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Bethel Indian Town

The New Jersey Association for helping the Indians
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Archaeological Pitfalls at Bethel
Historical Proof of Bethel's Location
National Register Nomination
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David Brainerd's Early Work
From Crosswicks to Bethel
Bethel's Role in the French & Indian War
Bethel in 1752
Documents from the Friends Indian Committee
The New Jersey Association for helping the Indians
Crosswicks Treaty of 1756 & Native Men in Military Service
From Bethel to Brotherton
The Search for Bethel
William Tennent & the Move to Brotherton
Proof of Wigwam Brook's Headwaters
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Friends (Quakers) Action in Response to the Friends Indian Committee - A Reaction to the Domestic Needs of the Delaware & the Violence of the French & Indian War

The New Jersey Association for helping the Indians

 


Isaiah. Chap: LVIII.6.7.9.  Is not this the Fast that I have chosen? – To deal thy Bread to the hungry and that thou bring the Poor that are cast out to thy House?  When thou seeist the naked that thou cover him. – Then shall thou call and the Lord shall answer, thou shall cry, and he shall say, here I am:

 

It being a truth Fresh in the Memory of several yet living, as well as repeatedly evidenced by the concurrent Testimony of the first Setlers in General, that the native Indians of New Jersey were remarkably kind to them, not only in suffering them to sit down and improve their Possessions quietly for which they had a Consideration; but voluntarily administring to their frequent necessities at certain times when they could expect no reward, and when without their assistance some of the first Setlers must have suffered exceedingly; and this too at a time when there were many hundreds of them to one White and had they been disposed to have crushed the growing Settlement, according to the natural appearance of things nothing would have been easier:  But so far were they from any thoughts of that kind that they promoted their welfare in almost every Instance where it lay in their power, cherished them through many distressing intervals and greatly contributed under Providence to render an otherwise inhospitable Wilderness even pleasant to the European strangers.  Considering therefore the Scattered Situation of their Posterity and the real wretchedness in which many of them are involved chiefly through their own bad conduct, but in part perhaps for want of a proper residence where they might live comfortably together, and by hunting and fishing and what they could raise out of the Earth support themselves in a more convenient and reputable manner than they have hitherto done.  This if not in a general way might in some Instances have the desired effect; But if this should not be the case Gratitude to the natural and original Proprietors of the Soil whereon we reside who treated our Predecessors with such a distinguished regard and to whose Justice and Indulgence then many Families (under Providence) have reason to acknowledge their well being now, seems to demand some lasting Testimonial of our respect to their Posterity, and that not only for the Treatment of our Ancestors then met with, but for the prudential reasons for engaging them by some Public Act of Christian benevolence to continue unshaken in their friendship to the English:   To keep them out of the way of danger, or of being seduced by rambling abroad, and to exhibit to other Nations of Indians a standing Memento of Justice & kindness, which it may be reasonably expected will have a strong and lasting influence on their Councils and Conduct to the advantage of us & ours, and our Neighbours in general for many years to come:  At a time therefore when our Brethren of Pennsylvania animated by the like Charitable motives are shewing their regard by large Donations in favour of the Indians of that Province.  For the Reasons above and others of considerable Importance.  We the Subscribers do mutually agree upon the Following Articles.

 

Article Ith:

 

That a Tract of about 2000 acres of the best land that can be got nigh or adjoining the Barrens in the Counties of Monmouth Burlington or Gloucester in New Jersey be purchased as soon as conveniently may be after the Subscriptions are Completed.

 

Article II d:

 

All the Native Indians of New Jersey who have not Freeholds already, with their Wives or Husbands, or Children where any such have or shall happen to Marry or be Born out of the Province, shall be entitled to settle and live on the said Land without paying any Rent, they and their Posterity Forever.  An no Indian whatever shall be entitled to a Settlement on the said Land excepting such as were Born in New Jersey or Children to such or such that have or shall Marry as aforesaid:  and to prevent as much as possible an Communication of Foreign Indians with the Indians residing of the said Land the Managers are to take all opportunities prudently to discourage such an intercourse, and at all times Absolutely prevent the settlement of any Foreigners among them.

 

Article IIId:

 

Imediately after it shall appear that a Sufficient Sum of Money as Subscribed the Subscribers in general, or in case of Death, their Representatives, shall all of them have notice of a time prefixed to meet at Burlington for the First time, then to choose Six Managers and a Treasurer, (who and their successors are to serve without Fee or reward) and to pay in their respective Subscriptions to the said Treasurer and such of the Subscribers as do not think proper then to meet for the purpose aforesaid do hereby engage them to send their Subscription money.

 

Article IVd:

 

The Managers then and there to be Chosen shall as soon afterwards as they can make the Purchase of the Lands agreeable to the true intent and meaning of these Articles; conforming themselves as near as may be to the advice and directions of the Subscribers present and orders drawn on the Treasurer and signed by the said Managers or any three of them either for the said purchase money or any other Sum or Sums that may be wanted to perfect this Scheme shall be deemed sufficient Authority for the Treasurer for the time being to pay said Order.

 

Article Vth:

 

The Subscribers or so many of them as think proper after the first Choice of Managers as aforesaid shall Añually meet at the City of Burlington on the third Second day in the day in the Month called October at the great Meeting House at the Hour of twelve to choose Six Managers and a Treasurer and the said Managers when chosen shall have the oversight of the Indians inhabiting the said Land, to order them their respective Settlements, To adjust all disputes that may happen among them, and in general to manage for the Subscribers as they were all personally present as they the said Managers or so many of them as shall be together for that purpose may in their discretion think fit:  And if any of the said Managers shall Die, neglect or refuse to serve, then it shall be in the Power of the other Managers to choose others to supply his or their places ’till the day of the Annual Election Yearly and every Year as aforesaid:  And in like manner in case of the death neglect or refusal of the Treasurer the Managers for time being shall choose another.

 

Article VIth:

 

The Election of the Managers and Treasurer shall be good and effectual if made at any time on the day aforesaid of any Year hereafter at or after the hour of Twelve and at the place aforesaid by plurality of Voices of the Subscribers present, and in case no Subscribers appear to choose on the said day in any year hereafter; then the Managers & Treasurer for the time being are to Continue from year to Year untill the Subscribers shall think proper to meet at the place and time aforesaid to make a new choice.  And it shall be forever understood that from and after the first Election the Treasurer for the time being (or in case of illness or Absence some person constituted by writeing under his had) shall preside and take the Votes of all the subscribers appearing at all future Elections and the said Treasurer shall keep an Account of the Managers chosen from time to time, and also Record such of the Minutes kept by the Managers as may be necessary to be preserved when so ever they may furnish him with any such for that purpose.

 

Article VIIth:

 

The Deed for the Land shall be taken in the name of the Managers and the Fee remain in them and their Successors in Trust for all the Subscribers and their Representatives.  And the said Managers shall at the time the Deed is made to them execute a proper Declaration of Trust (in which these Articles shall be inserted) in favour of the Subscribers to be lodged with the Treasurer who is hereby directed to get both the said Deeds recorded in the Secretarys Office at Burlington.

 

Article VIIIth:

 

If more money should be subscribed than is wanted to pay for the Purchase of the Land the Managers shall dispose of it as they in their discretion shall think best for the benefit of the Indians residing on the said Land either in Erecting suitable Buildings or Assisting them in Fencing their Ground, furnishing them with Stock or Utensils of Husbandry, or otherwise by providing a School or Schools among them if the over plus Money should arise to a Sum sufficient to yield an annual Income for that purpose.

 

Article IXth:

 

The Treasurer to be Chosen as aforesaid shall have the care and keeping of these Articles, together with the Subscribers names thereto; And as a further security to prevent the risqué of their being lost, and that the Subscribers may have a ready recourse to them upon any occasion the Managers shall furnish the Clerk’s of the respective Quarterly Meetings of Burlington Gloucester and Salem and Shrewsberry and Woodbridge with a Copy certified by them to be a true one of each of the Articles with the Subscribers Names thereto within the Compass of each Quarter to be Recorded in the said respective Quarters:  And it is hereby agreed and declared that such Record in case of the loss of the Original by any Accident shall be deemed equally Authentich and Obligatory upon us and our Representatives.  The said Treasurer shall also keep a fair Record of the names of all the Indians allowed to recide on the said Land which the Managers are from Time to Time to furnish him with.

 

Article Xth:

 

As none of the Inhabitants of this Province but such as are of the people called Quakers are solicited to subscribe, so to prevent that confusion hereafter which difference of sentiments might possibly occasion.  It is hereby mutually agreed and declared that if any of us the Subscribers shall at any time be disowned by the Monthly Meetings of the said People to which we may or do respectively belong:  He she or they so disowned shall (while under that circumstance) thereby forfeit his her or their Right in the said Land and every part of this Scheme.  And no Executor Administrator heir at Law or Assignee of any Subscriber who is not on Unity with the said People called Quakers and owned as such by some one of their Monthly Meetings, shall have any Estate Right Title Inheritance Claim or Demand whatsoever on the said Land or any thing to do with this Scheme in the Whole or in part but by the express Act and Consent of the Subscribers Individually; every such Executor Administrator Heir at Law and Assignee as by these presents absolutely and forever excluded.  It is also hereby further agreed and declared that no person whatever who is not of the Society of the People called Quakers as aforesaid shall ever be capable of being chosen as a Manager or Treasurer.  And if it should so happen that any of the Managers or Treasurer being of the people called Quakers when chosen should afterwards be disowned as aforesaid, his Place shall imediately thereupon become Void, and another who is in Unity as aforesaid shall be forthwith chosen in his room.  But if not withstanding the several restrictions of this Article agreed upon for the sake of preserving Harmony and Concord, any well disposed persons of other Persuasions after considering the Scheme should incline to Subscribe thereto their Donations will be kindly Accepted.

 

Lastly.  In Testimony of our Agreement to the Ten foregoing Articles and to encourage the good work aforesaid We the Subscribers each for ourselves our Heirs Executors and Administrators do hereby promise to Pay the several Sums affixed to our Names to the Treasurer to be Chosen as aforesaid or his Order on demand.  As witness our hands.

dated the 16th day of the Month called April Anno Domini 1757.

 

 

Daniel Smith                   20      0                                                                                             

Saml Smith                      20       

John Smith                      50

Joshua Raper                    6

Joseph Noble                    5     8

William Heuling               5

Elizabeth Smith               16

Richard Smith                   5

Thomas Wetherill             4

Wm. Hartshorne                3

Jonathan Smith                  3

John Hoskins                     2

Hannah Hartshorne            4      9

Danl Smith Jr.                    5

Scamon Rodman                5

Samuel Rodman                 5

Patience Clowes                1

John Woolman                   6

 

 

[£. 105, 17 shillings]

Copy in the US microfilm files of the Rev. War National Archives Series, New Jersey reel.

 

Also, two copies at the Quaker Collection, Haverford College, PA.  Original Samuel Smith copy, acquired by Samuel Allison and donated to Haverford by his daughter, Caroline Allison in 1936.  The other copy is from the Haddonfield [NJ] Monthly Meeting [w/o signatures]

 

Signatures taken from Smith original at Haverford.

 

Only approximately one page of eight subscription sheets contain names.

 

From an 1873 catalogue from the Aldine Book Company:

 

Item 156:  Original Manuscript Letter, evidently never sent, but kept on file.  With objections to the New Jersey Association for Helping Indians.  4 pp.  1757

American Indian Historical Research

For information on Brotherton & Weekping

For information on Weequehela & Spotswood, NJ

For information on the Gnadenhutten Massacre

For information on the Indian Company of 1778