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A Brief Memoir of Penn.

By James M. Brown.

(Included with his 1857 reprint edition of Primitive Christianity Revived, By William Penn.)

Acknowledgments | Remarks to the public | Contents

The author gratefully acknowledges the many favours he has received in aiding him to get up this book, particularly that of Jno. Frost, LL.D., for the plate of the likeness of William Penn, and that of Messrs. H. Cowperthwait & Co., for the loan of their plate of William Penn's Treaty with the Indians at Philadelphia.

Of the various representatives of that ever-memorable event, none that he has seen so fully sets it forth according to his fancy as it is in the third revised edition of Mitchell's Primary Geography, published by Messrs. H. Cowperthwait & Co., of Philadelphia, 1854, page 73.

And for the free use which the author has made of the works of others who have written of William Penn, he now tenders his profound acknowledgments.

And last, but not least, to Edward W. Miller, Esq., of the firm of Miller & Burlock, bookbinders, &c., George Street, Philadelphia, for the great attention he bestowed in procuring materials, &c.

To appreciate fully such favours, they must be received by one remote and unacquainted in cities, like

The author.

Acknowledgments | Remarks to the public | Contents


But more especially to the followers of William Penn, George Fox, and Robert Barclay.

IF it be made a question why a member of the M. E. Church should interest himself so much as to reprint a work of William Penn's more than one hundred and fifty years after its first publication, and a short memoir of the man, let the answer be—William Penn, like the great Washington, was a benefactor to his race. No country or sect can claim him exclusively; his acts were too general in their character and noble in their object to be confined or appropriated to any clime or to any persuasion; hence my privilege. Read the work attentively, and consider well the character of the man, in connection with the condition of the world at that time,—its moral darkness, the prevalency of dishonesty, priestcraft, superstition, intolerance, bigotry, church pride, and arrogance; in short, every thing hateful to a man like William Penn, who was too wise to be cheated by the vanities, empty professions, or promises, of this fleeting world; and then judge whether it be not high time to recur to first lessons and first principles, and whether there be a man, woman, or child, who would not only be gratified, but much profited, by a careful and proper reading of this little volume; thence my object and pleasure.


Acknowledgments | Remarks to the public | Contents

A Brief Memoir of Penn

Chapter 1
An era of religious intolerance. William Penn, Sr., the Admiral, 1621-1670. William Penn the son born 1644; his early education and first encounters with Friends.
Chapter 2
Conflict between the father and the son. Further education and training. Penn openly espouses the cause of the Quakers. What his father makes of it, upon reflection. Penn compared with Moses. Extracts of Penn's writings show his response to troubles and his religious temperment.
Chapter 3
The purchase of Pennsylvania. Penn's letter to the Indians, 1681. A new frame of government. The 'Exodus of the Quakers' to Pennsylvania.
Chapter 4
Penn and the royal succession in England. James II overthrown in 1688; Penn is accused of continuing to support him, and for many years is unable to travel to Pennsylvania. Trials and tribulations. Penn dies in 1718, having spent just a few years in Pennsylvania. Comments on his character and his accomplishments by Edmund Burke, Montesquieu, and Dr. Marsillac.
Chapter 5
"The Macaulay Charges"—a detailed response to charges made by TB Macaulay in his History of England, 1849, excerpted from Dixon's Life of Penn, 1851.