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Brotherton & Weekping Indian Communities of NJ

Efforts at Compromise at Weekping

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Tennent's Account of Move from Cranbury (Bethel) to Brotherton
1759 Map of Proposed Layout of Brotherton
Pictures of Brotherton
Primary Documents Related to Brotherton Indians
Native Men in the French & Indian War
Brotherton in 1761 & 1795
Message from the Brothertons to the Ohio Indians, 1767
Removal to New York, 1793 - 1803
Robert Skikkit - And Indian Soldiers of the Revolution
Weekping or Coaxen
Pictures of Weekping/Coaxen
Indian Rules of Descent of Lands
The Will of Charles Moolis & Legal Action to Stop It
The Court Battle over Moolis's Will
Court Action in Trenton
Confused Tenants & Powers of Attorney
State Control of Weekping
Efforts at Compromise at Weekping
Petition of the Indians, 1817
1819 Letter to the President
Federal Court Action
The Loss of Weekping
Miscellaneous Documents
Occum, Quakers, Moravian Texts & More
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As possession in 9/10s of the law as the old saying goes, Foster did not possess the Weekping tract.  In 1806, the State of New Jersey passed a law that established commissioners to manage the property on behalf of the Indians.  This arrangement remained in place for thirteen years. 
 
During this time, Foster could not utilize the land, nor gain any profit from it.  As a method of settling the matter, negotiations were conducted between Foster and the Delawares to make an outright purchase of Coaxen from the Indians.  This tactic would infer that Foster realized that he did not have clear title.  However, the negotiations failed, apparently for lack of an agreed upon price, and Foster took the matter to federal court in 18>>.
 
Of the interesting new facts that emerge from the documents is that Hannah Moolis' (wife of Jacob Moolis and mother of Charles Moolis) brother was Capt. White Eyes, well known leader of the Western Delaware during the 1750s up until his death in 1778.  His son was educated at Princeton College during the American Revolution.  Foster refuses to make any acknowledgement of the family (kindred) connection to the Weekping tract in the terms set forth in the original 1740 deed.
 
Foster's Proposal to the Delaware Indians at White River, 1811:
 

In reply to the Proposition of the Indians at White River through John Johnson their agent to Gover Bloomfield with Respect to the Land at Coaxen

The Subscriber answer that he will Never give 3000 for the Indian Right to those Lands, but the Repeated Declarations of Charle Moonis and his two sisters to Divers Peopel of Reputation who frequently Conversed with them on the subject, was Uniformly that they was the Last of the family of Mahanumackyain alias King Charles who Lived and Died on this Very Land; and a great number of tracts of Land Rounding and adjoining on this Disputed tract was Purchased and are now held by Conveyances from Mahamnacquan and his sons Ossalowhen and Teannes, Jacob Moonis one of the sons of Mahanmacquin and father of the Late Charles Reserving for his own Residence the tract of Land now in Dispute and in 1784 Jacob Moonis Died first making his Last Will and testament in Wrighting Duly Proven and Recorded by which he gave all his Land to his three Children, to wit, Hannah Molly and Charles who all Resided on this Land, Hannah marryed but had no children, Molly and Charles Never marryed Left no Issue, and the Indian title to this Land never Extinguished being then Reserved Lands and in the Sales the Delawar Indians made to Government of all their Right to Lands in New Jersey by Deed Dated [left blank] this tract of Land was Excepted and Reserved for the Mooless Family as they Refused to sell; the Subscriber therefore is advised that Charles Moolis had as good a Right to Dispose of this Land by Will or otherwise - as his Predecessors had to sell the adjoining Lands, he therefore considers himself Intirely sworn in his titel to the Lands Devised to him by the will of Charles Moonis, Yes from the friendly Regard he has Ever had and still Retains for the Indians he is Disposed and now offers to make a Present to them of 2000 Dollars with the conditions that some Person or Persons be appointed on behalf of the Indians (not only the Western Indians but also those called the Edgpillock Indians) to transact the Business with him and Procure a clear and full Releas and acquittence from them to him that he shall nave no further trouble or charge on their or Either of there acct., and to Riceve the money on the Indians account by him Paid as a Present

But I find in John Johnsons Letter that there is a Charles White eyes who claims a Preference in this Business by being Granson to Charles Mooless, this must be a mistake as a Number of us who have been Intimate with Charles Moonis from his Infancy Never heard of his haved a child lad, to him

But a Number of us Know, Nearly forty or fifty years Past an Indian man then a youth that went to the westward amongst the Indians who had a good Education and was called Capt. White Eyes he was half Brother to Hannah Moolis Charles Mooliss Mother and not of the Moonis family, therefore can claim no Preference to the Land in Question and it is Likely the Present claims wite Eyes may be a son or Granson of his, the Subscriber thought Best to give this Information which is founded on his own Knowledge well as on the testamony of witnesses Legally taken,

It is also alleged, by the Indians at White River that the Land in Question is very valuable and Rents for 200 Dols a year It is Likely that by [spending] not a thousand Dollars on it to fence and Improve it, that Rent might be had for it, But in the Present State no near than twenty Pounds a year has been Paid in money for it, and since Charles Moonis Death it has been Stript of all the Timber and near forty or fifty acres of the tillabel Land Lays out to Commons without any fencing and nothing on the Land to fence it and the 2000 Dollars Put on Intres in New Jersey for thire use will yeald the Indians 140 Dollars+ pr year which will N[ ] thire move then the land whold for a Number of years, if it was Realy thir own, But as I have Receved a great Deal of [ ]ment (from those that Profesed to be the Indians friends but who Never did one good thing for them) which I am Infively [?] clear from Discovering: I never intend giving up my Right to the Land in Question which I think I shall have full Paid for having under the Law of New Jersey acted as Commitioner (after the death of my father) to the Indians at Edgpillock and Coaxen for Near thirty years without fee or Reward

8th August 1811 Josiah Foster

[written on bottom]

as to the Conveyances from the Indians to Josiah Foster Esquire It will be only Necessary to Convey all the Indian Right to the Land or Plantaion given and Devised by the testament and Last Will of Charles to J: Foster Esq.r bearing Date the Ninth day of September One thousand Seven Hundred and Ninety Seven duly Proven and Recorded in the Record of the State of New Jersey

 
 
William Stockton to Josiah Foster, 1813:
 

Evesham 12 Mo. 23d. 1813

Esteem’d Frnd.

I have particular business with thee but through much engagement at present cannot come to see thee. have just receiv’d a Letter from Bartholomu Calvin at New Stockbridge concerning thy profer to purchase the Mullis Tract of Land he appears well acquainted with the various proceedings in the business and wishes in behalf of the Indians to accept thy offer etc but the Letter is long and imbraces several objects woud wish to confer with thee thereon as I purpose to confer with the other Comissiners & write to the Indians on the subject, please to come to [Ma ] [l ] f_ as possible that after conversing with thee I may be better inabled to acquaint the Indians the Result. etc.

Thy fnd to [ ] [ ]

William Stockton

Foster's Last Effort to Purchase the Weekping Tract, 1815:

Know all men by these Presents that I Josiah Foster of the Town and County of Gloucester and State of New Jersey have made, constituted and appointed and by these Presents do make constitute and appoint Samuel Clement Esquire of the Township of Newton in the County of Gloucester aforesaid and David Jones of the City of Philidelphia Hatter my Lawfull Attorneys for me and in my name to Enter into an Agreement for the setling of a Controversey and Dispute now subsising between me and certain Indians or there Agents or Attorneys Respecting a certain tract of Land called Quaxen situate lying and being in Northampton in the County of Burlington in the state aforesaid which Lands was given and Devised to me by the Last Will and Testament of Charles Mooliss bearing the date Ninth day of September One thousand Seven Hundred and Ninety Seven and Deuly Proven before the Prerogative Court of the state of New Jersery and is Recorded in the office at Trenton Recorse being therto had will more fully appear; And having Entered into such a Contract or agreement for the finell settlement of the said Dispute to make sign and Deliver, (or Receive as the case may require) for me and in my Name such sums of money or writings theay my said attorneys may fine or think Necessary for the finell settlement of the said Dispute or Controversey, Giving and granting to my said attorneys my full Power and authority in the Premises hereby ratifying and holding for good and Vallid whatever my said attorneys shall legally do for me in and about the Premises In testamony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the 30th day of December Eighteen Hundred and fifteen

Sealed & Delivered Josiah Foster

in the Presence of

Josiah F. Clements

American Indian Research
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