Discussion in 'Education' started by elvis, Feb 8, 2009.
Was he the first Quaker? Did he found Pennsylvania? Is he on the Quaker oats bucket?
He was a victim of the English criminal justice system. The Trial of William Penn is a classic of how corrupt the system was. He was charged with preaching in London.
The Trial of William Penn - U.S. Courts Educational Outreach
Trial of William Penn
Thanks to a debt the British crown owed his recently departed father, William Penn accepted a land grant which gave him ownership of that the land which Penn called Sylvania, and which Charles insisted be called Pennsylvania.
It included parts of Maryland and New Jersey which had already been settled by the Dutch,Swedes and Finns. Penn granted those original settlers freedom of their religion
Penn founded and planned Philiadelphia as well as various other towns in eastern, PA as a refuge for Quakers and other people seeking freedom from religious persecution.
The first resident Catholic Priest in Philadelphia began preaching there in 1720. The first Jewish congregation was formed in 1745. The first Moravian Church was founded in 1749.
So who was William Penn, really?
He was a wealty 17th century hippie (AKA FRIEND) who made good in the New World thanks to the dough the British Crown owed his father, the Admiral.
And, thanks to Penn's committment to non violence, Penn signed peace agreements with the local AmerIndians such that the early PA was never plagued with Indian wars like so many other settlement in the new world went though, too.
He must have been a tough old bird, because he'd been imprisoned and sued and harrassed for his religion but somehow he maintained he dignity and established the most prosperous colony of the New World.
And he did it how?
Based on tolerance and diversity.
The man really was a 17th century hippie scion, folks.
But unlike most of today's hippie scions, this guy actually put his money where his mouth was.
Yet, what rights have ever been 'given' to the people from the masters of government, without those willing to pay the price? As your own links show, eventually Penn's actions and persecutions, help found not only Pennsylvania eventually, but also create the court cases in England for habeas corpus and jury nullification.
From what I've read of Penn, pretty much he always knew what the reactions to his actions would be. He wasn't so much a victim in my opinion, as a true believer intent on setting precedents throughout his life. It's the reason all these years later, he's still studied and revered.
What 'free' country is absent such men standing up to the government, that always seeks to enhance its own powers while taking more than is fair? It would be grand if we had such today. Perhaps we do and don't see them?
Penn was heroic, no doubt about it.
As were many Friends who died at the hands of Puritans, not only in England, but in the USA, too.
England in the 17th Century wasn't a democracy, in fact it was near as damnit to an absolute monarchy, even allowing for the existence of parliament (this is post-Civil War of course). The little I know about Penn tells me the same things about him you've observed. A man of immense moral and physical courage. Not reckless, just courageous. The development of democracy in England is interesting, Penn was part of it.
But it was better than anywhere else in Europe. It's the reason he could site the Magna Carta, could speak in court to challenge the jurors, who also went along. Times were a changing, but wouldn't without men like him.
Oh you mean Lennon singing "imagine no possessions" from the Great Room of his mansion on his 99 acre estate wasnt authentic
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