Penn’s First Sight of the Shores of Pennsylvania as He Ascends the River

On the Back Cover Penn’s First Sight of the Shores of Pennsylvania as He Ascends the River A Mural Painting by Violet Oakley Commissioned in 1902 This mural painting, done by Violet Oakley, depicts William Penn on board the Welcome as it sails up the Delaware Bay. Gazing on the land named for his father, Penn is meant to be “speaking” the lines quoted above him in the scroll....
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William Penn, Man of Vision, Courage, Action (An Interview with the Artist)

On the Cover: William Penn, Man of Vision, Courage, Action, a mural painting by N.C. Wyeth Completed in 1933   It is the dramatic purpose of this mural painting to assert the heroic stature of William Penn as a man of vision and a leader …. The time is 1682, the year of his departure for America. He is thirty-eight years of age, youthful, strong, enthusiastic, and forward looking. His...
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Letter from the Governor

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR HARRISBURG THE GOVERNOR Dear Fellow Pennsylvanian: As we prepare to commemorate Pennsylvania’s 300th birthday, it is fitting that we take note of the principles and values which formed the foundation upon which our state’s distinctive character developed. It is also important to consider how these principles and values, coupled with...
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The Vision of William Penn

“… that an example may be set up to the nations an holy experiment.” – William Penn   A few days after receiving his charter for Pennsylvania in the spring of 1681, William Penn sent off a letter to some Irish Quaker merchants, happily informing them of his good fortune, asking their assistance and explaining his motives for establish­ing a colony. Penn’s...
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Religious Freedom: Key to Diversity

“There can be no reason to persecute any man in this world about anything that belongs to the next.” – William Penn   To describe Pennsylvania’s re­ligious diversity is to present the history of its religious develop­ment. Although many other states be­came religiously heterogeneous during the nineteenth century, Pennsylvania was pluralistic even as a colony within...
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The Ethnic Factor: Backbone of the Commonwealth

“… that those of our own, or other nations, that are inclined to transport themselves or families beyond the seas, may find another country …” – William Penn   The story of Pennsylvania can­not be adequately told without great emphasis upon its ethnic di­versity. More than simply an incidental feature, from the first contacts between Europeans and Indians to...
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Stability and Change: Culture During Three Periods

“Religion, … the best bond of human society, provided man did not err in the meaning of that excellent word.” – William Penn   Culture, broadly de­fined, is the way of life of a group of people; it includes all their behavioral patterns, beliefs and ar­tistic expressions. Culture is not static; it varies over time and place. Culture does not arise in a vacuum; it...
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Geography and Resources: The Story of Adaptation

The country itself, in its soil, air, water, seasons, and produce, both natural and artificial, is not to be despised. – William Penn Man is a creative and inventive creature capable of either adapt­ing to the environment, when need be, or adapting the environment to suit his particular needs. In the words of Max Savelle, “the history of the Anglo­American colonies is . . . a history...
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Pennsylvania’s Workers: The Struggle for Prosperity

“Do thine own Work honestly and chearfully. And when that is done, help they Fellow …” – William Penn   The colonial economy of Pennsylvania flourished as its agriculture, commerce and handicraft production expanded steadily in the years before the American Revolu­tion. As with other American colonies, Pennsylvania drew its wealth from the land and the sea,...
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The Economics of Inequality: A Look at Black Labor

“Justice is justly represented Blind, because she sees no Difference in the Parties concerned.” – William Penn   In this day, when slavery and legal segregation have long been abolished from American institutional life, most conscientious citizens would agree that racial prejudice and discrimination are morally destructive tendencies in human relations. At the same lime,...
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