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better terms. For the Virginia vacant lands are many of them nearer to navigable water than the good western lands of this province, and equally well accommodated by the Waggon road made by the late army. It is true, the proprietaries price is fifteen pounds ten shillings per hundred acres, with a quit-rent of four shillings and two pence sterling. Numbers who imprudently made improvements/before they obtained a title, were obliged to give that price; and the great assistance our loan ofl‘ice afforded, by furnishing money to poor people on low interest, and taking it again in small payments, thereby enabling them to purchase lands, an advantage they could not have elsewhere, might encourage many to stay in the country, and take up lands on those terms. But that is now over: for the act is near expiring, and it seems we are to have no more of the kind; and when that encouragement had its full force, was it ever known that any people came from Virginia to purchase here, on account of the superior goodness or convenience of our lands ? on the contrary, have not many thousands of families gone from hence thither, and within these few years settled fifteen or twenty new counties in that colony? have not thousands likewise left us to settle in Carolina? had not the exorbitant price at which the proprietaries held their lands, and their neglect of Indian purchasing in order to keep up that price, driven these‘ people from among us, this province would at this day have been in a much more flourishing condition. Our number of inhabitants and our trade would, in all probability, have been double; we should have been more able to defend the proprietary’s estate, and pay his tax for him, and possibly more willing; but they are gone, and gone for ever, and numbers are going after them! and if the new politics prevail, and our distinguishing privileges are one by one to be taken from us, we may, without the gift of prophecy, venture to foretel, that the province will soon empty itself much faster than it ever filled.

In fine, this offer was in fact a mere illusion intended first to impose on the assembly, and then on the people; it was likewise to figure with at home in the eyes of the ministry. We discovered the deception, and the governor is offended that we did not keep the secret. He is “astonished that we should depreciate an offer which would have had very good effects, and induced many to have gone on the expedition and become settlers, that would not otherwise have thought of doing either.” May it please the governor, as bad an opinion as he is pleased to entertain of us, we have some conscience; and would not choose, by our silence, to have any share in the disappointment and other ill consequences which might ensue to those who should have gone on that vague, empty, unwarranted offer, and not otherwise have thought of it And we, in our turn, may be astonished that the governor should expect it of us.

We are in the next place told by the governor, “that we take a very nice distinction between the proprietary as owner of land, and the proprietary as chief governor, and say, we do not tax him as governor, but as a land-holder and fellow-subject.” Our words are, “ We do not propose to {353 him as governor, 8w.” but the governor by carefully omitting the word

propose, in his quotation, gives himself an opportunity of expatiating on the absurdity and insolence of our inverting the order of things, and assuming a power to tax the proprietaries, “ under whom, [he is pleased to say] we derive the power of acting as an assembly.” Had the word propose been honestly left in its place, there would have been no room for all this decla. mation; and the demand, ‘ How came you by a right to tax them i’ might have well been spared; since, though we as an assembly have no right to tax the proprietary estate, yetv the proprietary and assembly together have surely sucha right; and as he is present “ by his own particular representative the governor, we may have a right to propose such a thing to him, if we think it reasonable. Especially since we do not, as the governor imagines we do, derive our power of acting as an assembly from the proprietary, but from the same'royal charter, that empowers him to act as governor. '

We had been told in a former message, that the proprietary ought to be exempt from taxes, for he was a governor, and governors were exempt by the nature of their office. We replied, that he did not govern us, but the province supported his lieutenant to do that duty for him. On this the g0vernor now makes the following observation, “ It may be very true, as you say, that the proprietaries do not govern you; but that is not owing to any want of a legal authority in them, but from another cause, thatlneed not mention here.” We were reproached in the beginning of this message, as playing with words; and'the governor, it seems, has now caught the infection. The reason we gave why the proprietary could not be said to govern us, was a plain one; but the governor insinuates some other cause without explaining it, that there may be room for the reader’s imagination to make it any thing or every thing that is bad. We dislike these dark inuendoes, and shall speak our minds openly. It may be thought‘rude and unpolite, perhaps, but it is at least fair and honest, and may prevent misunderstandings. If, therefore, the present proprietaries do not govern us, it is because they never assumed the government in their own persons, but, as we said before, employ a deputy; and if the deputy does not govern us, it is not because we are ungovernable or rebellious, as he would insinuate, nor for want of sufiicient power in‘his hands by the constitution; but because he has not that spirit of government, that skill, and those abilities, that should qualify him for his station. _

The governor is pleased to tell us, “that our distinction between the proprietary as owner of land, and the proprietary as chief governor, has no

- existence in law or reason.” We shall endeavour to shew him, that it exists

in both with regard to the king, and therefore presume it may with regard to the proprietary. The governor tells us likewise, as \a matter4 of law, “ that the king can have no private estate, but from the dignity of his 0ffice holds his lands in right of the crown.” W'e are not any of us lawyers by profession, and would not venture to dispute the governor’s opinion, if no did not imagine we had good authority for it; we find in Viner’s abridgmcnt, an allowed book, title descent of lands, these observations, which

we hope may be satisfactory to the governor in both points. It is there said, “that the king has two capacities, for he has two bodies, of which the one is a body natural, consisting of natural members, as every other man is; the other is a body politic, and his members thereof are his subjects. He may take in his body natural, lands or tenements, as heir to any of his ancestors; and also in this capacity may purchase to him and his heirs, and his heirs shall retain it, notwithstanding that he is removed from the royal estate. And he may also take or purchase lands or tenements in fee in his body politic, that is to say, to him and to his heirs kings of England, or to him and his successors kings of England; and so his double capacity remains, as it does in other persons who have a double capacity, as bishop or dean,” 8m. \rVe presume that our proprietaries hold the manors they have laid out to themselves, and the other lands they may have repurchased in their province, in their private capacities, as Thomas Penn, or Richard Penn, and not in their capacity of chief governor. The governor is pleased to allow, “that one reason why the king’s fee-farm rents are taxed in England, may be, that the land tax should not fall heavier upon other lands in the same district.” It seems to us a good reason, and to hold as well in our case. For should the proprietaries go on encreasing their already enormous estate,‘ sue and recover all their mortgages, add field to field, and make purchase after purchase, till the number of freeholders in the province is reduced to a handful; can it be thought reasonable that every estate as it comes into their hands shall be exempt from taxes, and the burden of supporting the government, and defending the province, thrown all upon the remainder! and yet this must be the case if our distinction has, as the governor says, no existence in law or reason. The governor denies that the fees and perquisites he enjoys are paid for support of government; they are, he says, “only moderate fees consented to be fixed by law, as considerations for the business done; and the public-house licences, which are the chief of them, were originally granted by charter.” This latter assertion is quite unintelligible to us. We cdn find no such grant in the royal charter, nor can we conceive how the proprietary can grant a fee to himself by his own charter. The governor is a stranger here, and may be unacquainted with the rise and establishment of what is called the support of government among us. He will therefore permit us to relate it to him, as we have received it from our ancestors, and find traces of it on our records. \Vhen the first settlers purchased lands fi‘om the proprietary, he demanded, besides the consideration money, that a quit-rent should be reserved and paid to him and his heirs yearly for ever. They objected against this as a disagreeable and unreasonable encumbrance; but were told, that the proprietary being also governor, though he took the purchase money for the land as proprietary, he reserved the.~ quit-rents to be paid for his support as governor; for that government must be supported, andthese quit-rents would be the most equal and easy tax, and prevent the necessity of other taxes for that purpose here, as they did in the king’s government of Virginia. These reasons induced them to ac.

quiesce in it. But the proprietary’s affairs calling him to reside in England, and the quit-rents, then but few, being all wanted to support him there", a lieutenant-governor became necessary, and also a support for that lieutenant, as the proprietary, through the necessity of his afi'airs, was unable to support him. The public-house licences and other licences and fees were pitched upon for this second support, and by perpetual laws were given to the governor for the time being. But governors, a sort of ofl-lcers not easily satisfied with salary, complaining that these were insuflicient to maintain suitably the dignity of their station, occasional presents were added from time to time; and those at length came to be expected as of right, which, if conceded to, and established by the people, would have made

a third support. Our situation at this time is, that the present proprieta- .

‘ ries claim, and enjoy the quit-rents (which were the first support) as part of their private estate, and draw them to England where they reside, remote from their government, supplying their place here by a lieutenant, The lieutenant takes and enjoys the licence money, and other perquisites, which were the second support, and though he has from thirty shillings to three pounds for writing his name only (the secretary being paid six shillings besides for the licence and seal) says, they are only moderate fees in consideration for business done. And now if we do not regularly give those additional presents, which were only the marks of our good will, and tokens of the satisfaction we had in a governor’s administration; every thing else that a governor enjoys is forgot, and we are charged both at home and abroad with the heinous crime of presuming to withhold the support ofgovernment. Thus we see how soon custom may become a law, how thirsty a thing power is, and. how hard to be satisfied. “ Claims, as the governor says, will never be wanting,” and if the people will give “whenever they are required” to give, they may soon be “stripped of every thing they’ have a right to enjoy.”

The governor is pleased to acquaint us, that all the fees and perquisites of this government do not amount, cmnmunilnm annis, to more than a thousand pounds, meaning, as we suppose, sterling money. This the governor enjoys fully and freely, and we never interfere in his disposition of it, any more than in the proprietaries disposition of the quit-rents. We think this a handsome support for a governor; and though he calls it only moderate fees for business done; yet if he can earn one thousand pounds sterling a year in such fees, the business m'ust certainly be a good one.

On our saying that some proprietaries and governors of’ petty colonies assume more prerogatives and immunities than ever were claimed by their royal master, the governor grows warm in behalf of the proprietaries, and demands with all the air of a person conscious of being in the right, what instances can you give of that assuming behaviour in your proprietaries? we answer, the present instance; for the king does not claim an exemption from taxes for his private estate, as our propriettlrltfs do. Have they ever claimed any right or prerogatives not granted them by the royal charter, or reserved by that of their father? yes, the right of be


ing exempt from taxes for their estate in Pennsylvania, when all their fel' low-subjects (for the proprietaries are subjects,though the governor seems to disdain the term) ’both in England and America, not excepting even the lords and commons of parliament, are now obliged to undergo a tax for the recovery of part, and defence of the rest of that very estate. This right is not granted them by the royal charter, nor could it ‘be reserved by their father’s charter. Can you lay to their charge one instance of injustice or severity ?‘This is an act of injustice and severity, to insist that the people shall notbe allowed to raise money for their own defence, unless they will agree to defend the proprietary estates gratis. If this be complied witlr, and the war continues, what shall hinder them another year, when the fifty thousand pounds is expended, to require, that before we are allowed to raise another sum for the same purpose, we shall agree not only to defend their lands, but to plough them: for this their lieutenant may allege the l“ usage and custom” in Germany, and put us in mind, that we are chiefly Germans. Who can assure us, that their appropriated lands, so long kept untenanted and idle, are not reserved in expectation of some such fortunate opportunity? can other instances, in answer to the governor’s uestions. be necessary? if he thinks it discreet to insist on more, they may soon be at his service.

\Ve are then desired to turn our eyes on our own conduct, and charged in high terms with “ taking upon ourselves great and mighty powers; dis‘ pensing with positive laws, and claiming a. right of disposing of all public money, a right of keeping our proceedings a secret from the crown, with, as the governor is pleased to say, many others, unknown to an English constitution, and never heard of in the other plantations.” A round charge, but not- more easily made than answered. The governor allows, “ that we have all the powers and privileges of an assembly, according to the rights of the free-born subjects of England, and as is usual in any of the king’s plantations in America ;” and we neither claim nor practice any but what is usual in some or other of them. \Ve claim no right of dispensing with laws. The right of disposing of our own money, we think is a natural right,. and we have enjoyed it ever since the settlement of the province, and constantly been in the exercise of it in every instance, except perhaps in a few, where, on extraordinary occasions, we have chosen to make special appro- _. priation by a particular law. -It is also possessed and practised by several. other assemblies. We have moreover the right of disposing of the present' revenue by positive laws, which have received the royal assent. This natural and legal right, as we contend it is, was never denied us, or called in question, as we know of, but by our present pl'oprietaries. Their ever hearty friend, the late governor's father, who had lived many years among us, and was skilled in our laws, in a solemn speech, recorded in our minutes, men

.tions this as one of our civil rights, among the other happinesses of our

constitution, with which he was thoroughly acquainted. Our inserting therefore in the bill a clause, that the governor should have a voice in the disposition of the money intended to be raised, was partly in consideration


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