Saturday, May 23, 2009

Jamison Quinney and the Stockbridge Bible

What happened to the Stockbridge Bible? The short answer is that after Calvin Colton's (1830) observations on the two-volume Bible, we have no record of what happened to those volumes for decades. Although Jeremiah Slingerland assured whites in Massachusetts at one point that the Stockbridge Bible was "still being guarded like the terraphim of the orientals," no detailed account of the old book was printed until 1908.

The 1908 account was written by Rev. Earl North in an article for The Interior, a Calvinist newspaper ("The Last of the Mohicans: Descendants of Indian Parishoners of Jonathan Edwards Reorganized Into a Presbyterian Church in Wisconsin." 2/20/1908, pages 233-235).

Unfortunately, North did not cite his sources, but he worked closely with church elder Jamison "Sote" Quinney, making it highly likely that Quinney was his source for the following statement:

The old Bible was found in a deserted house and carefully cleaned and put in a place of safety at the home of Mr. Jamison Quinney.

We'll see in a later post why some people insisted that the Stockbridge Bible was never lost or abandoned. I must admit that I didn't want to believe it either. It was important to me that the Bible meant a lot to the tribe. Of course it meant a lot to them, but tribal conflicts and poverty loomed larger.

The above clipping from The Milwaukee Sentinel depicts Jamison "Sote" Quinney holding the Stockbridge Bible.

Here's more from my paper (as printed in The Book Collector), "From Generation to Generation."
....Jamison "Sote" Quinney kept the Stockbridge Bible at his house for a number of years. Rev. North's report doesn't claim that Sote Quinney found the Stockbridge Bible, but rather that the two volumes were brought to him because he was both a political and religious leader of the Stockbridges. We'll see later that Quinney, although he kept the Bible at his house, didn't behave as if it were his personal property.

I've been told that Jamison Quinney was the grandson of Austin E. Quinney.

No comments :