William Penn

William Penn
William Penn
  • Born: October 14, 1644
  • Died: July 30, 1718
  • Nationality: English
  • Profession: Nobleman, Writer, Colonial Proprietor Pennsylvania









William Penn was the son of Sir William Penn, and was an English nobleman, writer, early Quaker, 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.

Quote Topics Cited
A loose and depraved people… love laws and an administration like themselves. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
A plantation seems a fit place for those ingenious spirits that being low in the world, are much clogged and oppressed about a livelihood. For the means of subsisting being easy there, they may have time and opportunity to gratify their inclinations, and thereby improve science and help nurseries of people Poverty
All excess is ill, but drunkenness is of the worst sort. It spoils health, dismounts the mind, and unmans men. It reveals secrets, is quarrelsome, lascivious, impudent, dangerous and mad. In fine, he that is drunk is not a man: because he is so long void of Reason, that distinguishes a Man from a Beast. Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drugs
Any government is free to the people under it where the laws rule and the people are a party to the laws. Freedom & Liberty
Colonies, then, are the seeds of nations begun and nourished by the care of wise and populous Countries, as conceiving them best for the increase of human stock, and beneficial for commerce. Some of the wisest men in history have justly taken their fame from this design and service Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
For their [the children’s] learning, be liberal. Spare no cost, for by such parsimony all is lost that is saved Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Governments rather depend upon men, than men upon governments. Leaders & Leadership
I am very sensible of the unkindness and injustice that has been too much exercised towards you by the people of these parts of the world, who have sought themselves, and to make great advantages by you, rather than be examples of justice and goodness unto you; which I hear has been matter of trouble to you and caused great grudgings and animosities, sometimes to the shedding of blood, which has made the great god angry. But I am not such man as is well known in my own country. I have great love and regard toward you, and I desire to win and gain your love and friendship by a kind just, and peaceable life; and the people I send are of the same mind, and shall in all things behave themselves accordingly.. Minorities & Women
I do not find a model in the world, that time, place, and some singular emergences have not necessarily altered; nor is it easy to frame a civil government, that shall serve all places alike. Constitution / Bills & Declaratiobns of Rights
I know some say, let us have good laws, and no matter for the men that execute them: but let them consider, that though good laws do well, good men do better: for good laws may want good men, and be abolished or evaded by ill mend but good men will never want good laws, nor suffer ill ones. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
In France, and other nations, the mere will of the Prince is Law, his word takes off any man's head, imposeth taxes, or seizes any man's estate …. In England the Law is both the measure and the bound of every Subject's duty and allegiance, each man having a fixed Fundamental Right born with him, as to freedom of his person and property in his estate, which he cannot be deprived of, but either by his consent, or some crime, for which the law has imposed such a penalty or forfeiture. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
let it be considered that the plantations employ many hundreds of shipping and many thousands of seamen, which must be in diverse respects an advantage to England, being an island, and by nature fitted for navigation above any country in Europe States. Nations & Nationhood
Let the people think they govern and they will be governed. Government ;Public Opinion & Polling
More being produced and imported than we can spend here, we export it to other countries in Europe, which brings in money or the growth of those countries, which is the same thing. And this is Ito] the advantage of the English merchants and seamen Business, Commerce & Finance
My prison shall be my grave before I will budge a jot; for I owe my conscience to no mortal man. Freedom & Liberty
no law can be made, nor money raised, but by the people's consent …. That the rights and freedoms of England (the best and largest in Europe) shall be in force there Democracies & Republics
Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God. Religion & God ;Slogans & Mottoes ;Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
Since (by the good providence of God) a country in America is fallen to my lot, I thought it not less my duty than my honest interest to give some public notice of it to the world, that those of our own, or other nations, that are inclined to transport themselves or families beyond the seas, may find another country added to their choice Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
That the several colonies before mentioned do meet once a year, and oftener if need be during the war, and at least once in two years in times of peace, by their stated and appointed deputies, to debate and resolve of such measures as are most advisable for their better understanding and the public tranquility and safety…. That their business shall be to hear and adjust all matters of complaint or difference between province and province. As, 1st, where persons quit their own province and go to another, that they may avoid their just debts, though they be able to pay them; 2nd, where offenders fly justice, or justice cannot well be had upon such offenders in the provinces that entertain them; 3rd, to prevent or cure injuries in point of commerce; 4th, to consider the ways and means to support the union and safety of these provinces against the public enemies. In which congress the quotas of men and charges will be much easier and more equally set than it is possible for any establishment made here to do; for the provinces, knowing their own condition and one another's, can debate that matter with more freedom and satisfaction, and better adjust and balance their affairs in all respects for their common safety. States. Nations & Nationhood
there are another sort of persons, not only fit for, but necessary in plantations, and that is, men of universal spirits that have an eye to the good of posterity, and that both understand and delight to promote good discipline and just government among a plain and well intending people. Such persons may find room in colonies for their good counsel and contrivance, who are shut out from being of much use or service to great nations under settled customs. States. Nations & Nationhood
There is a troublesome humor some men have, that if they may not lead, they will not follow; but had rather a thing were never done, than not done their own way, tho' other ways very desirable. Leaders & Leadership
There is no law in Pennsylvania against riding on broomsticks. Religion & God
Those that go into a foreign plantation, their industry there is worth more than if they stayed at home, the product of their labor being in commodities of a superior nature to those of this country. For instance, what is an improved acre in Jamaica or Barbados worth to an improved acre in England? We know it is three times the value Business, Commerce & Finance
Ye Dutch, Swede, and English have by Brandy and Specially Rum, almost Debaucht ye Indians all. Minorities & Women
Ye Dutch, Sweed, and English have by Brandy and Specially Rum, almost Debaucht ye Indians all. When Drunk ye most Wretched of Spectacles. They had been very Tractable but Rum is so dear to them Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
You are now fixed at the mercy of no governor that comes to make his fortune great; you shall be governed by laws of your own making and live a free, and if you will, a sober and industrious life. I shall not usurp the right of any, or oppress his person. God has furnished me with a better resolution and has given me his grace to keep it. Democracies & Republics
A good End cannot sanctify evil Means; nor must we ever do Evil, that Good may come of it.
A true friend freely, advises justly, assists readily, adventures boldly, takes all patiently, defends courageously, and continues a friend unchangeably. Friendship
Avoid popularity; it has many snares, and no real benefit. Fame
Between a man and his wife nothing ought to rule but love. Authority is for children and servants, yet not without sweetness. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity. Time ;Death
Force may make hypocrites, but it can never make converts.
Force may subdue, but love gains, and he that forgives first wins the laurel. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
He that does good for good's sake seeks neither paradise nor reward, but he is sure of both in the end.
He that lives to live forever, never fears dying.
He who is taught to live upon little owes more to his father's wisdom than he who has a great deal left him does to his father's care.
Humility and knowledge in poor clothes excel pride and ignorance in costly attire. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
I expect to pass through life but once. If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.
If thou wouldst conquer thy weakness, thou must never gratify it.
In marriage do thou be wise: prefer the person before money, virtue before beauty, the mind before the body; then thou hast a wife, a friend, a companion, a second self. Families, Children & Parenting ;Money, Coins & Minting
It would be far better to be of no church than to be bitter of any.
Justice is the insurance which we have on our lives and property. Obedience is the premium which we pay for it.
Kings in this world should imitate God, their mercy should be above their works. Religion & God
Knowledge is the treasure of a wise man. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Less judgment than wit is more sail than ballast.
Love grows. Lust wastes by Enjoyment, and the Reason is, that one springs from an Union of Souls, and the other from an Union of Sense. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Love is the hardest lesson in Christianity; but, for that reason, it should be most our care to learn it. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Men are generally more careful of the breed of their horses and dogs than of their children.
Men must be governed by God or they will be ruled by tyrants. Religion & God
Much reading is an oppression of the mind, and extinguishes the natural candle, which is the reason of so many senseless scholars in the world.
Nothing does reason more right, than the coolness of those that offer it: For Truth often suffers more by the heat of its defenders, than from the arguments of its opposers. Truth
O Lord, help me not to despise or oppose what I do not understand.
Only trust thyself, and another shall not betray thee. Trust
Passion is a sort of fever in the mind, which ever leaves us weaker than it found us.
Passion is the mob of the man, that commits a riot upon his reason.
Patience and Diligence, like faith, remove mountains. Religion & God ;Patience
Rarely promise, but, if lawful, constantly perform.
Right is right, even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it.
Sense shines with a double luster when it is set in humility. An able yet humble man is a jewel worth a kingdom.
Some are so very studious of learning what was done by the ancients that they know not how to live with the moderns. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Speak properly, and in as few words as you can, but always plainly; for the end of speech is not ostentation, but to be understood.
The jealous are troublesome to others, but a torment to themselves.
The tallest Trees are most in the Power of the Winds, and Ambitious Men of the Blasts of Fortune. Power
They have a right to censure that have a heart to help.
Time is what we want most, but what we use worst. Time
To be a man's own fool is bad enough, but the vain man is everybody's.
To be like Christ is to be a Christian.
True godliness does not turn men out of the world, but enables them to live better in it and excites their endeavors to mend it.
True silence is the rest of the mind, and is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment. Health, Healthcare & Medicine
Truth often suffers more by the heat of its defenders than the arguments of its opposers. Truth
We are apt to love praise, but not deserve it. But if we would deserve it, we must love virtue more than that. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex