As the leader of one of the most progressive religious sects to emerge from England, William Penn envisioned Pennsylvania as an example of how a God-inspired society could succeed in the wilderness of North America.
However, once in the New World, Quakers pursued both wealth and power, suggesting that even the most devout could not resist the temptations of the New World. Despite the moral struggle, Pennsylvania succeeded beyond anyone’s imagination. By Penn’s death in 1718, Pennsylvania was well on its way to becoming the most commercially successful colonial enterprise in English history.
The titles in the Library of American Biography Series make ideal supplements for American History Survey courses or other courses in American history where figures in history are explored. Paperback, brief, and inexpensive, each interpretative biography in this series focuses on a figure whose actions and ideas significantly influenced the course of American history and national life. At the same time, each biography relates the life of its subject to the broader themes and developments of the times.
Editor's Preface ix
Author's Preface xi
"Gold to Me Is Dirt" 1
"Hellish Darkness and Debauchery" 21
"I Owe My Conscience to No Mortal Man" 36
"I Matter Not Your Fetters" 55
"A Larger Imprisonment Has Not Daunted Me" 70
"Bless and Make It the Seed of a Nation" 89
"As Fit a Man as Any in Europe to Plant a Country" 107
"Not to Devour and Destroy One Another" 124
"Another Face than I Left Them" 146
"I Am a Man of Sorrows" 164
"God Is God, and Good" 187
"This Licentious Wilderness" 209
"A Soure Temper'd People" 226
Epilogue and Legacy 241
Study and Discussion Questions 249
Notes on the Sources 257