1763 Letter from Frederick Marshall to Lewis Weiss
[Punctuation and spelling is as it appears in the original document]
Philadelphia Nov. 3rd 1763.
I am much obliged to you for the Proposal you communicated to me, as in general for all the pains you are pleased to take to render the distressed Circumstances of the Indians under our care tolerable to them. Supposing that out of Compassion to them, as well as to silence the Clamours of some People, a place should be fallen upon where they could be brought to, my chief Concern would not be about the allowances or other Conveniences but what I am told they urged most of all, when during the late War they were to have had a Piece of Land I think in Pensbury.
First, They dread to be mixed with other friendly Indians who, (as was done in the last War) might be called down by the Government, and who are not of the same Way & Principles as they.
Secondly, if they should live too near or intermixed with white People, or be so situated that they could not get a competent subsistence on the Land assigned them and having learned no Trades, be obliged to go about among the white People to work, they are afraid that their Youths would be corrupted, as sad Experience had taught them already.
Their daily Meetings, for which with great Pains they have built a decent Place of Worship, their Ministers who also school the Children, & the Christian Order observed even in temporal Matters, would be of equal Consequence to them in an other Place.
Should these Points be granted if they were to be settled in some other Place, I dare say these poor People, (notwithstanding now by their Industry and the friendly assistance of our Brethren they are comfortably settled where they are) would submit to any thing that could be desired of them, tho’ some of them have twice already lost their Houses which were as well built as some white Peoples in that Neighborhood.
However, as this affair is present so nearly related to the Interest of the whole Province, & it seemeth, that most People are no further informed of the State thereof, than some Accusers have described it, who were equally unacquainted with it; Would it not be well of the Consequence to the Publick, if one or more Gentlemen of Credit, were to be commissioned to see the Place, to examine all Persons Circumstances & every thing, which for the present is the Subject of Attention or Jealousy of the Publick, and perhaps upon their Report to fall upon some method of disposing of them. As to my Part nothing would please me better than such an Examination, which would bring Truth to Light. I am with much esteem.
Your humble Servant
This letter was by Mr. Weiss showed to Governor Hamilton the next day.
Updated: 15 September 2005