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case of appeals; for this reason doubtless, that they do in any sort withstand the same: that in case any act of injustice or oppression and, on the corrary, enjoins them, to be at all was committed, the party injured might be times aiding and assisting, as was fitting to the sure of redress.
said William Penn and his heirs, and unto By the sixth, which presumes, that in the the inhabitants and merchants of the province government of so great a country, sudden ac- aforesaid, their servants, ministers, factors, cidents might happen, which would require a and assigns, in the full use and fruition of the remedy before the freeholders or their dele- benefit of the said charter. gates could be assembled to the making of And in the last place, a provision is made, laws, the said William Penn, and his heirs, by the king's special will, ordinance, and by themselves or their magistrates duly or- command, that, in case any doubt or ques dained, are impowered to make and con- tion should thereafter perchance arise, constitute fit and wholesome ordinances, from cerning the true sense or meaning of any time to time, as well for the preservation of word, clause, or sentence contained therein, the peace, as for the better government of such interpretation should be made thereof the inhabitants, under the same proviso as and allowed in any of his majesty's courts, as that above, regarding the laws, and so as that should be adjudged most advantageous and fathe said ordinances be not extended in any vourable to the said William Penn, his heirs sort to bind, change, or take away the right and assigns; provided always, that no interor interest of any person or persons, for or pretation be admitted thereof, by which the in their life, members, freehold, goods, or allegiance due to the crown may suffer any chattels.
prejudice or dimunution. And to the end, that neither the said Wil The whole consists of twenty-three secliam Penn or his heirs, or other the planters, tions; of which it is presumed, these are the owners, or inhabitants of the said province, most material. They are penned with all may, by misconstruction of the power afore- the appearance of candour and simplicity said, through inadvertency, or design, depart imaginable; so that if craft had any thing to from their faith and allegiance to the crown, do with them, never was craft better hid. As the seventh section provides, that a transcript little is left as possible to future instructions, or duplicate of all laws, so made and publish- and no where is there to be found the shadow ed as aforesaid, shall within five years after of a pretence, that such instructions should be the making thereof, be transmitted and deli- laws. All is equally agreeable to law and vered to the privy council for the time being: reason, the claims of the crown and the rights and if declared by the king in council, incon- of the subject; nor, indeed, would the grant sistent with the sovereignty or lawful prero- have been valid if it had been otherwise. The gative of the crown, or contrary to the faith words legal government are words of great and allegiance due to the legal government significancy.—No command of the king's is a of this realm, shall be adjudged void. legal command, unless consonant to law, and
The said William Penn is also obliged to authenticated by one of his seals :—the forms have an attorney, or agent, to be his resident of office in such case providing, that nothing representative, at some known place in Lon. illegal shall be carried into execution; and don, who is to be answerable to the crown for the officer himself being responsible to the any misdemeanour committed, or wilfui de. laws in case of yielding a criminal obedience. fault or neglect, committed by the said Penn It would therefore be a waste of words to against the laws of trade and navigation; and show, that the crown is limited in all acts to defray the damages in his majesty's courts and grants, by the fundamentals of the conascertained ; and in case of failure, the go- stitution; and that, as it cannot alienate any vernment to be resumed and retained till pay- one limb or joint of the state, so neither, on ment has been made ; without any prejudice the other, can it establish any colony upon, or however in any respect to the landholders or contract it within a narrower scale, than the inhabitants, who are not to be affected or mo- subject is entitled to by the great charter of lested thereby.
England. His majesty, moreover, covenants and But if it is remarkable, that such an ingrants to and with the said William Penn, in strument as this should be the growth of an the twentieth section, for himself, his heirs arbitrary court, it is equally so, that the and successors, at no time thereafter, to im- king's brother, James, duke of York, (afterpose or levy any tax on the inhabitants in wards the most unhappy of kings) was at the any shape, unless the same be with the con- rebound, a party in it; for it seems, the right sent of the proprietary or chief governor, or to all that tract of land now called the terassembly, or by act of parliament in England. ritories of Pennsylvania, was, by a prior grant,
On pain of his highest displeasure, he also vested in him; and, in August, 1682, he ascommands all his officers and ministers, that signed it by his deeds of feoffment to the said they do not presume at any time to attempt William Penn. any thing to the contrary of the premises, or It may also be inferred, that the said Wil.
liarn Penn had been as diligent in collecting, but a treble vote. One third of them was,
ly economical. They are of the nature of an
the colony, the deportment of the legislator In the next year following, Mr. Penn was shifted too. Less of the man of God now printed and published a system of government, appeared, and more of the man of the world. under the following title, to wit, “The frame One point he had already carried against of the government of the province of Penn- the inclination of his followers; namely, the sylvania in America : together with certain reservation of quit-rents, which they had relaws agreed upon in England, by the governor monstrated against as a burden in itself, and, and divers freemen of the aforesaid province. added to the purchase-money, was without To be farther explained and confirmed there precedent in any other colony: but he artfully by the first provincial council, if they see distinguishing the two capacities of propriemeet."
tary and governor; and insinuating, that goAt the head of this frame, or system, is a vernment must be supported with splendour short preliminary discourse, part of which and dignity, and that by this expedient they serves to give us a more lively idea of Mr. would be exempt from other taxes; the bait Penn preaching in Gracechurch-strapt, than took, and the point was carried. we derive from Raphael's Cartoon of Panl To unite the subtlety of the serpent with preaching at Athens: as a man of concience the innocence of the dove is not so easily he sets out; as a man of reason he proceeds, done as said. Having in this instance expeand as a man of the world he offers the most rienced the weight of his credit and the power plausible conditions to all, to the end that he of his persuasion, he was no sooner landed, might gain some.
than he formed a double scheme for uniting Two paragraphs of this discourse, the peo- the province with the territory, though it ple of Pennsylvania ought to have for ever does not appear he was properly authorized before their eyes: to wit, l. “ Any govern- so to do, and to substitute another frame of ment is free to the people (whatever be the government in lieu of the former, which have frane) where the laws rule and the people ing answered the great purpose of inducement are a party to those laws: and more than this here at home,* for collecting of subjects, he is t tyranny, oligarchy, or confusion.” 2. “To was now inclined to render somewhat more support power in reverence with the people, favourable to himself in point of government. and to secure the people from the abuse of Of much artifice we find him accused (by power, that they may be free by their just the provincial assembly of 1704, in a repreobedience, and the magistrates honourable for sentation addressed to himself) in the whole their just administration, are the great ends course of this proceeding; whether justly or of all government."
not let the world determine, This frame consisted of twenty-four articles, They tell him, for example, in so many and savoured very strongly of Harrington and words, That we find by the minutes of the luis Oceana. In the governor and freemen assembly and other papers, as well as living of the province, in the form of a provincial witnesses, that, soon after thy first arrival council, (always in being and yet always here, thou, having obtained the duke's grant changing,) and general assembly, the go- for the three lower counties (the territory that vernment was placed. By them conjunctive is to say] prevailed with the people of the proly, all laws were to be made, all officers ap- vince to unite in legislation and government pointed, and all public affairs transacted. with them of the lower counties; and then by Seventy-two was the number this council a subtle contrivance and artifice, laid deeper was to consist of: they were to be chosen by than the capacities of some could fathom, or the freemen; and, though the governor or his denuin was to he perpetual president, he had * England, where this Paview was ürst mblished.
the circumstances of many could admit them and condition, that whenever the crown had time then to consider of, a way was found out assumed that government, or the people there to lay aside that, and introduce another char- revolted, or refused to act with us in legislater, which thou completed in the year 1683." |tion, as they often did, that then the said se
At a place called Chester, in December, cond charter should become impracticable, 1682, the freemen both of the province and and the privileges thereby granted of no effect territory were convened; but those of the to the province, because the representatives of province having, by election, returned twelve the lower counties were equal in number persons to serve for each county as members with those of the province, and the charter reof the provincial council, were induced to ac- quired a greater number than the province company that return with significations and had, or by charter could elect for members of petitions by their sheriffs, &c. importing that council and assembly; and our numbers, by because of the fewness of the people, their in the charter, could not be increased without the ability in estate, and their unskilfulness in revolter's consent.” matters of government, their desire was, that In the interval between this session at the twelve so returned for each county, might Chester, in December, 1682, and the next at serve both for provincial council and general Philadelphia in March and April, 1683, Mr. assembly; that is to say, three of each twelve Penn, notwithstanding the act of settlement, for members of council, and the remaining furnished himself with another frame, in part nine for assembly-men ; with the same powers conformable to the first, in part modified acand privileges granted by the charter or cording to the said act; and in part essentialframe of government to the whole: and ac- ly different from both: and concerning this cording to these significations and petitions of again, the assembly of 1704, in their repretheirs, an act of settlement was drawn up sentation aforesaid, thus freely expostulate and passed, in which, after the said charter or with the proprietary: to wit, frame has been artfully mentioned as one of “ The motives which we find upon record, those probationary laws, which by the coun- inducing the people to accept of that second cil and assembly might be altered at plea- charter, were chiefly two, viz. That the numsure, the model of the said council and assem- ber of representatives would prove burdenbly so reduced is admitted; the persons so re some to the country: and the other was, that, turned are declared and enacted to be the le- in regard thou had but a treble vote, the peogal council and assembly; the number of the ple, through their unskilfulness in the laws said council is fixed at three persons out of of trade and navigation, might pass some each county for the time to come; the num- | laws over thy head repugnant thereunto, ber of assembly-men for each is reduced to which might occasion the forfeiture of the six; and, after a variety of farther regulations, king's letters patent, by which this country the said charter or frame is solemnly recog- was granted to thee; and wherein is a clause nised and accepted: as if with these altera- for that purpose, which we find much relied tions and amendments it was understood to upon, and frequently read or urged in the asbe complete.
sembly of that time; and security demanded The act for uniting the province and the by thee from the people on that account.” territory humbly besought, as it is therein - As to the first motive, we know that the specified, by the deputies of the said territory, number of representatives might have been was also passed at the same time and place; very well reduced without a new charter : in virtue of which all the benefits and advan- and as to the laws of trade, we cannot contages before granted to the provincials, were ceive that a people so fond of thyself for (their) equally communicated to both; and both from governor, and who saw much with thy eyes that time were to be as one people under one in those affairs, should, against thy advice and and the same government.
cautions, make laws repugnant to those of Of this act, however, the provincial assem- trade, and so bring trouble and disappointment bly of 1704, in the representation to their pro- upon themselves, by being a means of susprietary before cited, complain in the terms pending thy administration; the influence following:
whereof and hopes of thy continuance therein, “ And as to the conveniency of the union of induced them, as we charitably conclude, to the province and lower counties, we cannot embark with thee in that great and weighty gainsay it, if the king bad granted thee the affair, more than the honour due to persons in government as the duke had done the soil : those stations, or any sinister ends destructive but to our great grief and trouble, we cannot to the constitution they acted by: Therefore, find that thou had any such grant; and if thou we see no just cause thou had to insist on had, thou would not produce it, though often such security, or to have a negative upon bills requested so to do: therefore we take it the to be passed into laws in general assemblies, harder that thou, who knew how precarious since thou had by the said charter (pursuant thy power was to govern the lower counties, to the authority and direction of the king's should bring thy province into such a state letters patent aforesaid) formed those assem
blies, and, thercupon reserved but a treble | the proprietary power as might awe the ma-
signed the letter from the assembly to Mr. And again, afterwards;
Penn, concerning the misdemeanours of More, “ Thus was the first charter laid aside, con was no sooner returned for the county of Newtrary to the tenor thereof, and true intent of castle, than he was thrown into prison, and the first adventurers; and the second charter by violence wrested out of the hands of the introduced and accepted by the general as assembly, after he had been brought up to sembly held at Philadelphia, in the first and Philadelphia by habeas corpus. The said second months, 16833, where thou solemnly governor also finding that the said assembly testitied, that what was inserted in that char- was not of the proprietary complexion, and ter was solely intended by thee for the good that they were disposed to open the session and benefit of the freemen of the province, with a discussion of grievances, found preand prosecuted with much earnestness in thy tences for several days to evade giving them spirit towards God at the time of its compo- audience, all either frivolous or groundless; sure."
and in the mean time, left no stone unturned In less than three years after Mr. Penn's to temper the council to his own mind; and arrival in the province, and when it began to then by their concurrence, to make a suitable wear a thriving face, a dispute between lord impression upon the assembly. Baltimore, proprietary of Maryland, and him, The assembly, however, not only retained furnished him with a pretence to return to their firmness, but also took care to leave the England ; leaving the government to be ad- two following memorials of it in their miministered by five commissioners of state, nutes : to wit, taken out of the provincial council, the re
* That whereas this assembly mainder of that council, and the general as- have attended here for several days, and have sembly.
sent several messengers to the governor and James II. was now on the throne: Mr. Penn council, appointed to confer with the members was attached to him closely by obligations, if of assembly according to charter: and whereas not by principles: that prince's impolitic plan the said messengers have given this house to of restoring the Roman ritual by universal understand, that they were answered by the toleration, seems to have been almost inspired governor, that there was not a full council to by him : in the king's dispute with the fellows receive them: and, whereas this house being of Magdalen college, Mr. Penn was an active well assured, that there is, and has been, for instrument on his majesty's behalf, not without these two days last past, a competent number some injurious imputations to himself: and of members in town, ready to yield their atfor some years after the revolution, had the tendance, yet several of the said members misfortune to lie under the suspicions and the have not been hitherto permitted to sit in frowns of the government.
council, to the great detriment and grievance His nursling-colony was yet in the cradle, of the country : therefore, we desire, that while it was thus deserted; consequently these grievances may be speedily redressed, stood in need of all expedience to facilitate and our liberties inviolably preserved.” its growth, and all preservatives against dis May 15. " That no person who is commisorders.
sionated or appointed by the governor to reDisorders it actually fell into, which are ceive the governor's fines, forfeitures, or revestill to be traced in the minutes of their as nues whatsoever, shall sit in judgment in any semblies: one More in particular, we find court of judicature within this government, in impeached by the assembly before the pro- any matter or cause whatsoever, where a fine vincial council, of misdemeanour in ten several or forfeiture shall or may accrue to the goarticles, and, in a letter to the proprietary, vernor." signed by Jolin White, speaker, represented On the last of these two days, and previous as an aspiring and corrupt minister of state. to the last of these votes, the governor at
We find the assembly and provincial coun- length favoured them with the meeting desircil at variance about their respective powers ed ; and thereat made a speech, in which are and privileges; what is more extraordinary the following remarkable paragraphs: viz. still, we find the proprietary, in 1686, requir- “I suppose you have been formerly acing and enjoining his said commissioners to quainted with the reasons and necessity of dissolve the frame of government by his late the proprietary's absenting himself so long charter constituted; and they not being able from you as till the late revolutions in Engto carry this point, we find, in December, 1688, land; he hath frequently evidenced his strong a deputy-governor appointed, captain John desire above all things to be restored to you: Blackwell, who, like a practised man, set out what hath hindered of late, we have from the with endeavouring to sow dissensions among divers reports of things transacted in England, the freemen, and by making such a display of which require we should wait for their being
rendered more certain ; and, in the mean time, should be proposed, they could not take effect strive in our prayers, that the Lord, who go- among us as laws, till his pleasure should be verns this universe, will do it in his wisdom therein declared; I came to a resolution withand good will, towards all his suffering people, in myself, of observing them in the course of and ourselves in particular.
my government, as so many rules and instruc" I suppose, gentlemen, you expected some tions given me by my master, as far as I should bills should have been sent down to you from find and judge them not contrary to the laws the provincial council, for your consideration, of England, and in supplying the want or debefore your coming up and passing them into fect in your laws by the laws of England, laws at this meeting Divers reasons might which I believe will be most grateful to our be why none were; I shall acquaint you with superiors in England, especially at this time; some of them : viz.
and will be as useful among ourselves, there “1. The honourable proprietary, for rea- being no other way occurring to my undersons known to himself, hath given positive di- standing whereby you may receive the benefit rections for letting all the laws drop or fall, of them: and in this purpose I am ready, unexcept the fundamentals, and afterwards for less you should otherwise advise, until by betcalling together the legislative authority, to ter information out of England, we shall be pass such of them, or others, as they should led out of these state meanders.” see fit for the future; which is my full inten The assembly answered, among other tion to do.
things, as follows: viz. “2. The honourable proprietary, being by We heartily wish that thy design id comhis patent from the king, authorized by him- ing hither, with all imaginable respect to our self, his heirs, &c. with consent of the free- governor and inhabitants here, may be purmen, to make, and under his seal to publishi, sued accordingly with suitable measures; necessary laws for the good of the people ; and we cannot but have that opinion of our which had never been done with all requisite worthy governor's tender regard to the people circumstances, whilst himself was here; and here, that as he will justify no unbecoming without which, I must doubt whether what behaviour in us towards his representative, so were passed, or should hereafter be passed, we hope he will vindicate no unlawful or rihave that due sanction or establishment which gid procedure against us. As to our governor's laws require; and finding the great seal, under absence, we are very sensible that, as it may which they should pass, was not to be had, the be to his disappointment, so it is extremely to keeper thereof refusing to allow the use of it our prejudice. Were we in expectation of in any cases by my direction, I therefore look- ceiving bills from thee and the council as fored upon it as labour in vain 10 attempt it. merly; to the reason thou art pleased to give
"3. The present posture and alteration of why none are sent, that the proprietary and affairs in England; the uncertainty touching governor hath given directions for letting all the condition of the proprietary himself
, and the laws drop or fall, we are credibly informhis power: and the fears of what dangers ed, that afterwards he was well pleased they might ensue, as well to him as ourselves, in should stand; and all the laws made here passing and confirming laws of such a nature, since his departure, were sent for his perusal, as would have been approved of in this con- and none of them, to our knowledge, in the juncture of affairs, forbad it.
least declared void by him; neither do we " 4. The animosities and dissensions which conceive that he hath any reason so to do. were here amongst you before I came, and “ As to the establishment of laws, we exhave been lately revived amongst the mem- pected nor aimed at any higher sanction than bers of the provincial council, by the endea- was used in the governor's time; but in case vours of some, as to their proceedings in that bills had been prepared and promulgated acservice, hindered their agreement in council, cording to charter, and had passed by us into as to doing any thing; insomuch as I was con laws, and the great seal had been necessary strained, for love and peace sake, upon that and the same duly required to be applied to and the other foregoing considerations, to dis- the said laws, and the keeper refused the miss them from further attendance on that ac- same, then we might justly blame such refucount.
sal: but as to the way thou mentions, that “5. An expedient occurred to me, of less our proprietary and governor is authorized by danger to us all: viz. that I, being by my himself, and with consent of the freemen, to commission, as aforesaid, referred for my rule make laws, and under his seal to publish and instructions to the laws then in being, and them, and not in the granted way of the charwhich had been, as well by the proprietary as ter and act of settlement; as we do not depeople, approved and owned as such, whilst he sire, so our hopes are, that no laws of that was amongst you here, and observing that he make will be imposed upon us: and had we had reserved the confirmation and disannul- made laws at this time, as formerly, we quesling of what laws should be made in his ab- tion not but that they had been as inoffensive sence, to himself; so that if any were or in the present conjuncture, as afore: and we