Quinton, Amelia S. (1833–1926)

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Quinton, Amelia S. (1833–1926)

American advocate for Native American land rights. Name variations; Mrs. James Franklin Swanson. Born Amelia Stone in Jamesville, near Syracuse, New York, on July 31, 1833; died in Ridgefield Park, New Jersey, on June 23, 1926; daughter of Jacob Thompson Stone and Mary (Bennett) Stone; educated in Homer, New York, under the tutelage of Samuel B. Woolworth, LL.D.; married Rev. James F. Swanson; married Rev. Richard L. Quinton (a lecturer in history and astronomy from London); lived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Amelia Quinton was born in Jamesville, New York, in 1833, and lived in Georgia for several years following her marriage to Reverend James F. Swanson. After Swanson's death and a proper period of mourning, she married Richard Quinton in London. Amelia became appalled by the U.S. government's behavior toward Native Americans and helped organize the Women's National Indian Association. She was president for over six years, preparing its pamphlets and editing its paper. The group appealed to the government to honor its pledges to tribes, "and that no treaty should be abrogated or broken without the free consent of the Indian tribe named in it." Senator Henry Dawes, chair of the Senate Indian Committee, would later note that "the new government Indian policy was born of and nursed by this woman's association." Dawes' Severalty Bill, which became law in March 1887, granted Native Americans the rights and privileges echoed in the petitions of Quinton's association. In retrospect, the Dawes Act was far from perfect, but, given the alternatives, it seemed the best course of action at the time.

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Quinton, Amelia S. (1833–1926)

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