Part One

What is the oldest object in the Peace Museum?

Whilst the majority of objects in The Peace Museum presents stories and objects from relatively modern history, the oldest story told by the museum dates back to the 17th Century.

This story is told by a commemorative wooden obelisk made from the timber of the elm tree under which William Penn’s peace treaty with the Lenape Native Americans was signed in October 1682.

William Penn was an English Quaker who, in the 17th Century, founded a colony which would soon become Pennsylvania in America. Penn is remembered for being an advocate for religious freedom and democracy, and for making a series of successful treaties with the Lenape Native Americans. Upon the creation of Pennsylvania, William Penn set out on the ambitious project of laying the groundwork for an ethical colony and system of governance by drafting a charter of liberties for the inhabitants.

Written by Catherine Warr (Museum Volunteer)