Four detachments of the emigrating Cherokees have, within a few days, passed through our city [Nashville], and seven others are behind, and are expected to pass in a week or two. They average about a thousand each. Of the third party our brother Evan Jones, who has been eighteen years a missionary in the nation, is Conductor; and the, fourth is under the direction of the celebrated Dta-ske-ge-de-hee, known among us as Bushyhead. In the two parties they direct we learn there are upwards of five hundred Baptists.
During two or three days that their business detained them in the vicinity of this city, we have had the pleasure of some intercourse with these and others of our Cherokee brethren; and more lovely, and excellent christians, we have never seen. On Monday evening last, the 5th of November, several of them were with us, at the monthly concert of prayer for missions. It was expected that the meeting would have been addressed by Oganiah (Peter) Gane-tuh (John Wickliffe) and the Chief Sut-tu-a-gee, all in Cherokee, and interpreted by Dsa-gee. Some of these brethren, however, were sick, and others were detained by other causes, but their places were well supplied. We had a very crowded house. The services were commenced by singing a hymn in Cherokee, by brethren Jones (who, by the way, is called by the Indians Ga-wo-hee-lo-ose-keh) Dta-ske-ge-de-hee Gha-nune-tdah-cla-gee- (going on the hill) and Aht-zthee. After prayer, and another hymn, we were addressed by Ga-wo-he-lo-ose-keh and Dta-ske-ge-de-hee, in English, and, in a very interesting manner, by Aht-zthee in Cherokee, interpreted by brother Bushyhead, and the services closed in the usual form. The effect was thrilling, and the people, though we did not ask a collection spontaneously came up, and contributed $15,18 1/2 cents to the Baptist mission among the Cherokees.
Last night (the 7th,) brother Jones, and brother Bushyhead were again with us. Two other Indian brethren whose names we did not write down, and cannot remember, were expected, but the rain wich [sic] had been falling all day, in the evening powed [poured] down in torrents, and they did not come into the city. Our congregation was much larger than we expected. Brother Bushyhead, (Dta-ske-ge-de-hee) addressed us in English, after prayer and a hymn in Cherokee, on the subject of missions. After pointing out the scripture authority and obligations to the holy work, he told us that he could very well remember when his nation knew nothing of Jesus Christ; he detailed to us some particulars in relation to their religious opinions, and method of spending their time, their habits, and domestic manners, and contrasted them with the present condition and character of his people, and thus illustrated the happy effects already produced among them by the Gospel. He told us he recollected most distinctly the first time he ever heard the name of the Saviour, he recounted to us some particulars of his conversion, and that of his Father and Mother, and gave us a short account of the effects of his own, and the preaching of Oganiah, and others, among his countrymen, and especially of the glorious revival that prevailed among them in their camps this summer, during which himself and Ga-ne-tuh and others had baptized over a hundred and seventy. - upwards of fifty of whom were immersed on one occasion. He adverted to the opposition to missions waged by some Tennessee Baptists, and presented himself and hundreds of his brethren as living instances of the blessing of God upon missionary labours. He closed by stating that it was now seen that Cherokees could be christians, - commending his nation, particularly, and the Indians generally, to the prayers of the Lord's people, and beseeching them still to sustain the preaching of the Gospel among them. He set [sic] down in tears.
Brother Jones followed in a very eloquent address on the same subject, adding some interesting observations about the translation of the Bible into Cherokee, in the letter invented by See-qua-yah (G. Guess) at present in progress by himself and bro. Bushyhead. The services closed at a late hour. $l4,62 1/2 more were handed in to aid the mission, in all $29,8l 1/2 and our brethren left us to pursue their march to the far off west. The effect produced will not soon be erased from our mind; and we trust the recollection of the numerous instances recited of God's goodness, and mercy to our red brethren, will add fervor to many a prayer, and zeal to many an effort, for the salvation of the noble hearted Indian.
[From The Baptist newspaper, 1838. CD edition. Transcribed and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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