John Penn ("the American")
|2º Chief proprietor of Pennsylvania|
|Preceded by||William Penn|
|Succeeded by||Thomas Penn|
|Born||January 29, 1700
Slate Roof House in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
|Died||25 October 1746
|Profession||proprietor of Pennsylvania|
John Penn (January 29, 1700 – October 25, 1746) was a proprietor of colonial Pennsylvania. He was the eldest son of the colony's founder, William Penn, by his second wife, Hannah Callowhill Penn. He was the only one of Penn's children to be born in the New World (in the Slate Roof House in Philadelphia) and was hence called "the American" by his family.
Penn was raised by a cousin in Bristol, England, where he learned the trade of merchant in the linen trade. As a result of his father's will and by his mother's appointment, he received half of the proprietorship of Pennsylvania.
On May 12, 1732, John with his brothers Thomas Penn and Richard Penn, as the proprietors of Pennsylvania, signed an order to create a commission. This order was directed to Governor Gordon, Isaac Norris, Samuel Preston, James Logan, and Andrew Hamilton, Esquires, and to the gentlemen James Steel and Robert Charles. The commission, which was to be made up of at least three or more of these individuals, was given full power on behalf of the proprietors for the “running, marking, and laying out” of any boundary between Pennsylvania and Maryland. This was in accordance with the signed agreement between the Penn brothers and Charles Calvert, 5th Baron Baltimore on May 10, 1732.
He returned to Pennsylvania in September 1734, and attended the meetings of the Pennsylvania Provincial Council, but went back to England in 1735, to support the colony's rights in the boundary dispute with Maryland. The ultimate resolution of this dispute was the surveying of the Mason-Dixon Line. Penn, his brother Thomas, and their agents were responsible for the infamous "Walking Purchase", which swindled the Lenape Indians out of more than one million acres (400,000 ha) of Pennsylvania.
- "William Penn". Edited Appleton's Encyclopedia. Copyright © 2001 VirtualologyTM. Retrieved October 10, 2009.
- Proud, Robert (1798). The History of Pennsylvania in North America From the Original Institution and Settlement of that Province, Under the First Proprietor and Governor William Penn, in 1681, till after the year 1742: With an Introduction Respecting the Life of W. Penn, Prior to the Grant of the Province, and the Religious Society of the People Called Quakers, with the First Rise of the Neighbouring Colonies, More Particularly of West-New-Jersey and the Settlement of the Dutch and Swedes on Delaware. To Which is Added a Brief Description of the said Province, and the General State in which it Flourished, Principally between the years 1760-1770. With an Appendix. Written principally between the years 1776 and 1780. Philadelphia, PA: Zachariah Paulson, Jr. pp. 208–209.
- Dunaway, Wayland F. (1948). A History of Pennsylvania. New York, New York: Prentice-Hall, Inc. pp. 59, 87–88.
- "Walking-Purchase" in Encyclopædia Britannica
- William Brooke Rawle, "The General Title of the Penn Family to Pennsylvania", Pennsylvania magazine of history and biography, Vol. 23, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1899.