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Thematic Time Period - Indian Territory, 1820 - 1854 - Michigan Territory

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Issac McCoy to Robert Simerwell and Bay

Issac McCoy to Robert Simerwell and Bay
Creator: McCoy, Isaac, 1784-1846
Date: March 29, 1829
In this letter, to Robert Simerwell and Mr. Bay, Issac McCoy relays the news that the Carey Mission will likely cease to function, and that the missionaries at Carey will leave for the Osage Mission "one year from next September." In addition, McCoy addresses the problems that many missionaries soemtimes faced, stating that he is "tired-tired-tired of my wanderings--I am lonesome and homesick."


Issac McCoy to Robert Simerwell and J. Bay

Issac McCoy to Robert Simerwell and J. Bay
Creator: McCoy, Isaac, 1784-1846
Date: May 16, 1829
In this letter to Robert Simerwell and J. Bay at the Carey Mission, Michigan Territory, Issac McCoy relays information to them concerning the Baptist Board of Missions' decision to send himself and Johnston Lykins further West. In addition, McCoy explains that the Board has decided to appoint a committee in Lexington, Kentucky and in New York for the purpose of "keeping alive the subject of Indian missions, and of promoting the interests of these missions in general."


Johnston Lykins to Robert Simerwell

Johnston Lykins to Robert Simerwell
Creator: Lykins, Johnston, 1800?-1876
Date: December 21, 1830
In this letter to Robert Simerwell, Johnston Lykins relates some of his activities in the late fall and early winter of 1830, most of which concerned the efforts to ready the local Native Indians for the move west of the Mississippi. Lykins states that, while at Logan Fort, he met a Wea from the Kanza River who had "collected 100 Weas & Miamis who will go on in the spring to Missouri." Lykins then explains that he plans to see the Wea soon so that the two of them can make arrangements for the 100 Native Indians that were ready to leave the Michigan Territory for the "West."


L. Bolles to Robert Simerwell

L. Bolles to Robert Simerwell
Creator: Bolles, L.
Date: June 24, 1829
In this letter to Robert Simerwell, L. Boles informs Simerwell that a large portion of the funding for the Carey Mission, Michigan Territory, will be cut because the Baptist Mission Board had decided that it "could not afford to keep up a large establishment as heretofore." However, Bolles does state that there is money available to Simerwell if needed.


Lucas Bolles to Johnston Lykins and Robert Simerwell

Lucas Bolles to Johnston Lykins and Robert Simerwell
Creator: Bowles, Reverend Lucas
Date: October 1, 1830
In this letter to Johnston Lykins and Robert Simerwell, Reverend Lucas Bolles reports that the Baptist Board of Missions has received the reports sent by both Lykins and Simerwell and, as a result, the Board is completing the closing of the Books & winding up of affairs at Carey Mission, Michigan Territory. Bolles letter indicates that the educational department of the Carey Mission was closed on August 26, 1830, with 15 scholars in attendance at the time it ceased operations. Bolles reports that the U.S. Government has promised that a new school will be opened in the "new Country" west of the Mississippi and that the Native Americans were being moved there following the passage of the Indian Removal Act of 1830.


Noble and Simonson to John H. Eaton

Noble and Simonson to John H. Eaton
Date: September 2, 1830
In this letter to U.S. Secretary of War John H. Eaton, Department of War agents Noble and Simonson report on the property held by the Baptist missionaries at Carey Mission, Michigan Territory. The report contains a detailed breakdown of the assets at Carey, including the 11 "hewed log" buildings, mill, and other items.


Robert Simerwell to Brother Goodridge

Robert Simerwell to Brother Goodridge
Creator: Simerwell, Robert, 1786-1868
Date: October 26, 1830
Written in the months after the passage of the Indian Removal Act, Robert Simerwell's letter to Brother Goodridge relates his feelings regarding the treatment of the Native Indians by "individuals of the Government" of the United States. Simerwell, obviously angered by the treatment of Native Indians, states that "the impositions practised by individuals on the Indians are incredible, only by custom are they made to bear it, it would appear strange to you to see a white man enter a store and purchase cloth at 25 cents a yard, and an Indian immediately enter who could not get it short of 37 cents."


Robert Simerwell to H. Lincoln

Robert Simerwell to H. Lincoln
Creator: Simerwell, Robert, 1786-1868
Date: November 22, 1828
In this letter, Robert Simerwell details events at the Carey Mission in the fall of 1828, including the departure of the Lykins family and the McCoy family for St. Louis where they spent the winter before returning to the West. In addition, Simerwell indicates that the local Indians have gone to their winter hunting grounds and have complained that their situation has been growing increasingly desperate, believing that they had upset the "Great Spirit" with their behavior.


Robert Simerwell to Isaac McCoy

Robert Simerwell to Isaac McCoy
Creator: Simerwell, Robert, 1786-1868
Date: February 27, 1830
In this letter to Reverend Isaac McCoy, Robert Simerwell addresses the upcoming removal of the Native Indians living in the vicinity of the Carey Mission, Michigan Territory. Simerwell explains his stance on the issue by stating that "on the whole, I am agreed as it regards the propriety of the measure." However, Simerwell hints that he is not entirely happy with the plan to remove the Native Indians, and that it had shaken his "fortitude as a missionary." In addition, Simerwell tells McCoy about the issues facing the missionaries at the Thomas Mission, as well as the debate between the local Native Indians regarding the possibility of leaving their lands.


Robert Simerwell to Johnston Lykins

Robert Simerwell to Johnston Lykins
Creator: Simerwell, Robert, 1786-1868
Date: November 1828
In this letter to Johnston Lykins, Robert Simerwell relays his displeasure with Lykins' apparent disregard for the lack of raw materials and goods at the Carey Mission in Michigan Territory. In fact, Simerwell asks Lykins "how do you suppose we will get along this winter we have nothing and no money to purchase any thing with it is impossible to get leather in this country and this you knew we have to dismiss our shoemaker at Thomas they have not got a shoe made in 17 days."


Robert Simerwell to Jotham Meeker

Robert Simerwell to Jotham Meeker
Creator: Simerwell, Robert, 1786-1868
Date: March 2, 1830
In this letter to Jotham Meeker of the Thomas Mission, Robert Simerwell expresses his thoughts on the steps being taken by the United States Government to remove Indians from lands being overtaken by white settlers. In particular, Simerwell wonder what the government's actions might mean for the Indians he deals with on a daily basis, as well as what they mean for the United States. Concerning himself, Simerwell wonders if he will be able to continue his work because "there is a cloud hanging over my future prospects as a Missionary" due to the actions of the U.S. Congress.


Robert Simerwell to Maria Lyman

Robert Simerwell to Maria Lyman
Creator: Simerwell, Robert, 1786-1868
Date: July 28, 1829
In this letter to Mrs. Maria T. Lyman, Robert Simerwell discusses the activities of Isaac McCoy who was tasked to "proceed into the wilderness west of the Missouri State and to learn it fitness or unfitness for an Indian Colony." Simerwell explains that McCoy and his party had deemed the land to be suitable and, therefore, they hoped to start moving Native Indians to that area by the next season.


Robert Simerwell to Mrs. Mary T. Lyman

Robert Simerwell to Mrs. Mary T. Lyman
Creator: Simerwell, Robert, 1786-1868
Date: May 25, 1830
In this letter to Mrs. Mary Lyman, Robert Simerwell responds to Lyman's query into the needs of the Carey Mission, Michigan Territory, by explaining that the possible removal of the Native Indians being educated there will likely hinder future efforts. In addition, Simerwell asserts that the growing presence of white settlers has hampered the efforts of the missionaries because it has helped open a "wide spread door to vice and immorality."


Robert Simerwell to R.W. Chessman

Robert Simerwell to R.W. Chessman
Creator: Simerwell, Robert, 1786-1868
Date: May 14, 1829
In this letter to Mr. R.W. Chessman, Robert Simerwell addresses an article that appeared in the "Western Times, No. 31, Vol. 1" on March 28, 1829. According to Simerwell, the article describes the life of an anonymous blacksmith that bears a striking resemblance to himself. Therefore, Simerwell seeks to explain the "truth" of his life to Mr. Chessman. In addition, Simerwell states that "the mission is not as likely to fail as many of its enemies would wish."


Robert Simerwell to Rev. Joseph B. Gilbert

Robert Simerwell to Rev. Joseph B. Gilbert
Creator: Simerwell, Robert, 1786-1868
Date: July 28, 1829
In this letter to Reverend Joseph B. Gilbert, Robert Simerwell thanks Gilbert for his group's donation of $17.78, and explains that Issac McCoy has not been at the Carey Mission, Michigan territory, for some time because he has been busy working to secure land west of Missouri for the Ottawas. At the time Simerwell wrote the letter, he states that the school at Carey had 36 students.


Robert Simerwell to Reverend John Chase

Robert Simerwell to Reverend John Chase
Creator: Simerwell, Robert, 1786-1868
Date: July 30, 1829
In this letter to Reverand John Chase, Robert Simerwell thanks Chase for the donation of clothing that was sent to the Carey Mission by the Sisters of the Baptist Church and Society in Brookfield, Massachusetts, who wanted to help the missionaries with their efforts to educate Native Indians in the West.


Robert Simerwell to Reverend Noah Davis

Robert Simerwell to Reverend Noah Davis
Creator: Simerwell, Robert, 1786-1868
Date: July 21, 1830
In this letter to Noah Davis, Robert Simerwell explains that the Carey Mission, Michigan Territory, will soon be abandoned as a Baptist mission. In fact, Simerwell states that "our labours at this place are almost at a close, our premises will be valued 1st Sep. when our posessary right will cease." Simerwell also tells Davis that he has spoken with Isaac McCoy who had been assured "by the President and the Sec. Of War that our Denomination shall receive a liberal patronage from Gov" which Simerwell hopes will allow them to continue their missionary work among the Indians.


Robert Simerwell to Reverend Samuel Bolles

Robert Simerwell to Reverend Samuel Bolles
Creator: Simerwell, Robert, 1786-1868
Date: March 29, 1831
In this letter to Reverend Samuel Bolles, Robert Simerwell expresses his thoughts on missionary schools for Native Indians. To begin with, Simerwell explains that schools "should be conducted so as to secure the most possible interest in the parents as well as in the child." In addition, Simerwell argues that schools should be set up in or near villages where the children most often reside. Finally, among many other thoughts on education, Simerwell believes that missionaries should teach Native Indian students in their native language in order to be the most effective in the classroom.


Robert Simerwell to S.M. Crane

Robert Simerwell to S.M. Crane
Creator: Simerwell, Robert, 1786-1868
Date: December 20, 1830
In this letter to Reverend S.M. Crane, Robert Simerwell addresses the state of affairs at the Carey Mission, Michigan Territory, in the winter of 1830. Simerwell also discusses the efforts of Carney missionaries to learn the local Native Indian language.


Robert Simerwell to T.L. Holman

Robert Simerwell to T.L. Holman
Creator: Simerwell, Robert, 1786-1868
Date: March 2, 1829
In this letter to T.L. Holman, Robert Simerwell discusses the conditions and attitudes of the people at the Carey Mission, Michigan Territory, in early 1829. Included are Simerwell's remarks on the attitudes of the Native American students at the mission, some of whom were "mourning over their lost and undone state" that had been signed away in the Treaty of Saint Joseph in September of 1827.


Samuel S. Hamilton to Robert Simerwell

Samuel S. Hamilton to Robert Simerwell
Creator: Hamilton, Samuel S.
Date: September 10, 1830
In this letter to Robert Simerwell, Samuel Hamilton discusses the latest developments with regard to the removal of the Native Indians located at the Carey Mission, Michigan Territory. Included is a short reply from the U.S. Secretary of War's Office of Indian Affairs in which the author states that Secretary of War John Eaton has decided to allow Simerwell to remain at the Carey Mission for a brief time after the appraisement of the property on September 1, 1830. Hamilton's letter also includes a letter that he sent to Reverend S. Bolles explaining the Secretary of War's decision regarding the transition period that followed President Jackson's signature of the Indian Removal Act. Finally, the last part of Hamilton's letter is addressed directly to Simerwell. In this section, Hamilton explains that the Baptist Board of Missions believes that Simerwell should remain at the Carey Mission until all the details concerning the removal of the Native Americans to the lands West of the Mississippi have been finalized between the Board and the U.S. Government.


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