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by overbearing governors, when unable to effect their own schemes. Blackwell certainly was opposed in his views by the Pennsylvanians; and this may very easily account for the charge he brought against them; and this opinion appears warranted by the answer they made to it. They observe, that “ As for the charge of animofities and diffenfions aniongít us before thy coming here, it is so general that we can make no farther answer, than that in matters of government our apprehensions were otherwise, the end of good government being answered, in that power was supported in reverence with the people, and the people were secured from the abuse of power."
The government of Pennsylvania was administered in the name of James II. for some time after William and Mary were formally proclaimed in some of the other colonies. This circumstance was improved by the enemies of Mr. Penn to his disadvantage. His attachment to the unhappy prince who had been driven from the throne was held forth in such a light, as to cause him to be considered by many as an enemy to the Protestant religion; and he appears for some time to have been excepted out of the act of grace passed by King William and Queen Mary, who appointed Col. Fletcher governor of both New-York and Pennsylvania in 1693.
In the commission no manner of regard seems to have been had to the original charter. But when the Asembly met, though sixteen short in number to what had been before usual, through the change made in the writs, they passed a vote nem.con. “ That the laws of this province, which were in force and practice before the arrival of this present governor, are still in force : and that the Assembly have a right humbly to move the governor for a continuation or confirmation of the fame.” That and subsequent Assemblies shewed such a fixed determination to secure their rights, that neither governor nor lieutenant-governor could bring them to bend to their wiflies.
The charges brought against Mr. Penn, of being the friend of popery and arbitrary government, were certainly unfounded. That from his father's station, and his own public spirit, he obtained free access to the court, and was esteemed and favourably received by King James, is certain ; and that a man of an amiable disposition and goodness of heart should feel the attachment of gratitude, is neither wonderful nor blameworthy. But though his personal attachment to. James was great, in no one instance does he appear to have adopted his arbitrary system of politics, or his religious pre. judices. The administration of the government of Pennsylvania in the name of James, after the revolution, ought not therefore to be
attributed to any arbitrary principles of his, and much less ought it to be attributed to any deference the settlers felt for the proprietary's partiality for a prince, whose abdicated throne was filled with fuch general satisfaction. The more probable cause was, the infancy and comparative insignificancy of the colony, which might occasion the proper measures for establishing the authority of the Prince of Orange to be delayed. Certain it is, that when proper measures were taken for the purpose they met with no oppofition, nor did any circumstance occur which might lead to a conclusion, that it was repugnant to the wishes of either the proprietary or settlers.
In 1696, Mr. Penn was restored to his right of naming a governor, as well as all his other privileges. The government, by this act, must be considered as openly renouncing the suspicions it had unjuftly entertained against a virtuous man, and declaring the malevo. lent charges exhibited against him to be unfounded.
In the beginning of 1700 he went to Pennsylvania, and after the meeting of several Affemblies, he convened one in September, 1701, and informed them of the indispensable necessity he was under of again going to England, to obviate fume ill offices done by his and their enemies with the government there ; he at the same time urged them to take proper measures to secure their privileges and properties. He further offered to leave the nomination of the deputy-governor to themselves, but they declined it.
The Assembly, agreeably with Mr. Penn's request, entered on the confideration of a charter of privileges ; this charter occasioned a breach between the members of the province and those of the territories; the latter infisting upon fome privileges, which, when refused by the others, made them withdraw from the ineeting. By the authority and address of the proprietary, however, the breach was apparently made up, and a charter of privileges prepared, and ratified before Mr. Penn embarked, which became the rule of go
vernment in Pennsylvania. By this important charter liberty of con* science was granted, and all Christians, of whatever denomination, * were enabled to serve the governdient either legislatively or execu
tively. This charter is a standing monument, and an incontrovertible proof, that neither Mr. Penn nor the settlers of Pennsylvania, were actuated by gloomy superstition or arbitrary principles.
By the second article of the charter it was provided, that an Af• fembly should be yearly chosen by the freemen, to consist of four
perfons out of each county, or of a greater number, if the goverpor and Affembly thould fo agree, on the ift of October, and
fhould fit on the 14th following, with power to chuse a speaker and other officers, and be judges of the qualifications and elections of their own members; fit upon their own adjournments, prepare bills, impeach criminals, and redress grievances ; and poffefs all other powers and privileges of an Asseinbly, according to the rights of the free-born subjects of England, and the customs observed in any of the king's plantations in America. If any county or counties should neglect to send deputies, those who met, provided they were not fewer in number than two thirds of the whole, were to be confi. dered as the legal representatives of the province.
By the eighth article, in cases of suicide, all property was to defcend to the next heirs, as if the deceased had died a natural death; nor was the governor to be entitled to any forfeiture, if a person should be killed by casualty or accident. The same article provided, that no act, law or ordinance whatsoever, mould at any time after be made, to alter or diminish the forın or effect of this charter, or of any part of it, without the consent of the governor for the time being, and fix parts in seven of the Assembly met—that the first arcicle, relating to liberty of conscience, Mould be kept without any alteration inviolably--and that William Penn, for himself, &c. did Soleinnly declare, that neither he, &c. should do any thing whereby the liberties in this charter contained, nor any part thereof, should be infringed; and that if any thing should be done by any person contrary thereto, it Mould be held of no effect.
This new constitution differed greatly from the original. The governor might nominate his own council, and he was left single in the executive part of the government, and had liberty to restrain the legislative, by refusing his aflent to their bills. The Assembly, on the other hand, acquired the important privilege of propounding laws, as well as of amending or rejecting them; but though this new constitution was thankfully accepted by the province, it was rejected by the territories ; and affairs stood in this untoward state when the proprietary failed for England. The representatives of the province and those of the territories divided, and acted as two diftinct bodies, and the after attempts to unite them proved ineffectual.
The territories consisted of the three counties, Newcastle, Kent, and Sussex on the Delaware, commonly known by the name of the three Lower Counties on the Delaware.
From the time of Mr. Penn's departure for England to the year 1704, the disputes in this province ran high. At this time the Aflembly came to nine resolutions, which were formed into a remon
ftrance, and sent to Mr. Penn in England, under the title of “ Heads.
This violent diffenfion happened in the time of the Deputy-go. vernor Evans, whole government Dr. Franklin describes as “ continued broil from the beginning of it to the end.” But as it is remarked by the same author, that the General Assembly in two or three years after, assumed a very different tone, “ almost as complaisant as he (the de poiy-governor) could wish,” it is presumable, either that the occafions of complaint had cealed, or that they differed with their predeceffors in opinion of their having ever existed. That at least they were greatly exaggerated is easy to believe, when we advert to the circumstances of what the doctor calls “ this tur. bulent period," wherein he says, “heat kindled heat; animosity ex. cited animosity; and each party resolving to be always in the right, were often both in the wrong.”.
SITUATION, EXTENT, &c. THIS
HIS State is situated between 40° 40' and 45° north latitude, and 5° west and 1° 30' east longitude from Philadelphia. Its length is about three hundred and fifty miles, and its breadth about three hundred. It is bounded south-eastwardly by the Atlantic ocean ; east by the States of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont; north by the 45th degree of latitude, which divides it from Canada; northwestwardly by the river Iroquois, or St. Lawrence, and the lakes Ontario and Erie; south-west and south by Pennsylvania and NewJersey.
FACE OF THE COUNTRY, SEA COAST, &c. This State, to speak generally, is interfected by ridges of moun. tains running in a north-east and south-west direction, Beyond the Allegany mountains, however, the country is a dead level, of a fine rich soil, covered in its natural state with maple, beech, birch, cherry, black walnut, locust, hickory and some mulberry trees. On the - banks of lake Erie are a few chesnųt and oak ridges. Hemlock swamps are interspersed thinly through the country. All the creeks that empty into lake Erię have falls which afford many excellent mill-feats.
The lands between the Seneca and Cayuga lakes are represented as uncommonly excellent, being most agreeably diversified with gentle rifings, and timbered with lofty trees, with little underwood. The legislature of this state have granted one million and a half of acres of land as a gratuity to the officers and soldiers of the line of this State. This tract is bounded west by the east More of the Se. neca ļake, and the Massachusetts lands in the new county of Ontario; north by part of lake Ontario near fort Olwego ; south by a ridge of the Allegany mountains and the Pennsylvania line; and east by the TufVOL. II, RI