WILLIAM PENN AND HIS GOVERNMENT
Afterthe Restoration of the Stuarts the attention of the court as well as the people of England was directed in a much larger measure than formerly to the American colonies. Men who were weary of strife, discontented with the present aspect of affairs or apprehensive of the future, sought relief and peace in emigration. The hardship of the wilderness, the perils of Indian warfare, the depressing diseases of a new climate and unbroken soil were as nothing to those in comparison with the blessings of political and religious liberty secured by emigration. As far as the court was concerned, Charles wanted provinces to give way to his favorites, while his cabinets, both under Clarendon, the Cabal, and Danby, had strong political reasons for putting the colonies more immediately under the control of the crown in order to check their manifest yearning for self-government and comparative independence. Thus the representatives of prerogative were compelled likewise to give an enlarged attention to colonial affairs. The Council for Foreign Plantations was given new powers and a greater and more exalted membership in 1671, and in 1674 this separate commission was dissolved and the conduct of colonial affairs intrusted to a committee of the Privy Council itself, which was directed to sit once a week and report its proceedings to the council. This committee comprised some of the ablest of the king's councilors, and among the members were the Duke of York and the Marquis of Halifax.
William Penn, who was a great favorite with the Duke of York, and the founder of Pennsylvania and Delaware, was born in London, in St. Catharine's Parish, hard by the Tower, October 14, 1644. His father was Vice Admiral Sir William Penn; his mother Margaret Jasper, daughter of a well-to-do Rotterdam merchant. They were united June 6, 1643, when the elder Penn, though only twenty years old, had already received his commission as post-captain in the royal navy, and William was their first child. It is probable that the stories of Admiral Penn about the conquest of Jamaica and the tropical splendors of that beautiful island first turned the attention of the younger Penn to our continent.
William Penn received his first education at the free grammar-school of Chigwell, Essex, where he experienced strong religious impressions and had visions of the "Inner Light," though he as yet had never heard Fox's name mentioned. He was not a puny child, though he must have been a studious one. He delighted and excelled in field-sports, boating, running, hunting and athletic exercises. At the age of twelve he was removed from Chigwell to receive private instruction at home, and three years later entered Christ Church College, Oxford. Penn studied assiduously, he joined the "serious set," he went to hear Thomas Loe preach the new gospel of the Society of Friends, he resented the discipline which the college attempted to put upon him and his intimates in consequence, and he was expelled from the university for rejecting the surplice and rioting in the quadrangle. His father beat him, relented, and sent him to France, where he came home with the manners and dress of a courtier, but saturated with Genevan theology. He had shown in Paris that he could use his rapier gallantly, and his father took him to sea to prove to the court, when he returned as bearer of dispatches, that he was capable of beginning the career of office. The plague of London set him again upon a train of serious thinking, and his father, to counteract this, sent him to the Duke of Ormond, at the same time giving him charge of his Irish estates. Penn danced in Dublin and fought at Carrickfergus equally well, and he even applied for a troop of horse. He was a very handsome young fellow, and armor and lace became him mightily. But at Cork he met Thomas Loe again and heard a sermon upon the text "There is a faith which overcomes the world, and there is a faith which is overcome by the world." Penn came out of this meeting a confirmed Quaker. His father recalled him, but could not break his conviction; and then again he was driven from home, but his mother still found means to supply his needs. He now joined the Quakers regularly, and became the most prominent of the followers of that singularly eccentric but singularly gifted leader of men, George Fox. Penn's affection for Fox was deep and strong. He repeatedly got "the man in the leather breeches" released from jail, and he gave him a thousand acres of land out of the first surveys made in Pennsylvania. Penn preached in public as Fox was doing, and so well that he soon found himself a prisoner in the Tower of London, where, when brought up for trial, he defended himself so ably as to prove that he could have become a great lawyer had he so chosen.
Penn married in 1672, his wife being Gulielma Springett, daughter of Sir William Springett, a lady of lovely person and sweet temper. He did not spend many weeks to his honeymoon. He was soon at his work again wrestling for the truth, and, it must be said, wrestling still more lustily as one who wrestles for victory with the oppressors of the faithful. In this cause he went to court again, resumed his relations with the Duke of York and secured that prince's influence in behalf of his persecuted sect. This semi-alliance of Penn with the duke led up directly to the settlement of Pennsylvania and Delaware. Penn realized the fact that the Friends could not escape persecution nor enjoy without taint their peculiar religious seclusion, nor could his ideal commonwealth be planted in such a society as that of Europe. It must seek new and virgin soil, where it could form its own manners and ripen its own code. Then, in 1672, came home George Fox,* fresh from his journey through the wilderness and his visits to the Quaker settlements in New Jersey and Maryland, in which latter province the ancient meetings of Anne Arundel and Talbot Counties were already important gatherings of a happy people entirely free from persecutions. We may imagine how eagerly and closely Penn read Fox's journals and the letters of Edmondston, Wenlock Christison, and others about their settlements.
In 1675, when his disgust with European society and his consciousness of the impossibility to effect radical reform there had been confirmed and deepened, Penn became permanently identified with American colonial affairs, and was put in the best possible position for acquiring a full and accurate knowledge of the resources and possibilities of the country between the Susquehanna and the Hudson. As has already been stated, on March 12, 1664, King Charles II. granted to his brother James, Duke of York and Albany, a patent for all the lands in New England from the St. Croix River to the Delaware. This patent, meant to lead directly up to the overthrow of the Dutch power in New Netherland, was probably also intended no less as a hostile demonstration against the New England Puritan colonies, which both the brothers hated cordially and which latterly had grown so independent and had so nearly established their own authority as to provoke more than one charge that they sought presently to abandon all allegiance due from them to the mother-country. At any rate, the New England colonies at once attempted to organize themselves into a confederacy for purposes of mutual defense against the Indians and Canadian French, as was alleged, but for divers other and weighty reasons, as many colonists did not hesitate to proclaim.** The Duke of York secured New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware to himself as his own private possessions. That part of New Netherland lying between the Hudson and the Delaware Rivers was forthwith (in 1664, before Nicolls sailed from Portsmouth to take New York) conveyed by the duke, by deeds of lease and release, to Lord John Berkeley and Sir George Carteret. The latter being governor of the Channel Islands at the time, the new colony was called New Jersey, or rather Nova Coesarea, in the original grant. In 1675 Lord Berkeley sold, for one thousand pounds, his undivided half-share in New Jersey to John Fenwick, in trust for Edward Billinge and his assigns. Fenwick and Billinge were both Quakers, and Billinge was bankrupt. Not long after this conveyance Fenwick and Billinge fell out about the property, and, after the custom of the Friends, the dispute was submitted to arbitration. The disputants fixed upon William Penn as arbitrator. When he made his award Fenwick was not satisfied and refused to abide by Penn's decision, which, indeed, gave Fenwick only a tenth of Lord Berkeley's share in the joint tenancy, reserving the remaining nine-tenths to Billinge, but giving Fenwick a money payment besides. Penn was offended at Fenwick's recalcitrancy, and wrote him some sharp letters. "Thy days spend on," he said, "and make the best of what thou hast. Thy grandchildren may be in the other world before the land thou hast allotted will be employed." Penn stuck to his decision, and, for that matter, Fenwick likewise maintained his grievance. He sailed for the Delaware at the head of a colony, landed at Salem, N.J., and commenced a settlement. Here he carried matters with such a high hand, patenting land, distributing office, etc., that he made great trouble for himself and others also. His authority was not recognized, and for several years the name of Major John Fenwick fills a large place in the court records of New Castle, Upland, and New York, where he was frequently imprisoned and sued for damages by many injured persons.
Billinge's business embarrassments increasing he made over his interest in the territory to his creditors, appointing Penn, with Gawen Lawrie, of London, and Nicholas Lucas, of Hertford, two of the creditors, as trustees in the matter. The plan was not to sell, but to improve the property for the benefit of the creditors. To this end a partition of the province was made, a line being drawn through Little Egg Harbor to a point near where Port Jervis now is. The part of the province on the right of this line, called East New Jersey, the most settled portion of the territory, was assigned to Carteret. That on the left, West New Jersey, was deeded to Billinge's trustees. A form of government was at once established for West Jersey, in which Penn's hand is distinctly seen. The basis was liberty of person and conscience, "the power in the people," local self-government and amelioration of the criminal code. The territory was next divided into one hundred parts, ten being assigned to Fenwick and ninety to Billinge's trustees, and the land was opened for sale and occupancy, being extensively advertised and particularly recommended to Friends. In 1677 and 1678 five vessels sailed for West New Jersey, with eight hundred emigrants, nearly all Quakers. Two companies of these, one from Yorkshire, the other from London, bought large tracts of land, and sent out commissioners to quiet Indian titles and lay off the properties. At Chygoes Island they located a town, first called Beverly, then Birdlington, then Burlington.*** There was a regular treaty with the Indians, and the Friends not only secured peace for themselves but paved the way for the pacific relations so firmly sealed by Penn's subsequent negotiations with the savages. The Burlington colony prospered, and was reinforced by new colonists continually arriving in considerable numbers. In 1680, Penn, as counsel for the trustees of West New Jersey, succeeded, by means of a vigorous and able remonstrance, in getting the Duke of York, then proprietary of New York, to remove an onerous tax on imports and exports imposed by the Governor of New York and collected at the Horekill. The next year Penn became part proprietor of East New Jersey, which was sold under the will of Sir George Carteret, then deceased, to pay his debts. A board of twenty-four proprietaries was organized, Penn being one, and to them the Duke of York made a fresh grant of East New Jersey, dated March 14, 1682, Robert Barclay becoming Governor, while Penn's friend, Billinge, was made Governor of West New Jersey. Both these governments were surrendered to the crown in Queen Anne's reign, April 15, 1702.
While Penn was thus acquiring knowledge of and strong property interests in America, two other circumstances occurred to intensify his impatience with the state of affairs in England. One was the insensate so-called "Popish plot" of Titus Oates, the other the defeat of his friend, Algernon Sidney, for Parliament. From the date of these events Penn began to look steadily westward, and prepared himself for his "Holy" or "Divine Experiment."
Admiral Penn at his death had left his son a property of 1500 a year in English and Irish estates. There was in addition a claim against King Charles' government for money lent, which, with interest, amounted to 15,000. The king had no money and no credit. What he got from Louis XIV., through the compliant Barillon, hardly sufficed for his own menus plaisirs.(4*) Penn being now resolved to establish a colony in America alongside his New Jersey plantations, and to remove there himself with his family so as to be at the head of a new Quaker community and commonwealth, petitioned the king to grant him, in lieu of the claim of 15,000, a tract of country in America north of Maryland, with the Delaware on its east, its western limits the same as those of Maryland, and its northern as far as plantable country extended. Before the Privy Council Committee Penn explained that he wanted five degrees of latitude measured from Lord Baltimore's line, and that line, at his suggestion, was drawn from the circumference of a circle, the radius of which was twelve miles from New Castle as its centre. The petition of Penn's was received June 14, 1680. The object sought by the petitioner, it was stated, was not only to provide a peaceful home for the persecuted members of the Society of Friends, but to afford an asylum for the good and oppressed of every nation on the basis of a practical application of the pure and peaceable principles of Christianity. The petition encountered much and various opposition. Sir John Werden, agent of the Duke of York, opposed it because the territory sought was an appendage to the government of New York, and as such belonged to the duke. Mr. Burke, the active and untiring agent of Lord Baltimore, opposed it because the grant asked by Penn would infringe upon the territory covered by Baltimore's charter. At any rate, said Mr. Burke, in a letter to the Privy Council Committee, if the grant be made to Penn, let the deed expressly state lands to the north of Susquehanna Fort, "which is the boundary of Maryland to the northward." There was also strong opposition in the Privy Council to the idea of a man such as Penn being permitted to establish plantations after his own peculiar model. His theories of government were held to be Utopian and dangerous alike to Church and State. He was looked upon as a Republican like Sidney. However, he had strong friends in the Earl of Sunderland, Lord Hyde, Chief Justice North, and the Earl of Halifax. He had an interview with the Duke of York, and contrived to win him over to look upon his project with favor, and Sir J. Werden wrote to the secretary, saying, "His royal Highness commands me to let you know, in order to your informing their lordships of it, that he is very willing Mr. Penn's request may meet with success." The attorney-general, Sir William Jones, examined the petition in view of proposed boundaries, and reported that with some alterations it did not appear to touch upon any territory of previous grants, "except the imaginary lines of New England patents, which are bounded westwardly by the main ocean, should give them a real though impracticable right to all those vast territories." The draught of the patent, when finally it had reached that stage of development, was submitted to the Lords of Trade to see if English commercial interests were subserved, and to the Bishop of London to look after the rights of the church. The king signed the patent on March 4, 1681, and the venerable document may now be seen by the curious, framed and hung up in the office of the Secretary of State, at Harrisburg. The name to be given to the new territory was left blank for the king to fill up, and Charles called it Pennsylvania. Penn, who seems to have been needlessly squeamish on the subject, wrote to his friends to say that he wanted the territory called New Wales, and offered the Under Secretary twenty guineas to change the name, "for I feared lest it should be looked on as a vanity in me." However, he consoled himself with the reflection that "it is a just and clear thing, and my God, that has given it me through many difficulties, will, I believe, bless and make it the seed of a nation. I shall have a tender care to the government that it be well laid at first."
The charter, which is given complete in "Hazard's Annals," consists of twenty-three articles, with a preamble reciting the king's desire to extend his dominions and trade, convert the savages, etc., and his sense of obligation to Sir William Penn:
I. The grant comprises all that part of America, islands included, which is bounded on the east by the Delaware River from a point on a circle twelve miles northward of New Castle town to the 43 north latitude if the Delaware extends so far; if not, as far as it does extend, and thence to the 43 by a meridian line. From this point westward five degrees of longitude on the 43 parallel; the western boundary to the 40th parallel, and thence by a straight line to the place of beginning.
II. Grants Penn rights to and use of rivers, harbors, fisheries, etc.
III. Creates and constitutes him Lord Proprietary of the Province, saving only his allegiance to the King, Penn to hold directly of the kings of England, "as of our castle of Windsor in the county of Berks, in free and common socage, by fealty only, for all services, and not in capite, or by Knight's service, yielding and paying therefore to us, our heirs and successors, two beaver skins, to be delivered at our castle of Windsor on the 1st day of January every year," also one-fifth of precious metals taken out. On these terms Pennsylvania was erected into "a province and seigniory."
IV. Grants Penn and his successors, his deputies and lieutenants "free, full, and absolute power" to make laws for raising money for the public uses of the Province and for other public purposes at their discretion, by and with the advice and consent of the people or their representatives in assembly.
V. Grants power to appoint officers, judges, magistrates, etc., to pardon offenders, before judgment or after, except in cases of treason, and to have charge of the entire establishment of justice, with the single proviso that the laws adopted shall be consonant to reason and not contrary nor repugnant to the laws and statutes of England, and that all persons should have the right of appeal to the King.
VI. Prescribes that the laws of England are to be in force in the Province until others have been substituted for them.
VII. Laws adopted for the government of the Province to be sent to England for royal approval within five years after their adoption, under penalty of becoming void.
VIII. Licenses emigration to the new colony.
IX. Licenses trade between the colony and England, subject to the restrictions of the Navigation Acts.
X. Grants permission to Penn to divide the colony into the various minor political divisions, to constitute fairs, grant immunities and exemptions, etc.
XI. Similar to IX., but applies to exports from colony.
XII. Grants leave to create seaports and harbors, etc., in aid of trade and commerce, subject to English customs regulations.
XIII. Penn and the Province to have liberty to levy customs duties.
XIV. The Proprietary to have a resident agent in London, to answer in case of charges, etc., and continued misfeasance to void the charter and restore the government of the Province to the King.
XV. Proprietary forbidden intercourse or correspondence with the enemies of England.
XVI. Grants leave to Proprietary to pursue and make war on the savages or robbers, pirates, etc., and to levy forces for that end, and to kill and slay according to the laws of war.
XVII. Grants full power to Penn to sell or otherwise convey lands in the Province.
XVIII. Gives title to persons holding under Penn.
XIX. Penn may erect manors, and each manor to have privilege of
court-baron and frank-pledge, holders under manor-title to be protected in their tenure.
XX. The King not to lay taxes in the Province "unless the same be with the consent of the Proprietary or chief Governor, or Assembly, or by act of Parliament of England."
XXI. The charter to be valid in English courts against all assumptions or presumptions of ministers or royal officers.
XXII. Bishop of London may send out clergymen if asked to do so by twenty inhabitants of the Province.
XXIII. In cases of doubt the charter is to be interpreted and construed liberally in Penn's favor, provided such constructions do not interfere with or lessen the royal prerogative.
On the 2nd of April, after the signing of the charter, King Charles made a public proclamation of the fact of the patent, addressed chiefly to the inhabitants of the territory, enjoining upon them to yield ready obedience to Penn and his deputies and lieutenants. At the same time Penn also addressed a letter to the inhabitants of the province, declaring that he wished them all happiness here and hereafter, that the Providence of God had cast them within his lot and care, and, though it was a new business to him, he understood his duty and meant to do it uprightly. He told the people that they were not now at the mercy of a Governor who came to make his fortune out of them, but "you shall be governed by laws of your own making, and live a free and, if you will, a sober and industrious people. I shall not usurp the right of any or oppress his person. God has furnished me with a better resolution and has given me his grace to keep it." He hoped to see them in a few months, and any reasonable provision they wanted made for their security and happiness would receive his approbation. Until he came he hoped they would obey and pay their customary dues to his deputy.
That deputy was Penn's cousin, William Markham, a captain in the British army, who was on April 20, 1681, commissioned to go out to Pennsylvania, and act in that capacity until Penn's arrival. He was given power to call a Council of nine, of which he was to be president; to secure a recognition of Penn's authority on the part of the people; to settle bounds between Penn and his neighbors; to survey, lay out, rent, or lease lands according to his instructions; to erect courts, make sheriffs, justices of the peace, and other inferior requisite officers, so as to keep the peace and enforce the laws; to suppress disturbance or riot by the posse comitatus, and to make or ordain any ordinary ordinances or do whatever he lawfully might for the peace and security of the province. Markham was particularly instructed to settle, if he could, boundaries with Lord Baltimore, and Penn gave him a letter to that neighbor of his. The deputy soon after sailed for Pennsylvania, on what day is not definitely known, but he was in New York on June 21st, when he obtained from the Governor, Anthony Brockholls, a proclamation enjoining upon the inhabitants of Pennsylvania that they should obey the king's charter and yield a ready obedience to the new proprietary and his deputy. When Markham arrived at Upland he found Lord Baltimore there; the boundary question at once came up, and was as quickly let drop when Markham found that the lines could not be run according to the two charters respectively without giving to Baltimore some lands which Penn was resolved to keep as his own.
It is not supposed that Markham took out any emigrants with him. His business was to get possession of the province as speedily as possible, so as to insure the allegiance of the people, secure the revenue, and prepare the way for Penn. It is probable, therefore, that he sailed in the first ship offering for New York or Boston, without waiting for company. Meanwhile, even before Markham's departure, Penn began to advertise his new province and popularize what information he had concerning it. This was the business part of "the Divine Experiment," and Penn was very competent to discharge it. He published a pamphlet (through Benjamin Clark, bookseller, in George Yard, Lombard Street), entitled "Some account of the Province of Pennsylvania in America, lately granted under the Great Seal of England to William Penn, etc. Together with privileges and powers necessary to the well-governing thereof. Made public for the information of such as are or may be disposed to transport themselves or servants into those parts." This prospectus shows the extent of the knowledge Penn had already gleaned concerning his province, and how closely he had studied the methods by which he proposed to secure its prompt and effective planting and settlement. It is not necessary to incorporate the whole of such a pamphlet in this narrative, but some of its salient points must be noted. It was written, we must remember, in April, 1681, a month after the signing of the patent. Penn begins with an excursus upon the benefit of plantations or colonies in general, to "obviate a common objection." "Colonies," he says, "are the seeds of nations, begun and nourished by the care of wise and populous countries, as conceiving them best for the increase of human stock and beneficial for commerce." Antiquity is then searched through for examples needless to repeat, but all brought in to prove that colonies do not weaken or impoverish the mother-country. Indeed, this part of his argument reads as if it were Penn's brief while his petition was before the Privy Council, and as if he drew it up in reply to objections there urged against conceding him the patent. He shows how colonies and foreign plantations have contributed to the benefit of England's commerce and industry, and might be expected to continue to do so. He denies that emigration has depopulated the country, but says that the increase of luxury has drawn an undue proportion of the rural communities into cities and towns, and that the increased cost of living thus brought about tends to prevent marriage and so promotes the decay of population. For this and the many attendant evils emigration, he suggests, is the only effective remedy. He then proceeds to speak of his province, the inducements it offers to colonists, and the terms on which he is prepared to receive them.
"The place," he says, "lies six hundred miles nearer the sun than England," so far as difference of latitude goes, adding, "I shall say little in its praise to excite desires in any, whatever I could truly write as to the soil, air and water; this shall satisfy me, that by the blessing of God and the honesty and industry of man it may be a good and fruitful land." He then enumerates the facilities for navigation by way of the Delaware Bay and River, and by way of Chesapeake Bay also; the variety and abundance of timber; the quantity of game, wild fowl, and fish; the variety of products and commodities, native or introduced, including "silk, flax, hemp, wine, sider, wood, madder, liquorish, tobacco, pot-ashes, and iron, . . . . hides, tallow, pipe-staves, beef, pork, sheep, wool, corn or wheat, barley, rye, and also furs, as your peltree, mincks, racoons, martins, and such like store of furs which is to be found among the Indians that are profitable commodities in England." Next, after explaining the channels of trade, country produce to Virginia, tobacco to England, English commodities to the colonies, he gives assurance that under his liberal charter, paying due allegiance to the mother-country, the people will be able to enjoy the very largest proportion of liberty and make their own laws to suit themselves, and that he intends to prepare a satisfactory constitution.
Penn states explicitly in this pamphlet the conditions of immigration into his province. He looks to see three sorts of people come, those who will buy, those who will rent, and servants. "To the first, the shares I sell shall be certain as to number of acres; that is to say, every one shall contain five thousand acres, free from any incumbrance, the price a hundred pounds, and for the quit-rent but one English shilling, or the value of it, yearly, for a hundred acres; and the said quit-rent not to begin to be paid till 1684. To the second sort, that take up land upon rent, they shall have liberty so to do, paying yearly one penny per acre, not exceeding two hundred acres. To the third sort, to wit, servants that are carried over,(5*) fifty acres shall be allowed to the master for every head, and fifty acres to every servant when their time is expired. And because some engage with me that may not be disposed to go, it were very advisable for every three adventures to send over an overseer with their servants, which would well pay the cost."(6*)
Penn next speaks of his plan for allotments or dividends, but as his scheme was not then, as he confesses, fully developed, and as he later furnished all the details of this scheme as he finally matured it, we will pass that by for the present. It is enough to say that the plan is very closely followed to-day in Eastern Europe to promote the sale of government bonds.
The persons, Penn says, that "Providence seems to have most fitted for plantations" are "1st, industrious husbandmen and day laborers that are hardly able (with extreme labor) to maintain their families and portion their children; 2, laborious handicrafts, especially carpenters, masons, smiths, weavers, taylors, tanners, shoemakers, shipwrights, etc., where they may be spared or low in the world, and as they shall want no encouragement, so their labor is worth more there than here, and there provisions cheaper." 3, Penn invites ingenious spirits who are low in the world, younger brothers with small inheritances and (often) large families; "lastly," he says, "there are another sort of persons, not only fit for but necessary in plantations, and that is men of universal spirits, that have an eye to the good of posterity, and that both understand and delight to promote good discipline and just government among a plain and well-intending people; such persons may find room in colonies for their good counsel and contrivance, who are shut out from being of much use or service to great nations under settled customs; these men deserve much esteem and would be hearken'd to."
Very considerately Penn next tells all he knows about the cost and equipments for the journey and subsistence during the first few months, "that such as incline to go may not be to seek here, or brought under any disappointments there." He mentions among goods fit to take for use or for sale at a profit "all sorts of apparel and utensils for husbandry and building and household stuff." People must not delude themselves, he says, with the idea of instant profits. They will have a winter to encounter before the summer comes, "and they must be willing to be two or three years without some of the conveniences they enjoy at home, and yet I must needs say that America is another thing than it was at the first plantation of Virginia and New England, for there is better accommodation and English provisions are to be had at easier rates." The passage across the ocean will be at the outside six pounds per head for masters and mistresses, and five pounds for servants, children under seven years old fifty shillings, "except they suck, then nothing." Arriving out in September or October, "two men may clear as much ground by spring (when they set the corn of that country) as will bring in that time, twelve months, forty barrels, which makes twenty-five quarters of corn. So that the first year they must buy corn, which is usually very plentiful. They must, so soon as they come, buy cows, more or less, as they want or are able, which are to be had at easy rates. For swine, they are plentiful and cheap, these will quickly increase to a stock. So that after the first year, what with the poorer sort sometimes laboring to others, and the more able fishing, fowling, and sometimes buying, they may do very well till their own stocks are sufficient to supply them and their families, which will quickly be, and to spare, if they follow the English husbandry, as they do in New England and New York, and get winter fodder for their stock." Finally, the candid Penn recommends that none should make up their minds hastily, all get the consent of their friends or relatives, and all pray God for his blessing on their honest endeavors.
During all the rest of this year and of 1682 and up to the moment of his embarkation for Europe, William Penn was most busily and absorbingly engaged in the multifarious preparations for his new plantations. He drew up a great variety of papers, concessions, conditions, charters, statutes, constitutions, etc., equal to the average work of half a dozen congressional committees. In addition to work of this sort, requiring concentrated and abstracted thought and study, his correspondence was of the most voluminous character, and he was further most actively employed in disposing of lands and superintending the sailing of ship-loads of his colonists. The first of these papers on concessions and conditions was prepared indeed on the eve of the sailing of the first vessels containing his "adventurers." This was in July, and the vessels arrived out in October. Every paper he published called forth numerous letters from his friends, who wanted him to explain this or that obscure point to them, and he always seems to have responded cheerfully to these exhaustive taxes upon his time. His work seems to have attracted great attention and commanded admiration. James Claypoole writes (July 22d), "I have begun my letter on too little a piece of paper to give thee my judgment of Pennsylvania, but, in short, I, and many others wiser than I am, do very much approve of it and do judge William Penn as fit a man as any one in Europe to plant a country." Penn had also been busily negotiating with the Duke of York for the lands now constituting the State of Delaware, which were the duke's property, and which Penn wanted to possess in order to insure his own province the free navigation of the Delaware, and perhaps, also, to keep this province from falling into the hands of his neighbor, Lord Baltimore, who claimed it under his charter. But Sir John Werden, the duke's agent, still held off and gave Penn much trouble and uneasiness. The latter had received a tempting offer from a company of Marylanders of six thousand pounds cash, and a two-and-a-half per cent. royalty for the monopoly of the Indian (fur) trade between the Delaware and Susquehanna rivers, but he refused it upon noble grounds.
So also Penn refused to abate the quit-rents even to his most intimate friends, "intending," as Claypoole wrote, "to do equal by all," but he did reduce them from a penny to a half-penny in favor of servants settling on their fifty-acre lots, after having served their time. Subsequently, as we shall see, Penn was less rigidly moral in his land contracts. In lieu of the proposed monopoly Penn made many liberal concessions of land and privileges to another company, "The Free Society of Traders," whose plans he favored, and whose constitution and charter he helped to draw.
The charter to the Pennsylvania Company, the Free Society of Traders, bears date March 24, 1682. The incorporators named in Penn's deed to them were "Nicholas Moore of London, medical doctor; James Claypoole, merchant; Philip Ford (Penn's unworthy steward): William Sherloe, of London, merchant; Edward Pierce, of London, leather-seller; John Symcock and Thomas Brassey, of Cheshire, yeoman; Thomas Baker, of London, wine-cooper; and Edward Brookes, of London, grocer." The deed cites Penn's authority under his patent, mentions the conveyance to the company of twenty thousand acres, erects this tract into the manor of Frank, "in free and common soccage, by such rents, customs and services as to them and their successors shall seem meet, so as to be consistent with said tenure," allows them two justices' courts a year, privilege of court-baron and court-leet and view of frank-pledge, with all the authority requisite in the premises. The society is authorized to appoint and remove its officers and servants, is given privilege of free transportation of its goods and products, and exempted from any but state and local taxes, while at the same time it can levy all needful taxes for its own support within its own limits. Its chief officers are commissioned as magistrates and charged to keep the peace, with jurisdiction in case of felony, riot, or disorder of any kind. It is given three representatives in the Provincial Council, title to three-fifths of the products of all mines and minerals found, free privilege to fish in all the waters of the province, and to establish fairs, markets, etc., and the books of the society are exempt from all inspection. The society immediately prepared and published an address, with its constitution and by-laws, in which a very extensive field of operation is mapped out.(7*)
In the regulations for colonists set forth in his statement of "certain conditions or concessions agreed upon by William Penn, proprietary and Governor of Pennsylvania, and those who are the adventurers and purchasers in that province the 11th of July, 1681," the system of plantation is plainly described. First, a large city is to be laid off on navigable water, divided into lots, and purchasers of large tracts of lands (five thousand acres) are to have one of these city lots assigned them, the location determined by chance. It was Penn's original plan to have his great city consist of ten thousand acres, divided into one hundred lots of one hundred acres each, one of these lots to be awarded (by lot) to each purchaser of a tract of manorial proportions, who was to build in the centre of his lot and surround his house with gardens and orchards, "that it may be a green country town," he said, "which will never be burnt and always be wholesome." Of course no great city could be built on any such plan, and Penn himself abandoned it or greatly modified it even before he sailed, the commissioner and surveyor finding it impossible to observe the conditions, especially when vessels began to be numerous along the water-front and business sprang up. This system of great farms, with a central township divided into minor lots, Penn proposed to extend all over the province. His road system was excellent. Roads were to be built not less than forty feet wide from city to city, on air-lines as nearly as possible; all streets were to be laid off at right angles and of liberal width, and no buildings were to be allowed to encroach on these, nor was there any irregular building to be permitted. This rule of symmetry, amounting almost to formality, could not be carried out any more than the great city plan. It was not Penn's notion, probably, for he was not a precisian in anything, and it looks much more like a contrivance borrowed by him for the nonce from Sir William Petty, Sir Thomas Browne, or some other hare-brain among his contemporaries. Penn's system of quit-rents and of manors also, the foundations of a great fortune, resembled closely that of Lord Baltimore in Maryland. It is likely that Penn got the idea where Lord Baltimore derived his, from Ireland, that form of irredeemable ground-rent being an old and familiar Irish tenure.(8*) The quit-rent system caused almost immediate discontent in Pennsylvania, and undoubtedly injured the proprietary's popularity and interfered with his income. His large reservations of choice lots in every section that was laid out, contributed to this also.
Every person was to enjoy access to and use of water-courses, mines, quarries, etc., and any one could dig for metals anywhere, bound only to pay for damages done. Settlers were required to plant land surveyed for them within three years. Goods for export could only be bought or sold, in any case, in public market, and fraud and deception were to be punished by forfeiture of the goods. All trading with Indians was to be done in open market, and fraud upon them prevented by inspection of goods. Offenses against Indians were to be punished just as those against the whites, and disputes between the two races to be settled by a mixed jury. Indians to have the same privileges as the whites in improving their lands and raising crops. Stock not marked within three months after coming into possession of planters to be forfeited to the Governor. In clearing land, one-fifth to be left in wood, and oak and mulberry trees to be preserved for ship-building. To prevent debtors from furtively absconding, no one was to leave the province until after three weeks' publication of the fact.
On April 25th he published his "frame of government," or, as James Claypoole called it in his letters, "the fundamentals for government," in fact, the first constitution of Pennsylvania.
The document is entitled "The frame of the government of the province of Pennsylvania, in America, together with certain laws agreed upon in England by the governor and divers freemen of the aforesaid province, to be further explained and continued there by the first provincial council that shall be held, if they see meet."
The "preface" or preamble to this constitution is curious, for it is written as if Penn felt that the eyes of the court were upon him. The first two paragraphs form a simple excursus upon the doctrine of the law and the transgressor as expounded in St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans: "For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin," etc. From this Penn derives, not very perspicuously, however, "the divine right of government," the object of government being two-fold, to terrify evil-doers and to cherish those that do well, "which gives government a life beyond corruption (i.e., divine right), and makes it as durable in the world as good men shall be." Hence Penn thinks that government seems like a part of religion itself, a thing sacred in its institution and end.
In the Constitution, which follows the preamble, Penn begins by confirming to the freemen of the province all the liberties, franchises, and properties secured to them by the patent of King Charles II. The government of the province is to consist of "the Governor and freemen of the said province, in form of a Provincial Council and General Assembly, by whom all laws shall be made, officers chosen, and public affairs transacted." The Council, of seventy-two members, is to be elected at once, one-third of the members to go out, and their successors elected each year, and after the first seven years those going out each year shall not be returned within a year. Two-thirds of the Council are required to constitute a quorum, except in minor matters, when twenty-four will suffice. The Governor is always to preside over the session of Council, and is to have three votes "The Governor and Provincial Council shall prepare and propose to the General Assembly hereafter mentioned all bills which they shall at any time think fit to be passed into laws within the said province, . . . and on the ninth day from their so meeting, the said General Assembly, after reading over the proposed bills by the clerk of the Provincial Council, and the occasion and motives for them being opened by the Governor or his deputies, shall give their affirmative or negative, which to them seemeth best, . . . and the laws so prepared and proposed as aforesaid that are assented to by the General Assembly shall be enrolled as laws of the province, with this style: By the Governor, with the assent and approbation of the freemen in the Provincial Council and General Assembly." Here is the fatal defect of Penn's Constitution, a defect which robs it of even any pretence of being republican or democratic in form or substance. The Assembly, the popular body, the representatives of the people, are restricted simply to a veto power. They cannot originate bills; they cannot even debate them; they are not allowed to think or act for themselves or those they represent, but have nothing to do except vote "yes" or "no." To be sure, the Council is an elective body too. But it is meant to consist of the Governor's friends. It is the aristocratic body. It does not come fresh from the people. The tenure of its members is three years. Besides, for ordinary business, twenty-four of the Council make a quorum, of whom twelve, with the Governor's casting vote, comprise a majority. The Governor has three votes; the Society of Free Traders has six votes; if the Governor have three or four friends in Council, with the support of this society he can control all legislation. It seems incredible that William Penn should have of his own free will permitted this blemish upon his Constitution, which he claimed gave all the power of government and law-making into the hands of the people.
Aside from this fatal piece of subservience there is much to praise in Penn's Constitution and something to wonder at, as being so far in advance of his age. The executive functions of Governor and Council are carefully defined and limited. A wholesome and liberal provision is made for education, public schools, inventions, and useful scientific discoveries.(9*)
The Provincial Council, for the more prompt dispatch of business, was to be divided into four committees, one to have charge of plantations, "to situate and settle cities, posts, and market-towns and highways, and to have and decide all suits and controversies relating to plantations," one to be a committee of justice and safety, one of trade and treasury, and the fourth of manners, education, and arts, "that all wicked and scandalous living may be prevented, and that youth may be successfully trained up in virtue and useful knowledge and arts."
The General Assembly was to be elected yearly, not to exceed two hundred members, representing all the freemen of the province. They were to meet in the capital on "the 20th day of the second month," and during eight days were expected to freely confer with one another and the Council, and, if they chose, to make suggestions to the Council committees about the amendment or alteration of bills (all such as the Council proposed to offer for the adoption being published three weeks beforehand), and on the ninth day were to vote, "not less than two-thirds making a quorum in the passing of laws and choice of such officers as are by them to be chosen." The General Assembly was to nominate a list of judges, treasurers, sheriffs, justices, coroners, etc., two for each office, from which list the Governor and Council were to select the officers to serve. The body was to adjourn upon being served with notice that the Governor and Council had no further business to lay before them, and to assemble again upon the summons of the Governor and Council. Elections were to be by ballot, and so were questions of impeachment in the Assembly and judgment of criminals in the Council. In case the proprietary be a minor, and no guardian has been appointed in writing by his father, the Council was to appoint a commission of three guardians to act as Governor during such minority. No business was to be done by the Governor, Council, or Assembly on Sunday, except in cases of emergency. The Constitution could not be altered without the consent of the Governor and six-sevenths of the Council and the General Assembly. (Such a rule, if enforced, would have perpetuated any Constitution, however bad). Finally Penn solemnly declared "that neither I, my heirs nor assigns, shall procure or do anything or things whereby the liberties in this charter contained and expressed shall be infringed or broken; and if anything be procured by any person or persons contrary to these premises it shall be held of no force or effect."
On May 15th Penn's code of laws, passed in England, to be altered or amended in Pennsylvania, was promulgated. It consists of forty statutes, the first of which declares the charter or Constitution which has just been analyzed to be "fundamental in the government itself." The second establishes the qualifications of a freeman (or voter or elector). These include every purchaser of one hundred acres of land, every tenant of one hundred acres, at a penny an acre quitrent, who has paid his own passage across the ocean and cultivated ten acres of his holding, every freeman who has taken up fifty acres and cultivated twenty, "and every inhabitant, artificer, or other resident in the said province that pays scot and lot to the government." All these electors are also eligible to election both to Council and Assembly.
Elections must be free and voluntary, and electors who take bribes shall forfeit their votes, while those offering bribes forfeit their election, the Council and Assembly to be sole judges of the regularity of the election of their members.
"No money or goods shall be raised upon or paid by any of the people of this province, by way of public tax, custom, or contribution, but by a law for that purpose made." Those violating this statute are to be treated as public enemies and betrayers of the liberties of the province.
All courts shall be open, and justice shall neither be sold, denied, or delayed. In all courts all persons of all (religious) persuasions may freely appear in their own way and according to their own manner, pleading personally or by friend; complaint to be exhibited fourteen days before trial, and summons issued not less than ten days before trial, a copy of complaint to be delivered to the party complained of at his dwelling. No complaint to be received but upon the oath or affirmation of complainant that he believes in his conscience his cause to be just. Pleadings, processes, and records in court are required to be brief, in English, and written plainly so as to be understood by all.
All trials shall be by twelve men, peers, of good character, and of the neighborhood. When the penalty for the offense to be tried is death, the sheriff is to summon a grand inquest of twenty-four men, twelve at least of whom shall pronounce the complaint to be true, and then twelve men or peers are to be further returned by the sheriff to try the issue and have the final judgment. This trial jury shall always be subject to reasonable challenge.
Fees are required to be moderate, their amounts settled by the Legislature, and a table of them hung up in every court-room. Any person convicted of charging more than the lawful fee shall pay twofold, one-half to go to the wronged party, while the offender shall be dismissed. All persons wrongly imprisoned or prosecuted at law shall have double damages against the informer or prosecutor.
All prisons, of which each county is to have one, shall be
work-houses for felons, vagrants, and loose and idle persons. All persons shall be bailable by sufficient security, save in capital offenses "where the proof is evident or the presumption great." Prisons are to be free as to fees, food, and lodging.
All lands and goods shall be liable to pay debts, except where there is legal issue, and then all goods and one-third of the land only. (This is meant in case a man should die insolvent.) All wills in writing, attested by two witnesses, shall be of the same force as to lands or other conveyances, being legally proved within forty days within or without the province.
Seven years' quiet possession gives title, except in cases of infants, lunatics, married women, or persons beyond the seas.
Bribery and extortion are to be severely punished, but fines should be moderate and not exhaustive of men's property.(10*)
Marriage (not forbidden by the degrees of consanguinity or affinity) shall be encouraged, but parents or guardians must first be consulted, and publication made before solemnization; the ceremony to be by taking one another as husband and wife in the presence of witnesses, to be followed by a certificate signed by parties and witnesses, and recorded in the office of the county register. All deeds, charters, grants, conveyances, long notes, bonds, etc., are required to be registered also in the county enrollment office within two months after they are executed, otherwise to be void. Similar deeds made out of the province were allowed six months in which to be registered before becoming valid.
All defacers or corrupters of legal instruments or registries shall make double satisfaction, half to the party wronged, be dismissed from place, and disgraced as false men.
A separate registry of births, marriages, deaths, burials, wills, and letters of administration is required to be kept.
All property of felons is liable for double satisfaction, half to the party wronged; when there is no land the satisfaction must be worked out in prison; while estates of capital offenders are escheated, one-third to go to the next of kin of the sufferer and the remainder to next of kin of criminal.
Witnesses must promise to speak the truth, the whole truth, etc., and if convicted of willful falsehood shall suffer the penalty which would have been inflicted upon the person accused, shall make satisfaction to the party wronged, and be publicly exposed as false witnesses, never to be credited in any court or before any magistrate in the province.
Public officers shall hold but one office at a time; all children more than twelve years old shall be taught some useful trade; servants shall not be kept longer than their time, must be well treated if deserving, and at the end of their term be "put in fitting equipage, according to custom."
Scandal-mongers, back-biters, defamers and spreaders of false news, whether against public or private persons, are to be severely punished as enemies to peace and concord. Factors and others guilty of breach of trust must make satisfaction, and one-third over, to their employers, and in case of the factor's death the Council Committee of Trade is to see that satisfaction is made out of his estates.
All public officers, legislators, etc., must be professors of faith in Jesus Christ, of good fame, sober and honest convictions, and twenty-one years old. "All persons living in this province who confess and acknowledge the one Almighty and Eternal God to be the Creator, Upholder, and Ruler of the world, and that hold themselves obliged in conscience to live peaceably and justly in civil society, shall in noways be molested or prejudiced for their religious persuasion or practice in matters of faith and worship; nor shall they be compelled at any time to frequent or maintain any religious worship, place, or ministry whatever." The people are required to respect Sunday by abstaining from daily labor. All "offenses against God," swearing, cursing, lying, profane talking, drunkenness, drinking of healths, obscenity, whoredom and other uncleanness, treasons, misprisions, murders, duels, felony, sedition, maimings, forcible entries and other violence, all prizes, stage-plays, cards, dice, May-games, gamesters, masks, revels, bull-baitings, cock-fightings, and the like, "which excite the people to rudeness, cruelty, looseness, and irreligion, shall be respectfully discouraged and severely punished, according to the appointment of the Governor and freemen in Council and General Assembly."
All other matters not provided for in this code are referred to "the order, prudence, and determination" of the Governor and Legislature.
The most admirable parts of this code, putting it far ahead of the contemporary jurisprudence of England or any other civilized country at the time,(11*) are the regulations for liberty of worship and the administration of justice. Penn's code on this latter point is more than a hundred years in advance of England. In the matter of fees, charges, plain and simple forms, processes, records, and pleadings, it still remains in advance of court proceedings and regulations nearly everywhere. The clauses about work-houses and about bailable offenses are also far in advance of even the best modern jurisprudence.
Notwithstanding all these and many other heavy and pressing engagements, Penn seems to have found time to attend to his work as a preacher and a writer of religous tracts and pamphlets. He went on a mission tour into the West of England, he wrote on "Spiritual Commission," he mediated between dissenting Friends, and healed a breach in his church; his benevolent endeavors were given to aid and encourage the Bristol Quakers, then severely persecuted, and he barely escaped being sent to jail himself for preaching in London at the Grace Church Street meeting.
Penn had expected to go out to Pennsylvania himself late in the fall of 1681, but the pressure of all these concerns and the rush of emigrants and colonists delayed him. He found he would have settlers from France, Holland, and Scotland, as well as from England, and few besides servants would be ready to go before the spring of 1682. "When they go, I go," he wrote to his friend James Harrison, "but my going with servants will not settle a government, the great end of my going." He also said in this letter that in sell ng or renting land he cleared the king's and the Indian title, the purchaser or lessee paid the scrivener and surveyor. In October Penn sent out three commissioners, William Crispin, John Bezar, and Nathaniel Allen, to co-operate with Markham in selecting a site for Penn's proposed great city, and to lay it out. They also were given very full, careful, and explicit instructions by Penn, particularly as to dealing with the Indians, some Indian titles needing to be extinguished by them. He wrote a letter to the Indians themselves by these commissioners, which shows he had studied the savage character very carefully. It touched the Indian's faith in the one universal Great Spirit, and finely appealed to his strong innate sense of justice. He did not wish to enjoy the great province his king had given him, he said, without the Indian's consent. The red man had suffered much injustice from his countrymen, but this was the work of self seekers; "but I am not such a man, as is well known in my own country, I have a great love and regard for you, and I desire to win and gain your love and friendship by a kind, just, and peaceable life, and the people I send are all of the same mind, and shall in all things behave themselves accordingly, and if in anything any shall offend you or your people, you shall have a full and speedy satisfaction for the same by an equal number of just men on both sides, that by no means you may have just occasion of being offended against them." This was the initiatory step in that "traditional policy" of Penn and the Quakers towards the Indians which has been so consistently maintained ever since, to the imperishable honor of that sect.
As the year 1682 entered we find Penn reported to be "extraordinarily busy" about his province and its affairs. He is selling or leasing a great deal of land, and sending out many servants. A thousand persons are going to emigrate along with him. He gets Claypoole to write to his correspondent in Bordeaux for grape-vines, fifteen hundred or two thousand plants, to carry out with him, desiring vines that bear the best grapes, not the most. Claypoole has himself bought five thousand acres, wants to go out and settle, but doubts and fears. He don't feel sure about the climate, the savages, the water the vermin, reptiles, etc.
By June 1st Penn had made the extraordinary sale of five hundred and sixty-five thousand five hundred acres of land in the new province, in parcels of from two hundred and fifty to twenty thousand acres. Penn's mother died about this time, causing him much affliction. The Free Traders' Society is organized, Claypoole makes up his mind at last to emigrate, the site for Philadelphia is determined, and Markham buys up Indian titles and settlers' land upon it, so as to have all clear for the coming great city. August 31st the Duke of York gives Penn a protective deed for Pennsylvania, and on the 24th the Duke finally concedes New Castle, and twelve miles about it, and Horekill (Delaware), between New Castle and Cape Henlopen, to him by deed of feoffment.(12*) This concludes the major part of Penn's business in England, and he is ready to sail Sept. 1st, 1682, in the ship "Welcome," three hundred tons, Captain Robert Greenway, master. It is then that he writes the touching letter to his wife and children, in which he says, "remember thou wast the love of my youth and much the joy of my life; the most beloved as well as the most worthy of all my earthly comforts; and the reason of that love was more thy inward than thy outward excellences, which yet were many." He embarked at Deal with a large company of Quakers, and from the Downs sent a letter of "salutation to all faithful friends in England."
* Hazard says, "This year (1672) the celebrated Friend, George Fox, visited this part of the country. He arrived from Jamaica, in Maryland, and, accompanied by John Burnyeat, Robert Withers and George Pattison, on their way to New England, by land, they touched at New Castle, and from thence, with much difficulty, crossed the Delaware. On their return, they again visit New Castle, swimming their horses by the sides of canoes, and underwent many difficulties. At New Castle, they met with a handsome reception from Governor Carr, and had a pretty large meeting there, it being the first ever held in that place; thence they returned to Maryland." Annals of Pennsylvania.
** This was a revival of the old New England confederacy of 1643, of late crippled and made ineffective by inter-colonial dissensions. It finally fell to pieces through the destruction of local
self-government and the substitution of royal governors in the New England colonies between 1664 and 1684. See Richard Frothingham's "Rise of the Republic," chap. ii.
*** The value of Indian lands at that time to the savages may be gathered from the price paid in 1677 for twenty miles square on the Delaware between Timber and Oldman's Creeks, to wit: 30 match-coats (made of hairy wool with the rough side out), 20 guns, 30 kettles, 1 great kettle, 30 pair of hose, 20 fathoms of duffels (Duffield blanket cloth, of which match coats were made), 30 petticoats, 30 narrow hoes, 30 bars of lead, 15 small barrels of powder, 70 knives, 30 Indian axes, 70 combs, 60 pair of tobacco tongs, 60 pair of scissors, 60 tinshaw looking-glasses, 120 awl-blades, 120 fish-hooks, 2 grasps of red paint, 120 needles, 60 tobacco-boxes, 120 pipes, 200 bells, 100 jews-harps, and 6 anchors of rum." The value of these articles probably did not exceed three hundred pounds sterling. But, on the other hand, the Indian titles were really worth nothing, except so far as they served as a security against Indian hostility. It has been said that there is not an acre of land in the eastern part of Pennsylvania the deeds of which cannot be traced up to an Indian title, but that in effect would be no title at all. Mr. Lawrence Lewis, in his learned and luminous "Essay on Original Land Titles in Philadelphia," denies this absolutely, and says that it is "impossible to trace with any accuracy" the titles to land in Philadelphia derived from the Indians. Nor is it necessary to trace a title which is of no value. The Indians could not sell land to individuals and give valid title for it in any of the colonies; they could sell, if they chose, but only to the government. Upon this subject the lawyers are explicit. All good titles in the thirteen original colonies are derived from land-grants, made or accepted not by the Indians, but by the British crown. Thus Chalmers (Political Annals, 677) says, "The law of nations sternly disregarded the possession of the aborigines, because they had not been admitted into the society of nations." At the Declaration of Independence (see Dallas' Reports, ii. 470) every acre of land in this country was held, mediately or immediately, by grants from the crown. All our institutions (Wheaton, viii. 588) recognize the absolute title of the crown, subject only to the Indian right of occupancy, and recognize the absolute title of the crown to extinguish that right. An Indian conveyance alone could give no title to an individual. (The references here given are quoted from the accurate Frothingham's "Rise of the Republic.")
(4*) Not to be wondered at when we find in Charles' book of secret service money such entries as the following: "March 28th. Paid to Duchess of Portsmouth (king's mistress) 13,341 10s. 4 1/2d. in various sums June 14th. Paid to Richard Yates, son of Francis Yates, who conducted Prince Charles from the field of Worcester to Whyte Ladies after the battle, and suffered death for it under Cromwell, 10 10s."
(5*) Called "redemptioners," because they sold their services for a term of years to pay or redeem the money advanced to "carry them over."
(6*) On this basis, if we suppose the servant allotments to pay the same quit-rent as other tenants, Penn's colonists would be assessed about thus:
Manors - 50.0 acres @ 100, int. 5 per cent. 5
50 servants to a manor, giving it 2500 acres more,
total quit-rent @ 1s. per 100 A. 3 10
(Equal to 27 1/5 pence per 100 A. per annum) 8 10s.
Tenants - 200 A. @ 1d. per A.
5000 A., 25 tenants, 25 servants, 1250 A., 6250 A. @ 1d. 26
Servants - 75 servants @ 50 A., equal to 3750 A. @ 1d. 15 12 1/2
Thus Penn, in placing 17,500 acres, proposed to get 100 cash and yearly rents amounting to 45 2s. or 5s. 2d. nearly per 100 acres, the greater part of the burden falling upon the smaller tenants of course. The purchaser of 5000 acres had, moreover, a further advantage in sharing in the allotments, or "dividends," as Penn calls them.
(7*) In this society votes were to be on basis of amount of stock held, up to three votes, which was the limit. No one in England was allowed more than one vote, and proxies could be voted. The officers were president, deputy, treasurer, secretary, and twelve committee-men. Five, with president or deputy, a quorum. Committee-men to have but one vote each in meetings, with the casting vote to the president. Officers to hold during seven years on good behaviour; general election and reopening of subscription books every seventh year; general statement at the end of each business year. The officers to live on society's property. All the society's servants were bound to secrecy, and the books were kept in society's house, under three locks, the keys in charge of president, treasurer, and oldest committee-man, and not to be intrusted to any person longer than to transcribe any part in daytime and in the house, before seven persons, appointed by committee. The society was to send two hundred servants to Pennsylvania the first year to build two or more general factories in Pennsylvania, one on Chesapeake Bay, one on Delaware or elsewhere; to aid Indians in building houses, etc., and to hold negroes for fourteen years' service, when they were to go free, "on giving the society two-thirds of what they can produce on land allotted to them by the society, with a stock and tools; if they agree not to this, to be servants till they do." The leading object of the society at the outset seems to have been an extensive free trade with the Indians.
(8*) Instructions to commissioners for settling the colony, Oct. 19, 1681.
This has been conclusively shown in some opinions (published in the Maryland Reports) of the judges of the Maryland Court of Appeals. These opinions were given in interpretation of leases "for ninety-nine years, renewable forever." It was decided that these leases were perpetual, and their historical relation to the Irish leases was demonstrated in order to establish the fact of their irredeemable character.
(9*) In the preamble Penn lays down a doctrine now universally recognized, and the general acceptance of which, it is believed, affords the surest guarantee for the perpetuity of American institutions: that virtue and wisdom, "because they descend not with worldly inheritances, must be carefully propagated by a virtuous education of youth, for which after-ages will owe more to the care and prudence of founders and the successive magistracy than to their parents for their private patrimonies." No great truth could be more fully and nobly expressed than this.
(10*) "Contenements, merchandise, and wainage," says the text, the land by which a man keeps his house, his goods, and his means of transportation
(11*) But we must except the Catholic colony in Maryland, founded by Sir George Calvert, whose charter of 1632, and the act of toleration passed by the Assembly of Maryland, in 1649, under the inspiration of Sir George's son. Caecilius, must be placed alongside of Penn's work. Two brighter lights in an age of darkness never shone. Calvert's charter was written during the heat of the Thirty Years' religious war, Penn's Constitution at the moment when all Dissenters were persecuted in England and when Louis XIV. was about to revoke the Edict of Nantes. The Virginians were expelling the Quakers and other sectaries. In New England the Puritan separatists, themselves refugees for opinion's sake, martyrs to the cause of religious freedom, were making laws which were the embodiment of doubly-distilled intolerance and persecution. Roger Williams was banished in 1635, in 1650 the Baptists were sent to the whipping-post, in 1634 there was a law passed for the expulsion of Anabaptists, in 1647 for the exclusion of Jesuits, and if they returned they were to be put to death. In 1656 it was decreed against "the cursed sect of heretics lately risen up in the world, which are commonly called Quakers," that captains of ships bringing them in were to be fined or imprisoned, Quaker books, or "writings containing their devilish opinions," were not to be imported, Quakers themselves were to be sent to the house of correction, kept at work, made to remain silent, and severely whipped. This was what the contemporaries of Calvert and Penn did. We have seen Penn's law of liberty of conscience. Calvert's was equally liberal. The charter of Calvert was not to be interpreted so as to work any diminution of God's sacred Christian religion, open to all sects, Protestant and Catholic, and the act of toleration and all preceding legislation, official oaths, etc., breathed the same spirit of toleration and determination, in the words of the oath of 1637, that none in the colony, by himself or other directly or indirectly, will "trouble, molest, or discountenance any person professing to believe in Jesus Christ for or on account of his religion."
(12*) It would appear from the following, that very soon after receiving the charter for Pennsylvania, William Penn was negotiating for New Castle, and probably for the remaining portion of the territory below.
"Sir John Werden wrote to Mr. Penn, that the duke was not yet disposed to grant the lands about New Castle. He, at the same time, informed him that he thought his claims to the islands in the Delaware ill-founded, because they were not included by the words of the patent, and were not intended to be granted. He immediately warned Dongan, Governor of New York, to prevent Penn's encroachments on his province, or its dependencies, giving a reason, which shows the opinions of men who had done so much business with him, that he was very intent on his own interests in those parts, as you observe." Chalmers, p. 660.
SOURCE: Page(s) 68-81, History of Delaware, 1609-1888, Volume
One by Scharf, Thomas J., Philadelphia; L.J. Richards & Co.,