Penn's Treaty with the Indians, by Benjamin West, 1771-72.
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Oil painting of William Penn leading a group of his peers into a discussion with a group of Native Americans.

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

In 1771 Thomas Penn commissioned Benjamin West to create a painting of his father meeting with the Native Americans. Although historically inaccurate on many counts in this imaginary encounter West painted Penn and his entourage as prosperous mid-1700s London Quakers and modeled his Indians after Italian sculptures– William Penn's Treaty with the Indians conveyed the very real sense of trust that Penn established with Native Americans in the early years of his colony.

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