Digital Paxton: Digital Collection, Critical Edition, and Teaching Platform

The Politics of Friendly Association

Friendly Association correspondence reveals the political sensitivity of native diplomacy. In an August 18 letter, General Forbes warns that Friends must not appear to grasp for power. Those concerns resurface next January, when he authorizes their leaders to transport Indian goods but frets the “umbrage” of the colony’s commissioners.

John Forbes, General Forbes to Israel Pemberton (Shippensbourg, August 18, 1758).

I need not tell you that a Jealousy of the Quakers grasping at power, has perhaps taken place in some people’s minds; you have now a very critical time of showing that you are actuated only by the publick good and the preservation of those provinces.

Israel Pemberton, Israel Pemberton to Charles Read (Philadelphia, September 10, 1758).

the success of the business depends much on setting out right & our Governor has neither inclination nor judgement to act, as ye occasion requires & would I believe pay more regard to a hint from a Brother Govr than to either perswasions or remonstrances from his Subjects.

John Forbes, General Forbes to Israel Pemberton (Philadelphia, January 15, 1759).

I should be very sorry that you persuaded me to Do any thing that could give Umbrage to the province or provincial Commissioners by giving protections for carrying […] your goods. Tho I cannot but highly applaud your Zeal for the service.

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