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three counties, Bucks, Chester, and Philadelphia; and the territories" into three, New Castle, Kent, and Sussex.
At the time of Wm. Penn's arrival, the Dutch had already a settlement and “ meeting place" at Newcastle, the Swedes at Christeen, at Tinicum, and at Wicaco, (now near the navy-yard in Philadelphia.) The Quakers had three, one at Upland, one at Shackamaxon, and one near the falls of Delaware, opposite Trenton. Within a year after Penn's arrival great numbers of Welsh had arrived, who settled in Philadelphia and Chester counties, giving Welsh names to townships, which they still retain. Many English settled about Chester and the waters of the Brandywine; and Germans from Chresheim settled at Germantown.
Before Penn left the province he made short journeys to New York and New Jersey, and to Maryland, where he visited Lord Baltimore, with the hope of adjusting the differences between them, but without success.
Το bring this dispute to a close, by an appeal to higher authority, was one great reason for his visiting England.
He had great reason to congratulate himself upon his success and the prosperity of his little colony, the population of which he already estimated at about four thousand.
Having thus established his colony upon the broad principles of Christian charity and constitutional freedom, he left the executive power in the hands of the council, under the presidency of Thomas Lloyd, an eminent Quaker; and having appointed the provincial judges for two years, he embarked, in July, 1684, on his return to England. On board ship he wrote a farewell letter to his colony, replete with his characteristic benevolence.
“My love and life is to you and with you, and no water can quench it, nor distance wear it out, or bring it to an end. I have been with you, cared over you, and served you with unfeigned love, and you are beloved of me, and near to me, beyond utterance.” * " And thou, Phila. delphia, the virgin settlement of this province, named before thou wert born, what love, what care, what service, and what travail has there been to bring thee forth! Oh, that thou mayst be kept from the evil that would overwhelm thee; that, faithful to the God of thy mercies, in the life of righteousness, thou mayst be preserved to the end. My soul prays to God for thee, that thou mayst stand in the day of trial, that thy children may be blessed of the Lord, and thy people saved by his power."
Penn was absent from his colony fifteen years. It would have been highly desirable if he had never left it. Often during his absence did the state of affairs need the guidance of his powerful mind. The constitution was not yet sufficiently established, and in the infancy of the settlement a powerful hand was necessary to prevent disorders, and to maintain the empire of the laws, particularly of those which enforce the practice of virtue and morality. The different authorities did not support each other as they should have done; there was a constant bickering between the legislature and the executive, and between the members from the “territories" and those of the province; and this infant legislature, representing a population scarcely larger than the smallest of our present counties, often exhibited the same scenes of personal bitterness, of petty intrigue, of legislative stubbornness, and executive caprice, which now disgrace the larger assemblies of Harrisburg and Washington. It appears, too, that the best understanding did not subsist between the predominant Quakers and those of other persuasions, nor even among the Quakers themselves, among whom George Keith fomented a most unhappy quarrel. Nicolas Moore, chief-justice of the colony, had incurred
the enmity of the assembly, and they in revenge impeached him. Penn promoted him to another office.
Thomas Lloyd presided over the councils until 1686, when Penn, by letter, changed the form of executive government to a board of five commissioners,—Thomas Lloyd, Nicolas Moore, James Claypole, Robert Turner, and John Eckley,any three of whom were to be a quorum competent for the transaction of business.
In 1688, Thomas Lloyd wishing to be excused from further service in public affairs, Capt. John Blackwell was appointed deputy governor by the proprietary. This gentleman was at that time in New England, and had been employed under Cromwell, not only in military service, but in missions to Ireland, and was consequently accustomed to deal with violent parties. Penn thought him an able and honest man. He soon disagreed with the council, and returned to England.
In 1691 an irreconcilable quarrel arose between the province and the territories, resulting in the establishment of two assemblies, and two deputy governors,—Thomas Lloyd for the province, and Wm. Markham for the territories. These continued dissensions gave great pain to Wm. Penn, and added to the embarrassments which changes of dynasty, and the persecutions of his enemies, had brought upon him in England. Such influence had these enemies at the court of William and Mary, that in 1693 the jurisdiction of his province was wrested from him by the crown, and Col. Benjamin Fletcher, then governor of New York, received a commission also to administer the government of Pennsylvania and the lower counties. Fletcher is represented as a man of violent temper, shallow capacity, and avaricious disposition. He made a solemn entry into Philadelphia, and summoned the council and assembly. At the very first there arose a misunderstanding between the assembly and the new governor, who attempted innovations in the laws, and the mode of summoning and electing representatives, which conflicted with their fundamental law, as well as with their natural rights. He also came charged by the crown to demand a subsidy for repelling an invasion of the French on the northern frontier of New York. The subsidy was granted, after much wrangling, and an ineffectual attempt to withhold it until their grievances should be redressed. This was the first attempt to tax Quakers for military defence, and they were only driven into it by a threat that he would annex the province to New York.
Fletcher's reign was short : in 1694, through the influence of friends at court, Penn's innocence was made manifest to the king, and he was reinstated in the administration of his provinces. William Markham was appointed his lieutenant-governor ; Thomas Lloyd, who would undoubtedly have been his first choice, having died a short time previously.
Dissensions still continued between the assembly and the executive. The great bone of contention was the subsidy to be granted to the king for defence of the frontiers. In one of Penn's letters he chides them for refusing to send money to New York for the common defence, and tells them that the repose of the province was disturbed by party men. Perhaps one of the conditions on which he was reinstated, might have been the granting of these supplies ; and perhaps also he might have agreed to simplify and strengthen the form of government. Certain it is that Markham presented to the assembly the project of a new Act of Settle
ment. This, after some wrangling and remonstrance, was adopted, and £300 was granted for the support of government, and relieving the distressed Indians inhabiting above Albany.” Thus, in November, 1696, was adopted the third frame of government, which remained in force five years, until 1701.
William Penn embarked, with his second wife and family, for his province, in August, 1699. He was nearly three months at sea ; but this delay was providential,-for he did not arrive until the yellow fever, which had been raging in the colony, had ceased. Thomas Storey, an eminent Quaker preacher, thus speaks of the ravages of the fever at that time:
* Great was the majesty and hand of the Lord, great was the fear, that fell upon all flesh. I saw no lofty, or airy countenance, nor heard any vain jesting, to move men to laughter; nor witty repartee, to raise mirth; nor extravagant feasting, to excite the lusts and desires of the flesh above measure ; but every face gathered paleness, and many hearts were humbled, and countenances fallen and sunk, as such that waited, every moment, to be summoned to the bar, and numbered to the grave."
The proprietor and his family were received with a cordial welcome by the citizens—the greater on account of his known intention to fix his residence among them for life. Nevertheless, the numerous civil dissensions during his absence, the alienation of the two provinces from each other, the influx of strangers, and the conduct of his own deputy governors, had taught them to regard him, rather as the governor than as the patriarch. Many things were wanting in the laws of the province, and the property of the land owners was not yet fully secured. Immoralities had increased ; and the offence of fostering contraband trade, and even piracy, was charged upon the colony by its enemies.
The proprietor applied himself diligently to the establishment of a new form of government, which should be free from the defects of those preceding it, and impart strength and unity to the administration. He therefore called an extraordinary meeting of the assembly in May, 1700. Although they were agreed as to the main object, yet this important matter was not carried through at this session, nor even at a subsequent one held at Newcastle in October of the same year. It was questioned whether the Act of Union of the two colonies was still in force. The lower colonies were willing to acknowledge it, provided an equal freedom was secured to them,-by which they understood that they were to have an equal number of representatives with Pennsylvania. An increasing population in the latter forbade the admission of such a pretension. In voting for taxes for the support of government, the bitterness of feeling between the two colonies was also manifested, as they voted on every question in opposition. A tax of a penny in the pound was laid, and a poll tax of six shillings per head. A new code of laws, chiefly penal, was adopted by this assembly. A second session was convened to raise £350 for the defence of the New York frontier ; but the assembly declined the grant, thinking the burdens already sufficient. Penn did not press the subject further at that time, aware of the strong antipathy of his Quaker brethren to all grants that might in any event be applied to military purposes. In April, 1701, Penn met in council the chiefs of the Five Nations with
those from the Susquehanna and the Potomac, and the Shawnese chiefs, and after going through the solemn forms of Indian diplomacy, covenanted that there should be “forever a firm and lasting peace continued between William Penn, his heirs and successors, and all the English and other Christian inhabitants of the province, and the said kings and chiefs, &c., and that they shall forever hereafter be as one head and one heart, and live in true friendship and amity as one people.” At this treaty, regulations were adopted to govern their trade; and mutual enforcement of penal laws, and former purchases of land were confirmed.
Penn's situation now became uncomfortable in consequence of news from England. The king and his ministers, instigated by the suggestions of malignant persons, did not see without apprehension the rapid increase of the proprietary governments in America, and feared lest their growing power should become too great for the crown. It was therefore thought advisable to convert them into royal governments, and purchase off the proprietary interests. A bill was introduced in parliament for this purpose. The necessity of Penn's speedy return to arrest, if possible, so alarming a measure, was at once perceived, although this necessity urged him to leave his province at a most inconvenient time. He immediately convened the assembly at Newcastle, and before his departure much business of an important nature was transacted.
The misunderstanding between the two colonies was again revived, and proved a serious obstacle to the enactment of the new charter and the new code of laws, which Penn was desirous of seeing established before his departure. Nothing but his earnest interference and weight of character prevented an open rupture. They were at length prevailed upon to adopt the charter, and both houses declared, in signing it, that they“thankfully received the same from the proprietary and governor, this 28th October, 1701.” This charter continued in force until the separation of the province from Great Britain by the revolution.
Unfortunately it contained the seeds of that division between the province and territories, which broke out after Penn's departure, never to be healed again. A charter was also at this time granted for Philadelphia, which then first assumed the dignity of a city. Edward Shippen was the first mayor. Andrew Hamilton, of New Jersey, was appointed by Penn lieutenant-governor, and James Logan, secretary.
The venerable Mr. Du Ponceau remarks :
It will ever be a source of regret that William Penn did not, as he had contemplated, fix his permanent residence in his province, and that, after the lapse of a short year, he again embarked for England, whence it had been decreed by Providence that he never should return. There is too much reason to believe that in this he yielded to the influence of his wife and of his daughter Lætitia, who do not appear to have been pleased with a residence in the country. Yet Hannah Penn was a woman of great merit, and her name will shine conspicuously, and with honor, in our history. But when we consider her rank, education, and fortune, and the situation of Penn. sylvania at that time, we need not wonder that she preferred the society of her friends in her na. tíve land to a life of hardship and self-denial in a newly settled colony. And it is easy to conceive how William Penn's return may have been postponed amidst efforts to conquer her reluctance, until other circumstances intervened which prevented it altogether.
A single trait will be sufficient to show what evils would have been averted from Pennsylvania if William Penn had remained here to the end of his days. Nine years after his departure, when his country was again rent by intestine divisions, and a factious legislature, taking an unmanly advantage of the misfortunes which had of late fallen heavy upon him, were striving by every means to wrest power from his hands, a letter from him to that assembly, in which he tenderly expostulated with them for their ungrateful conduct, produced an entire and a sudden change in
the minds of the deluded people, and at the next election his enemies were hurled from the seats which they had disgraced. A truly national answer, says his biographer Clarkson; and we may add, the strongest proof that can be given of the powerful ascendancy of this great man over minds of an inferior stamp.
On Penn's arrival in England, in December, 1701, he found the odious bill in parliament had been dropped entirely. Soon after, King William died, and Anne of Denmark ascended the throne, commencing her reign with moderation and clemency. Penn was often at court, and held in great favor; a privilege which he used to promote his great plans for "peace on earth and good will toward men.”. Any thing, however, but brotherly kindness and charity prevailed in the province during his absence. The lower counties had always opposed the charter, and now taking advantage of provisions inserted therein to that effect, separated entirely from the province in 1703. Governor Hamilton died in that year and was succeeded by John Evans, who arrived in 1704. He was a rash, intemperate young man, ignorant of the people he was called upon to govern, and entirely unfit for his trust. He convened an assembly, consisting of the members of both provinces, whom he was disposed to consider as still united. In his speech he insisted much upon their union; but the members from Pennsylvania refused to unite. Evans early attached himself to the interest of the lower counties, and induced their assembly to pass laws obnoxious to the other colony. He had been ordered by the queen to raise a militia in the colony, but he met with little success. He affected to treat with contempt the pacific principles of the Quakers; and as he could not persuade them to renounce their principles, he resorted to the petty trick of a false alarm to beguile them into conduct inconsistent with their professions. An enemy's fleet was reported to be coming up the Delaware. The governor, with his confidential friends, flew to arms and paraded the streets with a drawn sword, summoning to his assistance all persons capable of bearing arms. The inhabitants, in confusion, rather sought their safety in flight than in preparation for defence. Most of the Quakers did not forsake their usual composure, and only four of them were found who had recourse to arms. The stratagem was seen through and recoiled upon its inventors. Even James Logan, himself a Quaker, did not escape a part of the odium. Evans also gave great offence to the merchants, and annoyed the infant commerce of the province by erecting a useless fort at Newcastle, and requiring vexatious delays and onerous charges from vessels passing up. A cunning Quaker shipmaster enticed the commander of the fort on board his vessel, and carried him off to Vice-admiral Cornbury, of New Jersey, who sent him home with a severe reprimand.
It would be neither profitable nor pleasant to follow in detail the unhappy feuds that agitated the province during the remaining years of Governor Evans, and those of his successor Gookin ; feuds that embittered the life of the illustrious proprietor, and resulted in evil to the province. Sometimes the subject of controversy was the erection of courts of justice; sometimes the granting of subsidies involving the pacific principles of the Quakers; at other times, prerogatives of the assembly; and at others, the personal character and conduct of James Logan or of the governor. By these trifling matters the minds of men were so exasperated that the most important affairs of the colony were entirely neglected. Governor