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He receives an immense tract of land west of the Delaware River from King Charles II (in repayment for a debt owed Penn's father) and establishes the "holy experiment" of Pennsylvania.
The colony's founding documents include provisions for religious toleration, freedom of the press and statements of equality that include women, but not slaves.
Banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Roger Williams establishes a colony he names "Providence" in present-day Rhode Island.
Toleration gives civil authorities the power to decide whether to allow specific groups freedom to worship.
Over time Penn's colony attracts Quakers and Anglicans from England; Lutherans, Reformed, Mennonites, Amish and Dunkers from Germany; and Presbyterians from Scotland.
Catholics and Jews are granted religious toleration in Pennsylvania but are not given the right to vote, a privilege extended only to Protestants.
Following his arrest for preaching without a license, Baptist Jeremiah Moore preaches to crowds through the bars of his jail cell.
In October, he delivers a petition to the Virginia State Assembly -- signed by 10,000 dissidents -- demanding that Baptists be able to freely worship without fear of prosecution.