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Four Years in British Columbia and Vancouver Island
Chapter XII

In speaking of the religions and educational condition of tliese Colonies, I purpose to glance shortly at the position which the Church of England has already assumed in that distant land, dwelling next upon the missionary efforts of those who, in carrying the Christian religion to its Indian inhabitants, have undertaken labours, and striven successfully through difficulties of no ordinary character. Foremost among these, as the earliest Protestant missionary to our possessions in the North Pacific, and the successful introducer of education among the neglected Indian children of its shores, is that Mr. William Duncan whose name is already familiar to the reader of these pages. The journals and letters, published and unpublished, of this gentleman have been most kindly placed in my hands by the Secretary of the Church Missionary Society. And in the following account of the religious and educational condition of British Columbia and Vancouver Island, it will be found that I have used them largely.

Before 1857 no Protestant missionary had ever traversed the wilds of British Columbia, nor had any attempts been made to instruct the Indians. At Victoria the Hudson Bay Company had a chaplain stationed, but he was devoted entirely to the white settlers. I must except the exertions of the Roman Catholic, priests. If the opinion of the Hudson Bay people of the interior is to be relied upon, they effected no real change in the condition of the natives. The sole result of their residence among them was, that the Indians who had been brought under their influence had imbibed some notions of the Deity, almost as vague as their own traditions, and a superstitious respect for the priests themselves, which they showed by crossing themselves devoutly whenever they met one. Occasionally, too, might be seen in their lodges, pictures purporting to represent the roads to Heaven and to Hell, in which there was no single suggestion of the danger of vice and crime, but a great deal of the peril of Protestantism. These coloured prints were certainly curious in their way, and worth a passing notice. They were large, and gave a pictorial history of the human race, from the time when Adam and Eve wandered in the garden together, down to the Reformation. Here the one broad road was split into two, whose courses diverged more and more painfully. By one way the Roman Catholic portion of the world were seen trooping to bliss; the other ended in a steep bottomless precipice over which the Protestants might be seen falling. Upon the more sensible and advanced of the Indians, teaching such as this had little effect. I remember the chief of the Shuswap tribe, at Kamloops, pointing out to me such an illustration hanging on his wall, and laughingly saying, in a tone that showed quite plainly how little credence he attached to it, “There are you and your people,” putting his finger as he spoke on the figures tumbling into the pit.

Of such kind was the only instruction that the Indians had received prior to 1857. Its influence was illustrated in that year at Victoria, where a Roman Catholic Bishop and several priests had been resident for some time, and were known to have exerted themselves among the Songhic Indians, who reside there. A cross had been raised in their village, and some of them had been baptized; but when these were called before the bishop for confirmation, they refused to come unless a greater present of blankets was made to them than had been given at their baptism. The bishop was said to have been very angry with the priests when this came to his knowledge : he having very possibly been deceived by them as to the condition of the Indians. I am informed that he had a large heart painted upon canvas, through which he drew a blanket, and represented it to the Indians as symbolical of their condition.

Upon H.M.S, ‘Satellite’ being commissioned in 1856, Captain Prevost offered to give a free passage to a missionary if the Church Missionary Society would send one. This Society, which had been endowed by an anonymous benefactor with the sum of 5001, to be devoted to such a purpose, offered the work to Mr. Duncan, who had been trained at the Highbury College, and who readily accepted it. The 'Satellite’ sailed in December, 1856, and reached Vancouver Island in June, 1857, when Mr. Duncan, whose name is now known and beloved by almost every Indian in the two colonies, at once prepared to commence his labours.

After some question with the colonial authorities as to where he should begin his work, considerable desire being expressed on the Hudson Bay Company’s part to place him at Nanaimo, it was determined that he should go to Port Simpson on our northern boundary. This spot had been previously fixed upon by the Society at home for the scene of Mr. Duncan’s labours. The Indians there were known to be more free from the contagion of the white man, and were assembled in larger numbers than at any other place on the coast. Another advantage possessed by this locality was that at Simpson the trade of the fort brought a great number of different tribes together. Indeed the tribe of the Tsim-sheeans, among whom Mr. Duncan’s labours have been most productive of good, had been attracted to Fort Simpson from another spot on this account, and had since settled there altogether.

From June till October, 1857, Mr. Duncan found it necessary to remain at Victoria, being unable to get a passage to Fort Simpson, a distance of 800 miles, until the Hudson Bay Company’s steamer should proceed thither. This interval, however, he employed most profitably in learning; the language of the Indians among whom he was intending to reside (the Tsimsheeans), and otherwise in preparing for the work before him.

Upon his arrival at Simpson, Mr. Duncan was, in pursuance of orders to that effect given by the Governor, quartered in the Fort of the Hudson Bay Company, and one of the smaller houses was allotted to him, which was large enough for a school, as well as for his dwelling. In the Fort he found eighteen men assembled—one Scotch, one English, three Sandwich Islanders, and thirteen French Canadians, each having an Indian woman living with him. There were also seven children, and he was told there were some half-breed children scattered about the camp, who, if he pleased, might be received in the Fort for instruction.

On Sunday, the 11th October, he first performed Divine service in this the scene of his new and arduous labours, and on the 13th he opened school with but five half-breed boys belonging to the Fort as pupils, the eldest not five years old. Speaking of this he writes, “I am very glad for their sakes that they are so young. These I intend to teach in English. Their parents seem exceedingly delighted. I did think of taking a few half-breed children out of the camp, but I find they have been so long abandoned by their fathers that they have forgotten every word of English, and become so much like the Indians that I shall be obliged to deal with them as such.”

A few days after, writing upon the same subject, he says, “To-day a chief called, whose principal anxiety was to ascertain whether I intended giving dollars to the Indians, to get them to send their children to school. I think I shamed him a little, at least I tried to do so, for entertaining such a selfish notion. I have a good many visitors, and all seem desirous of ingratiating themselves ; some by referring me to numerous papers which they bring, obtained in general from the Company’s officers. These papers, however, rarely say more for them than that they are influential men and great beggars. Other of my visitors, not blessed with papers, will tell me what good hearts they have, and how rich and influential they are.” I may, in reference to this remark of Mr. Duncan, mention that the fashion of producing their testimonials to visitors is common among all the Indians. You rarely come across one of any importance in his tribe, but he produces three or four papers, carefully kept in a box, and smelling horribly; while every Indian who does anything for you expects a testimonial as well as payment for his services. Of course they do not know what is said of them; and I have had papers shown me that, had their contents been known to the bearer, he would have been by no means proud of exhibiting. Speaking also of their habit of begging, Mr. Duncan says:—“When they beg, which is generally the case, I mostly satisfy and always lessen their expectations by saying I have not come to trade. This opens a way to telling them what I have come to do for them; and in every case, as soon as my object is realised, I hear the oft-repeated ‘Alim, ahm’ (Good, good), and their faces exhibit every expression of joy of which they are susceptible. I make a practice of telling all, that I shall expect their assistance in erecting a school-room outside the Dort as soon as I can talk their language a little better. Without exception they assent to my proposal; but whether they will be ready to act when the time comes, remains to be seen. I already see several difficulties in the way; their jealousies and feuds are not the least. It is a pity we cannot put their sincerity to the test at once, but I feel it would not be prudent to do so. The winter is at hand, and their long and all-absorbing medicine-feasts come with it; besides, I do not yet feel possessor of so much of their tongue as such a work would

require. However, I hope by the carrying out of what is already begun in the Fort, and what I intend yet to commence, under God’s blessing, to keep alive at least, if not increase, the desire already awakened around me for instruction.”

On many other occasions Mr. Duncan mentions the visits of chiefs and others while his school was going on, and of the seriousness of their looks when he and his pupils knelt in prayer, and the invariable “Alim, alim” which followed a spectacle so novel to them. But although this approval was manifested by so many individuals, it had little or no effect on the conduct of the mass; and the scenes of cruelty and horrible murder which he had, and even still has, to witness, would daunt the heart of a less brave and earnest man.

The first holiday which he gave his scholars, is thus described by him:—“This afternoon (December 9, 1857) I assembled my little boys for a breaking-up for a few days. They came clean and nicely dressed, with hearts ever so joyful. The father of each boy, and another visitor or two, were present. We sang several hymns, and I then gave each of them a present, and after a little drilling they marched away. Their fathers seemed highly gratified. I did not let the little fellows read or repeat catechism (both of which they can do a little), as they were so excited. Thus I feel,” he continues, “ as though something had been done these last two months. May God prosper the small beginning, and make it the earnest of a great future harvest.”

Nor had Mr. Duncan confined himself to educational efforts. Already his influence for good was being felt by the Indians, and men of importance in their tribes had come to him for aid and advice.

“To-day,” he writes, “a chief came who is suffering from a bad cough, and seems wasting away. He very anxiously desired relief; but it is of no use giving them any medicine for such complaints, as their habits prevent any good effects ensuing. I perceived he wanted to tell me something serious by his countenance. Like a man about to take a long journey, he seemed gasping for directions about the way. Oh! how I longed to tell him my message, but could not. I made him understand that I should soon be able to teach them about God, that I had His book with me which I should teach from, and my object was to make them good and happy.....His constant response was ‘Alim, alim’ (Good, good). Upon another occasion the same man asked to see ‘Shimanyet Lak-kah Shahounak’ (God’s book). His anxious gaze and sighs showed me how he longed to know its contents, while I, too, longed to tell him. Again and again I mentioned the name of our Saviour. I could do little else.”

Upon another occasion he writes:—“To-day the chief officer came to me while I was busy with my Indian scholars, and asked to speak to me privately. I went aside with him, and he began telling me that an Indian woman, who is living with one of the white men in the Fort, had been treating her slave (a poor girl) very unmercifully while we were at Divine service yesterday. He wished me to go and speak to the woman, for he believed if she was not interfered with the slave would be certain to lose her life. At first I objected, on account of my inability to speak her language sufficiently; but presently I thought I would go, for I could see that although it was necessary to be done, the man who lives with her dared not, for peace sake, and the captain dared not, for conscience sake, undertake the duty: I accordingly went, having first asked the counsel and blessing of God. I found her wrasking clothes, and, although somewhat soured in expression, she greeted me with her usual recognition of respect. I commenced telling her in English what I had come for, which she quickly understood, and hung her head over the washing-tub and remained motionless while I spoke. I used as kind a tone as I could command, and when I had finished I wished her good morning; to which she very solemnly responded. This evening her husband has been at school, and from him I learnt that she had been weeping nearly all the day. Almost immediately after school the woman, with tears in her eyes, came to see me. Her face told the sorrow that was awakened within, and how bitterly she had been mourning. One of the men was with me at the time, so I desired him to go away, for I saw she wished to unburthen her mind; but she prevented him from doing so, wishing to use him as an interpreter. Then, with her eyes upon the ground and her heart sobbing with grief, she commenced to unfold her feelings : the man interpreted. I then explained my mind a little more fully to her, hoped she would amend, and then shook hands with her. I need hardly say how her countenance brightened, and how relieved she seemed when she -went away. This was the first woman I ever reproved, and she a Red Indian, a heathen, and of naturally a proud and haughty temper. The result seemed to astonish me. Was it not of the Lord? I thought how much more like a Christian she had acted than many who call themselves such would have done.” Such scenes show how susceptible of improvement these people are.

Speaking of the first Christmas Day that Mr. Duncan passed at Fort Simpson, he writes:—“This day has passed off much better than I expected. In the morning we had Divine service, when fifteen men and four boys were present —the greatest number we have ever had. After breakfast (according to usual custom here) the men had each a mint and a half of rum served out to them, and therefore I feel not a little thankful that so many should have put aside the temptation and come to service. From two sources I have had an account of the wretched way in which Christmas Days have been spent, and glad I am to have seen things so orderly and quiet to-day. Many have expressed their astonishment at the great and sudden change; but to me it only appears yet an outward change, such a one as man is able to effect in and by himself. I am waiting and longing for that change which only God can effect: when I see this, I will rejoice indeed.” With the commencement of the new year he began his labours among the Indians outside the Fort:—“Though I was not in a position to do them much good, still I thought I would at least go and see them all, and endeavour to win a little of their esteem and confidence.”

“It would be impossible to give a full description,” he says, “of this my first general visit to the Indians in their houses, for the scenes were too exciting and too crowded to admit of it. I confess that cluster after cluster of these half-naked and painted savages round their fires was to my unaccustomed eyes very alarming; but the reception I met with was truly wonderful and encouraging. On entering a house I was greeted by one, two, or three of the principal personages with ‘Clah-how-yah,’ which is the complimentary term used in the trading jargon. This would be repeated several times; then a general movement and a squatting ensued, followed by a breathless silence, during which every eye was fixed on me. After a little time several would begin nodding and smiling, at the same time in a low tone reiterating ‘Ahm ahm-ah-ket —ahm shimanyet’ (Good, good person, good chief). In some houses they would not be content till I took the chief place near the fire, and always placed a mat upon a box for me to sit upon. My inquiries after the sick were always followed by anxious glances and deep sighs : a kind of solemn awe would spread itself at once. I found forty-seven sick, and three in a state of lunacy.”

It appears that the officer in charge here, some years before, took an account of the Indians, and very soon after great numbers were swept away by measles. Of course the Indians attributed the calamity to their being numbered, and upon this occasion Mr. Duncan found that they were not free from certain superstitious fears: “still in many houses,” he says, “they told me of the difference they placed upon the motive of his visits and mine. Many were inclined to think that the very contrary would result from my visit.” Poor creatures ! when the horrors of illness to them, with no kind of relief, no hope, and often the most barbarous treatment by their doctors are considered, it is not surprising that they should have a superstitious dread of anything that appears likely to bring disease among them. I remember once seeing a man at a village in Cowitchen with his face frightfully scarred by fire, which they told me was applied to burn out the evil spirit that was making him ill.

More than once Mr. Duncan reverts to their desire for knowledge:—“There is one cheering feature connected with this people which my visit has prominently shown me, that is, they are longing for instruction. The presence of the whites and their own visits to the south have shaken their superstition and awakened inquiry; but that is all. There is a general belief amongst them that the wdrites do possess some grand secret about eternal things, and they are gasping to know it. This is the propitious moment. Oh that the people of God were awake to their responsibility, duty, and privilege!”

Again, a little later, he says, “My Indian interpreter tries every day to lift up the veil a little higher to let me see his people. He assures me that the Indians are wanting to hear what is good, and are even becoming impatient. They have begun to think that the Tort people are monopolizing my time and attention in order to keep them in ignorance. An Indian, who is very much feared, wanted to see me teach a night or two since ; but they would not let him stop in the Tort. On going away he said to the officer that he and his people wanted to learn to be good, but the Fort people stood in the way. The same man told my Inchan the other day that when he was in his own house he always felt angry and wanted to murder somebody, but as soon as he came within the precincts of the Fort he felt quite good, which change he attributed to my being in the Fort. The secret of it is, he is mostly in the Fort-yard when I cross to or from breakfast, and I always give him a pleasant look and a kind word, and these produce what he attributes to magic.”

In the autumn of 1858, Mr. Duncan commenced building his school-house outside the Fort, a work in which the Indians greatly assisted, providing plank and bark for the roof, to the value, he estimated, of at least five pounds.

“I had,” he says, “to go to every house to receive their donations, which were presented with a great deal of ceremony and good feeling. Many took boards off their own roof to give me, and some even the pieces that formed part of their bed.” And on November 12th, he writes in his journal:—“By Monday next, the 15th, I hope the plastering of the school-house will be dry enough for whitewashing, and then how glad I shall be that this troublesome work is over. I have had many unforeseen difficulties and vexations to contend with, but out of them all the Lord has carried me.”

A few days before this he recounts his first night-visit to the Indian encampment.

“Last night was the first time I had ventured out in the camp during dark. It was to see a poor dying woman, sister to the late head chief. I had seen her three or four times before, but could do her no good; still, as her friends had come to the Fort desiring aid, I accompanied them back. On arriving at the house, I found the sick woman laid before a large fire, round which some twenty Indians w ere squatted. After administering a little medicine, I began speaking to them a few words which the solemn scene - suggested. I showed them our condition, and only remedy in Jesus our adorable Saviour, adding, too, upon what conditions we were saved by Him. They all understood what I said, and two of the women that sat close at the head of the sick person very earnestly reiterated to her my words, and questioned her if slie understood them. It was, I think, the most solemn scene I have witnessed since I have been here. Before I went away, one man said that she and her people did not know about God, but they wanted to know, and learn to be good.”

I cannot, perhaps, do better than to allow Mr. Duncan to tell, in his own words, the progress of his teaching during the winter of 1859.

“November 16.—I have, these last few days, been making some special visits to inform the Indians what are my intentions and hopes with respect to commencing the school. In a few houses I was also enabled to set forth the blessed truths of the Gospel. In every house I was attentively listened to, and greeted in their warmest way.

“The season in which the deep heathenism and darkness of this people is manifested has just set in. My heart was gladdened, however, to-day by the chiefs of our tribe coming to my house to say that they had made up their minds to abandon these sorceries, or medicine-work. Since then I have heard of another tribe that has made the same resolution; and on a visit to an old chief yesterday afternoon, I gathered from him that his tribe were meditating the same thing. Thus I feel thankful to God that one heathenish custom, and that one decidedly the most gross and deeply rooted, is tottering, and ready to fall, since three tribes out of the nine here have already declared against it. Whenever I speak against this medicine-making, as it is called, I am sure to be reminded of its long existence as a custom of great importance among them.

“My class of Indians, resident in the Fort, which I have been teaching-of a night at my house from the black-board, have begun reading in books to-night. The books are of my own making, and I add a little each day. This measure I have adopted more as a stimulant to the Indians outside than anything else. When they see these little books, and hear their own people read and explain them, I think that a good effect will be produced. Very little things, I have already learnt, either done or said among this people, produce effects, either for good or evil, in commencing anything new amongst them.

“I am frequently reminded about the papers which the Romish priests have distributed among some Indians, whose place is about 150 miles away north of this. The papers were given to them while on a visit south, either at Victoria or some American port near.

“The Indians regard such gifts as charms, and wonder, or rather have wondered, why I did not treat them similarly. An Indian, lately from the south, told me yesterday that the priests informed him they intended soon to establish themselves here. This I regard as very probable, especially since the priests have heard I am here.

“Nov. 17.—The school is finished, and oh, how thankful I feel! We have washed the floor, and made all clean and tidy, both inside and around to-day. To-morrow the seats and desk will be done, and placed in the school, and on Friday I begin teaching.

“After prayer to-night for God’s especial blessing, I feel greatly strengthened and comforted. I can look my work in the face without fear, nay, even with joy, and my plan for proceeding in the school is much more clear to me now than it has ever appeared before. I will endeavour to lean fully upon God, and so move on. He has shown me frequently what a thing of nought I am in myself. May He now show me what I can be and do while dealing with His strength and relying upon His wisdom.

“Nov. 18.—Fresh trials and fresh mercies to-day. A very severe storm awoke me early this morning. After breakfast, a man came running to inform me that the roof of the school-house was blown off. My heart quailed for a moment; but before I had time to get out and look for myself, the man returned, saying that the roof had not gone, and not even the bark had stirred on one side. I learnt, too, from whence emanated the untrue and unkind report. Many wait for my halting, but the Lord disappoints them. When I went to the school, I found that only a slight damage had come to one side of the roof; but still the wind continued to blow so fiercely, that I was afraid more damage might ensue, and it was impossible to go up and mend, or prevent the matter. I therefore knelt down in the school, and poured out my cries to the Lord who holds the storm. I entreated Him to disappoint His enemies, and support His lonely and feeble servant. He heard my cry. Before an hour had passed the wind had ceased. This afternoon willing hearts came forward to assist me. One man gave me a plank, mounted the roof to repair the breach, and wanted no remuneration. Several others also carried my seats and desk into the school, and waited for no return.

“Nov. 19.—Through the mercy of God, I have begun school to-day. It has been a strange day to me, but the Lord helped me through. In the morning I plainly saw that a superstitious fear was spreading powerfully among the Indians: crowds wanted to come to school, but who were to be the first to venture? Here I reaped the fruit of my few weeks’ labour in the chiefs house during last summer. The little flock I had there eagerly enough rushed to the school when they saw me coming, and one even gladly mounted the platform and struck the steel for me, to call their more timid companions to the place. I had arranged to have the children in the morning, and the adults in the afternoon; but I now see reason to change that plan, and have all together, at least for a while. My first start was with only fifteen children ; but, before we had finished, we mustered about seventy. In the afternoon came about fifty adults, and fifty children. I felt it very difficult to proceed with such a company, and should have found it much more so, but for the few children whom I had already had under training.

“Both morning and afternoon I finished with an address, previously prepared, in their own tongue; in which I endeavoured to show them my intention, their need and condition, and also the glorious message which I had come to make known, namely, salvation through Jesus Christ, the Son of God. They were very attentive, and I hope and pray the Lord will now begin His work amongst them, to the glory of His great name.

“Nov. 20.—This morning about one hundred children and forty adults came. Last night I spoke to the head chief about his little girl not coming to school. I had heard that she was kept away because it was intended that she should be initiated into the medicine-art this winter; not so much from the desire of her parents, but because the tribe, or at least part of it, demanded she should. I was told that my interposition would be acceptable. This morning I was glad to see that my visit was not without effect; both the chief and his little girl came neat and clean to school. He sat down and learnt with the others, and had occasionally something to say to the scholars.

“I am very thankful that I am able to say there is amongst the Indians a great stir of opinion against their heathenish winter-customs, and four of the tribes out of nine have, indeed, cut them off. Those tribes which still adhere to them are carrying them on exceedingly feebly; so much so, that I am assured by all whom I speak to about the matter, that what I now see is really nothing compared with what the system is when properly carried out. They tell me that they were afraid to cast the custom away all in one year, but would rather that part should do so this year, and the remainder next; so, according to this, I sincerely hope that this is the last winter any of these savage practices will be seen.

“Nov. 23.—Both yesterday and to-day we mustered about one hundred children, and from forty to fifty adults at school. Every day shows me more and more what a dense mass of ignorance I have come into contact with. I have also now to meet all the evil reports continually emanating from very evil and superstitious persons. Some are watching, I believe, for a calamity to arise and explode the work. Others are in suspense, hoping we shall succeed, but feel afraid we cannot. Some keep a scrutinizing eye over all our movements, and when they feel satisfied we have no tricks to injure them, I suppose they will countenance us. But we go on, and I am glad to hear every day, in contrast with the incessant and horrid drumming of the medicine-men, the sweet sound of our steel, calling numbers to hear and learn the way of life.

“On leaving the school this morning, I spoke to a man who is of considerable power and influence in the camp, as to why he did not send his children to school, and come himself. He replied that he was waiting till the Indians had done with their foolishness and dancing, which time was not far distant, then he would come. He both wanted himself and his children to learn, but would not come yet, as it is not good, he said, to mix his ways and mine together. He intended soon to give up his, and then he would come to school. This afternoon he just dropped in to school simply as a gazer: he would join in nothing. Nevertheless, he heard a short address, which I gave in Tsimsheean, and which I hope will not be lost to him. It was the first of the Gospel he ever heard, for he was not here when I gave my addresses in the summer.

“Nov. 25.—This morning about 140 children, and, in the afternoon, about 120. Adults seldom vary from about fifty each time. I am glad to see already an improvement in their appearance, so far as cleanliness is concerned. I inspect them daily. Some few have ventured to come with their faces painted, but we have less of it daily. A good many, too, have cast away their nose-rings, yet some come who have very large ones in use still.

"I visited three sick persons to-day, and was able to speak to two about our Saviour. Lots of them had been very anxious to see me; and when I went, be said be had refused to call in the medicine-men to operate upon him, and begged very earnestly for me to give him a little of my medicine. This is the first instance that has come under my notice, in which the power of their medicine-men or women has been slighted; for, as a whole, this people place implicit confidence in these lying wonder-workers.

“Nov. 27.—Last night, after repeating the Lord’s Prayer, I read to my scholars a prayer which I have written and translated. This is the first time they ever heard their language arranged for such a purpose. They remained serious. This morning we offered up this prayer in their own tongue.

“Nov. 29.—After school-teaching was over this morning, a chief remained behind; he had a serious difficulty. His people, who had before decided to give up their medicine-working, were beginning to repent of their decision. According to the chief’s statement, they professed themselves unable to leave off what had been such a strong and universal custom among them for ages. He heard my remarks, and then set off, seemingly satisfied that I was right; and, I hope, in a mind determined to hold on in its present improved course. I had some talk with another chief to-day, on the same subject of medicine-work. He and his people seem stedfast in their purpose to cut the abominable system off; still, he says, he feels very much ashamed when he comes into contact with their chiefs who are carrying it on.

“I laboured to set before the same old man the way of salvation, and he gave me serious attention, and looked eager to learn. When speaking of prayer, he asked me how often I prayed each day.

“To-night I visited two houses where there are sick. In both I directed the inmates to Jesus as our only Saviour, and I was much assisted and comforted.

“December 1.—I was told to-day, by the manager of the Fort, that the head chief of the Indians is going to ask me to give up my school for about a month; his complaint being, that the children running past his house to and from school, tend to unsettle him and his party in working their mysteries. ]\Iy mind is made up, and my answer ready, if such a request is made.

“After school this afternoon, a chief, who is a regular scholar, came to inquire whether I had promised to close the school during the medicine-season, as a report to that effect was afloat. I see now, that although I have been as careful as possible not to give unnecessary offence, yet a storm is in the horizon. I must prepare for fierce opposition, and that from the chief I had least expected to show it.

“I had a delightful round to-night. I was in nine houses. I found myself able to hold conversation and give instruction in the Indian tongue with some freedom, in one house especially, which was a chief’s. When I was seen going in, a number of his people followed me, and we soon formed a large group round the fire. I had some difficulty in commencing; but, when that was overcome, I felt quite at home in addressing them. I laid down our condition and remedy plainly before them, and exhorted them frequently to amend their ways; I was greatly delighted with the response they made. One man held both his hands out before him, and then gave them a sudden turn over, exclaiming, ‘Thus it was going to be with the hearts of the Tsimsheeans soon.’ The old chief, too, with his eyes upon the ground, listened very attentively, and after I had begged them to desist from some of their bad practices, such as prostitution and rum-drinking, he, very chief-like, reiterated to them something of what I said. I returned quite cheered at what I had seen and heard.

“Dec. 8.—I learnt, yesterday, that the head chief had been ‘ speaking bad,’ as the Indians say, against me. He has been exhorting all to have nothing to do with the school; but, blessed be God, lie is too late: his speech had but little effect. Indeed, I may say that none but a few of his own tribe took any notice of it: the mass of the Indians are disgusted with him for making it, because only a little time ago, when I had school in his house, he spoke so much in favour of me and my work, and his contradictory speech now, without any cause, has only rendered him contemptible.

“I visited at four houses to-night, and met with grateful looks and greetings everywhere.

“The Indians are exceedingly fond of the singing I am teaching them. I have got them to understand the difference between sacred and secular music, and they are particularly solemn when we sing hymns. They are often telling me how they long to be able to sing to God. I hear, too, that several Indians have begun to pray before they go to sleep. Oh! that the Lord would manifest Himself to them!

“Dec. 10.—It is still very cold, but 130 were present in school to-day.

“Dec. 13.—After school to-night, a medicine-man came to ask me for a little English medicine, as he felt himself sick. I brought him to my house in the Fort, and talked to him for some time about his ways. He excused himself as much as possible. I told him not to lie, but tell me truthfully if he believed what he had just said, when he frankly confessed he did not.

“Dec. 14.—I bless the Lord for His gracious care of me this day. As I went through part of the camp on my way to the school, this morning, I met a strong medicine-party full in the face; they seemed ashamed and confounded, but I quietly walked on. Their naked prodigy was carrying a dead dog, which he occasionally laid down and feasted upon. While a little boy was striking the steel for me at school, some of the party made their appearance near the school, I imagine, for all at once the boy began to be irregular and feeble in his strokes, and when I looked up at him I saw he was looking very muck afraid. On inquiring the cause, lie told me the medicine-folks were near; I told him to strike away, and I stood at the door of the school. Some few stragglers of the medicine-party were hovering about, but they did not dare to interfere with us. When all were assembled, and the striking ceased, my adult pupils commenced a great talk; I had seen, as they came in, there was something serious on their minds. After a little time, a chief came and told me that the Indians were ‘talking bad’ outside, by which I understood that the medicine-folks had been using more threats to stop us. However, I quickly stopped the consultation, and got them on at work; on leaving school I came into contact with the same medicine-party whick I met on going to school. I almost hesitated about proceeding, but the Lord did not let me halt.

“The medicine-men were ashamed to meet me, and so took a short turn. They then became very muck scattered, some hung behind, the charm seemed broken, and all seemed lost. On nearing the Fort, I met one of the most important men in the medicine-business, a chief, and father to one of the little boys that are being initiated. I spoke to him. He stopped, and I then told him how angry God is to see suck wickedness as he and his party were carrying on; and also how grieved I was to see it. He spoke very kindly, and told me that if they did not make their medicine-men as they had always been used to do, then there would be none to stop or frustrate the designs of those bad men who made people sick, and therefore deaths would be more numerous from the effects of the evil workings of suck bad men. I told him if they put away their wicked ways, then God would take care of them. He did not say muck more, except assuring me it was the intention of all soon to do as I wished them, but at present the medicine-parties must go on. I learnt shortly afterwards, from the chief officer of the Fort, that this very man and another had just visited the Fort to tell him they would now be content if I would stay school for a fortnight, and, after that, they would all come to be taught; but if I did not comply they intended stopping me by force, for they had determined to shoot at my pupils as they came to the school. I had a long talk to two of the officers about the matter, giving them plainly to understand that I did not intend in the least degree to heed the threats of the Indians, but go on with my work I would, in spite of all. I told them that Satan had reigned long enough here; it was high time his rule was disturbed (as it is). I went, of course, to school as usual this afternoon; about 90 pupils were present. After we had done, a chief who was present began to address them, encouraging them to continue; after he had done, I began to speak on the matter to them. I was afraid I should not be able to convey my feelings to them in their own tongue, yet, thanks be to God, I was enabled to do so. The effect I desired, was produced: they all reassured me of then- continuing, come what would.

“After school, as I had several calls to make to see the sick, I went out, and found plenty of grateful hearts to acknowledge my feeble endeavours for their good; I was in ten houses. Everywhere I hear intimations of the struggle that is now going on. Oh! that the Almighty arm would interpose, that this people may be delivered from the chains which have so long fettered them.

“Dec. 20.—This day has been a great day here. I have to thank heartily that all-seeing Father who has covered me and supported me to-day. The devil and wicked men leagued to overthrow me this day, but the Lord would not have it so. I am still alive.

“This morning the medicine-party who are carrying on their work near to the school, broke out with renewed fury, because, as they assert, the child of the head chief had just returned from above. The little boy that lights my fire came in great excitement to tell me that the head chief was not willing for me to have school to-day, and was anxious to know if I intended going; he seemed greatly amazed at my answer. On going to school, I observed a crowd of these wretched men in a house that I was approaching. "When they turned to come out, they saw me coming, and immediately drew back until I had passed. As soon as I got into school, the "wife of the head chief came to beg me to give up school for a little time : she was certainly very modest in her manner and request, but altogether unsuccessful. I spoke to her a little, and then she said (what I know to be false) that it was not she nor her husband that desired to go on with the medicine-work, for they often cried to see the state of things, but it was the tribe that urged them to do what they were doing. When she saw she could prevail nothing, not even so much as to prevent striking the steel, which they have a peculiar hatred for, she left me. I then went up the ladder and struck the steel myself, as I did not like to send a boy up; very soon about 80 pupils were in the school, and we went on as usual.

“This afternoon, a boy ran to strike the steel, and not many seconds elapsed before I saw the head chief approaching, and a whole gang of medicine-men after him, dressed up in their usual charms. The chief looked very angry, and bade the boy cease: I waited at the door until he came up. His first effort was to rid the school of the few pupils that had just come in; he shouted at the top of his voice, and bade them be off. I immediately accosted him, and demanded to know v hat he intended or expected to do; his gang stood about the door, and I think seven came in. I saw their point: it was to intimidate me by their strength and frightful appearance, and I perceived the chief, too, was somewhat under the influence of rum ; but the Lord enabled me to stand calm, and without the slightest fear to address them with far more fluency, in their tongue, than I could have imagined possible—to tell them of their sin faithfully—to vindicate my conduct—to exhort them to leave their bad ways, and also to tell them they must not think to make me afraid. I told them that God was my master, and I must obey Him rather than them, and that the devil has taught their fathers what they were practising, and it was bad ; hut what I was teaching now was God’s way, and it was good, and that all the Tsimsheeans knew.

“Our meeting lasted for more than an hour. I saw a great many people at a distance looking. anxiously at our proceedings, the school-door being open, and we stood near it. Nearly all my pupils had fled in fear. The chief expressed himself very passionately, now and then breaking out into furious language, and showing off his savage nature by his gestures. Sometimes I pacified him by what I said, for a little time; but he soon broke out again with more violence. Towards the close of the scene, two of the confederates, vile-looking fellows, went and whispered something to him, upon which he got up from a seat he had just sat down upon, stamped his feet on the floor, raised his voice as high as he could, and exhibited all the rage, and defiance, and boldness that he could. This was all done, I knew to intimidate me, but, blessed be God, he did not succeed: finding his efforts unavailing, he went off, but not before he had been almost deserted by his gang. As he went away, he kept addressing those who had been witnesses; but none seemed to heed him or give any encouragement. After this I shut the door, and found 16 scholars presently around me, and we commenced work.

“We had not gone on long before the chief returned to the school; he gave a loud knock on the door with a stick. I went to open it, and my pupils began to squat about for shelter. When he came in I saw he was in rather a different mood, and he began to say that he was not a bad man to the white people, but that he had always borne a good character with them; this he could prove by papers containing his character, given him by the officers of the Fort. After this he despatched his wife in great haste to fetch me the papers ; when they came, I read them, and then he soon left us again. It was now time to leave school, so we concluded by singing a hymn. All appeared solemn, and when they went away they wished me good night.

“The leading topics of the chief’s angry clamour I may class as follows:—He requested four days’ suspension of the school; he promised, that if I complied, he and his people would then come to school; but threatened, if my pupils continued to come on the following days, he would shoot at them;—lastly, he pleaded, that if the school went on during the time he specified, then some medicine-men, whom he expected on a visit shortly from a distant tribe, would shame, and perhaps kill him.

“Some of his sayings during his fits of rage were, that he understood how to kill people, occasionally drawing his hand across his throat to show me what he meant; that when he died he knew he should go down; he could not change; he could not be good; or, if I made him good, why then he supposed he should go to a different place from his forefathers : this he did not desire to do.

“On one occasion, while he was talking, he looked at two men, one of them a regular pupil of mine, and the other a medicine-man, and said ‘I am a murderer, and so are you, and you’ (pointing to each of these men), ‘and what good is it for us to come to school?’ Here I broke in, and, blessed be God, it gave me an opportunity of telling the three murderers that pardon was now offered to them if they would repent, and amend, and go to Jesus our Saviour. After school I took the opportunity of speaking again to the one who comes to the school, setting the mercy and love of God before him, and the terms upon which God will now pardon and save us. He seemed very solemn, and I hope the truth will sink into his heart.

“After this another chief came to my house, ancl spoke of the difficulties in the way of attending school now, and so offered me the use of his house for a school, where the children and others would not be afraid to come. I readily availed myself of his kindness, and I hope that good will arise out of the arrangement.

“Dec. 21.—I have had school to-day in the chief’s house. About 100 scholars attended. A medicine-party from a distant tribe has arrived to-day, and caused great stir among the parties here. In one house to-night, where I dropped in, I found about fifteen quietly sitting over the fire, two or three of whom were interesting the rest by going over the reading-lesson of the day, which they had written on a slate I had lent them.

“Dec. 23.— School as usual in the chief’s house, both yesterday and to-day.

“I am told that the head chief is still doing, or rather saying, all he can to hinder my work. Yesterday, at a feast of the medicine-parties, he gave a speech full of bitter feeling towards us. I hear, too, he is taunting the chief who has lent me his house. How all this will end I cannot tell, but I leave it with God.

“Dec. 24.—At the close of school-work this morning I gave my audience an address on the coming Christian festival, which has hitherto only been distinguishable to the Indians as a time of riot and drunkenness among the whites.

“While in school there was a frightful outburst of the medicine-parties, setting the whole of the camp round about in a kind of terror. A party were, with their naked prodigy, on the beach when I went out of the school, but on seeing me they immediately ran into a house until I got past.

“I hear that the chief of the medicine-party strangers who have arrived lately here has proposed to try the strength of my medicine, which means lie will try how strong I can talk, or whether I can resist his strong talk and his imaginary evil influence.

“Dec 25: Christmas-day.—Yesterday I told my scholars to bring them friends and relatives to school to-day, as I wanted to tell them something new. I found a strong muster when I arrived at the chief’s house, and a long train of all ages followed me in. We numbered over 200 souls. I felt the occasion to be a very important one, and longed to turn it to some good account. We did not read as usual, but I tried to make them understand why we distinguished this day from others. After this I questioned the children a little, and then we sung two hymns, which we also translated. While the hymns were being sung, I felt I must try to do something more, although the language seemed to defy me. I never experienced such an inward burning to speak before, and therefore I determined to try an extemporaneous address in Tsimsheean. The Lord helped me : a great stillness prevailed, and, I think, a good deal of what I said was understood. I told them of our condition, the pity and love of God, the death of the Son of God on our account, and the benefits arising to us therefrom. I then exhorted them to leave their sins, and pray to Jesus; warning them of the consequences if they refused, and told them of the good which would follow to them on obedience. On hearing me enumerate the sins of which they are guilty, I saw some turn and look at each other with those significant looks which betokened their assent to what I said. I tried to impress upon them the certain ruin which awaited them, did they proceed in their present vices. Very remarkably, an illustration corroborating what I said was before their eyes. A poor woman was taken sick, not four yards from where I stood, and right before the * eyes of my audience. She was groaning under a frightful affliction, the effect of her vices.

“Dec. 28.—School as usual in the chief’s house; over 150 pupils on each occasion. One man came to-day to return thanks to me for giving him a little medicine, which, he says, has been the means of his recovery from sickness. It is rather an interesting case to me, because this person is the first, so far as I know, who, being dangerously ill, has refused to call in the aid of the medicine-folks, from a conviction they could do him no good, but only told him lies. Having recovered without them, he is making a great talk about it.

“Dec. 29.—After school to-night I went to take a little medicine to a sick man, and found in his house a group of Indians of the tribe which have lately sent a party of medicine-men here to show themselves off. I therefore felt an increased desire to set forth the Gospel on this visit, that these poor creatures might go back and tell their people something of the glad tidings they had heard. Their village is about 80 to 100 miles away from here, I think. For some time I could not begin ; however, I would not go away, but stood musing and praying, my heart burning, but full of misgiving. At last an opportunity was afforded me, and I began, and, by God’s blessing, I was enabled to set the Gospel clearly and fully before them—that is, as to the first and essential great truths of it. While I was speaking, one or two would make remarks as to the truth and reasonableness of what I said. Several times one man exclaimed —'Ahm malsh! ahm malsh!3 (Good news ! good news). And another, when I had done, said, £ Shimhow,’ which means 'It is true,’ and it is equivalent, in their way of speaking, to £ Amen,’ £ I believe.’ They all seemed thankful for my visit, and I hope the Lord will bless it. I tried to enforce the duty of love and obedience to God, by alluding to the attachment and obedience they expected from their children. To this they agreed, and fully believed the Indians would not be long before they would be altogether changed.”

It will be seen from the above that Mr. Duncan’s work had much increased: feeling that he could not carry it on singlehanded, he wrote home requesting very earnestly that a coadjutor might be sent to him. About this time a serious difficulty began to embarrass him, viz., what was to be done with the children who were being taught, when they passed from his hands. It was evident to him, and to the Indians themselves, that they and the well-disposed adults among them would be far too weak numerically to be able to carry out their new principles in their old camp. The necessity of transplanting them, therefore, was evident; although how such a number could be removed against the wish, probably, of many of their parents and the tribe generally, was a problem most difficult of solution.

In it, however, he was not without assistance from some of the Indians themselves. In his journal for Junej 1859, he writes: “Had some talk with a chief, who entreated me to beg for another missionary, and to remove the well-disposed Indians and their children away to some good land about 30 miles from here, that they might thus escape the present scenes of wickedness.” A few days later the same chief came again, knowing that Mr. Duncan was writing letters to Victoria, and again urged his request for another missionary, and for a separation to be made in the camp. He said, that the Indians were willing to give Mr. Duncan then’ children to teach and bring up as he wished, adding, however, that the grown people desired no change.

With the approach of autumn and the renewal of the medicine-orgies among the Indians, Mr. Duncan’s difficulties recurred. What progress he made, his own words will best describe:—

“August 18, 1859.—This morning forty-three children and fourteen adults were at school. After the usual lessons, I gave them a short address, or rather tried to impress upon them the safety of God’s people, and the insecurity of the wicked. The Lord enabled me to express myself with feeling earnestness, and disposed my hearers to attention and solemnity. Having a good deal of writing to do in the books which I write for my pupils for home lessons, I announced we would have no school in the afternoon of to-day. After dinner a loud and unusual knock was given at the door. I opened it. It was a chief, bringing me the broken lock of the school, and the sad intelligence that Cushwaht (a notoriously bad man), being drunk, had with an axe broken my door open, entered the school, and smashed all the windows. The chief then entered into a passionate explanation of the cause of this deed, and assured me that Cushwaht stood alone in the mischief; not another Indian would have dared or thought of such a thing.

“Very soon several other Indians came—some to bring me the utensils of the school, and others to tender their sympathy. Thus it has pleased the Lord to permit us to have another check; but I trust and pray He will make it administer good. This is the explanation. The Indian that did the mischief has a bad leg. He sent his wife this morning to beg of a little salve for it, but she was unsuccessful and refused to assist because of his bad conduct, he having, only a few days ago, struck a woman who lives in the Fort with a sword, and wounded her severely, and for no cause. Being denied the salve, and under the influence of rum, he went, Indian like, to revenge himself on what came readiest of the white man’s property, and that happened to be the school. Here is the good providence of God in ordering that I and my scholars were not to be in the building when the wicked savage was to vent his rage upon it. Had we been assembled, I tremble to think what might have been the consequences. The chief who came to my house to bring me the lock, &c., entreated me not to go outside the Fort, as the enraged villain might fire upon me; but I felt assured that the Lord would protect me while in the path of duty. On seeing me on the beach, several Indians came to speak with me, to tender their sympathy, and express their anger with the man. I remember an old man saying ‘the whole camp was crying, and many guns were ready and waiting for the villain if he dared to appear.’ I entreated them not to shed his blood; said that it was very wrong indeed what he had done, hut that I was inclined to pity and forgive him. One house I had to go to was the next but one to that occupied by Cushwaht. On approaching it, many thought, probably, I was going to see him. They looked very much alarmed, expecting, no doubt, that firing would ensue. But on seeing me enter the house where the sick person was, many followed me, among whom was the wife of the mischievous rascal. I never alluded to my own troubles or wrongs, but applied myself to the case of the poor invalid, whose state was indeed alarming.

“September 15.—Some sad work has occurred in the camp this afternoon. A young man, an Indian, under the influence of drink, irritated one of the chiefs, who was also partly drunk. The chief immediately seized a pistol, and shot the brother of the man who had offended him. Then commenced a series of encounters, and two more were killed. The firing is going on, and quite close to the school-house.

“Sept. 19.—Another very serious disturbance to-day. As I went to the school-house, to see about repairing it, I observed that some of the Indians of one tribe were having a rum-feast. On nearing the house of the man who broke the school-windows (Cushwaht), I saw that his house was the point of attraction, and, from what I heard, concluded that a good many were already drunk within. I had nothing but civility shown me, both in going and returning, although I passed some that were drunk. I had only just got back to the Fort, when a quarrel took place in Cushwaht’s house, and Cushwaht himself, as usual, the cause of it. It was not long before firing ensued. Two women have been killed, one of them Cushwaht’s sister, and Cushwaht has been shot in the hand. These murders and riots are all tending very powerfully to awaken the minds of those who have been under instruction, and to wean them more and more from this place of darkness. I find many flock around me now to speak of their trouble, and they listen with much more attention and seriousness to the Gospel message. I have been for some time desiring to speak to the cannibal chief. To-day the opportunity was afforded me, and I had some talk with him. This man heads the most degrading superstition this people have got; but he is a young man, and has a noble look. It will be a hard struggle if he ever sets himself to escape from the meshes of that horrid custom which he has taken upon himself to perpetuate; but I hope and pray God may give him light and strength for the conflict, and bring him, clothed and in his right mind, to the feet of Jesus. He met my proposals very kindly, and promised to come under my instruction when he returns from a place whither he is going to purchase food.

“Sept. 27.—By the good pleasure of our Heavenly Father we began school again to-day. About 50 children and 10 adults attended. The tide was so high that many had to come in canoes. It rained, too, all the day. I saw some of my little scholars, washed and with their best clothes on, waiting for me outside the Fort, hours before the time appointed for opening school, although it rained.

“Sept. 28.—I put Bibles into the hands of my first class to-day. What a blessed event, indeed, when it is remembered that the entrance of God’s Word giveth light! We commenced with St. Matthew’s Gospel.

“October 9th: Lord’s-day.—Only between 40 and 50 souls present at school this morning. Many have gone away during last week to a place where they usually purchase large quantities of provisions. I was enabled, by the blessing of God, to introduce a happy change in our usual Sunday course. I handed ten of my pupils Bibles, and they read out simultaneously, several times over, the passage (Psalm cxlv. 18-20) from which I addressed them. We also translated it, clause by clause, several times over.

“Oct. 10.—A very solemn event has taken place this evening. I was informed, on coming out of the school this afternoon, that a young man, who has been a long time suffering in consumption (brought on by a severe cold), and whom I have visited several times, was dying; so, after a little reflection, some misgiving, and prayer, I started off to see him. I found him, as his wife had said, dying. Over 20 persons were about him : some were crying, and two, I am sorry to say, were partly intoxicated. I looked on for some time in silent sorrow. When I wished to speak, silence immediately ensued. I rebuked the noise and tumult, and directed the dying man to fix his heart on the Saviour Jesus, to forget the things about him, and spend his little remaining time in praying in his heart to God to save him. His reply was, ‘0, yes, Sir! 0, yes, Sir!’ and for some moments he would close his eyes, and seem absorbed in prayer. On one occasion he spoke of his heart being happy or resigned. I could not make out the exact expression, as there was some talking at the time, and the remark was in Tsimsheean.

“He begged me, with much earnestness, to continue to teach his little girl. He wanted her to be good. This little girl is about seven years old; her name is Cathl. She has been very regular at school since I commenced, and has made nice progress.

“Much to my comfort, a young woman sat by his side who has been one of my most regular pupils. She is in the first class, and can read portions of the Bible. Her intelligence is remarkable, and I have observed her to be always very serious when listening to religious instruction. Thus, here was one sitting close to the dying man who could tell him, much more accurately than I, the few directions I desired to utter. What remarkable providence it seemed to mo! With tears in her eyes she begged him to give his heart to God and to pray to him. I longed to pray with him, and watched anxiously a long time for the opportunity. The opportunity came, and the strength came with it. I knelt down by his side. All was hushed, and I prayed from a full heart to the Lord our God to have mercy upon the poor sold about to come into His presence, for the sake of His dear Son Jesus. I feel sure that the Lord heard my prayer, and I can indulge a hope for this poor man’s salvation. The whole of the circumstances seemed ordered of God for my commencing this solemn and important duty of prayer with dying Indians. In the case of this poor man, I can say I have felt my heart exceedingly rejoiced more than once, when I have left him, for what I had been permitted to see and hear. I know he understood the main and leading truths of the Gospel, and he frequently told me that he prayed much to God. During his sickness he never permitted the medicine-folks to operate upon him; and this of itself shows a wonderful change in the man. After I had prayed with him he gave me his hand, which I shook, and he bade me good-bye.

“Oct. 11.—The young man alluded to above died last night. He reassured the people around him of his safety, and he had a very solemn parting from his little girl.”

This is only one instance of many in which Mr. Duncan found the hearts and intellects of the Indians open to his teaching. The labours of men of his class among the distant heathen are undervalued by the world, which refuses to credit the fact that savages, such as these Coast Indians undoubtedly are, can receive and retain impressions so utterly at variance with their nature and habits, lint the following extracts from the journal of one of Mr. Duncan’s Indian pupils at Fort Simpson—a lad aged It)—will be read with interest by those who believe that the aborigines of these colonies may assuredly be Christianised and civilised. From this curious document, which was presented to me by Captain Prevost, R.N., I extract the following “passages from the Journal of Shooquanahts,” written after ten months of occasional instruction by Mr. Duncan :—

“Tuesday, April 4, I860.—If will die my father, then will very poor my heart 4 my brother all die; only one Shooquanahts save; and two my uncle save. I will try to make all things. I want to be good, and I want to much work hard. When we have done work, then will please, sir, Mr. Duncan, will you give me a little any tiling when you come back.

“April 9.—Please, sir, I want to speak to you. I wish I had some powder for my gun. All done shot: all done for me. What for yon want to shoot ducks? Because it is very sweet. Please, sir, Mr. Duncan, will you give me a little powder and little shot? If you will give me any powder, then I will be very happy. If I get some ducks, then I will give Mr. . Perhaps no want ducks, Mr. .

“April 10.—I could not sleep last night. I must work hard last night. I could not be lazy last night. No good lazy—very bad. We must learn to make all tilings. When we understand reading and writing, then it will very easy. Perhaps two years then we understand. If we no understand to read and to write, then he will very angry, Mr. Duncan. If we understand about good people, then we will very happy.

April 27: School, Fort Simpson.—Shooquanahts not two hearts—no always one my heart. Some boys always two hearts. Only one Shooquanaht’s—not two heart, no. If I steal any thing, then God will see. Bad people no care about Son of God. When will come troubled hearts, foolish people. Then he will very much cry. What good cry ? Nothing. No care about our Saviour, always forget. By and by will understand about the Son of God.

April 29.—How many ducks you get yesterday? 5 ducks I shoot yesterday. Did you see many ducks yesterday?

Yes, very many; not far away, but near. To one man I give one duck yesterday, and one duck I eat yesterday. The name of that man is Nahs-lukolik. He want to work for you. If it rain to-morrow, then we cannot go to Sebassah. If it do not rain to-morrow, then we go to Sebassah.

May, 1860.—The brother of Sebassah is not good, he understand to eat dead people : no good—very bad, that man. They understand make lie : no good, those men—very bad. Hot a good place, Sebassah place: always want to steal some little things. They cannot rest; they love bad ways; they always like to make afraid the people.

“14th May, 1860.—The Shad-Zahu, by and by, will give rice at our place, and molasses; and all the brothers of Shad-Zahu will give rice at our place, and two sisters of Shad-Zahu will give rice at our place. My father wants to make two houses; when he has done making the houses, then he will call three chiefs, and all people will sit together in the house. My father then will give elk-skins to three chiefs, and to all men he will give elk-skin by and by. Perhaps two winters first will give little things, and by and by lie will give more.

"May 16, 1860.—When you go way Victoria, sir, then he will speak to Mr. Compton, sir. Good will tell Mr. Compton, sir, to pity me when you go way Victoria, sir. Who take care me, sir, when you go way? who will give the soap for me, sir? who will give the tobacco for me when you go way Victoria, sir? who will give the medicine for me, sir, when you go way Victoria, sir? Ho, not any will pity me when you go way, sir. Good will speak, sir, Mr. Moffat will pity me when you go way Victoria, sir. Then will, please, sir, Mr. Duncan, will you give me a little medicine and little soap?—not now, sir; no, when you will go way Victoria, sir. Then good will pity me.

“May 17, I860.—I do not understand some prayers—only few prayers I understand, not all, I understand, no. I wish to understand all prayers. When I understand all prayers, then I always prayer our Saviour Jesus Christ. I want to learn to prayer to Jesus Christ our Saviour, by and by. I understand all about our Saviour Christ; when I understand all what about our Saviour, then I will happy when I die. If 1 do not learn about our Saviour Jesus, then I will very troubled my heart when I die. It is good for us when we learn about our Saviour Jesus; I wish to understand to prayer our Saviour Jesus. When I understand about our Saviour, then I will very happy when I die.”

In writing of the journal from which I have given the above extracts, Mr. Duncan explains: “Last winter, for the sake of exercising my first class in composition, I gave each of them a copy-book wherein to record their own thoughts in their own way, after school-hours. But neither the writers nor I ever expected them to be exhibited. I therefore was loth for Captain Prevost to take one away, because several entries in it require explanation, or they may give wrong impressions. For instance, on one occasion the boy asks, £ who will give him tobacco,’ &c., during my absence. From this the reader might infer that I encouraged him to smoke, and supplied him with tobacco for that purpose. The fact is, that, because the boy worked so hard and pleased me so much, I made him one of my school-assistants, also school-cleaner, for which I paid him about two shillings a week— not in money, but in goods, which he exchanged for provisions. He, of course, chose the kind of goods for which there was then the readiest market.”

I will now quit Mr. Duncan to speak of the progress of the Church which had in this year (1859) sprung up in other parts of the colony.

The only clergyman in the colony previous to this was the Rev. E. Cudge, Chaplain to the Hudson Bay Company, who had been established at Victoria for four or five years.

Early in the year 1859 four Wesleyan missionaries arrived from Canada and commenced their labours. The head of this mission was Dr. Evans, a most zealous man and able preacher. He settled himself at Victoria, where he has since built a pretty church, which is very well filled. His staff were soon disposed of—one going to Nanaimo, another to New Westminster, and the third to Fort Hope. These men, zealous and active, have been working hard in their districts; but their mission, like that of our own Church, has been more to the whites than the Indians.

A missionary of the Church of England, under the auspices of the Colonial Church and School Society, had arrived previous to this (on Christmas Day, 1858), and established himself at what was then the capital of British Columbia, New Langley or Derby. In the course of the year the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel despatched three missionaries, and the Special Fund endowed by Miss Burdett Coutts sent two. In addition to this a bishop had been appointed (Dr. Hills), who, however, was detained in England raising further subscriptions for the mission. Besides these, two other missionaries—I am not sure of what denomination— arrived about this time. Thus in 1859 eleven missionaries of different denominations betook themselves to their duties ill various places—some at and around Victoria, others on the Fraser River.

On the 5th of January, 1860, the Bishop reached Esquimalt and commenced an organization of his forces, which were soon augmented by the arrival of five other clergymen. An iron church, which had been sent from England, was erected. The expense of its construction was, as may be imagined, very large, and the edifice was not free from debt when I left the island.

Among the most pressing needs of the colony were good schools for either sex: to this the Bishop’s attention was immediately directed, and the Rev. C. T. Woods and his wife, the Rev. 0. Glover, and the Misses Penrice, left England in the summer of 18G0 for the purpose of establishing them.

On the arrival of this staff, a school for boys and a ladies’ college were immediately organised; and so earnest and zealous were the labours of their promoters, that in the winter of that year there were 41 boys and 21 girls in attendance. The difficulties in the way of starting these schools cannot be appreciated by those who have not lived among such a mixture of peoples as is found in newly-settled countries, each representative of his race clinging with peculiar tenacity to its prejudices. The fact of Mr. Glover, the second master of the school, being distinguished at home as a Hebrew scholar, was, I believe, of no little importance in this way; for the Jews, of whom there are several in Vancouver Island, all sent their sons, delighted at the chance of their acquiring Hebrew. The £reat want of the ladies’ school for a Ions; time was a piano, and I do not know whether it has been since supplied.

The limited state of the funds of the British Columbian Mission proved a serious hindrance to its successful progress. Most people in the colony had an idea that Miss Coutts had undertaken the whole expense of the mission, church and school building, &c.; whereas her bounty, noble as it was, was confined to two objects, viz., a provision of GOD?. a-year for the bishop, and 400?. a-year towards the archdeaconries. After his appointment the Bishop worked hard to raise money in England, and succeeded in obtaining 11,000?. But this sum did no more than pay the initiatory expenses, and the whole of it was exhausted before 1861 in the payment of outfits and passages for clergy, in grants, and in land investments.1 The annual fund of the mission the bishop estimates at 1500l., which suffices merely for the support of the clergy and teachers. The clergy of St. John’s, Victoria, the iron church spoken of, and Trinity, New Westminster —a church built by subscription—were not included in this sum, as they were supposed to be supported by their congregations. The financial state of the latter I do not know; but up to the time I left (September 1861), St. John’s was still in debt, and its rector had not received any salary at all. Those clergy who were sent out by societies have their incomes temporarily secured to them to the extent of 1700l. a-year, making the support of clergy and teachers in the colony amount altogether to about 4000l. In a speech on the subject, delivered at Victoria in January, 1861, the Bishop proposed that the organisation of a parish primarily should include a rector, churchwarden, church committee, and vestry—the last consisting of pewholders. Ultimately he hoped to have a complete diocesan organisation under one of the various titles of Convention, Synod, Assembly, or Council. Pending the formation of this, he proposed that there should be, as in other colonies, a Church Society, supported by subscriptions and church collections gathered from all parts of the diocese, for the support of ministers, building of churches, parsonages, and schools, the aid of widows and orphans of clergy, and other objects, and regulated by a committee chosen by subscribers. But perhaps of all the Bishop’s cares and difficulties none pressed more hardly upon him than the question what to do with and for the Indians.

The Songhies, near Victoria, were still living the most debased lives imaginable, while the many Indians who visited Victoria from the North—and their number increased yearly —could scarcely fail to imbibe their habits. Under these circumstances, it was but too clear that Mr. Duncan’s work, far away among the Tsimsheeans at Fort Simpson, was likely to be counteracted by the bad lessons which his former pupils would learn upon their visits to the South. In the hope, therefore, of providing a remedy for this state of things, Mr. Duncan was induced to go to Victoria to consult with the Governor and Bishop as to the steps that should be taken for the Indians’ safety.

Mr. Duncan remained at Victoria during the summer, organising the plans decided upon, and continuing his ministrations among such of his old friends, the Tsimskeean Indians, who happened to be there. By them and the Indians generally the most implicit confidence was placed in his good faith and motives. It was very strange to notice among these—the fiercest of the Coast-tribes—the childlike affection which they displayed towards him, and the thorough trust they expressed in his integrity. Speaking of them himself, he says: “My duties have kept me from noon till night among the Indians. They so appreciate my exertions for their temporal welfare, that many have come to receive religious instruction who would otherwise have stayed away. The Indians are continually coming to me with their troubles, and seem very grateful for my assistance. I also succeeded in getting several into good places as servants.”

In June, when the Governor returned from British Columbia, he at once acceded to the plans submitted to him for the benefit of the Indian population, and took the necessary steps to carry them into action. At a public meeting GOD, was collected for the erection of a school-house. The Governor himself made this sum up to 100/., and the building was immediately commenced.

On the 8th August Mr. Tug well, who had been sent by. the Church Missionary Society to join Mr. Duncan, arrived, and it was determined that they should both go at once to Fort Simpson in order that Mr. Duncan might introduce his companion to his duties there, and then return to Victoria for the winter to superintend the new schools. They accordingly left Victoria on the 13th, and reached Simpson on the 31st August. While there, to his great delight, news reached him that the Bev. A. C. Garret and Mr. Mallandaine had volunteered to take charge of the Indian schools at Victoria, and that his return for that purpose was not therefore necessary. These gentlemen at once assumed their self-imposed duties, and in a short time brought the schools into a highly flourishing condition. The difficulties which beset their path were of course many and great. The example set in the Indian huts but too often paralysed the school-teaching, while the attendance of the children was necessarily often interrupted. They were very quick and ready at receiving instruction, however: and those visitors who attended the public examination in December, 1860, were with reason amazed at the progress made. The following is Mr. Garret’s account of this examination

“Dec, 22.—Our examination came off to-day. There were 157 Indian scholars in the room when the Governor arrived. We had the Governor, the Bishop, the Colonial Secretary, Chief Justice of British Columbia, and many other influential laymen, with all the clergy here who could attend, and Mr. Knipe, who arrived yesterday, among the number. We began by singing. Then Mr. Mallandaine, the cateehist, examined them in reading the diagrams, and showed that they knew the English names for the various objects, and could spell and pronounce them. This, for three months’ work, was considered very excellent by the Governor and all the visitors. After this the most advanced class, who have been somewhat longer at school, read in their books, and satisfied the suspicions of the Chief Justice of British Columbia by reading backwards, thus showing they were not crammed like parrots, but that they thoroughly understood what they had learned. This being over, the copies were produced, which elicited universal admiration. One especially, the production of a fine young man, who has received but one month's schooling in his life, fairly astonished the strangers. I send it to you as a curiosity. I then examined the various tribes (there were three present, Songhies, Haidas, and Tsimsheeans) in the Chinook catechism, which 1 have composed; and showed that they knew the history of the Creation, the Fall, Cain and Abel, and the Flood—in the Old Testament; and also that they knew about Jesus Christ, whose Son He is, and what He did on earth, why He died, how long He was dead, where He is now, what we must do to be saved, &c.”

Before leaving Victoria, Mr. Duncan had been informed that the arrival of Mr. and Mrs. Tugwell at Fort Simpson must necessarily interfere with his previous position there. The three could not expect from the Hudson Bay Company the favours that had been granted to him. It was necessary, therefore, that he should vacate the quarters which he had hitherto occupied in the Fort, and that a dwelling-house should be built outside its stockade.

“Thus the time is come,” he writes, “when mission-buildings are to figure among the poor Indians on this dreary coast. And thankful am I to say that I believe matters are fully ripe for such a step. Of course we must expect many annoyances in thus putting ourselves entirely into the hands of the Indians, but I do not anticipate any great danger to either our persons or property. The great question before us is, where shall we build? You will have seen from my journal that many of the Indians are strongly desiring to return to their old villages situated in a lovely channel about 15 miles from here, and are anxiously waiting for me to lead the way. On my visit to the Keethrahilah Indians last spring, I saw these spots, and, in my journal accompanying this, I have written a short description of them. They are called Met-lah-kah. Therefore the choice of a site for our mission premises rests, I think, between the neighbourhood of Fort Simpson and Met-lah-kah. I will compare the two places, and I think you will agree with me that the latter place is decidedly to be preferred. The only advantage of Fort Simpson is a negative one—that is, by remaining here we shall avoid the trouble of a move. But the disadvantages are great. The influence of the Fort, and the immoralities allowed on board the Company's ships which come here, greatly oppose the influence of the mission. More than all, the physical character of the country in the neighbourhood of the Fort is exceedingly bad, and, to my mind, condemns the place at once. One effect the missions must have upon the Indians will be to make them desire social improvement. How necessary, therefore, it is that the mission be established where social improvement is possible! But at Fort Simpson it is possible. First as to beach-room. This is essential to the comfort and welfare of these Coast Indians, who have so many canoes to take care of. But the whole of the beach at Fort Simpson is now more than conveniently occupied. And then as to land about this place, it is all in such a state that it could not be made available for gardens without immense labour, and a calling for appliances which the Indians do not possess.

“Met-lah-kah, however, not only possesses these two essentials to improving the Indians socially, viz., plenty of beach-room and plots of land suitable for gardens, but its channel is always smooth and abounds with salmon and shell-fish, while its beauty stands in great contrast to the dreary country around.” Mr. Duncan states, further, that the Company, aware of the desire of the natives to return there, had sent people to try to find an eligible spot nearer Simpson, and says one of them who went as far as Nutlahkah, not only failed in finding any other suitable spot, but declared he did not believe there was such another in that part of the country.

“It may be asked,” he continues, “why did not the Company establish their Fort there? This is easily explained. Twenty-five years ago, when Fort Simpson was built, the Company had sailing ships employed up the coast, and the passage to the old Tsimsheean village being rather narrow, they preferred this, as the entrance to the harbour is wider; but to steamers, the way into Met-lah-kah presents no difficulty. The Indians were induced to leave their ancient home for the sake of trading with the Fort; there is now no necessity for their remaining near it for that purpose; other facilities for trading are opening up; a schooner, not the Company’s, is at this moment in the harbour, doing a famous trade with the Indians: indeed, I may say, that the importance of Fort Simpson as a central trading-port is gone; very few Indians from other places come here now, as they used to do, and fewer will continue to do so;—everything seems propitious and prepared for a move to be made for the social welfare of these poor tribes, and surely it is worthy of this Mission to be the leader in such a praiseworthy undertaking.”

I have given this extract in full, as it concerns more than the mere selection of the spot for the Mission, important as that is: it shows the change which is gradually coming over those parts of the country uninfluenced by the discovery of gold.* This consists mainly in the far greater freedom that will be given to the Indians for trading purposes, and which will enable them now to live where they please, since trade will follow them to their homes, and they will always find a market there for anything they have to sell.

The proposal for the re-settlement of the Indians at Met-lah-kah has met with the Governor’s entire approval, and I believe steps are being taken for its execution.

After remaining a year at Fort Simpson, Mr. Tugwell’s health became so seriously affected that he was obliged to resign his labours and retire to Victoria. Mr. Duncan, therefore, is again left to labour single-handed. The plan which they had purposed carrying out, had they been permitted, was, that Mr. Duncan should remain at Simpson, while Mr. Tugwell went to Met-lah-kah, built a house there, and drew the Indians round him as they left Simpson. This purpose, however, Mr. Tugwell’s illness has frustrated; nor can it be carried out until some one is found to take his place. There can be little doubt but some earnest worker will volunteer his services for the purpose, but the qualifications necessary for the task, both physical and moral, are many and great. Strong as Mr. Duncan is, his labours have told severely upon his constitution. In the spring of last year he suffered from repeated attacks of exhaustion, and was compelled to go to Victoria for change of air and rest. Till character of man required, indeed, to share his labours, cannot be described better than in his own words :—“We want more men, but they must be men of a peculiar stamp, simple and hearty, hardy and daring,—men who are able and willing to endure rough work.” -

Before finally quitting the subject of Indians, I will record one of those little incidents which offer good evidence of moral improvement, and cheer the Missionary’s labours. Writing in August, 1860, Mr. Duncan, says “I will give one instance in proof of my statement just made, that many Indians have begun to pray. One night when I was encamping out, after a weary day, the supper and the little instruction being over, my crew of Indians, excepting one old man, quickly spread then- mats near the fire, and laid down to sleep in pairs, each sharing his fellow’s blanket. The one old man sat near the fire, smoking his pipe. I crept into my little tent, but after some time I came out again to see that all was right. The old man was just making his bed, a thin bark-mat on the ground; a little box of grease and a few dry salmon for his pillow; a shirt on and a blanket round him; another bark-mat over (head and all) was to form his bed in the open air during a cold dark night in April. When everything was adjusted, he put his pipe down and offered up in his own tongue this simple little prayer: ‘Be merciful to me, Jesus;’ then he drew up his feet, and was soon lost to view.”

Though I have spoken of the difficulties of the Bishop’s work with regard to money, schools, &c., I have said nothing of the disheartening moral condition of the mass of the civilized population of these colonies. By far the larger portion of the colonists are miners, who, though as yet their conduct since they arrived in British territory has been very praiseworthy, had previously been living for years in California, where the “Almighty Dollar” is the only object of worship. Apart from this, the very nature of a miner’s life tends to ungodliness: he is perpetually roving about, in the morning rich, at sunset poor; to-day a gentleman—in the American sense of the term—to-morrow a labourer. For a few years some perhaps work with the notion of returning as rich men to their native land; but during that time the many fluctuations of the struggle, and the hard, wild life they lead, so unfit them for domestic existence, that, if they are fortunate enough to have made money and leave the country, they probably spend it all in the first large town they come to; or, reaching home, tire of it in a few months, and return to the life which has become second nature, to them. These miners, as I have before said, are by no means always uneducated ; many men of good parentage and education are to be found among them, and this very fact renders the inculcation of religion more difficult than it otherwise would be. I am not, of course, speaking of those who, beginning as poor men, steadily work their way to competence or wealth, benefiting themselves, those around them, and the country of their adoption, but of those who, so soon as they have made two or three thousand dollars, instead of enlarging their works, or laying the money by, rush to San Francisco, spend it like fools, and return beggared.

In the few books that have been written about these colonies, various remarks have been made on the society of Victoria. It would ill become me to pass over without a word that society in which I have spent four as happy years as any of my life, from which 1 have always met with the greatest kindness, and in which it will give me real pleasure again to mix if fate should send me to Victoria. That my opinion is shared by most of the members of my profession, any impartial witness of the social proceedings of the last five years will allow; and if most of the ladies of Victoria have not joined that profession, matrimonially at least, it has been from no want of invitation on the part of its members.

I must not omit to mention the African Negroes, several hundreds of whom left California when British Columbia sprung into life. It is well known to all who have lived among Northern Americans that they treat free negroes infinitely worse than an Englishman would treat a dog. In California neither coloured men nor Chinese are allowed the benefit of the laws, such as they are, and their evidence is not taken in the courts, so that a black man may be murdered in the midst of a hundred other blacks, and if there is no white man to impeach the murderer, redress cannot be obtained. This feeling was not lessened in the hearts of the Americans at Victoria when they found this hated race, that they had ill used in every way, enjoying precisely the same privileges as themselves. The consequence was that on one occasion there was a pitched battle in the theatre between blacks and whites, in which, I believe, the former came off victorious. Then the whites objected to the blacks being allowed to go to the same church with them, and actually appealed to the Bishop to prevent it. The Bishop was firm in his refusal to do anything of the kind, but I believe many stayed away from church in consequence. One of the dissenting ministers from Canada was obliged to leave the country for giving the same refusal. The whites all deserted his church and went to another who was anti-black, and the negroes were unable to support their champion. As a rule these free negroes are a very quiet people, a little given perhaps to over familiarity when any opening for it is afforded, very fond of dignity, always styling each other Mr., and addicted to an imposing costume, in the way of black coats, gold studs and watch-cliains, &c.; but they are a far more steady, sober and thrifty set than' the whites by whom they are so much despised.

The Chinese are also very quiet and harmless. They make fair cooks and servants, and where they take to digging are generally content to work claims discarded by the regular miners; they do not do much good to the colony, however, as they eat little and drink less, and spend little or no money in the country.

I have before said that one or two churches have been built since the Bishop’s arrival. More are, I understand, being erected, and the mission has spread by this time as far as Cariboo, which it was the Bishop’s intention to visit this summer. For any further particulars, however, I refer the reader to the Report of the Columbia Mission, where all the details connected with this most important work will lie found recorded.

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