Thursday, January 1, 2009

Mission Trip to the Sac & Fox, Part I

In 1833, one year after being defeated by the United States in a war that was named after him, Chief Blackhawk (pictured here) visited the Stockbridge Mohicans at their Statesburg settlement (located in present-day Kaukauna, Wisconsin). Blackhawk invited the Stockbridges to visit him and other Sac and Fox Indians in what is now Iowa. The trip that came out of this invitation was at least to some extent a scouting trip since the small Native nation expected to have to move again. But they also thought of the trip they were preparing to make as a mission to spread Christianity and "civilization" among members of their own race. This is how they presented the trip in an October 14, 1833 letter to the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM):

Fathers, we ask if there is not some way we can make our visit subserve, in some degree at least, the great object of your society? Cannot we tell them that your society is ready to send teachers if they are willing to receive them?
The letter, signed by Jacob Cheekthaucon, John Metoxen, Austin E. Quinney, Thomas Hendrick, Andrew Miller, Timothy Jordan, Cornelius Charles, John W. Quinney, Samuel Miller, and Josiah W. Miller asked if a missionary could accompany them. The commissioners in Boston decided to support the trip and gave Rev. Cutting Marsh permission to travel with the delegation.

The letter described is part of the ABCFM Papers.

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