Native Apostles

Native Apostles

Copyright Date: 2013
Published by: Harvard University Press
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  • Book Info
    Native Apostles
    Book Description:

    As Protestantism expanded across the Atlantic, most evangelists were not Anglo-Americans but were members of the groups that missionaries were trying to convert. Native Apostles reveals the way Native Americans, Africans, and black slaves redefined Christianity and addressed the challenges of slavery, dispossession, and European settlement.

    eISBN: 978-0-674-07347-0
    Subjects: History, Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-20)

    On the eleventh day of March in 1779, a former slave who became a converted Christian petitioned the Bishop of London to ordain him as an Anglican missionary. The applicant hoped to return to Africa to spread the gospel, as he said, “amongst my countrymen.” His letter outlined his missionary credentials carefully, asserting that he was a faithful adherent to the Anglican Church and vowing that his only motive for requesting this post was so that he “may be a means, under God, of reforming his countrymen and persuading them to embrace the Christian religion.” He explained that he was...

  5. CHAPTER ONE Apostles to the Indians
    (pp. 21-54)

    The sermons delivered to a small Massachusetts congregation in November of 1658 were part of a longer period of fasting and prayer that was organized “because of the great raine, and great floods, and unseasonable weather, whereby the Lord spoileth our labours.”¹ Ruined crops, cattle on the brink of death, and rampant disease had ravaged the community. These were dark times. God clearly seemed furious with the congregation, and the first sermons of the morning made it all too evident that they had to repent for the sins which brought this terrible fate upon them. One preacher, described elsewhere as...

  6. CHAPTER TWO The Expansion of the Indigenous Missionary Enterprise
    (pp. 55-86)

    It was a historic meeting between the two men. Both were named George, both were royal representatives from their respective nations, and neither spoke English very well. Missionary history, however, would tie these men together, at least for their brief meeting in 1715. One of the Georges was the King of England; the other a “Prince” from the Yamassee Indian nation of the Carolinas. The first was a product of the Hanoverian succession, and as such was much more comfortable with German language and culture than English. The second was the son of a powerful Yamassee chief, and was sent...

  7. CHAPTER THREE Slave Preachers and Indian Separatism
    (pp. 87-124)

    Harry may have had a case of “first-day-of-school” jitters. That universal sensation of nervous excitement that accompanies every new school year would have been exacerbated by the circumstances of the school he was in, for his school was part of an exceptional experiment in colonial South Carolina’s race relations. Built several weeks earlier in the summer of 1742, Harry’s “Charleston Negro School” was envisioned as the backbone of a new Anglican effort to evangelize South Carolina’s black majority. The sprawling geography of the Carolina plantation system, fierce resistance from slave owners, and repressive laws against the education of bonds people...

  8. CHAPTER FOUR A Black among Blacks
    (pp. 125-150)

    The two Anglican missionaries who became pen pals during the third quarter of the eighteenth century seemed to have little in common. While one was stationed in the idyllic town of Newburyport, Massachusetts, the other was assigned to Cape Coast Castle, West Africa’s brutal and notorious slave trading fort. Nevertheless, the men became fast friends when the New Englander wrote to his colleague across the Atlantic to inquire about the progress that the gospel had been making in Africa since his arrival there in the 1760s. As two employees of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign...

  9. CHAPTER FIVE Native Evangelists in the Iroquoian Borderlands
    (pp. 151-186)

    There may have been no better symbol of English civility in the eighteenth century than tea. Critically important for the British imperial economy, crucial to the networking of socialites and politicos, and the commodity of choice for Bostonian protestors to dump overboard, tea was universally understood as vital to the constitutions of English bodies and essential to the conduct of social life. This explains why, in February of 1765, a missionary named Joseph who was stationed among the Oneida Indians in southern New York complained bitterly about the absence of it. Writing to a colleague to beg him for more...

  10. CHAPTER SIX Afro-Christian Evangelism and Indian Missions
    (pp. 187-222)

    John Quamine was once again on a merchant vessel, hoping and praying that he survived the “severe storm,” “high Wind,” and “very dangerous gale” that threw the ship violently in and out of the tempestuous New England waters. As he tried to avoid getting sick during his turbulent ride in November of 1774, Quamine must have contemplated what he was leaving behind in Newport, Rhode Island. Indeed, the past few years witnessed several dramatic life changes for Quamine and his growing family: he married a woman named Duchess, had a son named Charles, and bought his way out of slavery...

  11. Conclusion
    (pp. 223-228)

    Olaudah Equiano’s attempt to secure a position as an Anglican missionary in West Africa in 1779 coincided with an extraordinarily turbulent period in the Atlantic world. Equiano was writing his application at the dawn of an era of transatlantic revolutions, an era marked by a loosening of imperial bonds, declarations of independence, and appeals to universal rights of justice, equality, and self-determination. These ideals animated not only the American Revolution, but also the French, Haitian, and a bevy of Latin American revolutions in the early nineteenth century. These are political events, but black and Indian Christians also used the Revolutionary...

  12. Appendix: Table of Native Missionaries
    (pp. 231-262)
  13. Notes
    (pp. 263-310)
  14. Note on Sources
    (pp. 311-314)
  15. Acknowledgments
    (pp. 315-316)
  16. Index
    (pp. 317-326)