Governor, Prisoner, Founder, Quaker: The Life and Times of William Penn
Many Americans have heard of William Penn, and may have a vague idea that he is the figure represented on the Quaker Oats box, or that Pennsylvania was named after him. He isn’t, and it wasn’t. Curious? Join us in this Byrne seminar where we will learn all about this fascinating seventeenth-century political thinker and politician, who influenced not only the founding of Pennsylvania (who was it named after, really?), but New Jersey, New York, Delaware, and Maryland as well. We will read original works by Penn and his contemporaries and visit his home, Pennsbury Manor, as well as one of the oldest Quaker meetinghouses in the country. Along the way we will learn a lot about English and American history, the development of religious freedom, and what it means to study a historical figure like Penn, who moved between England and America – and from the corridors of power to the poorhouse – over the course of a long and eventful life. Students will not only read some of Penn's important work, but will also have the opportunity to take a field trip to Pennsbury Manor, Penn's country estate in Pennsylvania; and participate in an international conference on Penn's life and legacy to be held at Rutgers in November.