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and that as to the other point of false information sent against
were to be made upon them for the gratification of the pro-_ '
\prietary governor. _ _ I v
I had called them upon urgent occasions: that they‘ were'in
With the body of laws they began, and made a consider‘able progress in the Work: but the frame of government again met with as many difficulties as before.‘ 'The condit'ions of union between the province and the teiirz'tories, in
particular, had like to have produced an immediateseparation: and the dispute which arose concerning equal privi~ leges or equal voices in the representative, could be no otherwise compromised than by referring the issue to the next general assembly.
The points which more immediately concerned both branches of the legislature, were the settlement of property and the supply. In the latter the governor himself was deeply interested, and almost every land-holder of the co~ lony in the former. These, therefore, were to be first dispatched; and, accordingly, a bill for the effectual establishment and confirmation of the freeholders of both parts of the united colony, their heirs and assigns, in their lands and tenements; ‘together with two others; one for raising of one penny per pound, and six shillings per head for support of government, 8:0. and one for granting and raising to the proprietary and governor two thousand pounds, upon the real value of estates real and personal, and another six shillings poll-tax; of which more than a moiety was paid by the county of Philadelphia alone. Nor ought it to be forgotten, that in the preceding session four pence in the pound and twenty-four shillings per head had been‘ demanded for these services; and that as they paid by halves, the proprietary performed by halves; as the mention hereafter made of his charter of property will demonstrate.
The same assembly being again convened in August at Philadelphia, in consequence of a letter from his majesty, requiring an aid of three hundred and fifty pounds sterling towards the fortifications to be raised on the frontiers of New York, they excused themselves from complying; urging that the great sums lately assessed upon the colony by way of impost and taxes, over and above the arrears of quit-rents, had rendered them incapable: and these excuses were readily admitted by the government; so that the proprietary interest in this instance undeniably supplanted the royal: ‘and pri
vate interest public service.
ties, agreeable to the law, for ascertaining the number of vlidq
. members, lately passed at New Castle; and though he had in ,Itprtse the ‘last evaded giving a copy of his speech in writing to the lam‘ house, as not being his usual way, went out of his way for ~ lift)‘ this once to do it now. l the
Some apology he made for calling them together a month mil
‘ sooner than they would have met of course : assigned as area- llltltitl son, the necessity he was under, through the endeavours of ' il'lllle the enemies to the prosperity of the colony, to go ‘for Eng- _ all» land, where, taking the advantage of his absence, some had is,“ attempted to undermine his government: talked as if the iilllltlz voyage was disagreeable to him; as if the quiet of a wilder- glib“) ness was all his ambition; as if his purpose had been to stay his, with them always, or at least till he could render every body load] safe and easy: said his heart was with them, whatever some swim people might please to think; that no unkindness or disap- ‘tzlshan pointment should, with submission to God’s providence, ever him be able to alter his love to the country, and his resolution and,‘ to return and settle his family and posterity in it, &c. “Think, itlljqsn therefore, (continued he in the most captivating style and is," m manner that ever was made use of) since all men are mortal, mm] of some suitable expedient and provision for your safety as ‘ Wm, well as in your privileges as property, and you will find me We“, ready to comply with whatsoever mayvrender us happy by a \ gggwpm nearer union of our interests. Review again your laws ! pro- ‘acme’,
pose new ones that may better your circumstances ; and what WM you do, do it quickly! remembering that the parliament sits ywu'fpml the end of the next month, and that the sooner I am there, . \the safer I hope, we shall all be here.” ' Mon He then returned to the three hundred and fifty pounds 15' i sterling, demanded by the king: imparted to them the happy ' aimed‘ issue pf colonel Fletcher’s conferences with the fine natz'ans; 3M“ and again recommended unanimity and dispatch,‘ since it -‘ as might contribute to the disappointment of those who.had‘ Mme long sought the ruin of their young country. . _ [gm ans The assembly returned a short but affectionate and respect- Mm ful answer; after which they presented an address to him, , “lids consisting of twenty-one articles: the first desiring, that, on 1%
WILLIAM PENN, ESQ; GOVERNOR. 31
his departure for England, due care be taken, he might be represented there by persons of integrity and considerable known estates, who might have full power and authority not only to grant and confirm lands, 82c. but to compensate short and resume over measure-—-The second, that he would grant them such‘an instrument as might absolutely secure and defend the freemen of the province, by them represented, in their estates and properties, from himself, his heirs and assigns for ever, or any claiming under him, them, or any of them; as also to clear all Indian purchases and others.—
And the last, that the bill of property, passed at Newcastle, might be inserted in the charter, with such amendments as should be agreed on.
To each of the whole twenty’one he returned a special answer,- and to the three recited, those that follow. “ To the first: Ishall appoint those in whom I can confide, whose powers shall be szfficient and puélz'c for the security of all‘ concerned; and I hope they shall be of honest character withoutjust exception, to do th'at which is right between you and me.” [’Tis strange-the crown should not base much as mentioned] “ To the second: much of it is included in my answer to the first; however, I am willing to execute a publicinstrument or charter to secure you in yourproperties, according to purchase and the law of property made lately at New Castle, excepting some corrections and amendments absolutely necessary therein: and to the last,' I agree that the law of property made at New Castle shall be inserted in‘ the charter with requisite amendments.” I,
How short these expressions fell of his speech is obvious ; nor is it any honour to himself or his laws, that the latter stood in need of so many amendments; and that the free
' men found reason to think they could not take too many precautions to secure themselves against-him.
To these answers of the governor, the assembly returned as many replies; most of them expressing their acceptance and acknowledgments: and the _matter of the first being at all times equally reasonable, deserves to ‘be particularly remtmbered, to wit, “ that the commissioners thou art pleased ,
to promise, be‘ invested with full and complete power, and be obliged by some clause in the commission to act without refusal or delay, according to the fpll and public powers thereof; and that it would please thee to nominate the persons to the assembly.”
The governor, on the other hand, whether out of artifice or complaisance is hard to say, would have induced them to name his substitute themselves: but, they as artificially or complaisantly' excused ‘themselves ; saying, they did not pretend to the knowledge necessary for such, a nomination, and that they desired to leave it to the governor’s pleasure.
While the charter of privileges was under consideration, the late breach between the members of the province and‘ those of the territory was again opened, and soon grew wider than ever.
The territory men were for obtaining some powers or rights peculiarly favourable to themselves ; which the others thinking unreasonable, were not willing to allow: and not being able to carry their point, the members for the terri! tory left the house.
The proprietary interposed his authority to bring about an accommodation; and for the present prevailed. But the same spirit of, animosity still remained; and what with the hurry the governor was in to set sail, and what with the warm dispute which arose between him and the assembly concerning the allowance to be made to such as had defec— tive measure in their lands, the remainder of a session, so plausibly opened, and in which the constitution was to be finally settled, was soured with expostulations and re.— proaches even to the last moment of it: and the governor and his freemen at last parted like people who were equally glad, they had made so much of, and were now to be separa» ted from each other.
And thus the course of time has brought us to that frame or system which, in subordination to the royal charter, is, at present, the rule of governmentin Pennsylvania.
In May, 1700, the former had been surrendered into the hands of the governor, by six parts in seven of the asseme