Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Find all Penns in:
 • Guilford Courthouse National Military Park
 • Greensboro
 • Guilford County
 • North Carolina
 • Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Community Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In

Changes are coming to Find A Grave. See a preview now.

John Penn
Birth: May 17, 1741
Caroline County
Virginia, USA
Death: Sep. 14, 1788
Granville County
North Carolina, USA

Signer of the Declaration of Independence from North Carolina. Born in Virginia, he studied law under his cousin, Edmund Pendleton, a lawyer who was also a leading Virginia patriotic leader. When he was 21, he received his license to practice law. He practiced successfully for about twelve years in Virginia, but in 1774, he moved to North Carolina, where he became a Revolutionary patriot leader as well as set up a law practice. He married Susannah Lyme, with whom he would have three children. In 1775, he was elected to be a delegate to the Second Continental Congress, serving from 1775 to 1780. Initially, he favored reconciliation with Great Britain, but when he realized that it would not happen, he came out for independence. While serving in Congress, Penn would have an argument over political issues with Henry Laurens of South Carolina, who was President of the Congress from late 1777 to late 1778, and Laurens challenged Penn to a duel. Neither man really wanted to fight a duel, but they could not find a way to back down either. Living at the same boardinghouse, the two men would often eat breakfast together, including the day of their duel. While crossing an empty lot together, while on their way to the dueling place, they came to a large muddy spot. Penn helped Laurens across, as Laurens was much older, and as he helped his old friend across, they both realized that the duel was foolish, quickly apologized to each other, and ended the discussion as friends. In 1780, Penn left Congress to return to his law practice at home in Granville County NC where he died in 1788, at the age of 48. He was buried at his homesite, but was exhumed and re-intered at Guilford Battle Grounds near Greensboro in 1894.
 (bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson) 
Family links: 
  Moses Penn (1712 - 1759)
  Catherine Taylor Penn (1719 - 1759)
  Susannah Lyne (1743 - ____)*
  Infant Child Penn*
  Lucy M Penn (1766 - 1831)*
*Calculated relationship
Guilford Courthouse National Military Park
Guilford County
North Carolina, USA
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Apr 26, 1998
Find A Grave Memorial# 2779
John Penn
Added by: Erik Skytte
John Penn
Added by: Erik Lander
John Penn
Added by: K M
There are 2 more photos not showing...
Click here to view all images...
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- In Memory of You
 Added: Sep. 14, 2017
Remembering you on the anniversary of your passing. May you rest in peace and may God richly bless you.
- Jeffrey Maksymowski
 Added: Sep. 14, 2017

- Mike Caldwell
 Added: May. 17, 2017
There are 149 more notes not showing...
Click here to view all notes...
Do you have a photo to add? Click here
How famous was this person?
Current ranking for this person: (4.3 after 92 votes)

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service