The third semi-annual meeting of the American Mission Association was held, commencing on Thursday the 13th ult. at Madison, Ind. and continuing several days. The attendance appears not to have been very numerous. The collections during the meeting, from all sources, were two hundred and fourteen dollars and nine cents. The Report of the Board will be found in this paper. The next Annual Meeting is appointed to be held in this city, commencing on the 16th of October next. H.
REPORT OF THE BOARD.
To the American Indian Mission Association at its 3d semi-annual meeting, commencing in Madison, Indiana., on the 13th of May, 1847. The Board of Managers respectfully submit the following report.
Gratitude to God for permitting us to labor in his vineyard, and for condescending to bless our labor when performed, should have an overwhelming influence upon us, and especially should it inspire us with renewed zeal, to give to the hapless Indians the blessings communicable from a knowledge of the glorious gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Few matters of stirring interest have occurred in the operations of our missionaries since your annual meeting. Soon after its session closed, Sisters Osgood and McCoy, returned to their respective stations west of Missouri. The former Sister has been actively engaged in teaching, and at no time since its organization, has the school under her care, at Wea, been so prosperous as at the present. And indeed the prospects at that school and station, are at this time very encouraging, and should inspire us with a spirit to afford that indefatigable sister with every necessary facility to carry on the school.
Brother Adams, our missionary, at that station, has been very much crippled in his labors, and dispirited in his desires to succeed, from the fact that sister Adams has suffered much affliction from ill health.
Miss McCoy upon her return to the Pottowattomy country, did not labor to enlarge her school, but in consequence of the unsettled condition of that tribe, and their prospect of speedily removing to another territory. She was advised to teach only a few pupils, and to apply herself with great industry, to acquire a knowledge of their language, so that in their contemplated home, she might be able to enter upon her duty of teaching, under more favorable auspices, being qualified to converse in the Indians' own language. When last heard from she was making considerable progress in its acquisition.
Doctor J. Lykins, employed under a salary from government, as physician in the Pottowattomy tribe, has tendered without cost to the Association, much valuable missionary service; and in exerting upon that people a most salutary influence for good.
The attention of the Board has been directed to the permanent occupation of the country to which the Pottowattomies intend removing. And in order that a knowledge of the expense which would necessarily have to be assumed by us, might be known, the missionaries among that people were required some time past to furnish an estimate of the probable cost, which would tend the erection of buildings, and other necessary improvements suitable to establish among them a mission, and also found a manual labor school.
The estimate amounting to about $1500 was furnished by brethren Lykins and Simerwell, with an intimation that it was probable, two thirds of the amount expended in building and improvements upon the ground, would be furnished by the U. S. government. The Board have recently not only applied to government for assistance in the contemplated enterprize, but have instructed their missionaries among the Pottowattomies, to contract forthwith for the erection of the necessary buildings. In doing this the Board have relied upon the liberality of the Churches, towards the Association.
Brother and Sister Simerwell, among this people, while in the employment of the United States government, have also, rendered the Board important missionary service free of charge.
Bro. David Lykins still serves the Board though without a permanent location - his operations have been principally directed to the Shawanoe, though without any particular indication of providence that his labors have been crowned with success. The Board have for some months been striving to furnish him a permanent location, and one too, where opportunity for him to be useful in preaching the gospel with success, will be more favorable.
Among the Indian tribes farther south, the efforts of our missionaries have been attended with great success - Bro. Joseph Smedly, has a large field over which he travels, and preaches, and though his life is a most laborious one, the usual success still attends him. Many have been baptized, and the demand for preaching among the Creeks, and neighboring tribes to whom he preaches, is continually increasing.
Brother Islands, a Creek, a most godly and pious man, and now an ordained minister, has been engaged in preaching gratuitously the gospel of Christ, among his countrymen, and though compensation has been offered him, he has refused it, for fear it should excite the jealousy of the untutored Indian, together with the enemies of Christ, and thereby the progress of the gospel be hindered.
Armstrong Academy in the Choctaw nation is now in a most flourishing condition. A number of the youth attending it, have been converted, and all its operations are conducted with acknowledged ability.
Bro. and sister Potts, who are at the head of this institution, from their long residence in this nation, their established piety, and acknowledged ability, are admirably qualified to give influence and respectability to, as well as to inspire confidence in the institution.
Elder Brown, who is the prinicipal teacher, is well qualified to conduct the literary department of the Academy. He has given by his industry and standing, a very elevated character. The domestic arrangements, are all under the control of sisters Chenoweth and Brown, and brother lone [?], carries on with much industry and activity the farm upon which were, during the past year, a sufficiency of provisions produced to supply the wants of the Academy.
There is great want of missionary labor in the vicinity of Armstrong Academy, and bro. Potts appealed to the Board to furnish a proper man, and offered out of his private resources to aid liberally in his support. The Board appreciating the desires of bro. Potts, and the liberal spirit manifested by him, months since passed a resolution to locate in the Choctaw nation, a suitable missionary, as soon as practicable; but for the want of an individual suitable to that position- we have not been able to comply with the spirit of the resolution, and that inviting field is yet unoccupied, and the cry for help still comes to us from that quarter.
ORGAN OF PUBLICATION.
At the annual meeting, it was resolved to publish a small monthly, in number 5000 to be distributed broadcast over the land. This little monthly visitor bearing to many families, information upon the most important matters connected with Indian reform, and the operations of our missionaries in the Indian country, has been very successful in winning friends to the cause. Its claims to public confidence have been acknowledged, not only by our correspondents, but by many of our denominational periodicals through the land. This little paper now exerting such wide and extending influence for the advancement of the good of the Association, is furnished at a very cheap rate. The expense of its publication is comparatively low, and from the number of subscribers which is being obtained for it, we may justly conclude that the time is not distant when it will be published without cost to the Board.
However, from the demand for it an occasion may arise, before the annual meeting of the Association, to increase the number published.
The monetary affairs of the Association are in a better condition than during any former year of its history, and from the present manifestations of liberality by the friends of the Indians, we may reasonably expect that at the close of the present year, though we are largely increasing our expenses, we shall be able to meet all our liabilities. The present solvent condition of our treasury is mainly attributed to the influence exercised upon the churches through the agency of our monthly paper.
Since the annual meeting, the Board have had in its employment but one regular agent. The Rev. G. P. Davis, has traveled through the State of Alabama, though governed in his operations by the spirit of the report made by the committee on agencies at the annual meeting, yet he has not only succeeded in awakening a lively interest in behalf of our cause where ever he has traveled, but his collections have been liberal.
The Board deemed it important after the annual meeting, that the Corresponding Secretary (Dr. Sherwood) should visit all the schools and mission stations under its control. He accordingly left Louisville in December. But when he arrived at Alton, in Illinois, he found that his family was suffering so much affliction, that it was impossible for him to leave them - after they become so he could leave, the Mississippi was frozen, so that his contemplated journey was, delayed many weeks, and indeed, he has but recently returned to his post. His absence will to some extent account for the irregularity of the correspondence, as well as for the irregular issues of the Indian Advocate, and the disappointment which has resulted to its subscribers in its reception. These duties mostly falling upon the Recording Secretary, who on account of the labors connected with the pastorate of a large church which demanded all of his time, found it impossible to attend punctually to the business of the Board.
In closing this report, the Board cannot in language too strong urge upon the members of the Association the commanding claims of the Indian mission enterprise. An enterprise which has for its object, the redemption from destruction, temporal and eternal, an entire race of rational, and immortal beings.
It is important brethren, that we keep ever before us, two most momentous truths of mighty import in reference to the poor friendless Indians - viz: ours is the only organization ever originated by man, exclusively for Indian reform; and if it fail in the accomplishment of the purposes designed in its organization, the perpetuity of the Indian race, to say nothing of the Evangelization, will be impossible.
But should we do our duty, as members of the American Indian Mission Association, the time is not distant, when the condition of the red man will evidently be improved, and ameliorated, and that too, through our instrumentality. And at no distant period of time we may reasonably conclude, the songs of Zion will be heard upon every hill top, and along every valley in the Indian land - and that in the history of their benighted country, we shall see the sayings of the prophets of the living God literally fulfilled. "That the heathen shall be given to Christ for an inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for a possession. "
W. C. BUCK, Vice President.
A. D. Sears, Rec. Sec.
OFFICERS OF INDIAN MISSION ASSOCIATION.
Maj. T. G. BLEWIT, Miss.
Rev. S. H. CONE, D.D., New York.
Rev. S. W. LYND, D.D., Mo.
Hon. THOS. STOCKS, Ga .
Rev. W. C. BUCK, Ky.
Rev. ADIEL SHERWOOD, D.D. Louisville.
Rev. A. D. SEARS, Louisville.
C. VANBUSKIRK, Louisville.
[From the Tennessee Baptist, June 12, 1847, p. 1. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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