John Penn

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Founding Fathers
John Penn.jpg
John Penn
State North Carolina
Religion Christian- Episcopalian [1]
Founding Documents Declaration of Independence,
Articles of Confederation


Not to be confused with William Penn


John Penn (1741-1788) was an early American statesman and signer of the Declaration of Independence from North Carolina. He served in the Continental Congress for six years. Also, he signed the Articles of Confederation and the Halifax Resolves (North Carolina's first Constitution).

Contents

Early Life

Penn was born on May 17, 1741 in Port Royal, Caroline County, Virginia, the only child of Moses Penn and Catherine (Taylor) Penn. The descendants of his great-grandfather James Taylor, became presidents of the United States—James Madison and Zachary Taylor. [2] At age 18 his father died and he would be in charge of the family farm. He would study law under the tuteledge of his uncle Edmund Pendleton, known as the greatest orator of the colonies. Three short years later he would have his law license.

Continental Congress

Penn would be charged in court for his disrespectful and treasonous remarks about King George. He was convicted by a fearful jury but the judge fined him just 1 cent in a spite to King George. Penn would never pay the fine. In 1774, Penn moved to Williamsboro, North Carolina to set up his law practice. The following year he was elected to be one of the delegates to represent North Carolina at the Continental Congress. Arriving in Congress later in the year, Penn declared,

My first wish is for America to be free.
North Carolina legislature led all the other colonies in declaring for a complete separation from Great Britain. Penn became the leader of a three-man Board of War in North Carolina to prepare for the British invasion. He would raise recruits, found funding for the military, provided transportation and supplies, disarmed Tories, and generally spurred the people into action.

Death

John Penn died on September 14, 1788 and was buried at his home a few miles northeast of Stovall in Granville County, North Carolina. On April 25, 1894 his remains were re-interred under the Signers Monument, together with the remains of William Hooper.

References

  1. http://www.adherents.com/gov/Founding_Fathers_Religion.html
  2. Descendants of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence
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