The Memoir of Elizabeth Jones, A little Indian Girl, who lived at the River -Credit Mission, Upper Canada
Elizabeth lived in small, mixed community of Native and English speaking Canadians. She grew up in a happy and loving home. Her father, the first Native Missionary stationed at the Credit, invested himself into serving the Indians and making sure they had all they needed. Her mother died when she was quite young but made an enormous impact on her. In fact, she had a huge impact on everyone in the community. Her understanding, judgement and advice was cherished, especially by the women, and for that her death was a great loss.
Elizabeth’s home was a place of comfort for many and a place of worship for all. Christianity surrounded everyone in the village and was extremely important to Elizabeth. When her father left to the shore, the women in the community took in Elizabeth. They made sure to raise her in this faith, it became one of the most important things to her and enhanced all her qualities. It was God who took Elizabeth at such a young age. Stopping her pain and suffering. Although Elizabeth did not live a life of any extravagance, this memoir was written by her aunt to show the impact of death in a community. How death doesn’t mean someone must die.
Elizabeth’s talents were a gift from God. At a young age she had a temper and attitude, but as her faith grew stronger, this turned into a strong affection for all. She wanted everyone to know that they were loved. This quality was one that her mother also had. While young, Elizabeth was oblivious to death, and struggled with the death of her mother.
It was not an easy task to wipe the tear, and quell the sorrows of her little bosom, by telling her that her dear mother was gone to live with God in heaven.
With time, she turned her sorrows and grief into a gift to help others. She set a mission upon herself to help everyone get into heaven. She made sure everyone was doing the right thing and helped anyone who needed it.
Her generosity was carried out in her daily practice…Her heart was large, and she wanted all to share the comforts she enjoyed.
Elizabeth was raised up in and had the same life experience as English children. She was constantly grateful of this and made sure to show her appreciation in her community.
Growing up in a Christian community had a huge impact on Elizabeth. Her whole life was structured around the worship of God. Unlike most children, Elizabeth was very observing. She noticed when she wasn’t following the Word of God and wanted to correct herself all the time. Her passion for the Christian God was unnatural as an Indian girl.
She would look up with her fine bright eyes to the Preacher, indifferent to all around…this is not he common way in which Indians show their interest in what is going forward. When attending their councils, they just look to see-who is going to speak, and then cast their eyes down for the rest of the time. Likewise, in a place of worship they consider that looking down is more favorable attitude for attention, and that to fix their eyes on the speaker would be a mark of rudeness. So that in this respect Elizabeth, having been differently taught, was an exception to the general rule.
Elizabeth began to develop a lot of anxiety around the topic of heaven at a young age. Worrying if she would go to heaven and if other young kids would go to hell. Elizabeth fell ill and this anxiety grew. However, she could always be comforted by knowing that God would forgive her for her sins if she asked to be pardoned.
As Elizabeth becomes sicker, she is confused with God, and why he does the things he does. She continues to pray and communicate with God. At a very young age Elizabeth began to understand that:
Gods ways are not our ways, neither are his thoughts our thoughts.
The end of Elizabeth’s short life was filled with peace. She spent most of her time admiring the land she grew up in and how God created so many amazing things. On her last day she went for walk to see the beautiful day. She said goodbye to her father and step mother, not knowing it would be her last time. Filled with complete happiness she walked across the bridge
Thus, without a moments warning, she was snatched away from the fond embraces of her mourning friends on earth to the bosom of her Savior and her God.
Elizabeth not having come back started a search party. Everyone in the village helped search the woods and river. When she was found floating in the river a great depression covered the community. A death so sad that even the trees felt like they were weeping.
Elizabeth’s funeral was filled with Native and English Canadians. All coming together to mourn a dreadful loss. Through the prayer of God, they began to see a different side to her death. That this death was not all sad.
Her happy spirit returned to God, whose praises she loved to sing, whom she worshipped, adored, and loved.
Knowing that Elizabeth was in heaven told a lesson that if the ones who loved her wanted to see her, they must also follow the Word of God as she did. So that they can spend eternity together. The Indian children began to sing a song for Elizabeth. One that touched the community, singing that Elizabeth died but that she was not dead. That her spirit is well alive and flying in the heavens above.
Her savior taught her infant heart
To love and choose the better part
Let this thought check the tears that start;
She is not dead
Memoir of Elizabeth Jones. [Electronic Resource] : A Little Indian Girl Who Lived at the River-Credit Mission, Upper Canada. 1999. CIHM/ICMH Digital Series = CIHM/ICMH Collection Numérisée: No. 41379. London : J. Mason, 1838.