Brotherton & Weekping Indian Communities of NJ

Miscellaneous Documents

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
Books for sale
Guest Book

Friends (Quakers) Investigate Brotherton, 1795/96
Philadephia Yearly Meeting, Indian Committee,  December 8, 1795

The situation of several Families of Indians now residing in the State of New Jersey particularly those of the settlement at Edge Pelok, being brought into view of the Committee, and the propriety of considering such Indians as within the object of our appointment suggested, Benjamin Srvett, Joseph Sa[ ] and James Cooper were appointed to make the necessary enquiry into the situation & circumstances of those Indians, and Report the result thereof to this Committee in order that the same may be laid befor the General Committee at their next meeting.

January 5, 1796: Report was made that the Indians of Edge Peleck had been visited by the Committee, who are of the opinion that their situation calls for the sympathy and attention of Friends; it was therefore referred to their further care to be reported to us as occasion may require.

[no more references to this group in the minutes from 1795-1835 minute books]


Minutes of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting

Indian Committee, December 24, 1797

Topic: Reason for Resentment & Alcoholism Amongst the Indians

[Letter from General James Wilkinson, senior US officer at the time, quoted in the minutes:]

Speaking once to George White Eyes [son of Capt. White Eyes, a Delaware Indian from south Jersey and noted leader of the Ohio Indians during the colonial period], who was I believe Educated at Prince Town, respecting the incorrigible attachment of the Indians to Savage Life, He replyed to me, "It is natural we should follow the footsteps of our fathers and when you white People undertake to divert us from this path, you lead us to Eat, drink, dress, read, & write like yourselves and then you turn us loose, to beg, starve or seek our native forests, without alternative, & outlawed [in] your Society, we curse you for the feelings you have taught us, & resort to excess that we may forget them." [Wilkinson writing:] How lamentable this and yet how just, for my part, my Dear Brother, could I be made instrumental in any way to ameliorate the Condition of these People and lay the foundation of their permanent Prosperity, it would be more acceptable to me than the most distinguished Triumph of Arms. A great source of my present happiness is the conviction that I have deserved and enjoy the confidence and friendship of the Indians N. W. of the Ohio.

For a biography on Wilkinson, see:

Lease at Weekping, March 1797:
An Article of Agreement made between Thomas Clearke & Charles Mulis, Both of the Town of Northamption, County of Burlington, Witneseth, that the sd. Mulis doth Let unto sd. Cleark A small Tenament where John Hays Livd. House and Land 1 acre be it more or less with Firewood for which the said Cleark is to give the sd. Charles Mulis 3 Pounds and to Build an oven and to get Rails to fence sd. Lott and is not to Cull any green timber during said time for firewood for one year as witness our Hands this          day of March 1797     Present    [unexecuted copy in Josiah Foster's papers]

Murder of Two Indian Women, 1766 & Justice Meted Out:

In 1766, two Indian women from Burlington County were murdered by transients near Moorestown, New Jersey.  In this case, justice was swift and the guilty parties executed.

Pennsylvania Gazette, July 10, 1766

Burlington, in New-Jersey, July 3.  A Horrid Murder was last Week committed near Moore’s Town, in the County of Burlington, on the Bodies of two well known Indian Women of that Neighborhood, supposed from strong Circumstances to have been perpetrated by two Men travelling to New York.  One of the Persons is apprehended and confesses he was present at the Murder and gives the following Description of his Companion; that he is a Scotchman, about 18 or 20 Years of Age, wears his own Hair, light coloured, has no Beard, but a white Down on his Chin; one Leg sore and thereby is lame, a pair of whitish Stockings, one of which was stained with the Blood of the Indians, a whitish short Coat or Jacket, old leather Breeches, old shoes, too large for him, of Calf-skin with the Grain out and remarkable high Quarters.  He says his name is James M’Kinsey and that he was a servant to a Scotch Officer, killed at Pittsburgh and that he was travelling to New York to his Master’s Widow.  And, as some inhabitants have seen the Person now confined in Company with such a Man, and they travelled very slow, it is hoped that the Person above described may be apprehended and for the doing of which the Government will make suitable Satisfaction.  The Inhabitants of this and the Neighbouring Provinces are requested to use their utmost Endeavours to apprehend a Person suspected of having committed a Murder, attended with many marks of Cruelty and Barbarity.

Pennsylvania Gazette, July 17, 1766

On  Thursday last James M’Kinsey, the Person mentioned in our Gazette of the Tenth Instant, as being suspected in the Murder and Robbery of two Indian Women near Moore’s Town, in the Jerseys, was taken up here [Philadelphia], and examined before the Mayor of this City; and, altho’ he did not confess that he was guilty of the horrid Deed, yet as he said it was done by James Annin, who was in Company with him and now in custody, as one of the Murderers (and who, we hear, told exactly the same story with respect to him, M’Kinsey) he was immediately sent to Burlington Goal.

Pennsylvania Journal, August 7, 1766

At a court of Oyer and Terminer, held at Burlington on Wednesday the thirtieth day of July last, came on the trial of James Anen, aged 54 years, and James M’Kenzy, aged 19 years, on an indictment for the murder of two Indian women, named Hannah and Catherine, who had long resided in the neighborhood of the place where the murder was committed.  It appeared by their own examinations and by the testimony of credible witnesses that they had been on the western frontier of Pennsylvania and Virginia, but that their acquaintance began in Philadelphia; that they came to Moorestown in the County of Burlington on Thursday the 26 th last, about noon, begged for charity and obtained relief; that while they were eating their dinners, the two Indians who were murdered came to the place where they were and that the youngest of the men gave them abusive language; that the Indians went off and rested by the wood near the side of the road; that one of them was possessed of a clean shift & the other of a new piece of Linen that they had that day got; that about two o’clock on the same day, James Anen sold the shift and James M’Kenzy the piece of new linen and a blanket about two miles from Moores-town; that they were parted by accident and that many people had seen the Indians laying in view of the road and had supposed them asleep, till Sunday, the 29 th of June, when two persons perceived a stench, and on going near the bodies, found that they were dead; whereupon the coroner was called, whose inquest found them to be murdered by persons unknown.  On this alarm the two persons were suspected and pursued.  James Anen was apprehended and committed to the Goal at Burlington and the other advertised from the description given by Anen, and in a few days taken up by the Order of the Mayor of Philadelphia and sent to Burlington.  The examination of the prisoners, taken before they had the opportunity of seeing each other, was read and by each examination it appeared that they went to the Indians with the intent to ravish them, if they should refuse their offers; each acknowledged that he was present at the murder, but charged the giving of the stroke on the other, and also acknowledged the taking of the goods; in this they persisted at the bar.  The jury soon found them guilty and they received the sentence of death.

On Friday noon they were hanged at the gallows.  They continued denying the fact and charging it on each other.  The elder declared he thought it a duty to extirpate the heathen, and just before they were turned off, M’Kenzy, the younger of the men, acknowledged that one of the women, on receiving the blow from Anen, struggled violently, and that he, to put her out of her pain, sunk the hatchet in her head, but that they were both knocked down by Anen.  The younger of the squaws was near the time of delivery and had marks of shocking treatment which the most savage nations on earth could not have surpassed.

A few of the principal Indians [in] Jersey were desired to attend the trial and execution, which they did, and behaved with remarkable sobriety.

Foster's Efforts to Settle the Weekping Dispute by Third Parties:

Josiah Foster, member of the Evesham Friends Monthly Meeting, was a devout Quaker.  He attempted to use this affiliation to settle the dispute with Enoch Evans and other Quakers who stood against him in the Weekping matter - but to no avail.  Evans insisted that the legal process be allowed to proceed.  Additionally, Foster tried to get third party involvement to settle the matter without resort to court or state intervention; again, to no avail.

Letter from Quakers opposing Foster, 1803:

31 Augt 1803

Dear Josiah Foster

We hereby Inform thee, that we Consider it is our duty to Defend the Right of the Indians to the Coaxing Land, therefore we Cannot agree to leave it to private arbitration. -

Enoch Evans      John Bishop      Asa Eayre

Foster's Complaint to the Friends, no date:

Josiah Foster is under the Disagreabel Necessity of complaining of Enoch Evans for Unlawfully keeping him out of his Property, and unjustly Refusing him a hearing upon the merrits of the Dispute between us, agreabel to the Rules Established amongst and in the society of friends for setling Disputes

1st For unlawfully keeping him out of his Proptery

Josiah Foster contens that as Devisee in the Will of Charles Moolis he of Right took Possestion of the Estate Devised to him in said Will, and Leased the same and Put a Person in Possestion, that his tenent was unlawfully Dispossesed, and under that unlawfull Disposestion the said Enoch Evans keeps him the said Josiah Foster out of his Property -

2dly With Respect to Refusing him the said Josiah Foster a Hearing on the merrits of the Dispute

The said Josiah Foster alledges and is Ready to Prove that he has Repeatedly offered to submit the Invetigation of Each of our Claimes to Referees or arbitraters ageabbel to the order and Rule of the society, that Enoch Evans has Refused to comply with those offers, But insted of shewing a Christion Like Disposistion of having all Disputes Speadaly and ammicably setteled agreabel to the Rule and order of the said society, he manifests a turbulent and tiranicul Disposition, to Eyter keep the Disputed Property by Violence or force, or compel this complainant to have Recorse to a Long tedious and Expencive Law sute to Recover Possestion of his Property again and the complainant further alledges that as this business had been by means of Enoch Evans befor the Yearly meeings Committee on Indian Affares he has made an accommodating offer to some of that Committee who so far approved of the offer as to Lay it before the Committee and four friends appointed to hear Enoch Evans and this complainant on the subject, but Enoch Refused to attend, Evidently shewing an overbareing Disposistion

Letter from Foster with proposal in response to State action in 1806:

Josiah Foster Proceving that Enoch Evans and his associates who have combined together to oppose him in Requiring the Possession of his Lands Devised to him by the will ov Charles Mooliss Decesed have applied to the Legislater for a Law to appoint Commistioners to take charge of those Lands as Indian Property and to Leas them for there use without Ever taking one step to Envestigate the title and have this unhappy Dispute Permanently settled who those Lands Realy belong too, which the said Josiah Foster has Repeatedly and in Divers ways offered and satisfied to have Don, - and now one more offer to meet them and appoint three or five men to take upon them the business and finally settle where the [fee] in those Lands is vested -

Or he will Joine them in an application to the Legislater to appoint men by a Law to finally settle the Dispute

Or he will Joine them in an application for a Law appointing Commitioners with Powers to appoint men on the behalf of those who may suppose they have any other Right to those Lands then what Josiah Foster clames under the said will to Joyne men of his appointing to finally settle who those Lands Realy belong too and Put the Right Owner in Possestion of them

[Reverse:]   To Isaac Cougal and William Stockton Esquires       Gentlemen

American Indian Research