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Men do not gather grapes of thorns or figs of thistles.” Thus, did Dick Penrose preface a typewritten manuscript entitled Early Life and Ancestral Sketch of Boies Penrose, which he dictated May 6, less than three months before his death in Philadelphia, July 31, 1931. Boies and Dick were two of the seven sons of Richard Alexander Fullerton Penrose and his wife, Sarah Hannah Boies, and what was written of Boies might with equal truth be applied to Dick.: “Probably no man in public life ever felt more strongly than did Senator Penrose that his accomplishments should be based on his own efforts and that his fame should not depend on his ancestry. At the same time, he naturally took pride in what had been done by those from whom he was descended, though he never mentioned the matter without saying that ‘a man should stand on his own feet or fall by the wayside.’ No one ever carried out this conception of man’s duty more completely and successfully than Boies Penrose. The writer, however, feels that it is only proper to introduce here a brief sketch of his family in Colonial days and subsequent times.

“He was descended from some of the oldest and best Colonial families of Pennsylvania, New England, and Maryland; his ancestors were men highly esteemed and honored in the times and communities in which they lived. The first member of the Penrose family to come to America was Bartholomew Penrose, who came to Philadelphia about 1700 and engaged with William Penn, William Penn, Jr., James Logan, and William Trent in shipbuilding and in operating lines of vessels to Jamaica and other places.

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