Cover image for A Friend among the Senecas : the Quaker mission to Cornplanter's people
A Friend among the Senecas : the Quaker mission to Cornplanter's people
Swatzler, David.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Mechanicsburg, PA : Stackpole Books, [2000]

Physical Description:
xv, 319 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library E78.S3 S93 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
Central Library E78.S3 S93 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Grosvenor Room-Buffalo Collection Non-Circ

On Order



This account of a 1799 Quaker mission to a Seneca village is based on the journal of Henry Simmons and offers a captivating look at the lifestyles of both groups and their interactions.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This work on the Seneca Indians and the Society of Friends in the late 18th century mixes biography, history, and anthropology in an eclectic and idiosyncratic way. It features the brief journal of Quaker Henry Simmons' mission among the Seneca but uses it mostly as a springboard for various topics, including Seneca games, clans, medicine, religion and dreams, economy, Seneca women's roles and authority, and Handsome Lake's reformation of Iroquois society. But it also treats Quaker religion and culture, and war and diplomacy between the US and various Native Americans. The author is commendably evenhanded, recognizing the authenticity of Quaker philanthropic motives toward the Seneca, but also the cultural limitations and myopia that Quakers shared with most Europeans. The Seneca emerge as lamentably victimized, especially by alcohol and its vendors, but still astute promoters of their own self-interest, not overawed by European blandishments, even from Quakers. The author's explanation of the points of cultural clash, especially regarding economic matters like severalty, may be the best feature of the work. For all its eclecticism and digressions, the book is well written and very accessible to a wide variety of readers. J. D. Marietta University of Arizona

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