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Beyond Penn's Treaty

Baltimore Yearly Meeting Indian Committee Minutes

Page out of 259
The following newspaper accounts are tipped-in

The Editors having obtained a genuine copy of
the proceedings of a committee appointed
by the yearly meeting of the respectable socie-
ty of Friends, in two conferences with the
Indian chiefs who lately passed through
this city on their way to the federal govern-
ment, feel no small degree of pleasure
in having it in their power to gratify an
inquisitive public with the interesting con-
tents.

CERTIFICATE.

THE subscriber certifies, that the fol-
lowing communications were written by
him in short-hand as they were delivered
at two conferences held in the city of
Baltimore on the 26th and 27th, of 12th
month 1801, between several Indian chiefs
residing on the waters of the Wabasu,
Lake Erie and Lake Michigan, and the
committee for Indian affairs appointed by
the yearly meeting of the society of Friends
held in Baltimore—at which were also
present many others of the society of
Friends, and people of different religious
persuasions; and that it is acknowledged
by those who were present, that the com-
munications are taken down with accuracy.
GERARD T. HOPKINS.

I have perused the following speeches,
written in short hand by Gerard T. Hop-
kins,
as they were delivered in the city of
Baltimore, by the Indian chiefs, the Little
Turtle and the Five Medals, and do hereby
certify, that they are taken down with ac-
curacy.
WILLIAM WELLS, (Interpreter)
and Agent for Indian affairs.

Proceedings of the first Conference.
A member of the society of Friends open-
ed the conference by addressing the
chiefs as follows:

Brothers and Friends,
I AM desirous that in the early part
of this opportunity, you may be inform-
ed, that the people called Quakers con-
sider all mankind as their brethren; that
they believe the Great Spirit and Father
of Mankind created all men of one blood;
and that it is the will of Him who also
created the Sun, the Moon and the Stars,
and causes them to give us light—that
Great Spirit and common Father of all
Mankind—that we should not do one
another hurt, but that we should do one
another all the good we can; and it is
on this ground and this principle that
we believe it tight to take you by the
hand.

After sitting a short time in silence,
another Friend addressed them as fol-
lows:--

Brothers and Friends,
We the people called Quakers believe
that it is required of us, that we should
all love one another, however separated
we may be in our local settlements in the
world, or whatever difference there may
be in our color: And as we are convinc-
ed it is not in our power to perform our
religious duties to Him that hath created
us, without his assistance, so we conceive
it to be our duty, when we are about to
enter upon such weighty business as I ap-
prehend this is, thus to sit down in stillness,
in order to endeavor to feel after the operation
of his spirit in our hearts, and we believe
that this cannot be attained by our own
natural powers, but must be under the in-
fluence of the Good Spirit. We also be-
lieve that there is an evil spirit, which is al-
ways striving to lead us into wrong things:
that Spirit which leads us to hate and de-
story one another: and in this persuasion
of mind, we believe it necessary for us
to sit down in stillness and quiet, to
wait upon the Great Spirit. Under these
impressions we are concerned often to as-
semble ourselves together, that we may
individually come under an exercise and
concern, to be rightly directed inour re-
ogious movements; and once in the year
we assemble at certain places, in order to
have a general and full conference, to
know how things are amongst us as a
people. One of these meetings is held
at Philadelphia and another at Baltimore.
At our yearly meeting at Baltimore se-
veral years past, our minds were brought
under a concern on behalf of our bre-
thren the Indians; and remembering the
friendship that had subsisted between our
society and the Indians, from the first
settlement of our fathers upon this con-
tinent, and at the same time recollecting
that the country to the westward was
fast settling, apprehensions arose in our
mind, that as the game became scarce,
they would be brought under sufferings,
and as there had been long wars between
some of the white people and the Indi-
ans, we had not had, for a long time,
an opportunity of taking our brothers,
the Indians, by the hand. Now, bro-
thers, as we were thus led by the con-
cern that arose in our council, some of
us were appointed to go out into the
wilderness, and endeavor to get amongst
our brethren the Indians, that we might
have some talk with them; and amongst
those who were appointed, this my bro-
ther, who sits at my right hand, was
one: and I have thought that he per-
haps can give a more full account both
of the time, and of our first movements
at the concern.

The Friend alluded to then proceed-
ed:--

Brothers,
About six years ago, we believe the
Good Spirit put into our hearts, at our
great council held in this town, to endea-
vor to do something for the Indians; and
about four years ago, two others, besides
myself, went over the Great Mountains
westward, in order to see your situation,
and to know your disposition, whether you
would receive any thing from us or not.
We wished to go to Sandusky, expecting
to find the greatest number of Indians at
that place. We could not get a guide till
we got to the forks of Scioto, where we
agreed with one to take us to Isaac Zane’s.
--At that place we were informed that
a number of chiefs were at Detroit.—
We sent for some Wyandot chiefs who re-
sided about 25 miles from Isaac Zane’s,
and had a conference with them. We in-
formed them of the desire our society had
to do something for the Indians that would
be useful to them. From thence we went
to Upper SanduskyIsaac Zane piloted
us, and there also had a conference with
some of the Delaware chiefs. We want-
ed to know whether they would be wil-
ling to be instructed on their own lands
in a way to procure a sufficiency for them
to eat; to have a mill to grind their corn’
and have their children instructed to read
and write. They informed us that they
could not give us an answer at that time,
but would lay our proposals before their
council.

About three years ago we received a
speech and a belt of Wampum from a
council held at Detroit; the speech did
not contain an answer to the proposals
made to them, but an invitation to us to
attend their council.—[A short pause:]
The Little Turtle, chief of the Miamis,
said,

“Brother,
It is not usual for us to interrupt any
One in speaking, but I wish to enquire
from whom the speech you mention came."
The speech was then produced, and the
names to it read. –-Little Turtle, adds,

I see that our brothers, the Quakers,
are not so fully acquainted with the situ-
ation of the Indians as we wish. After
we have taken the great chief of the
white people by the hand, I hope he will
give you full information with respect to
us.
The friend who had been interrupted, then
proceeded: