REV. JOHN G. PRATT

REV. JOHN G. PRATT, one of the most widely known Protestant missionaries of Kansas and the West, was born in Hingham, Massachusetts in 1814 and graduated from Andover Seminary in the fall of 1836. He was immediately licensed to preach and the Baptist Society sent him to the Indian country to labor among the Shawnees. He continued that work for seven years, and in the fall of 1844 located four miles south of Fort Leavenworth to take charge of a contemplated mission of Green Bay Indians, lately arrived from Wisconsin. But they did not receive the promised allotment of land, and the mission was never organized. Mr. Pratt then chose a location near White Church, Wyandotte County, Kansas, for mission work among the Delawares, taking charge of a boarding school. for the Indians which was built and owned by the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society. As a result of these labors Mr. Pratt became convinced that the Indian when taken young is as bright and apt as the average white child of the same age. The Delawares, especially, showed their appreciation of his work by their request that the Government set aside from their annuities for educational purposes an amount equal to $25 per year per pupil. In this quite famous school were taught English elementary branches, with algebra, natural philosophy and some of the academic studies. From 1864 to 1867 Mr. Pratt was United States Indian agent for both the Delawares and Wyandots, in the latter year paying the Delawares for their land in Kansas and moving them to the Cherokee Nation. He devoted the remainder of his life to farming and stock raising on his property not far from the old mission and school which he had conducted for so many years. He died in 1895, and until a few months before his death he also preached occasionally and conducted a kind of home missionary independent of any organization.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; transcribed October, 1997.
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