Thursday, December 14, 2006

(Quaker Newspaper Published by Orthodox Friend Achilles Pugh)

The following extract, from a letter from Richard Mendenhall, received after our last paper went to press, brings to a large circle of friends and relatives, the sorrowful news of the decease of JESSE HARVEY, superintendent of Friends' School, in the Shawnee nation of Indians.

"Friends' Shawnee School,
Indian Territory, 4th month 12th, 1848.

I write to thee under a very afflicting dispensation. ~ Our friends and Superintendent, Jesse Harvey, departed this life this afternoon, at a quarter before two o'clock, having been confined almost entirely to his bed for three months lacking three days. His disease proved to be a dropsy, and latterly had been rapidly progressing, insomuch that his physicians urged that an attempt be made at an early period, to remove him to Ohio. This proposition meeting with his approbation, measures were being taken, for him and his family to set out on the proposed journey, sometime during next week; the two young women who came out with me, and myself having consented to remain in charge at this institution, until other friends could be sent on. But the present dispensation affords a striking instance of the uncertainty of human calculations. During the last three or four days, his strength rapidly failed, and continued to decline until he passed into eternity.

His family will await the advice of the Committee, whether they return home now, or remain here. If suitable friends can be conveniently found to fill all the places here, they will return home, otherwise they are willing to remain here."

Dr. Jesse Harvey died on May 12th, 1848. His wife Elizabeth Burgess Harvey and their children stayed on at the Quaker Shawnee Mission and continued to superintend with the assitance of Richard Mendenhall. There is a small graveyard on the site and there is a maker that simply says, "Jesse Harvey of Harveysburg." It is the Indian Cemetery at Nieman Road & 59th Terrace in Shawnee, Johnson County, Kansas. The Harvey family stayed the full term of two years at the Mission.

Dr. Jesse Harvey was one of, if not the first, abolitionist in Warren County, Ohio. He and his wife, Elizabeth, were abolitionists and conductors on the Under Ground Railroad when it was incredibly dangerous to be involved in such work during the early 1830s and on.


Blogger joann memming said...

Elizabeth Burgess Harvey Mendenhall was a distant aunt of mine. I am curious as to the identity of Richard Mendenhall mentioned in the Jesse Harvey assuming that is the Mendenhall she married. Do you know anything about him, where he was from, did he also work at the Shawnee Quaker Mission...and where she eventually died?
Many thanks,
Jo Ann Memming

11:06 AM  

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