William Penn lived in England.
He was a member of a religious group called the Quakers. The
Quakers had no religious leaders. They believed every man was
equal. All members met to worship God as equals.
The Quakers could not worship
in England because they did not follow the Church of England.
Many Quakers were sent to jail for not going to the Church of
William Penn was one of those
who had been sent to jail. The King of England owed Penn's
father a lot of money. Penn's father asked the King of England
to give him land in America instead of the money. The King
In 1682 William Penn and his
fellow Quakers came to the New World. They named their new
colony Pennsylvania. This meant
Penn's woods. Penn opened his land to Quakers from all over
the world. Thousands came from Germany, Scotland, Ireland, and
Penn was also given Delaware after
the English took it from the Swedes. The British governor, the
Duke of York, did not want the problems of running a small colony,
so he gave it to William Penn.
In 1704 Penn let it become a
separate colony. The Middle Colonies of Delaware, Pennsylvania,
New Jersey, and New York were called the Bread Colonies. The soil
was good in this area for raising crops. Many rivers made
transportation easy. The chief products of this area were grain
and livestock. Vegetables, cotton, and tobacco were also grown.
See a chart of the Middle Colonies.
See activities with the Quakers.
Return to the Colonial America Index Page.