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Beyond Penn's Treaty

Minutes of the Committee on Indian Concern No 1

Page out of 174

We had a prospect of preceeding from the place to
visit the Onondagoes

, a Tribe resident about 35 miles
further west; this prospect however we relinquished on
learning that they were the most uncivilized of any of
the Six Nations, and lived in habitual intoxication;
and that they were generally at that time in a state
of drunkenness, having recently received their annuity from
the Government, which had induced white Traders to
carry Spirituous Liquors amongst them; but as there
were a few sober sensible men in the Tribe, we sent
an address to Capt John, one of their Cheifs expressive
of the nature of the Societys concern and our solicitude
for their welfare.

We had often to lament the strong
attachment of the Indians to Spirituous Liquors
which is the principal obstacle to their civilization
and agricultural improvement, and we consider it
of the utmost importance to prevent by every possible
means the introduction of this article amongst them.
And it is our decided opinion that it would tend
greatly to their advantage could they be prevailed
on to have farms allotted to each family, in order
that they may have some idea of separate property,
which would be likely to produce habits of industry,
and induce them more generally to till the ground for
their support.

The Yearly Meeting on being possessed