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gage in lawsuits, indulge in intemperance or profanity, which, if persisted in, was a cause for the expulsion of a member from the society, and the whole body was in duty bound to keep a watch upon the actions of each other. Their practices so generally agreed with their principles, that society was compelled to admit that the profession of a Quaker or Friend, as they usually styled themselves, was a guaranty of a morality above the ordinary level of the world.
The founder of this remarkable sect was George Fox, a shoemaker of Leicestershire, England, who, at the early age of nineteen, conceived the idea that he was called of God to preach the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. He attacked the coldness and spiritual deadness of all the modes and forms of religious worship around him, and soon excited a persecuting spirit which marked his ministerial life of about forty years as a pilgrimage from one prison to another. When, in 1650, he was called before Justice Bennet, of Derby, he admonished that magistrate to repent and “tremble and quake before the word of the Lord," at the same time his own body was violently agitated with his intense emotions. The magistrate and other officers of the court then and there named him a “Quaker” out of derision, a term which the society have since come to use themselves.
William Penn, the son of, a distinguished English admiral, became an early convert to this religion. At an early age, while at college, he embraced the doctrines and adopted the mode of life of George Fox and his followers. When his father first learned that his son was in danger of becoming a Quaker, he was incredulous. The admiral was a worldly, ambitious man and had great plans in view for his son, which would all be blasted if the precocious youth adopted the new religion. The struggles of young William Penn with his ambitious father, were long and bitter. He was beaten and turned out of doors by his angry parent, then taken back by the erratic but kind-hearted father and sent to France to be lured with gayety and dazzled with promises of wealth and distinction; but William Penn had the courage of his convic. tions and yielded not one whit of his religious ideas. Conscious of being right, he was unmoved by either promises or threats, and he even withstood the fires of persecution.
On one occasion he and another were tried on a charge of preaching in the streets. The jury, after being kept without fire, food, or water for two days and nights, brought in a verdict of “not guilty,” for which they were each heavily fined by the court and committed to Newgate prison. Penn and his companion did not wholly escape, for they
were fined and imprisoned for contempt of court, in wearing their hats in the presence of that body. At this time William Penn was only twenty-four years of age.
A great many Friends had emigrated to America, and two had become proprietors of New Jersey. The first event that drew Penn's particular attention to America was when he was called upon to act as umpire between the two Quaker proprietors of New Jersey. Having the New World thus thrust upon his attention, the young convert to the new religion began to look with longing eyes across the Atlantic for a home for himself and his persecuted brethren.
WILLIAM PENN. Shortly afterward, he obtained from the crown a charter for a vast territory beyond the Delaware. This charter was given in payment of a debt of eighty thousand dollars due to his father from the government. The charter was perpetual proprietorship given to him and his heirs, in the fealty of an annual payment of two beaver skins. In honor of his Welch ancestry, Penn proposed calling the domain “New Wales;">
but for some reason the secretary of state ob. jected.
Penn, while endeavoring to think up an appropriate title, suggested that Sylvania would be an appropriate name for such a woody country. The secretary who drew up the charter, on the impulse of the moment, prefixed the name of Penn to Sylvania in the document. William Penn protested against the use of his name, as he had no ambition to be thus distinguished, and offered to pay the secretary if he would leave it out. This he refused to do, and Penn next appealed to the king—"
_“the merrie King Charlie,” who insisted that the province should be called Pennsylvania, in honor of his dead friend the admiral. Thus Pennsylvania received its name. The territory included in William Penn's charter extended north from New Castle in Delaware three degrees of latitude and five degrees of longitude west from the Delaware River. William Penn was empowered to ordain all laws with the consent of the freemen, subject to the approval of the king. No taxes were to be raised save by the provincial assembly, and permission was given to the clergymen of the Anglican church to reside within the province without molestation.
The charter for Pennsylvania was granted in March 14, 1681, and on the following May, Penn sent William Markham, a relative, to take posses
sion of his province and act as deputy governor. A large number of emigrants in the employ of the
company of free traders” who had purchased lands in Pennsylvania of the proprietor, went with him. These settled near the Delaware and builded and planted.”
With the assistance of Algernon Sidney, a sturdy republican, who soon after perished on the scaffold for his views on personal liberty, Penn drew code of laws for the government of the colony, that were wise, liberal and benevolent, and next year sent them to the settlers in Pennsylvania for their approval.
William Penn soon discovered that his colony was liable to suffer for the want of sea-board room. He coveted Delaware for that purpose, and resolved if possible to have it. This territory, however, was claimed by Lord Baltimore as a part of Maryland, and for some time had been a matter of dispute between him and the Duke of York. For the sake of peace, the latter offered to purchase the territory of Baltimore; but the baron would not sell it. Penn then assured the Duke that Lord Baltimore's claim was “against law, civil and common.” The duke gladly assented to the opinion, and the worldly-wise Quaker obtained from his grace a quitclaim deed for the territory, now comprising the whole of the State of Delaware.