Header img
Beyond Penn's Treaty

Committee on Indian Concerns Scrapbook

Page out of 220

unto. The question of the removing of the Indians to the far
west, is one of a very interesting nature. Located in the
middle of the organised states, they are thrown into continual
collisions with the surrounding inhabitants, and mutual animosities
are apt to exist between them. Petitions are raised by the whites
to have the Indians bought out Government

is solicited
by individuals and by the state legislaters, which is guided by the
people; State laws are extended over their country by a right
common to the State Governments, which it is believed the Gen.
Gov. is bound to maintain. Comm. are appt. to treat with
the Indians for purchase, &c. &c. till they must yeild.
All this is an instigation of the people, not a disposition
of the Gov. originally, until they are under necessity to notice the
subject from the people. The Gov. being bound in treaties
to the Indians for their protection, finds itself in difficulties
and hence the scheme for inducing the Indians to remove
out of the chatred limits of any state--with a promise
that their territoy beyond the Mississippi shall never more
be included in the bounds of any state, but secured to them
as an undisturbed possission. The map which thou
mentions in thy letter, and a copy of which I will send thee
herewith will show thee what progress the Gov. has made
in their western locations &c. &c. Thou wilt see that the
territory of the Shawanese is but a small one, compared with
the mighty west--indeed the tribe is small--say only
about 1200. On this small tribe the whole forces of
the philanthropy of Baltimore, Ohio, and Indiana Yearly
meetings is alone exercised, so far as it concerns Indians.
Just cast they eye over the map, and see the mighty field
for labour. We have in the heart of our state a tribe
of Miami Indians, about 2000 strong--with Friends near
there or several sides--towards there, it is my opinion that we
should extend some attention.

I answer thy inquiries. 1st In answer to this, I send thee a periodical called
Annual Registrar--a work of much information. 2nd The Tribes mostly have missionaries with them. 3rd Friends carry on their operation by permission of the Gov.
and perhaps it may be said with the co-operation of the Agent
to a certain extent. They certainly might carry on their operations with
the co-operation of the Gov

. 4. I believe not. 5. So far as our operations are extended, your money would be
very useful to us--but we apprehend that you could personally
render us very little assistance. 6. I think there are, several. The Miamis in particular. 7. A combined effort of the Yearly Meetings might be
productive of much more good, as it would add so much
strength to the concern--and put those who might be the
immediate agents of the work in so much more means
for extending their usefulness. The project of having a kind of general Agent, a
member of our society, might not be a bad one--but the contrary
one thing, however--we must suppose the Gov. has confidence
in it present Agents, therefore it might not be proper for us
to insinuate much distrust in them, or assume to oversee them,
but we should render ourselves odious, and have the opposition
of all. It would, I think be better to enter the field as
Assistants in the great work of Christianization, and then do
good as way might open.

In love thy friend,Elijah Coffin

Will send thee a copy of our Minutes, including Indian Report, as soon as printed.