Minutes of Mount Pleasant Presbyterian Indian Mission
As transcribed originally by Ebenezer Hotchkin,
grandson of the Missionary.
From the files of Frankie James
Annotated and Copyrighted 1996
Donated to OKGenWeb Frankie James, July 2001
The Minutes of Mount Pleasant Presbyterian
"Tomahushi", Indian Territory
October 27, 1844 - September 29, 1872
MOUNT PLEASANT CHURCH ~ Tomahushi
In 1831, late in the fall, a contingent of the Choctaw tribe of Indians, was moved by the United States government from their territory in north east Mississippi to a territory west of the Mississippi River to the known as Indian Territory. The treaty made at
Creek specified that this territory should be theirs as long as grass grew and water run.
William S. Colquhon, special agent in charge of part of the Choctaw immigration, wrote December 10th 1831: ''The weather is colder here than ever known before, and rains have been incessant The boats which were intended for Little Rock put the Indians out at the Post. This error has thrown together about twenty three hundred. I understand they have no other means of transportation than forty wagons and the roads are impassable. The party is a wretched set of beings nearly naked, and, have marched the last twenty-hour hours through sleet and snow barefooted. If I could have done it I would have given them shoes."
Philena Thacher Hotchkin, wife Ebenezer Hotchkin two Missionaries who journeyed with this contingent said, "Because of the severe weather, scant clothing, and insufficient food many were sick and number perished. Babies we're born on the roadside, and mother and baby lacking medical attention often perished.
This contingent of the tribe came to the eastern boundaries of the Nation naked, hungry, tired and discouraged. They were ready to stop and they did in the extreme south east of the vast territory that was to be theirs. Rude shelters were made and patches of ground turned up with whatever instrument at hand and planted gardens.
As the years passed the Indians began to explore their country, and to move out up the rivers west and northwest and north into the mountains and the fertile valleys. Many missions' stations, churches, and schools were established, and around these the Indians built their homes. Enjoying the advantages of school and church. These locations were meaningfully named Lenox, Mayhew, Bethabara, Bennington, names that followed the missionaries from their native states; Goodwater, Goodland, Living Land, Good Spring, Wide Spring, Cold Spring, Pine Spring, Pine Ridge, Mt. Ford, Jack's Fork, Mt. Pleasant - all pleasing and thought provoking.
In 1844 a number of Indian families who had moved up the Boggy River almost to the western boundary of the Choctaw country finding themselves without church and school privileges, appealed to Rev. Cyrus Kingsbury for an organized church. Quoting from minutes of the first meeting of the Mt. Pleasant Church: "A portion of the Mayhew Church, residing at a distance from the usual place of worship and being assembled Mount Pleasant, requested to be organized into a separate church.
It being understood that they have the consent of the church of which they are members so to do, they are accordingly organized by the Rev. Cyrus Kingsbury, to take the name of Mount Pleasant Church.
The persons forming the new church are:
||David Perkins 1
The location of this church and school was beautiful: It overlooked the rich valley of the Boggy River, and away in the distance, the pine covered of the Kiamichi; to the south the rolling grass covered prairies of Sugar Loaf Mountain; to the west and north the rugged hills and primitive forest. It was indeed a hill of pleasant surroundings.
Many Indians made their homes nearby - Turnbull, Folsom, Perkin, Cochnauer, Freen, Ward and many others. They built on this site a church, a school, a home for the missionary, a home for mission teachers and boarding students, a store nearby and an enclosure for the horses of the post.
Mail Route No. 7573 from Fort Smith (via of Choctaw Agency, Red Oak, Atoka and Boggy Depot) to Sherman let on March 21, 1867 George H. Brown, twice a week $5000. Forest R. Holdcamper, Chief Archivist, Industrial Records Branch.
Mail Route No. 7596 from Ft. Smith to Ft. Arbuckle, let on March 30, 1871 very likely passed through Mt. Pleasant.
Mail Route No. 7552 from Yellville (via Rolling Prairie, Mount Pleasant, Crooked Creek, Mountain Spring, etc.) Fayetteville.
This Mt. Pleasant may be a Mr. Pleasant in Ark. (E. H.)
This church and school so completely disappeared, left a wonderful and most interesting record: There were 155 memberships, 78 adult baptisms, 81 infant baptism, 15 dismissed by letter, 21 deaths, 9 excommunication, 35 marriage - 30 of these by the Rev. C. C. Copeland who served as Supt. From 1849 to 1857. The Rev. Allen Wright followed Mr. Copeland and was moderator of every meeting of the session from March 14, 1958 until Sept. 29, 1872.
The minutes of the session had the approval of the Indian Presbytery twenty-one times. Written in long hand these records are perfect in structure and clear in statement, a model for any church court.
On examining the records of Indian Presbytery, it is found that the Mt. Pleasant Church sent a delegate to the Presbytery for the years
1873-4-5. There is no record who served the church through these years during the early years of the seventies, great loss came to the Presbytery through death: Dr. Cyrus Kingsbury, Dr. Cyrus Pyington, the Rev. C. C. Copeland
2 and the Rev. Ebenezer a few years earlier. These
were all pioneers, knew the work from the beginning, and were hard to replace.
The war left the country desolated, with families moving here and there to
better their conditions. These were some of the causes that disrupted the
churches that without regular ministration of the word ceased to exist. Mt.
Pleasant will be continue in name. What became of the buildings that housed the
Mission and school is not known.
1914 (sic) When statehood came a school was
established on the hill and called Mt. Pleasant, it continued in existence until
Several years ago Judge D. G. Hart of Seminole,
Oklahoma purchased of site of the old mission and a large acreage around it,
made vast improvements and gave a name - THE MOUNT PLEASANT FARM.
Mount Pleasant Presbyterian Indian Mission Minutes - Indian Territory - Oct 1844-Sep 1872
- Church Index