History of Baptist Indian Missions: Embracking Remarks on the Former and Present Condition of the Aboriginal Tribes; Their Settlement within the Indian Territory, and their Future Prospects

  • $750.00
    Unit price per 

Author: McCoy, Isaac (1784-1846) signed by author's great grandson

Year: 1849

Publisher: William M Morrison, H & S Raynor and Bennett, Backus & Hawley

Place: Washington, New York and Itica


[vii]+611 pages. Octavo (9" x 5 3/4") bound in original publisher pebbled cloth with spine label lettered in gilt. (Howes: M-68) First edition.

Isaac McCoy was a Baptist missionary among the Native Americans in present-day Indiana, Michigan, Missouri and Kansas. He was an advocate of Indian removal from the eastern United States, proposing an Indian state in what is now Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. He also played an instrumental role in the founding of Grand Rapids, Michigan and Kansas City, Missouri. McCoy founded his first "religious station" and school in October 1818 in what became Parke County, Indiana, on Big Raccoon Creek upstream from the later Wea Indian reservation at Armiesburg. The mission was said to be situated between Rosedale and Bridgeton. The Wea showed little interest in the school, however, and it failed. McCoy at that time was likely the only white settler in Parke County. In February 1819, he performed the first marriage in the county, between two métis, Christmas Dazney (Noel Dagenet) and Mary Ann Isaacs (a Brotherton or Mohegan from upstate New York). In 1821, in compensation for his work with McCoy and for the federal government as an interpreter, Dazney filed a land claim between the mouths of Sugar Creek and Big Raccoon Creek north and east of present-day Montezuma and established a Wea-Miami reservation there. This was the first reservation that came about as a result of a connection with Isaac McCoy, though McCoy had left the area by then. Dazney was eventually instrumental in leading bands of Indiana Indians west to Kansas after the Indian Removal Act of 1830. In May 1820, the McCoy family moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana to set up a mission to the Miami tribe. His school at Fort Wayne attracted 40 Miami, Potawatomi, and mixed-blood children, several whites, and one African American. The Miami and Potawatomi tribes at this time consisted of mixed-race people and there were no clear lines of distinction between races within the tribes. In 1821, McCoy made the first of many visits to Washington, DC, seeking approval by the federal government, unsuccessfully on this occasion, for him to appoint teachers, blacksmiths, and other "agents of civilization" to be provided the Indians under newly ratified treaties. In December 1822, McCoy left Fort Wayne and moved his family and 18 Indian students to a site on the St. Joseph River near the present-day city of Niles in southwestern Michigan; he opened a mission to the Pottawatomi. The Carey Mission, as it came to be known, was 100 miles from the nearest White settlement. The Pottawatomi gave McCoy a relatively warm welcome and helped feed his large family and Indian students through their early seasons in the territory. McCoy enjoyed more success here than in his earlier endeavors. His school expanded to have 76 Indian children, four Indian employees, five missionaries, six white children, and a millwright. In 1826, McCoy led his family in another move, deeper into the frontier, where he established the Thomas Mission to the Odawa people, at what was later to become Grand Rapids, Michigan. McCoy and his missionaries were the first European-American settlers in Niles and Grand Rapids.


Signed on front end paper. Corners bumped and rubbed through, some minor foxing, edges bumped spine rubbed else about a very good copy.

We Also Recommend