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wassen't back, with such amendments as appeared to the house destructive to the present constitution, and for ‘that reason drew from them the following unanimous resolution‘: and address founded thereon: to wit,
“ Resolved, that what is proposed for amendment in the fourth and fifth pages of the hill, 1 will render the said char’ter useless and inefl‘ectual, and bring an odium upon ‘the proprietary,'wh0 granted‘ this instead of other charters‘, wherein were larger and greater privileges granted to the first adventurers and purchasers of land in this province, which they expected (as it was their undoubted‘right) to en
' joy, as well as the lands they bought: therefore ‘this house?
cannot admit of those amendments; because they are ans destructive to the present constitution, which the repre’l' sentatives of the free people of this province are now assemi bled, and are resolved to assert and maintain. ' '
“ Resolved, that the method of passing bills by'the go
vernor should be adjusted and settled; but whether the
governor thinks fit to be in ‘council or not at ‘the passing of bills is submitted to him. ' i ‘
“ Resolved, that it is consistent with the late king’s letters patent, and the said charter of privileges, that the council now chosen) should have a share in the legislation, unless it be when the government is in the council; which this house
agrees may be upon the death of the governor, unless other, provision be made by the governor in chief; and that a'cla‘use:
may'be added/to the bill for that purpose.” \
“ To John Evans, Esq. lieutenant-governor, 8m “ The address of the assembly of \the said province, sitting at Philadelphia, the twelfth day of August, 1704,
“ In all humble manner shewetl'i,
“ That this assembly, having taken into their serious consideration the matters yesterday debated in the conference, relating to‘ the proposed amendments to the bill inti'tuled, An a'ct,for removing andjffe‘ventiiig all questions and disputes concerning the convening one?’ sitting of this assembly, &c. as
also ‘for confirmation of the charter of privileges, do find
nothing advanced that can reconcile the said amendments to the constitution of our charter; and thereupon do come to this resolve,--That to admit of the power/of dissolution, or prorogation in the governor, will manifestly destroy or frustrate the elections. settled by the charter, which is a perpes tual writ, supported by the legislative authority of this go-v vernment, and will make way for elections by writs grounded upon a prerogative,v or rather a pre-eminence, which the proprietary and his deputy are by charter debarred t0 resumes “ But to take off the jealousies that may arise upon that part of the charter andI bill, which impowers us to sit upon our own adjournments, we are, willing to settle and limit the times of adjournment and sitting 5 and in order thereunto
propose to ‘the governor; ’
“That a clause be added to the aforesaid bill, that the time of the assembly’s sitting from the fourteenth of Octo. ber, yearly, shall not exceed twenty days, unless the, governor for the time being and assemblyr shall agree to a longer time; and the adjournment from‘ that time shall not be less than three months; and so for every time of sitting, and every adjournment within the year, respectively.”
The return to this was as follows: viz.
From the governor in council to the assembly.
“The governor upon the best advice he can have upon the point of dissolution and prorogation, cannotbe of opinion, that the proprietary has granted away that power; and that therefore it is very unsafe for him to do it. He is very unwilling to htwe any misunderstanding with the assembly, and shall always be inclinable to make things easy in this, as well as other points; and desires to leave it till further directions can be had from England, to which he thinks it is fit the matter should be‘ referred: and in the mean time recommends to the assembly, to proceed to the dispatch of such other business of importance as lies before them, and the exigencies of the government necessarily require; and to which the opportunity now presented to them ought to, invite and encourage them.” i ' '
And this was the rejciinder of the assembly.
“ To John Evans, Esq. lieutenant-governor, &c~
‘-‘ Humbly sheweth,
“ That we have taken into our serious consideration thy written message yesterday, relating to the bill for confirmation of the charter of privileges, 52c.
“ And since the points of dissolution and prorogation are by thee asserted, and the power of this assembly to sit upon their own adjournments, first brought into question by the council in October last, which occasioned us to proceed thus far in explaining and settling our constitution by charter; we eonceive we cannot safely let it drop at this time (and remain
disputable) without violation of, or injury to, our said pre-_ ,
sent constitution; and consequently it will not be so proper to proceed to the dispatch of other affairs of importance before us, whilst our foundation remains unsettled. \
' 9‘ That allowing what one of "the members of council who. came with the message was pleased to observe to us, that the proprietary had not given away the power of dissolution, 8w. by the charter (in express words) yet that it could not be intended to be reserved by him, seems evident to us' for the following reasons: ' ' _
“ First, because it could at no time be put in practice,without frustrating the very design of the grant, that we should have an annual standing assembly. \
“ Secondly, that whenever a dissolution shouldhappen,
athe governor not being capable to call a new one by writ, as
the same member of council rightly observed, the remaining ‘part of that year the province must be destitute of an assembly, and the governor of power to call one, whatever commands from the crown or other extraordinary occasions may happen, unless (as the said member was pleased to observe) by some such means as would need the power of a subsequent assembly, to confirm all that they should have occasion to act or do. ‘ »“ Thirdly, that the proprietary, in the preamble of this present charter, having been pleased to remember and acknowledge his promise made to the assembly upon the d‘?
livery of the former charter, that he would either restore us that or another better adapted to our circumstances: therefore, in assurance of his good and sincere intentions, this charter must be such an one. _
“Fonrthly, by the former constitution, it is very plain there could be no dissolution; because the same members of assembly, and no others, were liable to be called at any time within the year: and in many years experience, no inconvenience found to arise thereby; nor was that any controe vertcd point between the proprietary and the people, for the rectifying whereof another charter was thought necessary, but other matters not unknown to some of the council.
“ F ifthly, and lastly, as a clear proof ‘that the proprietary never intended to reserve the power of dissolution, it may, be remembered, that at the close of the sessions of assem-1 bly, in the year 1701, when the members being then chosen, by writs, requested a dissolution, the proprietary answered, he would not do it; nor could he answer it to the crown, to leave the province without a standing assembly.
“Upon the whole, we take leave to inform thee, that since this assembly (having long waited inhopes of the pass: ing of this, with other bills lying before thee) is much straitened in time, the season of the year urgently calling most of the members from their attendance; and considering the governor’s great indisposition is an obstruction of business ;
and that another election is now near at hand; that it is the ,
inclination and desire of this house, that all other business might be waived till the meeting of the next assembly; and that in the mean time, the governor would be favourably pleased further to consider the aforesaid points.”
Impelled also to discharge their minds in full to the [iraprietary himself, they agreed, nem. can. to nine several heads of complaint, which were entered in their minutes as follow, to wit:
“ First, that the proprietary at the first settling of this province, promised large privileges, and granted several charters to the people ,- but by his artifices brought them all
at his will and pleasure to defeat. G
.“ Secondly, that dissolution and prorogation, and calling assemblies by his writs, impowered by his commission to his present deputy, and his orders to his former deputies and commissioners of state, are conirary to the said charters. I “' Thirdly, that he has had great sums of money last time he was here, for negotiating the confirmation ofour laws, and for making good terms at home for the people of this province, and ease his friends here of oaths, 81c. but we find none of our laws are confirmed, nor any relief against oaths; but an order from the queen to require oaths to be adminis-_ tered, whereby the Quakers are disabled to sit in courts.
“ F ourthly, that there has been no surveyor-general since Edward Pennington died, but great abuses by surveyors, and great extortions by them and the other oflicers con’ cerned in property, by reason of the proprietary’s refusing to pass that law proposed by the assembly, in 1701, to regulate fees, &c. i
“ Fifthly, that we are like to be remediless in every thing that he hath not particularly granted, or made express provision for; because the present deputy calls it a great
hardship upon him, and some of the council urge it as 2112- ‘'
surd and unreasonable to desire or expect any enlargement or explanation by him, of what the proprietary granted.
“ Sixthly, that we are also left remediless in this,.that when we are wronged and oppressed about our civil rights, by the proprietary, we cannot have justice done us; because the clerk of the court being of his own putting in, refuses to make out any process; and the justices, by and before Whom our causes against him should be tried, are of his own appointment; by means whereof, he becomes judge in his own case, which is against natural equity. 7
t‘ Seventhly, that sheriffs and other otficers of the greatest trust in this government, which the proprietary hath commissionated, being men of no visible estates; andif any of them have given security, it was to himself; so that the'people whom these officers have abused'and‘defrauded, can reap no benefit of such security. ' ‘ ‘
f"Eighthly, that although the commissioners of property