From the N. Y. Advocate ' Journal
To the Corresponding Secretary of the Missionary Society of the
Methodist Episcopal Church.
Lookout, Cherokee N. July 22, 1830
Dear Brother:- With no ordinary interest we would again invite the attention of the Christian community to the progress of our mission in the Cherokee Nation. It is not ours to record the miraculous return of thousands or tell the undisputed triumphs of the cross over a whole nation. As yet, Satan extends his empire over the bewildered hearts of unfortunate thousands., His 'right' till within a few years past, 'there were none to dispute.'
It has been ours (with gratitude I record it) to witness the return of happy scores to the Shepherd and Bishop of souls, to join in the general acclamation of praise, and weep for joy over newly converted souls. An addition of 95 was made to our injured and oppressed Zion on my last round of quarterly meetings, and the work is increasing. An unusual interest is waked up in almost every part of the nation, and we only want time and opportunity to have the happiest society in the world.
Our quarterly meeting at Coosawatee was by far the most interesting we have ever held in this section; five were gained over to the Lord who promise abundant usefulness. This place has been, and is yet, notorious for wickedness; the most so perhaps of any town in the nation With but a very few exceptions they are given up to intemperance. We have in this place a flourishing school, and our only hope of extensive usefulness rests in the promising and interesting children under the care of brother D. C. M'Leod. The Valleytown circuit includes a large section of the nation, lying chiefly in the chartered limits of North Carolina, and presents one of the most romantic prospects I ever beheld.- Never did my eyes roam with such delight-never did I feel so perfectly abstracted from the world--and never was I so interestingly impressed with the sublimity of the great Creator's works. Far below the lofty summit on which I stood rolled in dark columns the rising clouds. I thought of Mt. Sinai, when lightnings played around its summit; when the thunder shook its base, and sent a thrill of terror through all the camp of Israel. On all sides round, as far as human vision could extend, mountain rose above mountain, some clad in the rich drapery of clouds, whitened by the reflection of a declining sun.
In the dark caves and valleys of these mountains travel our worthy brothers, Greenbury Garratt, William M'Intosh, (his interpreter,) and the untiring ' zealous Turtle Fields, the first regular itinerant preachers that ever penetrated this part of the nation. The first as such that ever sounded the thrilling note of salvation along these valleys; or waked up the echoing sound of redemption along the mountain's side. Their success has equalled our most extended anticipations. They already begin to reap a bountiful reward. Our quarterly meeting at the agency was abundantly blessed to many. This is one of the most flourishing societies on the nation. Brother Wm. M. M'Ferrin informs me that the addition to this society has been upwards of 60. His school is numerously attended. The school at Lookout, under the immediate superintendence of brother N. D. Seales, is rapidly improving in science.- Their examination in arithmetic, English gammer, and geography, (on my last quarterly visit,) far surpassed my expectations.
It is pleasing to record the growing intelligence of the youth of this country, ' to witness the benign influences of the gospel over those of riper years. It has been said by those inimical to the interest of the Cherokees, that they have been gradually deteriorating for the last twenty years. Such an assertion, in the estimation of those who are acquainted with the religious, literary, and political improvement of this people, will be viewed as a libel on our missionary reports, and a slander on the nation. We have no hesitancy in saying their improvement has been in proportion to the means afforded; and should they be permitted to live in the peaceable possession of the land of their fathers, at no very distant period the lingering night of ignorance will have fled away. Religion and sound philosophy will arise, and shine with dazzling splendor. Their council fires would be lighted up with the inextinguishable torch of intelligence. Temples will then arise in honor of religion; in them the blooming sons of fallen warriors, with sound converted souls, will take their stand; and in the native charms of Indian eloquence proclaim immortality and eternal life to weeping wondering multitudes.
Yours, in missionary bonds.
FRANCIS A. OWEN.