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REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON INDIAN AFFAIRS.
To the Yearly Meeting :
The Joint Committee on Indian Affairs report that there has been very little labor to engage their attention the past year.
The policy of the Indian Department has changed, so that Friends are no longer invited to assist in the selection of Indian Agents, and all the Indians originally under the care of our Friends have been placed under the care of others, except the Santee and Flandreau Indian Agency, which is under the care of Baltimore, Ohio and Illinois Yearly Meetings, as reported last year.
Although we have no Indians under our special care, we have been represented at the meetings of the Delegates of the Seven Yearly Meetings of Friends, and have given some attention to subjects of legislation when the interest of the Indian was concerned.
In reviewing our labors in the cause of the Indian, we believe that they have not been without benefit to that wronged people, and we hope that a continued concern will be manifested to assist in having justice done them, as way may open.
In view of the fact that we have now no Indians under the special care of this meeting, we recommend that the present large Committee be released, and that a smaller one, consist
ing of active and judicious Friends, be appointed to give such
CLEMENT M. BIDDLE, Clerk.
REPORT OF THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON TEMPERANCE AND
To the Yearly Meeting :
The Joint Committee of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting on the subjects of Temperance and Intoxicating Beverages, in making its third annual report, presents no new methods in its field of labor. Meetings have been regularly held and generally well attended.
The Literature Committee has endeavored to secure, for gratuitous circulation, the best thought as it came from the press. They are encouraged by the fact that later publications give evidence of an increase of interest in the medical aspect of the Temperance question. From this source we hope to arrive at some of the causes of the present destructive appetite for alcoholic poisons. This Committee has given attention to a careful selection of books for First-day School libraries. School books have been supplied to Friends' schools as occasion demanded.
When introduced into public schools, the expense has been met by individuals. An appeal to Friends by one of our
own members was offered for approval to the General Committee, and by its order 8,000 copies were printed for distribution.
The Executive Committee were authorized to make further effort to introduce Temperance Literature into the schools, and at a special meeting of that body, held during Tenth month, 1883, a form of appeal was adopted and directed to be addressed to the Superintendents of County Schools and to the Teachers and Directors of Schools assembled at County Institutes. These appeals asked for the instruction of the children with reference to the physiological and hygienic effect of alcoholic stimulants upon the human system as set forth by modern science. One hundred and sixty-four of these have been written, signed by the Clerk, and forwarded each to its place of destination. Some instances are reported of their having been acted upon, and we hopefully believe they may be instrumental in preparing the soil for better culture.
Satisfactory reports from eight Quarterly Meetings have been received.
Philadelphia says: “Stated Monthly Meetings and fourteen Conferences have been held in the different meetinghouses, most of them larger than on previous occasions.' They report a larger distribution of Temperance literature, and an appropriation by the Quarterly Meeting of $50 for Temperance purposes.
Abington reports “three Conferences, at which considerable interest was manifested. Temperance lesson books introduced into two schools. The teachers faithful in their instructions."
Bucks reports “five public meetings, excellent in character
and aiding materially in moulding public sentiment to a Temperance standard.”
An effort has been made in some instances to adapt the work to youthful minds, trusting that seed thus planted will germinate and bring forth good fruit. Much individual labor has been expended, with satisfactory results.
Concord reports “four Committee Meetings and six Conferences.” They have labored in great harmony in the effort to impress on the minds of the children the necessity for total and entire abstinence from all intoxicants. More instruction is needed in the day schools, which the Committee feel would be of lasting benefit to those who are to be the men and women of the future.
Western reports “eleven Conferences and one all-day meeting, held in the Eighth month, at London Grove." A growing interest is manifested in these monthly gatherings, indicating a more healthy public sentiment.
In the consideration of moral questions, wherein all are invited to participate, political barriers are broken down and sectarian prejudices dissipated.
A renewed effort has been made to arrest the granting of licenses for the sale of intoxicants, but so surrounded are we by the legalized liquor traffic, that the united energies of those engaged in it are difficult to overcome.
Wealth and power are increasingly employed for its preservation. Hence we are convinced that the time has arrived when all friends of the cause must adhere firmly to their principles in the exercise of the ballot, that no unworthy representative may have a place in our State or National Councils. Cider making and drink
ing have awakened a lively concern. Physiological teaching with reference to the use of stimulants has been introduced into the schools. Various methods have been adopted for the circulation of Temperance literature, in which they have been aided by voluntary contributions.
Burlington reports “eight Conferences, with an evident increase of interest in the subjects considered.” The power of consistent personal influence, and the exercise of care in training the children to save them from the indulgence of an appetite for alcoholic stimulants, is forcibly presented. Expression is given to the dangers of the license system, and formulated in a petition to the Judges of the County Court, asking that the license may be withheld whenever practicable, also to the importance of the right use of the ballot, that through it this fruitful cause of degradation and crime may be removed.
Haddonfield reports ten Stated Meetings and six Conferences, all well attended, marking an awakened interest, in which they see among their younger members an extended field for future usefulness. A caution is extended to those who are older not to close up the avenues of knowledge and continue in practices whereby “a brother stumbleth.” They have made use of the literature furnished by the Committee.
Salem reports “four Stated Committee Meetings and nine Public Meetings, well attended and satisfactory in result.” They also look hopefully forward when the influence of the ballot will provide a constitutional amendment prohibiting the sale of intoxicating liquors in the State.
Fishing Creek reports the Committee appointed to co-operate discontinued at its own request.