Yesterday was Charter Day in Pennsylvania. It is the anniversary of March 4, 1681, the day King Charles II of England gave a land grant to William Penn to found the colony of Pennsylvania.
The following is from the Pennsylvania State Achives:
"Essential to Penn was freedom of worship. He had become a member of the Religious Society of the Friends of God, commonly called Quakers. They did not attend services in a parish church, but met in private homes and plain meeting houses. They worshiped in silence unless a Friend were inspired by the Holy Spirit to speak. They permitted women to address their meetings. They refused to swear oaths and were pacifists. As a result, the English magistrates physically abused, fined, and imprisoned them. Penn himself was confined in the Tower of London at times."
On June 24, 1680, Penn asked King Charles II for a charter for land in America. The only available tract in eastern North America lay west of New Jersey, north of Maryland, and south of New York, an area that England had conquered from the Dutch in 1664 and which the King had given to his brother James, the Duke of York. After appropriate discussions, the King granted Penn's request.
William Penn traveled to the New World with the charter to a 26-million-acre tract of land to start his dream of a "Holy Experiment" free from religious persecution. He met with the local Native American tribes to ask for peace and for their blessing to settle the land. Penn plotted out the village of Philadelphia between the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers. His focus then turned to building a manor house.
The manor is located along the banks of the Delaware River, between the river and Van Sciver Lake. Construction at Pennsbury was begun soon after Penn's arrival in the colony in 1682 and completed in about 1686. In addition to the house, there were separate buildings for baking and brewing, a large stable, a boathouse, and numerous farm buildings. Penn's plan was to establish the sort of gentleman's country estate that had been his home in England.
Pennsbury Manor, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 28, 1969.
My friend, Carole, and I left our husbands home, had a "Girls' Day Out", and went to Pennsbury Manor's free day of celebration. All of the outbuildings had costumed guides and they showed us how various things were done in the 17th century.
This is the view from the parking lot. How beautiful it must have been when Penn saw it for the first time in 1682.
Statue of William Penn in front of the Visitors' Center.
The main road to the manor house with all the outbuildings.
A carpenter at the woodworking shop.
This is the well outside the manor house. My sister and I visited Pennsbury when we were little and both had our picture taken holding onto the handle. Ah, the memories.
The view from the front of the house.
Front garden of the manor house.
Another view of the garden.
The back garden from an upstairs window.
The best parlor where Hannah Penn served her guests tea. The picture on the wall is of William Penn's grandfather. The rug is on the table. Rugs were so valuable that people would not put them on the floor to be walked on and have food spilled on them. They showed them off on the table.
William Penn's office where he met with dignitaries from England and representatives from the Native American tribes. The Native Americans were so impressed with him and his honesty in dealing with them that when they wanted to compliment someone, they would say he was like William Penn.
A 300 year old clock. The green tiles around the fireplace are original to the house.
Some more of the green tile around the fireplace in the porch (or entrance hall). The original house fell into disrepair and was torn down in the late 1700s. This recreation was built in the 1930s from descriptions in Penn's letters. Since he was away from home so much, he sent his workers detailed descriptions of what the house should look like.
If Penn really liked you and wanted to continue his business discussion with you, he would take you into this room which adjoined the office. You would be served refreshments and continue your conversation. As the first governor of Pennsylvania he did lots of business from these two rooms.
This is the guest bedroom. The walls are covered in silk. Love the colors. It was so bright I don't know how anyone could sleep in there.
And here's the bed. There must have been lots of mosquitos around living that close to the river so at least they provided netting to keep you safe from malaria.
This is Hannah Penn's sewing/drawing room. When ladies came to call she would bring them to this room to visit. The panes of glass that look reddish are because the glass is so old and it has changed color.
This is Hannah's comfortable (?) chaise lounge. Obviously comfort wasn't a big thing in the 17th century.
William Penn remarried after his first wife died. Hannah was his second wife. When she came to America she was pregnant. Penn had 15 children, but only the youngest, John, was born in America. He was given the nickname "the American." This is John's nursery. There is a device to dry his stockings by the fireplace and his pewter baby bottle was heated there as well.
Here is John's cradle, the nurse's bed and believe it or not a rocking potty chair. OK. Yeah, I like rocking on my potty chair too.
There is more to show and I will post those pictures tomorrow.