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Associated Executive Committee of Friends on Indian Affairs

 Collection
Identifier: HC.MC-1003

Scope and Contents

The Associated Executive Committee of Friends on Indian Affairs originated in 1869 in answer to President Grant's Peace Policy, officially giving management of the Native Americans in the Central Superintendency (Kansas and the "Indian Territory") to the Orthodox branch of the Society of Friends. These are primarily letters, reports and some miscellaneous manuscripts chiefly addressed to the chairman of the committee, Edward M. Wistar; articles, plans, maps and statistics related to the committee's work. Most of the material deals with the work of Friends in running mission stations in Oklahoma among the Iowa, Modoc, Kickapoo, Oto, Shawnee, Osage and other Native Americans.
Scope and Contents Letters, reports, articles, plans, maps, statistics, minutes, invoices, receipts, accounts and misc. material related to Friends and Native Americans.

Bulk of the collection consists of records (1876-1929) of the Associated Executive Committee of Friends on Indian Affairs. These are primarily letters, reports and some misc. mss., chiefly addressed to the chairman of the committee, Edward M. Wistar; articles, plans, maps and statistics related to the committee's work; also biographical material on Thomas Wistar. Most of the material deals with the work of Friends in running mission stations in Oklahoma among the Iowa, Modoc, Kickapoo, Oto, Shawnee, Osage and other tribes. Letters from superintendents and missionaries in the field describe the difficulties and experiences of Friends in their work. There are also letters from the U.S. Commissioner of Indian Affairs and organizations concerned with the welfare of Native Americans (Home Missions Council, Indian Rights Association, Y.M.C.A.); also letters from Kansas Yearly Meeting and Five Years Meeting. Topics discussed include attempts to Christianize the Indians, improve living conditions, Indian education, Chilocco Indian School, use of peyote and alcohol, disease, Native American dances, conflicts with other religious denominations (in particular, Baptists), difficulties in finding suitable missionaries, protection of Native Americans from schemes and abuses (in particular, Martin J. Bentley's attempts to defraud the Kickapoos). Correspondents include Samuel M. Brosius, Clark Brown, George N. Hartley, William P. Haworth, Allen Jay, William A. Jones, Rayner W. Kelsey, Rachel Kirk, Francis E. Leupp, John Nicholson, Walter Smedley, Matthew K. Sniffen, Jonathan M. Steere, Elizabeth Test, Robert G. Valentine, Herbert Welsh, Carolena M. Wood and others.

Also includes 2 folders (1758-1807) of letters, minutes, invoices, receipts, accounts and misc. papers dealing with Friends' earlier relations with Native Americans. Includes minutes and letters (1758-1759) of the Friendly Association for Regaining and Preserving Peace with the Indians by Pacific Measures related to Israel Pemberton's purchase of goods to accompany General Forbes; letters, accounts and misc. mss. (1791-1807) related to Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Indian Committee's work with Native Americans at New Stockbridge and Oneida; accounts of money received from Friends for the Native Americans (1796-1797); letters and mss. related to education of Native American children in homes of Friends (1796-1797); letters to Delaware Nation, Cornplanter and other Seneca chiefs, Wyandot Natives and others; minutes of a meeting of the "Committee for the gradual civilization of the Indian natives" (1804).

Dates

  • 1758-1929

Creator

Limitations on Accessing the Collection

This collection is open for research use.

Copyright and Rights Information

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).

Biographical / Historical

The Associated Executive Committee of Friends on Indian Affairs originated in 1869 in answer to President Grant's Peace Policy, officially giving management of the Indians in the Central Superintendency (Kansas and the "Indian Territory") to the Orthodox branch of the Society of Friends. The election of President Hayes ended the essentially friendly relationship between the Quakers and the administration as it became evident that some officials distrusted the work and integrity of Friends. As a result, Friends withdrew from government sponsored work in 1879 and directed their efforts towards missionary work and the establishment of Meetings among the Native Americans. Edward M. Wistar was chairman of the Committee from 1895-1919.

Extent

8 boxes (2,400 items)

Language

English

Overview

Records deal with the work of Friends in running mission stations in Oklahoma among the Iowa, Modoc, Kickapoo, Oto, Shawnee, Osage and other Native Americans. Letters from superintendents and missionaries in the field describe the difficulties and experiences of Friends in their work. Topics discussed include attempts to Christianize the Native Americans, improve living conditions, Native American education, use of peyote and alcohol, disease, Native American dances, conflicts with other religious denominations, protection of Native Americans from schemes and abuses.

Arrangement

Letters in boxes 2-7 are arranged chronologically, a list of correspondents is given for each folder (names have been listed alphabetically). Almost all of the letters are addressed to Edward M. Wistar, the few letters that are not are listed separately at the end of each folder description. A list of topics discussed in the letters is included as an aid to research, this list is not exhaustive and is intended as a guide to what may be found in each folder.

Box 1 - Misc. printed material; Letters, invoices, etc., 1758-1807; Thos. Wistar bio.; Plans, maps, statistics, etc., 1894-1916 Box 2 - Letters, 1892-1899 Box 3 - Letters, 1900-1904 Box 4 - Letters, 1905-1907 Box 5 - Letters, 1908-1910 Box 6 - Letters, 1911-1913 Box 7 - Letters, 1914-1927 Box 8 - Reports, 1894-1929

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Presented by Edward M. Wistar, 1930

Related Materials

Additional material may be found in the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Indian Committee records (coll. no. 1250/AA); Jonathan Richards Papers, 1870-1881 (coll. no. 964); Enoch Hoag Letterbooks, 1870-1878 (coll. no. 1104); and Enoch Hoag Indian Papers, 1865-1883 (coll. no. 1034).

Processing Information

Original processing information unknown.
Title
Associated Executive Committee of Friends on Indian Affairs
Status
Completed
Author
Diane Rofini and Diana Franzusoff Peterson
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English

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