Open Collections

BC Historical Books

BC Historical Books

BC Historical Books

Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission of the Church Missionary Society. With a map Stock, Eugene, 1836-1928 1881

Item Metadata


JSON: bcbooks-1.0222392.json
JSON-LD: bcbooks-1.0222392-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): bcbooks-1.0222392-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: bcbooks-1.0222392-rdf.json
Turtle: bcbooks-1.0222392-turtle.txt
N-Triples: bcbooks-1.0222392-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: bcbooks-1.0222392-source.json
Full Text

Full Text

Array          NOTE
The third, fourth, and fifth chapters of this little book are substantially a reprint of parts of a pamphlet entitled, " Metlakahtla, or
Ten Years' Work among the Tsimshean Indians," published by
the Church Missionary Society in 1868. Almost all the rest, or
three-fourths of the whole, is new matter—new, that is, in a
separate form, for the greater part has appeared at various times
in the Society's periodicals. One or two facts are taken from
the Eev. J. J. Halcombe's excellent book, " Stranger than
Fiction," which has done so much to make the Metlakahtla
Mission known.    For much valuable information I am indebted
to Admiral Prev.ost.
E. S. rw*
British Columbia, now forming part of " The Dominion of
Canada," includes within its limits several islands, of which
Vancouver's is the principal, and that part of the continent of
North America, west of the Rocky Mountains and east of Alaska,
which is included between the 49° and the 60° parallels of north
English connection with this part of the world may be said to
date from an exploratory voyage made by Captain Cook in 1776,
when he landed at Friendly Cove and Nootka Sound, and took
possession of them in the name of his sovereign. He supposed
at the time that these places were on the mainland, and it was not
until Captain Vancouver, an officer in the English Navy, was
despatched in 1792 to the Pacific, that he discovered that Nootka
and Friendly Cove were on the west side of the island which now
bears his name, and which is sometimes spoken of as the gem
of the Pacific.
In 1793, Alexander Mackenzie, one of the most enterprising
pioneers in the employment of the North-West Fur Company,
who had already discovered the mighty river since named after
A Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission.
him, crossed the Rocky Mountains, and pushed his way westward,
until he stood on the shores of the Pacific. Some years later, in
1806, Mr. Simon Frazer, another employe of the same Company,
gave his name to the great river that drains British Columbia,
and established the first trading post in those parts. After the
amalgamation of this Company with the Hudson's Bay Company,
other posts were established, such as Fort Rupert, on Vancouver's
Island, and Fort Simpson, on the borders of Alaska, then
belonging to Russia, but subsequently sold by her to the United
In 1858, the discovery of gold in the basin of the Fraser river,
on the mainland, attracted a large number of gold-diggers from
California, and among them a considerable body of Chinese. To
maintain order among a motley population of lawless habits
British Columbia was formed into a colony, with its capital at
Victoria, on Vancouver's Island.
Official returns, made a few years ago, gave the number of
Indians in British Columbia as 31,520, distributed over the
islands and mainland. They belong to several distinct families
or nations, speaking distinct languages, subdivided into a multitude of tribes speaking different dialects of their own. Thus the
Hydahs of Queen Charlotte's Islands are altogether distinct
from the Indians of Vancouver's Island, where, indeed, those
on the east coast are distinct from those on the west. Again,
on the mainland, the Indians on the sea-board are distinct
from the Indians of the interior, from whom they are divided by
the Cascade range of mountains. These inland Indians are of
more robust and athletic frame, and are altogether a more
vigorous race.
Among the coast tribes, however, there are great differences,
those to the north being far superior to those in the south.
Those who know the Indians well declare that it would be
impossible to find anywhere finer looking men than the Hydahs,
Tsimsheans, and some of the Alaskan tribes. "They are,"
writes one, " a manly, tall, handsome people, and comparatively
fair in their complexion."
The Indians on the sea-board of the mainland, and those on The Field of Labour.
the east coast of Vancouver's Island who have affinity with one
another, have been grouped into three principal families or
nations. The first of these is met with at Victoria and on the
Fraser river, and may be called the Chinook Indians, from the
language which is principally in use. In the second division
may be comprised the tribes between Nanaimo on the east coast,
and Fort Rupert at the extreme north of Vancouver's Island,
and the Indians on the mainland between the same points. The
Tsimsheans, a third family, cluster round Fort Simpson, and
occupy a fine of coast extending from the Skeena river to the
borders of Alaska.
On his arrival at Fort Simpson, on the first of October, 1857,
Mr. Duncan found located there, to quote his own words in a
recent official report, " Nine tribes, numbering (for I counted
them) about 2,300 souls. These proved to be just one-third of
the tribes speaking the Tsimshean language. Of the other
eighteen tribes, five were scattered over 100 miles of the coast
south of Fort Simpson, other five occupied the Naas river, and
the remaining eight tribes lived on the Skeena river—the whole
of the twenty-seven tribes numbering then not over 8,000 souls,
though I at first set them down at 10,000. In addition to the
Tsimshean tribes which I have mentioned, I found that Indians
of other two distinct languages frequented the Fort for trade.
These were the Alaska Coast Indians, whose nearest village was
only some fifteen miles north of Fort Simpson, and the Hydahs
from Queen Charlotte's Islands."
The tribal arrangements among the Tsimsheans are very much
the same as among other Indian clans. Each tribe has from
three to five chiefs, one of whom is the acknowledged head.
Among the head chiefs of the various tribes one again takes preeminence. At feasts and in council the chiefs are seated according to their rank. As an outward mark, to distinguish the rank
of a chief, a pole is erected in front of his house. The greater
the chief the higher the pole. The Indians are very jealous in
regard to this distinction.
Every Indian family has a distinguishing crest, or " totem," as
it is called in some places.    This crest is usually some bird, or Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission.
fish, or animal; particularly the eagle, the raven, the finback whale,"the grisly bear, the wolf, and the frog. Among
the Tsimsheans and their neighbours, the. Hydahs, great
importance is attached to this heraldry, and their crests
are often elaborately engraved on large copper plates from
three to five feet in length, and about two in breadth. These
plates are very highly valued, and are often heir-looms in
families. No Indian would think of killing the animal which
had beep taken for his crest. While two members of the same
tribe are allowed to intermarry, those of the same crest are prohibited from doing so under any circumstances. The child
always takes the mother's crest: if she belonged to a family
whose crest was the eagle, then all her children take the eagle
for their crest.
The most influential men in a tribe
—are the medicine men.
-not excluding the chiefs
Captain Mayne, R.N., thus speaks of
" Their initiation into the mysteries of their calling is one of the
most   disgusting   ceremonies   imaginable.     At a certain season, the
Indian who is selected for the office retires into the woods for several
days, and fasts, holding intercourse, it is supposed, with the spirits who
are to teach him the healing art.    He then suddenly reappears in the
village, and, in a sort of religious frenzy, attacks the first person he
meets, and bites a piece out of his arm or shoulder.    He will then
rush at a dog, and tear him limb from limb, running about with a leg
or some part of the animal all bleeding in his hand, and tearing it
with his teeth.     Tnis mad fit lasts some time, usually during the
whole day of his reappearance.    At its close he crawls into his tent,
or falling down exhausted is carried there by those who are watching
him.     A series of  ceremonials, observances, and long incantations
follows,  lasting for. two or three days,  and he then assumes  the
functions and privileges of his office.     I have seen  three or four
medicine men made at a time among the Indians near Victoria, while
twenty or thirty others stood, with loaded muskets, keeping guard all
round the place to prevent them doing any mischief.    Although a
clever medicine man becomes of great importance in his tribe, his post
* Four Tears in British Columbia and Vancouver Island, p. 260 (Murray, 1862). The Field of Labour.
is no sinecure either before or after his initiation. If he should be
seen by anyone while he is communing with the spirits in the woods,
he is killed or commits suicide; while if he fails in the cure of any
man he is liable to be put to death, on the assumption that he did not
wish to cure his patient. This penalty is not always inflicted; but,
if he fails in his first attempt, the life of a medicine man is not, as a
rule, worth much. The people who are bitten by these maniacs when
they come in from the woods consider themselves highly favoured."
Mr. Duncan, in 1857, gave the following painfully curious
description of the medicine men :—
" The superstitions connected with this fearful system are deeply
rooted here; and it is the admitting and initiating of fresh pupils
into these arts that employ numbers, and excite and interest all,
during the winter months. This year I think there must have been
eight or ten parties of them, but each party seldom has more than one
pupil at once. In relating their proceedings I can give but a faint
conception of the system as a whole, but still a little will show the
dense darkness that rests on this place.
" I may mention that each party has some characteristics peculiar to
itself j but, in a more general sense, their divisions are but three, viz.,
those who eat human bodies, the dog eaters, and those who have no
custom of the kind. Early in the morning the pupils would be out
on the beach, or on the rocks, in a state of nudity. Each had a place
in front of his own tribe 5 nor did intense cold interfere in the slightest
degree. After the poor creature had crept about, jerking his head and
screaming for some time, a party of men would rush out, and, after
surrounding him, would commence
The dog-eating party
occasionally carried a dead dog to their pupil, who forthwith commenced
to tear it in the most dog-like manner. The party of attendants kept
up a low growling noise, or a whoop, which was seconded by a screeching noise made from an instrument which they believe to be the abode
of a spirit. In a little time the naked youth would start up again,
and proceed a few more yards in a crouching posture, with his arms
pushed out behind him, and tossing his flowing black hair. All the
while he is earnestly watched by the group about him, and when he
pleases to sit down they again surround him and commence singing.
This kind of thing goes on, with several different additions, for some
time.    Before the prodigy finally retires, he takes a turn into every Metlakahtla and tlie North Pacific Mission.
house belonging to his tribe, and is followed by his train. "When this
is done, in some cases he has a ramble on the tops of the same
houses, during which he is anxiously watched by his attendants, as if
they expected his flight. By-and-bye he condescends to come down,
and they then follow him to his den, which is marked by a rope made
of red bark being hung over the doorway, so as to prevent any person
from ignorantly violating its precincts. None are allowed to" enter
that house but those connected with the art; all I know, therefore, of
their further proceedings is, that they keep up a furious hammering,
singing, and screeching for hours during the day.
"Of all these parties, none are so much dreaded as the cannibals.
One morning I was called to witness a stir in the camp which had been
caused by this set. When I reached the gallery I saw hundreds of
Tsimsheans sitting in their canoes, which they had just pushed away
from the beach. I was told that the cannibal party were in search of
a body to devour, and if they failed to find a dead one, it was
probable they would seize the first living one that came in their way ;
so that all the people living near to the cannibals' house had taken to
their canoes to escape being torn to pieces. It is the custom among
these Indians to burn their dead j but I suppose for these occasions
they take care to deposit a corpse somewhere, in order to satisfy these
inhuman wretches.
" These, then, are some of the things and scenes which occur in the
day during the winter months, while the nights are taken up with
amusements—singing and dancing. Occasionally the medicine parties
invite people to their several houses, and exhibit tricks before them
of various kinds. Some of the actors appear as bears, while others
wear masks, the parts of which are moved by strings. The great
feature in their proceedings is to pretend to murder, and then to
restore to life, and so forth. The cannibal, on such occasions, is
generally supplied with two, three, or four human bodies, which he
tears to pieces before his audience. Several persons, either from
bravado or as a charm, present their arms for him to bite. I have
seen several whom he has thus bitten, and I hear two have died from
the effects."
One of the most curious and characteristic customs of the
Indians of British Columbia is the givmg away of property at
feasts.    Mr. Duncan gives the following account of it:—
" These feasts are generally connected with the giving away of pro- perty. As an instance, I will relate the last occurrence of the kind.
The person who sent the aforementioned invitations is a chief who
has just completed building a house. After feasting, I heard he
was to give away property to the amount of four hundred and eighty
blankets (worth as many pounds to him), of which one hundred and
eighty were his own property and the three hundred were to be subscribed by his people. On the first day of the feast, as much as
possible of the property to be given him was exhibited in the camp.
Hundreds of yards of cotton were flapping in the breeze, hung from
house to house, or on lines put up for the occasion. Furs, too, were
nailed up on the fronts of houses. Those who were going to give
away blankets or elk-skins managed to get a bearer for every one, and
exhibited them by making the persons walk in single file to the house
of the chief. On the next day the cotton which had been hung out
was now brought on the beach, at a good distance from the chiefs
house, and then run out at full length, and a number of bearers, about
three yards apart, bore it triumphantly away from the giver to the
receiver. I suppose that about six hundred to eight hundred yards
were thus disposed of.
" After all the property the chief is to receive has thus been openly
handed to him, a day or two is taken up in apportioning it for fresh
owners. When this is done, all the chiefs and their families are called
together, and each receives according to his or her portion. Thus do
the chiefs and their people go on reducing themselves to poverty. In
the case of the chiefs, however, this poverty lasts but a short time;
they are soon replenished from the next giving away, but the people
only grow rich again according to their industry. One cannot but
pity them, while one laments their folly.
"All the pleasure these poor Indians seem to have in their property
is in hoarding it up for such an occasion as I have described. They
never think of appropriating what they gather to enhance their comforts, but are satisfied if they can make a display like this now and
then ; so that the man possessing but one blanket seems to be as well
off as the one who possesses twenty; and thus it is that there is a
vast amount of dead stock accumulated in the camp doomed never to
• be used, but only now and then to be transferred from hand to hand
for the mere vanity of the thing.
" There is another way, however, in which property is disposed of
even more foolishly. If a person be insulted, or meet with an accident,
or in any way suffer an injury, real or supposed, either of mind or Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission.
body, property must at once be sacrificed to avoid disgrace. A number
of blankets, shirts/ or cotton, according to the rank of the person, are
torn into small pieces and carried off."
The religion of the Tsimsheans is thus described :—
"The Tsimsheans, I find, believe in two states after death: the
one good, and the other bad; the morally good are translated to the
one, and the morally bad are doomed to the other. The locality of
the former they think to be above, and that of the latter is somewhere
beneath. The enjoyment of heaven and the privations of hell they
understand to be carnal. They do not suppose the wicked to be
destitute of food any more than they were here, but they are treated
as slaves and are badly clothed.
" The idea they entertain of God is that He is a great chief. They
call Him by the same term as they do their chiefs, only adding the
word for above—thus, 'shimanyet' is chief, and 'lakkah' above;
and hence the name of God with them is Shimanyet Lakkah. They
believe that the Supreme Being never dies ; that He takes great notice
of what is going on amongst men, and is frequently angry, and
punishes offenders. They do not know who is the author of the
iiniverse, nor do they expect that God is the author of their own being.
They have no fixed ideas about these things, I fully believe; still they
frequently appeal to God in trouble : they ask for pity and deliverance. In great extremities of sickness they address God, saying it is
not good for them to die.
" Sometimes, when calamities are prolonged or thicken, they get
enraged against God, and vent their anger against Him, raising their
eyes and hands in savage anger to Heaven, and stamping their feet on
the ground.    They will reiterate language which means ' You are a
great slave!'
A very curious tradition respecting the first appearance of
white men on the coast was related some years ago to Mr.
Duncan by an old chief:—
| A large canoe of Indians were busy catching halibut in one of
these channels. A thick mist enveloped them. Suddenly they heard
a noise as if a large animal was striking through the water. Immediately they concluded that a monster from the deep was in pursuit of
them.    With all speed they hauled up their fishing lines, seized the
PNMNSSSSSWSSSWC^^ The Field of Labour.
paddles, and strained every nerve to reach the shore. Still the plunging noise came nearer. Every minute they expected to be engulphed
within the jaws of some huge creature. However, they reached the
land, jumped on shore, and turned round in breathless anxiety to
watch the approach of the monster. Soon a boat, filled with strange-
looking men, emerged from the mist. The pulling of the oars had
caused the strange noise. Though somewhat relieved of fear, the
Indians stood spell-bound with amazement. The strangers landed, and
beckoned the Indians to come to them and bring them some fish. One
of them had over bis shoulder what was supposed only to be a stick :
presently he pointed it to a bird that was flying past; a violent poo
went forth; down came the bird to the ground. The Indians died.
As they revived again, they questioned each other as to their state,
whether they were dead, and what each had felt. The whites then
made signs for a fire to be lighted. The Indians proceeded at once
according to their usual tedious fashion of rubbing two sticks together.
The strangers laughed, and one of them, snatching up a handful of
dry grass, struck a spark into a little powder placed under it. Instantly
flushed another poo and a blaze. The Indians' died. After this the
new comers wanted some fish boiling. The Indians therefore put the
fish and water into one of their square wooden buckets, and set some
stones in the fire, intending, when they were hot, to cast them into
the vessel, and thus boil the food. The whites were not satisfied with
this way. One of them fetched a tin-kettle out of the boat, put the fish
and the water into it, and then, strange to say, set it on the fire.
The Indians looked on with astonishment. However, the
kettle did not consume; the water did not run into the fire.
Then, again, the Indians died. When the fish was eaten, the
strangers put a kettle of rice on the fire. The Indians looked at each
other and whispered, \ Akshahn, akshahn,' or ' Maggots, maggots.'
The rice being cooked, some molasses were produced and mixed with
it. The Indians stared, and said, ' Coutzee um tsakah ahket,' or
' The grease of dead people.' The whites then tendered the rice and
molasses to the Indians, but they only shrank away in disgust. Seeing
this, to prove their integrity, they sat down and enjoyed it themselves.
The sight stunned the Indians, and again they all died. Some other
similar wonders were worked, and the profound stupor which the
Indians felt each time come over them they termed death. The
Indians' turn had now come to make the white strangers die; They
dressed their heads and painted their faces.    A nok-nok, or wonder- •ii
Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission.
working spirit possessed them. They came slowly, and solemnly
seated themselves before the whites, then suddenly lifted up their
heads and stared,
whites died."
Their reddened eyes had the desired effect.    The
Among the Indians of British Columbia no Protestant
Missionary had laboured prior to 1857. Some Roman Catholic
priests, however, had been in the country, and of them Captain
Mayne writes  :—
" If the opinion of the Hudson's Bay people of the interior is to be
relied upon, the Roman Catholic priests effected no real charge in the
condition of the natives. The sole result of their residence among
them was, that the Indians who had been brought under their influence
had imbibed some notions of the Deity, almost as vague as their own
traditions, and a superstitious respect for the priests themselves, which
they showed by crossing themselves devoutly whenever they met one.
Occasionally, too, might be seen in their lodges, pictures purporting to
represent the roads to Heaven and to Hell, in which there was no
single suggestion of the danger of vice and crime, but a great deal of
the peril of Protestantism. These coloured prints were certainly curious
in their way, and worth a passing notice. They were large, and gave
a pictorial history of the human race, from the time when Adam and
Eve wandered in the garden together, down to the Reformation. Here
the one broad road was split into two, whose courses diverged more and
more painfully. By one way the Soman Catholic portion of the world
were trooping to bliss; the other ended in a steep bottomless precipice over which the Protestants might be seen falling, f Upon the more
sensible and advanced of the Indians, teaching such as this had little
effect. I remember the chief of the Shuswap tribe, at Kamloops,
pointing out to me such an illustration hanging on his wall, and
laughingly saying, in a tone that showed quite plainly how little
credence he attached to it, ' There are you and your people/ putting
his finger as he spoke on the figures tumbling into the pit.
" Of such kind was the only instruction that the Indians had received
prior to 1857.    Its influence was illustrated in that year at Victoria,
* " Four Tears in British Columbia" p. 305.
f A fac-simile  of a similar picture   appeared in  the   Church  Missionary
Gleaner, of March, 1880. The Field of Labour.
where a Roman Catholic Bishop and several priests had been resident
for some time, and were known to have exerted themselves among the
Songhie Indians who reside there. A cross had been raised in their
village, and some of them had been baptized ; but when these were
called before the bishop for confirmation, they refused to come unless
a greater present of blankets was made to them than had been given
at their baptism. The bishop was said to have been very angry with the
priests when this came to his knowledge; he having very possibly been
deceived by them as to the condition of the Indians. I am informed that
he had a large heart painted upon canvas, through which he drew a
blanket, and represented it to the Indians as symbolical of their condition."
How the Indians were brought to know the way of God more
perfectly, and to choose it for themselves, it will be the purpose
of the following chapters to show. II.
The Red Indian is in a peculiar sense, the child of the
Church Missionary Society. More exclusively so, indeed, than
even the Negro. In those efforts for the evangelisation of Africa
with which the Society's name has, from the first, been so indis-
solubly associated, it has but shared the field with other excellent
societies. In the Far North and Far West of British America, it
has laboured almost alone. Nearly sixty years have passed away
since its missionaries penetrated into the then remote regions of
the Red River, and since that time, nearly the whole of the vast
territories, stretching northward to the Arctic Sea, eastward to
the borders of Labrador, and westward to the Rocky Mountains,
have been trodden by their untiring feet. It was fitting, therefore, that when, in the providence of God, the day canie for the
Gospel to reach beyond the Rocky Mountains to the tribes on the
shores of the Pacific, it should be carried thither by the Church
Missionary Society.
But long before that time arrived, the eye of the Committee,
passing round the globe, had rested upon those distant shores.
In their Annual Report for 1819-1820, the following interesting
passage is to be found :—
From the C. M. 8. Report, 1819-20.
" It has been suggested to the Committee that the Western parts
of British America, lying between the high ridge called the Bocky
Mountains and the .North Pacific Ocean, and extending from about
the 42nd to the 57th degree of North Latitude, offer a more extensive,
promising, and practicable field for Missionary labours than any other The Call and the Man.
in that quarter of the globe. The climate is, in general, temperate,
the soil reasonably productive, and the surface of the country level.*
The people are not savage, ferocious, and wandering, but settled in
villages, and in several respects somewhat civilized, though still in the
hunter state ; with few arts, no letters, no general knowledge, but a
great desire to be taught by white men, whose superiority they clearly
discern. Numbers of them are scattered over this great range of
country; and it has been hitherto little known, that so great a
portion of the North American continent is covered with a stationary,
aboriginal people, still, however, very much in a state of nature. The
North-West Company trades through all the great space which lies
between Montreal and the North Pacific, a longitudinal distance of
not less than 4,000 miles ; and keeps up a direct communication, by
sea, between London and the mouth of the river Columbia, on the
North-West coast of America. A member of that Company, who is
a highly respectable merchant in Canada, informs your Committee
that he has been frequently among the Indians in question, and thinks
the prospect of the introduction of Christianity very promising, while
many of the principal persons in Upper Canada are anxious for the
promotion of that object."
The Society's work, however, among the Red Indians, which
was begun in the following year, was concentrated on Red River,
and thirty-six years passed away before the attention of the Committee was again drawn to the more remote field on the Pacific
In the spring of 1856, the late Rev. Joseph Ridgeway,
Editorial Secretary of the Society, attended, as a deputation, the
anniversary meeting of the Tunbridge Wells Church Missionary
Association. There he met a naval officer, Capt. J. C. Prevost,
R.N., who had just returned from Vancouver's Island. While
in command of H. M. S. Virago, he had been much impressed by the spiritual destitution of the Indians of the Pacific
coast of British North America and the adjacent islands.
They were " scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd," and
* Some of the information given to the Committee at that early date was not
very accurate. The surface of British Columbia is anything but level, and the
soil is not too productive. 14 Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission.
he-, like his Divine Master, 'was " moved with compassion on
them." No Protestant missionary had ever yet gone forth into
the wilderness after these lost sheep; and in addition to their
natural heathenism, with its degrading superstitions and revolting cruelties, a new danger was approaching the Indians in the
shape of the " civilisation " of white traders and miners, with its
fire-water and its reckless immorality. Capt. Prevost earnestly
inquired of Mr. Ridgeway what prospect there was of the Church
Missionary Society undertaking a Mission on the coast.
The reply was not encouraging. The Committee had just
determined to signalise the conclusion of the Crimean war by
planting a Mission at Constantinople, to extend their work in the
Punjab by the occupation of Multan, and to accept Sir Robert
Montgomery's invitation to Lucknow; and there was little hope
of their having men or money to spare for the u few sheep in the
wilderness " to be found scattered over British Columbia. The
Editorial Secretary's sympathies, however, were touched, and he,
at least, did what he could. He invited Captain Prevost to write
a memorandum on the subject for the Church Missionary
Intelligencer, The offer was thankfully accepted ; and in the
number of that periodical for July, 1856, appeared an article
entitled " Vancouver's Island," in which Mr. Ridgeway briefly
stated the case, and introduced Capt. Prevost's contribution.
After an interval of twenty-four years, and remembering what
wonderful and blessed fruit has sprung from the seed thus quietly
sown, it will be interesting to reproduce here the Christian officer's
own words:—
Captain Prewsfs Memorandum, July, 1856.
8 The country within which the proposed Mission is designed to
operate extends from about the 48° of north latitude to 56?, and from
the Rocky Mountains on the east to the Pacific Ocean on the west.
It includes several beautiful and fertile islands adjoining the mainland, of which the largest, most important, and most populous, is
Vancouver's, being about 290 miles in length and 55 miles in its
average breadth.
" The Government, impressed with a sense of its great commercial,
and its growing political, importance, combining also great advantages The Call and the Man.
as a naval station, erected it into a colony in 1838, and gave to the
Hudson's Bay Company a charter, conferring on them certain privileges
on condition of their carrying into effect the intentions of the
Government. The climate of this island is more genial than that of
England ; its soil is more productive, and its coasts abound with the
finest fish. It contains, too, the only safe harbours between the 49°
north latitude and San Francisco; and there have been discovered
lately fields of fine coal of immense extent, from which the entire
coast of the Pacific, and the steamers trading there, can he supplied.
"What has been stated with regard to these natural
Vancouver's Island applies generally to the mainland.
" The seat of the Colonial Government is at Fort Victoria, where
there is a chaplain, the only Protestant minister within the limits of
the above-mentioned territories. About three years since a Roman
Catholic Bishop, a British subject, arrived at the same place, accompanied by a staff of Jesuit priests, and purchased a site for a cathedral
there.   Hitherto their success has been very doubtful.
" It is difficult to ascertain, with any degree of accuracy, the total
amount of the native population : a mean, however, between the
highest and lowest estimates gives 60,000,* a result probably not far
from the truth. It is a fact well calculated to arrest the attention,
and to enlist in behalf of the proposed Mission the active sympathies
of every sincere Christian, that this vast number of our fellow-subjects
have remained in a state of heathen darkness and complete barbarism
ever since the discovery and partial surveys of their coasts by
Vancouver in 1792-1794; and that no effort has yet been made for
their moral or spiritual improvement, although, during the last forty
years a most lucrative trade has been carried on with them by our
fellow-countrymen. We would most earnestly call upon all who have
themselves learned to value the blessings of the Gospel, to assist ' in
rolling away' this reproach. The field is a most promising one. Some
naval officers, who, in the discharge of their professional duties, have
lately visited these regions, have been most favourably impressed
with the highly intelligent character of the Natives; and, struck by
their manly bearing, and a physical appearance fully equal to that of
the English, whom they also resemble in the fairness of their complexion, and having their compassion excited by their total destitution
of Christian  and  moral instruction, they feel it to be their duty to
* Since 1856, many thousands
(see p. 2).
have died of disease and from vicious habits CCJOXCTgCKTOMK^M
Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission.
endeavour to introduce among them the knowledge of the Gospel of
Christ, under the conviction that it would prove the surest and most
fruitful source of social improvement and civilization, as well as of
spiritual blessings infinitely more valuable, and would be found the
only effectual antidote to the contaminating vices which a rapidly-
increasing trade, especially with California and Oregon, is bringing in
its train.
"There is much  in  the character of the Natives  to  encourage
missionary effort. They are not idolaters : they believe in the existence
of two great Spirits—the one  benevolent, and the other malignant;
and in two  separate places of reward  and  punishment  in  another
world.    They are by no means bigoted.    They manifest a great desire
and aptitude to acquire the knowledge and arts of civilised life; and,
although they are addicted to some of the  vices  generally prevalent
amongst savages, they yet possess some  virtues rarely displayed by
them.    Some of the servants of the Hudson's Bay Company, who have
married Native women, bear the highest testimony to their characters as
wives and mothers, and to the manner in which they fulfil all their
domestic relationships.    Drunkenness was almost wholly unknown,
until lately introduced by increasing intercourse with Europeans ; but
it is now spreading with rapid and destructive effect among the tribes.
Loss of chastity in females was considered an indelible disgrace to
the family in which it occurred, and was consequently uncommon.
But here, again, European influence has  made itself felt, and this is
now far from being the'case.    Persons who are acquainted both with
this people and with the New Zealanders, are of opinion that the
former are  mentally and physically equal, if not superior, to the
latter; and that, were like measures  taken to convert  and civilise
them, they would be attended by similarly happy results.    As to the
medium  of   communication, although  the number  and variety of
languages is very great, yet the necessities of trade have given rise to
a patois generally understood, and easily acquired, which might be
made available for missionary purposes, at least as far as oral teaching
is concerned.
" The expense of establishing and supporting a Mission would not,
it is hoped, prove large. Fish and game are extremely cheap. Fuel,
both coal and wood, is cheap and abundant. It is proposed that the
first missionary station should be at Fort Simpson, on the mainland,
as it offers many advantages for prosecuting the objects of the Mission.
There the Missionaries would enjoy the protection, and, it is hoped, The Call, and the Man.
the cordial co-operation, of the Hudson's Bay Company ; and, in
return, the Company's servants would receive the benefit of the
ministrations of the members of the Mission. The position is central
to all the most populous villages ; and here, in the spring of each year,
a kind of great national fair is held, where the tribes .from the most
distant parts of the coast and interior assemble, to the number of
about 15,000, and receive the commodities of the Company ^n exchange
for the skins collected during the preceding season. On these
occasions valuable opportunities would be afforded to the missionaries
of conversing with the natives, and giving them religious instruction.
Here, too, a school might be opened for the Native children, where
they would receive an industrial as well as religious and secular
education, and be secluded from the prejudicial influence of their
adult relatives."
This earnest appeal was not long in eliciting a response.
Shortly afterwards, in the list of contributions published monthly
by the Society, appeared the following entry:—
Two Friends, for Vancouver's Island, ,£500.
Still the Committee hesitated ; but two or three months afterwards, Capt. Prevost came to them again with the news that he
was re-appointed to the same naval station, and was to proeeed
thither immediately in command of H.M.S. Satellite; and,
with the sanction, of the Admiralty, he offered a free passage
by her to any missionary the Society could send out.
Here was the opening, here were the means; but where was
the man to go ? There did not seem to be anyone available ;
but, at length, only ten days before the Satellite was to sail, a
student, then under training, was thought of.    Who was this ?
A few years before, one of the Society's Missionaries had
addressed a village meeting in the Midland Counties. It was a
very wet night, and but a handful of people attended. The Vicar
proposed to postpone the meeting ; but the missionary urged that
the few who had come were entitled to hear the information they
were expecting, and proceeded to deliver a long and earnest
speech. Among the listeners were three young men, and the
heart of one of these was deeply touched^ that flight.    He subse-
B ^se^s^»aifes!&^^
Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission.
quently offered himself to the Society, and was sent to the (then
existing) Highbury- Training College to be trained as a schoolmaster, under the Rev. 0. R. Alford, afterwards Bishop of
Victoria, Hone Kong.    That young man's name was William
J CD cd «/ O   ,
Duncan, and it was he to whom now came the call of the
Committee to start in ten days for British Columbia.
William Duncan was ready. On December 19th, 1856, he
took leave of the Committee, and on the 23rd he sailed with
Capt. Prevost from Plymouth in the Satellite*
The voyage to Vancouver's Island took nearly six months.
It was on June 13th, 1857, that the Satellite cast anchor in
Esquimault Harbour, Victoria. But Mr. Duncan had still five
hundred miles to go. His mission was to the Tsimsheans, and
for them Fort Simpson was the point to aim at. Unable, however, to obtain a passage thither at once, he remained at Victoria
three months, patiently preparing for future work by studying
the language. Meanwhile the officers of the Hudson's Bay
Company raised some objections to his settling at Fort Simpson.
The Indians, they said, could not be allowed to come into the
fort to him, and it would be quite unsafe for him to venture outside ; and they recommended him to turn his attention to the
tribes of Vancouver's Island, who, having been brought more
into contact with white men, were presumed to be on that
account more accessible to Christian influence. Mr. Duncan,
however, justly felt that the advantage was rather the other way :
•/ CD %/    J
besides which to Fort Simpson he was appointed, and to Fort
Simpson he would go.    The Governor of the Colony warmly
entered into his views, and
gave him letters to the officer in
charge, directing that accommodation was to be found for him,
CD     s CD 7
and all facilities given him for the prosecution of his work.
* An interesting notice of Captain Prevost's offer, and of the valedictory
dismissal of Mr. Duncan, appears in the recently published '' Memoir of Henry
Venn," p. 187.
On the night of October 1st Mr. Duncan landed at the Fort.
CD ^^
Like other Hudson's Bay Company trading posts, this " Fort "
consisted of a few houses, stores, and workshops, surrounded by
a palisade twenty feet high, formed of trunks of trees. Close
by was the Tsimshean village, comprising some two hundred and
fifty wooden houses, well-built, and several of them of considerable size. A day or two after his arrival, Mr. Duncan had a
significant glimpse of the kind of savages to whom he was
presently to proclaim the Gospel of Peace :—
" The other day we were called upon to witness a terrible scene.
An' old chief, in cool blood, ordered a slave to be dragged to the
beach, murdered, and thrown into the water. His orders were quickly
obeyed. The victim was a poor woman. Two or three reasons are
assigned for this foul act; one is, that it is to take away the disgrace
attached to his daughter, who has been suffering some time from a ball
wound in the arm. Another report is, that he does not expect his
daughter to recover, so he has killed his slave in order that she may
prepare for the coining of bis daughter into the unseen world. I
think the former reason is the most probable. I did not see the
murder, but, immediately after, I saw crowds of people running out
of those houses near to where the corpse was thrown, and forming
themselves into groups at a good distance away. This, I learnt, was
from fear of what was to follow. Presently two bands of furious
wretches appeared, each headed by a man in a state of nudity. They
gave vent to the most unearthly sounds, and the two naked men made
themselves look as unearthly as possible, proceeding in a creeping
kind of stoop, and stepping like two proud horses, at the same time
shooting forward each arm alternately, which they held out at full 20
Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission.
length for a little time in the most defiant manner. Besides this, the
continual jerking of their heads back, causing their long black hair to
twist about, added much to their savage appearance. For some time
they pretended to be seeking the body, and the instant they came
where it lay they commenced screaming and rushing round it like so
many angry wolves. Finally, they seized it, dragged it out of the
water, and laid it on the beach, where I was told the naked men
would commence tearing it to pieces with their teeth. The two bands
of men immediately surrounded them, and so hid their horrid work.
In a few minutes the crowd broke again in two, when each of the
naked cannibals appeared with half of the body in his hands.
Separating a few yards, they commenced, amid horrid yells, their still
more horrid feast.    The sight was too terrible to behold."
Just at the same time another feature in the character of the
Indians was painfully illustrated.    On October 7th he wrote :—
" Immediately after dinner the second officer of the Fort, who had
not been absent more than a minute, came rushing back, to report that
an Indian had just been murdered close to the Fort gates. On
repairing to the gallery, I saw this shocking sight. Several Indians,
with muskets in their hands, were hovering about the dying man, and
one or two ventured to go near and assist him. He was shot in the
right breast, and apparently dying, but seemingly conscious of what
had'happened. In a few minutes two - Indians, looking as fierce as
tigers, carrying muskets, came bounding to the spot, and, after order
ing all away, one of them immediately fired at the poor fellow as he
lay on the ground, and shot him in the arm. They then as quickly
bounded away. The head chief was the murderer. Being: irritated
by some other chiefs while partly intoxicated, he vented his rage
upon the first stranger that came in his way, and, after shooting him,
ordered two of his men to finish the horrible deed."
But the young missionary, though saddened, was not discouraged. The more barbarous and degraded he found the
Indians to be, the more vivid was his sense of their need of the
Gospel; and was anything too hard for the Lord ? So he continued vigorously his study of the language, assisted by an
Indian named Clah. Taking an English dictionary, he succeeded,
by unwearied industry, in ascertaining the Tsimshean equivalents Beginning Work.
for fifteen hundred of the most necessary words. At the same
time he set about making friends with the people. During the
winter, when the severe cold and the deep snow kept them much
indoors, he visited every house in turn, and on Jan. 14th he
wrote :—
"To-day we have finished our calls. I have been inside 140
houses, all large and strong buildings. The largest would measure,
I imagine, about sixty by forty feet. One house I was not permitted
to enter, as they had not finished their sorceries for the season. However they sent me out an account of their family. In all, I counted
2,156 souls, namely, 637 men, 756 women, and 763 children; and,
making an addition for those away procuring fuel, and those at the
Fort, I estimate the sum-total of residents to be 2,325, which is
rather over than under the true number. The total number rendered
by themselves, which of course includes all that belongs to them,
whether married into other tribes or living south, is 2,567. These
are divided into nine tribes, but all speak the same language, and have
one general name—Tsimshean. So far as I am at present able to
make out, I calculate that there are seventeen other tribes, all living
within fifty miles of this place, which either speak Tsimshean or something very near to it.
" It would be impossible for me to give a full description of this
my first general visit, for the scenes were too exciting and too crowded
to admit of it. I confess that cluster after cluster of these half-naked
and painted savages round their fires was, to my unaccustomed eyes,
very alarming. But the reception \ met with was truly wonderful
and encouraging. On entering a house I was saluted by one, two, or
three of the principal persons with ' Clah-how-yah,' which is the complimentary term used in the trading jargon. This would be
repeated several times. Then a general movement and a
squatting ensued, followed by a breathless silence, during which
every eye was fixed upon me. After a time several would
begin nodding and smiling, at the same time reiterating, in a low
tone, ' Ahm, ahm ah ket, Ahm Shimauyet' (' Good, kind person,
good chief'). My interpreter would then ask them to let us know how
many they had in their family, which was instantly followed by a
deafening clamour. Sometimes the vociferation was so general that it
was really bewildering to hear it. Everybody was talking and trying
to outdo the rest, and nobody was listening.    This storm would be Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission.
abruptly succeeded by a general hush, when I was again pleasantly
but rigidly scrutinized. Of course the attempt of everybody to count
was a failure, and so the business at last was taken up by one of the
leading persons, who generally succeeded to the satisfaction of all.
"While this was going on, I managed to count and class the inmates of
the house, and look at the sick. In some houses they would not be
content until I took the chief place near the fire, and they always
placed a mat upon a box for me to sit upon. My enquiries after the
sick weire always followed by anxious looks and deep sighs. A kind
of solemn awe would spread itself at once/'
At length, after eight months'patient preparation, Mr. Duncan
was able to make his first attempt to convey to the Indians, in
their own tongue, the message of salvation through a crucified
Saviour, by means of a written address, which he had composed
with infinite pains, and which he proceeded to deliver at the
houses of the different chiefs :—
" June 13, 1858 : hordes-day.—Bless the Lord, 0 my soul, and let
all creation join in chorus to bless His holy name. True to His word,
' He giveth power to the faint, and to them that have no might He
increaseth strength.'    Bless for ever His holy name !
" Last week I finished translating my first address for the Indians.
Although it was not entirely to my satisfaction, I felt it would be
wrong to withhold the message any longer. Accordingly I sent word
last night (not being ready before) to the chiefs, desiring to use their
houses to-day to address their people in. This morning I set off,
accompanied by the young Indian (Clah), whom I have had occasionally
to assist me in the language. In a few minutes we arrived at
the first chiefs house, which I found all prepared, and we mustered
about one hundred souls. This was the first assembly of Indians I
had met. My heart quailed greatly before the work—a people for the
first time come to hear the Gospel tidings, and I the poor instrument
to address them in a tongue so new and difficult to me. Oh, those
moments! I began to think that, after all, I should be obliged to
get Clah to speak to them, while I read to them from a paper in my
hand. Blessed be God, this lame resolution was not carried. My
Indian was so unnerved at my proposal, that I quickly saw I must do
the best I could by myself, or worse would come of it.     : then tol d
them to shut the door.
The Lord strengthened me.
I knelt down
sssss^^SS^SSS^S^SSS^S^^^ Beginning
to crave God's blessing, and afterwards I gave them the address.
They were all remarkably attentive. At the conclusion I desired them
to kneel down. They immediately complied, and I offered up prayer
for them in English. They preserved great silence. All being done,
I bade them good-bye. They all responded with seeming thankfulness.
On leaving, I asked my Indian if they understood me, and one of the
chief women very seriously replied, j Nee, nee' (' yes '); and' he
assured me that from their looks he knew that they understood and
felt it to be good.
" "We then went to the next chiefs house, where we found all
ready, a canoe-sail spread for me to stand on, and a mat placed on a
box for me to sit upon. About 150 souls assembled, and as there were
a few of the Fort people present, I first gave them a short address in
English, and then the one in Tsimshean. All knelt at prayer, and
were very attentive, as at the other place. This is the head chiefs
house. He is a very wicked man, but he was present, and admonished
the people to behave themsleyes during my stay. S -e 2 v «- S
" After this I went in succession to the other seven tribes, and
addressed them in the chief's houses. In each case I found the chief
very kind and attentive in preparing his house and assembling his
people. The smallest company I addressed was about fifty souls, and
the largest about 200. Their obedience to my request about kneeling
was universal, but in the house where there were over 200 some confusion took place, as they were sitting so close. However, when they
heard me begin to pray, they were instantly silent. Thus the Lord
helped me through. About 800 or 900 souls in all have heard me
speak; .and a great number of them, I feel certain, have understood
the message. May the Lord make it the beginning of great good for
this pitiable and long-lost people."
Mr. Duncan was now beginning to feel his way among the
Indians, and the head chief, Legaic, having offered him the use
of his house for a schoolroom, he opened school on June 28th.
Twenty-six children attended in the morning, and fourteen or
fifteen adults in the afternoon. The head chief and his wife took
great interest, and assisted in every way they could. Their
house was made clean, and a seat was placed upon a mat for Mr.
Duncan. The children also came neat and clean ; one boy only
had nothing but a blanket to cover him, and in his case it was ■hHH
Metlakahtla find the North Pacific Mission.
not poverty, but superstition, that prevented him from having a
shirt on like the rest. This poor lad had been initiated into the
mysteries of medicine in the previous winter, and so was forbidden by law to wear any thing over him except a blanket or a
skin for one year. If he had put on a shirt, death would have
been expected to ensue.
On Sunday, July 11th, God enabled him a secend time to
proclaim the Gospel in another carefully-written address. He
went, as on the first occasion, to each of the nine tribes
separately, and began and concluded with prayer. At the concluding prayer almost all knelt, or the exceptions were rare.
One man, however, sullenly refused.    It was Quthray, the chief
of the cannibal gang, of whom we shall hear again.
After a few weeks the school was suspended, in consequence of
the absence of the chief in whose house it was held. It had been
used sufficiently long, however, to show that it was appreciated
by both parents and children, and thus encouraged, Mr. Duncan
determined to commence to build a school-house. The wood
had arrived in a raft, and a number of Indians were engaged to
assist in the building; but scarcely had they begun to carry the
wood up the hill, when one of the Indians dropped dead. The
news ran through the camp, and great alarm spread on all sides.
Mr. Duncan at first feared that owing to the superstition of the
Indians with regard to such events, the confidence which he had
secured among the people would be greatly shaken, and his work
amongst them retarded. But, through God's mercy, his fears
were not realized. He deemed it prudent to suspend the work
for a time, but, after repeated invitations from the Indians, he
resumed it on Sept. 17th :—
" Yesterday I spoke to a few on the subject, and all seemed heartily
glad. One old chief said to me, \ Cease being angry now,' thinking,
I suppose, my delay was occasioned by anger. He assured me he
would send his men to help. It was quite encouraging to see how
earnestly they expressed their desire for me to proceed with the work,
and I may safely say the feeling was universal. This morning I went
to the raft at six a.m., but only one old man was there. In a little
time came other two or three, then a few more, then two chiefs.   By Beginning
about half-past six we mustered seven or eight workers on the raft,
though several more came out and sat at their doors, Indian like, as
though they wished only to look on. This seemed greatly in contrast
with their expressions to me yesterday; but such is the Indian. I
knew it was of no use to push, so I patiently waited. About half-past
six one of the Indians on the raft sprung to his feet, gave the word
of starting, which is a peculiar kind of whoop, and he, with the few
so inadequate to the work, determined to begin. At this I proceeded
up the beach to the place for building upon, but what was my surprise
when, on returning, I met upwards of forty Indians carrying wood.
They all seemed to have moved in an instant, and sprung to the work
with one heart. The enthusiasm they manifested was truly gladdening,
and almost alarming.    Amongst the number were several old men, who
were doing more with their spirited looks and words than with their
muscles. The whole camp seemed now excited. Encouraging words
and pleasant looks greeted me on every side. Every one seemed in
earnest, and the heavy blocks and beams began to move up the hill
with amazing rapidity. "When the Fort bell rang for breakfast they
proposed to keep on. One old man said he.would not eat till the work
was done. However, I did not think it good to sanction this
enthusiasm thus far, but sent them off to their houses. By three
o'clock p.m. all was over, for which I was very glad, for the constant
whooping, groaning, and bawling of the Indians, together with the
difficulties of the work, from the great weight of the pieces and the
bad road, kept me in constant fear."
But no sooner had Mr. Duncan set up his school, and commenced work in it, than the opposition of the medicine men
began. They saw that if the work progressed, " their craft was
in danger of being set at nought."    The chiefs of three tribes had
" O CD
already declared that they had made up their minds to abandon
tneir sorceries.
On November 19th the new school was opened, and it was
soon attended by one hundred and forty children and fifty
adults; but on December 1st Mr. Duncan was told by the
manager of the Fort that the head chief, Legaic, was going to
ask him to give up the school for about a month during the
medicine season. Shortly afterwards he was told that they would
be content if he would stay school for a fortnight, and after that 26
Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission.
they would all come to be taught; but if he did not comply, they
intended stopping him by force, and had determined to shoot at
the pupils as they came to the school. Mr. Duncan had a long
talk to two of the officers about the matter, giving them plainly
to understand that he did not intend in the least degree to heed
the threats of the Indians. " Go on with my work I would, in
spite of all. I told them Satan had reigned long enough here ;
it was high time his rule should be disturbed (as it is)." On
December 20th he wrote :—
u This day has been a great day here. I have heartily to thank that
all-seeing Father who has covered me and supported me to day. The
devil and wicked men leagued to overthrow me this day, but the Lord
would not have it so. I am still alive. This morning the medicine
party, who are carrying on their work near to the school, broke out
with renewed fury. On going to school, I observed a crowd of these
wretched men in a house that I was approaching. As soon as I got
into the school, the wife of the head chief came to beg me to give up
school for a little time. She was certainly very modest in her
manner and request, but altogether unsuccessful I spoke to her a
little, and then she said (what I knew to be false) that neither she
nor her husband desired to go on with the medicine-work, for they
often cried to see the state of things, but it was the tribe that urged
them to do what they were doing. When she saw she could prevail
nothing, not even so much as to prevent striking the steel (used as a
bell), which they have a peculiar hatred for, she left me. I thenwent
up the ladder and struck the steel myself, as I did not like to send a
boy up. Yery soon about eighty pupils were in the school, and we
went on as usual.
" This afternoon a boy ran to strike the steel, and not many seconds
elapsed before I saw the head chief (Legaic) approaching, and a whole
gang of medicine men after him, dressed up in their usual charms.
The chief looked very angry, and bade the boy cease. I waited at the
door until he came up. His first effort was to rid the school of the
few pupils that had just come in. He shouted at the top of his voice,
and bade them be off. I immediately accosted him, and demanded to
know what he intended or expected to do. His gang stood about the
door, and I think seven came in. I saw their point: it was to intimidate me by their strength and frightful appearance; and I perceived Beginning
the chief, too, was somewhat under the influence of rum. But the
Lord enabled me to stand calm, and, without the slightest fear, to
address them with far more fluency, in their tongue, than I could have
imagined possible—to tell them of their sin faithfully—to vindicate
my conduct—to exhort them to leave, their bad ways, and also to tell
them they must not think to make me afraid. I told them that God
was my Master, and I must obey Him rather than them, and that the
devil had taught their fathers what "they were practising, and it was
bad; but what I was teaching now was God's way, and it was good.
Our meeting lasted for more than an hour. I saw a great many
people at a distance looking anxiously at our proceedings, the school
door being open. The chief expressed himself very passionately,
now and then breaking out into furious language, and showing off his
savage nature by his gestures. Towards the close of the scene, two
of the confederates, vile-looking fellows, went and whispered something
to him, upon which he got up from a seat he had just set down upon,
stamped his feet on the floor, raised his voice as high as he could, and
exhibited all the rage and defiance and boldness that he could. This
was all done, I knew, to intimidate me; but, blessed be God, he did
not succeed.   Finding his efforts unavailing, he went off.
"The leading topics of the chiefs angry conversation were as
follows:—He requested four days' suspension of the school; he
promised that, if I complied, he and his people would then come to
school; but threatened if my pupils continued to come on the following days, he would shoot at them; lastly, he pleaded that if the
school went on during the time he specified, then some medicine-men,
whom he expected on a visit shortly from a distant tribe, would
shame, and, perhaps, kill him. Some of his sayings during his fits of
rage were, that he understood how to kill people, occasionally drawing
his hand across his throat to show me what he meant; that when he
died he knew he should go down; he could not change; he could not
be good, or, if I made him good, why, then, he supposed he should
go to a different place- from his forefathers : this he did not desire to
do. On one occasion, whilst he was talking, he looked at two men,
one of them a regular pupil of mine, and the other a medicine-man,
and said, ' a murderer, and so are you, and you' (pointing to
each of these men); f and what good is it for us to come to school?'
Here I broke in, and blessed be God, it gave me an opportunity of
telling the three murderers that pardon was now offered to them if
they would repent, and amend, and go to Jesus our Saviour." WiHfiUKMi
Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission.
It was afterwards found out that Legaic, at the moment of
hfsmost violent fury, had caught sight of Clah (who, unknown to
Mr. Duncan, was watching over him with a revolver), and knew
that, if he touched the missionary, it would be at the risk' of his
life.   So it ever is: * in some way or other, the Lord will provide!"
This conduct on the part of Legaic was the more discouraging,
inasmuch as he had, in the first instance, as we have seen, given
up his own house for the school. So persistent, however, was
his hostility at this time, and so great were the difficulties in the
way of attending school, that Mr. Duncan was at length obliged
J O * CD O^
to close the new building, and another chief having offered him
the use of his house for a school, where the children and others
would not be afraid to come, he readily availed himself of his
kindness, and was soon able to report the steady progress of the
work.    On Christmas day he wrote:—
" Yesterday I told my scholars to bring their friends and relatives
to school to-day, as I wanted to tell them something new. "We
numbered over 200 souls. I tried to make them understand why we
distinguished this day from others. After this I questioned the
children a little, and then we sang two hymns, which we also translated. While the hymns were being sung, I felt I must try to do
something more, although the language seemed to defy me. I never
experienced such an inward burning to speak before, and therefore I
determined to try an extemporaneous address in Tsimshean. The
Lord helped me : a great stillness prevailed, and, I think, a great deal
was understood of what I said. I told them of our condition, the
pity and love of God, the death of the Son of God on our account,
and the benefits arising to us therefrom; and exhorted them to
leave their sins and pray to Jesus. On my enumerating the sins of
which they are guilty, I saw some look at each other with those
significant looks which betoken their assent to what I said. I tried
to impress upon them the certain ruin which awaits them if they proceed in their present vices. Very remarkably, an illustration corroborating what I said was before their eyes. A poor woman was taken
sick, not four yards from where I stood, and right before the eyes of
my audience. She was groaning under a frightful affliction, the effect
of her vices."
From the extract last given we can gather that, notwithstanding
cd O y O
the opposition of some, and the frightful depravity of all, Mr.
Duncan seemed to be gaining the ear of the people just in proportion as he advanced in fluency of speech in their mother
tongue. And during the following year, 1859, not a few tokens
for good were granted him. In some parts of the camp open
drunkenness and profligacy were diminishing, and the comparative quiet and decorum consequent on this made a great
impression on the rest. In March a meeting of chiefs was held
at Legaio's house, at which Mr. Duncan's arguments against
many of their most degrading customs were   discussed, and
J CD CD ? ^^
generally approved ; and a message was sent to him that they
wished him to "speak strong" against the "bad ways" of
their people. On April 6th, Legaic himself appeared at the
school, not now to intimidate the missionary, but to sit at his
7 v   7
feet as a learner. Others followed his example ; and when, in
August, one notoriously bad character, named Cushwaht, broke
into the school with a hatchet, intending to shoot Mr. Duncan,
and, not finding him there, smashed all the windows, the greatest
indignation was expressed on every side, and Mr. Duncan had
to implore the people not to shed the offender's blood.
Nor were only outward changes visible. It was soon manifest
that the Spirit of God was at work in the hearts of some. On
October 10th a most encouraging incident occurred :—
" I was informed, on coming out of the school this afternoon, that
a young man, who has. been, a long time suffering in consumption MjHaMjHHMHHfisHlal
Metlakahfla and the North Pacific Mission.
(brought on by a severe cold), and whom I have visited several times,
was dying; so, after a little reflection, some misgiving, and prayer, I
started off to see him.    I found- him, as his wife had said, dvingr.
Over twenty people were about him; some were crying, and two, lam
sorry to say, were partly intoxicated.    I looked on for some time in
silent sorrow.    WTien I wished to speak, silence immediately ensued.
I rebuked the noise and tumult, and directed the dying man to fix his
heart on the Saviour Jesus, to forget the things about him, and spend his
little remaining time in praying in his heart to God to save him.
His reply was, \ 0 yes, sir; O yes, sir;' and for some moments he
would close his eyes, and seemed absorbed in prayer.    He begged me,
with much earnestness, to continue to teach his little girl.   He wanted
her to be good.    This little girl is about seven years old; her name is
Cathl.    She has been very regular at school since I commenced, and
has made nice progress.    Much to my comfort, a young woman sat by
his side, who has been one of my most regular pupils.    She is in the
first class, and  can read portions of the Bible.    Her intelligence is
remarkable, and I have observed her to be always listening to rehgious
instruction.    Thus, here was one sitting close to the dying man who
could tell him, much more accurately than I, the few directions I
desired to utter.     What a remarkable providence it seemed to me !
With tears in her eyes, she begged him to give his heart to God and
to pray to Him.    I longed to pray with him, and watched anxiously
a long time for the opportunity.    The opportunity came, and the
strength came with it.    I knelt down by his side.    All was hushed,
and I prayed from a full heart to the Lord our God to have mercy upon
the poor soul about to come into His presence, for the sake of His dear
Son Jesus.    I feel sure that  the Lord heard my prayer, and I can
indulge a hope for this poor man's salvation."
There was much in the case of this young man which encouraged Mr. Duncan in the hope that he was a true believer in
Christ. He understood the main and leading truths of the
Gospel, and he frequently prayed much to God. Durino- his
sickness he never permitted the medicine folks to operate upon
him ; and this of itself showed a wonderful change in him. He
died the following night, having reassured the people around him
of his safety, and had a very solemn parting from his little girl.
Thus, just two years after the solitary Missionary had landed First Fruits
on the coast as a stranger, the first fully ripened fruit of his
labours was gathered into the heavenly garner.
In January, 1860, the first Bishop of Columbia, Dr. Hills,
arrived at Victoria. Observing the deplorable condition into
which the Indians fell who flocked thither, and thus came into
contact with the vices of an outlying colonial settlement, the
Bishop invited Mr. Duncan to come down and organise some
Christian work amongst them. He accordingly spent two or three
months in the summer there, holding Tsimshean services, and
opening a school. A good work was thus set on foot, which has
since being successfully carried on by others.
At this time Captain Prevost returned to England, and as a
specimen of the results so far of the Mission which his own
loving zeal had originated, brought home with him a little journal
kept, during Mr. Duncan's absence at Victoria, by one of the
Tsimshean boys at Fort Simpson. Here are some fragments
of it:—
" Tuesday, April 4oth, 1860.—If will die my father, then will very
poor my heart 4 my brother all die : only one Shooquanahts save, and
two my uncle save. I will try to make all things. I want to be
good, and I want to much work hard. When we have done work,
then will please, Sir, Mr. Duncan, will you give me a little any thing
when you come back.''
" April 17 : School, Fort Simpson.—Shooquanahts not two hearts—
always one my heart. Some boys always two hearts. Only one
Shooquanahts—not two heart, no. HI steal anything then God will
see. Bad people no care about Son of God: when will come troubled
hearts, foolish people. Then he will very much cry. What good cry ?
Nothing. No care about our Saviour; always forget. By and by
will understand about the Son of God."
" May 17.—I do not understand some prayers, only few prayers I
understand; not all I understand, no. I wish to understand all
prayers. When I understand all prayers, then I always prayer our
Saviour Jesus Christ. I want to learn to prayer to Jesus Christ our
Saviour: by and by I understand all about our Saviour Christ; when
I understand all what about our Saviour, then I will happy when I
die. H I do not learn about our Saviour Jesus, then I will very
troubled my heart when I die.   It is good for us wjEjen we learn about 32
Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission.
our Saviour Jesus.   When I understand about our Saviour Jesus, then
I will very happy when I die."
Another encouraging case is that of an old man, of whom Mr.
Duncan wrote: —
" One night, when I was encamping out, after a weary day, the
supper and the little instruction being over, my crew of Indians, excepting one old man, quickly spread their mats near the fire, and lay
down to sleep in pairs, each sharing his fellow's blanket. The one old
man sat near the fire smoking his pipe. I crept into my little tent,
but, after some time, came out again to see that all was right. The
old man was just making his bed (a thin bark mat on the ground, a
little box of grease, and a few dry salmon for his pillow—a shirt on,
and a blanket round him—another bark mat over all, his head too,
formed his bed in the open air, during a cold, dark night in April).
When everything was adjusted, he put his pipe down, and offered up,
in his own tongue, this simple little prayer, ' Be merciful to me, Jesus.'
Then he drew up his feet, and was soon lost to view."
Mr. Duncan had now the jov of welcoming a fellow-labourer.
v     •* CD
The Bev. L. S. Tugwell, who had been allotted by the Society to
a Mission which looked so hopeful, arrived with Mrs. Tugwell
in August, and at once threw himself with the utmost
earnestness into the work of preparation for future usefulness.
But to his keen disappointment the health of both entirely broke
down in the damp climate, where sometimes the rain falls for ten
months out of the twelve, and he was obliged to return to England
after fourteen months' residence on the coast.
Before leaving, however, Mr. Tugwell had the high privilege
of admitting into the visible Church its first Tsimshean members.
On July 26, 1861, fourteen men, five women, and four
children were baptized. Others were deterred by heathen
relatives. Some candidates were not passed. But of these,
Mr. Duncan wrote, " We truly hope they are indeed children of
But other fruit, though not so ripe, was now plainly visible, and
had begun to attract public attention. In January, 1860, Mr.
Duncan received a. ]§#$T fr°?P tjw? $§v~» E. Cridge, the English First Fruits.
chaplain at Victoria, conveying a message from the Governor,
Sir James Douglas:—
" I am requested by his Excellency the Governor to express to you
the great gratification he has received from conversing with several of
the Indians who have been under your instruction at Fort Simpson,
and who are now at Victoria; and his pleasure at witnessing the great
improvement in manners, bearing, and religion which you have succeeded in effecting in their condition. Bis Excellency trusts you will
continue to show the same energy, perseverance, and. zeal which he is
sure you must already have applied to the work, and that your labour
will be rewarded by a still larger measure of success. His Excellency
also wishes me to say that he would feel obliged by your reporting to
him from time to time on the progress of your Mission. Any suggestions you may make with regard to measures which may occur to you
as likely to prove beneficial to the Indians under your care, such as
settling them in any particular locality, or setting apart a reserve of
land for their use, will receive His Excellency's best attention ; who
will also, if necessary, represent any such measures, with his favourable
recommendation to her Majesty's Government."
Commander Mayne, R.N., mentions in his interesting book,
Four Years in British Columbia (p. 212), that Captain G. Y. H.
Richards, of H. M. S. Hecate, who was in command on the
coast at this time, was so much struck by Mr. Duncan's success,
that he said to him, " Why do not more men come out? 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 be difficult to find fifty good men in
England willing to engage in such a 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.
And such," adds Commander Mayne, "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." i M.
As early as July, 1859, Mr. Duncan had foreseen the necessity, if the Mission were not only to save individual souls from
sin, but to exercise a wholesome influence upon the Indian
tribes generally, of fixing its head-quarters at some place
removed from the contamination of ungodly white men. " What,"
he wrote, " is to become of children and young people under
instruction when temporal need compels them to leave school ?
If they are permitted to slip away from me into the gulf of vice
and misery which everywhere surrounds them, then the fate of
these tribes is sealed." What that fate would be may be
gathered from one of Bishop Hills'first letters in 1860. He
found that of one tribe more than half had been cut off in a
dozen years by drink and dissolute habits ; and the traffic in
Indian females for immoral purposes was openly carried on,
from £40 to £60 per head being paid for them. "Victoria,"
wrote Mr. Duncan, " although it is 500 miles from Fort
Simpson, will always prove the place of attraction to these
tribes, and to many even further away. There they become
demoralised and filled with disease ; and from thence they
return, laden with rum, to spread scenes of horror too awful to
The Tsimsheans who had come under Mr. Duncan's influence,
themselves implored him to devise some way of escape from
the ruin they saw impending on their nation. And he laid
before the Society a plan for establishing a colony, where well-
disposed Indians might be  gathered together.    His objects are The New Settlement.
thus succinctly stated in an official report presented by him to
the Canadian Government some years afterwards :—
" 1st. To place all the Indians, when they became wishful to be
taught Christianity, out of the miasma of heathen life, and away from
the .deadening and enthralling influence of heathen customs.
" 2nd. To establish the Mission where we could effectively shut out
intoxicating liquors, and keep liquor vendors at bay.
" 3rd. To enable us to raise a barrier against the Indians visiting
Victoria, excepting on lawful business.
"4th. That we might be able to assist the people thus gathered
out to develope into a model community, and raise a Christian village,
from which the native evangelist might go forth, and Christian truth
radiate to every tribe around.
" 5th. That we might gather such a community around us, whose
moral and religious training and bent of life might render it safe and
proper to impart secular instruction.
" 6th. That we might be able to break up all tribal distinctions
and animosities, and cement all who came to us, from whatever tribe,
into one common brotherhood.
" 7th. That we might place ourselves in a position to set up and
establish the supremacy of the law, teach loyalty to the Queen, conserve the peace of the country around, and ultimately develope our
settlement into a municipality with its native corporation."
The Indians themselves pointed out the locality for such a
settlement, a place called Metlakahtla,* occupying a beautiful
situation on the coast, seventeen miles from Fort Simpson. It
had formerly been their own home ; but they had removed their
tents to Fort Simpson twenty years before for convenience of
trade. Here they would be free from 'the influences of the
Fort, which were decidedly adverse to the well-being of the
7 ■/ CD
Mission ^ they would have more opportunity of social improvement ; they would have plenty of beach room for their canoes ;
and they would have plenty of land suitable for gardens, which
thev did not possess at their pre sent station, and  a channel
* Jletlak8thla=the inlet of Kahtla.
formerly settled there.
Kahtla was the name of the   tribe 36
Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission.
always smooth, and abounding with salmon and shell-fish, while
its beauty formed, b, striking contrast to the dreary country
The project met with the entire approval of the Governor, and
the winter was occupied in preparing wood for the buildings, in
the expectation that the removal would be effected in the spring.
But the departure of Mr. Tugwell delayed the accomplishment
of the scheme, and it was not until the summer of 1862 that Mr.
Duncan found himself able to carry it out.
On May 18th; 1862, he began taking down the large temporary school which had been put up at Fort Simpson, and three
days later its materials were rafted, and were on their way to \he
new site. Just then a message from God of a most solemn kind
came to the coast tribes. Only two days after the raft had gone
away, canoes from Victoria arrived with the news that the smallpox had broken out among the Indians there ; and, worse still,
it immediately became evident that the canoes had brought the
fell disease with them. " It was, wrote Mr. Duncan, " evidently
my duty immediately to see and warn the Indians. I had previously determined to do this in a farewell visit to each tribe
before my departure from Fort Simpson, but I now felt doubly
pressed to call upon all quickly to surrender themselves to God.
1 therefore spent the next few days in assembling and addressing
each tribe (nine in all) separately. Thus all in the camp again
heard a warning voice ; many, alas ! for the last time, as it
proved. Sad to relate, hundreds of those who heard me were
soon and suddenly swept into eternity."
Even at that moment of alarm very few of the Indians could
make up their minds, when the time for departure came, to throw
in their lot with the new colony. Nor can we be surprised at
this, when we read the rules Mr. Duncan had framed for its
guidance, admirable in themselves, and now abundantly justified
by their signal success, but still involving a radical change in
the habits of the Indians, and the abandonment of some of their
most cherished practices.    They were fifteen in number : '—
1. To give up their " Ahlied," or Indian devilry;
2. To cease calling in conjurors when sick ; The New Settlement
3. To cease gambling;
4. To cease giving away their property for display ;
5. To cease painting their faces;
6. To cease drinking intoxicating drink;
7. To rest on the Sabbath;
8. To attend religious instruction;
9. To send their children to school;
10. To be clean;
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.
Nevertheless, when the day of removal came, fifty Indians
accompanied Mr. Duncan to Metlakahtla :—
" On the 27th May, in the afternoon, we started off. All that were
ready to go with me occupied six canoes, and we numbered about fifty
souls—men, women, and children. Many Indians were seated on the
beach, watching our departure with solemn and anxious faces; and
some promised to follow us in a few days. The party with me seemed
filled with solemn joy as we pushed off, feeling that their long-looked-
for flit had actually commenced. I felt we were beginning an eventful page in the history of this poor people, and earnestly sighed to God
for Hi3 help and blessing.
"The next day, the 28ch May, we arrived at our new home about
two p.m. The Indians I had sent on before me with the raft I found
hard at work, clearing ground and sawing plank. They had carried
all the raft up from the beach, excepting a few heavy beams; erected
two temporary houses; and had planted about four bushels of potatoes
for me.
"Every night we assembled, a happy family, for singing and prayer.
I gave an address on each occasion from one portion of Scriptural truth
suggested to me by the events of the day."
And a much larger number were not long in following.    On
June 6th a fleet of thirty canoes arrived from Fort Simpson,
bringing nearly three hundred souls ; in fact nearly the whole
of one tribe, the Keetlahn, with two chiefs.    Not many days, 38
Metlakahtla find the North Pacific Mission.
however, elapsed before the dreaded cloud overshadowed the
coast. Small-pox broke out at Fort Simpson, and seized upon
the Indians; and although for awhile they were content to ward
it off, as they thought, by incessant conjuring, yet when some
of the leading medicine men themselves fell victims to the
disease, a great fear fell upon all, and they fled in all directions,
but only spread the fatal scourge more widely by so doing.
Many came to Metlakahtla, and though Mr. Duncan refused to
receive some, he -could not refuse all. " For the temporal and
spiritual welfare of my own people," he wrote, f who now clung
to me like timid children, I was kept in constant labour and
pressing anxiety. Death stared us in the face on every hand.
But God remembered us in the day of our calamity; " and of
the original settlers only five were cut off. One of these was
Stephen Ryan, one of the first group baptized by Mr. Tugwell
in the preceding year.
A touching- account is given of his end
" He died in a most distressing condition, so far as the body is concerned. Away from everyone whom he loved, in a little bark hut on
a rocky beach, just beyond the reach of the tide, which no one of his
relatives or friends dared to approach except the one who nursed him;
in this damp, lowly, distressing state, suffering from the malignant
disease of small-pox, how cheering to receive such words as the
following from him : ' I am quite happy. I find my Saviour very
near to me. I am not afraid to die; heaven is open to receive me.
Give my thanks to Mr. Duncan : he told me of Jesus. I have hold
of the ladder that reaches to heaven. All Mr. Duncan taught me I
now feel to be true/ Then, saying that he wished to be carried to
his relatives, his words were, ' Do not weep for me. You are poor,
being left; I am not poor: I am going to heaven. My Saviour is
very near to me : do all of you follow me to heaven. Let not one of
you be wanting. Tell my mother more clearly the way of life: I am
afraid she does not yet understand the way. Tell her not to weep
for me, but to get ready to die. Be all of one heart and live in
Notwithstanding this heavy trial, the infant settlement grew
_ CD tf s <^
and prospered ; and in the following March, I860, Mr. Duncan,
illiig in a letter to the Society, summed up the results of the Mission
so far in these remarkable words :—
" The Lord has sustained His work, and given. marked evidence of
His presence and blessing. Above one-fourth of the Tsimsheans
from Fort Simpson, a few Tongass, Nishkah, Keethrathla, and
Keetsahlass Indians (which tribes occupy a circle of about seventy
miles round Fort Simpson), have been gathered out from the heathen,
and have gone through much labour, trial, and persecution, to come
on the Lord's side. About 400 to 600 souls attend Divine service on
Sundays, and are being governed by Christian and civilised laws.
About seventy adults and twenty children are already baptized, or are
only waiting for a minister to come and baptize them. About 100
children are attending the day schools, and 100 adults the evening
school. About forty of the young men have formed themselves into
two classes, and meet for prayer and exhorting each other. The
instruments of the medicine-men, which have spell-bound their nation
for ages, have found their way into my house, and are most willingly
and cheerfully given up. The dark and cruel mantle of heathenism
has been rent so that it cannot be healed. Numbers are escaping
from under its deadly embrace. Customs, which form the very
foundation of Indian government, and lie nearest the Indian's heart,
have been given up, because they have an evil tendency. Feasts are
now characterised "by order and goodwill, and begin-and end with the
offering of thanks to the Giver of all good. Thus the surrounding
tribes have now a model village before them, acting as a powerful
witness for the truth of the Gospel, shaming and correcting, yet still
captivating them ; for in it they see those good things which they and
their forefathers have sought and laboured for in vain, viz., peace,
security, order, honesty, and progress. To God be all the praise and
glory !    Amen and amen."
To this may be added some extracts from a formal report
which he sent to the Governor at the same time, and which gives
a most interesting account of the material prospects of the
" Metlahkatlah, 6ih March, 1863.
" Sir,—The Tsimshean Indians, who have lately removed from
Fort Simpson under my superintendence and settled here, are very 40
Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission.
anxious to tender your Excellency their warmest thanks for the liberal
and timely aid which'.you have rendered them in building their new
village. The. 150 window-sashes and 6001bs. of nails, which came of
your bounty of ,£50, arrived quite safely in September last by the
Hudson-Bay Company's steamer Labouchere, and have been duly
distributed and appropriated as follows:—To thirty-five houses (averaging about 34 feet by 18) four window-sashes and 131bs. of nails each;
and to two smaller houses two window-sashes and 61bs. of nails each.
Five window-sashes and about 1301bs. of nails remain.
" In obedience to your Excellency's kind wish, I will proceed to
lay before you a few particulars respecting* our new Indian Mission
" Your Excellency is aware of the dreadful plague of the small-pox
with which it pleased Almighty God to visit the Indians of this coast
last year, and by which many, thousands of them were swept away.
Though no fewer than 500, or one-fifth of the Tsimsheans at Fort
Simpson, have fallen, I have gratefully to acknowledge God's sparing
mercy to us as a village. We had only five fatal cases amongst
those who originally left Fort Simpson with me, and three of these
deaths were caused by attending to sick relatives who came to us after
taking the disease. Yet so fearful was the amount of death and
desolation on every side of us till about the end of September, that the
Indians had but little spirit left for building, or even for the gathering
of necessary food for the winter. Thus it was that they found
inclement weather upon them long before they were properly housed. In
addition to the great amount of labour and trouble attendant upon
moving and building new houses, we have had to encounter great
opposition from many of the Indians from Fort Simpson, who, in spite
of the great warnings they have had, continue still to be steeped in
drunkenness and heathenism. Nor has the conflict been one wholly
outward, if indeed mainly so. For to many who have joined me,
the surrendering their national and heathen customs performed over
the sick—ceasing to give away, tear up, or receive blankets, &c,
for display, dropping precipitately their demoniacal rites, which have
hitherto and for ages filled up their time and engrossed all their
care during the months of Avinter—laying: aside gambling, and
ceasing to paint their faces—had been like cutting off the right hand
and plucking out the right eye. Yet I am thankful to tell you
that these sacrifices have been made ; and had your Excellency heard
the speeches made by the chiefs and some of the principal men
sssssjSsssss^ssss^SSiiSSM at our Christmas evening meeting",  alluding  to  these and other
Cj o* o
matters, you would, I am sure, have rejoiced.
''On New-Year's Day the male adult settlers came cheerfully
forward to pay the village tax, which I had previously proposed
to levy yearly, viz., one blanket, or two and a half dollars of such
as have attained manhood, and one shirt or one dollar of such as are
approaching manhood. Out of 130 amenabie we had only ten
defaulters, and these were excused on account of poverty. Our revenue
for this year, thus gathered, amounts to 1 green, 1 blue, and 94
white blankets, 1 pair of white trousers, 1 dressed elk skin, 17 shirts,
and 7 dollars. The half of this property I propose to divide among
the three chiefs who are with us, in recognition of stated services
which they will be required to render to the settlement, and the other
half to spend in public works.
" As to our government: all disputes and difficulties are settled by
myself and ten constables; but I occasionally call in the chiefs, and
intend to do so more and more, and when they become sufficiently
instructed, trustworthy and influential, I shall leave civil matters in
their hands. 1 find the Indians very obedient, and comparatively
easy to manage, since I allow no intoxicating drinks to come into
our village. Though we are continually hearing of the drunken
festivals of the surrounding tribes, I am happy to tell you that
Metlakahtla has not yet witnessed a case of drunkenness since we
have settled here—a period of ten months. Still, not all with me
are true men. Some few, on their visits to Fort Simpson, have fallen;
and two, whose cases were clearly proved and admitted of no extenuation, I have banished from our midst.
" On Sabbath-days labour is laid aside, a solemn quiet presides, and
the best clothing is in use. Scarcely a soul remains away from Divine
Service, excepting the sick and their nurses. Evening family devotions are common to almost every house, and} better than all, I have
a hope that many have experienced a real change of heart. To God
be all the praise and glory !
"We have succeeded in erecting a strong and useful building,
capable of containing at least 600 people, which we use as church
and school. We held our first meeting in this building on the night
it was finished, the 20th December last. I have about 100 children,
who attend morning and afternoon, and about 100 adults (often more)
in the evening. I occupy the principal part of the time in the adult
school, in giving simple lectures on geography, astronomy, natural
history, and morals.    These lectures the Indians greatly prize. 4'
Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission,
"On the 6th February we commenced our first works, viz., making
a road round the village. This will take us some time to complete,
as the ground is very uneven, and much of it wooded. I propose,
after the road is conveniently finished, to set about building, out
of our public fund, two good-sized houses for the accommodation
of strange Indians when they come to trade with us, and thus prevent the interference of domestic comfort arid improvement arising to
the villagers from these visits under the old system. " I have other
public works in view, such as fixing proper rests for canoes when
unemployed, laying slides for moving canoes on the beach and into
the water at low tides ; also sinking wells and procuring pumps for
public use, &c, &c.
" I feel, also, that it is of vast importance to seek out profitable
employment for those with me, and thus keep them away from those
labour markets which exhibit temptations too strong and vices too
fascinating for the Indian, in his present morally infantile condition,
to withstand. Hence, I have already measured out and registered
over 100 plots of ground for gardens, situated in various parts of the
channel in which we are settled. These the Indians are anxious to
cultivate. I have also desired them to prepare salt and smoked fish,
fish grease, and dried berries, which,- with furs, will form our first
articles of exportation. Other branches of labour will arise in due
course. But in order to set about thus much, we need seed (especially
the potato), salt, direct means of communication with Victoria, and
an agent there.
" I am anxious that even the trading vessel should be in our own
hands; first, because the Indians would, on that account, feel a
deeper interest in her, and exert themselves the more to keep her well
and profitably employed ; secondly, the profits of the vessel would
redound to the village ; and, thirdly, it is necessarv to avoid having
intercourse with that barbarous class of men who are employed in
running the small vessels up the coast, which, by trading in intoxicating drink, are all doing a work not easily described, and not
readily believed by those who do not witness it. Their visits
to the Indian camps are invariably marked by murder, and
the very maddest riots. To purchase the- vessel we need, I
suppose from ,£100 to £150 will be required. I therefore propose
that 100 Indians shall subscribe £1 or .£1 10s., or the equivalent in
furs. The Indians are willing to do their utmost, and I expect to
have to render them little help, beyond seeking out the vessel j and I
SSSE&5S&>  VI.
While the work at Metlakahtla was thus prospering
materially, and increasing in general moral influence, under the
blessing of Him without whom nothing is strong, nothing is
holy, higher spiritual blessings were not withheld. Fresh classes
of candidates for baptism had been formed during the last winter
at Fort Simpson, and were continued diligently at the new
settlement; and in April, 1862, the Bishop of Columbia, at Mr.
Duncan's request, took the journey to Metlakahtla to baptize as
manv as might be found ready. But before this, one of the most
interesting converts—a miracle of grace indeed—had been
baptized, in the urgency of his special case, by Mr. Duncan
himself. This was Quthray, a cannibal chief, one of the two
men whose horrible orgies had met the eye of the newly-arrived
CD «/ v
missionary at Fort Simpson, four years and a half before, and
who has also been already mentioned as the one man who sullenly
refused to kneel at Mr. Duncan's second service. He had,
however, become one of the most regular and earnest attendants
at the services and classes, and gave unmistakable evidence that
Divine grace had indeed  changed his heart.    He ioined the
O © v
Metlakahtla party, but had not been there long before he fell ill.
In October he passed away, a ransomed soul, to be a jewel in
His crown who came to seek and to save the lost:—
" Saturday, 18th October, 1862.—Just as I was rising this morning I received intelligence that poor Quthray, the young cannibal
chief^ was dying. I have frequently visited him during his illness,
and was witn him for a long time a few nights ago. As he has long and
o on o Metlakahtla—Spiritual Results.
earnestly desired baptism, and expressed in such clear terms his repentance for his sins, and his faith in the Saviour of sinners, I told
him that I would myself baptize him before he died, unless a minister
from Victoria arrived in time to do it. He always appeared most
thankful for my visits, and, with the greatest force he could command,
thanked me for my promise. Accordingly this morning I proceeded
to the solemn work of admitting a brand plucked from the burning
into the visible Church of Christ by baptism. Though I was not sent
here to baptize, but to preach the Gospel, yet I had no fear but that I
was doing what was pleasing to God in administering that sacred rite
to the poor dying man, as an officially-appointed person was not within
several hundred miles of him. I found the sufferer apparently on the
very verge of eternity, but quite sensible, supported by his wife on one
side, and another woman on the other, in a sitting posture on his
lowly couch spread upon the ground. I addressed him at once, reminding him of the promise I had made to him, and why. I also spoke
some words of advice to him, to which he paid most earnest attention, though his cough would scarcely permit him to have a moment's
rest. A person near expressed a fear that he did not understand
what I said, being so weak and near death; but he quickly, and
with great emphasis, exclaimed, ' I hear ; I understand.' While
I was praying his expression of countenance was most lovely. With
his face turned upward, he seemed to be deeply engaged in prayer.
I baptized him, and gave him the name of Philip Atkinson. I
earnestly besought the Lord to ratify in Heaven what he had permitted me to do in His name, and to receive the soul of the poor dying
penitent before Him. He had the same resignation and peace which
he had evinced throughout his sickness, weeping* for his sins, depending all upon the Saviour, confident of pardon, and rejoicing in hope.
" This is the man of whom I have had to write more than once to the
Society. Oh the dreadful and revolting things 1 have witnessed him
do ! He was one of the two principal actors in the first horrid scene
I saw at Fort Simpson about four and a half years ago, an account of
which I sent home, namely, that of a poor slave woman being murdered
in cold blood, thrown on the beach, and then torn to pieces and eaten
by two naked savages, who were supported by a crew of singers and
the noise of drums. This man was one of those naked cannibals.
Glorious change ! See him clothed and in his right mind, weeping—
weeping sore for his sins—expressing to all around his firm belief in
the Saviour, and dying in peace. Bless the Lord for all His-goodness." mm
Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission.
It was on April 21st, 1863, that the Bishop baptized at
Metlakahtla fiftyrnine adults and some children. On the 19 th,
Sunday, he landed from the Devastation; and for two days
he was incessantly occupied in examining the candidates. His
account is deeply interesting :—
" We were met by the whole village, who stood on the bank, in a
long fine—as fine a set of men and as 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.
" At three the bell was rung, and almost instantly the whole
population were wending their way to church. There were hymns
and prayers in Tsimshean. They repeated the answers to a catechism
in Tsimshean. I addressed them, and offered prayers in English,
which were interpreted by Mr. Duncan. There was much earnest
response. The service lasted one hour and three quarters. There
was an evidence of devotion.    Mr. Duncan plays the accordion.
" Monday, April 20th.—Got to the Mission-house at eight to breaks
fast. Afterwards 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 long been looking for a
minister to admit them to baptism. It was a strange yet intensely
interesting 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—1 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.
" Tuesday, April 21st.—Immediately after breakfast, having had
prayer, the work again began. Catechumens came in, and, one by one,
were sifted ; some, to their grief, were deferred. One man came and
begged he might be passed, for he might not live till the next visit of
a clergyman. Another brought a friend, and said, if I would only
admit his wife to baptism, they would promise for her she should Metlakahtla—Spiritual Results.
persevere and live to God. Another, a fine child of fourteen, I had
thought too young to answer for herself-—one who had always shown
remarkable love for instruction, and had stood by the school when the
many were its foes. She came with tears of entreaty which were
irresistible and beautiful, and lovely was the sensitive intelligence
which beamed upon her devotional features when afterwards she
received the waters of baptism. Till four o'clock was I thus engaged,
an hour after the time appointed for the baptisms.
" The peculiar suitableness of the questions in the Baptismal Service
to the case of converts from heathenism was very remarkably illustrated throughout the examination. Converts from heathenism can
fully realise renunciation of the world, the flesh, and the devil.
Amongst these Indians, 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 : to them these things are part and
parcel of 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 in Him a loving and true Father, of whom
now so lately, but so gladly, they have learnt to know.
" I first drew forth their views of the necessity of repentance, its
details, and their own personal acquaintance with 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 for God, and to labour 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 earnest prayer and devotion, as a special preparation until the time came.
" The examination concluded, the candidates, to the number of fifty-
six, were assembled in the church, and ranged in a large circle, in the
midst of which the ceremony was to take place,.
" 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 or
increase the solemnity of the scene.    The building is a bare and 48
Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission.
unfinished octagon of logs and spars—a mere barn—-sixty feet by
sixty, capable of .containing 700 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 for ever 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."
The following are some of the Bishop's notes of the examination:—
" Legaic (principal chief), aged 40—Answers:—We must put away
all our evil wa3rs. 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. 1
think we have not strength of ourselves.
" Neeash-lakah-noosh (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. 1 have put away all lying ways, which I have 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 Metlakahtla—Spiritual Results.
simply what is right. The other day was benighted on Saturday, on
his way to spend the Sunday at Metlakahtla, seven miles off. Would
not come on, nor let his people gather herring-spawn, close upder
their feet; he rested the Lord's Day, according to the commandment.
"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. In
one case, when his spirit said there would be recovery, death came;
in another, when he foretold death, life remained.
" Thrah-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.
" 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
O 7
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 such a burden that she has not found peace.
She has been anxious her husband should go forward in good.
"Loosl (widow of the cannibal chief who died penitent), aged 25.
—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 fqr my friends.    After death the
D 50
Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission.
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.
"Nishah-kigh (chieftainess 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. I feel God's
Word is truth.    Have been for some time accustomed regularly to
Remarks,—Two years ago she was found giving Christian
Her husband tells me she
instruction to a sick and dying person
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 (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. 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."
One of those baptized, it will be seen, was the famous head-
chief himself, Legaic, the same who Ijad threatened Mr. Duncan's
life four years before. He had been a ferocious savage, and had
committed every kind of crime. After he first began to attend
the school, he twice fell back ; but the Spirit of God was at work
in his heart, and when the removal to Metlakahtla took place, he Metlakahtla—Spiritual Results.
deliberately gave up his position as head-chief of the Tsimshean
tribes in order to join the colony. Constant inducements were
held out to him to return ; and on one occasion he actually gave
way. He gathered the Indians together, on the Metlakahtla
beach, told them he could hold out no longer, and was going
back to his old life—that he could not help it, for he was being
pulled away—that he knew it was wrong, and perhaps he should
perish for ever, but still he must go. In tears he shook the
hand of each in turn, and then stepping alone into his canoe,
paddled rapidly away from his weeping friends. He went a few
miles along the coast, and then, as darkness came on, put the canoe
ashore. The night was one of such misery, he afterwards said,
as no words could describe. "A hundred deaths would not
equal the sufferings of that night." On his knees he wept and
prayed for pardon, and for strength to return ; and next day he
again appeared at Metlakahtla, to the joy of all.
Legaic, who before" was " a blasphemer, a persecutor, and
injurious," was baptized by the name of Paul. In him indeed
did li Jesus Christ show forth all long-suffering, for a pattern to
them who shall hereafter believe on Him to life everlasting."
The Rev. H. J. Dundas, who visited Metlakahtla six months
later, and baptized thirty-nine more adults and thirteen children,
thus wrote of Paul Legaic and his daughter- Sarah :—
"I paid a visit to the wife of the chief Paul Legaic. He it was
who nearly took Mr. Duncan's fife at the head of the medicine-band
attacking the school. They were both baptized by the Bishop last
April. Legaic was the wealthiest chief of tiie Tsimsheans at Fort
Simpson. He has lost everything—has had to give up everything by
his conversion to Christianity. It was with many of them literally
a l forsaking of all things to follow Christ.' His house is the nicest
and best situated in the village. A very little labour and expense in
way of internal fittings would make it quite comfortable. 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 ever been ' 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 52
Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission.
devouring the bleeding dog. How changed! She who 'had the
unclean spirit-' sits now at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in her right
On the occasion of a visit paid soon after this by Mr. Duncan
to Fort Simpson, Legaic, again like his great namesake, boldly
preached the faith which once he destroyed. Mr. Duncan
wrote :—
"Feb. 6, 1864;—I have just returned from a visit to Fort Simpson.
I went to proclaim the Gospel once more to the poor unfeeling
heathen there. I laid the Gospel again distinctly before them, and
they seemed much affected. The most pleasing circumstance of all,
and which I was not prepared to expect, was, that Paul Legaic and
Clah (the one in times past a formidable enemy and opposer, and the
other one among the first to hear and greet the Gospel) sat by me,
one on either side. After I had finished my address on each occasion
they got up and spoke, and spoke well.
"Legaic completely shamed and confounded an old man, who, in
replying to my address, had said that I had come too late to do him
and other old people good; that, had I come when the first white
traders came, the Tsimsheans bad long since been good: but they
had been allowed to grow up in sin ; they had seen nothing among
the first whites who came amongst them to unsettle them in their old
habits, but those had rather added to them fresh sins, and now their
sins were deep laid, they (he and the other old people) could not
change. Legaic interrupted him, and said, ' I am a chief, a Tsimshean
chief. You know I have been bad, very bad, as bad as any one here.
I have grown up and grown old in sin, but God has changed my
heart, and He can change yours. • Think not to excuse yourselves in
your sins by saying you are too old and too bad to mend. Nothing
is impossible with God. Come to God; try His way; He can save
vou.' He then exhorted all to taste God's way, to give their hearts
to Him, and to leave all their sins ; and then endeavoured to show
them what they had to expect if they did so—not temporal good, not
health, long life, or ease or wealth, but God's favour here and
happiness with God after death."
Legaic had been well known to the traders and others on the
coast, and the change in him caused the greatest astonishment Metlakahtla—Spiritual Results.
among them. " Mr. Duncan's Grand Vizier " they called him*
One visitor wrote in the Victoria paper :—»
"Take a walk near the church, and you may see the mighty
chief of Fort Simpson (Legaic) standing under the porch of his well-
built house, ornamented with fancy casing around where the gutters
should be, but are not, and also around the windows.    Legaic !   why,
in " •
I remember him myself, some ten years ago, the terrifying murderer of
women as well as men, now lamb-led by the temperate hand of Christianity—a Church-going example—an able ally of the Temperance
Society, though not having signed the pledge."
For seven years this once dreaded savage led a quiet and
consistent Christian life at Metlakahtla as a carpenter. In 1869,
he was taken ill at Fort Simpson, on his way home, after a
journey to Nass River. He at once sent this short note to Mr.
Duncan :—
" Dear Sir,—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 that ladder now. I have nothing to trouble me, I only want to see
But Mr. Duncan, to his great sorrow, was quite unable to get
away from his incessant duties at Metlakahtla. A second and
third summons followed in quick succession, and presently came
the news of his death, accompanied by a few unfinished fines :—
" My dear Sir,—This is my last letter, to say I am very happy. I
am going to rest from trouble, trial, and temptation. I do not feel
afraid to meet my God. In my painful body I always remember the
words of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Well may we say, " Is anything too hard for the Lord ? "
Reverting to the history of the Mission, we find that in I860
the Bishop of Columbia paid a second visit to Metlakahtla, and
after careful'examination, baptized sixty-five adult converts on
Whifc Sunday in that year.    (l I truly believe," he wrote, " that 54
Metlakaktpi and the North Pacific Mission.
most of these are sincere and intelligent believers in Christ, as
worthy converts from heathenism as have ever been known in
the history of the Church." And in the autumn of the following
year Mr. Cridge, then Dean of Victoria, who had from the first
manifested the deepest interest in the Mission, stayed for some
weeks at the settlement, and on September 8th baptized ninety-
six adult Indians and eighteen children.
Dean Cridge was struck by the advanced age of the candidates
O ^^ v CD
presented" to him. Twenty-six were over fifty; and one man,
who was sixty-five, said, " I feel like an infant, not able to say
much ; but I know that my heart is turned to Grod, and that He
has given His Son to wash away my sins in His blood."
" When he entered the room to be examined, he knelt down and
offered a silent prayer. While speaking of his sins he showed emotion,
and covered his face. Amongst other answers, these are some of his
words: \ I repent very much of my past sins before Jesus.' I
asked why Christians were not afraid to die; he said, ' Faith in God
will make us not afraid to die.' I baptized him Jeremiah : he is about
forty years of age. His wife was not less satisfactory in the testimony
she gave of a true conversion to God, and was added by baptism at
the same time with her husband to the fold of Christ."
What can we say to such tokens of true knowledge and faith
as these, but that the words of our Lord to Peter are still
applicable to many even of the most degraded heathen in our
own day ?—" Blessed art thou, Simon Bar- Jona, for flesh and
blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in
Heaven!" ¥i
Metlakahtla is no hermit's cell in the wilderness, removed
far away from the haunts of men, and exerting no influence upon
them. Rather is it a harbour of refuge, whose lights radiate
forth into the darkness, inviting the bark in distress to seek its
friendly shelter, and guiding even the passing vessel in its course.
Very rapidly it acquired a recognised position of importance
and influence as the centre—one might almost say the official
centre—of all good work of every kind among the coast
The growth of the settlement naturally added greatly to the
heavy burden of accumulated responsibilities which Mr. Duncan
found himself compelled to undertake. He was lay pastor and
missionary, treasurer, chief trader, clerk of the works, head schoolmaster, and the father and friend of the people. In addition to
this the Colonial Government appointed him a magistrate, in
order that he might have legal power to dispense justice, not
only at the Christian settlement, but along the whole coast,
wherever his influence extended. The village council and constables referred to in the report already quoted (p. 4) were a
oreat assistance at Metlakahtla itself. But outside the settlement
magisterial duties brought sometimes a heavy burden of anxiety
and responsibility upon Mr. Duncan. In 1864, for instance,
the authorities desired him to arrest a smuggling vessel, from
which some of the tribes on the coast were obtaining spirits
contrary to the law. He sent five of his Indians to arrest the
smuggler, but they failed in the attempt; and not only so, but
one of them was shot, and three others wounded.    In the follow- 56
Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission.
ing year a shocking incident occurred. The Indian camps at
that time were > deluged with fire-water," and Metlakahtla,
because it stood alone against " the universal tide of disorder,"
was threatened with the vengeance of its heathen neighbours.
A quantity of liquor was landed there by a party of Kitahmaht
Indians for sale. It was at once seized. In revenge for this,
they stole a little boy belonging to the village while he was on a
fishing expedition with his parents. " Horrible to write, the poor
little fellow was literally worried to death, being torn to pieces
by the mouths of a set of cannibals at a great feast."
Nevertheless, Mr. Duncan's influence grew continuallv.    In
CD **
this very case its power was exhibited in his successfully interposing to allay the exasperation of his people, and to prevent a
war of extermination. Even the white traders in fire-water
themselves were sometimes touched. The captain of one
smuggling vessel, who was fined four hundred dollars by Mr.
Duncan in virtue of his magisterial authority, "afterwards
became one of his most active friends—a result partly due to
the fact of Mr. Duncan having obtained restitution for him from
the Indians at Fort Simpson for injuries done to his vessel."
The moral influence exercised by the Mission is most strikingly
illustrated by an incident related by the Bishop of Columbia.
In 1862, H.M.S. Devastation sailed up the coast seeking the
three Indian murderers of the two white men. The Indians
gave up two, but would not surrender the third. Two lives for
two lives was their notion of equal justice. But as soon as the
ship was out of sight, the murderer left his tribe, went to
Metlakahtla, and gave himself up to Mr. Duncan. " Whatever
you tell me to do, he said, " I will do. If you say I am to go on
board the gun-ship when she comes again, I will go." Six months
afterwards  the Devastation
came   up  to  Metlakahtla,
and fired a gun to announce her arrival. The murderer heard
it. Had his resolution broken down after so long an interval ?
He went straight to Mr. Duncan, and said, " What am I to do ?':
" You must come with me a prisoner." He went on board with
the missionary, and delivered himself to the captain.    " Thus,"
sssssssssss Metlakahtla—Material Progress and Moral Lnfiuence. 57
justly observed Bishop Hills, " 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 availed to accomplish." In due course this man
was brought to trial for his crime, when it came out
that he had been an unwilling participator, and he was pardoned.
On his release he went back to Metlakahtla, and was baptized by
the Bishop in 1866.
A similar and very interesting case occurred in 1872. Some
years before, an Indian from a tribe living thirty miles off had
come to Mr. Duncan, and with great emotion confessed himself
a murderer) saying that having frequently attended the services,
the burden of sin had become " too heavy for him to carry,"
and some Christian relatives had advised him to confess his
crime and take the consequences. Mr. Duncan sent word to the
Government at Victoria, but they thought it best not to prosecute the man for a crime which was not recent, and which had
been done under the orders of a powerful chief who was still at
large. No further steps, therefore, were taken. But at the
beginning of 1872, a magistrate who was visiting at Fort
Simpson detected two men who had been concerned in another
murder, and the excitement caused by this led to further enquiry
about the Metlakahtla man's crime, and to the arrest of both
himself and his chief. The four Indians thus in custody made
severally a full confession of both crimes to Mr. Duncan and the
other magistrate, and they were sent to Victoria for trial.    Thev
t-i ti v
were found guilty, and, on being called upon to reply, made
most affecting speeches in court, acknowledging the sin, and
their just liability to punishment. Sentence of death was
ordered to be recorded, but on the recommendation of the
judges, it was commuted to five years' imprisonment (not
confinement) at MetlakaJitla.
<c So," wrote Mr. Duncan six months afterwards, "they are
now with us, and all behaving very well. The proud chief has
become very docile and happy, and he and all declare it their
intention to remain at Metlakahtla till death. Several of the
foremost Christians make it their duty occasionally to visit them, 58
Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission.
and instruct and encourage them,
out of eviL"    •   -
Thus can God bring good
The charge of the Chief Justice, Sir Matthew Begbie, at this
CD 7 CD 7
trial is a most remarkable document, and must be printed here
in extenso. Had the white man always treated the red man in
such a spirit, what results might we not have seen ?*
Charge of the Chief Justice.
Eegina v. Sebassa and Thracket.
Begina v. Neeska and Simon Johnson.
" Many years ago there were some poor white men on the sea.
Men on the sea are always in danger from the winds and the waves ;
but these men trusted in God, who rules the winds and waves, and
they were not afraid. Neither were they afraid of the men whom
they might meet, for they did not intend to hurt anybody, and they
were ready to do good. And, indeed, if the white men intended to
do harm to the Indians, the whites could destroy them off the face
of the earth. The whites could send up one man-of-war, which could
easily, and without landing a man, destroy all their houses and canoes
and property, and drive them naked and helpless into the woods to
starve. No canoe could venture to go fishing. In one year the white
men could destroy all the Indians on the coast without losing a man.
One of our cannon could swallow up all the muskets of your tribe.
" Now these poor white men on the sea met with some Indians. The
Indians said they were hungry, and the white men gave them bread.
Was that the act of a friend or an enemy ? Then, when the Indians
saw that the white men were a'ood and confiding, and saw a little
bread, and a saw and some tools, and a musket and a pistol, the devil
came to them and said, ' Kill these white men; do not stop because
* Admiral Prevost writes to us respecting another judge in the colony :—' Some
time ago a right-minded judge, beloved and respected, both by Indians and white
men, had to settle a dispute between two persons—as to the equal division of some
land. In the presence of both he selected one to go and measure the land, so as
to divide it into two equal portions, at the same time telling him (the one sent)
the other would have the first choice when he had made the division. Of course,
the division was made as fairly as it could be," Metlakahtla—Material Progress and Moral Influence.
they gave you bread when you were hungry; kill them, and take the
saw and the musket and the bread.' These things the devil put on
his hook with which he was fishing for the souls of the Indians, as
men put a small fish on a hook to catch salmon and halibut. And the
Indians listened to the voice of the devil, and slew these men, who
were not fighting, nor had either they or the Indians declared war or
anger at all. They slew these men while the bread of charity was
still in their mouths. This is treachery and murder. All people hate
murder; all people seek to have revenge for murder. This is the law
among Indians also. If a white man kill an Indian, the Indians
desire that white man to be put to death. Now my people come to
me and ask for satisfaction. The law among the whites, is that they
cannot have revenge unless I permit it. Now my people come and
ask me for revenge. But many snows have fallen upon this blood, and
they hide it from my sight. Many snows have fallen also on my head;
my head is very white, and I have seen many things. When the head
is white, the heart ought to be prudent and moderate. I will not
therefore take the lives of these Indians now before me, though they
are all in my hand, and if I close it, it will strangle them all.    My
%7 7 / O ,/
head is white, but mv hand is strong", and my heart is not weak. If
I punish them less than by killing them, it is not because I am weak,
nor because I am afraid. But I want to do good to these Indians.
What good would their lives do me ? Their lives are of no use to me
to take at present. But 1 wish to preserve their lives, and to change
their lives.    I wish to change their hearts, and to let them see that
O 7
our laws are good and our hearts are good, and that we do not kill,
even when we have a right to kill, and when we have the power to
kill. There is a rock at Metlakahtla, and a rock at Victoria, upon
which their old canoe has split. Now I offer them a new canoe.
When men are sailing in an old broken canoe, and have with difficulty
got to shore, and made a small camp, if anybody offer them a fine
new canoe with which to continue the voyage of life, they should
accept the offer gladly. Now there is a much better canoe, as they
may see at Metlakahtla. I wish them to sail in such a canoe for the
future, and to adopt a better rule of life, and a better law of religion.
They must at present go back to prison, until I speak with the other
great chiefs of my people, and see what is best for them to be done.
1 shall try and persuade the other chiefs to send them away to
Metlakahtla, to do what Mr. Duncan shall tell them, and to five as
they shall direct.    And so long as they live well and quietly, and 6o
Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission.
.learn and labour truly to get their own living, I shall not remember
the blood which they have spilt.
" The prisoners themselves may see that our law is a better law
than theirs. For two whole days I have been sitting here listening
to the voice of my people, complaining of murders and of violence, and
of robbery and oppression. Whoever has suffered, he comes freely
and complains to me. Now the prisoners have been in court all this
time, and they have seen Indians accused, and Chinamen, hut they
7 m/ 7 7 «/
have seen no white man accused.
" Yet there .are some bad white men, who would, perhaps, steal or
commit violence, if they were not afraid. They are afraid of our
law, which fills me and gives me strength, so that if I fall on a man
I break-him to pieces. But even bad white men, through fear, are
restrained. Now, therefore, I think that it will much more restrain
Indians who are inclined to do evil, and support and guide those who
are inclined to do well.
"If the other chiefs listen to my voice, and the prisoners behave
well at Metlakahtla, it shall be well. But if they do that which is wrong,
my anger will burn up again very fiercely, and it will melt the snows
which cover the blood of the men whom they have killed, and I shall
see the blood and be very angry, and will burn them all up in my anger.
SS Let them cease to believe in sorcerers, who have now no strength
since Christianity is established. Let them become Christians, and so
their hearts will be made really and permanently good."
A touching illustration of the reputation of Metlakahtla, as a
refuge for the suffering and oppressed, occurs in a letter of
Mr. Duncan's, dated March, 1876 :—
" 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 Metlakahtla—Material Progress and Moral Influence.
her into their home had themselves been slaves years ago. They
understood her language, sympathised deeply with her, and laboured
hard to impart to her the knowledge of the Saviour of sinners. After
about 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 her 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 hereto end
her days."
Once during the twenty-three years which have passed away
since the North Pacific Mission, as it is now called, was begun,
has Mr. Duncan come back to his mother country ; and this visit
may most convenientlv be noticed now. He was only absent a
year. He left Metlakahtla, took the long journey home, stayed
six months, and went all the way back again to Victoria, within
the year 1870. During his brief stay in England, he chiefly
occupied his time in learning various trades, and purchasing
machinery, &c, for the settlement. He went to Yarmouth purposely to learn rope-making and twine-spinning ; at another
place he acquired the art of weaving; at a third, that of brush-
making ; at a fourth, <c the gamut of each instrument in a band
of twenty-one  instruments."    On his way back he stayed two
J K %7
or three months at Victoria, arranging with the Government for
the allotment of reserve lands to the Indians of the settlement,
which they might clear, enclose, and cultivate for themselves.
The Governor entered warmly into his plans, and presented
500 dols. himself to the Mission, to be laid out in village improvements. At length he set sail again, and on February 27th,
1871, landed once more at Metlakahtla. His reception must be
related in his own words :—
"The steamer in which I was conveyed over the last 600 miles of
my journey had on board a crowd of miners, bound for the newly-
discovered gold-fields of Omineca, in the interior of British Columbia.
These had to be landed at the mouth of the Skeena Biver, about ten
miles before we came to Metlakahtla,   It was Sundav afternoon when Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission.
■ we arrived at the landing, and though the weather was very stormy—
snowing and blowing.hard—yet I could scarcely restrain myself from
attempting to finish the remaining ten miles of my voyage in a canoe,
and thus take my people by surprise, and be able to join them in their
evening service. After due reflection, however, I decided to remain
in the steamer,and go in her to Metlakahtla on the morrow. In the mean-
time,the news of my arrival travelled to Metlakahtla,and on thefollowing
morning a large canoe arrived from thence to fetch me home. Thehappy
crew, whose hearts seemed brim full of joy at seeing me back, gave
me a very warm welcome. I at once decided to leave my luggage and
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 favoured 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 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.
" 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 the Indians hurrying towards the
place of landing. Before we reached the beach large crowds had
assembled to greet me. 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 very 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,
\ J Cf 7
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 all standing
in mute expectation of a recognition. I patted a few on the head, and
then with feelings 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 Metlakahtla-
-Material Progress and Moral Influence.
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 full.    Such a sight!    After a few
minutes' 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 the very aged, whom I was told were anxiouslv 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 .1 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 favoured fifty what I had communicated.
Many did not go to bed at all, but sat up all night talking over what
they had heard.
" Such is a brief account of my reception at Metlakahtla. I could
not 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 prated amongst 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.    Amen."
The troubles and difficulties on the coast, which so often added
to Mr. Duncan's burdens, were not always the fault of the
Indians. As often as not they were due to the recklessness
of unscrupulous and drunken white men. In 1872, a party going
up to the gold mines on the Skeena River burned an Indian
village. This brought the Governor of British Columbia, J. W.
Trutch, Esq., up the coast with two ships of war, the Scout 64
Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission.
•and the Boxer. A deputation of Tsimshean Christians was
sent to propitiate- the injured tribe, and invite them to meet the
Governor at Metlakahtla ; and there, as on common ground
which both parties could trust, peace was solemnly made, the
Government paying six Hundred dollars as compensation.
On this occasion the Governor laid the first stone of a new
church, upon which Mr. Duncan and the Indians alike had set
their hearts, as a visible crown of the work. The ceremony took
place on August 6th, in the presence of the whole community and
of the officers of the ships. But laying the stone thing;
building the church was another. The Governor and Captain
Cator saw lying on the ground huge timbers to be used in its
erection, but how these were to be reared up was not apparent.
Very kindly they gave Mr. Duncan a quantity of ropes, clocks,
&c, but even then they sailed away in considerable scepticism
as to the possibility of unskilled red men raising a large and
lofty church.    In Januarv, 1874, Mr. Duncan wrote :—
V *7   7 7
" The massive timbers for framing, which Governor Trutch and
Captain Cator, of H.M.S. Scout, saw on the ground last year, and
doubted of our ability to raise, are, I am happy to say, now fixed, and
fixed well, in their places, and all by Indian labour. Especiallv am I
thankful to report that, though the work is attended with no little
danger, particularly to inexperienced hands, as we all are, yet have we
hitherto been graciously preserved from all accidents.
7 The Indians are delighted with the appearance the building has
already assumed, and you may gather from the amount of their contributions (£176) how much they appreciate the work. They propose
again subscribing during the coming spring, and I only wish our
Christian friends in England could witness the exciting scene of a
contributing day, with how much joy the poor people come forward
and cast down their blanket or blankets, gun, shirt, or elk skin, upon
the general pile ' to help in building the house of God.'"
By the end of that year the Church was finished, and on
Christmas Day it was opened for the service of God. H We
had, indeed," wrote Mr. Duncan, " a great struggle to finish it
by that time—tin* tower and spire presenting very difficult and Metlakahtla—Material Progress and Moral Influence.        65
dangerous work for our unskilled hands—yet, by God's protecting care, we completed the work without a single accident.
Over seven hundred Indians were present at our opening
services. Could it be that this concourse of well-dressed people,
in their new and beautiful church, but a few years ago made
up the fiendish assemblies at Fort Simpson! Could it be that
these voices, now engaged in solemn prayer and thrilling
songs of praise to Almighty God, are the very voices I once
heard yelling and whooping at heathen orgies on dismal winter
The progress in building operations and the secular affairs of
the settlement generally at this time are succinctly described in
an official Report, prepared by Mr. Duncan, and presented to the
Minister of the Interior of the Dominion of Canada, in May,
1875. The occasion of this important document being drawn up
was the occurrence of some conflict of opinion between the
Provincial Government of British Columbia at Victoria and the
Dominion Government of Ottawa, respecting the Indian Land
Question. The same thorny problems that have so often given
trouble in South Africa and New Zealand had presented themselves, and the local authorities at Victoria were anxious that the
liberal treatment of the Indians on the coast, which had marked
their own dealings with them while the Colony was independent
of Canada, should be still pursued now that British Columbia
was incorporated in the Dominion Confederation. But even
the liberal plans of the Victoria Government had, to a large
extent, failed in their object of ameliorating the Indians, and
Metlakahtla stall remained almost the only example of success
upon the coast. To us it is, of course, obvious that the cause of
this success was simply to its being based on the foundation of
Christian teaching and Christian life; and Mr. Duncan made
no secret of this in his Report. He gave a description of the
Indians as he found them, and a full narrative of the Mission
from the first. That part of the Report, however, it is needless to print here. It only recapitulates what we have already
told in greater detail. The opening and closing paragraphs we
subjoin I—> 66
Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission.
Report presented by Mr. W. Duncan to the Government of
"From a copy'of statutes which I lately reeeivedfrom the Indian
Commissioner, British Columbia, I learn that changes in the management of Indian affairs are about to be inaugurated in that province.
It is in anticipation of these changes that I feel, prompted to address to
you this present letter, my object being to place before you tbe origin
and growth of the Indian settlement at Metlakahtla, and from these
facts thus brought out to deduce a policy, or at least certain principles
of action, which I am anxious to commend to the Government in the
treatment of all the Indian tribes in that part of the Dominion."
[Here follows a histoiy of the Mission-^]
" We number now about 750 souls, and, according to the testimony
of several'medical men, who have had opportunities of judging, form
the healthiest and strongest Indian community on the coast.
" Next, as to our progress in law and order. It is in this aspect to
the outward observer, perhaps more than in any other, that our
advancement appears both real and striking. From a great number
of lawless and hostile hordes has been gathered out and established
one of the most law-abiding and peace-loving communities in the
province. What to the most sanguine minds seemed at least a generation of time distant has been brought about in a few years. The
isolated germ of a Christian community gathered strength year by
year, while every opposing force in the vicinity gradually weakened
and at last succumbed. The faw has triumphed! The liquor-selling
vessels have long since ceased their traffic. The Indians who took
up the trade with their canoes have also been stopped. Drunkenness,
or even hquor-drinking, over a very large district are now things of
the past. The rushing to Victoria has subsided into rare and
legitimate visits, and peace, order, and security reign in all the
country around.
"The local means which have been instrumental in bringing about
these salutary changes were—First, we called out a corps of Native
constables, and afterwards selected, irrespective of rank, twelve older
men of good character to act as Native Council, and with these we
have deliberated upon every matter affecting the welfare of our settlement.   The Council has no pay, but only a badge of office, worn on Metlakahtla—Material Progress and Moral Influence.
stated occasions.    The constables, in addition to a simple uniform,
receive a small remuneration when on duty.
"As our settlement increased, and our work in the interests of peace
became more extended, I have increased the two Native forces year
by year until they now number over sixty men, and include several
chiefs. And further, in order to utilize these forces, and have every
settler under proper surveillance, I have divided all the male community into ten companies, each company having an equal number of
constables and councilmen, who act as guides and monitors.
" Again, in order to enlist the energies of our younger men for the
public weal, I have organized a fire brigade of six companies and ten
to each company. These, I trust, will prove of real service to the new
town which is about to be built. And here I would acknowledge
with thankfulness the prompt help which has occasionally reached
us from the Provincial Government, and without which, of course,
our local machinery would have proved altogether inadequate for all
ff Lastly, as to our material and social progress. This, too, is already
encouraging, but by no means so complete as we hope to see it. The
slow progress of the Indians in this cause cannot be matter for wonder
when we consider—first, Their ignorance and inaptitude to find out
for themselves any fresh and permanent modes of industry; secondly,
Their want of capital, owing to which civilization may tend to the
impoverishment of the Indians by calling for an increased outlay in
their expenses without augmenting their income. Having these
facts before me, I have endeavoured to help and guide the males
under my influence to fresh modes of industry, and though our
success has not been very great, it is at least encouraging.
" Our first work of a secular kind was to establish a village store;
for, having left Fort Simpson, we soon felt the want of supplies. I
may here explain the Hudson's Bay Company refused to establish a
shop in our midst, and I feared to encourage the trading schooners to
come to us, as they invariably carried intoxicating liquor for sale, so
we determined to keep the village trade in our own hands and
appropriate the profits to the public works of our settlement.
H To this end we first purchased a schooner, one-third of the money
being given by the Governor, Sir James Douglas. The schooner
took down the products of our industry to Victoria, and returned
laden with goods for our store, proving a pecuniary success and a
capital training for" the Indians who were employed. mzmmmt
Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission.
. "After some years'the Hudson's Bay Company were willing to carry
our freight on their steamer, so we sold the schooner, and I refunded
to the Government account a proportionate part of the sale money.
"The managing of our village trade, principally by Indians, has
given me much anxiety, and exposed me to much slander and abuse
from white traders; but seeing the good results from my efforts in
this way to our settlement I have kept on, and feel loath to give it up
till I can hand it over entirely into the hands of the Natives.
"The first profits of our trade I spent in building a large market-
house and court-house. The market-house was to shelter and accommodate all those visiting us from other tribes, and for this purpose we
found it to be of great advantage.    We were thus enabled to keep
strange Indians from impeding our social progress, having them
under better surveillance during their stay, and rendering them
more accessible to Christian instruction. The other works for public
advantage to which we have severally applied the monies resulting
from our village trade, along with the contributions of friends of the
Mission, are road-making, building a saw-mill, blacksmith's shop,
soap-house, and large carpenters' shops and work-sheds. For the last
two years we have been engaged erecting entirely by Indian labour
a new church capable of holding 1,200 people. This we completed
so far as to be able to use it about five months ago.
" The finishing we hope to do this summer, and when complete we
expect we shall have spent altogether about 8,000 dollars. Of this
sum the Indians of the settlement contributed over 800 dollars. We.
have now going up a school-house, 60 by 27, which will be paid for
out of the trade profits, with the exception of 200 dollars sent us by
the Indian Commissioner.
" Our latest undertaking is the building of a massive sea-wall round
the village. The Indians contribute the material, and I pay for the
labour of putting it up.
U This brings me to mention a few particulars relative to the greatest
of all our undertakings in building, viz., that of a new town of some
200 houses. It was hardly to be expected that the plan of our village
and the first houses erected at Metlakahtla would prove satisfactory
to us as we advanced in civilization. The people were then in a
transition state, and I had to be content to see houses go up only
a'little improvement upon their old style of building; but about five
years ago they began to be dissatisfied with their houses, and 1 then
succeeded in persuading there to pea^e putting up fresh buildings Metlakahtla—Material Progress and Moral Influence.
until we should all agree upon the right model for a dwelling-house
and a better plan of a town site. It has taken all this time to educate
them up to a really substantial plan for both, but I am happy to say
that after much discussion we are now agreed. The old village is to
be pulled down and a new town built up. I have already surveyed
the land, and drawn out a map showing town lots, which the Indians
highly approve. The lots are 60 by 120, and on each will be erected a
double house. One hundred such lots are already taken, and builders
have begun to work. As the new houses are to be substantial and
commodious buildings, and beyond their means to build without aid,
I have pledged myself to assist them to the amount of 50 dollars each
single house, which will, I anticipate, be sufficient to purchase nails,
windows, and whatever else they must import, as well as pay the
workmen at the saw-mill for sawing their lumber. Thus the Indians
will only be required to bring their own logs to the mill and find the
labour to erect their houses.
" As our mill is small, and our means limited, we do not expect to
complete all our buildings in less than three years, but when completed
we trust to show to the Natives around a real model town, and hope
it will stimulate them to follow in our steps.
" Having thus very briefly sketched an outline of the history of Metlakahtla, it remains for me to say that whatever of moral or material
progress the Indians there have made, they owe it all to the hold
which religious truth has obtained over their hearts and consciences.
It is only because they have felt the inspiring influence of the Gospel
that they have aspired to a higher degree of social life, and are exerting themselves to obtain it.
" Our church and schools (both Sunday and day schools) are well
and eagerly attended. The appearance of our large Native congregation in their new church is a thrilling and heart-gladdening
" Quite a number of intelligent Natives are devoting themselves
gratuitously to evangelistic work among their brethren, and with
much success. We have two Native teachers in the day-school and
one Native evangelist, also over twenty Sunday-school teachers
employed in the Mission, and thus this little settlement, under God's
blessing, bids fair to become at no very distant day a happy and
thriving Christian home."
Accompanying this Report, there was a paper of practical 7o
Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission.
suggestions for the provision and administration of Reserve
Lands for the several tribes. These were embodied in an official
Memorandum, drawn up by the Attorney General of the
Province, which concluded with these words :—
" The undersigned has the honour to recommend that the above
suggestions be adopted, and that if this Memorandum be approved,
His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor be respectfully requested to
forward a copy thereof, and of the Minute of Council referring
thereto, to the Dominion Government, for .their consideration and
assent; and he further recommends that another copy be sent to
the Dominion Government, for transmission to the Right Honourable
the. Secretary of State for the Colonies.
"Geo. A. Walkem,
" Victoria, 17th August, 1875." "Attorney-General.
The Lieutenant-Governor in Council adopted the following
Minute :—
" Copy of a Report of a Committee of the Honourable the Executive
Council, approved by His Honour the Lieutenant- Governor, on the
18th day of August, 1875.
" The Committee of Council concur with the statements and recommendations contained in the Memorandum of the Honourable the
Attorney-General, on the subject of Indian affairs, dated 17th August,
1875, and advise that it be adopted as the expression of the views of
this Government as to the best method of bringing about a settlement
of the Indian Land Question.
(Certified) "W. J. Armstrong,
" Clerk of the Executive Council"
The next thing was to secure the adoption of the scheme by
the Government of Canada; and with this view Mr. Duncan
undertook the long journey across the continent to Ottawa.
The Hon. D. Laird,  Minister of the  Interior, save the most
_ 7 7    CD
attentive hearing to his representations, and also made him a
donation of 1,000 dollars towards the work at Metlakahtla ; and
on May 10th, 1876, Mr. Duncan wrote, " lam glad to inform
you that the terms set forth in the Report have been adopted (with Metlakahtla—Material Progress and Moral Influence
a small modification or two) by the Dominion Government, and
so the dead-lock about the land question seems in a fair way
of being removed."
Mr. Duncan's well-timed interposition in this matter was not
the least of the many services God has enabled him to render to
the Indian population of British Columbia.
About the same time, the Provincial Government gave another
proof of its confidence in the Mission, by appointing one of the
Christian Tsimsheans of Metlakahtla head constable of the
district, with a salary of 350 dollars per annum.
Tear by year the Metlakahtla community has continued to
increase, by the admission to its privileges of new settlers. New
Year's-day is especially the time for enrolling them. A general
meeting -of the adult males of the village is held, and before
them all each applicant for leave to join their body has to stand
up and declare his adhesion to the rules. He thus cuts himself
off from all heathen customs, and " places himself under
Christian instruction" (to use the Tinnevelly term*). He
probably knows something of the Gospel from Christian Indians
he has met at the fisheries or elsewhere, and thus is already, to
some extent, prepared for the teaching he will now regularly
receive. In course of time—such is the frequent experience at
Metlakahtla—his conduct and demeanour give evidence of a
work of grace in his heart ; he becomes a catechumen, and,
after a due period of probation, is admitted by baptism, not only
into the community, but into the Church. On the New Year's-
day of 1875, no less than one hundred new comers were
registered, and the number has frequently been not much short
of that.
* In Tinnevelly, the progress of Christianity has been mainly dne to the adhesion of whole villages at a time to the Christian community. These adherents
cannot be called " converts," and the phrase used of them is that they "place
themselves under Christian instruction." Subsequently they become candidates
for baptism, and many of them ultimately prove to be true converts. VIII.
Christmas is a joyous time at Metlakahtla, and the accounts we
have of its services and festivities help not a little to bring the
settlement before the eyes of our imagination. Two such
accounts are subjoined. The first is from Mr. Duncan's Report
for 1873. Christmas-day in that year is memorable for a visit
paid to Metlakahtla by the Indians who still remained in the neighbourhood of Fort Simpson. These tribes had not been forgotten
by their Christian fellow-countrymen. Bands of evangelists from
the settlement frequently went up the coast in canoes to the Fort
on Saturday to hold  services on the Sunday, and their efforts
blessing.    This work has since then been
establishment  of   a  Canadian  Methodist
received a manifest
interrupted by the
Mission at the Fort.
The second account was sent home by Bishop Bompas, of
Athabasca, after his visit to the coast in 1877-8.
Christmas, 1873.
From Mr. Duncan's Report.
" This is the first season that the heathen customs at Fort Simpson
have been generally disregarded, and hence we thought it well to
encourage Christian customs in their place. To this end we decided
to invite all the congregation at Fort Simpson to spend the festival of
Christmas with us at Metlakahtla, that they might receive the benefit
of a series of special services, and be preserved from falling into those
excesses which we had reason to fear would follow should they spend
the Christmas by themselves.   About two hundred and fifty availed themselves of our invitation, and they arrived at Metlakahtla the day
before Christmas in twenty-one canoes, which indeed presented a
pleasing picture as they approached us with flags flying.
"According to a previous arrangement they all clustered to the
market-house, which we at present use for our church, and which had
been very appropriately decorated. On our guests being seated I
gave them a short address, and after prayer, in company with Mr.
and Mrs. Collison, shook hands with them all. They then were
quartered round the village, and a very exciting scene ensued, all the
villagers literally scrambling for the guests. After the scramble,
several came running to me to complain that they had not succeeded
in securing a single guest, while others had got more than their share.
To settle matters amicably, I had to send two constables round the
village to readjust the distribution of our new friends.
"Our Christmas-eve was spent in practising, with a band of twenty
young men, a new Christmas hymn in Tsimshean, which I managed
to prepare for the occasion. About 1.30 on Christmas morning we
reassembled, when Mr. Collison and myself accompanied the twenty
waits to sing round the village, carrying the harmonium and concertina with us. We sang in seven different places, and three hymns
in each place. The village was illuminated, and the singing was
hearty and solemn. This was the first attempt of the Indians at
part-singing in their own tongue.
" Christmas-day was a great day, houses decorated with evergreens,
flags flying, constables and council passing from house to house in
their uniforms, and greeting the inmates. Now a string of young
men, then another of young women, might be seen going into this
house, then into that; friends meeting on the road, shaking hands
everywhere; everybody greeting everybody; hours occupied with
hand-shaking and interchanging good wishes; nobody thinking of
anything else but scattering smiles and greetings, till the church bell
rings, and all wend their way to meet and worship God. The crowd
seemed so great that fears were entertained that our meeting-house
could not accommodate them. I at once decided that the children
should assemble in the school-house and have a separate service.
Samuel Marsden kindly volunteered to conduct it. Even with this
arrangement our meeting-house was crowded to excess. There could
not have been less than seven hundred present. What a sight! Had
any one accompanied me to the Christmas-day services I held twelve
or fourteen years ago at Fort Simpson, and again on this occasion, methinks, if an infidel, he would have been confused and puzzled to
account for the change; but if a Christian, his heart must have
leaped for joy. The Tsimsheans might well sing on this dav,
txlory to God m the highest, and on earth peace, good will towards
" After service all the Indians collected near the Mission-house to
greet us. In order to take advantage of the occasion I had them let
in by about fifties at a time, the Fort Simpson Indians preceding. After
giving each company a short address, we again shook hands with all.
It was three p.m. before we had gone through with them all in this
" The following day the young men engaged in the healthy game of
football, and all the people turned out to witness the sport. Mr. and
Mrs. Collison and myself were present to encourage them. After
football a marriage took place. A young woman, formerly trained
in the Mission-house, was married to a chief. A marriage feast was
given, to which between four and five hundred people were invited.
During the day a Fort Simpson young man came to see me and
confess a crime of theft he had committed about a year and a half ago,
and for which, when the proper time arrives, he will have to go to
gaol. In the evening the church bell was rung, and all assembled for
divine service. Some little time after service the bugle was sounded
\ Go to bed.'
" I held special services every night while the Fort Simpson people
were here with us.    The subjects upon which I addressed them were
as follows, viz.:—'Thou shalt call His
name Jesus,' 'Thy word is a
Lamp,' &c.; ' Understandest thou what thou xeadestT 'Ye must be
born again,' ' Can the Ethiopian change his skin V ' What shall a
man give in exchange for his soul?' 'One thing is needful,' 'Give
me thy hand,' ' Quit ye like men.' In addition we had a midnight
service on New Year's-eve. The people attended the services
regularly, and seemed to drink in the Word. May God give the
increase. On one of the evenings before the service I exhibited the
magic lantern to the Fort Simpson people, showing them some
Scriptural views and the sufferings of martyrs.
"On New Year's-day, as heretofore, we held a general meeting for
the business of the village, at which all the males are expected to
attend. Only some three or four were absent. The male portion of
our guests from Fort Simpson also attended to witness .the proceedings.    The ten  companies,  into which all males here are divided, Metlakahtla—Two Christmas Seasons.
were first Q?amined, after which I gave an address bearing upon
matters of the past year, and introduced the new settlers^ .who were
already seated in the middle of the room. This finished, each of the
latter came forward in the presence of the assembly, made his declara^
tion to be a faithful member of our community, and was registered.
Speeches were then made by several of the council, followed by about
twenty speeches from the Fort Simpson Indians, which were very
interesting, being expressive of the new feelings which animated
them, and the line of conduet they meant to puijsue in the future,
God being their helper. I concluded the meeting with another
address. We then adjourned to the open ground in front of the
Mission-house, stood in companies, two cannons were fired, then,
with hats off (though it snowed very hard), we sang ' God save the
Queen,' and dismissed.
" On Friday, the 2nd of January, our guests departed home. When
ready to start, the church bell rang, and they paddled their canoes to
our meeting-house, wUich is built upon the beach. Leaving their
canoes, they reassembled for a short address and a concluding prayer.
This over, again entering their canoes, they pushed a little from the
beach, a cannon was fired, and amid the ringing cheers of hundreds'
of voices they dashed off paddling with all their might. In a few
seconds they simultaneously halted, and returned as hearty cheers as
they were receiving. The air now rang with the double cheering;
caps, handkerchiefs, and flags waving; the whole forming a very
animated scene.   Thus our guests departed."
Christmas, 1877.
By the Bishop of Athabasca.
" 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 battery 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 Mr.
Schutt, 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 76
Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission.
the constables lengthening to its full height the flagstaff on the watch-
house, to hoist the .flag for Christmas, and all the village 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
with a well-dressed and attentive con-
church was thronged
"After service all the villagers, to the number of about 600, 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 inabihty to converse in the Tsimshean tongue.
" The day after Christmas was again 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 frv Mr. Duncan in the Mission Hall, and, after a suitable
%J 7 7
address, received, all of them, presents of soap, apples, sugar, tobacco,
&c. In the evening the usual week-day service was held in the schoolroom, always crowded.
" The following day all the children of the schools were assembled
by Mr. Duncan at his house, first the girls and then the boys, about
200 in all; and, after being amused by him, were treated to sugarplums and apples, and each one received some article of clothing (cap
or cape, &c), so as to be sent away to their homes rejoicing.
" Next day all the men of 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 £lb. 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, Schutt kindly entertained all Metlakahtla—Two Christmas Seasons.
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 that they might not return home
without words of Gospel truth and comfort to cheer them for stru«fflins
" 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 porino-
intelligently over the text, and following out again the subject of the
morning discourse. I cannot but think it would be a great gain if
this scheme of Mr. Duncan's could be largely followed in other
"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 schoolroom, 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 Christinas doings,    On, t^e M onday all the women 78
Metlakahila and the North Pacific Mission.
ef the village, about 300, assembled in the market-house, and after
suitable addresses, -valuable presents were made to each, viz., lib.
soap, lib. rice, and several apples, &g., so that they return home
laden and rejoicing. Altogether about .£50 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,' &c. 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 football 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
distinguisbing 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 '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.
" The above is but an imperfect sketch of the efforts made by Mr.
Duncan for the welfare and happiness of his village." in
A GLANCE at the map will show that both Metlakahtla and Foi?t
Simpson are situated on a peninsula which juts forth from the
coast between the estuaries of two rivers^the Skeena to the south,
and the Nass to the North. The mouth of the Nass River is one
of the great fishing resorts of the Indians.    From long distances
the tribes of both the mainland and the adjacent islands flock
thither every year in March and April, the season when the
oolikan, a small fish about the size of a smelt, is caught.
As many as five thousand Indians gather together on these
occasions, and encamp for miles along both banks of the river.
Having put up their temporary bark huts, they dig pits to store
the fish in, and then quietly await their arrival. Meanwhile,
hardly a sign of life is to be seen on land or water. The towering mountains, that rise almost from the banks, are covered deep
with snow, and ihe river is fast bound in ice to Hie depth of six
or eight feet. Slowly the ice begins to break higher up, and the
tides, rising and falling, bear away immense quantities. At
length a few seagulls appear in the western sky, and the cry
echoes from camp to camp that fish are at hand.
Immense shoals of oolikan come in from the Pacific, followed
by larger fish such as the halibut, the cod, the porpoise, and the
finned-back whale. Over the fish hover the sea-birds—"an
immense cloud of innumerable gulls,', wrote Bishop Hills after a
TJsit to the place, " so many and so thick that as they moved to
and fro, up and down, the sight resembled a heavy fall of snow.'*
Over the gulls, again, soar $ie eagles watching for their prey. 8o
Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission.
' The Indians go forth to meet the fish with the cry, " You fish,
you fish ! you are all chiefs; you are, you are all chiefs." The
nets haul in bushels at a time, and hundreds of tons are collected.
li The Indians dry some in the sun, and press a much larger
quantity for the sake of the oil or grease, which has a considerable market value as being superior to cod-liver oil, and which
they use as butter with their dried salmon. The season is most
important to the Indians ; the supply lasts them till the season
for salmon, which is later, and which supplies their staple food,
their bread." " What a beautiful provision for this people,"
writes one of the Missionaries, " just at that season of the year
when their winter stock has run out! God can indeed furnish a
table in the wilderness."
It was in the spring of 1860, that Mr. Duncan first visited the
Nass River. He received a most encouraging welcome from
the Nishkah Indians—one of the Tsimshean tribes—dwelling on
its banks.    The account is a particularly interesting one :—
'" April 19th, 1860.—About 4 p.m. we arrived in sight of the three
lower villages of the Nishkah Indians, and these, with two upper
villages, constitute the proper inhabitants of the river. On
approaching the principal village we were met by a man who had
been sent to invite us to the chiefs house. Numbers of Indians
stood on the bank. When we stopped several rushed into the water:
some seized my luggage, and one took me on his back. In a few
minutes we were safely housed. Smiling faces and kind words
greeted me on every side. My friend Kahdoonahah, the chief who
had invited me to his house, was dancing for joy at my arrival. He
had put his house in order, made up a large fire in the centre,
placed two big iron kettles on it, and had invited a number of his
friends to come and feast with me. About thirty of us, all males,
sat round the fire. Boiled fresh salmon was first served out All
the guests were furnished with large horn or wooden spoons: I
preferred to use my own. My plate was first filled with choice bits,
and afterwards large wooden dishesful were carried round, and one
placed before every two persons. This done, boiled rice, mixed with
molasses, was served us. Fresh spoons and dishes were used. While
the dishes were being filled, each person had a large spoonful handed
him to be going on with. After the feast I had considerable conversation, Outlying Stations.—I. Kincolith.
and concluded by requesting that all the chiefs and chief men of the
three tribes should meet me on the morrow, when I would endeavour
to give them the good news from God's book. Kahdoonahah
suggested that there might be some difficulty to get all the chiefs to
assemble, unless something was provided for them to eat. He therefore promised to send out and invite them all to his house, and give
them a feast for the occasion.
" It was now evening, and the guests went home. Kahdoonahah
then brought in an old man to sing to me. The old man very
solemnly sat down before me, fixed his eyes upon the ground, and
began beating time by striking his foot with his hand. He was
assisted by Kahdoonahah, who not only sang, but kept up a thumping
noise with a large stick. A few boys also clapped their hands in
proper time. After they had sung two or three songs I told them
we would have a change. I drew my few boys around me. One of
them immediately warned the chief and his company that we were
going to sing songs to God, which were the same as prayers, and
therefore they must be very reverent. We sang several little hymns,
some of which I translated. The party soon increased, and sat very
" April 20.—After breakfast two men entered the house, and stood
just within the door. Looking at me, one of them shouted out,
' Woah shimauket, woah shimauket, woah shimauket, woah.' After
repeating this twice, they went away. This was an invitation from
a chief who wanted me and my crew to breakfast with him. I took
two of my party, and set off. When I was entering the chiefs
house, he stood up, and, beckoning me to a seat, cried out loudly,
' Yeah shimauket, yeah shimauket, yeah shimauket, yeah.' As soon
as I was seated, he stopped, and sat down. These words, rendered
into English, are, 'Welcome chief, welcome chief, welcome chief,
welcome.' We feasted on boiled salmon, and rice, and sugar, and
molasses, after which the chief presented me with five marten skins
and a large salmon. When I returned to Kahdoonahah's house, he
had got three large iron kettles on the fire for the feast; and I was
informed that an old chief had given me a large black bear's skin.
The drum began to beat, and a general bustle prevailed around me.
I sat down to collect my thoughts, and to lift up my heart to God to
prepare me for the important meeting about to take place, at which
the blessed Gospel was to be proclaimed to these poor tribes of Indians
for the first time.
P 82
Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission,
."About twelve o'clock they began to assemble. Each took a
place corresponding .to his rank. We soon mustered about sixty
chiefs and headmen. Between one and two p.m. we began to feast,
which consisted, as usual, of salmon and rice, and molasses. I had
heard Kahdoonahah say that they intended to perform before me their
' AhMed;' but I requested him to have no playing, as I wanted to
speak very solemnly to them. He promised me they would do nothing
bad; but now that the feasting was over, much to my sorrow, he
put on his dancing mask and robes. The leading singers stepped
out, and soon all were engaged in a spirited chant. They kept
excellent time by clapping their hands and beating a drum. (I
found out afterwards that they had been singing my praises, and
asking me to pity them and to do them good.) The chief
Kahdoonahah danced with all his might during the singing. He
wore a cap, which had a mask in front, set with mother-of pearl, and
trimmed with porcupine's quills. The quills enabled him to hold a
quantity of white bird's down on the top of his head, which he
ejected while dancing, by jerking his head forward: thus he soon
appeared as if in a shower of snow. In the middle of the dance a
man approached me with a handful of down, and blew it over my
head, thus symbolically uniting me in friendship with all the chiefs
present, and the tribes they severally represented.
" After the dance and singing were over, I felt exceedingly anxious
about addressing them; but circumstances seemed so unfavourable,
on account of the excitement, that my heart began to sink: What
made the matter worse, too, was, a chief, who had lately been shot
in the arm for overstepping his rank, began talking very passionately.
This aroused me. I saw at once that I must speak, or probably the
meeting might conclude in confusion. I stood up, and requested
them to cease talking, as 1 wished them to rest their hearts, and
listen to the great message I had come to deliver. Instantly the
chief ceased talking, and every countenance became fixed attentively
towards me. I began, and the Lord helped «rne much. I was enabled,
to speak with more freedom and animation than I had ever done
before in the Indian tongue. Much to my encouragement, the
Indians unanimously responded at the finish of every clause. The
most solemn occasion of this kind was when I introduced the name
of the Saviour. At once every tongue uttered Jesus, and, for some
time kept repeating that blessed name, which I hope they will not
forget. SSSsSSsSSSSSSSiSSsss
Outlying Stations.-—I. KincolttU.-
" After I had finished my address, I asked them to declare to me
their thoughts upon what they had heard, and also if they desired
to be further instructed in God's Word. Immediately a universal
cry arose of, ' Good is your speech: good, good, good news! We
greatly desire to learn the book: we wish our children to learn;'"
In the autumn of the same year, Mr. Duncan again visited the
Nass River, and ascended to the upper villages. Everywhere
he found a readiness, sometimes most touchingly expressed, to
receive Christian instruction.    At one interesting gathering, a
O     O cj7
Nishkah chief named Agwilakkah, after hearing the Gospel
message for the first time, stood up-before all, stretched forth Ms
hands towards heaven, and lifting up his eyes solemnly said:—
"Pity us, Great Father in heaven, pity us I Give us Tliy good
book to do us good and clear away our sins. This chief [pointing
to Mr. Duncan] has come to tell us about Thee. It is good, Great
Father. We want to hear. Who ever came to tell our fathers Thy
will ? No, no. But this chief has pitied us and come. He has
Thy book. We will hear. We will receive Thy word. We will
Four years, however, passed away before regular Missionary
operations could be extended to the Nass River. In 1864, a
Christian Tsimshean, travelling up the river as a fur-trader, told
the Indians he met with of the Saviour he had himself found, and
on his return to the coast seven young men of the Nishkah tribe
accompanied him, that they might visit Metlakahtla and hear
the Missionary for themselves. They stayed there for a few davs,
listening eagerly to Mr. Duncan s instructions. When they left,
they begged for some fragment of God's Word to take back to
their tribe; and Mr. Duncan wrote out for each, on a piece of
paper, the words in Tsimshean, " This is a faithful saying, and
worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world
to save sinners."
In this case the living voice was not long in following the
written message. On July 2nd, 1864, the Rev. R. R. A.
Doolan arrived at Metlakahtla from England, and, at Mr.
Duncan's suggestion, he at once went on to the Nass River
to establish a permanent Mission. Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission.
. With prayerful energy the young Missionary, inexperienced
and ignorant of the language, flung himself into the conflict with
heathenism. A sore conflict it was. Ardent spirits had come
up the river; drunkenness was fast spreading among the
Indians; and quarrelling and murders were of frequent occurrence. On one occasion, after a whisky feast, the Indians on
opposite sides of the river set to work firing across the stream
at one another, in pure wantonness. Several were wounded,
women as well as men; and next day Mr. Doolan was called
upon to attend to their injuries. Again and again was his own
life in imminent danger. One day an Indian rushed out of a
hut he was passing, gun in hand, and fired at him twice.
Both times the gun.raissed fire ! " I was so close to him," wrote
Mr. Doolan, "that I saw the fire from the flint."
If Divine providence was thus exhibited in the preservation
of the missionary's life, Divine grace was soon to be not less
signally manifested in a blessing on his labours. A boy named
Tacomash was the first fruits gathered in. He and another boy
came from a village twenty-five miles off to live at the Mission-
house, and attend school. After a few weeks he went home to
see his father, and was attacked with bronchitis. Mr. Doolan,
hearing of this, hastened off to see him. | The journey," he
says, " was a most painful one. I wore two pairs of mocassins,
but the ice soon cut through both. I was ten hours walking
the twenty-five miles. I found the poor lad very weak, and
suffering much. He had steadfastly resisted the medicine-men
from rattling over him, saying God would be angry with him if
he allowed them." Tacomash got better, and returned to the
station; and shortly after Mr. Doolan writes, " To-day I was
rejoiced to hear Tacomash praying to Grod. He was amonor the
trees, and did not know anyone heard him. He asked Jesus to
pity him, and make his heart strong."    Soon, however, the lad
On his
became ill again, and died trusting in the Saviour,
death-bed he was baptized at his own earnest desire, and named
Samuel Walker.
On Mr. Doolan's retirement from the Mission in 1867, the
work on the Nass River was taken up by the Rev. R. Tomlinson, who had just arrived. By Mr. Doolan's efforts some fifty
Indians had been influenced to abandon their heathen customs
and to desire to live together as a Christian community ; and a
settlement similar to Metlakahtla was now planned. This
settlement received the name of Kincolith; and here Mr.
Tomlinson earnestly laboured from 1867 to 1878, when he left
to go forward into the regions beyond.
The work proved to be one requiring much patience
and courage. For two or three years it was much retarded
by hostilities between two tribes. But Mr. Tomlinson was
encouraged by the zeal and intrepidity of his wife, who accompanied him on his visits to the combatants, and everywhere disarmed opposition by her presence. Subsequently the trading
store, which had been established on the Metlakahtla plan,
turned out a failure, and the Indian settlers, about sixty in
number, depressed by the losses they incurred, showed signs of
wavering, and of returning to their heathen friends, who were
manifesting the most bitter antagonism to the Mission. But
towards the close of 1870, by the mercy of God, the tide seemed
to turn, and when Archdeacon Woods visited the station at the
Bishop of Columbia's request, in October, 1871, he found a
peaceful community, an attentive congregation, and several
candidates for baptism, of whom he admitted twenty adults
(with seven children) to the Church, making, with nine previously
baptized, thirty-six altogether.
From that time the Kincolith Mission, though not exhibiting
rapid success, has been steadily growing, and not a few of the
JNisnkan Indians who were accustomed to attend Mr. Doolan s
services, but had fallen back, have joined the community, and
some have been baptized. The store was re-opened in 1874 with
improved prospects. A dispensary was established by Mr. Tomlinson, and has been highly appreciated by the Indians. A saw mill
has been erected, which not only supplies material for building
new houses, but also gives employment to those, of the settlers
who are neither fur-hunters nor skilled workmen. The annual
fishing seasons have been a time of distinct blessing, the
Christian Indians  holding services  for their heathen fellow- S6
Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission.
countrymen in the various camps, and many of the heathen
joining them in resting from the fishing operations on the Lord's
Day: Year by year the number of settlers has increased, and
now exceeds two hundred, of whom three-fourths are baptized.
One chief, who joined on New Year's-day, 1877, was well
known as the fiercest savage on the river. He was baptized by
Bishop Bompas in March, 1878, taking, like Legaic at Metlakahtla, the name of Paul. He was very penitent for his past
life, and was earnestly trying to follow good ways, when illness
and death overtook him.    Just before he died, he gave very clear
-— 7 CD v
testimony that he had found pardon and peace in Jesus. At
the funeral service the people sang Sankey's hymn, i( There will
be no more parting there." His son, a young man of twenty,
has since been baptized, also by the name of Paul, and has been
married to the Christian daughter of another leading chief—a
girl named Rhoda.
As already mentioned, Mr. Tomlinson has now moved forward
into the interior to carry the Gospel to the Kitiksheans and
other tribes up the Nass and Skena Rivers and among the
Cascade Mountains, and has established a station near a place
known as the Skeena Forks, where three branches of that river
unite.    At Kittackdamix also, at the end of the navigation on
7 CD
the Nass, a native Christian teacher has been stationed, towards
whose expenses the Kincolith Christians contributed £12 in
money and kind. A site has been selected there for another
Christian village, and several Indian families propose settling on
the spot. The Kincolith station is now under the charge of
Mr. H. Schutt, a schoolmaster sent out in 1876.
Mr. Tomlinson, like Mr. Duncan, has lately been appointed a
magistrate. He writes:—H The proposal was made to me quite
unexpectedly by the head of the Government, and I did not feel
justified in declining the offer. Already good begins to result
from it. The hearts of the well disposed are Strengthened, while
the ill-disposed whites are restrained frpm molesting the native
settlers." X.
On the group of islands named after George the Third's Queen
dwell the finest and the fiercest of the coast tribes. The
Hydahs are a manly, tall, handsome people, and comparatively
fair in their complexion ; but they are a cruel and vindictive
race, and were long the terror of the North Pacific coast. They
even ventured to attack English ships, and in 1854 they
plundered an American vessel, detaining the captain and crew
in captivity until they were ransomed by the Hudson's Bay
Company. No tribe, moreover, has been more fearfully
demoralised by the proxhnity of the white man's " civilization.'*
Drunkenness and the grossest vices have spread disease and
death among them. >t^a,
But the Hydahs have not failed to reccfgnise the advantages
that Christianity has conferred upon their .neighbours on the
mainland. Trading expeditions up the coast took them occasionally to Metlakahtla, and the peace and prosperity they saw
there deeply impressed their minds. A striking instance of the
moral influence of the Christian settlement occurred in 1873.
Many years before, a young Tsimshean woman had beien captured
by a party of Hydahs, and carried as a slave to Queen Charlotte
Islands, where, after a while, a son was born to her. Five and
twenty years passed' away, and then she was restored by her
owner, for a consideration, to her relatives at Fort Simpson.
The Hydahs seem to have thought this a good opportunity to
make friends with their old enemies, and they sent a deputation
to Metlakahtla with her son, now a grown man, to give him up 88
Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission.
as a voluntary peace-offering. | We had," wrote Mr. Duncan,
" a solemn peace-making at the Mission-house. Several excellent
speeches were made, and a document was drawn up and signed
by the relatives of the young man, expressive of their reconciliation with their ancient foes."
The principal trading post, Massett, is on the northern coast
of the northern island, Graham Island. Here Mr. and Mrs.
Collison, with their two little children, landed on November 1st,
1876 :—
" On our arrival I had intended to have wintered in one of the Indian
houses, as the winter season was too *ar advanced for building;
but Mr. Offut, the officer in charge of the H. B. Co.'s post on the
island, kindly offered us a small house, in which goods had been stored,
and as it was within 100 yards of the Indian encampment, I gladly
accepted the offer. This I immediately put under repair, covering
it with barks outside, and putting up a stove inside. The house
was very small, measuring eighteen feet by twelve ; and, in order to
secure a little privacy, I partitioned off eight feet, leaving for all
purposes an apartment ten feet by twelve. This has usually been
well filled with Indians, sitting almost on each other; and as we
were loth to entertain such numbers at meals, we have often had to
remain without food all dav.    Of  course this,  with many other
O 7 t/
difficulties, will be overcome by a command of their language; but
any attempt) to carry out order without a fair knowledge of their
tongue might only insult and estrange them."
To the privations thus endured were soon added those attendant
on sickness. First, their eldest child was attacked by fever, and
for some weeks his life was despaired of, and then Mr. Collison
himself was struck down and brought nigh unto death.    Both,
^ CD 7
we need not say, were tenderly nursed by the wife and mother,
and both, by the mercy of God, were raised up again.
In the same letter Mr. Collison describes a remarkable
peculiarity of the Hydah villages:—■
" In approaching a Hydah village from a distance one is reminded
of a harbour with a number of ships at anchor, owing to the great
number of poles of all sizes erected in front of every house.   These Outlying Missions.—II. Queen CharlotU Islands.
are carved very well, with all kinds of figures, many of them unintelligible to visitors or strangers, but fraught with meaning to the
people themselves. In fact, they have a legend in connection with
almost every figure. It is in the erection of these tjiat so much
property is given away. They value them very highly, as was
instanced lately on the occasion of the Governor-General's visit. He
was most anxious to purchase one, but they would not consent to it
at any price."
Patiently and prayerfully for the next two years and a half,
with one or two intervals for visits to Metlakahtla, did Mr.
Collison labour among the Hydahs, on the same fines as Mr.
Duncan had done originally among the Tsimsheans: first,
diligently trying to pick up their language, and making himself
known as their friend ; then opening a school; then seeking to
win them from some of their most degrading customs.    Very
quickly he gained a remarkable influence over them, and though
the medicine-men were, of course, bitterly hostile, greater was
He who was with the Missionary than those that were with his
opponents ; and the tokens of the working of the Holy Ghost
were manifested sooner than even an ardent faith might have
During the winter of 1877-8, school was conducted daily,
women and children attending in the morning, and men in the
evening, and the Sunday services were generally attended by
three hundred and fifty Indians. Gambling, heathen dances,
and the manufacture of " fire-water" from molasses, began
gradually to diminish : and Mr. Collison's growing influence was
well tested on the occasion of the death of a principal chief:—
" I visited him during his illness, and held service in his house
weekly for the five weeks preceding his death. On the morning of
the day on which he died I visited him, and found him surrounded
by the men of his tribe and the principal medicine-man, who kept up
his incantations and charms to the last. He was sitting up, and
appeared glad to see me, and, in answer to my inquiries, he informed
ine that he was very low indeed and his heart weak. I directed him
to withdraw his mind from everything, and look only to Jesus, who
alone could help him.    He thanked me again and again whilst I 90
Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission.
instructed him; and when I asked him if he would like me to pray
with him, he replied-that he would very much. I then called upon
all to kneel, and, with bowed head, he followed my petitions earnestly.
He informed me that, had he been spared, he would have been one
of the first in the way of God ; but I endeavoured to show him that
even then he might be so by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Afterwards I sent Mrs. Collison to prepare some food for him, and make
him comfortable ; and about mid-day he sent for me again, but why
he sent for me, or what he wanted to say to me, I never learned, as
before I reached his house he expired.
" His death was announced by the firing of several cannon which
they have in the village. On my entering the house, the scene
which presented itself was indescribable—shrieking, dancing, tearing and burning their hair in the fire; whilst the father of the
deceased, who had just been pulled out of the fire, rushed to it again
and threw himself upon it. He was with difficulty removed, and I
directed two men to hold him whilst I endeavoured to calm the
" I was very much shocked to find that a young man—a slave—had
been accused by the medicine-men as having bewitched the chief and
induced his sickness. In consequence of this he had been stripped,
and bound hands and feet in an old outhouse, and thus kept for some
days without food. I only learned this about one hour before the
death of the chief, and it was well I heard it even then, as I learned
that they had determined to shoot him, and a man had been told off
who had his gun ready for the purpose. I lost no time in calling the
chiefs and the friends of the deceased together, and showed them the
wickedness and sinfulness of such proceedings, and how, by their thus
acting, they had probably kept up a feeling of revenge in the mind
of their friend who had just expired. They accepted my advice, and
had him unbound, and he came to the Mission-house to have his wounds
dressed. His wrists were swollen to an immense size, and his back,
from hip to shoulder, lacerated and burned to the bone by torches of
pitch pine.    He was deeply grateful to me for having saved him.
" The dead chief was laid out, and all those of his crest came from
the opposite village, bringing a large quantity of swan's down, which
they scattered over and around the corpse. At my suggestion, they
departed from the usual custom of dressing and painting the dead,
and, instead of placing the corpse in a sitting posture, they consented
to place it on the back.    The remains were decently interred, and I KMM
Outlying Missions—II. Queen Charlotte Islands.
gave an address and prayed; thus their custom of placing the dead
in hollowed poles, carved and erected near the houses, has been
broken through, and since this occurred many of the remains which
were thus placed have been buried."
The first Hydah to come out distinctly as a Christian was a
chief named Cowhoe, concerning whom an interesting incident
is related. One day he brought a book to Mr. Collison, saying
it had been given him many years before by the captain of an
English man-of war, and asking what it was. It proved to be
a Testament, with this inscription on the fly-leaf—" From Capt.
Prevost, H.M.S. ' Satellite,'' trusting that the bread thus cast upon
the waters may be found after many days." More than twenty
years had passed away, and now that prayer was answered,
though not by the instoumentality of the gift that bore the record
of it. Cowhoe became a regular attendant at Mr. Collison's services and school, and we are told that at a meeting held on the
Day of Intercession for Missions, Nov. 30th, 1877, he " prayed
very earnestly for the spread of the truth amongst his brethren,"
When Admiral Prevost visited the coast in the summer of
1878, Cowhoe and his father went to Metlakahtla in a canoe on
purpose to see the benefactor of their race. Of this visit the
Admiral gives the following account:—
"EdensaWj the chief of the Hydah nation, arrived with his son,
Cowhoe, and Mr. Collison. They had heard of my visit, and were
anxious to see me 'face to face.' I knew him in 1853, when I
first visited the Queen Charlotte Islands in command of H.M.S.
Virago. An American schooner had been plundered and destroyed
by the Islanders : my object was to punish the offenders, but, after a
searching enquiry, I was not able to fix the guilt upon any particular
tribe. Some portion of the property was restored, and no lives being
lost, I was obliged to be satisfied by assembling together all the
chiefs, and reminding them of the power I held to punish the' guilty.
In my own mind, I believe Edensaw was the guilty person. From
that time up to this hour, he has 'been halting between two
opinions f—a proud man—he could not give up his power, his wealth
and standing over the heathens, to follow the Lord God; still he
knew the Missionary had brought something-better than he had ever 92
Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission.
possessed in all his glory, and it was expedient for him to be friends
with the white men. When Duncan first arrived at Fort Simpson,
in 1857, he frequently entreated him to come over and teach the
Hydahs, and when I met him again on board the Satellite in 1859,
he made a similar request to me. I may here remark that, anxious
as we were to establish a Mission amongst the fine race of Indians,
it was not until October, 1876, the Committee of the C.M.S. were
able to comply with their request. During that time hundreds, principally females, had passed into eternity through vice and disease contracted at Victoria.
" I may add, when I visited Massett last October (1879) with Bishop
Ridley, he left Cowhoe with Sneath to assist him during the winter,
the first native teacher from the Hydahs. I trust the good seed has
taken root in many hearts. ' God moves in a mysterious way, His
wonders to perform !' It was to show me this book, and to shake me
by the hand, that the father and son came this long journey."
In the Autumn of 1878, some touching evidences of the Spirit's
work gladdened the missionary's heart. On October 26th he
" Not a few are enquiring earnestly for the way of life. At a little
social meeting which I had a few days past, the principal chief said :
11 was careless and unconcerned about the message which the white
chief brought us, but I can be so no longer. Even at night, when I
lie awake on my bed, I cry to God to pardon my many sins and save
me. I know now it is true—all true, and I want to be safe in the
Ark, even in Jesus the Saviour'; and he continued at some length
exhorting the others to receive the Word.
"Another chief also spoke with intense earnestness and feeling.
He said, ' A short time since I was blind, and knew nothing of these
great things. But Jesus has opened my eyes, and now I see. Jesus
is the way, and I am in that way now. I am happy, very happy ;
but one thing keeps me back, and when that is over, I will seek to be
baptized, and live only for God.'
"This one thing referred to is a giving away of property on
account of a deceased brother whose effects he took charge of, and
promised to give away property, and put up a carved pole to his
memory. As he has already promised, and given notice to the tribe,
he does not wish to draw back. Outlying Missions—II. Queen Charlotte Islands.
" Another—a young man—is already obeying the injunction, ' Let
him that heareth say, Come'; and at the salmon fishing and elsewhere has endeavoured to gather his friends together for prayer and
And on March 20tb, 1879, reviewing the winter's work) Mr.
Collison again wrote:—
" In October last, having mastered the difficulties of the language,
I was induced to commence a weekly prayer-meetin«. At this
meeting we opened with a hymn, after which I prayed, and then
delivered a short Gospel address, at the close of which I invited those
of them who understood the solemnity and responsibility of prayer
and to whom God had given hearts to pray, to lead briefly and
successively in audible prayer.
" This mode of conducting the prayer-meeting was attended with
good results, as it united those who were in earnest, and who had
received the truth into their hearts, more closely together and led
several of those who were halting between heathenism and the truth
to decide for the latter.
" Thus a band was formed (amongst whom were several of the
chiefs and principal men) which confronted the heathen customs on
the  one hand, and drunkenness and gambling on the other   and
having come out boldly on the side of the truth, their influence was
soon perceptible.
" I dare not attempt to convey to you in word's the intense earnestness and fervour of the petitions which they offered up on behalf of
themselves, their families, and the surrounding villages; whilst at
the same time, there was nothing like excitement, but rather a calm
solemnity and quiet earnestness prevailed amongst all.
" And surely our united petitions were graciously answered, and a
great change was soon apparent.
"The Lord's Day was observed by the majority, and the services of
the day attended by almost all encamped, as well as by a number from
the opposite village, which is about three miles off.
" The flag which I received from the Missionary Leaves Association
to hoist on Sundays, in order to acquaint them of the weekly return
-of the day of rest, now no longer hangs alone; but nine of the
principal men now follow the example shown by the Mission and
have set up their banners also. 94
Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission.
" Dancing has been abandoned, and the medicine-work is almost over-
•thrown; and, in passing along the village after dark, my ear is now
often greeted with "the Christian hymn or the song of praise, where
formerly the noise of the heathen dance, or the frantic orgies of the
medicine-man, drowned all other sounds. Thus a change has been
effected during the past three years, in the contemplation of which I
can only exclaim, ' What hath God wrought!, "
Even the chief medicine man himself abandoned his sorceries,
and came forward as an inquirer:—
" The charms and rattles of the leading medicine-man are now in
our possession, he having given them up, and he is now an earnest
enquirer after the truth, and is always present at the services. He
was first brought into contact with the truth shortly before Christmas
last in the following manner.
" A young man was brought home very sick, and I went to see him,
and found him suffering from a severe attack of ' brain fever,' brought
on by his swimming for some time in the cold salt water, in order to
cure a severe headache which he had.
" I did all I could to alleviate his sufferings, and instructed his
relatives as to how they should nurse him. This resulted in his resting
more easily and in his obtaining some sleep, to which he had been a
stranger for several nights.   .
" Not satisfied, however, with this, they sent off for the medicineman, who was encamped up the inlet. He arrived at midnight; and
at once commenced his whooping and rattling. This he continued
at intervals, until the following day, when I paid him a visit.
" The house was full, and the patient evidently much worse. The
medicine-man, or ' Scahaga,' as he is called in their own tongue, had
just finished another performance, and sat down exhausted as I
" All appeared surprised at my intrusion, but I knelt down beside
the sick man, and took his hand to feel his pulse. I shook my
head, and then informed them that he was much worse. The medicineman then answered in his own defence, and commenced by informing
me that he had found out the cause of his sickness. A man from
the other village had caused it by snatching the cap from the head
of the sick man when up the inlet together, which had led to his being
smitten or bewitched by a land otter.     To this statement several RSSRfilBiilllll
Outlying Missions—II. Queen Charlotte Islands.
agreed, as they stated the nervous twitches and convulsive movements
of the sick man were exactly similar to the movements of the above-
mentioned animal.
" I then addressed them all on the power of God and His dealings
with man, and how that He alone bringeth down and raiseth up. I
then called upon all to join with me in prayer for themselves and also
on behalf of the sick man. The medicine-man was evidently humbled
and discomfited, though ashamed to acknowledge it before so many.
Shortly afterwards the young man died, and I attended his funeral,
and gave an address and prayedj according to portions of the Burial
Service.    The medicine-man was present, and most attentive.
"From that time he appears to have lost faith in his profession,
though he informed me that the ' Scahnawah,' or spirit; appeared to
him, and advised Tn'm to continue his medicine work, which would be
a source of great gain to him; but that he had replied, saying God's
Word had come, and he was determined to give up his practice, and
seek the salvation of his own soul. His long hair, which has never been
cut, and which folded up serves him for a pillow at night, he speaks
of having cut off as soon as he can do so with safety to his health.
When I see him sitting at our services, clothed and in his right
mind, I am reminded that the Gospel is now as ever ' the power of
God unto salvation.'"
At Christmas (1878), when the Indians from other villages
came in canoes to Massett, the usual festive custom of " dancing
with painted faces, and naked slaves with then* bodies
blackened," was dispensed with, and in lieu of it the visitors
were received by a choir of a hundred Hydahs, children and
adults, chanting the anthem, " How beautiful upon the
mountains." " The unanimous opinion of all was that the new
and Christian welcome was far superior to the old heathen one."
In the same letter Mr. Collison mentions his translations, in
which he had succeeded beyond his expectations. Portions of
Scripture, a simple catechism, the Commandments, the Lord's
Prayer, the   General   Confession   and  Thanksgiving,   several
t/ 7 CD CD7
collects, ten hymns, and a series of "Short Addresses on Great
Subjects," had been produced by him in the Hydah language.
Mr. Collison had visited several tribes at a distance, both on
the islands more to the south, and on the coast of Alaska to the 96
Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission.
north. At Skidegate Inlet, which divides the two principal
of the Queen Charlotte Islands, he had a particularly warm
In a letter, dated March 21st, 1879, he wrote that he had
thirty names on the list of catechumens, most of them heads of
Mr. Collison has since removed to Metlakahtla, to undertake the pastoral and school-work there. His place at
Massett has been taken by Mr. G. Sneath, a zealous young
missionary artizan, who twice went to East Africa to join the
Victoria Nyanza Mission, and twice was ordered home by the
consular surgeon at Zanzibar, and who has now essayed
missionary service in a colder climate. SiM^WP^iM
Fort Rupert is a trading post at the northern end of Vancouver's Island, some three hundred miles south of Metlakahtla.
In that neighbourhood are found the Quoquolt Indians, and
among them a Mission has lately been begun.    This is, how-
CD *s CD 7
ever, but a tardy response to their repeated entreaties for a
teacher. It has always been a problem beyond their power to
solve, why, when Mr. Duncan first arrived on the coast, he
actually sailed past them on his voyage from Victoria, and went
first to the Tsimsheans, who were so much further off; and on
one occasion they stoutly remonstrated with the captain of a
man-of-war, sent to punish them for marauding on the territory
of another tribe, that they were left without a teacher, and were
only visited when they had done wrong.
In due time teachers did appear, in the shape of a party
of Roman Catholic priests ; and Mr. Duncan, stopping at the
Fort when on a voyage to Victoria in 1860, found that two of
them had been there and had taught some of the Indians " a
hymn to the Virgin Mary in the trading jargon." " I told
them," he adds, " of Jesus the true and only Saviour, which
the priests had neglected to do." These Romish Missionaries
held their ground for eleven years, and then abandoned the
Quoquolts as hopeless. As will be seen, however, their hopes
revived when at length a Protestant Missionary was found to be
gaining an influence over the tribe.
In October, 1875, the head chief at Fort Rupert took the
three hundred miles journey to visit Metlakahtla, and once more
preferred his request.    He addressed the Christians of the settle-
G 98
Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission.
ment, and said that f a rope had been thrown out from Metlakahtla, which was encircling and drawing together all the Indian
tribes into one common brotherhood." Mr. Duncan planned to
go and begin a Quoquolt mission himself; but it proved quite
impossible for him to leave his multifarious work at the settlement, and ultimately the Rev. A. J. Hall, who was sent out in
1877, volunteered to go.
It was on March 12th, 1878, that Mr, Hall landed at Fort
Rupert, and was kindly received by the Hudson's Bay Company's
officer in charge. A large Indian house was purchased for the
price of sixty blankets, and a school at once opened. On June
11th, Mr. Hall wrote :—
tl I have taught them one English hymn, ' Jesus loves me, this I
know,' and three simple chants in their own language; also three
prayers—one the Lord's Prayer, four texts which they read from the
black board, and a catechism, arranged and taught by Mr. Duncan at
Fort Simpson. All this instruction has been given in their own
tongue, translated to me by Mr. Hunt's son, who acts also as my
interpreter at the Sunday services.
" I have been able to hold two services every Sunday since I first
came, and sometimes I have had perhaps eighty attend. Many are
away from the village now, trading and visiting other tribes, so that
my congregation is reduced. I have felt it a great privilege to stand
up before this dusky assembly and open up to them the Word of Life.
They are all clothed in blankets, some of them highly ornamented
with needle-work and pearl buttons. When they enter the building,
the men take off the bandannah handkerchiefs which are tied round
their heads, and squat all around me. The men sit on one side, and
the women on the other, as a rule. This fact is in consequence of the
inferior position of the women, and because they are not allowed to
attend the meetings which the men constantly hold to talk over the
affairs of the camp. At first my congregations came with painted
faces, and were little inclined to stand when we sang. They are now,
however, more clean in their appearance, and, with few exceptions,
rise when I play the tune on my English concertina.
"I have almost exclusively spoken to them from the Book of
Genesis, and have brought in the work of our Lord from these lessons,
e.g., when speaking on sacrifices, the offering of Isaac, and the life of Outlying Missions.—III. Fort Rupert.
Joseph. These narratives in Genesis have attracted them very much,
and they listened very attentively to my interpreter. All my addresses
are written before I enter my church, and read to the interpreter, and
therefore, I believe, they are already acquainted with many truths
from God's Word, which do strike against the immorality in which
they are living. Sometimes, when I speak in the church, they talk
among themselves, either approving what is said, but more often
because the truth spoken is a rebuke to some of them."
In a later letter, dated March 1st, 1879, Mr. Hall further
describes his interesting congregation j—
0 O CD
"The Indians did not rush to my servioes at first, and then drop
off. No ! a few came at first, and they have gradually increased, and
on the Sunday before they all went to Alert Bay there were probably
eighty at my first service, the majority being men—men who have
frequently committed murder, and who have bitten each other from
their youth upwards in the winter dances. Medicine-men were present
who have often eaten the bodies of dead men, exhumed from their
graves, and who to this day are dreaded by all the people, because
there is not an Indian in the camp but that superstitiously believes
these doctors can kill them by their sorcery. I cannot tell you yet
that these wicked men who come to my services are earnestly seeking
a better,way. I cannot tell you yet that I can see any. change in
them. I know that some of them hate me and my message, and
speak against it; but they come and hear the truth; and who can
say but that God will give them His Holy Spirit, and that they may
be turned from darkness to serve the living and true God 1
" My congregation will not sit upon the forms I have had made;
they prefer to draw their dirty blankets tightly round them, and to
squat on the floor. When I am speaking, they generally rest their
heads upon their bent knees, and fix their eyes upon the floor. Not
a muscle seems to move, and they appear to drink in every word that
is spoken to them, as if they thirsted for the truth. In teaching
these people I treat them as children, but I know they have nothing
of the gentleness and simplicity of children; they are cunning,
'deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked."'
The Roman Oatholicsi having left a memorial of thefir abandoned mission in the shape of a good school-house, which was IOO
Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission.
standing idle, Mr. Hall wrote to them at Victoria for leave to
use it. The request was refused, " because," they wrote, U our
missionaries may require it again." And a few months afterwards, when Mr. Hall was beginning to feel his way among the
people, a priest appeared at Nu-wit-ty, the northern point of
Vancouver's Island, thirty miles from Fort Rupert, just when
Mr. Hall was visiting the tribe residing there. He (the priest)
called a meeting of the Indians, concerning which Mr. Hall
writes, on March 10th, 1879 :—
" The Indians went to the meeting, and I went as well; probably
one hundred were present. He told them to kneel down ; they did
so, and then he told them to look at him, and cross themselves as he
did, and the poor Indians followed him. He then told them about
the Fall, and it was very good what he said; but soon he spoke of a
way that went to heaven, and one that went to hell, and he told them
that if they followed him he would lead them to heaven, and that if
they followed me they all would go to hell, and I should go with
them. He said he wanted to baptize them, and then they would be
as white as snow. When he spoke against me, many Indians interrupted him, and one went up to where he was standing and blew a
lamp out. They then called out my name, and wished me to address
them. I did so, and told them all to kneel down, and put my hands
together, telling them to do the same. We repeated the Lord's
Prayer, which is very beautiful in the Indian language ; they call it
'good words.' When the priest spoke I took my hat off and listened,
but when I spoke the priest kept his hat on, and smoked all the time.
'• My address had been written some time before; it was about
' Lying, stealing, pride, and drunkenness.' Perhaps I did wrong, but
I did not refer to what the priest had said against me. George
Hunt, who was present, was indignant at the way the priest spoke,
and, directly the priest finished, he made an earnest speech in my
favour. In coming away from Nu-wit-ty, the head chief begged me
to come and live among them, and I promised I would do something
for them."
The work at Fort Rupert is much interfered with by the
migrator}' habits of the Indians there. From June to November, 1879, for instance, they were almost all away on a visit to
Nu-wit-ty River ; and at our last date, March, 1880, they were Outlying Missions.—III. Port Rupert.
gone for a month to Alert Bay. Mr. Hall, however, has not
been content to be left behind sitting still. He has made canoe
voyages to other parts of Vancouver's Island, and sought to
gain access to other tribes; but he describes the vice and degradation as most painful, especially amongst the women. In
September, 1879, in company with Admiral Prevost, who was
paying him a visit, he walked across the island to the west coast,
where the Koshema (or Quatseno, or Quatsinough) Indians are
found, a tribe hitherto quite untouched. The Admiral addressed
a large number who gathered together, and said, " Thirty years
ago I came among you with my man-of-war, but to-day I come
with a message of peace from the King of heaven. It was,
writes Mr. Hall, " an act worthy of an Admiral to struggle, for
ten hours, across the most difficult trail I have ever met.'
It is possible that the Mission may be moved from Fort
Rupert to some other place more convenient for reaching a large
number of Indians. That God has a people among the
Quoquolts and Quatsenos, as well as among the Tsimsheans and
Hydahs, we cannot doubt, and in His own time, and by His own
grace, they, too, shall be gathered out. SI
Four   great  events have  signalised the  last four   years   at
Metlakahtla. These events were the visits of four important
personages. First, Lord Dufferin, then Governor-General of
the Dominion of Canada, in August, 1876. Secondly, Bishop
Bompas, of Athabasca, in the winter of 1877-78. Thirdly,
Admiral Prevost, the founder of the Mission, in June, 1878.
Fourthly, the new Bishop of Caledonia, Dr. Ridley, in October,
1879. The following very interesting account of Lord Dufferin's
visit is all the more valuable as coming from an independent
(From the Toronto Mail, September 19, 1876.)
" On board Steamer Sir James Douglas,
" August 29th, 1876.
*' About half-past six in the evening the Douglas * and the
Amethyst dropped anchor in a bay at a place called Metlakahtla.
This is an Indian village started here about fourteen years ago by
Mr. William Duncan, under the auspices of the Church Missionary
Society in England. It has now a resident population of about
eight hundred souls belonging to what is called the Tsimshean
nation* Mr. Dunoan, who seems to be possessed of an immense
amount of activity, combined with deep interest in the work in which
he is engaged, still remains in charge of the station, but has during
the past two years had the assistance of an English clergyman and
his wife, named Collison,* who came out from England for the purpose
of working in the mission field among the Indians. Mr. Collison is
Studying the language of the Tsimshean Natives j  when proficient
Collison was not ordained at this time. Lord Dufferin at Metlakahtla,
in it, which he «oon will be, judging from the progress he has already
made, he will labour among the Indians of Queen Charlotte's
"Under Mr. Duncan's instructions the Indians of Metlakahtla
have already made great strides in the direction of civilization and
Christianity. He has laid the village out regularly, and given to
each head of a family a large-sized lot of land. The houses, which
have been erected under his direction, are much more comfortable
and convenient than Indian domiciles generally, though somewhat
accommodated in their plans to the peculiar habits and mode of
living of the race. The houses which Indians build for themselves
are without floors. Those of Metlakahtla are floored with plank,
and in the centre of the principal room there is a level stone fire'
place, from which the smoke, instead of being left to find its way out
of the house through a hole in the roof, as in the dwellings built in
the primitive Indian fashion, rises into a sort of square inverted
hopper which hangs over the fire, and from it passes out of the house
by way of a chimney. Under Mr. Duncan's supervision the Indians
have built a church in the village large enough to accommodate the
whole population. It is clapboarded on the outside, and with its
steeple, buttresses, and broad flight of steps ascending to the front
entrance, presents an imposing appearance. The wood (of the
interior at least) is cedar, the odour from which greets one's nostrils
on entering the building.
" Mr. Duncan is a member of the Church of England, and conducts
his services in accordance with the Anglican form of worship, but, it
is understood, declines ordination, although qualified for it. He is an
autocrat among his people, but his rule, though despotic, is benign,
and leaves them as full freedom as the members of any white community enjoy, except that the use of intoxicants is prohibited, as is
also their introduction into the place, and the villagers are consequently teetotalers 'willy nilly.' He is a Justice of the Peace
under commission from the Provincial Government, with a jurisdiction, including within it Queen Charlotte's Islands. He has a number
of Indian policemen to assist him in preserving order, and a gaol in
Metlakahtla, in which he incarcerates malefactors. There is at
present undergoing a two months' imprisonment in this bastile a
white man who was caught distilling in Queen Charlotte's Islands.
In extenuation -of his offence the prisoner asserts that it was from the
Indians he acquired a knowledge of the art, which resulted in himself 104
Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission.
being jugged instead of the spirits he was making.    In a very neat
building, specially erected for the purpose, Mr. Duncan conducts a
in  which  he  gives   instruction   in reading, writing
arithmetic, as well as in the doctrines of Christianity, to a large
number of the voung of the village. Both boys and girls attend
this school, but when the former arrive at about the age of fourteen
they are taken from it and sent to an industrial school, which is also
carried on at the place; girls are allowed to remain at the other school
beyond that age. To his already multifarious occupations Mr.
Duncan has just added that of running a saw-mill—he was cutting
up the first log in it this evening when the Amethyst signalled
her arrival by firing a gun. Mr. Duncan is a bachelor, a circumstance which, to many, will make the energy he throws into his work
and the success of it all the more remarkable.
" The Indians of Metlakahtla gain their livelihood by fishing and
hunting. Away up here, above the fifty-fourth parallel of latitude,
the climate is such as would not admit of agriculture being extensively engaged in. Wheat cannot be brought to maturity. Potatoes
and other root crops seem to grow pretty well.
" Formerly the Indians of the Tsimshean nation offered human
sacrifices, and it is said that they also indulged cannibalistic proclivities. It would seem, however, that they confined their eating of
human flesh to their ' medicine' festivals, and even then no one, as
far as I can ascertain, ever saw them do more than, while engaged in
the demoniacal rites which were customary on these occasions, merely
bite it. The victims at these celebrations were members of other
tribes whom they had enslaved. Not only are the teaching and
influence of Mr. Duncan having the effect of making the Indians
fall away from such inhuman and heathenish practices, but they are
also removing much of the deadly hostility which formerly existed
among different tribes. More Indians are gradually coming in from
the country round about and making; Metlakahtla their home.
" In the administration of the affairs of the village the Indian
institution of the council is retained, and Mr. Duncan consults with
them in regard to all matters appertaining to the general weal. Some
of the Indians when baptized are given English names, while others
prefer to keep their Indian appellation, and are permitted to do so."
" August '60th.
"The Governor-General and party proceeded on shore at Metla- kahtla this morning at half-past nine o'clock. The day was a
beautiful sunshiny clear one, the first without fog and rain that we
have had since leaving !Nanaimo. Although Mr. Duncan had learned
that his Excellency was in British Columbia, his visit to Metlakahtla
was quite unexpected. A large proportion of the inhabitants of the
village were consequently away working at fisheries some miles off,
who, had they known of the Governor-General's visit, would have been
present to join in receiving him. It was understood that their
absence from the village on so auspicious an occasion would be a
bitter regret to them. However, there was about a couple of hundred
of the villagers at home, including several members of the council—
the rest were chiefly young lads, young women, and children, with a
few old people. They assisted their energetic white chief in getting
up a demonstration which, under the circumstances, was quite creditable to them. Several Union Jacks were hoisted throughout the
village, and a red cloth, with ' God save the Queen' worked on it,
was stretched across between two houses near the landing. As the
vice-regal party went ashore a small cannon was fired off several
times from the gaol, a small hexagonal structure with a balcony round
the top. The next thing was the singing of the National Anthem
to an accompaniment supplied by some of the members of a brass
band which exists among the young men of the community. The
latter were gorgeous in cast-off uniforms of United States soldiers,
purchased at a sale of condemned military clothing recently held in
Alaska. Half-a-dozen Indian maidens then came forward and presented Lady Dufferin with a bouquet, after which the distinguished
visitors were taken to see the church, the school-house, and one of
the Indian residences. Subsequently all the people were assembled
in the open air, and the younger portion of them sang, under the
direction of Mr. Duncan and Mr. Collison, a number of songs and
hymns, both in their native tongue and in English. They pronounced
the words of the pieces that were in the latter language with a
remarkably good accent, although every effort to induce any of them
to converse in it was futile. Lord Dufferin endeavoured to get some
of them to talk with him about their studies, but was not successful
in extracting from any of them, including a young Indian woman
whom Mr. Duncan has placed in the position of an assistant teacher
in the school, any more definitely English expression than a simper.
Mr. Duncan stated that many of his pupils understood English very
well, but were somehow averse to speaking it.   The voices of the io6
Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission,
singers sounded very well, when allowance is made for their bashful
ness. Some of their pieces were of a fugue character, and the time
which was kept in singing them was remarkably good, considering
that there was no accompaniment to them.
" After some time had been spent in singing, a young man advanced
and read the following address in excellent style :—
" * To His Excellency the Earl of Dufferin, Governor-General of the
Dominion of Canada:
"' Mat 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, " Fear God, honour the King," and thus as loyal
subjects of her Majesty Queen Yictoria we rejoice in seeing you visit
our shores.
"' 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.
"' 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,
" ' We have the honour to subscribe ourselves, your Excellency's
humble and obedient servants,
" ' For the Indians of Metlakahtla,
ifi David Leask,
"' Secretary to the Native Council/
" The members of the Council' all came forward in turn and signed
the document by making their marks."
The Governor-General replied as follows I—
" 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 learnt 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 Lord Dufferin at Metlakahtla.
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.    I hope you will understand
that your White Mother and the Government of Canada are fully
prepared to protect you in the exercise of your religion, and to extend
to you those laws which know no difference of race, or of colour, but
under which justice is impartially administered between the humblest
and the greatest of the land.    The Government of Canada is proud
to think that there are upwards of 30,000 Indians in the territory of
British Columbia alone.    She recognises them as the ancient inhabitants of the country.    The white men have not come amongst 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 knbwledge 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 civilised 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 brm to whom, under Providence, you are indebted for all these
benefits, and that when you contrast your own condition, the peace
in which you live, the comforts that surround you, the decency of i_o8
Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission.
your habitations, 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. By a faithful adherence to his principles and
example you will become useful citizens and faithful subjects, an honour
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 I conclude I cannot 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 Queen's 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 labours, can form only 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 your 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."
Before he left British Columbia Lord Dufferin delivered an
address at Government House, Victoria, in which, referring to
this visit, he 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, Lord Dufferin at Metlakahtla.
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 realise what scenes of primitive peace and innocence, of
idyllic beauty and material comfort, can be presented by the stalwart
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 develope
them and consume them. Raise your 30,000 Indians 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." fm:
Of the four visits mentioned at the beginning of the last
chapter, with which the last four years must ever be associated
at Metlakahtla, a very peculiar interest attaches to the third in
order of time. To the Christian Indians it was naturally the
most joyous and memorable event in the history of the settlement. It was not a small thing to receive a Governor-General
a Missionary Bishop, or the chief pastor of their own newly-
formed diocese. But since the foundation of the settlement
there has been no day like the 18th of June, 1878, when
Metlakahtla had the joy of welcoming, for the first time, the
beloved and revered originator of the Mission, Admiral Prevost.
He had never been in that part of the world since the migration from Fort Simpson in 1862, and had never seen the
wonderful issue of his own plan. That he should see it now
was a privilege rarely enjoyed. To few men is it given in the
Providence of God to initiate such an agency of blessing
and to still fewer is it granted to behold such far-reaching
Of this happy visit, the Admiral himself has kindly supplied
for these pages the following deeply interesting account:—
Admiral Prevosfs Narrative.
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 8*«8S«a
Admiral Prevost at Metlakahtla.
greeting was most hearty, and the meeting with Duncan was 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 exclaim, " What
hath God wrought!" It is all His doing, and it is marvellous in our
It did not take long to transfer ourselves and our baggage to the
canoe, and at 4.30 a.m. we started against wind and tide, rain, too,
at intervals;- but having much to talk about of past events and future
plans, the twenty miles of distance soon disappeared, and about noon
we crossed the bar and entered the " inlet of Kahtla." On the north
side of the inlet stands, on an eminence, " the Church of God ;" on
either side of it, spreads out the village of Metlakahtla, skirting two
bays whose beaches are at once a landing-place for its inhabitants and
a shelter for the canoes. As we approached the landing-place two
guns were fired and flags displayed from house to house—conspicuous by a string of them reaching the Mission House verandah,
inscribed " A Keal Welcome to Metlakahtla." Near to this
were assembled all the village—men, women, and children—gaily
The choice of this harbour of refuge is one of God's many providential
dealings with this Mission. It is defended from the storms and heavy
rolling swell of the Pacific Ocean by large and lofty islands, forming
a breakwater across its entrance, extending as far out to sea as twenty
miles, inside of which smaller islands, numbering nearly a hundred,
form channels leading up to the foot of the snow-capped mountains,
15 or 18 miles distant, on many of which are the village gardens where
potatoes and other vegetables are grown.
The rise and fall of the tide is very great, often 25ft. It was low
water when we arrived, and difficult to land, but this had heen anticipated. We found a small canoe covered over with pretty mats (Indian
manufacture from the cedar bark). Into this we were transferred, and
when comfortably seated, we were lifted quietly on the shoulders of
the young men, and carried up to a platform close to the entrance of
the Mission House. We were surrounded by kind hearts who had been
long expecting us, and the flowers and garlands had withered; but TV?
Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission.
joy was depicted in their countenances. The body of constables,
dressed in. a uniform given by the Government, presented arms; the
small band played ; and then all the voices, about 250 in number (the
larger portion of the population being at the fisheries), joined in that
beautiful hymn—
' { What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear,
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer."
Then came the shaking of hands, and let me remind you a Metlakahtla Indian can give a hearty shake of the hand !
Kain obliged us to seek shelter indoors. We all met again in the
church in the evening, changing the weekly service to Tuesday. It
was my privilege to address more than two hundred from Romans
viii. 31—"If God be for us,-who can be against us?" It was an
evening never to be forgotten. After 25 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 had 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 churchwarden, dear old Peter  Simpson,
who opened the
cannibal tribes.
Words cannot
Christian circle.
church-door for me, was the chief of one of the
describe the happy month I spent in this happy
I can only copy from my rough notes, written on the
spot, some of the events which occurred to me.
In the Mission House, I found the Rev. W. H. Collison, and his
wife and two children (whom I had known previous to their leaving
England), and Mr. and Mrs. Schutt and children. There was plenty
of room for all, and in addition to our party there were five girls,
boarders in the house, living in a dormitory upstairs with a cheerful
look-out. These are industrial pupils training for their future position
as wives and mothers. Each girl has her own recess. As many as
fourteen boarders have been in the house at one time, and God has
greatly blessed the instruction they have received, the Christian young
men preferring a wife who has passed through the Mission training to
all others.
It rained so incessantly the first three days, that nothing could be
done outside.    The meetings for Morning and Evening Prayer
m Admiral Prevost at Metlakahtia.
which the boarders joined, were very precious. Sankey's hymns, a
portion of God's Word, explained by Duncan in Tsimshean, and
united prayer, began and closed the day.
On 21st June, I met by'appointment in Duncan's room eight of
the twelve elders of the village (four absent at the fisheries) to consult
about the programme during my stay. It was no formal assembly,
but a council of wise heads met together, all taking a deep interest
in the affairs of the village, and all speaking out boldly.
June 22nd.—Still rain, hut all the men and some of the women
assembled in the school-room, to hear an address from me and to give
me their welcome in reply. We met at 5 p.m., and did not separate
until 8 o'clock. Let me give one or two of the speeches addressed to
George Usher (Indian name, Comtsool) said—"I also want to speak,
though I occupy not the seat of a chief, but only that of a common
man who sits at the door. Your seat is the seat of honour at the
upper end of the house.    Yet I will address you.
"It is wonderful to us to see what changes have come amongst us since
o o
your last visit, and it is wonderful to us to see how much good some
people are capable of doing for others. We think of your good work
and are amazed. If it shall so be that you leave this world before us
to see God, remember we are trying to follow you, to be with you
before long.    We shall see you again in heaven."
James Leequneesh (chief) said—" Shimoigit, what we once were
is known to you, for you saw our state. I was a young man when
you first saw us. We profited by your visit, but you suffered by us.
Which of us is not now ashamed when we see your face again, and
remember the injuries we did to you? But we were then in darkness. We were like the wild animals. We were living in mud and
darkness. You got a hoe. You got seed. You designed a garden,
though on a very unfavourable site. It was God who touched your
heart. Then the workmen came. Your work was among thorns,
and you suffered, but so did Jesus the Son of God work among
thorns and suffer. So you then got a spade and turned over the
ground and put in the seed. God was with you, and now you have
come back to see what God has done, You are pleased to see that
the plants have come up a little. Yes, the good seed has grown,
and this, sir, is the result of your work. God put all this into your
heart, and our hearts are deeply affected and aroused within us
by your coming again to see us."
H H4
Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission.
Adam Gordon (Kshimkeaiks) said—" Sir, though I have not
prepared a- speech, I cannot help saying my heart is thankful to tell
you how happy we all, are. It is while we are still in the fight you
have come to see us. Like as children rejoice to see a father, so we
rejoice to see you. We are fighting every day with sin, but we shall
cease fighting by-and-by, and be happy when we get to the other
shore.    Then when we reach over there we shall be truly happy."
Peter Simpson (Thrakshakaun).—" I remember when you put
your ship on shore at Port 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 mast in, and how to steer. I
address you thus, though you are great, and I am poor. Eut Jesus
despises not the poor. The Tsimsheans 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. If ot a sound is 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 lather," &c, Mr. Schutt
leading with the harmonium; the Litany Prayers in Tsimshean
follow, dosing 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 fives, I know that the love of God shed abroad in
their hearts by the Holy Ghost can alone have produced so marvellous
a change.
Pirst, there was a very old woman, staff in hand,  stepping with Admiral Prevost at Metlakahtla.
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; after them came a once roving spirit, now meek and
settled; 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
and the crowds that accompany them! Whither are they
and what to do % Blessed sight for angels! Oh, the
preciousness of a Saviour's blood ! If there is 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 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 schoolroom, the address
being given by one of the native teachers.
June 26th.—Evening Service in schoolroom, about 90 in attendance, most of the village absent at the fisheries. Some strange
Indians arrived to-day from a distance. A large building has been
erected on the shore, close to the general landing-place, for the
accommodation of such visitors; here they deposit their property
(brought for trade), and take up their abode, finding firewood ready
for use. As soon as they are comfortably housed and washed (the
latter a positive injunction), they come to Duncan's room, where he
receives them,- generally having something new and amusing to show
going ? n6
Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission.
tfiem. To-day I was present at their interview, when Duncan
showed them a -mechanical picture, in which a " ship at sea," a
"wind-mill," and a "water-mill," worked by machinery, are moved
at the same time. A galvanic battery is also a source of wonder and
astonishment. After some time he explains to his audience the cause
and effects, exposing, too, the tricks formerly played upon their
ignorant minds by their own medicine-men. The visit is returned,
and in that market-house the good seed of the Word of God has been
frequently sown by this faithful man of God to casual visitors, and
through them to the surrounding tribes.
A deputation also arrived from the Port Simpson Indians to consult with the Metlakahtla Indians how to meet the pending difficulties
with the white men as regards the Indian rights as to the salmon-
fisheries. The bugle sounded to call together the Council. Both
parties assembled together in the school-house, and consulted together
for several hours; and when they had finished, they sent for Duncan
to tell him the result. I mention this circumstance as one of the
blessed results of their new life in Christ Jesus. In their heathen
days this difficulty with white men would have been met with murder
and destruction. In 1859, I was present at an assemblage of chiefs,
when gold was first discovered in British Columbia, and when more
than twenty thousand white men rushed into that country, bringing
with them vice and disease. The question was asked by the head
chief, " How shall we treat these strangers % Shall we cut their
throats 1"—going through the motion of doing so in an unmistakable
manner. In God's providence, the man in authority had great
influence over the Indian mind and action. A proper answer was
returned, and the lives of hundreds, nay, thousands were saved.
27th.—Visited the village saw-mill, conveniently situated at the
head of a sheltered inlet about a mile and a quarter from the village.
It is managed entirely by natives, the head Indian' receiving 8 dols.,
or .£1 12s., the second,' 6 dols.-, or £1 4s., the third, 5 dols., or £1 per
week. Lumber of all sizes is supplied to the village for building
purposes at moderate prices. Thus the Indians are kept independent
of the white man's help. Duncan told me a curious story of an old
Indian who came to him, when the mill was being erected, and
asked him, "Are you going to make water saw wood?" He got his
answer, and exclaimed, " When I see it I die, to go and tell it to my
I visited the widow of Samuel Marsden (Shooquanahts), the first Admiral Prevost at Metlakahtla.
fruits of this Mission. He was baptized, 21st July, 1861, and died
May 8th, 1878, a Native elder, a ripe Christian, a faithful follower of
the Lord Jesus ; and the clear testimony he bore on his death bed to
the blessedness of the Christian hope and the presence of the Saviour
was very cheering. Duncan adds, " His parting words to myself and
the elders were very affecting, his end indeed was peace, and such a
funeral the Indians never saw." Catherine, his widow, is left with
two children, and lives in the same house with Catherine Ryan, whose
husband died about the same time as Samuel, leaving her with four
children. I did indeed wish for some of the friends of the Mission
to have witnessed the touching simple faith of these two brands
plucked out of the fire, as I read to them a few words from 'John xi.,
"Jesus wept," after which we joined in prayer.
Shortly after my return to the Mission House, Samuel Marsden's
father called to see me. He was present at my first visit to Fort
Simpson in 1853. Poor fellow! he looked quite cast down; he said
bis heart was sad, he wanted to speak to me. " I have felt," he said,
" that I must see you. It has been on my heart to see you. I saw
your ship long ago when you first came to Port Simpson. I saw
you then also. I was a young man then. I had a son, an
only son, he was then very young. You did not forget us. When
Mr. Duncan came, I sent my son to learn. I was anxious to walk in
God's way myself; but I was very wicked. But I was anxious that
my son should learn; he learned quickly and had but one heart,
When Mr. Duncan came to Metlakahtla, Samuel was one of the first
to accompany him, and afterwards, when Mr. Duncan had to punish
any of the Indians of the villages around who were guilty of crime,
Samuel was always ready to go and assist in bringing them to justice.
I was not afraid, because I knew he was doing right, and God would
defend him and save him.    Well, he continued to
stronger m
God's way, and was anxious to work for Him, wherever he went
telling the people about the Son of God, the Saviour; but he became
sick and was very weak for some time. However, he almost recovered,
and when the news came last autumn that you were coming, no one
was so glad as SamueL He was rejoiced to think .that he would see
you again; but it was not to be so now. God was pleased to call him
to Himself before you came. He is in heaven now. Chief! this is
why I was not present at the meeting to welcome you. My strength
was gone, my only son, I thought he would strengthen my heart now
that I am an old man ; but God knows it is best,    I felt that I could n8
Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission.
not speak with the rest, as my heart was so weak. But there was a
burden on my heart. I felt so much that if Samuel were alive, he
would have much to "tell you, and I felt that I could not rest, until I
told you all thi3, as Samuel would have me do were he alive. I thank
you much for your sympathy and encouragement tons. My heart is
very full. I am very grateful to you, chief. When you pray, will you
ask God to make my heart strong? I want to be faithful too, I want
to meet my son and all of you above. I ask your prayers to help me.
My heart is strong and glad now, because I have seen you and told
you my heart."
One afternoon the girls in the Mission House, five in number,
were given a half-holiday, to pick berries on the opposite islands. We
availed ourselves of the fine weather and this picnic, to see the village
gardens. We started in a large canoe (every Indian from his earliest
childhood can handle a paddle), towards the head of the estuary,
which leads through a labyrinth of islands, to the pine-clad shores of
the snowy mountains, nearly twenty miles distance. We landed at
some of the islands, most of which have some cultivated land. Every
man and woman had a certain portion of ground measured out by
Duncan, when the village was first settled, and set apart by him for
their sole use. As the children advanced in years, an addition is made.
At present only potatoes are planted, and these are not properly
attended to, for just at the time when labour is required for weeding,
hoeing, &c, all hands are absent at the fishing stations, Duncan
hopes, in course of time, to make better arrangements. How we all
enjoyed ourselves in that holiday trip !—all of us like children escaped
from school. Berries were plentiful, and we returned by moonlight,
paddling and singing hymns alternately, till the sparkling wood fire
in the Mission-room welcomed us to our home.
One evening I was invited by Matthews (one of the elders, and a
good carpenter), to hear him perform on a parlour organ, which he
had bought at Victoria [for 80 dollars (£16). It was a wondrous
sight—the Indian and his wife at his side playing and singing many
of the well-known Sankey's hymns I Had I accepted an invitation
to visit an Indian hut in years gone by, I should have seen all kinds
of devilry, witchcraft, and cannibalism, often followed by murder.
How strikingly were the words of Holy Scripture brought before
me, "Is anything too hard for the Lord?"
time is   taken up in visiting and
and I went
Much   of  the   missionaries'
recovering the sick.    Collison
O Admiral Prevost at Metlakahtla.
to visit a young woman, a Kitsalass (the people of the Rapids on
Skeena river),' dying of consumption; her husband, an affectionate
nurse for four months, and most patient, seldom leaving her. I read
Ps. xxv. 18, " Look upon my affliction and my pain, and forgive me
all my sins;" then a short prayer, all around her kneeling. Prom
my note-book I copy the conversation which followed, noted down
at the time. " Do you remember what I said to you from God's
Word ?" She felt she was going to leave the world; she was
always thinking of Jesus and crying unto Him. " Have you any fear
of death?" "JSTo! because I love Jesus." We replied, "He first
loved us !" The husband then spoke. He had been praying three
times a day. They did not know anything of their sinfulness before
this affliction. " I was greatly troubled at the thought of my wife
leaving me, but my heart is satisfied now, my heart is strong now,
because the Saviour has had mercy on us. He has shown us the
way, and though it is very hard, yet I know it will be for her gain."
Previous to this interview, her great desire had been to return to
her own people, but now she asked to be buried with the Christians
at Metlakahtla. She hesitated before this to ask to be baptized;
she had it on her heart to ask, but now she felt her time was short,
and she wished to be numbered amongst the people of God.
Baptism was then administered to her, in the simple words of our
Lord, " Go ye, therefore, and make Christians of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Pather, and of the Son, and of the
Holy Ghost." As a proof of her humility, she asked to be baptized
in her heathen name (" Lukaloosh "), not being worthy of a white
woman's name, which is always given.
After two days I visited her again, and found her much weaker,
breathing with difficulty. During a sleepless night she exclaimed,
" I know where I am going, it is no longer darkness ; Jesus is with
me." These last words were frequently repeated. In the morning
her husband came to say, " she was fast departing, her heart beating
faintly." He was comforted by repeating his wife's last words,
" Jesus is with me."
Pine weather having
to a
now set in, I invited all the
feast. Two guns were fired to recall the absentees, who were at
their daily work. Tables were soon spread on the green in front of
the Church, each guest bringing cups and spoons. Coffee and
biscuit was provided in abundance. Before they were seated, all
assembled on the steps of the Church, and were photographed by 120
Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission.
Duncan,* to the amusement of all present A blessing was then
asked, and the feast commenced. Games followed, singing, and
cheering, the -latter very hearty. At nine o'clock all separated to
go to their homes.
1st July.—In the early morning paddled over to the island set
apart as the burial ground of Metlakahtla. All the graves are
surrounded with a neat wooden fence, and several marble headstones
are erected.    I copied the three nearest to the landing-place :—
Is Memory of
Who was drowned in the Skeena River, Aug. 15th, 1870,
Aged 30 Years.
" Be ye therefore ready also."—Ltjke xii. 40.
Ik Memory of
Who died May 2nd, 1877,
Ageo 32 Years.
In Memory otf
(Head Chief of the Tsimshean Indians,)
Who died May 6th, 1889,
Aged 55 Years.
" Is not this a brand plucked out of the fire ? "
On 2nd July I left Metlakahtla in a large canoe, paddled by five
Kincolith Indians, to visit the C. M. S. Mission at Kincolith,
ft place of the scalps," JSTaas River, established by the Rev. R. Doolan,
in July, 1864. Since then the Mission has been removed lower
down the river, at the entrance of the Portland Canal, beautifully
* A picture drawn from this photograph appeared in the Church Missionary
Gleaner of July, 1879. situated, hedged in by high mountain peaks, 3,807 and 3,385 feet
in height. Inland there is a good farming land, and many native
villages, with souls thirsting for the Gospel news. The following day
we sighted the church; soon the houses were visible. Flags were
run up, and as we approached the landing-place, a gun was fired, and
we could see the inhabitants hastening to welcome us, dressed in
their best, some in very bright colours.
Being high water we landed easily. Many were the kind words
of welcome floating in the bright sunshine. " Welcome to
Kincolith," in large letters of the fern leaves; " Come to Naas
River "; " Tis Day (sic), "We are all vert Happy to see You,
Sir "—their own composition and spelling. As we landed guns were
fired. We were welcomed at the Mission House by Mrs. Tomlinson
and her five children. Soon after, we all met again in the schoolroom,
where I gave a short address..
July ith.—Visited the sawmill, which is romantically situated
near the river, from whence there is a fine view of the vallev. Its high
cliffs, and their snow-capped tops, betoken a severe winter residence,
though on our return we crossed a meadow where cows and calves
were grazing. In the meanwhile my invitation to a feast had been
accepted, all were busily employed, and soon all were seated enjoying
the coffee and biscuits as at Metlakahtla. During the feast, a canoe was
seen passing down the river, and the universal wish was expressed
by all the leading men that the strangers should he invited to join
them. Oh, how the blessedness of the Gospel is daily brought before
one among these Christian Indians —tl peace, good-will towards
all men " ! In former years a watchman would have told of the
approach of an enemy, and all would have taken to arms to defend
their lives. " Oh that men would therefore praise the Lord for His
goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men !"
July 5th.—This was our last day at Kincolith. At 8 p.m.,
we embarked in our canoe to return to Metlakahtla, taking leave of
the Mission greatly encouraged, and thankful for the bright prospects
before them, acknowledging with deep gratitude the Lord's hand in
the woik, and earnestly praying that the young converts may be preserved from the many trials and temptations which are brought nearer
and nearer to them year by year.
July 10th.—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 he ? 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 by 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 bv night all was dark-
ness—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. When Duncan
first settled at Metlakahtla, even the Indians who came with him were
in such a fear from the neighbouring 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
alight 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.
I fear the story of my visit to this interesting Mission will try the
patience of many of the readers. I would, therefore, affectionately
ask them to consider it from my point of view, viz., God's providential
dealings with me from my first acquaintance with the Indians in
1853 to the present time. I claim no honour to myself, nor to the
C.M.S., but for Christ—" Not unto us, 0 Lord, not unto us, but
unto Thv name give glorv." Words cannot express mv gratitude to
God for permitting me to see what I have seen of the power of the
Gospel of the Grace of God. He who healed the deaf and dumb
when upon earth still, lives. When brought to Christ, the same
power still heals the spiritually, deaf and dumb; witness the great
chief Legaic—He made him to delight in listening to the same
Gospel which once he so opposed, ridiculed, and despised, to love the
man whose life he so often attempted, and to join with him in prayer
and praise; and finally, at the time of his departure, to bear a glorious
testimony, that the sting of death had been removed, and he was safe
in the arms of Jesus. XIV.
As we have already mentioned, when Mr. Duncan went out in
1856 there was but one clergyman of the Church of England
on the whole western coast of British America, viz., the Rev. E.
Cridge, chaplain at Victoria. The colony of British Columbia,
however, grew apace ; and in 1859 it was formed into a Diocese,
Dr. Hills being appointed the first Bishop. The visits of Bishop
Hills and of more than one of his colonial clergy to Metlakahtla
have been noticed in the foregoing pages. By them a large
number of the Christian Indians were baptized. The C.M.S.
Committee have always desired to provide an ordained missionary
for the settlement ; but for some years their efforts seemed
fruitless. It has been before mentioned that the Rev. L.
Tugwell, who went out in 1860, and was privileged to baptize
the first group of converts, was compelled by failure of
health to return home in the following year. In 1864,
the Bev. R. R. A. Doolan, B.A., of Caius College, Cambridge, offered himself for the work. He laboured zealously
for three years, and began the Mission on Nass River, as
already related: and then in 1867 he, too,had to return to England.
J j y j CD
Both he and Mr. Tugwell found important spheres of missionary
labour in connection with the Spanish Church Mission. In.
1865, the Rev. F. Gribbel was sent out; but the climate of
Metlakahtla seriously affected his wife's health, and he accepted
colonial work offered him at Victoria by the Bishop of Columbia.
In 1867 the Rev. R. Tomlinson, B.A., was appointed to the
Mission, and he has providentially been permitted to continue in
its service ever since.    He, however, took over the work on Nass 124
Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission.
River, begun by Mr. Doolan, so that Metlakahtla still remained
without an ordained missionary. But the grace of God is not
tied   to  a  regular ministrv,   and   the   settlement   grew   and
O J J ct>
prospered, spiritually as well as materially, under the loving
care of its lav founder. In 1873, Mr. W. H. Collison joined
the Mission as a schoolmaster, and in 1876 Mr. H. Schutt went
out in the same capacity, to leave Mr. Collison free to begin
new work in Queen Charlotte's Islands. In 1877 the Rev. A. J.
Hall, a young clergyman in full orders, was appointed to
Metlakahtla; but he, too, under the advice of his brethren,
removed soon after his arrival to Fort Rupert, to break up fresh
ground. At length Mr. Collison, having been ordained deacon
and priest by Bishop Bompas, of Athabasca, during the latter's
visit to the coast in the winter of 1877-8, and having been
released from the work at Queen Charlotte's Islands by the
arrival of Mr. G. Sneath, in 1879, again took up his abode at
Metlakahtla as pastor of the settlement.
In the meanwhile, certain unhappy disputes in Victoria,
arising from the extreme doctrinal views which found an
entrance into the Church in the Colony, as they have into the
Church at home, had resulted in a secession to the American
r Reformed Church ' under the leadership of the Rev. E.
Cridge. Mr. Cridge was greatly beloved by the Christians
of Metlakahtla, having given much godly counsel and help
to the Mission ; and they not unnaturally felt much sympathy for him in the painful step he had felt it his duty to
take. In this state of things, the Bishop of Columbia, anxious
not to rouse feelings which it might be hard to allay, with much
wisdom and generosity refrained from visiting Metlakahtla, and
wrote to Bishop Bompas, of Athabasca, who is a devoted
missionary of the C.M.S., asking him to come over and visit
the coast, and to perform episcopal functions in the C.M.S.
Mission. Accordingly, in November, 1877, Bishop Bompas
reached Metlakahtla after a long and difficult journey across the
Rocky and Cascade Mountains, and the wilderness of lakes
and rivers stretching between those chains. He remained
three months on the coast, visited the outlying stations, confirmed The Diocese of Caledonia.
124 of the Christian Indians, ordained Mr. Collison deacon
and priest, and assisted Mr. Duncan and the other missionaries
in maturing plans for the extension of the Mission.*
In 1879, Bishop Hills, being on a visit to England, arranged
with the Church Missionary Society a plan for providing its
Missions with episcopal oversight. He had come, charged by
his Diocesan Synod to take steps for dividing his vast diocese into
three—Columbia, New Westminster, and Caledonia—which would
form an ecclesiastical province on the west side of the Rocky
Mountains, just as, on the east side, the four dioceses of Rupert's
Land, Moosonee, Athabasca, and Saskatchewan, form the province
of Rupert's Land. The northernmost of these three divisions,
Caledonia, would comprise the field of the C. M. S. Missions :
and the Society therefore undertook to guarantee the income of
the Bishop for this division, provided that the Committee were
satisfied with the appointment made. The scheme was happily
consummated by the choice of the Rev. Wm. Ridley, vicar of
St. Paul's, Huddersfield, who had been a C. M. S. missionary in
India, but whose health had been unequal to the trying climate
of the Peshawar Valley. Mr. Ridley was consecrated on St.
James's Day, July 25th, 1879, at St. Paul's Cathedral, at the
same time as Dr. Walsham How to the Suffragan-Bishopric of
Bedford (for East London), Dr. Barclay to the Anglican See of
Jerusalem, and Dr. Speechly to the new diocese of Travancore
and Cochin.
The Diocese of Caledonia comprises the territory lying between
the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, with the adjacent
islands, and is bounded on the south by a line drawn westward
from Cape St. James, at the south end of Queen Charlotte's
Islands, and on the north by the 60th parallel of latitude. It
comprises, therefore, the mining districts on the upper waters
of the Fraser and Skeena and Stachine rivers, with their rouo-h
white population, and many thousands of Indians of the Tsim-
* Bishop Bompas' account of the Christmas he spent at Metlakahtla is given
at page 75. A narrative of his journey across the Rocky Mountains appeared
in the G. M. Intelligencer of August, 1878. 126
Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission.
shean and Hydah nations on the coast, as well as others in the
Bishop Ridley, sailed from Liverpool on September 13th for
New York, crossed the States by the Pacific Railway, took
steamer again at San Francisco, and readied Victoria on October
14th. There he met Mr. Duncan, and also Admiral Prevost who
had again gone out a few months before, partly to prepare the
way for the new Bishop ; and a few days after they sailed
together for Metlakahtla. On November 1st he wrote as
" Metlakahtla has not disappointed me. The situation is excellent.
There is no spot to compare with it this side of Victoria. During
this week the weather has been charming. Frosty nights, but the
days mild, as in Cornwall at this season. Numbers of the worn-out
old folk have been basking in the sun for hours daily. Squatting in
the long grass, they looked the very pictures of contentment. They
all gazed on the sea. No wonder if they loved it. Besides heing
the store-house from which they took their food, it is the chief
feature in one of the most beautiful views I have ever seen. We are
at the entrance of an estuary that winds about, labyrinth-like, until
it leads up to a stream more than twenty miles distant inland. Outside are large islands, their lofty heads pine-clad, and -the same
garment reaching to the very waves on all sides. These are God's
breakwaters. Inside, wherever the channel widens, there are smaller
islands, so disposed as to make it impossible to say what is island and
what continent. These are gems in a setting that perfectly reflects
the grass and pines fringing the sea's glossy surface, as well as the
background of snow-patched mountains.
" Yesterday the stillness was reverential, and quite in keeping with
Sunday rest. Scores of graceful canoes were drawn above the tide.
Not a paddle broke the silence. As Admiral Prevost and I stood in
the Mission garden we heard, in the distance, the howls of a pack of
wolves. A flight of crows or rooks claimed a moment's attention.
Besides this, nothing disturbed the calm sea, or the stillness, but the
wing of some wild fowl splashing the sea as it rose. Before we
returned to the house we were ravished with the splendour of the
sunset. The giant that had run its day's course transformed the
scene. He touched everything, till sea and sky vied with eacn other
in glorious effects.    The snowy peaks to eastward blushed. The Diocese of Caledonia.
" But, after all, the Sun of Righteousness has produced a far more
heautiful transformation in the   character of the Indian,   and this
change is not fleeting.    The church bell rings, and, from both wings
of the village, well-dressed men, their wives and children, pour out
from the cottages, and the two currents meet at the steps of the noble
sanctuary their own hands have made, to the honour of God our
Saviour.    On Saturday I had made a sketch of the village.    Mr.
Duncan remarked, as the people streamed along,  ' Put that stream
into your picture.'    'That.would never do,' I said,  'nobody would
"believe it.'    Inwardly I exclaimed, ' What hath God wrought!'    It
would be wrong to suppose that the love of God alone impelled them
all.    All, without reasonable cause to the contrary,  are expected to
attend the public services.    A couple of policemen,  as a matter of
routine, are in uniform, and this is an indication that loitering during
service hours is against proper civil order.    This wholesome restraint
is possible during these early stages of the corporate life of the community.    At present one strong will is supreme.    To resist it, every
Indian  feels  would  be as impossible  as to stop the tides.     This
righteous autocracy is as much feared by the ungodly around as it is
respected and admired by the faithful.    Thus are law and Gospel
combined with good results."
Before leaving England, Dr. Ridley had earnestly appealed
for funds to provide him with a small steamer—an absolute
necessity if his episcopal duties were to be performed safely and
regularly. Without it the long voyages up and down the coast,
and among the islands, would have to be made in native canoes.
The perilous nature of such travelling had been sadly illustrated
only two years before, by the loss of a boat which was conveying
an excellent Hudson's Bay officer from Queen Charlotte's Islands
to the mainland. He and his crew of Tsimshean Christians were
all drowned except one Indian, who was in the water four days
and nights, lashed to a piece of the canoe, and was drifted on to
the Alaska coast. This Indian related how, when they were all
clinging to the capsized boat, Mr. Williams, the officer, seeing
death imminent, called on them to pray, and as their strength
failed they sank praying and singing hymns. The Bishop himself,
in one of his first voyages, within a fortnight of his arrival, was
overtaken by a gale in a c^noe which two men could lift, and in Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission.
which ten were huddled together, and " as nearly lost as a saved
man could be." "How I longed for my steamer!" he wrote;
" unless 1 get one*, a new Bishop will soon be wanted, for the risk
in these frail crafts is tremendous, and a short career the probable
The money required, we are glad to say, has been raised, and
the steamer will ( D.V.) soon be speeding up and down the coast
on its errands of love—preserved and prospered, we doubt
by His goodness who rules the winds and the waves.
It only remains to add the latest news from Metlakahtla, as
communicated in the annual letters of Mr. Duncan and Mr.
Collison for 1879. Mr. Duncan writes, on March 8th,
1880 :—
"In regard to secular matters, the year past has been one of
marked progress—the greatest year for building the Indians have
ever known. We have now eighty-eight new houses up, or in course
of erection; and when all the houses are erected, roads completed,
and gardens, drains, and fences finished, we shall have certainly a
very attractive home. But there remains a good deal to do yet.
Our American neighbours are being aroused to their duty for- the poor
Indians of Alaska—encouraged, they tell us, by what has been
accomplished at Metlakahtla. During the past year I have had
several letters from, and interviews with, American gentlemen (among
whom were three generals of the army in active service), who were
anxious to learn from me my plans and modes of dealing with' the
Indians. I am afraid they are attributing our success too much to
secular matters, and too little to the preaching of the Gospel. I have
strongly warned them not to commence at the wrong end.
" 1 have already opened up and discussed with the Indians the
desirabihty of their endeavouring to take into their own hands all
the secular work I have begun. If my hopes are realised, it will be
a grand termination of all my secular work. The Indians are
delighted with the idea, and will struggle hard to reach the goal.
" Our Church, Sunday School, and Day School are all prospering.
" The surrounding heathen tribes are not being neglected. I paid
a visit to the Kithratlas, in company with the Admiral, last Autumn, The Diocese of Caledonia.
and a native teacher—Edward Mather—is now being employed amongst
them. Other native teachers are about taking up work around, as the
seasons allow, and as the Indians are accessible.
" In the month of July Dr. Powell, Superintendent of Indian
Affairs, and Mr. Anderson, Commissioner for Fisheries, paid us their
long-promised visit in H.M.S. Rocket. Though only a portion of
our population were at home, our visitors expressed themselves as
greatly astonished and delighted at all they saw. Dr. Powell has
since written me an official letter, and read me his official report to
the minister at Ottawa, both which were highly commendatory, and
Mr. Anderson has published a long letter in the Colonist newspaper
about Metlakahtla, The testimony of the latter gentleman was very
telling upon the community here, as he has lived in this country
upwards of fifty years, and is considered a great authority on Indian
Mr. Collison mentions that during the winter he conducted a
class of catechumens, and that, after due examination by Bishop
Ridley, seventy-two persons, men and women, were baptized on
Sundays, January. 25th and February 1st of the year 1880,
During the year under review sixty-three children also were
baptized. " Thus," writes Mr. Collison, " the visible Church
increases ; but our greatest care and concern is that they may
be united to Christ by a living faith, and grow up in Him into a
spiritual temple, of which Jesus Christ Himself is the chief
Such is the story of Metlakahtla and the North Pacific
Mission. An unfinished story, indeed, the plot of which is still
unfolding itself, and the issues of which, in this world, are known
only to Him who sees the end from the beginning. And yet
a story which, embracing as it does, the separate life-stories of
many individuals, again and again comes to a true " end," to an
t(- end " for which we may well render unceasing praise. What
the destiny of Metlakahtla may be, none can say ; but what the
destiny is of soul after soul that has passed away in peace and
hope, and that owed that peace and hope, under God, to the
influence of Metlakahtla, we do know.    The day is coming—it
may be very soon—when Metlakahtla will share the universal
i 130
Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission.
fate of the things that are seen ajid temporal, and will have
become a mere memory of the past; while the men and women,
and children, whom it brought to the God and Father of all to
be washed, and sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord
Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God, live on and on in the
power of an endless life. No tall church spire, rising from the
inlet of Kahtla, will then be needed to guide the mariner through
the Archipelago of the North Pacific coast; "for there shall be
no more sea." But the great temple of living souls will stand
forth in all its glory and beauty, and among the stones of that
spiritual house will be many hewn from the quarry in the Far
West. Tsimshean and Hydah, and many another Red Indian
tribe, shall find a place in the building which, fitly framed
together, shall then have grown into a holy temple unto the Lord.
Happy indeed will those then be who have had a share, however
humble, in the work of raising it, stone by stone, to His praise
who will make it His dwelling for ever !
1S56.    July.
Dec.  23.
June 13.
Oct.    1,
Jane 13.
Nov. 19.
Dec. 20.
5 J
Aug. 8.
July 26.
Oct. 10.
May 28.
July. 2.
May. 27.
S 5
Discovery of Vancouver's Island "by Captain Cook.
Further discoveries by Captain Vancouver.
Attention of the C. M. S.  Committee drawn to  the Indian
Tribes on the North Pacific Coast.
Captain Prevost's appeal for British Columbia appeared in the
CM. Intelligencer.
Contribution of £500 received to begin a North Pacific Mission.
William Duncan sailed with Captain Prevost in the Satellite.
The Satellite reached Vancouver's Island.
Duncan reached Fort Simpson.
Duncan preached his first Sermon in Tsimshean.
Duncan opened a School for Indian children.
Legaic's attack on Duncan.
Bishopric of Columbia founded.
Duncan's first visit to Nass River.
Arrival of Bev. L. S. TugwelL
First Baptism of Indians—nineteen adults.
Return home of Mr. Tugwell.
Foundation of the new Settlement at Metlakahtla.
Visit of the Bishop of Columbia to Metlakahtla—Baptism of
fifty-seven adults.
Arrival of Rev. R. A. Doolan,
Nass River Mission begun.
Second visit of Bishop of Columbia.
Arrival of Rev. R. Tomlinson.
Return home of Mr. Doolan.
Kincolith Station established on Nass River. Chronological Table.
May 6.
Jan.. 28.
Mar. 13 to
Sept 8
Feb. 27.
Aug.  6.
9 J
Nov.   9.
Dec. 25.
Aug. 18.
Aug. 30.
Oct 16.
Nov. 1.
Aug. 6.
Nov. to ]
Mar.,'78 I
Mar. 12.
Mar. 17.
June 18.
May 2.
July 25.
Oct 14.
Death of Legale.
Duncan left Metlakahtla for England.
> Duncan in England.
Duncan returned to Metlakahtla.
First Baptisms at Kincolith by Archdeacon Woods.
First stone of Metlakahtla Church laid by the Governor of
British Columbia.
Arrival of Mr. W. H. Collison.
Opening of Metlakahtla Church.
Duncan's plans for the Indians of British Columbia adopted
by the Provincial Government
Duncan's journey to  Ottawa to confer with  the Canadian
Lord Dufferin's visit to Metlakahtla.
Arrival of Mr. H. Schutt.
Mr. Collison began Queen Charlotte Islands Mission.
Arrival of Rev. A. J. Hall.
• Bishop Bompas's visit to the Mission.
Mr. Hall began Fort'Rupert Mission.
Ordination of Mr. Collison.
Admiral Prevost's Visit to Metlakahtla.
Arrival of Mr. G. Sneath,
Consecration of Rev. W. Ridley to Bishopric of Caledonia.
Arrival of Bishop Ridley at Victoria.     


Citation Scheme:


Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics



Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            async >
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:


Related Items