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SUNDRY ORIGINAL PAPERS,
RELATIVE TO THE SEVERAL POINTS OF CONTROVERSY BETWEEN THE GOVERNORS AND
ASSEMBLIES OF PENNSYLVANIA.
To the Honourable Thomas Penn and Ri-| they do not conceive themselves under any oblichard Penn proprietaries of the province gation to contribute to Indian or any other public of Pennsylvania, frc.
expenses, even though taxes were laid on the peo
ple for the charges of government; but as there is The representation of the General Assembly not one shilling levied on the people for that ser
of the said Province, met at Philadelphia, vice, there is the less reason for asking any thing of the 23d day of the sixth month, 1751.
them. Notwithstanding which, they have charged
themselves with paying to the interpreter, much MAY IT PLEASE THE PROPRIETARIES : :
-The more than could be due to him on any treaties for first settlers of this province unanimously concur- land, and are at this time at the expense of mainred with your worthy father, to lay the foundation taining his son, with a tutor, in the Indian counof their settlements, in doing justice to the native try, to learn their language and customs for the Indians, by coming among them as friends, upon service of the province, as well as of sundry other an equitable purchase only: this soon appeared charges on Indian affairs. That they have been to be the best and safest way to begin the infant at considerable expense for the service of the prosettlement, by the veneration and love it procured vince, both in England and here; that they purfrom those people, who kindly supplied the wants chase the land from the Indians, and pay them of many, then destitute of the necessaries of life; for it; and that they are under no greater obligaand, as the settlements increased, retired to make tion to contribute to the public charges than any room for their new guests, still preserving that es other chief governor of any of the other colonies. teem and veneration which had been so strongly Upon which we beg leave respectfully to repreimpressed upon their minds. By this voluntary sent to our proprietaries, that the preserving a retreat, all were satisfied, for there was room good understanding with the Indians, more parenough for all; and the good faith so carefully ticularly advances the interest and value of the kept with those who were nearest, gave the proprietary estate than that of any other estate in more distant Indian nations that favourable opi- the province, as it gives the proprietaries an opníon of us, which our continuing to act on the portunity of purchasing at a low price, and selling same principles of justice hath supported to this at high rates, great tracts of land on the frontiers, day; they entered freely into our alliance; they which would otherwise be impracticable. That became the guards of our frontiers against the therefore, though they may conceive themselves French, and French Indians, by obliging them to under no obligation by law, they are under the observe a neutrality towards us, as we experienc- much stronger obligations of natural equity and ed during the course of the last war; and we have justice, to contribute to the expense of those Inreason to think we now share largely in their af- dian treaties and presents, by which that good unfections. But this beneficial friendship hath nei- derstanding, so beneficial to them, is maintained. ther been procured nor continued without a very That although formal taxes have not been laid in great expense to the people of this province, espe- this province during some years past, for the supcially for some years past, wherein we find the port of the proprietaries' lieutenant-governor, and assemblies opened their hands liberally to all the defraying the charges of Indian treaties, yet the purposes of peace, among those who could best, interest of our paper-money is a virtual tax on the under God, preserve our distant settlements people, as it arises out of, and is paid by, their laagainst the depredations of an active and power- bour, and our excise is a real tax, yielding, about ful enemy; without strictly inquiring at that time, three thousand pounds per annum, which is prinhow far the people alone ought to bear the burden cipally expended in those services, besides the tax of those expenses. But as that burden became of licenses of various kinds, amounting to consideryearly more and more heavy, the asemblies were able sums yearly, which have been appropriated naturally led to request the assistance of the pro- wholly to the support of the governor." That the prietaries, and we hoped an application so appa- assemblies of this province have always paid the rently reasonable might have their approbation. accounts of our Indian interpreter for his public We are therefore much concerned to receive an services to his full satisfaction; and we believe fuanswer so different from our expectations, in ture assemblies will not fail to do, in that respect, which the proprietaries are pleased to say, "that I what may reasonably be expected from them,
when his son shall be thought qualified to succeed just, by persons wholly disinterested, both with him. Nor do we doubt their discharging all just regard to us and them. debts, for expenses properly chargeable to the pro 2. That the representatives of the people are viace, whether made here or in England, when- not so disinterested, seems most certain; whereever the accounts are exhibited. We are never- fore, supposing they saw this matter in a light theless thankful to our proprietaries for their care very different from that in which it appears to us, in our affairs, and their endeavours to provide a and that they were not actuated by any inclinawell qualified successor to our present interpreter, tion on the one hand to oppose our interest, or on as such a one may be of service to the public, as the other to influence the weaker part of the electors well as to the private interests of their family. by appearing zealous for theirs (which we would
We would farther entreat our proprietaries to trust and hope is the case) yet we may continue consider, that their great estate not lying in Bri- to differ in sentiments from them on the necessitain, is happily exempt from the burdens borne ty of the desired assistance, without being liable by their fellow-subjects there, and cannot, by any to any imputation of neglecting the interest of the law of ours, now in being, be taxed here. That province in the opinion of the world. therefore, as they are not obliged, on account of 3. After we had ordered our governor to give that estate, to bear any part of the charge of any you the answer, which he did, to your former ap war the British nation may be involved in, they plication, we had no reason to expect a repetition may with us more freely contribute to the expense of the application directly to ourselves; as you of preserving peace, especially on the borders of might well suppose, we had considered the mattheir own lands, as the value of those lands so ter before we had returned our first answer, and much depends upon it.
the repeating the request could only produce the We beg leave further to observe to our proprie- repeating the answer; the occasion for which taries, that the act forbidding all others to pur- does not appear to us. It is possible, that one chase lands of the natives, establishes a monopoly purpose may be, in order to show, more publicly, solely in their favour; that therefore they ought this difference in opinion between us and yourto bear the whole charge of treaties with the In- selves ; and if that was ever intended, it will be dians for land only, as they reap the whole bene- convenient that we should set this matter in a fit. And that their paying for land (bought, as clear light (although it may make our answer we conceive, much the cheaper for the provin- longer than we could wish) that the true state of cial presents accompanying those treaties) which the matter may appear. land they sell again to vast advantage, is not a sa 4. We did not speak our own sentiments only tisfactory reason why they should not bear a part when we before saíd, we were under no greater of the charge of such other treaties, as tend to the obligation to contribute to the public charges than common welfare and peace of the province. any chief governor of another colony; that was
Upon the whole, since the proprietaries' interests the opinion of the lords of trade, when, upon an are so constantly intermixed, more or less, with application made to the king, by many considerathose of the province, in all treaties with our In- ble inhabitants of the province, that he would be dian allies ; and since it appears that the proprie- pleased to give some orders for their defence; the taries think they already pay more than their counsel, employed by the agent of the house of reshare, and the people (who have disbursed near presentatives, insisted, that, if any such preparafive thousand pounds within these four years, on tions were necessary, the proprietaries ought to be those occasions) think they pay abundantly too at the expense of them; but their lordships demuch; we apprehend that the surest way to pre- clared it their opinion, that we were not obliged to vent dissatisfaction on all sides, will be, to fix a be at any expense of that nature, more than any certain proportion of the charge of all future pro- other governor-in-chief of the king's colonies. vincial treaties with the Indians, to he paid by the 5. We are sensible that our honoured father, in proprietaries and province respectively, and this, the first settlement of the province, and at 'all we hope, they will on further consideration agree times after, was strictly careful to do justice to the to, not only as it is in itself an equitable proposal, Indians, and purchased land from them before it but as it may tend to preserve that union and har- was settled; but, we believe, always at his own mony between the proprietaries and people, so charge; at least we do not find a single instance evidently advantageous to both.-Signed, by order of a purchase having been made at the expense of of the house,
the people. So that what share they had in such ISAAC NORRIS, Speaker. purchases, we are at a loss to know, other than the
benefits and conveniences which arose from the
mutual exchange of friendly offices with the naThe Proprietaries' answer to the foregoing tives.
representation of the House of Represent 6. Had the necessary public charges amounted atives. Laid before the house, May 23, to more than the revenue of the province, and a
general tax been laid on the people to defray the 1753.
same, there might then have been some colour to GENTLEMEN,
desire that we should contribute; but as no such 1. The true and real interest of the people tax has, for very many years, been or need to be whom you represent is, as it ought to be, the prin- laid, and the charge of government amounts to litcipal object of our concern; we shall on all occa- tle more than the one half of the common and orsions, show them that we have it constantly in dinary revenue, the pressing thus unseasonably view; we will use our utmost endeavours to pro- for our contribution, appears, we conceive, as an cure it, at the expense of our own private fortunes, attempt to induce the weakest of the people to imawhenever it appears to us necessary; and, in con- gine yourselves to have an uncommon regard to sidering the matter of your representation, shall their interests, and to be therefore the most proper endeavour to act such a part as would be thought persons to be continued as their representatives;
and the matters which might the rather induce us to mention, in answer to that part of your repre80 to think, are the solemn repetition of this resentation, wherein you, unadvisedly, publish to the quest, and treating it as if it was a matter of world, that our estate in America is exempted from great value and consequence; the time of making the burdens borne by our fellow-subjects in Great your last representation, just before an election; Britain ; such matter might much more properly and the printing the report, and most extraordina- have been avoided ; and at the same time that we ry resolutions, which were the foundation of such show you, that we do pay all other taxes here, that your representation, in your votes, long before on land only excepted, we must advise you to be your address could, by any possibility, come to very careful, not to put people here in mind of that our hands; which are such matters as could not single exemption. Several proposals have been escape our observation, and which would almost made for laying taxes on North America, and it persuade us, that it was intended as an address to is most easy to foresee that the self-same act of the people, rather than to us.
parliament that shall lay them on our, will also 7. Wherefore, on this occasion, it is necessary lay them on your estates, and on those of your conthat we should inform the people, through your- stituents. selves, their representatives, that as, by the consti 10 We cannot allow that you have always tution, our consent is necessary to their laws, at paid your interpreter to his satisfaction, because the same time that they have an undoubted right we know we have charged ourselves with gratifito such as are necessary for the defence and real cations to him, when the assembly has refused to service of the country; so it will tend the better to pay him what he thought his services deserved ; facilitate the several matters which must be trans- and we make no doubt he can remember such inacted with us, for their representatives to show a stances; however, with respect to any expenses regard to us and our interest: for, considering the of that sort, and many others here, we entered inrank which the crown has been pleased to give to them without any expectation of being repaid, us in Pennsylvania, we shall expect from the peo- and should think it far beneath us to send the acple's representatives, on all occasions, a treatment counts of them to the house of representatives, as suitable thereto; and that, whilst we desire to go- your agent, employed by yourselves, might do for vern the province according to law only, they the expenses incurred by him. What we might should be as careful to support our interests, as we reasonably expect, is, a thankful acceptance of shall always be to support theirs.
our endeavours to serve the public; and if you do 8. We are truly concerned, that you lay us un- not think proper to make even that return, we der the necessity of acquainting the public with shall, nevertheless, be fully satisfied with the conthe state of the revenue of the province; you have sciousness of having rendered the province all the in part, done it already, by acknowledging the services in our power. amount of the excise to be three thousand pounds 11. We do not conceive that any act of assema year. The interest of the paper money, as we bly does, or can establish, what you call a monoconceive, is more than that sum, which makes the poly in us for the purchase of lands; we derive common revenue of the province above six thou- no right or property from any such law. It is unsand pounds a year; the annual expense of govern- der the king's royal charter that we have the sole ment for a series of years (including Indian right to make such purchases ; and it is under charges) amounts to little more than half that that same charter, that every settler has a right, sum; the interest is paid by people who, no through us, to the estate he possesses in the prodoubt, find greater advantage in the use of the vince. The act itself, which you seem to allude money than the interest they pay for it, otherwise to, acknowledges this right to be so granted to us they would not be so solicitous to be admitted to by the charter, and is only declaratory thereof borrow as they always have been. That interest to the people, advertising them of a certain truth, money therefore cannot, with any propriety, be that they are liable according to the laws of called a tax laid on the province, or a burden on Great Britain, to penalties for contravening such the inhabitants. The excise itself is not a gene- right. ral tax, to which all the inhabitants must contri 12. Your assertion, that treaties for land are bute, as it is paid by such only who buy wine and made at a less expense to us, on account of pro spirituous liquors, under certain quantities ; so that vincial presents being given at the same time, does many people pay nothing of that tax. Of all this not appear to us to be founded on fact; the last revenue, about four hundred pounds a year has, purchase was made on no other account, but pureon an average, for twenty years past, (and great ly to save the province the expense of making anpart of that time during war) been expended in other present to some Indians who came down presents to the Indians, and charges on their ac- after the time that the principal deputation had recount; which we cannot conceive to be a large ceived the presents intended for the whole, and sum, in proportion to the revenue of the province, were on their return back; and the land was for so great and important a service as that of bought very dear on that account. Other treaties keeping the united nations of Indians in the inte- for land have been made when provincial presents rest of Great Britain; we believe every disinte- have not been given; and we do not, or ever did, rested person will think the sum very small
, and, desire, that the inhabitants should bear any part from the manner of its being raised, not at all of the expense of Indians who came down solely burdensome to the people; besides which, had not at our request to consent to the sale of lands, unhalf that money been expended on these accounts, less they stay on other public business also ; and it is most certain all the same excise would have whenever they have come down on both accounts
we are sensible the expense has been divided in 9. The whole sum paid, in twenty years, for a manner very favourable to the public. Indian services, is not more than, on a common 13. We are far from desiring to avoid contribucomputation, our family has paid, in the same ting to any public expense, which it is reasonable time, for duties and excises bere, for the support, we should bear a part of, although our 'estate is of his majesty's government; and which we choose | not, by law, liable to be taxed. As we already
have been, so we doubt not we always shall be, at, too far, in which the rights of the people are not a far greater expense in attending the affairs of really concerned; however, the answer we give the province, than our estate could be taxed at, if must be to the representation sent us. And we all the estates in the province were rated to the desire, in any matter of the like nature, that the public charges, which would be the only fair way house will be satisfied with such an answer as the of establishing a proportion. If we were willing governor may have orders to give on our behalf. to consent to any such matter, the value of our es
THOMAS PENN, tate, and of the estates of all the inhabitants, ought
RICHARD PENN. to be considered, and the whole expense propor.' tionably laid upon the whole value; in which case you would find, that the expense which we volun Report on the Proprietaries' answer, g-c. tarily submit to, out of affection to the inhabitants, is much more than such our proportion so laid In obedience to the order of the house, your comwould amount to; besides these general expenses,
mittee have considered the representation made the first of us sent cannon at his own charge, to
by a former assembly to the proprietaries, conthe amount of above four hundred pounds sterling,
cerning Indian affairs, with their answer delifor the defence of our city of Philadelphia, neg
vered to this house; and since all further aplected by a late house of representatives; which
plication to the proprietaries on the subject of alone, is such a sum as the proportion of a tax on
that representation is now forbidden, and they our estate would not in many years amount to.
seem to require that their answer should be put And as this is the case, we are not disposed to en
on the minutes of assembly, we are of opinion ter into any agreement with the house of represent
that the representation not hitherto made pub atives for payment of any particular proportion
lic, should accompany it, with such of the fol. of Indian, or other public expenses, but shall
lowing remarks made on each paragraph of the leave it to them (to whom it of right belongs) to
said answer as the house shall think proper. provide for such expenses, as they shall judge ne 1. On the first paragraph of the answer, we cessary for the public service.
shall just observe, that the declaration it contains is 14. As you desire to appear willing, on your a noble one, and worthy of the rank our proprieparts, to ease your constituents of a small part of taries hold among us; we only wish that in the ihe Indian expense, by throwing it upon us, we present case they had thought fit to give a proof shall, on our part, and hereby do recommend it to of the sincerity with which it is made, such as you, to give them a real and far greater relief, by would have been satisfactory to others, since our taking off a large share of that only tax which is assemblies are esteemed interested judges. borne by them. As the general expense amounts 2. The insinuation in the second paragraph, as to little more than three thousand pounds a year, if the assembly were actuated by an inclination to we conceive it may very well be provided for out oppose the proprietary interests, we look upon to of the interest of the paper-money, and one half of be injurious; and as groundless as the other supthe present excise ; especially if we shall be in position, that the members might have in view duced, from the state of your trade (which we ex- their future election, of which we shall take farpect soon to receive) to consent to an increase of ther notice when we come to the sixth paragraph, your paper-currency, this would ease the inhabi- where it is again repeated. No instance can be tants of about fifteen hundred pounds a year, which given of that assembly's opposing, or attempting would be felt by many of them, when they would to oppose, the proprietary interest. It rather apnot be sensible of the trifle you propose we should pears that they thought they were consulting contribute to the public expenses. We have di- those interests in the very point in question, if it rected the governor to consent to such a law when be consistent with the proprietary interest to have you shall think fit to present it to him.
a good understanding with the peopl since the 15. As we shall ever in the first place endeavour representation expressly proposed a method of to promote the real interests of the good people of preventing misunderstandings for the future. Pennsylvania, we make no doubt of preserving an 3. In the third paragraph, the representation is union and harmony between us and them, unless treated as a mere repetition of a former application, men of warm or uneasy spirits should unhappily and therefore improper, as“ repeating the request procure themselves to be elected for representa- could only produce the repeating the answer;" but tives, and should for the supporting their own pri- the representation appears to your committee to vate views, or interests, influence their brethren, contain, not only a repetition of the request, but otherwise honest and well designing, to espouse new reasons in support of it, and answers to such their cause; in such case, indeed, disputes may as had been given for refusing it. And such a arise, wherein we shall engage with the utmost repetition of an application we think justifiable in reluctance; but even then, as we shall make the all cases; except where we can be sure that the general good the rule of our actions, we shall, on first thoughts of the persons applied to, are infalliall such occasions, if ever they should happen, bly right; or if wrong, that they are incapable of steadily, and without wavering, pursue measures hearing reason. the most likely to conduce to that good end. 4. With regard to the opinion said to be declared
16. The representatives being annually chosen, by the lords of trade," that our proprietaries were we are aware that we are not writing now to the no more obliged to contribute to public charges same persons who sent the representation to us; than any other governor-in-chief of the king's colothe persons most forward to push on a measure nies;" your committee presume to suppose their which, from the answer, we directed our govern- lordships could only mean, that as governor-inor to give to the former application he was desired chief the proprietaries were not obliged by law; to make to us, must be supposed disagreeable) and not, that as proprietaries they were not obliged may not now be in the house, but may be suc- in equity. The latter is the point at present in ceeded by more prudent persons, returned for their dispute between the proprietaries and people of places, who would be careful not to press a matter | Pennsylvania, though in this paragraph evaded.
The assembly mention no other obligation but been necessary to take such measures, the propriesuch as in their opinion arises from reason and taries having, of late years, no formidable share of justice; they humbly submit their reasons to the the people's love and esteem. Nor was the supproprietaries' consideration, and from their equi- posed address in fact made to the people; for the iy only, they hope a compliance with the request. representation has never yet been published; nor The position understood as the proprietaries would were the votes containing those resolutions pubunderstand it, must as well hold good among the lished till after the election was over. Nor is the governed as the governors of the colonies; for situation of an assembly-man here so advantageshould the wealthiest inhabitant say, he ought to ous, as to make it worth his while to use artifice pay no more towards public charges than any for procuring a re-election ; for when the smallother inhabitant, he would be right, considering ness of the allowance, the expense of living, the him merely as an inhabitant; but as a possessor time he is absent from his own affairs, and other of property, he would be wrong; and therefore inconveniences are considered, none will suppose laws are made, obliging such as would not other- he can be a gainer by serving the public in that wise be just, to pay in proportion to their sub- station.
7. But whether assembly-men may or may not 5. The fifth paragraph seems intended to com- expect any gainful advantages from that station, bat an assertion, that the purchases from the In- we find our chief governors informing us in pretdians were made with the people's money. As ty plain terms, in the seventh paragraph, that we find no such assertion in the representation, they themselves are not without such expectations we do not think it necessary at present to inquire from theirs; they tell us, " their consent is neces how far, or in what instances, the people have sary to our laws, and that it will tend the better to had a share directly or indirectly in any such pur- facilitate the matters which must be transacted chases. The representation only intimates, that with them, for the representatives to show a rethe house conceived, treaties for the purchase of gard to their interest." That is, as we underland were made on more reasonable terms to the stand it, though the proprietaries have a deputy proprietaries for the provincial presents accompa- here supported by the province, who is or ought nying such treaties : and that this was an addi- to be fully impowered to pass all laws necessary tional reason why the proprietaries should bear a for the service of the country, yet, before we can proportionable part, at least, of the expense of obtain such laws, we must facilitate their passage, such presents; since, besides their share of “the by paying money for the proprietaries, which they common benefits and conveniences, which arise ought to pay, or in some other shape make it their from the mutual exchange of friendly offices with particular interest to pass them. We hope, howthe Indians,” they reap a particular advantage to ever, that if this practice has ever been begun, it themselves, and that a very considerable one. will never be continued in this province; and that, This reason we apprehend is not answered in since, as this very paragraph allows, we have an the present paragraph; it is only evaded, by undoubted right to such laws, we shall be always changing the state of the question. A subtlety, able to obtain them from the goodness of our soin our opinion, unworthy the dignity of the pro- vereign, without going to market for them to a prietaries and chief governors of a province. subject.
6. On the sixth paragraph we would observe, Yet, however easy it may be to understand that that the request to the proprietaries, that they part of this paragraph which relates to the propriwould be pleased to bear a part of Indian ex-etaries' interest, your committee are at a loss to conpenses, was founded on the supposed equity of ceive why, in the other part of it, the people are to the case; and that they would consent to settle be acquainted, " that the crown has been pleased the proportion to be paid by them, was proposed to give the proprietaries a rank, and that they exas a means of preventing dissatisfactions
between pect from the representatives a treatment suitable them and the people. To these points, this para- | thereto." We cannot find on perusing the repre graph only answers, that the people are able sentation in question, that it contains any treatenough to pay these expenses withont the assist- ment unsuitable to their rank. The resolve of ance of the proprietaries. This likewise seems to the house was, that to prevent dissatisfaction on be starting a new question, and one that is beside all sides, they should be requested, in the most the present purpose; for though it were true that reasonable and most respectful manner, to agree the people are able to pay, it does not follow that upon a proportion of Indian charges to be paid by they should therefore pay unjustly, nor is it likely them and the province according to justice; and that they will be pleased and satisfied with so do- it may be submitted to the judgment of all imparing, for such a reason. The proprietaries are tial persons, whether the representation drawn in likewise able to pay, they have revenue enough, pursuance of the resolve, was not both reasonable but they do not think this a sufficient reason even in itself, and respectful in the manner. to pay a part; why then should it be thought not, as the proprietaries represent it, an address to sufficient to induce us to pay the whole ? the the public. It is not to this day made public. It charge contained in this paragraph, “that the ap was a private application to themselves, transmitplication was only an attempt to induce the weak- ted to them through the hands of their governor. est of the people to imagine the house had an un- Their true interest (which they will always find common regard to their interests, and were there to consist in just, equitable, and generous meafore the most proper persons to be continued their sures, and in securing the affections of their peo representatives at the ensuing election;" your ple) was consulted in it; and one suitable means committee think an absolute mistake, and unsup- proposed to obtain that end. As to rank, the pro ported by the least degree of probability. For prietaries may remember, that the crown has like there had not been for some years, nor was there wise been pleased to give the assemblies of this expected to be, nor has there since been, any con- province a rank; a rank which they hold, not by test at elections between the proprietary and po- hereditary descent, but as they are the voluntar pular interests; nor if there had, would it have choice of a free people, unbribed, and even unsoli