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Jotham Meeker to Rev. Lucius Bolles

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Ottawa, March 11, 1840.
Dear Brother Bolles,
My usual custom is to write to you my annual letter in February; but an unprecedented excitement among the Ottawas has been the cause of my putting it off until now. The Lord has at length, we believe, been pleased to bless our labors. A goodly number of the Ottawas have renounced the superstitions of the Inds. -- some of them have been born again, while the number of Inquirers is gradually increasing Consequently Satan is becoming very uneasy and a strong opposition has arisen against us.
About the first of December our religious meetings became pretty well attended, and from that time to the present they have become more and more interesting. On the first Sabbath in Feb. I baptized Br. Green's wife since that time four men and two women have, we believe, experienced the pardon of their sins, and are now rejoicing one man who has been a Methodist on the St. Clair river but who had apostatized and become very dissipated has been reclaimed, and appears to be now a zealous Christian and eight others have informed us that they wish to renounce all their errors and to listen to the gospel we believe them to be seriously enquiring after truth. The six spoken of above will probably be baptized by the first Sabbath of April and perhaps move.
The principal Chief, Otto-wuk-kee, took an open stand against us about a month ago he has enlisted on his side, three other Chiefs and the most of the Indians. They sometimes threaten to destroy the property of both the Christians and those who attend our meetings sometimes they resolve to injure their persons and at others to drive them out of the country.

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but all their threatening seems to have no effect only one person has so far as I can learn been intimidated. On the 27th of Feb. Ottowukkee came to our house to inform me that in about ten days all of the men in the nation would meet in Council at our house on important business, he wished me to attend the Council. I promised to try to attend. On the evening of the same day I was informed by several of the Indians that the object of this Council was to drive me and my family, with Br. David Green and another man (who is a zealous convert) out of the country immediately. From that day until the appointed day for the Council the Principal Chief and his party were constantly making plans by which they could most effectually get us out of the country. While we, including all of those whom we denominate ?Inquirers,? committed our cause to the Lord, and continued our labors without any alteration. The Council was to have been on Monday, the 9th inst. On Sunday the 8th we met at an Indian's house in the morning. Before we came away, Ottowukkee came and made considerable disturbance I first started away with a brother, and soon afterwards about fifteen Inds. followed to attend the meeting at our house Ottowukkee at first heaped all the ridicule upon me that he could, and finding that he could not stop my Indians went on to boast about what he was to do on the morrow. While he was thus speaking he was attacked with a shake of the ague, as he thought he started home, but could get only about half a mile, where he went to bed he raved until night like a mad man. Through the night and the next day he was irrational. A good many Indians met at our house, but nothing was said on the subject of our leaving the country On the morning

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following (yesterday) Ottowukkee sent in great haste for me. On my arrival he reached out his hand, and asked me to have mercy on him, he said he was now willing to comply with the requisitions of the gospel he said he was about to die, and placed some of his property in my hands to divide among certain persons named. His bodily distress was very great, having severe pains in his bowels, attended with frequent puking, purging and cramps, and a hot fever, but the distress of his mind was perhaps still greater he wept like a child. The Inds. gave him up to die, and thought nothing more could be done for him. I then ran home, took to him medicine and did all I could for him. On to-day he is mending, and bids fair to get well. We cannot predict what the effect will be, but, so far as we can learn, the Inds. are led to conclude that his sickness was an immediate judgment from God. I think the Chief will fear to oppose any further.
We meet regularly, on Sabbath noon at our house, at early candle lighting at different places among the Indians and on Thursdays at noon at Br. Green's. I dismissed my interpreter some five ago The Inds. meet frequently at our house in the evening to be taught to read in Indian an to sing.
We have made various attempts to re-commence our school, but the Chiefs object, -- we have had none since last June. A considerably great part of my time is taken up in imparting religious instruction from house to house.
Agreeably to instructions from the Board, I employed Br. Green to labor as assistant missionary, commencing Nov. 1, 1839. During the two first months I paid him for one third of the time. for Jan. and Feb. I paid him for half of the time, and on the first of March I commenced paying him for all of the time at the rate of $200 pr. year. I feel that in doing so I have exceeded the bound of my instructions. But knowing, as

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as I do, that the leading object of the Board is, the conversion of the heathen to Christianity, and, feeling that David is an invaluable assistant, and also, that it seems utterly impossible for him to do any work about his farm, I have taken this step. During the present excitement he is compelled to devote all of his time to missionary work, and less than $16.2/3 will not keep his family comfortable. I do not think he has slept at home during the last three months one fourth of the time, and during the same time he has not, I think, been able to work for himself ten days. He visits from house to house opposes all of the Indians religion and their sins openly seeks opportunity to dispute with all, even the Chiefs and jugglers, and fears no one - he glories in being persecuted falsely for Christ's sake and at the same time is a meek and humble disciple of Jesus. It is I think, principally, through his instrumentality, that the Lord has now received our hearts by the conversion of several Inds. and the awakening of several more. I hope the Board will not compel him to leave any part of his missionary work by sending him home to work for his family.

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