From the Missionary Herald.
Extract from a letter of Mr. Cushman, dated at Hebron, March 16th 1831
Feelings of the People respecting their Removal.
It was mentioned at p.385 of the last volume, that a treaty was made in September last, between the Choctaws and Commissioners from the government of the United States, by which the former agreed to sell the country now occupied by them, and remove across the Mississippi.--Only a small part of the Choctaws are in favor of the treaty, or of selling their country at any rate; and most of those who did approve of the treaty, did so because they supposed that they should ultimately be compelled to remove, and therefore, thought it advisable to make the best terms they could. Many of them, however, have since hoped that this treaty would not be ratified, and that they should again have opportunity to act on the subject.
Yesterday we received intelligence that the treaty with the Choctaws is ratified by the Senate of the United States. It has given a great shock to the minds of the people in this neighborhood. By information from various sources, it was supposed to be almost certain, that the treaty would not be ratified; and if it had not been the people were determined to hazard all consequences and hold on upon their country to the extent of their power.-- They had hoped that they might yet retain the land of their fathers.
The spirit manifested by the people has been very interesting. As the spring approached, they were much engaged in preparing their fields, and numbers have already commenced planting corn. There has also been an increased interest upon the subject of religion. We have had for some time past, two weekly conference meetings, the one in the south, the other in the north villages, contiguous to this place. Thirty and forty are often present at these meetings. Two of those whom we formerly hoped were pious, but who afterwards went astray, have come before the congregation on the Sabbath, of their own accord, and with apparent humility and repentance, have acknowledged their transgressions and asked forgiveness with the expression of a hope, that through grace they may henceforth be kept from falling into sin. There appears to be a relenting also in the breast of some of the others that had gone astray. I have had hope for some time past that the Lord Jesus was about to revive his work among this people. But I tremble with anxious solicitude lest their midst should again become wholly engrossed with their temporal situation and prospects. In view of all circumstances relative to this church and people, my mind is sometimes exercised with anxiety and solicitude almost to an agony. I fear that some of my sorrow is that which worketh death. Oh that I could always say 'Father, glorify thy name;' 'Save thy people and give not thy heritage to reproach;' 'Do it for thy name sake.'
Trials to which the Christian party are subjected.
The hostility and even severe persecution to which the pious Choctaws are exposed from those of their countrymen who oppose the Gospel, have been repeatedly noticed. These trials have been increased since the laws of the State of Mississippi have been extended over the Indians, and the laws of the latter, excluding intoxication liquor, have been abolished. These feeble and exposed members of the Church are entitled to the sympathy and prayers of all the friends of Christ.
That you may have a clear view of the trials and temptations to which the Christian Indians are exposed, I will relate one circumstance. A man in this neighborhood, who is very deaf, gave evidence of piety, and was received into the church. His example as to industry and Christian deportment was worthy of imitation; and his unblemished character no doubt rendered him a more desirable prey for the enemy. At length he was besieged by them, and every art and stratagem was made use of, till he finally parleyed with the tempter and drank a little. Their prey was taken. He finally drank till he became completely intoxicated. After he became sober his wife, who appears to be truly pious, told him that they had professedly set out together in the road to heaven; that they had walked together for a while; but that he had now turned out in the road to hell. She told him farther, that if he would continue to go on in that way, he must go alone, and they could walk together there no more; for she could never leave the bright path that she had found. She then fell upon her knees, and prayed in the most melting, fervent manner for the soul of her poor husband. This touched his heart.- He melted also, confessed his sin, and resolved never more to taste the accursed thing. After this he was attacked again by the enemy. He was requested to drink, but refused. It was urged that he had drank once and he might as well drink again. He still refused. Finally everything was said that could be, to influence him to drink, but he stood firm. Having failed in all this, they seized him, and held him fast, and turned whisky into his mouth; but as often as this was repeated he was enable t to eject it without swallowing a drop. Finding all their efforts fail, one says. 'This man has done nothing amiss, and he now takes all this ill treatment patiently, and we do wrong to use him so. If he has a mind to be a Christian, let him be a Christian.' Many circumstances of a similar character might be mentioned.
ST. LOUIS, MAY 31
Movement against the Indians.--On a requisition from the Governor of Illinois, a detachment of six companies of United States' troops, from the 31 and 6th regiments, left Jefferson Barracks yesterday, in the steamboat Enterprise, for Rock Island, to quiet some difficulties at present existing between our citizens and the Sac and Fox Indians in that neighborhood. The detachment, we understand is accompanied by General GAINES. We have no very definite account of the origin of the disturbances; the Indians are said to be the aggressors; to have trespassed upon the property of the whites, burning their fences 'c.- The land upon which these Indians reside was sold by them to the United States, but by some arrangement they were allowed to remain on it for a longer time than stipulated in the treaty. They are now unwilling to remove, being much attached to it as the burial place of their forefathers; and it is thought necessary to apply force to effect the object.
The following officers accompany the expedition, viz: Capt. J. Brown 6th Inf; Lt. Commanding; Lt. T. F. Drayton, do. Adjutant; Lt. Colcock, 3d. Inf. A. Qr. Master; Lt. Brooks, 6th Inf. Ordnance Officer; Capt. Noel, 6th Inf.; Lt. Wheeler, 3d. Inf; Lt. Vanderveer, 6th Inf; Lt. Legate, 3d. Inf.; Lt. Alexander, 6th Inf.; Lt. Royster, 6th Inf.
We understand that Gov. Reynolds, of Illinois, has put in requisition a part of the militia of that State.- the same conduct in Gov. Milier of this State, met the disapprobation of the people, and Gov. Reynolds also deserves censure. There can be no necessity for these frequent drafts upon the services of the militia, when United States' stoops are stationed at a point so favorable for being put in immediate requisition. Such movements are very properly regarded as popularity hunting schemes on the part of their authors, by which large sums of Uncle Sam's money are made to circulate in the disturbed districts, without any corresponding benefit. We have no notion of approving such humbugs.
P. S. Since the above was written, we have learned that the disaffected Indians are composed of small bands of the Sac, Fox, and Winnebago tribes; that a large portion of the several nations have removed, according to the treaty; and that those remaining express very hostile feelings towards the United States.