In this article William Penn is looked at as a legend. He was born on October 14, 1644. His father was an Admiral who was close friends with King Charles II. The King constantly borrowed money from the Admiral.
Penn was kicked out of Oxford then sent by his father to Paris to study abroad. When Penn returned he had adopted the lifestyle of a Quaker. He believed that every man was equal. Being well educated and smarter then most he began to write pamphlets and publish them.
Penn was ridiculed in the pamphlet, which in turn started verbal attacks. This led to Penn’s incarceration. He was imprisoned in a tower for nine months. Threatened by life in prison, Penn refused to back down. He was released from jail due to his father’s connection to the King. In 1672 Penn married Gulielma Springett and had seven children.
In the 1670’s Penn switched his attention to the New World. Penn’s father died without ever collecting the debt owed to him from the king. In 1680 Penn asked the King for a piece of land in the New World in exchange for a settled debt. The King agreed and named the piece of land Pennsylvania. After Penn moved there he had the unsettling task of establishing a government.
He mandated his own constitution having freedom of religion, voting rights, and penal reform. When arriving in the new land, Penn made a treaty with the Indians wishing to live in harmony. After living on the land for two years Penn ran into trouble with neighboring colony Maryland, and retreated back to England. Upon returning home Penn came to the conclusion that his financial advisor defrauded him, therefore leaving Penn with serious debt. At age 63 Penn was imprisoned again in debtor’s prison. Penn tried to sell Pennsylvania prior to death, but the deal never matured before his demise.
Although Penn was in extreme debt, after his death he was and still is looked at as a triumphed individual. I learned in this article that in 1984 almost 300 years after William Penn’s death the U. S. gave him a citizenship. Penn was a focused man who knew exactly what he wanted and didn’t let anyone steer him away from his goals. William Penn is without a doubt an important icon in American history.