Nov 1885
Dr Ellinwood

Dear Friend,
I began a letter to you when in my beloved Kamiah, perhaps best it should end in smoke for the burden of it was the disappointment felt in not seeing you in my own home. Long & late did I listen for the chariot wheels & that too at a time when the distance was increasing between us. Little did good Elder Billy or I think as we watched the Miller & Messenger sent for him pass out the gate that the reported Inspector was our Earthly Guide in Spiritual things. Billy I know would have put his white cotton gloves in his pocket (always worn on State occasions) mounted his pony & followed it. I should have found someway to have met you at Lapwai or Lewiston not that I had or have any personal defence to make. The charge of working for a new Agent, if inspected would be found as groundless as the charge against Mr Deffenbaugh was two years ago of working among the people against the present one. I have no idea where the shadow of a foundation lies unless it be in an occasional correspondence with three of the former instructors of Forest Grove and Salem Training S. Supt. (two teachers who left this Agency with bitter remembrances of their wrongs). The notes which passed between us were purely business ones relating to the K. children in their care. I did the most of the writing for the parents in Kamiah. I know that Mr McConville (one of the teachers) wanted to return to K. That Gov. thought some of sending him back & the last year Dr Hill of Home Board has twice at least made arrangements for his return although neither he or his wife are professed Christians. But did not know until told by the Miller that he (Mr McC) wanted to be Agent. He would not need any one to work for him among the Nez Ps. If this does not explain the charge, I can think of no other, for one word [illegible] from me could not be found among the people who have from the first until now given only brief explanations. Soyappu (Whites) or from his own heart never from our people.

But I certainly would have tried a defense of my misrepresented Sister & her gentlemanly Christian pupils who have asked in surprise "will they not be asked what our teachers have been or the teachings of Our Teacher." It seems so strange that the testimony of those who have no fear of God or love for Indians in their hearts should have such weight. Will not the Judge of all the earth do right? Is a question not of doubt but of confidence. Ah yes, but in His own time & way.

When Sister sent your letter to me suggesting Lapwai, the bitter tears came fast at the thought of leaving ‘even for a time’ a people who have never given me anything but kindness & a spot the fairest on all the Earth to me. Where I could sing as I went from one little house to another. ‘The Savior come & walks with me & Sweet Communion here have we.’ It was long ere I could look up & say ‘Thy will be done.’ I had nothing to fear from the people. From the white family yes, under a seeming friendliness to the last day.

The Tom Hill whom sister fears so lives here now. Is lying over with the Drs. Was wounded by a drunken Lapwai Policeman & was unfit to be taken by Sheriff who came to take him up for trial at Mt I for the murder in K. last summer under the Lewiston judge.

I wrote to Mr D about my coming down. His answer was come at once before the wet weather sets in. The Department will have to be written to about the house at the Fort for the present you can occupy two rooms in the Parker house. You remember the house over near the Church with the wooden bars over the windows. The trip was not too soon for one of the three days of the journey was through the snows (only light things I could put in boxes) not organ of course, it required eight horses to pull up the slippery mountain out of K six of them shoeless little pones.

It is two weeks today since I arrived here. I have a S. this week of six women, I will have a few more next week which is better than my fears. The K. people thought the women here would not care for S. or anything, beyond their present degraded condition. The Fort is bitter place. I counted seven large tents beyond there (only one tent for the winter in all K.) I have not seen Mr Monteith only across the street or wife yet, never met him but four or five times with but a few minutes conversation each time. His wife but once I think. My sister’s acquaintance & friendship is of long standing. Among my pupils here will be the wives of the two ministers Enoch Pond’s wife & Silas Whitman’s. This is certainly much need of work here it is blankets to the right, blankets to the left & slips in front of me. The difference in appearance and moral conditions of the two communities Kamiah & Lapwai is great indeed & what work here will amount to is yet to be seen. Will the K women (in general) slip back into the slip & the hats come off my women is a question coming often into my mind. Many were the questions those have lingered. For a time meant this winter (this year). The children’s first expression in hearing the announcement was Absent Miss Kate Absent Christmas but no, the dear little one shall have their tree & S.S. papers all the same. The women though the sick would miss me most but Robert shewed by his closing remarks on that last Sab that he had another vision of it when he said "These sent one sent to lead us into the Light are taken away from us pray Christian pray every day that the darkness come not upon us again. They cannot miss me more than I miss them – Although the people here (Indian have recd me very kindly) the most of them are strangers to me. When the mists have cleared away & I have been led to where I can look back & down will doubtless say with Francis C. Havergal "Right was the pathway leading to this’ but I am not there yet & this valley of humiliation seems so long & faith at times so weak that I find myself crying out Oh Father hold me tight. Then he sends David to me with a choice bit of food to strengthen a heart that ought to be stronger Only it all seems so unjust in my sisters case. So much you cannot understand in the past she has been so tried here & always some or all of the white men on this Reservation whose influence over Mr Ms is said to be great & not good. He cannot feel unkindly to her. Perhaps the enmity is more towards some of her pupils who cannot be dispensed of or dealt with in a direct manner.

Mr D thinks the beginning of my S encouraging – imagine the exercises A B Cs & knitting with little prayers between which they do not hear that the Light may shine in & out through them into the moral darkness in this valley so full of people. This letter ought to follow the Kamiah one. I have felt while writing that it was to dear Dr Lowrie to whom I always felt so free in shewing my heart with kind regards to him & the little circle there from

Kate C. McBeth

Mr D does not want me to go to the Fort this winter thinks it would be too lonely. Perhaps best now since my little school has been started here. Will know better in spring what the Lord intends me to do, or do with me - Leave this in the hands of a shrewd politician [ill] extremely is Lords opportunity if He only give his promise His blessing must come too.


I have never for a moment thought I could be sent away.