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27. This morning sister Richards left Jaffna for Colombo. Should brother R. live, they expect to embrace the first opportunity of returning to Jafna.
March, 5.' The sickness for the present has greatly abated in Batticotta, but rages in other parishes. A few weeks since, it began its ravages in Columbo.
9. By a letter from sister Chater, we learn that brother R. arrived in Columbo Feb. 27th, the same day in which Mrs. R. left Jaffna. 11. Fine showers of rain this week; -the first we have had in two months.
12. My schools begin to revive considerably from the effects of the harvest and sickness.
13. Received a letter from sister R. at Columbo. She arrived there on the evening of the 4th inst. after a pleasant passage. She found brother R. quite as low as she expected to fiod him, judging from the accounts we have received of his health. They hoped to leave Columbo by the 9th for Jaffna.
Heard the afflicting intelligence of the death of brother Samuel J. Mills. Those who knew him most intimately, will best know how to estimate the loss, which the cause of missions has sustained by his untimely death. His brethren in heathen lands, well know how much, under God, the missionary cause in our own country was indebted to him, and will all unite in praying, that the mantle of Elijah niay rest on some Elisha.
P.S. The above, Dear Sir, is an account of some of the most interesting things, that have occurred since I sent my former journal. I hope in a few days to prepare and send you extracts from brother Richards's journal kept at the Cape. As soon as brother R. returns, we intend to send you a joint letter from all your surviving missionaries in Jaffna. I am happy to add, that, with the exception of our brother Richards, we are all enjoying a comfortable degree of health. My own is very good. Yours very respectfully, in the fellowship of the Gospel.
B. C. MEIGS. (To be continued.)
LETTER FROM THE MISSIONARIES IN CEYLON TO THE CORRES
PONDING SECRETARY OF THE A. B. C. F. M.
Jaffna, Ceylon, July 29, 1819. Rev. AND DEAR SIR,
In some of our first communications to you after our arrival in Ceylon, we had occasion to say much of the goodness and mercy of our Heavenly Father towards us, and little, or nothing, of his judgments. Until the commencement of the sickness of brother Warren, we experienced an almost uninterrupted series of prosperity. But since that time the scene has been changed, ard we have been repeatedly called to drink deep of the cup of affliction. While we mourn under our trials, we would not murmur against Him from whom they proceed. Undoubtedly we need them. They are lighter than we deserve. Even in trouble, God is near us, and granting us many tokens of his loving kindness and tender mercy.
Judging from our last accounts, you will undoubtedly expect to hear, that before this time, brother Richards has gone to his final rest; and you will be interested to learn, that this is not the case; but that he is yet spared to us in mercy, to be our physician and comforter. God has dealt very gently with our dear brother. ' His life has been continued much beyond the expectations of all his friends. With the exception of a few days, his decline, since his return, has been so gradual, as to be almost imperce;tible to us. He still continues to ride out in a palankeen; morning and evening, for exercise, a distance of two miles, making eight miles a day. For about a fortnight past, however, he has discovered many symptoms of a dropsy. How long he will be continued with us, it is impossible to say. We would not be unmindful of the goodness of God in sparing him so long. He is not only able to ride out in a palankeen, but to sit up several hours in the course of the day, and converse much with his friends. He also occasionally walks about the house, eight or ten minutes at a time, without assistance.
You will probably expect to hear, that the rest of our number enjoy health, and are able to pursue our work with vigor. But, alas! how shall we inform you, what another of us is taken from his labors by sickness of a dangerous kind. Brother Poor has been troubled with a severe cough for more than two months; but we lived in the constant expectation of his amendment. About three weeks ago, however, he began to raise blood, and raised a little at three several times. Although we are not confident, yet we have reason to fear, that it proceeded from his lungs. Since that time, he has wholly laid aside his active labors, except so far as to continue a general superintendence of the station. By the assistance of Nicholas, a Malabar young man, (of whose qual. ifications to serve the mission, we have before informed you.) and some of the most forward boys at that station, the schools, preaching, and other missionary concerns, are now so arranged as to proceed with a good degree of regularity. This cannot long be the case, without more efficient aid. The object of suspending his labors for the present is, that he may use the most probable means in his power, for regaining his health. We consider his situation very critical, and have, at least, occasion to fear, that his lungs are considerably affected. You will not wonder, dear sir, if, in our present situation, we feel a solicitude on this subject. Of four missionaries sent to this district, only one remains in health.
How mysterious are the ways of God! But, though clouds and darkness are round about Him, justice and judgment are the habitation of his throne. In view of our present situation, we are forcibly reminded of a passage in our public letter to you, under date of Oct. 16, 1818, during the absence of brother Richards. The passage is as follows: “We are oftentimes ready to faint and be discouraged, in view of the many duties, and important services which devolve upon us. In proportion to our interest for the welfare of our mission, and the places we have occupied, we tremble at the thought of either of us being laid aside before others come to our assistance." We have long been anxiously wajting for the arrival of more missionaries from America, but hitherto we have waited in vain. Our prayers are to the Lord of the harvest, that he would speedily send forth more laborers. If then we were ready to faint, what shall we say now! A weight of service devolves upon your only missionary remaining in health, which he is not able to support. We are happy, however, to be able to state, that amidst so much sickness as has prevailed among us, brother Meigs's constitution remains unimpaired; and that, with few exceptions, he enjoys uniformly good health. Did we not hope, that other missionaries are near us, brother Poor would not think it prudent to continue all the branches of missionary service, at the station which he occupies.
Such, dear Sir, is the present state of your missionaries in Jaffna, as to health, You will not be surprised, under present circumstances, that this subject occupies so prominent a place in this letter. It has for some time occupied much of our thoughts, and has been the subject of all our prayers. Did we not know, that our Redeemer lives to plead for us at the right hand of God, that he loves his church, and will take care of his own cause in the world, and will accomplish all the glorious promises of his word;--that he will raise up instruments for this purpose in his own time;-had we not confidence in this, we should indeed have cause to faint, and be discouraged. May the Lord grant, that this trial of our faith may not be lost upon us; that we may not grow harder under the chastisements, with which he is afflicting us for our profit.
In other respects we rejoice to say, that our missionary stations are in a prosperous condition. Connected with the station at Tillipally are nine schools, containing about 400 boys. About 300 attend daily. In all these schools, Scripture tracts are read, and the first rudiments of arithmetic, and of the Christian religion, are taught. In the boarding school at that place are 27 boys. Many more might have been taken, had it been thought advisable under present circumstances. At that station also, five girls are supported in the same way. Two or three others are ready to come, as soon as means and accon: mcdations for their support can be provided. Including those who are boarded there, 10 or 15 girls are taught at that station. The prospect respecting a school of female children, is pleasing.
In our letter of October last, we gave you some account of Franciscus Max le:appa, a young man, who was stationed as a schoolmaster and catechist, at Mallagum, about two miles south of Tillipally. We are now under the necessity of informing you, that on the 20th of last May he left that place, to accompany his father, who was aged and infirm, to Columbo. His father was one of the native preachers employed by government. He is since dead. But it remains doubtful, whether his son will return or not. He was very useful in the situation in which he was placed, and his departure must be considered as a loss to the mission.
The congregation on the Sabbath at Tillipally, usually consists of from 100 to 150 persons.
Connected with the station at Batticotta, arc six schools. The number of scholars in them, for a few months past, has been very various. The principal cause of this variation has been the prevailing epidemic, which has raged so much throughout the district. Whenever it makes its appearance ia the neighborhood of a school, the school is nearly or quite deserted. Two of them at this time are seriously injured from this cause. There are at present, however, about 200 boys belonging to these schools. The schools might easily be greatly multiplied, but for want of time to superintend them. Three of the nearest schools are visited every day by some of the largest boys in the boarding school at that station, who attend very particularly to the children reading the Scriptures, and reciting their catechisms, &c. The boys in general make good progress in their studies. A considerable number of boys, also, from the nearest schools, attend public worship on the Sabbath, in the mission house at that place, where froin 60 to 100 hearers commonly assemble.
In the boarding school at that place are at present 18 boys, and three others on probation. They have not been able to obtain a school of female children; but have no doubt of eventually succeeding in this object also. The Lord has been graciously pleased to pour out his spirit, in some degrec, upon that station, and to bless the means of grace there used. A number belonging to the school, and two or three not belonging to it, have been, for some time past, the subjects of serious impressions. Three young men give, so far as we are able to judge, very decided evidence of real friety. The particulars of this pleasing work, you will shortly learn from brother Meigs's journal. Thus, in the midst of all our trials and discouragements, God is not leaving us without some tokens of his special favor. These few drops of the out-poorings of God's Spirit, have proved a cordial to our thirsty, fainting souls, and have greatly encouraged and strengthened us in our work. Truly, it may be said, that, with respect to the eight parishes of which we have partial possession, the harvest is great and the laborers are few. If we had one missionary stationed in each parish, there would be labor enough to employ all his strength. In the single parish of Batticotta, we are informed, that, before the sickness commenced, there were 1500 fa nilies. Tillipally is nearly as populous. The other parishes probably fall a little short of this number. But the smallest is sufficiently large for one missionary to labor with advantage. Nothing is commonly gained by attempting to cultivate too large a field. A small one well cultivated, in our opinion, affords much the fairest prospect of success; especially in the commencement of a mission.
In this point of view, we consider our boarding school for heathen boys and girls, as of very great importance. There we may be said, in some measure, to l'eap the fruits of our labors as we proceed. Although we are much pleased with our common schools, and think they will be a means of doing much good; yet they will hardly bear a comparison, in point of probable utility, with our boarding schools. From the former we cannot expect to raise up preachers of the Gospel, but we do from the latter, and that at no very distant period of time. This is an object of primary importance. For, however valuable foreign missionaries may be considered, in establishing and superintending missionary stations, yet it is very obvious to all who are acquainted with the subject, that the natives of India, and in general, the natives of all unevangelized countries, must be converted to Christianity principally by means of preachers raised up from among themselves,
On the subject of money, it will not be necessary for us to say much in addition to what is stated in a letter from our Treasurer to Mr. Evarts. You will per. ceive by that letter, and the accounts which accompany it, that our expenditures, during the past year, for various objects, have been large, and that at the close of the year, our treasury was in debt for a small sum.
On account of the length of time which is necessarily occupied in sending letters from Ceylon to America, and in receiving supplies of money from thence, we feel it to be very desirable, that money in advance should be in the hands of our agents to a considerable amount. Our calls for money, as døring the past year, may sometimes be very urgent and unexpected, and it is very difficuit, as well as expensive, to borrow money in India to any great amount. We have now, however, been under the necessity of making application for permission to &raw on Madras, for what money we shall need before our remittances may arrive. We expect an answer to our request in a few days. Probably, we
may be able to inforın you of the result of the application before this letter is el sent away.
With much esteem we subscribe ourselves your unworthy fellow-laborers in the vineyard of our Lord Jesus Christ.
JAMES RICHARDS, BEN). C. MEIGS, DANIEL Poor. Rev. Samuel Worcester, D. D. Secretary of the A. B. C. F. M.
P. S. Since the foregoing account of brother Richards's health was written, he has declined more rapidly than heretofore. Besides his symptoms of dropsy, he feels greater weakness at the lungs, and increase of pain, indicating the advance of his disease, and the near approach of that messenger, (to him a pleasant one) who will release him from this world of sin, sorrow and suffering, and introduce him into a world of perfect holiness and joy. The foregoing letter, and the duplicate of it, are probably the last that he will ever sign to you.
YR. KINGSBURY'S REPORT TO THE SECRETARY AT WAR.
First annual Report of the Mission School at Elliot, Choctaw Nation, to the
autumn of 1819.
This establishment, which has been formed under the direction of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, is situated three miles south of Yello Busha river, and about thirty miles above its junction with the Yazoo. It
is 70 or 75 miles west of the Chickasaw Agency, 100 north of the Choctaw » Agency, and about 145 north west from the Walnut Hills. The land in the
neighborhood of the mission is not rich; but there is a sufficient quantity suitable for cultivation, and a good range for stock. The Yello Busha is navigable in high water, for large keel boats, as fi:r up as the establishment,
I arrived in this country the last of June, 1818, in company with Mr. and Mrs. Williams, who had been engaged with me in forming the establishment at Brainerd, in the Cherokee Nation. The scite selected for this establishment was an entire wilderness. We gave it the name of ELLIOT, in honor of the Rev. John Elliot, who was a very worthy and successful missionary among the Indians in New Eygland. The first tree was telled on the 13th of August, 1818. Since my arrival, we have been joined by the following persons, viz. Mr. Peter Kanouse, August 1818, N. Jersey, Blacksmith. Mr. J. G. Kanouse and wife,
Carpenter. Mr. Moses Jewell, and wife,
N. York, Carpenter and Millwright. Mr. A. V. Williams, January, 1819, Do.
Laborer. Mrs. Kingsbury,
February, Massachusetts. Miss Chase.
N. Hampshire. Mr. Isaac Fisk,
August, Massachusetts, Blacksmith. Mr. William W. Pride,
N. York, Physician. All these came out to labor for the benefit of the Indians. Mr. Peter Kanouse, in about a month after he arrived, was obliged to return to the north, on account of declining lıcalth. And in August last, Mr. J. G. Kanouse and wife returned, having tarried the length of time for which they considered themselves as engaged.
Mr. A. V. Williams was attacked with a fever in August, which terminated fatally on the 6th of September. He was an excellent young man, and much devoted to the cause.
Besides myself and Mrs, K. there are at present four assistant missionaries, and three females at this establishment, who may be considered as permanently devoted to the instruction of the Indians. Mr. Williams has the particular charge of the school, and superintends the labor of a part of the boys. Mr. Jewell is employed in various mechanical work, and directs the laborers on the buildings. Mr. Fisk, besides doing our own smith-work, labors for the natives, the profits of which are all appropriated to the support of the school. Mr. Pride, besides the medical practice which he has in the family and in the neighborhood, acts as steward for the establishment.
It would be trespassing unnecessarily on the time of the Executive, to detail the principal circumstances and difficulties which have attended the progress of our labors. They have been similar to what must always attend such enterprises in an uncivilized country, far removed from those places, where the comforts and conveniences of life can be obtained.
Since our arrival, we have been principally occupied in erecting buildings. We had not been advised to what extent the Government would aid us in this branch of the work, and the Agent had no definite instructions on the subject. The price demanded by contractors was so great, that it was thought advisable to erect the buildings ourselves, with such help as we could hire. This devolved on us much labor, and greatly retarded our other business; but, by the blessing of a kind Providence, we have been prospered in our work much beyond our expectations,
Within about 11 months, there have been erected at Elliot seven commodious cabins, which are occupied as dwelling houses. A dining room and kitchen contiguous, 52 feet by 20, with hewed logs, and a piazza on each side. A school house, 36 feet by 24, of hewed logs, and finished on the Lancasterian plan. A mill-house, 36 feet by 30. A lumber house and a granary, each 18 feet by 20. A blacksmith's shop, stable, and three other out-houses. All these are nearly completed
On the plantation between 30 and 40 acres have been cleared and fenced, and between 20 and 30 have been cultivated, which have produced a considerable quantity of corn, potatoes, beans, peas, &e. Besides the above, considerable time has been spent in cutting roads in different directions, and constructing several small bridges, which were necessary for transporting articles with a waggon.
The stock at present belonging to the mission, consists of seven horses, ten steers, 75 cows, 75 calves and young cattle, and about 30 swine. Of the above, 54 cows and calves, and six steers and young cattle, have been presented by people in this country for the benefit of the school.
There is no private property attached to the mission. All is sacredly devoted to the various purposes of Indian instruction.
Urged by the importunity of the natives, the school was commenced under many disadvantages in April last, with ten scholars. As accommodations and means of support have increased, the school has been enlarged, and there are at present 54 scholars who attend regularly; 41 males and 13 females. All these board in our family. They are of different ages, from six years to nine. teen and twenty; and of various complexions, from full blooded Choctaws to those apparently white. Twenty-six could not speak our language when they came. Twelve or fourteen more scholars are expected to join the school soon. The whole number in our family, including missionaries, scholars, laborers, and domestics, is seventy-six.
In addition to the common rudiments of education, the boys are acquiring a ? practical knowledge of agriculture, in its various branches; and the girls, while out of school, are employed under the direction of the female missionaries, in different departments of domestic labor. We have also a full blooded Choctaw lad, learning the blacksmith's trade, and another now in school wishes to engage in the same employment, so soon as there is opportunity. All the children are placed entirely under our control; and the most entire satisfaction is expressed, as to the manner in which they are treated.
The school is taught on the Lancasterian plan, and the progress of the children has exceeded our most sanguine expectations. Out of 54, thirty began the alphabet, and three of these now read in the Testament, and eight others in easy reading lessons. Most of them have madle also considerable progress in writing. There have been instances of larls 14 or 16 years old, entirely igno.