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William Penn’s Treaties in Context

April 4, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Among the major figures in colonial European-Indigenous relations, one is usually portrayed standing alone above the messy everyday business of war and land swindles. “William Penn told the Indians that he loved them all; their Men, Women & Children, and that he held Councils with them to perpetuate the Remembrance of his Affection towards them,” said a Conestoga leader named Tawenna in 1729. Tawenna’s evaluation has proved remarkably durable over the centuries, and deservedly so. But of course the story is more complicated. This talk explores the broader historical contexts and motivations of Penn and Native people as they negotiated with each other in the late seventeenth century.

About the Speaker: Daniel K. Richter is Roy F. and Jeannette P. Nichols Professor of American History Emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania and the former director of the McNeil Center for Early American Studies. He is the author of Trade, Land, Power: The Struggle for Eastern North America (2013); Before the Revolution: America’s Ancient Pasts (2011); Facing East from Indian Country: A Native History of Early America (2001); and The Ordeal of the Longhouse: The Peoples of the Iroquois League in the Era of European Colonization (1992). He is currently working on a book tentatively titled The Lords Proprietors: Land and Power in Seventeenth-Century America, which deals in part with the subject of this talk.

Admission is Pay as You Wish! Your donation is greatly appreciated. All proceeds benefit the development of future programming and the preservation of the History Center and its collections. The History Center is home to over 750,000 manuscripts, 100,000 photographs, and 70,000 artifacts. Your donation helps us to preserve and share those resources.

Presentation is via Zoom, and will be recorded and available for 7 days for all registered participants. We will email out a Zoom link the day of the presentation, and email a link to the recording within 48 hours. Note: the Zoom link emailed out the day of the presentation only takes you to the live presentation; the link emailed out the day after will contain the recorded version.

History Matters Speaker Series is presented by The Haverford Trust Company.