"he had gone, the day before, to visit the Apostle Eliot, among his Indian converts"

John Eliot (1604-90), originally from Hertfordshire, England, was part of the 1630 expedition to Boston and served as a minister at the First Church at Roxbury. One of the guiding forces leading to the establishment of the Massachusetts Bay Colony was the desire to spread the word of God to non-Christian societies. Early settlers were too occupied in battling against the American wilderness to engage in missionary activity, but Eliot applied himself to it in earnest. He patiently taught himself Algonquian from captives seized during the Pequot War, enabling him to preach to Native American tribespeople in their own language. Though he lamented that many showed only superficial interest, he was successful in converting significant numbers, including Waban, the first Native American Christian and later a close friend of Eliot’s. The converts divorced themselves from their “pagan” backgrounds and set up villages known as “Praying Towns” where they could devote themselves to the study of Christian theology and establish laws based on Scripture. Eliot was once more instrumental in these efforts, painstakingly translating the Bible into Algonquian and publishing his work in 1663 as Up-Biblum God. His work earned him the sobriquet “the apostle to the Indians.”