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Archives & Manuscripts

Joint Committee on Indian Affairs of the Four Yearly Meetings of Genesee, Baltimore, New York and Philadelphia

 Collection
Identifier: SFHL-RG4-046
This collection contains papers relating to the joint committee of representatives, including correspondence chiefly concerning the ceding of Seneca lands in New York by treaty under questionable circumstances. Correspondents include Benjamin Ferris (1780-1867).

Dates

  • 1836-1850

Creator

Limitations on Accessing the Collection

Collection is open for research.

Copyright and Rights Information

Copyright has not been assigned to Friends Historical Library All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in to the Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf Friends Historical Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by reader.

Extent

0.5 Linear Feet (1 box)

Overview

The Indian Committees of New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Genesee (Hicksite) united in 1838 to protect the Seneca Indians from the Ogden Land Company which was trying to buy their land. This collection contains papers relating to the joint committee of representatives, including correspondence chiefly concerning the ceding of Seneca lands in New York by treaty under questionable circumstances. Correspondents include Benjamin Ferris (1780-1867).

Biographical / Historical

The Indian Committees of New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Genesee Yearly Meetings (Hicksite) united in 1838 to protect the Seneca Indians from the Ogden Land Company, which was trying to buy their land. The Joint Committee was convinced that the Indians had been bribed to sign the treaty agreeing to cede their New York lands. They gathered evidence and sent it to President Van Buren. However the Senate ratified the treaty by which the Senecas had agreed to sell their land, and the only recourse of the Friends was public opinion. They issued a great many pamphlets setting forth the facts of the case, including a book, The Case of the Seneca Indians, published in 1840.

In 1842 a conference was held between the Secretary of War, agents of the Ogden Land Company, and a delegation of Friends. As a result, the Ogden Co. agreed to a supplemental treaty giving the Senecas title to reservations at Cattaraugus and Allegheny. In 1846 a small party of Senecas emigrated west. They soon found themselves in need and appealed to their tribe in New York, who in turn appealed to the Friends. In 1848 Joseph Walton and his family went to Cattaraugus to continue the work of the Female Manual Labor School and to get the farm ready to turn over to the Indians. By 1849 the active work of the Friends with the Senecas ended, and the Joint Committee dissolved in 1850.

The Secretary of the committee was Benjamin Ferris of Philadelphia and the members in 1840 included Philip E. Thomas, William E. Bartlett, Jacob Lafetra and Phineas Janney of Baltimore, Griffith M. Cooper of Genesee, Abraham Bell, Thomas Carpenter, Samuel Smith and Dobel Baker of New York, and William Wharton, Joseph Warner, John H. Bunting and George M. Justice of Philadelphia.

Arrangement

The collection is organized into 10 series. The series are:
  1. Correspondence
  2. Annual Reports and Extracts from Minutes
  3. List of Indians
  4. Documents on Emigration Question
  5. Memorials of Joint Committee
  6. Memorials of Senecas
  7. Address from Committee to Seneca Chiefs
  8. Legislative Documents
  9. Poster
  10. Clippings
For current information on the location of materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Physical Location

For current information on the location of materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donor: Gift

Date: Before 1961

Related Materials

Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Hicksite : 1827-1955). Indian Committee (1837-1850) Records (RG 2)

New York Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Hicksite : 1828-1955). Indian Committee Records (RG 2)

Baltimore Yearly Meeting of Friends (Hicksite : 1828-1968). Committee on Indian Concerns Records (RG 2)
Title
An Inventory of the Joint Committee on Indian Affairs (Society of Friends : Hicksite) Records, 1836-1850
Author
FHL staff
Date
2000
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
English
Sponsor
Encoding made possible by a grant by the Gladys Kriebel Delmas Foundation to the Philadelphia Consortium of Special Collections Libraries

Revision Statements

  • 2016: This electronic finding aid was updated in Summer 2016 by Abdulrezak Kemal in preparation for importing into ArchivesSpace, to conform to current markup standards and the ArchivesSpace data model.

Find It at the Library

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