Cherokee Phoenix


Published December, 3, 1829

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An officer in the United States army residing at the Sault de St. Marie, who is said to be distinguished for his knowledge of Indian languages has for some time past, employed himself in translating the Bible into the language of the Indians (Chippeways we presume,) of that country. In a letter to a gentleman in Philadelphia, dated September 12th, he says:

The fourth and last of the evangelists I have in hand: Matthew, Mark, and John, Genesis and Jonah, are finished; and some detached passages in other books. It is about a month since I commenced reading my version publicly to the Indians on the Sabbath. They understand without difficulty, as I am assured by themselves, and by intelligent interpreters among them. It is to be remembered however, that I have continued my reading hitherto, to passages in Genesis, containing principally the plainest and most interesting narrations; and such as have, if possible, greater interest to them, in consequence of according, in many particulars, with their own most cherished traditions.

It appears to me that missionary associations, and persons who feel an interest in the efforts that are making to communicate a knowledge of the Christian religion to the Indians, would derive essential advantage from small Tracts published in the languages of the people addressed, and accompanied with pictures. There is at this place, a very old French edition of the Bible with pictures; and it is manifest, that among those persons speaking the Indian only, and who know something of the scripture history, those passages which are illustrated by engravings have made by far the most deep and lasting impressions.'