They lived with the nomadic Pawnees tribe for years. Over the period, they tried to achieve two things: firstly, they tried to convert the tribe to Christianity; and secondly, they tried to encourage the tribe…
To illustrate, the article says “his descriptions also leave no doubt of his disdain for any custom different from those he practiced.” Along with this, the article narrates how Dunbar disliked women unsaddling the men’s horses. Dunbar is quoted as saying that his horse had “a more just sense of propriety in that respect than the Pawnees.” So, he used to unsaddle his horse himself.
Though slightly more compassionate, Allis too disliked the attitude of some bands. He wrote in his journal about Arikaras. According to him, they were treacherous and the only solution was to ‘kill them off’. Thus, the article reveals the fact that both the missionaries possessed less regard for the tribes they were going to ‘civilize’.
However, the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions was surprised by Allis by his finding. He pointed out, after spending some time with the band, that at times, a missionary could be more influential if they married a woman from the tribe. Admittedly, the board was taken aback as the missionaries were supposed to be single.
However, it becomes evident from the article that as they joined the tribes, the missionaries realized the fact that in order to bring the tribes to Christianity, the first step had to be civilizing the tribes and making them cultivate the soil. The missionaries failed to establish a permanent mission station though they spent considerable amount of time with the tribes. Instead, they realized that the conversion of Indians to Christianity would not be possible until they stuck to their traditional ways of life. However, the article reveals that the missionaries were optimistic about the outcome. Allis has reportedly said “Although the progress is slow I hope to see them in my day enquiring what they shall do to be saved.” Thus, despite the poor response from the tribes, the missionaries were ...
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