American Treasures of the Library of Congress: Memory, Exhibit Object Focus

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Land Grant

William Penn Land grant
William Penn Land grant
to Thomas Mintz, William Markham,
Thomas Ellis, and John Goodson
Manuscript on parchment, 1687
Manuscript Division
Purchase/gift of Marian S. Carson, 1997 (231.2)

William Penn received a royal charter from King Charles II of England in 1681 to cover a debt of £16,000 owed by the monarch to Penn's father Admiral William Penn, by which he became the proprietor of a huge tract of land in what is now Pennsylvania. Just three months after the king signed the patent, young Penn had two agencies selling land there and also dispatched his cousin William Markham as his deputy. Markham arrived in the vast new colony in July 1681, charged with asserting the proprietors' authority over existing settlements, appointing a council, organizing judicial systems, selecting the site for Philadelphia, and settling the question of the boundary between Pennsylvania and Maryland.

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