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Historic Diaries: Marsh, 1834

"Surrounded by Pagans, I Sleep under the Leaves"

Editor's Note:

Marsh's ability to find spiritual sustenance in everything from his sleeping arrangements to a passing swarm of bees is exhibited again here.


bar: a small frame or tent of netting propped over the sleeper's head.


Marsh will reach the village of Appenoose in two more days, and then try to find an opportunity to lay before him and the village elders his proposal to plant a missionary, a school and a model farm among them.



Mon [July] 28th


But little rain had fallen during the night as I had feared might be the case. My repose was quiet and undisturbed during the night. Thanks to my gracious Preserver and most kind and Bountiful Benefactor for all His goodness towards me. I lay me down surrounded by pagans, I sleep under the canopy of leaves, though a little temporary wigwam which the Indns. had set out afforded some protection; but still I have been kept in quietness and safety...


Last night one of the Indians, Wah-pike-haul, killed a deer and today we are feasting upon venison. This morn a kettle full was boiled and it was divided amongst the company. My portion was almost half as far full of the common size but I was not equal to such a portion; however among Indns. no one is obliged to eat and I returned what I could not eat.


Some time after noon we stopped again for dinner, and soon a thunder shower came over and we were obliged to encamp for the night. Still the venison is dealt out bountifully. Spent some time in examining the propositions which I intend laying before the Indns. respecting the establishment of a mission amongst them.


During the night moschetoes [mosquitos] buzzed around like a swarm of bees but my bar completed defended me from their annoyance.


During the day a swarm of bees passed over our heads filling the air. Thus like the bee may I learn to improve the passing hours before the time of labor shall be forever past -- thus shall the eve of my days be crowned wit a rich reward.



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