ULSTER COUNTY TO PARTICIPATE IN PEACE TREE PLANTING AND RENEWAL OF 1665 PEACE TREATY WITH LOCAL NATIVE AMERICAN DESCENDANTS
Kingston, NY – Ulster County Clerk Nina Postupack is honored to announce a ceremonial Peace Tree Planting and an historic Peace Treaty Renewal between Ulster County and the Ramapough Lenape Nation, renewing the 1665 Richard Nicolls Esopus Peace Treaty which is part of the Ulster County Clerk’s Archival Collection. The renewal will take place Friday, August 5th at the Hudson River Maritime Museum, 50 Rondout Landing, Kingston.
The public is invited to the Kingston Rondout Historic Waterfront District this Friday, August 5th for a day of peace, healing, and good relations. The day will begin at 10:00 am with the planting of a Tree of Peace at the former Kingston Visitors Center, 20 Broadway. The tree will be an Esopus apple tree to commemorate the death of two Indigenous women who ate apples from a local tree. They thought they were eating the fruit of the land. A Dutch settler thought they were stealing from him and so shot them.
The Tree of Peace is a metaphor for how peace can grow if it is nurtured. Like a tall tree, peace can provide protection and comfort. Like a pine tree, peace spreads its protective branches to create a place of peace where we can gather and renew ourselves. Like the White Pine, peace also creates large white roots (tsyoktehækęætaˀkona) that rise out of the ground so people can trace their journey to the source. Leading this ceremony will be Kawisente, Chief of the Bear Clan of Kahnawake, Kanienkehaka.
At 1:00 pm, a renewal of the October 7, 1665, Peace Treaty between the indigenous Esopus people and European settlers will take place. This Treaty is significant because it brought to a close hostility between the Esopus and the settlers that had begun back in 1659. Both parties promised to cease hostilities, to establish a course of justice and conduct trade with each other. In addition to the cessation of fighting, the Treaty proclaimed, “That all past Injuryes, are buryed and forgotten on both sides” and "that it may bee kept in perpetuall memory." There have been 13 renewals of this treaty found in the archives, dating from 1669 to 1745.
Ten years ago, at Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign alliances were made and a decision taken to renew the Treaty regularly. Since that time the Nicolls Treaty has been renewed 6 times between representatives of the county and the Ramapough Munsee Lunaape. It is our intention to continue this tradition and expand awareness of it throughout the county and the states of New York and New Jersey.
Turtle Clan Chief Vincent Mann of the Ramapough Munsee Lunaape Nation will be leading the Treaty Renewal that will happen aboard the Sloop Clearwater. A public sail with limited tickets will follow. Covid protocols will be in place.
“Friday’s event will be the seventh time the Treaty has been renewed in recent years and it is our honor to continue to be a part of it,” stated County Clerk Postupack. “It is so important to continue the tradition of acknowledging the past and moving forward in peace. We hope to inspire future generations to carry on this tradition and embrace the spirit of peace.”
As part of the renewal, the Native American tradition of exchanging gifts will take place. Gifts received in previous years will be brought to honor each side. Among these were pipes made from an ancient walnut tree growing during the time of both Treaties. Siblings of these pipes live around the world, from the tip of Africa to the Middle East, Europe North and South America, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan and the Philippines, promoting peace, healing, and good relations.
For more information about the Ramapough Lenape Nation and the Hudson River Maritime Museum, please visit their websites at ramapomunsee.net and www.hrmm.org. To learn about Sloop Clearwater and purchase tickets for the public sail, please visit www.clearwater.org. For further information about this and other outreach programs of the Ulster County Clerk’s Office, please contact County Clerk Nina Postupack at (845) 340-3040 or countyclerk[at]co.ulster.ny[dot]us or visit us Facebook.