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they may do it without a law, by instructing their lieutenants to abate half the license fees, which would enable the retailers to sell proportionably cheaper; or to refuse licenses to more than half the present number of public houses, which might prevent the ruin of many families, and the great increase of idleness, drunkenness, and other immoralities, among us.
15. In return to the good resolutions expressed by the proprietaries in their fifteenth section, your committee hope that future, as well as past assemblies, will likewise endeavour to make the public good the rule of their actions, and upon all occasions consult the true interest and honor of the proprietary family, whatever may be the sentiments or conduct of any of its particular branches. To this end, we think the honest and free remarks contained in this report, may be more conducive than a thousand flattering addresses. And we hope, that, when the proprietaries shall think fit to reconsider this matter, they will be persuaded, that agreeing to an equitable proportion of expense will be a good means of taking away one handle of dissension from "men of warm, uneasy spirits, if such should ever unhappily procure themselves to be elected."
16. Yet, if the proprietaries are really desirous of preserving a union and harmony between themselves and this people, we cannot but be surprised at their last paragraph, whereby they endeavour to cut off the assembly's access to them, in cases where the answers received from their deputies may not be thought agreeable to the public good. No king of England, as we can remember, has ever taken on himself such state, as to refuse personal applications from the meanest of his subjects, where the redress of a grievance could not be obtained of his officers. Even sultans, sophis, and other eastern absolute monarchs, will, it is said, sometimes sit whole days to hear the complaints and petitions of their very slaves; and are the proprietaries of Pennsylvania become too great to be addressed by the representatives of the freemen of their province? If they must not be reasoned with, because they have given instructions, nor their deputy, because he has received them, our meetings and deliberations are henceforth useless; we have only to know their will, and to obey.
To conclude, if this province must be at more than two thousand pounds a year expense to support a proprietary's deputy, who shall not be at liberty to use his own judgment in passing laws, (as is intimated to us in the fourteenth section of the answer we have been considering,) but the assent must be obtained from chief governors, at three thousand miles' distance, often ignorant or misinformed
in our affairs, and who will not be applied to or reasoned with when they have given instructions, we cannot but esteem those colonies that are under the immediate care of the crown, in a much more eligible situation; and our sincere regard for the memory of our first proprietary must make us apprehend for his children, that, if they follow the advice of Rehoboam's counsellors, they will, like him, absolutely lose, at least, the affections of their people. A loss, which, however they affect to despise it, will be found of more consequence to them, than they seem at present to be aware of.
All which is humbly submitted to the correction of the House, by, &c.
September 11th, 1753.*
THOMAS PENN'S ESTIMATE OF THE VALUE OF THE PROPRIETARY ESTATE IN PENNSYLVANIA.
THE proprietaries have for a long series of years made a great secret of the value of their estate and revenue. By accident, the following authentic paper is fallen into our hands, and will serve as a ground-work on which the reader may be enabled to form some idea of the value of that estate in Pennsylvania. It is a copy of an original paper drawn by Mr. Thomas Penn himself, many years ago, and endorsed, "My estimate of the Province, T. PENN."
"1. Lands granted since my arrival are very near 270,000 acres, of which not 10,000 have been paid for; more than of old grants are remaining unpaid; is
"2. The rent on the said grants is £550 sterling a year, which, at twenty years' purchase, and 165 per cent exchange, is
£41,850 0 0
18,150 0 0
"Carried over £60,000 00
Several documents, inserted at this place, in the first edition of the "Historical Review," are omitted, for reasons heretofore stated See above, p. 383.- Editor.
"3. The old rent, £ 420 a year sterling, at ditto, is
"1. Conestogo, 65 m. fr. the city, 13,400 ac. at £40
mostly 500 acres each; reckoned 10,000 at £40
On the north side of the town,
9. Lot in the bank at the north end of the town
. . 18,810 00
200 feet, at £3 10. A front and bank lot between Vine and Sas
63,000 0 0
27,500 0 0 £188,278 10 0
£60,000 0 0 15,246 0 0
safras Street, 102 feet, at £6
"11. Bank lot between Cedar and Pine Street, 204
feet, at £3.
2,722 10 0
1,000 0 0
5,360 0 0
2,240 0 0
1,200 0 0
750 0 0
3,500 0 0
7,000 0 0 1,500 0 0
4,000 0 0
1,035 0 0
1,500 0 0
150 0 0
600 0 0
612 0 0
612 0 0
"Carried over £218,337 10 0
"12. Front lot on the side of Cedar Street, 102 feet,
"13. Ditto between Cedar and Pine Street, 160 feet,
"Lands within the draft of the town, at least
250 nearest Schuylkill, at £10 per acre
"18. The rents of the above manors and lands, being 77,072 acres, at a halfpenny per acre, twenty years' purchase, and 165 per cent exchange, is
"The government to be calculated at no less than was to have been paid for it, viz. £11,000 at 165 per cent, is
"In this calculation no notice is taken of the thirds reserved on the bank lots (a copy of the patents J. Penn has by him to show the nature of them*) and nine tenths of the province remains undisposed of.
"Three fifths of all royal mines is reserved in the grants, and in all grants since the year 1732. One fifth part of all other mines, delivered at the pit's mouth without charge, is also reserved.
"No value is put on the proprietor's right to escheated lands; and, besides these advantages, several offices are in the proprietor's gift of considerable value.
306 0 0
320 0 0 80 0 0 1,800 0 0
330 0 0
5,298 12 0
£233,972 2 0
3,750 0 0 2,500 0 0
1,250 0 0
18,150 0 0
"Carried over £252,122 2 0
* By these patents, at the end of fifty years, the proprietor was to have one third of the value of the lots, and the buildings, and other improvements erected on them.
"Brought over £252,122 2 0 "Register-general, about £200 "Naval officer,
"Clerk of Philadelphia,
"Besides several other offices of less value.
The above paper has no date, but by sundry circumstances in it, particularly there being no value put on the thirds of the bank lots, because they were not then fallen in; and by the valuation put on the lands (which is very different from their present value), it must have been drawn while Mr. Thomas Penn resided in Pennsylvania, and probably more than twenty years ago; since which time a vast addition has been made to the value of the reserved lands, and a great quantity of land has been disposed of, perhaps equal to all preceding.
We must, therefore, add to the above sum of £ 252,122 2 0 the following articles, viz.
1. For the increased value of the lands of the Conesto
go manor, now valued at £ 400 per hundred acres,
2. For the increased value of Gilbert's manor, now
3. For ditto on Springfield manor, now worth £500 per hundred acres,
4. For ditto on Highland's manor, now worth £350 per hundred acres,
5. For ditto on Springtown, now worth £400 per hundred acres,
6. For ditto on Vincent's manor, now worth £300 per hundred acres,
7. For ditto on Richland's, now worth £450 per hun
48,240 0 0
10,560 0 0
. 6,800 0 0
8,000 0 0
36,500 0 0
53,000 0 0
43,500 0 0
Carried over £ 458,722 2 0