Penn's Treaty with the Indians, by Benjamin West, 1771.
Close Window

A red, white, and blue skyline is the setting for the oil on canvas painting of William Penn offering gifts to the Native Americans

Credit: Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia (Gift of Mrs. Sarah Harrison; the Joseph Harrison Jr. Collection; Acc. #1878.1.10

Pennsylvanian Benjamin West (1738-1820), the greatest American artist of his era, completed this work in 1771 at the request of William Penn's sons, whose control of Pennsylvania had been threatened in the 1760s by accusations of fraud and mismanagement in Indian relations. By commissioning this painting, Penn's sons hoped to polish their own reputations by invoking the memory of their father and his "Chain of Friendship" with the Indians.

Back to Top