Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Susan Lyme Penn

                    Susan Lyme was born in 1741 or 1742 in Kent County, Virginia.  She married John Penn, signer of the Declaration of Independence, in 1763.  Susan was "one of the least known of the wives of the signers.

                    John was the son of Moses and Catherine Taylor Penn who were farmers in Caroline County, Virginia.  His father was "prosperous," but he neglected John's education.  When Moses died in 1759, John inherited "a fair property" but had only two or three years of education.  Edmund Pendleton was a man of wealth and education and was also a cousin to John.  Edmund opened his home and library to John, and John took full advantage of the opportunity to gain more knowledge.  He was admitted to the bar with a reputation for "vigorous eloquence."  In 1774 he moved to North Carolina where he established a law practice.   The residents of North Carolina obviously considered him to be a leader because they selected him in 1775 to be a delegate to the Continental Congress where he continued to serve for several years.

                    John and Susan were parents of three children, but only one child lived to maturity.  Their only daughter, Lucy, married Hon. John Taylor, a planter from Caroline County, Virginia.  He did "much to advance the science of agriculture in his native State."  He was also a colonel of cavalry of Virginia during the Revolutionary War.  He was elected to succeed Richard Henry Lee in the U.S. Senate in 1792, but he resigned in 1794.  Again in 1803, he was elected to fill a vacancy in the Senate.  Taylor County, Virginia, was named in his honor.  General Zachary Taylor was one of John Taylor's relatives.

                    John Penn died in 1788 at age 47 years.  Susan lived many years after her husband died.

                    Facts and quotes are from Wives of the Signers:  The women behind the Declaration of Independence, pp. 262-264. 

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