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cerned both branches of the legislature, were should, with submission to God's providenc the settlement of property and the supply. In ever be able to alter his love to the countr the latter the governor himself was deeply in- and his resolution to return and settle his fi terested, and almost every landholder of the mily and posterity in it, &c. “ Think, there colony in the former. These, therefore, were fore, (continued he in the most captivatin to be first despatched; and, accordingly, a style and manner that ever was made use of bill for the effectual establishment and con- since all men are mortal, of some suitable ez firmation of the freeholders of both parts of pedient and provision for your safety as we the united colony, their heirs and assigns, in as in your privileges as property, and yo their lands and tenements; together with two will find me ready to comply with whatsoeve others; one for raising of one penny per pound, may render us happy by a nearer union of ou and six shillings per head for support of go interests. Review again your laws! propos vernment, &c. and one for granting and rais- new ones that may better your circum ing to the proprietary and governor two thou- stąnces; and what you do, do it quickly sand pounds, upon the real value of estates remembering that the parliament sits th real and personal, and another six shillings end of the next month, and that the sooner poll-tax; of which more than a moiety was am there, the safer I hope we shall all bi paid by the county of Philadelphia alone. here." Nor ought it to be forgotten, that in the pre
He then returned to the three hundred ani ceding session four pence in the pound and fifty pounds sterling, demanded by the king t:venty-four shillings per head had been de- imparted to them the happy issue of colone manded for these services; and that as they Fletcher's conferences with the five nations paid by halves, the proprietary performed by and again recommended unanimity and des halves; as the mention hereafter made of his patch, since it might contribute to the disap charter of property will demonstrate. pointment of those who had long sought the
The same assembly being again convened ruin of their young country. in August at Philadelphia, in consequence of The assembly returned a short but affec a letter from his majesty, requiring an aid tionate and respectful answer; after which of three hundred and fifty pounds sterling, to- they presented an address to him, consisting wards the fortifications to be raised on the of twenty-one articles : the first desiring, that frontiers of New York, they excused them- on his departure for England, due care be selves from complying; urging that the great taken, he might be represented there by sums lately assessed upon the colony by way persons of integrity and considerable known of imposts and taxes, over and above the ar- estates, who might have full power and aurears of quit-rents, had rendered them inca- thority not only to grant and confirm lands, pable: and these excuses were readily admit- &c. but to compensate short and resume over ted by the government; so that the proprieta- measure.—The second, that he would grant ry interest in this instance undeniably sup- them such an instrument as might absolutely planted the royal: and private interest pub-secure and defend the freemen of the prolic service.
vince, by them represented in their estates and In September, 1701, the proprietary con- properties, from himself
, his heirs and assigns vened another assembly, consisting of four ever, or any claiming under him, them, members for each of the six counties, agreea- or any of them; as also to clear all Indian ble to the law, for ascertaining the number purchases and others.--And the last, that of members, lately passed at Newcastle; and the bill of property, passed at Newcastle, though he had in the last evaded giving a might be inserted in the charter, with such copy of his speech in writing to the house, as amendments as should be agreed on. not being his usual way, went out of his way To each of the whole twenty-one he refor this once to do it now.
turned a special answer; and to the three reSome apology he made for calling them to- cited, those that follow. “To the first: I gether a month sooner than they would have shall appoint those in whom I can confide, met of course : assigned as a reason, the ne- whose powers shall be sufficient and public cessity he was under, through the endeavours for the security of all concerned; and I hope of the enemies to the prosperity of the colony, they shall be of honest character without just to go for England, where, taking the advan- exception, to do that which is right between tage of his absence, some had attempted to you and me.” ['Tis strange the crown should undermine his government: talked as if the not be so much as mentioned.]
6 To the sevoyage was disagreeable to him; as if the cond: much of it is included in my answer quiet of a wilderness was all his ambition; as to the first; however, I am willing to execute if his purpose had been to stay with them al- a public instrument or charter to secure you ways, or at least till he could render every in your properties, according to purchase and body safe and easy : said his heart was with the law of property made lately at Newcastle, them, whatever some people might please to excepting some corrections and amendments think; that no unkindness or disappointment absolutely necessary therein: and to the last,
I agree that the law of property made at dered into the hands of the governor, by six Newcastle shall be inserted in the charter parts in seven of the assembly, under a sowith requisite amendments."
lemn proinise of restitution, with such alteraHow short these expressions fell of his tions and amendments as should be found nespeech is obvious ; nor is it any honour to cessary; himself or his laws, that the latter stood in On the 28th of October, 1701, when the need of so many amendments; and that the governor was so near his departure that it freemen found reason to think they could not might almost be said he had one foot on take too many precautions to secure them- board, this promise was made good; the counselves against him.
cil, the assembly, (the provincial part of it, To these answers of the governor, the as- that is to say,) and several of the principle in sembly returned as many replies; most of habitants of Philadelphia attending. them expressing their acceptance and ac The charter of privileges granted by Wilknowledgments: and the matter of the first liam Penn, Esq. to the inhabitants of Pennsylbeing at all times equally reasonable, deserves vania, and territories, this important instruto be particularly remembered, to wit, “ that ment is called; and the main purport of it is the commissioners thou art pleased to pro- as follows, to wit: “that because no people mise, be invested with full and complete pow-could be truly happy, though under the er, and be obliged by some clause in the com- greatest enjoyment of civil liberties, ifabridgmission to act without refusal or delay, ac- ed of the freedom of their consciences, as to cording to the full and public powers thereof; their religious profession and worship, no inand that it would please thee to nominate the habitant, confessing and acknowledging one persons to the assembly.”
almighty God, and professing himself obliged The governor, on the other hand, whether to live quiet under the civil government, out of artifice or complaisance is hard to say, should be in any case molested or prejudiced would have induced them to name his substi- | in person or estate: that all persons professtute themselves: but, they as artificially or ing to believe in Jesus Christ the Saviour of complaisantly excused themselves; saying, the world, promising when required, allegithey did not pretend to the knowledge neces- ance to the king, and taking certain attests sary for such a nomination, and that they de- by a certain provincial law provided, should sired to leave it to the governor's pleasure. be capable to serve the government either
While the charter of privileges was under legislatively or executively : that an assemconsideration, the late breach between the bly should be yearly chosen by the freemen, members of the province and those of the ter- to consist of four persons out of each county, ritory was again opened, and soon grew wider of most note for virtue, wisdom, and ability; than ever.
or of a greater number, if the governor and The territory-men were for obtaining some assembly should so agree; upon the first of powers or rights peculiarly favourable to them- October for ever, and should sit on the 14th selves; which the others thinking unreason- following, with power to choose a speaker and able, were not willing to allow: and not be other their officers, to be judges of the qualiing able to carry their point, the members for fications and elections of their own members, the territory left the house.
sit upon their own adjournments, appoint comThe proprietary interposed his authority to mittees, prepare bills, impeach criminals, and bring about an accommodation; and for the redress grievances, with all other powers and present prevailed. But the same spirit of privileges of an assembly, according to the animosity still remained; and what with the rights of the freeborn subjects of England, hurry the governor was in to set sail, and and the customs observed in any of the king's what with the warm dispute which arose be- plantations in America: that two thirds of the tween him and the assembly concerning the freemen so chosen should have the full power allowance to be made to such as had defec-of the whole: that the said freemen in each tive measure in their lands, the remainder of respective county, at the time and place of a session, so plausibly opened, and in which meeting for electing representatives, might the constitution was to be finally settled, was choose a double number of persons to present soured with expostulations and reproaches to the governor for sheriffs and coroners, to even to the last moment of it: and the go- serve for three years, if so long they should verpor and his freemen at last parted like behave themselves well, out of whom the gopeople who were equally glad, they had vernor was to nominate one for each office, made so much of, and were now to be sepa- provided his nomination was made the third rated from each other.
day after presentment, otherwise the person And thus the course of time has brought first named to serve; and in case of death or us to that frame or system which, in subordi-default, the governor to supply the vacancy: nation to the royal charter, is, at present, the that three persons should be nominated by rule of government in Pennsylvania. the justices of the respective counties, out of In May, 1700, the former had been surren- whom the governor was to select one to serve
for clerk of the peace, within ten days, or second of laws. That universal reason was otherwise the place to be filled by the first and ought to be, among rational beings, uniso nominated: that the laws of the govern- versal law: that of laws, some were fundament should be in this style, viz.-By the mental and immutable; some temporary, governor, with the consent and approbation made for present convenience, and for conveof the freemen in general assembly met: nience to be changed. That the fundamental that all criminals should have the same privi- laws of England were of all laws most abhorleges of witnesses and council as their prose- rent of will and pleasure : and, that till houses cutors: that no person should be obliged to should stand without their own foundations, answer any complaint, matter or thing what- and Englishmen cease to be Englishmen, they soever, relating to property, before the govern- could not be cancelled, nor the subjects deor and council, or in any other place but in prived of the benefit of them.” ordinary course of justice, unless in appeals Such as it was, by the freemen of the
proaccording to law: that the estates of suicides vince it was thankfully accepted, but by those should not be forfeited: thật no act, law, or of the territory unanimously declined ; and in ordinance whatsoever should atany time here- this divided condition this new Lycurgus, as after, be made or done to alter, change, or di- Montesquieu calls him, left them. minish the form or effect of this charter, or Andrew Hamilton, Esq. (not the celebrated of 'any part or clause therein, according to the barrister of that name) was the person appointtrue intent and meaning thereof, without the ed to be his substitute; and the principal consent of the governor for the time being, effort of his administration was to bring about and six parts in seven of the assembly met: a reunion, which being at length found imthat the first article relating to liberty of con- practicable (the territory-men still persisting science should be kept and remain without in their refusal of the charter) the province, any alteration inviolably for ever: that the in virtue of that charter, claimed a separate said William Penn, for himself, his heirs and representative of their own, which in point assigns, did thereby solemnly declare, grant, of number was fixed at eight members for and confirm, that neither he, his heirs or as- each of the three counties, and two for the signs, should procure, or do any thing or city of Philadelphia, now so constituted by the things whereby the liberties in this charter proprietary's special charter; and after duly contained and expressed, nor any part there- qualifying themselves according to law, their of, should be infringed or broken; and, that first resolution was, if any thing should be procured and done by “ That the representatives or delegates of any person or persons contrary thereto, it the freeholders of this province, according to should be held of no force or effect." the powers granted by the proprietary and
Thus, though much remained of the first governor by his charter, dated the eighth day institution, much was taken away. The peo- of October, Anno Domini 1701, may meet in ple had no longer the election of the council; assembly on the fourteenth day of October, consequently all who, for the future, were to yearly, at Philadelphia, or elsewhere, as shall serve in that capacity, were to be nominated be appointed by the governor and council for by the governor; consequently were to serve the time being, and so continue on their own on what terms he pleased. Instead of having adjournments from time to time during the but three voices in seventy-two, he was left year of their service, as they shall find ocsingle in the executive, and at liberty to re- casion, or think fit, for preparing of bills, destrain the legislative, by refusing his as- bating thereon, and voting, in order to their sent to their bills whenever he thought fit. being passed into laws; appointing com
On the other hand, the assembly, who at mittees, redressing of grievances, and imfirst could not propound laws, though they peaching of criminals, as they shall see meet, might amend or reject them, were put in in as ample manner as any of the assemblies possession of that privilege; and, upon the of this province and territories have hitherto whole, there was much more room for ac- at any time done, or might legally do; as knowledgments than complaints.
effectually, to all intents and purposes, as any How much soever the governor had grown of the neighbouring governments under the upon Mr. Penn, and how much soever his crown of England have power to do, accordconcern for others had worn off, when raised ing to the rights and privileges of the freeto a sphere above them, it is plain he had not born subjects of England, keeping to the forgotten his own trial, nor the noble com- rules and prescriptions of the parliament of mentary upon Magna Charta, which, in his England ; as near as may be, respecting the tract called, The people's ancient and just li- infancy of the government and the capacities berties asserted, he had upon that occasion of the people : and that the said assembly, as made public; wherein he says,
often as the governor for the time being shall “ There were but two sorts of government: require, attend on him, in order to legislation : will and power; or, condition and contract. and to answer all other just ends of assemblies That the first was a government of men, the on any emergencies or reasons of state; but
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 commission 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 them 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 ment; 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.
pose.” Conferences were accordingly opened between the two houses, which produced two &c. &c.
“ To John Evans, Esq. lieutenant-governor, 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 ed, and to co-operate with those of the province:
day of August, 1704, and 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 yestermal 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 quest 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 redisgrace with their new governor, for showing solve-That to admit of the power of dissa so little regard to his recommendation. lution, 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 turns 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 debarNor was this all; the bill to confirm their red to resume. charter, &e. 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 from them the following unanimous re- journments, we are willing to settle and limit solutions and address founded thereon: to wit, the times of adjournment and sitting; and in
“ Resolved, 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 anthe fourteenth of October, yearly, shall not ex- nual standing assembly. ceed twenty days, unless the governor for the Secondly, that whenever a dissolution time 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 The return to this was as follows: viz.
of power to call one, whatever commands “ From the governor in council to the assem- sions may happen, unless (as the said member
from the crown or other extraordinary occably.
was pleased to observe) by some such means " The governor upon the best advice he can
as would need the power of a subsequent as have upon the point of dissolution and proro- sembly, to confirm all that they should have gation, cannot be of opinion, that the propri
occasion to act or do. etary has granted away that power; and that therefore it is very unsafe for him to do it. He amble of this present charter, having been
“ Thirdly, that the proprietary, in the preis very unwilling to have
any ing with the assembly, and shall always be pleased to remember and acknowledge his inclinable to make things easy in this, as well promise made to the assembly upon the deas other points ; and desires to leave it till livery of the former charter, that he would further directions can be had from England, led to our circumstances: therefore, in assur
either restore us that or another better adaptto which he thinks it is fit the matter should be referred: and in the mean time recom- charter must be such an one.
ance of his good and sincere intentions, this mends to the assembly, to proceed to the des
Fourthly, by the former constitution, it is patch of such other business of importance as lies before them, and the exigencies of the go- cause the same members of assembly, and no
very plain there could be no dissolution; be vernment 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.”. And this was the rejoinder of the assembly. by; nor was that any controverted point
ence, no inconvenience found to arise there "To John Evans, Esq. lieutenant-govern- between the proprietary and the people, for
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 busiportance before us, whilst our foundation re- ness; and that another election is now near mains 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; pleased to observe to us, that the proprietary and that in the mean time, the governor
would had 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 him, seems, evident to us for the following full to the proprietary himself, they agreed,
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 practice, without frustrating the very de- low, to wit: