Imágenes de página


"First, that the proprietary at the first set- terms, &c. and let him understand how vice ling of this province, promised large privi- grows of late.” leges, and granted several charters to the And they ordered a representation to be people; but by his artifices brought them all drawn up consequent thereto, and sent by the at his will and pleasure to defeat.

first opportunity. * Secondly, that dissolution and prorogation, Parts of this are already before us; and, as and calling assemblies by his writs, impower- a suggestion was afterwards made, that it ed by his commission to his present deputy, contained other matter than was comprehendand his orders to his former deputies and com- ed in the articles, the remainder deserves to missioners of state, are contrary to the said be inserted here. charters.

“ That upon thy being restored to the go“Thirdly, that he has had great sums of vernment, thou required thy lieutenant to money last time he was here, for negotiating govern us according to charter, which, by the confirmation of our laws, and for making reason of Fletcher's interruption, became imgood terms at home for the people of this pro- possible before thy orders reached us, and so vince, and ease his friends here of oaths, &c. the government fell under great confusion but we find none of our laws are confirmed, again: nor was the administration of thy pro

ny relief against oaths; but an order priety much better managed, because thou from the queen to require oaths to be adminis- put some in that commission with whom the tered, whereby the quakers are disabled to rest would not act; and at last the office of sit in courts.

property and surveyor-general came to be “Fourthly, that there has been no survey- shut up, and thou kept them so whilst thou or-general since Edward Pennington died, but sold lands to the value of about two thousand great abuses by surveyors, and great extor- pounds sterling, and gave thy warrants in tions by them and the other officers concern- England for surveying the said land; and ed in property, by reason of the proprietary's also got great tracts of land laid out or secured refusing to pass that law proposed by the as- for thyself and relations, besides several vasembly, in 1701, to regulate fees, &c. luable parcels which should have been laid

Fifthly, that we are like to be remediless out for the purchase, but were reserved by thy in every thing that he hath not particularly surveyors, whether for thee or themselves we granted, or made express provision for; be- know not: however thou appropriated those cause the present deputy calls it a great hard- lands to thyself, by the name of concealed ship upon him, and some of the council urge lands, whereas in truth they were concealed it as absurd and unreasonable to desire or ex- from the purchasers, who were to have their pect any enlargement or explanation by him, lands laid out contiguous one to another, and no of what the proprietary granted.

vacancies left between them : and thou wast Sixthly, that we are also left remediless to have only thy tenth, as it fell, according in this, that when we are wronged and op- to the concessions thou made with thy first pressed about our civil rights, by the proprie- adventurers; and if thou took it not up so, it tary, we cannot have justice done us; be was thy own (not their) fault; but the other cause the clerk of the court being of his own was a manifest injury to many of them as putting in, refuses to make out any process; above declared. and the justices, by and before whom our “That upon thy last arrival here, after all causes against him should be tried, are of his the hardships and disappointments we had own appointment; by means whereof, he be- laboured under, we hoped to enjoy the fruits comes judge in his own case, which is against of thy former promises and engagements ; natural equity.

but instead of that, we found thee very full of Seventhly, that sheriffs and other officers resentment, and many of our applications and of the greatest trust in this government, addresses, about our just rights and properwhich the proprietary hath commissionated, ties, were answered by recriminations or bitter being men of no visible estates; and if any of invectives: and we found that the false inthem have given security, it was to himself; sinuations and reproaches, that our adversaso that the people whom these officers have ries had cast upon the province, with respect abused and defrauded, can reap no benefit of to false trade and harbouring pirates, had such security.

made so great an impression upon thee, that “ Eighthly, that although the commission- thou rather believed them than thy honest ers of property have power by their commis- friends. sion to make satisfaction where people have “And when thou entered upon legislation, not their full quantity of land according to thou wast pleased to repeal all the laws that their purchase, yet they neglect and delay were made in colonel Fletcher's time, which doing right in that behalf.

were approved by the king or queen, as we “ Ninthly, that we charge the proprietary were informed, and as some of us gathered not to surrender the government, taking no- by the account thou gave of them, viz. that tice of the intimation he had given of making chancellor Somers had sent for thee to know

VOL. II....C


what thou had to object against any of those “That after the laws were completed for laws; and if it had not been for thee none of raising all the said taxes and imposts, thou them had passed, or words to that effect: and proposed that if thy friends would give thee not only so, but the people being minded to a sum of money, thou promised to negotiate surrender the said second charter, upon thy their affairs at home to the best advantage; and promise to give them a better in lieu of it; endeavour to procure the approbation of our and under pretence of passing an act for con- laws, and a general exemption from oaths: firming and securing their lands, &c. thou we find that considerable sums have been obtained liberty to resurvey all the lands in the raised by way of subscription and benevoprovince, and to bring the people to terms for lence, for that service; part thou received the overplus; so that by this stratagem, the before thou went, and more have been receivwarrants, surveys, and new patents, cost the ed since by thy secretary; but we had no acpeople as much, and to some more, than the count that our laws are approved, nor had we first purchase of their lands, besides their long as much as a letter from thee, nor any other attendance upon thy secretary and surveyors intimation but by thy secretary's letters, to have their business done: but before thou which he thought fit to communicate by piecewould

pass that act, it must be accompanied meals, whereby we understand, thou hast with an impost or excise, and a tw thou- been making terms for thyself and family: sand pounds bill besides: and all this thou es- and by what we gather, thou hast been upon teemed but inconsiderable, when thou com- surrendering the government; nor are thy pared it with the vast charge thou had been friends here eased of oaths, but on the conat, in the administration and defence of this trary, an order from the queen, requiring government, since the year 1632, though we oaths to be administered to all persons who know thy stay here at first coming was not are willing to take them in all judicatures, above two years, but went home about the whereby the people called quakers are disadifference between thee and Baltimore, con-bled to sit in courts. cerning the bounds of the lower counties, and “ That by the last charter or privileges, did not return till the year 1699; excusing thon established an annual election of reprethy stay by thy service to the nation of Eng- sentatives for assembly, and that they should land in general, and to thy friends there in continue and sit upon their own adjournments; particular, (as appears by thy letters from yet by thy commission to thy present deputy, time to time) whilst the interest of this pro- John Evans, thou did, in a direct opposition to vince was sinking, which might have been the said charter, give him power notonly to call upheld by the many wealthy persons that assemblies by his writs, but to prorogue and were inclined to transport themselves here, dissolve them as he should see cause; and after the rout of Monmouth, if thee had then also reserved to thyself, though in England, came over according to thy repeated pro- thy final assent to all bills passed here by thy mises: and how far thy stay has either effected deputy: we suppose thou hast not forgot, that what thou went about, or contributed to the what rendered the former charter inconveestablishment of the inhabitants here in their nient, if not impracticable, was chiefly that just rights and liberties, and properties, we colonel Fletcher's interruption had extinleave thee to demonstrate, and the world to guished the rotation of the council, and next judge: in the mean time, we desire thee to to that, the proposals of laws by the council, consider better what to place to the account in presence of the governor; as also the inof this province; and do not forget that no stability of the lower counties, which we had part of thy pretended charges was expended before experience of, and whose result was in paying some of those who acted under thee, then doubted, as hath since happened: but in the administration here, one of whom, viz. that annual standing assemblies, liable only Thomas Lloyd, served thee in that station to the dismission and call of the governor as about nine years of thy absence, which thou occasion required, was never found an inconleaves, it seems, for the country to discharge. veniency, nor assigned as a reason for chang

“ That after thou had managed these points, ing the said former for the present charter: and was sent for to England, thou granted and should that of dissolution be introduced, the third charter of privileges, by which we it would frustrate the constitution, because it are now convened; as also a charter to incor- a dissolution should happen, the province porate the city of Philadelphia, and signed a might be a great part of the year without an charter of property, but refused to order thy assembly, and the governor


power to seal to be affixed thereunto, till thou had ad- call one, whatsoever commands from the vised upon it in England : nevertheless, thou crown, or other occasions may happen; for promised under thy hand, that thou would that the election being fixed by charter, which confirm the first part of it relating to titles of is in nature of a perpetual writ, and has the land, but thou sent thy order, under hand and authority of a law: if it could be superseded seal, dated within six months after, to coun- by the governor's writ, which is but an act of termand the sealing thereof.

state, and merely temporary, it would be of

[ocr errors]

pernicious consequence to the province as well and are put upon the inhabitants, and extoras thyself: and of this thou seemed very sen- tions used by thy secretary, surveyors, and sible, when being desirable by the assembly, other officers, concerned in property as well upon the close of the session in the year 1701, as courts, which might have been prevented to dissolve them, (being then called by writs) or sooner remedied, had thou been pleased thou told them, thou wouldst not do it, for to pass the bill proposed by the assembly in that thou couldst not answer to the crown to the year 1701 to regulate fees; as also the leave the province without a standing assem- want of a surveyor-general, which is a great bly.

injury and dissatisfaction to the people; as “That as the exemption from any dissolu- is likewise the want of an established judication or prorogation, seems to be an insepara- ture for trials between thee and the people ; ble consequent of thy grant, as well as our for if we exhibit our complaints against thee, constant practice upon the former charter, or those who represent thee in state or properwhich this was hy thy promise to exceed, so ty, they must be determined by or before jusupon an attempt made by the council, to pro- tices of thy own appointment; by which rogue us in October last, we have thought it means, thou becomes, in a legal sense, judge our duty to prepare a bill for ascertaining, ex- in thy own cause, which is against natural plaining, and settling our present constitu- equity; therefore, we propose, that a man tion; which we having presented to thy depu- learned in the laws of England, may be comty for his assent, he finding that the power of missioned by the queen, to determine all matdissolution and prorogation is not in express ters, wherein thy tenants have just cause to words granted away by charter, as also the complain against thee, thy deputies or cominconveniency thereof with his said commis- missioners; or else restore the people to the sion, after several conferences thereupon, had privilege of electing judges, justices, and other with him ard his council, he thought fit to ad- officers, according to the direction of the first vise us to forbear the farther pressing it, till charter, and intent of the first adventurers, and we should hear from thee; therefore he be- as the people of New England have by king ing unwilling to pass the said bill by us judg. William's charter : that thy commissioners ed so necessary, and the very foundation of of property, are very unwilling to make good our present constitution, we could not think the deficiencies of those lands thou hast been it proper to proceed to perfect any other busi- many years ago paid for (though thou gave ness, whilst that remained unsettled: nor do them power so to do) and so great is the difwe suppose any thing will be done in legisla- culty and trouble to get satisfaction in this tion either by the present or succeeding as particular, that it is better for one to forego his semblies, till the difficulties we labour under right, than wait on and attend the commisherein be removed, either by thy speedy order, sioners about it, unless the quantity wanting or by thy deputy without it; seeing to pro be very great. ceed upon other matters, would be to raise a “ We have many other things to represent superstructure before the foundation were to thee as grievances; as thy unheard of well laid; nor do we look upon it very advisa- abuses to thy purchasers, &c. in pretending to ble for us to proceed far in legislation, until give them a town, and then by imposing unthou repeals those parts of thy lieutenant's conscionable quit-rents, makes it worse by commission, relating to prorogation and dis- tenfold than a purchase would have been : solution of assemblies, for the reasons before also the abuse about the bank, and want of given; as also concerning thy final assent to common to the town, and not only so, but the laws, which we conceive to be very unrea- very land the town stands on, is not cleared sonable in itself, and a great abuse and viola- of the Swedes' claims. tion of our constitution, that thou should offer “ These are the chief heads, which we to put three negatives upon our acts, whereas thought fit at this time to lay before thee, by our first charter, we had none but that of earnestly entreating thy serious consideration the crown; and how thou gained another to of them, and that thou will now at last, after thyself, we have before showed thee, but now we have thus long endured and groaned unto bring us under three, seems a contrivance der these hardships (which of late seem to be to provoke us to complain to the queen, that multiplied upon us) endeavour as far as in thee thou art not effectually represented here, and lies, to retrieve thy credit with us thy poor temake that a motive for her to take us under nants and fellow-subjects, by redressing these her immediate care and protection, which aggrievances, especially in getting our laws would make thy surrender in some measure confirmed, and also to be eased of oaths, and our act, which if thou should do without the giving positive orders to thy deputy to unite consent of the landholders and inhabitants of heartily with us, upon our constitution; and this province first obtained, would look too that the charters thou granted us for city and much like treachery.

country, may be explained, settled, and con“ That it appears, by several petitions now firmed by law : and we further entreat, that before us, that very great abuses have been effectual care be taken for the suppressing

of vice, which, to our great trouble we have in all disputes this must be duly allowed fe to acquaint thee, is more rife and common on both sides. amongst us since the arrival of thy deputy Seven persons, some of them of the cou and son, especially of late, than was ever cil, made their application by petition to th known before: nor are we capable to suppress next assembly for a copy of it, but were fiat] it, whilst it is connived at, if not encouraged refused : and even when the governor himsel by authority; the mouths of the more sober in very high language required it, they wer magistrates being stopped by the said late immoveable as before. order about oaths, and the governor's licensing Willing as they might be to reclaim th ordinaries not approven by the magistrates proprietary to a due sense of his first oblig of the city of Philadelphia, and the roast tions, they might be equally unwilling to ex chiefly ruled by such as are none of the most pose him: and, agreeable to this, the assen exemplary for virtuous conversation : thy po- bly of 1706-7 in one of their remonstrances 1 sitive orders in the premises, will be absolute- the governor say, “that hoping the bill o ly necessary to thy deputy, who thinks it un- courts then in dispute would have put an en reasonable, and a great hardship on him, to to some of the grievances they had severa give sanction to laws explanatory of thy years groaned under, they had hitherto foi grants, or to do any thing by way of enlarge- born publicly to remonstrate; choosing rathe ment or confirmation of aught, save what is to provide remedies for things amiss than t particularly and expressly granted by thee, it complain of them.”. Some concern the being by some of his council urged as an ah- might also be under for themselves; their as surdity in us to expect: and we desire that cendancy was precarious : it depended on th thou would order the licensing of ordinaries good will of numbers: and the infirmity and taverns, to be by the justices, according to nature above touched upon, might happen t thy letter dated in September, 1697; and we operate more powerfully in the people, tha hope we need not be more express in charg- the consideration of justice and safety t ing thee, as thou tenders, thy own honour and themselves and their posterity. The pro honesty, or the obligations thou art under to vince, at this time, had moreover their rea thy friends, and particularly thy first pur- sons on account of oaths, a militia, &c. to ap chasers and adventurers into this province, prehend some inconveniency if they fell un that thou do not surrender the government, der the immediate government of the crown whatsoever terms thou may by so doing make and therefore did not care to break with thi for thyself and family, which we shall deem proprietary entirely, no less than a betraying us, and at least will Nor was it long before, by partial and in look like first fleecing, then selling: but ra- direct practices, such as both influencing an ther use thy utmost interest with the queen, awing the electors (facts publicly charged 01 to ease us in the premises: and if after thy the instruments of government by the assem endeavours used to keep the government, it bly of 1706-7) that the governor obtained be per force taken from thee, thou will be the both an assembly and a speaker, almost a clearer in the sight of God, and us the repre- complaisant as he could wish. Nor ought i sentatives of the people of this thy province, to be forgot, that his successor Gookin ob who are thy real friends and well wishers, as tained such another in the year 1710. we hope is evident in that we have dealt thus In all matters of public concern something plainly with thee."

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

, David Lloyd, speaker of the assembly situated.

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

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

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

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

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

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

not having been done by this house, but being * And as to what is said concerning the the act (or in the name) of a former, as we charter prepared at the proprietary's depart- are not entitled to the affront, if any be, neiure, the draughtsman has assured us, that no ther are we concerned in answering it: our project or power is comprised in that charter part is only to lament (as we really do) that but what was the proprietary's direction, there should be true occasion for such repreperused and corrected by his cousin Parmiter, sentation; or, if none, that it should be offered before it was engrossed, and afterwards signed to our proprietary, whom we both love and by himself: but whether the proprietary de-honour; and, therefore, we hope his obligasigned thereby to reverse the method of the tions of care over us and the people of this government according to an English consti- province by no such means shall be canceltution, and establish a republic in its stead, or ed.” leave the people to struggle with the queen's That this man's government should be one governors, which he then expected would be continued broil, from the beginning of it to the consequence of the bill then moving in the end, is proof sufficient, that Mr. Penn left parliament against proprietary governments, his frame at least in a very imperfect state. the draughtsman cannot tell: but he well re

Nor were the people themselves insensible members, that the proprietary told him, that of it, nor more backward to declare their he held himself obliged to do what he could sentiments concerning it, than of the other to confirm his tenants in their lands and proper parts of his conduct. ties, and give them all the* powers he could, as Evans, for example, having made use of he was lord of this seignory, and much more the following clause in one of his papers to to that effect.”

the assembly, to wit; And now, to finish on the head of the re

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

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

those of the province (as it is affirmed) who * "Wiliam Biles acquainted this house, that Natha. were then present, and unanimously consentniel Puckle had a letter from the proprietary to be com ing, and is farther witnessed by the council; municated to several persons here, encouraging them to this, therefore, ought fully to conclude: for not tamely give them up; and instanced what advan. if the people could allege, that any thing tage it has been to the people of Rhode Island, Con more was their due, it ought at that time to necticut, and other proprietary governments, to as have been fixed and settled; the assembly sert their rights," &c. Votes of Assembly for August 21, 1704

then sitting, as the governor is informed, hay

« AnteriorContinuar »