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DSC01568 b from Kathy Hochul s Post
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Map of Meetinghouse Grounds
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Meetinghouse Exterior 1958
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Canandaigua Messenger 11 16 2018 07A by

Dear Friends of the 1816 Farmington Quaker Meetinghouse Museum

Thank you for your ongoing support for the work of the Meetinghouse Museum! We are grateful for the progress you have helped make possible on restoration efforts and programs, despite continued struggle with pandemic issues. We appreciate you all.

 

Since last fall, our board welcomed new members, bolstered by folks rotating off (including Kathy Hendrix, Barbara Popenhusen, and Sue Stehling), who worked throughout the year to assure continuity. 

 

We remain committed to providing experiences that expand our visitors’ understanding of the significance of the 1816 Meetinghouse and movements for equal rights in the Finger Lakes region and across the country. This year, we broke ground for a nature trail where we will install signage relevant to our mission of equal rights. In cooperation with local organizations, we presented six free programs, focusing on the “Struggle for Women’s Suffrage: Race and Politics” and on Michelle Shenandoah’s work on “Rematriation.” We have also started a project to transcribe manuscripts relating to Seneca-Quaker efforts to save Seneca lands after the 1838 Treaty of Buffalo Creek. And we continue to apply for state and federal grants to support Meetinghouse restoration.

 

We hope you will remain with us on this journey, whether by attending our programs, visiting our website (www.farmingtonmeetinghouse.org) and Facebook page, or traveling to Farmington – perhaps all of these!

 

Your contributions are the foundation on which we can build both the physical structure and the vision that sustains us all – of equal rights, respect, and justice for all people, and of our own responsibility for creating that world. To make a contribution, scroll down to Donate button and click the donate button. 

We are deeply grateful for your interest and contributions!

Struggle For Women's Suffrage Event Videos

The video of our fifth and last program in our series “Struggle for Women’s Suffrage: Politics and Race” is now available for viewing on YouTube. You can watch “Mary Ann Shadd Cary: Black Women and the Early Suffrage Movement” presented by Jane Rhodes, professor and department head, African American Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago.  Shadd Cary was the first Black woman in North America to edit and publish a newspaper, one of the first Black female lawyers in North America and an advocate for voting rights for women. Rhodes has called her both a friend and foe of Frederick Douglass.  Visit our Youtube Channel, or watch below. 

You can also watch the last program of the 2021 season, “Rematriation: Returning the Sacred to the Mother”  presented by Michelle Schenandoah, on our Facebook page, or by clicking here:  

Rematriation is an Indigenous women-led movement happening across Turtle Island and Indigenous spaces, that includes historical truth telling, cultural revitalization, food sovereignty, water protection, land back and community healing. Michelle Schenandoah is an inspirational speaker, writer, thought leader and traditional member of the Onʌyota':aka (Oneida) Nation Wolf Clan of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. She is the founder of Rematriation Magazine. Raised in a family of traditional leadership, she carries the values and responsibilities of being a Haudenosaunee woman throughout her life.

This talk explored these actions and provided an opportunity for participant discussion. This program was made possible with the support of our Co-Sponsor Friends of Ganondagan, a grant from the Indian Affairs Committee, NY Yearly Meeting and Humanities NY.

You can also watch "The Famous Friendship of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass", presented by Carol Faulkner, a professor of history at Syracuse University as well as  "Hester Jeffrey: Temperance; Suffrage; Political Action", presented by Susan Goodier, professor at SUNY Oneonta, and “Frances Ellen Watkins Harper: Poet, Activist, Reformer” presented by Marcia Robinson, Asst. Professor of Religion, Syracuse University. You can either click the videos below to watch, or visit our YouTube channel

Canandaigua Treaty & Transcription Project 

“We the womn [sic] of the Tonawanda, . . . are astonished to hear that the Tonawanda Reservation, we have to give up.” 

            Petition sent to President John Tyler, March 14, 1842, by 207 Seneca women at Tonawanda.

 

This November is National American Indian Heritage Month. It is also the 227th anniversary of the Canandaigua Treaty, with a celebration organized by our sister site Ganondagan in Canandaigua on November 11, 2021, 2:00 p.m. (https://ganondagan.org/events-programs/canandaigua-treaty-event). This will also be on Facebook live. For more on the Canandaigua Treaty, see G. Peter Jemison and Anna M. Schein, Treaty of Canandaigua, 1794 (Santa Fe, New Mexico: Clear Light Publishers, 2000).

 

Article I of the Canandaigua Treaty states: “Peace and friendship are hereby firmly established, and shall be perpetual, between the United States and the Six Nations.” Quakers were witnesses to this Treaty. Its provisions remain unchanged today. But the road has not been easy. 

 

To honor the Canandaigua Treaty and to help us understand better the historic connections between Seneca people and Quakers, we share this transcription of a petition drafted on March 14, 1842, and sent to President John Tyler by 207 Tonawanda Seneca women. This draft is located in the Post Family Papers at the University of Rochester and is reprinted with their permission: https://rbscpexhibits.lib.rochester.edu/viewer/6542). 

 

Amy and Isaac Post were Rochester Quakers, affiliated with Genesee Yearly Meeting at Farmington. Why do you think this draft petition from Tonawanda women was among the papers of a Quaker family? 

 

Tonawanda March 14th 1842

His Excellency

John Tyler [illegible]

President of the U.S.

 

Father, – We write to you, & hear our words. His excellency will, we pray most earnestly, to listen us. We the women of our race, feel troubled with deep anxiety, for our children, who are in our hands. Feel as tho we are binded up with our children in our t arms. And we pray you our Great Father [illegible], the President, to unlace our bondage, which gives ^us^ much pain.

 

Our Great Father, the President — We the womn [sic] of the Tonawanda, have exerted our influence, in trying to [have?] our Chiefs to be united in their minds in ^their^ councils & they have done so, — not one of our Chiefs here, have signed the Treaty, and we are astonished to hear that the Tonawanda Reservation, is to be sol we have to give up. All our women of the other [illegible] reservations, of the Seneca Nation, are of the same mind, all are in trouble. We therefore pray you our Great Friend, to remove our troubles, and ^we^ would take hold your hand, for protection, and ^We^ ask the Great Spirit to grant our requests, and aid us, —

 

Our Great Father, — You may be astonished to hear this from us — as we have never done so before. We think much, and lov are attached to places these places, which the Great Spirit has given to his Red Children of this Country. Our Great Father — We will say with ^as^ our chiefs have said repeatedly in ^their^ councils, and when a gin [sic] [again]. council was opened at Cattaraugus, two years ago, by J. R. Poinsett, late Secretary of War,” the same was repeated by our Chiefs, that [we are willing?] that the emigrating party should have their proportion & share of their lands and dispose of it. The former Treaties made with our nation, by George Washington the first President, is good, — the continuation of which is compared to the sun rises & sets, and waters continue to flow, — Washington trusted in the Great Spirit, and he

 

[page 2]

 

was ^crowned with^ success. By his wisdom, this country is blest with freedom and human rights, — and it is given to us also, to enjoy our freedom, —

 

The number of our women here are two hundred and seven.

(page 2)

 

Our Father the President, This is all we have to say.

 

Their

Minerva X BlackSmith

Widow X LittBeard

Susan X BlackSmith

Jo-no-que-no, X

Gar-near-no-wih, X

O-no-dǫ X

D[a]e wạ does X

Gar-e-was-ha-dus, X

Marks.

 

[page 2 bottom margin] [in pencil]

Indian Women,

Tonawanda

 

Transcribed October 2021 by Mary-Kay Belant and M.J. Heisey

 

Context: In 1842, Seneca people—women as well as men—were in a desperate battle to retain their homelands. Just as the Cherokee had been forced to leave their ancestral lands Georgia, so federal officials hoped to remove all Haudenosaunee from their historic homes in New York State to land west of the Mississippi River. In 1838, they developed the Treaty of Buffalo Creek. This treaty was, wrote historian Laurence M. Hauptman, “one of the major frauds in American Indian history.” 

 

Seneca councils refused to sign this treaty. They invited Quakers to meet with them at Cattaraugus and Buffalo Creek to help plan resistance. In June 1840, Quakers from Genesee Yearly Meeting invited Senecas to meet at the 1816 Farmington Quaker Meetinghouse. Quakers from Baltimore, New York, and Philadelphia Yearly Meetings also attended. 

 

Lengthy, complicated, and often dramatic negotiations led to a proposed Supplemental Treaty in 1842. By that treaty, Senecas would keep their homelands at Cattaraugus and Allegany but would lose Buffalo Creek and Tonawanda. 

 

It was a sad, sad time for everyone. Resistance of Tonawanda men and women led to a new agreement in 1857, by which they remained at Tonawanda. But Buffalo Creek, now part of the City of Buffalo, was lost to Seneca people forever. 

Looking to the Future

On May 13, we had a walk-through of our planned nature trail, a Walk for Freedom inspired by Carol Elaine Deys, our long-time and much-loved Board member. 

 

Carol has experience in developing these trails. As a volunteer in Macedon, she worked on a Butterfly Trail and a Tasha Tudor storybook trail. (See article by Julie Sherwood in the Daily Messenger:).

 

These trails are beautiful examples of what a community can do when it comes together for the common good. Many thanks to Dave Bruinix, trail master, for his help in doing this work, and to Peter Ingalsbe, Farmington Town Supervisor, and Dan Delpriore, Code Enforcement Officer, for their help in laying this out.  

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Dave Bruinix pointing the way from the meadow into the woods. 

Photo by Stacey Vandenburgh

Searching for a good site for a serenity garden at the end of the trail.

Photo by Reginald Neale

To make a contribution, please click the Donate button, or mail us a check at P.O. Box 25053 Farmington, NY 14425. Your support is greatly appreciated, and helps us sustain this organization, as well as make improvements to our beloved Meetinghouse. 

2021 Board Members

Mary-Kay Belant — Willie Bontrager— Dave Bruinix — Joan Bryant — Florence Cardella — Matthew Cooley — Carol Elaine Deys — Peter Evans — Douglas Fisher — Charles Lenhart — Ann Morton — Reginald Neale  —

Diane Robinson — Stacey VanDenburgh — Judith Wellman