William Penn

William Penn, Quaker and founder of the colony of Pennsylvania, featured in Priscilla’s first book and was the subject of her penultimate publication. In the first volume of Leisure Hours or Entertaining Dialogues published in 1794 there is a story called the ‘Petition of Gayashuta’. It reproduces the speech the Seneca leader Kayahsotaà made to the descendents of Penn. Penn was held in high regard by the indigenous people because, according to Priscilla, of his religious beliefs and personal qualities of fairness and respect.

A visit to Philadelphia by Arthur Middleton and Henry Franklin was included in the book Excursions in North America published in 1806. Penn is described as a man of ‘wisdom, moderation, justice and humanity’ and that the respect for this memory was so firmly rooted with the Indian people that ‘they are never perfectly satisfied with any treaty, unless some Quakers are present at the conference; for, say they, the descendents of William Penn will never suffer us to be deceived’. (p.15)

In 1816 Priscilla published A Brief Memoir of the Life of William Penn. Compiled for the use of Young Persons. It is an adapted version of the biography by Thomas Clarkson. She describes him above all as ‘a pious Christian’. Priscilla’s biography is followed by a number of Penn’s works.

 A Brief Memoir of the Life of William Penn

Published in: on March 19, 2011 at 6:53 am  Leave a Comment