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in words which did him and his sect much honour, when contrasted with the general intolerance of those times, “I would not be mistaken. I am far from thinking it fit, because I exclaim against the injustice of whipping Quakers for Papists, that Papists should be whipped for their consciences. No: for though the hand pretended to be lifted up against them hath lighted heavily upon us, yet we do not mean that any should take a fresh aim at them, or that they should come in our room; for we must give the liberty we ask, and cannot be false to our principles, though it were to relieve ourselves; for we have good will to all men, and would have none suffer for a truly sober and conscientious dissent on any hand. And I humbly take leave to add, that those methods against persons so qualified do not seem to me to be convincing, or indeed adequate, to the reason of mankind; but this I submit to your consideration." The effect of Penn's representations was such, that a clause for the relief of Quakers was actually introduced into the bill then before the House : the prorogation of parliament, however, put a stop to the progress of the bill.
Passing over Penn's further exertions, both by speech and writing, in the cause of Quakerism and of religious toleration in England, as an account of these would not possess much interest now, we come to the most important event in his life-namely, the foundation of the North American colony of Pennsylvania.
PENN LED TO TAKE AN INTEREST IN THE AMERICAN COLONIES
-OBTAINS A GRANT OF PENNSYLVANIA.
After various unsuccessful attempts, two English colonies had been planted on the eastern coast of North America in the early part of the seventeenth century. The more southern of the two was called Virginia, and was colonised principally by mercantile adventurers; the more northern was called New England, and was colonised principally by Puritans, who, driven by persecution from the mother country, had crossed the Atlantic in order to enjoy liberty of conscience in a new country of their own founding. From the year 1620, a constant stream of emigrants from Great Britain had been pouring into these colonies ; so that, towards the latter part of the century, the coast on both sides of the Potomac river was overspread by a British population —those on the north side of the river calling themselves New Englanders, and those on the south side Virginians. The manner in which the colonisation was carried on was as follows:- The king granted to some nobleman, or to some mercantile company, a certain territory roughly marked out; this nobleman or company again either sold the property in lots to intending emigrants, or themselves organised an emigration on a large scale, and sus perintended the foundation of a colony on the territory in question. It is evident, therefore, that the purchase and sale of lands in America had become, in the reign of Charles II., a favourite branch of speculation; some parties buying portions of land with an actual view to settle in the new world, or at least to possess property in it, others buying with the mere intention of selling again. Now, it so happened that, in the year 1664, the Duke of York, afterwards James II., who had obtained from his brother Charles II. a grant of a great part of the New England coast, conveyed over a portion of it, under the name of New Jersey, to Lord Berkley and Sir George Carteret. Lord Berkley again disposed of his half share to two members of the Society of FriendsJohn Fenwick and Edward Byllinge. It appears that some dispute arose between these two individuals respecting their shares in the land which they had purchased; for, in the year 1775, we find William Penn, who seems to have been a friend of both, acting as arbitrator between them, and endeavouring to persuade Fenwick to yield, and, for the credit of the body to which he belonged, not to carry the dispute to a court of law. His remonstrances were effectual; the difference between Fenwick and Byllinge was adjusted ; and the former emigrated to New Jersey, apparently in the mere capacityof superintendent for Byllinge, while Byllinge himself remained at home.
This was Penn's first connexion with the American colonies ; a connexion, it will be observed, quite casual, but which was followed by important consequences. Byllinge becoming involved in pecuniary difficulties, conveyed over his property in New Jersey to his creditors, prevailing upon William Penn to act as trustee, along with two of the creditors, for the judicious application of the property to the purpose of discharging his debts." Penn entered on the business with much alacrity; and after concluding an arrangement with Sir George Carteret, by which the boundaries of his and Byllinge's shares of New Jersey were defined—the former under the name of East New Jersey, and the latter under that of West New Jersey-he prepared to turn his position, as Byllinge's trustee for West New Jersey, to the best account.
The property having been divided into a hundred lots, Fenwick, Byllinge's agent, was paid off with ten of these, and the remaining ninety were to be applied for the behoof of the creditors. All that was necessary now was to invite promising emigrants to settle in these lands; and with this view Penn drew up a constitution, consisting of a number of articles of mutual agreement, which the purchasers of the lands were to sign, and which were characterised by his own spirit of liberality and toleration. At the same time, in order that no one might embark in the undertaking without a full knowledge of the condition of the country he was going to, and the difficulties which he must encounter, he and his colleagues published “A Description of West New Jersey,” embracing all the information they had it in their power to give. In consequence of these representations, about eight hundred respectable settlers, most of them Quakers, embarked for New Jersey in the beginning of 1678.
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. Once led to take an interest in the American colonies, nothing was more natural for William Penn, situated as he was, a member of a persecuted sect, who had all his life been struggling ineffetut tually for the attainment for himself and his fellows of isomeo measure of religious liberty, than to conceive the project of head> ing an emigration on a large scale, to consist of Quakers and other dissenters. Might he not be the instrument of founding a new state, which, constructed upon better and sounder principles than those which regulated the old states of Europe, would one day become great, and flourish? Or, even supposing that so 'noble de prospect were never to be realised, would it not in itself ben good and philanthropic action to remove some hundreds of famis lies from a land where they were suffering continual wrong for conscience sake, and plant them in a land where, supportingal themselves by the sweat of their brow, they might still eat thei'l bread in peace, and bless God the giver? Such were the thoughts that recurred again and again to the mind of William Penn, lass instance after instance of persecution presented itself to his view! Intelligence which he received of the prosperity of the colonists; whom, in his capacity as trustee for Byllinge, he had been invi strumental in sending out to New Jersey, confirmed him in thes notion which he was indulging; and at length he formed the decided resolution to head an extensive scheme of emigration on? his own account. i
1 Fortunately the execution of this project was facilitated by claim which Penn had upon government. His father, Admiralt Penn, had at different times advanced sums of money to the needý and dissolute government of Charles II., which, together with arrears of pay, amounted to £16,000; and, as his father's heir, Penn was of course entitled to the payment of this debt. In lieu of the money, Penn proposed that government should make him a grant of a tract of country in New England, yet uncolowi nised the tract, namely, lying to the north of Maryland, bounded on the east by the Delaware river, extending as far to the west as Maryland, and as far to the north as was plantable He had no doubt been led to fix on this territory by favourable accounts which he had received of its resources. When the application was made to government, considerable opposition was offered to Penn's proposal, on the ground that he was a Quaker! At length, however, on the 4th of March 1681, a royal charter was granted, constituting Penn full and absolute proprietor, under the British crown, of all the land which he had petitioned for: The rights with which this charter invested him were most ample. “The use,” says his biographer, Mr Clarkson, of all ports, bays, rivers, and waters in the specified territory, of their produce, and of all islands, mountains, soils, and mines there, was wholly granted to him. He was to hold the territory in free and common soccage by fealty only, paying two beaver skins annually, and a fifth of all the gold and silver discovered, to
the king. He had the power of making laws, with the advice, assent, and approbation of the free men of the territory assembled for the raising of money for public uses; of appointing judges and other officers; and of pardoning and reprieving, except in cases of wilful murder and high treason. He had the power of dividingt the province into towns, hundreds, and counties; of erecting and incorporating towns into burghs, and burghs into cities ; of selling or alienating any part or parts of the said province, in which case the purchasers were to hold by his grant; of constituting fairs and markets; and of making ports, harbours, and quays. He had the power of assessing, reasonably, and with the advice of the free men assembled, customs on goods laden and unladen, and of enjoying the same, saving only to the king such impositions as were and should be appointed by act of parliament. In case of incursion by neighbouring barbarous nations, or by pirates or robbers, he had power to levy, muster, and train to arms all men in the said province, and to act as their captain-general, and to make war upon and pursue the same. To these general provisions were added many regulations in detail, the whole charter amounting to one of the most full and absolute ever granted to a subject. With regard to the name of the new territory, Penn proposed at first that it should be called New Wales, by way of companionship, it may be supposed, to New England. Objections, however, being taken to this name, he proposed Sylvania, as one which the woody nature of the country rendered suitable; and ultimately this name was adopted, with the prefix of the word Penn, in honour of William Penn's father, for whom both the king and the Duke of York had a great regard. Penn was anxious to have this prefix struck out, as apparently too assuming; and he actually made application for that purpose: the king, however, insisted that the name Pennsylvania should remain, as accordingly it did.
Penn immediately took steps for the colonisation of his newlyacquired territory. He first published a paper giving “Some Account of the Province of Pennsylvania in America, lately granted under the Great Seal of England to William Penn;" and to this paper he annexed a statement of the terms on which he intended to sell his land to emigrants. According to this statement, he was to sell a hundred acres for forty shillings, reserving, for legal reasons, a perpetual quit-rent of one shilling for every hundred acres.
He next published a list of those conditions as to the future management of the colony on which he was willing to part with his land to purchasers. The most prominent of these conditions related to the manner in which he wished the native Indians to be treated by those who settled in the new territory. With a degree of humanity rare in that age, though quite in consonance with his own noble character, he forewarned all his adherents that he was determined to put the native Indians on a level with the colonists as regarded civic rights, and that all
differences between the two parties should be settled by an equal number of referees from both sides.
As it was deemed necessary, moreover, that intending settlers should have some previous idea of the form of government to be adopted in the new colony, Penn drew up a rough outline of such a constitution as he wished to see established, and as he had no doubt would meet the approbation of all likely to be interested. This constitution embraced twenty-four articles, of which the first, named by Penn the Great Fundamental, was as follows:“In reverence to God, the father of light and spirits, the author as well as object of all divine knowledge, faith, and worship, I do, for me and mine, declare and establish for the first fundamental of the government of my province, that every person that doth and shall reside therein shall have and enjoy the free profession of his or her faith and exercise of worship toward God, in such
way and manner as every such person shall in conscience believe is most acceptable to God.”
All the necessary preparations having been made, three ships full of emigrants set sail for Pennsylvania in the end of 1681. The superintendence of this first detachment was intrusted by Penn to his relative, Colonel Markham, assisted by commissioners. These were instructed to open up a communication with the natives, and to make all possible arrangements for the establishment of a peaceful relation between them and the future colony. With this view they carried a letter, written in Penn's own hand, and addressed to the Indians; of which remarkable document the following is a copy :-" There is a great God and Power which hath made the world and all things therein, to whom you and I, and all people, owe their being and well-being, and to whom you and I must one day give an account for all that we have done in the world. This great God hath written his law in our hearts, by which we are taught and commanded. to love, and to help, and to do good to one another. Now, this great God hath been pleased to make me concerned in your part of the world; and the king of the country where I live hath given me a great province therein. But I desire to enjoy it with your love and consent, that we may always live together as neighbours and friends'; else what would the great God do to us, who hath made us, not to devour and destroy one another, but to live soberly and kindly together in the world? Now, I would have you well observe that I am very sensible of the unkindness and injustice which have been too much exercised toward you by the people of these parts of the world, who have sought to make themselves great advantages by you, rather than to be examples of goodness and patience unto you. This, I hear, hath been matter of trouble to you, and caused great grudging and animosities, sometimes to the shedding of blood, which hath made the great God angry. But I am not such a man, as is well known in my own country. I have great love and regard