Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

of vice, which, to our great trouble we have in all disputes this must be duly allowed for to acquaint thee, is more rife and common on both sides. amongst us since the arrival of thy deputy Seven persons, some of them of the coun and son, especially of late, than was ever cil, made their application by petition to the known before: nor are we capable to suppress next assembly for a copy of it, but were flatly it, whilst it is connived at, if not encouraged refused: and even when the governor himself by authority; the mouths of the more sober in very high language required it, they were magistrates being stopped by the said late immoveable as before. order about oaths, and the governor's licensing Willing as they might be to reclaim the ordinaries not approven by the magistrates proprietary to a due sense of his first obligaof the city of Philadelphia, and the roast tions, they might be equally unwilling to exchiefly ruled by such as are none of the most pose him: and, agreeable to this, the assemexemplary for virtuous conversation : thy po- bly of 1706–7 in one of their remonstrances to sitive orders in the premises, will be absolute- the governor say, “that hoping the bill of ly necessary to thy deputy, who thinks it un-courts then in dispute would have put an end reasonable, and a great hardship on him, to to some of the grievances they had several give sanction to laws explanatory of thy years groaned under, they had hitherto forgrants, or to do any thing by way of enlarge born publicly to remonstrate; choosing ratber ment or confirmation of aught, save what is to provide remedies for things amiss than to particularly and expressly granted by thee, it complain of them.” Some concern they being by some of his council urged as an ab- might also be under for themselves; their assurdity in us to expect: and we desire that cendancy was precarious : it depended on the thou would order the licensing of ordinaries good will of numbers: and the infirmity of and taverns, to be by the justices, according to nature above touched upon, might happen to thy letter dated in September, 1697; and we operate inore powerfully in the people, than hope we need not be more express in charg- the consideration of justice and sufety to ing thee, as thou tenders, thy own honour and themselves and their posterity. The prohonesty, or the obligations thou art under to vince, at this time, had moreover their reathy friends, and particularly thy first pur- sons on account of oaths, a militia, &c. to apchasers and adventurers into this province, prehend some inconveniency if they fell unthat thou do not surrender the government, der the immediate government of the crown; whatsoever terms thou may by so doing make and therefore did not care to break with the for thyself and family, which we shall deem proprietary entirely. no less than a betraying us, and at least will | Nor was it long before, by partial and inlook like first fleecing, then selling : but ra- direct practices, such as both influencing and ther use thy utmost interest with the queen, awing the electors (facts publicly charged on to ease us in the premises: and if after thy the instruments of government by the assemendeavours used to keep the government, it bly of 1706-7) that the governor obtained be per force taken from thee, thou will be the both an assembly and a speaker, almost as clearer in the sight of God, and us the repre-complaisant as he could wish. Nor ought it sentatives of the people of this thy province, to be forgot, that his successor Gookin obwho are thy real friends and well wishers, as tained such another in the year 1710. we hope is evident in that we have dealt thus In all matters of public concern something plainly with thee."

personal will interfere. Thus we find during · It was but natural, that such a paper as this this turbulent period, two names frequently should deeply affect those it was levelled occur, as opposite, in principle and purpose, against; and that it should operate different and the oracles of their respective parties, to ly on persons differently made and differently wit, David Lloyd, speaker of the assembly, situated.

and James Logan, secretary to the governor Those best acquainted with the necessity and council. of keeping the first principles of government Logan insults the members of the assembly ever before their eyes, and the danger of ad- sent from the house on a message to the gomitting the least departure from them, could / vernor. The house resent it, complain of it, not but be pleased with the plain and firm arraign his conduct in office, and proceed language of this remonstrance: while those against him as a public delinquent. The apt to be so dazzled with the outside of things, governor, on the other hand, conceives an that they were incapable of looking into their insuperable aversion to the speaker, points him contents, were as much softened with concern out to the public as an interested, factious, for the father and founder of their communi- dangerous person, treats him arrogantly at ty, and consequently inclined to think him two several conferences, and complains of the hardly dealt by in it.

house for not abandoning him to his resentThere is something in connexion and de- ments. pendence which gives a secret bias to all we Thus heat kindled heat; animosity excited think and wish, as well as what we say: and animosity; and each party resolving to be al

ways in the right, were often both in the be shown to some other persons disaffected to wrong.

| him, in the name of the assembly and peoBy the way, this. And it is necessary ple of this province, of which I have formerstill to add, that all this while, the charter of ly demanded a copy, but was then denied it, pririleges and that for the city of Philadel- under pretence (when it was too late) that it phia, as well as that of property, remained un- should be recalled: if that letter was the act confirmed at home; and the people were of the people, truly represented, he thinks pzinly told by Evans, that, till both the pro- such proceedings are sufficient to cancel all prietary and his governor were put upon pro- obligations of care over them: but if done by per establishments, they were not to expect particular persons only, and it is an imposture The fruits of his favour and protection. in the name of the whole, he expects the

The last of those charters, the said governor, country will purge themselves, and take care in one of his papers, was pleased to style a that due satisfaction be given him.” tedious bill of property, fitted so entirely to The reader will observe that the letter is the people's interest, and with so little regard not complained of as scandalous, because of to the proprietary, that it seemed strange how its falsehood, but because of its freedom, in Teasonable men could, without confusion, of which it must be understood consists the infer it: and in another he discourses of it as dignity. a project of the speaker's, to incorporate the And the assembly's reply was as follows: whole province, and take away near the “As to the representation or letter sent to whole power out of the hands of the proprie- the proprietary by order, or in the name of tary and governor, and lodge it in the people. the former assembly, which he takes, it seems

To which the assembly replied in the re-as an indignity, and resents it accordingly; it markable words following;

not having been done by this house, but being “ And as to what is said concerning the the act (or in the name of a former, as we charter prepared at the proprietary's depart- are not entitled to the affront, if any be, neiure, the draughtsman has assured us, that nother are we concerned in answering it: our project or power is comprised in that charter part is only to lament (as we really do) that but what was the proprietary's direction, there should be true occasion for such repreperused and corrected by his cousin Parmiter, sentation; or, if none, that it should be offered before it was engrossed, and afterwards signed to our proprietary, whom we both love and by himself: but whether the proprietary de- honour; and, therefore, we hope his obligasigned thereby to reverse the method of the tions of care over us and the people of this government according to an English consti- province by no such means shall be canceltution, and establish a republic in its stead, or ed.” leave the people to struggle with the queen's That this man's government should be one governors, which he then expected would be continued broil, from the beginning of it to the consequence of the bill then moving in the end, is proof sufficient, that Mr. Penn left parliament against proprietary governments, his frame at least in a very imperfect state. the draughtsman cannot tell: but he well re- Nor were the people themselves insensible members, that the proprietary told him, that of it, nor more backward to declare their he held himself obliged to do what he could sentiments concerning it, than of the other to confirm his tenants in their lands and proper- parts of his conduct. ties, and give them all the* powers he could, as | Evans, for example, having made use of he was lord of this seignory, and much more the following clause in one of his papers to to that effect."

the assembly, to wit; And now, to finish on the head of the re-l “The governor, at his arrival, found the presentation, which throws so much light on people possessed of a charter, by virtue of the first foundation of this colony, what after-) which the present assembly now sits, containwards passed in the assembly concerning it, / ing the frame of governinent, settled solemnly, candour requires should here be subjoined. as he has reason to believe, between the pro

“But wbat, says governor Evans, I must not prietary and the people, because by the subbe silent in, is, that he, (the proprietary) high-scription, it is said to be thankfully accepted ly resents that heinous indignity and most of by the assembly then sitting, and was signscandalous treatment he has met with in the let-led not only by the proprietary, but by the ter, directed not only to himself, but also to speaker of the assembly, in the name of all

those of the province (as it is affirmed) who

were then present, and unanimously consent• Wiliam Biles acquainted this house, that Natha. niel Packle had a letter from the proprietary to be com municated to several persons here, encouraging them to til upon the privileges of their charter and laws, and not tam ly give them up; and instanced what adian if the people could allege, that any thing lage it has been to the people of Rhode Island, Con. more was their due, it ought at that time to Decencit, and other proprietary governments, to as.

have been fixed and settled; the assembly sert their rights," &c. Votes of Assembly for August 21, 1704

then sitting, as the governor is informed, haying fully considered and debated it; or if any, upon what score the purchasers and first addemands, which it is imagined might further venturers embarked with thee to plant this have been made, were not then granted, the colony, and what grants and promises thou governor cannot think it proper for him to in-made, and the assurance and expectations, termeddle or to concern himself farther than thou gave them and the rest of the settlers and by virtue of the king's letter patent, to the inhabitants of this province, to enjoy the priproprietary, and the proprietary's commission vileges derived from thy own grants and conto him, with her majesty's royal approbation, cessions, besides the rights and freedoms of to govern according to that charter, and the England: but how they were disappointed in laws in force, &c.

several respects, appears, in part, by the said

representation, to which we refer; and beThe assembly thus replied:

come supplicants for relief, not only in matters “ As to the present charter, which the go

there complained of which are not yet redressvernor found in being at his arrival, though it led, but also in things then omitted, as well as be far short of an English constitution, yet what have been lately transacted, to the grieveven that has been violated by several inroads

ous oppression of the queen's subjects, and made upon it: and if the governor cannot

public scandal of this government." grant the just and reasonable demands of the! “ We are much concerned, that thou conpeople's representatives agreeable with an reived such dis

ceived such displeasure as thou did against English establishment, there is canse to con- that assembly, and not in all this time voucliclude, that the proprietary is not fully repre- safe to show thy readiness to rectify those sented here: and, however the charter was

things which they made appear were amiss : received, yet it was not with such unanimity

nor hast thou showed thy particular objections as is alleged, because diminutive of former to the bills. which, with great care and charge, privileges ; neither was it prepared by the

were then prepared, for confirming thy charhouse of representatives, but done in great

ters to this city and country, respecting both haste."

privileges and property, and for settling the “ We are not striving for grants of power, l affirmation instead of oaths: but on the other but what are essential to the administration hand, we found, to our great disappointment, of * justice, and agreeable to an English con- that thou gave credit to wrong insinuations stitution : and if we have not been in posses

against them, as appears by thy letter from sion of this these twenty-four years, we know | Hyde-Park, dated the twenty-sixth of the where to place the fault, and shall only say, I twelfth month, 1704–5, wherein thou treated it is high time we were in the enjoyment of

some particulars very unfriendly, and without our rights.”

any just grounds blamed the people's repreAnd lastly, the said assembly having drawn

sentatives, who, we perceive by their proup two several remonstrances to the proprie

ceedings, were ready to support the governtary, reciting the particulars of their griev- |

ment under thy administration, and desired noances and complaints against the said go-I thing but to h

and gothing but to have their just rights, privileges, vernor, took occasion in the last of them, dat

and properties confirmed, the indicatories reeil June 10, 1707, to express themselves as cularly established, the magistracy supplied follows.

with men of virtue and probity, and the whole “ We, and the people we represent, being constitution so framed, that the people called still grieved and oppressed with the mal-ad

the inal-ad-quakers might have a share with other Chrisministration and practices of thy deputy, and

tian people in the government, which thou the ill carriage, unwarrantable proceedings, I always gave them an expectation of, and and great exactions of thy secretary, are like

which they justly claim as a point of right, to be destroyed by the great injustice and ar

not for the sake of honour, but for the supbitrary oppressions of thy evil ministers, who

pressing of vice, &c.” abuse the powers given thee by the crown,

To wade through the whole of this provinand we suppose have too much prevailed up-1 cial controversy which, at several reprisals, on thee to leave us hitherto without relief.

lasted till Gookin was superseded in the year " That the assembly which sat here on the | 1717, and replaced by William Keith, Esq. 26th of the sixth month, 1704, agreed upon cer- (afterward sir William Keith, Bart.) would tain heads or particulars, which, according to be a task of great prolixity, and what consethe order of that day, were drawn up in a re- quently might prove as tedious to the reader presentation, and was signed by the speaker, I as laborious to the writer. and sent thee by a passenger in John Guy's Enough has been recited, to show upon brigantine, who was taken into France, from what terms Mr. Penn was first followed by whence the same representation was conveyed his flock as a kind of patriarch. to Pennsylvan to thy hands; whereby thou art put in mind, nia; as also, what failures in his conduct to

wards them were complained of by them; * The governor had rejected the bill proposed by the and as to the conduct of the several assemassi-inbly for establishing courts of justice, &c. and had done it by an ordinance of his own

blies, which, in the several periods of this in

terval, maintained this controversy, a bare pe- / Lastly, that the reader may have a general rusal of their proceedings is in general suffi- idea of those assemblies, represented in procient for their justification.

prietary language as so refractory and turbuMen they were; passions and interests they lent, so pragmatical and assuming, let in ao consequently had; and, if they were some-cept of a passage out of one of their own patimes carried away a little too far by them, it pers to governor Evans, in which they thus is obvious the passions and interests of others characterize themselves. “ And though we worked up the ferment first, and never relent-| are mean men, and represent a poor colony, ed to the last.

yet as we are the immediate grantees of one It is true, an over rigid performance of con- branch of the legislative authority of this proditions is not to be expected of government, vince, (which we would leave to our posterily and seldom can be exacted from it: but then as free as it was granted) we ought to have if the representative part is not tenacious, al- been, and do expect to be more civilly treated most to a fault, of the rights and claims of the by him that claims the other branch of the people, they will in a course of time lose their same authority, and under the same royal very pretensions to them. ..

grant, and has his support from us and the Against Logan, the proprietary's minister, people we represent." stands upon record, still unanswered, thirteen It is by this time apparent enough, that articles of malversation, by way of impeach- though the proprietary and popular interests inent, which the governor (Evans) found spring from one and the same source, they wimeans to evade, against the repeated offers of vide as they descend: that every proprietary the assembly to produce their witnesses and governor, for this reason, has two masters; fasten their proofs upon him: and against the one who gives him his commission, and one governor himself, twelve in the shape of re- who gives him his pay: that he is on his good monstrances, which argue him loose in prin- behaviour to both: that if he does not fulti] ciple, arbitrary in disposition, and scandalous with rigor every proprietary command, howin his private life and deportment.

ever injurious to the province or offensive to So unpopular was he, that an unanimous the assembly, he is recalled: that if he does · vote of thanks to the proprietary was passed not gratify the assembly in what they think on his being removed, almost before his face, they have a right to claim, he is certain to for he was still a resident among them: and live in perpetual broils, though uncertain wheas he had been Logan's screen, so his succes-ther he shall be enabled to live at all: and sor, Gookin, was little better than Logan's that, upon the whole, to be a governor upon tool. The first had the name; the latter the such terms, is to be the most wretched thing power; and by the help of the council, spur- alive. red him on, or reined him in, as he pleased.] Sir William Keith could not be ignorant

Both were necessitous, consequently crav- of this; and therefore, however he was ining alike; and having each considered him- structed here at home, either by his princiself first, and the proprietary next, had little pal or the lords of trade, resolved to govern consideration lett for the crown, and none at himself when he came upon the spot, by the all for the people.

governing interest there: so that his admiIf Evans adventured to act in many re nistration was wholly different from that of his spects as if there was neither charter nor as two predecessors. sembly, or, rather, as if he was authorized by | With as particular an eye to his own parhis conmission to do what he pleased in con- ticular emolument, he did indeed make his tempt of both, (as appears by his arbitrary dis-first address to the assembly: but then all he mission of one assembly, merely because they said was in popular language: he did not so could not be brought to obey his dictature) much as name the proprietary: and his hints Guokin after his example, and at the instance were such as could not be misunderstood, that of Logan, declared another assembly to be no in case they would pay him well, he would assembly, and refused to hold any further cor- serve them well. respondence with them: and yet when he was. The assembly, on the other hand, had sense on the point of being recalled, he was both enough to discern, that this was all which man enough and desperate enough to con- could be required of a man who had a family vene the assembly, purposely to make them to maintain with some degree of splendour, this laconic proposition, viz. “ That, for the and who was no richer than plantation golittle time he had to stay, he was ready to do vernors usually are : in short, they believed the country all the service he could :—and in him, were liberal to him, and the returns that they might be their own carvers, in case he annually made them were suitable to the they would in some measure provide for his confidence they placed in him : so that the going back to seek another employment.” Of proper operation of one master-spring kept the which, however, they made no other use than whole machine of government, for a considerto gratify him with a present of two hundred able period of time, in a more consistent ma bounds.

tion than it had ever known before.

Of all political cements reciprocal interest and private instructions to Keith, not only to is the strongest; and the subject's money is reinstate him, but in effect, to be governed never so well disposed of, as in the mainte- by him, as implicitly as Gookin had been nance of order and tranquillity, and the pur- governed before. chase of good laws; for which felicities Keith, on the other hand, being a man of Keith's administration was deservedly memo- too much spirit to submit to such treatment, rable.

and presuming beside, that his services to Under proprietary displeasure, however, by and interest in the colony, and his connexions the resentment and artifice of Logan, the pro- with the most considerable men in it, would prietary secretary, excited and aggravated by uphold him against all opposition whatsoever, some neglects and mistakes of his own, he communicated all to the assembly, together sunk at last; after what manner, it may not be with his own answers : and this he thought altogether unuseful to intimate.

was the more incumbent on him, because LoWhen Mr. Penn died in the year 1718, he gan had already been making his efforts to left his hold of the province (which was much stir up a party against him. incumbered, by a mortgage on one hand, and Logan, upon this, commences advocate in by a transfer of it to the crown for ten thou- form for the proprietary interest; presents a sand pounds, of which he had received two written plea on its behalf to the assembly, thousand pounds, on the other) in the hands justifying therein all the restrictions laid on of trustees, namely, his widow, Henry Gould- the governor by those instructions, (which ney, Joshua Gee, and his all-sufficient secre- will be in the next session explained) and tary Logan.

whether by chance or design, it is hard to The difficulties thus resting in his family pronounce, suffered the secret of the quarrel were very well known in the province; not- to escape, by insinuating, that the proprietary, withstanding which, the inhabitants, satisfied during his absence, had not received one with their governor, persevered in all duties penny either to himself or his family from the to them; nor seemed to entertain a thought to government, whereas others had received their disadvantage.

| large sums. Logan and his creatures were the only mal- The assembly, however, not being in a hucontents; and why they were so will be made mour to pay two government subsidies insufficiently obvious. The governor and as- stead of one, when exempted by the original sembly in concurrence, could govern the pro- article of quit-rents from the obligation of vince without his participation; so he remain- paying any, did not so much as take notice ed without importance to either, till this share of this point; but on the contrary, closing of the trust enabled him to interpose, and en- with the governor, desired his concurrence titled him to be heard, at the expense of both. with them, and offered their concurrence to

In the second year after Keith's arrival, Lo- him, in withstanding whatever was in the gan had divided his council against him, and said instructions contained, repugnant to carried off a majority; and ever after had re- their charter, or inconsistent with their pripresented him in his despatches, as having sub- vileges. stituted his own interest in the place of the The governor himself also became an adproprietary's, and confederated with the as- vocate for the province, and laid before the sembly to make both branches of the legisla- assembly a written defence of the constituture equally subservient to popular purposes. tion thereof, as well as of the late proprieta

Subtle, however, as he was, and practised ry's character, in answer to Logan's memoin all the arts of political disguise, he could rial; and the session was concluded most not long conceal himself from the penetration triumphantly on the governor's side: for the of Keith. Thus having been detected (as house not only agreed to a remonstrance, in Keith says*) in aggravating, and even in alter- answer to the widow Penn's private instrucing certain minutes of the council-proceedings tions, as they were called; but moreover for the purposes before specified: and, in full gratified him for his extraordinary services confidence of proprietary protection, defend- / with a thousand pounds. ing himself therein, with much personal abuse. The controversy continued notwithstandagainst the governor; the latter dismissed ing; and both parties bestirred themselves him from his post as secretary, and substituted equally in order to make proselytes. Logan another in his place.

seemed more humble than before, but never With this, and a variety of other complaints was more confident. Keith never was so all of the same tendency, Logan therefore much in pain for his own stability, and vet made a voyage to England, soon after he be- never seemed to have less apprehensions, came a trustee, and there made his court so In proportion, however, as it became more effectually to the widow, &c. that they and more probable, that he would be laid aside, freighted him back with letters of reproof, he became less and less considered ; and a * Governor Keith's letter to the widow Penn, Sep.

breach between him and the speaker Lloyd, tember 24, 1724.

| so often mentioned, and who had, even in

« ZurückWeiter »