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Brotherton & Weekping Indian Communities of NJ

Primary Documents Related to Brotherton Indians

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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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fostertown.jpg

British Map 1778
Fostertown was the ancestral home to the Foster Family and was often the scene of Indian and Commissioner gatherings.  This map was drawn in 1778 as part of the British route across New Jersey during the Monmouth Campaign.  The road from Belly Bridge towards Ayrstown forks north to Mt. Holly and south towards Weekping (Reed's Mills on the map).

These documents are from the Foster Collection and are arranged chronologically where it can be best determined.  They reflect a blended community of both Brotherton and Weekping elders who speak on behalf of the Indians of both locations (separated by about 10 miles).  Another example of this relationship is the circuit of Rev. John Brainerd who had established churches at both locales. 
 
Two of the documents are from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of NY City.  The first, dated 1780, is given in full, and the second, dated 1798,is abstracted from the Institute's website.
 
The community was administered by a council of six male elders (although not all of the men were elderly).  At least one woman played a prominent role in the governance of Brotherton:  Mary Calvin, widow of Stephen (who had been schoolmaster at Bethel & Brotherton, a colonial interpreter, and a council elder), appears as a signatory on several of these documents.
 
The council was established to administer the "small" affairs of Brotherton.  Matters dealing with capital crimes were referred to the New Jersey Indian Commissioers, who had first been appointed in 175_.  The primary commissioner was William Foster, founder of nearby Fostertown.  When he died in 1778, his grown son Josiah became the primary overseer of affairs at Brotherton.  This relationship was to have an unhappy ending.
 
Indians to William Foster, May 1777:
Brotherton May 29th AD 1777

Brethren,

Now in all our concern it is necessary for us to look into our Duty with Relation to the Person of our Neighbor, (ie) his Life, and Limbs. That our Land may not be polluted with innocent blood, which like th blood of Abel may cry unto the Almighty, for you may remember that God has said in his word, thou shalt do no murder & who so shedeth mans Blood, by man shall his blood be shed and he that smiteth a Man so that he dies, shal surely be put to Death etc. now this sheding of mans blood is a very weighty Matter which ought to be taken into our serious consideration especially you our Elders, and study out such ways as you think best, for the hindrance of such wilful & unlawful taking away of our Neighbors Life and such way as shall be most pleasing in the sight of God - we ought not to be as some that are said to stop their Ears from hearing of blood, and where they know that wickedness is commited appear like unconcerned lookers on, but we ought to be as people so deeply affected with sorrow, that they cannot endure to stand by & be hold it, now we think you Elders ought to appoint some rules & methods, that we ought to go by & take, on such occasion as shall happen hereafter so by these rules or Laws we may Live in Unity and friendship & then we shall encrease again as it were by this we beseech you to do for us, and we whose names are underwritten will and shall truly stand by you and those Laws that you’ll make as far as we shall see is consistent with Divine Pleasure

Jacob Skekitt [ink]

Hezekiah Calvin [ink]

Charles Molles his mark [all the rest are in pencil]

John Pomblus  his mark

Thomas Pomblus  his mark

Jeremia Pomblus his mark

Jacob Conche his mark

Caleb Conche his mark

Bartholomew Calvin

 

Indians to Foster & his response, August 1777:

[Reverse:] For Mr William Foster in Evesham N.o 1

Brotherton August 25th AD 1777

Dear Friends,

After our most humble Duty to you presented in the humblest manner, the subsequent Lines have presumed to put you in mind that it was your great pleasure in times past to assist us in some small matters of difference that have happened among us, sometimes, such as abusing of one another, and the recovering of Debts etc. Now we the Indians have a great desire to know whether or no you have given us up to ourselves to go on as we formerly used to do, or as our Ancestors used rather to do, or whether you’d be so condescending yet as to help us in such small matters and in matters of greater importance, such as we poor Indians can not well manage having no knowledge of Laws & Justice, However the great desire we have to live in Unity and Friendship has emboldened us to entreat you that with the first conveniency you would be pleased so to order it as that to give us an Answer, and that you’d be so kind as to give it in writing so that we may see and have it before us, You have been pleased to take us as it were in your Arms, and we look upon ourselves as adopted Children unto you, our Eyes are unto you as such for help you very well know that Children will often fall out one way or other and then they want their parents or overseers to end their differences and see that each one has his just due, so we hope you will be pleased so to do with us. And if you desire that we should meet before you for an Answer we will, if so be you’ll be so kind as to send us word where & when this much from thy Friends the Indians

Signed by order of the Indians both at Weekping & Brotherton

Jacob Skekitt  Joseph Mictey his mark   Hezekiah Calvin

For the Indian Commissioners

The Above address being Presented on the 26th by Joseph Mictey, when the following answer was Returned (Viz)

Brethren I Received your address by the Hands of Joseph Micty, I Desire you to meet hear at my house on the 8th of September Next at 12 O:Clock and after Dinner I will hear what you Have to say and am willing to Do all the Service In my power and I hope you will then open your minds freely

I am your friend

William Foster

To the Indians at Brotherton and Wickpung

William Foster's note about the September 1778 meeting:

On the 8th of Septr. Mett according to appointment, when Charles Read Esqr. the other Commissioner (In the Room of his Father Charles Read Esqr. Deceased) and a Number of Respectable Inhabitants attended when thy above address was Read and the Indians were acquainted that the Commitioners was then Ready to hear any thing that their Brethren the Indians had on their minds to say and they were desired to open their minds freely and that as there was a good Scribe amongst them It whould be most afreable to the Commissioners if they would convert their grevences to Writing that they might the more fully and Deliberetly consider them, and then with Drew

And after some time spent the following Speech was persented In Writing

Indian address to William Foster, September 1778:

Friends, In the first place we think ourselves in the dark or rather Lost, for we have no Elders or Leaders as we formerly used to have, we are the Children that are both Fatherless & Motherless, formerly our forefathers used to have their own ways they used to have sachems to govern them, but now we have none, now in case they committed murder one among another they used to put the Murderer to Death some way or other, either with a Gun, Hatchet, knife or Club or with some other Weapon wherever they came acrost him, Now when we look back on those former ways of our forefathers we think they are not just but your ways we look upon to be just and right, now between these two ways we are lost we have no Rules to go by, neither by our forefathers Rules (because we have no such Rulers as in former times) nor by the English and for that reason we think that the Sovereign is very much displeased with us & suffers us to dwindle to nothing therefore we think we ought to have some Rules or Laws to go by one among another & for that reason we apply to you for your help & advice, now in case we wrong one another or commit murder one among another and cannot settle it among ourselves we shall want your help if so be you will be so kind as to grant it, and if so be you can not very well do it we shall not take it hard

Sepr. 8th 1777

Jacob Skekitt

Hesekiah Calvin

on Behalf of the Brethren the Indians of Brotherton & Whepink

Commissioners' Response, September 1777:

Brothers

The Unhappy situation of affairs are such that it gives the Commissioners great pain that they have not in their Power at Present to answer matters of such moment as are Contained in their Request which we think right and Just and must beg the Indulgence of our Brethren for a Longer time to consider of Matters of such great importance at the same time we can asure our Brethren that we wish the supreme being may direct us in a way to add any thing that may conduce to their Happiness here & hereafer & if our Brethren have no Objections must beg their Attendance at this place on Monday the 22d Day of this Inst Sepr at the same hour

Sepr 8th 1777 Wm. Foster and Chas. Read

 

The next document addressed to William Foster is dated a year later and it involves the discovery of human remains at Brotherton:

Octobr. 17th AD 1778

Most Worthy Sir

The End proposed by this is to lay before you the miserableness of our Condition; all social connection and tender ties of our Nature seems broken, and Desolation and Bloodshed continually formented among us. and for this reason we now trouble you, to ask your advice about an affair that we have meeted already once about (ie) about some bones that were found sometime past, we want to find out whether the person was murder’d or not, & the way we think of, is to handle the bones because we have heard, that blood will appear or come out of the dry bone when the person that did the murder touchith the bone, now the thing is whether this is true, & if so, can such a person be liable to die for that, & is the blood’s coming out be a sufficient proof that the Murder was done by him ? etc Your Advice in such an Affair would greatly enlighten us, & help us which, we hope you’l be kind enough to give in this momentuous Affair etc this from

Your Humble Servants

Wrote by order of Joseph Micty, Jacob Skiket, Heza. Calvin

Foster's response to the Indians (nd):

Brethren

Yours We receiv’d and Lament ye unhappy cause and that we might be Better enabled to consider and to Weigh well its Weighty Contents have had a Meeting of a Number of the Inhabitants of this Township ye Circumstances of the Bones Bleeding we have all heard of and as it will give Satisfaction to our Brethren the Indians think it well that they should make ye Tryall as some stronger circumstances may appear at that time but the same time think it best at the time of the Tryall to give Notice that some of the Inhabitants might attend

William Foster to neighbors regarding the destruction by fire of Jacob Skikkit's house.  In Wm. Foster's handwriting (nd):

To all Benevolent and Charitable People;

Whereas the Barer Jacob Skekitt hath Lately had the Misfortin to Loose his House and Household Goods by fire, and alltho they may appear In the Eyes of some but of smal vallue, Yeat they were his all, and made a Comfortable home for him and his family

Therefore to Your Searious Deliberations his Destressed Situation is Earnestly Recomended hoping that a Remembrance of the many favours our Forefathers Received from the Natives, In the First Settlement of this Land May Draw forth Your Compassionate Donations On this Occasion and; convinc them that Christianity is not only a Name

[in Wm. Foster's handwriting]

Indian sympathy on the death of William Foster, November 1778:

Brotherton Novbr 16th AD 1778

Honored Sir

We are exceeding sorry for the Death of your Brother Commissioner who was both our Friend & Father and we desire to condole with you for his Death, and since he is departed this stage of Action, we now look upon you to be both a Friend & a Father to us, and according to the Letter which you sent to us sometime past (which was an Answer to our request) when you mentioned of giving us or rather honouring us with your attendance at our meeting about the momentuous affair which we related to you in our last, now we desire a little help of you at this time, & as we are like Children can do no further or go on no further we expect you’ll be kind enough to aid us a little, we want sombody to examine this person. There is something concerning him which looks very dark to us & perhaps you may enlighten us a little in the matter thus much from your Friends

Wrote in behalf of the Indians

Heza. Calvin

There is a gap in any documents from this time until 1784.  This might reflect upon the uncertain times caused by the American Revolution.  We do know that in February 1781, Jacob Skikkit visited Josiah Foster and Col. Israel Shreve in an effort to have his son, Robert, released from the army so that he might take a seat on the tribal council (see the page devoted to Robert Skikkit).

From the Gilder Lehrman Institute's collection:

Statement opposing white settlement on Indian land in Brotherton, New Jersey.  Indian Mills, New Jersey 6 January 1780.

January 6th 1780

Be it known by this, that it has been in our consideration of late about settling of white People on the Indian Land.  And we have concluded that it is a thing which ought not to be, & a thing that will not be allowed by us, that of renting or giving Leases for said Lands, hereafter. no, not by the proprietors themselves without the consent of the rest much more by those who has no Claim or Rite here.  & we have further resolved, that all Leases given heretofore by those who have no rite shall be accounted as Null & Void & of none effect - [inserted:  Reasons] We have come upon these resolutions we hope for our better living in friendship among one another, it may be that there is some which does not like white people for their Neighbours, for fear of their not agreeing as they ought to do.    it might be about there children or about something they have about them we know not what, Again it may be that the white Man may do something either upon Land Timber or something after which some one of the proprietors would not like &  from thence would come great deal of Disquietness, & many other ways which would plainly be seen into, by those that have any sense or reason -  We are exceeding glad when we see we are like to live in Quietness among one another without giving offence to one another.  & this one of keeping white people from among us will be a great step towards it.  & for this reason we intend to stand by or rather stand Hand in hand against any coming on the Indian Lands without we all agree as one to let him come

For the further strengthening of this we have interchangeabley set our hands & marks as Witnesses

Joseph [inserted: his mark] Micty

Jacob Skekit

Derrick [inserted: his mark] Quaquiuse

Mary [inserted: her mark] Calvin

[illegible, probably Mary] Calvin

Bartholomew Calvin

Robert [inserted: his mark] Skikkit

Benjamin [inserted: his mark] Nicholus

 

Letter from Hezekiah Calvin regarding timber, May 1784:

For Mr Josiah Foster at Old Mans Creek

Brotherton May 11th AD 1784

Worthy Sir

With all Dutiful respect I take this opportunity to inform you that by a Scription of yours I understand that we the Indians have no rite to set any White Person to work in giting off Timber, but there is some cut down and the white people have stopt in hewing the same This is humbly therefore to request permits from you for my Brother & myself to hew the said Timber that is already down, and our Friend J. Austin will by you permission see to have it Carted and a Market for the same to the best advantage

Sir this from you Humble Servant

Hezekiah Calvin

Josiah Foster to Brotherton Indians regarding a new saw mill, August 1784:

Brethren

I acknowldege the Respect you have sheon to me by Wateing on me with the Deutyfull Petition [Prepird] by you the Governor Council and Assembly of this State Request a Law to allow you to Erect another Saw Mill on your tract of Land.

And am Free to Inform you that I cannot see the advantage [arising] to you from there being another mill on the Land as you seem to flatter your selves with as I think the mill allready there well managed might cutt all the timber you have or that may be convenient to come their and the Expence Double for attendign on the Same proffit before the Expence of Building

Butt as I am Ever willing to Agree with you in anything that you may think on Mature Deliberation will be to your Benafit after giving you my advice theirin so this I shall agree to what you may think best

[copy of letter to Indians]

Indian Response to Foster, December 1784:

Brotherton Decembr 11th 1784

Worthy Sir;

With all Dutifull Respects we would address ourselves to you in These Lines, wherein we would inform you that since our last converse we had with you about the Building of another Saw Mill, we have taken it in farther consideration, and upon your hearing that Mr Foster was to be up in these parts we thought it proper, and our duty, to make known our thoughts and to lay before him the Advantages we think would be arising therefrom, some which are that whenever there is a call for saw'd Lumber those People that have Timber round about us then wants theirs saw'd, when at the same time we should be sawing of our own Timber to the best advantage, and when Lumber falls & not much profit to be made thereby then we must saw our own Timber which is a great disadvantage to us there is a great deal of Timber that would come in to be saw'd if so be that we would let the Mill run altogether for other people, but our own necessities will not suffer it and for this advantageous reason and several others we would that another sawmill be built on purpose to saw for other people so that the old Mill we may saw for ourselves and take the profits of Lumber with others whenever it is to be had, And so we would return you our most sincere and humble thanks for the promise you made of complying with whatever we should think would be to the best advantage to us, and we hope that you will be kind enough to aid us at this time with it, hoping that we may ever have your approbation in all our proceedings, we subscribe ourselves Your Humble and unworthy Servants

Jacob Skekitt    Hezekiah Calvin    Bartholomew Calvin

[in Hezekiah Calvin's handwriting]

Minister Daniel Simons to Josiah Foster, with response, April 1785:

Mr Josiah Foster Esqr.

Brotherton April 6th 1785

Worthy Sir

not being acquainted with the Indian affairs in Brotherton, - but I understand that they are actuated and advised by Commissioners for Indians in Brotherton and not to interfere with that authority but to pay the greatest regard and respect to you - who are the only surviving Commissioner - therefore I want your advice - - and first - Mary Calvin my Mother in Law being an aged woman - and looked upon by those acquainted with her, to be very Pious, harmless and of a religious Character, prudent and inoffensive in her way of Live and Conversation - has lived with me Some Time - and expresses her desire to live with me during her Life - to live with her youngest daughter to whom I married, and my officiating as a Missionary in Brotherton - She thinks it will render, or make her old age more happy - and for her Support and maintainance - She has Proposed to make over to me her wright in the Indian Saw Mill now Standing in Brotherton otherwise Edgepilock - during her Life and to work, manage, and improve the affore said Saw Mill with all the priviliges thereto belonging for her Support - in an equal division among six owners her name encluded ---- but as the Indians in Brotherton are under Guardians, or those who are authorized for that purpose - therefore I want your advice - but I Shall leave the whole Matter to you - as your wisdom may direct - my Mother in Law has business of her own with you - and if you See fit in your wisdom to grant a Lease for Life in her wright of the mill to me for her support be so kind as to send the same by her to me - but may God direct in this, and every thing else which is the earnest Prayer of most dutifull, obliged and humber Servant

Daniel Simon

[copy of Foster’s Response on same letter]

To David Simon Missioner for the Indians at Brotherton

Sir I have Recd yours of the 6th Instant by the hands of you Mother in law Mary Calvin and have Deliberately considered the contenst with Desire to Great Reuler of all Events that I might be Directed to vew your Request In Such a Manner as to be Inabled to Gvie such advice therin as whold be conducesive to preserve peace and harmony amongst the family in wich you are connected [ ] (as being In this case most concerned) and the Indians in General whose welfare both hear and hear after I ardently Refire [desire]

And upon most Mature consideration I find it Safest to advise your Mother in law to keep her Share or Right in the mill to hir self During hir Life as I have always observed that it best for Parents to keep the Staff in their own hands and to give the proffits out to those and in such a proportion as their treetment to her shall Deserve or Require for her suppoart by which meens she will at all times have it in her power to Reward them most that shold by their Deutiful Care towards her Deserve it most For which purpos I have allso advised her to Lett her shar go with the other shar and Lett it be all work together and give writin orders (as you can all write) to such of her family as she thinks proper and I shall also give Jacob Austin orders to pay to Lett such of her family have as she may you - give writin orders too and none Elce and shall allso Desire him to Lett you have such stuf as you may want for the Reparing the Meeting house and see that Each one furnishes his shir towards it and not for it all to come out of your Mother in laws share and as to the Board cut for markit Jacob Austin is willing to Deliver the Indians share to them at the mill if they desire it but I shold advise to Lett him sell them and to see that the acct. ware properly settled, if this advice is not satisfactory to you and the Indians in general I shall be glad to see you the week in Next monty at wich time I shall at my place at Fostertown and am your friend

Josiah Foster

Esqr.

Indians to Foster regarding power of certain Brotherton Indians, March 1786:

For Mr Josiah Foster Esqr.

Brotherton March 24, 1786

Most Worthy Sir

After our dutiful Respects, we chearfully embrace this opportunity as you are our benevolent Superintendent to lay before you some such Matters which we think [troubling] to us, and perhaps will raise Discord among us if not rightly demonstrated, and that is whether every Individual among us has an equal Right or not ? or whether there be some that has more than the rest ? The Latter of which we have coherence -

And,

whereas there are some among us who perhaps by the instigation of some tubulent people among the whites would or do encroach, such certainly will forment aversion and malignity, unless timely obstructed, in order to which we earnestly intreat your aid, hoping that thro your circumspection the impending disturbances may be brought to counteract, thus we conclude wishing you all the Happyness that a human Heart can wish

From your Humble Servants & real Friends Wrote by order of the Indian Proprietors

Hezekiah Calvin

Foster's response which sets forth the difference between the proprietors of Brotherton, and its other residents, April 1786:

20th April 1786

My Friends and Brethren

I recievd your address to me of the 24th March signed by your clerk and am sorry that it was not in my power to returen you an Answer at that time, but being from Home on Business of a Legal nature which Demanded my emidiate attention was the Occasion of that Neglect, it did not arise from forgetfulness of you, as you are often in my Remembrance for your wellfare and Happiness, Recollecting the Respected Kindness that I have rec d of, that, we or; our Four Fathers recived from the hands of your Predesessors at the first setling of this Extensive and then Uncultivated Country, at that time Love and Unity dwelt and was preserv’d in this Land, and the Great Rewler of the Universe Looked down with Pleasure on all their Labours because they were innocent Sober and Honest striving to be helpful to Each other and Indeavouring to excite one another to do good, and not evil, they did not indeavour to take all advantages one of and other as we are, at this Degenerate day; & I am fearfull that you Living amongst us; and [acting] Proud (which for pride often sows the seed of Discord) is a taking the Distructive Infection, was this not the case, I apprehend there would not be the complaints amongst you as is intimated in the above mentioned address for was it not for a proud and an ambitious Spirit which is suffer’d to [prevade] in the Breasts of those who have given Occasion for your present [Uneasiness] and which to many of the whites are base Enuff to incourage, the old antient Rules as Established by your good old Friend; (of which my Honoured Father was not the leas[t]) for you to go by (and which were agreed to by your old men) whold not have been Diviated from, which Rules I cannot at this time lay by my hand, upon the abundance of papers in my possession, butt as well as I remember the contents of them wher as followeth -

1st There were certain Persons of your Number appointed as Proprietors, who whith their heirs after them, hold (for certain reasons at that time known amongst the indians [)] injoy the sale benefit ariseing from the Mill and timber on the Lande purched for your benifitt and Residence and

2d Notwithstanding the Proprietors were Vested with the afforesaid privilidge, all the other families of Indians belonging to you (and no other) shold have a Right to a peaceable settlement on such a spott of the Land as should be agree’d upon by them and the Proprietors or a Majority of them, where they are to enjoy all the priviliges of a free holder of the Land contained within these bounds, the sawing timber Excepted, which Rules if you whould Punctually and strictly adhear to whold prevent any Misunderstanding or uneasiness amongst you on that account for the futur -

And as to that part of your address which relates to the wites people cutting timber or poles on your Land, I have for your satisfaction hearunto annexed an abstract of part of that section of the law that Relates to it, Whereby you will find that Every persons transgressing is lyable to be fin’d by any person that will inform and prosecute for the same, which any of you may do if you can make positive proof therof Notwithstanding one of the indians may have give leave to the person so offending to cutt; which if the Proprietors will closely attend to and give such information to any of Justice of the peace in the county, and the Names of the persons by whome you can prove it they will get pay’d for their trouble and soon break that Distructive practice; which I have not in my power to assist you in being, at so great a Distance from you;

And now having wrote you my views on the several matters sojected to me, shall conclude with adding that your wellfare and Happiness whold afford me a Great satisfaction and the way to Atain it is to live sober be Honest and that will leadt to industry and Industry will afford the necessary comforts of life, and have a tendency to Quiet the mind and prepare us for thea change that will certainly overtake us.

And subscribe myself your Real Friend and well wisher

Josiah Foster

Milford on Oldmans Creek  

20th of April 1786

 

Murder at Brotherton, letter to Foster, October 1787:

Brotherton Octbr. 16th 1787

Kind and Worthy Sir;

After our due respects unto you, these are to inform you that we are under such Trouble as we ourselves can not get through with and for that reason we thus Trouble you with this Scribble (which we would be always willing to avoid, but necessity the mother of all invention moves us often contrary to our own inclination) hopeing that you will be kind enough to give us little assistance therein, it is a very weighty matter, as that of Murder being committed among us sometime since, and the person that is guilty is unknown to us, but there is some one who is accused, but not witnesses sufficient to prove it against him already the matter has been before us considered off [of] twice, and now we desire to have it laid before you, & that you would be kind enough to give us your private Judgement therein, & for that reason we have appointed next second day the 21st of this instant to meet at Mr. Kinseys Innkeeper at Fostertown at 10 o Clock A.M. hoping you will be kind enough to meet us there if it is not too much to your disadvantage it is reported that the relative of this person that is accused have gone among the Neighbourhood was committed and have told them not to say anyting about the matter if enquiry was made &c. but we hope it may be settled some way that will be satisfactory to the revengers of bood & to the rest of Mankind, we would be exceeding glad if there was a way provided to keep us from thus destroying one another which is the ernest desire of all us thus we conclude at present wishing you all the happyness imaginable in this transitory world

Signed by order of the Indians

Hezekiah Calvin

Foster's Response of October 22, 1787 & a partial statement of evidence considered:

Friends and Brethren

Since I Received your address of the 16th of this Instant I have been Dutifully Ingaged in Contemplating the wety Contents there of which informs me that Blod hath been Shead amongst you by Some Person unknown to you, the Sheading of this Blood one of another is Strictly forbidden in Scripture as well as by the Law of Nashons and allso Requires Blood for Blood (Butt as theire is sometimes aggravating Circumstances attending the Sheading of Blood such as its being premiditated by Lying in wate or otherwise for Seeking and [an] opportunity to Destroy our fellow Creator for some old affront or in Cold Blood) it Diserves our Strictes Attention and utmost Inquiry into in order to find out the Malignent Perpetrator thereof, and I much approve of the Care you have Shoon In the frequent Sorrowfull Case before you and Ernestly Hope you may have the assistance of that allwise being who allone knows all things (Even the most Secretest of our actions much more thant most Henous Sin of murder at whoes throne the Blood of the Slane appeals for Vengence) be enabled to find out the Real Murderer so that the avenger of Blood may be Satisfied and your hand washed Clean from the Blood of the Slane and you yourselves be preserved Clean from Sheading Innocent Blood, for Notwithstanding both the Law of God and man Requires Blood for Blood, yet a text in Scripture sayes that it is Better that two Guilty persons shold go unpunished then one Inocent person shold suffer Rongfully, and as I find upon Examination of the Evidences present, that the Truth of the fact is by some means as yet Hid in the Dark from us Notwithstanding your care and vigilence therein, I therefore think it safest to advise you to Lett the matter Rest for the present under a watchfull Care on the mines of Each Individual of you for proofs Sufficient whereon to found a conviction of the unhapy [perpetrator] there of Whereby your Minds and harts may be Released from the angsiety you seem now to Labour under on this occations which that you may Experience an Evidence of In your own minds Is the Ernest Desire of your Real friend and well wisher

22d Octbr 1781 Josiah Foster

copy

[evidence in this case:]

Israel Mitop Says he was with Isroll Talman and Jeremiah Pombless at or About Peter Wooders place and a Querrel Insued between Still and Pomblus about an old Grudg between Old Talman and Pobless But no Blows between them After some time Pombless gott up to Flogg old Tolman then Isaiah Tallman Interferred and took his fathers part and after some time Pombles challinged Isaiah out of the Doors and Isaiah turned out and just as Isaiah was agoing out of the Door he (Israel) heard the Report of a blow struck which he thinks was Struck by Isaiah and Received by Pombless and that Pombless soon after Returned into the Cabbin and Reach across his [Birth] as if Reaching after something and Immdiately [c]apered over them in the Cabbin with a knife in his hand and Swore if they Did not Leve the Cabbin he whold stabb them all upon which his (Israel) fater seesed him and called on Israel to assist him to take from Pombless the knife which they Did and Pombless Lett the knife fall on the flower and they all Except old Tallman Left the Cabbin and the said Israel Did not know of Pombless being stabb until Next morning Butt Isaiah Tallman Left the Cabbin Emediately on Giving Pombless the afforesaid Blo and Run of [remainder of document is torn off]

Statement regarding Murder of Jeremiah Pomblus, made October 1787

In the Spring 1786 the Neighbours was alarmed with Jeremiah Pomblus being Stabd and the Neighr in General want to see him, and found their was Different Reports how he came to be wounded and I Tuck an Opportunity to go and see him to find Out the Truth of the Accident Not knowing he was so nigh his End, I asked how it happened he Told me they was in Liccor, and Did not seem to Blame any Person and at first Did not seem fond of Talking only concearning his children  I presed him to Relate the Accident for I found he was a going fast and he seemed willing and gave me his hand to Rais him Up in Order to Tell me thir whole Conduct and Began, he seemed to be Verry Forgiving and had no Ill will Against John Mitop and Israel Lowlockx and Long Sam But seem to think that Isaiah the Indian [Isaiah Tallman from other evidence], that was thought to have wound him he Did not speak So well of and proceeded to Tel me the Beginning of the Quarrel in a Round about awkward maner   I perceivd he grew fainty and Liad him Down and then he seemd Uncommonly Ancious to Tel on and Strove all he could but we Did not Understand One word to make any thing of, what he said and in Two minits ware intirely gone  I Examined his wound and found whear a small penknife was stabed in below his shoulder Blade which Docktor Boyd said was the Occation of his Death  I know No More To Whom it may concern

Octobr 14 1787   this from Apollo Woodward

 

Response by the Calvin brothers regarding Simon, March 1788:

Brotherton March the 7th 1788

Sir, or may it please your Worship,

After returng you our humble but sincere Thanks for the many Favours your Goodness hath conferred upon us the Indians at Brotherton and for the kind Assurance you gave in your last to Daniel Simon of your still continuing to perseverence therein I we thought it proper to acquaint you of an Uneasiness that arises in our Minds concerning our Minister Danl. Simons who has in some Measure (though unbecoming his Character) endeavoured to over reach our poor Mother because ignorant in Letters and not only so but we are also fearful is still continuing to persist therein As he has not only got her to sign a Nort of ten pounds with a pretense of her only being a Witness to it which he immediately signed over to Joseph Peirson but is now endeavouring to bring her Hundred pounds in Debt for her Maintenance during her abode with him exclusive of all her Service use of the Mill and many of the priviledges which he received from her Since

Therefore we have no other to apply to but you our only surviving Commissioner we do humbly emplore your Assistance in settling the Matter for us as we are very ignorant in Law Suits and not only so but incapable too, and willing to avoid so much unnesisary Trouble we went and Talkt with him several times signifying whether or no he wouldn’t be willing to have the Matter settled before you as you are the person appointed to settle such Affairs but his Reply was that the Sum was so large that it was out of the Reach of any under a Sheriff and that he intended to employ Lawyer Bloomfield to act for him if it should cost him three hundred pounds - This we would conclude and leave the Matter before you wishing you all that Happiness which we think you merrit and deserve, remaining

Sir, you most obedient and Humble Servnts.

Hezekiah Calvin

Barthw. Calvin

 

[on reverse]

To Mr. Josiah Foster Esq. Comr.

A[t] Foster Town

Letter to Foster regarding rape at Brotherton, January 1790:

Sir, or may it please your worship,

After returning you our humble but sincere Thanks for the many Favours that we have received from you our only surviving Commissioner & as we have ever been & are like Children unde a kind Parent still looking to you for every little Help. I come now to inform you of the sad Treatment which I hear my old Mother in law has received from three of our English Brethren who met her between Willm. Sharp’s & Joseph Baitses just after parting from my Wife’s They took her by force into the Woods & ever Time she attempted to cry out they either poured Rum into her Throat or chok’d her & after keeping of her almost a whole Night & doing as they pleas’d with her they took she [her] best Handkerchief she had & Hat from her & left her –

I acquaint you of it not through Anger but for Sorrow & Fear of some such Accident happening again or perhaps more to some of us as we are always obliged to be traveling backward & forwards among you for our daily Maintenance with out a timely Stop being made. But I shall leave it all to your own wise Judgement knowing that you will have ever done for us poor Indians at Brotherton what lay in your Power that Justice should take place, therefore I conclude & remain your worships most obedient
& Humble Servant

Jacob Skekit

Brotherton 22d Jany 1790

Gilder Lehrman Document Number: GLC00540.02

Title: [Brotherton statement of refusal to leave New Jersey]

Author: Calvin, Bartholomew (fl. 1780)

Year: 1798/01/20

Place: Indian Mills, New Jersey

Type of document: Document signed

Description: Statement sent to Joseph Saltar that describes meeting in which the Brotherton unanimously agreed to express their refusal to leave "our fine place in Jersey" in the face of white encroachment. Signed in full by Jacob Skekit and Bartholomew Calvin, and eighteen other Indians. Eighteen years earlier, the same group had expressed alarm over white settlers moving onto their land (see GLC00540.01). Brotherton, New Jersey is now known as Indian Mills in Burlington County, in Southern N.J.


 

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