dmiral Sir William Penn of Britain fought the Dutch navy in the
First Anglo-Dutch War, 1652-54
captured Jamaica from the Spanish in 1655.
helped restore Charles II to the British throne.
helped defeat the Dutch navy in the S
econd Anglo-Dutch War, 1665-67
, resulting in Britain capturing New Amsterdam and renaming it New York.
When the restored British
government began enforcing religious conformity
Admiral Penn's son, William Penn
, was expelled for praying in his dorm room rather than attending mandatory daily Anglican chapel.
Admiral Penn had high hopes for his son,
, who functioned as an emissary between himself and the King.
When young Penn
embraced Quaker beliefs, it so dishonored the Admiral that he beat him with a cane, drove him out of the house, and had him live in France for several years.
William Penn associated with
George Fox, the founder of the Quakers.
In 1668, when
the government tried to force William Penn to abandon his conscience
and religious convictions, he refused and was
Tower of London
for eight months.
Upon being freed, Penn argued on behalf of the thousands of persecuted and jailed Quakers.
In Bushel's Case, 1670, Penn was arrested and tried. When the jury came back with a not guilty verdict,
the judge put the entire jury in jail.
Penn's dying father paid the fine to get him out of jail, telling him:
"Let nothing in this world tempt you to wrong your conscience."
After Admiral Penn's death,
King Charles II
paid a debt owed to him by giving a
to his son, 26-year-old son,
William Penn on MARCH 10, 1681.
William Penn now controlled 45,000 square miles, making him the largest non-royalty landowner in the world.
William Penn endeavored to make his colony of Pennsylvania a
for persecuted Europeans to live together.
Not only were
Quakers, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Baptists, Moravians, Mennonites, Amish
, and others allowed in the colony, but Pennsylvania was one of the few colonies to allow in
Catholics and Jews
BACKFIRED-A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance No Longer Tolerates the Religion of Its Founders
Emphasizing his plan of Christian tolerance,
William Penn named the main city "Philadelphia," which is Greek for "Brotherly Love."
On January 1, 1681, William Penn wrote to a friend concerning the land given to him, declaring he would:
"Make and establish such
laws as shall best preserve true Christian and civil liberty
, in all opposition to all unchristian ... practices."
Pennsylvania's first legislative act was The Great Law of Pennsylvania, December 7, 1682:
"No person ... who shall confess and acknowledge
one Almighty God to be the Creator, Upholder and Ruler of the World
... shall in any case be molested or prejudiced for his, or her Conscientious persuasion or practice ... but shall freely and fully enjoy
his or her Christian Liberty
without any interruption."
History records that William Penn insisted on treating the Delaware Indians with honesty, paying them a fair sum for their land, resulting in his city of Philadelphia being spared the Indian attacks and scalpings that other colonies experienced.
Before arriving, William Penn wrote to the Delaware Indian chiefs, August 18, 1681:
one great God
and Power that hath
made the world and all things therein
, to whom you and I and
all people owe their being
and well-being, and to whom you and I
must one day give an account, for all that we doe in the world;
This great God
hath written His law in our hearts by which we are taught and
commanded to love and help and doe good to one another
and not to doe harm and mischief one unto another ...
this great God
hath pleased to make me concerned in my parts of the world, and the king of the country where I live, hath given unto me a great province therein,
but I desire to enjoy it with your love and consent
, that we may
always live together as neighbors and friends
, else what would
the great God
say to us, who hath made us not to devour and destroy one another, but
to live soberly and kindly together in the world ...
I have great love and regard towards you, and
I desire to gain your love and friendship by a kind, just and peaceable life
, and the people I send are of the same mind, and shall in all things behave themselves accordingly ...
I shall shortly come to you myself at which time we may more freely and largely confer and discourse of these matters.
Receive those presents and tokens which I have sent to you as a testimony to my goodwill to you and my resolution to live justly, peaceably and friendly with you.
I am your loving friend, William Penn."