Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Top 10 Things to Learn from William Penn and Native Americans about Peace

1. The Penn Treaty tradition holds, took place between William Penn, a Quaker and Tamanend, a chief of one of the clans that made up the Lenni-Lenape nation in the Delaware Valley. Tamanend is holding the Wampum Belt. This diorama can be found at Arch Street Friends Meeting in Philadelphia, PA.



2. Penn was fond of his Indian neighbors and they returned the compliment. He treated them as equals and they were as welcome in the rich halls of Pennsbury as any of his other guests.  The Lenape were constantly amazed by the Governor's vigor and strength during exploration trips he sometimes made along the Delaware River and its tributaries. (Illustrations and descriptions are from Pennsbury Manor, William Penn's home).



3. The Delaware Indians were Algonquins.  Their name, Lenni-Lenape meant "real men" or "native men". They loved the rich land along the river and the men hunted the forests, the women tilled the fertile soil and the children played along the banks of the beautiful river.  These are Lenape sites along the river. The present site of Trenton would be just above the top of the map, Philadelphia just below the bottom frame.  We are showing Indian site surrounding Pennsbury Manor in lower Bucks County. (Illustrations and descriptions are from Pennsbury Manor).



4. Penn Treaty Park located at Columbia and Beach Streets in Philadelphia is believed to be the location where the treaty took place under the Great Elm Tree between William Penn and area Native Americans.



5. THE GREAT ELM OF SHACKMAXON IS THE SITE UNDER WHICH PENN AND THE DELAWARE INDIANS MADE THE GREAT TREATY IN 1682. SINCE THAT TIME LEGEND AND HISTORY OF THE EVENT HAVE GENERATED ADMIRATION FOR WILLIAM PENN AND THE TREE. THE TREE BECAME THE LIVING SYMBOL OF THE GREAT TREATY DURING THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR, BRITISH GENERAL SIMCOE POSTED GUARDS AROUND THE TREE TO PROTECT IT FROM THE SETTLERS SEEKING FIREWOOD. WHEN THE ELM WAS BLOWN DOWN BY A STORM ON 3 MARCH 1810, IT WAS 283 YEARS OLD, EIGHT FEET IN DIAMETER, AND TWENTY-FOUR CIRCUMFERENCE. THE NEXT DAY, HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE GATHERED TO MARVEL AT AND TAKE CUTTINGS FROM THE ANCIENT TREE. PART OF TE TREE WAS MADE INTO A CHAIR FOR BENJAMIN RUSH, A SIGNER OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE. TODAY THERE ARE SECOND, THIRD AND FOURTH GENERATION CUTTINGS OF THE ELM AT THE UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA HOSPITAL, HAVERFORD COLLEGE AND THE PENN TREATY PARK.




Great great grandchild of the original peace elm under which the peace treaty was made in 1682. Dedicated May 6, 2010. Given by THE FRIENDS OF PENN TREATY PARK.




6. THE PENN SOCIETY OBELISK ON 19 SEPTEMBER 1825, A REPORT ON THE LOCATION OF PENN'S GREAT TREATY WAS READ BY ROBERTS VAUX, VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL OF THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF PENNSYLVANIA.  IT WAS VAUX'S SUGGESTION THAT THIS SOCIETY SHOULD PLAN AN "OBELISK OF GRANITE', WITH THE APPROPRIATE INSCRIPTIONS, AT THE TRADITIONAL SPOT OF THE TREATY WHERE THE GREAT EM AD ONCE STOOD AT SHACKAMAXON.  THE OBELISK WAS ERECTED BY THE PENN SOCIETY IN 1827 AND IS THE EARLIEST PUBLIC MONUMENT IN PHILADELPHIA.  OVER THE YEARS THERE HAS BEEN DEBATE ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT THE OBELISK ACTUALLY MARKS THE SPOT OF THE GREAT ELM. IT WAS THIS DEBATE INITIATED THE MOVEMENT TO MAKE A HISTORIC SITE OF THE LAND SURROUNDING THE OBELISK.  THUS THE NOTION OF PENN TREATY PARK WAS BORN.


The Four Sides of the Obelisk are inscribed with these words:

Treaty ground of William Penn, and the Indian Nations, 1682, Unbroken faith.
William Penn, Born 1644, Died 1713.
Pennsylvania, Founded, 1681, by Deeds of Peace.
Placed by the Penn Society, A.D. 1827, to mark the site of the Great Elm Tree.


7. THE GREAT TREATY THERE HAS BEEN MUCH DEBATE OVER THE EXACT DETAILS OF PENN'S DEALINGS WITH THE INDIANS OF THE DELAWARE RIVER VALLEY. IT IS WRITTEN THAT PENN DEALT FAIRLY WITH ALL THE INDIANS AND SETTLERS THAT HE ENCOUNTERED, IT IS TRUE THAT THE GREAT TREATY, ID IT ACTUALLY DID OCCUR, WAS ONE OF THE MANY TREATIES THAT PENN MADE WITH THE INDIANS.  MAKING TREATIES WITH THE AREA INDIANS WAS A PRACTICE THAT WENT ON IN OTHER SETTLEMENTS AS WELL. HOWEVER, PENN'S TREATMENT OF THE INDIANS WAS CONSISTENTLY FAIR AND EQUAL. THIS THEME OF EQUALITY WAS NOTICED IN EUROPE AND CREATED A NEW INTEREST IN THE COLONIES AND GREAT RESPECT FOR PENN. VOLTAIRE EVEN SPOKE OF THE TREATY AS ONE THAT WAS "NEVER SWORN TO AND NEVER BROKEN'. IT ALSO PROVIDED THE INSPIRATION FOR A NUMBER OF ARTISTIC REPRESENTATIONS OF THE TREATY, THE MOST FAMOUS BEING THE ONE DONE BY BENJAMIN WEST. TODAY WE CAN SEE THE ONE ARTIFACT OF PENN'S AMITY - THE WAMPUM BELT GIVEN TO PENN BY THE INDIANS - ON DISPLAY AT THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF PENNSYLVANIA.


8. PENN TREATY PARK : A PLACE OF PEACE THE SUBJECT OF THE GREAT TREATY HAS ALWAYS HELD A SPECIAL PLACE IN THE HEARTS AND MINDS OF PENNSYLVANIANS, ESPECIALLY THOSE N THE AREA SURROUNDING THE LEGENDARY SITE. WHEN THE GREAT ELM BLEW DOWN IN 1810, THE LAND UPON WHERE THE GREAT TREATY WAS MADE HAD NO MARKERS OF THE EVENT. THE PENN SOCIETY ERECTED AN OBELISK TO MARK THE SPOT OF THE TREE IN 1827. LATER THE LAND WAS APPROPRIATED FOR PUBLIC USE AND A PRESERVATION LANDMARK. MEMBERS OF THE KENSINGTON COMMUNITY SOUGHT TO HAVE THE AREA DEDICATED AS A PARK, THE DEDICATION CEREMONY TOOK PLACE ON 28 OCTOBER 1893. SINCE THEN THE COMMUNITY HAS PROMOTED PROPER CARE OF THE PARK. THE PARK CHANGED HANDS TWICE BEFORE BECOMING PART OF THE FAIRMOUNT PARK SYSTEM IN 1954.  IN 1987, THE COMMUNITY CAME TOGETHER ONCE AGAIN TO FULFILL THEIR DREAMS FOR THE  PARK AND MAKE IT A BEAUTIFUL PLACE TO ENJOY THE PEACE PENN MADE THERE OVER300 YEARS AGO.




9. Bob Haozous, a Native American artist's steel sculpture "Moon Over Indian Land" located on a tract of land across from Penn Treaty Park depicts two figures from the original Wampum Belt along with cutouts of airplanes and clouds which could also be interpreted as birds and peace pipe clouds weaving the past with present. Haozous is a the son of famous Native American artist Allan Capron Houser  (June 30, 1914—August 22,  1994) a Chiricahua Apache, was an outstanding Modernist sculptor of the 20th century. He was the grand-nephew of  Geronimo.


Wampum Belt on display at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.


10. A statue of Tamanend stands at Front and Market Streets in Philadelphia just as you enter Interstate 95. The statue created by Raymond Sandoval, a graduate of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Tamanend was dedicated in 1995  "Tamanend was considered the patron saint of America by the colonists prior to American Independence."



Also of interest: Friends of Tamanend Park website.

November is National Native American Month.

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