Annual Report of Frederic Baylies

Dear Sir,


The time is now come when duty calls upon me to report to you my doings as missionary to the Indians, and I hope this report of my labours may be as acceptable to the Corporation[1] as they have been pleasing to me. I have ever considered education an object of the first importance; therefore, I have bestowed special pains to promote the interest of schools among the Indians with whom I am privileged to labour.


I have petitioned the Legislature for assistance and obtained fifty dollars.[2] I employed Mr. Coffin as teacher two months. He was a young man well qualified for teaching and gave great satisfaction to the Indians.


At Nantucket, I have taught school four weeks, forty scholars attended. The town employs a woman through the year.[3] The money, therefore, which I formerly paid for a woman school, I paid for other schools. The Sabbaths I have generally spent at the Baptist meetinghouse, sometimes in company with Mr. Lincoln,[4] sometimes in company with Mr. Pierce.[5] We have had a small, but a respectable congregation. The Coloured people have also a Methodist meetinghouse and a minister. At Gay Head I have taught school four weeks, and have employed a woman eleven weeks, and Mr. Coffin three weeks. Thirty-one scholars attend my school.


The Sabbaths I attend with them and at suitable times take a part in the service. The number who attend may be sixty or seventy. The temperance society is doing much good. At Chappaquiddick, I have taught school four weeks, and employed a woman eight weeks, and Mr. Coffin three weeks. In my school twenty-five Indians and eight White children attended. Our meetings on the Sabbath are attended as well as we could expect; usually from twenty-five to thirty. At Christiantown, I have taught school two weeks, and employed a woman twelve weeks, and Mr. Coffin two weeks. In my school, ten scholars attended. On the Sabbath twenty or more commonly attend. The temperance society is in a flourishing state.

At Narragansett, I have taught school four weeks and employed a woman fifteen weeks. Thirty-six Indians and eleven white scholars attended. The Sabbaths I have spent with them and have taken a part in their religious meetings. Their elder is a friendly man.[6] They have a temperance society which has been productive of much good. All the schools have been taught seventy-two weeks, free from expence to the Indians. One hundred and forty-two Indians and nineteen white children have attended. Mr. Marchant[7] a Baptist missionary frequently attends with me. We have thought that by writing our labours, our usefulness would be greater. The state of society improves. I am treated with kindness by the various tribes. My endeavours through the goodness of God have been crowned with greater success than even I anticipated, and I hope my usefulness is not yet ended.


With respect, I remain your obedient servant,                                                                                    

Frederic Baylies

Edgartown, April 2, 1836



For several years past the Indians were frequently supplied with preachers from other quarters. This circumstance has given me an opportunity to attend more particularly to the Sabbath Schools, where I trust I have spent my time with profit to the rising generation. The year past I have resumed my former labours, and have met with them as their preacher and I trust to general satisfaction.


Mr. Baylies' Annual Report, April 2, 1836




[1] The Harvard College Corporation.

[2] Baylies petitioned the Massachusetts General Court in mid January of 1836.  "Legislative Acts/Legal Proceedings," Gloucester Telegraph, January 16, 1836, p. 2.

[3] At the time of Baylies' report, Nantucket provided a subsidy for maintaining the school house.  In 1834, Eliza Bailey, the 22-year-old daughter of Benjamin and Abigail Bailey, became the first White woman teacher at the school.  However, she resigned two years later because of illness.  Replacing her in 1836 was 22 year old Anna Gardiner, a promising teacher at a private school for Black children. Frances Ruley Karttunen,  "Teachers at the African School," Historic Nantucket 67, no. 1 (Summer 2017) :18-19.

[4] Rev. Henry Lincoln

[5] Rev. Thomas C. Pierce

[6] Moses Stanton

[7] Henry Marchant