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Beyond Penn's Treaty

Baltimore Yearly Meeting Indian Committee Minutes

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Proceedings of a committee appointed by the
yearly meeting of the respectable society of
Friends, with the Indian chiefs—conclud-
ed from yesterday’s Gazette.


One of the society of Friends opened the
conference as follows:

Brothers and Friends,
WHEN the talk which we had last
evening at this place ended, I believe it
was generally understood that the subject-
matter which had been spoken to was sa-
tisfactory; but on considering further,
some of us though that there were some
things of considerable importance, which
had not been spoken upon—and thought
that it would be right to have another op-
portunity. We are accordingly again
assembled—and seeing that it has been
the will of the Great Spirit and Father of
us all, to permit us thus to come together
again, it is my desire that any thing we
may feel in our hearts that may be likely to
have a tendency to promote the good of
our red brethren, may be freely spoken.

Another Friend next addressed them as

Friends and Brothers,
I may tell you, I have been made glad,
that I have an opportunity of sitting once
more with you; and as I have found that
the more I am with you, the more the
love I have felt for you has increased, and
the stronger has been my desire for your
welfare, and that this love has taken away
all fear of giving offence; I feel myself
authorized, I think, as a brother, to use
freedom of speech with you, and in the
freedom which I feel, under the influence
of that love which I trust has been impress-
ed upon my heart by the great and good
Spirit, who as he has made us all of one
blood so he requires of us that we should
ove one another. I may tell you brothers,
that, when I was in the Indian country,
I had frequent opportunities of observing
the pernicious consequences of the use of
spirituous liquors, with which the Indians
were furnished by the traders, and as I
have reason to believe, that you who are
now present are wise men, men who have
eyes in your heads, and are able to see
things as they really are, I have felt a de-
sire in my heart to know your opinions,
and what is your judgment concerning
this thing—the using spiritous liquors
to excess. Believing brothers, that if
you have seen things in the same light in
which I have seen them, that you would
be desirous that a stop might be put to the
evils that arise from the use of so destruct-
tive a liquor, I may tell you, brothers,
who are now present, as well as the In-
dians in general, that I have believed there
is not any thing that stands more in your
way to improvement than this; the too
frequent use of spiritous liquors: and I
have thought that if you are of the same
mind with us who are your Friends, and
have your good at heart, that it would be
right for us to take the subject into our
serious consideration, to endeavor to dis-
cover, whether there may not be some steps
taken, that would put a check upon this
pernicious thing.

Now, brothers, as a hint of this sort was
omitted when we were together last even-
ing, some of us did not find our minds easy:
we thought it ought to have come under
consideration, hoping that you who, as I
have already said, have eyes in your heads,
and can see for yourselves, have had this
subject under your consideration. We now
hope brothers that you will express your-
selves freely to us on this subject, and let
us know how it has appeared to you.
After which, way perhaps will open for
some further observations from us.

After a short pause the Little Turtle

his seat expresses, I will now make some
reply, if none of my brothers have further to say.

He was desired to proceed—when rising on
his feet he said,

My Brothers and Friends,
I am happy to find that it has pleased
the Great Spirit, that we should again this
evening meet in the same house in which
we held our council yesterday. I am hap-
py to find that it is the will of the Great
and Good Spirit, that we should discover,
there was something yesterday not menti-
oned, that was highly necessary for the
welfare of your red brethren.

Friends and Brothers,
I am glad to find that it has pleased the
Great Spirit to put a wish in your hearts
to know our opinions on the subject you
have mentioned; a subject of the greatest
moment to us. What you have said re-
lative to our being one flesh and one blood
is true. Your brothers the Indians believe
that it is in this light the Great Spirit con-
siders all mankind.

Brothers and Friends,
My brother chiefs that are now present,
with myself, are happy to find, that you
have a good opinion of us. You say, that
you apprehend we have eyes in our heads,
and can clearly see for ourselves those
things that are injurious to us; this, my
friends and brothers, is the case; we clear-
ly see these things: my brother chiefs that
are now present with me, as well as myself,
have long seen them; we have long lament-
ed these great evils that have raged in our
country, and that have done your red
brethren so much harm; we have applied
for redress, and endeavored to have them
removed from amongst us.

When our forefathers met first on this
Island, your red brethren then were numer-
ous; but since the introduction amongst
us of what you call spirituous liquors, and
what we think may justly be called poison,
our numbers are greatly diminished: It
has destroyed a great part of our red bre-

My Brothers and Friends,
I am glad to hear you observe, that free-
dom of speech ought always to be made
use of amongst brothers; this, brothers,
really ought to be the case. I will now,
therefore, take the liberty to mention, that
most of the exciting evils amongst your red
brethren, have been caught from the white
people; not only that liquor that destroys
us daily, but many diseases that our fore-
fathers were ignorant of before they say

My Brothers and Friends,
I am glad, with my brother chiefs, that
are now present, to find that you are rea-
dy to assist us in every thing that will add
to our good: we hope that the Great
Spirit will aid you in all your good under-
takings with respect to us. We plainly
perceive, brothers, that you see that very
evil that destroys your red brethren. It
is not an evil, brothers, of our own making;
we have not placed it amongst us by the white
people; we look up to them to remove it
out of our country: If they have that
friendship for us which they tell us they
have, they certainly will not let it conti-
nue amongst us any longer. Our repeat-
ed entreaties to those who bring this evil
amongst us, we find, has not the desired
effect. We tell them—Brothers, fetch us
useful things; bring goods that will clothe
us, our women and our children, and not
this evil liquor that destroys our reason—
that destroys our health—that destroys
our lives: But all we can say on the sub-
ject is of no service, nor gives relief to
your red brethren.

My Brothers and Friends,
I am glad that you have seen into this
business as we do—I rejoice to find that
you agree in opinion with us, and express
an anxiety to be, if possible, of service to
us, to remove this great evil out of our
country—an evil that has had so much
room in it—that has destroyed so many
of our lives that it causes our young men
to say, We had better be at war with
the white people: this liquor that they in-
troduce into our country is more to be
feared than the gun and the tomahawk:
there are more of us dead since the treaty