William Penn

Penn's appearance and personal habits are thus described by Mr. Clarkson He was tall in stature, and of an athletic make. In maturer years he was inclined to corpulency; but used a great deal of exercise. His appearance at this time was that of a fine portly man. He was very neat, though plain in his dress. He walked generally with a cane. He had a great aversion to the use of tobacco. However, when he was in America, though he was often annoyed by it, he bore it with good-humor. Several of his particular friends were one day assembled at Burlington; while they were smoking their pipes, it was announced to them that the governor's barge was in sight, and coming up the river. The company supposed that he was on his way to Pennsburg, about seven miles higher up. They continued smoking; but being afterwards unexpectedly informed that he had landed at a wharf near them, and was just entering the house, they suddenly concealed their pipes. Perceiving, from the smoke, when he entered the room what they had been doing, and discovering that the pipes had been hid, he said pleasantly, Well, friends, I am glad to see that you are at least ashamed of your old practice.' Not entirely so,' replied Samuel Jennings, one of the company; 'but we preferred laying down our pipes to the danger of offending a weak brother.' They then expressed their surprise at this abrupt visit, as, in his passage from Philadelphia, not only the tide, but the wind had been furiously against him. He replied, with a smile on his countenance, that he had been sailing against wind and tide all his life.'

The colony made rapid progress after Penn's death, settlers being attracted to it from all parts of the old world by the freedom of its constitution and its natural advantages. The proprietorship was vested in the heirs of Penn by his second marriage,, his children by his first marriage having inherited his British estates, which, at the time of Penn's death were of greater value than his American property. In the year 1752, while Pennsylvania was still a British colony, the French made encroachments on it from the north-west, and built Fort Duquesne - now Pittsburg.

Philadelphia, the capital of Pennsylvania, speedily grew in size and importance. Its name is associated with some of the most distinguished events in the history of the United States. It was there that the delegates of the various colonies assembled in the year 1774, when they declared against the right of the mother country to tax the colonies; and it was also there that the famous declaration of independence was proclaimed in 1776. On the conclusion of the war of independence, Penn's descendants sold their right of proprietorship over Pennsylvania to the American government for L130,000. Philadelphia continued to be the seat of the federal government till the year 1800. In the present day it is a large and populous city, celebrated for the number of its foundations and benevolent institutions, all less or more originating in the philanthropic principles early introduced into Pennsylvania.