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Up and down the north Pacific coast by canoe and mission ship Crosby, Thomas, 1840-1914 [1914]

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Born 1840.   Died January 13th, 1914.
>r fifty years Missionary to the Indians of British Colui D   DOWN   THE
Methodist Mission Rooms, Toronto,  UP AND   DOWN   THE
e Missionary Society of the Methodist Church
The Young People's Forward
Movement Department
F.  C. STEPHENSON, Secretary.
Methodist Mission Rooms, Toronto,   Canada HZ JHg I*ar «lfe  INTRODUCTION
The story of missionary effort and enterprise among
the people of this or any other land is one of the most
thrilling and interesting that its history can reveal. What
deeds of heroism! What struggles and loneliness! What
sacrifice of personal comfort and ambition! What inspiring faith and sublime hope! What determination, in spite
of fearful odds! Enough here to make a romance that
would stir the heroic heart of a nation with pride in its
noble sons and daughters, willing to brave the hardships
of isolation, and the dangers among savage tribes, that
to those in darkness they may bring the Light of Life and
raise the less favored of the earth to the higher planes of
Christian civilization! Every story of true missionary
zeal and effort enriches the historic annals of a people;
and yet the whole missionary story of this land of ours
will never be told. Many a beam of revealing light has
flashed upon the dark corners of earth; later generations
knew it not, for its pathway was not recorded in their
histories. To have known it would have been to understand better than we do the heroisms of the past and to
be nerved for a nobler future.
There is but one native race in Canada, now rapidly
passing away, the North American Indian; and the history
of the early years of our Canadian life cannot be written
without giving to the Bed Man a large place therein. At
times he was the trusty friend, at other times the treacherous foe, of the settlers in the East and along the Great
Lakes.   In the West he is gradually yet sullenly retreating INTRODUCTION
before the progress of the White Man and his civilization,
and the day seems not far distant when he must be
absorbed by that advancing progressive life or be pushed
into the Western Sea. The contact of the White Man
with the Indian has been closest and most intense where
it has been due to the desire of the White Man to Christianize his dusky brother. No more uplifting and transforming results of such contact can be found than are to
be seen on the North Pacific Coast, from the borders of
Washington to the heart of Alaska.
The author should not be expected to make any apology
for giving this story to the public, since he has spent the
past fifty years in mission work on this western coast of
Canada. Beginning when paganism was rampant and
when but little had been done for the heathen Indian, he
has seen the work advance and darkness recede before the
dawning light, until to-day churches and schools under
Christian control are to be found in almost every Indian
village and white settlement on the Coast. To-day this
Province, that fifty years ago had scarcely a beginning in
religious development, has a population quite as well provided for in religious and moral influence as any in the
Dominion. This has not been accomplished without heroic
effort on the part of- many, and it is with the hope that
the story here told may lead others to devoted service to
the Master and may deepen the interest of the Church in
the Indian race that this book is given to the public.
To My Friends,—
For many years I have been listening to the requests
of lovers of missions that I would give in book form a.
record of missionary work among the Indian tribes of
the Northern Pacific Coast of our- country and of the
wonderful transformation in character and conditions
which the introduction of the blessed Gospel has brought
about. Believing that such a record will have the effect
of encouraging the missionary spirit and the missionary
hope in the Church, I feel that I can but accede to these
solicitations of my friends.
The following annals are from sparse notes and from
memory, supplemented by various- missionary records; and
although I feel free to claim them to be correct, yet I am
sure that if any defect be observed, my readers will readily
overlook it. Not writing books but working for the spread
of the Gospel among benighted peoples and striving to
extend the influence of the Kingdom of'Ohrist in the
hearts of my fellow men have been my occupation and
Thomas Cbosby.  CONTENTS
III.   The Foi
IV.  Fort  Si
VIII. Beliefs, Traditions ani
IX. A Council of Peace     .
X. Canoes and Canoe Trii
XI. Other Canoe Trips
XII. Alaska   .
XIII. An Apostle of Alaska
XIV. Bella Bella
XV. The Naas Mission
XVI. Our Work on the Skee
XVII. On the Skeena Again .
Rev. Thomas Crosby, D.D Frontispiece.
Pioneer Missionaries	
Typical Indian Village of the Pioneer Days  .
" The Queen of Sheba "	
k. Council of Peac
Philip McKai
New Bella Bi
A Heathen V
.a—A Christian Vh.
lage—An Appeal foi .ILLUSTRATIONS
An Evangelistic Trip Up   the Skeena River
The Militant Missionary—Dr. Crosby and t
ie Medicine
The School Children at Skidegate, Q.C.I.
Mission Buildings	
Pioneer Indian Missionaries
A Medicine Man and His Patient      .
" The Glad Tidings "	
" The Thomas Crosby "
Students of Coquat.eetza Indian Institute, (
Extent   and   Character   of   Coast   Region—Lord   Dufferin's
Description—Marquis   of  Lome  on   Climate—Vancouver and Queen Charlotte Islands—Position and
Resources — Aborigines — Their   Houses —
Nations and Villages. " 0 Lord, how manifold are Thy works!
In wisdom hast Thou made them all." Up and Down the North Pacific
Stretching from Puget Sound in the State of Washington to the westward bend of the great Alaskan peninsula
lie a thousand miles of sea coast, the only close competitor
of which is the coast of Norway, thousands of miles away.
Throughout its entire length the mountains of the Coast
Range rise abruptly from the sea, with only here and
there room for a village at their base.
A subsidence of the land during the glacial age has
resulted in the flooding of the ancient mountain valleys,
and has produced a maze of islands, channels and inlets,
which fringe or indent the coast. A straight line drawn
from the outermost islets to the headwaters of the fiords
would sometimes exceed a hundred miles in length, and,
following the channels themselves, the distance to be travelled after leaving the main Pacific is sometimes more
than three hundred miles before the head of tidewater is
reached. It is quite possible to travel, by ship, throughout
the entire length of this region by "inside" channels
without a vision of the open sea at more than two or
three points, and in doing so one views a panorama of
sea, mountain, waterfall, forest and glacier unequalled
anywhere in the world. UP AND DOWN THE NORTH PACIFIC COAST
This entire region is supposed to have been covered with
ice during the glacial period, and the mountains everywhere show traces of its action in their rounded forms
and polished rock surfaces. For the same reason very
little soil is to be seen except in valleys and on islands
some distance from the main shore.
Of this coast, some six hundred miles in lineal extent
lie within Canadian territory, while the remainder, to the
north-west, belongs to the United States territory of
Alaska. Owing to the deeply indented nature of the coast,
the Canadian portion of it has a shore line of some seven
thousand miles. It affords almost innumerable harbors
and access by the deep inlets far into the interior of the
Every traveller who has threaded this labyrinth of waterways, teeming with varied marine life, arid gazed upon the
magnificent mountains, covered with the finest forests in
the world, has expressed his judgment of this region in .
terms of unqualified admiration. Among others, we may
be allowed to quote from Earl Dufferin, who visited the
coast of British Columbia in September, 1876. "Such
a spectacle as its coast line presents," says his Excellency,
" is not to be paralleled by any country in the world. Day
after day for a whole week, in a vessel of nearly two thousand tons, we threaded an interminable labyrinth of water
lanes and reaches that wove endlessly in and out of a network of islands, promontories and peninsulas for thousands
of miles, unruffled by the slightest swell from the adjoining ocean, and presenting at every turn an ever-shifting
combination of rock, verdure and forest, glacier and snowcapped mountain, of unrivalled grandeur and beauty.
When it is remembered that this wonderful system of
navigation, equally well adapted to the largest line-of-
battle ship and the frailest canoe, fringes the entire sea-
board of your Province, and communicates at points sometimes more than a hundred miles from the coast, with a
multitude of valleys stretching eastward into the interior,
while at the same time it is furnished with innumerable
harbors on either hand, one is lost in admiration at the
facilities for intercommunication which are thus provided
for the future inhabitants of these wonderful regions."
The Duke of Argyll, when Governor-General of Canada,
accompanied by her Royal Highness the Princess Louise,
travelled along its Pacific coast, and describes the climate
as follows:
"No words can be too strong to express the charm of
this delightful land where the climate, softer and more
constant than that of South England, insures at all times
of the year a full enjoyment of the wonderful loveliness
of nature around you. Agreeable as I think the steady,
dry cold of an eastern winter to be, yet there are many
who would undoubtedly prefer the temperature enjoyed
by those who live west of the mountains. Even where it
is coldest spring comes in February, and the country is so
divided into districts of greater dryness, or of greater
moisture, that a man may always choose to have a rainfall
small or great as he pleases."
British Columbia west of the Coast Range, including
Vancouver Island and the Queen Charlotte Islands, enjoys
an oceanic climate wonderfully like that of Great Britain,
except that the summers are very much dryer. A warm
ocean current, known as the Japan current, strikes the
western coast of North America just as the Gulf Stream
strikes the coasts of Great Britain and Scandinavia.
. Vancouver Island is an important country by itself,
measuring 285 miles in length from Gonzales Point to
Cape Scott. Its greatest width is about eighty miles and
its area 16,400 square miles, or about ten million acres.
The western coast is indented with inlets in somewhat the .
same manner as the coast of the mainland, and is more
mountainous than its eastern side. When communication by rail across Seymour Narrows is established, there
is no doubt that a remarkable development will occur in
this part of the Province. The Queen Charlotte Islands
are also mountainous on the western shore, with a considerable tract of level land in the eastern part; and they
likewise only await the advent of the railway to become
the scene of the development of tremendous natural
In addition to what has been said of the resources of
the British Columbia coast, we must add that it is also
one of the most richly endowed regions of the world in
mineral wealth, including' coal, iron, copper, silver and
British Columbia was at one time wonderful in its production of fur-bearing and food animals; and no story
of the development and history of the country with respect
to the coming of the White Man and his contact with the
native population would be complete without some reference to the hunting grounds, the product of which was
one of the reasons for the contact of the Pale Face with
the dusky Red Man. The days of these hunting grounds,
teeming with game, have almost gone, and yet among
mountains and along rivers there are still many animals,
constituting a paradise for the enterprising sportsman.
From the seaboard to the centre of the Province,
throughout its entire length, there exist numerous and
extensive valleys presenting most valuable arable and
grazing lands and destined some day to become highways
of commerce when railways have made them better known.
When we consider that British Columbia occupies a
position in relation to the Pacific, with its trade routes ITS INHABITANTS
and possibilities of future commercial development, exactly
equivalent to that occupied by Great Britain on the
Atlantic, it is surely no great stretch of the imagination
to suppose that, with its magnificent resources in fish,
timber, fruit and minerals, and with a rapidly developing
interior which must find an outlet for its products through
British Columbia ports, this coast may support a dozen
or more large cities between Puget Sound and the Alaskan
boundary. As a centre of trade and civilization it seems
likely to take rank among the greatest commercial sections
of the world. The inflowing tide of immigration has not yet
affected the coast as much as it has the Prairie Provinces,
but the great inducement of its remarkable climate must
make it, when once rendered thoroughly accessible by rail,
one of the most thickly populated parts of the Dominion.
As it stands at present, 1913, it offers homes to thousands
far better than those they now occupy on the Atlantic
The region thus richly endowed, and of such glorious
promise for the future, has supported in the past an Indian
population as interesting, and in many respects as admirable, as the land in which they dwelt. More numerous
and more concentrated than any other of the native
American races, owing to the comparative ease with
which a living could be gained on this coast, they
have developed mechanical and artistic skill to a degree
unequalled elsewhere. The varied nature of their occupations, divided as they were between sea and land, has
contributed to the production of a type of social life somewhat less stoical than that of other Amerinds. In physique,
the Coast Indians are short as compared with those of the
plains and of the eastern forest region, with relatively
longer bodies and short, sturdy limbs. This fact has been
attributed to their life in canoes, but is probably more UP AND DOWN THE NORTH PACIFIC COAST
inherently racial. Their faces resemble those of the
Japanese so closely that a newcomer to the Province has
at first some difficulty in distinguishing between them.
In general, however, they are larger, heavier in build, and
lack the physical grace which is characteristic of their
Oriental cousins. The more northern tribes were superior
in war, customs and language to those further south.
The Indian villages were generally situated on islands,
or at the heads of inlets, where the deltas of inflowing
streams afforded a level space, backed by hills and well
supplied with water and fish. The houses were arranged-
in rows along the beach, with little or no space between
them, and were often placed on piles so that the tide, when
full, flowed underneath, and canoes could be unloaded at
the doors.
In the north, they consisted of a framework of massive,
timbers formed by setting up posts at each end with
hollowed or mortised tops, upon which were laid large
trunks extending the whole length of the house. One
such timber under the eaves and one on a higher level
on each side of the centre line of the house supported
the roof, which was covered with slabs and cedar bark
held in place by stones and left open in the middle of
the ridge where a sort of double trapdoor, pivoted in the
centre and arranged to open on either side as the wind
required, allowed the smoke to escape.
The sides of the house were covered with cedar slabs,
hewn to a thickness of about two inches and often as much
as five or six feet in width, which were arranged horizontally, and mortised into posts set upright at intervals of
from ten to twenty feet. The totem or crest poles of the
families residing therein—whc, were usually four or five
in number—often formed part of the front of the house. ITS INHABITANTS
Through the base of one of these totem poles a round hole
was sometimes cut, which served as a door to the house.
In times of war a more secure dwelling was constructed
by making an excavation five or six feet deep. The sides
were further raised by mounding up the earth taken from
the excavation.   The whole was then roofed over.
The house within consisted of a single large room. The
interior dimensions were generally about fifty or sixty feet
square. In the early days the Indians slept on the floor
with their feet towards the fire, which was always in the
centre of the house; but in more recent times they arranged
sleeping platforms along the sides of the room. These
were divided into separate compartments or berths, and
the bedding consisted of matting woven from grass, of
rushes or of the inner bark of the cedar tree, of skins, and
sometimes of the wool of the mountain-goat or of dog's
hair. The floor itself was of mud, with loose cedar slabs
laid down here and there.
Within the house, besides cooking and preparing or
curing food, work, such as weaving mats and baskets, bead-
work and carving in slate or ivory, was carried on. In addition, the large floor space offered considerable opportunity
for gatherings of various sorts, such as councils, dances,
theatricals and sleight-of-hand performances. These were
engaged in especially in winter.
The houses of the northern tribes were much stronger,
more elaborate and more weather-proof than those of the
nations to the south.
The various Indian nations on the coast, with the
territory occupied by each, may be briefly summarized,
beginning with the most southerly.
The  Ankomenums, a  branch  of  the  Flathead  race,
occupied the Fraser River valley as far inland as Tale,
the Puget Sound shores as far as Olympia, and perhaps
southward to the Columbia River, also the south-west coast
. of Vancouver Island and the shores of the  Straits of
Georgia.    They  originally  numbered   thousands,   where
only hundreds now remain.*
To the north of the Ankomenums were the Clayoquots
(Klaquets or Kwa-Kualth), who inhabited the islands
and shores from Cape Mudge, at the northern end of the
Gulf of Georgia, to the north-west extremity of Vancouver
Island, including Jervis, Butte, Knight's, Kingcombe and
Seymour Inlets and Johnstone Straits. They were about
two thousand in number, occupied villages at Cape Mudge, .
Mamalelachie, Alert Bay, Green Point, Knighfs Inlet,
Kingcombe Inlet and Koskemo, and extended as far as
Smith Sound on the main shore. The Bella Bellas, about
a hundred miles north at McLachlin Bay, belong to the
same race and speak practically the same language. Their
villages were Hyhise, China Hat (in part), Kitlope and
Kitamaat, thence up the inlet to Bella Coola proper, and
they are found at the North and South Bentick Arm
(Kimsquit) and at Taliome.
The Tsimpsheans (or Tsimsians) commence at China
Hat, where they are mixed with the Bella Bellas, who
occupy the coast to the south of that point. They are -also
found at Hartley Bay (or Kithata), Kitkhatla, Metla-
katlah, Port Simpson and for some distance inland along
the Naas and Skeena Rivers. There is also at New Metla-
katlah, Alaska, a settlement of eight hundred Tsimpsheans.
The Tlinkets occupy the coast of South-eastern Alaska
from the Naas River to a point somewhat west of Mount
* The work accomplished among- the Ankomenums by the
Methodist Church in the early days of.the Crown Colonies of
British Columbia and Vancouver Island and up to the time of
the admission of the Province into the Dominion of Canada has
been described in a previous book, "Among the Ankomenums."
by Dr. Crosby.
St. Elias, where they border upon the Eskimos. They
included the Tongass, Stikene, Hanega, Keke, Huna,
Chilkat, Tagish, Yakutat, Yaktag, Ugul, and other tribes.
The languages of these different nations blend somewhat
into one another, as in later years the people have intermarried. It is probable that they all represent one original
stock, which became broken up by civil wars into distinct
tribes who developed different forms of speech among
t Simpson—William Duncan—The Illegal Liquor Traffic—
A Prayer-meeting and Its Results—The Bar-room—
Elizabeth    Diex—Alfred    Dudoward—C.    M.
Tate—Father  Pollard—A Call  from
the North. " Rescue the perishing,
Care for the dying,
Snatch them in pity from sin at
Weep o'er the erring one
Lift up the fallen,
Tell them of Jesus, the mighty CHAPTER II.
Port Simpson is about five hundred and seventy-eight
miles from Victoria, on the north-west point of the Tsimp-
shean peninsula, just to the south of the entrance to
Portland Canal, which has been recognized as the boundary
between British Columbia and Alaska. " Lach-wal-lamish,"
the Indian name for Port Simpson, or more properly for
the small island on which part of the village is built,
means "the place of roses."
It was formerly an old cariiping-ground of the Tsimp-
shean people while on their way from the Skeena and Old
Metlakatlah, where they resided originally, to the Naas
River for oolachan fishing. The Hudson's Bay Company
established their fort here about 1835, and soon great
crowds of Indians gathered around the post and built a
large village of between two and three thousand people.
It became not only an important trading-post but also a
distributing point to other places inland and on the coast.
Port Simpson is a desirable site for a large town or city.
It has a good, well-protected harbor and a climate mild in
the winter and cool in the summer. In nearly twenty-five
years of residence we saw very little ice in the harbor.
There is plenty of rain for all purposes.
It was to this place that William Duncan, lay missionary of the Church Missionary Society, came in 1858 from
England. He was induced to come by Admiral Prevost,
then captain of Her Majesty's warship, who had visited
Port Simpson and seen the natives in their savage wild-
After five years' stay at Fort Simpson, William Duncan,
with most of his converts, fifty in number, moved south
some seventeen miles to the pld village site of Metlakatlah,
and there built up a Christian community. Such centralization at one place involved calling the Indians away from
their own hunting and fishing grounds—the home of their
The heathen people thus left at Simpson needed help.
They had formed the habit, with the Hydas of Queen
Charlotte Islands, of going to Victoria for cargoes of
whisky, which they took north in their large canoes.
While in the south they occupied encampments in the
neighborhood of the city, and were in fact being decimated
by the vices and diseases of civilization. From Governor
Simpson's time (1828), the Hudson's Bay Company had
refused to sell liquor to the Indians, but with the coming
of the miners in 1858 conditions had changed for the
The Tsimpshean and Hyda tribes, the latter under
| Captain John," a celebrated Chief, were frequently
camped in considerable numbers on the shores of Victoria
Harbor, and there came under the observation of Christian workers. Under the influence of the vile liquors with
which they were supplied by unscrupulous traders, feuds
and murders were rife among them. An eyewitness of
these events in the early days describes them as follows:*
1 An Indian's love of strong drink is so keen that he will
sell his wife or his children into worse than slavery to
obtain money to buy it. No sacrifice is too great, no price
too high to gratify his appetite for the inebriating bowl.
Several so-called 'importing' wholesale liquor establishments were the headquarters, the manufactories, where
most of the vile liquid was made and sold by a bottle or
* Higgins, " The Passing of a Race."
a thousand gallons at a time. Several large fortunes were
made from this awful traffic. The guilty parties were
immune from the visits of constables, and Justice was not
only blind, she was also so deaf that she could not hear
the plaintive cries of the wretched victims of man's greed
and rapacity as they rent the night air and seemed to call
down heaven's vengeance upon their poisoners. There are
men and women now living who can recall the awful
scenes of debauchery, outrage and death that were enacted
on the Victoria reserve and all along the island and mainland coasts because firewater was ladled out to the savages
in unlimited quantities. Is it any wonder that the grave-
digger found frequent employment at all the Indian
reserves, and that sometimes now when a post hole or
cellar is dug the bones of the wretched people who perished before the withering blast of the illegal liquor traffic
are turned up?" Such were the conditions that existed
for very many years among these wretched tribes.
The traffic in women for immoral purposes was another
evil that followed the opening of the mines. The awful
condition of the Indian women in the streets and lanes
of Victoria finally led to an effort on the part of some
Christians for their rescue.
Very many of the great events in the history of the .
Church have been born of prayer, and so in this case it
was after much thought and prayer, at a meeting in the
house of the late William McKay, formerly of Prince
Edward Island, that the work for the Indians had its
After listening for years to the advice of the fainthearted who said, " Nothing can be done; they are too
low, too vile and deceitful," a number of such devout
souls as " Father " McKay, the late Sheriff J. E. McMillan, Mrs. A; E. Russ (whose husband was pastor of the
Methodist church at that time), and others, fired with love
for the perishing, went forth from that prayer-meeting to
rescue and save some of these lost sheep.
Their first attempt was made on the Songese reserve,
just across the bay from the city. Here in 1870 they
started an Indian Sunday School. A few of the scholars
knew a little broken English, but most of the work had
to be done by means of the Chinook jargon. Very soon
they were twenty-five in attendance.
It was here that Amos Shee-at-ston; Sarah, his wife;
and a number of their friends were converted. They left
their old heathen houses and built nice little homes. A
great change came over the tribe, and a class and fellowship meeting was started.
Every time the workers went to the meetings they had
to pay twenty-five cents each to cross the ferry. The difficulty in getting to the work, and the fact that they were
not reaching some of the worst cases from the north, who
were strolling about the streets of the city, led to the renting of an old bar-room on the corner of Government and
Fisguard Streets. Here the Sunday School was reopened
and carried on with great success.
Little did these earnest souls think that they were
kindling a fire that would spread to the great north with
wonderful and far-reaching results.
The Rev. William Pollard, who was Superintendent of
the Methodist Missions in the Province, writes regarding
this work, in December, 1871: " We have had a gracious
revival among the Indians. . . . William McKay,
Mrs. Russ and some others commenced a Sabbath School
about a year ago, and Brother Crosby and David Sallo-
salton commenced preaching and holding prayer-meetings
every night. On October 30th a meeting was held which
resulted in nineteen experiencing religion." The work
18 Rev. Ebenezer Robson, D.D.   Miss Susan Lav
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was carried on in the old bar-room regularly. In June,
1873, Mr. Pollard writes: " Mr. Crosby, who was in charge
of the Indian Mission at Nanaimo, visited Victoria during
March District Meeting. Revival services resulted in the
conversion of forty or fifty Indians, some from Fort Simpson, Alaska, the Queen Charlotte Islands, the Naas, Bella
Bella and other places along the northern coast."
One of the most remarkable incidents of the revival and
its results was the conversion and missionary work of Diex,
a Ohieftamess of the Tsimpshean tribe. This remarkable
woman was the daughter of a great head chief, and thus
a princess of the royal blood. In her girlhood she had
lived at her uncle's house in Fort Simpson, and had been
trained to observe the customs and manners fitting her
position. Like others of her rank she was not allowed to
go out unless attended by her slaves. Diex, who was a
handsome young woman, while out one day with her
attendants, espied several canoes approaching her uncle's
house. In wonder she gazed upon them, and as they drew
near she saw that they were filled with blankets. Surprised, she exclaimed:
I Slaves, what does all this mean ? Why come these
canoes here laden with these things?"
" Don't you know ?" was the reply.
I No," said she.
" Why," said they, " old Chief So-and-So's wife is dead,
and they are going to marry you to him. This is your
wedding day, and these are the presents they bring."
The young woman was filled with disgust, and her hot
Indian blood rose in indignation when she knew that they
would dare to marry her to this decrepit old man. Making
all possible haste, she fled at once to the fort, where she
remained for some time protected from the Indians.
There she contracted an alliance with a Frenchman named
Dudoward. Later she went to Victoria, where she lived
for some years, and was married to a man by the name of
Lawson, whom she survived.
One Sabbath morning in October, 1872, Diex happened
to pass by the old saloon, now hired by the friends for
Sunday School purposes, and heard the singing. She
asked a little girl, standing at the door, what they were
doing there, and whether she could go in. The child said,
I Yes, come in!" The next Sabbath she came at the same
hour to visit the school. On invitation she took a seat
in one of the classes. She had been taught some English,
and could read a little in the First Book of Lessons. At
this meeting one of the teachers led in prayer, and a
native also prayed in his own tongue with great earnestness
and power. Diex looked around, so she said, to see what
kind of book they were praying from. To her great surprise she discovered that they were not using a book, but
in their own simple way were telling the Heavenly Father
their great needs. On the afternoon of the same day she
attended school again and brought some friends from the
north with her. On this occasion she heard Amos Shee-
at-ston pray in Chinook, every word of which she understood, and was deeply impressed.
The following Wednesday evening the teachers arranged
for a prayer-meeting in her house. They found everything in readiness and several of her northern friends
present. That meeting proved to be the beginning of a
revival which lasted for nine weeks and resulted in the
conversion of upwards of forty Indians. Among the first
converts was Diex herself. She was soon afterwards baptized and given the name of Elizabeth. She was a woman
of commanding appearance and of great force of character,
and exerted a powerful influence over her people. No
sooner was she converted than she realized the power of
Divine Grace in her soul and entered into the work of
bringing others to Christ. She was the means of leading
into the light quite a number of her own people who were
wandering in sin on the streets of Victoria.
Far to the north lay Fort Simpson, her former heathen
home, where lived her only son, Alfred Dudoward (Lap-
la-dalth). He was said to be a desperate and lawless
character, living in riot and debauch. To him her mother
heart now turned, and she longed to bring him the peace
and joy which she herself had found. Whole nights she
wrestled in prayer that her son might be induced to visit
Victoria and be led to Christ. Others joined her in these
Some weeks after this a large canoe, containing Alfred
Dudoward, his wife and child, and some ten or a dozen
other natives, arrived at Victoria. To believers in prayer
this will appear as neither a remarkable coincidence nor a
chance circumstance but a direct answer to the effectual,
fervent prayer of this believing mother. Scarcely had he
and his wife taken their seats under her roof when she
introduced the subject of religion, and told them of the
"Pearl of Great Price" she herself had found. Her son
listened respectfully to what his mother had to say, but
intimated that he had no desire to share her religious
enjoyment, as that was not what he had come for. He
told her afterward that he and his people had come from
the far north for a load of whisky. The evening after his
arrival his mother attended class meeting alone, and the
greater part of the night was spent by her in conversation
with her family on the subject of religion and in prayer
to God for their salvation. Next evening Dudoward consented to go with his wife and mother to the meeting,
where he sat a silent spectator. He retired with a stubborn will but a convicted conscience. His wife was con-
verted. It was after much persuasion that he was again
induced to attend the services. He did so, however, and
before the meeting closed was on his knees crying for
mercy, and found peace through believing in Jesus. The
conversion of this couple was the first fruits of a rich
harvest of precious souls.
In July of that year, 1873, a camp meeting was held
at Chilliwack under the direction of the Rev. Cornelius
Bryant, then pastor of that mission. Dudoward, his wife,
and a number of other northern people attended and were
wonderfully blessed. In August of the same summer a
most wonderful series of services was held in the old barroom.
In September many of the northern people wished to
return home and tell their friends what God had done for
them. This they did, some travelling by the Hudson's
Bay Company's steamer Otter, and others by canoes.
Before leaving, they urged me to come and visit them
at Fort Simpson. On arriving at their homes, they began
to sing and pray and repeat the Gospel stories as well as
they could; and thus in story and in song,-from hearts full
of new-found love, they told what a Saviour they had
found. This resulted in the sending of a strong invitation from Fort Simpson during the following winter to
the chairman, Rev. Wm. Pollard, desiring him to visit
them. This he did in February, 1874, and found hundreds of people hungering for the truth and eagerly
waiting for a missionary. Responding to their urgent
appeals, Mr. Pollard directed Mr. Chas. M. Tate,
then missionary teacher at the Nanaimo school, and
in later years so well known as one of the most successful
Indian missionaries, to proceed to Fort Simpson to teach
school and hold services until the newly appointed i
ary should arrive. DIEX, A PRINCESS OF ROYAL BLOOD
Though some of Mr. Duncan's friends thought the
coming of the Methodist Church into this field might
interfere with his work, nevertheless time has shown that
there was room for both Churches and that there was no
necessity for overlapping, as their fields of labor were
from fifteen to twenty miles apart. Throughout the years
there has been no encroachment by the Methodist Church
upon the territory occupied by the Church .Missionary
I Visit to the East—E. R. Young—A Missionary Campaign-
Appointed to Fort Simpson—Marriage—Journey
to the New Field. ■nto all the world and preach the Gospel to
every creature." CHAPTER III.
The Chilliwack Camp Meeting of 1873, which was
attended with such blessed results, marked the close of
a period in my missionary labors. My first furlough was
granted after twelve years of toil. I was afforded the
opportunity of revisiting my home and friends and invited
to take part in a missionary campaign covering the Provinces of Ontario and Quebec.
What a home-coming it was, and how it thrills the
heart with memories as I recall it now after forty years!
Twelve years before I had left, a mere boy, to go to lands
known only in name, and which seemed at that time " the
regions beyond." Now I was going back to the old home
to relate the story of the years. What stories there were
to tell! Some of them sad and painful, recounting the
ravages made by sin upon the souls and bodies of men;
and yet some, too, of inspiring hope and strong faith on
the part of those who had come to know the power of a
Saviour's love!
Not the least interesting thing about the homeward
journey was the improvement in the means of transportation. Twelve years before it had taken six weeks of constant travel to reach British Columbia from Ontario.
Then the journey was made by New York, Aspinwall, and,
after crossing the Isthmus of Panama, by steamer to San
Francisco and Victoria. Now the return journey was
made more direct and nearly all the way by rail. Then
the trip to British Columbia was considered quite as great
and arduous as to-day we consider a journey to China,
while the accommodations were by no means as convenient.
Now there stretched across the great continent the first
band of steel. Taking the Union Pacific train at San
Francisco and passing Salt Lake City, Ogden, Omaha
and Chicago, I found myself, after nine days, at home
in Ontario once more.
After a short rest among my friends—father, mother,
brothers and sisters in old Oxford County—I was called
by the Rev. Enoch Wood, Missionary Secretary, to attend
a meeting of the General Board of Missions in session at
Peterborough. There I met the Rev. E. R. Young, who
had spent six or seven years at Norway House among the
Cree Indians, a nation that lived under different climatic
conditions and differed entirely in language, physique and
customs from the Ankomenums of the Pacific Coast,
among whom I had spent twelve years.
At the request of the Board, Mr. Young and I together
visited most of the leading cities between Quebec and
Windsor, Ontario, in the interest of the mission work.
The results were most encouraging. The whole Canadian
Church became aroused. The meetings were carried on
in the old campaign style. We generally conducted the
regular services on Sunday and held week evening rallies
at each centre. The association of Mr. Young and myself
was pleasing both to us and to the people, as the difference
in our fields of labor afforded a variety of interest. Mr.
Young's work had been among the prairie and forest tribes
of the cold interior, dog-runners and fur trappers; mine,
among the seafaring and mountain nations of the coast.
During the campaign, services were held in most of the
Methodist churches of Montreal, closing with a great mis-
sionary breakfast in the basement of old St. James'
Church. On this occasion the place was crowded by the
leading Methodists of the city. The late Senator Ferrier
occupied the chair; addresses were delivered by Dr. Alexander Sutherland and the two Indian missionaries. It
was a most inspiring occasion and added materially to
the income of the Missionary Society.
Later, we attended a great gathering of Kingston Methodists at a missionary tea—the forerunner of the modern
missionary banquet—held in the basement of Sydenham
Street Church, and were afterwards hospitably entertained
in the home of our good friend, Mr. Arthur Chown.
A memorable Sabbath was spent in the city of Hamilton. The Centenary and other churches were filled to
overflowing and a gracious influence was felt at every
service. No more enthusiastic friends of missionary work
could be found than the late Senator and Mrs. W. E.
Sanford of that city. Their home was always open to
us, and from the beginning they gave enthusiastic and
sympathetic support to the proposed new mission to the
Indians of the North Pacific Coast.
During one of my visits to Hamilton it was my good
fortune to meet the young lady—Miss Emma J. Douse—
who afterwards promised to share the missionary's life
and labors, and who through the years that followed bore
as important a part in the work in the far north as the
missionary himself. Miss Douse was a teacher in the
Wesleyan Ladies' College and a daughter of the Rev. John
Douse, who himself had spent some years in mission work.
The fire of missions burned in her heart, and when we
learned that instead of returning to my loved field among
the Ankomenums we were appointed to the remote work
at Fort Simpson, on the borders of Alaska, six hundred
miles away from civilization, she offered no objection, but,
like a true, devoted follower of Christ, said she was ready
to go. From this time Fort Simpson was ever before
our minds, and all our plans had in view this new field
of effort.
Our friends in Ontario now began to send in special
donations towards the opening up of the new mission.
These were in addition to the regular subscriptions to the
funds of the Society, which had already been increased
some twenty thousand dollars by our winter's work. A
special instance of this occurred at an enthusiastic meeting held in the Centenary Church, Hamilton, which was
crowded to the doors. We had already spoken in several
of the city churches and they had given liberally towards
the General Fund. As the meeting was nearing its close,
while a collection was being taken, our kind friend, Mr.
Sanford, stepped upon the platform. After asking the
chairman's permission to introduce an important matter,
he intimated that he had a secret he would tell them if
they would raise a thousand dollars towards establishing
the new mission at Fort Simpson.
In a few minutes the required sum was promised. Mr.
Sanford then pointed to the corner of the church where
sat the staff and students of the Wesleyan Ladies' College,
and said, " The secret is that a young lady in that corner
is going out with the missionary." The enthusiasm burst
out afresh, and " Fifty dollars from the Ladies' College "
was promised if the missionary would go and address the
students next day.
During the winter's campaign what might be called a
general " Forward Movement for Missions" took place.
We not only had good success with regard to finances, but
the services were often of great spiritual power and bless-   THE FORWARD MOVEMENT OF 1874
ing. Souls were converted, and many decided to devote
their lives to God's service at home or in the mission fields.
These volunteers were not confined to the Methodist
Church. The Rev. A. B. Winchester, now resident in
Toronto, heard the addresses in Woodstock and afterwards
went to China as a missionary of the Presbyterian Church.
The Rev. H. J. Robertson, who was moved by hearing the
same addresses in Woodstock, devoted his life to missions
and is now in charge of the Presbyterian work among
foreigners in Winnipeg. Miss Lund, who was teaching
in Belleville, gave her life to Methodist mission work in
Japan. Among others who state that their first missionary
or ministerial impulse was received from the movement
of that winter are the Rev. J. H. White, D.D., now Superintendent of Methodist Home Missions for British Columbia, and the Rev. W. H. Barraclough, who spent some
time as missionary to the Indians of the Fraser River and
afterwards was one of the earlier missionaries to the
Klondike gold fields.
As spring came on the missionary campaign drew to a
close and general preparations were made for our return.
Our marriage took place in April at the home of Mr.
Henry Hough, Cobourg. The ceremony was performed by
the Rev. Enoch Wood, D.D., assisted by the Rev. John
Douse, the bride's father, and her brother-in-law, the Rev.
George Browne. Mr. Douse was the last survivor of the
band of English missionaries who came out to join the
Wesleyan Methodist Church in Canada. He served as
Treasurer of the Superannuation Fund for over twenty-
five years.
After some time spent in completing our arrangements,
we took leave, first of Mrs. Crosby's father and mother at
Lefroy, Ontario, then of the college friends in Hamilton,
and last of my own in Ingersoll. We then continued our
journey westward, via the Union Pacific Railway, to San
Francisco. The trip and the scenery were delightful. At
San Francisco we made a short stay, then went on by ship
to Victoria and from thence to Chilliwack, where we spent
a week at camp-meeting with the friends of my old field.
Our friends in Victoria, Westminster, Chilliwack and
Nanaimo were all intensely interested in the opening up
of the new mission and greatly inspirited us with their
words of cheer. The chairman, the Rev. Wm. Pollard,
having been up the coast and having had a warm reception
from the natives, still further encouraged us.
We took passage on the little Hudson's Bay Company's
steamer Otter, the only one running up the north coast.
There was not much business in this region at that time,
only a little at the Hudson's Bay posts and the Cassiar
mines. The Company had a large store in the fort at
Simpson, and on that account we were told not to take any
large stock of provisions.
The trip was a very interesting one. We had on board
a number of miners, bound for Cassiar, many of them very
agreeable, jolly fellows. The Otter was a little ship with
no cabins or staterooms, and the miners had to sleep on
the deck. One of the officers gave up his room to the
missionary and his wife. If we did not hurry to bed in
good time we would have to step over a number of miners
rolled up in their blankets on the deck. In that whole trip
of nearly six hundred miles we had only five places to call,
most of which were Hudson's Bay posts. To us, as to
anybody who had never travelled that coast before, it was
most interesting to pass for days among those thousands
of islands. Often a group of mountain goats, gambolling
away up near the snow line, or a deer, swimming from one
island to another, would cause great excitement on board.
One day we called at Bella Bella, and after the captain
had landed some freight we took in tow a good-sized canoe.
While crossing Millbank Sound it was rather rough, and
I accosted the captain, saying, " What are you doing with
that canoe hanging on at the stern ?" He remarked, | You
take care of your good wife, and you will find out soon
enough what the canoe is for." When we got up into
Chatham Sound, eight or ten miles off Fort Simpson, he
had the steamer slowed down and his men draw the canoe
alongside. The bride and bridegroom were then told to
get on board and "paddle their own canoe." An Indian
woman, who was returning to her home, steered the canoe
while we paddled and thus made for the shore. The kind-
hearted miners, the ship's crew and the good old captain
gave us a warm cheer and were off at once to Fort Wrangel
to land the passengers and freight for Cassiar Mines. The
steamer had all our goods on board and so, until she
returned, we had to camp at the fort for a day or two.
The sea was calm and we were soon ashore, three miles
south of the village. Here we met a canoe, the occupants
of which begged us to delay an hour or so while they hastened to the village with the news of our arrival and made
ready to receive, us. It was a delightful June morning,
serene on sea and shore. We paddled into a lovely bay
on Finlayson Island, and there sat down to wait. At our
feet were the deep blue waters and opposite, behind the
mainland shore, the rugged line of mountains which were
to grow so familiar through the years to come. Still a
little farther to the north and east stood Mount McNeil,
about six thousand feet high, where the natives say the
" big canoe " rested at the time of the flood. For generations this old mountain was looked upon by them as the
place where the great Evil Spirit, " Tha-am-sum," dwelt, UP AND DOWN THE NORTH PACIFIC COAST
and they would seldom pass along the shore at its foot
without praying and crying for help or mercy and, it may
be, throwing overboard food or other sacrifices to appease
his anger, especially in a storm. They believed he had
power to ward off disease and danger and give them success
in war and hunting. New Language—Building Mission House and Church—Roof
'off the Church—Church Work—New School House—
Our First Pentecost. " Come over and help i CHAPTER IV.
Having completed this wonderful trip by land and sea,
with its cities and prairies, with its forests and snowcapped mountains, with its islands and long, narrow
stretches of waterway, we landed from the canoe in front
of the Hudson's Bay Company's fort, and there shook
hands with hundreds of people, some fairly well dressed,
some in meagre clothing, others rigged out in gay-colored
blankets and shawls, and some with painted faces.
Our work here lay before us. We were welcomed by
Mr. Charles F. Morrison, the kind English gentleman who
was in charge of the fort, and also by Mr. Charles M. Tate,
our missionary teacher from Nanaimo, who had been holding the ground for a few months until our arrival.
At that time the fort was well walled in with a fence of
solid posts about eighteen feet high. There was a tower at
each corner, with very heavy gateways nearly always under
lock and key. Outside the gates stood a number of large
cannon, ready to fire a salute of welcome to friendly visitors or a blast of warning to hostile Indians. Inside was
a little trading store, which was only large enough to allow
for one customer at a time. Long rows of heavy log buildings stood on the east and west sides of the enclosure.
The building to the east was where the Company's goods
were kept; those to the west were for men's quarters, workshops, etc. On both sides of the fort gates were officers'
quarters. To the rear, on the south side, was the house
of the governor or chief factor. This arrangement of the
buildings left an open square ^n the middle of the
The old cannon in front of the fort were now put in
use to fire a salute on the arrival of the missionary and
his wife. As we had no house, we were kindly allowed
to use part of the officers' quarters within the fort until
the lumber should come from Victoria and we could build
a home.
A day or two was now spent in going around to see the
general condition of things. It was clear that at once
we must have a place built in which to worship. The
people themselves also talked much about the building of
a church, as the only place available at present was a
large heathen house, fifty or sixty feet square. Nearly
all the houses in the village were of a similar character,
having a low, flat roof covered with slabs and bark, a, fire in
the centre of the floor and a hole in the roof to allow the
smoke to escape. There was but one shingled house outside
the fort.
We were permitted to use Chief Scow-gate's house on
the island, where part of the village was built, for school
and church purposes. There were no roads or bridges,
and we had to walk out to the island on the beach when
the tide was out. We at once called a meeting in the
chief's house to decide about building a church. This
was necessary in order to secure supplies, as the steamer
was going south in a day or two. Some of the people at
the fort said:
"You are not going to ask these poor people to help
you build a church, are you? They have no money, they
have heard that you have been in Canada and collected
lots of money; and indeed they have heard that you would
not only build a church for them, but also build them little
houses to live in."
I said, "How do you purchase those beautiful furs?"
They said, "We trade blankets, muskets and ammunition." 38 FORT SIMPSON
"Well," I said, "blankets will do for us." We had
learned enough about human nature to know that the more
you get people to.give towards places of worship the more
they will value them when built.
Notice was given to everybody to meet in the chief's
house. The Indians crowded in from all parts of the
village. I had to speak through an interpreter, as we
were now face to face with the fact that we were among
another people, speaking a strange language. There seemed
hardly any more similarity between the Ankomenum and
the Tsimpshean than there is between the Chinese and
the English. We now told them that we had come to live
among them at their invitation; we hoped to learn the
language, preach the Gospel and teach them, as well as
we knew how, the arts of civilization; but we had met
to-day to talk about church building. Through the kindness of an architect, Mr. Thomas Trounce of Victoria, we
had brought along plans of a building calculated to hold
about a thousand people.
I told them also that although some of our friends in
Canada had contributed towards helping to start the
mission, this money was all left in the hands of the
missionary authorities, and that we would like to have
them first do all they could towards building the church,
and then help would come from the Missionary Society.
I then laid down ten dollars for myself and ten dollars for
my wife, to start the subscription. Some of the people
seemed pleased and some otherwise, and presently the big
doors flew open and most of them went out as fast as they
could go.   I said to the interpreter,
" What is the matter ?   Are they angry ?"
He said, " No, I think they will come back by and by."
I said, " Let us sing, c Shall we gather at the river,' " a
hymn that they had lately learned at the revival in Vic- *~
toria; and the few of us that were left around the little
table sang nearly the whole hymn. Soon many of the
people came back with blankets over their shoulders, some
ten, some five, some two, and others one. These blankets
were Hudson's Bay Company's trade blankets. The
Indians had to pack them away in boxes in order to keep
them clean, as they were their only cash in trade. They
were worth $1.50 each. Those who had no blankets
laid down a musket or some furs, until we had over four
hundred dollars donated that day towards building God's
house; and before it was completed the subscription went
up to one thousand dollars, with some aid from white
people. Many of them gave until it was a real sacrifice,
as they had given their last blanket.
After this spontaneous liberality the real welcome to
the missionary began. A number of very interesting
speeches were made by chiefs and leading men of the place,
which left no doubt as to their hearty appreciation of our
coming to them.
The converts from Victoria had carried on religious
services among their friends since their return, and by the
splendid help of the missionary teacher, Mr. Tate, who
had left for his work in the south by the return boat, much
good had been done. Our first class meeting was held in
a little room inside the fort. Mrs. Crosby taught the
school in the large house, while we got to work getting out
timber for the Church and clearing away a foundation
for the Mission House. Most of the summer was spent in
this way.
The lumber arrived in November by schooner. It was
all thrown overboard—as there was no wharf—rafted
alongside the ship and towed ashore. Without horses,
oxen or team of any kind, we had to get all the lumber
and timber up the hill and, soaked as it was with salt
water, every piece had to be packed on men's backs. As
we had no carpenter, the Missionary had to lead the way
in superintending the building and, with the assistance
of an old French-Canadian, in showing them how to hew
and whip-saw timber and make shingles. A number of
the young men, however, were very anxious to work as
carpenters. We had great trouble to prevent them from
spoiling lumber by splitting or cutting the boards in the
wrong place, but they were quite gifted mechanically, and
on the whole very ready to learn. By dogged perseverance,
and through a dreadful amount of wet weather, we had
our little Mission House up, and got into it about a week
before Christmas.
We had services nearly every night in the week and four
or five times on the Lord's Day, in addition to visiting
the sick and giving out medicines. Most of our services
had to be carried on through an interpreter. We felt that
every effort must be made to get hold of this new tongue.
In this Mr. Dudoward, our interpreter, was a great help.
We had many a struggle before we were able to preach
and teach the people in their own tongue, but every missionary should master the language the very first thing.
Our Watch Meeting was a time long to be remembered,
and was followed by several weeks of special services,
which were "times of refreshing." About a hundred
joined the Church on trial. During the winter several
died, one an old woman, who wished to have the rite of
Christian baptism. On being asked whether she had given
up all her heathen ways, she said, " Yes, and now I am
going to die and be with Jesus, and I wish the mark
before I go."
Our Sunday School was a great means of instruction
and help to the people; we had from five to six hundred
in attendance.    Our Day School was well attended, and UP AND DOWN THE NORTH PACIFIC COAST
was a great source of hope for the future. We had seventy-
five adults in attendance and about one hundred children.
Mrs. Crosby took charge of the Day School nearly all the
time with the assistance of Alfred Dudoward and Kate,
his wife, who were valuable helpers.
Up to this time both Sabbath services and School were
held in an old house covered with bark, but we had the
Church and a good School House up before long, by trie
help of God and the liberality of Christian friends.
The following summer, with a first-class carpenter as
superintendent, we began the building of our Church, a
large frame structure with a spire at the front. Durmg
the process of building word came from the Chairman that
the Missionary Society could not afford to put up the
spire, as shown in the plan. So the people met to talk
about it, and gave an extra donation of labor and goods
for the purpose. We went to the woods to get special
timber for it and also a raft of cedar blocks for shingles.
For a time it was most difficult to get shingles made, but
after a while we had the building all covered in, although
we had not lumber to quite complete it.
The time now came for the opening of the Church and
its dedication to the service of God. We found, when our
accounts were all made up, that there was a balance of
about four hundred dollars due on it, As we had received
word from the Mission Rooms that nothing more could
be expected from that quarter for the present, we talked
the matter over with the leaders and some of the people,
who urged that we call a public meeting. There were also
present at this meeting some of the Company's servants
and the owners of a sawmill, which was just being built
about seven miles away. I told the people we should like
to open the Church and dedicate it to the service of God,
but there was a debt of about four hundred dollars on THE FIRE BRIGADE, FORT SIMPSON.
material, and how could we say that we gave this house to
the service of Almighty God when some one else owned
part of the building, in lumber, nails, paint, etc., not paid
for? We must have this put right before the dedication.
After a few little speeches the people brought their offerings of blankets, goods and money, enough to cover the
whole deficiency. Then " Grace Church" was dedicated
to the worship and service of God.
For some time after our arrival, with the assistance of
Mr. and Mrs. Dudoward, Mrs. Crosby had taught the
school, of about sixty or seventy adults in the afternoon
and one hundred children in the morning, in the large
heathen house, till it became a very serious strain upon
her health, and a better room was a necessity. The frame
of an old Indian house, about twenty-four by thirty-six
feet, had been purchased by Mr. Tate while he was teaching. The first lumber cut at the Georgetown sawmill was
secured to enclose this house, and we told the people we
wanted each of them to bring a board. There were no
sawed boards in the place at that time, but they brought
slabs of cedar of all shapes and sizes. We spiked them
down in the rough for the floor, and then with their native
adzes they smoothed them off, so that we had a fairly good
floor. We got poles for rafters, prepared some boards for
sheeting, got out cedar blocks and cut them into shakes
or long shingles to cover the roof, and thus had a better
house for our school work.
We were finishing our last row of shingles when the
steamboat, which had been away four months, arrived in
the midst of a snowstorm. When we got hold of our mail
bag we found, among the letters, a note with a cheque of
fifty dollars from a friend in Quebec, saying that it was
for some comfort and help for my wife, as a memento
of our last visit to them. I said, " Look here, my dear, I
am going to use this entirely for your comfort, for it is
solely for your comfort that the School House is being fixed,
and here is half enough to pay for the material." I wrote
to our friend that I had done as he had said and spent
every cent of it for my wife's comfort, explaining the
whole thing. Months passed away, when another cheque
came from the same friend for a like amount, and thus
we got the bills for our temporary School House paid.
The people crowded the new Church with delight, but
we had not worshipped in it long when, in the month of
November, 1876, during a terrific south-east gale, the
massive roof was swept entirely off, and for a time the
danger seemed to be that the whole building would go.
The wind caught in the tower and spire, and we had to
chop out the front of it to let the wind through and thus
save wrecking the whole building. While the storm was
raging, and shingles and boards were flying, some of the
poor people came running up the hill, holding up their
hands and crying and praying, saying, "You have taken
the roof, now spare the building. Oh, don't take all our
fine Church." In the midst of this excitement, we knelt
in thanksgiving to God that our lives were spared, for
we saw that some of the timbers of the Church had fallen
within about four feet of where we had been sitting at
family prayer in the little Mission House. Had those
timbers struck the house some of us might have been killed.
Some of the men then ran to the Fort to borrow ropes,
and others climbed up the main rafters, which were sticking up, and got ropes hitched to the front of the tower, and
thence, from one pair of rafters to another, back to the
gable at the south end, and then moored them down to
the stumps behind the Church.
After all was done that could be done to secure the
building, and the storm had abated a little, we all met in
the old house we had fixed up for a School Room. Some
of the men began to make speeches. One old man, acting
as though he were buckling his belt around him, said,
I Long ago, when our canoe was split out at sea, we would
buckle our belts a little tighter; and with our hair tied
in a knot at the top of our heads, we would pull for the
shore, get into a quiet place and sew her up. Now God's
great canoe is split, and we must fix it." Then somebody
said, " No more long speeches; let us get to work;" and
they began to bring in their blankets, furs, muskets, earrings, finger-rings, bracelets (for they were very proud of
jewellery, like some other heathen people), and everything
that could be turned into money. The Hudson's Bay
officer in charge acted as Secretary.
We bought a large raft of cedar logs which had been got
for the Company's firewood and started with them to the
sawmill to get them cut for lumber to repair the building.
The canoes, each with a crew of two men towing a log,
raced to the mill, a distance of seven miles. The good
man at the mill came to see what he could do to help us;
and, as he was a clever mechanic, we soon found out where
the weakness in the first roof had been and how much
lumber it would need to repair it. As soon as it was cut,
he came back to help us in the work.
We had shingles made, and everybody soon became
interested in fixing up the Church. While the young men
were nailing shingles on the roof, even the old women
would come up the hillside by the Church and tie the
ropes to the shingles and say, " That is right, young men,
that is good, young men, work away and fix God's house.
Very good!     Very good!     (Sim-wil-am, sim-wil-am)."
In three weeks after the day it was blown off we had
the roof on and held a thanksgiving service in the building. Great indeed was the joy of the people that November
day when we met to give thanks to God for the restoration
of our fine Church. Some spoke, some sang, and some
cried for joy, while the blessed Spirit rested down with
great power upon us all.
The estimated cost of putting on the roof was one thousand dollars, and when the accounts were all finally made
up and the whole of the bills paid, we had sixty dollars to
the good. Miners and fishermen along the coast sent donations to the Missionary when he was in trouble; special
subscriptions also reached us from afar; so that what at
first seemed our greatest trial became a means of grace
to us all. We now had a stronger roof on the Church
than ever, and all these difficulties which we had overcome
only tended to make the people love and respect God's
s old patched-up Indian house served as a School
House only for a time. It was now decided that we must
have a new one; so, after the people had subscribed towards
the new School House, we began to build, deciding to have
it not too far away from the other buildings. We found,
on account of the swampy condition of the land, that we
could not very well get our foundation posts down to solid
ground, so we put in.mud-sills—large heavy cedar logs—
flattening them on one side to set our posts upon. We
built a large, fine building in the shape of a "T," the
back part of which was partitioned off by large folding,
or rather rolling, doors. This was all sealed inside and a
blackboard put around the whole interior. We thus had
a comfortable School Room for both adults and children.
When opened up it made a good lecture-room for week-
evening services. The whole of this building, even the
sash and doors, was made and built by the Indians under
the direction of the Missionary, as we had no carpenters.
Before the Church was completed, in answer to prayer, FORT SIMPSON
and we think in a great measure-to the fact that the poor
people had made such sacrifice for God's House, for in
some cases they had given all their earthly goods, a mighty
revival swept over the Mission. God is not slack concerning His promise, " Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of Hosts,
if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour
you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to
receive it." The story of this wonderful outpouring is
the story of a modern Pentecost. Once more we were
taught that it is "not by might, nor by power," but by
the gracious Spirit of God, that such a work is wrought.
The Missionary had gone, with his crew of Christian
helpers, about one hundred and fifty miles away to visit
returning we met some Indians in a canoe who were coming to tell us the news. As we approached them, a man
in the bow jumped up and beckoned us to stop paddling.
Our first thought was that something was the matter at
home, some one sick or dead. But he cried out in his own
language, " Jesus has come, Jesus has come. Many of the
people are converted. A great change in our village now."
The young man seemed to be overjoyed, and sat down
crying. The man at the stern got up and said, "My
brother can't tell you all about it, sir. I will tell you.
Soon after you left home the Spirit of God came down in
wonderful power. Old people have been converted, young
people have repented, women and children are seeking salvation. There is a great change among the Tsimpsheans
now." " Praise God from whom all blessings flow," we sang
together on that lonely, dismal channel, with the mighty
mountains on both sides of us. My boys said, " Now, sir,
we would like to pull all night. We want to get home
and get some of that blessing."   They pulled all that night
and all next day, Saturday, until midnight.
The Missionary's wife and the lady teacher welcomed
us at the door. They said, "We can't tell you what a
wonderful work God has wrought since you went away.
Nearly the whole village has been moved. One night hundreds of people came up and wished to get into the Church.
We advised them to go home and pray, telling them that
God would hear them in their homes; but they said, ' No,
no, lady; please let us into the Church. We think we shall
find Jesus in His own house.' So, taking a lantern, we
opened the door, and hundreds of the people crowded into
the Church, where many of them fell on their faces on the
floor, crying to God for mercy. For some time that scene
continued and many were blessed; then we advised them
to go home. On leaving the Church, as they were going
I down the hill, although a terrible wind and rainstorm was
raging, they nearly all fell down on the ground as if they
were under a strange spell and began pleading earnestly
for God to have mercy upon them."
We now retired to rest, but were awakened early next
morning by a crowd of people singing. They had been
to the Sunday morning prayer-meeting; now here they .
were, crowded around the Mission House. There was the
rough old conjurer; the man who said his hands were red
with his brothers' blood-; and the young men and women,
for many of whom I had prayed by name—but so changed!
Their very faces were altered. Here they stood around,
with tears in their eyes, singing " Jesus paid it all." Faithfully we exhorted them to stand fast in the faith. No
one could doubt the mighty change that had taken place
in these hearts when he saw how earnest they were and
witnessed their anxiety to carry the good news to other
" School-um-text '*—Wee-na-lke—Hall-obe—Backsliding Over i
Stovepipe—Growth  of the Work—Simpson District
Organization—Band Workers—Dr. Carman's
Opinion—Sabbath  Services. "What hath God wrought!' CHAPTER V.
After the revival meetings recorded in the last chapter
many became intensely interested in the study of the Bible.
Every Sabbath morning after service the young people
who could read a little met in the Church for what was
called " School-um-text." They would find the text of
the morning in the English Bible and read it over and
over until they had it memorized in both English
and Tsimpshean. It was a joy to see with what pleasure
they went home, repeating the text as they went. Soon
some of them had memorized as many as forty or fifty
texts, so that when they were off at the fishing and logging
camps they would always hold service two or three times
a day, using these texts and what they remembere.d of the
■sermon connected with them.
"Wee-na-lke," or old Susan, was a native Tsimpshean,
and must have been about sixty years of age when she
was converted. She belonged to the Kit-an-doo tribe at
Simpson. She and a number of her children were converted about the same time in the revival. Among others,
she applied herself very earnestly every Sabbath morning
to learning the text. We often had as many as sixty old
people at the " School-um-text," after the morning service,
for the purpose of committing the text to memory in their
own language. Old Susan rarely missed, hence she had
a great many texts in mind; and a short time before the
Missionary left on a visit to the East she came to the
Mission House and asked if she might recite her texts. I
said, " Well, Susan, I will try and take time to hear you."
She opened out a little bunch of pebbles, tied up in a
piece of rag, and took one in her hand. Looking at it,
as if the shape of the pebble brought the text to her
memory, she began to recite, and thus, one after another,
picking up a new pebble for each, she recited forty texts
of God's Holy Word.
In our absence in the East she sickened and died.
Brother Jennings, who was in charge of the work, visited
her regularly, and sent us word that poor old Susan was
gone. She had a most triumphant death. As she lay,
suffering great pain, the Missionary would say, "Well,
Susan, you are very sick and suffering very much to-day."
| Oh, yes," she said, " but when I feel so sick that text
of God's Word comes with such comfort, and that other
one "; and, repeating the texts, she would say, " Oh, these
good words make me so happy, and seem to take away the
Day after day and night after night the precious Word
was her comfort. Surely in her case was fulfilled the
Scripture, " My Word shall not return to me void." She
thus passed away, triumphantly and peacefully, to the land
where there is no sickness. We missed her very much on
our return, but we are sure we shall meet by-and-by.
Hall-obe was a native of the Tsimpshean nation, one
of the old middle class and of those who had great respect
for Chief or superior. He was one of the early converts
to Christianity at our Mission, and sought baptism with •
a number of others. His wife also joined him and was
baptized in the Church on a public confession of faith in
the Lord Jesus. They promised to put away all forms of
heathenism, God being their helper. He was baptized
" Enoch Wilson," was very earnest and devoted for some
years, and really seemed to enjoy vital religion. He might
have been sixty-five at the time of his conversion and was
among the class of most earnest, elderly people who
delighted to stay in the School Room after the morning
service to commit the text to memory.
He had been much troubled for some time with rheumatism, brought on by exposure to the cold and wet, and
by a life of wild dissipation. The rheumatism became
much worse as he grew older, and finally he had to walk
with crutches. So severe was it that it often kept him
from Church in bad weather, and then he would have his
wife bring home the text to him, for he loved God's Word.
We gave him remedies and he tried many kinds, which
he said helped him much. More than once he came to
the Mission House to ask if I had time to hear him recite
his text. He would recite fifty or sixty texts of God's
Holy Word that he had committed to memory in the text
school. He also often helped others to learn a text, and
thus assisted in services when they were off at distant fishing or hunting camps.
Poor old Enoch had his ups and downs, his trials and
failures, as others have. On one occasion he joined in a
semi-heathen ceremony of raising a stone to the memory
of a dead Chief. He subscribed some twelve dollars
towards the undertaking, money which he had saved for
the purpose of purchasing a stove. Speaking of it he
said: "When the monument came I got proud, and that
day I lost all my texts. I could not remember one of
them; they were all gone, and I have been unhappy ever
since. I am praying every day for God to give me back
His love in my heart, and also to give me my texts back
The loss of a dear child was the means used of God
to bring him to Himself again.   He became very happy, UP AND DOWN THE NORTH PACIFIC COAST
lived a Christian life, and treasured up more and more
of God's Word in his heart.
The Rev. A. E. Green, who was supplying at Simpson
at the time, tells this interesting and somewhat amusing
story of old | Enoch Wilson."
One day he and his wife were fixing up the old stove,
and trying to put the pipes together, but they would not
go. The poor old man was suffering from rheumatism,
his hands all bent with it, and his wife was urging that
he did not put the pipes together in the right way. He
tried again and again, but they would not come together.
He could not fix them, so he took up the axe, and broke
the stove all to pieces. Then he said he was tired, and
would lie down to rest. He covered himself up in his
old blankets in a corner of the room, and the Minister
was sent for. The messenger said, " There is great trouble
in Enoch Wilson's house; he has broken the stove to pieces,
and some of the furniture." The Minister went at once to
visit " lame Enoch, the class-leader," and when he reached
the house what a sight met his gaze! The stove, broken
in scores of pieces, was lying in the middle of the floor;
his poor wife had got another old lady in to sympathize
with her, and they were both sitting on the floor resting
their heads on their hands and crying over the broken
pieces. He asked what was the matter; they said Enoch
had got angry, and had broken the stove. He asked where
Enoch was then. Pointing to a bundle of blankets in the
corner, they said, "He is there."   They started to sing,
" Come, every soul by sin oppressed,
There's mercy with the Lord,"
then prayed and exhorted Enoch to look to the Lord for
forgiveness.   The poor old man uncovered his head, and SIMPSON DISTRICT
began to cry, and then to pray very simply, sobbing out,
" Come back, Lord, come back; please don't leave me,
come back, Lord Jesus, and forgive me." Turning to his
wife he also asked her to forgive him. His repentance was
very sincere and his after-life witnessed to the complete
change that was wrought in his heart.
In spite of many afflictions and bereavements, he would
rejoice and praise God in the class-meeting in his own
house, when often, if he sat up, he had to be propped or
held up while he told his experience.
The greatest trial of all came in the death of the good,
faithful wife of his youth, who strangely enough passed
away first. Mournful, indeed, was his experience. It was
pitiful to hear him moan, " Oh, what will I do now ? She
who has been hands and feet to me so long and who cared
for me so well, she who would go to God's house and bring
back the texts of God's Word when I could not go, has
gone, has gone from me."
Doctor Bolton, who had now come to our help and the
help of these poor people with his medicine, had been a
great comfort to Enoch for some time. Christian natives,
as well as the Mission people, now visited him regularly
and on the Sabbath would carry him the text as of old,
and sing with him such pieces as he delighted in. The day
came when Enoch passed sweetly away from his sufferings
on earth to the land of light. His last words to his friends
were, " Meet me there! Meet me there!"
Within a few years from its commencement, our work
had extended to a large number of tribes on the northern
part of the Canadian Coast, and it was thought best in
1881 to organize these Missions' into a separate district,
under the Chairmanship of the Missionary at Port Simpson. The Port Simpson District reported at the following Conference, 1882, a work consisting of ten missions, UP AND DOWN THE NORTH PACIFIC COAST
namely: Port Simpson, Port Essington, Kitamaat, Naas,
Kit-wan-silk, Kit-la-tamux, Bella Bella, Hyhise, Wee-ke-no
and Bella Coola, in charge of three Missionaries and six
native assistants.
There were regularly established Churches at Port
Simpson, Naas and Bella Bella, having a total membership of six hundred and seventy-five—of whom three
hundred and seventy-four were full members and the rest
on trial—seven local preachers and fourteen class leaders.
There were in all sixteen preaching places with a total
attendance of about thirty-four hundred; three parsonages; and seven schools, having an enrolment of seventeen
officers and teachers and one thousand and twenty scholars.
The effects of the first revivals at Simpson passed over
somewhat as years went on, and, although many continued
very earnest and happy, there was a falling off, which
was very painful to us. We made this a matter of prayer
and asked also for the prayers of the Church as a whole.
In answer to our petitions, the Spirit of God came upon
us again in the year 1890, and the people were roused
once more to a renewal of consecration and desire to carry
the message to others.
For some time it had been perplexing to some of the
Missionaries to know how to get a large number of the
young people to do Christian work, which is of such great
importance to young converts themselves. Having heard
from Ontario some years previously of the Rev. David
Savage, and the great work he and his Christian Band
Workers were doing through that country, it occurred to
some of us that this was just the plan we needed to get
our young people to work. Hence in 1888 one or two such
bands were organized.
In the Missionary Report for 1888, Rev. W. H. Pierce,
the Missionary at Kitzegucla says, " Our Christian Band AN INDIAN  WEDDING PARTY  SIMPSON DISTRICT
is increasing, and God is raising up some young men to
carry the good tidings to those who sit in darkness." In
the next Report he says, " We organized a band of workers
who were anxious for the conversion of their benighted
countrymen." About the same time the Missionary on
the Naas says, " Our Christian Band has carried the Gospel hundreds of miles into the far interior." In the Missionary Report of 1889, the General Secretary says of Kit-
wan-cool, "A most hopeful feature on this, as well as on
other Missions on the Simpson district, is the organizing
of the Bands of Workers, who have visited outlying heathen
villages and preached Christ to their heathen countrymen."
In the Report of 1890' the Missionary at Essington says,
I The Band work which was begun last year is still carried
on. Most of the young people, several children, and some
of the older people are connected with it. They hold open-
air services."
The first of these Bands was composed of the most
earnest Christian workers at Simpson. Others were formed
at Kitamaat, Bella Bella and on the Skeena. They generally carried on street preaching or open-air services in
their own villages, and also took trips with their Missionary, or sometimes alone, to distant heathen villages. They
were organized with a President and a Secretary. They
also carried a banner or flag with the name of their organization, or Scripture texts, on it, such as "God is Love"
or " Seek ye the Lord while He may be found."
On nearly all of our Missions, the Bands were then
entirely under the control of their Missionaries. It was a
great pleasure to witness the earnest, self-denying zeal of~
many of them. In all kinds of weather they would cross the
mountains from one river to another or travel by canoe,
toiling hard for days at the paddle, the pole or the tow
line, to reach the heathen villages that they might tell
their dying countrymen of Jesus and His love. Some of
them travelled hundreds of miles down the Coast to visit
the heathen villages of the Kwa-kualth nation. One could
not doubt that such work was a great blessing to themselves, as well as to those to whom they went, and had
these yourig people kept faithfully attached to the Church
and under the direction of their Missionaries, they might
have proved to be a still greater power for good.
Rev. Dr. Carman, on his visit to our Missions, thus
describes these Bands of Christian Workers among the
"Anyone visiting our Port Simpson District, with an
eye open to spiritual, intellectual, moral or social movements, must see that the bands of Indians within the
spheres of our influence are aroused and stirred by some
great energy that for weal or woe must powerfully affect
their character and destiny. When assemblies of scores
and of one, two, three or four hundred come frequently
together, say six or seven times a week, and sing and pray
earnestly, and rise into ecstatic fellowship, and talk and
sing of nothing but Jesus and His love, it must mean
something; and it must produce some results; and results
it does produce; for savage natures are subdued, heathen
customs are abandoned, and heathen gods, forsaken, fall.
3 takes the place of pride, and love of hate. The
change of spirit and life is quickly noticeable. No man,
till he has seen it, can form any idea of the moral, spiritual
and intellectual death of the pagan Indians. Oh, what
darkness! Oh, what blindness! Oh, what ignorance!
What utter torpor and vacuity of mind! One would say
it must take generations of time and toil to lift them anywhere near the level of Christian civilization. And so it -
must—by mere human devices and agencies. But who
dare limit or restrain the power of God? And yet do we
not restrain the power of God when we fail in any way
to meet the claims of Missions upon us? And who dare
falter in his faith and trust before such a problem? And
yet do we not falter in our faith and fail in our obedience
when we are slow to commit ourselves in our several callings with all our powers to this Missionary work, and the
salvation of our race? It would not take generations to
effect this great work if the Church were in earnest. What
mine eyes have seen, what mine ears have heard, yea, what
I. hear at this very moment of writing—for it is eight
o'clock in the evening, and the Essington band of workers
is making this end of the village lively with their songs
and prayers and shouts—is to me a matter of amazement.
Scores of young men and young women in these meetings
witness for Christ. I do not understand their language,
but when I listen to their testimony I hear the oft-r
name of Jesus, and many of their songs are in ]
and the theme is that blessed Name. Never to me was
the divine wisdom clearer and brighter in giving us a
Person, the God-man, to whom to look for salvation, and
not a system or an abstraction.
" These bands of workers were organized by the Chairman of the District, I am told, with the approval of the
District Meeting, eight years ago, four or five years before
the Salvation Army or any of its members looked this way
at all. The Bands have their flags, drums, tambourines,
etc., and certainly are showy enough in their parades, and
demonstrative enough in their worship. They have not
used these instruments in the churches. Of course, doubt,
apprehension and controversy have arisen as to the propriety of such means at all; but when it is remembered what
these people were, and witness what they are, much criti- UP AND DOWN THE NORTH PACIFIC COAST
cism and severe judgment may well be deferred. There
will, of course, in the worship be demonstrative and vociferous jubilations, but there are also solemn and impressive lulls. And the reading of the Word, and the instruction of the minister or teacher, are received with the
closest attention and deepest respect. Many have their
Bibles and pencils in hand, and do their utmost to catch
and retain the ideas given. I never elsewhere witnessed
such hunger for the truth of God. And to such a people
no one of a right mind could think of giving anything
else but the sincere milk of the Word; and as they are
strengthened in grace and knowledge the stronger meat of
holy doctrine. Speculate and theorize, decorate and criticize, invent and tincture elsewhere, but not here. And possibly the kind of Gospel that carries converting power
with it here would do the same thing in other places.
" The readiness with which these people speak in their
meetings is an inspiration and a charm. They are very
democratic and great talkers in stories. In this they
differ from the habit of their native councils. One rises
while another is speaking, and that often seems a signal
for a speaker to stop and give another a chance. Often
' the experience' is begun with a lively verse in singing, in
which all join, and sometimes it is closed in the same way.
They are sincere and simple-minded in their fellowship,
and have not yet learned the fear of man, that bringeth
a snare. If there be oddity, strange singing, or a mistake,
there is no staring, snickering or giggling all over the
house. But we are civilized, and these are just, out of
savagery—and oh, how much remains to be done for them
and for us!
"A. Carman.
" May 14th, 1896." SIMPSON DISTRICT
The intrusion of the Salvation Army into our Christian
villages, which superseded this work, entailed a great
expense and loss of energy.
We had at Simpson, about this time, nine classes organized. It was a blessed sight to see fifty or sixty adults
coming forward to be baptized, after weeks and, in some
cases, months of preparation in special classes. A further
interesting experience was the presentation of infants for
baptism, the young parents decently dressed and the
children beautifully arrayed, in imitation of white babies
whom they had seen.
The sacredness with which they regarded the obligation
to attend the various services was very interesting. We
held an early morning prayer meeting on Sunday at six
o'clock in summer and at half past six in winter. We
often had sixty present, and everybody took part during
the hour. There was no time for long speeches. At ten
o'clock there was a teachers' class. At half past ten there
was a short ringing of the bell, and then at fifteen minutes
to eleven it would begin to ring again, and continue until
the minister had taken his seat. When the bell stopped,
the doors were closed and service opened. It was very
seldom that anybody was late and everything took place
promptly on time.
We had Sabbath half past two, and at four
o'clock went out into the street for an open-air service,
while some went from house to house, to visit the sick,
singing and praying with them.
There was an evening preaching service at half past six,
with a testimony meeting at its close.  MUNICIPAL AND INDUSTRIAL ORGANIZATION.
The Organization of a Governing Council—The Composition—
Meetings Opened with Prayer—The Laws Enacted, and
Their   Enforcement—The   Indian   Sabbath,   and   Its
Strict Observance—Heathen and Christian Marriage—Industrial   Work   and   Exhibitions-
Sawmills—Newspapers—Christmas Carol
Singing — " Ashegemk " — Teaching
the People Self-reliance. " Where no counsel is the people fall, but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety." CHAPTER VI.
With a village of about a thousand people, where a
thousand little difficulties were constantly arising, it was
at once felt that we must have some kind of law or rule;
and as we had no Justice of the Peace in the place, we
suggested to the people the organizing of a Municipal
Council, remarking that it is the way the white people do
in small communities. They seemed pleased with the
idea. Some time after the Mission was opened, we met
for the election of a Council, and I suggested to the Chiefs
and the young men that we ought to have some of the
strongest characters in the Council. This might mean
some of the worst conjurers, the worst gamblers, the professed " man-eaters " and " dog-eaters," indeed, the most
knowing men of the place. We soon found that we had
many such characters in the Council of twenty that
was elected. All our Council meetings were opened with
Later on we met to make laws with the understanding
that we should have an entirely Christian village. On
motion of a former conjurer, we enacted first a law against
gambling. Then one against conjuring was proposed by
a leading gambler, which meant no more rattling or demon
work of the medicine man. The Indians said, " The Missionary must bring us good medicine now, as the old medicine-man must stop." We also decided to allow no Sabbath-breaking,   no   dog-eating,   no   whisky-drinking,   no UP AND DOWN THE NORTH PACIFIC COAST
quarreling, no fighting and no heathen marriages. These
laws were all put down in a big book, and fines or forfeits
placed at the foot of each of them.
The people had been used to Councils of War and many
of the old people had great respect for their Chiefs rulings. Thus, the Council had control of the situation from
the beginning. This body was judge as well as law maker.
It appointed watchmen to keep it fully posted about everything that was going on, and lest the conjurers or gamblers
might be tempted to break the law, a Committee was
appointed, with a Chief at its head, to go to the houses,
take away the gambling pins and destroy or take away the
medicine-man's rattles or charms. By this means much
of the temptation to break the rules was in-a measure taken
away. Of course this made some of the old conjurers and
gamblers very angry; but, when they were told that they
or their friends had helped to make the laws, they quietly
For many years before any Justice of the Peace, Indian
Agent, or other Officer of the law was sent to that part of
the country, these people were governing themselves under
the direction of their Missionary; and no more peaceful or
quiet community could be found. ' The Sabbath was kept
most sacred, marriage and the Christian home were established, drunkenness was kept out of the place, of fighting
we seldom had any. We have passed through the village
at night, on numerous occasions, and observed that almost
every family was engaged in family worship.
As one would naturally suppose, in such a community
some violated the law; and were punished. The fines or
forfeits, as they accumulated, were spent in making roads
and bridges through the village.
A flag was hoisted every Lord's Day so that strangers
as well as villagers, when they saw the flag, were reminded
to keep sacred the day of rest. Canoes would not arrive
in the village or be allowed to go away, unless in case of
sickness or death or to relieve any who might be in distress. This Sabbath law was most strictly observed for
years by our people, whether at home or abroad. In travelling to the mines, working for miners, they would persistently keep the Sabbath, although often tempted by a
promise of more pay if they would work on the Lord's
A party of white men, returning from Cassiar mines,
said, " A number of your Indian boys last spring showed
us that men can do more work in six days than they can
in seven. When we were leaving Fort Wrangel, we
engaged a party of your Christian Indians to take us to
the mines; another crowd of miners who were going
engaged a crew of heathen Indians. They started out
before we did. We soon passed them; and, when it came
to Saturday afternoon our crew looked out, about four
o'clock, for a good camping place. Some of our white
men urged them to go on. They said ' No, we are going
to camp here for the Sabbath.' When they saw good
camping ground, they got ashore, chopped wood and prepared for the Sabbath morning. Early they had a prayer
meeting; at eleven o'clock they had preaching; each man
had his Bible with him, and they had a Bible class afterward. They had service in the evening. During the day,
about noon, the other party came along, tugging and working all day, and they hissed and cursed at us as they
passed, calling us Sabbatarians. Our boys retired early
for rest and were up bright and early next morning. The
fire was soon going, we had breakfast and off we started;
and how all those boys did work! It was not long before
we passed the fellows who had worked all day on Sunday,
and we were in the mines a day ahead of them, clearly
67 I
proving to us that men who regard the Sabbath can do
more work in six days than others can in seven."
This condition of affairs continued, as we have said, in
perfect peace and quietness for some years, until a white
man came to the village and on Sunday morning was taking his gun and a little canoe off to hunt, when the Church
bell was ringing. Some Christian men warned him not to
go, as it was the Sabbath Day, and it was against the law
of the village to go hunting on the Sabbath. He swore
and said that he was not going to be governed by a lot of
Indians; he would do as he liked; it was a free country.
About four o'clock in the afternoon, a message came to the
Mission House to say that there was someone in distress,
as a little boat could be seen going round and round and
making no progress. A couple of men in a canoe went
out and found that this white man had had an accident.
His gun had burst, and torn one of his hands rather
badly. Of course, he was reminded about the rude way
he had acted in the morning; and, when we dressed his
wound, he promised to be a better man. It was too bad
to think that our civilized white brothers were the first
to come and disturb the peace of the village, as some of
them did, regardless of the sacredness of the Sabbath.
As the salmon canneries began to be established on the
Skeena, the Dominion Fishery Law was arranged to have •
the fishermen go out at six o'clock on Sabbath evenings
instead of at twelve. Our Christian Indians unitedly pro-.
tested against this arrangement and refused to go until
twelve o'clock. This aroused the anger of some of the
cannery managers, and they swore that, if the Indians
would not go, they would get someone else. The Indians,
quietly left and went away up the river to fish and dry
salmon for themselves, as they had done for generations
before.   Next season the cannery men asked that a Parlia- MUNICIPAL AND INDUSTRIAL ORGANIZATION
mentary Order-in-Council be granted especially for the
Skeena, as their best fishermen would not fish on Sunday.
This arrangement stood for years in the north, and they
were not allowed to go out till twelve o'clock on Sunday
night. In this way the Christian Indians really held the
key of the situation, and enforced the sanctity of the
Lord's Day.
At one of our Missions a sloop had been anchored for
several days, trading with the people. When Sunday
morning came, the Captain was shaking out his sails, getting ready to start, when the people were going to Church.
They begged of him not to go, but to come to Church, and
wait until the Sabbath was over, but he declared he was
going. With a fair breeze down the inlet, he started off.
All seemed to go well till he got about ten miles down the
inlet, when a squall came up. It was so furious that he
had to put back. His sails were torn to shreds before he
got back to anchor. In the same village, an old, heathen
man refused to obey the law, took out his canoe, and, with
his little boy, went a few miles down the inlet to gather
herring spawn. When they got their canoe loaded, a wind
came on, they were upset, lost all their load and their
canoe, and barely got ashore safely on the rocks.
At Rivers Inlet, where canneries and a sawmill had been
established, a Christian Indian from Queen Charlotte
Islands refused, to go out and fish early on "Sabbath even-
■ ing. The boss swore at him and was very angry. However, he rested, went to Church, and, early next morning,
had his large canoe out and was packing down his things,
preparing to leave with his wife and babies. The boss
came down in a hurry, and said, " Dick, where are you
going ? Why don't you get your boat out and go to work ?"
" Oh," said Dick, " I am not going to fish for you any UP AND DOWN THE NORTH PACIFIC COAST
more. You swore at me yesterday, and said if I would
not go to fish I might leave."
"Oh," said the boss, "there's money for you in the
office and you had better go and get it."
Dick put up his sail and left without getting his money.
About nine miles down the inlet, he came to a place where
they were putting up a new cannery. A white man had
just fallen from the roof, broken some ribs and was badly
bruised generally. They wanted to send him to the doctor,
and, as there was no doctor within three hundred miles,
they engaged Dick with his large canoe. He took with
him another man, started with a fair wind, and, he said,
the Lord gave him a fair wind nearly all the way. He
was back in a few days, when he was paid a hundred dollars.   He smiled and said it paid to keep the Sabbath Day.
At another place, an agent of the Government was surveying land some distance away from the village. He sent
a canoe for his mail on Sunday. It arrived at the village
when the people were in Church; but the watchman
arrested the men, took possession of their canoe and said
that they must wait for the Council wanted to see them on
Monday morning. Monday morning they were brought
before the Council, fined ten dollars and then sent on with
their mail. The Government Agent sent a letter back to
the Council and to the Missionary, wishing to know by
what authority his men with his mail had been interfered
with. The Council met and wrote a letter in reply, saying
that it was against their village law for anybody to work
on Sunday and that they had fined the nien. If the agents
would come on Sunday, they would be fined also, as the
Council believed that our good Mother the Queen would
not want her servants to. break God's law. They heard no
This so-called Mosaic law was carried out in all our
Missions, under the authority of Councils similar to that
established at Port Simpson. These Council laws were at
times broken by some of the villagers, when the guilty
parties were fined.
It was very painful in after years, when the salmon
business increased along the Coast from the Fraser River
to Alaska, to see the Indians driven to the extremity of
working on the Sabbath Day, or losing their job, which
meant their bread and butter. This was all brought about
by white men, who did not care if they took every salmon
out of the water, and thus "kill the goose that laid the
golden egg." A few more hours of closed time each week
would have prevented thousands of people from working on
the Lord's Day, and also have helped saving the salmon
industry for years to come.
Heathen marriages were also done away with. Heathen
courtship and marriage were very Hu*«h different from
ours. When a young man was going to be married, his
friends would give presents to the young lady's friends,
although the couple might not yet have seen each other,
or have known anything about it until the whole arrangement was made. This sometimes brought a difficulty to
us that had to be guarded against, as they now wished to
be married according to the rites of the Church. I suggested to them, as we had no license, that banns should
be published three Sundays in the Church, according to
the old English law.
Next Saturday night a couple came in and wanted the
banns published on the morrow. We took their names,
warned them against misconduct of any kind for the next
three weeks, and promised that, if no one objected, they
could then be married. The time came for the marriage,
no objections having been offered; the church bell was UP AND DOWN THE NORTH PACIFIC COAST
rung; and the people gathered to see the new performance
in the Church.
After the ceremony was over and the people had gone, a
party ran into the Mission House very much excited and
said that I had done an awful thing to marry that couple;
that another young man had expected to marry the girl,
as his friends had given large presents to her friends. Now
there would be great trouble if that property was not
I Oh," I said, " you are a silly people. Do you think
if in my country a young fellow had given presents to a
girl, expecting to marry her, that he would kick up a row
because of a few paltry presents? No, he would go off
and try to get another girl, and be ashamed to say anything about it."
They said, " Oh, sir, you needn't talk about your people.
We must have these presents back or there will be trouble."
I said, I You have only yourselves to blame, as I gave
notice three successive Sabbaths, and no one objected in
any way; and now, you come to bother me with this."
" Oh," they said, " we must have a Council Meeting
and have this settled up or it will cause great trouble."
Accordingly, that evening a Council was called and we
sat until nearly two o'clock in the morning to get the matter properly settled.
The next Saturday night two couples came who wanted
their names published the next day. Speaking to the first,
I said, "James, you wish to be married to this young
woman (who had just come in accompanied by another
woman) ; you wish to be married in the Christian way ?"
I said, " Now, James, I want you to answer me truthfully this question, ' Did you think of marrying any other
girl or have you given any property to any other party
than this young woman's friends?'   If so, tell me."
He sighed and looked very serious and said, "Yes, I
believe I have."
"Well, then," I said, "leave the room, go away and
don't come near me with any property unsettled, as I don't
want to be councilling all night over you and your presents."
They went away and came back about eleven o'clock
when they said all was straight and that they were ready
to be married. They were married two weeks from that
time and gave a great wedding feast, attended by the
whole village and accompanied with speeches and rejoicing.
I have married scores since then, but I was always careful to find out if more than one party had presents. After
a great revival, I married forty couples in one week. Many
of the poor, old people who had married according to
heathen customs and some who had lived together for
years wished to be married according to Christian form.
We kept a man and a woman in the Mission House for
days to act as witnesses. Christian marriages became, a
settled thing, and the barter marriage, or the sale of girls,
was entirely done away with in that village and also in
other Mission villages.
In these days the question is often asked, ' What would
Jesus do ?" The question should not so much be " What
would Jesus do?" as "What would He have me do?"
A Missionary, following the command of our dear Master,
would not first tell the people that their god is a bad one,
and his God is much better, but would first tell the heathen
people of their sin and loss by the fall and of the peace
and salvation brought within their reach by the atonement
of Jesus—of " the disease and the cure." Then, while constantly keeping before them the sweet story of love, he UP AND DOWN THE NORTH PACIFIC COAST
would naturally show them how to work for a living; how
to take care of their food at the proper time; and the
necessity of cleanliness in their habits and homes. There
is no better teaching than the object lesson of a good and
well-ordered Christian home. If he is walking "in His
steps," the teacher will naturally illustrate by the fields,
the sower, the harvest, the birds, the fish and by everything around us, and should be able and willing to show
how to build a nice little home, from the foundation to
the last shingle on the roof. Indeed, this is the only way
to win the savage from his lazy habits, sin and misery.
So soon as the Missionary gets the language of the people
—and every Missionary should do so—he should make an
effort to get them out of the wretched squalor and dirt
of their old lodges and sweat houses into better homes.
As soon as we were in our northern field, we had to
build our Mission House, and here we showed the men how
to take the block of cedar and make it into shingles. A
number of them also helped to build the house and Church,
which became a means of real education to them.
As we found the people were naturally of a mechanical
turn, we instituted, almost at the beginning of our work at
Simpson, an Industrial Show or Fair. The first Industrial Show was held December 7th, 1875, and, although
they had only about a month to get ready, it was a very
interesting affair. There were nearly one hundred articles
exhibited, and sixty prizes were given. The exhibition
showed much taste in articles of needlework, knitting,
beadwork and patchwork. The carvings and woodwork
showed ingenuity. One man had made a very good model
of a river steamer, another a model of a European house,
another of an Indian house, and there were several pieces
of furniture including a xocking-chair and two very nice
cots for babies.   There was also a great variety of food- MUNICIPAL AND INDUSTRIAL ORGANIZATION
stuffs such as berries, bark, vegetables and fish. Among
the best exhibits were several drawings and paintings of
steamboats, and one of the Church, which was very well
done. Most interesting was an exhibit, by a class of
children, of proficiency in spelling and in the multiplication table.
The show proved to be of great benefit and interest
to the people, and, when eventually given up, it was
only for want of funds.
We urged the Government Department to help us in
this work with prizes, but, though we continued the Industrial Fair year after year and the Indians themselves made
appeals, we could get no help. I gave, as prizes, all the
money, books and slates that I could get hold of. Here,
we claim, is where the Government could spend their
money in promoting industry, thrift and self-reliance, and
thus do a great deal of good. By giving a prize for the
best-built house, the best-kept house, the best garden
or farm (where ground can be had), the best blacksmith
work, the best tinsmith work, the best sash and door carpenter work, the best-built boat or canoe, the best-preserved
Indian fruit, and indeed for everything that would tend to
uplift or civilize, much could be done.
We went on with our industrial work, showing them
how to construct their own houses, roads, and bridges.
The sawmill that had been built started a new state of
things in that once heathen village. A great number
of families now began, out of their small savings, to put
up little " Christian " homes, of three to four rooms each,
and thus got out of the old heathen lodges or community
houses, where four or five families had often been herded
together. This entailed much work in measuring plots of
land, and in preparing plans for houses and streets. This
continued for some years until the village began to show a UP AND DOWN THE NORTH PACIFIC COAST
quietly civilized appearance. Finally every heathen house
was removed and nearly every family, by their own industry, had a nice, little, separate home. We had no strict
model, everyone building according to his own taste or
ability. In later years a much better class of house was
built, and we could say we had a Christian village.
At first there were only trails running among the large
heathen houses, and the beach formed a highway when
the tide was out. Streets were now laid out, and necessary bridges built. One bridge, connecting the island with
the main shore, was five hundred feet in length. Indian
stores also made their appearance.
It was also agreed that we must have a settled burial
ground, instead of burying the dead in every little knoll
or leaving them in boxes along the mountain sides. A piece
of ground was marked out for a general grave-yard on the
island, " Laeh-wal-lamish."
As other heathen villages became Christianized, they followed the example of Simpson in many of these matters.
Our people at Bella Bella built a wharf for their village,
and put down sidewalks. They had also two trading
stores. The village put a tax on dogs, as well as on the
people, to help to improve the village roads.
The people were also taught printing, and for years
printed the hymns for Christmas and New Year, translations of prayers and the Commandments. We also published a little paper, called the Simpson Herald. The
first copy of it, Port Simpson print, dated September 27th,
1882, says, "The weather has been very fine lately, the
people are coming in from their salmon fishing and other
work. The Brass Band practises every evening. Marbles
are also in season, and the boys are having a big time.
We hope the young men will not forget to attend School
regularly, and be wise. An Industrial Show is to be held
the latter part of October, when some valuable prizes will
be given. Intending exhibitors take notice. It is thought
that His Excellency, the Governor-General, may visit Fort
Simpson soon. Let everyone be ready/' This was the
first paper published on the Coast, and was followed by the
North Star of Sitka, founded by Dr. Sheldon Jackson; the
Northern Light, of Wrangel; the Aleah, at Naas River;
and the Na^na-kwa, published by Rev. G. H. Raley, at
We soon found that there were a large number of young
men who needed some amusement. Although they played
football often on the beach, this was not thought enough,
so we organized a Fire Company, and in their dress and
parades and false alarms of fire, they took great delight.
As they became well practised with their buckets and hook
and ladder apparatus, they were a great help in case of
fire. By subscriptions, a number of band instruments were
purchased, and a Brass Band organized, which, after a
time, gave splendid music. Later on, a Rifle Company was
organized; they also had a Band, and built a fine hall. In
the holiday season they all dressed in their best costumes
and marched to music; this helped much to improve their
Christmas was the gTand holiday of the year. For a
week or two before it, we had a great time settling old
feuds and misunderstandings. Nearly all of the Christians wished to be at peace with one another, as they were
told Jesus came to bring peace on earth. In the meantime, as a preparation for Christmas, from forty to sixty
people would gather at the Mission House for practice in
carol singing. They would meet in the Church in the
evening, about ten o'clock, and, after praying for God's
blessing and direction, they would start out through the
village, which was now all lighted up, the streets already UP AND DOWN THE NORTH PACIFIC COAST
festooned with evergreens and the paths covered with white
gravel. The singers would be accompanied by half a dozen
watchmen, who would clear the way, that everything might
be quiet and peaceful through the village. It was interesting to see many of the very old people sitting around a
big fire, with lights and candles in the room, waiting, as
they would say, to hear the angels sing. They would keep
up the singing through the village until about four o'clock
in the morning. They would then return to the Mission
House, where coffee and cakes were provided; these they
seemed heartily to enjoy. This good old English custom
of carol-singing in connection with Christmas festivals,
was marvellously enjoyed by the Tsimpsheans.
What could be more appropriate or beautiful than that
we should continue to imitate that first Christmas carol of
the angels at Bethlehem; and that, as the Christmas time
came round, we should go into the beauty and glory of
the night, over the snow-clad fields and along the frozen
streets, our mouths filled with songs of gladness and peace
and brotherhood, echoing the music of that Eastern night,
so long ago, which has, ever since, made men's hearts grow
Three days before our first Christmas at Port Simpson,
a dear, little, white girl came into our home; and on
Christmas day hundreds of people came to the house to
see the baby and to shake hands with the mother. A great
feast was prepared by the people. In one of the large
houses four or five hundred people gathered, and they had
a great ceremony in giving the baby a name. Amid clapping of hands and shouting, they said she was to have the
name of King Legaic's daughter, "Ashegemk,"—"The
Leg of the Sun or of the Moon," that is, " Sunbeam," or
"Moonbeam." This changed also the names of the Missionaries.     Ever   after  they  were   called   "father"   or MUNICIPAL AND INDUSTRIAL ORGANIZATION
"nfother" of "Ashegemk," as all people in high rank
were named after their first-born.
From the first, we tried to teach the people self-reliance,
or a practical gospel. They gave liberally, helped to build
their own Churches and Schools and made their own
houses, roads and bridges. They helped the Missionaries to
carry the Gospel thousands of miles, and by this means,
many of them became intensely interested in the conversion of the heathen tribes around them. Another principle of self-help was to teach the boys and girls, whenever
possible, to buy their own books, slates and other school
supplies. Some opposed this and said we should give these,
as they had no money to buy them, but we thought otherwise. To illustrate:—Johnny came to me for a book; I
said, "Johnny, go and get me some fresh fish for breakfast"; I got the fish and he got his book; thus Johnny
earned the book and would take better care of it; then
Johnny would run and tell other boys he had bought
his book. Others would bring us dried salmon or seaweed
in the winter time, and thus get books or slates. Of course
the very sick and poor had to be helped; but, as we believe
in making men and women self-reliant, we kept the principle of self-help always before them. Much of the organization into companies and many of the plans for work
were for enjoyment and amusement in order to have something to do during the winter season. These, with all the
Church services and School work of different kinds, were
to take the place of their old dancing, feasting and revelling, which in the days of heathenism lasted for months,
when dog-eating and gambling and all kinds of savage
customs were carried on. Religion, or the Gospel taught
in a practical way, can fill up nearly all the wants of such
a people. Of course, some did not like to enter into all
this new arrangement of things at once. UP AND DOWN THE NORTH PACIFIC COAST
After a time certain white men, and sometimes men in
authority, found great fault with these laws. They called
them Mosaic rule or Missionary rule, and tried to dissuade
the people from following them. Indeed, some had the
audacity to say that all the Missionaries had to do was to
teach religion. It is not out of place here to say that the
Missionary who cannot teach the Indian or heathen how to
build his home and cultivate his land, or is too lazy to do
it, is not a practical or successful Missionary. How can a
man teach religion and not teach industry, cleanliness and
thrift of all kinds, for the Bible is full of such lessons ? EDUCATIONAL AND SOCIAL WORK.
Development of School Work—Schools on the Skeena—Mission
Point—Trade in Girls by Vicious White Men—The Crosby
Girls' Home—The Woman's Missionary Society—Its
Origin—Mrs. Piatt's Account of Its Early Operations — Miss Hendry — Miss Knight — Boys'
Industrial School—Homes on Other Missions — Sindow — Betsy — Tilly —
A   Love   Letter—Influence   of
the Movement. "And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness
of the firmament." CHAPTER VII.
It has always been clear to Missionaries among the
Indians that the School work should be a very important
part of the Mission; indeed a Mission large or small cannot be successfully carried on without a School. Our first
School, as already described, was carried on in an old
heathen house with a mud floor. The roof was covered
with slabs and bark on which the grass grew a foot or
eighteen inches high; and often, as our work went on,
we found that the heathen people could be reached by a
School more quickly than any other way. In some cases
they would ask for a School, so that their children might
be taught to read and write, and they would call each
other | School people " in preference to " Mission people."
Our way to a heathen tribe was often through the School.
Growing out of our early operations in School work,
there is now a large Day School carried on at Simpson,
and others at Skidegate, Queen Charlo'tte Islands; Port
Essington; Kishpiax, above the forks of the Skeena;
Kitamaat; Bella Bella; Nanaimo; Cape Mudge; and Nita-
nat, at the south end of Vancouver Island. These are all
partly supported by the Government, or receive a grant
of $300 a year. It is over six hundred miles from the one
farthest south to the one on the Skeena, at the extreme
north. We have other Day Schools, such as Rivers Inlet,
Bella Coola, China Hat, Hartley Bay and Kitlope, which
do not receive Government aid. UP AND DOWN THE NORTH PACIFIC COAST
Mention should here be made of our system of Boarding
Schools, among which are Coqualeetza Institute at Chilliwack; the Girls' Home at Simpson; the Boys' Home at
Simpson; and the Kitamaat Home. We have been desirous for years to have one of these latter institutions, or
a Boarding School, built near Bella Bella, which is in the
centre of a large population without such School facilities;
and it is our opinion that the Government should help to
build and equip such an institution.
We had the first Day School up the Skeena at Hazelton,
and also for a time Brother Edgar and others taught a
School at Hag-wil-get. Edward Sexsmith also opened a
School at Kishpiax. Mr. Pierce and others at Kitzegucla
did the same. Indeed, in all our Missions it had proved to
be of the utmost importance that we should have Schools.
The Missionary, however, finds among a people that are
so constantly moving about that if he is to expect real,
good work it must be done by gathering a number of the
children together in a Home or Boarding School or Industrial Institution, where they can be kept constantly and
regularly at School and away from the evil influences of
the heathen life.
For these reasons, by the direction of the Missionary
Secretary and the late Hon. John Robson, then Premier
of the Province, I was advised in 1888 to take up a piece
of land for Industrial School purposes near the forks of
the Skeena. As the Government would not make grants '
of land for Church purposes, we took it up under the old
Pre-emption Act. We then had to stake out our land,
record it in the Government Office, get out papers to that
effect, and put on the statutory improvements. It took
some years to do this. Finally we got the land surveyed
and a Crown grant or title deed for it.
For years the British Columbia Conference urged the
General Missionary Society and the Woman's Missionary
Society to impress upon the Government the importance
of starting such a School. It was acknowledged that we
had a beautiful piece of land for the purpose and in a
central place for a large number of Indian tribes in that
part of the country. This land is about one hundred and
eighty miles from the coast, and there is yet no Industrial
School in all that region. As the Woman's Missionary
Society has been kind enough to make a small grant for
this purpose, and there are a great many children needing
such a School, it is to be hoped that this enterprise will
yet be pushed on to success.
The most trying part of our work was to see the people
sell their little daughters to wicked white men for the
basest of purposes. We went after them in the south to
the white man's house, and then to the magistrate to ask
him if it was allowable to have slaves bought and sold in
this country.. Twelve or fifteen of these poor girls were
thus sold in a short time from one of our Schools. One
man bought a child who soon died on his hands, after
which he bought another one.
We had not been long at Simpson when it was evident
to the Missionaries that something must be done to save
and protect the young girls of that coast from being sold
into the vilest of slavery. They would come, one after
another, and ask the Missionary's wife for her protection;
and thus one and another and another were taken into the
house until it was crowded and we had to enlarge it. A
good lady, giving us a twenty dollar gold piece, said, " This
is all that I have saved, but I will give it if you will build
an addition to the house." Lumber had become cheaper
than at first, and, by the help of a white man who came
to stay with us for a time, we put up in August, 1879, a
seven hundred dollar addition to the house on the twenty
dollar gold piece; and all the bills were paid without
asking anybody for money.
In the midst of all this, the Missionary's wife had been
writing to her friends, to her associates on the Staff and
to the student body of the old Wesleyan Female College,
Hamilton, with which she had been connected for six years.
She found a great many sympathizers, and indeed caused
quite a stir in the minds of the women in the East. It
was suggested that a new Mission House be built, and that
the Indian girls should take full possession of the old
house. This was decided upon, and a second Mission
House was built by the Missionary, the Indians helping
him, at a cost of about one thousand two hundred dollars.
This was all paid for by the donations from friends, without cost to the Missionary Society of a dollar. Thus was
established the first Crosby Girls' Home, which was succeeded by the present institution.
On our return to Ontario in the winter of 1881 and
1882, the Woman's Missionary Society was organized in
the city of Hamilton. Mrs. Piatt, in her Story of the
Tears, thus describes its inception: " Dr. Sutherland suggested to some of the ladies not to wait for someone else
to do something, ' but to go to work and do it. Consult
your pastor; ask him to bring it before the ladies of the
congregation; do not wait to do some great thing, but
organize three members if you can't get any more; arrange
for occasional meetings, especially meetings for prayer in
behalf of some existing interest, such as the Crosby Home
or the McDougall Orphanage.' ... At that memorable evening in the Centenary Church, when addresses
were given by the Rev. T. Crosby, Mr. John McDonald, of
Toronto, and Dr. Sutherland, and while the offering was
being received, Rev. Dr. A. Burns, who presided, suggested that life memberships be given, and at once sub- EDUCATIONAL AND SOCIAL WORK
scribed twenty-five dollars to place his wife's name first on
the list. Mr. McDonald increased his donation of one
hundred dollars to three hundred dollars, constituting his
wife and six daughters life members, desiring to have all
his family in this privileged class; he also made Mrs.
Crosby a life member; the Rev. John Douse immediately
added to Mrs. Crosby's name those of his other daughters,
Mrs. Geo. Brown, Mrs. H. Hough and Mrs. G. P. McKay.
Mr. Sanford, Mr. Dennis Moore and others followed until,
at the close of the meeting, it was found.that one thousand
dollars had been subscribed, besides forty-one dollars in
Under the heading, " Our First Field," Mrs. Piatt says:
" Charter members will remember the thrill with which
they listened to the story of Mrs. Crosby's Home for Indian
girls at Port Simpson. From the beginning of their work
among the Indians, the condition of the young girls, their
degradation and danger, had appealed strongly to Mrs.
Crosby; and when a little outcast came and announced
that she was going to come and live with her, she was not
turned away. Others came, until the house was full. For
several years these girls were clothed and fed at the Missionary's expense; and better still, Mrs. Crosby shared with
these defenceless ones the mother love of her heart, and
her own little children learned to talk Indian before they
could speak English. From one of Mrs. Crosby's letters
we quote the following: i The care of these girls has been
thrust upon us. There are Indian villages where scarcely
a young woman can be found, all having left their homes
for a life of dissipation and shame, only to come back in
nearly every case to die a wretched, untimely death among
their friends. These girls, who are bartered to cruel brutes
of men, both Whites and Indians, for a mere pittance,
afterwards appealed to the Missionary to save them.'
" The first two hundred dollars raised by the Hamilton
auxiliary was given to the Crosby Home. In 1882, while
on a visit to Ontario, Mrs. Crosby engaged our first Missionary, Miss Hendrie, of Brantford, as matron. That
year an appropriation of five hundred dollars was made by
the Woman's Board, Miss Hendrie being the first one
engaged by our Society in that good work. . . . Previous to the organization of our auxiliary we knew nothing
of the character of the work undertaken by Mrs. Crosby;
and it was indeed a revelation that such a state of things
could exist in our own Dominion and that one of our own
refined and cultured women had been called to spend her
life in such surroundings. From the atmosphere of a
minister's home, a graduate and teacher of Hamilton
Ladies' College, Mrs. Crosby had been transferred to a
heathen village, six hundred miles north of Victoria; and
for some years was the only white woman in the place.
What this life meant to Mrs. Crosby, and what her beautiful Spirit-filled life meant to these benighted people, only
the future will reveal."
Some years after, Miss Hendrie, our matron, having
been married, Miss Knight was sent out; and later Miss
Hart of Nova Scotia was assistant. The work went on until
finally the Woman's Missionary Society, under Miss Cart-
mell's direction, bought land and built a fine three-story
building. Here they have since housed and instructed
many an unfortunate girl. From time to time many
orphan children have also come to the Home.
It was during the early years of our Mission that work
opened up in Alaska, as recorded elsewhere, and Mrs.
McFarlane established her Home for girls at Fort Wrangel
on a similar plan.
It soon became evident that we must care also for the
boys, as we had several little orphan boys in the Girls' EDUCATIONAL AND SOCIAL WORK
Home. An appeal was made to the British Columbia Conference, held in New Westminster, which resulted in donations and subscriptions sufficient to enable us to build a
temporary home for boys at a cost of one thousand five
hundred dollars. We have now twenty or more boys in
the Port Simpson Boys' Home. We have been assisted by
benevolent people, by Sunday Schools, and by kind individuals, giving fifty dollars a year to support a boy. Our
Girls' Home also received a small grant from the Government.
The Rev. and Mrs. G. H. Raley in later years opened up
a Mission Boarding School and Home for children at
Kitamaat. They received help from the Woman's Missionary Society and from friends. Some years ago the Rev.
and Mrs. C. M. Tate started Industrial School and Home
work at Sardis in the Chilliwack Valley, at first in their
own home, the Mission House. They obtained help to
build a fine Home, which was afterwards burned down.
This was replaced by the present beautiful large brick
building at Coqualeetza—the finest Indian Institute in the
Province. The Coqualeetza Institute is a monument to
the plodding perseverance and noble self-denial of Mr. and
Mrs. Tate.
Our work in the Home or Boarding School was of a most
interesting and encouraging character. Some of the girls
who joined us at Simpson have done very well as teachers
and workers. Others have married Christian Indians, have
helped to build up Christian homes, to civilize the people
generally and to aid in developing their own neighborhood.
The first child that came to us at Simpson, " Sindow"
by name, was a bright but mischievous little girl. We had
to do a good deal of correcting and teaching to keep her
from taking things that were not her own; but she became
truly converted and was afterwards married to a young
local preacher and evangelist. Together for many years
they did faithful work at the opening up of new Missions
until, in the year 1898, the Lord took away from this earth
Josephine Russ (Sindow), who went triumphantly home.
Another case was that of a woman who had for some
years lived a sinful life in the gold mines of Cassiar. She
heard about our Home when she was staying at Fort
Wrangel, came the one hundred and sixty miles, and
begged for admittance. We took her in and she stayed for
several years with us. She was converted and became a
most earnest Christian. She married a local preacher, a
steward of the Mission church, and they lived very happily
together for some time. Poor Betsy for years had desired
to visit her old heathen mother and friends on the Prince
of Wales Island in Alaska, to tell them about Jesus; and
at last, late one summer, she got a chance to go to see
them. So, with the hearty consent of her husband, and
with the idea that she would return in a few weeks, she
went away in a canoe that was going to that country.
While there she contracted a cold and became exceedingly
ill with consumption. Her husband got a large canoe,
took a good crew of young men, and started off to look
after her. He found her rapidly sinking. Delighted to
meet her husband and the Christian men who had come
with him, with joy on her face, she said, " Oh, how much
I have longed to see you, and I have been praying that
God would send some of you, in some way, that I might
get back among the Christian people at Simpson before I
die. I have told my friends in much weakness about my
Saviour, and I do hope that some of them will 'come to
The husband and his friends left with Betsy in her
feeble condition to return to Simpson, some sixty or seventy miles away. They got along very well to Tongass,
where they encountered a terrible gale of wind blowing
down the Portland Canal, and they could not cross. Here,
during these anxious days of waiting, poor Betsy passed
away in the arms of her husband, saying to him, " I thank
you all for coming to see me; I send my love to all the
Christian people at Simpson, and give my warmest love
to Mr. and Mrs. Crosby, who so kindly took me into their
home years ago, when I had been so bad and had gone so
far in sin, and told me of Jesus, the great Saviour, and
how He loved me. I have found Him to be my loving
Saviour all this time, since I gave my heart to Him. Tell
them I shall meet them in Heaven." Surely Quankwe, or
Betsy, was "a brand plucked from the burning."
Another girl, who came from the mouth of the Stikine,
had been sold to a man old enough to be her grandfather.
We had to take her to. the Home and protect her, as she
said she would never live with him. She was a modest
child, about fourteen years of age. We kept her for a
time in the Home, against much opposition from the head
tribe of the village. Finally, at the organization of the
Home by Mrs. McFarlane at Fort Wrangel, we transferred
| Tilly " to that institution in her own country. She was
educated, then married to an evangelist named Louis Paul,
a native converted under the Presbyterian Board. He was
drowned on a long canoe trip, and Tilly was left with two
children. She was taken from that Mission to the Home
work at Sitka, where she has for many years been one of
the most devoted helpers in that institution.
Another of our " Home family" was a young woman
who came from the streets of Victoria. She was converted
and became a very happy Christian. She was a good
singer, and quite a help to us when we opened up the
Mission at Queen Charlotte Islands, as she was a Hyda
by birth. She would often go on evangelistic trips with
the Missionary and his party. She married a young chief
of the Tsimpshean nation; they had quite a little family,
some of whom have gone home to heaven. Lucy often
spoke in the fellowship meetings with reference to the
happy meeting she expected to have in the home above
with her dear little ones who had gone before. She loved
to sing:
" Now I can read my title clear to mansions in the skies,
I'll bid farewell to every fear and wipe my weeping eyes."
In the spring of 1897, in the absence of her husband on a
trip on the Mission ship Glad Tidings, Lucy was called
away. The doctor and those who attended her in her
illness say that she bore to the last most glowing testimony
to the triumphs of grace.
There are many others of whom we might write who
married into Indian homes in the different villages and,
by their industry and cleanly habits in "caring for their
homes and children, showed the marvellous civilizing influence such work as ours may exert on whole communities.
Let this be its justification.
It was not difficult, in visiting around among the villages, to pick out those Christian mothers who had the
privilege of the " Home " life and training. To us, who
watched them through the years, their influence was a
source of great encouragement and indeed an inspiration.
We may have had to mourn over one here and there who
did not do so well; but, on the whole, the life of the people
was marvellously changed by this home-educating work.
Instead of a young man with nis friends going with property and buying a wife, as was done formerly, many of
our brightest young men tried to make the acquaintance
of the girls in the Home. There was no doubt in our
minds that real, true love again and again developed
between the young people who thus became acquainted.
This acquaintance finally resulted in their marriage and
the happy life that followed. We taught them to consult
their parents, as well as the Missionary, at this time, and
also to pray much to the Lord for help.
Here and there some amusing little letters came to light.
This was a condition of affairs very different from that
which existed when the young people had nothing to do
with arranging their own marriages and in many cases
never spoke to each other before the ceremony.   Here is
one of the letters: "Port Simpson, Miss S  of the
Crosby Home, Jan. 6th, 1897, I have to take to write you
this opportunity to you to tell you about my heart to you
this time, because I want you very much with my heart.
Please if you finish read this letter, and you tell your
mother about this words, which I send to you, please if
your mother say words to you, and I hope you write to me
and explain to me about it.   Well Miss S , if God help
me next year, and I write to you about my heart to you
again, I wish your mother kindness to me. Please if they
want what I spoke to you to get married to you, just the
reason I write to you this winter. That is all I wish to
say to you dear loving yours truly affectionate yours from
Joseph M -.   Good morning young lady."
From the foregoing facts it will be seen that the crowding of the Missionaries' home with these poor and destitute children was the means, through our Woman's Missionary Society, of starting a work in the Methodist
Church of the Dominion, of which eternity alone will
reveal the importance. The influence upon the women of
our Church, the reflex influence upon their own homes,
the interest awakened among the young people, the workers
sent out by the Society to Japan and China, as well as
the many workers in our Homes, Schools and Hospitals in
our own Dominion, have been a great blessing to the whole
Church, and doubtless will be an increasing blessing to the
end of time.
In connection with this subject, as bearing upon our
Educational work and interest, we close this chapter with
the following letter from Mrs. Crosby, taken from The
Missionary Outlook of December, 1890. It gives some
interesting facts regarding the School work and the Home.
"By the kindness of a devoted friend of the Crosby
Home, Mrs. Harrison, of Barrie, we are permitted to give
our readers the following letter. It came in acknowledgment of a parcel sent by our Mission Band. The many
friends of the Rev. T. and Mrs. Crosby will enjoy this
bright glimpse of the Mission life into which these earnest
laborers weave so much love and enthusiasm.
"A. P.
"( Port Simpson, November 26, 1890.
11 Dear : Your letter and parcel make me hasten,
for they must be acknowledged at once. The things will
come in very useful—the aprons and neckties and handkerchiefs—and please give our best thanks to all who
helped to make and send them. There are so many of
them, and some of our little girls are quite too small for
the aprons, so I feel almost like taking some of them to
give to the village children, which I suppose would not
be against the wishes of the ladies, if they knew just all
the circumstances. There are so many children in the
village, and we have very little for them. We have to prepare for nearly two hundred. However, I am not sure
that we shall have a tree for them this year, and we will
consult together and try to make the very best use possible of the Barrie gifts. I will ask Miss Hart to mention
this in her quarterly letter, which should reach every
Auxiliary, and the Outlook may possibly hear from Port
Simpson soon also, as we have just formed an Auxiliary
among ourselves, with Miss Hart as Secretary, and Mrs.
Bolton and Miss Ross and me each with an office. As yet
we have only three other names, but we intend to ask the
ladies at the Fort (three of them) to join us, and a few
of the Indian women will probably do so also.
"' The Home children are all well. The boys have been
placed in the new building, under the care of Dr. and Mrs.
Bolton, which leaves Miss Harf s family somewhat reduced.
She has, I think, fifteen girls, and there are six little boys
in the other house. One of the girls, who was a long time
in the Home and afterwards lived with us about a year, is
helping Mrs. Bolton, who has a babe a few weeks old. This
girl is very useful. Miss Ross, who came out last summer
as teacher, has taken hold of the work vigorously. We are
all kept pretty busy. The Doctor finds a great deal of work
in professional duties, besides the charge of the Home.
Then we have been without a Day School teacher since
last summer, and with so many children the School cannot
be given up, so we have had to manage as best we could
between us. Miss Hart taught for a time; at present I
take the morning session and the Doctor the afternoon.
"'We had quite a lively time one evening last week.
The whole Mission community, numbering thirty-one,
including Baby Bolton and our own family, took tea with
us in the Mission House. We had three tables for tea;
but it was not much trouble, and the children were
delighted and had a very good time, playing games, looking at pictures, etc.; and certainly everyone looked as well
and neat as could be, and behaved very nicely. I was very
glad you saw Jessie and Grace last summer; they told me
about it. Gertie and Harold are growing so fast. I am so
thankful that they have all good health.
" * Mr. Crosby reached home two weeks ago, after a trip
to Victoria, taking in the Missions by the way. He finds
plenty to do at home. There is a large number of people
here, and he will not likely be away much during the winter. The want of a teacher makes it more difficult for
him to get away. The services lately have been full of
interest, and many of the people seem much in earnest.
They are improving very much in their homes and living.
In sight of our windows is a very pretty two-story house
a young Indian has built lately and into which he has
removed his family. It would be a nice little house in the
street of any town of white people. You pray for us, I
know; do not cease to do so. I find a book, also, from
someone in Barrie; thanks to the giver. Mr. Crosby joins
me in kindest love and prayer that you may be comforted
and borne up day by day.
Beliefs—Sacrifices—Ancestor Worship—Transmigration of the
Soul—Naas Legends—Weeget, the Origin of Light, Origin
of Man, Philosophy of Death—Bella Bella Legends—
Death, Origin of the World, the Deluge, Thunder
and Lightning, Luganu and the Fish Hook,
First Possession of Fire—Bad Children
Punished, Origin of the Sun, Another
Version,   Origin   of   the   Moon,
Whispering Bay—Legends of
the Upper Skeena. "Knowing God, they glorified Him not as God." CHAPTER VIII.
The general religious attitude of the Indians in the
heathen state has been described by one of our Missionaries, as quoted in another chapter of this book, as "a
feeble and quite indefinite polytheism." It was not, apparently, a coherent system, nor otherwise of a high order,
either intellectually or morally. They had a vague conception of a supreme deity, known to them as "The Great
Chief Above," but their worship was directed in most cases
rather to natural objects. The tree, stone, mountain, bluff
or rapid was worshipped as the stopping-place of God, or
as the abode of spirits.
The Tsimpsheans and Tlinkets also painted figures on
mountain sides or on formidable headlands. These might
last for an indefinite time and they often visited them, for
periods varying from four to seven days, to offer prayer
when they desired to obtain some special object. They
prayed also to the sun, the mountains, the thunder, or
other mighty or awe-inspiring objects. They believed that
fasting was well pleasing to the spirits, and that they
would have success in hunting, fighting, gambling, etc.,
while they fasted and bathed themselves. The Tsimpsheans, like many others of the Coast tribes, offered by
the graves of their friends sacrifices and burnt offerings to
the spirits. In a storm, they prayed and east offerings of
food to the waves, if they were out at sea; or, if ashore,
they bathed and sometimes took an emetic in order to
purify themselves completely and thus please the deity
and calm the storm. They also whistled, prayed and waved
their hands in order to " raise the wind " in a calm.
Hunters prayed and fasted for days in the mountains,
bathing themselves and going through certain exercises in
order to ensure success. Men sometimes went through
days of fasting and absence from their families, praying,
bathing, rubbing and painting themselves, even for weeks
together, before going out to a hunt or on a war expedition. They believed that the Great Being gave them all
the fish and food. They were often found in the woods
praying. It is likely that the great occasions of dancing
and feasting in the early days were part of their religious
The Tsimpsheans also believed in the transmigration of
souls and held that a child may have the spirit of any
ancestor, descent being reckoned on the mother's side.
One may often hear them say, "That boy or that girl
3 the spirit of so and so," who has long been dead, and
sometimes a child receives the name of a dead ancestor,
who is then supposed to be reincarnated in the child.
Frequently, too, we have seen them go and weep by the
graves of their dead, telling all their wonderful and clever
characteristics, wailing and repeating the story over and
over again. In all this a strong tendency to ancestor
worship is apparent.
The Coast Indians were very fond of legendary stories, j
some of which seem to be quite recent and fairly correct,
while others have lost nearly all semblance of a natural
occurrence. Some of these, collected by Miss Jessie Crosby
—"Ashegemk"—when a teacher among the Indians,.are
here presented.
The Origin of Light.
Weeget made his way to the Naas, where the people were
waiting for the oolachan. He changed himself into a
small leaf, which floated on the river. The servants of
the daughter of "The Great Chief Above"—Semoyget
Kilahagah—came down with a woven basket of curious
workmanship (baskets that would hold water were common), to get water from the river. The water in these
sacred baskets was never exhausted. With the water they
dipped up the little leaf and carried it away home to the
"Great Chief Above." The Chiefs daughter, in taking
a drink saw the leaf and tried to blow it away, but failed
and swallowed it. She became the mother of a child—
Weeget and Lok-a-bola, or the Nfsga Version of the
Origin of Light.
Weeget (Wigiat) or T-k-ames and Shimgeget (Shimgi-
giat) or Lok-a-bola were brothers, sons of a great Chief.
From infancy Weeget. showed showed signs of a peculiar
temperament, remarkable characteristics and marked
ability beyond that possessed by the ordinary child. In
spite of his unusual intelligence, however, he was very
backward in learning to talk. His brother Lok-a-bola was
younger than he and apparently less precocious. While
still young, Weeget was seized with a great desire to gain
possession of the ball of light, said to be in the possession
of the Great Chief of Heaven. One day he and his brother
Shimgeget went off to the woods, and in their wanderings
shot a hawk and a woodpecker with their bows and arrows.
They then took these birds and, having removed their
entrails, placed themselves inside of them. Weeget, in
some mysterious way reducing his size, entered the hawk,
while Shimgeget placed himself in the woodpecker. The
region which was inhabited by the Great Spirit was then
unknown. The entrance to this region was through an
aperture in the clouds, which was guarded by fire and
which opened only at certain intervals. Weeget and Shimgeget determined to fly up to the opening and, watching
their chance, slip through. This they did, the hawk
going first, the woodpecker following close after. It is
said that the tail of the woodpecker was singed in passing
through, and that this accounts for the yellow spot on the
tail of that bird.
Having entered this higher region, Weeget extricated
himself from the hawk and transformed himself by some
miraculous power into a child. He then found his way
to the house of the Great Chief. After having played
around in the house for a while he began to cry and to
beg for the ball of light to play with. As he could be
appeased in no other way it was finally given to him. He
amused himself for a considerable time, making his way
slowly and unobserved towards the main entrance of the
house. At last he watched his chance and ran out of
the house, making his escape with his brother, as he had
come, through the clouds. Carefully carrying the ball of
light the two descended through space and alighted on
the river opposite Fishery Bay, a fishing camp fifteen
miles from the mouth of the Naas River. All was darkness, but across on the ice were some Lulak (spirits)
boiling oolachan on camp fires. Weeget called over to
them, asking if they wished light. They, however, paid
no attention to what they considered his jesting. Weeget
then burst the ball and forthwith the universe was flooded
Nltsga Version of the Origin of Man.
The Nasgas believed that man was originally the production of the mountain fish. The rocks were agitating
the question of giving origin to man but in the meantime
he was produced by the mountain fish. This, they say,
accounts for his being mortal; had he been the production
of the rocks he would have been immortal.
The Ntsga Philosophy of Death.
The ancient tradition was that after death there were two
roads open to the departed, one to the right and the other
to the left. The road to the right was red, smooth and
ever growing more beautiful all along; while that to the
left was dark, rough and ever growing worse the farther
one travelled along it. Those travelling the red road had
abundance of fish to eat and water to drink, while those
on the dark road had neither. The red road led to the
habitation of robins. Robins were, therefore, supposed to
be enchanted and possessed of supernatural power. The
dark road led to a bridge, beyond which was the rendezvous
of the poor unfortunates, who" were continually calling
across for food and water to appease their hunger and
thirst. The ancients believed when the wood on their fires
steamed and cracked it was a sign that the departed spirits
on the dark road were calling for food. They would then
throw salmon or grease on the fire to pacify them.
Bella Bella or Hail-tst/ok Traditions.
Philosophy of Death.
The Hail-tsucks believed that the destination of the
spirits of the departed after death was a village below the
surface of the earth.   There were four villages at different
depths. Mourners wailed and cried to the spirits or deities
that the departed might be well treated. They also burned
food over their graves that they might have sufficient in
their subterranean abode. Dancers and medicine men
were supposed to have visited these lower regions. Corpses
were cremated or put in cases or in boxes which were
hung in the branches of tall trees.
Thunder and Lightning.
Thunder was thought to be caused from the flapping of
the wings of an immense bird with gorgeous plumage. It
had a large glassy beak like an eagle's, and from this and
its eyes flashed fire, which was represented by lightning.
The Nanaimos said that a small lake on Mt. Benson was
the home of the Thunder bird.
Other Eail-tsuck Myths or Traditions.
The ancient traditions said that when the world first
came into existence the sky was very low and gradually
rose higher, and that islands at first consisted only of
floating kelp. Then rocks gradually formed, which at
first were not stationary; these eventually became fixed
and grew large. In their prehistoric days there was very
little soil on these islands and scarcely any trees. The
climate is said to have been intensely cold and much snow
and ice abounded. The tides were said to rise and recede
very slightly in this prehistoric period (an intimation of
the glacial period or great ice age). Seals and sea-otters
were trapped before the aborigines learned the art of fishing. Their skins were used as clothing and for tents and
their bones and oil as fuel. (This would make it appear
as if they had at first Eskimo habits, which agrees with
their tradition that they came from the north or northwest.)
The Hail-tsuck Theory of the Deluge.
We have found among all the tribes of this Coast some
tradition of a flood. The tradition tells of the time when
the whole earth was submerged in water and only a few
natives escaped by moving their canoes to a high rock on
the top of the highest mountain at the head of Rivers
Inlet. It is said that around this rock was a fossilized
rope and this mountain was the only one not entirely
covered by water. Each of the other tribes relates a similar
story of some mountain in their own country, such as
Mt. Benson near Nanaimo, Mt. Cheam near Chilliwack,
and Mt. McNeil near Port Simpson.
Luganu and the Fish Hook.
In ancient times the raven was supposed to be enchanted
and possessed of supernatural powers, and, like other birds
and animals, had the power of speech by which it could
converse with men. A raven which was of a very enquiring mind determined to get possession of some useful
implements which at that time were the property of the
gods of the Sea and of the Four Winds only. During his
wanderings in search of these he came upon a house floating out at sea. In this house lived a man named Luganu,
who had invented the only .fish hook in existence. Upon
entering the house the raven commenced conversation
with Luganu. He said, "I am delighted to have found
you at last, Luganu; I have searched for you a long time.
You know you are my brother; we are of the same parentage and I have come to take you to my home."
Whereupon Luganu replied, "Do not jest in that way;
we are not related.    Just compose yourself and I will
prepare you something good to eat."   He then took down
his hook from where it hung and, opening a trap-door in
the floor, lowered the hook and line and presently drew
up a large halibut, which he threw down on the floor with
a flourish. In the meantime he had heated some stones
on which to cook the fish, and this he now proceeded to
do. Meanwhile, the raven schemed as to how he might
further prevail upon Luganu to go with him, that he might
eventually get possession of the coveted fish hook and line.
At last the repast was ready, and, having partaken of it,
the raven again broached the subject of Luganu accompanying him to his home.
"But," said Luganu, "you have no canoe and we are
far from land.   How do you suppose I can go?"
" Oh," said the raven, " that difficulty is easily overcome.   I will carry you away on my back."
" But," said Luganu, " you will let me fall."
"Oh, no," said the raven. "Just let me fly around
the house here with you and I will show you how well
I can manage it" So Luganu mounted the raven's back,
and he flew around with him, sometimes tipping him from
one side to the other as if to show him how impossible it
would be to let him drop. They started off, but the raven
had not gone far when he dropped his burden into the sea.
Thinking Luganu was well disposed of, the raven flew
back to the house to get the long-desired hook and line.
Before leaving the house, however, he thought he would
experiment a little and see if he could manipulate it as
Luganu had done. He accordingly opened the trap-door
and lowered the hook and line as he had seen Luganu do.
Presently he felt a weight—a fish, he supposed—and he
commenced to pull in his line; but to his dismay he could
pull it in but a short distance; and then, cautiously looking down, he felt himself being slowly drawn into the
depths of the sea, not by a fish, but by Luganu, who had
found his way back by a submarine route to his house. He
had suspected the raven and, upon seeing the hook and
line lowered, immediately seized upon it. Having dragged
his enemy down, he beat him severely, then drew him up
through the trap-door and threw him on the floor, as he
supposed, lifeless.
The raven soon revived and, though defeated, was not
disheartened. With continued scheming and planning,
however, all he was able to do was to scrutinize the hook
and line closely; and, having satisfied himself as to how
they were made, he departed. The hook was made of wood
and the line of dried kelp twisted together; these the raven
proceeded to make, taking another animal into his confidence. The two started out to fish halibut together. The
raven, however, had poor luck and could not catch any,
while his companion caught a large number. The raven
became jealous and determined he would get even. His
companion at last ran short of bait, and in revenge the
raven suggested that he should cut out his tongue and use
it, claiming it would make excellent bait. This he did;
and upon their return to camp the raven claimed all the
halibut. His companion, for want of a tongue, could not
defend himself, and so lost his fish into the bargain.
The First Possession of Fire.
According to the Hail-tsuck traditions, fire was first
found in possession of Kumuqu, the Monarch of the Deep,
who lived in a house half a mile long and partly submerged in water, and who always rode on the back of a
great halibut. Various birds and animals had tried to
get possession of fire without success, owing to the fact
that the route leading to his place of abode was very difficult to follow. The bear, the wolf and the humming-bird
had all tried this feat but had failed, and the deer finally
determined to make an attempt. Despite discouragement
and opposition from the other animals he felt confident
of success; He prepared himself first by tying stones to
the soles of his feet to prevent his falling on the slimy
backs and fins of myriads of fish, which formed the floor
of Kumuqu's house; and he also tied a piece of pine to
his tail. Having successfully reached the house, he entered
and, leaping to the fire, hastily kindled the piece of pine,
and then made his exit by the way he came. He was
ineffectually pursued by the servants of Kumuqu, the
Monarch of the Deep.   He thus gained possession of fire.
A Tsimpshean Story of " Whispering Bay."
The Tsimpsheans were catching halibut and heard some
strange, whispering noises. They concluded that their
enemies, the Hydas of Queen Charlotte Islands, were in
the vicinity. They quietly and quickly "pulled for the
shore," whispered silence to all in the houses, gathered up
their chief effects and took to the woods. The Hydas
rushed in, smashed everything they found, and finally left
in their canoes. A poor old blind Tsimpshean was left,
hidden in a grease box, when the halibut fishers took to
the woods. After the Hydas left the others returned, and
the old blind man drew their attention to a sad, wailing
noise out in the bay. They went out and found a drown-,
ing Hyda, whom they rescued. Through the Tongass
Indians, as go-betweens, they sent word to the Hydas that
one of their people had been saved from drowning and
was cared for by the Tsimpsheans. The Hydas
offered to redeem their countryman by handing over a
number of slaves; but the magnanimous Tsimpsheans gave
him up freely, with the result that a peace treaty was concluded which lasted many years. INDIAN BELIEFS, TRADITIONS, LEGENDS
Bad Children Punished.
About forty miles from the mouth of the Naas River,
long, long ago, the Indian children were very cruel. They
used to catch fish, stick sharp-pointed pieces of wood into
their backs and throw them into the river again. They
enjoyed seeing the helpless creatures trying to get away.
The Spirit of the Mountain was very angry with the cruel
children, and to punish them shook the mountain so as
to cause an eruption. The lava flowed down the slopes
and destroyed the wicked little red-skins. It did not stop
here, but flowed on until it reached the Naas River, and
for half a mile of its course filled up the channel. To-day
the lava wall may be seen on the south side and the ordinary rock wall on the north bank of the Naas, at the
Canyon.* That the eruption took place is a fact. The
lava is there to prove it. The assigned cause is quite
another matter. There can be little doubt that the lava
is of recent occurrence. The forest growth on the slope
of the mountain is all young and sparse, with the lava
showing in many places. Old Indians say that when they
were young people and travelling over the base of the
mountain, any object could be seen at a long distance, as
there were very few trees or other vegetable growth. The
coasts of British Columbia and Alaska furnish splendid
opportunities for the study of volcanic, glacial and water
action. The wonderful history of a mighty past is written
by the forces of nature over a stretch of more than a
thousand miles.
Origin of the Moon.
The Tlinkets of Alaska say that a long time ago it was
very dark when the sun went down into the big water.   An
* The only recent lava now known in British Columbia, according to the Geological Survey.—Ed. UP AND DOWN THE NORTH PACIFIC COAST
old woman who had a large family found it difficult to
get along with them, as they usually all wanted the same
thing at the same time. On one occasion she had a bright
large ball of transparent ice. Because of its shape and
clearness all cried for the pretty toy. She could not give
it to all nor divide it among them without destroying it,
so she hit upon a happy expedient. She went out into
the darkness and threw it up into the sky, where it has
been shining ever since.
Legend of the Upper Skeena.
The Upper Skeena people speak of a time when the
Hydas, the Tsimpsheans and some of the Tlinkets all
lived a few miles below the Forks (Hazelton). They
point out a very nice locality as the place where they
resided. They state that there were thousands of people
and that they had great traps placed across the Skeena,
where they got all the fish they needed. The people
became so proud and wicked that the great wood sprite
scattered them; there came a great flood and took them
down the river. The Hydas were drifted on to the Queen
Charlotte Islands. The Kit-khatlas and the Tsimpsheans
remained near the mouth of the river. It is known that
the home of the Tsimpsheans was formerly on the Lower
Skeena during the summer, while Old Metlakatlah and
Naas were their winter residences.
There is also a legend about another great flood, so
great that it covered all the mountains. The Indians
point out the mountains where their canoes rested when
the waters subsided. This deluge tradition is found in
localized form among all the tribes of the Coast.
A conjurer on the Lower Skeena near to the homes of
the Gin-a-cun-geak tribe professed to have supernatural
power and made his way up the north side of a mountain
back from the river where he was fasting to get his power.
The south-west side of the mountain was so smooth and
bald that no mortal could stand on it. The old conjurer
is said to have made a large rope of cedar bark and let
himself down the south side of the mountain to the river.
Here the people saw him and wondered how he got there.
All at once he seized the rope and pulled himself back
to the top of the mountain, which is about two thousand
feet high.  A COUNCIL OF PEACE.
Tribal Wars—Their Destructiveness—Liquor and Firearms—
The Hydas—A Battle at Port Simpson—A Treaty of Peace. "He maketh wars to cease." CHAPTER IX.
Wars among the Coast races were of constant occurrence from time immemorial, but became more frequent
and deadly after the introduction of liquor and firearms
by the Whites. They were undertaken chiefly for the
purpose of procuring slaves. In these dark deeds the
Hydas were the principal offenders and were always a
warlike race, boasting of valor and indifference to pain.
From the earlier bone or shell-tipped arrows or spears,
they protected themselves by complete suits of armor
made from the dry pelts of the thick-skinned sea-lion,
but from the later musket bullet they could get no such
" After the introduction of firearms among them," says
the Rev. B. C. Freeman, "the Hydas became the terror
of the nations, far and near. The wide seas were their
highway. Steel-edged tools, at first in the forms procured
from civilization and later remodelled to shapes adapted
to their own peculiar uses, gave these clever people facility
in the manufacture of immense cedar canoes, forty, fifty
and even sixty feet long. With a fleet of these remarkably seaworthy craft, they sped over the stormy waters to
the mainland on marauding expeditions, swooping unexpectedly on some village, murdering or carrying into
slavery as many as possible, then fleeing again in their
canoes over the wide waters where few dared follow. With
their pre-eminence in seaeraft and daring, they became
veritable Vikings of the Coast, and ranged for hundreds
of miles up the coast of Alaska, down the ^
of Vancouver Island, and as far as Puget Sound.
"In later years the bloodthirsty nature thus cultivated
brought about its own retribution in fierce inter-tribal
wars, which almost decimated the race. In feuds originated at their heathen orgies, whole families and sometimes whole villages were wiped out. The same conditions as to feuds and inter-tribal wars existed also among
the other races of the Coast. When such a feud once
commenced, it might go on almost indefinitely, as after
the first mortal wound had been inflicted the killing must
be kept up till the loss of the opposing tribes should be
equal. A man of high class was held to be worth two men
of lower class, or four slaves. Any man was worth two
women of the same class, and so on, even to the mutilation
of an ear or a wound of any nature whatsoever. It was
not only 'an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,' but a
tooth of the same size and an eye of the same color. Insult
followed by the suicide of the insulted party still further
complicated affairs by requiring a life of equal value from
the tribe of him Who gave the ' shame.'"
Such wars were among the most potent causes which
had reduced the Alaskan tribes to about one-tenth of their
original number since the time of the first Russian occupation of the Coast. These wars were aggravated by the
first New York and Boston traders, who supplied the
natives with rum and firearms. The Hudson's Bay Company, who came afterwards, denied the Indians liquor
and did what they could to stop the wars for a time; but
were themselves obliged to strongly fortify all their trading posts in order to maintain a foothold on the Coast.
Among the Indians there were to be heard awful stories of
massacre, of the scalping of men and the enslaving of
women and children.
Among those whose reminiscences included accounts of
those tribal wars was Henry Pool, or " Stand-up-on-High,"
one of the Port Simpson men. He related many stories of
the times long ago when the Hydas would come in great
crowds and fight with the Tsimpsheans, killing men and
also taking men and women and children slaves. Again,
the Tsimpsheans would go to the Hyda country, have
another big fight, bring back scalps by the score and hang
them by the camp fire.
He tells of a hard struggle they had some time before
the Missionary came. The people had been called together
to a great whisky or firewater feast. One of the Chiefs
had brought a canoe load of the vile stuff all the way from
Victoria. This feast was hardly over when a man of the
Kit-seese tribe shot a man of the Gin-a-han-gake tribe.
At this time there was a large crowd of Hydas in the place.
These people were at Fort Simpson trading, as they were
wont, their great canoes for grease and other kinds of
food, as well as blankets and other property. When this
shooting commenced, the Hydas were on the west side of
the Fort Simpson Island, or in front of the Gin-a-han-
gake tribe. A man of the last-named tribe shot a Kit-
seese man, intending it as retaliation for the Gin-a-han-
gake man who was shot earlier in the day. In so doing,
the ball went right through the Kit-seese man, and struck
and killed a Hyda man near by. The Hydas were now
insulted and enraged and ready for a fight. These were
said to be the proudest people on that great north coast.
At first they fired a volley of muskets at random. This
brought together a great crowd, representing nearly all
the ten tribes that then resided at Simpson. They commenced firing in dead earnest on both sides and men were
shot down all along the beach. Some of the Hydas, who
had remained in their canoes, got away round the west end . UP AND DOWN THE NORTH PACIFIC COAST
of Finlayson Island, and some got away over the land;
but large numbers were 'killed. The struggle lasted about
four days. Some time after this the Hydas, to retaliate,
waylaid the Tsimpsheans some distance south of Simpson
and killed a large number.
Old Kah-shakes was a Tlinket Chief of the Cape Fox
tribe in Alaska, and was a strong character. A man past
middle age when we first met him, he had seen the old
heathen life from his childhood and had been in many a
bloody conflict in their early wars, both among the Tlinkets
themselves and between the Tlinkets and other tribes
along the Coast. He had doubtless taken many a scalp in
his younger days, and left the impression on one's mind
of a man who was a strong warrior and a great hunter.
He and his boys, or slaves as they were in the olden times,
brought many bear and other pelts to the Hudson's Bay
Company's stores at Simpson for trade. He was a decent,
old man to trade with; and, when we first came among the
Tsimpsheans, his people were inclined, when they crossed
the line to Simpson, to attend Church. He always spoke
in favor of it, but only once in a while did he appear in
the Church himself. He was, however, always friendly
and would come and wait in the Mission House to get
medicine. Some of his children were in our Girls' Home
for a while before the Home in Alaska was established.
He was well-known along the southern coast of Alaska,
had attended many a big feast and potlatch and was evidently a man of high caste. We often met him in those
early days.
He came to the Mission House one spring morning when
a party of the Hydas from Queen Charlotte Islands had
been in the place for a few days, as they came every summer to sell their new canoes to the Tsimpsheans. The
old Chief of the Cape Fox tribe, looking dejected and dis-
turbed, walked into the waiting-room and sat down. I
shook hands with him pleasantly and asked him how he
was. He commenced to talk, through a young man whom
he had brought as interpreter, saying, "Han-kow, Hankow (meaning Chief, Chief), I should like to speak to
you, sir. You are the great Chief who has brought peace
all along this coast; and I wish you, the great peace Chief,
would help me. You, sir, have seen these Hydas come
here. There are some in town now and there is a great
Han-kow in this village from Queen Charlotte Islands.
Nin-jing-wash is his name. I always feel when I see him
that I should like to kill him. I feel angry at him; and
so I came to tell you, sir, that I hope you will make peace
between us. It has been a long trouble. If you will call
him up to your house, I will speak to him and tell him
my heart; I can't speak to him on the street. I want to
speak to him in your presence, sir. Call him quickly,
We sent for Nin-jing-wash, a proud, ambitious Chief
from Skidegate, Queen Charlotte Islands. He was not the
first in the ancestral line—Skidegate was the Head Chief
—but he was perhaps second in order and was desirous of
being first. He must have been in his younger days a
large, fine-looking man; and we are told that in those early
years he had "rushed things," got rich and given many
potlatches. He had amassed great wealth by the large
number of slaves taken and sold; and, following that most
debased way of making money that some of his nation
carried on, he sold his own " naturally pretty and attractive wife" and also his slave women to a degrading life
on the Puget Sound and other places in the south. All
this he did to get property that he might spread it before
the people at these great feasts, to show how rich he was.
He came to the house at my call and we invited him to
a seat. I said, " Chief Nin-jing-wash, the reason I called
you is that your brother Chief from Alaska, Kah-shakes,
has something to say."
Kah-shakes began by saying that he did not want to be
angry, for since the light had come so near to us we ought
to be good. He said that there had been great trouble
between the Hydas and his people for a long time. In
those great battles of former years, when so many people
were taken slaves and so many were slain, the Hydas had
taken at least one who had never been atoned for, and he
a great Chief of the Tlinket nation.
Chief Nin-jing-wash said, " I am alone here now; there
is no Chief with me. Let this man go away and tell his
people and bring his Chiefs. I will go back to my country.
I think I return in one moon and a half, or less, if it
is good weather." It was a journey of seventy-five miles
over a treacherous sea.
We had them both sign a paper, or "make their cross,"
that the decision of the Missionary or his Christian Council should be final; and off they went. The time came for
their return and next day we met in Council. Nine Hyda
Chiefs were present, one from Masset, the rest from the
south, including Nin-jing-wash, Skidegate and others of
their leading men. Kah-shakes and several of his people
were there; and six of our Christian men sat with us in
We opened that never-to-be-forgotten Council with
prayer. Then I rose to explain why we had met. I said
that the two leading Chiefs had promised on a former
occasion that, whatever our decision was, they would abide
by it; and I hoped that all the Chiefs and men present
would try to keep down any angry or bad feeling that
might arise in their hearts.
Nin-jing-wash, the Hyda Chief, made the first speech.
He said, "Long ago we were not the first to fight; we had
come from our country to visit the Tsimpsheans and that
kind Chief, Sick-sake, had entertained us in his house;
the Cape Fox people came to fight in the night and killed
several of our people. Then we went to have redress in
their country, killed some and brought back some slaves.
Then they came to our country again, showing that Kah-
shakes and the Tongass people had fight in their hearts.
The Foxes are bad."
Kah-shakes then arose. " I have not a bad heart or 1
should not have come to this God's servant to make peace.
If I had not a good heart, I should have thought over the
bad and have gone away and done something bad another
time. In our great war, which Chief Nin-jing-wash has
spoken about, there were many killed and many taken
slaves. It is the way with our law, as the Chief knows,
that, if the same number is killed, scalped or taken on
both sides, peace is proclaimed by a good Chief putting
white eagle down on the heads of the contending Chiefs."
The Council, which proved to be of two days' duration,
was now fairly opened. One after another told of dark,
bloody conflicts in which many were butchered and women
and children taken and slain—in some cases where the
condition of the women was such that they should have
had the tenderest care. Often the feeling rose to such a
pitch that it seemed we should have a fight right there.
Then some one or other of our Christian men would rise in
a very dignified, quiet way and, by some kind words, pour
oil on the troubled waters. He would say, " Now, friends,
don't get angry; you know this is a time of peace and you
have come to a great peacemaker." We closed each session
of our meetings with song or prayer.
I did not rest much those two nights; and sometimes
when the Chiefs told their heartrending stories of the, tei-
121 r
rible conflicts and how their people were savagely slain,
I would rise to say a word to quell their rage or sit and
lift my heart to God for help. Much prayer was made
among our fellow-Christians of the village during those
days and it was a real comfort to see how much they were
interested in making peace between these once great
nations of proud people. Some of the Chiefs talked quite
calmly, others told most exciting and awful stories of
savage butchery. It seemed to us that the Foxes had been
the aggressors and had evinced a most daring, bloodthirsty,
warlike spirit in going all the way to the Hyda country to
fight with such a formidable people; yet the Hydas were
not behind a whit in their cruelty and violence. They took
all the slaves they could get and were noted slave traders.
It was clear that they had the best of the fray more than
After hearing every one speak—and some spoke a good
many times—we proposed that they should settle the difficulty by appeal to the two laws. They must use the
Christian law of forgiveness, as we thought that no
blankets could settle this affair; and, according to the
Indian custom, they might pay to the Foxes fifty blankets.
Thus we hoped that they would be at peace.
Old Nin-jing-wash, on behalf of the Hydas, rose and
said, " My Chiefs and I are willing to do what the good
Missionary Chief says."
Old Kah-shakes rose and said, " Do you think my heart
can be bought with a few blankets?" and as he rose he
took off a fine, new overcoat, walked across the floor and
handed it to the Hyda Chief. Then he stepped back into
the middle of the room and beckoned to the Chief to come
to him. He took him by the hand, as if he were going to
shake hands with him, embraced him with the other arm
and turned round three times to the place where he started; A COUNCIL OF PEACE
then the two great Chiefs kissed each other. He went
through the same ceremony with the eight remaining Hyda
Chiefs and kissed them all with the exception of one. He
shook hands with this man and embraced him, but did not
kiss him. We asked him, after it was all over, why he did
not kiss the last one. He said there was just a little in his
heart that he could not forgive, as that was one of the men
who had so savagely and brutally destroyed one of the
women of his tribe.
Every one then rose and shook hands with the others.
We had a short prayer meeting to thank our Heavenly
Father for bringing peace to so many hearts. All the
Chiefs concerned put their signatures to the following
I Fort Simpson, June 16th, 1878: It is hereby certified
by terms agreed upon this day between the Hyda Chiefs
of Skidegate, Gold Harbor, Masset and Clue, and also the
Cape Fox and Tongass tribes, that all of the claims of the
Fox tribes against the aforesaid Hyda tribes are satisfied
in full; and.that there is now peace made in our presence
between the aforesaid peoples. Signed on behalf of the
Hydas, Chief Skidegate and Chief Nin-jing-wash; on
behalf of the Cape Fox tribes, Chief Kah-shakes and Chief
Kad-da-shan. Witnessed by T. Crosby, John Ryan, and
Chief Dudoward."
We trust that no trouble will ever rise between them
again, and that all concerned may have the blessing of the
Divine Master, who said, " Blessed are the peacemakers."  CANOES AND CANOE TRIPS.
" Dug-out"  Canoes—Their  Manufacture—A  Disastrous  Voyage—Chief Sick-sake, Hat-lead-ex. "Lord, if at Thy command,
The word of life we sow,
Watered by Thy almighty hand,
The seed shall surely grow." CHAPTER X.
The canoes on the North Pacific Coast were among the
finest of the native productions. They were what are called
" dug-outs," that is to say, they were mostly hewn out of
a single cedar log. In the south, the large ones were
usually called Chinook canoes. They had a "stub," or
a rather short stern, with a very high bow or neck. There
was a variety of smaller canoes used for hunting and fishing. There were also what they called spoon canoes. These
were used for travelling on very shallow rivers. They
were flat-bottomed and had hardly any rise at the bow or
stern. Sometimes these were dug out of cedar, but cotton-
wood was always preferred. The farther we went north,
the larger we found the canoes. The great war canoe
was fitted with a very heavy bow and a heavy stern, and
carried easily fifty or sixty people. It was so shaped that
it would sail over almost any sea when properly managed.
Then there was the very large Hyda canoe, which was a
beautiful model, with gracefully-shaped bow and stern,
and was what, in English phraseology, would be called a
"clipper." This was often from thirty to sixty feet long
and of five or six feet beam.
The Hyda people of Queen Charlotte Islands made the
largest and best canoes, as they had larger cedar trees on
the Islands than grew on the mainland on that part of the
Coast. They used to bring the canoes over in great numbers to Fort Simpson and other places to be sold or bartered for fish, grease and blankets. They were sold at
from $75 to $200 each. One of these large dug-outs,
seventy feet long by eight feet beam, was presented to
Lord Lome when he visited British Columbia during his
term of administration as Governor-General of Canada.
The medium-sized canoe was the best. It carried two
large sails. In early times the Hydas did not seem to have
the idea of ribbing the canoes, hence they would sometimes split with fatal results in a storm on the sea. Later,
we taught them to rib them with small cedar sticks or
branches flattened on each side. In after years we showed
them how to steam ribs about three-quarters of an inch
thick by two and one-half inches wide. These were screwed
down on the inside of the canoe eighteen inches or two
feet apart. The bow and stern were well fastened with
natural crooks.
While in the south, in the early days, we were compelled
to travel by canoe; and in the north we found the same
necessity where the heavier seas and longer distances from
shore made it necessary to have a larger canoe. The canoe
we travelled in for almost eight years was about thirty
feet long with five feet beam and ribbed in the way above
mentioned. The ribs were screwed down with copper
screws and butted up to a piece running fore and aft on
each side of the canoe from stem to stern, about eight or
nine inches below the gunwale. On this strip the thwarts
rested, where the men would sit to work while travelling.
I had a good seat at the stern and a small, shifting rudder.
I could sit with my feet fastened to the ropes which were
attached to the rudder, and thereby steer in ordinary
water while reading or otherwise occupied. Oars as well
as paddles were provided, so that we could use either, and
there were two large sails which we also used as flies or
tents to sleep under at night. When everything was kept
in good order, the ropes well cared for and a good coat of
paint applied to the canoe once or twice a year, we could
live up to Cromwell's command, " Trust in Providence and
keep your powder dry." We took good care of her, often
getting up at a midnight hour during stormy weather to
haul her up or see that she was all right. This canoe
lasted so many years that the Indians called her the " everlasting canoe," or "God's canoe to carry the Gospel of
light." The unribbed canoes were split by the sun and
rarely lasted more than a year or two.
Following a plan of itinerant evangelism, which soon
developed in answer to the calls which poured in from
outlying tribes, we made many trips to nearly all parts of
the Coast, obeying, as far as we could, the command to " go
into all the world." This also enabled us to make use of
native evangelists who were very zealous and eager to help
in this work.
For a number of years some of these canoes were used
by the Hudson's Bay Company to freight up the Skeena,
some two hundred miles. - They usually took two tons of
freight and five men each. These boats all had to be ribbed
for this purpose, yet some of them would come to grief,
notwithstanding all the care. " Pacific " though the Coast
may be, it often becomes boisterous enough, especially if
there is a tide running against the wind. It can easily
be seen that a very large canoe, say forty-five or fifty feet
long, without ribs would be in danger of being split in a
heavy sea, unless great care were taken. This is especially
the case when the craft is new, before she has been soaked
by the water.
One of the most painful accidents from this cause, and
one which brought bereavement and sorrow to several families, occurred on June 8th, 1877, when Inspector Williams,
of the Hudson's Bay Company, and a party of five Indian
men Were all lost but one on their way from Queen Char- UP AND DOWN THE NORTH PACIFIC COAST
lotte Islands. Mr. Williams had been over to Masset to
inspect the Company's post, books, etc. Before leaving
the Island, the Hyda people begged the party not to go, as
there was going to be bad weather, but our Simpson men,
expecting to meet the Indian Commissioner on his visit
to that place, pushed out. They were carried out for many
miles by a south-west wind somewhat under the shelter of
the Island. When they got out near to what is called
" Rose Spit," the wind veered around to south-east. They
then saw that the weather looked bad and thought they
had better pull back towards shore. They lowered sail and
rowed hard, but in vain, for they were drifting farther
and farther out. The wind was now a strong south-easter,
which always means bad weather on that coast. Mr.
Williams said they had better put up sail, run before the
wind and try to make the Alaskan shore. He gave them
the course with his compass, as they could not see the land.
They did as he said, got up two sails, and soon were running well up to windward. They had not run long before
a huge wave swept over them, and split one side of the
great canoe completely out; immediately another wave
struck the other side, taking it off also.
Matthew Hat-lead-ex, the only survivor, in describing
what followed, says, " We all got on the broken wreck, as
the thwarts and withes held the pieces together at the bow,
and the great bottom slab was still attached to the two
side slabs which looked like wings. Mr. Williams had
Gaught hold of one of the wings, and Chief Sick-sake was
clinging to the other. For some time Mr. Williams held
on with his head down on his arms. It was very cold; and
after a time Mr. Williams said, 'Boys, pray'; he bowed
his head and we all prayed. Mr. Williams then threw up
his arms and dropped off and we saw him no more. We
could not see any land at this time. After Mr. Williams
sank, we prayed again.    Soon our Chief and guide got
cold and weak, let go his hold, and disappeared.
"After this, we succeeded in cutting in two a pole or
mast that was still attached; and, with the ropes hanging
to it, we got the slabs of the canoe together. We lashed
one piece of the pole at each end and the planks were still
attached by the withes at the bow. Now we felt better, as
we had a raft; but one paddle and a broken oar were all
we had with which to pull.
"Darkness soon closed around us, and we prayed again
to God to take care of us for the night. Before daylight
Saturday morning, another of our number got weak and
fell off the raft. The wind was blowing hard at this time.
Towards sunrise the sea was calmer. The sun shone on
us and we felt warmer. With our paddle and our oar we
worked hard, but did not seem to make much headway, as
the tide was against us. The next night the wind blew
strong from the north-east, and seemingly drifted us farther
out to sea. We prayed that night for God to help us.
Another day came and we remembered it was Sunday. We
had services three times that day on our raft." (This
man, the local preacher, was the weakest in the company
physically, and I believe it was his faith in God which
kept him up and finally saved him.)
He said, " I spoke from the text, ' The eyes of the Lord
are in every place,' and urged my comrades to have strong
hearts, for God's eye was upon us for good. That night
it grew stormy and it seemed hard to keep our raft together.
I still told my friends to have strong hearts as I yet hoped
that God would bring us to land. Monday was a better
day. We had prayer and singing on the raft. Monday
night, far on in the night, one of our brothers got out of
his mind. He jumped up and shouted, ' I see a fire, let us
get ashore!' Either he cut the rope with a knife or the
ends of the raft parted, and there in the darkness I was
left alone on one slab of the broken canoe. I saw my
friends no more.
" The wind got round to the north-west. It was not very
strong, and helped me towards shore. Towards the morning I thought I saw a bright light come down from heaven.
I had been praying, when something seemed to say, 'You
will be saved over there towards where that light is.' On
Tuesday morning I was drifted ashore on an island near
the place to which the light in the night seemed to point.
I crawled up among the rocks for the tide was out. When
I got above tide mark, as if God had put it there, I found
the bones of a deer with part of the skin attached; and
there, on the rocks, I broke the bones and ate the marrow."
He continued, " Oh, I was so thirsty; and prayed to God
to give me water to drink. I crawled along a little further,
for I could not walk, and found a little water in the hollow
part of a rock. It had come there from the rain and the
sun had warmed it. I now prayed to my Heavenly Father,
thanking Him for saving me from the stormy waters, and
asking Him to please send me help to get home. I fell
asleep, and must have had a long sleep, for the tide had
come up and gone down again. After this, I crawled down
and found some shell fish which helped me much. I got a
little stronger and still moved along the side of the island.
That night I slept Next day, Saturday, I got more food
from the beach and crawled a long distance, until I found
a small canoe pulled well up on the land. I got a flat
piece of stick or board to serve as a paddle, launched the
canoe and paddled along till I came to Old Tongass village, where I broke into one or two houses in hope of finding food, but there was none there. I then started to
paddle across to Cape Fox. While crossing the channel, a
steamboat came from the north; and my heart jumped
for joy. I thought they would take me up. I lifted my
stick and waved; the captain or someone on the deck, took
off his hat and bowed, but the steamer went on, and my
spirits sank very low. By hard paddling, I reached the
village at Cape Fox." (That is in Alaska, about seventy-
five miles from Masset.)
"There the people came out to see me, and were very
much excited when I told them about our trouble. They
helped me into the house, and, as soon as I had got by the
fire, I fainted—and forgot everything. After a while I
revived, and found the old conjurers with their rattles
rattling over me, and a lot of the people singing to the
conjurers' song. They were shouting and saying, 'Don't
you die here; don't you die here!' I said, ' No, I think I
will not die; but if I do, you take my body to Fort Simpson, and do not be afraid. God will protect you.' Some of
the friends by this time had baked a cake in the ashes and
got some hot tea. I took it, and as soon as I had eaten a
little and drunk some of the hot tea, I fainted again. When
I revived after some time, they were rattling over me
again and shouting, 'Don't you die here; don't you die
here!' I think they were afraid that if I should die there
the Tsimpsheans would say that they had murdered our
party. However, thank God, I did not die. I rested that
night, and on Sunday I spoke to the people from God's
Word in Chinook. The next day they brought me over to
my home at Fort Simpson."
This awful accident cast a gloom over the whole village,
as the heads of three families, including our noble Chief
Sick-sake, were all taken away, and Inspector Williains'
family left fatherless in Victoria.
Before he went over to Masset, Mr. Williams had been
staying at the Fort.   He was a very nice, friendly man.
A day or two before he left we attended a funeral together,
and, while I read the service at the grave, he held an
umbrella over me, as it was pouring rain. Little did I
think that was the last time I should see Mr. Williams.
Hat-lead-ex, poor fellow, seemed for some days more dead
than alive. His hands and thighs were cut through to the
bone where he had sat holding on to the broken piece of
the canoe. He was one of our first converts. The Chief,
Sick-sake, was a very kind man and a Christian, beloved
by all his people. A little while before this, he, with
twenty young men, went through a great storm to look for
the Missionary, who, with a crew of ten, was without food,
wind bound on Portland Channel. We felt that in him
we had lost a warm friend and supporter of Mission work.
Other sad tales of wreck by canoe splitting might be added
Big Jim—A Trip to Bella Bella—Wockite—Ebstone Jack—
W. B. Cuyler—Various other Trips—Adventures
on the Skeena—A Man Lost. "Now the word doth swiftly run,
Now it wins its widening way." CHAPTER XI.
While we were yet working at our Church at Fort
Simpson, a tall, rough man came in, his wife and child
with him, very poorly dressed. They looked very tired and
I said, " Good day. How do you do ? Where are you
from ?   What is your name ?"
He said, "They call me Jim, sir; my Indian name is
Qua-lth-nat. I am from near Millbank Sound." (This
would be about two hundred miles distant.) "I wished
to see you, sir; I was working a long way from my home,
down at Burrard's Inlet and New Westminster (about
four hundred miles from his home). I was there working
at a sawmill. I was gambling and drinking, fighting and
stealing; and I was put in jail. A nice, little man (the
Rev. T. Derrick) came to see me. He said, ' Jim, you
must come to Church.' I said, ' No, I can't go to Church;
I am too bad. I get drunk, I gamble; no good for me to
go to Church.' But he came to me again and said, ' Jim,
you must come to Church.' I said, 'No, I can't go to
Church; I am too bad, I steal, and have been in jail.' He
came the third time and said, 'Jim, you must come to
Church.' I thought the man was so kind I would go and
hear what he had to say. When I got there, he told me
the wonderful story about the great God who made all
things, and about His only Son, who, he said, came down
to this world to save sinners just like me. I thought it
was a wonderful story. I stopped my drinking, left my
gambling, got into my canoe and started away to my
people to see them and tell them; I thought they would
like to hear the wonderful story that the good man told
me. When I got to my people, they were in the midst of
a heathen dance and wouldn't listen to me; so I have come
all the way to see you and hear more about this Jesus; and
I want to learn to sing." (This man had actually come
six hundred miles to hear about Jesus; do you think we
show the same eagerness?)
We opened the Blessed Book, and told Jim more of the
story; helped him to sing hymns, and, as day after day
passed, we instructed him. He got a number of hymns off
by heart, and constantly asked questions about the Gospel
One day he came to the Mission House and said, " Now,
sir, I am going."
I said, " Good-bye, Jim, God bless you!"
He said he would like some nails.
" What do you want with nails, Jim ?"
He said, " I am going to build a Church."
I went to the Hudson's Bay store and bought him some
nails. Away he went, urging me to come and visit his
people soon and tell them the good news.
Some months later I started off in my canoe with an
evangelistic party of our people to visit all the tribes
between Simpson and Bella Bella.
In preparation for a trip of this kind, we call together
a number of people and ask for volunteers. The canoe is
got ready and provisioned. We take along a box of pilot
bread, dried fish, sugar and tea, potatoes and salt salmon;
and our native friends take a good quantity of sea weed,
dried herring spawn, dried salmon and halibut, and a good
supply of oil. The time comes for starting, everything
is in readiness, the canoe is launched. We have said good-
bye to the folks in the Mission House, but a number of
Christian people are down at the beach to see us start. A
hymn is sung—it may be " God be with you till we meet
again"—a prayer offered for success on the trip and we
start southward. The first place we reach is Inverness, a
salmon cannery, where service is held. Then we put out to
Kit-kat-lap, where our first night is spent, and services
are held with the people, some of whom are delighted with
our coming, while others do not seem to care for it, as
they say they wish to keep their old way. Prayer meeting
and service are held next morning and we leave southward
bound amid rain and south-west wind. After a hard day's
pull, the next place is Kitthatta, Hartley Bay, having
visited two Indian fishing camps on the way. Service is
held here with very few people. Our next place is Kitamaat. We do not find very many people at home, but hold
services at a number of fishing and hunting camps. We
press on southward, every day with more or less rain. At
night camp is made, with a fire ten or twelve feet long,
built of driftwood, piled high in order, if possible, to get
some of our garments and blankets dry.
Poles are hung up all around this great fire, and blankets
are steaming for hours, while one of the large sails is put
up on each side of the fire as a fly under which we steep.
While supper is preparing, the Indians tell stories of wars
or great feasts or hunting expeditions. Then to service;
the Word is read and explained, hymns are sung and
prayers offered. Soon every one is rolling up in his steaming blankets and it is not long before all are asleep. Several
times during the night some lively fellow gets up, rakes
the embers together and throws on more wood. Early in
the morning there is a loud call for everybody to get up
and we emerge, steaming, from our wet blankets like men
coming out of a vapor bath. Still the weather iB wet.
Breakfast and prayers over, a start is made southward,
leaving behind Kitlope and many hunting and fishing
We reached Hyhise, the first village of the Bella Bellas,
some ten miles inland, opposite where the present China
Hat village lies, east of Millbank Sound. Here we found
that Big Jim had built a little Church. There was no
sawed lumber in that part of the country, so he had gone
to the woods and split out cedar slabs about nine feet long
to make his walls, and covered the roof with slabs and bark.
He was having service every Sabbath among his people,
doing what he could by telling the few that would come
the story, as far as he knew it, of a Saviour's love. We
spent some time among them. The Chief, a young man
named Qunah, said he was very glad we had come and he
hoped the Bella Bellas might soon have a Missionary.
Leaving this place, on we went, bounding through the
Narrows with a tide of about six miles an hour. We made
Wockite that night. In the morning we met the old Chief
Wockite and I visited from house to house with Chief
Kneeshot, my leader, while the rest of the boys prepared
breakfast. A number of the people in the village seemed
very much pleased to have us come; but the old Chief
himself wanted to know why we were there. He didn't
wish either us or the Book. He said God gave him and
his fathers the medicine bag, the conjurer's rattle, the
feathers, the dance and the potlatch, and had given the
white man the Book; so we might understand they didn't
want our preaching or our prayer.
After breakfast, several of the Indians came to our camp.
One leading man said he was very sorry to hear the old
Chief say he didn't want the Missionary or the Book; that
the old man was going to have a big feast that day, and if
we should be invited, we had better go. We were invited
140 1
to the feast and went, as we might have a chance to tell
the story after that was over. Very soon word came that
some of my crew with Chief Kneeshot had been invited
and wanted to know if they should go. I said, " Yes, we
will all go and, if there is a chance, you must all be ready
to give testimony of your conversion."
At eleven o'clock we all sat down on mats close around
the fire in the old Chief's house. After all were seated, a
dish with water in it was passed around, so that each one
might wash his fingers. They were very particular about
this in those days. A dirty rag was passed around to dry
our fingers. While these preparations were being made,
loud conversation was carried on by different leading men,
one of whom would tell of the war between the Hydas and
the Bella Bellas long ago when slaves and scalps were
taken; others, of wonderful hunting expeditions, struggles
with bears and the like. Then long, wooden dishes were
placed within reach of each one, and the courses, seven in
number, commenced. We had potatoes, dried salmon and
grease, sweet spruce bark, salmon, and finally wound up
with some very plain flapjacks made of flour and water.
A number of speeches were made which had to do with
their families and their intercourse of more recent date
with white people; they acknowledged the kindness of
their host and spoke of his family history and the greatness of his relatives. We had been there from eleven
o'clock until four in the afternoon when they got through.
At this stage I said, " Chief Wockite, have you done ?"
and he grunted out an answer which I took for an affirmative. I got up and gave the people a short talk on the fall
of man and the redemption by Christ.
When I had finished, one of my boys, Robert, a young,
converted man from Tongass, Alaska, rose and said, " Chief
Wockite, you are a great Chief; I am pleased to say this UP AND DOWN THE NORTH PACIFIC COAST
word to you. My uncles in Alaska were all Chiefs and
my father's people were all great men, but they were all in
darkness until the Missionary came to Fort Simpson and
brought us the light. Wockite, see this tide!" pointing
to the rising tide, " bring all your people and all your great
power and try to push back this tide. Push away, Wockite,
push away! You can't stop the tide; it will come up all
around your village here and wash away all the dirt and
bad into the great sea. So with the Gospel, Wockite; it
is coming on; 'tis coming on; it has come all over Fort
Simpson and the Tsimpshean country; it came to us in
Alaska, taking away all the darkness and the bad; and
many of the Chiefs and people are happy now. All the
great Chiefs have taken the Book. Wockite, you can't
stop the Gospel any more than you can stop the tide; it
will come on, and reach to all the tribes of the Bella Bella
people, and the Gospel light will drive away all the bad.
So, Wockite, I am sorry that you said you did not want
the Book." Others of my men told a little of their experience. After having other services with some of the families, we left this village, bidding the old Chief good-bye.
Not long after this, we heard the sad news that old
Chief Wockite and a number of his braves on their way to
a potlatch at a distant village were going round by Mill-
bank Sound, when they were caught in a great storm.
Their canoe upset, and all were lost. I need hardly say
that this event was partly the means of opening the way
for the Gospel to all the Bella Bella tribes, for they looked
upon it as a judgment from God because of the old man
refusing to have the Gospel in his village.
We also visited other bands of the Bella Bella people.
A trader who was among them said with a kind of sneer,
" What do you come here for, Crosby ?   What do you think
you are going to do with this people ?   I want to say to you .
142 1
they are a different kind of people from the Tsimpsheans,
and you will never convert them and get them under your
influence and control as you have the Simpson people."
" Oh," I remarked, " I don't expect to convert them, but
I have come to preach the Gospel to them and that will
make as mighty a transformation among the Bella Bellas
as it has among other tribes."
We spent a Sabbath at the principal village. In the
morning we had prayer-meeting at seven o'clock, as our
custom was at home. Some of the poor Bella Bella people
attended, and, after my men had led in prayer, I asked
them to pray also. They looked around at me and said
they did not know what to say, that if I would ^ell them
what to say, they would pray, so we had to " teach them
how to pray." We had service three times during the day.
I was asked if the Lord understood the Bella Bella language, and would understand them if they spoke to Him in
their own tongue.
Here also I met Ebstone Jack, a happy-looking fellow
who came to me all smiling, and said, " Oh, sir, I am so
glad you have come. I was down in Victoria a while ago,
and a good minister gave me this Bible," pulling out the
Bible and holding it up before me. " He told me that it
explained about God's love to us. I returned home, bringing the Bible, and I thought my people would like to hear
all I had heard about this book, so I showed it to them.
They laughed at me and persecuted me; I felt very bad,
and day after day I used to go up that mountain side all
alone where I had often gone before to offer sacrifice to the
great storm. I would kneel down upon the rock, open the
Book, and then say to God, 'Now, Great Chief, this is
Your Book; I am all dark and wicked, but God's man told
me that this Book tells of Your love. Now, please, will
You not hear my prayer, and send us a teacher to tell us
what is in this Book?' Every time I prayed like that, I
came away feeling strong in my heart, and believing that
some way or other God would send us a teacher; and now
I am so glad you have come." The poor man almost danced
for joy, as the tears ran down his cheeks. He said also,
" I have been telling my people that God was going to
send a Missionary, and I asked them when we were eating
food in our feasts if I might not pray to God; but they
laughed at me, and asked if I was going to leave the way
of our fathers and become a Schoolman like the Simpson
people. Then they wouldn't invite me to feasts any more
and they cut my name out of their councils. They persecuted me, and called me bad names. They said I was
crazy; if I went that way, the witch power would take hold
of me and I would soon die and all my family for our
wise men, the conjurers, have great power. Now I am glad
you have come and I hope you will leave us a teacher for
our people."
From Bella Bella as a centre, we have travelled hundreds
of miles to visit the villages of that region, which included
Bella Coola, North and South Bendicaum, Hyhise, China
Hat (at a later period), Goose Island, Rivers Inlet and
Smith Sound, as well as the various fishing, logging and
hunting camps and canneries which were established later
at intervening points.
These were the stretches of water on which the sainted
W. B. Cuyler afterwards truly laid down his life for the
people of that region. A more devoted man we never
knew. It was before the days of gasoline launches, and
the calls of steamboats were very rare, so he travelled
mostly by canoe or large fishing boat; and it was on one
of those trips by boat in very stormy, disagreeable weather
that he took a cold, brought on by working, hard all day
and sleeping out at night, perhaps in wet blankets. From
this sickness he never recovered.
Accompanied by our brave Christian men from Simpson,
I made many trips to Port Essington, Lowe Inlet, Kitamaat, Kitlope, Hartley Bay and Kit-khatla. It was on
the Rivers Skeena and Naas that we had the most trying
trips, especially in a severe winter. At the mouth of the
Skeena, we were in great danger more than once of being
jammed in the ice and having our craft crushed in the
floes. It was here that a Church of England clergyman
and his crew were all lost. The Naas was equally trying,
and many times we had to leave our canoe at the mouth of
the river and walk over the ice or over the mountains
twelve or fifteen miles to Lach-al-zap. On one occasion,
while ascending this river, about half way up we came to
nearly a foot and a half of water on the top of the ice, and
had to wade through it for miles. On another occasion, we
paddled to the village with our large canoe and spent the
Sabbath in blessed services. The people were so much
interested that they wanted the Missionary to remain
another day. We did so, had three more services and
started away on Tuesday morning over the ice, sliding the
canoe along. We soon found the ice was not thick enough;
but we went on, each one hanging to the canoe. Presently
one broke through, we nearly lost our Chief and found it
impossible to go on. We pulled our canoe to shore and,
climbing over the mountain in the deep snow, got back to
the village, where we spent several days. Great interest
was aroused among the people and there was a revival of
religion in the village. The cold increased and the ice
became solid. After this, we had no trouble in putting our
j large canoe on a sled and hauling her away down to tide
We made a great number of trips up the Skeena with UP AND DOWN THE NORTH PACIFIC COAST
the Hudson's Bay boats or freight canoes to the Forks.
These trips were made in company with perhaps twenty
canoes loaded with freight, five men being in each canoe;
and we had abundance of chance to preach and hold services on the way.   Every Saturday afternoon a good camp
was chosen and all the boats unloaded so that the freight
could be dried and any leaks or other damages to the canoes
repaired.   The whole Sabbath Day was spent in rest and
religious services.   We visited all the villages on our return I
trips.   Later on, we made an evangelistic tour along the
Skeena as far as Kishpiax, with from twenty to thirty I
warm-hearted Christian Indian evangelists, when it was a :
delight to see how the young men worked with paddle,
oars, pole or tow line, singing on the way, " We work until I
we die," or " We'll work till Jesus comes."   A full description of this and other journeys must be reserved for a later
chapter, but we may here refer to some adventures connected with this and other trips.
There were some very dangerous places on the Skeena
River.    The "Canyon" in certain stages of the water, |
" Splashing Rapids," " Bee's Nest" and " Kitzegucla Can- I
yon " were the worst.
It was just at the foot of one of these rapids when I was
on one of my trips in the Hudson's Bay Company's freight I
canoes that the following incident occurred: The men in I
the canoes had poled as far as they could up the " riffle " I
and, not being able to get a tow line ashore, let go the poles I
and every man paddled for life to reach the opposite shore. I
Arriving there, a man, ready at the bow with a rope, had to I
jump ashore as soon as the canoe touched and whip his I
rope around a stump to save her going down into the terrible whirlpools below.   As each canoe was loaded with two
arid a half or three tons of freight and usually carried a
crew of five men, the loss of life must have been appalling
146 1
if, by any chance, the man who jumped ashore missed his
fastening, for nothing could have prevented the canoes and
their crews from being swept into the maelstrom below.
While my canoe was waiting in still water on the right
hand shore and we were watching to see how the others
would manage, two canoes got over all right. The third,
with an old Tongass Chief who did not know the river as
Captain, was not so successful. The men had let go their
poles and were paddling for their lives. Getting too much
down into the wild water they would often miss their
stroke, as the waves were so high and they were sometimes
in the trough and sometimes on the crest. Suddenly we
saw a man's hat in the stream. Paddling with great force
on the top of the wave, he had missed his stroke, and had
fallen into the water. The next moment came the shout,
" Man overboard!" The old Captain was now landing on
the point and could not possibly come down from where
he was to rescue his man.
My Captain shouted, " All hands to your paddles; what
do you say, shall we go and save the man?" The men
shouted, "All right" ("Ahm, ahm"), and out we
plunged, every man pulling for his life right into the wild
waters and into what seemed to be "the very jaws of death."
Now came a shout by the Captain, " Back water, or we shall
miss our man." Just at that moment, amid the whirlpools
and rushing waves, we saw our brother as he came up for
what must have been the last time, for, as he said afterwards, he was blind and could not hear a word we said.
A long pole was thrust against his breast and he seized it
with a death grip. A strong young man held the pole
and, with the assistance of another man who grasped him
by the clothes, their sinking comrade was pulled into the
canoe. As soon as we got him on board, we rolled him and
lifted him up and down to get the water out of him.
This took some time and when he began to revive I gave
him some Jamaica ginger. By the time we had finished
rubbing and working with him, we were far down the river
in calm water. During the day he seemed to be much
better, but was dull for some days after.
This all happened in much less time than it takes to
write it and I do not think any one of us would have been
ready a few minutes "before to make such a terrible venture
for all the world.
Many a trip I made up that river. On a more recent
one, a man was lost. I was travelling in company with the
Upper Skeena people on their way from the salmon canneries. We had over one hundred people in the company.
I travelled with them in order to hold services on the Sabbath and in camp. The first Sabbath we had a blessed day.
We visited in camp all who did not come to service, for a
large number of the people were heathen. On Monday
morning it was raining, but some started early. After a
while my Captain and party got out and, just as we were
pushing from the shore, a shout came down the river,
" Canoe upset!" Crossing the river, we met with evidences
of it. We picked up a sack of flour, some mats and some
clothing, floating down. Another shout came down the
river, " Man lost!" I landed on the other shore and ran
up over a bar about two miles. There I found a poor,
blind man and his mother, sitting on the bank of the river,
with part of the broken canoe lying along the beach. They
were crying and told how it happened. A long tree was
lying out from the shore on the surface of the water with
its roots still fast. In trying to get past the outer end of
it, their canoe sheered in, when the strong current pushed
them under the log. The man at the stern was knocked
off and he and part of his steering gear were carried away.
He was seen no more.   The other two caught hold of the
tree, and thus got ashore.
I need not say that was a day of great sorrow among the
party. All went ashore to camp. The friends of the lost
man prepared a feast on the bar of the river, and called
every one to it. Here we had a good.chance to preach to
them and tell them to " prepare to meet their God." The
same night a large party came up to the village of Kit
sum-ka-lem, just across from us. I preached to them also.
Next morning I headed a search party of two canoes. Wi
went down the river about ten miles to look for the bod;
of the lost man, but did not find it  1
The Country and its Resources—Purchase and Military Occupation by the United States—Hootchenoo—Hostility
between Whites and Natives—Alaskan Trade
at Fort  Simpson—A  Taku  Chief—
O. O. Howard. " The morning light is breaking, the darkness disappears." "1
Alaska is an English corruption of the native word
" Al-ak-shak," which means " great country or continent."
It is indeed a great country with an area of over 596,100
square miles. It was formerly a Russian possession, but
was purchased by the United States in 1867 for the sum
of $7,200,000. Mr. Seward, then Secretary of State, conducted the negotiations. There was a great outcry throughout the country over paying so much money for what was
considered a worthless, icebound piece of territory. In
derision it was called " Seward's Folly." Some time afterwards, on Mr. Seward's retiring from public office, when
he was asked, " What do you consider the most important
act of your official life?" the answer was, "The purchase
of Alaska; but a generation or more must pass before the
people will realize its value."
The Alaska Commercial Company pays the Government
an annual rental of $55,000 for the seal islands and a
royalty on the skins of $263,500. They paid into the
treasury of the United States from 1871 to 1880 over two
and a half million dollars for seals alone. Of sea otter
about $100,000 worth was taken annually, and other fur-
bearing animals, including several varieties of fox, mink,
beaver, marten, lynx, otter, black bear, wolverine, whistler,
reindeer, mountain goat and sheep, ermine, marmot, musk-
rat and wolf, were secured in great abundance. The fur
product alone amounts to $1,000,000 annually.
It is said there are no such fisheries in the world as
those of Alaska; the timber resources are marvellous in
extent and variety; almost unlimited supplies of gold, copper and other minerals are found; and yet in some quarters I
the impression long prevailed that Alaska was not worth
the money paid for it.
After the purchase the United States Government made
the great mistake of establishing military posts all through
the southern part of the country. The result was that the
fifty thousand Indians of the country were far worse off
than before the purchase, on account of the degrading
influence of the soldiers and of the white man's firewater. -
Some of the Whites thought that it would be better if the I
Indians were exterminated, and they took a sure way of
doing it. At Sitka, the capital of the country, whisky was
sold by the gallon on the streets. For ten long years the
people waited for the Gospel but were still left in the dark.
A runaway soldier taught the Indians at the village of
Hoot-son-oo how to make whisky from potatoes, dried I
pies, rice, molasses and hops. A knowledge of this I
Hoot-son-oo whisky spread until nearly every village had
its own still and, indeed, in some places almost every v
second house had one. It consisted of two coal-oil tins
connected by* a hollow sea-weed stalk or, later, by a tin
pipe. This " chain lightning stuff " caused fighting, death
and destruction almost everywhere for years, until the warships stationed on the Coast finally undertook to destroy
the stills and clear out the whisky. The doings of some
of the men in connection with the warships and of the
soldiers at the different stations or garrisons were a disgrace to any people. Wm. S. Dodds, the American Collector of Customs, declares :*
* See Bancroft's " History of the United States." 1
"Nearly all the troubles that have occurred since the
time of the purchase may be traced directly or indirectly
to the degrading influences of liquor, as it was supplied
without reference to quantity. The excitement of a
drunken and lascivious debauch became the one object in
life for which the Indian lived and for which he worked.
Early in 1878 there were about two hundred and fifty
miners at Fort Wrangel, waiting until the ice should be
firm on the Stikine River or navigation should become
practicable. In his report, dated February 23rd of that
year, the Deputy-Collector of Customs says: ' While I was
at Stikine another thing occurred at this port that put to
shame anything that had happened heretofore. A gang
of rowdies and others had been in the habit of getting on
a drunken spree, going about town at midnight disturbing
everybody and insulting those who complained of their
doings. On February 16th these incarnate devils started
about midnight and, after raising a commotion all over
town, visited a house occupied by an Indian woman, gave
her whisky, made her beastly drunk, and left. Shortly
after 'their departure the house occupied by the woman was
discovered to be in flames. Before any assistance could be
rendered the poor woman was burned to death. During
the last five months there was delivered at Sitka, from the
steamer which carried the United States mail from Portland, 4,889 gallons of molasses, and at Fort Wrangel, 1,635
gallons, for the purpose of making up " hootchenoo," as
already explained. Nine hundred gallons were sold on
the streets of Sitka, and thousands of gallons were shipped
in by way of Port Simpson, British Columbia, until we
appealed to the American Government, and they placed a
couple of gunboats at or near Tongass, just on the border.'"
When we opened up our work at Fort Simpson, in 1874,
there were not many traders in Alaska, and the Hudson's
Bay trading steamers, which had formerly made regular
trips along the south-eastern coast of that country and
gathered up immense quantities of furs, had ceased to visit
those regions since the purchase and the military occupation of the coast. For this reason the Indians used to come
in great numbers with their large war canoes from the far
north—from Tongass, Stikine, Taku, Chilcat, Hunah,
Sitka, Kake and Kussan—to trade at Fort Simpson. At
times we were visited by natives from all south-eastern
Alaska. Sometimes we would see the Hunah Chiefs with
a dozen or twenty braves or slaves in each canoe, laden
with furs. Then we would have the Taku Chief, a tall,
fine-looking man, who kept a large number of slaves, and
who, it is said, on leaving for the south on a trading trip
once shot a slave dead on the beach and then got into his
canoe and started off as if nothing had happened. When
at Fort Simpson the same man and a number of his
young men who had come with him, painted up and
dressed only in long blankets and print shirts, attended
service in the large Indian lodge, where we worshipped while the church was building. On Sabbath
night, at the after-service, when a number of our
people were giving their experience, and especially while
the large congregation were singing with great life and
power, " There's a land that is fairer than day," repeating
the chorus again and again, this heathen chief partly rose
from his seat and then settled back. He was wonderfully aroused, although he could not understand a word
that was said. Next morning he and some of his young
men came to the Mission House, bringing with them an
interpreter, and said to the Missionary, " You are the God
man! I and my men were at your Church house last
night, and I heard your people sing. I wish to tell you
that away in my country at Taku, in some of our great
gatherings, when the Chiefs and people come from all along
the Coast, we have great singing; but I never heard anything like the singing last night. It lifted me right up
as if I were carried away nearly to heaven. Then I would
come back again; and oh, there was something in my heart
that I never felt the like of before."
We took this opportunity to tell the old Chief and his
men more about the " wondrous love."
It was from some of these people, on another occasion,
that we heard that when they had been travelling and
hunting in the interior they found some people who prayed
before they ate their food and who could read and write
a little. They said that they had travelled about one moon
to reach them. We wondered if they had reached the
Mackenzie or Peace River, or come in contact with some
people who knew the Cree Syllabic writing.
More than once we met chiefs from the Chilcat country.
One of these was Kadashak (or Kashah), who had been
at Fort Simpson many times before with his furs and
his slave attendants. On the occasion when we became
acquainted with him he was accompanied from the Chilcat
country by a young chief, Kin-da-shon. At Fort Wrangel
they met some Tsimpsheans who were returning from the
Cassiar mines, and also Dr. Sheldon Jackson, who was on
his way to visit Fort Simpson. These took passage with
the Chilcats in their canoe to our village. On his arrival
Kadashak made his way to an Indian's house, where he
was entertained by one Samuel, who had learned a little
of the Good Book, so that he could spell out in English a
text here and there.
While the old Chief from Alaska was his guest, each
evening Samuel took down the Bible to read a little and
pray.   Then the old man began to ask him questions which
he could hardly answer, so he said they would go up to
the Mission House and God's servant would tell them all
about it. They came, and I was introduced to Kadashak;
Samuel, who had learned some of the Tlinket or Alaskan
language on his trading trips to that country, acted as
interpreter. After talking a little, we read out of the
Good Book and told of man's fall, the redemption by
Christ and the great love of God, " Who so loved the world
that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever
believeth on Him should not perish but have everlasting
life." He listened with great attention and a tear stole
down his cheek. He looked sick and wan and his cough
indicated a pitiable condition of health, but still he was
a willing pupil and seemed very glad to hear the Word.
Before leaving, Kadashak begged the Missionary that a
teacher might be sent to his people. *" The Chilcat people
are in great darkness," he said, "they die with their eyes
shut. Some souls are crying for the light. Oh, man of
God! they cannot find the way out unless you come and
tell them. Tell God's people that the Chilcats are dying,
that their children are born blind and cannot find the
way." Dr. Jackson who was present at the interview,
promised that a Missionary would be sent as soon as
The trade was over and the day came for departure. I
As the weather was getting stormy the Chief and his party I
had to be off, and we bade them goodbye.   Off they went
to the north, calling at Fort Wrangel, where they were
entertained by some of their friends.   It was now evident
that the old Chief was getting worse; the cold fastenedf
on his lungs.   The men hastened homeward, as they had;'
nearly three hundred miles farther to go.   They got part
of the way up the Lynn Canal, now known as the great
* See " Kin-da-shon's Wife," and Jackson's " Alaska."
«+ 1
highway to Skagway. A severe storm came on in that
open channel, with sleet, rain and searching wind from the
glaciers. The old man was getting worse very fast, and
they had to put ashore, build a fire and get him as warm
as possible.
As one of his party held him, the old Chief leaned on
his arm and said, " I had much desire to reach home and
tell my friends, but the Missionary at Fort Simpson said
that some day a teacher would come to our village, and we
were to be very kind to him when he should come." . . .
He said, " Tell my. people these are the Words of the servant of the Chief Above, and these are my words,' Be very
kind to the Missionary.' Tell them what God's servant
said, 'God so loved the world that He gave ... so
loved—'" and the old man expired. They hastened on
then with the body of their good Chief, and great was the
sorrow, wailing and crying when they arrived at home and
reported that he was no more.
Old Chief Shakes, Toy-e-att and others from Fort
Wrangel, and the Foxes from the Cape also visited Fort
Simpson. Kah-shakes and Neesute from Tongass came
in turn with their loads of furs. Besides visiting them
at their camps, we often had a special service in Chinook
for them when they were with us on the Sabbath Day, or
sometimes we got old Samuel or Talh-lee to act as interpreter.
The personal history of the latter furnishes a good illustration of the condition of things among the Indians of
Alaska at this time. Talh-lee was the wife of Chief
Neesute at Tongass, Alaska. He died very suddenly. In
those days they said that those who died from sickness or
accident were bewitched. They consulted the old witch
doctor and he seemed likely to fasten the responsibility
for the death of the Chief on Talh-lee, his wife. She over-
heard and, in fear of being taken as a witch and tortured
to death, got a little canoe and stole away in the night.
She travelled all the way to Fort Simpson and there she
remained, never daring to go back. She became a devoted
Christian and was often very useful to us as interpreter
to the Alaskan people.
When they found that she had gone, they blamed an
old, helpless grandmother, who, they said, was the witch
who had caused the death of the Chief. They took her
to the beach, drove a stake into the ground and tied her
to it in a crouching position. No one at the risk of his life
dared to release her.   As the tide rose she perished.
We had been in Fort Simpson over a year when one
Sunday morning the steamer California came in from
Sitka. She had on board General 0. 0. Howard, commanding the Pacific Division of the United States Army,
with his Staff. He had been to Alaska on official business. I
The usual quiet was somewhat disturbed, as the arrival of I
any vessel in those days was quite an event and a vessel
with such a company aroused the whole village. A number of Indians from Alaska, in their elaborate button-
trimmed blankets and painted faces, were in the village,
having come to trade at the Fort. These strangers at
once concluded that this American boat had come in to
intercept their smuggling into the north country. The I
steamer anchored and soon a boat was seen coming ashore.
The handbell was now ringing for service and the people
were gathering in the large heathen house on the Island,
which we still used as a church, as our own building was
not yet complete. The boat made for this point, and on
to the rough beach stepped General Howard, that devoted
Christian soldier, and-his Staff. He had dropped in on
his way south to join in our morning service. Two ladies
were with the party, one of whom was the General's wife.
160 *
These were the first white women we had seen since our
landing here. The strangers were given seats of honor,
the General on the platform facing the congregation.
The Daily Standard of Victoria alludes to this visit as
follows: " On the 20th, being Sunday, General Howard,
together with his officers and the officers and passengers
of the steamer, went ashore at Fort Simpson and attended
church. They were all greatly pleased to see so much
order and attention. On entering the large house used as
a church they were met by the Rev. T. Crosby of the
Methodist Mission and his accomplished and estimable
young wife, to whom too much praise cannot be given for
the great change for the better that has been brought about
by her in that place. While at church they were greatly
astonished at the interpreter, an Indian woman, who interpreted for Mr. Crosby, word for word, all through the
service without any difficulty. At the close General
Howard, on invitation from Mr. Crosby, addressed the
people and led in prayer. The General was greatly
pleased with his visit to Fort Simpson and was heard to
say that he would not have missed going there and seeing
for himself the great change that had been brought about
by the simple preaching of the Gospel amongst the
northern Indians."  AN APOSTLE OF ALASKA.
Il-um-clah, the Apostle of Alaska—Fort Wrangel in 1876-
Native Missionaries—Dr. Sheldon Jackson—Mrs. McFar-
lane—Girls' Home—Lynching—Rev. S. Hall Young
—Organization of the First Presbyterian
Church—Extension of Mission Work
in  Alaska—A  Visit  in   The
Glad Tidings. :' Each breeze that sweeps th
Brings tidings from of at -     CHAPTER XIII.
Wil-um-clah was born at Fort Simpson and belonged
to the Kish-pach-lots tribe, of which King Legale was the
leader or the Chief. "Clah's" mother belonged to the
same tribe, hence, following Indian usage, all the children
belong to the crest of the mother. His father was of the
Kit-wil-geaots tribe of the Tsimpshean nation. The family
all lived at Fort Simpson. "Wil-um-clah" means "an
eagle darting down on its prey and taking it ashore."
Clah's crest was Laeks-geake or King of Birds (eagle).
Wil-um-clah's father was one of the Kish-put-wetheth
or Blackfish crest. Clah must have been born about the
year 1848, or about the time an accident occured at Maeth-
koo Point, near Fort Simpson, when the trees fell and
killed a number of Kit-seese Indians. They date his birth
from that sad occurrence.
During his boyhood he was compelled to go through all
the terrible usages and customs then prevalent among the
Tsimpsheans—tattooing, fasting, dancing, and dog eating.
He was driven into ice-cold water in the depth of winter
by sticks in the hands of the Chiefs or head men, who every
morning drove the youth of the tribe, like a troop of dogs,
to the shore and into the water. He took part in all the
dark deeds of his people which ruined so many of their
youth. He became a Dog Eater, belonging to this most
disgusting secret society, the members of which were
viewed with terror by the uninitiated.
Often after the feasts, carried on for weeks during the
winter, a party would start in canoes for Victoria to procure a fresh supply of liquor, and while there would sell
their daughters to lives of shame to obtain the white man's
gold, wherewith to continue their unseemly doings or
raise crest poles in honor of their dead. Returning on one
of these occasions, while camped near Cape Mudge in the
• Gulf of Georgia, Clah fell into the water, and was rescued
as he came to the surface for what seemed to be the last
time. A kind Providence snatched him from the jaws of
death to begin a work of which no one at that time had
any conception.
Some years later he with others went to Victoria, thinking to make money. He spent several years there and took
unto himself a wife of the Tsimpshean nation, her cresjg
being the Wolf. Most of his time was occupied with heavy
work and his hard-earned wages were usually spent in
liquor and revelling. He passed some time in jail. It
was about this time that the blessed revival, already
described, broke out at the Methodist Mission, Victoria,
in the old saloon building on the corner of Government
and Fisguard Streets. Although he was not converted
there, he attended the services. He returned the same
fall to Fort Simpson by canoe, and there he found a company of converted natives who had arrived from Victoria-
before him in the Hudson's Bay Company's steamer Otter.
Clah and his wife were both converted through the instrumentality of these native workers, who held meetings night
after night in crowded houses, telling the Gospel story
and the history of their conversion in the bar-room.
In 1873, during the visit of the Rev. William Pollard,
Superintendent of Methodist Missions for British Columbia, Clah and his wife, with a number of other natives,
were baptized.   Clah received the name of Philip McKay   AN APOSTLE OF ALASKA
and his wife that of Annie. They became very earnest in
the work of God, as evidenced by their continued attendance upon the means of grace and the Day and Sunday
Schools. Clah was a diligent student in the School conducted by Mrs. Crosby in the old heathen house on the
Island. He became, like some others, especially fond of
committing Scripture texts to memory in his own language, and would often come with his Bible for explanations of particular passages. This helped to store his mind
with a great deal of God's Word. He was very fond of
class-meeting, and his experience was often noticed by his
teachers for its clearness, his life meanwhile bearing witness to his quiet devotion to his Saviour. With other
natives from Fort Simpson, he made several summer trips
to the Cassiar gold mines as a packer for the white miners.
It was on one of these trips that some of these intelligent
and rugged miners were convinced that it was better to
rest on the Sabbath Day than to work.
In the spring of 1876 John Ryan, Philip McKay (Clah),
Andrew Moss and Lewis Gosnall, all native Christians,
left Fort Simpson to go to the Cassiar mines; but having
reached Fort Wrangel, Alaska, they contracted to cut five
hundred cords of wood for the American garrison. While
thus engaged, they held religious services among the
natives of Wrangel, which was a centre for all the various
tribes belonging to that section of the Coast, as well as for
gold miners, traders and others.
The Indians at Wrangel had been noted for their quarrelsome disposition and bloodthirsty character. It is said
that many years ago the Stikines of that place took a ship
and butchered the whole crew; and they had often been
at war with the Tsimpsheans and the Hydas to the south
and with the Chilcats to the north. It was to such a community as this and in spite of scoffs and jeers, that Philip
McKay and party commenced to proclaim Jesus to a
" dying world." It was in a house where white men and
native women used to dance, drink and debauch themselves
that these religious meetings were first held.
Wrangel was then the chief business centre of Southern
Alaska and contained about a thousand Indians and five
hundred traders and miners, with a garrison of about a
hundred soldiers. As has been said, Shakes Shu-staks and
Toy-e-aat, Chiefs of Wrangel, had visited Fort Simpson
and had seen the effects of the Gospel there, but it was not
until our converted young men began to preach to the
Stikines at Wrangel that Missionary work commenced
among this long-neglected people.
In the garrison of United States soldiers were some who
did not help these Indian Missionaries as they might have
done. On the other hand, they received great kindness-
from Captain Jocelyn, 21st United States Infantry, and
some officers and men who greatly encouraged the Christian
workers. These gentlemen supplied Bibles and hymn-
books, which had been donated by some of the Churches
in the United States. The Sabbath services were continued
all summer and until the dance house became too small.
The congregation then removed to Chief Toy-e-aaf s house,
which was larger. During the summer of 1876 Captain
Jocelyn wrote a letter to me at Fort Simpson urging me
to come and see what the boys were doing. He declared
that this band of native Christians was doing more good
and having a more blessed effect than his whole company
of soldiers; and at the same time offered in a most hospitable manner to entertain me in the best way possible.
About the same time another letter came from the young
men themselves, written for them by a white man. This
is here given in full: AN APOSTLE OF ALASKA
" Fort Wrangel, Alaska,
" August 27th, 1876.
"Dear Sir,—We reached this place about the first of
June on our way to Cassiar mines. We stopped on Sabbath and found the people here in utter darkness as regards
the Saviour and His love. We held services on the Sabbath
Day and, as we found employment here for our party, we
decided to remain and work for the sake of Christ, trying
to lead the Stikines and Hydas living here to the truth.
We have held services every Sabbath and twice on week
nights and God is blessing our feeble efforts. Philip (the
leader) says,' In July I went away to look for some salmon
and stopped all night at a Stikine camp. I read some
out of the Bible and the poor Stikines thought, when they
saw me pray, that some great monster was about to come
up from the ground.' In our first service George Weeget
opened the Bible and at Sunday School Philip McKay
opened the service. Our first meeting was led by Andrew
Moss, and John helped him. We all send our love to our
friends.   Your brothers,
" George Weeget,
" A. Moss,
"Philip (Clah) McKay,
"John Neas-quo-juo-luck."
I started on the journey of one hundred and sixty miles
with my canoe, and got in tow of a small steamer going up.
On arrival I found that many of the natives were converted and were attending services in the large heathen
house belonging to Chief Toy-e-aat. This was my first
visit to Alaska. At the opening meeting the Chief said,
" We welcome you, Missionary, to our place. Your friends,
the Tsimpsheans, used to be the worst people on the whole
Coast. On account of their fighting and bloodthirstiness,
*we counted them as our enemies. Now your young men
are here teaching about Jesus, the great King of Peace.
Since you have come, you must stay with us."
I said, " No, I can't stay; there is too much work among
the people in my own country."
"Oh," he said, "your wife is there; she can teach the
Tsimpsheans. Many of them have become good now and
they will help her."
"No," I said, "it is impossible for me to remain, but
I will keep one or more of the young men here until we
get a Missionary."
He said, " How many snows shall we have to wait ? We
have waited a long time; and not only we Stikine people .
but there are thousands to the north and west of us who
need the light. How long do you think we will have to
wait? I am getting old; my people, many of them, have
gone down into the darkness. My heart is sick with fear
that if a Missionary does not come soon many more will
be gone."
It was touching to hear him and others speak for the
fifty thousand souls in Alaska. Could the Christian people
of America have heard their cry, as we heard it, surely
they would soon have sent a Missionary.
At that meeting the Captain of the garrison, some of
the soldiers and several white traders were present, and a
subscription of about four hundred dollars was taken
towards building a Church and School.
When I got home I wrote Dr. Wood of Toronto, but our
Mission Board said they could do nothing with Alaska, as
we had more than we could do in our own country. The
Methodist Episcopal Board, New York, said they could
not do anything for Alaska; and then I wrote to General
0. 0. Howard, whose visit to Alaska and Fort Simpson
I have described. I said, " General, you will be glad to
hear what God is doing for Alaska. We want a Missionary."
He  handed  my letter  to  Dr.  Lindsly,  of Portland, •
Oregon, who wrote me a very kind letter, saying, " Hold
on to Alaska; you shall have a Missionary."
We kept Philip McKay there, teaching school and conducting services, until the promised help should arrive.
His wife Annie joined him soon after to help as well as
she could.
About this time Captain Jocelyn was succeeded by an
officer who was not so kindly disposed towards the work.
Soon Philip and his fellow Christians began, to see that
a piece of ground was needed in which to bury their dead
in a Christian way. They applied to the first Officer, but
the new Captain told them that the Indian style of burying
and burning their dead was good enough for them. He
bade them go away and burn the body—get rid of it anyhow; the custom of cremation was fast becoming fashionable in the country from which he came. Philip asked the
Captain if the people in his country painted themselves
hideously, put the body on a large fire and danced around
it half naked, poking it with sticks every now and then
and shouting and yelling in the most hideous manner until
the body was consumed. "This," said he, "is the way
the Indians do."
"Ho," said the Captain, "you shall have a piece of
Philip thanked him, and thus the first native Christian
burying-ground in Alaska was got from the American
Clah kept steadily on with his work and a number of
Indians professed conversion. The following summer a
young Missionary came up, and I was asked by letter to
go to Alaska and transfer everything to him; but he proved
to be sickly and could not stay. Still Philip remained,
preaching and teaching as best he could, although he was
in delicate health.
Not long after that the Christians passed through severe
trials. A large number of drunken Indians arrived at Fort
Wrangel and a quarrel ensued, when good old Chief Toy-
e-aat and several of the best of the leading Christians
were shot.
The next summer, 1878, the Presbyterian Board of
Home Missions sent the Rev. Sheldon Jackson, D.D., on
a tour of inspection, with a view to the establishment of
Mission work in Alaska. ; At Portland, Oregon, he met
Mrs. A. R. McFarlane, the widow of a Missionary who .
had labored at Santa Fe, New Mexico, and among the Nez
Perces Indians in Idaho. The brave woman was willing
to go to Alaska, and it was decided that she should accompany Dr. Jackson. On August 10th they reached Fort
Wrangel where they found, to their great astonishment
and delight, the School and religious services already I
established by Clah, our Philip McKay.
Dr. Jackson soon left for the East to advocate the Mission cause for Alaska and Mrs. McFarlane took charge.
Her coming to Wrangel had been an experiment; her stay
was a success. The military forces had been withdrawn
and she was alone with a few Whites and about a thousand Indians, without law or order. She became nurse,
doctor, undertaker, preacher, teacher, practically mayor
and administrator generally, for all came to her. Burdened almost beyond endurance, she kept writing for help,
for a magistrate of some sort or an ordained minister.
Such a thing as a marriage ceremony was unknown, polygamy was common and domestic complications were
appalling. Tribes around began to hear of her and came
for help. One old Indian of a distant tribe came and
said, "Me much sick at heart, my people all dark heart
and nobody tell them of Jesus Christ. By-and-by my
people die and go down—dark! dark!"
The young girls especially appealed to her care. It is
thrilling to read how she fought to save them from being
sold by their parents to white scoundrels or to heathen
masters. She even rescued two girls from the horrors of
the "Devil's Dance." Finding them naked in the centre
of fifty frantic fiends, who with yells cut them with knives
and tore off pieces of their flesh, she rushed into their
midst and, after hours of pleading and threatening them
with the wrath of the United States, she took the half-
dead girls to her own house, only to have one of them
recaptured and killed during the night. This work
developed into the well-known Rescue Homes for Indian
Girls in Alaska with which Mrs. McFarlane's name is
inseparably connected.
On one of my visits to Mrs. McFarlane's Mission in
Wrangel, she said to me one summer evening as I sat on
the balcony of the log Mission House, "Mr. Crosby, I
have many things I want to tell you, but I must tell you
this. Last fall, when the miners came down from the
mines, many of them had done well and had considerable
gold, and here they got into gambling, drinking and
carousing. One white man shot another and, as we had
no law, either civil or military, the miners united and said,
' We will have lynch law and hang this man to-morrow at
eight o'clock, as it will never do to have men shooting one
"That night, about midnight, there came a knock at
my door. I called out, 'Who is there?' A man said,
' Excuse me, madam, but the man who is to die to-morrow
morning would like to see you.' I dressed immediately,
took my little Bible and hymn-book and followed the man
with his lantern along the winding path until we came to
a large log house. Here we entered. There were many
strong, intelligent-looking white men sitting around the
ind.   He
this time
1 I thoug
ad shot the other sat there
m, excuse me for calling you
ve to die to-morrow morning
; something to say about my
t to do? I was brought up a Presbyterian,
and my mother had taught us girls not to speak in public,
especially in the presence of men; but what could I do?
I opened my little Bible; I read the account of the dying
thief and told the poor man that if he would repent God
was just as willing to save him as He was the thief on
the cross. After I had talked a while, I said, opening my
little hymn-book, 'Let us sing now, men. I want you all
to join with me and sing this, " There is a fountain filled
with blood."' They sang heartily through the first verse
and until we came to the second,' And there may I, though J
vile as he.'   As soon as they got to that part many of them
man cried, ' Oh, madam, that is the very hymn my mother
taught me to sing when I used to sit on her lap. If I had
been a good boy and done as that mother told me I wouldn't
The Rev. Hall Young was sent to relieve Mrs. McFarlane and took charge of the Mission at Fort Wrangel,
while she continued her Rescue work there for the time
being and afterwards in other parts of Alaska. Later the
Mission was visited by some of the leading men of the
Presbyterian Church in the East, who organized the work
on a permanent basis. The money was subscribed for a
Church building and the new converts were handed over
to them. Afterwards they opened their large Industrial and
Training School for girls and boys at Sitka and Girls'
Homes at Hunah, Haines and Jackson.
Philip Clah continued his work until near Christmas
the following year, when he became very sick. His father
and brothers heard that he was dying and went in canoes
all the way from Fort Simpson to bring him home, but he
said, "No, I came to preach Jesus to the Tlinkets, and
I cannot go and leave them until Jesus calls me." Mrs.
McFarlane said that literally with his last breath he was
pointing them to Jesus. He passed away triumphant in
Christ. Our converted native men were indeed the instruments in God's hands of opening the way of the Gospel to
On Clah's death his poor old father brought his body
to Fort Simpson, where he was buried. A small tombstone
was purchased by the aid of a few interested Christian
friends and erected to mark the last earthly resting-place
of one whom they described as "the first resident native
Protestant Missionary of Alaska, Philip McKay (Clah)."
He was really the " apostle of Alaska."
In 1879, when the first Presbyterian Church of Alaska
was organized, it consisted of twenty-two natives and six
Whites, which represented the outcome of Philip McKay's
heroic work. In Among the Alaskans Mrs. Julia McNair
Wright says, "Some of that holy fire which stirred the
heart of Paul when he entered heathen cities burned in the
soul of Philip McKay."
In 1887-1888 a Council of the various sects in the United
States agreed to partition the whole of Alaska among the
various Christian bodies. The Presbyterians took the.
southern and the Methodist Episcopal Church the middle
portion, the northern portion being left for the Episco-
■ palians, who began work in the great Yukon basin in 1887.
The Moravians had established themselves in the Aleutian
Islands in 1885, and the Congregationalists at Cape Prince
of Wales, about forty miles from the coast of Siberia, in
I had the pleasure of a visit to Southern Alaska in
November, 1895, when we travelled over one thousand';
miles, calling at all the Missions. It was a delightful
privilege to visit so many devoted Christian workers and,
though it was a stormy time of the year, our Heavenly
Father protected us so that we got safely home, and had
the pleasure of knowing that God had blessed His Word
to the salvation of some souls. We had a number of
Christian Indian evangelists with us and Professor Odium
from Vancouver added much to the interest of the trip by
his lectures to all the white people who would come to
The Presbyterian Church is doing a grand work in
that country. They have six ordained ministers, seven I
Churches, eight hundred and twenty Church members, '■
seven hundred scholars in Sabbath School, eight Day and
Boarding Schools, thirty-seven teachers and four hundred
and thirty-one pupils in Boarding Schools from eleven
different tribes—a great work, surely, from such a humble
"How great a matter a little fire Mndleth!"    Surely
this was kindled by our Philip McKay.
Sow by all waters. Who shall know which shall prosper,
this or that, or whether they shall be alike good ?
When our evangelistic party on the little ship The Glad
Tidings reached Haines Mission on a Wednesday night
in the fall of 1895 we intended, as we put our anchor
down, to stay there only two nights and a day because, on
account of stormy weather, we had been longer on the
other parts of our trip than we had expected. On going
ashore we met the Rev. W. W. Worne, who had not been
long out from Princeton College. As it was now night I
said to him, "We have come ashore and, if it is your
pleasure, would like to have a service with your people
in the school-room."
He looked at me as if he were measuring me from tip
to toe, and then said, " Well, you may have service if you
As we talked a bright young lady stepped out of the
School and shook hands, saying, 11 know you, Mr. Crosby,
but perhaps you don't know me. When you first came to
Wrangel to establish a Mission, many years ago, I was a
forsaken little girl on the streets. Philip McKay, the first
teacher, got me to attend his School; and when Mrs.
McFarlane came and organized her Home I was one of
the first taken into it. After a time some kind ladies
from New York visited us and one wished to take me
home with her. There I was educated, and I was also
baptized and received into the Christian Church: They
called me after Frances Willard, and now I am here as
teacher in this Mission School. I am so delighted, sir, to
see you."
She acted as my interpreter in the Tlinket language,
and we had a pleasant service.
The following day, as it blew a heavy south-easter, we
anchored our ship on the other side of the bay, thinking
our Heavenly Father had still further work for us to do.
There she remained until the following Tuesday morning,
as the gale continued the whole week. This gave Brother
Worne and me a chance to get acquainted, and he became
most friendly. He said I was the first Missionary who
had visited him, and asked if I would excuse him if he
submitted questions in regard to the work and what I
would do under certain circumstances.
We had services each evening and visited the Chilcat
village about three miles across the neck of land. Here
I met with a large number of the Chiefs and older men
whom I had seen twenty years before and who with their
friends used to come to trade at Fort Simpson. On the
Sabbath we had two services among them, Mr. Worne and
some of his pupils joining us in the morning service. We
then invited them over to the evening service at the Mission and they came in crowds, with them some of the worst
gamblers and murderers in that part of the country. As
the service went on the blessed Spirit of God came down
upon us. After a short sermon, several got up to testify
to the power of grace upon their hearts, and some of the
most wicked seemed to be marvellously affected. One of
the roughest drunkards and gamblers in the country got
up and shouted, " I am the man the Missionary has been
preaching about; this is the man that has been the worst
in the country, and I do feel that I want to find the Saviour
we have just heard about."
By this time there was great excitement in the house
and many men and women were in tears. At the close of
this wonderful service Mr. Worne shook hands with me,
while tears ran down his cheeks, saying, "I am so glad
that Providence kept you here." His wife, the matron
and the teacher all expressed themselves in the same way,
saying, "If it was only for the conversion of that one
man, it was worth your while to come."
Monday was a blessed day, when we had several services.
Very late on Monday night many of the Indians came to
the beach and some of the wildest, who had been drunkards, gamblers and murderers, were there on the shore at
our farewell prayer-meeting; as we bade them good-bye
we urged them to go to all the tribes and tell the Gospel
story to their people.
Tuesday morning at three o'clock, with steam up, we
started down the channel. A beautiful moon in the last
quarter, shining upon those lofty, snow-capped mountains,
and the glaciers coming down almost to the water's edge,
presented a sight never to be forgotten. We reached
Juneau in good time that afternoon. As soon as we had
supper and I had met the Rev. Mr. Jones of the Presbyterian Church, we marched up the street singing the songs
of Zion. Hundreds came to our open-air prayer-meeting
and the Presbyterian Church, where we had a most glorious
service, was filled.
Here I met a number of the smugglers who used to come
down to Fort Simpson to smuggle whisky into Alaska.
Some of them said they were glad to see me, although
many of them had never been in a Church for years.
We spent the next day among the two tribes living near
the town and had service several times. On Thursday we
started away, but on Friday, on account of the storm, had
to turn back and tied up at the wharf at Douglas Island,
where the great Tredwell mine is situated. There we had
services among the natives three or four times on Saturday
and Sunday. The kind Manager allowed us the use of
the "Bees' Nest" Mine Hall, where we had the most
blessed services, both among the Indians and the white
miners. Professor Odium lectured each night to the men
About eighteen months after this I had a very kind
letter from the Rev. W. W. Worne, our Presbyterian
brother at Chilcat. He expressed himself as sorry that
he had not written to me sooner, and said they should
never forget our visit to them. He continued, "You will
remember my very conservative way of meeting you the
first evening you came to us, and yet how warmly we
became attached to you and your friends before you left.
We shall always feel thankful to God, who in His kind
providence kept you with us so much longer than you
expected to stay. The work went on and increased marvellously after you left, all through November and December and away into January, until the poor people crowded
us s
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Fort McLachlan—Fights with Indians—A Model Steamship—
Our Second Visit—Rev. C. M. Tate—China Hat-
Rev. W. B. Cuyler—Dr. R. W. Large.
J " I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance." CHAPTER XIV.
Bella Bella, or Fort McLachlan, was the site of a
Hudson's Bay Company's Fort, built in 1833. Difficulty
arose between the natives and the Company, and the
Indians burned the Fort, which had been abandoned in
1839. The Chiefs' names were " Wacash," " Oyellow"
and "Wockite." In 1846 the Fort was one hundred and
twenty feet square, and there were two bastions mounted
with four nine-pound guns each. The Fort was also provided with a quantity of small arms. The square was surrounded with pickets made of small trees, eighteen feet
long and about twenty-four inches in circumference. These
were mortised into square sills at the bottom and placed
so close together that you could not see between them.
There were double gates at the entrance, with a small
wicket gate. The tops of the pickets were mortised into
planks and fastened by spikes. About four feet and a half
from the top there was a gallery around the wall inside,
so that the watchman might keep a lookout. Inside the
entry a man was always stationed to let the Indians in
and out to trade, only one being admitted at a time. There
was a large house inside for the servants and another for
the Governor. Sometimes the Chiefs were allowed to visit
the Governor's house.
The natives here were called Millbank Sound Indians
and were scattered in a number of villages within ten or
fifteen miles of the Fort.    They were said to be very
treacherous but very ingenious.    On the occasion of a
risit by the Compan;
' When we visited the
Beaver a writer says:
steamship they watched
lip from the model
the model steamer appeared.   It was thirty feet long, all
in  one  piece excepting the bow and  stern, and much j
resembled c
md had paddJ
It was painted black, decked over
the Indians had to turn laboriously
These Indians were said to be warlike, and in later years
the white settlers. It is said that at Whitby Island a
Colonel Eby was murdered in cold blood by them. This
happened years ago when some white man had wilfully
shot down one of their number. We can scarcely wonder
at their action, for Indian law is life for life.   They think
tella Bella
i Kwakwal
d hunting
dialect of the other.   They lived by fisl
At our second visit to Bella Bella I found a young, I
aspiring chief who wished by wealth and strength to get
the place of Humpshet, the hereditary chief.   The people
had spoken of the need for a Church building.    He said
"Do you see that?    I was going to Victoria to change
that for ammunition and muskets to fight that Chief over
' Now, sir, if you will BELLA BELLA
will give you those blankets towards building a Church;
but you must come this summer or else it will be too late.
We shall fight."
A day or two afterwards I visited the village of Hump-
shet, the King of Bella Bella, whom all the people delighted
to honor. As I sat for several hours with him in the little
council chamber attached to his great heathen house, every
few minutes someone would come in with a little food in
his hands, or in a little dish, for it seemed that no family
in the whole village would eat a meal without sending a
taste to their Chief, in order to show their great respect
for him.
I talked with him about a Mission for his people, and
told what the haughty, aspiring young Chief had said
about giving us the blankets if we would build a Church.
After talking to one of his wives, he pointed to a pile of
new trade blankets and said, "I will give those if you
will send us a teacher at once." I promised that I would
send them a teacher at once and expressed the hope that
he and his people would come to the central village and
live there. I had to do it in faith. There was no time
to send word to Toronto or to wait twelve or thirteen
months until the Mission Board should sit, to find out
whether they could have a Missionary or not. Under the
circumstances, by faith in God, we promised them a
The people, seeing their Chiefs giving blankets, brought
in blankets and rings and bracelets, and some of them
furs. Their donations went far to help buy material for
our first little Church at Bella Bella. One woman, who
looked very poor, taking the ring off her finger, said, " This
is all I have that is worth anything in the world; and
if you take this, I will give it as my donation to the
Church." I was told afterwards that this woman took a
little canoe, paddled nearly sixty miles to a heathen village, where her sister lived, and brought her back with her.
When the teachers came they were both led to Christ and
lived happily together. Think of it, travelling one hundred and twenty miles in a small canoe to bring her sister
to Jesus!
As soon as I got home and could make arrangements
I sent W. H. Pierce, our native brother, to take charge of
the work until we could get a Missionary. That summer
Rev. Mr. Tate and his wife were appointed by the Toronto
Conference to the Forks of the Skeena, but owing to a
strange turn of affairs were not permitted to go, and they
were sent to Bella Bella to open up the new Mission there. I
We at once got out plans for a Church and a Mission
House, and ordered our lumber at the Georgetown mills.
It was taken down by the Coast boat, thrown off into the I
water and rafted ashore. After this we commenced in
good earnest to clear off ground and put up the buildings.
I never saw anyone more enthusiastic or more faithful than
many of the young people and some of the old ones, who
helped us to carry the lumber up the hill on their backs.
This was the commencement of what is now one of the
most successful Christian villages on the north-west Coast
of British Columbia.
Chief Humpshet and his people joined the Mission. 1
Here he found Christ and, years after, although he had
many struggles with heathen tendencies and some of the   j
heathen, he passed safely away, trusting in Jesus.   Some
time after the young Chief Wockite from Millbank Sound
joined the village with all his people.
The Hyhise people joined with the Kitishtus, a band of
the Tsimpshean nation, and formed a village now called
China Hat (from a conical mountain near by).    Here
1S6 jffe$K^
It, :
Hi   Bilfl«bM
we now have a Christian village, with Church, School and
teacher's residence.
It was found very difficult to keep a regular Missionary
at Bella Bella. Mr. Tate remained four years and was
succeeded at short intervals by W. B. Cuyler, James Calvert, Cornelius Bryant, R. B. Beavis and G. F. Hopkins.
Then Miss Reinhardt, our teacher there, had to take
charge for one winter alone. Mr. Brett and his wife supplied for a time; then came Dr. Jackson, who remained
only a year and had to leave on account of sickness. This
is perhaps one reason why the Bella Bellas never heard
their Missionary preach in their own language.
They are a clever, industrious people and have made
good industrial progress. The new village is a very neat
one with Hospital, Council Hall and Mission House. The
Indians own their sawmill, which has been a great help
in improving the village. They also have a good wharf
and stores, where they do most of their own business.
They make canoes, boxes and mats. In later years they
have spent a good deal of the time at the salmon canneries,
where they do useful work as fishermen. With the exception of the Hydas, the Bella Bellas are said to be more
clever than the other Coast people in their own crafts,
such as making canoes, boxes and carving wood and stone.
A few years ago they made a very large canoe. It was
said to be seventy feet long with eight feet beam, and a
, carrying capacity of from one hundred to one hundred and
fifty persons. A short ladder was necessary in order to
get aboard. As canoes gave place to launches and Columbia River boats, they became adepts at boat-building.
Rev. C. M. Tate did good work during his stay at Bella
Bella.   He writes of his experience there: " We paddle our
own canoe out to Goose Island, where a large number of
Indians are camped shooting fur seal.   Ocean breezes and
outdoor life give us good appetites and, although we have
service almost every day, besides school, attending to the
sick and visiting, yet it seems like almost a holiday.
Whilst we listen to the songs of praise and stories of
Christian experience, we think of the scenes of heathenism
and sin that previous years witnessed on the same spot,
for gambling and witchcraft, conjuring and profligacy of
the most cruel nature have been carried on here.
" We are right in the midst of manual labor about the
Mission premises. It is hard work to get out the old
stumps and roots, but we expect to have things cheerful
without and comfortable within in a short time. Several
of the Indians are building neat little houses this year.
This is the way to get them to live like Christian men.
We must see to Weekeeno and Hyhise (China Hat). We
should have native teachers at both places."
Thus the Missionary reaches out to the regions beyond.
The motto, " Go ye," should ever be before the Missionary
of the Cross until all the earth is saved. When Mr. Tate
left Bella Bella he reported over one hundred converts
among the natives on that Mission.
These people are very superstitious and, like most others
on the Coast, very much afraid of death. Mrs. Tate, the
Missionary's wife, speaks of this in one of her letters: " A
child was very sick; I did not go to see it at once; a man
passed the house and told me it was dead. I slipped down
to the house and found that two or three people were
engaged in crowding a lot of blankets and clothing into
a large square box. A great crowd of women were wailing
around. I requested to see the child; they told nie it was
all right, it was dead. I thrust my hand between the
clothing that they were putting in the box and felt the
warmth of the child's body. I pulled the shawls, blankets
and other things out.   The people in the meantime were BELLA BELLA
determined that I should not take it out and tried to close
down the cover. I managed, however, to get the child out
and found its pulse was still beating. It was rolled up
tightly in five or six yards of cotton, of which I soon
divested it. They were filled with horror at my proceedings. I carried the child to the Mission House, scarcely
expecting that they would allow me to do so, but to my
surprise they offered no objection. It did not live long, so
I had some of them prepare a coffin purposely for it. Their
custom is to put the corpse in a deep box in a sitting
posture. Who can tell the hours of agony endured by
many poor creatures thus buried alive!"
Continuing, Mrs. Tate refers to the happy deaths of
some of the children: " A little girl named Maggie, about
thirteen years of age, was taken away by death. Ever since
the Mission had been organized Maggie was found in her
place both in religious meetings and school. She had
already learned to treasure and read her Bible and she
frequently expressed her love for and trust in Jesus during
her illness. She was perfectly happy, for she said she was
going to be with Jesus. The night before her death, she
asked her mother how near it was to Sunday, for she
wanted to learn one more text before she died; but before
Sunday Maggie was in the presence of Him. who is the
"Little Willie, aged about eleven, who died February
1st, had been confined to his bed for many months. During
the long, sleepless nights he delighted in singing the hymns
he had learned at school, 'Jesus loves me, this I know,'
and ' Come to Jesus, He will save you.' As the end drew
near I was often surprised at the clearness of his ideas
about the way of salvation, as he had received but little
"The most interesting was Jane, who died February
12th. She was about thirteen years of age. She had
attended school very regularly, was foremost in her class
and could read the Bible remarkably well. Early last fall
she told her mother that she would not be long here; she
said she loved Jesus very much and thought He would
soon call her to live with Him. She wanted her mother
to leave the old ways and think of Jesus' way. On one
occasion her mother expressed her regret that she was so
poorly clad. 'Never mind, mother,' she replied, 'Jesus
will give me a beautiful dress by and by.' In January
she went to the hunting-grounds with her parents. She
got worse and they brought her home to the Mission House.
We tried all in our power to restore her health, but after
three nights of watching she passed away. One of her last
conscious acts was to take her Bible from under her pillow
and, kissing it, exclaim, ' Oh, how I love Jesus!'"
Again the Missionary writes: " Some souls have been
brought to Christ. Some of the old people come frequently
to the Mission House for a chat with the Missionary and
tell of the terrors of heathenism. They were kept in fear
by the Chiefs and medicine men and, most of all, by the
surrounding nations, who were wont to pounce upon them
at their fishing camps, kill all the men and take the women
and children captives."
As Chairman, on my visit to Bella Bella I reported:
"A great change has taken place since my last visit.
Surely the blessed Gospel has done wonders for Bella Bella. I
On Saturday the Missionary in charge and I took a trip
to the neighboring village, with about thirty people, in
canoes. We found the people in the midst of a heathen
feast. We went from house to house, singing the songs
of Zion and praying. Later on in the day we preached to
most of them in a large house."
Rev. W. B. Cuyler, in October, 1884, says: " We arrived
190     ' BELLA BELLA
safely in Bella Bella on August 6th. A great work has
been done for these poor people. They show upon their
arms scars where in former days mouthfuls of flesh were
torn off; and, comparing the past with the present, we
conclude that the former days were not better than these."
In November, 1885, speaking of the death of Chief
Humpshet, he says: " The singing of hymns and the hearing of strange stories, the evidence of which they were
incapable of understanding, did not fully satisfy the
Indians. Their old system of feasting and dancing gave
something for their sensual natures; the new system
denied these and, so far as many had gone, did not satisfy
the soul's desires. We frequently sang, prayed and talked
to Humpshet and about four days before he died he was
completely broken down and wept like a child. Who can
tell the struggle going on in that Chiefs breast? Indians
regard the shedding of a tear as a great mark of weakness
on the part of man. Crying is the work of women." The
Chief passed away, requesting with almost his last words,
the singing of " Come to Jesus."
It is now our sad duty to refer to the sickness and
untimely death of our dear Brother Cuyler. Here let me
quote from one of my reports, dated November 2nd, 1886:
" I am just back from a trip to Bella Bella. I had hoped
to hear that Brother Cuyler was somewhat better, but the
dear brother had become so sick that he had to leave his
work and go south. Miss Bernhardt had just heard that
he was not likely to be back, as the doctors said he must
seek another climate. It would be a sore trial to him, for
no man loved his work more than he and the poor Indians
loved him in return. We thought to take Mr. and Mrs.
Nicholas from Bella Coola to supply at Bella Bella. In
this case Bella Coola would be left. Our noble Sister
Bernhardt, who had been teacher at Bella Bella, said she
■acted the
■done all winter and carry on the work
e from the East than let Bella Coola go
tlook, Dr. Sutherland writes: "Letters
oast convey the sad news that Brother
n the battle. For several years he has
the Bella Bella Mission", where he was
e people.   He was ' in labors abundant,'
of which he died. Brother Cuyler I
was obliged to desist from active work in the early part of
the Conference year and went down to Victoria for medical I
advice. For several months he had been residing in the
Nicola country; but, finding that his strength was failing,,
he expressed a strong desire to return to his old friends in
Ontario. A start was made but, after one day's drive
towards the nearest station, he was unable to proceed, and
in a few hours fell asleep. His devoted wife was with him
to the end and in her hour of sore bereavement has the
sympathy and prayers of the whole Church."
further news of Bella Bella: "Our week-night services are I
singing nearly every night besides.   There have been four  |
deaths since my arrival, touching but triumphant.    One
dear little fellow, the brightest scholar in the School, after I
several months of sickness, fell peacefully asleep.    His
education being complete, the Master called him away."
Mr. Calvert did not stay long, as his wife's health would j
not permit it, and the Rev. G. F. Hopkins took his place
at Bella Bella. In March, 1892, Mr. Hopkins writes:
" Two or three years ago a subscription was started among
the Indians here to build a new Church. Nothing further,
however, was done until, last fall, Mr. Thomas Hooper,
architect, of Victoria, B.C., kindly presented us with plans
and aided the work in other ways. We got at the building. The main part is thirty by forty feet, and there is
also a pulpit recess sixteen by sixteen feet and a porch
eight by eight feet, which gives a tower eight by eight feet,
crowned with a four-square spire, the tip of which is eighty
feet from the ground. The whole makes a very neat and
beautiful exterior. This replaces the first little Church,
which became the Council Room and School. The Indians
of this place have acted as carpenters and, with the superintendence of your Missionary, have done almost all the
work. Our people promise to subscribe again after the
fishing season. We need about two hundred and fifty dollars, which does not include lamps or stoves. The two
native trading companies here gave money enough to purchase a forty-pound bell. It has a sweet, clear tone. The
people have built up a nice village, all European-shaped
houses. They have built for themselves a good strong
wharf, and the village of Bella Bella is said to be one of
the prettiest along the Coast"
In association with our work at the Bella Bella Mission a branch was opened at Rivers Inlet. During the
visits of the Rev. Mr. Tate to the Owee-Kenno tribe he
discovered the wonderful rush of salmon up that inlet and
made it known to some white men. This led to the establishment of the first cannery, where there are now seven.
In the summer we have a large field of operations there.
Heathen people and Christians for hundreds of miles along
the Coast, also Chinese, Japanese, and a number of white
men, visit and work at these canneries.
We have five Churches in the Inlet and a Hospital in
a central place.   Mr. and Mrs. Brett, Mr. W. H. Gibson,
pur long-tried and faithful Lay Missionary, and Dr. R. W.
At Bella Cc
Bella field,  v,
Tsimpshean language, a
Bella; but they are all i
our long-tried and ei
Edgar. This is a very
small craft on their w
people mostly live by :
cordwood, with the ex<
ccessful M
dical Missionaries,
ranch of the Bella
a  flourisl
Lug  Mission   with
^ith Bella
joola are associated
d Brother s
nd Sister Nicholas.
orth  Bent
ck  Arm, we  have
still anothc
r at Namu, where
ted, about twenty-
where the
people are all pro
ed of part
of the old Hyhise
some of th
e people speak the
the remain
der speak the Bella
I in trying
to serve God under
iastic nati
re teacher, Mr. G.
1 sheltered for the
n the Coast   The
ig, hunting
and  getting  out
n of the s
ummer, when they
There the
y earn good money
inter.   Thi
part of their lives
due to Dr. Lai
on the work.   '.
Hospital, and
re from which j THE NAAS MISSION.
Early Visits to the Naas—Sick-sake—How the Naas got its
Missionary—Scenes   of   Mission   Life—Back   to
Heathenism—Treasures in Heaven—
The Band—Oolachan—A
Retreat.  CHAPTER XV.
The mouth of the Naas River is in latitude 55° north;
the course of the river is south, south-west, passing through
the Coast Range Mountains, which in many parts rise
directly from the edge of the water. Here and there are
low flats suitable for the growth of roots and hardier vegetables. As one enters the mouth of the river the mind is
struck with wonder and admiration by the sublimity of
the scenery. It appears as if one were in a land-locked
sea, surrounded by high mountains, the peaks of which are
in some cases thickly mantled with snow. It is a scene
in which one can always delight.
My first visit to the Naas was made over the ice in the
spring of 1875. We found the people at a great heathen
dance in old Chief Claycuf s house. Most of them were
covered with paint and feathers and wished to know what
I had come for. They didn't want any Missionary
troubling them. An old Chief said, "God gave you the
Bible, but He gave us the dance and the potlatch, and we
don't want you here." This was near the place where
shortly before that time a Chief had ordered some men
shot because they and their Chief put up a taller crest pole
than he had.
As we stood there by the fire, with the heathen dancers
rushing past us and brushing off their feathers and paint
on our clothes as much as they could, I said to them, my
Bible in my hand, " I came to tell you what is in this
Good Book, to tell you of God's love and His law, of heaven
old them to
c-like thing,
md contain-
They said, " Oh, no, this is done in honor of your coming. They always did this in olden times when they were
pleased at the arrival of a Chief; this is to show that they
now welcome you."
We had a good service that night, as we were privileged
to speak to a goodly number in that large heathen house.
My next visit was in the autumn. With a large canoe
and party we had visited all the villages on the river.
When we returned to the lowest village, Kiteeks, which is
about twelve miles from the mouth of the river, it was a
very cold night I said to my man before I went ashore,
" We must get out of the river to-night or we will be caught
in the ice, as it is going to freeze. Ill just go ashore and
preach to this people, and we will go right on."
I went in to the large heathen house. Men were dancing
all over the floor, the old conjurer's drum was going, and
hundreds more were beating sticks on boards to keep time.
They were covered with paint and feathers, a grotesque
sight They never danced promiscuously. When the men
would sit or fall down exhausted, the women would sally
forth and dance, they in turn falling near the fire or even
on it   The people would throw water on them to bring
I said, "Stop!" in a very decided voice.   "I want to 1
preach to you." I walked up and down in the house, giving
them the Law as well as the Gospel.
Then I went out and, stepping into the canoe, we started
to paddle down the river as hard as we could. We camped
for the night on the beach by salt water.
About six weeks from that time a party of thirteen men,
including the two Chiefs, came down from the Naas to
ask for a Missionary. They said the people were all sorry
for the unkind way the Chief had treated me on my former
visit, and, from the way 1 left so suddenly the last time,
they felt afraid that the Great One Above might be angry
with them. The Chiefs had sent them down to ask for a
Missionary. A thousand people up the river were wanting
a Missionary.   I promised to visit them soon.
As it was getting near the Christmas holidays, I couldn't
leave at that time and during January the weather was too
severe. With a party of ten I started away in February,
1876. As the weather seemed mild and favorable, we
expected to reach Naas the same night or next day, but
that night the weather cleared up and became frosty, with
a very strong north wind. Next day we struggled against
the storm up Portland Channel until it got so bad we had
to camp. In the night it was very cold in our camp on
the beach. Next day the wind blew terribly and the cold
increased so that we had to move camp up into the woods
and cut down trees to make a booth or brush-house to
shelter us from the wintry blast. Here we remained for
several days until our food was all gone; and so, in the
midst of the gale, the wind making water-spouts of the
waves on the Inlet, we started back home, assured that
we couldn't get up the Naas, as the river would be freezing over. On our return trip near a headland known as
Ten Mile Point, in a most miraculous way we were saved
when our mast broke away at the foot and came near cap-
sizing the canoe. Had we been upset here we must all
have been lost, for the rocks rose perpendicularly from the
water's edge and there was no way to get ashore. We
recovered the sail, got it fixed, and on we went, the waves
dashing over us and the spray every time forming ice on
our covering and clothes.
Within ten miles of home we met Chief Sick-sake from
Simpson with twenty-one young men in a large canoe,
plunging away bravely through the waves in the face of
that terrible gale to take food to the Missionary and his
party. They had become convinced at home, the night
before, that it was impossible for us to reach Naas, so they
had gone through the village collecting food. They had
got a hundred dried salmon, fish grease and other things,
and were bent on pressing their way even to Naas through
such a gale. We have been sometimes asked, "Have the
Indians any gratitude?" Here we saw it in its purity.
Where in any other part of the world would twenty-two
men be found to go against such a storm, so bitterly cold
and so dangerous, to look after a poor Missionary, without
anything of reward in view? Needless to say, as soon as
they met us, they whipped their finedarge craft around,
holding up their paddles, with the flat sides to the wind, to
act as sails. We swept along until we got shelter at the
next island, where we soon had a fire. With thanksgiving
and prayer, we ate a good meal in old-fashioned Indian
In the early part of March we tried the trip again. We
found the people all at home, and many of the Chiefs
spoke, urging that a Missionary be sent at once. One said,
I There are fifteen hundred people reaching away up the
Naas and on to the headwaters of the Skeena, and this
is the door to them all." They urged that we should not
200 1
fail to send a white Missionary that summer. I left a
native with them.
Later on I made my way south to attend the Annual
District Meeting with a view to getting a Missionary for
the Naas people. The meeting was held in Victoria.
Business went on until Saturday afternoon, when the
Chairman suggested that there was now a chance to hear
from Brother Crosby about the work in the North. The
Naas people and their "Macedonian cry" were first
on my mind and heart. I told them the story of the open
door to that people. As I pleaded the Chairman said,
" Brother, you will pardon me, but I must say here that
word has come from the East that the Society is in debt
and not one dollar more can be spent this year for the
opening up of new work." A minister from a sister church
was in the meeting and sat with tears rolling down his
cheeks. Said he, " Mr. Crosby, I wish you were in Bristol,
England, to-night; you would get both the money and the
man if you would tell them that story." I said, " I can't
go to Bristol, brother, but I must have a Missionary."
After what the Chairman had said I felt almost brokenhearted; I sat down in one of the big seats in the church
and had a good cry. Then I left the room, went to the
parsonage near by, where I was billeted, and there, on my
knees, 1 told the Lord all about it.
I could not take any supper that night, but went out
and took a walk up one of the back streets, feeling oh, so
lonely. I felt as if every friend in the world had forsaken
me and, crying, I kept telling the Lord I must have a
Missionary. After I had walked some distance, I thought
of a cottage prayer meeting that used to be held in Father
McKay's house on Saturday nights. I went around to
that place and there I found a number engaged in prayer—
Presbyterians and Methodists, Episcopalians and Baptists,
white and colored. They were having a glorious time.
After a while the leader said, " We will change the exercises; some would like to speak." One or two spoke and
then I got a chance. I didn't go back over years of experience but told them of the cry from the Naas for a Missionary, of the experience I had that afternoon and how
my heart was nearly broken by what the Chairman had
said. By this time nearly everybody was in tears. An old
colored man jumped up and said, "Brother Crosby shan't
go back widout a Missionary. I'se give two dollars and a
half." Another brother said, " We must get it higher than
that, brother; I will give fifty dollars." Another gave fifty
dollars, another twenty-five dollars, and on the list went
until it ran up to over three hundred dollars. All at once
a young man, who had been teaching our School at
Nanaimo, said, " I'll go, I'll go." The late Sheriff
McMillan, a lay representative to the District Meeting,
took charge of the subscription list and presented the
man and the money to the District Meeting on Monday
morning. I need not say there was not a happier man
in the world than I was that day; I was praising the Lord
wherever I went, shouting and happy for what He had
done. I met a young Yorkshire man whose father had
died and left some money in Nanaimo. I knew the dear
old man some years before. His son had just come out
to see about the estate. I said, " Young fellow, you missed
it you were not with us last night; we had a glorious .
time." When I told him what had been done, he said,
"I'll help; I will give fifty dollars for that."
Mr. A. E. Green, the young teacher at the meeting,
was forthwith sent and the people of Victoria sustained
him that year and part of the year following, as well as
giving largely to the General Fund. After the Missionary
reached Port Simpson we made a trip together to the
Upper Naas, visiting and preaching in all the villages. A
site was chosen and presented to us by the Chiefs for a
Mission at Lack-al-zap (Greenville).
In December, 1877, the Naas Missionary writes: "A
blessed revival has been going on at Port Simpson; the
Missionary from there, with fifty people, visited the Naas.
It was a time long to be remembered."
Again in February, 1878, he writes: " We were encouraged and blessed in November by a visit from Brother
Crosby and fifty of his people, many of whom gave clear
testimony. . . . When we came here the young people
thought the Gospel could help them, but that there was no
hope for the old; they said they had been too long in darkness. They brought a young man who was sick twenty-
six miles to the Mission. He wept when he saw us and
said he wanted to hear about Jesus before he died. We
told him to pray. He said, ' I can't; I don't know how.'
We pointed him to the Lamb of God. A few days ago an
old Chief came to ask a question. He said, 'The white
people are very wise; they know a great deal; the Indians
are very foolish. Why did not God make us all white, so
we could all be wise ?' The old man seemed amazed when
we pointed him back to our common parentage, to the
origin of sin, and pointed him to Christ." Afterwards
the Rev. Mr. Green reported that this old man had become
a convert to Christianity and had begged for a copy of the
Word of God, which was given him. He drove a stake
into the ground to which he fastened it. In answer to
the question why he did this, he said he could not read,
but he knew the book was God's Word and he wanted to
have it near him, so he fastened it this way as a source
of comfort.
Later, we made a trip up the river, spending six days
at the upper village.   Heathenism in its worst forms had
been carried on by the doctors and conjurers. We preached
to large congregations and pointed them to Jesus.
In April, 1881, Mr. Green reported thirty-nine taken
into the Church during the year. He said, " On the 6th
of last month twenty adults were baptized. On the same
day a love-feast was held, and the Spirit of God came down
upon the people. An invitation was given for all who
would consecrate themselves to the Lord to come forward.
The whole congregation pressed forward. The house was
full of cries and prayers. Several families, leaving
heathenism, have united with us during the winter.
"No sooner is an Indian converted than he becomes
anxious for the conversion of his heathen friends. A young
man from the interior, who last spring joined our Mission,
came one morning, with his Testament, saying, 'Please
find me that text where it says, "The blood of Jesus
cleanseth us from all sin." When I heard you preach
from it, it warmed my heart. Now I have heard that my
mother is sick and I want to carry that word to her.' He
went one hundred and twenty miles to tell his heathen
friends about Jesus.
"Twenty of our people started up the river on snow-
shoes, visiting all the villages for forty miles, praying in
every house and declaring to old and young what God
had done for them. Even those who before had persecuted the Christians opened their doors and invited them
to eat with them. One old man said, 'My friends, you
know this river; it flows to the sea; it lifts and carries away
the old logs, taking all it reaches into the sea. Sometimes
the river is low; winter comes; the river is dry; the snow
is deep. Then spring comes, the sun shines; the rain falls;
the snow melts and the mountain streams rush down into
the river. It fills; it overflows its banks and carries away
old, dry logs that for years have been lying on the banks.
So it was with God's work. It flowed on, but not very
wide; it did not reach us all. It was winter. Then summer came, the sun shone and the good rain fell; the river
of God overflowed its banks and reached me. I was a log,
but the Good Word lifted me. I am saved. I am on my
way to heaven.   Blessed be Jesus!'
"The children formed themselves into a praying band.
It was a lovely sight to see them going from house to house,
singing the songs of Zion and speaking of the wonderful
works of God. The oldest of the band was not over nine
years of age.
"A great heathen Chief died in the Mission village,"
continues Mr. Green, " and the heathen people rushed here
with their songs, dances and eagle feathers to carry on
their superstitious practices. This sorely tried our Christians. It is strange to see how determined these heathen
are to get the Christians back to heathenism. If they
cannot get them by persecution they will try them by force,
or by kindness work on their feelings.
"A man and his wife came to stay at the Christian
village. They hadn't been there a week before the woman's
friends came in the night and carried her off, back to
heathenism. She, however, managed to escape and
returned to the Mission,-but in a day or so a strong
party came and took her away again.
" A young man who had lived in a Christian village was
converted and had commenced to preach when his old
uncle, a Chief in a heathen village, sent for the young
local preacher. He showed him boxes filled with blankets,
furs and other property. Then, sitting down by the fire,
he said, ' My nephew, you are my heir, you see my property; I have been saving it up all my life for you, so
that when you take my name you will be rich and a big
Chief. But you are going a different road; you are poor;
i like
10 good clothes; you have no boxes filled; you
•e, so the people don't give you presents. It is
lave a little house at the Mission; but I can't
roperty. Come to me and I will give you all. I
ild; you are my son; come and take all I have.'
rang man said,' Yes, uncle, your words are true,
rich; I do not have fine clothes or boxes filled
rets. The people don't give me presents since
follow Jesus. I know you cannot see my pro-
; I have a treasure. Yours is in these boxes;
Heaven. You see yours now, but soon, you say,
save it; and you won't see it again. I don't see
re now, but it is yonder, and I shall soon have
I love you, my uncle; but you must do what
ith your property.   I can't leave the treasure I
" The old man went away seemingly angry. These two
became reconciled on the following Christmas Day, 'the
day of peace,' and at the nephew's urgent invitation the
old Chief took dinner with him. He afterwards became
an earnest Christian and died happy in the Lord."
" Still another instance is given by Mr. Green of the effort
of heathenism on the Naas to recover its lost ground: " A
Christian was called by his heathen relations to their
house, and he went; the heathen Chiefs came and were
given seats according to their rank; spoons were given
them, food placed before them and blankets put down at
their feet They wanted the Christian to eat with them
and take the presents. This would be the formal way of
taking him back again into heathenism. He understood
them and spoke, asking, 'If you were to bring a dead
body into thiB house and put food before it and put a
spoon in its hand, would it eat? If you put blankets at
its feet would it take them ? No, no, it would not, because
it was dead. Friends, you bring me into this house, you
put food before me and a spoon into my hand, you put
blankets at my feet; but I cannot eat, I cannot take these
blankets because I am dead—dead to your old way. I
used to live in it, just as you do, but now I am dead to it
all.'   He then preached Jesus to them.
" Another time a Christian young man's friends wished
to take him back into heathenism. He said, ' You see this
stone that rolled down this mountain side from the top
of the mountains. It was up there a long time and was
very strong—a part of the great mountain; but a great
power reached it, moved it, and it rolled down and came
into the river. Will it go back again? Will it roll up
there again? Will it go back to the old place? No, it
won't. So it was with me. I was with you a long time,
a part of your great, bad mountain; but God's great power
came; His Word loosened me, moved me out of the mountain of sin and rolled me down to God's new river. I cannot go back up the mountain to my old place. It is cold
there; the snow is there; but here down by the river it is
warm. Now God comes to shake you and to move you
to come to Him.'
"A young man from a heathen village thus expressed
himself in a Class Meeting: ' Friends, I am nearly dead;
it almost takes my breath away to see how you people live.
Oh, it is so different from the lives we live! I am going
to ask my mother if she won't come with me to live here
in this new way.'
" The Indians have much improved their village, having put down a plank sidewalk at a cost of ninety-nine
dollars and built a Band house at a cost of one hundred
and thirty-five dollars."
In January, 1886, the Missionary in a letter to the
Missionary Outlook tells this story of the Mission: "A
young white man who had come to spend a few days was
converted and made to rejoice in the Saviour's love, and
oh, how happy he was! The people also got very happy.
A man who had recently given his heart to God said, ' My
wife often wakes me up and tells me, " George, we sleep too
much; let us get up and pray," and, as we do so, our hearts
get warm and we feel as if we should like to go away
straight home to Heaven.'"
In January, 1887, the Missionary, Mr. Green, says: " It
gave great joy to the Indians to hear that they were to
have a new Church. They had already got out the foundation timber.
"We have had plenty of Band music during the past
six weeks. A teacher came from the Coast to teach them
to play their new band instruments, presented by friends
in England on my visit They are proving to be good ones.
One of our men soon thought he could teach as well as
the teacher. We were all astonished at the progress they
made. For thirty-three days they had three sessions every
day. The Indians can now play 'The German Hymn,'
'The Fisherman's Prayer,' 'Praise God from Whom all
Blessings Flow,' ' God save the Queen,' ' The Dead March
in Saul,' 'Onward, Christian Soldiers,' and 'Around the
Throne of God in Heaven.'
" On Christmas eve we had a tree with presents for the
children. The Chieftainess, 'Long Arm,' had a beautiful
shawl and other things sent by a friend in London. She
spoke very nicely, saying God had answered her prayers •
and had sent her a sign that the white Christians remembered her and her people, and that morning and evening,
every day, she would pray God's blessing upon them.
" During the Christmas time, and indeed any other time,
there is danger of the Indians going into debt for food
for the feasts.   This is one of their great weaknesses.   1
" News was brought to our village that a white man and
three halfbreed children were without food and blankets
at the upper village, Kit-lach-tamux. We made the journey on snowshoes through a storm, reached the village and
preached the Gospel. We found the old man, a daughter
and two little boys in a corner of their little log cabin with
a bearskin over them and but fragments of clothing. The
old man died. Before dying, he begged the Missionary to
take the children. He took them, baptized the boys, calling them John and George, and kept them both for some
time. John was soon able to care for himself. The
youngest, George, stayed on at the Mission. We also took
another boy and baptized him Fred. Boys such as these
were transferred to the Crosby Boys' Home at Port Simpson or went to work for themselves.
" In the spring, when the small fish come into the river,
the gulls are so numerous as to resemble a heavy fall of
snow. The eagles soar high above the myriads of gulls,
seeking their chance. In the water are seals and larger
fish after the small fish, all under intense excitement. We
have Indians from the interior, from Skeena River, Alaska,
Port Simpson, Metlakatlah, and other places, making in
all about five thousand people, some Christians and many
not. Those who are heathen are known by their faces—
some red, some black. They are dressed in all kinds of
strange, fantastic costumes and present a wonderful sight
as they move about on the ice. We have man life, fish life
and bird life, all seeking to destroy the delicious fish.
In former years the people used to offer sacrifice to the
Great Spirit for giving them the fish, and the one who
caught the first fish would put it in his bosom and run
about, crying, ' Oh, you salvation fish, you salvation fish.'
When asked why they called them salvation fish, they said,
I Oh, years ago, many Indians were here on this river, UP AND DOWN THE NORTH PACIFIC COAST
starving-to death before the fish came, hence as soon as
they did come we called them the salvation fish, for they
saved the people from death.' These oolachan fish are
called also ' small fish,' ' candle fish,' or, as above, ' salvation fish.' They are most delicious, and the grease obtained
from them is a wonderful help to health in that climate."
In 1888, Mr. Green, writing of the trials and triumphs
of his work on the Naas, says: "When Brother Crosby
was up here, I wrote about the death of our little boy.
Our loss is his gain. Indians from every village on the
river brought their sick to us when the fever was very bad.
Among them were the Chiefs from Kit-heeks. One family I
brought five children very sick with the fever. They
stayed at the house of a local preacher who was married
to their eldest daughter. The daughter said, ' Father, you
don't believe the Gospel; but, when you all get sick and
think you are going to die and don't know what to do,
then you come to the Christians and ask them to help
you. God's servants give you medicine, God shows His
mercy and spares all your children, when so many around
you die. Then you all go back to the devil's work again.
I am a Christian, and I thought now you would give me
one of my sisters to serve God. She would live with me
and would become a Christian. Yes, I thought you would
give me Hath-kun to be a Christian.' ' Yes,' her father
replied,' but Hath-kun is not willing to stay here.' ' Hear
what he says,' cried Hath-kun, 'I have wanted to be a
Christian for a long time but father would not let .me.'
The father consented to let her join the Mission; she
became a Christian and was baptized.
" One of our local preachers said in Class Meeting, ' I
am so glad I am a Methodist   I was never so pleased with
this before.   There is good in the other Churches, I have
no doubt, but they do not have Class Meeting.   If ever so
happy, they cannot tell it in the meeting. God has helped
me very much while my child was sick. He has blessed
me much; my heart is full; and I thank God I am a Methodist, for I can open my mouth with joy and tell of His
Rev. D. Jennings, writing from Naas Mission in 1889,
says: "I have seen many weep on account of sin, but I
never saw one weep as bitterly as a strong, intelligent man
at our principal Mission station wept on account of his sin.
He said he wanted to be a genuine Christian, not a halfhearted one.
" The Lord was present with us at the opening of the
new Church at Lach-al-zap."
Our work on the Naas is described by another missionary as follows: " About sixteen miles from the mouth of
the river is Fishery Bay, where we have a neat little
Church. Four miles above Fishery Bay, on the same side
of the river, is Lach-al-zap (Greenville), our headquarters
on the Naas. Taking this village as a centre, there are
several others at which Missions are established, extending
as far as Kit-wan-silk and Kit-lach-tamux, some forty
miles above Greenville.
" We have preached the joyful tidings of salvation in all
these villages. At one of the camps we found a medicine
man practising over a sick old man. The old medicine
man was physically and spiritually blind. He had a box
containing shot or sinall stones which he rattled over the
sick man, while he uttered his wild incantations. When
the sick man saw me he gave a piteous look as much as
to say, ' Help me.' As the doctor rattled, I gave the sick
man some medicine; this made him better by next day.
It was laughable to see the doctor finish up his practice.
He rattled near the sick man's mouth with great force;
put down his rattle; put his two hands on the sick man's
head and, with too much friction to be comfortable, drew
them down over his face, grasping the mouth, and pretending to take something away. Then placing his
closed hands together, as people do when looking at a
distant object, he blew into them with great force; and
thus took the disease away from the sick man. The doctor
said to the sick man,' Has he given you. medicine ?' When
he was told I had, he said, 'Good! good!' The doctor
then asked me to give him some medicine. I replied,' You
are a doctor, take your own medicine'; but doctors do not
often do that."
The Naas was for many years a most successful Methodist Mission. The Rev. A. E. Green, our first Missionary,
was followed by the Rev. D. Jennings, the Rev. R. B.
Beavis, the Rev. S. S. Osterhout and Dr. Wm. Rush, each
of whom did faithful and successful work. Dr. Rush failed
in health and it was found impossible to supply his place.
The Church Misssionary Society has since taken over the
work and the Methodist Church has withdrawn from this
Blind Jack—Our First Trip to the Forks of the Skeena—
Unique Fishery—Native Bridges—Entertained by a
Conjure!-—The Gospel in a Heati
Camp—The Forks—Mr. Mathieson's
Work—The   CM. S.   in  the
Field—Later Visits. ' The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad
for them." 1
It was while still engaged with the native carpenters,
finishing the work on our Church at Port Simpson, that
a medium-sized man, a native, rather thick-set, walked
into the Church and nearly to the altar where we were
at work. He turned up his head, moving it quickly around,
and seemed to be looking at every part of the building. As
he came up, I said, " Good day," shook hands with him,
and said, " How do you do ? Where are you from ? What
is your name?"
He said, "My name is Jack; I have come ten suns to
see you, sir. I heard you were building a great house for
God, and I thought I should like to see it."
I said to a young man, " Take him outside, around the
Church, show him the posts and everything."
He felt all around the buttress posts, came in again and
felt all around the altar. Then he said, " Sir, I am so
glad I have seen the Church."
I found he was quite blind, but of course he had seen
it in his mind. " Now," he said, " I hear the people give
you money to help to build the Church"; and I said
"Yes." He took out all his money, seventy-five cents,
and gave it. I found afterwards that his poor sister had
given him this to buy a shirt.
He seemed very happy, prancing around and saying, " I
am a great singer; I do all the bad songs in my village,
away far up in the interior, at the head waters of the
Skeena.   But now, sir, I should like to hear some of the
songs your people sing."
Mrs. Crosby got him by the little melodeon and played .
a number of pieces that took his fancy. He went away
and they say he sang them all night in the big house.
Next day he came back. We told him the story of redeeming love; and he said he wished to sing some more and
be a good man. He sang again and got one piece after
another. He said he wished to be " filled up," so we
worked away to fill him up as well as we could with the
good Word and song. One day he came up to the Mission
House and said he was going.
" Well," I said, " good-bye, Jack; God bless you!"
" Well," he said, " I should like to have a Bible, sir."
. I wished to know what he would do with the Bible.
He said, " I want to take it; I will hold it up before my
people and tell them that is God's great letter that tells
of His love."
I gave him a Bible and then he said, " I should like to
have a handbell."
" Jack," said I, " what will you do with a handbell P"
" I wish to ring it through my village to call my people
to Church and tell them all you told me and sing the new
I had some handbells I had got to lend out to the people
when they went hunting and fishing, as they all wished
to have a handbell to ring for Church services on Sunday
in camp. He got the handbell and, with the Bible under
his arm, he tinkled the bell and went away, looking very
happy. Months after this, I heard that Jack Was ringing
his bell in his village in the mountains, calling the people
to Church and telling them all he knew—"doing what
he could."
About two years afterwards, a poor, forlorn-looking little
woman stepped inside our house and crouched down by
the door. Seeing she was a stranger, I said, "Who are
you ?   Where are you from ?"
" Oh, sir," she sobbed out, " my poor boy Jack, my boy
Jack, he has gone, sir, he has gone, sir; but oh, he was
so good, sir, and told us such good things. He has gone, sir,
he has gone. He was working on the Hudson's Bay Company's boats, getting freight up the river; he took cold, got
sick and died; but before he went away he said, ' Go and
tell God's servant I am going to be with Jesus in that
happy place he told me about,' and oh, he was so happy,
sir." Then the poor mother, taking out the Bible from
under her dirty blanket, said, " Here is the book> sir. He
told me to bring it to you and to thank you for telling
him about Jesus and the home above." As we sat and wept
together, I thought that if all Christian people would do
as poor Jack did and tell all they know about Jesus, we
should soon have the world converted. It was a good while
before Jack's people could have a teacher, as the funds
were small.
For some time people kept calling on us, Blind Jack
among the rest, to begin work on the Upper Skeena; but,
as many other points, such as Naas, Essington and Kitamaat, were opening up, and we were pushing buildings in
some of these places, we did not get away to the Upper
Skeena until the summer of 1878.
We left Simpson by canoe for our Mission on the Naas,
where we spent several days in blessed service. We then
left Greenville with an Indian, Robert McMillan, who had
volunteered to be my guide to the Upper Skeena. We
called and had services at Kit-wan-silk and at Kit-lach-
tamux, passing by canoe to the end of the celebrated
"Grease Trail."
This trail had been used for years by the Upper Skeena
people, who came down by hundreds to the Naas for the
oolachan fishing in the early spring. In those days they
had a great heathen dance in the month of February for
about a week at each village, before going to fish. They
would get down to Fishery Bay on the Naas River in the
early part of March to prepare for the small fish, which
generally came up the river about the middle of that
month. Here they would work in their primitive way
by putting red hot stones into boxes partly filled with fish
and water. When the grease was all rendered out in this
manner, they put it into large boxes made of cedar slabs,
without nails.
This work ended about the last of April when, with borrowed canoes, they would make their way up the Naas
River to the end of the trail, which was one hundred and
forty miles in length. Sometimes, when they had a big
catch, it would take them weeks to "pack" their stuff
away. Some of the women were the-greatest "packers"
among them and carried these great grease boxes, some
of them weighing from one hundred and fifty to two hundred pounds each. They started from camp in the morning, mother and father, and even little boys and girls, each
one with a pack on his back, attached by a rope to a strap
round the forehead. Even the dogs, if there were any,
had their packs also. They went a distance from their
camp, putting down their loads where they thought they
could bring up all their belongings during that day by
making a sufficient number of trips over the same ground.
With hundreds of people scattered for miles along this
wonderful trail, there was a lively scene during the month
of the exodus or that of the homeward trip.
Robert and I started on the trail, with blankets and provisions. We each had a heavy pack; indeed, it proved too
much for me those hot September days. The first night
we reached a number of Naas people at their summer fishing camp by the canyon.
Here we saw some real, native ingenuity. They had
ladders made with poles and native ropes, extending some
twenty-five feet each from one ledge of rock to another,
then to a similar rock below; and thus they went down
one or two hundred feet till they reached the river. Here
one man would stand on a point of rock, where there was
a very rapid current. With a native scoop-net at the end
of a long pole he would haul out the beautiful silver
salmon, while his wife, that greater burden-bearer, would
fill a big basket with salmon and start up these wonderful
ladders. We watched more than one as they made the trip
to the top of the cliff, and I trembled as I watched lest
they slip or the ropes break.
It was a lovely spot to camp, covered with moss and
wild berries. Here we were treated to a supper of delicious fresh salmon and the native blueberry. We closed
the day with a nice service among the people.
After a good night's rest, we were away bright and early.
It was hard travelling for me over this peculiarly shaped
trail, for these people who walk with toes in do not leave
a trail wide enough for a white man. Added to this was
the fact that, the ferns and foliage were so high, and so
often leaned over the trail from both sides, that we literally had to push our way through. When these were loaded
with the heavy dew, it was almost as wet as going through
a pond of water. This would continue till far on in the
forenoon, when the sun got high enough to dry up the
dew. Then our clothes, which had been wet through,
began to dry. My boots got so dry and hot during the
afternoon that my feet became terribly blistered and I
was usually glad when the time came to strike camp for
the night. After supper and prayers we lay down to rest.
Oh, how I would sleep, with nothing but the canopy of
heaven overhead!
Here I met with the first native bridge that I had seen.
One might call it a suspension bridge. It was made by
cutting down saplings six or eight inches through and
twenty-five or thirty feet long. These leaned over the
river, being made fast on the banks by means of piles of
stones laid on the butt-ends to keep them firmly in place.
These trees, fixed on each bank, might not reach more than
two-thirds of the distance across, but by withes or ropes
of roots other poles were fastened to the outer ends of
those extending from the banks, and thus the river was
spanned. Hanging from this by withes or pieces of bark
or rope, the bridge on which one had to walk swung about
level with each bank. It consisted of native planks laid
from one pole to another, with light poles on each side, of
which you could take hold.
I told my friend to go first. He did so with his pack
on his back and got safely over. Then he had to return
to take my pack. For the life of me I couldn't have taken
that pack over that swinging bridge; but when Robert
told me that these poor women would pack over their
grease boxes of more than one hundred and fifty pounds
and think nothing of it, I began to think that the proverb
is true, " It is nothing when you get used to it."
We passed a large fishing camp, and here we saw in the
shoal water of the river hundreds of beautiful salmon,
some of them with their fins and tails worn off in the
journey up stream. I was told they must have come all
the way up the Skeena River, then into the Kit-wan-cool
River, then into the lake and then up this river in the
mountains where we saw them. Here the Kit-wan-cool
people gather in the summer to dry berries and s
We had service among them at their camp and then
pressed on our way across the mountains.
The next point of interest was a large berry drying
camp. Here a great, rough frame shed had been erected,
perhaps one hundred feet long, roofed with slabs and bark,
but open at the sides. As we approached this camp, we
heard the song of an old conjurer, and when we came
up we saw him sitting with his back towards us, a long
spear and a scalping knife by his side. He was a wild,
rough-looking old man, his face all painted up and his
hair tied in a knot at the top of his head. As soon as he
heard our footsteps he sprang up and seized his spear.
Robert, my guide, called out in his own language, "It is
the Missionary coming; don't be disturbed."
" Humph," the old man grunted out, " I thought it was
some of the wild men from the mountains. They are all
the time troubling us, and we have to be on our watch for
He very shortly afterwards prepared us a dinner. First
he handed us a dish with water in it to wash our hands.
As soon as this was done and we were seated, he set before
us on a dish the greater part of a very large salmon which
had been broiled before the fire. The blessing was asked
and we started to eat, using our fingers of course—knives
and forks he had none. There was no salt, but we enjoyed
the salmon "straight."
The old man was really very friendly and Robert and
he kept up a rapid conversation in regard to all the news
of the day. Meanwhile our host was preparing further
for our comfort. There were yards and yards of dried
berries spread out very thinly on leaves and laid on very
slight racks or trays, made of split cedar, which in turn
were placed on a kind of frame. Great rows of them
extended the whole length of the house, some three or four
feet above the earthen floor. He took from one of these
scaffolds what seemed to be about half a yard square of
berries in the little dish in which we had washed our
hands, broke the cake of berries into small pieces, then
poured in some water and began to squeeze and knead the
berries with his hands until he had got quite a dish of juice
extracted. Still Robert and he kept up the conversation.
As I looked across at him, I saw him lay down the great
lump of seeds and refuse from the berries. He then took
a very large bone spoon and filled it with oolachan grease,
which he was about to pour into the berry juice. I called
out to Robert, "H that is for us, tell him to keep the
grease out of it."
" Oh," the old man said, " it is a very strange thing if
you can't eat grease with berries." It was a very common
thing for them to eat grease with almost every kind of
After partaking of the berry juice, we had singing and
prayer together and a long conversation with the old man
about the plan of salvation and the wonderful love of
Jesus. He looked amazed and said, " Yes, if all you have
said is true, it was a wonderful thing for the Great Chief
Above to give His only Son." After asking him to tell
his friends when they came from the mountains what we
had told him, we bade him good-bye. We started on our
journey, quite refreshed by our intercourse with our old
friend, praying God to bless the word which we had spoken.
We soon reached Kit-wan-cool village, on the edge of a
beautiful lake of that name. We arrived there on Saturday evening. The few people who were at home seemed
all excited on our arrival. We were invited into the
Chief's house, where we held service and preached to them
the wonderful story of love. A great fire was piled on in
the house and grease thrown on it to make it blaze up, OUR WORK ON THE SKEENA
until the slabs of the old lodge roof took fire, and a young
fellow had to rush up with a bucket of water to put it out.
Here we had more delicious, fresh salmon. We found several sick in the little village and gave them some of the
simple remedies we had with us; but the old conjurer and
his drum seemed more in demand than any medicine we
could give them. After conversation with some of the
leading men as to our plan for to-morrow's work, they
suggested that, if we had early service with them and
then travelled on towards the Skeena River a half day's
journey, we would come to a large camp of their people,
who were fishing and drying salmon.
It was now time to retire. We lay down amid the din
of howling dogs, the conjurer's rattle and drum and what
seemed to be a score more beating time with short sticks
on boards to his weird song. We were soon asleep. Next
morning we rose bright and early and called the people to
service. Robert and I then had breakfast and started off
towards the Skeena River. We walked on and on but,
instead of getting there in the afternoon, as they had said,
it was nine o'clock at night and just getting dark when
we reached the camp.
Here were two very large houses and a great number of
people. I was a little distance ahead of Robert and, as
I came up, I put my head in at the door at the end of one
of the houses, when an old woman cried out, "Young
men, where are your muskets?" Several of them rushed
for their guns; but, by the time they had them in their
hands, Robert popped his head in at the door and cried
out, " Stop! this is a Missionary."
In a few moments crowds came in from the other house.
I slipped my pack off my back and, Bible in hand, commenced to tell them of the wonderful love of God in the
gift of His Son to save a lost world.   They crowded in and
crouched on the floor. We had no other light than the
dying embers of the fire, which was there more to smoke
the salmon which hung over it than to give light. As I
spoke on, all I could see was a mass of faces filled with
wonder and amazement I continued talking for a long
time, as they seemed intensely interested; but, being very
tired, was about to stop, when a number with tears in their
eyes said, "Oh, go on, do tell us more; we never heard
such a wonderful story; tell us more!" Some time after
this we closed the service, glad that we had come so far to
tell them of the Saviour's love.
Robert and I retired to the woods to sleep, thinking we
would have a better chance to rest there than in the smoky
houses, where there were hundreds of dried salmon hanging over the smouldering fire and the quarreling dogs upon
the floor.
Early next morning we got our breakfast, made a visit
through the camps, had prayer with some families and
then started up the Skeena. We were advised that, as the
river was low, we could travel better on the beach than we
could over the rugged hills and rough trail. We started
along the river shore; and now the blistered feet from
which I had suffered so much pained me more than ever
as the soles of my shoes had got so soft that they were
worse than moccasins would have been for walking over
gravel beds and boulders.
At last we got to the Forks of the Skeena, having visited
the Kitzegucla and other bands on our way. We were
graciously received by two old-time white traders as well
as by most of the Indians that were at home. While we
remained we had service with them night and morning.
A few miners arrived from Omeniea and a number of
others were expected. At this place many of the miners
spent the winter.    We also visited Kishpiax, where we OUR WORK ON THE SKEENA
found a great many Indians engaged in fishing. Here we
had service at a large fishing camp some distance up the
river. We also called at Hag-wil-get, where the Catholic
priests had visited once in a great while. The people there
were very desirous to have a Methodist Missionary come
among them.
As I was about to leave on the return trip, the Kit-en-
makes or Hazelton people urged that we send them a
teacher at once. That fall we sent a young man named
Mathieson to teach at the Forks. Regular preaching and
teaching were thus established up the Skeena, though in
the year before this visit the Rev. A. E. Green, then on
the Naas Mission, had made a trip to the Upper Skeena
and preached the Gospel at all of the villages.
Mr. Mathieson had been employed for a time as teacher
on the Naas; and while on the Skeena did good work and
seemed to have wonderful influence over the people at the
Forks. He got them to give up their heathen dancing and
gambling and many of them attended service. In his
School report to the Government, dated November 25th,
1878, he says: " Morning session, 10 to 12; afternoon, 2 to
4; evening, 6 to 9; total number enrolled, 120. Forty-
eight of these are grown people who can attend only one
session. Most of the pupils have made wonderful progress; many, who did not know their letters, already read
pretty well in the First and Second Primer. We have an
average attendance of forty. But for the three great
heathen feasts held in the neighboring village's, the attendance would have been better. We closed for two weeks at
Christinas to enable the teacher to provide a more comfortable School, but night session was continued. Owing
to the wretched condition of these people there was much
sickness during the winter. We hope the authorities will
furnish us with some simple medicine at their earliest con- UP AND DOWN THE NORTH PACIFIC COAST
venience. All indications point to a prosperous future for
this School, as there is a large population of children who
are willing and anxious to learn. A new School is much
needed. As soon as we can get a grant of land from the
Government, the lumber is all ready."
On account of some unforeseen difficulty, Mr. Mathieson
left the work. Then for some time we tried to get a
Missionary, and finally the Rev. C. M. Tate was appointed
by the Toronto Conference of 1880. He and his wife
were proceeding to the Forks of the Skeena^ but, finding
that in the meanwhile a Missionary of the Church Missionary Society had been sent in there, they went to Bella
Bella, which was then urgently asking for a Missionary.
Hearing that another Missionary had been sent to the
Forks, the Chairman of the District directed me to make
a trip there, in order to explain why our Missionary did
not go, and thus keep faith with the people. I made the
trip by the Hudson Bay freight canoes. The Editor of
the Outlook, to which I contributed an account of this
journey, says that records of Mission work on the Pacific
Coast remind one of the heroic age of Methodism, when
"in labors more abundant" was the badge of the true
apostolic succession.
The following is an extract from that letter: "I am
just back from my three weeks' trip to the Forks of the
Skeena. By the kindness of R. H. Hall, Esq., Chief Officer
of the Hudson's Bay Company, I took the trip in their
freight canoes. Our party consisted of two boats and five
canoes, with' forty-four men in all. The weather was wet,
with only one dry day in the whole trip, and the mosquitoes
made it lively by night, not to mention their depredations
by day. At several places we had to haye ten or fifteen men
to haul up each canoe, and then it was hard work to get
them over the rapids, or 'make the riffle,' as the miners
Bay. There were also three portages to make, when most
of the freight had to be taken out and carried over. It
took sixteen days and a half from here to the Forks, a
distance of two hundred and twenty-five miles. The men
seemed always glad to attend the services; and I preached
at a number of the different villages besides visiting hundreds at their fishing camps. Many of the poor people
received the Word with gladness.
"As it was more than a year since we had promised
these people to get them another Missionary or teacher, I
told them that I had come to explain why Mr. Tate had
not come to his field. We had no desire to go into a field
where another Church was taking up the work; and so,
though we had secured a Missionary for that station, we
were obliged to send him to some other part of the great
field. The Missionary of that Church, who was there, said
to me,' Mr. Crosby, we have no business here; you had the
field before us.' Many of these poor people expressed
themselves as sorry that we were not going to take up
Mission work, for the present, among them, and asked if
we could not go to another village, Kiahpiax or Kish-ka-
gas, where poor Blind Jack had told them something about
Jesus. Moreover, the Hag-wil-gets, three miles back of
the Forks, said the priest had left them for a long while,
and they begged us to give them a teacher."
The downward trip was a grand one. Poor Charles
Youmans and I made the trip together in a small canoe.
He was a trader, who had lived there for some time; and
was afterwards murdered by an Indian at mid-day in front
of his own house. Mr. Youmans was very anxious that
the Methodist Church should not leave the river, and he
took me on to the Kit-won-gah Reserve to show me the
land. As they had no Missionary, he begged me, as did
also many of the people, to start a Mission here and offered
to give me a large log house that he had used for some
time as a trading store. I was indeed sorry that I could
not promise him to do so. We two pressed on our way
down the river in our little canoe and in a day and a half
reached Port Essington. On the third Sabbath from home,
I preached at Essington to good congregations of Brother
Jennings' people, both afternoon and night. On Monday,
at 10 p.m., I reached home, having travelled from Essington fifty-five miles, with a man and his wife in a very
small canoe.
Some time later our Naas Missionary made some trips
to the Skeena, of one of which he says: " Two days more
travelling over nice land brought us to a fishing camp of
Kishpiax people, two miles from their village. They were
catching salmon and received us very kindly, bringing us
wood (a scarce article on the prairie), salmon and potatoes;
and, after expressing their thanks, said, ' You are the only
one who brings us the good Word. Come and live here
yourself, or bring us a minister.' One old Chief said,
' I will give you my house if you will .come and live in
my village. There is good land which we will give you
to build a Church on. We all want to hear of God and
take the new way.' They pleaded very earnestly for some
one to go and live with them and teach them the Gospel.
" There were over four hundred people in the village. I
We met the friends of a young man who had accidentally
fallen into a salmon trap in the dark current of the Skeena
River. They were in great trouble. We exhorted them
to cast their burden on the Lord. They said, ' Oh, our
friends are all dying; bring us God's Word.' At the Forks
we visited from house to house and prayed with the people.
These also pleaded earnestly for a Methodist Missionary.
They said, ' You promised years ago to help us. You sent
us a teacher. He did well for a time and went away; then I
you told us you would send us another teacher. We have
waited but he never came.' I had to explain again to them
how our Missionary was on the way to them when he found
another Missionary had taken up the place. 'Yes,' they
said, ' several teachers came. There is not one left. We
know we are bad, thieves and murderers, but we want to
be good. We have trouble among ourselves every day, and
we want peace.' Hag-wil-get, three miles from the Forks,
is visited by the Catholic priest sometimes, and they are
desiring a School and a Methodist Missionary."
Thus, during several years, we had frequent deputations
from the Upper Skeena.  ON THE SKEENA AGAIN.
)rk Commenced by Native Agents—Death of Youmans—A
Macedonian Cry—Kit-wan-cool Jim—Sickness Among
the  Tribes—Rev. J. C. Spencer—An  Evangelistic   Trip—Mrs.   Spencer's
Letter. lieved and turned un
In the Missionary Report of 1883 the Missionary on the
Naas refers to the work on the Skeena as follows:
" In my last year's report I mentioned that twelve people
of Kit-wan-cool had embraced the Gospel. They had a
native teacher but desired a white teacher. As we could
not promise them such, and owing to the persecution they
encountered from their heathen brethren, they, with some
others, came out of their tribes—left their homes and
travelled more than one hundred miles to Greenville,
where they secured a permanent home."
Many times during those years we were urged to go to
the Skeena, but shortage of men and means prevented us
from accepting the invitation. In 1885 our native Missionary, W. H. Pierce, was sent to Kitzegucla. In the
early spring the Naas Missionary writes: " Brother Pierce,
who has just arrived from Skeena overland, reports two
hundred deaths from fever in that part of the country."
In the same year the Rev. A. E. Green reports a trip
made: " In company with Brother Jennings I visited the
interior and Skeena tribes. We found them in great
trouble; but have evidence that God guided us to them
and trust that His Word was a blessing to some. These
poor people from Kishpiax and Skeena Forks are now on
the Naas, preparing food. They have sent to me several
times during the last quarter, asking for a Missionary."
The Rev. Mr. Jennings in a letter in 1885 says: "I
began my journey of over five hundred miles to visit the UP AND DOWN THE NORTH PACIFIC COAST
Indian villages on the Upper Naas and the Skeena Rivers.
At the Forks of the Skeena, Mr. C. Youmans, a white
trader, had been murdered a few months before." Concerning this occurrence the Rev. Mr. Green writes: " Poor
Youmans is gone. He was a well-meaning man. He had
a number of Indians hired to carry his goods up the
Skeena River from the Coast. While on this trip an
accident caused the drowning of a young Indian, one of
his crew. Youmans, who travelled overland, on arriving
earlier than the others at the Forks, where the young
man's father lived, said nothing about the drowning accident. When the old man heard it from another source, he
became enraged and said to Youmans, ' Why did you hide
it from me?' Youmans tried to put him off when the
Indian asked for compensation for the loss of his son.
This was according to the Indian law in those days—blood
for blood and a life for a life, or property to compensate.
In an unguarded moment Youmans said to him, ' Go and
ask the river for your boy.' The old man walked right
away and came back in a few moments with his arms
folded. He walked past Youmans, who was talking to
another white man on the street, and, when about two
feet away, whirled round and stabbed the trader in the
chest with a knife.   He fell dead."
Our first work on the Upper Skeena was begun with the
aid of native agents. Edward Sexsmith, who had been a
native worker on the Naas River, under Mr. Green, was
about this time sent to Kishpiax, where he did faithful
work as a teacher; but they wanted a white Missionary.
In the Missionary Report of 1887 we find the following
concerning the work on the Skeena: "The General Missionary Society states that for many years we have
abstained from occupying this region, in order to avoid
seeming rivalry with another Church; but as nothing was
234 1
accomplished, the appeal of the people to send them
teachers became urgent. Brother W. H. Pierce was sent
to Kitzegucla, whence he. writes, ' Our God and Saviour
is still doing great things for us. Nine have turned from
the darkness of heathenism to the light of Christianity.'
The Hag-wil-get tribe still ask for a teacher as earnestly
as ever. One Chief and his son have promised to give a
room to a teacher, when he comes. At Kishpiax village
Edward Sexsmith, one of our native teachers, is doing well
among them; thirty-five attending Night Schools."
In the Missionary Report of 1888 we read: " The Chiefs
at the Upper Skeena are earnestly asking for a white
Mr. Pierce writes: " God has given us a fresh baptism.
A man who was our greatest enemy now wants to be a
Christian. The people are coming out of their old ways
into the new light that leads to Heaven. One of our
village men was shot down, caused by the potlatch. By
the help of God we were able to stop them from having a
big fight."
With regard to this trouble another Missionary writes:
I One of the Chiefs in Brother Pierce's village was murdered the first day of February by Kit-wan-cool Jim. The
men were both heathen. A quarrel arose as to who should
take the Chief's seat in the potlatch lately vacated by a
Ghief who had become blind. The Chief named Neatssqu
wanted it and Jim wanted it for his son. A few weeks
after, two of Jim's sons died of fever. He said they died
because they were bewitched; that Neat-squ had ill-wished
them; and he announced that he would kill the Chief
for bewitching his boys. Meeting him on the trail carrying a box of grease, he shot him dead.
"Extravagant representations of this affair were made
to the Government, and a number of special constables
were sent up to take Jim. Instead of taking him alive,
as might easily have been done, a man named Green shot
him. This caused great excitement, expense and trouble.
While trying to take him, a warship also came up six
hundred miles to the mouth of the Skeena. This cost the
Government thousands of dollars, a totally useless expenditure."
The native Missionary at Hag-wil-get, Brother George
Edgar, pathetically refers in his report to the trials of
his work and to a personal sorrow: "A hard winter and
much sickness; one of our children died of the fever, but
God comforted us. My little boy was taken sick January
16th and died January 29th. The sickness was too strong
for him.   He was a nice boy.   We loved him very much."
Another Missionary writes: "The poor interior people
suffered very much this winter. A great sickness came
and in six weeks over two hundred had been swept away,
mostly children and young people. Some of these young
people died very happy, trusting in Jesus. I heard some
of them asking their heathen fathers and mothers to give
God their whole hearts, that they might meet them in
heaven. Over twenty Hag-wil-get people died of the fever.
On Christmas Day I held service in the Chiefs house, and
baptized five adults and seven infants. Kishpiax School
people have taken up a subscription for the Church bell.
Fifty-two children are attending Day School taught by
our native teachers. Two head Chiefs and a number of
their people ask strongly for a white Missionary. Brother
Edgar, native teacher, has been working at Hag-wil-get
Mission during the winter. The potlatch and the wild
dances, such as dog-eating, have made it hard work."
The call was sounded loud and long for a white Missionary to spread the Gospel among these poor people, but
apparently all to no purpose, for word came from the ON THE SKEENA AGAIN
East that no one could be sent although the people had
asked many times for a white Missionary.
Brother J. C. Spencer was teaching the Mission School
at Port Simpson, and, hearing these loud calls for a
Missionary, he finally took his blankets and volunteered
to go, trusting in Providence to help him, as the Mission
Board said they had no money to spare. Some friends
from Self-Support Mission Funds supported the brother
that year.
In the fall of 1893, after a year of blessed revival effort,
when the summer fishing was all over, some of our warmhearted Christian people at Simpson talked for some
time of taking a trip to the Upper Skeena, to carry the
blessed light and influence of the revival into that region.
They said, " We read it was so in the early Church—' they
went everywhere.'" At a prayer-meeting, the leaders and
officials of the Church spoke of making a start. Many
subscribed food and money for the trip. First, we thought
of taking canoes right through; but, as the Hudson's Bay
Company's steamer.Caledonia was about to make her fall
trip and reduced fares were offered to our party, we agreed
to go by her.
We left on October 2nd and had services at Metlakatlah,
Essington and Aberdeen, either on the deck of the steamer
or on shore. At Essington, Brother Pierce, Brother Oster-
hout and two others joined us. When about forty miles
up the river, it was found the water was too low for the
steamer to proceed. While the boat was tied up waiting
for the water to rise, we had blessed services on shore for
several days by a large camp fire; and souls were blessed.
We had Bible Class each day, as well as services at night,
and we sang such hymns as "Whosoever heareth, shout,
shout the sound," " Oh, the blood of Jesus makes me white
as snow," or " Soldiers fighting around the Cross, fight
We were anxious, however, to reach some villages further
up, and, hailing a passing canoe, sent word up the river
to Kit-sum-ka-lem, and canoes were brought down. By
this means we reached Kit-sum-ka-lem and Kit-see-lash
for services on Sunday. On this trip I took a severe cold,
as we were saturated with sleet and rain all day. We spent
a most blessed Sabbath at Ktt-see-lash with the people, a
little below the noted canyon of that name. Before we left
the steamer, the good Captain assured us that he expected
to catch us at Kit-see-lash on Monday, as he thought the
water would rise sufficiently from the melting of the snow
on the mountain. In this, however, he was disappointed.
Through this delay Brother Osterhout's plans were
changed, and he went to the Naas instead of continuing
with us to the Upper Skeena.
The water still kept low and the weather cold and we
were hardly prepared to continue the trip by canoe, as
much of our food and some of our clothing, were left on
board the steamer. Still our party were enthusiastic and
determined to go ahead if the way opened up. Some said
if the Lord wished us to go and needed canoes, He would
find them. When He wanted an ass to ride upon, He knew
where it was and sent His disciples to get it. Special
prayer was made about this at an after-service on Sunday
night and at another lively, earnest prayer-meeting early
Monday morning. The idea seemed to take hold of the
villagers; and, as if my magic, canoes, with paddles, ropes
and poles, were offered to us. Then the people brought
gifts of food, dried salmon, berries, potatoes, flour and
rice; and everything was got in readiness. While the
canoes lay at the river bank, the crowd gathered round us,
and again prayer was offered for blessing upon the trip.
The parting song, " God be with you till we meet again,"
was sung, and we were off on our journey up the rushin
We pushed off against the powerful current, with snow
and sleet driving in our faces. Early the first day we came
to Kit-see-lash canyon, the greatest obstacle to navigation
on the Skeena. Here we had to make a portage. Through
the canyon and on we went, crossing and recrossing many
times in a day, using tow-line, paddle, pole or sail, as best
answered the purpose.
At our camps at night we generally had preaching. Most
of my crew, using their English Bibles, followed the
preacher most attentively. We wound up with a warm
fellowship and prayer-meeting. No difficulties seemed to
be so great as to cool the ardor of these Christians. If we
got into a difficult place, we were cheered by prayer, or
by the singing of such hymns as " There is a Happy Land,"
or "We'll work till Jesus comes."
The third day we reached Men-sken-eass, the Rev. Mr.
Thomlinson's Mission, a neat little village, with Church
and sawmill. We were most kindly received. Mr. Thorn-'
linson and his people with my party had a good service
in the Church, in which, however, I could not join. I
had suffered three nights with asthma, brought on by
cold, and was obliged to rest. The next day, Friday, we
were off again with a nice supply of fresh food, which the
poor people and their Missionary furnished.
That night we reached Kit-won-gah. We were invited
into the Chief's house, which was about forty by fifty feet,
and had several crest poles around it. In this village
many of the old-time houses remained. We were all
treated by the Chief to a good supper of fresh salmon
which we ate gathered around the fire in the middle of
the house. After supper service was held and souls were
saved. Next day Brother Pierce, with six of our people,
started on foot for Kit-wan-cool, about twenty miles from
the river, where they spent the Sabbath. The rest of us
remained at Kit-won-gah, visiting, singing and praying
in every house. On the Sabbath we had a great day.
Service was held three times in the big house and twice
out of doors. Several were led to seek the Lord. Many
were attracted to the services in the big house by the street
preaching and singing. Our people carried a banner with
" Come to Jesus " in large letters on one side and on the
other side, " Seek ye the Lord."
Monday morning, amid snow and cold and new, thin
ice on the river, we were off again, pressing our way up
stream. A fresh supply of food had been given us, and
six more people had joined our party. About noon we
were joined by Brother Pierce and his band, whom we
heard over the hills singing, " We'll work till Jesus comes "
and "We'll fight for the Lord." The echo was grand,
resounding from hill top to mountain top. We could hear
the sound several times repeated until it died away in the
distance. We rejoiced to hear their report that several
souls had been converted at Kit-wan-cool.
The next stopping-place was old Kitzegucla. Here
heathen dancing was going on. A wild dancer, almost
naked, ran among our Christian people, while they were
preaching on the street, and threw a dead dog in the
midst of them. However, we had very successful services
in this village and visited some sick folk. One man gave
up his log house to us for the night.
The mountain scenery along the Skeena at that season
of the year beggars description. Next day, on leaving the
village, we had to pass what the Indians call " death hole."
or " dead place." This is a very dangerous crossing where
a few years before a whole boat load of miners was lost.
" Splashing Water" and " Bees' Nest" farther up are
also very perilous places. Sometimes our boys at the tow-
line would have to wade up to their waists in crossing a
mountain torrent or other tributary; but not a word of
complaint was heard. That night we reached Hag-wil-get
Mission, at Mission Point, and had a wonderful meeting
in a log house. Next day we had good and well-attended
services at Hazelton. Some Chinese and white miners were
present. Some of the white miners who knew us said,
" Crosby, you'll kill yourself if you go on like this." We
had good services in the old Chief's house as well as out-
of-doors. Here the steamer Caledonia lands goods to be
sent by pack-train to the interior posts. We had great
services that night, the power of God "came down our
souls to greet, while glory crowned the mercy seat." The
following day we pressed on about twelve miles farther,
our boys often up to their knees in water at the tow-line,
and singing with all their might, "We'll work till Jesus
It was reported that if we went on to Kishpiax we would
not be permitted to land. As our party of thirty got ashore
on the beach in front of the large village of Kishpiax, we
commenced at once to sing and pray and preach. Hundreds of people gathered around us to listen, not a word
of complaint was uttered, and ere we were through our
open air service, a message came from the head Chief telling us we were welcome to his house and to his village.
Here we spent a glorious Sabbath, and many poor souls
were brought into the light. Eternity alone will record the
result of that visit to those villagers. Some were present
from far up the river at Kit-tal-doo and Kish-ka-gas.
As the weather was getting colder, we did not think it
was wise to go to the upper villages; so we began our
return journey.
During that most interesting and blessed trip, we travelled about five hundred miles. Some of us had the grippe
for three weeks out of the five we were away; but we
16 241
reached home, thankful for such a i
successful a
nd happy
time.   All seemed to rejoice that the]
r had the pi
telling about Jesus and His love to
those in tl
le regions
Our first white Missionary to the I
Jpper Skeer
a was the
Rev. J. C. Spencer, who married Miss
i Hart, mat
ron of the
Girls' Home at Simpson.    On thei
r wedding
trip they
travelled by canoe two hundred miles
up the Skec
ma, where
they spent over a year in work.
An interesting letter from Mrs. St
lencer, date
i Novem-
ber 8th, 1894, gives the following acco
iunt of theii
• journey:
" It may be of interest to many w
horn I addi
year to hear something of this Missio
a and of on
r journey
here.   We left Port Simpson on Augi
list 26th an
d came to
Essington on the Skeena River, hop
ing to get
up to our
own Mission without delay; but travel
lling on the
river was
impossible, as the water was running so high that it was
not until after three weeks that we <
our river
trip.   Even then the water was very
high; but
we had a
all.   I had rather dreaded this part o:
y, having
heard so much about the Skeena Eh
ret.   It has
a fall of
eight hundred and sixty-five feet in th
red miles;
from that you may judge it does not
; flow very i
quietly or
r start at two o'clock one morning, having
got everything ready the evening before, but too late to
leave on that tide, and waiting until daylight meant losing
the most of another day. The night was cloudy and
showery. I hoped to be able to sleep; but, though I had
the best place in the canoe, I found it very uncomfortable
and sleep out of the question. Daylight found us at the
head of tide water. At seven, we stopped for breakfast
A heavy shower of rain did not add to the comfort of
that meal and my sympathy for Missionaries who have to
do much travelling on the river began greatly to enlarge.
I thought I was realizing what some of their discomforts
were, but the rest of the party did not seem in the least
affected by the rain.
"Breakfast and prayers over, a little warmed by the
camp fire, but not drier, we embarked again on our way.
But travelling was slow. The canoes have to keep near
the shore to avoid the strong current. It is not often deep
enough for paddles, so long poles are used; thus our canoe
is pushed along. When the water is deeper, paddles are
used. More force can be applied with the poles, but poles
and paddles are put down whenever there is a beach or
even a foothold along the water's edge. Then three of
our crew would take a tow-line and pull the canoe, the
other two remaining in to keep the canoe off the rocks;
this was the fastest mode of travelling. If we let our eyes
rest on the water, we would imagine that we were speeding
along at a most rapid rate, but one look at the shore told
us we were travelling at a snail's pace. I soon learned to
be thankful when we got along even at that rate, for so
often there would be places to mount where we could
scarcely hold our own for moments at a time although
every nerve was strained to the utmost to force our way
up against the water, which would almost seem to be pouring down on us and often would come into the canoe.
Then again we turned rocky points that jutted out into
the rapid current. Those were exciting times indeed;
paddles and poles were kept in readiness. It astonished
me to see the intense alertness of our men, one second
pushing with all their force against the rock with the pole,
the next paddling with every power till the next point was
reached; then down went the paddle, and the pole was
put into use again.
" But what I dreaded the most was crossing the river.
Sometimes they would cross in a comparatively quiet
place, but usually the water rushed with all its force. In
the power of those waters it seemed to me as if we must
be swept away with some of the whirling eddies long before
the shore that nothing v
ever, neither of these thii
made a good trip for the i
made it so expensive trt
goods up. It cost us ah
get them up the river; in
irk l
the river or getting
e of our supplies to
lings cost more than
brought up.
that i
r kind i
i pointing
along the river. One pi
igged rock, rising perpeni
he people in olden times
ad in their coming and g
might have his protcctioi
most on the river was the great
5 upon heaps. It seemed as if
e been washed down to supply
imed that every year the water
l whole islands are swept away
lands formed. Sand bars are
I in other places so that the
gardens and found that from this
> the far interior, where there are
many villages and many people living in heathen darkness.
We were now ten miles from home; this is a part of Mr.
Spencer's Mission. A young man carries on the work here,
lives alone and seems happy and contented. We hurried
off so that we might reach Kishpiax before night. We
arrived here about six o'clock.
" Kishpiax, the largest village, is situated on the banks
of the river. A little elevation at the back of the town
reaches out till the snow-capped mountains cut the distant
view. On one side a high mountain, covered with all the
colors of the rainbow, reminded me of our woods at home.
In front is the Hag-wil-get mountain, one of the most
beautiful I have ever seen, and, on the other side, the river
winds around, being lost to view by its winding course and
the foliage on its banks. In the distance the clouds touch
the mountain tops, so that we seem shut in on all sides,
bringing to mind that Psalm,' As the mountains are round
about Jerusalem,' and we can claim the promise, 'so the
Lord is round about His people from henceforth, even
"The people here live in large houses, many families
together, with a common fire in the centre of the building.
The cracks between the boards that form the sides and the
hole in the roof to let the smoke escape, supply the need
of windows.
" As we arrived in sight of the village, the people came
out of the houses and, when we landed, there were many
to bid us welcome.
"The blessed work begun last year is still going on
with new converts from heathen darkness every week.
The people generally are very much interested in the study
of God's Word. The School and services are well attended;
indeed, the School is too small for the Sunday services
which have been held in an Indian house. Bedding, cloth-
ing, skins and boxes are all packed against the walls;
boards are placed on sticks of wood for seats and when
they give out the people sit on the floor. A square of
about ten feet in the centre of the room is without flooring
and a large fire burns in the centre of this. For once the
dogs are put out; an occasional cackle tells that the hens,
like the beds, have been packed out of sight; but a more
reverent and interested congregation could not be gathered together than that found in these services.
"An Epworth League, in which all seem very much
interested, has been organized among our Christians lately.
Still, even the most enlightened minds know very little.
We need your interest and your prayers for our Indian 1
Wahuksgumalayou—His Early Life  and  Conversion—Persecution—Training and Baptism—A Trip to Kitamaat—Old
Frank—George   Edgar—A  Disturbance  in   School—
Bewitching the  Oolachan—Miss  Lawrence—The
First Church and Schoolhouse—Mr. Anderson—Rev.   G.   H.   Raley—Children's
Home—Na-na-kwa—Death  of
Wahuksgumalayou. " The people that sat in darkness have seen a great light."
Kitamaat is a village at the head of Dean Channel,
about one hundred and forty miles south-east of Port
Simpson. The introduction of Christianity among the
Kitamaat people is inseparably connected with the name
of Wahuksgumalayou (Charlie Amos), who was born at
Kitamaat about the year 1853. The following account of
his life is largely quoted from the Rev. G. H. Raley's letter
to the Missionary Outlook in the year 1898. His father
was one of the leaders in a secret dance called the " Thig-
walla." We know but little of his early boyhood beyond
the fact that he was lively and full of fun and delighted in
sports. His frequent companion was Jessea, who became
afterwards the Head Chief of the Kitamaat tribe.
Together they became skilful in the pursuit of game and
in the use of the bow and arrow, fearless alike of grizzly
and cinnamon bears with which the Kitamaat valley
When about twenty years of age, after much urging and
entreating from his uncle and the old tribal leaders, he
decided to be initiated into the mysteries of the secret but
peaceful "Thig-walla." He offered himself as a candidate
and underwent long-continued fasting, invocation and
other preparations, such as tattooing, painting and being
driven into the water on the coldest days and afterwards
beaten on the back with the " devil's club " or other prickly
rods to make him strong. All this was intensely trying to
both physical and mental powers; but he finally 1
proficient in the art.
, feeble and quite indefinite
j could hear the voice of an
) be appeased. In the mist
shapes of superhuman beings
hootings of the owl he could
ttence. He, with others, held
iitil in human shape which
He ha
in Shan
n people an
; weak faith
i power that
mding them
to different places after death and also that there was a
greater medicine spirit .than any of the medicine men had
yet possessed. For the coming of that beneficent spirit
he was constantly hoping. He felt the darkness but was
powerless, like one blind.
His entrance into the light was after this manner: About
the fall of 1876, he with others went south to Victoria
with furs which he intended to exchange for whisky and
blankets. Happily the purpose of his trip was changed.
While in Victoria, he heard the story of the Cross from
the lips of the Rev. Wm. Pollard who, in tender, simple
words, such as a child mind could understand, related the
history of our creation, fall, redemption and hope of the
hereafter. While he listened, he became convinced of the
need of a Saviour and sought the mercy of God in Christ
This was the medicine of the greater Spirit for which his
restless heart had long been anxious, medicine that did not
bewitch him but gave him the calm of utter peace, inspiring implicit trust in God the Father and a hope of immortality. Eager to repeat the good news to his fellow tribesmen, he determined to make the return journey to Kitamaat, a distance of five hundred miles, with no unnecessary
Instead of the proposed cargo of whisky, he carried back
with him " God's letter," the Bible, a British ensign and
a paper signed by Mr. Pollard, stating that he had become
a Christian and recommending him to the kind encouragement of anyone who might be shown the letter.
On arriving at Kitamaat, he at once opened his heart
to the people, telling them of Jesus. For a few days the
savage feast and wild dances were suspended in order to
hear him; but, when a few converts resulted from his
preaching who objected to returning to the dance house,
a Council of the Chiefs was called and Wahuksgumalayou,
whose Christian name after baptism was Charlie Amos,
was ordered to desist and return immediately to his dance,
the " Thig-walla." To this he objected, saying that the
"New Way" was the better and he had finished his old
work. Thereupon they became enraged and persecution
began, a bitter struggle between light and darkness. All
evil was let loose on the little band of Christians. Sometimes they were pelted with red hot stones by the fire-
dancers; at others, bitten by one of the Man Eaters. The
cedar roof of the large Indian lodge they occupied was
torn off. They were forsaken by their friends, and at last
took refuge and held their services in a den at the back
of a large house, the door of which was strongly barricaded to prevent the entrance of the infuriated dance men.
The Tribal Council again met and Charlie Amos and his
associates were condemned to death by witchcraft. One
of the leading Chiefs passed sentence in a characteristic
manner. He took in the palm of his hand a bit of dried
cedar bark, powdered it to fine dust, then blew it away
and remarked, "Thus shall you, Wahuksgumalayou and
your family, and you, Wingohse and your friends, perish
and vanish from the earth. Your names shall not be
handed down. You, Wahuksgumalayou, shall be the last
to perish and shall see all your friends pass before you.
This is all I have to say."
Charlie answered the Council respectfully that, while
he knew the words of the Chiefs were not idle threats, they
believed in the Great Father who would protect them and
set the time- of their departure into the hereafter. Open
opposition ceased for a while but secretly the doctors were
at work with Indian poison and witchcraft. One after
another the early Christians died mysteriously.
Early in the year 1877 Gharlie built a small log Church
and a few more joined him. In the spring of the same year
he went with two canoes filled with men and women to seek
a teacher. They went to Port Simpson and were received
kindly by the Missionary, who promised to visit them.
For several months Charlie and others tarried at Port
Simpson at School. The difficulty of language retarded
his progress somewhat as he knew neither English nor
Tsimpshean and had to use the Chinook jargon. He was
one of Nature's sons; all her manifestations delighted
him; but none the less was he a child of God, beginning
to see that for his moral being there was a spiritual world,
an untold wealth of beauty upon which to feast his newly-
found sight. Shortly after New Year in 1878 he returned
to Kitamaat with his friends who had been with him at
Simpson and had learned much about the " New Way."
On my first visit to Kitamaat we travelled by canoe with
a crew of fourteen men. On our way down Granville Channel the journey was pleasantly varied by the discovery of
some mountain sheep near the snow line. Some of our
young men begged that we go ashore, as the tide was
against us, and allow them time to secure one or two of
the animals, promising, if we consented, to paddle during
the night. To this we all agreed and, after pitching camp,
three or four of the stalwart young fellows shouldered KITAMAAT
their muskets and started up the mountain. Before long
we heard the report of their guns and in two or three hours
they were back in camp with the skins and choice parts of
the meat of two sheep which they had killed. This addition to our larder proved a very acceptable one.
On our arrival at Kitamaat we found a typical heathen
village, situated at the head of tide water, and were told
that there was also a summer village farther up the river.
The only shingled house was that of " Old Frank," a blind
trader. This man owned a schooner in which he made
periodical trips to Victoria, returning with cargoes of
goods, a large part of which was usually whisky. He
buried the barrels in the sand on the beach where they
were convenient to supply the people who came to trade
their furs for his goods and liquor. The older houses were
all built of large cedar slabs and roofed with slabs and
bark. The people generally were painted and wore
It was some time after this that Charlie Amos returned
from his stay at Port Simpson. He was accompanied by
a native teacher, George Edgar, a Tsimpshean, with his
wife and two children. He was made welcome in Charlie
Amos' house and later built one for himself. His work
met at first with considerable opposition during which some
of those who had been at Simpson relapsed into heathen-
. ism; but some were faithful, as will be seen from the
following extract, quoted from the native Missionary's own
" In Charlie Amos' brother's house (Noah Amos) wild
dancers came right into our School and Charlie and his
wife tried to stop them but they were too strong for us.
At last one of the men that eat dead bodies went to where
Magnus (George Edgar's son) was in his hammock asleep
and tried to get the boy and eat him alive.   By the help UP AND DOWN THE NORTH PACIFIC COAST
of God, Mrs. Edgar, who was young and strong, was too
quick for him, caught the boy in good time and held him
in her bosom. The wild man went to Charlie's little baby
and tried in the same way to take it. Charlie's wife took
hold of the man's head, for he had long hair, and knocked
him down; Charlie came and helped her. There were fifty
or sixty people in the house and there was a good fight by
all for about half an hour, some on our side and some
on that side."
The opposition and persecution continued and the Christians were again put under the ban. Charlie Amos, however, rallied them once more. A noted witch professed
that she could drive the fish out of the river and threatened
to do so. ■ This was intended to array the people against
the Christians.
When the bell was rung for the meeting by a boy, a Chief
tried to stop him. The boy exclaimed, " You may kill me
if you like but the bell must ring." A stalwart Christian
ended the struggle by rescuing both boy and bell.
Another illustration of the opposition with which we
had to contend, and which had a somewhat amusing gide,
was furnished by an incident connected with our first visit
to Kitamaat. A Council had been called by the Chiefs,
to which I was invited. They proposed that, if I would
not pray the judgments of God upon them, they would in
turn prevent any evil to me and any interruption to our
services from the conjurer who was then in the mountains
preparing to destroy us. I promised that if they would
desist from their wicked practices on the next day, which
was the Sabbath, we would not offer any prayers against
them. They readily promised. I seized the opportunity
to challenge them with their want of power while our service was proceeding the next night, when the conjurer
with his crowd came rushing to the place, howling and
254   1
destroying property in his track, and declaring that he
would put a stop to the proceedings. This man, with his
tongue protruding, was the most diabolical-looking object
that one could imagine. He had a thick rope around his
waist to which his followers had been clinging. His object
doubtless was to let it be known in that heathen tribe and
on the Coast that the conjurer had more power than the
Missionary and his religious story. It was then that the
Missionary felt it necessary to assume the role of the
militant preacher; and, taking his position at the door,
boldly challenged the savage to come on, at the same time
suggesting what might be the consequences to him. To
the surprise of those assembled, the fellow was cowed and
slunk away with a scowl on his countenance, leaving us
to our devotions.
After this, the Christians had rest for a while. Chief
Jessea promised protection to the teacher and his wife;
and Brother Edgar, the native teacher, remained for the
greater part of two years and did valiant work for God.
He was succeeded by Chief Alfred Dudoward, who with
his wife also taught the Kitamaats for a time.
After an interval without a teacher, Miss Susan Lawrence, who was our teacher at Simpson, at the earnest
request of the Kitamaats volunteered to go to their help.
We consented to this; and she left in their canoe on their
return to Kitamaat in October, 1883, taking Patrick Russ
as interpreter. Our Miss Lawrence was thus the first
white Missionary at Kitamaat. On her arrival Charlie
Amos gave her his house to live in until they could erect
a little Mission House for which lumber had been brought
in their canoes.
A great revival followed in connection with Miss Lawrence's work; and Charlie now urged his native Christian
brethren to subscribe with him towards the building of a
Church in the village. There was no lumber except split
cedar to be had in Kitamaat. We chartered a sloop, and
a Hudson's Bay man and I had it loaded with lumber at
the Georgetown mill, a hundred and fifty miles distant.
Neither of us knew much about sailing a craft of that
kind and we had a slow trip during which our sloop scraped
the rocks several times with a rushing tide around us, but
we finally arrived in safety at Kitamaat. We took subscriptions among the people and these, with a small grant
from the Missionary Society, provided us with funds to
pay for the materials. Then we got the assistance of a
white man who, with the aid of the Indians, whipsawed
the scantling for the frame of the building. At last it was
erected and served for several years for Church and School
House until the present Church was built.
Before this the large majority of the people were still
heathen; and gambling, dog eating, potlatching and general pagan practices were carried on. The people of Kitamaat, above all others on the Coast, were under the spell
of witchcraft. On one of my visits I found them in great
excitement on account of the discovery of a " death box."
This was a conjurer's box containing the limb of a child
or of some animal. Into this box the conjurer would
insert something connected with the body of one whom
he wished to destroy. As this article fell into decay with
the limb in the box, the Indian believed the victim intended
to be destroyed gradually decayed and finally perished with
his whole family. Their excitement was caused by their
desire to know who was to be the victim. Their distress
was finally removed, but it took days of instruction and
quieting to do it.
Gradually the influence of the Gospel increased, until
the greater number were walking in the Christian way.   It
was during Miss Lawrence's time at Kitamaat that " Old
Frank" was converted and the stronghold of heathenism
in the village practically broken up.
Miss Lawrence remained at Kitamaat, a sower in God's
field scattering precious seed, sparing not herself, nor
counting her life dear unto herself, that she might
win souls for Christ's Kingdom. She had a warm
place in the hearts of many whom she strove to help and
her memory is still precious to the people of Kitamaat.
Laid aside by paralysis, she afterwards spent many years
of invalidism in the city of Toronto before passing to her
A striking illustration of the faith of this devoted
woman and of her influence among the converts was given
on one occasion when all signs promised the swarming of
the small fish in the river. The taking of these fish was
important to them as a matter of food supply. The
day when the swarm was expected was Sunday; and
Miss Lawrence exhorted the Christian people not to
engage in the catch, assuring them that she believed God
would protect them and supply their needs if they obeyed
His commands. They resolved to do so. The heathen
Indians, however, made all preparations; and at midnight
on Saturday, when the fish were evidently coming in, they
set out and fixed their nets, a work which occupied a good
part of the Sabbath. These nets were soon filled with fish;
but at night the black fish, a species of sea monster,
attacked the nets in their search for food, broke them and
helped themselves when the tide was in. The tide receding, the remainder of the fish escaped with the broken
nets which were carried out to sea; and thus the heathen
lost bdth nets and fish. When the promised light in Miss
Lawrence's window indicated that the Sabbath Was past,
the Christians repaired to the river, fixed their nets during
the night and on Monday were rewarded by a great catch
17 257
of the desired fish. This had a most remarkable effect on
the heathen who concluded that God must be on the side
of His people.
George Robinson also was lay teacher at Kitamaat for
some time and, among other things, taught the people the
art of gardening, which materially aided their advancement.
In 1893, the Rev. Geo. H. Raley was appointed to Kitamaat, which thus received its first ordained Missionary.
Mr. and Mrs. Raley arrived in August when the people
were nearly all away at the canneries. It was October
before the villagers, some three hundred and fifty in number, had returned. School was opened in September. In
January most of the people left to hunt and make canoes;
and it became apparent that a Children's Home must be
undertaken if the work of the School was effective.
Accordingly, a temporary building was erected in which
the children were accommodated during their parents'
absence. This work was instituted entirely on the faith
principle, without financial aid other than what the Missionaries themselves were able to afford. The following
year Mr. and Mrs. Anderson took charge of the Home and
School and a new house was built to accommodate the
Missionaries. The Woman's Missionary Society took a
very helpful interest in the work of the Home which is
now established in much more comfortable and commodious quarters. Soon after Mr. Raley's arrival a new Church
was built with the aid of carpenters from Simpson.
After the inception of the Young People's Forward
Movement, the Epworth Leagues of the Wingham District
undertook the support of the Missionary at Kitamaat; and
the quarterly magazine, Na-na-kwa, was thereafter issued
by Mr. Raley as a connecting link between the Mission and
its supporters. This journal, edited by the Missionary and
printed by the Indian children of the Home, proved a very
potent factor in contributing to the success of the Home
and of Mission work generally, as well as a valuable record
of their progress and of many facts relating to the Indian
life of the Coast.
Charlie Amos (Wahuksgumalayou) continued his services to the cause of Christ to the end of his life. He took
several long trips with the writer to visit other heathen
tribes for it seemed always to be his delight to point others
to the Lamb of God who had taken away his sins. He lived
to see the work extend among his own people and along
the Coast until many hundreds had professed conversion.
We sent him as a teacher to the Kitlope tribe, about
seventy miles away, where he proved a most earnest and
useful worker and was the means of leading some of these
people to the Saviour. He helped to build a Church among
them also. He ever stood faithfully by the Missionary,
who at times had to give strong words of warning—strong
medicine they called it—in order that the Indians' feuds
might be settled in a peaceful way. They would sometimes object and complain but Charlie, never. He would
stand before them and with much earnestness Would say,
" My brothers, we asked God to send His servant to us and
God sent him. We promised to obey his words. It may be
hard for us but, if his words be wise, we should listen. We
are like children; let us listen to his counsel."
For some time his health was declining but, when we
would 'ask him if he were sick, he would not complain.
The end came suddenly, upon a beautiful Sabbath in
August, 1897. He gave clear evidence of his readiness to
depart and be with Christ. In answer to a question, he
said, "Why should I be afraid? I am going into the
calm; I have been in the tempest. I am happy, all the
time happy." Thus he passed to receive the crown which
fadeth not away. 059  THE QUEEN CHARLOTTE ISLANDS.
Opening of Mission Work Among the Hydas—Gedanst (Amc
Russ)   and his Work—How an Indian Boy is "Hardened "—The Operations at Skidegate and Gold Harbor—George   Edgar—The   Decadence   of   the
Race—Visits to the Islands—A Council
Meeting, and the Flea of the Chiefs
for a Missionary—Rev.  B. C.
Freeman's    Report   of
Results. multitude of the isles shall be glad."
While we were in the midst of house and Church
building at Simpson, the people commenced to come in
from all parts of the Coast, seeking for light and asking
for a teacher or a Missionary. In 1876 a large party came
over from Masset, Queen Charlotte Islands, most of them
painted and in their blankets. They wanted to take me
back with them to see their people, most of whom, they
said, wished to have a Missionary. It was impossible for
me to leave my work at that time, and we thought that
the Church Missionary Society, who had Missionaries
along the Coast, should take that part of the Island, so
we urged them to make application to that Society. The
Church Missionary Society afterwards took up successful
work at Masset.
A year or two later, an urgent call came from the Skidegate and other peoples in the south. These Indians made
regular visits in the summer to Fort Simpson for business
purposes, both with furs for the Company and to trade
off their large canoes among the Indians for fish-grease
and other food. On these occasions they generally spent
one Sabbath or more with us; and we would have week
evening services especially for them and also special services in Chinook in the Church on the Lord's Day. When
they saw how the Tsimpshean people were improving and
how many of their children were beginning to read and
write, they began to urge for a teacher at Skidegate, Queen
Charlotte Islands.
The leader in this movement was Gedanst (Amos Russ),
whose early life is thus described by the Rev. B. C. Freeman : " He was a dirty, ragged Indian youth, fifteen or sixteen years of age, wandering aimlessly about the streets of
Victoria, expecting to return in a few months to his far-
distant home, when Miss Pollard, daughter of the Chairman of the District, succeeded in coaxing him into the
class she had formed from the streets. But Gedanst was
a prince of royal blood, the favorite grandson of the most
powerful Chief of his race. He possessed an extraordinary
acuteness of intellect, which enabled him to grasp, in the
short time he remained at Victoria, principles which were
to turn his whole world upside down and a great strength
of will which enabled him to cling to his purpose though
the stars fell.
" The lad's previous life had been more interesting than
happy. Living in the same great house with his grandfather at Skidegate, he had been taken under the Chiefs
al care. No interference by his parents was tolerated,
toughen his body, many a time had the grandfather
carried the child to where the winter storms were breaking
on the beach and thrown him into the benumbing waters,
tossing him out again and again, as often as the surf cast
him ashore, until the little limbs were so stiffened with
cold that they could scarcely move. Then, to revive circulation, the child's back was switched until the blood
started through the skin. At last the mother, disregarding the grandfather's authority, would come to the rescue;
and, carrying the child home in a blanket, would rub the
half-frozen form back to life before the blazing fire.
" At Victoria, he attended a revival service in a deserted
saloon, where he learned and accepted those precious truths
of grace which were through him to leaven his nation.
"When, a few months later, he returned to his home
at Skidegate, it was as an avowed Christian. He was noted
among his people as a dancer; but now he would take no
part in any of their heathen orgies. The once favorite
grandson and popular prince was subjected to all the
persecution and ignominy of which his people could conceive. The tearful pleading of his grandfather came nearer
to effecting its purpose; yet Gedanst stood firm.
"Gradually persecution ceased and he began to take
the aggressive. Missionaries had come to Fort Simpson,
where Gedanst now came to live for a time and where he
secured a wife from the Girls' Home. On his return to
his former home, he won the consent of the old Chief to
his bringing a Methodist teacher to the village of Skidegate. It was now November, and a hundred miles of open,
stormy water must be crossed by canoe before Fort Simpson could be reached. But, nothing daunted, Gedanst
called for a crew and found hearts as stout as his own
ready for the trip.
"Reaching Fort Simpson, they hastened at once to the
home of the Missionary and made known their errand.
Mr. Crosby could do nothing. The Missionary authorities
had been warning him, over and over again, that no extension of the work must be made as the funds would not
warrant it; they must retrench. With tears in his eyes
he explained the circumstances. Again relief came
through courageous devotion. Mr. George Robinson, the
teacher of the Mission School, nobly volunteered to start
in the Indians' canoe next morning for Skidegate, trusting the God of Missions for support until an ordained man
could be sent.   This was in the year 1883.
"Shortly afterwards Mr. Crosby paid a visit to the
Islands, a number were baptized and the people began to
feel they must have a Church bui