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Beyond Penn's Treaty

Committee on Indian Concerns Scrapbook

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Minutes of the Conference.

At a Conference of Representatives of Seven Yearly Meetings of the SOCIETY OF FRIENDS, held by appointment on the
20th of First month, 1869, to take into consideration Christian duty in the present condition of Indian affairs, the following
Friends were present:

On behalf of Ohio

, Indiana, Western, and Iowa Yearly Meetings
JOHN BUTLER, ENOCH HOAG. New England Yearly Meetings
GILBERT CONGDON. New York Yearly Meeting
BENJAMIN TATHAM was appointed Clerk.


and ENOGH HOAG informed the conference that they had received from senator POMEROY, of Kansas, a copy
of the Bill presented by him to the Senate, and that he desired it should be examined by the members of the conference for such
suggestions as may appear to them desirable. The Bill was accordingly read, and referred to a Committee of six for examination
and report.

The attention of the conference was called to the Report of the Joint Special Committee of Congress

and that of the Indian
Peace Commissioners and other documents relating to the condition and treatment of the Indians; and after discussing this subject,
it was decided to address a memorial to Congress to urge that sufficient provision be made to insure justice and protection to the
Indians, and for their civilization. A Committee of seven was accordingly appointed to draft an essay, and present it to a future
session. The conference then adjourned to 8 o’clock, P.M., at which time it met.

The Committee appointed to examine the bill of the Senator from Kansas

to create a department of Indian affairs, reported
that its provisions were generally approved, but that some parts of it appeared to require modification. The several clauses were
then read, and the Committee was requested to inform Senator POMEROY of our views in accordance with his request.

The Committee on the memorial presented an essay, which was read and referred back for amendment. The conference
then adjourned to half-past 9 o’clock on the 21st instant.

1st mo., 21st. Conference assembled. The Committee presented a draft of memorial to Congress

, which was read, and after
revision, adopted, and a committee was appointed to have 750 copies printed for presentation to Congress and for distribution in
our meetings.

It was then proposed, and after careful consideration, agreed, that an address to our fellow-citizens should be prepared,
setting forth the treatment and condition of the Indians, and our indibidual responsibility in reference to it, and to this service a
committee of six was appointed.

In order to allow time for members of the conference to proceed to Washington

, to urge upon members of Congress this sub-
ject of our concern, the convention adjourned to the evening of 7th day, 23rd, when it again convened. The Friends who had been
to Washington, reported that they were kindly received by several Members of Congress and others interested in the objects of our
meeting, and that arrangements had been made for an interview with the Committees of both houses of Congress on Indian affairs
in a joint meeting for that purpose; and also for a meeting with General GRANT, to take place on the 25th Instant.

The Committee on the public address presented an essay which, upon a subsequent meeting was agreed upon, and referred
for completion and publication in pamphlet form, and in the public press. It was agreed that 10,000 copies should be printed and
distributed as follows:--for Iowa, Indiana and Ohio, and New York yearly meetings, each 1500 copies; Western and Baltimore,
each 1,000 copies and New England 2,000 copies. It was also agreed that the publication in the public press should be left to Friends
in their respective neighborhoods.

On 2nd day, evening, the conference met pursuant to adjournment, and the following Report was submitted to be entered on
our minutes.

We met the Committees of the two houses of Congress

as previously arranged. Our memorial was read and the object of our
interview freely discussed. General HARNEY, who had recently arrived from the scene of his peaceful operations with the Great
Sioux Nation, numbering 28,000 individuals, was present, and fully confirmed the position assumed by the Indian Peace Commission-
ers, that it is easier, better, and cheaper to conquer the Indians by kindness and justice than by all the forces of unscrupulous war.

We then called upon General GRANT

, and were introduced by Senator WILSON, of Massachusetts. After stating the object of
our visit, to which he listened with respectful attention, he informed us that he was familiar with the past management of Indian
affairs, and sensible of the injustice to which they have been subjected,--and he expressed his views sufficiently at length to show
that he desired, so far as he could, to remedy the abuses of our Indian system.

We then called upon the Committee on Appropriations, and had a satisfactory interview with a prominent member of that
committee, who explained some of the difficulties which surround the subject. He assured us of the desire of Congress

to have the
money, to which the Indians were entitled, faithfully applied for the benefit; and he expressed the confident belief that it the
Society of Friends, or any other religious or benevolent association, in whom Congress could feel confidence, would establish mis-
sions amongst the Indians, and send competent and reliable persons to instruct and aid them in the arts of civilized life, Congress
would appropriate all the money necessary to that end.

Upon a review of the facts now reported, it is the judgment of the Conference that full information should be given to the
members of all our Yearly Meetings, so that any right concern to labor in the field which has thus opened before us, may be
encouraged and carried out. And it is our united belief that the remuneration of the agents and representatives of our Religious
Society should be defrayed by the society, and not diminish the Indians’ funds.

We feel that in assembling together our own weakness and inability to labor in the vineyard of our Lord, except as called and aided
by His Holy Spirit, we separate in mutual love, and desires that each of us shall faithfully attend to every duty that may open
before, and be laid upon us.

Signed, on behalf of the Conference,
BENJAMIN TATHAM, Clerk.BALTIMORE, 1st mo. 25, 1869.