PUBLICATION 3 - 1967
THE INDIAN MISSIONARY
By Luther F. Addington
It seems very strange indeed that an Indian boy would want to become a missionary among the white people. But there was such a boy. His name was Dale, and he belonged to the Mingo tribe which lived on the Ohio River.
Patrick Porter, who had a fort near Falling Branch on Clinch River, went with the Clinch Valley troops to fight Cornstalk at Point Pleasant in 1774. One night after the troops were told they could go home, there came to Patrick Porter's campfire the notorious Chief Logan.
Chief Logan, tall and reddish-brown, clad in a hunting coat, moccasins and leggins, tapped Patrick Porter on the shoulder and said, "You are Patrick Porter. You live on Clinch River. I have been to your fort. Many times I could have killed you, but I would not. You good man. You good father to children who lived near your fort."
out a hand. The Indian chief shook it.
Out of the
an Indian boy. He was naked, save moccasins on his feet and a piece of
deer skin about his loins.
The campfire crackled. A flame leaped up, lighting Dale's tired face. Away in the woods an owl hooted.
hand on Patrick Porter's shoulder again.
Patrick Porter stooped and threw a fresh stick of wood onto the fire. Sparks flew. Smoke twisted up in a spiral and was snatched by the wind.
Porter said, "we white people need to do some kind deed for your people
because the whites have been cruel. Especially have they been cruel to
your people, Chief Logan."
Chief Logan and the Indian boy went away into the woods. The trees seemed to cry. Patrick Porter felt bad. He lay down by the fire, but he could not sleep. He wondered whether Chief Logan would bring Indian braves and attack his camp.
Patrick Porter, lying near the campfire, heard the leaves rustle. He
up, gun in hand, ready to shoot. But after one close look he let the
barrel drop. There before him stood the boy Dale, alone. In his hand
a scrap of paper. He reached it toward Patrick Porter who took it,
to the firelight, and read in English which he knew a white man had
But to the note was Chief Logan's name. The note read:
Dale traveled all the way to Clinch River with Patrick Porter and lived with him at the fort on Falling Branch near the river. He was a happy lad, and he really tried to learn. Little by little he came to understand English words. Then he begged to be taught to read and write. Patrick Porter saw to it that he had a tutor.
Patrick Porter was himself a student of the Bible, and he interested the Indian boy in its stories. After a few years, Dale was able to read for himself.
"You need more name than Dale," Patrick Porter told him one day. "And I am giving you the name Arter. From now on you are Arter Dale."
"Good," said Dale, thumping his youthful chest. "I like the name Arter Dale."
The boy grew to manhood, and there on Clinch River he married a white girl. Today, many are the people who pride themselves in having in their veins the blood of Arter Dale.
Arter became a leader in his community. He became a convert to Christianity and later joinedthe Methodist Church. For many years he served the Church as a minister preaching to the whitepeople along the river valley.
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