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Regis Indians across the line, so that the schedules indicate the term of residence of quite a number as less than a year upon the American side. Their right to buy land of the American Saint Eegis Indians aud erect buildings has been discussed, and the question as to trustees or chiefs as their advisory ruling authority has had this political element as one of the factors. Clerk Angus White furnishes a list of those on the American side whom he declares to be Canadians proper, drawing Canadian annuities, and on the American side of the line only to have the benefit of its market for profitable basket work. The two parties made their statements, and on one occasion the Canadian chiefs, Alexander Thompson, Mitchell Jacobs, and Richard Francis, with their clerk, Roland Pike, sought an interview to explain that no encroachment upon the rights of others was the object of their people. The loose holdings or tenures of land among the Saint Regis Indians makes them jealous of extending privileges beyond their immediate circles; at the same time indispensable daily intimacies prevent the establishment of any arbitrary law of action in the premises. Petitions have been sent to the New York legislature demanding that the Canadians be forcibly put across the line. There is no occasion for such summary legislation. A wise commission could adjust the matter equitably without injustice to any or bad feeling between the adjoining families of the same people. The list of Clerk White is made part of this report, specifying which of those enumerated and resident are deemed Canadian Saint Regis Indians. The list is not to be accepted without qualification, for some who are denounced by one party as Canadians have reared children on the American side of the line aud call it their home. John McDonnell is one of the most prosperous farmers on the American reservation. Jealousy of his prosperity is at the foundation of a purpose to do him injury, although Angus White does not fully understand the spirit which prompts the outside antagonism to McDonnell, who is rightfully where he is. The trustees or chiefs, or both, are continually at work to have stricken from the New York annuity list all whose mixture of white blood on the female side is decided. The only just rule is to give to both parents equal rights. The reputed list of Canadian Indians on American soil is as follows:
Mitchell Stovepipe, Joseph Martin, Joseph Sam, John Paul, George Peter, Peter Tapineau, Mary White, Mitchell Hemlock, Joseph Simoe, Peter McDonnell, John Phillips, Peter La France, Koran Stovepipe, Mitchell Papineau, Jacob Day, Hannah Brass, John McDonnell, John Papineau, Louis David, Christie Bonaparte, Louis Benedict, John Hoops, Mitchell Leaf, Peter Oak, Thomas Jacks, Andrew David, John Peter, Kate McDonnell, Sarah Mitchell, Mitchell Johnson, Paul David, Mitchell Monroe, John Benedict, Thomas Hoops, Mitchell Oak, John Oak.
All such questions as those involved in this controversy can only find permanent solution through some ultimate appeal to state or federal authority for distinct and binding settlement.
As a general rule, the state agent is able to adjust the distribution of the state annuity without friction, but be should reside at Hogausburg, with powers to adjust local difficulties. This would largely bridge the chasm over which the Saint Regis Indians slowly but certainly advance toward a matured citizenship.
RELIGION AMONG THE SIX NATIONS, INCLUDING SAINT REGIS INDIANS.
With the exception of the Tuscaroras, each of the Six Nations has one or more council houses, in which the people asserable for business or purely Indian ceremonies, religious or social. There is also a council house or town hall on the Mount Hope road of the Tuscarora reservation, but the pagan party has no footing among this people. The council houses, formerly built of logs, are practically in disuse, and frame buildings, about 40 by 80 feet, with fireplace or simple chimney at each end, which allows separate sittings for the sexes, have taken their place. Anew building of this kind on the Tonawanda reservation, and 1 at Carrollton, on the Allegany reservation, are indicated on the maps of these reservations. The sites of 3 ancient council houses at Cattaraugus and of 2 at Tonawanda are also indicated. The religious differences of the Indians actually characterize grouped settlements on each reservation. Thus, the majority of the christian Indians live upon the central road in Onondaga; upon and east of the main road of Tonawanda; between Salamanca and Red House, in Allegany, and upon the main route from Versailles to Irving, in Cattaraugus. As a general rule, both internal and external comforts, conveniences, and indications of thrift are alike in contrast. The pagans chiefly occupy the western and southeastern parts of Tonawanda, the Carrollton district, and the country below the Red House, in Allegany, and almost exclusively people the Newtown and Gowanda roads, in Cattaraugus. There are exceptions, as in the case of Andrew John, sr., one of the most successful farmers of Cattaraugus, but the groupings are everywhere maintained.
At Onondaga the council house is central upon what is known as " the public green ", thus retaining for this open space the name common throughout New England even up to a recent date. In this building the pagan rites are annually performed.
The Protestant Episcopal church, a handsome and well-equipped structure, having Rev. John Scott as rector and 24 communicants, is also near the " public green ". The responses are devoutly rendered, the singing is rich, full, and expressive, and an hour's "talk " to the Indians, interpreted by Jaris Pierce, an advanced man in English education and civilized manners, was eagerly listened to and received a rising vote of thanks. The occasion was improved to impress their minds with the value of school training and a sacred regard for the marriage and family relations as essential to their true prosperity and development. The venerable Abram Hill (Oneida, of the Snipe tribe), Albert Cusick (Onondaga, of the Eel tribe), the latter preparing for examination to take deacon's orders, and Marvin Crouse (Seneca, of the Wolf tribe) are among the most active members. The singing was under the direction of the rector's wife, Mrs. Scott, who presided at the organ. Mr. Scott's compensation, including morning charge of the state school, amounts to 8500 per annum, and the people contribute current expenses.
The Methodist Episcopal church, also a handsome building, with stained glass windows, is situated opposite the schoolhouse, 180 rods south of the Episcopal church. Rev. Abram Fancher is the minister, with a salary of 8500 per year and use of parsonage. There are 23 communicants, and nearly 60 persons were present at the afternoon class meeting. The audience was addressed without an interpreter, and there were expressions of cordial satisfaction from the people. Josiah Jacobs (Onondaga, of the Wolf tribe) and Abram Printup (Eel tribe) are among the most efficient workers. A third christian organization, the Wesleyan Methodist, is worshiping at private houses under the spiritual care of Rev. Thomas La Forte, a brother of the influential and most prominent chief of the present Onondagas, Daniel La Forte (Onondaga, of the Wolf tribe). This minister was for 13 years among the Saint Regis Indians, and has a fair English education. His brother, Chief La Forte, was at one time a member of the christian party, and took an active part in the erection of the church edifice.
A singular sequel attaches to the building of this church, growing out of alleged aid in its erection. Rev. Thomas La Forte claimed that his society helped build it. Among the few records preserved, the following ex parte statement, taken literatim from their pages, indicates the attitude of the pagan party respecting the question referred to:
The undersigned, chiefs of the Onondaga nation of Indians, hereby certify that our nation heretofore has given permission to the W<wleyan Methodist people & Church to build a church and passage [parsonage] on our reservation. We further certify that we have never given to any other church or society the right to hold or occupy the building enter [entered] no more occupied [no more either to be 42
occupied] that church by the Protestant Episcopal church, thereby the "Wesleyans church people as [has] the lands on which the building stands.
We believe that the said wesleyans church and people to be lawful owner & holder of the church and other buildings ented [entered] on our reservation by them, & hereby willingly consent to their taking & holding possession of the same.
Done at Onondaga Castle this 24th day of September, 1886.
his his his his his
Name for chiefs: George x Lyon. Thomas x Webster. Baptist x Thomas. Jacob x Big Bear. Charles x Green.
mark. mark. mark. mark. mark.
his his his his his
John x Johnson. William x Lyons. Wilson x Reuben. John x Hill. Joseph x Isaac.
mark. mark. mark. mark. mark.
his his his his
Abbott x Jones. William x Hill. William x Joe. Andrew x Gibson.
mark. mark. mark. mark.
(Signed) Baptist Thomas, Chairman for Nation.
Some of the above chiefs can write, but the record reads as above given.
Here, as in many frontier settlements, the number of churches is disproportionate to the population. The stimulus to competitive, earnest work, which often follows the existence of more than one religious body, does not wholly prevent church jealousies or impress upon pagan minds the highest idea of christian spirit, or that Christianity is the object sought and denominational connections are matters of judgment and choice. The property episode is therefore given, not to expose the crudeness of the record, but as indicative of local christian differences, which hinder rapid progress.
At Touawanda there are 3 church buildings, each well adapted to its purpose. The Presbyterian church is languishing through internal discords. The Baptist church, built of brick, and having a good organ and 40 members, cost nearly $3,600. The annual contributions to its support are a little more than $200. Mr. John Griffin (Seneca, of the Bear tribe) has lay charge of the meetings, the pulpit being vacant. He is a prosperous farmer, and, with his wife Margaret and daughter Nellie (Senecas, of the Wolf tribe), struggles hard to restore the church to its former pre-eminence on the reservation. The wealthiest member of the church and of the nation, and prominent among the entire Six Nations for business experience and practical wisdom, is Edward M. Poodry, a Seneca of the Turtle tribe, but through difference of opinion as to church management has recently attended the Presbyterian church and acted as interpreter. Mr. Poodry, who is an independent thinker, perfectly alive to the demands of the times, and successful iu bringing his sons into profitable employment upon his large farm, acted as interpreter on the occasion of one " talk " to this congregation, and earnestly seconded the request that fresh effort be made to arouse the people to throw off the weight of "old-time" superstition and hasten into full accord with the progress of the times. This partial withdrawal of Mr. Poodry from the Baptist meetings has chilled attendance and crippled their usefulness.
The Presbyterian church, costing $2,500, is another good structure that would do credit to any country town. Rev. John McMasters, of Akron, preaches on alternate Sabbaths, and Rev. M. F. Trippe preaches once a month. Three excellent elders, Warren Sky (Seneca, of the Wolf tribe), a prosperous farmer; William Cooper (Seneca, of the Hawk tribe), an enterprising youug man, who commands the full confidence of sensible white people, and William IT. Moses (Seneca, of the Wolf tribe), have charge of the active work of the church, and prove efficient laborers. The number of communicants is 35, and the annual contribution by the church is $30.
The Methodist church, with a small but neatly furnished place of worship, has nominally 19 members, Mr. Stephen Sky (Seneca, of the Hawk tribe), one of the 5 non-backsliding male members, being earnest in his endeavor to secure regular preaching services as soon as possible. Their contributions for church work are $30 per annum.
There is but 1 church edifice on the Allegany reservation (Presbyterian), costing $1,500, of which the Indians contributed $750. There are 110 communicants, according to the church records. The pastor, Rev. M. F. Trippe, thoroughly enthusiastic in his work, in addition to the occasional aid of Rev. William Hall, who has spent more than a third of a century in this field, has had strong support by members and elders of his church. Two members of this church died during the enumeration under circumstances which evinced the power of the christian's faith in the dying hour, and the statement of their experience is worth more than columns of figures in establishing a strong bond of sympathy between the christian people of America and the people of the Six Nations. Joseph Turkey (Cayuga) had been preacher, exhorter, and colporteur, laboring with indefatigable zeal for the conversion of the people. Elder William W. Jimerson (Seneca, of the "Eagle" tribe, probably Hawk), while dying of consumption, expressed his greatest "regret that his work for Jesus had not been better done ". Three days before his death he "wished he could have been at their prayer meeting the previous evening ". David Gordon (Seneca, of the Wolf tribe), Elder Alfred T. Jimerson (Seneca, of the "Plover", properly Snipe tribe), an efficient aid during the enumeration, as well as a church elder, and Willit B. Jimerson (Seneca, of the Wolf tribe), who has a piano instead of an organ or melodeon in his parlor, are among the efficient workers to rescue the Allegany Senecas from the controlling influence of the pagan party.
The Baptists have a nominal membership of 21, and meet at the old school building at Red House, having lost their small church by a storm. Their minister, Rev. Harvey Blinkey (Seneca, of the Wolf tribe), and his wife Letitia (Seneca, of the " Flamingo ", really Heron tribe), clerk of the church, are taking measures to revive their organization and recall " professional backsliders" to duty, but the church is at low-water mark.
Closely associated with Allegany, under the same pastoral care, and allied by community of blood and annuity interests, are the few families of Cornplanter's descendants across the line in Warren county, Pennsylvania, on the Cornplanter reservation. A well-built Presbyterian church, with 39 communicants, a good organ and Sabbath school, testify to progressive work. Marsh Pierce (Seneca, of the "Tip-up ", properly Snipe tribe) is the active representative of the church and a real force in the elevation of his nation. He owns property to the value of $10,000, is an industrious, careful farmer, and one of the progressive members of the "national Seneca council".
Cattaraugus reservation has 3 churches, all on the road from the courthouse to the town of Irving. The Methodist church, on Courthouse square, is a building costing nearly $2,000, and $300 has recently been appropriated by the missionary society of the Methodist Episcopal church for improvements. Rev. A. A. Crow, of Go wan da, preaches every Sabbath afternoon, followed by a class meeting. A divorce suit pending before the peacemaker court and challenging much attention and sympathy brought out on one occasion such prayerful expressions of sympathy as might be evoked under corresponding circumstances among the most earnest christians. The membership is 39. The ladies' sewing circle realized $100 during the census year for church purposes. As in all churches throughout the Six Nations, "familiar talks " upon personal duty at this critical period of the Indian history elicited appreciative responses and an avowed purpose to struggle for a higher plane of living.
The Presbyterian church, near the parting of the Brant road, cost $2,500, and will accommodate from 400 to 500 people. It has a reliable membership of 86, some having been dropped from the rolls. 10 additions were made upon profession of faith after the enumeration was formally taken, and nearly 30 others had consulted the pastor with a view to admission. Rev. George Runciman succeeded Rev. M. F. Trippe 2 years ago, and this church has been especially blessed in an awakening of the people to the value of Christianity as the only thoroughly effective civilizing force.
The Sabbath school numbers nearly 100, including the pupils of the Thomas Orphan Asylum, who worship at this church with Mr. and Mrs. Van Volkenburg, who have charge of that institution. Instead of a choir, as in many of the Indian churches, the asylum pupils, nearly 70 in number, lead the singing with great effect. During the census year the sum of $272 was contributed by the congregation for church purposes. Mr. Lester Bishop (Seneca, of the Wolf Tribe) is superintendent of the Sunday school, and in its management, exposition of the International lessons, and general church work exhibits rare tact, spirituality, and judgment. He is also one of the most respected and efficient members of the national Seneca council.
The Baptist church, cost about $1,500, is a convenient building, with good horse sheds nearby. It has 35 communicants, but is without a minister, and is in a languishing condition. The sum of $60 was contributed during the census year for a temporary supply, and about $70 for other church purposes.
At Tuscarora there are 2 substantial church buildings, the Presbyterian, on the mountain road, visited monthly by Rev. M. F. Trippe, of Salamanca, who formerly preached at Cattaraugus, but now has general supervision of the Indian Presbyterian churches of Allegany, Tonawanda, and Tuscarora, as well as at Cornplanter, in Pennsylvania. The number of communicants is 27, with a good Sunday school, good singing, and an intelligent, but small attendance, except under favoring conditions of the weather, when this congregation, as in most Indian churches, is large, the Indians, equally with the white people, regarding clear weather and clear roads as passports of attendance. The American board assists this church $175 per annum. The contributions for sexton and other expenses reach $75 per annum.
The Baptist church, under the care of Rev. Frank Mountpleasant (Seneca, of the Turtle tribe), is a large edifice, and has capacious horse sheds, after the old New England style, and a nominal membership of 211. The Sabbath school numbers 85, and the active support of Mrs. Caroline Mountpleasant, sister of General Ely S. Parker, a woman of refinement, education, and culture, greatly adds to the efficiency of the church work over which her nephew presides. A choir of 20 persons renders excellent music, in which the congregation often joins with spirit.