Since the 1680s, diplomatic treaties between the Lenape nation and the early Quaker settlers of the colony of Pennsylvania have acquired multiple layers of meaning. In London in the 1770s, Benjamin West painted “Penn’s Treaty with the Indians,” depicting the accord as a pivotal moment inaugurating a peaceful process of imperial expansion. (see above)
Constantino Brumidi’s bas-relief for the rotunda of the U.S. capital drew on West’s imagery during the peak period of Quaker influence on federal policy toward American Indians.
when the city of Philadelphia invited Native delegates to town for the Penn bi-centennial, the Daily Graphic depicted the earlier exchange of wampum belts and trade goods.
In fall 2015,
Tadadaho Sid Hill of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy met with Paul Ricker, Co-Clerk of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Indian Committee, at the “Wampum Lot” in Philadelphia; a depiction of the Penn treaty belt is on the wall in the back.
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