Mohawk Warrior Uncas
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Who that has read Cooper’s “Last of the Mohicans,” but remembers Uncas, the young Mohawk warrior, and jointly with that of his white friend Leather Stocking, the hero of the story? It is said his Indian name was Tschoop; but if it is corrupted as badly as all other Indians names when put in print by the whites, it is as foreign from his true name as that by which he figured in the “Last of the Mohicans.” However, he has been handed down as a noted warrior among his people the once powerful and warlike Mohawks who inhabited the now State of New York in the years of long past famous for his daring exploits in war, and his fiery eloquence in the councils of his Nation. In 1741, he was often visited at his home by a Moravian missionary, named Christian Rauch, who often spoke to him upon the subject of religion during their frequent social conversations; and finally asked him if he had any desire to save his soul. “We all desire that,” responded Uncas. The good missionary, in his zeal, became persistent in urging upon him the importance and great necessity of his becoming a Christian, praying and pleading with him often with tears; and after many months of prayer and entreaty, the pious Rauch was delighted to see his forest pupil a changed man a truly pious Christian, whom he baptized under the name of John. In a letter Uncas afterwards sent to the Delaware Indians, he said: I have been a bad, very bad, man. But a white preacher told me there is a God. I said: Do I not know that? Return whence you came.
Then another came and told me that God was offended at me when I did any bad acts. Again I said: Do I not know that too? Do you think that I am a fool? Then Christian Rauch came into my cabin and sat down by me and told me of my crimes, of Jesus who died to save me from them; and this he did day after day, until I became tired of his talk and threatened to kill him if he came to my cabin again. But one day I came home and found him in my cabin sound asleep. I stood and looked at him, and said to myself “What sort of a man is this? How easily I might kill him; yet he is with out fear, for he says his Jesus will protect him from all harm. Who is that that Jesus? I too must and will find him.” And, reader, he did find him; and soon after he be came not only an humble and devout follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, but also became a preacher of the Gospel with the same fiery eloquence which had given him a power among his race, and spent many years in traveling among the neigh boring tribes of his day who long since have all been numbered with the events that were fading before the tide of the white man’s Christian oppression like a shadow that leaves no trace behind, except in the persons of a few who have survived the wreck of years, only, it seems, because they have the right to live.