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Beyond Penn's Treaty

New York Yearly Meeting minutes [Indian reports extracted]

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New York

The Committee on the concern of this Meeting relative to the Indian
Natives, more particularly those situated on the Frontiers of this State
now made the following Report vizs.

To the Yearly Meeting -

The Committee appointed on the
concern of the Yearly Meeting relative to the Indians, have had divers
opportunities of conference thereon during the course of last year, and
given such attention to the subject as way open'd - Three of the Committee
appointed to visit that People report - They spent about aWeek among
the Brothertown

, Stockbridge, and Oneida Tribes, and inform, That
altho in some respects things among them look discouraging, their
easy access to spirituous Liquors, from the Whites settled around them,
induces too many to the excessive use thereof, which joined to their
common habit of Indolence, greatly obstructs the cultivation of their
Land, and improvement in other respects; yet they found in each
Nation those that were sober and industrious, and making agreeable
improvements - That notwithstanding the many difficulties and
discouragements, they labour under, the Committee thought they were
making advancement in Agriculture; and that there were among
them, who are not only sober and industrious, but religiously disposed,
particularly among the Females, and visits from friends appeared to
be very acceptable, and particularly so to this Class, and that on the
whole they believe, a continuation of care suitably extended towards
that People, may probably be attended with salutary effects.

A communication in Writing from the Brothertown

, sign'd by a number of both Sexes, and addressed to this Committee
hath been received, and we apprehend it proper to subjoin a copy of
it to this Report, That the Yearly Meeting may have it read should
friends incline to it.

Being impressed with a desire to aid
and encourage our brethern the Indians to pursue those Things
which will be promotive of their present & future welfare - the
committee thought it right to communicate with several of the
Tribes through the medium of Epistles, which being prepared,
were accordingly transmitted to the Brothertown

, Stockbridge, &
Oneida Nations - And altho we still feel the concer to be interesting,
yet it must be acknowledged, the work of Civilization is a gradual
one, and that a considerable time necessarily must elapse in much