Pennsylvania’s Anarchist Experiment: 1681-1690

5 01 2007

In the vast stretches of America, William Penn envisaged a truly Quaker colony, “a Holy experiment…that an example may be set up to the nations.” In his quest for such a charter, Penn was aided by the fact that the Crown had owed his father, Admiral Sir William Penn, the huge sum of 16,000 pounds for loans and back salary. In March 1681 the king agreed to grant young William, the admiral’s heir, proprietary ownership of the lands west of the Delaware River and north of the Maryland border in exchange for canceling the old debt.