Photographs (left to right): Hamlin Beach State Park, New York; Little Dismal Swamp; North Carolina; Sweet Williams, Rush, New York

Wampum Belt Archive


Governor Denny Belt

Grand River NMM Ottawa III-I-35 Original (NMAI Cat. No. 031899)

Reproduction (R. D. Hamell March 9 2013)

Original Size:

Rows: 10 rows wide. Right end missing rows.


Beaded length: 31.25 inches. Width: 4.75 inches. Total length with fringe: 55.0 inches.


Rows: 183 by 10 beads wide. Total 1.830 beads.


Warp: leather. Weave: artificial sinew.


Ahdaaóhtra’ Dewenehtshodáhgoh

Governor Denny of Pennsylvania Belt 1756.

Governor Denny's invitation to all the Indians from the Ohio to come to Philadelphia: "I have laid out a nice smooth road for you and want all to come who can."

Very similar design as the Iroquois friendship belt. The difference is the image on the left - inline with the mid body there is a purple bead just below (extending from) the 'shoulder' line.

Quote Bardeau (2011)
In 1758, Governor Denny of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth sent this belt to the Ohio Shawnee and Delaware Nations, as an invitation to a peace council at Philadelphia. His intent was to secure an alliance with the Ohio Nations and to use them to fight against the French. The British and the French were rivals in Europe and now were rivals in the “new world.” Both had greed for the fur trade and other resources. Both lay claim to lands along the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River in the name of European royalty.

By the mid-1700s, this rivalry had become all-out war not only here, but in Europe as well. Both sought the friendship and aid of the Native nations in order to defeat the other. They made promises for alliances by presenting peace and alliance wampum belts like this one, though they both had hidden motives. These actions created division and discord among nations.


Bardeau, Phyllis Eileen Wms. 2011. Definitive Seneca: It's In The Word. Jaré Cardinal, editor. Seneca-Iroquois Museum Publisher, Salamanca, New York, 443pp.

Bonaparte, Darren. The Wampum Chronicles: Cat. No. 031899