William Penn's Treaty

In 1681, Charles II granted to William Penn, a prominent Quaker, the largest proprietary charter in English history—29 million acres that comprised all the unclaimed land in North America. Religious toleration, favorable agricultural conditions, and exceptionally peaceful relations with Indians led families of English Quakers to flock to the colony by the thousands, followed by large numbers of Germans, Ulster Scots, and others later in the eighteenth century. By 1750, Pennsylvania could boast the most ethnically diverse white population in the Atlantic world.

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