Nearly all of our Indians signed the bill to open the reservation. John Grass took the lead. He is a very wise man, and a good one for an Indian who represents the wild Indians. I attended all the sessions of the Council except the last. I see by the papers that a Roman Catholic priest on this Agency says he touched the pen first, and that caused all the Indians to sign. Grass says he wants me to dispute that, that he refused to sign last year because he did not like the bill. This year, the Commissioners were men of brains and the bill was a better one, and was so explained that the Indians understood it, and that they of their own accord thought the best thing they could do was to sign it, that the said priest had no power or influence over them whatever. He said, “Tell our friends this for me, and tell them the Commissioners know that we signed it of our own will because we believed it was for the good of our people.” I told him I would write it East.
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The instability of the Indian.—It used to be a proverb among the Indians that “The white man is very uncertain.” The following brief extract from the letter of a missionary among the Indians not only shows that the Indian is unstable, but illustrates the difficulty of fixing the Indians in a given locality and at steady work:
The Commissioner was at —— the other day, and our Indians had a chance to sign, and almost all of them did so, but still to many of them the opening seems an evil. I am afraid they are not going to maintain their places in the face of settlement by the whites. Already six families have slipped away to the Indian Territory, and I shall not be much surprised if in the next two years a considerable majority of them go; and still it is about as difficult to tell what an Indian will do, as it is to forecast western weather. I think they have never done so well in farming as this year, but one case will illustrate how unstable they are. One man sold three young horses for about half what they were worth. He had about eight acres of wheat, twelve acres of corn, and an acre of oats, all of which he abandoned to go South, though all his crops were very fine and had been well worked by himself.
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OUR CHINESE IN CHINA.
BY REV. W.C. POND, D.D.
This is an old theme, but it presents fresh aspects from time to time. I am quite sure that the readers of the MISSIONARY will be interested in these extracts from three comparatively recent letters:
“My DEAR PASTOR: