Albany Ladies' union mission school association.

Among the Pimas; online

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have died. The Indians being somewhat superstitious,
all of the Hrst village and others left their homes for a
number of weeks at a time. We have found it almost
impossible to secure a regular attendance here, especially
among the smaller scholars ; the distance to their
villages is from iX to 4^ miles. With a school house
near the center of them, a much larger and more regular
attendance may be reasonably expected ; this would
also give us an opportunity for night school for adults,
and for Sunday school and other religious services, so
much needed.

Our thanks are due to friends of Chicago for sending

a supply of clothing and to some ladies of Philadelphia

who sent us a map.

Very respectfully,


Under the policy instituted by President
Grant, the Indian agencies were placed under


the care and supervision of the several chris-
tian denominations. The Indians on the Gila
River Reservation were assigned to the Re-
formed Church and the Board of Missions of
that church appointed Mrs. Stout missionary
teacher at the agency.

Mrs. Stout entered upon her work with zeal
and energy and soon after Mr. Cook's report
reached us, we received from her the follow-
ing letter :

Gila River Reservation,

April I, 1872.

Let me thank you for sending us the organ and things
for the children, which only arrived one week ago. The
organ is such a nice one and pleased the children so
much. It will be a great comfort to us also, for I don't
know what it is to live without some kind of a musical
instrument, or at least did not, until we came to Arizona.
I feel that words are inadequate to thank you for all
those things, and did I not know that God would abun-
dantly bless and prosper you for doing it unto even the
" least of these little ones," I should feel indeed that
you were poorly rewarded, but I feel so sure of a rich
reward for you, both in this world and in the world to
come, such as only they receive who work for His sake.

I shall commence a sewing school, day after tomorrow
and let the girls work on both boys* and girls' clothes,
but it will be such a few weeks until school closes, I
don't think they can finish them ; but it will, 1 think.
be an inducement for them to attend school more regu-


lady. M)- class of girls are doing nicely. They learn
readily antl seem very bright. It is very slow work,
however, and requires much patience. The school
improves every day, the children look more tidy and
take more interest. Dr. Bendell has just made us a
visit, together with Dr. Tonner of the Mohave agency,
and they were very much pleased. The superintendent
said he thought they had done well. Their singing
seemed to please him most. I think the Maricopas are
the best singers. The manner in which they talk enables
them to talk plainer English than the Pimas. The
position of teacher to the Indians is far different from
teaching in the states. The person selected for a teacher
here should be some one who is a faithful christian with
a great deal of patience and one who will be willing to
sacrifice all for the Lord's sake.

I remain, truly your friend,

Geokgia Stout.

We continued to aid and encourage the
mission while under the supervision of the
board of the Reformed Church, as many of
the members of our association were connected
with that church. On learning the needs of
the children in school, boxes of clothing were
made up and forwarded to the reservation,
which were gratefully received and an annual
report was returned to us by the United States
Indian agent,


The Reformed Church, however, being un-
able to sustain the mission on the Gila River
Reservation, resigned the charge to the United
States government and the responsibility was
assumed in the year 1881, by the Board of
Home Missions of the Presbyterian Church.

It is not to magnify our own humble efforts
in the beginning of this interesting mission,
that we now review a work, which has for the
last twelve years, been successfully prosecuted
by the Board of Home Missions of the
Presbyterian Church.

Our object is to show the importance of
individual effort in carrying the gospel to
the Indians of our own country. It is not
enough to make an annual contribution to
the treasury of the Board of Missions ; some
acquaintance should be had by the society
contributing to the support of a mission,
with the working force on the ground ; as,
after the missionary's salary is raised, there
are many wants unprovided for, which if
supplied, would greatly aid the missionary in
his work, which, for the want of such aid, is
often hindered.


Could we have known that Mrs. Cook's Hfe
was endangered by a leaky roof, how gladly
would we have removed this impediment to
the comfort and welfare of herself and family !
But we had at that time, no knowledge of the
difficulties with which those self-denying
missionaries had to struggle ; humanly speak-
ing, that precious life was lost to the cause to
which it was consecrated, for the want of
what we could easily have supplied.

A brother missionary, Rev. I. T. Whitte-
more, writes of Mrs. Cook : " She was a
stranger to fear, a faithful mother, a noble
companion for the pioneer missionary, whom
God had chosen and fitted for his sphere of
duty. Her nameless and unmarked grave^
as also that of one son sleeping by her side,
is in the rear of the church, and is pointed
out to the stranger who visits the now
bereaved missionary. Like a bird with a
broken wing, but with a heart rising superior
to all disappointments, he still labors on
zealously and patiently. His heart is glad-
dened by the fruits of his long service, as he
sees the Indians for whose spiritual welfare
he has diligently labored, coming out of
heathenism into the christian faith, and


becoming members of the church of Christ."
But that unmarked grave ! After a few years
have passed and the toil-worn missionary
shall have ceased from his work on earth, or
shall have been removed from his present
field of labor, shall it be said of the faithful
wife and mother, " No man knoweth of her
sepulchre ?"

Another consecrated life is just closed in
the death of Miss Susan L. McBeth, who has
left to the church and to the world a rich
legacy in her noble work among the Nez-
Perces Indians, showing wha.t one woman, who
has her whole heart in the work, can do for a
tribe of Indians, where her ability is equal to
her zeal.

It is now more than twenty years since
Miss McBeth began her work among the Nez-
Perces Indians of Idaho. She formulated
and published a grammar of the Nez-Perces
language, (being a fine linguist), and under-
took the instruction and preparation for the
ministry of the young men of that tribe, many
of whom are now " proclaiming the unsearch-
able riches of Christ among their countrymen


and in their native tongue." She died May
26, 1893, and her sister writes : " We buried
her where she wished to be laid, down in the
Kamiah Valley, close to the little Indian
church she loved so well."

" The desire to do a good work and the
ability to accomplish it, constitute the ' Call.' ''

" There are living on the American conti-
nent at this time, from ten to twelve millions
of Indians. About three hundred thousand
Indians are in the United States and forty
thousand in Alaska.

The Indians of the United States are now
found in Dakota, Montana, Washington, New
Mexico, Arizona, California, the Indian Ter-
ritory and Idaho. There are also remnants
of once powerful tribes in the Eastern States.

There are over one hundred thousand gath-
ered on reservations,and ninety-eight thousand
have become self-supporting. In the Indian
Territory there are more than thirty-five thou-
sand not living on reservations. About fifty-
eight thousand of the whole Indian population
are receiving assistance from the government.


In 1868, the government placed the appoint-
ment of Indian agents with the several Chris-
tian denominations, and in ten years, forty
thousand Indians besides those of the civilized
tribes, could read and write. It would cost
but three millions annually, to give every
Indian girl and boy in the United States a
good industrial and common school education.

It has cost the United States government
more than two hundred and seventy-three
millions of dollars in ten years to fight the
Indians, while five years' schoolmg of twenty
thousand children would cost but twenty-two
millions. There are now several government
schools for the Indians, one at Hampton, la.;
one at Carlisle, Penn., and there are also mis-
sion schools at Albuquerque, N. M., and at
Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona.

The school at Carlisle was begun in 1879
and owes its inception and success to the zeai
and energy of Captain R. H. Pratt of the
U. S. Army. In his ' Historical Sketch of the
Indian Industrial School at Carlisle, Penn.,'
Captain Pratt says : ' The Carlisle school
had its origin in convictions that grew out of
eight years' Calvary service (1867 to 1875),
against the Indians in the Indian Territory.'


I often commanded Indian scouts, took
charge of Indian prisoners and performed
other Indian duty, which led me to consider
the relative conditions of the two races. One
plain duty resting upon us with regard to the
Indians, is to assist them to die as helpless
tribes, and to rise up among us as strong and
capable individual men and American citizens.
These views led me to recommend to General
Sheridan in 1875, when sending to Florida
the Indian prisoners then under my care at
Fort Sill, I. T., that they should, while in
such banishment, be educated and trained in
civilized pursuits, and so far as practicable be
brought into relations with our own people-
Being detailed to conduct the prisoners to
Florida and to remain in care of them, I
established schools among them, and through
letting them go out as laborers, which they
very willingly did, and every other means that
offered or that I could contrive, I pressed
upon them American life and civilization.
The three years of their stay in Florida
wrought wonderful changes among them and
in the spring of 1878, when these prisoners
were released, twenty-two of the young men
were led to ask for more education and said


they would stay east three years longer if
they could go to school."

The money being provided by friends,
seventeen of the released prisoners were
placed in school at Hampton Institute, Va.,
four near Utica, N. Y., and one at Tarrytown-
on-the-Hudson. The following year, Captain
Pratt was detailed by the secretary of war,
for special duty with reference to Indian
education. Thus, we see again the interest
evinced by an army officer in the welfare of
the Indian, culminating in a great educational
institution, where in the peaceful arts in which
the former enemies of our government are
now instructed, we have pleasing evidence
that " the sword has been beaten into a plough-
share, and the spear into a pruning-hook."

It is with great satisfaction that we learn
that officers of the U. S. Army are now
detailed as Indian agents, and that they will
henceforth be known as the friends and pro-
tectors of the tribes against whom they have
been sent to quell disturbances, and some-
times to engage in the bloody conflict.

Our correspondent at the Pima agency, in
a letter recently received, says : '' Let our



government put all of the Apache children
in school, and let some church send mission-
aries to the Apaches, and ere long, we shall
not need soldiers to protect us from the
Indians in Arizona." In another communi-
cation received from Mr. Cook, he says : " I
have found the U. S. Army officers nearly
always the friends of the missionary." He
also writes under date of August ii, 1891 :
" We have a prosperous government school
here, of about one hundred and thirty chil-
dren, another school at Tucson, with about
the same number of pupils. Then we have
about an hundred children at the Albu-
querque government school, and we expect to
have a school this autumn at Phoenix, Arizona,
about forty-five miles from here and about
twelve miles from the western boundary of
our reservation. We also expect to build
another chapel this fall, some twenty or more
miles west of here, where we already have
eight members. Perhaps you are aware that
the gospel and the schools are taking the
place of the army."

The report of the superintendent of Indian
schools, gives the following for 1892 :



Pima Government School, 142

Tucson Presbyterial, 171

Phoenix Government School, 48


Albuquerque Government School, 105

Genoa, Nebraska, Government School,. . . 19
The above includes pupils from the three
tribes — Pimas, Maricopas and Papagoes.

" The first day school," Vv'rites Mr. Cook,
" among the Pima Indians, was opened Febru-
ary 15, 187 1. The pupils came from threesmall
Pima villages, two to three miles distant ; also
from a Maricopa village, about four and a
half miles from the agency. The children
were hungry and almost naked, so we gave
each of them a piece of bread for lunch. A
branch school was subsequently opened in a
Maricopa village, with Mrs. Cook as assistant*
At first, a large brush hut served for the school,
but afterwards a suitable room was built by
the government. The clothing sent by your
society, helped to clothe the children, and the
good Mason and Hamlin organ, aided much
in the English singing, in which the pupils
delighted. The school-house also often an-


swered the purpose of a chapel, and on winter
evenings, the parents often met there to listen
to the gospel message. At one of the meet-
ings, an Indian asked if it was ' true that we
had immortal souls } '

Our preaching in the various villages on
Sundays, had the effect of awakening a desire
in the minds of the Indians for schools in all
of their villages. We have translated the first
chapters of Genesis, the Ten Command-
ments, some of the Psalms and several chap-
ters of the New Testament. We have built
two churches and a parsonage with only
Indian help, which has left us but little time
for the translation of the Bible into the Pima
language. We have now eighty-five church
members and expect an additional number
at our next communion. Our chapel will
seat three hundred persons, and we have
now a comfortable church home at a total
expense of $350. The organs at both
chapels are in good order and are doing good
service. One of the organs is played by one
of the girls of the Tucson school. We expect
to build a church this fall, some thirty-five
miles west of the agency, where we have
eight members. During the time of my ser-


vice here, I have preached on Sundays in most
of the villages, often to large congregations.
With the help of the school boys during
vacation, we have translated parts of the
Bible into the Pima language. I send you a
copy of the Lord's Prayer in the Pima


Ah-chim 't Aw-ock

tahm katch-im chirt 't ta,

se-atch-has-oe-lit moe choe-oe-kick.

Va to cheav-ia hoek near-noi-tam.

Va hap-o-chew et-e chue-wut ap
hoem taht-cho ha-po-mas-e-ma tahm
katch-im chirt hap-o-wah.

Et-e tars ap hie-a-chew hook t mahk.

Va-to stoy-e-kal pat t chew-ay-chick,
ha-po-mas-ay-ma n ah-chim stoy-i-kal
wu-es, ah-chim pe-ap hap-

Wu-es sah-po et wu-ay,

Wu-es hie-a-chew pe-a-po-kum wo

Wu-e-he-chit ah-pe map-o-ot te-
nah-to-kam, koe-ve-ki-tuck oe-ni-ka,
cheep hoe-kick-ka-lick wu-e-he-chit
ssoell. Amen.


About 8,000 Indians speak the Pima lan-
guage. The Pimas number about 4,000 ;
the Yuacharties, 750 ; Papagoes, 3,250. The
Apaches speak a different language.

The Lord hasten the time when every
Indian on this continent shall hear in his
own tongue, the glad message brought to the
Shepherds on the plains of Bethlehem : " Be-
hold I bring you good tidings of great joy,
which shall be to all people ; for unto you is
born in the city of David, a Saviour which is
Christ the Lord."





The Gila River Reservation— Climate, Soil,

Productions and Ancient Ruins.


The climate of southern Arizona is one of
the most healthful in this country. During
the summer, the heat, though intense, is by no
means unendurable. It is far more tolerable
when the mercury is at 105° to 1 10° than when,
in the east or north, the thermometer stands
at 90°. Seldom does a thunder storm from
the mountains, reach this region, or a cyclone
bring destruction to the fields and dwellings.
There are no instances of sun-stroke and the
sand storms which occasionally sweep through
the valley soon pass, and without damage to
the fields or crops. In winter, no chilling
winds or poisonous blasts are to be dreaded,
but perpetual sunshine lights up the land-
scape and invites the invalid to this balmy

The soil is exceedingly fertile ; it needs
only good cultivation and plenty of water for
irrigation ; the sun will do the rest. The Gila
river is capable of furnishing an abundant
supply of water, when, in addition to the


large amount furnished by the Florence canal
(the only canal in this valley), and a large
reservoir fifteen miles south of Florence,
a d^m shall be constructed at Buttes, fourteen
miles east of the town. This will furnish water
sufficient for many of the Indian villages,
besides irrigation for 250,000 acres more than
the canal now furnishes.

The Pima or Gila river reservation is the
largest of the four reservations (belonging
to the Pimas, Papagoes and Maricopas) of
the Pima Agency.

It is about forty-five miles long and four-
teen miles wide, and is situated on the Gila
river. The valley proper averages two miles
in width and the land is very rich. The only
difficulty in making it productive and fruit-
ful, is the want of sufficient water for pur-
poses of irrigation. Nearly all kinds of grain
and vegetables, as well as nearly all the citric
and other fruits of a semi-tropical climate, are
produced in the rich valley of the Gila river.
With a full supply of water to irrigate their
farms, these Indians will soon be entirely

Fourteen miles east of the Pima Agency
is the famous Ruin of Casa Grande.


This ruin is one of the deepest studies for
the antiquarian and ethnologist and is
among the best preserved of the pre-historic
remains in our country. It was old when
Columbus discovered this " New World," and
is supposed to have been erected by the
unknown race of civilized people who once
inhabited this valley. It is an object of curi-
osity to the traveler, though of the hands that
built it and for what purpose it was erected,
we have now no knowledge. Its massive
walls were built of a peculiar concrete of
unknown ingredients, which differs greatly
from the materials used by any of the Indian
tribes of the south-west ; and its interior was
finished with a smooth coat of cement that
has successfully withstood the ravages of
time. It was evidently a handsome and
imposing edifice, of six or eight stories high ;
but beyond this fact all is shrouded in

This ruin was first discovered in 1540, when
the walls were four stories high and six feet
in thickness. Around it were many other
ruins, with portions of their walls yet standing,
which would go to prove that a city of no
inconsiderable dimensions once existed here.


As showing its great antiquity, it is mentioned
that the Pima Indians, who then, (1540) as
now, were living in the immediate vicinity,
had no knowledge of the origin or history of
the structure, or the people who built it In
the immediate vicinity, the traces of an
immense irrigating canal have been followed
to the Gila river, forty miles distant. This
canal, no doubt, brought water to the city and
irrigated the rich valley which surrounds the

Sphinx-like, the mysterious ruin stands
amid the solitude of the desert plain, while
from its weather beaten crest, voiceless cen-
turies look down upon the curious inquirer.

The review of twenty-five years brings to
our memory an incident, which is not irrelevant
to the subject of " missions of christian women
to the Indians."

It was in the beginning of our mission
work for the tribes of Indians, commended
to our sympathy and Christian effort by
officers of the United States Army, that
one evening, at the house of the president
of our association, with whom we were then
in consultation, a good elder of the Presby-


terian Church called and introduced to us,
the Rev. H. H. Spaulding of Oregon. The
venerable missionary was on the way to his
old home at the east, after an absence of
thirty four years. He had come to vindicate
the good name of his associate, Dr. Marcus
Whitman, the martyr missionary, and to erase,
if possible, from the records of congress, the
false statements published under what pur-
ported to be "an account of the murder of
Dr. Whitman."

Under date December i, 1870, the fol-
lowing account of the visit of the veteran
missionary appeared in the same weekly jour-
nal which had given not long before, a place
in its columns to the appeal for a teacher for
the Pima Indians, to which we have already
referred. The writer says under the heading,
" An Evening with an Old Missionary : "

"One day last week a man of humble appear-
ance, about seventy years of age, called at
our office and was introduced by a stranger,
as the Rev. H. H. Spaalding of Oregon. We
had heard something of his labors as a mis-
sionary among the Indians in that region and
were glad to take the veteran by the hand.


The few words we could then have together,
led us to press him to share our hospitalities
for the night, which he accepted.

" Dr. Whitman's wife and mine," said the
missionary, as we drew up our chairs about
the study table, and opened our " Colton " to
the right map, " were the first white women
that ever crossed the Rocky Mountains."
" But how came you to go ?" we asked.

And then for four hours of the rarest
interest, we listened to the wondrous story


About their council fire, in solemn conclave,
it was in the year 1832, the Flat-Heads and
Nez-Perces had determined to send four of
their number to the rising sun for " that
book from heaven." They had got word of
the Bible and a Saviour, in some way, from
the Iroquois. These four dusky wise men,
one of them a chief, who had thus dimly
" seen His star in the east," made their way
to St. Louis ; and it is significant of the perils
of this thousand miles journey, that only one
of them survived to return. They fell into


the hands of an explorer who had traveled
extensively in the regions of the Columbia
river. How utterly he failed to meet their
wants is revealed in the sad words with which
they departed, •' I came to you "—and the
survivor repeated the words years afterwards
to Mr. Spaulding— " with one eye partly
opened. I go back with both eyes closed
and both arms broken. My people sent me
to obtain that book from heaven.

I am now to return without it, and my people
will die in darkness." And so they took
their leave. But this sad lament was over-
heard. A young man wrote it to his friends
in Pittsburgh. Then showed the account to
Catlin, of Indian portrait fame, who had just
come from the Rocky Mountains. He said,
" It cannot be ; those Indians were in our
company, and I heard nothing of this ; wait
till I write to Clark before you publish it."
He wrote ; the response was, " It is true."

That was the sole object of their visit, " To

get the Bible." Then Catlin said, " Give it
to the world." The Methodists at once com-
missioned Rev. Mr. Lee to go and find this
tribe, who had so strangely broken out of
their darkness toward the light.


Dr. Marcus Whitman, of the American
board who was too late for the overland
caravan for that summer, followed the next
year. He found the Nez-Perces. But so

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Online LibraryAlbany Ladies' union mission school associationAmong the Pimas; → online text (page 6 of 7)