Penn’s Final Years

In 1692, Penn’s wife died. Five years later, he married Hannah Callowhill, a fellow Quaker from Bristol. Hannah gave birth to seven children, four of whom died very young. The surviving children John, Thomas, and Richard would all play roles in the American colony. In 1699, Penn, Hannah, and Letitia sailed to Pennsylvania, where the first of his children with Hannah was born. John Penn was the only one of Penn’s children to be born in America. During his second visit to the colony, Penn successfully concluded the 1701 treaty with the Potomac Indians, establishing commercial relations with them through authorized representatives. In 1701, when he learned that legislation to return the proprietary colonies to the Crown had been introduced in the House of Lords, Penn returned to London. During this time, he also faced charges from his financial adviser, Phillip Ford, who had embezzled much of Penn’s income and tricked him into signing a document transferring the ownership of Pennsylvania to Ford.

In October 1712, Penn suffered a stroke, followed by a second one four months later. The resulting paralysis left him unable to attend to the business of running the colony, a role that his wife Hannah assumed. Penn died six years later on July 30, 1718. Tonia M. Compton See also: Native American-European Relations; Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania (Chronology); Quakers; Document: Pennsylvania Charter of Privileges (1701). Bibliography Dunn, Mary Maples. “The Personality of William Penn.” In The World of William Penn, edited by Richard S. Dunn and Mary Maples Dunn. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1986. Geiter, Mary K. William Penn. New York: Longman, 2000. Powell, Jim. “William Penn, America’s First Great Champion for Liberty and Peace.” The Religious Society of Friends. www.quaker.org/wmpenn.html. Wildes, Harry Emerson. William Penn. New York: Macmillan, 1974. “William Penn.” Virtualology Museum of History. www.williampenn.org.

 

Photo Gallery Penn’s Final Years

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