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of good laws; for whicl'f felicities Keith’s administration was deservedly memorable.
Under proprietary displeasure, however, by the resentment and artifice of Logan, the proprietary secretary, excited and‘aggravated by some neglects and mistakes of his own, he sunk at last; after what manner, it may not be altogether unuseful to intimate.
When Mr. Penn died in the year 1718, he left his hold of the province (which was much incumbered, by a mortgage on one hand, and by a transfer of it to the crown for-‘ten thousand pounds, of which he had received two thousand pounds, on the other) in the hands of trustees, namely, his widow, Henry Gouldney, Joshua Gee, and his all-suflicient secretary Logan. _
The difliculties thus resting in his family were very well
‘known in the province; notwithstanding which the inhabi
tants, satisfied with their governor, persevered in all duties to them; nor seemed to entertain a thought to their disadvantage.
Logan and his creatures were the only malcontents; and Why they were so will be made sufliciently obvious. The governor and assembly in concurrence, could govern the pro‘vince without his participation; so he remained without importance to either, till this share of the trust enabled him to interpose, and intitled him to be heard, at the expense of both. '
In the second year after Keith’s arrival, Logan had divided his council against him, and carried off a majority; and ever after had represented him in his dispatches, as having substituted his own interest in the place of the proprietary’s, and confederated with the assembly to make both branches of the legislature equally subservient to popular purposes.
Subtle, however, as he was, and practised in all the arts
‘ of political disguise, he could not long conceal himself from
the penetration of Keith. Thus having been detected (as
,KeithsaysE) in aggravating, and even in altering certain
5 Governor Keith’s letter to the widow Penn, September 24, 1724.
SIR WILLIAM KEITH, BART. mar. oovnnnon. 61
minutes of the council-proceedingsl for the purposes before specified; and, in full confidence of proprietary protection, defending himself therein, with milch personal abuse against the governor; the latter dismisse him from his post as secretarv, and substituted another ll‘fillls place.
With this, and avariety of otherlcomplaints, all of the same
\ tendency, Logan therefore made voyage to England, soon
after he became a trustee, and their: made hiscourt so effectually to the widow, Ste. that thej freighted him back with letters of reproof, and private instructions to Keith, not only to reinstate him, but in effect, to bi governed by him, as implicitly as Gookin had been gove ied before.
Keith, on the other hand, being-h man of too much spirit to submit to such treatment, and presuming beside, that his services to and interest in the colony, and his connexions with the most considerable men in it, wo‘uld uphold him against all opposition whatsoever, communicated all to the assembly, to» gether with his own answers: ancll this he thought was the more incumbent on him, because iLogan had already been making his efi‘orts to stir up a party against him.
Logan, upon this, commences advocate in form for the proprietary interest; presents a written plea onits behalf to the assembly, justifying therein all the restrictions laid on the governor by those instructions, (which will be in the next session explained) and ‘whether by chance or design, it is hard to pronounce, sulfered the secret of the quarrel to escape, by insinuating, that the proprietary, during his absence, had not received one penny’ either to himself or his family from the government, whereas others had received large sums.
The assembly, however, not being in a humour to pay two government subsidies instead of one, when exempted by the original article of quit-rents from» the obligation of paying any, did not so much as take notice of this point ; but on the contrary, closing with the governor. desired his concurrence with them, and oliered their concurrence to him, in withstanding whatever was in the said instructions contained, repugnant to their charter, or inconsistent with their privileges.
The governor himself also became an advocate for the province, and laid before the assembly a written defence of the constitution thereof, as well as of ‘the late proprietary/h character, in answer to Logan’ls memorial; and the session ~ was concluded most triumphantly on the governor’s side: ~ for the house not only agreed to a remonstrance, in answer to the widow Penn’s private instructions, as they were called; but moreover gratified him for his extraordinary services with a thousand pounds. p The controversy continued notwithstanding; and both I -- parties bestirred themseltes equally in order to make proselytes. Logan seemed more humble than before, but never was more confident. Keith never was so much in pain for k " his own stability, and yet never seemed to have less appre' ' hensions. In proportion, however, as it became more and more probable, that he would be laid aside, he became less and less considered; and a breach between him and the 7 speaker Lloyd, so often mentioned, and who had, even in i g 3“ print, acted the part of asecond to him, became as fatal to '\him as it was fortunate to Logan. When the next assembly met, it soon appeared, that though 3 a the governor used the same patriot-language to it, he had not I‘ i the same ascendancy over it, Two several negativeswverc put, upon two several motioiis to furnish him, the first with six hundred pounds, the second with five hundred pounds, I _ i ‘ towards his suppprt. No mpre than four hundred pounds a could be obtained: and, notwithstanding all engines and all 2 ‘ devices were employed, no‘ far'ther compensation’ could be i
procured for him. ‘
It is equally ,the lot of tliis'vnation to be more specious ‘t ‘than virtuous, more splendid than consistent,v and to abound ‘in more in politicians than philbsophers. Keith had more of a, the former than the latter inlhis composition, thoughzhe was 1.11; neither in any eminent degreie. A politician would not have furnished his adversaries with a plea to excuse his removal, by communicating a private paper to a popular assembly- A philosopher, governedby principle,-and proof against passion,v
SIR \VILLIAM KEITH, BART. DEP| GOVERNOR
would not have been in the power of any issue whatsoever: and if the assembly had been capable of consistency, they would have set a lustre on his dismission, by accompanying it with all the dsuceurs in the power of the provlince to have heaped upon him, that other governors might have thought it worth their while to proceed on his plan.
Instead of which, on the first intelligence of a new governor, which was as carefully imparted to them, as concealed from him, they even affected to procrastinate the business of the province; and when upbraided by Keith with this backwardness, and, not without some mixture of indignation, required to give the public a testimonial of his administration, they proceeded in it, as if rather constrained than inclined; and at last took care to say as little as possible, though‘ they had room to say so much. ,
in short, alter a nine years’ administration, unembarrassed with any one breach between the governor and assembly; and, as acknowledged by the latter, productive of much positive good to the province, they parted with reciprocal coldness, if not disgust: Keith disdaining to follow Gookin’s example in desiring a benevolence; and they not having consideration enough left for him to oflier it.
There is no man, long or much conversant in this overgrown city, who hath not often found himself in company with the shades of departed governors, doomed to wander out the residue of their lives, full of the agonizing remem— brance of their passed eminence, and the severe sensation of present neglect.
Sir William Keith, upon his6 return, was added to this unfortunate list; concerning whom the least tliat can be said, is, that either none but men of fortune should be appointed to serve in such dignified offices: or otherwise, that, for the honour of government itself, such as are recalled without any
° He staid in Philadelphia some time after his being displaced; and, seduced by his rescntments, condescended to act apart neither becoming nor prudent: procuring himself to be returned as an assembly-man, and taking all the measures in his power to divide thaxgl'oyiuce, embarrass the gover"or, and distress the prvpmmrits. '
notorious imputation on their conduct, should be preserved from that wretchedness and contempt which they have been but too frequently permitted to fall into, for want even of a proper subsistence. 7
The reader is desired to pardon this digression, if it is one.
It was necessary to shew, that the province of Pennsylvania,’
when well governed, is easily governed; and that which ever branch of the legislature inflames the proprietary jealousy, or interferes with the proprietary interest, the result is the same : the obnoxious assembly is reprimanded and vilified, and, as‘ before observed, the obnoxious‘ governor is recalled.
So that, unless the province stoops to be loaded witha triple tier of subsidies; namely, one for the public service, ordinary and extraordinary, one for the governor’s annual appointments, and one for the gratification of the proprietaries and their creatures, it seems reasonable to conclude it is never to enjoy any established state of tranquillity.
And now, in addition to the points of proprietary incroachment and proprietary resentment already mentioned, we are naturally led to such other points of controversy, as at various times have arisen for want of suflicient foresight and sufficient preventatives; and of which severlual are Unhappily in agitation at this very day. i
It cannot but be recollected,that Mr. Penn, in his discourse ‘
with his joint adventurers, concerning reserved rents'for the support of government, made a remarkable distinction between his two capacities of_ praprietary and governor: and from hence, as well as from the nature of the trust, it must
, obviously follow, that when he withdrew himself to England,
and transferred the government to his deputies, those deputies could not but he possessed of all the powers originally vested, by the crown, in him. Adroit as he was at refinements, he could not do by his trust‘as he did by his land ;-— withhold a reserve of power, and, like the drunken sailors in the play, appoint a Viceroy, and retain a power to be Viceroy
over him. And yet even Mr. Penn himself, in his commission to
Evans, :1 man, as we have seen, determined enough to push