During the Second Great Awakening (1799-1830, the years of James McGready and Charles Finney), God was drawing our nation powerfully to Jesus Christ. What few people realize is that He was working to draw certain Western tribes to Jesus also, through tribal prophecies given to their most respected leaders. The Forgotten Awakening tells of the historical events that resulted from these early prophecies, and the Christian spiritual awakening that resulted among those tribes in 1828-30. Unfortunately, in 1830 came Andrew Jackson's Indian Removal Act, followed by the Trail of Tears, the Manifest Destiny ideas in the 1840's, and the false belief that Christianity is "the white man's religion." These developments eclipsed the more hopeful memory of what God did in the earlier years. Based on years of original research of trappers' and missionaries' journals and oral traditions of the Plateau tribes, Doug McMurry has pieced together the gentle story of the earlier years, in which both whites and Natives were earnestly seeking God and finding Jesus. Clearly from the evidence, God intended both groups to come together on an equal footing in mutual respect, exploring each other's strengths. The Forgotten Awakening is not a novel, but a historical narrative designed to convey real people and events. By restoring a forgotten piece of spiritual history, perhaps we can appreciate more accurately God's vision and purpose for America. To this end, Doug McMurry has studied published and unpublished journals, letters and oral histories, and has attempted to tell the story that emerges from them without adding fictitious characters or undocumented events. He traveled to the locales of these events to imagine them as accurately as possible-and the result is a story that will challenge our stereotypes of trappers, Natives, and missionaries-even of God. The story follows two men, the trapper-mapper Jedediah Smith; and the son of the chief of the Middle Spokanes, Slough-keetcha, who was renamed Spokan Garry by the English governor, George Simpson. Having received word of Jesus from Jedediah Smith, and guided by tribal prophecy about "leaves bound together that white men would bring," the great chief Illim-Spokanee surrendered his son to be educated about Jesus, the one whom the tribes called "The Master of Life." After three years under the tutelage of missionaries David Jones and William Cochran, he returned to find tribal leaders from hundreds of miles around gathered to meet him, all eager to hear what he had learned of Jesus, the Master of Life. Spokan Garry thus became the first Christian evangelist west of the Rockies, on a preaching tour in 1828-29. And the result was: a great spiritual awakening that has been entirely forgotten. Douglas McMurry believes that if we could do a better job of listening to the heart of God, we could yet achieve the vision of Jesus the Master of Life, who stands above all cultures and plays no favorites.
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About the Author
Pastor of Presbyterian churches for 35 years. Founder of "The Clearing Where Eagles Fly," a house of prayer in Virginia.
Table of Contents
Part I The Promise, 1782-1811 1
Part II The Great Shaking, 1811-1824 25
Part III The Search, 1824-1825 87
Part IV The Great Inundation, 1825-1826 139
Part V The Plowing of the Ground, 1827-1828 201
Part VI The Calamity, 1828 233
Part VII The Sowing of the Seed, 1829-1831 279
About the Author 361
1 Early fur posts among the tribes prior to 1820 xiv
2 Jedediah Smith's travels, 1823-1824 24
3 The Spokane Region, 1825 86
4 The Hudson's Bay Company escorts two chiefs' sons to the Red River 138
5 The Red River Colony and vicinity 200
6 The Route of the McLeod Brigade and Jedediah Smith's massacre 232
7 Areas and tribes likely influenced by Spokan Garry beginning 1829 278
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Douglas McMurry brings his passion for historical truth and his perceptive understanding of people together in his recent book "The Forgotten Awakening". Through it he brings vividly to life Native American, British, and white American personalities who still speak to us out of the 19th century. It is their actions and attitudes which McMurry faithfully records with the accuracy of a researcher and the imagination of a novelist, adding believable dialogue to an unbelievably true story set in the American West. The Forgotten Awakening will wake you up to a time when First Americans and Later Americans traded and interacted in mutually respectful ways, and the Christian message was brought by Spokan Garry to his own tribe. Sadly, much injustice and hostility followed in the years to come. As Garry once said in 1855, "When you look at the red men, you think you have more heart, more sense, than these poor Indians. I think that the difference between us and you Americans is in the clothing; the blood and the body are the same. Do you think that because your mother was white and theirs dark, that you are higher or better? We are dark, yet if we cut ourselves the blood is red, so with the whites it is the same, though their skin is white." Yet above all the tragedies of American history, the "forgotten awakening" deserves to be remembered as a fragile and beautiful example of hope, trust, and faith. I would recommend this book to any thinking reader who would like to know more about what God was doing in North America in the 1820's and 1830's.
This is an exceptionally well researched and written book. It tells the story of how God prepared the northwest First Americans to hear God's Word which was brought by some of the early explorers and fur trappers. It flows with an excitement to learn what happens next. Doug spent many years reading the journals of the men who lived during this time, visiting the places where the events took place, and then compiling them into this book. It sheds light on how traditional Christian beliefs and actions can either stifle or encourage His preparation to bring salvation to those who do not know Him. Since First Americans live in our community, the revelations in this book are causing us to reexamine our cultural sensitivity to Christ's message. We encourage any who take the Lord's command to "spread the gospel to the ends of the earth" (Matthew 28) to read this book.