The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 69, July 1965 - April, 1966 Page: 23
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Religious and Educational Efforts Among Texas Indians 23
pursuits, but nothing was being done about their spiritual life.
He challenged the members of the convention to do what they
could for the religious welfare of those natives. He recommended
that some brother be appointed to visit the reservations to ascer-
tain the propriety of establishing a mission among them, and the
possibility of finding interpreters who would enable a minister
of Christ to commence preaching to the Indians at an early date.4
The Reverend Noah T. Byars was selected by the Baptist Con-
vention to visit the Indian agencies and to collect such facts as
might be useful in making plans for Christianizing and civilizing
the Indians. Byars was a missionary and a former armorer and
blacksmith to two Indian posts in Texas before the reservation
days. He knew the red men's ways and his concern for their welfare
was summed up by him in words spoken to the Baptist State
Convention in 1856. He stated that no people on earth had greater
claims to benevolence and immediate action than the red men of
the frontier. In that same report, Byars noted that the Methodists
had received permission to establish a mission at the Brazos
Agency but the authorities would be willing for the Baptists to
establish another, though the agent there thought one was suf-
ficient. The agent at the Comanche Reserve asked that a school
be established. Byars requested that Baptist women form societies
to make a quantity of garments suitable for children under
twelve years of age with which to induce the Indian children to
attend school. He added that he had attempted to get suitable
interpreters to preach to the Indians, but was not successful.5
Another member of the Baptist faith who probably knew more
about the Indians' way of life than any other white person and
had a warmer feeling for them was Sam Houston. He joined with
Byars on October 24, 1857, in an effort to convince the Baptist
State Convention that one of its duties was to Christianize and
civilize the red brethren. Houston added in his report that
if the some 5-00 or 600 children now living on the reservations could
be gathered into schools, and their young and sprightly minds raised
from their present channel of degradation and shame to the paths of
'Minutes of the Eighth Annual Session of the Baptist State Convention of the
State of Texas (Anderson, 1855), 23.
'Proceedings of the Baptist State Convention (Anderson, 1856), 24.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 69, July 1965 - April, 1966, periodical, 1966; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117144/m1/41/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.