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William Penn — His education and early career — Points in his character — PENNsylvania – Terms of the charter —Settlers on the ground — Proposals to emigrants — Course pursued towards the Indians –- Frame of government — Provisions — Quit-claim from the Duke of York — Penn's voyage to New York — Freemen called together — Regulations agreed upon— Code of laws — Boundary question — Interview with the Indians — Penn's intercourse with the natives—Philadelphia founded — Meeting of the legislative body— Its acts — Revenue voted the proprietary — Prosperity of the colony — Penn returns to England — Enjoys favor of James II. — Wexatious trials and difficulties with the colonists — The result — Printing press — High school—The lower counties on the Delaware —Penn deprived of his administration.

THE name of WILLIAM PENN is one of the most eminent in American colonial history, and well deserves the esteem and respect with which it has been, and is, regarded by philanthropists and patriots. This remarkable man was the only son of Admiral Penn, distinguished during the protectorate of Cromwell by the conquest of the

Island of Jamaica, and afterwards by his

conduct and courage during the war with Holland, in the reign of Charles II, with whom and his brother, the Duke of York, he was a great favorite. Young Penn was entered as a gentleman commoner at Oxford at the period when the Quakers, in the midst of dislike and opposition from all sects and parties, persisted in the propagation of their offensive tenets. Through the earnestness of one of their itinerant preachers, the son of the admiral became converted to the doctrines of the new sect, and entering upon an enthusiastic advocacy of his new views, he was fined and expelled from the

University. The exasperated old adVoI. I.-19

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miral, his father, at first beat him and turned him out of doors, but afterwards sent him to make the tour of Europe, in the hope that mingling more freely with the great world might effect the cure of his eccentric enthusiasm. His travels undoubtedly tended both to enlarge his mind and to give additional suavity to his manners. On his return to London for the purpose of studying the law at Lincoln's Inn, he was considered quite “a modish fine gentleman.” “The glory of the world,” he says, “overtook me, and I was even ready to give up myself unto it;” but his deep sense of the vanity of the world, and the “irreligiousness of its religions,” which the preaching of the itinerant Quaker had produced, was aroused from temporary slumber by his providential encounter with the same individual, on the oc

casion of a journey to Ireland, and he

determined to cast in his lot with these advocates of brotherly love and impartial toleration. “God in his everlasting kindness,” thus he declares, “guided my feet into this path in the flower of my youth, when about two and twenty years of age.” At once he entered upon that career of preaching his beloved doctrines, which, in the face of many trials, he long continued to follow both at home and abroad. Imprisoned in Ireland, he was enlarged only to be received on his return to

England with animosity and derision,

and a fresh ebullition of rage from his indignant father, who, for the second time, expelled him from his home. But the spirit of Penn was too high and calm to be intimidated or exasperated. Menaces and promises were alike employed in vain. “Tell my father,” he said, after having been sent to the Tower, “that my prison shall be my grave before I will budge a jot, for I owe my conscience to no mortal man. I have no need to fear. God will make amends for all.” He remained many months in confinement, from which he was at length released through the influence of the Duke of York, the friend of his father as well as himself. The high spirited old admiral was, on his death bed, fully reconciled to his son, and committed him and his claims on the government to the good offices of the Duke of York, with whom Penn was quite a favorite, and on terms of the closest intimacy. Some years before Penn entered directly upon the great work with which his name is indissolubly united, he had been called upon to take an active interest in the affairs of his fellow Quakers in New Jersey. He had done this with so much prudence, and had on various occasions

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shown so much wisdom and discretion that it is not surprising that he was looked up to with unusual deference and respect both at home and in America. His father had bequeathed to him a claim against the government for £16,000. As it was almost hopeless to expect the liquidation of this debt from a king like Charles II., Penn became desirous of obtaining in lieu of it a grant of American territory; a wish that his influence with the Duke of York and the leading courtiers at length enabled him to realize. “This day,” he observes, in a letter dated January 5th, 1681, “after many waitings, watchings, solicitings, and disputes, my country was confirmed to me under the great seal of England, with large powers and privileges, by the name of PENNSYLVANIA, a name the king gave it in honor of my father. I chose New Wales, being a hilly country, and when the secretary, a Welshman, refused to call it New Wales, I proposed Sylvania, and they added Penn to it, though I much opposed him, and went to the king to have it struck out. He said 'twas past, and he would take it upon him ; nor could twenty guineas move the under secretary to alter the name, for I feared it should be looked on as a vanity in me, and not as a respect in the king to my father, as it really was. Thou mayst communicate my grant,” he adds, “to my friends, and expect shortly my proposals. 'Tis a dear and just thing, and my God, that has given it me through many difficulties, will, I believe, bless and make it the seed of a nation. I shall have a tender care to the government, that it be well laid at first.”

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The charter differed but little from that of Maryland: it created Penn “true and absolute lord” of Pennsylvania, with ample powers of government ; but “the advice and consent of the freemen of the province” were necessary to the enactment of laws. A veto was reserved to the crown, and to Parliament the right of levying duties and taxes.

There were already within the limits of Pennsylvania a considerable number of Dutch and Swedish settlers. Penn accordingly, in April of this year (1681) sent out the royal proclamation, constituting him lord proprietor, by the hands of his kinsman, William Markham ; and to engage the good will of these, he tells them “that they are now fixed at the mercy of no governor that comes to make his fortune great; that they shall be governed by laws of their own making, and live free, and, if they will, a sober and industrious people.” “I shall not usurp the right of any,” he continues, “nor oppress his person. God has furnished me with a better resolution, and has given me His grace to keep it.” Markham was also authorized to arrange the question of boundaries with the proprietary of Maryland.

In England, meanwhile, (May, 1681), there were proposals issued for the sale of the lands, at the rate of forty shillings, or about $10 the hundred acres, subject, however, to a perpetual quit-rent of one shilling for every hundred acres. A company was formed, and three vessels set sail in July, with a body of emigrants for the shores of the Delaware—carrying out

instructions for building the new city, which Penn desired might resemble a green and open country town. For the first time, probably, the Indians found themselves addressed in the language of genuine philanthropy and good will, as brethren of the great family of man, not as heathen. “The great God,” thus he wrote to their sachems, “had been pleased to make him concerned in their part of the world, and the king of the country where he lived had given him a great province therein; but he did not desire to enjoy it without their consent ; he was a man of peace, and the people whom he sent were of the same disposition, and if any difference should happen between them, it might be adjusted by an equal number of men chosen on both sides.”

Early in 1682, Penn issued his “Frame of Government,” wherein he purposed to leave to himself and his successors “no power of doing mischief—that the will of one man may not hinder the good of the whole country; for liberty without obedience is confusion, obedience without liberty is slavery.” The Assembly, which was to consist, first, of all the freemen, afterwards, of delegates, never more than five hundred nor less than two hundred freemen, were to elect a council of seventytwo members, one third to go out and be replaced annually, over whom the proprietary or his deputy was to preside and enjoy a triple vote. This council was not only invested with the executive power, but was also authorized to prepare bills for presentation to the Assembly. In addition, a body of forty “fundamental laws,” was agreed

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upon by Penn and the emigrants, who proposed to settle in Pennsylvania. In order to prevent all future pretence of claim on the part of the Duke of York, or his heirs, Penn obtained of the Duke his deed of release for it; and, as an additional territory, he procured of him also his right and interest in that tract of land, which was at first called the territories of Pennsylvania, afterwards “the three lower counties on the Delaware.” Every preliminary arrangement having been completed, Penn set sail, accompanied by a hundred emigrants, and during the year was followed by more than twenty ships, all of which arrived in safety. His own voyage was long and disastrous; the small pox broke out on board, and cut off thirty of the passengers. At length, toward the end of October, the ship entered the broad and majestic Delaware, and came to an anchor at Newcastle. As soon as the news of Penn's arrival was spread abroad, the magistrates and settlers flocked together, to greet him at the court-house; his title-deeds were produced; and he conciliated the assembled multitude with promises of civil and religious freedom. Continuing his ascent of the river, he landed at Upland, or Chester, where he found a plain, simple, industrious population, composed of Swedish Lutherans and Quakers, who had established themselves in a country which, from the purity of the air and water, the freshness and beauty of the landscape, and the rich abundance of all sorts of provisions, he declared, in

bis enthusiasm, that “an Abraham 7 j

Isaac, and Jacob would be well contented with.” Markham had already commenced the erection of a mansion house for Penn some distance further up the river, nearly opposite the present city of Burlington. Early in the month of December, 1682, having paid a visit to his friends in New Jersey, and on Long Island, Penn returned to Chester to

give his earnest attention to the set

tling the government, arranging the question of boundaries, and propitiating the good will of the natives. Instead of all the freemen, as Penn's writ of summons had requested, only twelve delegates from each of the six counties appeared: eighteen of these were constituted a council and the remainder an Assembly. In future, too, the Assembly was to consist of thirty-six members only, six from each county, to be chosen annually, with a council composed of three members for each county, to hold their seats for three years, one being chosen each year. The restriction of the governor to three votes was dropped, and the governor and council were to possess jointly the right of proposing laws. This enlargement of the proprietary's power, according to Penn's account of the matter, was the spontaneous movement of the freemen themselves; hence he was not guilty, as some twenty years later it was charged upon him, of using undue influence and violating his original promise. A code of laws was enacted nearly resembling those already agreed upon in England between the emigrants and Penn. Its broad outlines were on the whole worthy of his phi

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lanthropic professions. Universal toleration was proclaimed; each sect was to support itself. Every freeman had the right of voting and holding office —the only reservation being the necessity of a belief in God and abstinence from labor on the Lord's Day. Trial by jury was established. Murder alone was punishable with death. Primogeniture, with a trifling reservation, was abrogated. Marriage was regarded as a civil contract. Two wise and important provisions, must not be overlooked—every child was to be taught some useful trade, thus tending to prevent future vagabondage and crime —while the prisons were to be also workhouses, where the offender might be not only punished, but if possible, reclaimed again to the community. Penn having proceeded to Newcastle, found the question of boundaries to be a very difficult and perplexing subject. Many of the charters had been granted in ignorance of the precise geography of the country, an ambiguity which occasioned, naturally enough, serious disputes. Such was partly the case with that of Penn's, who earnestly contended for his desired line of boundary, as being of the last importance to the future welfare of his colonists. “It was not the love or need of the land, but the water.” and the facility of access and harboring, that induced him to press his claims, and, as Lord Baltimore af. firmed, to encroach within the limits of his own grant. Of the merits of this dispute, which is in truth somewhat obscure, different views have been taken by different historians. Very possibly

both parties believed themselves to be in the right, and after a warm and unsatisfactory debate, the negotiation was for the present broken off; it was afterwards, in the following year, resumed in England with considerable acrimony, and terminated in the assignment to Penn of half the territory between the banks of the Delaware and the Chesapeake. The famous traditionary interview with the Indians under the great elm of Shakamaxon, commemorated by the pencil of West, was held probably not long after Penn and Lord Baltimore had met with reference to the boundary question. It was a scene of deep and touching interest; and though it is true that Penn enjoyed advantages over the older States in that the Delawares were a feeble tribe, yet his sincerity and good will cannot be doubted, and we know that no Quaker blood was ever shed in contests with the aborigines of that region. The good understanding produced by this interview was carefully kept up. During his stay in the country Penn often met the Indians in friendly intercourse. He partook of their simple fare, and mingled in their athletic games. On one occasion, as he himself informed Oldmixon, he was involved in an awkward dilemma, from which he escaped by the exercise of his usual prudence. Having visited an Indian sachem, he had retired for the night, when he was startled by the entry of the daughter of his host, who, thus instructed by her father, came and placed herself by his side, in com

pliance with certain ideas of hospital

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