Dateline: Philadelphia: 22 Apr 1701. Who got the upper hand in the Agreement signed by William Penn himself and the Indians of Pennsylvania?
William Penn himself led the English to sign it. Both sides seemed very eager to live in peace.
Now let’s get right to the Agreement itself in a modernized version.
22 Apr 1701
Modernized transcription begins:
The Proprietary and Governor, with some members of the Council and divers [various] others with Susquehanna Indians
Connoodagtoh, King of the Susquehanna Minquays or Conestoga Indians; Wopathia (alias Opessah, King of the Shawanese; Weehinjough, Chief of the Ganawese, inhabiting at the head of the Potomac; also Ahaokassough, brother to the Emperor or great King of the Onondagoes of the five nations, having arrived in town two days ago with several others of their great men; and Indian Harry for their interpreter, with some of their young people, women and children to the number of about forty in the whole. After a treaty and several speeches, the following articles were solemnly agreed on.
Articles of Agreement indented, made and concluded and agreed upon at Philadelphia, the 23rd day of the 2nd month, called April, in the year 1701
Between Wm. Penn, Proprietary and Governor of the Province of Pennsylvania and Territories thereunto belonging on the one part;
And Connoodagtoh, King of the Indians inhabiting upon and about the River Susquehanna in the said Province; and Widaaph (alias Oretyagh); Koqueensh and Andaggy-Innekquagh, Chiefs of the said nations of Indians; and Wopaththa, King; Lemoytungh and Pemoyajooagh; Chiefs of the nations of the Shawonnah Indians; and Ahooassongh, brother to the Emperor, for and in behalf of the Emperor; and Weewhinjongh, Chequutagh, Takyewan and Woapashka, Chiefs of the nations of the Indians inhabiting in and about the northern part of the River Potomac in the said province, for and in behalf of themselves and successors and their several nations and the people on the other part, as follows:
That the said Kings and Chiefs (each for himself and his people engaging [committing, pledging] shall at no time hurt, injures or defraud or suffer to be hurt, injured or defrauded by any of their Indians, any inhabitant or inhabitants of the said province [of Pennsylvania] either in their persons or estates;
And that the said William Penn, his heirs and successors shall not suffer to be done or committed by any of the subjects of England within the said province, any act of hostility or violence, wrong or injury to or against any of the said Indians, but shall on both sides at all times readily do justice and perform all acts and offices of friendship and good will to oblige each other to a lasting peace, as aforesaid.
That all and every of the said Kings and Chiefs and all and every particular of the names under them shall at all times behave themselves regularly and soberly according to the laws of this government while they live near or amongst the Christian inhabitants thereof;
And that the said Indians shall have the full and free privileges and immunities of all said laws as any other inhabitants, they duly owning and acknowledging the authority of the crown of England and government of this province.
That none of the said Indians shall at any time be aiding, assisting or abetting any other nation, whether of Indians or others that shall not at such time be in amity [friendship] with the crown of England with this government.
That is any time any of the said Indians by means of evil-minded persons and sowers of sedition should hear any unkind or disadvantageous reports of the English, as if they had evil designs against any of the said Indians, in such case such Indians shall send notice thereof to the said Wm. Penn, his heirs and successors or their Lieutenants and shall not give credence to the said reports till by that means they shall be fully satisfied concerning the truth thereof;
And that the said William Penn, his heirs and successors or their Lieutenants shall at all times in such cases do the like by them.
That the said Kings and Chiefs and their successors shall not suffer [allow] any strange nations of Indians to settle or plant on the further side of Susquehanna or about the Potomac R., but such as are there already seated, nor bring any other Indians into any part of this province without the special approbation and permission of the said William Penn, his heirs and successors.
That for the prevention of abuses that are too frequently put upon the said Indians in trade that the said William Penn, his heirs and successors, shall not suffer [allow] or permit any person to trade or commerce with any of the said Indians, but such as shall be first allowed and approved of by an instrument [written document] under the and hand and seal of him, the said William Penn, or his heirs or successors or their Lieutenants;
And that the said Indians shall suffer [permit] no person whatsoever to buy or sell or have commerce with any of them the said Indians, but such as shall have first be approved, as aforesaid.
That the said Indians shall not sell or dispose or any of their skins, peltry or fur or any other effects of their hunting to any person or persons whatsoever out of the said province nor to any other person but shall be authorized to trade with them as aforementioned;
And that for their engagement the said William Penn, his heirs and successors shall take care to have them, the said Indians, duly furnished with all sorts of necessary goods for their use, at reasonable rates.
That the Potomac Indians, aforesaid, with their colony, shall have free leave [permission] to settle upon any part of the Potomac R. within the bounds of the province, they strictly observing and practicing all and singular the articles aforesaid to them relating.
The Indians of Conestogo and upon and about the River Susquehanna and more especially the said Conoodaghtah, their King, do fully agree to and by these presents [this written document here] absolutely ratify the bargain and sale of the lands lying near and about the said, formerly made to the said William Penn, his heirs and successors;
And since by Oretyagh and Andaggy-Junkquegh, parties of these presents, confirmed to the said William Penn, his heirs and successors by a deed bearing date the 18th day of September last, under their hands and seals, duly executed.
And that the said Connoodaghtah does, for himself and his nation, covenant and agree that he will at all times be ready further to confirm and make good the said sale, according to the tenor of the same;
And that the said Indians of Susquehanna shall answer to the said William Penn, his heirs and successors, for the good behavior and conduct of the said Potomac Indians;
And for performing the several articles herein expressed.
The said William Penn does hereby promise for himself, his heirs and successors that he and they will at all times show themselves true friends and brothers to all and every of the said Indians, by assisting them with the best of their advice, directions and counsels, and will in all things just and reasonable befriend them, they behaving themselves as aforesaid and submitting to the laws of this province [of Pennsylvania] in all things, as the English and other Christians therein do.
To which they, the said Indians, hereby agree and oblige themselves and their posterity forever.
In witness whereof the said parties have as a confirmation made mutual presents to each other; the Indians in five parcels of skins, and the said Wm Penn in several English goods and merchandizes as a binding pledge of the promises never to be broken or violated.
And as a further testimony thereof have also to these presents set their hands and seals, the day and year above written
Signed, sealed and delivered in the presence of
J. LeFort [Tort]
John Hans Steelman
Indian, alias Harry Shawydoohungh, his mark: [HI]
Pemoqueriaechan, his mark [Z]
Passaqussay his mark [)]
Does the substance of the treaty favor the English or Indians? Do the English or Indians have to give up more material things? Was it right to restrict Indians’ trading with outsiders or with the English and others in the province of Pennsylvania? According to the tone, tenor and words of the Agreement, who has the upper hand? Who has more power and authority? That is, who’s the boss? Is this right?
Minutes of the Provincial Council of Pennsylvania from the Organization to the Termination of the Proprietary Government, containing the Proceedings of Council from December 18 1700 to May 16 1717, vol. II, (Harrisburg Theophilus Fenn, 1838).