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Historic Diaries: Marsh, 1834

How Appanoose Was Not Converted

Editor's Note:

After such a pointless butting of heads over theological issues as this, it is almost surprising that Rev. Marsh even bothered to make similar appeals to Powesheik, Wapello, and Keokuk.


Wed. [Sept. 3rd] [mislabelled as Sept. 4th]


... I have omitted to note previously, that Col. D. at a late council of the chiefs and head men of the Sac & Fox nation, recommended strongly to them to accept of the proposal made to them to have missionaries etc. They replied they did not want missionaries. He then spoke of the advantages of farming and education and pointed them to Mr. Le Clair's house and says, in a few years you also may have good houses. "It costs the Gov't a great deal of money to hire teachers and now you may have them for nothing." To this they made no reply.


Mr. Marterry's account of my interview with Appenooce as related by Mr. D.:


Mr. D. said that I first showed the Ojibwe writing etc. Next the Bible and urged him to take it, that he did, as he thought it would be no hurt. I then went on to speak how God called that good man Moses up into the Mt. and spoke to and gave him the command[ment]s. That Ap. replied their God spoke to all the people, etc.


The two first assertions are not true, as it was Sab[bath] morn[ing] when I had the interview with Ap. and should not have showed the writing on that day. 2ndly I had no Bible at that time as I recollect, but a picture representing the last judgment, the coming of the Son of Man, the resurrection of the dead, and final separation of the wicked from the good.


He was disposed to call it all tradition and the work of man just like their Meshaum. I told him no: for when the Great God first gave his commands to men, He came down upon a Mt., called a good man up there, and wrote them himself upon 2 tablets of stone and gave them to him. If that were so says he, [He] ought not to let that prophet die, but let him live always to speak to the people, and besides the two tablets of stone ought to have been kept and shown to all the people. He wished to know what had become of the tablets of stone as he could see that rocks etc. remain just as they were created. I replied that they were lost in some of the wars which succeeded, but the stones themselves were of no account but the commands, and those very commands we have now written in the Bible.


He replied that he though Him a very partial God to call one man alone and not all the people, as he [the one man] might not speak true.


At this the interpreter spoke and said he thought it would not be profitable to prolong the conversation as he would only object all the while, and here, as it respect the word of God, it did. For I only added that he would soon feel all that I had told him, & told him to prepare for it. He replied, that we had but one life to live and that we ought not to be melancholy but enjoy ourselves as well as we could.


I replied Religion is the very thing to make [us] truly ahppy etc. and then added no more.



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