Eells, Myron. Justice to the Indian, 1883 Annual Meeting Congregational Assn of Oregon & Washington
Eells, Myron. Justice to the Indian, 1883 Annual Meeting Congregational Assn of Oregon & Washington

Eells, Myron. Justice to the Indian, 1883 Annual Meeting Congregational Assn of Oregon & Washington

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Eells, Myron. Justice to the Indian: Minutes of the Thirty-fifth Annual Meeting of the Congregational Association of Oregon and Washington, Held at Walla Walla, W. T., July 12-15, 1883. Together with the Minutes of the Home Missionary Society of Oregon and adjoining Territories, and of the Northwestern Association of Congregational Ministers. Portland, Oregon: Geo. H. Himes, Printer and Publisher, 1883. First Edition. [9135]

Printed cream wrapper, wrapper is soiled with several ink numbers on front, 8 5/8 x 5 1/2 inches, 47 pp. With 8 additional pp. of Portland business adverts. Good. Pamphlet.

Reports & Statistics of the Congregational churches in the territories, each congregation having some news printed.

Includes the nine-page essay, "Justice to the Indian," by Rev. M. Eells. "Sitting one day in a dentist's chair in Portland several years ago, when he learned that I was a missionary on an Indian reservation, our conversation naturally turned to the subject of the Indians. One remark which he made to me at that time I have never forgotten. He said: 'I have no great hankering after the Indians, but if I had made a promise to a dog I would keep it.' It was a plain, rough, but rather striking way of expressing one of the greatest principles which is needed in all our intercourse with the Indians, whether it be in a governmental or missionary way, or have reference to the intercourse which there is necessarily between the frontiersman and the Indian as a neighbor..."

Rev. Eells goes into great specific detail of wrongs done to various tribes, from the stealing of their land by railroad companies to atrocities against their persons. "But time would fail me to mention all of the acts of injustice done by our government to the Indians - to the Delawares, Cheyennes, Sioux, Poncas, Winnebagoes, Cherokees, Choctaws, Chickasaws, Creeks, Apaches, Spokanes, and nearly every tribe in the United States.

"They would fill volumes and make a century of dishonor, and are a very great obstacle to missions among the Indians, because then connect the Christian religion with the whites and with our government...Still there are some blacklegs, and cowboys, and tramps, and sage-brush jacks, and men who will jump a claim if they get the chance, mixed up with the better class on the frontiers, and it does not take many such sometimes to bring on great trouble with the Indians...

"When a band of Arizona rangers killed hundreds of peaceful Indians - men, women, and children - at Camp Grant in 1871, then in charge of Lieutenant R. E. Whitman, U. S. A., because other Indians had killed some whites, the result was not so satisfactory, for when Lieutenant Whitman protested against this wholesale massacre he was removed. The massacres of the Christian Indians of the Conostogas and Gnadenhuttets in the latter part of the last century, are now acknowledged to be great blots on us, just as the Cheyenne and Camp Grant massacres will be in the next century...

"Government is of the people and for the people, and when the people demand justice with the Indians, and compel renegades to behave, it will be done; but when we do not demand it, it will not be done. We must demand, for our own sakes, of government that wen she makes a promise to a dog she shall keep it."

Myron Eells (1843-1907), b. near what is now Spokane, Washington, the son of the Oregon pioneer missionary Cushing Eells (1810-1893). After graduating from Hartford Theological Seminary in 1871, he was pastor of a church in Boise, Idaho for a few years. In 1874 Myron became a missionary at the Skokomish Reservation in Washington Territory, where he remained for the rest of his life. He documented the language and cultures of the tribes he worked among, and obtained a large collection of artifacts. He served on the Board of Trustees for both Whitman College (founded by his father) and his alma mater, Pacific University.