Main content

Native American speeches


Held at: Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections [Contact Us]370 Lancaster Ave, Haverford, PA 19041

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

The Indian Committee of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting began in 1795 and continues at the present time. Previous to this, Philadelphia area Friends had 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 and Indian War of the mid-1700s and was active as a formal organization from ca. 1755 to 1764 (Parrish "Friendly Association History").

Work of the Indian Committee included teaching Native Americans, monitoring legislation affecting Native Americans, and helping Native Americans 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," New York, where Friends established a boarding school adjacent to the Allegany Reservation in 1852. 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

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 nation, and refer to Cornplanter, a Seneca leader. 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.


Processed by Kara Flynn; completed February, 2016.

Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
Kara Flynn
Finding Aid Date
February, 2016
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

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

Collection Inventory

Speeches, Undated.
Box 31 Folder 1

Print, Suggest