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Story of Metlakahtla : illustrated Wellcome, Henry S. (Henry Solomon), Sir, 1853-1936 1887

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           THE STORY
Metlakahtla
HENRY   S.  WELLCOME
ILLUSTRATED
" Materials for another Evangeline."—iV. Y. Sun.
" The case is one of great interest and involves a story of peculiar cruelty."
—N. Y. Herald.
"Tired of British rule."—N. Y. World.
" They have decided to try to get the protection of Uncle Sam."
—fV. Y. Tribune.
" A story of outrage upon, and cruelty to, a civilized Indian community on
the part of the Dominion of Canada."—Providence Journal.
"The community is on the point of disorganization, and the work of thirty
years is threatened with destruction."—Springfield Republican.
"The victims have decided to go to Alaska if they can be assured that under
American laws they will be protected in what they produce."—N. Y. Times.
** At Columbia, on the coast of the Pacific, a practical missionary genius
ied William Duncan, has succeeded in civilizing a body of Indians, degraded
cannibalism, and, at his Metlakahtla mission, stands at the head of a com-
nnity of some thousand persons, which has a larger church than is to be
found between there and San Francisco. Testimony to the value of the results
was borne in 1876 by Lord Dufferin, then Governor-General of Canada, who
declared that he could hardly find words to express his astonishment at what
he witnessed."—Encyclopedia Britannica.
PUBLISHED  BY
SAXON   &   CO.
OF
LONDON AND  NEW YORK
1887 
Copyrighted by
HENRY S. WELLCOME,
ALL FIGHTS RESERVED DEDICATED
TO  THE CAUSE
OF
JUSTICE,  TRUTH,  AND  HUMANITY.
m Once in an ancient city, a brazen statue of Justice
Stood in the public square, upholding the scales in its left hand,
And in its right a sword, as an emblem that justice presided
Over the laws of the land and the hearts and homes of the people.
Even the birds had built their nests in the scales of the balance,
Having no fear of the sword that flashed in the sunshine above them.
But in the course of time the laws of the land were corrupted ;
Might took the place of right, and the weak were oppressed, and the mighty
Ruled with an iron rod.   Then it chanced in a nobleman's palace
That a necklace of pearls was lost, and ere long a suspicion
Fell on an orphan girl who lived as maid in the household.
She, after form of trial, condemned to die on the scaffold.
Patiently met her doom at the foot of the statue of Justice.
As to her Father in heaven her innocent spirit ascended,
Lo ! o'er the city a tempest rose ; and the bolts of the thunder
Smote the statue of bronze, and hurled in wrath from its left hand
Down on the pavement below the clattering scales of the balance,
And in the hollow thereof was found the nest of a magpie.
Into whose clay-built walls the necklace of pearls was inwoven."
—Evangeline.  INTRODUCTION.
A CIVILIZED Christian community of native
British Columbians, is now seeking refuge under the
American flag from gross, and malicious persecution,
of Church and State. This people, only thirty
years since, consisted of some of the most ferocious
Indian tribes of this continent, given up to constant
warfare, notorious for treachery, cannibalism, and
other hideous practices. Although incurring great
personal risk, and several times narrowly escaping
assassination, Mr. William Duncan, with rare fortitude, and genius, began single-handed a mission
among them : he educated them, and taught them
Christianity, in the simplest possible manner; at the
same time gradually introducing peaceful industries;
and by these means he wrought in a single generation a marvellous transformation. A work that
stands absolutely without parallel in the history of
missions.    Where blood had flowed continually he Ls^SSiR
aBBW^^^^^^^^^^^PP^^
iiiriiifli^wnimiia
Vlll
INTRODUCTION.
founded the model, self-supporting village of Metlakahtla,—now consisting of a community of one
thousand souls,—that will compare favorably with
almost any village of its size in England or America, for intelligence, morality, and industrial thrift.
There are also several thousand other civilized Indians, of nearly the same standard, in the outlying missions under his influence ; who, aggravated by similar causes, will doubtless follow the Metlakahtlans.
This successful work is now threatened with
utter destruction. In spite of Mr. Duncan's protests, the Church of England Missionary Society
through its bigoted Bishop, has attempted to force
these simple-minded Christians, to adopt its elabo-,
rate rites, and ceremonies. The Indians resent this,
and reject the Bishop. The Society in its efforts
to destroy the independence of the Metlakahtlans,
and compel them to surrender to its dictation, has
through its representatives resorted to all manner
of intrigues, intimidations, and even schemes to
cripple them by impoverishment. Failing to crush
them by these measures, the Society's emissaries
through great Church influence, have succeeded in
inducing the Government to seize a portion of the
Metlakahtlans' land without compensation, or treaty,
and hand it over to the Society.
9S5SK5$8sss»S^ INTRODUCTION. iX
All appeals of the Metlakahtlans to the Dominion and Provincial Governments, have been treated
with evasion or contempt. In contradiction to all
precedents in British and American usage, and the
repeated declarations of Earl Dufferin,—while Governor-General of Canada ;—the authorities have
proclaimed, that the Indians of British Columbia,,
are, but beggars, and have no rights whatsoever to
the land, and that all their land belongs to the
Crown. Recently the government authorities have
sent men-of-war, and taken active coercive measures,
to enforce their decision to despoil the peaceful, and
law-abiding, Metlakahtlans; and in consequence of
urging their rights by simple protests, without violence, several of the Metlakahtlans have been
arrested, and conveyed like criminals, six hundred miles from their homes, and thrown into
prison.
Despairing of justice in their own country, and
preferring a peaceful solution of their grievances,
rather than avenging themselves by warfare, they
have unanimously empowered Mr. Duncan, to treat
with the Government at Washington for homestead land in A^ska (the boundary of which is
but thirty miles distant from their present abode)
whence they may remove, and re-erect their' build- ■flimwn
INTRODUCTION.
ings, re-establish their industries, and secure to
their children full right, and title, to their possessions. These sorely oppressed people, naturally turn
to the United States of America, which has ever
been looked to as the refuge for all those who have
been persecuted by Church or State. Mr. Duncan, comes to this country bearing the following
letter, signed by several of the most distinguished
residents of British Columbia:
"Victoria, B. C, November 16, 1886.
"To the  Lovers of Civil  and   Religious
Liberty in America.
" The bearer, Mr. William Duncan, for thirty
years a devoted missionary of religion and civilization, in North British America, and during the
whole of that period well known to the undersigned, is on his way to Washington, deputed by
the native Christian brethren of Metlakahtla, to confer with the United States authorities, on matters
affecting their interest and desires.
I Like the Pilgrim Fathers of old, this afflicted but
prospering and thrifty flock seek a refuge from grievous wrongs, and hope to find it uryder the American
flag.
"They prefer abandoning the home of their fa- INTRODUCTION. xi
thers, and the precious fruits of their industry, to
submitting to the violent seizure of their land, and
the intolerable stings of religious greed, and interference.
"We therefore, most respectfully commend Mr.
Duncan, and his mission, to such brothers and
friends in our sister country—the land of the free—
as may be disposed to use their influence, in aid of
the oppressed.
[Signed]
" E. Cridge,
Bishop, R.E.C.    Resident since 1854.
"B.
W. Pearse,
Formerly Surveyor General,
Van-
couver Island; also Chief Com
missioner  Lands and Vv
rbrks,
British Columbia; also Resident
Engineer,  P. W. Department,
Canada.    Resident since
1851.
"W
. J. Macdonald,
Life Senator of the Dominion
Par-
liament of Canada from
Brit-
ish Columbia.    Resident
since
1850.
" Turner, Beeton & Co.,
Merchants, British Columbia.
"J.
H. Turner,"
Member Provincial Parliamenl
, Vic-
toria, B. C. XI1
INTRODUCTION.
The touching appeal of these people, ought to stir
the heart, of every liberty-loving American citizen.
And it is to be hoped that Congress will secure
to them the small area of homestead-land, which
they require, out of the many million wild acres in
Alaska. Our Government would thereby gain several thousand, industrious, self-supporting, thrifty
settlers, as a powerful civilizing nucleus, whose
influence upon the yet wild, and savage tribes of the
great Arctic State, would be most beneficial.
My first acquaintance with this subject, dates from
a visit to the North Pacific in 1878, when I learned
much of Mr. Duncan's remarkable civilizing work.
From that time, I have kept myself well informed
in regard to his progress, and the element of discord
which now so seriously threatens to destroy his
prosperous community.
In writing The Story of Metlakahtla, I have
drawn information from official and other reports
of the North Pacific, dating from the time of Captain Cook's voyages to the present. Many of the
facts have been recounted to me personally by recent travellers and explorers.
I have also had access to the Metlakahtlans' correspondence with the Governments, and, with the
Church of England Missionary   Society;   and, to
5»®W^»S^^^^^^^_^^^||| INTRODUCTION. xiii
various State documents bearing upon the subject.
The chief object of this volume, is not to panegyrize either Mr. Duncan, or the Metlakahtlans, or to
make a tirade upon imaginary foes; but more is the
pity of it, it is, but, to place the story of the indubitable wrongs, of the Metlakahtlans before the American people, and enlist public sympathy. I have
assumed the task voluntarily, and solely, at my
own cost, and risk, and I hold myself responsible for
the statements I place before my readers; and challenge refutation.
I have no interest to serve, save that of humanity.
If the book should meet with sufficient success, to
yield a profit above the absolute cost of publication,
and distribution of a certain number of free, copies,
every penny of such net profit to me, shall go to the
public fund of the Metlakahtlan community.
In upholding the cause of the Metlakahtlans, I
have endeavored to urge upon my readers, a humane
consideration of all Aboriginal peoples; and I shall
feel more than repaid for ftiy efforts, if my words
should in any measure, result in promoting a better
understanding of their capacities, and a recognition
of what is due them as fellow-men.
To my critics, it is but just to myself to say, that XIV
INTRODUCTION.
in holding the chief object of the book in view, I
have been compelled to subjugate literary effect too
often to the recordance of heterogeneous facts.
Mr. Duncan has not come to the United States
begging for money, but merely seeks to secure to
these people actual homesteads, with suitable fishing and hunting grounds. However, it will cost
upwards of $50,000 to move their houses and effects, to a suitable location on the Alaskan coast.
Could some means be devised by which the burthen, of this heavy outlay could be lifted from their
shoulders, it would measurably relieve the Metlakahtlans from one of the greatest hardships in being
forced to abandon the homes of their forefathers.
It rests with our country, with its " government
of the people—by the people, and for the people "
to save this stricken community from desperation,
and perhaps, from bloodshed.
Henry S. Wellcome.
Lotos Club,
New York, May io, 1887. OBLIGATIONS.
To those to whom I am indebted for information, and for illustrations I extend my cordial appreciation and thanks. Among
these  I must particularly mention :
Mr. William Duncan for having at my solicitation placed at my
disposal requisite evidences and documents.
Mr. Robert Gordon Hardie for sketches from drawings, photographs and prints.
Dr. Sheldon Jackson for information and photographs, and also
for illustrations from his book "Alaska and the Missions of the
North Pacific Coast."
Col. Vincent Colyer for use of drawings made during his visit to
the North Pacific Coast.
Miss Alice Fletcher for valuable information on Indian laws and
legislation.
E. Ruhamah Scidmore for illustrations from "Journeys in
Alaska."
Julia McNair Wright for an illustration from "Among the Alaskans."
Rev. J. J. Halcombe for an illustration from " Stranger than
Fiction."
In quoting from authors I have given credit in the text. EXPLANATION.
Metlakahtla is pronounced Met-la-ksht-la.
Tsimshean is pronounced T'sim-she-an.
CAPITALS and Italics in quotations, I have
frequently taken the liberty of using at my own
discretion. H. S. W. CONTENTS.
CHAPTER I.
PAGE
Days of Peril, . . . . . i
CHAPTER II.
The Arcadian Village,      . . . . .22
CHAPTER III.
Halcyon Days, . . . . . -45
CHAPTER IV.
Earl Dufferin and Others Testify,     . . -99
CHAPTER V.
The Savage,  ....... 144
CHAPTER VI.
The Crisis,     ....... 169
CHAPTER VII.
Coercion and Turmoil,       ..... 215
CHAPTER VIII.
Casting the Toil,    ...... 252
J  ILLUSTRATIONS.
Portrait of William Duncan,
Facing Title Page.
Aboriginal House with Carved Totem Pole,
Dog-Eaters' Religious Orgies,
FACING PAGE
I
Legaic, Chief of all the Tsimshean Chiefs, attacking
Mr. Duncan,       .....
Gold and Silver Bracelets,
Sea Voyage in Native Canoe,
Legaic as a Simple Citizen and Carpenter,
A Native Belle, .....
Burning the Dead,   .
The Metlakahtla Church : Built Entirely by the
Natives,   . . . . .
The Devil Dance,     .....
Aboriginal Stockade, ....
Carved Medicine-rattles ; Cedar Tray ; Carved Pipe
Carved comb,      .....
Chief lying in State, ....
A Drummer of the Metlakahtla Brass-band,
A Native Violet,       .....
A Native Hopeful,    .....
12
30
36
40
62
86
128
148
JS4
178
196
210
224
250   mraHMrapaamMMgMMasBMiM
Mm
't
SrWz
ll^^^^^S^Mfelw^^^^^^H
native house with, carved totem pole. The Story of Metlakahtla.
CHAPTER I
DAYS   OF   PERIL.
A Civilizing work without parallel, alike remarkable for the original thought and genius displayed, and for the heroic courage in execution; is
that conceived and carried out by William Duncan,
in British Columbia, on the North Pacific coast,
near Alaska.
Captain (now Admiral) Prevost, returning to
England from a cruise in the North Pacific, excited
great public interest by his account of the terrible
state of barbarism that prevailed there. Mr. Duncan, sacrificed a highly lucrative position in a business house and started out for this field under the
auspices of the Church Missionary Society, taking
passage in a Hudson's Bay Company's sailing vessel,
which rounded Cape Horn. On reaching Vancouver Island, Sir James Douglas, then the governor
of the Hudson's Bay Company, urged in the strong- THE  STORY  OF METLAKAHTLA.
est possible terms the folly of his attempting to
civilize the murderous hordes of the North Pacific;
asserting that it would be a fruitless sacrifice of his
life. Notwithstanding this, Mr. Duncan, persisted
in his determination to go on, and he was taken to
Fort Simpson, a fortified trading post of the Hudson's Bay Company. This post was protected by
palisades of heavy timbers, massive gates, and
flanked by four bastions, with galleries on which
cannon were mounted, and strongly garrisoned with
riflemen.' Sentinels kept watch night and day.
So fearful were the commanding officers of the
treachery of the natives, that only two or three
were allowed to enter the stockade at a time; and
these were admitted only through a narrow angular
passage to the great store-room window, where they
might pass in their furs in barter for store-goods;
also, great care was taken not to display too many
fine goods, to excite their cupidity. During a siege
it was sometimes necessary to keep the gates constantly closed and barricaded for months at a time.
The walls of the fort, and roofs of the houses
within showed many marks of bullets of the Indians, fired while fighting among themselves or in attacking the post. Fort Simps6n was the centre of
an Indian settlement, consisting of nine Tsimshean
tribes, notorious on the whole coast for their cruel,
bloodthirsty savagery—given up to dark superstitions and atrocious habits of cannibalism—constantly
waging merciless war upon the neighboring tribes. DAYS  OF PERIL. 3
Their warfare was carried on with revolting cruelty,
and in taking captives they enslaved the women,
and children, and beheaded the men. As they did
not take scalps, the heads of their victims served as
their trophies of war, which—after the manner of
our own highly civilized ancestors in the last century—were borne home on the points of their
spears ; to afterward dangle from their girdles during their hideous devil dances.
Despite their atrocious barbarity, these people
showed evidence of superior intellectual capacity.
Their language, abounding in metaphors, is copious
and expressive, and with few exceptions the sounds
are soft, sweet, and flowing.
In front of every hut was erected a totem-pole,
elaborately carved with the figures of birds, or animals, or other objects designating the crest of the
clan to which the occupant belonged. Sometimes
the entire front of the hut was carved and stained to
represent the head and face of an animal or bird,
the mouth or beak of which served as a door-way.
Every article, whether canoe, fish-spear, war-club, or
spoon, served as examples of their skill in carving.
Among their various occupations; they wrought
and exquisitely engraved bracelets and other ornaments of gold, silver, and copper; and made baskets
and pouches, of a peculiar grass so closely woven as
to hold water, all embellished with unique heraldic
designs. THE STORY OF METLAKAHTLA.
A stranger on visiting a village, could always
claim, and was always certain, to receive entertainment at the hands of those of his own clan.
Before white men's customs were adopted they
produced fire by friction, by twirling rapidly be-,
tween their hands a pointed stick resting on the
edge of a split, against which was heaped a pinch of
tinder-bark teased into a fibre. They also boiled
water and cooked their food in Wooden bowls by
placing into them super-heated stones.
The sea, rivers, and forest supplied them with
food and raiment. Elk, deer, bear, mountain goat,
salmon, herring spawn, oolachan, clams, and clak-
kass, a ribbon-like seaweed similar to dulse pressed
into cakes, and berries; were their principal food.
The oolachan, or candle-fish, is rich in a butter-like
fat much prized and very nutritious ; this fish is so
inflammable when dried that when touched with a
flame it burns, and is used as a torch.
The coast is as rugged and fierce as the natives
who inhabit it. Battling the elements in their
struggle for life the savages actually seem to partake of the character of their surroundings. A warm
current from Japan setting in against their coast
moderates the temperature for a few leagues inland
—the season however is too short to ripen cereals.
The Tsimsheans' beliefs and superstitions, are
mainly based upon their rich fund of legendary
lore. They have a version of the creation, and of
the flood; they believe in a good and evil genius, DAYS  OF PERIL. 5
and in special deities who control the sea, the
storms, etc. They believe that the world was once
wrapped in utter darkness and inhabited only by
frogs. The frogs refusing to supply the devil with
oolachan, to be avenged he sneaked into heaven
and stole daylight, which was kept there in the
form of a ball, and broke it over their heads, and,
thus gave light to the world. The devil's chief
traits were lying and stealing. The world was at
one time very close to heaven, so very close, that,
the people in heaven, could hear the voices of those
on the earth, and, the people on earth, could hear
the voices of those in heaven;—the children of the
earth made such a clamour, that they disturbed the
great Shimanyet Lakkah, and he shoved the earth
a long way off. In the next world the good will
have the best quality of fish and game, while the
wicked will receive only that caught out of season
and of poorest quality.
The medicine-man, claiming direct intercourse
with the spirit-world, held great influence over the
people. He arranged himself, in the skin of a bear
or wolf, the head and muzzle of which formed a
helmet, the tushes falling about his temples; and a
hideously carved mask covered his face, armlets and
anklets of repulsive design encircled his shrivelled
limbs. To add to the ferocity of his appearance, the
exposed parts of his body were daubed with red and
black paint, and he was covered with pending charms,
such as dried skunk-skins, distended fish-bladders, iiiiii
THE  STORY  OF METLAKAHTLA.
tails of animals, feathers, rare shells, highly polished
little horns, eagles' claws, engraved bones and teeth,
which dangled about him as he advanced into the
room with a series of postures and jerks. Armed
with a mystic wand and a huge wooden rattle,
fashioned in the form of an eagle, with a demon
carved on its back pulling out a man's tongue with
its teeth, he proceeds aggressively, to overpower
and frighten away the evil spirit by giving vent to
a series of unearthly wailing and guttural sounds,
vehemently brandishing and marking time with the
rattle. However, if not successful in frightening
away the evil one by these noises, he begins to hack
the ailing part and suck or burn it out. The Shaman received a liberal retainer, in view of securing
his cleverest arts, in exorcising the invading demon.
This evil spirit was supposed to be sent by some
designing enemy; who if discovered was killed by
relatives of the afflicted. If the patient recovered
the Shaman received an additional fee, but, if he
died the fees must be forthwith returned, and sometimes, he also suffered death as a penalty for his
| bad medicine J "
One of the most marked characteristics of these
people is their inordinate personal pride and vanity—in fact, this is true of all the North Pacific
tribes. Because of a slight taunt or insult a man
will sometimes kill a slave or destroy all his property, believing thereby he wipes out the disgrace.
Some years ago an officer in charge of a division of ^Slte^
T^
SS^^.^
rr^^d^^^s^s^?? 3«i
dog-eaters' religious orgies,  DAYS  OF PERIL. 7
an Arctic search expedition; indiscreetly gave out
that he was about to send for a certain prominent
chief. Word of which reached the ears of the chief
in question, who was in the habit of being waited
upon, or the honor of his presence requested, so,
when the officer's emissaries arrived, they were
carved, and grilled, and eaten by the affronted chief
and his council—this to wipe out the insult.
It was the ambition of every Indian to accumu-'
late as much property as possible. Even depriving
himself and his family for many years, of the ordinary comforts of life in his hoarding, in order some
day to hold a great feast which should outrival in
display those given by his neighbors. On such an
occasion he gave away all his property, consisting
mainly of blankets—a common form of currency.
In doing this, he secured recognition as being a
great man in his tribe and thenceforth, took a certain prominent rank.
It is their custom to confine for one month in
an isolated cabin girls when attaining the age of
puberty, usually their thirteenth year. No one is
allowed to see them during this time, and it is
supposed that they are away on a voyage to the
moon, or to some other celestial abode; and at
the end of the month they return to their people
amid great feasting and rejoicing. It is on the occasion of a feast accompanying the Potlach, or giving away, or destroying of property; or, the return
of a maiden, or the initiating of youth into the WjBMHgBBHaffiaBg
E^sSsgSafflSa;
THE STORY  OF METLAKAHTLA.
mysteries of Shamanism, that dog-eating and cannibalism, devil-dancing and other wild revelries, occur.
Shortly after Mr. Duncan's arrival he witnessed,
while standing on the gallery of one of the bastions, a most sickening sight: a party of hideously
painted and bedecked cannibals, tearing limb from
limb, the body of a woman who had just been
foully murdered by a chief, each struggling for a
morsel of the human flesh, which they devoured,
accompanying their fiendish orgies with unearthly
howls, and weird beat of their medicine-drums.
Bespattered with the blood of their victim, maddened with rum, frenzied by their hysterical enthusiasm in these superstitious rites, they wrought
themselves into a wild and furious delirium, imitating ravenous wolves in their ferocity. These
ceremonies continued during the night, and were
followed by debaucheries lasting for several days,
during which most terrible atrocities were perpetrated, several of their number being slain, just
without the gates of the fort.
Such scenes as these well might quail the stoutest heart—but, on the contrary, to Mr. Duncan, they
proved a stimulus to his intrepid determination to
rescue them, from their benighted state.
In one of his letters he writes :—" To attempt to
describe their condition would be but to produce a
dark, revolting picture of human depravity. The
dark mantle of degrading superstition envelopes
them all, and their savage spirits, swayed by pride, DAYS  OF PERIL. 9
jealousy, and revenge, were ever hurrying them on to
deeds of blood. Their history is little else than a
chapter of crime and misery." Without a moment's
delay he secured the services of Clah, one of the
most intelligent Tsimshean natives, to assist him in
learning their language in his quarters within the
walls of the fort. No white man having yet mastered their tongue, all intercourse with these people
had been through the medium of the Chinook jargon, and, a sign language common to the coast.
The jargon, however, was too incomplete for teaching purposes, hence, Mr. Duncan, saw that to reach
the inner life of the people, he must gain a thorough
knowledge of the language, in which they formulated their thoughts.
With great patience and rare ingenuity, by means
of signs, gestures, and objects, Mr. Duncan soon
secured from Clah a fair vocabulary of Tsimshean
words, which he wrote down phonetically, and as
soon as possible began to construct sentences. At
the end of several months he was able to write out
a simple address, explanatory of his mission among
them. However, in the meantime, through Clah, he
had already conveyed to the Indians, the information
that a white man had come, not, to barter, or get
gain, but to bring them a message from the white
man's God, and to teach them the knowledge of
those things in which the white man, was superior
to the red man. This naturally excited the curiosity of the Indians, and finally, when Mr. Duncan, IO
THE STORY  OF  METLAKAHTLA.
ventured out among them, in spite of the warning
of the officers of the fort, he was warmly received
by the chiefs and people, who regarded him, as some
supernatural being.
In deference to their tribal customs, Mr. Duncan,
found it necessary to speak to the people of each
of the nine Tsimshean tribes, at the houses of their
respective chiefs, during the same day. In some
instances, when Mr. Duncan, saw that the people
gave more attention to his buttons, or the cut of
his garments, than to his words; he repeated his
address until they did listen and comprehend his
Mr. Duncan, had not ventured to address them
until he felt certain he could make himself clearly
understood. He had made it a special study to
acquire their picturesque and expressive figures of
speech. Literal translations into Indian tongues
are very barren, and often extremely droll. One
dignitary of the Church, who began his address to
a coast tribe—" Children of the forest"—was not a
little confused when he found that his interpreter
could only render it, in the Chinook jargon, Tanass
■man cupah hyyu stick—signifying, little men among
many sticks or stumps.
In the simplest possible manner, after their own
method framing his speech in that peculiar figurative language that appealed most directly to their
understanding, Mr. Duncan, told them the story of
the  Bible,  and  the  Saviour,  Jesus  Christ;   and DAYS  OF PERIL. II
pointed out to them the grave sin of taking human
life; and the abomination of their present heathenish practices; and pictured to thenxthe benefits of a
true Christian life.
Mr. Duncan, opened a school at the house of one
of the chiefs. This school was eagerly attended
both by children and adults. Finding the Indians
so responsive, he, with the assistance of a few of
his most zealous followers, erected a log school-
house. In this new building his work prospered.
Soon he had an attendance of about two hundred
pupils, including children and adults, among the
latter being numbered several chiefs. There was evidently a general desire for instruction, and a strong
feeling prevailed that the white man, possessed
some grand secret about eternal things which, even
if it involved the overthrow of their most cherished
superstitions, they were intensely anxious to know.
By frequent visitation to the houses of the people
of all classes, and by searching out and ministering
to the sick, he gained a fair insight into their lives,
familiarized himself with their customs, and unlocked a special entrance to their hearts.
" He who would gain
A fond, full heart,        ....
Should seek it when 'tis sore, allay its pain,
With balm by pity prest: 'tis all his own so held."
—Zophiel.
The Shamans,  or medicine-chiefs, saw  in   Mr.
Duncan's teachings  the utter destruction of their 12
THE STORY  OF METLAKAHTLA.
craft, for with education and enlightenment ultimately the people would cease to believe in their empty
sorceries; therefore, they determined to thwart him.
One day he received notice from Legaic, the head
chief of all the tribes, to stop his school for a month
during the season of the Medicine Feast. Recognizing that compliance would be regarded as a surrender, he firmly refused to close his school so long
as pupils came to be taught. Legaic threatened the
lives of Mr. Duncan and his pupils if he did not
yield.
Mr. Duncan, fearlessly continued his work, and
that day struck the steel which served as a bell to
call the children together as usual. Finding he
was not to be intimidated by threats, Legaic, followed by a party of medicine-men, all hideously
painted, and decked in feathers and charms, rushed
into the school. The scholars fled from fear, but
Mr. Duncan, met Legaic face to face, and believing
that they expected to overcome him by their numbers and frightful appearance, he spoke in a calm
and conciliatory tone ; pointing out the evil of their
ways, urging them to accept his teachings—at the
same time assuring them that their threats would
be without avail. Legaic, who was fired with drink,
and in a furious passion savagely gesticulating, replied that he himself, and his companions were
murderers, and the white man's teachings could do
them no good. Mr. Duncan, continued to address
them pacifically.   At one moment, Legaic, appeared
SWSSKWSSSS^^   DAYS  OF PERIL. 13
to weaken, but one of his confederates taunted him;
and demanded, if he had valor, then, to cut off the
white man's head, and he would kick it on the beach.
Legaic's pride was stung by this and he drew his
knife, and was about to make a thrust, when suddenly his arm fell as if smitten with paralysis, and
he cowed and slunk away.
Unknown to Mr. Duncan, Clah, his faithful pupil-
teacher,—who had himself been a murderer previous
to his conversion,—hearing of Legaic's designs, had
armed himself with a revolver and crept quietly into
the school-house; just at the moment Legaic lifted
his knife to strike, Clah stepped behind Mr. Duncan,
and it was the sight of this defender that repulsed
the would-be assassin.
One day while addressing his congregation, Mr.
Duncan, noticed that the renowned warrior Cush-
waht, suddenly rose, gave him a fierce look, and
dashed out of the house as if in a rage. After, the
service he learned that Cushwaht, was mortally
offended at a portion of his sermon, and was | talking bad" saying; that Mr. Duncan, had told all the
people about his bad ways. In reality Mr. Duncan,
had only been enumerating and condemning the
wrong-doings of all those who still continued their
heathen practices. Cushwaht's own pricked conscience had accepted the moral challenge.
It was this savage warrior who had incited Legaic,
by his demand for Mr. Duncan's head, and later on
had sought to kill Mr. Duncan, and failing in his
J H
THE STORY  OF  METLAKAHTLA.
attempt, he vented his wrath by wantonly smashing
all the windows of the school-house. While on a
trading trip to Victoria he committed some violent
deed, for which he was publicly whipped, and then
imprisoned. Mr. Duncan, being in Victoria at the
time, Cushwaht sent entreating him to come to
him. The clement man went, and found the desperado in a cell, pale and haggard; completely
crushed now, contritely suing for his intercession—
he said:—
I You did not punish me, when I attempted your
life, and did you great wrongs; but, God has punished me bitterly:—forgive me :—and I will be
good :—-you have great influence with the white
chief:—pity me :—ask him to free me :—let me go
home:—the white chief, will surely do what you
ask."
Mr. Duncan pleaded for the release of this penitent miscreant, and vouched for his deportment.
The government acceded immediately; placing him
in the custody of Mr. Duncan, who sent him forthwith to Fort Simpson; where after living a better life, for some months he was stricken down
with small-pox. The contagiousness of his malady,
necessitated his sequestration; and he was sheltered
in a tent on the beach. As the fear of contagion,
would prevent the celebration of his death, with the
usual pomp and ceremony for one of his distinction;
it was his dying request that his death should be
marked by the firing of a cannon ; and, the hoisting DAYS  OF PERIL. 15
of a flag over his tent. The Tsimsheans faithfully
carried out the behest, of this once cruel and merciless warrior, whose name had been a terror in all
that region.
During the first few years of Mr. Duncan's work
among the Tsimsheans, he witnessed many scenes
of violence and bloodshed : their recounting would
alone fill a volume; however, it is not my purpose
to chronicle these events, only insomuch as they go
to illustrate the character of the people, and the dangers he encountered. On several occasions he narrowly escaped assassination, but by his fearlessness
and earnest, unselfish devotion to their welfare, he
gradually won their confidence and drew about him
a goodly band of faithful followers.
In striving to induce these people to abandon
their barbarous customs, Mr. Duncan, perceived he
must show them evidence of material advantages
to be gained in adopting the new life. He recognized a fact which has, unfortunately, been so little
appreciated in the past by those attempting to civilize heathen people; hence, the comparatively few
marked successes.
Mr. Henry M. Stanley, one of the greatest students of the savage mind, and one whose vast practical experience enables him to speak with authority,
is fully alive to this point. In his book " Through
the Dark Continent] 'he says:—
I It is strange how British philanthropists, clerical and lay, persist in the delusion that the Africans cas^n
tm.
16
THE STORY  OF  METLAKAHTLA.
can be satisfied with spiritual improvement only.
They should endeavor to impress themselves with
the undeniable fact that man—white, yellow, red or
black—has also material wants which crave to be
understood and supplied. A barbarous man is a
pure materialist. He is full of cravings for possessing something that he cannot describe. He is like
a child which has not yet acquired the faculty of
articulation. The missionary discovers the barbarian almost stupefied with brutish ignorance with the
instincts of the man in him, but yet living the life
of a beast. Instead of attempting to develop the
qualities of this practical human being, he instantly
attempts his transformation by expounding to him
the dogmas of the Christian faith, the doctrine of
transubstantiation, and other difficult subjects, before the barbarian has had time to articulate his
necessities and to explain to him that he is a frail
creature, requiring to be fed with bread, and not
with a stone.
" My experience and study of the pagan proves
to me, however, that if the missionary can show the
poor materialist that religion is allied with substantial benefits and improvements of his degraded
condition, the task to which he is about to devote
himself will be rendered comparatively easy. For
the African once brought in contact with the European becomes docile enough; he is awed by a consciousness of his own immense inferiority, and imbued with a vague hope that he may also rise in
^SNWWfflSTOHSMWWNI DAYS  OF PERIL. * 17
time to the level of this superior being who has so
challenged his admiration. It is the story of Caliban
and Stefano over again. He comes to him with a
desire to be taught, and seized with an ambition to
aspire to a higher life, becomes docile and tractable;
but to his surprise, he perceives himself mocked by
this being, who talks to him about matters that he
despairs of ever understanding, and therefore, with
abashed face and a still deeper sense of his inferiority, he retires to his den, cavern, or hut, with a dogr
ged determination to be contented with the brutish
life he was born in.
" It is not the mere preacher that is wanted here.
The Bishops of Great Britain, collected with all the
classic youth of Oxford and Cambridge, would
effect nothing, by mere talk with the intelligent
people of Uganda. It is the practical Christian
tutor who can teach people how to become Christians, cure their diseases, construct dwellings, understand and exemplify agriculture, and turn his hand
to anything, like a sailor—this is the man who is
wanted. Such an one, if he can be found, would become the saviour of Africa. He must be tied to no
church or sect, but profess God and his Son and
the moral law, and live a blameless Christian, inspired by liberal principles, charity to all men and
devout faith in Heaven. He must belong to no
nation in particular, but to the entire white race."
Of the missionaries who went to Central Africa,
disregarding Mr. Stanley's warnings, several have 18
THE  STORY   OF  METLAKAHTLA.
been brutally murdered, and others are now held
captive, while nations ripe for practical missionary work, first, became confused by the theogonies
which, were injudiciously urged upon them by missionaries of rival sects, and of rival nations; then,
out of this discord was bred suspicion, which has
developed into absolute hostility.
The plan which Mr. Stanley, recommended for
Central Africa is practically the same as that inaugurated by Mr. Duncan, in 1857 among the Tsimsheans.
Mr. Duncan, found these people extremely filthy
in their persons and in their homes. With the well-
known precept in view, he secured an abatement in
the price of soap, and, after removal to Metlakahtla,
he taught them the art of soap-making—Formerly
they had been obliged to pay one mink-skin, valued
at about one dollar, for a piece of common bar-soap
the thickness of one finger; whereas, he produced a
whole large bar for a sixpence. This little industry,
though very simple, had a marked effect upon the
minds of the people. However, this was but the
beginning of the introduction of many other peaceful industries, for it was evident to Mr. Duncan,
that in elevating these people and introducing civilized habits of life he was imposing increased expenditures, and in consequence they must find new
sources of income; furthermore, he realized that
idleness was always a source of danger.
However, the Hudson's Bay Company, saw in
SKSSSKSSSSSSSSSS^^ DAYS  OF PERIL. ig
these industries an interference with their traffic
with the Indians, and began to offer opposition.
At the end of four years Mr. Duncan, found, as
the result of his devoted labors, that he could muster a fair number of sincere converts; but these
were subject to the temptations incident to a trading post, especially as regards drunkenness. Also,
he deplored the retrograding influence of constant
intercourse with those natives who continued their
heathenish rites, and who sought in every possible
way to destroy the work of the Christian white man.
It is not fair to presuppose that these Indians, with
their immature intellects, would be less susceptible
to temptations than their more enlightened white
brethren.
One of the most serious difficulties in reforming
the women lay in the practice of the parents selling their daughters, and that the men hired out
their wives and slaves to white men for prostitution. In holding slaves as their concubines, not
unfrequently the white traders left children of their
own blood in slavery.
In consideration of these obstacles Mr. Duncan, resolved to remove his followers from their pernicious
surroundings, and establish an isolated model community. He selected for this purpose a place called
Metlakahtla, about twenty miles from Fort Simpson, the site of one of the ancient Tsimshean villages,
which had been abandoned by the natives some
years before, to join the trading settlement at Fort iillPiiiiil
20
THE STORY  OF  METLAKAHTLA.
Simpson. Metlakahtla presented the advantages
of good and convenient fishing and hunting grounds,
a good harbor, and a suitable soil for gardening—
besides, Nature had modelled its surroundings on
a plan of remarkable beauty and grandeur.
For more than a year before the time fixed upon
for removing to the new location Mr. Duncan, circulated among the people a set of rules, announcing that he should require all those who joined
him to subscribe to them.
These rules are as follows :
1. To give up their " Ahlied," or Indian deviltry.
2. To cease calling in " Shamans," or medicinemen, when sick.
3. To cease gambling.
4. To cease giving away their property for display.
5. To cease painting their faces.
6. To cease indulging in intoxicating drinks.
7. To rest on the Sabbath.
8. To attend religious instruction.
9. To send their children to school.
10. To be cleanly.
11. To be industrious.
12. To be peaceful.
13. To be liberal and honest in trade.
14. To build neat houses.
15. To pay the village tax.
On  the  day appointed  for  the  removal,   fifty
souls—men, women, and children—were ready to
iSSSSSS^SSSSSSSSWWSSSSS^^^S^ DAYS  OF  PERIL. 21
start, and others promised soon to follow. Mr.
Duncan, had pulled down his school-house, and
formed the materials into a raft to be navigated to
Metlakahtla harbor. He, describes as extremely
solemn and impressive the embarkation of his little
flock in their six canoes, freighted with their belongings, while the whole population turned out to
witness their departure and say farewells. Some
earnest in their protestations that they too would
soon join them, others faltering with indecision,
many predicting failure and return, and not a few,
headed by the Shamans, were openly hostile to the
movement.
Thus, firm in their adherence to the leadership
of their good master, they set sail for their New
Home. 22
THE STORY OF METLAKAHTLA.
CHAPTER II.
THE ARCADIAN VILLAGE.
On landing at Metlakahtla, Mr. Duncan, and his
Indian converts began immediately to erect huts
and a school-house, which also served as a church.
Mr. Duncan, was greatly encouraged and strengthened in his cherished project; when within a week
after their arrival, a fleet of thirty canoes came from
Fort Simpson; bringing recruits to the number of
nearly three hundred, including two chiefs.
The difficulties experienced in organizing and
governing a new community, composed of such
crude material, were very great. Mr. Duncan, wisely began by placing upon the people themselves
much of the responsibility. So closely was their
purity and integrity guarded, that every candidate
for membership to the community, must be acceptable to all, and subscribe to the rules in public assembly. He organized a village council of twelve including three chiefs who had joined him; and, a
native constabulary force.
The council was consulted on all important matters relating to the welfare of the village, however,
Mr. Duncan, sometimes found it necessary to act
SSSSSSSSiSSS^SiWWS^ THE  ARCADIAN  VILLAGE. 23
arbitrarily and disregard their opinions, as their clannish prejudices, inconsistencies, and oblique ideas
of justice, often made their sitting in judgment very
anomalous, especially in passing upon the offences
of their own people. With time and experience,
under the careful guidance of so just a man; they
gradually imbibed ideas of equity, and as their sense
of justice expanded greater reliance was reposed in
them.
Various public works were required and consequently a tax was necessary. This was fixed at one
blanket, valued at $2.50, for each male adult, and
one shirt, valued at $1, for such as were approaching
manhood. The first assessment yielded to the exchequer the following unique returns :—One green,
one blue, and ninety-four white blankets; one pair
white trousers, one dressed elk-skin, seventeen shirts,
and seven dollars.
Their public works consisted in digging drains,
making roads, fixing rests and slides for their canoes
to serve all tides; erecting two large houses for the
accommodation of strange Indians who came to
trade, thus avoiding too intimate mingling of his
people with their uncleansed and barbarous visitors.
They dug wells and formed a public common and
play-ground.
Their instructor seemed mindful of all their natural wants, regarding evil as frequently but nature
perverted, hence in displacing gambling and other
objectionable games, which had previously served <v?3S
24
THE STORY  OF  METLAKAHTLA.
as a pastime among them, he introduced and encouraged cheerful and rational amusements, especially among the young, such as games of foot-ball,
marbles, gymnastic-bars, swings, etc.
In carrying out the public works Mr. Duncan,
had in view not only the material comforts of his
people, but also the necessity to occupy their
minds and energies, as well as to develop in them a
desire to improve their condition. With the same
object he introduced new trades, encouraged and
facilitated their ancient industries of hunting, fishing, and gathering berries, and arranged for the
exportation of their various products, such as salt
and smoked fish, fish-oil, dried fruits, and furs.
Owing to the want of capital, civilization tended
to impoverishment of the Indians, by calling for an
increased outlay in their expenses, without augmenting their income. Notwithstanding, an earnest
desire for progress and enlightenment; the native
mind was not fertile in conceiving fresh and permanent modes of industry; therefore, it became necessary for their leader to think out for them, new
sources of revenue.
All did not run smoothly in Mr. Duncan's aggressive movements to wrest the heathen from the
thraldom of their abominations; at every step in
the beginning, he encountered insidious resistance.
Slavery with attendant horrors almost indescribable, was common throughout the entire North Pacific country, on Mr. Duncan's arrival. THE ARCADIAN  VILLAGE. 2$
From the time of the earliest voyagers to this
region, explorers and travellers have recorded the
most revolting cruelties practised upon the slaves.
Mears in his " Voyages to the Northwest Coast of
America " writes :—
" The number of Maquilla's slaves were very considerable, not only at Nootka, but in other parts
of his territories. And when the fatal day arrived
which was to be celebrated by the feast of a human
victim, a certain number of these slaves, were assembled in the house of the sovereign chief, who
selected the object to be eaten by him and his
guests, in the following curious manner:—the inferior chiefs were invited to partake of the ceremonies which were appointed to precede it:—these
consisted of singing the war song, dancing round
the fire, and fomenting the flames by throwing
oil into them. A bandage is then tied over the
eyes of Maquilla, who in this blindfold state is to
seize a slave. His activity in the pursuit, with the
dread and exertions of these unhappy wretches in
avoiding it, form another part of this inhuman business. But it is seldom a work of delay,—some one of
these slaves is soon caught; death instantly follows,
—the devoted carcass is immediately cut in pieces,
and its reeking portions distributed to the guests:
when an universal shout of those who have escaped
declares the joy of their deliverance."
It has been the custom of many tribes up to
our day, to sacrifice, the life of a slave to wipe out HH
■-•d^^SSi
26
THE  STORY  OF METLAKAHTLA.
an insult, or on the grave of his master that he
should go to the other world attended, as became
his dignity.
Chiefs and other important men often celebrated
the erection of their houses, by planting the four
posts, on the bleeding bodies of slaves slaughtered
for the occasion. Slaves were marked by having
their hair cropped short. They were subjected to
all manner of abuse, sold and hired out for prostitution, and at death their bodies were cast into the
sea, or were feasted upon by cannibals.
Even within close proximity to the white settlements the vile traffic in human beings was open, and
common. Touching this topic Whymper writes, of
Victoria, B. C.:—
" These Indian slaves squatting in considerable
numbers in the bush, for what purpose it is not
difficult to imagine, and the extent to which'the
nefarious practices referred to are encouraged by the
crews of her Majesty's ships, is a disgrace to the
service they represent, and a scandal to the country.
Hundreds of dissipated white men, moreover, live
in open concubinage with these wretched creatures.
So unblushingly is this traffic carried on, that I have
seen the husband and wife of a native family, canvassing from one miner's shanty to another with
a view of making assignations for the clootchman
(squaws) .in their possession. On one occasion I
saw an Indian woman offering to dispose of her
own child, the offspring of the guilty alliance with
KS&S
SHSSSSiNISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS^^S^SSSS^^^^^ THE ARCADIAN VILLAGE. 27
a white man, for $31, at the door of a respectable
white dwelling."—" Travels in Alaska." London,
1868.
D. G. F. McDonald, C.E., writes: — " These
wretched slaves are horribly abused. They are
made to do all the filthy work under the torture of
the lash, which their fellow-savage lays on unmercifully. Should such enormities be perpetrated, or
their continuance be allowed, in a British colony ?
Surely slavery is a curse so intolerable and degraded
that it ought not to be suffered to exist, even for a
single hour."
Upon the matter of slavery the Bishop of Columbia writes :—" Slavery has increased. Female slaves
are in demand. Distant tribes make war upon each
other, and bring their female slaves to the market.
You will hardly credit it, but it is strictly true,
women are purchased as slaves to let them out for
immoral purposes. A female slave has been known
recently to be purchased for $200 (^40)."—"British
Columbia''    London, 1862.
While at Fort Simpson, Mr. Duncan, found it
impossible to do more, than urge upon the people
the iniquity and injustice, of holding their fellow-
men in servile bondage. But, as soon as he was
firmly established at Metlakahtla, he devoted himself arduously to freeing all slaves who came within his range of power, and also, harbored fugitives,
until they could be restored to the native tribes
from which they, or their ancestors had been seized. 28
THE STORY OF METLAKAHTLA.
As may be expected this called down upon him the
retaliatory fury of many powerful chiefs, among
whom was the treacherous Sebassah who ultimately
was convicted for the murder of two white men.
He and his confederates confessed the crime, he
was condemned to death, but on the recommendation of Mr. Duncan, this sentence was commuted to
five years' surveillance at Metlakahtla.
For his determined rescue of slaves Mr. Duncan's
life was many times endangered, but he was heartily
supported by the Metlakahtlans, and he continued
his humane work in defiance of all threats. Finally
Metlakahtla became known as an asylum of emancipation, and slaves from all parts of British Columbia and Alaska, sought a refuge within its sheltering
precincts. As the result of the bold onslaught upon
slavery begun by Mr. Duncan, to-day the practice
has greatly diminished, and is now I believe only
common among the inland tribes of British Columbia and Alaska.
One of the most serious difficulties to be dealt
with was the sale of intoxicating liquors. White
men trading along the coast in small sailing vessels
made liquor selling their principal business. Some
Indians also engaged in this traffic by means of their
canoes. Their visits to Indian camps were invariably
followed by brutal outrages, usually with murder and
not unfrequently intertribal wars. By strictly prohibiting indulgence or traffic in intoxicating liquors,
within  his  own  precincts,   Mr.  Duncan, at  once
!>MTO!<MtS88i!SSS«5SSS^^ THE ARCADIAN VILLAGE. •      29
brought himself into collision with these traders,
and earned their eternal hatred. Being vested by
the government with the powers of a magistrate,
he found it necessary to exercise his functions, by
fining and imprisoning several of the liquor traders;
and finally, as an example, seized the vessel of one
who defied his authority and burned it on the beach.
The owner, on returning to Victoria, in fitting out
a new liquor-selling vessel, out of spite named it
I The Duncan."
One of the white traders imprisoned at Metlakahtla was singularly enough converted during his
term of imprisonment, by the Indian guard, whose
exemplary Christian life so impressed him, that
he abandoned the nefarious traffic and became a
Christian. However, some of these traders even
went so far as to threaten Mr. Duncan's life, and
did kill one of his constables and wound several
others while attempting to make arrests. On one
occasion a party of Kitahmaht Indians landed a
quantity of liquor : Mr. Duncan, at once caused it
to be seized. The Kitahmahts, out of revenge for
this, stole a little boy belonging to Metlakahtla,
while he was on a fishing expedition with his parents. He was worried to death, and literally torn
to pieces and devoured by these cannibals!
To this was added the hostility of the Hudson's
Bay Company's agents, who regarded Mr. Duncan's
introduction of the trades and industries of civilization as undermining their close monopoly.    They m
30
THE STORY  OF  METLAKAHTLA.
would no longer bring his supplies in their vessels.
From this time forth the Hudson's Bay Company's
agent and the coast traders lost no opportunity to
revile him, charging that his mission was simply a
private money-making scheme ; therefore, he had as
his sworn enemies not only the slave-traders and the
Shamans and chiefs, who saw him destroying their
power and influence; but also the white traders of
the coast, who were plotting for his overthrow and
that of his mission.
Just at this time there fell upon the coast a fearful plague of small-pox, destroying thousands of
lives, and spreading universal destitution and terror.
Five hundred Tsimsheans alone succumbed to its
ravages. Thanks to the wise sanitary precautions
taken by Mr. Duncan, who vaccinated all who came
to him, only five deaths occurred among his original
settlers who came with him from Fort Simpson, and
several of these contracted the fatal malady while
caring for outside sufferers.
But the ravages of this scourge along the coast
caused frightful misery and suffering. Seeing so
many fellow-creatures stricken down on all sides
about them, the Indians were so demoralized with
terror that they could hardly be induced, during its
depressing reign, to continue their avocations; and
trading between the tribes was almost wholly suspended. Mr. Duncan, humanely sent succor far
and near, and numbers flocked to him for assistance;
he ministered to them as far as possible, always
iSSSSSNSSSSSSSSSSS^^ ''filW^Siiii^
gold and silver bracelets. 8S8SWSSI!555^S
SSS^SSSS^^S^SSWSfi THE ARCADIAN VILLAGE. 31
guarding the welfare and safety of his own people
as his prime duty. His heroic conduct and indefatigable devotion during this trying ordeal, was not
lost upon the Indians.
These were certainly grave difficulties to be met
single-handed by a lone white man, with an infant
community of but half-enlightened savages. But
the brave man who had not feared to face death, in
the performance of the work to which he had so
nobly dedicated himself, did not falter.
He determined to purchase a vessel, and thereby
secure independent transportation. For this purpose he obtained subscriptions from his Indians in
sums of five dollars to ten dollars, paid in their products ; in total amounting to an equivalent of four
hundred dollars ; then, appealing to the government,
he secured a contribution of five hundred dollars
(this latter sum being afterward apportionately refunded), and added the deficit of six hundred dollars from his own private funds, and purchased a
schooner costing fifteen hundred dollars.
During the first voyage this schooner made down
the coast to Victoria Mr. Duncan, was obliged to
navigate the vessel himself. It proved a highly remunerative investment, carrying their own products
down the coast, and bringing up various goods to
supply their own wants, and for traffic with the
neighboring tribes.
At the end of a few months a handsome dividend was declared on each share.    This part of the 32
THE  STORY  OF  METLAKAHTLA.
proceedings somewhat puzzled the Indians, who,
when the money was paid to them, imagined that
they must necessarily be parting with their interest in the vessel. As soon, however, as the matter was made clear to them, they evinced their appreciation by calling it " Kahah," or " Slave," signifying that it did all the work, and that they reaped
all the profit. His own share of the profits Mr. Duncan, devoted entirely to the objects of his mission.
An important step in these commercial developments, was, the establishment of a village store on
the plan of a co-operative stock company, in which
each villager held at least one share. This institution also served as a savings-bank. Blankets,
furs, etc., were received, and the value credited as
a deposit, upon which a yearly interest of ten per
cent, was allowed. On the payment of the first
year's interest some of the Indians were surprised,
for they imagined that they ought instead, to pay
for the safe-keeping of their treasures. It was, indeed, a revelation when they found that their ten
blankets had " swollen " (to use their quaint expression) to eleven! It was their first idea of usury.
Formerly, in storing up their furs and blankets in
their own huts, they became injured and depreciated
by mildew and insects.
After a time, prosperity began to smile upon this
novel Arcadian community. The untiring zeal and
energy of their leader, enabled them to override the
many obstacles which had threatened their progress. THE ARCADIAN  VILLAGE. 33
The minds of the people exhibited signs of development, and their benefactor was alive to the requirements of their advancing intellects; he delivered
simple lectures, illustrated by maps and a stere-
opticon; on history, geography, astronomy, natural
history, and morals. He was at one and the same
time pastor, missionary, secretary, treasurer, magistrate, school-master, physician, carpenter, builder,
chief-trader, friend and adviser.
The growing exigencies, demanded modifications
in the form and organization of the village government, also new and modified laws. The native
council was increased in numbers and was made an
elective body, without compensation; they were
allowed to wear a badge of office on special occasions. The constabulary force was also increased,
and free uniforms were supplied; the-constables received a small remuneration when on duty. The
entire male population was divided into ten companies, each having an equal number of councilmen
and constables, who acted as monitors; and, in order
to enlist the younger men in the public weal, a fire
brigade was organized of six companies, ten men in
each company.
At one of these elections a little incident occurred
that would amuse some politicians. The ballot in
favor of a candidate for the council must be unanimous, in order to secure election. On one occasion
a black ball was cast, and as the nominee enjoyed
an excellent reputation, Mr. Duncan, gave out that 34
THE  STORY OF  METLAKAHTLA.
[f
he would like to see the dissenter privately. Early
the next morning the individual called, and explained that on a certain day, the candidate had
been given one dollar too much change at a store,
and had asked him if he ought to keep it—
I He ought to have known himself that he ought
to be honest without asking me! That, is why I
thought he ought not to be a councillor."
These people, just wrested from dark superstitions and vicious habits, and liable to the natural
weaknesses of mankind, required the most anxious
watch-care. And, as was to be expected, some
transgressions of the rules occurred. Those guilty
of offences of a grave character such as threatening
or attempting bloodshed, after being adjudged by
Mr. Duncan, and the council, and condemned, were
publicly whipped by Mr. Duncan. This was the
severest form of punishment inflicted, which occurred only four or five times and one much dreaded;
for the inherent pride and vanity of the people
caused them to regard it as a stinging disgrace.
Banishment, was also resorted to, in the cases of
some incorrigible malefactors. A very novel mode
of dealing with a certain class of offences was the
hoisting of a black flag over the prison ; whenever
this flag was raised the people inquired of each
other, I Who is the offender ?" and soon public
opinion made it so warm for him, that he was obliged to make ample amends or quit the village.
To keep pace with the general moral and mental
NSSSSfSSSSSSSSSSSW!^^
sssssssssss THE ARCADIAN  VILLAGE. 35
progress, and furnish them with the comforts and
conveniences of modern civilization, it was necessary
to improve the dwellings, and, it was decided to
pull down all the old houses and erect new ones.
The new town was laid out in lots of 60 by 120
feet, on each to be erected a double house. As the
new dwellings were to be substantial and commodious, and somewhat beyond their means, Mr.
Duncan, pledged himself to assist them in lumber to
the amount of $60 for each double house. A new
church, seating 1,200 people, a town-hall, dispensary,
reading-room, market-house, blacksmith, carpenter,
cooper, and tin shops; work-sheds, and a soap-factory were built. And not the least important undertaking, was the building of a massive sea-wall to
protect the village. In order to carry out the proposed improvements, it was necessary to erect a
water-power saw-mill. One old Indian who heard
that Mr. Duncan intended to make water saw wood,
said :—
I If it is true that Mr. Duncan, can make water
saw wood, I will see it and then die !"
And thus prosperity continued. The public improvements were largely the result of the profits accruing from the schooner, the store, and the trading
expeditions of the villagers, but were assisted by
the contributions of friends of the mission and Mr.
Duncan's private funds. As time passed on, one
practical trade and industry after another was
added—the people were kept busy and happy.   Mr. 36
THE STORY  OF METLAKAHTLA.
Duncan, paid a flying visit to England in 1870,
during which he procured machinery and learned
various trades, such as weaving, rope-making, twine-
spinning, brush-making, etc. During his stay he
learned the gamut of several instruments, and on his
return to Metlakahtla; gratified the musical tastes
of the people, by organizing a brass band of twenty-
one instruments, which has long since gained great
renown on the coast. And an organ was placed in
the church.
Had Mr. Duncan, at any time doubted the Indians' appreciation of his labors, every vestige of this
must have been dispelled; when on his return from
England, the population of his ideal mission paid
him all the honors that they could have accorded
to a king. His brief absence had seemed to them
an age. The touching incidents of this greeting
are best recounted in his own modest words :—
" The news of my arrival travelled to Metlakahtla,
and on the following morning a large canoe arrived
from there to fetch me home. The happy crew,
whose hearts seemed brimful of joy at seeing me
back, gave me a very warm welcome. I at once
decided to leave the steamer and proceed at once
to Metlakahtla with my Indian friends, who assured me that the village was in a great state of excitement at the prospect of my return. We were
favored with a strong, fair wind, and with two sails
up, we dashed along merrily through a boiling sea.
I now felt I was indeed homeward bound.     My 2
%  THE  ARCADIAN  VILLAGE. 37
happy friends, having nothing to do but to watch
the sails and sit still, could give free vent to their
long-pent-up feelings, and so they poured out one
piece of news after another in rapid succession, and
without any regard to order, or the changes their
reports produced upon my feelings ; thus we had
good and bad, solemn and frivolous news, all mixed
indiscriminately.
I On sighting the village, in accordance with a
preconcerted arrangement, a flag was hoisted over
our canoe, as a signal to the villagers that I was on
board. Very soon we could discern quite a number
of flags flying over the village, and Indians hurrying
toward the place of landing. Before we reached
the beach large crowds had assembled to greet merf
On my stepping out of the canoe, bang went a cannon, and when fairly on my feet bang went another.
Then some of the principal people stepped away
from the groups and came forward, hats off, and
saluted me warmly. On my advancing, the corps
of constables discharged their muskets, then all
hats were doffed, and a general rush to seize my hand
ensued. I was now hemmed in with the crowds of
solemn faces, many exhibiting intense emotion,
and eyes glistening with tears of joy. In struggling my way to the mission-house, I had nearly
overlooked the school children. The dear little
ones had been posted in order on one side, and were
standing in mute expectation of a recognition. I
patted a few on the head, and then with my feel-
™«- 38
THE  STORY  OF  METLAKAHTLA.
ings almost overcome, I pressed my way to my
house. How sweet it was to find myself again in
my own little room; and sweeter still to thank God
for all His preserving care over me. As numbers
of the people were pressing into and crowding my
house, I ordered the church bell to be rung. At
once they hurried to the church, and when I entered it was filled. Such a sight! After a minute's
silence we joined in thanksgiving to God, after
which I addressed the assembly for about twenty
minutes. This concluded, I set off, accompanied by
several leading Christian men, to visit the sick and
very aged, whom I was told were anxiously begging
to see me. The scenes that followed were very affecting. Many assured me that they had constantly
prayed to God to be spared to see me once again,
and God had answered their prayers and revived
their hearts after much weeping. On finishing my
visit I made up doses of medicine for several of the
sick, and then sat down for a little refreshment.
Again my house becoming crowded, I sat down with
about fifty for a general talk. I gave them the
special messages from Christian friends which I had
down in my note-book, told them how much we
were prayed for by many Christians in England,
and scanned over the principal events of my voyage
and doings in England. We sat till midnight, but
even then the village was lighted up, and the people
all waiting to hear from the favored fifty, what I
had communicated.    Many did not go to bed at THE ARCADIAN  VILLAGE. 39
all, but sat up all night talking over what they had
heard.
" Such is a brief account of my reception at Metlakahtla. I could but reflect how different this to
the reception I had among the same people in 1857.
Then they were all superstitiously afraid of me,
and regarded with dread suspicion my every act.
It was with feelings of fear or contempt they approached me to hear God's word, and when I
prayed among them I prayed alone; none understood, none responded. Now how things have
changed ! Love has taken the place of fear, and
light the place of darkness, and hundreds are intelligently able and devoutly willing to join me in
prayer and praise to Almighty God. To God be all
the praise and glory."
It was not long after the founding of Metlakahtla;
that, the example of its inhabitants began to produce a marked impression, upon the surrounding
tribes, and even far in the interior, and up and down
the coast.
Among the converts had been numbered the
chiefs Legaic, Neachshlakah-Noosh, Leequneesh,
and Quthray, the leader of the cannibal feast witnessed by Mr. Duncan, on his first arrival.
It was only after a hard struggle that the fierce
barbarian Legaic yielded, and sacrificed his proud
and powerful position as chief of all the chiefs of
the Tsimsheans. This brutal murderer, who boasted
of the number of lives he had taken—was at length 40
THE  STORY  OF  METLAKAHTLA.
humbled and led like a lamb. He had once, as I
had previously shown, attempted to assassinate Mr.
Duncan, and had never ceased to persecute and
harass him and his followers, until now, like Saul
when stricken, he was transformed into a faithful
disciple of him whom he had bitterly reviled, and
had mercilessly pursued. Likewise, as Saul, when
baptized he chose the name Paul. He became a
simple citizen of Metlakahtla, an industrious carpenter and cabinet-maker, a truly exemplary Christian.
While he was away on an expedition to some tribes
in the Nass River Country, he was taken with a
fatal illness, and feeling that he was approaching
death, he sent pleading letters to Mr. Duncan to
come to his bedside; but to his great sorrow, circumstances rendered this impossible, and Mr. Duncan, could only send comforting messages.
Legaic's last words to Mr. Duncan, written down
by his own daughter, were as follows :
" I want to see you. I always remember you in
my mind. I shall be very sorry if I shall not see
you before I go away, because you showed me the
ladder that reaches to heaven, and I am on the
top of that ladder now. I have nothing to trouble
me; I only want to see you." Then he passed
peacefully away.
Thus died the once haughty chieftain Legaic.
Mr. Duncan, had visited many outside tribes, but
most of his time was occupied with his work at
Metlakahtla. "
SSSSSSfSSS  ^^^^SJ^S^S^^^SS^^^^^^S THE ARCADIAN  VILLAGE. 41
Remembering how the white Christian, who with
so much self-sacrifice had come among them, to
bring them out of darkness; the Indians of Metlakahtla felt it to be incumbent upon themselves, as
soon as they had sufficient light, that they should
carry the knowledge to their less privileged brethren. Native missionaries went out at their own expense. These men gave their message in a simple,
figurative language, yet with an earnestness and
directness of purpose that carried conviction. The
following is an example which will serve to illustrate their method of thought:
" Brothers, sisters, you know the way of the
eagle? The eagle flies high, and the eagle rests
high! He rests on the highest branch of the highest tree, then, he is free from fear of all beneath
him!—Brothers, sisters, Jesus, to us is the highest
branch of the highest tree! Let us rest on Him,
then, we too need not fear, all our enemies are beneath us."
Nor were the regular native missionaries the only
workers; the hunters and fishermen in mingling
with the people of other villages, told them of the
changes wrought by the new life; and the trading
parties who journeyed far inland, or voyaged along
the coast in their canoes bartering for furs, each did
his mission work. Nor was it in their words alone
that they gave evidence. These men, who had formerly been a terror to the whole coast and only
received   with   suspicion,  were, to   the   contrary, 42
THE STORY OF METLAKAHTLA.
now mild and peaceful. What had wrought this
change ?
After a visitation of the Metlakahtla voyagers, a
chief and several of the head men of the Chilkats, a
fierce tribe living some five or six hundred miles north
on the Alaskan coast, ventured to pay a visit to Metlakahtla, of which they had heard such wonderful
stories. Just before landing they, as usual on visiting
a settlement, arrayed themselves in all their magnificence of barbaric finery, intending to impress the
people with their greatness and importance. As they
approached in solemn state, Mr. Duncan, was notified
of their coming and urged to attire himself in his
Sunday best, because the savages were in gorgeous
trappings and would despise him if he was poorly
dressed. He had on his common work clothes, and
was in the midst of some important work, which he
could not drop at the moment.
As the Chilkats' superb canoes kissed the beach
they leaped out and were cordially received by the
Metlakahtlans. They were struck with utter amazement at the sight of the buildings, the manner in
which the people were clothed, and the general appearance of thrift and civilization on every hand.
They were impatient to see the great master, who
had wrought all these wonders.
Mr. Duncan, had not dressed up,—at all times he
sought to discourage the assumption of pomp and
foolish display, which he found so wefted in these
naturally vainglorious people.   When the Chilkats THE ARCADIAN VILLAGE.
43
were escorted to him, and he was pointed out as the
benefactor, they looked over and beyond him, saying that they could not see him, but when this
modest, plainly clad little man greeted them, and
his personality was made clear, they preserved their
countenances in stolid rigor to maintain their own
great dignity, never uttering a word, save, the ceremonies of a formal greeting.
Despite their efforts to conceal their thoughts,
they betrayed great astonishment; it was evident
that they suspected some deception was being practised upon them. Mr. Duncan, evincing great cordiality conducted them to his house, and gave them
the customary seats of honor for distinguished guests.
They continued to look at him in utter silence for
some time, when finally they could restrain themselves no longer they broke out, saying :
" Surely you cannot be the man ! Why, we expected to see a great and powerful giant, gifted in
magic, with enormous eyes that could look right
through us and read our thoughts! No, it is impossible ! How could you, tame the wild and ferocious Tsimsheans, who were always waging war, and
were feared throughout the whole coast ? It is only
a few years ago that all this country was a streak of
blood, now we see nothing but white eagle's-down
(their emblem of peace and amity)! We can hardly
believe our own eyes, when we see these fine houses
and find the Tsimsheans have become wise like
white men!   They tell us that you have God's Book, 44
THE STORY  OF METLAKAHTLA.
and that you have taught them to read it; we wish
to see it."
On the Bible being placed before them, and on
being told that it was by following the teachings of
this Book, that the Metlakahtlans had become enlightened, each one touched it reverently with the
tip of his finger and said, " Ahm, ahm "—It is good,
it is good.
Gifts were exchanged, and bartering went on, and
the visitors tarried for several days, during which
time, they marvelled at every new wonder of civilization which they beheld. Mr. Duncan, seized
every opportunity to impress upon them, the fundamental truths, which had brought about this change.
He showed them, that the prosperity, and material
benefits, which they witnessed, were but the reward
of the adoption of the new life. This lesson was not
lost upon them; they returned to their homes resolved to adopt the Christian white man's ways.
And thus, came many from afar to view the wonders
of civilization, all to return, and proclaim to their
people, that, the Christian white man's ways were
good. CHAPTER III.
HALCYON DAYS.
An era of prosperity now shone upon Mr. Duncan's civilized Indian community, however, in the
acquirement of those things essential to human comfort and refinement; the material, was never allowed
to crowd the spiritual; the material was only the
means to a spiritual end. With these people it
was, as it has ever been, in dealing with the infant-
mind of the savage, necessary to hold up the benefits of civilization as the guerdon of a better life.
No better evidence, of the depth, and integrity,
of the conversion of these recently groping savages,
could be required, than the attestation of those distinguished dignitaries of the Church who visited
them, and observed the practices of their daily life,
and after thoroughly testing the candidates, administered the rites of baptism.
This chapter I shall devote to several such citations for a twofold purpose, which will discover
itself in the progress of this volume.
The Bishop of Columbia's first visit to Metlakahtla, was during the oolichan fishing season, 1863.
He came with the special purpose of baptizing those 46
THE  STORY  OF METLAKAHTLA.
whose probation indicated their worthiness to receive that rite. His own narrative vividly pictures
the incidents of his arrival:
I The Christian Indian settlement of Metlakahtla
lies retired upon a recess of a bay, and is marked by
a row of substantial wooden houses. An octagon
building is the school, and a flagstaff stands near,
upon which ascended the national flag when we
hove in sight, and fired the gun to announce our
approach. We could soon distinguish a canoe putting off to us, and presently it approached, flying a
flag. It was a large canoe, which had a warlike
appearance, manned by ten Indians, and in it was
seated Mr. Duncan, the missionary of Metlakahtla.
There was placed, too, by his side, a murderer, who
had last year committed a cold-blooded murder
upon an Englishman, and who had given himself up
against the coming of the man-of-war."
According to the Bishop of Columbia's account,
the man-of-war " Devastation " had in vain directed
her guns against the village of this man's tribe,
threatening it with annihilation if they did not give
him up. The Indians defied the man-of-war, but
after its departure the murderer, knowing Mr. Duncan's renown for justice and clemency, surrendered
himself at Metlakahtla, saying to Mr. Duncan,
j Whatever you tell me to do I will do. If you say
I am to go on board the gun-ship when she comes
again, I will go."
The Bishop continues:  | For six months he had HALCYON DAYS.
47
been there at large, and when our gun sounded he
might have escaped; but he said, j What am I to
do ? ' and the answer was ' You must come with me
a prisoner.' He was accordingly handed over to us
a prisoner, to be taken to New Westminster to be
tried for his life. The scene was touching when his
wife and children came to bid him farewell, and she
earnestly besought Mr. Duncan, the captain, and
myself to say some one word which might give her
a ray of hope. Thus we see that what the ship of
war with its guns and threats could not do for civilization, for protection of life, for justice, the simple
character and influence of one missionary could accomplish for all those importuous objects. . . .
I Among the crew in Mr. Duncan's canoe was one
man who had been a noted drunkard and a violent
chief, a slaughterer of many human victims in his
day—indeed, the head man of the Tsimshean tribes
—who had given up all evil ways, and was now as
a little child, a candidate for baptism.    .    .    .
I We were met," he writes, " by the whole village,
who stood on the bank in a long line, as fine a set
of men, well-dressed, as could anywhere be seen
where men live by their daily toil; certainly, no
country village in England would turn out so well-
clad an assemblage.    .    .    .
II addressed the assembly, and was interpreted
by Mr. Duncan, who made himself, also, an earnest
and telling discourse. This change is the result of
four and a half years of his faithful aud earnest 48
THE STORY OF METLAKAHTLA.
I
work as a catechist. Beyond the expectation of all
persons acquainted with fndians, success and blessing
have attended his labors?    .    .    .
The Metlakahtlans are very dependent upon the
catch of fish during the season, but many of them
made great sacrifice of their time to receive the ordinance of baptism. The Bishop of Columbia, dwells
very particularly upon their strict observance of the
Sabbath while so strongly tempted to seek a store
of food.
I But what did the Christian Indians do when
Sunday came? The first Sunday of their first
fishing-season, as Christians, although the fish had
come up in greater abundance than ever, and the
season was so short, the Christians said,' We cannot
go and fish.' The heathen were full of excitement,
gathering in the spoil; but the Christians said, 'No,
we are God's people; God will provide for us, and
we will spend His day as He tells us to do.' And
they kept holy each Lord's Day in the midst of the
fishing-season." An example which a later Bishop
would have done well to copy.
" Got to the mission-house at eight to breakfast.
Afterward engaged the whole day seeing catechumens till one o'clock next morning. One after
another the poor Indians pressed on to be examined.
They had been under training for periods, varying
from eight months, to three years. They had been
long looking for a minister to admit them to baptism.    It was a strange yet intensely interesting HALCYON  DAYS.
49
sight in that log cabin, by the dim glimmer of a
small lamp, to see just the countenance of the Indian, sometimes with uplifted eyes, as he spoke of
the blessedness of prayer; at other times, with downcast melancholy, as he smote upon his breast in the
recital of his penitence. The tawny face, the high
cheek-bone, the glossy jet-black flowing hair, the
dark, glassy eye, the manly brow, were a picture
worthy the pencil of the artist. The night was cold
—I had occasionally to rise and walk about for
warmth—yet there were more. The Indian usually
retires as he rises, with the sun, but now he would
turn night into day, if he might only be allowed to
' have the sign,' and be fixed in the good ways of
God.    .    . • .
| Converts from heathenism can fully realize renunciation of the world, the flesh, and the devil.
Among these fndians pomp of display, the lying
craft of malicious -magic, as well as all sins of the
flesh, are particularly glaring, and closely connected
with heathenism. So are the truths of the Creed in
strongest contrast to the dark and miserable fables
of their forefathers, and heartily can they pledge
themselves to keep the holy will of God, all the
days of their life, seeing Him a loving and true
Father, of whom now so lately, but so gladly, they
have learnt to know."
The Bishop of Columbia continues: " I first drew
forth their views of the necessity of repentance, its
details, and their own personal acquaintance with
mimnf 5o
THE  STORY  OF METLAKAHTLA.
11
it. I then questioned them as to the Three Persons of the Trinity, and the special work of each,
with allusion to the Judgment, and the state of the
soul hereafter, inquiring into their private devotion,
to learn their personal application of repentance
and faith. I questioned their anxiety for baptism,
and demanded proof of their resolution to keep the
will of God for their guide, to speak of God, and to
labor for God's way, all their life long. I sought
to find out the circumstances under which they first
became seriously inclined, and to trace their steps
of trial and grace. Admitting them to the promise
of baptism, I exhorted them to prayer and devotion,
as a special preparation until the time came."
The following extracts from the" Bishop of
Columbia's report convey a most convincing testimony to the honesty, and depth, of conversion of
these recently reclaimed savages.
The simplicity, and apparent sincerity of the
answers, will bear a thoughtful comparison, with
those rendered in our home churches. I beg my
readers will bear this examination in mind while
reading' the reference I shall make to the report of
the Society's Deputation in Chapter VII. of this
volume.
MALES.
Clah, aged 35.—Answers :—I have made up my mind
to live a Christian. Must try to put away all our sins. I
believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who died for our
sins.    God is good to us, and made us.    God gives us His
iss^S^^WWWSSSSSSSS!!^^ HALCYON DAYS.
51
Spirit to make us clean and happy. I pray to God to clean
my heart, and wipe out my sin from God's book. It will be
worse for us if we fall away after we have begun. I repent
I was not baptized a year and a half ago.
Legaic (principal chief), aged 46.—Answers :—We must
put away all our evil ways. I want to take hold of God. I
believe in God the Father, who made all things, and in
Jesus Christ. I constantly cry for my sins when I remember them. I believe the good will sit near to God after
death. Am anxious to walk in God's ways all my life. If I
turn back it will be more bitter for me than before. I pray
God to wipe out my sins ; strengthen me to do right ; pity
me. My prayers are from my heart. I think sometimes
God does not hear me, because I do not give up all my sins.
My sins are too heavy. I think we have not strength of
ourselves.
Remarks.—Under instruction about nine months. On two
occasions before attended for a short time, but fell away.
Mr. Duncan says this man has made greater sacrifices than
any other in the village. Is the principal chief, and has left
his tribe and all greatness. Has been a most savage and
desperate man ; committed all crimes. Had the offer of
forty blankets to return to his tribe. He now bears *he ridicule of his former friends. Yet his temper, formerly ferocious, bears it patiently, and he returns kindness, so that
some have melted-and are ready to come with him.
Lee-qtj-neesh (a chief), aged 39.—Answers: When
young was brought up in sin. No one ever told me the
good news. Cannot tell how great a sinner I am. I believe in God, and cannot turn back to any of my old ways.
The great Father Almighty, Maker of the earth. Jesus
Christ, the only Son of God, died for our sins that God
might pity us on that account. God is a Spirit, full of love
and goodness ; but we must pray for God's Holy Spirit. We
must all stand before God.    God will know who are good 52
THE STORY  OF METLAKAHTLA.
and bad. By-and-by I shall know if God hears me. My
heart is dark; I cannot clearly tell now. A long time I
felt it was contrary to God, and when I heard the good news
I gave up evil ways.
Neeash-lakah-NOOS'H (called "the Lame Chief;" he
is blind also of an eye ; fine old man) ; aged 70.—Answers ;—When asked if he wished to become a Christian,
said—For that object I came here with my people. I have
put away all lying ways, which I had long followed. I have
trusted in God. We want the Spirit of God. Jesus came
to save us. He compensated for our sins. Our Father
made us, and loved us because we are His work. He
wishes to see us with Him because He loves us. When
' asked about the judgment, said, The blood of Jesus will free
those who believe from condemnation.
Remarks.—Under regular instruction for a year, and before that for some time by his daughter. Is most consistent, trying to do simply what is right. Recently he was benighted on a Saturday, on his way to spend the Sunday at
Metlakatillo, seven miles off. Would not come on, nor let
his people gather herring-spawn, close under their feet; he
rested the Lord's Day according to the commandment.
Yilmauksh, aged 22.—Answers:—I believe in Jesus
as my Saviour, who died to compensate for my sins to God.
Remarks.—Appears very earnest; speaks devoutly and
freely. Long time under serious impressions. Brought
out from heathenism three of his relations. Eight months
under special instruction.
Leht, aged 25.—Answers :—I feel my unworthiness, but
trust to God's pity. We must pray constantly to God. I
have not two hearts ; have given myself to God.
Remarks.—Was in the " Cariboo" steamship when
blown up : turned to God then. Three years under instruction. Son of a chief. Much tempted to go to heathen
feasts, but has steadily refused. HALCYON DAYS.
S3
KANGISL, aged 22.—Answers :—I am striving against my
sins, determined to follow God's way. God's way good and-
right, without doubt. Our way full of mistakes. Christ
searched out (exposed) man's way and showed God's way,
and then was punished to make satisfaction for our sins. I
pray for a good heart and for pardon from my sins.
Remarks.—Four or five years ago under instruction ; fell
away. A year preparing for magic ; a year and a half earnest.
Shkah-clah, aged 35.—Answers :—I have not long
come forward for baptism, but have long been wishing to
be fixed in God's way, and have been struggling against my
sins. God punishes the wicked who persevere in their sins.
I must pray for God's Spirit. God teaches us humility,
and to love one another. I pray for God to pardon my
sins, and to dress me in His righteousness.
Remarks.—Confesses he has been very wicked. Lately
his child died. As it lay dying, with tears he touched it,
and said, " This is for my sins." Was moved strongly to
turn to God by the death of his child. Belongs to a leading family. His brother, a heathen chief, tells him he will
be nobody if he becomes a Christian.
LAPPIGH KUMLEE, aged 30.—Answers:—I have given
up the lucrative position of sorcerer. Been offered bribes
to practise my art secretly. I have left all my mistaken
ways. My eyes have been bored (enlightened). I cry
every night when I remember my sins. The great Father
Almighty sees everything. If I go up to the mountains He
sees me. Jesus died for our sins upon the cross to carry
our sins away.
Remarks.—Dates his change from seeing a convert reading a book, and he felt ashamed that he knew nothing, and
he determined to learn, and soon he found his own system
false. One case, when his spirit said there would be recovery, death came ; and another, when he foretold death, life
remained. 54
THE STORY  OF  METLAKAHTLA.
Cow-AL-LAH, aged 30.—Answers:—A Christian must
put away sin, lies, drunkenness. I had wished to come
forward at the last baptism, but was held back by those
around. I have now broken away, and am ready to give
myself to God. God is the maker of heaven and earth.
God pitied our sins, and sent Jesus to save us. The Spirit
helps our weakness. If we follow God here we shall find
God after death. All must stand before God and receive
according to their works. Was struck at the dark death of
many of his relations. He and they knew nothing about
the future. So when Mr. Duncan came and spoke about
those things, he gladly heard, and determined to follow
him.
QuiL-AH-SHKAHKS, aged 25.—Answers:—I have put
away my sins. I have long sinned against God. I am afraid
of my sins. God sees me. Jesus has opened the door of
heaven to us. God sends His good Spirit to help us. God
will measure our ways when we die. So long as I live I will
try to give the news of God to others. The word of God
has taught us to hope. In the summer saw the people die
from small-pox. Saw the hand of God, and trembled and
resolved to turn to God. We are not strong to resist the
hand of God.
Neeash-ah-pootk, aged 35.—Answers:—I have long
followed sins which made "God angry. I have put away sin,
but if I am ever so ignorant in my endeavors I will persevere. Used to be a great drunkard. Have given up
magic and display of property. Felt God last summer. We
have turned back to our great Father. He sees all; His
Spirit is with us. The blood of Jesus cleanseth us from all
sin. How happy the angels will be to see us good, and how
they will cry if we are sinful! At the last God will divide
us. Lost ten relatives by the small-pox last year, and it
opened my eyes to my sins. God's hand was strong to cut
down sinners.
Ksssss'S'wssswss^sgsgs^^
WSvwKSwISXTOSQS
^M^SWSWSM^ HALCYON  DAYS.
55
Kshin-kee-aiks, aged 36.—Answers:—I will fight against
my sins, and continually cry to find God. I will endeavor
not to retaliate when ridiculed. I believe in the Lord in
heaven, who made the earth and heaven, and us, and the
food we eat. Jesus the only Son of God died to save us
from our sins. God gives us the Holy Spirit to help us to
contend against the evil spirits who come against us. If we
are sinful when we die, God's face will be against us.
Wherever I go my mind is fixed to serve God. At the last
God will divide the good from the bad. Used to hear God's
Word, and always went back to my sin. But at last came
away with the others, and was fixed then.
Kow-KAYTH, aged 18.—Answers:—We must leave all
sinful ways, and take hold of God's ways. I have long carried sin, but must not carry sin to God. God is a great
Spirit. Made earth and heaven. Jesus died in our stead.
The Spirit of God ever with us ; the hand of God ever near.
If we carry our sin till we die, God will punish us. We
must all meet God when we die. God will show us our
ways. My father was cut down in his sins. I purpose to
do differently.
Kahlp, aged
iy
-Answers:—I  sball  fight  against  my
sins. My heart truly says I will turn from sin to God. God
is perfectly right in His. ways. Sees all, good and evil. God
made all things—heaven and earth and us. The Son of
God our Saviour, Jesus. The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth
us from sin. God does not withhold His Spirit when we cry
for it. Whosoever believes in God, the Spirit of God lives
in his heart. Those who die in their sin go to darkness and
to fire. I will fear God as long as I live. I pray for God's
Spirit and light to lead my own spirit along the path to Himself when I die. Was a slave ; was poor in spirit, and was
drawn to cry to God to take my heart.
Remarks.—Answers freely.    He was taken slave by the
Hydahs ; brought back and sold to his old chief, and was 56
THE STORY   OF METLAKAHTLA.
1 '
i   ■
some years a slave. The chiefs son sold him to his own
friends, who set him free.
Skulloh, aged 30.—Answers :—From my birth I have
been a sinner. I cannot understand the size of my sinfulness. Cannot of myself give up my sins, but God will help
me. Jesus our Saviour came from heaven ; that is the reason why we can be saved. I feel God sees and understands
all we, do, and think, and speak. Am not afraid of the judgment, for God is full of love and mercy, and the Son of God has
made our peace.   I pray God to prepare my heart to see Him.
Remarks.—Was in a canoe with a child, who fired a gun
by carelessness. A portion of the boat turned the shot from
going into his back. He was led to think why a little piece
of wood should thus save his life; he became thoughtful;
heard Mr. Duncan was to come to speak about God, and at
once joined.
Ooshi-neeyam-nay, aged 24.—Answers :—I will try to
take hold of God's ways, and leave sin. When I remember
my sin my heart cries. I believe in God, who made heaven
and earth, and who is almighty. Our sins were the death
of Jesus. The blood of Jesus cleanseth us from sin. We
must pray to put our hearts to Him. Jesus will dress us in
His goodness. God sends His Spirit to make us good. I
am not afraid of the judgment, for I hope my heart will be
right to see God before I die. If our hearts are not right to
see God, He will cast us into darkness.
KlSHEESO, aged 16.—Answers :—A duty to give up the
ways of the Tsishseans. Was very wicked when quite
young. Will try to put away my sin. I cannot eat again
what I have vomited. God is almighty. Jesus the Son of
God, our Saviour. God will hear me if I cry to Him. We
must seek God first before any other thing. My father and
mother still in heathenism, but I cannot go back to them.
I rather cry when I think of them. I pray night and morning for God to pity and to pardon me.
ISSKHIWSSSSSSK^SSKSS^ HALCYON DAYS.
57
Remarks.—Came by himself in a tiny canoe, across the
sea, away from home, to join the Christian people.
Thrak-sha-kawn (sorcerer), aged 50.—Answers:—I
wish to give up all wicked ways. Have been a medicine-man,
and know the lies of heathenism. I believe in the great
Father who made us, in Jesus who died on the cross that
God would pity us. I want the Spirit of God to touch my
heart. We must all stand before God. God will measure
our ways. No one to be his master but God. I will not
keep my eyes on the ground any more, but will look up to
heaven all my life.
Remarks.—He has had to bear much scorn, and to go
through much struggle.
Qu-TL-NOH, aged 19.-—Answers :—\ wish to put away all
sin, lies, drunkenness. Have erred in following man. Must
now try to follow God. I believe in Jesus Christ, who died
for our sin. God's Spirit prepares us for baptism. We shall
rise from the dead and see God's face, if we are God's children.    I am wishful to serve God as long as I live.
FEMALES.
Wahthl (wife of Legaic), aged 40.—Answers:—I wish
to put away evil and have a clean heart. Feel the pain of
the remembrance of sin so bad I would sometimes like to
die. I want to seek God's face, but feel little hope ; still I
determine to persevere, though miserable. Loss of relatives,
and finding no peace and rest, and feeling in darkness, led
me to look to God. I know that God sent His Son Jesus to
die for our sins.
Remarks.—About nine months under regular instruction.
She is evidently anxious for her soul; knows the truth, but
her sins are a burden that she has not found peace. She
has been anxious her husband should go forwards in good.
LOOSL (widow of the cannibal chief who died penitent), 58
THE  STORY  OF METLAKAHTLA.
aged 25.7—Answers:—I know how blind I have been. Was
first turned to God by the news of the Saviour. Was struck
that He came down amongst us. God is a Spirit full of love.
Christ came to carry away our sins. We must pray for the
Spirit to help us. I confess my sins to God and cry for pity.
I pray for my friends. After death the judgment. We must
stand before God. Jesus will answer for those who trust in
Him.
Remarks.—Upheld her husband in his wickedness. Was
' turned by his turning at his death.
Shoodahsl (wife of Clah),- aged 30.—Answers:—We
must give up all sin. God sees and knows us all through.
Jesus died in our stead because we were bad. By the Spirit
of Jesus we must learn to walk in the good way. I feel
struggle in my mind, but persevere. I pray for pardon.
Will do all I can to keep God's way. God's own Word
promises that He will hear.
Nishah-kigh (chieffainess of the Nishkahs), aged 45.—
Answers:—I must leave all evil ways. I feel myself a sinner
in God's sight. I believe in God the Father Almighty, and
in Jesus Christ, who died for our sins. God sends down His
Spirit to make us good. Jesus is in heaven, and is writing
our names in God's book. We must stand before God and
be judged by Him. I feel God's Word is truth. Have been
for some time accustomed regularly to pray.
Remarks.—Two years ago she was found giving Christian
instruction to a sick and dying person. Her husband tells
me she passed much time in devotion. When she first heard
the Word of God her sorrow was great', and her penitence
more than she could bear. Some five years she has been
earnestly seeking God.
Nayahk, aged 30.—Answers :— I have been a great sinner, but God has opened my heart to see good, and I am
resolved by His help to put away all evil and live to God..
I pray for pardon and God's Holy Spirit.    I feel unhappi-
ssssassaasBSRws^^sfssisjSs^ HALCYON DAYS.
59
ness now amongst my heathen friends, and, have pleasure
only with God's people.
Remarks.—Her husband has been sent away. She remained, although at the cost of much privation to herself;
but she would not go back to heathenism. Replied well as
to the special work of each Person of the Trinity.
Nayahk (wife of Lapplighcumlee, a sorcerer), aged 25.
—Answers:—Answers well and clearly upon the separate
work of each Person of the Trinity. Prays for pardon—for
the Holy Spirit.
Remarks.—Suffered much from the mockery of her husband. At her earnest demand he gave up devilry. Under
eighteen months' regular instruction. Been consistent in
the midst of opposition; adhered to the Mission when
many were against. Has been a blessing to her family, all
of whom have renounced heathenism. Her husband, the
sorcerer, laments his past life, and would be the first to put
his foot upon the evil system.
Ad-dah-kippi (wife of a Christian Indian), aged 25.—
Answers :—I must put away sin. I know I have been making God angry, but must put away all my old ways, lies,
and the evil of my fathers. God gave us commandments.
God would not hear us till we.put away our sins, Jesus
would make peace for us and add His spirit. Am resolved
to endeavour to live to God all my life. Was much moved
last fishing at my sinfulness, and then repented strongly,
and resolved to walk with God. I pray morning, noon, and
night for pardon and God's Spirit.
Remarks.—Had opposed her husband, who is a Christian.
Wah-tee-boo, aged 16.—Answers :—Have been sorely
tempted. Jesus came down from Heaven to save sinners,
and to make our peace with God. Jesus shed His blood for
our sins. Jesus will be as a ladder for us to heaven when
we die. We must stand before God. We must cry to God before we die, and not put off.    I pray for a clean heart to God. 6o
THE STORY OF  METLAKAHTLA.
Remarks.—Made a touching confession of her sins, when
applying for baptism.
Paiek (wife of Slulloh), aged 25.—Answers :—Want to
find God. I repent of my sins. First led to think by the
shock of my father being shot in the house by another
Indian. Sought peace and came to Metla-katla. God is
almighty, full of goodness, and truth, and love. Jesus, the
Son of God, died for our sins. Asked what we should ask
God for. She said, light. The good will dwell with God
for ever, the bad be cast away.
Lahsl, aged 22.—Answers :—I wish to be a Christian.
Must put away all sin. I believe in our Lord Jesus Christ,
who takes away my sin. The Spirit is almighty ; strengthens
my breath. We must all stand before God. We must try
to be good. Knowing this, I pray to God morning and
evening. Death in the family first led me to think. I have
been made bad by my people, but have now turned to God.
Remarks :—Eighteen months under instruction. Been
afflicted, and shown great constancy.
Ahk-YAIK, aged 22.—Answers :—My sins I must leave.
I pray to God for pardon. Believe in God who made us,
and heaven and earth. Jesus Christ the son of God, our
Lord. He came down from heaven to our world to save
sinners. God is a great spirit. God will measure our ways.
I have struggled against my friends who wish to get me
away from here.
Remarks :—About ten months under instruction.
Shyit-lebben (wife of Kow-al-ah), aged 23.—Answers :
—I have a miserable heart when I think of my sins. Jesus
had compassion, and died on the cross for our sins, that we
might live after His death. God sends down His Spirit to
make us good. After death God will show us our sins and
divide us. I pray when I wake in the night. If only my
tongue speaks, my prayers do not go to God; but if my
heart speaks, God hears my prayers. HALCYON DAYS.
6l
Tah-TIKS, aged 24.—Answers:—I must give up all my
old ways. I believe Jesus Christ died for my sins. We
shall be happy with the angels if we are good here. The
people of heaven and earth will be brethren. God will be
to us a brother. Long time ago I knew good, but it died in
my heart, and I followed sin ; but I had an illness, and determined to do differently, and when the move here was
made, I followed.    Did follow evil, but am changed.
Oo-AH (wife of Thrak-sha-kaun), aged 38.—Answers :—
I wish to be a Christian. Was long time in sin, but now
hope to give up every sin. Jesus died for our sins. Our
Father made us and all things. The spirit helps us. We
shall find God when we die, having lost our sins. Those
who remain in their sins will be carried away. I prayed to
God for salvation.
Who can read these simple childlike professions
of faith, without being impressed with the mighty
change, from the vicious, defiant, bravado which
many of the self-same men and women, had exhibited when Mr. Duncan, began to show them " the
way."
On the day appointed, fifty-six, accepted candidates for baptism, assembled in the church, and,
ranged themselves in a large circle, in the midst of
which the ceremony was to be performed.
The Bishop of Columbia thus describes the
scene :—
" The impressiveness of the occasion was manifest in the devout and reverent manner of all present. There were no external aids—sometimes
thought necessary for the savage mind—to produce 62
THE STORY  OF  METLAKAHTLA.
or increase the solemnity of the scene. The building is-a bare and unfinished octagon of logs and
spars—a mere barn—sixty feet by sixty, capable of
containing seven hundred persons. The roof was
partly open at the top; and, though the weather
was still cold, there was no fire. A simple table,
covered with a white cloth, upon which stood three
hand-basins of water, served for the font, and I officiated in a surplice. Thus there was nothing to impress the senses, no colour, or ornament, or church
decoration, or music. The solemnity of the scene
was produced by the earnest sincerity and serious
purpose with which these children of the Far West
were prepared to offer themselves to God, and to
renounce forever the hateful sins and cruel deeds
of their heathenism; and the solemn stillness was
broken only by the breath of prayer. The responses
were made with earnestness and decision. Not an
individual was there, whose lips did not utter in
their own expressive tongue, their hearty readiness
to believe, and to serve, God."    .    .    .
On the following day, the Bishop .was called upon
to unite in marriage three native couples.
" Nothing could be more pleasing, than the manner in which the young people conducted themselves. The service evidently impressed both them
and their friends who came to witness the ceremony.
The custom of the wedding-ring was quite novel to
them, in connection with marriage. Rings they have
in abundance generally.    I have counted thirty on a A NATIVE BELLE. ■ M HALCYON DAYS.
^
single pair of hands. All rings were, however, absent on this occasion, except the third finger had on
a gold ring. There was no confusion ; all evidently
were properly impressed. Two of the young ladies
had. white dresses. I presented each of the couples
with a fifty-pound bag of flour and five pounds of
" It is customary amongst Indians for the newly
married pair to give presents to their friends, sometimes to their own impoverishment. We desire to
establish rather the more healthful practice of encouraging the new home by substantial help."
On the same day fourteen children were also baptized.
" It was pleasing to see the strong desire of the
Christians for the admission of their children to the
same privilege of union with Christ's Church as
themselves. They all took places—parents, sponsors, and children—in the same ring as the adults
of yesterday, and came up, leading the little ones
between two, and, on returning, reverently knelt
down, remaining in private devotion for a while, as
was the case with the adults. Several questions
were necessary to be decided which are not incidental
to old-established countries. Parents, still unbap-
tized, sought baptism for their children ; prudence
prevented this. Children, of one parent Christian,
the other heathen, were admitted. Two parents,
still unbaptised, came to say they had given their
child to a sister who was a Christian, and who had 64
THE STORY  OF  METLAKAHTLA.
adopted it for her own, that it might be baptised
and trained as a Christian. This I allowed. Children over seven I did not admit, considering they
might be imbued with heathen ideas, and should
undergo training in Christianity as a preparation for
baptism, though to be baptised as infants. It was
interesting to see, afterwards, children brought by
their parents, and coming of their own accord to
have their names set down for preparation."
Before his departure, the Bishop gave a feast of
rice and molasses to all the village.
" They assembled in the octagon. Cloths were
laid; all brought their own dishes and spoons.
There were three tables, at each of which one of the
chiefs presided. Their custom is to eat little at the
time, but take away the principal part of the allotted
portion : all rise before and after the meal, for grace.
Singing was then introduced, and excellent, certainly, were the strains of harmony poured forth in
the English tongue. Several well-known rounds
were capitally sung.    First, a boat-song; then—■
' When a weary task you find it,
Persevere, and never mind it'
a Come tell me now, sweet little bird,
Who decked thy wings with gold ? '
'See our oars, with feafher'd spray ;'
and last, ' God save the Queen.'    In this they were
as quick and lively as any children in the world the HALCYON DAYS.
65
men joining, too, in good time, voices soft and sweet.
Mr. Duncan afterwards addressed them in an ear-
. nest speech."
The Bishop of Columbia, reporting upon another
visit to Metlakahtla, about three years later,writes :
I Groups of well-dressed Indians were waiting to
receive us. With many of them I shook hands,
having baptised most of them. The great octagon
was well filled. It was a thankful sight to behold
the clean, neat, and orderly flock gathered with a
devotional object to the Christian house of prayer.
In a front row were ten young girls, all with English Bibles in their hands, as modest and devout as
could be seen in any village church of Old England.
I was glad to see so many children, and never have
I seen better behaved ones anywhere. The first
hymn was in English, j How sweet the name of
Jesus sounds !' I then said some prayers, and Mr.
Duncan said the Litany in Tsimshean, after which
a hymn in that language was sung; I then gave an
address. It was pleasing to hear the fervent Amens,
both in English and Tsimshean prayers, and also
the responses to the Litany universally made."
The Bishop visited the attractive island-gardens
of the mission lying in the bay opposite the village ; he was particularly struck by the intelligent
methods of agriculture, and the industry of men,
women, and children.
The Queen's birthday occurred during the Bishop's sojourn, and the officers and men of H. M. S. **
66
THE STORY  OF METLAKAHTLA.
" Sparrow-hawk," anchored off the village, participated in the celebration. This holiday was the
one always most observed, for they had been taught
to worship God, and honor their Queen. The following account of this day's festivities, I quote
from Dr. Halcombe's report :
" At an early hour a party from the ship landed,
to help decorate the mission-house, and bastion,
with a festoon of flags of various nations. The day
was delightful; the sun shone bright, and all the
beautiful scenery of the islands, placid sea, and distant mountains contributed to the charm.
" The proceedings of the day commenced in the
house of God, where seventeen children were baptized. ' It was pleasing,' writes the Bishop of
Columbia, who officiated, ' to witness the devout
manner of the sponsors, and to hear their audible
responses. None anywhere could behave better, or
show more appreciation of this sacrament of the
Gospel.'
" A distribution of gifts then took place. First
came 140 children, as orderly, and nicely dressed, as
the children of the best village school in England.
After singing ' God Save the Queen' in English,
they were each presented with a biscuit. Next
came 120 elderly men and women, to whom a few
leaves of tobacco were an acceptable token of
friendly feeling; the sick, too, were remembered ;
and last, not least, the councilmen and constables.
" Precisely at twelve o'clock, a royal  salute  of HALCYON DAYS. 6j
twenty-one guns boomed forth from the ship, to
the great satisfaction and some astonishment of the
groups of Indians, who, in their Sunday-best, had
gathered to the village square, to join in the festivities, which now commenced in earnest. Children
playing at ball, and taking turns at a merry-go-
round ; young men competing at gymnastic bars;
the eighteen policemen of the village in regimentals, ready for review ; and the elders walking
about comparing the old time and the new, made
up a scene which for interest, and enjoyment, could
not well be surpassed.
| But the most exciting part of the programme
for the day was the regatta. The course was about
two miles, round the island. In the first race, five
canoes, manned by forty-one young men in their
prime, were engaged. The canoes flew through the
waves, throwing the white foam on every side; and
right gallantly were the efforts sustained until the
goal was reached. Three canoes, rowed by women,
also contended for a prize.
" Next, came foot-races, running in sacks, blind-
man's buff, and such like amusements. It so happened that on this day a large body of Quoquolt
Indians came to Metlakahtla. As they landed
from their fleet of Bella Bella canoes, the contrast
which they presented to the well-dressed and respectable Metlakahtlans, was very striking. They
were clothed in tattered blankets which scarcely
covered their nakedness.    Their faces were painted 68
THE  STORY  OF METLAKAHTLA.
black and red, and their hair was matted and dishevelled. Not a little astonished at all they saw
around them, they eventually retired, as though
wishing; to hide themselves from observation.
Their chief, a stately personage, alone remained as
the guest of Legaic. The evening was devoted to
a public meeting, and a magic-lantern entertainment.
" At the meeting several of the officers from the
j Sparrow-hawk ' addressed the Indians. Some of
the chief men replied ; Mr. Duncan, acting as interpreter for both sides. The time being short, the
speakers were limited to a few minutes each. Two
or three quotations will serve to give some idea of
the general line of the addresses, and the highly
figurative language peculiar to Indian oratory : "
Abraham Kemskah.—" Chiefs, I will say a
little. How were we to hear, when we were
young, what we now hear ? And being old, and
long fixed in sin, how are we to obey ? We are like
the canoe going against the tide which is too strong
for it; we struggle, but, in spite of our efforts, we
are carried out to sea. Again, we are like a youth
watching a skilled artisan at work: he strives to
imitate his work, but fails; so we : we try to follow God's way, but how far we fall short! Still
we are encouraged to persevere. We feel we are
nearing the shore ; we are coming nearer the hand
of God, near peace. We must look neither to the
right nor left, but look straight on and persevere." HALCYON DAYS.
69
Peter Simpson (Thrak-shah-kawn—once a sorcerer).—I Chiefs, I will speak. As my brothers
before have entreated, so do ye. Why have you
left your country and come to us ? One thing has
brought you here : one thing was the cause. To
teach us the way of God, and help us to walk in it.
Our forefathers were wicked and dark ; they taught
us evil, they taught us ahlied (sorcery). My eyes
have swollen. Three nights I have not slept; I
have crept to the corner of my house to cry, reflecting on God's pity to us in sending you at this time.
You are not acting from your own hearts : God has
sent you. I am happy to see so many of my
brothers and sisters newly born to God. God has
spoken to us : \ let us hear.' "
Richard Wilson.—"Chiefs, as we have now
heard, so do ye. Indeed, father " (addressing Mr.
Duncan), | we are sinners before you ; we often make
your voice bad in calling us ; we must persevere, we
must try, though we are bad ; we are like the wedge
used in splitting the trees ; we are making the way
for our children : they will be better than we are.
The sun does not come out in full strength in early
morn ; the gray light at first spreads itself over the
earth; as it rises the light increases, and, by-and-
by, is the mid-day sun. We shall die before we
have reached much, but we shall die expecting our
children to pass on beyond us, and reach the
wished-for-goal."
Daniel Baxter (Neeash-ah-pootk).—" Chiefs, I THE STORY  OF METLAKAHTLA.
am foolish, I am bad, bad in your sight. What can
our hearts say ? What shall we do ? We can only
pray and persevere. We will not listen to voices
on this side or that, but follow on till we reach our
Father in heaven."
Cheevost (Jacob).—I Chiefs, we have heard
you. Why should we try to mistake the way you
teach us ? rather we must try to follow on; though
our feet often slip, we must still try; we have rocks
all round us; our sins are like the rocks, but the
rudder of our canoe is being held. She will not
drift away. We are all assisting to hold the rudder
and keep her in her course. What would she be
without the rudder ?—Soon a wreck upon the rocks.
So we must cry to God for help to follow on. We
must beg God's Holy Spirit to strengthen us and
to guide us. Chiefs, do you but speak, and we will
obey."
WOODEEMEESH (Simeon).—" I will speak to my
brethren. What has God done to us ? What
does He see in us that He should be working for
us ? We are like the fallen tree buried in the undergrowth. What do these chiefs gain by coming
to us ? Did we call them ? Do we know from
whence they are, or did we see the way they had
come ? Yet they have arrived to us. They have
torn away the undergrowth ; they have found us ;
and they have lifted up our hands and our eyes to
God, and showed us the way to heaven."
To those men who now in attempting to destroy HALCYON DAYS.
71
the Native Christian Church in Metlakahtla declare
—that Mr. Duncan's work is superficial—" he is too
much of a trader"—" he is a misleader"—" incites
them to lawlessness "—" he influences them for evil "
etc., I commend the following expressions of the
Bishop of Columbia ; and, the Bishop spoke with a
knowledge, and with a personal experience; and
after watching the development of this little
oasis:—
" All former work, varied, and interesting, and impressive as -ministerial life is, seems insignificant,
before this, manifest power of the Spirit of God,
touching the heart and enlightening the understanding of so many recently buried in the darkness and
misery of ignorant and cruel superstition.
"To a worthy, zealous, and gifted lay brother, is
this rezvard of his loving and patient labors. Few
would believe what Mr. Duncan has gone through
during the past four years and a half, laboring
alone among the heathen. Truly is the result an
encouragement to us all."
Speaking of Legaic's reformation, the Bishop
says:—
" He is industrious, and gains a good livelihood, and lives in a comfortable house of his own
building, with good glass windows and a veranda.
Chairs were set for visitors, and we had much talk
about the Mission, and the work, and the tribe.
His only, child Sarah is one of the most promising
girls of the Mission-house." 72
THE STORY  OF METLAKAHTLA.
Rev. R. Dundas also writing at about the same
time alludes, to Legaic's family :—
I He and his wife have one child only, a young
girl of fourteen. She was a modest-looking, pleasing child, very intelligent; one of the first class in
the school. She did not look like one who had
been j possessed with a devil'; and yet this is the
child whom three years ago her teacher saw naked
in the midst of a howling band, tearing and devouring a bleeding dog. How changed! She who
' had the unclean spirit sits now at the feet of
Jesus, clothed and in her right mind.'"
-The Bishop of Columbia, was very much impressed by the methods, and results, of Mr. Duncan's instruction, of the youth, and says,—
" I had observed on Sunday a row of well-behaved and devout young girls with Bibles in their
hands. As I gave out my text they found the passage. On Sunday evening f heard them read the
Bible, and they sang chants and hymns, some in
English, and some in Tsimshean. To-day f examined several of them in reading, and -was much
pleased by the accurate, and devout manner, in which
they read the Word of God*
I These were to be the future mothers of a new
generation.    Already has he seen one set go forth -
from the Institution, well, and respectably married
* Compare this with Deputations Statement Chapter VII. this
volume. HALCYON  DAYS.
73
to young men, who had proved worthy of the
Christian profession.
I Those now in the Institution are the second set,
several of whom are about to be married, and there
are others, waiting to come and supply their place.
So great is Mr. Duncan's influence, that none are
married without his consent, and he is entirely
trusted by the parents. Constantly is he applied to
by the many young men who desire this, or, that
one, for a partner; and not a little interesting, if not
amusing, are the accounts he can relate, of the care
and watchfulness with which he guards the tender
plants from too early or ill-advised exposure to the
blasts and storms of the voyage of life."
In his charges to newly-wedded couples, Mr.
Duncan impressed upon both bride and groom, the
necessity of unity of heart, unity of thought, and
unity of purpose. On one occasion, to illustrate
the folly of antagonism, he aptly related the incident of a man and wife, who, when seeking advice
as how to combat each, the other's obstinacy, were
bidden to throw a rope over the roof of their house,
and each to pull an end on opposite sides, with
their might, and see which should pull it over;
they did so and pulled in vain; then, they were
told to both take hold of one end and pull together;
then it was drawn over without resistance, or assistance.    They saw the point, and profited.
The Rev. R. Dundas visited Metlakahtla about
a year after the Bishop of Columbia's first visit. 74
THE STORY  OF METLAKAHTLA.
During his stay arrangements, were made for the
baptism of a considerable number of converts who
had shown themselves worthy of that sacrament.
The Rev. Mr. Dundas depicts the mission, and
the incidents of his visit:—
" It was a pretty sight to see the whole population, old and young, at the sound of the bell,
thronging to worship God. No need to lock
doors, for there is no one to enter the empty
houses. Every soul is assembled in the one place,
and for one purpose. As they entered, the men
took the right and the women the left hand of the
great circular hall. I was surprised to learn from
Mr. Duncan afterward that he had never bidden
them to do this; they seemed to have adopted the
arrangement instinctively. Service began with a
hymn in Tsimshean. He led with his concertina.
The air was very plaintive and beautiful—sung by
some 200 voices, men, women, and children—it
thrilled through me. Then followed prayers in Tsimshean, at the close of which all joined in the Lord's
Prayer in English. Then followed a chant; one
of the Psalms he had translated and taught them,
to a fine old Gregorian. His address, or sermon,
of nearly an hour, was upon the story of Martha and
Mary. His manner and gesticulation were animated and striking, very much after their own style.
Their attention never seemed to flag' throughout.
He asked me to address them, which I did, shortly,
upon their present light as compared with  their HALCYON DAYS.
75
past darkness, and the difficulties they must expect
in their new cause of Christian discipleship. Mr.
Duncan interpreted for me. Before separating they
sang again in Tsimshean a sort of sacred air, which
seemed familiar to me, and was exquisitely beautiful. I found afterward it was the anthem, jI will
arise, and go to my Father,' somewhat altered, and
made more Indian in its character. It suited their
voices admirably. I closed with a short prayer in
English, and pronounced the Benediction.
" The service was most striking, ft was hard to
realize that three years ago these had all been sunk
in the deepest heathenism, with all its horrible practices. What hours, what whole nights of wrestling
in prayer, have been spent by this single-minded
faithful servant of God, in humble supplication that
he might ' see of the travail of his soul,' and how has
lie been answered! There is nothing too hard for
the Lord.
11 went on shore in the afternoon, to take up my
quarters with Mr. Duncan. About four o'clock the
bell was rung, and the whole village assembled at
the school-house, when Mr. Duncan told them that
on the following Sunday, those who desired it, and
also on examination approved themselves, would be
admitted to Holy Baptism. Candidates were to
assemble that evening at seven, to give in their
names. In his address to them he was very pointed
and stringent—fencing in, as he afterward told me, ?6
THE STORY  OF METLAKAHTLA.
ml
the door of admission. He told them the strict, uncompromising requirements in those who thus sought
to join themselves to Christ and His service. Better
that they should postpone so solemn and awful a step
than come to it unprepared. At the hour appointed
the candidates were assembled. Fifty-five gave in
their names. Several were absent who would have
come forward had they been there; but, as my
coming was not anticipated, at. least 150 to 200 were
away for their last hunting and fishing 'excursions
before the winter, and would not be back for some
weeks.
" / was strongly impressed with the real earnestness and devotion of those who came forward, and
with their acquaintance with the simple, saving
truths of the Gospel -message.
" A few answers may interest."
" Comkahgwum, aged about twenty-five, a fine young
man—to the inquiry, what led him first to think of Christ—
said, 1 It was the winter before last. The new school was built
at Fort Simpson. Mr. Duncan asked all the Indians one
Sunday to come to church. I had never been. I went then.
He told us of our evil ways, and of God who loved us. It
was good to my heart; I was deep in the ground then ; but
now, when I heard this, I wanted to be free, and to love
God : that was the first time I thought of him.'
" In answer to the inquiry about God's view of sin, and His
feeling toward sinners, he said, \ God's heart is against sin,
He is angry with it. But He pitied us. It was all for Jesus'
sake.' (What did Jesus Christ do for us ?) ' Jesus came
down from His Father to die for our  sins on  the Cross.
SSSSSSSSSS!S«SSW!?SSSS!J^S^8^
«iSc«W«!Sffi HALCYON  DAYS.
77
(Is He dead still ?) [ Oh, no ! He rose up from death. He
is in heaven now. He is working for us there. He is sprinkling us with His blood to make us clean.' (What must we
leave and do to be Christians ?) I We must leave our sinful
ways ; we must have new hearts; our old hearts are bad.
We must believe in our Lord.' (Who will help you ?) ' Jesus sends down His Holy Spirit to strengthen our hearts :
we must keep praying for His good Spirit.' (Do you pray
for it ?) 'I am always working in prayer for God to pity me.'
(If you are tempted, what will you do ?) 'I will fight my
sins. God will help me to fight.' This poor man has been
a murderer, in his heathen state. Three years ago he was
provoked by another of the tribe, and wronged in the same
way. He watched him out of the village at Fort Simpson,
and then shot him dead. It weighs much upon his mind
now.
" Here are some answers of an elderly woman : l I want
to take hold of the hand of God. He is willing to pity me ;
our sins killed Jesus ; but His blood saves us. I must leave
all my sins, for Jesus suffered for them. We shall stand before God ; we must see God's righteousness. He will give
His hand to the good, but He will put the wicked away from
Him.' This woman, who cannot be less than fifty, has had
no instruction, save what she has heard in church. It has
come chiefly from her own daughter of fifteen, who is one
of the Mission-house inmates, and has been with Mr. Duncan for four years, his best and most promising young convert. She has been baptized by the Bishop, and has now
been the instructress of her parents, both of whom will be
baptized by me to-morrow.
| From two, or three elderly men, I got of course
answers less full. It is hard for them to remember
truths so as to give definite answers in words.    They 78
THE STORY  OF METLAKAHTLA.
feel, and know, more than they can explain. In a
few cases Mr. Duncan said, if I would allow him, he
would not put any questions to them formally, but
would leave them to tell in their own way why they
sought for baptism. And very touching it was even
to listen to them, though I could not understand
them. One, with tears streaming down, said he was
very old, and must soon die; but he wanted to be
at peace with God. He knew his ways had been
bad all his life ; but he had had no light; and now
he wanted to belong to Jesus, for he knew Jesus
loved him and died for him.
| All Saints' Day. To-day I was privileged to
perform the most interesting scene I have ever taken
part in since I left England. Fifty-two souls have
been baptized with water and the Spirit, and added
to the Church of Christ, most of whom were walking a few years ago in the darkness that might be
felt of degraded heathenism.
" After service on board, Lieutenant Verney accompanied me on shore. The Baptismal Service
was arranged to take place at two, for adults, of
whom there were thirty-nine. A second service was
fixed for the infants of some of the Christians, thirteen in number, at five o'clock. A large number
of the sailors from the gun-boat were present, and
seemed greatly interested in the solemn rite. A
small table was arranged on a low platform at one
side of the great circular Mission-house. On it
were  placed   four  silver  dishes containing water,
!SSSSS!S55SS!SSS«WSSSS»»^S^^S
IP HALCYON DAYS.
79
which Lieutenant Verney lent for the occasion;
they were the best substitute we could obtain for a
font.
" The service of course had to be gone through
twice : after each prayer and exhortation, in the
adult form, had been offered or spoken by me in
English, Mr. Duncan repeated it in Tsimshean.
The candidates were arranged in rows—the men
behind, the women in front. On either side of them,
all round the hall, were the rest of the congregation,
Indians "and sailors. At the proper point in the
service, one by one, the candidates stepped forward
in front of the assembled congregation. Mr. Duncan called up each by his heathen name. In answer
to my request, I Name this person,' he gave the new
Christian name, and by it I baptized the candidate.
" As I held the hand of each, while receiving him
or her into the Church of Christ, and signing him
with the sign of the Cross, I could often feel that they
trembled with deep.emotion. On returning one by
one to their places, each knelt down in silent prayer.
The Baptism being ended, I offered up the two
concluding prayers, all joining in the Lord's Prayer
in English.    I then addressed the newly baptized.
" In describing his departure he said, ' Up anchor,
and started at seven. Mr. Duncan came off in his
canoe to say good-by. The Indians ran the British
ensign up as we passed the flag-staff, which Lieutenant Verney acknowledged by hoisting all his colors
—red, white, and blue—at main, fore, and mizzen. .*».
8o
THE STORY  OF  METLAKAHTLA.
And so I bid good-by to this most interesting place.
// takes its position now as one of the civilized towns
or villages of British Columbia. But it is more than
that: it is the enduring witness of the faith and
patience and love of one unaided Christian teacher,
whose sole reward (the only one he has ever coveted}
is the souls he has been the honored instrument of
bringing from darkness to light. 'fhave seen Missions in various parts of the world before now' (said
Lieutenant Verney to me), * but nowhere one that has
so impressed me with the reality of what has been
accomplished'r
Bishop Cridge, then, (Dean of Victoria), gives the
following picturesque account of his inspection of
Mr. Duncan's school,* and of an evening gathering.
" Examined the writing exercises of the first class
of girls. The words ' whale,' ' shark,' ' salmon,'
'seal,' were written on the black-board, and, each
girl wrote a short theme in connection with each
wor
d.    Some of the ex
'xerases were as goo
d as in an
English school in respect to composition, spelling,
and penmanship.
" In the evening, the girls sang some of their native nursery rhymes. Some were very pretty, some
ludicrous, some pathetic. Among the latter is that
of the little slave-child, who is told by her captors
* It is 'worthy of mention that Mr. Duncan from the first, in his
indefatigable devotion to the progress of his people, verilizing the
necessity of their daily toil, held night-school for the adults.
SSSSfflWSKSStWKJSWSS^^ HALCYON DAYS.
8r
that her mother is gone getting  clams; and the
little thing lisps,
I Raven, have you seen my mother ?
Sea-gull, have you seen my mother ?'
After this, one of the party commenced the legend of | The Chief's Proud Daughter;' but the
night advancing, we were obliged to defer the conclusion.
" On Tuesday Mr. Duncan gave the girls a merry
evening with the galvanic battery, introducing the
bucket of water and the silver coin, which none
succeeded in getting. Mr. Duncan has great art
in keeping them cheerful, telling them humorous
stories, the point of which they always remember ;
e.g., ' A man with a wry neck fell and hurt himself;
a friendly by-stander picked him up, and began to
set him generally to rights, and among the rest to
straighten his neck. The man, terrified, cried out,
| Hold hard there ! Born so, born so !"' One
evening some one made a remark on their Indian
gait, which Mr. Duncan interpreted to the girls, to
their great amusement; and one of them exclaimed,
in English, ' Born so !' which was immediately taken
up by the rest, some of them jumping up and caricaturing their own peculiarities; upon which Mr.
Duncan, explained to us the allusion.
" This evening Mr. Duncan, showed me a letter,
just received from one of the girls whom he had
occasion to reprove  in the morning.     In broken 82
THE  STORY   OF  METLAKAHTLA.
English she bewailed her ingratitude and hard heart,
asked his forgiveness, and entreated his prayers that
she might be a better girl."
A letter written by one of Mr. Duncan's first set
of scholars, illustrates, how efficaciously he had cultivated in them, the affectionate ties of brothers and
sisters. It was a part of his plan, to create in them
a love of home, and a love of each other, and purity
of relationship.
This letter was sent to a sister who was leading
an evil life in Victoria. Eliza had already succeeded
in rescuing one of her sisters from a life of shame.
Many are the Magdalens whom Mr. Duncan has
fully reclaimed from degradation. .
" Metlakahtla.
1 My Dear Sister : I send this little news to
you. I very much wish to see you, my sister. I
tell you sometimes I very much cry because I remember your way not right. I want you to hear
what I speak to you. Come now, my sister, I hope
you will return and live in your own place. Do not
persevere to follow bad ways. You must try to forsake your way; repent from your heart. You hear
our Saviour Jesus Christ. Cast all your bad ways
on Jesus. Pie know to save us when we die. I
very happy because I see my brother and sister
come again. I thank God because He hear always
cry about you.
" I am your crying sister,
" Eliza Paley." HALCYON DAYS. 83
If letter-writing be any gauge of progress, it may
be worthy of note that in 1866 the Metlakahtlans
posted about 200 letters, each voyage of their
schooner.
Bishop Cridge in writing of the store and schooner
says :—
" No step of a temporal nature was, perhaps, so
loudly demanded, or has conferred such important
benefits on the people of Metlakahtla, in conducing
to their comfort, and contentment in their new home.
Instead of having to go seventeen miles for supplies
to a heathen camp, they can procure them at their
own doors at a cheaper rate. Persons who come
hither to trade, carry away some word or impression
to affect their countrymen at home. During my
sojourn at Metlakahtla, there has not been a single
Sunday, in which there have not been hearers of this
description, attendant on the word of life. This is
one of those branches of the work taken up by Mr.
Duncan, simply because it was pressed upon him
by the force of circumstances, as necessary to his
entire success.
" A striking benefit of the trade is the disposition
of the profits, for with a view to transferring it,
when possible, to other parties, he has always conducted it on business principles, in order that the
parties so assuming it might be able to live by it.
Hitherto the profits realized on this principle, absorbed by no personal benefits, have been expended
on objects conducive to the public benefit, in the ill
84
THE  STQRY  OF METLAKAHTLA.
erection of public buildings, in subsidies to the people, in aid of improving the roads, and wharves for
canoes, in charity to the poor, and even in the redemption of slaves. The sum of ,£600, has already
been expended on such objects, and £400, are in hand
ready to be applied to similar uses, fnfact, the only
person who suffers is Mr. Duncan himself, who has
sacrificed his comfort, his repose, and almost his
health, for the sole benefit of the people but has been
more than compensated by the rich reward of feeling
that God has owned and blessed the sacrifice. Besides this, the trade affords industrial occupation
for the people, and thus aids them in a more steady
advancement in the comforts of civilized life. It is
quite a lively scene to witness the various parties
of laborers engaged, some in bringing the rough
timber in rafts from the forest, others in sawing it
into planks, others planing, others cutting the
shingles, others with nail and hammer erecting the
building—all devoting themselves to their daily
task, rather with the constancy of the English
laborer, than, with the fitful disposition of the sav
in reference to the emancipation of slaves, mentioned by Bishop Cridge, the following passage
from a letter of Mr. Duncan's dated March, 1876,
has interest as a touching illustration, of the reputation of Metlakahtla, as a refuge, for the suffering,
and oppressed: HALCYON DAYS.
85
" A poor slave woman, still young in years, who
had been stolen away when a child, and carried to
distant tribes in Alaska Territory, where she had
suffered many. cruelties, fled from her oppressors
last summer, and though ill at the time, took to
the sea in a canoe all alone, and determined to
reach Metlakahtla or perish in the attempt. On
her way (and she had upwards of one hundred and
fifty miles to travel, she was seen and taken by a
party of Fort Simpson Indians, who would no doubt
have been glad to hand her back to her pursuers
for gain, but on hearing of her case, I demanded
her freedom, and finally she was received into a
Christian family here, and tenderly cared for.
Both the man and his wife who received her into
this home had themselves been slaves years ago.
They understood her language, sympathized deeply
with her, and laboured hard to impart to her the
knowledge of the Saviour of sinners. After three
months her cruel master with his party came here
to recapture her, but they had to return home unsuccessful. In three months more her strength
succumbed to the disease which had been brought
on by cruelty and hardship. She was a great sufferer during the last few weeks of her life, but she
died expressing her faith in the Saviour, and rejoicing that she had been led here to end her days."
Archdeacon Woods—rector of the Holy Trinity
Church,   New  Westminster,   British   Columbia— 86
THE  STORY  OF METLAKAHTLA.
visited Metlakahtla in 1871 for the purpose of baptizing converts. He recounts his approach to the
village as follows :—
" I left Will-a-claw (at the mouth, of the Skeena
River) about 9 A.M. by canoe, being paddled by an
Indian and his wife.    .    .    .
I As we drew near to Metlakahtla the sound of
the church-bell over the still waters of the bay
could be heard for a considerable time before we
reached the village. The man called my attention to it, and said it meant ' school |' the woman,
however, promptly corrected him, saying it meant
'death :' of course my own ear had told me that this
was its meaning, and now we could see the funeral
procession passing in canoes from the villages to a
small island, which has been set apart as a graveyard ; so that when I actually reached the landing-
place, I learned, as I expected, that Mr. Duncan
was away at the funeral."
The Metlakahtlans now inter their dead after the
manner of Christian burial. When the old heathenish customs were in vogue they disposed of their
dead by earth, water, aerial and canoe burials,
and by burning. All of these customs prevailed
along the coast; none were peculiar to any one
tribe, and some individual tribes practised all.
The ceremonies of burning were the most hideous, being made the occasion for frightful religious
orgies; in some cases the widow or slaves, were
burned on the pyre.    The most picturesque was the  h~J HALCYON DAYS.
87
canoe burial. Julia McNair Wright thus describes
one :—
" The canoe—often a very handsome one—covered with pictures and thirty feet long, is suspended
between poles. The dead lies in this canoe, and
over the body a smaller canoe is turned, affording
protection from birds or from the weather.
" These canoe burial-places—in the solemn stillness and darkness of the spruce and cedar woods, and
usually on the bank of some wide stream—are picturesque and touching. The bowls, the cups, the
weapons of the dead one, suggest the occupations
of his life, and also the blackness that brooded over
his future when he drifted into another world, utterly unknown, that all his life had bounded his
horizon with a wall of darkness."
Chieftains and Shamans were laid out in state
mid great ceremony—and were arrayed in all the
splendors their people could command.
Archdeacon Woods, visited the Niskah Mission
Station on the Naas River some seventy miles distant, before performing the rites of baptism at Metlakahtla. He records an incident, of the journey,
which very forcibly illustrates, how consistently the
Metlakahtlans lived their religion.
" Having paddled from daylight till dark with a
brief rest of about an hour, we reached the only
available camping-ground on the coast, where we
rested for the night under such shelter as the canoe
sail stretched across the mast could afford ; and hav- 88
THE STORY  OF  METLAKAHTLA.
U
ing lighted a fire, prepared supper. Mr. Duncan,
having provided me with food already cooked, my
supper was soon made, and I laid down to rest,
wearied with sitting all day in the canoe. The Indians cooked their venison and salmon Indian
fashion, and then, all reverently taking off their
caps, one said grace v/ith every appearance of devotion. After supper I was amused at the evident
fun that was going on amongst them; for though
I could not understand their language, a laugh is
understood all over the world; and certainly, if
laughter be an evidence of jokes and fun, they were
rich in merriment, notwithstanding the discomfort
of camping out on wet ground and under heavy rain.
By-and-by, as I was dropping asleep, I was roused
by their sudden stillness. My first impression was
that they were getting wearied ; but it was not so,
they were only calming down before retiring to rest,
and soon I observed them all, with heads uncovered
and reverently bowed, kneel round the camp fire
while one said prayers for all. And as the Lord's
Prayer (for I could recognize it in the strange language in which it was clothed) ascended from beneath the shades of the forest from lips which only
lately had acquired the right to say ' Our Father,'
and as I doubt not from hearts which truly felt the
mighty privilege which holy baptism had conferred,
I could not fail to realize how grandly catholic is
that prayer which He Himself gave to those to
whom alone He gives the right to use it. HALCYON DAYS. 89
" The miners and traders reach Skeena mouth
by steamer for Victoria, but thence to the mines the
transit is made for a considerable distance up river
in a canoe. Consequently in the spring and autumn
(the seasons for going to and returning from the
mines), there is considerable traffic up and down the
river, and those Indians who choose to put their
canoes on the river command good wages and constant employment. The Metlakahtla Indians freely
avail themselves of this means of earning money,
and in connection with this valuable testimony of
the sincerity of their profession came under my notice from the miners who took passage down to
Victoria on the return trip of the ' Otter.' All agreed
in witnessing to the honesty, the self-denial, and the
determination to resist temptation of the Metlakahtla Indians. ' They won't work on Sunday, they
won't drink, they won't lend themselves in any way,
to any, kind of immorality? The truth of the first
part of this statement I observed for myself during
the time of my stay at Metlakahtla. I noticed how
the Indians flocked home on Saturday nights, some
of them from long distances, many of them from
Skeena mouth, to enjoy the Sunday peace and quiet
of their own village, and to avail themselves of those
\ means of grace \ which the Sunday Church services and Sunday-schools afforded."
Returning to Metlakahtla the Archdeacon examined the candidates for baptism. The ceremonies
that ensued are best expressed in his own words :—
J oo
THE  STORY  OF METLAKAHTLA.
" Sunday, the 12th of November, is a day to be
remembered by me. / have had in the course of a
ministry of over twenty years many solemn experiences, and witnessed -many touching scenes, but never
since the day of my own ordination as a priest in
the Church of Christ, have f felt anything like the
solemnity of that day, when I saw before me a
crowded congregation of Christians—of heathen
seeking after Christ, and of the little band of fifty-
nine about to be received through holy baptism
into the ark of Christ's Church.
" Holy Baptism, at all times a most solemn rite,
seemed to me specially so at this time, when I was
called upon to administer that Holy Sacrament to
men and women who, of their choice, yet influenced, as I fully believed, by the power of the
Holy Ghost, came forward to renounce heathenism
—to give up in more than one instance all that was
dear to them in this world, and to enlist in the
army of Christ. Oh, may the merciful God grant
that they may have power and strength to have
victory and to triumph against the devil, the world,
and the flesh !
" In the evening, accompanied by Mr. Duncan, I
visited several houses in the village and baptized
five adults, who, through sickness or the infirmities
of age, were prevented attending the service in
church, making a total of eighty-four persons
baptized at Metlakahtla, which, with the twenty-
two  baptized at Kincoulith, gives  a  grand  total HALCYON  DAYS.
91
of 106 persons added to the Church on this occasion."
In alluding to the industries at Metlakahtla Archdeacon Woods says :—
" A marked and important feature of the Metlakahtla Mission is the aspect imparted to it by the
fostering and utilizing of native industry ; at present
there are carried on a lumber-mill, the manufacture
of soap, the dressing of skins, and blacksmithing,
while preparations are being actively urged forward
for weaving, rope-making, and shoe-making, the
materials for weaving and rope-making being found
in abundance in the immediate neighbourhood.
These, in combination with the trading store in the
village, have a very practicable bearing on the well-
being of the Mission, quite apart from the mere
money gain, though this too is a matter of considerable importance to the success and prosperity
of the Mission.
" The trade store in the village brings to the Indians all the necessaries of life beyond what their
own labour can provide, and takes from them in
exchange the skins and oil which are the chief results of their hunting and fishing, so that they
have within the limits of their own village the
means of exchanging the produce of their labour
for necessaries and luxuries beyond their own
ability to procure, and this without bringing them
in contact with the temptations which must necessarily beset them if compelled to carry their skins, 92
THE  STORY  OF  METLAKAHTLA.
oil, etc., to the trading-posts outside their own reserve."
In the winter of 1877 and 1878, the Bishop of
Athabasca, visited Metlakahtla. It was, at a very
critical moment, in the history of the Mission, as
Mr. Duncan had resigned, and had left the settlement but a short time previously, to make way for
an ordained Church of England clergyman ; who,
through various indiscretions soon threw the mission into confusion, and necessitated Mr. Duncan's
return. He had barely succeeded in restoring
order in the village, when the Bishop of Athabasca
arrived. I give his account of the Christmas festivities in his own words.
" The festivities of the season commenced here
on Christmas Eve, when a party of about twenty-
five of the elder school girls were invited to meet
us at tea. After tea we were all entertained by
Mr. Duncan, with the exhibition of a galvanic bat-
■tery and other amusements. This party having
dispersed to their homes in good time, at a later
hour came together the singers who-were appointed
to sing Christmas carols during the night along the
village street, led by the schoolmaster. After their
singing they returned to supper at the Mission before retiring to rest.
" On Christmas morning the first sight which
greeted us was that of the constables ; lengthening
to its full height the flag-staff on the watch house,
to hoist the flag for Christmas, and all the village HALCYON DAYS.
93
street was soon gaily dressed with flags. The constables then marched about the village to different
houses to shake hands and make Christmas,—peace
with all whom they had been called to interfere
with in the course of the year. At eleven o'clock
the church bell rang, and the large church was
thronged with a well-dressed and attentive con-'
gregation.
" After service all the villagers, to the number of
about six hundred, had to come and pass through
the Mission-house to shake hands with all the inmates. In doing this they so crowded the verandah that the boards actually gave way beneath
them, but the ground being only about two feet
below no injury resulted. After all the shaking of
hands was over, the villagers returned home to
their own private entertainments, and most of us at
the Mission enjoyed a quiet Christmas evening together ; but Mr. Duncan entertained at tea a party
of the chiefs and principal persons of the village,
whom we did not join, from inability to converse
in the Tsimshean tongue.
" The day after Christmas was a gay one. The
constables, twenty-five in number, paraded and exercised on the green with banners and music, and
about fifty volunteers, in neat white uniforms, with
drums and fifes and banners flying, went through
creditable evolutions and exercises. All the strangers who had come from neighbouring villages to
spend Christmas at Metlakahtla were collected by 94
THE STORY  OF  METLAKAHTLA.
Mr. Duncan, in the Mission Hall, and, after a suitable address, all of them received presents of soap,
apples, sugar, tobacco, etc. In the evening the usual week-day service was held in the school-room,
always crowded.
"The following day all the children were assembled by Mr. Duncan at his house, first the girls and
then the boys, about two hundred in all; and, after
being amused by him, were treated to sugar-plums
and apples, and each one received some article of
clothing (cap or cape, etc.), so as to be sent away to
their homes rejoicing.
" Next day all the men in the village, about 300,
were assembled in the market-house to be addressed
by Mr. Duncan. After he had given them the best
advice he could their Christmas presents were distributed to them in the presence of all the Mission
party. These consisted of one-half pound sugar,
and six apples to each one, with copy-book and
pencil, or tobacco for the older men.
"The day after this, Mr. and Mrs. Schult kindly
entertained the widows of the village, about sixty
in number, to a substantial dinner. It was a pleasure to see even the old and decrepit able to sit at
table and enjoy their meal, and it made us enter
fully into the idea of the renovating influence of
Christmas blessings, to think in what dark and murderous heathenism, these aged widows, had been
reared when young. - After dinner Mr. Duncan
brought them to his Hall to listen to an address, so
88SSSSK8W! HALCYON DAYS.
95
that they might not return home without words of
Gospel truth, and comfort, to cheer for struggling
days.
I The morrow, being Sunday, was marked by the
usual services. These consist, first, of morning Sunday-school at half-past nine, at which about 200
are present, both children and adults, males and
females being in separate buildings. All the elder
scholars learn and repeat a text both in English, and
Tsimshean, and have it explained to them, and they
are able to use intelligently their English Bibles for
this purpose. At eleven is morning service in
church, attended at Christmas time by 700 to 800.
Hymns are sung both in English and Tsimshean,
and heartily joined in by the congregation. This
being the last Sunday in the year, the service was
made a specially devotional one to seek mercy for
the offences of the past twelvemonth.
" After morning service the adults met again in
Sunday-school to learn in English and Tsimshean
the text of the sermon, and have it again explained
to them by the native Sunday-school teachers, who
are prepared for this duty at a meeting with Mr.
Duncan on Saturday evening. It is very interesting
to see about 300 adults gathered together in the
three schools at midday, entirely in the hands of
native-teachers, and with English Bibles in their
hands poring intelligently over the text, and following out again the subject of the morning discourse.
ES mmm
96
THE  STORY  OF METLAKAHTLA.
f cannot but think it would be a great gain if this
scheme of Mr. Duncaris could be largely followed in
other missions.
I Afternoon service is held in the church at three
o'clock, with a Litany, and after this, when the daylight lasts long enough, there is a second Sunday-
school. The church is as full in the afternoon as in
the morning, and the punctuality of the attendance
is surprising. In the evening at seven o'clock service is again held in the school-room, which is
crowded, and occasional meetings are held by the
elder converts for the benefit of any aged people
unable to come to church.
" To return to the Christmas doings : on the Monday, all the women of the village, about three hundred, assembled in the market-house, and, after
suitable addresses, valuable presents were made to
each, viz.: one pound soap, one pound rice, and
several apples, etc., so, that they returned home
laden and rejoicing. Altogether about ^50 ($250)
must have been spent upon the Christmas presents.
" On Monday evening, being the last night of
the old year, a suitable service was held in church,
the subject being Psalm xc. : ' So teach us to number our days,' etc. On New-Year's day, the festivities were renewed. Bugle-notes and drums and
fifes, and the exercises of the volunteers, enlivened
the scene.    The youth of the village played foot-
SSSSSSSSSSSSSSS^^
1iS HALCYON DAYS.
97
ball on the sands. All the men of the village were
assembled in the market-house, and were permanently enrolled in ten companies, the members of
each company receiving rosettes of a distinguishing
colour. Each company has in it, besides ordinary
members, one chief, two constables, one elder, and
three councillors, who are all expected to unite in
preserving the peace and order of the village. The
ten chiefs all spoke in the market-house on New-
Year's day, and in sensible language promised to
follow the teaching they had received, and to unite
in promoting what is good. After the meeting all
adjourned to the green in front of the church, and
joined in singing j God save the Queen,' in English,
before dispersing to their homes. The rest of the
day was spent in New-Year's greetings.
" Wednesday evening was occupied by the usual
week-day service, and Thursday and Friday evenings were devoted to the exhibition in the school-
room, first to the women and then to the men, of
a large magic-lantern, with oxygen light, and also a
microscope showing living insects and sea-water animalcules, as well as various slides.
I The above is but an imperfect sketch of the efforts made by Mr. Duncan for the increase and
happiness of his village."
We read these testimonies, according one with
another, to a perfect corroboration and repeat to ourselves,—I what hath God wrought "—through his II
98
THE STORY  OF METLAKAHTLA.
faithful servant—but wait, and we shall see, how,
when this devout flock, becomes the object of persecution, and relentless tyranny, men wearing " the
cloth " presume with temerity to declare that white
is black. CHAPTER IV.
EARL DUFFERIN AND OTHERS TESTIFY.
STATESMEN, explorers, naval officers, travellers,
merchants, and missionaries, on returning to England and the United States, after visiting the North
Pacific, gave impressive accounts of Mr. Duncan's
remarkable work. These accounts are, unfortunately, for the most part buried in huge reports, or
interspersed through books which are of a more or
less technical or special character, having interest
but to the few.
However, I shall quote some extracts which I
have gleaned from the writings of a few of those who
have visited Mr. Duncan's mission, or studied his
methods and work.
An event of no little importance in the history of
Metlakahtla, during the year 1876, was the visit of
Lord Dufferin, when Governor-General of Canada—
accompanied by Lady Dufferin. Their reception
was extremely cordial.
The following address was presented by the natives. IOO
THE STORY  OF METLAKAHTLA.
I To His Excellency the Earl of Dufferin,
Governor-General of the Dominion of
Canada:
"May it Please Your Excellency,—We, the inhabitants of Metlakahtla, of the Tsimshean nation
of Indians, desire to express our joy in welcoming
your Excellency and Lady Dufferin to our village.
Under the teaching of the Gospel we have learned
the Divine command, j Fear God, honor the King,'
and thus as loyal subjects of her Majesty Queen
Victoria we rejoice in seeing you visit our shores.
1 We have learned to respect and obey the laws
of the Queen, and we will continue to uphold and
defend the same in our community and nation.
1 We are still a weak and poor people, only lately
emancipated from the thraldom of heathenism and
savage customs; but we are struggling to rise and
advance to a Christian life and civilization.
"Trusting that we may enjoy a share of your
Excellency's kind and fostering care, and under your
administration continue to advance in peace and
prosperity,
I We have the honor to subscribe, ourselves, your
Excellency's humble and obedient servant,
I For the Indians of Metlakahtla,
"David Leask,
I Secretary to the Native Council." earl dufferin and others testify,  ioi
The Governor-General replied as follows:—
" I have come a long distance in order to assure
you, in the name of your Great Mother, the Queen
of England, with what pleasure she has learned
of your well-being, and of the progress you have
made in the arts of peace and the knowledge of
the Christian religion, under the auspices of your
kind friend^ Mr. Duncan. You must understand
that I have not come for my own pleasure, but that
the journey has been long and laborious, and that I
am here from a sense of duty, in order to make you
feel, by my actual presence, with what solicitude the
Queen, and Her Majesty's Government in Canada,
watch over your welfare, and how anxious they are
that you should persevere in that virtuous and industrious mode of life in which I find you engaged.
I have viewed with astonishment the church which
you have built entirely by your own industry and
intelligence. That church is in itself a monument
of the way in which you have profited by the teachings you have received. It does you the greatest
credit, and we have every right to hope that, while
in its outward aspect it bears testimony to your conformity to the laws of the Gospel, beneath its sacred
roof your sincere and faithful prayers will be rewarded, by those blessings which are promised to all
those who approach the throne of God, in humility
and faith. / hope you will understand that yojir
White Mother and the Government of Canada are
fully prepared to protect you in the exercise of your 102
THE  STORY  OF METLAKAHTLA.
religion, and to extend to you those laws which know
no difference of race or of color, but under which
justice is impartially administered between the humblest and the greatest in the land.
" The Government of Canada is proud to think
that there are upward of thirty thousand Indians in
the territory of British Columbia alone. She recognizes them as the ancient inhabitants of the
country. The white men have not come among
you as conquerors, but as friends. We regard you
as our fellow-subjects, and as equal to us in the eye
of the law as you are in the eye of God, and equally
entitled with the rest of the community to the
benefits of good government, and the opportunity
of earning an honest livelihood.
" I have had very great pleasure in inspecting your
school, and I am quite certain that there are many,
among the younger portion of those I am now addressing, who have already begun to feel how much
they are indebted to that institution, for the expansion of their mental faculties, for the knowledge of
what is passing in the outer world, as well as for the
insight it affords them into the laws of nature, and
into the arts of civilized life; and we have the further satisfaction of remembering that, as year after
year, flows by and your population increases, all
those beneficial influences will acquire additional
strength and momentum.
" I hope you are duly grateful to him to whom,
under Providence, you are indebted for all these EARL DUFFERIN AND   OTHERS TESTIFY.    103
benefits, and that when you constrast your own
condition, the peace in which you live, the comforts that surround you, the decency of your habitation—when you see your wives, your sisters, and
your daughters contributing so materially by the
brightness of their appearance, the softness of their
manners, their housewifely qualities, to the pleasantness and cheerfulness of your domestic lives,
contrasting as all these do so strikingly with your
former surroundings, you will remember that it is to
Mr. Duncan you owe this blessed initiation into your
new life.
I By a faithful adherence to his principles and his
example you will become useful citizens and faithful subjects, an honor to those under whose auspices
you will thus have shown to what the Indian race
can attain, at the same time-that you will leave to
your children an ever-widening prospect of increasing happiness and progressive improvement.
" Before f conclude 1cannot help expressing to Mr.
Duncan and those associated with him in his good
work, not only in my own name, not only in the name
of the Government of Canada, but also in the name of
Her Majesty the Queen, and in the name of the people
of England, who take so deep an interest in the well-
being of all the native races throughout the Queens
■dominions, our deep gratitude to him for thus having
devoted the flower of his life, in spite of innumerable
difficulties, dangers, and discouragements, of which
we, who only see the result of his labors, can form only Mb
104
THE STORY  OF METLAKAHTLA.
a very inadequate idea, 'to a work which has resulted
in the beautiful scene we have witnessed this morning. I only wish to add that I am very much
obliged to you for the satisfactory and loyal address
with which you have greeted me. The very fact of
you being in a position to express yourselves with
so much propriety is in itself extremely creditable to
you, and although it has been my good fortune to
receive many addresses during my stay in Canada
from various communities of your fellow-subjects,
not one of them will be surrounded by so many
hopeful and pleasant reminiscences as those which
I shall carry away with me from this spot."
Subsequently, Lord Dufferin, in a speech delivered
in Government House, Victoria, before about two
hundred leading citizens, including the members of
the Provincial Government, said:
" I have traversed the entire coast of British Columbia, from its southern extremity to Alaska. I
have penetrated to the head of Bute Inlet; I have
examined the Seymour Narrows, and the other
channels which intervene between the head of Bute
Inlet and Vancouver Island. I have looked into
the mouth of Dean's Canal, and passed across the
entrance to Gardener's Channel. I have visited Mr.
Duncan's wonderful settlement at Metlakahtla, and
the interesting Methodist Mission at Fort Simpson,
and have thus been enabled to realize what scenes
of primitive peace, and innocence, of idyllic beauty,
and material comfort, can be presented by the stal-
^SBB^g EARL DUFFERIN AND  OTHERS  TESTIFY.    105
wart men, and comely maidens of an Indian community under the wise administration of a judicious,
and devoted Christian missionary. I have seen the
Indians in all phases of their existence, from the
half-naked savage, perched, like a bird of prey, in a
red blanket upon a rock, trying to catch his miserable dinner of fish, to the neat maiden in Mr. Duncan's school at Metlakahtla, as modest and as well
dressed as any clergyman's daughter in an English
parish. . . . What you want are not resources,
but human beings to develop them and consume
them. Raise your thirty thousand fndians to the level
Mr. Duncan has taught us they can be brought, and
consider what an enormous amount of vital power
you will have added to your present strength''
A further quotation will be given later on in
reference to the land question, from this speech
of Lord Dufferin.
Lord, and Lady Dufferin, were greatly impressed
by the evidences they beheld on every hand, at
Metlakahtla, of the substantial creation of a civilized
community, from a people rescued in a single generation, from the lowest degradation, and savagery.
Lady Dufferin, especially noted a remarkable refinement of taste and the choice of quiet colors, and
modest dresses of the women.
Mr. St. John who accompanied Lord Dufferin
and reported the above address, writing of Mr.
Duncan's plan of dealing with his people, among
other things says :— io6
THE  STORY  OF  METLAKAHTLA.
" It struck me that he threw, and successfully
threw, cold water on the Governor-General's bestowing any special mark of recognition on the
chiefs. He has to conduct his operations in a peculiar way, and it can be easily shown, he understood
that much of his advice and direction, would be
thrown away, were there a recognized authority
over the Indians other than himself. He strives to
make industry and merit the standards by which the
men of the village are measured and in presenting
an address to the Governor-General, which was
done immediately after the singing was concluded
there was no apparent priority or distinction among
them."—" Sea of Mountains."    London, 1877.
The Church of England Missionary Society of
London, was so proud of Mr. Duncan's work, that
it published, and widely circulated, a book entitled
"Metlakahtla," in which it extols Mr. Duncan's
work, giving him unstinted praise, for the marvellous things he had accomplished, among the ferocious, wild savages, of the great Northwest. This
book was the means of bringing many thousand
pounds in contributions to the Society's coffers " for
the purpose of converting the heathen of foreign
lands." The Church Missionary Society's publications continually chronicled the progress of his
work, and held him up as an example for missionaries throughout the world.
The Society for the Promotion of Christian
Knowledge, London, published a book, edited by EARL DUFFERIN AND  OTHERS TESTIFY.    107
the Rev. J. J. Halcombe, M.A, titled " Stranger
than Fiction." This book, devoted entirely to Mr.
Duncan's mission work, has passed through many
editions, and I have been informed ; something like
twenty thousand copies have been sold. The author
begins by saying that Mr. Duncan's work "presents
a series of incidents without parallel in the missionary annals of the Church," and from beginning, to
end, lauds his methods.
In reference to the founding of Metlakahtla he
says :—
" Gradually assuming shape and consistency, until it finally issued in the establishment of the native settlement, the singular and successful development of which has already constituted it one of the
■marvels of the day,    .    .    .
" Thus we have seen the foundation laid, and the
superstructure begin to rise upon it. What the nature of the foundation has been we have sufficiently
indicated. | Other foundation can no man lay than
that is laid, even Jesus Christ,' seems to have been
pre-eminently the principle upon which, as a true
missionary—I a wise master builder'—Mr. Duncan
from the first proceeded in his work. ' Jesus Christ
and Him crucified,' all the historical facts of our
Lord's life and death, the causes which led to, and
the results which followed from, the ' one all-sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction for the
sins of the whole world,' offered by Christ upon
the cross; these had been, so to speak, the mate- THE  STORY  OF METLAKAHTLA.
rials ceaselessly thrown in amongst the quicksands
of ignorance, and superstition, which would otherwise have baffled all hope of erecting any solid
superstructure upon them.
" It is difficult, in a narrative like the present, to
convey any sufficiently adequate idea of the untiring perseverance with which Mr. Duncan seems
thus to have made his preaching, and teaching rest
upon and centre round the great facts of the history
of mans redemption. Line upon line, precept upon
precept, in season, and, as some would have thought,
out of season the same theme was evidently regarded as the only motive-power, which could be
brought to bear with any reasonable hope of a successful result attending it.    .    .    .
" But of all tests of progress in such a settlement
as Metlakahtla the development of a missionary
spirit is the most trustworthy. Nor was this sign
wanting. Amongst all classes of the community
there seems to have been a constant desire leading; to
continued and earnest efforts to bring home the truths
of tlie Gospel to their heathen brethren."...
In narrating the remarkable career of Legaic, Dr.
Halcombe writes:—
" The case of Paul Legaic was, be it remembered,
no exceptional one, though rendered somewhat
more remarkable by his former rank. His history
is only one out of a very large number of a similar
kind which the experience of this Mission would
furnish.
rp EARL DUFFERIN  AND   OTHERS  TESTIFY.    109
"That, humanly speaking, a great part of Mr.
Duncan's success, especially at first, was due to the
persistency with which he went to those who would
not come to him, and to his resolute determination
to declare to all 'whether they would hear or
whether they would forbear,' the counsel and will
of God regarding them, there can be no doubt.
I How far the moral and social elevation of, the
whole Indian race may be affected by what is being
done in Metlakahtla, and.what may be the result of
the formation of a sort of native capital and model
settlement, it is impossible to predict. That with
God's blessing it may result in the saving of a
goodly remnant of a whole race we would fain hope.
"What Mr. Duncan's own plans are, and how
far he will hereafter devote himself to the extension
of the .great work which he has so successfully inaugurated, we have no means of judging. Being himself a layman, he naturally wishes to see a clergyman permanently established in charge of the settlement, and speaks continually of the time of his own
retirement from the work as being near at hand.
" That a man possessed of such singular administrative ability, such great earnestness, and such unusual power of influencing others, and who has
gained so thorough a mastery in the language as j to
think and dream' in it, should entirely withdraw
himself from the work to which he has hitherto
devoted himself would be a cause of general and
deep regret, and we may well express the hope that 11
110
THE  STORY  OF  METLAKAHTLA.
the day for his doing so may yet be far distant.
Great as has been the work which has been already
done, a greater still remains to be accomplished.
If Metlakahtla is really to become the centre of any
widely extended efforts to evangelize the native tribes
of North-West America, it must be under the guid
ing and controlling influence of such a mind as that
of Mr. Duncan. Most sincerely do we trust that
he will meet with such encouragement and assistance
as will enable him to complete that which he begun
so well, and that the Christian Community which
we have seen so successfully organized may only be
the first of many other settlements modelled on the
same plan and showing the same signs of material
prosperity, combined with a thorough appreciation
and practical application of the saving trut/is of Christianity.
" Yielding to ' no consideration of comfort, taste,
interest, reputation, or safety (in all which respects
he has been severely tried)] did Mr. Duncan labor on
year after year resolutely, sacrificing himself, and his
ow?i interests to the work which he had undertaken,
and refusing to decline or abandon any undertaking
which he believed to be, under the providence of God,
essential to its success. Who that reads the story of
what the strong will and entire self-devotion of one
man has effected will deny that it is indeed jj stranger
than fiction' ? "
We shall have occasion in succeeding chapters
to ponder over some of these strong terms of praise, EARL  DUFFERIN AND  OTHERS  TESTIFY.    Ill
and wonder which is the strangest feature of Mr.
Duncan's experience; his anxious struggle to wrest
these people from heathendom, or, his resistance of
ecclesiastics, who seek to destroy his life's work.
The Encyclopedia Britannica, in its treatise on
missions says:
"At Columbia, on the coast of the Pacific,a practical missionary genius, named William Duncan, has
succeeded in civilizing a body of Indians, degraded
by cannibalism, and, at his Metlakahtla mission,
stands at the head of a community of some thousand persons, which has a larger church than is to
be found between there and San Francisco. Testimony to the value of the results was borne in
1876 by Lord Dufferin, then Governor-General of
Canada, who declared that he could hardly find
words to express his astonishment at what he witnessed."
Admiral R. C. Mayne, R.N., F.R.G.S., devoting
nearly five years to exploration, and study, of the
natives of the North Pacific, in his highly instructive
report writes:
" There is no doubt that men of Mr. Duncan's
stamp, who will in a frank, manly spirit go among
them (the Indians), diffusing the blessings of religion and education, will meet a cordial reception
and an abundant reward. But without any desire
to disparage or dishearten others, I must say that
Mr. Duncan impressed us as a man out of ten
thousand, possessing with abundant energy and zeal 112
THE  STORY  OF METLAKAHTLA.
that talent for acquiring the confidence and love of
his fellow-creature which all who come in his way,
were they whites or Indians, could not fail to acknowledge and feel subject to.
" The labors 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 or habits." Then Admiral Mayne quotes Captain Richards, R.N., commanding H. M. S. Plumper, who, having been ordered by the government
to quell an outbreak at Fort Rupert, reported :
" I have had some trouble with the Indians, and at
a large meeting they asked me why Mr. Duncan
was not sent to teach them, and then insisted on
the injustice of his being sent over their heads to
the Tsimshean Indians. The business I have just
had with the Indians convinces me that it is not
our ships of war that are wanted up the coast, but
missionaries. The Indian's ignorance of our power
and strong confidence in his own, in addition to his
natural savage temper, render him unfit to be dealt
with at present by stern and unyielding men of
war, unless his destruction be contemplated, which
of course is not. Why do not more men come out,
since Mr. Duncan's mission has been so successful;
or, if the missionary societies cannot afford them,
why does not government send out fifty, and place
them up the coast at once ?    Surely, it would not EARL  DUFFERIN  AND  OTHERS  TESTIFY.    113
be difficult to find fifty good men in England willing to engage in such work ! And their expenses
would be almost nothing compared with the cost
which the country must sustain to subdue the Indians by force of arms."
To this the Admiral adds : " Such are the earnest sentiments of one of Her Majesty's naval captains while among the Indians. And such, I may
add, are the sentiments of myself—in common, I
believe, -with all my brother officers—after nearly
five years' constant and close intercourse with the
natives of Vancouver's Island and the coast of British Columbia."
Matthew Macfie, F.R.G.S. (" Vancouver's Island"), London, 1865, commenting upon the utter
degradation in which he found the British Columbian Indians, writes:
" From these facts, some idea may be formed of
the vexations borne by Mr. Duncan at the beginning of his career. But a noble ambition to elevate
the social and religious condition of the Indian
lightened the burden of his toils. Such an enter-
prise was sufficiently onerous to one cheered by the
presence of Christian sympathy; but his isolated
situation, struggling without a pious companion of
either sex to share his anxieties and labors, was
fitted to deepen the interest felt by the religious
public at home. A work has been accomplished
there whose success has rarely, if ever, been equalled
in the history of missions to the heathen. H4
THE  STORY  OF  METLAKAHTLA.
" These indispensable auxiliaries of civilization
did not, I know, formerly receive from foreign missionaries in the Sandwich Islands the attention they
merited, and consequently, the results of their zealous and severe exertions were, in most instances,
sadly out of proportion to the time, strength, and
money expended in connection with their work.
I trust I do not detract from the dignity of the missionary calling, or from the power of the Christian
religion, in suggesting that the arts and institutions
of civilized life ought to be fostered side by side
with the communication of religious instruction.
These arts and institutions create new and elevating
social relations, and open up the most worthy
spheres to be found in this world for the exercise
of Christian virtues, the strengthening of heavenly
principles, and the development of the divine life.
To those missionaries, therefore, who have been
exclusively ecclesiastical in their plan of action, I
commend the enlightened example of Mr. Duncan.''
Whymper, the distinguished English traveller,
made an extended journey of exploration through
the North Pacific country. In his book, " Travels
in Alaska" London, 1868, after giving his own ideas
regarding the civilization of the aborigines, says, referring to Metlakahtla:
" The success of this station is, doubtless, due in
part to its isolation from any large white settlement, but Mr. Duncan must have labored earnestly
and incessantly in his noble work. EARL  DUFFERIN  AND  OTHERS TESTIFY.    115
" I think it is fair to allude to one objection I have
heard used, both in and out of the colony, to Mr.
Duncan's work. It is this, that for a missionary
he is 'too much of a trader.' I cannot say to
what extent, or in what sense, this may be true ; I
do not myself believe it in any offensive sense. If,
however, Mr. Duncan, from a little pecuniary advantage accruing to him, should be induced to prolong his stay among the Indians, and follow out
the work of civilization he is engaged in, no one
can rightly complain. The majority of missionaries
do not stop long enough in any one locality to acquire a thorough knowledge of the native dialects,
and this of itself must be a fatal hindrance to their
efforts.
" If this gentleman, by giving up a large part of his
life for the benefit of these savages, can at the same
time make a fortune, may success attend him."
This report of the accusation against Mr. Duncan,
is given in order to show how industriously the
liquor traders, and the Hudson's Bay Company's
agents, circulated their slanders against him, (see
Chap. II. of this volume) simply because he endeavored to prevent the sale of intoxicating drink to
the Indians, and, because he introduced industries
that enabled the natives to cheaply manufacture
articles, that, the Hudson's Bay Company had previously supplied at exorbitant prices. Mr. Duncan
desired peaceful relations, and on founding Metlakahtla endeavored to induce   the   Hudson's   Bay u6
THE  STORY OF METLAKAHTLA.
Company to open a store there, and thus avoid the
necessity of his engaging in the venture. But in
their bitterness, they obdurately refused.
The liquor traders of Alaska maligned him, because he would not allow them to poison his people;
they even accused him of complicity in smuggling,*
and based their charges on the fact, that the Tsimsheans bartered their goods, up and down the coast;
as they had ever done from the earliest time. It is
needless to add that the accusation was false. Had
Mr. Duncan been greedy of gain he would hardly
have abandoned a lucrative position, with bright
future prospects, in England to encounter the dangers, and hardships, of missionary life among the
North Pacific savages.
The Nanaimo Tribune (British Columbia) published, the following account of a visit paid to Metlakahtla, in 1866 by a Roman Catholic gentleman,
he writes :—
" Though not of the same denomination as Mr.
Duncan, and having no interest to subserve, by my
advocacy of  his great  claims to the respect and
* Bancroft, in his History of Alaska, in error, attributes a
report of this accusation to Dr. Sheldon Jackson ; but, Dr.
Jackson positively denies that he has ever published or
made such a statement, and credits, its circulation solely to
Alaskan liquor traders, or, early officials, who were mixed
up with them, or, were anxious to stamp out mission work,
and education. The early history of Alaska is very unsavory in this respect.
HP EARL  DUFFERIN  AND   OTHERS  TESTIFY.    117
gratitude of all true Christians, for his meritorious
services in the good cause, it is with feelings of the
utmost pleasure, that, I bear testimony to the great
good effected by this worthy man, during his period
of self-exile at Metlakahtla. Some time ago reports were industriously circulated that his influence
over the aborigines was rapidly on the wane, and
that he used every means to prevent his people
from trading with the vessels calling at the Mission.
With regard to the first assertion, it is simply ridiculous. The confidence reposed in Mr. Duncan by
his dusky flock has never for a moment been shaken,
in fact is daily on the increase, as the many additions
to the population from outside sources will attest,
as well as the alacrity with which he is obeyed in
every command, having for its object, the good of
the community. A notable instance of the latter I
witnessed in the ready manner in which they turned
out to do their quota of statute labor on the
streets, or paid its equivalent in blankets, &c: no
coercion, all was voluntary, for they see the benefit
in front of their own doors. Their hearts seem to
be centred in their little town, and you can inflict
no greater punishment on them, than to exile them,
from it and its founder.
" In regard to the allegation about the prohibition
to trading, I have only to remark that it is as groundless as the other. I myself was on a trading voyage,
and stopped ten days at Metlakahtla, and had every
facility afforded me by Mr. Duncan in trafficking u8
THE STORY  OF METLAKAHTLA.
with the natives. The reason is obvious enough :
our trade was not in whiskey. That branch of trade
is certainly discouraged at the Mission, hence the
outcry about ' interfering with commerce.'  .   .   .
" A word or two now about Metlakahtla and its
beautiful environs, all blooming with the blossoms
of that useful esculent the potato, some twenty
acres of which were under cultivation and looking
splendid. The town is triangular in shape; the
Mission-buildings being located on a bold promontory forming the apex. The view from the southern
entrance of the harbor, looking townward, is extremely pretty. The church, of octagonal form,* having a handsome portico and belfry, and surmounted
with the emblem of Christianity and peace, occupies a prominent position in the foreground ; adjacent to this are the parsonage, store, and saw-pits,
the latter supplying lumber of good quality, the
product of native labor, at the rate of fifteen dollars per I,ooo. The houses, numbering about fifty,
are nearly all of a uniform size—16 by 24 feet—
good frame, weather-boarded and shingled, glazed
windows, and having neat little gardens in front;
the whole forming two handsome esplanades, one
fronting the outer and the other the inner harbor.
"The interior of the houses did not belie the
promise held out by the exterior. Everything was
neat and scrupulously clean.    The inmates were as
* The old church. EARL  DUFFERIN  AND  OTHERS TESTIFY.    119
well supplied with the requisites to make life comfortable as any of our laboring class here. Cooking-stoves and clocks were common to every dwelling, and, in a few instances, pictures adorn the walls
of the more luxuriously inclined.
" The sight at church on Sabbath morning was
pleasant to behold. The congregation numbered
about .300, the females preponderating, the major
portion of the males being at that time away at
the fishing-station. They were all well clad—the
women in their cloth mantles and merino dresses ;
the men in substantial tweeds and broadcloth suits,
and having the impress of good health and contentment on their intelligent features. Their conduct
during divine service was strictly exemplary, and
would have done credit to many a more pretentious
edifice than that at Metlakahtla.
"As a whole, Mr. Duncan's people are industrious
and sober; they are courteous and hospitable to
strangers, and, if properly protected by the Government against the poison-venders of this land, will
in time become a numerous wealthy people."
One of the British Columbian journals, publishes
the following concerning the visit of Mr. MeKenzie,
a Scotch gentleman, to Metlakahtla during a prospecting tour on the North Pacific Coast:—
" On reaching the Metlakahtlan settlement, the
party were astonished to witness all the external,
and internal evidences of civilization. The interior
of each dwelling is divided into separate apartments, THE  STORY OF METLAKAHTLA.
and what little furniture they contain is kept in
good order, and clean.
" The people, both male and female, are all comfortably clad, the result of their own industry and
provident habits.
" The village contains a church, part of which is
used as a school during the week. Mr. MeKenzie
attended divine service on Sunday, and was amazed
at the sight of the large congregation of native converts assembled. Their deportment and solemnity
during the service, he declares, could not be excelled
by any Christian congregation which he had ever previously united with in worship. Mr. Duncan read
the Church Service, and afterward preached in the
Indian language. It was evident to Mr. MeKenzie
and his companions that the natives took a deep,
and intelligent interest, in the services from beginning to end. The apathy, and listlessness, which is
observable in the countenance of an untutored
Indian has entirely departed from the Metlakahtlans. Most of their faces are remarkable for an
animated appearance and intelligent expression.
" Mr. Duncan teaches school during the week,
and instructs the natives how to use the appliances
of modern civilization in cultivating their gardens,
building their houses, and sawing timber, as well as
many other useful arts. He also superintends the
village store, acts as magistrate, settles all disputes
that may arise, and, in fact, has his hands full in
performing the arduous labors which devolve upon EARL  DUFFERIN  AND   OTHERS  TESTIFY.    121
him, and which have resulted in such complete
success as scarcely to be believed, unless, as Mr.
MeKenzie states, it has been witnessed.
" The contrast between the Fort Simpson Indians,
among whom Mr. MeKenzie resided last winter,
and the inhabitants of Metlakahtla, is like that between darkness and light: at Fort Simpson all is
gross ignorance, barbarism, degradation, filth, and
evil: whilst at Metlakahtla civilization, progress, enlightenment, cleanliness, and Christianity are everywhere observable.
" Mr. MeKenzie bears willing testimony to the
amazing amount of substantial good done by Mr.
Duncan. The beneficial influence which he exerts
over the natives is not confined to those under his
charge alone. The improvement, which he has
been the zealous instrument of bringing about, has
become extensively known among the wandering
Arabs who inhabit the British possessions of the
Pacific, and the tribes are now desirous of being instructed by Missionaries. Mr. MeKenzie, in his
travels up Naas and Skeena rivers, has heard the
Indians express the most fervent wishes to have
'good men' laboring among them. Mr. MeKenzie
in his narrative has only spoken of what he witnessed himself, and he is not a bad witness to facts
coming under his own observation. He is an intelligent Scotchman, who has travelled a good deal,
and, like most of his countrymen, is not easily deceived, being of ' an inquiring turn of mind.' | 122
THE  STORY   OF METLAKAHTLA.
William F. Bainbridge, in his book, " Tour of
Christian Missions around the World" New York,
1882, speaking of the Church of England Missions,
writes:
" Their most interesting station is at Metlakahtla,
near Fort Simpson, upon the Pacific coast of British Columbia. When, in 1857, Mr. Duncan was
located among the Tsimsheans, his task seemed
as hopeless as when the explorer Hudson was
cast adrift by the mutineers. He found twenty-
three thousand of the most blood-thirsty savages.
Physically a superior tribe, they yet seemed to
have sunken lower than all others in wretchedness
and crime. Soon after, the " fire-water " was introduced by the Victoria miners, and a reign of terror
began. But the missionary felt that Christianity
was equal to even such a situation of unparalleled
horrors, and he kept to work. By 1862 he had influenced some fifty to a better life, and with them
formed a new settlement a few miles distant. Now
over a thousand are gathered there about him, in
well-built cottages, with the largest church edifice
north of San Francisco, the Sabbath, kept, all the
children at school, every citizen in health attending
divine worship. No intoxicating drink is allowed
in the community. This prosperous, well-ordered,
Christian settlement shows what evangelization can
do under the worst possible embarrassments."
Rev. Sheldon Jackson, U. S. General Agent for
Education in Alaska, has several times visited Met- EARL  DUFFERIjN  AND   OTHERS  TESTIFY.   123
lakahtla, and has repeatedly borne emphatic testimony, to the great influence of Mr. Duncan's Christianizing, and civilizing work upon the Alaskan
Natives. Dr. Jackson's extensive experience in
mission and educational work among the Indians,
lends peculiar force to his opinions; he says of Mr.
Duncan's mission :—
" The new settlement has now grown to one
thousand people, forming the healthiest and strongest settlement on the coast. "...
" These Indians are a happy, industrious, prosperous community of former savages and cannibals,
saved by the grace of God. This is the oldest and
most successful Indian Mission on that coast, and
illustrates what one consecrated man by Divine
help can accomplish."    .
" Some three or four years ago the head chief of
the Indians upon the northern end of Vancouver
Island, at Fort Rupert, visited Metlakahtla, and
asked for a teacher, saying that ' a rope had been
thrown out from Metlakahtla which was encircling and drawing together all the Indian tribes into one common brotherhood.'"—Alaska and the
Missions of the North Pacific Coast. New York,
1880.
I shall make further quotations, from Dr. Jackson, in the last chapter of this volume, together
with a quotation from the Governor of Alaska.
The Hon. James G. Swan, was appointed a
Special Commissioner of the Department of the 124
THE  STORY  OF METLAKAHTLA.
Interior, in  1875, to visit Alaska.    In his official
report we find the following :—
" From Fort Simpson Ave proceed to Fort Ton-
gass, in Alaska, some 15 miles distant from Simpson. This is an abandoned military post, belonging
to the United States, and now occupied by a band
of 700 Tongass, under a chief named Ya-soot. He
came on board and expressed a great desire to have
a missionary teacher. He said he felt ashamed
when he went to Fort Simpson to see all the children learning to read and write, and all the Indians
going to church, while the Tongass Indians had
neither a missionary nor teacher and he thought
that ' Washington' does not take as good care of
the Alaska Indians as King George (the name they
give the English) does of the Indians at Fort Simpson. He wished me to ask ' Washington ' to send
them a missionary, and he would make his people
build him a house, and he, would compel all the
Indians to send their children to school. Now this
apparent eagerness for a missionary is simply owing
to a feeling of jealousy of the Tsimheans, who are
given to boasting to the Alaska Indians that the
English Government take better care of them, than
the American Government does of the Alaskans.
Still, a beneficial influence is exerted by the feeling ; for in all my experience of over twenty years
among the coast tribes, the great difficulty has been
to get them to allow a missionary to reside among
them.    This same feeling was exhibited in every
^SSK8«$S8SS88!S8WS^
■WP EARL DUFFERIN AND  OTHERS TESTIFY.    125
village we visited during our cruise. It was the old
cry, ' Come over from Macedonia and help us.' I
sincerely believe if this matter was placed in the
hands of various missionary societies, and they
could send men like Mr. Duncan and Mr. Crosby,
free and untrammelled by any of the restrictions
that now necessarily surround the Indian agents,
under our present plan, that far more good would
be effected among the natives, and at far less cost
than by our present system."
Referring to a Sunday spent in Fort Simpson he
says:—
" I was so impressed with what I had seen that
day that I could not help the thought that the
people whom we dare to call savages can teach the
so-called Christians lessons of humility. I left Fort
Simpson with a feeling of respect for those Indians
that I have never before felt for any tribe I have
lived with on the Northwest Coast, and I feel confident if missionaries, and teachers, are sent them
by the various missionary societies, of all denominations of Christians in the same untrammelled manner accorded to Messrs. Duncan and Crosby, that
the Alaska tribes will not only stay at home and
trade with our own people, but they will be morally, physically, and pecuniarily, better off than they
will be should our present miserable policy of Indian agencies be thrust upon them."
Colonel Vincent Colyer reporting as a Special
Commissioner to the U. S.  Government  after a 126
THE STORY  OF  METLAKAHTLA.
tour of inspection through Alaska laid great stress
upon our nation's neglect of the natives there and
made forcible comparison with Mr. Duncan's
achievements in British Columbia :—
" \ You ought to see Duncan's Mission before you
leave the Pacific Coast,' said many people to me on
my journey.    .    .    .
" ' It is really astonishing what he has done for
the Indians in a short time,' said they.    .    .    .
I We arrived at the mission at three o'clock having started at eight. Mr. Duncan, was away on
a visit to another mission which he looks after up
in Nass Bay. We landed at a well-constructed
stone wharf, built for canoes, and passing up this
about one hundred feet ascended a flight of steps
and entered the market-house.
" This market-house is a neat, well-built house,
of about forty by eighty feet, dry, clean, and comfortable. A number of Indians were in it, sitting beside their heaps of oolichan, boxes, piles
of bear and deer-skins, fish, &c, and seemed as contented, cheerful, and enterprising as many white
people I have seen in like places, Ascending
from the market-place a flight of about twenty
steps, which are lengthened out on either side
along a terrace two hundred feet, you come to
the plateau on which the mission village is located.
" The two streets on which the houses are built
form two sides of a triangle, at the apex of which EARL  DUFFERIN AND   OTHERS TESTIFY.    127
the church, mission-house, trading store, market and
and ' lock-up' are erected.
" The store was well furnished with substantial
articles of daily necessity, and at fair prices. Upstairs there was a good stock of marten, mink, fox,
bear, and beaver-skins, which Mr. Duncan had
received in exchange for the goods. The missionary's own residence is simple and commodious.
" But the chief interest is in the construction and
condition of the dwellings of the Indians. In these
Mr. Duncan has shown much practical good sense.
Taking the common form of habitation peculiar to
all Koloshan tribes along this coast, he has improved
upon it by introducing chimneys, windows, and
doors of commodious size, and floors elevated above
the ground. For furniture he has introducd chairs,
and tables, bedsteads, looking-glasses, pictures, and
window curtains. In front he has fenced off neat
court-yards, and introduced the cultivation of flowers, while in the rear of their dwellings are vegetable
gardens. Altogether the village presents many instructive and encouraging features.
" Mr. Duncan is invested with the powers of
a civil magistrate under the Colonial laws of Great
Britain, and is thus enabled to settle disputes and
nip all petty misdemeanors in the bud. He has
organized a police of Indians and they are said to
be well disciplined and effective. There is a small
I lock-up' or caboose built of logs in a picturesque 128
THE STORY  OF  METLAKAHTLA.
form, in which the disorderly are temporarily confined.
" It will be noticed that Mr. Duncan is thuc ;n-
vested with the powers of an Indian agent, teacher,
missionary, trader, and justice of the peace, and
as he is considered an honest man, and his books of
record are open to inspection, among a primitive
people, as Indians are, he can be a most efficient
officer."
Chas. Hallock on his return from Alaska, wrote:—
" I am pleased to be able to give fair sketches of
the remarkable Indian settlement of Metlakahtla,
above referred to, not only, as an instance of the
advanced state of civilization to which some of the
Pacific Coast Indians have already been brought,
but because it is an earnest of the enviable results
which must surely crown our own endeavors, if
properly applied, and therefore, an encouragement
to persevere.
"Metlakahtla is truly the full realization of the
missionaries' dream of aboriginal restoration. The
population is 1,200. ... Its residents, have
a rifle company of forty-two men, a brass band, a
two-gun battery and a large co-operative store,
where almost anything obtainable in Victoria can
be bought. We visited this port on our return trip
from Sitka, and were received with displays of bunting from various points, and a five-gun salute from
the battery, with Yankee Doodle and Dixie from the
band.    The Union Jack was flying.    The church THE METLAKAHTLA CHURCH :    BUILT  ENTIRELY BY THE NATIVES. 1 EARL DUFFERIN AND  OTHERS  TESTIFY.    129
is architecturally pretentious and can seat 1,200
persons. It has a belfry and spire, vestibule, gallery across the front end, groined arches and pulpit
carved by hand, organ and choir, Brussels carpet
in the aisles, stained glass windows, and all the
appointments and embellishments of a first class
sanctuary; and it is wholly native handiwork!
This well ordered community; occupy two story
shingled and clap-boarded dwelling houses of uniform size, 25 x 50 feet, with three windows and
gable ends, and door in front; and enclosed flower
gardens, and macadamized sidewalks ten feet wide
along the entire line of the street."
" These people have also a large town hall or
assembly room of the same capacity as the church,
capable of accommodating the whole population.
It is used for councils, meetings, and for a drill
room. It is warmed by three great fires placed in
the centre of the building, and lighted by side
lamps. The people dress very tastefully in modern
garb, and Lam not sure but they have the latest
fashions. The women weave cloth for garments,
and there are gardens which afford vegetables and
fruit in abundance. It is as cleanly as the most
punctilious Shaker settlement.
" The best testimony that can be offered to demonstrate the disposition of the Indians to receive
the lights, rights, and benefits of Christian civilization is contained in the simple appeal made by
Chief Toy-a-att, at Wrangell, as long ago as 1878, no
THE STORY OF METLAKAHTLA.
to an assemblage of several hundred whites and
Indians; and that appeal has not yet been regarded!
Is philanthropy a sop to Indian credulity ? Read
what follows:—
(Translation).
" My Brothers and Friends : I come before you
to-day to talk a little, and I hope that you will
listen to what I say, and not laugh at me because I
am an Indian. I am getting old and have not many
summers yet to, live on this earth. I want to speak
a little of the past history of us Sitka Indians and
of our present wants. In ages past, before white
men came among us, the Indians of Alaska were
barbarous, with brutish instincts. Tribal wars were
continual, bloodshed and murder of daily occurrence, and superstition controlled our whole movements and our hearts. The white man's God we
knew not of. Nature showed to us that there was
a first great cause; beyond that all was blank. Our
god was created by us; that is, we selected animals
and birds, which we revered as gods.
" In the course of time a change came over the
spirit of our dreams. We became aware of the fact
that we were not the only beings in the shape of
man that inhabited this earth. White men appeared
before us on the surface of the great waters in large
ships which we called canoes. Where they came
from we knew not, but supposed that they dropped
from the clouds.  The ship's sails we took for wings, EARL  DUFFERIN  AND  OTHERS  TESTIFY.    131
and concluded that, like the birds of the air, they
could fly as well as swim. As time advanced, the
white men who visited our country introduced
among us everything that is produced by nature
and the arts of man. They also told us of a God,
a superior being, who created all things, even us the
Indians. They told us that this God was in the
heavens above, and that all mankind were His children. These things were told to us, but we could
not understand them.
" At the present time we are not the same people
that we were a hundred years ago. Association
with the white man has created a change in our
habits and customs. We have seen and heard of
the wonderful works of the white man. His ingenuity and skill have produced steamships, railroads, telegraphs, and thousands of other things.
His mind is far-reaching; whatever he desires he
produces.
" Each day the white man becomes more perfect
while the Indian is at a stand-still. Why is this ?
Is it because the God you have told us of is a white
God, and that you, being of His color, have been
favored by Him ?
" Why brothers, look at our skin; we are dark,
we are not of your color, hence you call us Indians.
Is this the reason that we are ignorant; is this the
cause of our not knowing our Creator ?
"My brothers, a change is coming. We have
seen   and heard  of the wonderful  things of this iM
THE  STORY  OF METLAKAHTLA.
world, and we desire to understand what we see
and what we hear. We desire light. We want
our eyes to become open. We have been in the
dark too long, and we appeal to you, my brothers,
to help us.
" But how can this be done ? Listen to me.
Although I have been a bad Indian, I can see a
right road and I desire to follow it. I have changed
for the better. I have done away with all Indian
superstitious habits. I am in my old age becoming
civilized. I have learned to know Jesus and I desire to know more of Him. I desire education, in
order that I may be able to read the Holy Bible.
" Look at Fort Simpson and at Metlakahtla,
British Columbia. See the Indians there. In years
gone by they were the worst Indians on this coast,
the most brutal, barbarous, and blood-thirsty. They
were our sworn enemies and were continually at
war with us. How are they now ? Instead of our
enemies, they are our friends. They have become
partially educated and civilized. They can understand what they see and what they hear; they can
read and write and are learning to become Christians. These Indians, my brothers, at the places
just spoken of, are British Indians, and it must
have been the wish of the British Queen that her
Indians should be educated. We have been told
that the British Government is a powerful one, and
we have also been told that the American Government is a more powerful one.    We have been told EARL DUFFERIN AND  OTHERS TESTIFY.    133
that the President of the United States has control
over all the people, both whites and Indians. We
have been told how he came to be our great chief.
He purchased this country from Russia, and in purchasing it he purchased us. We had no choice or
say in change of masters. The change has been
made and we are content.    All we ask is justice.
" We ask of our father at Washington that we
be recognized as a people, inasmuch as he recognizes
all other Indians in other portions of the United
States.
"We ask that we be civilized, Christianized and
educated. Give us a chance, and we will show to
the world that we can become peaceable citizens
and good Christians. An effort has already been
made to better our condition, and may God bless
them in their work. A school has been established
here which, notwithstanding strong opposition by
bad white men and by Indians, has done a good
work among us.
" This is not sufficient. We want our chief at
Washington to help us. We want him to use his
influence toward having us a church built and in
having a good man sent to us who will teach us to
read the Bible and learn all about Jesus. And now,
my brothers, to you I appeal. Help us in our
efforts to do right. If you don't want to come to
our church don't laugh and make fun of us because
we sing and pray.
" Many of you have Indian women living with 134
THE  STORY  OF  METLAKAHTLA.
you. I ask you to send them to school and church,
where they will learn to become good women.
Don't my brothers, let them go to the dance-houses,
for there they will learn to be bad and learn to
drink whiskey.
" Now that I see you are getting tired of listening to me, I will finish by asking you again to help
us in trying to do right. If one of us should be led
astray from the right path, point out to us our error
and assist us in trying to reform. If you will assist
us in doing good and quit selling whiskey, we will
soon make Fort Wrangell a quiet place, and the
Stickeen Indians will become a happy people. I
now thank you for all your kind attention. Good-
by."—Our New Alaska.    New York, 1886.
Mr. N. H. Chittenden in his book, " Travels
through British Columbia" Victoria, B. C, 1882,
writes:—
" Metlakahtla.—The field of the remarkably successful work of Mr. Duncan, in civilizing and christianizing the Tsimshean Indians. He first established a mission at Fort Simpson, a post of the
Hudson's Bay Company, but for the purpose of
greater isolation in 1862 removed to Metlakahtla,
where he has gathered about 1,000 of that tribe,
and through a firm government and faithful secular
and religious training raised them from barbarism
to the condition of civilized people. They live in
comfortable houses, dress like the whites, school
their children, and worship in one of the largest EARL DUFFERIN AND  OTHERS TESTIFY.    135
churches  in  the   Province,   erected  at  a   cost  of
$10,000."
Julia McNair Wright, in her book devoted to the
study of the natives of Alaska, writes:—
" William Duncan of the Church of England, is
another of these bright names. Forgetting ambition, despising ease, forsaking his own country and
his father's house, counting even life not dear if he
might win those simple Indian souls for the Son of
God, he has created a civilization in Metlakahtla
and brought many souls to glory."    .    .    .
" The longest established, and most successful
work among any Alaskan Indians, is that maintained by Mr. Duncan.    .    .    .
" The Chilcats had occasionally visited Fort Simpson, and Metlakahtla, where one of the most remarkable of all missionary enterprises is located, and also
Sitka and Fort Wrangell, and they had carried to
their friends wonderful tales of Indians ' become
white,' who could ' talk on paper' and ' hear paper
talk ' and who wore white folks' clothes, and lived
in houses with windows, and forsook the Shaman,
and ate no more dog-flesh, and no longer killed one
another."    .
Alluding to the wretchedness, of the Alaskan Indians in their native villages, she adds :—
" The houses of the Indians are not fitted fo.r any
decency of home-life, nor for maintaining health.
The houses are often without partitions, and are inhabited by many Indians together, of all ages and 136
THE  STORY  OF  METLAKAHTLA.
both sexes. There is no possibility of securing
modesty of demeanor, purity of thought or cleanliness of living under these circumstances. Polygamy of the most shameless type exists, and child-
marriages are common. There is no need to
expatiate on the moral degeneration resulting from
twenty, thirty or more persons living in one room :
the results would be evident to any idiot."—" Among
the Alaskans."    Philadelphia, 1883.
The Church at Home and Abroad. New York,
February 1, 1887. In a leader on Mr. Duncan's
work headed "A Notable Stranger among Us,"
says:
" He has built a self-supporting civilized Christian community of about one thousand souls, in a
neat, well-ordered town called Metlakahtla, well
known to all the late tourists that have visited
Alaska, and seen by great numbers of them.
" Metlakahtla is one of the most successful undertakings in the elevation of the Indians, and, as a
model, is a fit and inspiring study for all the Indian
workers on the continent.
" It has been often said that there is no trouble
between the Canadian authorities and the Indians.
The Riel affair of last year was a sufficient answer
to this statement. But these Metlakahtla Indians,
as it is understood, find that they have far less hold
on the land of their fathers, than have the Indians
of the United States, and no such guarantee for
permanent possession.    They are liable to have the EARL  DUFFERIN  AND  OTHERS  TESTIFY.    137
land on which Metlakahtla stands sold from under
their feet."
" The influence of these Christian Indians for
good has been very great on our A laska tribes. Some
of them were first employed as laborers while we
had troops at Fort Wrangell. They were sober and
Sabbath-keeping Indians : and through their influence a considerable number of the Stickeens at that
place were led to Christ before Mrs. McFarland,
our first missionary teacher, reached Alaska. They
became members of the first church organized there
under the successful labors of Rev. Mr. Young.
Philip the first teacher and native preacher, and
Mrs. Dickinson, the interpreter, were both educated
at Metlakahtla.
" One Sabbath morning, soon after the church
was organized, as the people were gathering for public worship, five stalwart-looking Indians, clad in
army blue and each with a waterproof on his arm,
walked into the chapel and reverently worshipped
God there, though it appeared afterward that they
could not understand the dialect used in the services. They proved to be Metlakahtla Indians, who
had been carrying goods up the Stickeen River to
the Cassiar mines; on their return, Saturday night
overtook them at Fort Wrangell, and, true to their
principles, they fastened their boats to the shore
and kept the Sabbath. Monday morning they went
on their way homeward. But such an object-lesson
could not fail of its influence on the ruder and less 138
THE  STORY  OF  METLAKAHTLA.
Christianized race. So have they influenced for
good all the tribes among which our missions are
located."
I might add to these, many other direct, and indirect tributes, that have been paid to Mr. Duncan,
and his work, but it will suffice for my purpose to
close this chapter, with extracts from Admiral Prevost's narrative of his late visit to Metlakahtla.
It will be remembered, that it was through his
graphic portrayal, of the barbarous, degradation of
the Tsimshean savages, that Mr. Duncan, was inspired to dedicate himself to the enlightenment, of
these people; we shall now observe with what
wonderment, he beheld the transformation. He
says :
"Three A.M., Tuesday, 18th June, 1878. Arrived at Fort Simpson in the U. S. Mail Steamer
' California] from Sitka. Was met by William
Duncan, with sixteen Indians, nearly all Elders.
Our greeting was most hearty, and the meeting
with Duncan a cause of real thankfulness to God,
in sight, too, of the very spot (nay, on it) where
God had put into my heart the first desire of sending the Gospel to the poor heathens around me.
Twenty-five years previously H. M. S. ' Virago'
had been repaired on that very beach. What a
change had been effected during those passing
years. Of the crew before me nine of the sixteen
were, to my knowledge, formerly medicine men, or
cannibals.    In  humble faith, we could  only ex- EARL  DUFFERIN AND  OTHERS  TESTIFY.    139
claim, ' What hath God wrought 1' It is all His
doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes.
" After twenty-five years' absence, God had
brought me back again, amidst all the sundry and
manifold changes of the world, face to face with
those tribes amongst whom I have witnessed only
bloodshed, cannibalism, and heathen devilry in its
grossest form. Now they were sitting at the feet
of Jesus, clothed, and in their right mind. The
very church-warden, dear old Peter Simpson, who
opened the church door for me, was the chief of one
of the cannibal tribes.
" Words cannot describe the happy month I
spent in this happy Christian circle. I can only
copy from my rough notes, written on the spot,
some of the events which occurred to me.
" Peter Simpson (Thrakshakann). ' I remember
when you put your ship on shore at Fort Simpson.
I remember how nearly we were fighting, and the
guns were prepared. You had a rope put out to
keep us off, and we heard it said that you would
fire at us from your ship when you got afloat. We
knew not what you had rather planned to do. You
planned to bring us the Gospel and that has opened
our eyes to heavenly things, and oh ! how beautiful, very beautiful indeed ! Metlakahtla is like a
ship just launched. You are here to give us advice,
where to put the most in, and how to steer. I address you thus, though you are great and I am poor.
But Jesus despises not the poor.     The Tsimsheans 140
THE  STORY  OF  METLAKAHTLA.
were very low, yet Jesus raised us, and we are
now anxious for all our brethren, the tribes around
us, to be made alive. We see them now willing
to hear, and we are trying to help them. We
know God put it into your heart to come here,
and brought you here; God bless you for coming.'
" Sunday, 23rd.—To me, all days at Metlakahtla
are solemnly sacred, but Sunday, of all others especially so. Canoes are all drawn up on the beach
above high-water mark. Not a sound heard. The
children are assembled before morning service to
receive special instruction from Mr. Duncan. The
church bell rings, and the whole population pour
out from their houses—men, women, and children—
to worship God in His own house, built by their
own hands. As it has been remarked, ' No need
to lock doors, for no one is there to enter the empty
houses.' Two policemen are on duty in uniform,
to keep order during service time. The service begins with a chant in Tsimshean, ' I will arise and
go to my Father,' &c, Mr. Schult leading with the
harmonium ; the Litany Prayers in Tsimshean follow, closing with the Lord's Prayer. The address
lasts nearly an hour. Such is the deep attention of
many present, that having once known their former lives, I know that the love of God shed abroad
in their hearts by the Holy Ghost can alone have
produced so marvellous a change.
" First, there was a very old woman, staff in hand, EARL DUFFERIN AND  OTHERS TESTIFY.    141
stepping with such solemn earnestness ; after her
came one who had been a very notorious gambler;
though now almost crippled with disease, yet he
seemed to be forgetting infirmity, and literally to
be leaping along. Next followed a dissipated youth,
now reclaimed ; and after him a chief, who had
dared a few years ago proudly to lift up his hand
to stop the work of God, now with humble mien,
wending his way to worship. Then came a once
still more haughty man of rank; and after him a
mother carrying her infant child, and a father leading his infant son, a grandmother, with more than
a mother's care, watching the steps of her little
grandson. Then followed a widow, then a young
woman, who had been snatched from the jaws of
infamy; then ; a once notorious chief; and the last
I reflected upon was a man walking with solemn
gait, yet hope fixed in his look. When a heathen
he was a murderer: he had murdered his own wife
and burnt her to ashes. What are all these now, I
thought, and the crowds that accompany them !
Whither are they going ? And what to do ?
Blessed sight for angels! Oh, the preciousness of
a Saviour's blood ! If there is a joy in heaven over
one sinner that repenteth, with what delight, must
angels gaze on such a sight as this ! I felt such a
glow of gratitude to God come over me, my heart
was stirred within me, for who could have joined
such a congregation as this in worship and have
been cold, and who could have preached the Gospel 142
THE  STORY  OF  METLAKAHTLA.
to such a people and not have felt he was standing
where God was working ?
" After morning service, a class of female adults
remain in the church and receive further instruction
from the native teachers. At the same time the
male adults meet Mr. Duncan in his own room. At
three, the church bell again assembles all the village to worship; and again at seven, when they
generally meet in the school-room, the address being given by one of the native teachers."    .    .    .
" July 16th. Before my departure from Metlakahtla, I assembled the few who were left at the
village, to tell them I was anxious to leave behind
some token both of my visit to them after so long
an absence, and also that I still bore them on my
heart. What should it be ? After hours of consultation they decided they would leave the choice to
me, and when I told them (what I had beforehand
determined upon) that my present would be a set
of street lamps to light up their village at night,
their joy was unbounded. Their first thought had
a spiritual meaning. By day, God's house was a
memorable object, visible both by vessels passing
and repassing, and by all canoes as strange Indians
travelled about; but by night all was darkness—
now no longer so—as the bright light of the glorious
Gospel, had through God's mercy and love shined
in their dark hearts, so would all be reminded, by
night as well as by day, of the marvellous light
shining in the hearts of many at Metlakahtla, even
"(P" EARL DUFFERIN  AND  OTHERS TESTIFY.    143
the Indians who came with him were in such fear
from the neighboring tribes, that they begged him
not to have a fire burning at night or show a light
in his house. The system of murder was then so
general, that whenever an enemy saw a light he
sneaked up to it, and the death of the unsuspecting
Indian was generally the result. Thus my selection
was a happy one, and I thanked God for it."
In the testimony of these independent, and intelligent observers, who have investigated with scrutiny, the development, of this ideal community, we
have evidence beyond question that Mr. Duncan's
work is an unqualified success; totally free, from
any underlying motives of personal emoluments, or
actuated by ambition for self-aggrandizement. CHAPTER V.
THE  SAVAGE.
We have now followed Mr. Duncan in the noble
work, which he has fearlessly pursued through grave
perils and sore trials; we have always found him
faithfully at his post, sacrificing everything for his
cause ; we have followed him in his joyful delight
at the successes, which had crowned the struggles
he had sustained with such manly fortitude, yet,
with modesty and Christian simplicity. We have
received the impressive testimony of those whose
privilege it has been to visit his modern Arcadia,
and to see with their own eyes, how he has brought
order out of chaos—how he has builded on a rock.
Now, it remains for us to scan his methods, and
then to follow him through a course of cruel events,
unlooked for, uncalled for, and almost without
precedent in the modern history of sectarian persecution.
We have observed how Mr. Duncan began his
work, by first mastering the tongue and then studying, in their own homes, the minds and inner life,
the habits and customs of these painted, half-naked
savages, as at night, clustering around their hearth- THE savage.
H5
stone, the blazing fire cast a weird glow over their
swarthy faces. He learned from them their ideas
of the creation, of the mystery of death, their religious superstitions, their history as told in legends ;
in short, he studied them, and their capacities, as a
scientist studies, the relative equivalents of the elements in chemistry.
As a Samaritan to their sick, as a peacemaker when
fierce passions stirred strife, as a comforter in their
hours of trouble and woe, he not only won their
affection and confidence; but, he also implanted in
their hearts, the germs of good-will and forbearance
toward each other. He exemplified and upheld by
his own pure, every-day, Christian life, those true
principles of morality that stood the crucial test, of
the ever suspicious scrutiny of the savage.
Dr. Livingston tells us, how essential it is that
missionaries, should teach by their lives, as well as
by their words.
"No one ever gains much influence in Africa
without purity and uprightness. The acts of a
stranger are keenly scrutinized, by both old and
young. I have heard women speaking in admiration of a white man because he wa