Treaty of Shackamaxon; June 23, 1683

Painting of Penn’s Treaty by Benjamin West

Do you know what William Penn is famous for? You probably know that he was an English Quaker, for whom the state of Pennsylvania was named.

Son of an Admiral and nobleman, Penn joined Religious Society of Friends (Called Quakers) and was kicked out of college and jailed for disagreeing with the Church of England.. As a Quaker, Penn was an advocate of peace and religious toleration. He received permission to begin a colony for Quakers and followers of other faiths in the new world.

Finding the Lenni Lenape Indian Tribe there, he reportedly made a peace treaty, perhaps more, with them under the Shackamaxon elm tree. Penn promised to live with the natives in “openness and love” and as “one flesh and one blood” to which Tamanend replied, “We will live in love with William Penn and his children, while the sun, moon, and stars endure.”,

If you ever get to the Philadelphia History Museum, you can see a a Wampum belt. It was supposed to have been given to Penn and shows two men holding hands representing William Penns’s group and the Lenni Lenape Tribe.

Voltaire said the agreement was the only treaty never sworn to and never broken.

The treaty lasted fifty years, but Penn died in 1644 and Lenape moved west. Today most Lenape live in Oklahoma, with smaller numbers of Lenape people in southern Ontario, Wisconsin, and Delaware

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.