Noble, Wretched, & Redeemable: Protestant Missionaries to the Indians in Canada and the United States, 1820-1900

By C. L. Higham | Go to book overview

CHAPTER SEVEN
"We Are All Savages"

AS THE CANADIAN and U.S. governments reduced financial support to Protestant missionaries toward the end of the nineteenth century, missionaries began to rely more heavily on assistance from the general public. During this time, missionaries also turned to scholarly research institutions and learned societies to help further their work. Just as they had when embarking on lecture tours and seeking to get earlier secular articles printed, missionaries crossed the Canadian-U.S. border in search of publication space and financial assistance in the late 1800s. As more and more missionaries presented their work in both countries on specific groups of redeemable savages, the border between Canada and the United States -- along with the discrepancy between Canadian and U.S. missionaries' views on Indians -- virtually disappeared. More missionaries published in scholarly journals as opposed to religious ones, helping their ideas become institutionalized across the border.

Even as Canadian and U.S. Indian policies became more similar than different, the imagery of Indians created by missionaries in each country merged faster, quickly producing one image of Indians: that of redeemable savages. Missionaries used this image to argue that specific native groups needed to be protected, effectively preserving some missions in the West from white encroachment. Though the dissolution of their relationships with the missionary societies and governments made the missionaries more autonomous, it also marginalized them. And though missionaries in both countries perceived Canadian and U.S. policies to be different, their own positions remained indistinguishable from each other.


THE ROAD TO THE SCHOLARLY LIFE

Missionaries reacted to the changes in Canadian and U.S. Indian policy in two ways. As previously discussed, some missionaries became highly and visibly criti

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Noble, Wretched, & Redeemable: Protestant Missionaries to the Indians in Canada and the United States, 1820-1900
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page ii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter One - The Great Commission 13
  • Chapter Two - Noble Savages and Wretched Indians 31
  • Chapter Three - Speaking in Tongues 61
  • Chapter Four - Many Tender Tithes 103
  • Chapter Five - Courting the Public 131
  • Chapter Six - Let No Man Rend Asunder 159
  • Chapter Seven - "We Are All Savages" 187
  • Conclusion 211
  • Notes 217
  • Bibliography 249
  • Name Index 275
  • Subject Index 279
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