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|Died||September 14, 1788 (aged 47)|
Stovall Area, Granville County, North Carolina, US
|Resting place||Guilford Courthouse National Military Park|
|Known for||signer of the United States Declaration of Independence|
Penn was born near Port Royal in Caroline County, Virginia, an only child of Moses Penn and Catherine [Taylor] Penn. He attended at common school for two years as his father did not consider education to be important. At age 18, after his father's death, Penn privately read law with his uncle, Edmund Pendleton. He became a lawyer in Virginia in 1762. In 1774, Penn moved to the Stovall, North Carolina area, where he practiced law until his death in 1788.
Penn was elected to the 3rd and 4th North Carolina Provincial Congresses from Granville County and elected by that body to the Second Continental Congress in 1775, serving until 1780. For the 1776 signing of the Declaration of Independence, he was part of the North Carolina delegation that included Joseph Hewes and William Hooper. In 1777, Penn was one of the state's signers of the Articles of Confederation. Penn also served on the Board of War until 1780, when he retired to once again practice law. He served as receiver of taxes for North Carolina in 1784. When Penn died in 1788, he was buried on his estate near Stovall, in Granville County. Penn was re-interred in Guilford Courthouse National Military Park in 1894, alongside fellow congressional delegate, Hooper. The remains of his home site in the Stovall area, with his original grave and a nearby slave cemetery, are maintained by the local DAR chapter.