John Chapman, Friend of the Indians

Without being a physician, his college training had taught this great-hearted man how to ward off many forms of disease and given him a knowledge of the springs of health and happiness. In this way oft he served the Indians who became his unchanging allies. Once they knew that for a certainty he never carried weapons with him, that his heart was a cup overflowing with kindness to every living thing, that he could bind up the warrior's wounds and heal the chief's sickness and lift the dying papoose out of the arms of death back to life again, they gave him their full confidence and looked upon him with wonder akin to worship.

Without thought of danger he went a full hundred miles into the forest beyond the uttermost rim of the settlements, and for months at a time he lived with the forest children. He taught them how to guard the water springs and keep them pure. In the winter when the tepees and camps threatened the purity of the brooks, he led the braves up the hills toward higher springs of water. Living in tepees whose only chimney was a hole at the top of the tent, where smoke on windy days was incessant, where the eyes of the children were constantly inflamed and through ignorance loss of sight was common, this man with his knowledge of simple remedies taught the Indians how to save their children from blindness and incessant pain. Oft he warned the red men against the traders with their fire water and the land sharks with their lying words and the government agents who used their office for spoiling the red children of the forest, going from tent to tent and village to village he brought the red man health and not sickness, peace not guns and whiskey, friendship not the greed that rob the Indians of lands and title deeds.

The Quest of John Chapman The Story of a Forgotten Hero By Newell Dwight Hillis Published 1904