these women had 
done to help sustain their paper, again I was amazed. 
Twenty dollars worth of fancy work was sold, and the 
women had done it all themselves. Well may we say, 
4 They have done what they could. They only have 
one paper, the Word Carrier and it was about to fail 
for want of means to carry it on, and these women, with a 
truly Christian spirit, went to work to sustain this im- 

324 MARY AND I. 

portant disseminator of truth. That was far more for 
them to give than for our Christians at home to subscribe 
for the paper and make it self-supporting. On Sabbath 
there was not room in their large church to hold the 
people, and we were obliged to hold services in the 
open air, and seven or eight hundred Dakotas were 
present to hear God s message to them. And to me it 
seemed the most beautiful sight I ever beheld. There 
were several admitted into the church, and one girl 
who was about sixteen years old, who was baptized in 
infancy, now in youth comes out on the Lord s side. 
A little boy about twelve years old was baptized, and 
I thought of many of the little boys at home, even 
older than that, who had not accepted the Saviour, and, 
although they have so many blessings, yet he hath 
chosen the good part which shall not be taken away 
from him. 

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


1871-1877. The Wilder Sioux. Gradual Openings. Thomas 
Lawrence. Visit to the Land of the Teetons. Fort Sully. 

Hope Station. Mrs. General Stanley in the Evangelist. 
Work by Native Teachers. Thomas Married to Nina Foster. 

Nina s First Visit to Sully. Attending the Conference and 
American Board. Miss Collins and Miss Whipple. Bogue 
Station. The Mission Surroundings. Chapel Built. Mis 
sion Work. Church Organized. Sioux War of 1876. 
Community Excited. Schools. "Waiting for a Boat." 
Miss Whipple Dies at Chicago. Mrs. Nina Riggs Tribute. 

The Conference of 1877 at Sully. Questions Discussed. 
Grand Impressions. 

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


326 MAKY AND I. 

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

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

We came to the land of the Teetons, and stopped for 
five or six weeks at Fort Sully, which was in the neigh 
borhood of Cheyenne agency. There we found Chaplain 
G. D. Crocker, who had been much interested in our work 
among the Dakotas when stationed at Fort Wadsworth. 
We found also good and true Christian friends in Captain 
Irvine and his wife, and in the noble Mrs. General Stan 
ley, the wife of the commandant of the post. In the 
mornings of our stay in the garrison, we often gathered 


buffalo berries mashtinpoota, rabbit noses, as the Ind 
ians called them. During the day we talked with the 
Dakotas, and studied the Teeton dialect, and also the 
Assinaboine and the Ree. In our judgment, the time had 
fully come for us to commence evangelistic work in this 
part of the nation. Our friends at Sully thought so, and 
the prudential committee did not hesitate a moment. 
Indeed, they could not wait for Thomas to finish his 
seminary course, but sent him off in midwinter to Fort 
Sully. He was ordained by a council which met in 

The Indians of the Cheyenne agency, a portion of 
them, were distributed along down in the Missouri bot 
tom in little villages and clusters of houses. In a vil 
lage of this kind, a little below the fort, and on the 
opposite side of the river, T. L. Riggs erected his first 
house. It was a hewed log cabin, with two rooms 
below, one of which was a school-room. The garret was 
arranged for sleeping apartments. This was called Hope 
Station, so named by Captain Irvine s little daughter, 
who about this time came into the Christian hope. 

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

328 MAEY AND 1. 

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

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

At another point, some few miles below Hope Station, 


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

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

Thomas and Nina returned to Sully after our mis 
sion meeting at the Yankton agency, and then, in 
September, went to the meeting of the board at Minne 

Sully was a far-off station. There were many reasons 

330 MARY AND I. 

why a white woman should not be there alone. Miss 
Lizzie Bishop s election to go back with them, together 
with her beautiful life and early death, have been detailed 
in a preceding chapter. 

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

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

The first winter Oyemaza, or James Red Wing, and his 
wife lived here with Henry M. Riggs, and taught a school. 
The second winter Thomas and Nina, with Miss Bishop^ 

* Now named Oahe. 


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

Let me now go back and take up the threads of the 
narrative which were dropped two years ago. The two 
young ladies who desired to work together in some Indian 
field found themselves here in Yellow Hawk s village. 



They entered into the labors of those who had been here 
longer. They grew into the work. The day schools in 
books and sewing, together with the night school, em 
ployed all hands, during the winter especially. A number 
have learned to read and write in their own lano-uao-e. 

O O 

Besides the school carried on at the home station, the two 
out stations have been occupied by native helpers. Edwin 
Phelps, from the Sisseton agency, with his mother, Eliz 
abeth Winyan, have been valuable assistants for two 
winters past. Also for the winter of 1876-7, David Gray 
Cloud, one of the native pastors at the head of the Coteau, 
did valuable service both in teaching and preaching. 
He was sent to Standing Rock by the native missionary 
society, but, not being able to get a footing there, he 
came down here to preach to these Teetons salvation by 
Jesus Christ. In the spring, when he was leaving for 
Sisseton, they begged him to stay, or at least to promise 
to come back again. 

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

For two winters past, several boys and young men, who 
have made a good commencement in education in these 


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

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

As a matter of course, this excited state of the com 
munity was unfavorable, in some respects, to missionary 
work during the winter. The military control attempted 
to interfere with the sending away of Teeton young men 
to the Santee school. But on the whole no year of 
work has proved more profitable. In all the schools, 

334 MARY AND I. 

Thomas reported about two hundred and forty scholars. 
They were necessarily irregular in attendance, as they 
were frequently ordered up to the agency to be counted. 
Still, the willing hearts and hands had work to do all the 
time. And so the spring of 1877 came, when the women 
folks of Bogue Station had all planned to have a little 
rest. Mrs. Nina Riggs was to go as far as Chicago to 
meet her father and mother from Bangor. Miss Collins 
and Miss Whipple were going to visit their friends in 
Iowa and Wisconsin. And so they all prepared for the 
journey and waited for a boat. By some mischance 
boats slid by them. They put their tent on the river- 
bank and waited. So a whole month had passed, when, 
at last, their patient waiting was rewarded, and they 
passed down the Missouri River and on to Chicago. 

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


it coming. " The boat has come and I must step in," 
she said. And so she did, and passed over to the farther 
shore of the river. 

The Teetons say, " Two young women went away, and 
one of them is not coming back. They say she has gone 
to the land of spirits. It has been so before. Miss 
Bishop went away, and we did not see her again. And 
now we shall not see Miss Whipple any more." So they 
mourn with us. But, while the workers fall, their work 
willnot fail. It is the work for which Christ came from the 
bosom of the Father ; and, as he lives now, so he " shall 
see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied. 5 

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

" Miss J. E. Whipple died of gastric fever at Chicago, 
August 11, aged 24. For nearly two years she had 
been connected with the Dakota Mission among the 
Teeton Indians. And she left her work there last 
spring, in order to take a short vacation and visit among 
her friends. On her way from her sister s home in 
Knoxville, 111., to the home of her father at Badger, 
Wis., she was attacked by the disease which proved 
fatal. Through all her sickness to the end, she was 
tenderly and lovingly cared for by Miss Mary Collins, 
her intimate friend and companion in missionary labor. 
In the summer of 1875, Miss Whipple gave herself to 
the cause of missions, and entered upon her work in the 

336 MARY AND T. 

autumn of that same year. She had little idea of what 
she should be called to do, but self-consecration was the 
beginning of all, and so, whatever work was given her 
to do, she took it up cheerfully and earnestly, yielding 
time and strength and zeal to it. Though it seemed small, 
she did not scorn it; though repugnant, she did not 
shirk it ; though hard, she bravely bore it. Her merry 
smile, her thoughtful mind, her quick response, the work 
of her strong, shapely hands, all blessed our mission 
home. She came a stranger to us, but when she left us 
in the spring, only for a summer s vacation as we thought, 
she was our true and well beloved friend. 

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

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

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

" The children all about are sad, said an Indian wo 
man. I too am sorrowful. I wanted to see her again. 
The little Theodore, whom she had loved and tended, 
folded his hands and prayed, l Bless Miss Emmie up in 
heaven, she was sick and died and went to heaven, 
and bring her back some time. Sweet, childish prayer 


that would fain reach out with benediction to her who is 
beyond the reach of our blessing, eternally blest. 

" As she passed away from the fond, enfolding arms 
that would have detained her, she breathed a message for 
us all. Listen ! Do you not hear her speaking ? Work 
for the missions, work for the missions. Christ died for 
the missions. 

"On the wall of her room still hangs the Scripture 
roll as it was left. And this is the word of comfort it 
bears : 

" I shall be satisfied when I awake in Thy likeness. 

" * His servants shall serve Him and they shall see His 


The sixth annual meeting of the Conference of churches 
connected with the Dakota Mission took place at T. L. 
Riggs 7 station on Peoria bottom, near Fort Sully, com 
mencing on Thursday, September 13, 1877, and closing 
on Sabbath, the 16th. 

The very neat new chapel, which had been in building 
only a few weeks, was pushed forward so that it made a 
very convenient and comfortable place of meeting. The 
Sabbath immediately preceding, it was occupied for relig 
ious service. It was very gratifying to see the house 
filled by the Indians living here. In the general interest 
manifested in religious instructions by the people of 
these villages, there is very much to encourage us. Old 
men and women, young men and maidens, flock to the 
new chapel, and express great gratification that it has 
been erected for their benefit. 

On Wednesday, the 12th of the month, the delegates 
began to come in. The first to arrive were from the 

338 MARY AND I. 

homestead settlement of Flandreau on the Big Sioux. 
They had come 260 miles and traveled ten days. Then 
fame the delegation of more than twenty from the Sis- 
sc ton reservation, near Fort Wads worth. And in the 
evening came the largest company from the Yankton and 
Santee agencies. In all there were over sixty present, 
about forty-five of whom were members of the Confer 
ence, and all had traveled more than 200 miles. The 
last to arrive were John P. Williamson and A. L. Riggs, 
who, being disappointed in getting a steamboat, had to 
come all the way in the stage. 

Our meeting was opened with a sermon by the young 
est of our Dakota pastors, Rev. John Eastman of Flan 
dreau. This was followed by greetings from T. L. Riggs 
and Mr. Yellow Hawk and Mr. Spotted Bear. Responses 
by S. R. Riggs, and pastors Artemas, John Renville, 
Daniel Renville, Solomon, David, Louis, and Joseph 
Blacksmith, followed by A. L. Riggs and John P. Will 
iamson, who had just arrived. The meeting was very 
enjoyable and was followed by the organization. T. L. 
Riggs and David Gray Cloud were the English and Da 
kota secretaries, the only officers of the Conference. The 
roll contained fifty names, a number less than we have 
had present in years past, but quite large, considering 
the distance of the place from our churches, and the press 
ure of home work. 

Friday, after a morning prayer meeting, at which the 
house appeared to be full, the Conference was opened 
with so large a gathering that it was found necessary to 
pack the house, when about two hundred were crowded 
in. As yet only a few of these Teetons have changed 
their dress, but they sit for three hours, and listen very 
attentively to discussions on the questions of " How to 


Study the Bible," and " Who Shall be Received to Church 
Membership ? " To the Teetons it was all new, but the 
Kitive pastors endeavored to put their thoughts into such 
, onns as to reach their understandings. Chaplain G. D. 
Crocker of Sully was present with his family, and added 
to the interest. On Saturday, Dr. Cravens, agent at 
Cheyenne, with his wife, made us a visit. 

The homestead question occupied us for a whole after 
noon, and was one which attracted the most attention, as 
these Teetons even are greatly exercised to know how 
they shall secure a permanent habitation. Daniel Ren- 
ville, Joseph Blacksmith, and Esau Iron Frenchman, all 
homesteaders, made eloquent appeals in favor of Indians 
becoming white men. But their stories of hard times 
showed that it had been no child s-play with them. 

The report of the executive committee of the native 
missionary society was read by A. L. Riggs, and David 
Gray Cloud gave an interesting account of his last 
winter s work on the Missouri. Speeches were made by 
John B. Renville, Joseph Blacksmith, S. R. Riggs, and 
John P. Williamson. By vote of the Conference the 
same committee was re-elected for another year A. L. 
Riggs, Joseph Blacksmith, and John B. Renville. The 
money now in the treasury is about $160, besides certain 
.trticles contributed and not yet sold. The committee 
expect to engage the services of one of the pastors for 
the coming winter. 

Another question discussed was " Household Duties " ; 
when the divine constitution of the family was made to 
bear against polygamy. This subject bore heavily upon 
the principal men of these villages, who were present and 
heard it all. It will doubtless cause some searchings of 
heart, which we hope will result in changed lives. 

340 MARY AND I. 

On Saturday afternoon a woman s meeting was held, 
which was peculiarly interesting in consequence of Miss 
Whipple s unexpected translation. She has worked 
herself very much into the hearts of these Teeton 

Our whole meeting was closed by the services of the 
Sabbath. John P. Williamson preached an impressive 
sermon in Dakota; John Eastman led in the service of 
song at the organ ; two of the native pastors administered 
the Supper of our Lord ; Gray-haired Bear and Estelle 
Duprey were united in marriage ; C. H. Howard of The 
Advance, made a good talk to the Dakotas on Christian 
work through the Holy Spirit s help, and led in an Eng 
lish Bible reading ; and finally, John B. Renville gave us 
a wonderful series of pictures on the "Glory of Heaven" 
what man s eye hath not seen man s ear hath not 
heard and man s heart hath not conceived. We shall 
long remember the meeting at Peoria bottom, and we 
shall expect to see results in the progress of truth in the 
minds and hearts of these Teetons. 

The Forty Years are completed. In the meantime, 
many workers have fallen out of the ranks, but the work 
has gone on. It has been marvelous in our eyes. At the 
beginning, we were surrounded by the whole Sioux na 
tion, in their ignorance and barbarism. At the close we 
are surrounded by churches with native pastors. Quite a 
section of the Sioux nation has become, in the main, 
civilized and Christianized. The entire Bible has been 
translated into the language of the Dakotas. The work 
of education has been rapidly progressing. The Episco 
palians, entering the field many years after we did, have 
nevertheless, with more men and more means at their 
command, gone beyond us in the occupation of the wilder 


portions. Their work has enlarged into the bishopric of 
Niobrara, which is admirably filled by Bishop Hare. 
Thus God has been showing us, by his providence and 
his grace, that the red men too may come into the 










CORNELIA MARGARET, daughter of Hon. John B. Fos 
ter and Catharine McGaw Foster, was born in Bangor, 
Me., March 19, 1848. Very soon after she left us, on 
August 5, 1878, there appeared appreciative testimonials 
of her life and character in the Advance, in the lapi 
Oaye, and in Life and Light. In preparing this mono 
graph, the writer will make free use of all these materials. 

Rev. R. B. Howard, while in the Theological Seminary 
at Bangor, knew her as Nina Foster, " a golden-haired, 
fair-cheeked, gracefully formed little Sabbath-school 
scholar of ten, at the Central Church. Her quick, laugh 
ing eye, her sensitive face reflecting every changing 
thought, her constant companionship of an only sister a 
little taller, her ready answers to all Sabbath-school 
questions, her intelligent appreciation of the sermons, 
and her sunshiny presence at school and at home, were 
among the impressions which her childhood gave. 

" She lacked no means of cultivating the rare powers 
of mind which she early developed. Many things she 
seemed to learn intuitively. Her scholarship was bright, 


346 MARY AND I. 

quick, accurate. Literature was her delight. Her 
mother s father, Judge McGaw, whose white locks and 
venerable presence then honored Bangor, was an inter 
ested and judicious guide in the home reading. 

"In social life few shone more brilliantly, or were 
more admired and sought after. In those days, the 
beauty of person of the young lady was of a rare and 
noticeable type. Her conversational powers were fasci 
nating. She had by nature genuine histrionic talent, 
and in conversation, reading, or reciting seemed to be 
completely the person she sought to represent. On one 
occasion, by a slight change of dress, voice, and manner, 
she appeared as an aged widow, pleading with a high 
officer of the government at Washington, to help her 
find her son, lost in the troublous times of the war." 

The "only sister, a little taller," Mrs. Katie Foster 
Howard, thus testifies of Nina s early life : 

" When a little child, from eight to twelve years old, 
she and some of her companions formed a praying 
circle, and had a little room in one of their homes which 
they called The House of Prayer. They met often in 
this room, and delighted to decorate it after their childish 

" Another favorite occupation was the teaching of some 
poor children whom she and one or two friends brought 
out of their dreary homes to the church vestibule, and 
there taught to sew and read. 

" When eleven years old she was examined by the 
pastor and church officers for admission to the church ; 
they asked her how long she had loved Jesus, and she 
answered, Oh, a great many years. " 

Mrs. Howard speaks of her sister as " the little girl in 
the Eastern home, whose spirituelle face, with its halo of 


golden hair, seemed so much more of heaven than of 
earth as to cause the frequent, anxious comment that 
this world could not long detain her. An active, happy 
child among her playmates, her thoughts were often upon 
heavenly things, and her desire was to turn theirs thither 
ward, yet without anything morbid or unchildlike in her 

"As she grew to womanhood, she was the delight of 
the home which so tenderly shielded her from every rude 
blast, and of a large circle of attached friends. She 
possessed those charms of person and manners and 
qualities of mind which won admiration, and peculiarly 
fitted her to enjoy and adorn society. So when the time 
came for her to change this for a secluded life, many 
regretted that the fine gold should be sent where baser 
metal, as they thought, would do as well ; that the noble 
woman, so eminently fitted for usefulness in circles of 
refinement, should spend her life among the degraded and 
unappreciative savages. But the event has proved that 
only such a nature, abounding in resources, could be the 
animating spirit of a model home in the wilderness ; which 
should be an object-lesson of Christian culture not only 
to the Indian but to the army people, who were her only 
white neighbors, and who for her sake could look with 
interest on a work too often an object of contempt. And 
thus the reflex influence upon those who missed her from 
their number, or met her as she journeyed to her field of 
labor, has been in proportion to the grace of her refine 
ment and the depth and breadth of her character. God, 
who spared not his own Son, still gives his choicest ones 
to the salvation of men." 

While on a visit to Chicago, in the family of her sister, 
she first became acquainted with Thomas L. Riggs, then 

348 MAKY AND I. 

a student in the theological seminary. Their mutual 
love soon compelled her to consider what it would be to 
share in his life-work. She recognized its hardships and 
deprivations as could hardly have been expected in one 
so inexperienced in life s trials. She afterward often 
playf ully said she was " not a missionary, only a mission 
ary s wife." But it was a double consecration, joyous 
and entire, to the life of wife and missionary. 

Thomas and Nina were married at her home in Bangor, 
December 26, 1872. It is said, "Christian people, and 
even Christian ministers, were inclined to say, Why this 
waste ? Some did say it. Some spoke in bitter and 
almost angry condemnation of her course. That this 
beautiful and accomplished girl, eminently fitted to adorn 
any society, should devote herself to a missionary life, 
occasioned much comment in the social circle in which 
she had been prominent. What could she do for the 
coarse, degraded Indian women, that might not be better 
done by a less refined, sensitive, and elevated nature? 
Why shut up her beauty and talents in the log cabin of 
an Indian missionary ? It was a shock to some who had 
preached self-sacrifice, and a painful surprise to many 
who had been praying the Lord of the harvest to send 
laborers. But none of these things moved her. There 
has seldom been a sweeter and more lovely bride. 
The parents too made the consecration, while they 
wrestled in spirit. The father writes : " I gave her up 
when she left us on that winter s night. It was a hard 
struggle, but I think I gave her unconditionally to God, 
to whom she so cheerfully gave herself." 

At this season of the year, it was not possible for Nina 
to accompany her husband to Fort Sully, and so he left 
her at Gen. C. H. Howard s, near Chicago, to come on in 


the early spring. This was my first opportunity of 
becoming acquainted with " Mitakosh Washta," as I soon 
learned to call her. General Howard accompanied her to 
Sioux City, and then I became her escort by railroad and 
stage to Santee agency, and thence by steamboat to 
Sully. The boat was nearly two weeks on the way, and 
we took on two companies of United States troops at 
Fort Randall. The officers soon manifested a marked 
admiration for the beauty and culture of the Bangor 
lady ; so that afterward, in alluding to this little episode, 
I used playfully to say to Nina that I was rejoiced when 
Thomas, coming down the Missouri in his skiff, met us 
and took charge of his bride. 

We had but a few weeks to spend at Fort Sully, until 
we should start down to the meeting of our annual Con 
ference, which was held in June that year, at the Yankton 
agency. But those weeks were full of pleasure to Nina. 
Everything was new and strange. She was devoid of 
fear when she sat in the iron skiff, and crossed the Big 
Muddy with her husband at the helm. The time came 
to go down. It was nearly noon on Monday when we 
were ready to start ; but, by hard driving, we were able 
to reach Rev. John P. Williamson s more than 200 
miles by the afternoon of Thursday. Secretary S. J. 
Humphrey, from Chicago, was there, and afterward 
wrote that for T. L. Riggs and the father, who were 
accustomed to hard traveling and sleeping on the ground, 
it was nothing very strange ; but for one reared as Nina 
had been, it was simply wonderful. 

This was the first meeting of Martha Riggs Morris 
with her new sister. When the latter had gone beyond 
our ken, Martha wrote an appreciative article for the 
Word Carrier: "Let me give something," she wrote, 

350 MARY AND I. 

" of the little glimpses I have had of her brave, cheery 
life. I may first go back to the time when we first heard 
of Nina Foster who thought enough of T. L. Riggs and 
the Indian work to help him in it. That was in the 
spring-time. A few months later, Thomas had a hard 
ride across from Fort Sully to Sisseton on horseback, 
accompanied by a soldier for guard and an Indian for 
guide. He came to attend the annual Conference of the 
Dakota churches, and he showed us a picture of the 
young lady herself. A beautiful face, we all thought it 
was. And from what we heard of Nina Foster, we were 
all prepared to take her into our hearts, as we did when 
we saw her afterward. 

" It was in June of the year following that I had my 
first glimpse of her. I had myself taken a tedious jour 
ney of some three hundred miles, and the years as well as 
the journey had worn upon me. So I felt some trepida 
tion about meeting the blooming bride. But, on seeing 
her, that soon vanished, and I had nothing left but 
admiration for the beautiful sister. She told so merrily 
how they had strapped her in, to keep her from falling 
out of the wagon, and other incidents of her unaccus 
tomed journey. There was an evident determination to 
make the best of every experience." 

A little while after this Mrs. Morris was called to lay 
away her blue-eyed boy out of sight. Then Nina s letter 
was very comforting. " I have wept," she says, " with 
you for the dear little baby form laid away from your 
arms to its last sleep ; and I think of your words, Noth 
ing to do any more. Ah ! my dear sister, He will not 
so leave you comfortless. He who forgot not, in the last 
hours of his earthly life, to give to the aching mother- 
heart a new care and love, will not forget, I think, to 


bestow on your emptied hands some new duty which 
shall grow to be a joy." 

At the meeting of the American Board at Minneapolis 
in the autumn of 1873, Mrs. Nina Riggs was present, and 
addressed the ladies of the Woman s Board, asking for a 
young lady companion in her far-off field. To this call 
Miss Lizzie Bishop of Northfield responded, and gave 
the remainder of her bright, true life to help on the 
work at Fort Sully. Nina visited her sister in Chicago, 
and charmed them all by reciting her strange experi 
ences of the summer. " Her buoyant spirits and faculty 
for seeing the droll side of everything helped to make 
the sketch a bright one. Her sense of humor and keen 
wit has lightened many a load for herself and others ; 
the more forlorn and hopeless the situation, the more 
elastic her spirits. How often have those of her own 
household, wearied with severe labor and weighed down 
with care, been compelled to laugh, almost against their 
will, by her irresistible drollery, and thus the current of 
thought was turned and the burden half thrown aside." 

In the summer of 1874 baby Theodore was born, and 
none from Fort Sully came to our annual meeting. On 
my way from a visit to Fort Berthold, down the Mis 
souri River, I stopped off for a few days. They were 
then occupying Hope Station, across the river from the 
fort. Both Miss Bishop and Mrs. Nina Riggs I found 
very enthusiastic over their work for the Teeton women. 

When another year had been completed, Lizzie Bishop 
had gone home to die, and Nina Riggs made a visit to 
her friends in the East. The Board met in Chicago that 
autumn, and Mrs. Riggs again addressed the ladies. 
"Two years ago," she said, "at a meeting in Minneapo 
lis, I made a request which was promptly answered. I 

352 MARY AND I. 

asked for a young lady to go back with me to the mis 
sion work. I find her name is not on the rolls. But if 
ever a brave life should be recorded, and the name of an 
earnest woman be loved and remembered by all, it is 
that of Miss Lizzie Bishop of Northfield, Minn. We 
had hoped that she might return, but the Lord has not 
seen fit to allow that. He calls her to himself soon. 
For the past two years I have been at different stations. 
I was at Hope Station, on the west side of the Missouri. 
Now I am at Bogue Station, fifteen miles below Fort 
Sully, on the east side. Since I have been there, I have 
met a great many women. At first they all seemed to 
me very degraded; but I have come not only to feel 
interested in many of them, but to love some of them 
with a very deep love." So spake Nina ; and when she 
sat down, a telegram was read that the good and brave 
Lizzie Bishop had already entered in through the gates 
of pearl, into "Jerusalem the golden." 

Two others, Miss Mary C. Collins and Miss Emma- 
retta Whipple, were ready to start back with Mrs. 
Riggs. So the vacant place was more than filled, and 
they all girded themselves for a hard winter s work. 

A little before this time, Nina sent to the Word 
Carrier a short bit of poetry, which seems to embody 
her own wrestling with doubt in others. The last stanza 
reads : 

" With daring heart, I too have tried 

To know the height and depth of God above; 
And can I wonder that I too walked blind, 

And felt stern Justice in the place of Love ? 
Above the child, the sun shines on ; 

Above me too One reigns I cannot see; 
Yet all around I feel both warmth and power; 

If God is not, whence can their coming be ? " 


In September, 1876, the great gathering of the Dakota 
mission was held in the new Ascension church, on the 

, Sisseton reservation. Mrs. Morris writes : " We looked 
out eagerly for the travelers from Fort Sully way. We 
hoped they would come a few days beforehand, so that 
we might have more of their companionship. But they 
did not come. And as we had to be on hand in the 
Ascension neighborhood, ten miles away, to entertain the 

. missionaries that might come, we shut up our house, and 
went on without the Fort Sully friends. It was Friday 
noon when they arrived, and received a glad welcome 
from all." 

Thomas and Nina and their little lad Theodore, now 
two years old, who amused every one with his quaint 
sayings, together with Miss Collins and Miss Whipple, 
with all their personal and camping baggage, had been 
packed for eight days into a small two-horse buggy. 
The journey of 250 miles, the way they traveled, over 
a country uninhabited, was not without its romance. 
" Not the least of the enjoyment of this feast of days, 
were the bits of talk sandwiched in here and there be 
tween meetings, and caring for the children and provid 
ing for the guests. As we baked the bread and watched 
over the two cousins, Theodore and Mary Theodora, so 
nearly of an age, we had many a pleasant chat Nina 
and I. She gave me an insight into their happy home- 
life, and I longed to know more. She told, too, of her 
special work in visiting the homes of the Teetons, and 
prescribing for the sick. At the special meeting held for 
the women, Nina made a few remarks, winning all hearts 
by her grace of manners, as well as by her lovely face. 
Now that she is gone, the Dakota women speak of her 
as the beautiful woman who spoke so well, " 

354 MARY AND I. 

" To all who come I wish my home to seem a pleasant 
home," is a remark which Miss Collins accredits to Nina. 
So indeed we found it in the months of August and Sep 
tember of 1877. The dear Miss Whipple had just 
stepped into the boat at Chicago which carried her to 
the farther shore. Miss Collins was mourning over her 
departed comrade while making out the visit to her 
friends. By appointment I met on the way, Gen. 
Charles H. Howard of the Advance, who, with his fam- 
ily, was bound for Fort Sully. We were prospered in 
our journey up the Missouri, and gladly welcomed into 
the mission home on Peoria bottom. The two sisters 
met and passed some happy weeks in the home of the 
younger one. Mrs. Howard thus describes that home in 
those August days : " Its treeless waste lay under a 
scorching sun. Beneath a bluff which overlooks the 
river lowlands, nestled a solitary green enclosure around 
a long, low dwelling, whose aspect was of comfort and 
of home. The sunshine which withered the surrounding 
country was not the gentle power under which had 
sprung up this oasis in the desert. The light within the 
house, whose sweet radiance beautified the humble dwell 
ing, and shone forth upon the wilderness around, was 
the fair soul, whose heaven-reflected glory touched all 
who came within its ray." 

To the same effect is Miss Collins testimony : " I 
think no one ever entered her home without feeling that 
the very house was purified by her presence. I remem 
ber well just how she studied our different tastes. She 
knew every member of the family thoroughly ; and our 
happiness was consulted in all things." So we all 
thought. Nina presided in her own home, albeit that 
home was in Dakota land, with a queenly grace. 


About the middle of that September our annual Con 
ference met in their new and not yet finished chapel, on 
Peoria bottom. Miss Collins did not get back until the 
close of the meeting. Besides her guests, Mrs. Nina 
Kiggs had a good deal of company from Fort Sully and 
the agency. But it was all entertained with the same 
quiet dignity. Of this visit to her sister, Mrs. Howard 
wrote afterward : "I do not know how to be grateful 
enough that we spent last summer (1877) together; it is 
a season of blessed memory." 

To this I add : I too have one last picture of Nina in 
my memory. I was to return to Sisseton with the Ind 
ians who had come over to our annual Conference. They 
went up on Monday to Cheyenne agency to get rations 
for the journey. On Tuesday afternoon Thomas arranged 
to take me out fifteen miles to meet them. Thinking they 
would go out and return that evening a party was made 
up. The two sisters, Mrs. Howard and Nina, and little 
Theodore and Thomas and myself in a buggy, and 
Gen. C. H. Howard and "Mack" on ponies, we had a 
pleasant ride out. But it was too late for them to return. 
The Dakota friends gave us of their fresh meat, and 
with the provisions Nina had bountifully supplied for my 
journey, we all made a good supper and breakfast, and 
had an abundance left. The next morning we separated. 
That was my last sight of Nina. 

In midsummer of 1878, the time for her departure 
came. She seemed to have a premonition of its coming. 
Miss Collins writes : " The last summer of her precious 
life seemed a very fitting one for the last. She labored 
earnestly for the conversion of her boy, and said : If I 
should die and leave my boy, I should feel so much bet 
ter satisfied to go if he had that stronghold, " 

356 MARY AND I. 

In the Word Carrier for September appeared this 
notice: "Our beloved Nina Foster Riggs, wife of Rev. 
T. L. Riggs of Bogue Station, near Fort Sully, has heard 
the Master s call, and gone up higher. She was taken 
away in child-birth, on the 5th of August. Hers was a 
beautiful life, blossoming out into what we supposed 
would be a grand fruitage of blessing to the Dakotas. It 
is cut off suddenly ! * Even so, Father, for so it seemeth 
good in thy sight. IVe are dumb, because tliou didst it ! " 

Two days after her death, Thomas wrote: "Dear 
Father Mitakosh Washta has been taken from us. My 
good Nina has gone. She was taken sick Saturday night. 
Before the light of the Sabbath, violent convulsions had 
set in. We got the post surgeon and Mrs. Crocker here 
as soon as possible ; but, though every effort was made, 
the spasms could not be prevented, and our dear one sank 
gradually out of reach. Early Monday morning, after 
child-birth, the mother seemed to brighten a bit; but 
soon our gladness was turned to sadness, for she did not 
rally. God took her. She was his. We buried the 
body the beautiful house of the more beautiful spirit 
in the yard near her window, yesterday. May God help 

Only a few days before, a kind Providence had guided 
Arther H. Day, a cousin of Nina s, from his work in the 
office of the Advance, in Chicago, and Robert B. Riggs 
from his teaching in Beloit College, up to Peoria bottom, 
for a little rest. And so they were there to help and 
give sympathy. Of this event Mr. Day wrote : " Rarely 
is it the lot of one so blessed with loving relatives and 
friends to pass away surrounded by so few to sympathize, 
and to be buried with so few to weep. Three relatives 
and nine other white friends stood alone by her grave. 


and the many hundreds in the far East knew not of the 
scene. I say white friends, because I would not ignore 
the presence of those many dusky faces which looked on 
in sorrow, because their friend was dead. 

" About noon on Tuesday, August 6, the funeral ser 
vice was conducted by Chaplain Crocker. The same 
hymn was sung that, by Nina s own choice, had been sung 
at her wedding : 

" * Guide me, O thou great Jehovah. 

One room of the house was filled with Indians, and the 
service was partly in the native language. Her grave 
was made near the window of her room, where she so 
often had beheld the sunset ; and as kindly hands laid 
her body there, surrounded by beautiful flowers, the chap 
lain said : Never was more precious dust laid in Dakota 
soil never more hopeful seed planted for a spiritual har 
vest among the Dakota people. : 

This beautiful summing-up of her character appeared as 
an editorial in the Advance, by Rev. Simeon Gilbert : 

" Here was a young woman of extraordinary beauty of person, 
of still more noticeable symmetry and completeness of mental en 
dowment, sweetness and nobility of disposition, brightness and 
elasticity of temperament; quickly, keenly sympathetic with 
others joys and sorrows but who had never known a grief of 
her own; converted in infancy, reared in one of the happiest of 
earnest Christian homes, and favored with as fine social and edu 
cational advantages as the country affords; with too much sense 
to be affected by mere romance, yet deeply alive to all the 
poetry alike in literature and in real life; and withal, from early 
childhood, with a spiritual imagination exquisitely alive to the 
realness and the nearness of unseen things, and the all-controlling 
sweep of the motives springing therefrom; rarely does one meet 
a young person better fitted at once to enjoy and to adorn what is 

358 MARY AND I. 

best in American Christian homes. At the age of twenty-four 
she marries a young man just out of the seminary, and goes forth 
with him beyond the frontiers of civilization, into the very heart 
f savage Indian tribes. What a sacrifice; what a venture; what 
cvrtain-coming solicitudes, perils, cares, deprivations, hardships, 
loneliness, and mountainous discouragements! And there for the 
short period of less than five years she lives, when suddenly the 
young missionary is left alone, longing for the touch of a van 
ished hand and the sound of a voice that is still. 

" Now, a case like this must set one to studying over again what, 
after all, is the true philosophy of life, and what, on the whole, 
is the wisest economy of personal forces in the church s work of 
Christianizing the world. As helping to a right answer, let us 
note a few facts : 

"1. It costs to save a lost world; and nothing is wasted that 
serves well that end. God himself has given for this purpose the 
choicest, the highest, and the best which it was possible for even 
him to give. 

"2. Heathen people, even savages, as we call them, are not in 
sensible to the unique fascination, and power to subdue and inspire, 
which belong to what is really most beautiful in aspect, manner, 
mind, and character. Often it is to them as if they had seen a 
vision, or dreamed a startling dream of possibilities of which they 
had known nothing, and could have known nothing, until they 
saw it, and the sight awakened into being and action the diviner 
elements of their own hidden nature. The Word of God is one 
form of revelation, but the work of God in a peculiarly complete 
and lovely character is another revelation, and one that unmistak 
ably interprets itself. There is as much need of the one as there 
is of the other. The light of the knowledge of the glory of God 
:n the face of Christ must, in most cases at least, first be seen 
reflected in the face of some of his disciples. The more dense 
the darkness, the more intense must be the shining of the love 
and the beauty of the truth which are to enlighten, captivate, lead 
forth, and refine. Among all the teepees and huts of that Indian 
reservation, as also throughout the barracks and quarters of the 
military post at Fort Sully, Mrs. Riggs was known, and the potent 
charm of her personal influence and home-life was deeply felt. It 
is largely due to such persons that the cause of missions, even 
among the most degraded, commands the respect, if not the 


veneration, of those who otherwise might have looked on deri 

" 3. Nor, again, are the lives of such persons wasted as regards 
their influence upon those who knew them, or shall come to know 
of them; at home. How far that little candle throws its beams; 
so shines a good example ; and in instances like these it shines 
more effectively than, perhaps, in any other circumstances would 
have been possible. If one were to mention a score of American 
women who have exerted most influence in determining the best 
characteristics of American women, half of them, we suspect, 
would be names of the women who, leaving home and coun 
try, went far forth seeking to multiply similar homes in other 

"4. Nor, again, is the strangely beautiful life wasted because cut 
short so early in its course. The ointment most precious was 
never more so than when its box was broken and the odor of it 
filled all the house. This that this young missionary has done, 
animated by the love of the Master and a sacred passion for lift 
ing up the lowly, will be spoken of as a memorial of her in all 
the churches; and in not a few homes, of the rich as of the poor, 
will be felt the sweet constraint of her beautiful, joyous, conse 
crated life. She was not alone; there are many more like her; 
and, best of all, there are to be vastly more yet, who will not be 
deaf to the high calling. The Master has need of them. The 
way, on the whole, is infinitely attractive. Thanks for the life of 
this woman who did so much, from first to last, to make it ap 
pear so ! 

" And thanks too for such a death, which, coming in the sweet- 
st and completest blooming of life s beauty, when not a fault 
had stayed to mar it, and no w r asting had ever touched it an 
ending which transfigures all that came before it, and which now, 
in the mingling of retrospect and prospect, helps those who knew 
her to a deeply surprised sense of the fact that, 

To Death it is given, 
To see how this world is embosomed in heaven. " 

To us, who are blind and cannot see afar off, it is im 
possible to perceive, and difficult to believe, that the 
taking away in the vigor of womanhood of one who was 



showing such a capacity and adaptability for the work of 
elevating the Teetons can be made to subserve the fur 
therance of the cause of Christ. But we must believe 
that God, who sees the end from the beginning, and who 
makes no mistakes, will bring out of this sore bereave 
ment a harvest of joy ; and that that grave under the 
window of the mission house in Peoria bottom will be a 
testimony to the love of Jesus and the power of his Gos 
pel, that will thrill and uplift many hearts from Bangor 
to Fort Sully. It was a beautiful life of faith and ser 
vice ; and it has only gone to be perfected in the shadow 
of the Tree of Life. 

S. R. R. 



BORN and brought up in Litchfield county, in a town 
adjoining Washington, Connecticut, Rev. George Bush- 
nell visited that hill country in his youth, and was 
deeply impressed with the manifest and pervading 
religious element in the community. Taken there 
by a special providence, more than a quarter of a 
century ago, and enjoying the privilege of a visit in 
some of the families, it seemed to me that it had been 
a good place to raise men. This was on the line of the 
impression made upon me years before that. When I 
first met, in the land of the Dakotas, the brothers Sam 
uel W. and Gideon H. Pond, they were both over six 
feet high, and " seemed the children of a king." 

In this hill town of Washington, on the 30th of June, 
1810, Gideon Hollister, the younger of the two brothers, 
was born. His parents \vere Elnathan Judson and Sarah 
Hollister Pond. Gideon was the fifth child, and so was 
called by the Dakotas Ilakay. Of his childhood and 
youth almost nothing is known to the writer. He had 
the advantage of a New England common-school educa 
tion ; perhaps nothing more. As he grew very rapidly 
and came to the size and strength of man early, he made 
a full hand in the harvest field at the age of sixteen. To 
this ambition to be counted a man and do a man s work 


362 MARY AND I. 

when as yet he should have been a boy, he in after life 
ascribed some of his infirmities. This ambition con 
tinued with him through life, and occasional over-work at 
last undermined a constitution that might, with care and 
God s blessing, have continued to the end of the century. 

He came to the land of the Dakotas, now Minnesota, 
in the spring of 1834. The older brother, Samuel, had 
come out as far as Galena, 111., in the summer previous. 
The pioneer minister of that country of lead was Rev. 
Aratus Kent, who desired to retain Mr. Pond as an 
adjutant in his great and constantly enlarging work; 
but Mr. Pond had heard of the Sioux, or Dakotas, for 
whose souls no one cared, and, having decided to go to 
them, he sent for his brother Gideon to accompany him. 

When they reached Fort Snelling, and made known 
their errand to the commanding officer of the post, 
Major Bliss, and to the resident Indian agent, Major 
Taliaferro, they received the hearty approval and co-op 
eration of both, and the agent at once recommended 
them to commence work with the Dakotas of the Lake 
Calhoun village, where some steps had already been 
taken in the line of civilization. There, on the margin 
of the lake, they built their log cabin. Last summer 
Mr. King s grand Pavilion, so called, was completed on 
the same spot, which gave occasion for Mr. Gideon H. 
Pond to tell the story of this first effort in that line : 

"Just forty-three years previous to the occurrence above al 
luded to, 011 the same beautiful site, was completed an humble 
edifice, built by the hands of two inexperienced New England 
boys, just setting out in life-work. The foundation-stones of that 
hut were removed to make place for the present Pavilion, per 
chance compose a part of it. The old structure was of oak logs, 
carefully peeled. The peeling was a mistake. Twelve feet by 


sixteen, and eight feet high, were the dimensions of the edifice. 
Straight poles from the tamarack grove west of the lake formed 
the timbers of the roof, and the roof itself was of the bark of trees 
which grew on the bank of what is now called Bassett s Creek, 
fastened with strings of the inner bark of the bass wood. A par 
tition of small logs divided the house into two rooms, and split 
logs furnished material for a floor. The ceiling was of slabs from 
the old government saw-mill, through the kindness of Major 
Bliss, who was in command of Fort Snelling. The door was 
made of boards split from a log with an axe, having wooden 
hinges and fastenings, and was locked by pulling in the latch- 
string. The single window was the gift of the kind-hearted Major 
Lawrence Taliaferro, United States Indian agent. The cash cost 
of the building was one shilling, New York currency, for nails 
used in and about the door. * The formal opening exercises 
consisted in reading a section from the old book by the name of 
BIBLE, and prayer to Him who was its acknowledged author. 
The banquet consisted of mussels from the lake, flour and 
water. The ground was selected by the Indian chief of the 
Lake Calhoun band of Dakotas, Man-of-the-sky, by which 
he showed good taste. The reason he gave for the selection 
was that from that point the loons would be visible on the 

" The old chief and his pagan people had their homes on the 
surface of that ground in the bosom of which now sleep the 
bodies of deceased Christians from the city of Minneapolis, 
the Lake Wood cemetery, over which these old eyes have 
witnessed, dangling in the night breeze, many a Chippewa 
scalp, in the midst of horrid chants, yells, and wails, widely 
contrasting with the present stillness of that quiet home of 

Who sleep the years away. 

That hut was the home of the first citizen settlers of Hennepin 
county, perhaps of Minnesota, the first school-room, the first 
house for divine worship, and the first mission station among the 
Dakota Indians." 

The departure of Mr. Pond called forth from Gen. 
Henry H. Sibley so just and beautiful a tribute, that I 

364 MARY AND I. 

can not forbear inserting a portion, from the Pioneer 
Press of St. Paul : 

" When the writer came to this country, in 1834, he did not ex 
pect to meet a single white man, except those composing the 
garrison at Fort Snelling, a few government officials attached to 
the department of Indian affairs, and the traders and voyageurs 
employed by the great fur company in its business. There was 
but one house, or, rather, log cabin, along the entire distance of 
nearly 300 miles between Prairie du Chien and St. Peters, now 
Mendota, and that was at a point below Lake Pepin, near the 
present town of Wabashaw. What was his surprise then to find 
that his advent had been preceded in the spring of the same year 
by two young Americans, Samuel W. Pond and Gideon H. Pond, 
brothers, scarcely out of their teens, who had built for them 
selves a small hut at the Indian village of Lake Calhouu, and 
had determined to consecrate their lives to the work of civilizing 
and Christianizing the wild Sioux. For many long years these 
devoted men labored in the cause, through manifold diffi 
culties and discouragements, sustained by a faith that the seed 
sown would make itself manifest in God s good time. The ef 
forts then made to reclaim the savages from their mode of life, 
the influence of their blameless and religious walk and conversa 
tion upon those with whom they were brought in daily contact, 
and the self-denial and personal sacrifices required at their 
hands, are doubtless treasured up in a higher than human 

General Sibley mentions an incident belonging to this 
period of their residence at Lake Calhoun, which never 
before came to my knowledge : 

" Gifted with an uncommonly fine constitution, the subject of 
this sketch met with an accident in his early days, from the effects 
of which it is questionable if he ever entirely recovered. He 
broke through the ice at Lake Harriet in the early part of the 
winter, and as there was no one at hand to afford aid, he only 
saved his life after a desperate struggle, by continuing to fracture 
the frozen surface until he reached shallow water, when he sue- 


ceeded in extricating himself. His long immersion and exhaustive 
efforts brought on a severe attack of pneumonia, which for many 
days threatened a fatal termination." 

My own personal acquaintance with Mr. Pond com 
menced in the summer of 1837. He was then, and had 
been for a year previous, at Lac-qui-parle. In September 
my wife and I joined that station, and the first event 
occurring after that, which has impressed itself upon my 
memory, was the marriage of Mr. Pond and Miss Sarah 
Poao-e, sister of Mrs. Dr. Williamson. This was the 

o . 

first marriage ceremony I had been called upon to per 
form ; and Mr. Pond signalized it by making a feast, and 
calling, according to the Saviour s injunction, "the poor, 
the maimed, the halt, and the blind." And there was a 
plenty of such to be called in that Dakota village. They 
could not recompense him, but " he shall be recompensed 
at the resurrection of the just." 

Mr. Pond had long been yearning to see what was in 
side of an Indian. He sometimes said he wanted to be an 
Indian, if only for a little while, that he might know how 
an Indian felt, and by what motives he could be moved. 
When the early spring of 1838 came, and the ducks 
began to come northward, a half-dozen Dakota families 
started from Lac-qui-parle to hunt and trap on the upper 
part of the Chippewa River, in the neighborhood of 
where the town of Benson now is. Mr. Pond went 
with them and was gone two weeks. It was in the 
month of April, and the streams were flooded and the 
water was cold. There should have been enough of 
game easily obtained to feed the party. But it did not 
prove so. A cold spell came on, the ducks disappeared, 
and Mr. Pond and his Indian hunters were reduced to 

366 MARY AND I. 

scanty fare, and sometimes they had nothing for a whole 
day. But Mr. Pond was seeing inside of Indians and 
was quite willing to starve a good deal. However, his 
stay with them, and their hunt for that time as well, was 
suddenly terminated, by the appearance of the Ojibwa 
chief Hole-in-the-Day and ten men with him. They came 
to smoke the peace-pipe, they said. They were royally 
feasted by three of the families, who killed their dogs 
to feed the strangers, who, in turn, arose in the night 
and killed the Dakotas. As God would have it, Mr. 
Pond was not then with those three tents, and so he 

No one had started with more of a determination to 
master the Dakota language than Gideon H. Pond. And 
no one of the older missionaries succeeded so well in 
learning to talk just like a Dakota. Indeed, he must 
have had a peculiar aptitude for acquiring language ; for 
in these first years of missionary life, he learned to read 
French and Latin and Greek, so that the second Mrs. 
Pond writes : " When I came, and for a number of 
years, he read from the Greek Testament at our family 
worship in the morning. Afterward he used his Latin 
Bible, and still later his French Testament." 

In this line of literary work General Sibley s testimony 
is appreciative. He says : 

" Indeed, to them, and to their veteran co-laborers, Rev. T. S. 
Williamson and Rev. S. R. Riggs, the credit is to be ascribed of 
having produced this rude and rich Dakota tongue to the learned 
world in a written and systematic shape, the lexicon prepared by 
their joint labors forming one of the publications of the Smith 
sonian Institute at Washington City, which has justly elicited the 
commendation of experts in philological lore, as a most valuable 
contribution to that branch of literature," 


While Mr. Pond was naturally ambitious, he was also 
peculiarly sensitive and retiring. When the writer was 
left with him at Lac-qui-parle, Dr. Williamson having 
gone to Ohio for the winter, although so much better 
master of the Dakota than I was at that time, he was un 
willing to take more than a secondary part in the Sabbath 
services. "Dr. Williamson and you are ministers," he 
would say. And even years afterward, when he and his 
family had removed to the neighborhood of Fort Snelling, 
and he and his brother had built at Oak Grove, with the 
people of their first love, Gideon H. could hardly be per 
suaded that it was his duty to become a preacher of the 
Gospel. I remember more than one long conversation I 
had with him on the subject. He seemed to shrink from 
it as a little child, although he was then thirty-seven 
years old. 

In the spring of 1847, he and Mr. Robert Hopkins 
were licensed by the Dakota presbytery, and ordained in 
the autumn of 1848. We were not disappointed in our 
men. Mr. Hopkins gave evidence of large adaptation to 
the missionary work ; but in less than three years he 
heard the call of the Master, and went up through a flood 
of waters. Mr. Pond, notwithstanding his hesitation in 
accepting the office, became a most acceptable and efficient 
and successful preacher and pastor. 

After the treaties of 1851, these Lower Sioux were re 
moved to the Upper Minnesota. White people came in 
immediately and took possession of their lands. Mr. 
Pond elected to remain and labor among the white people. 
He very soon organized a church, which in a short time 
became a working, benevolent church for some years 
the banner Presbyterian church of Minnesota in the way 
of benevolence. When, in 1873, Mr. Pond resigned his 

368 MARY AND I. 

pastorate, he wrote in his diary, " I have preached to the 
people of Bloomington twenty years." He received home 
mission aid only a few years. 

We are very glad to have placed at our disposal so 
much of the private journal of the late Rev. G. H. Pond 
as relates to the wonderful work of God among the 
Dakotas in prison at Mankato, Minn., in the winter of 
1862-63. The facts, in the main, have been published 
before ; but the story, as told so simply and graphically 
by Mr. Pond, may well bear repeating. Mr. Pond arrived 
at Mankato Saturday, January 31, 1863, and remained 
until the afternoon of Tuesday, February 3 : 

14 There are over three hundred Indians in prison, the most of 
whom are in chains. There is a degree of religious interest mani 
fested by them, which is incredible. They huddle themselves to 
gether every morning and evening in the prison, and read the 
Scriptures, sing hymns, confess one to another, exhort one another, 
and pray together. They say that their whole lives have been 
wicked that they have adhered to the superstitions of their an 
cestors until they have reduced themselves to their present state of 
wretchedness and ruin. They declare that they have left it all, 
and will leave all forever ; that they do and will embrace the re 
ligion of Jesus Christ, and adhere to it as long as they live ; and 
that this is their only hope, both in this world and in the next. 
They say that before they came to this state of mind this deter 
mination their hearts failed them with fear, but now they have 
much mental ease and comfort. 

" About fifty men of the Lake Calhoun band expressed a wish 
to be baptized by me, rather than by any one else, on the ground 
that my brother and myself had been their first and chief in 
structors in religion. After consultation with Rev. Marcus Hicks 
of Mankato. Dr. Williamson and I decided to grant their request, 
and administer to them the Christian ordinance of baptism. We 
made the conditions as plain as we could, and we proclaimed 
there in the prison that we would baptize such as felt ready 
heartily to comply with the conditions commanding that none 


should come forward to receive the rite who did not do it heartily 
to the God of heaven, whose eye penetrated each of their hearts. 
All, by a hearty apparently hearty response, signified their 
desire to receive the rite on the conditions offered. 

"As soon as preparations could be completed, and we had pro 
vided ourselves with a basin of water, they came forward, one by 
one, as their names were called, and were baptized into the name 
of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, while each subject 
stood with his right hand raised and head bowed, and many of them 
with the eyes closed, with an appearance of profound reverence. 
As each one passed from the place where he stood to be baptized, 
one or the other of us stopped him and addressed to him, in a low 
voice, a few words, such as our knowledge of his previous character 
and the solemnities of the occasion suggested. The effect of this, 
in most cases, seemed to very much deepen the solemnity of the 
ceremony. I varied my words, in this part of the exercises, to suit 
the case of the person; and when gray-haired medicine-men stood 
literally trembling before me, as I laid one hand on their heads, 
the effect on my mind was such that at times my tongue faltered. 
The words which I used in this part of the service were the follow 
ing, or something nearly like them in substance : My brother, 
this is the mark of God which is placed upon you. You will 
carry it while you live. It introduces you into the great family of 
God, who looked down from heaven, not upon your head, but into 
your heart. This ends your superstition, and from this time you 
are to call God your Father. Remember to honor him. Be re 
solved to do his will. It made me glad to hear them respond, 
Yes, I will. 

" When we were through, and all were again seated, we sung a 
hymn appropriate to the occasion, in which many of them joined, 
and then prayed. I then said to them, Hitherto I have addressed 
you as friends ; now I call you brothers. For years we have con 
tended together on this subject of religion ; now our contentions 
cease. We have one Father we are one family. I must now 
leave you, and probably shall see you no more in this world. 
While you remain in this prison, you have time to attend to re 
ligion. You can do nothing else. Your adherence to the Medi 
cine Sack and the Wotawe has brought you to ruin. Our Lord 
Jesus Christ can save you. Seek him with all your heart. He 
looks not on your heads nor on your lips, but into your bosoms. 

370 MABY AND I. 

Brothers, I will make use of a term of brotherly salutation, to 
which you have been accustomed in your medicine dance, and 
say to you, Brothers, I spread my hands over you and bless 
you. The hearty answer of three hundred voices made me feel 

" The outbreak and events which followed it have, under God, 
broken into shivers the power of the priests of devils, which has 
hitherto ruled these wretched tribes. They were before bound in 
the chains and confined in the prison of Paganism, as the prisoners 
in the prison at Philippi were bound with chains. The outbreak 
and its attendant consequences have been like the earthquake to 
shake the foundation of their prison, and every one s bonds have 
been loosed. Like the jailer, in anxious fear they have cried, 
Sirs, what must we do to be saved ? They have been told to 
believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, who will still save unto the 
uttermost all that come unto God by him. They say they repent 
and forsake their sins that they believe on him, that they trust 
in him, and will obey him. Therefore they have been baptized 
into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy 
Ghost, three hundred in a day." 

In the spring of 1853, Mrs. Sarah Poage Pond de 
parted, after a lingering illness of eighteen months, and 
left a "blessed memory." There were seven children by 
this marriage, all of whom are living, and have families of 
their own, but George, who died while in the Lane Theo 
logical Seminary. In the summer of 1854, Mr. Pond was 
married to his second wife, Mrs. Agnes C. J. Hopkins, 
widow of Rev. Robert Hopkins. The second Mrs. Pond 
brought her three children, making the united family of 
children at that time ten. Six have been added since. 
And there are twenty-two grandchildren, six of whom 
are members of the Church of Christ, together with all 
the children and their companions. Is not that a success 
ful life? Counting the widowed mother and those who 
have come into the family by marriage, there are, I 


understand, just fifty who mourn the departure of the 
patriarch father. A little more than two-score years ago, 
he was one ; and now behold a multitude ! 

Mary Frances Hopkins, who came into the family when 
a girl, and afterward married Edward R. Pond, the son, 
writes thus : " To me he was as near an own father as it is 
possible for one to be who is so by adoption, and I shall 
always be glad I was allowed to call him father." 

The members of the synod of Minnesota will remem 
ber with great pleasure Mr. Pond s presence with them 
at their last meeting at St. Paul, in the middle of October. 
For some years past, he has frequently been unable to be 
present. This time he seemed to be more vigorous than 
usual, and greatly entertained the synod and people of 
St. Paul with his terse and graphic presentation of some 
of the Lord s workings in behalf of the Dakotas. 

During the meeting I was quartered with Mrs. Gov 
ernor Ramsay. On Saturday I was charged with a mes 
sage to Mr. Pond, inviting him to come and spend the 
night at the governor s. We passed a profitable evening 
together, and he and I talked long of the way in which 
the Lord had led us; of the great prosperity he had given 

us in our families and in our work. Neither of us thought, 


probably, that that would be our last talk this side the 
golden city. The next day, Sabbath, he preached in the 
morning, for Rev. D. R. Breed, in the House of Hope, 
which, probably, was his last sermon. In the evening he 
was with us in the Opera House, at a meeting in the in 
terest of home and foreign missions. 

" His health gradually failed," Mrs. Pond writes, " from 
the time of his return from synod, though he did not 
call himself sick until the llth of January, 1878, and he 
died on Sabbath, the 20th, about noon." She adds : " His 

372 MARY AND I. 

interest in the Indians, for whom he labored so long, was 
very deep, and he always spoke of them with loving ten 
derness, and often with tears. One of the last things he 
did was to look over his old Dakota hymns, revised by 
J. P. W. and A. L. R., and sent to him for his consent to 
the proposed alterations." 

" His simple faith in the Lord Jesus caused him all the 
time to live a life of self-denial, that he might do more 
to spread the knowledge of Jesus love to those who 
knew it not." The love of Christ constrained him, and 
was his ruling passion. 

Of his last days the daughter says : 

" He really died of consumption. The nine days he 
was confined to bed he suffered much ; but his mind was 
mostly clear, and he was very glad to go. I think the 
summons was no more sudden to him than to Elijah. He 
was to the last loving and trustful, brave and patient. 
To his brother Samuel, as he came to his sick bed, he 
said : c So we go to see each other die. Some time be 
fore he had visited Samuel when he did not expect to 
recover. < My struggles are over. The Lord has taken 
care of me, and he will take care of the rest of you. My 
hope is in the Lord, he said. 

" Toward the last it was hard for him to converse, and 
he bade us no formal farewell. But the words, as we 
noted them down, were words of cheer and comfort : 
You have nothing to fear, for the present or the future. 
And so was given to him the victory over death, through 
faith in Jesus." 

Is that dying f He sleeps with his fathers. He has 
gone to see the King in. his beauty r , in a land not very 
far off. 

As loving hands ministered to him in his sickness, lov- 


ing hearts mourned at his death. On the Wednesday 
following he was buried. A half a dozen brothers in the 
ministry were present at his funeral, and, fittingly, Mr. 
Breed of the House of Hope preached the sermon. 
This is success. 

S. R. R. 


IN the summer of 1874 Rev. John P. Williamson made 
a tour up the Missouri River as far as Fort Peck. His 
judgment was that there was no opening at that place 
for the establishment of a new mission, but that something 


might possibly be done by native Dakotas. In the mean 
time, we had heard from the regions farther north than 
Fort Peck, where some of our church-members had gone 
after the outbreak of 1862. Somewhere up in Manitoba, 
near Fort Ellice, was Henok Appearing Cloud, with his 
relatives. His mother, Mazaskawin, Silver- Woman, 
was a member of the Hazelwood church, and his father, 
Wamde-okeya, Eagle Help, had been my old helper 
in Dakota translations. These were all near relatives of 
Solomon Toonkanshaecheye, one of our native pastors. 

Dr. Williamson, by correspondence with the Presby 
terian Board, obtained an appropriation of several hun 
dred dollars to send a native missionary to these Dakotas 
in Canada. Solomon gladly accepted the undertaking, 
and in the month of June, 1875, started for Manitoba 
with Samuel Hopkins for a companion. 

They were received with a great deal of joy by their 
friends, who entreated them to stay, or come back again 
if they left. But provisions were very scarce, and hard 
to be obtained ; and hence they determined to return to 
the Sisseton agency before winter. While in Manitoba 
they had taught and preached the Gospel, and baptized 



and received several persons to the fellowship of the 
church. Solomon wrote, before he returned, "Indeed, 
there is no food ; they have laid up nothing at all ; so 
that, when winter comes, where they will obtain food, 
and how they will live, no one knows. But I have already 
found something of what I have been seeking, and very 
reluctantly I turn away from the work." 

Solomon and Samuel returned to Sisseton, but their 
visit had created a larger desire for education and the 
privileges of the Gospel. In the March following, Henok 
Appearing Cloud wrote that he had taught school during 
the winter, and conducted religious meetings, as he 
" wanted the Word of God to grow." In much sim 
plicity, he adds : " Although I am poor, and often starving, 
I keep my heart just as though I were rich. When I 
read again in the Sacred Book what Jesus, the Lord, lias 
promised us, my heart is glad. I am thinking, if a minis 
ter will only come this summer and stay with us a little 
while, our hearts will rejoice. If he comes to stay with 
us a long time, we will rejoice more. But as we are so 
often in a starving condition, I know it will be hard for 
any one to come." 

Rev. John Black of Keldonan Manse, near Winnipeg, 
heard of this visit of Solomon to Manitoba, and of the 
desire of those Dakotas to have a missionary. He at 
once became deeply interested in the movement, and 
wrote to Dr. Williamson, at St. Peter, proposing that the 
Presbyterian Missionary Society of Canada should take 
upon themselves the charge of supporting Solomon as a 
missionary among the Dakotas of the Dominion. But 
when the matter was brought before the missionary com 
mittee, they decided that the condition of their finances 
would not allow them to add to their burdens at that 

376 MARY AND I. 

time. It was not, however, given up, and a year later the 
arrangement was consummated. In the Word Carrier 
for December, 1877, appeared this editorial : 

"The most important event occurring in our missionary work 
during the month of October is the departure of Rev. Solomon 
Toonkanshaecheye, with his family, for Fort Ellice, in the Domin 
ion of Canada. This has been under advisement by the Presby 
terian Foreign Missionary Society of Canada for two years past. 
Rev. John Black of Keldonan Manse, Manitoba, has been working 
for it. A year ago the funds of the society would not admit of 
enlargement in their operations. This year their way has been 
made clear, and the invitation has come to Solomon to be their 
missionary among the Dakotas on the Assinaboine River. They 
pay his expenses of removal, and promise him $600 salary. 

" He has gone. Agent Hooper of Sisseton agency furnished 
him with the necessary pass, and essentially aided him in his out 
fit, and so we sent him off on the tenth day of October, invoking 
God s blessing upon him and his by the way, and abundant success 
for him in his prospective work. From the commencement of ne 
gotiations in regard to this matter it has been of special interest 
to Dr. T. S. Williamson of St. Peter. He has conducted the cor 
respondence with Mr. Black. And now, while the good doctor 
was lying nigh unto death, as he supposed, the arrangement has 
gone into effect. If this prove to be his last work on earth (may 
the good Lord cause otherwise), it will be a matter of joy on his 
part that thus the Gospel is carried to regions beyond, by so good 
and trustworthy a man as we have found Solomon to be all through 
these years." 

Thus was the work commenced. Dr. Williamson did 
not pass from us then, but lived nearly two years longer, 
and was cheered by the news of progress in this far-off 
land. This being among our first efforts to do evangel 
istic work by sending away our native ministers, our 
hearts were much bound up in it. The church of Long 
Hollow was reluctant to give up their pastor, and to me 
it was giving up one whom I had learned to trust, and, 


in some measure, to depend upon, among my native 
pastors. But it was evidently God s call, and he has 
already justified himself, even in our eyes. Solomon 
found a people prepared of the Lord, and, in the summer 
of 1878, he reports a church organized with thirteen 
members, which they named Paha-cho-kam-ya Middle 
Hill of which Henok was elected elder. 

In the next winter Solomon and Henok made a mis 
sionary tour of some weeks, of which we have the follow 
ing report. The letter is dated " February 22, 1879, at 
Middle Hill, near Fort Ellice, North-west Territory " : 

" This winter it seemed proper that I should visit the Dakotas 
living in the extreme settlements, to proclaim to them the Word 
of God. I first asked counsel of God, and prayed that he would 
even now have mercy on the people of these end villages, and 
send his Holy Spirit to cause them to listen to his Word. Then I 
sent word to the people that I was coining. 

" Then I started with Mr. Enoch, my elder. The first night we 
came to three teepees of our own people at Large Lake, and held 
a meeting with them. The next morning we started, and slept 
four nights. On the fifth day we came to a large encampment on 
Elm River. There were a great number of tents, which we visited, 
and prayed with them, being well received. But as I came to 
where there were two men, and prayed with them, I told them 
about him whose name was Jesus that he was the Helper Man, 
because he was the Son of God. That he came to earth, made a 
sacrifice of himself, and died, that he might reconcile all men to 
God; that he made himself alive again; that, although men 
have destroyed themselves before God, whosoever knows the 
meaning of the name of Jesus, and fears for his own soul, and 
prays, he shall find mercy, and be brought near to God. That is 
the Name. And he is the Saviour of men, and so will be your 
Saviour also, I said. 

" Then one of them in a frightened way answered me: I sup 
posed you were a Dakota, of those who live in cabins. It is not 
proper that you should say these things. As for me, I do not want 

378 MARY AND I. 

them. Those who wish may follow in that way; but I will not. 
You who hold such things should stay at home. What do you 
come here for ? 

" Walking-nest then said: You are Cloudman s son, I sup 
pose, and so you are my cousin. Cousin, when we first came to 
this country there was a white minister who talked to us and said: 
" Your hands are full of blood ; therefore, when your hands become 
white, we will teach you." So he said, and when you brought a 
book from the south, while they were looking at it, blood dropped 
from above upon it; and behold, as the white minister said, 1 
conclude we are not yet good. Therefore, my cousin, I am not 
pleased with your coming, he said. 

" But there were only two men who talked in this way. We 
left them and visited every house in the camp. Many may have 
felt as those men did, but did not say it openly. The men said 
they were glad, and welcomed us into their tents. 

" The next day I came into a sick man s tent whose name was 
Hepan, lying near to death. I talked with him, and prayed to 
God for him. Then he told me how he longed to hear from his 
friends down south, and mentioned over half a dozen names of his 
relatives. A woman also, who was present, said : f I want to know 
if my friends are yet living. 

" Then we continued our visiting from house to house. Some 
times we found only children in the tent; sometimes there were 
men and women, and I prayed with them and told them a word of 
Jesus. So we came to the teepees in the valley. Then I met 
Iron Buffalo. There we spent the Sabbath, and held meeting, 
having twenty-three persons present. A chief man, whose name 
is War-club-maker, called them together. 

"Our meetings there being finished, we departed and came to 
the Wahpaton village. They were making four sacred feasts. We 
did not go into them. But, visiting other houses, we passed on 
about five miles, when night came upon us. Still we went on to 
the end of the settlement, where we held a meeting. The teepee 
was small, but there I found a sick man who listened to the Word. 
This was Chaskay, the son of Taoyatedoota. He said he was 
going to die, and from what source he should hear any word of 
prayer, or any comforting word of God, was not manifest. But 
now he had heard these things, and was very glad, he said. This 
way was the best upon earth, and he believed in it now. So, 


while we remained there, he wanted us to pray with and for him, 
he said. 

" We spent one day there, and the second day we started home, 
and came to Hunka s tent, and so proceeded homeward. When 
we had reached the other end of the settlement, we learned that 
the white ministers were to hold a meeting of presbytery. They 
sent word to us to come, and so in the night, with my Hoonka- 
yape, Mr. Enoch, I went back. They asked us to give an account 
of our missionary journey among the Dakotas. And so we told 
them where we had been and what we had done. Also, we gave 
an account of things at Middle Hill, where we live. When we had 
finished, they all clapped their hands. Then they said they wanted 
to hear us sing a hymn of praise to God in Dakota. We sang 
Wakantanka Towaste, and at the close they clapped their hands 

" Then two men arose, one after the other. The first said: I 
have not expected to see such things so soon among the Dakotas. 
But now I see great things, which I like very much. The other 
man spoke in the same way. 

" Men and women had come together in their prayer-house, and 
so there was a large assembly. 

"Then the minister of that church arose and said: White 
people, who have grown up hearing of this way of salvation, are 
expected to believe in it, and I have been accustomed to rejoice in 
the multiplication of the Christian church; but I rejoice more over 
this work among the Dakotas. " 

Both of these men came home to watch and wait by 
the sick-bed of dear children. Nancy Maza-chankoo- 
win, Iron Road Woman, the daughter of Henok, 
died April 28, 1879. She was thirteen years old, read 
the Dakota Bible well, and was quite a singer in the 
prayer assemblies. They say: "We all thought a great 
deal of her; but now she too has gone up to sing in the 
House of Jesus, because she was called." 

From Middle Hill, near Fort Ellice in Manitoba, comes 
a letter written on May 20 by our friend Solomon. 

380 MARY AND I. 

He reports seven members added by profession of faith 
to his church in April, and ten children baptized. 
There, as here, the season lias been a sickly one, and 
many deaths have occurred. For three months he has 
had sickness in his own family. His story is pathetic. 
" Now," he says, " my son Abraham is dead. Seven 
years ago, at Long Hollow, in the country of the Coteau 
des Prairies, he was born on January 12, 1872. And on 
the 23d of June following, at a communion season at 
Good Will Church, he was baptized. When Mr. Riggs 
poured the water on him, he was called Abraham. And 
then in the country of the north, from Middle Hill, May 
9, 1879, on that day, his soul was carried home to the 
House of Jesus. 

"Five months after he was born, I wanted to have 
him baptized. I always remember the thought I had 
about it. Soon after a child is born, it is proper to have 
it baptized. I believed that baptism alone was not to be 
trusted in, and when one is baptized now it is finished is 
not thinkable. But in Luke 18 : 16, our Lord Jesus 
says : Suffer the little children to come unto me ; and so 
taking them to Jesus is good, since his heart is set on 
permitting them to come. Therefore, I wanted this my 
son to go to Jesus. 

" And so from the time he could hear me speak, I 
have endeavored to train him up in all gentleness and 
obedience, in truth and in peace. Now, for two years in 
this country he has been my little helper. When some 
could not say their letters, he taught them. He also 
taught them to pray. And when any were told to 
repeat the commandments, and were ashamed to do so, 
he repeated them first, for he remembered them all. 
Hence, I was very much attached to him. But this last 


winter lie was taken sick, and from the first it seemed 
that he would not get well. But while he lived it was 
possible to help him, and so we did to the extent of our 
ability. He failed gradually. He was a long time sick. 
But he was not afraid to die. He often prayed. When 
he was dying, but quite conscious of everything that took 
place, then he prayed, and we listened. He repeated the 
prayer of the Lord Jesus audibly to the end. That was 
the last voice we heard from him. Perhaps when our 
time comes, and they come for us to climb up to the hill 
of the mountain of Jehovah, then we think we shall hear 
his new voice. Therefore, although we are sad, we do 
not cry immoderately." 

That was a beautiful child-life, and a beautiful child- 
death. Who shall say there are not now Dakota chil 
dren in heaven? To have beemthe means, under God, 
of opening in this -desert such a well of faith and salva 
tion is quite a sufficient reward for a lifetime of work. 

S. R. R. 


THE father of the Dakota Mission has gone. Thomas 
Smith Williamson died at his residence in St. Peter, 
Minn., on Tuesday, the 24th of June, 1879, in the 
eightieth year of his life. My own acquaintance with 
this life-long friend and companion in work commenced 
when I was yet a boy, just fifty years ago in July. We 
were new-comers in the town of Ripley, Ohio, where Dr. 
Williamson was then a^ractising physician of some five 
years standing. My mother was taken sick and died. 
In her sick-chamber our acquaintance commenced, which 
has continued unbroken for half a century. 

The silver wedding of the Dakota Mission was cele 
brated at Hazelwood, in the summer of 1860. Dr. 
Williamson himself furnished a sketch of his life and 
ancestry for that occasion which has never been pub 
lished. From this document, as well as from articles 
written by his son, Prof. Andrew Woods Williamson, 
and published in the St. Peter Tribune and the Herald 
and Presbyter, much of this life-sketch will be taken. 

Thomas Smith Williamson, M.D., was the son of Rev. 
William Williamson and Mary Smith, and was born in 
Union District, South Carolina, in March, 1800. 

William Williamson commenced classical studies when 
quite young ; but the school he attended was broken up 
by the appointment of the teacher as an officer in the 



Revolutionary army. When about sixteen years of age, 
while on a visit to an uncle s on the head-waters of the 
Kanawha, in Virginia, several families in the neighbor 
hood were taken captive by the Indians, and he joined 
a company of volunteers which was raised to go in 
pursuit. After more than a week s chase, they were 
entirely successful, and lost only one of their own 

When not yet eighteen years old, he was drafted into 
the North Carolina militia, and accompanied Gates in 
his unfortunate expedition through the Carolinas. After 
the war was over and the family had removed to South 
Carolina, William resumed his studies and was graduated 
at Hampton Sidney College studied theology, and was 
ordained pastor of Fair Forest Church, in April, 1793. 

The grandfather of Thomas Smith Williamson was 
Thomas Williamson, and his grandmother s maiden 
name was Ann Newton, a distant relative of Sir Isaac 
and Rev. John Newton. They were both raised in 
Pennsylvania, but removed first to Virginia and then 
to the Carolinas, where they became the owners of 
slaves, the most of whom were purchased at their own 
request to keep them from falling into the hands of hard 

Thus Rev. William Williamson was born into the 
condition of slaveholder. By both his first and second 
marriage also, he became the owner of others, which, 
by the laws of South Carolina, would have been the 
property of his children. For the purpose of giving 
them their liberty, he removed, in 1805, from South 
Carolina to Adams County, Ohio. Before her marriage, 
Mary Smith had taught a number of the young negroes 
to read. And of their descendants quite a number are 

384 MARY AND I. 

now in Ohio. It should be remembered that the Smiths 
and Williamsons of the eighteenth century thought it 
right, under the circumstances in which they were, to 
buy and hold slaves, but not right to sell them. They 
never sold any. 

Thomas Smith Williamson inherited from his father 
a love for the study of God s Word, and a practical 
sympathy for the down-trodden and oppressed, which 
were ever the distinguishing characteristics of his life. 
He was also blessed with a godly mother and with five 
earnest-working Christian sisters, four of whom were 
older than himself. He was converted during his stay 
at Jefferson College, Cannonsburg, Pa., where he grad 
uated in 1820. Soon after, he began reading medicine 
with his brother-in-law, Dr. William Wilson of West 
Union, Ohio, and, after a very full course of reading, 
considerable practical experience, and one course of 
lectures at Cincinnati, Ohio, completed his medical 
education at Yale, where he graduated in medicine in 
1824. He settled at Ripley, Ohio, where he soon 
acquired an extensive practice, and April 10, 1827, was 
united in marriage with Margaret Poage, daughter of 
Col. James Poage, proprietor of the town. Perhaps no 
man was ever more blessed with a helpmeet more 
adapted to his wants than this lovely, quiet, systematic, 
cheerful, Christian wife, who for forty-five years of 
perfect harmony encouraged him in his labors. 

They thought themselves happily settled for life in 
their pleasant home, but God had better things in store 
for them. His Spirit began whispering in their ears the 
Macedonian cry. At first, they excused themselves on 
account of their little ones. They felt they could not 
take them among the Indians, that they owed a duty to 


them. They hesitated. God removed this obstacle in 
his own way by taking the little ones home to him 
self. As this was a great trial, so was it a great blessing 
to these parents. This was one of God s means of so 
strengthening their faith that, having once decided to 
go, neither of them ever after for one moment regretted 
the decision, doubted that they were called of God to 
this work, or feared that their life-work would prove a 

In the spring of 1833, Dr. Williamson placed himself 
under the care of the Chillicothe Presbytery, and com 
menced the study of theology. In August of that year 
he removed with his family to Walnut Hills, and con 
nected himself with Lane Seminary. In April, 1834, in 
the First Presbyterian Church of Red Oak, he was 
licensed to preach by the Chillicothe Presbytery. 

Previous to his licensure, he had received from the 
American Board an appointment to proceed on an 
exploring tour among the Indians of the Upper Missis 
sippi, with special reference to the Sacs and Foxes, but 
to collect what information he could in regard to the 
Sioux, Winnebagoes, and other Indians. Starting on 
this tour about the last of April, he went as far as Fort 
Snelling, and returned to Ohio in August. At Rock 
Island he met with some of the Sacs and Foxes, and at 
Prairie du Chien he first saw Dakotas, among others 
Mr. Joseph Renville of Lr.o-qui-parle. On the 18th of 
September he was ordaineJ as a missionary by the 
Chillicothe Presbytery, in Union Church, Ross County, 

A few months afterward he received his appointment 
as a missionary of the A. B. C. F. M. to the Dakotas ; 
and on the first day of April, 1835, Dr. Williamson, 

386 MARY AND I. 

with his wife and one child, accompanied by Miss Sarah 
Ponge, Mrs. Williamson s sister, who afterward became 
Mrs. Gideon H. Pond, and Alexander G. Huggins and 
i amily, left Ripley, Ohio, and on the 16th of May they 
arrived at Fort Snelling. At this time, the only white 
people in Minnesota, then a part of the North-west 
Territory, were those connected with the military post 
at Fort Snelling, the only post-office within the present 
limits of the State ; those connected with the fur-trade, 
except Hon. H. H. Sibley, were chiefly Canadian French, 
ignorant of the English language; and Messrs. Gideon 
H. and Samuel W. Pond, who came on their own account 
as lay teachers of Christ to the Indians in 1834. 

While stopping there for a few weeks, Dr. Williamson 
presided at the organization, on the 12th of June, of the 
First Presbyterian Church the first Christian church 
organized within the present limits of Minnesota. This 
was within the garrison at Fort Snelling, and consisted 
of twenty-two members, chiefly the result of the labors 
of Major Loomis among the soldiers. 

Having concluded to accompany Mr. Joseph Renville, 
Dr. Williamson s party embarked on the fur company s 
Mackinaw boat on the 22d of June; reached Traverse 
des Sioux on the 30th, where they took wagons and 
arrived at Lac-qui-parle on the 9th of July. There, on 
the north side of the Minnesota River, and in sight of 
the " Lake that speaks," they established themselves as 
teachers of the religion of Jesus. 

Of the " Life and Labors " pressed into the next forty- 
four years, only the most meager outline can be given 
in this article. It is now almost two round centuries 
since Hennepin and Du Luth met in the camps and 
villages of the Sioux on the Upper Mississippi. Then, 


as since, they were recognized as the largest and most 
warlike tribe of Indians on the continent. Until Dr. 
Williamson and his associates went among them, there 
does not appear to have been any effort made to civilize 
and Christianize them. With the exception of a few 
hundred words gathered by army officers and others, the 
Dakota language was unwritten. This was to be learned 
mastered, which was found to be no small undertaking, 
especially to one who had attained the age of thirty-five 
years. While men of less energy and pluck would have 
knocked off or been content to work as best they could 
through an interpreter, Dr. Williamson persevered, and 
in less than two years was preaching Christ to them in 
the language in which they were born. He never spoke 
it easily nor just like an Indian, but he was readily 
understood by those who were accustomed to hear him. 

It was by a divine guidance that the station at Lac-qui- 
parle was commenced. The Indians there were very poor 
in this world s good, not more than a half-dozen horses be 
ing owned in a village of 400 people. They were far in the 
interior, and received no annuities from the government. 
Thus they were in a condition to be helped in many ways 
by the mission. Under its influence and by its help, 
their corn-patches were enlarged and their agriculture 
improved. Dr. Williamson also found abundant opportu 
nities to practise medicine among them. Not that they 
gave up their pow-wows and conjuring ; but many fami 
lies were found quite willing that the white Pay-zhe-hoo- 
ta-we-chash-ta (Grass Root Man) should try his skill with 
the rest. For more than a quarter of a century his medi 
cal aid went hand in hand with the preaching of the 
Gospel. By the helpfulness of the rnissson in various 
ways, a certain amount of confidence was secured. And 

388 MARY AND I. 

through the influence of Mr. Renville, a few men, but 
especially the women, gathered to hear the good news of 

Here they were rejoiced to see the Word taking effect 
early. In less than a year after their arrival, Dr. Will 
iamson organized a native church, which, in the autumn 
of 1837, when I joined the mission force at Lac-qui-parle, 
counted seven Dakotas. Five years after the number 
received from the beginning had been forty-nine. This 
was a very successful commencement. 

But in the meantime the war-prophets and the so-called 
medicine-men were becoming suspicious of the new 
religion. They began to understand that the religion of 
Christ antagonized their own ancestral faith, and so they 
organized opposition. The children were forbidden to 
attend the mission school ; Dakota soldiers were stationed 
along the paths, and the women s blankets were cut up 
when they attempted to go to church. Year after year 
the mission cattle were killed and eaten. At one time, 
Dr. Williamson was under the necessity of hitching 
up milch-cows to haul his wood the only animals left 

These were dark, discouraging years very trying to 
the native church members, as well as to the missionaries. 
As I look back upon them, I can but admire the indomi 
table courage and perseverance of Dr. Williamson. My 
own heart would, I think, have sometimes failed me if it 
had not been for the "hold on and hold out unto the 
end " of my earthly friend. . 

As Mr. Renville could only interpret between the Da 
kotas and French, Dr. Williamson applied himself to 
learning the latter language. Through this a beginning 
was made in the translation of the Scriptures into the 


Dakota. Late in the fall of 1839 the Gospel of Mark and 
some other small portions were ready to be printed, and 
Dr. Williamson went with his family to Ohio, where he 
spent the winter. The next printing of portions of the 
Bible was done in 1842-43, when Dr. Williamson had 
completed a translation of the book of Genesis. We had 
MOW commenced to translate from the Hebrew and Greek, 
. his was continued through all the years of his mission 
ary life. So far as I can remember, there was no arrange 
ment of w r ork between the doctor and myself, but while 
I commenced the New Testament, and, having completed 
that, turned to the Psalms, and, having finished to the 
end of Malachi, made some steps backward through Job, 
Esther, Nehemiah, and Ezra, he, commencing with 
Genesis, closed his work, in the last months of his life, 
with Second Chronicles, having taken in also the book of 

Before leaving the subject of Bible translation, let me 
bear testimony to the uniform kindness and courtesy 
which Dr. Williamson extended to me, through all this 
work of more than forty years. It could hardly be said 
of either of us that we were very yielding. The doctor 
was a man of positive opinions, and there were abundant 
opportunities in prosecuting our joint work for differences 
of judgment. But, while we freely criticised each the 
other s work, we freely yielded to each other the right of 
ultimate decision. 

In the autumn of 1846, Dr. Williamson received an in 
vitation, through the agent at Fort Snelling, to establish 
a mission at Little Crow s Village, a few miles below 
where St. Paul has grown up, and he at once accepted it, 
gathering from it that the Lord had a work for him to do 
there. And indeed he had. During the five or six years 

390 MAKY AND I. 

he remained there, a small Dakota church was gathered, 
and an opportunity was afforded him to exert a positive 
Christian influence on the white people then gathering 
into the capital of Minnesota. Dr. Williamson preached 
the first sermon there. 

When, after the treaties of 1851, the Indians of the 
Mississippi were removed, he removed with them or, 
rather, went before them, and commenced his last station 
at Pay-zhe-hoo-ta-zee, Yellow Medicine. There he and 
his family had further opportunities " to glory in tribu 
lations." The first winter was one of unusual severity, 
and they came near starving. But here the Lord blessed 
them, and permitted them to see a native church grow 
up, as well as at Hazelwood, the other mission station 
near by. It was during the next ten years that the seeds 
of civilization and Christianity took root, and grew into 
a fruitage, which, in some good manner, bore up under 
the storm of the outbreak in 1862, and resulted in a great 
harvest afterward. 

Twenty-seven years of labor among the Dakotas were 
past. The results had been encouraging gratifying. 
Dr. Williamson s eldest son, Rev. John P. Williamson, 
born into the missionary kingdom, had recently come 
from Lane Seminary, and joined our missionary forces. 
But suddenly our work seemed to be dashed in pieces. 
The whirlwind of the outbreak swept over our mission. 
Our houses and churches were burned with fire. The 
members of our native churches where were they ? 
Would there ever be a gathering again ? But nothing 
could discourage Dr. Williamson, for he trusted not in 
an arm of flesh, but in the all-powerful arm of God. He 
found that he at least had the consolation of knowing 
that all the Christian Indians had continued, at the risk 


of their own lives, steadfast friends of the whites, that 
they had succeeded in saving more than their own 
number of white people, and that those of them who were 
unjustly imprisoned spent much of the time in laboring 
for the conversion of the heathen imprisoned with 

It required just such a political and moral revolution 
as this to break the bonds of heathenism, in which these 
Dakotas were held. It seems also to have required the 
manifest endurance of privations, and the unselfish devo 
tion of Dr. Williamson and others to them in this time 
of trouble, to fully satisfy their suspicious hearts that we 
did not seek theirs but them. The winter of 1862-63, 
Dr. Williamson, having located his family at St. Peter, 
usually walked up every Saturday to Mankato, to preach 
the Gospel to the 400 men in prison. " That," said a 
young man, " satisfied us that you were really our 
friends." Sometimes it seems strange that it required so 
much to convince them ! History scarcely furnishes a 
more remarkable instance of divine power on human 
hearts than was witnessed in that prison. For a partic 
ular account of this the reader is referred to the mono 
graph on Rev. G. H. Pond. 

Ever since the outbreak, Dr. Williamson has made a 
home for his family in the town of St. Peter and its 
vicinity. For two years of the three in which the con 
demned Dakotas were imprisoned at Davenport, Iowa, he 
gave his time and strength chiefly to ministering to their 
spiritual needs. Education never progressed so rapidly 
among them as during these years. They almost all 
learned to read and write their own language; and spent 
much of their time in singing hymns of praise, in prayer, 
and in reading the Bible. They were enrolled in classes, 

392 MARY AND I. 

and each class placed under the special teaching of an 
elder. This gave them something like a Methodist or 
ganization, but it was found essential to a proper watch 
and care. This experience in the prison and elsewhere 
made it more and more manifest that, to carry forward 
the work of evangelization among this people, we must 
make large use of our native talent. 

The original Dakota presbytery was organized at 
Lac-qui-parle in the first days of October, 1844. Dr. 
Williamson and myself brought our letters from the pres 
bytery of Ripley, Ohio, and Samuel W. Pond brought his 
from an Association in Connecticut. The bounds of this 
presbytery were not accurately defined, and so for years 
it absorbed all the ministers of the Gospel of the Pres 
byterian and Congregational orders who came into the 
Minnesota country. By and by the presbyteries of St. 
Paul and Minnesota were organized ; but the Dakota 
presbytery still covered the country of the Minnesota 

At a meeting of this presbytery at Mankato in the 
spring of 1865, when our first Dakota preacher, Rev. 
John B. Renville, was licensed, an incident took place 
which illustrates the meekness and magnanimity of Dr. 
Williamson s character. On its own adjournment the 
presbytery had convened and was opened with a sermon 
by Dr. Williamson, in the evening, in the Presbyterian 
church. He took occasion to present the subject of our 
duties to the down-trodden races, the African and the 
Indian. Doubtless some who heard the discourse did 
not approve of it. But no exceptions would have been 
taken if the Jewett family, out a few miles from the 
town, had not been killed that night by a Sioux war- 
party. Men were so unreasonable as to claim that the 


preaching and the preacher had some kind of casual 
relation with the killing. The next day, Mankato was 
in a ferment. An indignation meeting was held, and a 
committee of citizens was sent to the Presbyterian 
church to require Dr. Williamson to leave their town. 
Some of the members of the presbytery were indignant 
at this demand ; but the good doctor chose to retire to 
his home at St. Peter, assuring the excited and unreason 
able men of Mankato that he could have had no knowl 
edge of the presence of the war-party, and certainly had 
no sympathy with their wicked work. 

In years after this, I traveled hundreds of miles, often 
alone with Dr. Williamson, and while we conversed 
freely of all our experiences, and of the way God had 
led us, I do not remember that I ever heard him refer to 
this ill treatment of the people of Mankato. Like his 
Master, he had learned obedience by the things he suf 

Never brilliant, he was yet, by his capacity for long- 
continued, severe exertion, and by systematic, persever 
ing industry, enabled to accomplish an almost incredible 
amount of labor. His life was a grand one, made so by 
his indomitable perseverance in the line of lifting up the 
poor and those who had no helper. 

From the beginning he had an unshaken faith in his 
work. He fully believed in the ability of the Indians to 
become civilized and Christianized. He had an equally 
strong arid abiding faith in the power of the Gospel to 
elevate and save even them. Then add to these his per 
sonal conviction that God had, by special providences, 
called him to this work, and we have a threefold cord of 
faith, that was not easily broken. 

No one who knew him ever doubted that Dr. William- 

394 MARY AND I. 

son was a true friend of the red man. And he succeeded 
wonderfully in making this impression upon the Indians 
themselves. They recognized, and, of late years, often 
spoke of, his life-long service for them. With a class of 
white men, this was the head and front of his offending, 
that, in their judgment, he could see only one side 
that he was always the apologist of the Indians that 
in the massacres of the border in 1862, when others 
believed and asserted that a thousand or fifteen hundred 
whites were killed, Dr. Williamson could only count 
three or four hundred. He was honest in his beliefs and 
honest in his apologies. He felt that necessity was laid 
upon him to "open his mouth for the dumb." They 
could not defend themselves, and they have had very few 
defenders among white people. 

In the summer of 1866, after the release of the Dakota 
prisoners at Davenport, Dr. Williamson and I took with 
us Rev. John B. Renville, and journeyed up through 
Minnesota and across Dakota to the Missouri River, and 
into the eastern corner of Nebraska. On our way, we 
spent some time at the head of the Coteau, preaching 
and administering the ordinances of the Gospel to our 
old church members, and gathering in a multitude of 
new converts, ordaining elders over them, and licensing 
two of the best qualified to preach the Gospel. When 
we reached the Niobrara, we found the Christians of the 
prison at Davenport and the Christians of the camp 
at Crow Creek now united; and they desired to be 
consolidated into one church of more than 400 mem 
bers. We helped them to select their religious teachers, 
which they did from the men who had been in prison. 
So mightily had the Word of God prevailed among 
them that almost the entire adult community professed 


to be Christians. Rev. John P. Williamson was there in 
charge of the work. 

For four successive summers, it was our privilege to 
travel together in this work of visiting and reconstruct 
ing these Dakota Christian communities. We also 
extended our visits to the villages of the wild Teeton 
Sioux along the Missouri River. Dr. Williamson claimed 
that Indians must be more honest than white people; 
for he always took with him an old trunk without lock 
or key, and in all these journeys he did not lose from a 
thread to a shoe-string. 

For thirty-six years the doctor was a missionary of the 
American Board. But after the union of the assemblies, 
and the transfer of the funds contributed by the New 
School supporters of that board to the Presbyterian 
Board of Foreign Missions, the question of a change of 
our relations was thoughtfully considered and fully dis 
cussed. He was too strong a Presbyterian not to have 
decided convictions on that subject. But there were, as 
we considered it, substantial reasons why we could not 
go over as an entire mission. And so we agreed to divide, 
Dr. Williamson and his son, Rev. John P. Williamson, 
transferring themselves to the Presbyterian Board, while 
my boys and myself remained as we were. The divis 
ion made no disturbance in our mutual confidence, and 
no change in the methods of our common work. Rather 
have the bonds of our union been drawn more closely 
together, during the past eight years, by an annual con 
ference of all our Dakota pastors and elders and Sabbath- 
school workers. This has gathered and again distrib 
uted the enthusiasm of the churches; and has become 
the director of the native missionary forces. With one 
exception, Dr. Williamson was able to attend all these 

396 MARY AND I. 

annual convocations, and added very much to their 

While the synod of Minnesota was holding its sessions 
in St. Paul in October, 1877, the good doctor was lying 
at the point of death, as was supposed, with pneumonia. 
Farewell words passed between him and the synod. But 
liis work was not then done, and the Lord raised him up 
to complete it. At the next meeting of the synod, he 
presented a discourse on Rev. G. H. Pond; and during 
the winter following he finished his part of the Dakota 
Bible. Then his work appeared to be done, and he de 
clined almost from that day onward. 

On my way up to the land of the Dakotas, in the 
middle of May, 1879, I stopped over a day with my 
old friend. He was very feeble, but still able to walk 
out, and to sit up a good part of the day. We talked 
of many things. He then expressed the hope that as 
the warm weather came on he might rally, as he had 
done in former years. But the undertone was that, as 
the great work of giving the Bible to the Dakotas in 
their own language was completed, there was not much 
left for him to do here. He remarked that, during the 
last forty-four years, he had built several houses, all of 
which had either gone to pieces, or were looking old, and 
would not remain long after he was gone. But the 
building up of human souls that he had been permitted 
to work for, and which, by the grace of God, he had 
seen coming up into a new life, through the influence of 
the Word and the power of the Holy Ghost, he confi 
dently believed would remain. 

When I spoke of the near prospect of his dissolution 
to his Dakota friends, there arose in all the churches a 
(jreat prayer cry for his recovery. This was reported to 


him, and he sent back this message, by the hand of his 
son Andrew : " Tell the Indians that father thanks them 
very much for their prayers, and hopes they will be 
blessed both to his good and theirs. But he does not 
wish them to pray that his life here may be prolonged, 
for he longs to depart and be with Christ." And the 
testimony of Rev. G. F. McAfee, pastor of the Presby 
terian church in St. Peter, who often visited and prayed 
with him in his last days, is to the same effect: "He 
absolutely forbade me to pray that he might recover, but 
that he might depart in peace." 

And so his longing was answered. He died on Tues 
day, June 24, 1879, in the morning watch. 

He had no ecstasies, but he looked into the future 
world with a firm and abiding faith in Him whom, not 
having seen, he loved. Of his last days, John P. Will 
iamson writes thus : 

"He seemed to be tired out in body and. mind, with as much 
disinclination to talk as to move, and apparently as much from 
the labor of collecting bis mind as the difficulty of articulation. 
1 think he talked very little from the time I was here going home 
from General Assembly (June 1) till his death, and for some time 
was perhaps unconscious. 

" You may know that father had a special distaste for what are 
called death-bed experiences. Still, we thought that perhaps, at 
the last, when the bodily pains ceased, there might be a little lin 
gering sunshine from the inner man, but such was not the case; 
and perhaps it was most fitting that he should die as he had 
lived, with no exalted feelings or bright imagery of the future, 
but a stern faith, which gives hope and peace in the deepest 

He lived to see among the Dakotas ten native ordained 
Presbyterian ministers and about 800 church members, 

398 MARY AND I. 

besides a large number of Episcopalians, a success prob 
ably much beyond his early anticipations. 

On the farther shore he has joined the multitude that 
have gone before. Of his own family there are the three 
who went up in infancy. Next, Smith Burgess, a manly 
Christian boy, was taken away very suddenly. Then 
Lizzie Hunter went in the prime of womanhood. The 
mother followed, a woman of quiet and beautiful life. 
And then the sainted Nannie went up to put on white 
robes. Besides these of his family, a multitude of Dako- 
tas are there, who will call him father. I think they 
have gathered around him and sung, under the trees by 
the river, one of his first Dakota hymns : 

" Jehowa Mayooha, nimayakiye, 
Nitowashta iwadowan." 

" Jehovah, my Master, thou hast saved me, 
I sing of thy goodness." 

My friend my long-life friend my companion in 
tribulation and in the patience of work, I almost envy 
thee \hy first translation. 

S. R. R. 




THE Lord came to his garden, and gathered three 
fair flowers, which now bloom in the city of our God. 
We, who knew their beauty, come to lay our loving re 
membrances upon their graves. 

Eliza Wilson Huggins was the third child of Alexan 
der G. and Lydia Huggins. She was born March 7, 
1837, and died June 22, 1873. 

She early gave herself to Jesus, and her lovely life was 
like a strain of sacred music, albeit its years of suffering 
brought out chords of minor harmony. 

This young girl, in the dawn of womanhood, with gen 
tle step and loving voice, was a revelation to us who 
were younger than she. Huguenot blood ran swiftly in 
her veins, and grief and joy were keen realities to her 
sensitive soul. But she quieted herself as a child before 
the Lord, and he gave her the ornament which is with 
out price. Though she wist not, her face shone, and we, 
remembering, know that she had been with Jesus. 

Her sister, Mrs. Holtsclaw, writes : " We are of Hugue 
not descent on our father s side. Our great-great-grand 
father was born at sea in the flight from France to Eng- 

400 MAKY AND I. 

land. Two brothers (in that generation or the one 
following) came to America, one settling in North Caro 
lina, the other in New England. Our grandfather left 
North Carolina when father was a small boy, because he 
thought slavery wrong, and did not wish his children 
exposed to its influences. 

"Grandmother Huggins was a sister of Rev. James 
Gilliland of Red Oak, Ohio. She was a very earnest 
Christian, and often prayed that her descendants, to the 
latest generation, might be honest, humble followers of 

" Eliza was converted, and united with the church in 
Felicity, Ohio, under the pastorate of Rev. Smith Poage. 
She was, I think, about twelve years of age." 

She was a most loving daughter, sister, and friend, 
because she had given herself unreservedly to Him who 
yearns to be more than friend, mother, or brother to us 
all. When heavy bereavements came upon the family, 
Jesus kept their hearts from breaking. The dear father 
went the way of all the earth. Then a brother-in-law, 
who was a brother indeed ; then the elder brother, tried 
and true, in an instant of time, speeds home to heaven ; 
and again a younger brother, in his bright youth ; 
these three were the family s offering upon the altar of 
freedom. A costly offering! A heavy price paid! 
"Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him." 

For seven years Miss Huggins taught school as con 
tinuously as her health permitted. Her methods as a 
teacher were followed by peculiar success. She loved 
children, and had a most earnest desire to help them up 
to all that is best and wisest in life. Children know by 
instinct whose is the firm yet loving hand stretched out 
to lead them in the paths of pleasantness and peace. 


Some of this time she taught in the mission school. Her 
sister says: 

" I cannot write of her long sickness, her intense suf 
fering, her patient waiting to see what the Lord had in 
store for her; all this is too painful for me. St. An 
thony, where she first came with such bright hopes of 
finding health, was the place from which she went to her 
long rest. It was the place where she found cure. 

"The Dakota text-book, which she and Nannie pre 
pared, was a labor of much thought and prayer. It was 
not published until after she had gone home." 

Mignonette and sweet violets may well be emblem 
flowers for this lovely sister. Would that I might strew 
them on her grave, in the early summer-time, as a fare 
well till we meet again. 


BY M. E. M. 

WHEN an army marches on under fire, and one after 
another falls by the way, the ranks close up that there 
may ever be an unbroken front before the foe. So in 
life s battle, as one by one drops out of the ranks, we 
who are left must needs march on. Yet, if we stop a lit 
tle to think and talk of the ones gone, it may help us as 
we press forward. Then, to-day let us bring to mind 
something of the life of a sister departed. 

Nannie J. Williamson was born at Lac-qui-parle, Minn., 
on the 28th of July, 1840. From her birth she was 
afflicted with disease of the spine, so that she was 

402 MARY AND I. 

almost two years old before she walked at all, and then 
her ankles bent and had to be bound in splints. " Aunt 
Jane " mentions that Nannie was in her fourth year 
when she first saw her, and at that time, when the chil 
dren went out to play, her brother John either carried her 
or drew her in a little wagon, to save her the fatigue of 
walking. So she must have truly borne the yoke in her 
youth. That the burden was not lifted as the years 
went by, we may judge from the facts that when away 
at school, both in Galesburg, 111., and Oxford, Ohio, she 
was under the care of a physician ; and she almost al 
ways studied her lessons lying on her back. 

Though her days were stretched out to her 38th year, 
her body never fully ripened into womanhood, and her 
heart never lost the sweetness and simplicity of the 
child. It was not so with her mind. Overleaping the 
body, with a firm and strong grasp, it took up every 
object of thought, and filled its storehouse of knowledge. 

"The date of her conversion is not known. She 
loved Jesus from a child." 

In the fall of 1854 our family moved to within two miles 
of Dr. Williamson s new station of Pay-zhe-hoo-ta-zee, or 
Yellow Medicine. From that time we were intimately 
associated, and many delightful memories are connected 
with those days. In September, 1857, Nannie went to 
the W. F. Seminary at Oxford, Ohio. She made many 
friends among her school-mates, and all respected her for 
her consistent character, her faithfulness in her studies, 
and her earnestness in seeking to bring others to Christ. 
One with more thankful humility never lived. She was 
always so very grateful for the least favor or kindness 
done her, and seemed ever to bear them in mind. She 
was exceedingly thoughtful for other people, never 


seemed to think evil of any one, and never failed to 
find kindly excuses for one s conduct if excuses were pos 
sible. After the burning of the seminary building, the 
senior class, of which Nannie was one, finished their 
studies in a house secured for that purpose. Then fol 
lowed the sorrowful days of 62, that broke up so many 
homes, ours among others. Some time after, Nannie 
wrote this : " It is a little more than a year since we left 
our dear old homes. I wonder if our paths will ever lie 
so near together again as they have in times past. Who 
can tell ? But though we may seem to be far apart, we 
trust we are journeying to the same place, and we shall 
meet there" 

During the months that Nannie s mother waited to be 
released from earthly suffering, the daughter spared none 
of lier strength to do what she could for the faithful, 
patient mother. After there was nothing more to do on 
earth for that mother, then indeed Nannie felt the effects 
of the long strain on body and mind. Even then her 
nights were painful and unresting. But, after recruiting 
a little, she entered upon the work to which her thoughts 
had often turned, that of uplifting the Dakota women 
and children. In 1873, "she joined her brother, Rev. J. 
P. Williamson, in missionary labor, at Yankton agency, 
Dakota Territory, under the Presbyterian Board of For 
eign Missions, and continued in it until her death, No 
vember 18, 1877." 

"Her knowledge of the Scriptures was such that the 
minister scarcely needed any other concordance when she 
was by, and during her last illness every conversation 
was accompanied with Scripture quotations. 

"Notwithstanding her physical weakness, she taught 
school and did much other work ; and, as all was conse- 

404 MARY AND I. 

crated to the Lord, we are sure she has much fruit in 
glory. Many in the Sabbath-schools of Traverse and St. 
Peter received lessons from her, whose impression will 
last to eternity." 

In the spring of 1876, she went to Ohio on the occasion 
of a reunion of the first five graduating classes of the W. 
F. Seminary, Oxford, Ohio. She desired with great desire 
to meet her class-mates, and the beloved principal, Miss 
Helen Peabody ; and also to visit relatives, among them 
two aged aunts, one of whom crossed over to the other 
side a little before her. She took great delight in her 
visit, and yet her nights were wearisome, and she was 
probably not entirely comfortable at any time. But she 
did not complain. 

On her last visit home her face bore the impress of 
great suffering. It was with difficulty she could raise 
either hand to her head, and could only sleep with her 
arms supported on pillows. They would fain have kept 
her at home, but she longed to do what she could as long 
as she could. So she went back, taught in the school, 
visited the sick, read from the Bible in the tents, and 
prayed. In her last illness some of these women came 
and prayed with her, and so comforted her greatly. She 
did not forget her brother s children, in her anxiety for 
the heathen around them, and they will long remember 
Aunt Nannie s prayerful instructions. 

With so little strength as she had, it was not strange 
that, when fever prostrated her, she could not rally again. 
So she lay for nearly eight weeks, suffering much, but 
trusting much also. At times she hoped to be able to 
work again for the women, if the Lord willed. But when 
she knew that her earthly life was nearly ended, she sent 
this message to her aunt : " Do not grieve, dear aunt. 


Though I had desired to do much for these women and 
girls, the prospect of heaven is very sweet." For a while 
she had said now and then : " I wonder how long I shall 
have to lie here and wait," but one day she remarked, " I 
do not feel at all troubled now about how long I may 
have to wait : Jesus has taken that all away." When any 
one came in to see her, she said a few words, and as the 
school children were gathered around her one day she 
talked to them a little while for the last time. Two days 
before her death, she dictated a letter to her father, who 
had himself been very near death s door, but was recover 
ing : " I do rejoice that God has restored you to health 
again. I trust that years of usefulness and happiness may 
still be yours. I am gaining both in appetite and strength. 
I feel a good deal better." But the night that followed 
was a sleepless one, and the next day she suffered greatly. 
About dark her brother said to her, " You have suffered 
a great deal to-day." She answered, "Yes, but the worst 
is over now." He said, "Jesus will send for you," and 
she replied, " Yes, I think he will, for he says, I will 
that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me 
where I am. " 

She spoke now and then to different ones, a word or 
two, asked them to read some Scripture texts from the 
" Silent Comforter " that hung where she could always 
see it, wanted it to be turned over, and, with her face to 
the wall, she seemed to go to sleep. She so continued 
through the night, her breath growing fainter and fainter. 
And at day-break on the morning of the Sabbath the 
other life began. " That is the substance, this the shadow / 
that the reality, this the dream" 

406 MAEY AND I. 


JULIA A. LA FRAMBOISE was the daughter of a French 
trader and of a Dakota mother. When nine years of 
age, her father placed her in Mr. Huggins family. In 
that Christian home she learned to love her Saviour, and, 
one year later, covenanted forever to be his. Her father 
was a Catholic, and would have preferred that his daugh 
ter remain in that church, but allowed her to choose for 
herself. His affection for her and hers for him was very 

After her father s death, Julia determined to use her 
property in obtaining an education. She spent two years 
in the mission school at Hazelwood, then going to the W. 
F. Seminary, Oxford, Ohio, and for a short time to 
Painesville, Ohio, and afterward to Rockford, 111. Hav 
ing taken a full course of study there, she returned to 
Minnesota as a teacher. 

Our mother had a warm affection for Julia, as indeed 
for each of the others of whom we write. Julia called 
our house one of her homes, and, whenever with us, she 
took a daughter s share in the love and labor of the house 

A story of my mother s childhood illustrates the spirit 
of benevolence by which she influenced Miss La Fram 
boise among others. Her surviving sister, Mrs. Lucretia 
S. Cooley, writes : 

" When the first missionaries from the vicinity of my 
early home, Mr. and Mrs. Richards of Plainfield, went to 
the Sandwich Islands, sister Mary was a little girl. She 
was deeply impressed by the story of the wants of the 
children, as portrayed by Mr. Richards, and expressed a 


strong desire to accompany him. She had just learned to 
sew quite nicely. Looking up to mother, she said, I could 
teach the little girls to sew. Here was the missionary 
spirit. Those who go to the Indians, to the islands of 
the sea, to Africa, must needs be ready to teach all things, 
doing it as to the Lord." 

When the call to teach among her own people came, 
Miss La Framboise gladly embraced the opportunity, 
laboring for them in season and out of season for two 
short years. Her health failing, she was taken to her old 
home in Minnesota, where she died, September 20, 1871, 
but twenty-eight years of age. 

Mrs. Holtsclaw, one of her girlhood friends, went to 
her in that last sickness. She wrote: "I was with her 
when she died. It was beautiful to see the steady care 
and gentle devotion of her step-mother, of the rest of the 
family, and of the neighbors." 

Miss La Framboise was thoroughly educated, thorough 
ly the lady ; always loyal to her people, even when they 
were most hated and despised ; always generous in her 
deeds and words; always to be depended upon. 

Oh, could we but have kept her to work many years 
for the ennobling and Christianizing of the Dakotas ! 

Bring lilies of the prairie for this grand-daughter of a 
chieftain ay, more, this daughter of the King ! 

I. R. W. 


EIGHTEEN years had gone by since the family were 
all together on mission ground. That was in the sum 
mer of 1861. In the summer of 1858, Alfred had grad 
uated at Knox College, Illinois; and Isabella returned 
with him from the Western Female Seminary, Ohio. 
They gladly arrived at home, in borrowed clothes, having 
trod together " the burning deck " of a Mississippi River 
steamboat. All were together then. That fall, Martha 
went to the Western Female Seminary, and was there 
when the school building was burned in 1860. After 
that she came home, and Isabella went back to graduate. 
In the meantime, Alfred had become a member of the 
Theological Seminary of Chicago. And so it happened 
that all were not at home again together until the sum 
mer of 1861. Then came the Sioux outbreak, and the 
breaking-up of the mission home. Though a new home 
was made at St. Anthony, and then at Beloit, it never 
came to pass that all were together at any one time. 

Then new home centres grew up. Alfred was married 
in June, 1863. Isabella was married in February, 1866, 
and very soon sailed for China. Martha was married in 
December of the same year, and went to live in Minne 
sota. The dear mother went to the Upper Home in 
March, 1869. Alfred moved to the mission field at San- 
tee Agency, Nebraska, in June, 1870. Anna was married 



in October of the same year and moved to Iowa. While 
Martha, the same autumn, removed to open the Mission 
ary Home at the Sisseton Agency. In May, 1872, a new 
mother came in, to keep the hearthstone bright at the 
Beloit home. In February of 1872, Thomas went to 
Fort Sully to commence a new station, and was married 
in December of the same year. Meanwhile Henry, Rob 
ert, and Cornelia were growing up to manhood and 
womanhood, and getting their education by books and 
hard knocks. Henry was married in September, 1878, 
and Robert was tutor in Beloit College, and Cornelia a 
teacher in the Beloit city schools. 

At these new home centers children had been growing 
up. At Kalgan, China, there were six; at Santee, Neb., 
five ; at Sisseton, D. T.,four; at Vinton, Iowa, three, and 
at Fort Sully, D. T., one. Another sister had also come 
at the Beloit home. 

And now the Chinese cousins were coming home to the 
America they had never seen. So it was determined 
that on their arrival there should be a family meeting. 
But where should it be? Every home was open and 
urged its advantages. But Santee Agency, Nebraska, 
united more of the requisite conditions of central posi 
tion and roomy accommodations. And, besides, it was 
eminently fitting that the meeting should be held on 
missionary ground. And so from early in July on to 
September the clan was gathering. 

First carne Rev. Mark Williams and Isabella, with their 
six children, fresh from China, finding the Santee Indian 
reservation the best place to become acclimated to Amer 
ica gradually. Father Riggs and Martha Riggs Morris, 
with three of her children, from Sisseton Agency, arrived 
the 18th of August. On the 27th came Anna Riggs 

410 MARY AND I. 

Warner, with her three children, from Yinton, Iowa. 
Mother Riggs with little Edna arrived on the 29th, from 
Beloit, Wis. Mr. Wyllys K. Morris and Harry, their 
eldest son, came across the country by wagon, and drove 
in Saturday evening, the 30th of August. Thomas L. 
Riggs and little Theodore, with Robert B. Riggs, and 
Mary Cornelia Octavia Riggs, and their caravan, did not 
arrive from Fort Sully until Tuesday afternoon of the 
2d of September. Alfred L. and Mary B. Riggs, and 
Henry M. and Lucy D. Riggs were of course already 
there, as they were at home, and the entertainers of the 

Now the family were gathered, and this is the Roll: 
Stephen Return Riggs, born in Steubenville, Ohio, 
March 23, 1812; married, February 16, 1837, to Mary 
Ann Longley, who was born November 10, 1813, in Haw- 
ley, Mass., and died March 22, 1869, in Beloit, Wis. 

I. Alfred Longley Riggs, born at Lac-qui-parle, Minn., 
December 6, 1837 ; married June 9, 1863, to Mary Buel 
Hatch, who was born May 20, 1840, at Leroy, N. Y. 

Children : Frederick Bartlett, born at Lockport, 111., 
July 14, 1865 ; Cora Isabella, born at Centre, Wis., 
August 19, 1868 ; Mabel, born at Santee Agency, Nebraska, 
September 11, 1874 ; Olive Ward, born at Santee Agency, 
Nebraska, June 13, 1876 ; Stephen Williamson, born at 
Santee Agency, Nebraska, April 28, 1878. 

II. Isabella Burgess Riggs, born at Lac-qui-parle, 
Minn., February 21, 1840; married February 21, 1866, to 
Rev. W. Mark Williams, who was born October 28, 1834, 
in New London, Ohio. 

Children : Henrietta Blodget, born at Kalgan, China, 
September 25, 1867; Stephen Riggs, born at Kalgan, 
China, August 22, 1870 ; Emily Diament, born at Kalgan, 


China, May 26, 1873 ; Mary Eliza, born at Kalgan, China, 
August 3, 1875; Margaret and Anna, born at Kalgan, 
China, May 30, 1878. 

III. Martha Taylor Riggs, born at Lac-qui-parle, 
Minn., January 27, 1842; married December 18, 1866, to 
Wyllys King Morris, who was born in Hartford, Conn., 
September 11, 1842. 

Children : Henry Stephen, born at Sterling, Minn., 
June 21, 1868; Philip Alfred, born at Good Will, D. T., 
August 4, 1872, and died at Binghamton, N". Y., August 
18, 1873 ; Mary Theodora, born at Good Will, D. T., 
July 31, 1874; Charles Riggs, born at Good Will, D. T., 
June 21, 1877; Nina Margaret Foster, born at Good 
Will, D. T., May 30, 1879. 

IV. Anna Jane Riggs, born at Traverse des Sioux, 
Minn., April 13, 1845; married October 14, 1870, to 
Horace Everett Warner, who was born January 10, 1839, 
near Painesville, Ohio. 

Children : Marjorie, born at Belle Plaine, Iowa, 
September 29, 1872; Arthur Hallam, born in Yinton, 
Iowa, October 28, 1875 ; Everett Longley, born in Yinton, 
Iowa, July 15, 1877. 

Y. Thomas Lawrence Riggs, born at Lac-qui-parle, 
Minn., June 3, 1847 ; married December 26, 1872, to 
>nielia Margaret Foster, who was born in Bangor, 
Me., March 19, 1848, and died August 5, 1878, at Fort 
Sully, D. T. 

Child : Theodore Foster, born near Fort Sully, D. T., 
July 7, 1874. 

YI. Henry Martyn Riggs, born at Lac-qui-parle, 
Minn., September 25, 1849; married September 24, 1878, 
to Lucy M. Dodge, who was born at Grafton, Mass., 
February 29, 1852. 

412 MARY AND I. 

VII. Robert Baird Riggs, born at Hazelwood, Minn., 
May 22, 1855. 

VIII. Mary Cornelia Octavia Riggs, born at Hazel- 
wood, Minn., February 17, 1859. 

Stephen R. Riggs married, May 28, 1872, Mrs. Annie 
Baker Ackley, who was born March 14, 1835, in Gran- 
ville, Ohio. 

IX. Edna Baker Riggs, born at Beloit, Wis., Decem 
ber 2, 1874. 

The sons and daughters brought into the original family 
by marriage contributed much to the success of the re 
union. The cousins will not soon forget the inimitable 
stories of Uncle Mark. Horace E. Warner wrote a 
charming letter, proving conclusively that he was really 
present ; while Uncle "VVyllys must have gained the per 
petual remembrance of the boys by taking them swim 
ming. Mary Hatch Riggs was the unflagging main-spring 
of the whole meeting. Lucy Dodge Riggs presided hos 
pitably at the "Young men s hall," where many of the 
guests were entertained; and the new mother, Annie 
Baker Riggs, won the love of all. 

It would not have been a perfect meeting without sec- 
ing the face of John P. Williamson, the elder brother of 
the mission. Then, too, there was our friend Rev. 
Joseph Ward, whose home at Yankton has so often been 
the "House Beautiful" to our missionary pilgrims. We 
were also favored with the presence of many of our mis 
sionary women : Mrs. Hall of Fort Berthold, Misses 
Collins and Irvine, from Fort Sully, and Misses Shepard, 
Paddock, Webb, and Skea, of Santee. The children will 
long remember the party given them by Miss Shepard in 
the Dakota Home, and the picnic on the hill. 

It is impossible to give any adequate report of such a 


reunion. The renewal of acquaintance, taking the bear 
ings of one another s whereabouts in mental arid spiritual 
advance, is more through chit-chat and incidental revela 
tions than in any of the things that can be told. 

And so we gather in as memorials and reminders some 
of the papers read at the evening sociables, and some 
paragraphs from reports of the reunion published in the 
Word Carrier and Advance. First, we will have Isa 
bella s paper, the story of that long journey home -By 
Land and by Sea : 

" Ding lang, ding lang, ding lang! Hear the bells. The litters 
are packed, the good-bys spoken. Thirteen years of work in sor 
row and in joy are over. * Good-by. We will pray for you all; 
do not forget us. 

" Down the narrow street, past the closely crowded houses of more 
crowded inmates, beyond the pale green of the gardens, on the 
stony plain, and our long journey is begun. 

"Eight hours and the first inn is reached, we having made a 
twenty-five-mile stage. Over rocks and river, fertile lake-bed; 
desert plain, and through mountain-gorge, we creep our way, till, 
on the fifth day, the massive walls of Peking loom up before us. 

" Here there are cordial greetings from warm hearts, and willing 
hands stretched out to help. Best of all is the inspiration of 
mission meeting, with its glad, good news from Shantung Province. 

"By cart and by canal boat again away. At Tientsin we ride 
by starlight, in jinrickshas, to the steamer. How huge the mon 
ster! How broad seems the river, covered here and yonder, and 
again yonder, with fleets of boats ! 

" We ensconce ourselves in the assigned state-rooms, and little 
Anna s foster-mother keeps a vigil by the child so soon to be hers 
no more. Farewell, farewell. 

"Gray morning comes, and the ponderous engine begins his 
work. We move past boats, ships, steamers, past the fort at 
Taku, out on the open sea. No one sings, A Life on the Ocean 
Wave, or Murmuring Sea, for our day of youth went yester 
day. The enthusiasm of early years is gone. Instead, I read 
reverently the 107th Psalm, verses 23, 31. Then with the strong, 

414 MAllY AND I. 

glad, spray-laden breeze on one s face, it is fitting to read, The 
Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than 
the mighty waves of the sea. Let the sea roar, and the fulness 
thereof. Let the floods clap their hands . . . before the Lord. 
The sea is his and he made it. The earth is full of thy 
riches. So is this great and wide sea. There go the ships : there 
is that leviathan, whom thou hast made to play therein. 

"Five days, and we steam up through the low, flat, fertile 
shores of Woo Sung River to Shanghai. 

" Ho for the land of the rising sun! Two days we sail over a 
silver sea ; yonder is Nagasaki, and now a heavy rain reminds us 
that this is Japan. On through the Inland Sea. How surpass 
ingly beautiful are the green hills and mountains on every side. 

"At Kobe we receive a delightful welcome from Mr. C. H. 
Gulick s family, and on the morrow we meet our former co-laborer 
in the Kalgan work, Rev. J. T. Gulick. Ten days of rest, and 
our little Anna is herself again. She is round and fair and sweet, 
and every one laughingly says she is more like our hostess than 
like me. 

" Again away, in a floating palace, fitly named City of Tokio. 
We glide out of sight of Japan, with hearts strangely stirred by 
God s work in that land. 

" One sail after another disappears, until we are alone on the 
great ocean. Water, water, water everywhere. 

" Our days are all alike. Constant care of the children and 
thoughts of home and beloved ones keep hand and heart busy. 
The events of each day are breakfast, tiffin, and dinner, daintily 
prepared, and faultlessly served by deft and noiseless waiters. We 
think it a pleasant variety when a stiff breeze makes the waves 
run high. The table racks are on, yet once and again a glass of 
water or a plate of soup goes over. We turn our plates at the 
proper angle, when the long roll begins, and unconcernedly go on. 

" One day of waves mountain high, which sweep us on to our 
desired haven. On the eighteenth day we see the shore of beautiful 
America. How the heart beats! So soon to see father, brothers, 
and sisters! Thank God. Aye, tLank him too for the manifold 
mercies of our journey. 

" How strange and yet familiar are the sights and sounds of 
San Francisco. The children s eyes shine as they plan and 
execute raids on a toy store. 


" There is yet the land journey of thousands of miles. By 
night and by day we speed on; across gorge, through tunnel and 
snow-shed, over the alkali plains, over fertile fields to Omaha. 

"At last we arrive in Yankton, and a cheery voice makes 
weary hearts glad. I am Mr. Ward. Your brother Henry is 
here. Ah, is that Henry! How he has changed from boyhood 
to manhood ! 

" Over the hills and far away. Here we are! How beautiful 
the mission houses look ! And the dear familiar faces ! Rest and 
home at last for a little while. For here have we no continuing 
city, but we seek one to come. " 

But journeying may be done much more quickly by 
thought, and spirit may go as quick as thought. So here 
is the account of Horace E. Warner s thought journey 
to the family meeting : 

" If there has seemed to be any lack of interest on my part in 
the family reunion, it is only in the seeming. For my decision to 
stay at home was made with deep regret, and after the slaying of 
much strong desire. But, aside from the gratification which it 
would have given me to see you all, and which I hope it would 
have given you to see me, I do not think the idea of the meeting is 
impaired by my absence. Only this I feel as though I had, not 
wilfully nor willingly, but none the less certainly, cut myself off 
from that sympathy in the Greek sense which I stood in much 
need of, and can ill afford to miss. 

" I suppose you are now all together with one accord in one 
place, so far as that is possible. To be all together would require 
the union of two worlds. And this may be, too, shall we not 
say it is so ? But if the dear ones from the unseen world are 
present, though you can not hear their speech nor detect their 
presence by any of the senses, can not you feel that I am really 
with you in some sense too ? Of course, the difference is great, but 
so also the difference is great between the meeting of friends in the 
natural body and the spiritual body. If the mind, the soul, con 
stitutes the man rather than the animal substances, or the myriad 
cells which make up his physical organization, why may not I 
leap over the insignificant barrier that divides us ? As I write, 

416 MARY AND I. 

this feeling is very strong with me. It is vague and indefinite, 
but yet it seems to me that I have been having some kind of 
communication or communion with you. At all events, my heart 
goes out strongly toward you all with fervent desire that the 
meeting will be full of joy and comfort of sweetest and spiritual 
growth the occasion of new inspiration, new courage, new hopes. 
It is not likely that there can be any repetition of it this side of 
the city which hath foundations. 

"So the memories of this meeting should be the sweetest, and 
should cluster thick around you in the years of separation. This 
much I must perforce miss. For though I do truly rejoice in your 
joys, and partake with you of the gladness of the meeting after so 
long a time; yet it is only by imagination and sympathy that I 
make myself one with you, and of this the future can have no 

Now we will let others give their thoughts of the 
meeting, as it seemed to them from outside. And, first, 
a few words from Rev. John P. Williamson of Yankton 
Agency : 

" The first week in September, 1879, will long be remembered by 
the Riggs family, and by one or two who were not Riggses. From 
the east and the west, from the north and the south, and from 
across the mighty Pacific, they gathered at the eldest brother s 
house, at Santee Agency, Nebraska, for a family reunion. It was 
forty-two years last February since Stephen Return Riggs married 
Mary Ann Longley and came out as a missionary to the Dakotas ; 
and now in his sixty-eighth year, his step still light, and his heart 
still young, he walks in to his son s house to find himself surrounded 
by nine children, three sons-in-law, two daughters-in-law, and nine 
teen grandchildren; with himself and wife making a company of 
thirty-five, and all present except one son-in-law. 

" This roll may never be as interesting to universal mankind as 
that in the tenth chapter of Genesis, but it is almost extended 
enough to evolve a few general truths. If we were to pick these 
up, our first deduction would be that like begets like. This man 
has certainly given more than his proportion of missionaries. 
And why, except that like begets like ? He was a missionary, his 


children partook of his spirit, and became missionaries. We 
heard some mathematical member of the company computing the 
number of years of missionary service the family had rendered. 
The amount has slipped our memory, but we should say it was 
over one hundred and fifty. 

" Our other deduction would be that the missionary profession 
is a healthy one. Here is a family of no uncommon physical 
vigor, and yet not a single death occurred among the children, 
who are in goodly number. True, the mother of the family has 
finished her work and crossed the river to wait with her longing 
smile the coming children, but another ministers in her room, 
who has added little Aunt Edna to the list, to stand before her 
father when the rest are far away." 

Next, we have the observations of Rev. Joseph Ward 
of Yankton : 

" Families have their characteristic points as well as individ 
uals. The family of Rev. S. R. Riggs, D.D., is no exception to 
this. Their characteristics all point in one direction. It is nota 
bly a missionary family. It began on missionary ground forty- 
two years ago at Lac-qui-parle, Minn. From that time until 
the present the name of the family head has always appeared in 
the list of missionaries of the American Board. One after another 
the names of the children have been added to the list, until now 
we find Alfred, Isabella, Martha, Thomas, Henry, attached to. 
the mission; and doing genuine missionary work, though not 
bearing a commission from the board, are two more, Robert and 

"What place more suitable for the meeting together of father, 
children, and children s children thirty-four all told, counting 
those who have joined the family by marriage than Santee 
Agency, Nebraska, a mission station of the A. B. 0. F. M. 

" Though not of the family, I was honored by an invitation to 
attend the meeting, assured that a bed and a plate would be re 
served for me ; and so, on the first Tuesday of September, I 
stood on the bank of the Missouri, opposite the agency, waiting 
for the ferry-man to set me across. I came at the right time, for 
presently the delegation from Fort Sully drove their two teams to 
the landing, and in a moment more Rev. J. P. Williamson, with 

418 MARY AND I. 

his oldest daughter, from Yankton Agency, were added to our 

"They came from the east and the west and the north. 
These from Sisseton, these from Sully, and these from the land of 
Sinim, for the oldest daughter and her husband, Rev. Mark Will 
iams, have been for thirteen years in Kalgan, Northern China, 
and now for the first time come back to see the father and the 
fatherland. The personal part of the meeting I have no right to 
mention. I speak only of its missionary character. The very 
prudential committee itself, in its weekly meetings, cannot be 
more thoroughly imbued with a missionary spirit than was every 
hour of this reunion. And how could it be otherwise ? All the 
reminiscences were of their home on missionary ground, at Lac- 
qui-parle, at Traverse des Sioux, and at Hazelwood. Did they 
talk of present duties and doings ? What could they have for 
their theme but life at Kalgan, at Good Will, at Santee, and at 
Sully ! Did they look forward to what they would do after the 
family meeting was over ? The larger part were to go two hun 
dred miles and more overland, to attend the annual meeting of 
the Indian churches at Brown Earth. And, besides, how to reach 
out from their present stations and seize new points for work was 
the constant theme of thought. 

" Wednesday evening there was a gathering of the older ones 
and the larger children. The father read a sketch recalling a few 
incidents of the family life. The reading brought now laughter 
and then tears. Forty-two years could not come and go without 
leaving many a sorrow behind. 

"The mother, who had lived her brave life for a third of a 
century among the Indians, was not there. A beautiful crayon 
portrait, hung that day for the first time over the piano, was a 
sadly sweet reminder of her whose body was laid to rest only a year 
ago among the Teetons, on the banks of the Upper Missouri. 
Then another paper of memories from one of the daughters, 
lighted with joy and shaded with sorrow, a few words of cheer 
and counsel from the oldest son, and a talk in Chinese from the 
Celestial member, were the formal features of the evening. 

" As I sat in the corner of the study and heard and saw, there 
came to me, clearer than ever before, the wonderful power there 
is in a consecrated life. Well did one of them say that if they 
had gained any success in their work, it was by singleness of 


They have not been assigned to a prominent place in the work of 
the world, but rather to the most hidden and hopeless part. But, 
by their persistence of purpose, they have done much to lift up 
and make popular, in a good sense, missionary work in general, 
and particularly work for the Indians. It is a record that will 
shine brighter and brighter through the ages. Eight children and 
thirteen grandchildren born on missionary ground, and a total of 
one hundred and fifty-eight years of missionary work. 

* But the end is not yet. They have just begun to get their 
implements into working order. Their training-schools are just 
beginning to bear fruit. Most fittingly, a few days before the 
gathering began, came a large invoice of the entire Bible in 
Dakota, the joint work of Dr. Riggs and his beloved friend and 
fellow-worker, Dr. Williamson, who has just gone home to his 
rest. At the same time came the final proof-sheets of a goodly- 
sized hymn and tune book for the Dakotas, mainly the work of 
the eldest sons of the two translators of the Bible. The harvest 
that has been is nothing to the harvest that is to be. Dr. Riggs 
may reasonably hope to see more stations occupied, more books 
made, more churches organized in the future than he has seen in 
the past. When the final record is made, he will have the title to 
a great rejoicing that he and his family were permitted by the 
Master to do so much to make a sinful world loyal again to its 
rightful Lord." 

Martha s paper, which was read on that occasion, is 
a very touching description of a missionary journey made 
under difficulties, six years before, from Sisseton to 
Yankton Agency. 


" As I sit on the doorsteps in the twilight, the little ones asleep 
in their beds, I hear a solitary attendant on the choir-meeting 
singing. His voice rings out clearly on the night air: 

" Jesus Christ nitowashte kin 
"Woptecashni mayaqu 

singing it to the tune, Watchman. 

420 MARY AND I. 

" That tune has a peculiar fascination and association for me, 
and my thoughts often go back over the time when I first heard it. 

" It was in the month of roses, in the year 73, that, in company 
with some of the Renvilles and others, I undertook a land jour 
ney to the Missouri. I had with me the lad Harry, then five 
years old, and a sunny-haired boy of nearly a year, little Philip 
Alfred. He never knew his name here. Does he know it now ? 
Or has he another, an angel name ? 

" The rains had been abundant, and the roads were neither 
very good nor very well traveled. So some unnecessary time was 
spent in winding about among marshes, and we made slow prog 
ress. More than once we came to a creek or a slough where the 
water came into the wagons. The Indian women shouldered 
their babies and bundles as well, and trudged through, with the 
exception of Ellen Phelps and Mrs. Elias Gilbert. Their husbands 
were so much of white men as to shoulder their wives and carry 
them across. Being myself a privileged person, I was permitted 
to ride over, first mounting the seat to the wagon, holding on for 
dear life to the wagon-bows with one hand, and to the sunny- 
haired boy with the other. 

" By the end of the week we had only reached the Big Sioux, 
which we found up and booming. I was crossed over in a canoe 
with my two children, the stout arms of two Indian women pad 
dling me over. Then we climbed up the bank, and waited for 
the wagons to come around by some more fordable place down 
below. While waiting, I talked awhile with Mrs. Wind, who had 
been a neighbor of ours on the Coteau. Her lawful husband, a 
man of strong and ungoverned passions, had grown tired of her 
and taken another woman. So Mrs. Wind, who had borne with 
his overbearing and his occasional beatings, quietly left him. 
This was an indignity her proud spirit could not brook. She 
went to the River Bend Settlement to live with her son, and there 
I saw her. I said to her, Shall you go back to the hill country ? 
No, she said; the man has taken another wife, and I shall not 
go. I have since heard of her from time to time, and she still 
remains faithful. 

" The Sabbath over, we went on again re-inforced by the delega 
tion from Flandreau. Reaching Sioux Falls in the afternoon, 
we avoided the town, and went on to a point where some one 
thought the river might be fordable. But alas! we found we had 


been indulging in vain expectations. The river was not forda- 
ble, and canoe or ferry-boat there was none. But necessity is the 
mother of invention. The largest and strongest wagon-box was 
selected, the best wagon-cover laid on the ground, the boat lifted 
in, and, with the aid of various ropes, an impromptu boat was 
made ready. Long ropes were tied securely to either end, poles 
laid across the box to keep things out of the water, and then the 
boat was launched. The men piled in the various possessions of 
different ones and as many women and children as they thought 
safe. Then four of the best swimmers took the ropes and swam 
up the river for quite a distance, coming down with the current, 
and so gaining the other shore. This occupied some time, and 
was repeated slowly until night came on, finding the company 
partly on one side and partly on the other. The wagon, in which 
we had made our bed o nights, not being in a condition for sleep 
ing in, as the box lay by the river-side all water-soaked, Edwin 
Phelps and Ellen, his wife, kindly vacated theirs for our benefit, 
themselves sleeping on the ground. When the early morning 
came, the camp was soon astir, and, breakfast being hastily de 
spatched, the work of crossing over was renewed. I watched them 
drive over the horses ; the poor animals were very loath to make a 
plunge, and some of them turned and ran back on the prairie 
more than once before they were finally forced into the water. 
When most of the others were over it came my turn to cross. 
The so-called boat looked rather shaky, but there was nothing to 
do but to get in and take one s chance. So I climbed in, keeping 
as well as I could out of the water, which seemed to nearly fill 
the wagon-box. Some one handed the two children in, and, bold- 
ing tightly to them, I resigned myself to the passage. At one 
time I heard a great outcry, but could not distinguish any words, 
and so sat still, unconscious that one of the ropes had broken, 
rendering the boat more unsafe still. At last I was safely over, 
thankful enough. When finally every thing and everybody were 
across, and the boat restored to its proper place, we started on our 
way, at about ten o clock in the morning. To make up for the 
late starting, the teams were driven hard and long, and the twi 
light had already gathered when we stopped for the night. After 
1 had given my children a simple supper, and they were hushed 
to sleep, I looked out on the picturesque scene. The great red 
moon was rising in the sky, and in its light the travelers had 

422 MARY AND I. 

gathered around the camp-fire for their evening devotions. As I 
walked across to join them, they were singing: 

" Jesus Christ, nitowashte kin 
Woptecashni raayaqu 

" Jesus Christ, thy loving kindness 
Boundlessly thou givest me 

to the tune Watchman. It struck my fancy, and I seldom hear it 
now without thinking of that night, and of the sunny-haired boy 
who was then taking his last earthly journey, and who has all 
these years been learning of the goodness of the Lord Jesus 
Christ in all its wonderful fulness. An incident of one day s 
travel remains clear in my mind. The lad Harry often grew 
tired and restless, as was not strange, and so sometimes he was 
somewhat careless too. In an unguarded moment, he fell out, 
and one of the hind wheels passed over his body. How I 
held my breath until the horses could be stopped and the boy 
reached ! It seemed a great marvel that he had received no injury. 
It was surely the goodness of the Lord that had kept him from 

" On Wednesday we came into Yankton, where I bought a 
quantity of beef, wishing to show my appreciation of the labors 
of the men in our behalf. So when camp was made at night 
the women had it to make into soup, and, almost before it 
seemed that the water could have fairly boiled, all hands 
were called to eat of it, and it was despatched with great 

" The next afternoon a fierce storm broke over us, and we were 
compelled to stop for an hour or more, while the rain poured 
down in torrents and the heavens were one continual flame 
of light. When again we started on, every hole by the road 
side had become a pool, and the water was rushing througn 
every low place in streams. The rain retarded our progress 
greatly, yet we came in sight of the Yankton Agency before 
noon of the next day. Just as we reached it, we found a 
little creek to cross, where a bridge had been washed away 
the night before. The banks were almost perpendicular, and 
we held our breath as we watched one team after another go 
down and come up, feeling sure that some of the horses would go 


down and not come up again. But, to our great relief, all went 
safely over. And very soon we had arrived at the mission house 
occupied by Rev. J. P. Williamson and family, and were receiv 
ing the kindly welcomes of all. The hospitality there enjoyed 
was such as to make us almost forget ouwtedious journey thither 

" From my traveling companions I had received all possible 
kindness, yet in many ways I had found the journey quite try 
ing. It was not practicable to vary one s diet very much, with 
the care of the little ones just large enough to get into all mis 
chief imaginable. So I remembered with especial gratitude 
Edwin and Ellen Phelps, who used now and then, at our stop 
ping-places, to borrow the boy, so helping me to get a little 
rest or to do some necessary work which would otherwise 
have been impossible. At that time Edwin and his wife 
had no children, and their eyes often followed my boy with 
yearning looks. Since then the Lord has given them little 
ones to train for his kingdom, and they are happy. 

" But of that little sunny-haired baby boy we have naught but 
a memory left and this consolation : 

" Christ, the good Shepherd, carries my lamb to-night, 
And that is best. 

" And this : 

" Mine entered spotless on eternal years, 
Oh, how much blest! " 

During the meeting the tastes and needs of the 
children were not forgotten, but Aunt Anna held them 
attent to her 


" Shut your eyes, and see with me the home place at Lac-qui- 
parle a square house with a flat roof, a broad stone step be 
fore the wide-open door cheery and sunshiny within. Wel 
come to grandfather s home! 

" To the right, in the distance, is the lake Mdeiyedan, where, 
like a tired child, the sun dropped his head to rest each night. 

424 MARY AND I. 

Between us and the lake was a wooded ravine, at the foot of 
which, down that little by-path, was the coolest of springs, with 
wild touch-me-nots nodding above it, and a little further on a 
large boulder on which we used to play. 

"It seems to us as if f^e had but just come in from a long sum 
mer s walk, with our hands full of flowers, and each and every 
one must have a bouquet to set in his or her favorite window. 
The wind, blowing softly, brings with it a breath of sweet cleavers, 
and well, so I must tell you what I remember. 

" I can not stop to tell you of all the little things that made our 
home pk-a^ant and lovely in our eyes ; or of the dear mother who 
had it in her keeping, for I know all the grandchildren are waiting 
for their stories. 

" Well, I will begin by telling the wee cousins about the family 
cat, Nelly Ely, and one of her kittens, Charlotte Corday. Kittens 
have some such cunning ways, you know, but Nelly Ely was one 
of the knovvingest and best. She and her kitten were as much 
alike as two peas in a pod jet-black, and with beautiful yellow- 
green eyes. Nelly Ely used to curl herself up to sleep in grandpa s 
fur cap, or sometimes in grandma s work-basket; and if she could 
do neither, she would find a friendly lap. One day poor pussy 
chose much too warm a place. Grandma had started up the 
kitchen fire, and was making preparations for dinner when she 
heard pussy mewing piteously as she thought, in some other room. 
She went to the doors one by one to let pussy in, and no pussy 
appeared, but still she heard her mewing as if in pain. What 
could grandma do ? She was neither down cellar nor up-stairs. 
She would look out-of-doors but no just then pussy screamed 
in an agony of pain. Grandma ran to the stove, opened the door, 
and pussy, as if shot out from a cannon s mouth, came flying past 
us her back singed and her poor little paws all burned. I can t 
tell whether she learned the moral of that lesson or not, but I 
know she never was shut up in the oven again. 

"Yet not so very long after, when the old house was burned, 
Nelly Ely and Charlotte Corday found a sadder fate. Poor little 
kittens! we spent hour after hour searching for their bones, but 
with small success, and then we buiied them with choking sobs 
and eyes wet with childish tears. 

"Do not let me forget to tell you of Pembina and Flora, nor of 
the starry host that bedecked our barn-yard sky every calf, how- 


ever humble, was worthy of a name. There were our oxen, Dick 
and Darby, George and Jolly, and Leo and Scorpio, who used to 
weave along with stately swinging tread under their burden of 
hay. Then Spika and Denebola, Luna and Lyra all worthy of 
honorable mention. Flora, gentle, but with an eye that terrified 
the little maid who sometimes milked her, so, with wise fore 
thought, a handful of salt was sometimes thrown into the bottom 
of her pail. You will hardly believe it, but she grew to be so fond 
of her pail that she found her way into the winter kitchen and 
anticipated her evening meal. How she ever got through two 
gates and two doors is a mystery still. 

"And there was Pembina how well we remember the day 
when grandpa brought home a new cow, and how we all went 
down to meet him, and named her and her calf, Little Dorrit, on 
the spot. She was the children s cow par excellence, and blessings 
on her, we could all milk at a time. She had several bad habits, 
one of which was eating old clothes and paper, or rubbish gener 
ally. Once I remember she made a vain attempt at swallowing a 
beet, and if grandpa had not come in the nick of time to beat her 
on the back she would have been dead beat. 

" Our horses, too, were a part of the family. There were Polly 
and Phenie, short for Napoleon Bonaparte and Josephine Fanny 
and Tatty coram (we had been reading Dickens then). 

U I remember hearing our own mother tell of the ox they had 
when they lived at Traverse des Sioux, their only beast of burden, 
and how he used to stand and lick the window-panes, and how 
when the Indians shot him she felt as if she had lost a friend and 

" if these stories of our dear animal friends grow too tiresome, I 
might remember about the Squill family at Hazelwood how they 
all, including Timothy and Theophilus, contributed something 
every week to a family paper. I wonder if Theophilus remembers 
writing an essay for with red ink from his arm and how 
Isabella said, Now, be brave, Martha, be brave ! when she was 
letting herself down from the topmost round of the ladder 
and how Isabella, when beheading the pope in her fanatical zeal, 
split her forefinger w r ith a chisel. 

"These are a very few only of the rememberings some of 
them are too sacred and too dear to speak about but even 
these little incidents seem endeared by the long stretch of years." 

426 MARY AND I. 

Some memories of former days were revived for the 
older children, and imparted to the younger ones, by the 
Father s Paper : 


As one grows old, memory is, in some sense, unreliable. 
It does not catch and hold as it once did. But many 
things of long ago are the things best remembered. Often 
there is error in regard to dates. The mind sees the 
things or the events vividly, but the surroundings are 
dim and uncertain. What is aimed at in this paper is to 
gather up, or rather select, some events lying along the 
family line and touching personal character. 

The family commences with the mother. I remember 
well my first visit to Bethlehem, Ind., where I first 
met Mary, with whom I had been corresponding, having 
had an introduction through Rev. Dyer Burgess. That 
was in the spring. My second visit to the same place was 
in the autumn of 1836, when the school-mistress and I 
went on to New England together. 


Of that journey eastward, and the winter spent in 
Hawley, I should naturally remember a good many 
things : How when the stage from Albany and Troy put 
us down in Cbarlemont, we hired a boy with a one-horse 
wagon to carry us six miles to Hawley. But when we 
came to going up the steep, rough, long hill, such as I had 
never climbed before, the horse could only scramble up 
with the baggage alone. How we reached the Longley 
homestead in a real November storm, only a few days 
before Thanksgiving, and were greeted by the grandpar 
ents, ninety years old, and by the father and mother and 


brothers and sisters all of whom, except Moses, have 
since gone to the other side. How only a day after our 
arrival I was waited upon by a committee of the West 
Hawley church, and engaged to preach for them during the 
winter. How every Saturday I walked down to Pudding 
Hollow and preached on Sabbath, and usually walked up 
on Monday, when I did not get snowed in. How the 
first pair of boots I ever owned, bought in Ohio, proved 
to be too small to wade in snow with, and had to be aban 
doned. How the old family horse had a knack of turn 
ing us over into snow-drifts. How on our first visit to 
Buckland, the grandfather Taylor, then about ninety-five 
years old, when he was introduced to Mary Ann s future 
husband, a young minister from the West, asked, " Did 
you ever think what a good horseman Jesus Christ was? 
Why, he rode upon a colt that had never been broke." 
How the old meeting-house on the hill, with its square 
pews and high pulpit, creaked and groaned in the storm 
of our wedding day, February 16, 1837. How we left in 
the first days of March, when the snow-drifts on the hills 
were still fifteen feet deep. 

March, April, May passed, and the first day of June we 
landed at Fort Snelling, in the land of the Dakotas. 

When another three moons were passed by, and we had 
seen St. Anthony and Minnehaha, and made some ac 
quaintance with the natives, I remember we took passage, 
with our effects, on board a Mackinaw boat for Traverse 
des Sioux. The boat was in command of Mr. Prescott, 
who accommodated us with tent-room on the journey, and 
made the week pass comfortably for us. From Traverse 
des Sioux to Lac-qui-parle we had our first experience of 
prairie traveling and camping. It was decidedly a new 
experience. But we had the company of Dr. Williamson 

428 MARY AND I. 

and Mr. G. H. Pond, while we commenced to learn the 


The long, narrow room, partly under the roof, of Dr. 
Williamson s log house, which became our home for 
nearly five years from that September, is one of the 
memories that does not fade. 

On the 6th of December I remember coming home 
from Mr. Renville s, where we had been all the afternoon 
obtaining translations. Then there was hurrying to and 
fro, and the first baby came into our family of two. From 
that time on we were three, and the little Zitkadan-Washta, 
as the Indians named him, grew as other children grow, 
and did what most children don t do, viz., learn to go 
down stairs before he did up, because we lived upstairs, 
and all children can manage to go away from home, when 
they can t or won t come back of themselves. 

In those years our annual allowance from the treasury 
of the board was $250. This was more than the other 
families in the mission had proportionally. But it re 
quired considerable economy and great care in expendi 
ture to make the ends meet. Not knowing the price of 
quinine, and thinking four ounces could not be a great 
amount, we were much surprised to find the bill $16. But 
Dr. Turner of Fort Snelling kindly took it off our hands. 

Once we were discussing the question of how much 
additional expense the baby would be, when I said, 
" About two dollars." Thereafter Mr. S. W. Pond, who 
was present at the time, called the boy " Mazaska nonpa." 


In the second month of 1840, our three became four. 
And when the leaves came out and the flowers began to 


appear, the mother had a great desire to go somewhere. 
But the only place to go was to Fort Snelling. And so, 
leaving Chaskay and taking Hapan, we crossed the 
prairie to the Traverse des Sioux in company with Mr. 
Renville s caravan. The expectation was that the fur 
company s boat would be there. But it was not ; nor 
even a canoe, save a little leaky one, which barely aided 
us in crossing the St. Peters. The journey through the 
Big Woods was over logs and through swamps and streams 
for seventy-five miles. We had two horses but no saddle. 
Our tent and bedding and such things as we must have 
on the journey were strapped on the horses. The moth 
er rode one, not very comfortable, as may be supposed, 
but the baby girl had a better ride on a Dakota woman s 
back. At the end of ten miles, " le grand canoe " was 
found, in which they took passage. That ten miles was 
destined to be remembered by our return also ; for there 
where the town of Le Sueur now stands our bark canoe 
finally failed us, and, without an Indian woman to carry 
the baby, we walked up to the Traverse, through the wet 
grass. Altogether, that was a trip to be remembered. 

One other thing comes to my mind about our first 
" little lady." There was only one window in our up 
stairs room. On the outside of that the mother had a 
shelf fixed to set out milk on. One morning, when every 
one was busy or out, the little girl, not two years old, 
climbed out of the window and perched herself on that 
shelf. It gave us a good scare. 


In the first month of 1842 our family of four was in 
creased to Jive. And when the summer came on, we took 
a longer journey, which extended to New England. This 

430 MARY AND I. 

time Hapan was left behind and Hapistinna and Chaskay 
were the companions of our journey. The grandmother 
in Hawley saw and blessed her grandchild namesake Mar 
tha Taylor. "Good Bird" says he remembers picking 
strawberries in the Hawley meadow, where his i.ncle 
Alfred was mowing, in those summer mornings. 


A whole year passed, and we came back to the land of 
the Dakotas, to make a new home at Traverse des Sioux, 
to experience our first great sorrow, and to consecrate 
our Allon-bach-uth for the noble brother Thomas Law 
rence Longley. That was a garden of roses, but a village 
of drinking and drunken Sioux ; and more of trial came 
into our life of a little more than three years spent there 
than in any other equal portion. There our Wanskay 
was born, and started in life under difficulties. Our fam 
ily vifive had now become six. Provisions of a good qual 
ity were not easily obtained. But it happened that wild 
rice and Indian sugar were abundant, and the laws of hered 
ity visited the sins of the parents on our third little lady 
child. But, with all the disadvantages of the start, the 
little " urchin " grew, and grew, like the others. 


Trouble and sorrow baptize and consecrate. The many 
trials attendant upon commencing our station at Traverse 
des Sioux and the oaks of weeping there had greatly en 
deared the place to the mother; and when, in September 
of 1846, the mission voted that we should go back to Lac- 
qui-parle, she could not see that it was duty, and went 
without her own consent. It was a severe trial. In a 
few months she became satisfied that the Lord had led us. 



What of character the boy Halce, who was born in the 
next June, inherited from these months of sadness, I 
know not, but as he came along up, we called him a 
" Noble Boy." The family had then reached the sacred 
number seven. 

In the year that followed we built a very comfortable 
frame-house indeed, two of them one for Mr. Jonas 
Pettijohn s family comfortable, except that the snow 
would drift in through the ash shingles. Some of the 
older children can, perhaps, remember times when there was 
more snow inside than outside. We were up on the hill, 
and not under it, where Dr. Williamson and Mr. Huggins 
had built a dozen years before; and consequently the 
winter winds were fiercer, though we all thought the 
summers were pleasanter. In this house our sixth child 
was born, who has no Dakota cognomen. We shall call 
him Ishakpe. The half-dozen years in which we made 
that house our home were full of work, broken in upon 
by a year spent in the East myself in New York City 
chiefly. Henry, who could say to enquirers, " I was two 
years old last September," and Isabella were with their 
mother in Massachusetts and Brooklyn Martha and 
Anna in the capital of Minnesota, and Thomas at the 
mission station of Kaposia; Alfred, I believe, was at 
Galesburg, 111. 


It has been a question that we often discussed, " How 
shall we get our children educated ? The basis of allow 
ance from the treasury of the board had been on the prin 
ciple of the Methodist circuit riders. The $250 with 
which we commenced was increased $50 for each child. 
So that at this time our salary was either $500 or $550. 

432 MARY AND I. 

It was never greater than the last sum until after the 
outbreak in 1862. We lived on it comfortably, but there 
was very little margin for sending children away to 
school. And now we were reaching that point in our 
family history when a special effort must be made in that 
direction. Before we went on East in 1851, the mother 
and I had talked the matter over perhaps some good 
family would like to take one of the children to educate. 
And so it was, more than one good offer was received for 
the little boy Henry. But our hearts failed us. Mrs. 
Minerva Cook of Brooklyn said to me, " You are afraid 
we will make an Episcopalian of him." So near was he to 
being a bishop ! 


Many remembrances have to be passed over. The 
last picture I have of those mission houses at Lac-qui- 
parle is when, on the 3d of March, 1854, they were en 
veloped in fire. The two little boys had been down 
cellar to get potatoes for their mother, and, holding the 
lighted candle too near to the dry hay underneath the 
floor, the whole was soon in a conflagration, which our 
poor efforts could not stop. The houses were soon a 
heap of ashes, and the meat and many of the potatoes in 
the cellar were cooked. The adobe church was then our 
asylum, and the family home for the summer. 


While occupying the old church and making prepara 
tions to rebuild, Secretary S. B. Treat visited us. After 
consultation, our plans were changed, and we erected our 
mission buildings at Hazel wood, twenty-five miles further 
down the Minnesota, and near to Dr. Williamson s and 
the Yellow Medicine Agency. During the eight years 


spent there, many things connected with the family life 
transpired. First among them worthy to be noted was 
the rounding out of the number of children to eight 
" Toonkanshena," so called by the Indians just why, I 
don t know and Octavia the Hakakta. In those days 
our Family Education Society had to devise ways and 
means to keep one always, and sometimes two, away at 
school. By and by, Zitkadan-Washta graduated at 
Knox College, and Hapan and Hapistinna at the West 
ern Female Seminary and College Hill respectively. How 
we got them through seems even now a mystery. But I 
remember one year we raised a grand crop of potatoes, 
and sold 100 barrels to the government for $300 in gold. 
That was quite a lift. And so the Lord provided all 
through then and afterward. Nothing was more re 
markable in our family history for twenty-five years than 
its general health. We had very little sickness. I 
remember a week or so of doctoring on myself during 
our first residence at Lac-qui-parle. Then, the summer 
after our return there, the fever and ague took hold of 
two or three of the children. The mother also was taken 
sick suddenly in the adobe church, and Dr. Williamson 
and I had a night ride up from Hazelwood. At this 
place (Hazelwood) the baby boy Toonkanshena was sick 
one night, I remember, and we gave him calomel and 
sent for the doctor. But the most serious sickness of all 
these years was that of my " urchin " and Henry, both 
together of typhoid fever. I have always believed that 
prayer was a part of the means of their recovery. 


When the summer of 1862 came, it rounded out a full 
quarter of a century of missionary life for us. Alfred 

434 MARY AND I. 

had completed his seminary course, and in the meantime 
had grown such a heavy black beard that when he and I 
sat on the platform together, in a crowded church in 
Cincinnati, the people asked which was the father and 
which the son. 

While waiting in Ohio for the graduating day of Ha- 
pistinna to come, I ran up to Steubenville, where, I was 
born, and walked out into the country to the old farm 
where my boyhood was spent. The visit was not very 
satisfactory. Scarcely any one knew me. Everything 
had greatly changed. 


The memories of August 18, 1862, and the days that 
followed, are vivid, but must in the main be passed over. 
I can not forbear, however, to note what a sorry group we 
were on that island on the morning of the 19th. How 
finally the way appeared, and we filed up the ravine and 
started over the prairie as fugitives ! How the rain came 
on us that afternoon, and what a sorry camping we made 
in the open prairie after we had crossed Hawk River ! 
How the little Hakakta girl, when bed-time came, wanted 
to go home! How, when the rain had leaked down 
through the wagon-bed all night upon them, Mrs. D. 
Wilson Moore thought it would be about as good to die 
as to live under such conditions ! How Hapistinna and 
Wanskay wore off their toes walking through the sharp 
prairie-grass ! How we stopped on the open prairie to 
kill a cow and bake bread and roast meat, with no pans 
to do it in ! And how, while the process was going on, 
we had our picture taken ! How many scares we passed 
through the night we passed around Fort Ridgely ! How 
thus we escaped, like a bird from the snare of the fowler, 


the snare was broken, and we escaped. How, when 
the company came to adjust their mutual obligations, 
nobody had any money but D. Wilson Moore! How 
those women met us on the top of the hill by Henderson, 
and were glad to see us because we had white blood in 
us ! How on the road we met our old friend Samuel W. 
Pond, who welcomed our family to his house at Shakopee ! 


The memories of the campaign of the next three 
months may be passed over, as having little connection 
with the family. But I remember the night when, with 
more than three hundred condemnations in my carpet-bag, 
I had a long hunt at midnight for the little hired house 
in which the mother and children had re-commenced 
housekeeping. The three years in St. Anthony were ones 
of varied experiences. Wanskay had gone down to 
Rockford. Hapan and Hapistinna taught school and 
kept house for the mother by turns. The three boys 
went to school. 

The War of the Rebellion was not over, but it was near- 
ing its end, as we soon knew, when one day the noble boy 
Thomas brought in a paper for me to sign, giving my 
permission for his enlistment. I had heard and read so 
much of boys of sixteen going almost at once into the 
hospital that I threw the paper in the fire. 


The missionary work among the Dakotas was so broken 
up, the clouds hung so heavily over it, that I very seri 
ously entertained the question of giving up my commis 
sion as a missionary of the American Board, and turning 
my attention to work among white people. In my cor- 

436 MARY AND I. 

responclence with Secretary Treat I proposed a kind of 
half-and-half work, but that was not approved. Finally 
I wrote a letter of withdrawal, and sent it on to Boston. 
But the prudential committee were slow to act upon it. 
In the meantime, Rev. G. H. Pond came over and gave 
me a long talk. He believed I should do no such thing ; 
that the clouds w r ould soon clear away ; that the need of 
work such as I could give would be greater than ever 
before. And so it was. To me Mr. Pond was a prophet 
of the Lord, sent with a special message. I wanted to 
know the way. And the voice said, " This is the way ; 
walk in it." With new enthusiasm I then entered upon 
the work of meeting the increasing demand for school- 
books and for the Bible. 

At the very beginning of the year 1865, having com 
pleted my three months work at the Bible House in 
New York, in .reading the proof of the entire New Testa 
ment in Dakota, and other parts of the Bible, as well as 
other books, I returned to our home in St. Anthony to 
find the mother away at the water-cure establishment. 
We remember that as a year of invaUdism, of sickness. 
But the skilful physician and the summer sun wrought 
such a cure that in the autumn we removed to Beloit. 
Here, with comparative health, she had three and a half 
years of added life. 


Among the new things that took place in Beloit in the 
year 1866 was the marriage of Hapan and Hapistinna, 
the one starting off for the far-off land of the Celestials, 
so-called, and the other to the frontier of Minnesota. 
Wanskay was then our housekeeper, and the three boys 
were in school. By and by the time came for the mother 


to be called away. It was a brief sickness, and she passed 
from us into the Land of Immortal Beauty. It was a 
comfort to us that our first-born, Zitkadan-Washta, was 
residing near by that winter and spring of 1869. As I 
remember it, three children were far away, and five gath 
ered around the mother s grave. Now, looking back 
over the ten years passed since that time, I seem to 

" My thoughts, like palms in exile, 

Climb up to look and pray 
For a glimpse of that heavenly country, 
That seems not far away." 

This is a good point to close and seal up the Memories. 
For the rest, a few words may be sufficient. Manifestly, 
as a family, God has been with us all the way, and the 
blessings of the Lord Jehovah have been upon us. 
Forty-two years ago we went out two alone into 
the wilderness of prairie ; and now we have become one, 
two, three, four, Jive, six, or more bands. 

Sabbath, September 7, wound up the precious weeks; 
and Sabbath evening was the transfiguration of the 
whole. May its blessed memories tenderly abide in 
all our hearts ! For a year or more, we had looked for 
ward to the family meeting that was to be ; but now we 
look back and remember with growing pleasure the meet 
ing that was. As the wagons clattered away on Monday 
morning, they broke the charmed spell, but each one 
went his own way richer than he came. 

A. L. R. 





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