Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Penn and amenableness to his personal influence, looked upon themselves as partners with him in the great colonial venture. They had left home, and subdued the wilderness, in order to enjoy privileges. A war ending in 1697 and one lasting from 1702 to 1713 took away, either by capture at sea, or scarcity and high price of European articles, or cessation of immigration, much of the money profit of their labor. It is not surprising that persons so situated grudged every shilling for which Penn asked.

The inconvenience of proprietary governments to the empire at large has been mentioned in the chapter on England. To the inhabitants of the locality subjected, such a government might become intolerable. Liberty had flourished in Pennsylvania, because of the enlightened ideas of the Proprietary who founded the colony: but was it fair that those who were maintaining by great hardship civilization in remote regions, and were still bound by their duties to the King, should have a second lord and master? Particularly when, after the first Proprietary must pass away, his successor, coming by birth or purchase, would be neither the King's nor the People's choice?

The opponents of Penn other than the Crown officials with some Churchmen, were not desirous of abolishing his viceroyalty, the basis of the colony's independent and improved jurisprudence; nor was the experience of those colonies of which the Governors were selected by the Crown, in the high salaries and military exactions and ecclesiastical arbitrariness, encouraging for a change. In fact, that Penn was inclined to allow such a change was looked upon as a betrayal. All that his opponents and the majority of the freemen wanted was to cut down expenses, and to minimize his power and more particularly the power of his Deputies.

The City Corporation very soon fell into the hands of those inimical to Penn, Lloyd becoming Recorder in place of Story, and, after Shippen's two terms as Mayor, that office being held by Anthony Morris, Griffith Jones, and Joseph Willcox successively. After the Queen's order, the fact that Lloyd and nearly all of the Aldermen were Quakers, made the Mayor's Court and those Aldermen acting as magistrates the only judiciary representing the religious society opposed to oaths. Thus the favor of many Assemblies was enlisted.

[graphic]

The first Assembly with which Evans came in contact endeavored, by proposing certain laws, to have the City Corporation strengthened, to state the powers of the House, and to confirm property. At the same time, it was unanimously voted to raise 10001., and to send 1001. thereof to agents to be selected, rather in place of Penn, for attending the Attorney-General or Solicitor-General and Board of Trade to obtain the Queen's approbation of the laws: but disputes with the LieutenantGovernor, recess, and adjournment prevented the perfecting of a bill for raising money, it being the determination of the People's representatives to grant nothing unless satisfaction were received. They were, at the same time, great sticklers for respect to be shown to the House, and some remarks of Councillor Guest in public and private ridiculing it, and speaking of proposed laws as absurd, unreasonable, and monstrous, caused a vote that he should be rebuked; non-compliance with which, by the Lieutenant-Governor, may have added to the ill feeling. Evans and his Councillors deemed preposterous the powers given in the bill relating to the City Corporation, and as not sufficiently careful of the Proprietary's interests the bill for confirming property. These bills were in fact smothered in Council rather than fought. The great contention arose from the bill for the confirmation of the Charter of Privileges, or Frame of Government. This bill declared the Governor unable to prorogue or dissolve the Assembly. Such power, Evans and his advisers did not consider to have been relinquished by the Proprietary, and therefore did not think the Lieutenant-Governor had any right to bind the Proprietary to forego, although the Assembly offered to limit the length of the sessions, except when the Governor consented. One of several amendments proposed by Evans gave the Council a part in legislation: this was rejected, one of the unanimous resolves of the Assembly on 6mo. 10 being that it would be inconsistent with King Charles's patent and the Charter of 1701, except when the government (the Lieutenant-Governorship) were vested in the Council, which the House was willing should happen on the death of a Lieutenant-Governor, unless there should be some other provision by the Governor-inChief. The Assemblymen decided to adjourn, and so to leave the subject to their successors, and asked the Lieutenant-Governor to think over the bills meanwhile. Accordingly, an order was made that the Speaker, who seems to have been regarded as something like the Clerk of a Quaker Meeting, should have the minutes for the year prepared, and take the advice of Biles, Willcox, Morris, Norris, Wood, Jones, and Richardson or as many of them or others of the body as could be conveniently consulted, about the minutes being published. Thus the phraseology of the minutes was left to be perfected later by Lloyd, whose consulting others was practically optional. It was ordered on 6mo. 25 that a representation to the Proprietary be prepared by the Speaker, Norris, and Willcox, and be brought into the House the next day, they to deal plainly with the Proprietary concerning the privileges and immunities which he promised to the People, and how inconsistent and repugnant thereto was his commission to the present Deputy, as well as former orders and proceedings, how the People were wronged and deprived of those privileges, how they were injured in their

properties, and what inconveniences had happened from the Proprietary's not passing the bill for regulating fees proposed to him in 1701. Willcox reported on the 26th that the committee of three had made little progress, and could not finish; but Lloyd, as he avows (see Penn and Logan Correspondence, Vol. II, p. 407), had written nine articles to be embodied, and, the House resolving that the subject matter be forthwith drawn up, these were proposed, and, although, so near adjournment, some of the members were not paying attention, the articles were read, somewhat amended, and agreed to without one vote in the negative, and the representation was ordered to be drawn according to those heads, and to be perused by the members who were to peruse the minutes. Some time afterwards, certain members, who may be called fickle or weakkneed, frightened at the turn resulting from their action or complaisance, said that they had not heard the articles, and had had confidence that the committee would be very respectful to the Proprietary-in what member except Norris could they have had such confidence ?—and that the whole House would hear and vote upon the Remonstrance before it were sent—but when could that be, the immediate aljournment being final? There can be very little doubt that the interlineation by Lloyd himself, who had control of the minutes, to the effect that the Representation be signed by the Speaker, and sent to the Proprietary by the first opportunity, expressed what was ordered.

Certain proceedings of Evans and some of his Councillors gave the City Corporation some grievances. The militia had increased in Philadelphia to three companies, under Captains Lowther, George Roche, and John Finney, and on 4mo. 13, 1704, gave a military funeral to the old naval veteran, former LieutenantGovernor Markham. To encourage enlisting, a proclamation was issued by the Governor relieving all who were on the muster rolls from the duties of watch and ward, which the City authorities enforced upon all the citizens. Guest, Samuel Finney, Roche, and Pidgeon, put into the County Court in order to administer oaths, claimed a concurrent jurisdiction with the Mayor's Court in licensing drinking places; and it was only after approval of the County Court was obtained that the Governor issued any license. A third source of complaint was the protection given to a tavern keeper, after conviction in the Mayor's Court for a misdemeanor, the charge apparently having resulted largely from the conduct of William Penn Jr.

Young Penn's natural inclinations for livelier company than the older Quakers, and his knowledge that his Quaker family could not retain the government unless non-Quakers undertook the defence of the region, made him the friend and champion of the militia officers, although he still belonged to the peace-loving Society, and had written to Logan two years before: “as for the poking-iron (sword], I never had courage enough to wear one by my side.” One evening, not long after the Governor's proclamation excusing the militia from watch and ward, the City watchmen, as Logan gives the account in a letter to the Proprietary, “meeting with a company at Enoch Story's, a tavern, in which some of the militia officers were, a difference arose, that ended with some rudeness. Next night, the watch coming again to the same place, and thy son happening to be in company, there was something of a fray which ended in the watch retiring." This was a euphemistic way of describing it to the young man's father, if Watson the Annalist has preserved the truth in the statement following: “Penn called for pistols to pistol them, but the lights being put out, one fell upon young Penn, and gave him a severe beating." If he did call for pistols, the case is made out that he was drunk. Before his arrival in the country, his father

« ZurückWeiter »