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As soon as William Penn had accomplished his purpose, he made immediate preparations for going to America, and within a week after the bargain was officially settled, he sailed in the ship Welcome, with one hundred emigrants, in August, 1682. Many of his emigrants died from small-pox on the voyage; but with the remainder he arrived, early in November, at New Castle, where he found almost a thousand emigrants. In addition to these, there were about three thousand old settlersSwedes, Dutch, Huguenots, Germans and English —enough to form the material for the solid foundation of a State.
There Penn received from the agent of the Duke of York, and in the presence of all the people, a formal surrender of all that fine domain. The Dutch had long before conquered and absorbed the Swedes on the Delaware, and the English in turn had conquered the Dutch, and it was by virtue of his charter, giving him a title to all New Netherland, that the duke claimed the territory as his own. The transfer inherited for Penn and his descendants a dispute with the proprietors of Maryland, which might seem incompatible with the views of Quak
William Penn, in honor of the duke, attempted to change the name of Cape Henlopen to Cape James; but geography is sometimes arbitrary and refuses to change at will of rulers, and Henlo
pen and May preserve their original names given them by the Dutch.
It was the earliest days in November when William Penn, with a few friends, set out in an open boat and journeyed up the river to the beautiful bank, fringed with pine trees, on which the city of Philadelphia was soon to rise.
On this occasion was made that famous treaty with the Indians, with which every school-boy is acquainted. Beneath a huge elm at Shakamaxon, on the northern edge of Philadelphia, William Penn, surrounded by a few friends, in the habiliments of peace, met the numerous delegations of the Lenni-Lenape tribes. The great treaty was not for the purchase of lands; but, confirming what Penn had written and Markham covenanted, its sublime purpose was the recognition of the equal rights of humanity, under the shelter of the forest trees, barren of leaves from the effects of the early frosts. Penn proclaimed to the men of the Algonkin race, from both banks of the Delaware, from the borders of the Schuylkill, and, it may have been, even from the Susquehannah, the same simple message of peace and love which George Fox had professed before Cromwell, and which Mary Fisher had borne to the Grand Turk. He argued that the English and the Indian should respect the same moral law, should be alike secure in their
pursuits and their possessions, and should adjust every difference by a peaceful tribunal, to be composed of an equal number of wise and discreet men from each race. Penn said:
“We meet on the broad pathway of good faith and good-will. No advantage will be taken on either side; but all shall be openness and love. I will not call you children, for parents sometimes chide their children too severely, nor brothers only, for brothers differ. The friendship between me and you, I will not compare to a chain, for that rains might rust, or the falling tree might break. We are the same as if one man's body were divided into two parts.
We are all one flesh and blood.” The sincerity of the speaker, as well as his sacred doctrine, touched the hearts of the forest children, and they renounced their guile and their revenge. The presents which Penn offered were received in sincerity, and with hearty friendship they gave the belt of wampum.
“We will live,” said they, "in love with William Penn and his children, as long as the moon and the sun shall endure."
Mr. Bancroft says: “This agreement of peace and friendship was made under the open sky, by the side of the Delaware, with the sun and river and the forest for witnesses. It was not confirmed by an oath; it was not ratified by signatures and
seals; no record of the conference can be found, and its terms and conditions had no abiding inscription but on the heart. There they were written like the law of God. The simple
The simple sons of the wilderness, returning to their wigwams, kept the history of the covenant by strings of wampum, and, long afterward, in their cabins, would count over the shells on a clean piece of bark and recall to their own memory and repeat to their children or to the stranger the words of William Penn. New England had just terminated a disastrous war of extermination. The Dutch were scarcely ever at peace with the Algonkins. The laws of Maryland refer to Indian hostilities and massacres, which extended as far as Richmond. Penn came without arms; he declared his purpose to abstain from violence; he had no message but peace, and not a drop of Quaker blood was shed in his time by an Indian.
“Was there not progress from Melendez to Roger Williams? from Cortez and Pizarro to William Penn? The Quakers, ignorant of the homage which their virtues would receive from Voltaire and Raynal, men so unlike themselves, exulted in the consciousness of their humanity. We have done better,' said they truly, 'than if, with the proud Spaniards, we had gained the mines of Potosi. We may make the ambitious heroes, whom the world admires, blush for their shameful vic
tories. To the poor, dark souls around about us we teach their rights as men.'”
After the treaty, Penn again journeyed through New Jersey to New York and Long Island, visiting friends and preaching with his usual fervor and earnestness. Then he returned to the Delaware, and, on the seventh day of November, he went to Uplands (now Chester), where he met the first provincial assembly of his province. There he made known his benevolent designs toward all men, civilized and savage, and excited the love and reverence of all hearers. The assembly tendered their grateful acknowledgment to him, and the Swedes authorized one of their number to say to him in their name that they would live, serve and obey him with all they had,” declaring that it was “the best day they ever saw.”
He informed the assembly of the union of the “territories " (as Delaware was called) with his province, and received their congratulations. Then and there was laid the foundation for the great commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
One matter still remained to be adjusted, and that was some satisfactory arrangement with the third Lord Baltimore, concerning the boundary lines. This at last having been amicably adjusted, Penn went up the Delaware in an open boat to Wicaco, to attend the founding of a city, to which