Abbildungen der Seite

spirit of miate with oth one only bmit to autho

lfilt the oneuthority

of christian doctrine and christian purity,—that they will condemn the spirit of martyrdom while they honour martyrs, and will consent to associate with others, whom they nevertheless admit to be fellow-christians, on one only of two grounds; namely, that either they shall consent to submit to authority, or be silent on differences. Whereas, neither the one nor the other is consistent with scripture or needful to union. The onus of separation should ever be made to rest on those who cannot or will not unite. It is for christian-a truly christian charity to say “Come. If any will not listen to that sweet voice, by reason of the rigidity of their creeds or the fierceness of their spirits, they must be left to their folly and their solitude.

We now close the remarks which have been elicited by the volume before us; choosing rather to introduce our own views, than attempt the somewhat invidious task of pronouncing upon the comparative merits of others. The names of the various authors who have contributed to the work, and the subjects on which they have treated, are :

I. Introductory Essay, by Dr. Chalmers.-II. The Scripture Principles of Unity, by Dr. Balmer.—III. Christian Units in connexion with the propagation of the Gospel, by Dr. Candlish. -IV. Union among Christians viewed in relation to the present state of religious parties in England, by the Rev. J. A. James. -V. Union among Christians viewed in relation to the present state of religious parties in Scotland, by Dr. King.- VI. A Catholic Spirit; its consistency with Conscientiousness, by Dr. Wardlaw.–VII. A Sectarian Spirit ; its prevalence and insidiousness, by Dr. Struthers. — VIII. Unity of the Heavenly Church-Influence which the prospect of it should exercise, by Dr. A. Symington. We can scarcely refrain from expressing one wish, namely, that some of these essays had been shorter, and more condensed; this would have afforded the twofold advantage of collecting the sentiments of a larger class of writers of other denominations, and of giving a fairer propor. tion of English contributors. But, on the whole, we are well satisfied with the volume, and earnestly pray that its liberal purpose may be accomplished in producing greater union among the professed disciples of Christ..

Catholic Spirit ou parties in Scofwed in re

Dr. A. S Influence Struthers.n Spirit; icons


[ocr errors]

Art. IV. Some Account of the Conduct of the religious Society of Friends - towards the Indian Tribes in the Settlement of the Colonies of East and West Jersey and Pennsylvania: with a brief Narrative of their Labours for the Civilization and Christian Instruction of the Indians, from the time of their Settlement in America, to the year 1843. Published by the Aborigines' Committee of the Meeting for Sufferings. London: Marsh, 84, Hounsditch. 1844. THE object of this publication, as stated in the Introduction, is the hope that it may tend to promote the interest already felt by Friends in the truly laudable work of endeavouring to mitigate the evils which have arisen, and still continue to arise, to a large portion of the human family, by the immigration of European settlers among them. The Friends urge also, in this publication, the great advantages which would result from pursuing an upright, peaceable, and conciliatory course of conduct towards the native inhabitants of the Indian countries; and they entertain the hope of doing some good by exhibiting the gradual progress the Indian tribes have made, while under their care, from a state of wandering barbarism to one of a settled and civilized character, and in many instances to the full reception of Christianity. It appears that, from time to time, much information respecting these Aborigines has been communicated to the Yearly Meeting of the Friends in this country, and that which has been furnished recently respecting the engagements of the American Friends in labours of this philanthropic kind, is calculated to produce a more than ordinary degree of interest in this important subject. The field for benevolent enterprise is extensive, inasmuch as there is an Indian population of 325,000 under the jurisdiction of the United States, besides the large and numerous tribes scattered over the adjacent regions. Great, however, as is the number of Indians needing the christian care of Friends, but a comparatively small proportion even of those situated in the Union, have as yet been the participants of it. One great obstacle to the extension of christian instruction among them, and to the plans for ameliorating their condition, appears to be their removal westward from their native lands, occasioned by unjust and oppressive treaties on the part of the federal government. So extensive, indeed, have been these withdrawments, that the country east of the Mississippi, once the abode of a large native population, has not at the present time more than a few thousands of them dispersed over its wide extent; and fresh removals are still going on. To illustrate these points more fully, we are presented with two maps, one an aboriginal map of the country east of the Mississippi, exhibiting the territory occupied by the Indians previously to

the settlement of the English colonies in America; the other, a map of North America, showing the territory now occupied by the natives, and also denoting the boundaries of the several Yearly Meetings of the American Friends. The authors of this interesting publication next furnish us with a short description of the territory held by the several Indian nations east of the Mississippi before its colonization by Europeans, from which it appears, that about two centuries ago there existed in this part of North America eight languages of a decidedly distinct character, of which five at the present time constitute the speech of large communities, and three are known only as memorials of nearly extinct tribes. A detailed enumeration of the various aboriginal Indian nations would not probably be very interesting to the reader; we shall therefore pass on to the accounts given of the Lenelenoppes,or,as modern writers have it, LenniDenape, of which there were two divisions, the Minsi and the Delawares; they possessed East and West Jersey, the Valley of the Delaware, far up towards its sources, and the entire basin of the Schuylkill. These were the Indians who formed the main body of those with whom William Penn made his great and memorable treaty of 1682, at Shackamaxon, the spot where Kensington, in the suburbs of Philadelphia, now stands. The conclusion to which this section of the work arrives, after enumerating and describing the aboriginal tribes, is, that the whole number of them dwelling east of the Mississippi two hundred years ago, “is computed not to have exceeded one hundred and eighty thousand. Of these, the various tribes of the Algonquin family are reckoned at ninety thousand; the Eastern Sioux, less than three thousand; the Huron-Iroquois, including the Tuscaroras, about seventeen thousand; the Catabaws, three thousand; the Uchees, one thousand; the Natchez, four thousand; the Cherokees, twelve thousand; and the Mobilian tribes, fifty thousand. The Cherokee and Mobilian families, it appears, are now more numerous than they were ever known to be.’ At the commencement of this work, some allusion is made to the rise and settlement of the Friends in the North American continent. And the earliest account there is of them, is that which records the cruel sufferings endured by some Friends at Boston in New England, in the year 1656, for conscience' sake. Many of them were sufferers for their testimony against bearing arms, as early as 1658; and, in 1659, George Fox is found addressing epistles to the Friends of New England, Maryland, and Virginia. It is evident from a statement of John Burnyeat, that the Yearly Meeting for New England existed prior to 1671; and it appears also, that meetings for discipline were generally settled previous to 1672, though it is doubtful if any such meetings existed in Virginia anterior to that date. With regard to the Carolinas at this period, there were but few settlers in them as colonists; and so slowly did the tide of emigration flow towards this part, that in 1688 it is stated, there were not more than eight thousand settlers in the Carolinas and Georgia. Bancroft, the historian of the United States, says, in reference to the early state of this colony, 'there seems not to have been a minister in the land ; there was no public worship but such as burst from the hearts of the people themselves, and when at last William Edmondson came to visit his quaker brethren among the groves of Albemarle, he met with a tender people, delivered his doctrine in the authority of truth, and made converts to the Society of Friends. A Quarterly Meeting of Discipline was established, and this sect was the first to organize a religious government in Carolina.'

About the year 1675, the territory of West Jersey came by purchase into the hands of John Fenwicke, in trust for Edward Byllinge, both Friends, between whom a dispute having arisen, and being at last composed by the assistance of William Penn, the latter became, from this circumstance, one of the chief instruments in settling the colony of West Jersey. In adverting to this event the editors thus proceed :

• Although the land thus purchased gave Friends a legal right to the soil, in the commonly understood sense of that term, it nevertheless did not, in their estimation, fully entitle them to it, without a further purchase was made from its aboriginal inhabitants, whom they regarded as the alone rightful proprietors of the land. Recognising, then, this principle, we find William Penn and his colleagues in their instructions for the government of the province in 1676, recommending that the commissioners should immediately agree with the Indians for lands!' The first treaty of this kind with the Indians took place in the succeeding year, when the second ship arrived at the colony, bringing about two hundred and thirty persons ; most of whom were Friends from Yorkshire and London, who landed about Rackoon Creek, on the Delaware ; soon after which eight persons, commissioned for the purpose, proceeded further up the river, to the place where Burlington now stands, and treated with the Indians, and entered on the regulation of their settlements, and made several purchases of land from them, but not having, at the time of the negotiation, goods sufficient to pay for all they bought, a further agreement was made with them, not to settle in any part until it was paid for. The number of Friends who emigrated to West Jersey, during the years 1676, 1677, and 1678, is stated to be about eight hundred, and those mostly persons of property. Clarkson, in his Life of William Penn, says, that up to the year 1681, he had sent to it about fourteen hundred people.”

These early settlers in this province coming, as they did, to a country for the most part in an uncultivated state, underwent many hardships before they could bring the land into a state sufficiently productive for their support; and many of them arriving in the latter end of the year, they had only time to erect a kind of wigwam for their accommodation during the approaching winter. In this needful time the untutored Indians proved themselves real benefactors to Friends, and evidenced that their hearts were imbued with generous and humane feelings, by liberally supplying these new occupants of their native lands, in a time of difficulty and distress, with corn and venison, which was their principal food, and by freely bringing Indian corn, peas, beans, fish, and fowl for sale.

We are next favoured with a description of the purchase and peopling of East Jersey. Nearly all the proprietors by this purchase were members of the Society of Friends. Among the proprietaries,' says Oldmixon, in alluding to this purchase, are several extraordinary persons, besides Lord Perth, as Robert West, Esq, the lawyer, William Penn, the head of the Quakers in England, and Robert Barclay, the head of the Quakers in Scotland and Ireland ; and, at the same time, John Archdale, the Quaker, who was chosen member of parliament for Wycombe, was a proprietary of Carolina.'*

After a cursory glance at the early settlement of the Friends in North America, the authors proceed to notice the course they pursued towards the Indians of whom, by their removal to this land, they were now so near neighbours.

We have already seen,' say they, by the treaty which Friends had with the Indians for the purchase of lands in West Jersey, in 1677, that a principle prevailed to recognise in them the undisputed right and disposal of the soil, which from time immemorial they bad occupied; and that already there had grown up a feeling of trust and confidence in each other, and that a disposition to render kindly services, existed to no inconsiderable extent between them. This excellent understanding and good feeling, being on the part of the Indians in West Jersey, mainly brought about by the treaties wbich led them into more intimate intercourse with Friends, than otherwise, in all probability, would have been the case at this date; it is not reasonable to suppose that the same feeling, to such an extent at least, should prevail with the Indians in other provinces, who

* It is generally supposed that Messrs. Pease and Bright were the first Friends returned, and that through the effect of the Reform Bill, as members of Parliament. Such, however, is not the case. We find,' say the editors of this work, 'on referring to the proceedings of the House of Commons, that John Archdale was voluntarily returned as a member of Parliament for the borough of Chipping Wycombe, or High Wycombe, in 1698. He was not, however, allowed to sit, because he objected to take the oaths then imposed, to qualify for a seat in the house.'

« ZurückWeiter »