Oneida Language Hymn Book - L989.D177

15 1/2 cm long and 9 1/2 cm wide. A Collection of Hymns in the Oneida Language for the Use of Native Christians. The word Hymn is translated as Teyerihwahkwatha, which means "You are going to get information/learning."

Published in 1855 by the Wesleyan Missionary Society, based upon the translations by Rev. A.W. Sickles (likely Abraham, b. 1810, who served both as head chief of the community and head of the Oneida Methodist Church at Oneida of the Thames). Missionaries had hope that such works would help to spread the Christian religion among the Oneidas who had settled along the Thames River, after relocating from upstate New York after the American Revolutionary War. Mohawks had been translating the bible and hymns since the 1750s. In 1834, Sickles, who was born in the New York State, was associated with the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1854-55 he served at the Mt. Elgin Indian Residential School, also known as the Muncey Institute in London District, and moved to the Delaware Church in 1871 in Middlesex County. He served as an assistant to Rev. Peter Jones (Mississauga) from 1843 to 1870. Oneidas, who once fought against the Mohawks during the Revolutionary War, first settled at Grand River, but finding it a bit inhospitable relocated to the Thames River.

The Introduction notes: "Future labourers may throw more poetry into production of similar class [hymns], but not more Scriptural truth, according to the light and knowledge of the faithful and exemplary missionary to whom this race of converted Indians are indebted for this translation."

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