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William Penn
Date: 1644 - 1718
Remarks: William Penn, a devoted Quaker, spent much of his early life in trouble for his religious beliefs. Unwilling to back down, he was even imprisoned for his religious speeches and writings. In 1681, after previous minor involvement in the colonies, Penn was granted a charter from King Charles II for the colony of Pennsylvania. Penn wished to create a colony of religious and political freedom, and one of the defining factors of early Pennsylvania was its amiable relationship with Native Americans in the area. Penn visited his colony a number of times, creating the government and even laying out Philadelphia. In 1712, however, he suffered a stroke and remained incapicitated until his death in 1718. -Source: