BRETHREN-L ArchivesArchiver > BRETHREN > 2010-03 > 1268938454
From: "William Thomas" <>
Subject: Re: [BRE] Bavarian Palatinate to William Penn's influence onPennsylvania
Date: Thu, 18 Mar 2010 14:54:14 -0400
Re: Could you be more specific as to your source for what seems to be
Penn's purely mercenary motives?
I was a little broad based in my comments. William Penn did grant 18,000
acres to six Mennonites in 1683 to form a colony in the Germantown area.
They in turn would have distributed the land to the settlers. However, the
vast majority of immigrants had to purchase their property. Many of these
new Mennonite immigrants bought land from the Frankfurt Land Company, which
in turn had purchased 25,000 acres from William Penn.
Penn only lived in Pennsylvania a short time (about two years). Penn's
children, were not Quakers, and didn't have his virtuous qualities. The
book, "Scotch Irish of Colonial Pennsylvania" takes off the rose colored
glasses about the Penn Family and the Quakers.
The Quakers and the Penn's were far from saints. In 1743, the Penn family
instructed their land agents to refuse to sell land to Scotch Irish in
present day Lancaster, Lebanon, Dauphin, York and Adams Counties, because of
their bigotries toward them. They preferred them on the frontier, as a
buffer against the Indians. In 1764, Philadelphia was almost invaded by an
angry mob, when the Quaker minority who controlled the legislature, ignored
their grievances, in particular doing nothing about Indian massacres of
settlers. The Quakers decided to suspend their pacifism and took up arms to
fend off the mob. Fortunately, they came to a negotiated settlement.
However, in response to your question regarding Penn's motives, I will quote
a passage from US History.org: "Penn had hoped that Pennsylvania would be a
profitable venture for himself and his family. Penn marketed the colony
throughout Europe in various languages and, as a result, settlers flocked to
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