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spot stood an aged elm-tree, one of those glorious elms which mark the forests of the New World. It was a hundred and fifty-five years old; under its spreading branches friendly nations had been wont to meet; and here the Redskins smoked the calumet of peace long before the pale-faces landed on those shores. Markham had appointed this locality for his first conference, and the land commissioners wisely followed his example. Old traditions had made the place sacred to one of the contracting parties,—and when Penn proposed his solemn conference, he named Sakimaxing as a place of meeting with the Indian kings.
Artists have painted, poets sung, philosophers praised this meeting of the white men and the red. The great outlines of nature are easily regained. There the dense masses of cedar, pine, and chestnut, spread away into the interior of the land; here the noble river rolled its majestic waters down to the Atlantic. Along its surface rose the purple smoke of the settler's homestead; on the opposite shores lay the fertile and settled country of West New Jersey. Here stood the gigantic elm which was to become immortal from that day; there lay the verdant council-chamber formed by nature on the surface of the soil. In the centre of this group stood William Penn; in costume undistinguished from the English settlers, save by the blue silk sash of office. His dress was not ungainly. An outer coat, reaching to the knees, with rows of buttons; a vest of other materials; trousers extremely full, slashed at the sides, and tied with strings; a profusion of shirt-sleeve - and ruffles; and a hat of the cavalier shape (wanting only the feather), from beneath the brim of which escaped the curls of auburn "hair,—were its chief and not ungraceful ingredients. At his right hand, in the uniform of an English soldier, was Colonel Markham; on his left Pearson, the brave companion of his voyage; and near his person, but a little backward, stood a picturesque and various band of followers; old Swedes encased in the uniforms worn by them in the camp of Gustavus Adolphus; Dutch and German settlers in the province; Quakers in the sober suits of the first Puritans; sailors in their rough and ready habits; members of his council and his government; and though last, not least in importance, old Captain Cockle, interpreter in general to the Red men. When the Indians approached in their old forest costume, their feathers sparkling in the sun, their bodies painted yellow, red, and blue, the Governor received them with the easy dignity of European courts. The reception over, the sachems retired to a short distance, and after a brief consultation among themselves, Taminent, chief sachem, a man whose virtues are still remembered by the sons of the forest, advanced a few steps, and putting on his head a chaplet, into which was twisted a small horn, sat down. This chaplet was his symbol of power; and in the customs of the Lenni Lenape, whenever the chief placed it on his brows the spot became sacred, and the person of every one present inviolable. The older sachems sat on his right and left; the middle-aged warriors ranged themselves in the form of a crescent round them; and the younger men formed a third and outer semicircle. All being seated, the old king announced to the Governor that the natives were prepared to hear and consider his words. Penn then rose to address them. Thirty-eight years old; light and graceful in form; he was 'the handsomest, best-looking, lively gentleman,' a lady who was near him had 'ever seen.' The Great Spirit, he said, who ruled in the heaven to which good men go after death, who had made them and him out of nothing, and who knew every secret thought that was in the heart of white man or red man, knew that he and his children had a strong desire to live in peace, to be their friends, to do no wrong, but to serve them in every way. As the Great Spirit was the common Father of all, he wished them to live together not merely as brothers, and the children of a common parent, but as if they were joined with one head, one heart, one body together: that if ill was done to one, all would suffer; if good was done to any, all would gain. He and his children, he went on to say, never fired the rifle, never trusted to the sword; they met the red men on the broad path of good faith and good will. They meant no harm, and had no fear. He read the treaty of friendship, and explained its clauses. It recited that from that day the children of Onas and the nations of the Lenni Lenape' should be brothers to each other,—that all paths should be free and open—that the doors of the white men should be open to the red men, and the lodges of the red men should be open to the white men,—that the children of Onas should not believe any false reports of the Lenni Lenape-, nor the Lenni Lenape- of the children of Onas, but should come and see for themselves, and bury such false reports in a pit,—that if the Christians should hear of anything likely to hurt the Indians, or the Indians hear of anything likely to harm the Christians, they should run, like friends, and let the other know,—that if any son of Onas were to do any harm to any Redskin, or any Redskin were to do harm to a son of Onas, the sufferer should not offer to right himself, but should complain to the chiefs and to Onas, that justice might be declared by twelve honest men, and the wrong buried in a pit with no bottom,— that the Lenni Lenape' should assist the white men, and the white men should assist the Lenni Lenape-, against all such as would disturb them or do them hurt;—and, lastly, that both Christians and Indians should tell their children of this league and chain of friendship, that it might grow stronger and stronger, and be kept bright and clean, without rust or spot, while the waters ran down the creeks and rivers, and while the sun and moon and stars endured . He laid the scroll on the ground. The sachems received his proposal for themselves and for their children. No oaths, no seals, no mummeries, were used; the treaty was ratified on both sides with yea,—and, unlike treaties which are sworn and sealed, was kept.
When Penn had sailed, he held a note in his mind of six things to be done on landing: (l) to organize his government; (2) to visit Friends in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey; (3) to conciliate the Indians; (4) to see the Governor of New York, who had previously governed his province; (5) to fix the site for his capital city; (6) to arrange his differences with Lord Baltimore. The subject of his chief city occupied his anxious thought, and Markham had collected information for his use. Some people wished to see Chester made his capital; but the surveyor, Thomas Holme, agreed with Penn that the best locality in almost every respect was the neck of land lying at the junction of the Delaware and the Skuylkill rivers. Both these rivers were navigable, at least for small vessels; the Delaware being a noble stream, and the Skuylkill broader than the Thames at Lambeth Reach. The point was known as Wicocoa. In all respects the site agreed with Penn's requirements. Facing the river the bank was bold and high, the air pure