Penn People

William Henry West

1797 - 1853

Penn Connection

  • A.B. 1815, A.M. 1818
  • Founding member of Philomathean Society

William Henry West was born in Philadelphia on March 17, 1797 to Francis West, Philadelphia merchant, and Mary Nixon. In 1812, William West entered the University of Pennsylvania. On October 2, 1813, he was one of thirteen founding members of the Philomathean Society, Penn’s first student organization.

After graduating from college, West moved to Virginia where he lived as a planter until his death on June 5, 1853.