November 18, 2021
** This story comes from the book American Folklore and Legend by Reader’s Digest. These are not my words…
“Among the many English Protestants who sought refuge in America were the Society of Friends, better known as Quakers (because they were said to “quake” with religious fervor). There were Quakers all over, but most settled in their own colony of Pennsylvania, founded as a “Holy Experiment” be William Penn in 1681. Like many others before and after him, Penn saw America as a Garden of Eden and the Indians as descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. Quakers gave gave voice to their own lore derived from their distinctive ways and worship.“
“In a tract written in 1863, William Penn explained his belief that the Indian’s “language is lofty, yet narrow, but like Hebrew in signification full. For their original, I am ready to believe them of Jewish race. I mean, of the stock of the Ten Tribes, and that for the following reasons. First, they were to go to a land not yet planted or known. In the next place, I find them of the like countenance and their children of so lively a resemblance to the Jews of London. But this is not all. They agree in rites; they reckon by moons; they offer their first fruits; they have a kind of Feast of Tabernacles, and in other ways resemble the Jews in the Bible.””
“A Peaceable Kingdom” by Edward Kicks, a 19th century Quaker preacher, is one of dozens of his ideal image held by many colonists. America, the land where “the wolf will dwell with the lamb”. In the background Hicks painted another legend: Penn signing a treaty with the Delaware Indians, an oft-depicted episode for which there is no conclusive evidence.”
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