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Beyond Penn's Treaty

Committee on Indian Concerns Scrapbook

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fluence are deleterious in a high degree. There are some Shawnees

, however, who are exceptions
to this, who are moral and temperate; and are well off as to property: but there is a general rest-
lessness among them, owing to the above cause, and to their aversion to becoming subject to the
State laws, and hence a disposition to sell their lands, and remove to the southern border ofKansas ,
where they can again be more exclusively to themselves.

Another reason is, there are some district day schools organized, so that some who desire to do
so, can and do send their children to those schools; and thus they are able to give their children
some education without parting with them from their families. They are reputed to be indulgent,
and to be sensitive as to the treatment which their children must sometimes receive in the Boarding
Schools in order to subject them to the required discipline.

Another, and perhaps the greatest on their part, it the natural carelessness usually prevailing
in ignorant and uncivilized communities as to education itself. Few of them, therefore, take much
interest in the schools.

To the foregoing may be added, on our part, 1. A lack of sufficient funds to prosecute the
concern to the best advantage; 2. Overtaxing those we employ with more services than they are
able to perform to profit; 3. Too frequent changes in Superintendents and Teachers (for these
should be devoted persons of much Christian endurance and patience, who can remain in their posi-
tions for years together); and, 4. A want of that Missionary spirit and those Christian gifts
which are necessary to success, in the Superintendent, Teachers and others employed in the

If the foregoing views needed confirmation, examples in point are within observation. A large
establishment, munificently supplied with income, and every appurtenance (so far as it appears), which
could well be desired, as to buildings, etc.—enjoying the favor and patronage of the government

and of proportions sufficient to educate all the Shawnee children of the tribe, languishes, with a bare
existence as to a school, nearly to a failure, with very little usefulness, for the same reasons above
mentioned, and perhaps others in addition. While another establishment, which having not suffered
for want of sufficient means, but which has had one persevering and devoted Superintendent for 24
years, has in it more than 60 students of the tribe in which it is located, and is in prosperous and
profitable progress.

We give it as the judgment of the Committee, that the success of an Institution of this kind de-
pends, under Providence, upon the employment of well qualified Superintendents and Teachers, who
will remain with some degree of permanence, in the work, and give their hearts conscientiously to it;
and that such qualification and devotedness are indispensable.

It now appears probable, that the title, in fee-simple, to the land upon which our Institution is lo-
cated, will be obtained by treaty before very long, as the Shawnees

have given their consent, and
the present administration in our government, will probably favor it; if, however, this shall fail, the
premises may be obtained by purchase, under the treaty of 1854, if rightly attended to. But if this
shall not be the result, and if the premises pass out of our possession, we would favor employing the
proceeds of the value of the improvements to the purchase of other property in some suitable loca-
tion for a Boarding School for Indian children without distinction of tribe: for we believe that the
hearts of Friends are warm in this work of benevolence and labor of love, and that they will contri-
bute for its support and continuance, if they can be satisfied that their contributions and their labors
are efficient and profitable. But we believe the prospect of extensive benefit to the Shawnees exclu-
sively, is not sufficiently encouraging, for the future, to justify the labor, care and expenditure, which
are indispensible to such an establishment. Much good has been done to the Shawnees, as a tribe,
since our Society first commenced their labors with them—a fact which they freely, and many of
them gratefully acknowledge—but the state of things is now so changed, that a change in our course
of proceeding is called for.

We unhesitatingly believe, that a well conducted Indian Boarding School, for the benefit of the
half-civilized and wild tribes of the West, from whom we might wish to receive children to educate,
under the management of Christian officers of adequate ability and permanence as aforesaid, with an
ample appropriation of means, might and would be sufficiently patronized by; the Indians that its
success, under Providence, would be certain; and that its advantages to them would be inestimable.
Without the requisites above named, such an Institution would be a failure. A large proportion—
perhaps nearly all of the children sent to such an Institution would be orphans; but this would not
in the least militate against the work—on the contrary, it would be desirable, for such children re-
main with fewer interruptions of absence, and for a longer time in the Institution. And above all,
it should be the united effort, uppermost in the mind, that while we labor to instruct them in litera-
ture, agriculture, housewifery, moral discipline, and the arts of civilized life, their religious instruc-
tion in the principles, precepts, and doctrines of Christianity should be carefully attended to. We
would heartily commend the modification of the present, of the establishment of a new Institution
of the character here designated, to the solid and weighty consideration of the Yearly Meeting.
To accomplish anything valuable, requires a mind disposed to act, a willingness to be made useful under
Divine influence, in promoting the welfare and happiness of our fellow men, with our labor and
means, and with those abilities, which are given to us for a good end; and when these are guided
by prudence, discretion, and a prayerful spirit, leaning with an humble reliance for help, of the arm
of Divine Power and Goodness, there is every reason to believe that His favor and blessing will be
granted, when thus engaged under His sanction.

In the management of such an Institution, the Book Accounts of the establishment should be
kept full, clear and explicit, and if the Institution be under the care of a Committee, a clear quar-
terly statement of account-current should be laid before them; and no one should be entrusted with
the management of the finances and affairs of such a concern who is incapable of keeping such book
accounts accurately and explicitly, nor any one who does not manage his own affairs successfully
and economically.

We also think the Committee should hold their meetings frequently at the establishment; the
advantages of which are too obvious to require comment. And inasmuch as many valuable Friends
are now settled in Kansas

, with a prospect of more, we propose that the Committee which is now
standing be dissolved, either the present year or at no very distant date; and that a new one be
appointed, most of whom shall be residents of Kansas: and that they meet quarterly, and at the
premises of the school at least twice in the year. Also, that one or two Friends be appointed as
correspondents with the Committee for each Quarterly Meeting, and residing in the limits thereof,
and that they and the Committee hold an annual meeting together at Whitewater, at the time of the
Yearly Meeting, and make a united annual Report, showing the expenses for the year, and the gen-
eral finances in a condensed account-current, also the number of students, and a careful summary
of their progress and general condition.

In conclusion, we wish to say that, in the foregoing remarks and statements, there is no inten-
tion to cast reflection upon any one who is now, or who has heretofore been, connected with the
establishment; but to give candidly, as appears to be our duty, our views and convictions relative

WM. H. COFFIN. Eighth Month 12th, 1861.