The Colony of Pennsylvania

Identify some of the major leaders and groups responsible for the founding of the original colonies in North America. 1) Who founded the colony
2) When was the colony founded
3) Why was the colony founded (Political, social, economic, religious)
4) History of the Colony leading up to the French and Indian War
5) Colonies relationship with the Native Americans
6) Slave population
Key Terms:
William Penn
holy experiment
frame of government

The Team of Kevin T and Delaney N

The Founding of Pennsylvania

‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍Discovered first by Europeans, Pennsylvania is natural beauty. From it's mountains and valleys to it's streams and rich farmland, Pennsylvania's geography made it perfect for new settlement. Pennsylvania was originally inhabited by many Indian Tribes "including the Erie, Honniasont, Huron, Iroquois (especially Seneca and Oneida), Leni Lenape, Munsee, Shawnee, Susquehannock,"(Walter) and much others. A majority of these groups had similar dialect to that of the Algonquians, which greatly inhabited much of North America. With the settlement of Europeans, many of these tribes drifted Westward, towards the Wyoming Valley and the Ohio Valley. The first Europeans, of Swedish decent, settled in 1638. After only a year, their small community named New Sweden Colony "soon came under the control of Holland. Not long after Holland took control of New Sweden, it fell under English rule"(Peters).

William Penn

William Penn from the start had believed in practicing his own beliefs in a manner that suited him best. In the Fall of 1661 Penn was actually expelled from Oxford University because he skipped Chapel and instead held a service of his own in his room. Seven years succeeding his expeltion from Oxford, Penn converts to a Quaker and suffers much ridicule for this. Despite being arrested and almost disowned by his father, Penn still pushed on with his belief of free practices of religion. The first talk of creating a safe Utopia for the Quakers started with an idea from William's friend, Josiah Coale, who had recently come home from visiting America. In response to this idea, Penn wrote his first pamphlet called Truth Exalted. he described this pamphlet as "a call to the professors of religion of every name to cease from a dependence upon outward observances or confessions of faith, and to seek for salvation where alone it may be known, by obedience to the law of God written in the heart"(Janney).

Young William Penn in Armour. Painted in the fall of 1667 after he and a friend led the rebeliion at Carrickfergus.
Young William Penn in Armour. Painted in the fall of 1667 after he and a friend led the rebeliion at Carrickfergus.
"William had recently converted to a new Protestant sect called the Religious Society of Friends"(Peters) The Religious Society of Friends, better known as the Quakers, were ridiculed for their beliefs and the way they practiced their religion. Penn wanted to establish a place of refuge for the Quakers to practice their beliefs and religion without judgment as was made aware of by Josiah Coale. Because of this, Penn then asked King Charles to grant him land. Much of the land in North America was owned by England and under Charles's rule. This grant would relieve the 16,000 pounds of debt that he had owed Penn's father. Charles agreed. The new territory now controlled by Penn was named New Whales. "A Welsh member of England’s Privy Council objected, so Penn called it Sylvania (woods)"(Walter). In honor of Penn, Charles then changed the name from Sylvania to Pennsylvania. On January 5, 1681, the founding of Pennsylvania was confirmed. William Penn believed that Pennsylvania would be the perfect place for the Quakers and people of other faiths to live and practice freely.

The Frame ‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍Government of Pennsylvania

Established in England in 1682, The Frame Government was a document of laws created by William Penn that would act as a guideline for Pennsylvania. The Frame Government of Pennsylvania was set as a constitution for Pennsylvania. Penn made sure that this would leave "'no power of doing mischief, that the will of one man may not hinder the good of a whole country.'” Freedom of worship in the colony was to be absolute, and all the traditional rights of Englishmen were carefully safeguarded"(Brittanica Online)

Frame of Government of Pennsylvania

Penn and the Native Americans

Penn realized quickly that his newly obtained land of Pennsylvania was not only to be inhabited by his followers but was infact already inhabited by Native Americans. Penn had also realized that these Natives would not leave their land without an exchange of some sort of payment for land territory. "The tribe he would have to deal with most often was the Delaware (Leni Lenape), who had never been defeated militarily by the Swedes or the Dutch"(Forrest). Penn had no military and as a Quaker had no intention on resolving arguments with forceful nature. Because of his quaker ways, William Penn and the Leni Lenape turned to treaties instead. Along with peace treaties, Penn would buy land from the Natives.
The highlighted areas show the main areas of land that William Penn had purchased from numerous tribes
The highlighted areas show the main areas of land that William Penn had purchased from numerous tribes

Disease had brought about a large reduction of populatin in the Delaware tribe. This caused for them to need less land and be willing to give Penn more of their territory. He had also tried to obtain land on the Susquehanna River. The purchase of this land would allow Pennsykvania to be closer to the Iroquois and have more natural resources and a means of trade. Unfortunatly, Penn wasn't fast enough. The New York State merchants obtained the land first because of their strong relations to the Confederacy. Although he had lost this major route, Penn still was successful in purchasing a large amount of land and still keeping good relations with the Natives. "While those who would argue that he essentially sought the same imperialistic goals, only in a kinder, gentler manner, may have a point, one must argue that this 'kindness' was relatively speaking, better than much of the outright hate and distrust that characterized Indian-White relations"(Forrest).

The Holy Experiment and Settling Down as a Colony

This new colonization in Pennsylvania was known as the Holy Experiemnt. William Penn had been very successful in creating a place where Quakers and people of all religions could practice their beliefs without ridicule. The Holy Experiment first housed hundreds in its pubescent years but this did not last very long. No more then twenty years later did the colonization of people grow from hundreds to twenty thousands. The Holy Experiment attracted a large plethera of groups. These groups included Germans, Morvanians, mennonities, Amish, and many Presbyterian Scotch-Irish. Most of the settlers had came to Pennsylvania for the exact reason why Penn had established it, religious salvation.

Slaves in Pennsylvania

Not all of the settling done in Pennsylvania was freely. "The ship Isabellacarried 150 slaves to Philadelphia in 1684. Thought Quakers, Mennonites, and African Americans later worked together to abolish slavery, Quaker merchants were as guilty as anyone of profitting from the slave trade"(Peters). Despite the opposition of slavery by Quakers, by 1684 african slaves were used and already working. Most of the slaves in Pennsylvania were imported by merchants from Barbados and Jamaica. "By 1700, one in 10 Philadelphians owned slaves. Slaves were used in the manufacturing sector, notably the iron works, and in shipbuilding"(Slavery in Pennsylvania).

Between 1725 and 1726, An Act for the better Regulation of Negroes was passed. This act was very strict and provided firm laws for African Americans. It included laws that made the penelties for free Slaves who harbored fugitive or runaway slaves harsh, ended any chance for a free slave to be married to a white, and fornification of any sort between a free black and a white would lead to the black being thrown back into savery. "All in all, the 'free' blacks of colonial Pennsylvania led severely circumscribed lives; they had no control even over their own family arrangements, and they could be put back into servitude for 'laziness' or petty crimes, at the mercy of the local authorities"(Slavery in Pennsylvania) Quakers did question the puropose of slaves. The had believed that slavery and owning another person had made them worldly and they secrety feared that owning a slave would be a bad influence on their family.


Works Cited
"An Abstract of the Life of William Penn with Quotations and Links." Gwynedd Friends Meeting Redirect. Web. 30 Aug. 2011. <>.
Forrest, Tuomi J. "Penn and the Indians." American Studies @ The University of Virginia. Web. 30 Aug. 2011. <>.
Janney, Samuel Macpherson. The Life of William Penn with Selections from His Correspondence and Autobiography. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo, 1852. Print.
Nash, Gary B., Edgar J. McManus, and Jean R. Soderlund. "Slavery in Pennsylvania." Slavery in the North. Web. 30 Aug. 2011. <>.
Nash, Gary B., Edgar J. McManus, and Jean R. Soderlund. "Slavery in Pennsylvania." Slavery in the North. Web. 30 Aug. 2011. <>.
Penn, William. "William Penn: Frame of Government of Pennsylvania, 1682." Index. Web. 30 Aug. 2011. <>.
Peters, Stephen. Pennsylvania. New York: Benchmark, 2000. Print.
Walther, Rudolph J. "Pennsylvania 1630-1700." Web. 20 Aug. 2011. <>.
Walther, Rudolph J. "Pennsylvania 1630-1700." Web. 29 Aug. 2011. <>.
"William Penn." Encyclopedia - Britannica Online Encyclopedia. Web. 30 Aug. 2011. <>.