He was arrested and imprisoned in the Tower of London eight months for being a Quaker, but later King Charles II gave him land in America as repayment of a large debt owed to his father. He invited persecuted Christians of Europe to join his colony of religious toleration. Soon Quakers, Mennonites, Pietists, Amish, Anabaptists, Lutherans, Reformed, Moravians, Scotch-Irish Presbyterians, Dunkers (German Baptist), Brethren, Schwenckfelders, and French Huguenots joined his “holy experiment.”
His name was William Penn, and he died JULY 30, 1718.
William Penn named his capital city Philadelphia, meaning “Brotherly Love.” In 1733, Philadelphia allowed the only English-speaking Catholic Church in the world at that time. Philadelphia’s first synagogue was built in 1782.
Pennsylvania’s Charter, granted March 4, 1681, stated:
Whereas our trusty and well beloved subject, William Penn, Esquire, son and heir of Sir William Penn, deceased, out of a commendable desire to enlarge our English Empire…and also to reduce the savage natives by gentle and just manners to the Love of Civil Societe and Christian religion, hath humbly besought leave of us to transport an ample colony unto…parts of America not yet cultivated and planted.
Self-Educated American contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.