Penn sailed for America onboard the Welcome. This was Penn’s first trip to America, and he arrived that fall after smallpox killed 31 of his fellow passengers.
On July 5, William Markham, Penn’s cousin and agent, made the first land purchase from the Lenape. This included the future site of Pennsbury.
The Lenni Lenape
William Penn was committed to peace in the colony, and began developing friendly relations with the Native Americans before arriving in Pennsylvania. Because of his fair trade practices and willingness to learn their culture, Penn immediately established a reputation for dealing fairly with the Lenni Lenape. Of course, peace could not have been possible had the natives been hostile to Penn’s overtures. Part of his success was due to fortuitous circumstances. The natives to the west (the Susquahannocks, in the Susquehanna Valley) had left their land, so the Delaware Valley Indians (later known as Lenni Lenape) were able to give their lands up to the flood of Europeans and move to western territory without hindrance. Otherwise rapport between Penn and the Lenape would probably not have been so cordial.
“When I was at William Penn’s Country House…Part of the Time I spent in seeing… William Penn and many of the Indians…in Council and Consultation …all which was done in much Calmness of Temper and in an amicable way.”
John Richardson, 1701