American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions North American Indian missions records
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Access
Most items in this series are on microfilm (for which see below), permission of the curator is required to consult the original documents.
Conditions Governing Use
Extent40.5 linear feet (83 boxes)
Biographical / Historical
Missions to American Indians began in 1817 with a mission station in Brainerd, Tennessee, to serve the Cherokees. Other tribes were added to the Board's deployment up to 1836, but the work met many obstacles, including the dispersal of tribes by the U.S. government, and the Civil War put an end to almost all mission activity. The following is a chronological list of the American Indian missions, taken from the later Board year books:
- 1817: Cherokees in Tennessee. Tribe deported west, 1838.
- 1818: Choctaws. Discontinued, 1859 because the tribe had become a Christian tribe.
- 1821: Cherokees in Arkansas. Discontinued, 1860.
- 1826: Maumee Indians. Discontinued, 1835.
- 1826: Osage Indians. Discontinued, 1837.
- 1826: Mackinaw Indians. Discontinued, 1837.
- 1826: Tuscarora Indians. Discontinued, 1860 as the tribe had been evangelized.
- 1826: Seneca Indians. Transferred to Presbyterians, 1870.
- 1827: Chickasaw Indians. Discontinued, 1835.
- 1828: Stockbridge Indians. Discontinued, 1848.
- 1831: Ojibwa Indians. Transferred to Presbyterians, 1870.
- 1832: Creeks. Discontinued, 1837.
- 1834: Pawnees. Discontinued, 1847.
- 1835: Abenaquis in Quebec. Discontinued in 1858 when the tribe had nearly died out.
- 1835: Dakota Indians. Part transferred to Presbyterians, 1870, and part to American Missionary Association, 1883.
- 1836: Oregon Mission. Discontinued after the massacre of the missionaries, 1847.
- ABC 18.3 Missions to the Cherokee, Choctaw, and Dakota Indians
- ABC 18.4 Missions to the Ojibwa, Chickasaw, Creek and Osage Indians
- ABC 18.5 Missions to the Pawnees, Oregon, Mackinaw, and Stockbridge Indians
- ABC 18.6 Missions to the Maumee and New York Indians
- ABC 18.7 Number not used
- ABC 18.8 Miscellaneous
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Wider Church Ministries is a ministry of the United Church of Christ and successor of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM).
This series is part of the ABCFM collection received on deposit from the ABCFM in 1944.
Existence and Location of Copies
- American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions North American Indian missions records, 1803-1883: Guide.
- Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
- EAD ID
Part of the Houghton Library Repository
Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, literary and performing arts archives, and more. The library's holdings of primary source material are managed by an expert staff and shared with scholars, students and the public in the reading room.
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