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ands, or of Cochin China, should, by making a discovery of the United States, on that account, set up a right to the soil within our boundaries.
§ 4. The truth is, that the European nations paid not the slightest regard to the rights of the natives. They treated them as mere barbarians and heathen, whom, if they were not at liberty to extirpate, they were entitled to deem mere temporary occupants of the soil, who might be converted by their aid to Christianity; and who, if they refused conversion, might be driven from the soil, as unworthy to inhabit it. They affected to be governed by the desire to promote the cause of Christianity; and were aided in this ostensible object by the whole influence of the Papal power.
But their real object was to extend their own power, and increase their own wealth, by acquiring the treasures, as well as the territory of the New World. Avarice and ambition were at the bottom of all their enterprizes.
5. The right of discovery thus asserted, has become the settled foundation, on which the European nations rest their title to territory in America ; and it is a right, which, under our Governments, must now be deemed incontestible. The Indians, however, have not been treated as mere intruders, but as lawful occupants of the soil, entitled to a temporary possession thereof, subject to the superior sovereignty of the European nations, which might hold the title of discovery. They have not, indeed, been permitted to alienate their possessory right, except to the nation to whom they were thus bound by a qualified dependence. But in other respects they have been left to the free exercise of internal sovereignty; and their title to the soil by way of occupancy has been constantly respected, until it has been extinguished by purchase, or by conquest. A large portion of the territory in the United States, to which the Indian title is now extinguished, has been acquired by purchase ; and a still larger portion by the irresistible power of arms over a brave, hardy, but declining
race, whose destiny seems to be, to perish, as fast as the white man advances upon their footsteps.
$ 6. The first permanent settlement made in America under the auspices of England, was under a charter granted by King James the First, in 1606. By this charter he granted all the lands lying on the sea-coast between the 34th and the 45th degrees of north latitude, not then possessed by any Christian prince or people. The associates were divided into two companies ; one, the First, or Southern Colony, to which was granted all the lands between the 34th and 41st degrees of north latitude; and the other, the Second, or Northern Colony, to which was granted all the lands between the 38th and 45th degrees of north latitude, but not within 100 miles of the prior colony. The name of Virginia was generally confined exclusively to the Southern colony; and the name of the Plymouth Company (from the place of residence of the original grantees in England) was assumed by the Northern colony. From the former, the States south of the Potomac may be said to have had their origin ; and from the latter, the States of New-England.
57. The colony of Virginia is the earliest in its origin, being settled in 1606. The colony of Plymouth (which afterwards was united with Massachusetts in 1692) was settled in 1620; the colony of Massachusetts in 1628; the colony of New Hampshire in 1629; the colony of Maryland in 1632; the colony of Connecticut in 163; the colony of Rhode Island in 1636; the colony of New-York in 1662; the colonies of North and South Carolina in 1663; the colony of New-Jersey in 1664; the colony of Pennsylvania in 1681 ; the colony of Delaware in 1652; and the colony of Georgia in 1732. In using these dates, we refer not to sparce and disconnected settlements in these colonies, (which had been made at prior periods) but to the permanent settlements made under distinct and organized governments.
Ø 8. The Governments formed in these different colonies may be divided into three sorts, viz. Provincial, Proprietary, and Charter Governments. First, Provincial Governments. These establishments existed under the direct and immediate authority of the King of England, without any fixed constitution of Government; the organization being dependent upon the respective commissions issued from time to time by the Crown to the Royal Governors, and the instructions, which usually accompanied those commissions. The Provincial Governments were, therefore, wholly under the control of the King, and subject to his pleasure. The form of Government, however, in the provinces was at all times practically the same, the commissions being issued in the same form. The commissions appointed a Governor, who was the King's representative, or deputy; and a Council, who, besides being a part of the Legislature, were to assist the Governor in the discharge of his official duties; and each of them held their offi:e during the pleasure of the Crown. The commissions also contained authority to convene a general assembly of the representatives of the freeholders and planters; and under this authority, Provincial Assemblies, composed of the Governor, the Council and the Representatives, were constituted. The Representatives composed the lower house, as a distinct branch; the Council, the upper house; and the Governor had a negative upon all their proceedings, and the power to prorogue, and dissolve them. The Legislature, thus constituted, had power to make all local laws and ordinances not repugnant to the laws of England, but as near as might be, agreeable thereto, subject to the ratification or disapproval of the Crown. The Governors appointed the Judges, and Magistrates, and other officers of the province, and possessed other
general executive powers. Under this form of Government New-Hampshire, New-York, Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia, were governed as Provinces at the commencement of the American Revolution; and some of them had been so governed from an early period of their settlement. $ 9. Secondly, Proprietary Governments.
These were grants by letters patent from the Crown to one or more persons as proprietary or proprietaries, conveying to them not only the rights of the soil, but also the general powers of Government within the territory so granted, in the nature of feudatory principalities, or dependent royalties. So that they possessed within their own domains nearly the same authority, which the Crown possessed in the Provincial Governments, subject however to the control of the Crown, as the paramount sovereign, to whom they owed allegiance. In the Proprietary Governments, the Governor was appointed by the proprietary or proprietaries; the Legislature was organized and convened according to their will; and the appointment of officers, and other executive functions, and prerogatives, were exercised by them, either personally, or by the Governors for the time being. Of these proprietary Governments three only existed at the time of the American Revolution, viz.: Maryland, held by Lord Baltimore, and Pennsylvania and Delaware, held by William Penn.
§ 10. Thirdly, Charter Governments. These were great political Corporations, created by letters patent, or grants of the Crown, which conferred on the grantees and their associates not only the soil within their territorial limits, but also all the high powers of legislation and Government. The Charters contained in fact a fundamental constitution for the colony, distributing the powers of government into three great departments, legislative, executive, and judicial; providing for the mode, in which these powers should be vested and exercised; and securing to the inhabitants certain political privi. leges and rights. The appointment of the Governor, of the
Legislature, and of Courts of Justice, were specially provided for; and generally the powers appropriate to each were defined. The only Charter Governments existing at the time of the American Revolution, were Massachusetts, Rhode-Island, and Connecticut.
§ 11. The Charter Governments differed from the Provincial, principally in this, that they were not immediately under the authority of the Crown, nor bound by any of its acts, which were inconsistent with their charters; whereas the Provincial Governments were entirely subjected to the authority of the Crown. They differed from the Proprietary Governments in this, that the latter were under the control and authority of the proprietaries, as substitutes of the Crown, in all matters, not secured from such control, and authority by the original grants; whereas, in the former, the powers were parcelled out among the various departments of Government, and permanent boundaries were assigned to each.
§ 12. Notwithstanding these differences in their original political organization, the Colonies, at the time of the American Revolution, in most respects, enjoyed the same general rights and privileges. In all of them there existed a Governor, a Council, and a Representative Assembly, composed of delegates chosen by the people, by whom the legislative and executive functions were exercised. In all of them the legislative power extended to all local subjects, and was subject only to this restriction, that the laws should not be repugnant, but as far as conveniently might be, agreeable to the laws and customs of England. In all of them express provision was made, that all subjects, and their children, inhabiting in the Colonies, should be deemed natural born subjects, and should enjoy all the privileges and immunities thereof. In all of them the common law of England, as far as it was applicable to their situation, was made the basis of their jurisprudence; and it was asserted at all times by them to be their birth-right and inheritance.