|Religion||Christian- Episcopalian |
|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).
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. 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. On July 28, 1763 he married Susanna Lyne.
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.||”|
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 at the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, which commemorates the Battle of Guilford Court House.
- Descendants of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence
- Makers of North Carolina History