French philosopher, François Marie Arouet de Voltaire, also described the treaty as “the only treaty between those people [the Indians] and the Christians that was not ratified by an oath, and was never infring’d.” At least it was never broken by Penn. The treaty of peace and friendship held firm until the Penn’s Creek Massacre on October 16, 1755.
Liberty, as I have tried to explain in my letters to you, even though America has made some mistakes, we have an overabundance of people doing things right. While the world today is desperately trying to convince itself that God’s way is ancient, bigoted, wrong, and not wanted anymore, Penn demonstrates how the Bible and Christ truly give us the blueprint for how we are to live and treat one another. William Penn not only preached respect, friendship and peace, he lived it. Likewise, because of his actions, that attitude was reciprocated, at least by the Lenape Indians, even though they were not Christian at the time. However, as a result of his example, many Indians did convert to Christianity.
As I have stated before, progressives want and need to destroy and erase America's Christian heritage for people to accept their objective of making government our god. People have been trying to accomplish this since the Tower Of Babel. “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.” (Genesis 11:4) (see ) In fact, it’s been happening in society since Adam and Eve ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (see ). However, we must continue to study and share our true history, both good and bad, and earnestly pray for God's continued Divine Providence (see ). As it is only through God's help will we not journey down the roads of dictatorships, communism, socialism and totalitarianism that practically every other nation has traveled.
That’s my 2 cents.
June 23, 2017
“We meet on the broad pathway of good faith and good-will; no advantage shall be taken on either side, but all shall be openness and love. We are the same as if one man’s body was to be divided into two parts; we are of one flesh and one blood.”
William Penn stood before the leaders of the Lenni Lenape, or Delaware, tribe as he humbly pledged his honest friendship. As a Quaker, Penn was forbidden to swear oaths. However, he was bound and determined to honor the “Great Treaty” he just entered with his new Native American brothers.
Tamanend, one of the several chiefs in attendance, took his place next to Penn under the elm tree and responded, “We will live in love with William Penn and his children as long as the creeks and rivers run, and while the sun, moon, and stars endure.”
After purchasing the Island of Manna-Hattin in 1626, the Dutch established a strong trading relationship with the natives. (see ) King Charles II of England wanted to break up the Dutch's monopoly in New Amsterdam and the Hudson Valley. To do so, he began distributing control of English territory in the Americas, hoping the extra British leadership would broaden their trading ability. In the 1650’s, Admiral Penn loaned King Charles money. To repay that debt, in 1682 Charles granted Admiral’s son, William, land that would eventually become Pennsylvania and Delaware.
William Penn promptly traveled to the New World to survey his new territory. He wanted to cultivate the area with his Quaker belief of peace and justice. Living under that faith, Penn saw the natives still inhabiting his land as fellow children of God, therefore his brothers and sisters. As a result, he immediately extended a hand of love and respect to them. He penned a letter to the natives in the Pennsylvania territory, which he had translated into the Algonquian language, that read: “the king of the country where I live, hath given me a great province therein. But I desire to enjoy it with your love and consent that we may always live together as neighbors and friends.”
Penn attended multiple Lenni-Lenape council meetings, allowing him to study and learn their culture so as to relate and communicate with them better. Within a year he had mastered their language and was able to converse with them without a translator. Penn so respected the natives that he frequently paid them for rights to use the land he was given by the king, and eventually purchased it outright from them.
Wanting to confirm his desire for peace, Penn met with their chiefs in their village of Shackamaxon. Under what is now known as the “Peace Elm,” which grew on the banks of the Delaware River, Penn and the Lenape pledged in person what Penn promised in his letter, to “always live together as neighbors and friends.” Originally historians recorded this event in November of 1682 upon Penn’s arrival to America. However, many now dispute this timeframe believing Penn would not have had time for such a meeting right away. Instead, they couple the “Great Treaty” with the day Penn purchased two tracts of land from Tamarend, June 23, 1683.
In a letter dated August 16, 1683, Penn writes of a meeting he had with the Lenape. Though it is not confirmed, it is very possibly describing the “Great Treaty” or Treaty of Shackamaxon. Regardless, it is an excellent example of Penn's relationship with the Delaware Indians.
THE UNBROKEN TREATY
“When the purchase was agreed, great promises passed between us of kindness and good neighborhood, and that the Indians and English must live in love as long as the sun and moon give light; which done, another made a speech to the Indians in the name of all the Sachamakers or Kings, first to tell them what was done; next to charge and command them to love the Christians, and particularly live in peace with me, and the people under my Government; that many Governors had been on the River, but that no Governor had come himself to live and stay here before; and having now such an one that treated them well, they should never do him or his any wrong. At every sentence of which they shouted and said Amen in their way.”
There are no surviving copies of a signed treaty. However, in 1857, Penn’s great-grandson, Granville John Penn, presented Penn's Treaty Belt to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. It consisted of eighteen strings of wampum and portrayed two men shaking hands. The Lenape’s Wampum Belt was reported lost on March 24, 1782, when Chief Killbuck fled for his life from Killbuck Island near Pittsburg to Fort Pitt. (see )
Over the years, many have confirmed the significance of this treaty. In his book Pennsylvania, Colonial and Federal, historian Howard Malcolm Jenkins wrote:
“In the years following 1683, far down into the next century, the Indians preserved the tradition of an agreement of peace made with Penn, and it was many times recalled in the meetings held with him and his successors. Some of these allusions are very definite. In 1715, for example, an important delegation of the Lenape chiefs came to Philadelphia to visit the Governor. Sassoonan –afterward called Allummapees, and for many years the principal chief of his people – was at the head, and Opessah, a Shawnee chief, accompanied him. There was ‘great ceremony,’ says the Council record, over the ‘opening of the calumet.’ Rattles were shaken, and songs were chanted. Then Sassoonan spoke, offering the calumet to Governor Gookin, who in his speech spoke of ‘that firm Peace that was settled between William Penn, the founder and chief governor of this country, at his first coming into it,’ to which Sassoonan replied that they had come ‘to renew the former bond of friendship; that William Penn had at his first coming made a clear and open road all the way to the Indians, and they desired the same might be kept open and that all obstructions might be removed,’ etc. In 1720, Governor Keith, writing to the Iroquois chiefs of New York, said: “When Governor Penn first settled this country he made it his first care to cultivate a strict alliance and friendship with all the Indians, and condescended so far as to purchase his lands from them.’ And in March, 1722, the Colonial Authorities, sending a message to the Senecas, said: “William Penn made a firm peace and league with the Indians in these parts near forty years ago, which league has often been repeated and never broken.”