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Purchased with the 

Income of the 

Helen O. Storrow Fund 


I « 











No. 146 Chesnut Stuor. 


^5 •■ \ 



ZHftriet tf Cmntetiettf, w. 

BE IT REMEMBERED, Tbat on the fifth day nf Septemt 
in the forty-third year of tlie Independence of the United Sia 
the said District, have deposited in this office the title of a bo 
the right whereof they claim as proprietors, in the words 
lowing, 40 wit: 

'* MaoKrirs of Henry Ofcooldah, a native of Owhyhee, am 
Member of the Foreign Mission School ; who died at Cornw 
Conn. Feb. 17, 1818, aged 96 years.** 

In conformity to the Act of the Congress of the United Sta 
entitled, '* An Act for the Encouragement of Learning, by sec 
ing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the Authors i 
Proinrietors of such copies, during the times therein mentione 

CforJfc ff the District of OonneeHew 
A true copy of Reeord, examined and scaled by me, 

OEsrft ^ tke District ^f Connectiem 





O 3^ 





Hi^jfRi? Obookiah was a native of Owby- 
l*«.e, the most important of the Sandwich 
islands. He was horn ahout the year 1792. 
His parents ranked with the common peo- 
ple ; but his mother was distantly related to 
the family of the king. Her name was 
Kummoolah. The name of his father is 
unknown. When Obookiah was at the age 
of ten or twelve, both his parents were slain 
before his eyes, ** in a war," to use his own 
language, " made after the old king died, to 
see who should be the greatest among them." 
The only surviving member of the family, 
besides nimself, was an infant brother two 
or three months old. This little brother he 
hoped to save from the fate of his parents, 
and took him upon his back to €L^^ l\^\l^^ksL^ 



enemy ; but was overtaken, and the child 
cruelly destroyed. The circumstances of 
this interesting scene are so accurately stated 
in a " Narrative" already before the public, 
that that account will be here transcribed. 
The facts were taken from the relation of 

*' Two parties were contending for the do- 
minion of the island. The warriors met, 
and a dreadful slaughter ensued. The party 
to which the father of Obookiah belonged 
was overpowered. The conquerors having 
driven their antagonists from the field, next 
turned their rage upon the villages and fa- 
milies of the vanquished. The alarm was 
given of their approach. The father, taking 
his wife and two children, fled to the moun- 
tains There he concealed himself for seve- 
ral days with his family in a cave. But, at 
length, being driven by thirst to leave their 
retreat, they went in quest of water to a 
neighbouring spring. Here they were sur- 
prised by a party of the enemy while in the 
act of quenching their thirst. The father, 
obeying the first impulse of nature, fled, but 
the cnes of his wife and children soor 
brought him back again for their protection 
But seeing the enemy near, again he fl( 
The enemy seeing the affection of the fatl 
for his family, having seized his wife a 
children, put them to the torture, in or 
to decoy him firom his retreat. The art' 


Succeeded. Unable to bear the piercing 
cries of his family, again he appeared, and 
fell into their hands, and with his wife was 
cut in pieces. While this was going on, 
Obookiah, being then a lad of about twelve 
years, took his infant brother upon his back, 
and attempted to make his escape. But he 
was pursued, and his little brother pierced 
through with a pahooa, or spear, while on 
his back. He himself was saved alive, be- 
cause he was not young enough to give 
them trouble, nor old enough to excite their 

Obookiah, being now a prisoner in the 
hands of the enemy, was taken home to the 
house of the very man who murdered his 
parents. With him he remained, until he 
was found by an uncle, who having obtained 
the consent of his keeper, took him into his 
own family and treated him as his child. 
This uncle was a priest ; and had the rank 
of high priest of the island. It was his de- 
sign to educate Obookiah for the same ser- 
vice. In pursuance of this purpose, he 
taught him long prayers, and trained him to 
the task of repeating them daily in the tem- 
ple of the idol. This ceremony he some- 
times commenced before sunrise in the morn- 
ing, and at other times was employed in it 
during the whole or the greater part of the 
night. Parts of these prayers he often re- 


peated to gratify the curiosity of his friends^ 
after he came to this country.* 

He continued with his uncle, and in this 
employment, until he look his departure from 
his native country, fjo go in quest of another, 
where he hoped to find the happiness which 
the death of his parents had taken from him, 
and which nothing, now to he found in his 
own country, C^uld at all supply. 

His own feelings on this subject, with 
some account of his situation while he re- 
mained upon the island, of his departure 
for America, and his reception in this coun- 
try, are found in a history of his past life, 
written by himself several years before his 
death. As this, to all the readers of these 
memoirs wiU doubtless be interesting, con- 
sidered especially as the production of a 
heathen youth, the greater part of it will be 
inserted; with but few slight alterations. 
His own ideas, and in generid, his own lan- 
guage will be preserved. 

The history commences at the time of his 
parents' death. 

" The same man," says he, '' which kill- 
ed my &ther and mother took me home to 
his own house. His wife was an amiable 
woman, and very kind, and her husband 

* The pnyen legaxded the weather, the general pror 
perity of the iilaiiajits ^fenoe from enemies, an^ h«7 
nally the hfe and hi^pineM of the king. 


also : yet on account of killing my parents I 
did not feel contented. After I lived with 
this man about a year or two, I found one 
oi my uncles, who was a priest among them ; 
but he knew not who I was, (for I was quite 
small when he saw me at home with my pa- 
rents.) He inquired the name of my pa- 
rents — I told him. As soon as he heard the 
name of my parents, tears burst out and he 
weeped bitterly. He wished me not to go 
back and live with that man which killed my 
father and mother, but to live with him as 
long as I live. I told him I must go back 
and see that man, whether he was willing to 
give me a release. This was done. I went 
home, and told the man all what my uncle 
had told me. But the saying seemed to him 
very unpleasing. As soon as he had heard 
all what I said to him, he was very torment- 
ed with anger, as if he would look me in 
pieces that moment. He would not let me 
go, not till he die, or else he take my life 
away. Not long after this, I went and told 
my uncle what the man had told me, and he 
would no more let me go back to the man's 
house, until the man come after me, then he 
would converse with him on this subject. 
After I had lived with my uncle two or tnree 
days, the man came to his house, to take 
me home. Bat my uncle told him that I 
was as his own child — that he would not let 
me go back and live vrith YAxii^ ^sMb \^^^k^ 


take me, he should take both of 
the man did say but little because 
was a priest. But he told my urn 
I should live with him, he must 
care of me as what he has done, 
him he would by all means. Wh 
was done I lived with my uncle a i 

It was probably during this p( 
before peace was entirely restore 
island, that an event occurred in ^ 
hand of Providence was strikingly 
rescuing Obookiah, from a second 
to a violent and untimely death. 

He, with an aunt, the only sun 
ter of his father, had fallen into 1 
sion of the enemy. On a certa 
came to his knowledge that his ; 
perhaps himself, was to be put t( 
The first opportunity he could fi 
tempted to make his escape. And 
ing through a hole into a cellar, 
out on the opposite side, he got av 
served, and wandered off at a cc 
distance from the house in whic 
been kept. But it was not long 
aunt was brought out, by a num 
enemy, and taken to a precipice, fi 
she was thrown and destroyed. H 
—and now feeling -himself more 
alone, as soon as the enemy had 
ran toward the fatal spot, resolved 


Himself over and die with this finend ; whom, 
perhaps, he now considered as the last indi- 
vidual of his kindred. But he was discover- 
ed hy one of the chiefs, or head men of the 
party, who ordered two men to pursue him 
and bring him back. — He was overtaken just 
before he reached the precipice, and carried 
back to the quarters of the enemy. By a 
kind interposition of Providence he was 
saved for purposes which will appear in the 
subsequent history. 

"At the death of my parents," he says, 
" I was with them ; I saw them killed with 
a bayonet — and with them my little brother, 
not more than two or three months old — so 
that I was left alone without father and mo- 
ther in this wilderness world. Poor boy, 
thought I within myself, after they were 
gone, are there any father or mother of mine 
at home, that I may go and find them at 
home ? No ; poor boy am I. And while I 
was at play with other children — after we 
had made an end of playing, they return to 
their parents — ^but I was returned into tears ; 
—for I have no home, neither father nor 
mother. I was now brought away from my 
home to a stranger place, and I thought of 
nothing more but want of father or mother, 
and to cry day and night. 

" While I was with my uncle, for some 
time I began to think about leaving that 
country, to go to some other ^^st ^C \S&ft. 


globe. I did not care where I sha 
I thought to myself that if I sh 
away, and go to some other count 
bably I may find some comfort, m< 
to live there, without father and hq 
I thought it will be better for me to 
to stay. About this time there wa 
come fi'om New York; — Captain '. 
the master of the ship. As soon 
into the harbour, in the very place 
lived, I thought of no more but to 
best chance I had, and if the capt) 
no objection, to take me as one of 
servants and to obey his word, 
as the ship anchored I went on boar 
captain soon inquired whose boy 
Yet I knew not what he says to i 
could not speak the English languaj 
there was a young man who could s 
English language, and he told the 
that I was the Minister's nephew — 
nister of that place.) The captain 
me to stay on board the ship that ni 
the next day go home. This very i 
tisfied me, and I consented to stay. 
ing the captain invited me to ea 
with him. And there sat another 1 
118 who was to be my fellow-travc 
name Thomas Hopoo— Thomas, 
given him by the supercargo of t 
After supper the captain made s 
quiry to see if we were willing to 


America; and soon I made a motion with 
mj kead that I was willing to go. This man 
was Y-erj agreeable, and his kindness was 
much delighted in my heart, as if I was his 
own son, and he was my own father. Thus 
I still continue thankful for his kindness to- 
wards me. 

*' The next morning the captain wished 
me to go shore and see my uncle, whether 
he was willing to let me go with him or not 
I then got into a canoe and went on shore 
and found my uncle. He was at home.-— > 
He asked me where was I been through all 
that night before. I told him that I was on 
board the ship and staid there all the night. 
I t6Ld him what my object was, and all what 
the captain invite me to. As soon as my 
uncle heard that I was going to leave him, he 
shut me up in a room, for he was not willing 
to let me go. While I was in the room my 
old grandmother coming in, asked me what 
was my notion of leaving them, and go with 
the people whom I know not. I told her it 
is better for me to go than to stay there. 
Sbe said if I should leave them I shall not 
see them any more. I told her that I shall 
come back in a few months if I live. Her 
eyes were filled with tears. She said that I 
was very fodish boy. This was all she said, 
and she went out from the room. As soon 
as she went out, I looked around, expecting 
to fiad a hole that I might e^v^^ o>\\. ^1 ^^ 


house. And as soon as I saw a 1i 
in the side of the house, I got th 
and went on board the ship. Wher 
cle heard that I was on board the 
got into his canoe and came on board 
inquiring after me. No sooner after 
some inquirement I was there disco 
one of our countrymen who had 
of the ship, and was brought forth, s 
to my uncle's house. He would nc 
go unless I pay him a hog for 1 

for I was taken under his care to 

or a minister.)" 

Here there is an interruption in 
tory, and it does not appear whethei 
acted price was or was not paid foi 
charge, and permission to come to . 
Permission, however, was soon obtai 
" My uncle," he says, " would n< 
me no longer, and I took my leave 
and bid them farewell. My parti 
them was disagreeable to them an< 
but I was willing to leave all my i 
friends and acquaintance; expecte 
them no more in this world. We 
on our journey towards the Seal Is 
the N. W. part of America. C 
islands the captain left twenty or th 
for sealing business on his way to O 
We found them safe. Among thes 
found a very desirable young man, 
Bussell Hubbard, a son of Gen, H. • 


Haven. This Mr. Hubbard was a member 
of Yale College. He was a friend of Christ. 
Christ was with him when I saw him, but I 
knew it not — ' Happy is the man that put 
his trust in God !' Mr. Hubbard was very 
kind to me on our passage, and taught me the 
letters in English spelling-book. 

'/•We continued on these islands during 
six months, then took eur course towards 
Owhyhee. Two of my countrymen were 
with me in the ship. One of them concluded 
to stay at Owhyhee, and the other to pro- 
ceed on the voyage. The ship delayed no 
longer than a few days, and we set out for 
China, on our direct course to America.-— 
On our way towards China my poor friend 
Thomas fell overboard. He was so careless, 
not knowing what he was about, he went 
outside of the ship and drew salt water to 
wash plates with (for he was a cabin's boy.) 
When the ship rolled he got in the water. 
The captain calls all hands upon the deck, 
and ordered to have all the sails pulled down 
in order to let about. — While we were work- 
ing upon our sails, my friend Thomas was 
out of sight. While he was in the water he 
pulls all off his clothes in order to be lighter 
— We turned our ship and went back after 
him We found him almost dead. He was 
in the water during the space of two and a 
half hours. how glad was I then to see 
him — for he was already g^ou^. 



" We took our direct course 'from hence as 
it was before. Sood we landed at an island 
belonging to that part of China, and in the 
evening after the sun-down we anchored. On 
the next morning we fired one of our cannon 
for a pilot. When we had fired once oi 
twice, there was another ship of war belong- 
ing to the British, which stood about four oi 
five miles apart from us. 

'* As soon as they heard our cannon, they 
sent one of their brigs. We were then ta- 
ken by it for a while. They took our cap- 
tain and he went on board the men of war's 
ship. He was there for a number of days. 
After this the Englishmen agreed to let us 
go. We therefore leave that place, called 
Mocow or Mockow, (Mocao) and directed 
our course to the city of Canton. We were 
there until we sold out all our seal-skins and 
loaded our ship with other sort of goods ; 
such as tea, cinnamon, nankeens and silk, 
&c. At the end of six months we steered a 
direct course to America. At the Cape of 
Good Hope, or before it, our sailors on 
board the ship began to terrify at us. — They 
said that there was a man named Neptune 
who lived in that place and his abiding place 
was in the sea. In the evening the sailors 
begun the act. — One of them took an old 
great coat and put on him, and with a speak- 
ing trumpet in his hand, and his head waa 
covered with a sheep-skin ; and he went for 


ward of the ship and making a great noise. 
About this time friend Thomas and myself 
were on the quarter-deck, hearing some of 
them telling about Neptune's coming with 
an iron canoe, and iron paddle. Friend 
Thomas questioned whether the iron canoe 
will not sink down in the water. ' No/ 
said some of them, ' he will make it light, 
for he is a God.' While we were talking, 
the first we heard the sound of trumpet as 
follows, — * Ship hail ! from whence came 
you ?' — The captain immediately giving an 
answer in this manner : ' From Canton.' 
' Have you got my boys ?' said the old Nep- 
tune.—* Yes,' answered the captain. — 
* How many boys have you ?' added the old 
Neptune. 'Two,' said the captain, (that 
is myself and friend Thomas.) As soon as 
we both heard the captain says 'two,' we 
both scared almost to death : and wished we 
were at home. The old Neptune wished to 
see us ; but we dare not come near at it. 
He continued calling to us to come to him, 
or else he would take both of us to be as his 
servants. We therefore went up imme- 
diately and shook our hands with him in 
friendly manner. I thought that he was 
quite an old age ; by seeing his long beards 
iumI his head covered with gray hairs: for 
his head was covered with a sheep-kin. 
After our conversation with him he wished 
iot drink. So that I went and filled two 


pails full of salt-water, (as the sailors had 
told us,) and I set them before him. Then 
be took his speaking trumpet and put it in 
my mouth for tunnel, in order to make me 
drink that salt-water which I brought. But 
while he stoops down to reach the pail of 
water, I took hold of the speaking trumpet 
and hold it one side of my cheek, so that I 
may not drink a drop of salt water : did not 
any body knew it for it was dark. But 
friend Thomas he was so full of scare, he 
took down a great deal of salt water. On 
the next morning he was taken sick, and 
puked from the morning until the evening. 

" About this time our provision was almost 
out We bad no bread, meat and water, 
save only one biscuit a-day and one pint of 
water ; only when the cook put in our tea. 
We were looking out for a vessel for a long 
time. Within a few days we come close to 
a schooner going to the West Indies ; sailed 
from Boston. We fired at her in order to 
stop her. So did she. We got from them 
as much provision as we wished, and this 
lasted us until we got to New York. 

" We landed at New York in the yeai 
1809 ; continued there a few weeks, and af- 
ter the captain sold out all the goods thai 
are in the ship, we then parted with all oui 
sailors ; every one to go to their own home, 
But friend Thomas and myself continuer 
with the captain. One evening two ge^ 


demen called on board the ship to see us. 
After our conversation was made with them, 
they wished us to go with them into a play- 
bouse, to show the curiosity. We then 
went with them into the playhouse and saw 
a great number of peoples, as I ever saw be- 
fore. We staid during the forepart of the 
evening, then went on board the ship. The 
next morning the same two gentlemen called 
again and invited us to come to their house 
that forenoon. So that we both went. I 
thought while in the house of these two gen- 
tlemen how strange to see females eat with 

''Within a few days we left our ship and 
went home with Captain B. to New-Haven ; 
the place where he lived. There I lived 
with him for some time. In this place I 
become acquainted with many students be- 
longing to the College. By these pious stu- 
dents 1 was told more about GU>d than what 
I had heard before; but I was so ignorant 
that I could not see into it whether it was 
so. Many times I wished to hear more about 
God, but find no body to interpret it to me. 
I attended many meetings on the sabbath, 
but find difficulty to understand the minis- 
ter. I could understand or speak but very 
little of the English language. Friend Tho- 
mas went to school to one of the students inr 
the college before I thought of going to 
schooL I heard that a ship was ready to 



sail from New York within a few days foi 
Owhyhee. The captain was willing that I 
might take leave of this country and go home 
if I wish. But this was disagreeable to my 
mind. I wished to continue in this country 
a little longer. I staid another week — saw 
Mr. E. W. D. who first taught me to read 
and write. The first time I saw him, he 
inquired whether I was one who came ovei 
with Thomas, (for Thomas was known among 
many scholars in College.) I told him ] 
was one who came over with Thomas. He 
then asked me if I wished to learn to read 
and write. I told him that I was. He wished 
me to come to his room that night and he- 
gin to learn. So that 1 went in the evening 
and hegan to read in the spelling-hook. Mr. 
D. wished me to come to his room at an^ 
time when it is agreeahle to the captain 
with whom I then lived. I went home thai 
night, and the next morning I mentioned all 
this matter to the captain. He was pleased, 
and he wished me to go to school to Mr. D. 
Thus I continued in school with him foi 
several months." 

When Obookiah was first discovered at 
New-Haven by the person of whom he 
speaks, his appearance was unpromising 
He was clothed in a rough sailor's suit, was 
of a clumsy form, and his countenance dul 
and heavy. His friend had almost deter 
mined to pass him by, as one whom 


would be in vain to notice and attempt to 
instruct. But when the question was put 
him, ''Do you wish to leam?" his counte- 
nance began to brighten. And when the 
proposal was made that he should come the 
next day to the college for that purpose, he 
served it with great eagerness. 

It was not long after he began to study, 
and had obtained some farther knowledge 
of the English language, that he gave evi- 
dence, that the dullness, which was thought 
to be indicated by his countenance, formed 
no part of his character. It soon appeared 
that his eyes were open to every thing that 
was passing around him, and that he had an 
unusual degree of discernment with regard 
to persons and things of every description 
that came within his notice. The first exhi- 
bition that was made of this trait in his cha- 
racter, and indeed the first decisive evidence 
he furnished that his mind was less inactive 
than had been supposed, was in the following 

When he began to read in words of one 
or two syllables in the spelling-book, there 
were certain sounds which he found it very 
difficult to articulate. This was true, espe- 
cially of syllables that contained the letter 
iS : a letter which occasioned him more 
trouble than all others. In pronouncing it, 
he uniformly gave it the sound of L. At 
every different reading an attempt was made 

20 MEMOIRS or 

to correct the pronunciation. The language 
generally used on such occasions was, ** Dry, 
Obookiah, it is very easy J* This was often 
repeated. But it was soon perceived, that 
whenever these words were used they ex- 
cited a smile. And as patience began to be 
tried by many unsuccessful attempts, and 
the words to be used more in earnest, he was 
observed to turn away his face for the pur- 
pose of concealment, and seemed much di- 
verted. As he was unable to express his 
thoughts except by acts, no explanation was 
made and none demanded. The reason was 
scarcely perceived. But as the attempts to 
correct the error were at last successful, the 
circumstance was soon forgotten. A short 
time after this, long enough, however, for 
Obookiah to have made some improvement 
in speaking the English, his instructor was 
spending an evening pleasantly with him, in 
making inquiries concerning some of the 
habits and practices of his own country. 
Among other things Obookiah mentioned 
the manner in which his countrymen drank 
from a spring, when out upon their hunting 
excursions. The cup which they used was 
their hands. It was made by clasping them 
together, and so adjusting the thumb^, and 
bending the hands, as to form a vessel which 
would contain a considerable quantity. Of thi? 
he gave an example ; and after preparing hit 
hands, was abie, from the pliableness of hit 


anns, to raise them entirely to his month, 
without turning them at all from their hori- 
zontal position. The experiment was at- 
tempted by his instructor: but he found 
that before his hands were raised half the 
distance to his mouth, they were so much 
inverted, that their contents would have 
been principally lost. He repeated the trial 
until he began to be discouraged ; when 
Obookiah, who had been much amused with 
his efforts, with a very expressive counte- 
nance said to him, ''TVy, Mr. D,, it is very 
etuy." The former mystery was now un- 
ravelled, and an important lesson taught with 
respect to the ease or difficulty, with which 
things are done by us, that are or are not na- 
tural to us ; or to which we have or have not 
been, from early life, accustomed. 

About this time it was discovered that 
Obookiah noticed with uncommon acuteness 
and interest, every singularity in the speech 
and manners of those around him. And in 
the midst of his own awkwardness, to the 
surprise of all who were conversant with 
him, he suddenly began to show himself 
dexterous as a mimic. He one day placed 
himself upon the floor, drew up his sleeves 
half way to the elbow, walked across the 
room with a peculiar air, and said ** Who 
dis?** The person intended was instantly 
known by all that were present. He then 
put himself in a different position, changed 


his gait, and said again, ** Well, who di^ V' 
This imitation also was so accurate, of 
another of the memhers of college, that no 
one doubted with regard to the original. 
The extent of his own awkwardness at this 
time may be learned from the effect which 
an exhibition of it produced upon himself. 
After he had completed his own efforts at 
mimicry, his friend said to him, '* Well, 
Obookiah, should you like to know how you 
walk ?'' He seemed much pleased with the 
suggestion, and the imitation 'was attempted. 
He was greatly diverted, though almost in- 
credulous, and said with earnestness— several 
times repeating the question — " 3f e walk 
$oV* Alter being assured that it was a re- 
ality, he burst into a loud roar of laughter 
and fell upon the floor, where he indulged 
his mirth until he had exhausted his 

The same trait of character was discover- 
able in the manner in which he was affected 
with respect to the idols of the heathen, upon 
the first instruction given him concerning 
the true God. He was at once very sensibly 
impressed with the ludicrous nature of idol 
worship. Smiling at its absurdity, he said, 
"0 why bee gods! they wood, bum; Me go 
home, put 'em in a fire, bum 'em up. They 
no 8ee, no hear, no any thing" — then added,-— 
'' We make themr^~Our God, (looking up) Bti 
make us.*' 


The history proceeds — " Now I wished 
no more to live with captain any longer, but 
rather wished to live somewhere else, where 
I could have an opportunity to learn to writ« 
and read. I went to my friend Mr. D., who 
was to be my best and kind friend ; I made 
known to him all my desire. I told him 
that I wished to live where I could have an 
opportunity to get in some school, and work 
^ . I part of the time. He then wished me to 
t^ five with President^Dwight. This satisfied 
^ Jme ; I went with him to Dr. iD wight's house. 
\ ^ 1 lived with this pious and good family for 
some time, and went to school to the same 
man as before. While I lived with these 
good people I have more time to attend to 
my book than I ever did before. Here was 
the first time I meet with praying family 
morning and evening. It was difficult f^ 
me to understand what was said in prayer, 
but I doubt not this good people were pray- 
ing for me while I was with them ; seeing 
that I was ignorant of Grod and my Saviour. 
I heard of God, as often as I lived with this 
l&unily, and I believed but little. Whilst I 
lived at Dr. Dwight's, I went up to my 
school room one evening, and saw Mr.^Si J* 
Mm a son of Rev. Mr. S. J. I., of Torring- 
£ra, sitting with Mr. D. my instructor. 
Mr. D. wished me to make acquaintance 
with Mr. M. So did I — (and shook hands 
with him.) Mr. M. continued in New- 


Haven for several months. During thi 
he wished me to go home with hii 
says he has a good father, mother 
ther and sister. This requesting wai 

f)Ieasing to me — so that I consented, 
eft New-Haven and went home wit] 
M. I lived with this family in the 
1810. These people were the most juc 
and kindest people. I was treated hy 
in the most affectionate manner — (y< 
knowing who hrought me there, for 
very ignorant of him who gave me so 
good friends in this country.) It seeo 
me as my own home. It was. And 1 
made my home there frequently. I 
say much of them, hut what more car 
hut to rememher their kindness to war 
While I was with them I continued my 
in spelling, reading and writing, to I 
F. M. a brother of Mr. M. whom I y< 
quainted with at the first. Here I k 
some sort of farming business : cutting 
pulling flax, mowing, &c.^-only to 1( 
the other and learn from them." 

As Obookiah was to obtain, in pa 
support at Mr. Mills's by his labour, \ 
immediately set about most kinds of 
ness that pertain to a farm. And t 
this was a new employment to him, 1 
found to excel in every thing to whi 
turned his hand. One glance at othi 
an example waji all the instruction t 


required, before he was ready to undertake, 
and to perform skilfully, every kind of la- 

The fdlowinig extract of a letter from the 
Rev. Mr. Milb, sufficiently illustrates this 
part of his character. 

" There was something unusual in regard 
to Obookiah. His attention to what passed 
before him, and his talent at imitation, were 
singular. He had never mown a clip until 
he came to live with me. My son furnished 
him with a scythe. He stood and looked on 
to see the use he made of it, and at once fol- 
lowed, to the surprise of those who saw him* 
We had a spell at reaping. We furnished 
him with a sickle. He stood and looked, 
and followed on. It was afterwards observ- 
ed by a person who was in the field, that 
there were not two reapers there who ex- 
celled him. 

'' In these respects and others, he was 
truly a remarkable youth." 

While Obookiah remained in the family 
of Mr. Mills, "every possible attention was 
paid to the improvement of his mind, and 
nis progress was such as to convince those 
who instructed him that their labour was 
not in vain. He soon acquired a knowledge 
of the spelling-book, and in a few mouths 
was able to read in the Tesl^LUifeiiV.. '^^ ^v 




time he had also made considerable profi- 
ciency in writing. It was observed that he 
learned to talk English just as fast as he 
learned to read it. When he became able to 
communicate his ideas in a broken manner, 
he would express a very tender concern for 
his countrymen."* 

Henry now made his first essay at letter- 
writing. His first letter was written to his 
friend Thomas at New-Haven, and the se- 
cond to his former instructor. The last has 
been preserved, and for reasons that will be 
obvious, is here inserted. — The following is 
an exact copy : 

" Torringford, March 2, 1810. 
** Mr. E. D., Sir, 

" I here now — this place, Torringford— 
I glad see you very much. I laugh Tom 
Hoboo— he say — *Obooki write me that: 
Me no write.* I want you tell Tom Mr. S. 
Mills say if we be good boys we shall have 
friends. One morning you know I come 
into your room in college, and you tell me 
— read — you say, whai c,a,p. spell? then I say 
€M,p. pig. I spell four syllables now, and I 
say wnat is the chief end of man. I like 
you much. I like your brother, and your 
Iriend Mr. Dean. I wear this great coat 

• ** NanBtire of Heathen Youth." 


you gave me to meeting every Sunday. I 
wish you would write me a letter and tell me 
what Tom do. 

" This from 

"Hbnry Obooki.*' 

***Mr8. M. the wife of the Rev. Mr. M." 
continues Ohookiah, ''was a very amiable 
woman, and I was Seated by her as her own 
child. She used me kindly, and learned me 
to say the Catechism. 

'' Many ministers called on the Rev. Mr. 
M., and I was known by a great number of 
ministers. But on account of my ignorance 
of the true Grod, I do not wish to hear them 
when they talk to me. I would not wish to 
be in the room where they were ; neither did 
I wish to come near to a minister, for the 
reason that he should talk to me about God, 
whom I hated to hear. I was told by them 
about heaven and hell, but I did not pay 
any attention to what they say ; for I thought 
that I was just as happy as the other people, 
as those who do know about Grod much more 
than I do. But this thought, as I see to it 
now, was the most great and dangerous mis- 

" At the close of the year 1810, I left this 
place, and went to Andover. I continued 
there for some time. Here my wicked heart 
began to see a little about the divine things ; 
but the more I see to it, tYie m<(>i^ Sx^Y^<^^^ 


to be impenetrability. I took nruch satisfac- 
tion in conversing with many students in the 
Institution. I spent a little time with some 
of them, and in going to one room and to 
another to recite to them : for I was taken 
under their care. Whenever I got a lesson 
i had a right to go to any room in college 
»o recite. While I was there for a long time, 
my friend Mr. M. was there; one of my 
kindest friends that I had, who took m<* 
away from his father's house. This young 
Mr. M. was studying divinity at the col- 
lege where I was instructed by the stu- 

It was at this time and with the friend 
who has been mentioned, that Obookiah 
made his first attempt to pray in the presence 
of another. ^ *' His friend having knelt down 
and prayed, turning to him before they rose, 
said, *you may pray.' — When he delivered 
himself, in substance, in the following 

''Great and eternal God — make heaven 
— make earth — make every thing — have 
mercy on me — make me understand the Bi- 
ble — make me good — great God have mercy 
on Thomas — make him good — make Tho- 
mas and me go back O why bee — tell folks in 
Owhyhee, no more pray to stone god — make 
some good man go with me to Owhyhee, 
tell folks in Owhyhee about Heaven — aboul 
Hell — God make all people good every 


where— great Grod have mercy on college — 
make all good — make Mr: Samuel good — 
have mercy on Mr. Samuel's father, mother, 
sister, hrother." — " Our father which art in 
heaven,'* &c. 

" My friend, Mr. M., now thought it 
would be well for me to leave Andover, and 
go to some school, where I may improve my 
time much more than I could there. He 
said if I should go he would try to find some 
good people who would be willing to sup- 
port me. This was a most kind offer, which 
I cannot feel any more than to be thankful 
for all this kindness to me. Mr. M. now 
sent me to Bradford Academy ; and there I 
continued for some time at school. The 
people where I boarded, at the house of Dea- 
con H. were a most pious £imily. But while 
I was here in the school, my serious feelings, 
which I had before, lost all ; and become 
very ignorant of religion by being among 
some unserious company, talking many fool- 
ish subjects* I thought now I shall never 
have any more such feelings as I had befora 
— ^I thought that I must always be misera- 
ble here and here^ter, I became prayerless 
and thoughtless — no hope for mercy — never 
attempted to be alone as I had done before. 
I sit and walked about all day — took no op- 
portunity to be at the throne of grace, but 
rather to be stupid — from the morning until 
evening never thought of hixii Y]ViQ>Lfo'^X\&fo 




alive ; neither when I lay down upon my bed, 
nor when I rose up. I was in this situation 
for a long time, while I was at school. At the 
:Iose of the school I went back to Audover. 
Mr. M. was not there. It was vacation. I 
*taid until he returned. When he returned 
he inquired how I have been, and how I was 
pleased with the school. I answered well. 
But I did not let him know what was my 
situation, and what trouble I had met with 
while I was there, but kept all these things 
in my own mind. 

^* In the spring season of the year 1811, I 
hired myself out for a month or two, on ac- 
count of my health, with Mr. F. who lived 
about five miles from the college. Mr. F. 
one day sent me into the woods not far from 
the house to work. I took an axe and went 
and worked there till towards noon. But 
here O ! I come to myself again ! many 
thoughts come into my mind that I was in 
a dangerous situation. I thought that if I 
should then die, I must certainly be cast off 
i*br ever. While I was working, it appear- 
ed as it was a voice saying, * Cut it down, 
why cumbereth it the ground.* I worked 
no longer — ^but dropped my axe, and walked 
a few steps from the place (for the people in 
the house would soon send a lad after me 
for it was noon.) I fell upon my knees a^ 
looked up to the Almighty Jehovah for h'^ 
/ was not but aa undone «ad hell-deser 


sinner. I felt that it would be just that God 
should cast me off withersoever he would 
— ^that he should do with my poor soul as it 
seemed to him fit. I spent some time here 
until I heard a boy calling for me — and I 
went. The people in the house asked of my 
sadness — ^to which I gave but little answer. 
In the night my sleep was taken away from 
me. I kept awake almost the whole night. 
Many of my feelings and thoughts in past 
time came into remembrance — and how I 
treated the mercy of Qod while I was at 
Bradford Academy. The next morning I 
rose up before the rest, and went to a place 
where I was alone by myself. Here I went 
both morning, night and noon. At this little 
place I find some comfort. And when I go 
there I enjoy myself better all the day. 

" At the end of two months I returned to 
Andover. Many times Mr. M. asked me 
about my feelings, and I was neither willing 
to answer much, nor could I, on account of 
my unfmitfulness and wickedness. 

" I continued here a few days and then 
hired myself out again, and went to labour 
for Mr. A. a farmer, in haying time. Mr. A. 
was a good man, and it was a religious fa- 
mily. I had here the same seriousness in 
my mind as before, but never did meet with 
reil change of heart yet" 

During Obookiah's residence at Andover^ 
he lived two years in the {axmV} qI '^t* k 


the steward of the Theological Instit 
This family bears very favourable testi 
to the excellence of his character, 
speak of him with tears. Said Mrs. 
a friend, " He was always pleasant. I 
saw him angry. He used to come int 
chamber and kneel down by me and 
Mr. M. did not think he was a christi 
that time, but he appeared to be thinki 
nothing else but religion. He aften 
told • me that there was a time whc 
wanted to get religion into his head more 
into his heart.** 

In an absence of a month or two froi 
familv, he wrote a letter to Mrs. A. 
which the following is an extract : 

" I sometimes think about my poor 
and that which Grod hath done. I wi 
unto Qod — ' What shall I do to be sa' 
I know that Qod is able to take away 
eyes and wicked heart. We must be 
again and have a new spirit before w 
As soon as we shall be dead, all we 
stand before the judgment seat of C 
Friend, perhaps yon have not done any 
wicked, so that God can punish you. I 
you have not. But if we are not his f 
and followers he will cast us into he. 
we shall be there for ever and ever. 1 
you will think upon all these things. 
tP yoQi ... " Hknrt OBor 


Whilst at Andover Obookiah heard that 
one of his countrymen resided in the vicini- 
ty. He hastened to him and spent a part of 
a day with him, and a night in which they 
did not sleep. When he returned, a friend 
said to him, " Well Henry, what news from 
Owhyhee ?'* He replied, "/ did not think of 
Owhykeef I h(id so much to say about Jesus 

Henry had now become diligent in study- 
ing the Scriptures, and made rapid progress 
in religious knowledge. The following fact 
is a specimen of what he had attained. 

He was asked, ** How many miracles are 
recorded of our Saviour?" He began with 
the first, that of making water wine, and 
mentioned them all. 

In a letter from Andover, communicating 
the preceding facts, it is observed, '• Mr. A. 
the steward, says, Henry was very inquisi- 
tive, and could never be satisfied until he 
saw the whole of a subject. This was pecu- 
liarly observable during an eclipse of the 
sun, concerning which he asked many trou- 
blesome questions: and also with regard to 
many kinds of public business ; particularly 
the mode of levying, collecting, and appro- 
priating taxes. 

** He was seen one morning very early 
with a rule measuring the College buildings 
and fences. He was asked why he did it. Ke. 
smiled, and said, * So lYk^l \ ^^ V\i^^ 

34 MEMOIRS or 

how to build when I go back to Owby- 

" When he heard a word," said Mr. A. 
** which he did not understand or could not 
speak, it was his constant habit to ask me 
* How you spell? How you spell 7^ When I 
told him he never forgot." 

Henry now began to maintain a corres- 
pondence with his absent friends: a prac- 
tice in which he seemed to take unusual 
pleasure through the whole of his future 

The two following letters, written at An- 
dover, are taken from the " Narrative of 
Heathen Youth." "They were exactly co- 
pied from the original with a few corrections 
in the punctuation." 

" Andover, Dec. 16, 1812, • 
" Dear Christian Friend^ 

"I improve this opportunib^ to write to 
you. And I saw your beloved book which 
you sent by Mr. 6. and that I very much 
thank you for it I am great joy to God to 
give me such a good friend in this land 
where we hear the words of God — Grod is 
kind to us and to the other — ^that is to every 
body else. God will carry through his work 
for us. 

" I do not know what will God do with 
my poor soul. I shall go before Gi>d and also 
both Christ. 


"We must all try to get forward where 
God wishes us to do. God is ahle to save 
sinners if we have some feeling in him. Is 
very great thing to have hope in him, and 
do all the Christian graces. I hope the 
Lord will send the gospel to the heathen 
land where the words of the Saviour never 
yet had been. Poor people worship the wood 
and stone and shark, and almost every thing 
their gods ; the Bible is not there, and Hea- 
ven and Hell they do not know about. I yet 
in this country and no father and no mother. 
But Grod is friend if I will do his will and not 
my own will/* 

The following letter was written to the 
Rev. Mr. Mills of Torringford. 

" Andover, Jan. 27, 1813. 

'* Very Dear Christian Friend, 

" I improve this opportunity to write to 
you a letter. I received your two letters 
and I had broken the seals of both of them, 
and, I have read those sweet words that 
make my poor and wicked heart feel cold, 
as like cold water. Lord how long shall I 
continue in my own sins ? Lord wilt thou 
hear my secret prayer ? 

**Dear sir, I hope youi prayer for the 
poor and blind immortal souls will be heard. 
I thank you to pray for me beside my own 
prayer. Pray to God that he miglit i^uc 

36 HEMoTKs or 

down his Holy Spirit upon gJI onr ionls. — 
I do not know what will become of my poor 
soul, when my time is full come hereafter. 
But in my own feeling I wish his will, and 
I am willing that God do what he please for 
my poor soul. What are sweet things in 
this world, sinners like better than their own 
Bonis which are going down to the bottom- 
less pit. O how wicked and sinful are we. 
How shall we go to the path of life and of 
his truth, and be with him in Heaven. No 
way at all ; only we must give away ourselves 
to him and leave all our sins behind. Some 
think they know not how to pray ; but they 
ought to know, for Christ hath taught us. f 
went to Tyngebury last week to see a boy 
who came from Owhyhee. He arrived last 
June — (this is not Thomas who came with 
me.) As the distance from this place was 
small, I went to visit him. I hope the Lord 
will have mercy upon his poor soul. He 
knew nothing of the Saviour before I told 
him. I first mentioned to him Genesis 1., 
&c. telling him that God made the world by 
bis own power ; then he said, how foolish 
we are to worship wood and stone gods ; we 
give them hogs and cocoa nuts and banana, 
but Ihey cannot eat. Yes, said I, it is fool- 
ish. Then he asked me where that man was, . 
that made every thing. I told him, he was 
every where with us. Does he hear when 
Toa and I talk ? says he. I told bim yet. 


and you must believe in him if you would be 
his friend. He said he did believe what [ 
told him. He has not learned to understand 
English, but I spoke in why bee. I took 
him with me to the minister's house on Sab- 
bath evening, so I told him in Owhyhee 
what Mr. Allen the minister said. He had 
been before but could not understand what 
was said. I told him what God did for him 
in keeping him alive and bringing him to 
this country. He said he liked that man 
(meaning God) very much. He asked me 
many questions again and again about God, 
which I answered. After we went to bed he 
said he would never forget what I had told 
him. He said when he eat he would remem- 
ber who gave him food. The people where 
he lived said he might stay there as he would ; 
and when he had learned English a little he 
might go to school. He did cry when I left 

Irt the spring of the year 1812, Mr. Mills, 
the particular patron of Obookiah, was ap- 
pointed by the board of commissioners to 
take a missionary tour through the western 
and southern states. Soon after his depar- 
ture Obookiah went to spend several months 
at Hollis, in New Hampshire. — '* Here," he 
says, " I lived with two good men, Dea. E. 
and Dea. B. and with the Rev. Mr. S. 
While I was in this place, I became more 
thoughtful about myself. 1 ^\.\.«.\i^^^ \fiS6.\i^ 

of the youn;; people's meetings, and I wu 
quite happy. But I was now taken nek of 
a fever at the house of Dea.B. I was very 
weak aad was not able to answer to the 
questions of those who came to -visit roe. 
Then thought I, where shall I go (or a phy- 
sician, but unto thee ! Death bad but a littie 
fear. I contiuued sick for five weeks. The 
whole family of Dea. B. ^vere vefy kind. I 
was treated with the most affectionate care 
during the whole of my sickness. Doctor 
C. was a very kind and friendly man. He 
was a pious man and good Christian. Many 
times he prayed with me while I was upon 
my sick bed. 

"One day Mrs. B. asked me whether I 
■was willing to die and leave this world of 
■sin and go to the better. To which I replied 
that I should have no objection if God should 
do with me as it seemed to him fit. She 
«dded, 'Do you remember the goodness 
and the kindness of God toward you ?' I 
answered yes — For I have neither a fathei 
nor a mother, nor a brother nor a sister in 
this strange country but He. But ! am 
I fit to call him my &ther P ' Whosoever 
doeth his will the same is a child of God.' 
So longer after my complaint was over I 
began to experience hope in religion. I 
thought often concerning the happiness of 
Another world aod eternal realities. But 
mj mind and my heart of wickedoeiB would 



often turn back to this world : (if I dc 
think about the serious things.) Many t 
I . meet with dark hour. But the grc 
part of the time I took much comfort 
happiness, both in my secret prayer ai 
serious conversation with others. I the 
now with myself, that I have met wi 
change of heart. It was so if I mistake 
For the Lord. Jesqs did appear as chi 
among tein thousand, and one altogi 
lovely ; and hia mercy appeared to be 
come to a sinner as I.'' 

In the fall, Henry left Hollis and retu 
to Andover; where he remained until 
sacceeding spring: when he took his 
leave of that place, and went '' home" t 
house of the Rev. Mr. Mills in Torring 
[ . Here he passed the following summer. 

During this residence at Mr. Mills's 
occasionally visited Litchfield, to see 
person who had been his early friend at J^ 
- Haven. As this was but a short perio< 
^' ter his hopeful conversion, his friend 
anxious to ascertain what knowledge he 
sessed of experimental religion. To 
questions that were asked him, he gave 
flwers which clearly evinced that on 
flubiect he had thought and felt for him 
and furnished much reason to hope tha 
had been savingly instructed by the J 
Spirit. " How does your own heart ap 
to you r* was a question put to Um. 




which he replied, " bl<ick, very bla 
"But you hope you have a new hear 
did it appear to you before it was chai 
" Mud,'* he said, ''all mud." 

His conversation was at this time 
upon the subject of religion, and he s< 
for so young a christian, to be in an i 
mon degree heavenly minded. He 
" When I at home — at Torringford — 
the field I can't help think about Heai 
go in a meadow — work at the ha* 
hands — but my thought — ^no there. — 1 
ven — all time — ^then I very happy." 

He had already acquired a very coi 
able knowledge of the Scriptures. He 
passages appropriate to almost every i 
of conversation. It was evident th 
mind dwelt upon the truth of the Bib] 
that he found much of his habitual pi 
in searching out the less obvious tn 
which it contained. He manifested gi 
quisitiveness with regard to passa^ 
Scripture whose meaning he did not e 
comprehend. Many passages were th 
ject of inquiry. One only is recol 
** What our Saviour mean," said he, * 
he say, ' In my father's house are man; 
sions — I go prepare a place for you.' 
he mean, '/ go prepare a place V " 

The readiness and propriety with 
he quoted passages of Scripture on 
'eecBOoni were particularly noticed 



who conversed with him. In one of his visits 
he asked his friend, who was now in the 
study of Divinity, to go aside, as if he had 
something of importance which he wished 
to reveal. But it appeared that it was his 
object to converse with him upon the subject 
of accompanying him to whyhee. He plead 
with great earnestness that he would go and 
preach the Gospel to his poor countrymen. 
Not receiving so much encouragemeut as he 
desired, he suspected that his friend might 
be influenced by the fear of the consequences 
of. attempting to introduce a new religion 
among the heathen. Upon which, though 
he had now just begun to lisp the language 
of the scriptures, he said, '' You /raid?** 
You know our Saviour say, '^ He that wiU 
tave his life shall lose it ; and he thai will lose 
bis life for my sake, same shall save it" 

His own fearlessness and zeal on this sub- 
ject he exhibited about the same time to an 
aged Minister who asked him why he wish- 
ed to return to Owhyhee. He replied, " to 
preach the Gospel to my countrymen.'' He 
was asked, what he would say to them about 
their wooden gods. He answered ^* Nothing." 
"But," said the clergyman, "suppose your 
countrymen should tell you that preaching 
Jesus Christ was blaspheming their gods, 
and should put you to death?" To this he 
replied with great emphasis, " If that be the 
will of God, / am ready , I am ready." 


">^^*\^ta^co«^^ concern^ Y.te 
vi^"^*^" *^4 c\v«»rit5 .°\tc t»^fj 


covered a strong relish for the Bihle ; was 
constant in reading it; and seldom would 
any object or circumstances prevent his 
reading daily some portion of the Scriptures. 
Occasionally, when requested, he has prayed 
and spoken in social religious meetings, and 
always performed these services to the ac- 
ceptance, and it is believed, to the edification 
of those present.* 

The summer of 1814, Henry spent at Tor- 
ringford. ** In the beginning of summer,'' 
he says, " my friend Mr. M., whom I loved, 
returned from his missionary tour. I re- 
ceived him with joyful salutation. Several 
times he asked me how my wicked heart get 
along while I was hoeing corn. — But I was 
still fearful to tell wheUier my heart was 
changed or not. 

" At this time Mr. M. wished me to go 
and live with the Rev.. Mr. Harvey, of Go- 
shen. This was pleasing to me, and I went 
to live with Mr. H. and studied geography 
and mathematics. And a part of the time 
was trying to translate a few verses of the 
Scriptures into my own language; and in 
making a kind of spelling-book ; taking the 
English alphabet, and giving different names 
and different sounds — (for this language was 
oot written language.) I spent some time 

♦ " Narrative oi Heathen Youth." 


in making a kind of spelling-book, dicti* 
grammar, &c. 

" While I was in this place with Re^ 
H. I took more happiness upon my 
than I ever did before ; having a good 
to study, and being alone the greates 
of the time. Many happy and s 
thoughts were coming into my mind 
I was upon my bed in the night, 
thing appeared to be very clear to m; 
view. Many times the Lord Jesus apj 
in my mind to be the most great grac 
glorious. O what happy hours that 
in the night season! I thought som< 
before, that religion was a hard th: 
get it — ^making vibjoj excuses for praj^ 
and kept putting on from time to tim* 
thought it would become easier some 
at hand. But this kind of feeling led ] 
beyond all happiness. Many times I 
as a man that travels up to a hill and 
down. But it was nothing that hinder 
but my own wicked heart, and because 
not repent for my sin. 

*' I seeked for the Lord Jesus for e 
time, but found him not It was bee 
did not seek him in a right manner, 
still I do think that I have found him 
my knees. The Lord was not in the 
neither in the earthquake, nor in the fire, 
ettudl voice. 

" About this time I thought with t 


to join with some church. I wished to give 
every thing up for the glory of God, to give 
up my whole soul to him, to do with me as 
he pleaseth. I made known these things to 
the Rev. Mr. H. and he thought it would be 
better for me to make a profession of reli- 
gion. He wished me to go and see the Rev. 
Mr. M. and the people whom I have been 
tCQuainted with, and talk the matter over 
with them ; for I longed to be. I therefore 
went and conversed with my good friend 
and father M. concerning my case. All the 
matter seemed to him well. He wished me 
to come over on the next Sabbath and attend 
my examination. I staid at Goshen until 
the approaching of the Sabbath which was 
appointed, and then went over to Torring- 
ford. I thought while I was travelling, that 
I was going home to New Jerusalem — ^to the 
welcome gate. As I walked along I repeat- 
ed these words, ' Whom have I in heaven but 
thee 1 and there is none upon earth that I desire 
besides thee J I was received into the church 
of Christ in Torringford, on the ninth day of 
April in the year 1815. The following is 
the text which the Rev. Mr. M. preached 
from : ' / will bring the blind by a way that 
they knew net ; I will lead them in paths that 
they have not known* " 

Previously to the time appointed for the 
admission of Obookiah into the church, he 
requested Mr. Milb to give him an o^^r- 


tiinity, if he thought it proper, at the 
of his admission, '' to speak a few won 
the people/' Mr. Mills readily consent< 
hut from some particular circumstances, 
did not recollect, at the proper time, I 
it's request, and it was neglected. 1 
the puhlic services were closed, and 
Mills had retired to his study, Henry i 
to him with a hroken heart, and said, '< 
no let me speak, sir — I sorry." Mr. 1 
was much affected, hut there was no ri 
dy. But, said he, " What did you wig 
say, Henry ?" He replied, ** I want to 
the people, what they all waiting for ? * 
live in Grospel land — ^hear all ahout salvs 
— God ready — Christ ready — all reac 
Why they don't come to follow Christ?" 
Although Henry hecame a member of 
church at Torringford, he still continued 
residence with the Rev. Mr. H. at Gos 
" Here," he says, " I lived a little more 
a year, and was treated with the most a 
tionate and kindest treatment. I was 
taken under the care of the board of c 
missioners for foreign missions, with a ^ 
to my future employment to be as a miss 
ary to my poor countrymen — who are 
living in region and shadow of death — vi 
out knowledge of the true God, and ignc 
of the future world — have no Bible to 
—-no Sabbath — and all these things are 
known to them. With them I feel and 


pected to spend the remaiDder of my days in 
the service of our glorious Redeemer, if the 
Almighty should spare my life. I often 
ieel for them in the night season concerning 
the loss of their souls, and wish many times 
Id be among them before I am fit to come to 
tfaem — for I long to see them. O that the 
Lord would pluck them from the everlasting 
burning! and that the Lord may be their 
€k>d, and may they be his people — and be 
made partakers 6f the inheritance of the saints 
in light. what a happy time I have now, 
while my poor friends and relations at home 
ire perishing with hunger, and thirsty, want- 
ing of Divine mercy and water out of the 
well of salvation. May the Lord Jesus dwell 
in my heart and prepare me to go and spend 
the remaining part of my life with them. 
But not my tm//, O Lord, but thy will be done. 
If ay I live with them as a stranger and pil- 
^m upon the earth as long as I live : and 
spend and be spent in the service of the ]le- 
deemer. May the Lord teach me to live in 
his fear, to do his will and to live devoted to 
his service." 

The following extracts are taken from a 
letter written by Obookiah whilst residing at 
Gk>shen : dated 

"Apnl 24, 1815. 

" , I knew not what was my bu- 
siness when at first time I set o\it Ctom ^^lefiA 


mly a boy's notion. Because I hav 
father and no mother, I therefore thoug 
it, I must go and see the world, anc 
what I can find. I never heard any i 
about Jesus, and heaven, and hell. ^ 
after I heard about these things, I 1 
that Jesus was the Son of God, and thi 
has came into the world to save sinners 
evil spirit then coming into my mind 
said that there was none neither he 
nor hell. I could not believe it S 
times when some good people talked 
me on this subject, I was but just ha 
hear it. 

'* I hope that you and I may meet, th 
at present unknown to each other, ii 
eternal world; where many come fron 
east and from the west, and from the i 
and from the south, and sit down tog 
in the kingdom of Christ. But I do s 
times think often that I shall never see 
holy and happy world. I am very ai 
because I was a great enemy to God, 
have fought against his grace and his lo 
kindness towards me. 

" Oh ! my dear friend, do not forg 
pray for me before oiir heavenly Fa 
when you are alone. Pray for me, an 
my poor countrymen, and for others, 
we may escape from the wrath to c 
Those that have been faithful to the 
Jesus Christ, the same shall be saved 

b . 


those that have done evil shall come to the 
resurrection of damnation. 

" There is no great consequence wherever 
we may be called, if we only keep our hearts 
right before God. We are under peculiar 
obligation to consecrate ourselves wholly to 
the glory of God. But we know that our 
deceitful hearts are apt to run down, even as 
a clock or watch is. A good clock will keep 
good time by winding it up ; but if we don'l, 
it certainly will run down. For * this peo- 
ple,' said our Saviour, 'draweth nigh unto 
me with their mouth, and honoureth me with 
their lips, but their heart is far from me.' 
My wicked heart has been just as those 
clocks which run down very often. But I 
hope I love the Lord Jesus Christ. I am 
willing to give up every thing, both my soul 
and body, for time and eternity. God can 
do all this. * I can do all things,' said the 
apostle, ' through Christ,' &/C. 

" My dear friend, do not forget to pray for 
William — pray that he may ever have joy in 
the holy presence of God, and may he be 
made a good soldier of the cross of Christ. 
There is reason to hope that his heart will 
be changed, for God will have mercy on 
whom he will. I wish that he could live 
with me, so that I could do all what I can 
for him. God, in his holy providence, has 
brought him and me from the heathen land. 
Because of the weakness of our faith and our 


selfishness, the gold and silver are tempting 
to the soul. ! can sinners expect to walk 
the golden streets without a perfect heart ; 
or how shall we live with him without heing 
horn again. 

*' There is no way I can see for sinners 
but to go to Christ. * I am the way, the 
truth, and the life. No man cometh unto 
the Father but by me,' said the Saviour. 
' At that day shall ye know that I am in 
the Father, and ye in me, and I in you.' 
The Lord Jesus is all ready and waiting for 
sinners, and inviting them to come to him 
immediately without delay. 

*'May tne Lord direct you, and make 
you a faithful labourer in the Lord's vine- 

The following extracts are from a letter 
written to the Rev. E. T. F., at New-Haven, 

"(JosHEN, June 4, 1815. 
" My Dear Friend , 

** I received your kind letter which came 
into my hand this day with great pleasure. 
You desire me to let you know the present 
state of my feelings. I have no objection, 
but I have not much to say on this subject. 
You know when I was at Andover, there I 
was in full concern about my soul, and knew 
then that I was but a dying worm of the 
dust^ and I knew I was poor sinner. And 


iiiow I hope that the Lord Jesus will he my 
eternal portion, and direct me evermore. I 
have nothing to do hut to he thankful for all 
the privileges and hlessings which I enjoy. 
I know that God will have mercy on whom 
he will — and with such promise, our souls 
must rest in God. 

*' O my dear friend, do not cease to pray 
for me, and for Tennooe, and for the poor 
ignorant people at Owhyhee : and pray for 
the poor people in this country as well as 
the heathen, for their hearts are not with 
God, and their ears are much deafer than that 
of the heathen — ^when they hear the word 
of Grod on every Sahhath, and can read the 
Holy Scriptures. O may the Lord hless us 
all with an increase of his grace. I hope 
you will never forget to write to me when 
you can, and tell me what religious expe- 
rience you know I am ignorant of. 

" I want to see you ahout our Grammar ;* 
I want to get through with it. I have heen 
translating a few chapters of the Bihle into 
the Owhyhee language. I found I could do 
it very correctly. 

" I hope that the great God will he gra- 
cious to you, and make you a faithful minis- 
ter of the Gospel of Jesus Christ ' Walk hy 
faith, and not hy sight.' ** 

* An Owhyhean Grammar which he was empbyed in 
.vaking with the aid of Mr. F. 


Extracts from a letter to Mr. S. B. I., a 
member of Yale College. 

" Goshen, June 9, 1815. 
" My Dear Friend^ 

" I improve this opportunity to write to you 
a few lines. When you was up here last you 
know that I was quite unwell then. On that 
account I could not talk much with you when 
you was speaking on the religious subjects. 

" my friend, what is our rule ? Is not 
the word of God, which is contained in the 
Scriptures of the Old and New Testament r 
Certainly it is. But we are apt to hate to 
put away sins, for they are sweeter than the 
grace of God. 

" O my dear friend, let us continue in the 
hope of the glory of our Redeemer, with 
true hearts, in full assurance of faith. Cea'ie 
not to pray for the fatherless as I am. O 
what a wonderful thing it is that the haid 
of the Divine Providence has brought me 
here, from that heathenish darkness wher^ 
the light of divine truth never had been. 
And here have I found the name of the Lord 
Jesus in the Holy Scriptures ; and have read 
that his blood was shed for many. And I 
remember his own words which he said 
' Father forgive them, for they know not what 
they do V 

*' Do not forget to mention me and Ten- 
Dooe before our heavenly Father when you 


are alone by yourself, that we may not enter 
into temptation, and that our souls may have 
rest in God. I hope to hear from you be- 
fore long. When you write to me, if agree- 
able to you, I wish you to give me some in- 
formation of religious experience, &c. and 
how a Christian feels, &c. &c. I hope that 
the Lord will be with you ; and may your 
journey through this vale of tears be sweet- 
ened by the precious religion of the blessed 
Saviour. May He who is rich in mercy, 
and abundant in grace and goodness, bless you 
with an increase of his mercy, and make you 
a faithful soldier of the cross of Christ.'' 

In another letter to one of his countrymen 
residing at Boston, he says, 

'' I doubt not that you have seen some 
people in this country, as much as 10, 20, 
30, 40, 50, and 60 years of age, still neglect- 
ing religion from year to year ; and adding 
gin to sin as long as they live. This will not 
do : for Grod hath said, ' My Spirit shall 
not always strive with man.' But, alas, 
sin is a lovely friend to a sinner. He will 
not get away from his sins for a thousand 
worlds. * O,' sinner, ' taste and see thai the 
Lord is goodJ 

"Do write me a long letter without delay, 
and tell me how did God appear to you at first, 
and tell me what is your first object if you 
akould return home," &c. 



The letter which follows was taken from 
the " Vermont Adviser," and was written to 
a young gentleman in Middlehury. To what 
extent the language was altered before it was 
inserted in the ^' Adviser/' is unknown. 

" Goshen, Sept. 26, 1814. 
" Dear Friendj 

'* It is long since I saw you when you had 
kept Mr. B.'s store at Torringford : you are 
by no means forgotten. I conclude that you 
are probably in the best place. I am con- 
tented. Undoubtedly your present situation 
affords the best opportunity to pursue your 
studies; and is hoped that you have also 
good religious instructions and cautions. I 
hope you remember that the true friends of 
Grod may have pleasure wherever they are, 
if they make it their chief concern to glorify, 
love, and please him : but those who do not, 
have no right to expect pleasure any where. 
In whatever place we are, we have much 
that we can and ought to do for Grod. Our 
first care should be to keep our own thoughts 
right. We should think much on that great 
and holy Being, that formed us ; on his ho- 
liness and abhorrence of every sin ; on our 
constant dependence upon him ; how many 
blessings he is conferring upon us, and how 
little we deserve them^ and how undone and 
unthankful we are for them ; or our deserv- 
ing evil instead of good ; and how abomina* 


ble we are in his sight, whenever we do evil. 
We should think often on death and our ap- 
pearing before the eternal Saviour in judg- 
ment. We ought not only to read the Bible 
often, but to pray often that we may know 
of the salvation, and understand and be as- 
sisted to live according to it ; and this would 
aid us very much in keeping our thoughts. 
If we exercise sufficient care over our 
thoughts, our outward conduct also will be 
good. But if we employ our minds, one 
moment, on foolish or useless things, we 
shall not only offend God by that, but we 
shall be liable to fall into outward sins, and 
so endanger our own souls, and encourage 
other in the same evil ; and their wickedness 
will encourage other, and so on. We can- 
not conceive the dreadful consequences of 
one sin, and we are very apt to forget how 
prone we are to fall into sin. We are very 
apt likewise to satisfy ourselves with what 
we intend to do hereafter, and to forget our 
present duty. The truth is, all our time is 
made up of present time, and all we need to 
care is, that we may all the time do the best 
we can for our great Creator, this present 
minute. All that we can possibly do is but 
a little; for all we have and all we are is 
Grod's, and we can never atone for one of 
all our sins, but we must trust altogether in 
the merits of Christ. But now my dear 
friend I hope you will strive to improve all 


your time well ; and that may the God will 
be gracious to you ; and make you faithful 
and useful as long as you live here in the 

** I wish you would write to me as soon 
as you can, w^hen you can. I concluded to 
be here with Mr. Harvey this winter ; and 
whenever you come this way, I should be 
glad to see you here. Mr. and Mrs. Harvey, 
they are very ajp-eeable and kind, I was very 
much pleased with them. I saw your father 
at Torringford some time ago ; he wished 
me to write to you when I could, I told him 
I would. 

** One thing I must mention to you, that 
is, we must always continue in our pray erg 
before our heavenly Father, that we may all 
become followers of those, who through 
faith and patience inherit the promises. But 
now I must close this subject. 

" Your affectionate friend, 

"Henry Obookiah." 

In October, 1815, Obookiah left Goshen, 
and went to reside in the family of the Rev. 
Mr. Prentice of Canaan. At this period the 
history of his past life terminates. He com- 
menced writing it soon after he removed to 
Canaan, at the request of his instructor, as 
a daily exercise. It was completed in the 
beginning of the succeeding year. In March 
he commences a Diary ; which he continued 



till the close of the summer : when he chang- 
ed again his place of residence, went to 
South Farms, and soon afterward to Am- 
herst in Massachusetts. From this time the 
nature of his employment was such that the 
Diary was either suspended, or continued 
only at intervals, and not preserved. 

The following extracts are from the 

March 5, 1816. — This evening I attended 
a conference at the house of Dea. B. It was 
a very solemn time. Many appeared to he 
very serious and attentive ; though I was in 
fear it was not so in the heart. Rev. Mr. 
P. made some ohservations from these 
words, " Why sit we here until we die ?" 
By hearing these words my mind was much 
concerned, and I felt as though I was still 
enough in my own sin. " What shall I do ?" 
said I to myself. The answer was, work 
faithfully with your own heart. With these 
thoughts coming into my mind, I found 
peace and joy. that I might understand 
the work of my own heart. 

6th. — I have just now been thinking of 
the prophet Elijah : how he prayed to his 
Grod, when he went up to the top of the 
Mount Carmel, and how he put his face be- 
tween his knees and prayed to the Grod of 
Heaven. 0, how much better it is to spend 
time now in such a way of praying, than to 


wait until the time of prayer may be over. 
What should hinder the heart from being 
busy in prayer to Grod secretly, while their 
hands are full of any business whatever ? 

8th. — This day is very dark. My mind 
has been quite down by reason of my bar- 
renness. But Christ has appeared as " chief- 
est among ten thousand, and altogether 
lovely/' In Christ have I found the light of 
comfort and joy. Whatever joy and comfort 
I receive from God, my heart is bound up 
with thanks ; but at the other time I become 
forgetful; as if I was carrying away by my 
own sin, as far as where it was not to be re- 
membered what God had done for my souL 

9th. — I have had this morning a solemn 
visit from two young gentlemen, (unknown 
before,) who were of the most pious and 
amiable characters. Their conversations 
were sweet to my soul. They continued 
with me in my room during the space of 
two hours, then we prayed together. — Soon 
they bid me farewell and went. I then re- 
turned into my retirement and offered up 
thanks to God for such serious and solemn 
conversation. I prayed with a free and 
thankful heart. ! what a glorious time it 
was! I never prayed to God with so full 
view of Grod's goodness as I did then. It 
seemed as if God was teaching my wicked 
heart how to pray. I felt so easy that I could 
not help crying, Lord, Lord, increase iny 


(aiih. I continued thus for several days, then 
that dark hour came on; though not very 
dark, for I had a little spark of light — and 
that spark of light was given for an answer to 
such secret prayer as I offered up to God in 
my heart ! that I might continually watch 
in my heart that I might not enter into temp- 
tation and snare of the Devil. 

10th. — ^To-day I rejoiced greatly to hear 
many glorious news from almost every quar* 
ter and town in the state, that many sinners 
were hrought to bow to Jesus, and many were 
inquiring for what they should do to be 

19*^. — I attended this evening a very so- 
lemn meeting as ever I attended. A sermon 
was preached by the Rev. Mr. H. from these 
words : " The sacrifices of God are a broken 
spirit," &c. Many appeared with a thought- 
ful and serious look. But ! may they not 
be as those hearers who hear the words, and 
after all hide them from their hearts, as I do 
fear there are many. 

No doubt but many young people attend 
frequently such meetings, for the purpose 
of seeing others: their looks, dress, &c.— 
by these their minds are drawn away. ! 
how many thoughtless and careless are there 
in the world ! Sinners, 

"You live devoid of peace^ 
A thousand stings witoin your breas^ 
Deprive your souk ^ eaM,^^ 


23(f. — This morning my friend Thoi 
come to me with a sad countenance, ; 
wished that we might pray together in 
own language. I told him that I had 
objection — that I would willingly do it 
We then prayed to that Almighty God ^ 
was able to help us ; and I believe that 
prayers were graciously answered. We 
fered up two prayers in our tongue — the : 
time that we ever prayed in this man] 
And the Lord was with us. 

April ht, — This evening my friend T 
mas and myself conversed about what 
would do first at our return to our c 
country ; and how we should begin to te 
our poor brethren about the religion of 
sus Christ, &/C. and many other kinds 
conversation that we thought of. And 
both thought that we must first go to 
king ; or else we must keep a school to c 
cate the children, and get them to have s( 
knowledge of the Scriptures, and then 
must give to them some idea of God. 
these thoughts seemed to be blind on s( 
accounts — not knowing how to do be 
without God's direction. The most thou 
that come to my mind, was to leave alj 
the hands of the Almighty God as he sc 
fit. The means may easily be done by 
and ail other duties which God comraai 
but to make all others believe in the rea 
of religion, no one could do it, to open bl 


eyes of sinners, but God only. He is able 
*' to bring the blind by a way that they know 
not, and he will lead them in paths which 
they have not known." 

2J. — As I was just rising up this morning 
and looked out of my bed room's window, 
I saw the sun rising in the east, (Sabbath) 
and I wondered that my life should be kept 
so safely during the night past, and that I 
was brought to see another day of the Son 
of man. A soon as I went to bed my eyes 
were wide open during the whole night. I 
thought how many unready lives were taken 
before the morning comes. This made my 
heart cry Lord, prepare me, prepare me 
for death. I spent the greater part of the 
night in secret prayers in my bed, and found 
sweet communion with my God. *' Commune 
with your own heart upon your bed and be 
still.'* that the grace of God may be suffi- 
cient for me ! Lord, fill my hungry soul with 
spiritual food. 

3d, — This day I set apart for secret pray- 
er, and the Lord was graciously with me, 
and has given me some spirit to pray. It 
seemed as if I could not enjoy myself better 
in any worldly conversations than I did in 
prayer. I can say as I trust, that the spirit 
of God has been with me this day. God 
appears to be gracious and lovely. Holy 
thou art, Lord God of Hosts ! Lord ! 
look down with a pitying eye upon this thy 



servant, whom thou hast brought from a hea- 
then land ! Be gracious to all the rest of my 
heathen brethren who are now in this country. 
Do now, Lord, hear my call. Let not the 
Lord remember former sins which were 
known to thee. 

7th. — This afternoon I attended the fune- 
ral of an aged person. Many people attend- 
ed, and many tears were shed upon almost 
every cheek for the loss of their friend. But 

weepers, weep for yourselves, (he was a 
friend of Christ it is hoped) for he has gone 
in peace. 

I thought with great astonishment how 
little idea we have of death and eternity. 
Who can stop the approaching of death ? 
May the Lord teach me to know the number 
of my days ! Oh ! that the everlasting arm 
may raise my soul from deepest hell; and 
direct my step toward the peaceful shore of 
blessed eternity ! 

dth, — To-day is my first year since I made 
a profession of religion. I set apart this 
day for prayer, and returned thanks to God 
for his wonderful grace and kindness towards 
me as a lost sinner. Though how little have 

1 done towards him ! how little have I done 
for his glory ! Shall I live to see the end of 
another year ? Lord, increase my faith. 

l^th, — To-day the Lord turned me to look 
into my heart, to see whether there be any 
ho^liness in me. But I found nothing but 


*' wounds and bruises and putrefying sores." 
I saw my sins were very great, and never 
were known before. I had seen my own sin 
before, but the Lord never show me so much 
as I recollect, to make the soul sink in deep 
sorrow for sin, as he did this day. But it 
was my own blindness too. When I con- 
sidered my former life, and looked into it, 
nothing but a heavy bundle of sin was upon 
me. I pray the Lord that he may not re- 
member my past sin. O may not the Grod 
of Isaac and Jacob hide from the tears of 
such dying sinner as L 

I enjoyed myself much this day in fasting, 
and prayer, and supplication. 

— . "I have been thinking this day to 
know what is the state of man; whether 
they are pure from all sin : — ^for last evening 
I had a dispute with a young man. — He ask- 
ed me whether I do believe that we sin by 
words, thoughts and deeds. I answered him 
Yes. Certainly we do, unless we take heed 
to our ways — as David speaks for himself in 
Ps. 39. " mortal man," says he, "do we 
then always sin?" Yes, I answered. The 
Apostle speaks, ** If we say we have no sin 
we deceive ourselves." 

how many ways that a creature can be 
deceived ! 

Idth. — I attended a prayer meeting this 
afternoon, and a number have been examined 
to be brought forward to Ihfi Ck^t^W ^ 


have thought a great deal this day about m 
unfaithfulDess and barrenness since I made 
profession of religion : — how my wickc 
heart has turned away from Gk>d in a ma 
evil and unkind manner. But when I coi 
sider that I sin against my Maker, I alwa] 
feel sorry ; and all sins which I commit rail 
my tears from my eyes : as I have this a 
ternoon been weeping very deeply becatu 
of my sins. Many times I am apt to ft 
into sin; but if God hears my crying f< 
forgiveness, I shall still live devoted to hio 
Is there any thing that we can be cleanse 
by from our sins but the blood of the Lain 
of God ? No, in no wise. 

2lst. — what a solemn meeting to-day i 
the house of Dea. B. It was a serious an 
joyful time. It beemed to me that the Loi 
was with us. I took notice that almo 
every person in the room appeared very jo] 
ful. Many persons kept their heads dowi 
wards with tears on their faces. We hf 
then neither sermon nor any discourse di 
livered, but many prayers were offered x 
for those who were rolling sin as a swe 
morsel under their tongue. A number < 
pious men tried to speak, but they could nc 
For the fear of the Lord had fell upon then 
that they could not finish their discours 
but to weep. O how myself felt then, 
saw that it was the Lord's work, who hti 
power to make sinners feel, and to sho' 


himself that he is God alone. that the 
Lord may carry on his work ! 

May 5. — This day I have attended the sa- 
crament of the Lord's supper. I felt guilty 
of my unfruitfulness, and had but little faith 
in him whose blood is drink indeed and 
whose flesh is meat indeed. I could not help 
weeping whilst the minister addressed those 
who were to be admitted into the Church — 
warning them to be faithful. On account of 
this warning I could not put a stop to mj 
weeping eye. — For I felt that I had had a 
stupid and cold heart, wanting of divine 

Qth, — I have been reading this morning 
the history of pious women, and I was very 
much pleased to see and to know how 
Christians feel. Their employment every 
day was to address their heavenly Father m 
secret, and to read some portion of the holy 

\hth. — This day I took a walk for exer- 
cise at the distance of two or three miles. 
On my way home Kmet an aged man, un* 
known before, who I judge to be about sixty 
years of age. He was travelling on the same 
way that I was, and I thought in myself 
that I would take this opportunity to con- 
verse with him upon religious subjects: as 
it was my duty, (and as I have done with 
many other unacquainted persons before.) 
As we were walking, '' What bad ^oia^ vk 


66 HBH0IR8 or 

this !" said he, '* I have never knowi 
time as this." With this ohservation I 
thus — Ought we not to he thankful 
Maker for such a season as this, as i 
we do for the finest weather ? " O v< 
I think we ought to," says he, ** tnc 
do not feel thankful as I ought.*' Wi 
saying, I then asked him to know w 
he was one that was horn again of th< 
Spirit. To which he replied, "O 1 
so ; though I was one of the sheep th 
almost gone, for ever lost, yet I hope 
am found." I asked him whether h 
met with any difficulty or trouble 
mind. He answered, "0 yes, great de 
when I meet with any trouble, I wisl 
alone, and pray to God, and ask h; 
such comfort as I need. Before 
brought into light I thought many 
that the religion of Jesus, was hard t1 
seek for — ^but it was nothing else but n 
wicked heart When I came to it 
own heart, I found no holiness at all, 
manner of evils, are lodged in it." 

Soon we parted from each othe 
we both wished to be remembered 

June 1. — ^This morning I have been 
iog out for some secret duty. As 1 1 
through the field alone, lo! I hea 
sweet songs of many birds, singing 
the branches; for it was a beautifi: 


bath morniDg. While I thus hearked, this 
part of a Psalm came into my soul very 
sweetly — 

" Sweet is the mem'ry of thjr graoe^ 

My God, my heavenly King, 
Let age to age thy righteousness, 

In sounds of glory sing," &c 

I thought of Christians as soon as I heard 
these birds tuning their joyful songs around 
the tree. Christians as soon as they leave 
their fleshly songs, with their bodies, in the 
silent tomb, will be at rest beyond all pain, 
death, sorrow and trouble ; and come around 
their King of glory, and tune their golden 
harps to Immanuel's praise. And then say 
one to another, 

" Come let our voices join to raise, 
A sacred song of solemn praise," &c. 

16th. — This evening I attended some se*- 
nous exercises of prayer with a few young 
men of pious character. Five pious young 
men came to our room for this purpose. 
They appeared to be very much engaged in 
the cause of the great Redeemer. We spent 
our time in solemn prayer for two or three 
hours. I found comfort myself easy in every 
doty which I was commanded by my Grod 
to do. 

68 MEMOIRS or 

23(J. — I was visited this morning by a 
pious and good Rev. Mr. H. of L. who in- 
structed me in a most affectionate and tender 
manner; and has given me some of the 
clearest views of Christian character, such 
as I needed. 

I was intreated by this friend of Christ 
concerning my future happiness, and was 
warned to live above this world with hum- 
ble and tender heart. But ! who can 
know my own unfruitfulness and vileness, 
but He who ** searcheth the heart and tri- 
eth the reins of the children of men." I 
felt in my own heart that I needed the teach- 
ing of all the people of Grod. Many times 
I have thought of myself being deceived, 
because many evil thoughts came into my 
mind and put me out of the right way ; but 
in my secret prayers I have alwavs found 
happy rest to my poor and immortal soul, as 
if I was in the right path. that the Lord 
Jesus, who doth '' bring the blind by a way 
that they know not" may be the director of 
such blind as I. 

24fA. — We have heard to-day much good 
news from every quarter of the country. A 
work of grace has been begun in many 
places, and there are hundreds of hopeful 
converts, or newly born by the influences of 
the Holy Spirit how great and how won- 
derful is the arm of the Lord! reaching 


taking tbem in his bosom of lore. But are 
there not many sinners yet in the ^all of bit- 
terness and in bonds of iniquity, rejecting 
the free offer of salvation ? Are not many 
opposers yet set against the truth of the 
Gospel of Jesus Christ ? O when shall these 
never-dying souls find rest! It is very 
strange to me that so many careless and stu- 
pid sinners never think or have any concern 
for the worth of their immortal souls. O 
Lord, I intreat thee to look down with com- 
passion upon such dying sinners as are here 
in this land of the Gospel light! O save 
them, O Lord Gk>d of Hosts, save them! 
Glorify the riches of thy free grace in mak- 
ing them the heirs of thy holy kingdom. O 
glorious Jesus, thou son of the Most High, 
have mercy on the never-dying souls of men. 
Thou canst do the helpless sinner good ; for 
all homage, honour, glory, and worship are 
due to thee ; the true promised Messiah and 
Redeemer of the world. Thou canst work 
among sinners, and none can hinder thee. 
Lord save us or we perish. I am a sin- 
ner as well as other ; I feel myself an un- 
fruitful creature : and yet [ choose the Lord 
Jesus for my everlasting portion. I have 
nothing of my own to recommend myself to 
his holy favour. All the present that I can 
make unto Jesus is myself. He seeks not 
mine, but me only. 
25^A. — Last evening I attended a ^ira^er 

70 KKM0IR8 OV 

meeting, and enjoyed great comfort t« 
soul. I thought how Christians all ag^ 
their feelings toward each other, in 1 
manner. I once thought while we W€ 
the room, in sueh a little circle, and en; 
ourselves in conversing after the mann 
the flesh, how much happiness will he 1 
at the great court of the Almighty, whc 
the children of God are gathered togc 
from the east and the west, and are set c 
in the kingdom of Heaven. What a h 
time will it be for Christians ! 

July 3d. — My health being weak, I m 
to walk, and at the place to which I c 
I found a sick woman lying upon a sick 
She had been in that case for eight j 
When she heard of my being in the t 
she wished to see me. I conversed witl 
concerning her case ; and though she 
weak in her body and mind she could an 
whatever question I put to her. I aske< 
whether she was willing to leave this v 
of sin, and to be present with her loveh 
8US. She replied " O yes, O yes, I ho 
shall reach that peaceful shore where I 
have neither sickness nor pain, as I 
now.'' Before I was about to leave her 
wished me to pray with her, and this 
done. She took hold of my hand and be, 
me to remember her, thus — " O my firj 
do not forget me in your prayers, and if 


see you again in this life, I shall in better 
than this." 

7th, — I have just returned from a visit to 
friends. As I was walking through the 
ids I came to a house which stood at 
e distance from the town. As soon as 
as come near the house, I found an old 
^-headed man, next to the road hoeing 
I. I saw he was very aged man, and 
lOUght it was my duty to converse with 
u I stood by the fence and asked him 
r he did. He answered, " Well." I 
sd him whether he was well within also. 

he did not understand what I mean, 
is old man was about ninety years of 
, and had been living without hope and 
bout God in the world.) Immediately I 
it to the old man, and spoke to him in a 
jdly manner, thus — My friend, said I tc 
, you are a stranger to me, and I unto 
; and I see that your head is full of gray 
8, and no doubt your days will soon be 
r. "I know that," said the aged man, 

every one has got to be as I am." 
U, said I, what do you think of the great 

of judgment? are you ready for that 
? "0, I don't know," said he, ** I do 
etimes think that I am too far off for 

day." Why do you not now begin to 
:e your peace with Grod, before deafli 
lake you ? said I to the old man ; repent 
believe in the Son of God, "B^X ^^.^^ 



man seemed to be very careless and stap 
I talked to him but he kept hoeing his coi 
and I followed him to the end of the fie 
pursuing my discourse. But he seemed 
be unwilling to hear me any farther, an* 
returned thanks to the Almighty God for t 
opportunity which I had wiUi this poor 
man, and bid him farewell. 

Sabbath afternoorij .August 6th. — To-da; 
felt more anxious for prayer than I ever d 
After I returned from meeting, I entered 
my retirement, where I always find comi 
and joy in my secret prayer and suppli 
tions before the great Jehovah. I now wi 
ed to see my friend Thomas, who livec 
little apart from me, and I set out to m 
together in prayer for our own good. I w 
and found him reading the Bible. I ur( 
him to go up to his room with me and 
there a little while ; and we took a Bible f 
went up. We spent some time together 
prayer till the sun was down. " O h 
good and pleasant it is for brethren to d^ 
together in unity." We both united 
prayers, two of each. We cried to God 
help in the language of good old Dai; 
*' Search us, God, and know our hea 
and try us and know our thoughts, and 
if there be any wicked way in us, and h 
us in the way everlasting." May the Li 
be pleased to lead us both in the right w 
and not in the ** way which seemeth rij 


uiito a man, but the end thereof are the ways 
of death." We cried to God farther, that 
he would teach us his way, in order to walk 
in his truth ; and to unite our hearts both to 
fear his holy name. 

I told my friend Thomas how I felt that 
day, and how much I longed to be with him 
together in prayer for our poor countrymen, 
as well as for ourselves; We both wished 
to have our little meeting kept up until we 
should be separated far from each other. 
We wished to have no one know it, but to 
look to God whenever we both come to- 

The Diary of Obookiah may not have 
been discontinued here. A considerable part 
of what has been transcribed was found 
upon detached pieces of paper; and other 
similar pieces may have been mislaid. The 
whole he had begun to copy, but had not 
completed it. 

The following is a selecfion of passages of 
Scripture made by Obookiah while he lived 
at Canaan, the first letters of which spell 
his name. It is a specimen of his ingenuity 
as well as his acquaintance with the Scrip- 
" Ho ! every one that thirsteth, come ye to 

the waters, and he that hath no money ; 

come, buy wine and milk without moneys 

and without price." — Isa. Iv. 


'' Except a man be born again, he cannot^ see 
the kingdom of Gk>d." — John iii. « 

-' Not every one that saith unto me, Lord ! 
Lord ! shall enter into the kingdom of hea^ 
yen, but he that doeth the will of my Fa-, 
ther which is in heaven."— Matt vii. 

'* Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed 
of David, was raised from the dead ac- 
cording to my Gk)spel."-^2 Tim. ii. 

''Young men likewise exhort to be sober- 
minded.'' — Tit. ii. 

'' O magnify the Lord with me, and let us 
exalt his name together.''— Psalm xxxiy. 

*" But speak thou the things that become 
sound doctrine."— Tit. ii. 

"" Only let your conversation be such as be- 
cometh the Grospel of Christ" — Phil. i. 

-*' O that men would praise the Lord for his 
goodness, and for his wonderful works tt 
the children of men." — Psalm cvii. 

**' Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out 
■ of it are the issues of life."— Prov. iv. 

" I must work the works of him that sent 
me while it is day : the night cometh in 
which no man can work." — John ix. 

'** And they went out and preached every 
where that man should repent."— Mark 
' vi. 

'' He that hath ears to hear, let him hear." 
-—Matt. xi. 



Tills was found among his papers, and the 
original is in his own hand writing. 

The following extracts are from his letters 
written whilst residing at Canaan. 

'* Canaan, Dec. 1816. 
" My Dear Friend, 

" Your letter I have received, dated the 
tenth of September. It was with great plea- 
sure. I shall take your advice in the all-im- 
portant things which belong to me to attend 
t6 as a professor of religion. I know the 
'eyes of the Lord are upon me day and night, 
and beholding all my wicked actions and 
motions in every thing which I do. O that 
the Lord would be my help ? Am I yet in 
the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of ini- 
quity ? I neither do justly, nor love mercy 
as much as I ought, nor walk humbly with 
my God. 

" The work of grace in the town of S. is 
still going on very powerfully. By the last 
account which I have heard, about one hun- 
dred and forty are in a hopeful state. They 
are now rejoicing in the hope of the glory 
of Gk>d. And many others are inquiring the 
way to Zion, crying, ' Men and brethren, 
what shall we do ?' In this place also, many 
are in deepest concern about their soub. O 
where have siuners been so long since they 
had discovered the name oC \\ife ^viSsipqx 

76 MEMOIRS or 

who was crucified upon the cross, i 
they have not come to him until now 
have known their Master's will, h 
have not done it. They are wise to 
hut to do good they have no knowlec 
wretched sinners will you come to 
of the cross at this very moment, f 
forgiveness of sins ? Hark and hear tl 
of him that knocketh at the door o 
sinner's heart ! ' Behold I stand at th 
^.c. Christ the Saviour is knockii 
ing, '* Open to me, my sister, my 1< 
dove, my undefiled, for my head 
with dew, and my locks with the d 
the night." I cannot help weepin| 
tears are running down for joy to h* 
see sinners flocking to the Almight] 
vah. that all sinners may c< 
Christ ! 

" Stop, poor nnners, stop and think, 

Before yoa figiither go I 
Will you sport upon ue brink 

Of everlasting wo 1" 

'* O that we may stop and think wl 
are, and upon what ground we are at 
whether it he holy or whether it be 
or whether it be our duty to do the 
God or not. We now live here uf 
t'arth, and how long we shall live w 
not Death will soon overtake us, 


lie not &r from it. My dear friend, I intreat 
you to be much engaged in prayer for thought- 
less and stupid sinners, both in this country as 
well as in other. 

" I would thank you to present my humble 
respects to all your family. I hope I shall 
see them, though at present unknown to 
each other, in the eternal world; if I do not 
in this present world. May God be gra- 
cious to you all. Remember me in your 
sweet sacrifice of prayer before our heavenly 

" Your affectionate friend." 

The preceding letter was written to Dea. 
H. of Dan by, in the state of New- York ; an 
elderly gentleman wi^o had taken a very deep 
interest in the welfare of Obookiah, and had 
written to him a letter of advice soon after he 
made a profession of religion. 

That which follows was addressed to Mr. 
E. B— — , in the state of New- York. 

" Canaan, May 1816. 
** Having received your most kind and 
affectionate letter a few days ago, it much 
satisfied me. Notwithstanding that you are 
ever so far from me, yet I expect to meet 
you at the bar of God. how glad am I to- 
hear from you, Ephraim. I am glad to hear 
that your mind has been more engaged in. 
regard to the subject of te\\gvo\i, VSmai nrV^^ 


78 MKM0IB8 or 

we lived together. If it is so, mj friend 
that you have such thoughts in your mind, 
I urge you to be careful, for it is an awful 
thing to be deceived. Set your heart to- 
ward Christ, and in him you may find help. 
Our sins are very great and reach over our 
heads, and there is nothing which can make 
them smaller or stop them, but the precious 
blood of the Lamb of God, who has all 
power to take away sin from the world. 
The Lord Jesus expressed himself thus — 
* I that speak in righteousness mighty to 

" You mentioned in your letter that the 
religion of Jesus Christ is glorious privilege. 
O my friend, it is so. We can say or think 
that his religion is a very important thing, 
if any one should have it, but we are not 
willing to seek for it. If the Lord has been 
pleased to operate on your mind by the in- 
duences of his Holy Spirit, as you trust he 
has, I hope the Lord will still continue his 
work in you through life. But let me in- 
treat you to put your whole trust in Grod ; 
make him sure as your own friend, and 
Above all, give yourself entirely into the 
hands of your Saviour ; who came to seek 
^and to save that which was lost. When you 
write to me let me know all about your feel- 
ings. I long to see you, my friend, and all 
your father's family. I remember all your 
father and mother's kindness while I ww 


with them ; though I am in fear that I do 
not feel thankful enough to God for it. 

"If you should ever come to Connecticut 
do take some pains to find me where I am, 
for I long to see you with brotherly love. 

" I would desire your solemn prayer be- 
fore your heavenly Father for 

" Your affectionate friend.'* 

To Mr. E. W. of Torringford. 

" August 5, 1816. 
*' My Dear Friend, 

" I hope you will not think it strange that 
such an one as I should write to you ; for I 
am full of concern for the souls of others. 

that the Lord would direct you in the 
right path. — May the Lord teach me what 

1 ought to write this day. I have heard that 
your sickness is still continuing. But O, 
how is it with you now? Look now, my 
dear Elijah, and see whether you are pre- 
pared or unprepared, or whether you are fit 
to die or unfit — whether you are the Lord's 
or not. my friend, consider how many 
are there who have been wheeled down to 
endless torments, in the chariots of earthly 
pleasures ; while others have been whipped 
to Heaven by the rod of affliction. O how 
good had it been for some of them if they 
had never known the way of life by the cru- 
cified Saviour. We have great reason to 
tremble when the Holy Scripture teajchea ^^ 

but few shall uc ^ 
* Many are called, but few ciiu»c... 
think of you, my dear friend Elijah, sii 
heard of your sickness. You perhaps s 
times think about dying— and what mui 
your end — and how you have misimpr 
your best opportunities, &c. O wh 
dreadful thing it is to die in a sinful s 
My friend, how do you expect to find 
and peace in Heaven if you should d 
your sin ? How have you neglected the 
offer of salvation, which is offered to 
' without money and without price !* I 
O my poor friend, and get up out of 
sleep of sin and death, and the Lord 
Chnst will give you life, comfort, 
and strength— For there is none but 
can do a helpless sinner good. Now 
fore, my firiend, haste to look to Chr 
faith, and ask for mercy and forgiv 
'-* T feel for you my dear fir 


sickness, I fear, will take you away from the 
world into a solemn and silent grave. 
Elijah, Elijah W. where are vou ? Are you 
willing to leave this world of sin and death 
and be at rest? Are you willing to die now ? 
In time of sickness we ought to keep our 
hearts right towards God, in order to be 
cheerfully willing to die. For * death is 
harmless to the people of Gk)d.' — * The right- 
eous hath hope in his death, but the wicked 
is driven away in his wickedness.' Follow 
not, my dear friend, after the example of 
mankind, but after Christ's — make no kind 
of excuse, turn unto God and live. Be not 
offended because I have taken this opportu- 
nity to write to you in such a manner. Let 
all be taken into serious consideration. It 
cannot hurt you my earthly friend. And it 
may keep your heart from shrinking back 
to consider that death is necessary to fit you 
for the full enjoyment of God. Whether 
you are willing to die or not, there certainly 
is no other way to complete the happiness 
of your soul. The happiness of the eternal 
world of heaven commences immediately af- 
ter death. Now can you, my dear Elijah, 
say, ' I will arise and go to my Father, and 
say, Father I have sinned,' &c. why are 
you so unwilling to accept the free offer of 
mercy? And why will you still shut Christ 
oat of the door of your heart ; when he still 
is knocking, and saying, * O^^n V> xix^ \s£^ 

82 VSH0IB8 or 

sister, my love/ d&c O poor friend of mine 
I do not speak of your oeing poor in body, 
but your soul is poor : wanting of the bread 
of life. This is why I need to speak of your 
being poor : — for without the love of God in 
the heart of a man, that man is poor* 

"If you are a friend of Christ, be not 
afraid of death and eternity ; for death can- 
not hurt you, nor your soul. Why then are 
vou afraid that your sickness is unto death ? 
tf you were to die in sin — ^if death were to 
reign over you ' as a tyrant — to feed upon 
you as a lion doth upon his prey' — if death 
were to you to be the prison of hell, then you 
might reasonably startle and shrink back 
from it, with horror and dismay. But if 
your sin has been blotted out of the Bbok of 
God's remembrance ; or if the Saviour hath 
begun his good work in you, why should yon 
be afraid of being taken away from the 
world? and why not bid welcome to the 
King of terrors ? My dear Elijah, our lives 
are shorty and they, like the smoke of the 
fire, are hastening away. 

, * Well, if our days must flj. 

We'll keep their end in sight,' &c 

" Remember, my dear Elijah, that I am 
not the teacher of the heart, nor the judge 
of it. The Lord Jesus is your teacher — He 
can make you feel. He can make the blind 


to tee— -and the lame to walk — and the sick 
to be healed— and above all, He can make 
yon and I happy or miserable in eternity. 
AJl what I have said to you, my friend, will 
be remembered in the day of God's wrath. 
Yon and I shall both render our account to 
that God who hath made us, at the day of 
judgment, for what deeds we have done in 
the body. Whether we have done every 
thing right in the sight of Jehovah, or 
whether we have not. May the Lord Grod 
of Hosts bless you. May Jesus make you 
faithful unto death, and that you may have 
at last the crown of life in the eternal world 
of glory. 

** You, O piitrents of Elijah, you have the 
means of doing good to your own souls — ^to 
improve your time in the service of God. 
Where then shall you be after the return- 
ing of your bodies to the dust — when your, 
twdies shall become food for the worms of 
the earth ? 

" Brothers and sisters of the sick man — 
Your days will soon be over ; and the road 
apon which you are all riding towards eter- 
oity soon will be ended. Remember, O my 
friends, that the eyes of the Lord are upon 
fou all, beholding the evil and the good. 
Your souls are worth a thousand and mil- 
lion times more than such a world as this. 
Be careful lest they be lost in the snares 
and temptations of Satan: foi Ilia's ^\% 

84 MEMOIRS or 

many and ready to carry away your i 
into darkness and despair. O that the ] 
would smile upon you in pity and com 
sion, and save you from eternal death. I 
up now, my friends, to Christ — which is ' 

The following letter was written to 
W. C. now a member of Yale College. 

"Canaan, Sept 7, 181 
* My Dear Friend, 

" Our interview yesterday was but si 
and our short conversation with each o 
was sweet to my soul. You reque 
me to write to you, for which I am 
taking my pen to begin our corresp< 
ence: not because I am destitute of ( 
panions here, but for our everlasting g 
There is one of the best friends wh( 
above all earthly friends; even Christ 
sus the Lord. But we are all by na 
the greatest and strongest enemies to 1 
* All have sinned and come short of 
glory of God.' We are naturally opp( 
to God, and to the holiness of his nal 
and unable to accept of his mercy whic 
offered to us * without money and wit] 
price. * 

** I have reason to bless Jesus Christ 
he hath wonderfully turned my feet 1 
the path that leadeth down to an en( 
wo. There is nothing more that I cai 


ibr him, for his great and wonderfal work 
m the soul of such an one as I, than to be 
thankful for all which I now enjoy. But 
this is not all — ' Give me thine heart, and 
let thine eyes observe my ways/ — I hope 
that the God of all grace has been gracious 
to you, as he has to me. that we both 
may rejoice with joy unspeakable and full 
of glory here and hereafter. The religion of 
Jesus which we now have embraced (as we 
hope we are passed from death unto life) is 
a strong helper of the soul, to help us on the 
peaceful shore. 

" I wish I could express my weak feel- 
ings to you, but alas ! I cannot. It is a dif- 
ficult thing to tell you that I love my Ma- 
ker more than I do any thing else. Truly 
I do not love him enough. I have faith in 
him but a little — ^but I am sure I wish to 
love him more and serve him better than I 
now do. O what a stupid wretch and hard- 
hearted sinner am I ! Why should I have 
been spared so long, while many of my fel- 
low mortals are gone over the other side of 
the gloomy graves; and I am yet on this 
side of eternity. O where are those now 
who have gone before me ? Remembrr, my 
dear friend, that we will soon return 1o the 
dost, and leave this world of perplexity and 
trouble, and all the useless pleasures in it, 
and be for ever miserable, or happy in the 
presence of the King of gyoi'j . O >^^^ \s»:%- 


86 nmoiRs of 

P7 it will be for Chrigtian souls to meet 
gether and uniting their hearts in love at i 

When shall I roach that happy place^ 
And he for ever hlest 7 
When shall I see my Father's faoe^ 
And in his hosom rest V 

* It is no matter however long or si 
the lives of Christians are, if their best 
ments are well improved, in order to n 
their lovely Jesus in peace whenever t 
are called for. . Let us live, my dear jfiric 
as a stranger, and pilgrims on earth— 
us feel lively in the faith of the Son of ( 
— let us both seek for a better country t 
this — ^let us be faithful and humble beli 
ers of Jesus. I think I can truly say to 
Lord, Lord my body and soul are in tli 
hands, do with them according to thy h 
will. Thy will be done and not mine. ^ 
happiness of this world is nothing bu 
dream. It will soon pass away as the w 
that bloweth. We must give up all 
Heaven, lest we perish at the presence 
the Judge. The best present that we on 
to make to Christ, is to give our 'Wl 
hearts to him — and not ' gold and franl 
cense and myrrh' as wise men of the 1 

Do remember, my friend, those that- 



iround you whose sins are unpardoned. Do 
pray for them. Remember my poor coun- 
trymen, who know not the way of life by a 
Redeemer. Do not forget to pray for your 
affectionate friend, 

''Henry Obookiah." 

Towards the close of the year 1816, Hen- 
ry went to Amherst in Massachusetts, for 
tne purpose of accompanying the Rev. Mr. 
Perkins, an agent of the Board of Commis- 
sioners for Foreign Missions, in a tour 
. through that section of the country, to soli- 
. eit donations for the benefit of the Foreign 
Mission School. The success of the solici- 
tations was greatly promoted by the pre- 
sence of Obookiah. Contributions were 
highly liberal, and often drawn from sources 
not before accustomed to yield any aid to 
purposes of charity. 

The interest which he had excited to- 
wards himself personally is expressed in a 
letter from Mr. Perkins, written soon after 
nis death. ** He was much beloved,** he 
says, ''by all who knew him in this region. 
He had awakened a lively interest in his 
welfare among them ; and his death has cast 
ft gloom over them which will not soon be 
dispelled. His recall to the world of spi- 
rits is one of those deep things of Providence 
which we cannot fathom.** 

A letter since receWed fccnn Wi^ imss^x^^ 

.68 KEM0IR8 OF 

spected source, contains several facts and 
oDservations which illustrate his character, 
and evince the peculiar acceptableness and 
influence of his visit in that quarter. 

" I have rarely, if ever, (says Mr. Perkins,) 
seen a person who seemed to set so high a 
value on time as Obookiah. What others 
would call leisure hours, would be busy 
hours with him. When alone, he was de- 
lighted in his literary studies. When in 
company, improvement was his object — and 
if the conversation was not immediately in- 
teresting to him, he would take his Pocket 
Testament and read, or repair to his study 
and his books. 

'* At a little circle of friends one even- 
ing, he said to me in a whisper, ' Time is 
precious, here are a few souls going to eter- 
nity, 'tis a good opportunity to improve.' 
Just as we were about to retire at the dose 
of the evening, he addressed two youth in 
the room for a few minutes, on the subject 
of religion, with great apparent effect. — 
Whether the alarm of conscience, which he 
was instrumental of exciting, proved lasting 
or not, I have never known. So valuable 
was time in his estimation, that if he had 
passed a day or an hour unprofltably, he 
would speak of it with deep regret 

** His humility deserves our notice.— One 
fact will illustrate this feature in his religious 


** In visiting different towns, it was my 
practice to gratify the people, by calling on 
Obookiah to address them on the subject of 
Christianity. He was always appropriate, 
solemn, and interesting. Many flattering 
remarks were frequently made to him on 
that account. But though this was calcu- 
lated to foster pride, and inspire him with 
unbecoming confidence, yet it actually pro- 
duced the opposite — humility and self-dis- 
trust. A. circumstance took place which 
justifies this observation. 

" At a village of considerable magnitude, 
after the Missionary service had been per- 
formed, the Rev. Pastor of the Church ap- 
pointed an evening meeting. Just before 
the meeting, it was observed to Obookiah, 
that some remarks would be expected from 
him. He modestly declined. The subject 
was urged. He said, ' Fm a poor heathen, 
I don't know enough to teach people who 
live in Christian land.' Being under my 
care, he applied to me to excuse him from 
the service. I replied to him, that I be- 
lieved it to be his duty. The people had 
contributed generously. They were anx- 
ious to hear him speak on the subject of re- 
ligion. You have always succeeded well. 
And what you shall say may prove a savour 
of life to some soul. Soon after, as we were 
passing to the meeting-house, observing his 
extreme reluctance, I asked the Rev. Mr, 



B. to urge and encourage him. Many things 
were said to persuade him, hut his reluc- 
tance appeared to be invincible. As we ar- 
rived at the door, he again fled to me foi 
refuge. Said he, *Do excuse me — I can't 
say any thing — You can preach — ^it will do 
more good.' I told him 1 could not, as the 
people would be greatly disappointed. Bu/ 
when I said this, such had been his anxiety 
and such his manner of expressing his fed 
ings, that tears instantly started in my eyes 
and gladly would I have preached for his 
relief. When the proper time came, he 
was called upon to address the meeting. He 
deliberately rose, and addressed the people 
with his usual propriety and seriousness. 
At the close of the service, I passed by his 
pew, and invited him to walk with me. He 
was bathed in tears. I did not hesitate 
about the cause. — I tried much to sooth 
his feelings, but it was to no purpose. Mr. 
B. perceiving them, made an attempt to pa- 
cify him, but was unsuccessful. His soul 
seemed to refuse comfort. This was on 
our way to our lodgings. When we arrived 
at the house, I mentioned his feelings to 
the kind family where we were to lodge 
Every expedient was tried to restore him to 
his wonted cheerfulness. But all our efforts 
were unavailing. After about an hour, one 
of the finmily took a seat near him, with a 
view to divert his mind. This attempt was 


successful, — and the first sentence he utter- 
ed, was, * Fm a poor unworthy sinner — I 
feel as though I was lost.' His customary 
cheerfulness soon returned, and many in the 
little circle, who sat a long time sorrowing, 
had their sorrow turned into joy. 

** The Bible was his best and constan 
companion. He always carried in his 
pocket a Testament, which was presented to 
him by a friend, who is now a Missionary 
to the heathen. At a certain time he went 
»about ten miles to visit one of his country- 
men. — In changing his clothes, he left his 
Pocket Testament On his return, he plea- 
santly said to me, ' Blind man don't walk 
very safely without his staff.' 

*' Obookiah's visit to this part of the coun- 
try was of essential service to the cause of 
Foreign Missions. It has silenced the weak 
but common objection against attempting to 
enlighten the Heathen, that they are too 
ignorant to be taught. This sentiment has 
prevented much exertion. It had a wicked 
origin. We have first enslaved our fellow 
beings, then degraded them by every me- 
nial service, deprived them of itxe means of 
mental improvement, and almost of human 
intercourse ; and because, under these cir- 
cumstances, people of colour are devoid of 
knowledge, we have hastened to the irra^ 
tional conclusion, that all the Heathen are a 
ncQ of idiots* Adopting ihia coiifdbs&v^^ 


multitudes are utterly opposed to making 
any attempt to turn them from darkness to 
light. Influenced by this opinion, ground- 
less as it is, no reasonings, or arguments, or 
motives, which can be offered, are of any 
avail. But the appearance of Obookiah has 
done much in this region to wipe off this 
disgrace thrown upon the Heathen, and to 
remove the objection so often made. The 
proof he gave of talents, as well as of piety, 
carried conviction to many that the Heathen 
had souls as well as we, and were as capa- 
ble of being enlightened and christianized. 
Acknowledgments to this effect have fre- 
quently been made to me ; and now in the 
circle of his travels, there is no occasion to 
combat this objection. 

" Another effect produced by his visit tb 
this region is, that it has roused the slum- 
bering energies of those who have hitherto 
done nothing in the missionary cause. Many 
have become interested for the benighted 
Heathen, and satisfied that the conversion 
of them to Christianity is practicable. And 
though they have never before lifted a fin- 
ger, or contributed a mite, have now been 
prevailed on to do something. In several 
instances, dollars were handed me by per- 
sons who confessed that they had never done 
any thing before. This is an effect produc- 
ed, which is not of a transient nature, but 
permanent A feeling in the cause of mis* 


nous has been excited, which will not soon 

" His visit moreover has enkindled a spirit* 
of prayer and benevolence in the bosoms of 
God's children, which was very much need- 
ed. Coldness and a circumscribed charity 
were too apparent. Especially were these 
visible with respect to the Heathen. But 
now there is evidently an increase of ferven- 
cy and holy wrestlings in the addresses of 
Christians to the throne of grace. They 
intercede for the unevangelized nations as 
though it was their heart's desire that they 
might be saved. Their benevolent efforts 
are more numerous, and more liberal. They 
not only exert themselves in this glorious 
cause, but they use their influence to induce 
others to come and do likewise. They re- 
fer them to Obookiah as an instance of the 
propriety and practicability of missionary ex 
rtion. While this instance encourages theii 
wn efforts, it greatly emboldens them in 
rging upon others the necessity and expe- 
ency of constant exertion in the cause ot 
e Heathen. 

*' Such have been the effects of Obookiah 's 

ir in this region. And since such are 

effects, and such was his character, it 

lot surprising that his death is so much 

ented. Many flattering hopes were ex- 

1 in the breasts of his friends here, but 

;hteous Providence haa «e^ii €ii \i^ Vjaa^ 


them — But we have a foundation for our 
hopes that cannot he shaken. On this we 
may rest the heathen cause, and feel secure, 
while human means and promising agents 
are swept away." 

The following letter was written hy Ohoo- 
kiah whilst at Amherst, to his companions at 
South Farms, (Litchfield.) 

** Amherst, Jan. 1, 1817« 
*' My Dear Brethren j 

'* I long to see you aU. You may perhaps 
be glad to hear from me, and to know how 
I am. I hope you are doing well, both in 
your studies, and your religious exercises of 
the morning and the evening, which is the 
duty of prayer. 

" I have seen one of our own countrymen 
at Enfield, about nine miles from this place. 
He has been in that place for ten years, and 
two years at Boston. Thus, he continued 
in this country just twelve years. He did 
come from Owhyhee, and also his native 
place was Kolhi, (well known such place*) 
From that place Capt. John took him on 
board the ship, and brought him over here, 
when he was not but fourteen years of age. 
His native name was Nablemah-hownah. 
Since I saw him I could converse with him 
but little, for he has lost the greatest part of 
our language. But he could recollect the 
' saiDes of many things, as far as he was able 


to describe them to me. While I was with 
him he could not keep his eyes away from 
me for wonder and gladness, to see such a 
one who came from his own country. I 
staid with him two days at Enfield not long 
since. I spended the whole of my time with 
him while I was there. The first that I did, 
I took him by my side, to converse with him 
upon serious subjects. By his own words, 
I judged him to be as one who was willing 
to accept of the free offer of mercy, though 
I fear he may in a time of temptation fall 
away, and all that which is sown in the 
heart. my dear brethren and friends, he 
needed your prayers. Pray for him, that 
he may be brought to see the goodness of 
the Lord, and that he may be faithful to his 
own soul. Do not delay your prayers to the 
Almighty God for such a one, that is very 
dear to you. He now feels as though he 
was one of the greatest sinners that ever 
lived. Do you not all feel anxious for the 
soul of your own countryman, here now in 
this country? O that he may devote himself 
to the service of his Creator! I observed 
many times while I prayed with him, he 
would deeply cry with such a dismal gloomy, 
as if the wrath of the Almighty was upon 
him. I have heard last Sabbath noon, by a 
man who was well known to him, that this 
young man becomes more thoughtful ever 
ttnce I come away. If tbia \>e \\i^ c^s^V 


would humbly beg at the mercy seat for 
your prayers, that they may not be hindered. 
1 shall see him again before a long time. 
He longs to see you.* 

" May God be with you all." 

Henry returned from Amherst in April to 
South Farms. Here he remained with his 
countrymen, until the first of May ; when 
the school was removed to Cornwall, the 
place of its permanent location. 

He now had his mind bent upon becom- 
ing prepared, as soon as practicable, to 
preach the Gospel. He paid particular at« 
tention to preaching, and made many remarks 
upon the subjects of sermons, and the man- 
ner of preaching them. 

Some observations upon a common defect 
in preaching are well recollected. He com- 
plained of the practice of those ministers, 
who used such language in their sermons 
as was unintelligible to most of their hear- 
ers. Ministers, he said, preached to per- 
sons of every description; almost all were 
ignorant, very few had learning, and if they 
preach to all the people, they ought to preach 
so that all can understand. They ought to 

♦ This youth is now a memher of the Forriijn M]»- 
Bon School, and exhibits hopeful evidence of piety. The 
impvetsions made by the conversation of Obookiah warn 


*Mse plain language. If not, he said, ** as 
well might preach in unknown tongue." 
Every word, he thought, should be pfain, 
for " people/' said he, " can't carry dictionary 
to meeting.' ^ 

As Obookiah, at the time of his entrance 
into the school at Cornwall, had arrived at 
an age of considerable maturity, it may be 
proper that a more particular description 
should now be given of his person and cha- 

He was considerably above the ordinary 
size : but little less than six feet in height, 
and in his limbs and body proportionably 
large. His form, which at sixteen was awk- 
ward and unshapen, had become erect, grace- 
ful, and dignified. His countenance had lost 
every mark of dulness; and was, in an un- 
usual degree, sprightly, and intelligent. His 
features were strongly marked. They were 
expressive of a sound and penetrating mind. 
He had a piercing eye, a prominent Roman 
lose, and a projecting chin. 

His complexion was olive, varied equally 
from the blackness of the African, and the 
redness of the Indian. His hair was black, 
worn short, and dressed after the manner of 
the Americans. 

In his disposition he was amiable and af> 
fectionate. His temper was mild. Passion 
was not easily excited, nor long retained 
Revenge, or resentment, it i& ^x^s>\\SkKA^ 



was never known to be cherished in 



He loved his friends, and was grateful for 
the favours which he received from them. 
Id his journal and letters are found frequeifi 
expressions of affection and gratitude to 
those who had been his benefactors. To 
families in which he had lived, or to indivi- 
duals who had been his particular patrons^ 
he felt an ardent attachment. One of the 
latter, who had been separated from him for 
a considerable time, he met with great de- 
light; and after the first customary saluta- 
tions, said to him, '' I want to see you greftt 
while: you don't know how jou seem to me: 
you seem like father , mother , brother, cUL*' 

In his understanding, Obookiah excelled 
ordinary young men. His mind was not of 
a common cast. It ^as «uch, that, with 
proper culture, it might have become a 
mind of the first order. Its distinguishing 
traits were sound common sense, keen d]»- 
cernment, aod an inquisitiveness or enter- 
prise which disposed him to look as far as 
his mind could reach into every subject that 
was presented to his attention. 

By his good sense he was accustomed to 
view subjects of every kind in their proper 
light; to see things as they are. He seldom 
misconceived or misjudged. By his com- 
panions his counsel was sought, and regard-. 
ed as decisive. He had that clear sense at 


propriety with regard to his own conduct 
and the conduct of others, which always 
commands the respect or excites the fear 
of those who hehold it. Had he heen dis- 
posed to cultivate a talent for this purpose, he 
would have hecome one of the severest of 
eritics upon the manners and conduct of those 
around him. 

Few persons have a deeper insight into 
the characters of men, or have the power of 
forming a more just estimate of them, by 
their words and actions, than he had. Few 
are more capable of perceiving the exact 
import of language^ or are less liable to be 
deceived as to its real meaning, by a design- 
ed ambiguity of terms. 

His inquisitiveness existed in relation to> 
idl subjects of interest, and disposed him to- 
make himself acquainted with every thing- 
that was known by others, and to- discover 
whatever was within hn reach. The trait 
was exhibited, especially, in bis character as^ 
a scholar. 

His inquisitive mind was not satisfied with 
pursuing the usual round of study, but he 
was disposed to understand critically every, 
branch of knowledge to which he attended 
For this reason, his progress in his studies 
was not rapid — ^but as a scholar he was in 
dustrious, ingenious and thorough. ETit 
mind was also inventive. After having ae 


quired some slight knowledge of the English 
language in its grammatical construction, he 
entered upon the project of reducing to sys- 
tem his own native language. As it was not 
a written language, but lay in its chaotic 
state, every thing was to be done. With 
some assistance he had made considerable 
progress towards completing a grammar, a 
dictionary, and a spelling-book. 

He had also translated into his native lan- 
guage the whole of the book of Genesis. 

These specimens of his industry and inge- 
nuity, when seeUf administer severe reproof 
to the sloth and dulness of most persons of 
much greater age, and of advantages far su- 
perior to his own.* 

When Obookiah became a member of the 
Foreign Mission School, he had attended to 
all the common branches of English educa- 
tion. In reading, writing, and spelling, he 
was perhaps as perfect as most young men 

* In accomplishing this labour, Obookiah receivod the 
•nistance of the Rev. Mr. F. now Profcasor of Divinity 
in Yale College. He had some assistance also fiom 
others. The manuscripts, however, are all Ms own 
hand writing : and considered merely as proofs of appli- 
eation, are greatly to the credit of the industry and enter- 
prise of one so young, and uninstructerl. They could 
nave cost him no less than the constant labour of many 

These manuscripts, though now im])eTfect, will afiord 
mneh aid to futuie translators and Missionariea. 



of our country, of the same age and with 
common opportunities. He wrote a legible, 
manly hand, and acquired the habit of writ- 
ing with considerable rapidity. He had at 
this time studied the English Grammar so far 
as to be able to parse most sentences with rea- 
diness. He understood the important rules in 
common Arithmetic, and had obtained consi- 
derable knowledge of Greography. He had 
studied also one book of Euclid's Elements 
of Geometry, and of his own accord, with- 
out a regular instructer, he had acquired such 
knowledge of the Hebrew, that he had been 
able to read several chapters m the Hebrew 
Bible, and had translated a few passages 
into his native language. He had a peculiar 
relish for the Hebrew language, and from its 
resemblance to his own, acquired it with great 

The winter before he came to the school 
he commenced the study of Latin. This, be 
pursued principally after he became a member 
of the Institution. 

In his manners, Obookiah was habitually 
grave and reserved. In the presence of his 
friends, however, his conversation was often 
sprightly, and rendered particularly enter- 

* In consequence of tbis resemblance in the stractum 
of the two languages, Obookiah found it much less diffi- 
cult to translate toe Hebrew, than the English, into hii 
native tongue. 




tuning, by a fondness for humour, for which 
he was distinguished. This he oftener ex- 
hibited by a quick perception and relish foi 
it in others, than by actually displaying it in 
himself. Yet he sometimes gave evidence 
in his own remarks, of possessing no small 
degree of genuine wit. When conversing 
-with his companions in their native language, 
he frequently afforded them much amusement 
by the pleasant and humorous cast of his 

The customary deportment of Obookiah, 
however, was serious, and dignity striking* 
ly characterized his manners. Few young 
men, it is presumed, command so much 
respect from persons of every age and cha- 
racter. Notwithstanding the familiarity 
which he used with his companions, he 
maintained an influence over them, becom- 
ing the relation of an elder brother, or even 
that of a respected parent. In his inter- 
course with them the dignity of his charac- 
ter was peculiarly visible. A motion of his 
head often made known to them his will, 
and obtained the compliance which he de- 

His manners had become in a considera- 
ble degree refined. A gentleman of respec- 
tability who visited Cornwall, and had a 
particular interview with him, observed, 
that he had met with but few persons of any 
country, more gentlemanly in their manners, 


NT* intelligent and interesting in their conver«> 

Obookiah was a decided and consistent 
^ristian. His conduct was habitually un- 
ler the influence of principles of piety. He 
nanifested a strong interest in the general 
prosperity of religion, and expressed in his 
:onversation, as well as his letters and diary, 
irdent desires for the salvation of his fellow- 
nen ; and especially of his countrymen, f<H* 
Nrhona he fervently prayed, and in whose be- 
lalf he often requested the earnest prayers 
>f his friends. 

In his writings, satisfactory evidence is 

urnished of his own personal experience of 

he power of divine grace. In these may 

e seen, his convictions concerning the cha- 

icter of his unrenewed heart ; his views of 

e grace and glory of the Saviour ; his en- 

e reliance upon the merits of Christ for 

tification, and the employments and duties 

which he found his only happiness through 

whole course of his Christian life. 

Asides this evidence, and that which was 

ished by his exemplary conduct, the fol- 

ng facts will aflbrd additional proof of 

rdent piety. 

hile a member of the Institution at 

ivall, he was in the habit of attending a 

ly meeting with his companions on Sa- 

' evening ; in which, in addition to the 


usual exercises of a religions meeting, b 
questioned them individually concerning th 
state of their minds, and addressed to thei 
such observations as the particular sitnatio 
of each seemed to demand. Others in a fe^ 
instances have been present, and have bee 
greatly surprised both at the ability whie 
he possessed of eliciting the feelings of hi 
companions, and at the pertinency and wii 
dom of his remarks. 

He once observed to a friend, whilst i 
health, '' I have many timet so much enjoj 
ment in the night I cannot sleep." 

At another time, *' When I have done wrong 
I am always sorry — lam so sorry!" 

He excelled and delighted in prayer. I 
a letter from the Rev. Mr. Perkins, wh 
often witnessed his performance of tlfis dot 
in public assemblies, and had also a favoni 
able opportunity of becoming acquainte 
with his secret devotions, it is observec 
" Prayer seemed to be his daily and nigbtf 
business : in this duty he not only appeare 
to take great delight, but he was pertinem 
copious, and fervent It was almost impoi 
sible to hear him pray and not be draw 
into a devotional frame. I have repeatedl 
witnessed great numbers in a meeting mell 
ed into weeping, and in one instance th 
greater part of the assembly, and seven 
sobbing, while he stood before the throne o 


Grod, filling his mouth with arguments and 
pleading for Christian and Heathen nations. 

*' He remarked to me one morning as we 
were journeying, that the night previous he 
had spent chiefly in prayer for a youth who 
happetied to reside in the family where we 
had been kindly entertained." 

He was once requested by a clergyman to 
attend a religious meeting with him, and 
make such observations as he thought pro- 
per to the people. Previously to the hour 
appointed for the meeting, he proposed to 
the minister that they should retire, and 
spend a short time in supplicating the bless- 
ing of God upon the duties they were about 
to perform. 

Obookiah considered it as his duty, and 
made it his habitual practice, to converse, 
as he had opportunity, with persons whom 
he supposed to be destitute of grace, and 
urge upon them the necessity of immediate 
repentance. In several instances his con- 
versation has made impressions which have 
terminated in an apparent conversion of the 
soul to God. 

After Henry's return from Massachusetts 
he maintained a correspondence with seve- 
ral persons of respectability, residing in the 
different parts of the country which he had 
visited. A very few only of his letters have 
been obtained ; and parts of these are of so 
local and private a nature as to preveat 


their being inserted with propriety in this 


Extracts from two of them will ibllow. — 
The first was addressed to S. W. Esq. of 

'< Cornwall^ Jane 16, 1817. 
" My Dear Svr, 

** Again I take my pen to embrace this 
opportunity in writing. Indeed, on this 
yery day I received a most affectionate let- 
ter; and when I come to nnseal it, lol it 
was from my dear beloved friend, Mr. S. 
W.! How, or what an answer can I give 
for it ? My dear friend, I received your let- 
ter with a thankful heart I rejoice to hear 
that you have still a lively thought concern- 
ing the great things of eternity. O that mat 
thoughts and hearts may be united together 
in the fear of C^, and in love of the Lord 
Jesus — whom you spoke well of. Indeed, 
my dearest friend, we are in a great debt, 
both to Grod and to his Son Jesus Christ 
We have owed them ten thousands of talents ! 
and alas ! how would we repay for all ? No^ 
withstanding the greatness of our due U 
God for all his goodness and kindness to- 
wards us, yet we can repay it, by giving uf 
ourselves to him : for he does not wish fin 
ours, but us : for thus it is written, * My 
son give me thine heart, and let thine era 
observe my ways. Your observations whid 


joa observed in this your letter, are just as 
the thoughts of a true and humble believer 
in God — and as one that fears God. Surely 
it is as you say, that the supreme love and 
affection must we give to him, who is the 
Lord over all and blessed for ever. Pray that 
these thoughts may not be mislaid in our hearts. 
" Since I received your letter, my com- 
panions had the curiosity for knowing the 
person from whom the letter was sent. I told 
them from one of my friends at the pl&ce 
where I was kindly treated by them. They 
were very much pleased with the letter- 
supposed that you was a friend of Christ, 
and a true believer in God, by what you 
spoke well, both of Christ and his character. 
To whom I answered that I had a strong 
love for you, and hope that you may be a 
fellow-traveller through the journey of this 
wilderness world. that we both may meet 
in the presence of God in the eternal world 
above, where sin will never enter there. Let 
18 not neglect the duty which we owe to 
jrod to love him with our hearts, souls and 
trength — and let us pray without ceanng* 
" With this I must leave you, my dear 
lend, in the hand of God. Look to him to 
ceive instruction and to know his holy cha- 

The following letter was written to A. S 
|. of Amherst^ dated 

106 KEMOIRS 07 

" Cornwall, Aug. 15, 1817. 
*' My Dear Friend ^ 

*^ Your letter of late gave me a great satis- 
faction. And since I have received it, I do 
now think that I was in a fault for not giving 
you an answer for it sooner ; but be so kind 
as excuse me. You know not what joy and 
pleasure I had since I received your letter.. 
O what happy news ! It gives me a suitable 
joy to hear that the Lord has visited Am- 
herst once more, with the influences of his 
Holy Spirit, and that he has already plucked 
as brands from the burning, some of those 
who once had been destitute of the Grace of 
God, and yet are now bowing down to the 
sceptre of King Jesus. O that the professed 
followers of the meek and lowly Jesus, be 
more and more lively in this most glorious 
work of our blessed Redeemer. Let every 
Christian be more and more deep sensible 
that the glory of every good work here be- 
low must come from God ; as we read that 
he is the giver of every good gift, and every 
perfect gift is from above. We cannot expect 
to see a single soul coming out of the king- 
dom of Satan, into the kingdom of Christ 
unless we see one or more faithful and hum- 
ble Christians, running forward in spirit 
without any least of doubt, nor fail from 
doing whatever duty God required of them. 
O let us all intreat of the Lord that he would 
show unto us of his holy character a per 


fectioD, that we may be able to love and to 
serve him more and far better than we now 
do. Let us have a more realizing sense of oar 
ingratitude and unfruitfulness in the eyes of 
the all-seeing Gk>d ; let us be faithful in our 
duty, and may the great grace of Qod be suffi- 
cient for us all. 

'* I have not heard any news since I came 
away from Amherst. The only information 
that I can give is the present situation of 
this faistitution, under which we are placed. 
Our school is going on very regularly, and the 
scholars are making some progress in their 
studies. One of our members is become a 
bom in Christ, since he has been here, and 
I trust there is no small degree of happiness. 
He is now rejoicing in the hope of the glory 
of God. O that the Lord would be pleased 
to bless this school. I humbly beg of your 
prayers for this school, that each member of 
it may become a member of the household 
of God. Please to remember me to Mr. 
vid Mrs. P. and family. Tell Mr. P. that 
I shall write to him as soon as I can, but I 
dare not make any promise to set a tiioe 
when. Yours, 

« H. Obookiar." 

About the commencement of the year 
1818, Obookiah became seriouslv indispos- 
ed, and was obliged wholly to abandon his 
studies. A physician waa called^ %3dA %\^«^ 


attention paid to his complaints. It 
soon found that his disease was the ij 
fever; and a thorough course of mcHJ 
was commenced, which after one or 
weeks appeared to check the progrei 
the disorder, and confident expects 
were entertained of his recovery. ] 
continued to be cherished until it be 
evident that his strength was wasting, 
that his constitution, naturally strong, 
giving way to the violence of the dii 
which had taken fast hold of him, and 
not been essentially removed. Noti 
standing the unremitted care and the 
of his attending physician, and the co 
of others called to consult with him, 
kindest and most judicious attentions oi 
family into which he had fallen, and the 
versal solicitude of his surrounding frit 
he continued to decline until the nigl 
the 17th of February ; when his happy i 
was released, and his joyful anticipa 
realized, that he shoidd soon reach his hea 
Father's house. 

In this last lingering sickness, the c 
tian character of Obookiah was advi 
geously exhibited. His patience, chei 
ness, resignation to the will of Gk>d, grati 
for the kindness of his friends, and 
nevolence, were particular subjects of 
tice and conversation to those who atte 
him during this interesting period. His ; 




aician said of him that " he was the first 
patient whom he had ever attended through 
a long course of fever, that had not in some 
instances manifested a greater or less degree 
of peevishness and impatience." 

Mrs. S. in whose family he was confined, 
and who devoted her attention exclusively 
to the care of him, observed, that '' this had 
been one of the happiest and most profitable 
periods of her life — that she had been more 
than rewarded for her cares and watchings 
by day and night, in being permitted to wit^ 
ness his excellent example, and to hear his 
godly conversation." 

By this Mend a part of his * observations 
and answers, particularly within a few of the 
last' days of his sickness, were committed to 
writing ; and are as follows : 

To one of his countrymen, as he entered 
the room in the morning, after he had pass- 
ed a night of suflfering, he said, *\I almost 
died last night It is a good thing to be 

sidk, . S , we must all die — and 'tis no 

matter where we are." Being asked by 
another ** Are you afraid to die ?" he an- 
swered, ** No, I am not." A friend said 
to him, " I am sorry to find you so very 
sick" — he replied, '' Let God do as he 

Mrs. S. frequently inquired of him if he 
would hear a few verses in the Bible. '* O 
yet.'" washisanswer, ***li$JCPod;" andafter 

112 MSM0IR8 OF 

beanng, be would tarn his eyes to Heap 
▼en, apparently in prayer. After a seasoq 
of great distress, he broke out in an audible 
voice, and said, " If we put our trust in God, 
we need not fear." Frequently, when free 
frcmi pain, he inquired for some one to pray 
with him ; but often before he could be gra- 
tified his F^ns returned, and he forgot his 
request. The person whom he most fre- 
quently called upon to pray with him was 
his friend Thomas. They often prayed to- 
gether, alone : — as they had done for yean. 
In the language of his female friend, " Their 
souls appeared to knit together like those of 
David and Jonathan. Henry always appear- 
ed composed and apparently very happy, af- 
ter a season of prayer with Thomas. In a 
season of fainting I left the room for a mo- 
ment, to get some water, returned and found 
them weeping in great distress, supposing 
the time of separation had now come*'' 
Upon his inquiring for the Doctor, to whom 
he app^red greatly attached, Mrs. S. said 
to him, ** Henry, do you depend upon your 
physician?" ''Oh! you don't know," said 
he, " how much I depend upon the great 
Physician of the soul." He inquired, "Does 
the Doctor say I shall get well ?" It was 
answered, " He thinks it is uncertain :" to 
which he said, '* God will do what is right 
•-God will take care of me." He observed 
ImMmA, "It is a fine pleasant moming.' 

*«' ra*," '"' f". .//,•■ 2l iff,'';"- 

?«™ lS", "^kM yS ^'r"*? 
I" *.ed Jl^-'^-Ph, .0/°" ""S" 'o be 


done a great deal for me. But they must be 
good for themselves too." 

He appeared very affectionate to all, es* 
pecially his countrymen. He insisted on 
some one of them being with him continual* 
ly ; would call very earnestly for them if they 
were out of his sight ; and would be satisfied 
only with this, that they were gone to eat or 

to rest To one of them he said, " W , 

I thank you for all you have done for me ; 
you have done a great deal ; but you will not 
h^ve to wait on me much more, I shall not 
live." To another, ** My dear friend S— ^ 
you have been very kind to me ; I think of 
you often ; I thank you ; but I must die, 
G , and so must you. Think of Ood, 
G - , never fail." To another, " You 
must stay ; perhaps I finish off this fore- 
noon. How much God has done for me 
and for you !" 

The day before he died, "after a dis* 
tressing night, and a bewildered state of 
mind, he appeared to have his reason per- 
fectly, and requested that his countrymen 
might be called." After they came in he 
inquired several times for one of them who 
was absejit, and for whom he had no hope ; 
and said, " I have not seen him much— I 
shan't see him— I want to talk to him."— 
When the rest had seated themselves around 
his bed, he addressed them most feelingly in 
Ilia native language, as long as his strength 


would permit. As much of the address u 
could be recollected, was afterwitrds wiitlen 
in E)itE;libli by one of his couDtrymen, and 
was essentially as follows; — 

'■My dear countrymen, I wish to Bay 
something to yoii all — you have been very 
kind to me — I feel my ohiigation to you — 1 
thank you. And now, my dear friends, 1 
must beseech you to remember that you 
have got to follow rae. Above all things, 
make your peace with God — you must make 
Christ your friend — you are in a strange 
land — you have no father — no mother to 
take care of you when you are sick — but 
God will be your friend if you put your trust 
in him — He has raised up friends here, for 
you and for me — i have strong faith in God 
— I am willing to die when the voice of my 
Saviour call rae hence — I am willing, if God 
design to take me. But I cannot leave you 
without calling upon the mercy of God to 
flanctifv your soiils and fit you for Heaven. 
When" we meet there we shall part no more. 
Remember, my friends, that you are poor — 
it is by the mercy of God that you have com- 
fortable clothes, and that you are so kindly 
supported. You must love God — I want to 
have you make your peace with God. Can't 
you see how good God is to you ? God hiw 
done great deal for you and for me. Re- 
member that you have got to love God, or 
else you perish for ever. God \i»a ^v>|i«i\o.»- 

116 MBNoiBs or 

Sod to die for you — I want to haTe yoa Iotc 
Grod verjr much. I want to talk with you bj 
and by — ^my strength iaib— I can't now—) 
want to say more" 

This is probably but a part of what was 
spoken, and that imperfectly translated.— 
The address, under the circumstances in 
which it was made, was affectinir bcnrond 
description. The weakness of Obookiah, 
which was such that it was with difficulty 
that he could utter an audible sound; the 
peculiarly affectionaie and earnest tones of his 
voice, the voice occasionally faltering in 
death; his companions sitting around him, 
with broken hearts — some of them almost 
unable to support their grief— the address 
being continued until his strength was en« 
tirely exhausted, rendered the scene literally 
overwhelming— Loud sobbing was beard 
throughout the room ; and from persons littk 
accustomed even to weep. 

After Henry had ceased to speak, one of 
his countrymen at his request, communicated 
in English, to those of his companions who 
were not able to understand the Owhyhee Ian* 
guage, such things as Henry had previously 
committed to him for that purpose* 

An hour or two after this, when Obookiali 
had obtained a little rest, his countrvmaiL 
who had been absent during the acidre«i 
coming in, he said to him, "Sit dowB« 
0*7— > I have been talking with the othta 


boys— They have been very kind to me*-<* 
I can't pay them — ^but the Lord Jesas hii 
enough and to spared—not money nor wine^ 
he will reward them. You, G ' , as w^ 
as I, are a poor boy ; you have no fether nor 
mother here. Grod has given ns good friends^ 

and you must love him and serve him, G ; 

and when w^e be departed here, we may 

S raise Gtod for ever. We must all die. 
doctor C. cannot save us when we are nek 
unto death. You and I are sinners. May the 
Lord Jesus have mercy on our poor soius^-*! 
must rest." 

To a son of the Rev. Mr. S. who came to 

his bed-side, and after looking at him, was 

about to withdraw, he said, ** Wait — ^walt 

—I wish to speak to you. P ■ , yon h«vc 

got to be a great boy-^you have been to 

school a great deal. Remember you will be 

examined at the Day of Judgment^ for yonr 

mprovement." To a friend, he said,* ** My 

lith holds out." To another, <' How soon 

lall I be taken away ?" It was answdred, 

pretty soon." He was asked, <*If yoQ 

uld have your choice, would yon choose t6 

e or to die?" He replied, *' I do not 

ow ; I wish to live to do good ; if it were 

for this, I do not w»h to live another 

ment." And added, with mneh apparent 

f, ** Pve lost my time — Pve lo9t my Itme." 

another friend, he said, ** J haee no^ 

to /ioe, if I ca» m^mf (iU preavMe of ' 


and go where Christ is.'* Looking down at 
his feet, which hore evident marks of ap- 
proaching death, he cried out, "Oh! Mor* 
talUyr* His physician requested him to 
take some medicine which was di*«agreeahle 
to him ; he said, " Wait, wait, Sir, till to- 
morrow;" hut soon consented, and said 
" Perhaps there will be no to-morrow." 
The evening before his death, the Rev. M n 
Mills, whom he always called <' Father," 
came in to see him. He looked at him very 
wishfully, and said, " Will you pray. Sir, 
before we part ?" He listened to the prayei 
with fixed attention, and when it was closed^ 
said, as he had done in every instance be* 
fore, " i thank you, Sir^* — and this with a 
sweetness of voice, and an expression of coun- 
tenance, which none can conceive but those 
who witnessed. 

As death seemed to approach, Mrs. S. said 
to him', " Henry, do you think you are dying?" 
He answered, " Yes, ma'am" — and then said. 
'' Mrs. S. 1 thank you for your kindness** 
She said, " I wish we might meet hereafter." 
He replied, " I hope we shall" — ^and taking 
her hand, affectionately bid her farewell. 
Another friend taking his hand, told him that 
he " must die soon." He heard it without 
emotion, and with a heavenly smile bade him 
his last adieu. 

He shook hands with all his companions 
prcBent, and with perfect comporare ad 


dresaed to them the pitrticg Galutation of his 
native language, "Ailoah o'e." — My love be 
toilh you. 

But a few minuteB before he breathed hit 
last, his physician said to him, "How do 
you feel now, Heqry ?" He answered, " F«- 
ry well — / am not lick — / have no pain — I /eel 
well." The expression of his countenance 
was that of perfect peace. He now seemed 
a little reviyed, and ky in a composed and 
quiet state for several minutes. Most of 
those who were present, not apprehending" 
an immediate change, had seated themselves 
hy the fire. No alarm waa given, until one 
of his countrymen who was standing by his 
bed-side, exclaimed, "Obookiah'i gone." All 
sprang to the bed. The spirit had departed 
— but a smile, such as none present had ever 
beheld — an expression of the final triumph 
of his soul, remaiaed upon his countenance. 


. I 



Preached at the Funeral of Ohookiah^ Feh. 
18, 1818, hy Lyman Beecher, D. D. then 
Pastor of a Church in Litchfield, Conn, 
from Psalm xcvii. v, I &4% 

T%e Lord reigneth let the earth rejoice, let the 
multitude of the Ules be glad thereof. CUmd» 
and darkness are round about him : righte' 
ousness and judgment are the hMtation oj 
bis throne. 

The death of Henry Ohookiah, is one of 
those ways of Qod, aoout which are clouds 
and darkness. 

We did not expect it, and we should not 
have ordered events thus, to glorify Grod, 
and extend his cause. 

We thought surely this is he who shall 
comfort Owhyhee. We saw so plainly the 
hand of God, in bringing him hither ; in his 
instruction, his conversion, talents, and mis- 
sionary zeal, that like Samuel, when he saw 
the eldest son of Jesse, we were prepared 
undoubtedly to say, ''This is the Lord^s 
anointed." But all our hopes of his agency, 
in the Owhyhee Mission, are dashed. His 
work is done: those feet will not traverse 
the shores of Owhyhee, that tongue will not 
publish saNttion to those, for whom it ut- 


tered so many supplications. We behoM the 
end of hia race, and bury with his dust in 
the grave oil our high raised hopes of his 
future activity in the cause of Christ. 

Aod to Bome it may seem, aa if God were 
frowning upon this Institution,* and were 
warning us, after so much needless expense, 
and labour lost in the education of this 
youth, to cease from our vain expectations 
of sending the Gospel to Owhyhee, and give 
up our labour of love. 

But we do not thus interpret the voice of 
his Providence which speaks to us this day, 
but ntber hear him saying to us, more audi- 
bly than ever, "Go forward." 

It must be confessed that we bare had 
fears, unbelieving fears, doubtless in part, 
and such in part as resulted necessarily from 
the novelty of the undertaking; and bad we 
suitably regarded the analogy of Providence 
we might have had fears from our uninter- 
rupted and uncommon prosperity, whether 
our work was the Lord's, and would be own- 
ed by him, and blessed. But from this dark- 
ness we hear the voice of our God saying 
Bnto us, " Be not afraid, for 1 am with you 
— he not afraid, it is I." And we are not 
ftfraid. Instead of his frown, we behold in 
thi» his Providence, cheering evidence, that 


this institution is taken under bis protection 
as his own, and that he will by tnals so dis- 
cipline ns, and the members of this school, 
for future usefulness, that himself shall not 
be robbed, nor we be destroyed, by the sal- 
vation of Owhyhee. 

Nor do we feel as if our labour had been 
lost, did our work terminate this day. If 
any are disposed to think so, let them behold 
the dying scene of Henry Obookiah ; witness 
his heavenly smile ; trace his bright piith to 
glory; behold his immaculate spirit before 
the throne of God — ^his astonishment at the 
Providence which brought him from Owhy- 
hee, to fit him for heaven, and his rapture 
at the glory revealed in him. Behold his hu- 
mility, while he veils his face, and casts his 
crown at the feet of Jesus ; his rapture while 
he cries amid the myriads of glory," Wor- 
thy is the Lamb that was slain.'' Let them 
calculate the amount of moral evil prevented 
by his sanctification, and of natural evil, by 
his exemption from the plagues of sin and 
the wrath of God. — Let theni think of his 
growing knowledge and expanding mind; 
his increasing holiness, and nis joy, destin* 
ed to increase for ever, and then decide, 
whether they would recall the prayers, and 
the substance given to him, if by doing so it 
would recall his spirit from Heaven, renew 
in his heart the reign of sin, and send him 
back to weep unheeded, where he once wept 


" because no one would give him lekhiing;," 
and at last to go ba^ to the darknen of 
Owhyhee, and die unsatisfied among the 
heath eu. 

Who would dare to stop the song whidk 
he sings, to extinguish the rapture which he 
feels, to eclipse bjr his removal from Hearen 
the glory of Ood, which hia redemption 3r 
lostrates, or rob angels of their jaj at Ui 
conversion, tad their angmented joy at hit 
arrival in glory. 

Who does not rejoice laither, that God hia 
incltned and enatded him to bear a part in ■• 
glorious an achievemeati as is now conwutif 
mated by his redemptios ? , 

If the charchea oTNewk-Englasd, knowing 
the purpo«e of Ood Doaceming Obookiah, 
had chartered & iship and sent it to Owhyhce, 
on purpose to biiH 1^™ ^ Christ, and fit 
him for heaven ; it would have been a che^i 
purchase of hlessedueM to man, and glory 
to Ood : and were Uiere no expedients now 
to rescue his poor countrymen, for whom be 
prayed, the end would justify the constant 
employment of such means, to bring the sons 
and daughlers of Owhyhee, to glory. But 
besides hia redemption, God by his Provi- 
dence towards him, has illustrated his go- 
vernment of the moral world, and added new ' 
evidence to the truth of the declaration, 
>' All that the Father hath given unto me shall 


He is in the deep darkness of Owhyhee, 
and how shall he believe on him of whom 
he has not heard, or how shall he hear with* 
out a preacher, or be blessed with the privi- 
leges, when the time has not come to send 
that Gospel to that isle of the sea. 

Behold the wonder-working hand of God ! 
He is in the proscribed family of his fathei; 
til of whom are cut off. He flies with his 
brother on his back, whom the fatal arrow 
pierced, leaving Obookiah untouched— ^He 
is dedicated by his surviving uncle to the 
priesthood — But his tender spirit^ grieved 
at the loss of his parents, could not bear the 
associations of Owhyhee. Other children 
had parents to return to, after playing, but 
this ** poor boy*' .could jiot forget that he had 
none, and left his native land. >k>lunjarily, 
and eagerly, that he might eease'froin the 
constant, painful, rememembrance of joys de- 
parted never to return. 

He came to this land, and heard of Him 
on whom without hearing, he could- not be- 
lieve, and by the mouth of those, who could 
never have spoken to him in Owhyhee. 

He heard, and God who commanded the 
light to shine out of darkness, caused the 
light of the knowledge of the glory of God 
in the face of Jesus Christ, to illumine his 

Nor does the salvation of Obookiah fill up 
the measure of good, by which the Moiit 
High is pleased to reward our labour fbr 
him. By means of his conversion, numbers 
of his brethren, wandering like lost sheep ja 
our land, have been brought also to the know* 
ledge of his truth, and by the remote instru- 
mentality of the same event, this Institution, 
the hope of Owhyhee, and other heathen 
lands, has been established. Nor are we 
compelled to believe, that this usefulness will 
terminate with his life, or that the immediate 
consequences of his death, will be calamitous. 
His death will give^ notoriety to this institu- 
tion — will awaken a tender sympathy for 
Owhyhee, and give it an interest in the 
prayers and charities of thousands who other- 
wise had ^othe0d o( this establishment, or 
been i&ter^sted in its prosperity. 

Let there be no despondency, then, in- 
dulged by the members of this agency, or the 
board under whose patronage we act, or hy 
the churches of our Lord, who favour this 
institution. These clouds, and this darkness, 
announce the presence, but not the displea- 
sure, of our God. 

Had no disappointments intervened, our 
work had lacked the immemorial testimony 
of the Divine approbation. Instead of being 
appalled by the darkness, we are cheered hj. 


it ; instead of fainting under the stroke, we 
are animated by it, to double confidence in 
(irod, and double dUigence in this work, fyr- 
asmuch as we know, that our labour is nlM 
▼ain in the Lord. 




IBIiTED crtuncH BOAim ^OB 



Fcr. . - 

FOUnGti WSSA.OV& UbsJekiSl. 


av3aM.H4033 itae 

3 2044 077 967 438 

I, Edwin Welles: 
Irs of Henry