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"We Wish to Do You Good": The Quaker Mission to the Oneida Nation, 1790-1840

"We Wish to Do You Good": The Quaker Mission to the Oneida Nation, 1790-1840 ``We Wish to Do You Good'': The Quaker Mission to the Oneida Nation, 1790­1840 KARIM M. TIRO In January of 1800, Samuel Kirkland, the Presbyterian missionary to the Oneida Nation, watched a small group of Philadelphiabased Quakers formally close their own mission to that people. Pondering the scene, Kirkland wrote, ``A true history of the Quaker enterprize among the Oneidas, would really be entertaining as well as a little ludicrous. It would present a picture of ignorance, pride, superstition & bigotry curiously blended.''1 As a competitor for the Oneidas' attention, as well as for the support of the federal government, Kirkland had remained at arm's length from the Quakers for the three-and-a-half-year duration of their mission. Kirkland's relationship with the Quakers was little warmer than the loaf of bread he couldn't use to perform the sacrament one February morning because it was frozen. When he asked the Quakers to loan him one, they declined on the grounds that ``it is to enable thee to perform a ceremony in a manner different from what we believe essential.'' In Kirkland's mind, this must have been a perfect example of what he considered the ``bigotry, self confidence, & preciseness for which http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the Early Republic University of Pennsylvania Press

"We Wish to Do You Good": The Quaker Mission to the Oneida Nation, 1790-1840

Journal of the Early Republic , Volume 26 (3)

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Publisher
University of Pennsylvania Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 Society for Historians of the Early American Republic.
ISSN
1553-0620
Publisher site
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Abstract

``We Wish to Do You Good'': The Quaker Mission to the Oneida Nation, 1790­1840 KARIM M. TIRO In January of 1800, Samuel Kirkland, the Presbyterian missionary to the Oneida Nation, watched a small group of Philadelphiabased Quakers formally close their own mission to that people. Pondering the scene, Kirkland wrote, ``A true history of the Quaker enterprize among the Oneidas, would really be entertaining as well as a little ludicrous. It would present a picture of ignorance, pride, superstition & bigotry curiously blended.''1 As a competitor for the Oneidas' attention, as well as for the support of the federal government, Kirkland had remained at arm's length from the Quakers for the three-and-a-half-year duration of their mission. Kirkland's relationship with the Quakers was little warmer than the loaf of bread he couldn't use to perform the sacrament one February morning because it was frozen. When he asked the Quakers to loan him one, they declined on the grounds that ``it is to enable thee to perform a ceremony in a manner different from what we believe essential.'' In Kirkland's mind, this must have been a perfect example of what he considered the ``bigotry, self confidence, & preciseness for which

Journal

Journal of the Early RepublicUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

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