CH. XII.] PENNSYLVANIA. 109
§ 121. PENNSYLVANIA was originally settled by different
planters under various authorities, Dutch, Swedes, and others, which at
different times occupied portions of land on South or Delaware river.1 The
ascendency was finally obtained over these settlements by the governors of
New-York, acting under the charter of 1664, to the Duke of York. Chalmers,
however, does not scruple to say, that " it is a singular circumstance in
the history of this [then] inconsiderable colony, that it seems to have
been at all times governed by usurpers, because their titles were
defective."2 It continued in a feeble state, until the celebrated William
Penn, in March, 1681, obtained a patent from Charles the Second, by which
he became the proprietary of an ample territory, which in honour of his
father was called Pennsylvania. The boundaries described in the charter
were on the East by Delaware river from twelve miles distance northwards of
New-Castle town to the 43d degree of north latitude, if the said river doth
extend so far northward; but if not, then by said river so far as it doth
extend; and from the head of the river the eastern bounds are to be
determined by a meridian line to be drawn from the head of saidriver unto
the said 43d degree of north latitude. The said lands to extend westward
five degrees in longitude, to be computed from the said eastern bounds, and
1 1 Chalm. Annals, 630 to 634; Smith's New-York,  49; I Proud, Penn.
110,111,112,113, 116, 118,119,122; 2 Doug. Summ. 297, &c.
110 HISTORY OF THE COLONIES. [BOOK I.
2 1 Chalm. Annals, 634, 635.
said lands to be bounded on the north by the beginning of the 43d degree of
north latitude; and on the south by a circle drawn at twelve miles'
distance from NewCastle, northward and westward, to the beginning of the
40th degree of northern latitude; and then by a straight line westward to
the limits of the longitude above mentioned.1
§ 122. The charter constituted Penn the true and absolute
the territory thus described, (saving to. the crown the sovereignty of the
country, and the allegiance of the proprietary and the inhabitants,) to be
holden of the crown as of the-castle of Windsor in Berks, in free and
common soccage, and not in capite, or by knight service; and erected it
into a province and seignory by the name of Pennsylvania. It authorized
the proprietary and his heirs and successors to make all laws for raising
money and other purposes, with the assent of the freemen of the country, or
their deputies assembled for the purpose.2 But "the same laws were to be
consonant to reason, and not repugnant or contrary, but, as near as
conveniently may be, agreeable to law and statutes and rights of this our
kingdom of England."3 The laws for the descent and enjoyment of lands, and
succession to goods, and of felonies, to be according to the course in
England, until altered by the assembly. All laws were to be sent to
England within five years after the making of them, and, if disapproved of
by the crown within six months, to become null and void.4 It also
authorized the proprietary to appoint judges and other officers; to pardon
1 1 Proud. Penn. 172.
CH. XII.] PENNSYLVANIA. 111
2 1 Proud. Penn. 176; Laws of Pennsyl. Ed. of Franklin, 1742), App.
3 1 Proud. Penn. 175, 176, 177.
4 1 Proud. Penn. 177,178.
reprieve criminals; to establish courts of justice, with a right of appeal
to the crown from all judgments; to create cities and other corporations;
to erect ports, and manors, and courts baron in such manors. Liberty was
allowed to subjects to transport themselves and their goods to the
province; and to import the products of the province into England; and to
export them from thence within one year, the inhabitants observing the acts
of navigation, and all other laws in this behalf made. It was further
stipulated, that the crown should levy no tax, custom, or imposition upon
the inhabitants or their goods, unless by the consent of the proprietary or
assembly, " or by act of Parliament in England." Such are the most
important clauses of this charter, which has been deemed one of the best
drawn of the colonial charters, and which underwent the revision, not
merely of the law officers of the crown, but of the then Lord Chief Justice
(North) of England.1 It has been remarked, as a singular omission in this
charter, that there is no provision, that the inhabitants and their
children shall be deemed British subjects, and entitled to all the
liberties and immunities thereof, such a clause being found in every other
charter.2 Chalmers3 has observed, that the clause was wholly unnecessary,
as the allegiance to the crown was reserved; and the common law thence
inferred, that all the inhabitants were subjects, and of course were
entitled to all the privileges of Englishmen.
§ 123. Penn immediately invited emigration to his province,
out concessions of a very liberal nature to all settlers;4 and under his
benign and enlight-
1 1 Chalm. Annals, 636, 637.
112 HISTORY OF THE COLONIES. [BOOK I.
2 1 Graham's Hist. of Colon. 41, note; 1 Chalm. Annals, 639, 658.
3 1 Chalm. Annals, 639, 658.
4 1 Proud. Penn. 192; 2 Proud. Penn. App. 1; 2 Doug. Summ. 300,301.
ened policy a foundation was early laid for the establishment of n
government and laws, which have been justly celebrated for their
moderation, wisdom, and just protection of the rights and liberties of the
people.1 In the introduction to his first frame of government, he lays
down this proposition, which was far beyond the general spirit of that age,
that "any government is free to the people under it, whatever be the frame,
where the laws rule, and the people are a party to those laws; and more
than this is tyranny, oligarchy, or confusion."2 In that frame of
government, after providing for the organization of it under the government
of a governor, council, and general assembly, chosen by the people, it was
declared, that all persons acknowledging one Almighty God, and living
peaceably, shall be in no ways molested for their religious persuasion or
practice in matters of faith or worship, or compelled to frequent or
maintain any religious worship, place, or ministry.3 Provisions were also
made securing the right of trial by jury, and the right to dispose of
property by will, attested by two witnesses; making lands in certain cases
liable to the payment of debts; giving to seven years' quiet possession the
efficacy of an unquestionable title; requiring the registry of grants and
conveyances; and declaring, that no taxes should be levied but by a law for
that purpose made.4 Among other things truly honourable to the memory of
this great man, is the tender regard and solicitude, which on all occasions
he manifested for the rights of the Indians, and the duties of the settlers
towards them. They are exhibited in his original plan of
1 1 Chalm. Annals; 638. 642; Marsh. Colon. ch. 6, p. 182, 183.
2 1 Proud. Penn. 197, 198; 2 Proud. Penn. App. 7.
CH. XII.] PENNSYLVANIA. 113
3 1 Proud. Penn. 200; 2 Proud. Penn. App. 19.
4 2 Proud. Penn. Appx. 15, 20; 1 Chalm. Annals, 641, 642.
concessions, as well as in various other public documents, and were
exemplified in his subsequent conduct.1 In August, 1682, in order to secure
his title against adverse claims, he procured a patent from the Duke of
York, releasing all his title derived under any of his patents from the
§ 124. It was soon found, that the original frame of
government, drawn up
before any settlements were made, was ill adapted to the state of things in
an infant colony. Accordingly it was laid aside, and a new frame of
government was, with the consent of the General Assembly, established in
1683.3 In 1692 Penn was deprived of the government of Pennsylvania by
William and Mary; but it was again restored to him in the succeeding year.4
A third frame of government was established in 1696.5 This again was
surrendered, and a new final charter of government was, in October, 1701,
with the consent of the General Assembly, established, under which the
province continued to be governed down to the period of the American
Revolution. It provided for full liberty of conscience and worship; and
for the right of all persons, professing to believe in Jesus Christ, to
serve the government in any capacity.6 An annual assembly was to be chosen
of delegates from each county, and to have the usual legislative authority
of other colonial assemblies, and also power to nominate certain persons
for office to the governor. The laws were
1 1 Chalmers's Annals, 644;1 Proud. Penn. 194, 195, 212, 429; 2 Proud.
114 HISTORY OF THE COLONIES. [BOOK I.
2 1 Proud. Penn. 200.
3 1 Proud. Penn. 239; 2 Proud. Penn. App. 21; 2 Doug. Sumn. 302.
4 1 Proud. Penn. 377, 403.
5 1 Proud. Penn. 415;2 Proud. Penn. App. 30; Marshall, Colon.ch. 6,
6 1 Proud. Penn. 443 to 450; 2 Doug. Sumn. 303
to be subject to the approbation of the governor, who had a council of
state to assist him in the government.1 Provision was made in the same
charter, that if the representatives of the province, and territories
(meaning by territories the three counties of Delaware) should not agree to
join together in legislation, they should be represented. in distinct
§ 125. In the legislation of Pennsylvania, early provision
was made (in
1683) for the descent and distribution of intestate estates, by which it
was to be divided among all the children, the eldest son having a double
share; and this provision was never afterwards departed from.3
Notwithstanding the liberty of conscience recognized in the charters, the
legislature seems to have felt itself at liberty to narrow down its
protection to persons, who believed in the Trinity, and in the divine
inspiration of the Scriptures.4
1 1 Proud. Penn. 450.
2 1 Proud. Penn. 454, 455; 1 Holmes's Annals, 485.
3 Laws of Penn., Ed. of Franklin, 1742, App. 5; Id. p. 60; 1 Chalm
4 Laws of Penn., Ed. of Franklin, 1742, p. 4. [1705.]