Albany Ladies' union mission school association.

Among the Pimas; online

. (page 1 of 7)
Online LibraryAlbany Ladies' union mission school associationAmong the Pimas; → online text (page 1 of 7)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook








I— (


















" Witli their names
No bard emljalnis and sanctifies his song :
And history so warm on meaner themes.
Is cold on this/'

»')'))-) >

^ J>o' [[

" /h ^:

) >


VI « e TB J , 1

1 e » -) •' )

n 1 > -) ■


' ' J ^ ^ > ' )
' ' ' ' ^ ' J








1 *


N. Y.



• « « t e

• • • t £ e <

• . •



Introduction, -.-_-. 5

Chapter First, iS

Mr. Cook's narrative of his journey to Arizona,
with a sketch of his early h'fe.

Chapter Second, - - ~ - - - 35

Biographical sketch of Mrs. Anna M, Cook.

Chapter Third, - - - - - - 47

Visit of Rev. Sheldon Jackson, I). !>., at the
Pima Agency and Mr. Cook's commission as
a missionary of the Presbyterian Church.

Chapter Fourth, - - - - - - sr

The Pima Indians, their manners and customs,
by Rev. Isaac T. Whittemore.

Chapter Fifth, - - ' -= - - - 97

The Ladies' Union Mission School Association
and its connection with the mission to the


Chapter Sixth, - 115

The Gila River Reservation, climate, soil, pro-
ductions and ancient ruins.

An old missionary's story.


r. Mission House and Chapel at Pima

^ 2. Antonio Azul — his son and grandson.

V 3- A Pima village.

nJ 4 The Giant Cactus of Arizona.

i 5. The Casa Grande Ruin.


The object of the present volume is to
show the providence of God in the fulfill-
ment of his purpose to send the gospel to the
friendly Indians living on the Gila river
reservation in the territory of Arizona.

The condition of these Indians, with their
deprivation of the privileges enjoyed by other
inhabitants of our highly favored country,
was brought to our knowledge through the
officers of the U. S. Army in the year 1868.

These officers. General Frederick Town-
send and Gen. A. J. Alexander being on
military duty in Arizona, became acquainted
with the Pima and Maricopa Indians, and
when, a few years later an association of
ladies in the state of New York was found to
promote mission work in our country, an
appeal was made to them in behalf of the
Indians of the Gila river reservation, Gen.
A. J. Alexander, then stationed at Fort Mc-
Dowell, Arizona, addressed to one of the
members of the new association the follow-
inir letter :


Fort McDowell, Arizona, Ter.
October iS, 1868.
" I have just returned from a ten days' scout in the
mountains, which was very successful. I was accom-
panied by one hundred Pima and Maricopa Indians,
whose wild ways and picturesque appearance were
highly interesting. I have acquired a great deal of
influence over them, since I led the whole band in a
charge over hills, rocks and streams. After my return I
had a very interesting conversation with Antonio Azul,
the chief of the Pimas, who told me he would welcome
any person I would send to teach them, and that the
children should go to school. These Indians are docile
and friendly, and easily approached. As several white
men reside near them, who speak their language per-
fectly, it could be easily acquired. I told Antonio that
the good people in the east, who loved the Indians,
would send a good man to come and live there and teach
them ; that he did not want land or money from them,
but would come only to do them good, and whatever he
told them would be good, and he could trust him. Pie
said it was very good and wanted to know when he
would come.'"

A letter was subsequently received from
Mrs. Alexander, in which she said, that her
husband before leaving the post on military
duty desired her "to urge upon her friends
at home, the importance of sending a mis-
sionary or teachers to this interesting tribe of
Indians, now living in the heart of Arizona.


" There are about five thousand souls in this
tribe and though they have been living- for
two or three generations in their present
reservation, cultivating the soil in a rude way,
they are still sunk in the lowest depth of
heathenish superstition."

" The most intelligent of the Indians — and
there are many such — are anxious for instruc-
tion. There are two white men living at their
villages, — (one of them a licensed trader) —
who have a thorough acquaintance with their
language, and could assist a new-comer in
acquiring it. They make it their boast that
they have never killed a white man, but that
while they are at deadly enmity with the
Apaches, they are the white man s friends."

It is supposed that there are in Arizona,
about thirty-four thousand Indians, not one
of whom has ever yet been instructed in the
christian faith.

The president of the new society, Mrs.
Julia M. Graham, and the secretary, Mrs.
Florence K. Prentice, were personal friends
of General and Mrs. Alexander, and being
warmly attached to them, they entered heart-
ily into their plans tor the welfare of the
ndians, with v/hose needs they had become


familiar during their residence in the vicinity
of their reservation. On General Alexander's
return from his distant post of duty, he was
invited to meet with the ladies of the associa-
tion, and at their request, on a subsequent
visit to Washington, he represented to the
Department of the Interior, the desire of the
Indians on the Gila river reservation for
schools and teachers. A lettef was addressed
to the Indian commissioner at Washington
by the association, to which the following
response was made :

Washington, June 17, 1869.

Madam : — I have the pleasure to acknowledge the
receipt of a letter dated the 7th inst., accompanied by
a printed report of the Ladies Missionary' Association
for New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado ; also a letter
addressed to the Secretary of the Interior of the 8th
inst. These letters call attention to the project in
view by the association, of a mission and school among
the Pima and Maricopa Indians in Arizona, and refer-
ence is had to a report made by my predecessor to the
Secretary of the Interior, on the 22d of February last,
suggesting that the matter should be referred to the
United States agent, in charge of the Indians, for a
report as to what would be the best plan to adopt to
accomplish the desired object.

The officers of the association, it is represented, are
anxiously waiting for the report of the agent, as they


were advised he would be instructed according-ly ; and
it is asked if the government will make an appropria-
tion in behalf of the proposed mission and school. In
reply, I beg leave to remark, there will soon be a new
superintendent and agent in charge of the Indians of
Arizona, and as I fully approve of the project of the
association, I will bear the subject in mind, and require
the superintendent and agent to give it prompt atten-
tion. I have no doubt but that an arrangement can be
made between the department and the association, that
will be satisfactory, and result in great benefit to the
Indians. But what amount of money the government
will appropriate, or what it will agree to* perform can
eonly be determined upon information, which it is de-
sired to have furnished by the Indian agent. When
that shall have been received, your association will be
duly advised of the conclusion of the department in

the matter.

Very respectfully.

Your obedient servant,



When General Alexander was ordered away
from Fort McDowell, Col. Geo. B. Sanford,
U. S. A., who succeeded him in command of
the post, continued to take a deep interest in
the welfare of the Pimas and urged the
appointment of a teacher upon their agent,
Captain Grossman, U. S. A., who wrote the
following letter :


U. S. Indian Agency, Sacaton, Arizona,

July 22, 1S70.
Mrs. A.J. Alexander,

Madam :— By advice of Col. Sanford, U. S. A., I
take the liberty to address you on behalf of the Pima
and Maricopa Indians which have been placed under
my charge. The Colonel told me that you had always
taken a kindly interest in their spiritual welfare, and he
thought it probable that you might be instrumental in
sending a missionary to this agency.

Col. Geo. L. Andrews, U. S. A., superintendent of
Indian affairs for this territory, and myself have both
been and are Still anxious to establish a school on this
reservation, believing that by means of it we may in
time improve the condition of the interesting Indians,
residing thereon. Since my arrival here, I have erected
a commodious agency building in a healthy locality, to
which I shall remove with my family on the first of
next month. In it, a school room has been set apart,
but I am still without a teacher, and see no prospect of
obtaining the services of one, unless associations in the
east will lend a helping hand.

I am inclined to the belief that efforts to christianize
the Pimas will not be strongly opposed by these
Indians, but fear that their total indifference to religious
matters will be, for a time at least, a serious obstacle.

A missionary sent here, would have to acquire the
Pima language to a certain extent, and ought to have
some knowledge of Spanish. The Pima language is
simple and easily acquired. I have already compiled a
small vocabulary and my interpreter, Louis, who speaks


a little English and very fair Spanish, would render
every assistance.

I shall esteem it a favor to hear from you, and sub-
scribe myself

Very respectfully yours,


Captain U. S. Army,
U. S. Special Indian Agent.

The U. S. government made a liberal pro-
vision for the erection of buildings at the
agency and for the support of teachers.

Simultaneously with the first efforts put forth
by the Ladies' Association, a deep impres-.
sion was made upon the mind of an earnest
christian man in the city of Chicago, III, then
actively engaged there in the city mission.

His remarkable call to the mission in Ari-
zona, is related in the simple narrative, which
at our request he has written, together with a
brief sketch of the life of his devoted and
heroic wife, who may be said to have fallen
at her post of duty in the service of her coun-
try, as well as of the Master whom it was her
delight to serve.

Rev. Mr. Whittemore, pastor of the church
at Florence, Arizona, gave the first impulse to


this narrative of the Pima mission.* Being a
member of the same presbytery with Mr.
Cook, he met with him from time to time and
on one occasion, when together at Santa Fe,
New Mexico, Mr. Cook recounted to his
brother missionary, some of the incidents of
his journey from Chicago to Arizona in the
latter part of the year 1870. Mr. Whittemore

*Rev. Isaac T. Whittemore is the custodian of the
celebrated " Casa Grande ruin," which is thus men-
tioned in a notice which emanated from the general
land office and bears date, Washington, October 15,
'i86g. " The general land office has received retun>s
of the survey of township and section lines of five town-
ships on the Gila river in southern Arizona, containing
105,252 acres of agriculture and grazing lands, bearing
evidence of having been formerly under a high state of
cultivation for centuries and abounding in ruins of
elaborate and sometime magnificent structures, to
gether with relics of obliterated races, possessing con-
siderable knowledge of the arts and manufactures.
Among the most extensive of the ruins being those
called Casa Grande, about two miles southeast of the
junction of the east and south channels of the Gila
river. These townships embrace the growing towns
of Adamsville and Florence, of the Fort Yuma and
Fort Grant wagon roads, as well as numerous pro-
duptivc farms and pastures, well stocked with cattle and


being deeply interested in what he had heard
of his friend's remarkable experience, urged
him to write some account of his life, together
with a sketch of his mission work during
twenty two years and particularly how he had
gained an influence over the people whose
welfare he had earnestly sought to promote.
This, the modest missionary was reluctant to
do, but through the encouragement given by
Mr. Whittemore, who spenc some time with

him at his station at Sacaton, the following
brief sketch of his mission work was prepared
and is now given to the christian community,
in the hope that other tribes of Indians may
receive the gospel with all its attendant bless-
ings and that men and women will be found
consecrated to the work of bringing the light
of the gospel to many now ''sitting in dark-
ness," and " in the region and shadow of

In the correspondence which preceded the
publication of the present volume is the fol-
lowing reference to Mr. Cook and his mission
by Rev. Isaac T. Whittemore, pastor of the
church at Florence, Arizona. " When con-
templating the publication of a brief history
of the Pima mission, I wrote to General O.


O. Howard, asking a few words in regard to
the missionary whose interesting narrative is
here introduced, and soon received the fol-
lowing letter in reply :"

Head-quarters Department of the East,

Governor's Island, New York,

January 5, 1893.
Dear Sir :

Your letter is received. Yes, I became acquainted
with Mr. Cook in 1872, when I was sent by President
Grant to Arizona and New Mexico, to settle difficulties
arising between tribes of Indians with each other, and
with white men, and endeavors to make peace with the
only tribe of Apaches (Cochises) then at war.

At that time Mr. Cook had two schools under his
charge, one at the Pima agency and the other near a
Maricopa village. He had taught the children of
these tribes to read and speak English fairly well.

His history was so remarkable that I have often
recalled the points of it.

First. — A soldier, in probably the volunteer service,
and on duty in New Mexico, and afterwards in the Army
of the Potomac.

Second. — After being mustered out, a citizen, and
then a city missionary in Chicago.

Third — xA remarkable conversion to God, and an im-
pression on his mind that he must go as a missionary to
the Pimas.

Foiirih. — Filling his trunk with a melodeon, and few
necessaries, and starting out with insufficient money to
reach his destination.


Fifth, — Mr. Cook joined a bull-train after leaving
the railroad in Kansas, and went on with it as far as
Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Sixth. — Stopping with a train over Sunday near a min-
ing camp. Upon making inquiry he was invited to
preach in a large saloon, the only available room. He
preached a short sermon, reading the scriptures, lead-
ing the singing, in which many joined. At the close a
man with a tall hat, declared that the service would not
be complete without a collection. He passed the tall
hat and received — if I remember rightly — some sixteen
or seventeen dollars which he gave to Mr. Cook.

Seventh. — Thus he was enabled to reach his destina-
tion with some money in his pocket after a sixteen weeks'
journey and preaching tour. He first learned the Pima
language and then taught the children as I have said ;
they spoke the English with a German accent.

Eighth. — He acted as my interpreter when I brought
a combined delegation of Arizona Indians from that
territory to Washington. He helped me in the essen-
tial councils and settlements of difficulties in Arizona.

Ninth. — He corresponded with and visited a beauti-
ful German woman, as full of christian zeal as himself.
He married her, I think in Chicago, and transported
her to Arizona, and there they have done the grand
work with which you are acquainted. I believe that
his original German name was Koch when translated, is

These nine items are substantially as the history of
this wonderful young man lies in my mind. I wish all


ministers and missionaries were as able, as devoted and
successful as he has been.

Very truly yours,

Major- Gene7'al, U. S, Army."

Mr. Whittemore further writes under date,
Florence, Arizona, Ter.,
May 22, 1893.

I have been intimately acquainted with Rev. C. H.
Cook, the missionary to these Indians for five years,
and a more devoted and conscientious man I have
never known.

His "call" from missionary work in Chicago, where
he was an intimate friend of D, L. Moody, was provi-
dential. As you will see, Gen. Andrew J. Alexander,
an officer of the United States Army, who was here on
duty in 1868, became interested in the welfare of this
tribe and wrote an article that was published in the
Neia York Evan<j;elisi, which met the eye of Mr. Cook,
and this was the " finger of Providence " that pointed
him to this field. He "was not disobedient to the
heavenly vision," so, leaving his work there, he came
at his own charges and began here.

It was doubtless in answer to the prayers of those
Tadies who were looking for the man promised to Chief
Antonio by Gen. Alexander, that God chose, in the
person of Brother Cook, the expected teacher. He
was fitted by nature, education, and grace, for this, his
great life-work. His army life of three years or more,
prepared him for the rough and isolated position. His
patience, coolness, prudence, honesty, perseverance and


consecration, have given also a fitness for the work,
such as but few men possess. His aim has been, from
the first, to cliristianize parents and children, as the
primary step toward civilization and citizenship.

His efforts have met with remarkable success. He
is reapinji^ where he has sown, and the fruit already
gathered is but a foreshadowing of what must follow.
He loves the Indians and they love him. What he says,
they believe. They know him well. He has studied
their character and temperament and taught them by
precept and example, to love God. A wonderful change
has been wrought in them, externally and internally.
The Indian nature has been supplanted by the Divine,
and the fighting principle is no longer there.

The ladies who were the instruments in God's hand of
bringing him here, "wrought better than they knew.'
If they could have seen these Indians as they 7ve7'e,
when Missionary Cook c?,me, over twenty years since,
and see them non', packing the chapel each Sabbath,
eager listeners to the truth, ' clothed and in their right
minds," they would rejoice and thank God.

Brother Cook is too modest to tell, or have published,
the trials and sacrifices of his work. He desires to
give God all the glory, and keep self in the background,
while he simply tells us much of his Indians, and very
little of himself, or the part he has taken in their eleva-
tion. We who have known him long, love him well.
If we can induce others to go and do a similar work
for other tribes, our purpose in helping to prepare this
little volume will be accomplished.


At the request of the Ladies' Union Mis-
sion School Association, Mr. Cook has given
the following brief account of his journey to
Arizona in 1870 and some important events of
his life.

Sacaton, (Pima Reservation), Arizona,

March 22, i8q3.
To Ihc Correspondiiii^- Secretary of the Ladies' Union
Mission School Association :

Dear Friend — I will now, in compliance with your
request, try to give you some account of the history of
my life and of my coming to this field of labor.

When but a little child of less than six months of
age. I was left both fatherless and motherless.

" When my father and my mother forsake me, then
the Lord will take me up." " A father of the fatherless."
How thankful we ought to be for such gracious
promises !

When barely able to speak, both of my grandmothers
would not permit me to go to sleep evenings without
praying, that the blood of Christ, God's Son, might
cleanse me and keep me from all sin. From that time
forward I liave seldom neglected to pray to God.

My father, grandfather, and great grandfather hav-
ing been public school teachers in Germany, it was the
desire of my grandfather to give me a good education.


So, when ten years of age. I was sent to a first-class
city school, high school and seminary. About the time
of my confirmation in the Evangelical Lutheran Church,
I feit some of the strivings of the Holy Spirit, also
some desire to devote my life to foreign missions.

But some time after, partly on account of my great
esteem for one of my professors, I was led, through
his materialistic teachings, to disbelieve the Bible and
the Divinity of our Lord and my foolish heart was

Emigrating to New Orleans, I worked for some time
in a drug store, which has since proved of advantage to
me. Being afterwards ill-treated by a German, I con-
cluded to go to sea.

At this time I prayed the Lord earn es I h'io direct me.
This the Lord did in a remarkable way and I found a
situation on a ship. The captain, a Massachusetts
man, was a noble christian ; he treated me fully as well
as though I had been his own son. This good man
gave me tracts, invited me to attend the seamen's
chapels and paid me more at times, than at first agreed
to. But what a perverse heart was mine ! I might have
passed for a good Unitarian or a moral materialist, my
heart was a stranger to the God to whom I prayed.

One evening, in the Mediterranean Sea, I fell over-
board and the Lord graciously saved me from a watery
grave and from dying the death of an unbeliever, but
this did not turn me from my wicked unbelief.

With this captain I spent some very happy years and
gained much in health and strength of body.

The captain then left off going to sea, for a while ;
sailing with the new captain I did not feel at home and


not long^ after, I shipped luithoiit asking Divine direc-
tion, with the former second mate, who was then first
mate of another ship.

Here we received the most outrageous treatment and
the sailors were plotting to throw the inhuman captain
overboard or at least to put him in chains and keep him
in conhnement until we should reach Liverpool. Our
first mate, however, learning of the plot, advised the
men to desist, as we were nearing the Irish coast and
as it was about the time of the March equinoctial
storms. We soon reached St. George's channel and
having taken a pilot on board, we learned that our
captain had won the race with the captain of the clipper-
ship, I'itian. Then a terrific storm burst upon us ; our
only safety was a small harbor north of Liverpool,
where, after the tide left us, we found ourselves high
and dry on the beach. Most of the sailors ran away
the first night. The captain promised those of us who
would remain, a handsome reward ; we stayed, but the
reward did not reach us.

On our return voyage on another ship, our treatment
was better. Our first mate, the captain's son, often told
me how happy he would be if he could only have forty
acres of land in the wilderness, a yoke of oxen, and a
little cabin and there earn his living. This made a
deep and strange impression upon me. He never
reached his home alive, and his father had been the
cause of his death. This took away from me all ambi-
tion of ever becoming the captain and owner of a fine

The war having broken out, I enlisted in Rochester,


N. Y., and while waiting to go to the front, I attended
the Presbyterian Brick Church. Dr. Shaw preached
on Christ cleansing the lepers, and on the leprosy of
heathenism cleansed by Divine power through the
instrumentality of missionaries.

This sermon affected me greatly and after joining
the battery, listening to the chaplain and seeing the
walk of some christian fellow soldiers, I was led to the

From that time on, my army life, though full of hard-
ships and dangers, was a happy one. As a No. i at a
gun and shortly after as gunner, I was in many a battle
exposed to the fire of the enemy, but I did not receive
a scratch.

At one time, lying on my blankets close to the Jeru-
salem plank road near Petersburg, not far from the

1 3 4 5 6 7

Online LibraryAlbany Ladies' union mission school associationAmong the Pimas; → online text (page 1 of 7)