Capture These Indians for the Lord: Indians, Methodists, and Oklahomans, 1844-1939

Front Cover
University of Arizona Press, Sep 18, 2014 - 255 pages
0 Reviews
In 1844, on the heels of the final wave of the forced removal of thousands of Indians from the southern United States to what is now Oklahoma, the Southern Methodist Church created a separate organization known as the Indian Mission Conference to oversee its missionary efforts among the Native communities of Indian Territory. Initially, the Church conducted missions as part of the era’s push toward assimilation. But what the primarily white missionaries quickly encountered was a population who exerted more autonomy than they expected and who used Christianity to protect their culture, both of which frustrated those eager to bring Indian Territory into what they felt was mainstream American society.

In Capture These Indians for the Lord, Tash Smith traces the trajectory of the Southern Methodist Church in Oklahoma when it was at the frontlines of the relentless push toward western expansion. Although many Native people accepted the missionaries’ religious practices, Smith shows how individuals found ways to reconcile the Methodist force with their traditional cultural practices. When the white population of Indian Territory increased and Native sovereignty came under siege during the allotment era of the 1890s, white communities marginalized Indians within the Church and exploited elements of mission work for their own benefit.

Later, with white indifference toward Indian missions peaking in the early twentieth century, Smith explains that as the remnants of the Methodist power weakened, Indian membership regained control and used the Church to regenerate their culture. Throughout, Smith explores the complex relationships between white and Indian community members and how these phenomena shaped Methodist churches in the twentieth century.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Introduction
3
Origins of the Indian Mission Conference 18441865
19
Efforts among the Five Tribes 18661889
47
The KiowaComancheApache Agency after 1887
75
From the Land Run to Statehood 18891907
105
Indian Work after Statehood 19071918
133
The New Indian Mission 19181940
154
Conclusion
187
Notes
195
Bibliography
229
Index
241
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2014)

Tash Smith is an assistant professor of history at St. Gregory’s University in Shawnee, Oklahoma.

Bibliographic information