On October 7, 1665, a peace treaty was signed between the indigenous Esopus people (the Ramapough Munsee Lunaape Nation / Ramapough Lenape Nation) and European settlers in what is now Ulster County, NY. The treaty brought to a close hostilities between the two parties that had begun in 1659, known as the Esopus Wars.
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.”
A ceremonial peace tree planting and treaty renewal will be held on Friday, August 5th in Kingston. There have been 13 renewals of the treaty found in the Ulster County archives, dating from 1669 to 1745, and six more times in the last ten years.
The day will begin at 10 am with the planting of a Tree of Peace at the former Kingston Visitors Center at 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 claimed they were stealing and 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.
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 treaty has been renewed six times between representatives of Ulster County and the Ramapough Munsee Lunaape Nation.
At 1 pm on Friday, Turtle Clan Chief Vincent Mann of the Ramapough Munsee Lunaape Nation will be leading the treaty renewal aboard the Sloop Clearwater. A public sail with limited tickets will follow. Covid protocols will be in place. Clearwater is at the Hudson River Maritime Museum, 50 Rondout Landing, in Kingston
As part of the renewal, the Indigenous 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. 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 Munsee Lunaape Nation and the Hudson River Maritime Museum, visit their websites at ramapomunsee.net and www.hrmm.org. To learn about Sloop Clearwater and purchase tickets for the public sail, visit www.clearwater.org. For further information contact County Clerk Nina Postupack at (845) 340-3040 or email@example.com.