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[Tranelated for the Herald.]
PBAOB. FROM THE G ERMA A. BY MRS. JOHN W. EDDY. Not a zephyr breathes through the orchard trees, The birds in slumber are sunken ; The flowers stoop, and their petals droop, For the blossoms are all dew-drunken. A silence deep the planets keep, And the stars stand hushed in their places, TImj Queen of the Night, dropping golden light Ail the gloomy Bhadows effaces. And full of unrest, with a soul oppress'd By the wearisome burden of living, To the fragrant bowers, and the slumbering flowers I come with my sorrow and striving. And into my heart, as I sit apart, The spirit of Peace comes stealing: O Giver of Rest! Thy ways are the best! Grant us patience to wait their revealing ! [Written for the Herald] TBS CATHOLIC CHUM IK MONTANA, BY REV. L. B. PALLADINO, S. J. The year of Our Lord 1840 will always be a memorable one in the history of the Catholic Church in Montana. A young priest of re markable energy and undaunted courage Father Peter J. DeSmet, S. J., whose name is now famous throughout all lands, planted in that year the standard of the Cross in the very heart of the Rocky Mountains, and thus be came the pioneer of Christianity and civiliza tion in what is now one of the most promising Territories of the West. What first directed the steps of that youthful but intrepid missioner to the wilds of the Rocky Mountains sounds almost like a romance, and will ever be one of the most interesting incidents in the early his tory of this country. But it is impossible in a brief historical sketch like this to enter into any lengthy details, the object of this paper being simply to present a hasty, yet accurate, account, a mere outline, of the past and of the present history of the Catholic Church and of its mis sions in Montana. That some of the Indian tribes west of the Rocky Mountains had at an early date some vague knowledge of Christianity no longer seems to admit of any doubt. How that ray of light, faint and dim, broke first on the minds of those untutored children of the forest is not known. Contact, however, with the fur traders of the North and West, as also intercourse with other tribes in their annnal hunts east of the Rocky Mountains, may sufficiently account for k. However this, it is certain that the Flat heads, inhabiting the Bitter Root valley and the adjacent country, had acquired, as this narra tive will show, long before the missioners ar rived among them, a somewhat clearer and more distinct knowledge of the faith. This was imparted to them by some Christian Iroquois who had wandered to their land and whom the Flathead nation had adopted in the tribe. In the fall of 1839 there arrived in St. Louis a deputation of Indians who had come all the way through, from the western slope of the Rocky Mountains, a distance of some three thousand miles. They were Flatheads. This famous nation between the years A. D. 1830 and 1839 sent out three successive expeditions in search of a "Black-robe." Of the braves sent forth on the first and second expeditions some, falling in with hostile tribes, were killed; others perished, on their arduous journey, of sickness, hunger and hardships, and only one ©r two survived to carry home to their tribe the sad tale of death and disappointment. Undaunted by former failures and disasters, a third deputation set out from the Bitter Root valley in the spring of 1839 and safely reached, as said above, St. Louis in the fall of the same year. On hearing the object of their mission Monsignor Rosati, then Bishop of St. Louis, re ferred the brave fellows to the Fathers of the Society of Jesus, to whom the Bishops of the United States, assembled in the eouncil of Bal timore in 1835, had consigned the Indian mis sions of the country. Young Father P. J. DeSmet, S. J., was the one appointed to meet the wishes and earnest prayers of those good people. He left St. Louis in the spring of A. D. 1840, and in July, after a long and tedious journey, arrived among the Flathead tribe, who were then camped some where near the Three Forks on the Missouri. His mission began the day of his arrival, and there never was a more docile people. After two months of constant missionary labor Father DeSmet returned to St.Louis, but not before he had given to his newly begotten children of the mountains a solemn promise to return in the following spring with other Black-robes to es tablish permanently the mission of which he had now laid the foundation. The little mus tard seed was now planted, and was soon de veloped into a good sized and healthy tree. According to promise in the spring of 1841 Father DeSmet made his reappearance, accom panied by two youthful missioners, as intrepid as himself, N. Point and G. Mengarini, with somf ; Lay-brothers. He entered the Bitter Roo| valley, and there, close to where Stevens ville-r now' stands, established under the name of St. Mary the first Catholic Indian Mission in what is now the Territory of Montana. The new$ soon spread among the neighboring tribes that Black-robes had come into the land, and the Missionaries wrote as early as the month of October qf the same year that one single day had brought to their instructions the represen tatives of as many as twenty-four different tribes. The demand was evidently greater than the supply and the laborers in the field needed considerable help to gather in the abun dant harvest lying ripe before them. This help came to them by installments, so to speak, in the successive years, in the persons of Fathers A. Hoecken, A. Ravalli, L. Vercruisse, Accolti, Joset, Zerbinati, Nobili, DeVos, Menetrey, Gaz zoli and Congiato, and Brothers Joseph, Class ens, Francis and Magri. Later on Fathers Giorda, Imoda, Caruana, Grassi, D'Aste, Kup pens, Van Gorp, Cataldo and others came suc cessively to sw'ell the ranks of those who had already borne for a good while "the burden of the day and the heats." Of all these pioneers a number have gone to receive the reward of their labors. The others are still working away in the vineyard of the Lord with undiminished courage, but greatly re duced in bodily strength by age, toil, hardships and ill-usage, some in our midst, some in other fields of labor. Among those who came earliest to the Rocky Mountains Rev. A. Ravalli, an Italian by birth, w T hose name is a household word with every Montanian, at once a zealous missioner and a perfect mechanic, a learned theologian and a skilful physician, a true Samaritan of the Rocky Mountains, where for 38 years he has been easing the ills of life and doing good to everybody; a true, genuine type of those sly, cunning and hated Jesuits w r ho disturb the quiet slumbers of Messieurs De Bismarck, Grevy and Co., not excluding the worthy Sec retary of our Navy, Hon. Geo. W. Thompson. Rev. J. Menetrey, a native of Switzerland, well known throughout Montana and the adja cent Territories, the founder of several missions and a favorite with all classes of people, whites or Indians, and whose cheering smile and pleasant w'ords have buoyed up many a heart, and Brothers Joseph and Classens, the former a German, the latter from Belgium, both per fect Jacks-of-all-trades, and w'hose manual ser vices in the cause of the missions have been manifold, persevering and invaluable, are the only ones that remain on the Missions in Montana. But to return to the Flatheads. They all to a man entered the church, and have been ever since sincere and piou.-> Christians. They are still a fine nation in Montana, and by becoming Catholics have not lost their bravery of former days. Their firm and noble conduct in the late invasion of the marauding Nez Perces, in the opinion of the settlers themselves, saved the Bitter Root valley from pillage and bloodshed. Governor Stevens, in his official report of 1855 to the President of the United States, to which the President himself referred in his annual message to Congress, speaking of the Flatheads, says: "They are the best Indians of the Ter ritory—honest, brave and docile." And again, in describing their manner of living, the same authority adds that "they are sincere and faith ful, and strongly attached to their religious con victions." These words are as true to-day as they were twenty-five years ago. The Flat heads now number 398. But let us pass on to St. Ignatius, the second Catholic Indian Mission founded in Montana. It was established by Fathers A. Hoecken and J. Menetrey, A. D. 1854, in wffiat is now the Jocko Reservation, one of the prettiest spots in our Territory. This was the country of the Upper Kalispels, but abounding in fish and game and the other comforts of Indian life, roots and berries, and offering superior advanta ges for the grazing of their ponies, was, winter and summer, the favorite resort of other tribes. Here the Fathers built the Mission, which has since grown to be the largest in the country. Kalispels, Pend d'Oreilles and Kootonais have all since entered without, perhaps, a single ex ception the Lord's fold. They are good Chris tians and the largest portion of them greatly advanced in civilization, as is plainly shown by the U. S. Agents in their official reports to the Government. Their Christian virtue, as w'ell as their friendliness towards the white peo ple, were likewise put to a severe test, as in the case of the Flatheads when the Nez Perces, stained with blood, rich with plunder and breath ing vengeance against the whites, were passing through Montana. Runners came, and tempt ing offers were made as well as savage threats. But all to no purpose. In the history of our cease less Indian wars never was, to my knowledge, nor ever likely will be, the instance of one be ing brought about by Indians trained by the Catholic Church. While the writer of this sketch was staying at St. Ignatius an old Indian, by name Qui quiltzo, a man intensely pious and who would give you the distance between two places by the number of Rosaries he w'as in the habit of saying in going from one to the other, was fishing one day at Flathead Lake, when, of a sudden, he saw something that seemed, as he said, to take with his breath his very soul away from him. He dropped his line and away he started for the Mission. On entering the room he said abruptly to the writer ; "I saw 'Sinze Chita^s." This was the Indian name of good Brother Vincent Magri, a favorite with the In dians at St. Ignatius, where he had lived a number of years, but who was then stationed among the Cœur d'Alene Indians in Idaho Territory. "I saw him," continued the Indian, raising his eyes and pointing \yith his hand to the sky, "riding in a most beautiful thing." The only description he could give was that it re sembled a chariot, but exceedingly beautiful, and that he had never seen any thing like it. Several days after we received letters with the news of the demise of the Brother, which had occurred some four hundred miles away from St. Ignatius. By comparing dates we were forced to the conclusion that the good Indian had known more than any of us and had his news brought him by some other faster than Uncle Sam's mail. To every appearance the Master of the Vineyard had been repaying his faithful servant's many and toilsome tramps through these mountains by giving good Brother Magri a glorious chariot ride through the skies. There are at St. Ignatius two flourishing schools for Indian children, one for boys con ducted by the Fathers, the other for girls under the charge of the Sisters of Providence, from Montreal. Those good and noble Sisters have been at the Mission since 1S64. They came all the w'ay from Walla Walla on horseback across the rugged Cœur d'Alene Mountains camping out lik^ the sturdy pioneer in search of gold, and they have been hard at work ever since improving the condition of the daughters of the forest. They train the hands not less than the heads of their Indian pupils, adding to the branches of a plain English education, practical gardening, varied manual labor and all kinds of household industries. And while some of their pupils are skilful in all the mysteries of the needle and can handle a hoe or even an axe with dexterity, they can also write a letter that is a model of spelling, penmanship and ac curacy. I do not know how many of our girls could do the same. But, then, we train our daughters' feet. Astonishing as it may seem, here at St. Ig natius, by the Mission press, has been issued a large octavo of seven hundred pages. It is a complete Indian-English Dictionary of the wonderful Kalispel language, which is spoken by the Flatheads and some fourteen other tribes west of the Rocky Mountains. Its get-up, if not perfect, is certainly very creditable consid ering that it is the work of Indian Missionaries, published in an Indian country, and to a great extent by Indian help and Indian labor. The work was commenced some thirty.nine years ago by Father G. Mengarini, a thorough Indian scholar and author of a Grammar of the same language published years ago by the Smithso nian Institute, and was brought to completion by Rev. J. Giorda through heroic perseverance and truly herculean labor. The Dictionary was published exclusively for the use of the Missionaries, with the exception of some fifty copies reserved for the larger libraries of Europe and America that may wish to possess themselves of a book so rare and curious and so interesting to linguists. Here also may be mentioned "Narratives from the Scripture," another work in Kalispel, published at St. Ignatius in 1876, containing the Gospels for every Sunday in the year, as also narratives from the Old Testament. Though much smaller in bulk and size, yet in point of Indian scholarship it is no less than the Dictionary a remarkable production. But to bring this paragraph to a close, the Mission of St. Ignatius with its large and handsome church, its schools and all kinds of substantial improvements to be seen everywhere around, is to-day a monument of the success that has at tended the self-sacrificing efforts of the Mission aries to improve, spiritually and temporally, the children of the Mountains . Passing on, the third on the list is St. Peter's Mission, which was established by Fr. A. Hoecken in 1859, though Fr. N. Point may be said to have laid its founda tion as early as 1846. It was established for the object of bringing under the saving and civilizing influences of Christianity the Black feet and other Indian tribes roaming in the northern part of Montana. If the object in tended has been, as yet, but partially accom plished it is no fault of the Missionaries, but owing to the peculiar and, humanly speak ing, insuperable difficulties that encompassed that Mission on every side and thwarted the efforts and self sacrificing devotedness of the Fathers. But happily the present appears more cheering. A noticeable change for the better seems to be taking place, of late, in all those polygamous tribes of the North, and the heart of the Missionary leaps with joy at the thought that it is the harbinger, perhaps, of their redemption. The fact seems the more remarkable as this change was sudden and little expected. What is to account for it ? One event that occurred less than two years ago, in the Milk River country, a few miles from Fort Belknap, perhaps furnishes the answer. Here on the 7th of February, 1878, died a saintly priest, Philp Rappagliosi, S J. the apostle of the Blackfeet, and his death, though natural, was as mysterious, to all ap pearances, as it was untimely. In his tomb, likely, one day will be found the key to ex plain the new era now, seemingly, about to dawn upon those Indians. This zealous Mis sionary had vowed himself to their salvation; and aw'are, as it seems he was, that perhaps it would not be obtained but through the sacrifice of some one's life, he bravely sur rendered his own and died an unknown, yet a voluntary, martyr for the cause. The no ticeable change alluded to, and which, from late accounts, seems to increase the brighter hopes of St. Peter's Mission, date from the very moment that the saintly sonl of Philip Rappagliosi passed to a better life. If this be so, the conversion of the Blackfeet Indians to Christianity will be, at no distant day, a matter of history no less than the con version to the faith of those who have been thus far the subject of our sketch. We now part with the Indians and give a "brief account of the Catholic Church among the whites in Montana. A few facts, dates and figures will be enough to complete this second part of our task. The history of the Catholic Church among the w'hite population in Montana covers a period of only sixteen years. The reason is plain and obvious. Until the year 1863 there existed as yet no settlement of white people in this Territory. W T ithin this period churches or chapels were established at Hell-Gate» Virginia, Frenchtown, Helena, Deer Lodge, Missoula, Butte, Missouri valley and Benton. At Hell Gate, the first on the list, was estab lished the first Catholic Church for the whites in Montana—of course to prevent the people there from passing beyond to the bad place. J Fr. U. Grassi built the church in 1863. It has since been removed to Missoula. Father Giorda in the same year, 1863, searching for souls and not for gold, as the miners well remember, twice visited Alder Gulch, now Virginia, where he heard many confessions and baptized a number of children. Rev. Raverdy, a secular priest from Denver, Col orado, and after him Fr. Kuppens visited the same place the following year, 1S64. Fr. Giorda was tin „ again in the winter of 1865 and remain. 1 till the spring of the fol lowing year, being succeeded by FF. Van zina, Van Gorp and D'Aste, who later on came to remain permanently. A frame building was turned into a church, and the Mission of Virginia, under the title of "All Saints," established. It is now under the charge of Rev. F Kelleher, who, since the fall of 1873, with zeal and devot edness has watched over the little flock of 275 Catholic souls committed to his care. Frenchtown had he little church built in 1864. I have at hand no late report of the Catholic population of that thriving little place, but including all the Frenchtown district, with its mines, it cannot fall short of 350 souls. Next in turn comes Helena, the capital of our Territory. The Catholic Church here dates from 1865. The old frame church, built by the Hon. J. M. Sweeney, was open ed and dedicated under the style of the "Sa cred Hearts of Jesus and Mary," on the feast of All Saints, in 1866, by Fr. Kuppens, who is [remembered throughout Montana as one who knew as well how to manage wild bronchos as old and rusty sinners. Fr. Kup pens was replaced by Fr. F. Van Gorp and D'Aste, while Fr. Grassi spent in Helena the winter of 1867-8. To accommodate the in creasing Catholic population a larger church of brick and stone was begun in 1874 and completed in 1876. The structure is an or nament to Helena and a standing monument of the liberality of her people. Attached to this church are the four counties of Lewis and Clarke, Meagher, Jefferson and Gallatin, containing a Catholic population of about 1.500 souls. Besides the above in 1876 St. Joseph's church was built in the Missouri valley and two more are in contemplation, one at Bozeman and the other in Boulder valley. In the spring of 1877 the first epis copal visitation to Montana was made by Rt. Rev. Bishop T. O'Connor, Vicar Apostolic of Nebraska, to whose jurisdiction the eastern portion of our Territory belongs. In this visit he confirmed over two hundred persons,chil dren and adults. The impression made on His Grace was most favorable and lasting. In a letter addressed to the Rev. Pastor of Helena, March 31, 1879, the Rt. Rev. Bishop, referring to the people of Montana writes : "It may be that I saw only the bright side of their characters but certain it is I never met a people with whom I was better pleased." With such flattering words from our Bishop, we may well cross the Range once more and say a few words of the good people of Deer Lodge. In this portion of the Lord's Vineyard Rev. R. DeRyckere has been a de voted and faithful laborer since 1866. He built two churches, one a handsome stone building at Deer Lodge, the other a frame lined with brick at Butte. The principal centers of the Catholic population in the county, besides Deer Lodge and Butte, are Philipsburg, Beartown, Flint Creek and Nevada Creek valleys. Having obtained no late returns we can give no accurate state ment of the Catholic population of this coun ty, but it is likely somewhat greater than that of Helena district. During the sum mer of the past year Deer Lodge and all the other settlements of Western Montana were visited by most Rev. C. Seghers, the Coadju tor of the Most Rev. Archbishop of Portland, to whose spiritual administration this portion of the Territory belongs. The Most Rev. Archbishop was as favorably impressed with Montana as Bishop O'Connor had been two years before. From Deer Lodge, still going west, we reach Missoula county which, including those given above to Frenchtown, contains a Catholic population of nearly 600 whites and 1.500 Indians. North we reach Benton, the head ol navi gation, a place of great promise in the future. It has a new church ready for use but not quite completed. Benton thus far has been attended from St. Peter's Mission. Late ac counts received from Rev. S. C. Imoda, who has been in charge of that mission for a num ber of years, informs us the Catholics of that whole district number 1,050 whites and 2,150 Indians. A word more about our Catholic institutions, of which St. Vincent's Academy for young ladies deserves the foremost rank. It is con ducted by the Sisters of Charity from Leaven worth, Kansas. It was opened in 1868 for boarders and for day scholars. This institu tion has earned a weli deserved reputation, and praise enough cannot be bestowed on those who conduct it with so much skill, thoroughness and self-sacrificing devotedness. Our County Fathers seem to believe that these devoted Sisters are working for money and tax them accordingly. St. Vincent's Academy is in a flourishing condition. There is also in Helena a select school for boys under the charge of the same Sisterhood. But it is the earnest wish and prayer of the writer that in the near future there may be a college for our boys to supply a much-felt deficiency. In Missoula the Sisters of Providence con duct a boarding and day school for young ladies, which is likewise well attended and flourishing. Moral and efficient schools are a great boon for our young generation, but the Hospitals conducted by the Sisters of Charity, are the greatest blessing for suffering humanity. Of these there are four in Montana, viz : St. John's in Helena, St. Patrick's in Missoula, St. Joseph's in Deer Lodge, and the Hospital at \ irginia. Private patients as well as the sick and poor of the county are cared for in these institutions. The life of the miner is a hard one; it is harder still if instead of success his labor meets with disappointment, but when, after a life of toil and disappointment, he lies dis abled by accident or sickness in his bunk of suffering, away from home, without the sooth ing care of a loving mother or a dear sister, the miner's lot is then the very hardest. Nothing bespeaks the human and philan thropic feelings of the people of Montana better than the fact that their sick and poor are confided to the kind and tender mercy of the Sisters of Charity. Many a sturdy miner have we seen shedding tears of joy in beholding himself the object of more than a mother's care in these abodes of cleanliness, peace, attention and sympathy. We conclude by quoting once more His Grace, Bishop O'Connor. We spoke of the past and present history of the Catholic Church in Montana. His Grace gives us a glimpse of what her future history will be : "You and I may not live to see it, but the day is not distant when Montana will become one of the most fruitful and flourishing as well as the most beautiful portions of God's Vine- yard, and this will be owing in very great measure to the labors and the virtues of those who have already borne there 'the bur- den of the day and the heats.' " - — « -»«a»- ►. —-- [Written for the Herald.] THE BIG MUDDY. BY GEO. CLENDENIN, JR. The recent examination of the river above the Falls by Chief-Engineer Maguire, of the Department of Dakota, and his favorable report thereon, recalls the many prospects and speculations entertained by our people at va rious times regarding the whole river as our chief and main source of supply during the early days, and its competitive advantage from the time the Union Pacific railroad was com pleted to the present day. All predictions of its non continuance as a line of communi cation and freight supply after the advent of railroads have gone unverified, because they were based upon the assumption that we were not a growing Territory, and needless, therefore, of increased facilities and means of this character. But from the year 1870, when, by reason of railroad competition, the river business was reduced to the work of eight boats or trips, the business of the river has steadily increased, until the present year it ex hibits a record of over 20,000 tons of govern ment and private freight on 30 boats in 70 trips on the Missouri and Yellowstone. This increased business is due to the settlement and development of country especially de pendent on the river—to the larger imports of material for mining purposes which can be more essily transported by river—the estab lishment of new military posts on the fron tier, and more especially the recognition by leading merchants of the importance of com petition of river against rail, which prevents a monopoly of freights either way and undue fluctuations in the value of all staples, w'hich is necessary to the permanency of a population. The continuance and improve ment of the river route is now assured, and it is safe to predict wfithin a few years it will be navigated to the Three Forks. The coun try immediately tributary demands it, while the approach of the railroad to the commer cial center also demands the extension of the river line. Its practicability is assured. From the time when they discarded the side wheeler for the stern-wheeler to avert the danger of snags and rocks, they have gradu ally improved on the model of hull and the power and condensity of engines until they have found themselves capable of running on very little and very swift water. The cultiva tion of the soil, the cutting ot timber and similar causes, have evidently given us a greater rain fall than in former years and the supply is more evenly distributed, giving us more water later in the year. Within two years the en gineers will have removed the obstacles to its successful navigation in extreme low water in the region embraced from Dauphan's Rapids to the Falls and from Sun River Pool to the Forks. Their work from Dauphin's Dam to Grand Island and its permanency and great improvement to the river within the last three years is our guarantee of this. It is presum ed, of course, that our Delegate, Mr. Magin nis, will continue successful in securing ap propriations for this work. The susceptibility of the soil in every val ley to culture, the very extensive ranges for stock raising and the constant discoveries of placer and quartz mines invite labor and material without limit to Montana, and the old Missouri, like the Mississippi, will for all the future, remain a reliable channel for ehe: p freights, notwithstanding a half dozen railroads may contribute their full capacity to the in creasing transportation needs of the Territory.