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Jotham Meeker to Rev. Lucius Bolles

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Ottawa, July 8, 1840.
Rev L. Bolles,
Cov. Sec. A B.B.F.M.
M y Dear Brother On the 11th of March last I wrote to you my annual letter, at which time I gave an account of the state of things here Since then we have had a continual feast of fat things, and I feel it to be necessary to copy from my Journal some extracts and forward them to you.
March 12. Again carry refreshments to Ottowukke, who is still mending. After eating he rode to his own house, about half a mile distant. We held our Thursday meeting at the house of Washkee who is one of those who have asked for baptism 14 adults attended, among whom was Ottowukke. After I had read in Ottawa the account of the conversion of Saul, and had spoken at some length, Br. Green spoke with much warmth during which time the Chief laid on a bed and looked steadily at us. He I suppose, took offence at our boldness in defying opposition, and declaring our confidence in God. After meeting Ottowukkee sent expresses in different directions to call every Ottowa man in the nation and as many of the Chippewas as could come, to meet in Council on to-morrow at about 10 o'clock at his house.
13. At about 11 A.M. an express arrived at my house who stated that Ottowukkee had sent for me to attend a Council at his house immediately. I went, and on my arrival found them in real Council style. The ground was swept clean, (for it was out of doors) The Ottawas and Chippewas, almost to a man, were seated on the ground, in a ring, with Ottowukkee, who was lying on a bed. two American flags were hoisted, and the countenances of all indicated that something great was not to be done. I was seated in the opposite side of the ring from the Chief. When

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all the preliminaries were concluded Ottowukkee arose and addressed me. He said he was too sick to speak, but had appointed Kompchaw to be his speaker that after listening to his speech I could have liberty to answer. Kompchaw then attacked me with all his might declared that it never was the wish of the Inds. that I should build and settle here, that it was the doings of a Chief who is dead that I came to teach a school, and having no school now I had no business here that I now was doing great mischief by separating families, and friends, and making confusion all over the nation. He went on to enumerate a number of crimes that I was reported to be guilty of. He then sat down to wait for my reply. I then arose and spoke for about an hour, (without an Interpreter) stated that I was happy to have this opportunity of defending myself, and of informing all of the Indians how I came and what I came for. I took up the several crimes alledged against me one after another, declared them all to be false, and challenged the whole council or any person present to contradict me. I declared that there were several witnesses, one of whom was their former Agent, who could testify that the Ottawa nation, including Kompchaw, the present speaker, requested their Agent to write to the President of the U.S. to send me to their country to live. I then took out of my pocket my Instructions from the Com. of Ind. Affr at Washington and told them that the same persons who placed the Inds. here and protected them, also placed and protected me here, I stated too, that the Creator of the heavens and the earth had, I thought, sent me here, and that if he sent me he would protect me so long as he wished me to remain, that no power on earth could frustrate His designs. I then

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spoke considerably of the nature of the doctrines of Christianity, its effects upon those who embraced it, and the importance of seeking the salvation of the soul, &c.&c.In the midst of my speech the Chippewa Chief arose and addressed the Ottawas for about 15 minutes spoke of the fraud practiced upon the Inds. by the Whites, and insisted upon their claiming their rights, and doing as they pleased in their own country. Ottowukkee, too, stopped me once and tried to make out that I lied. I think I never had a better command of myself than at this time. I felt that the promise of Christ was verified, ?for it shall be given you in that name how what ye shall speak.? &c. The speaker, after, I had got through, acknowledged that they had been misinformed, he supposed, relative to the charges alledged against me, and went to pouring all the abuse possible upon Br. D. Green, who was present, Br. G. arose and made, I think, the best speech I ever heard from an Indian. He spoke with the boldness of a Peter. After which the speaker addressed the Inds. at some length, exhorting them to not listen to any thing that was calculated to make disturbance, but to do all they could to sustain their old customs, &c. The Council then broke up. No bounds are yet fixed upon for our religious efforts. Wawindossunk, a man who wishes to be baptized the first opportunity, tells me that he did not hear much of the Council, because he was all the time praying to the Great Spirit for me.
14. Ottowukkee's excitement and exposure yesterday threw him into a relapse. He is again very sick.
15. Lord's Day. Spend the most of the forenoon in religious conversation with three different men. They seem to be earnestly enquiring after truth. Preach at noon to 24 Inds in the evening to 20. Br. G. also spoke in both meetings. Ottowukkee had a Medicine dance about 20 rods from our evening meeting.

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16. On last evening the Chippewa Chief sent an express, (who arrived about 6 o'clock this morning) to inform me that he wished me to come immediately to his house, which is 12 miles distant. On my arrival he had every one to go out of the house, but his brother and me. He then told me that on the night before last an Ottawa man came to his house with a message from an Ottawa select Council, which he, (the Chippewa Chief) was to deliver to me as soon as possible. which message was about as follows: We, the Ottawa nation, heard David Green say at the late Council at Ottowukkee's, that he was determined to not discontinue his visits and labors among the Ottawas so long as he should live. Having now decided unanimously that there visits tend to create division, disturbance and quarrelling, we have adopted the following resolutions, vis:--That in two moons from this time we shall meet again in Council that in case we shall at that time hear that these visits are continued we will immediately drive out the missionary by force, and then try what we can do with his followers We therefore advise that all these visits be stopped immediately, that the meetings and religious conversations be confined to the missionary's house. Deliver the above message to Br. David. Visited Ottowukkee who seems to be fast sinking. He is again much alarmed, wants me to doctor him again, throws many of his conjuring instruments in the fire, and again says if he shall ever get well he will pray as long as he shall live, give him medicine and food, but fear he cannot live.
18. At 8. P.M. Ottowukkee died.
19. Carry the remains of the Chief to his grave. Some of the Inds. seem convinced that I have bewitched him, while others say it is a judgment from heaven.

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March 29, Lord's Day. At 9 o'clock A.M. we met in the Schools house. The house was full, and many of the Inds. could not get in. A door being opened for the reception of members, the following persons related to the Church what the Lord had done for their souls: Miss Elizabeth Stinson, Sister-in-law of our Ind. Agent, Wasomea & wife, Washkee, Shawboneda, and Wawindossunk one white woman, three Ottawa men, one Ottawa woman, and one Chippewa man. The members of the Church retired to consult, and unanimously decided that they all be received as members of the Church, after baptism. We then repaired to the Osage river. Br. Lykins addressed the multitude on the subject of baptism, after which I baptized the six candidates in the name of the Holy Trinity. At two of our previous baptizing occasions some unruly fellows made much noise and confusion, but to-day all was quiet. Many countenances indicated that there was much feeling within. We again met in the school house, where Br. Lykins preached to the Inds. Through an interpreter from ?Behold the Man? At early candle lighting the house was again crowded to overflowing
May 17. Lord's Day Church met for business agreeably to appointment, when Nah-youch-o-qua, Mant-nuk-num, Ke-new-bogna, and Pahter, (one man and three women, all Ottawas) related to the Church their Christian experience, who were unanimously received, after which the disciples and candidates joined in a procession at our house, and which walking to the water sung the hymn, translated into Ottawa, ?Jesus my all to heaven is gone? &c. followed by about 50 Indians. At the water I addressed the Inds. with unusual warmth for about half an hour, and then buried them as was their Lord and master in the liquid grave. There was no noise nor confusion among the spectators, with but few exceptions, all appeared solemn. In the evening about 25 met at Br. Wasomea's

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where we had truly a happy meeting. One of the head men of the Medicine dance comes decidedly to-day in favor immediately seeking the salvation of his soul.
June 21. Lord's Day. At our meeting for business this morning, Tah-wa, Kea-paw-sa, Mis-sos, Sh-kosh, & Kichip-pah, (three Ottawa men, one Ottowa and one Putawatomie woman) gave in their Christian experience, and requested to be baptized, who were all received. Br. Blanchard then delivered a sermon out of doors, to 60 or 70 persons from ?I am the Light of the world.? We then repaired to the water where after speaking in Ottawa for about half an hour I baptized the five candidates. Perfect order prevailed. The Ind. brethren and many others met at Br. Wasomeas, in the evening, and continued near half the night in singing, exhortation and prayer. This has been truly a happy day to us. The wilderness and the (hitherto) solitary place is becoming glad for them, and our desert is beginning to rejoice and blossom as the rose. Bless the Lord, O. my soul.
Aug.1. 1840 Eleven brethren from a distance with us. At 1. P.M. the Church met for business whence Sabo, (a Chief) Ke-kin-ah-bun-o-qua, Dame-ta, William Turner, (my apprentice while in the Printing Office,) and Ke-o-to-wah-ba gave in their Christian experience, four of whom were received for baptism, and the last named person was rejected. Of the persons received two are Ottawa men, one an Ottawa woman, and one a Putawatomie man. Another Ottawa man expected to appear before the Church, but was prevented by sickness.
Aug. 2. Lord's Day. At 10. A.M. we met out of doors, where Brs. Barker & Blanchard preached to about 50 Indians thro' an interpreter we then repaired to the water, where, after addresses by Br. Blanchard and myself, I baptized the four persons received on yesterday. We again met in our meeting place I gave to the baptized persons the right hand of fellowship after which, 32 disciples, 25 of whom were Indians, sat around

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the table of their Lord It was truly a joyful sight.
During the last six months my time has been almost exclusively taken up in missionary work. I can now speak understandingly to the Inds. on any subject without an interpreter. A considerable portion of my time is taken up in visiting from house to house, and conversing with all who will hear me on the subject of Christianity. Many listen with attention some let me talk, determining to pay no attention to what I say, while others, positively forbid me to have any religious talk on their premises. Although opposers are almost constantly threatening to destroy our property, to injure our persons, and to drive us out of their country, still, the killing of about a dozen hogs is all the injury they have done us the cause of the Redeemer is gradually advancing the disciples are all increasing in zeal and holiness of life our meetings are still increasing in interest, and we have reason to hope that the good work of the Lord will still go on. The Christians have nearly all learned to read in their language and to sing a good many English tunes. They attend punctually to all our meetings the brethren never refuse to pray or speak in public when called on, seven of whom are fluent speakers, who often go into the Ottawa and Putawatomie settlements, call the Inds. together, where they sing, pray, and discourse with much feeling on religious subjects. We sometimes have meetings at three different places at the same time. Br. D. Green has lately declined accepting of any further compensation from the Board for his religious services he prefers laboring for God gratuitously. He found some difficulty in getting along with those who asserted that the object of his religious visits was money. He intends still to spend much of his time as he can in missionary work.
I have copied off in this letter a very small part of my Journal for the last five months, almost every

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day of which is filled up with interesting details of the progress of the revival. Opposition seems sometimes to die away a little, and again rises high. So lately as last Sabbath evening a friendly Chief called the brethren together to inform them that the Inds. are now making preparations to drive us out of the country soon. But our trust is in Him who once said ?and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.? Praying that the Lord may be with you in all your deliberations and doings I subscribe myself, as ever, your obedient servant
Jotham Meeker.

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