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took him by the hand and said, "I hope thou vilt stand valiant fur the truth in this place. I believe if thou wilt keep thy place in the truth, the Lord will set thee as a stake and pillar in hi* house, in this place." The friend signifying something of his resignation to the Divine will, be added, be thou but faithful and passive in Ilis bands and lie will do it.
He continued very sensible to the last, and died on the 14th of 12th mo. 1747-8, and was decently interred in Friends' burying ground at Kichlaud, in the 67th year of his age. May the Lord grant that all who profess his name m»y leave the world, with such well grounded ace of eternal happiness.
WHY IS A MAN OBLIGED TO PAY HIS DEBTS 1
[The following is tak»n, with some slight alterations and abridgment, from the Chapter on"Property" ioJ)vmoud's Essavs on the Principles of Morality.]"
Why is a man obliged to pay bis debts? It is to be hoped that the morality of few persons hlaxenough to reply—Because the law compels him. But why, then, is he obliged to pay them? Because the Moral Law requires it. That this is the primary ground of the obligation is evident ; otherwise the payment of any debt which x vicious or corrupt legislature resolved to cancel, would cease to be obligatory upon the debtor.
A man becomes insolvent and is made a bankrupt: he pays his creditors ten shillings instead of twenty, and obtains his certificate. The law, therefore, discharges him from the obligation to pay more. The bankrupt receives a large legacy, or he engages in business and acquires property. Being then able to pay the remainder of his debts, does the legal discharge exempt him from the obligation to pay them? No: and for this reason, that the legal discharge is not a moral discharge; that as the duty to pay at all was not fouuded primarily on the law, the law cannot warrant him in withholding a part.
It is however said, that the creditors have relinquished their right to the remainder by signing the certificate. But why did they accept half their demands iustead of the whole? Because they were obliged to do it; they could get no more. A- to granting the certificate, diey do it because to withhold it would be only an act of gratuitous unkindness. It would be preposterous to say that creditors relinquish their claims voluntarily; for who would give up his claim to twenty shillings on the receipt of ten, if he could get the other ten by refusing? It night as reasonably be said that a man parts vita a limb voluntarily, because, having incurably lacerated it, he submits to an amputation. It is to be remembered, too, that the necessary relinquishment of half the demand is occasioned by the debtor himself: and it seems rerj manifest that when a man, by his own act,
deprives another of his property, he cannot allege the consequences of that act as a justification of withholding it after restoration is in his power.
The mode in which an insolvent man obtains a discharge, does not appear to effect his subsequent duties. Compositions, and bankruptcies, and discharges by an insolvent act, are in this respect alike. The acceptance of a part instead of the whole is not voluntary in either case; and neither case exempts the debtor from the obligation to pay in full if he can.
If it should be urged that when a person entrusts property to another, ho knowingly undertakes the risk of that other's insolvency, and that if the contingent loss happens, he has no claims to justice on the other, the answer is this: that whatever may be thought of these claims, they are not the grounds upon which the debtor is obliged to pay. The debtor always engages to pay, and the engagement is enforced by morality: the engagement, therefore, is binding, whatever risk another man may incur by relying upon it. The causes which have occasioned a person's insolvency, although they greatly affect his character, do not affect his obligations: the duty to repay when he has the power is the same, whether the insolvency were occasioned by his fault or by circumstances over which he had no control. In all cases, the reasoning that applies to the debt, applies also to the the interest that accrues upon it; although, with respect to the acceptance of both, and especially of interest, a creditor should exercise a considerate discretion. A man who has failed of paying his debts ought always to live with frugality, and carefully to economize such money as he gains. He should reflect that he is a trustee for his creditors, and that all needless money which he expends is not his, but theirs.
The amount of property which the trading part of a commercial nation loses by insolvency, is great enough to constitute a considerable national evil. The fraud, too, that is practised under cover of insolvency, is doubtless the most extensive of all species of private robbery. The profligacy of some of these cases is well known to be extreme. He who is a bankrupt to-day, riots in the luxuries of affluence to-morrow; bows to the creditors whose money he is spending; and exults in the success and the impunity of his wickedness. Of such conduct, we should not speak or think but with detestation. Happy, if such wickedness could not be practised with legal impunity 1 Happy, if Public Opinion supplied the deficiency of the law, and held the iniquity in rightful abhorrence!
Perhaps nothing would tend so efficaciously to diminish the general evils of insolvency, as a sound state of public opinion respecting the obligation to pay our debts. The insolvent who, with the means of paying, retains the money in his own pocket, is, and he should be regarded as being, a dishonest man. If public opinion held such conduct to be of the same character as theft, probably a more efficient motive to avoid insolvency, in most cases, would be established than any which now exists. Who would not anxiously (and therefore, in almost all cases, successfully) struggle against insolvency, when he knew that it would be followed,if not by permanent poverty, by permanent disgrace? If it should be said that to act upon such a system would overwhelm an insolvent's energies, keep him in perpetual inactivity, and deprive his family of the benefit of his exertions—I answer, that the evil, supposing it to impend, would be much less extensive than may be imagined. The calamity being foreseen, would prevenfmen from becoming insolvent; audit is certain that the majority might have avoided insolvency by sufficient care. Besides, if a man's principles are such that he would rather sink into inactivity than exert himself in order to be just, it is not necessary to mould public opinion to his character. The question too is, not whether some men would not prefer indolence to the calls of justice, but whether the public should judge accurately respecting what those calls are. The state, and especially a family, might lose occasionally by this reform of opinion—and so they do by sending a man to prison or transporting him ; but who would think this a good reason for setting criminals at large? And after all, much more would be gained by preventing insolvency, than lost by the ill consequences upon the few who failed to pay their debts.' •
It is a cause of satisfaction that, respecting this rectified state of opinion, and respecting integrity of private virtue, some examples are offered. There is at least one community of Christians which holds its members obliged to pay their debts whenever they possess the ability, without regard to the legal discharge. By this means, there is thrown over the character of every bankrupt who possesses property, a shade which nothing but payment can dispel. The effect (in conjunction we may hope with private integrity of principle) is good—good, both in instituting a new motive to avoid insolvency, and in inducing some of those who do become insolvent, subsequently to pay all their debts.
Of this latter effect many honorable instances might be given: two which have fallen under my observation, I would briefly mention. A man had become insolvent, I believe in earlv life ; his creditors divided his property amongst them, and gave him a legal discharge. He appears to have formed the resolution to pay the remainder, if his own exertions should enable him to do it. He procured employment, by which however he never gained more than twenty shillings a week ; and worked industriously and lived frugally for eighteen years. At the expiration of this time, he found he had accumulated
enough to p»y the remainder, and he sent the money to his creditors. Such a man, I think, might hope to derive, during the remainder of his life, greater satisfaction from the consciousness of integrity, than he would have derived from expending the money on himself. It should be told that many of his creditors, when they heard the circumstances, declined to receive the money, or voluntarily presented it to him again. One of these was my neighbor: he had been little accustomed to exemplary virtue, and the proffered money astonished him: he talked in loud commendation of what to him was unheard of integrity; signed a receipt for the amount, and sent it back as a present to the debtor. The other instance may furnish hints of a useful kind. It was the case of a female who had endeavored to support herself by the profits of a shop. She however became insolvent, paid some dividend, and received a discharge. She again eiltercd into business, and in the course of years had accumulated enough to pay the remainder of her debts. But the infirmities of age were now coming on, and the annual income from her savings were just sufficient for the wants of declining years. Being thus at present unable to discharge her obligations without subjecting herself to the necessity of obtaining relief from others, she executed a will, directing that at her death the creditors should bo paid the remainder of their demands : and when she died, they were paid accordingly.
PHILADELPHIA, FOURTH MONTH 18, 1857.
We must decline giving a place to the communication from an unknown correspondent. We have never been favorable to anonymous communications; though it is not always necessary that the name should appear in print, the publisher should be furnished with the source from whence such articles proceed.
In common with many others, we feel often very sad at the evidences which abound on the right hand and on the left, of departures from the simplicity of our profession, and we believe if the ancient landmarks, which many rank under the head of peculiarities, be removed, there would soon be nothing left to distinguish us from the world's people, except our form of worship,—and what will that do for us, if its spirituality be swallowed up by the god of mammon? We are in danger, and the Society always has been in danger of participating so freely in surrounding circumstances, as to become identified with the nations of the earth. Were it not that we believe there are still to be found ten righteous men, we should tremble for our safety. While our young people, too many of them, are found in the air, are not some who are older, and from whom more is expected, nearly buried in the earth? so engrossed with the accumulation of perishable treasures, as to leave but little timo for the cultivation of the heart, which in its unpruned and natural state presents very little to attract the attention or admiration of the thoughtful, youthful mind. If we were a consistent and watchful people, we should not have to mourn for the waste places in our Zion, for her borders would be enlarged, and she would stand forth in her ancient beauty. The same power which clothed her in beautiful garments in former times, would again array her in " wrought gold."
We have received from a friend a Circular giving an interesting statement of the origin, subsequent history, and present condition of "The Thomas Asylum for Orphan and Destitute Indian Children," located on the Cattaraugus Reservation, Erie Co., N. Y. We rejoice that such an asylum is afforded to this class of the community, and we hope a general and availing interest will be extended to enable those so benevolently engaged to continue to give their time and attention to the duties of this institution. Though we may not altogether approve some of the means employed in the collection of funds, yet as the institution is not under the superintendence of Friends, we must leave each one to labor in his own way for the accomplishment of so beneficial a charity.
This institution is located in the south part of Erie county, N. Y., on the Cattaraugus Reservation, a little more thanamile from the village of Versailles. Its objects are, first, to relieve the sufferings of orphan and destitute Indian childVeu throughout the State. Second, to prevent these children from growing up idle and vicious vagabonds and beggars. Third, to train them to industry, intelligence and virtue. Its plan is that of an efficient manual labor boarding school, limited to this class of pupils; and the intention is, to retain these pupils till they shall have acquired a thorough knowledge of the English language, and an education sufficient to qualify them for the "ordinary business of fife.
Origin of the Institution.
In the summer of 1854, an Indian died on the Cattaraugus Reservation, leaving a large family of children in extreme want. The sympathy excited in their behalf led to an inquiry into the condition of other children who had been left orphans. It was soon ascertained that, on that Reservation alone, not less than fifty were in circumstances of great destitution and suffering. The question then arose, whether all this distress must continue unrelieved. The treasury of the Indian government was empty. There were no institutions of philanthropy accessible to poor of this description. The missionaries, who saw and pitied, and who keenly felt the bearing of this question upon the success of their labors, had nevertheless no funds at command which could be appropriated for such a purpose. However, one of the ladies connected with the mission resolved to make ah effort, and addressed a statement of the case to Philip E. Thomas, of Baltimore, a venerable member of the Society of Friends, who had, in many ways, already done much for the Indians. Mr. Thomas requested that a few of the most destitute children should be collected and sustained through the approaching winter at his expense; and, in connection with arrangements for this object, the idea of a permanent Asylum was suggested. The Council of the Seneca Nation passed resolutions approving of such an institution, and authorizing the use of land. As a ready means of providing temporary assistance, the two Seneca Brass Bands, with the Choir of Singers, volunteered to give a Concert in the city of Buffalo; from which, by the efficient aid of A. Rumsey, Esq., a handsome sum was realized for current expenses. Ten persons, five of them whites, connected with as many different religious denominations, and five Indians, associated themselves as Trustees, applied to the Legislature for a charter, and were incorporated on the 10th of April, 1855.
The aims of the Trustees were originally confined to the Cattaraugus Reservation, but the Legislature required them to admit beneficiaries from all the Reservations in the State, in proportion to their respective population; and granted two thousand dollars towards the erection of buildings, and an annual allowance, for two years from the date of the act, of ten dollars each for any number of children not exceeding fifty sustained in the institution, besides permitting them to share in the general appropriations to the Incorporated Asylums of the State.
In accordance with the suggestion of Mr. Thomas, temporary accommodations had been provided ; and at the time of the passage of this act, nine children were under care, supported principally at his expense. In view of this and many other acts of kindness to the Indians, his name was given to the institution.
As soon as practicable after receiving their charter, the Trustees procured a lot of 15 acres of ground, delightfully situated, for the purposes of the institution, and commenced preparations for building; but, by reason of unavoidable hindrances, the corner-stone was not laid until the 14th of September following. On that occasion an assembly of about five thousand persons testified to the deep interest of the surrounding community in this new effort to preserve the remnants of a noble race from extinction. The spirit of the occasion may be well illustrated by a single incident. One of the State officers who was present spoke with great effect of the long chapter of Indian wrongs from an incoming and overpowering race ; and expressed the hope that this new movement might be regarded as the pledge of a kindlier and more humane policy in future ; when an old Indian chief rose and responded, that it was indeed true that formerly the two races met only for purposes of mutual destruction, but now for exchange of mutual sympathies and deeds of kindness; and then proceeded to describe, at length, the benefits conferred by the white man upon the Indians, and, in the name of his people, to thank the State for this last and greatest act of kindness, in providing for their orphan children.
The lateness of the season and the severity of the following winter prevented the early completion of the building. It was soon ascertained, also, that the requirements of the charter in regard to it could not bo met without an increase of funds, and the Legislature made an aditional appropriation of $1500. The Commissioner of Indian Affairs sent also 8500 from Washington, and on the opening of spring the work was pushed forward rapidly, and by the middle of June the rooms were ready for the reception of furniture.
Immediately after the corner-stone was laid, certain ladies of Versailles, for whose untiring efforts the friends of humanity are greatly indebted, aided the Indian young people in the organization of a social circle for mutual improvement. This association resolved to labor for the orphans. The young men furnished funds for the purchase of materials, and the young ladies wrought fancy articles of bead work, &c, with a design of holding a fair at the opening of the institution. Their intention becoming known, ladies in Jamestown, Buffalo, and several other places contributed a variety of beautiful articles. Their Fair was held on the 18th of June, and the proceeds were nearly $300; the most of which they expended in procuring furniture for the Asylum. This, with a donation from Philip E. Thomas and a few smaller gifts from Sabbath schools, enabled the Trustees to furnish the building sufficiently for immediate occupancy. One additional child
had been received during the preceding summer, and now, on the 21st of June, the ten were removed to their new home, and arrangements commenced for filling up the building with beneficiaries.
But here a new difficulty arose. Up to this time the children had been remarkably healthy. Now the measles broke out among them, and those children whose constitutions had been most enfeebled by want and exposure suffered severely from this disease. In the case of one promising lad, the sequelse were first bronchitis, then cancrum oris, and finally quick consumption, which carried him off on the 21st of August. Thus early was the room provided for a hospital, the scene of severe suffering and death. From this time to the first of November children were taken in as fast as they could be provided for. At that date the whooping cough was introduced by a child from the Allegany Reservation, and the Trustees were again compelled to decline the reception of others until the danger of contagion should be over; and up to the close of 1856 only fifty children had been admitted.
Of the change in their physical condition, of their progress in learning, and of their docility and obedience, those who visit them speak in terms of the highest gratification.
Financial Condition. From the commencement, in the fall of 1854, to the 31st December, 1856, the receipts and expenditures have been as follows, viz:
RECEIPTS. From the State, towards erection of buildings, §3,500 00
"« "support of children, 215 45
From the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1,000 00 From Philip E. Thomas, and the Society
of Friends, .... 780 00 Proceeds of Concert in Buffalo, . . 165 72 Contributed at the laying of the cornerstone, 168 02
From the A. B. C. F. M., for Matron, 145 00
Annuities of Children, . . . Ill 06
Various collections and donations, in all, 269 92
Total $6,352 19
For the erection of buildings, . . §4,046 28
For furniture 378 17
For services of Matron and other helpers, 517 75 For current expenses, including all other
items, 2,227 88
Total, $7,170 08
From which deduct receipts, . . 6,352 19
And there is a balance against the institution, of $817 89
This debt would have been much larger, had not liberal donations of clothing, bedding, furniture and provisions been received from friends in the vicinity, and from sewing societies, Sabbath schools, in various places. To these friends, the Trustees, in behalf of the interests of humanity, feel greatly indebted ; as well as to all who have, in any manner, contributed to further the objects of the institution. A full list of donations of every kind would occupy too much space here, and will therefore be printed separately, and forwarded to all donors, as early as may be practicable.
It should be further stated, that none of the officers of the institution have received any compensation for the time and labor devoted to it; and that, on account of the deficiency of funds, and their benevolent interest in its objects, the persons employed to take charge of it are giving their services for a much smaller sum than they might elsewhere receive. But they are not of the classes so liberally endowed with this world's goods that they can afford to labor long gratuitously, even for so important an object. Neither have the Trustees the ability to carry on the work at their own expense. To pay off the present debt, and sustain the institution through the year, on principles of rigid economy, will require at least five thousand dollars; and unless this amount can in some way be provided, a portion at least of the orphans must be scattered again, to pick up their living as they can find it. Instead of this, the Trustees desire to add to their present list from twenty to thirty more who ought to share the privileges of the institution, and who can be accommodated without overcrowding the building. They know not where the funds will come from. Still they would not distrust the gracious providence of Him who remembers the poor with peculiar interest, and who has thus far so kindly smiled upon this enterprise. Nevertheless they feel constrained, in view of the above facts, to make theirappeal to the benevolence of the community, on the following grounds, viz:
L These orphau and destitute children are the class who, if neglected, will be more likely than any other to grow up vicious and degraded, and to become pests to society; while, if they can be trained in this institution, they may reasonably be expected to become intelligent, industrious and virtuous. In this way there will be the double gain of transforming those prospectively the worst into the best members of the commuuity.
2. The present degree of progress in civilization and social improvement, at least on the Cattaraugus Reservation if not among all the Indians of the State, renders the experiment of their complete reclamation a very hopeful one; and, as the Commissioner of Indian Affairs said to them on a recent visit, the result in their case will have an important bearing upon the destiny of the whole Indian race upon this continent. If, as they now promise to do, they shall, by their rapid advancement, refute the libel so cruelly cast upon them by selfishness and inhumanity—that they are aowse incapable of
being reclaimed—it will go far towards preventing the gross wrongs and outrages constantly perpetrated upon the Indians of the great West, and thus become the means of saving perhaps hundreds of thousands from destruction; and the Trustees believe they are not alone in regarding this orphan asylum as destined to perform a most important part in the great experiment. Perhaps, regarded in all its bearings, its influence should be deemed second to no other human influence for determining the final result. Every feeling of humanity, therefore, demands that it should be adequately sustained.
3. The support of this institution is not, then, a matter of local but of general—of universal interest.
In their efforts to obtain aid, the Trustees often meet with the objection that this is a matter of public concern rather than of private, and should therefore be thrown wholly upon the State for support.
It cannot be denied that this whole State was, no very long time ago, in the possession of these Indians; nor that much of her fairest territory was obtained from them for less than a shilling an acre—for a mere song; nor that she is now receiving many thousand dollars of her public income as the revenue of a single purchase for which she paid down originally less than two thousand dollars, and became obligated to give an annuity of some two hundred and fifty dollars cash and one hundred bushels of salt.
But if the State is enjoying such advantages from gain made out of the Indians, the same is equally true of individuals. Whose farm was not Indian land a few years ago? For whose farm, in all this wide State, did the Indians receive a really just and fair equivalent? How many of the heavy estates inherited by our citizens were, in effect, plundered from this weak and defenceless people?
Besides the State is, in many ways, nobly not to say generously repaying her debt of justice to the Indians. She has passed laws giving them j protection and encouragement. She has allowed their children to share equally with her own in the distribution of her common school funds, and has erected school-houses for their benefit. Moreover, as will be seen from the foregoing statements, the buildings for this Asylum were put up mainly at her expense; and the Trustees think they see, in the history of her recent legislation, full grounds for the belief that she will never fail to do anything which might be reasonably expected of her. They fejl impelled, therefore, by a sense of gratitude, as well as of justice, to enter their respectful protest against the objection that the State should do the whole of this important work. They think the appeal lies upon the citizens of the State in their individual, no less than in their collective capacity; and