CHURCH MISSIONARY SOCIETY ARCHIVE
Section V: Missions to the Americas
Part 4: British Columbia, 1856-1925
Included in this part are the Original Papers, 1856-1925, the Letter Books, 1881-1925 and the Precis Books, 1881-1925.
The Original Papers (pre-1880) feature letters, journals and annual letters sent by missionaries, bishops and schoolmasters to the Secretary in London. The early papers (also pre-1880) are listed alphabetically by bishop, by missionaries and others. The Bishops listed in this part are George Hills (British Columbia), Willam Carpenter Bompas (Athabasca) and William Ridley (Caledonia).
The letters and journals give vivid descriptions of the hardships experienced by the missionaries in their day-to-day life alongside accounts of journeys in the northern wastes. All of the papers contain much detail on the life and customs of the American Indians.
Some of the subjects covered include:
- Statistics compiled by Bishop Hill of the Indian tribes of the Pacific Coast - number of men, women and children and the language they use.
- An account of Bishop Hill's visit to Metlakatla Mission where he examined 100 catechists.
- A printed report of the first synod of the Diocese of British Columbia,1875.
- Bishop Bompas's letter on his arrival at Metlakatla and his first impressions,1877
- Narrative of a journey to Metlakatla in the winter of 1877
- Report of a visit to Kincolith and Metlakatla in February 1878
- An account of Christmas at Metlakatla, 1877.
- A letter from Bishop Ridley describing his arrival in Metlakatla and his first impressions
- A report on a month's journey into the interior.
The correspondence of missionaries and others include Rev William Henry Collison, Very Rev Edward Cridge, Robert Cunningham, Rev Robert Reid Arthur Doolan, William Duncan, Rev Frank Barrow Gribbell, Mrs Lise Gribbell, Rev Alfred James Hall, Henry B Owen, Captain James C Prevost, Henry Schutt, George Edward Sneath, Rev Robert Tomlinson.
Their correspondence covers a vast array of topics - those listed below offer an insight into the range of issues faced by the missionaries.
Rev William Henry Collison
Letter from Rev Collison about his journey and arrival at Metlakatla; report on a journey from Metlakatla to Massett, Queen Victoria Islands, 1876; specimens of the Hydah and Tsimshian languages; newspaper cutting of Lord Duffrin's visit to the Queen Charlotte Islands, 1876; Annual Letters for 1876, 1880; and a petition from Christians at Metlakatla requesting that Mr and Mrs Colinson should not be moved to another station,1876.
Very Rev Edward Cridge, Dean of Christ Church Cathedral, Victoria
A report by Rev Edward Cridge on a visit to Metlakatla,1867; and a letter to William Duncan giving his reasons for leaving the Church of England and joining the Reformed Episcopal Church, 1875.
Rev Robert Reid Arthur Doolan
The papers contain news cuttings re the sale of alcohol to the Indians,1866; a copy of the minutes of the Committee meeting held in Metlakatla, 1866; abstract of his journal for 1 May - 30 Sept 1865; a printed journal for 1 October 1865 - 31 March 1866; a diary for April 1866 - 30 June 1866; and a journal for 27 Sept 1866 - December 1866.
Letter to the Governor of British Columbia,1865; minutes of committee meetings held at Metlakatla,1867 re Mr Owen's case; a letter to the Governor of British Columbia requesting the possibility of divorce being allowed amongst Indians,1867; letters from Paul Leegaio, 1868-1869; a printed report of the British Columbia government on Indian Reserves,1875; an address from Christians at Metlakatla urging the Bishop to be reconciled with Dean Cridge, 1877; a newspaper cutting on the Governor General's visit to British Columbia, 1876; journals for 1856-1861 (including his account of his first visit to the
Kee-thrahtlah Indians,1860); and Annual Letters for 1868-1869, 1871,1873-1876, 1878-1879.
Rev Alfred James Hall
Letter after his arrival and his work of three months,1877; a printed copy of The Primary Manual of the Fort Rupert CMS Mission, 1879; a letter after two years at Fort Rupert including two visits made to the "neighbouring heathen tribes"; a letter re the traffic in liquor with Indians at Metlakatla and Fort Rupert, 1880; an account of the first few months in Metlakatla, 1878; and an Annual Letter for 1878.
Rev Robert Tomlinson
Letter applying for a site for the mission buildings and reserve,1869; an account of a whisky woman; an account of work among the Kitiksheans,1875; a statement by Rev Tomlinson in reference to the withdrawal of his licence by Bishop Hills,1877; extracts of a diary for 1867-1868; a description of a tour among the tribes on the Nass and Skeenia Rivers,1874; First to Third Annual Reports of the Kincolith Mission Hospital, 1871-1874; Annual Letters for 1868-1870, 1872-1876, 1878-1879; and a sketch map of the Pacific Coast showing Fort Simpson, Metlakatla, Kincolith and Indian settlements along the Skeena and Nass rivers.
The Letter Books, 1881-1925 contain copies of outgoing correspondence from the Secretaries in London to the mission secretaries. They cover a wide variety of topics, with many letters of instructions to new missionaries going out to the field.
The Original Papers, 1881-1925 contain the letters, journals and annual letters sent by missionaries, bishops and schoolmasters to the Secretary in London. They are arranged chronologically by year and contain much interesting information on the work and experiences of the missionaries and other workers in the field and on the lives of the American Indians.
The Precis Books, 1881-1925 consists of a printed precis of the papers sent to London with the date, writer, date received, summary of contents, proposals for committee action to be taken and/or the secretary's remarks. Some of the issues covered are confidential and personal letters from the missionaries; news on the mission stations; receipt of Annual Letters and journals; reports of conferences; notes on mission affairs and mission buildings; accounts of visits by the Bishop; and minutes of the Mission Board.