« PreviousContinue »
dent Leverett gives an account in his diary, under date of March 20, 1714, of the effects of college discipline on Larnil, an Indian student who had been dismissed from college for some offense and afterwards restored. He died the following July. Leverett writes: “He was about twenty years old, an acute grammarian, an extraordinary Latin poet, and a good Greek one.” 1
At an early period of his labors Eliot felt the necessity of placing books in the hands of the Indians, and he began the work of translation as soon as he had acquired a sufficient knowledge of the Indian language. His labors in this field are historical and need not be described at length here. Suflice it to say that from 1653, when his Indian catechism first appeared from the press at Cambridge, until 1689, when his translation of Shepard's Sincere Convert was published, he devoted all the time that could be spared from other duties and a considerable portion of his salary to this work. Thomas? gives a list of works written or translated by Eliot and published during this period of thirty-six years. It includes the two editions of the Bible, Baxter's Call, the Indian Grammar, the Practice of Piety and Indian Primer both of which passed through several editions.
The society sent a printing-press, type, etc., to America in 1653, it being found impracticable to print the books for the Indians in London, and paid all the expenses of printing the different works, except the sum contributed by Eliot from his salary towards the printing of the second edition of the Bible. Thomas 3 estimates the cost of printing the first edition of the Bible (1,000 copies), 500 extra copies of the New Testament, an edition of Baxter's Call to the Unconverted (1,000 copies), the Psalter (500 copies), and two editions of the Catechism, at a little more than £1,200 sterling. There were printed 2,000 copies of the second edition of the Bible, towards the cost of which the society paid £900 sterling. An interesting circumstance connected with the printing of these Indian translations may be noted. An Indian youth whose father and brothers held civil and ecclesiastical offices among the Praying Indians, had been taught to read and write English at the Indian charity school in Cambridge; he afterwards served an apprenticeship with Green, the printer of the Indian books, and assisted as pressman in printing the first edi. tion of the Bible. At the outbreak of King Philip's War in 1675 he absconded and joined the Indians against the English, but returned the next year. In 1680 he was employed by Green on the second edition of the Indian Bible, and Eliot in his correspondence with Boyle in 1682 says of him :
“We have but one man, the Indian printer, that is able to compose the sheets and correct the press with understanding."! In 1709 "James's name appears in connection with that of Bartholomew Green as printer on the title-page of the Psalter in Indian and English."
1 Levereit's Diary, p. 89. 2 Hist. of Printing, Vol. I, pp. 63–74; American Antiquarian Society, 1874. 3 Hist. of Printing, Vol. I, p. 57. 4 Life of John Eliot, by Converse Francis; Spark's American Biographies, 1st series, p. 233.
The commissioners of the United Colonies were the New England managers of the English corporation for the propagation of the gospel in foreign parts, and their records show how the contributions were received and how they were used.
Goods for the use of the Indians and for those engaged in the work were shipped from time to time from England by the society. The invoices include cloth of various kinds, nails, axes, hoes, scythes and other agricultural tools and implements, type, paper, horn books, primers, inkhorns, spectacles, Bibles, etc. They often directed purchases. For example, in September, 1655, they ordered that "a coat of about 3 yards of the coursest cloth bee made up and given to the Sagamore of Aggawam to Incurrage him to learn to know god and to exite other Indians to doe the like."
Some trouble was experienced by the society in England, because regular accounts of moneys and goods received and expended and of persons employed in the Indian service had not been transmitted by the commissioners, and in response to specific instructions the latter rendered their first detailed account in 1656, from which it appears they had received up to that time money, goods, etc., to the amount of £1,722 48. 8d. sterling. At the same time they forwarded a note as to the persons employed and the amount paid each, from which we learn that there were eleven persons in the service whose yearly salaries amounted to £285. This account is as follows: Mr. John Eliot
£50 Mr. Francis Eliot, his brother..
30 Sosamam, Monequason, Job (three Indian interpreters and school-masters employed by Mr. Eliot)
30 Mr. Tbomas Mayhew... Peter Forlger, employed by Mr. Mayhew. Hiaconibs and Panuppaqua (employed by Mr. Mayhew as interpreters).
20 Mr. Eliot and Mr. Mayhew to distribute to sick Indians ... Mr. Weld for diet, and for teaching eight Indian boys and one girl....
85 Clothing the said boys and girl, about....
50 Diet, clothing, and teaching of John, the son of Tho. Stanton, who spake the Indian language well, to further him for the work, about.....
20 Mr. Abraham Person...
15 Mr. Rawson, our agent, for his salary and wharf-house room.
30 i One of these invoices, shipped in 1654, is as follows: In good strong socorum.....
£ 40 66 dowlis " canvice “ blew linnin and say.
" 50 “ good serge..... strong carsye......
“ 100 good cottens and penistones.
shaggs and double bayes. “ maidstone blacke, browne, and fine cullered thrid.... Five dozen of sythes and 3., 6a, and ed nailes to the value in all of about.... In good gunpowder....
" 80 " horn-bookes and in old common primmers
3 In another invoice £20 worth of " good brand cloth of a sadd couller” figure.
16 40 66 50
66 60 16 30
Besides what is usefully expended in gifts and gratuities to well-deserving Indians.
To Indian plantations in their beginning in stock of cattle and tools, etc., charges about buildings, meeting-houses, boats, and other accidental charges and expenses. The yearly value is uncertain.
The records of the commissioners for the years 1656–64 and 1667 contain detailed accounts showing the amounts expended for the society in those years for supporting students in the college at Cambridge, and at preparatory schools; for salaries of missionaries and school-masters, and incomplete accounts of money paid out for other purposes. The several items for the ten years are as follows:
Pay of missionaries and teachers
2,759 0 Board, clothing, and tuition of Indian pupils in the college and in preparatory schools ...
1,289 14 6 Medicines and medical attendance.
75 18 9 Educating John Stanton for a missionary
156 1 5 Laying out and stocking new Indian towns..
90 Mrs. Mayhew, widow of a missionary at Martha's Vineyard . Gratuities to deserving Indians....
110 2 0 Holding courts and instructing the Indians in the laws, etc
125 0 0 School books, stationery, ink horns, etc.......
75 16 10 Board and clothing of Mr. May liew's son while at school
39 0 0 Type, printing paper, and ink.
200 9 2 Printing and binding Bible, catecbism, and other Indian books.
764 1 Agricultural implements
15 Holding public meetings, interpreting, etc.
32 13 4 Clothing ....
9 6 Cards and wool, industrial school for women.
12 13 4 Miscellaneous.
Making a total of .....
... 5, 829 17 C The number of missionaries and teachers in these years averaged serenteen. After 1660 the majority appear to have been natives.
The amount above given, though large for the time and showing a liberal scale of expenditure, does not by any means show the total ex. penses of the society on account of Indian Christianization and civilization. It is impossible, after the lapse of two centuries, to make up a complete statement.
Besides the amount paid by the society, the missionaries, particularly Mr. Eliot, received considerable sums from friends of the Indians in old as well as in New England, which were devoted to the benefit of the Indians, but the amount thus given can not now be ascertained.
The society derived a considerable portion of its revenue from New England, where collections were regularly made in the churches for its benefit. Some years after the period of which we are now writing the the collections for a single year (1718) amounted to £483, besides which there was an invested fund of eight hundred or a thousand pounds, the income of which was devoted to missionary work among the In. dians.
Neal: Hist. of New England, Chap. VI.
Notwithstanding the liberal remittances from England and other places, the needs of the work far exceeded the money received, and the lives of the missionaries illustrated self-denial in all its phases. Gookin, writing in 1674, says: “ Yet there is always more occasion to disburse than there is money to be disbursed."
The work among the Indians in Plymouth Colony was carried on un. er the direction of Revs. Richard Bourne and John Cotton, and from the information furnished by them to Gookin in 1674' it appears that there were at that time a number of villages of Christian Indians. The former enumerates eight such communities, with a total population of 497 Praying Indians, of whom 142 could read in Indian, 9 in English, and 73 could write. There was one church, formed in 1670, which numbered 27 communicants, and there were 90 baptized persons. Eight Indian assistants were employed under Mr. Bourne's direction.
Mr. Cotton writes that he has not been long in the Indiau work, but re
rts 40 Praying Indians at Katamet (in the present town of Sandwich), where he began to preach, of whom 10 could read in Indian. He says that “many more desire to learn to read the word; but there is very great want of Indian primers and Bibles." He also preached at a number of other places on Cape Cod, and where the courts were held, whither resorted “great multitudes of Indians from all parts of the colony." 2
In accordance with the decree of the General Court Quachatassett, sachen of Manomet, in 1660 gave to the South Shore Indians all the territory afterwards known as the Mashpee Plantation. By the aid of Richard Bourne, their missionary, it was confirmed by the General Court in Plymouth in 1661, “to the said Indians to a perpetuity to them and their children, as that no part of their lands shall be granted or purchased by any English whatsoever, by the court's allowance, with out the consent of all the Indians." In 1693 the General Court placed the Indians under the government of white commissioners, appointed by the Governor and Council, and in 1718 the Indians were deprived of the right to make any contract unless in the presence of two justices of the peace. They continued under this guardianship until 1760, when one Reuben Cognehew, a Mashpee Indian, undertook a mission to Eug. land, and in person presented to the King complaints against the measures of the colonial government, toward the Indians. As a result, in 1763 the General Court passed an act incorporating the Indians and mulattoes of Mashpee with their lands there, into a district. This act empowered them annually to meet in the public meeting-house in said Mashpee, and to choose five overseers, two being Englishmen, and also gave them the management of their own affairs in town meeting.
Mass. Hist. Coll., 1st series, Vol. I, pp. 196-199. * Testimony as to the wisdom and faithfulness of the labors of John Eliot and those associated with him stands forth clearly in the history of the town of Mashpee, Barustable County, Mass. Other evidence lies scattered not only throughont Now Eng. land but in far western regions unknown to the workers for Indian civilization in the seventeenth century.
At the breaking out of the Revolution twenty-six men of the tribe enlisted in the first continental regiment raised in Barnstable County, and of that number but one survived.
In 1788 the charter act of 1763 was repealed, and the proprietors and inhabitants of Mashpee were deprived of all their civil rights, and put under the sole control of overseers, who were empowered to manage all the affairs, interests, and concerns of the inhabitants of the district ; to let out their lands and tenements, control and regulate their bargains, contracts, and wages; to bind out their children without consent of parents; and to bind out to service for three years any adult proprietor or member who, in the judgment of the overseers, was a drunkard and idler, and to appropriate bis earnings as they saw fit. From the decision of the overseers there was no appeal. After many earnest efforts on the part of the people of Mashpee to be restored to their rights, the district of Mashpee was re-establisherl in 1834, subject, however, to the appointment of a commissioner by the Governor and Council, who was to act as moderator in the town meetings and to have a veto power.
In 1842 the Legislature passed an act dividing the Mashpee lands in lots of 60 acres, and patenting one of these to each male or female proprietor. This included the original Indian and mulatto proprietors and their descendants, together with those who had married a proprietor, and also persons of Indian blood whose parents, or ancestors, or who themselves had been resident for twenty years on the plantation.
This partition was made and adjusted in open meeting by commissioners. The sale of land was restricted to those living within the district. In 1853, in answer to a petition, the Legislature relieved them from the supervision of a commissioner, and a treasurer was appointed by the Governor and Council, whose sole duty was to keep and pay out the money of the district by the order of the selectmen. This was the only officer not chosen by the people.
In 1869 tbey were made citizens of Massachusetts, their common lands were afterwards surveyed and sold, and the money divided among them.
In 1870, by the request of the people, the Legislature passed an act abolishing the district of Mashpee and incorporating it into a town of the same name, and invested it with all the powers, privileges, rights, and immunities, and subject to all the duties and requisitions to which other towns are entitled and subject by the constitution and laws of the Commonwealth.
Thomas Mayhew and his son Thomas, having met with commercial disaster at Watertown, Mass., sold their effects and emigrated to Martha's Vineyard in 1612. They were the first settlers. The son, being a
1 Acknowledgments are made to the researches of Mr. Watson F. Hammond, a native of the Mashpee tribe and a member of the Massachusetts Legislature in 1886. The Mashpee Indians now manage their own affairs in every particular, carry on trade, practice handicraft, and in the cultura of the cranberry stand foremost in the State.