Abbildungen der Seite


shall not be subject at any time to be by him the bill, will render the said charter useless adjourned, prorogued, or dissolved.”

and ineffectual, and bring an odium upon the This was the state of things when John proprietary, who granted this instead of other Evans, Esq. appointed deputy-governor on the charters, wherein were larger and greater death of Mr. Hamilton, arrived in the pro- privileges granted to the first adventurers and vince, in the beginning of the year 1704. purchasers of land in this province, which

What his conmission and instructions were they expected (as it was their undoubted right) does not appear; but having convened the to enjoy, as well as the lands they bought; representatives both of the province and terri- therefore this house cannot admit of those tories, to meet him at the same time in his amendments; because they are also destruccouncil-chamber, he affected to be surprised tive to the present constitution, by which the at finding thein in separate states; said her representatives of the free people of this promajesty considered them as one entire govern- vince are now assembled, and are resolved to inent; and earnestly pressed them both to assert and maintain. come to an amicable agreement, not without “Resolved, that the method of passing insinuation, that neither of them would other- bills by the governor should be adjusted and wise be in a condition to act at all.

settled; but whether the governor thinks fit to The provincials, in return, intimated, that be in council or not at the passing of bills is . they should be heartily glad of a farther union submitted to him. with the territories if it could be obtained “Resolved, that it is consistent with the without prejudice to their constitution or to late king's letters patent, and the said charter their charter : said, those of the territory had of privileges, that the council (as now chosen) been the occasion of inserting that clause in should have a share in the legislation, unless their charter by which they had been enabled it be when the government is in the council; to act separately: made professions of so much which this house agrees may be upon the good will and good neighbourhood as might death of the governor, unless other provision prevent all inconveniencies from their separa- be made by the governor in chief; and that a tion: that they had appointed a committee to clause may be added to the bill for that purconfer with them, &c.

Conferences were accordingly opened be- “ To John Evans, Esq. lieutenant-governor, tween the two houses, which produced two

&c. &c. papers; one from the territory members, not over ingenuous in its contents, offering now | “ The address of the assembly of the said proto receive the charter they had till then reject vince, sitting at Philadelphia, the twelfth el, and to co-operate with those of the province:

day of August, 1704, ani the other, a reply from the provincials,

• In all humble manner showeth, charging them with inconsistency, and de “ That this assembly, having taken into claring, that seeing they were by their for their serious consideration the matters yestermul refusal necessitated to form themselves day debated in the conference, relating to the

into a distinct assembly, and were now es proposed amendments to the bill intituled, An tablished accordingly, it was not in their pow- act, for removing and preventing all queser, as they conceived, without a violation of tions and disputes concerning the convening the charter and trust reposed in them, to en- and sitting of this assembly, &c. as also for tertain any expedient to reconcile their re-confirmation of the charter of privileges, do cilat of an union with the said charter, &c. / find nothing advanced that can reconcile the

Thus all negotiation on this head came to said amendments to the constitution of our an end, and the provincials were already in charter; and thereupon do come to this redistrace with their new governor, for showing solve,—That to admit of the power of dissoso little regard :o his recommendation. Jution, or prorogation in the governor, will

A bill to confirm their charter, and some manifestly destroy or frustrate the elections proceedings to correct the exorbitancies of the settled by the charter, which is a perpetual proprietary land-office, rendered them yet far- writ, supported by the legislative authority ther obnoxious; and they also were in their of this government, and will make way for tums exasperated by some intemperate cen- elections by writs grounded upon a prerogasures passed on their proceedings by one of tive, or rather a pre-eminence, which the prothe governor's council."

prietary and his deputy are by charter debarVor was this all; the bill to confirm their red to resume. charter, &c. was sent back, with such amend- “But to take off the jealousies that may ments as appeared to the house destructive to arise upon that part of the charter and bili, the present constitution, and for that reason which impowers us to sit upon our own addrew froul them the following unanimous re- journments, we are willing to settle and limit slutions and address founded thereon: to wit, the times of adjournment and sitting; and in

* R-solved, that what is proposed for order thereunto propose to the governor, amendment in the fourth and fifth pages of “That a clause be added to the aforesaid


bill, that the time of the assembly's sitting from sign of the grant, that we should have an allthe fourteenth of October, yearly, shall not ex- nual standing assembly. ceed twenty days, unless the governor for the “Secondly, that whenever a dissolution tiine being and assembly shall agree to a long- should happen, the governor, not being capaer time; and the adjournment from that time

ble to call a new one by writ, as the same shall not be less than three months; and so member of council rightly observed, the refor every time of sitting, and every adjourn- maining part of that year the province must ment within the year, respectively."

be destitute of an assembly, and the governor

of power to call one, whatever commands The return to this was as follows: viz.

from the crown or other extraordinary occa“ From the governor in council to the assem

sions may happen, unless (as the said member The governor upon the best advice he can

was pleased to observe) by some such means

as would need the power of a subsequent ashive upon the point of dissolution and proro

sembly, to confirm all that they should have gition, cannot be of opinion, that the propri

occasion to act or do. etary has granted away that power; and that

“ Thirdly, that the proprietary, in the pretherefore it is very unsafe for him to do it. He

amble of this present charter, having been is very unwilling to have any misunderstand

pleased to remember and acknowledge his ing with the assembly, and shall always be

promise made to the assembly upon the deinclinable to make things easy in this, as well 1:

I livery of the former charter, that he would as other points; and desires to leave it till

either restore us that or another better adaptfurther directions can be had from England,

ed to our circumstances: therefore, in assurto which he thinks it is fit the matter should

ance of his good and sincere intentions, this be referred: and in the mean time recom

charter must be such an one. mends to the assembly, to proceed to the des

“Fourthly, by the former constitution, it is patch of such other business of importance as

very plain there could be no dissolution; belies before them, and the exigencies of the go

cause the same members of assembly, and no verninent necessarily require; and to which

others, were liable to be called at any time the opportunity now presented to them ought

within the year: and in many years' experito invite and encourage them."

ence, no inconvenience found to arise thereAnd this was the rejoinder of the assembly.

by; nor was that any controverted point “ To John Evans, Esq. Jieutenant-govern between the proprietary and the people, for or, &c.

the rectifying whereof another charter was

thought necessary, but other matters not un" The address of the representatives, &c. known to some of the council. “Humbly showeth,

“Fifthly, and lastly, as a clear proof that “That we have taken into our serious con- the proprietary never intended to reserve the sideration thy written message yesterday, re- power of dissolution, it may be remembered, lating to the bill for confirmation of the char- that at the close of the sessions of assembly, ter of privileges, &c.

in the year 1701, when the members being " And since the points of dissolution and then chosen, by writs, requested a dissolution, prorogation are by thee asserted, and the the proprietary answered, he would not do it; power of this assembly to sit upon their own nor could he answer it to the crown, to leave adjournments, first brought into question by the province without a standing assembly. the council in October last, which occasioned “Upon the whole, we take leave to inform us to proceed thus far in explaining and set- thee, that since this assembly (having long tling our constitution by charter; we con- waited in hopes of the passing of this, with ceive we cannot safely let it drop at this time other bills lying before thee) is much strait(and remain disputable) without violation of, ened in time, the season of the year urgently or injury to, our said present constitution ; calling most of the members from their atand consequently it will not be so proper to tendance; and considering the governor's proceed to the despatch of other affairs of im- great indisposition is an obstruction of busiportince before us, whilst our foundation re- ness; and that another election is now near miins unsettled.

at hand ; that it is the inclination and desire " That allowing what one of the members of this house, that all other business might be of council who came with the message was waived till the meeting of the next assembly; plised to observe to us, that the proprietary and that in the mean time, the governor would hard not given away the power of dissolution, be favourably pleased further to consider the &c. by the charter (in express words) yet aforesaid points.” that it could not be intended to be reserved! Impelled also to discharge their minds in by nim, seems, evident to us for the following full to the proprietary himself, they agreed, pilons:

nem. con. to nine several heads of complaint, • First, because it could at no time be put which were entered in their minutes as folin pricice, without frustrating the very de- I low, to wit:

“First, that the proprietary at the first set- terins, &c. and let him understand how vice ling of this province, promised large privi- grows of late.” leges, and granted several charters to the And they ordered a representation to be people; but by his artifices brought them all drawn up consequent thereto, and sent by the at his will and pleasure to defeat.

first opportunity. “Secondly, that dissolution and prorogation, Parts of this are already before us; and, as and calling assemblies by his writs, impower- a suggestion was afterwards made, that it ed by his commission to his present deputy, contained other matter than was comprehendand his orders to his former deputies and com- ed in the articles, the remainder deserves to missioners of state, are contrary to the said be inserted here. charters.

| “ That upon thy being restored to the go- Thirdly, that he has had great sums of vernment, thou required thy lieutenant to money liest time he was here, for negotiating govern us according to charter, which, by the confirmation of our laws, and for making reason of Fletcher's interruption, became imgo al terms at home for the people of this pro- possible before thy orders reached us, and so vince, and ease his friends here of oaths, &c. the government fell under great confusion but we find none of our laws are confirmed, again: nor was the administration of thy pronor any relief against oaths; but an order priety much better managed, because thou from the queen to require oaths to be adminis- put some in that commission with whom the tered, whereby the quakers are disabled to rest would not act; and at last the office of sit in courts.

property and surveyor-general carne to be *Fourthly, that there has been no survey- shut up, and thou kept them so whilst thou or-general since Edward Pennington died, but sold lands to the value of about two thousand great abuses by surveyors, and great extor- pounds sterling, and gave thy warrants in tions by them and the other officers concern- England for surveying the said land ; and ed in property, by reason of the proprietary's also got great tracts of land laid out or secured refusing to pass that law proposed by the as- for thyself and relations, besides several vasembly, in 1701, to regulate fees, &c. luable parcels which should have been laid

* Fifthly, that we are like to be remediless out for the purchase, but were reserved by thy in every thing that he hath not particularly surveyors, whether for thee or themselves we granted, or made express provision for; be- know not : however thou appropriated those cause the present deputy calls it a great hard- lands to thyself, by the name of concealed ship upon him, and some of the council urge lands, whereas in truth they were concealed it as absurd and unreasonable to desire or ex- from the purchasers, who were to have their pect any enlargement or explanation by him, lands laid out contiguous one to another, and no of what the proprietary granted.

vacancies left between them : and thou wast * Sixthly, that we are also left remediless to have only thy tenth, as it fell, according in this, that when we are wronged and op to the concessions thou made with thy first pressed about our civil rights, by the proprie- adventurers; and if thou took it not up so, it tary, we cannot have justice done us; be- was thy own (not their) fault; but the other cause the clerk of the court being of his own was a manifest injury to many of them as patting in, refuses to make out any process; above declared. and the justices, by and before whom our “That upon thy last arrival here, after all causes against him should be tried, are of his the hardships and disappointments we had own appointment; by means whereof, he be- laboured under, we hoped to enjoy the fruits comes judge in his own case, which is against of thy former promises and engagements; natural equity.

but instead of that, we found thee very full of “ Seventhly, that sheriffs and other officers resentment, and many of our applications and of the greatest trust in this government, addresses, about our just rights and properwhich the proprietary hath commissionated, ties, were answered by recriminations or bitter being men of no visible estates; and if any of invectives: and we found that the false inthem have given security, it was to himself; sinuations and reproaches, that our adversaso that the people whom these officers have ries had cast upon the province, with respect abused and defrauded, can reap no benefit of to false trade and harbouring pirates, had such security.

made so great an impression upon thee, that “ Eighthly, that although the commission-thou rather believed them than thy honest ers of property have power by their commis- friends. sion to make satisfaction where people have “And when thou entered upon legislation, not their full quantity of land according to thou wast pleased to repeal all the laws that their purchase, yet they neglect and delay were made in colonel Fletcher's time, which doing right in that behalf.

were approved by the king or queen, as we * Ninthly, that we charge the proprietary were informed, and as some of us gathered not to surrender the government, taking no- by the account thou gave of them, viz. that tice of the intimation he had given of making chancellor Somers had sent for thee to know

VOL. II. ...C

what thou had to object against any of those “ That after the laws were completed for laws; and if it had not been for thee none of raising all the said taxes and imposts, thou them had passed, or words to that effect: and proposed that if thy friends would give thee not only so, but the people being minded to a sum of money, thou promised to negotiate surrender the said second charter, upon thy their affairs at home to the best advantage; and promise to give them a better in lieu of it; endeavour to procure the approbation of our and under pretence of passing an act for con- laws, and a general exemption from oaths: firming and securing their lands, &c. thou we find that considerable suins have been obtained liberty to resurvey all the lands in the raised by way of subscription and benevoprovince, and to bring the people to terms for lence, for that service; part thou received the overplus; so that by this stratagem, the before thou went, and more have been receivwarrants, surveys, and new patents, cost the ed since by thy secretary; but we had no acpeople as much, and to some more, than the count that our laws are approved, nor had we first purchase of their lands, besides their long as much as a letter from thee, nor any other attendance upon thy secretary and surveyors intimation but by thy secretary's letters, to have their business done: but before thou which he thought fit to communicate by piecewould pass that act, it must be accompanied | meals, whereby we understand, thou hast with an impost or excise, and a two thou- been making terms for thyself and family: sand pounds bill besides: and all this thou es and by what we gather, thou hast been upon teemel but inconsiderable, when thou com- surrendering the government; nor are thy pired it with the vast charge thou had been friends here eased of oaths, but on the conat, in the administration and defence of this trary, an order from the queen, requiring government, since the year 1692, though we oaths to be administered to all persons who know thy stay here at first coming was not are willing to take them in all judicatures, above two years, but went home about the whereby the people called quakers are disadifference between thee and Baltimore, con-bled to sit in courts. cerning the bounds of the lower counties, and “That by the last charter or privileges, did not return till the year 1699; excusing thou established an annual election of reprethy stay by thy service to the nation of Eng-sentatives for assembly, and that they should lin! in general, and to thy friends there in continue and sit upon their own adjournments; pirticular, (as appears by thy letters from yet by thy commission to thy present deputy, tine to tiine) whilst the interest of this pro- John Evans, thou did, in a direct opposition to vince was sinking, which might have been the said charter, give him power not only to call upheld by the many wealthy persons that assemblies by his writs, but to prorogue and were inclined to transport themselves here, dissolve them as he should see cause; and after the rout of Monmouth, if thee had then also reserved to thyself, though in England, came over according to thy repeated pro- thy final assent to all bills passed here by thy mises: and how far thy stay has either effected deputy: we suppose thou hast not forgot, that what thou went about, or contributed to the what rendered the former charter inconveestablishinent of the inhabitants here in their nient, if not impracticable, was chiefly that just rig'its and libertins, and properties, we colonel Fletcher's interruption had extinLeave thee to demonstrate, and the world to guished the rotation of the council, and next julse: in the mean time, we desire thee to to that, the proposals of laws by the council, covile: better what to place to the account in presence of the governor; as also the inof this province; and do not forget that no stability of the lower counties, which we had part of thy pretended charges was expended before experience of, and whose result was in paying some of those who acted under thee, then doubted, as hath since happened: but in the administration here, one of whom, viz. that annual standing assemblies, liable only Thom is Lloyd, served thee in that station to the dismission and call of the governor as about nine years of thy absence, which thou occasion required, was never found an inconleaves, it seems, for the country to discharge. veniency, nor assigned as a reason for chang

“ That after thou had managed these points, ing the said former for the present charter and was sent for to England, thou granted and should that of dissolution be introduced, the third charter of privileges, by which we it would frustrate the constitution, because if are now convened; as also a charter to incora dissolution should happen, the province porate the city of Philadelphia, and signed a might be a great part of the year without an charter of property, but refused to order thy assembly, and the governor without power to seal to be affixed thereunto, till thou had ad- call one, whatsoever commods from the vised upon it in England : nevertheless, thou crown, or other occasions may happen; for promisel under thy hand, that thou would that the election being fixed by charter, which confirin the first part of it relating to titles of is in nature of a perpetrial writ, and has the land, but thon sent thy order, under hand and authority of a law: if it could be superseded ger!, al within six months after, to coun- by the governor's writ, which is but an act of ter ni?? onling thrreof.

state, and merely temporary, it would be of pernicions consequence to the province as well, and are put upon the inhabitants, and extoras thyself: and of this thou seemed very sen tions used by thy secretary, surveyors, and sible, when being desirable by the assembly, other officers, concerned in property as well upon the close of the session in the year 1701, as courts, which might have been prevented to dissolve them, (being then called by writs) or sooner remedied, had thou been pleased thou told them, thou wouldst not do it, for to pass the bill proposed by the assembly in that thou couldst not answer to the crown to the year 1701 to regulate fees; as also the leave the province without a standing assem-, want of a surveyor-general, which is a great bly.

injury and dissatisfaction to the people; as * That as the exemption from any dissolu. is likewise the want of an established judication or prorogation, seems to be an insepara- ture for trials between thee and the people ; ble consequent of thy grant, as well as our for if we exhibit our complaints against thee, constant practice upon the former charter, or those who represent thee in state or properwhich this was by thy promise to exceed, so ty, they must be determined by or before jusupon an attempt made by the council, to pro- tices of thy own appointment; by which rogue us in October last, we have thought it means, thou becomes, in a legal sense, judge our duty to prepare a bill for ascertaining, ex- in thy own cause, which is against natural plaining, and settling our present constitu- equity: therefore, we propose, that a man tin; which we having presented to thy depu- learned in the laws of England, may be comty for his assent, he finding that the power of missioned by the queen, to determine all matdissolution and prorogation is not in express ters, wherein thy tenants have just cause to words granted away by charter, as also the complain against thee, thy deputies or cominconveniency thereof with his said commis- missioners; or else restore the people to the sion, after several conferences thereupon, had privilege of electing judges, justices, and other with him ard his council, he thought fit to ad- officers, according to the direction of the first vise us to forbear the farther pressing it, till charter, and intent of the first adventurers, and we should hear from thee; therefore he'be- as the people of New England have by king ing unwilling to pass the said bill by us judg-William's charter: that thy commissioners ed so necessary, and the very foundation of of property, are very unwilling to make good our present constitution, we could not think the deficiencies of those lands thou hast been it proper to proceed to perfect any other busi- many years ago paid for (though thou gave ness, whilst that remained unsettled: nor do them power so to do) and so great is the difwe suppose any thing will be done in legisla- culty and trouble to get satisfaction in this tion either by the present or succeeding as particular, that it is better for one to forego his serablies, till the difficulties we labour under right, than wait on and attend the commisherein be removed, either by thy speedy order, sioners about it, unless the quantity wanting or by thy deputy without it; seeing to pro- be very great. ceed upon other matters, would be to raise a “We have many other things to represent superstructure before the foundation were to thee as grievances; as thy unheard of well laid; nor do we look upon it very advisa- abuses to thy purchasers, &c. in pretending to ble for us to proceed far in legislation, until give them a town, and then by imposing un. thiou repeals those parts of thy lieutenant's conscionable quit-rents, makes it worse by comnission, relating to prorogation and dis- tenfold than a purchase would have been : solution of assemblies, for the reasons before I also the abuse about the bank, and want of riven; as also concerning thy final assent to common to the town, and not only so, but the laws, which we conceive to be very unrea- very land the town stands on, is not cleared sinable in itself, and a great abuse and viola- l of the Swedes' claims. tion of our constitution, that thou should offer "These are the chief heads, which we 1) put three negatives upon our acts, whereas thought fit at this time to lay before thee, by our first charter, we had none but that of earnestly entreating thy serious consideration the crown, and how thou gained another to of them, and that thou will now at last, after thyself, we have before showed thee, but now we have thus long endured and groaned unto brint us under three, seems a contrivance der these hardships (which of late seem to be to provoke us to complain to the queen, that multiplied upon us) endeavour as far as in thee thua art not effectually represented here, and lies, to retrieve thy credit with us thy poor temake that a motive for her to take us under nants and fellow-subjects, by redressing these her immediate care and protection, which aggrievances, especially in getting our laws would make thy surrender in some measure confirmed, and also to be eased of oaths, and our act, which if thou should do without the giving positive orders to thy deputy to unite consent of the landholders and inhabitants of heartily with us, upon our constitution; and this province first obtained, would look too that the charters thou granted us for city and much like treachery.

country, may be explained, settled, and con* That it appears, by several petitions now firmed by law : and we further entreat, that before us, that very great abuses have been effectual care be taken for the suppressing

« ZurückWeiter »