« ZurückWeiter »
Brought over £ 15,875,500 12 0
For the three fifths of all royal mines, and one fifth of all other mines reserved to these lords proprietors, we can as yet estimate no sum, and must leave it a blank as we find it; but since, in the ridges of mountains not yet settled, some very valuable specimens of ores have been found by travellers, it is not unlikely this article may in time become considerable beyond computation. For the offices we shall likewise make no estimation, though they are greatly increased in number and value, with the increase of people; as we believe the proprietaries do not raise immediate money from the grants of those offices at present, they being chiefly disposed of to bribe or reward their partisans and favorites, in which however they may find their account.
For the escheats we likewise add nothing; for, though it is thought a valuable article, we have no information on which we can form any judgment concerning its value; it must however be continually increasing.
There is another article, we are greatly at a loss about, which is, the interest of money arising to the proprietors from securities on lands possessed by persons unable to make present payment. These pay, not only quit-rent for the land, but interest for the purchase money. This interest * is thought to be a very considerable income, but we cannot estimate it.
The three lower counties on Delaware, which are a distinct territory and government from the province of Pennsylvania, and held by a different title, are also a very valuable part of the proprietary estate; though what value should be put on the same is at present difficult to say.
Total, in Pennsylvania currency, £ 15,875,500 12 0
*See Fisher's account hereafter.
But, on the whole, it appears pretty clearly, that, deducting all the articles containing the valuation of lands yet unsold and unappropriated within their patent, and the manors and rents to be hereafter reserved, and allowing for any small over-valuations in their present reserved lands and incomes, (though it is thought if any be it will not be found to exceed the under-valuation in other instances,) there cannot remain less than a million of property which they now at this time have in Pennsylvania.
And in that province there are but twenty thousand families, to each of which, one with another, there does not belong more than three hundred pounds of property, if so much; which multiplied by twenty thousand gives six million pounds for the whole property of the people there.
The proprietaries then have in present possession a property there at least equal to one sixth of that of the people. They ought, therefore, to pay the same proportion of the taxes.
That the reader may form some judgment of the profits made by this monopoly of land in America, in favor of the House of PENN, we shall just mention, that the land is first purchased of the Indians, and none but the proprietors are allowed to purchase of the Indians within the limits of their grant; the Indians of late years have somewhat raised their price; and for the last great purchase in 1754, which was of about seven millions of acres, they demanded (how much do you think?) no less than two thousand dollars, amounting, at seven and sixpence currency each, to seven hundred and fifty pounds.
The land so bought the proprietor has the modera
tion to sell (except the best of it reserved in
manors for himself) at so low a price as £15
10s. per hundred acres, which will produce £1,085,000 0 0 Deduct the purchase money
750 0 0
Remains PROFIT 1,084,250 0 0
Besides the profit of a tenth of the seven millions
of acres, reserved in manors to be sold here-
And also the quit-rent to be reserved on seven mil-
2,100,000 0 0
481,250 0 0
Profit, in all £3,665,500 0 0
But, the Indian council at Onondago not being satisfied with the sale of so much land at once, the proprietors have since been obliged to disgorge a part of the hunting country they had not paid for, and re-convey the same to the Indians, who, when they are disposed to sell it, may possibly demand two thousand dollars more, for which the above account must then have credit.
One would think, that where such good bargains are bought of the poor natives, there should be no occasion for fraudulent art to overreach them, in order to take more than is granted; and that if a war, occasioned by such injuries, should be drawn upon the innocent inhabitants, those who were the cause of the war, if they did not, as in justice they ought, bear the whole expense of it, at least they would not refuse to bear a reasonable part. Whether this has ever been the case is now a subject of public inquiry.
But let us see how the land bought in such lumping pennyworths of the natives by the monopolist, is huckstered out again to the King's subjects. To give the reader some idea of this, after remarking that fifteen pounds ten shillings per hundred acres for wild land, is three times dearer than the proprietor of Maryland's price, and ten times dearer than his Majesty's lands in Virginia and Carolina, both as good if not better countries, we shall present him with a genuine account, stated under the hand of the proprietor's receiver-general, obtained with great difficulty by the purchaser of two tracts of land, some time after he had paid his money; when, on more particular consideration of the sum paid compared with the quantity bought, he imagined he had paid too much. The account is as follows, viz.
"John Fisher in Right of Jacob Job,
"To land, 423 acres 53 perches, in Pextang township,
£ 65 12 1
39 11 2
"Interest from 19th March, 1742, to 20th February,
1747, is 4 years, 11 months, 1 day, "Quit-rent to next month is 15 years, £13 4s. 7d.
26 11 11
"John Fisher in Right of Thomas Cooper,
"To land, 268 acres in Pextang township, Lancaster County, granted by warrant of 9th January, 1743, to said Cooper,
"Interest from 1st March, 1737, to 9th January, 1743,
41 10 9
"Interest from 9th January, 1743, to 20th February,
11 19 10
10 6 7
70 18 11
20th February, 1747.
£141 4 8
70 18 11
212 3 7
10 0 Transfer, &c.
212 13 7
"Philadelphia, 23d February, 1747.
"Received of John Fisher two hundred and twelve pounds, three shillings, and seven pence, in full for 423 acres in Pextang township, granted by warrant of 19th March, 1742, to Jacob Job, and for 268 acres in same township, by warrant of 9th January, 1743, to Thomas Cooper, both in the County of Lancaster.
10 0 fees
212 13 7
N. B. The quit-rent in full to 1st March, 1747.
"For the Honorable Proprietaries,
"LYNFORD LARDNER, Receiver-General."
The purchaser, not being skilled in accounts, but amazed at the sum, applied to a friend to examine this account, who stated it over again as follows, viz.
"John Fisher in the Right of Jacob Job,
"To 423 acres, 50 perches of land, in Pex-
"To interest on £50 12s. 1d. from the
"To five years' quit-rent for said land, at
one half-penny sterling per acre per an-
50 12 1
14 18 9
"20th February, 1747. Sum due on Job's right £73 167
"John Fisher in the Right of Thomas Cooper,
"To 268 acres of land in Pextang "afore-
£41 10 9
"By cash paid that day
"9th January, 1743, balance due £34 09
"To interest on £34 0s. 9d. from 9th
"20th February, 1747. Sum due on Cooper's right £46 15 7