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William Penn

William Penn (14 October 1644 – 30 July 1718) was the son of the admiral and politician Sir William Penn. Penn was a writer, early member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), and founder of the English North American colony the Province of Pennsylvania. He was an early advocate of democracy and religious freedom, notable for his good relations and successful treaties with the Lenape Native Americans. Under his direction, the city of Philadelphia was planned and developed. Philadelphia was planned out to be grid-like with its streets and be very easy to navigate, unlike London where Penn was from. The streets are named with numbers and tree names. He chose to use the names of trees for the cross streets because Pennsylvania means "Penn's Woods."

In 1681, King Charles II handed over a large piece of his North American land holdings along the North Atlantic Ocean coast to Penn to pay the debts the king had owed to Penn's father. This land included the present-day states of Pennsylvania and Delaware. Penn immediately set sail and took his first step on American soil, sailing up the Delaware Bay and Delaware River, (past earlier Swedish and Dutch riverfront colonies) in New Castle (now in Delaware) in 1682. On this occasion, the colonists pledged allegiance to Penn as their new proprietor, and the first Pennsylvania General Assembly was held. Afterward, Penn journeyed further north up the Delaware River and founded Philadelphia, on the west bank. However, Penn's Quaker government was not viewed favorably by the previous Dutch, Swedish colonists, and also earlier English settlers in what is now Delaware, but claimed for half a century by the neighboring Province of Maryland's proprietor family, the Calverts and Lord Baltimore. These earlier colonists had no historical allegiance to a "Pennsylvania", so they almost immediately began petitioning for their own representative assembly. 23 years later in 1704, they achieved their goal when the three southernmost counties of provincial Pennsylvania along the western coast of the Delaware, were permitted to split off and become the new semi-autonomous Provided by Wikipedia
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