Photographs (left to right): Thistle, Sweet Williams, Sumac: all Rush, New York

Wampum Belt Archive


1754 Covenant Chain Belt

(also called The Great Belt)


No Original Belt Image

Hypothetical Reproduction

R. D. Hamell July 29, 2014

Original Size:
Not Given


Beaded Length: 85.0 inches. Width: 9.5 inches. Length with fringe: 109.0 inches


488 columns by 21 rows. Total: 10,248 beads.


Warp: leather. Weft: artificial sinew.


In the Johnson Papers (1764-1765: vol. X, p. 845), the British Indian Agent Sir William Johnson, noted a very a large wampum "whereon was wrought in white wampum the figures of the Six Nations towards one End, the figure of Nine Men to represent the Nine Governments who Assembled at Albany in ye Year 1754, the time when Said Belt was delivered to them, between both was a Heart Signifying their Union and friendship then Settled between them - at the Top were the letters GR made of White Wampum, & under that the fu Il length of the Belt was a white line, [which 1 they were told was a long board to Serve as a Pillow, whereon their & our Heads were to rest." The reproduction belt shown above is based on this description. The original belt has been lost to time.


Anderson, Fred. 2005. War That Made America. Penguin Books, 320pp.

Johnson's Papers. 1738-1808. 13 volumes. New York State Library Manuscripts and Special Collections. March 2007.