On This Day

William Penn

English Philosopher and Founder of Pennsylvania William Penn

Profession: English Philosopher and Founder of Pennsylvania


Biography: An early Quaker and founder of the Province of Pennsylvania, the English North American colony and the future Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

He was an early champion of democracy and religious freedom, notable for his good relations and successful treaties with the Lenape Indians. Under his direction, the city of Philadelphia was planned and developed.

Born: October 14, 1644
Birthplace: London, England
Star Sign: Libra

Died: July 30, 1718 (aged 73)

Historical Events

  • 1681-03-04 English Quaker William Penn receives charter from Charles II, making him sole proprietor of colonial American territory Pennsylvania
  • 1682-06-18 English Quaker William Penn founds Philadelphia, in the Pennsylvania Colony
  • 1682-08-24 Duke James of York gives Delaware to William Penn
  • 1682-08-30 William Penn leaves England to sail to the New World
  • 1682-10-26 William Penn accepts area around Delaware River from Duke of York
  • 1682-10-27 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is founded by Englishman William Penn
  • 1682-10-29 William Penn lands at what is now Chester, Pennsylvania
  • 1683-06-23 William Penn signs friendship treaty with Lenni Lenape indians in Pennsylvania; only treaty "not sworn to, nor broken"
  • 1700-05-07 William Penn began monthly meetings for blacks advocating emancipation
  • 1701-11-08 William Penn presents Charter of Privileges, guaranteed religious freedom for the colony in Pennsylvania
  • 1984-11-28 Over 250 years after their deaths, William Penn and his wife Hannah Callowhill Penn are made Honorary Citizens of the United States

Quotes by William Penn

  • "Truth often suffers more by the heat of its defenders than from the arguments of its opposers."

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