The “City of Brotherly Love” was so proclaimed by William Penn, who believed that settlers should be free to live by their own laws and that no one should be “molested or prejudiced for his or her own conscientious persuasion or practice.” As a wealthy Quaker, Penn was determined to develop a colony in the New World that would provide anyone with freedom to practice his own faith. He convinced King Charles II to provide him with a tract of land in payment for a debt owed by the Crown to his father, Admiral Sir William Penn. The charter he received for “Sylvania” gave him full authority to impose taxes “by act of Parliament.” He arrived in 1682 and named the colony Pennsylvania, “Penn’s Woods,” in honor of his father. Then he named Philadelphia
after a Christian city in Asia
Minor. Inaugurating one of the first attempts at city planning, Penn was determined to lay out the streets on a grid pattern. When Charles Dickens visited in 1842, he commented that Philadelphia was a “handsome city, but distractingly regular.” Penn’s surveyor, Captain Thomas Holmes, also planned five squares to provide the residents with greenery, fresh air, and sunshine. By 1776 Philadelphia had become the second-largest English-speaking city in the world. In 1774 the First Continental Congress met at Carpenters’ Hall in Philadelphia. The Second Continental Congress met at Independence Hall, then called the Pennsylvania State House. Thomas Jefferson worked arduously drafting the Declaration then gave it to his colleagues to approve, and it was signed. (You can see the inkwell used to sign the Declaration of Independence as you walk through Independence Hall.) The Declaration of Independence was read in the State House yard on July 8, 1776. In 1787 the Articles of Confederation were revised by the Constitutional Convention here. Philadelphia remained the capital of our nation until 1800. This chapter has everything you need to plan a travel experience in Philadelphia.
© Copyright Patricia and Robert Foulke published by The Globe Pequot Press all rights reserved.
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This travel guide comes from:
Daytrips and Getaway Weekends in the Mid-Atlantic States Guide Book