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Pennsylvania Colony. By Grace Andersen. Pennsylvania.

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pennsylvania colony

Pennsylvania Colony

By Grace Andersen


Pennsylvania was founded in 1682 by William Penn. King Charles II gave the land to William Penn because he owed money to Penn’s deceased father. Pennsylvania was named for Penn’s father and “sylvania” which means forest in Latin, so, the name means “Penn’s Woods”. Penn created Pennsylvania for religious freedoms for his fellow Quakers.

the flag
The Flag

The colonial flag of Pennsylvania is the same flag they use today. The flag has a blue background with the state’s coat of arms on top. The Eagle stands for the loyalty to the U.S. The shield has a ship which stands for commerce, a plough which stands for natural resources, and three wheat sheaves which stand for fertility. The olive branch and cornstalk stand for peace and prosperity. The state motto, “Virtue, Liberty, and Independence” is written on the ribbon at the bottom.


Colonial Pennsylvania was located west of New Jersey, north of Maryland and south of New York. King Charles II decided the colony would be the land between 39°north and 42°north and west 5° of latitude from the Delaware river.


The Pennsylvania colony had excellent farming and often had surplus that they shipped across the colonies and across the world. Manufacturing of paper an cloth was a major contribution to the economy as well. Because of its good economy Pennsylvania became one of the wealthiest colonies.


Agriculture was a very important part of life in Pennsylvania. Their agricultural products were wheat, corn, cattle and dairy. These products made up much of the economy.


Manufacturing was an important part of the economy of Pennsylvania as well. They had many natural resources such as trees and rivers. Some of the things they manufactured were textiles, paper and ships. The manufacturing helped Pennsylvania become a very rich and important colony

natural resources
Natural Resources

Colonial Pennsylvania had an abundance of natural resources. They had rich soil for planting crops. They had many forests for lumber to build boats. Also they had many streams to power their sawmills. These resources made the colony very prosperous.


The climate of colonial Pennsylvania was mild in the spring and fall but could be hot and muggy in summer. Winters were cold but seldom below zero with sometimes unpredictable snow. Rainfall was spread out through the year with six to nine rainy days a month.

important documents
Important Documents

Both the Constitution and The Declaration of Independence were written in Pennsylvania. They were both signed in Pennsylvania too. Many people who signed the Declaration of Independence were from Pennsylvania too.


Most of the settlers in Pennsylvania were English Quakers, even though most English were Anglican. German settlers also came to Pennsylvania. They made up one third of the population, and helped make the farming industry flourish. Also the Scotch-Irish made up one fourth of the population. There were also other smaller populations of peoples who settled there.

native americans
Native Americans

There were several Native American tribes living in the Pennsylvania area before Penn established the colony. The tribes included, the Delaware (or Leni-Lenape), the Susquehannock, the Shawnee, and the Iroquois confederacy which consisted of, the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca Indians. Penn made treaties with most of the tribes so they didn’t fight over land.


Many famous people lived in Colonial Pennsylvania including Benjamin Franklin who moved there at the age of seventeen. Some other people include: Thomas McKean, Gouverneur Morris, Robert Morris, Thomas Paine, Arthur St. Claire, and James Wilson. All of these people have had an important impact on American history.


In colonial Pennsylvania children played with simple toys such as puzzles, corn husk dolls, tops and Jacob’s Ladders. Their games taught them life skills. Some games were, leap frog, marbles and hopscotch. Also, books were a common pastime for the children who knew how to read.


Homes in colonial Pennsylvania were lit by fireplaces, candles and lamps that burned animal fat. Their houses were often made of wood and stone. Homes were sometimes built into the side of a hill for protection from the cold winters and hot summers.


The religion in Pennsylvania was mostly Quaker. The Quakers were very peaceful people who were very against war. Quaker was not the only religion, however. Pennsylvania was founded for religious freedoms so it didn’t really matter what religion you were.


The food in colonial Pennsylvania had many Dutch influences. Dutch food is often made up of many flavors. Fruits, pickled vegetables, corn, potatoes and pork are common ingredients. Baked goods are also a big part of Dutch food, such as cakes and pies.


Quakers thought singing and dancing were a waste of time but people found other ways to have fun. There were many holidays like we have today. Some people liked to paint glass as a hobby. They also enjoyed simple things like reading and board games. One popular board game was Fox and Geese, a game where one player (the fox) tries to “eat” the other players (the geese) who are trying to corner them.

Fox & Geese



Although music was not a big part of the Quaker religion, people in colonial Pennsylvania liked much of the same music as the rest of the colonies. This included music by Mozart and similar composers. Operas were also popular for high class citizens. Fiddles were more popular among common people



Not very many people in colonial Pennsylvania had the time or the money to make art. Most art of the time was either for a portrait or a church so, not many common people had art in their homes. If you were rich, however, getting a portrait pained of yourself was not uncommon.


In colonial times men’s clothing was very different from what it is now. They wore a shirt, stockings, breeches, a cravat and a coat or cloak.

Women’s clothing was different too. They wore a cap, shift, petticoat and a dress or undress. A dress is fancy and an undress is for everyday. The dress would consist of a gown and apron.

Children’s clothing was similar to adult’s except for one thing. Boys wore dresses until the age of six!