Pennsbury Manor portrait painted by a student of Rembrandt

Pennsbury Manor portrait painted by a student of Rembrandt

In 1946, on the heels of the bicentennial of founder William Penn’s birth, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission acquired a striking portrait entitled Lady Springett. The sitter, Mary Proude Springett Pennington (1625–1682), was the mother of Penn’s first wife, Gulielma Maria Springett (1644–1694). An orphaned heiress at 3 years old, Lady Springett married, in …

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The Charter: The story of Pennsylvania’s “birth certificate”

The Charter: The story of Pennsylvania’s “birth certificate”

This month, the Pennsylvania Charter will briefly leave its climate-controlled, high-security vault at the Pennsylvania State Archives for a limited stint at The State Museum. For one week, the public will have the chance to view Pennsylvania’s “birth certificate” and discover the story behind the granting of the Pennsylvania Colony to William Penn by King …

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Rare portrait peers into William Penn’s younger years

Rare portrait peers into William Penn’s younger years

This portrait is one of only two definitive images known to exist of William Penn that were created from life. A copy of a lost original, William Penn in Armor depicts the founder of the Pennsylvania Colony as a young man being groomed for the life of a noble at a time when he was …

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The Treaty Elm Chair: The seat of Pennsylvania history

The Treaty Elm Chair: The seat of Pennsylvania history

The Treaty Elm was an enormous tree under which tradition holds William Penn met with Lenape Indian Chief Tamanend in 1682 and pledged a treaty of friendship. Whether or not the meeting actually occurred, the Treaty Elm came to symbolize Penn’s desire to live in harmony and peace with the Native Americans. Contrary to romantic …

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