Scope and Contents
The records of the Indian Committee include minutes, financial materials, correspondence, reports, journals, scrapbooks, papers, maps, lists, transcripts, miscellaneous projects, published items, film, video and other material. Major topics discussed in the records include Friends' 18th and 19th century visits to various First Nations peoples (Oneida people, Genesanguhta people, Stockbridge people, for example), the settlement at Tunesassa and later boarding school (Friends Indian School), the Ogden Land Company, Buffalo Treaty fraud of 1838 and resulting land problems, legislation impacting First Nations peoples, the "Salamanca mission" (Joseph Scattergood), the construction of Kinzua Dam and efforts to stop it, and the 1972 shooting by police of Leroy Shenandoah in Philadelphia.
Copyright and Rights Information
Copyright has not been assigned to the Repositories. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to the individual Meeting or its successor. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Repositories as the holder(s) of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by reader.
Biographical / Historical
The Indian Committee of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (PYM) 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 around 1755 to 1764.
Work of the Indian Committee included teaching Native American people and their children, monitoring legislation affecting First Nations, and helping them combat frauds and abuses. The Committee worked primarily with the Seneca Nation on the Allegany and Cattaraugus Reservations in New York. Earliest work was with Cornplanter on both sides of the border in Pennsylvania and New York. Work was centered at Quaker Bridge ("Tunesassa"), New York, where Friends established a boarding school in 1852 adjacent to the Allegany Reservation. Friends Indian School operated as a boarding school for Native American children 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 Nation fight the construction of the Kinzua Dam.