Miscellaneous Writing – Kate McBeth

The following "essays" were probably included with letters written by Kate McBeth and have become separated from the original correspondence.  


Facts regarding the two Spokane Churches Wellpenit & Spokane River

At the Spring meeting of the Walla Walla Presbytery in April 1890 charges were preferred against Robert Williams pastor of the Kamiah Church. A committee was appointed to investigate the matter upon the reserve. Committee Dr Gun, Rev. G.L. Deffenbaugh & Rev. Warren.

The trial was conducted in the Lapwai Church. Verdict, Robert Williams guilty of Imprudence, therefore Suspended from the ministry for six months. Com. at the same time promised the prosecutors, a new church organization in Kamiah.

To supply the Kamiah pulpit in Roberts Silence, Silas Whitman was taken from the Wellpenit church among Spokanes & to fill the Wellpenit pulpit in the absense of Silas, James Hines (M.C.) was sent at once there for that time. He went, remained the allotted time, returned to his farm on this reserve where he is today. Silas did not return as directed. James Hines refused to go back. He, James H. receives no Salary from Board. Why did Silas not return to Wellpenit?

After Roberts trial. Silas assumed his duties in the Kamiah Church, ruled with such rigor independent of the Session (Roberts friends) complaint was made which called forth a sharp rebuke from Dr Gun. This gave such offence to Silas, he resigned at once, took to the mountains for a hunt. This occurred when about four of the allotted six months had passed. Robert still at that time silent. Silas has not reported himself to Presbytery since his only ministerial work for the last year has been gratuitous assistance in K. 2nd. He did not reply to call from Spokane Presbytery. This spring he returned to Wellpenit Church. You can see that Church has been vacant for one year. No money drawn for it in that time (so far as I knew).


Spokane River Church

Archie returned to this church after R’s trial (all native ministers present). He A. remained there until meeting at Synod in fall 1890 where he presented a call for his Services in the promised Kamiah 2nd church. Although facts in writing were then in the hands of Walla W. Presbytery proving Robert not guilty of even imprudence presbytery gave permission for the organization with A. as pastor.

Authorized Mr Deffenbaugh to proceed to Kamiah free Robert from their sentence, restore him to his pulpit (this was about a month before his six months of silence had expired). Also organize A’s. band into a church. Mr D went called for those who wished to be dismissed from the old church to appear before its Session for certificates, but one woman presented herself. A. held a meeting at same time in private house. Mr D. could only give some directions to Archie to return. They organized as they thought, made no report to Presbytery. Found at the spring meeting 1891 there was no Kamiah 2nd as yet. In the mean time they had built a church, built upon Allotted land. The building therefore the woman’s (who thought she could donate the land). Not anyone of the original committee present at presbytery this Spring. Rev. D.D. Allen was sent up to Kamiah in May & organized the church (for the bds sake) (on the promise made at Roberts trial). Archie left Spokane River church for K. 1st of Oct. 1890

Licentiate Moses Monteith went there last Dec 1890 remained until last march, came back to attend presbytery in Lewiston in April, there Archies plans were made known. An Elder from Meadow Creek presented a petition for the dismissal of Enoch Pond from Meadow Creek church & that Moses Montieth be ordained & installed pastor. I was interpreter. The Elder was asked what charges against Enoch? "Nothing only they did not like him." "Who moderated the Call?" "One." "Who." "Archie." "Petition not granted." Moses as I told you, refused to return, has been the acting pastor of K 2nd through this summer. So, Wellpenit church has been without a minister for one year. Spokane River Church supplied for but three months of the year. No money has been paid to those not in Service in their appointed places. The months Salary I asked for Archie supposing he would go back to Spokane River 1st of Sept. is in bank. He did not go. Of course did not receive it. I will make statement of expenditure to Treas. soon. The expenditure both last year & this much below appropriation.

As to that Spokane interpreter, he has recd nothing as yet. I doubted the wisdom of the move when estimates were made. Simply forwarded Geary’s letter with Mr. Deffenbaugh’s strong recommendation for it. James Hays is at his post among the Umatillas, health better. I do not wonder you were muddled about Spokane churches. Felt it necessary to go into details.
Sinserly yours

Kate C. McBeth
No money from the Board has been given Archie yet for services in 2nd K.

How I did enjoy the rising while my white friends were sound asleep. And going over to early morning worship in Camp. Although the scenes by the way were much the same each morning they were interesting living ones. There near the Camp stood the five hundred Kamiah ponies, huddled together with an occasional self asserting mule braying out his discontent at this night arrangement – the watchmen (boys) still on duty, looking hopefully with the morning light campward for the relief which would soon come and take their charge to the [illegible] mountains to gorge. However before this was done the ponies needed for the day were lassoed - needed almost daily for the K. people though it so nice to be only fifteen [illegible] instead of seventy five in the lassoing as well as shooting they seldom miss the mark how they were of their ponies they do prize their ponies now since the Annual white traders pay ten or twelve dollars apiece for them instead of the five of former years Money it must be silver they do not like paper. A mans wealth is reckoned by the size of his band – [illegible] the ponies.  I would saunter along the high bank of the Lapawai to the little fort suspension bridge and from it watch the half asleep people come with soap [illegible]. But they tried to wash in the stream, perhaps wandering in they had been asleep at all the long twilights make the summer nights so short here. Camp fires would scarcely be lighted until when the little worship bell would ring the leader with the men grouped back of him promptly took their places the women as promptly seating themselves in a half circle on the grass in front the worshipers in this early service were mostly our own three hundred Kamians. And as it took the place of the home family worship it was a matter of [illegible] too be present. No hurrying things either it was just a precious little prayer meeting that the sun each morning would climb to the top of the mountains peep over and smile down upon. And your friend could say as she retraced her steps ‘it was good to be there.’ As the day advanced, the no in camp increased coming from far and near perhaps the estimate made by a white one day of twelve hundred was not too great at A good place to note the different stages of civilization from the restless heathen who walked upon around the outskirts to the native Nez Perce Missionarys about to go out under both the divine and human Commission one thing the most casual observer could read in their faces - The power of the gospel to tame the wild expression of the eye. Many a hatless man was there unafraid in his blanket shell earrings in his ears glad they were not in the nose. (the word N.P. being the french for pierced noses) A few in leggins I have not the least objection to these few wearing blankets here and there a vain young blanketed brave of the better class (I suppose with lordly mien would pass in the review with broad brimmed light felt hat tied under the chin to make it droop like a soundowner, every now and again giving his head a graceful toss backward the motion reminding me of a miss proud of her ringlets.

Saturday before the evening service there was a wedding at the Gov School A young Kamian of twenty Summers and widow of six moons to a fourteen or fifteen year old S girl He wed and won after [illegible] unite lovers and not according to the established custom, which is that the friends o the deceased wife chose her sucessor, therefore when the tiding of the presumptious act reached camp although but an hour before the ceremony the frightened speechless maiden was visited by an aunt of the former wifes and her views on the subject must rapidly given. Still later another came so that when the very neatly attired bride stood before us she had not the air of one marrying an old chiefs son.

The whites from the Gov S accompanied [missing] to CCC evening Service never have after night services our [illegible] that Ghosts have something to do with the arrangement. No wonder the groom sat with bowed head elbow on his knee for close beside him set the former wifes mother weeping pitchers The Sun went down (somewhere West of Us) while Robert was preaching from that text which suits all colors. The Prodigal Son. And as it was Communion Eve the prodigals were most tenderly urged to return to the fathers house it is not difficult to tell who belongs to this class here for the turns longingly Egyptward the hair is allowed to lengthen and the blanket donned, but when the Spiriat moves Confession full and free

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