Item of the Day: Friends and Indian Natives (1805)

Full Title:

Brief Account of the Proceedings of the Committee, Appointed by the Yearly Meeting of Friends, Held in Baltimore, for Promoting the Improvement and Civilization of the Indian Natives.

Created after the Baltimore Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends. Printed in Baltimore by Cole & Hewes, 1805.

From pp. 9-12:

In the Second Month, 1799, the committee received a speech, and belt of Wampum, from Tarhie, the principal chief of the Wyandot nation, delivered at Detroit, in the Ninth Month preceding; of which the following is an extract:

Brethren Quakers,
“You remember that we once met at a certain place. When we had there met, a great many good things were said, and much friendship was professed between us.

“Brothers,
“You told us at that time, that you not only took us by the hand; but that you held us fast by the arm: that you then formed a chain of friendship. You said, that it was not a chain of iron; but that it was a chain of precious metal, a chain of silver, that would never get rusty; and that this chain, would bind us in brotherly affection forever.

“Brethren, listen:
“We have often heard that you were a good and a faithful people, ever ready to do justice, and good to all men, without distinction of colour; therefore we love you the more sincerely, because of the goodness of your hearts, which has been talked of amongst our nations, long since.

“Brethren, listen:
“You have informed us, that you intend to visit us; yes, that even in our tents and cabbins, you will take us by the hand. You, brethren, cannot admit a doubt; but that we would be very happy to see you.

“Brethren, listen:
“It is proper to inform you at this time, that when you do come forward to see us, you will, no doubt, pass by me place of residence at San Dusky. I will then take you, not only by the hand, but by the arm, and will conduct you safely to the grand council fire of our great SASTERETSEY, where all good things are transacted, and where nothing bad is permitted to appear. When in the grand council of our Sasteretsey, we will then sit down together, in peace and friendship, as brethren are accustomed to do, after a long absence; and remind each other, and talk of those things that were done between our GOOD GRAND-FATHERS, when they first met upon our lands—upon this great island!

“Brethren,
“May the Great Spirit, the master of light and life, so dispose the hearts and minds of all our nations and people, that the calamities of war may never more be felt, or known by any of then! that our roads and paths may never more be stained with the blood of our young warriors! and that our helpless women and children may live in peace and happines.”

After a consideration, of the foregoing communication, from the Wyandot Nation of Indians, the committee concluded to appoint a few Friends to make them a visit, agreeably to their request. These were directed to cultivate a friendly correspondence with them, and afford them such assistance as they might be enable to render. They accordingly proceeded in the visit, with an intention of being at their General Council; and after passing through several of their towns, arrived on the third of the sixth month at upper San Dusky, the principal village of the Wiandots, where they were received in a friendly manner, by Tarhie, (the Crane) and others of that Nation.

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Filed under 1800's, American Indians, Posted by Carrie Shanafelt, Religion

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