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print, acted the part of a second to him, be- added to this unfortunate list; concerning came as fatal to him as it was fortunate to whom the least that can be said, is, that either Logan.
none but men of fortune shall be appointed to When the next assembly met, it soon ap-1 serve in such dignified offices : or otherwise, peared, that though the governor used the that, for the honour of government itself, such same patriot-language to it, he had not the as are recalled without any notorious impusame ascendancy over it. Two several ne- tation on their conduct, should be preserved gatives were put, upon two several motions from that wretchedness and contempt which to furnish him, the first with six hundred they have been but too frequently permitted pounds, the second with five hundred pounds, to fall into, for want even of a proper subsisttowards his support. No more than four hun- ence. dred pounds could be obtained: and, notwith The reader is desired to pardon this distanding all engines and all devices were em-gression, if it is one. It was necessary to ployed, no farther compensation could be pro- show, that the province of Pennsylvania, when cured for him.
well governed, is easily governed; and that It is equally the lot of this nation to be whichever branch of the legislature inflames more specious than virtuous, more splendid the proprietary jealousy, or interferes with than consistent, and to abound more in politi- the proprietary interest, the result is the same: cians than philosophers. Keith had more of the obnoxious assembly is reprimanded and the former than the latter in his composition, vilified, and as before observed, the obnoxious though he was neither in any eminent degree. governor is recalled.. A politician would not have furnished his ad- So that, unless the province stoops to be versaries with a plea to excuse his removal, loaded with a triple tier of subsidies; namely, ny coinmunicating a private paper to a popu- one for the public service, ordinary and exlar assembly. A philosopher, governed by traordinary, one for the governor's annual apprinciple, and proof against passion, would pointments, and one for the gratification of not have been in the power of any issue the proprietaries and their creatures, it seems what ever: and if the assembly had been reasonable to conclude it is never to enjoy capable of consistency, they would have set any established state of tranquillity. a lustre on his dismission, by accompanying And now, in addition to the points of proit with all the douceurs in the power of the prietary encroachment and proprietary reprovince to have heaped upon him, that other sentment already mentioned, we are naturalgovernors might have thought it worth their ly led to such other points of controversy, as at while to proceed on his plan.
various times have arisen for want of suffiInstead of which, on the first intelligence cient foresight and sufficient preventatives; of a new governor, which was as carefully and of which several are unhappily in agitaimparted to them, as concealed from him, tion at this very day. they even affected to procrastinate the busi- It cannot but be recollected, that Mr. Penn, ness of the province; and when upbraided by in his discourse with his joint adventurers, Keith with this backwardness, and, not with concerning reserved rents for the support of out some mixture of indignation, required to government, made a remarkable distinction begive the public a testimonial of his adminis- tween his two capacities of proprietary and tration, they proceeded in it, as if rather con- governor: and from hence, as well as from strained than inclined; and at last took care the nature of the trust, it must obviously fol. to say as little as possible, though they had low, that when he withdrew himself to Engmom to say so much.
land, and transferred the government to his In short, after a nine years' administration, deputies, those deputies could not but be posunembarrassed with any one breach between sessed of all the powers originally vested, by the governor and assembly; and, as acknow the crown, in him. Adroit as he was at reledged by the latter, productive of much po- finements, he could not do by his trust as he sitive good to the province, they parted with did by his land ;-withhold a reserve of reciprocal coldness, if not disgust: Keith dis- power, and, like the drunken sailors in the daining to follow Gookin's example in desir-play, appoint a viceroy, and retain a power to ing a benevolence; and they not having con- be viceroy over him. sideration enough left for him to offer it. ! And yet even Mr. Penn himself in his com
There is no man, long or much conversant mission to Evans, a man, as we have seen, in this overgrown city, who hath not often determined enough to push any proprietary, forind himself in company with the shades of and defeat any popular point whatsoever, departed governors, doomed to wander out could venture to slip the following clause inthe residue of their lives, full of the agoniz- to his commission, to wit : “ saving always to ing remenbrance of their passed eminence, an the gevere sensation of present neglect. scended to act a part neither becoming nor prudent: Sir William Keith, upon his* return, was procuring himself to be returned as an assembly man,
and taking all the measures in his power to divide the staid in Philadelphia gome time after his being province, embarrass the governor, and distress the pro. distrof; and, seduced by his resentments, conde prietaries.
me and my heirs, our final assent to all such vernor's part: that thou make no speech, nor bills as thou shalt pass into laws in the said go- send any written message to the assembly, vernment, &c."
| but what shall be first approved in council; The assembly, however, to whom this com- that thou receive all messages from them in mission was communicated, were shrewd council, if practicable at the time; and shall enough to start the following doubt upon it, return no bills to the house, without the adand to send it by way of message to the coun- vice of the council; nor pass any whatsoever cil, to wit: • whether the said vote is void in into a law, without the consent of a majority itself, and does not vacate the rest of the said of that board, &c." commission or render it invalid ?” And the What, therefore, the governor's bond has council, with the proprietary's eldest son at the not been sufficient to obtain, this new expehead, and secretary Logan at the rear of it, dient was to extort. If the governor would were so startled at it, that, in order to evade not act as required, he was thus to be disabled the last inference, they found themselves un- from acting at all : and after so many varider a necessity to return the following answer. ous frames of government had been granted
* We of the council, whose names are here- and regranted, proprietary will and pleasure unto subscribed, are of opinion, that the said was to be the last resort of all. saving is void in itself: and that those bills | In vain both governor and assembly freely which the present lieutenant-governor shall and fully remonstrated against such an inthink fit to pass into laws, and cause the pro- novation, in a government supposed to be prietary's great seal to be affixed thereunto, guarded by charter against all innovations cannot afterwards be vacated or annulled by whatsoever; more especially such as were the proprietary, without assent of the assem neither consistent with the rights of the peobly of this province."
ple, the powers already vested in the governThe next piece of practice, to answer theor, nor the respect due to the crown. same purpose, that was found out, was to im- Logan discovered the assembly were not pose certain conditions of government on the authorized by charter to advise, though they deputy, under the penalty of a certain sum. were to enact; because the word advice was This was first submitted to by Keith, and has not to be found in that last given to them; been a rule to all his successors, with this dif- that governors were not to be trusted to act ference, that whereas the penalty exacted without advice; consequently the said exfrom him was but one thousand pounds ster-pedient to bridle them was a good one; and ling, it has been since raised to two or three if we may judge by events, his sophistry has thousand pounds.
given the law ever since. If ever the case of this colony should come From what has been thus far recited, it is before parliament, which is not altogether im- obvious, that the proprietary of Pennsylvania probable, no doubt these conditions will be was of too little consideration here at home, called for; and if they should then be found to be of much use to the province either as a irreconcilable with the charter, and a check protector or advocate; and yet, that he was upon the legislative, altogether unconstitu- there so much above the level of his freemen tional and illegal, the wisdom of the nation and tenants, that, even in their legislative cawill, no doubt, pronounce upon such a tres pacity confederated with the governor, they pass according to the heinousness of it. could hardly maintain their rights they were
Again : the widow Penn, in her private in so many ways entitled to, against the artifices structions to sir William Keith, having ad and encroachments of his emissaries. mitted and complained, that the powers of le- As lord of the soil, is the light he is next gislature were lodged in the governor and as to be considered. The charter Mr. Penn sembly, without so much as a negative re- obtained of the crown, comprehended a far served to the proprietary when absent, pro- greater extent of territory, than he thought ceeds to avow, that it was never intended [by fit to take up of the Indians at his first purthe proprietary must be understood] the said chase. governor and assembly should have the ex- And even in the very infancy of his coloercise of these powers; as also to pronounce ny, it was by act of assembly inconsiderately, it a dangerous invention of Keith's to enact because unconditionally, provided, that in case laws in conjunction with the assembly, and any person should presume to buy land of the transmit them directly to the king's ministers natives, within the limits of the province, &c. without any other check; and then, after thus without leave first obtained from the propriearrogantly interposing between the king and tary, the bargain and purchase so made should his lieges of this province, clenches the whole be void. with the following injunction; “therefore, for Rendered thus the only purchaser, he reckremedy of this grievance, it is required, that oned he might always accommodate himself thou advise with the council, upon every at the Indian market, on the same terms, with ineeting or adjournment of the assembly, what quantity of land he pleased ; and till which requires any deliberation on the go-l the stock in hand, or such parts of it as he thought fit to dispose of, were in a fair way may be reclaimed and re-assumed at any of being sold off, he did not think it for his time, it cannot be too soon reclaimed and reinterest to incumber himself with more, assumed.
This happened sooner than he foresaw; That assembly then, which first discovered though it must be acknowledged the founders this lapse, or which at the requisition of their of few cities appear to have had more fore-l constituents, first endeavoured to retrieve it, sight than he. The growth of his colony ex- did no more than their duty; and the prececeeded his most sanguine expectations; and, dent they set cannot be too closely followed. when successive new purchases came to be Again: the distinction made by Mr. Penn made, an inconvenience by degrees became in the case of the quit-rents, between his two manifest, which, perhaps, had not been thought capacities of governor and proprictary, had of before, or if thought of, had not been guard- an use, which even he, with all his shrewded against.
ness, did not perhaps advert to, when it was Men who want a present convenience must made; or at least expect it would be adverted not be over solicitous about future contingen- to by any body else cies; and, in general, we choose to be blind. For the support of the governor and governto such objects as we fear we have not ment, it must be recollected they were substrength enough to remove: he that is too mitted to; for the support of the proprietary, much of a huckster often loses a bargain ; as when absent from his government, and when he that is too little so, often purchases a law the government charge was otherwise supsuit.
ported, they were paid : and as he and his It was no hard matter to induce a belief, agents went on, not only to reserve such that occasional treaties with the Indians, un-rents out of all the parcels of lands they disder the pretence of keeping up the same bro-posed of, but even to rise in their demands, as therly correspondence which had been at first the value of lands rose ; so it could not but established with them, was a necessary mea- follow, that in process of time these quit-rents sure of government; nor to prevail with the would of themselves become an immense esprovince, while this was understood to be the tate. sole consideration, to bear the expense of them. When, therefore, the proprietary no longer
But when it appeared, as in the course of acted as governor, nor even resided in the time was unavoidable, that a treaty and a pur- province, nor expended a fifth of his income chase went on together; that the former was there, could it be supposed, that this estate, a shoeing-horn for the latter; that the go- thus obtained and thus perverted from its vernor only made the compliments, and the original purpose, should not be liable, in comassembly the presents, &c. it could not but mon with all other estates, to contribute to appear also, that there must be somewhat un- those charges it was first in the entire allotfair in a procedure where one paid all the ted for, and the whole amount of which it so cost, and the other engrossed all the profit; many fold exceeds? and that it was high time to put some stop to No property in England is tax-free: no a practice so injurious to their understandings. difference in the amount, or value of property,
It is not indeed necessary in private life to makes any difference in the duty of subjects: bargain, that those who purchase for their and nothing is more consonant to reason, than own use and advantage, should pay the price that he who possesses most, should contribute out of their own pockets; but in public it is. most to the public service.
Persons who stand on the same ground And yet, for want of a specific clause to will insist on the same rights; and it is mat- declare their property taxable, the present ter of wonder, when any one party discovers proprietaries insist on having it exempted fully or insolence enough to demand or expect from every public obligation, and upon chargany pre-eminence over the other.
ing the difference on the public, who, it canWhereas prerogative admits of no equality ; not be too often remembered, gave it in the and presupposes, that difference of place al- first instance as the price of an exemption ters the use of language, and even the very from all other taxes. nature of things.
Clear, however, it will be made to every Hence, though protection is the reason, unprejudiced mind, that such a specific clause and, consequently, should be the end of go- neither is nor ever was necessary; and, that vernment, we ought to be as inuch upon our in virtue of the inherent right, as well as the guard against our protectors as against our power and authority reposed in the freemen enemies.
to tax themselves by ways and means of their Power, like water, is ever working its own own providing, all the property of the province way; and wherever it can find or make an lies indiscriminately at their discretion, subopening, is altogether as prone to overflow ject to an equal taxation. whatever is subject to it.
| The paper currency of the province is next And though matter of right overlooked, 'to be mentioned; and as that was out of prospect while the several frames of government / as possible on a par with gold and silver, they were under consideration, it could not be imposed sufficient penalties on all those who comprehended in any of them.
presumed to make any bargain or sale upon The currency then was, and so continued cheaper terms, in case of being paid in the one to be, for many years after, gold and silver preferable to the other: they provided for the of any species by weight; at first in so irre-gradual reduction of them, by enacting, that gular a manner, and at such uncertain rates, one eighth of the principal, as well as the whole as gave the crafty many opportunities to prey interest money, should be annually paid. And upon the ignorant and necessitous; conse it was not till they were convinced by expequently was productive of much contention, rience of the utility of the measure, and the inembarrassment, and confusion.
sufficiency of the sum, that they adventured By royal proclamation, in the fourth of to issue thirty thousand pounds more. queen Anne, the rates and values of all foreign Such, moreover, was the benefit apparently coins current in the English colonies were li- resulting from it; such the inconveniency apmited and ascertained ; and, in her sixth, the prehended by every body from the scarcity of contents of the said proclamation were enacted money sure to follow a too precipitate disinto a law, which is still in force.
charge of the loans; and such the apparent But the annual influx of these foreign coins, growth of the province during this interval, through what channel soever, or from whatso that, in the year 1729 (Patrick Gordon, goever source, by no means answered the de- vernor) it was thought advisable to increase mands of an annual issue.
the provincial capital by a new emission of From England came all the manufactures bills, to the amount of thirty thousand pounds, consumed in the plantations; and all the re- and to render the repayments still easier to turns they could make by their commodities the borrowers, by reducing them to one sixsent thither directly, or the product of them at teenth a year. other markets, fell far short of the balance Again: in the year 1739 (George Thomas, growing against them.
governor) occasion was taken from the discoThe defect, therefore, was to be made good veries repeatedly made, that these provincialin gold and silver, and was soʻas long and as bills had been counterfeited, not only to call often as any could be found. Every colony, them all in, in order to their being replaced in its turn, was, consequently, drained of its with others of a new impression, &c. but also specie; and, as it is an impossibility known for the reasons before given, to issue the furand avowed, for any trading community to sub-ther sums of eleven thousand one hundred sist without some medium of circulation, every and ten pounds five shillings, (which, added colony in its turn was obliged to have recourse to the sums already in circulation, made their to the same expedient of uttering provincial | whole capital amount to eighty thousand bills of credit, and making them answer, as far pounds) to be current for sixteen years. as possible, all the topical purposes of gold and Lastly : finding, that the like, or a greater silver; by which their severa, capitals were sum, in case the province should grow still enlarged; the gold and silver became commo- greater, would in all probability be always dities that could be spared for exportation; necessary, the assembly moreover provided, and the merchants at home were paid in that that so fast as any of the former borrowers gold and silver, without any provincial detri- should repay their provincial-money, the trusment.
| tees of the loan-office might re-emit the same Pennsylvania, however, if not the very sums during the said terın of sixteen years, last, was one of the last, which gave into it. on the same conditions, either to them or It was not till the year 1722 (Keith, govern- others, without any new authority for that puror) that they made their first experiment; and pose. even then they proceeded with the utmost And, upon the whole, it is to be observed, caution and circumspection, in every step they that the assembly, in establishing this paper took.
currency, in taking upon themselves, as repreKnowing, for example, that the danger of sentatives of the province, to appoint the trusdepreciation was the only danger they had to tees and other officers charged with the adguard against, and that nothing but an over ministration of it; in providing that the said quantity, defect of solid security, and of pro- trustees and officers should be responsible to per provision to recall and cancel them, could the province for their conduct in it; and in create that danger, they issued at first but fif- reserving to the assembly, for the time being, teen thousand pounds; they made no loans the disposition and application of the annual but on land-security or plate deposited in the product, met not with any such objection from loan-office : they obliged the borrowers to pay their governors, or the proprietaries, or the five per cent. for the sums they took up; they ministry here at home, as could excite the made their bills a tender in all payments of least apprehension of any such contest, as all kinds, on pain of vacating the debt, or for- might either embroil the province, affect the feiting the commodity: to keep them as near | interest, or incommode the government of it. It is true, the proprietaries and their agents | been at first opprobriously called by that of did, from the beginning, discover a repugnance quakers, have been forced, by the joint tyto this measure, till they found themselves ranny of imposition and custom, to answer to considered in it; like the snail with his horns, it ever since. they had no sensations for the province, but Of these, the majority carried along with what reached them through the nerves of pow-them a scruple better accommodated to the er and profit. Profit, though ranked last, they forming of a society and preserving it in peace, consulted first; and when possessed of one than to the protecting it from those insults point, they thought they might wrangle more and depredations which pride and lust of dosuccessfully for the other.
minion have at all periods committed on their If the widow Penn acquiesced in the paper-weaker neighbours; and from the visitation money acts passed by Keith, she reprimanded of which, no system of politics, morals, or rehim for passing them; and in a manner forbid ligion, hath as yet been able to preserve manhim to pass any more.
kind. Gordon (Keith's successor) having over and All their views, purposes, and endeavours over again acknowledged his conviction of the were narrowed, therefore, to the forms and conveniences arising to the province from a uses of civil life; and to link the several parts reasonable increase of their paper currency, of their own little community in the most exgave the asseinbly to understand, in so many pedient manner together. words, that nothing but the gratification of the Nor, indeed, had they at that time any proprietaries in the affair of their quit-rents, other object before them: alike to wage war would prevent the opposition they were other against any power in alliance with England, wise to expect to the act then before them in and to correspond with any power at war with England.
her, was expressly forbid both to the proprieBy special contract with the several pur-tary and the province, by the fifteenth section chisers, these quit-rents of theirs were to be of the royal charter. paid in sterling money; and, as it was impos- The French were too feeble in America sible, by any provision whatsoever, to make and too remote from Pennsylvania, to be then the provincial currency answer the universal apprehended. The provinces adjacent were purposes of gold and silver, so no provision branches from the same root, and responsible could binder these metals from having the pre- for their conduct to the same laws; and the ference of paper., To convert paper into spe- Indians, from the very beginning, had been cie or bullion could not of course but be at- considered and treated as equally the sons of tended with some cost; and hence the propri- one common father. etary-reinittances could not but come shorter Land wanted by us was a drug to them. home. When, therefore, by the eighty thou- The province, then to be allotted, peopled, and sind pounds act, paper was to become the pro- cultivated, had not been wrested from them vincial establishment, they would not allow by violence, but purchased for a suitable consitheir share of the provincial advantage result | deration. In the contract between the proprieing from it (which was, at least, equal to that of tary and his sub-adventurers, all possible care the province, as will hereafter become appa- had been taken that no cause of complaint rent) to be what it really was, an adequate should be admninistered to them: in trade consideration, but insisted, not only on having they were not to be overreached nor imposed the difference between paper and specie or upon : in their persons they were not to be inbullion marle up to them, and that the differ- sulted or abused; and, in case of any complaint ence of exchange should be made up to them on either side, the subject-matter was to be also; or, in other words, that the pounds ster- heard by the magistrates in concert with the ling due to them in Pennsylvania, should be Indian chief, and decided by a mixed jury of paid to them nett in England.
Indians and planters. In short, the sum of one thousand two hun. The same regard to conscience which led dred pounds was in this manner extorted from them into this wilderness, adhered to them afthe province, together with an annuity of one terwards; and having thus resolved and prohundred and thirty pounds, to continue during vided, never to be aggressors, and not being the circulation of those bills; which will serve sovereigns, they left the rest to providence. to show, at least, that the province could not Governed by principle in all things, and bebe more stubborn, upon other occasions, than lieving the use of arms to be unlawful, the the proprietaries were selfish on this. | case of defence by arms could not come with
There remains yet another topic to be touch- in their plan. ed upon, which will require a more tender. But then as their community was left open consideration from the reader than perhaps it to Christians of all persuasions, and the conmay always find.
| ditions of union could be abhorrent to none, Mr. Penn and his followers were of that they might well presume on being joined by sect, who call themselves by the amiable and numbers, which has since happened accordlevelling name of Friends; and who having ingly, who, being devoid of such scruples,