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In Their Own Voices

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The following excerpt is from Thomas Woolsey's diary entry for September 9, 1855. In it he describes the welcome that he and Henry Steinhauer enjoyed upon their arrival at Fort Pitt. It also shows the depth of faith that many of the converts had:

Brother Benj. Sinclair said that the Indians had been expecting a missionary for seven years and that some of them had oft-times sat down and wept when they thought they might never again hear the herald of the cross. It is an affecting sight to see a man in tears and especially so to find him weeping because deprived of that gospel which many, who are "at ease in Zion," do not sufficiently value.


Another excerpt, written on June 19, 1856, describes the type of reception that he and other missionaries enjoyed upon arriving at an Aboriginal camp:

"Several Cree have arrived , stating that their band as well as one of Stone Indians, are a little in advance of us. A visit was at once agreed upon. When near their encampment, the hoisting of a flag, the discharge of musketry, and the entire bands coming out to meet us, satisfied me that we were not unwelcome guests. The hospitality of the Crees seemed to know no bounds. The Assiniboines called us to a general feast. A large lodge had been specially prepared for our reception, the chief seat for the entire stranger being at the head of it. The different tribes occupied each side respectively. When the blessing was asked the hearty response proved that these aborigines appreciated the discharge of such duties."

Citation Sources
Woolsey, Thomas. Heaven is Near the Rocky Mountains: The Journals of Thomas Woolsey. Edited by Hugh Dempsey. Calgary: Glenbow Museum, 1989

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