Salmon Case letter

Salmon Case letter

Dates: 1839

Letter from Salmon Case to Bates Cook, Controller of the State of N. Y. at Albany. Vernon, New York. 27 June 1839. 1 ¼ pages, plus integral address leaf postmarked 28 June. On light blue paper. An intriguing letter, presumably unpublished, reporting first-hand an episode not inconsistent with prophecies which had been published in that region nine years earlier – and they were scattered before the Gentiles and were smitten, . . . the Lord God will raise up a mighty nation among the Gentiles, yea, even upon the face of this land; and by them shall our seed be scattered. – 1 Nephi 13:14; 22:7. In the letter here, Mr. Case, a prominent citizen of this town bordering Oneida Castle (the important Oneida Indian village,) warns the controller of the State of New York that the Indians are being bullied by unscrupulous persons. By the 1820s, according to Horatio Gates Spafford, these local Native Americans were . . . a harmless, inoffensive set of beings, but have lost much of the spirit and energy of their forefathers ( Gazetteer of the State of NY. 1824. p. 537). Indeed Shenandoah, an aged Indian leader, spoke at Oneida Castle exhorting his brethren, who had just learned of the loss of their land to the whites, not to rise up in war, but to submit to Christ who sees and judges all. It is fascinating to note that the name Oneida also appears in the Book of Mormon, spelled “Onidah.” It was on the hill Onidah that Alma admonished the poor class of Zoramites, who had been driven from their synagogues, to worship elsewhere, develop faith, and trust in Christ. Like the poor Zoramites who listened to Alma on the hill Onidah, Shenandoah’s Oneida listeners were urged to submit, be humble, and turn to religion for consolation. (see Alma 32-34; for Shenandoah’s speech, see the Telescope [NY] issue for November 24, 1827, p. 103, taken from the New York Observer). This submissive, even fearful, spirit of the Oneidas appears in the letter. Salmon Case writes: I have been to the Oneida to day. I find the Indians have been tampered with by some designing individuals, who have frightened them. But this is a trick to compel them to sell their lands and . . . the Com[missione]r of the Land Office would not approve of it. . . . They now want their interest due the 1st June, and wish to have the wrong corrected in your Acct. current and the balance sent on to me immediately, so that they can divide on Monday next. . . . It is lamentable that the poor fellows have so many advisers and so few that are actuated by principles of justice & benevolence. Mr. Jenkins has probably informed you of the course they have taken, and the source of their fears. . . ..

  • Extent: 1 folder (0.1 linear ft.)
  • Creator: Case, Salmon
  • Call Number: MSS 4012
  • Repository: L. Tom Perry Special Collections; 19th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts; 1130 Harold B. Lee Library; Brigham Young University; Provo, Utah 84606;
  • Access Restrictions: Open for public research.
Languages and Scripts
Conditions of Use
It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from the Salmon Case letter must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.
Preferred Citation
Initial citation: MSS 4012; Salmon Case letter; 19th Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts; L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University. Following citations: MSS 4012, LTPSC.
Custodial History
Purchased from Rick Grunder in 1990.
Acquisition Information
Purchased; Rick Grunder; 1990.
Subject Terms
Correspondence; Material Types; Oneida Nation of New York--History
Book of Mormon. Alma
Processing Information
Processed; H. Chirstine Swindler; 14 June 2007.
Appraisal Information
LDS cultural, social, and religious history (Collection development policy of 19th-20th Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts, August 2007).
Finding Aid ID Number
Finding Aid Title
Case (Salmon) letter
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Karen Glenn and H. Christine Swindler, student processors and John Murphy, curator
Finding Aid Creator
This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2010-10-07T15:41-0600
Finding Aid Language
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.
Biographical Info:

Biographical History

Salmon Case was a prominent citizen of a town near Oneida Castle, an important Oneida Indian village in New York in the early 19th century.

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Ryan Lee
Curator - 19th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts