Pennsylvania Colony
By: R. S.

Chapter I-Freedom for a Quaker

Pennsylvania Colony (meaning Penn’s Woods) was founded in 1682 by Sir William Penn. Penn was born in London, England on October 14th, 1644. His father, Admiral William Penn, was a wealthy Englishman and died in 1670. Penn married in 1672.

After two years at Oxford University, Penn was expelled for being a nonconformist in religion. Penn was a Quaker, which meant he had to rebel against the Church of England. So, in 1680, Penn decided to ask King Charles II for freedom. Penn asked the big question that all other Quakers were to scared to ask the King. “Can I explore the new land across the ocean?” The answer was yes, because of a debt owed to Penn’s father. William Penn was granted 50,000 square miles of rich soiled, dense forested, North American land.

Chapter II-The Ocean Voyage for Freedom

Penn left on his voyage to start a land with religious toleration in late 1680. He took his wife, his kids, and a crew and passenger list of over 200. When Penn arrived in what he later named Pennsylvania, He and his crew set up a small town. Quite a bit later, when the small town was set up and everybody was getting acquainted, Penn started laying out plans for what was later named “The City of Brotherly love.” Philadelphia.

Chapter III-“The City of Brotherly Love”

Philadelphia, or “The City of Brotherly Love,” covered over 139 square miles when finished including a place called Penn Square. It also was touching the Delaware River as seen in this picture.

Penn built a home in Philadelphia planning to stay, but after two years in the colony he was called to England on business. After the Revolution of 1688, Penn was suspected of helping the dethroned king, James II, and was arrested for treason. In 1692, he was deprived of his colony. Two years later the charges against Penn were dismissed, and he regained Pennsylvania. Penn's wife died in 1694, and he remarried two years later. In 1699 he returned to Pennsylvania.

Chapter IV-Penn's Return

During Penn's absence his colony had changed. Twenty thousand people now lived in the province, and many of them knew nothing of Penn except that he owned their colony and held rights that they wanted. Penn granted their request for an even more democratic government. In 1701, he signed the Charter of Privileges, which remained in force until 1776.

Late in 1701 business again called Penn back to England. He never returned to America. He got into money troubles and spent nine months in a debtor's prison rather than pay the claims of a swindling steward. Friends obtained his release, but his health was gone. His last years were troubled by quarrels with Lord Baltimore, the proprietor of Maryland, by disagreements with many Pennsylvanians, and by the dissolute ways of one of his sons. Penn died on July 30, 1718, in Buckinghamshire.