deligious anAd Educational /forts
ANuoig ireas Jdias i# the 1850 's
MURL L. WEBB
RELIGIOUS INTEREST BY TEXANS TOWARD THE INDIANS APPAR-
ently existed by 1834. Early concern was that of isolated
R individuals, however, rather than groups. It remained
for the concentration of tribes on reservations to arouse group
interest of evangelical denominations for missionary and educa-
tional work among them. After the announcement by the federal
government that two reservations would be established, public
notice became apparent among two religious groups. In August
and September, 1855, both Baptists and Methodists made inquiry
of reservation officials regarding the possibility of efforts among
The various minutes of the Colorado Baptist Association of
'Texas reveal an interest in such missionary work. R. H. Taliaferro,
a member of the Committee on Domestic Missions, reported to
the Colorado Association, in 1855, that:
We are informed how many of the 24,000 Texas Indians roam
within our association. Why cannot the Mexicans, Germans, and
Indians be evangelized as readily as the Chinese, Africans, or North-
ern Indians? If we wish to send our missionaries where there are
no difficulties, then we will have to commission them to Heaven.
The association manifested some small interest by offerings of
$5.00 in 18557 $5.00 in 1856,2 and $4.00 paid in 1857.3
The Baptists of Texas evinced further interest following the
lead of the Union Association. Rufus C. Burleson, a member of
a special Committee on Indian Missions, made a report to the
Baptist State Convention in November, 1855. He stated that the
government was teaching the Indians agricultural and industrial
'Minutes of the Colorado Baptist Association for z855 [n.p. n.d.], g.
2Minutes of the Colorado Baptist Association (Anderson, 1856), 8.
8Minutes of the Colorado Baptist Association (Anderson, 1857), 7.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 69, July 1965 - April, 1966. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117144/. Accessed March 8, 2014.