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Native American speeches

Identifier: HC.MC-950-135

Scope and Content note

The majority of this collection is comprised of the handwritten copies of speeches made by Native American leaders, as well as a single letter addressed to "Friends residing among the Indians." Though the materials are undated, they likely date to the 1790s-1810s, and the majority of the speeches make mention of the Seneca tribe, and refer to the Seneca leader, Cornplanter. The speeches include both those given by Quakers to Native American audiences and those made by Native American leaders.

The letter to "Friends residing among the Indians," discusses the unsettled state of the "Indians" (likely the Seneca), as reported to the Society of Friends by missionaries John Pennock and Joseph Waln. The letter encourages Quaker missionaries to judge for themselves whether they should stay at the Native American settlements, or leave due to the current political climate.


  • Undated

Use Restrictions

Standard Federal Copyright Law Applies (U.S. Title 17).

Historical note

The Indian Committee of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting began in 1795 and continues at the present time. Previous to this, Philadelphia area Friends formed the Friendly Association for Regaining and Preserving Peace with the Indians by Pacific Measures. The "Friendly Association" grew out of the violence of the French-Indian War of the mid-1700s and was active as a formal organization from ca. 1755-1764 (Parrish "Friendly Association History").

Work of the Indian Committee included teaching Native Americans, monitoring legislation affecting Native Americans and helping them combat frauds and abuses. The Committee worked primarily with the Seneca on the Allegany and Cattaraugus Reservations in New York. Earliest work was with the Senecas lead by Cornplanter on both sides of the border in Pennsylvania and New York. Work was centered at "Tunesassa", N.Y. where Friends established a boarding school in 1852 adjacent to the Allegany Reservation. Friends Indian School operated as a boarding school for Native Americans until 1938. The completion of the Kinzua Dam (Allegheny Reservoir) led to the flooding of much of the Allegany Reservation and the evacuation of Seneca families. Philadelphia Friends were active in helping the Seneca fight the construction of the Kinzua.

Source: Finding Aid of the Records of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Indian Committee


1 folders





Related Materials

  • MC.975.01.072 Henry Simmons journals
  • MC.975.01.078 Joel Swayne diaries
  • MC.975.01.083 Joseph Walton diaries
  • MC.975.02.019 Henry Simmons letterbooks
  • MC.975.01.069 Joshua Sharpless diaries

Processing Information

Processed by Kara Flynn; completed February 2016.
Native American speeches, undated
Kara Flynn
February 2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Find It at the Library

Most of the materials in this catalog are not digitized and can only be accessed in person. Please see our website for more information about visiting Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections Library

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Haverford PA 19041 USA US