and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 29 < And also upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.
MRS . RS . WRIGHT began her work at once . She soon gathered a class of Indian girls for daily instruction and training in useful arts . She traveled over the rough roads and through the swamps and streams on horseback , with saddlebags securely fas tened to her side . In these she carried food , medi cine , etc. She not only visited the Indian homes ; she looked after the distant , lonely teachers — Miss Asenath Bishop , Miss Rebecca Newhall , and Miss Phebe Selden , who were teaching , and keeping house in small log schoolhouses , miles away from the mis sion station . Miss Bishop , who went to the Senecas in 1823 , and labored with untiring zeal during eighteen years , was noted in the tribe for her wonderful patience under manifold persecutions . To illustrate : the larger boys of her school one day devised a scheme by which they hoped to gain a victory over this unendurable calm . Arriving at her little schoolhouse one bitter cold morning , she prepared with benumbed fingers to build a fire . Upon opening the door , she found the stove packed with snow . She stood a moment in bewildered surprise , and then , realizing the situation , calmly took the stove shovel and the water pail and without a word or change of expression began to shovel out the snow . Before she had half filled the pail she heard a rustle , then a scrambling from behind the benches , and half a dozen Indian boys leaped into the air , shouting , “ Miss Bishop ! He can’t mad ! Miss Bishop ! He can’t mad ! ” The shovel and pail were taken from her , the stove cleaned out , and a good fire made by those young rogues , who said years afterward , “ We boys gloried in her spunk ! ” The following characterization illustrates “ Indian English . ” Miss Bishop missed Mr. Little Johnny John from church , and asked Deacon Fish Hook what had become of him : ” Miss Bishop , ” said the deacon , using with pride the English at his command , “ Little Johnny John he not good ! Much afraid just like this : devil — you know him — he got chain round Little Johnny John’s neck . Well , sometimes devil hold chain loose ; then Little Johnny John think : “ I go see ; maybe Christian good ; maybe I like it ; I go to meeting . Well , devil say : • I watch ; I let him go little while ; I see ! ‘ Little Johnny John he come to meeting . He think , Pretty good ’ ; so he come to meeting again . He like it good deal . He say , I will be Christian . ‘ Devil let chain out little more , little more . Little Johnny John pretty good Christian . By – and – by devil think : ‘ I don’t know ; maybe guess he go too far ; maybe lose him ! ‘ So devil he pull it – – chain ! Pull it – chain ! and Little Johnny John he go back he go back . Now Little Johnny John no good . Devil hold chain pretty tight now ; guess Little Johnny John he can’t repent now ; guess devil – he can’t willing . ” Deacon Fish Hook was a true prophet . Little Johnny John returned to paganism . In her visits from house to house , Mrs. Wright con stantly used the Indian phrases she had acquired , and daily added others , until in an incredibly short time she spoke the language fluently , and was able to ren der valuable assistance to her husband , who was also a natural linguist . During his life he acquired seven different languages . He not only mastered the very difficult Seneca tongue , so that he could preach in it , but set to work to establish a system of orthography by the aid of which the Indian tongue could be reduced to written characters . In this he was successful , and with the help of his young wife put his system to practical use by translating into it a hymn book , the Four Gospels , and portions of the Old Testament . They likewise procured the type , and printed these like it good deal . He say , I will be Christian . ‘ Devil let chain out little more , little more . Little Johnny John pretty good Christian . By – and – by devil think : ‘ I don’t know ; maybe guess he go too far ; maybe lose him ! ‘ So devil he pull it – – chain ! Pull it – chain ! and Little Johnny John he go back he go back . Now Little Johnny John no good . Devil hold chain pretty tight now ; guess Little Johnny John he can’t repent now ; guess devil – he can’t willing . ” Deacon Fish Hook was a true prophet . Little Johnny John returned to paganism . In her visits from house to house , Mrs. Wright con stantly used the Indian phrases she had acquired , and daily added others , until in an incredibly short time she spoke the language fluently , and was able to ren der valuable assistance to her husband , who was also a natural linguist . During his life he acquired seven different languages . He not only mastered the very difficult Seneca tongue , so that he could preach in it , but set to work to establish a system of orthography by the aid of which the Indian tongue could be reduced to written characters . In this he was successful , and with the help of his young wife put his system to practical use by translating into it a hymn book , the Four Gospels , and portions of the Old Testament . They likewise procured the type , and printed these books themselves . They compiled a spelling book for the school children , and partly completed a dictionary in the Seneca tongue . Mr. Wright imparted his knowledge of medicine to his wife , and they were both widely sought by the sick and suffering , not only among the Indians , but among the surrounding whites as well . They gave medical service , without con pensation , to all who applied . Within a few months after the arrival of these mis sionaries , the cholera broke out and wrought sad havoc among the Senecas ; but through all the dreadful weeks that followed , Mr. and Mrs. Wright were constantly at the bedside of the sick and dying , ministering to their physical and spiritual wants without thought or fear for themselves . The first church edifice among the Senecas was a plain frame building painted white . Two services were held there every Sabbath , and it was always cus tomary for a large part of the audience to visit the Mission House at noon , and there be made happy with the ” white man’s bread . ” This hospitality helped the Indian to travel many miles , and to reach the church before noon at least . White people sometimes passed through the Reservation , and while receiving the hos pitality of the Mission House became acquainted with the interesting young missionary , and soon it came to pass that every one , whether Indian or pale face , loved her and came to her for advice and consolation . In after years her influence became all – important in coun teracting the evil effects of treachery and cupidity dis played too often by the whites toward the Indians . It has been said that to her personal influence , teach ing , and example was largely due the fact that so many of these Indians embraced Christianity . After fourteen months of uninterrupted companion ship with her husband , and successful work by his side and under his direction , the young missionary is left alone a few days and avails herself of this opportunity to write her first letter as a wife . MY ROOM , April 9 , 1834 . Dear Husband , – As much as I dreaded to have you leave me , I have almost wished sometimes that I could have an opportunity to write one letter to you , and after you went away to – day I thought I would sit down and write to you . You will see that I have been arranging your desk . I hope you will be pleased with it . There were so many things which have no kind of relation to each other that I could hardly find places for them all . I fear you may dis cover some confusion among your papers . I look the liberty of reading a few of Martha’s letters . I have prayed much that I might be like her as far as she was like Christ . I feel sensible that I am not much like her . Last night I thought I felt some as Abra bam did when a horror of great darkness fell upon him . I could see no light , and it seemed as though my prayers were an empty noise . I hope I feel more comfort to – day , though I scarcely re strain the tears a moment . I hope you pray for me , my husband , thought I do not wish to trust at all in your prayers . I think I desire to trust in God alone . Perhaps you will think me childish to write a letter to you when I expect to see you so soon ; but I thought it would be so pleasant to write “ dear husband ” and then to subscribe myself “ Your affectionate wife.” Twenty months of united missionary work and Mr. Wright was called to the other Seneca Reservations to assist the resident missionaries in a protracted meet ing . ” And so one cold morning in December , accom panied by his guide and interpreter , Indian Robert , he started on that difficult and dangerous journey of thirty miles through the almost unbroken woods to the Cattaraugus Reservation , and from there forty miles farther on to the Allegheny Reservation . Mrs. Wright , with a heart burdened with anxious fore bodings , bade him good – by and promised to keep a daily record of her life and work to be sent to him by the first trusty messenger traveling in the same direc tion . A few sheets of this record , giving us a glimpse of her life at that time , have been preserved . SENECA MISSION , December , 1835 . My dear Husband , – According to my promise I must com mence a letter this evening , although much fatigued , having just returned from a visit to Mary King , whom I found in a most dis tressing situation . She said she had not clothes enough to keep her warm , and at times was very hungry indeed . Her bed con sisted of one blanket , spread on a couple of boards . She did not think she could live long , for she found it extremely difficult to get into the house to – day when she went out . Peter went with us as interpreter . Everything to – day has gone well , only I am lone some to – night , and can’t help thinking of the Cattaraugus woods and hoping that you are not in them . Sunday evening . Assisted to – day in moving Mary King . After I left her last night she coughed up a great deal of thick , bloody matter , which indicates an ulcer , does it not ? She is very com fortably situated now at Mrs. Seneca’s ; and I hope to visit her often and minister to the wants of both soul and body . As for myself , I hardly know what to tell you . I still find in myself the same proneness to forget the solemn things of eternity , although I am surrounded with so much to remind me of them . Monday evening . I have tried to do my washing to – day , and have succeeded pretty well . I learn that there is trouble again between Greenblanket and his wife . How sad to have such a re proach thrown upon the cause of Christ ! When will Christians learn to live in peace ? What a question ! As if Christians could live in a quarrel ! Alas , that we should possess so little of the spirit of our Master ! Tuesday evening . Deacon Blue Eyes came this evening , and is to spend the night with us . We expect to kill hogs to – morrow . Thermometer eight degrees below zero to – day . I took cold yes terday , and have a dreadful face , I assure you . Can scarcely see out of my left eye . My jaw is somewhat painful and I have been obliged to keep still all day . Your letter was truly welcome , and the more so as it was entirely unexpected . You were in the woods at the very time I feared . I should not have slept that night had I known that . You must not do so again ! No , no ! You must be willing to stop where darkness overtakes you , and not risk your life and health by traveling in the night . I am glad you have bought a cow , and I shall do my best to make a great deal of butter , but you must not form too high expectations . Monday evening . Well , my dear husband , you see I have skipped a few days . My face was so painful Friday and Satur day that I dared not write lest I should communicate some of my pain . Sunday forenoon a large swelling between my cheek and jaw broke , and I felt almost immediate relief and have continued to mend since . Daniel Two Guns ‘ youngest child is quite sick and they fear it will die . I send you your compass , that you may have a guide through the woods . But oh , keep near to the great Guide of feeble , wan dering sinners ! There is safety only there , and peace only there . Tell Indian Robert he will need a true compass to guide him through the wilderness of this world , where are a thousand snares into which he may fall at any moment . I should like to join you at the missionary meeting if I could consistently do so , but I do not wish to leave one duty undone for the sake of going.