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Sequoyah Research Center

Jesse Bushyhead to the American Baptist Missionary Board — March 19 1839

Jesse Bushyhead to the American Baptist Missionary Board. Park Hill, Cherokee Nation, March 19, 1839.

The detachment which was placed under my charge, left the old nation for the west, on the fifth of October last, and we landed at the place of our destination on the twenty-third of February. We were detained one month on the road at the Mississippi, by the ice. There were eighty-two deaths in the detachment while on the road. There were sixty-six members of the church in the Baptist connection in the detachment. Out of this number, we selected two brethren to keep up regular worship during our travel; to wit, Tsusuwala, (whom br. Jones has frequently spoken of to you and the Board,) and Foster who has lately joined the Baptist church, quite an active and useful man. These two brethren performed the duty enjoined on them by the brethren, faithfully. They frequently held prayer-meetings, and exhorted the brethren on evenings during the week, and on every Lord’s-day, except when the weather would not admit of it; for we rested every Lord’s-day, except that one time we traveled five miles, to get to the forage for our teams.

The attention among the people to the gospel continued, which commenced among them when they were made prisoners. On the third of Feb. (Lord’s-day,) three members were received by the church, and were baptized, (all females,) and on the tenth we collected together, in the midst of our camps, and surrounded the Lord’s table. The brethren and sister apparently enjoyed the presence of God. Several came forward for prayer. In the many deaths which have taken place on the road, several of the members of the church were called from time to eternity, and some evidently died in the full triumph of faith.

I have been with brother E. Jones for several days. I parted with him to-day. I am now on my way home. All the Cherokees, it is supposed, will be in, in the course of one week more.

I lived in the tent nine months and one day, before I got into the house.

As to the two churches (which moved as churches,) we will now shortly select places to locate them. Perhaps Valley Towns church and Amohee church will be forty or fifty miles apart; however it is not determined yet.

I am at present at Rev. Mr. Worcester’s.

Source: Baptist Missionary Magazine, 19 (July 1839), 78.

Updated 3.1.2010