Letter from Rv. William Hall to Henry R. Schoolcraft
Letter from Rv. William Hall to Henry R. Schoolcraft.
Sept. 8th, 1845.
Your inquiries in relation to the state of religion, education, &c., among the Indians of this reservation, if I rightly understand them, are briefly answered as follows:
Christianity very much prospered here during the four years next preceding the past.
The number of church members during that period, was nearly tripled, and very encouraging additions were made to their know ledge and zeal. But the past year has been one of stupidity and drought.
There has, however, been four additions from the Indians, made to the church, by profession of faith, and two whites.
The present number of Indian members is about one hundred and fifteen. The number of whites is eight. Seven of the Indian members are under censure.
I have sustained three schools during the past summer, in which about eighty Indian children have been more or less taught. One of these schools, whose whole number is only about thirty, gives an average attendance of nearly twenty-five. In this neighborhood the population is sufficiently compact for a farming community, and the younger parents are partially educated.
In the other neighborhoods, the population is very sparse, and the parents very ignorant. The consequence is, that the daily attendance falls short of one half the whole number of scholars, and cannot be called regular at that. Many do not get to school earlier than half past eleven, and very few earlier than ten, and half past ten. Those who attend regularly, evince a capacity to acquire knowledge, equaling the whites, and one of our schools will suffer nothing, in comparison with common country schools.
Source: Notes on the Iroquois or, Contributions to the Statistics, Aboriginal
History, Antiquities and General Ethnology of Western New York, By Henry R.
Schoolcraft, 1846, Senate Document, Twenty-Four.
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