Life Among the Choctaw Indians
Intervals of leisure are
ordinarily rare and brief in the life of an
itinerant minister in a new country; he seldom
has an hour to devote to miscellaneous reading
or literary effort, apart from his appropriate
work. At the session of the California
conference, held in Sacramento City,
September, 1858, the writer was appointed to
an extensive and laborious field of labor in
the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains,
where it was not probable that he could have
any time to devote to book-making. But during
the prevalence of a winter storm of several
days' continuance and unusual violence, he
found himself effectually housed. His meager
library was fully read up, and he was at a
loss to know how profitably to spend the
stormy days and long evenings.
In searching among old papers and manuscripts,
the notes and sketches which had been written
in the south-west were overhauled. The scenes
and events of the past were called up, and he
lived over the years of his early ministry in
the Indian country. The notes were very brief,
but memory was astonishingly faithful in
filling up every chasm of the meager outline.
During the continuance of that and subsequent
storms the following pages were hastily
If this little volume shall serve to
contribute information, or rescue from
oblivion items of interest for the future
historian of the Church, or in any degree
awaken new interest and zeal in behalf of
Indian missions, the writer will feel himself
amply compensated for the labor thus expended.
The Indian tribes of the southwest are the
largest and most hopeful on the continent; and
yet not a single volume has been written,
setting forth their history, their state of
advancement in religion and the arts of
civilized life, or of their future prospects.
Whatever may be the judgment pronounced upon
this unpretending volume, the writer has the
consolation of knowing that his purpose has
been to write the truth, and to record such
facts as, with Gods blessing, might edify and
instruct the reader.
Notes About this Publication:
Source: Life Among the Choctaw Indians and Sketches of the South-West. By
Henry C. Benson, 1860, Published by L. Swormstedt & A. Poe.
Online Publication: The manuscript was scanned and
then ocr'd. Minimal editing has been done, and readers can and should expect
some errors in the textual output.
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