Overall History of Pennsylvania

In 1681 William Penn, a Quaker, founded his colony as a ‘holy experiment’ that respected religious freedom, liberal government and even indigenous inhabitants. But it didn’t take long for European settlers to displace those communities, thus giving rise to...

The American Revolution and a New Nation

Important Pennsylvanians of both dominant political parties emerged as leaders of the Revolutionary movement—Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Rush, Joseph Reed, Thomas Mifflin, John Dickinson, Robert Morris, and Haym Salomon. In 1776 a provincial convention dominated by...

Penn’s Colony

A devout Quaker who had suffered for his beliefs, Penn viewed his colony as a holy experiment, designed to grant asylum to the persecuted under conditions of equality and freedom. In 1681 he sent William Markham as his deputy to establish a government at Uppland and...

Exploration and Early Settlement

In the early 1600s the English, Dutch, and Swedes disputed the right to the region of Pennsylvania. Explorations were confined to the Delaware River vicinity, where fur trading with the Native Americans was carried on. The original permanent settlement was established...