D. RELATING TO THE SETTLEMENTS AND WORK OF THE MORAVIAN MISSIONARIES:
EXTRACTS FROM “PERIODICAL ACCOUNTS RELATING TO THE MISSIONS OF THE CHURCH OF THE UNITED BRETHREN, ESTABLISHED AMONG THE HEATHEN.”
[Vol. XXII.London, 1856.]
LETTERS RECEIVED BY THE BRETHREN'S SOCIETY FOR THE FURTHERANCE OF THE GOSPEL, IN THE YEAR 1856, FROM THE MISSIONARIES ON THE COAST OF LABRADOR.
“ Dear Brethren,
“ We are sorry to state, that, on the 17th of July, an evil-disposed Esquimaux, named Jacob, fired twice at Br. Elsner, each time with two balls, because the latter had called him to account for stealing. Through the Lord's gracious care, no injury was done. We could not possibly allow this dangerous character to remain on our land ; and, as he behaved almost like a madman, we had him tied, and carried southwards in a boat, with all that belonged to him. As we have here neither magistrate nor police regulations, we scarcely know how to act in such a distressing case as the above, fearing to be either too forbearing on the one hand, or too severe on the other.
“ Commending ourselves and our congregation to your symphathizing intercession, and with kind salutations, we remain, your affectionate Brethren and Sisters at Hopedale.
“ FERDINAND KRUTH,A. F. ELSNER,
“ H. G. KRETSCHMER.”
VOL. XXVII.[London : 1868.]
EXTRACT OF THE DIARY OF ZOAR, FROM
AUGUST 1869 TO AUGUST 1870.
On the 8th [January, 1870] a company of Indians visited us in order to dispose of reindeer skins, &c. It was an old man and his three sons, of whom the youngest appeared about eighteen years of age. They slept at Daniel's,
but spent the day chiefly in the company of a half-Indian, who resides here, though he has long ago forgotten the Indian language. They appeared at our meetings, and behaved with decorum. How glad we should have been to preach the blessed Gospel to them in their own tongue ! These, like very many Indians, professed to belong to the Romish church, but they seemed to lack all religious knowledge. They had come from a distance of several days' journey, and drew on the floor with chalk the outlines of the course they had taken. We gave them several presents for their wives and children, with which they were pleased. They left Zoar on the 11th.
VOL. XXXI.[London : 1878.]
REPORT OF THE MORAVIAN MISSIONS FROM JULY, 1877, TO JULY, 1878, ACCOMPANYING THE FINANCIAL STATEMENT FOR THE
About the middle of the year a family of Indians visited Hopedale from Ukjuktok Bay, who, as almost all the Neskopie Indians, are nominally connected with the Roman Catholic Church. The object of their visit was to obtain information about the differences between the Roman Catholic and Protestant beliefs. The Christian behaviour of our Eskimoes, who live near them, had made such an impression on their minds, that they desired to spend a Sunday with our congregation at Hopedale. An opportunity was afforded them of hearing the true way of salvation set forth, and they promised to return at Christmas.
Some Indians also appear to have visited the neighbourhood of Ramah, but they evidently did not wish to be seen, for it was only from the marks of their feet in the snow that their presence was perceived.
BRIEF SURVEY OF THE MISSION WORK OF THE BRETHREN'S CHURCH DURING THE PERIOD BETWEEN THE GENERAL SYNODS IN
1869 AND 1879.
The year 1877 is reported to have been one marked by peace and prosperity, both externally and internally. Not a few anxiously sought for religous conversation with the missionaries, in evident concern for their souls. A family of Indians from the Ukjuktok Bay (Roman Catholics), having been favourably impressed with the behaviour of the Christian Eskimoes in their neighbourhood, came to Hopedale to spend a Sunday. They seemed much pleased, and promised to return at Christmas.
VOL. XXXII.[London : 1881].
FFROM THE MISSION CONFERENCE.
In February and March we had visits from companies of Nascopi Indians, who came to barter with us. How we regretted our inability to converse with them ! They were very suspicious in their dealings with us.
EXTRACTS FROM DIARIES OF CONGREGATIONS IN LABRADOR, JULY, 1880, TO JULY, 1881.
1881.—In February we were visited by eight men belonging to the Nascopi Indians. None of them understanding either English or Eskimo, conversation was impossible, and trading was no easy business. They remained a few days, and on leaving expressed their intention to renew the visit. Early in March a second company of Indians, belonging to the same tribe, arrived, this time with women and children. The Eskimoes with whom they lodged brought them to church with them, and it was evident from their demeanour that it was something utterly unknown to them.
EXTRACTS FROM THE DIARIES OF CONGREGATIONS IN LABRADOR, FROM JULY, 1881, TO JULY, 1882.
A party of Indians appeared in December for trading purposes. They were the same who had been here before, but we were unable to converse with them for want of a language common to both of us. We observed that, contrary to their former practice, they carefully abstained from attending our service in church. A sewing machine in our house filled them with intense amazement.
EXTRACTS FROM THE DIARIES OF CONGREGATIONS IN LABRADOR, FROM JULY, 1881, TO JULY, 1882.
The Indians from the interior paid us two visits ; on the latter they were accompanied by their wives and children, except those too weak for the journey, who remained in the camp. Again it was impossible for us to have intelligent intercourse with them on account of our ignorance of their language ; the Eskimoes understood them better, and appear to have lost a good deal of their old jealousy of the Indians.
In April a number of our people started on the reindeer-hunt, but were at once delayed by the soft snow, so that their provisions were exhausted before the hunting-grounds were reached. At length they reached the Indian camp, where they obtained food. On the return journey a few reindeer were killed, but the faces of the men on their return showed what terrible privations they had undergone.
VOL,. XXXIII.[London : 1884-1886.]
An announcement has appeared in several newspapers, which is calculated to cause some disquietude to our friends. It is to the effect, that “ in consequence of the failure of the fishery last year, the inhabitants, consisting of about 12,000 Moravians and Eskimoes, are in danger of perishing from famine.” The borders of the country styled “ Labrador ” are apparently exceedingly elastic, as the word is sometimes taken to mean only the East Coast, between the 55th and 60th degree of North Latitude, sometimes a tract of country stretching south to the 50th degree N. L., and extending far inland. In the former very restricted “ Labrador ”—some 500 miles of coast line—there are living about 1,000 Eskimoes with their Moravian Missionaries. Here the fishery last year proved exceptionally abundant, so that we have not the slightest ground for anxiety as to possible famine existing. Whatever truth there may be in the above announcement, which further states that two provision-ships had been despatched from Quebec to relieve the distress, it must refer to a district in which no Moravian missions exist.
EXTRACTS FROM THE DIARIES OF CONGREGATIONS IN LABRADOR, FROM JULY, 1884, TO JULY, 1885.
We were greatly surprised on Christmas Day by a visit from a company of nine Indians. Having found lodgings for them with some of our people, and provided them with food, we brought them into the mission-house to show them the Christmas-tree and other things relating to the joyous event we were then commemorating. Some impression may have been left on their minds by what they saw, but we found it impossible to converse with them. As they remained here some time for the purposes of trade, we gave a magic-lantern entertainment one evening, to the great delight of old and young.
The Indians, who had been wont to come to Zoar for trading purposes, paid three visits there. They brought skins for sale at Christmas. They behaved well and were welcomed by the Eskimoes, but for want of knowledge of their language little communication on spiritual matters could be held with them. In April thirty-four of them returned in an exceedingly pitiful condition, for scarlet fever had wrought ravages among the tribe. These were kindly cared for, fed and nursed, and after twelve days were sufficiently restored to go on their way. They left two Indian youths behind them, who were cared for in Eskimo households.
VOL,. XXXIV.[London : 1887.]
THE INDIANS OF THE INTERIOR.
Heathen Indians repeatedly came to Zoar in their bark canoes by the streams and lakes of the interior in order to trade with skins Unfortunately our missionaries did not know their language, but they attended the services, and looked at Bible pictures with attention. Returning from Zoar after Christmas, 1884, many were attacked by scarlet fever, and the next Easter thirty-two of them were found near Zoar famished and ailing. They were received and cared for with great kindness by the Eskimoes. Two Indian lads remained some time in this congregation, but later on returned to their own people.
EXTRACTS FROM “ PERIODICAL ACCOUNTS RELATING TO THE FOREIGN MISSIONS OF THE CHURCH OF THE UNITED BRETHREN.”
VOL. II.[London: 1893-1895]
Dr. Grenfell continues . . . .
I mentioned last year that there is no law on this coast. We know five murderers, from their own confession to the missionaries, and the records of many crimes that there has never been any inquiry made into are common. So large a population as this whole coast constitutes surely deserve some provision for justice, yet actually none is made. It must (however law-abiding a people may be) encourage crime when it is known that no attempt whatever at punishment will ever be made. The weak live in terror of the strong, and there are men here on this coast whom missionaries and people long to see removed if possible from their peaceable communities. Yet nothing is done, and it is years since even a man-of-war of gunboat came down here. It is said the coast is dangerous and uncharted, and truly that is the case ; but we must consider it a disgrace to any civilized country that three thousand schooners and over should be allowed to come, year after year, with their precious human lives, to reap the rich harvest that they do, where at every step almost a new danger presents itself because no precautions have been taken.